This section is from the book "Faith - Healing. Christian Science And Kindred Phenomena", by James Monroe Buckley. Also available from Amazon: Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena.
The fear of dissevered bodily members, or a belief in such a possibility, is reflected ou the body, in the shapo of headache, fractured bones, dislocated joints, and so on, as directly as shame is seen in the blush rising to the cheek. This human error about physical wounds and colics is part and parcel of the delusion that matter can feel and see, having sensation and substance.
It is confessed, however, that very little progress has been made in this department:
Christian Science is always the most skilful surgeon, but surgery is the branch of its healing that will be last demonstrated. However, it is but just to say that I have already in my possession well-authenticated records of the cure, by mental surgery alone, of dislocated hip-joints and spinal vertebra?.
But records, to be well authenticated, require more than an assertion. And the records may be authentic, and what they contain may never have been thoroughly tested. As they affirm that " bones have only the substance of thought, they are only an appearance to mortal mind"; if their theories be true at all, they should be able to rectify every result of accident to the body as readily and speedily as diseases originating within the system.
It is a well-established fact that blows upon the head produce insanity. It is equally well established that surgery in many cases is able to remove tin* difficulty by an obviously physical readjustment, where the surgeon himself cannot be positive what the effect will be until after the experiment, and the victim has no knowledge whatever upon the subject. During the late war, a negro was wounded in the head by the explosion of a shell. He wandered about for several years, to all appearance a driveling idiot, when certain surgeons took an interest in his case, and concluded that the removal of a piece of the skull which had been driven in and pressed upon the brain, might restore his reason. Knowing that no damage could be done to his mind by the operation, they performed it, and were almost appalled when, after the lapse of so many years, as they lifted the piece of skull and removed the pressure upon the brain, the light of intelligence returned to the eye of the man, who said, "We were at Manassas yesterday ; where are we to-day?" A similar case, where there had been delirium alternating with coma for a week, occurred in March last.
The transient effect of stimulants upon persons who have been in a state of dementia apparently for a long time, is also well known.
Mrs. Eddy upon this subject directs practitioners to tell the moderately sick man, that he suffers only as the insane suffer, from a mere belief. The only difference is that insanity implies belief in a diseased brain, while physical ailments (so called) arise from belief that some other portions of the body are deranged. . . . The entire mortal body is evolved from mortal mind. A bunion woidd produce insanity as perceptible as that produced by congestion of the brain, were it not that mortal mind calls the bunion an unconscious portion of the body. Reverse this belief, and the results would be different.
It may be readily admitted that if a man believed his mind was in his foot, and believed it was out of order, he might be crazy. But in selecting the bunion for an illustration, Mrs. Eddy was not so wide of the mark as she might have been. More than twenty years ago, while listening to the lectures of Dr. C. E.
Brown-Sequard, before the physicians of Brooklyn, I heard him give the following case: A youth (fourteen years old) went to bed perfectly sane, nor had he ever had a symptom of insanity. The next morning when he arose and stepped upon the floor he became a maniac. With great difficulty he was replaced upon the bed, and the moment he touched it he was sane. During the morning he made several attempts to rise, always with the same result. A physician was called, who in his account of the case says: " When sitting up in his bed he drew on his stockings; but on putting his feet on the floor and standing up, his countenance instantly changed, the jaw became violently convulsed, etc. He was pushed back on the bed, was at once calm, looked surprised, and asked what was the matter. Inquiry showed that he had been fishing the preceding day, but had met with no accident. His legs were examined minutely, but nothing unusual was seen; but, says the physician, "On holding up the right great toe with my finger and thumb to examine the sole of that foot, the leg was drawn up and the muscles of the jaws were suddenly convulsed, and on releasing the toe these effects instantly ceased." After further experiment, an irritated point, so small as to be scarcely visible, was taken away by the cutting of a piece of skin, and " the strange sensation was gone and never returned."1
1 This case can be found (No. 44) in "Lectures on the Physiology and Pathology of the Central Nervous System," by Brown-Sequard ; published, 1K60, in Philadelphia. Also in Holmes's "Annals of Surgery," vol. 3, p. 330.
A similar account can be found of insanity produced four years after a boy trod on a piece of glass, which was entirely relieved by removing from a point near the ball of the big toe a trilling piece of glass. What is called the nervous temperament or condition is of importance.
Post-mortem examinations which exhibit the degeneration of the brain structure are of no importance in the eyes of these professors of dreams.
The perpetuation of youth and the abolition of death should also be within the range of these magicians.
Baldwin, of Chicago, says:
Man should grow younger as he grows older; the principle is simple. "As we think so are we" is stereotyped. Thoughts and ideas are ever striving for external expression. By keeping the mind young wre have a perfect guarantee for continued youthfulness of body. Thought will externalize itself; thus growing thought will ever keep us young. Reliance on drugs makes the mind, consequently the body, prematurely old. This new system will make us younger at seventy than at seventeen, for then we will have more of genuine philosophy.