William W Walter
Mr. Walter Williams, author, and teacher of Christian Science, was sitting at the desk in his private office, busily engaged in answering a mass of correspondence that lay before him, when he heard the door bell ring. He paused in his work a moment, and upon hearing someone go to answer the bell, he resumed his writing.
A moment later, he heard somebody enter the reception room, and say: “I am Mrs. Viloxon of Chicago. I had an appointment with Mr. Williams for two o’clock.”
“Yes, he is expecting you, and if you will excuse me I will notify him of your arrival. Please be seated,” was the answer.
A few minutes later, Mr. Williams opened the door connecting his private office with the reception room, and stepping through the doorway,
he saw a well dressed woman seated in an easy rocker. As she turned toward him he observed that her face was drawn, as though with worry or pain.
The lady arose and asked: “Is this Mr. Williams?”
A pleasant smile came to his face as he answered: u Yes, I am Mr. Williams, and you are
“Yes, I am Mrs. Clara Viloxon, Christian Science practitioner of Chicago.” As she said this, there was just a trace of pride in her actions and words.
Extending his hand in welcome, Mr. Williams said: “I am pleased to meet you. Please step into my private office so that we may talk, undisturbed. I suppose you came to keep your appointment.”
“Yes,” she replied.
Placing a rocker, Mr. Williams added: “Take this seat, you will find it very comfortable.” The visitor took the chair indicated, and as she seated herself, quietly said: “I thank you.”
For several moments neither spoke, and it was evident to Mrs. Viloxon that Mr. Williams was closely studying her face, though not wishing to appear to do so.
Scarcely knowing what to say, but with an evident desire to break the silence, Mrs. Viloxon remarked: “Well, I am here.”
“So I see,” said Mr. Williams.
Leaning forward and looking up sharply, Mrs. Viloxon remarked: “It took a mighty effort on my part to come to your office in broad daylight, for if some of my Science friends should see me, it would cause me a great deal of trouble. That is why I wrote you for an evening interview. I consider my coming a wonderful demonstration.”
“So you think your coming to my office a wonderful demonstration?” “Yes, I do, don’t you?”
There was a serious expression on the face of Mr. Williams, as he slowly shook his head and quietly said: “No”; then added: “However, let the matter rest there for the present. I am ready to hear the nature of your mission.” There was a little show of both excitement and resentment as Mrs. Viloxon said, quite positively: “But I do consider my coming a big demonstration, and would like to know your reason for not considering it such.”
Mr. Williams faced his visitor squarely, and said very calmly: “If we allow ourselves to get excited and enter into controversy, our time will be wasted, and no good will accrue to either of us. Have you never heard it said, that we cannot gain new ideas from those who fully agree with us, because if we are in agreement no new ideas are brought forth? Therefore, it is from those who do not always agree with us, that we must learn. It is also a fact that an excited or angry man cannot reason clearly; therefore, if we wish to gain knowledge, we must remain calm.”
Mrs. Viloxon slowly sank back into her chair as she attempted to take a mental invoice of the calm, peaceful face before her. At length she said: “You are right, Mr. Williams; still I have always considered work of that kind as a demonstration, and so does every Scientist whom I know; and I should be pleased to have you explain your position.”
“Very well, I will explain. Your face tells me that you did not come here solely for enlightenment, but rather because you are in some kind of trouble and need help. Am I correct?”
“Yes, I came both for enlightenment and for help. I want to know more of Science, and I
have a physical claim that has not yielded to my very best efforts.”
“Now please answer me plainly. If you had found upon arising this morning, that you had suddenly become well, would you have come to keep this appointment?”
Mrs. Viloxon took a moment for thought, and said: “I am inclined to think that if I had found myself suddenly well, I would not have taken the time to come.”
“You have spoken truthfully. This proves
that your coming here is not a demonstration.” “But Mr. Williams, I really did come, and cannot see that it is not a demonstration.”
“You wrote me for an evening appointment, and this showed me that you were afraid to come. When I wrote you that apparently you were afraid to come to my office in daylight, it hurt your pride, and you decided not to come at all; but your claim or trouble—whatever it may be— would not yield, and gradually you feared the consequences of this ill more than you feared to come, and again you wrote for an appointment; so you are here not as
a demonstration of right thinking, but because your fear of becoming seriously sick was greater than your fear of coming in daylight and being seen by other church Scientists. Your face tells me that you are honest at heart, therefore be honest with yourself. Be natural, be honest; that is, let the natural honesty of your heart hold sway, and put away the make-believe and hypocrisy which you have worn as a mask. You cannot be well, happy and harmonious while hypocrisy holds sway.” Slowly but surely what had been said entered the consciousness of Mrs. Viloxon, and at length she said: “You are right. It was not a demonstration. I came because I feared my trouble more than I feared the coming, but I am no hypocrite because I truly believed my coming was a demonstration.”
“Did you ever look up Webster’s definition of the word ‘hypocrite’ ?”
“No, I don’t think I have looked up the meaning in recent years, because I know what the word means.”
“Let me cite you Webster’s definition. It is: 4 One who feigns to be what he is not; one—’ ” “Yes, I know the meaning,” broke in Mrs. Viloxon; then added: “But I am not a hypocrite.” “Please let me finish the definition,—’One who has the form of godliness without the
power, or who assumes the appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.’ Do any of these fit your case?” “No, for I am no hypocrite.”
“Very well. Will you now tell me why you asked for an appointment?” asked Mr. Williams.
“Yes, and that you may understand my problem correctly I feel that I should like to tell you some things, may I?”
“Yes, tell the whole story plainly, if you wish.”
“Thank you. I was married at an early age, and shortly after our marriage, my husband took a very dangerous position, and I was in constant dread that some day he would be brought home to me, dead. This condition continued until I became a nervous wreck, and one day the expected happened. The shock was so great that all despaired of my ever getting well again; but after some months, a friend mentioned Christian Science, and I determined to try it; and through months of treatment, I was fully restored. Next, I took class instruction and devoted myself to the healing field. For three or four years I was very successful, but gradually, as time went on, I awoke to the fact that my cases were not responding as in the early years; and now, after being in the practice for twenty-seven years, I am not at all satisfied with my ability to heal. To make matters worse, my old nervousness and worry have come back, and are leaving their marks upon my face and body so plainly that I cannot longer hide them from my patients; for a few weeks ago, one of them remarked about my appearance. If this continues I shall lose all my practice.”
As Mrs. Viloxon paused in her recital, Mr. Williams thought, u the same old story I” Addressing her, he asked: “What led you to come to me?”
“I will tell you,” and then looking away she said: “Of course, Mr. Williams, you are aware that we Chicago practitioners do not consider you a loyal Scientist. I have been to my teacher, and other practitioners for help, but received none, in this particular problem. A friend whom you healed some years ago, told me she was positive that you could heal me, so I came.” Mr. Williams asked: “Have you ever read any of my writings on Christian Science?”
“You know, Mr. Williams, as loyal church Scientists we are forbidden to read your books; but when I could not seem to get the understanding necessary to heal myself, from Mrs. Eddy’s works and the periodicals, I decided to secretly read some of your writings; not with the intention of being disloyal to the church, understand, but to find healing for myself.”
Mr. Williams bowed his head as he slowly said: “Yes, I understand fully.”
“I appealed to this friend, and she gave me two of your ‘Plain Talk Series’ to read. While I
do not fully agree with all that you have written there, yet I seemed to get the idea that you had a deep understanding of Christian Science, and might be able to help me.”
Assuming a serious look, Mr. Williams asked: “If I were to heal you, would you go back to your friends and patients, and tell them that you were healed through the Williams’ method of applying Christian Science?”
A look of great fear overspread the face of Mrs. Viloxon as she leaned back in her chair and trembled visibly, as she said: “Oh, Mr. Williams! I could not do that.”
“Not even if your health and happiness depended upon it?” he asked. “I am afraid not,” came the answer in a very weak voice.
Looking squarely at Mrs. Viloxon, Mr. Williams said with deep sympathy, “I am really sorry for you, and for the thousands of other practitioners in Science. Why, you all fear your church organization, and your brother and sister practitioners more than you did the devil of your old religion. I would not have that fear yoke on my neck for all the money in the world.”
“But Mr. Williams, how would I get along? How would I make my living, if my patients all left me?”
“There now, that is the honesty in your heart coming to the top again. You are not loyal to the church because you feel it right, but because you will perhaps lose your livelihood if you are considered disloyal.”
“Oh, I don’t know what to say to you! But of one thing I am certain,—I cannot go on day after day with this fear and worry and nervousness making me too wretched to live,—yet I see no way out of it.”
“Mrs. Viloxon, did it ever occur to you that perhaps a practitioner who was considered disloyal could make a good living in the practice?”
“No, it never has.”
“Do I look poor and in want; sickly, worried and fearful?” “No, you look just the reverse.”
“Yet I am in the practice; and you yourself said that I was considered a disloyal Scientist,
— whatever that may mean to those who use the term.”
“But loyal Christian Scientists will not come to me after I am called disloyal.”
“They will not? Let us see. You are a so-called loyal Christian Scientist, yet you came to me, a so-called disloyal Scientist.”
The smile she saw on Mr. Williams’ face was so reassuring and kindly, that she could not help smiling herself, as she said: “But I am only one.”
“Yes you are only one, but one of a thousand,” said Mr. Williams with a quiet laugh. “Do you mean that there are many practitioners and patients who are church members
who come to you?”
“Yes, very many. In fact, nearly all who come to me are or were so-called loyal church members.”
“From Chicago, too?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, from all over the United States, and also some from foreign countries.” “I am surprised.”
“I am not. You know the old saw, that you
cannot fool all the people all the time. When they have tried all that the church has to offer and are not relieved, they wisely look further. Also, someone has truly said that if
you have something that the world wants, the people will wear a beaten path to your door, even though you are located in a wilderness.”
“And I thought I was the only one,” said Mrs. Viloxon with a queer little smile.
“Come, we are wasting time; you must decide. Do you want to remain a so-called loyal Christian Science church Scientist, and live in dread and fear of the organization all your life? Or do you want to become free, a real Christ Scientist, and stand upon your own understanding of the Facts of Life?”
“Oh, I want to be well and happy again, but why can’t you heal me and let me remain with the church, as formerly?”
“I never asked any one to leave any church, and shall not ask you to do so. In fact, I would prefer that you do not leave the church at once,
but stay with it until the church idea leaves you, which it ought to do, but never will, as long as you are content to retain the position of servant instead of striving daily to rise to the position of master. To gain your healing and rise to higher consciousness you must be honest with yourself, else you cannot succeed.”
“I do not understand you, Mr. Williams.”
“I will explain. Mrs. Eddy says that the keynote of Christian Science is ‘Be not afraid,’ and the Bible teaches that Tear hath torment.’ You have come to me with a so-called nervous trouble which seemingly is destroying your health and harmony. I have diagnosed this trouble metaphysically, and find that the mental error responsible, and which needs to be destroyed, is dread, fear and hypocrisy.”
“Dread and fear perhaps, hypocrisy, never! How can you say that?” and there was a flash of indignation in her tone.
Mr. Williams, in his calm, smooth voice, said: “Is it not hypocritical to pretend that you are a great healer, when you know that your ability to heal has vanished? Is it not hypocritical to stand before your patients as a well woman, when you know that you are on the verge of nervous collapse? Is it not hypocritical to pretend to be a loyal church member, and then seek for healing outside of the church? Is it not hypocritical to forbid your patients to read any other literature than Mrs. Eddy’s works and the church periodicals, and you yourself spend hours in the reading and study of so-called unauthorized literature? Is it not hypocritical—”
“Please don’t, Mr. Williams,” exclaimed Mrs. Viloxon, as she put her hand to her face in shame.
“Very well. But let us understand each other, and above all, let us be honest and natural. You are honest at heart and I honestly want to help you. It cannot be done while one or the other is pretending. You investigated long and carefully before you came to me. You found that I was more successful than the others. You became convinced that I had an understanding of the Truth of Life beyond those of the church whom you had employed, including your teacher. Yet you did not wish to give me credit, or let me know that you had been investigating. Am I not right ?”
“Yes, but please remember, I did it merely to regain my health.”
“Yes, I know. If things had continued smoothly with you, you would never have stopped your, shall I say, hypocritical life. This points to the truth of the statement that ‘man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.’ The law of Life is such that all will sooner or later find it necessary to be absolutely honest with self and their fellow man, if they wish to be well and happy.”
“I must regain my health; I cannot live this way longer. If I resign from the church, and study your works alone, will you give me treatment and heal me?”
“No! I will not give you treatment in the sense that you have of giving treatment. I have not taken on any cases for mere treatment, for the past three years. Neither would it be necessary for you to leave your church or confine yourself to the study of my writings.” “I do not understand, Mr. Williams.”
“No, none of the older church Scientists understand me. If they did, they would never again say a word against the work that I am striving to accomplish. I am not trying to tear down the Christian Science church, neither am I trying to start a movement of my own; but I am striving to unveil the veiled Truth and make it so plain that everybody, both in and out of the Christian Science church, can understand and apply it to the overcoming of their troubles, be they sin, sickness or poverty.”
“Then I would not need to leave the church to be healed under your method of applying
“No, and neither would the member of any other church need to leave their church to be healed. I was healed while still affiliated with another church. I have healed Catholic and Protestant, Chinaman and American, and never in all the years of my healing work have I asked any one to leave their church.” “But did they all continue in their old churches ?”
“No, very few continued in their old religious beliefs for any length of time, after being healed; especially those who came to me for present treatment, for then I was able to make the facts of Life so plain, that they saw the ridiculousness of their former church beliefs, and deserted them.”
“Then you are not opposed to the people belonging to churches?”
“No, I am not opposed to those going to church who feel they need the church; but I am opposed to the idea advanced by some churches, that you can get into heaven only through some certain church.”
“Mr. Williams, I fear I have been narrow in regard to my church thought, but I am not entirely to blame, for I was in a great measure following the lead of my teacher. Now I want to be honest with myself, and get well, and I would thank you if you would point the way for me. I don’t wish to be a hypocrite, and not until you laid the proof plainly before me, could I even surmise that I was hypocritical; and even yet, I do not see how my action regarding the church has any thing to do with my illness.”
“I will show you. You stated that after your marriage and after your husband had taken up a hazardous occupation, you were much disturbed, and were in constant dread and fear that something terrible would happen to him. Perhaps you do not know that when Job said: ‘The thing I feared most has come upon me,’ he was stating a mental law.”
u Why no, I never thought of this statement as a law,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with some surprise.
“It is a mental Law. You will remember that Mrs. Eddy quotes Shakespeare’s statement,
‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ On page 415 of ‘Science and
Health,’ we read: ‘Note how thought makes the face pallid. It either retards the circulation or quickens it, causing a pale or flushed cheek. In the same way thought increases or diminishes the secretions, the action of the lungs, of the bowels, and of the heart.’ This shows that Mrs. Eddy taught that thought is causative. Right thought produces right results, such as health and success, while sick thought produces sickness. This being the case, it can readily be seen why the thing you fear most must come upon you, because whatever you fear most you think most of, and thus you actually create such a condition.”
Mr. Williams, you astonish me. If that be true, I was in a great measure to blame for the ill that befell my husband.”
“I am not saying anything about that. I only wish to point out to you the great part which fear thought plays in bringing evil upon us. Your dread, fear and worry kept your mentality constantly discordant. This inharmony of the mentality, in your case, was shown in the body as the trouble that we call nervousness. Later, after the accident happened, and you had somewhat recovered from the shock, the cause of the mental discord (the fear of accident to your husband) being removed, your mentality took on a quieter mood and you recovered or became normal again.”
“Oh, but I was healed through the treatment given me by a Christian Science practitioner.”
“No doubt the harmonious thought of the practitioner helped you to arrive at normality; but had you attempted to become healed while constantly fearing for the safety of your husband, this very same practitioner could not have helped you permanently, unless in some way he could have allayed your fear concerning your husband, for this was the erring’thought cause.”
“I never looked at it in that light before. But why has this condition returned, for the circumstance which you say was the cause in the first place, is not in evidence now?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“No, not the very same thought condition, but one just like it.” “I don’t understand/’ replied Mrs. Viloxon.
“Your former nervous illness was caused by a state of constant dread and fear—the fear that something would happen to your husband. In the present instance, you have a dread and fear that something is going to happen to you. You are in almost constant fear that some one connected with the church organization, or your teacher, or some one else, will bring forth the charge that you are disloyal and thus result in your dismissal; and that, because of this, you may lose your practice, and your livelihood.”
“I believe I see a little light,” said Mrs. Viloxon, slowly.
“Your fear of being called disloyal or of being excommunicated from the church amounts almost to a mental panic, as it does with most of the church members, and especially the listed practitioners. Mrs. Eddy said that the keynote of Christian Science is ‘Be not afraid’; but the cold justice or, as some state, injustice, that has been meted out by the church authorities, constitutes the greatest creator of fear that any organization ever conjured forth with which to govern its membership. I know from experience, and I would not again be under that church yoke of fear for all the world. Your present illness is nothing but the external expression of your fear of the organization, and that is why your various practitioners could not heal you, for they kept manufacturing beliefs which gave you more fear of the organization. Surely, ‘Fear hath torment’.”
For a full minute there was silence in the office, as Mrs. Viloxon mentally digested what had been said. Then she looked up and said, quite positively: “I believe you are right.”
“Oh, I know I am right,” said Mr. Williams. “You are not the first one whom I have healed of serious illness, merely by destroying for them the fear of the organization.
“The nature of fear is such that it makes no difference what the procuring cause is, be it fear of church or even fear of God; the fear disturbs the normal harmonious status of the mentality, and disturbed mental harmony, sooner or later, has its effect or manifestation on the body as sickness; and the ill, will continue as a so-called physical ailment until the fear has been destroyed.’ ‘
u Yes, I know that Mrs. Eddy says that ‘Be not afraid’ is the keynote of Christian Science; but it never occurred to my thought that fear of being disciplined or excommunicated could be classed as that kind of fear, but I am inclined to believe that you are right because every time I heard of some one being disciplined or excommunicated, it made me more fearful and nervous.”
“There is no question about it. On page 421, latest edition of ‘Science and Health,’ line 5, you find these words of Mrs. Eddy: ‘Derangement, or disarrangement, is a word which conveys the true definition of all human belief in ill-health, or disturbed harmony.’ Now it matters not, whether the disturbed harmony is caused by your fear of being excommunicated, or of losing your husband, the fear causes the disturbed harmony just the same and the result is, ill-health. Now answer me honestly, ever since you had your name listed as a practitioner, there is scarcely anything that you fear more than being excommunicated or being called disloyal, is there ?”
Mrs. Viloxon took time for careful thought, then answered: “For years I have had a latent fear of those in authority and since the excommunication of so many prominent Christian Scientists, I have had a constant and growing fear of being disciplined either by the
Mother church or the local church of which I am a member, and an actual dread that I might unconsciously disobey some of the by-laws in the Manual, and that some one not friendly to me might charge me with disloyalty and thus ruin my practice.”
“Oh, that Manual!” said Mr. Williams, with a look of deep disgust, then continued: “You know, that Manual reminds me of a mental cat-o-nine tails, to whip the more fearless thinkers into servitude; the same as the slave drivers of olden times used to beat their slaves into deeper subjection through repeated use of the cat-o-nine tails.”
“A mental cat-o-nine tails! I don’t think I ever heard that expression before.”
“Perhaps not, but that Manual was an instrument of torture (mental torture) to me the first few years that I was a member of the organization. I was in constant mental dread and fear that I would be disciplined and called disloyal, and that because of this, the little money I had, which was all invested in my books, would be lost; and also that I would lose my practice upon which I was depending for a livelihood. It certainly was an instrument of mental torture to me.”
“I don’t know that I ever analyzed my thought as carefully as that, but I do have the fear that I might unintentionally transgress some of the by-laws, and be called disloyal.”
“Well, I am satisfied that that very fear, or disturbed harmony, is the cause of much of the illness that many practitioners have; and it is an experience which I do not care to go through again,” said Mr. Williams.
“But you would not do away with the Manual entirely, would you? How could you govern a church without some set rules?”
“No, I would leave the church goer his Manual, but as far as I am concerned I want neither church nor Manual. Jesus never started a church, at least Mrs. Eddy wrote in her first edition of ‘Science and Health,’ page 118, line 25: ‘Jesus paid no homage to diplomas, to forms of church worship or the theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved by Spirit, the principle of being’; and on page 166 of this same edition Mrs. Eddy wrote:
‘We have no needs of creeds and church organization to sustain or explain a demonstrable platform, that defines itself in healing the sick, and casting out error.’ On the same page
we find this by Mrs. Eddy: ‘The mistake the disciples of Jesus made to found religious organizations and church rites, if indeed they did this, was one the Master did not make.’ ”
“But Mr. Williams, we have no creeds or rites in the Christian Science church.”
u That is what you believe, and many others have said, but is it a fact? Let us see! Webster defines the word ‘Creed’ to mean, ‘A brief summary of the articles of faith.’ On page 330 of the latest edition of ‘Science and Health’ you find the beginning of thirty-two articles, and Mrs. Eddy intimates that they are the platform of Christian Science. Now I cannot see
that changing the name from ‘creed’ to ‘platform’ makes any difference in the matter at all. The creeds of other denominations are really their platforms, and the platform of Christian Science is really its creed.”
“Mr. Williams, you certainly present the matter so that none can mistake your meaning.” “Yes. I am tired of all this word quibble, this subterfuge, this masquerading. Let us be
honest and natural.”
“At any rate we have no church rites, have we, Mr. Williams?”
The smile which arose to the face of the man could not be entirely hidden, as he said: “Let us examine into the matter. Webster defines the word ‘Rite’ to mean, ‘The manner of performing divine or solemn service, as established by law, precept, or custom.’ Are not the Sunday and Wednesday services in the Christian Science church established by law — by the by-laws — by precept, and by custom? Don’t all the churches have exactly the same services, conducted in the very same way? This agrees with Webster’s definition of the word ‘rites,’ even if denied by thousands.”
“You are certainly giving me shock upon shock. But not until you explained, did I view the matter in this light,” replied Mrs. Viloxon, as she moved uneasily in her seat.
“The laws governing the services of the one church are the rites of the other. Now why hide these matters under new names as though they were something different from the other churches?”
Why, it is plain to me now,— there is only a change of name, and not of system or custom.”
“I can see but little difference. The custom in some churches is to preach the Gospel and in the Science church they read it. Now let us speak of the Manual that so many Scientists revere. The Christian Science Manual is a book which contains the by-laws etc., to be observed by the members. I have heard Scientists denounce what they were pleased to
call the ‘ritualism’ of some other churches. Let us see if the Science church is entirely free from ritualism. Webster defines the word ‘Ritual’ to mean: ‘A book containing the rites to be observed; or the manner of performing divine service in a particular church or communion.’ If the Christian Science Manual contains any thing which corresponds to Webster’s definition, then I fear the Manual is nothing but a ritual with a change of name, merely.”
“I must have time to think this over. You are presenting these matters faster than I can assimilate them,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
CHAPTER II WHY AND HOW
“Let us now drop church matters, and get to the point for which you came,” said Mr. Williams.
“Your talk on church matters interests me greatly, and has opened my eyes to many things and I thank you; but as your time is precious, I will not take any more of it to explain things which I ought to have discovered for myself. My main mission is to regain my health.”
With a quizzical smile, Mr. Williams asked: “What became of it? Did you lose it or did some one steal it?”
“Oh! I don’t know how to answer. I don’t even know whether you are in earnest or joking, but I do know that I am miserable most of the time.”
A soft, sympathetic glow came into the eyes of Mr. Williams, as he said: “Well, I know all abtmt it, and also know how you lost it, and how you can regain it, so let us not worry about that.”
“Then you have decided to give me treatment ?” Mrs. Viloxon asked quickly.
“Your greatest need is not treatment, but teaching. If I should consent to give you treatment it would very likely need to be absent treatment; and if you were relieved of your present trouble, this would not result in permanent health.”
“Why do you say that? I thought that Christian Science healing was the one permanent cure,” said the visitor.
“Have you found in actual practice that all the cases which you treated and which were apparently healed, stayed permanently well with no return of the same thing or some other?”
“Why no, of course not. I have treated and apparently healed some claims a number of times, but at a later date, the patient would again be afflicted with the same trouble, or some other. I have also found similar conditions in the healings I have accomplished for myself from time to time.”
“Mrs. Viloxon, if your statement is correct that Christian Science healing is the one permanent cure, then, if any of the ills that you have apparently healed reappeared, the healings you accomplished were not really Christian Science healings, according to your own words, else they would have remained permanent/’
But they claimed the healings that I accomplished were Christian Science healings.” “Yes, and you in turn believed that the healings that you accomplished were the result of
actual Christian Science practice, but were they?”
“I will admit that I do not know. Still, I know of many claims that were met by my work and which did not return.”
“Yes, that no doubt is true. You just said, ‘Were met by my work.’ I thought that you Scientists say that ‘God is the only healer,’ also many practitioners say, ‘I of mine own self can do nothing, God doeth the work.’ Just how do you explain this matter?”
“But, Mr. Williams, don’t you believe that God, Spirit, Divine Love is the only healer?”
“I don’t only believe it, I understand it, and also how God does the healing. I was merely asking you how you can harmonize these two statements,” he replied.
“Have you never heard the statement that I do my work and God does the rest?” asked
“Oh yes, and I am now trying to find out just what you practitioners mean by that statement. Can you explain?”
“Well, I suppose it means that the practitioner does the treating and God does the healing,” replied the lady.
“Then you are of the opinion that God would not or could not heal, if the practitioner did not treat.”
“No! God is all-powerful, and can surely heal without the aid of the practitioner,” said
“If the practitioner is not needed in the healing and can do nothing of himself, as you claim,and if God does the work, then why does the patient employ and pay the practitioner?” asked Mr. Williams.
A surprised look overspread the face of Mrs. Viloxon, as she said: “I don’t know that I ever took time to think about the matter. But I know that according to the Christian Science method of healing, the practitioner does the treating and God does the healing.”
“If God can heal without the aid of the practitioner, then why this partnership between
God and the practitioner, to produce healing in Christian Science?” asked Mr. Williams.
“It is not absolutely necessary that the patient go to a practitioner to gain healing, he can himself go direct to God.”
“Then why did you not go direct to God ior your healing, Mrs. Viloxon?”
“Oh I did, I did! But for some reason unknown to me, there has been no answer to my self treatments.”
“Then you came to me, thinking that perhaps I was on better terms with God, and that therefore he might answer my treatments offered in your behalf? Would this not be folly when we stop to think that the Bible and also Mrs. Eddy teach that our God is a changeless God, and no respecter of persons ?”
“I don’t know how to answer you. There is something here I never did understand/’ said
Mrs. Viloxon, much disturbed.
“How long did you say you had been in the healing practice, Mrs. Viloxon?” u Twenty-seven years,” she replied.
“And during all that time you posed as an authorized healer and did not understand the simplest fundamental of healing? Do you think this was strictly honest?”
“But I did many good healing works during that time,” broke in Mrs. Viloxon, with some show of color.
“You just got through saying that God is the only healer, and now yon say you did many goad
healing works. Won’t you please explain this seeming contradiction?”
For several minutes there was silence in the office, as Mrs. Viloxon was moved by several contrary emotions. She partially arose out of her chair as though ready to depart, then sank back dejectedly. Next she looked sharply at Mr. Williams as though ready to retort angrily, but again sank back into her chair with a hopeless, pleading look on her face, and said: “Mr. Williams, please have pity on me and show me the light.”
The satisfied smile which came to the face of Mr. Williams showed plainly that he had attained the point he wished to’reach, and his words corroborated his looks, for he said: “There; now we are in the right mental attitude for advancement. As long as an individual is trying to uphold a position that has no foundation just because of pride, or because he thinks it policy, he is not in the right mental attitude to receive mental enlightenment.
We must become as little children, teachable, and receptive to the actual Truth. I could not hope to help” you while you took the position that you knew these things, when in reality you did not.”
“But 1 do know something of Christian Science healing.”
“Perhaps, but not as you should know. All these years you have been working with blind faith and not understanding; and all the healing that you accomplished was the result of your own, or the patient’s, blind faith in an unknown God, or in the method employed.”
“I cannot believe this to be true, in fact, I know it is not.”
“We will not discuss that point now. Later, you will agree with me. Now I shall try to put you on the right track.”
Mr. Williams reached over to his desk and picking up a book, he said: “This is
‘Miscellaneous Writings’ by Mrs. Eddy.” And he held it up so that his visitor could see the book.
“Yes, I recognize it,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Before we begin, I should like to ask if you are one of those who think that Mental
Science and Christian Science are the same?” asked Mr. Williams.
“No, indeed. Christian Science is spiritual science, in other words, the Science of Spirit, God. Whereas, I understand that Mental Science is of human origin, or of the human mind.”
“Yes, I have heard several practitioners, and a few teachers say words of the same import,” said Mr. Williams.
There was quite a satisfied look on Mrs. Viloxon’s face as she thought, “at least I was right in this particular.” Mr. Williams saw the look, and slowly opening the book he had in his hand, he said: “Here, on page 219 of ‘Miscellaneous Writings’ is an article by Mrs. Eddy entitled ‘Mental Practice,’ and the article deals with healing the sick. Now I wonder why Mrs. Eddy did not say spiritual practice instead of ‘Mental Practice’ if Mental Science is of the human mind?” Not receiving any answer, Mr.Williams continued: “In the article Mrs. Eddy says: ‘It is admitted that mortals think wickedly, and act wickedly: it is beginning to be seen by thinkers, that mortals think also after a sickly fashion. In common parlance, one person feels sick, another feels wicked.’ Now what do you understand from that statement ?”
“Why, it’s very plain to me. Mrs. Eddy wished to point out that wicked thinking makes us act wicked, and sick thinking or thinking sickness makes us sick. I have known this these many years. Is not that your understanding, also?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes. Then according to your understanding you are sick because you have been thinking sick thoughts.”
“Yes. Something of that sort, though my trouble seems to be somewhat different.”
“That is what they all say,” said Mr. Williams, with a broad grin. “However, that is not the point. The point is, that if your own wicked thinking makes you wicked and your own sick thinking makes you sick, then why will not your own right thinking or healthy thinking make you healthy, without the aid of any outside, far-away God?”
“Simply because Mrs. Eddy says that the human mind is not a factor in healing, and also that God is the only healer,” said Mrs. Viloxon, most decidedly.
“And you call this a full and sufficient reason?” “Yes. At least it satisfies me.”
“I am inclined to think that you are easily satisfied in these matters. Carrying your statement farther, why do you try to heal yourself if God is the only healer and your so- called human mind is not a factor in the healing?”
“I do not try to heal myself with my mind. You know that Mrs. Eddy teaches that ‘desire is prayer,’ and I, in silent thought, earnestly desire that God heal me.”
“Is this desiring done without the aid of the so-called human mind? If not, then this so- called human mind must be a factor.”
There was a surprised look on the face of the lady as she said: “I had not thought of that,
but I know that Mrs. Eddy teaches that desire is prayer.”
“In other words, your treatments consist of desire or prayer and this is your part of the work, and then God does the healing and that is His part of the work.”
There w T as a real smile on Mrs. Viloxon’s face as she quickly said: “Yes, that is just what I mean. You said it beautifully, and as some others have expressed it, I do my w^ork and God does the rest.”
“Mrs. Viloxon, have you never read where Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done.’ Then how can you say, you do your work
and God does His, or that you do your work and God does the rest?”
“Oh, there is some misunderstanding here. Where does Mrs. Eddy say that ‘God’s work is done’?”
Picking up a book, Mr. Williams turned a few leaves and said, “Here it is, on page 3,
‘Science and Health,’ lines 4 to 9,” and handing the book to Mrs. Viloxon he added: “Read it for yourself.”
Taking the book, the visitor read the paragraph a number of times, then looking up she said: “Yes, Mrs. Eddy does say ‘His work is done.’ I remember now of reading the statement many times. Strange that I never saw it in this new light before. Then what do all these Scientists, and my teacher mean when they say, ‘I do my work, and God does the rest’?”
“I suppose they mean the same as you, when you say it.” “But what do I mean when I say it?”
“Simply nothing,” was the quiet reply.
Mrs. Viloxon sat back in her chair with a jerk and remained silent for several moments, then said, very quietly: “Why do you perplex and torture me in this way?”
“Because you are feigning to be something which you are not, namely, an understander of the Christ Science, and because you will not recede from your false position.”
“But I am a class student, in fact, I went through two classes years ago with different teachers, and once again in later years.”
“Mrs. Viloxon, that does not mean anything. If your teachers did not know the Science of Being, they could not teach it to you. It is not the going through a half dozen classes with teachers who know not actual Truth, that makes you capable to apply the Christ Science; but rather, your understanding of Life, God, and the correct application of this living Principle to the problems of humanity.”
“But I thought I did understand the Science of Life,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“And now you are finding out that you had no actual understanding of Life, God, at all.” “Do you feel that it is as bad as that?”
“Perhaps not, but it’s bad enough. At least, I should hardly care to trust my earthly existence into your hands, if I were very sick.”
“But Mr. Williams, the practitioner’s position is not that important, for you do not consign your case into the practitioner’s hands, but into God’s hands.”
“If Mrs. Eddy is correct in stating that God’s work is done, then what use to consign a case into His hands?”
Mrs. Viloxon raised her hand to her head as she meekly said: “Oh, I don’t know. What is the matter with all these statements for they do not seem to mean the same to-day as formerly, and the farther I go, the more confused I become. Surely, you do not want me to understand that God is not the only healer?”
“I surely do want you to understand that the God that you now have, is no healer at all,” said Mr. Williams.
u But I have the Christian Science God, the true God. I forsook my old personal God years ago, and changed to the real and true God, divine Love.”
“Yes, I will admit that you changed the name of your God from personal God to divine Love, but you still have divine Love acting as though It were a personal God, and that is just as great an error as acknowledging a personal God.”
“But I am not ready to admit this.”
“That is the trouble. You suppose that you do know the true God, but in reality you do not. Now what are you going to do with this statement of Mrs. Eddy’s, if your God is the only healer. Here on page 41, line 4, ‘Retrospection and Introspection’ we find this statement: ‘Many were the desperate cases I instantly healed.’ This is not the only place where Mrs. Eddy wrote that she healed many cases. Was she mistaken about the matter? Had she the right to say that she healed these cases, if you are right in your thought that God is the only healer, and that I of mine own self can do nothing?” asked Mr. Williams.
“When will this confusion end? Many times in the past, I have been so confused that I have wished that I had never heard of Christian Science. Then when I was clearer in thought, I felt that there was nothing else worth while. Mr. Williams, am I alone in this confusion, am I the only one?”
“No, you are only one of thousands who have come to me, and of a million who have not yet come. Practically all Science students have misunderstood Mrs. Eddy’s writings.”
“This does not seem possible,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “A few might err, but not the entire field.”
“I had that same idea long ago, and it cost me endless toil and work to convince myself that the many did not really understand Mrs. Eddy. But after hundreds of practitioners came to me for advice, and after I had interviewed many teachers and others in Christian Science, the conclusion was slowly forced home to my thought that the field had missed the way. Seeking the cause of this, I came to the conclusion that it was the method used to veil the plain Truth.”
“Do you wish to intimate that ‘Science and Health’ is a veiled book?”
“You may call it what you wish. The fact stands out that I have several thousand letters from all over the field, stating that they can get no definite understanding from ‘Science and Health,’ after years of study. Some of the letters are from the most intellectual people of our land. I would advise that you investigate this and thus satisfy yourself on the point. You know that the metaphysics of the Bible is veiled, and it would not have been such a wonderful thing if Mrs. Eddy had followed the same method.”
“But if our text-book is veiled, where are we to get the simple truth of Life? Are you sure it is veiled, Mr. Williams?”
“I will point you to a few citations and leave that for you to decide. The very first chapter in ‘Unity of Good’ is entitled, ‘Caution in the Truth/ If caution was used in stating Truth, then perhaps Mrs. Eddy did not deem it wise to state Truth too plainly. In the article in the seventy-seventh edition of ‘Unity of Good,’ page 7, we find this statement: ‘The Science of physical harmony, as now presented to the people in divine Light, is radical enough to promote as forcible collisions of thought as the age has strength to bear.’ Does not that statement mean that plainer statements regarding God and man would bring forth too forcible collisions of thought in this infantile age? On page 8 of the same book and article, we find: ‘No wise mother, though a graduate of Wellesley College, will talk to
her babe about the problems of Euclid.’ You can see the intimation in these words of Mrs.Eddy’s. Further down the page, we find the following: ‘Wait patiently on the Lord; and in less than another fifty years, His name will be magnified in the apprehension of this new subject.’ If all of this does not point to the fact that she thought best to give us Truth in diluted form or partially veiled (the milk of the Word), then I am mistaken. Also, these statements mean that the unfoldment of Truth was not to stop with the present diluted writings, but would be made plainer as the age was ready to bear it. Nearly two-thirds of the fifty years she spoke of has passed. Mrs. Eddy is gone, therefore she can no longer carry the work forward. Some of her students must now do it. I am one who is striving to do so.”
u Mr. Williams, I have never connected these statements with the diluting or veiling of the Word and the future unfoldment of the plain meat of the Word, but I believe you are right. Still, I question the wisdom of veiling Truth in this age. Think of the confusion that has arisen in the thought of thousands of students, and how are they ever going to get out of this confusion?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“I can only tell you that I was confused and mystified as long as I held to the present edition of ‘Science and Health’ as the only text-book of metaphysics, and the confusion and mystification left me after I secured a very early edition which stated the fundamentals of the Christ Science, plainly.”
“But I have been told not to read the early editions and that the present one was the most precious and valuable,” said Mrs. Viloxon. And I am telling you to secure the very first edition, if possible, and study it. It may interest you to know that Mrs. Eddy in ‘Retrospection and Introspection,’ page 55, said:’The first edition of my most important work, ‘Science and Health,’ containing the complete statement of Christian Science,—the term employed by me to express the Divine, or spiritual Science of Mind-healing, was published in 1875.’ I know of no other than the first edition of ‘Science and Health’ of which Mrs. Eddy states that it contains the complete statement of Christian Science.”
“Mr. Williams, if that statement is correct and it must be, if it appears in Mrs. Eddy’s writings, I cannot understand why my last teacher told me to not study the older editions.”
“Neither can I, but now that the matter has been pointed out to you, you can use your own judgment. But we digress. The question we were discussing was, If our sick thinking makes us sick, why will not our own healthy thinking heal us without the aid of any outside God or power?”
Mrs. Viloxon shifted uneasily in her chair, and it was plain to be seen that she did not like the statement, but said nothing. So Mr. Williams continued: “To show you what I mean by veiling, and also to prove to you that it is your own right thought that heals you, and not a mysterious God or outside power, I will call your attention to this statement page 417, line 27, latest edition of ‘Science and Health’; and also how it appears in the early writings, from the first to 14th edition. In the latest edition, we read: ‘Explain audibly to your patients, as soon as they can bear it, the complete control which Mind holds over the body. Show them how mortal mind seems to induce disease by certain fears and false conclusions, and how divine Mind can cure by opposite thoughts.’ ”
u But, Mr. Williams, that is just how I understand Science to operate, that is, mortal mind makes us sick, and divine Mind heals; and not our own human thinking as you seem to imply.”
“Yes, I know that is the sense which you get from the statement, and it is the sense practically all students get from it. But where and what is this ‘mortal mind’ that makes you sick, and the ‘divine Mind’ that makes you well?” asked Mr. Williams.
“Mortal mind, I understand to be the One evil, and the divine Mind, I understand to be
“Very good, but what do you mean by the one evil, and what do you mean by divine Mind? To say that one is Satan and the other is God is no explanation, but merely other names for the same things.
“Mr. Williams, I am sure you have read where Mrs. Eddy wrote that error, evil, cannot be explained, because it is nothing; and also that God is infinite, therefore, to be able to explain God would be to make the infinite, finite.”
Mr. Williams looked keenly at his visitor and said: “It seems strange to me for any one to say, ‘error (evil) cannot be explained,’ and then explain it by stating that it is nothing. On page 103, line 18, present edition of ‘Science and Health/ we read: ‘As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind.’ On page 114, line 2, of the same book, Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘therefore, to be understood, the author calls sick and sinful humanity mortal mind.’ From this you can see that mortal mind, animal magnetism, sick and sinful humanity are the same, and that it is not an outside mind or outside power called mortal mind that makes you sick, but it is your own mind and thought which causes all your trouble by wrong thinking, and which Mrs. Eddy has named mortal mind.”
“This is a little different than I have ever analyzed it. I can agree that it is our own sick thinking that makes us sick, but I still maintain that it is not our own thought that heals us,” said Mrs. Viloxon with a tone of certainty in her voice.
“In the article on ‘Mental Practice’ in ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ Mrs. Eddy said: ‘This is Christian Science: that mortal mind makes sick, and Immortal Mind makes well; that mortal mind makes sinners, while Immortal Mind makes saints. 1 Now if our sick or wrong thinking is the mortal mind that makes us sick, then why is not our own right thinking the Immortal Mind that heals us; for our right thinking is the opposite of our wrong thinking, and the Immortal Mind is the opposite of the so-called mortal mind.”
“I am entirely at sea,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “You present the whole matter in an entirely new light, and in a way that is entirely foreign to my present thought on the subject.”
“I was on the point of explaining the matter to you when you broke in by saying that that was the way you understood Science to operate; you should have said ‘imagined’ it to operate, for you do not understand. I will again refer to the statement on page 417, of the present textbook: ‘Show them how mortal mind seems to induce disease by certain fears and false conclusions, and how divine Mind can cure by opposite thoughts.’ ”
Mrs. Viloxon was about to speak, when Mr. Williams raised his hand to stop her and said: “Please don’t bring forth the nonsense offered as explanation by some, namely, that we
‘think God’s thoughts after Him,’ or that we are ‘Channels’ for the divine thought, or
‘window panes,’ or some other equally silly statement.”
“How did you know that I had something of that sort to say?” asked the lady. “Oh, that is the last refuge or subterfuge offered by the blind believer, and as I have handled hundreds, I thought it was about time for you to make some such statement. Let us go back to the quotation under discussion. I have read it to you as it appears in the present edition of ‘Science and Health’; now I will read it to you as it was originally written by Mrs. Eddy, and before its meaning was obscured. It occurs on page 217 of the 14th edition of ‘Science and Health,’ and reads as follows: ‘Explain to your patient, audibly as he can bear it, the utter control that mind holds over the body: show him how it induces disease by certain thoughts, and how it can remedy it by opposite ones.’ The word ‘mind’ is not capitalized. Does not this bring out what I have been telling you?”
“That statement is plain, simple and reasonable. Why, oh why, was this fundamental statement, so vital to understanding, changed to its present form?”
“Can you gain any such sense or understanding
from the statement as it now appears in the latest text-book ?”
“Absolutely not. The statement in the latest edition would cause you to think that there is both a mortal and a divine Mind, outside and foreign to your own mind, that causes either the good or the bad; while this last statement shows you positively that it is all your own right or wrong thinking that makes you sick or heals you.”
“I am glad that you see it so plainly. This is what I mean when I say that the present text- book is veiled.”
Mrs. Viloxon sat perfectly quiet for a few moments and was thinking deeply, then looking up, she said: u Mr. Williams, I am afraid I am becoming provoked at those who are responsible for the veiling.”
She now took the 3rd, 7th, and 14th editions and read the statement in question in all of them, and then in the latest edition, and remarked: “I can scarcely believe my own eyes! And to think that I once owned a 14th edition with its plain statements, and later exchanged it for the present text-book which is surely veiled.” “Having owned and formerly worked according to the 14th edition, explains why you were much more successful in your healing work years ago than now, does it not?”
“Yes, yes, I see it all now. When I studied the old edition I gained the sense that I must myself refute the error, and explain to the patient the seeming cause of his ills; and later, as I laid aside this old edition and studied the new, I was gradually led to the mental position where I believed I could do nothing and that an outside power did the work. True, I had changed the name of my God from a personal to an impersonal God named divine Love, but yet outside of me.”
“The words of Jesus that the ‘Kingdom is within you,’ should have told you different.” “How blind I have been! I freely admitted that my evil thoughts had power, and just as
freely held that my own good thoughts had no
power. In other words, I gave evil (devil) all the power, and God (good) no power. Is it any wonder I did not succeed, and that I have been wretched for years ?” Mrs. Viloxon sat thinking deeply for several moments. The man opposite her remained quiet, though a close observer would have noticed a growing smile lighting up his face, as he watched the mental wrestlings of his visitor.
Suddenly, Mrs. Viloxon looked up and as anger and resentment showed more and more in her countenance, the smile on Mr. Williams’ face broadened. Then Mrs. Viloxon began to speak rapidly: “Why was this veiling done? Who is to blame? I think it an outrage and shame to hide the plain Truth in this manner. Here I have spent nearly half of this life in the study of a veiled book, and never knew it was veiled; and therefore gained an entirely erroneous understanding of God and Life.”
Mr. Williams could not hold back the smile which grew into a quiet, “Ha! ha! ha!” as he said: “Yes that is the next step. Get angry and show resentment toward some one else, when it is as much your own fault as any one’s. You are endowed by Mind, God, with the power of reason; then why did you not use it instead of swallowing whole, the things that other blinded followers told you?”
“But how was I to know that I was being mis-taught and misguided, in this manner ?” “The same as myself. I did not follow the tide. I did not accept these many nonsensical
statements, just because some one who was supposed to be near the head of the
movement stated them. Because a statement sounded beautiful, was no reason for its being a fact. I kept asking myself, why and how. When I could not find a reasonable solution, I would not accept the statements but stored them in memory for future reasoning. When I first heard a Scientist say that she was a channel for divine Mind, I at once asked myself whether divine Mind worked in certain special channels; and my reason told me that an everywhere present power would be everywhere present inside the channel, and also everywhere outside the channel; in other words, there were no convenient channels in which God did special work.”
“But all of us are not blessed with the same reasoning mind that you have Mr. Williams, and therefore I consider a great wrong was committed when the Truth was veiled.”
“Yes, all have the same reasoning mind as myself. The only difference is, that I did not deem it too much work or trouble to use my reason; while most people are content to let others do the reasoning, and then accept such reasoning as their own, without first judging whether it is right or wrong. Remember, Paul said: ‘Try the spirits.’ This means, try the statements or thoughts, in other words, through a reasoning process prove the new thoughts that come to you to be right or wrong before you accept them.”
“Well, at any rate I have now come to the realization that I know next to nothing of actual Christian Science, and I humbly ask, what shall I do?”
“Mrs. Viloxon, do you remember the man who came to Jesus and said: ‘Master, what shall
I do to be saved?’ ”
“Yes, I have read it many times.” “The Master told him to do good deeds, to be charitable, honest etc. The young man answered in substance that he had always done these things from childhood. Then Jesus said: ‘Go and sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and come and follow me,’ that is, follow in my footsteps and do as I am doing. And this is w T hat I say to you. The Master did not mean that the young man was to pauperize himself
by selling all his earthly belongings and giving the proceeds to the poor. He did mean that he was to lay aside all his erring human opinions regarding life, and gain a demonstrable understanding of God, Life, and give of this understanding to those who were poor as far as Truth was concerned. Sell (dispose of) your allegiance to
any thing that hinders your spiritual unfoldment, even though at present it be your most cherished possession, and follow Christ, Reason. True Reason is the Savior, so begin at once to reason truly and thus gain that mental harmony which we call heaven, through understanding Life, God, as It really is.”
“I will follow your advice. You were the first to open my blind eyes to true Reason (the real Christ), and now I ask, will you show me the way?”
u Yes, gladly, for that is my mission on earth. I am devoting my every moment to unfolding Truth to those who wish to be shown the way to perfect mental harmony.”
“Very well. I am ready to begin anew at once,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with determination.
“It is getting late, and your mentality is somewhat disturbed by the mental shocks I have had to administer to awaken you; and so I would advise that you go to your hotel, and calmly reason about the thoughts I advanced to you to-day; and then come to me again tomorrow at the same time, and I shall strive to clear away all the mis-teaching that has been given you in the past.”
“Before I go, I should like to ask one more question, which is this: Is there any other place in Mrs. Eddy’s writings where she mentions or intimates that wrong thought is mortal mind, and right thought is divine Mind?”
u Yes, there are many places that I could cite you, but there is one which is so conclusive that I think it alone will satisfy your thought.”
Picking up ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ Mr. Williams turned to page 252, and said: “I will read you what Mrs. Eddy has written here, ‘Christian Science classifies thought thus: Right thoughts are reality and power; wrong thoughts are unreality and powerless, possessing the nature of dreams. Good thoughts are potent; evil thoughts are impotent, and they should appear thus.’ Here you have the direct statement that right thoughts are reality and power; and as God is all reality and power, you can see that, correctly understood, right thoughts are divine Mind or the creative Cause of all that is real. Wrong thoughts are unreality and powerless, or the opposite of right thoughts, the one real power; and therefore, mortal mind, being the opposite of divine Mind, wrong thoughts are seen to be what Mrs. Eddy was pleased to name mortal mind. Wrong or sick thought (mortal mind) is that which makes us sick, according to Mrs. Eddy; and right thought, true Reason, or divine Mind, the opposite of wrong thought, is what heals us.”
Mrs. Viloxon sat quietly in her chair a few moments, then as she arose to go, said: “1 am now positively satisfied that you are entirely right. How blind we all have been, to call you the disloyal one. Why, I am of the opinion that you are the only one really loyal to Truth and Mrs. Eddy’s teaching.”
EMERGENCE INTO THE LIGHT
“I see that you are very prompt,” said Mr. Williams as he extended his hand in greeting to his visitor of the day before; then added, “step into the private office.”
“Yes, I meant to be prompt. The fact is, I could scarcely wait for the appointed hour to come. There is so much I want to know and so many questions I wish to ask,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, that is the next symptom with all who are newly awakened,” laughingly, said Mr. Williams.
“Mr. Williams, I sat up most of last night reading and studying, and I am satisfied of at least one thing.”
“Well, that is good. It certainly makes for mental harmony, even if we have become satisfied of only one little thing.”
“But this is a big thing to me. I am fully sat- EMERGENCE INTO THE LIGHT 75
isfied that you really have understood Mrs. Eddy aright,” said Mrs. Viloxon with great certainty.
“Oh pshaw! is that all?” jokingly, replied Mr. Williams. “Why, that is nothing new. I knew this ten years ago.”
“Yes, you have known it, and if the Christian Science field really knew it as I now do, your home would be besieged by a multitude.”
“Many more know it than you suppose. I already have students in most of the large cities, and teachers of my method in many places, and my correspondence is becoming so large that I do not find time to write to half of my friends of the spirit.”
“I cannot understand why, under these conditions, you are willing to give so much of your precious time to me.”
“I will tell you. Your first letter to me, told me plainly that you had a good and honest heart; and second, while I have quite a number of students in Chicago who use my method of applying Christian Science, yet none of them are so placed that they can engage actively in the healing and teaching field, and when I met you yesterday I felt that you were strong enough to open up this big field actively, once you had actual understanding. As I always work for the greatest good to the greatest number, I decided to take the time to start you on the true path provided you could be placed in a teachable frame of mind. Now that you have become convinced that I really have understood Mrs. Eddy’s teaching, I am more willing than ever to take the time necessary to give you a thorough insight into actual Christian Science, provided only, that you continue in the active position of practitioner and teacher.”
“But, the Manual, Mr. Williams. It forbids me to teach unless I am first taught the
Normal course at Boston.”
“Oh! the ritual,” smiled Mr. Williams. “It is so long since I looked into it that I had quite forgotten that there is such a book. I have not had the Normal course from the Boston Metaphysical College, so according to the Manual,
I would not be allowed to teach; still on page 67 of ‘Retrospection and Introspection/ Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘A primary class student, richly imbued with the spirit of Christ, is a better healer and teacher than a Normal class student who partakes less of God’s Love’; therefore, that by-law in the Manual pertaining to teaching is seen to be in error, for it stops the better teachers from teaching.” He paused for a moment, then added: “But tell me, do you think that any of the present teachers in that college could teach me anything pertaining to metaphysics that I do not already know?”
“Judging from some of my past experience I would say, No, of course not. How absurd then, for you to go there for teaching. Still, is not the Manual supposed to be an inspired book?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, by the blind believers who give the word ‘inspired’ a mysterious meaning. Webster defines the word to mean, ‘to infuse into the mind’; also, ‘informed or directed by the Holy Spirit.’
When I teach you Truth, I am infusing Truth into your mind, thus you are being inspired; and if it is done with intelligence or actual understanding of Life one could say that you were being inspired by the Holy Spirit,— being informed by the Holy Ghost. Let me call your attention to Mrs. Eddy’s definition of God in the Glossary of ‘Science and Health,’ page 587, line 5. The last definition given, is the single word ‘intelligence,’ and it is not capitalized. In many of the earlier editions, Mrs. Eddy capitalized the word ‘Understanding,’ denoting God; and in the present edition of ‘Science and Health,’ page 536, line 8, you find this: ‘The divine understanding reigns, is all.’ It ought to be evident to you that that which reigns and is all, must be God. So the God that inspired Mrs. Eddy was not a mysterious something outside of herself, but her own understanding of what is and what is not fact.”
“I can hardly grasp what you say, for the viewpoint is so new to me,” said Mrs. Viloxon, “Let’s away with all mysticism which tends to becloud reason, and let us unveil the plain Truth. The Manual is no more inspired than the little ‘Plain Talk’ booklets that you have read, or any other book or booklet that has been written from the standpoint of actual understanding.”
“But, Mr. Williams, there is printed on the fly leaf of the Manual an extract from a letter in ‘Miscellaneous Writings.’ I have read it so often that I think I can repeat it. It says:
‘(Manual 1908) The Rules and By-Laws in the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, originated not in solemn conclave as in ancient Sanhedrin. They were not arbitrary opinions imposed on another. They were impelled by a power not one’s own, were written at different dates as the occasion required.’ There is more but I do not just recall.”
“Don’t try. It is not worth the mental effort. This letter gives the blind believer an absolutely erroneous impression, for it causes him to think that either a personal or an impersonal God came to Mrs. Eddy and whispered those by-laws into her ear; and thus is gained the false impression that a mysterious God inspired the statements written in the Manual; whereas, the fact is, Mrs. Eddy knew that understanding or right consciousness is God, and that her sense of right and not a mysterious God was the ‘power not one’s own’ which caused her to write these by-laws. It were as though she had said: I did not write my own human opinion, but the Facts of Life as far as I understood them. That the by-laws were not always written from the standpoint of true consciousness or actual understanding, is seen in the fact that sometimes she changed them. If they had always been written by divine understanding, no rectification or change would have been necessary.”
“Mr. Williams, I am amazed at your ability to sift these matters to the bottom and reveal the common sense in them.”
“Mysticism is the bane of all religion, and I expose the seeming mystery wherever I can. I
have also had some Science students tell me that the lesson sermons in the Quarterly were inspired, intimating that a mysterious power was communicating these lessons to Mrs. Eddy. The reason for this false sense is the ‘Explanatory Note’ which appears in the Quarterly, and which is read at every Sunday service. This ‘Explanatory Note’ ends with the following: ‘constitutes a sermon undivorced from Truth, uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses and divinely authorized/ What other sense could the shallow thinker get from this but that God made up these lesson sermons and handed them to Mrs. Eddy, and authorized her to give them to her followers the same as God is supposed to have made the ten commandments and handed them to Moses. Truly, the time for thinkers has come as Mrs. Eddy has written, and they will need to think very hard to sift the chaff from the wheat.”
Mrs. Viloxon sat as if transfixed, gazing at the man before her, but as she offered no reply, Mr. Williams continued: “The explanatory note that I just read you was from a Quarterly dated April 5th, 1914. I have here an older Quarterly dated January 2nd, 1898, and in this one the note ends: ‘authorized by Christ/ instead of ‘divinely authorized.’ The word ‘authorized* is in italics to emphasize the authority as coming from Christ. Why the change, do you suppose ?”
“You have revealed so much to me that I have not words with which to answer,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“The babes in metaphysics do not understand the difference between the words ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’; and so, because of their past religious beliefs, they get the sense that Jesus, the only begotten son of God, has authorized these lesson sermons; whereas the fact is, that the word ‘Christ’ means ‘Truth,’ true thought, right thought, true reason, or in plain language, the actual facts pertaining to Life. Thus you can see that the actual authority which Mrs. Eddy was talking about was not a mysterious Jesus or Christ, but the real authority was real Truth. Anyone else, writing truly, would have the same right to state that what they have written was authorized by ‘Christ,’ Truth. I can see but one reason for the change in the ‘Explanatory Note/ and that is that the words ‘authorized by Christ’ were too strong for even the faithful to digest, in this progressive age, and so the other or milder form was used.”
“I believe you are right,” said Mrs. Viloxon, quietly.
“Now let us examine into the claim that these lessons are ‘uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses.’ The men who wrote the Bible were so-called human beings. Mrs. Eddy was a so-called human being. The translators who translated the Bible were so-called human beings. The Biblical writers laid no claim to infallibility, and we know that the translators made many misjudgments in their attempt to translate the real or spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. Then where is the justice of the claim that these lessons are uncontaminated by human supposition?”
“How blind and bewildered I have been. Oh, why were these things done?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Now Mrs. Viloxon, never again mention the Manual or the lesson sermons to me as divine authority. I teach by the command of Jesus, not by the authority of Boston; and I consider this command regarding the spreading of the Gospel (the good spell) over all the earth to far outreach any authority from Boston.”
“I see that you are right. Yes, you are always right. But,—”
“No more buts or ifs,” broke in Mr. Williams. “Remember the Master’s admonition to the young man,— to sell all (dispose of all this nonsense), and follow Christ (true Reason).”
“I will. I shall start anew, at once,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with sound determination.
“That is the right mental attitude. Come, and be born again; and this time into your God- being, instead of into another human being.”
“I don’t quite understand what you mean, but I am ready to begin,” she said, and a moment later added “I suppose that the first step will be to send in my resignation to the local and Mother church, and openly announce that I have severed my connection with the veiled Truth. And then firmly take my stand to uphold the real Truth.” “Yes, that would be the spectacular and erring human way. But really, all that you have mentioned is non- essential, of no importance; and it amounts to nothing in the right direction.” “I do not understand you, Mr. Williams.” “I will explain. Right thinking is the fundamental to all healing work. Can you not think right without sending in your resignation? Will it help you to think right to come out in a spectacular way, and unnecessarily incur the enmity of the religious zealot? As for upholding Truth, I want you to change your thought about this matter. The real Truth needs no holding up or upholding. It is strong enough to stand alone. Your work does not consist of upholding Truth, but in finding out the Truth and conforming your thought and actions thereto.”
“What manner of man are you? I thought you would hail with delight the announcement of my determination to resign from the Science church and openly espouse your Cause.”
“You were mistaken. I have no quarrel with the Science church nor any other church. In regard to organized church affairs, I would charitably say with Jesus, ‘suffer it to be so now.’ The mental infant seems to need a crib. The thing I am combating is the idea that mental infants should remain infants forever, and never think for themselves or stand alone. I want them to become grown up, mentally, so that they can begin to work out their own salvation; and not with the fear and trembling that comes from uncertainty and mysticism, but with the fearlessness that comes from certainty and understanding. As far as espousing my cause,— I haven’t any of my own. It is the cause of the universal brotherhood of man, and of eternal salvation from sin, sickness and death.”
“Mr. Williams, I hope some day to understand you better and then be able to judge you rightly. Will you not tell me what attitude to take that I may grow out of the church ?”
“On page 165, line 18 of ‘Science and Health’ there is a marginal heading which reads:
‘Causes of sickness’ and in the paragraph under this heading, Mrs. Eddy says in substance, that when you have a distressed stomach or aching head ‘you consult your brain in order to remember what has hurt you, when your remedy lies in forgetting the whole thing.’ I have found that the way to get rid of any mental inharmony, is to forget the whole thing
as rapidly as possible. The reason this results in healing or mental harmony is because the mental law is, ‘out of mind, out of body/ Therefore, applying the same remedy to growth out of church organization, I would advise that you make the effort to forget the whole thing as rapidly and as quietly as possible, by paying no heed to the church or what the church members may or may not say.”
“Would you or would you not attend, the services?”
“That is a question for each individual to solve. If I felt like going occasionally, I would; and when I did not feel so inclined, I would not go. To attend church, just as a duty or to be seen of men, is another form of hypocrisy. I should say that the advice given by Mrs. Eddy on some other subject, would be good in the present instance. She says : ’emerge gently from matter into Spirit,’ and I would add: emerge gently from the infantile state into the ‘measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’.”
“Your advice is sensible and your logic irrefutable, and I shall attempt to leave the church so gradually that it will not disturb a single babe in Christ.”
“That is the right idea. Mrs. Eddy says in ‘Retrospection and Introspection,’ page 61, line
29: ‘Let there be milk for babes.’ Perhaps the babes in Christ (those who cannot stand alone, mentally) need the church to lean upon. She also says in ‘Science and Health/ page 371, line 20: ‘I would not transform the infant at once into a man, nor would I keep the suckling a lifelong babe.’ That is the point which I am trying to get the satisfied church goers to see. Most of them seem to be so bound by fear of the organization or hypnotized by their religious zeal and devotion to church that they do not move forward and up out of the church thought. Their fears hold them in the servant or babe position with no further mental growth.”
“I see it all now. You want the babes to grow up and out of the infantile mental state, and do it without disturbing the others. You do not want the church destroyed/’ said Mrs. Viloxon.
“I should like to see the churches turned into metaphysical colleges with competent teachers in charge, giving several hours instruction daily, instead of one or two hours per week, as under the present system. The idea of building a hundred thousand dollar structure and then using this building two or three hours per week, seems folly to me. The Readers should be competent teachers; and should teach from nine to twelve, and from one to four o’clock of each day, as is done in our public schools. These schools could be maintained in the same manner and by the same expense which now sustains them as churches. Now that you have a clearer view of this matter, let us take up the subject of right thinking.”
“I gave much thought to what you said yesterday about the healing being accomplished by our own right thought, and not an outside power; and with this clearer view in mind I could see innumerable places in Mrs. Eddy’s writings where she intimates this, but why was it not plainly stated so that none could mistake,” said Mrs. Vi-loxon.
“Many reasons have been given for the veiling of Truth. I feel that it was a mistake to veil it, at least in this progressive age. However, it matters not. The work of unveiling has begun, and will not be stopped until all is made plain. It is now becoming known that Truth is true thinking, is right thinking; and that our work is to discover the facts of Life (which is Truth), and keep all of our thinking in conformity with the facts of Being; and thus experience the true or harmonious Life, through daily right thinking.”
“Yes,” she replied; “I can see the great necessity of our knowing what is and what is not fact, before we can hope to always think right.”
“I wish to call your attention to a marginal heading on page 114, line 25 of ‘Science and Health/ which reads: ‘Causation mental’. The paragraph to which this heading is attached states: ‘Christian Science explains all cause and effect as mental, not physical.’ You will note that the statement reads, ‘all cause’; and there are no capitals to mar or obscure the sense. If the cause of all is mental, then mentality must be the seat of the cause of all. Carrying the subject further, the ills and blessings that you experience would be the experiences created by your own thought; and the experiences would be either ills or blessings according to whether your own thought was right or wrong,” said Mr. Williams.
“I can scarcely agree with you on that subject, for the Bible teaches and Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the statement that the same fount sends not forth sweet and bitter waters, as your statement seems to imply,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
Mr. Williams was not in the least disturbed by w T hat his visitor said, although she thought that she had discovered a weak spot or a contradiction in his reasoning.
After looking intently at his visitor for a moment, he said: “I am pleased to note that your reason is becoming more active. Right thought and wrong thought are not from the same fount or foundation, even though both of these activities are to be found in the individual mentality. Right thought has its fount or foundation in understanding or God. Wrong thought has its foundation in erring belief or Satan, though both gain external expression through the individual mentality.”
“I seem to see dimly what you are trying to have me understand, but if the cause of all is mental, why do we say that Spirit is the cause of all and that all is spiritual ?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Right mental action or right thought would be true mental action or Truth, and the Biblical writers used the word Spirit to designate right thought from wrong thought, and the word spiritual to designate real or right effects from wrong effects. They knew that the mental element was a reasoning element, and so could think on both sides of any question; and therefore, the infantile mentality might think wrong, and thus produce a seeming wrong condition. Wrong thought is error, and the only Satan there is. Right thought (right consciousness) and Spirit are one and the same. On page 453, line 6 of
‘Science and Health/ Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘Right and wrong, truth and error, will be at strife in the minds of students, until victory rests on the side of invincible truth.’ Here we have the word ‘right’ given the significance of Truth or God; and ‘wrong’ given the significance of error or Satan. It ought now to be plain that our ills are caused by evil, error, our wrong thought. Then what is more reasonable than that they can be, and are, healed by our right thought, the opposite of evil? In this is seen the fact that we really do heal ourselves; and yet at the same time it is God, Truth, right or true thought, that does the work.”
“I have read that statement many times and remember distinctly that the word ‘truth’ was not capitalized. Therefore, I cannot agree with you when you bring out the sense that Mrs. Eddy meant Truth, God, in that statement,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Oh, those capitals! What an easy way to veil the real meaning and lead the student astray. The confusion resulting therefrom cannot be measured. What greater truth could
there be than ‘invincible truth’? However, to fully convince you, I will call your attention to page 362 of ‘Miscellany,’ by Mary Baker Eddy. Here we find: ‘I rejoice with you in the victory of right over wrong, of Truth over error,’ and the word ‘Truth’ in this statement carries the capital. Are you convinced?” asked Mr. Williams.
Mrs. Viloxon nodded her head, as she remarked: “Please continue, for I have no words with which to express my appreciation of the enlightenment that you are bringing to my thought.”
“Very well. In common parlance, we could say that our wrong thought is the cause of our ills, and our own right thought is the healer. An astute reasoner might remind us that he had often thought of a certain illness and still not experienced it, and many Scientists would remind us of the fact that they had often thought of themselves as well without being healed.”
“Why yes, that is true; and how would you explain this if it is our thought that is the sole cause?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“The explanation is very simple when—”
“Yes, it all seems very simple to you, but very wonderful to me,” broke in Mrs. Viloxon. “It will also be simple and reasonable to you before we are through. The explanation of why we can think of a disease and not experience it, and think health and not be healed, is this: The mentality does not externalize its passing thought, merely; but in reality it only externalizes its thought convictions and conclusions. It is well that this is true, else there would be a constantly changing panorama exhibited by the body. We know from daily experience that we can think of taking a walk, and still not take the walk; but when our thought reaches a conclusion or decision, then we act out the thought conclusion or conviction, by walking. The same is true when we think we are going to be sick. The mere thought, without repeated thinking to the point of mental conviction, will not result in sickness; but let us arrive at a sound conclusion or conviction and hold this conclusion for a time, and the ill to correspond will be expressed by the body.” “I understand, Mr. Williams. It is just as though the passing or fleeting thought does not register on the body; but the thoughts that reach a conclusion or mental conviction do register on the body as sick or healthy conditions, to correspond to the nature and quality of the thought conviction.”
“Yes, that is one way of stating it. This also illustrates how one may heal himself through continued right thinking to the point where a sound conviction is gained.”
“It is not very clear to me as yet that my own right mental conclusion can heal me. But I suppose that is because in the past, I agreed with the idea that my wrong thinking made me sick, but thought that a power outside of me named divine Mind was responsible for the healing, and not my own right thinking,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“No doubt, that is the reason. But it ought to be evident to you now, that if your sick thoughts made you sick, your own healthy thinking would make you healthy.”
“Yes, that sounds so very reasonable, but why was not this stated plainly, by Mrs. Eddy?” “All that I can say to you is, that it is quite plainly stated in the earlier editions of ‘Science and Health,’ though changed back and forth by some one in the various editions following. For instance, on page 228 of the third edition, we read: ‘Whatever the mind desires to produce on the body it should state mentally and abide by this statement/ You will notice that it reads, ‘whatever the mind desires to produce 1 . This ‘the mind’ can mean nothing but your own mind.”
“That certainly is a plain statement. I wonder why it was ever removed from the text- book?” the lady asked.
“It was not removed from the text-book, but apparently it was too plain as it seemed to leave that mysterious God of the blind believer out of the healing work, and delegated the healing power to the individual’s own mind. However, even as late as the 37th edition of
‘Science and Health,’ the statement reads: ‘Whatever the mind desires to produce on the body it should express mentally, and hold fast to this idea.’ There is a little change in the words, but the sense has not been disturbed.”
“Yes, I should say that both statements mean the same, and would be very helpful to the patient searcher for the healing Truth.”
“Now, Mrs. Viloxon, note carefully the difference in the statement as given in the 78th edition. On page 391, w T e read: ‘Whatever mortal mind desires to produce on the body it should express mentally and hold fast to this ideal.’ You will note that the word ‘mortal’ has been added, as though only the erring mind produced effects on the body.”
“What could have been Mrs. Eddy’s reason for adding that word?” The question was asked with great astonishment.
“I think the reason is as I stated before, namely, that perhaps some one pointed out to her that, as the statement stood in the third edition, she was having the so-called human
mind do the healing, and thus apparently leaving the mysterious God out of the work.” “I think it a shame that these changes were made,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“That is not the worst of it, for in the present text-book we find still another change in
this same statement. On page 392 of the 1907 edition of ‘Science and Health/ line 12, Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘Whatever benefit mind desires to produce on the body, should be expressed mentally and thought should be held fast to this ideal.’ You will notice that the word
‘mortal’ has been dropped.”
“Yes. Mrs. Eddy went back to her first statement, but why?” asked Mrs. Viloxon with perplexity.
“Not quite back to her first statement, for the very enlightening article ‘the’ has been left out. When we write ‘the mind’ we all know that it refers to the mind of the individual; but with the article ‘the’ left out, it leaves you to guess whether she meant mortal mind, human mind, or divine Mind; and I know from experience that all are still guessing.”
“But why did Mrs. Eddy again drop the word ‘mortal’ from the statement after once having used it?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“The only reason I can see is, that again some one pointed out to her that according to the statement with the word ‘mortal’ in it, she was practically saying that mortal mind was producing the good as well as the bad effects experienced in the body; in other words, mortal mind, according to that statement, made us sick, and could also produce so-called bodily health.”
“What a conglomeration of opposites to be found in a text-book!” said Mrs. Viloxon, with a look of disgust. “Are you sure that Mrs. Eddy made all of these changes?”
“No, I am not sure, and it matters not who made them. The fact is that they are in the book that Christian Scientists accept as their text-book to the understanding of eternal Life.”
“Is it not the general opinion of the Science field that Mrs. Eddy constantly kept revising
‘Science and Health’ with the intention of making it more correct, and easier to understand?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
u Yes. I have heard that stated, and some have told me they were certain that this was the reason for the constant changes. But what is ‘general opinion’? Is it a cause or an effect?”
“I don’t believe that I understand your question,” she replied.
“General opinion is not a cause, but an effect; and we can scarcely have any effect without a cause. In my investigations of general opinions regarding politics and other public affairs, I have satisfied myself, that back of the usual general opinion, there is a cause; which cause is usually composed of a nucleus of three or four people who plan or form the seed of this future general opinion. Those at the helm know just the right soil in which to plant this seed of future general opinion, so that it will spread rapidly. From this it can be seen that, as a rule, public opinion is not the spontaneous, automatic outgrowth of general opinion, but is really the opinion or will of a few.”
“Do you wish to intimate that this is what was done in the present instance?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“I wish to intimate nothing. I was merely illustrating how the opinion or will of a few can be made to permeate a certain group of people through mental contagion; and therefore, we should not be guided too easily by public opinion, but should think and reason for ourselves.”
“But Mr. Williams, if I cannot depend on my text-book, what am I to do?” And fear and anxiety were in her voice.
Mr. Williams laughed softly, then said: “Excuse me for laughing, but your question brought a statement of Mrs. Eddy’s so forcibly to my thought that I could not help but laugh.”
“Would you mind repeating the statement for me?” she asked.
“I will look it up for you. It is in ‘Science and Health.’ Yes, here it is, page 238, line 10, and it says: “Losing her crucifix, the Roman Catholic girl ibid, ‘I hWve nb&in& left bii’t biffttV’
Mrs. Viloxon, who had moved forward in anxious anticipation, slowly leaned back in her chair, with her gaze fixed steadily on the laughing face before her. After a few moments thought, she said: “I cannot fathom you at all. You have such a certainty in your understanding that nothing seems to have escaped you, and you appear to me like an unshakable rock.”
“If that which you, in the past, called understanding did not make you certain and unshakable as a rock, then it was not real understanding, but belief, which you called understanding.”
“Perhaps you are right, for it is evident to me that what I have gained by my study has not made me certain and unshakable, but rather the reverse. I well know what you mean by that reference to the crucifix, but what am I to do without a textbook?”
“I did not tell you to throw away your textbook. It is your own good reason which is telling you, that, from what I have pointed out, the text-book is not quite as infallible an authority as you thought. I have also been citing statements from the earlier editions, and telling you that the early editions are much plainer; therefore, what is to hinder you from getting an earlier edition, if you feel that you must have a ‘Science and Health’ ?”
“Mr. Williams, you are unfolding so many new thoughts to me that I am afraid I shall forget some of the very important ones. Would you object if I took a few notes?”
“No objection at all. Take all that you care to.”
“Thank you. You said something about right thoughts being the God that heals, and I should like to take that down so as to understand it better. The thing that is not clear to me is this: If my right thought is God, what relation do I hold to my right thought or God?”
“Good! We are really beginning to think. The relation which you bear to your right thought is that of father to son.”
“I don’t believe I understand that,” said Mrs. Viloxon, as a look of perplexity overspread her face.
“No, I suppose you don’t. Yet, according to Mrs. Eddy, you have never started right in
Christian Science until you do understand this.”
“I don’t remember having read anything of this import, written by Mrs. Eddy. Will you tell me where I can find the statement ?”
“Mrs. Viloxon, do you remember that the Scriptures state that upon one occasion, Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: ‘Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God’ ?”
“Yes,” she replied. “I have read the statement many times, and I have been told by some that the coming into Christian Science was this being born again.”
“No, not that which you call Christian Science. The re-birth or new birth is much more than that.”
“I do not follow you at all, Mr. Williams.” “I will explain. Mrs. Eddy, in speaking of
Jesus, said, he ‘arose in his God-Being.’ Do you know what a God-Being is?” “No, I don’t believe I ever gave it a thought.” “We are all born so-called human beings, and Paul calls this being, the natural man, for he said: ‘first cometh the natural man,’ then ‘the spiritual man’. He might as well have said: then comes the Spirit-man, the Spirit-Being (the Being who knows that he is Spirit), the God-Being (the Being who knows that he is God). Therefore, the re-birth is not merely the joining of the Christian Science church or any other church; but to arise mentally to the position of your God-Being; or to awake to the Truth that you are a God- Being, instead of a human being; to awake to the knowledge that you are a being that is God.”
As Mr. Williams stopped speaking, he noticed from the startled look in the eye of his visitor, that she was laboring under a sense of great fear; but he said nothing further, seeming to wait for his visitor to speak.
After several more moments of silence, Mrs. Viloxon said: “Oh, Mr. Williams, why did you say that? I did have such great hopes that I had found the actual Truth in what you were telling me; but your last statement, that we are God, has shocked and startled me, and also proven to me that you have mistaken the way. Oh! I am so sorry.”
“Instead of being sorry either for me or yourself, you should demand of me the proof that we are God; and if I cannot prove what I have stated, to your full satisfaction, then it will be time enough to be sorry.”
“But you cannot prove that we are God. I distinctly remember Mrs. Eddy’s statement that man is never God.”
“I fully agree with that statement. Man is never God. But this statement in no wise conflicts with the statement that you are God.”
“Mr. Williams! How can you make such an absurd statement?”
The same calm, reassuring smile began to appear on the face of the teacher, and it somehow told his visitor that he would be able to prove his words, satisfactorily; and she waited eagerly for him to begin. At length he said: u This very question is the rock which divides the shallow believer from the understander; the so-called human being from the God- Being that Mrs. Eddy wants us to be. I would not have made the statement if I had doubted my ability to make you see the truth of it.”
After a pause, he continued: “First, I will explain to you your relation to your right thought. I stated that it was the same as that of father to son. You will admit that right thought is the outcome of right mentality. Right mentality and right consciousness are one and the same. Right consciousness is true consciousness, and Mrs. Eddy says in ‘Unity of Good’ that ‘all true consciousness is God.’ We have always considered God as the Father or first Cause. If right thought is the outcome of right mentality, then it is born or created by the Father of all and would be the real Son of God, the Savior or Christ; thus, the relationship of father and son is established. I should prefer that the word ‘Son’ be written ‘Sun,’ for right thought is also the light or conscious awareness of the primal element, named consciousness. To lead this reasoning further and show you that you are God, you will need to follow me carefully and think before you speak so as not to contradict yourself. Does Mrs. Eddy teach that God is all?” asked Mr. Williams.
“Yes,” slowly answered Mrs. Viloxon. “Can there be more than all?”
“No, and Mrs. Eddy also says not,” replied Mrs. Viloxon.
“If God is all, it is evident that there cannot be more than all, for all includes everything. If there seemed to be anything outside of the all, it would be nothing but a seeming, or really nothing.”
“That is a peculiar statement, but if God is all, there could be nothing else,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
– ^’Very well. If God is all, then you are God or nothing, for God cannot be the all, and there be you besides.” ^
Mrs. Viloxon was silent for a moment, then said: “Mrs. Eddy also says that God and His idea is all, and I claim to be the idea of God.”
“Yes, I know she said that God and His idea is all, but do you understand what she means
?” asked Mr. Williams.
“Why yes, certainly. She means that there is a supreme Being named God, and us. The supreme Being would be God, and we would be idea or man.”
“Did you ever find any place in ‘Science and Health’ where Mrs. Eddy said that ‘you are man’?”
“That seems a foolish question to me. I am sure Mrs. Eddy has said it a hundred times. Please hand me that ‘Science and Health/ and I will show it to you.”
Handing the book to her, Mr. Williams said: “Very well, but remember the statement you are looking for is ‘you are man’ and not some other assertion.”
Mrs. Viloxon began to search and turn the pages, while Mr. Williams quietly waited. At length she said: “Here Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘man is the image of God/ which is the same thing as, ‘you are man.’
“It would be, providing you could find a place where she said, you are the image of God.” “But I am the image of God. The Bible teaches that man is the image of God, and so does
“Yes, both the Bible and Mrs. Eddy teach that man is the image of God; but neither one teaches that you are man; nor do they teach that you arc the image of God.”
“Mr. Williams, I can see no difference at all.”
“Perhaps not, but if you did see the difference, you would no doubt make short work of your ills.”
“Well, I am certain that I am not God. It’s absurd, and the absurdity is clearly seen in this,
if I were God and I prayed, then I would be praying to myself. What nonsense!” and there was a look of genuine disgust on the woman’s face.
The teacher’s face showed just the opposite emotion. First came the smile, and after a
little the smile broke forth into a merry laugh. After a bit, he controlled his laughter and said: “Excuse me. I was not laughing at you, but at the idea of you, praying to yourself,” and he laughed again.
At length his visitor relaxed somewhat and laughed softly, as she said: “You were joking were you not, when you made the statement that I was God? I suppose you said it to see what I would say.”
A look of seriousness at once appeared on the teacher’s face, as he answered: “No, Mrs. Viloxon, I was never more serious in my life. The fact that you are God is what I am striving to teach you.”
“But Mrs. Eddy does not teach that. She never said that we were God,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with a decided toss of her head. “Suppose she did not say it, but that I claim it and teach it. What would you say?” “I would say that you were wrong and teaching wrong.”
“Suppose Mrs. Eddy did say it, what then?” asked Mr. Williams.
“Well, I don’t know what I would think. But if it could be proven to me that she did say it, I would be inclined to think it was right.”
“In other words, you are so wedded to Mrs. Eddy that if some one else stated a truth you would not believe it; but if Mrs. Eddy said something, even though in error, you would believe it. Don’t you think that is about as narrow as any one can be? A fact is a fact, and it makes no difference who states the fact. The thing is to prove that it is a fact, or disprove it. Nevertheless, Mrs. Eddy did say in substance, and also taught that we are God. When she wrote ‘God is all/ she stated that you are God, as I have shown you.”
“But the single statement that ‘God is all,’ would not satisfy me, for it does not plainly state that I am God.”
“Mrs. Eddy expected that the awakened student would be able to reason a little; and supposed that if she stated that ‘God is all,’ and the student found himself something, he must consider himself part of the all, or God,” replied Mr. Williams.
“Well, that does not satisfy me,” said Mrs. Viloxon with great positiveness. “And besides, I
know that Mrs. Eddy never wrote that we are God.”
“That is the peculiar part of you Christian Science students. You think you know all that Mrs. Eddy ever said, and most of you have never read beyond the mental milk bottle. Why don’t you wake up to the facts. Every one knows that you feed infants on milk; and therefore, the first book that you would give a mental infant, would
be a book with the milk of the Word in it. The plain, undiluted meat of the Word can be found in her writings, but scarcely in the present edition of ‘Science and Health’.”
“You mean that the latest edition of ‘Science and Health’ is the milk of the word?” “Yes, that is my understanding of it; for I find much plainer statements of Truth elsewhere in her writings.”
“Will you kindly tell me where?” she asked.
“There are many plain statements in the first few editions of ‘Science and Health,’ in her two pamphlets entitled, ‘Christian Healing,’ and ‘The People’s Idea of God,’ and also in certain parts of her other writings,” replied the teacher.
“I have not spent much time on her other works,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “I devoted all my time to ‘Science and Health’.”
“That is what all the various practitioners tell me. This sticking to a babe’s diet of milk, when they ought to grow up mentally and partake of the meat of the Word, is the thing I object to.”
“Please show me what you mean by the meat of the Word.”
“Very well, I will do so”; and reaching over on his desk, he took up the first edition of “Science and Health” and turned to page 39, and said: “read the statement that is underscored.”
Mrs. Viloxon took the book, and read aloud: “To know that we are Soul and not body is starting right.” Then she glanced at Mr. Williams, and a moment later read the statement silently. Not yet being satisfied, she turned to the front of the book and read, “Science and Health by Mary Baker Glover.” Looking into space, she slowly laid the book in her lap,
and said: “There must be some mistake.”
“Yes, there is a mistake,” remarked Mr. Williams; “but the mistake is in your thought, and not in that statement.”
“But the word ‘Soul is capitalized, denoting God,” was the reply.
“Then you think perhaps it is a typographical error?” he asked.
“It certainly must be, unless there are other places where she says the same thing.” “Please look on page 54, and read the statement that you find underscored.”
Picking up the book again, she turned to the page mentioned and read aloud: “Therefore to be the recipient of Truth, we must begin to recognize ourselves Soul and not body.”
Mr. Williams now asked: “Is the word ‘Soul’ in that statement capitalized, denoting God?” A very slow, “Yes,” was the answer.
He waited for her to say something more but as she remained silent, he asked: “Would you like more proof?”
“Have you more?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, turn to page 77, and read what is underscored there.”
Turning to the page indicated, she read aloud: “The final understanding that we are Spirit must come.”
“Does the word ‘Spirit’ carry a capital?” asked Mr. Williams. EMERGENCE INTO THE LIGHT 119
“Yes, it does,” was the answer; and her voice was scarcely audible. “Now turn to page 155, and read what is underscored.”
Mrs. Viloxon did as requested and read: “That we are Spirit, and Spirit is God, is undeniably true.”
“Turn to page 14, please,” said Mr. Williams.
Finding the page, Mrs. Viloxon read: “We are Spirit, Soul and not body,” then remarked: “the words ‘Spirit’ and ‘Soul’ are capitalized. I am dumbfounded!” She then leaned back in her chair as though very weary, and slowly laid the book in her lap.
Mr. Williams now said, “Turn to page —”
“That will do, Mr. Williams,” broke in Mrs. Viloxon. “I cannot bear more just now.” After a moment, she added: “Would you mind if I copied those statements into my note book?”
“I have no objection whatever.”
After she had finished copying the statements, she closed her note book, and said: “If you don’t mind I will go to my room at the hotel. I must have time to think this matter all out by myself.”
“A very wise plan!” said Mr. Williams; and then continued in a kindly tone: “and please don’t worry about the matter, but reason calmly; and you will find that the simple Truth
of those wonderful statements will unfold to your consciousness as the only true solution of the Master’s teaching. You may come at the same hour tomorrow.”
“I shall try to be prompt,” replied Mrs. Viloxon, as she went out of the door.
The next day, Mrs. Viloxon was scarcely seated in Mr. Williams’ office before she began saying: “I knew all along yesterday, while we were discussing the matter of our being God, that there was something wrong, and that some vital thing which I ought to have remembered, had escaped me. Last night as I was carefully reviewing the matter,
mentally, I awoke to the true situation.”
“I should be glad to hear the outcome of your reasoning,” said Mr. Williams.
“I was positive that I could not be God, and that Mrs. Eddy did not so teach; and I also felt that divine Love would lead me, if I would only ask.”
“And did you ask divine Love to lead you?”
“Yes I did,” said Mrs. Viloxon; “and I had an almost instantaneous demonstration.”
“I am very much interested. Would you mind telling me about it?” asked Mr. Williams. “That is my only reason for coming. I did not come to-day with the intention of asking
further enlightenment from you, because I am satisfied that you are wrong in your thought. Ordinarily, I should have just gone back to Chicago, but I am sure that you are sincere, Mr. Williams, even though you are wrong; and I felt it no more than right that I show you the way, because you at least tried to show me the way,” and there was a beaming smile on her face, as she said it.
“That was certainly a kind thought, and I am all wrought up to hear what you have discovered which proves to you that my teaching is wrong,” and a quiet smile played about the lips of Mr. Williams.
Mrs. Viloxon noticed it, and said: “You don’t seem very wrought up in appearance.”
“You know appearances are often deceiving. Now for instance, in your own case, I thought from your appearance that I was going to have
a real thinker in you; but from what I just heard I am inclined to think that appearances are indeed deceptive.”
“I am a thinker, else I would not have been able to see through all this error.” “Well I am ready to be convinced that you are right,” said Mr. Williams, kindly.
“I was thinking the whole matter over last night, and while working mentally I kept thinking: divine Love will show me the error. After a half hour’s work, divine Love did show me the error, and this is it: Mrs. Eddy repudiated these early writings as incorrect, and that is why we do not find these seemingly plain statements in the present edition of
‘Science and Health’; and this also explains why my teacher told me not to read or study the earlier editions. He knew they were wrong, and therefore warned me, so that I would not be misled.”
“That is rather a broad statement, and on the whole is very unkind to Mrs. Eddy. In that statement you practically admit that Mrs. Eddy
made mistakes when she wrote the early editions, and therefore did not know what she was writing about. I would like to know, according to your idea, just when you think Mrs. Eddy did come to understand Science.”
“No, I am not saying that Mrs. Eddy made mistakes when she wrote the early editions,” said Mrs. Viloxon hurriedly; “she merely changed her statements to make them plainer.”
“But you said she repudiated the early editions of ‘Science and Health/ did you not? As I understand it, she repudiated some early letters and pamphlets as not entirely correct, but not any editions of ‘Science and Health.’ If she merely made the changes in statements to make them more readily understood, then, according to this reasoning, the early statements are still correct, though not as understandable. According to this theory, no
one would have the right to say that the early editions were incorrect, would they?” asked
“No, not eaxctly; but if these statements were
essential, they would also appear in the present edition,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“That is just the point. They do appear in the present edition, but are so diluted with unnecessary verbiage that the plainer meaning is lost in the superabundance of words; or through the peculiar use of capitals, just an inkling of the real meaning remains to be discerned.”
“Mr. Williams, I am afraid that you have made a statement which you will find hard to prove. After I arrived at my room, I made a special search through the present edition, to see if I could find any statements which had the same import as the ones I copied from the first edition; and I found none at all.”
“They are there just the same, even if you did not discover them,” was Mr. Williams’ reply. “I have read and studied the present edition for years, and have memorized a great part of
it; and I could not recall a single passage with the import that I am God; and am sure
there are none.”
“If I show you that statements of the same import as the ones you took notes of yesterday, are to be found in the present edition, though veiled, will you be satisfied that Mrs. Eddy’s statements in the first edition are correct, and still in force?”
“Oh yes. If you can show me any thing in the present edition that upholds the statements from the first edition, I will have to admit that you are right, and that I have been wrong.”
“Very well. Here, on page 23 of the first edition of ‘Science and Health,’ Mrs. Eddy wrote:
‘Soul and body are God and man, Principle and its idea.’ The question is, which of these two do you consider yourself to be?” asked Mr. Williams.
“I claim to be idea,” said Mrs. Viloxon; “and all Scientists whom I know state that they are the idea of God.”
“Yes, so I understand. Then according to that, you consider yourself the body of God,” replied Mr. Williams.
“No, I don’t think I ever considered myself the body of God, but the idea of God,” was the reply.
“Mrs. Eddy’s statement that ‘Soul and body are God and man, Principle and its idea,’ shows that idea and body are one and the same; so if you are the idea of God then you are the body of God.”
“But I do not like to say it that way/’ said Mrs. Viloxon.
“I know you don’t; and the reason why, is that you don’t really know what either statement means. However, let us consider another term. Is your body your identity?”
“I should think so. At least it would be the form of my identity.” “Mrs. Eddy says that man is the identity of God, does she not?” “Yes, I believe I have read that statement,” replied Mrs. Viloxon.
“According to this, identity and body would be the same. You admit that your body is your
identity or form, and so the identity of God would be his form or body. Thus, man would be the body of God, just as Mrs. Eddy says.”
“But Mr. Williams, I don’t like the idea of saying that I am the body of God. I am the idea of God.”
“And I am trying to show you that if you are one, you must be the other. Now let us turn to the present or latest edition of ‘Science and Health,’ and see if we can get any light on the subject. On page 477, line 19, Mrs. Eddy is supposed to have asked the question, ‘What are body and Soul?’ The answer is: ‘Identity is the reflection of Spirit.’ I have had
hundreds ask me why Mrs. Eddy did not answer the question she asked. The question is answered in the words ‘Identity is the reflection of Spirit.’ The word ‘identity’ was used to mean body, and the word ‘Spirit’ to mean God. If there had been no attempt to veil, the writer would have written in answer to the plain question, this plain answer: Body is the reflection of Soul; body is the em-
bodiment of Soul. Then there would have been no question about the meaning. Here you see one of the ways in which the original plain statements of the first edition have been transformed out of all recognition, though careful reasoning reveals that the statement,
‘Soul and body are God and man’ means the same as, ‘Identity is the reflection of Spirit’.”
“I can scarcely believe that you are right. Mrs. Eddy would not have intentionally obscured the simple meaning of the first statement, in the manner indicated on page
“I am making no assertions,” said Mr. Williams. “I am not saying that Mrs. Eddy did it. I am merely pointing out these things as they exist in plain print, and you must form your own conclusions as to who did it.”
“I will need to think deeply on the subject. At any rate, the statement does not say that man is God,” remarked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Neither do I say that man is God. I do say that when Mrs. Eddy is understood rightly, she teaches that man is body, that is, that the term ( man’ means ‘body’.”
“Do you know of any place in her writings where she states or implies that man is body, Mr. Williams ?”
“Yes, on page 22, third edition of ‘Science and Health,’ is the statement that ‘the body of
Soul is man/ and she also explains the matter. On page 20 of the same edition, she wrote:
‘In place of sentient matter, we have sensationless bodies, and God the Soul of the body, and man’s existence perpetual in its identification of Deity.’ There you have a statement
in which Mrs. Eddy says in substance, that the Soul of your body is God; and that the body is man, the identity or identification of Deity or God.”
“But that statement is from the early editions, and I want something from the present edition,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Just a moment and I shall satisfy your thought. On page 22, third edition of ‘Science and
Health,’ there is a statement regarding this matter. I have traced this statement through many editions, because it seemed to me to be a basic one. I also wanted to find how the statement read in the present edition. As given in this third edition it reads: ‘The science of being reveals man perfect even as the Father is perfect; because the Soul of man is God.’ There is more to the statement but I want to call your attention to the fact that even though you regard yourself as man, yet according to this statement your Soul would be God. Your Soul is your real self as you perhaps know, for when the Soul leaves this plane, you have left, thus showing that the Soul and you, are one and the same.”
u Oh, Mr. Williams, I would like to admit this but I simply cannot. I made the attempt last evening to take the mental position that I was God, and the next instant I was all a tremble with the fear that I might be punished for my presumption.”
u The old ideas of God are not easily gotten rid of. It took much reasoning and study before I could take the advanced position and feel that I understood it. Just have patience! I have made it clear to hundreds, and I shall be able to make it clear to you.”
“I am afraid.not,” she replied. “I sometimes think that I don’t want it to be that way.”
“In other words, you hope that you will find out for a certainty that you are not God,” said
“Well, something of that sort.”
“I should think that you would be more vitally interested in actually proving what you are, instead of what you are not. However, let us go on with that citation, it continues: ‘The Scriptures inform us that ‘God is Love’ the ‘Truth and the Life,’ therefore He is Principle and not person, and the body of Soul is man, the idea of this Principle and his conscious Life and intelligence is Soul and not body.’ Can you not understand from this that the conscious ‘You’ is Soul, God; and the unconscious body is man, the idea, reflection or embodiment of the conscious ‘You’?”
“I see that these statements must mean that, but they are from the earlier editions,” said
Mrs. Viloxon, much disturbed.
“Very well, we will now look into the present or latest edition and see what Mrs. Eddy has said on this subject. Here, on page 319, line 18, in the latest edition of ‘Science and Health,’ Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘Mystery, miracle, sin, and death will disappear when it becomes fairly understood that the divine Mind controls man and man has no Mind but God.’ If we take the position that you are Soul or Mind, as I claim, and that your body is man; then the statement means that you, being the Soul, would be God. Taking the position that you are man, as you claim; then the statement would mean that your Mind is God, for the statement reads that ‘man’ (which would be you according to your theory)
‘has no Mind but God’; thus again, the ‘You,’ the consciousness (your consciousness), would be God.”
“I cannot believe that the statement means what you say; there is some mistake,” said Mrs. Viloxon. You have been believing too much and too long already. I don’t want you to believe a single statement. I want you to think, reason and investigate, and get to that mental rock, understanding, which gives you dominion over all ills.”
“I want to understand. I want the Truth. Why were these things hidden from the earnest seeker?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“I have my own opinions regarding the matter, but I never like to state mere opinions. I shall again read that statement from the third edition: ‘The science of being reveals man perfect even as the father is perfect, because the Soul of man is God.’ It does not take much mental wrestling to realize that this statement means that my Soul, the conscious part of me, the real me, is God. Now I shall read from the latest edition: ‘The Science of being reveals man as perfect, even as the Father is perfect, because the Soul or Mind of the Spiritual man is God/ You can see that
the statements mean exactly the same, but by using the phrase ‘of the spiritual man’ the student thinks it does not mean himself, but a spiritual man; and thus he loses the real sense of the statement as gleaned from the plainer, simpler statement in the earlier edition. The student does not stop to think that Mrs. Eddy teaches that, scientifically, there is no mortal man, therefore, the only man there is, is the spiritual man. Correctly understood, the statement, ‘the spiritual man/ does not refer to the ‘I, 1 or individual consciousness, for the T is Spirit, as Mrs. Eddy says, on page 249, line 21, ‘Science and Health.’ The man referred to in both statements is the body, the embodiment, the spiritual embodiment, the embodiment of Spirit; the embodiment of Mind, the embodiment of the mental element, the embodiment of the mentality; your embodiment, your mental embodiment, for there is no material embodiment. The body that we call matter, is matter so-called; but in reality, it is the effect of mind, or mentality. Therefore, rightly \lridefsto6d-, it is a mental body, instead of a material body; and as mentality is consciousness, then right mentality would be right or true consciousness, and Mrs. Eddy says that all true consciousness is God, or Spirit; therefore, the embodiment of right mentality would be the embodiment, identity, reflection or body of Spirit, and it would be Spiritual, because the cause of it is Spirit.”
Mr. Williams paused a moment that his visitor might gain the first import of his statement, then he continued: u Remembering that Mrs. Eddy said that man is body, or man means body, we can arrive at the understanding that when she spoke of the spiritual man she was not speaking of the individual consciousness (you), but was speaking of the embodiment of Spirit, or the spiritual embodiment, or mental body. There are not two distinct bodies, one material and the other spiritual; there is only the spiritual or thought body (the body composed of thoughts), the mental or visible manifestation of mentality, though mistakenly called material. That I am in accord with Mrs. Eddy’s thought on the question can be seen from this statement taken from page 26, ‘Miscellaneous Writings/—’The only logical conclusion is that all is Mind and its manifestation, from the rolling of worlds, in the most subtle ether, to a potato-patch/ Therefore, rightly understood, a potato-patch is spiritual and not material, as most Scientists teach.”
When Mr. Williams finished speaking, Mrs. Viloxon continued to gaze steadily at him for several moments, then with some show of excitement, said: “I am confused. I am lost in a maze. You have bewildered me with the depth and rapidity of the enlightenment that you have just given me. I want to remember it all and write it all down, but am afraid I shall not retain a tenth part of what you said. I can but ask again, why did not Mrs. Eddy continue the plainer statements so that all might have understood? Or why do you not put this in plain print so that all honest seekers could gain-the right import of the Christ Science, and arrive at that unshakable foundation stone, understanding, so necessary to the complete harmony of mind and body.” “I have already done so. It has been in plain print for several years; and the book that contains this plain statement of Life is already scattered from Alaska to Australia.” “You have written such a book!” ejaculated Mrs. Viloxon, with great surprise.
“Yes, several years ago,” was the quiet reply.
“I never heard of it. What is the title? Tell me all about it, for I shall surely want one.” Mr. Williams thought silently a moment, then said: “It is quite a story, but since you ask
it I will tell you briefly of the book. From the very beginning, I was very successful in the healing field of Christian Science; and as my various writings were soon in the hands of thousands of students, practitioners and teachers, they recognized the fact that I had
something which the majority did not have. Soon the letters from thfe field began td arrive asking for help. Stime of these pVti^rftS had received frVatrtffetit from those considered foremost in this work, but their cases not having been reached some came to me. I was successful, and they would return home and tell of it. A little later, I began to receive letters from practitioners; some stated that they had a brother, sister or father who did not respond; and asked if I would take the case. As these cases were healed, many practitioners who had not been entirely successful in meeting their own cases applied for healing, and again I was successful. Some of these practitioners had had treatment from their teachers, but not always with successful results. Later, when I healed them, they went to their teachers and told of the healing and who had accomplished it. Thus I got in touch with the students of many teachers and the teachers themselves.”
“I have several times heard of your success as a practitioner, and wondered how a mistaken and disloyal student could be so successful,” said Mrs. Viloxdn.
Mr. William’s smiled and siaid: “After years of success, with perhaps a percentage of healing second to none, the friends among the practitioners and teachers constantly and persistently urged me to put into plain print my understanding of the Christ Science, and also my method of application. This call continued until I decided that I would write such a book, setting forth as plainly as possible my method of application, and my understanding of the Christ Science. At length the book was finished, in its manuscript form; but when I thought of putting these plain statements of the facts of Life into print for broadcast distribution, I hesitated,— not because of fear, but because these very enlightening statements would startle and shock the blind believer. I began to ask myself whether the time was ripe for such a book, and held the book from print. Several times the thought of veiling the plainer statements slightly came to mind; but when I looked about me and saw what confusion and turmoil had resulted from veiling the plainer statements in the Bible and ‘Science and Health,’ I decided that veiling the Truth had been proven a mistake, and that if I ever published the book it would carry no veil. Reasoning as to the best method of getting this great, unveiled Truth before the people, I thought of writing out a series of booklets, which would lead gradually from the present erring sense of Truth up to the plain statements of Truth as I had them in my book, ‘The Sickle’.”
” The Sickle’,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “Is that the name of the book in which Truth is stated without any veiling?”
“Yes, that is the title of the book.”
“I am sure I never heard of it,” she said.
“Perhaps not. The fact of the matter is, the book is not sold in the ordinary way. I have never advertised it broadcast, as it is a book written solely for honest thinkers and I am striving to keep it out of the hands of triflers,” said Mr. Williams.
“But how can you do that?” asked Mrs. Viloxon. “I have placed several restrictions on the sale
of the book. At first, I only sold it to those whom I personally knew were ready for the advanced thought. Then, at the request of these ‘Sickle’ owners and my students, I began to sell the book to those whom the students recommended, and also to those whom the present ‘Sickle’ owners recommended, as honest seekers.”
“But suppose that I happened to live in a city or village where there were no ‘Sickle’ owners to recommend me?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, that has occurred several times, and I devised the method that, in cases of this kind, the prospective purchaser must get ‘The Plain Talk’ booklets first, and read and study them. If they did not get mental indigestion from reading these, they would still desire
‘The Sickle’; whereas, if they could not mentally assimilate the ‘Plain Talk’ booklets, they would no longer wish to purchase the book. I also instruct all ‘Sickle’ owners to advise their friends who want the book to first secure ‘The Plain Talk’ booklets, and read them, and afterwards, ‘The Sickle’.”
“Is it a large book, Mr. Williams?”
“No, quite small, even smaller than the morocco bound ‘Science and Health.’ It contains
390 pages.” As he said this, he reached over to his desk and picked up a little book and said: “This is it.”
Mrs. Viloxon took the book and after looking it over for a moment, said: “Is not that a queer title for a book of this nature?”
“After you have read the book,” he said, “I am sure you will agree with its thousands of readers that there could be no other name for it.”
“Well I want one. Can I get it here from you?”
“Yes, but first I want you to read the balance of the ‘Plain Talk’ booklets. You say you have read two of them, I will give you the others; and after reading them, if you still think that you want ‘The Sickle,’ I will sell you one.”
“May I ask the price?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“The price is twenty-five dollars per copy.” “Twenty-five dollars!” she exclaimed in amaze-
ment. “Did I hear aright? Twenty-five dollars per copy?” “Yes, that is right,” and Mr. Williams smiled.
“Why that looks like a get-rich-quick scheme.” The lady was plainly sarcastic.
“Does it? Well the money is the least part of it as far as I am concerned. Had I wanted to make a lot of money from the book, and cared for nothing but the money, I would have put it out in the ordinary way as I do my other books, and at the usual price; and I would have sold hundreds to where I now sell one, and make twice the money,” replied Mr. Williams.
“If it is not the money, you must have some other good reason for asking such a price.” “Yes, I have several,” replied Mr. Williams, then added, “the merely curious will scarcely
pay twenty-five dollars for a little book, and so this keeps it out of their hands. I also
know that the human mind values cheaply that which it secures cheaply, and that it values highly that which it cannot secure cheaply. Another reason is that
scarcely any one would stop at one reading of a book which cost them twenty-five dollars, and so they read it repeatedly. This is what I desire, for eventually, in this way, they come to see the great worth of that which is written in the book.”
“What could be written there that w^ould be of such value ?”
“Mrs. Viloxon, I have hundreds of letters telling me that the owners of ‘The Sickle’ would not take a thousand dollars for their copy, if they could not get another,” said Mr. Williams. After a moment he continued: “In families where the husband is away from home much of the time, such as traveling salesmen, it is not uncommon for them to buy two copies; and in some homes there is a copy for each one in the family.”
“You astonish me more and more. Yet I ought soon to get over this state, for I am fast finding out that I was sound asleep as far as real Christian Science is concerned.”
“Yes, you are now waking up to the real facts of Life, to the real understanding of Life;
and are getting away from the belief of Life or God, which you mistakenly believed was actual Truth, or Christian Science.”
“Does ‘The Sickle’ explain Soul and body, and Mind and thought ?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
Yes, I will read you a sample of the work. Here, on page 46, is the question: ‘What is man?’ After explaining carefully, somewhat after the manner I have been explaining to you, that man is idea, you find these statements: ‘Man is God’s idea of Himself. Man is Mind’s idea of Itself. Man is God’s expression of Himself. Man is Life’s expression of Itself. God is entity or Being. Man is identity, or that by which Being is identified. Man is the visible effect of the invisible Cause or God.’ Do you gather anything worth while from these statements?”
“Oh yes. The last one especially,—’Man is the visible effect of the invisible Cause or God.’ From this I understand that the mental or invisible part of me is the Cause or God, and the body is the visible effect or embodiment, named man. Am I right?”
“Yes,” said Mr. Williams, u and this brings out Mrs. Eddy’s statement in ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ page 23 : ‘God is both noumena and phenomena,’ also that God and man co- exist as Cause and effect.”
“I am beginning to see the light as never before,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with enthusiasm. “Bearing these thoughts in mind, you can see why your sick thinking makes you sick, and
your healthy thinking must make you well; for the body and its conditions are the
thought effect following as a sure result of your thinking, or of your mental conclusions.”
“Why did I not know this long ago? My, what time I have wasted in petitions to a God that did not exist; and how I have neglected the real power of God, namely, right thinking.”
“It’s never too late to begin, and by diligent work we can gain back the time seemingly lost.”
“Does ‘The Sickle’ also explain God in a simple manner?” was her next question.
“Yes, but in much greater detail; for Mrs. Eddy has correctly written that you have never started right in Christian Science until you know that you are God; therefore the proof that you are God is plentifully shown in the book. While it is highly important to know what is God, and also what man is, the most vital thing to know is, who or what you are.”
“Yes, I am beginning to see the importance of knowing what I am,” replied Mrs. Viloxon. “I have devoted a chapter to the subject, ‘you’. The summing up of this chapter occurs on
page 63 of ‘The Sickle,’ and is as follows: ‘The question of who or what you are is
answered as follows: You (your substance) is the primal element, or elemental Mind, God, Life, Consciousness. You (your thought) is the subjective state of Spirit, Mind, God, Life, Consciousness. You (the body of you) is the visible or objective state of Spirit, Mind, God, Life, Consciousness. Thus
you see you are composed of, and are, the Holy Trinity for God is all, and there is nothing else.’ Does that enlighten you any?”
“I can only say, wonderful if true. Is this the teaching of Mrs. Eddy?” asked Mrs. Viloxon. “Yes, as I understand her writings; and it is the teaching of Jesus, Paul, John, and the
“I cannot understand why these plain state-, ments do not appear in our present text- book, Mr. Williams,” and her tone was very emphatic.
“Mrs. Eddy was perhaps wiser than her most ardent students gave her credit for. She wrote that there should be ‘milk for babes,’ and knowing that ‘Science and Health’ was the first Science book handed to the new babes in Christ, it would only seem natural that it should contain the meat of the Word in a diluted or veiled form which we call the milk of the Word.”
“You may be right, but I was told that all that I ever needed was in the text-book.” “Then why did Mrs. Eddy write more than the text-book ?” asked Mr. Williams.
“I cannot tell,” she replied.
“I am inclined to think that she felt that the real thinker and searcher would not be satisfied with the mere milk, and would therefore seek in her other writings,” said Mr. Williams.
“Then you believe her other writings to be plainer than ‘Science and Health’.”
“Yes, I do. That is, plainer than the latest edition but not plainer than the early ones; however, none of her works state Truth as simply and plainly as ‘The Sickle,’ as is shown by the heaps of letters from Science students who write me this.”
“Would you mind showing me something in Mrs. Eddy’s other writings which is plainer than ‘Science and Health’?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Not at all. On page 183, line 24 of ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ she wrote: ‘Asserting a selfhood apart from God, is a denial of man’s spiritual sonship; for it claims another father.’ In
other words, to believe that there is another selfhood than God is error; or to state it very plainly, to claim that self is not God is a mistake.”
Oh, I never saw this in that light before,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“I only hope you see it clearly now, for it is a vital statement. In the edition of 1907, ‘Unity of Good,’ page 5, Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘All true consciousness is God.’ If this means anything at all, it means that when your consciousness is true, it is God. In other words, when your consciousness or mentality is thinking truly, it is God.”
“What a wonderful way you have of reasoning these things,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “I have read that statement many times but never saw the real meaning.”
“In Mrs. Eddy’s pamphlet, The People’s Idea of God,’ page 1, she wrote: ‘Even the pangs of death disappear, accordingly as the understanding that we are spiritual beings here reappears’. In other words, we can overcome the belief of death if we rightly understand that we are Spirit, here and now.”
“I do not get anything like that out of the statement, Mr. Williams. She says ‘spiritual beings,’ and not Spirit.”
“If there was such a thing as a material being would it not be composed of matter?” asked
“Yes, certainly,” she replied.
“Then why would not a spiritual being be Spirit?” “Oh!” was all the reply that Mrs. Viloxon made. Mr. Williams continued: “In that same pamphlet, page 12, there is something worth while in regard to healing. This is the statement: Tew there be who know what a power mind is to heal when imbued with the spiritual truth’. The word mind is not capitalized, and this shows you that it is your own mind which is meant; and the only thing necessary is that you think truly, or in conformity with the facts of Life. In one of the older editions, Mrs. Eddy said in substance that the fact of being whispered into the ear (attentive consciousness) of the patient is what heals him; meaning, that to silently tell the patient the actual facts concerning his case is what liberates him from his false beliefs. The work can be done orally, as well or even better than silently, if the healer actually understands Life.”
“Mr. Williams, are all Scientists who come to you as confused and dense as I have been?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Have you met any Scientists who could make plain these things to you?” he asked. “No, I have not,” she replied.
“Then you may draw your own conclusions. But that is not the point. All will understand in due time. Here is a statement in ‘Christian Healing,’ another pamphlet of Mrs. Eddy’s, that is very enlightening. It is on page 6, and reads: ‘But the fact remains in metaphysics, that the mind of the individual only can produce a result upon his body’. This statement is very positive, and
it means that nothing but your own mind can produce a result upon your own body. This even shuts out the idea that this outside divine Mind, or any other outside God, can produce the healing of your body. Nothing at all but your own mind can produce bodily results for you, either good or bad, according to this last statement I have read.”
“I am silenced. I have nothing more to say. It surely has been a case of the blind leading
the blind,” sadly, said Mrs. Viloxon.
“We will now consider one more statement in ‘Christian Healing,’ and then we will stop for the day. The statement appears on page 10, and is as follows: ‘If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea.’ This statement pertains to the treatment of all manner of ills. If you wish to be well argue with yourself on the side of health. There is no outside God or power to consult at all. ‘Take the side you wish to carry/ and insist on that side. Now notice, ‘You are the attorney for the case and will win or lose according to your plea.’ The word ‘plea’ means, ‘debate or argument or that which is alleged as fact.’ Thus you can see that an outside power or God has nothing to do with the matter at all. The work is all done within the individual’s own mind in self-healing, and consists in convincing himself of the fact that the good or perfect is the real, and the other side is nothing. You win the case, not because of any foreign power or Cause, or through concession from an outside source, but you win or lose according to whether your reasoning convinces you of the truth that the perfect and good is the fact, and the imperfect and evil, the fable. This verifies the statement of Jesus, that the ‘Kingdom is within,’—within your own mind and thought. And when you work out these problems of Life, you are doing the bidding of the Bible, namely, ‘Work out your own salvation’; and I might add,that it will not be worked out permanently, until you do it yourself.”
“Mr. Williams, I came today, not just to scoff perhaps, but something like it. I stayed to pray (reason), and now I am going home to rejoice.”
“Don’t forget to read the ‘Plain Talk’ booklets tonight,” was the parting admonition of Mr. Williams.
“You will please pardon me for having kept you waiting a few moments, Mrs. Viloxon. I am usually prompt, but this was unavoidable.” So said Mr. Williams to his visitor, as he entered his private office the next day.
“No apology necessary, Mr. Williams. I am very happy to see you at all. If you have not finished please do so, I shall gladly wait.”
“Yes, I have finished. I was awaiting your appointed time, but just a few minutes before you came, I had an unexpected visitor. A practitioner, going from the east to visit friends in California, thought she would stop off and have a few hours chat with me. I had to take
the time to explain to the lady that all my time is fully spoken for, and that I do not see any one but my students, except by appointment.”
“My, what a privilege your students have.” 157
“My students understand the work I have to do, and not one of them ever intrudes to take up my time unnecessarily; but all know that they can come at any time for necessary advice.”
“Then I can come to you for advice ?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, after you have taken the teacher’s class course/’ was his reply. “Is not that what you are now giving me?” she asked.
Mr. Williams smiled as he said: “No. This is neither class instruction, nor the private teacher’s course. These are merely simple, disconnected talks. The course is a distinct and fully connected teaching, taking up all points on metaphysical healing. We have merely been discussing various mooted points, that is all.”
“And I thought all the time I was getting your private teacher’s course. Why, I have already had ten times the enlightenment that I received from my former class teaching,” said Mrs. Viloxon with decision.
“Then you received more out of your class instructions than hundreds of others who have told me of their experience. Most of them tell me that they got nothing tangible.”
“Neither did I. So I do not see why you say I received more than the others.”
“You said you had received ten times as much from these informal talks as you did from your class. Well, ten times nothing would still be nothing; therefore, you either received something from your former class or nothing from these talks.”
“I see what you mean,” laughingly replied Mrs. Viloxon; “but you know what I meant.” “Yes, I know. But please do not think that these talks are class instructions. There is no
contention or controversy in my classes. I would not attempt to give you the teacher’s
course while you were in the same frame of mind as when you first came. Under such conditions, most of the teaching would have been lost, because you doubted me and my understanding; and therefore, you would not have gotten value received for your tuition money. I have been striving to convince you that I do understand Metaphysics and Mrs. Eddy’s writings, correctly; and perhaps at some later day you will come to one of my classes.”
“But I am now fully convinced, Mr. Williams; and will gladly make arrangements to take private instructions at once if you have no class planned for the near future.”
“It is some time since I gave the teacher’s course, privately. The call has so enlarged for the teacher’s class course, that I do not teach any primary classes, and cannot find the time to teach any one, privately. My students are capable of giving the beginners the primary class, and fit them for self healing; and so I am devoting all my time to writing, and to the teacher’s class course.”
“When will you have your next class?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“As yet, I have no stated time for classes. I shall be pleased to place your name on my list, and then you will be notified, when and where the next class will be held; and if you are
ready, I shall be glad to teach you.”
“If I am ready? Why I am ready now, or at any time,” she replied.
“You may think you are ready, but first I should want you to study the ‘Plain Talk’ booklets, and put a few months study on ‘The Sickle’. Then your thought would be receptive to the new and true viewpoint of the Christ Science. ,,
“Oh, I see. It is not a question with you, of seeing how many you can get to go through class. You want them to be ready mentally so that they will be a credit to you afterwards.”
“Yes, that is it. There are already plenty of believers in Science. I am striving to make a few understanders.”
“That is also the reason why I allow my students to go through class a second and third time, free of charge. I merely reserve the right to say which of the students be allowed to go through the second and third time, and when.”
“I should think that all would wish to go through as often as possible, for there is so much to learn/’ said Mrs. Viloxon.
“My students must prove by clean living that they are entitled to further enlightenment from me, that is all.”
“Oh, I see,” she answered, with a knowing look. “You mentioned the Tlain Talk’ booklets,
—do you know that I did not retire until two o’clock this morning? I simply could not let go of them; they are wonderful, and words fail me when I attempt to express my gratitude for them.”
“They are wonderful to you, perhaps, but simply natural and common sense to me. If you enjoyed the booklets so extremely, then you have a greater treat in store for you in ‘The Sickle’.”
“Mr. Williams, when you told me the price of the book was twenty-five dollars, I really thought it outrageous; but I want to tell you plainly that I would not give up those little Tlain Talk’ booklets for twenty-five dollars if I could not get more of them; and I want a copy of ‘The Sickle’ as soon as you will sell it to me.”
“If the booklets did not cause you any serious mental disturbance, then I guess you are ready for stronger meat, and I shall be glad to sell you ‘The Sickle’. It is not my desire to keep it away from any one, but because of the nature of the book, I want it only in the hands of those whose thought has arisen to the Christ viewpoint. Otherwise, what the book contains would be of no especial benefit to the reader, and I do not want the people to pay twenty-five dollars for the book, and not get their money’s worth in return.”
“I am beginning to understand you better,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “But really, from the human standpoint, the price of the book makes it look like a money making scheme.”
“It is not impossible that some individuals are honest at heart, and have an honest motive back of what they do. I never cared for public opinion. My mentor is my own conscience.
If that tells me that a thing is right, I ask no questions but act out my highest thought.”
“But you have been so terribly misjudged by your brother and sister Scientists. Why, I
heard all manner of reports about you.”
“Oh well, I can but say with my Leader, Mrs. Eddy: ‘If mortal mind knew better it would do better’. Jesus was misjudged, so was Paul and the other disciples. So was Mrs. Eddy, in the beginning. Then how could I, or any other pioneer in this field of healing and saving, expect to wholly escape. Early in the work, when I was but a mental infant, it truly hurt; but on one occasion when speaking to a friend in Boston about the matter, this friend said: ‘You ought to rejoice that others are throwing stones at you, for it is positive proof that you are in advance of them; for human beings do not stone those who are behind or beneath them, but always the ones who are in front and above.’ This explained the whole matter as far as I was concerned, and I never again gave any serious attention to the stoning.”
“I wish that I had your sense of certainty, your surety, your self-confidence, your patience; instead of the faltering, halting, doubting mentality that I have,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with feeling.
“There is only one way to get it, and that is through understanding Life, God, as He or It really is. Now let us continue our talk of yesterday. Was there anything further that you would like to ask regarding self-healing?”
Yes, indeed. I would like to have you outline just what treatment to give myself, to get rid of my ills.”
“I have not the time to enter into detailed healing work. The methods of applying right thought to the overcoming of various ills, properly belongs in the class room; and in my classes I teach this, but can only talk on general lines in informal talks of this kind. I showed you plainly Mrs. Eddy’s general method of procedure, when I pointed out to you that you were the attorney for your case; that you win or lose according to your plea. You must reason with yourself (not with an outside God), and always strive to gain the point of mental conviction, that you are perfect now, and always were, it matters not what the ill may be.”
“Yes, that statement is wonderfully enlightening, and proved to me that Mrs. Eddy does teach that we can heal ourselves through the exercise of our own right thought, but I wanted the specific right thought with which to handle my present ill.”
“Enlightenment, or even the knowing of the right thought is but half the work, and the lesser half. The healing follows as a consequent of persistent mental application of the right thought until the point is reached where the wrong thought is forced out of consciousness through a conviction in the right. It is at this point in the work that so many fail. Many gain the right idea of the work, and see what they ought to do; but spend most of each day in continuing the wrong
thought or doing nothing in the right direction. Later, they wonder why they are not healed. I want to impress upon you that self-healing is an individual problem, with no power but your own mentality to consider; for it is the individual’s sick thought that will keep him constantly sick, or on the other hand, his right or healthy thought that will heal and keep him constantly healthy. If there is no right thought activity being produced by the individual when trying to heal self, there is no healing force at work in that case.”
“Yes, I am beginning to see that,” Mr. Williams; “and my heart bleeds for the hundreds who have been misguided as I was, and who are waiting, waiting, for something that they call divine Love to have compassion on them and heal them.”
“Yes, they have a long wait before them. Mrs. Eddy positively tells them that the ‘rule is established/ and that we have only to avail ourselves of the rule. This means that the facts of mental healing have been established, namely, that our sick thoughts are responsible for our sickness, and our healthy thoughts are responsible for our health and success; and it is our work to avail ourselves of this fact or rule of Mind, and apply it.”
“You could not say it plainer. It must be so. Now would you mind giving me a little enlightenment in regard to the healing of others by a practitioner?”
“I shall be pleased to do so,” said Mr. Williams. u But before we leave this subject of self- healing, I wish to call your attention to one more statement of Mrs. Eddy’s in
‘Miscellaneous Writings/ page 219. Here she wrote:\’that a state of health is but a state of consciousness made manifest on the body, and vice versa.’ In other words, health is a mental state, and so is sickness; and therefore, to heal one’s self we have but to change our mental states from sickness to health, and keep them changed, and the body will change to correspond. It is not a mystery at all, but just a mental work taken up by the individual himself to change his present erring sense of sickness to the right sense that he is naturally well, which is the fact of Life or Being.”
“Yes, yes! How simple and plain it is when it is pointed out. How blind I have been!” exclaimed Mrs. Viloxon.
“In trying to discover how the healing of another is accomplished, we need but to continue the same article on page 219 of ‘Miscellaneous Writings’. It reads: ‘That while one person feels wickedly and acts wickedly, another knows that if he can change this evil sense and consciousness to a good sense, or conscious goodness, the fruits of goodness will follow.’ It is just the same with sickness, when the patient says he feels sick, or that he has a sense of sickness. It is the practitioner’s work to change this sense of sickness to a sense of health; either through oral talk, by explaining the facts of Life to the point where the patient can see the facts of the matter, and thus induce him to let go of his erring belief and so gain a change of sense from sickness to health; or through silent corrective thought, applied direct to the consciousness of the patient, to produce a conviction of health.”
“According to that, there is no mystery connected with it at all. Just plain common sense!” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Plain common sense, based upon the facts of Life, God; and the repeated application of this common sense to the nonsense of the patient, until the point is reached where the patient renounces his nonsense and accepts the common sense (right sense). The common sense (right sense) is always that the good and perfect is the real, and all of Life.”
“I am astounded at my own density in the past. To think of the worry, the doubt, the useless effort of pleading and patiently waiting for some outside power to heal my patients. Mr. Williams, I am really disgusted with myself.”
“It is not all your fault. It was and is a case of the blind leading the blind, which could be the only outcome of a veiled or blinded teaching.
When you again take up mental healing, don’t wait upon an outside power. Get to work, and mentally enlighten your patient, for Mrs. Eddy says, ‘Science and Health,’ page 12, line 23: ‘help should come from the enlightened understanding,’ and not from an outside power as you believed. If your case is not responding properly, use your common sense and inquire into the peculiarities of the patient’s belief, and then administer repeated and bountiful doses of common sense from the standpoint that the good and perfect is all; and as you succeed in having your patient see these facts of Life, he will recover.” “Would you advise any particular length of treatment?”
On page 220, ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ Mrs. Eddy tells you the proper length of treatments. In speaking of the practitioner she says: ‘He persists in this course until the patient’s mind yields, and the harmonious thought has full control over this mind on the point at issue.’ ”
“Why then, these ten or fifteen minute treatments, as now practiced, are not at all in accord with her advice,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “I can now see that my ten minutes of corrective thought to combat the all day long wrong thought of the average patient, amounted almost to a farce.”
“Now don’t be too severe or condemn yourself unnecessarily. You have not been taught differently. It is not the practitioners whom I blame. Many give several fifteen minute treatments, and only get paid for one. It is the system that is at fault, and this false system was brought about by the belief that if the practitioner would treat a few minutes then a mysterious God would do the rest,” said Mr. Williams kindly.
“Yes, I can see the error. It just occurs to my thought that if all this is correct, and I
believe it is, then, in reality, it is the practitioner who heals and not God.”
“I can do no better than to again refer you to that same article on ‘Mental Practice,’ page
220, ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ which says: ‘This mental practitioner has changed his patient’s consciousness from sickness to health. The patient’s mental state is now the diametrical opposite of what it was when the mental practitioner undertook to transform it, and he is improved morally and physically’.”
The enlightenment that was beaming on the face of Mrs. Viloxon was good to behold, as she said: “Then, according to Mrs. Eddy’s statement, it is the practitioner himself who
does the healing, and not divine Love or other outside power; and it is all mental too. Still, nearly all Christian Scientists oppose and get angry, if you advance the thought to them that Christian Science is mental science. In fact, I have many times rebuked others for saying that Christian Science was mental science. What fools we have been! No wonder that Scientists have been called a peculiar people.”
“Well, well, we are coming along rapidly. Let us not get excited. People who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones,” were the soothing words of Mr. Williams.
At once his visitor relaxed, and said: “You are right. But to think that I have been mentally bound these past twenty-seven years, and so blinded that I thought the other fellow was
in error, makes me feel deeply.”
“If you had used your reason, you would have escaped all this. In your text-book, page
410, is a sub-title in very plain print which reads: ‘Mental treatment illustrated.’ That, alone, ought to have caused you to think.”
“Yes, I remember it and have read it hundreds of times. “Of course, mental treatment illustrated would be the illustration of a mental treatment; and a mental treatment would necessarily be the application of a mental Science. I am fast coming to believe that I don’t know how to think at all,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with disgust.
“It’s not as bad as that. You just gave a good exhibition of thinking when you analyzed the matter,” replied Mr. Williams.
“I wonder how much more nonsense I have stored away in my mentality, which I considered actual understanding?” she asked. “If you are like the rest, you still have plenty more.” This was said with a quiet laugh. “Well, I want to be rid of it, and at once,” said Mrs. Viloxon, with vim.
“Easier said than done. The mental errors which one has cherished as priceless possessions for a quarter century, are not so easily disposed of, for the mentality holds tenaciously to the things once considered priceless. Before I forget it, I wish to call your attention to something that you said, because it may leave a false impression in your thought. You stated that it was the practitioner who did the healing, and this is correct; but you added, ‘and not God,’ this is incorrect.’ ‘
“I don’t quite understand you, Mr. Williams.”
“No, for if you did, you would not have made that remark. You know, the other day, we agreed that Soul is God; and that the body is man; and that Soul is Mind or consciousness. Now, it was not the body of the practitioner which was capable of changing the mentality of the patient; but it was his mentality or Soul which did the work, through right thought. From this you can see that while it was the practitioner who did the healing, the practitioner, when correctly viewed, is a Soul-being or God-being, or a being of God; and therefore, in reality, it was God that did the healing. You will remember that Mrs. Eddy said: ‘I healed/ and still she often makes the statement that ‘God is the only healer’. This leaves us but one solution, namely, that the I of me is the God that heals. In other words, it is the conscious part, or Soul part, of the practitioner that heals his patient; but the Soul of the practitioner is the real self, and is God; therefore, it is right to say that God, Mind, is the only healer.”
“You cannot know how thankful I am to you, Mr. Williams, for these explanations, for it would have taken years for me to sift them out so clearly.”
“Once you have gained the real foundation of Life, all the other questions are easily reasoned out. /You will remember in the future, that when a patient comes to you with an ailment, that the bodily effect is but the externalized picture of some wrong mental sense held in his mentality; and that the healing work is not in striving to correct the bodily defect, but in striving to have the patient let go of the wrong sense he is holding in mind, which is the cause of the ill picture shown on his body. When you have accomplished a change of sense in the patient from illness to health, thereafter a new and better picture will be exhibited on his body.”
“I see it very clearly now,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “But I am so afraid that I will quickly fall back into the old habits of thought. What can I do to prevent this?”
“Through observation of the mental struggles of my students who formerly spent much time on ‘Science and Health,’ I have found that those who, for a time, stop all reading of the present literature, and place their entire time on the study of the ‘Plain Talk’ series, ‘The Unknown God/ and ‘The Sickle,’ unfold to the new idea quickly; but those who still cling to the reading of the literature which blinded them in the first place, are constantly slipping back to the old mental positions, and consequently have a harder time to succeed,” replied Mr. Williams.
“I am a little surprised to hear anything of this kind from you,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “It smacks of authorized literature advice, which kept me from investigating for myself for so long a time.”
Mr. Williams answered: “It is easy to be misunderstood. I did not forbid you to read anything. I did not threaten to excommunicate you as disloyal if you read something else. I merely gave you the advice that actual experience and observation has shown me to be best, in answer to your question. I said, stop reading the present literature for a time, not forever. Stop the other until you have gained the new viewpoint and the new foundation. Then, you can read anything on the face of the earth, and it will not again cause you to err.”
“I see the difference. I might have known that you had a good reason for so advising me, and I shall follow the advice given. I would like to ask one more question, Mr. Williams. I have often wondered just what Mrs. Eddy meant by ‘The Science of Being,’ and also if that statement means the same as the statement, ‘the science of physical harmony,’ found on page 7 of ‘Unity of Good’?”
u The science of Being, is the science of Life— the facts concerning Life or God. The science of physical harmony is the scientific application of the facts of Life, as far as we know them, to the production and maintenance of so-called physical harmony. The science of Being deals with the bare facts, or Truth of Life, and the mental laws connected therewith. Much is yet to be unfolded in the science of Being; while in the science of so- called physical harmony (the application of right thought and feeling), Mrs. Eddy has given us quite a comprehensive and complete science of healing which she called the science of physical harmony. True, it is somewhat veiled in later editions, but in the early writings it was plainly stated.”
“Then the science of Being is deeper than the science of physical harmony ?” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Infinitely deeper! It means to know God or all reality; while the other means, merely to know how to produce physical and mental harmony, through a right thought process.”
“I think I understand the difference now, and does your class work take up the subject of the science of Being?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes, some of it. The subject is infinite, like God. Mrs. Viloxon,” said Mr. Williams, as he looked at his watch, “the time allotted for today has passed. I will give you another talk tomorrow, and then you can take your ‘Sickle’ home and begin to prepare for the class.”
“Oh, dear me! Only one more talk! and I have so many questions that I want to ask,” she replied.
“Take the time tonight, to jot down on paper the questions you feel are of the most importance, and ask them tomorrow.”
“Yes, that will be a good plan,” replied Mrs. Viloxon as she prepared to leave. CHAPTER VI
M. D. M. A. M. K. C.
“Well, how about the questions ?” asked Mr. Williams as he seated himself at his desk, on the day of Mrs. Viloxon’s final visit. “Did you make a list of them?”
“Yes, I jotted down a few that I wanted to be sure not to forget,” was her reply. “We might as well begin with them, and have it over with,” said Mr. Williams.
Mrs. Viloxon looked at her list, and then looking up suddenly she said: “Mr. Williams, what do you think about M. D.?”
Mr. Williams turned a smiling face to his visitor as he said: “I have many staunch friends among the MDs. so I cannot help but think that most of them are all right.”
“No. No. You misunderstand me. I did not mean the medical doctors. I meant M. D.—
“Oh! Oh, pardon me!” said Mr. Williams, but the smile that his visitor saw told her that he was jesting with her, and that he had understood her rightly.
“I am really in earnest, Mr. Williams, for this question has caused me untold mental work. What do you think of M. D.?” again asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Nothing,” nonchalantly, replied Mr. Williams. “Nothing!” ejaculated Mrs. Viloxon, with great surprise.
“Just that and nothing more,” was the quiet reply; then he added: “Why, you cannot even find the phrase ‘mental diabolism’ in your latest edition of ‘Science and Health’.”
“You cannot? Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes, very sure. I have looked carefully, and did not find it,” replied Mr. Williams. “But we are told to protect ourselves from it every day.”
“Yes, so I have heard it said. But I haven’t time to waste on nothing, so I don’t do it and have
not done it for years; and I am still here, hale and hearty, to tell the tale.” Mr. Williams glanced at his visitor to note the effect of his words, and he saw consternation and fear written on her face.
“You don’t protect yourself daily from M. D.?” cried Mrs. Viloxon, with genuine alarm and surprise.
“No, for I cannot see any sense in doing so,” was the quiet reply.
“Well, I can’t agree with you. While I don’t just fear it, yet I feel safer when I daily protect myself from it.”
“Your actions belie your words. If you had no fear of it, you would not feel the need of daily protection from it.”
“Don’t you believe in it at all?” asked Mrs. Viloxon. “No,” was the decided answer.
“But why don’t you believe in it? Practically all the Scientists whom I know believe in it. Why, my teacher devoted almost two whole days of class to the subject.”
“He did? That surprises me!” said Mr. Williams; then asked: “Was your teacher a so- called loyal teacher, and did he follow the directions given in the Manual?”
“Oh, yes. He was very careful in following these directions and warned us all to be equally careful to live up to the Manual.”
“That is peculiar. I wonder if he ever read the Manual carefully?” asked Mr. Williams, with an assumed seriousness in his voice.
“Oh, yes, he knew the Manual from beginning to end,” she replied.
“And still he spent two days of class in teaching or expounding M. D. Under article 27 in the Manual we find this: ‘The teachers of the Primary class shall instruct their pupils from the said chapter on ‘Recapitulation’ only.’ There is no mention of M. D. in this chapter, therefore those teachers who teach anything not found in that chapter, violate the Manual and are disloyal to Mrs. Eddy’s instruction.”
Mrs. Viloxon looked long and steadily at Mr.Williams, then said: “Where will this thing end? You are continually showing and proving to me that the whole movement is nothing but misunderstanding, make-believe and mockery, and I am dumbfounded at my stupidity. But why don’t you believe in M. D. ?”
“Oh, I guess I know too much,” said Mr. Williams with a laugh. “Won’t you give me your views ?” she pleaded.
“Yes. Mental diabolism, personified into the words M. D., is a straw devil that Scientists set up daily with their left hand, and then spend the rest of the day in working to destroy it with their right hand,”
“What can you mean by straw devil?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Oh, a mere scarecrow,— a worn out suit of clothes stuffed with straw to resemble a hideous misshapen man.” It was noticeable that Mr. Williams had hard work to control his laughter as he saw the look of astonishment and fear on his visitor’s face.
“Oh, I wish I was that way,” at length she replied, as she noted the fearless, laughing face before her.
“Very well. I shall try to destroy this straw devil for you, so that you will never see him again. Do you believe in fortune telling, palm reading, enchantments and conjugations?” asked Mr. Williams.
“No, certainly not. No real Christian Scientist believes in that stuff.” “Do you believe in necromancy?” asked the teacher.
“No, not at all,” was the firm reply.
“Webster defines ‘necromancy’ as meaning, ‘enchantments, conjurgations and fortune telling’. Mrs. Eddy, in one of her messages to the Mother church, when speaking of necromancy, says: ‘necromancy, or diabolism.’ This shows that Mrs. Eddy considered the words to be synonymous. On page 334, line 6, ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ she wrote:
‘Necromancy has no foundation,— in fact, no Intelligence; and the belief that it has, deceives itself.’ If necromancy has no foundation, it is nothing.”
“Oh, I know it is nothing, but we must guard ourselves from it,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“What an absurd statement that is. How could you guard yourself from nothing ?” asked
Mrs. Viloxon slowly settled back in her chair but made no reply. It was plain to be seen that she was absolutely confused. After a few moments, Mr. Williams said: “That is why, when you asked me what I thought of mental diabolism, I answered: ‘nothing’; for that is all it is, and I have no time to waste in daily fighting that which I know to be nothing.”
“But I don’t understand, yet. I cannot see why we were all instructed to guard ourselves daily from mental diabolism if there is no reason for it.”
“It is another case of the blind leading the blind,” said Mr. Williams. “Mrs. Eddy did not tell you to do this. Her instructions regarding daily mental work are just the reverse.”
u Please explain.”
Mrs. Eddy instructed her followers to daily keep their minds so full of Truth and Love that nothing else could enter in, and not to daily fight a thing which does not exist. The
fact of the matter is, that if you follow her advice and keep your mind filled with Truth and Love (true and loving thought), there won’t be any room in your mentality for the erroneous belief in M. D.”
Mr. Williams, will I ever gain the mental freedom and peace of mind that I see you have?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes. But not as long as you keep manufacturing devils out of nothing to fight daily, and thus keep you in constant fear and discord.”
“I want to be fearless. I want to be free. I am just beginning to realize what a bundle of fear I am. No wonder I am constantly in a nervous tremble,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Anyone would be who carried a half dozen devils around with him all the time, and fought these imaginary devils all day long as though they were real. That is enough to make a nervous wreck of anyone.”
“If I could only be sure that you are right, what a weight of fear it would lift from my mind.”
“Why not appeal to your reason?” asked Mr. Williams. “You protect yourself daily by fighting these imaginary devils, and you are sick. I never bother about these nonsensical beliefs and so they never bother me, and consequently I am harmonious and well. Is not that proof worth considering?”
“Yes, yes. But I was taught so differently. Does Mrs. Eddy say anything further on diabolism?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Yes. On page 334, line 19, ‘Miscellaneous Writings/ she wrote: ‘The diabolism of suppositional evil at work in the name of good, is a lie of the highest degree of nothingness: just reduce this falsity to its proper denomination, and you have done with it.’ In plain words, this means that the belief that wrong thought has the same power as right thought is a lie of the highest degree of nothingness, and if we will mentally reduce this lie to its proper denomination, namely, nothing, then we need bother no more about it.”
“That seems clear, but still I cannot help but think we need to guard against evil,” replied
“Is it sickness, or the belief in sickness, that makes you ill or produces the bodily results called sickness?” asked Mr. Williams.
“I hardly know how to answer that,” she replied.
“If a friend is sick, does his sickness make you sick?” was the next question.
“I scarcely know. Sometimes, I seem to be affected by the ills of others,” replied Mrs. Viloxon.
“Hear what Mrs. Eddy has to say on the subject, page 83, line 14, ‘Miscellaneous
Writings’: ‘No person can accept another’s belief, except it be with the consent of his own belief. If the error which knocks at the door of your own thought originated in another’s mind, you are a free moral agent to reject or accept this error.’ From this it can be seen that your body cannot be affected by another’s belief. You must first accept or make that belief your own, before you can have any effect from the belief; and then you are not affected by another’s belief, but by the belief that is now your own.”
After a moment’s pause, Mr. Williams continued: “Some one was foolish enough to originate the belief in M. D., as you call it, and you accepted this belief and thus you made that erring belief your own. Now the way to freedom is not to daily fight this belief of M. D. as though it were a reality, but to make nothing of it, and disbelieve it. In other words, only those who believe in a certain sickness get that sickness; and so, only those who believe in mental diabolism, can be affected by it; and really not by it, but by their own belief in it. To not believe in it, is to be utterly immune from it.”
“Oh, Mr. Williams! If I were only certain of this, what a wonderful amount of work it would save me,” and her voice was full of feeling.
“Please be sensible. Before you came into Christian Science, did you have to fight this imaginary devil of diabolism, daily?” asked Mr. Williams.
“No, I did not know there was any such thing,” she replied. “Neither is there. Mrs. Eddy tells you it is nothing.”
“I know it is nothing,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“No, you do not know it is nothing. You just repeat that like a parrot because you heard others call it ‘nothing’. If you knew it was nothing, you would cease to fight it, as something. No rational person would long fight with that which they knew was nothing. If you gained the devil of mental diabolism since you came into Science, then you have at least one more devil to contend with than you had before you came to Science. Now that is not Christian Science, neither is it the way to mental freedom.”
“I can see the force of your logic, but I shall need to have time for careful thought,” said Mrs. Viloxon. “Now I would like to ask a somewhat similar question that has bothered me fully as much as M. D. What do you think of M. A. M. ?”
That ever reappearing smile came to Mr. Williams’ face, as he answered: “Oh, she is all right.”
“She!” cried Mrs. Viloxon in surprise; then added: “What or who do you mean by ‘she’?” The smile broadened into a laugh as Mr. Williams said: “Why, M. A. M.— My Aunt Mary.” “Mr. Williams, you jest! You are making fun of me.”
“No, not of you, but of ‘My Aunt Mary.’ This reminds me of a funny experience that I had when visiting down in Virginia. We were touring, and visited at the home of one of my
friends of the spirit whom I had never met before. Question after question was asked and answered, and dinner time arrived. We were pressed to stay for dinner and complied. As the meal progressed, the maid occasionally brought in a dish, and as she placed it on the table I heard her quietly say, ‘F. H. B.’ It caught my attention and I wondered if this was a new M. A. M. —’My Aunt Mary,’ and decided to observe matters closely. After a little, the maid came in with another dish and as she placed it on the table, she quietly said, ‘M. I. K.’ Things were getting interesting to me, and as the dinner proceeded there was an occasional ‘F. H. B.’ or ‘M. I. K.,’ and I noticed it was always when the maid placed something on the table. I said nothing during the meal, but after dinner was over I determined to find out what this mysterious ‘F. H. B.’ and ‘M. I. K.’ meant, and asked the hostess. She said: ‘So you noticed it, did you?’ I answered: ‘Yes.’ ‘Well/ said she, ‘I will tell you. “F. H. B.” means,— “family hold back,” and was said about the dishes that we were short on; and “M. I. K.” means “more in kitchen,” and was the signal that the family could have all of that dish that they wanted.’ ”
There was a merry laugh from Mrs. Viloxon as she caught the import of the joke, and at length she said: “and so you place M. A. M. in the same class as F. H. B. and M. I. K.”
“Yes, there is even less to it than that.”
“I think you are mistaken about it,” said Mrs. Viloxon, as a look of seriousness came into her eyes. “M. A. M.— Malicious Animal Magnetism — is a power and evil to beware of.”
“I thought that Mrs. Eddy teaches that evil has no power,” said Mr. Williams.
“So she does,” replied Mrs. Viloxon. Then with a toss of her head, she said: “Mrs. Eddy also teaches that there is no sickness but we have to treat it just the same.”
“That is just where you are mistaken, and where all the mere believers in Christian
Science are mistaken. Correctly understood, Mrs. Eddy teaches that there is no sickness, so there could be none to treat. There is, however, a false belief in sickness, and it is this false belief that needs to be destroyed. If you fight sickness as something, you merely make something out of nothing; while real healing consists in reducing the sick belief to ‘its proper denomination,’ as Mrs. Eddy says, namely, nothing.-”
“That is all very fine indeed,” said Mrs. Viloxon, “but how about Animal Magnetism? Mrs. Eddy has a chapter in ‘Science and Health’ devoted to the subject, has she not?”
“Yes, she has devoted a mere five or six pages of a seven hundred page book to the subject. This brings to mind a story of some boys who had wandered into a forest and seeing something indistinctly, it frightened them. While running away from it in great fear and excitement they met an old trapper and hunter who asked them the cause of their fear. Each boy began to describe the creature differently according to what they imagined they had seen. After they were all through, the hunter merely said: ‘they ain’t no sech animile.’ The substance of the six pages that Mrs. Eddy devotes to the subject of Animal Magnetism is that she found, in the words of the hunter, that, ‘they ain’t no sech animile’ in reality,” said Mr. Williams with a laugh.
Mrs. Viloxon w T anted to laugh also, but her fear bound her; so she merely smiled, and said: u But we are supposed to protect ourselves from this evil, daily.”
“Another straw devil to fight! My, I wonder how you Scientists have any time left to treat yourselves or your patients with good thought, for you are engaged all day long in fighting imaginary devils.”
“But it is not imaginary,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“Let us look into the subject. Here, on page 102, latest edition of ‘Science and Health’ at the top of the page, Mrs. Eddy wrote: ‘Animal magnetism has no scientific foundation.’ If it has no scientific foundation then it has no foundation in fact, and therefore at best it is but an imagination or belief, and we have seen that he who disbelieves a certain belief, cannot be affected by that belief. Therefore, instead of fighting this mental scarecrow daily, our remedy lies in disbelieving it to be something. The marginal heading attached to this same paragraph tells the whole story, for it says, ”Mere negation’; in other words, animal magnetism is a mere negation, or nothing at all.”
“Is there nothing at all that you fear?” asked Mrs. Viloxon.
“Not for more than a minute. By that time, my reason is at work, and tells me that in a universe, the cause of which is good, there could be nothing in reality to be afraid of, for in such a universe there would be nothing real but the good.”
“Yes, yes, that is only too true. Why can I not keep this before my thought constantly.” “Because you are so busy looking up flocks of new devils to frighten yourself with that
you have no time to think that the good alone is all, as taught by Jesus, Paul and Mrs.
“I believe you have stated the matter exactly right. It seems that we older Scientists have been putting in all our time searching out evils (devils) when the fact is, there are none; and this time, if spent in searching for Good, would have gained us our freedom through the understanding which would naturally have unfolded to us,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“It is certainly a waste of time to search for evil, for if you even imagine that you have found it, the very imagining of it brings evil to your mind, and then you experience the
evil you imagined as bodily discomfort. I shall keep on looking for the good, the only God, or reality.”
u You certainly are right, and I shall turn over a new leaf and try to lose all interest in evil and put my whole attention to discovering the good. Now I have one more demon (or call it what you may) on my list, and this demon seems more tangible or real than the others, and perhaps needs the attention that is given it.”
“No devil needs attention. It is lack of attention that destroys the devil. We are not forbidden by Holy Writ to eat of the tree of good and evil, for there is no such tree; but we are warned not to eat of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. We are not warned against evil, for there is none in reality; but we are forbidden to sense evil. In other words, we are bidden to keep the sense of evil out of our consciousness entirely, for then it can find no means of manifestation.”
“I never realized that before,” said Mrs. Vi-loxon; and then began to reason slowly: “It is not evil that does the damage, it is the sense of evil that we mentally entertain which causes the evil manifestations.”
“I see we are progressing. If what you said is true, then it is equally true that it is not sickness that makes us sick, but it is the sense of sickness that we mentally entertain that eventually manifests as sickness.”
u Yes, I see that clearly now. But to return to my question,—do you believe in R. C?”
“If the letters stand for right consciousness, yes. If you mean that they merely stand for necromancy, enchantment, mental mal-practice, diabolism or some such mysterious nonsense, no!”
“Do you believe in Roman Catholicism?” now asked Mrs. Viloxon, plainly.
“No, for if I did I would attend that church and follow their preachings,” replied Mr. Williams.
“But you do not seem to catch my meaning,” she insisted.
“Oh yes, I know what you mean. But I also know from years of healing practice, that it takes hours and days and sometimes months of concentrated effort with the all-powerful right thought to produce any effect in a patient; and if this be the case, I am sure that if any one tried to produce an evil effect in me with the powerless evil thought, he would have only his trouble for his pains. It’s the same story as all the rest, namely, a belief that evil has power. Away with it! Keep your mind constantly filled with good thoughts, and forget there ever was a devil, and he will return to his native nothingness from sheer neglect. I have always told my students that if they are in tune with good they are out of tune with evil, and that is enough.”
u Mr. Williams, I believe I understand you fully on this question. You mean to have me understand, that the belief in animal magnetism or any form of mal-practice, lays us open to that mal-practice; while a disbelief in it closes the door of our consciousness to it, and then we are utterly immune from it.”
“Exactly right! As with sickness, so it is with all other beliefs, no matter whether it be under the name of M. D., M. A. M. or R. C. V /If you don’t believe in a certain sickness, you will never experience it; the same holds true with all this other nonsense.”
“Thank heavens, I am done with that lot of devils ! They surely have kept me busy these last few years,” and Mrs. Viloxon gave a sigh of relief.
“They could do nothing of themselves. They are scarecrows, merely, like the child’s plaything, — the monkey on a stick. It does nothing unless you pull the string. So forget the monkey, and thus stop pulling the string, and it will cease to frighten you.”
“Mr. Williams, you can rest assured I shall let that string severely alone in the future,” laughingly, replied Mrs. Viloxon.
“See that you do so, and become self confident and fearless.”
“Mr. Williams, I don’t know how to thank you for your kindness in enlightening me, and for helping me to destroy these pet evils, but you know I thank you, don’t you?” and tears of gratitude filled her eyes.
“Yes, I understand fully. I have not spent years in the study of the symbolical face of the Soul (the countenance) to no purpose. I knew, when first I saw your face, that it would be worth my time to set you right; and I know that you will do your part in acquainting others with the glorious gospel, that there is really only the good side to Life, and that all else is but a seeming.”
“I shall certainly preach this true gospel at every opportunity,” said Mrs. Viloxon.
“I have started the work of emptying out the errors in your mentality and thus have led you up to ‘The Sickle,’ and the first chapter in the book is entitled ‘Emptying Out.’ Reaching over to his desk, Mr. Williams picked up a new book, and said: “Take the book and thoroughly study it and thus continue the good work I have begun.”
As Mrs. Viloxon took the book, she said: “I shall certainly do so, and shall continue to empty my mental storehouse of all the rubbish that I have allowed to accumulate there in the past twenty-five years of my Christian Science experience. When I am done with my mental house-cleaning I am coming to you, and again ask you to give me the teacher’s course in divine Metaphysics.”
Mr. Williams extended his hand to his departing visitor, and as he did so, said: “When that time comes I am sure you will find me ready to do so, for the world needs the co- operation of every honest heart and true thinker, and such I believe you to be; to lift from off the shoulders of humankind the grievous burdens placed there by religious superstition and false teaching.”