From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Mrs. Eddy’s Attitude Towards Organization
One of the interesting lessons I learned at Pleasant View was in connection with Mrs. Eddy’s attitude toward the Christian Science organization. She asked each newcomer at the home, “Do you want to go to church?” as though the members of the household were privileged to go if they so desired. If the student said, “Yes,” then she carefully explained that it was a mistaken sense for a mature student to desire to go to church in order to get good out of it, when his or her work was on such an advanced spiritual plane, and so much broader in its application. She said that the work we were doing under her guidance, was so much more vital in spreading the gospel of Truth, that it was a return to old theology to desire to attend church as a receiver. She did not say, “I do not want you to go to church.” Her thought was that she did not want us to want to go, because that desire revealed our conception of ourselves as receivers more than givers, whereas her whole effort was to enlarge our concept of ourselves as impersonal givers. Hence, Mrs. Eddy’s attitude was not to belittle church attendance, but merely to dissect our attitude toward it. She understood the value of the organization, but she recognized that if organization passed spirituality in the race, and thus weighed more in the minds of the students, disaster would follow, since organization must always be subservient to inspiration and spirituality.
One of the early students has quoted Mrs. Eddy as saying, relative to organization, “Organization is a method of Mind and, of course, a necessity of creation. This is indicated by the perfection of the counterfeit. The form and structure of personality are the crowning work of material sense, and show the effort of error to rival the true and enduring. Idea bodies forth Principle in various manifestations. Because mortal sense bodies forth the highly organized personality, it is an indication that the best success in reaching thought will be along the line of organization. To reflect as perfectly as possible divine methods, Science chooses the best belief of mortal sense to indicate to mortals the perfection of the infinite idea. Of two seemingly necessary evils, always choose the less. Select the best beliefs and methods of mortal mind, and make them serve your highest understanding. The without should reflect the within. Our organization should show, above all things, unity. There should be but one fold. The church in Boston should be the centre, The Church of Christ, Scientist, all others tributary to it, not separate organizations. So the thought of many members, but one body, should come into expression. Organization is necessary to meet the banding together of all phases of error.”
In the days when there existed a National Christian Scientist Association, there appeared in the Journal for July, 1889, the following relative to organization:
“The study of the resolutions adopted by the Association will satisfy every one that the means of separation from error, and for the propagation of Truth are now provided. Herein is seen the wonderful power of organization. This is only to mortal sense, but we are in the mortal and must work in its conditions. Organization is the highest mortal expression of omnipotence. Today the feeblest and the most remote and solitary Scientist, working on the lines laid down by the Association, can feel that his or her strength is added to the power of the whole. In organization, nothing is lost; not only does the smallest mite of effort go to swell the grand volume, but to the feeblest effort is lent the power of the whole.”