Christian Science Treatment not Suggestion

The advent in human experience of the beliefs called hypnotism or mesmerism, and other occult methods of the so-called mortal mind, claiming the power to influence and control another's mentality, has given to the word "suggestion" a meaning somewhat sinister in its nature. While the word is still frequently used in its original, proper meaning, it is only in its relation to wrong mental practice that its misuse has sprung up. In this connection the word has come to signify the attempt to influence or control another's thoughts and acts through openly or subtly implanting in his mentality intimations, good or evil in their nature. And because this process is a mental one, it has often been confused with the practice of Christian Science. This confusion, however, has arisen from lack of understanding of what constitutes Christian Science practice. That there should be a clear understanding of the difference between suggestion and scientific mental practice is patent to every student of Christian Science; for without that understanding there might develop wrong mental practice which would completely nullify one's efforts, even though they have the highest purpose.

The difference between Christian Science and suggestion as used in hypnotism is basic. Christian Science in its affirmations reveals divine Mind as omnipotent and the Christ as Truth, the truth about God, man, and the universe. Suggestion, that is, hypnotism, deals with the belief in a so-called mortal mind which, it is alleged, has power to control another's mentality for good or ill, according to the purpose of the hypnotist. It will be readily seen that this type of mental practice might be used for selfish and harmful purposes, to influence another to do one's own will; even in the effort to injure another to satisfy the desire for revenge. On the other hand, the practice of Christian Science can never be so prostituted. Since it deals wholly with God, the infinite good, it can never have the purpose of injuring another. Mrs. Eddy is very emphatic in her statement about this. On page 375 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," under the caption "Science versus hypnotism," she writes, "The Christian Scientist demonstrates that divine Mind heals, while the hypnotist dispossesses the patient of his individuality in order to control him." And she adds this conclusive sentence: "No person is benefited by yielding his mentality to any mental despotism or malpractice."

The use of hypnotism in the guise of suggestion is never beneficial, for it employs human will-power whereby to dominate another. And when one's mentality is influenced by another so-called mortal mind, even though the purpose of such use be to benefit one, only evil can result.

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A Healing Revolution
October 26, 1929

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