The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point. —Emerson
Before the eye can see, it must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear, it must have lost its sensitiveness. —"Light on the Path"
The first condition of mental healing is that the patient should be willing to take his medicine. With this assured, and a healer capable of intuitional diagnosis, there is no disease that is incurable. It has been abundantly demonstrated that all disease results from fault of disposition.
It follows that all healing is correction of the character.
It has been wisely said that character is formulated will. To correct the will is to change the disposition. The result is always harmony and health.
Before the patient can be really healed, he must be told the cause of the disease. He may be temporarily relieved by silent treatment, the difficulty may be alleviated. No cure can be established without teaching; for otherwise the cause has not been reached.
It is not comfortable to face our faults, to recognize our weakness. It is not pleasurable to submit to the surgeon's knife. In the matter of poisons no one hesitates to use emetics, however distasteful. In case of necessity we sacrifice an injured limb without seriously considering the pain of the operation. We are willing if our eye offend us to pluck it out; or if our hand or foot offend us to cut it off and cast it from us, that we may save the body. Shall we then object to the scrutiny of our mental ailments, when we once have found in them the cause of all our troubles?
The most skillful surgeon has the strongest hand, the practiced eye. His tools are keenly edged. He depends upon his knowledge that has come through study and experience, and does not appeal to his patient's whims, or ask his opinion upon the details of the necessary operation. He is employed to reach results. He follows his own methods, stipulating only that the patient shall submit himself obediently to his directions.
If anyone thinks that mental surgery is painless, it is because he has never been subjected to it. As to the "old school" treatment of an invalid, blue pills and calomel are as clover honey compared to the black draughts of mental medicine, when faithfully administered.
The causes of sufferings lie deep. The remedies must reach the vitals. All our artificial sentiments must be swept away. Our self esteem must often be ruthlessly destroyed. Our bandages must be removed, our sores examined. We must face ourselves, come out into the open, and no longer seek concealment or evasion.
Will we meet this test? If not no cure is possible.
If we have suffered sufficiently we will not desire to deny or excuse our faults. We will not defend or extenuate. We will not run to shelter. We will not flinch though we may suppress a groan, for the suffering is acute and real.
If we have reached the point of desiring truth above all things, we will throw ourselves upon the side of our critics. We will forget the extreme "sensitiveness" upon which we have prided ourselves. The "bitter tears" will no longer come to our eyes. We are ready to hear and to see the things which are spiritually discerned. It is the real self we seek to know. The personal self is not now an object of solicitude or pity.
At last we know the meaning of those old words of the psalmist, "Great peace have they who love thy law, and nothing shall offend them."
We are now ready to be healed.
Truth, passing by Bethesda's pool where we have lain so long, commands:
"Arise, take up thy bed, and walk."
At last we see, we hear, we live.
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do." Neither illness nor poverty can result from the work of good. Good does not work meanly. The only gauge of life is our capacity to receive. The source of good has never been fathomed. It is a bottomless ocean. But we are never compelled to embark upon it.
Man's freedom is complete. No power in the universe compels him to be good. But when he has chosen good, he is invulnerable at every point.
No floods can overwhelm him.
Underneath are "Everlasting Arms."