Warren Felt Evans, also known as "the recording angel of metaphysics" was one of the men who found healing in the New Thought movement and its founder Phineas P. Quimby. He became an avid student of the New Thought and wrote many spiritual works. Included in this volume are: The Primitive Mind-Cure - The Nature And Power Of Faith Mental Medicine - A Theoretical And Practical Treatise On Medical Psychology. Esoteric Christianity And Mental Therapeutics The New Age And Its Messenger
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The Spiritual Writings of Warren Felt Evans
The Primitive Mind-Cure - The Nature And Power Of Faith
Chapter I - What Are Ideas? And What Is Idealism?
Chapter Ii - The Application Of The Idealistic Philosophy To The Cure Of Mental And Bodily Maladies.
Chapter Iii - The Triune Constitution Of Man And The Discovery Of The True Self.
Chapter Iv - The Saving Power Of The Spirit Of Man.
Chapter V - Happiness And Health, And Where They Are To Be Found.
Chapter Vi - The Real And The Apparent In Thought, Or The Impossible And Contradictory To Sense Is True To The Spirit.
Chapter Vii - Disease Exists Only In The Mind On The Plane Of Sense, Which Is The Region Op Deceptive Appearances.
Chapter Viii - The Deepest Reality Of Disease Is A Morbid Idea And Belief.
Chapter Ix - The Science Of Oblivescence, Or The Art Of Forgetting A Malady.
Chapter X - The Incipient Idea Of Recovery, And Whence Does It Come?
Chapter Xi - What Is It To Be Spiritual? And How May We Become So
Chapter Xii - Spiritual Truth The Best Remedy For Disease.
Chapter Xiii - On The Triune Nature Of Man, And The Freeing The Soul From The Body.
Chapter Xiv - Executing Judgment Upon Ourselves, Or In Thought Separating Disease From The Real Self.
Chapter Xv - The Creative Power Of The Ideal, Or The Externalization Of Thought.
Chapter Xvi - The Nature And Right Use Of The Will.
Chapter Xvii - The Universal Life-Principle, And Its Occult Properties And Uses.
Chapter Xviii - The Universal Ether Of Science, And The Aether Of The Hermetic Philosophy.
Chapter Xix - The Mother Principle Of Things, And Its Use In Self-Healing.
Chapter Xx - The Kabalistic And Messianic Method Of Healing, And The One Practiced By Jesus The Christ.
Chapter Xxi - The Summit Of Christian Knowledge, Or The Mystery Of The Christ, And Its Saving Influence .
Chapter Xxii - The Relation Of Jesus To The Christ And To Man.
Chapter Xxiii - The Kabalistic Justice And Paul's Righteousness Of Faith, And Their Curative Power.
Appendix - The Prayer Of Faith That Saves The Sick, Or The Healing Power Of Spiritual Truth.
Chapter Xxiv - Psychological Telegraphy, Or The Transference Of Thought And Idea From One Mind To Another.
Chapter Xxv - Resurrection From The Body, Or The Liberty Of The Sons Of God.
Mental Medicine – A Theoretical And Practical Treatise On Medical Psychology.
Chapter I. The Gift And Art Of Healing.
Chapter Ii - Qualifications Of The Psychopathic Practitioner.
Chapter Iii – Conditions Of The Patient Favorable To A Cure.
Chapter Iv - The Conscious Impressible State.
Chapter V - How To Induce The Impressible State.
Chapter Vi - Medical Psychology And The Limitations To Its Abuse
Chapter Vii - Auto-Magnetism, Or Self-Healing.
Chapter Viii - Phreno-Magnetism And Its Use In Medical Psychology.
Chapter Ix - Nervous Sensitiveness And Inharmonious Influences.
Chapter X - The Duality Of The Mind And Body, And The Positive And Negative Distinction In The Psychic And Magnetic Forces Of The Organism.
Chapter Xi - The Brain And Psychic And Nerve Centres.
Chapter Xii - Effect Of The Psychopathic Treatment Of The Spine And Spinal Nerves.
Chapter Xiii - The Application Of The Psychic And Magnetic Force To The Epigastrium, And The Nature And Cure Of Nervous Diseases.
Chapter Xiv - The Abdominal Muscles And The Mechanical Displacement Op The Internal Organs.
Chapter Xv - Conductors And Their Use In Medical Psychology.
Chapter Xvi - The Agent In The Psychopathic Treatment, And Its Relation To The Vital Force.
Chapter Xvii - Inanimate Objects And Their Use In The Cure Of Disease.
Chapter Xviii - The Law Of Sympathy In Its Application To The Cure Of Mental And Bodily Disease.
Chapter Xix - How To Avoid Exhaustion And Imbibing Of The Diseased Condition Of The Patient.
Chapter Xx - Power From On High, Or Spiritual Aid, Necessary To Success In The Cure Of Disease By Medical Psychology.
Chapter Xxi - Miscellaneous Directions In The Treatment Of Disease, Including The Method Op A Correct Diagnosis.
Chapter Xxii - Insanity And Its Psychopathic Treatment.
Chapter Xxiii - Remedies Partly Mechanical, Partly Psychopathic.
Chapter Xxiv - Mental Medicine, Ob The Sanative Value Of The Psychic Force.
Esoteric Christianity And Mental Therapeutics
Chapter I - The Receptive Side Of Human Nature And The True Method Of Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge.
Chapter Ii - Trust As A Saving Or Healing Power.
Chapter Iii - What Is The Fundamental Idea Of Disease? And What Is It To Heal Disease In Ourselves Or Others?
Chapter Iv - The Unchanging I Am In Us, Or The Divine And True Idea Of Man.
Chapter V - Is Disease A Reality Or An Illusion?
Chapter Vi - The Fall And The Redemption, Or The Fundamental Evil In Human Nature, And The Remedy.
Chapter Vii - The Glorification Of Our Humanity, Or Full Salvation From Sin And Disease.
Chapter Viii - The Beeath Of God In Man, Or The True Elixir Of Life.
Chapter Ix - Pain And Its Mental Conquest.
Chapter X - The Influence Of Mind On Mind, Or The Doctrine Of Mental Spheres, And Its Practical Application To The Cure Of Disease.
Chapter Xi - Phrenopathy, Or Mental Cure, As A Practical System.
Chapter Xii - The Keys Of The Kingdom Of The Heavens, Or The Power To Deliver Ourselves And Others From The Bondage Of The Senses.
The New Age And Its Messenger
Chapter I - Introduction.
Chapter Ii - The Doctrine Of The Divine Unity, In Its Relation To The Spiritual Life.
Chapter Iii - The Spiritual World Unveiled.
Chapter Iv - The Key To The Spiritual Sense Op The Word.
Chapter V - The Phenomenal And The Real, Or The Sensuous Appearance And The Divine Reality.
Chapter Vi - Rationality The Point Op Transition To Spirituality.
Chapter Vii - The Higher Knowledge Of God, And Its Relation To The New Age.
Chapter Viii - The Theology Of Love.
Chapter Ix – The Way Of Life; Or The Question Answered, What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Chapter X – The Spiritual Warfare And The Necessity Of It In The Regenerating Process.
Chapter Xi - It Is The Province Of Free Will To Purify The External ; Of The Lord To Cleanse The Internal.
Chapter Xii. - The True Idea Of Justification By Faith.
Chapter Xiii. - A New Force Has Been Given To Christian Doctrine
Chapter Xiv - Marriage, And Its Relation To The Kingdom Of God.
Chapter Xv - The True Eclecticism.
Chapter Xvi - Two Objections Answered.
Chapter Xvii - The Knowledge Of Other Earths In The Universe, And Its Relation To The New Dispensation.
Chapter Xviii - Scientific Confirmation.
The Spiritual Writings of Warren Felt Evans
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Elementary Lessons In Christian Philosophy And Transcendental Medicine.
This volume is designed to contribute something toward supplying the demand in the public for further light on the subject upon which it treats, — the cure of disease in ourselves and others by mental and spiritual agencies. The first work of the author having a relation to the subject, was published over twenty-two years ago. It was followed, at intervals of different length, by four other volumes, which have had an extensive circulation in every part of the country, and to some extent in Europe. It is not an incredible supposition that they have had an influence, more or less, towards generating in the public mind the widely-spread and growing belief of the mental origin of disease, and of the relation of the mind to its cure. The work is intended to take the reader up where the last volume of the author, "The Divine Law of Cure," leaves him, and conduct him still further along the same path of inquiry. It does not claim to have exhausted the subject, or to have said all that might be said ; for the subject is one too vast to be crowded into so limited a compass, which would be like condensing the ocean into the dimensions of a lake. But it is to be hoped that enough has been said to vindicate the propriety of the title, — that of " Elementary Lessons in Christian Philosophy and Transcendental Medicine." It was our aim to furnish the teachers and pupils of the spiritual philosophy of healing, with a text-book which should elevate the subject into the dignity of a science. The themes discussed are occasionally of an abstruse nature, but have been expressed in the clearest language at our command. It is not intended to wholly supplant the living teacher, but rather to aid his work by suggesting many things it does not say. The work is written also in the interest of self-healing, and contains the essential features of the instruction which the author has given to numerous persons during the last twenty years. There is a large number of people in the world whose life has been a perpetual struggle with disease, and who have been able to discover no pathway of light that unerringly conducts them out of their troubles. The various systems of materialistic medication have been successively tried, and all have failed. To them the volume is sincerely commended and respectfully dedicated, with the hope that they may find in it somewhere the saving power of the right word at the right time. There is in the minds of men, at the present day, an inward thirst, an unsatisfied craving for spiritual light. We wish it was in our power to fully meet this heart-felt want. But we can only promise, in the following pages, to bring to you, " in the name of a disciple," a single cup of water, while we point you to the inexhaustible fountain whence all living, saving truth flows, — the universal Christ, the boundless, everywhere-present realm of pure spirit. Standing by this fountain and well of living water, on which God has never placed a seal, nor stationed around it an armed guard, we would say, in the language of the sublimest of the old prophets, " Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price." (Isa. lv: l.)
For, surely, spiritual truth ought not to be classed among the luxuries which a poor man cannot afford to buy, but rather among the commonest necessaries of life, as air and water, which the Supreme Goodness has scattered, with amazing and beneficent profusion, all over the world, and placed within the reach of all. Of the true water of life, the old symbol of spiritual truth, God has opened a fountain in the inmost region of our own being, and which springs up into everlasting life, if we only knew it. To convince the reader of this will be one of the aims of the present volume. If we succeed in doing this, the book itself will no longer be needed. For when we find the Christ within, "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," we have access to more of life and light than all the libraries of the world can give us. When the reader shall have made the grandest discovery ever made in our earthly existence, — the finding of his true self, and has identified it with the Christ, of whom it is but a personal limitation, — we will gladly step down from the platform of the teacher, and take our place by your side as a fellow-disciple or pupil. We will no longer open our mouth to speak, but open the inner ear to receive the deep and calm revealing. The education of the future will be a system more in harmony with the true meaning of the word, — an educing or guiding out of what is already in us in a state of latency. Spiritual and saving truth is not a foreign exotic which has to be imported from abroad, but is a divine plant, with both flower and fruit, which exists as in its native habitat, in the inmost soul of every man. The signs of the times point unerringly to the coming of a fuller recognition of this ancient truth, and it is the faint light in the east, indicating the approach of a better day for humanity. There are, within the enclosure of our inner being, certain dormant, because unused, spiritual energies and potencies that can save the soul and heal the body of its maladies. To guide these out into conscious and intelligent action, is the end we shall keep steadily in view in these elementary lessons in transcendental philosophy. We have endeavored to restore the ancient doctrine of faith to its primitive meaning, as a saving, healing power. How far we have succeeded, we must leave the reader to judge.
As idealism in opposition to materialism constitutes the philosophic basis on which the psychological or phrenopathic system of cure rests, it is necessary at the outset of our inquiries to form a clear conception of what is meant by that term. Its principles are unanswerably set forth in the work of Bishop Berkeley, entitled The Principles of Human Knowledge, published in the year 1710. The doctrines taught by Berkeley were subsequently presented under modifications by a succession of German philosophers, among whom we prominently name Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Schopenhauer.
According to Lossius, " Idealism is the assertion that matter (and consequently the human body) is only a sensuous seeming, and that spiritual essences are the only real things in the world." This doctrine was taught by Plato, who derived it from Pythagoras and the occult philosophy of Egypt, Chaldea, and India. It is as old as the human race. From the remotest antiquity, it was taught in the Vedas and in all the Oriental philosophies. Says Krug : "Idealism is that system of philosophy which considers the existent or actual as a mere ideal." The definition of Brockhaus is to the same effect: "Idealism, in antithesis to realism, is that philosophical system which maintains not only that the spiritual or ideal is the original, but that it is the sole actuality ; so that we can concede to the objects of the senses no more than the character of a phenomenal (or apparent) world, educed by ideal activities." (Real Encyclopaedie, Eleventh Ed., 1866.) In another place, he defines idealism to be " that philosophical view which regards what is thought as alone the actually existent." This is the best definition, and accords perfectly with the teaching of the true idealists of all ages and countries. " Thought," says the Kabala, " is the source of all that is." It is the first Sephira or emanation from God. It is the first begotten, the first-born from the " Unknown." It is the I Am, the highest manifestation of God in man, and the most real thing in the universe, — that from which everything springs, and to which in its last analysis it can be reduced.
But it is necessary to inquire into the nature of ideas, and their relation to external things, and all the objects of the sense-world. Says Thomas Taylor, in the introduction to the Parmenides of Plato : "To the question, what kind of things, or beings, ideas are, we may answer with Zenocrates, according to the relation of Proclus, that they are the exemplary causes of things which perpetually subsist according to nature. They are exemplars (or the living patterns or models of things) indeed, because the final cause, or the good (the supreme God) , is superior to them, and that which is properly the efficient cause, or the demiurgic intellect, is of an inferior ordination. But they are the exemplars of things according to nature, because there are no ideas of things unnatural or artificial ; and of such natural things as are perpetual, because there are no ideas of mutable particulars." (Taylor's Translation of Plato, p. 254.) This is a comprehensive statement of the nature of the Platonic ideas. According to this view, the ideal is the caused, as the ideal picture in the mind of the artist is the necessary cause of the picture on the canvas. The latter, though only a resemblance, could not exist without the former, because there can be no resemblance that is not the resemblance of something ; no appearance that is not the appearance of something. The architect constructs his house in imitation of a preexisting model or idea, and, without that idea, it might be anything else, as well as a house. So the tabernacle of Moses was to be built after the pattern shown to him in the Mount. So of every object of nature, and of all that endless variety of things, which belongs to the world of sense, they owe their existence to antecedent ideas, which they represent on a lower plane of being. As ideas are the causes of the existence of all material entities, so they sustain a causal relation to the human body, and all its states of health and disease. If I would be perfectly well in body, I must first form the true idea of myself, such as I really am in spirit (or as Paul would say, in Christ) . For Plato teaches that the highest soul of man, the pneuma of the New Testament, the Buddha of the Sanscrit, is the idea or living image of God. If I come to the knowledge of this, — my real and immortal self, — it will act as a cause, and adjust the lower animal soul, and the body in harmony with it. And " our earthly house of this tabernacle" will be constructed after the pattern shown to us in the Mount.
All creation is first in idea, and is essentially a generating or begetting. Ideas are conceptions ; that is, they are the union of pure intellect, which was viewed in the Hermetic philosophy as masculine, with that spiritual and feminine principle, which may be designated by the general term, feeling. This union is life whenever and wherever it is effected. It is represented symbolically by the cross, and is the Kabalistic balance, and they express one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching truths in the whole realm of thought. " There is in everything," says Swedenborg, " the marriage of truth and good," or the conjunction of intellect and feeling. This extends through the universe. It is said in the Sohar, the Book of Splendor, or the teaching of the shining ones (Dan. xii:3), "When the Most Holy Elder, (or the Ancient of days) , hidden in all occultations, willed to create, he made all things in the form of husband and wife. (Idra Suta,[or Smaller Assembly], sec. 218.) " All things appear, therefore, in the form of husband and wife; were it otherwise, nothing whatever could subsist." (Idra Suta, sec. 223.) It is an immutable and eternal truth, and one that is fundamental and universal, that nothing exists or can exist, except by the union of intellectual thought with its corresponding feeling, or their correlatives. And ideas are the only "truly existing things," as they are denominated by Plato. They are the generation or creation of the masculine Intelligence (Nous), in union with the feminine Wisdom (Sophia) , and they are living, enduring, and divine realities. They result from the union of the intellect and feeling on the higher plane of being, and descending to the lower animal soul plane, they are perceived as what are called external objects.
The union of the intellect and feeling, in order to the existence of a living entity, is a truth with which the ancient wisdom-religion was familiar, but has long since been forgotten. When I think of a triangle, or a circle, the thought conjoins itself with the universal principle of feeling, the mother principle, and an idea is formed or perceived in the mind. This is a living and immortal thing.
Thought and feeling are correlative opposites, like the two poles of a magnet. Each implies the other, and they mutually balance each other, and there is an affinitive attraction between the«n, and a spontaneous tendency to a conjunction and a state of equi-libration. When I think that I am well (which is true of my real being) , or form an intellectual conception of any mental or bodily condition, the thought will seek to unite itself with the principle of feeling on the intermediate plane of my mental being, and then it becomes faith, and a living inward reality, and the substance or subsistence
of things hoped for. And it will lend to translate itself into a corporeal expression.
We are to bear in mind, that as there is a world of phenomena or of material things which are only appearances, so there is a world of ideas which sustains a constant creative relation to the world of sense, and without which the latter could not exist any more than there could be a shadow without a substance. This realm of ideas is the subjective and real world. It is the "intelligible world" of Plato, and " the kingdom of the heavens" of which Jesus speaks. Wherever there is a material thing, there is back of it, as its soul and life and cause, an idea. All things in the natural world are but representations of things in the realm of ideas. This is the old Hermetic doctrine of correspondence which has been reproduced by Swedenborg. Says the Jewish Kabala, " The lower world is made after the pattern of the upper (or inner) world ; everything which exists in the upper world is to be found as it were in a copy upon earth ; still the whole is one." (Sohar, II., 20, a.) This is a fundamental principle in our transcendental philosophy, and must be fully apprehended before we can go any farther. It is the key note of our theosophical system. Just as the soul of man, rather than the body, is the real man, so the world of ideas is the really existing world. The external Cosmos is but a resemblance, a representation, an appearance of the higher world to the sensuous mind. The world of ideas is that which was called in the ancient philosophy the macrocosm, or greater world ; and the material world, including the human body, which belongs to it and is an image of it, was denominated the microcosm, or lesser world.
Owing to the importance of the subject in its relation to our transcendental science of medicine, or science of mental-cure, and the necessity of starting right, on the principle of the maxim of Pythagoras, that "a good beginning is half way to the end," we pursue our inquiry still further into the nature of ideas.
Ideas are the only objects of vision. In this both Berkeley and Locke, and even Condillac agree. But what is the idea of a thing which is the object of vision ? It is the spiritual norm and reality, of which the so-called external object is the correspondent or appearance. Says a distinguished writer, " Let us suppose a man to look for the first time upon some work of art, as, for example, upon a clock, and having sufficiently viewed it, at length to depart. Would he not retain, when absent, an idea of what he had seen? And what is it to retain such an idea ? It is to have a form internal correspondent to the external." (Hermes, by James Harris, p. 375.) But this internal form is all that the man ever saw, and is all that we ever see in any case. The word form comes from a Greek word, meaning that which is seen. The same is true of the term idea. In vision, if there is no idea in the mind, we are blind to the object however perfect may be our organs of sight. If there be an idea of a thing in our mind, there is a vision of it proportioned in intensity to the vividness of the idea. If the internal form reaches a certain degree of clearness, it becomes what we call a sensation. The perception of the form, idea, type, pattern, exemplar, species (or whatever we are pleased to call it), of a thing, is necessary to the vision of it. It is the essential thing in every act of vision. And the external eye is not absolutely necessary to it. We see things which have all the marks of reality in dreams, and in states of mental abstraction. This mental form, image, or idea expresses not merely the material shape, but the spiritual nature, essence, and reality of a thing. It is this, and this only, that the mind sees, and of which the soul is cognizant in every act or state of visual perception. It is not a mere symbol, a picture, a mental copy, a representation of the thing, but the ding an sich, as Kant would say, the thing itself in its inmost reality, the really existing thing, to use a Platonic expression, of which the so-called material exhibition is only its manifestation on a lower and more imperfect plane of thought. The idea is the living soul of the thing ; the material phenomenon is the imperfect copy. Ideas are not only the only objects of vision, but as they are the essential reality of things, they are the only objects of knowledge or true science, as was long ago taught by Plato.
We remark still further, that ideas are not mere abstract thoughts, but living and immortal entities ; material things are their phenomena or appearances, — the shadow and not the substance. This is directly the opposite of the popular conception and belief. Ideas are the living kernel of things ; the material organization is the rough shell. "When we think of anything, as of Bunker Hill monument, the thought takes form in an idea. This is the thing itself, and more real than the granite rock. It is the only visible entity. Ideas may be defined to be the living and fixed forms assumed by thought. All things which exist have had a previous existence in the unseen and real world of light, the world of ideas, and after their dissolution they return to that world. When you burn a rose, as the ancient Magi, or Wise Men, affirmed, it is not destroyed or annihilated, but has only passed from the world of sense to the unseen and real world whence it came. This doctrine of preexistence applies to minerals, plants, animals, and men. They have existed as ideas before they had a material manifestation. This is the doctrine of Plato, and the teaching of all the philosophies of the East. It is expressed in unmistakable language in the first chapters of Genesis. "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day when Jehovah God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew." (Gen. ii : 4, 5.) All things were created in idea and in reality before they were in the earth. Their generation, or incarnation, or descent into matter is to be viewed in the light of a degradation, but one that has its reward, for here they touch the bottom in the descending line of evolution, and begin to rebound on the home stretch, or upward side of the cycle, the ascending and shining way to the blest abodes. Jesus had a glory with the Father before the world was (to him), that is, before his descent into material conditions. So perhaps had we, and all other men, which is one of the oldest doctrines of philosophy, and when properly understood, one of the most rational. Whatever is true of Jesus in that respect, is true of man.
Ideas are but poorly expressed in the deceptive and illusory world of sense. The objects of nature are not truly existing things, but are only in a state of becoming, that is, they exhibit an effort to realize the ideal plan of their being. In illustration of this, take the geometrical figures, as a line, a triangle, a circle. There is not a perfect circle in the whole material universe. There can be only a resemblance of one. But there is a circle, real, perfect, and eternal in the world of ideas, which lies above and within this world. So there is in every one of us an ideal and immortal man. This is not the dream of a disordered fancy, but a divine reality. There is in us an instinctive striving to climb up to its full realization. To find this ideal man as a fact of consciousness, and recognize it as the living image of God in us and as our real self, is the aim we have in view. To release this inward and real self from the bondage of matter, and free it from all material conditions and restraints, is the goal toward which the path on which we now enter conducts our willing feet. Then we are glorified with the glory which we had before the world had an existence in us and for us.
This is not a new doctrine, but belongs to the Platonic philosophy, and is well stated by Plotinus. "May we not say that prior to this subsistence in a state of becoming, we had a subsistence as men in true being, though different men from what we now are, and possessing a deiform nature? We were likewise pure souls and intellects conjoined with universal essence, being parts of the intelligible (world) ; not disjoined or separated from it, but pertaining to the whole of it. For neither are we now cut off from it. For even now the man that is here wishing to be another man, accedes (or approaches in thought) to the man that is there, and which, finding us (for we are not external to the universe), surrounds us with himself, and conjoins himself to that man which each of us then was. Just as if one voice and one discourse existing, some one from a different place applying his ears should hear and receive what was said, and should become in energy a certain hearing, in consequence of having that which energizes present with itself. After the same manner we become both the man which is in the intelligible (or ideal world) and the man which is here." (Translations from the Greek of some Treatises of Plotinus, by Thomas Taylor, p. 41.)
This is only the soul or psychical man, uniting itself to the inward divine pneuma or spirit. The two extreme links of the chain of our being are brought together in a circle, and man in the discrete degrees of his existence is made a completed unity. The ideal and immortal man, which is latent in most, becomes the actual and conscious man. This is salvation in the Pauline and true Christian sense, but is a conception which belongs to a spiritual philosophy that had an existence in ages long anterior to the advent of Christianity.
The philosophy of idealism as presented in the preceding lesson is to be applied to the cure of disease, as it was by Jesus the Christ. All disease, so far as it has a material or bodily expression, must have had a preexistence in us as a fixed mode of thought, that is, as an idea. To expunge from the mind and obliterate from our soul-life the idea of it, is to remove the cause of it, and hence to cure the malady. How best to accomplish this is the problem to be solved by our transcendental medical science and practical metaphysics. To its solution we will now devote our best energies.
It is our aim to reproduce the system of cure practiced by Jesus, and adapt it to modern modes of thought and expression. Now Jesus was the prince of idealists, as Keshub Chunder Sen has said, and his religion is supreme idealism. (Oriental Christ, by P. C. Mozoomdar, p. 34.) Without a knowledge of the philosophy of idealism it is impossible to comprehend the profound truths of Christianity or any of the Oriental religions. With Jesus, as with Gautama the Buddha, ideal things, existing in a sphere of being interior to the world of sense, were the only real and enduring things. All else was evanescent and ever changing.
We have endeavored to find in the realm of mind certain fixed principles as fundamental, immutably true, and trustworthy as the principles of geometry, by which the mariner guides his course upon the pathless deep. In the New Testament doctrine of faith, as it was viewed by Jesus, and Paul, and even Plato, we affirm that we have such a principle in its application to the cure of the diseases of the soul and the body. When properly understood we see why, as Jesus declared, it is ever unto us according to our faith (Matt. ix : 29). This is a principle as certain in the laws of mind, and as reliable as that a straight line is the shortest distance between two given points, or the demonstrated theorem that in every right-angled triangle the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Faith may be defined to be the power of perceiving spiritual realities that lie above and beyond the range of the senses, and a confidence in those higher truths. This is essentially the definition of it given by the unknown Kabalistic author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Heb. xi : 1) .
Faith is the source of all spiritual power. The end and purpose of all education is, and will be of our present studies, the achievement of spiritual development and the attainment of a truly spiritual mode and habit of thought. In other words, our aim should be expressed in the comprehensive prayer, " Lord, increase our faith" (Luke xvii : 5). This implies that we already have faith in a degree, which only needs to be augmented and turned in the right direction. On this subject Mr. A. P. Sinnett very justly remarks : " One may illustrate this point by reference to a very common-place physical exercise. Every man living, having the ordinary use of his limbs, is qualified to swim. But put those who cannot swim, as the common phrase goes, into deep water, and they will struggle and be drowned. The mere way to move the limbs is no mystery ; but unless the swimmer in moving them has a full belief that such movement will produce the required result, the required result is not produced. In this case we are dealing with mechanical forces merely, but the same principle runs up into dealings with subtler forces." Of the power which resides in faith, he gives as instances the marvels wrought by the genuine
Oriental adepts. Their training is designed to develop the principle of faith. (Esoteric Buddhism, p. 12.) Read also on the same subject the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. But every one will ask, " How may we get this faith ? " In this case the questioner is like the man who is anxiously hunting around the house to find his spectacles, but all the time has them on and is looking through them. We already have faith, and are perpetually acting under its influence and guidance, but have not learned its higher applications and uses. Faith is only that intuitive intellectual perception that lies above the range of the sensuous plane of the mind's action, and which we call into exercise every time we correct the illusions of our senses, and judge and act contrary to their deceptive appearances. "Whenever we judge, not according to appearance, but judge righteously or according to a divine rectitude of thought, we exercise faith. When I perceive that the reflected image from a mirror is not a solid object behind the mirror, or that the earth turns on its axis, and that the sun does not rise and set, it is that higher form of knowledge which is called faith.
According to the idealistic philosophy, thought and existence are absolutely identical and inseparable. This is a principle as universally true as that two straight lines which are parallel will never meet, however far they may be extended, or the proposition that the whole of a thing is equal to the sum of all its parts. Bishop Berkeley, after remarking that time is nothing abstracted from the succession of ideas in our minds, and that the duration of any finite existence must be estimated by the number of ideas, or actions, succeeding each other in that individual spirit or mind, says : "Hence, it is a plain consequence that the soul always thinks ; and, in truth, whoever shall go about to divide in his thoughts, or abstract the existence of a spirit from its cogitation, will, I believe, find it no easy task." (Principles of Human Knowledge, sec. 98.)
Pure thought is the summit of our being. It is the Kabalistic Crown, and is spirit ; and, by divine appointment, governs and controls all below it. It is the point where our individual existence flows out from the "Unknown." The attainment of the power to think spiritually and spontaneously, in contradistinction from the possession of a set of borrowed opinions, is the "crown of life." Since to think and to exist are one and the same, a man in whatsoever condition he is, whether in health or disease, whether happy or the opposite, is only the expression or external translation of his thoughts and ideas. He is the perpetual creation of his fixed mode of thought. The world and all the things it contains, including the body of man, having no thought in themselves, do not exist in and for themselves, but exist only in us, and as Schopenhauer has truly said, are to us only what we think and believe them to be. As thought and existence are identical, a change of thought must necessarily modify our existence. To think a change in our bodily condition, and not merely to think about it, will determine all the living forces toward that result, as certainly as a stream issuing from a fountain will flow in another direction when we change the direction of its channel.
If thought is the first act of our individual spiritual existence, and a perpetual concomitant of it, and is the primal force and most subtle energy in the universe, the question will arise, is thought free and subject to no law above itself? Can we think when and what we please? In disease, can I think that I am well? In pain, can I think that I have no pain? I answer unhesitatingly, I can. All things are possible to thought. I can think that five plus four is twelve, but may not be able to believe it until the thought is joined with feeling in some degree. A man may think that his dwelling is on fire when it is not, and he is affected by it ; or he may think that his house is not on fire when it is, and in the latter case he feels no alarm. In both caseshis thought modifies his existence. A man may think he is dying when he is not ; or, when he is passing through what the world calls death, he may both think and feel that it is only a higher form of life, and that there is no death. In sickness, it is possible to think, and even believe, that the disease does not belong to the class of truly existing things, but is only a phenomenon or appearance, a false seeming, an illusion. This thought maintained will vindicate its right to be called the Crown by transforming all below it into its expression. Thought may be subject to certain laws or fixed rules of action, as may be predicated of the Divine nature itself, but is absolutely free ; for the laws of its activity arise from its own essence. It knows no higher law than itself. Pure thought is the first emanation from God, as is seen in the Kabalistic scheme of the Ten Sephiroth. It is not a mere attribute or faculty of spirit ; it is spirit itself. We cannot abstract thought from spirit any more than a smile can be separated from a human face, and left as an entity in empty space ; and the spirit as the first emanation from God, as the Kabala affirms, is the Son of God. And as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to the Son (or the spirit) to have life in himself ; and he gave him authority also to execute judgment because he is also the son of man. (John v : 26, 27.) . The essential characteristic of spirit, and which inheres in its very essence, as Hegel has said, is freedom and spontaneity. It originates action or motion, as Plato teaches. The essential property of matter is passivity or fatality. Thought is not like the vane on the church tower, turning in every direction from the action of a force existing outside of itself. But the spirit is a wind or breath of God that bloweth where it listeth. (John iii : 8.) It chooses its own direction in which to act. There is nothing above it but the " Unknown God," out of whom it perpetually springs. As the sun is never separated from any of his rays, but acts as one with each and all of them, so the " Father of spirits " always approves and sanctions the action of pure spiritual thought. For pure thought is the Protogonos, the first begotten, the son and perpetual offspring of God, and from him it is never sundered. If thought and existence are identical, then it follows that to think rightly is to be well and happy. All matter including the human body exists only in mind, which is the only substance. It exists from thought and in thought. Hence, the body is to me, and for me, what I think it to be. This is an absolute and irrepealable law of our being, as much so as that all right-angled triangles are equal to each other, or that every circle, great or small, contains three hundred and sixty degrees. How soon a change of thought and feeling, as in passing from melancholy to cheerfulness, translates itself into a bodily expression ! So when doubt and despair give place to hope and the full assurance of faith, the change expresses itself immediately in the face, which is the index of our interior states of mind and body. Behold in this the creative omnipotence of thought and feeling. Thought and feeling are the Elohim, the Dii Potentes, the creative potencies in our microcosm or lesser world, as they are in the macrocosm or greater world of ideas, and they are continually saying in us, " Let us make the body after our image and likeness." In the above short sentence, as in a casket, lies the golden key which unlocks the mysteries of health and disease.
That which we most need is to develop into consciousness our inner and higher life, and to give to it what rightfully belongs to it — an absolute sovereignty over all below it. It should be our aim to elevate the principle of thought above the plane of the senses, and free it from their distorting influences. " This elevation above sensual things was known to the ancients, and their wise men said that when the mind is withdrawn from sensual things, it comes into an interior light, and, at the same time, into a tranquil state, and into a sort of heavenly blessedness. Man is capable of being yet more interiorly elevated ; and the more interiorly he is elevated, into so much the clearer light does he come, and at length into the light of heaven, which is nothing else but wisdom and intelligence from the Lord." (Arcana Celestia, 6313.) As thought becomes more internal, or elevated above the body and the external senses, it becomes more potential. This is the true meaning of healing ourselves or others. It is the emancipation of the soul from material thraldom. And, when the soul is saved from its illusions, the body can well be left to take care of itself. Says Paul : the thought of the spirit is life and peace ; but the thought of the fleshly mind (or the habit of thinking on a level with the body) , is death. (Rom. viii : 6, 7.) This passage contains, in a small compass, the true philosophy of salvation in the full sense of the word. It will be our work to develop this living germ and fruitful seed of truth into a tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.
We encounter at the outset in our instruction a great evil, and one that has served to hold humanity down and prevent its rising from the plane of sense to the life of faith. I refer to the fact that the church. Catholic and Protestant, has claimed a monopoly of the principle of faith. They have connected it with certain dogmas which are, to many intelligent minds, unreasonable, absurd, and incredible. They have enclosed the divine and saving principle of faith in what looks to many as an unseemly wrapper, like the precious goods of the merchant in coarse paper, and they refuse to deliver the merchandise unless you take it in the unsightly wrapper. The invalid or sinner (as the case may be) desires to be healed or saved, and works himself into a willingness to take the standard theological medicine as the less of two evils, but he cannot avoid saying (or at least thinking) with Whittier : —
" I trace your lines of argument ;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent.
And fears a doubt as wrong.
But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds ;
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads."
But, at the present time, many people are beginning to feel that they can buy directly of the Christ " gold tried in the fire," and enclose the celestial and enduring good in their own theological envelope. Faith is a philosophical and scientific principle much older than even Plato, and belongs, by just right, as an exclusive property to no one sect, but to all mankind, as much so as the light of the sun. In these lessons we shall try and put you in possession of this "pearl of great price," and leave you to find your own casket. I can but feel that those persons in the various churches who have unselfishly devoted themselves to the practice of the faith cure, and who include in their number many of the choicest spirits on earth, would find their success still greater if they could divorce more fully the saving principle of faith from un-Christian and mentally unwholesome theological dogmas. In other words, let us give allopathic prescriptions of pure religion, but infinitesimal doses of the popular theology. It is to be hoped this suggestion will be taken in the spirit in which it is given ; for, as one has beautifully said : —
"A bending staff I would not break,
A feeble faith I would not shake,
Nor even rashly pluck away
The error which some truth may stay.
Whose loss might leave the soul without
A shield against the shafts of doubt."
It is the object of these lessons to lead gradually, and by successive steps, to the development of the unexplored, and, in modern times, almost universally unrecognized, but really vast powers for good that belong to a truly religious and spiritual faith — a faith that perceives being in opposition to a mere sensuous and illusory appearance. There is a faith that perceives and consciously recognizes those truths and realities which lie beyond the grasp of the animal or psychical man or mind. In the Sanscrit language, in which is locked up the profoundest truths ever revealed to the human mind, the word for truth is sat or satya, which is the participle of the verb as, to be. Hence, truth is that which is, in contradistinction from that which only seems to be. It is the truly existing being of Plato ; the amen of Jesus and Paul. Faith is the perception of these supersensuous truths, and says of them, "these are that which really is," and maintains this attitude of thought in opposition to the fallacious and deceptive appearances of the senses.
In order to reach this position of thought, we must first discover our true self. To him who would become spiritual this is of supreme importance. When we discover our ideal self, we find at the same time God, and health, and heaven. In the philosophy of the Vedas, which means real knowledge, all the ordinary names of God, as the Almighty, the Creator, etc., are laid aside, and the single name Atman, the Self, is used to denote the divine Being. This does not refer to the Aditi, the Boundless, the Absolute Being, which is nameless, but to the highest manifestation of the Supreme Divine Essence. It is the Self, or underlying, or inmost Reality, of all that is. It is the Absolute Self, which includes our individual self in it. The Atman is the Self in which each individual self must find rest, must come to himself, must find his own true self, the immortal Monad, the spiritual and imperishable entity. All this teaches the sublime truth of faith, that in our inmost being we become identified with the Divine Nature. The highest wisdom of Greece was expressed in the precept, "know thyself." "When we find our real self, everything afterwards in our path is easy. We must, in the outset, as the French would say, find our true East (s'orienter) , and fix our true position among created things. We must ascertain the direction in which we are to look for spiritual wisdom, and the region of our being where alone it can be found.
In the Vedanta philosophy of India, the oldest religious philosophy of the world, it is said: "There is nothing higher than the attainment of the knowledge of the Self." Again: "Despising everything else, a wise man should strive after the knowledge of the self." This highest Self is called in the Vedanta, which means the end or goal of the Veda, the " silent thinker," as being the inmost spring of all thought. It is also called "the one who knows," as it partakes of the Divine Omniscience. It is also the " old man within," who is identical with the Kabalistic "Ancient of Days," " the holy elder," which means the inward sage, the source of all true knowledge, and fountain of all true wisdom, for at this point it opens into that in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This inmost self in us is a person only in the true sense of the word, as a mask that conceals and partly reveals the universal spirit. To discover our real self, and to find it included in the being of the manifested God, the Christ of Paul, is the Platonic idea of redemption, and is the summit of all spiritual knowledge. It is faith in its supreme sense.
The Atman of the Vedanta, the highest Self, and the Christ of Paul, the Adam Kadmon of the Kabala, are the same as the "Over-Soul" of Emerson. He says of it: "The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere ; that Unity, that Over-Soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all others." (Essays, First Series, p. 214.)
In another place, speaking of the Over-Soul, Emerson says: "Of this pure nature every man is at some time sensible. Language cannot paint it with his colors. It is too subtile. It is undefinable, unmeasurable, but we know that it pervades and contains us. We know that all spiritual being is in man. A wise old proverb says, ' God comes to see us without bell' ; that is, as there is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so is there no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause, begins. The walls are taken away. We lie open on one side to the deeps of spiritual nature, to the attributes of God." (Essays, First Series, p. 216.)
The importance of finding this higher self, and developing it into consciousness, cannot be overstated. It is necessary to all spiritual growth. It has always been earnestly insisted upon by all who have written anything on the deeper philosophy of human nature. The celebrated Arabian philosopher, Muhammed Al Ghazzali, who was born A.D. 1056, wrote a work entitled The Alchemy of Happiness. It contains the principles of a profound spiritual science, the same that were taught under impenetrable symbols by the Alchemists of the middle ages. Al Ghazzali commences his work with these important words, which are the key to all spiritual science : " O seeker after the divine mysteries ! know thou that the door to the knowledge of God will be opened to a man first of all, when he knows his own soul, and understands the truth about his own spirit, according as it has been revealed. ' He who knows himself, knows his Lord also.' Again, in the books of former prophets it is written, ' Know thine own soul, and thou shalt know thy Lord ' ; and we have received it in a tradition, ' He who knows himself, already knows his Lord.' This is a convincing argument that the soul (or spirit) is like a clean mirror into which, whenever a person looks, he may there see God." This was written eight centuries ago. But thousands of years before this it was said in the Vedanta of India, " There is one eternal thinker, thinking non-eternal thoughts ; he, though one, fulfils the desires of many. The wise who perceive him within their self, to them belongs eternal life, eternal peace." (India, by Max Müller, p. 260.)
That man possesses a triune nature, and is capable of living and acting on either of three distinct planes of being, or, as it is stated in the spiritual philosophy of Swedenborg, that there are three discrete degrees of the mind, is one of the oldest doctrines of philosophy, but is wholly unrecognized in our modern systems of metaphysics. It is a fundamental idea in the New Testament psychology, as also in the philosophy of Plato, and is the key to the theosophical system of the Christ. In the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul gives the Platonic statement of this doctrine : "And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit, and soul, and body be preserved whole (or entire) without blame at the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thes. v: 23.) The body is here used for the lowest degree of the mind, the animal nature with the degree of intellect that belongs to it. It is that which is called in the writings of Paul the carnal or fleshly mind. It is the Linga Sharira of Esoteric Buddhism, or what is called the astral body. It is of an etherial nature, but not immortal. It belongs to this material stage of our existence, and is that intermediate principle which connects the higher degrees of the mind or thinking substance with matter and with the body.
The lowest degree of our immortal nature is called the animal soul, and is the psyche of the New Testament, and constitutes what the Apostle Paul denominates the psychical man, which is badly translated "the natural man," which designation of it is followed by Swedenborg. It is the region in us of what is called external sense. It is also the seat of all the animal appetites and passions. As such, it was denominated by Pythagoras thumos, and by the Buddhists is called kama rupa, or body of desire, and vehicle of will. By the Hebrews it was called nephesh, and is the serpent of Genesis, through the influence of which man fell from the spiritual state into which he was created into a sensuous or psychical condition. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness on the cross as the Kabalistic tree of life, so must the son of man, or the animal soul, be lifted up. (John iii : 14.) For though humanity, on this plane of mental being, is animal in its nature when compared with spirit, it is elevated above the correctly defined animal creation in every other respect. And though this region is called the animal soul, as it is the highest developed principle of the brute creation, it is yet susceptible of evolution into something far higher, by its union with the higher degrees of our being. (Esoteric Buddhism, by A. P. Sinnet, p. 25.)
To this region of mind belongs, according to Plato, what we denominate opinion, or the reception of the beliefs of others. Opinions may be founded on truth, or they may be false. When true, they come next to knowledge as a practical guide, and as near to genuine faith as the large majority of mankind ever come. Here, also, is what we call reason, which is a much less unerring guide than instinct, which belongs to the animal soul, and which brings us to the boundaries of the next higher degree. Instinct in man and animals is the knowledge that we derive from the Universal Soul or Mind, of which our soul is only a personal limitation, or individual expression. The animal soul is the basement story of our immaterial, intellectual nature. It is the region in us of the evil and the false, of sin and disease ; and we must acquire the power of transferring our consciousness to a more internal plane of being.
The next degree or region of the mind is where it rises above the darkness and fallacies of the senses, and thinks and acts on the plane of pure intellect. It is the region of spiritual intelligence in distinction from external science or sensuous knowledge, which belongs to a lower intellectual range. It is called in the Sanscrit manas, which is translated human soul, as it is the distinctively human principle, and that which distinguishes man from the highest of the animal kingdom. It has been called also the rational soul, but is more properly designated the intellectual soul, as reason belongs to the psychical man, and never discovers truth. It is a distinct mind, including the intellect and all the emotions and affections that belong to the mind. It is the interior man. Its development into consciousness should be our highest aim. After the anastasis of Jesus he appeared to the disciples and opened their understanding (noema, not psyche, or animal soul) that they might understand the Scriptures (Luke xxiv: 45). And the psalmist prays: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of thy law" (Ps. cxix : 18). This is that region of mind that perceives things in idea, and consequently independently of the senses. Its range of vision is well-nigh unlimited. In this region of our being the divine omniscience comes to the dawning in us. Of the state of intellectual lucidity and spiritual vision that is natural to this degree of the mind, Paul speaks as " having the eyes of the understanding enlightened" (Eph. i:18). And he prays that the Colossian Christians might be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding or discernment (Col. i:9). The intellectual soul is a region of mental elevation, or rather inwardness, where man is no longer blinded by the external senses, but where the higher perceptive faculties act independent of all organic instruments. It is what Swedenborg inaccurately denominates the spiritual man, though he properly apprehends and describes this state of man.
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