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Moments: Handling Evil

Max Kappeler’s Teaching Moments

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Handling Evil:

Max Kappeler


(The following edited text is quoted from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy pp. 574:5-575:6)

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Revelation xxi. 9)

“This ministry of Truth, this message from divine Love, carried John away in spirit. It exalted him till he became conscious of the spiritual facts of being and the ‘New Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of heaven, the spiritual outpouring of bliss and glory, which he describes as the city which ‘lieth foursquare.’
“The beauty of this text is, that the sum total of human misery, represented by the seven angelic vials full of seven plagues, has full compensation in the law of Love. Note this,–that the very message, or swift-winged thought, which poured forth hatred and torment, brought also the experience which at last lifted the seer to behold the great city, the four equal sides of which were heaven-bestowed and heaven-bestowing.
“Think of this, dear reader, for it will lift the sack-cloth from your eyes, and you will behold the soft-winged dove descending upon you. The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.
“Then thought gently whispers: ‘Come hither! Arise from your false consciousness into the true sense of Love, and behold the Lamb’s wife,–Love wedded to its own spiritual idea.’ Then cometh the marriage feast, for this revelation will destroy forever the physical plaques imposed by material sense.”style=”text-indent: 30px;”

(The following is an edited excerpt from Max Kappeler, Notes on Handling Evil with References from the Work of Mary Baker Eddy)
As one progresses in the study of Christian Science, two important questions inevitably arise:
1.) Is it necessary to handle evil?
2.) Is it necessary to understand the nature and operation of evil?

Science answers these questions in the affirmative, as is shown very clearly in Mis. 222:29–223:5, where Mrs. Eddy points out that she took up the research of the metaphysical mystery of error on God’s command: “I shall not forget the cost of investigating, for this age, the methods and power of error. While the ways, means, and potency of Truth had flowed into my consciousness as easily as dawns the morning light and shadows flee, the metaphysical mystery of error—its hidden paths, purpose, and fruits—at first defied me. I was saying all the time, ‘Come not thou into the secret’—but at length took up the research according to God’s command.”




I. The Necessity of Handling Evil 1

S&H 570:30–571:5 “Many are willing to open the eyes of the people to the power of good resident in divine Mind, but they are not so willing to point out the evil in human thought, and expose evil’s hidden mental ways of accomplishing iniquity.
Why this backwardness, since exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of the evil?”


II. The Nothingness of Nothing Must be Understood 2

Ret. 55:3–5 “Let us follow the example of Jesus, the master Metaphysician, and gain sufficient knowledge of error to destroy it with Truth.”


III. Error in all its Forms must be Reduced to its Native Nothingness 2

S&H 201:13–14, 20–202:2 “We cannot fill vessels already full. They must first be emptied. Let us disrobe error….”
“Grafting holiness upon unholiness, supposing that sin can be forgiven when it is not forsaken, is as foolish as straining out gnats and swallowing camels.”


IV. Understanding the Nothingness of Error Demonstrates the Somethingness of Truth 3

No. 24:15–20 “The claims of evil become both less and more in Christian Science, than in human philosophies or creeds: more, because the evil that is hidden by dogma and human reason is uncovered by Science; and less, because evil, being thus uncovered, is found out, and exposure is nine points of destruction.”


V. Ignorance about Error is an Error Itself 5

My. 210:18–211:11 “WAYS THAT ARE VAIN “Certain individuals entertain the notion that Christian Science Mind-healing should be two-sided, and only denounce error in general,—saying nothing, in particular, of error that is damning men. They are sticklers for a false, convenient peace, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. The unseen wrong to individuals and society they are too cowardly, too ignorant, or too wicked to uncover, and excuse themselves by denying that this evil exists. This mistaken way, of hiding sin in order to maintain harmony, has licensed evil, allowing it first to smoulder, and then break out in devouring flames. All that error asks is to be let alone; even as in Jesus’ time the unclean spirits cried out, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with thee?’”

Mis. 284:25–28 “Evil let alone grows more real, aggressive, and enlarges its claims; but, met with Science, it can and will be mastered by Science.”


VI. Understanding the Nothingness of Error and the Allness of Truth Holds Evil in Check 6

S&H 96:31–97:4 “During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.”


VII. Protection Against Evil is Necessary 6

S&H 451:31–452:3 “Show your student that mental malpractice tends to blast moral sense, health, and the human life. Instruct him how to bar the door of his thought against this seeming power,—a task not difficult, when one understands that evil has in reality no power….”


VIII. Evil and Good are not Two 7

No. 17:21–24 “If mortals could grasp these two words all and nothing, this mystery of a God who has no knowledge of sin would disappear, and the eternal, infinite harmony would be fathomed.”

1. Evil is only a negative definition of good

S&H 543:5–7 “The image of Spirit cannot be effaced, since it is the idea of Truth and changes not, but becomes more beautifully apparent at error’s demise.”

2. Evil is a counterfeit of good

S&H 409:20–23 “The real man is spiritual and immortal, but the mortal and imperfect so-called ‘children of men’ are counterfeits from the beginning, to be laid aside for the pure reality.”

3. Evil simulates good

Mis. 334:8–12 “Whatever simulates power and Truth in matter, does this as a lie declaring itself, that mortals’ faith in matter may have the effect of power; but when the whole fabrication is found to be a lie, away goes all its supposed power and prestige.”

4. Evil is a suppositious opposite of good

S&H 72:21–23 “God, good, being ever present, it follows in divine logic that evil, the suppositional opposite of good, is never present.”

5. Evil the supposititious antipode of good

S&H 257:22–24 “Finite mind manifests all sorts of errors, and thus proves the material theory of mind in matter to be the antipode of Mind.”

6. Evil is inverted good

S&H 572:8–11 “In Science we are children of God; but whatever is of material sense, or mortal, belongs not to His children, for materiality is the inverted image of spirituality.”


IX. Evil Serves as a Waymark for Good 12

Un. 56:1–2 “The chaos of mortal mind is made the stepping-stone to the cosmos of immortal Mind.”


X. The Suppositional Origin of Evil 13

S&H 114:1–9, 12–17 “Usage classes both evil and good together as mind; therefore, to be understood, the author calls sick and sinful humanity mortal mind,—meaning by this term the flesh opposed to Spirit, the human mind and evil in contradistinction to the divine Mind, or Truth and good. The spiritually unscientific definition of mind is based on the evidence of the physical senses, which makes minds many and calls mind both human and divine….”

“Mortal mind is a solecism in language, and involves an improper use of the word mind. As Mind is immortal, the phrase mortal mind implies something untrue and therefore unreal; and as the phrase is used in teaching Christian Science, it is meant to designate that which has no real existence.”


XI. The Suppositional Evolution of Evil 14

S&H 387:24–26 “It is a law of so-called mortal mind, misnamed matter, which causes all things discordant.”


XII. The Second Record of Creation 16
1st Record 2nd Record
1st day: Gen. 1:3–5 light mist Gen. 2:6
intelligence ignorance
2nd day: Gen. 1:6–8 separation mingling Gen. 2:7–14
substance matter
3rd day: Gen. 1:9–13 spiritual understanding corporeal senses Gen. 2:15–20
identity body
4th day: Gen. 1:14–19 spiritual power personal despotism Gen. 2:21–3:3
government theories & beliefs
5th day: Gen. 1:20–23 multiplication demoralization Gen. 3:4–8
individuality time
6th day: Gen. 1:24–31 man condemnation of mortals Gen. 3:9–4:15
consciousness to till the ground
7th day: Gen. 2:1–3 fulfillment self-destruction Gen. 4:16–5:27
holiness complete annihilation


XII. The Seven Synonymous Terms for God and Their Counterfeits 16

“The Science of the first record
[Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love] proves the falsity of the second
[ignorance, matter, body, beliefs, time, mortals, annihilation]”

S&H 522:3


XIII. The Purpose of Evil 17
  1. The tendency of evil is to assume new forms
  2. Evil wants us to believe that it is a reality
  3. Evil wants to be left alone
  4. Evil wants to hide itself
  5. Evil wants to fool us
  6. Evil wants us to believe in Christian Science and not to understand it
  7. Evil wants to destroy error with error
  8. Evil’s ultimate purpose is to destroy man and Christian Science


XIV. The Methods of Handling Evil 23

Evil is always a derived form of mortal mind, which in its turn again is only a counterfeit of the divine Mind. Mortal mind is the one and only enemy, and all its forms need to be handled through the seven synonymous terms for God. Deut. 28: 7 expresses it clearly: “The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.”

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