Q: In Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy writes, “If Mind is foremost and superior, let us rely upon Mind, which needs no cooperation from lower powers, even if these so-called powers are real” (p. 144). From all that I’ve learned in Christian Science, these “lower powers” couldn’t possibly be real. Obviously I am not reading this correctly or am missing something. Can you explain? —A reader in Shelter Island Heights, New York, US
A: As she did so often in her writings, Mary Baker Eddy needed to confront a commonly held misconception through logical reasoning—by addressing a question human consciousness might have, and then answering it.
Even as devoted Christian Scientists, we can be lured into seeing challenges that come up as “real.” So in her compassion, you could say she is acknowledging the biblical dictate “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him” (Matthew 5:25).