Animal Magnetism the doctrine that there is a mind-power that can be used for malevolence

Some metaphysical teachers say, "We do not pray but we command blessings to come into our lives. They come to us as if by magic. On the dark side, failing to do this is to take a stand against the blessings. Not to seek the blessings is to seek danger. All human life is interconnected. To create a negative thought is to create an irrational force that can attack an innocent person. This power to harm through mental forces can be deliberate. We call it animal magnetism."

Animal magnetism is a feature in some religious teachings. It appears in Christian Science. In plain English it is the view that other peoples negative or vindictive thoughts can hurt you.

The doctrine is irresponsible because it leads to irrational fear and leads to blaming others for hurting you by their thoughts when they actually can't do that or haven't. Religion has traditionally cherry-picked the situations when it wants to follow, "Innocent until proven guilty."

The animal magnetism doctrine implies, "All thoughts, send energy into the world. It is important that we help as many people around them develop their self-esteem for the more positive energy put into the cosmos the better. If I want a good job and other people put too much bad energy into the cosmos I may not get the job because of it. It is my best interest to help others be happier." That seems good but the problem is that the more you emphasise that everybody should think nice thoughts the harder it will be for them to do it. And if they think they don't have such thoughts, they could be wrong. They might be suppressing them. Just because you don't let them surface doesn't mean they are not there.

This is an idea that follows from the doctrine of animal magnetism, "If I cause another to feel horrible one day I will experience that myself. One day I will know how my victim, intentional or not, has felt." Such an argument will only appeal to somebody who wants to use threats to get people to behave. Such antics will backfire. It is trying to stop violence with the seeds of violence.

Other teachings associated with the doctrine are,

"If you send harmful forces into the universe you are increasing what many call evil in the universe. We prefer to call it not-as-good-as-it-could-be for evil is deformed good. There is no evil in that sense. But what is called evil is necessarily uncontrollable and irrational. Evil is rebellion against order and reason. You made a monster in you mind that could attack you. In doing so you consented to evil attacking you.

You invited it to have a go at hurting you. So to harm others though mind power is to harm yourself. If the harm will not visit you in this life it will in the next or the future world. It is because people think evil and will evil, that evil exists. We created evil. We can abuse any of the powers we have, but that doesn’t mean we must be deprived of these powers. We cannot ban knives because some people use them to kill others. Evil tends to make achieving results through mind power more difficult for it creates more forces to overcome. Those who argue that "evil" people should be killed by mind power are wrong. They need to be stopped. But only our love can help them help themselves. Send them the power to see how wrong and horrible their ways are and send them the courage to change and live a good life. When anybody sends you evil energy turn it into good energy and send it back to them. It is good energy that needs tweaking to improve it. Competition is a fact of life and inevitable when we want and like different things. So let us use mind power to stop evil people without hurting them."

Until you prove that you are stopping them you have no right to claim that you can.

The above doctrines are really just a bizarre take on original sin or Pandora's Box. The person who doesn't do anything terribly bad has their sin demonised like original sin or Pandora's Box. That is unfair and slanderous and such things can only be said if you are in a position to judge exactly what consequences arise from a person's "sin". And you are not and never will be.

The doctrine of animal magnetism blames vindictive thoughts for natural evils such as death and disease and earthquakes. So they are down to the misuse of power. Some say that more often they are down to failure to use the power at all. So if you fail to use the power for good or evil, you leave things to their own devices and bad and good things can happen just by chance.

This again is traducing people by accusing them of such a heinous evil.

Believers say, "We know that our negative thoughts do harm even if it takes them centuries to attack some person. Do not think that you can hurt others so that these evil powers may be depleted and gotten out of the way. It is only the purely accidental hurt you cause them that can help do that. To want to hurt them for any reason is to create more negative powers. Evil breeds evil."

But surely wanting to see people hurt so that the hurtful energy can be depleted makes sense? You can no more call that evil than call a dentist evil.

Those who fear animal magnetism or black magic may say, "The source of the energy that harms you is wrong belief, your own and that of others." It is tempting for atheists to argue that faith in God/religion is intrinsically harmful and is the source of bad energy. It makes an incentive for opposing such beliefs.

The damage can be understood as down to natural causes. But for many, it could mean accepting supernatural notions.


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