Did Mary Baker Eddy say it? “Your head is in the stars”

December 14, 2020

We are sometimes asked about a comment Mary Baker Eddy is said to have made to one of her students, to the effect that his head was “in the stars.”

This account appears in The Destiny of The Mother Church by Bliss Knapp. The author recounts an experience his parents, Ira and Flavia Knapp, had when taking class instruction with Eddy in December 1884:

Mrs. Eddy’s rebuke to a student during Mr. and Mrs. Knapp’s first class with her, was of great help to them. The classmate in question seemed to grasp the spiritual sense of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, without properly recognizing their application. He was continually making absolute statements of Christian Science, and ignoring the human footsteps. Finally, Mrs. Eddy stamped her foot, and calling him sharply by name, said, “Come down. Your head is way up there in the stars, while the enemy is filling your body with bullets.”1

Knapp first made mention of this experience in his 1925 book Ira Oscar Knapp and Flavia Stickney Knapp. This anecdote, along with other portions of the book, were reprinted in The Destiny of The Mother Church.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library has not been able to locate any other source for this anecdote. We have also been unable to determine the identity of the student Eddy was correcting.

Click here to read our research regarding who took classes on Christian Science with Mary Baker Eddy.

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  1. Bliss Knapp, The Destiny of The Mother Church (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1991), 13.