The Impotence of Mesmerism
by Paul Stark Seeley
Rudyard Kipling’s character, Kim, mentally refused to listen to an East Indian’s mesmeric suggestions, intended to make Kim believe that a water jug, which appeared to be broken in fifty pieces, was joining itself together again. To divert his thought from the suggestions, Kim repeated the multiplication table over and over. His two times three is six, and three times three is nine, so occupied his thought that the mesmerist was powerless to influence him.
Christian Science provides a far better defense against mesmerism than the repetition of the multiplication table. Its sure defense is the realization of the scientific fact that God is the one everywhere-present Mind; that in God’s kingdom there is no mortal mind or its materially-thinking puppets, some called mesmerists and some the mesmerized, to do its bidding. Every individual has God as his Life, his Mind. Mortal mind, with all its mesmeric suggestions, is an impotent liar, unknown, unheard, unfeared by God or any of His children. It can be, and do, nothing.
The F.B.I. has been very successful in combating certain forms of evil, because it understands the methods used by evildoers, and has been better able to thwart them. Evil, in all its modes and phases, is mesmeric in nature. It would substitute in your thinking its false material concept of cause and effect. Mrs. Eddy writes, “All mesmerism is of one of three kinds; namely, the ignorant, the fraudulent, or the malicious workings of error or mortal mind.” (Mis. Wr.)
Ignorant mesmerism is illustrated by the members of a family being fearful for each other, because some form of sickness is prevalent in the community, and written about in the newspapers, citing all the symptoms. Perhaps the husband doesn’t look well. He hears fear voiced at breakfast, and the symptoms are mentioned. Anxiety creeps in. Later at his office friends express concern. He recalls the symptoms, thinks he finds one, two, or three. By late afternoon he goes home to bed, a mesmerized, sick mortal.
No one wanted him to be sick. Ignorantly his friends planted in his thought the mesmeric seedlings of fear. Fear opened the door for illness to come in. He failed to bar the door because he was ignorant of the facts of being. Ignorant mesmerism deceived both him and his friends. They ignorantly affirmed error. He ignorantly consented. There was no malice, just ignorance. Yet his defense was always available, the true idea of God, and man as spiritual, and superior to sickness.
Fraudulent mesmerism occurs in cases of high-powered salesmanship. An unscrupulous person, motivated with the desire to profit by selling land, stock or goods, might willfully and silently declare his purpose to substitute his selfish will for the other’s right to freedom of judgment. His motive would not be hateful, but because he intended to defraud another of his right to exercise freedom of judgment, it would be fraudulent.
Malicious mesmerism, often called malpractice, is illustrated by an evil-minded mortal who believes he can, with thoughts of hate, confuse, control, or destroy another. As in the case of ignorant mesmerism, the sure defense against fraudulent and malicious mesmerism is always at hand. It is the simple and eternal truth that man is spiritual, not material; that he is God’s, Mind’s, own image, and is not created by matter, nor does he live in nerves, brain, blood, bones, material vibration, or material thinking, but in the divine Mind, controlled only by this Mind, and never subject to the ignorant, fraudulent, or malicious suggestions of mortal mind. Malicious thinking has no more reality for him, as God’s son, than it has for God. Intelligence is man’s substance, armor, and defense.
The most important point to recognize is that all mesmerism operates as self-mesmerism. This means that no individual can come under the influence of any phase of mesmerism, except with his own consent. He must believe that he is open to, and can receive, the mesmeric suggestions presented. Says Mrs. Eddy, “If the error which knocks at the door of your own thought originated in another’s mind, you are a free moral agent to reject or to accept this error.” (Mis. Wr.) A mesmerist’s only hope of controlling another, is to gain the latter’s consent to the erroneous suggestions presented to his thought.
Since God is the only Mind, He is the only power. He shares it with no other. He exercises it fearlessly, uninterruptedly, to constitute and govern His universe and man, to govern every instant the thoughts and thought-processes of you and me. In this thinking there is no human will or evil-minded impulsion. It is the constant, conscious, expression of the Mind that is God, untouched by any mesmeric influence.