A while ago I had an interesting exchange with a non-Christian Scientist friend on a discussion board. A question somebody else recently asked me about “malicious animal magnetism” brought my thoughts back, again, to this exchange. I’m going to share that exchange below. Note that I wasn’t responding to my friend in any official capacity for the Christian Science church. This was just me, responding as me. I do not represent other Christian Scientists, or the religion of Christian Science, in my response. I’m sure there are Christian Scientists who would give a much clearer and more articulate answer. But this is my blog, and so it is my response you will be reading here. 🙂
My friend asks:
As a follower of MBE, do you believe that illness is caused by incorrect belief rather than germs? MBE frowned on meds; Do you take meds? What about malicious animal magnetism? MBE sued a guy for MAM, which she claimed inflicted great suffering. Do you believe in that? Wasn’t MBE a morphine addict and schizophrenic?
Are you going to get a flu shot?
I am not so good at following people or personalities. Never been my schtick. I follow ideas, if they make sense to me. And I’m also not so much interested in Mary Baker Eddy’s personal life and don’t really know that much about her, to tell you the truth. I’m pretty sure she was given morphine during her life- I think at the time she was living, morphine was the drug most used as a pain-killer? – I know there was a huge epidemic of morphine addiction with soldiers during the Civil War. I kind of doubt she was addicted to morphine, though, seeing as how she lived to be almost 90 – I’m thinking she must have had a pretty healthy lifestyle to reach that age. And I’ve never heard about her having schizophrenia or any mental illnesses – but if she did, my heart goes out to her, for sure. Poor lady. Whatever she went through in her personal life – whether I would have liked her or not as a person – I can’t say – but I sure do like her ideas about God and healing – I think she was way ahead of her time.
Medical research has shown that certain emotions – fear, anger, hate – produce chemicals that can affect your physical health:
– and I think this research on the mind-body connection correlates well to the teachings of Christian Science which include the belief that our state of mind plays a part in determining our human experience. On the first website I listed above, the research indicates that your emotions play an even bigger role than having basic needs – if this is true, I wouldn’t be surprised if your emotions/thoughts/beliefs ARE more powerful than germs in determining your health.
Do I frown on people using meds? No. I totally support people doing whatever it is they think they need to do to get well. I myself tend to not use many drugs, though – I’m not sure if this is so much because of my religious affiliation or just because I’ve always tried to live in a way that seems most “natural” to me – and the idea of putting a bunch of chemicals in my body just has never seemed very natural. I do remember taking antibiotics once, but I had a bad reaction and ended up getting sicker from the meds than I was from the original problem. I’ve found that using my understanding of God, Love, has been the most effective way for me to experience healing. But that’s just me and I would never think to force my beliefs on anyone else. (On a side note: I recently talked to a friend on the phone who has been diagnosed with cancer – the drugs she’s been prescribed to take while she’s in remission cost $30,000 to $40,000 a month!!!! Holy shamoley!!! There is something very wrong with our traditional health care system when the drugs people are told they need to take to keep them alive cost as much as a third of a house!!!!)
Do I believe in malicious animal magnetism? Well, I’m not sure what you mean by that, exactly – if you’re talking about the effect malicious thoughts have when they’re directed towards people, then I guess we’ve all, at one time or another, felt the force of hatred directed at us – there have been a few times when I’ve felt someone’s hatred as almost a physical kick in the stomach – and I don’t think we should underestimate the power of that. I think it’s wise to keep our thoughts on guard to that kind of emotion – to try to keep our own thoughts so full of love towards others that we don’t get pulled into that mental realm with them. Not sure that’s exactly what you’re talking about – but that’s the best I can give you, I think.
Oh. Flu shot? Don’t think so. Are you?
My friend responds:
“There is something very wrong with our traditional health care system when the drugs people are told they need to take to keep them alive cost as much as a third of a house!!!!)”
“I think it’s wise to keep our thoughts on guard to that kind of emotion – to try to keep our own thoughts so full of love towards others that we don’t get pulled into that mental realm with them.”
You are right tolerable.
No flu shot for me either. I don’t like little pricks.