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BroHenri
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Friends,

 

I have long considered myself a progressive christian, I have based my life on Christ' teachings in the gospels, but I also hold valid and meaningful, the writings of other enlightened people throughout the ages- the widom of the ages.

 

My question: Understanding that progressive christians do not place a litmus test on other believers, I was wondering if adherents to the Science of Mind philosophy or of other New Thought teachings could be grouped into the progessive christian family?

 

My answer would be yes to the extent that religious scientists hold the teachings of Jesus in very high esteem; Jesus IS the master teacher. The way Jesus taught us to BELIEVE is the way religious scientists seek to believe and pray.

 

What do you folks think? Is there anyone that has specific experience with Science of Mind? I find the textbook by Ernest Holmes to be absolutely facinating and very practical.

 

Thanks.

 

Enjoy the evening,

 

Bro. Henri

South Florida

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Well the only Science of mind kind fo theology I know about is Christian Science. It fits in many points to the versions today that are in many cases off-shoots (For example, Unity is definitely an off-shoot. The founder left Mary Baker Eddy way back when.). I think they differ in language. CS has kind of the late 1800s feel to it. (That and the use of medicine, say.) I don't know of other differences.

 

I'd say that CS fits point one as seeing that CS must live according to the precepts of Jesus, though tending to really interpret that to mean mainly the healing of the sick. Belief in point 5. But not fitting the other points. For example they are quite dogmatic; believe that only they have got it right; do no work for peace and justice; and have never reached out to people different from themselves (mostly white, mostly very affluent, etc.).

There has been a anti-gay streak that not everyone in the church has agreed with.

 

However, it is possible that other science fo mind type churches would be more interested in the 8 points. I know that Unity is known to be an inclusive church, for example.

It's possible that the grandparent of New Thought isn't very influential anymore.

 

 

--des

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I have read the book and it is very profound. The book takes you deeper in your mind so the ego doesn't get in the way of the teachings of Jesus. I would say the teachings are very progressive and Christian. Glad to see you are enjoying it.

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I think the Church of Religious Science and The Unity School of Christianity are very Progressive and stand in stark conrast to their very fundamental cousins, The Christian Science.

 

Yes, I get the impression at least for Unity, I don't know anything about RS.I looked up the Unity website later that day. I think that comes from Mary Baker Eddy being paranoid and quite authoritarian. BTW, I noticed on the Unity website that Unity disavows any relationship between it and CS. No doubt it is embarrassing, but Carol Fraser in God's Perfect Child which is about the CS church, does specifically mention that the founder of Unity was one of Eddy's students or followers at one time. There were many things that sounded quite CSy- but kind of CS-lite. :-) Also light in terms of the heavy-handedness that CS treats things.

 

--des

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I've been wondering about all this. I have read Emmett Fox and found much of his work inspiring and beautiful... he has a New Thought, CS, Unity perspective that seems to work with quantum physics fuzzy reality ideas. It makes me very nervous to think of controlling my world with my thoughts. OTOH, I find it very true in a limited sense. I guess I just like the idea of a higher purpose than my own short-lived and irrascible mind! Agnes Sanford is a mystic/christian healer who has many of the same ideas...

 

Unity sent me a free issue of their magazine. It struck me, for no reason that I can put my finger on, as cultish... I guess it was all the "personal attention" and group membership promises. I didn't subscribe.

 

I don't know what I think about all this, I'd love to know what you all think! Thanks. :huh:

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The controlling the mind aspect has some ultimately scary concepts. I think they are worse in CS, since it is the most mind control and purest application of new thought.

 

The scary implication is this, imo. If you can control "good" thoughts to make "good" thoughts, can't you use bad thoughts to make bad things happen? If you can think yourself well, you could therefore think yourself sick. If you can think good happening in the world, can't you think bad coming into the world.

 

Although the various new thought describe evil as not existent, they really only pay lip service to that, even in CS, the most controlled of them all. Eddy was actually paranoid about something she called mental malpractice. That is the thinking of bad thoughts against someone. I don't know what that is termed in other New Thoguht churches (if at all), I doubt it is so quaintly old fashioned. :-)

 

To the extent you can imagine that bad things can happen by your own thoughts, I think to that extent it could be damaging psychologically. Many ex-CS describe going thru this as children. I'm not sure to what extent other groups would think this is possible. I have never seen this described in other New Thought belief systems. I think many are just not as extreme on it as CS is.

 

But I do think that while I might not buy New thought, if someone from Unity, say, were to believe in many of the 8 points, I think they are Progressive. I think the two key ones might be tolerance/welcoming of other beliefs and committment to social justice.

 

 

--des

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Hello, Everyone!! This is my very first post here at the Progressive Christian site. I found the site when I was looking for answers regarding what I consider the threat that 33% of the US Electorate believes in "The Rapture," and are working diligently and aggressively to make war, kill Jews, Arabs, other people who do not agree with their own views, and destroy the environment. I found this out the other day by reading a recent article on AlterNet, by Bill Moyers.

 

That's only by way of introduction, though, and has nothing to do with this thread.

 

I'm really glad to find this thread. There has been nothing like at all on the web that I've been able to find -- and I have been looking for several years!

 

Regarding Christian Science, des wrote without condemnation, only curiosity:

 

"The scary implication is this, imo. If you can control 'good' thoughts to make 'good' thoughts, can't you use bad thoughts to make bad things happen? If you can think yourself well, you could therefore think yourself sick. If you can think good happening in the world, can't you think bad coming into the world."

 

 

Cynthia wrote that it makes her nervous to think of controlling her world with her thoughts.

 

I was active in the Christian Science Church for 10 years, as an adult. Very active and very fervent in my practice. Also, I have training to be a Christian Science Practitioner, which is a healer. I guess I would say I know a lot about not only the practice of Christian Science, but also I've studied the times of Mary Baker Eddy and have drawn my own conclusions about what caused this religion to essentially explode in size, during the historic period it did. There are so many things I love about the practice of CS, but much of the questions and concerns each of the writers above has raised is equally valid, IMHO.

 

Maybe I can answer des' and Cynthia's questions, because I think those are two very fundamental ones.

 

But there is another one -- the major purpose that Christian Science has.

 

Yes, Mary Baker Eddy does say that a major point of Christian Science practice is the healing of the sick. And "controlling one's world" through one's thoughts is really quite a simple and practical matter, from one standpoint, but from another it is also spiritual.

 

I have always wondered why it is, that, while the Bible is filled with examples of Jesus' healing of the sick -- SPECIFIC stories -- most churches completely ignore these passages, and focus on sin, the devil, etc. The mainstream churches also focus on Jesus' birth, and death, and resurection, but ignore his ascension.

 

Christian Science points out that there are healings, raising from the dead, and ascentions in the Old Testament, too.

 

I'm getting off my track, here, though.

 

When I came into Christian Science, I was a very depressed and unhappy person. I had been raised in an argumentative home, trained to find fault with just about everything and everybody. Look for the bad; look for the "fly in the ointment," as we said in those days. Look for the "monkey wrench in the machinery."

 

Christian Science taught me to look for the good. Look for beauty. As the Bible says, "Seek ye the Lord, where he may be found." Gradually, I learned to h ave gratitude for the beauty in life. I would push away thoughts of hostility, hatred, disappointment, disgust, impatience, and anything that would tend to make me mentally OR PHYSICALLY uncomfortable.

 

I began to have more friends, to become a more effective community leader. I stopped making enemies when I would do progressive outreach and do environmental and social lobbying. Instead of solitary, loud argument before councils and boards, I would be able to encourage, motivate, and attract other people to come with me, to work alongside me, and to do research or whatever needed to be done. Most of the time, too, instead of making enemies of the opposition, we would be able to come together in "synergy," and come up with practical solutions where all were blessed.

 

Mrs. Eddy wrote, "what blesses one, blesses all." There were no losers. I learned to see where the winners were, where, and in what manner, people won. Sometimes I might think I had lost a battle, but through Bible reading and prayer, I could see that, in fact, I had not lost; that the other party had not lost either.

 

On one occasion, for instance, a neighbor won a lawsuit against me, and gloated in the newspaper. It was about her barking dog. I was initially very upset, but as I read the Bible in the way Mrs. Eddy did, I found passages that made me realize that since I never acted hostile toward her, for 3 years, and that I had only asked her to keep her dog quiet -- that even though she gloated and laughed at me, and taunted me saying "So much for your 'win win' ideas!'" I HAD won, because (1) she was happy; (2) I was happy because the dog stopped barking!

 

So, controlling my world through my thoughts is something like this.

 

As for thinking bad thoughts about people and bringing bad things to them, des, here is my thinking about that. And what I know about the historicity of this "false belief."

 

Historically, in 1866 when Mrs. Eddy wrote **Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures,** and some years prior, the great entertainment in the US was stage hypnotism. Stage hypnotists were all over, and very popular. They'd come to town, raise a large tent, and entertain.

 

Mrs. Eddy realized that hypnotism could cause pain to disappear.

 

She came up with the "theory," if you will, or what she felt was a divine revelation, that God did not create pain, that pain is a figment of the human imagination ("mortal mind"). So that pain does not exist. She DOES STRESS, however, that the suggestion of pain, the hypnotic suggestion of pain, is enormously strong. Some types of pain or disease are stronger for some people than others, and "We cannot heal what we do not understand." Unlike what many members of the Christian Science Church would have us believe, Mary Baker Eddy did not prohibit going to doctors!

 

She did strongly encourage people to heal themselves and their children through prayer. (More about the children issue in a minute.) But at no time did she say this should mean endangering the life of a child; nor did she prohibit going to doctors nor taking medication if a person could not break through the hypnotism.

 

I find this extremely interesting and convincing. For many reasons, some of which I will list here, as the results of my research.

 

- I saw a stage hypnotist -- live. Not on TV. It was really amazing what he could suggest that people do, and they would do it. He suggested they were cold, and they would shiver. He suggested that the people in the audience were naked, and the stage subjects (who were high schoolers) were horrified. Then, he suggested that the subjects themselves were in their underwear, and they started wrapping themselves in the stage curtains in terror.

 

- Did you know that, in cases of multiple personality disorder, one personality can have a disease like diabetes, where another personality does not have this problem? I want to find out more about this, and unfortunately can site no source for this info -- can anyone? I would like to have it.

 

- I have had many physical healings myself, through Christian Scientific prayer.

 

- I healed my cat of distemper, through prayer. No question about it.

 

- I recovered lost items many times, including lost keys for a friend, through prayer.

 

There is so much more. An interesting book is **Spiritual Healing in a Scientic Age.** published by the UC Berkely Press. The Christian Science Publishing Company puts out a monthly and a weekly magazine, where people report on their healings, all of which are verified by 3 people.

 

As for healing children: First of all, children in Christian Science homes tend to be very healthy, physically. However, I don't like the way many of them are raised, emotionally. I agree that many Christian Scientists are extremely rigid. They do not believe in marital or psycho therapy, either, and in cases where this would be called for, families are living in 19th century dysfunction.

 

As for the notorious cases where children have died because of use of prayer alone, my argument is -- how many thousands, if not millions of children die or are maimed for life because of mainstream medical treatment alone? Boggles the mind. I personally was treated terribly -- horribly -- by doctors and nuses, as a small child.

 

So much good comes from the teachings and true practice of Christian Science. And there is so much misunderstanding of it - not only from people outside the church,but unfortunately, from people inside it, and the corruption that takes place there, too.

 

Tired

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Well Tired (why would you be *tired*-- there's no such thing is there? :-))

I was raised in a CS church and my parents esp. my dad was very devout. CS never did help me, but denied my disability (Aspergers-- a form of high functioning autism). Of course, nobody back then knew anythign about it, but the thing is they denied the idea that I had it. I didn't relate to other people, no I was just bright/gifted. IF you aren't healed then there is something wrong with you in the most classic example fo blaming the victim, so I fel vaguely guilty, that I hadn't healed this thing. Lately my mom had developed dementia, she struggled to read and understand the phrases in S&H but to not much avail. She just got worse and worse (not really saying that part is CS). But the guilt part is. My mom ended up becoming a Born Again Christian. I don't really agree with that, but the good part is that she has become a lot happier not trying to pray for what wasn't going to happen anyway. My sister and I have put her in a Lutheran Senior Center with a program for people with dementia. She is given tons of stimulation, she would never get this in a CS facility as all this comes out of Occupational therapy research. She has actually improved some in functioning, due to that and some medication.

 

Regarding Christian Science, des wrote without condemnation, only curiosity:

 

"The scary implication is this, imo. If you can control 'good' thoughts to make 'good' thoughts, can't you use bad thoughts to make bad things happen?

 

I think that IS a condemnation. However, I am happy it helped you. As a progressive, I would never claim that the good one person gets out of something is in anyway bad for them. But the implication of raising kids with this is quite another thing.

 

As for the notorious cases where children have died because of use of prayer alone, my argument is -- how many thousands, if not millions of children die or are maimed for life because of mainstream medical treatment alone?  Boggles the mind.   I personally was treated terribly -- horribly -- by doctors and nuses, as a small child.

 

The implication is that CS is a better, safer way of treating people than medicine. Facts tell a different story-- the death rates of CS compared to regular populations, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. are MUCH higher. (All research recorded in God's Perfect Child living and Dying in the CS church by Carol Fraser.) No studies have ever been done or even allowed by the CS church. The deaths that have been recorded were preventable and curable disorders like bowel obstruction. Testimonies printed do not have scientific validation that is required for real "science". The two people are known to the person, etc. Statements about diagnoses and so on aren't confirmed by medical authorities, and unlike real science no negative efforts are recorded (in early times in the CS church they were). Also there is no attempt for 2nd party colloration, another opinion (perhaps it's a virus and not MS for instance).

 

Medicine, as it is practiced today, can be pretty frightening to a young child. I can't imagine going thru leukemia treatment for example. Still there is now a pretty good survival rate.

I imagine in the distant future we will be amazed by the primitiveness of medicine of the 2000s. (Still compared to MBE's time it is pretty good.) And even so, yes, MBE did go to the doctor, dentist, even took cocaine when it was all the rage (I mean for pain).

But MBE's knowledge of the body and medicine were, well 19th C. Pain does exist. True you can manipulate it thru hypnosis or some other method-- perhaps these change or increase endorphins, but there are chemicals in the brain and so forth, nerves and so on.

Neuroscience didn't even exist in MBEs day. Most CS are very unaware of the body. My dad used to make statements like "how does the aspirin know to go to your headache."

 

The other thing is that medical malpractice and various diseases you can catch in hospitals, etc. are all problems, no questions about that. But with CS, if the child dies, then it is the parents that are guilty in some way of misapplying CS, so the victim gets blamed. It is never CS's fault.

 

As for thinking bad thoughts about people and bringing bad things to them, des, here is my thinking about that.  And what I know about the historicity of this "false belief."

 

But MBE herself did believe this! She called it Malicious Animal Magnetism. She actually believed that her husband was killed by it.

 

Soma says:Are you more comfortable with Satan making you think those bad thoughts than taking responsibility for them?

 

Well no because I don't believe in Satan except as an mythological creation of the embodiment of evil. I believe everyone has good thoughts, bad thoughts, and in between thoughts and neutral thoughts. I'm more concerned with actions. The idea that bad thoughts make bad things happen to you is magical thinking.

 

As for Jesus' healings and the relative lack of concern this causes in most churches. I'd say it is pretty simple. Jesus did a lot of things most of us can't do (or in some cases was alledged of doing--turning water into wine or feeding the multitudes). There would never be a church based on any of those singly. Most churches include times to pray for a member or some situation. But I think the emphasis MBE placed on it was more personal than spiritual. THere is no evidence that Jesus used any CS methods. So far as I am aware all CS die, even MBE.

 

So much good comes from the teachings and true practice of Christian Science.  And there is so much misunderstanding of it - not only from people outside the church,but unfortunately, from people inside it, and the corruption that takes place there, too.

 

Well a lot of us, feel we are survivors of it. But I'm still happy it has benefited you.

 

As for corruption, it has gotten a lot of attention. My own father was a dissident CSist.

He thought the church officials were going to hell in a handbasket,, if there was a hell. :-)

And felt that the estopel clause should have been literally applied (would mean there would be no more Mother Church).

 

BTW, as per your rapture comments, there are several threads on the board on that. Some might be a few weeks old and might be on a different page.

 

 

--des

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Yikes, Panta--

next time could you post something in English. :-)

I'll have to read that again when I can concentrate on it! I did recognize some of that, while others of it are more recognizable from "newer" New Thought. For example, co-creation.

This time I'll keep my comments short.

 

--des

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des,

 

I am very glad to meet you. I am glad to meet someone who was raised in CS, because I have heard "your" story many times. I have seen it in action, too.

 

I have also been told by a CS practitioner that "mental illness is very common in people who were raised in CS." She was not raised in CS, but her husband was.

 

My ex- husband was raised in CS. Not only was he hospitalized for mental illness, but he was, I believe, some sort of pathological liar and maybe sociopathic. It would make sense in a way, since his mother was self-blinding to reality. He used to ask me if I thought she had mental illness. I didn't know much about mental illness at the time, and I didn't know....but she used to call her thinking, "fancy mental footwork."

 

There are parents who will "spank" their children, then say "there is no pain."

 

This man's mother almost let her two teenage children die when they needed surgery for an inherited disorder that everyone knew about -- except the kids. The father was on a business trip, and when he came home, the two teens were lying on the couches severly ill -- he was not CS, and rushed them to the hospital. They had the defective organ removed, and they are now fine. The recovered almost instantly.

 

This woman would ridicule a child for showing any creativity. She was so subtle it was frightening. After I got to know here, and realized her sweetness was fake, I used to call her the "marshmallow-coated razor blade."

 

Now, as for my own situation, which in a way is similar to yours. Forgive me for not doing this cool box-quote -- I don't know how to do that. des, you wrote:

 

"CS never did help me, but denied my disability (Aspergers-- a form of high functioning autism). Of course, nobody back then knew anythign about it, but the thing is they denied the idea that I had it. I didn't relate to other people, no I was just bright/gifted."

 

I had almost the identical problem -- so it's not confined to CS parents! My parents were also dysfunctional, and were as pro-modern-medicine as anyone could possibly be. May I requote you somewhat and make it MY statement:

 

"My parents never did help me, but denied my disability (bipolar disorder). Of course, nobody back then knew anything about it, but the thing is they denied the idea that I had it. I didn't relate to other people, no I was just bright/gifted. The did send me to a psychologist when I was eleven, but I hated her, and somehow she managed to change me from a lively, open child into a hidden, frightened, silent one. To this day, my mother will not tell me the reason I was sent to the Psycholgist. The reason I got at the time was for 'vocational counselling.' That made no sense to me at the age of eleven, and it does not, now."

 

des, you wrote:

 

"IF you aren't healed then there is something wrong with you in the most classic example fo blaming the victim..."

 

Right, that's part of the way CS is practiced by the members. Personally, this is one of the reasons I dropped out. There are mixed ways to read Mary Baker Eddy's writings on this. In at least one place, she demands that her religion NOT be used this way. But her overall rigidity, I suppose, could easily lead to this, as it most certainly has.

 

I know other families who have experienced much the same sorts of things you did, and my ex- did.

 

des, thank you for these statistics. I was not aware of them. And th anks for the reference. It is surprisingly difficult to find reliable information on CS. And for those of you who don't know this, there is the "Committee on Publication," which works round the clock nationally and locally, to "correct" misinformation about CS. That is, anything that critical, whether it's true or not.

 

 

"The implication is that CS is a better, safer way of treating people than medicine. Facts tell a different story-- the death rates of CS compared to regular populations, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. are MUCH higher. (All research recorded in God's Perfect Child living and Dying in the CS church by Carol Fraser.) No studies have ever been done or even allowed by the CS church. The deaths that have been recorded were preventable and curable disorders like bowel obstruction. Testimonies printed do not have scientific validation that is required for real "science". The two people are known to the person, etc. Statements about diagnoses and so on aren't confirmed by medical authorities, and unlike real science no negative efforts are recorded (in early times in the CS church they were). Also there is no attempt for 2nd party colloration, another opinion (perhaps it's a virus and not MS for instance). "

 

"Most CS are very unaware of the body."

 

The reason I am calling myself "Tired," is that I am tired of fighting the same battles, politically. I am 62, almost 63. I have worked politically most of my life(first letter to the editor published at age 8), and I see that things are worse now, not better. I just wonder what to do. I feel real hopeless thinking about 33% of the Electorate being bornagains, and deliberately trying to destroy the earth and its peoples. I also get tired a lot due to my disablity. But I work all the time -- I started a new small business, which is very exciting to me; I'm the founder and co-coordinator for the residents' council in my large apartment complex; I'm an artist in every way possible that I can do w/o wearing myself out: musician, singer, photographer, I draw and paint, dance....go to the theatre often with my significant other, who is a senior actor, a professional in film and stage. So in a lot of ways I am not tired.

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des,

 

I am very glad to meet you. I am glad to meet someone who was raised in CS, because I have heard "your" story many times. I have seen it in action, too.

 

I have also been told by a CS practitioner that "mental illness is very common in people who were raised in CS." She was not raised in CS, but her husband was.

 

My ex- husband was raised in CS. Not only was he hospitalized for mental illness, but he was, I believe, some sort of pathological liar and maybe sociopathic. It would make sense in a way, since his mother was self-blinding to reality. He used to ask me if I thought she had mental illness. I didn't know much about mental illness at the time, and I didn't know....but she used to call her thinking, "fancy mental footwork."

 

There are parents who will "spank" their children, then say "there is no pain."

 

This man's mother almost let her two teenage children die when they needed surgery for an inherited disorder that everyone knew about -- except the kids. The father was on a business trip, and when he came home, the two teens were lying on the couches severly ill -- he was not CS, and rushed them to the hospital. They had the defective organ removed, and they are now fine. The recovered almost instantly.

 

This woman would ridicule a child for showing any creativity. She was so subtle it was frightening. After I got to know here, and realized her sweetness was fake, I used to call her the "marshmallow-coated razor blade."

 

Now, as for my own situation, which in a way is similar to yours. Forgive me for not doing this cool box-quote -- I don't know how to do that. des, you wrote:

 

"CS never did help me, but denied my disability (Aspergers-- a form of high functioning autism). Of course, nobody back then knew anythign about it, but the thing is they denied the idea that I had it. I didn't relate to other people, no I was just bright/gifted."

 

I had almost the identical problem -- so it's not confined to CS parents! My parents were also dysfunctional, and were as pro-modern-medicine as anyone could possibly be. May I requote you somewhat and make it MY statement:

 

"My parents never did help me, but denied my disability (bipolar disorder). Of course, nobody back then knew anything about it, but the thing is they denied the idea that I had it. I didn't relate to other people, no I was just bright/gifted. The did send me to a psychologist when I was eleven, but I hated her, and somehow she managed to change me from a lively, open child into a hidden, frightened, silent one. To this day, my mother will not tell me the reason I was sent to the Psycholgist. The reason I got at the time was for 'vocational counselling.' That made no sense to me at the age of eleven, and it does not, now."

 

des, you wrote:

 

"IF you aren't healed then there is something wrong with you in the most classic example fo blaming the victim..."

 

Right, that's part of the way CS is practiced by the members. Personally, this is one of the reasons I dropped out. There are mixed ways to read Mary Baker Eddy's writings on this. In at least one place, she demands that her religion NOT be used this way. But her overall rigidity, I suppose, could easily lead to this, as it most certainly has.

 

I know other families who have experienced much the same sorts of things you did, and my ex- did.

 

des, thank you for these statistics. I was not aware of them. And th anks for the reference. It is surprisingly difficult to find reliable information on CS. And for those of you who don't know this, there is the "Committee on Publication," which works round the clock nationally and locally, to "correct" misinformation about CS. That is, anything that critical, whether it's true or not.

 

 

"The implication is that CS is a better, safer way of treating people than medicine. Facts tell a different story-- the death rates of CS compared to regular populations, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. are MUCH higher. (All research recorded in God's Perfect Child living and Dying in the CS church by Carol Fraser.) No studies have ever been done or even allowed by the CS church. The deaths that have been recorded were preventable and curable disorders like bowel obstruction. Testimonies printed do not have scientific validation that is required for real "science". The two people are known to the person, etc. Statements about diagnoses and so on aren't confirmed by medical authorities, and unlike real science no negative efforts are recorded (in early times in the CS church they were). Also there is no attempt for 2nd party colloration, another opinion (perhaps it's a virus and not MS for instance). "

 

"Most CS are very unaware of the body."

 

That's part of the practice of CS. The less you know about the body and disease, the easier it is to deny reality of pain, disease, etc etc. Strange, since Mary Baker Eddy does also write that it is fine to consult a doctor to find out the nature of the disease, in order to pray about it and deny its reality.

 

Now that I have agreed with so much that you have said, des, I will say this: I believe that almost anyone who is raised in CS, esp. the way you were and SO MANY ARE, would hate or dislike it as much as you do. It only makes sense. However, for me, who was raised in a dysfunctional, negative environment (home, school,and the Presbyterian Church which was not so much negative as it was hypocritical and just plain silly, in my humble child's opinion at the time), the positive way of looking at the world in CS has been a tremendous blessing for me.

 

So, it's like the Twelve Steps of AA (and other Twelve STeps groups say): "Take what you like, and leave the rest." Of course, this is NOT something CS allows -- take it ALL, or as MBE says, quoting Jesus at the Last Supper, "Drink ye all of it."

 

The reason I am calling myself "Tired," is that I am tired of fighting the same battles, politically. I am 62, almost 63. I have worked politically most of my life(first letter to the editor published at age 8), and I see that things are worse now, not better. I just wonder what to do. I feel real hopeless thinking about 33% of the Electorate being bornagains, and deliberately trying to destroy the earth and its peoples. I also get tired a lot due to my disablity. But I work all the time -- I started a new small business, which is very exciting to me; I'm the founder and co-coordinator for the residents' council in my large apartment complex; I'm an artist in every way possible that I can do w/o wearing myself out: musician, singer, photographer, I draw and paint, dance....go to the theatre often with my significant other, who is a senior actor, a professional in film and stage. So in a lot of ways I am not tired.

 

Probably if I get to a church, I won't be tired. THe problem there is, I sleep and rest on Saturdays and Sundays. I sure would like a church that meets on Friday nights. I did find one church in my area, though, and maybe they have weekday services sometimes.

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Tired,

 

Welcome to the board. :)

 

I'm a little confused.

 

In your first post you seem to be saying that you think CS is true and good and give the impression that you are still a member.

 

In the second post you said you dropped out.

 

Are you still an active member of the CS church?

 

Thanks in advance for the clarification!

 

PS - if you hit the "edit" button in the upper right corner of your post it will let you change stuff without having to double post.

 

PPS - Nevermind about my question. I just finished reading the double post, which answered it. That info wasn't in the second post. LOL!

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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ToAll:

 

I am currently studying "A Course in Miracles". I have been following this thread in an endeavor to understand Science of Mind and New Thought thinking sufficiently to relate it to the Course.

 

The discussion of CS has interested me because it touches on two elements stressed in the course:1) the nature of"embodyment"with respect to the indestructability of the soul.2)The role of the mind as decision-maker in dealing with free-will.

 

In the Course the body is simply a tool of the ego in it's attack on God, but "Nothing real can be threatened, and nothing unreal exists..."and the "miracle' discussed in the content is the decision the mind makes for The Holy Spirit and Jesus by forgiving the attack of the ego.The course scribed by Jesus says"God is as incapable of creating something perisable, as the ego is of creating something eternal."

 

Jeep

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I have to say that in all the things that I find negative about CS there are some positive things. They don't go for original sin, literal heaven or hell, they deal with the feminine as well as masculine aspects of God (though the CS God is quite impersonal to me)-- comments re: panentheism by Aletheia are very right on. I also developed a very good vocabulary. :-)

 

I would like to clarify though my position on believing since good things happen (ala CS) if you have good thoughts, then the opposite is true-- that bad thoughts can bring on bad things and the negative effects that can have esp on children. There might be some fine lines of metaphysics on the idea that bad thoughts making bad things happen-- and I'm sure there is even a truth to it at some level (although you couldn't then say that IF bad things happen, then you were thinking bad things or that bad things happen because you do evil).

One could also argue that this would not work the opposite way-- I'm not sure how, as even MBE herself couldn't. (But maybe it could be argued.)

 

This is all interesting to debate for rational and intelligent adults. But these are mostly lost on vulnerable and impressionable kids. I think these teaching are as damaging to children in their own way as the sexual "lessons" given by nuns and priests in the Catholic schools stating that sex is bad and dirty. Children have very different minds than adults, something that the great thinker/psychologist Piaget pointed out with great clarity. Children are given to a great deal of magical thinking "step on a crack and break your mother's back" (anybody else avoid stepping on cracks?). The thing is that it DOES happen but may be quite coincidental (though I don't think coincidence is much understood by kids either).

 

I don't think it is fair to kids to encourage this sort of thinking. My sister and I, even though now of totally different beliefs were still able to compare notes on this. We felt things like guilt when getting sick even several years after we left CS. OTOH, parents have a right to raise their kids in their own traditions. In England and elsewhere, they do not have so many exemptions for medical treatment and will charge a parent with neglect. Carol Fraser's book "God's Perfect Child", describes very well how peer pressure puts parents in a kind of paralysis that prevents them from acting.

 

--des

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Thank you, Aletheia, for the welcome. I feel welcome by all, even though the "word" "Welcome" was not spoken/written. It feels like a welcoming group.

 

As for the double post, I don't know how that happened! Sorry. It was the second one I meant to post. I tried to zap the first one, then post the edited one, but obviously that did not work!

 

The reason I didn't say a lot of negative stuff at first about CS is that for me, at least, the subject of CS is so enormous, and enormously complex, in many ways -- politically, from the adult or child point of view (as des truly points out!), spiritually, practically, and many other ways -- that it is just impossible to really write all about it that I feel or know or surmise.

 

Here's another one: I have suspected, or did suspect for years, anyway, that the Christian Science Church could well have been "duped" or used by the military for clandestine and monetary purposes.

 

Cases in point:

 

Several people in the Watergate affair were Christian Scientists. Doubtless des knows who they were -- I do not.

 

More recently I have observed a number of things, but this is still not very recent. It was in the 1980s and I don't know what's going on about this, now.

 

In the 1980s, the Monitor Magazine (was that it's name?) ran full page ads for the defense industry, showing things like military attack planes and helicopters. Hardly the sort of things one would tend to expect from a Christian Publication, it seemed to me.

 

At the branch church I went to, and another small "society" nearby (so-called b/c it did not have a practitioner among its members, I think), there were people who had mysterious sources of income, and travelled to odd places in the world, with irregularity, and frequency. Places like Iran, and countries in other parts of Africa.

 

A man in our church, who worked for the County, whose wife was a CS Practioner, had the most amazing "spread." It was at least 5 acres, in a ritzy part of the County outside of town. It had a 4000-5000 ranch-style house, with a triple garage; a lawn that sloped down like something you'd see in a movie; a wrought iron gate maybe 12 feet high to protect the property,with a long, winding driveway. There was a trout pond in front, as well as a creek; and in back, a forest and horse field with two horses. The man was in and Army Reserves, and took trips, too.

 

The wife said, "The Military has been SO good to us!" When pressed about what he did, she'd say, "Oh, something about helping small countries set up democratic governments...."

 

Another man, who said he was retired from the Air Force, showed up in our congregation one day. He was soon elected to First Reader. That was after he took a 5 month trip around the country. He said it was to "get his head together," since he was recently widowed.

 

These things were taking place during the time when the Monitor Magazine was going out of business for overspending; and when the Mother Church had spent so much money on the Monitor Magazine, and upon several enormously powerful short wave transmitters in at least three countries in the world, and also a TV station. The Mother Church was on the brink of bankruptcy, and the church was split. Many of the staunchest and most loyal members of the Christian Science Publishing Society had resigned, and were resigning, at this time. The wife of one of them told me that the situation was very very secretive and so bad it was impossible to imagine. She said it was frightening.

 

Given these scenarios, would it not be a short hop for the US Military to take over these transmitters, to give the Mother Church a lot of money to get it back on its feet? Where did the money come from, to make the church rich again?

 

People like the men I mentioned in the branch church would be hidden carefully away, loved dearly by the ignorant old ladies in these little churches in small towns.

 

And oh, remember that even though the literature addresses both male and female religiously, in practice in many of the branch churches, it's the FEW men there who are elected to the major offices.

 

And also, friends: please remember: I am talking now only of the politics of the church and churches: not about the Christian Science religion. There are those who practice the religion, who are outside the church. And those who practice it who are inside the church. Those that do not know a thing about it who are also inside the church. I think there are a lot of very lazy people in the Christian Science Church.

 

It is for these reasons I got out of the church.

 

But I still take what I like and leave the rest. I love the positive aspects of Christian Science. I have a lot of trouble with interpretations of the Bible which focus mainly on the negative: "Don't to this," and "sin" and "Satan." Better to look at what to DO, and what WORKS, and Love. After all, God is Love, and Love is God.

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Welcome as well, yes I think this is a welcoming group. Though it is hard sometimes to welcome those of the more conservative bent. However, I have very much enjoyed darby here, particularly. I'm happy to see a kinder gentler conservatism. :-)

 

I think you might enjoy the book "God's Perfect Child". I think Carol Fraser is fair. Most CS do not like it but I think if it were read for some of the insights she provides about the church, some CS would benefit from it. There is a very long chapter on many of the things you discuss here. And I don't think they are only things that the CS church must watch against. The thing is that I think people who grew up in the CS church are often naive. It is one thing to be positive and another to believe that everyone around you is going to share this ideal. (BTW, I think I have balanced out your pretty much solely positive views, so carry on. :-))

 

Here's another one:  I have suspected, or did suspect for years, anyway, that the Christian Science Church could well have been "duped" or used by the military for clandestine and monetary purposes.

 

The Nixon CSists are pretty well known. Erlichman, Haldeman, and one other guy. I think Coleson, who became a born-again in prison. They must have known what they were doing was wrong. It did involve burglary and so forth. The only thing I can think of is that they (like many other people who profess to believe something ended up not to believe in it enough, perhaps they were tempted by power, etc.)

 

The CS church has always had a pretty easy view of the military, Carol Fraser believes that some of it is to stay somewhat mainstream. The Nat'l Council of Churches declares them a protestant demonination. If CS became involved with radical politics they might lose it. The other thing is that CS tends to be a upper middle income religion with little attraction to the poor. This adds to the repectability but also brings on tendencies to political conservatism.

During all the major wars, the CS church has never supported conscientious objection, even though MBE herself made many anti-war statements. I think that some CS have worked as medic assistants (carrying injured people and so on) but got these jobs thru the Quakers, etc. In fact, during WWII CS were treated in hospitals, got shots (both my parents had all shots), etc. Another aim toward respectability. I think this easy going face towards war, has undoubtably led to behavior that MBE would have been shocked with.

 

 

hese things were taking place during the time when the Monitor Magazine was going out of business for overspending; and when the Mother Church had spent so much money on the Monitor Magazine, and upon several enormously powerful short wave transmitters in at least three countries in the world, and also a TV station.  The Mother Church was on the brink of bankruptcy, and the church was split.  Many of the staunchest and most loyal members of the Christian Science Publishing Society had resigned, and were resigning, at this time.  The wife of one of them told me that the situation was very very secretive and so bad it was impossible to imagine.  She said it was frightening.

 

This is all well documented in Fraser's book. Pretty much two to four influential members were behind all this. They felt that God woudl provide. They ended up taking money from Bliss Knap's fortune that they had long refused. Bliss Knap was an early CS teacher. But wrote a book that painted MBE as the second coming, etc. The book was considered "unauthorized" , but due to overspending of just tremendous amounts they ended up taking the fortune and publishing the book which is now sold in reading rooms. (BTW, he was my grandmother's teacher, so I heard interesting stuff.) My dad left over that bruhaha and never set foot in the CS church again. He continued studying and felt that they left him not the other way around. (He had been first reader, etc.) The worst causalty was the CS Monitor, nto the radio station, imo. The CS monitor started being published in color on different paper, fewer pages, etc., but this slipped the time that it was printed by. People started calling it the US Yesterday (because they got it so late in the week), as well as the Weekly Reader (due to less content). A friend of the family Charlotte Sikowski (sp?) and many other respected reporters went to other papers or took early retirement. The CS Monitor is no longer considered an influential paper. It was read by presidents and world leaders and it's scope was far beyond CS.

 

I still think there are positive aspects and i think I took some of my CSish beliefs wtih me. I think you would enjoy threads on original sin for example and will agree with this. I could never get into the wrathful vengeful God (though my sister is a fundamentalist!).

You might also like the book "The Comign of the Cosmic Christ" by Matthew Fox. The Christ concept he talks about is very close to CS, I think. (Matt Fox was a silenced Catholic priest, who is now Anglican due to being basically silenced for the rest of his life if he didn't go elsewhere.)

 

There are many people of various faiths who no longer attend church for many of the reasons you state. I was fortunate in finding the United Church of Christ congregation I go to, where the politics are at least highly localized, and there is no heavy central authority.

 

 

 

--des

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des, you wrote,

 

"..The other thing is that CS tends to be a upper middle income religion with little attraction to the poor. "

 

There is a term for this sort of thinking, but I can never remember what it is. Do you happen to know the term -- let me explain. Basically, "If I do what God want's I will be well off. If I don't do what God wants, I will be poor."

 

This is deeply embedded in the beliefs of just every CStist I've met. It's also embedded in just about every New Thought type church or person I've met. It also has to do with sickness: "Uh oh! What have you done to deserve this [sickness]? I know it must have been something morally wrong I did. And if I am morally better, I will get well again." A really great attitude [sarcasm here, by me] for any church to have, since any disabled person must therefore be a terrible sinner, right? Notice that Hellen Keller was not a CS; she was a Swedenborgian Christian. Now, there's another whole discussion. So was Johnny Appleseed.

 

I will get the two books you mentioned right away, des. Naturally, anything that mentions anything but glowing reports about the church or MBE would be frowned upon by "the church."

 

I agree with your dad, that the church left him, not the other way around. That's how I feel, too. And why I don't go anymore. And not just b/c of the Bliss Knapp book...because of so many of the things I have mentioned above.

 

Well, time to go to the printer and get my first samples made!! I am so excited!

 

My sweetie pie and I are going to visit Mother today, too. So I better hurry! It's 7:00 and we leave to see her at 10:30. I am taking her a sweet little nosegay type plant (asters?) in a beautiful white ceramic pot with red hearts painted all over it. Mother is 89 and is losing her extremely sharp thinking skills rapidly, but she has two new cats, and loves them. We can't wait to see her cats. We are going to order pizza for her (us) and play Yahtzee.

 

:D

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This is all interesting to debate for rational and intelligent adults. But these are mostly lost on vulnerable and impressionable kids. I think these teaching are as damaging to children in their own way as the sexual "lessons" given by nuns and priests in the Catholic schools stating that sex is bad and dirty. Children have very different minds than adults, something that the great thinker/psychologist Piaget pointed out with great clarity. Children are given to a great deal of magical thinking "step on a crack and break your mother's back" (anybody else avoid stepping on cracks?). The thing is that it DOES happen but may be quite coincidental (though I don't think coincidence is much understood by kids either).

 

I don't think it is fair to kids to encourage this sort of thinking. My sister and I, even though now of totally different beliefs were still able to compare notes on this. We felt things like guilt when getting sick even several years after we left CS.

 

Yes! Thank you, Des, for stating this.

 

I have a similar distaste for the common new-agey assertion that "we create our own reality". This, as stated, is a gross, yet common, misunderstanding/misapplication/oversimplification of certain beliefs that are common to many eastern systems of thought.

 

I find it particularly distasteful when young children are led to believe that they are responsible for the bad things that happen to them. Children's realities can be very harsh-- abuse of all sorts, frequently coming from those who are charged with caring for them. To suggest that, for example, a six year old is somehow responsible for the actions of a parent who abuses is highly offensive to me.

 

It's probably more accurate to say that we are all responsible for our own perceptions of reality, and especially for our own reactions to what we perceive. Through our reactions, we do have some measure of input in creating our own futures, BUT, the future does not consist entirely of our own projections.

I am far more inclined to believe that reality is co-created, the result of many, many causal factors, not just those of my own imagining.

 

A young child being abused by a parent has limited options if he/she wishes to survive. At best, it is unrealistic to believe that somehow this child has the power to stop or prevent such abuse. At worst, it is blaming the victim, which places a new wound atop what is already a serious tragedy.

 

Getting back to the matter of thought for a moment, it takes a good deal of mental training to become the sort of person for whom only "good" thoughts would come to the forefront naturally. It is instead quite natural for most of us to have "bad" thoughts. What is likely to happen to a person who believes that "bad" thoughts are dangerous or wrong is that they will learn quickly to repress all "bad" thoughts the moment they arise.

 

Repression of thought is not honest, as it is a denial of reality-- that is, a refusal to allow for what actually comes to mind. Repression is dangerous in that it doesn't give one the opportunity to examine the so-called "bad" thoughts in order to see what sort of real power, if any, they actually have. I can easily see how a lifetime of such repression, coupled with guilt, could have a serious psychological impact on a person, especially if this repression began in early childhood.

 

Sorry if I got up on a soapbox for a moment here... this is one of my biggest pet peeves, as you can probably tell :lol:

Edited by Lolly
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Tired, you might try a used bookstore. I saw both of these in one of those.

Or online thru Amazon's used book service. (you can get books for 3/4 off or so).

Carol's book is VERY thick and $$.

 

There is a term for this sort of thinking, but I can never remember what it is.  Do you happen to know the term -- let me explain.  Basically, "If I do what God want's I will be well off.  If I don't do what God wants, I will be poor."

 

There is a term from CS called "Supply" (not to be confused with other supplies :-)).

It pretty much means that if you are basically with God your needs will be met (and met pretty well). I don't think I have heard CS (though I have heard it from other NAgers) that God wants you to be poor. However, IF you are meant by God to have what you need, wouldn't the opposite be true? I have heard of cases of CS that had tumors and eventually did go to doctors to get them removed, but THEN had to see a psychiatrist as they were so full of guilt for seeing a doctor AND getting sick in the first place. My elderly mother (now converted away from CS) had a cold, as I was talking to her she apologized repeatedly for having a cold. She didn't say, sorry I sound so awful, no it was apologizing for actually having the cold.

 

I have met several CSists that said the church left them. I think the authoritarian nature of the CS church is quite extreme. Of course my dad went off with something that, imo, is a bit MORe extreme-- almost a diefication of MBE. I don't think though he left purely due to the Knapp book, it was rather the rationale for printing it.

 

Thank you, Lolly for your kind words.

 

t's probably more accurate to say that we are all responsible for our own perceptions of reality, and especially for our own reactions to what we perceive.  Through our reactions, we do have some measure of input in creating our own futures, BUT, the future does not consist entirely of our own projections. 

I am far more inclined to believe that reality is co-created, the result of many, many causal factors, not just those of my own imagining. 

 

Yes, I think this is a far fairer statement. I'd say the factors are multiple and highly complex. In the case of illness alone, you have things like genetic predisposition; stresss that may be quite material (lack of sleep, diet, etc.); actual contact with virii (washing hands prevents disease) , and mental factors of which attitude is only a part. Yet I woudl say attitude has a major part in the cure of illness that is severe-- but I don't know this for sure.

 

In cases of floods or other natural disasters, it is hard to imagine any group or individual actions, nonactions, attitudes, etc. I think sometimes bad things happen. It may be that people live in areas they might not ahve lived in 20 years ago (this is certainly true of mudslides in CA or hurricanes in FL.) or that humankind has drained wetlands, cut down forests or ruined coral reefs that were protective of certain types of disasters. I think that's a societal "guilt" though and hardly a personal one.

 

 

--des

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Lolly, You wrote:

 

"What is likely to happen to a person who believes that 'bad' thoughts are dangerous or wrong is that they will learn quickly to repress all 'bad' thoughts the moment they arise.

 

"Repression of thought is not honest, as it is a denial of reality-- that is, a refusal to allow for what actually comes to mind. Repression is dangerous in that it doesn't give one the opportunity to examine the so-called "bad" thoughts in order to see what sort of real power, if any, they actually have. I can easily see how a lifetime of such repression, coupled with guilt, could have a serious psychological impact on a person, especially if this repression began in early childhood."

 

I think a BIG, BIG, BIG key is what you said,

 

""Repression of thought is not honest, as it is a denial of reality"

 

My former husband, who I've already mentioned, who was raised in Science, was a good example of this, as was his mother. At least it seemed so to me. In some ways he was truly pathetic; but I felt he and other members of his family were also very dangerous. His sister was a con artist -- took people for tens of thousands of dollars. I think my ex- may have been a sociopath, perhaps even a psychopath. He could be extremely frightening -- almost killed me through carelessness (really?) more than three times, and made innuendos to encourage me to kill myself -- and allow him to help -- when I was extremely depressed. I think he wanted my money, which was a lot more than he had, but not really all that much. He almost pushed me into the frozen waters of a bay when it was nearly zero degrees fahrenheit, almost pushed me over a waterfall another time. He would lose touch with physical reality at times and be sort of unaware that there was a physical realm -- which was COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDABLE if you knew his mother! Imagine being taught, from the day you were born, that the entire world is "an idea" and that nothing you see, hear, feel, smell, touch, or taste is real! And have this drummed into you every minute of every day. If the young child were to delight himself in, say, the smell of a flower, or some food cooking, before she'd serve it, she'd be likely to remind him that the food was not really REAL -- it was just an idea of the human [mortal] mind.

 

I loved my husband very much, but at times I think I loved a person who was just an idea -- a person of my OWN imagination, as he probably did me -- a person of his imagination. As if there were no reality in our lives at all. But we really did have some marvelous times together, hiking in the wilderness, bicycling, working in our beautiful large yard -- almost an acreage, fixing up our fixer-uppers. Still, there were major problems, because we could not make anything "stick" due to this unreality.

 

This is as difficult to explain as it is difficult for me to understand, even now many years later, over 10 years since our divorce, nearly 25 years since we first met.

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Fortunately my parents were loving and not so crazed in it. They were not fanatic about anything pleasurable or fun. My dad was an avid sailer. And my grandmother, though mostly didnt' cook well, made very rich (most likely extremely caloric) desserts (chocolate, lady fingers, whipped cream-- yum).

 

However, I think there is a sort of low level neglect that CS kids get. When what you see in front of you is denied (and some CS are really terrific at denial), you get a sense that what you feel invalidated. The other thing is that when you are sick even with something quite minor-- I only found out as an adult that other people can be nuturing at those times, you dont' get nutured. You get Science and Health quoted at you. We also had these little CS books for children, I still remember these (ok there was one with the house with the colored windows and the kids are looking at a horse in the colored windows and not thru the clear window--- I am not making this up, as Dave Berry might say. ;-)).

 

I know of a few kids in CS homes taking very serious drugs. NOt that they would be the first to be obvlious but CS training tends to reinforce such behaviors. This is a long story but the short version is: One of my mom's friend's daughters, very unusual, wanted work with somone I know (in another state) though not well. Her mom was all gung ho on it. It occured to me that I would never even think of letting my child go to someone's house (male) that I didn't know in a different far away state at 16 years old, it would be out of the question. I think there is a certain naivete that it fairly typical. This is a very intelligent woman, btw.

 

BTW, I think you might be the first person I have communicated with who became a CS as an adult so the only thing I know about are families where CS is second or even third (as in my case) generation.

 

Your ex sounds pretty sick, and I would think it has little to do with CS. Perhaps the family was so extreme but it doesn't explain trying to KILL someone, because well your body doesn't exist. In actuality, many CS are a bit on the hypochrondraical side, worrying about their bodies, and things they can't explain. Anything from heart burn to a severe headache can be very scary as you just don't know what's going on in your body. The trying to destroy the body sounds like something else kind of thing-- but it sounds like he was trying to destroy YOUR body and not his. I have never read that even misapplications of CS have led to homocidal behavior. I think you marriaged a spousal abuser. The good times together are not incompatible with abusive behavior.

 

This is a subject I know all too well as my best friend was stalked and physically assaulted.

You might benefit from reading about that, because these men (mostly men) follow nearly identical patterns and rarely take any responsibility for their behavior. I don't know of any book off the top of my head. Most of the stuff I know of is for people now in such situations.

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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