SUMMARY AND DEFINITION
Horatio W. Dresser
Spiritual Health and Healing
THE term “spiritual healing” as we have been using it in these pages indicates both the source of power and the special method employed. The efficiency is attributed, not to human thought, not to the individual will, self, or attitude; but to the Divine presence realized through inner responsiveness and co-operation, and made forceful through the human spirit as means or agency. The special method involves the attitude and agencies of the inner life, through the use of silent meditation, control of the energies centering about the self, poise, peace, and an affirmative faith made practical through psychological knowledge. This method is further distinguished by the effort of those who employ it to understand and overcome the more serious difficulties of the life of suffering, to gain freedom for the individual, and to solve the more central problems of those who are sensitively organized. Spiritual healing has for its object the actual overcoming of the inner causes and conditions which produce ill-health and misery, in contrast with methods which deal with surfaces only, Thus it involves not merely temporary alleviation of human ills, and the help which one soul can give another; but an educational process extending out into the social world. It may begin and usually does start with the alleviation of pain, and the use of “silent treatment” for those who are unable as yet to draw upon inner resources for themselves. It may at first be wholly concerned with problems of ill-health. But presently it leads to character-building, the “soul’s problem” or the mastery of temperament, and the whole question of “salvation” or the new birth. It changes from the silent method to conversational studies, the art of the spiritual life, and spiritual re-education.
Spiritual healing, therefore, like the original Christianity, ministers to the whole individual, as a physical or natural being, as mental and social, moral and spiritual. Thus it takes all the facts and conditions of disease and suffering into account, ignoring nothing. It frankly faces the facts of heredity and environment, the given social atmosphere, noting man’s multiform nature, conscious and subconscious. But whatever the character and force of the external circumstances in a given case, the centre of activity is found in the inner life. Hence the method employed implies the use of those superior agencies accessible to the human spirit which touch the heart. If, for example, “perfect love casteth out fear,” we are concerned not with the fears to be cast out but with the conditions that enlist the aid of “perfect love.” If there is an inner peace which “passeth all understanding,” we must endeavor to rise above our ordinary mental processes to realize this peace through actual inner experience.
The surpassing gift which our age has bestowed upon us is this immediate spiritual clue to the resources of the Divine presence. Too often in the past God has been merely historical, heaven elsewhere, and spiritual realities mere matters to read about. It has seemed to many that if they could not conform to the established usages and beliefs of the Church their faith would go. The new age assures us that Divine realities are not dependent on time or place, on creeds, institutions or books; but on the individual’s recognition and use. Here, in the priceless eternity which is ever ours, there resides all the power, the wisdom, the love and peace we need. We need not make the effort difficult. We need not look for the marvellous. Wherever placed and however constituted, we may begin today to look within and above, basing our faith on the conviction that man is by nature so fashioned as to live in the spiritual world, to apprehend the Divine presence and to live by it. We may in a measure need to look back to great historical scenes in the spiritual life to regain the impetus, but only that we may recover the Christianity which ministers to the whole man.
To be sure, one must in a measure become aware of the urgent needs in oneself and others. We all have our repressed emotional states, our dissatisfactions and interior conflicts. We lack repose, we give way to fancies, worries, excitements. Few of us possess sufficient control and mental co-ordination to use all our energies to advantage. It is difficult for most of us to draw a line of distinction between the fleshly organism and the soul, hence much effort is required to work our way into the inner life as a conscious centre of reality open to Divine resources. Yet we need not urge ourselves. The first step is to become inwardly still, that we may by contrast realize the difference between the outward play of consciousness and the inward activity which, through its intervals, makes known the finer energies of the spirit.
Disease is inefficiency, scattering of force, nervous constraint, tension. This is seen in the case of one who is over-zealous in the effort to get ahead in the world, who is self-coercive, insistent, drawing upon the supply of nerve-energy to the limit, and suffering from the subsequent exhaustion and collapse. It is seen in the case of one who is morbidly self-conscious, unsocial, cut off from the usual activities of domestic life, hence repressed, cramped in spirit. There is much more to be said about ill-health than this. The general physician would add his physiological diagnosis, the nerve-specialist his description, and so on. But we are here concerned with crucial matters. At heart the over-zealousness which espresses itself in nervous tensions and exhaustion may spring from undue love of self and the world, from a certain ambition or ruling desire which must be understood and corrected. The true cure comes with the discovery that what we truly desire, what we can best do in the world, is possible through quiet self-knowledge and interior control, through thoughtful adjustment to life. Health in this sense is spiritual efficiency, the wise use of all our forces from the centre; it is spiritual freedom and adequate self-expression through the Divine purpose,
We are all at some stage of the journey on this the highway of life. We were started forth by incentives which we did not understand. We have had experiences which we never consciously sought. But what truly impelled us one and all was longing for the fulness of life, desire to find our place and do our work in the world. We have not proceeded at random, although this has often seemed to be the case. We have passed through the testing-times that we needed. Each man of us belongs where he is today. There is no reason to complain, spiritually speaking. What is called for is, awareness of the situation, the fact of correspondence between inner circumstance and type, between our real environment and the purpose to be realized through cooperation with Divine guidance.
When we gain the inner point of view we realize that life is constituted for the welfare of the soul, with all the laws, powers, guidances and conditions required. Being thus organized, life could not at the same time be for external things simply. Life is adapted to that which is most worth while, to freedom, truth, beauty, service, heaven, order, harmony, mutual life as “members one of another,” howbeit man has tried to take life as if meant for the realization of his desire to possess outward things to the exclusion of his brother and the neglect of God. Naturally we are perplexed and mystified, till we learn this. As naturally we mistake the physical organism for the soul, searching for external causes of our disquietude and misery, disparaging life and condemning our Maker. Inevitably our friction increases, while in our ignorance and self-will we persist in going counter to Life.
Spiritual healing reverses all this. It shows us that we are in process, frequently suffering from a sense of division within the self. By contrast we then learn that we have mistaken the process for the efficiency, the means for the end; we have even mistaken this wonderful instrument of ours, the physical organism, for the individual who uses it. Thus we have become imprisoned within the flesh, swept off our feet by whirlwinds of excitement and fear, our substance gnawed by nervous friction. Thus we have moved on from moment to moment in the mere feeling or thought of the passing hour; living in fragments, shifting from mood to mood. We have had no sense of unity or wholeness, no interior consistency or constancy. Sometimes we have striven, sometimes we have yielded. Now we have prayed, and now rebelled as if the whole world were against us. Some of us have been far too self-assertive, while others have surrendered too frequently. Thus we have lacked balance, repose.
What is the faith that makes whole? What was meant when the Master said, “Thy faith hath made thee whole?” Surely, the Divine love thus appealing to the soul through the open channel of faith touched the entire individual, not with reference to sin or disease alone. Such was the openness, the responsiveness of spirit on the part of those who came for salvation (whole- ness), that the entire inner life was ready, gave itself in aspiration. That which we intellectual mortals strive to attain by varied efforts during the weeks and months and years was thereby achieved all at once. All the inner obstacles gave way, the fears vanished, the excitements subsided, the worries ceased, the tensions were removed, the suppressions yielded. The real inner self was thereby called into play. Such healing was in fact creative, it produced a new combination of powers, achieved a synthesis amidst hitherto conflicting forces. Would that you and I could so fully give ourselves to the Spirit! Would that whole groups could so give themselves that the Holy Spirit should, as of old, fall upon all who hear, overcoming all separateness!
The ideal of all spiritual healing is unison with God regarded as creative love and guiding wisdom. Through this conjunction one realizes that this end is what the Divine power has all the time been working for although we did not know it. This conjunction is not attained through mere humility or self-effacement; for the human soul is not a mere medium or “receptacle,” and we cannot remain in the period of childhood. The soul is primarily active, whatever the attitude. We are by no means merely receptive, for example, when we complain, when we fear, rebel, lose patience, become wrought up, nervous, excited. Nor are we quiescent when we are pessimistic, self-centred, selfish. All these are active states, and when we generate misery for ourselves we are affirmative, though in a mistaken way. What we need to do is, ”about face” and use the same energy in accord with Life, not against it. All the power we employ when we are spiteful, angry, jealous, mean, distrustful; when we agonize and become self-coercive, or try to control others, is in itself good; it is primarily a question of the right use of our energies.
The Divine life in its instreaming is, as we have seen, unmistakably dynamic, the wisdom is for our active use, and the love for our quickening. Unless we use the life that comes to us we can hardly expect more. This means that the peace our spirits feel is not for our private devotions alone, not for mere piety but to be manifested socially, in the voice, in the countenance, in service. It means that unless we change our attitude from self-love and the love of things to love of God and our fellow men we will not continue to receive. It means that unless we think for ourselves we do not appropriate the Divine wisdom.
Here is where the practical method of realizing the presence of God comes to our aid. Instead of merely enjoying, acquiescing, as many do when they listen to sermons and other parts of a service in church, thereby losing the impetus which calls for prompt response, we endeavor actively to enter into and make our own the life which is for our health, freedom, and social expression. We are aware that we must feel or experience first in order to know; then we must think vividly, assimilate, appropriate. Moreover, we well know that we must live first before we can help others. But the goal of realization is service through the power of example, through composure, inner freedom, control, poise. Every element of the inner process of realization is a means to an end. It is the social self that is called into wholeness of expression, The faith that makes whole appeals to the entire individual, to stand forth, to be thankful, glad, free, sane.
The ability to realize the Divine presence for purposes of healing implies the possession by the soul or spirit of higher powers than those that are conditioned by the body, that is, intuition, spiritual receptivity, spiritual sight: spiritual senses acting independently of the physical senses. Thus one is able to communicate with and heal people at a distance, and healers possessing intuition in marked degree can discern the states of their patients during; “absent healing.” The ability to disconnect the attention from the lower level of consciousness and concentrate it upon the higher level, in quest of Divine guidance, is also spiritual.
We start then with the fact that by turning aside from the ordinary rush of consciousness on the natural level one may connect one’s active centre with a finer stream of energies and so apply those energies as to produce changes in consciousness, in mental attitude, and so (by making an impression that counts) inducing subconscious after-effects and bodily results. The emphasis is on the dynamic presence of God, and on the affirmative response of the soul. One thinks of the spiritual mind (the inner centre, secret place, “mind of Christ”) as immediately open to the Divine life, according to need, and of the spontaneous flow of thought as the first result of this quickening. Thought in this sense (thought with the spirit, in spiritual light) is affirmative in high degree, directive, a vehicle of the Creative Presence. It uses mental imagery, ideas, directions of mind favoring ideals, forceful attention or concentration, at will. The spiritual activity is the central consideration. The mental picturing or creation of ideals, the realizational process or the particular thought employed, the affirmation selected, is instrumental. The subconscious result follows upon the vivid mental impression, the dynamic moment. The essential is to find the inner kingdom, find God. The changed centre of spiritual equilibrium then brings its quickening consequences. The specific thoughts that occupy the mind, during the fifteen minutes or so which constitute the silent treatment, develop out of the centralizing activity. That is to say, the activity is more fundamental, more widely inclusive than any one phase of the process, such as affirming, realizing, concentrating on mental pictures, focussing the attention.
The physicist would argue that this breaks the law of conservation of energy. But he limits energy to the natural world, and shuts mental life into a region apart. We do not sunder the natural from the mental in this manner, but look to the spiritual realm as the basis of causality, the one ultimate source of energy. Consequently, there is no chasm to bridge, no loss or creation of energy when a spiritual impulse goes forth to produce changes in the body through the brain. It is primarily a question of transmutation or sublimation, a different direction given to the same energy. To say this is to hold that the soul is essentially a centre of activity–not of mere thought.
The soul may seem to be determined by bodily processes, and so indeed it is for most of us, most of the time. Thus we mistake processes for the activity that stirs within them. Thus we become prisoners of nerves, of the brain, of habits, moods, directions of mind, stereotyped modes of thought, customary modes of feeling, and the like. But it need not be so. We can learn to reverse the process, living and thinking with the activity that produces, giving allegiance to the Life within this activity. Thus the external mental processes may be determined by the interior spiritual states, and the brain may be controlled by first controlling the spirit.
To give assent to a wave of angry excitement or passion is to permit the soul to become a storm centre. To turn away from the violent emotion and connect with the stream of peace-energy is to feel a different mode of motion and to give forth a different kind of vibration. Here is the process in barest outline. You may call it either transmutation of energy, transfer of attention or upliftment of spiritual consciousness, as you will. The essential is to gain this power in some measure, then to increase it. When you win it you will have a basis in actual experience on which to build.
As here regarded, the soul is in ideal a unity, however many the phases of consciousness. On the lower level, the soul is brought into relation with the activities of the body, through the volitions which we cannot consciously observe because they occur so quickly. For example, when one jumps out of a chair, one is merely aware of a quickly formed decision to which the organism responds by habit. A little higher, the activity is more conscious and intellectual. There is less accompanying physical activity. The world of motion is represented by means of ideas. Higher still, the soul is active in modes that conceivably will survive after death. This is the level of clairvoyance, clairaudience, the perception of mental atmospheres, communication with persons at a distance “psychically.” The soul is both active and passive on this level (passivity is minimum activity). That is, one may become consciously receptive, in the effort to catch a thought from another at a distance, to discern a person’s interior state according to Quimby’s intuitive method; one may be spontaneously receptive, as in the case of an interior illumination which the mind merely watches for the time; or one may send one’s activities forth in direct cooperation with the Spirit. By contrast one is aware through experience of the difference between this higher level and the ordinary round of experiences.
What one feels is a finer vibration, a great peace, a sense of inward repose. The inner self thus touched, the personality as a whole responds. The higher activity once received, it may be directed according to need, or sent forth to another. To seek this inner communion day by day is to grow in repose, refinement, equanimity. The active centre thus developed is a vantage-point in times of stress, a centre of reserve-power whither one may turn in perfect confidence, well knowing that there is a boundless supply behind, that the activities of the lower level cannot prevail against it.
Only with faltering words can one suggest the experience at its best. Beyond the point where analysis penetrates there is a Presence whose power lifts the soul to unwonted heights. There one has a vision of the unity of life, the Divine order, the wise beauty. Things and events fit together, their meaning is seen. One thinks not so much of the present moment or the next deed, as of the fulness of life’s perfect round. Here one beholds the reality itself about which in other moments one merely philosophizes. One lives with the world-system. One abides with God in the eternal. One is not so much concerned with growth as with the world of the formative Spirit. One seems almost to hear the word before it is made flesh, one helps to make it flesh by accepting the spiritual law. One beholds all events from the point of view of the ideal, the details of their development seem of minor importance. Yet one receives a new impetus to action, a new desire to share these heavenly gifts with all whose vision is less clear. The resulting practical impetus is the best evidence one can give of the sanity and value of these experiences.
How shall one begin? Simply by starting with what is clear and letting the rest follow. Here you are, a human soul. Here is human life, loving, tender, sympathetic. Here is God, the All-Father: you believe in His presence, His guiding love and wisdom. Cling to this relationship, and lift the soul in responsiveness. You are alive and have problems. Others are alive and have their problems. In association with you are those who share your aspirations, whose contact with you enlists your better selfhood. Study these associations to learn what you are by what you do, to learn where you stand in the spiritual process. Discover what is even now taking place, how the present is leading to the future, what you are becoming.
God is here in the common. Do not strain after Him. See Life in what you are passing through today, and let Life have its course. Be calm at the centre, that you may truly respond. Remember that the spiritual world is the more real world, is around us here and now. There is no space between, no time intervening. You are a spirit now, even in this apparently insignificant life-round. Do not postpone the highest and best.
But remember this. The soul sees quickly and far in the superior realm, assimilates power and wisdom without regard to time. Thereupon the more slowly working intellectual process begins a corresponding assimilation. The flesh responds more slowly than the understanding. Therefore, when you have dwelt on the heights for a season, give mind and body time to respond. Do not push them. Do not think that you have fallen back or lost hold, even though the way is dark and you cannot see beyond physical sensation. Give yourself time to grow. Let yourself grow in Life’s way. Keep your eye upon the heights, but be moderate and faithful when clouds veil the summit.
If you would help another, let love lead the way. The desire to help is a prayer for the power of spiritual healing. The silent, deeply poised attitude is dynamic. Hold to this and adopt supplementary methods only so far as may be needed. There is guidance at hand for each step of the way. There is a “stream of tendency” or power. Pause and observe that you may learn whither the stream is flowing. Do not judge by the sensations. Live wholly in consciousness of the readjustments which Life is carrying forward. Trust Life and let your dynamic attitude be quickened by it, in guided co-operation.
Quimby’s intuitive method differed from the affirmative method now employed by those who use suggestion as the chief agency in healing. The first dependence was put upon intuitive impressions gained by sitting silently by the sick, and rendering the mind (the spiritual senses) inwardly open to discern the inner conditions and causes. The process included (1) discernment of the real interior inner mental state or attitude, for example, rebellion, complaint, fear, nervous excitement, bitterness; (2) knowledge of the opinion or belief concerning the ailment, the name attached to it, the physician’s diagnosis or the patient’s misinterpretation; and (3) insight into the actual condition of the organism in contrast with the fancied condition or the patient’s belief. Thus suppressed grief might be a cause, worry over the notion that one had committed the unpardonable sin, domestic unhappiness, worry over financial and other affairs; while the supposed cause might be some physical symptom of slight moment. The actual cause discerned, one could proceed to “the wisdom of the situation,” the truth which would set the patient free. The “silent treatment” took its two-fold clue in this way: from the need of the patient and from the Divine truth, and varied with the case, the need, the special occasion. The process was realization. The healer’s thought was instrumental to the therapeutic power of the Spirit. The emphasis was on the spiritual truth of the patient’s being.
Since the early days, the tendency has been to substitute specific affirmations for each case, and to deny the reality of any besetting conditions. This change came about partly because in the diffusion of the silent method among many types of healers there were few who had either the intuition or the healing power of the pioneers. Then, too, some people took the work up whose interests might briefly be described as mental rather than spiritual. But if we are interested to attain the spiritual level we will naturally advance from merely mental methods as soon as we can, opening the spirit that it may grow in intuition. The affirmations or suggestions do not always “take.” There are more difficult cases which do not work out in that way. There is
often need of deep discernment into causes. If we find a patient in an attitude of weak or rebellious adjustment, exciting, pessimistic, self-assertive, over-sensitive, it may be necessary to persuade him through conversation to adopt a different philosophy of life. The more intimately we discern the heart the more directly we can proceed. The prime interest is: intelligently to aid the patient to understand himself spiritually, hence to begin to modify his attitude. The explanation given includes an account of the real origin of the trouble, and an ideal to follow. The appeal is to reason as well as to the spirit. The further one carries the intuitive method the more clearly one sees that no two individuals are alike, no two experiences in the silence are alike: one is led by the spirit of the occasion. At the same time one is free to make the best possible use of specific affirmations or realizations, according to the case.
One should start always with the thought of God, make vivid the idea of the Divine presence by selecting some sentence from the Bible, such as, “Be still, and know that I am God,” which aids the process of detaching one’s consciousness from the outer world and renews the realizational activity. Some prefer always to begin with the same sentence, since it has hallowed associations and readily admits one into the heart of the realization. Think of the Presence in the sense of vivifying power or energy, as quickening, life-giving. Consider what that Presence must be in itself, undisturbed at heart, in perfect peace, in ineffable composure, all- comprehending wisdom, all-sustaining love. Make such affirmations as best bring this realization before you.
Then see the Spirit as going forth from its centre (which is everywhere, its circumference nowhere) in power-conveying activity or vibration, going forth into action to touch the hearts or spirits of men, imbuing them with love, guiding their minds with wisdom.
Having dwelt on the God-ward side for a time, turn to the human and see the spirit or soul in its integrity in the presence of this divinely perfect peace and composure, able to receive love and wisdom according to need.
Then put the two together: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” in the sense that we participate in this vivifying, power-bringing Presence. The inward stillness or realization invites the presence. We speak as it were to ourselves as if for God when we say, “Be still and know that I am God.” We catch for the moment the Divine point of view, seeing our own restlessness and lack of faith. We project our consciousness as if looking down from a heavenly height and stilling the tempest, bidding everything in our nature fall into line. Then it dawns upon us with clarifying consciousness that unless we always dwelt in the ineffable Presence, unless we always lived, moved, and had our being in God in reality (whatever the appearance), we never could exist for a moment, we never would continue to be. Our first step in realization, therefore, simply brings into consciousness that which all the way along is the supreme truth of life.
Having renewed our consciousness of the Divine presence in general, the next consideration is in favor of the special point on which we need help, on which another needs light. To separate one’s thought as affirmatively as possible from the old associates, the old imagery, fears, thoughts, emotions, memories connected with the experience which one is endeavoring to overcome, and to make this separation clear-cut and distinctive, is to give our realization the force of a denial of the power of the old conditions in which one has been immersed. This in brief is what the victorious attitude accomplishes. It asserts so positively that one must find God that it makes light of the greatest obstacle. For this attitude means that one has so given the spirit to the ideal that one knows no such word as fail. What we have learned thus clearly for ourselves we can see clearly for another. We may take the other into the Presence, seeing him in the light of the perfect ideal, in peace, in health, in freedom. We may draw the sharpest possible line between the spirit as thus free and the old conditions. Sometimes this can best be done by realizing such freedom in general. Again, one finds it desirable to be more specific, directive. The thoughts that come and go and constitute the subject-matter of the realization, take their clue from this directive activity.
Experience shows that a realization is made definite by being directed to the actual life we are living today, from within. Hence it is important to avoid being abstract, as if experience on the natural level of consciousness did not exist at all. Sometimes indeed there is no realization which equals the thought of the realities of the higher level, the assertion of “pure spirit” as the only reality. But if we overdo this thought we may be out of touch with the very life which we wish to spiritualize. The result might be a glossing over of actual conditions and we might seem to be meeting with splendid success, even for years. But a state glossed over, like one suppressed, will have its day. That is why we find some people falling from abstract grace and beginning anew, depending an deep breathing, out-of-door exercise, vegetarian diet, and any other physical method by which they can re-establish their balance. But putting our idealism in relation to common sense we may begin as we can hold out, steadily carrying our ideals into practice. And so we find leaders going steadily on as the years pass, never falling from grace, never experiencing a relapse or recurrence of old troubles. These have kept their eyes on the stars while also walking wisely on earth. They have dared affirm the realities of the higher level without denying the lessons of the lower. They have seen the Spirit going forth into incarnation, becoming concrete in the flesh.
To be concrete, therefore, we need to realize that the Power or Life with us to heal is immediately at hand in such a way that, opportunity being granted, it tends to enter where we need it most, to proceed from the centre outward to do its regenerative work until it touches the “ultimates” or externals. The reason some have first had to learn to breathe deeply, change their diet, or overcome nervous tensions by practising relaxation, before they could make much inner headway, is found in the fact that they were beset by all these tensions, and their mere declaration of perfection on the abstract level was not sufficient. But if we understand these matters from within we can learn to take off the tensions without trying now this method of relaxation and now that, groping along for we know not precisely what. Then, working from within outward when our ideals elevate us, our tastes change, our standards become purer, we may change outwardly in response and find that the simpler, purer modes of living belong with the inner changes and have come to stay. Then as matter of habit we will keep the system freer, more and more in harmony with the things of the Spirit. The result will be constructive or creative health. We will not then be forever considering how to overcome, how to demonstrate, but will live that mode of life which brings with it health as a natural consequence without thinking about it.
Workers in this field have reached their present point of success by seizing upon a few practical ideas and putting them to the test, beginning wherever they happened to be and forging ahead. We should simplify. It is not a complex process, this method of healing. The details may interest us but they are not necessary. We should not expect to have these all made clear in advance of experience. There is an element which experience itself adds when we have put into use what we possess. So if we do nothing more at first than repeat a scriptural sentence, holding to it steadily, this endeavor may open the way. There is, of course, a complete spiritual science of the whole process, with its psychological elements, its spiritual principles, with knowledge of all the laws, forces and conditions. But this is rather the intellectual or philosophical part of it. There are times for reviewing this part, that we may bring all these considerations into their unity. When it comes to actual practice, however, we need to be specific and to simplify. Thus the three words, “Peace, be still,” may suffice to open the inner door for us, and there we are in the realm of pure Spirit. Then, pausing a moment, a clue may disclose itself, and we we in the realm of pure Spirit with a clue or leading.
If we could at once do what we want to, in our impulsiveness, we might wish to take ourselves out of the conflict of forces. But we are in this balance between heavenly love and self-love for a purpose: to see the consequences of both, that is, that heaven or hell begins with the one or the other; to come to judgment in the living present, noting what has brought us where we stand; that we may freely choose, adopt a prevailing love. Then at last when we identify ourselves with love for God and man, in preference to selfishness, the conflict can be overcome, will cease. That is the whole meaning of suffering: that we may be brought to the point where we can live without it–so far as what we produce ourselves is concerned. Then we naturally turn about and begin to carry the glad news to others which will set them free also. The Divine guidance holds us down to just this concrete situation till we learn it. This is the wonder and beauty of our practical life with God. The law of the Divine-human is the great law to learn. The same law which seems an infliction while we are “under the law,” as the great apostle puts it, is the law of our emancipation when we understand.
People try to evade this law who maintain that it is only a question of “applied psychology,” of claiming wealth and piling up the millions, as if the goal of life were to get rich; they tell you that the spiritual can all be left out, that we need have nothing to do with religious considerations. But granted this higher insight for which we are pleading, it becomes plain that all the psychological machinery, so to speak, may be lifted up to the higher level. Then we may see with crystal clearness that “the laborer is worthy of his hire,” that there is a law of spiritual abundance such that what we need for our life and work in the world will be forthcoming so far as we are prepared, when we respond and move from within outward. The law exists to “bring us to Christ,” to give us “the mind of Christ.” It compels us to reap as we have sown, that we may learn its power over us. There is no such thing as demonstration over it by the human will or by human thought alone. To put prosperity first in rank is to fail to find it in the true sense at all. But prosperity according to what we deserve is indeed, like constructive health, one of the fruits of the Spirit, one of the things that are added, that follow. The essential is to seek the Spirit.
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Spiritual Health and Healing
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