Agape Research


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An Irregular Biography of
Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

by Rolf A. F. Witzsche
(updated February 2, 2002)

honoring an extraordinary woman
a life dedicated to the healing of humanity
and advancing scientific and spiritual development


Mary Baker Eddy stands alone in the annals of history as the discoverer of a scientific method to reinstate in modern times the long lost element of Christ healing on a broad, practical, and near commercial basis. She is also honored as the founder of an established science that makes her discovery available to humanity under the name of Christian Science. She is further recognized as the founder and President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in which she personally taught thousands of students the science involved in Christian Metaphysical healing. Her title as President was never relinquished. She also bears the honorable title of Pastor Emeritus of the Christian Science church which she organized under the authority of its Church Manual, authored by her. Finally, in her mid seventies, long after people normally retire, she set out to establish the Christian Science Monitor that quickly became one of America's leading international newspaper.

Still, she is much more than just a great historic individual. She became a carrier of a revelation of a type that is far greater than oneself. She wrote:

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.

The lead in picture for this article is from a painting contained in her work Christ and Christmas. The painting is not a portrait of her. It is a metaphoric image that summarizes to some degree what she stood for. She became involved in a divine revelation to this age, which defines Christian Science as final, complete, and incomparable, a divine emanation that must be understood as such, which her humanity and scientific genius enabled her to receive for which she needs to be honored with unending gratitude and loyalty.

She also needs to be honored as a tireless worker for the advance of humanity; its healing, and its capacity to heal; and its scientific and spiritual development in divine Science. Christian Science is of no value unless the requisite scientific and spiritual development is achieved by which it becomes understood and acknowledged, and applied. Thus, the bears the dual role of discoverer and founder. Her discovery was the  final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing, but this does not put the mark of finity on science. This would have been the case had she stopped there, and in a sense, this is how Christian Science is seen today, with a sense of finity in its unfolding. But she did not stop there. In her role as founder she created the structures that will enable humanity to achieve an endless scientific and spiritual development that will carry the unfolding of her science to infinity. To a large degree this process has not even begun as most of the structures that she has created for this purpose are not yet generally recognized to exist.

In today's world the appreciation of her role as founder is very small. It is generally related to her founding of a church organization. Very few people realize that she has structurally founded all of her major works on the biblical metaphor of the city foursquare from Revelation 21 that the Apostle John described as descending from God out of heaven. This foursquare image is a reference to science. Christ Jesus lived in a scientific age. This metaphor would have been understood, and it probably was so understood in conjunction with his vision of the end of all evil through divine science. Apparently it was so understood by Mary Baker Eddy, because she founded all of her major works structurally on the foundation of the city foursquare. She created twelve major structures that are directly related to it, but she created them in a manner that allows them to unfold only through the channels of discovery, which alone leads to the scientific and spiritual development of an individual and humanity. 

Thus, our gratitude for Christian Science must be four fold: to God for the revelation; to Mary Baker Eddy for her genius that led to the discovery; for her tireless labor and scientific pioneering efforts as founder; and for her love in healing humanity. Her remarkable personal healing accomplishments must be seen in her role as an Exemplar, establishing not an exception, but a standard in scientific Christian healing, or more likely a starting point towards the actual end of all evil that still seems very far distant today.

There is no doubt that Mary Baker Eddy made a huge contribution for the betterment of society, both individually and collectively. In the 100 page section on Fruitage that she appended to her textbook on Christian Science - Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures - we find a representative sample of people having been healed of a wide variety of physical ailments by simply reading the book. (see index of testimonies - click on the @ symbol to see the testimonies)

The question needs to asked what lies behind this extraordinary scientific achievement, which to date has not been duplicated, much less superceded by anyone. An answer to this question may be found by looking back into the universal history of mankind. One finds a link there, the only cultural link that exists between the two historic achievements of Christ healing on a massive scale. This link is a link to a background of an extraordinary scientific and cultural development in society that was predominant in both periods. This unique condition existed during the timeframe when Christ Jesus came unto the human scene.  It occurred at the trailing edge of the greatest period of scientific and cultural development in human history, the Greek Classical period.

This same condition also existed during Mary Baker Eddy's timeframe. A similar development to the Greek Classical period occurred in North America, that created the cultural background that gave rise to the American Revolution and the scientific, humanist, and cultural renaissance that followed. Mary Baker Eddy grew up the very high point of this development period. It appears that the mental platform that is essential for Christ healing to become possible, requires a certain mental threshold to be established first. It appears that anything below that threshold prohibits the breakout in thinking into the new dimension of spirit, that is required. With the subsequent breakdown of the American renaissance that already begun during Mary Baker Eddy's time, this threshold is no longer reached. Evidently, she understood this challenge, but she also understood that her provisions for a new spiritual renaissance would reverse this decay once society becomes sufficiently scientifically prepared to receive her provisions for that development.

What evidence exists to support the above statement? One piece of evidence exists that we find both in the original Christian era, and once again in Mary Baker Eddy's work. When the Apostle John presented his vision of the end of all evil, he concluded the sequence of his revelation with a vision of a city foursquare descending from God out of heaven. If one considers the scientific background that was established in his age, the image of the city foursquare was evidently a reference to a unique geometric construct, a foursquare matrix that is useful for classifying, ordering, and studying interrelationships of ideas. It is likely that John's metaphor was widely understood in those terms by the scientific elite of his time. Mary Baker Eddy certainly understood the significance of it. Evidence suggests that she understood this significance quite early in the development of Christian Science, because every major aspect of her work has been created to conform to a sixteen element structure (see Christian Science ).

What Mary Baker Eddy did not do, however, is publish her own perception of the sixteen element structure. Instead, she outlined it, described it in numerous details, supported it with a massive work of metaphor, and did everything else that she could to make it easily discoverable, but did not talk about it. She evidently understood that scientific development cannot be achieved by one's riding on the coat tails of another person's genius, that it needs to unfold through the process of discovery by way of rigorous scientific analysis of one's perception of the truth. She evidently understood that everything that she had created would become lost if the scientific development cannot be maintained that gave life to her science in the first place. As the collapse of America's scientific and cultural renaissance was already unfolding all around her, she may have been hoping that the relevant discoveries would be made, that needed to be made in the field about the foundation of her work. Unfortunately, none of that happened during her time and for another thirty years after her passing.

In the 1940s the first faint discoveries were made by a Christian Science teacher and practitioner in England, by the name, John Doorly. John Doorly discovered a minute portion of what she had set up to be discovered, and he moved with it. This small discovery revolutionized how Christian Science was perceived by him, and by many he came in contact with. In the shadow of this revolution of unfolding new perceptions John Doorly was excommunicated from the Christian Science church by which the movement of discovery ground to a halt.

The spark that John Doorly ignited did not became a fire until forty years later when a dedicated Christian Scientist in North Vancouver, Canada, by the name of Howard Meredith, made a number of far reaching discoveries of Mary Baker Eddy's outlined structure for scientific and spiritual development. He brought to light a vastly higher level of complexity and deeply interlinked interrelationships that far superceded everything that John Doorly had been dealing with. My presentation of Mary Baker Eddy's structure for scientific and spiritual development on this website, is based to some degree on Howard Meredith's discoveries that led to a chain of subsequent discoveries resulting from my ongoing advanced research work that took approximately a decade to complete. (see Discovering Infinity)

Howard Meredith early discoveries were tremendous and exciting, they also put him into a considerable bind. He recognized that by doing the intensive research work that he had done, he had literally been taught by Mary Baker Eddy herself. There was no one else on the planet that could have taught him what he had learned from her, by researching her works. He also recognized that Mary Baker Eddy had made a unique provision for a person in his position, to recognize and self-acknowledge the scientific achievements that were made in that regard. Since Mary Baker Eddy never surrendered her title as President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in which she taught, he recognized that it can be said that all forms of advanced teaching by her, in whatever form they take place, can be deemed to fall under her authority in perpetuity as President of that institution, with the corresponding claim of a title that is due to an individual so taught.

This is a revolutionary perception of teaching and acknowledgement, the kind of which only Mary Baker Eddy could have organized. Science, by its very nature, is an open book. Evidently Mary Baker Eddy recognized that its development is never finished, and that the scientific development of Christian Science, consequently, is never finished. If this is so, who teaches at the leading edge? The teacher, evidently, is the scientific process of discovery itself, the same process that she has formally instituted with her creation of the structure for scientific and spiritual development. In fact, had she not done this, she would have put herself in a dilemma. She had to create a provision for acknowledgement of the outcome of the resulting development that she had provided for at the leading edge. This outcome had to be properly recognized and be properly validated. 

Mary Baker Eddy literally set up a new stage for authorization. Why must it be that person's worth and achievement has to be be authorized by another person before it can be regarded to exist? This concept of submission is incompatible with the status of man, and with the rights of the son of God - the individual human being, as Mary Baker Eddy regarded humanity in the image and likeness of God.

Self-recognition and self-authorization is fundamental to the living practice of Christian Science, based on an absolute honesty with oneself. This concept of self-authorization is also reflected in the organizational structure of the church that Mary Baker Eddy has created. She has created a central organization, the Mother Church of Christ Scientist, and a network branch churches, with a provision that forbids one entity to dominate, validate, or authorize another. With this, she has set up a revolutionary organizational structure that is duplicated nowhere at the present time. The closest organizational structure that one can find is that pioneered by Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa during the Golden Renaissance who envisioned humanity to exist ideally as an association of perfectly sovereign nation-states in community of shared universal principles. Mary Baker Eddy has set up the stage for this essential concept to be learned at the grass roots level of social and religious existence.

Another aspect that Mary Baker Eddy has developed, that is revolutionary among Christian churches, is reflected in her refusal to provide a provision for marriage. No marriage ceremony is performed in the Christian Science church. This does not mean that she disregarded or invalidated the sweet bond of love that the marriage bond should represent. To the contrary, she raised the concept to a much higher level than anyone has ever raised it before. She devoted an entire chapter of the Christian Science textbook to the subject. But that's not all. If one plots the sixteen chapters onto the foursquare matrix, in a manner that reflects upwards development throughout the matrix, the chapter on marriage becomes located at the second highest row, coincident with the cardinal point "the Christ, the spiritual idea of God." (see mapping within the structure for scientific and spiritual development

At the level where the concept of marriage has been located in this structure, we deal with the science of the Christ, not with marriage ceremonies, or marriage duties, marriage boundaries, or marriage limits. It was logically impossible for her to provide ceremonies for something that lies above the level of ceremonies and other material, social, or structural elements and encumberments. She raised it to a level where the bond of "the love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality," makes its own demands out of its unfolding self-completeness in one's honesty with oneself and towards the truth, according to the Christ, the spiritual idea of God. I have created a novel to explore this dimension where honestly with oneself and towards the truth about the universal value of man plays a central role. (see The Lodging for the Rose)

Mary baker Eddy's life has been one marked with pioneering breakthroughs of enormous significance, most of which still remain largely unrecognized to the every day. Her structure for scientific and spiritual development is officially not recognized to exist. Howard Meredith has been excommunicated from the church for claims arising from the discovery process of this structure. The principle of self-validation has been overruled. The principle of the organizational sovereignty within the church structure is far from being implemented as the guiding star. Even Mary Baker Eddy's refusal to set up a formal marriage provision is being routinely circumvented by individual Christian Scientists all over the world. It has become a general practice to hire the services of other churches for the desired ceremonies, not to mention the retention of age old religious and lower axioms about the marriage covenant.

No doubt, at some stage in the future the revolutionary genius of Mary Baker Eddy will be recognized, understood, and be acknowledged. For the time being, however, humanity and the people associated with Mary Baker Eddy's church are content with enshrining her like a dead ornament behind the walls of a museum, called the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity (see Library). By intent, the library is a noble idea, in practice it tends to threaten to become just another institution that represents a very narrowly defined image of Mary Baker Eddy, which is therein put on display.  This happens in the background to a gradual collapse of the church as the church membership is shrinking and more branch churches are closing their doors than are being opened. Even the Christian Science Monitor has largely taken on the role of being just another inconsequential newspaper on the block instead of being the leading edge representative of the scientific and spiritual development of humanity, uplifting humanity on every platform of its pursuit, socially, morally, politically, economically, and civilly.

The American statesman and economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. suggests that a simple test should be applied in determining what is worthwhile to pursue. He suggests that the following type of question should be asked: Will the world be a richer place as the result of one's efforts? Will one's having lived on this planet have made a difference towards the advance of civilization? This criteria should be applied to assessing the 'dimension' of the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity. 

The library presents an interesting paradox. It puts on display the written words of Mary Baker Eddy, like any museum would, while baring the door to the most advanced developments in the field of science that Mary Baker Eddy has pioneered and labored to embody. For as long as this paradox is maintained, rather than being resolved, the library will function as a museum rather than as an impetus to advance the pioneering spirit and the freedom of humanity, and the state of its civilization. (for more on this, see: CSB)

The question should be asked, will the Mary Baker Eddy library, as an institution, enhance the value of Mary Baker Eddy to humanity in the present age? The value of her pioneering achievements to humanity is not effected by what we do. It remains forever the same like the eternal Christ, the spiritual idea of God that Christ Jesus has embodied centuries ago. The import thing for us is how we utilize this value. The full value of Mary Baker Eddy's achievements will no doubt be recognized in future ages as humanity becomes more sensitive of its infinite nature. The important question for us to ask, is: Will we recognize the value of the gold that lies at our feet, and enrich our lives, or bury it deeper while we pray at the heavenly gates for richer lives and a brighter world?

By putting Mary Baker Eddy on display in the form of lifeless words, 'protected' from the boundless horizons of her scientific spirit and advanced achievements, we bury her still deeper than she has already been buried during the preceding century. She deserves a more honorable treatment.

Still, one cannot blame the church organization and its supporters for the ongoing disintegration of her bequest to humanity in the preset age. Mary Baker Eddy's achievements were developed at the peak period of a significant spiritual and scientific renaissance of which there is little remaining today. The recognition of the principle of sovereignty in the world, has ended. The once cherished idea of a community of principle to bind the nations, is gone with the wind. The principle of the General Welfare as the foundation of morality is now laughed at and fought against vigorously. Humanist education is gone. Healthcare exists for profit only. Industrial development has been scrapped in favor of Free Trade sweatshop exploitation. The right to live is rapidly being replaced with the right to die. The humanity in society has become replaced with a fascination with fascism, wars, murdering one another, stealing from one another, exploitation of one another, and so forth. This fascination now rules our world. We have removed ourselves so far away from the renaissance on which Mary Baker Eddy's achievements were once build, that entire nations are now collapsing, the global economy is breaking down, our world's financial system is disintegrating, while the world itself is moving evermore rapidly towards a "clash of civilizations" global war in a nuclear armed environment.

It is perfectly understandable that in this maelstrom of dehumanization Mary Baker Eddy's achievements are considered to be of no relevance.

There remains a hope nevertheless, however slim this may be, that we, humanity, will rediscover ourselves with the outcome that the presently unfolding dark age will end. Should this occur, Mary Baker Eddy will most certainly be taken out of the museum again, and her genius will be recognized once more in the world. It needs to be recognized, even today, that her work was a work for the "morning," for the dawning of a bright new age, not a work designed for the evening that is trailing out into the darkness of night. Her work is a stage for living in the brightness of the full day.

This is the significance of Mary Baker Eddy to humanity.

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