THE STATEMENT has frequently been made that all healing comes from within. This is absolutely true. External applications or appliances, or drugs taken internally, may relieve, but they do not heal. The true healing comes from within the body.
Let us consider the case of a broken bone. The surgeon does not heal the fracture. He puts the fragments into the best possible position for recovery, arranges supports to hold them there, attends to the comfort of the patient, and waits for the healing to take place. Experience has taught him that this requires a certain length of time, so he sees that the bones are kept in place, and that the patient is properly tended, knowing that at the end of this time, the ends will have reunited, unless there has been something to interfere.
Healing is due to a natural power inherent in all living things. If an organism be injured or indisposed, its tendency is toward recovery. This tendency is known as the healing power of nature. It is a power given by the Father to His creatures. If it were not for this divine provision all life would have disappeared from the earth ages ago. This fact has been recognized by some of our medical men, who declare that disease is self-limited; that if a patient’s strength can be maintained, he will recover.
This power is manifested also in another way, which we know as resistance to disease. When a person’s condition is such that without harm he can undergo exposure which might make another ill, we say that he has a high resistance. When the resistance is said to be low, he may be upset by very little disturbance or exposure. So this healing power tends not only to heal the ills of the body, but also to prevent them.
The physician of today knows these things, and, in his treatment of his patients, he uses medicines only to meet certain conditions, to control certain symptoms, not with any idea that they will cure the patient.
Physicians say that tuberculosis is an organic disease. What is its treatment today at the best sanitariums? Complete rest until the temperature re-mains normal, fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of good food. Drugs are usually used only to meet emergencies. Nature is relied upon to do the curing, the physician seeing to it that the patient gives nature a chance. By these means the patient’s resistance is raised to the point where the infection is thrown off. The great number of cures obtained speaks for the activity of the inner healing power.
The tendency to resist disease is shown in all illness; that is, the patient shows progress toward recovery if his resistance be high or if his power of resistance can be raised. Hence the modern physician builds the strength of his patient and looks after his morale, for it is now recognized that the state of the mind of the patient plays a part in his recovery.
It is only comparatively recently that the patient’s mental attitude has been given proper attention. We now know that the patient’s fear or worry over the possible outcome of an illness may delay or prevent healing by still further depressing his vital forces, which are already at a low point. Faith in the probability of recovery and freedom from worry hasten recovery by giving the healing power full sway. The will to be well is half the battle; there is no more unsatisfactory patient than one who has no desire to recover, or who is full of the fear that he cannot recover.
Since these things are true, it would seem reasonable to expect healing to be accomplished by spiritual or metaphysical means. This form of healing has been derided, and even denied, by many who did not care to investigate. If we look into the matter we are forced to the conclusion that spiritual healing, even of organic conditions, is an indisputable fact.
Healing by faith has been known for ages. It has been practiced in connection with nearly every religion that recognizes the existence of a supreme power. Cures surely must have been obtained in some cases, or the method would have been abandoned long ago. We find records of such healings in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and in many other scriptures, ancient and modern. In the Chandogya Upanishad, one of the oldest of metaphysical works, we read: “Mahidasa Aitareya, who knew this [Truth), said to a disease,
‘Why do you afflict me, as I shall not die from you?’ He lived one hundred and sixteen years.”
In our own time certain shrines and relics have been credited with healing power, notably among them the shrine at Lourdes. Surely some cures must have occurred at these places, or their reputations would have vanished long ago; besides, the records show that there have been actual healings of organic diseases.
We do not need to travel to foreign shrines to get evidence of the fact of spiritual healing. We have many practitioners of different schools of meta-physical healing scattered over this country. Many of them have been doing this work for years, and again we may say that some of them must have been successful in at least a number of cases or they would have no following. So, if we choose to investigate impartially we shall be able to find the material at our very doors.
It has been my privilege to witness some cases of temporary relief and some of permanent relief of organic troubles, and to be able to investigate them. Some persons who acknowledge the truth of occasional mental healing explain it as a form of autohypnosis. There has been nothing of this in the healings that I have witnessed, and I doubt whether autohypnosis alone ever obtained a lasting healing. I have seen autosuggestion tried without producing anything more than a temporary improvement. Out of a large number of cases I shall give three in which there was no doubt as to the exact condition of the patient before healing, or as to the fact of the healing.
A little over a year ago I saw a patient, a young woman, who had an inflammatory condition of the abdomen. It was a clear picture of an infected urachus. An operation was advised at once, but the patient desired to consult a certain practitioner of spiritual healing. A compromise was made. It was decided that she should consult the healer and that I should watch the case. She agreed to permit an operation if the trouble got worse, or if it failed to improve within a reasonable time.
The practitioner a quiet, sincere woman took charge of the case that evening. In the morning the patient reported that she had enjoyed a good night’s rest and said that she felt better. The second day the fever and nausea were gone. On the fourth day she was up and around the house, free from all discomfort. At the end of a week she was taking a twenty-minute car ride to the practitioner’s office for treatment. The swelling was gone at this time, but there was still a little tenderness on pressure. In another week the tenderness on pressure had vanished, and she was well.
No process of autohypnosis was used. In fact, the healer made but two visits to the patient’s home, doing the rest of the work by absent treatment until the patient was well enough to go to the practitioner’s office.
At another time I examined a girl upon whom I had operated for recurrent mastoiditis. At the time of my examination she was showing definite signs of another attack. She also wished to have the help of a practitioner of spiritual healing and an agreement similar to that made with the other patient was made with her. Absent treatments stopped her trouble in two days. To one who had never seen anything of the kind before, the rapidity with which the inflammation disappeared would have -seemed almost like a piece of magic.
A third case is that of a woman who had carried a bad heart for many years. About a year ago she experienced an acute attack, accompanied by pain, nausea, and bloating caused by gas. Her daughter telephoned to a practitioner of spiritual healing and explained the trouble to her. The reply was that an immediate treatment would be given. In ten minutes the trouble was gone, and there has been no serious recurrence since.
These three are not the only cases of spiritual healing that I have seen, but they are outstanding because in none of them was it necessary to take the patient’s word that something was wrong. There was a clearly demonstrable subnormal or abnormal condition in each case, and the healing was shown just as clearly. I have seen many minor troubles, such as neuritis, indigestion, and headache, relieved rapidly. Several times on my cases I have had the assistance of practitioners of spiritual healing. In every case the patient has made a better and a quicker recovery than the average case. The freedom from fear and worry and the mental calmness were results worth having, even if the work had gone no farther.
Spiritual healing is, then, a fact. When we analyze it, we find that it is strictly in accordance with natural laws. As I said at the beginning, all true healing comes from within. Each one of us has within himself the natural power to make himself well and to remain well. This power is in the subconscious mind. This is a nonreasoning power that seems to act either entirely automatically, as in its normal duties of keeping the involuntary processes of the body in operation, or on suggestions given to it. It will build into the body the results of any suggestions made to it, whether for good or for evil.
Most of the ills that afflict mankind are the results of past suggestions to the subconscious mind, repeated so often that they have become subconscious habits of thought. Of course we did not give these suggestions to the subconscious mind knowingly or intentionally, but the line of thought of those around us became impressed upon it; or the subconscious mind was impressed by our manner of living, or our point of view sank into it deeply, without our knowledge. What we call negative thoughts envy, jealousy, fear, hatred, anger all produce an effect on the subconscious mind that the latter tries to reproduce faithfully in the body.
Since we know this, the seemingly logical thing to do would be to reverse the process, and to impress this almost too willing servant with positive, constructive thought thoughts of love, hope, faith, kindness. Give the subconscious mind a chance to build for good instead of allowing it to destroy; for destroy it will even life itself if it is allowed to go on in the wrong way. This reversing process can be carried out; it is the basis of pure mental, or psychic, healing. It is successful to a certain degree, but we can go still farther.
In mental healing, suggestions are impressed on the subconscious mind through the conscious mind exclusively, but there is a still higher power in each of us. There is the superconscious mind, the spark of the divine in each, the Christ within us. We should not overlook this power. The superconscious mind builds only for good, and it has the whole force of the supreme power behind it. The subconscious mind works under the direction of the superconscious mind, just as it does under the orders of the conscious mind. Why not call in the aid of this higher power and turn the work over to it? When this is done seeming miracles happen. This is the true basis of spiritual healing.
The connection between the superconscious and the subconscious is made by meditation and prayer, not the old-fashioned, begging kind, but the fervent request for help, coupled with the faith that aid is being received. At the same time it is necessary to stop trying to control affairs consciously. If this is done the subconscious mind will follow the directions of the superconscious mind .and will build up, undoing the bad work of the past.
This highest mind the superconscious mind is all powerful. When it takes hold, its impressions on the subconscious mind are so powerful that good results follow quickly. If we develop sufficient faith in the Christ in us and give Him full opportunity to work, there is no reason why instantaneous cures should not take place.