The maze of Eastern influences

Let me preface this post by saying that it’s unusually long for a blog, but given its topic, I hope you’ll hang in there until the conclusion.

Recently, I’ve been seeing an increase in online discussions on Christian Science about how Eastern religious systems and practices are similar and/or complementary to Christian Science.  One commenter had even gone so far as to say that any objections that Mary Baker Eddy had to Buddhist, Hindu, and other pagan and pantheistic philosophies were a result of her ignorance of the “true” nature of those systems.

For any thinking Christian Scientist, alarm bells should be ringing!

From all that we know of Mrs. Eddy, she was exceptionally detail-oriented, very well-read, examined all of the systems of her time, proved what she taught through first demonstrating it, and of greatest import, was the person who was inspired by God—not by mortal mind—to bring the Science of Christ to the world for humanity’s salvation.

Lexington Woods 06.22.12Having been involved for 20 years in the in-depth study of and adherence to various Eastern and Western systems of esoterica prior to my first encounter with Christian Science, I can attest to the vast differences between these—the former being mortal mind’s aping of spirituality and God, and the latter being the Holy Comforter.

Put plainly: There are no similarities!

To search for such comparisons is a dangerous road that undermines the very fabric of demonstrating the blessings of Christian Science—of being able to be healed and having the ability to heal others.

Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 464):

Adulterating Christian Science, makes it void.

Can it be any clearer than that!

Now, why then would some of our members—both young and old—try to make such false comparisons when the price to be paid is so great?

They simply are unaware that they’re being wrongly influenced.

By what?

By those very systems of Eastern thought they advocate!   Whenever Christian Science was mentioned or written about during the time I was engaged in those philosophies, it was spoken of as not only being similar to, but also virtually being the same.

But why would such claims be made?

In an attempt to validate and bolster the view that all of these systems (in which they included Christian Science) were the universal coming of the New Millennium—a Millennium in which each of these disparate strands of “spiritual” journeys and paths would eventually mingle to bring about the spiritual government of the world.

On the surface this may sound desirable and even a goal to be sought after.

But that’s on the surface.  Contrary to such a claim, it was nothing other than a subtle attempt by the carnal mind to mask the uniqueness of the Science of Christ by obscuring it in the fog—the mist of Genesis II—of these “isms.”

Mary Baker Eddy stated in her book The First Church of Christ of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 119:

Think not that Christian Science tends towards Buddhism or any other “ism.” Per contra, Christian Science destroys such tendency.

Think about it.  If Christian Science—the Science of being, the Science of divine metaphysical healing—destroys such tendency—and it does—can there be any real good in such systems since God, good, would never eradicate an iota of good?

Let me tell you about a radio interview that I had several years back that I think will illustrate these points.

I was one of two guests on a live 2-hour radio program.  The other guest was a former gynecologist who had become a nationally known practitioner of Siberian Shamanism.  The host, who conducted the non-stop back and forth discussion, had been a psychotherapist who had entered into New Age studies and had become a counselor and teacher of various energy-beliefs about the brain and chakras.  It was interesting to say the least!

Whenever I spoke about Christian Science and Christian Science prayer/treatment, the two of them would immediately respond that they do the same—even though the shaman had been talking about incense, sound therapy, incantations, and other very strange materially based rituals.  No matter what I said, they kept insisting on the same claim.  And whatever the shaman said, the host, who had been a patient of hers, fawned over.  To say that I was praying like mad to break this aggressive mesmerism would be an understatement!  Remember, it was not just the three of us—there was an entire audience out there in radio-land, too!

It came to me to relate a healing that I had in Christian Science of what appeared to be a cancerous growth in one of my eyelids.  As I spoke of my feeling and awareness of the all-encompassing presence of divine Love, of God, at the moment of that healing—and I felt that same power right while describing it to them—the host began to openly weep, so touched was her thought by the presence of the Christ.  From that point on, she no longer hung on every word of the shaman.  Instead she earnestly wanted to understand more about Christian Science.  She wanted more of that “cup of cold water” that Mrs. Eddy wrote about.  She was getting a deeper glimpse into the uniqueness of Christian Science!

Now do I believe that either of these individuals was consciously trying to undermine Christian Science?  I don’t think so, but that’s exactly the point.  They were mesmerized to such a degree by their beliefs that they simply couldn’t initially see the difference.  Yet that mesmerism—that blindness—was nonetheless extremely aggressive and convincing to them.

And this, dear friends, is something we can’t afford to ignore: namely, that those repetitive assertions of similarity would try to mesmerically influence Christian Scientists into accepting them.

Consider this: Billions of inhabitants on our planet are adherents to these various systems, each person living their life under the dictates of those philosophies, each expending considerable mental energy in their meditations and prayers which flood world thought with these false, yet no doubt heart-felt hypotheses and superstitions.

Could we actually be made to believe that if we’re not alert—if we’re not prayerfully standing sentinel at the door of thought—we wouldn’t be adversely affected by these silent suggestions of mortal thought towards those tendencies—the tendencies that Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, warned us about.  Of this we can be certain: There was no naiveté, blindness, or ignorance on her part.

And do we really want to take the position that the very claims made by some as to the supposed similarities, etc. are not the effect of such wrongful influences—contrary to Mary Baker Eddy’s writings?   Isn’t that exactly how mortal mind works—convincing us that its conclusions and observations are our own?

For those who would point to the ascending popularity of these various religions as a proof of a leavening of thought by the advent of Christian Science, I would ask: How can systems of thought which have preceded the founding of Christian Science by millennia and which are continuing to promote the same false concepts of God and man—concepts which continue to keep their devotees enslaved in those doctrines—have been leavened?  Where is the proof?  How can bread that has already been baked be leavened?  Isn’t this really animal magnetism’s hostility to the Christ being voiced in the popular thought instead?

Now lest anyone be confused here, let me state that I am not calling into question individuals, but rather the systems of thought which are the antithesis of Christian Science, which have proved for thousands of years to be destructive in so many ways, and which are exerting a wrongful influence.

Let me conclude with a passage from the reminiscences of Clara M. S. Shannon about Mrs. Eddy (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy-Expanded Edition, Vol. 2, p. 216):

She saw how error was trying subtly, through mental suggestion, to reach the thoughts of her students and other Scientists, and she saw how necessary it was to open their eyes to what was being done, and one of the things she wanted to impress on them was the necessity to study Science and Health daily and thoroughly and to abide in the truth in that book.

Clearly, advice that we each need to take seriously—if we don’t want to lose our way!

13 thoughts on “The maze of Eastern influences

  1. Wow Ken, just what I needed! A ‘wake-up’ call to the false beliefs that would try and instill themselves in us!

  2. Thanks so much, Ken. If anyone doubts the profoundly Christian nature of Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery, he or she should take a look at the Tenets (p. 497 in Science & Health). They tell it all!

  3. I do agree that there is a clear distinction between Eastern religion and Christian Science. However, I do not agree with the “ivory tower” separation between faiths. Christian Scientists are hiding their light under a bushel by refusing to find any common ground with these other systems. I belong to an “interfaith” group and clearly understand the gift of Christian Science. But isn’t there a way to mingle and not get mixed?

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate what you’re saying, but none of what I’ve written about has anything to do with an “ivory tower” mentality. I spent 4 years as the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Massachusetts talking and working with people of all faiths or no faith. We can find common ground in the sense of being able to discuss topics, but we need to be aware that what sounds similar really isn’t. We particularly need to be very clear on what Christian Science is and what it isn’t (see Miscellaneous Writings 172:3). Otherwise, we’re working against our ability to be the healers that our Master and Mrs. Eddy required of us, as well as our ability to bring this blessed Science to the world for humanity’s salvation. And it needs to be accurately brought to the world–not mixed in with or obscured by other systems.

      Thanks again for your thoughts! 🙂

  4. Thank you Ken! I am so glad you explained the fact that (in relative sense) types of mesmerism have been taught to individuals (in some cases) for many years. That they have excepted these conclusions as facts about themselves. That they even “cherish” this teaching as being a part of “who” they are. It is so necessary for us to love them (see them clearly in who they are) and separate the person from any presently accepted mesmeric thoughts. (of ours or theirs)…. This should not be difficult when we realize how different the “two testimonies” are. If we compare our thinking to “the building blocks”. The first ones laid must be correct as they reflect Gods qualities. Then we can proceed with the greatest of confidence. Thank you again for being so accurate.

  5. Pingback: Stopping the influence of semi-metaphysical systems | Heading Spiritward - Scientific Christianity in the 21st century and beyond

  6. Thank you so much, Ken, for your thought-provoking article. Great “wake up” call! It has taken me to my Concordance in deep prayerful consideration and here are some excerpts that have really inspired me. Again, thank you.

    From the Bible: Ps 139:7; Prov 3:5; Mal 2:10; II Cor 10:7; Heb 10:24

    From Mrs. Eddy’s writings:

    “The present flux in religious faith may be found to be a healthy fermentation, by which the lees of religion will be lost, dogma and creed will pass off in scum, leaving a solid Christianity at the bottom — a foundation for the builders. I would that all the churches on earth could unite as brethren in one prayer: Father, teach us the life of Love” (My 301:5).

    “Under the marginal heading, “Jesus the Scientist,” Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Jesus … plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause” (S&H 313:23).

    “The supposed existence of more than one mind was the basic error of idolatry. This error assumed the loss of spiritual power, the loss of the spiritual presence of Life as infinite Truth without an unlikeness, and the loss of Love as ever present and universal. Divine Science explains the abstract statement that there is one Mind by the following self-evident proposition: If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal. And evil can only seem to be real by giving reality to the unreal. The children of God have but one Mind. How can good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?” (S&H 470:5).

    Under the marginal heading “Cleansing upheaval,” Mrs. Eddy wrote: “… Isaiah … referred to divine law as stirring up the belief in evil to its utmost, when bringing it to the surface and reducing it to its common denominator, nothingness” (S&H 540:5).

    • Hi Nela,

      You’re welcome and I’m glad that it caused you to look at Mrs. Eddy’s writings. That’s exactly what we need to be doing! 🙂 And re the fermentation and stirring: it’s so important that we’re aware of the false claims that are being brought to the surface and not mistakenly attribute them to a positive similarity to Christian Science but rather see them for what they are–error to be handled. Why? So that we don’t inadvertently get drawn into the fermentation, lose our way amidst the ensuing confusion, and lessen our effectiveness as healers–healers to both the public and our own members that are in need of help.

  7. Home run, Ken! In fact, a grand slam–way over the left field fence! Well done, my friend…and much needed. Thank you.

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