Images of suffering and of other evils can be imposing, even terrifying. As a result, some individuals take refuge in faith. But when the material world looms big and apparently all-powerful, and God seems to be distant, we may feel that even faith is insufficient. What then are we to do?
In the book of Revelation, St. John speaks of "a great red dragon." This is a fierce picture. But John goes on to say that the dragon is conquered —"the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Rev. 12:3, 9. Evil is destroyed through the power of Christ, Truth. Referring to human reaction to the dragon, to fear and to hatred with its evils, Mary Baker Eddy says, "But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?" Science and Health, p. 563. If evil, whatever form it takes in our lives, is actually nothing, we must come to the conclusion that what we are dealing with is a convincing illusion! It's an aspect of the universally accepted belief that mind is in matter and that matter is substantial and powerful. This belief is a lie because it's opposed to the allness of infinite Spirit, the supremacy of God, good. Yet there can be nothing beyond or apart from infinite Spirit. Once we know that this belief, or false concept of reality, is an illusion, we can deal with it by taking a stand for the truth that God, Spirit, is All-in-all. Armed with this understanding, we are ready to face evil—the great red dragon—and defeat it. Or are we? What does it take to break the illusion, or hypnotic influence, of evil? Not long ago I had an experience that taught me how to break through illusion to discover spiritual reality and thereby find healing.
While strolling in a nearby mall, my son and I were involved in an absorbing conversation. Unaware of some steps, I suddenly found myself falling awkwardly to the marble floor. As I landed, I heard a loud crack. When I got to my feet, a little stunned, a clear thought came to me: "There is not a spot on you!" I'm convinced that had I heeded this thought and walked away without checking to see if I was injured, I would not have suffered from this fall. But immediately another thought came. It was the strong suggestion "You heard the crack, and you know what that means— you've broken a bone!" Looking back, I realize I should not have listened to this aggressive suggestion. But concern crept in, and I found myself checking to make sure that a bone was not sticking through the skin. Well, to my relief I did not find anything like that, but I did find that my right arm was injured in three places—the elbow, the wrist, and an area about three inches above the wrist. A closer examination of this area revealed a distinct separation of the bone. As I made this "discovery," I became aware of intense pain.