Spiritual Healing by Ernest Holmes
SPIRITUAL HEALING It has been proved that the larger part of our physical ailments is a direct or indirect result of our thinking, and that we can change our thought patterns. But this does not mean that our physical diseases are in our minds only, or that they are just mental illusions. If we have a pain, we know it. Nor will it do us any good, nor will it heal us, for some thoughtless person to say, “It‟s all in your mind.” If we hurt, we know that we hurt. I am reminded of the boy who was scratching his head at the dinner table, and his mother said, “Son, why do you scratch your head?” He replied, “Because I am the only person living who knows that it itches.” This boy was not a philosopher, he was not a scientist, he did not pretend to know all the answers, but I think his reasoning was most satisfactory. He knew that his heads itched, and he knew that it relieved it to scratch it. And he was right. But if you or I had some kind of an allergy that produced a continual irritation at the surface of the body, and we went to a modern physician, the chances are more than even that he would probably tell us that the real cause of our allergy and the physical discomfort attending it is an inward emotional disturbance of which we are not even aware. The doctor would not say that it is only in our minds and therefore is of no importance. He would merely be implying that our thoughts and emotions don‟t come together right; there is an inward turmoil or mental conflict, which is causing our physical trouble. Then, very likely, he would suggest that we change our thoughts and feelings in such a way as to uproot the cause of our physical disturbance. But no doctor can compel us to think constructively; he cannot give us a pill of happiness that will remove all discontent from our minds, nor can he write out a prescription that will keep us from worrying. In modern medicine, they do not try to do this. When they feel the seat of our physical troubles lies in the emotions, what they really do is to give us a sort of mental prescription that will straighten out our thinking.
But even here something will be missing unless we add some other factors that are spiritual in their nature. For no one ever worries if he has a complete sense of security, and no one ever worries if he has a complete faith. In the last analysis, all our thinking is based on our deep convictions about life. We do have physical bodies, and we do have minds. But we are also spiritual beings, and it really is the Spirit within us that uses the mind, while, in its turn, the mind reflects or reacts on the body. The answer to our problem, then, is not in merely saying that it is either all in the body or all in the mind. For while it is true that we can establish a relationship of the mind to the body, there is a deeper truth than this and a more important one, and that is the relationship that our mind has to Life Itself. Our faith in Life has a direct relationship to our belief in the Power greater than we are which we can use. We not only have to establish a right relationship between mind and body; it is equally important that we establish a right relationship between mind and Spirit. A physician might tell someone with stomach ulcers that possibly the real cause of his trouble is a sense of insecurity. Probably his diagnosis would be correct. But the real and lasting cure is something else again. For if a person is suffering from a sense of insecurity, it is not going to do much good to point out this fact to him unless it is also pointed out that there is a kind of security which is great enough and deep-seated enough to overcome his sense of insecurity. This is something that medicine, as such, does not pretend to touch. It merely points to the fact. But the kind of security that is needed to supply this need is not in a bottle or a pill, nor in any physical application or manipulation. For while all of these are at times necessary, they are but temporary cures, and there is a great difference between being temporarily relieved of an irritation and being healed of its cause so that it cannot reappear. The physician can relieve us; only God can heal.
We are all rooted in pure Spirit, whether or not we know it. We did not have anything to do with this. We did not create ourselves. But we do seem to have pretty well messed up what God has made, and we seem to have this privilege.
However, it so happens that our roots do lie in the Spirit, and in most cases, what we really need is a healing of the mind even more than a healing of the body. If it can be established that the mind produces such a large proportion of our physical troubles and that changing our mental and emotional reactions to life can heal them, then at the same time, we are establishing another fact which we are apt to overlook: We have created all our mental patterns, and there is nothing in the mind that has not been put there. All our habit patterns of thought have been unconsciously laid down, probably over a period of many years. What we really need, then, is a spiritual healing of the mind. We may have the assurance from modern science, from medicine, and from psychology, that we are not laboring under an illusion when we say that if we permit the Spirit to heal the mind, the mind will react on the body. If a sense of insecurity, the emotion of fear, and the feeling that we are inadequate to cope with life can produce disastrous results in the body, then it becomes necessary for us to find something that will remove this feeling of insecurity and inadequacy. No one ever yet has been able to supply this need out of the human mind alone – and no one ever will be able to. For just as a tree cannot live without its roots or bear fruit without drawing on the invisible source of its life, so we cannot hope to be well, whole, or happy until we learn to draw on the invisible forces of the Spirit which are around us and within us. We know that the Spirit already is perfect, and it is only reasonable to suppose that what God has made must be as perfect as God is. There is a spiritual body in which every organ, action, and function of our physical being is rooted and from which it draws its life, and we should readjust our thinking to include the idea that every action of our physical body can be controlled by the Spirit within us. This in no way denies the physical body; rather, it puts it in its right place. It does not deny the mind or the thoughts we have or the effects they have on the body. It merely puts them in their right perspective. But, beyond and above both mind and body, it introduces the idea of a spiritual person, the God-intended man. And if this God-intended man were not here, you and I would not be here.
What we need is to find the spiritual idea, the spiritual Reality back of everything. For instance, we speak of people having heart trouble, but what we really mean is
that often people have troubled hearts. That is, they have mental and emotional stress and strain, which produces a similar, effect on this most vital of all organs. Jesus said: “ … Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.” When he spoke of “believing in me,” of course he meant to believe in the spiritual man, the Christ-Spirit that is within us, not only the Son of the living God, but also the living Son of God. The spiritual equivalent, then, which can overcome most heart trouble will have to be something that overcomes the troubled heart, the disturbed thought, the inward conflicts with life, the repressions and depressions, and the deep unconscious congestions which the mind has because it is confused and distraught, unhappy and afraid. The spiritual equivalent of fear is faith. The spiritual equivalent of doubt is certainty. The spiritual equivalent of irritation and agitation and inflammation is peace and poise and calm. The most effective form of mental healing, the most perfect psychology, the most nearly right psychosomatic medicine is something that reaches deeper even than human experience, something that reaches beyond this little world in which we live and penetrates into that Divine Life by which we live and without which there could be no life. Spiritual healing is so rearranging our thinking and our reactions to life that they draw on the infinite Source of all being, which is God. This is the office of prayer, of meditation, and of that affirmation of faith to which Jesus said all things are possible. When spiritual mind healing is really understood, it will be practiced by everyone, because it is the most natural, normal, and spontaneous thing in the world.
We had to learn to acquire doubts and fears. It took us a long time to create our inner conflicts and emotional disturbances. Truly, they are creations of the human mind. This does not mean that they are unreal or that we can laugh them off, or that we can get rid of them merely by saying they are not there. That is, indeed, poor medicine from any viewpoint, and inadequate. If the physician finds a deficiency in the human body, he supplies the need. If the psychologist finds an inward emotional disturbance, he tries to straighten it out. But how can the picture be complete until we also discover the true relationship that the mind has to the
Spirit? We shall find many deficiencies in the mind, which only the vitamins of faith and hope and assurance can supply. It may take time and effort to do this. It may take the will to be well and the determination to think straight and the courage to face the immediate emergency with a calm trust and a deep and abiding faith. This is something that no one can give to us but ourselves, but each has the power within himself to do this. This is what spiritual mind healing really means. In actual practice, we take certain statements or thoughts or affirmations and meditate on them until the mind, both consciously and subconsciously, come to complete agreement. Then the mind becomes calm and peaceful and no longer agitated. Then we mentally identify ourselves with the Spirit. This is why we say, “There is one Life, that Life is God.” But this statement is not complete until we add, “ …that Life is my life now.” This is what we mean by identifying oneself with God or finding oneself in God. At first, this statement may not have much effect, but daily repeating such statements and trying to feel their meaning inwardly can produce a transformation of one‟s entire life. At times, this transformation is instant and permanent. But such times are rare, and we need not depend on the inspiration of such a moment, for always the calm persistent following of this method will finally produce results. No one can change his whole thinking in a moment, but if he knows that he is working with the great Reality, then he has the courage to go on. If he gains a little every day, he is content because he knows he is on the road that ultimately will lead to success. Spiritual healing is an established fact in human experience. It follows a definite Law of Mind. The pioneering work in this field has been pretty well completed, and we may accept it as true and valid. What we need now is the application, and this is something each may do for himself, perhaps better than anyone else could do for him. There are no particular formulas for doing this. It is a matter of always trying to reach back to the Spirit within us, always trying to sense Its presence and Its action through us, always believing that It is there, and never denying It.
How wonderful it is to realize that we have access to such a Presence and such a Power. How wonderful it will be when we all draw closer to this Presence and
Power in thought, in word, and in feeling. When the day comes that the majority of people on earth do this, a new race will walk this planet