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Lesson 19 - Practical Healing
 "Currents of thought," says Davis, "like the tidal waves of the sea, may often be traced, outlined, measured, and foretold."
Again: "The suggestions made through the five channels of sense are carried to the receptive centers of the brain, and there recognized and utilized for the purpose of carrying on the progress of evolution, which is slowly, but surely, lifting man from an ignorant past to an intelligent future. Through these avenues the human mind is receiving nourishment. Through these senses, force is entering into the conscious ego, and the result is change, wisdom, growth. With this knowledge we must then admit that thoughts are entities, or manifestations of force. It has always been observed that when the nervous system is calm and quiet, ideas are most easily transmitted to the seat of consciousness, and when so transmitted, make the most powerful and lasting impressions. Hence, if we desire to make a sudden and lasting impression on the mind, we first soothe, or tranquilize it, and literally drive the thought (we wish to give the patient) in."
The point to be deduced from the above quotation is that thought is not a nothing, but an actual force; and if an actual force, then it is a substance.
And this is true. Thought is one of the finest and most powerful substances on earth--probably the most powerful substance in the universe. A substance in comparison with which all other substances are negative. Of course all thought is not equally positive. Thought that has its rise in a belief in evil is negative to thought founded on a belief in universal good.
Thought, then, is a substance, and when charged with the will of the individual goes forth to perform the mission with which it is entrusted. It is in this way that thought heals.
If the healer is treating himself he wants to convince himself that he is not sick. Every joint in his body may be racked with pain, but he abstracts his thoughts from the pain as much as he can, and begins to reason with himself on the subject. He says: "Now, here my body is, right down among the old negative beliefs; beliefs that my growing intelligence has taught me to deny as not belonging either to my desire or my will. What am I to do? Am I to remain down in the body which is simply a bundle of inherited beliefs, all of which are negations of my newer and higher thought, or shall I rise into the thought-chamber above the old negative beliefs and see whether I cannot find an antidote for them?" Now there is only one way of getting into this higher chamber, and that is by calling up the proofs of your own mastery until you perceive that you are a living spirit or will, and then concentrating your thought on the fact that you are a living will, and as such you are the greatest power on earth, and nothing can come against you.
 When you perceive the mighty power vested in the will--a power that really controls all things--you will be in a position of true mental creativeness. It is from this position that you speak the creative word. You can now affirm, in perfect consistency with your high intellectual attitude: "I am well. I have no pain. I am strong and vital. I am in glorious health."
Now, do you see the two positions here indicated? If this assertion is made from the lower brain, the brain which has given birth to our beliefs just as they are recorded in these present bodies, they would seem untrue; we ourselves could not accept them; we should feel that we were lying. But by ascension into the idealistic brain, through the course of reasoning embodied in these lessons, we can make these statements and perceive that they are true. Just as certain as we go up to this high place and remain there in the full possession of our reasoning powers long enough to see for a fact that we are not sick, and that we do not have to accept the statement of the lower intelligence, we will be well. The upper condition of thought, or the thought born of the higher brain, is positive to the thought born of the lower brain, and it literally sets it aside and takes possession.
Then our thoughts may descend again to the everyday brain and pursue the ordinary trend of things, and there will be no more pain. But, the pain may come again several times--the old habit of thought being too strong to be wiped out in one treatment--and each time it will be necessary to destroy it in the same way. Presently it will cease to come.
In treating a patient the healer wants to place the patient in a position where he can secure for him the most negative condition possible. To do this he would better place the patient on a chair in front of himself. He must not touch the patient. Let him sit quite close to the back of the patient's chair. Then he must see the argument for himself that will lift him up above the realm of disease beliefs--which is the realm projected by the everyday brain. He must go up into his ideal brain just as he did in self-treatment. In this higher brain he will realize his own will, or spirit, and he will see that no power can stand against it. Up to this point his treatment of the patient has been precisely like self-treatment. Indeed it is self-treatment. But now, while in the place of clear recognition of his will, where he makes the assertion of his own power over all the beliefs and conditions projected by the lower brain, he perceives the universality of the Law that makes all men brothers; and through this fact he recognizes the will, or spirit, of his patient; and so with the firmest conviction of his power to create, not only for himself, but for all who will become conjoined in thought with him by a belief in him, he pronounces the patient well.
But suppose the patient does not respond; suppose that he is not well. What then?
It often happens that the healer cannot pronounce the word of healing with a clear conviction of its truth. He may not have reached the high place of positive power; and if he has not, the work will not be done, although the beginning of the cure will have been made. The healer even in making an imperfect attempt has set the Law in operation, and some good has been effected.
Again, the healer may have pronounced the perfect word from that high understanding of positive truth that cannot be refuted, and yet the patient will not appear changed much for the better; and now, what is in the way? It is the patient himself this time; he has not held himself receptive; he has not come into conjunction with the healer's thought. And yet, some good has been accomplished. The word of positive, life giving truth never returns to its originator void. It does produce effect, even though that effect seems slight. And the efforts of the healer in both cases I have mentioned  must be repeated again and again until the patient is cured. For the cure is absolutely sure to follow if both patient and healer work diligently and in faith. No effort in this direction ever goes unrewarded.
The healer has to believe in his own creative power before he can heal successfully in all cases. But a faithful study of these lessons will establish him in the firm conviction of his own creativeness. And oh, what a position it is! I shall not attempt to describe the greatness and power of this position. It will gradually dawn on the student's perception as he goes diligently over these lessons again and again.
I do not guarantee this power to any student who is not willing to bend all his energies to an understanding of this subject. Study, study, study, is what he needs. The whole meaning of this wonderful subject will unfold itself only as it unfolds the student's intellect to a comprehension of it. The second reading of these lessons will produce an entirely different effect on the student from the first reading. The third reading will develop strange truths that he had not discovered before. And so it is, the lessons will grow and grow, disclosing more and more of the true bread of life as the student grows and strengthens in power to receive it. It will be like the babe's coming on this planet; milk is all that the world holds for him at first; just a spoonful of milk out of all the bountiful earth's fullness, of which he does not even dream in his sleepy content.
I have now given years of faithful study to the subject of these lessons, and yet I feel that I have reached only the threshold of the infinite knowledge about to be discovered and made applicable to the coming needs of the race. I know that I cannot finish the subject of these lessons when the present set of twenty lectures is completed. I know that each new thought in unfolding sends out shoots for further unfolding, and that after a time--a very short time, possibly--I shall be writing other lessons.
A few words more in relation to healing. The helplessness and weakness that we almost constantly feel is incarnated in the coarser, deader atoms of our bodies. It is impossible to remain in this strata of lethargic intelligence and proclaim our freedom from the beliefs inherent to the condition itself. Or, if we do proclaim them, it will be like the babble of children, who do not realize the truth they are speaking. Our affirmations of freedom, under the circumstances, are hedged in by the old beliefs, and to a great extent they are smothered by the old beliefs. Therefore it is necessary to go up into the ideal, and make our affirmations from the high place of our understanding, because it is here alone in the present stage of our growth that we can make ourselves believe to the full the high meaning and the force of our statements. It is here alone that we can establish our intelligent will power.
In ascending into the ideal our thoughts are building in a higher and lighter and more ethereal and vital atmosphere, and do not meet the opposition that they do in attempting to build on a lower plane. In this atmosphere there is less deadness, or inertia, to overcome. The forces that our thoughts attract through the correlation between our desires and the external substances are more vital, more pliant, and more obedient to our will. In the ascension I speak of, the thoughts are more powerful than when on the horizontal plane of development, and the external substance that clothes them is more obedient and more highly vitalized. Therefore a growth from the ideal faculties when once established is going to be much more rapid than at present.
I will abide in the high place of my aspiration in hope and free from fear. Why, this high place is the abode of hope. It is the only place where it is possible to actualize freedom from the  bonds that tighten about us so painfully in the lower place of thought--the place from which the race is now living.
The body builds the brain, but the brain shapes the body. Everything pertaining to the body, all its faculties and appetites and powers, all its senses, all its limitations, all its diseases, and all its belief of every description have been planted in it and shaped by the brain from which it is now living; the brain that today rules the affairs of man through all the various departments of life.
This brain from which the race is living is a better and nobler brain than the merely brute brain that ruled it ages ago when men were simply untamed animals; but this improved brain from which we live today, is as much inferior to the idealistic brain as the brute brain is inferior to it. And there will be as much difference between the men projected by the idealistic brain, and the men projected by the brain from which we are now living, as there is between the men of today and the animals from which they sprung.
It is the character of the brain that gives shape and power to the body. The higher the quality of thought generated by the brain, the higher the quality of mental atmosphere will the man breathe into his body, and the more will he become refined, concentrated, purified, and beautified.
Death and disease and every manner of bodily decay are caused by the earth's gravitation drawing to herself all substance that does not sufficiently resist her attraction. The only way a man can resist her attraction is by recognizing his spirit, and by learning that his spirit, or will, is superior to her attraction, and indeed superior to all things.
And this is just what these lessons have been teaching. They are a constant denial of that unconscious power vested in the earth's bulk; the power that draws all things within the radius of her influence toward her bosom. They are a constant affirmation of the fact that an intelligent recognition of the will by the individual overcomes this blind attraction of mere bulk and weight. This idea, carried into practical results, will first overcome disease and weakness; after this it will overcome old age and death, both of which are simply the yielding of the individual to the earth's attraction, simply because he does not know that "he don't have to do it."
Oh, the value this little sentence has been to me! "I don't have to." It is the first thought that comes when I feel the pressure of any environment. "I don't have to stand it." I am a free citizen of the universe. I have demonstrated the power of my own will in the breaking of bonds, and "I don't have to" put up with anything I don't want. It fills me with strength, not of brute resistance, but of the understanding of the law; the law to which I have attached myself by my understanding of it.
A patient has just been here. And because this is a lesson on practical healing I shall give an account of her case, and of the way in which I conducted her treatment. When I first saw her she was diseased all over. Her liver and kidneys were almost inoperative; her digestion was bad; and there was something the matter with both her ovaries, so that her abdomen was greatly distended and hard, and she suffered in almost every imaginable way.
After treating her for a month her digestion was better. She then had a bilious attack that kept her in bed three days. After this she seemed quite improved. Then came what the doctors would call a relapse, but which was an advancement instead of a relapse. She was taken with severe pains in the back, and could hardly stand alone for a week. I knew what this meant. It was an effort of nature to arouse the kidneys to renewed action, just as the liver had been aroused to action.
After this she seemed in pretty fair health for a month, and was greatly  encouraged. I knew she had another bridge to cross before she would be well, but I did not tell her so. One morning she came to me in a very discouraged frame of mind. The abdomen was harder than ever, and there was a constant bearing down in the region of the womb, the pain of which went through all the pelvic region, and even made her limbs ache like rheumatism. I saw instantly that the treatments had taken effect at last in the most diseased part of the body. The first thing the treatments had done was to induce a better state of the digestive system by which more and richer blood had been generated. The second effect was the waking up of the torpid liver and kidneys and compelling them to do their duty again. After this, more and better blood was made for a month, and her system grew a good deal stronger. Then the whole force of her renewed system began to be directed toward the removal of the difficulty in the ovaries.
I had no idea what was the matter with the ovaries. They were very much enlarged, and that was the extent of my knowledge. But I did know that when that constant bearing down pain was there, her strengthened blood had made up its mind to remove the impediment, whatever it was, and I knew that it would be done in one or two ways. It would cease to feed the tumors, if they were tumors, and would cast them out by liquefying them and discharging them through the womb. If there were no tumors there, but only an inflamed condition of the ovaries, with a permanent enlargement, I knew that the absorbents would gradually take up the foreign substances and pass them off with the other wastes of the system. In a few days there began to be a discharge from the womb; the pain grew less and less; the abdomen softened and became smaller. This went on for two months, and the patient quit treatment. I had treated her nearly five months. She was well enough to be abandoned to nature alone. Before long she was perfectly sound.
Now I have described this case from a purely "physical" standpoint and yet I never once recognized the patient's conditions from this standpoint. In treating her I would place her in a chair before me and immediately relax my body, and raise my thoughts into the idealistic realm. Here in this high place I would concentrate the whole argument embraced by these lessons into the compass of a few sentences, and would bend my intellect to the effort of realizing their truth and force. Now, this whole truth being purely idealistic--that is to say, projected from the high, ideal faculties--I could never have realized it if I had remained in the horizontal or everyday brain. I had to raise my thoughts above the ordinary level of thought from which our present lives are projected, into the realm of the high, the unconfined, the spiritual sphere, where I could feel myself fetterless; could feel my mastery; where I positively knew my power to create.
I answer, to create thought that was positive to the thought of my patient. My patient's thoughts all took the form of beliefs in her own helplessness. My thoughts took form in beliefs of her own power--which she knew nothing of at the time.
Thought being actual substance, and substance of untold force, and her thought being a weak, negative character of thought-substance, was overborne or conquered by my thought. But remember, in conquering her negative thought I had not conquered my patient's will, as our enemies accuse us of doing. I had simply helped her to vindicate her own will by conquering those negations to her will as expressed in beliefs of disease. Therefore I had strengthened her individuality instead of weakening it.
I am sure my students will want to know just what I said to my patient when I addressed her mentally as she  sat before me in perfect silence; and it is going to be difficult for me to tell this. The fact is I say so little. I seem to be in a state of such supreme consciousness of the truth that disease is a mistaken statement of being--that the thought is seldom formulated in words in my mind. And when the words do shape themselves in my mind they are so few and so simple that they would mean almost nothing to the person who is not lifted into the realm of the ideal from which the thoughts proceed. I can scarcely recall anything except, "You are not sick. You are mistaken. What you call your sickness is a mere negation of your will, or spirit; a mere denial of its power by your foolish, inherited beliefs. You do not have to live in the statement of life you inherited from your mother. I will make a new statement for you, based upon a higher knowledge of the power vested in a human being. And this is my statement: You are well; you are strong; you are happy and hopeful and good and noble and true. You stand fully equipped for meeting every emergency in life. I see such beautiful seeds of promise unfolding in you; seeds that are going to burst open in full bloom and fruitage from the simple power of one person to recognize them." This, and more to the same effect, is what comes to me in treating a patient. These words when analyzed from the low plane of everyday intelligence seem absurd and exaggerated; but from the high place to which the healer's thoughts ascend they do but feebly represent the noble, unfettered character of the truth she speaks.
And they are creative. They do create. Here is the great fact. They invade the body of the patient, and they change his beliefs in disease to beliefs in health.
It often happens that a patient will begin to take treatment and soon become discouraged and quit. A few months afterward I will hear from, or see him, and he is entirely well, and occasionally I am informed by one that he got well without the treatments when the treatments failed to cure him.
Now the fact is, the treatments did cure him; and it is no uncommon thing for this to happen. There is a cause of this. The patient's attitude of thought during the treatments had not been the right one. He had failed to make himself receptive to the healer's thought. He had in some way--not understood by himself--locked himself up from the healer, so that her thought had not penetrated his organism to any extent. And now note this fact: the thought the healer had given him was of a high and positive character. Moreover it was charged with a purpose; it had a certain work to do, and it just went with that patient wherever he went; hovered around him in the atmosphere of his own thought, and waited until the time came when he was open to the reception of it. Then it took possession of him and gradually wrought out the purpose in him intended by the healer. Thoughts are things; they have shape and substance; we could see them if our sense of sight were finer. But all our senses are rudimentary now.
In concluding this lesson there are some general directions to be given. The first is that the healer must not relax his faith in his own ability to speak the word that creates health; and he must not doubt that the word he speaks will do his bidding; for it is certain to do his bidding if he speaks it in the understanding of its power. Let him be faithful and patient in standing by the healing word after he has spoken it.
The attitude of the patient should be one of reposefulness. He must not make any frantic efforts to become reposeful, but must drop himself and his disease out of his mind as nearly as he can. I will furnish herewith the text from a little printed slip I am in the habit of giving my patients to read, and will conclude this lesson with it.
These directions are meant to apply  to the patient only so long as he is under treatment. After he is well, his own will will take the place of the healer's will.
Directions for Patients
Drop from your mind all responsibility of yourself or your own case. Feel that you have nothing to do for yourself after you have come into my thought. You can come into my thought by saying to me mentally, "In the spirit of universal brotherhood you and I are one. If your thoughts are more positive than mine they will have the effect of changing mine, and raising them to the level of belief where your thoughts dwell. I know and acknowledge that my thoughts live almost entirely in the disease realm, and that yours do not. Therefore I willingly surrender mine to yours. I want you to recast them in a higher and more truthful mold. I want you to convince me that disease is a powerless thing; that it cannot create and that it yields nothing but pain and death. I am striving to make the thought connection with you for no other purpose than this. I believe your thought--educated in the power that an understanding of man's master confers--will do for me just what you claim for it. Therefore I rely on you. I will let you do my thinking for me until you have corrected the errors of my inherited belief. I accept your statement that thought is a fluid that can be transmitted from one brain to another. So I am sending my erroneous thoughts to you to have them revised and made over in a way to benefit me.
In this way our thoughts will form an exchange. You will send me your erroneous thoughts and they will lose themselves in my own, from which all beliefs in the power of disease have been cast out by a greater knowledge of the all-pervading law of life than you yourself have as yet attained. In this way, my thought will become your thought; it will reconstruct you; it will literally rebuild you by casting out your diseased and weakened and painful conditions, and substituting healthful ones. You will have exchanged the old for the new. Your diseased body will find itself growing well with the realization of eternal life you have absorbed from me. So all you need do is to rest and be infilled with strength, and to have faith and to enjoy all things in the happiest manner possible. And in a little time you will be freed; --as one who has carried a heavy burden is relieved and made free by casting his load on the ground forever.
If at any time you feel that you are not progressing as you wish to, read these directions over again; because not to progress will prove that you are not resting on my power in the proper attitude of relaxation, or that you are not keeping your thoughts enough off of yourself.
Patience on your part is absolutely essential. Impatience is a sure sign of anxiety, and anxiety will interfere with the healing. Nothing will so aid you in getting well quick as to be patient.
One more direction--a very important one--and I shall conclude.
You will find within yourself two attitudes of thought entirely opposed to each other. One of them is hope or desire; this attitude of thought points upward and onward.
The other attitude of thought is fear, which points downward, and which leads to the grave.
Now, you are bound to live in one or the other of these attitudes of thought. You are bound to trust one or the other of them, and your very life depends on which you trust; for you live in the one you trust.
Therefore you must learn to trust your hopes and desires, and to turn your back on your fears.
This will come easy to you after you have practiced the habit of relaxing yourself, and have learned to ignore your troubles.
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