No Other Cause or Effect

One of the many misconceptions of Christian Science which have found credence with those who have not studied this subject, and therefore are not in a position to judge its teachings fairly, is the belief that Mrs. Eddy taught her followers a process by which they may injure other persons, or may in turn themselves be injured. This supposed process, all the more mysterious and fearful because not understood, is believed to be somewhat akin to witchcraft, and is commonly known as animal magnetism. The tree is known by its fruit, and that the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, one whose own rule of life was to return good for evil, could ever have devised or taught such a pernicious doctrine, is not to be credited by those who are familiar with the actual teachings of Christian Science. They do not hesitate, therefore, to stamp the claim that she did lend herself to such practices as untrue.

Mrs. Eddy, by making use of the term animal magnetism in characterizing evil, simply classified in a convenient way "the voluntary or involuntary action of error in all its forms" (Science and Health, p. 484). As to its supposed power she writes: "Animal magnetism has no scientific foundation, for God governs all that is real, harmonious, and eternal, and His power is neither animal nor human. Its basis being a belief and this belief animal, in Science animal magnetism, mesmerism, or hypnotism is a mere negation, possessing neither intelligence, power, nor reality ... It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful. This belief has not one quality of Truth" (pp. 102, 103).

Friends and Foes
September 26, 1914

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