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NEITHER VILLAINS NOR VICTIMS

From the February 1943 issue of The Christian Science Journal

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On the stage of human events, how often appear characters filling the roles of villains and victims! The fraud deceiving the credulous, the thief taking from the unwary, the falsely ambitious conniving to displace another, the dominating husband and enduring wife, the immoral plotting the fall of the innocent, the malicious attempting to undermine and destroy his fellow man, the unscrupulous ruler grinding down conquered peoples. It is a sad array, mortal mind, alias mortals, with motives base and blind, preying on other mortal minds, all illustrations of Mrs. Eddy's statement. "This false sense of existence is fratricidal" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 539).

What can be done about it? Much, very much. Every such scene and setting can be, must be, broken up, wiped out, and annihilated. But how? By the Mind of Christ, the God-given consciousness which knows that there is no cause but God, infinite good, and no effect but the ideas and identities of God. Unless these tragic scenes are known to the all-knowing Mind, they cannot be substantial and real, and they cannot withstand the God-empowered thinking that recognizes their ungodliness, truthlessness—their unsubstantiality.

What seems to make them so real is the intense belief of mortals that there is a mortal, material mind, identified in materially-thinking, seeing, acting mortals, and that this would-be mind with its mortal puppets is as real as the one deific Mind and its spiritual identities. This mistaken belief can be destroyed, like any mistake, as a knowledge of the fact is gained. The mistake-destroying fact is revealed in the Bible and Science and Health. It is that reality is Spirit, Mind, God, who includes in Himself the only true consciousness, the seeing, hearing, and feeling of all men. He causes them, as His ideas and witnesses, to express only good, one toward another. To Him and to His there is no mortal mind, no villain, no wrong-minded mortal, no puppet of evil, no type of mortal called a victim capable of being deceived and devastated by evil. Infinite intelligence knows none such. No such concepts exist. No such roles are known.

If one is tempted to believe that now he is, or in the past has been, the victim of some villain, the Christ-idea will remove this lie from his consciousness and experience. Let him set about to realize what was the divine fact right when error now argues some villain-victim activity was going on. Let him ask himself if God ever surrendered His omnipresence to another mind, or if, and when, God's universe, peopled with His children, ever yielded place to evil's burlesque scene. The spiritual idea of existence reveals the fact that mortal mind's lying claim to have made a material universe and peopled it with deceiving, thieving, dominating, and malicious personalities can be met and annulled by the truth that God, the one everywhere-present, all-intelligent Mind, is the only cause and constitutes the one and only universe, made up of His ideas and identities, all thinking as God causes them to think, doing as God causes them to do. In God's kingdom, and there is no other, there is no substance out of which to make a villain or a victim, no consciousness, no senses to see or feel them.

"A" once dreamed he quarreled with his neighbor "B." In his dream he attacked "B" with potatoes, tomatoes, and then with a gun and bullets, and finally injured "B." Then "A" awoke, in distress, to discover he had not injured his neighbor "B" at all. Why not? Because "B" was not in "A's" dream. "B" was in a different realm of thought. What was it, then, that "A" aimed at with his missiles? His own dream concept.

Every evil thinker aims at his own misconception of man, his dream concept. His darkened thinking makes it impossible for him to discern the true selfhood of his brother, always spiritual and "hid with Christ in God." So your sure defense and mine is never to consent to believe we are in an evil thinker's dream. Why? Because our only status is as the children of God, dwelling in God's universal family, where all His ideas live, love, and think in natural God-ordered unity and peace.

"The mental arrow shot from another's bow," says Mrs. Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings" (pp. 223, 224), "is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it." The barbs are the points pointing in the opposite direction from the arrow's point. They are what make an arrow stick in a target and difficult to remove.

It is one's own fearful belief that he is a mortal who can be injured by the evil thinking of other mortals that seems to barb the mental arrows. Otherwise these shafts of negation are as impotent as were "A's" dream missiles to harm "B." "B" was outside "A's" dream, was out of range. So are we. We are outside the evil thinker's dream, outside mortal mind, and in God, immortal Mind. Nothing can tempt the Son of God to step outside Love's kingdom and become a target in the private shooting gallery of some wrong-minded mortal. The archer and his arrows are equally a dream; but man goes on reflecting God, unendangered, fearless, and free. Evil's villain-victim setup is outside God's infinitude, and cannot get in. Man, the only true you and I, is inside God's infinitude, and cannot get out. Actually there cannot be an outside to God's infinity, so evil's suppositions are crowded into nowhereness. They are as placeless as they are substanceless.

"Love your enemies," said Jesus; and Mrs. Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 9) says, "'Love thine enemies' is identical with 'Thou hast no enemies.'" How is this? Because the one Mind, peopling its universe with its ideas, cannot cause, or permit, its ideas to contend with one another. All live for the same purpose. All are governed by the same law. All are "builded together for an habitation of God." Each is complete, and cannot take from another, cannot vie with, dominate, or be critical of or hate another. The one causative Mind outlaws any such mindlessness, and does so universally, in all individuality.

Shun the role of victim as much as you shun the role of villain. Both are equally unknown to God and His ideas. Know yourself, and know your brother as God knows you and him. No one can find heaven for himself without finding his brother there too. The Mind of Christ is the way. Therein is no place for such lying concepts as villains or victims, but only for the one God and His Love-expressing ideas. Man, individually and collectively, is never the object of evil's curse. He is the forever object of God's continuing love and blessing.

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