No force besides God

When I was in high school some friends and I went out for dinner. Afterward we sat in a car, talking. One of the guys said he could hypnotize us. As he started up with his mental suggestions, I silently decided that I wasn’t going to allow myself to be hypnotized. And I wasn’t. But a friend fell under the spell and was soon talking and acting at the hypnotist’s commands. Later, when the spell was broken, this friend couldn’t remember anything that had happened.

Sometimes what we term hypnotism or mesmerism can be thought of as innocent fun or entertainment. Other times it can be thought of as a means by which problems can be solved; for instance, there are hypnotists who run ads claiming they can help you stop smoking. And hypnotism has been used maliciously to make people act contrary to their sense of what’s right.

Perhaps of all the great contributions Mary Baker Eddy gave the world through her revelation of Christian Science, one of the most valuable is her unveiling of the workings of the “carnal mind” (see Romans 8:7), or what she termed “animal magnetism.” In fact, she devotes a short chapter in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to unmasking this concept and showing it to be something we need to be alert to, but ultimately dismiss as powerless. This is a chapter Mrs. Eddy says she resisted writing and including in the book until impelled by God to do so (see Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 37–38).

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Removing roadblocks to healing
March 10, 2014

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