What do you mean there is no evil?
“What is the difference between traditional prayer and Unity’s approach to this spiritual practice?” A congregant who is new to Unity asked me this question. I shared that Unity practices affirmative prayer, and noted the role our denials play in our prayer life and how they help transform consciousness. Denial, as it relates to affirmative prayer, means to repudiate appearances that are contrary to the divine goodness of God and declare them as false even if they appear true. The idea is that through denials, such false beliefs will lose their power and we can replace them with the unchanging truth of Spirit.
The first time I learned about this concept was in H. Emilie Cady’s book, Lessons In Truth, where she advised the denial of the belief in evil by proclaiming, “There is no evil.” Needless to say, when I first read this, I was ready to throw the book out the window. After all, there was plenty of evil in the world. I had seen evil firsthand and bad acts by humanity have been going on for a long time. Just recently, I happened to run across an article that listed the deadliest shootings in U.S. history. It served as “Exhibit A” to prove there is definitely evil in the world.
However, upon re-examination of Cady’s statement, I eventually understood what she meant. It was not that evil things do not happen. Rather there is no self-originating or independent power of evil. Evil is the absence of good and happens because of choices that humans make that are not aligned with the truth of our being and the Divine goodness of Spirit.
This is why the spiritual work is so important. Its goal, among other things, is to help change consciousness so that the choices that we make individually and collectively reflect the inherent good that we all are.
I was asked, “If God is good and all powerful, how can things like mass shootings happen?” In other words, why doesn’t this power we call God stop evil things from taking place? Emilie Cady reminds us that we are not automatons; we have free will. Moreover, the erroneous choices that humanity makes can serve as evolutionary triggers to help us see our oneness, break down walls of separation and increase our compassion for our fellow human/spiritual beings.
The choice is ours since no one and nothing - not even the Spirit of the Living God - can grow for us. God can only do for us what we allow God to do through us. Let us deny all erroneous beliefs so that we can let God be God in us.
Peace and Blessings,