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Chapter Twenty One - Summary and Definition
THE term "spiritual
healing" as we have been using it in these pages indicates both the
source of power and the special method employed. The efficiency is attributed,
not to human thought, not to the individual will, self, or attitude; but
to the Divine presence realized through inner responsiveness and co-operation,
and made forceful through the human spirit as means or agency. The special
method involves the attitude and agencies of the inner life, through the
use of silent meditation, control of the energies centering about the self,
poise, peace, and an affirmative faith made practical through psychological
knowledge. This method is further distinguished by the effort of those
who employ it to understand and overcome the more serious difficulties
of the life of suffering, to gain freedom for the individual, and to solve
the more central problems of those who are sensitively organized. Spiritual
healing has for its object the actual overcoming of the inner causes and
conditions which produce ill-health and misery, in contrast with methods
which deal with surfaces only, Thus it involves not merely temporary alleviation
of human ills, and the help which one soul can give another; but an educational
process extending out into the social world. It may begin and usually does
start with the alleviation of pain, and the use of "silent treatment"
for those who are unable as yet to draw upon inner resources for themselves.
It may at first be wholly concerned with problems of ill-health. But presently
it leads to character-building, the "soul's problem" or the mastery
of temperament, and the whole question of "salvation" or the
new birth. It changes from the silent method to conversational studies,
the art of the spiritual life, and spiritual re-education.
Spiritual healing, therefore,
like the original Christianity, ministers to the whole individual, as a
physical or natural being, as mental and social, moral and spiritual. Thus
it takes all the facts and conditions of disease and suffering into account,
ignoring nothing. It frankly faces the facts of heredity and environment,
the given social atmosphere, noting man's multiform nature, conscious and
subconscious. But whatever the character and force of the external circumstances
in a given case, the centre of activity is found in the inner life. Hence
the method employed implies the use of those superior agencies accessible
to the human spirit which touch the heart. If, for example, "perfect
love casteth out fear," we are concerned not with the fears to be
cast out but with the conditions that enlist the aid of "perfect love."
If there is an inner peace which "passeth all understanding,"
we must endeavor to rise above our ordinary mental processes to realize
this peace through actual inner experience.
The surpassing gift which our
age has bestowed upon us is this immediate spiritual clue to the resources
of the Divine presence. Too often in the past God has been merely historical,
heaven elsewhere, and spiritual realities mere matters to read about. It
has seemed to many that if they could not conform to the established usages
and beliefs of the Church their faith would go. The new age assures us
that Divine realities are not dependent on time or place, on creeds, institutions
or books; but on the individual's recognition and use. Here, in the priceless
eternity which is ever ours, there resides all the power, the wisdom, the
love and peace we need. We need not make the effort difficult. We need
not look for the marvelous. Wherever placed and however constituted, we
may begin today to look within and above, basing our faith on the conviction
that man is by nature so fashioned as to live in the spiritual world, to
Divine presence and to live
by it. We may in a measure need to look back to great historical scenes
in the spiritual life to regain the impetus, but only that we may recover
the Christianity which ministers to the whole man.
To be sure, one must in a measure
become aware of the urgent needs in oneself and others. We all have our
repressed emotional states, our dissatisfactions and interior conflicts.
We lack repose, we give way to fancies, worries, excitements. Few of us
possess sufficient control and mental co-ordination to use all our energies
to advantage. It is difficult for most of us to draw a line of distinction
between the fleshly organism and the soul, hence much effort is required
to work our way into the inner life as a conscious centre of reality open
to Divine resources. Yet we need not urge ourselves. The first step is
to become inwardly still, that we may by contrast realize the difference
between the outward play of consciousness and the inward activity which,
through its intervals, makes known the finer energies of the spirit.
Disease is inefficiency, scattering
of force, nervous constraint, tension. This is seen in the case of one
who is over-zealous in the effort to get ahead in the world, who is self-coercive,
insistent, drawing upon the supply of nerve-energy to the limit, and suffering
from the subsequent exhaustion and collapse. It is seen in the case of
one who is morbidly self-conscious, unsocial, cut off from the usual activities
of domestic life, hence repressed, cramped in spirit. There is much more
to be said about ill-health than this. The general physician would add
his physiological diagnosis, the nerve-specialist his description, and
so on. But we are here concerned with crucial matters. At heart the over-zealousness
which expresses itself in nervous tensions and exhaustion may spring from
undue love of self and the world, from a certain ambition or ruling desire
which must be understood and corrected. The true cure comes with the discovery
that what we truly desire, what we can best do in the world,
is possible through quiet self-knowledge
and interior control, through thoughtful adjustment to life. Health in
this sense is spiritual efficiency, the wise use of all our forces from
the centre; it is spiritual freedom and adequate self-expression through
the Divine purpose.
We are all at some stage of
the journey on this the highway of life. We were started forth
by incentives which we did not
understand. We have had experiences which we never consciously
sought. But what truly impelled
us one and all was longing for the fulness of life, desire to find our
place and do our work in the world. We have not proceeded at random, although
this has often
seemed to be the case. We have passed through the testing-times that we
needed. Each man of us belongs where he is today. There is no reason to
complain, spiritually speaking. What is called for is, awareness of the
situation, the fact of correspondence between inner circumstance and type,
between our real environment and the purpose to be realized through cooperation
with Divine guidance.
When we gain the inner point
of view we realize that life is constituted for the welfare of the soul,
with all the laws, powers, guidances and conditions required. Being thus
organized, life could not at the same time be for external things simply.
Life is adapted to that which is most worth while, to freedom, truth, beauty,
service, heaven, order, harmony, mutual life as "members one of another,"
howbeit man has tried to take life as if meant for the realization of his
desire to possess outward things to the exclusion of his brother
and the neglect of God. Naturally we are perplexed and mystified, till
we learn this. As naturally we mistake the physical organism for the soul,
searching for external causes of our disquietude and misery, disparaging
life and condemning our Maker. Inevitably our friction increases, while
in our ignorance and self-will we persist in going counter to Life.
Spiritual healing reverses all
this. It shows us
that we are in process, frequently suffering from a sense of division within
the self. By contrast we then learn that we have mistaken the process for
the efficiency, the means for the end; we have even mistaken this wonderful
instrument of ours, the physical organism, for the individual who uses
it. Thus we have become imprisoned within the flesh, swept off our feet
by whirlwinds of excitement and fear, our substance gnawed by nervous friction.
Thus we have moved on from moment to moment in the mere feeling or thought
of the passing hour; living in fragments, shifting from mood to mood. We
have had no sense of unity or wholeness, no interior consistency or constancy.
Sometimes we have striven, sometimes we have yielded. Now we have prayed,
and now rebelled as if the whole world were against us. Some of us have
been far too self-assertive, while others have surrendered too frequently.
Thus we have lacked balance, repose.
What is the faith that makes
whole? What was meant when the Master said, "Thy faith hath made thee
whole?" Surely, the Divine love thus appealing to the soul through
the open channel of faith touched the entire individual, not with reference
to sin or disease alone. Such was the openness, the responsiveness of spirit
on the part of those who came for salvation (whole- ness), that the entire
inner life was ready, gave itself in aspiration. That which we intellectual
mortals strive to attain by varied efforts during the weeks and months
and years was thereby achieved all at once. All the inner obstacles gave
way, the fears vanished, the excitements subsided, the worries ceased,
the tensions were removed, the suppressions yielded. The real inner self
was thereby called into play. Such healing was in fact creative, it produced a new combination of powers, achieved a synthesis amidst hitherto
conflicting forces. Would that you and I could so fully give ourselves
to the Spirit! Would that whole groups could so give themselves that the
Holy Spirit should, as of old, fall upon all who hear, overcoming all separateness!
The ideal of all spiritual
healing is unison with God regarded as creative love and guiding wisdom.
Through this conjunction one realizes that this end is what the Divine
power has all the time been working for although we did not know it. This
conjunction is not attained through mere humility or self-effacement; for
the human soul is not a mere medium or "receptacle," and we cannot
remain in the period of childhood. The soul is primarily active,
whatever the attitude. We are by no means merely receptive, for example,
when we complain, when we fear, rebel, lose patience, become wrought up,
nervous, excited. Nor are we quiescent when we
are pessimistic, self-centred, selfish. All these are active states,
and when we generate misery for ourselves we are affirmative, though in
a mistaken way. What we need to do is, ''about face" and use the same
energy in accord with Life, not against it. All the power we employ when
we are spiteful, angry, jealous, mean, distrustful; when we agonize and
become self-coercive, or try to control others, is in itself good; it is
primarily a question of the right use of our energies.
The Divine life in its instreaming
is, as we have seen, unmistakably dynamic, the wisdom is for our active
use, and the love for our quickening. Unless we use the life that comes
to us we can hardly expect more. This means that the peace our spirits
feel is not for our private devotions alone, not for mere piety but to
be manifested socially, in the voice, in the countenance, in service. It
means that unless we change our attitude from self-love and the love of
things to love of God and our fellow men we will not continue to receive.
It means that unless we think for ourselves we do not appropriate the Divine
Here is where the practical
method of realizing the presence of God comes to our aid. Instead of merely
enjoying, acquiescing, as many do when they listen to sermons and other
parts of a
service in church, thereby losing the impetus which calls for prompt response,
we endeavor actively to enter into and make our own the life which is for
our health, freedom, and social expression. We are aware that we must feel
or experience first in order to know; then we must think vividly, assimilate,
appropriate. Moreover, we well know that we must live first before we can
help others. But the goal of realization is service through the power of
example, through composure, inner freedom, control, poise. Every element
of the inner process of realization is a means to an end. It is the social
self that is called into wholeness of expression, The faith that makes
whole appeals to the entire individual, to stand forth, to be thankful,
glad, free, sane.
The ability to realize the
Divine presence for purposes of healing implies the possession by the soul
or spirit of higher powers than those that are conditioned by the body,
that is, intuition, spiritual receptivity, spiritual sight: spiritual senses
acting independently of the physical senses. Thus one is able to communicate
with and heal people at a distance, and healers possessing intuition in
marked degree can discern the states of their patients during; "absent
healing." The ability to disconnect the attention from
the lower level of consciousness and concentrate it upon the higher level,
in quest of Divine guidance, is also spiritual.
We start then with the fact
that by turning aside from the ordinary rush of consciousness on the natural
level one may connect one's active centre with a finer stream of energies
and so apply those energies as to produce changes in consciousness, in
mental attitude, and so (by making an impression that counts) inducing
subconscious after-effects and bodily results. The emphasis is on the dynamic
presence of God, and on the affirmative response of the soul. One thinks
of the spiritual mind (the inner centre, secret place, "mind of Christ")
as immediately open to the Divine life, according to need, and of the spontaneous
flow of thought as the first result of this quickening. Thought in this
sense (thought with the spirit, in spiritual light) is affirmative in high
degree, directive, a vehicle of the Creative Presence. It uses mental imagery,
ideas, directions of mind favoring ideals, forceful attention or concentration, at will. The spiritual activity is the central consideration. The
mental picturing or creation of ideals, the realizational process or the
particular thought employed, the affirmation selected, is instrumental.
The subconscious result follows upon the vivid mental impression, the dynamic
moment. The essential
is to find the inner kingdom, find God. The changed centre of spiritual
equilibrium then brings its quickening consequences. The specific thoughts
that occupy the mind, during the fifteen minutes or so which constitute
the silent treatment, develop out of the centralizing activity. That is
to say, the activity is more fundamental, more widely inclusive
than any one phase of the process, such as affirming, realizing, concentrating
on mental pictures, focusing the attention.
The physicist would argue that
this breaks the law of conservation of energy. But he limits energy to
the natural world, and shuts mental life into a region apart. We do not
sunder the natural from the mental in this manner, but look to the spiritual
realm as the basis of causality, the one ultimate source of energy. Consequently,
there is no chasm to bridge, no loss or creation of energy when a spiritual
impulse goes forth to produce changes in the body through the brain. It
is primarily a question of transmutation or sublimation, a different direction
given to the same energy. To say this is to hold that the soul is essentially
a centre of activity--not of mere thought.
The soul may seem to be determined
by bodily processes, and so indeed it is for most of us, most of the time.
Thus we mistake processes for the activity that stirs within them. Thus
we become prisoners
of nerves, of the brain, of habits, moods, directions of mind, stereotyped
modes of thought, customary modes of feeling, and the like. But it need
not be so. We can learn to reverse the process, living and thinking with
the activity that produces, giving allegiance to the Life within this activity.
Thus the external mental processes may be determined by the interior spiritual
states, and the brain may be controlled by first controlling the spirit.
To give assent to a wave of
angry excitement or passion is to permit the soul to become a storm
centre. To turn away from the
violent emotion and connect with the stream of peace-energy is
to feel a different mode of
motion and to give forth a different kind of vibration. Here is the process
in barest outline. You may call it either transmutation of energy, transfer
of attention or upliftment of spiritual consciousness, as you will. The
essential is to gain this power in some measure, then to increase it. When
you win it you will have a basis in actual experience on which to build.
As here regarded, the soul is
in ideal a unity, however many the phases of consciousness. On the lower
level, the soul is brought into relation with the activities of the body,
through the volitions which we cannot consciously observe because they
occur so quickly. For example, when one jumps out of a chair, one is merely
aware of a quickly formed decision to which the organism responds by habit.
A little higher, the activity is more conscious and intellectual. There
is less accompanying physical activity. The world of motion is represented
by means of ideas. Higher still, the soul is active in modes that conceivably
will survive after death. This is the level of clairvoyance, clairaudience,
the perception of mental atmospheres, communication with persons at a distance
"psychically." The soul is both active and passive on this level
(passivity is minimum activity). That is, one may become consciously receptive,
in the effort to catch a thought from another at a distance, to discern
a person's interior state according to Quimby's intuitive method; one may
be spontaneously receptive, as in the case of an interior illumination
which the mind merely watches for the time; or one may send one's activities
forth in direct cooperation with the Spirit. By contrast one is aware through
experience of the difference between this higher level and the ordinary
round of experiences.
What one feels is a finer
vibration, a great peace, a sense of inward repose. The inner self thus
touched, the personality as a whole responds. The higher activity once
received, it may be directed according to need, or sent forth to
another. To seek this inner
communion day by day is to grow in repose, refinement, equanimity. The
active centre thus developed is a vantage-point in times of stress, a centre
of reserve-power whither one may turn in perfect confidence, well knowing
that there is a boundless supply behind, that the activities of the lower
level cannot prevail against it.
Only with faltering words can
one suggest the experience at its best. Beyond the point where analysis
penetrates there is a Presence whose power lifts the soul to unwonted heights.
There one has a vision of the unity of life, the Divine order, the wise
beauty. Things and events fit together, their meaning is seen. One thinks
not so much of the present moment or the next deed, as of the fulness of
life's perfect round. Here one beholds the reality itself about which in
other moments one merely philosophizes. One lives with the world-system.
One abides with God in the eternal. One is not so much concerned with growth
as with the world of the formative Spirit. One seems almost to hear the
word before it is made flesh, one helps to make it flesh by accepting the
spiritual law. One beholds all events from the point of view of the ideal,
the details of their development seem of minor importance. Yet one receives
a new impetus to action, a new desire to share these heavenly gifts with
all whose vision
is less clear. The resulting practical impetus is the best evidence one
can give of the sanity and value of these experiences.
How shall one begin? Simply
by starting with what is clear and letting the rest follow. Here you are,
a human soul. Here is human life, loving, tender, sympathetic. Here is
God, the All-Father: you believe in His presence, His guiding love and
wisdom. Cling to this relationship, and lift the soul in responsiveness.
You are alive and have problems. Others are alive and have their problems.
In association with you are those who share your aspirations, whose contact
with you enlists your better selfhood. Study these associations to learn
what you are by what you do, to learn where you stand in the spiritual
process. Discover what is even now taking place, how the present is leading
to the future, what you are becoming.
God is here in the common. Do
not strain after Him. See Life in what you are passing through today, and
let Life have its course. Be calm at the centre, that you may truly respond.
Remember that the spiritual world is the more real world, is around us
here and now. There is no space between, no time intervening. You are a
spirit now, even in this apparently insignificant life-round. Do not postpone
the highest and best.
But remember this. The soul
sees quickly and far in the superior realm, assimilates power and wisdom
without regard to time. Thereupon the more slowly working intellectual
process begins a corresponding assimilation. The flesh responds more slowly
than the understanding. Therefore, when you have dwelt on the heights for
a season, give mind and body time to respond. Do not push them. Do not
think that you have fallen back or lost hold, even though the way is dark
and you cannot see beyond physical sensation. Give yourself time to grow.
Let yourself grow in Life's way. Keep your eye upon the heights, but be
moderate and faithful when clouds veil the summit.
If you would help another, let
love lead the way.
The desire to help is a prayer for the power of spiritual healing. The
silent, deeply poised
attitude is dynamic. Hold to this and adopt supplementary methods only
so far as may be needed. There is guidance at hand for each step of the
way. There is a "stream of tendency" or power. Pause and observe
that you may learn whither the stream is flowing. Do not judge by the sensations.
Live wholly in consciousness of the readjustments which Life is carrying
forward. Trust Life and let your dynamic attitude be quickened by it, in
Quimby's intuitive method
differed from the affirmative method now employed by those who use suggestion
as the chief agency in healing. The first dependence was put upon intuitive
impressions gained by sitting silently by the sick, and rendering the mind
(the spiritual senses) inwardly open to discern the inner conditions
and causes. The process included (1) discernment of the real interior inner
mental state or attitude, for example, rebellion, complaint, fear,
nervous excitement, bitterness; (2) knowledge of the opinion or belief
concerning the ailment, the name attached to it, the physician's diagnosis
or the patient's misinterpretation; and (3) insight into the actual condition
of the organism in contrast with the fancied condition or the patient's
belief. Thus suppressed grief might be a cause, worry over the notion that
one had committed the unpardonable sin, domestic unhappiness,
worry over financial and other
affairs; while the supposed cause might be some physical symptom
of slight moment. The actual cause discerned, one could proceed to "the
wisdom of the situation," the truth which would set the patient free.
The "silent treatment" took its two-fold clue in this way: from
the need of the patient and from the Divine truth, and varied with the
case, the need,
the special occasion. The process was realization. The healer's thought
was instrumental to the therapeutic power of the Spirit. The emphasis was
on the spiritual truth of the patient's being.
Since the early days, the
tendency has been to substitute specific affirmations for each case, and
to deny the reality of any besetting conditions. This change came about
partly because in the diffusion of the silent method among many types of
healers there were few who had either the intuition or the healing power
of the pioneers. Then, too, some people took the work up whose interests
might briefly be described as mental rather than spiritual. But if we are
interested to attain the spiritual level we will naturally advance from
merely mental methods as soon as we can, opening the spirit that it may
grow in intuition. The affirmations or suggestions do not
always "take." There
are more difficult cases which do not work out in that way. There is
often need of deep discernment
into causes. If we find a patient in an attitude of weak or rebellious
adjustment, exciting, pessimistic, self-assertive, over-sensitive, it may
be necessary to persuade him through conversation to adopt a different
philosophy of life. The more intimately we discern the heart the more directly
we can proceed. The prime interest is: intelligently to aid
the patient to understand himself spiritually, hence to begin to modify
his attitude. The explanation given includes an account of the real origin
of the trouble, and an ideal to follow. The appeal is to reason as well
as to the spirit. The further one carries the intuitive method the more
clearly one sees that no two individuals are alike, no two experiences
in the silence are alike: one is led by the spirit of the occasion. At
the same time one is free to make the best possible use of specific affirmations
or realizations, according to the case.
One should start always with
the thought of God, make vivid the idea of the Divine presence by selecting
some sentence from the Bible, such as, "Be still, and know that I
am God," which aids the process of detaching one's consciousness from
the outer world and renews the realizational activity. Some prefer always
to begin with the same sentence, since it has hallowed associations and
readily admits one into the heart of the realization. Think of the Presence
in the sense of vivifying power or energy, as quickening, life-giving.
Consider what that Presence must be in itself, undisturbed at heart, in
perfect peace, in ineffable composure, all- comprehending wisdom, all-sustaining
love. Make such affirmations as best bring this realization before you.
Then see the Spirit as going
forth from its centre
(which is everywhere, its circumference nowhere) in power-conveying activity
or vibration, going forth into action to touch the hearts or spirits of
men, imbuing them with love, guiding their minds with wisdom.
Having dwelt on the God-ward
side for a time, turn to the human and see the spirit or soul in its integrity
in the presence of this divinely perfect peace and composure, able to receive
love and wisdom according to need.
Then put the two together: "Thou
wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he
trusteth in Thee." "In Him we live, and move, and have our being"
in the sense that we participate in this vivifying, power-bringing Presence.
The inward stillness or realization invites the presence. We speak as it
were to ourselves as if for God when we say, "Be still and know that
I am God." We catch for the moment the Divine point of view, seeing
our own restlessness and lack of faith. We project our consciousness as
if looking down from a heavenly height and stilling the tempest, bidding
everything in our nature fall into line. Then it dawns upon us with clarifying
consciousness that unless we always dwelt in the ineffable Presence, unless
we always lived, moved, and had our being in God in reality (whatever
the appearance), we never could exist for a moment, we never would
continue to be. Our first step
in realization, therefore, simply brings into consciousness that which
all the way along is the supreme truth of life.
Having renewed our consciousness
of the Divine presence in general, the next consideration is in favor of
the special point on which we need help, on which another needs light.
To separate one's thought as affirmatively as possible from the old associates,
the old imagery, fears, thoughts, emotions, memories connected with the
experience which one is endeavoring to overcome, and to make this separation
clear-cut and distinctive, is to give our realization the force of a denial
of the power of the old conditions in which one has been immersed. This
in brief is what the victorious attitude accomplishes. It asserts so positively
that one must find God that it makes light of the greatest obstacle. For
this attitude means that one has so given the spirit to the ideal that
one knows no such word as fail. What we have learned thus clearly for ourselves
we can see clearly for another. We may take the other into the Presence,
seeing him in the light of the perfect ideal, in peace, in health, in freedom.
We may draw the sharpest possible line between the spirit as thus free
and the old conditions. Sometimes this can best be done by realizing such
freedom in general. Again, one finds
it desirable to be more specific, directive. The thoughts that come and
go and constitute the subject-matter of the realization, take their clue
from this directive activity.
Experience shows that a realization
is made definite by being directed to the actual life we are living today,
from within. Hence it is important to avoid being abstract, as if experience
on the natural level of consciousness did not exist at all. Sometimes indeed
there is no realization which equals the thought of the realities of the
higher level, the assertion of "pure spirit" as the only reality.
But if we overdo this thought we may be out of touch with the very life
which we wish to spiritualize. The result might be a glossing over of actual
conditions and we might seem to be meeting with splendid success, even
for years. But a state glossed over, like one suppressed, will have its
day. That is why we find some people falling from abstract grace and beginning
anew, depending an deep breathing, out-of-door exercise, vegetarian diet,
and any other physical method by which they can re-establish their balance.
But putting our idealism in relation to common sense we may begin as we
can hold out, steadily carrying our ideals into practice. And so we find
leaders going steadily on as the years pass, never falling from grace,
never experiencing a relapse or recurrence of old troubles. These have
kept their eyes on the stars while also walking wisely on earth. They have
dared affirm the realities of the higher level without denying the lessons
of the lower. They have seen the Spirit going forth into incarnation, becoming
concrete in the flesh.
To be concrete, therefore, we
need to realize that the Power or Life with us to heal is immediately at
hand in such a way that, opportunity being granted, it tends to enter where
we need it most, to proceed from the centre outward to do its regenerative
work until it touches the "ultimates" or externals. The reason
some have first had to learn to breathe deeply, change their diet, or overcome
nervous tensions by practising relaxation, before they could make much
inner headway, is found in the fact that they were beset by all these tensions,
and their mere declaration of perfection on the abstract level was not
sufficient. But if we understand these matters from within we can learn
to take off the tensions without trying now this method of relaxation and
now that, groping along for we know not precisely what. Then, working from
within outward when our ideals elevate us, our tastes change, our standards
become purer, we may change outwardly in response and find that the simpler,
purer modes of living belong with the inner changes and have come to stay.
Then as matter
of habit we will keep the system freer, more and more in harmony with the
things of the Spirit. The result will be constructive or creative health.
We will not then be forever considering how to overcome, how to demonstrate,
but will live that mode of life which brings with it health as a natural
consequence without thinking about it.
Workers in this field have reached
their present point of success by seizing upon a few practical ideas and
putting them to the test, beginning wherever they happened to be and forging
ahead. We should simplify. It is not a complex process, this method of
healing. The details may interest us but they are not necessary. We should
not expect to have these all made clear in advance of experience. There
is an element which experience itself adds when we have put into use what
we possess. So if we do nothing more at first than repeat a scriptural
sentence, holding to it steadily, this endeavor may open the way. There
is, of course, a complete spiritual science of the whole process, with
its psychological elements, its spiritual principles, with knowledge of
all the laws, forces and conditions. But this is rather the intellectual
or philosophical part of it. There are times for reviewing this part, that
we may bring all these considerations into their unity. When it comes to
actual practice, however, we need to be specific and to simplify. Thus
the three words, "Peace, be still," may suffice to open the inner
door for us, and there we are in the realm of pure Spirit. Then, pausing
a moment, a clue may disclose itself, and we we in the realm of pure Spirit
with a clue or leading.
If we could at once do what
we want to, in our impulsiveness, we might wish to take ourselves out of
the conflict of forces. But we are in this balance between heavenly love
and self-love for a purpose: to see the consequences of both, that is,
that heaven or hell begins with the one or the other; to come to judgment
in the living present, noting what has brought us where we stand; that
we may freely choose, adopt a prevailing love. Then at last when
we identify ourselves with love for God and man, in preference to selfishness,
the conflict can be overcome, will cease. That is the whole meaning of
suffering: that we may be brought to the point where we can live without
it--so far as what we produce ourselves is concerned. Then we naturally
turn about and begin to carry the glad news to others which will set them
free also. The Divine guidance holds us down to just this concrete situation
till we learn it. This is the wonder and beauty of our practical life with
God. The law of the Divine-human is the great law to learn. The same law
which seems an infliction while we are
"under the law," as the great apostle puts it, is the law of
our emancipation when we understand.
People try to evade this law
who maintain that it is only a question of "applied psychology,"
of claiming wealth and piling up the millions, as if the goal of life were
to get rich; they tell you that the spiritual can all be left out, that
we need have nothing to do with religious considerations. But granted this
higher insight for which we are pleading, it becomes plain that all the
psychological machinery, so to speak, may be lifted up to the higher level.
Then we may see with crystal clearness that "the laborer is worthy
of his hire," that there is a law of spiritual abundance such that
what we need for our life and work in the world will be forthcoming so
far as we are prepared, when we respond and move from within outward. The
law exists to "bring us to Christ," to give us "the mind
of Christ." It compels us to reap as we have sown, that we may learn
its power over us. There is no such thing as demonstration over it by the
human will or by human thought alone. To put prosperity first in rank is
to fail to find it in the true sense at all. But prosperity according
to what we deserve is indeed, like constructive health, one of the
fruits of the Spirit, one of the things that are added, that follow. The
essential is to seek the Spirit.
Links to Additional Media for Spiritual Health and Healing by Horatio Dresser such as audio and ebooks are located at the bottom of this web page.