The word “science” in Christian science was so revolutionary in its day it inspired many imitators Scott of Skeptic Meditations brings up one of my favorite cases of such flattery, Paramahansa Yogananda. Many are they who use the term “science” casually as a marketing tool to sell all sorts of New Age spirituality. In contrast below Lawrence Doyle presents that quantum physics is playing catch up to Christian Science. He calls quantum physicists the “reluctant metaphysicians”.
Scientific Healing Affirmations, a Booklet
My favorite example of a casual use of the term science is Yogananda’s guidebook book “Scientific Healing Affirmations”. There are hundreds of other metaphysics science titles particularly post 1875. What I liked best in Yogananda’s book was the concept of instantaneous healing, an idea put forth by Eddy decades earlier.
Science is a common word. When Mary Baker Eddy declared it’s “time for thinkers”, well, is there any other answer for the spiritual seeker? Personally, I’ve had many direct divine experiences that are outside of all reason. Yet such experiences leave me to ever ponder the nature of reality through all my life. There must be a reason, some purpose to life and a truth. I never expected to be a scientist. I’m no intellectual. Common sense plus the burden of a New England Conscience.
Science claims can be based on any study or two of even twisted and manipulated statistics. For Yogananda, I don’t think anyone bothered. I’ll ask Scott. Correct me if I’m wrong! But Eddy’s method was science, did demand proofs, and proofs came in the form of extraordinary recorded healings. So much so that the science was used in the great wars, WWI, WWII and more. In her day, the Mayo brothers of the Mayo Clinic sent cases to Eddy’s practitioners.
My interest as an RN and healer is to look at the cause of the trend of using the word “science” to sell metaphysics and junk medicine. If you check the dates you’ll find a surge in the trend started after 1875. The was in response to compete with the overwhelming popularity wave of a new healing science called Christian Science.
Christian Science, from its inception in 1875 to about 1925 was the fastest growing religion in America. And it was as a healing profession grounded in science. This threatened other sects of doctors and such business interests as patent drugs. Christian Science was such a revolutionary concept, declaring that ultimate reality IS ALL GOOD, free of discord and disease, that the movement attracted hundreds of thousands of men and women from all quarters of society including other Christian denominations, businessmen, women, doctors, and even Jews were particularly attracted to this method which applied intellectual methods of reason to debate and extend this spiritual understanding that clearly defines reality according the the scriptures.
Dr. Laurance Doyle is a quantum physics scientist at SETI. SETI was featured in the movie “Contact” (one of my favorite movies). SETI is the official government institute searching for extraterrestrial life. Mr. Doyle discusses physics that support the core concepts set forth by Mrs. Eddy in Christian Science decades ahead of her time. See here that Mrs. Eddy is planted firmly on his list of founding scientists in physics.
This science of God comes at a time where so many people fear for our planet and survival. If science is truth, and if all truly is mental, what more need we do then attune our perspective, abide in harmony and love. Here’s a great Doyle talk about Divine Science.
Long before there was AA and its spiritual predecessor The Oxford Group, there was a forerunner, Christian Science. The early pioneers of AA and Al-Anon found God. The early AA’s gathered in homes and studied the Bible. They got sober using biblical principles. “I got religion,” said Ebby to Bill Wilson.
AA and Al-anon are now a mix of applied psychology and a generic higher power thinking. The task for recovery is to engage your higher power, to hand it over daily and pray only for His will. In Al-anon we pray daily for conscious contact with God. In meetings pray the short Serenity Prayer and sometimes the Lord’s Prayer. Beyond this there’s no technology for prayer in Al-anon groups.
Prayer is a lost art. Prayer is a pro-active tool for recovery. Prayer in Christian Science is simple. Christian Science ideas on prayer can be applied in Al-anon. Taking action through prayer counters feeling powerless. It counters the notion that there’s nothing you can can do for “the alcoholic”.
Christian Science is about the healing presence of Truth. It’s about a reality that the scriptures teach that’s all God and all Good. Human life doesn’t seem that way because we rely on our finite and fallible mortal senses for data. Einstein said “Logic gets you from A to B and imagination gets you to infinity.”
Science recognizes that our thoughts impact people and events even from a distance. If you feel hopeless or powerless, like nothing you can do will change anything, an action you can take is elevate the mental atmosphere through prayer. You do it done by thinking highly positive thoughts about the other person.
Here’s how I pray for an alcoholic in my life. On page 475 of “Science and Health” by Mary Baker Eddy is a definition of Man. I pray this idea as a healing formula. I use it like a mental acupuncture needle. I send my thought into the Universe. Here’s how to do it. Write out the definition. Substitute your loved one’s name for the word man. I used a made up name in the example below.
Substitute the personal name in only in as many places that sound right so the meaning stays fluent. Add the word God, or Higher Power, in the beginning and it becomes prayerful. That’s how God is worked into the Serenity Prayer. The proclamation. Dear God, makes it a prayer.
Any person we pray for is beyond identity of a personal name. But since we think of our loved ones by their name it’s right to address then in prayer by name.
The definition of Man formula counters any negative model or notion that God is limited or that His creation, your loved one, is terminally bound by a forever mortal illness. Prayer activates positive energy that destructs malicious labels and set up in the mental field.
(God grant me the wisdom to know:) “MAN: Angela is not matter; she is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The scriptures inform us that Angela is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Angela is spiritual and perfect; and because she is spiritual and perfect, she must be so understood in Christian Science. Angela is idea, the image of Love; she is not physique. She is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness, the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which Angela is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of her own, but reflects spiritually all things that belong to her Maker.
And God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Angela is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real Angela cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom Angela is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God’s man. Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals. They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that Angela begins in dust or as material embryo. In divine Science, God and the real Angela are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.
Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed. Error will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and intelligence are in matter, and that matter is in Man. God is the Principle of Angela and Angela is the idea of God. Hence Angela is not mortal nor material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God, will appear as the only eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may be subsequently regained, They were from the beginning of mortal history “conceived in sin and brought forth in inequity.” Mortality is finally swallowed up in immortality. Sin, sickness, and death must disappear to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
Learn this, O mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside all material selfhood. Remember that the scriptures say of mortal man: “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower in the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real Angela, showing that Angela in God’s image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. This Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporal senses, Angela appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals Angela as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter’s highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be Angela, — the genuine and perfect Angela, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.
Here’s a video I really enjoyed about the Mary Baker Eddy Library.
Mary B. Eddy’s is the discoverer and founder of Christian Science. Her brand is a unique Christianity that reinstates first century primitive Christianity and its lost art of healing. Because of this, its compatible with much of the Nag Hammadi and Gnostic Texts. Eddy’s teachings about what Jesus was really doing, what he was really saying, make 1st century primitive Christianity a viable method for healers.
The Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts were discovered in 1945, the same year we exploded the first atomic bomb. Because also I write about WW2 Love Letters I find this timing intriguing. This 1945 polarity of of Light (the amazing archeological find of 1st century Christian gospels) in the face of such darkness (the atomic bomb) hits home.
But there were earlier finds. In Eddy’s day in 1904 a book called “The Lost Sayings of Jesus” was published. It contained text from an archeological discovery in Egypt that happened in 1897. The find of “The Oxyrhynchus Papryi”. They are part of what we call The Gospel of Thomas. Part of the text states “These are the (wonderful?) words which Jesus the living (Lord) spake to…and Thomas, and he called unto (them), Every one that harkens to these words shall never take of death.”
Ok, so the idea of to “never taste of death”? Who but Mary Eddy revealed Christian teachings that wholly harmonize with this idea? The point is Mary was thrilled then. And we can be even more thrilled today as we compare her teachings to the other uncovered texts such as the Dead sea Scrolls, Gnostic Gospels and even the very fun modern discovery published in 1914 called “The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text That Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene.”
Below is a link to an article that explains that Mary Baker eddy was thrilled to be able to read actual 1st century writings. It states: “To give just a little context for what she knew, in 1904, the New Sayings of Jesus, containing part of the Gospel of Thomas was published. Just a few months later, the Christian Science Sentinel (May 13, 1905) published a quote from the Boston Transcript, explaining the importance of the discovery of the ancient text. According to some of Mrs. Eddy’s private correspondence to her friends, she was quite taken with the new book, evidenced by sending six copies to friends and encouragement of others to read it. Her enthusiasm for new discoveries in early Christianity fits with her intense and wide-ranging interest in the scriptures.”
Source: 218. A close encounter with early (‘primitive’) Christianity / Christian Science
I recently met a woman on a long drive down the Pacific coast. We got to talking about spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy, “Science of Mind”. She goes to the Church of Religious Science. She loves it. “Who founded your church?” I asked because I didn’t know. She answered, “A group of people. Ernest Holmes and Mary Baker Eddy were working together.”
Ernest Holmes’s “Science of Mind” on Vinyl
I thought to myself. I tactfully shared that this idea of history wasn’t possible. Mary Baker Eddy’s organization is Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy predates Ernest Holmes by decades. She published “Science and Health” in 1875. He first published in 1926, a half century later. They never worked together.
She was unmoved and told me to check out Ernest Holmes.
On her suggestion I bought Ernest Holmes’s major work, “Science of Mind”, a first ed. A half century before Holmes, it was Mary Baker Eddy who first coined such popular phrases as “Science of Mind” “Science of Man” “Science of Being” and “Mind over Matter”.
One difference between these two sciences — “Religious Science” and “Christian Science” is that CS recognizes that all reality exists as mental thought only. This reality is all one God Mind (Father-Mother). Man is His image, perfect and individual. The true reality of man, in CS, is outside of anything that’s limited or finite including daily mortal experience which in CS is considered the Adam-dream. CS regards that all matter is false, false testimony by finite senses, an error and nonexistent.
In contrast, Religious Science as per Holmes recognizes that matter is of Spirit, containing spirit. Matter is real in Religious Science and we experience God with our finite senses. In CS, God, is perceived only through spiritual sense quickened as we evolve into spiritual understanding.
CS teaches that mortal mind thoughts, though unreal, do affect mortal experience. The call in CS is to cultivate human thought to increasingly reflect God, good. This then unfolds our true nature as a spiritual reality. In CS reality is composed of one Divine Mind. Man is the individual idea, a reflection of his Maker. Though we live and have our being in Divine reality, as mortals we experience a dream that seems to be another reality, an opposite to truth which is error. Error is but to demonstrate that God and his perfected ideal man, Christ or Truth, destroys all that is false, sin, suffering, sickness, and death. Suffering yields limit to the infinite, a purification process.
In CS you heal by evolving to a reality that’s wholely spiritual and outside matter. And it’s done here and now. Quantum physics is catching up to the ideas put forth by Mary Baker Eddy decades before.
God expression in CS is a trinity explained as Life, Love, and Truth. Christ is the embodiment Truth in man the perfect. Jesus in CS is the original scientist who proved to all mankind that Divine Truth lifts the veil of limited perspective, matter. To see the truth is to know the sick are well and the dead live.
CS is a science because it it uses the scientific process and demands for proofs to be demonstrated.
CS, true CS, is open-minded in that it loves all good whatever its source. Eddy teaches, “Truth reveals itself through all ages.” Here then is invitation for harmonic spirituality.
“Science of Mind” by Holmes clearly rips off of threads from Eddy’s prose. Prose is like music. Once you get to know original riffs your ear picks up on a diversion of harmony, the cut and patch. This doesn’t mean there isn’t good stuff in Holmes’s teachings. I just personally have lost patience up to this point.
Paramahansa Yogananda Scientific Healing Affirmations
I found the same with Paramahansa Yogananda’s “science” once I read the more original scientific ideas of Mary Eddy.
It came up again last night with my dear friend in Colorado. My GF occasionally goes to the Church of Religious Science in Denver. The building, decor, vibe, the iconography representing all religions are attractive healing tranquility.
I asked her if she new who started the church, when it was founded. She didn’t know. She likes it because it’s inclusive of all religions. I told her Earnest Holmes was a student of Emma Hopkins who was a student of Eddy’s. Earnest studied with Emma Hopkins. Emma was a brilliant student, healer, and editor working in Christian Science. But Emma had her own ideas and aims, understandably. Emma wanted to express her personal brand. The problem for Eddy with this is that she was presenting a discovery of a science that is specific. And Eddy could not patent her discovery. So she protected it by making organizational decisions. Dilutions of her science even by well-meaning people would cause loss of the true and pure science. And that’s what happened. Much was diluted by other teachers. But Eddy’s CS remains today just as it was, though it’s a bit obscure. In her day, Eddy was possibly the most well known woman in America. Eddy’s teachings are whole cloth, a complete scientific method.
I agree with what Eddy did when her organization ousted the few women who could have taken over large factions of the CS movement. Her goal was to create a pure science and lasting institution. Eddy had to protect her method as a true science. I think that CS, as a science, would have benefited from a patent. But I guess you can’t patent a religion when it’s a mental process that takes place off the material plane. Since a patent wasn’t possible, Eddy had to control her teachings. And she did. Her teachings remain today undiluted. But you have find them under the heap of later teacher thrift and theft.
I’m grateful Eddy preserved her ideas in stone. As a healer and hobbyist historian I spiritually understand the value of her cause to reinstate 1st Century Christianity and it’s lost art of healing. If you value science then you value truth. C.S. is about a God force of truth. In Hopkin’s writings there are distinct phrases that I identify as Eddy’s. Hopkins and Holmes twist a word here and there. Eddy writes: “Sin, sickness and Death” and Hopkins writes “Sin, Sickness, and Trouble”.
Even so I do enjoy Emma Hopkins, a first generation student of Mary Baker Eddy.