Let me tell you about my life-altering experience reading Margaret Laird’s – CSR: A Challenge To Original Thinking.
I had been a Christian Scientist for forty years, although not a very good one. Initially I was drawn to it because I’d been a seeker after truth my whole life, and I was struck by some of Mary Baker Eddy’s riveting spiritual logic.
I had never felt drawn to religion, and was uncomfortable with words like “God,” “Jesus,” “sacrament,” and “sin.” Nevertheless, I found Eddy’s scientific reasoning so compelling that I forged ahead and, after some time, became accustomed to the Christian terminology, and even found some statements in the Bible that I thought were quite scientific.
Over the years, though, I realized that I was unable to demonstrate this Science to any degree, and found its concepts confusing. Consequently, I would depend on the work of practitioners, rather than doing my own work.
When I reached my sixties I developed a chronic condition, which refused to yield either to my own work, or to the work of several different practitioners. I stayed with the last one for eight years, but only grew worse, instead of better. At that time I still viewed Christian Science as a healing method — a way of making disease “go away.” Although I was told that my condition would drop away naturally through spiritual growth and I did feel that I was making some progress, in that sense it never did.
Backtracking, let me say that, as a member of the Christian Science church, I went through some periods of serious doubt. I became an “independent” Christian Scientist at one point, and took part in several online groups of people who loved Mary Baker Eddy and her work, but found the organization counterproductive.
Finally, I dropped out altogether for a while. I threw all my books under the bed and starting seeing an acupuncturist (to no avail). During those years, I had heard Margaret Laird’ s name mentioned many times, but I never felt led to find and read her books.
One day, a friend on Facebook asked me if I’d ever read Margaret Laird’ s Christian Science Re- Explored, and told me that it had completely changed her life for the better.
She had been raised in Christian Science, and was becoming increasingly restless and dissatisfied with it when she got on Amazon.com looking for books about Christian Science that might have a fresh approach. That was when Laird’s book caught her eye. My curiosity was piqued, and I downloaded the Kindle version that very day.
Fast forward: I have now read Christian Science Re-Explored through seven times. Of course it’s been much more than just reading, or even studying. I’ve begun to live what Laird refers to as “my own divinity” to the best of my understanding.
The first time I picked up the book, this stood out: “I did not adore Jesus, he meant nothing to me, nor did my heart overflow with gratitude for what he did for mortals. He was not my Christ. Even at that early day I recognized that the divinity (Spirit) of each individual is his own Christ or Savior, whether named Jesus, Mary, John or James.”
I saw quite clearly what I had actually always believed: that truth for each one of us isn’t “out there” in a god or savior, but within our own divine selves.
Finally I understood why I had never been able to fully accept Mary Baker Eddy’ s message. Dualistic Christianity permeated her writings and could never be successfully combined with the scientific fact of God/man/universe as One.
When I gave myself a treatment, I would always vacillate between trying to see and feel my oneness with God, and reaching out to Him in prayer as something beyond myself. It nearly drove me crazy, but at the time I could find no resolution, because I had been taught that everything Mary Baker Eddy had written was the “truth,” no questions asked.
Second, the fact that we are human “because we are divine,” as Margaret Laird states, was a deal-breaker for me as far as any further acceptance of conventional Christian Science was concerned. I had spent so many years essentially denying my humanness, that to discover that I could never have been human if it had not been for the fact that I am divine was truly revolutionary.
Third, to learn that all living is self-living gave me such a sense of freedom — nothing and no one else to blame, nothing to fear, nothing “out there” at all — just my Self as reflection!
Fourth, it was such an eye- opener to realize that God, Mind, actually is All-in-all, including all that is or seems to be. That realization freed me from having to fight and deny error, take a stand for Truth, and all those other soul-sapping, frustrating mental gymnastics I’ d been accustomed to attempting. This viewpoint opened my world to so many new possibilities.
Now I was no longer limited to reading nothing but church materials on Christian Science, or feeling guilty when I read some other spiritual literature. There was a vast landscape of fascinating things to explore, and I made it my business to explore them.
No longer did I hesitate to follow my intuition in the matters of daily living, instead of trying to stick to a set of rules set up by the church organization. I felt as if I’d been let out of prison!
I still believe that Mary Baker Eddy was a visionary, and that she was on to something that was way ahead of her time. I don’t think that the pure Science she discovered will ever be lost, but, as Margaret Laird points out, it’ s time to move on from Christianity to a more accurate view of what constitutes Life and Being. I’m on board!CSR, Laird’s Challenge to Original Thinking
What’s about your “chronic condition”? I un derstand Christian Science is not a “healing method”. Any real change in self-living our divinity has some consequences in our sensory world. Margaret Laird was a practitioner, working with clients, visiting her for specific troubles.
Great comment! When Laird took calls as a practitioner, she didn’t see the problems as those of another. It was her world showing up. Hers.
She might say, Get rid of the patient, get rid of the practitioner, and Be. (Be the Science in the language you can see it, as clearly you can see it.)
Then on we go.
As a true student of Science, attempting to use it as a pill will always be “maybe so, maybe not” in terms of “healing” — might look better one day, worse the next. For sure, the propensity to be ill has not be removed! Living and practicing Science is the willingness for life to show up EXACTLY the way that it does — without argument. That is a tall order. Understanding that the human picture is a REFLECTION of the Divinity present in/as our Self, we see things the only way we can, given what’s there for our growth and… Read more »
I understand the point. The Absolute is the relative. OK. Let us read Margaret Laird: “Many years ago I was asked to treat a young boy suffering from osteomyelitis… His family were not metaphysical scientists, but as a last resort his mother was directed by a friend to see me.” Then, Mrs Laird explains her “work”. Right. However, did she say to this mother: “You may have a dying child, but be a scientist after all”? In what way this mother was involved in the process? So, to be helpful, our sayings have to make the difference between absolute and… Read more »
This latest version is a most marvelous book! Starting with the introduction by John M. Dorsey, M.D. Clearly his Love for his friend, Mrs. Laird, is demonstrated, but was only recently revealed to my self in finer detail. He sensed the divine, and grasped the common thread amongst us all, the indissoluble link. If one reads the introduction slowly, one will detect that his introduction practiced what he professed according to his own sense of the divine. Perhaps dear reader, you may get my meaning. Mrs. Laird’s text does likewise with her lifelong divine direction, and if one is a… Read more »
Alert students of metaphysics may well ask them self “Is this just a garden-variety version of solipsism?”
No. Conventional solipsism is based on the concept of a human brain needed to generate consciousness. As Christian Scientists, we know that is not true, but that ALL is Mind in the first place solely as consciousness, God/Good/Mind, individualized.
Mrs. Laird’s text (backed by her CS history and other metaphysical references) takes one SAFELY beyond mortal garden variety solipsism, and how to actually LIVE with it, rather than just be an unsettling philosophical question or greeting-card type of wellness.
Let the introduction also serve as a warning to advanced metaphysicians! Coming to know my Dorsey-self better, I realized that the Love expressed towards his friend, Mrs. Laird, in the introduction – was really directed at himself with dire consequences, becoming self-imprisoned in what some might call a narcissistic silopsist jail, “living with a constantly diminishing estimate of my true worth.” No John, No! Does not Mrs. Laird talk about the Mind=I=Us? Have you chopped off the US part, and thrown away the key? Did not Mrs. Eddy warn about “self-love” ? Perhaps you need to practice what you profess… Read more »
No solipsism! Carefully read from CSRE 3rd edition P 8-21 (or WATW P5):
…”I do not think “I am my other” ….
…”I am I, and my “other” is it’s own individuation of Mind”…
There is more, but this banishes any thought of solipsism, and any tricky little concepts like “philosophical zombies”, for you super-smarties who know. Use the word “my” wisely.
I was hurting, and did the Mrs. Eddy thing of just opening up the book, and blam there it was from Laird. Whew. I have no desire to be Icarus. Thanks Margaret.
Oops. CSRE P7, Lines 8-21.
Even Arthur Corey in his Christian Science Class Instruction in chapter VIII – Universe – mentions the impossibility of solipsism directly
“…. But you can see through this claim of solipsism. …”
Good to get a second opinion on this topic…