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Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography Henry Wood

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Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography

by Henry Wood

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CAREFUL study of all the factors involved leads to the conclusion that health is teachable. Mental healing is not a result of the influence of one personality impressed upon another, but comes through the agency of Truth, made operative by correct thinking and ideal delineation.

No healer, however eminent, has any inherent power to restore the health-consciousness, but he can point out the road, and, arm in arm, lovingly conduct his willing brother along Its gradual ascent. We may also reverently infer that the divine power, even when it was fully manifested by the Christ, never healed otherwise than through compliance with the orderly laws of man's constitution. The "kingdom of God" comes not by observation, never breaking through or disregarding eternally ordained methods, but quietly, silently, and along the smooth lines that are immutably true and always in readiness.

Man's greatest need is a knowledge of himself, but he lives so generally in the objective, that, while studying almost everything else, he casts only an occasional glance within. Education popularly signifies pouring-in, rather than educing, or drawing out. To the great majority, the grand and boundless kingdom of subjectivity, with its delicate laws, harmonies, and adjustments, is a terra incognita. Science, with the aid of modern appliances, holds the fixed stars in its grasp, divines the laws and order of their constituents, movements, relations, and destiny, but gives little attention to the more wonderful universe--the human MIND-- at its own end of this grand line of relationship. From the heavenly bodies down through the vast range of materiality, to bacteria, molecules, and atoms, all alike receive thought, research, and investigation, which professes to be all-inclusive, almost entirely passes by man,-- the soul,-- notwithstanding he is a mirror and an epitome of the whole cosmic economy. Said one of the world's greatest philosophers: "Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world," and another: "The proper study of mankind is man."

Man's physical organism, like that of all animate creatures, is built by its invisible resident, and not for him. Life expresses itself through matter, but this process is never reversed. Matter, being utterly inert and passive, is seized upon by life or mind forces for the purpose of outward manifestation. In the great evolutionary scale, every grade and quality of life organizes itself in just such an embodiment as exactly corresponds to its nature The tiger-life builds the tiger-form, and so with all other kinds of life, man being no exception. Life--organized mind--is ever carving its own statuesque correspondences, true to the unseen model. Mind, in its modeling, follows not only species, but also quality to the utmost detail. Beauty, ugliness, symmetry, and distortion are alike placed upon pedestals by their immutable sculptors. But practically, though to some extent unconsciously, mind has been degraded by pseudo-science to property or function of matter.

Theology, therapeutics, sociology, and ethics have also been greatly obscured by the thick dust of materialism. But at last science is coming to a late and forced conclusion that the so-called properties of matter are only sensuous limitations. They are simply provisional and educational, for matter plays an important part as a foil in soul-development. Man, as a soul, should affirm his rule and dominion over his body as distinctly as over any other machine he uses. He should gain a positive sense that his physique is not himself, but rather his obedient servant. As a spiritual ego he should disconnect himself, in consciousness, from his lower or sensuous mind, while intuitively asserting his supremacy over it, and also over intellect and memory. As he rises above all inferiors, they lose their tyrannous dispositions and drop into beautiful ministry and subordination.

New recuperative energy can come into the human organism only through mind, but if this statement were limited to conscious mind, it would be wide of the mark. Only a small fraction of mind is upon the surface of consciousness. The human mentality may be likened to a great reservoir, into which present consciousness is always sending a trickling stream of its own hue and quality. Truth, filtering in, if long continued, at length transforms the whole to its own complexion. It is a crystal stream of right thinking. Treatments from another, through thought-vibrations received, bring the truth into the deeps of mind more directly than it comes by filtration from consciousness. The healer, through cultivation and discipline, develops such a power of concentration that his thought-waves have great clearness and intensity. It is not a hypnotic projection of will-power, but transcendent clear-sightedness. It draws a beautiful true picture, suggests an ideal, which the patient cordially accepts and adopts. Man has always possessed divine recuperative forces, but they were latent and below the surface of consciousness. He is like a discordant musical instrument containing splendid possibilities, which are only waiting to respond in unison to active harmony. His perverted and materialistic vision must be clarified, so that he can see things in their true perspective. The healer gently takes him by the hand and guides him up into his soul's "Mount of Transfiguration," where he beholds his real ego in garments of light, pure and glistening. He is thrilled with the glow of the divine image within, and it directly tends to shine forth into outward expression. The phosphorescent vibrations of love and good-will, flash through the murky atmosphere of morbidity and arouse the latent capability.

Healing ministry is not merely religious attestation; it is also scientific, because service is a fundamental law. Human inequality and variety are necessary, otherwise there would be no opportunity for the exercise of the law of ministry. Unequal conditions furnish a vantage-ground for a divine and human outpouring, and this will continue until all fragmentary and separated interests are unified. When the current of spiritual altruism overflows the boundaries of self, its crystalline tide submerges the muddy pools on every side. The patient looks within over his mental field, and discovers that the germs of wholeness that have been silently planted have germinated, and that, with his own co-operation, a crop is assured. Or his soul may be compared to a sensitive canvas, upon which the heal has drawn beautiful outlines for him to fill in with harmonious coloring.

To beautify the reflection in a mirror, we do not manipulate the glass, but change the object reflected; and so, in order to reflect a superior body, the mental pattern must be perfected. It is as natural for pessimism and evil thinking to outwardly materialize their ugly features, as for the printed photograph to be faithful to the negative. Mental pictures and thoughts of disorder, whether from perverted thinking, reading, or conversation, all stimulate objective correspondence. Dis-ease, studied for scientific or even therapeutic purposes, has the same propagative tendency.

When man feels himself to be a finited expression of divinity,--a spiritual entity, pure and simple, --he begins to publish his ideals in the external. They permeate him to the physical extremities. If he looks upon himself as "a poor worm of the dust." and a "depraved" worm at that, he will increasingly fill out the measure of his own thought. The doctrine of "natural depravity" gives men a decided impetus in that direction. On the contrary, if they can be induced to look at and magnify the divine within them, they are not only on the road to salvation, but are saved.

All outward phenomena are like stereoscopic views: they can be changed by shifting the slides, but not by a manipulation of the canvas.

The practical universe to each one is that which is built of thoughts, mental states, and delineations. No evil or disease will disfigure its pure and beautiful proportions unless it be self-imposed. There is nothing in the objective world that has any power to harm us, because it is powerless to enter unless we open the door. It behooves us to exercise our God-given creative energy to uprear and invoke pure ideals, and to arrange them after the divine plan. It is not merely a sentiment of poetic license, but a statement of scientific exactitude, that when we dwell in and link ourselves to the Infinite strength, we have no relations with weakness, evil, and disorder.

Our weak and negative states leave us open to "take on" outside prevailing conditions. If any particular order of disease or infirmity is prevalent, we open the gate,--or rather it is already open,--and it walks in, and we coddle and entertain it. We are shaken with the wind and float with the current, because we present the negative rather than the positive pole of our nature. If several persons are equally exposed to a contagion, some take it and others do not, and this proves conclusively that it has no positive power, but that the result is purely a question of receptive condition. All the power there is in disease has been gratuitously presented to it through ignorant self-limitation.

The weak negative condition of the individual and the race cannot be entirely overcome at once, but it is high time for a general movement to conquer. Soul must rise superior to environment, dominate body, and free itself from degrading and long-continued servitude. The law of the Infinite never fails, and by compliance with its provisions we enlist its unlimited might in our behalf. The shifting systems reared by intellectual scholasticism are forever being shaken, and are unworthy of dependence.

It may plausibly be urged that we are entirely subservient to what is known as hygienic law. True, in our present state of development it would be unwise to defy its reasonable and plain provisions; but yet, as we learn to depend upon higher law, we can gradually lessen our abject servitude to the lower. In all orders and grades of activity, the higher rules the lower, the inner the outer, and the immaterial the material. It is true that a law is never repealed nor suspended, on its own plane, but it can be overcome from above. When one lifts a weight, the higher law of the human will does not repeal or suspend gravitation, but overcomes it. An extreme carefulness regarding draughts, diet, exercise, and exposure, tightens the bonds of servitude to the details of hygienic regulation. One who confers such a supremacy upon particulars can never become "a law unto himself," which is the condition of true freedom. He who fears that he will take cold, is always taking cold. Said Job. "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me." Material law is supreme upon its own plane, but as the clay is moulded by the potter, so the body should be ruled and shaped by its owner. The truth makes men free in the measure that they gradually rise to the larger liberty and potency of the higher law.

Every mental and spiritual quality radiates and propagates itself, and brings its outward correspondences into action. Thought-waves are like musical vibrations. If certain strings of a piano are struck, the corresponding notes of other pianos near by are stirred into action. Deep calls unto deep, and like unto like.

Anyone who talks much of illness radiates a diseased consciousness. There are people so artificial, that they almost seem to "enjoy poor health." For a social greeting, a simple benediction would be far preferable to the stereotyped ''How are you?" or "How is your health?"

Health is always good, even when there is an evident lack of its proper expression. That threadbare, conventional topic of conversation, the ailments of self and neighbors, is a promoter of the conditions specified.

One who regards soundness as normal and to be expected, sheds it broadcast, and his very presence will strengthen and uplift. The spiritually developed mind carries with it a veritable halo, the very touch of which soothes and restores, while materialistic thought ever gravitates towards the earth and mortality.

In past time the most eminent sages and philosophers have recognized the real self as divine and innermostly holy (whole). Socrates called it the divine self. It is the true oracle, whose voice is deeper and wiser than any utterances and opinions of the intellect. We must affirm it as the only true ego,--the divine image--until the fact becomes firmly lodged in the consciousness.

The Bible has been regarded simply as a moral code, but a deeper insight shows that it is also full of scientific exactitude. Science is a knowledge of applied law. The "Sermon on the Mount" Is thoroughly scientific in the most exact sense of that term. The so-called science of the past did not recognize these facts, because its investigations were limited by the boundary of lower law, or the kingdom of materiality. Isaiah showed a profound knowledge of higher law when he declared, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." To "wait upon the Lord" conform to divine methods and ideals.

Wholeness is the manifesting of the true self, the showing forth of divine principle. Spiritual law is thoroughly utilitarian. As we perceive it and pursue the course it has marked out, it lends us its infinite potency. The ascending path to clearer perceptions of Truth is through the faithful exercise of those we already have. The Truth is far better than we can imagine, therefore we cannot plume our ideals for too lofty a flight. We must "think no evil," dwell only in the good, and build nothing else into the walls of our soul-temple. It is often said of some particular thing that, "it is too good to be true," but in reality the good is beyond adequate expression. As the superb strength, majesty, and perfection of the oak lie enwrapped in the acorn, so in our divine innermost is contained all potency, all harmony, all good.

We let more light shine by radiating its glory, and in so doing incidentally make the otherwise opaque body transparent to its beams. The divine that is in you is you. The deific incarnation in Jesus is not lowered or disparaged, but all humanity, in varying degrees of unfoldment, is lifted towards it.

In addressing our friend we should hold his true self in our consciousness, for by appealing to that we help it into manifestation. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." The Adamic condition is error and carnality, which lead to death; and the death is not physical dissolution, but the extinguishment of the sense of the good. In Christ all are "made alive;" that is, the Christly consciousness is life, health, and peace, and this causes all its seeming opposites to vanish. Such terms as the devil, hell, a roaring lion, an angry God, the consuming fire, and many other objective terms, represent states of consciousness. These are produced by an idolatrous mistaking of the unreal for the Real. " Choose ye this day whom ye will serve," or build into the mind-structure. Lip-service is naught, for all real homage is "in spirit and in truth."

The belief in physical causation has been the great racial mistake, and nowhere has it been more pronounced than in the highly intellectual and so-called scientific world. Keen searchers after causation are peering into matter to discover it, but no scalpel will never reach it, nor microscope bring it to light. "Lymphs" and "elixirs of life" will never add an iota to the fulness of the perfect--though unrecognized, and therefore unrealized--divine vitality. Even the unit of matter itself--the supposed atom--has never yet been touched nor beheld. Its very existence, therefore, is only an intellectual abstraction. The soul or life of a thing is the real thing, and this is as true of a tree as of man. The matter--whatever that may be--in either case is grasped by the life and mind-forces for temporary expression only.

A study of health, as of any other perfect and normal entity, tends towards its actualization; but research in morbidity, of whatever variety, is unwholesome. Every discovery of a new malign bacterium disease-germ, adds one more weight to the burden of apprehension that is oppressing humanity.

A positively developed spiritual nature is invulnerable to any "evil" thing known in the whole universe of God. No claim of animal magnetism, hypnotic suggestion, witchcraft, ill-luck, external circumstance, malign astrological influence, nor even adverse heredity, can shake a soul-structure of Truth.

The believer in inherent human depravity is all the time forging new links in the chain which binds him to disorder and limitation. He labors under the delusion that sin (error that comes through ignorance) has entailed upon him the "anger of God," and that vindictive penalty is due him. Penalty there surely is, but however severe, it is kindly and corrective. It id the "flaming sword" that prevents men from going to the length of self-destruction. Evil is the aspect presented by any definite stage of development or evolution, as seen from a plane more advanced. In such a light its deviation from law is obvious, but law will finally bring it into line.

We read that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick;" but since the days of the primitive church-- judging from its fruits--that kind of prayer has not been general. The prayer of doubt and uncertainty, or the petition that salvation may come, does not avail. The kind of prayer that is needed is the realization that salvation is already complete, and that its full expression devolves entirely upon ourselves. The usual petition that we may be submissive to disorder, pain, and trial, has not made; and never will make them normal or lovable. The formulas of theology practically deny the power and inclination of God to work among men as he formerly did, and yet they declare him unchangeable,--the same yesterday, today, and forever. If those who profess Godliness manifested its fruits and outwardly showed its attestations, the world could not help believing and accepting.

Constant solicitude regarding the physical welfare of our near friends, and the fear that something adverse may befall them, starts currents that actually tend towards that which is feared. The attitude of perfect trust in the growing and ripening good of all things, is only reached as the spiritual standpoint is gained. The pure optimistic ideals which the higher evolution shows to be true and scientific, are a great saving element to humanity.

It is important for everyone who is trying personally to apply these principles, to understand that all progress is vibratory and uneven. The higher standpoint is only reached through a long series of "ups and downs." To the quickened insight a possible retrograde in consciousness may seem to reach almost back to the starting--point, but in reality the outlook is broader, and the standards and aspirations have already been advanced. All our mistakes, if rightly considered, are thoroughly educational; for only through them can we learn our lessons well.

The lower and false selfhood will fight with desperation, and before finally yielding will renew the conflict again and again; but Truth is invincible, and error must at length give way. The purifying fire seems to burn us, but in reality it destroys only "the wood, hay, and stubble" which claim our selfhood. With all its threatenings it only cleanses, polishes, and brings out in high relief, the beauty of the divine humanity. All so-called evils and disorders are existent as conditions, but have no reality as entities. Conditions and educational experiences serve their purpose and come to an end, but all true verities are eternal, because they are divine.

Love is the great healing power of the universe. We are miserable because we are full of conscious and unconscious antagonisms, and believe that "things are against us." On the contrary, every real force in existence is friendly. Whenever we send out loving thought in generous profusion, every part of our environment echoes back a sweet benediction.

Even seeming enemies, personal and impersonal, are no exception. Love invigorates. Its electric thrill sends new life through sluggish minds, weak bodies, and paralyzed limbs. At the Beautiful temple gate, Peter and John concentrated such a current of healing love upon the lame man, that he at once walked, leaped, and praised God. That wonderful power has not been withdrawn from the world, for God never takes back; and it only needs the same consecration and positive spiritual clearness in some modern Peter and John for like manifestations now. Love is the great universal spiritual law of attraction which binds God and all His creatures into harmonious unity, wipes away all tears, and heals all seeming infelicities. New Thought Music is music from the soul

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