Animal Magnetism Unreal

The beginner can hardly expect to grasp the vast subject of Christian Science in its entirety by a single perusal of its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. It is true that reading understandingly even a part of this wonderful book has healed disease and sin, in some cases of long standing; but as Christian Science is the Science of infinite, divine being, it need scarcely be said that no limit can be put to the time which must be expended upon it by the diligent student in his endeavor to gain a fuller understanding of the divine Principle which it explains and shows how to demonstrate.

One of the greatest difficulties Mrs. Eddy experienced in elucidating Christian Science was in finding language to convey the facts of Spirit and of spiritual experience to human thought, as well as suitable terms to adequately represent the beliefs of what in Christian Science is referred to as mortal mind, that false mentality which claims to be and to act in opposition to the one divine Mind. Animal magnetism is an example of one of those terms. Mrs. Eddy defines animal magnetism several times in Science and Health, and leaves no doubt whatever as to its meaning. Thus, on page 103, in the chapter entitled "Animal Magnetism Unmasked," she writes: "As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind. 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." That is how it stands, then, with regard to animal magnetism. It is "the specific term for error, or mortal mind." Thus, every form of error is a phase of animal magnetism. Notice that Mrs. Eddy definitely states it to be identical with hypnotism; and, moreover, that it is the same thing as the illusion that mind is in matter, the error from which springs the fallacy that evil has reality and power in opposition to the absolute, spiritual truth that good is infinite and all-powerful.

March 18, 1922

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