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Spiritual Treatment

When divine faith, divine love, divine will, are united in one human being, this being becomes itself divine, becomes itself a master;
his faith enables him to heal the body, his love to minister to the needs of the soul, while will gives him power to harmonize natural conditions.
—Van Der Naillen
In order for the highest wisdom and insight we must have absolute confidence in the divine guiding us, but not through the channel of someone else.

In considering the subject of mental treatment—more correctly, spiritual treatment, since other than mental qualities are involved in the giving of treatment—it is necessary in the first place to clear up certain misconceptions arising from the confusion of the different terms, body, soul, spirit, and mind. These words are apt to be used as though they related to separate entities, or substances—or to modes of being which are separate and distinct in their reality, but are temporarily or casually brought into relation with each other. Or sometimes it appears to be held that body is not a reality at all, or even that body, mind, and soul are alike illusory, leaving spirit the only true reality. Now such a failure to attach their true meanings to the terms us which we use in our thinking, necessarily leads to false and misleading conclusions.

The truth—simple and plain enough for all to understand it aright—is that all life is one in essence, differing only in the degree and plane of its manifestation. The body of man is not a thing separate and distinct from his mind, independent of it, obeying other laws, subject to other rules. On the contrary, it is the outgrowth of mind, the manifestation of mind, that through which expression is given to the inner man upon the physical plane. On that plane and in relation to it, body is reality, but neither independent nor self-existent. It is conditioned and ruled by the reality of the next higher plane of expression, that is to say, by mind. Nor is the mind of man separate and distinct from his soul-life, though it is often so spoken of. It is that expression of soul which relates man to the world of form and perception. It is the manifestation of life upon the plane of thought. It is that which governs and controls body, and is in turn ruled and conditioned by soul.

Soul, again, is the term which we use to describe the highest expression of individual identity. It is not different from or independent of spirit, but is one with spirit—a part of the universal soul of all things. It is spirit subjected to those conditions and limitations which give rise to identity. The oneness of life is expressed in and signified by spirit; its diversity in and through that oneness, by soul. These thoughts fairly grasped, it becomes comparatively easy to understand things aright—one life, and only one life, and yet that One Life manifesting itself in many ways and through many degrees.

Jesus said of God: "God is Spirit," and the translators not being satisfied with that, translated, "God is a Spirit." That little article a gives a very different interpretation to Jesus' statement. Spirit, as Jesus said, was God. When we use the word spirit, it means the universal spirit, it means God. Again, when we come to the word soul, let us see that the soul is the differentiated spirit, the individual spirit, the microcosm which contains within itself the complete picture of the universal God, the macrocosm. Let us see, then, that there is no difference between the great universal soul and the individual soul, other than this one thought of differentiation or individualization. The existence and reality of an inner state necessarily involve the existence and reality of an outer state. Accordingly it would appear that an outward state has ever been essential in the growth and development of man.

Realizing, then, that there is a unity of life, we must not pick these different states or expressions of life apart and think or talk of them as though they were entirely distinct. We must see that they are in the last analysis all one; that man is a unit; and that the universal soul again is a unit; that the life which flows through this grand organism is all one—One Life, One Intelligence.

The importance of a correct conception on this point arises, so far as the present subject is concerned, from the fact that among the faculties that play a prominent part in the giving of treatment are some which we commonly regard as soul faculties and certain others which we are accustomed to consider mental faculties. First among the soul faculties stands the will of man, and that will, in turn, is one with the divine will of the universe. The true action of will in man is one with all will. Professor Dewey, of Ann Arbor, says that the will is man. It may be defined as the force of life in its voluntary outward expression. We see how it affects our own lives, and we see how it affects the lives of others.

Working with will, guiding, stimulating, and directing it, we find faith, hope, and love. Now these faculties belong to and are the deepest feelings in man's nature. So far from being dependent upon or an outgrowth of mind, they cannot even be pictured in mind, but transcend any image that mind is capable of forming. They rise superior to anything known or recognizable in the mental state. Therefore, it is not possible to give any description in words—words being a development and expression of the mind—of these important and powerful states of feeling. We may possess them, we may experience them, we may know them in all the height and depth of which our natures are capable, but we cannot describe them. Yet we may cherish and cultivate them, and with the cultivation of these three mighty capacities in the life of man there will be generated certain other forces through the possession of which man may become of the greatest service to his fellow men.

Through the development of love, faith, and hope, man may come into possession of the magnetic force of his being; nor is this to be generated in any other manner whatsoever. If this appears to some to be denied by experience, if there seems to be magnetic force which, judging from the manner and purpose of its use, must have arisen from some other source, remember that for every real thing there is a temporary symbol manifested on the personal plane which practically contradicts that reality. Much in this world which masquerades as and strives to pass for real magnetism is not magnetism at all in the highest and truest sense of the word. If we desire to possess this magnetic force, we can achieve it only through the cultivation of faith, hope, and love.

How, then, shall we develop these qualities? Simply by exercising them in relation to people here in this world. Let them flow outward toward every person, every animal, everything with which we come in contact, and the more freely we give the more freely shall be added unto us. As we give of our faith freely and fully to our fellow men, as we pour out our love upon them in abundant measure, as we hope for them, and care for them, and do for them, in just that proportion will the faith and love and hope within our own souls flourish and grow strong. Thus and thus only may we confidently expect the development of the magnetic force in man.

Now the electric forces in man arise from another source, namely, from the development of the intellectual part of man's being. Just as we recognize the magnetic forces as being in and of soul, so we must learn to realize that the electric forces are in and of mind. Hence it may be readily understood how it happens that many people possessing practically no magnetism whatever, yet, somehow, have developed, through the intellectual side of their being, a great deal of electric force. It is the perfect combination of magnetic and electric forces that is needed in this world today; and this involves the perfect development of both mental and soul faculties, not the cultivation of one at the expense of the other. Yet quite too generally "cultivation" and an "education" are taken to mean the training of the mind alone.

Now it is an unfortunate fact that a person may be so warped through the development of the intellect alone that not a ray of soul-light can ever penetrate the outer mind to illuminate the inner being. People may be so warped and distorted through the study of books, through mathematics, philosophy, through metaphysics and theology, that they actually know nothing whatever of the soul-life. After all, the old Greek command, "Know thyself," points the way to life. Only as we come to know our inner powers, our power of love, faith, hope, and service, can we know God. True love in the mind of man was first begotten of the aid, comfort, and assistance that he rendered to other lives. And the true love, commencing first with individuals, gradually extends until it takes in every living, moving, breathing thing, proceeding from the individual outward to the circumference of all things.

We see, then, that in order to generate this magnetic force (which will be of the greatest assistance in giving treatment), it is necessary that faith, hope, and love shall abide and wax strong in the soul of man; thus existing, they must be felt in and express themselves through mind. These different states arise in the innermost parts of man's being, and work from thence outwardly, revealing health and power in the mental and physical planes. So only can we come into true relation with our fellow-beings.

Accordingly, we have now to consider the mental faculties used in the giving of treatment, among which the power of concentration and the imaging faculty of mind are most important. It is through this latter faculty—that of imaging or picturing in mind—that the healer is enabled to see what the man or woman he is treating should be, not what he seems to the outward eye to be, but what he should be and what in reality he is.

The process which begins with the denial of everything evil is not a true one. It depends for its basis upon the assumption of the unreality of the body and so-called material things. But, as we have already seen, the body is a reality upon its own plane and in the degree in which the real unity of life is expressed through it. Hence, to deny the reality of disease and pain upon that plane is incorrect and only juggling with words. Indeed, the very attempt to deny away certain conditions can only result in emphasizing the reality of those very conditions. If you say, in good faith, that there is no sin, sickness, or disease, you have simply succeeded in hypnotizing yourself into an erroneous belief. All these conditions do in truth exist. They are but transitory conditions, to be sure, through which the soul passes, but to him who is undergoing them and suffering from their effects they are very real; nor can they be overcome and rendered non-existent by means of mere denial.

Error is to be overcome not by the denial that error exists, but by affirming the existence and power of the eternal truths. Darkness is to be overcome by letting in the light, not by saying there is no darkness. Hence, this process which begins with the denial first of the physical body of man—that through which he alone is expressed upon the physical plane—and continues with the denial of sin, sickness, and disease, has and can have nothing good flowing from it, nothing that can cause any soul to be one iota better. It is just like a little child in the dark saying, "I'm not afraid of the dark." The very fact that the child says this proves that he really is afraid. Every time you deny away a condition as unreal, you picture that condition in your mind, and hence perpetuate and strengthen it instead of lessening its hold on you.

Now there is another form of denial which stands on a very different basis, and it is a true one: it is the denial of the superiority of body over mind, the denial that the body can, of and for itself, do anything or feel anything, the denial that life on its higher planes of expression can be affected by or suffer from that which only has validity and meaning for the physical plane. This latter form is no more denial of negation; it only arises, as we shall see later, from the assertion of the higher law. Therefore, in giving treatment, we image in mind things which are pure and good, we image the thought of the perfect man, the likeness of his Creator, without spot or blemish, and we put the whole force of our thought and will into that, instead of telling the sufferer that he is not sick or diseased.

The one thing needful in this life is the full realization of the unity of life, the clear perception that man is one with the Source of all life, and can never become in any way separated or detached from that Omnipotent Source. Once the mind of humanity realizes that truth in all its completeness, sickness and disease will exist no longer. When this becomes a living, vital force in the mind of any man, he will so regulate his life that every thought, every action, will be a benefit to others. He will no longer seek his own good but that of others, for he will know that his own life is bound up in the lives of others, of all mankind; and that whatever works good to others reacts on his own life, for peace and well-being.

Many healers find it difficult to get true concentration. Now this faculty is needed in treatment to a very marked degree. As has been said, we first image in mind the condition which we desire to see expressed in the patient. When that perfect image has once been obtained, then comes in the power of concentration to hold to that image, and to impress it upon the mind of the patient. All that is necessary for the healer to do for the time being, is to hold with his mind and thought to that one thing. The faculties of mind and soul are thus brought to a focus, just as the rays of the sun are gathered and deflected to a common center by a sunglass. And notice that while the rays of the sun are passing through the lens, there is very little heat apparent. The heat becomes manifest and effective only as the sun's rays reach the focal point.

So it is with the powers of the soul and mind as they are affected by this faculty of concentration. They will, aided by concentration, bring the thought or image formed in your mind to a focus in the mind of the patient. This done there need be no doubt as to the effect of that thought. Remember that you have planted the seed—that is all. You do not give life. You give nothing except the thought. By means of that thought you are able to stir into activity the dormant possibilities of the patient's mind and soul. The power of God in that soul's life is what makes your work fruitful and productive. God giveth the increase. The healer supplies the medium through which that power passes to reach the patient; his will is the instrument by means of which that power is concentrated upon its subject. He only calls into a living existence things that are latent in mind and soul.

This being the healer's office, he should have no doubt in his own mind as to the effect of the treatment. Doubt in the healer's mind means and involves doubt in the patient's mind; for a false thought will then be given out with the true one. Therefore, have perfect faith that when the seed has been planted it will spring up and bring forth fruit after its kind.

It is a great mistake to let the mind dwell too much on the results which are to be expected from the treatments. In reality the question of results is not for the healer to consider. The thing he has to do is to give the treatment—give it just as well as he knows how, put the whole force of his mind and soul into it, and the results will come.

Note, too, that there is a necessary condition in the healer's mind in order that treatment shall be effective. If your own mind is disturbed or unrestful, how shall you be able to give restfulness to another mind? You say, "I think the true thoughts for that other mind in spite of the disturbed conditions of my own." Not so; for the other mind is in a passive and receptive condition. You are holding in mind—hence conveying—false images as well as true ones. You have in mind images that would carry the thought of rest and peace, but you have also those that would bring disquiet and unrest. The true and false must go out together. Yet you wonder why your patients do not progress faster than they do.

In giving a treatment the mind of the healer must be restful and peaceful, absolutely denying entrance to every doubt and every fear. The mind must be acted upon from the inmost depths of being: impulses of love, faith, and hope must dominate the mind exclusively. Thus will true thoughts alone emanate, and there will be no room for any false thoughts. When the light is truly shining there is no room for darkness. When the true thought is held in mind to the exclusion of the false, that true thought, going out from your mind, will affect the lives of others for good.

No thought can fail to have its effect upon some life. One cannot meet another ever so slightly, cannot converse with another for even five minutes, without influencing that other life to some degree. Either that life is better for having come in contact with you, or there remains with it some false impression which must be overcome. You have either added to life's burdens or lightened them, according to your thought. So intimately related is all mankind that our very thoughts, without spoken words, affect the lives of those about us.

The question is often asked: Why is it that one can receive treatment from a Mental Scientist for months, and seem, after the first slight improvement, no better? In many cases it is because he is content to let the healer do all the work; he is literally being carried by another. Now this is an impossibility for any length of time. All that any healer can do is to guide our feet into the way. It is we who must take the steps.

All mental treatment aims to help people to help themselves, and if they refuse to exercise themselves unto Godliness, on their own shoulders alone lies the responsibility for sickness and suffering. From him that hath not (sincere desire and perseverance) shall be taken even that little possession of health which he seemeth to have.

Health, harmony, heaven (for they are all the same thing), can be realized only by men and women who are so deeply in earnest that they will give all that they have to secure the pearl of great price.

Indeed salvation costs all that there is of a man. If we could understand that all this outer life of mind and body is but the symbol for reality then we would make more rapid progress in things eternal. But men persistently try to make the outside of the cup and platter clean and then wonder why no good results follow.

For instance, take the matter of dissipation. To attempt to overcome the trouble on the physical plane alone is folly, for the cause lies further back than that. If a man habitually dissipates his will, centering it first on one subject of desire, then on another, he becomes weak and diseased; and we all know the evil effects of mental dissipation. That old verse which reads, "God gave them their desires but sent leanness into their souls," has much good doctrine in it.

Our prayers, that is our desires, are being unanswered all the time; and if we find our bodies in a lean or weak condition, if we discover a diseased or crippled state in the body, it is because we do not desire the good of all men, but love personal benefit; our desires are mean and small, our concepts are crippled and false; our souls, lean.

Whatever we earnestly desire we become one with. If we set our affections on partial benefits, that is, a good for one that is not a good for all, then we most assuredly will receive only a meager allowance of physical and mental power. But if our love includes all men, if it is the whole good that we desire, then wholeness or health will, according to the intensity of our desire, be manifested in us. It is according as our concepts of life are true or false that we express, in our various activities, power and fullness or disease and weakness.

! Now there is this thought, too, that I wish to leave with you, that new light means increased responsibility. Those who learn about this New Thought of health through soul-exercise and merely dwell in it intellectually without applying the truth in their own lives, are going to be worse off than if they had not known the truth. As Jesus put it, "If I had not come, ye had not sinned."

"Where much is given much shall be required." It is not enough merely to entertain those thoughts, but we must consciously relate ourselves in a vital way to the Reality which is in all and through all. We must shut our eyes to the outer darkness of the personal life with its mean concepts and ambitions and open the eyes of the heart to the light of the universal life of love.

In this world of ours many things masquerade as angels of light that are really far from being what they seem, although in every form of life, however imperfect, there is an element of truth.

Take as an example this matter of healing. There are all degrees of power, some men possessing a little, others a great deal. Two men having apparently the same intellectual understanding of mental healing may reveal very different powers in the practice of it. Why is this? It is because in one case soul qualities abound; in the other mental activity predominates.

There are two phases of power: one, the electric and the other, the magnetic. And then, too, in regard to magnetism, there is the false or the so-called animal magnetism, and there is the real or spiritual power.

Electric power is generated through thought. A keen and strong thinker can control others through electric force, but the magnetic control springs from the realm of feeling; and when I speak of feeling I do not mean the emotional impulses which arise largely on the surface of being but those deep soul-feelings of faith, hope, and love.

We need not worry in the least as to whether we are manifesting power. Our chief concern is with its realization. If we can realize love in our souls it will, without doubt, be revealed in our minds and bodies.

So then let us give up once for all our dependence on outward form, whether it be the form of a person who seems to us the incarnation of power, or whether it be an institution; and let us aim always to see the life hidden within the man or organization, and give God the glory.

So shall we be freed from a childish dependence and learn to walk in the Way of Life ourselves.

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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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