Prayer is effectual
Dedicated students of Christian Science know by experience that consistent strife to bring healing to human experience through prayer, acknowledging the ever-present love of God, is effectual. We may pray for ourselves, and sometimes we may even ask for the dedicated help of a fellow Christian Scientist, but even the most dedicated and experienced of students may still find themselves asking “Why am I not experiencing healing? I see and understand God intellectually, and I have prayed and demonstrated my way out of plenty of other difficulties. Why am I experiencing this resistance to healing?”
In the 17th Chapter of Luke it is related that Jesus’ disciples once were not successful in bringing a case of epileptic seizures to a halt, and they had to call on the Master to heal the suffering boy. In verses 19 and 20 we read that the disciples asked Jesus
“Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.”
“Unbelief” was the culprit. But is not “unbelief” simply the lack of belief? And is not the belief in God a trust in the one and only power which is responsible for the presence and existence of all that is? How then, could a lack of confidence in the one and only universal power bring about the prevention of the action of the one and only God-power? It does not, and it cannot! Sensual mortal evidence, however, claims that it does. So, what is going on? Is healing really being impeded, or is the human consciousness, deluded by its “unbelief”, blocking an awareness of the conscious reception of God’s uninterruptable harmony?
Unbelief is animal magnetism
The discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, refers to the appearance of such convincing “unbelief” as the disciples experienced as related in Matthew 17, in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Significant discussion on that topic may be found in a Chapter therein entitled “Animal Magnetism Unmasked”. As the term is used in Christian Science, animal magnetism describes the lie or deception of mental supposition which creates a conscious reign of negative deception in the human mind, and hence in conscious experience. This supposition is not actually substantial, for it is only the false mental perception of that which has no origin in omnipotent and omnipresent God, and therefore it is not. To consciously perceive that which is not requires being deceived, a convicted belief in what is actually a lie. In its formative stage, the negative experience is a false belief beheld by a consciousness which must also be supposed. A real and all inclusive consciousness which resides in the realm of Truth has not the ability to behold a lie, except to regard the lie as a lie. But this supposed consciousness is the very inversion of Truth. It beholds a lie as truth, supposing that to be, which in reality is not. In its advanced stage, the negative experience comes to life presented as a convincing material experience. But in its formative or in its advanced stage, the supposed consciousness which beholds the lie, which it takes as truth, has no foundation in fact, for it also must, logically, be entirely mentally supposed. Though the Bible does not use this modern terminology, the disciples who had such great difficulty with what the book of Matthew calls unbelief were dealing with the mental phenomenon which Christian Science has named animal magnetism. It was a phenomenon of the manifestation of unbelief which Jesus completely understood.
What is it that makes our mortal consciousness, our supposed consciousness which comprises the entire deception back of the material mortal experience, so real to us, even when we as students of Christian Science entertain a solid intellectual understanding of its invalid nature? It is the illegitimate force which Mrs. Eddy has named animal magnetism, the great supposed power of “unbelief”. Animal magnetism is comprised of nothing but the mistaken conviction that the supposed mortal consciousness is valid. It is the powerless, but falsely-perceived-powerful, enforcement of a lie. Because omnipotent and omnipresent God cannot be and is not the author of false conviction, and because the conviction is of supposition rather than of fact, then nothing which is not could possibly have valid authority or dominion over valid conscious experience. Its very rule is supposititious. As such, its authority is only suppositious. Animal magnetism is merely one big lying deceptive and powerless mind game.
Real experience is valid spiritual experience
Real experience is backed by validity. Christian Scientists know the omnipotence of Truth. The only power which has the ability to exist must logically be the power of that which is true, and hence which is. There certainly can be no valid power emanating from that which is not! Christian Science teaches us that we have therefore every right and all power to demonstrate full dominion over mere mental supposition, which attempts to enforce itself on the basis of animal magnetism, which is also known as common false human belief. We need only understand the false nature of supposition in order to be enabled and empowered to rise up in demonstrated dominion over evil.
The Christian Science Declaration of Independence
On page 106 of Science and Health, again from the Chapter “Animal Magnetism Unmasked” Mrs. Eddy writes,
“Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.”
Accordingly, when the human senses attempt to inform that healing is not taking place, or that some force of evil or obstinate force is blocking our view of perfection, then we know that we must stand on the side of Truth all the more firmly than we previously ever have, for we already know that Truth is the only victor. We need to rise up in honor of the Christian Science Declaration of Independence, rise up in revolution against error, rise up against mental tyranny, and all with the conviction of a Patriot of God assured of victory. To consciously win the war against animal magnetism comes to us as a human mental fight, but the victory inevitably can only be on the side of God.