Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #97
Delivered by Eric Butterworth on December 4, 1975
Psychosomatic medicine diagnoses and treats physical illness throught the influence of mental and emotional states on the human body. This field was actually first set forth by Jesus nineteen hundred years before the contemporary research into it. Pointing out that “a man’s enemies are they of his own household,” he established the idea that negative thinking is the source of all physical as well as mental inharmony. He said likewise, “Woe unto you for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full from extortion and excess. Cleanse first the inside of the cup and the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also.” From the very beginnings of the practice of medical healing, and even in much of what is called spiritual healing, the healing of the physical body has been the goal; however, since the physical body is but the shadow of John says, “Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
“As he thinketh in himself, so is he,” deals with subconscious belief. A man can never completely understand himself until he understands something of the working of the subconscious level of mind, for nearly everything we attempt is under its control and direction. William James felt that the discovery of the subconscious mind was the “greatest in a hundred years.” In our study of truth, we talk a great deal about mind, saying that mind is the connecting link between God and man, and that through knowledge of mind we can master fate and circustance. This is quite true, but mind is generally thought of as consciousness, a confusing term, for consciousness is the deep feeling of your entire being, including the conscious and subconscious levels. The contemporary expression “building consciousness” or “raising consciousness” actually implies building into the subconscious mind certain patterns of thought, certain images, from which desirable results will be obtained or achieved.
The mind is often held to be conscious and subconsious, or unconscious, but it is more comprehesible to think of the mind as having three levels or areas of functioning—the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious. The last of these is the Christ mind, or God mind, the Father in you, the point of your unity with the mind of the infinite. Emerson says, “Man is an inlet and may become an outlet to all there is in God.” Intuition, to give one example, springs forth from the superconscious mind, which is an ever-present inner genius and potential seeking being. The subconscious mind is, too, the connection between the superconscious and the conscious mind, and its true office is to receive impressions from the superconscious and to reproduce them on the canvas of the conscious mind and experience.
It is at this point that we lose our awareness of our true, divine identity, where the “Fall of Man” takes place, in the lack of our own sense of innateness, where the consciousness of the indwelling Father as an ever-present reality is lost. We thereupon reverse the process; instead of accepting the impressions of the super-conscious and impressing them upon the conscious mind and experience, we accept thoughts and feelings and attitudes from the conscious mind and reproduce them in conscious experience. Judging by appearances is reactive thinking, disdaining the divine process flow by which man could ever be the master by judging righteous judgment, by letting the mind think creatively from within, and the spirit present its side of the picture.
The subconscious is the workshop of the mind; it does not reason or discriminate; it takes what is given and works it out; it never initiates, never starts a train of thought; it follows implicitly and obediently whatever is conveyed to it. The impressions it receives are from three sources: first, from the conscious mind through impressions received from sense perceptions of experience; second, from the stream of thought or mental energy known as race-consciousness or mortal mind, as Eddy calls it; and third, from the superconscious, the “Father within,” the intuitive flow. But, the amazing thing is that the control of the mind, the directive force, is always on the conscious level. The Father-presence is always there within you; the power of greatness is always within you. However, like the Prodigal Son, you have to come to yourself.
The scriptures say, “Choose ye this day whom you will serve.” Results cannot be anticipated from the subconscious mind when the conscious mind is filled with fear or worry, or when it really cannot focus on what it wants. We must start to exercise care over the thoughts we think,and the suggestions we permit to find their way into our subconscious mind. We must be on guard against suggestions which come to us from what is available to see and to hear, such as what appears continually in the daily newspapers and on the television and radio, a recital of all the ills and tragedies of our times.
The subconscious mind takes the thoughts that emanate from consciousness or from superconsciousness and believes it unquestioningly. Therefore, if you state, “I am ill,” it is like an order to a faithful servant to be carried out at once. Better to state, “I am fine!” Any thought held persistently in your conscious mind becomes a command to the subconscious, whether the thought happens to be creative or destructive, benevolent or evil. The subconscious mind does not reason inductively nor does it make value judgments; it simply takes the thoughts you send to it and works them out to their conclusion. Send it thoughts of health and strength, and it will work out health and strength in your body. Permit suggestions of illness, fear, apprehension, and you will more than likely begin to see the manifestations of these in your physical condition.
There are two very important points. First, the superconscious mind knows what things you have need of, even before you ask; it desires to fill the need; you have in it something going for ycu, a force directing into your experience that which is good. The moment you turn from appearance and speak the word of truth, you open the way to a force instantly in operation. Second, the subconscious mind is like a computer; ideas fed into it continue to reproduce themselves, and this can work for either good or bad. Therefore, when you are thinking on the good, meditating on the good, expecting the good, emphasizing the good, you have two forces helping you.
Your mind is open-ended; it includes the infinite of limitless God mind. When man thinks of his mind he means that much of God mind that he has come to harness and use. Understanding of this principle explains prayer, the results of which are not the will of God; rather, prayer releases the power of mind, God mind, the power through which what we desire may be expressed or experienced. Prayer is directive use of the subconscious mind, giving it a flow of superconscious forces, attitudes, ideas; it is consciousness taking mastery so that God mind may work with you and for you.
We must be constantly aware of the need to “cleanse the inside of the cup,” to fill the mind with that which is positive and healthful. The human consciousness is often mixed up in the race thought of contagion. We must awaken to the realization that even as love and friendliness are contagious, so too can be fear and anxiety. Let’s reverse this process and institute an epidemic of health and vitality and strength! Why don’t you be the one to start an epidemic of health, a chain reaction of positive and healthful thinking, spreading out through your radiance and passed along by you through your positive words to others? Instead of “There’s a lot of flu going around” why not say, “There’s a lot of good health going around.”
Get the thoughts centered in that which is positive, emphasize it, feed it into the subconscious mind, letting health and vitality renew and perpetuate themselves in wellness, and radiate this to others. Become, as it were, a carrier of the positive influence of health and vitality.
© 1975, by Eric Butterworth