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H. Emilie Cady: Physician and Metaphysician – Part 2

Graphical portrait of Emilie Cady in Unity Magazine September 1918

H. EMILIE CADY: Physician and Metaphysician – Part II


(continued from Part I)

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THERE WAS STILL another problem to be overcome, the problem of money supply. She herself had an established medical practice, with plenty of patients paying their bills monthly, so it was not her own supply that troubled her. Other cases came to her for help whose means of support were exhausted. To the kind-hearted physician these cases were as distressing and painful as though the patients were afflicted with cancer or rheumatism. What could she do about it? She turned to God in prayer.

In answer, she tells us, God gave her the vision of His presence as all-inclusive supply of all things. She wrote the article “All Sufficiency in All Things,” and set out to prove that God’s power would supply her. From that time on, no work or ministry of any kind was performed by her for pay. No monthly bills were sent out. No office charges were made. She gave with no thought of return, a free giving.

Yet as her distinguished teacher, Emma Curtis Hopkins, had written: “There is always at least once when we are called to stand steady to our principles. . . . Nothing is sure at all in your life until it has been put through the furnace, which is the meeting of the opposite to it, with its noble steadfastness to itself.”

For more than two years Dr. Cady persisted in proving this idea of God as supply, never letting anyone know what she was trying to prove. But alas, it did not work out. More than once she did not even have money for the bare necessities of life and was faint for want of food. But with supreme fortitude she kept on, cheerfully teaching all who came to her that God would supply all their needs.

And then, after two years of this, she reached her limit. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Flesh and blood and human self could endure no more. Like many another, both before and since, she cried out to God: “Why? Why this failure? You told me in the vision that if I would give up the old way and trust to You alone, You would proveto me Your sufficiency. Why have You failed to do it?”

What was God’s answer? Only a verse of Scripture came into her mind: “And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” At first she could not see any relevance in this. But she kept on repeating these words, hoping to see the meaning in them. And as she repeated them there seemed to be an increasing tendency to stress the word said. Suddenly it dawned upon her that never once, in all those two trying years, had she “said” or “spoken the word” for supply.

She saw that she must not just leave the matter of supplying money in God’s hands, as she had been doing. She must set the supply principle in motion, into action; activate it and direct it by her spoken words, definite words. She had been expressing a passive, indefinite trust, unbacked by positive and active direction to the supply principle. Apparently this was not enough. Her whole emphasis had been on giving only, not on receiving as well.

Here again, as she had done in freeing her father, she must set God’s power in motion, give it direction. In order for God’s power to work for her, it must work through her. At once she spoke the word for supply, and that day the supply problem was ended for all time.

But, in what appears to be an elaboration of this account, she tells us that to establish completely an outward supply of money, she continued to speak the word “vigorously out into the great ocean of substance for something [she] much desired.” During this period she wrote an ordinary business letter to a friend in the country. Much to Dr. Cady’s surprise, her friend replied that on receipt of this letter a strange thing happened to her. When she took the letter in her hand, it had the appearance of being covered with the very thing for which Dr. Cady had been speaking the word! When she opened “Miss C---’s letter,” the letter took the form of a horn of plenty pouring out in unlimited quantity this same thing. “Had she gone crazy?” the friend wondered.

Not at all, said Dr. Cady. The vibrations of her vigorous thought and spoken word concerning the desired substance or thing had permeated the psychic structure of her letter to the friend, and the friend, having developed some degree of psychic perception, saw the shape that “Miss C---” had created by her thought and spoken word.

At this point Dr. Cady comments that the continued speaking of the word soon brought this “shape” or form of supply forth in the visible world, as a solid manifestation of what she desired. How? What happened? Did she receive a legacy? Years ago I remember being told that in some way Dr. Cady became financially independent. What actually happened?

Some light may be thrown on this by a fascinating reference in a book by Richard Ingalese. He mentions Dr. Emilie Cady as being one of a small class of mental workers who could draw supply to themselves without employing physical means. To quote:

“Dr. Emily [sic] Cady has performed very remarkable cures (it was said of her that she thought no more of healing a cancer than she did of healing a headache), and has helped the world through her writings as much as any other metaphysician of her time. Dr. Cady had used the law in healing and her faith was great enough to believe she could make other demonstrations of a more material nature. She . . . showed her implicit faith in the law by demanding and receiving a large sum of money, which she needed to reimburse herself for the time and money she had given to suffering humanity. She pictured the amount she wanted and then claimed it for her own, and within a short time after she made her creation, a stranger brought to her what she had demanded. According to her picture and her faith was it given unto her.”

Many years later, another New York metaphysician, Florence Scovel Shinn, wrote that “God is the giver and the Gift, and creates His own amazing channels.” Whatever the means or the channel, supply did come forth in response to Dr. Cady’s demand, while she was looking to God only for it. She stresses this point in Lessons in Truth where, after quoting Psalm 62:5 (“For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him”), she asks this question: “Is your expectation from Him, or is it from books or teachers or friends or meetings or societies?”

Her question is justified, and kas brought many back on the right track in demonstrating supply. One of the most persistent tendencies we have to deal with - is that we do not look to God only in making a demonstration of supply. We tend to “outline” by trying to decide in advance by what means or through what channel our supply will come. In other words, our anxious human self, which is only praying or treating for supply because it cannot see any ways and means of getting supply, does not leave to God ways and means by which the prayer can be answered, as it should.

On the contrary, we at once appoint ourself as a ways-and-means committee of one, which is not only without ways and means to begin with, but as a rule cannot even imagine any way in which the supply could come. Instead of having our attention on God as the Source, we have our attention on outward appearances, and it is probably that the prayer will fail.

“What you want is your business. How it comes to you is God’s business.” Let God choose or create His own divinely right channels, through which the prayer can be answered.

All this of course Emilie Cady knew, and knew well. She confided in no one, looked to no one. Joyously animated by God’s revelation of the power of her words, she spoke her words into the intangible, universal substance of all good, and the law responded. She proved the law and was supplied.

* * *

What did Emilie Cady look like? The only photograph we have of her (the one on her niece’s living room wall) reveals that her face had the same dynamic serenity as that of Myrtle Fillmore, born no doubt of a secure and secret faith in God.

She was established in her spiritual convictions. Ella Pomeroy, who knew Emilie Cady personally, wrote of her as being so thoroughly established in her metaphysical philosophy that when views opposed to those she held as Truth were brought up, she merely smiled tolerantly, and dismissed them with a gesture.

Judging from her picture, she was robust in body and mind, probably inheriting a strong constitution from her pioneer parents. There was a “no-nonsense quality” about her, Mrs. Pomeroy wrote. She went straight to the point. But this does not mean that she was unsympathetic or brusque. Her dark, rather deep-set eyes, as revealed in the photo, were lovingly wise and kind. Her facial expression seems to me to be benevolent, tolerant, and secure; she has a little private smile. And well she might have, after witnessing the frailties and the amazing overcomings of humanity for more than the proverbial threescore-and-ten years.

A spiritual pioneer, yes, as were the Fillmores and other great metaphysicians of that era . . . and a spiritual genius as well. How did she formulate her method of “going into the silence” as she explains it in Lessons in Truth? How was she able to anticipate the discoveries of modern research into brain waves, which resulted in the current interest in biofeedback?

In her directions for “Finding the Secret Place” she tells us how to wait upon God in the silence, relaxed and open, so that we can actually bypass the comparatively slow workings of the subconscious mind and receive directly from God the actual substance of that which we desire:

“While waiting upon God, we should as much as possible, relax ourselves both mentally and physically. To use a very homely but practical illustration, take much the attitude of the entire being as do the fowl when taking a sun bath in the sand. Yet there is something more than a lax passivity to be maintained through it all. There must be a sort of conscious, active taking of that which God gives freely to us. ‘Be still, and know’ that while we wait there It (meaning the Son, or Christ within) is doing the work.”

To me this suggests much the same principles as those worked out by Dr. Johannes Schultz, Professor of Neuro-Psychiatry, West Germany, who speaks of passive concentration and active concentration. Passive concentration, he says, implies a casual attitude. Emilie Cady speaks of an “active passivity” in the silence.

Dr. Schultz says that the trainee must have an indifferent and passive attitude toward the body functions, as well as affirming and picturing that the desired result is already achieved. In modern biofeedback, it is found that one cannot will his hand to be warm, but he can affirm passively and picture it in a lazy and indifferent way as being warm. This will result in actually increasing the body temperature in the hand. But strenuous efforts of the will to make the hand warmer only result in failure.

Though some of the results from biofeedback are striking, they cannot be compared to those gained from practicing the silence as instructed by Emilie Cady. To begin with, opportunities for the average person to experiment with biofeedback are still lacking, since the instruments needed are not generally available to the average person.

On the contrary, all one needs to practice the silence is a copy of Lessons in Truth, to be read in the privacy of one’s own home. If personal instruction is needed, this is available in the hundreds of Unity churches in the United States, Canada, and other countries. According to Ella Pomeroy, whom I previously quoted, something akin to this idea—that healing of the body should be available on a wide scale—might have helped quicken Emilie Cady’s early interest in divine healing.

As Mrs. Pomeroy tells it, an evangelist named Simpson held services in a large tent in Brooklyn, and at one point in his service he called people up from the audience and healed them by the laying on of hands, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Cady attended the meetings. With the practiced eye of a physician, she noted everything. Of course she was pleased and impressed by seeing the sick made well through the power of God. To one of her ardent religious nature, this was good. But to one with her ardent desire to serve humanity, it seemed that there were striking limitations to the method employed by Simpson.

While it was marvelous to see people healed in this way, only a few could be healed by this man, using this method. What was needed was a readily available method of understanding how God’s power to heal could be contacted by anybody, not just by those physically able to contact a healer in person. This same need is apparent in our day.

Though there are “charismatic” healers offering their services to those in need today, in some cases their fame and wide publicity draw such numbers to their public services that only a small percentage of those needing healing may be able to receive it. According to reports, many of the sufferers return to their homes disappointed and sorrowful because they were not selected, by whatever means the selecting is done, to receive the ministrations of the healer. It was said that in one audience, estimated to total from fifteen to seventeen thousand, only about a hundred persons were fortunate enough to receive the desired experience.

This is not said in criticism of any charismatic healer, but rather to emphasize what our early Truth pioneers saw nearly a hundred years ago. What is needed is instruction and teaching made available to everybody in some form, telling them how to contact God’s healing power for themselves, right where they are. They really do not need any instruments; they do not need to go afar and wait eagerly for hour after hour, perhaps to be bitterly disappointed.

The Master Healer said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” This Emilie Cady did through her writings. They conveyed a remarkable healing quality of absolute Truth. One woman, crippled by an “incurable” bone disease, with death predicted in six months, immersed herself in reading Lessons in Truth. She practiced the silence, relaxed in a small area of sunlight available to her, and knew that God was radiating Himself through her as the fullness of what she desired. She was restored to such fullness of health that after having been crippled for twelve years, she was able to skate and dance, and entered upon an active professional life for nearly thirty years.

Another young woman who was in a hospital awaiting surgery for a serious ailment read the chapter “Unadulterated Truth” from the book How I Used Truth. Suddenly she saw clearly that God was fully present in every part of her, and that she was whole. The hospital refused to let her leave without undergoing surgery, until the head of her family signed a release. There was never any recurrence of the ailment in the many years that I knew her.

I knew others with acute financial need who practiced Emilie Cady’s instructions on prayer, and believed that while they waited upon God in active passivity, God was radiating Himself from the center of their being to the circumference and out into the visible world as supply. They received money almost at once. I knew a chiropractor who came into our noonday silence and practiced relaxation and freedom from fear. Her blood pressure had been taken by a colleague just before noon, and was very high. After the silence she went back, had it taken again, and it was down thirty points!

In view of the results gained from the study and practice of Dr. H. Emilie Cady’s writing, it is little wonder that Lessons in Truth has been translated into eleven languages and Braille. From all over the world, from the length and breadth of the continent, letters have come, testifying of lives helped and strengthened, of physical ailments, money problems, domestic difficulties, all kinds of inharmonies adjusted, through the study of her inspired book.

All this was a divinely rich harvest from her obedience to the Father. After being repeatedly asked by the Fillmores to write a course of lessons for Unity, she turned to God and received inwardly, like Moses of old, the words, “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Even in the wonderful world of metaphysical Truth, few have made a greater contribution or left a more shining monument to a long life of unselfish service than did Dr. H. Emilie Cady, physician and metaphysician. Long may her work minister to humanity! And long may Unity School of Christianity continue its faithful stewardship of her writings, making them available to God’s children everywhere.