When the world is going through a bad patch, as it is right now with the evils of terrorism and hatred running amuck, even religious people begin to question, "Why doesn't God step in and stop the evil? Why does God let this happen?"
Actually, one might as well ask the broader question: Why does God allow any evil to exist in His/Her creation? Why hasn't omnipotent God stopped wars, pestilence, insanity, hatred, death, since creation's beginning?"
Religious prophets throughout the ages have tried to explain the presence of evil in what should be God's loving creation. One such prophet, Christ Jesus, seemed to be a master at spiritual healing. He addressed this subject with parables. Jesus very likely spoke in parables, or teaching fables, because his audience had dull spiritual ears. Humankind didn't perceive spiritual reality at that time, nor does it perceive the truths of Spirit much better today. So a kind of mental story was created to show a spiritual point. Here's one, brief parable from the Bible (Matthew 13: 24-28) which relates to the presence of evil in our human experience:
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servant of the household came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
Notice, here, that Jesus didn't attribute evil to God. He was showing that God hadn't created any evil to harm his universe. Had the tiniest particle of evil, in any spiritual form, been created and placed into creation by God, that very universe would self-destruct. I believe that the enemy this parable credits with planting the tares (all evil) is symbolic of the carnal mind--humanity's collective consciousness, or collective false sense of things as material. This false sense is not awake to spiritual reality. Thus, it is this enemy--the false state of physical perception as reality--which brings disharmony and destruction into our experience. This false sense of reality leads to almost every evil action under the sun, proceeding from the false belief that we must do evil in order to survive in a hostile material environment. In our distorted sense of things, the physical sense of things, evil often makes sense.
The kingdom of God, the true creation of which Jesus spoke so often, was presented as containing good alone; and this kingdom, having no enemies, exists forever, including the eternality of all living creatures. And although we don't perceive it, this invisible kingdom, our harmonious, forever home, has never left us; nor have we left it. It still awaits our cleared vision and awakening. (Several other parables in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John verify this view)
Still, finding this heavenly kingdom was a puzzle for humanity. So, throughout the ministry of Christ Jesus, there was a mental key the Master tried to place in our hands--our consciousness--to help us perceive this kingdom better. This key is the realization that God is Spirit, and thus the true creation, called the Kingdom of God, or Heaven, is a spiritual place; it is not the physical world of form, where no one seems to be in control. Rather, it is an all-inclusive realm of Spirit, where the divine Intelligence never left the reigns of control to another intelligence for one second. And when Jesus was asked the precise location of this kingdom, he said, "The kingdom of God is within you," (Luke 17:21).
Thus, finding this kingdom involves a mental journey of consciousness, possibly a journey of remembrance, or awakening to a higher state of awareness. It is a turning away from the realm of materiality where we seem, so certainly, to dwell.
Illustration of Dorothy in Oz:
The kingdom within us is clearly illustrated in a modern parable, The Wizard of Oz, (which I personally believe was a spiritual message, flowing through its author's consciousness, without the author's realization of its Source). Here's a brief interpretation:
Asleep to reality, Dorothy was in the land of Oz. Her consciousness, at the lower level of sleep, perceived Oz to be her reality. Oz was beautiful and had much good in it, but the bad outweighed the good for Dorothy. She wanted to go home to Kansas. When the good witch told her she'd always had the ability to 'go home' (or awaken) Dorothy, in her dream state, didn't comprehend. But actually, the kingdom of her home was within her--it was sleeping in her consciousness. It was within her higher, awakened state of awareness. Once she closed her eyes (perception) to the dream-world in which she seemed to be immersed, she began the awakening process to her higher awareness. When she awoke, she discovered the same loved ones as in Oz, but now she saw them in their truer identity. Oz had disappeared because it never was. It had been an illusion over consciousness, a distortion of reality. It was the state of mind that dreams are made of. She now saw that, though beautiful, Oz was her own creation and thus unreal; and the wicked witches didn't actually exist to harm anyone.
Spiritual Healing and Awakening:
Since the world of form proceeds from a mental base, it can change in a heart-beat, according to the collective beliefs of humanity. The universe of physical form allows every imaginable evil to take form. Yet, when Jesus and his disciples healed all types of illnesses, insanities, poverty, and criminal behavior, these spiritual healers were walking the same earth as we do. They simply cleared evils out of their paths or human experience.
So what did Jesus know and teach to his disciples about reality that transformed their world? Here is one possibility: Perhaps the Master knew that, because we are still actually in the spiritual kingdom of God, (right where the physical creation appears to be our reality) the hideous, evil imagery taking form materially can be made to change back to wholeness and harmony, in something called healing.
Perhaps spiritual healing (restoration of the physical body and environment) occurs because these beliefs and experiences of evil never reach our true being--our spiritual being--anymore than the evils of Oz reached Dorothy. Perhaps our true identity is always safe in God, "For in Him we live, and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28). Perhaps healing occurs when we hold our thoughts to the spiritual reality of God's presence and spiritual law, and remember who we really are and where we really are. Like Dorothy, we're not in Oz, because we never left the reality of Kansas, despite our dream-like state of mind. When our consciousness is filled with spiritual perception, despite all physical appearances to the contrary, would not our corrected state of thought change what we are manifesting in form?
Now, this is not a new thought or idea. It has been presented in our lifetime from the doctrine of Christian Science, the doctrine of The Infinite Way, even some forms of Transcendentalism, which preceded these religious movements.
How Healing Works:
We can, through correction of thought with spiritual truth, cause a change in the material body and environment, because there really is no such thing as material or physical law to stop healing. God's creation being spiritual, there is only spiritual law. As the children of Creative Mind (God), however, we "create" or manifest the good and evils we hold to be true in the deepest part of our consciousness. When we hold love and express it, we are closest to divine reality, and usually our experience is quite calm and harmonious. When we believe in evil powers over us, we break the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods (powers) before me." Our punishment for believing in other powers is the evils we (collectively in society and the world) cause to take form. Thus, to remove these evil manifestations, we must cast them out of consciousness.
Jesus tried to warn us about our beliefs (in good and evil in material form) when he said, "As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." (Matthew 8:13). The good news is, however, that although we have the ability to believe and express evil at many levels, it is only material illusion we can create; for only the divine Intelligence can create true substance. Dorothy could create places like Oz, with beauty and destruction, in her dreams…it was Kansas she couldn't alter. Just so, we produce material forms of evil in our collective and individual experiences, but it is God's spiritual reality we can't alter. Fortunately for us, God's reality is good and eternal.
A Deeper Look at Materiality:
See how this works and why spiritual healing is something important for all humanity:
In our false sense of perception, we now believe everything we touch can hurt us. Even God's ivy, we call poison. Then we manifest the results of our own belief with diseased images on the form we've taken as body. By now, 2002, there is nothing in creation that appears safe or friendly to us…all food has been ruled unsafe…all plants, animals, all said to be destructive to us in some way…even all people are to be distrusted because they are basically or potentially evil. In fact, we see each other as the evil ones. (Look at Israel and Palestine.)
Having no cognizance of the universe of Spirit, (where all is well because God has made only good and maintains sovereign control) not only do we not recognize God's omnipotence (the only power) but we don't perceive God's power anywhere. Our five senses do not see, hear, taste, touch or smell God, because God is not physical.
These physical senses don't proceed from consciousness or spiritual thinking…they exist, manifest, because of a physical belief about ourselves, and thus, they are limited to perceiving only the material world of form. Therefore, not finding God 'in the flesh', we conclude that the Almighty is someplace else…separated from us, not here, unable to help unless traversing the distance from wherever God is, to here where we 'are'.
An Example of Spiritual Healing:
I can be a clumsy person at times, and getting into a car is one of those times. I seem to shut the door before I am fully into the car. This is complicated by the fact that I wear sandals as much as I can. So, I guess it's inevitable that I will slam the door on my foot from time to time.
On one such occasion, I really crushed my little toe. The pain was bad and I could hardly walk. Also, the toe was crooked, and I feared broken. Knowing I had to heal this as fast as possible, I set aside everything else that morning and concentrated on perceiving the spiritual truth of things.
I began to take charge of my thinking. I reminded myself to awaken to spiritual reality and spiritual identity. I remembered that I'm a spiritual being, not a physical form…that the substance of my body, including toe, is spiritual instead of material. That my very life is safe in God, because the Bible says, "For in Him, we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28). Therefore, I knew that my real substance or essence was and is spiritual, living in God, who is divine, ever-present Spirit. In the true reality of being, my toe had not been crushed by a car door. Why? Because a material form of door, crushing a false, material sense of toe, had never touched my true being, or body. The spiritual substance of "toe," that God created and maintains, was still intact. Years of practice convinced me that this was so, and I began to feel the peace come over me.
Almost immediately, the pain stopped, and the crooked angle to the toe, along with the blackish color, began to disappear. It wasn't until the next day that it was completely back to normal, but from many healing experiences along this same line of thought, I knew it wouldn't have gotten better or healed that way or that fast on its own.
So what happened? The change in consciousness, from a sense of injury to the realization of my eternal spiritual perfection and wholeness, caused the physical form, my sense of body, to change back to wholeness (the wholeness I was spiritually knowing or perceiving). Replacing the false material sense of self with the truth of spiritual being, of the Self that is God's spiritual image and likeness, results in a physical change we call healing. "As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."
How Does Healing Relate to Terrorism?
Carrying this into our world today, it's spiritually wise to realize that all the enemies, 'out there' are really the enemies within our own consciousness, and no place else. They certainly don't exist in God's creation, for the Infinite One's family is a harmonious group, all of the same mind. In our true identity, no one has a mind separate from God…no one wars with the law of Love that flows from the divine Will through His/Her children.
Whatever evils we believe we have, be they disease, injury, death, destruction, hatred, a human enemy, will stay around until we lift our thought higher into the spiritual perception of God's loving, harmonious kingdom, wherein no evil person, place or thing exists. Addressing the terrorism of today, it's a healing influence to realize that there's really only One Family, and that's the family of God as the divine Father/Mother parent, and all the people on earth, our spiritual brothers and sisters. We may not recognize our brethren, and they may seem to hate us, but their true selves, and our true selves, have no such conflicts. One day, when we've all awakened from the persistent dream of material existence, we'll know this and recognize each other.
Proof of this is in the biblical account of Jacob, who was estranged from his brother, Esau, for tricking Esau out of his birthright. After years of hiding, God sent Jacob back to the brother he had wronged, and Jacob was afraid. But on the journey, 'wrestling with a man' (generally interpreted to have been an angel) Jacob awakened to spiritual reality and who his brother really was, so much so that when he finally met Esau again, Esau hugged him and wept, and Jacob told him, "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me." (Genesis 33:10). And both brothers, more spiritually awakened, recognized their real kinship, and their infinite spiritual supply from God, which resulted in no more envy and striving for property and goods with each other.
The Voice Within and Without:
God is talking to us all the time within our own, divine consciousness…our awakened spiritual sense. But if we've missed this voice, then prophets, teachers, ministers, have all been 'sent' into the dream-like state of material existence to guide us to do our own healing. We do this by correcting our perception of things from a physical to a spiritual basis, so we won't create, individually or collectively, the very destructions that can surround us. On the subject of disease, we are told, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick." (James 15:5). What is this prayer or realization of faith? It is the faith in our spiritual selfhood, safe in God's loving kingdom, where God is still in control of His/Her creation, including every identity created. It is the acceptance of the words Christ Jesus often spoke when he said to a physically diseased individual,"thou art whole" because Jesus was talking of their true identity, their spiritual identity, which was and is always whole. This is what heals our world of material form. This is what brings peace among nations. This is the light that shines within each of us, ready and waiting to be set free.