Chapter One Hundred Twenty-four
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Mrs. Eddy Fearless Determination to be Led by God
If the student of Christian Science should feel disturbed at the repeated statement in this book that our Leader, at times, made mistakes, and hence, at the implication that the onward-marching pilgrim must do likewise, let him remember certain scientific facts. Mortal man is trained to trust in human wisdom, in his own intelligence, developed through experience and education. The demand of Christian Science is that the student relinquish all faith in the human mind, in human wisdom and intelligence, in order that he may be guided by the unerring wisdom of God. In fulfilling this demand of Christian Science, however, the student must have an intermediate experience, where he is cut off from human help and has not yet grasped the divine help. He refuses further to be guided by human means and yet, has not grasped the divine guidance. This necessary vestibule of experience might be called ‘The Bridge of Progressive Mistakes.’
This unfolds my meaning, when I refer to Mrs. Eddy as having made mistakes. Think of the humility of this great woman, who was willing to turn away from using any of the remedies which mortal mind offers for a lack of spirituality, and to make mistakes, rather than to utilize any human acumen or mortal methods in carrying on the Cause of Christian Science! She was willing to be a “fool for Christ’s sake” (I Cor. 4:10), or endure the criticism of being foolish, rather than to utilize the human mind, when, at times, the divine Mind seemed to be absent. If one should wonder why Mrs. Eddy seemed to sink to the bottom, when temporarily she lost her consciousness of God, let him remember that she had reached the place where she had no other life-preserver than her reflection of God, but it was enough!
It is human pride that would tempt a student of Christian Science to withdraw from this bridge of progressive mistakes, and again resort to human methods, lest he be criticized for making mistakes. Our Leader forged ahead without this fear of criticism. When some of her decisions proved to be faulty, because she had gained further spiritual light, she was just as ready to repudiate such decisions, as were others to criticize them. But never was she ashamed to have advanced erroneous decisions, because she knew that it is far better to make a mistake, in an honest attempt to be guided by God, than to turn back to human judgment, since only through the repudiation of human opinion and judgment, can one obtain the guidance of the divine Mind. Therefore, it is an axiom in Christian Science, that it is through progressive mistakes, resulting from a fearless determination to be led by God, that man finds God.