The Gift of the Magi
"Sweep up the debris of decaying faiths;
Sweep down the cobwebs of worn-out beliefs,
And throw your soul wide open to the light
Of Reason and of Knowledge. Be not afraid
To thrust aside half-truths and grasp the whole."
--ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.
ALL over the world, sick, weak and devitalized men and women are searching for health and strength. By the hundreds of thousands, they drag their weary and aching boxes around, or languish on sick beds, waiting for someone to bring health to them corked up in a bottle.
But real, lasting health was never found in pill boxes or medicine bottles. There is one method--and only one--by which it can be gained and kept. That method is by using the power of the Subconscious Mind.
For a long time the doctors pooh-poohed any such idea. Then as the evidence piled up, they grudgingly admitted that nervous troubles and even functional disorders might be cured by mind.
Even now there are some who, as Bernard Shaw put it, "Had rather bury a whole hillside ethically than see a single patient cured unethically. They will give credit to no method of healing outside the tenets of their own school."
Yet, as Warren Hilton has it in "Applied Psychology":
"All the literature of medicine, whether of ancient or modern times, abounds in illustrations of the power of of the mind over the body in health and in disease. And medical science has al- ways based much of its practice on this principle. No reputable school of medicine ever failed to instruct its students in practical applications of the principle of mental influence at the bedside of their patients. A brisk and cheery manner, a hopeful countenance, a supremely assured and confident demeanor--these things have always been regarded by the medical profession as but second in importance to sanitation and material remedies; while the value of the sugarcoated bread pill when the diagnosis was uncertain, has long been recognized.
"The properly trained nurse has always been expected to supplement the efforts of the attending physician by summoning the mental forces of the patient to his aid. She, therefore, surrounds the patient with an atmosphere of comfortable assurance. And by constantly advising him of his satisfactory progress toward speedy recovery she seeks to instil hope, confidence and mental effort.
"To quote Dr. Didama: 'The ideal physician irradiates the sick chamber with the light of his cheerful presence. He may not be hilarious--he is not indifferent--but he has an irrepressible good-nature which lifts the patient out of the slough of despond and places his feet on the firm land of health. In desperate cases, even a little harmless levity may be beneficial. A well-timed jest may break up a congestion; a pun may add pungency to the sharpest stimulant.' Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes reduced this principle to its cash equivalent when he said that a cheerful smile might be worth five thousand dollars a year to a physician.
"Today, psychotherapy, or the healing of bodily disease by mental influence, has the unqualified endorsement of the American Therapeutic Society, the only national organization in America devoted exclusively to therapeutics. It has the enthusiastic support of men of such recognized international leadership in the scientific world and in the medical profession as Freud, Jung, Bleuler, Breuer, Prince, Janet, Babinski, Putnam, Gerrish, Sidis, Dubois, Munsterberg, Jones, Brill, Donley, Waterman and Taylor.
"The present attitude of reputable science toward the principle that the mind controls all bodily operations is, then, one of positive conviction. The world's foremost thinkers accept its truth. The interest of enlightened men and women everywhere is directed toward the mind as a powerful curative force and as a regenerative influence of hitherto undreamed-of resource."
The more progressive physicians everywhere now admit that there is practically no limit to how far mind can go in the cure of disease. As Dr. Walsh of Fordham University puts it: "Analysis of the statistics of diseases cured by mental influence shows that its results have been more strikingly manifest in organic than in the so-called nervous or functional diseases."
Everyone admits that the mind influences the body somewhat, for everyone has seen others grow pale with fear, or red with anger. Everyone has felt the stopping of the heartbeats at some sudden fright, the quickened breathing and the thumping of the heart caused by excitement. These and a hundred other evidences of the influence of mind over matter are common to all of us, and everyone will admit them.
But everyone does not know that our whole bodies seem to be nothing more or less than the outward expression of our thought. We sit in a draught, and education teaches us we should have a cold or fever: So we have a cold or fever. We eat something which we have been told is indigestible, and immediately we are assailed with pains. We see another yawn, and our impulse is to follow suit. In the same way, when we hear of sickness round about us, the fear of it visualizes it in our own minds and we, too, have it. The fear of these things seems to bring them about, the mental suggestion sent through to our subconscious minds. We have been educated in a medical age to think that most diseases are infectious or contagious. So the mere sight of a diseased person makes most of us withdraw into ourselves like a turtle within his shell. We fear we shall catch it--when one of the great dangers of disease is that very fear of it.
For years it has been accepted as an acknowledged fact that anyone trapped in a mine or other air-tight compartment would presently die of carbon dioxide poisoning--lack of oxygen. Now comes Houdini to prove that death for lack of oxygen is not necessary at all!
"Fear, and not poisoning by carbon dioxide, causes the death of miners and others trapped in air-tight compartments," in the opinion of Houdini, according to an Associated Press despatch of August 6, 1926.
Houdini had himself sunk in a sealed coffin in a swimming pool, without chance for a breath of outside air to reach him, and stayed there for an hour and a half, although, according to all previous scientific belief, he should have been dead at the end of four minutes. Yet Dr. W. J. McConnell of the United States Department of Mines, who examined Houdini before and after the experiment, reported no marked physical reactions from the test, and Houdini himself said he felt only a slight dizziness when he was released from the coffin!
"Anyone can do it," said Houdini. "The important thing is, to believe that you are safe."
The Chinese have a saying that when the plague comes, 5,000 people may die of the plague, but 50,000 will die of the fear of it.
Did you ever hurt a limb, or a finger, so that you thought you couldn't move it? And then, under the stress of some sudden emotion, forget all about the hurt and presently wake to find yourself using the finger or the limb just as readily and as painlessly as though there had never been anything wrong with it?
I have before me a clipping from the New York Times of March 29, 1925, telling of a cripple who had been paralyzed for six years, but under the spur of sudden fear, he ran up a stairway unaided, without crutch or cane. He had been treated in a number of hospitals, but because of an injury to his spine received in an auto accident, had been unable to walk without crutches or canes for six years. The patient in the bed next his own suddenly went crazy and attacked him, and in his fear this paralytic leaped from his bed and ran up a flight of stairs. According to the report, the sudden fright cured him!
Take the miracles of Lourdes, or of St. Anne of Beaupre, or of any of the dozens of shrines that dot the world. What is it that effects the cures? Two things--Desire and Faith. "What wouldst thou that I should do unto thee?" the Saviour asked the blind man who kept following and crying out to him. "Lord that I should receive my sight." And again of the cripple at the Pool of Bethesda Jesus asked--"Wouldst thou be made whole?"
Sounds like foolish questioning, doesn't it? But you remember the story of the famous Saint of Italy, who traveled from town to town healing the lame, the halt, and the blind. A pilgrim hastening to a town where the Saint was expected, met two lame beggars hurrying away. He asked them the reason for their haste, to be told, to his astonishment, it was because the Saint was coming to town. As they put it--"He will surely heal us, and where will our livelihood be then?"
So it is with many people today--not beggars, mind you--but people in every walk of life. They have become so wedded to their ailments, they "enjoy poor health" so thoroughly, that they are secretly a bit proud of it. Take away their complaints and they would be lost without them.
You must have the sincere desire first. That is prayer. Then the faith--the kind of faith that Jesus meant when he said--"Whatsoever ye ask for when ye pray, believe that ye receive it, and ye shall have it." Mind you, not "believe ye are going to receive it." "Believe that ye receive it"--now--this very minute. Know that the REAL you, the image of you held in Universal Mind--in short, the Truth concerning every organ in your body--is perfect. "Know the Truth." Believe that you HAVE this perfect image. On the day that you can truly believe this--carry this sincere conviction to your subconscious mind--on that day you WILL BE perfect.
This is the faith that Jesus meant when he said--"Thy faith hath made thee whole." This is the faith that is responsible for the miracles of Lourdes, for miraculous healings everywhere. It matters not whether you be Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile. Desire and faith such as these will heal you.
A month or two ago I read in the newspapers of a farmer, blind for two years, who went out in the field and prayed "that he should receive his sight." At the end of the second day, his sight was completely restored. He was a Protestant. He went to no shrine--just out under the sky and prayed to God.
Today I have before me a clipping from the New York Sun of February 23, 1926, telling of Patrolman Dennis O'Brien of the Jersey City police force, who at the end of a Novena to Our Lady of Help at the Monastery of St. Michael's in Union City, recovered the use of his legs, which had been paralyzed since the time, two years before, when a bullet had entered the base of his spine, severing the cord of motor and sensory nerves. He was a Catholic.
Then here is one from the New York Sun of June 26, 1926, telling how Miss Elsie Meyer of the Bronx, New York, was healed overnight of a tumorous growth that had troubled her for months:
"I realized last fall that there was an unusual growth on my body," she said. "It might have resulted from the strain of lifting a trunk. I wanted to know what it was, and I first went to a doctor, who informed me it was a tumorous growth and likely to become serious.
"But I would not be frightened and refused to receive any medical remedies in the way of cure. I have been a believer in faith healing and member of the Unity Society, a branch of the New Thought organization, for a number of years, so I went to a New Thought . While this seemed to help me, the tumorous growth remained. I guess my faith wasn't strong enough at the time. That was last fall.
"I came to the congress with the same growth, apparently unaffected by any attempts to cure it. But after attending the healing meeting at the congress yesterday I left with firm faith that I would get the healing I had asked for. When I retired I noticed the tumor was still on my body, but when I awoke this morning it had disappeared."
The chronicles of every religion are full of just such miracles. And the reason for them is the same in every case --prayer and faith. Given these, no healing is impossible.
Suppose we go back for a moment to the lowly Amoeba, the first bit of animal life upon the earth. I know not whether you are Fundamentalist or Evolutionist. The facts are a bit harder to prove from the Evolution side of it, so let us argue from that angle.
The Amoeba, as you will recall from Chapter I, is the lowest form of animal life known to scientists, a sort of jelly-fish with but a single cell--without brains, without intelligence, possessing only LIFE. No one would ever contend that this jelly-fish could improve itself. No one would argue that it developed the next form of life out of its own mind or ideas.
Yet, according to science, the next form of life did develop from this jelly-like mass. The Amoeba certainly was not responsible for doing it. And it couldn't develop itself. So the conclusion is forced upon us that some outside Intelligence must have done it.
But there were no other living creatures. The Amoeba was alone of all animal life upon the planet. The condition of the water and atmosphere was such that few if any other forms of animals could have sustained life at that time. So the Intelligence which developed the next form of animal life must have been the same that created the Amoeba--that first brought LIFE to this Planet. That Intelligence is variously called God, Providence, Nature, the Life Principle, Mind, etc. For our purposes here let us call it Universal Mind.
Having formed life here on earth, Universal Mind proceeded to develop it. Starting with a single cell, It built tell upon tell, changing each form of life to meet the different conditions of atmosphere and environment that the cooling of the earth trust brought about. When the multi-cellular structure became complicated, It gave a brain to it to direct the different functions, just as you put a "governor" on a steam engine. When land appeared and the receding tides left certain animals high and dry for periods of hours, It gave these both lungs and gills--the one for the air, the other for the water.
When the creatures began to prey upon one another, It gave one speed, another a shell, a third an ink-like fluid, that each in its own way might escape and survive.
But always It progressed. Each new stage of life was an improvement over the previous one. And always It showed Its resourcefulness, Its ability to meet ANY need.
Finally, as the culmination of all Its efforts, It made MAN--a creature endowed not only with a brain like that of the lower animals, but with the power of reason--"made in His image and likeness," sharing Infinite Intelligence--himself a Creator and a part of Universal Mind.
All through the creation--from the time of the one-celled Amoeba right up to Man--every scientist will admit that the directing intelligence of Universal Mind was on the job every minute, that It formed the models on which each new and different kind of animal was made, that each of these models was perfect--the one model best fitted to cope with the conditions it had to confront.
Certainly when It came to Man, It is not likely to have been any less successful in forming a perfect model than it was in making the tiger or the elephant. So we can take it, I assume, that all will admit that Man as formed by Universal Mind is perfect--that the idea of Man as it exists in Universal Mind is perfect in every particular.
And Universal Mind, from the very beginning, has never taken a step back-ward, has never stood still. Always it has PROGRESSED. So it would seem safe to assume that man is not going backward now--that he is a more perfect creature than he was 5,000, 10,000 or 100,000 years ago--that he is constantly drawing nearer and nearer the likeness of his Creator.
The next step seems just as logical. If there was inherent in even the earliest and lowest forms of life the power to develop whatever means was requisite to meet each new emergency, such as a shell or lungs or legs or wings--if this power is still inherent in the lower forms of life such as the Plant Parasites referred to in a previous chapter, does it not seem a certainty that we have the same power within ourselves, if only we knew how to call it forth?
Jesus proved that we have, and his disciples and followers added still further proof. After the third century of the Christian era, that power was allowed to lapse through disuse, but of late years thousands have been taking advantage of it for themselves and for others through psychology or religion. A new Church has been founded upon the words of James: "Faith without WORKS is dead." It differs from most Churches in that it teaches that Jesus meant ALL that he said when he commanded his disciples to--"Go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give." The sick, the lame, the halt and the blind have flocked to it literally by the hundred thousands. That thousands have been cured is beyond dispute. That many were cases which had been given up by the medical fraternity, the doctors quite frankly admit.
And the basis of all there cures is that there is nothing miraculous about the cure of disease at all. That it is "Divinely Natural." That it requires merely understanding. That Mind is the only Creator. And that the only image Universal Mind holds of your body is a perfect image, neither young nor old, but full of health, of vigor, of beauty and vitality. That all you have to do when assailed by disease is to go back to Universal Mind for a new conception of its perfect image--for the Truth concerning your body. Just as you would go back to the principle of mathematics for the Truth concerning any problem that worked out incorrectly. When you can make your subconscious mind copy after this Universal image--the Truth--instead of the diseased image you are holding in your thoughts, your sickness will vanish like the mere dream it is.
Does that sound too deep? Then look at it this way:
When you think an organ is diseased, it is your conscious mind that thinks this. Inevitably it sends this thought through to your subconscious mind, and the latter proceeds to build the cells of that organ along this imperfect, diseased model. Change the model--in other words, change your belief--and your subconscious mind will go back again to building along right lines.
Your body, you know, is simply an aggregation of millions upon millions of protons and electrons, held together by mind. They are the universal substance all about us, the plastic lay from which the sculptor Mind shapes the forms you see.
To quote the New York Sun: "Man's body is made up of trillions of miniature solar systems, each with whirling planets and a central sun. These tiny systems are the atoms of modern science. The atoms of all elements are made up of protons and electrons in varying quantities and arranged in various ways.
"But what are protons and electrons?
"The masters of physics have succeeded in weighing and measuring them. We know that they carry the smallest possible charges of electricity, and we are learning much about the way they behave; but students are beginning to doubt that they have real substance, that they are anything one could hit with a lilliputian hammer. Dr. H. G. Gale of the University of Chicago, addressing the Ohio Academy of Science the other day, said there was good reason to believe that electrons were composed entirely of electricity and that their mass or weight was only a manifestation of electrical force. According to this view, nothing exists in the universe except electricity--and perhaps ether."
Your subconscious mind partakes of the creative power of Mind and because of that, it is daily, hourly, changing the particles of electrical energy which constitute your body to conform to the image you hold before it.
The clay cannot reply to the sculptor. No more can these tiny particles of electricity. Your body has nothing to say as to whether it shall be diseased or crippled. It is MIND that decides this. Jesus understood this, and it was on the basis of this understanding that he was able to cure any and all manner of disease. He was not a magician or occult wonder-worker, aiming to set aside the laws of nature. He was a TEACHER, demonstrating those laws. He didn't pick the learned Scribes and Pharisees and let them in on the secret of his wonder working. On the contrary, the men he chose were simple fisher folk, and to them he gave the UNDERSTANDING that enabled them, too, to cure the sick, the halt and the blind.
For what is sickness? An illusion, a mortal dream--merely the absence of health. Bring back that health image, and the sickness immediately disappears. Universal Mind never created disease. The only image it knows of man is the Truth--the perfect image. The only idea it has of your body is a perfect, healthy idea. "For God is of purer eyes than to behold evil."
Then where does disease come from? Who created it? No one did. It is a mere illusion--just as, if you think a pin is sticking you, and you concentrate your thought on the pain, it becomes unbearable. Yet when you investigate, you find that no pin was sticking you at all--merely a hair, or bit of cinder lodged against the skin. How often have you had some fancied pain, only to have it promptly disappear when your physician assured you there was nothing wrong with you at all. It would be the same way with all sickness, all pain, if you would understand that it is merely fear or suggestion working on your conscious mind, and that if you will deny this belief of pain or sickness, your subconscious mind will speedily make that denial good. Don't render that mind impotent by thoughts of fear, doubt and anxiety. If you do, it is going to get like a working crew which is constantly being stopped by strikes or walk-outs or changes of plans. It will presently get discouraged and stop trying.
To quote Dr. Geo. E. Pitzer again--"In proper, healthy or normal conditions of life, the objective mind and the subjective mind act in perfect harmony with each other. When this is the case, healthy and happy conditions always prevail. But these two minds are not always permitted to act in perfect harmony with each other; this brings mental disturbances; excites physical wrongs, functional and organic diseases.
"Our unconscious is a tremendous storage plant full of potential energy which can be expended for beneficial or harmful ends. Like every apparatus for storing up power, it can be man's most precious ally, if man is familiar with it and, hence, not afraid of it. Ignorance and fear, on the other hand, can transform a live electric wire into an engine of destruction and death."
Even as long ago as Napoleon's day, men had begun to get an inkling of this. "Think that you are well," said the astute Tallyrand, "instead of thinking that you are sick." And the formula of the Quakers is that an energetic soul is "master of the body which it loves."
So keep in mind the one basic fact that covers the whole ground--that Mind is all. There is no other cause. When you drive the belief in disease from your subconscious mind, you will drive away the pain and all the other symptoms with it.
Few sick people have any idea how much they can do for themselves. There is an old saying that every man is "a fool or his own physician at 40." When the science of Mind is more generally understood, that saying will become literally true. Every man will find within himself the Mind which "healeth all thy diseases." For every function of your body is governed by your mind. When sickness or pain assails you, deny it! Cling steadfastly to the one idea that covers all--that Universal Mind made your every organ perfect; that the only image of each organ now in Universal Mind is this perfect image; and that this perfect idea is endowed with resources sufficient to meet any need.
Jesus' command--"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in Heaven is perfect,"--was meant to be taken literally. And it can be followed literally if we will model our bodies upon the image He holds of us in Universal Mind. We are all sculptors, you know, but instead of marble or clay, our material is the plastic energy--protons and electrons--of which we and everything in this world about us are made. What are you making of it? What image are you holding in mind? Images of sickness? Of poverty? Of Limitation? Then you are reproducing these in your life.
Banish them! Forget them! Never let them enter your thought, and they will never again manifest themselves in your life.
You admit that mind influences your body to some extent, but you think your physical organs hold the preponderance of power. So you depend upon them, and make yourself their slave.
"Know ye not," says Paul, "that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?"
By holding before yourself the thought that your organs are the master, you make them your master, and deprive yourself of the directing intelligence of your subconscious mind. When an organ ceases to function properly, you try to doctor it, when the part that needs attention is your mind. If you are running an electric machine, and the current becomes weak or is switched off, you don't take the machine part, or oil it or tamper with it to make it run better. You go to the source of the power to find what is wrong there.
In the same way, when anything seems wrong with the functioning of your body, the place to investigate is your subconscious mind. Your stomach has no intelligence, nor your heart, nor your heart, nor any other of your organs. Your liver, for instance, could never figure out how much sugar should be turned into your blood every minute to keep your bodily temperature at 98 degrees, when you are sitting in a room that is warmed to only 65 degrees. It doesn't know how much more sugar is required to keep that temperature normal when you go out into a driving gale 10 below zero. Yet it supplies the requisite amount--neither too much nor too little. And it does it instantaneously. Where does it get the information? You don't know it. No mortal man could figure it out in a year's time.
It gets it from your subconscious mind. It gets both the information and the directions to use it. And every other of your bodily organs gets its information in the same place. Your muscles are not self-acting. Take away mind and those muscles are just like any other bit of matter--lifeless, inert. They have nothing to say as to what they shall do. They merely obey the behests of mind.
Have you ever seen one of those great presses at work in a newspaper plant? They seem almost human in their intelligence. At one end, great rolls of paper feed in. At the other, out comes the finished newspaper, folded, ready for delivery. Everything is automatic. Everything as perfect as machinery can be made. The "fingers" that fold the papers seem almost lifelike in their deftness.
But shut off the life-giving electric current--and what happens? The machinery is powerless. Take away the directing human intelligence, and how long before that wonderful machine would be a mass of scrap--mere bits of steel and rubber? How long could it function of itself?
So it is with your body. A wonderful mechanism--the most complicated, yet the most perfect in the world. But switch off the current of your mental dynamo, take away the intelligence that directs the working of your every organ, and what is left? A bit of bone and flesh--inert and useless.
In the final analysis, your body is merely a piece of mechanism--dependent entirely upon mind. It has no power, no volition, of its own. It does as mind tells it to, insofar as mind believes itself to be the Master. Your eyes, for instance, are merely lenses which transmit light from the outer world to the brain within. They contract or elongate, they open or close, just as mind directs. And mind, in its turn, keeps them constantly with new, life-giving blood, replacing old tissue, old cells, as fast as they wear out, rebuilding ever, so that your eyes may continue to function perfectly as long as your conscious mind is dependent upon them for its impressions of outer objects. It doesn't matter how old you may be or how much you use them. Your eyes are like any other muscles of your body--they improve in strength with use. Give them but enough rest intervals for mind to repair and rebuild the used tissue, keep before your subconscious mind the perfect image of eyes on which you expect it to rebuild, and you need never fear glasses, you need never worry about "your eyes going back on you."
What is it happens when your muscles refuse to work--fail to perform their functions properly? You are what has happened. You have switched off the current from some particular part. You have been holding the belief so long and so firmly that the muscles have the preponderance of power, that your subconscious mind has come to believe it, too. And when the nerve or muscle suffers an injury, the subconscious mind--at the suggestion of your conscious mind--gives up all dominion over it.
All disease, all sickness, all imperfections of the human body are due to this one cause--your belief that your body is the master, that it can act, that it can catch cold, or become diseased, without the consent of mind. This is the procuring cause of all suffering. One disease is no different from another in this. They are all due to that one erroneous belief.
If you will deny the power of your body over your mind, you can destroy all fear of disease. And when the fear goes, the foundation of the disease is gone.
The way to begin is to refuse to believe or to heed any complaint from your body. Have no fear of climate or atmosphere, of dampness or drafts. It is only when you believe them unhealthy that they are so to you. When your stomach sends a report of distress, when it tells you that something you have eaten is disagreeing with it, treat it as you would an unruly servant. Remind it that it is not the judge of what is or is not good for it. That it has no intelligence. That it is merely a channel through which the food you give it passes for certain treatment and selection. That if the food is not good it has but to pass it through to the eliminatory organs as speedily as may be.
Your stomach is entirely capable of doing this. Every organ you have is capable of withstanding any condition--given the right state of mind to direct it. The only reason that they succumb to sickness or disease or injury is because you tell them to. Men have fallen from great heights without injury. Men have taken the most deadly poison without harm. Men have gone through fire and flood and pestilence with not a scratch to show. And what men have done once they can do again. The fact that it has been done shows that your body does not need to suffer injury from these conditions. And if it does not need to, then it would seem that the only reason it ordinarily suffers is because your fear of injury is the thought you are holding before your subconscious mind and therefore that is the thought that it images on your body.
In a despatch from Stockholm to the New York Herald-Tribune, dated January 18, 1926, I read that Dr. Henry Markus and Dr. Ernest Sahlgren, Stockholm scientists, have been able, through hypnotic suggestion, to offset the effect of poisons on the human system to a marked degree.
The scientists put three subjects into hypnotic sleep and then administered drugs, carefully recording the effects on blood pressure and pulse, both with and without "suggestion." When a drug which acts to increase blood pressure was administered without "suggestion," the blood pressure readings ranged between 109 to 130 and pulse readings from 54 to 100. But when the drug was administered with the "suggestion" to the mind of the patient that it was merely so much harmless water, the blood pressures were from 107 to 116 and pulse readings all less than 67. From which one would judge that it was the patient's belief which affected him, far more than any power in the drug.
Bear this in mind when anyone tells you that certain foods are not good for you. You can eat what you like, if you do it in moderation. Just remember--no matter what you may eat--if you relish it, if you BELIEVE it to be good for you, it will be good for you!
But, you may say, is not this like the tenets of a well-known religion? What of that? If certain fundamental truths have been uncovered by another why not use them, regardless of whether or not we agree with the philosophy from which they are taken.
To quote again from Dr. Richard C. Cabot of the Harvard Medical School: "There need be no conflict. There is opportunity for all sincere, humble-minded effort. Let us have no persecutions and no interference with the spread of truth and light from any source. Indictments against movements as powerful and sincere as Christian Science and Preventive Medicine are anachronistic. Let us all get busy along our own lines. 'With malice towards none, with charity for all, let us bind up the nation's wounds.'"
It has often seemed to me that if all the churches would take a leaf out of the book of ordinary Business Practice, forget their differences over dogma, and simply profit by the example that Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has given them of building up an enormous following almost overnight, they would be much the better off thereby.
For what was it brought men and women into the Church in such vast numbers in the early day of Christianity? Healing! What was responsible for the phenomenal growth of the Christian Science Church? The healing of thousands of people of any and every kind of ill. What is it that people go to any Church for? To pray--and to find how to get an answer to their prayers. Show them the way to do this, show them the way to heal themselves of all their ills and lacks, and you will need to worry no more about the crowded theaters and the empty churches.
"If this be treason, make the most of it."
The moment any Symptom of illness shows in your body, vigorously deny its existence. Say to yourself "My body has no intelligence. Neither has any germ of disease. Therefore neither my body nor the disease can tell me I am sick. Mind is the only cause. And Mind has not directed them to make me sick. The only image of my body that Mind knows is a perfect, vigorous, healthy image. And that is the only image I am going to build on." Then forget the image of disease. It is only an illusion, and can be dispelled like any other illusion. Keep in your mind's eye the image of perfect health, of vigorous, boundless vitality.
Your body can not say it is sick. Therefore when the belief of sickness assails you, it must come either from your conscious mind or from outside suggestion. In either event, it is your job to see that no belief of sickness reaches your subconscious mind, that no fear of it, no thought of it, is imaged there.
To treat one who has already succumbed to the belief of sickness, explain to him, as I have explained to you here, that his body has no power for sickness or for health, any more than a log of wood has. That his body is merely an aggregation of millions of electrons-- particles of electrical energy, really--subject wholly to his mind. That these particles of energy have neither substance nor intelligence; that they are constantly changing; and that the forms they take depend entirely upon the images he holds in his own mind.
His body is, in short, a mental concept. It is an exact reflection of the thought he is holding in mind of it. If has been sick, it is because he has been holding sickly, weak and unhealthy thoughts in his mind. If he wishes to get well, it is first necessary for him to change his thought. Instead of doctoring the machine, he is to go direct to the power house and change the current. Let him repeat to himself, night and morning, this little formula:
"There is no permanence to matter. The one surest thing about it is change. Every cell, every tissue in my body is constantly being renewed. The old, worn-out tissues are being torn down and carried away. New, perfect ones are replacing them. And the model on which those new organisms are being re-built is the perfect model that is held in Divine Mind.
"For God made man in His image. That image was perfect then--is perfect now. It is the only image that Divine Mind knows of me. It is the only image on which my subconscious mind is ever again going to pattern its re-building. Every minute of every day I am growing more and more into the image of God--the True Likeness He holds of me in His thought."
If he will do that, if he will bear in mind that matter as such has no feeling, no intelligence; that it is the mind that feels, the mind that directs, and therefore he has nothing to fear from any external causes, his fear of the disease will vanish. And the patient does not exist who will not speedily recover when his fear of the disease is gone.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you," said Jesus, "if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." And again--"This is the life eternal." "Is," you will notice, not "shall be."
"The mind is Good's way of utilizing His energy," says the Rev. William T. Walsh, Rector of St. Luke's Church, New York City, in his book "Scientific Spiritual Healing." "God evolved the subconscious mind. It is His gift to us like all else that we possess, and because it is from Him we should give thanks and learn to use it intelligently.
"God has so fashioned us that we do not have to give conscious attention to the vital processes. He has given us what is called the subconscious mind which looks after all the vital functions. This mind can receive commands from us and has wonderful ability to carry them out, for it is a law that every thought tends to realize itself subconsciously in the body.
"If you allow evil thoughts to remain, they are received by the subconscious which tends to realize them in the body just as much as though they were good, wholesome, health-giving spiritual thoughts. For remember, the subconscious does not reason and judge. It only receives and obeys."
When you have an accident, don't immediately think that you must be hurt. On the contrary, deny at once that you can be hurt. The denial will take away the creative power of your thought from any damaging condition. More than that, if you will immediately call to mind the fact that the only image of your body that Universal Mind holds is a perfect image, and that this is the image on which your; subconscious mind is building, you will find that this subconscious mind will speedily rebuild any damaged parts in accordance with that image.
As a matter of fact, if we could thoroughly realize that our bodies are made up merely of vortices of energy subject wholly to the control of mind, it should hurt us no more to run a knife through them than it does to run it through water. The water immediately resumes the shape of the vessel that holds it. Just so, our bodies should immediately resume the shape that mind holds them in.
But even with our present imperfect understanding, we can perform what the uninitiated would call miracles with our bodies. And each victory we win gives us a bit more of power over them. To conquer one diseased condition makes it easier to ward off or to conquer other diseased conditions. The body cannot oppose us. It is only the bias of education and the suggestions of those about. us that we have to combat.
There is no necessity for disease. There is no necessity even for fatigue. "They that wait upon the Lord shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Those words from Holy Writ were meant literally--and they can be applied literally if you will govern your body by mind, and not let custom and popular belief make your body the master. Whatever it is right for you to do, you can do without fear, no matter if it entails long-continued toil, hardship or danger. Depend upon it, your mind can call to your aid all the forces of Nature if they are necessary to your emergency.
"Therefore I say unto you," quoth the Master, "take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment?"
Diet, exercise and rules of health never kept any one well of themselves. Often they attract the mind to the subject of sickness and thereby foster it.
Dieting is good insofar as it prevents gluttony. Temperance is just as important in eating as in the drinking of alcoholic liquor. But you can eat in moderation anything you like, anything that you relish and BELIEVE to be good for you, without fear of its disagreeing with you.
Reasonable exercise, too, is fine for both the body and the mind. Provided you do not make a fetich of it. It isn't the exercise that keeps you well--it is the mental image you hold in your thought.
The exercise merely helps to impress that mental image on your subconscious mind.
Electrical treatments, skin tonics, alcohol rubs, etc., all are useful only to extent that they center the attention of the subconscious mind upon the parts affected. Exactly the same results, even to that pleasant little tingling of the skin, can be effected by mind alone, I remember reading an article by Mrs. Vance Cheney, telling how she cured herself of paralysis of the legs in just that way. After lying for months under the care of doctors and masseurs, she tired of them and decided to depend entirely upon mind. So, several times a day, she would utterly relax in every nerve and muscle, then consciously send her thought down along the nerves of her legs to her feet. Presently there would be that little tingling sensation in her feet--evidence of increased circulation--followed after a time by a feeling of drowsiness. A few weeks of these treatments completely restored the use of her legs.
The same effort can be made to throw off any physical trouble. Put your hand upon the part affected. Try to visualize that organ as it should be. See it functioning perfectly. BELIEVE that it IS working normally again! Your thought brings the blood to the affected part, clears up the trouble, provides new cells, new tissue, while your belief that the organ IS functioning properly will bring about that normal condition.
This is a treatment, however, that must be used with discretion, for to consciously interfere in the regular functioning of the body without any real need for such interference results in confusion rather than help. It is like going down a flight of stairs rapidly. Pay no attention to the movement of your feet, and they flit over the steps with never a sign of hesitancy or faltering. But try to watch them step by step, and you will either have to slow up or you will presently miss a step, stumble or fall. "The centipede was happy quite,
Until the toad, for fun,
Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?'
This stirred his mind to such a pitch,
He lay distracted in a ditch,
Considering how to run."
There is one rule that will help anyone keep healthy. That rule is to forget your nerves, throw away your pills and your medicine bottles, and hold before your mind's eye only the perfect image that Universal Mind has of your body. That is the surest way to keep free from sickness.
And if you are already sick, the same rule applies. Know that Universal Mind never created disease--that it is but an illusion of your conscious mind. Know that mind is the only creator, that as Shakespeare puts it, "There is nothing, either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Know that you have the say as to what that thinking shall be. Know, therefore, that by holding a perfect image of your body in your thoughts you can make your body perfect.
Have you ever cut your finger? Who was it coagulated the blood, stopped the gash, wove new skin? Who was it called upon the little phagocytes to come and kill the septic germs?
Not your conscious mind, certainly. Most people don't even know there are "any such animals." Their conscious minds don't know the first thing about healing. Whence comes the information? Whence the directing genius? Where but from the same intelligence that keeps your heart and lungs on the job while you sleep, that regulates your liver and your kidneys, that attends to all the functions of your body?
That intelligence is your subconscious mind. With the proper co-operation on your part, your subconscious mind will attend to these duties indefinitely, keeping your every organ perfect, your every function regular as clockwork.
But it is exceedingly amenable to suggestion. Worry about sickness or contagion, hold before it the thought that you are getting old, or that some organ is becoming feeble, and it will be perfectly agreeable to bringing about the condition you suggest. Convince it that there is no danger from contagion, hold before it the thought of health and strength, and it will be just as prompt in manifesting them.
So what you must realize is this: Be-fore anything can be made, there must be a model for it in mind. Before a house can be built, there must be a plan, a blueprint from which to build. Before you were created, Universal Mind held in thought the model on which you were made. That model was perfect then--is perfect now. The only idea of you that Universal Mind knows is a perfect model, where every cell and organism is formed along perfect lines.
True, many of us have built up imperfect models in our own thoughts, but we can get rid of them just as rapidly as we get rid of the fear of them.
Your body is changing every moment. Every cell, every organism, is constantly being rebuilt. Why rebuild along the old, imperfect lines? Why not build on the lines held in the thought of Universal Mind? You CAN do it! But the essence of it lies in the words of the Master: "Whatsoever things ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye RECEIVE them, and ye SHALL HAVE them."
It matters not what your ailment may be. It will respond to that treatment. Suppose, as an example, that your stomach has been troubling you, that you cannot eat what you would like, that you cannot assimilate your food, that you are weak and nervous is consequence. Every morning when you awake, and every night just before you drop off to sleep say to yourself--
"My stomach has neither intelligence nor feeling. It functions only as mind directs it. Therefore I need have no worry about its being weak or diseased, for the only image that Mind knows of stomach is Its perfect image. And that perfect image can assimilate or remove anything I may put into it. It is perfect, as everything that Universal Mind makes is perfect. And being perfect, it can do anything right I may ask of it without fear or anxiety."
Concentrate on the one organ at a time, and repeat this formula to yourself night and morning. Say it, feel it, BELIEVE it--and you can do what you please with that Organ. "As thy faith is, so be it done unto thee."
"Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me"
"I can believe all you say about my fears and worries being responsible for my own illnesses," write many people, "but how about infants and little children? They have no fear. Why do they sicken and die?"
What many people do not understand is that the subconscious mind is just as amenable to suggestion from those round about you as it is from your own conscious mind. Otherwise you would be in no danger from anything you did not consciously know of. And the more ignorant you were, the safer you would be.
Suppose, for instance, you took a draught of what you believed to be pure "bootleg" whisky, but which in reality was no more than wood alcohol. Many others have done it. Your conscious mind would expect no harm from it--any mare than did theirs. You would have no fear of the result. No more did they. So, you would say, you should experience no harm.
Yet you would probably die--or at least go blind--as have these others. Why? Because your subconscious mind would know the wood alcohol for what it is. Your own conscious belief, and the preponderance of opinion of those about you, have instilled the conviction in your subconscious mind that wood alcohol is dire poison. Therefore when you pour this poison into your system--even though you do not consciously recognize it as such--your subconscious mind proceeds to bring about the effects you would logically expect such a poison to produce.
It is the same with contagion, with the hundreds of diseases which most people scarcely know the names of, but to which they are constantly falling victims. They don't know they have been exposed to contagion. They don't know that their systems are in such condition that certain diseases logically follow. But their subconscious minds do know it. And they have so thoroughly educated those minds to believe in the necessity for ill health, in the inevitability of sickness under certain conditions, that the subconscious proceeds to work out the contagion or the condition to its logical conclusion.
Grown people can change these subconscious convictions by the proper counter-suggestions, consciously given. But young children cannot reason. They accept the beliefs that are held by the generality of mankind, or that are strongly suggested to them by those nearest to them.
That is why babies and young children fall such easy victims to the fears of disease and contagion of their parents and those about them. That is why worry over a seeming epidemic so often results in the children catching it, even when they have apparently been in no way exposed to the contagion.
"Man," says a famous writer, "often has fear stamped upon him before his en-trance into the outer world; he is reared in fear; all his life is passed in bondage of fear of disease and death and thus his whole mentality becomes cramped, limited, and depressed, and his body follows its shrunken pattern and specification. IS IT NOT THAT HEALTH EXISTS AT ALL? Nothing but the boundless Divine Love, exuberance, and vitality, constantly poured in, even though unconsciously to us, could in some degrees neutralize such an ocean of morbidity."
But the remedy is just as simple. Know that your children are primarily children of God. That the image He holds of them is perfect. And that His perfect image has within itself every power necessary to ward off disease of any kind.
Put your children actively under His care. Throw the responsibility upon Him. Depend upon it, when you do this in the right way, no harm can come near them. Whenever fear assails you, whenever your children are exposed to danger or contagion, realize that "He shall give His angels (his thoughts) charge over them, to lead them in all their ways."
If your children are sick or ailing, read these thoughts aloud to them just as though you were talking to a grown person. Only address yourself to their subconscious minds. Read over the past few pages. Repeat to them the little formula outlined above, adapting it to their own particular need. Above all, BELIEVE it! Your faith will work just as great wonders for your children as for yourself.
Never doubt. Never fear. Go at your problem just as you would approach a difficult problem in mathematics. In mathematics, you know that the problem does not exist for which you cannot find the solution, provided you follow the rules and work in the right way.
As long as you do your part, the principle of mathematics will do the rest. It is the same in all of life. Don't worry. Don't fret. Go at your problem in the right way, no matter how difficult it may seem; follow the rules herein laid down, and you can look to the Principle of Being to bring you the answer.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." This field is your own consciousness--a treasure you find within yourself--which others cannot see. But you know it for the in-dwelling Spirit--"the Father within you"--and are willing to sell all that you have because this treasure is worth more than all other possessions.
If you have begun to realize this treasure, and use it even in a small way, the most wonderful thing that can happen to anyone on this planet has happened to you. What does it mean? It means that an ordinary human being, afflicted with all the sufferings and fears and worries and superstitions of the average man, has learned the Law of Being. It means that he has acquired a power above all that of his would-be destroyers. It means that he has put his foot upon the Rock of Life, that the Doorway of Heaven is open before him, that all of Good is as free to him as the air he breathes.
"There hath not failed one word of all His good promises." "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us."
Surely we have every reason to be grateful for all the good round about us. Surely we should be thankful for the infinite power that has been given to us.
And being truly grateful, by the way, is the surest evidence of real faith that there is. Faith, you know, is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Remember, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, how He first prayed, then thanked the Father for answering His prayer? There was not yet any material evidence that the prayer had been answered. But Jesus had perfect faith in the Father. And it was justified. Immediately He had given thanks, Lazarus came forth from the tomb!
The world today is so much more wonderful than it was to former generations. Mankind has begun to glimpse its illimitable powers. The whole world is plastic and sensitive to new ideas. The soul of man is finding itself, and learning its relation to the Infinite. The veil between the visible and the invisible is being drawn aside. Through seeing the "Father do the works," we are becoming more assured of our own power, beginning to assert "the Father that is within us." We know that, given the right understanding, the works that Jesus did we can do also. We recognize his "miracles" as divinely natural laws, part of God's continuous plan.
So let us go with Him unto the Mount of Vision, taking as our motto His words--"See that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed thee in the Mount."
Contents of the Book
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Prosperity and Abundance
- Anger Management
- Stress Reduction and Management Techniques
- Career Planning and Development
- Developing Communication Skills
- Concentration Practice
- Creativity and Innovation
- Coping With Emotions
- Positive Self-Esteem
- Coping With Fear and Anxiety
- The Experience of Happiness
- Using and Improving Intuition
- Leadership Skills
- Love and Love Relationships
- Mental Maturity
- Meditation, Concentration and Mindfulness
- Memory Techniques
- Mental Health
- Mental Peace
- This Page on Mental Peace Has Moved
- Mindfulness Practice
- Self-help Inspiration
- Negotiation Skills
- Personality Development
- Planning, Prioritizing and Budgeting
- The Power of Positive Thinking
- Reading Skills
- Building Relationships
- Relaxation and Stress Reduction
- Silence and Healingm
- Achieving Success
- Visualization Techniques
- The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier, Index Of Chapters
- The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel
- Self-help Videos - Hinduwebsite.com
- Self-help, Free Audio Downloads
- Think Success: A Book on Self-help
- Being the Best - A Book on Self-help
The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, . This text has been reformatted for the web at Hinduwebsite.com by Jayaram V. This text is not an exact reproduction of the original edition which was published in 1925 in seven small volumes. The title pages, page numbers, contents and index pages of seven volumes are not included in this electronic version. Those who are interested in the entire version of the text may refer the original copy. This text is in the public domain in the US, but may not be so in some countries.
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