"Whoever is mentally manipulating human mind, and is not gaining a higher sense of Truth by it, is losing in the scale of moral and spiritual being, and may be carried to the depths of perdition by his own consent."
"The helpless ignorance of the community on this subject is pitiable, and plain to be seen."
"The increasing necessity for relying on God to defend us against the subtler forms of evil, turns us more unreservedly to Him for help, and thus becomes a means of grace." (Misc. Wr.)
What an excellent litmus test for our interactions with others - since the tendency to mentally manipulate is pervasive through suggestion, sentiment, etc.: BUT DOES IT LEAD TO A HIGHER SENSE OF TRUTH?
The context for the above quotes are from "Address Before the Alumni of the Metaphysical College, 1895" given by Mary Baker Eddy - my title:
Moral idiocy and "spiritual wickedness in high places"
... The mental stages of crime, which seem to belong to the latter days, are strictly classified in metaphysics as some of the many features and forms of what is properly denominated, in extreme cases, moral idiocy. I visited in his cell the assassin of President Garfield, and found him in the mental state called moral idiocy. He had no sense of his crime; but regarded his act as one of simple justice, and himself as the victim. My few words touched him; he sank back in his chair, limp and pale; his flippancy had fled. The jailer thanked me, and said, "Other visitors have brought to him bouquets, but you have brought what will do him good."
This mental disease at first shows itself in extreme sensitiveness; then, in a loss of self-knowledge, and of self-condemnation, -- a shocking inability to see one's own faults, but an exaggerating sense of other people's. Unless this mental condition be overcome, it ends in a total loss of moral, intellectual, and spiritual discernment, and is characterized in this Scripture; "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." This state of mind is the exemplification of total depravity, and the result of sensuous mind in matter. Mind that is God is not in matter; and God's presence gives spiritual light, wherein is no darkness.
If, as is indisputably true, "God is Spirit," and Spirit is our Father and Mother, and that which it includes is all that is real and eternal, when evil seems to predominate and divine light to be obscured, free moral agency is lost; and the Revelator's vision, that "no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name," is imminent.
Whoever is mentally manipulating human mind, and is not gaining a higher sense of Truth by it, is losing in the scale of moral and spiritual being, and may be carried to the depths of perdition by his own consent. He who refuses to be influenced by any but the divine Mind, commits his way to God, and rises superior to suggestions from an evil source. Christian Science shows that there is a way of escape from the latter-day ultimatum of evil, through scientific truth; so that all are without excuse.
Already I clearly recognize that mental malpractice, if persisted in, will end in insanity, dementia, or moral idiocy. Thank God! this evil can be resisted by true Christianity. Divine Love is our hope, strength, and shield. We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven....
The helpless ignorance of the community on this subject is pitiable, and plain to be seen. May God enable my students to take up the cross as I have done, and meet the pressing need of a proper preparation of heart to practice, teach, and live Christian Science! Your means of protection and defense from sin are, constant watchfulness and prayer that you enter not into temptation and are delivered from every claim of evil, till you intelligently know and demonstrate, in Science, that evil has neither prestige, power, nor existence, since God, good, is All-in-all.
The increasing necessity for relying on God to defend us against the subtler forms of evil, turns us more unreservedly to Him for help, and thus becomes a means of grace. If one lives rightly, every effort to hurt one will only help that one; for God will give the ability to overcome whatever tends to impede progress. Know this that you cannot overcome the baneful effects of sin on yourself, if you in any way indulge in sin; for, sooner or later, you will fall the victim of your own as well as of others' sins. Using mental power in the right direction only, doing to others as you would have them do to you, will overcome evil with good, and destroy your own sensitiveness to the power of evil.
The God of all grace be with you, and save you from "spiritual wickedness in high places." ("Address Before the Alumni of the Metaphysical College, 1895" , Mary Baker Eddy)