The Experience of Evil

All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune. — Henry David Thoreau

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach

The origin of evil is in the human mind, and the belief in the devil, hell, & purgatory has its origin in the human mind, and nowhere else. This belief must be erased from the mind. We must come to know that there can be no Ultimate evil. We must have an assurance that evil will disappear from our experience in such degree as we no longer feed it with our imagination, or through our acts create situations that encourage it.

Dr Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind 354.6-355.1.

Each one of us gets to wrestle with the big challenge, “Is there evil in the world?” in our

From Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka

own minds. At first blush, and according to the point of view of the collective unconscious,
the answer has to be “Of course there is! Just look at all the harm humans do to each other, and to the planet.”

Therein lies the rock and the hard place.

Is there one power in the world, or are there two? Is there a unity, or a duality? What do you honestly and actually-factually believe?

We know what the world thinks, we get to see and experience that on a regular basis. How do we see our life experiences with new eyes and remember that the Universe is for us, and everything we experience and observe is for our awakening in consciousness?

For me, one of the keys that helps me remember is that everyone is already, and perpetually, an eternal being, and these years spent in ‘earth school’ don’t encompass all of our lives. It’s just a chapter. In this chapter, we may choose to experience hardship, or difficulty. We may choose to live in, and from, our zone of genius, or we may choose to spend it as a victim. We may choose to overcome the difficulty and become stronger as a result, or we may be toppled by it. No matter what, how we play the cards we have in this life is not the whole story of who we are. It doesn’t ultimately impact us negatively. This human life is for gathering experiences.

Rev Steph Amand wrote in her March 19 daily reading in the Science of Mind Magazine “I trust the universe to provide all the substance to carve, all the tools to use and all the people to share it with. I embrace that the silver lining of every experience is made known to me with ease and graceful awareness. I am the silver lining experiencing and expressing the divine. I am the infinite sparkle within all things.”

This is a chewy and challenging idea worthy of a deeper dive. I’m available to discuss this topic next Sunday (March 27th) at 1pm (AZ time) for an hour or so, on the Sunday morning zoom link with anyone who chooses to drop in. Join me.

–Rev Janis Farmer





I have always thought saying the word ‘Amen’ at the end of a prayer, was how a prayer was ended. The same as saying, ‘The End’. It ends the prayer, everything is taken care of now, so let’s continue on with our day. It is something I never gave much thought to. I don’t know where I gained that belief but it definitely was my belief.

Science of Mind ends prayers with “And so it is.” I wondered why Amen wasn’t used. I knew I needed more clarification so I searched my Science of Mind library, did some on-line searches trying to find the answer. Why isn’t Amen used? So when the answer couldn’t be found, I did what just about everyone else does. I reached for my phone and asked Google.

“Google, what is the definition of Amen?” Google quickly replied, “uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it.’ ”

Ahh, so it was starting to make sense. And so it is. So be it. Same thing.

As a child, I learned the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Now I lay me down to sleep, all ending with Amen. These prayers have served me well over the years. They have guided me to where I am now. It was (is) the power of prayer.

“Google, what is the definition of prayer?” Google quickly replied, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

“Google, what is the definition of affirmative prayer?” Google still answered me, “affirmative prayer is a form of prayer or a metaphysical technique that is focused on a positive outcome rather than a negative situation.”

Spiritual Mind Treatment aka Affirmative Prayer, is one of the most powerful resources I can
use. It is the power of prayer. I don’t have to ask Google.

And so it is.

–Madeline Pallanes

Teaching Symbols

The shamrock, a small clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, grows wild throughout Ireland and is synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day. Legend has it that Saint Patrick, a Catholic priest and missionary, used this common plant as a teaching symbol to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to Irish converts. The Holy Trinity defines God as being three divine persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) sharing one essence. The shamrock was used to illustrate how three unique parts are required and contained to make a whole.

Ernest Holmes also teaches about the triune nature of God: God is threefold in His Nature, i.e., that God is Spirit, or Self Knowingness; God is Law and action; God is result or Body. This is the inner teaching of “The Trinity.” SOM 80.1 He also devised a teaching symbol to illustrate this concept which has become synonymous with Science of Mind.

The upper third represents Spirit or Conscious Mind. It is the cause. This is the idea or thought that wants to be made manifest. How it does this is through Law or Subjective Mind represented in the midsection. This is the creative medium through which the thought becomes reality. It is subjective to and compelled to act upon what it is given through Spirit. The lower third represents Body or Form. This is the manifestation. It is the result of the subjective mind producing what the conscious mind intends.

The left side of the V shows how the process works. The idea created in Mind passes through the Law which must respond by producing the Result. The right side of the V alludes that once this is complete, you return to Conscious Mind to start the process again with a new thought.

The right side of the V is curved to indicate that this entire process is ongoing. We are always in choice and Law is always in action, the result of which is our reality.

As a gardener, another illustration that has been meaningful to me is how a plant comes into being. It starts with a seed, the idea (Spirit). The seed is planted in a creative medium of soil (Law). Here it is acted upon by sun, water, temperature, etc. This results in a plant, the form (Body). You reap what you sow, so sow your thoughts wisely.

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~ Galatians 6.7

Janet Salese

Being Peace

These are challenging times. Added to the two years of uncertainty of COVID, now a war has been started by Russia with Ukraine. Sometimes I feel helpless. It reminds me of growing up during the Vietnam War, and the aftereffects of the images of World War II. What is mine to do? Pray. And it doesn’t seem good enough, but I know it is what I can do, and it is good. If peace consciousness raises into a cloud of peace, and it will rain peace.

During these times of uncertainty, I strive to become peace, to be kind to my neighbors, greet people with an enthusiastic wave and a smile, listen, and know the Truth, the big Truth, the Spiritual Truth.

A Prayer for World Peace
By Ernest Holmes
I know but One Mind which is the Mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a Divine Pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of man, being one with the Mind of God, shall Discover the method, the way and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

This harmony, peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness will be experienced by all.

I know there shall be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific Discoveries for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because the Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite perfect unity.

In bringing about World Peace, I know that all people and all nations will remain individual, but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony and prosperity.

I know that Deep within every person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

I now Declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people shall live together in peace, harmony and prosperity forever. And So It Is.

Somebody Needs A Prayer Today, a song by Niki Harris also brings me solace and fills me with the power of prayer, to send my light and love out into the world.

Two additional thoughts from Ernest Holmes, from the July 1931 The Science of Mind Magazine pp.5-16:

“Do not fall under the belief that if one is to excel in spiritual things they must renounce everything that is called physical. There are those who would separate life from living. Do not make this mistake. Take the time to weed out unbelief. Find the world to be good. See every man as an evolving soul. Let your mind be tempered with that human wisdom which rejects the lie, which separates the wheat from the chaff — but in all kindness, sympathy and compassion. Your system of thought does not deny the merit of human endeavor or intellectual attainment. It does affirm the supremacy of Spirit. It is the Spirit which creates and sustains all.

Search out your own mind. Be true to your own thought. Penetrate more deeply into your own consciousness. In the silence of your own soul, you meet the Eternal and Creative Center of all.”


Remembering Keith

Keith Gorley. What a great teacher. What a great wit. What a great example. What a citizen
of the world. My dear friend.

I met Keith about 15 years ago when our community was meeting at the Junior League building. We took a class together with Rev. Donald, and later we served on the Board of Directors together. And as we became better friends, we often sat together during Sunday Celebrations.

At one Board meeting we were discussing how we could get people who had once attended our church to come back. I suggest that maybe we could telephone them and find out why they had left. Keith looked at me like I was from another planet, and said, “I would be very offended if someone called and asked me that. They have their reasons, and really, it is none of our business.” I really appreciated hearing his point of view, because it did not occur to me that there was another way to look at the telephone calls I was proposing.

Keith always had another, usually better, way to view things happening in the world. He told me once, “I don’t get this black victim point of view.” I knew his father had died when he was young, his family moved in with his grandparents, his mother worked very hard, and when he was old enough, so did he. That was just how they lived their lives, and he did not feel at all victimized by their circumstances.

My favorite time with Keith was when he came to Pine Top and stayed with me for about 10 days. Before he got there, he called and asked, “So, what are my responsibilities while I am there?” I said, “You are responsible for your own breakfast and lunch, and I will meet you at the dinner table.” He was vegan I am an omnivore, so we combined meal choices and it worked for everyone quite well. He enjoyed meeting all the company I had and how they all enjoyed meeting him.

Every morning he woke early, meditated for an hour, did yoga, made his breakfast, and then worked on his book seated out on the back deck. He especially loved sitting on the chaise lounge, looking up into the Ponderosa pines that populated my backyard. He laughed at the antics of my dogs trying to catch the Kaibab squirrels high above them jumping from tall branch to taller branch. It was a very peaceful, very productive time for him.

Every afternoon, we would go on a field trip to one of the nearby lakes, to another part of the forest, or to the general store in Springerville that sold everything from Stetson hats to ice cream cones. He enjoyed the change of scenery and I enjoyed his wisdom and his wit.

We shared many precious hours. I took many classes he taught; he took most of the ones I taught. Over the years we developed mutual affection and respect.

I loved my times with Keith, I love all that I learned from him, and all that I was able to teach him. The hole his death left in my heart will heal, because that is how we are wired, but right now I am filled with profound sadness. I am also filled with gratitude for having such a special friend.

–Pat Masters

Fighting What Is

I realized today I’d been fighting ‘what is.’ It’s total silliness, and I do it sometimes. I’ve been resisting so many things. I realized I’m ready to stop fighting ‘what is.’

My favorite type of shampoo, that I’ve been using for almost 20 years, changed their formulation recently. I don’t like the new formulation. In fact, I think it’s nasty. I think the company did a really stupid thing in stopping production of this fabulous shampoo. I wrote a consumer comment on the company’s website that was so unsupportive of the product swap, the company actually refused to publish it. I realized this morning when I was in the shower washing my hair, that my opinion, and my displeasure, of their marketing decision makes no difference to them, and only hurts me. I’d gotten wrapped around the axle about something that a) isn’t mine to manage, and b) doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

I’ve been taking this newly revised online class (Visioning) because I wanted to see how the organization had revised it. I’ve taught the class using the old curriculum for a bunch of years, and found it okay, but not stellar, so I was excited to see how it had been modified. The facilitator has a teaching style that is exceedingly different from mine. Exceedingly different. I found myself getting really upset with him and his incessant need to hold court and pontificate in class. To me, there are better, more effective, ways to transmit this teaching. Once again, I was agitated. It made no difference in the scheme of things, and I only hurt myself.

The Queen Creek quilting group that I joined, ostensibly to make charity quilts for Dine’ cancer patients, isn’t actually interested in making charity quilts for that group. I finished my first quilt top and brought it to the meeting to give to someone who would do the long-arm stitching that I don’t enjoy doing. When the woman who agreed to complete it acted like she was handling something with cooties, I noticed, but I didn’t understand. At their Christmas party, they gave away little gift bags that including the supplies needed to finish the quilts. Sometimes, I’m really dense. They offered patterns for quilt blocks to us for us to make individual blocks for veterans’ charity quilts. I agreed to make one, and offered to send it to someone so they could incorporate it in a quilt top they were making. No takers. The next month, I did it again with a new block-of-the-month. No takers. Finally, someone wrote that they were encouraging me to make, and finish, a quilt to give away to a veteran on my own, and to be sure to take a picture (with permission) and share it with them. They are only interested in making charity quilts to give to veterans. I’m not. Nothing against veterans. I have several in my family, and have several friends who are veterans, but that’s not where my quilting joy lies. I joined the Tucson Quilters’ Guild last month, and went to my first guild meeting about 10 days ago. There is a group there that joyfully finishes quilts. That’s where this one is headed after I get it pieced, and where it goes after that is none of my business.

By the time this blogpost gets published I will have already driven over to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix to hear one of my favorite musicians, David Wilcox, in concert. He has a number of songs about not pushing against ‘what is.’ The song that sprang to my mind tonight as I wrote this blogpost was about spilling a paint can of blue enamel paint on the kitchen floor, and resisting the urge to clean it up, but instead featuring it, as though it had been done intentionally.

Here’s the song. If you don’t want to hear his pre-song story, the song starts at 3 minutes.

It’s something to think about. Rather than fighting the current condition or situation, what if I/we flipped it and saw it as something desirable or beneficial.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Some ‘Things’ I’ve Discovered at CSLT

We have this teaching. We can study it, ruminate on it, discuss it and practice it.
It seems to me that all aspects of this teaching are strengthened and become clearer when it is shared with others. Especially when those people are seeking to understand and practice what they have learned.

I am amazed at how my understanding changes and increases while participating in discussions.

I often participate in our morning online meditation. After the meditation we have a brief discussion of our thoughts, feelings and insights. I always come away from the discussion with food for thought.

Book studies are another avenue that I treasure. Very often I am overwhelmed with all of the information contained in so much of our literature. The discussions bring me perspectives I could otherwise miss. These ideas often are critical to my understanding.

Classes may fall into the category of community building activities but I consider them to be part of the community in a general sense. Again, it is the interaction with others that seems to nurture me on my path to better understanding.

I appreciate the support and the feeling of being heard.

I am grateful for this expanding community, looking to create the present and the future.

–Chris Wheeler

Form is as Real as It’s Supposed to Be

This past week the daily reading in The Science of Mind text has been about ‘Body’. So,
what’s ‘body’? If you’ll refresh your memory from ‘Foundations of The Science of Mind’,
you’ll remember that body is the name for that bottom section of the teaching symbol.
Some other words associated with that bottom section are form, effect, experience, affairs, conditions, riches, poverty, day job, things, results, time, space, illusion, reflection… I’m sure I missed a couple.

This is fine in theory. I mean, we know how it works, right? We have an idea that arises in our minds from the realm of infinite possibilities – that happens in the top section of the teaching symbol. Then we decide to experience that idea, and so we claim it. Once we claim it, actually believe that it will appear, and had the felt, emotional or embodied, experience of it, we’ve expressed our decision to the middle section, the Law, which is subject to our intentional claiming. Law has no choice but to give us what we have claimed, unless we negate our thought before it has time to move into form. If we are clear and consistent, and there is nothing in us to argue with the good we’ve claimed, the Law must deliver it to our experience. This form we’ve called into being must show up. This is the basic teaching as used in the Law of Attraction.

Most of us have noticed that some things, or experiences, manifest easily for us, and others are more challenging. Some people are great with clearing up experiences of ill health, others with sticky financial stuff and some with apparent relationship troubles. Occasionally, you’ll find someone who is exceptionally clear in a couple of areas. It’s my opinion that we have fewer ‘yeah-buts’ in the areas that are easiest for us.

From Dr Holmes, The Science of Mind 86.4, “Another principle which is fundamental to our practice is, that not only what is set in motion can be changed; but that the Truth known is demonstrated. The knowledge of Truth and its demonstration is both simultaneous and instantaneous. Since we are dealing with that which is Limitless, knowing no big and no little, the possibility of our demonstration rests not in the Principle, but in our acknowledgement of, and embodiment in it, of the ideas we desire experienced! … So, in the simplicity of our own language, we try to convince ourselves of the reality of that for which we are treating, knowing that in such degree as we have an embodiment of an idea, it is thrown into a mechanical field and must operate.”

But if we create our experience out of our thought, and we can change it by changing what we think and embody, then how real is it? It’s “as real as it’s supposed to be” (SOM 101.1) What does that mean?

The next sentence of The Science of Mind 101.1 reads, “If the formless did not take form, Spirit would never arrive at self-realization.” Spirit creates to explore its own life experience, and so do we. We cause ideas and experiences to be created on our behalf because we are exploring who we are and who we wish to become. In the next paragraph, “Form is real as form, but it is not self-conscious, it is subject to the power that created it. Forms come and go, but the Power back of them is Changeless. Form is temporary, but Mind is eternal.”

When we believe the experiences in our lives, whether we think of them as favorable or not, have power to rule our lives, it is because we’ve created a story in our minds and we’ve given them power they don’t have.

I’m sure you have changed your mind about an experience, and had the experience change. Right? And I’m sure you’ve called an experience, or a thing, into your reality. And you’ve probably had a few things, and experiences come in and what you experienced wasn’t what you thought you meant. I know I have. This practice of manifestation, causing ideas to come into form is how we continue to learn and grow as spiritual beings. And it’s as real as it’s supposed to be.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Valentine’s Day Cards

Many years ago, I came to regard Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark holiday, a made-up occasion to buy and send a card, like Secretary’s Day or Grandparent’s Day. But, in practicing SOM principles, I’ve come to know God as Love and look for ways to express this Love. I changed my view of Valentine’s Day. Now I see it as a wonderful opportunity to share my love.

A few years ago, I began sending cards to family and close friends as reminders of my love for them. The first year I did this, I bought those cheesy cards kids exchange. Remember how special you felt getting a basketful of valentine’s from your grade school classmates? Remember the time and attention you spent choosing which classmates would get which cards from you?

As some of you know, my latest hobby is cardmaking. Now instead of buying cards to give, I make them, infusing them with love and creativity. I found that I had a kit to make 10 Valentine’s Day cards. I spent an afternoon assembling them, intending to send these out to family and friends.

I am following along with the “Science of Mind Textbook in One Year” handout. I decided to skip ahead to February 14 and read:

Love to the World
My Love goes out to everyone in the world;
I do not exclude anything, for I love all Nature and everything that is.
My Love warms and lightens everything that it touches, and it goes out into all places. The Love flowing through me is a Power to all who come into contact with it,
and all feel and know that I love.
Love within me is Complete and Perfect.
(SOM 547.M1)


This inspired me to expand my reach of card giving this Valentine’s Day. I will give those 10 cards to people in my world who won’t be expecting them, i.e., acupuncturist, house cleaners, etc. Inside each card will be a handwritten note including something it is about them that I love, a God quality I see in them.



Of course, I will still send cards to family and friends that will be looking for them. I feel like a
grade school kid again giving out so many cards! How will you share your Love with the world this Valentine’s Day?


–Janet Salese



Got Cash?

I have hesitated on writing about this topic for quite some time. It can be a touchy personal topic for some, and for others almost taboo to talk about. Money. I think to myself, ‘who am I to write about money especially since no one is even asking?’ I answer myself, ‘My name is Madeline Pallanes and I am a woman of power.’ (I learned that affirmation from Edwene Gaines.) Sometimes I believe it, sometimes I don’t. ‘Money flows to me easily & freely.’ I’ve been repeating that affirmation for probably 20 years. I always believe it.

Today, I have a loving healthy relationship with my money. It hasn’t always been that way. Yes, it’s a relationship. A relationship that has had its ups and downs over the years. I wanted a healthy relationship with money. I have made many blunders with my money and when I did, I later sought out help.

I attended Dave Ramsey’s University of Financial Peace.

Stacy Johnson with Money Talks News is also one of my sought-out helpers.

I have taken many Prosperity classes offered though CSL. Edwene Gaines, “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” is probably the one I have absorbed the teachings and practice the most. One of the Laws is tithing and giving. Through the years, whenever I would show up at a church (CSL or any other one I may have stopped into) I had a standard amount of cash I would donate to the church for the service. If I couldn’t donate that amount, I wouldn’t go. That was my tithing practice. That was how I thought one tithes. It was also standard practice for me to donate to many non-profit organizations. I have always been generous with donations. If I had it, I gave it and if I didn’t have it, I didn’t give it.

A few years ago, an interesting thing happened. I learned the definition of tithing. Tithing is giving 10% of your income to where you receive your spiritual guidance. That really made me think. Was I actually tithing? Tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance? It probably totaled up to 10% with church and other non-profit donations, but I know I wasn’t receiving spiritual guidance from Salvation Army, the local food bank, or local animal shelters. I made a decision right then and there, to give 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance. In addition, I give 5% of my income to charitable giving. Later, I also decided to save 10% of my income. This loving relationship practice I have with my money continues to grow stronger and healthier each day.

Recently over the past couple months, I decided instead of tithing 10% of what I received, I would tithe 10% of what I want to receive for the month. I’m tithing in advance knowing this increased income is coming to me easily and freely. “My income is constantly increasing.” (Yet another affirmation I frequently say.)

This year I decided to start a “Five & Dime savings account” and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m not spending any 5-dollar bills that flow through my hands. I put the $5 bill into a zip lock bag and put it in my underwear drawer. I’m also not spending dimes. I have a dime bag sitting on my dresser. That is my Five & Dime savings account. Currently I have already saved $120 in 5’s, along with 32 dimes. Cha Ching!

The idea for the $5 savings plan came from a friend who saved every $5 she received for a year. This is what she had saved at the end of the year, without any hardship.

And this is my dime bag. 🙂

If having a healthier relationship with your money interests you, I know you can have it! Start with where ever you are now. For me, starting with tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance, was my biggest jumpstart to access my prosperity & abundance.


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