From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy’s Detection of Error’s Arguments
Let us consider another statement made by Mrs. Eddy to the students: “When I let my thought down, I can hear the mental arguments of error, or the devil (there is no devil); it cannot hide from me when I want to know what it is doing. I can lift my thought right above it and shut it all out, or I can find out what it is doing. If there was an assassin which could overpower you, it would be better for you to know what he was doing, so as to be better prepared to meet it.”
The knowledge of good means that one has shut out all acknowledgment of any claims of evil, and does not hear them. So, when a practitioner attempts to help a patient, temporarily he must do an unscientific thing; he must acknowledge the claim of evil in order to find out what it is, bring it out from under cover, and thus compass its destruction. In the above, Mrs. Eddy states in plain language the scientific ability which she possessed to know, when she needed to, the secrets of mortal mind. This disclosure is very similar to the declarations she wrote to Judge Hanna in a letter which he published in the first edition of his pamphlet, Christian Science History, “I possess a spiritual sense of what the malicious mental malpractitioner is mentally arguing which cannot be deceived. I can discern in the human mind, thoughts, motives, and purpose; and neither mental arguments nor psychic power can affect this spiritual insight.” These are scientific arguments, intended to establish beyond question her spiritual perception.
Another point explained by Mrs. Eddy in her statement, that she could hear the mental arguments of error when she let her thought down, is illustrated by the radio. There are often severe storms of static which interfere with radio communications all over the world. But, in order to become aware of such storms, one would need a radio that was adjusted to a fine tuning. If the owner of such a radio should tell a man without a radio about the existence of such a storm, he would not know what it was all about. It is probable that Mrs. Eddy detected disturbances in the higher reaches of mortal mind, which called for drastic measures on her part and the part of her students; while the students might be oblivious of such upheavals. Even though they did not recognize the danger, she could direct their thought to take up the neutralizing arguments.
It is evident that, on such occasions, the students either would have to admit that Mrs. Eddy had tuned into mortal mind in a way they could not grasp, or else her human imagination was playing her tricks, a supposition unthinkable to one who can appreciate her mental history. No doubt, many of the dark experiences she went through, which her students could not understand, were the result of her thought dropping to the place where she could begin to hear the arguments of error.