I looked at a copy of Science & Health recently to try and make some sense of the book that had formed the nest within which my childhood beliefs were hatched. I gave up pretty quickly. I think I scanned the bit about the blacksmith’s arm getting bigger from Divine Mind, not from having to lift a hammer—which makes no sense whatsoever, and obviously defies every example of heuristic causation available. I guess if you can get your head around believing that, then you can convince yourself of anything.
Considering she had it professionally re-written about five times, I can’t imagine what the original must have been like. I suspect its unreadability was, and remains a good part of the appeal, i.e. we understand this but others do not, aren’t we clever. I had expected to look at the different chapters and see them address what the title was, but as far as I can see any chapter, or any page for that matter, can be transposed out of order and not make it any less meaningless. I’m utterly baffled how Mary Baker Eddy managed to convince other people to buy into it. The core text is total garbage.
Something which seems to be fairly absent within the Christian Science canon is much advice as to what to do when a healing doesn’t come. The remedy seems to be to repeat what you already did that didn’t work the first time. Mary Baker Eddy wrote a very long, but very limited, rule book about one idea and then repeated it endlessly in nineteenth century highfalutin’ language. She relied on the Christian bible to bulk all this out, and reinterpreted bible passages as she saw fit as time went on. I’m surprised there wasn’t more objection about this from the established Church at the time. Or maybe there was.
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