From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
The Importance of Pitying Rather than Hating
Protecting One’s Spiritual Thought
Another statement by our Leader was, “In Science and Health, I wrote, ‘Sin makes deadly thrusts,’ etc., and I knew no more than a babe what it meant when I wrote it; now I do.” What did she mean by such a statement?
She wrote Science and Health through divine inspiration; it was years before she brought up her own demonstration to see the infinite significance of what she had written.
Talbot Mundy, in his volume, The Devil’s Guard, published in 1927, narrates the story of a man traveling in Tibet who is seized upon and tortured by a band of men that would be classified as malpractitioners, in that they were endeavoring to gain an erroneous mental control over the traveler. Despite their efforts, this adventurer endeavored to love these men who were torturing him, but, because they were so despicable, he found himself unequal to the task. But he found he could pity them. This he did. It was not until after he had escaped from their clutches, that he learned that these men constituted an organization of priests, whose motives were base, seeking his downfall through gaining a mental domination over him. It was then that he discovered, that his ability to pity them had saved him, because they could not gain entrance into his mind, as long as a sense of pity was flowing out. If they could have made him hate, that would have opened his thought to them.
Mrs. Eddy knew that sin made deadly thrusts at the Christian Scientist, but it required years for her to learn that the malpractitioners could gain nothing by inflicting pain on one, if that one refused to yield mentally to any sense of hatred or enmity, which that torture was intended to produce. It required spiritual growth for her to comprehend that any attack of animal magnetism, which seemed like a deadly thrust at the physical body, was really aimed at one’s mental and spiritual powers. She discovered that if, through a sense of sickness or pain, one’s thought could be made to abandon its struggle, or to go to sleep through a condition of physical ease, then the object of animal magnetism was accomplished.
The young student in Christian Science is apt to hold that sickness and suffering are the direct effect and purpose of animal magnetism, instead of being merely a means to another end, namely, the effort to darken his or her spiritual thought.
In other words, judged rightly, the only deadly thrust of sin is that which attempts to kill out the infant spiritual idea, struggling to be acknowledged as the mind of man.