Truth—the remedy for error

The fifth chapter of the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, is titled, “Animal Magnetism Unmasked.” This chapter, short yet thorough, explains the nature and supposed action of what may be called the “antichrist,” the false belief of a power opposed to God. Yet, rather than explaining the antichrist as an entity, a devil that walks the earth looking for its next victim, the chapter explains that all that is unlike God, good, can be placed under the term animal magnetism.

The textbook defines animal magnetism as an illusion, saying: “As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind. It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful. This belief has not one quality of Truth” (p. 103). Throughout this chapter Mrs. Eddy uses synonymous terms for animal magnetism, such as mesmerism and hypnotism, and she points out the effects of this erroneous mental influence, namely, false attraction, immorality, disease, hidden crime, indolence, apathy, and all other forms of error or evil.

In Christian Science practice the remedy for this problem of error, or evil, and its effects of sickness and sin is divine Truth, God, the divine Principle of all real being. This perfect antidote counteracts all error and is precise in its disproof of error’s aggressive suggestions. Every misstatement of error, if reversed, declares what is true and real. If we take the statement “Man is material” and reverse it, we have “Man is spiritual.” In this way we can find the needed truth for healing.

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