IT IS A striking fact that even back in the time of Moses the health of the people was considered of great importance and was always mentioned in connection with their spiritual welfare. If they were obedient to the law, they kept in health; if disobedient, they fell sick. The same law that brought about these results has always been operative and is active in our midst today. Faith in God as the health of His people and obedience to the law of Being bring health. Distrust and disobedience produce ill-health.
It has been proved again and again that there is a definite relation between the thoughts of man and the conditions in his body. Scientists of the world are experimenting with mental processes and are discovering that the old Scripture writers knew whereof they spoke when they taught that sin produces sickness and righteousness health. It is known that infants have been poisoned by the milk from the breasts of angry mothers. Persons under the stress of fear suffer a loss of appetite. Many other illustrations of the effect of discordant mental states come to those who study mind and its manifestations. Job understood the relation between a mental concept and its result. He said: "The thing which I fear cometh upon me" (Job 3:25).
In the past century there has been a general awakening among people to the realization of the relation between righteousness and health, and men everywhere are seeking the knowledge of God and His healing power. God becomes to them their "all-sufficiency in everything" (II Cor. 9:8). This all-sufficiency manifests itself to them according to their needs. To one it is health, to another it is freedom from bondage to some habit, to a third person it is illumination.
Jesus was the great teacher and example of obedience to the law of constructive thinking. All His commandments and sayings tend toward the enhancement of life and health and harmony. The reforms that man in mortal consciousness tries to make are all based on destructive ideas set to work in the external. The reform of Jesus is an inner transformation: "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matt. 5:17). He came not to tear down but to build up. If we follow Him we shall give our strength and substance and thought force to constructive activity.
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In order to understand the Scriptures and especially the portion of them that gives the life and experiences of Jesus it is necessary to study the action of the mind. The movement of every mind in bringing forth the simplest thought is a key to the great creative process of universal Mind. In every act is involved mind, idea, and manifestation. The mind is neither seen nor felt; the idea is not seen, but it is felt; and the manifestation appears.
The history of mankind in the majority of its aspects shows a steady growth or ascent from a lower
to a higher estate. In the forms of nature external to man the same law of development is seen. Jesus' statement that "the earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear" (Mark 4:28) is a recognition of the truth that evolution in the earth is universal.
The progress of man through the aid of uplifting influences has been especially marked in the education of the mind. In the field of mathematics alone almost unbelievable increase in the understanding of abstract truth has been gained over a period that began with the crude though systematic work of the Egyptians, about 2500 B.C., and extended to include the seventeenth-century research of Leibnitz, who developed the branch of higher mathematics known as the infinitesimal calculus.
Steady progress has been the rule also in that phase of life which deals with a man's relations to his fellow men. The various activities of social service have led to improved working conditions, better homes, and more helpful environments for those whose condition of life has called for the help of their brothers. Sociology has thus resulted in many movements for the uplift of mankind.
In the field of religion the upward march has been especially remarkable. There is a wide range of religious experience between the blindly groping faith that caused men to pass their children through the fire as sacrifices to their deities and the divine consciousness of Jesus Christ, who submitted His body to the purifying fire of the Spirit and came
forth alive with a life that never dies.
The healing of the body of man must follow the law of evolution, in common with the education of his mind and the adjustment of his social relations. Jesus did His healing spiritually. When He was told of the "great fever" of Simon's mother-in-law, He administered no drug to reduce her temperature. Instead He "stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her" (Luke 4:39). Jesus knew the law that "without any dispute the less is blessed by the better" (Heb. 7:7). He knew that the blessing of health comes through the exercise of faith on the part of the man who seeks it, that faith opens the mind to the influx of power from on high, and that the power of the Highest heals all diseases both of soul and of body.
When faith is sufficiently strong to dissolve all adverse conditions and to open the mind fully to the power of God, healing is instantaneous. In the natural course of events the patient who survives a fever goes through a long, slow convalescence; hence perhaps the name "patient." Jesus had no "patients" although He healed many who were "sick with divers diseases." Simon's mother-in-law rose up immediately and went about her work when Jesus denied the power of the fever to hold her.
After a busy day of teaching in the synagogue in the course of which Jesus restored to his right mind a man who "had a spirit of an unclean demon," He ended the evening by healing, without exception, "every one of them" that were brought to Him (Luke 4:40). He had spent no time in the study of pathology prior to
this work. Shortly before that time He had spent forty days in the wilderness in communion with God and in setting His own purposes in order by the light of the divine understanding that He had gained there. After each season of healing and intensive teaching He again withdrew into a desert place or to a mountain, either alone or in company with His apostles, and there obtained a new influx of power from the Father. So the healing work went on. There is no record of incurables.
Further there is no record that Jesus took any precautions to avoid infection when He was engaged in healing the sick. He was without fear of evil because He acknowledged only the power of the Highest, which is good. He put His hand on the leper to prove to him that He was fearless and confident. He spoke six short, decisive words, "I will; be thou made clean" (Matt. 8:3 Mark 1:41 Luke 5:13); and we are told that "straightway his leprosy was cleansed" although the Scripture shows that he was in the last stage of the disease ("full of leprosy"). There were no long explanations, no instructions given. Jesus simply turned His super-will upon the leper, and the power of the Highest flowed through Him instantly to do its perfect work. Then only did an instruction follow. The leper was told to offer the usual praise and sacrifice to God and to ascribe his healing to the Highest rather than to the power of personality.
Jesus always connected sin and sickness as cause and effect. When the man sick of the palsy was let down through the roof of a house that he might be
brought before Jesus for healing, there were those present who expected the healing to be done in some mysterious way; and when Jesus spoke of forgiving the man's sins in order to heal him they said: "Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" These men lived in a material world and saw everything from a material viewpoint. They did not understand that the man's sins caused his palsy. As a proof of man's power to forgive sin and thus heal the effects of sin Jesus said when the man was brought for healing:
"But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God" (Luke 5:24).
Jesus taught plainly that the mind was the place of origin of every act. He said that if there was lust in the heart, it was sin even though no overt act were committed. All thinking people in this day accept without question the fact that the body is moved by the mind; and those who have made a study of mental processes have found that all the conditions of the body are brought about by the mind; also that there is a law of right thought and that a departure from that law is sin or "missing one's aim," which is the original Hebrew conception of sin.
Forgiveness really means the giving up of something. When you forgive yourself, you cease doing
the thing that you ought not to do. Jesus was correct in assuming that man has power to forgive sin. Sin is a falling short of the divine law, and repentance and forgiveness are the only means that man has of getting out of sin and its effect and coming into harmony with the law. But who can tell what the law is? Only those who study man as a spiritual and mental being. Study of manifestation alone is futile; it leads nowhere. We must get at it from the cause side. All sin is first in the mind; and the forgiveness is a change of mind or repentance. Some mental attitude, some train of mental energy, must be transformed. We forgive sin in ourselves every time we resolve to think and act according to the divine law. The mind must change from a material to a spiritual base. The law is already fixed; there is nothing in it to be changed, because God is the lawgiver and does not change. The change must all be on the part of man and within him. The moment man changes his thoughts of sickness to thoughts of health the divine law rushes in and begins the healing work.
The law is Truth, and the Truth is that all is good. There is no power and no reality in sin. If sin were real and enduring, like goodness and Truth, it could not be forgiven but would hold its victim forever. When we enter into the understanding of the real and the unreal, a great light dawns upon us and we see what Jesus meant when He said, "The Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins." The Son of man is that in us which discerns the difference between Truth and error. When we get this
understanding, we are in a position to free our soul from sin and our body from disease, which is the effect of sin. Sin is the result of desire manifesting itself in erroneous ways and may be compared to the errors of the child working a problem in mathematics. When the error is discovered and there is a willingness to correct it, under the law of forgiveness man erases it as easily as the child rubs out the false figures in his exercise. Thus in spiritual understanding, the I AM of man forgives or "gives" Truth "for" error; the mind is set in order and the body healed. The moment man realizes this he puts himself in harmony with the Truth of Being, and the law wipes out all his transgressions.
In denying the reality of sin send out your freeing thought to others as well as to yourself. Do not hold anyone in bondage to the thought of sin. If you do, it will pile up and increase in power according to the laws of mental action.
No one can understand how forgiveness sets free the sin-bound soul and the sick body unless he studies mind and has some understanding of its laws. There is a universal thought substance in which thought builds whatever man wills.
The right images become active through the power of thought. Man has unlimited power through thought, and he can give his power to things or withhold it. If he thinks about the power of sin, he builds up and gives force to that belief until it engulfs him in its whirlpool of thought substance. He forgets his spiritual origin and sees only the human.
He thinks of himself as a sinner "born in sin and conceived in iniquity" rather than as the image and likeness of God.
Man also sees the law of sowing and reaping, and he fears his sins and their results. Then fear of the divine law is added to his burdens. The way out of this maze of ignorance, sin, and sickness is through man's understanding of his real being, and then the forgiving or the giving up of all thoughts of the reality of sin and its effects in the body.
But we must recognize the unity of the race in Christ and include all people in our forgiving. A good freeing statement is:
"I do not believe in the power of sin in myself or in others."
If anyone tries to free himself while holding others in the thought of sin, he will not demonstrate his freedom. No man can rise except as he lifts the race with him in his thought: "and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself" (John 12:32). As by one man sin came into the world so by one man it is taken away. As all were included in the sin of one so all are included in the righteousness of one, and every man stands sinless before God in Christ. Recognition of this will make men free, and the greater the number of men that recognize and declare the Truth the sooner will all men know that they are free from sin in Christ.
You must build upon faith in the reality of the spiritual. The next step is to put your selfishness away. There cannot be two in this kingdom. It is the
kingdom of God, and man must give up. The John the Baptist must recognize the Son of God that is in you and that this Son must be always active in you in love, life, and power. The kingdom is for the larger man. The personal man must be eliminated.
The next step is love, universal love: not the love of earthly possessions but the love of spiritual things. We must give up the flesh man and all his possessions and at the same time lay hold of the spiritual man. Then we have everything although apparently we may have nothing. This is a difficult proposition to those who think in terms of material ideas. You must be able to get away from all thought of material things. "Love ... seeketh not its own"; "is not puffed up" (I Cor. 13:5). Love is not selfish. We cannot have selfishness and love at the same time. We cannot have this universal brotherhood unless we love everybody. We must love all because we are all one. There must be in our consciousness a recognition of the universal right of all to all the possessions of the world.
Then there must be this inner growth that is a fuller consciousness of the new life which comes with the entering into this kingdom of Christ.
The fact is that there is a foundation for this world-wide movement in behalf of purer men and better things for all. There is something back of it all, and the old conditions, diseases, and limitations must pass away; and the time is now ripe for entering into this kingdom, this attainment of the spiritual side of life, this growing of a new body; and every one of us can enter in if we only will to do so.
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True, in all actual transformation of mind and body a dissolving, breaking-up process necessarily takes place, because thought force and substance have been built into the errors that appear. In each individual these errors have the power that man has given to them by his thought concerning them. These thought structures must be broken up and eliminated from consciousness. The simplest, most direct, and most effective method is to withdraw from them the life and substance that have been going to feed them, and to let them shrivel away into their own nothingness. This withdrawal is best accomplished by denial of the power and reality of evil and affirmation of the allness of Spirit. Nothing is destroyed, because "nothing" can't be destroyed. The change that takes place is merely a transference of power from an error belief to faith in the Truth, through the recognition that God is good and is all that in reality exists.
The doctrine of the Trinity is often a stumbling block, because we find it difficult to understand how three persons can be one. Three persons cannot be one, and theology will always be a mystery until theologians become metaphysicians. It is necessary to understand the Trinity in order to be healed in soul and body.
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God is the name of the all-encompassing Mind. Christ is the name of the all-loving Mind. Holy Spirit is the all-active manifestation. These three are one fundamental Mind in its three creative aspects.
We have to be healed physically, mentally, and
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spiritually. Often people think they are sick physically when they are just sick in soul. It is easy to understand how the idea of perfect health may exist in the great Father-Mind; also how that idea may become active in the individual and manifest in his life. This simple comparison clears up the mystery of the Trinity. Here are the Scripture symbols compared with modern metaphysical terms:
- Father—Son—Holy Spirit.
- I AM—I AM conscious—I appear.
We want the actual overcoming power of Christ. To get this we must appreciate life and enter into it thankfully and heartily. "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." This abundant life is always present. When we recognize it and open our consciousness to it, it comes flowing into mind and body with its mighty quickening, healing power, and they are renewed and transformed.
The following affirmations are for the purpose of establishing the whole man in the consciousness of unity and health. They are given as they came into mind without any attempt at classification:
My body does not starve for my love and appreciation of it. I recognize it, honor it, and love it as the body temple of the living God.
I have now the only body I ever had. Though I were reincarnated a thousand times, yet is my body
the same. It is I. Its appearance depends on my beliefs and thoughts and changes accordingly, but it is always the same body, even as my soul and spirit are always the same. My body is as much a part of my individuality as my soul. It is eternal, like any other part of my I. It is I, even as my soul is I.
I cannot disown my body and say that I borrowed it from my parents. This is not the truth. I may have taken up some of my parents' error beliefs and built them into my body; but my body came from no one but God. It came from Him with my spirit and soul and has ever coexisted with them. These three are one, inseparable. It is the belief in man that his body is separate from him and is something that he merely owns that makes the appearance of separation. I do not own my body: I am body. I do not own my soul: I am soul. I do not own my spirit: I am spirit. And these three are one.
The redemption of the body depends on my having the right idea of body. It must be the divine idea, and there must be no other. The eye must be single.
My body (or I manifested as body) is not filled with error, sin, discord. Beholding myself free from these keeps me manifesting thus. The law of growth is in beholding. While I behold the body as anything else but its divine idea I hold it there. It can never change before the belief of it changes.
I am. I am in every cell of my body. I am every cell of my body. I do not disown my body. I do not withdraw my I, but I take possession—full possession—of every part in the name of the Lord.
I now fully identify myself with my body even as with my soul and spirit, thus making the at-one-ment.
Since my body is I, if there appears resistance in it, that resistance is my own; it comes only from me. It comes from my failure properly to identify myself with my body. The way to get control is to take it. This I do, not by will power, by personal force, or by anything that recognizes my body as separate from me, but by my consciousness of oneness with it. This unifies all of me and stops all resistance.
My body is life, purity, wholeness, sinlessness. In my flesh I see God. What I see, what I behold, becomes manifest.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God."
I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, even in my flesh. "Not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life."
The idea of the body as an earthly house is now dissolved, and I am now clothed upon with the heavenly house, even the divine idea of man complete. In this idea I am one with the immortal, incorruptible flesh of Jesus Christ, and I have eternal life. I do confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.
Preceding Entry: Jesus Christ Heals 39-52: Realization Precedes Manifestation
Following Entry: Jesus Christ Heals 67-86: The Omnipotence of Prayer