Why do we treat error as an entity, even when eliminating it?

The age-old question I have been asking myself as a Christian Scientist, and which many newcomers to the subject may also be asking themselves is this:  If error is what its name says it is, namely error, then why do we talk about it in relative terms, as an entity?  We hear it often said, and we often read in articles about Christian Science that “error” is trying to trick us – that “error” is always looking for ways to get into our head, that “error” would rule our human life.  I asked myself for so long, “If this is true, then what is the supposed entity of this error?  If it is indeed the powerless nothing of which we speak, why do we address it as if it were something with a power to do what it supposedly threatens to do, and which we claim it cannot?”  Only many years of study and demonstration of the practice of Christian Science has revealed to me the meaning of the answer to these questions.  I had been given this answer but never understood it fully.  Here is some insight, written with the hope of presenting an understandable answer to these questions to those who continue to be confused by this sometimes seeming self-contradiction.

The entity of error is nothingness.  Why does Christian Science address error as if it were something?  When we do so, we speak of it in relative human terms.  Error is mesmerism, hypnotism, animal magnetism.  And vice-versa, animal magnetism is erroneous, mesmerism is erroneous, hypnotism is erroneous.

Earlier in my studies of Christian Science I had thought of animal magnetism as an imagined force to be dealt with in the case of particularly stubborn discords.  As my understanding solidified, it became apparent that the THE  ONE BASIC animal magnetic claim held by human beings is the hypnotic, mesmeric belief that man is a set of finite mortal human beings, each thinking with a God-granted and independent mind.  Christian Science is the first form of thought ever to have come along since the time of Christ Jesus to challenge this massive mental trick played upon mankind, and to build its efficacy upon maintaining the understanding of the mental inseparability between God as cause and man as His effect.  The one ever recurring aggressive mental suggestion is this giant lying claim of God-granted humanity.  Christian Science reveals the worldly unpopular truth that man is “spiritual and perfect” and that  “he is not physique”, as the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker  Eddy, explains in her answer to the question  “What is man?” on page 475 of Science and Health with Key to The Scriptures”.

So, the talk about error “wanting” to get in to door of human thought and “trying” to take possession of our being,  refers only to the human and false animal magnetic conviction that man possesses individual and separated lives created by, but somehow lived separately from, God.  So deep is our false recognition of, and respect for, the carnal man’s verity that we refer to it in relative self identifying terms.  We are so accustomed to thinking of ourselves in this false light that our own language has been adapted to reflect the acceptance of error’s entity.  If we would defeat the subtle lies of mortality, we must take care to remember the depth of the declaration that error is nothing – no thing – whenever it is referred to as “wanting” to do something or “trying” to get into our thought.  To deal with error on its grandest scale is to deal with not just a casual or occasional misunderstanding.  To deal with what we call error is to actually grapple with the subtle deep seated mental misrepresentation of all that we actually are, and to replace that misrepresentation, falsely molded in human thought, with the Truth of man’s inseparability from God as His spiritual image and likeness.  It is only the unthinking and completely mesmeric conviction of mortality which seems to “try” to dominate our being.  Pure Christian Science is radical.  The very representation of life as human rather than as divine is all that comprises the “aggressive mental suggestion” against which Mrs. Eddy tells us we must defend ourselves daily in the By-Law entitled ‘Alertness to Duty” in the Church Manual”.  This explains why Christian Science is so much more than an “alternative” health system, or a means to finding bodily or mental health in the human life.

Hence the importance of that Bible Lesson-Sermon subject called “Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”.  Sometime in the late 19th century, hypnotism and animal magnetism came on the human scene claiming to be curative agents.  They even remain on the medical scene today as commonly used tools in the realm of what is called “alternative” treatment.  Therapeutic hypnotism, well intended and highly regarded by its virtue motivated proponents, dresses in the costume of human goodness donned by the universal false belief in the mortality of existence.  Hypnotism would, with what it sincerely believes to be the best of intentions, misguided by its own self-deception, accomplish good works.  It is a well-meaning counterfeit of God’s power, whose power is the only power that can possibly exist in its own infinite realm of ALL.  Mrs. Eddy herself dabbled in the investigation of the claims of hypnotic power to heal several years before her discovery of Christian Science.  Then several years later she strongly denounced its use.

Let us not be confused by the use of relative language which must be used in a relative fashion to address mortal mind and error as issues whose nothingness, namely animal magnetism, mesmerism, hypnitism,  must be demonstrated.

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2 comments on “Why do we treat error as an entity, even when eliminating it?

  1. Everything of the mind of people, and of doing anything with the mind involves hypnotism, as hypnotism is a great tool of the mind. A tool may be used properly or used improperly. A hammer may build or it may destroy. What CS says about hypnotism I don’t believe is completely correct.

    • With all due respect, your conclusions are based upon an incomplete understanding of Christian Science. Christian Science begins from a completely different perspective than does the world, You make your conclusions about mind and hypnotism from a mental basis unrelated to and contrary to the Christian Science basis, so it is not surprising that you would conclude that the followers of Christian Science are mistaken. To understand its propositions, you must not only understand this, but you must also maintain a state of mind open to the honest consideration of this platform of understanding. Keep in mind that from a human belief perspective, that is, from a relative perspective unrelated to the absolute truths of God, your present conclusions feel correct to you. and to many others, and you and they have every right as a human being to entertain them.
      Hypnotism is a tool of the treatment of the human mind. Christian Science does not at all directly treat the human mind, and it eschews any involvement in its manipulation. All that Christian Science has to do with the human mind is the enabling of mental action which lifts man’s supposed human consciousness out of the influence of powers falsely claiming to operate independently of God, and into the realization of man’s actual consciousness as the perfect image and likeness of a perfect God. This action transforms the human mind into a more divine state without operating in or on the human mind.
      Beginning at the correct starting point of divine Science , no other conclusions can be made about consciousness and existence than those drawn by Christian Science. This is because Christian Science is not another theory about existence. Once one gets past human reluctance and arguments about its origin, it will be seen as the answer to every question about existence. Until one is willing to actually start at the spiritual starting point, and stay there regardless of human observations which argue to the contrary, false and relative conclusions will continue to be believed as truth. Humans, conditioned to that which they have been educated, are seldom willing to begin with and to stay with the foundational premise that God, good, is ALL that exists. The educated contradictory evidence of the human senses disagrees with the logic of divine Science, and tends to overwhelm the human thought which would accept Christian Science. Because of the apparent contradictions, Christian Science is thus labeled by many as illogical. So, let us begin at the foundation, and you can draw your own conclusions from the analysis:
      The remarkable demonstrations of those who have correctly understood and applied Christian Science over the past 140 years speak in stark contradiction to your assertion, as hypnotism has nothing whatsoever to do with the workings of Christian Science. Those who fail to comprehend Christian Science tend to put it into the same category as systems of psychological treatment which deal with the beliefs of the human mind. Such systems assert that consciousness is an element of the human mind. Christian Science agrees only in a very limited sense. From the perspective of human life, this seems to be a reasonable assertion. But to the Christian Scientist, life deeply understood is not human, but is divine. Hence, real consciousness is not human, but is divine. What we call human consciousness is delusive. From the divine perspective, the assertion that consciousness is an element of the human mind is not at all reasonable. In the human world of consciousness, we seem to be dealing with both sides of the issue, human and divine. Psychologically based systems of healing deal only with human mind elements of consciousness, and only begin to scrape the surface of what is really going on in the higher divine level of consciousness, of which the ignorant human mind is so often unaware. A clear and correct understanding of divine Science, that is, Science at the level of God, not at the level of human thought, begins with the admission of the omnipotence of God, and of man’s existence as His image and likeness, acting in direct accord only with the Mind of God. God, by definition, is goodness, and is fixed Principle, in fact is the only Principle that exists. Stay with this assertion if you would follow the concluding logic.
      Hypnotism involves belief and conviction, independent of goodness. This is divinely impossible. Belief and conviction have nothing to do with that which absolutely is (God, good) or with what appears in divine consciousness (the real mind of man, God’s image). God, goodness simply is. Because God is infinite, His supposed opposites simply are not. Whatever we believe about God, or about any thing at all, does make it so, and cannot change what God truly is, or what God truly manifests as man or creation. Humans, however, look at God and at consciousness through a lens of belief. They are falsely convinced that what human consciousness reports to them is always truth. But, the real consciousness is divine and perfect. In that sense, the state of consciously being a human being is hypnotism itself !! Christian Science then, correctly understood, does not and cannot deal with experience on the level of consciousness which comes to mind through human belief. Christian Science goes to the highest sense of consciousness which excludes all sense of belief in the human sense, whether it be a belief in good, or a belief in evil. The awareness of the absolute presence of goodness precludes any need to believe in a human sense, for in this awareness there is no more opposition, but only the convicted assurance of God’s omnipresence.
      Hypnotism is the power of conviction of blind belief. Such belief may be a belief in good, or a belief in evil. As you pointed out, hypnotism, to the human senses, may appear to do good when the power of belief and conviction is oriented towards goodness. The result is that human experience gravitates towards that belief in goodness. But belief is never reality and is by nature always changeable. This is the supposed goodness in hypnotism which you propose.
      But man is not truly benefited thus. The real and divine experience remains untouched and unrealized in this process. So-called human healing through the action of hypnotism does not improve the human consciousness by bringing awareness to a higher level. It simply brings experience into a new and still false belief of a condition of well-being, whose strength is not absolute or in God, bit whose strength lies only in temporary conviction and belief. Take away the conviction and belief, and human experience consciousness remains susceptible to whatever form of belief its consciousness accepts. Hypnotism does not awaken or arouse the sufferer into a better or more divine view if himself, but simply changes what might be called his waking nightmare into a better waking dream. Even in the case of its application to bring healing, the sufferer is unwittingly brought into a worse mental condition than he was before, subject to the manifestations whatever beliefs he happens to entertain. Christian Science, on the other hand, releases the human mind from this mental despotism, and reveals man’s natural and unimpeachable allegiance to the perfect Mind and manifestation of God.
      Thank you for the comment, and for another opportunity to think this out and affirm the absolute logic of divine Science as revealed in the study and application of Christian Science.

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