Mary Baker Eddy was evidently keenly aware of the devastating impact of the numerous forms of mental malpractice that she made the individual defence against it, a high-priority item of disciple in her Church Manual. She writes (in part) under the heading, Alertness to Duty (p. 42):
She evidently regarded the requirement of alertness to be of such great importance that she made the subject a high-priority item to be taught in the highest class of formal teaching that she has established for her church. She writes under the heading, Special Instruction (p. 90):
Mary Baker Eddy herself was evidently hard hit by a multifaceted mental attack against her in litigation, known as the Next Friend's Suit, and widely circulated slander in the press in connection with the Suit. The ferocity appears to have been of such intensity that she appears to have found it necessary for the first time in her life, 41 years after her discovery of Christian Science, to read her own textbook "throughout consecutively in order to elucidate her idealism," as she states in the preface of the book. She doesn't state the reason for the need to do so. Instead she cites the date, June 10, 1907, which points to the key element that caused the beginning of the collapse of the malicious court case. It was the date on which her attorney acted on her reasoning and argument based on the law of God, rather than on his own reasoning. From this point on the case collapsed. Her request caused the Suit to fail on its own, by revealing that it had no merit.
Mary Baker Eddy urged the people in the field to be alert, thereafter, in 1908. She placed an addition into her textbook, into the chapter, "Christian Science Practice." She urged the people in the field to be a law unto themselves, in order, as she said, "that mental malpractice cannot harm you either when asleep and when awake." This law, of course, is God's law.
Malice in Practice?
It is interesting to note that Mary Baker Eddy never used the phrase, malicious or aggressive mental malpractice. She links malicious intention with animal magnetism, and not with mental practice. What then causes the harm that she speaks of that one needs to protect against? Evil is not a power to inflict harm. What then can cause harm? I asked myself this question in a personal crisis. What stands behind an apparent attack? That answer that I gave myself is, that what I felt was not an attack, but the result of a cry for a wider sense of love. The sense of void, when not responded to, becomes a disturbing claim of chaos where love should rule. The yearning for love can be fulfilled with increased reflection of divine Love, individually and collectively. The desperation that cries for a wider sense of love to be expressed, is an admission of poverty, impotence, worthlessness, loneliness, and so on, which is a rumination of errors in perception compounded and left unhealed, which ultimately adds up to a form of mistaken mental practice that creates a void in the heart where no cause for the void exists in Truth, which is ultimately reflected as one's own truth. The term "mental malpractice," simply implies the failure to participate in the divine mental practice. Without this participation, the mental action has no focus, no orientation, no substance, no purpose, but becomes random and chaotic, and destructive. Oh yes, one can get sucked into this train.
War is the result of mental malpractice. Every aspect of it is about as distant from the expression of divine mental action as one can get. War is a cry in the human heart and soul for a wider sense of love, which when it is realized and felt, prevents war from even being thought of. Every effort on a lesser basis, throughout history, to purge war from the world, has failed, as it must. War is not a technical issue, political issue, racial or hate issue, but is mental malpractice that rejects the primal divine law of participation - "Love reflected in love," overflowing, all-encompassing, meeting the human need. The divine participation has become an increasingly critical issue in the world, as nuclear war is looming ever closer, much closer than during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 when the world stood at the brink.
The Descend from Westphalia to Hobbes
Only once in history did correct mental action, the development of a wider sense of love for our common humanity, banish war. This occurred in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia. A commitment was made by the nations to each other, after 100 years of destroying each other, to turn the ship around and to promote what is to the advantage of the other. This commitment towards the recognition of our universal humanity, and a dawning respect and love for it, ended 100 years of war. It created an atmosphere of peace that lasted for half a century. It also created a foundation that still stands to the present day as a high-level universal world constitution.
The initial, faint commitment to love for one another with the Principle of the Advantage of the Other, was lost again under the pressure of the counter-ideology of the imperial philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who prostituted himself in the service of the imperial system to develop a 'scientific' foundation that can be cited to legitimize the grand slavery and looting of humanity that every imperial system exists by. Hobbes developed the notion that the greatest form of freedom that can be achieved in the world, is the achievement of total freedom from love. He said in essence, that once one is free, one has total freedom to do anything: steal, murder, enslave, and if need be, make war. He is celebrated to the present day, in the imperial courts, as one of the greatest philosophers of all times. His doctrine of freedom from love, enables the doctrine of nuclear war.
Where once was love, love is no more
It may be that Mary Baker Eddy had recognized the mental poison that flows from the Hobbsian ideology, of freedom from love, as the motivating force of the brutal attack on her with the Next Friend's Suit and the associated slander in the press that bordered on acts of betrayal. While Hobbes had ruled in Europe for a long time already, North America had remained relatively unaffected by it. The USA was built on the mental platform of gaining freedom FROM Hobbes. That's what had motivated the Pilgrims movement and the drive to maintain the hard-won freedom in America, from the empire that championed Hobbes.
The southern slavery system that was not defeated with the American Revolution for Independence, but was developed further, became the first incursion of the Hobbsian mental poison into America. The Civil War was the result. Lincoln's victory that enabled him to outlaw slavery, reversed the incursion of Hobbes' mental poison to some degree. But, quietly, in the background, the poison movement was rebuilt.
The Hobbsian ideology of gaining "freedom From love," was countered with the dynamics of Christian Science that rebuilt the Christ freedom, "the God given freedom TO love." During the years from Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of Christian Science till her death in December 1910, which became an epoch of divine healing, the world experienced the greatest epoch of peace, development, and prosperity since the Golden Renaissance. It appears that Mary Baker Eddy saw the writing on the wall that this peace was being destroyed.
Less than 3 months before the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, in the Pavilion of Music at the World Fair In Buffalo New York, Mary Baker Eddy delivered a 35-page message to the Annual Meeting of the Mother Church that covered a wide range of topics, including "Mental Malpractice." On this topic she points out that a mental practitioner, who is not a Christian Scientist, is vulnerable to countless opportunities to mislead the human mind, and that he uses it. And she adds that people tend to listen complacently to their suggestions that include inaudible falsehoods, who take it all in, not knowing what is hurting them, or that they are being hurt. She states, "This mental bane could not bewilder, darken, or misguide consciousness, physically, morally, or spiritually, if the individual knew what was at work and his power over it." The "power" that she speaks of is the power of the freedom in Divine Science to participate in the divine process of Love being reflected in love.
Thus, civilization stands presently divided between the animal magnetism of the Hobbsian ideology that total freedom is found in a world without love, and the reality that is demonstrable in Christian Science that freedom is found in the freedom TO love. On any other platform than the platform of participating in the divine process of Love being reflected in love, the individual and the world becomes bound to slavery, poverty, destruction, and war, and ultimately its annihilation by nuclear war.
Mary Baker Eddy's response
Mary Baker Eddy's response to the giant orgy of slander against her in the press, reflected the divine process of Love reflected in love. The slander against her was associated with the Next Friend's Suit that had been built on the conspiracy that public slander could be used as a means for succeeding in court with a case that has no merit, Mary Baker Eddy's response was, to heal the press by example. She unplugged herself from her homestead in the country. at the age of 86, moved her entire household to Boston, and launched a newspaper of her own with the mission to "Bless all mankind, and injure none." That's "Love reflected in love" raised to a higher level, to heal not only the immediate scene of what journalism had become, but to heal the future as well. This process is still unfolding.