Handling Animal Magnetism

In Mrs. Eddy's writings one frequently finds the term "animal magnetism"; but she did not invent this term. It appears in most dictionaries as a synonym for hypnotism. Mrs. Eddy has, however, made good use of it in exposing a baffling mystery—the seeming power of evil to oppose good.

"Animal magnetism," she writes, "is the voluntary or involuntary action of error in all its forms; it is the human antipode of divine Science" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 484). As animal propensities are the opposite of spiritual qualities and magnetism suggests attraction, the term "animal magnetism" has to do with that which attracts to the opposite of Spirit, which is matter, and to the opposite of good, which is evil.

In the Bible the words serpent and dragon, Satan and devil are used to describe the same perverting influence. Paul spoke of it in his letter to the Romans as "sin" (7:17) and described it this way: "The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." But he also declared that he had found the answer to this enemy of mankind, stating (8: 2), "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

From the Directors
February 13, 1965

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