Mental Practice

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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         It is admitted that mortals think wickedly and act
         wickedly: it is beginning to be seen by thinkers, that
         mortals think also after a sickly fashion. In common
15    parlance, one person feels sick, another feels wicked. A
         third person knows that if he would remove this feeling
         in either case, in the one he must change his patient’s
         consciousness of dis-ease and suffering to a consciousness
         of ease and loss of suffering; while in the other he must
20    change the patient’s sense of sinning at ease to a sense of
         discomfort in sin and peace in goodness.

         This is Christian Science: that mortal mind makes
         sick, and immortal Mind makes well; that mortal mind
         makes sinners, while immortal Mind makes saints; that
25    a state of health is but a state of consciousness made mani-
         fest on the body, and vice versa; that while one person
         feels wickedly and acts wickedly, another knows that if
         he can change this evil sense and consciousness to a good
         sense, or conscious goodness, the fruits of goodness will
30    follow, and he has reformed the sinner.

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1      Now, demonstrate this rule, which obtains in every
         line of mental healing, and you will find that a good rule
         works one way, and a false rule the opposite way.

         Let us suppose that there is a sick person whom an-
5      other would heal mentally. The healer begins by mental
         argument. He mentally says, “You are well, and you
         know it;” and he supports this silent mental force by
         audible explanation, attestation, and precedent. His
         mental and oral arguments aim to refute the sick man’s
10    thoughts, words, and actions, in certain directions, and
         turn them into channels of Truth. He persists in this
         course until the patient’s mind yields, and the harmonious
         thought has the full control over this mind on the point
         at issue. The end is attained, and the patient says and
15    feels, “I am well, and I know it.”

         This mental practitioner has changed his patient’s
         consciousness from sickness to health. The patient’s
         mental state is now the diametrical opposite of what it
         was when the mental practitioner undertook to transform
20    it, and he is improved morally and physically.

         That this mental method has power and bears fruit,
         is patent both to the conscientious Christian Scientist and
         the observer. Both should understand with equal clear-
         ness, that if this mental process and power be reversed,
25    and people believe that a man is sick and knows it, and
         speak of him as being sick, put it into the minds of others
         that he is sick, publish it in the newspapers that he is
         failing, and persist in this action of mind over mind, it
         follows that he will believe that he is sick,—and Jesus
30    said it would be according to the woman’s belief; but if
         with the certainty of Science he knows that an error of
         belief has not the power of Truth, and cannot, does

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1      not, produce the slightest effect, it has no power over
         him. Thus a mental malpractitioner may lose his
         power to harm by a false mental argument; for it
         gives one opportunity to handle the error, and when
5      mastering it one gains in the rules of metaphysics, and
         thereby learns more of its divine Principle. Error pro-
         duces physical sufferings, and these sufferings show
         the fundamental Principle of Christian Science; namely,
         that error and sickness are one, and Truth is their
10    remedy.

         The evil-doer can do little at removing the effect of sin
         on himself, unless he believes that sin has produced the
         effect and knows he is a sinner: or, knowing that he is a
         sinner, if he denies it, the good effect is lost. Either of
15    these states of mind will stultify the power to heal men-
         tally. This accounts for many helpless mental practi-
         tioners and mysterious diseases.

         Again: If error is the cause of disease, Truth being
         the cure, denial of this fact in one instance and
20    acknowledgment of it in another saps one’s under-
         standing of the Science of Mind-healing, Such denial
         dethrones demonstration, baffles the student of Mind-
         healing, and divorces his work from Science. Such de-
         nial also contradicts the doctrine that we must mentally
25    struggle against both evil and disease, and is like saying
         that five times ten are fifty while ten times five are not
         fifty; as if the multiplication of the same two numbers
         would not yield the same product whichever might serve
         as the multiplicand.

30    Who would tell another of a crime that he himself is
         committing, or call public attention to that crime? The
         belief in evil and in the process of evil, holds the issues

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1      of death to the evil-doer. It takes away a man’s proper
         sense of good, and gives him a false sense of both evil
         and good. It inflames envy, passion, evil-speaking, and
         strife. It reverses Christian Science in all things. It
5      causes the victim to believe that he is advancing while
         injuring himself and others. This state of false conscious-
         ness in many cases causes the victim great physical suffering;
         and conviction of his wrong state of feeling reforms
         him, and so heals him: or, failing of conviction and re-
10    form, he becomes morally paralyzed—in other words,
         a moral idiot.

         In this state of misled consciousness, one is ready to
         listen complacently to audible falsehoods that once he
         would have resisted and loathed; and this, because the
15    false seems true. The malicious mental argument and
         its action on the mind of the perpetrator, is fatal, morally
         and physically. From the effects of mental malpractice
         the subject scarcely awakes in time, and must suffer its
         full penalty after death. This sin against divine Science
20    is cancelled only through human agony: the measure it
         has meted must be remeasured to it.

         The crimes committed under this new régime of mind-
         power, when brought to light, will make stout hearts quail.
         Its mystery protects it now, for it is not yet known. Error
25    is more abstract than Truth. Even the healing Principle,
         whose power seems inexplicable, is not so obscure; for
         this is the power of God, and good should seem more
         natural than evil.

         I shall not forget the cost of investigating, for this age,
30    the methods and power of error. While the ways, means,
         and potency of Truth had flowed into my consciousness
         as easily as dawns the morning light and shadows flee,

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1      the metaphysical mystery of error—its hidden paths,
         purpose, and fruits—at first defied me. I was say-
         ing all the time, “Come not thou into the secret”—
         but at length took up the research according to God’s
5      command.

         Streams which purify, necessarily have pure fountains;
         while impure streams flow from corrupt sources. Here,
         divine light, logic, and revelation coincide.

         Science proves, beyond cavil, that the tree is known
10    by its fruit; that mind reaches its own ideal, and cannot
         be separated from it. I respect that moral sense which
         is sufficiently strong to discern what it believes, and to say,
         if it must, “I discredit Mind with having the power to
         heal.” This individual disbelieves in Mind-healing, and
15    is consistent. But, alas! for the mistake of believing in
         mental healing, claiming full faith in the divine Principle,
         and saying, “I am a Christian Scientist,” while doing
         unto others what we would resist to the hilt if done unto

20    May divine Love so permeate the affections of all those
         who have named the name of Christ in its fullest sense,
         that no counteracting influence can hinder their growth
         or taint their examples.

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Love is the liberator.