THE LAWS OF HEALING
PHYSICAL AND METAPHYSICAL
THERE is little to compare with the longing of the sick man to be well. Whether he suffers merely from personal pain or discomfort, or from the harrowing realization that his illness is incapacitating him for the fulfillment of individual or larger responsibilities, the end is the same : to recover, and that as speedily as possible. In the extremity of affliction one often is led to a complete disregard of the cost of the cure, to embrace blindly the promise of health without a measured regard for either the logic of the means proposed or the credentials of the physician. This is true of the sick in mind and in moral nature as well as of sufferers from physical disease. In the vast majority of cases, so soon as a man knows that there is something the matter with him, his exclusive concern is with the question: How can I get well?
The prevailing theories of medicine, psychology and religion are the answers to this question provided by the orthodox authorities of the day. To them an ailing humanity turns, in confiding, awed, and even suppliant attitudes, asking to be healed. Yet with all the vaunted modern knowledge of the laws of nature, and the claims to truth made by religions, our ravaging afflictions continue. It would be gratuitous to recount the failure of modern medicine when thoughtful physicians at the head of their profession have themselves made statements which, considered with the rising death rates of many diseases, are a sufficiently appalling admission. The statistics of insanity and lesser mental and nervous disorders are still more alarming evidence of the literally universal need for another sort of mental therapy than that practiced by the psychopathic branch of modern medicine. As to our moral health, the general condition of human society in its international relationships, the decadent national philosophies, the typical community and family life the world over, bespeak the ineffectiveness of prevailing religious ideas as a guiding or even a restraining influence in the lives of nations or individuals.
It should be understood, first, that the laws of health taught by Theosophy are nothing new. By derivation, the name “Theosophy” indicates a system which is in no sense the formulation of any one man. It was the common property of the wise men and true physicians of every nation and race of antiquity—a fact which anyone can verify for himself, beyond doubt. The restoration of these ancient doctrines to the world in our era was the work of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. By students of Theosophy these two are regarded as members or representatives of a certain fraternity—men older in experience, and wiser than ourselves who in certain historical cycles give fresh currency to ideas which were once well known, but which have been obscured or forgotten. That the world is in more or less ignorance of this brotherhood, as of its doctrines, bears little upon the fact of their existence; for if the knowledge which they present can be shown to be true, as is the case, then the reality of their alliance, and of the laws of healing presented through their representatives, as well as the fact of the cyclic mission of the Brothers among mankind, arc demonstrated simultaneously. Thus, in introduction to the particular problems of health dealt with in this pamphlet, a brief outline of theosophical philosophy with respect to the laws of health is appropriate.
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Theosophy has been defined as “a knowledge of the laws which govern the evolution of the physical, astral, psychical and intellectual constituents of nature and of man.” It teaches that man is endowed with a complete set of inner faculties which deal with an immense and real field of experience lying within the visible and tangible worlds. It regards the whole as constituted of the visible and invisible, and perceiving outer things and objects to be but transitory it grasps the facts of nature, both without and within. Our science is only now beginning to admit the possibility of extrasensory modes of perception in the human being, as is shown in the writings of Dr. Alexis Carrel and by the experiments of Dr. J. B. Rhine, of Duke University.
The seat of these inner faculties, Theosophy teaches, is the Astral body, the design or “pattern” of the physical. The matter of which it is composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence. It is in fact the reality behind the wonderworking intelligence which biologists and physiologists note in the development of the embryos of plants, animals and men, and to which they have given the speculative name of “morphogenetic field.” In 1888 H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “The whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the “existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter. According to William Q Judge─
The astral body is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other kingdoms have the same astral model. Vegetables, minerals, and animals have the ethereal double, and this theory is the only one which will answer the question how it is that the seed produces its own kind and all sentient beings bring forth their like. (The Ocean of Theosophy)
The accepted mechanism of heredity through the chromosomes establishes a mathematical relationship between the germ cell and the physiological, and to a degree, the psychological, constitution. But it furnishes no explanation of the manner in which a mathematical configuration gives rise to a biological form in no way resembling this “pattern.” If the actual form of the chromosome foreshadowed future development, the organism would grow as an elongated worm in all cases. Still less does this mechanism solve the problems of hereditary characteristics. The arrangement of genes in the chromosomes seems to bear to the grown individual almost the same relationship that the mathematical formulas of a bridge designer bear to the actual structure. In course of time the “astral body” will be biologically discovered in the role of the bridge builder himself.
The phenomena of hypnosis and other equally misunderstood psychic states show quite clearly that the physical organs of the body are in themselves senseless and useless when divorced from the faculties of the astral man. Sight, hearing, touch, taste and smelling do not pertain to the body, but to this inner unseen man. The real organs for the exercise of those powers are in the Astral body, those in the physical body being but the outer instruments for making the co-ordination between nature and the real organs inside. There is nothing in scientific fact to contradict this proposition, but much for its support. Dr. Milton H. Erickson, a practicing psychiatrist, writes in the Medical Record (Dec. 5, 1934) that hypnotism “is a psychological phenomenon, as little understood as most psychological phenomena.” He asserts that “any understanding of hypnosis beyond the descriptive phase is purely speculative.” To the scientific “description” of hypnotic states, Theosophy adds the rationale—the recondite laws which relate to the astral, the real inner man.
A study of this factor in the human being as the immediate directive force within the outer form—as an entity of a sort, having its own dominant and recessive hereditary traits, a circulatory system of vital nervous fluids which, although not susceptible to microscopic examination, are nonetheless real, as electricity is real ─ should finally lead to the establishment of true hygienic principles for the inner man. There are physicians well aware that cancer is often preceded by a morbid psychic condition, sometimes years before any tumor appears. Lymphatic complaints trace to disturbances in the psychic organism. The difficulties encountered by physicians in dealing with certain forms of anemia might largely be obviated by considering their possible psychic causes. The so-called “tubercular psychosis” may be more of a cause than an effect, and tubercle bacilli only phenomena of association—just as the various destructive micro-organisms which appear with death are not its cause.
The psychological afflictions of the race are the inevitable outcome of the misuse of psycho-physiological powers in former times in previous incarnations. Present-day psychiatrists, who admittedly have only “descriptive knowledge,” know little of the dangers in their methods and experimentations. The “mental healers” who mask by a glamour of mystic jargon and alluring promises their ignorance of the human body and its normal processes invade a field about which still less is known—the psychic nature. Serious organic disorders are often overlooked in these methods, particularly with diseases in their incipiency, which may be driven inward by “mental healing.” The few real healers who have natural mesmeric powers are such despite, not because of, what they may have read in books. In Occultism, the sine qua non of the healing art is perfect personal health and moral purity, and altruism unmodified by self-interest of any kind. Where are there healers of this kind in the world today?
This is not to deny the good done by those doctors whose methods are aids to the body’s natural course of recovery. Each of the schools of medicine has made constructive contributions within the limits of its legitimate field. There are benefits to be derived from the intelligent use of drugs and herbs, from sensible dietetics (the maligned food faddists, in spite of extremist tendencies, have aroused a much needed attention to diet on the part of both the profession and the public), and from the various forms of manipulative therapeutics. The wise physician finds some good in every natural method. Like Paracelsus, he is a true eclectic. Each school of medical thought should recognize that whatever knowledge it may possess is but a fragment, and that all of them together offer only palliative measures in treating the physical body for ills which have their fundamental causes on the moral and psychic planes.
SOME STATEMENTS BY H. P. BLAVATSKY
OF recent years there has been noticeable a strong infiltration of psychological applications into allopathic medicine. The methods of many physicians are a mixture of orthodox allopathy, osteopathy, and psychological suggestion, the latter tending to encompass a wider and wider field. The “faith healing” of the “cultists” is distinguishable from some of the practices of orthodox medical men only in the use of different “fetishes” or objects or ideas of suggestion. Medicine is literally being driven along this course by the increasing cases of diseases the causes of which are purely psychological, and which therefore can be effectively treated only from that basis. Dr. Carrel and many others testify to the actuality of the Lourdes “miracles.” In that case the “fetish” is the environment of a noted grotto. In others it is the hypnotic suggestion of the “healer’s” office surroundings. In still others it is the glitter of the surgeon’s instruments or the awe-inspiring “professional atmosphere.” In some it is the “faith” inspired by a coated breadpill. In all these instances the principle is exactly the same—”Suggestion.”
H. P. Blavatsky wrote with clear-seeing frankness on the dangers inherent in the rapid rise and spread of all those forms of psychological treatment of disease which, disguised under many high-sounding names, are in fact disastrous experiments in Hypnotism and Mesmerism—the more insidious because of the apparent results achieved. Whether orthodox or unorthodox, whether physical or psychological, any system of purported Healing which makes the patient more and more dependent on the Healer and his ministrations, less and less reliant on Nature and himself, must of necessity be dangerous—must lead away from a sound mind in a sound body. Speaking of Christian Science, Mind Cure, Metaphysical Healing, Spiritual Healing, and so forth, she said:
All these movements represent nothing but the exercise of the psychic and occult powers latent in man—as yet not understood and therefore but too often ignorantly misused. Understand once for all that there is nothing “spiritual” or divine in any of these manifestations. The cures effected by them are due simply to the unconscious exercise of occult power on the lower planes of nature—usually of prana or life-currents. The conflicting theories of all these schools are based on misunderstood and misapplied metaphysics, often on grotesquely absurd logical fallacies. But the one feature common to most of them, a feature which presents the most danger in the near future is this : In nearly every case the tenor of the teachings of these schools is such as to lead people to regard the healing process as being applied to the mind of the patient. Here lies the danger, for any such process—however cunningly disguised in words and hidden by false noses—is simply to psychologize the patient. In other words, whenever the healer interferes, consciously or unconsciously—with the free mental action of the person he treats, it is—Black Magic. Already these so-called sciences of “Healing” are being used to gain a livelihood. Soon some sharp person will find out that by the same process the minds of others can be influenced in many directions, and the selfish motive of personal gain and money getting having been once allowed to creep in, the one-time “healer” may be insensibly led on to use his power (over his patients) to acquire wealth or some other object of his desire.
Who today, looking about him, can fail to see to what an alarming extent the psychologizer and the psychologized are to be met with in every walk in life?
But what of true Psychology as applied to Healing, bodily and mental? On this subject, too, H. P. Blavatsky has written both the diagnosis and the prescription for healer and afflicted alike. In sober truth her whole teachings of Theosophy, and those of her Colleague, Wm. Q. Judge, are directed to “the healing of the nations”—are for those sick of the Spirit and of the Soul, from which proceed all our mental and moral and physical well- or ill-being.
For the orthodox practitioner of medicine she wrote:
A great truth was uttered by Dr. Francis Victor Broussais when he said: “If magnetism were true, medicine would be an absurdity.” Magnetism is true, and so we shall not contradict the learned Frenchman as to the rest.
An intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies, a familiarity with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man, is especially necessary. There are occult properties in minerals and plants of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Our purest water would be found to yield, instead of its two declared simple elements of oxygen and hydrogen, many other constituents, undreamt of by our terrestrial modern chemistry. He who would allotropise sluggish oxygen into Ozone, reducing it to its pure essence (for which there are means) would discover thereby a substitute for an “Elixir of Life” and prepare it for practical use.
Nor was she less direct and clear-speaking on the nature of the Power invoked by the psychological as well as the physical practitioners and experimenters in Healing. She wrote:
One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The adept can stimulate the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature, but quickenings; the conditions of intenser vital action are given. Thousands of years ago the initiated priests, spoken of as the “magicians and exorcists of sickness,” healed diseases by magnetic processes. Animal magnetism (now called Suggestion and Hypnotism) was the principal agent in the healing temples of Aesculapius, where the patients were treated magnetically, during their sleep.
This creative and life-giving Force—denied and laughed at when named theurgic magic, is now called Hypnotism, Charcotism, Suggestion, “psychology,” and what not. Instead of healing diseases—the only use to which animal magnetism under its new name can be legitimately applied—they often inoculate the subjects with their own physical as well as mental ills and vices. This is as bad on the moral plane as the artificial introduction of animal matter into the human blood is on the physical plane. Let them only think of dangers bred, of new forms of diseases, mental and physical, begotten by such insane handling of psychic will!
The minority of the learned physicians and other scientists experiment in “hypnotism” because they have come to see something in it; while the majority still deny the actuality of animal magnetism in its mesmeric form, even under its modern mask hypnotism. The former—entirely ignorant of the fundamental laws of animal magnetism—experiment at haphazard, almost blindly. Hence they interfere with, and awaken to action the most dangerous forces of nature, without being aware of it. If the outward expression of the idea of a misdeed “suggested” may fade out at the will of the operator, the active living germ artificially implanted does not disappear with it; that once dropped into the sea of the human—or, rather, the animal—passions, it may lie dormant there for years sometimes, to become suddenly awakened by some unforeseen circumstance into realization. Crying children frightened into silence by the suggestion of a monster, a devil standing in the corner, by a foolish nurse, have been known to become insane twenty or thirty years later on the same subject. There are mysterious, secret drawers, dark nooks and hiding-places in the labyrinth of our memory, still unknown to physiologists, and which open only once, rarely twice, in a man’s lifetime, and that only under very abnormal and peculiar conditions. But when they do, it is always some heroic deed committed by a person least calculated for it, or—a terrible crime perpetrated, the reason for which remains forever a mystery.
Under what circumstances is hypnotism “black magic?” Sufficient to say that whenever the motive which actuates the operator is selfish, or detrimental to any living being or beings, all such acts are black magic. The healthy vital fluid imparted by the physician who mesmerizes his patient, can and does cure; but too much of it will kill. When a healthy operator mesmerizes a patient with a determined desire to relieve and cure him, the exhaustion felt by the former is proportionate to the relief given: a process of endosmose has taken place, the healer having parted with a portion of his vital aura to benefit the sick man. Like every other occult form in Nature, this end- and exosmosic process may be made beneficent or maleficent, either unconsciously or at will. There is nothing sinful or injurious in the methods per se. They turn to harm only when belief in his power becomes too arrogant and marked in the faith-healer, and when he thinks he can will away such diseases as need, if they are not to be fatal, the immediate help of expert surgeons and physicians.
Imagination is a potent help in every event of our lives. Imagination acts on Faith, and both are the draughtsmen who prepare the sketches for Will to engrave. This is all the secret. Half, if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears. Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest.