Chapter 8 – Health, and How to Obtain It

Chapter VIII
HEALTH, AND HOW TO OBTAIN IT
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.”
–Isaiah 35:5-6

[86] In all the world, there is no one thing so earnestly sought after as health. It is that without which there can be no real success in any reach of life. It is a universal necessity, for, without it, neither prince nor peasant can be happy. When the body is racked with disease, the sinner cannot sin so much, nor can the saint soar to such heavenly heights. Without health, he who would tread the path to fame in literature, art, music, invention or industry, faces an almost insurmountable barrier.

That some of us, through our so-called diseases, have been compelled to turn to God in our extremity is true; but the blessing is not that we have been sick unto death, but that we have turned to God; and this we might have done without being coerced. It is a sad commentary on the wisdom of the average man that he has [87] been compelled by illness to do that which he should have done naturally and without effort.

It was the custom among the early Israelites to turn to God at the first suggestion of disease, and, if history tells us correctly, they had none of the diseases which the Egyptians had, whose remedy was not Deity, but drugs. It is recorded that King Asa, when disease came upon him, turned not to the Lord, but to the physicians, and as a consequence, “he slept with his fathers.”

We make that first which ought to be made last, and that last which should be first. So that to-day, when we are told that the sick can be cured by a system which is wholly drugless, we are filled with doubt concerning it. We arrest chiropractors, osteopaths and others whose patients sometimes pass away without noxious drugs, while another school may sign a death certificate and avoid persecution and prosecution in cases where their patients have passed away with enough drugs in their systems to represent a pharmacy! In the same paper which contains a glaring account of a man who passed away without medical assistance, you will find in the obituary column a doleful array of those who have passed into the beyond with medical attention. These are facts which ought not to be overlooked in a matter so important as our physical well-being. Divine Scientists make no objection to the rest of the world filling itself up with poisons, but they merely ask the privilege of calling in the Great Physician in the hour of temptation.

[88] It is not that Divine Scientists are in open rebellion to the existing systems of therapeutics; it is that they have tried these systems until disappointment has driven them to God as the last and only refuge. They are not engaged in warfare with materia medica, neither are they proselyting in the churches; but when men become discouraged with attempts through materia medica to heal their bodies, and with theology’s efforts to answer the questions of their own souls, Divine Scientists are not to be blamed if they recommend the throne of God as the court of highest appeal.

We are coming as never before to realize that sickness is not a divine institution, but that it is due to some form of mental wretchedness–concealed, perhaps, from friends, but nevertheless there. The ordinary man seeks after health much as the extraordinary man seeks for heaven; and strangely enough there comes a time when both find what they are looking for in the same place, and in the last place they look for it.

The sick man travels to renowned corners of the earth–from Battle Creek to Carlsbad and on again–seeking for that health which is more desirable than fine gold or precious stones. The saintly man seeks for a heaven which he never expects to find until after he has been gathered to the bosom of his fathers. An awakened conscience, with an acute sense of right and wrong, makes it impossible for him to be really happy in what he calls a world of sin, and so he sighs [89] for that other world where pain and sorrow are unknown.

By a strange tendency of thought, we look for that outside of ourselves which can be found only within. The sick man seeks health in divers places, and the saint seeks heaven afar off, when all the time each is carrying about with him the thing he desires, if he only knew it.

Happiness and health are not blessings which may be imported from a foreign land. They cannot be imparted from without; but, if they are to blossom externally, their seeds must be implanted in the deepest recesses of the human soul.

To the man who asked Jesus when the kingdom of God should come, He said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Ye shall not say, Lo here, and Lo there, for the kingdom of God is within you.” If we accept this, we shall be compelled to narrow our search to a small area. Instead of scattering our energies and wasting the little strength we are conscious of in trying to find more, we shall go quietly into the Silence and affirm, “The strength of God is my strength, omnipresent and eternal.” In the depths of our own being shall we find that which we have so fruitlessly sought elsewhere.

If happiness, health and heaven are not in us as mental states, they are nowhere. It is said that in the New Jerusalem there is neither sorrow nor crying, for “the former things have passed away.” The New Jerusalem which cometh down from God out of heaven is not an ancient, but a [90] rejuvenated city. It is that state of man’s soul which may be called the kingdom of Good, or God, in man while on earth, here and now. It is the state of mind wherein the individual perceives that the things that are seen are carnal and temporal, while the things that are not seen are spiritual and eternal.

When a man realizes that external conditions are not superior to internal convictions, he has emerged from the plane of limited capacities to the realm of unlimited possibilities. Instead of being the slave of external conditions, he becomes their master, for he has risen from the life of sense to the Life of Spirit, wherein is the only Reality.

Throughout the ages the efforts of all the great teachers have been to free men’s minds from the belief that matter is superior to mind, and thus to enable man to rise from the dust and begin to realize on earth his God-given powers. That body governs mind is inconceivable, but how to instruct mind to govern body and make happiness and health grow where discontent and disease previously flourished is very essential.

The important thing which man can learn today is wherein lies the source of his power; and when he discovers that it is centered in himself, it is only a question of time until he will direct it to constructive ends. We are hypnotized by our surface experiences because we are as yet unconscious of our latent capacities.

As the race sat for centuries in comparative [91] darkness, ignorant of the fact that it lived and moved and breathed in an ocean of unmanifested light, which today we call electricity, so the average individual accepts conditions that are almost unbearable because he does not realize that there is a limitless capacity for expansion within his own being.

As the aviator soars to ethereal heights and the earth vanishes beneath him, so is it possible for us to rise above our discords, discouragements and diseases by elevating the mind above morbid thinking. When a submarine commander wishes to escape the shots of a cruiser, he submerges; or, when a storm rages, he dives to a depth of the ocean where there is perpetual calm. These acts should illustrate the wisdom, in the hour of seeming danger, of submerging the Self in fathomless depths of the Love of God.

If, on the surface of our lives, there are storms and conflicts, there is depth of our being where poise and power persistently abide. To find this depth and rest there, is to gather strength, not only to bear the so-called ills of the flesh with fortitude, but to overcome them. To rebel against disease while believing it to be incurable is suicidal, for it adds discouragement to discomfort.

In sickness we should be hopeful and expect recovery; but the consciousness of the Abiding Presence to whom sickness is unknown is an infallible panacea. In the hour of disease it is as possible for us to turn inward to that Eternal Center where only health abounds as it is for a [92] man to seek shelter and protection from bombs by going down into an underground railway.

Things that make us unhappy, and ill in consequence, are neither as real nor as powerful as they seem to be. In our ignorance of God’s omnipresence we magnify our ghosts of fancy until they assume alarming proportions, and when we would escape them they follow us like our shadows–for this is just what our ghosts of fancy are, the shadows cast by our own spiritual density.

In the Science of Creation set forth by Plato and others, God, or the Immutable Good, is the one source from which all real things proceed. Since effect must be ever like its Cause, we are forced to the conclusion that all that God creates is good, for it must be like the Cause which produces it. Good is positive and real; evil, being the opposite of Good, is negative, and consequently unreal, and to understand it as such is to gain control over it. If disease is evil, and most of us admit that it is, then it, also, is unreal. It is an appearance without actuality, like darkness, which is merely the absence of light.

To the great majority of persons nothing seems more real than disease, but when it becomes known that only that is real which proceeds from God disease loses its terror for us, and through Truth we gain the ascendancy over it. The conviction that “Nothing is true but God” is the rock upon which to stand, against which the winds and waves of human ignorance may expend [93] their fury, but against which they cannot prevail.

To be able to realize that disease is not God-created, and to know that there is no other creator, is to be “endued with power from on High,” for it enables us to form a correct idea of ourselves as we are in Divine Mind. This is the beginning of our cure. So long as man’s conception of himself is that of a frail mortal, subject to sin on the one hand and to disease on the other, all the tendencies of his thought will work in the direction of causing this conception to be made manifest, for that which a man believes himself to be that will he surely become.

From this we see the importance of forming a true conception of the real Self, for when this true conception of the Self is formed it will go through all the orderly processes of unfoldment until it externalizes itself in happiness and in health. The true conception of the Self is that which is based, not upon human parentage and physical surroundings, but upon the Truth that we are the effects of the Great and only Cause. In other words, we must learn, with Jesus, not to think of ourselves as the sons of men with inherited evil propensities, but as the Sons of God and joint heirs with Christ to the kingdom of God in which there is no sin, sickness, disease nor death.

To find health and enjoy it as a permanent possession, we must look for it where it is. Looking [94] to drugs and change of climate will never bring us perfect health; and disappointment will be our doom. God is the eternal health of man, and it is only as we find our health in God that we shall find it at all.

Since Life, Health and Blessedness are from God, we should look to God for them and not to man. External methods are temporary, but the internal conviction of one’s connection with the Source is lasting and permanent. Our health cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth, for if it does not come from Him it is non-existent. When vain searchings in other directions have driven us to despair we may, like the mariner, who, in a storm, steers for a friendly port, turn the prow of our minds in the direction of that Indwelling Presence which is Health itself. Looking away from terrifying appearances to that Divine Reality in which we live and move and breathe, we may say with confidence:

“In Thee I have no pain, no sorrow,
No anxious thought, no load of care;
Thou art the same today, tomorrow;
Thy Love and Truth art everywhere.”

Chapter 9

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