Watching Point 74
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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74 — WATCH lest you believe that the many students of Mrs. Eddy who down through the years turned against her, were inherently wicked or disloyal. It is wise for a student to watch to see what he thinks about Judas as being inherently bad. A spiritually-minded leader creates a spiritual atmosphere too rarefied for many to remain in over a long period of time. There are those who can stay at the top of a mountain only for a short time, for the air is too rarefied. The brightness of Mrs. Eddy’s shining was beyond the endurance of human sense that loves darkness.
A spiritual leader always finds it difficult to gather around him or her students who have made sufficient spiritual progress to be of use for an extended period, since they cannot long endure the spiritual atmosphere. Like the Master, Mrs. Eddy had to seek out those who were amenable to being impregnated with her spirituality, and then use them in the service of God as long as possible. Such a period of usefulness was long or short, depending on the mental qualities of the students. Like electric light bulbs designed for a certain voltage, they soon burned out because a higher voltage than they could bear was flowing through them, even though for a time they gave out a light greater than normal.
It may be explained that when one’s spiritual light is not the result of one’s own spiritual growth, he does not have the understanding necessary to protect himself from the animal magnetism arrayed against him, and he needs the protection of one more advanced in understanding than he. Mrs. Eddy followed the example of the Master in giving this protection to her students to keep them loyal as long as was possible. But one student cannot furnish protection for another indefinitely.
When the time came for Jesus to withdraw protection from his disciples, because he required his entire spiritual thought to make his own demonstration of going over the top at the crucifixion, they were left alone. Two of them were so handled by animal magnetism that one denied him and the other betrayed him!
When this point is understood, it will be found to explain the experience of Judas as well as of many of Mrs. Eddy’s students, who found her rarefied atmosphere too much for human sense to endure for long. Had they faithfully endeavored to bring their own individual understanding up to the point of advancement and protection to which they had been lifted temporarily by Mrs. Eddy’s demonstration, they could have remained with her in the organization, and been of use to God and to her for a longer time.
The student who carries his demonstration no further than a desire for good matter, or for harmony in a human sense, cannot endure for long the atmosphere of one who is honest and consistent in seeking to throw off all matter. It becomes too much of a rebuke to his own lack of progress and faithfulness. He is like one who holds up his vessel to receive more of the heavenly truth; but because he is not faithful in cleansing his vessel of materiality, this truth finally has an effect that seems adverse to him, and he cries out, “Why does not my human harmony continue?” Yet truth cannot but stir up and destroy error. If we cling to error, we will feel the stirring.