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"Heal Thyself": The roots of Science of Mind vs. Christ Scientist

Self Healing begins from within... not from without...
Self Healing begins from within... not from without...

Anyone who follows New Thought practice, or attends a Science of Mind ministry like Mile Hi Church in Denver, has probably had someone ask if it is part of a Christian Science church. This confusion is not only due to the misunderstanding of the word ‘science’ in a religious organization, but also a fundamental belief that is shared, in part, by both spiritual doctrines. The belief of self-healing.

The Church of Christ Scientist was founded by Mary Baker Eddy, a woman not often linked with the New Thought Movement. Interestingly though, when you look at the history of Eddy’s religion, we find that roots are taken from the same tree of knowledge that blossomed into the Science of Mind practice we see today. One of the basic tenets of the New Thought movement is that illness and “dis-ease” begins in the mind, not the body. Logically then, it follows that the ability to heal also begins in the mind.

Mary Baker Eddy was born in 1821. She was a frail and sickly child, often bedridden with a variety of ailments and concerns. As she struggled through various chronic conditions, she would find comfort in the bible stories about Jesus’ healing miracles. At about eight years old, Mary began hearing voices, apparently directing her with divinity to carry on as Jesus did, healing others. She saw this as her Christian duty, and gained a reputation for her ability. People began to bring their sickly farm animals to her for healing. Whether her own illnesses were psychosomatic in nature or actual disease remains debatable, but what began as a personal struggle to free herself from pain and suffering grew into one of the most widely recognized religions in the western world.

In October 1862, Mary became a patient of Phineas Quimby, a magnetic healer and great influence on the New Thought Movement. Quimby’s treatments of her nervous and physical conditions relied heavily on hypnotism, as it tapped into the mind and through suggestion created healing effects. For this, Quimby did not attach any religious ideology, instead seeing the healing as a result of the focus of intention and the power of the mind alone. Quimby showed Eddy the effects of unseen mental influences and beliefs on sick patients. While Quimby had his own ideas about the origins of these unseen forces, Eddy placed her healing squarely in the Christian faith, believing it was the only by the will of God that she was cured. In this belief lies the greatest differences in Science of Mind from the religion of Christian Science.

Today, we are witness to society’s embrace of self-help in many forms, including self-healing. Energy healing through Shamanism, Ayurveda, Gemstone Consciousness, Reiki, and Matrix Energetics, causes us to open our mind to higher thought. New Thought teachings are not limited to religious authorities but the recognition that we are all unified in the “The One”. Limiting beliefs often stand in stark difference to the results found in these modalities. Faith healing through religion has a defined stigma of fraud and manipulation of its followers. Faith healers are ‘chosen’ to be the hand of God, to “lay hands” on the infirm, cure disease, and perform miracles at the will of God. Self-healing is not faith healing. Healing from within is a connection on a cellular and energetic level to Source, and we are all capable of that connection without bias or judgment.

Can we say that self-healing methods are seeing a resurgence due to economic circumstances? Perhaps, but its clear that western medicine is being forced to examine alternatives, and in many cases, challenge traditional solutions to disease. The idea that we can heal ourselves by simply focusing our intention that we should be "dis-ease" free isn't new. What is new is that these concepts are being explored by a new generation of scientists, philosophers and practitioners, a generation that readily accepts the potentials that exist in what is known as the Quantum Field... The evolution of the human mind and the awakening to higher consciousness will spawn many new ideas about our connections of body-mind-soul, the heart of New Thought.


Go beyond the body yourself through Mile Hi Church in Denver, and its Healing Bridges Ministry.

Next: Better living through alchemy...


  • robert somers 4 years ago

    In Ms. Wilson's article, third paragraph, she states: "Whether her own illnesses were psychosomatic in nature or actual disease remains debatable." According to all the New Thought sources I have studied, including Holmes, Troward, Hopkins,Murphy, Bailes and even M.B. Eddy"s book "Science and Health" erroneous thought is given as the cause and substance of all disease, therefore making all disease mental and no disease actual. The body, as condition, has no ability to make itself sick or to make itself well; it responds only to the subconscious mind. Believing that disease is real may in and of itself create the appearance of disease.

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