Chapter 5 — Animal Magnetism Unmasked | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 5 — Animal Magnetism Unmasked

From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by


Page 100


For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, forni-
cations, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which
defile a man. — JESUS.


       Earliest investigations

1      MESMERISM or animal magnetism was first brought
         into notice by Mesmer in Germany in 1775. Ac-
3      cording to the American Cyclopaedia, he regarded this
         so-called force, which he said could be ex-
         erted by one living organism over another, as
6      a means of alleviating disease. His propositions were
         as follows :
         There exists a mutual influence between the celestial
9      bodies, the earth, and animated things. Animal bodies
         are susceptible to the influence of this agent, disseminat-
         ing itself through the substance of the nerves.”
12    In 1784, the French government ordered the medical
         faculty of Paris to investigate Mesmer’s theory and to
         report upon it. Under this order a commission was
15    appointed, and Benjamin Franklin was one of the com-
         missioners. This commission reported to the govern-
         ment as follows:
18    “In regard to the existence and utility of animal mag-
         netism, we have come to the unanimous conclusions that
         there is no proof of the existence of the animal magnetic


Page 101


1      fluid; that the violent effects, which are observed in
         the public practice of magnetism, are due to manipula-
3      tions, or to the excitement of the imagination and the
         impressions made upon the senses; and that there is one
         more fact to be recorded in the history of the errors of
6      the human mind, and an important experiment upon
         the power of the imagination.”

       Clairvoyance, magnetism

         In 1837, a committee of nine persons was appointed,
9      among whom were Roux, Bouillaud, and Clo-
         quet, which tested during several sessions the
         phenomena exhibited by a reputed clairvoyant. Their
12    report stated the results as follows:
         The facts which had been promised by Monsieur
         Berna [the magnetizer] as conclusive, and as adapted to
15    throw light on physiological and therapeutical questions,
         are certainly not conclusive in favor of the doctrine of
         animal magnetism, and have nothing in common with
18    either physiology or therapeutics.”
         This report was adopted by the Royal Academy of
         Medicine in Paris.

       Personal conclusions

21    The author’s own observations of the workings of
         animal magnetism convince her that it is not
         remedial agent, and that its effects upon
24    those who practise it, and upon their subjects who do
         not resist it, lead to moral and to physical death.
         If animal magnetism seems to alleviate or to cure dis-
27    ease, this appearance is deceptive, since error cannot
         remove the effects of error. Discomfort under error is
         preferable to comfort. In no instance is the effect of
30    animal magnetism, recently called hypnotism, other
         than the effect of illusion. Any seeming benefit derived
         from it is proportional to one’s faith in esoteric magic.


Page 102


         Mere negation

1      Animal magnetism has no scientific foundation, for
         God governs all that is real, harmonious, and eternal, and
3      His power is neither animal nor human. Its
         basis being a belief and this belief animal, in
         Science animal magnetism, mesmerism, or hypnotism is
6      a mere negation, possessing neither intelligence, power,
         nor reality, and in sense it is an unreal concept of the so-
         called mortal mind.
9      There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The
         pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-
         embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind.
12    The planets have no more power over man than over
         his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man,
         reflecting God’s power, has dominion over all the earth
15    and its hosts.

       Hidden agents

         The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappear-
         ing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front.
18    The looms of crime, hidden in the dark re-
         cesses of mortal thought, are every hour weav-
         ing webs more complicated and subtle. So secret are the
21    present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare
         the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on
         the subject which the criminal desires. The following
24    is an extract from the Boston Herald:
         Mesmerism is a problem not lending itself to an easy
         explanation and development. It implies the exercise
27    of despotic control, and is much more likely to be abused
         by its possessor, than otherwise employed, for the in-
         dividual or society.”

       Mental despotism

30    Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so-
         called despotism is but a phase of nothingness. Christian
         Science despoils the kingdom of evil, and pre-eminently


Page 103


1      promotes affection and virtue in families and therefore
         in the community. The Apostle Paul refers to the
3      personification of evil as “the god of this
         world,” and further defines it as dishonesty
         and craftiness. Sin was the Assyrian moon-god.

       Liberation of mental powers

6      The destruction of the claims of mortal mind through
         Science, by which man can escape from sin
         and mortality, blesses the whole human fam-
9      ily. As in the beginning, however, this libera-
         tion does not scientifically show itself in a knowledge of
         both good and evil, for the latter is unreal.
12    On the other hand, Mind-science is wholly separate
         from any half-way impertinent knowledge, because Mind-
         science is of God and demonstrates the divine Principle,
15    working out the purposes of good only. The maximum
         of good is the infinite God and His idea, the All-in-all.
         Evil is a suppositional lie.

       The genus of error

18    As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or
         hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind.
         It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and
21    is both evil and good; that evil is as real as
         good and more powerful. This belief has not one qual-
         ity of Truth. It is either ignorant or malicious. The
24    malicious form of hypnotism ultimates in moral idiocy.
         The truths of immortal Mind sustain man, and they anni-
         hilate the fables of mortal mind, whose flimsy and gaudy
27    pretensions, like silly moths, singe their own wings and
         fall into dust.
         Thought-transference
         In reality there is no mortal mind, and conse-
30    quently no transference of mortal thought
         and will-power. Life and being are of
         God. In Christian Science, man can do no harm, for


Page 104


1      scientific thoughts are true thoughts, passing from God
         to man.
3      When Christian Science and animal magnetism are
         both comprehended, as they will be at no distant date,
         it will be seen why the author of this book has been
6      so unjustly persecuted and belied by wolves in sheep’s
         clothing.
         Agassiz, the celebrated naturalist and author, has
9      wisely said: “Every great scientific truth goes through
         three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible.
         Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly,
12    they say they have always believed it.”

       Perfection of divine government

         Christian Science goes to the bottom of mental action,
         and reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of
15    all divine action, as the emanation of divine
         Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the
         opposite so-called action, — evil, occultism,
18    necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism.

       Adulteration of Truth

         The medicine of Science is divine Mind; and dishonesty,
         sensuality, falsehood, revenge, malice, are animal pro-
21    pensities and by no means the mental quali-
         ties which heal the sick. The hypnotizer
         employs one error to destroy another. If he heals sick-
24    ness through a belief, and a belief originally caused the
         sickness, it is a case of the greater error overcoming the
         lesser. This greater error thereafter occupies the ground,
27    leaving the case worse than before it was grasped by the
         stronger error.

       Motives considered

         Our courts recognize evidence to prove the motive as
30    well as the commission of a crime. Is it not
         clear that the human mind must move the
         body to a wicked act? Is not mortal mind the mur-


Page 105


1      derer? The hands, without mortal mind to direct them,
         could not commit a murder.

       Mental crimes

3      Courts and juries judge and sentence mortals in order
         to restrain crime, to prevent deeds of violence or to punish
         them. To say that these tribunals have no
6      jurisdiction over the carnal or mortal mind,
         would be to contradict precedent and to admit that the
         power of human law is restricted to matter, while mortal
9      mind, evil, which is the real outlaw, defies justice and is
         recommended to mercy. Can matter commit a crime?
         Can matter be punished? Can you separate the men-
12    tality from the body over which courts hold jurisdiction?
         Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case;
         and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts rea-
15    sonably pass sentence, according to the motive.

       Important decision

         When our laws eventually take cognizance of mental
         crime and no longer apply legal rulings wholly to physical
18    offences, these words of Judge Parmenter of
         Boston will become historic: “I see no reason
         why metaphysics is not as important to medicine as to
21    mechanics or mathematics.”

       Evil let loose

         Whoever uses his developed mental powers like an es-
         caped felon to commit fresh atrocities as opportunity oc-
24    curs is never safe. God will arrest him. Di-
         vine justice will manacle him. His sins will
         be millstones about his neck, weighing him down to the
27    depths of ignominy and death. The aggravation of er-
         ror foretells its doom, and confirms the ancient axiom:
         Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

       The misuse of mental power

30    The distance from ordinary medical prac-
         tice to Christian Science is full many a league
         in the line of light; but to go in healing from the use of


Page 106


1      inanimate drugs to the criminal misuse of human will-
         power, is to drop from the platform of common manhood
3      into the very mire of iniquity, to work against the free
         course of honesty and justice, and to push vainly against
         the current running heavenward.
         Proper self-government
6      Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration
         of Independence. God has endowed man with inalien-
         able rights, among which are self-government,
9      reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-
         governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by
         his Maker, divine Truth and Love.
12    Man’s rights are invaded when the divine order is in-
         terfered with, and the mental trespasser incurs the divine
         penalty due this crime.

       Right methods

15    Let this age, which sits in judgment on Christian
         Science, sanction only such methods as are demonstrable
         in Truth and known by their fruit, and classify
18    all others as did St. Paul in his great epistle
         to the Galatians, when he wrote as follows:
         Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
21    these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
         idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,
         strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness,
24    revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before,
         as I have also told you in time past, that they which do
         such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But
27    the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
         gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against
         such there is no law.”




Print this page


Share via email