How Does Malicious Mind Operate?
From Christian Science, Its “Clear, Correct Teaching” by Herbert Eustace, page 539
To have a complete sense of freedom, it is essential for the Christian Scientist to understand that malicious mind has no possible way of bringing evil directly to pass. Malicious mind cannot operate directly to bring about either sin, sickness, death, limitation or any condition. It is self-evident malicious mind, the one erroneous malpractitioner, cannot argue with such lies because it knows they are lies and that you are neither sinful, sick, dead nor limited; or the malpractitioner would not be trying to bring these conditions about. There could then be no conviction in the mind of the malicious arguer that what it is arguing is true; and without conviction there could be no result.
So, it becomes essential for the accomplishment of this purpose, for the malpractitioner first, to find an innocent channel through whom it can operate, and then, to make that channel believe that the lies it is stating about another are true. If it can do this, it has obtained an honest conviction and started a malicious attack, for honest conviction carries with it mind-power and the possibility of accomplishment.
How does evil do this? By both silent and audible argument it convinces the one it is endeavoring to use as its channel, that its intended victim is sick, dying, poverty-stricken, intemperate, hateful, discouraged or any of the things it is intent upon producing. If it succeeds, it has started an honest conviction of the reality of these lies about its victim and there ensues active malicious mental malpractice, which, if accepted, finally destroys the victim.
Mrs. Eddy brings this out in her article, Mental Practice, in Miscellaneous Writings, where she says that if “people believe that a man is sick and knows it, and speak of him as being sick, put it into the minds of others that he is sick, publish it in the newspapers that he is failing, and persist in this action of mind over mind, it follows that he will believe that he is sick, — and Jesus said it would be according to the woman’s belief; but if with the certainty of Science he knows that an error of belief has not the power of Truth, and cannot, does not, produce the slightest effect, it has no power over him.”
Does not this show how evil works by the action of mind over mind? But in order to get results, there must always be conviction on the part of the thinker, for conviction is the mind quality that operates in the realm of mentality. Arguments do not operate unless accompanied by conviction. As Science and Health declares, “Be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the victor.”
In this way you see how you can become your own mental malpractitioner by applying to yourself the arguments of evil hypnotically suggested to you. You can operate as this innocent victim just as effectively as can another, if you accept the lies of the malpractitioner. If you do not refute these lies, but accept them as reality, you will malpractice on yourself until you eventually become powerless to break the mesmerism confronting you.
Are you going to tolerate such irrationality? Of course not. Then reject each lie with the truth you know about yourself, the Self of you, until you no longer listen either complacently, or fearfully, to anything that does not emanate from God, the one cause.
Denounce evil in all its ways and especially as hypnotic suggestion. You cannot afford to be gentle in your denunciation of malicious animal magnetism. It is a deadly mental poison, and if not guarded against, neutralized and destroyed by translation back to God, will accomplish its purpose of destroying you.
Evil to the Christian Scientist, is not an intelligent devil, going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but is simply the suppositional opposite of his own understanding of divine Mind. Thus as Paul put it, and as the Christian Scientist understands it, he can never be tempted beyond what he is able, for he has only to apply what he knows of God to find his way of escape, that he “may be able to bear it,” and rise triumphant from the experience.
It is only lack of understanding that makes a Christian Scientist afraid of malicious mental malpractice. It should be evident to the merest novice in Christian Science that there could be no suppositional opposite to what he does not know. Thus it is his knowing alone that he is called upon to defend. Evil does not operate as something “over there” outside of one’s own mentality; it always operates as the negative of what one knows. It is this negation that the Christian Scientist must guard against and not an imaginary foe seeking to destroy him. Understanding evil is but the negation of the truth he knows makes him the master of every situation. Therefore, constant watchfulness is necessary to be true to what one knows.
The Christian Scientist instinctively knows it is easier to heal a lie of malicious mind operating as a law of hypnotic suggestion, than to heal a lie of the same malicious mind operating as a natural law. This is on the same basis that an acute claim seems easier to meet than a chronic claim. This is, also, the reason why malicious argument invariably takes the form of a natural appearance suggesting the working of a law of nature, or matter, or heredity, or something of that sort, thus making the deception complete. This tends to confuse the earnest Scientist by again presenting that which he had felt had been destroyed, as a belief of a law of relapse. Thus the deviltry of evil appears as a normal or natural claim of matter.
The Christian Scientist must understand that he should be willing to meet under the rule of malicious mental malpractice every lie of belief that he formerly had to meet under the rule of materiality in its simpler forms of matter. Jesus said, “First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” The blade contains all that the full corn in the ear contains, but it is less developed. This can be applied to the solving of the various phenomena of malicious mind appearing as simple materiality. The blade has little of evil visible. Nevertheless, the whole of evil is there, and eventually emerges when malicious mental malpractice, the full corn in the ear, is revealed in all its depravity, stripped of every appearance of good. As Mrs. Eddy asked in Retrospection and Introspection, “Art thou still unacquainted with thyself? Then be introduced to this self. ‘Know thyself!’ as said the classic Grecian motto. Note well the falsity of this mortal self! Behold its vileness and remember this poverty-stricken ‘stranger that is within thy gates.’”
Then be willing to meet every phase of evil as malicious suggestion, just as in the beginning of your career as a Christian Scientist you were eager to meet every claim of matter. If you remain wide awake and rejoice in crossing swords with this final phase of evil as pure malicious suggestion, you will enjoy your journey from sense to Soul. You will never murmur or be discouraged, but will be filled with new hope and assurance that what you know of divine Mind and its operations is sufficient to meet and destroy every lie of evil.
Jesus said, there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. He meant this in a way we have yet to learn. The Christian Scientist realizes and declares in his treatment, “I know all that I need to know about this case and I know it immediately.” Why? Because God, being the one intelligence, knows all things and therefore, there is nothing hidden from infinite intelligence, nor from that which shows God forth. It would be useless for God to know something, unless His man knew it also. Otherwise God would have no way of expressing His knowing. Hence the practitioner of God declares, “I do know all I need to know about this case,” and he acts accordingly. It is the same in the case of malicious sin as in sickness. The practitioner must know about that, all that he needs to know, and he must and does know it instantly.
It is the part of wisdom to keep every channel open for information. You have a right to know all that is going on about you. You do not delve into error, but you keep your avenues of intelligence open, so all that you should know you do know at exactly the right time. In other words, as Mrs. Eddy says in Miscellaneous Writings, “Let us open our affections to the Principle that moves all in harmony, — from the falling of a sparrow to the rolling of a world.”
Nothing is either too insignificant or too important for you to know, if it is right for you to know it. And you cannot know it if it is not right. You must realize this, for evil’s suggestion is quite as likely to fill you with a lot of unnecessary trash as to stop you from knowing that which you should know. Be on your guard!
One thing especially every Christian Scientist should know and must know from what has been established, and that is how easily he can become an innocent tool of malicious mental malpractice by passing around idle chatter about persons, places or things. Believing what is said to be true does not free one from being the tool of malicious mental malpractice and, therefore, from being about the devil’s business. There is only one way to be sure of not being the tool of evil, and that is by basing all that is said on God as the one cause, always starting from God and beholding all effect as the emanation of God.