Chapter One Hundred Twenty-five
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy’s Use of Temporary Means
Fear lest the world might misunderstand certain things in Mrs. Eddy’s experience, has caused many rooms in her life to be kept locked. My effort in this book has been to show that this fear is groundless. I have taken the key furnished by God and unlocked many of these rooms, in order to reveal that their contents are valuable and important, and that their exposure is nothing to fear, since they redound to Mrs. Eddy’s credit. Thus, anyone who will use this same key, may unlock all of the rooms of her experience, with the assurance that there is nothing that cannot be explained satisfactorily.
In the Christian Science Sentinel for January 26, 1929, there is a statement from the Christian Science Board of Directors to the effect that Mrs. Eddy, after she discovered Christian Science, used no drug of any kind, “except as she employed, in a few instances, an anesthetic for the purpose of temporary relief from extreme pain.”
The life of a great general, because of its peculiar value to the country, must be protected. Similarly, Mrs. Eddy’s life belonged to the Cause she had established. Unlike the individual demonstration of the student, she was obliged to protect her life at all costs. This is something the disciple must never forget in his or her study of her history.
To criticize our Leader for resorting, at rare intervals, to the use of an anesthetic would be as unjust as to criticize the three Hebrew captives, for permitting themselves to be put into the fiery furnace, or Daniel because he did not avoid being forced into the lions’ den. Our Leader found herself, at an advanced age, assailed by a belief of pain, which was accompanied by the suggestion that she might pass on, if she did not get relief. The whole Cause of Christian Science depended on her demonstration of divine wisdom, and therein rested the necessity for her remaining on earth to complete her work. She turned to an anesthetic as the lesser of two evils. When the belief was lulled, she was again enabled to get hold of her spiritual thought, and handle her case scientifically.
If one should question my declaration that it was the lesser of two evils for Mrs. Eddy to resort to an anesthetic, I would defend it by asking: If one is actively progressing on the road from sense to Soul, which would be the lesser of two evils, to make a concession to mortal mind, that would be permanent, or one that was temporary; to bow down to mortal mind and so receive its help, or to permit one’s self to be put into the fiery furnace and make it bless one? The average mortal walks with two crutches, one representing a strong belief in weak mortal mind, and the other a weak belief in the strong divine power. But our Leader had a strong trust in God and a weak faith in the human mind. Hence, a temporary loss of spiritual light left her with little to turn to, little human fortitude to sustain her. She did not have that developed sense of human will that is able to endure extreme pain. Had she returned to this human quality, which the world considers so commendable, it would have been a concession to mortal mind from the standpoint of cause, which would have seriously impaired her spiritual consciousness; whereas the temporary use of mortal mind, as effect, had little power to touch her spiritual thought.
It is a sign of spiritual growth for the young student of Christian Science to stand up under suffering and pain with fortitude, and not to resort to material remedies, during a possible interval of building up a sense of spiritual demonstration sufficient to bring healing. Yet, that endurance is largely a phase of the human mind. Hence, when one has advanced to a point, where he has sufficient understanding to relinquish all faith in the human mind, it would be a backward step to turn to it for strength and fortitude to endure under suffering, where healing seems to be delayed. All students of Christian Science must come to the realization of how serious it would be for them to put themselves back under the domination of mortal belief, after they have made the demonstration to throw it off. When they do, they will appreciate the grandeur of their Leader’s demonstration, which enabled her to resist the temptation to return to the human mind’s support, even to the extent of being misunderstood by those who loved her and had faith in her revelation.
Let us rejoice that Mrs. Eddy’s entire experience measures up to the spiritual yardstick, namely, that nothing that took place in her life ever interfered with her consistent spiritual growth! How can anything be termed an error in the life of a spiritual pilgrim, that does not interfere with his high purpose, or his efforts in attaining that purpose? There is no criticism to the motorist who turns his automobile off the road, in order to avoid an obstruction, provided he does not permit it to stall at that point. If you see a beautiful tree with wide spreading branches, in which birds make their nests, it is unjust to criticize the tree, because at the base there is a place where the tree bent out and in, in order to accommodate itself to a rock that was endeavoring to prevent its upward and sturdy growth. Instead of condemning the tree, one should recognize that scar as proof that, no matter how weak the tree might have felt at times, it permitted nothing to interfere with its upward growth. No temporary concession can ever weigh one atom against ultimate accomplishment.
The scientific rule in Christian Science, that must be applied for scientific judgment, is what was the effect of the experience on the student? If it tends to separate him from God, it is evil; if it tends to draw him nearer to God, it is a blessing, and hence, good.
If Mrs. Eddy did resort to an anesthetic, she thereby proved a wonderful truth for her followers, namely, that no matter what the student might find himself yielding to, that he thought he had overcome or outgrown, he can still keep his thought on the high spiritual level where it belongs, until the error is met. Even under such an affliction, or human demand, he can still build his thought up spiritually to the point where the claim is handled; and a point in progress is won. Going into the fiery furnace or the lions’ den, and coming out victorious and unharmed, required a greater demonstration than would have been needed, to have avoided the necessity for a conflict with error.
Mrs. Eddy’s experience might be described in metaphor as follows: Consider a man carrying a priceless vase that is invisible. No matter what is done to him, he refuses to bring his hands down to defend himself. Thus, he is considered a coward and a weakling. The true explanation is, however, that the vase is so valuable to him, that he is willing to endure any kind of misrepresentation in order to guard it. Jesus said, “but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” He knew that if one was reflecting the infinite power of God, and should indulge in a human desire to retaliate a blow on the cheek, that reflection of God would at once fly away. Mrs. Eddy, above all else, was guarding her reflection of divine Love and wisdom. If she felt guided to fulfill her statement on page 464 of Science and Health, to the effect that one may be given a hypodermic injection in case of a pain so violent that one could not treat himself mentally, that was her wise effort to preserve this precious reflection, her hold upon God, which would have been lost, had she resorted to the human will for help.
At this point, it would be wise for the reader to realize that this subject of morphine is a difficult one to deal with. One who reads the following pages without an understanding heart, might believe that I am calling evil good and, good, evil, in an effort to vindicate Mary Baker Eddy. Yet, it is with the deepest conviction that God has entrusted me with this message, that I include it in this book, before it goes to press.
Mrs. Eddy discarded the human mind as worthless. Hence, let those who still depend on the false courage of the human will, feel no superiority over one who, for the sake of a radical reliance on God, had forsworn the human will forever. Mrs. Eddy could only say, “Lord, save or I perish.” Then, what was she to do, when her faith failed temporarily? Her very life depended upon her choice at that exalted point of progress; and she chose the materially-dependent way of relief, rather than to return to the human will. Thus she was able to return directly to her radical reliance on God.
The Bible states, “For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” A sense of power and dominion accompanies the reflection of the divine Mind. But when one who has reached the point of reflecting God, ceases for the moment to reflect that infinite power, if he still retains a dominant sense of being a channel for mind, that would mean a return to mortal mind, or human will. Pride would always tempt the Christian Scientist to continue in the role of a giver, when he has nothing to give that is spiritual. Thus he would be giving out human thinking, or animal magnetism. At that point, the wise metaphysician returns to a sense of weakness, or being merely a receiver of God’s help, in order to avoid a return to the bondage of animal magnetism. The safety of man, when he has nothing of God to give, is to fall back into the sense of a little child, sustained in its mother’s arms. In doing this, our Leader prevented a use of the human mind which might have been fatal. If pride had caused her to send forth a volume of human will, because she had no divine Mind to give, that would have produced a reaction against her own spiritual growth of a very serious nature. But error could not catch our Leader in this way. Through this experience, Mrs. Eddy unfolded the trick of mesmerism which would keep man functioning as a giver, when he has nothing but mortal mind to give. At that point, when she did not have anything spiritual to thunder forth, she withdrew into a state of helplessness which so disturbed the students. When they could not help her, she chose to give temporary power to one of mortal mind’s products, rather than to return to the standpoint of seeking help through mortal mind itself, which would involve giving mortal mind continuous power, and bringing to nought years of patient endeavor to overcome all belief in its power. The sense of pain seemed to draw a curtain over her thought, and leave a gap between her and God. She handled the claim in the wisest way, until she could reinstate herself as a representative of infinite power.
What more notable example have we in the Scriptures of this mode of circumventing the effort of animal magnetism to draw the advancing pilgrim once more back into its toils, than David, who at such times of a seeming withdrawal of God’s presence and power, assumed the attitude that he set forth in so many of the Psalms, as for example, “Have mercy upon me O, Lord; for I am weak”? No greater privilege was ever accorded the students at Pleasant View, than to see their Leader return to a sense of utter helplessness and weakness, the moment the divine power ceased to flow through her. In that way, could they best learn what is the attitude of mind on the part of the metaphysician that fits him to reflect God, such an absolute relinquishment of any help, other than what comes from God, that without God’s help man is nothing. I can state that it is my conviction, that this picture of our Leader reflecting God, and then seeming to lose that reflection for a brief interval, is a necessity for every advancing student, in order for him to guard against the temptation to personalize the great spiritual good that flows through anyone, who has made the right preparation to reflect God.
If a farmer should be progressive enough to electrify his whole farm, what should he do if temporarily the power fails? Change over the whole organization to the obsolete apparatus, simply because of a loss of power for a day, or borrow enough horses and men to tide him over the brief interval? The answer is plain. This illustrates that the use of morphine, as a temporary help, was far less of an error, than to have returned to the human will which Mrs. Eddy had discarded.
A man who is bowling, always aims at the king pin. When that falls, the others are apt to fall. Mrs. Eddy knew that she was the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She recognized that the whole Cause of Christian Science might be undermined, if she were taken away prematurely. She perceived that the errors she had to combat, resulted from her position in the Cause. Hence, there were times when drastic methods were necessary to meet certain conditions.
Mrs. Eddy’s only weapon was the divine Mind. She repudiated the human mind, refused to employ it, and rebuked her students when she saw them functioning under it. If, inadvertently, it crept in to her deliberations, she labelled it worthless, and reversed her decisions, in order that she might function wholly under the divine Mind. As long as she had her weapon, she could cope with any error. But to be robbed of it temporarily, meant helplessness at that point. It was through a sense of pain that she seemed to lose her only weapon of warfare, the only one she was willing to use, which was the divine Mind. Therefore, to regain her weapon was a vital necessity.
On page 19 of Miscellaneous Writings, Mrs. Eddy states that she should have more faith in an honest druggingdoctor, than she could or would have in a mental malpractitioner. This gives us a cue to her own experience, where she preferred to take an anesthetic, rather than to resort to the human will.
When Mrs. Eddy passed through an experience where she seemed to lose her grasp on her demonstrating thought, perhaps her students would liked to have seen her get hold of the human mind, and use it with vigor to overthrow her enemy, or at least face it with human courage. David had this temptation presented to him, when he was faced with Goliath. He was offered armor, a sword and a spear. The human mind offered its self-confidence, courage and determination as a substitute for the divine Mind, which operates through spiritual exaltation and illumination. Both courage and determination are human qualities, unless reflected from the divine Mind. In the latter case, they spring from spiritual exaltation, and hence, are scientific and effective. Our Leader, more than anyone else, manifested a courage and a determination, following her reflection of God. But it is an interesting fact, that she had neither of these qualities apart from her reflection of divine Mind, which is proof that she was not using human will. So when her thought dropped, she might ask for help from her students to restore her spiritual consciousness, because that was the sword of the Spirit, with which she was invulnerable. She would not have asked for such help, if she had been willing to return to the use of the human mind at these times.
Mrs. Eddy went out to fight Goliath every day. Yet, under the pressure brought to bear to rob her of her weapon, it was not to be expected that she could always be equipped with the sword of the Spirit. Nevertheless, she refused to have the armor and weapons of the human mind to fall back on, in case she lost her spiritual weapon. Having nothing but Spirit to depend on, in her warfare against Goliath, what chance had she when she lost God? She used the means to which her highest wisdom led her, that she might regain her spiritual weapon.
The whole consolidation of animal magnetism was aimed at our Leader with deadly purpose. Yet she outwitted it and rendered it abortive, in that she did not permit it to accomplish its purpose. She knew that, had she returned to the use of the human mind, she would coincide exactly with what error wanted her to do, since that would have effectually shut off her reflection of God. This backward step would have been an admission that, in the event of losing God, she needed human courage and independence of thought, as much as she needed the divine Mind, hence, whereas the divine Mind was an occasional help, yet, when she did not have it, she must return to that thing which she had reviled and declared against, the human mind. To resort to an anesthetic, rather than to do that, was a triumph over error. Robbed of her spiritual weapon, Mrs. Eddy felt helpless for the time being. Error knew that it could not rob her of God, but it could claim to prevent her from availing herself of His power. God had not forsaken her, but her arms had been tied, so that she could not wield the sword of the Spirit. So she took an element utilized by animal magnetism and put God back of it, so that the wrath of man praised Him. The conclusion is inevitable, that she made this demonstration because, through taking morphine, she was led to the place where she might regain her use of the sword of the Spirit.
The question comes up whether, in using morphine, Mrs. Eddy was not returning to the use of the human mind, as much as if she had employed the human will. The answer is, that she made the demonstration to see God back of that morphine, and hence, it was no longer a channel for the action of the human mind in a harmful way. Thus, she defeated the operation of evil and fulfilled the Scriptures, “the earth helped the woman.” That form of matter, or earth, which, when used under animal magnetism, puts man in bondage, with God back of it, released her from bondage; and she defeated animal magnetism, thereby being crowned with the brightness of His glory, again functioning effectively against the powers of darkness.
The statement that Mrs. Eddy’s demonstration put God back of morphine, deserves careful explanation, since a logical deduction would be the contention, that it would be possible to put God back of all medicine, and hence, make it an effectual healing agent. Such a conclusion, however, would contradict the fundamental teaching of Christian Science. First, it must be recognized that everything mortal is a lifeless symbol, neither good nor bad, except as thinking makes it so, according to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Therefore, to put God back of a symbol, makes it a channel for freedom, whereas, when animal magnetism is back of it, it tends to bondage. This simply means, that either the qualities of the divine Mind or the human mind are expressed through the symbol. Even in the material realm, certain substances and forces work either for good or ill, according to the thought back of them, electricity, poison gas, nitroglycerine, etc. The whole basis of metaphysics affirms that cause is above effect, and so the channel takes on the nature of whatever is back of it. When Mrs. Eddy is criticized for resorting to morphine, her critics mean morphine under the control of animal magnetism. But Mrs. Eddy proved by its effects upon her that she had put good back of it.
On the other hand, the demonstration of putting God back of medicine, would rob it of all power to heal sickness, since it would destroy the lie that animal magnetism has put forth, that the inanimate drug has the power to heal. To see God back of anything, makes it a channel for a blessing. To see God back of food, takes away its power to harm, while it continues to nourish, until further spiritual progress eliminates the symbol. But would drugs be a blessing to man, if they were a channel for healing sickness? No, because the blessing brought to man through a symbol with God back of it, is that it brings, not a greater and greater reliance on the symbol, but a mounting independence of it. Increasing dependence on the symbol always indicates the action of animal magnetism. With animal magnetism back of a symbol, it becomes a substitute for Mind. With God back of it, man is gradually weaned from any lesser dependence, until he relies on Mind alone.
One might argue, of course, that the action of food to nourish is conferred upon it by mortal belief. Yet, puttingGod back of it, does not rob it of its action in sustaining man, but takes away its power to harm. That leaves food a symbol of God’s sustaining love, until progress eliminates the symbol, and man is sustained by Mind alone.
If one doubts the possibility of a demonstration that would make morphine a channel for God, it may be because he does not realize that the awful association he feels in connection with such a channel, is never the channel, but what is back of it. Those who feel shocked at this question of morphine, thereby expose the fact that they have never robbed morphine of its belief in power. What an unscientific attitude of mind, to invest matter with strange, mystic powers it could never possess of itself, and then to criticize one who had robbed it of those powers, and turned its effect from evil to good! Not only did no harm come to the three captives in the fiery furnace, through a channel ordinarily invested by mortal mind with powers of destruction, but it brought such a spiritual illumination, that man’s true divine selfhood was revealed and expressed! Mortals feel a dreadfulness, associated with prisons. This makes it difficult for them to appreciate the magnitude of Paul’s demonstration, when he put God back of the jail, and the doors flew open, leaving him free. The very thing that was a channel for bondage with mortal mind back of it, thus became a channel for freedom with God back of it. The very ones who had been instrumental in holding him, came and acknowledged the God he worshipped. Could the jail be called bad, once it was freed from the animal magnetism of mortal belief? The rule is, therefore, never to condemn the channel, but what is back of it, if it merits condemnation.
In Isaiah 54:17 we read, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” We upset the plans of animal magnetism, by taking its weapons and turning them against it. When you put God back of morphine, it ceases to be a weapon that animal magnetism can use to rob man of God. It becomes a weapon that man can use against animal magnetism.
There is Biblical authority for this conception of putting God back of those human forms which animal magnetism has claimed to use as its agents. An example is found in Isaiah 2:4, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Certainly, in the hands of animal magnetism, the sword and spear would be weapons of destruction and evil; for under its direction, a soldier would employ them for slaughter. Then comes the demonstration, whereby God is put back of them, and, after this change, they become agents for constructive good. This would be illustrated by a farmer, using these very weapons for purposes of cultivation. Thus this Biblical assurance of the possibility of making all things, even the sword and spear, channels for the expression of God’s goodness, aids in clarifying this discussion of morphine.
Animal magnetism had used the lion as a channel for destructiveness. Yet, Daniel was called upon to put God back of the lion, and thus he rendered it harmless. Spiritually considered, fire is a symbol of good. But utilized by animal magnetism, it has become an element of destruction. The three Hebrew captives, however, handled the animal magnetism and put God back of it. Thus, it lost its power to harm, and brought the consciousness of the presence of God. Moses put God back of the Red Sea, and it became a means of escape from his enemies. If God could be put back of fire, of lions and of the Red Sea, He can be put back of morphine. Can the advancing Christian Scientist afford to omit anything, in his endeavor to see everything spiritual, and thus permit animal magnetism to claim certain channels, so that he affirms that they are forever doomed, because of what they express? But the claim of animal magnetism can never be isolated, and brought to the place where it is ripe for destruction, until it has been separated from every visible channel through which its belief of reality has been established. Then it is seen as an impersonal claim in thought; and, from that standpoint, it is easily destroyed.
A student of Christian Science might never be called upon to utilize morphine backed up by God, but still he must make the demonstration of taking it out of the grasp of animal magnetism, since animal magnetism is destroyable, only when it has been cut off from every expression, and made to fit with the description of the Master in Matthew 12, “the unclean spirit walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none.” The inevitable conclusion is, that animal magnetism must be separated from morphine or arsenic, in order to be destroyed. When the demonstration is made to take the poison out of arsenic, the Scripture is fulfilled, “if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them.” How can this transformation be accomplished, unless arsenic be taken from the grasp of animal magnetism and put under the control of Spirit? Is it any wonder, that our Leader called upon her students to handle arsenic at times, or to remove the effects of animal magnetism from every claim of substance, from every channel, thus rendering arsenic harmless? She knew that this was the right method of destroying animal magnetism, robbing it of every channel; appropriating error’s tools. This ‘modus operandi’ coincides with the understanding that all the power that evil has, is through the belief that it has channels, through which it can operate. Taking the animal magnetism from the channel, renders the error ripe for destruction. What power has baseless gossip, when no one is found who will believe it and voice it? Christian Science teaches that we see God through the ideas which express Him, and recognize animal magnetism through the objects which express it. So we must separate animal magnetism from its misuse of objects. Science does not say that the lion must be destroyed, but that the qualities and characteristics, which animal magnetism has placed upon him, must be removed. Mrs. Eddy never taught the destruction of morphine, arsenic, or alcohol. She did not tell us to say that we had no heart, that we did not breathe, etc. She was careful not to say that there was no storm, but that she saw God’s face shining through. She did not destroy things, but she endeavored to perceive them spiritually. If we will remove the animal magnetism from every channel, and see it utilized by God, will we not find ourselves living in a new heaven and a new earth?
Controlled by animal magnetism, life ends in death, but seen as the reflection of God, it is eternal. So we do not say there is no life; we declare that it is not material, but spiritual. Students are apt to think that Christian Science teaches, that everything human must be destroyed. Consequently, morphine must be thrown out, because animal magnetism has made it bad. This is not Science. The material sense in man, is what must be destroyed, for then creation will be seen perfect and eternal.
Students of Christian Science should avoid morphine, as they would the plague, except under the circumstances recorded in Science and Health. Why? Because they have certainly not progressed to the point of knowing how to use it, with God back of it. Furthermore, the effort to see God back of all human symbols, is not a demand to make use of such symbols. The correction takes place in thought. Nothing should be employed by the Christian Scientist, that has animal magnetism back of it. All students who understood this statement, would acknowledge it to be in accord with Mrs. Eddy’s teaching. Of course, one might wonder why Mrs. Eddy could not have resorted to the use of the qualities of courage and fortitude, by taking animal magnetism out of them, and establishing them as the expression of divine Mind? This was a possibility, but at that point, Mrs. Eddy found her thought bound by pain. The demonstration to free mortal mind from its animal magnetism, is one that requires the ability to think scientifically, a thing which Mrs. Eddy could not do at the point under discussion.
These questions, in connection with our Leader, should be answered by the student, only as his understanding develops to the point where his judgment is scientific, and so, just. One might wonder why Mrs. Eddy did not handle the belief of pain, as she had taught her students to do. She did make wonderful demonstrations over pain, but there were intervals, where the suffering was so severe, that she came under the claim, that she could not get hold of her thought. It is true, that our Leader would not have found it necessary to resort to an anesthetic, if her students had been successful in helping her at such times. Hence, the real responsibility for this necessity, lay with the student’s failure to measure up to that spiritual point that would have relieved her.
The question persists: in turning to morphine, is not one turning to the human mind for aid, as definitely as though one turned to the human will, since we know that whatever effect seems to come through matter, is wholly the effect of mortal belief? This might be a just question, were it not for the fact that Mrs. Eddy’s demonstration robbed morphine of its error. In Miscellaneous Writings, on page 248, Mrs. Eddy records her earlier experience, where she rendered morphine powerless to have the slightest effect upon her whatsoever. She said, “. . . with tearful thanks, ‘The drug had no effect upon me whatever.’” This previous demonstration paved the way for her later experience, where, under the belief of extreme pain, the momentary illusion of the withdrawal of spiritual power, caused the pain-lulling effect of morphine to conjoin with the belief of suffering, to bring about a relief that enabled her once more to get hold of her spiritual weapon. It is safe to say, that her later use of an anesthetic was made possible through this earlier demonstration.
One cardinal point of Christian Science is the nothingness of matter. Therefore, the use of the phrase, putting God back of this or that, is open to objection. Obviously, morphine, arsenic, etc., are matter. Therefore, how can God be put back of that which is unreal? Yet, before the nothingness of matter is demonstrated, there is an intermediate step to be taken, where one sees the qualities of good, rather than evil, operating through the symbol called matter, in line with the Scripture, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” This mental effort to realize that everything in one’s experience, is operating according to the law of God, good, gradually robs matter of all sense of life, truth, intelligence and substance, until it finally disappears, to give place to the reality of God’s creation.
Because Mrs. Eddy loved God, and knew that she was called to fulfill His purpose, that caused everything in her experience to work together for her good. Hence, the experience that seemed to require her to resort to an anesthetic, helped her to a higher spiritual growth. Of course, I am not implying that morphine becomes spiritual through demonstration, but I am asserting that it is possible for the spiritual pilgrim to accentuate the above dictum of Scripture to the point, where even morphine may become one of the servants of God to aid man. The whole question revolves around the attitude of mind of the student. Anyone who does not believe that our Leader had progressed spiritually to the point, where her demonstration compelled everything in her experience to work together for her good, and the good of all concerned, has little understanding of metaphysics.
Judging righteous judgment means discerning both motive and result. If one is seeking good, whatever one does to gain that good successfully, is legitimate and praiseworthy. I make this statement without reservation. On the surface, it might seem possible for one to use this higher understanding of Truth to cover a multitude of sins, claiming immunity from blame, because he or she had made the demonstration to put God back of whatever it might be. But the very rectitude of motive, which is requisite to fulfill the above spiritual precept, makes any abuse impossible. No one who truly loves God, and feels the call, will take advantage of the higher freedom that comes from an advanced understanding of spiritual law, in order to commit sin.
There is a final point in connection with morphine which must be stressed, lest at some future time the accusation be brought against our Leader, after all those who knew her have passed from our sight, that she contracted the morphine habit. The most serious evil in connection with this drug, lies in the fact that belief causes it to coincide with a humanly natural yearning of the human mind for sleep and forgetfulness, for an effortless escape from suffering. Thereby it sets a trap for the unwary, whereby a vicious habit becomes fastened on his thought. But the demonstration of our Leader precluded this possibility, since her motive contained no element of desiring the easy way out. She sought relief, only that she might resurrect her thought. If I did not know that our Leader’s occasional need of morphine never became a habit, the fact that her spiritually progressive thought never faltered, but forged on constantly to higher realms of spiritual understanding, would be enough to prove that no such evil effect darkened the last days of her triumphant mission on earth.
It is evident, that in the limited space given to the record of our Master’s life, whatever was included must be of vital importance in its import and teaching. Therefore, why was it reported, that before the crucifixion the Master said, “. . . not my will, but thine, be done,” and then that, while on the cross in his agony, he accepted the drug that was offered to him? He absolutely eschewed all dependence upon the human will, and then drank of the vinegar and hyssop, which he had refused when it was offered to him, before he was put on the cross. Was this incident not recorded, to assist the advancing pilgrim in realizing that, of two evils, the drug was far less than would have been a return to the human will? The drug had no effect upon the demonstration of our Master, whereas a return to the human will would have effectually removed him from the action of the divine will.
When man attains the true reflection of God, his whole life, under that divine inspiration, accords with a standard that can be recognized by all, as belonging to sonship with God. This fact, however, is not true of the human preparation for reflection, which is mainly contrary to mortal man’s ideals and his conception of good. The world stands in awe of the Master’s life, as it was illuminated by what he reflected from God, and the same thing is true of Mrs. Eddy’s experience. But both of these spiritual searchlights, separated from what they reflected of the divine light, would have presented mental states almost incomprehensible, except to a spiritually-trained analyst. The Master’s life, considered apart from his reflection of the power of God, was not humanly desirable. The Bible states that he was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Similarly, Mrs. Eddy’s life, when examined at those rare intervals, when she was apparently separated from divine inspiration, presented a phase which the loyal student would prefer to excuse or overlook. Nevertheless, the advanced metaphysician attaches great importance to those times when Mrs. Eddy was shorn of spiritual power, since they offer, as nothing else could, the opportunity to understand something of the mental attitude, or preparation, that best reflects the divine Mind, by showing a mental state which, divorced from the false support of mortal mind, was humanly weak and dependent. Thus, through weakness, was she made strong. This comprehension uncovers the vital necessity of rightly unfolding that portion of Mrs. Eddy’s life, that unthinking students might prefer to keep hidden. It proves, that an understanding of these phases of Mrs. Eddy’s experience is more important to the spiritual growth of the student, than would be a description of her fruition, which of itself has no practical value, unless it is accompanied by an unfoldment of the steps necessary to attain it.
Those persons, who feel that it would have been a greater demonstration for our Leader to have had no dark places in her life, no indication of mighty struggles with the powers of darkness, will do well to recall the story of the farmer who went to Ireland. The first thing he did, was to remove every stone from his field. Then the first cloudburst washed every bit of top soil away. So, before he could raise any crops, he found it necessary to put the boulders back, since they served as a definite binder.
The conclusion is, therefore, that our Leader functioned under spiritual law, and under spiritual law, trials and tribulations become important adjuncts and accessories to higher spiritual growth. So it becomes selfevident, that the motivation and guidance of her whole experience transcended the comprehension of the human mind. This reveals the impossibility of anyone gaining a true comprehension of her life, from any but a spiritual standpoint. From a human aspect, her life will always seem an enigma, and as deserving criticism at certain points. From the standpoint of spiritual perception, however, it unfolds into one consistent whole, a triumphant victory over the powers of darkness, in bringing to humanity the sacred message of Christian Science.