From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Impersonal Radiation of Good
The unfoldment of these cryptic pronouncements of our Leader, in order to elucidate the inspirational nature of her daily statements to the students, must include the following point: Statements of Truth which Mrs. Eddy did not include in her published writings, must always be construed as teaching points given to individuals and hence, not intended for universal consumption. None of the teaching that the Master gave as individual instruction, has yet been discovered. Nothing is known to have been recorded, except those universal teachings which are applicable to all mankind. No doubt this is wisdom. In the case of Mrs. Eddy, however, so much of her private instructions were sent out broadcast, through letters and manuscripts, and by word of mouth, that for years such statements will continually come to light and find a ready circulation. Nothing can prevent this sharing process. Hence, all students should be warned that such scientific instruction should never be adopted as a universal teaching or rule, when it is not. All that was universal in its scope is contained in her published works.
Keeping these facts in mind, we perceive the obvious confusion that would ensue if the following statement, which Mrs. Eddy declared to the students that she once used, should become generally adopted as a working point for all. The story in Mrs. Eddy’s own words is quoted here: “I was in a street car once when a drunken man came in and sat down. I said mentally, ‘You are a fool and don’t know it’; I kept thinking that and nothing else; in a few moments that man was perfectly sober; it had roused his dormant sense to the situation, and when he saw, that was the end of it.”
Does not a sinner appeal to Christian Science for help, because it has struck home to him what a fool he is? Otherwise, would he knock at its door for a crust of Truth? Is it not indisputable that when he does come, he longs to stop being a fool? Furthermore, cannot this same point apply to the so-called righteous man? By this assertion we mean that if he does not turn to Christian Science, it proves that he is a fool and does not know it, because he is foolishly following a false sense of God, that will get him nowhere. From the foregoing argument, therefore, it is evident that a man’s coming to Christian Science, be he humanly a saint or sinner, hinges on his recognition of himself as a fool. Hence, no Christian Scientist would argue to a patient that he was a fool, because the very fact that he is applying for help, proves that this recognition has struck home.
However, this awakening had not come to the man in the car; and, hence, the case required the argument, “You are a fool and don’t know it.” Mrs. Eddy recognized that this was the claim, a lack of the recognition of what a fool he was. That blindness was holding him in bondage. Yet, nothing could gainsay the fact, that Mrs. Eddy had acquired a fundamental recognition which she could never lose, that the claim connected with alcohol, and all similar claims, are illusions. She knew this without conscious declaration. Therefore, when she brought him into the attitude of a patient, because the fact that he was a fool had struck home, her underlying spiritual consciousness of perfection healed him.
Let us suppose that one without this underlying spiritual perception had made this declaration.Would it have accomplished anything? If that argument is all that is needed, there would be few drunkards, since a drunkard is generally looked upon as a fool by the majority of enlightened people. Mrs. Eddy, however, was a Christian Scientist, and therefore, she had definitely destroyed for all time the false belief of there being any power inherent in what is called the action of alcohol, and the consequent claim of drunkenness. Furthermore, she had established within her consciousness the spiritual recognition of God as all, and man as His perfect reflection. This meant that unconsciously she radiated a healing atmosphere, in line with her own words as given in, “Mrs. Eddy as I Knew Her in 1870, ” by Samuel Putnam Bancroft: “Now, to advance continually throughout time and eternity in the Science by which harmony is given to man, you must perform the most labor with yourself. First, be right here, and then the very atmosphere of yourself will heal the sick. You will, in other words, exhale or throw off God, the Principle that heals wherever you are, and the sick will recover on account of you, whether you address them, or let them alone, but they may never know what healed them. Hundreds have I healed thus. In fact, the sick all begin to recover wherever I am. ”
The world calls a drunkard a fool, believing that he is a weakling who cannot control his appetite. Mrs. Eddy called the drunkard a fool, knowing that he was being fooled by the belief that it gave him pleasure to become intoxicated, when the truth is that liquor has no power to afford pleasure, nor to ensnare man in a vicious habit, apart from what belief declares.
We might call one a fool who was fooled by a ventriloquist. The drunkard is fooled by mortal law, which uses matter as its decoy. The argument, you are a fool and don’t know it, opened the man’s thought to the truth about the lie, namely, that man is never a victim of liquor, or matter, only of the so-called law of mortal belief. This knowledge awakened him to error’s deception and freed him.