I recall participating in a fabulous IMS teleconference, in which we studied Practice Not Profession by Margaret Laird, in its entirety, over five sessions.
On page 47 of that paper, Mrs. Laird writes, “No individual has a mind that can hate.”
That sentence suddenly became real to me in all its implications. It struck home and stopped me in my tracks. All the terrorists, the drivers with road rage, revenge seekers, hate mongers, people wanting to annihilate their opposition—it doesn’t exist that way—i.e., as people thinking either good or bad, right or wrong thoughts and acting on them. Hate is not really happening, going on, existing. Can I hate; can you hate?
It certainly seems that “I” can; that “you” can. I needed to take a closer look at that.
Mary Baker Eddy stated the basic precept of Christian Science as: “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation,” and Mrs. Laird restated that fact as “Mind=I=Us.”
I was also reminded of a Bicknell Young quote that Margaret Laird uses at the beginning of Chapter 9 in Christian Science Re-Explored. It reads, “One infinite Mind is all the Mind there is or can ever be. It is wholly good and always right. It is the only power, the only presence, the only action. It is Principle, the only Life. It is Spirit the only substance, tangible, real; and there is no other Mind or consciousness. This divine Mind provides and presents its own evidence. Any assumption contrary to this is mere belief and theory, without any foundation or actuality as cause or effect; and the believer is as unreal as the belief . . . .”
These quotes are pure Science, and serve to practically uncover the Truth of our Being, who we are when the human shows up.
It is essential that we under- stand what infinite Mind/mind is, to grasp how it shows up in our world. Infinite means ONE. It cannot be divided into many. It must be consistently ONE in its nature. Infinity ceases to exist if there are separate “many’s.”
“Educated world belief” (Mrs. Laird’s term) would suggest “many,” would finitize the Infinite and suppose minds galore thinking all kinds of conflicting good and bad, right and wrong thoughts. How does Good get divided up into good and bad; how does Right/Principle get divided up into right and wrong?
It’s like the news report that tells me there is a war, a pandemic, people starving, stealing from each other, killing each other, natural catastrophes, at the same time that people are helping each other, rebuilding, healing, etc., etc., and all this going on “somewhere.”
Personal feelings and sensations seem to send out little mental reports like, “Oh darn, I’m getting sick.” “My boss is being unreasonable, and I hate this assignment.” “This sure is a disruptive situation.” “I don’t like that, or I do like that.” We become aware that our day is continually peppered with these “thoughts” if we pay attention, thoughts that purport to tell us what our reality is. We buy into it because it’s “accepted”; we’re conditioned that way, forgetting that I am the one deciding what God/Life I am living. There isn’t anyONE else.
Mrs. Eddy says, “Sickness [and here we can expand it to read, “educated world belief”] is more than fancy; it is solid conviction. It is therefore to be dealt with through right apprehension of the truth of being.” (Science and Health 460:15-18)
“Where” does this suggestion of “educated world belief” show up or “occur”? My answer must be at the standpoint of my own consciousness, as what I am accepting Mind to be. Since Mind is all there is, and there is no person, place, thing or mind separate to be out there, it’s “my” belief of Mind, with absolutely no substance, that results in a distorted look—in the perception of “a” mind that can hate or, for that matter, think or love. I need to own that and be clear that I have separated myself from my own Mind if I believe people are thinking thoughts. Mrs. Laird says, “No one who sits in a chair can think.”
Of course I can’t really separate myself from Mind, but there’s a fine line here. I need that
recognition of misappropriating my “mind” to be able to let go and realize that what I “see”
doesn’t change—I’m still seeing reality as people, places, and things. But I’m no longer fooled by
my belief that Mind is something that it isn’t. With this awareness, my entire experience seems to undergo a freeing change, and that includes my others: Life shows up as ONE in its infinite variety, as my own consistently harmonious Infinite Mind Being.
Here is another way to put it: Suggest is all that “educated world belief” can do, because it is not Reality; it does not really exist. It is a supposition of Reality, a 2+2=5 mistake, continually in a state of destroying itself, which is apparent as disease, death, war, conflict, depression, pain, etc. None of this, however, is occurring, just as the “5” doesn’t work, and doesn’t exist as the solution for that equation.
In Practice Not Profession (page 35), Mrs. Laird states, “Belief is not something that is happening. Belief is belief about the something which is happening. God (Mind) is the happening.” As Scientists we “translate” the language of our daily lives to stay aware, be the Truth of what is Real. Our thinking has to show up the way it does at each moment because it’s our feedback. So we never need to fear it, because it has no staying power and is never causative.
How crazy would it be to insist on trading in counterfeit currency, or trying to force a square peg into a round hole? The popular expression is “Let’s get real,” and the only way we truly do that is in the “secret place of the most high”—our innermost being, our conscious awareness. Life can be described as a continual awareness of what I accept as “I,” as “Mind.” And staying Real is being, living, that idea “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.” Mind constitutes my being. To stay clear with that is not a one-time epiphany-like experience. It is my daily life/Life. Life is ever new and fresh, and my experience is my constant opportunity/feedback, Mind identifying Itself to itself.
There is only one Mind, and the only action is Mind-action. Mind is primal, absolute, manifesting Itself infinitely. Mind is Being, and my world shows up in its infinite variety looking like people, places, things—many minds, including my own. But Its true existence is always ONE, always NOW—perfectly Presencing, always boundless, blissing, solid, substantial, powerful, harmonious, perfectly expressing, changelessly changing. This is all that is, period.
The sentence just preceding the quote we started with from Practice Not Profession—”No individual has a mind that can hate”—is: “All hate is unacknowledged Love.” Exactly!
The only thing occurring is Mind being, Love loving—which has no opposite, no conceptual love-versus-hate. If I hold to a belief—i.e., a concept, of what I imagine Love to be—Reality requires that I give it up, let go of it, so Infinite Mind can express Itself infinitely. Mind cannot be choked off, or frozen in place.
In the next paragraph on that same page of Practice Not Profession, Mrs. Laird says, “The phenomena we think we see ‘out there’ is the reflection of what is claiming to be our own state of thought.”
It’s going to look like hate at the same time it is unopposed Love; or like death and destruction at the same time it is indestructible Life. It is clear that we can never “stop” hating because no hating is ever going on. The belief and the believer is one.
Then why do I see it this way sometimes (as hate, pain, suffering, no stability), if I KNOW that Perfection is the only Presence and Power, the only Reality Presencing right now. Well
apparently I need a wake up call, because I REALLY DO KNOW that Perfection is never interrupted, could not possibly be interrupted. At some level I’m holding to a belief, instead of acknowledging Reality. So, yes, this uncomfortable life-threatening look (cancer,
danger, job loss, economic insecurity) is not occurring this way. It’s the “burning bush that
is not consumed,” an “angel entertained unawares,” the angel being the Truth of who I really Am, Mind’s perfect awareness of Itself, safe and secure, harmonious and whole, nothing left out, stable and indestructible and beyond even the look of safe and secure, the look of harmonious and whole, the look of nothing left out, the look of stable and indestructible.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can seem to occur that is not exactly right at each moment of what I see as my life living, Principle always being that constituting force, always being Love bringing me back to Myself, when I seem to believe otherwise.
I can’t hold any look as occurring, as existing to do something about if I am being Science in the situation. What seems to be happening at all times—what I see, hear, feel, taste, touch, and smell—is always a viewpoint that is showing up to give me the opportunity, or to force me when that look is uncomfortable and disturbing, to see that whatever concept to which I’m holding as the way Perfection should look or should be in my life, is standing in the way of my having a “human” experience of what I know Being to be—”freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss,” to use Mrs. Eddy’s words. The look, whether good or bad, cannot tell me anything; it simply tells me I exist. What that existence is the look cannot speak for. I cannot possibly know what it should or could look like, or how to have it show up, because I, and all that my world is, reliably exist at the standpoint of Mind’s awareness of Itself.
In the realm of educated world belief, the primary questions are always: What am I believing? What am I holding as Mind? What am I being?
How exhilarating and what a privilege!
– Anne ChamberlainLaird’s Practice Not Profession