How I Used Truth - Lesson 8 - Annotation 2
What is a "treatment"? What heals all disease and lack?
2. A "treatment" is a prayer for healing of mind, body, and affairs. It is a mental and spiritual method that enables a person to lift his own consciousness from belief in limitation to faith in God or good.
When we refer to giving ourselves a "treatment," we mean doing all that is necessary in the process of prayer so that we are able to recognize and express the reality back of any situation. The "treatment" may require both the use of denial to cleanse the mind of wrong mental pictures, as well as the declaring of the Truth by affirmation. However, "treatment" does not stop with the mental processes. The mental work having been done, the soul is ready for the "inspiration of the Almighty" (Job 32:8, A.V.) that can come only by direct revelation from God in prayer.
The word treat means to deal with, manage, handle, or subject to some action. A "treatment" deals first with states of mind, then with the conditions that are to be healed. Thus our highest form of "treatment" is always prayer. By prayer we open ourselves to the action of God in our consciousness (thinking and feeling) and eventually in the actual conditions in our life that need to be healed.
We give another person a "treatment" when we "hold to the Truth" about him. If the other person is not present, our prayer is often called "absent treatment." If the other individual, whether present or not, is aware of our prayer treatment, he may open his mind to whatever is needed to manifest good in his mind, body, or affairs. When, however, we give a person a "treatment" without his knowledge, we are not in any way interfering with his own free will if we keep such a treatment impersonal. By releasing error beliefs from our own consciousness, we place the other individual in a better position to open himself to the Truth concerning his own life. Yet we are leaving him perfectly free to express Truth in his own way. There must never be any mental domination if our prayer is to be a true "treatment." (See Annotation Eight of Lesson Seven, How I Used Truth, dealing with the inadvisability of treating a person specifically for shortcomings or sins.)
A "treatment" does not make something good happen, but it prepares our consciousness to accept the good that is ours by divine right. Just as soil is prepared to accept the seeds that will bring forth a harvest, so "treatment" prepares our mind (by denial and affirmation) to accept the seeds (ideas) of Truth. It is not an act that takes place outside us, but an inner action, making us ready to lay hold of the blessings of God.
Mental suggestion alone is not spiritual treatment. It is merely the presentation of Truth ideas to the intellect, rather than the action of Truth itself in the entire being. All spiritual study at the outset "suggests" that God is Absolute Good, that man is the son of God and heir to His good in all the variety of forms that make up creation. In true spiritual treatment the individual must first accept the suggestion (which represents the "letter"). Then through prayer his words become so filled with the "spirit" (II Cor. 3:6) that the mental suggestion becomes Truth in action. It is quite possible to go no further than mental suggestion. In such a case, while some good has resulted, the seeker is still dealing only with thinking and feeling rather than moving into the realm of spiritual ideas, where pure knowing is revealed.
"The first move in all healing is a recognition . . . that God is present as an all-powerful mind. . . . Remember that the object of all treatment is to raise the mind to the Christ consciousness, through which all true healing is accomplished" (Teach Us to Pray 177,178).
Because "treatment" is a process that opens the way for the spiritual healing of every type of limitation, we naturally ask the question: "What heals all disease and lack?" Only the Word of God can possibly bring healing. When we have made our consciousness (thinking and feeling) a receptive channel, the Word of God acts to bring about wholeness in the mind. Wholeness in body and affairs follows. When we say that we are "holding to the Truth" or "knowing the Truth," we mean that we are conscious of the Word of God bringing forth wholeness, reality, for the Word of God is His Truth or plan of good in action. Truth is the steadfast fulfillment of the divine intention, the will of God being done in the individual life or in mankind in general. As God is All-Perfection, His will or plan must be wholeness for His creation, whether it be a tree, a bird, or a man. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ declared,
A realization of the meaning of this Scripture attunes us to the Truth that makes us free. We must understand, however, that there is an obligation on our part. We are to abide by the spiritual laws underlying the words of Jesus. The condition we are to fulfill is brought out clearly in His words in the Gospel of John,
Preceding Entry: What is meant by the statement, "holding to the Truth"?
Following Entry: What is "tension," and what is its effect on us and those for whom we pray?