Has the world changed? Has the healing principle changed?
The answer to these questions becomes evident if we look at how Mary Baker Eddy's own healing work was accomplished.
Mary Baker Eddy gives us a hint in the Christian Science textbook. She writes: "If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine."*1 Indeed, if one examines all of Mary Baker Eddy's healing works that have been reported in David Keyston's book, The Healer, one becomes aware that one single element ties them all together, which is love. Almost everyone comments on it. Some speak of a love they have never known to exist, nor had even thought possible. These kind of comments reflect precisely what Mary Baker Eddy had said in the above statement about the Scientist reaching his patient through divine Love. But what is divine Love?
To most people, Christian Scientists included, divine Love simply means the love of God towards man. In scientific terms, it means infinitely more. Divine Love, as divine Principle, can only exist in the universal context, manifest as a universal principle. Since man is acknowledged in Christian Science to be the reflected image of God, man must also be acknowledged as the very image of universal divine Love. In other words, divine must be reflected humanly in the form of universal love; and this must be reflected in all aspects in the human domain as a matter of principle. This means that every form of love is invalid if it is found outside the sphere of universal love, the human reflection of divine Love.
That is where the challenge begins. That is also where society begins to fail in realizing the healing potential of Christian Science. This failure is apparently wide-spread. One person wrote to me, "Why can't I get healed? The Christian Science practitioners take my money, but deliver nothing of substance in return, and now I can't even afford that anymore."
That, sadly, appears to be not an isolated case by any means. One person wrote in a letter that most Christian Scientists in her area have given up even asking for help.
So, why aren't the healings being realized as in Mary Baker Eddy's days? Does this have anything to do with Christian Scientists not being able to reflect divine Love, fully?
Since this is apparently the case, we need to ask further, why it is that we can't find universal love manifested in the human realm down to the deepest level of one's being, embracing all humanity as the image and reflection of God?
Mary Baker Eddy gave us her answer in the Christian Science textbook (p.362), with her description of the story of Mary Magdalene's affection for Christ Jesus in the house of a Pharisee. Mary Baker Eddy comments in the end, "If Christian Scientists are like Simon, then it must be said of them also that they love little." (p.364) She adds, "The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love." (p.367)
I love the description, "aflame with divine Love." But why don't we find much of this this anymore, if we find it at all? The obvious reason is, that society no longer understands the nature of universal principles; most certainly not the principle of universal love. The reason for that is, that society is simply not accustomed to look for universal principles in any form. That assessment also describes the Christian Science field, by and large, including its practitioners and teachers. I am not saying this out of malice, but as an observation of self-evident fact. The fact is, there has been no true Christian Science teaching in the field, for a hundred years.
Mary Baker Eddy specified that for all formal teaching in Christian Science, the curriculum must be based exclusively on the textbook chapter "Recapitulation," and in addition, on "the platform of Christian Science" for the higher level teaching (Manual, p.86).
I am certain, this directive is carried out to the letter, but only to the letter, because the road beyond that is blocked. The blockage is the result of a denial.
It is one of the best kept secret in Christian Science that both of the platforms that are specified as a basis for teaching (the chapter, Recapitulation, and the platform of CS) are themselves deeply integrated elements of a vast pedagogical structure that Mary Baker Eddy has provided for society's moral, spiritual, and scientific development. If the existence of this pedagogical structure could be acknowledged, the formal teaching could become a high level gateway for bringing a student into this almost boundless structure. But since this gateway is closed, the teaching becomes a dead-end street.
The term, pedagogical, refers in this context to a process of learning without one being subjected to formal 'teaching'. Such a process involves a type of education in which one is guided to discover for oneself, out of ones own inner resources as a human being, the existence and the nature of universal principles that are reflected in man and the universe. Mary Baker Eddy created an extremely extensive pedagogical structure that fulfills this purpose.
There are two types of education possible in the world. One of these is typified by the Aristotelian approach, which says: What you see is what you get. Let me tell you the truth, and then repeat after me.
Some historians recognize this approach to have been politically motivated, with the goal of shutting down the spiritual and scientific self-development of society as a pre-requisite for establishing an imperial world, which the Roman Empire became.
Unfortunately, this kind of approach is extremely prevalent today, and this obviously for the same reason, since the imperialization of the world has been the most strongly pursued political goal throughout the last century to the present day. Christian Science has been caught up in this mental 'down-draft' by default. Mary Baker Eddy has provided the necessary countermeasures against this trend, which under the prevailing mentality are not even recognized to exist. Still, they do exist.
Everyone of Mary Baker Eddy's major works have been designed to be structurally coherent with her pedagogical infrastructure, which all of them together, thereby became integral parts of. The textbook for instance, is divided into 16 chapters, the Manual into 16 segments, the Lord's Prayer into 16 stanzas, her illustrated poem Christ and Christmas into 16 verses and 16 scenes, the platform of Christian Science into 32 parts (2x16), and the Glossary of the textbook into 144 (9x16) definitions. And that is just the beginning.
All of this was known in the early 1980s, but the 'down-draft' of a cultured 'mortal mind' mentality, embraced throughout the world, says to society: Don't you dare to open your eyes. Don't you dare asking what it all means. It's far to tiresome to think, so don't bother.
Some of prevalent reactions to Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure have been: There is nothing there to think about; or, if it hasn't been 'invented' here, it doesn't exist. Other reactions have been, "You have your revelation (opinion), and I have mine; isn't everyone entitled to his opinion?" I have also been told in essence, "Christian Science is what you see in black and white; simply 'repeat after me'; everything else is philosophy."
In contrast to these general reactions, the fact remains that Mary Baker Eddy devoted everything that she has created to the building of this unseen pedagogical structure in which all of her works are seamlessly interlinked. According to all evidence, she created this structure so that it cannot be 'seen' in black and white terms in a repeat after me type of fashion, but can only be seen with the mind's eye in terms of universal principles. And herein lies its value, as it takes us to a higher level of learning, by the discovering in our own mind, reflecting divine Mind, the existence of universal principles and their manifestation in the universe.
This process of learning by discovering is the scientific method pioneered by Socrates and Plato, which Aristotle counteracted, and probably was hired to do so, since the recognition of truth in society would have prevented the building of empires. The Platonic scientific method, on the other hand, which is reflected in Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical work, is best illustrated in Plato's Meno dialog in which an uneducated slave boy is guided by Socrates, simply by asking a few question, to discover some profound truth in geometry in the process of solving a complex problem. Indeed, this learning by discovery, is the only method by which one can actually 'know' the truth, as one makes the discoveries in ones own consciousness, of the underlying universal principles of the universe, the manifests of divine Principle, including those that are reflected in man. (see, How to Know the Truth).
Mary Baker Eddy evidently understood the Platonic scientific method which enables humanity to know the truth, thus, she provided a foundation for this method to become utilized, which opens the human perception to the recognition of a whole new world of universal principles by which Truth can be discerned.
If a Christian Science teacher considers the two specified elements for teaching in isolation from Mary Baker Eddy pedagogical structure that these elements were evidently meant to lead into, then the teacher can be likened to a person going to a seashore and picking up a single grain of sand, which he commits himself to spinning a week long lecture around. He would thereby completely miss the point that the teaching was obviously set up for.
Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure is designed to widen one's vision, to guide us to look beyond just grains of sand, to embrace the entire seashore, including the sunshine, the winds, the actions of the waves, etc.. If that is what the teaching leads into, in scientific and spiritual terms, in a high level fashion, the development of effective Christian Science healing is virtually guaranteed
To the best of my knowledge, that kind of teaching has not been carried out during the last hundred years or more. One shouldn't be surprised, therefore, that effective Christian Science healing is hard to find in the world today. But this deficiency can be corrected, can it not? One merely has to remove the blockage the keeps Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure hidden or rejected.
*1 - Science and Health p.365