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This book is intended to be a practical presentation of the various forms of Psychic Healing. Very little about theory—although giving a general outline of the underlying theories that the healer may understand the nature of the work he is doing—and have tried to make the book tell "how" to do the work. In introducing the subject we wish to say that we have not tried to make a religion of Psychic Healing, for this seems a folly to us. We do not see why Psychic Healing should be made into a religion, any more than should Drug Healing, Massage, Osteopathy, or any other form of healing. All true healing results from an application of perfectly natural laws, and the power employed is as much a natural law as is electricity. For that matter, all natural laws are of "divine" religion, and are equally worthy of respect and reverence. William Walker Atkinson (Yogi Ramacharaka) (1862-1932) was a prolific writer. His works treat themes related to the mental world, occultism, divination, psychic reality, and mankind's nature. They constitute a basis for what Atkinson called "New Psychology" or "New Thought".
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THIS BOOK is intended to be a plain, simple, practical presentation of the various forms of Psychic Healing. We have said very little about theory—although giving a general outline of the underlying theories that the healer may understand the nature of the work he is doing—and have tried to make the book tell "how" to do the work.
In introducing the subject we wish to say that we have not tried to make a religion of Psychic Healing, for this seems a folly to us. We do not see why Psychic Healing should be made into a religion, any more than should Drug Healing, Massage, Osteopathy, or any other form of healing. All true healing results from an application of perfectly natural laws, and the power employed is as much a natural law as is electricity. For that matter, all natural laws are of "divine" religion, and are equally worthy of respect and reverence.
There has been a great tendency in the Western world to build up religious or semi-religious cults around the work of healing. Each cult or sect claims that its cures and healing is the result of some special creed or metaphysical belief, notwithstanding the fact that the other sects make cures in about the same proportion. The Oriental is not deceived—even self-deceived— in this manner. He is taught from childhood that there are many subtle forces and forms of energy in Nature, which may be taken advantage of and pressed into service by Man. To the Oriental there is as much mystery and awe about electricity as about psychic force—in fact, he sees them as but varying forms of the same thing, and he respects them both. A little reflection will teach anyone that this is correct. All Energy and Force is a manifestation of Prana (the Hindu term for the Principle of Energy) and the Oriental teachings are that Prana has Mind behind it—that it emerged from the Mind Principle of the Universe. We cannot speak at length of these theories here, and must refer students to our "Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy" for fuller information, if they desire the same.
The above facts being true, it follows that the Oriental psychic healer fails to feel that jealousy and prejudice regarding practitioners of other forms of healing, which, alas, is so prevalent in the Western world. He believes that any form of true healing employs the same force and power that he is using—notwithstanding the difference in the methods—and he respects the same accordingly. He naturally prefers his own method, but does not abuse his neighbor for preferring another method.
Moreover, the Oriental healer is taught from the beginning that there are certain natural laws of the body, which must be observed in order to maintain health, or to restore it if lost. He believes that that which makes the healthy man healthy will make the sick man well. We allude to the natural laws regarding nutrition, elimination, breathing, etc. We have set forth our conception of these laws in our book, "Hatha Yoga," and will briefly mention the same in the succeeding chapter entitled "The Natural Laws of the Body," to which we refer all students, strongly advising them to acquaint themselves with these natural laws before attempting healing work. We are fully aware that many Western schools of Psychic Healing ignore these laws as too "material," but one has but to look around him to see the folly of that position. Natural laws may not be defied with impunity.
We believe that if people would follow the teachings of "Hatha Yoga" there would be no need for healing of any sort, for all would maintain health. But people will not do this, and therefore healing methods are necessary. And we believe that Psychic Healing is the best and highest form of Healing known to man. But even Psychic Healing will not, and cannot, effect a permanent cure, unless the patient will change his or her habits of living, and will endeavor to live in accordance with Nature's laws.
So therefore, again and again, do we urge the healer to acquaint his patient with these natural laws of the body— "Hatha Yoga"—and while giving the healing treatments he should endeavor to "work in" advice and instruction regarding the natural laws of the body, so that when the patient is healed he will live in such a manner as to promote health, and to hold the ground he has gained, and not slip back again.
We believe that these two books—companion books—"Hatha Yoga" and "Psychic Healing"—will give one the "Key to Health."
This book is not intended as a treatise upon disease. On the contrary, it says as little as possible about disease, and prefers to keep before the eye of the student the Healthy Condition, and the means of bringing it about. Therefore you will see but little of symptoms in this book. Symptoms are but various indications of a cause behind them, and we believe that there is only one general cause for disease and that is improper functioning of the cells. In other words, we believe that all disease is but Cell-disease. And we believe that the general treatments given in connection with the principles laid down in "Hatha Yoga," will remove the cause of the trouble, and the symptoms will then disappear.
We will not take up your attention with praise of the systems of healing taught in this book. We believe that "the proof of the pudding lies in the eating," and we say to you, "Try It."
Have confidence in yourself, and in your healing power. It is your Divine heritage, and is not a gift bestowed upon but a few. It is a general gift and natural power that may be developed by practice and confidence, and instead of decreasing by use, it grows in proportion to its use. It is like a muscle that is developed by practice, but which becomes soft and flabby by non-use.
But when you begin to make cures, and hear wonderful reports of your success, which may seem miraculous to those around you who do not understand the subject, do not become puffed up or conceited, and begin to believe that you have some special gift or power. This is folly, for all healers are but channels of expression through which the natural forces and energies flow. You are but an instrument in the hands of Natural Laws. Do not forget this. This thought may be turned into a source of strength if you will look at the other side of the proposition and remember that you have the forces of the Universe back of you.
We advise the student to carefully study, and acquaint himself with all of the methods taught in this book. After doing so, let him select the methods that appeal most to him—being guided by his intuition. Let him, if he is so led, take a little from one system and a little from another, and combine them into a system of his own. Let him "take his own wherever he finds it." Do not deem it necessary to tie yourself to any one system, or to wear the "label" or "tag" of any one school. Beware of labels and tags on the mind. BE YOURSELF.
AS WE have stated in our last chapter, we believe that the true secret of Health lies in the observance of the Natural Laws of the Body. These Laws may be summed up as Right Living and Right Thinking. In our book, "Hatha Yoga," we have explained our conceptions of these laws at considerable length and detail. We do not hesitate to state positively that every healer, or searcher for health, should acquaint himself with the instructions given in that book. Without an understanding of these fundamental laws any and all forms of healing are but temporary makeshifts, and the patient, if he pursues the former improper modes of Living and Thinking, will relapse into his old condition when the treatments are discontinued. There can be no successful defiance of Natural Laws.
In this chapter we will run briefly over the principal laws described in "Hatha Yoga," for the benefit of those readers who have not acquainted themselves with the contents of that book. But this chapter cannot begin to give the "Hatha Yoga" instruction fully—for that fills a good-sized book of itself.
In the first place, there can be no Health without proper nutrition. And there can be no proper nutrition without proper assimilation. This being granted, it may be seen that one of the first things for a healer to do is to re-establish normal conditions in this respect, and build up proper assimilation. This is why we have urged the healer to begin all treatments— for all kinds of complaints—with a treatment of the stomach, to restore normal conditions there. The stomach should be treated first, last and always, for there lies the secret of the first step toward recovery. In fact, the majority of diseases may be traced directly to the stomach, and to imperfect nutrition and assimilation. A man can no more thrive on non-nutritious food, or food imperfectly assimilated, than can a tree or plant or animal. Imperfect nutrition causes the blood to become poor and weak, and consequently every cell in the body becomes weakened and starved, and even the brain cells suffer with the rest, and are unable to send the proper currents of vital force and energy to the other parts of the body.
Always begin treatments by treating the stomach thoroughly, by whatever method you use. Insist that it take care of the food given it, and that it assimilates the food and converts it into good rich nourishing blood, which will flow to all parts of the body, giving health and strength. And insist upon your patient partaking of nourishing food in sufficient quantities.
One of the best ways to get the full nourishment of the food partaken of is by perfect Mastication. Food perfectly masticated gives the full amount of nourishment contained within it, which food, half-chewed and "bolted," wastes the greater part of its nourishment. We urge the importance of this matter upon the healer. We have seen cases of ill-nourished people restored to health in a very short time, merely from the change in the manner of masticating the food. All food should be chewed until it becomes soft, pulpy and pasty.
The second important point is the Irrigation of the body, as we have called it in "Hatha Yoga"—we mean the proper use of Water. The physical system requires a certain amount of fluids daily, in order to do its work properly. About two quarts of fluid in twenty-four hours is the normal amount for an adult. Without the proper amount of water the body is unable to do its work properly and the system suffers. Perfect secretion and excretion requires the normal amount of fluids. Otherwise the secreting glands are unable to manufacture the juices and fluids needed in digestion, absorption and assimilation, and the excreting glands are unable to provide for the excretion or throwing out of the waste products of the system through the kidneys and bowels. The liver is unable to act without sufficient fluids, and the other organs likewise suffer.
The third requisite for health is correct breathing. When you realize that unless correct breathing is performed by the patient the blood is imperfectly oxygenated, and is therefore unable to perform its functions, you will begin to see why a person breathing improperly is unable to have health. Practice deep breathing yourself until you understand it perfectly and then instruct your patient in the art. Our little book, "The Science of Breath," gives full and complete direction for correct breathing. We advise you to acquaint yourself with its contents.
Exercise, Bathing, etc., are important things to be observed. The healer should inform the patient as to this fact. Sleep is a needed something that Nature insists upon. Without a sufficient degree of rest the brain becomes overworked and complications set in.
In short, the patient should be instructed to become a normal, sane, natural being. Stick as closely as possible to Nature, and she will do the rest. The Natural Laws are designed for the furtherance of Health, and if not interfered with will produce and maintain normal conditions. The trouble with us is that modern "civilization" has drawn us so far away from Nature, that our natural impulses and tendencies have been smothered and stifled, and we have ceased to listen to Nature's voice until she has become disheartened and has ceased to call us. The only sane plan is to get back to Nature—as near to her as possible. Live as natural a life as possible and you will have the reward that Nature bestows upon those who are true to her.
Our book, "Hatha Yoga," is the Yogi conception of the natural life. Natural life is taught on every page. It holds that there is a great Intelligence permeating all Life, and that every natural law is a Divine Law, and should be so regarded and observed.
We urge upon every healer the duty and privilege that is his to educate and inform the patients to whose aid he is called in these laws of Right Living and Right Thinking. This particular book is not designed to repeat the instruction contained in
"Hatha Yoga," but instead is designed to supplement it to the end that those who have violated Nature's Laws and who are suffering therefrom may be speedily brought back to normal conditions—the condition of Health—and again started on the road of Life.
The healer should be more than a healer. He should be an instructor and educator of the people. In this way he makes his calling a divine and sacred one, instead of that of a mere tinkerer of bodies. Keep this ideal ever before you, and your work will be one of the greatest pleasure as well as of the greatest success. Remember the Brotherhood of Man, and realize that your work in the world is to spread the glad tidings of Health and Strength, and lead your brothers back to Mother Nature, from whose bosom they have strayed.
IN OUR "Fourteen Lessons" we called your attention to the various Planes of the Mind, and, among others, the Instinctive Mind. This plane of the Mind, as we told you, controls and manages the growth, nourishment and operation of the physical body—every operation and function of every organ, part and cell being under the control and direction of this part of the mind. This part of the mind never sleeps, but attends to its duties while the Reasoning faculties are quieted in slumber and rest.
The constant work of repair, replacement, change, digestion, assimilation, elimination, etc., is performed by this part of the mind, all below the plane of consciousness. The wondrous work of the body is carried on on this plane of mind, without our conscious knowledge. The intelligent work of the cells, cell-groups, ganglia, organ intelligences, etc., are under the superintendence of this plane of mind.
In our next chapter we give you a short account of this wonderful world of cell-life that exists in every human organism. We advise you to read that chapter, as it will throw light on many puzzling questions, and will enable you to direct your healing powers intelligently.
The Instinctive Mind is not confined to the brain as a seat of operations, but is distributed over the entire nervous system, the spinal column and solar plexus being important centers for its operations.
One of the most important facts that we have to consider in connection with the Instinctive Mind, in this book, is that it is susceptible of interference on the part of the Conscious Mind. This interference may be for good or bad, according to the nature of the "suggestions" passed on by the Conscious Mind.
In our chapter on Suggestion we have given a number of instances to illustrate the effect of the mind on the bodily functions. This effect of thought is occasioned by the Conscious Mind passing on suggestions to the Instinctive Mind, which then proceeds to act upon them. Many a man has become sick by reason of adverse and hurtful suggestions accepted by him and passed on to his Instinctive Mind. In the same way a sick man has been restored to health, by positive and helpful suggestions accepted and passed on in the same manner. And in both cases, remember, the diseased condition and the restored healthy condition were occasioned by perfectly natural process, by the Instinctive Mind passing on its orders to its subordinate parts, cells, organs, etc.
We do not think it worth while to enter into a long discussion of the various theories advanced to account for the existence and operation of the Instinctive Mind. This book is intended to tell you "how" to make cures, and all the theory we think it worth while to give you is a mere general outline for the purpose of an intelligent comprehension of the process of the cure. To wander off into an extended discussion of the theories regarding mind, or the speculations regarding life and what lies back of life, would be out of place. We believe in keeping each subject to itself, believing that in this way the student is better able to concentrate upon the particular subject under consideration.
The workings of the Instinctive Mind will appear as you proceed with the study of the methods of treatment. The next chapter, which deals with Cell-life, will also throw further light on the subject.
IN ORDER to understand the nature of Psychic Healing one must have an acquaintance with the nature of the mental side of the Body. Not only has the Central Mind a number of Planes of Manifestation, but each organ has something which might be called an "organic mind," made up of a "group-mind" of a number of cells, each of which cells moreover has a cell-mind of its own. This idea is somewhat startling to those who have not acquainted themselves with the details of the subject, but it is known to be correct, not only by the Yogis, but also by those who have familiarized themselves with the recent discoveries of Western Science. Let us take a hasty look at this cell-life.
As we told you in the "Fourteen Lessons," the Yogi Philosophy teaches that the physical body is built up of "little lives" or cell-lifes, and that each cell had an independent action, in addition to a cell-community action. These little "lives" are really minds of a certain degree of development, sufficient to enable them to do their work properly. These bits of mind are, of course, subordinate to the control of the Instinctive Mind of the individual, and will readily obey orders from that source, as well as from the Intellect.
These cell minds manifest a peculiar adaptation for their particular work. Their selective action in extracting from the blood the nourishment needed, and rejecting that which is not needed, is an instance of this intelligence. The process of digestion, assimilation, etc., shows the "mind" of the cell, either individual or in groups. The healing of wounds—the rush of the cells to the point where they are required, and many other instances familiar to physiologists are evidence of this cell life and mental action.
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