Watching Point 155
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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155 — WATCH lest you fail to differentiate between the work you should do and can do for others, individually and collectively, without obtaining their permission; and the work no one should do without being asked, except under pardonable circumstances, as noted by Mrs. Eddy on page 282 of Miscellaneous Writings.
The work you should do for all is to impersonalize error, to see its nothingness apart from man, and to realize the perfection of man as God’s idea.
The work you should not do without permission, as a general rule, is to treat another to see himself separated from his error, and perfect in God’s sight.
We are commanded to correct our own thought about one another at all times, but we are warned not to try to correct others’ thoughts about themselves without their permission, except in an accident, or when the one who has the right desires us to do so.
It is permissible and right to see error as separated from man, and hence as nothing; but to treat a man to see himself separated from the error, involves an effort to enter the precincts of another’s mental home, which ordinarily should not be done without permission.
If a boy was holding a burr, the burr would also be clinging to the boy. You could help by pulling off the burr, even without his permission, but usually you should wait for him to ask you before you try to help him to let go his grasp on the burr. You can do the impersonal work of separating error from man at all times, but to help a mortal to let go of an error he is holding to, without a request from him for help, is a thing you should rarely attempt to do.