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Healing at a Distance

Although many persons believe in the healing efficacy of present mental treatment, yet some are not at all disposed to admit that treatment given from a distance may prove beneficial. And others, while acknowledging the fact that cures are effected through absent treatment, attribute such healing to faith in the mind of the patient, who, knowing that something is being done for him, really induces a mental state that in the end results in health. I confess this was my own belief when I first considered the matter, and for a long time I refused to give absent treatment because of conscientious scruples about receiving money while uncertain as to whether I was giving real return. For more than a year I carried on a system of experiment—the details of which it is unnecessary to relate here when I became fully convinced that, under proper conditions, absent treatment was as beneficial in its effects as present treatment.

I grant that it is an exceedingly difficult matter for persons to believe that any effective result can come from the absent method of giving mental treatments if they continue to view human life as it has been regarded in the past. If we consider men and women as distinct units, each having a separate existence—entirely independent of any other entity—the problem becomes more complex and harder to solve than when considered from the spiritual scientist’s point of view.

A Hindu Swami, referring to the saying of Jesus, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” said, “Thy neighbor is thyself.” This fully accords with the Apostle Paul’s statement that we are members one of another, and that in the Christ-spirit we realize this unity, or oneness, of life. If we can conceive of humanity as being one great body, to which every individual soul is related in one capacity or another, then the action known as “absent mental treatment” is neither so mysterious nor miraculous as superficially it may appear.

I know that I have the power to affect different parts of my own body through centering thought on those parts or withdrawing thought from them; also, that I can increase or decrease, at will, the circulation of the blood, or life force, throughout any part of my physical organism. Now, if an individual is able thus to produce a definite effect in or upon any part of his own body, he, being an inseparable member of the great body of humanity, is able to produce an analogous effect on some other part of the larger whole. Whether or not he is conscious of this, he does inevitably produce such action, either for good or ill; so that rejoicing or sorrow in one mind certainly affects the rest of humanity. Persons are often depressed without apparent reason; again, they are frequently joyous and happy without being able to perceive the cause that brought about such a state. But these emotions exist because of the relationship established by the individual with either depressed or joyous mental states of the great ocean of humanity.

The earnest seeker after truth should first strive to understand the law regulating his own being, because, whether he knows it or not, everything that occurs, little or great, is the result of eternal and unchanging Law. All the disease and discord of life flow from a lack of understanding as to its application in human affairs. Every inharmonious or discordant state, whether mental or physical, shows a lack of conformity to the law. These states should prove to the truth-seeker that knowledge of law is the first requisite, and obedience to its requirements the second. These essentials present, every discordant note would disappear from his mind and the perfect harmony of life become evident; for, knowing the law and its application in his own life, he would thoroughly understand the law that governs the entire body of humanity. The whole force of his life would be so directed as to influence any part, and to a certain extent all parts, of the grand mental and physical organism of mankind.

In the giving of absent treatment, then, there must be something more than a belief in the mind of the healer as to the unity, or oneness, of life. He must have a realization so deep that it starts from the very soul of being that he is one with the All; that all are God’s children; that God’s life and intelligence animate each and all; and that life and intelligence are only restricted by one’s capacity to receive, the influx being ever as great as the demand.

The metaphysical healer cannot permanently give health, strength, or happiness to another mind or body; but he can throw light on the way of life, making clear to the patient the true course. The healer sows the seed; God gives the increase. The treatment of another mind consists in awakening it to new desires and new aspirations, rather than in giving something that the person does not already latently possess: because the arousing of certain desires and aspirations will cause the mind to turn to the Fountain-head, whence every need may be supplied. In the conscious effort to affect his patient, the healer realizes, first, that he is one with the Source of all life; second, that he is related to the whole of life and to every part or expression thereof; and third, that he is nearer to the life in the individual soul of another than he is to his own hands and feet. He talks mentally to the patient as he would reason with himself. The union between one soul and another—between one mind and another—thus becomes so complete that it might be said they actually blend. The thoughts, desires, joys, and hopes of the healer fill the mind of the patient so that the new, uplifting, higher ideal of life enters his mind. The very depths of his being seem to be stirred; and the soul, awakening, brings a renewing of the mind, which in turn quickens every action or function of the body.

This explanation of a subtle process may seem, vague and unsatisfactory to some, but to those who have realized the truth of these things it will undoubtedly appeal. It is difficult to take mere words, as representatives of material things, and endow them with spiritual meaning: only they that have eyes can see; only they that have ears can hear.

In giving either absent or present treatments, all formulas should be avoided, as they tend to throw limitations about the healer. The one necessary thing is to understand the needs of the patient. When one comprehends his own needs, he sets about to supply them. This should be the case in the giving of mental treatment. The healer, having attended first to his own greatest needs, may then, out of his own fullness, point out the way whereby another’s lack may be supplied. He should not dwell on the evil (or negative) side; what seems to be evil is only the lack of true development—ignorance as to the true direction of the power of life. In giving a treatment the healer should have but one way in mind, and that the true way. He only confuses another mind and makes an entity of evil when he denies its existence. It is not the denial of evil that makes an undeveloped mind strong in the truth, but a knowledge of spiritual things.

Many persons are both intellectually and spiritually lazy—not wanting- to do anything for themselves, but willing to have everything done for them. These people are continually in need of treatment; they are like a watch, which needs winding every twenty-four hours; they live on the strength they get from the healer, not generating as they should the forces of life for themselves; they are not willing to use their own powers of mind and soul, but think that, so long as they are paying a stipulated sum of money, the one treating them should keep them in health. Very often they are disappointed when they find themselves far from well, notwithstanding all the treatment they have received. A patient makes a great error when he relies exclusively upon the healer instead of trying to rise, so far as he knows how, through his own power. The patient that works conscientiously with his healer is the one that will express health the soonest. Let him, first of all, try to be bright; to look on the hopeful side of things; to think thoughts of health and strength. This mental condition tends to make him more receptive to treatment; and, when new thoughts and desires enter his mind, let him try to give them expression—not to put them aside and refuse to act upon them, but to act on every new and true impulse. The patient taking this course must soon give expression outwardly to that which already exists inwardly. Health of mind precedes health of body: the whole mind makes the whole body.

After all, the phrase, “absent mental treatment,” does not give the true thought. It is used to denote bodily separation only; there is no other state of separateness. There is not even so-called material separation: because the very materials that compose the body have no separation as between the body of one person and that of another, no matter what distance the two may be apart. All mental healing, therefore, is really present treatment, whether the patient’s body be close at hand or miles distant. There is certainly a communion—a meeting of mind with mind, and soul with soul—regardless of what we term respectively time and space. Therefore, let the patient drop all thought of separation between the healer and himself; let him feel that the treatment is going to prove effectual—that it is going to accomplish the desired result—regardless of time or distance. This also will tend to put his mind in a condition of receptivity.

The office of the healer, then, is to impart a true knowledge of life to the mind of the patient; to dwell on the affirmative side; to keep ever before the mind the absolute truth of Being—the absolute quality of Love; and to throw light on the path of life. This is the healer’s sole office. Each soul is endowed with the faculties necessary to work out its own salvation, or, in other words, to come into a knowledge of its own glory and greatness as a perfectible expression of God, containing within itself the fullness of the God-head. As Jesus said, “He Called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came.” When the Word of God becomes fully manifested in the life of man, then does he truly express the perfect image and likeness of his Creator.

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917
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