The Pioneer of Truth is Blessed
by William Kirkpatrick
It is a general claim of animal magnetism that the spiritual idea is always persecuted by the dragon of inflamed and infuriated mortal mind. When in “The Revelation of St. John”(chapter 12) the “woman clothed with the sun” was “with child,” the great red dragon “stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born,” – thus symbolizing “evil, holding untiring watch, that (it) may bite the heel of truth and seemingly impede the offspring of the spiritual idea, which is prolific in health, holiness, and immortality” (S&H 563:19-22). “The serpent,” or animal magnetism “is perpetually close upon the heel of harmony. From the beginning to the end, the serpent pursues with hatred the spiritual idea” (S&H 564:28-31). It is the inherent nature of mortal mind to be “inflamed with war against spirituality,…loathing the brightness of divine glory” (S&H 565:3-5), making “war upon the spiritual idea” (S&H 565:24), but we must not forget that in such a situation it is also the inherent nature of divine womanhood to lift the idea “to the zenith of demonstration…to be caught up unto God, to be found in its divine Principle” (S&H 565:25-28). The best protection for a newborn spiritual idea lies in taking it back to its divine origin and consciously holding it there, embedded in its divine Principle, Love. Then animal magnetism can touch it no more.
When a new idea of Science is born to mankind the general belief is that the pioneer or the adherents of the new idea will be “unjustly persecuted and belied” (S&H 104:6) and that they will have to pay the price of persecution: sickness, accidents, lack, frustration, loss, death, etc. We should not, however, shun or fear such a belief, but turn and face it squarely, for as Mrs. Eddy writes, “Ignorance of the error to be eradicated oftentimes subjects you to its abuse” (S&H 446:31-32). But let us be clear that the enmity is not against people, but fundamentally, against God and His revelation.
Though this belief is age-old and has throughout every epoch of spiritual history tried to manifest itself by bringing the representatives of a progressive spiritual idea to a downfall, it is well to remember right from the start that it is only a belief, and not a fact or even a law. Because it is only a belief it has no cause, no origin, no power, no mind, no authority, no law, no channel, no target, no effect; in short, there is no reason to fear it in the slightest. But as it is a “general” belief it needs to be handled through Science. General beliefs cannot be handled merely through individual disbelief, or even by ridiculing such beliefs or disbeliefs. “A belief held by a minority…is governed by the majority” unless the “individual dissent or faith…rests on Science” (S&H 155:11-14). Only through a consciousness rooted in an understanding of Science can collective and universal beliefs be overruled. Science is constantly revealing itself. “Stately Science pauses not” (S&H 566:9), but leads the centuries on to higher lights. Whoever is receptive for the advancing step of Science and follows it is a pioneer of Truth. Today the most advanced spiritual idea is the idea of divine Science in its Science and system. The belief therefore is that whoever pioneers spiritually in this idea lays himself open to be a target for animal magnetism, no matter if he is conscious of it or not. Consequently he should handle this belief through Science. But how?
Animal magnetism cannot be handled by fighting it or its phenomena and representatives, neither by fearing it or trying to evade handling it. A belief can only be handled by the fact about which the belief is a counterfeit. The fact is that God, the divine Principle, Love, impels us to follow the highest spiritual idea, and in following it we can only experience an abundance of its own divine nature. In “A Card” (Christian Science Journal, August 1890), with which Mrs. Eddy closed the discussion on malicious animal magnetism as a special department in the “Journal,” she asked that this error be met by “love that cannot mistake Love’s aid,” as this method alone “can determine this question on the Principle of Christian Science.” When we take a divinely scientific attitude then we can consciously know and claim for ourselves that for every step we take more God-wards or Sciencewards we are divinely entitled to the maximum of good inherent in that step. Then we can really rejoice in every step of the way without entertaining any fear of being tripped up by animal magnetism.
Let us also remember that we can only love a progressive idea of God and His Science because God has loved us first. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us” (1 John 4:10). So we can say to ourselves: As Principle is Love, it must impel me always to love a higher idea, and because Principle and idea is one, this is divine assurance that it will give me all that is requisite to follow and fulfill this new idea. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13), – “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of…Christ” (Phil.1:6).
Mrs. Eddy labored long to formulate the last sentence of the chapter, “Christian Science Practice” in her Textbook and as late as in the February Edition of 1908 she added, “Christian Scientists, be a law to yourselves that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep or when awake” (S&H 442: 30-32). She attached great importance to this late addition, as can be seen from her “Notices” reprinted in Miscellany 236:23-30 and 237:12-14. She could see that mental arguments or single scientific statements would be insufficient to meet the claims of mental malpractice as only Science, which is “knowledge reduced to law and embodied in system” (Funk & Wagnall’s), is able to meet condemnations made by a majority of believers. So let us face this new-old claim of malpractice by dealing with it through a scientific law.
What is this law? As animal magnetism tries to institute a universal so-called law which demands punishment for spiritual pioneering, we must counteract it by reassuring ourselves with the law of Life which states: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea I partake of God’s boundless blessings and love. Let us see what this divine law implies when viewed by the seven synonymous terms for God. For instance, we can know:
MIND: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Mind loves me in a boundless measure; Mind loves me so much that only Mind’s ideas can come to me, influence me, abide with me and operate as me. As a result of searching, studying and discovering the divine Mind in its more infinite meaning, Mind gives me renewed vision, more spiritual perception, filling me with the Mind of Christ whereby all my spiritual activities, motives and desires are divinely supported and maintained. I am conscious of this fact, I know it and I feel it. Therefore mortal mind finds no response in me.
SPIRIT: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Spirit loves me in a boundless measure; Spirit loves me so much that Spirit bestows on me the infinite substance of good and infinite unfoldment in heavenly order. As a result of separating me from the old landmarks with their well-worn paths, Spirit fosters the new birth in me, bringing forth painlessly newness of life, enlarged opportunities and riper faculties. I know this is true and I feel it. Therefore frustration finds no place in me.
SOUL: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Soul loves me in a boundless measure; Soul loves me so much that it keeps me safe, unfallen and untouched by maliciousness and brutality. As a result of being steadfast, unshaken and selfless in my endeavors to drink the cup and eat the bitter herbs in the face of misunderstanding, slander and ridicule, Soul blesses me with inward heavenly joy and satisfaction. I am conscious of this, and I feel it through every pore of my being. Therefore maliciousness finds no entry into me.
PRINCIPLE: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Principle loves me in a boundless measure; Principle loves me so much that it brings to me the harmony of divine system, impersonal government and authority. As a result of giving up personal views, doctrinal platforms, obedience to ecclesiastical authorities, loyalty to people, and of letting myself be governed alone by God and His Christ, of letting myself be governed by divinely scientific investigations and conclusions, of reaching out to Science in place of religious beliefs, — as a result of all this, Principle loves me by crowning my endeavors with heavenly and timeless honors. I know that this is an indisputable fact and as I love it, I feel it. Therefore ecclesiastical despotism and human pride cannot defy my mission.
LIFE: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Life loves me in a boundless measure; Life loves me so much that it prepares every step of the way for me, removing all obstacles, and thus leading me into Life’s abundance. As a result of taking up the cross and following the new light without heeding persecution, Life leads me into the infinite realm of being, uncluttered by mortal’s finite and rigid sense of existence, free to roam as a God-given individuality without the censure of narrow-mindedness and antiquated opinions. I rejoice in this and feel satisfied. Therefore inadequacy, narrow-mindedness, lack and decay cannot harm me.
TRUTH: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Truth loves me in a boundless measure; Truth loves me so much that it gives me health, wholeness, domin ion, Christ-likeness and divine consciousness, whereby I am ushered into my incorruptible inheritance. As a result of acting in accordance with my highest sense of Truth, of adhering to the standard of Truth and supporting those in the front line who carry the banner of Truth, Truth makes me worthy of future generations, strengthening in me the manhood of Christ, making me invulnerable to my enemies. I am constantly aware of this and feel its power. Therefore the world’s consciousness has no part in me.
LOVE: In adhering to a progressive spiritual idea, Love loves me in a boundless measure; Love loves me bountifully, bestowing upon me infinite motherhood, protection and all-encompassing forgiveness, thus crowning my love for the spiritual idea with success. As a result of loving God more than persons, places and things, of loving God with all my heart and soul and mind, Love makes me a blessing to all and all become a blessing to me, whether they are friends or socalled enemies, present or future generations, in seen or unseen ways, by human or divine means, with acknowledgement or without, they can only be a universal blessing. I know that this law is true and fulfils itself; I feel its promise. Condemnation, curse, hate, excommunication are unknown in me. The more we know the seven synonyms for God and their respective specific characteristic ideas, the vaster will be the view of this law of abundant Life. Elaborate it, and all the malicious claims that try to beset your love of following a higher revelation will totter to the ground.