Mind, Character and Personality/Mind Controlling Mind
[See chapter 79, “Hypnotism and its Dangers”]
Agencies Which May Take the Mind Captive—Corruptions of every type, similar to those existing among the antediluvians, will be brought in to take minds captive. The exaltation of nature as God, the unrestrained license of the human will, the counsel of the ungodly—these Satan uses as agencies to bring about certain ends. He will employ the power of mind over mind to carry out his designs. The most sorrowful thought of all is that under his deceptive influence men will have a form of godliness without having a real connection with God. Like Adam and Eve, who ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, many are even now feeding upon the deceptive morsels of error.—Testimonies for the Church 8:293, 294 (1904).
A Dangerous Science—I have spoken distinctly regarding the dangerous science which says that one person shall give up his mind to the control of another. This science is the devil’s own.—Lt 130 1/2, 1901.
Mental Influence in Treating the Sick—In the treatment of the sick the effect of mental influence should not (p.705) be overlooked. Rightly used, this influence affords one of the most effective agencies for combating disease.
There is, however, a form of mind cure that is one of the most effective agencies for evil. Through this so-called science, one mind is brought under the control of another so that the individuality of the weaker is merged in that of the stronger mind. One person acts out the will of another. Thus it is claimed that the tenor of the thoughts may be changed, that health-giving impulses may be imparted, and patients may be enabled to resist and overcome disease.
This method of cure has been employed by persons who were ignorant of its real nature and tendency and who believed it to be a means of benefit to the sick. But the so-called science is based upon false principles. It is foreign to the nature and spirit of Christ. It does not lead to Him who is life and salvation. The one who attracts minds to himself leads them to separate from the True Source of their strength.
It is not God’s purpose that any human being should yield his mind and will to the control of another, becoming a passive instrument in his hands. No one is to merge his individuality in that of another. He is not to look to any human being as the source of healing. His dependence must be in God. In the dignity of his God-given manhood he is to be controlled by God Himself, not by any human intelligence.
God desires to bring men into direct relation with Himself. In all His dealings with human beings He recognizes the principle of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal dependence and to impress the need of personal guidance. He desires to bring the human into association with the divine that men may be transformed into the divine likeness. Satan works to thwart this purpose. He seeks to encourage dependence upon men. When minds are turned away from God, the tempter can bring them under his rule. He can control humanity.—The Ministry of Healing, 241-243 (1905). (p.706)
Temporary Relief, but the Mind Permanently Damaged—No individual should be permitted to take control of another person’s mind, thinking that in so doing he is causing him to receive great benefit. The mind cure is one of the most dangerous deceptions which can be practiced upon any individual. Temporary relief may be felt, but the mind of the one thus controlled is never again so strong and reliable. We may be as weak as was the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment; but if we use our God-given opportunity to come to Him in faith, He will respond as quickly as He did to that touch of faith.
It is not God’s design for any human being to yield his mind to another human being. The risen Christ, who is now set down on the throne at the right hand of the Father, is the Mighty Healer. Look to Him for healing power. Through Him alone can sinners come to God just as they are. Never can they come through any man’s mind. The human agent must never interpose between the heavenly agencies and those who are suffering.—Manuscript 105, 1901. (Medical Ministry, 115, 116).
Look From the Human to the Divine—There is something better for us to engage in than the control of humanity by humanity. The physician should educate the people to look from the human to the divine. Instead of teaching the sick to depend upon human beings for the cure of soul and body, he should direct them to the One who can save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. He who made man’s mind knows what the mind needs. God alone is the One who can heal. Those whose minds and bodies are diseased are to behold in Christ the restorer. “Because I live,” He says, “you shall live also.”
This is the life we are to present to the sick, telling them that if they have faith in Christ as the restorer, if they cooperate with Him, obeying the laws of health, and striving to perfect holiness in His fear, He will impart to them His life. When we present Christ to them in this (p.707) way, we are imparting a power, a strength, that is of value; for it comes from above. This is the true science of healing for body and soul.—The Ministry of Healing, 243, 244 (1905).
Strength and Steadfastness Versus Dominated Mind—The discipline of a human being who has reached the years of intelligence should differ from the training of a dumb animal. The beast is taught only submission to its master. For the beast, the master is mind, judgment, and will. This method, sometimes employed in the training of children, makes them little more than automatons. Mind, will, conscience, are under the control of another.
It is not God’s purpose that any mind should be thus dominated. Those who weaken or destroy individuality assume a responsibility that can result only in evil. While under authority, the children may appear like well-drilled soldiers; but when the control ceases, the character will be found to lack strength and steadfastness. Having never learned to govern himself, the youth recognizes no restraint except the requirement of parents or teacher. This removed, he knows not how to use his liberty and often gives himself up to indulgence that proves his ruin.—Education, 288 (1903).
Conscience and Individuality to Be Untrammeled—In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrammeled. No one is to control another’s mind, to judge for another, or to prescribe his duty. God gives to every soul freedom to think and to follow his own convictions. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). No one has a right to merge his own individuality in that of another. In all matters where principle is involved, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (verse 5). In Christ’s kingdom there is no lordly oppression, no compulsion of manner. The angels of heaven do not come to the earth to rule and to (p.708) exact homage, but as messengers of mercy, to cooperate with men in uplifting humanity.—The Desire of Ages, 550, 551 (1898). Human minds are not to be trammeled and harnessed up and driven by human hands.—MS 43, 1895.
Individuality to Be Exercised—God permits every person to exercise his individuality. No human mind should be submerged in another human mind For us to imitate the example of any man—even a person who in our human judgment we might regard as nearly perfect in character—would be to put our trust in an imperfect, defective human being, who is unable to impart one jot or tittle of perfection to any other human being.—Lt 20, 1902. (HC 108.)
Unity Without Submerged Identity—We are now to unify.... But let us remember that Christian unity does not mean that the identity of one person is to be submerged in that of another, nor does it mean that the mind of one is to be led and controlled by the mind of another. God has not given to any man the power that some, by word and act, seek to claim. God requires every man to stand free and to follow the directions of the word.—Testimonies for the Church 8:212 (1904).
Allegiance to God Versus Allegiance to Men [See chapter 29, “Dependence and Independence”]—You belong to God, soul, body, and spirit. Your mind belongs to God, and your talents belong to Him also. No one has a right to control another’s mind and judge for another, prescribing what is his duty. There are certain rights that belong to every individual in doing God’s service. No man has any more liberty to take these rights from us than to take life itself. God has given us freedom to think, and it is our privilege to follow our impressions of duty. We are only human beings, and one (p.709) human being has no jurisdiction over the conscience of another human being Each one of us has an individuality and identity that cannot be surrendered to any other human being. We are individually the workmanship of God.—Lt 92, 1895.
Ministers to Direct Parishioners to God—God alone is to be the guide of man’s conscience. The truth is to be preached wherever an opening is found for it. The Word of God is to be explained to those who know not the truth. This is the work of God’s ministers. They are not to teach men to look to them, or to seek to control the consciences of others. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).—Lt 26, 1907.
Making Flesh Our Arm—We are prone to look to our fellowmen for sympathy and uplifting instead of looking to Jesus. In His mercy and faithfulness God often permits those in whom we place confidence to fail us in order that we may learn the folly of trusting in man and making flesh our arm. Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly in God.—The Ministry of Healing, 486 (1905).
Satan Controls the Mind That Controls—To advocate the science of mind cure is opening a door through which Satan will enter to take possession of mind and heart. Satan controls both the mind that is given up to be controlled by another and the mind that controls. May God help us to understand the true science of building on Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.—Lt 130, 1901. (HC 109.) (p.710)
Satan Cannot Touch the Mind Not Surrendered to Him—The interests most vital to you individually are in your own keeping. No one can damage them without your consent. All the satanic legions cannot injure you unless you open your soul to the arts and arrows of Satan. Your ruin can never take place until your will consents. If there is not pollution of mind in yourself, all the surrounding pollution cannot taint or defile you.—Lt 14, 1885. (HC 94.)
Satan cannot touch the mind or intellect unless we yield it to him.—MS 17, 1893. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 6:1105.)
Not the Faith of Jesus—An acceptance of the truth of heavenly origin brings the mind into subjection to Christ. Then the health of soul which comes from receiving and following pure principles is revealed in words and works of righteousness. The faith which leads to this is not the faith which believes in mind controlling mind till one person acts out the will of another. Church members having confidence in this science may be called sound in the faith, but it is not the faith of Jesus Christ. Theirs is a faith in the work which Satan is doing. He presents gigantic errors, and by the miracles which he works he deceives many. This work he will do more and more. A healthy church is composed of healthy members, of men and women who have a personal experience in true godliness.—Lt 130, 1901.