Casting out Devils

March 2008

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     “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matthew 10: 1).

     “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 17, 18).

     “... there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (Job 32: 8).

     “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (I Corinthians 2: 9, 10).

     In the first half of the 1990s, I held the position of Librarian for a Christian Science branch church Reading Room. I felt that our Reading Room was a spiritual oasis in a world of materiality. Inside, there were so many wonderful, powerful books and articles to read, which dealt only with spiritual truths—all designed to heal and deliver us from the evils encountered in this human experience.

     Since there was such a purity of thought to be found there, I felt that when anyone walked through the door, the world, with all its woes, stayed outside. Only the people could come in.

     One day, when I was alone in the Reading Room, a very large man, about in his mid-thirties, walked through the door. He stood looking around, with a rather dazed glance, and then walked over to my desk and pulled up a chair directly across from me.

     He said something that made no sense, and then he asked me what kind of place this was—what did I do here? I recognized that, humanly speaking, he wasn’t completely in his right mind. As I began answering his query, he suddenly reached across the desk, grabbed the necklace around my neck, and pulled me toward his face, with only inches between us. A shiny gleam of menace was now in his eyes.

     For an instant, I felt panic. I knew his intentions were not good; there was no way I could physically fight him off. Then, remembering that the world of evil was outside and could not enter here, and also remembering that I couldn’t really be separated from God’s loving care, I silently prayed for the Christ Consciousness within my own spiritual identity, to tell me what to do and how to neutralize the situation.

     What immediately came to thought was, “Behold, the son of God.

     I knew this was a message for me to identity him, not as a threatening, mortal man, susceptible to evil thoughts and action, but as God’s own spiritual son—the Christ identity—whose only character was the holiness of God. So, I looked directly into his eyes, and without saying a word, I realized that, no matter who he appeared to be humanly, he was really one of God’s own sons, made in God’s own image and likeness.

     Next, it came to me to ‘talk softly’ to him, and tell him who he really was, and how much God loved him. So, I did that also. Then I knew more what to do. I slowly stood up (with him still holding me by my necklace) and I told him I had something to show him. He let go of me and followed me over to a book case of free books and pamphlets. I picked out about three pamphlets and told him that, by reading them, he would find out how important he was to God, and how wonderful he was to the whole universe.

     He stood looking at me, and suddenly he shook his head and shoulders in a strange, shuddering manner, as if trying to get rid of a pesky bee. Then he took the pamphlets from my hand, and without a word, turned and walked out the door. I never saw him again.

     After I stopped thanking God for my deliverance, I realized that this incident might have been what was referred to, in the Bible, as casting out devils and evil spirits. (See first two quotations at top of article.) In later reviewing what had happened, I realized that the man had, indeed, appeared as if some strange spirit had taken hold of him, when that menacing gleam came into his eyes. But knowing that there are no evil spirits or devils in God’s creation, I also realized that his behavior was just one more example of the false beliefs about man (all humanity) from which we have to free ourselves, and others.

     This had been an experience of the material claim (but not spiritual reality) of mental illness. The true mind of man, the Christ Consciousness which is filled with all spiritual truth, cannot be evil. It knows too much to bear witness to a dual creation. Evil spirits are nothing more than a false picture of man, produced by the erroneous belief that as God’s image and likeness, we have both good and evil tendencies, attractions, and susceptibilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. God didn’t create an evil person, or an evil spirit. That is why the appearance of an evil, sick or destructive person can be healed. No such person really exists in the invisible kingdom of God, ever-present beneath the physical appearance of things.

     Dualism is the core belief about this material experience. Its roots are in two different creation stories in the book of Genesis, which were thrown together as if they were the same account. All of Chapter 1 in Genesis and the first two verses in Chapter 2, however, give the account of the spiritual creation of God. In this first account, God is referred to simply as God. Of this spiritual universe, Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

     An entirely different account of creation begins in Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 3. This is the mythical account of Adam and Eve, where a man called Adam was supposedly created from the dust, then falls asleep. In the dream which Adam experiences, woman is then created from the rib of man; then after that, people entered here through fleshly pro-creation.

     In this mythical story, evil comes in the form of a devilish serpent that tempts God’s own children. The crucial part of this narrative is that the serpent persuades Adam and Eve that the knowledge of good and evil is a dual reality they should know and believe. This falsehood contradicts the spiritual account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis.

     This second account is really the account of the erroneous material and finite (mortal) creation. It brings in the concept of two powers, not one (good). The supposed serpent turns mankind’s first parents to a belief in a power opposed to God. It suggests that if evil is as real as good, it is ‘wise’ to know it. The obvious conclusion of such a premise is that some power exists to oppose God, and what God has created. This then puts that seeming power into everything in creation. All is believed to have good and evil effects upon everything and everyone else. The seeds of mortality must exist in such a finite creation, where everything and everyone is capable of destroying and being destroyed.

     With evil as a reality to believe in, humanity ‘learns’ it is necessary to do evil things. Evil, as the absence of some God-given good, then requires something outside of Spirit to be the source of the material good that overcomes material evil, like lack of health, lack of harmony, lack of supply, lack of peace. In this second account, God is referred to as ‘Lord God’, clearly showing that the story has a different origin from the account in Chapter 1. This second, ‘Lord God’ account brings in the dualism as a fact of life.

     Nowhere in this latter story does it say that Adam, or his descendants, ever awakened from this material, dualistic, dream-state of existence. Instead, it was passed on, generation after generation throughout the history of mankind.

     Material existence IS the Adam dream. It’s the dream of ‘good and evil’ as opposite powers from which Christ Jesus was urging his followers to awaken. That was, no doubt, why Jesus kept preaching that the Kingdom of God was invisibly at hand—the true creation, existing right where the physical universe seems (to the five, physical senses) to exist. He knew what a strong, mental hold the five physical senses had, and still has, upon mankind’s assessment of things. Humanity has always believed what it sees—without realizing that as the children of creative Mind, we are really seeing what we believe manifested into some material form or another.

     In the false, material sense of existence, all persons, places, and things are said to be ‘cursed’ with evil qualities and properties, right alongside their opposite qualities and properties of God-given good. Thus, following this common view of creation, we believe that we have the ability to be extremely evil, just as we have the ability to be extremely good (holy).

     The mythical, material creation was a mental delusion over consciousness to begin with. It still is. We awaken from it when we recognize that there are not two powers, God and a devil, dueling for the soul of mankind (mental children of the Adam dream). There is only One Power, and that is God. Only pure goodness can exist forever, anywhere, because there are no elements of destruction in it—and only spiritual substance is infinite, where material substance is finite.

     So, here are two spiritual points to remember:

     1. The infinite Intelligence of the universe never put Its spiritual children into matter to begin with, to make them evil, sick or dead as the result of such an existence. We’re still the image and likeness of God, our Source and Creator, even while we believe we are mortal, fleshly creatures in a material universe. We believe this because we’re still spiritually asleep to whom we really are, and where we really are.

     2. God, the Spirit of Love which underlies Its Intelligence, never created a devil or evil persona, as a fleshly person or super-natural evil entity. The only ‘devil’ that exists is the false, material sense of being which we entertain in consciousness, right where our spiritual, immortal identities as God’s Christly children exist, in perfect harmony, safety, and love, for all eternity.

     Our individual, spiritual self is still and always within us, although lost in memory. How could this memory be lost? It happens because it is the nature of mental dreams to wipe out the memory of anything else, while consciousness is dwelling in the dream.

     For example, when you’re asleep at night, where your conscious awareness of things around you is shut down, and you are having a dream where you’re traveling in another country, or being chased by someone bent on your destruction, do you remember (while in the dream) that you’re really sleeping safe and sound in your own bed? No. While experiencing the dream, the dream is your only reality. That occurs because a dream is a mental state of delusion which blocks out everything outside the dream. It is an imaginary state of existence, and everything we’ve collectively imagined has been put into material form, somewhere on this planet.

     Sometimes, before going to sleep at night, I remind myself that when a dream occurs to tell myself that I am dreaming, and that the dream isn’t real, so wake up. It usually works. Whenever, within a dream, I tell myself I’m just dreaming, I usually do awaken. (I don’t often pre-program myself to do this, however, except when I’ve had a couple of bad dreams the night before.) Still, a dream can be interrupted or healed from within.

     Try it sometime; you can actually tell yourself you’re dreaming, while in a dream. The objects and people we ‘see’ in dreams aren’t real, but images or symbols of things from our daily lives that we are holding to in consciousness.

     This human experience is like human night dreams in other ways, too. Every physical thing ‘out there’ in our environment, so real to our senses, is really a material symbol of some spiritual reality. Trees, flowers, people, places and all things that we perceive materially have their true substance and existence in a spiritual construct or concept that we aren’t, in this experience, perceiving spiritually.

     Collectively, we re-create spiritual things into material forms. The sun, moon and stars, vegetation, oceans, rivers, trees—whatever things we behold materially—do exist in their spiritual perfection, and they are immortal. But our physical perceptions of these symbols are finite; stars ‘die’ and asteroids crash into planets on this materially mental plane of existence. Thus, they seem made of finite material (matter).

     Yet, God didn’t create the physical manifestation of the universe; it’s only the stuff that makes up the Adam-dream. God’s eternal life, harmony and ever-present, loving care aren’t in the temporary physical objects we observe. God’s lions are not carnivorous, God’s ivy isn’t poison, and God’s heavenly bodies don’t stray out of their divine path to crash into anything. More importantly, God’s children have no evil spirits as part of them, nor any evil inheritances from material parents. God is our only Creator. Father, Mother God is our only real Parent. Thus, the infinite Intelligence and Spirit of God is our only Source, and substance, of existence.

     The ‘very good’ news is that God’s eternal life, harmony and ever-present, loving care ARE in the real, spiritual creation, of which we’re all a part. This real creation underlies all physical appearances. Realization of this can heal the outer world of form, whenever we awaken from the appearance of the physical universe as reality, and behold the invisible realm of Spirit, with Its spiritual laws of existence. When we do spiritually awaken, even if for tiny moments now and then, our perceptions of reality change in ways that produce more lasting harmony in our human experience.

     When the Christ Consciousness within told me to look at the evil-appearing, seemingly dangerous man in the Reading Room and say to myself, “Behold, the son of God,” it was telling me to behold the truth of the individual who didn’t know who he really was. I was to know this spiritual truth for him.

     When I bore mental witness, and then verbal witness, of his true, harmless, loving and loved identity, this realization (known to his Christ Consciousness within) startled his own thought out of its spell of an erring, material selfhood. Then his true character came forward in thought to him. The so-called ‘evil spirit’ vanished, and the man quietly went away.

     He may never know what happened, but I like to think that he never entirely returned to the old, material sense of himself that threatened me, that day. I say that because every moment of spiritual truth that one experiences in this material level of thought changes us and corrects something within our human consciousness forever. We grow in Spirit; and we can’t spiritually UN-grow, anymore than we can return to our mental childhood, once we’ve moved beyond it.

     Evil spirits or devils, which appear as mental illness in our world, have no connection to any of us. God’s children are spiritual in origin, related only to God and all the divine qualities of good, which make up the perfect Mind of the Creator.

     To cast out evil spirits and devilish qualities, all one needs to know and mentally SEE is that no evil can reside in God’s sons and daughters to be cast out. The sons and daughters of God are already free of all evil. God did not create a lunatic, or a murderer, or a thief—so no one can be one. Realizing the true identity of our Christ Self and the innate holiness of the Christ identity of each individual standing before us, we can’t be mesmerized by world thought to bear false witness (carry or agree) to any false appearance of evil in anyone.

     God’s children have only good natures and qualities; we’re all in our Right Mind. No good quality has gone missing, or lacking, to be replaced by an opposite, evil twin. No such ‘twin’ exists. The only devils to be cast out are the false, worldly beliefs that we’ve accepted against our true brothers and sisters. When we hold to this truth, we’ll meet it everywhere.

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