Watching Point 208
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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208 — WATCH lest you use the scientific statement of being, thinking you are being scientific, when your underlying purpose is the elimination of unpleasant or painful sensation, and are arguing the truth about matter and its so-called laws for the purpose of returning to pleasant sensation.
An airplane needs two wings in order to fly. Flight would be an impossibility if perchance one wing was frozen to the ground. If one seeks on the one hand to throw off painful sensation, and on the other to retain pleasurable sensation, he need not be surprised if his demonstration falls short of the skies and fails to accomplish its purpose.
Mrs. Eddy bracketed the depraved appetite for tea and coffee with that of alcohol, tobacco, and opium, in Science and Health. Was this done because these five modes of gratifying the material senses represent most strikingly the illusion of pleasure in matter?
The scientific statement of being embodies the spiritual truth that is designed to free one from the belief of the flesh, in order that his thought may assimilate itself to God, and he may awaken from this fleshly dream. But a one-sided use of it shows immaturity of thought and a weak application of its great power. Mrs. Eddy sought to rouse students to a broader comprehension and use of this rule, by including in her illustration of pleasurable sensation, that which the world does not frown upon, with that which is condemned by most thoughtful Christians. In the Science of Man, in the edition Mrs. Eddy used to teach her classes in 1870 we find her writing, “If you are seeking money in your practice more than a growth of your own, more than to be perfectly pure and honest and just and meek and loving, then you are asking sense instead of Soul for happiness, and your patients will not recover as well. They will gain at first up to you and then you are not sufficiently beyond them and near the Soul to carry them further away from sense by following you.
“A stream rises no higher than its fount. If you are vain or selfish or avaricious or deceiving or unjust when you are practicing healing, remember you are holding on to error as strongly as your patient, and the only difference is, his is an error of pain in sense, and yours is an error of pleasure in sense or matter.”
Once Mrs. Eddy declared, “We heal only by our own perfectness. Jesus’ perfectness healed multitudes.”
Animal magnetism perpetuates its hold on mortals by dividing mortal belief into two parts, the belief in human ease and human dis-ease, pleasurable sensation and painful. It might be likened to a cotter pin, which is a split rivet, and is inserted in the end of bolts to prevent the nuts from falling off. It has two ends which are bent back in order to fasten it in place. These ends must be straightened before it can be pulled out.
When we utilize the power of God merely to eliminate human discord and pain, while we still cling to the belief in human pleasure and harmony, we are working on one side of the cotter pin of mortal belief, and we cannot find our way out of it through such a half-way effort. Both sides of the rivet of sensation must be exposed as having the same origin. Sensation in matter must be detected as the belief to be overcome, whether the argument says it is agreeable or disagreeable; then escape from falsity is possible.
Isaiah states in chapter 65 that the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. If the wolf and lion represent discord, disease and pain, and the lamb and bullock, human harmony and pleasure, we have a prophecy that these two sides of mortality will be brought together, and seen to be sustained by the same source or belief; this comprehension will open the door to spiritual freedom, since it will lead us out of the error of striving to use God’s power to make hell a happy place, into the right endeavor to rise above all material sense and sensation, so that we may find reality and harmony here and now on a wholly spiritual basis — that of reflecting God.