Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #51
Delivered by Eric Butterworth on August 19, 1975
The term “spiritual healing” implies that there are different types of healing, such as physical, medical, emotional, surgical, and mental. However, there is only one kind of life-related healing and it transcends all categories; it is an activity of the infinite.
Man experiences life on many levels depending on his perception. Without denying the value of medical science, I insist that medical science sees only part of the whole man and whatever illness or infirmity he may have. Thus, healing is not completely explained in medical terms. Medicine may tell us “what” and “how”, but why healing takes place can only be explained in terms of the whole man, the unity of divine law.
We determine the level on which we are going to approach ourselves, and there are indeed scientific disciplines to deal with each and every approach. The theological approach has produced such attitudes as, “It is God’s will that I be sick.” Of course, this is unfortunate and was not at all Jesus’ approach.
We will always accept our healing in the context in which we approach it. If you believe that God’s will is arbitrary, you will assume that little can be done for your “incurable” malady. On the level of spiritual healing there are various approaches, one simply being the faith that God can heal. This approach has been a dynamic step leading to many wonderful manifestations.
The old New York Sun once carried an article about a badly wounded soldier of Irish descent who was brought to a field hospital during World War I. His lungs, diaphragm, liver, intestines, and other vital organs had been shattered by a bullet and it was certainly not expected that he would live. But the doctors tried to patch him up anyway, amused by his repeated statements to everyone within earshot that God could heal him, that he would be all right and that they shouldn’t worry. He continued to convalesce to everyone’s amazement, and his vitality and faith that God would pull him through made him known as the “man who wouldn’t die.” He implanted a determination to survive in the souls of many of the other wounded men in the hospital. The others in the ward believed that they were being led into continuing life by this confident Irishman from Iowa who just knew that God would stay with him and heal him. Indeed, one of the doctors who had attended to him tells of the lessons he learned from the experience—that a discouraged patient is on the downgrade, and that medicine without hope is hopeless.
Faith can and does heal. Faith in a particular doctor or treatment no doubt plays a great role in this process. We are considering here, however, something more transcendent than the traditional “placebo” effect. We are opening our eyes further, to see a higher perception of life. The first step is to contemplate and accept the Truth that God’s will is for health and wholeness. In Ezekiel we read, “Cast away from you all your transgressions wherein you have transgressed and make you a new heart, a new spirit; for why will ye die; I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth. Wherefore, turn yourselves and live.” We must accept that God is totally, completely, and inexorably for life, and never for death or deterioration.
If we agree that God can heal, why doesn’t he always do it? It may occur to you that He doesn’t know of your need, yet Jesus said, “The Father knows of your needs before ye ask Him.” Another thought may be that sickness is a form of punishment, or perhaps a sign of His will, yet we are told, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and that it is “God’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” So, God doesn’t make you sick nor does He make you well. You are sick because in some conscious or subconscious way you have strayed from your unity with the infinite process, you have lost sight of your oneness with God, and have thus restricted the outward expression of the inwardly perfect spiritual pattern. You must always remember that at this point of experience the body only partly expresses itself yet, even in this partial expression, as one physician said, “There is a bias on the side of health.”
Physical healing is a miraculous potential, a probability of which man has but scratched the surface. Our vision must be stepped up and we must realize the importance of holding a larger view of ourselves. Our attitudes must be disciplined and we must hold firmly to faith. Men have long known of the contagion of disease; it is basically caused by a community of fear. Why not a contagion of health? Why not an epidemic of vitality and strength? It is just as easy to announce that you feel well and happy and vigorous as it is to broadcast that you have a temperature or other upset due to the “bug that’s going around”. Why not catch health instead of catching a cold? Why not come down renewed with strength instead of coming down with the flu? Why not regard a sneeze as a cleansing rather than as a symptom of the common cold?
The true, spiritual self is an activity of God expressing as you. It is pure light, and in it there can be no darkness. The Scriptures say, “Then shall thy light spring forth speedily.” As you raise the shades in your house to let more light in, do the same with yourself. Prayer can make us more keenly conscious of the healing principle, and can open our eyes to our true relationship with the infinite. It reinforces our sense of “worth-ship” and shows a reflection in the mirror of truth. It enables us to see ourselves as whole.
You may think or dwell upon a certain diseased part of you, but this part does not determine the whole nor does the general condition of the body determine your health; rather, your health determines the condition of the body. An imperfect condition does not mean imperfect health, it simply reflects a breakdown of expressing that which is perfect. There is an allness within every illness, and within every part there is always a whole. Like a dirty window of a closed blind, sickness obscures the light which is there, waiting to enter. When affliction occurs in you or in others, do not judge by appearances; rather, take the cosmic view, which is that he who is sick is simply one who does not know his unity with the whole and is therefor experiencing “struggling health”. This means that the health is there nevertheless, but it is having a difficult time breaking through the limited self-image. The sick person is really “seeing through a mirror darkly”, and needs to awake and see the Truth.
Beneath surface imperfections and discomforts, in the ground of your being, there is a wholeness of life. The organs and functions of your body do not govern life, but rather life governs the organs. It is not the heart that determines life, for God is life. Erase these thoughts of weakness and know that life controls your heart and that the heart cannot beat without life beating it.
A wonderful principle was illustrated by a movie called The Development of the Chick. Time lapse photography was utilized to show the growth within a chicken egg from embryo to hatched chick. At a certain stage the embryo commenced to beat and then, after the beating had started, the tiny chicken heart developed and took up the beating which had preceded it. The human heart was developed to provide an external, tangible body part to correspond to the blood beating through the body. Life beats your heart. This same force can establish perfect harmony and wholeness within every cell if you but believe in it and relate your consciousness to that level of life.
Here is a useful affirmation for your heart: “I am one with the great heart that beats for all.” In the absolute there is a perfect heart-idea that is manifesting perfectly and completely in its physical counterpart. Life beats the heart; life vitalizes the heart, and life heals the heart. Accept that as true, instantly and constantly, whatever your seeming ills. Trying merely to correct the condition gives power to it, and that is not what we want. Turn to the thought of the realization of life—life that flows, life that grows, life that is complete and impervious to outer conditions. The life force is supportive of the body forces; life regulates the body, not the other way around.
© 1975, by Eric Butterworth