The world is only just beginning to understand the extent...

The Christian Science Monitor

The world is only just beginning to understand the extent to which individuals and nations may be and have been swayed by silent mental influence. A man prefers, of course, to believe that he is the master of his own conclusions and the arbiter of his own conduct; but let anyone ask himself how he arrived at any given conclusion or decided upon a certain line of conduct, and unless he can own to an intelligent conception of divine Principle upon which he relies for guidance, he will have to admit, if he is equal to the analysis, that he has been swayed throughout his career by influences not his own.

Consider also what mortals call public opinion. Does it spring into existence panoplied and ready for the occasion, or is it a force gradually formed by the cumulative influence of one human mind upon another? What, again, is it that changes public opinion from, say, drab neutrality to an irresistible propulsion that drives a nation to act on the side of positive right; or what produces the utter depravity of a public opinion which would calmly support the wrecking of a world? The conclusion naturally is that as public opinion is only the sum of individual opinion, it is right or wrong according as that individual opinion is guided by Principle or shaped by human will; hence the need that the individual should know how to defend himself against the unseen influences of the carnal mind and to conform to Principle in which there is no mortal opinion. "In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power," Mrs. Eddy says on pages 82 and 83 of Science and Health, "it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one."

Every individual needs to know, moreover, the reason why he should choose to be influenced by Principle instead of by human will; and until a man understands the reason for the choice, he is indeed unable to make the choice, because he is incapable of distinguishing between the real and the unreal, the good and the bad. Now Paul, in his letter to the Romans, distinctly stated the reason why men should repudiate the influence of mortal mind. "Because," he said, "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

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