October 24, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Magic

Golden text: Daniel 1:19-20

 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.

Psalms 50:1

Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Acts 8:5-13

 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city. But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

21st Century Science and Health

Humankind is advancing toward an understanding of mental phenomena, of crowd thinking or hypnosis. In the 20th century, Carl Jung[1] distinguished three psychic levels: (1) consciousness, (2) the personal unconscious, and   (3) the collective unconscious. Data continues to be collected and researched.

Observations of the workings of hypnosis, the collective unconscious, or crowd thinking, offer convincing evidence that they are not remedial agents. I am convinced that the effects of outside mortal mental influences on those who practice it, and on the people who do not resist it, lead to moral and physical death.

If hypnotism seems to heal diseases—or mental collective noise seems to alleviate loneliness—those appearances are deceptive, since error cannot remove the effects of error. Discomfort under error is preferable to comfort. In every instance, the effect of suggestion is only the effect of illusion. Any seeming benefit derived from mental manipulation is proportional to one’s faith in magic.

The power of suggestion has a long and capricious history. Research involving the human mind and its suggestive functions became rather primitively active in the 18th century with Franz Anton Mesmer.[2] He recognized that human beings can be manipulated, but didn’t understand the process. Mesmer theorized this manipulation occurred by means of a physical magnetic fluid. He even concluded that this magnetic fluid could be transmitted from one breathing creature to another as a therapeutic influential agent and termed his theory, animal magnetism. Today, it is realized that Mesmer actually hit upon the power of suggestion or collective mentality. Concerning his theory, the Encyclopedia Americana states, “Although it was later deemed a pseudoscience, the theory helped pioneer the study of the unconscious mind, hypnosis, and the development of medical psychiatry.”[3] Mesmer’s name, however, is preserved in the term, “mesmerize.” When people are being influenced by peer pressure or persuasions, or when they get caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some image or activity, they are “mesmerized.”

In the 19th century, the term “hypnotism” came into vogue, describing the process that characteristically induces the mental state of suggestibility. Today, hypnotism is studied, used as a form of entertainment, and sometimes utilized in the treatment of mental and physical disorders, but the scattered experimentations and observations are still not completely understood. Human beings can feel hypnotized for no apparent reason, doing things they wouldn’t normally do, while on the other hand there are some individuals who just can’t be hypnotized.

Acts 13:1-11

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

21st Century Science and Health

The mild forms of suggestion are disappearing and its aggressive features are coming to the front. The mechanism of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, is every hour producing more complicated and subtle confusion. So inconceivable are the present methods of the human mind’s influences that they trick people into indolence and produce the very apathy on the subjects which the criminal desires. The power of suggestion, with its many different disguises such as herd mentality and the adoption of unoriginal thinking, causes people to make mistakes throughout the thought process.

Divine Science goes to the bottom of mental action. Spiritual knowledge reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of all divine action as the emanation of divine Mind, which in turn reveals the consequent backwardness of actions deemed supernatural, paranormal, magic, voodoo, evil, hypnotism.

Acts 13:13-19

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

21st Century Science and Health

The process, either unconsciously or consciously, of thought manipulation has no scientific foundation, for God is uninfluenced and always conscious—always consciously governing that which is real, harmonious, and eternal. God expresses divine consciousness in us.

As named in Christian Science, mesmerism or crowd thinking is the specific term for error, or human mortal mind. It comes from the false belief that mind is inside it’s thought, called matter, and is both evil and good, or that evil is as real as good and more powerful. The penchant to live out a mortal life has not one quality of Truth and is either ignorant or malicious. The malicious forms of hypnotic suggestions end in moral idiocy. The truths of immortal Mind annihilate the human mind’s weak and stupid tendencies, which wander in circles like blind bugs flying into artificial lights and getting burned.

When Christian Science and impulsive crowd thinking are comprehended, as they will be at no distant date, it will be seen why honest, hardworking people are unfairly persecuted and undermined by wolves in sheep’s clothing.[4]

In reality there is no human mortal mind and consequently no transfer of temporal thoughts and will-powers. Life and being are of God. No harm can occur in the realm of Science where scientific, eternal thoughts pass from God to us.

Ezekiel 13:20

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds.

21st Century Science and Health

Truth encourages the elements of freedom.

At first, Truth leads the few and faithful free thoughts of Truth. As time marches on, those unrestricted thoughts move forward with the motto of freedom. The powers of this world will react and the old-guard will try to stop truth, will try to make it submit to their human standards and systems, but Science is not distracted by threats or assaults, and continues to unfold. There is always some chaos; however, a mobilization to truth’s standard is inevitable.

Denying the claims of power in matter/energy is an important step to take toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom and the final triumph over the body.

Spiritualized thought feels creative, free, and inspired, as if touching divine glory.

Moral courage is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,”[5] the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams the forest. Undisturbed it rests in open fields, in “green pastures…beside quiet waters.”[6] In the figurative passage of divine thought to human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to “the cattle on a thousand hills.”[7] They carry the baggage of stern resolve and keep pace with the highest purpose. Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit.

The birds, which fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above limited concepts to the understanding of the unlimited and divine Principle, Love.

 

 

[1] Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology.

[2] Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734–1815) German physician

[3] The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition, Volume 18. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 2003.

[4] Matt. 7:15

[5] Rev. 5:5

[6] Ps. 23:2

[7] Ps. 50:10

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s