Healing and Repose (1)
The health depends upon the balance of activity and repose of the five senses. Sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch; and every sense, in the normal condition of health, must be able to express itself and to respond. More time is required for the repose of the senses than for their activity. Therefore, the mystics go into seclusion in order to give a chance of repose to the senses, which are different in every man. Everyone passes every moment of his wakeful state in activity of the senses, partly by intention, partly accidentally. For instance, the eyes look at things when they are desired to do so, perhaps a hundred times a day, but nine hundred times they look at things without intention. This shows a waste of energy in an average man's life.
In order to develop healing power, one must regulate the control of the senses by regulating their activity and repose; and this, done with a spiritual thought, converts power of mind into divine power. A person with power of mind alone can heal, but the results will be limited. But a person with divine power can obtain through it unlimited results.
Healing and Respose (2)
It depends on the condition of the health how much activity one can stand and how much repose is necessary. A general rule cannot be made for everyone. A normal amount of activity stimulates and strengthens the body. Therefore, physical exercises are given for physical development, and exercises of concentration and studies are given for the development and repose of mind. According to psychic law, the day is natural for activity and the night for repose, and when this is not carried out, it naturally works against health. It is not necessary that after every little exertion one must take repose, but there ought to be a degree of balance maintained; and it is advisable in life to take repose without allowing it to develop into laziness.
Breath is the first essential power that can help in healing. There is a silent healing, and a healing by focusing the glance, by holding the painful part with the fingers, by rubbing the painful part, by waving the hand on the painful part, and by touching and not touching the part -- but behind these different ways there is one power working. That is the power of the breath. The power can be developed by breathing practices, and when the breath is so developed that it creates an atmosphere around the healer, then the very presence of the healer heals. The power of the breath can be developed by physical exercises, by rhythmic exercises of the breath, by pure living, and by concentration.
The power of healing is greater than the power of the channels one uses to heal, such as the fingertips or eyes. The eyes have more power than the fingertips. They are fine, and the power that manifests through them is radiant, while it is not so radiant in the fingertips. But besides the power of healing, one must have a clear idea of perceiving the complaint of another person and knowing what would be the best way to heal that person.
Healing with the Tips of the Fingers
Hygiene is the first subject to consider in healing with the tips of the fingers. Hands that have been engaged in any work or that are stained with any liquid must be washed; even after shaking hands, the hands must be washed for healing. The healer must first observe the hygienic rules of keeping his body, as well as his clothes, pure and clean. Especially at the time of healing, he must be absolutely free from all that is unhygienic. The sleeves, at the time of healing, must be rolled back, and the fingernails must be properly trimmed and clean. After healing, one should wave the hand, as it were, shaking it, to shake off any fine atoms, or even vibrations, so that a poison taken from the painful part of the patient may not be given to the patient again.
There are cases when the sensation of the body is dead by the pain, and the pain has gone into the depth of the affected part of the body. In such cases, waving the hand or touching is not enough; rubbing is necessary. In cases of the effects of poison from the sting of a bee or a scorpion, or snakebite, or the bite of any other poisonous animal, a simple soft touch or stroking of the affected part in necessary. If the pain is more intense, touch is not necessary; simply the waving of the hand close to the affected part is necessary. In the case of the bite of a mad dog, one should put some lime mixed with water on a copper coin and tie it on the part that the teeth have touched, and the rest of the affected part must be healed by touching and stroking it with the tips of the fingers. Bites of mosquitoes and midges may be cured by applying butter that has been boiled and allowed to cool, and then waving the hand over the affected part. Rosewater may be used for bites of all kinds, in cases of severe inflammation.
The Tracing of Disease
The healer's work in tracing disease is subtler than healing. For in healing, power is necessary, but in tracing disease, its nature, its cause, its secret, psychic power is of no use. There, inspiration is needed, and a healer without it is an incomplete healer.
The patient generally does not know the real cause, nature, and secret of his complaint. He is not supposed to know, for the patient knows the effect of the pain, not its cause, its nature, and its secret. The healer must trace the patient's complaint from his face, expression, voice, word, and movement. . . everything tells. Sometimes the healer must find out the cause by asking the patient details about his pain and the situation of his life, and by knowing the attitude that the patient takes up to things, and by knowing the inclination of the patient. The secret of the disease can be traced, also, by seeing what a person desires in the way of food, and in what environment he prefers to be, and what attitude he has towards his friends and foes, his choice of sweet or savory, his attraction to colors.
For instance, a person with a complaint that originates from melancholy will have a liking for purple; a person who has lost control of his passions will have an inclination to red; a person who is lifeless, who has an inclination to emptiness, will have a tendency towards white, because no color will appeal to him; a person who has gone through a sorrow and mourned over things and weakened his heart by it will have in inclination towards black.
So it is with sweet and savory. The patient who shows an inclination to sweet shows weakness of heart, and by that, general weakness; and the patient who shows an inclination to savory lacks circulation. There are many more things in the patient that one can perceive, not only from his inclinations, but by noticing his face and feature, for in this way, one reads more than by anything else. The feature tells the general characteristic, and therefore a person knows the weakness that may have been the origin of the complaint; and the general expression shows the thought behind it. Since mind is the cause of all causes, the healer gets at the root of the complaint as soon as he touches the mind of the patient. How true is the saying, "Man's face is the mirror of his heart."
The Chief Reason of Every Disease
According to the mystical point of view, there is one chief reason, which can be called a common cause, from which all diseases are derived, and that is disorder of rhythm. The upset of the nerves is, chiefly, stated by the scientists to be the origin of all mental diseases; and their effect upon the body produces different diseases in the body. By religious people, concentration and meditation are taught, sitting in a prayerful attitude. It all explains the wisdom behind it: that is, to bring the activity of mind and body to a normal condition. For it is the nature of activity to become more active every moment; for it is the activity itself that produces energy, and the consequence is that by so producing energy, its own strength throws it out of its normal rhythm.
This one can see in the burning of the fire. The activity is little at the start; at every moment of its increase, its activity increases and culminates, in the end, in its utmost speed. And the speed of the beginning compared with the speed of the end will prove that it was the increase of the speed of the fire which brought about the climax, when it consumed itself. In human nature, we see the same tendency. When speaking, one is inclined to speak more and more quickly, until the speed is so increased that one leaves out several words of the sentence, without any intention of doing so.
So it is in walking. The speed of the walk increases with every step, until a person finds himself almost running. So it is with the imagination. And perhaps, one sees the same thing with the pulsation of the body and the circulation of the blood. Uncontrolled increase of speed, in all its aspects, hastens the climax, and when unbalanced, culminates in disastrous results. A healer without this knowledge is a blind healer, who does not know the cause of diseases. His healing is a chance. But the one who knows this is more than a physician and more than a healer. He will control his own activity, and the power of control thus gained will enable him to control the activity of others, in order to keep it normal, in which is the true health of mind and body.
The Reason for Tiredness
Tiredness is due to three reasons. Loss of energy is the chief reason, but besides this, excess of activity of mind and body. One generally knows tiredness to be caused by the excess of bodily activity, but one is apt to overlook the fact that the excess of activity of mind also causes tiredness. The activity that especially causes tiredness is worry, fear, anxiety, and pain. But besides this, there is one mental cause that remains, still less observable, and that is the thought of being tired. Among a hundred cases of tired people you will find ninety cases of this particular kind of tiredness.
When a person thinks, "I am tired," the very thought creates the feeling of tiredness in support of the thought, and reason brings forward a thousand reasons that seem to have caused the tiredness. There are some people who think that the presence of people, or of some people, tires them; or the presence of a particular person tires them. Some people think that their energy, their life, is eaten by some people. Some think that a particular action takes away their energy. Some think that their strength is taken out of them by everyday duty in life or the work they happen to do, such as singing, speaking, doing bodily or mental work. And of course, as they think, so they experience.
Coming to the truth of the thing, there is no doubt that every kind of activity must take away some energy, more or less, from the person. But by thinking, one increases the loss; by preserving the energy and using it economically, one saves it to a great extent. And there is one way, which is a spiritual way, by which one can give out the energy with every activity that necessitates one's giving it out, but at the same time one can absorb much more energy than what one loses, from the life within, without, around and about one. It is for this reason that religion has given the conception of God being almighty.
Those who consider Him to be far away in heaven keep away from Him, but those who realize the meaning of the teaching in the Bible that "we live and move and have our being in God," they feel Him at all times by their side. When consciousness of wealth makes one feel rich, and when consciousness of strength makes one feel strong, how much stronger and richer he should feel who is really God-conscious!
A healer often finds patients whose complaints may be different, and yet many of them originated by the lack of balance. Balance is the most difficult thing in life to keep, for anybody and for everybody. Many times a healer succeeds in curing a patient by just showing him some practices by which he can attain balance. This, besides healing, brings about a most desirable effect.
Balance is gained in different ways, even in ordinary actions such as sitting, lying, standing, and walking: standing with even force given on both legs; sitting cross-legged or on the knees, both having the equal weight of the body, as well as kneeling; walking rhythmically with an even force given to the swing of both arms. Also, by regularity of eating and drinking, working and resting, sleeping and rising, one gets balance. And the first thing a healer should consider when treating a patient is that he must give him balance.
Pain has two origins: the mind and the body. Sometimes it is caused by the mind and held by the body, and sometimes it is caused by the body and held by the mind; and it is the harmony of both that sustains the pain. If one were absent, or did not partake the pain suggested by the other part of the being, the pain would not exist, and if it existed, it would vanish. The body, being the servant of the mind, can never refuse to bear the pain given by the mind, having no free will of its own. It is only the mind that can refuse, if it were trained to do so. The doctrine that some people have, that there is no such thing as pain, is very helpful in the training of the mind, although its truth may be questioned.
If it is true that there is no such thing as pain, it can only be true in this sense, that everything in this world is an illusion; it has no existence of its own, it does not exist in reality, compared with the ultimate reality that is. But if a person says that it is pain only that does not exist, but joy exists and all other things exist, then he is wrong.
Among Sufis, dervishes have tried to become pain-proof by inflicting upon themselves cruel injuries, such as whipping of the bare arms or cutting the muscles of the body, or piercing the body with knives or taking the eyes out of their sockets and replacing them in their sockets again, of which I have been an eyewitness. By this they have discovered a truth and have given it to the thinking world, that mind can refuse to partake the bodily pain, and by its doing so, the bodily pain is much less felt than it would otherwise be.
When the mind goes forward to receive bodily pain, out of fear or self-pity, it increases the pain and makes it much more than it would otherwise be. The properties that fear or self-pity add to the pain are ninety-five percent. And the first thing that the healer must do in curing patients suffering pain is to erase the pain from the surface of the patient's mind by suggestion, also by his healing power. And in the absence of help on the part of the mind, the body must give up pain, for it has no power to hold it longer in the absence of mind.
Healing by Medicine
Very often it happens that a healer or a believer in healing goes to such an extreme that he does not accept healing by medicine. Really speaking, the thought of being given medicine by a doctor and the thought of repeating the prescription so many times a day, apart from its medicinal influence, is psychically helpful, and the healers of the East, considering this, have acted in their line some part of physician also. With their healing power -- spiritual, psychic, and magnetic -- with their hypnotic suggestion and with their mesmeric influence, they give the patient something to eat or drink in the form of medicine. Sometimes they gave a charm to keep by him, and sometimes magnetized water.
The idea is that mankind is more conscious of the objective world and its activity than of any other plane of existence, and by eating or drinking, or holding or possessing a certain thing, the impression upon him becomes more realistic. The thought of the healer that should ease the mind is often hindered when the external senses of the patient are not fully responsive to it; but when the patient eats or drinks something, tastes something, or feels something applied to or touching the painful part, the sense or senses become the medium for the healer's thought to proceed through them and so reach the mind of the patient. The knowledge of the physical medium is most essential for a healer, for every psychic operation requires a medium, and through a distinct and responsive medium, every psychical work meets with success.
The Psychical Nature of Diseases (1)
The psychical nature of diseases can be explained in a few words as being the lack of life, either by the lack of sufficient matter in the body or by the excess of matter, which leaves no scope for the spirit. Beside it is the impression of pain which the mind holds. Pain is not always physical. There are physical causes, but as soon as the mind knows of discomfort, out of fear it holds it, and this is called pain.
Disease is often caused by the lack of rhythm, be it in thought or feeling, in the breath, in action, or in one's everyday life. For instance, to stay up in the night when one is accustomed to sleep, to change the dinner hour, to take a nap when one is not accustomed to -- anything that one is not accustomed to do puts one out of rhythm. People who are accustomed to be angry or to quarrel, if they are not allowed to do that, would become ill. There is a story told in India that a person who could not keep any secret was compelled to keep quiet; in the end he became ill and the doctor had to cure him by permitting him to give it out. All this signifies rhythm; every habit forms a rhythm.
The fear of catching a disease is also a cause of illness. There are people who wonder whether they are ill, and try to find if there is something wrong with them. There are some who enjoy self-pity or the sympathy of others. These invite disease. Some entertain disease when they are to a certain extent unwell. They wish to surround themselves with the environment of a patient, or try to take a lazy life. By so doing, naturally the mind holds the disease longer, as it was allowed to do so.
There are many other causes. Among them the most unfortunate is the impression that, "I have got an illness that can never be cured." For this impression is worse than a disease. In fact the soul of every individual, healthy or ill, is pure from any pain or disease, and it constantly heals mind and body; and if it were not for the mind and body, which increase illness, a person would always be well. It is natural to be healthy, and all illness, pain or discomfort is unnatural.
The Psychical Nature of Diseases (2)
In Sanskrit, breath is called prana, which means life. This prana not only gives life to oneself, but it gives life to another person too. Sometimes the presence of someone fills you with life, and sometimes the presence of someone, so to speak, takes away your life from you. One feels tired and depressed and eaten up by the presence of one person, and another's presence gives added strength, life, and vigor. This all is accounted for by the breath. The one who has more life gives life; he who has less life takes it from the one who has more.
But there is a contrary process, too. Sometimes the stronger one takes away what little life is left in the weaker one, and sometimes the weaker one gives out his life to the stronger one. Who takes away the life in fact absorbs the life from another. In the presence of that person, even flowers fade sooner and plants die.
Many deaths occur and many lives are retained by the phenomena of the breath.
Therefore, for the healer there is no greater source of healing than the means of the breath. He can throw his breath upon the affected part of the patient as easily as one can cast his glance upon a painful part. Even eatables and objects that a healer's breath has magnetized carry with them the power of healing. If touch makes a certain mark of the perspiration and fingers upon a thing, why should not the breath, the very essence of life, live in an object and give the object some part of life which could produce in it an effect which may be a greater cure than medicine?
When the breath is developed and purified, it is not necessary for the healer even to make an effort to throw his breath upon the patient, but the atmosphere that his breath creates, the very presence of the healer brings about a cure, for the whole atmosphere becomes charged with magnetism.
The Psychical Nature of Diseases (3)
There are, no doubt, many physical causes of various aspect of insanity, but a keen study of the subject will prove the fact that insanity is mostly due to mental causes. Some lack of balance caused by intensity or excess of a certain thought and feeling is found to be at the root of every cause of insanity. The physician fails to cure such cases, especially the one who traces the cause of insanity in its outer manifestations and in the physical body. Every cause has an external effect, and yet it is a mistake to take the effect for the cause.
Therefore, it is not generally a medicine or even surgical operations or any external applications that can be of great use. It more the work of a healer than of a physician to cure insanity. Like every disease, insanity could easily be cured in its earlier stage, and it is the work of a healer again to recognize the signs of insanity in their primary state, for such signs are not noticed in a person ordinarily, and they are passed over as "something funny" or "queer" about a person. The first step to healing insanity is to get at the root of the complaint by association with the subject, and as soon as the root of the complaint is touched, a great relief is brought already, even before healing. Naturally, insanity being a mental disease, thought power alone is the remedy for its cure.
Loss of memory, confusion, puzzlement, instantaneous temper, and passion, all these are the signs of the beginning of insanity. Insanity is inherited from the family, but it can be traced in several weaknesses and vices, among these drink, fondness for drugs, unnatural habits, too much worry, anxiety, and allowing melancholy thoughts to develop in nature. These are all things that cause insanity.
The work of the healer is first to catch the primary cause of insanity, and that is loss of memory. It is caused by weakness of the mind. The mind has not sufficient power to bring forward the thought entrusted to it at the command of the will. It is this which may be called loss of memory, and it must be healed and cured in its very beginning. And the primary stage is the extreme activity of mind, which results in an extreme, thoughtless anger or passion; then, when its spell is passed, repentance comes. This should be avoided at its beginning. Guilty conscience, fear of consequences, doubting tendencies, all such things are like fuel to the fire of insanity. A pure, thankful, useful life, a constant thought of appreciating things and avoiding blaming things and people and conditions, all these help to keep away the germ of insanity.
The Psychological Nature of Diseases (1)
There is a part of one's life which only could be called life; there is no other name appropriate for it, and the English phrase "to pull oneself together" means to set that part of life to work. This part of life may be called spirit. This part is intelligence and power both in itself. It is intelligence because any part of the body and mind, or every part of both in which it dwells, it makes sensitive; and it is powerful because whichever part of the body and mind it touches it strengthens.
In games and sports, when people jump down from a great height, what is it that protects them from hurt? It is this spirit, and they have in their habit to call this spirit to their aid. When people throw balls at each other, and even in boxing, the receiver of the blow awakens this spirit in that part on which he receives the blow. The sportsman does not know what this spirit is, though he takes refuge in this. The mystic understands it by his meditation, also by research into metaphysics. When a person awakes from a deep sleep, the first thing that rises through his mind to his body, when the tendency of stretching and contracting comes, and twisting and turning, and the tendency of opening eyes, is the spirit; it rises, so to speak, and spreads.
By the mastery of this spirit, diseases are cured, age is mastered, even death is conquered. When this spirit is lacking, energy is lacking, intelligence is lacking, joy is lacking, rest is lacking; and when there is this spirit, there is hope, there is joy, there is rest; because the nature of this spirit is to hold intact the body of atoms and vibrations. Comfort lies in its being held; discomfort comes when that spirit is not sufficient to hold the body intact. Therefore, it is the lack of this spirit, in many cases, that is the cause of a great many diseases. By the development of this spirit in himself, the healer can give a part of his spirit to another, and that becomes the best source of healing.
The Psychological Nature of Diseases (2)
Almost every disease is originated from the mind, even when one catches infectious diseases. It does not mean that in all cases it must be wickedness of the mind; if it were so, the good people would never be ill; and yet it cannot be overlooked that it is the weakness of the mind, in some way or another, that allows the disease to enter. Besides that, there is negligence, oversight, irregularity -- mental and physical -- which cause diseases. Life and death are two forces, constructive and destructive, and there is continually fighting between these two forces; and there are moments when one power wins, and the success of that power is either better health or disease and death.
It is necessary that the body should be ready and fit to fight this battle. But the mind has a still greater part to perform, and when the mind fails to perform its part, the body with all its fitness is incapable of retaining health. But if the mind is capable of keeping health, the body to a great extent obeys it. Still, the harmony of both mind and body is needed to fight the battle of life.
The Psychological Nature of Diseases (3)
It is the secret of nature that life lives upon life, as all carnivorous animals live upon the flesh of another animal, and sometimes on their own element. That shows that life sustains its body by the same element of which it is made. Man's body is made of the food he eats, and it is according to the life in the food he eats that his life becomes. Little insects which live on flowers create the beauty of the flower in their body. Insects that are fed on leaves sometimes become green and beautiful like a leaf, but insects living in the earth and in dirt have a similar body.
This teaches that man's body depends upon the food he eats. Any decay in the vegetables he eats and any diseases in the animal whose flesh he uses, all makes its effect on man's health. Brahmins, who have been the most scientific and philosophical people in the world, have always considered this subject, and one always finds in the race of Brahmins intelligent and superior minds. In the West, although there is a continual scientific discovery and discussion on hygienic life, there is a great overlooking, in many things, of food, which in a few words can be explained as the lack of what may be called home life.
Many have to take their food in public places where it is impossible that a special consideration should be given to this effect. Among animals, there is a difference; there are some clean animals, others unclean, and their flesh differs in that way and has a great influence on the health and mind of a person. The question what the mind has to do with bodily food may be answered in this way, that as an alcoholic drink makes an effect on the mind, so even every atom of food makes a particular effect.
There are foods of three kinds: Sattva, which gives nourishment with calm and peace; Rajas, which gives stimulus to work and move about; and Tamas, which gives sleep, laziness, and confusion. A healer must become aware of all kinds of food and their effects, so as to prescribe to the patient to see whether the food is the cause of the illness -- which it is in so many cases -- and to keep himself in a condition that he may be able to heal successfully.
The Psychological Nature of Diseases (4)
There are many people who may be called "of nervous temperament," who have a tendency if they walk, to walk quickly; if they work, to work with a hustle; if they talk, to talk quickly, so quickly that they may drop words and make the hearer confused; in a moment to flare up in temper; who are inclined to laugh or cry easily. This condition in a way gives a kind of joy, but it weakens a person and takes away from him self-control, which in the end results in nervous diseases. It begins as indulgence in the activity and ends in weakness.
Many mental diseases are caused by this negative state of mind and body. From childhood, there is an inclination to this, especially among children of nervous temperament, and if it can be checked from that time, there is a sure result. No disease can be worse than an increasing weakness of the nerves, which is the lack of self-control, and life is not worth living when the control over the self is lost.
The Psychological Nature of Diseases (5)
Man does not only constitute matter in his being, but also spirit. However well-built a body he may have, its mechanism in good working order, still there is something that is wanted in him. For the physical body is sustained by material food and drink, breath by the air, mind by thoughts and imaginations and impressions. But that is not all; there is something besides mind and body that man possesses in his being.
That is his spirit, which is light, a divine light. It is therefore that sunshine makes one feel bright, but it is not only the sunshine that is needed for the spirit. Man's soul is like a planet; and as the planet is illuminated by the sun, so man's spirit is illuminated by the light of God. However healthy and joyful man may look, he is not really healthy; he must have some spiritual touch, some opening in his heart which would let the light come in, the light of God.
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