Excerpts from
Lifting the Veil"
by Lillian DeWaters

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Book Description
1921. This is the second story in De Waters' "The Right Thought Series." A follower of Mary Baker Eddy, her greatest motive and desire is to enlighten and help the honest seekers for Truth.
Many who have read Mary Baker Eddy's book "Science & Health" have found it somewhat confusing and seemingly self-contradictory in places. This small volume does much to lift the veil of confusion from Mrs. Eddy's teachings, and shows that if one studies the original 1875 version of Science & Health, rather than just reading the later revised editions, a much better understanding of Christian Science will be gained.

Lifting The Veil

For many days following the conversation that Millicent Curtis had with Mr. Williams, she seemed plunged into a maize of thought. Family duties, household duties, her duties as a Christian Science practitioner—indeed every-thing seemed to fade out of her consciousness as of importance except that one great paramount question—Life.

She found herself performing mechanically, all things that were necessary as daily demands, and as one in a dream, for her mind was full of questions, arguments, disputations. At night, she lay awake while the others around her were wrapped in slumber. Never was her mind so alert, so desirous, so certain to understand the so-called mysteries (realities) of Life as now. As question after question came pouring into her consciousness, finding no completely satisfying answer, she found herself concluding, "Since Mr. Williams left me I am a literal question mark. Some of the foundation upon which I had stood and which I had thought Truth has been swept from beneath my feet so that I am uncertain how to proceed."

Nevertheless, Millicent Curtis was never so happy, so buoyant, and confident, for she felt certain that she was on the road to actually understand every single statement of Truth that Mrs. Eddy ever wrote. Gradually the convic­tion came to her that she had accepted much of the explanations given in Christian Science with­out reasoning. Many statements that were not clear to her she had somehow made herself be­lieve were clear. "Mr. Williams told me not to accept a single statement as a fact unless it appealed to my reason as true," she told herself, with keen satisfaction, "and I intend to keep at this reasoning process until I am satisfied that I know clearly and intelligently the answers to the questions of my heart. No more laying ques­tions away for 'Truth to unfold to me'; no wonder we wait and wait and the unfoldment comes not. If Truth is God, then true thought is God, for true thought is Truth, and the true thought in my mind is Truth or God. I must not wait passively for some supernatural power to operate in my behalf, but the thing for me to learn is how to unfold my own mentality into the understanding of Truth."

Then came to Millicent the startling questions, "What am I? Who or what am I? What and where is this power that heals and saves? Am I man? How can I be man, an image, and yet have power? For an image has no power of its own; it is only a shadow, a reflection, depending entirely upon something else. An image need not try to be anything. Why, an image could not even try for it just can't be anything of itself; it merely reflects an original. I have understood and have been taught by an 'authorized teacher' that we are all the spiritual image or idea of God. If this teaching is correct, then I can in no wise be responsible for my mistakes; in fact, an image could make no mistakes. I simply cannot be an image merely, for an image cannot form thought and I am thinking this very instant. Oh, what is the correct solution to this problem?"

"Where is this God, this intelligence, this won­derful Being of whom I was taught that I am the image and the reflection? Mrs. Eddy teaches that Mind is God. Can it be that my own right mind is God? if so, then I am not an image at all." Surely there was no more peace for Millicent Curtis until she knew the answers to these questions. "Why, oh, why, have I never thought of them before?" 

"Because I was never taught that they could be reasoned out," came back the answer. "I was made to believe that I must accept without argu­ment what Mrs. Eddy said; other students seemed to be doing this, and, should I ask a startling question, which at the same time was a natural question, I was looked at in such a manner by the older Scientists as to make me keep silent in their presence thereafter. I can see now that to some extent I have fallen into the error of accepting what was told me. Can it be that these 'authorized teachers' have not them­selves reasoned out all of Mrs. Eddy's statements?"

Millicent was sure that Mrs. Eddy knew and wrote actual Truth, and now came to her Mr. Williams' words: "Many are reading into our Leader's writings their own meanings. This is not right. We must read from her writings her meaning, then we have it right." Again and again would come the thought, "Why did not Mrs. Eddy tell us more plainly the great facts of Life so that we would not have to go through this wonder and question and agony?" But to all of these questions came no satisfactory reply.

Then, one day, when her mind seemed in a bewilderment of reasoning, there flashed before her mental vision the calm, satisfied expression on the face of Mr. Williams. To him she would go and at once. It took but a few days to regu­late her home affairs so that she could leave her little family in good care, and the day soon arrived when she started en route for Mr. Williams' home and as fast as the limited express would take her.

"No, I am not at all surprised to see you, Mrs. Curtis," and Mr. Williams shook his head and smiled, "but I had not looked for you quite so soon."

"I just could not wait any longer," said the young woman. "The seed of Truth that you planted that day when you talked with me sprung up immediately, and it is breaking down and tearing asunder many former beliefs; it just seems as though there were some live thing within me shoving and pushing and demanding to know itself." 

"It must have been pretty good soil in which I planted that seed," remarked the man with a wise twinkle. "You know how it is with seeds; sometimes a seed will grow a little, then it will cease growing and gradually wither away; other seeds may never even sprout; but this seed wants to unfold itself, to mature, of this I am certain." He need not look twice upon the face before him to be convinced of this fact.

"Well, now, what is it, my friend?" he asked, kindly.

"Everything," returned Millicent. "What you have told me is wonderful and true, and I under­stand that much; but the very fact of accepting that brings to light many other questions that never before had occurred to me. I think I must feel like the baby that is taken down from his high-chair and placed upon his feet for the first time; he suddenly becomes aware that he has feet and that he can move about on them. Well, I've suddenly become convinced that I have a mentality of my own that can do things, and since this discovery it is working over time. All I can do is to think, think, think. Really, it seems to me that I am nothing but a big thinking machine!"

"Good," laughed Mr. Williams, nodding his head understandingly, then adding, "you know Mrs. Eddy said that the time for thinkers has come."

"But, like the baby that likes to walk, only to fall down and get up and walk again, so I think and think, only to get all tangled up in 'ifs' and 'buts', yet still keep right on with thinking. Mr. Williams, I'm counting on you for help," finished she, confidently.

"And, I will give it to you; as I told you before, I will give you all that you can take."

"Oh, I'm so glad to hear you say it, although I expected that you would. I'm hungrier this time than the time before," she smiled, warmingly, "and it will take a good heavy meal to satisfy me."

"I see," he nodded, "Well, now, go ahead." He leaned back in his chair.

"What am I?" she asked, eagerly. "This ques­tion is ever before me. What am I?"

"Why did you not reason it out deductively and discover just what you are?"

"I've tried and am not satisfied," confessed she. "I've taken the fact that Mrs. Eddy teaches that we are the image and likeness of God, and I've tried to reason out that I am this image, but it just won't reason out. Then when I take as a fact that my mind is God, my life, my conscious­ness is God, this conflicts with the fact that I am the image of God. I'm ready to be convinced of any truth that works out logically, so please show me how my mind can be God, and still I be an image."


"But, you reasoned out with me that my mind is God, and I saw plainly that this is the deep teaching of Mrs. Eddy,"


"Well, then, Mrs. Eddy contradicts herself."

"No," was the quiet answer.

"But, Mr. Williams, she must," insisted Millicent, "for, she says that we are man, the image and likeness of God."

"Never," he replied, "she never says in any of her writings that 'you' are the image, idea, of God; she does not teach that 'you are man' or 'I am man'."

"Mr. Williams!" gasped Millicent, dumb­founded, "how can you say such a thing as that? Why, she says dozens of times that we are the likeness of God; that we do everything only by reflection."

"I still declare that she never said this at all," was the calm, unwavering reply.

"Well, I think I can show you," said the woman taking up the copy of Science and Health that lay on the table. She turned over the leaves and rapidly scanned the pages. "Here it is. Of course, this is only one reference; I could find many similar ones: ‘Keep in mind the verity of being—that man is the image and likeness of God'. There!" she said, looking up, with a satis­fied expression. It surprised her to note that the countenance before her was serene as ever.

"I cannot see that you have proved your point at all."

"I've proved this much," asserted she, "You said that Mrs. Eddy does not teach that we are the image of God, and I have read you that she does state this plainly."

"I must still beg to differ with you," came the astounding reply. "You did not read that at all.

You are honest, dear friend, in your belief; you are sure that you are right, but you are laboring under a great delusion. Now, look at that sen­tence again and see if you cannot detect your error."

Millicent read the sentence over and over to herself. "I am at a loss to understand you," she said in despair. "Surely I have a right to believe my own eyes?"

"You certainly have," he granted, with that illuminating smile that made her feel more at ease. "Now look carefully and tell me what Mrs. Eddy says 'is' the image and likeness of God?"


"Oh," with a prolonged inflection.

Millicent now dropped her head in her palm in deep thought.

Presently, she looked up. "I see your point," she admitted, slowly. "I said that Mrs. Eddy teaches that we are the image of God, and what she does say is that man is the image."

"You have only done what thousands upon thousands have done and are doing, Mrs. Curtis—reading her words and reading into them your own meaning."

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