Agape Research


Mary Baker Eddy

Woman of Our Century

Her place in today's world


by Rolf Witzsche

Historians tell us that Mary Baker Eddy was born on July 16, 1821 as a farmer's daughter on a homestead in New Hampshire, and that she died on the third day in December 1910. They also tell us that in between these dates, in 1866, she became the discoverer of Christian Science, and in later years the founder of a church that is designed to utilize Christian Science as a means to reinstate in modern times the lost element of Christ healing. But that doesn't tell us who she really is?

Mary Baker Eddy's place in the world is that of a scientist who ventured forth into the little understood realm divine Spirit with effects in healing that reveal the existence of a higher level reality that lies far above the sphere of the physical universe, where metaphysics that the place of physics. Here is how her breakthrough into the world of Spirit unfolded:


In 1866, after having fallen on an icy street in Lynn Mass., that resulted in injuries that were deemed to be fatal, Mary Baker Eddy, reached out to the Christ through her Bible and found herself suddenly well. The newspapers report: 

In 1866, while living in Lynn, Mass., Mrs. Eddy met with a severe accident, and her case was pronounced hopeless by the physicians. There came a Sunday morning when her pastor came to bid her good bye before proceeding to his morning service, as there was no probability that she would be alive at its close. During this time she suddenly became aware of a divine illumination and ministration. She requested those with her to withdraw, and reluctantly they did so, believing her delirious. Soon, to their bewilderment and fright, she walked into the adjoining room, "and they thought I had died, and that it was my apparition," she said. *1

She wrote about this incidence: 

(Light shining in darkness)
When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, - called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, - is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter; that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit.*2

She also wrote the following about her discovery: 

(Christian Science discovered)
In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science. God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing.*3

She was also dealing with another concept, which she named Divine Science, and linked to the promise that Christ Jesus made for a new comforter. She wrote about this: 

In the words of St. John: "He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science.*4

It is self-evident that Mary Baker Eddy is dealing with two different types if science, and indeed two different types are needed. If Christian Science is the final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing, or in other words, is an abstract statement of a boundless concept, a structural scientific approach is needed to enable the kind of scientific and spiritual development in human consciousness is needed in order to make the abstract "absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing," accessible and applicable, and develop human thought towards this infinite. This evidently becomes the function of Divine Science.

Mary Baker Eddy used the term Divine Science in its fully capitalized version rarely. One of these rare occasions is the following: 


The leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, is Divine Science; the Comforter; the Holy Ghost that leadeth into all Truth; the "still, small voice" that breathes His presence and power, casting out error and healing the sick. *5

Mary Baker Eddy's ability in healing renders more than sufficient proof of the truth that she conveyed to humanity with her discovery of Christian Science. Here is what she writes about this aspect of her work.


After my discovery of Christian Science, I healed consumption in its last stages, a case which the M.D.'s, by verdict of the stethoscope and the schools, declared incurable because the lungs were mostly consumed. I healed malignant diphtheria and carious bones that could be dented by the finger, saving the limbs when the surgeon's instruments were lying on the table ready for their amputation. I have healed at one visit a cancer that had eaten the flesh of the neck and exposed the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord. I have physically restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and have made the lame walk. 


About the year 1869, I was wired to attend the patient of a distinguished M.D., the late Dr. Davis of Manchester, N. H. The patient was pronounced dying of pneumonia, and was breathing at intervals in agony. Her physician, who stood by her bedside, declared that she could not live. On seeing her immediately restored by me without material aid, he asked earnestly if I had a work describing my system of healing. When answered in the negative, he urged me immediately to write a book which should explain to the world my curative system of metaphysics. In the ranks of the M.D.'s are noble men and women, and I love them; but they must refrain from persecuting and misrepresenting a system of medicine which from personal experience I have proved to be more certain and curative in functional and organic diseases than any material method. *6


Some historians also tell us that Mary Baker Eddy became a famous author, in this context, the author of the textbook of Christian Science that has brought healing to countless people all over the world.  A few historians will also point out that Mary Baker Eddy founded a great international newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, which remains widely respected to the present day.

Historical notes, unfortunately, do not always tell the whole story. Nothing is found in these notes that tell us that Mary Baker Eddy was the first and only scientist in modern times to recognize and utilize the Apostle John's symbolism of a foursquare matrix, and to extend it into far-reaching pedagogical structure for the moral, scientific, and spiritual development of humanity. Nowhere is it written that everyone of her major works is constructed in a tight correlation to this all-encompassing structure.


More remarkable than her awe inspiring healing ability is her dimension in human history, or should I say future history? It has been only recently discovered that Mary Baker Eddy has created all of her major works to be structurally coincident with the Apostle John's metaphor of a city foursquare descending from God out of heaven as the end phase of his prophesy of the end of all evil unfolding from Scientific and spiritual development. As John points out, in this city there shall be no night there.

In defining that foursquare city, Mary Baker Eddy described four levels of development: first, the Word of Life, Truth, and Love; second, the Christ, the spiritual idea of God; third, Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ-idea in Christian history; fourth, Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.*7 She also defined in the Glossary of the textbook on Christian Science, four matching hierarchical terms: Haven, Kingdom of Heaven, Earth, and Hell. But here a paradox unfolds, because there shall be no night there.

Actually, there is NO paradox arising from this. She fully expects Christian Science to be humanity's resource to eradicate 'hell' in human experience, and the only promising resource that humanity has towards this end. For this purpose she created eleven major scientific structures designed for individual moral, scientific, and spiritual development, all with various levels of complexities and rigorous demands, ranging from the rudimental elements, our 'baby shoes' to levels beyond what is commonly required for academic degrees.

To date, virtually nothing is known in public about the entire aspect of this work by Mary Baker Eddy. Nor can the present manifestation that is accomplished throughout the Christian Science church organization be used as a yard stick for what the real potentials of her achievements are, since that organization has been operating literally blindfolded for the last hundred years and with its engines not yet turned on. There is a high probability that this will change in the current century, by which Mary Baker Eddy will become The Woman of Our Century. She may even prove to be mankind's only hope.


Historians tell us about events that have been in far distance of time, about work that has been accomplished as it is generally known, or which to some degree still is being accomplished, but since they fail to incorporate what lies beyond the sphere that is physically obvious, they cannot tell us who Mary Baker Eddy was and what her significance for the present age is inwhich her real stature may yet come to light. Historians may point out in their writings that Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science during a personal health crisis that threatened to become fatal, and that a single, profound, scientific realization had healed her at the height of this crisis.  They may further point out that she was determined afterwards to gain a clear understanding of the science that was involved, in order that she could make this kind of healing universally available.  Certainly, her remarkable success in this self-appointed mission puts her among the ranks of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, even though her most profound accomplishment, her utilization of the Apostle John foursquare structure for scientific development remains virtually unknown. That should give us some idea of what her real stature is, and she may yet be honored.

Historian tell us that Mary Baker Eddy chose for herself two titles which she never surrendered.  One of these is the title of  " President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College," the college which she had founded in 1881 for the purpose of teaching her newly discovered science and its application to healing. Mary Baker Eddy had taught in this college for eight years until she closed its doors in 1889 for a ten year period.  During this period a major revision of her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, was carried out. After that a brand new type of church was created. In 1895, upon completion of the first edifice for this church, Mary Baker Eddy was called upon to assume the position of its pastor, which she graciously declined. She wrote back to the Board of Directors, "...If it will comfort you in the least, make me your Pastor Emeritus, nominally.  Through my book, your textbook, I already speak to you each Sunday..."*(Pulpit and Press p.87) This title, Pastor Emeritus, that she chose for herself in this regard became her second title that is still being recognized, nominally.

Now what does it mean to us in the present age that Mary Baker Eddy remains to be the Pastor Emeritus of her church, speaking through her books, and that she remains to be the President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College which she had established for the teaching of her discovery of Christian Science? Her retaining of these two titles seems to indicate that one must never loose sight of the fundamental process that she, herself, had devoted her life to, which is the scientific and spiritual self-development of oneself, and of humanity. Historians describe Mary Baker Eddy as a religious woman, because she founded a church.  They describe her discovered science as a religion, because they fail to see the fundamental difference between religion, which is static and frozen in dogma, and science which opens the door to the infinite.

It is the nature of any religion to be dogmatic. Individuals are required to subscribe to a certain set of postulates that are said to be indisputable, regardless of whether they are logical, rational, understandable and demonstrable, or not.  In this sense any religion is synonymous with a closed book, because by its underlying structure, it excludes continuing development.  Religion, thus, is a system devoted to the development of the narrowness in thought and a dead formalism in action. These are all elements of an entopic, decaying, and fundamentally self-degenerating system.

Science, in contrast, is an open-ended system that expands to infinity.  In the domain of science nothing is ever finite. Its platform is a hypothesis that opens the door to a higher hypothesis by which thought expands and patterns the infinite. It reflects the infinitude of infinite Mind or God. Its operational platform is to pose questions that demand answers out of one's inner resources, opening the stage to making discoveries upon discoveries, for resolving paradoxes that come to light in our searching for fundamental principles and their application to healing and the advancing of humanity.  The nature of science is not dogmatic but demonstrative. On this platform it becomes possible to step beyond the sphere of physics and its limitations, into the higher sphere of divine Spirit, divine Principle, and divine Love.

Mary Baker Eddy was a devoted scientist. Her focus in exploration was to discover the principle of Christ healing, the principles underlying Christianity, even the nature of the divine Principle, Life, Truth, Love, and so forth. Her life has been one of tremendous achievements. Nevertheless, she referred to herself in her textbook as but "a willing disciple... waiting for the Mind of Christ."*(Science and Health p.ix)

It is a little known fact that every major work of Mary Baker Eddy is uniquely designed to support the forever ongoing scientific and spiritual self-development of the individual. Every one of her major works is made up of sixteen parts, or multiples thereof, by which they correspond with the Apostle John's city foursquare described in Revelation 21, and also correspond with each other. John's foursquare structure represents in metaphor a sixteen element matrix structure, which enables the ordering of perceptions and concepts that are ideally suited for scientific exploration and self-development.

Mary Baker Eddy's dimension of the foursquare structure is extensively outlined in all of the fundamental aspects in the final chapter of her textbook on Christian Science, but she never talks about her pedagogical structures directly or explains its functionality.  Every aspect is left open to individual discovery through scientific exploration, with a horizon that she may have determined will never be limited by her, but remains open for all times to infinity.  With this, she has set the stage for a new face of Christian Science to emerge in due course that will bring to light its truly infinite nature.

It took the space of fifteen years, beginning in the 1980s, to explore the vast scope of what Mary Baker Eddy has outlined for her pedagogical structures. As a true scientist, she never imposed any dogma, provided no answers from a certain point on. Instead, she set up a stage that poses questions, which when answered, in turn bring up new questions. And still, her work did not end there. In her final years, Mary Baker Eddy closed her beloved country home, Pleasant View, in Concord New Hampshire and moved her household to Chestnut Hill, just outside of Boston, in order to establish a newspaper with the defined mission to "spread undivided the Science the operates unspent."  She called the news paper the Christian Science Monitor. Evidently, its purpose was to interface the imperatives that arise from scientific and spiritual development with the policies that govern nations and individuals from the grass roots level to the highest levels of government.

Historian suggest that the Christian Science Monitor was created by her as a vehicle for answering critics in the public arena.  This can hardly be considered as a likely reason for a person at the age of 87 to establish an international scope newspaper. It is much more likely that she recognized that her life-work was not complete without establishing an interface between the advance of scientific development that she had prepared for, and humanity's need to uplift its civilization through a better understanding of the underlying principles that support human existence. With the world moving towards war, the need for such an interface became evermore obvious, if not critical.

The type of interface that she may have envisioned, evidently remains yet to be established and become functional as the century after her passing has become a century of war, unfolding fascism, violence, and cycles of economic disintegration. Perhaps the Monitor that she created will some day be seen as symbolic in its design as a model for humanity as whole. In this regard, her achievement of that final step has been fully accomplished.  By its movement humanity shall surely begin one day to recognize and acknowledge who Mary Baker Eddy really is.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist has recently announced the opening of its "Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity," that functions like a museum of her works and opened its doors in the year 2002.  (See: http://www.marybakereddy.org ) In this museum people will be given a chance to discover who Mary Baker Eddy was, in the same kind of terms that are seen by the historians. The real need, however, is for people to discover who Mary Baker Eddy IS. We need to find out who she IS in her forever continuing dual capacity as Pastor Emeritus of the Church of Christ Scientist, and President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. As people are uplifted scientifically and spiritually by her pioneering creation of the most advanced pedagogical structures that have ever been created for their moral, scientific, and spiritual development they will experience in their own life the healing effect of the unfolding understanding of divine Science that her name will forever be associated with.

The focus must be on who Mary Baker Eddy is. History is gone, we live in the present. Mary Baker Eddy's work should not be seen as an end-product in itself, of the type that can be laid on a shelf, but should be experienced as the forever stepping stone to greater advances, an elevated scientific platform that enables humanity to develop itself scientifically to the point that the Apostle John's vision becomes indeed fulfilled. 

John foresaw the end of all evil as the result of scientific and spiritual development. Mary Baker Eddy's scientific development structure is the crowning impetuous towards its final realization. The creating of the Christian Science Monitor fits into this arena, because truth is universal and applies to all humanity as scientific and spiritual development inevitably reshapes the whole of society and its policies. This will happen, because no one lives outside the sphere where reality reigns, or divine Principle is reflected.

Indeed, without the Christian Science Monitor being created as a symbolic element of this larger sphere, Mary Baker Eddy's work would have been incomplete.  Without this functional impetus we would have had to look for Mary Baker Eddy in a museum indeed, instead of experiencing her touch upon the advancing unfolding of humanity. That advance lies still before us, which in real terms has not even begun as the foundation for that advance continues to remain unnoticed or rejected. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves what we wish to experience in our world in the New Century. Shall it be another century of war as presently envisioned by the leadership of America as their "Project for the New American Century"? Or shall we see the unfolding of a New Century that comes to light as a celebration of God manifest in the greatest era of peace, prosperity, and human development of all time, that Mary Baker Eddy had prepared the foundation for?

 


 

*1 Pulpit and Press 34:5-16
*2 Science and Health p.108
*3 Science and Health p.107
*4 Science and Health p.55
*5 Miscellaneous Writings 174:30-2
*6 Miscellany 105:7-2
*7 Science and Health p.577

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