Chapter One Hundred Twenty-two
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Understanding the Purpose of Pleasant View
At one time, Mrs. Eddy was called upon to write an article for the Christian Register. The member of the household responsible for forwarding the manuscript, reckoned that it would be more certain to reach the editor, if the letter was registered. Evidently the demonstration, which Mrs. Eddy always insisted should accompany all articles sent through the mail, was lacking, for the editor happened to be out of town, and the letter was held for his signature. When he returned, it was too late. Thus the world was deprived of the blessing contained in our Leader’s inspiring message. I mention this incident, because it illustrates, how insistent she was, that every point in her experience be the result of demonstration, and because it also shows the futility of that sense of human trust that moves without demonstration, and hence, interferes with God’s plans, unless handled and obliterated at its inception.
Only a human sense would maintain that our Leader was critical and unduly fussy. If I never accomplished more by living at Pleasant View, I would consider it worth while to be able to testify to posterity, through my own personal acquaintance with Mrs. Eddy, that, no matter what her mental state might be at any time, she never criticized, or found fault with a student for any reason, other than a failure to measure up to the standard that she established for herself and for her household, which was that the basis of all action must be scientific right thinking. She had gained the pearl of great price, and her demonstration in her home represented her effort to provide the proper setting for this jewel, in order to protect it and guard it against loss.
When I make the statement, that at times the students failed to comprehend certain things connected with our Leader in her home, it must not be supposed that I intend to criticize the students, or even to imply that such a comprehension was a possibility at that period, from their point of spiritual development. To gain this understanding would require the perspective of time and distance, as well as a realization of the mental influences at work, and of the necessity and importance of giving up all preconceived conceptions. Without this further vision, no student would awaken to see that there was an unperceived problem at Pleasant View, in connection with the Leader; one that needed prayer and study, until spiritual logic and perception should unfold it as a vital and necessary corroboration of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, as given in her published writings.
Mrs. Eddy’s own insight into mortal mind, and her consequent distress, if her students failed to comprehend, was expressed by her as follows: The Babylonish woman in the Apocalypse has thrown wormwood into the waters to turn trusting thoughts to hatred against me, the idea.”
There exist jewels, that because of being stolen from some sacred spot centuries ago, carry a curse to this day to anyone who owns them. Such a curse operates through superstitious belief. The Babylonish woman represents the primitive curse of evil, aimed against spirituality, established in mortal thought thousands of years ago. The spiritual flow from God was cursed. Therefore, when Mrs. Eddy began to gain a spiritual influx from God, she felt this unconscious hatred of malice, and she called upon her students to help her to meet it.
Mrs. Eddy discovered, that every mortal has as his heritage an unconscious hatred of Truth. No healing can ever be done, unless this underlying hatred is handled and destroyed.
Christian Scientists rejoice when they feel this hatred and persecution, because it is positive proof that they are attaining true spirituality. To feel this opposition, is a sign of spiritual greatness, but it is a hatred that must be overthrown.
The deduction from this unfoldment is, that if Christian Science ever seems to be at peace with the world, either it is because the genuine spirituality has gone out of the movement as a whole, or else because Christian Scientists have faithfully made the metaphysical demonstration to overcome this human opposition.