From the Association Address of 1938 by Bicknell Young
Spiritualism is a mortal claim which needs to be detected and cast out. It is not uncommon, although it frequently escapes detection as the cause and effect of baffling conditions. In the case of a man I know very well, the uncovering of spiritualistic influence solved a long standing combination of difficulties. He was the only son in a large family. Without being aware of it, he was idolized by his mother to such an extent that he was deprived of his individuality. Unlike his sisters, he was rather sickly, had a difficult time growing up, was diffident, bashful, without initiative, and matured in his late twenties. From his early years he had suffered from an ailment which the family doctor diagnosed as an enlarged kidney. Eventually he found Christian Science and a measure of freedom, but the kidney condition persisted. Ten years after the passing of his mother a Scientist uncovered the claim of exaggerated mother love and also opened his eyes to the spiritualistic influence of his mother, although she had been gone for a decade. This man treated himself and was entirely healed in ten days.
Although his mother had passed on, the universal belief in human motherhood — in mortal mind — had in no wise changed and it constituted a channel through which he was controlled by the impersonal evil called “mother love.” When he saw that human birth, motherhood, sonship, human love, human relationships, domination and so on, constituted a belief of mortal mind which had been aggressive in his experience, he was then prepared to destroy the claim of spiritualism or spiritualistic influence. He realized that his unconscious admission of a mother who had passed on, opened the way for the mental trespass to be continued. In other words, he became aware that the error was of his own making in that he ignorantly acquiesced in the seeming reality of the mortal sense — the power and the claim of spiritualism to maintain a control over him, because of his belief that his mother had died. As it grew clear to him that “Death is but another phase of the dream that existence can be material” the spiritualistic influence no longer had place or power in his thinking and the physical inharmony disappeared. (S&H 427:13)
Spiritualism presents in a subtle way an insistent and persistent sense of domination and control. The victim may not be aware of the mental influence, and therefore may not be able to establish the mental integrity which can successfully cope with the situation. It often happens that the victim suffers greatly from the loss and separation, and so quite unwittingly opens wide the door to spiritualistic control. Nor need the relation be a family one. I know an instance in which a practitioner was involved with a patient. These two women were very dear to each other. A day after the patient had passed on, she appeared to the practitioner as she had looked in life, and pleaded with her friend to follow as soon as possible. There were other experiences, varying in nature, before the case was completely healed.
Inasmuch as the phenomena takes place in the individual’s thought, there need be no confusion or apprehension when the claim of spiritualism is uncovered. Rather should the individual rejoice that a very subtle error has been disclosed. Spiritualism could not exist were it not for the belief of material life and death, and the belief of many minds or personalities. In my practice there has been no appearance of any apparition with the one exception of the practitioner mentioned. In her case, there had been, years before, very definite manifestations of ghostly experiences with several members of her immediate family and it is probably true that she was unusually susceptible to phenomena of this character. But I have found spiritualism to be a not infrequent claim with patients. Sometimes it is wise not to disclose the influence; at other times it is most helpful.
Sometimes a deep human attachment is present, in which case the belief of mesmeric human love must be destroyed. In all cases the influence, control, government, of divine Mind must be exercised to the annihilation of the despotic control of the mortal mind. The same selfish desire to dominate, which is often manifested by parents toward children upon the basis of knowing what is best for them, and that, too, even though the children have reached the adult stage and need to order their own lives, that too is met with in the claim of spiritualism, which is essentially selfish in its nature. A woman about forty years of age, whose father had been of an exceedingly dominating nature and had exercised control over the brothers and sisters, but was not permitted to dictate to her, came under spiritualistic control after his death. Ignorant of this influence, her affairs for five years subsequent to his demise became more and more involved. With the claim uncovered they began to improve at once. The desire to dominate humanly is one of the commonest in the entire list of human fables, a circumstance which allows the influence of spiritualism to enter unseen and unmolested into human affairs.
Spiritualism is always concerned with the past. We are told in the Bible, “… God requireth that which is past.” (Eccl. 3:15) The time element is an essential factor in the suffering imposed by spiritualistic influence. Time is one of the commonest sins. It is defined in the Glossary of the textbook as “…Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge;…” (S&H 595) Without one’s acknowledgement of the reality of a human life lived in the past, spiritualism could have no power.