From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy’s Spiritual Level
In Adam H. Dickey’s Memoirs of Mary Baker Eddy, page 47, Mrs. Eddy is quoted as having said, “You don’t any of you realize what is going on. This is a dark hour for the Cause and you do not seem to be awake to it. I am now working on a plane that would mean instantaneous death to any of you.”
In unfolding this series of statements by our Leader for this volume, I had in mind the possibility of students young in the study of Christian Science, who might not perceive the inspirational nature of all of our Leader’s pronouncements, and who might, therefore, attempt to comprehend them from a human standpoint. One who did this, would entirely misunderstand them.
Obviously, the right method of guarding against such a mistake, is to bring to the attention of students enough spiritual unfoldments of this nature, so that they will be convinced that there is only one right mode to follow in an effort to understand inspirational statements, namely, to gain for one’s self the same inspirational standpoint of thought that was possessed by the one who wrote such statements.
If one was to regard Mrs. Eddy’s statement in regards to instantaneous death literally, would it not sound unscientific? Rather would it be scientific to think of the plane on which Mrs. Eddy was working, as being so near to the divine Mind, that it would necessarily mean a greater influx of Life to anyone who might attain such a mental height.
But there is this point to be considered. Working on such a higher plane means that one has so risen above the claims of mortal belief, that one is no longer sustained by a human sense of life. Such a one has no human reserve to fall back on, but relies wholly on reflecting the sustaining power of God. Therefore, does not reaching such a position involve the necessity for an understanding of the claims of animal magnetism, since such claims are definitely directed at one’s ability to reflect God, Life?
A claim of animal magnetism that would not even be appreciated by one on a lower plane of thought, if yielded to by the one on the higher plane of thought, would mean the loss of spiritual light. This would involve immediate death.
From this line of thought comes the deduction that Mrs. Eddy recognized, that if the students had been on her spiritual level, without paying any more attention to the claims of animal magnetism than they were at the time, their thought would be so darkened that they would be at once robbed of their sense of spiritual reflection, reflection that means life itself to the advanced metaphysician. Thus, for a student to be on Mrs. Eddy’s plane of thought, with no more consideration for the claims of animal magnetism and the necessity for meeting them, than he or she had on the present level of thought, would mean a spiritual shipwreck, if such were a possibility.
Our Leader saw her students assailed by animal magnetism, or the domination of the human mind. She saw them unaware and unaffected by this fact. To her, they were like children who were under the domination of some desperate criminal, unaware of the fact, because at the time he was treating them with kindness.
From her standpoint, the domination of mortal mind represented control by a murderer. Hence, any such encroachment was a call to arms, proclaiming the need for instant action. What did she think when she saw such a need and yet, saw the students unaware of it? So, she rebuked them in such a way, that they would realize that such neglect as they were manifesting would be disastrous on a higher plane of thought, whereas, on their present level, it was possible for them to ignore the suppositional domination of the human mind, and yet carry on by relying on a human sense for support. Mrs. Eddy felt the urgent call to impress on her students that this falling back on a humanly harmonious sense, when spiritual light wanes, was something she could not do, because she had reached a spiritual dependence that had outgrown any possibility of leaning on a material sense for her life.