‘A staff upon which to lean’

Reprinted from the August 28, 1948, Sentinel.

In Miscellaneous Writings (pp. 47–48) Mary Baker Eddy replies to a question as to the conclusions to be drawn from the public exhibitions of a certain mesmerist, who, it was alleged, made a man drunk on water and said that he could produce hypnotically the physical effects of any drug. Mrs. Eddy’s reply is a clear and definite denunciation of mesmerism, or animal magnetism. Also, in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she devotes a whole chapter to uncovering the evil of this fraudulent mental domination.

Should not the exposure of intoxication induced by mental manipulation alone stir mankind to question the nature of all intoxication? The belief that one form of matter can stimulate, paralyze, or ease another form of matter is shown by Christian Science to be a mistake. This Science proves matter to be but the objectification of mortal mind and intoxication the effect of mortal belief. Matter in itself has no power. In proportion as a person gives his consent to the belief that matter has power and that he gains either pleasure or release from a drug which induces excitement or temporarily quells mortal mind’s fears and regrets, he becomes the victim of this belief. He becomes a victim, in other words, not of matter, but of his own deluded thinking.

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