“And lead us not into temptation . . . ” – Q&A #9

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

Question: What is animal magnetism, and how does it tempt us into evil?

Answer: There is a short chapter in our textbook on the subject of animal magnetism. You will want to study this in detail some day, in your efforts to handle the false influences that try to pull us away from God. Here is how Mary Baker Eddy describes animal magnetism:

“As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind. It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful.” (S&H 103:18)

“Mortal mind, acting from the basis of sensation in matter, is animal magnetism.” (S&H 178:18-19)

“Its basis being a belief and this belief animal, in Science animal magnetism, mesmerism, or
hypnotism is a mere
negation, possessing neither intelligence, power, nor reality, and in sense
it is an
unreal concept of the so-called mortal mind.” (S&H 102:3)

Just like the “evil one” is symbolized in the Bible by the devil or Satan, animal magnetism has its symbol: the talking serpent in Genesis, which becomes the Red Dragon of the book of Revelation. By either symbol, it is nothing more than an illusion. So it is nothing to fear. It is
simply a term for mortal mind and its false beliefs. But we must be alert to its evil ways, and defend ourselves. This can be done through our daily prayer.

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Temptation - #9

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