Chapter 10 – Because of Your Unbelief

Chapter X
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also.”
–John 14:12

[106] In view of the fact that we have arrived at the conviction that the “gift of healing” by no means indicates that God is a respecter of persons, bestowing upon the favored few what so many are pining for, it is well to inquire what are the requirements if one would be a healer of his fellowmen. In a world that is filled with sin, sorrow and sickness he is a strange person who has not, at some time, sighed for the power, not only to reform the sinner, but to heal the sick.

The drunkard would, if he could, prevent other men from becoming as weak, unhappy and miserable as himself, and any man who has ever suffered great mental unrest or physical pain will tell you that he would give a great deal to be able to cure another in a similar state. How often we hear a man say, “I would not wish to see my worst enemy suffer what I have suffered,” and yet when he sees his best friend in similar suffering [107] he finds himself utterly unable to be of the slightest assistance in actually casting out the demons of sin and disease by the Word of God.

The desire at the heart of every man to lessen sorrow and increase joy in the world is God-implanted, and is the foundation of all healing. Sometimes this impulse does not extend itself beyond one’s immediate family, in which case it is selfish. Again, it reaches out among friends so that a man will leave his comfortable fireside to spend time with one who is benefited by his visit. Then, again, there are those whose desire to be of service is not limited to relatives and friends, but who, like Father Damien, go to Molakai, or, like Dr. Grenfell, to Labrador.

Back of all this we see that the so-called gift of healing is based on unselfish love. It is as impossible to heal by merely using the words, or the name of Jesus, without living the life of Jesus, as it would be for the moon to melt the frozen crest of Mont Blanc. The reason why spiritual healing is not often as instantaneous in result as it was in the early days of Christianity, is not because the law of healing has become suspended, but because we do not “live the life.” The sooner we recognize and correct this, the better it will be for the world and for ourselves also.

The obligations of the healer are not confined to studying the latest works on abstruse metaphysics, or in being able to write intelligently on these subjects, for one might easily do all of this [108] and still lack the love and the personal purity necessary to make his treatments effective. It is becoming more generally recognized than it has been in the past that he or she who would become a healer of men must keep himself unspotted by the world. It is at this point that we are told that healing is a “special” gift, for the reason that only a few can live such a detached life as it requires. On this presumption we might argue that only the few can enter into eternal life because only the few can live so as to be worthy of it. God demands perfection, and nothing short of it will satisfy, for God will accept nothing as being His own “Image and Likeness” which does not bear that resemblance.

If the obligations resting upon the healer seem to be of an uncompromising character, let us realize that the healing art of Christianity is purchased at a price of much self-surrender, but that which we are called upon to relinquish is as nothing compared to that which we receive in return. It is like throwing a sprat to catch a whale. To give up the false pleasures of the worldly life and find in their place the joys of heaven is no great loss, but any attempt to gain the one without giving up the other is as foolish as the attempt of a child to seize a new plaything when the hands are already full of other objects.

The man who would be successful in healing by spiritual means must be one of high moral character, actuated more by the love of man than by the love of money, for it is a dreadful thing [109] to fall into the hands of one professing spiritual healing who is not living, to the best of his ability, the Christ-life. The emanations which go out from one who heals by mental or spiritual power will partake of the quality of his predominating mental states, and if these are not of the highest and most unselfish character, his patient will feel these mental states, rather than any influence which his mere words or personality might exert. Patients under spiritual treatment are infected by the healer’s spirituality, or lack of it, so that the responsibility of one who would heal as Jesus healed is very serious. It is evident from this that the nearer one lives in accordance with the teachings and practices of the Master, the more apt one will be to do the works of the Master.

A fact that must never be overlooked is that the spiritual healer’s state of soul is of far more importance than the so-called strength of his will, or even the condition of his physical health. Healing, as Jesus taught it, is effected by spiritual force and not by mere will power or physical strength, therefore it is more essential that the practitioner be a man of sterling spirituality than one of magnetic personality or dominating will-power. It is not necessary, as some imagine, that one should be acquainted with physiology and anatomy in order to heal by the power of prayer, for then all of Jesus’ disciples must needs be graduates of medical colleges. In fact, it is sometimes a hindrance to the success of one in [110] spiritual healing to know so much of these sciences, for the reason that one is more apt to be influenced by symptoms than by Spirit. It has been proven again and again that the less one knows of material laws, so-called, and the more one knows about spiritual law, the better.

It is not so much a knowledge of man’s body that is of importance in the healing of the sick, by any system, as it is a knowledge of the secret intents of the heart, the concealed emotions of grief and fear, lust and selfishness, which are, all too frequently, the provoking causes of what men call physical maladies. It were folly to prescribe coal tar preparations for insomnia when the thing that is preventing sleep is anxiety on the one hand, or a guilty conscience on the other. In the one case it is better to destroy fear with love, and in the other to correct a guilty conscience by revealing the impossibility of cure so long as sin is unrepented. Spiritual Science finds the cause of all disease in sin and ignorance, and it sees no cure save that which is effected by spiritual enlightenment through which sin and ignorance are overcome.

One of the great obligations resting upon him who would heal as Jesus healed is that he should be able to detect the sin or sorrow, as the case may be, which is back of a patient’s physical or nervous malady, for in this way his helpfulness to humanity will be greatly augmented. Jesus dissected souls not bodies, and hence his success where others failed. When the woman at the [111] well of Samaria tried to lie to him he read her mind and told her “all that ever she did.” As one grows in Spiritual Science one is better able to penetrate beneath the surface and see the mental causes which are producing physical effects.

We must not forget that in addition to all other things one must have great faith in God, for without faith nothing can be accomplished. When Jesus was asked by his disciples, on an occasion when they had tried to heal a case and could not, “Why could not we cast him out?” he answered, “Because of your unbelief.” Herein lies the secret of all the failures in the world. Through unbelief we create our own impotence, when through belief or faith we might generate an unlimited power for good. An intelligent faith in the power of good over all apparent evil puts the mind of man in working harmony with omnipotence Itself, where all things become possible. It fortifies the mind as nothing in the world can do, and, by so doing, furnishes one with a sure weapon of attack as well as defence. With every other mental capacity and no faith one is like a well-equipped engine without steam.

A profound belief in God as the only power in the universe endows the soul with a consciousness of superiority which nothing else can confer. Some day we shall realize the value of faith, and when we do we shall see what Jesus meant when He said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible [112] to him that believeth.” Before the aeroplane and submarine ever materialized someone had to believe in their possibilities, for without such belief no attempt would have been made to construct them.

Not only must the practitioner in Spiritual Science believe in God, but he must also believe in himself as the messenger of God, and it is at this point that most of us fail. It is an easy matter for us to believe that God can heal the sick if He so desires, but that man, when working in accordance with God’s plan, can also heal the sick is not so easy of acceptance. And yet when we take a closer view of the matter we see that man’s part in the healing art of Christianity is an indispensable part, for “God never does for man what He can only do through him.” The belief in one’s self as a channel through which the purifying love of God flows, as the water from a reservoir passes through the unobstructed pipes to the homes for which it is intended, is a necessary part of the healer’s equipment.

This confidence in one’s self ought not to be in the nature of personal vanity, but a grateful acknowledgment of the truth that it is the Father in us that “doeth the works.” We, of ourselves, can do nothing, and we are only too conscious of the fact, but living and working in harmony with Love’s law of perfection along all lines, we can do much. No man, however, can really believe in himself the way Jesus recommends except he has true self-respect, and no man can respect himself [113] unless he is doing all in his power to live as he knows he should live. Others who know him only as they see him on the surface may respect him, but seeing himself from the inside, he alone knows whether to believe in himself or not. A sinful man may prescribe medicines, but a practitioner who is not consistently striving to rise above his sins can never heal the sick in the way of God’s appointing.

When called upon to deal with almost insurmountable difficulties, we require something more than the mere letter of Divine Science, for this without the spirit is dead, and the Spirit is personal purity. He only can heal the sick who can conquer his own evil inclinations. In order to be endued with power from on high we must elevate thought above the body with all its so-called pleasures and pains, for if we have not proved our authority over our own moral weaknesses, it is hardly to be expected that we can cast out the belief in physical weaknesses from the minds of others. If we would impart physical purity to another we must first have moral purity in ourselves; otherwise we shall be as the blind leading the blind.

All this does not imply that we should wait until we ourselves are without “spot or blemish” morally, before we begin to try to help others. We should, in addition to adding to our intellectual knowledge of truth, be constantly guarding against everything that is sinful in our own natures. When Paul, at the conclusion of some [114] of his best healing work, was about to be made the object of the worship of the people, he cried, “Sirs, why do ye these things? We are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God.”

While still suffering from “a thorn in the flesh,” whether this were a moral weakness or a physical disability, Paul nevertheless, like his Master, “went about doing good.” Paul knew that he was not healing the sick with his body, but with a mind that was so filled with the allness and goodness of God that there was no room in it for evil or error of any name or nature. Moreover, the same truth which he spoke for others finally made him free from his own infirmity, for it is a law that the truth you speak for another reacts on you as certainly as the boomerang returns to the hand of the thrower.

This setting forth of the obligation resting on the practitioner of Spiritual Science is merely for the purpose of bringing about a better form of healing than at present prevails, for one cannot read the New Testament with its accounts of spiritual healing and not feel that the best results of mental or spiritual healing today are puerile by comparison with those of Jesus and his immediate disciples. What is needed nowadays, above all other things, is not so much the remembrance of the Jesus of two thousand years ago, as is the consciousness of the everpresent Christ.

[115] We must know that the Christ is that Truth which assures us that only that which is created by God is real; and since sin, sickness and disease are not real, man, through the knowledge of this Truth, has dominion over them. To know the Truth as Jesus taught it, is to know that “every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” The plants of sin, sorrow, and sickness were not planted by our heavenly Father, and for this reason they shall be rooted up by any man who knows this Truth and lives it. On the principle that we affect and infect others with our thoughts, it ought to be easy for us to accept the possibility of communicating sanative ideas, for this is precisely what takes place in all spiritual healing.

For Jesus to communicate an idea of health was for his patient to take up that idea in the subconscious mind and work it out in a bodily state. It is in some such way that all spiritual healing takes place today. When one is baptized of the Spirit; that is, when one is sure that sickness is no part of God’s creation, all the powers of his spiritual nature become quickened. Dormant faculties are stimulated into healthy activity, during which man becomes an instrument in the hands of God for the lifting up of them that are bowed down. A little success in spiritual healing has the tendency, wherever men are honest, to increase concentration and consecration.

When it is understood that purity is the foundation of power, then men will seek purity for [116] power’s sake, and, finding it, they will understand what Jesus meant when he said, “All power is given unto me, in heaven and upon earth.” The conditions for healing are the same now as they have always been. Just as susceptible of fulfillment now as it ever was is the promise that, “The works I do ye shall do, and greater works than these shall ye do, if ye believe on me” (and live as he lived).

Chapter 11

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