Cause and Cure in the Realm of MindW. John Murray
Vol. 17, No. 2
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.,
“No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” – John 3:13
SOMEONE has said that he is a wise man who knows where to look for what he has lost or what he has never had and wants to find. When a man loses his collar button in the morning, he is apt to look in the most inconceivable places for it when all the time it may be in the cuff of his trousers. A man who looks everywhere for his collar button but in the cuff of his trousers, may carry it to the office with him and never be aware of its proximity. He may swear and sweat if it happens to be the only collar button he has, for a missing collar button can be the cause of a lot of mischief as well as annoyance.
What time and trouble would be saved if we only knew where to look for what we lose, and this is as true of health and happiness as it is true of anything else. When a man looks for happiness outside of himself, he is like a man looking for his collar button in the belly of a closed piano when all the time it is at the bottom of his trousers leg.
I feel persuaded that one of the reasons why we do not find more of the things we want is because we look in the wrong place for them. Through some strange perversity of the human mind, when it is unhappy it seeks relief for its unhappiness in some form of outward distraction. It drinks, it smokes, it goes to the movies, it gambles, and it does worse things than all of these things put together, only to discover when it has run the gamut of foolishness that it is more unhappy than it ever was. All of which goes to prove that if a man is not happy inside there is not anything on the outside that will ever make him so.
The cause of our unhappiness is in mind and the cure of it is in the same place, for there is that in mind that is a sufficient remedy for all unhappiness, if we will only look for it there. A young man was going out for the evening and his mother said as she helped him on with his overcoat, “I hope you’ll have a pleasant time, son,” and he replied, “Thank you, I always do, I take it with me.” The trouble about happiness with most of us is that we do not take it with us, we expect someone else to bring enough for both of us as some people do who go to picnics. A Scotchman who had found religion got up in a testimonial meeting and said, “I’m happier noo, when I am no happy, than I wis afore when I wis happy.” He had found a happiness in himself which no untoward external circumstance could interfere with.
One of the first duties of the really Christian man or woman is to be happy. When a gloomy dean was preaching on all the joy which comes from religion, a little woman in the congregation whispered to her friend, “He doesn’t believe it, he thinks he does, but he doesn’t. If he really thought he had a friend like that, rich enough and strong enough to help in every trouble, and willing to do it, too, somebody that is sending him blessings all the while he’s here, and getting a beautiful home ready for him to use afterwards – do you suppose he’d go about so gloomy and discouraged like that all the time?”
A gloomy dean who cannot count his blessings and be happy in consequence, is less religious than the simple woman who thanked God on Christmas morning, because He had used land and sea to supply her with her Christmas breakfast. She had a red herring and a white apple. A strange combination but she was grateful, and she was happy because she was grateful. I have no doubt that there were many on that same Christmas morning who had more than they knew what to do with who were anything but happy, all of which goes to prove that happiness is a state of mind more than it is a state of the pocket-book.
If it is true that the cause and cure of unhappiness rests largely with ourselves, may it not be equally true concerning health, especially since the relation between happiness and health is so closely related? Only the other day a case of insomnia which had defied all remedies except those that are positively harmful, was traced to a secret unhappiness growing out of a disappointing love affair. There is no remedy in the drug store for insomnia of this character, so that to her insomnia there was being added a well defined case of melancholia with its consequent dread of insanity. Now just as the cause of this young woman’s malady was her attitude toward her disappointment and not the disappointment in itself, so the cure rested on a changed attitude toward this disappointment. Through spiritual treatment and daily study, she was able to see that her seeming calamity was a blessing in disguise, for if she had married the man she had set her heart on marrying, she would have had one long hell on earth. When the mist of disappointment had cleared away, so that she could think as she ought to think, certain peculiarities of his began to be seen which she could not see before because of the blindness of her love. Sweet refreshing sleep began to come, not because the circumstance had changed but because she learned to take another and more healthy view of the circumstance.
I fancy most people are willing to admit that a disappointment in love may ultimate itself in insomnia or some other form of nervous distress, but it is not so easy for us to understand that the cause of some of the most malignant diseases which torment poor humanity may also be traced to the mental factor. Such noted physicians as Sir James Paget, Dr. A. T. Schofield and others give it as their candid opinion that, “cancer may be caused by long continued grief and anxiety.” The other day I read of a case of epilepsy, which had resisted the best known specialists in that dread disease, being healed by a spiritual scientist. It was brought out in the natural questionings in such cases that the young woman when a child had witnessed an epileptic in a state of convulsion. It was a terrible shock at the time but it seemed to wear away until she arrived at the adolescent period when she began to show signs of approaching epilepsy which increased until it was declared by the specialists to be a genuine case, and treated as such. In this case the spiritual healer did not work against epilepsy but against the shock which produced it and the case was healed. The epilepsy was the effect, the shock was the cause and the disease could not be cured until the cause of it was eradicated from the subconscious mind for it was in the subconscious mind that the ugly mental picture had reposed long after the conscious mind of the child had forgotten it.
Here is a young woman bedridden with paralysis and dependent on kind friends and neighbors for support and care. Everything has been done that is customary in such cases, but she steadily grows worse until a doctor who had learned that man is not just a body was asked to call upon her as one of his many charity cases. He inquired into her history and found that she had been the only support of a father who had passed away as the result of paralysis of long standing. In addition to being the breadwinner for herself and her father she had the physical care of him for they were very poor. From time to time the thought would come to her that if anything of such a nature should come to her what would become of her father? She would put this thought out of her conscious mind with horror, but her very horror of it was making its impression on her subconscious mind and the new doctor knew this even though she was quite ignorant of it, and it was on this line that he decided to conduct the case. He prescribed neither medicine nor massage but he came every few days and talked with her until he actually talked her out of the malady. Call this case pseudo-paralysis, if you will, the fact remains she was confined to her bed and whatever confines one to one’s bed ought to be cured, and if it cannot be cured by matter it should be cured by mind.
Just as the cause and cure of sin is in mind and admitted to be so by the church, which deals with moral disease, so the cause and cure of disease is in mind and it is gradually being admitted to be so by thinking physicians everywhere. That physician who treats merely the body of his patient is treating only one half of the patient, and this accounts for the half cures.
It is now being recognized that the force of mind which is so frequently directed into negative channels and which in consequence produce negative results, may also be directed into positive channels and produce positive results, so that by the very same force by which we bring misery and sickness into our lives we may, by reversal of process, bring health and happiness into our lives.
When Shakespeare says, “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,” he is merely hinting at the existence of the greatest power in the universe, the power of thought. “There is a region in us where thought becomes a divine force. It is the region in us of self-control in the fullest sense of the term, and the central throne of the mind’s dominion over the body and its diseases,” says Dr. Evans. This must be, “The secret place of the Most High,” that the Psalmist speaks of, and it must also be “The kingdom of heaven within,” which Jesus refers to.
It lies within the possibilities of the individual who has learned to think to a purpose to rise above unhappiness and disease as easily as the aviator rises above the miasmatic vapors of the swamp but he must be a trained thinker even as the aviator must be a trained aviator.
Not every man who thinks is a trained thinker, if he were he would not get into so many difficulties. For the most part we use thought as the child used the tiller of the boat to get away from the very place he wanted to land. We want health but we think disease, not realizing that it is the thing we think and not the thing we want that we invariably get. We want prosperity but we think poverty and when we fail to rise above poverty we cannot understand why all our desires should be so cruelly thwarted.
When thought descends into the sordid and the morbid it becomes slow in its response and reactions to higher things, but when it ascends into the realm of higher emotions it gains impotency as water gains in power when it is converted into steam. If, then, we would heal ourselves or others by the power of pure thought without any other aid or assistance we can only do so as we change our mental attitude from despair and discouragement to hope and expectation of better things.
We must learn to re-charge the batteries of our subconscious minds with new and better impressions, and this we can do by using new affirmations. “The inhabitant of Zion must not say, I am sick,” he must learn to say, “I am well,” or “I am getting well,” for by so doing or saying he is giving the subconscious mind its proper nourishment. The mind cannot thrive on sickly thoughts any more than the body can thrive on sawdust, therefore feed it with such mental food as is necessary to it upbuilding.
“He that is giddy thinks the whole world turns round,” says the immortal poet, but when we get over our giddiness we see that much, if not all, of what we have regarded as outside circumstances has been inside ignorance and when we learn this we have learned one of life’s greatest secrets and conquest then becomes an easy matter, for good is ever more potent than ill, if we know it, therefore let us know it and prove it.