Cultivating a discriminating consciousness

Without a doubt, one of the most important things we can ever learn is how to detect and nullify evil mental influences. Mrs. Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, points out, "The whole world needs to know that the milder forms of animal magnetism and hypnotism are yielding to its aggressive features." She continues further on: "People may listen complacently to the suggestion of the inaudible falsehood, not knowing what is hurting them or that they are hurt. This mental bane could not bewilder, darken, or misguide consciousness, physically, morally, or spiritually, if the individual knew what was at work and his power over it." Message to The Mother Church for 1901, pp. 19–20.

Christian Science enables anyone to recognize when his thinking is being adversely affected and to successfully resist evil's would-be influence. Science teaches the sublime fact that the divine Mind is actually man's Mind and that man therefore includes, as Mind's expression of itself, the unfoldment of all good. It is our privilege to prove that no matter how subtle or compelling the mental influence, nothing can come between God and His idea. Our clear realization of this truth individualizes the deific power. Our true, spiritual individuality is invincible and knows no susceptibility to hypnotic suggestions or mental manipulation.

What are some concrete examples of the way animal magnetism—the belief that evil can have activity and power in our lives—is misguiding thought today? Here are a few: A person hears of one person after another succumbing to a particular disease and fears, "What if I'm next?" A teen-ager sees friends abandoning sexual morality and thinks, "I'd better go along or I won't be popular." A business person becomes impressed with the media's depiction of economic suffering and worries, "What if my business falls off, too?"

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Negative impulses can be overcome
May 2, 1983

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