Watching Point 311
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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311 — WATCH that you keep alert to the claim of reversal as being the way error claims to oppose truth. Error cannot fight truth, but it claims to reverse its action. We can handle this error by turning the lie upon itself. Mrs. Eddy once said, “In every treatment close with this: This treatment cannot be reversed; its effect cannot be reversed; it cannot be made to produce a result contrary to that which is intended; it cannot be arrested, obstructed, reverted, or controverted; the false claim of malicious animal magnetism has no law of reversal, and cannot act through any belief of law; there is no such law.”
When we reverse the claims of error, we cause the wrath of man to praise Him, and error reversed subserves the ends of good, as Mrs. Eddy declares in Science and Health.
Once a man had a wife who had the reputation of being such an optimist, that she saw good in everything. A friend who supplied the couple with firewood, boasted that he could break down this optimism. He attempted to do it by sending a load of kindling that was so twisted as to be almost unfit for use. Instead of complaining, the wife later thanked him for sending sticks on which her pots fitted so nicely, and asked for more just like them.
When a patient is ready to be shown the value of affliction, and how he can use it in order to grow spiritually, and to test and develop ‚latent power,‛ as Mrs. Eddy writes on page 201 of Miscellaneous Writings, he learns how to reverse the attempt of evil to harm mortals. The purpose behind sickness is to upset and disturb thought, so that it lets go of God. When we reverse this intent and use affliction as a means of drawing nearer to God, we prove that all things work together for good to them that love God. Mrs. Eddy once wrote to a student, “May the God of Israel give you the experience that will lift you higher, whatever that may be. It is good to be afflicted when the results prove its uses. What we need is spiritual awakening and not healing of a material condition. We must have patience and not submit to error, but let us make patience the active process of spiritualizing our thinking.”
There have been promising students who have withdrawn from the organization because of the discords they have found within it. Fundamentally such errors have the intent to divide our ranks and to pull the church down. Yet when a member uses these conditions as an impetus to rise higher in the effort to demonstrate the one Mind, and to see this Mind as the Mind of each of his fellow members, he causes these inharmonies to become a means of growth and blessing, and thus meets the error by reversal.