by Rolf Witzsche
Many years ago I came across an account of a healing by Mary Baker Eddy that greatly impressed me, that actually combines three distinct profound occurrences of healing that happened simultaneously. Mary Baker Eddy herself, related the case. It occurred in the early years of the continuing unfolding of Christian Science, when she was living in Lynn, Massachusetts. She relates it as follows:
four and a half year old boy of one of my students was taken seriously
ill with what was called brain fever. He had been a little tyrant. The
mother cared for the child without avail, and at length came running
to my home with the baby in her arms.
I had lost the source where this account had been conveyed, but found it presented again in a summary compilation of Mary Baker Eddy's healing work.*1
It is not stated whether Mary Baker Eddy was aware of the child's paralysis. I assume that if she was, she would have said so. Apparently it was immaterial to the case that was centered not on the shape of a human condition, but on the truth of our being that is anchored in God, for as stated many times: God is Truth.
May Baker Eddy points out in her writings that if sickness is an element of Truth, Christ Jesus would have never been able to heal anything or anyone, lest he be fighting against God, divine Principle that human will cannot overturn. But that is not what had happened. Christ Jesus had healed freely and liberally, and he spoke about truth. He promised to all who would listen: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."*2
Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way:
I love the above healing of the deceased child, because it illustrates a point which makes the healing process more difficult for us than it is. The little boy illustrated this point with his insistence, "I is tick, I is tick." A friend of mine once said almost the same thing when she was challenged to prove to herself that she, as an ordinary person, is able without prior education to develop out of her own resources a process to prove geometrically one of the famous theorems of Pythagoras*4. My friend gave up without an effort, declaring the proposition hopeless. She even regarded it to be an insult that she should waste her time on it, given her background that lay far outside of the sphere of geometry and algebra. Maybe the little boy's protest was of a similar nature. Indeed, who knows how much of that kind of foreclosure to the Truth we really find reflected in ourselves in terms of a small-minded attitude that we are not even aware of.
The fact remains that God is Truth, and this obviously reflects only what reflects that nature of God, the divine Principle manifested in humanity and the universe. Failure, decay, discord, disease, death, and so forth, are not elements of the divine universe and the divine image reflected in man.
As Christ Jesus pointed out the deciding factor in our ability to uplift ourselves above the quagmire if the conditions of the world, is the factor of Truth. If sickness is and element of divine Truth, we are stuck with it and shouldn't even try to heal it, likewise death. Mary Baker Eddy is reported to have dealt with the condition called death on several occasions. One was the case of her own secretary, Calvin Frye, who was found apparently lifeless on the floor in his room and was fully recovered by no small effort on her part.
It appears to me, that to her the treatment of such 'difficult' cases was never anything more than an assertion of the primacy and absoluteness of divine Truth over all human errors and their myriad forms of illegitimate manifestations. She understood prayer to be primarily nothing more than an assertion on her part, of the primacy of divine Truth and its legitimate manifestation. She didn't see payer as a process of influencing God, but a wrestling with herself for clearing the air and the human situation of everything that is unlike divine Truth that includes no contradictory conditions. She drew on the resources of infinite Mind to discern in the most efficient manner the principles for the solution. In many cases, this principle of choice, almost by default, simply was Love. Love does not violate Truth, but unfolds from it and fulfills it's promise. It is reported that Clavin Frye emerged from the above restoration to life "a changed man," in the positive sense, evidently.*5
In another instance, a man stepped up to Mary Baker Eddy's carriage in which she was seated while her secretary was delivering a letter. The man asked one question, as who, where, and what is God. She spoke to him for three minutes, at the end of which he confided that he had learned more about God in those three minutes than in all the rest of his life before.
It is reported that Mary Baker Eddy told her students that she saw that the man was suffering from jandice, and that as she talked with him, she saw the unhealthy color fade from his face like the shadow of a cloud vanishing away, and his face became perfectly normal. She added that he did not recognize that he was healed while they were talking, but confirmed the healing by letter the next day.*6
I find this healing remarkable in that it reflects as similar personal experience. (See Example 2)
The point that I find striking in the above examples is the one point that sets Christian Science healing radically apart from all other forms of healing, and that point is its foundation in divine Truth and the conscious application of its principle. No psychological exercise is involved that aims to employ the human mind as a healing agent. To the contrary, the Christian Science healing process is a process of making the human transparent to the divine, to divine Truth. This is reflected even in her ability to deal with threatening atmospheric conditions. The principle for dealing with these is essentially the same, as in a court case for bringing out the universal primacy of divine Truth. Christian Science healing is a process of shifting the human scene onto the platform of Truth as a matter of universal Principle, rather than as a matter of fighting human material conditions. She finds the notion of a material primacy absurd. She flatly states that there in no such thing as matter in the common sense.
Physical science agrees. What is deemed to be matter is an illusion created by a swirl of electrons in empty space. It is understood that the entire substance of our planet is so some minute, if it exists at all, that it could be fitted into the space of a tennis ball, were it not for the energies and the principles of the universe that give our world its shape. The universe reflects the operation of principles and their quality, order and inherent perfection that are all aspects of divine Principle. Without this creative principle nothing would exist. Man reflects the creative divine Principle in a cooperative fashion, to work as God works, to create beauty out of love, harmony where discord would reign, joy where despair would darken our world, health were disease would blacken the image of God. We find Truth reflected in all that is good, enrich our universe with it, create a civilization where none existed before. Man has dominion in the sphere of Truth as the first account of creation (Genesis 1) illustrates, even over the weather. She is reported to have said to her staff at one point in the face of 'bad' weather, "There are no clouds to hide God's face, and there is nothing that can come between the light and us. It is divine Love's weather."*7
Mary Baker Eddy's two pioneering discoveries about Truth.
Both aspects, the healing of disease and physical dominion over the world, are represented in her definitions for the development streams of the foursquare matrix that all of her works are structurally related to. Both are strongly reflected in the second river, the river Gihon, that she defined to represent, "The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially."
This could be seen as a peculiar definition, when regarded sexually. Its higher meaning, however, is evidently related to a statement she made in the ninth edition of the textbook in 1884 under the Glossary term, Man. There she states that man is "The generic term for all the reflects God's image and likeness;" and she added, "woman is the highest term for man."
When this concept is applied to the definition for the river Gihon, we can see the definition pertaining to the development of the woman of the Apocalypse in ourselves, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Mary Baker Eddy labeled the column in which this river flows, the "Christ." It occurs to me that the flow of her healing work is represented almost exclusively by this river. Oh yes, she did also overturn the male supremacy notion held by society, pertaining to spiritual matters. But mostly she represented far more, she represented, man, in its highest form, the spiritual idea of God, clothed with the sun. That is what the second river of her structures flows towards, which is amply documented in the metaphoric images pertaining to this second river, presented in her book, Christ and Christmas.
The images that pertain to the river Gihon begin with the Eve and Adam mythology and develop upwards to the challenge of gaining a correct perception of Mary Baker Eddy's place in Christian history; to the spiritual idea of woman in the metaphor of angels - God's thoughts passing to man; with the woman of the Apocalypse as the tallest representation of the divine idea, man, manifest as the healer of humanity. Please have a look at the images Mary Baker Eddy has provided, pertaining to the second column. (see mapping - click on the red titles, 5-8, at the end of the page)
1. David Keyston, The Healer: The Healing Works of May Baker Eddy, p.50 - Healing Unlimited
2. John 8:32
3. Science and Health, p.229
4. see, How to KNOW the truth
5. Shannon, Golden Memories, p.40 (113)
6. Spencer, The Overwhelming Evidence, #12 (136)7. Shannon, Golden Memories, p.22 (118)
Note: The references in brackets are the page number in David Keyston's book, The Healer, where these accounts are presented anew, together with numerous others, in a modern publication.
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