From the mental standpoint, disease is error; it cannot consistently be called anything else.
If all is life, as it surely is in absolute truth; and if man is an individualized understanding of the life, then he may be said to be a mental statement of the Law; and a statement which he himself has made. Not knowing the absolute truth that all is life; knowing, indeed, nothing of the Law; not being able to give anything like a reasonable account' of himself; simply feeling that he lives—it cannot be otherwise than that his statement of being should be extremely weak, and full of errors.
Errors of intelligence are simply negations or denials of the Law, through ignorance of its existence. These negations or denials of absolute truth show forth in a hundred forms of weak and erroneous beliefs. The body being mind, fixed beliefs, no matter how erroneous, are recorded in it in the degree and character of its weakness.
Everybody was ignorant of the Law. No two persons were ignorant precisely in the same way and to the same extent. So these various shades and grades of ignorance were so many different erroneous statements. These beliefs were predicated upon a fixed conviction in the perishability of matter. Beliefs based upon the accepted .idea that matter is perishable could not do otherwise than result in death sooner or later.
The race takes the consequences of its beliefs; a thing it could not do but for the fact that it is all mind, and that even' man's body is a statement of his beliefs, either acquired by himself or inherited from his parents, or both; modified in nearly all instances by the beliefs of those about him.
For, until a man has learned to think himself out of the fixed beliefs of the race, by the recognition of his own freedom through a knowledge of the Law, he meets with constant environment from the opinions of others; and this environment does have its influence in shaping him.
No man has any mode of thought that is absolutely and unalterably fixed, until he comes into the knowledge of the Law. Then all his thoughts begin to adjust themselves to his knowledge of absolute truth, and gradually the entire bulk of his former fixed beliefs (his body) begins to change.
It does not change its type, but its type begins to relax, so as to admit of a series of all over improvements, corresponding with his revised beliefs in absolute truth; the truth that all is life; and, therefore, good and desirable.
When a man arrives at the knowledge of this one mighty and absolute truth, he has a firm foundation under him for the first time in the history of the race. He now has a logical basis of fact from which to make a new statement of himself. The statement of himself which he has inherited is not, and never has been, a statement for which he, as a reasoning creature, is responsible. It is a statement of the developing animalhood of all the past, which has culminated in him, and which he has accepted in unconsciousness of the fact that he could make a statement that would suit him better.
But he could make no better statement so long as he believed himself to be a creation of some force outside of himself. He could make no better statement so long as he did not know by what means his present statement had been achieved; he could not even make any special change in the statement of himself: he was helpless as a log in his ignorance of the Law, and of his own power under the Law. And so the same statement simply kept repeating itself over and over as the race proceeded, without any marked departure from the fixed type, until now.
But now the greatest truth that has ever dawned on the race is here; the absolute truth that all is life; that disease, death and old age are erroneous statements regarding life; and that this truth simply awaits universal recognition in order that its vitalizing influence shall be expressed in one unbroken current through all the members of the race.
I refer again to that wonderful book, the Bible. "Believe," says the Bible, "and you shall be saved." How can belief save a man unless he is all mind?
Believe in whom?
"Believe in God;" these are the words.
Believe in the power of the Law; these are equivalent words.
'God and man are one; the Law and man are one. God, the Law, is subjective man. The race is God, the Law, made objective.
The Law being the unchangeable Life Principle, it cannot he diseased and it cannot die. Intelligence may weaken in its recognition of the Law on the unconscious plane, and this weakening may be called disease. Or it may cease to recognize it altogether on the unconscious plane, and this will be called death.
Is it really disease and death? Certainly not. It is simply the individual cessation of any farther power to recognize life; but it is not the death of life.
Non-recognition of life, life that is self-existent and eternal, is no more evidence that death exists than a blind man's belief in darkness is evidence that there is no light.
Therefore, disease is error; it is a mental mistake, and it cannot rightfully be called anything else.
If you knew your neighbor was laboring under some mistaken opinion, would you prescribe a porous plaster and a dose of calomel in order to change it? Would you not, rather, expect that the best course would be to reason with him until you had convinced him that he was in an error?
Even if his condition of error had culminated in the almost total destruction of his mind, and his conduct endangered the lives of those about him, so that he had to be tied or put under the influence of a narcotic, until such time as the truth could be implanted in his intelligence so firmly as to convince him of his mistake, would not this course be more reasonable than the former one?
If I have made it clear that man, as to his external or visible side, is mind, and not matter, I know that every reader will answer, "Yes."
Being actually startled with this idea when it was first presented to me, I kept experimenting with it, until I demonstrated that it would work perfectly in nine cases out of ten.
And perhaps the strangest part of it is, that in making the argument that convinced the patients of their error in believing in disease, I always did it silently. I seldom spoke aloud to any of them; and when they were cured they knew no more of my method than when they first came. Some of them said God worked through me to perform the cure. Others believed that I had an exceptionally strong "power in prayer," and did not know that prayer and every other form of leaning and begging were as far as possible from my method. Some unusually ignorant people thought it a species of witchery, and held me in great awe. It came to be believed that I could raise the dead, and do many other things that I was not able to do. The report of my power over disease spread far and wide by word of mouth, and people came to me from across the continent, not only to be cured, but to know how it was done.
It was done by thought transference, but it was the transference of a very unusual character of thought.
In the early pages of this book I tried to establish the fact that thoughts are things. They are substantial, though, usually invisible entities; and it is in the power of the thinker to send them from him into the organisms of others, where they are not only the messengers, but the messages themselves, that are transferred from one brain to another. They leave the strong and positive brain of the person who is grounded in the belief that there is no disease and no death, and they take their abode in the brain of the one whose beliefs are so lacking in knowledge of the absolute truth, as to render him negative to higher thought forms than his own; and here they remain, carrying conviction to the patient, of his mistake, and thus healing him by changing his belief. In healing a patient, there are two points to be noticed in the silent argument applied.
The first is a consideration of the fact that disease of the body is of mental origin; it is the disease, lack of case, or mistaken conception of the Law showing forth in the body. It is the fruit of mistaken reasoning made apparent to the senses. This truth is universal. But in spite of the fact that it is universal, and, therefore, of the first importance, it goes for nothing unless individual application can be made of it.
The Law is one thing and the understanding of the Law is another thing. The Law—in its majesty—simply is. Man, who is the individualized interpreter of the' Law, changes perpetually; changes in proportion as he knows more and more.
It seems easier to define the Law than to define the man. He is a bundle of desires. By these desires, he is related to everything that he desires. The existence of his desires proves conclusively that what he desires exists, and is for him. His desires—taken in the aggregate—are the sure prophecy of their own fulfillment. They point towards happiness, and thus include health, opulence and beauty.
Under no influence imaginable but that power vested in the Law of Attraction could the man be related to the object of his desires in a way to insure their fulfillment. He is, therefore, allied to the Law of Attraction and dependent upon it.
But he is not dependent upon it as a slave is dependent" on his master. He depends upon it as a freeman depends upon his own efforts. He knows that it will serve him in every effort he may make.
These efforts are all intellectual; they are all of them the strivings of an earnest soul in the pursuit of truth. Knowledge of truth is the only savior, and he knows it. Knowledge of truth means greater knowledge of the power of the Law.
This is what he desires; greater knowledge of the power of the Law. All of his desires, even unknown to himself, tend to this. Each acquisition of knowledge he may make helps to liberate him from the bonds of his past ignorance; from the wretched beliefs that made themselves manifest as disease, old age and death.
Knowledge is power, and power is freedom, and freedom is happiness. This is the happiness that includes all those minor details of health, opulence and beauty.
Therefore, as close a definition of man as we can come to is to call him an ever growing desire; approximating—in his growth—more and more closely to a comprehension of the power of the Law.
The more a man perceives of the power of the Law, the more of that power he incarnates in himself. He thus becomes, at every step of his advancement, to use an old phrase, "nearer to God;" a state of at-one-ment with the Law, that theologians would call making the atonement.
Perceiving, then, that man is a bundle of desires, all of which point to the attainment of truth, we recognize his desires as legitimate; and in our silent reasoning with him we strive to justify him in his own estimation by removing the prejudice he has always had against desire.
The masses of mankind are not only prejudiced against their own desires, but they are afraid of them. Their knowledge of desire is confined to the many mistakes heaped upon it by the experimenting ignorance that necessarily marks the growth of an infant race.
Therefore, to justify the patient, in the promptings of his own spirit, as expressed in desire, is one of the first efforts of the silent argument made to him. He is doubtful whether he has any true right to live at all. He sees himself a bundle of desires, all leading—as he believes—to narrow and selfish ends. He does not see the great object towards which the race is being drawn, and into which it will all be harmonized; his opinion of his own utility, as a member of society, is more than doubtful; and he says, "I would like to live and get well, if it is God's will."
His intelligence has yielded him no truth that will justify his desire to live and get well; and so he leaves it for someone else to decide. He is completely off his own base; and in endeavoring to rest upon another he has become as a plant whose roots are pulled up out of the ground, and can find no nourishment in that condition.
And so it becomes the effort of the silent argument addressed to him, to strengthen him in his belief of himself; to justify his desires to him, and to establish the ego firmly in his thought.
This gives him mental strength, and as his mental condition is his bodily condition it gives him bodily strength.
To recognize desire in the patient is to recognize what he fails to recognize in himself. This recognition on the part of another has the same effect in his body as if he recognized it intelligently and consciously himself. And so the patient may be healed without being aware of the character of the great truth that has been poured into his body.
His body, being to a degree a fixed thing, possesses less vitality than his active thought; and very much less than the thought of the person affecting the cure. The body of the patient, then, is decidedly negative, in comparison with the living truth being poured into it, and it gives an unconscious response to it; in the meantime, the patient's own thought is comparatively untouched. At least, it has not been sufficiently influenced by the more positive thought of the healer to come to an understanding of the truth, by which the body is healed.
That the patient's thought is more or less impressed by the healer's more positive thought, is often proved by the questions he asks afterwards; but I have never known a ease where his thought—his active intelligence—received the whole truth, as communicated silently by the healer. The patient, in submitting himself to the healer, does practically submit to him his own beliefs, in order to have the healer change them. But he does this when he consults a physician; the physician then proceeds to change the patient's belief by his own more positive belief in the power of medicine, and he very often succeeds in doing it.
Where a person rejects the new truth, the truth that there is no disease, and refuses to submit his beliefs to manipulation by the mental method, he creates a barrier that presents the natural tendency of higher thought to seek its level. But even in this case, the higher and more positive thought will eventually break down the barrier and enter.
Even now, in this silent way, there can be no high and positive thought generating anywhere that does not raise the average thought of the entire race a little higher.
The patient who believes in the power of another's thought to cure him removes all barriers to the entrance of that thought, and soon feels the effect of it. It was on this plan that Jesus healed; and it was his knowledge of the matter that caused him to say, "According to thy faith, so be it unto thee." He made no test cases of unbelievers; he knew he was hedged out of their minds. Nor did he heal all he attempted to heal. For, "when he went down into Capernaum, he did no mighty works there, because of their unbelief."
Individuality is a very potent thing indeed. It stands above all things except the Law. It shall not be set aside and overcome even that the person be made healthy and opulent and beautiful. Clothed in the rags of error, and too wretched to make farther effort in its own behalf, it is still the seed germ of all future growth; its ego is obscured, but not destroyed; and no power can prevail against it until it resigns itself.
I cannot enter the realm of your ego without your consent. I may conquer you bodily and make a slave of you, only to groan in despair at the knowledge that the independent ego within your breast scorns me, and holds fast in its own right every thought that fortifies the citadel where it resides—unassailable, indestructible, haughty.
A realization of the majesty of the undying ego is a strong point in the argument addressed to the patient. The more it is dwelt upon, the more firm and invincible it seems, and the more irresistible its demands. Indeed, as its strength grows upon one's thought, the desires that proceed from it seem commands that no power can disobey; it becomes a focus for the centralization of all things desirable; and to the opened spiritual sense all things appear to be drifting to it in helpless obedience to its calm mastery.
Thus is individuality more powerfully individualized in the patient, until a sense of strength comes to him that causes him to lose sight of the negative beliefs that formerly held a place in his mind; and he knows that he is well, though he knows not why.
And so the two points in removing his false beliefs have been freely used; sometimes one and sometimes the other, as each in its turn appeared the more impressive.
There are occasions when it is enough for him who is required to make this silent argument to merely bring himself into a clear perception of the fact that there is no disease and no death. This is rising into the realm of absolute truth, and seeing all things from that standpoint; but it is a universal and not an individual argument. The individual argument is that which perceives the ego, and makes every effort to strengthen it by justifying its desires to itself.
That thousands of cures are made by the mental method, which I have faintly described, no person who has taken the pains to investigate the matter can doubt. The sweeping charges brought against the method rest on no better foundation than ignorance and prejudice. Many people are willfully blind, believing it to their interest to learn no more than they now know. For my part, I let go all hold of the past years ago; resolved to remain no longer in the wornout fields of thought that I so heartily despised, no matter where a fresher and braver line of thought might land me. I was so tired of the dead past, that I knew I had nothing to lose in leaving it, and it was with a feeling akin to that of the most reckless voyager, that I plunged into The New.
And who can tell of the reward that has met me every day?
Each day the light shines a little brighter on this wonderful journey through the realm of The New. Old beliefs are fading fast. The vitalizing power of the new and positive truth is literally making me over. Each opening day is met by a brighter recognition of all the joy it holds for those who are looking for joy, and who are expecting the good, and not the evil; until little by little, and by slow degrees, all power to recognize the evil is fading from my intellect; and only the power to perceive the good is remaining.
Do you know what this means?
It means that heaven really exists; that it lies all about our daily pathway; and that—at last—through the unveiling of our mental perceptions; we are growing into a recognition of it. There is now a more subtle suggestion of beauty to me in the tiny seedpod then there was once in the splendid promise of a gorgeous dawn, clothed in its translucent garments of pink and amethyst and blue; all trimmed with golden-broidered fleece of downy white. And there is more happiness in the unexpected flower by the roadside than the richest pageant could once yield to me.
Heaven is here, but it only unfolds itself to those who unfold to meet it.
I laugh at the idea of going to a heaven more beautiful than this world, before we have learned to see the beauty that meets us here at every step.
What could we do with more beauty, when we are blind to that which we have?
Before closing this chapter I will answer an objection that is often brought against the mental method of healing. There is an idea quite prevalent that any mental application of power must be purely mesmeric or hypnotic.
Just what the relation of hypnotism to mental healing is, I do not know; but I know this: that while the operator in hypnotism gains control of his patient by the subjugation of the patient's will to his own will, the mental healer does nothing of the kind.
Indeed, what the mental healer does is just the opposite.
He knows that the entire result of his efforts in healing depends on his power to strengthen his patient's will.
The mental healer has learned the inestimable value of individual will, and has cultivated his own will by a calm and logical perception of its power and its value. He sees that it is the bulwark of his own character, without which he would take his position among the negative forces in life, whose only use is to be expended in the service of others.
He sees that his will is his only salvation in a world whose law of growth is the survival of the fittest, and it assumes such proportions in his estimation that he looks on it as the most important factor in his makeup. It has kept him in the ascendency on the brute plane, and it is pledged to hold him on a level with the most progressive on the intellectual plane.
Realizing, then, that the will is the man, he immediately perceives that the trouble with the patient is his failure to recognize his own will. Therefore, instead of trying to weaken still farther the patient's will by subjugating it to his own will, he begins to strengthen the will of the patient by the mental argument he understands so well.
Surely there is a power heretofore unrecognized in the mind of man; a power that promises so much, that to neglect its investigation would be an infinitely greater piece of folly than to turn indifferently from a collection of treasures richer than anyone has ever heaped up before.
To investigate this mighty subject is all I ask of the reader.
Health and strength and beauty and opulence are in it in greater fullness than can be found in the whole world of thought outside of it.
This much I know.
[Note—There is a set of lessons most logically written that will open the student's mind on every point treated in this book. These lessons are called The Wilmans Home Course in Mental Science. The International Scientific Association, Sea Breeze, Fla., Publishers.]
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More Articles by This Author Helen Wilmans
- Born in 1831 and died in 1907
- Studied under Emma Curtis Hopkins
- Was a journalist and author
- Was active in the Mental Science Movement
- Was charged with postal fraud for healing through mail. Fighting this charged caused her lose most of her fortune.