W. F. (Warren Felt) Evans.

The primitive mind-cure : the nature and power of faith, or, elementary lessons in Christian philosophy and transcendental medicine online

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it into our organic system with every mouthful of fresh air.
Our organism is full of it from the instant of our birth,
but it becomes potential only under the influx of will and
spirit" (Ms Unveiled, vol. i., p. 616.) This invisible and
ubiquitous life-principle, the anima mundi of Plato, and the
magnetic agent, has occult properties and potencies in it that
few know anything about. It obeys our thoughts and takes
quality from them. It answers to the human voice, and
yields to the impulse of our will, and even understands the
meaning of traced signs and motions of the hand, especially
if they are correspondences. However incredible this may
seem, it is nevertheless true, as Baron Du Potet, the prince
of modern magnetists, affirms. But why should it not be
so, since the rational soul of man, the immortal psyche, is
only the highest expression of the universal soul or the intel-
ligent life-principle in nature? And when the soul is closely
united to this universal force it possesses, if we only but knew
it, a marvellous power. It is then, as it were, the general in
command of the universal living energy to direct it to the


accomplishment of a desired result. Life is ever3'where.
A desire of recovery is a search after life, and this, aa
Emerson sa^'S of power, is an element with which the world
is so saturated — there being no chink or crevice in which it
is not lodged — that no honest seeking need go unrewarded.
All matter is animated and acted upon by invisible agencies,
of which heat and light are the most apparent. But these are
only expressions on the plane of sense of the invisible and
imponderable life-principle. Heat in its spiritual essence is
a feeling, and light is truth.

" This conscious life, is it the same
Which thrills the universal frame,
Whereby the caverned crystal shoots,
And mounts the sap from forest roots,
Whereby the exiled wood-bird tells
When spring makes green her native dells ?
How feels the stone the pang of birth
Which brings its sparkling prism forth ?
The forest tree the throb which gives
The life-blood to its new-born leaves ? "

( Whittier.)

In his "Coming Race," a work which contains many hints
respecting the Oriental occult science. Lord Lytton denomi-
nates the universal life-principle and primal force, which the
Hindu adepts call the akasa, by the unusual name of vril,
and says that in vril his underground people thought that
"they had arrived at the unity in natural energetic agen-
cies." Like the akasa of the Hindu transcendental science,
it is a sort of " atmospheric magnetism," and controllable by
the imagination and will of man. It is the " occult air" of
the Kabalists, and is called by the Jewish prophets " the
breath of God" and "the breath of life." Its nature,
hidden properties, the laws of its action, and how to control
it, was undoubtedly a part of the esoteric teaching in the
prophetic schools. It is cleaHy mentioned in the celebrated
vision of the di-y bones in Ezekiel, "Come from the four


winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, and they shall
live." (Ezek. xxxvii:9.) Is it true that this subtle and
universal element of life will come at our call, and can we
give it quality and modify its action? If so, it is the most
important thing that medical philosophy can teach. Of the
occult philosopher Harouu of Aleppo, Lord L3^tton says :
" He had discovered the great principle of animal life, which
had hitherto baffled the subtlest anatomist, and provided only
that the great organs were not irreparably destroyed, there
was no disease that he could not cure, no decrepitude to
which he could not restore vigor ; yet his science was based
on the same theory as that espoused b}' the best professional
practitioners of medicine, viz., that the true art of healing is
to assist nature to throw off the disease, — to summon, as it
were, the whole system to eject the enemy that had fastened
on a part. And thus his processes, though occasionally
varying in the means employed, all combined in this, viz.,
the reinvigorating and recruiting of the principle of life."
(A Strange Story, p. 186.)

"The universal substance," sajs Eliphas Levi, ^^ with its
double motion (its active and reactive properties) , is the great
arcanum of being." This is profoundly true. This preex-
istent and invisible essence of things which we call life, this
elemental and universal substance, is often latent in nature,
and is without form or quality in itself, but receives quality
from our imagination or thought, just as water takes form
from the glass vessel that contains it. ^c see illustrations
of this in the life of men. If a person swallows a few drops
of water, or a pill made of bread crumbs, thinking it a cathar-
tic medicine, it will give to it that quality, and it will quicken
the peristaltic movement of the intestinal canal. Thought
has power to alter the nature of things so as to radically
change their quality. This is implied in the promise of
Jesus, that, if we believe, or have faith, to drink any deadly
thiui; will not harm us. Thus Paul overcame the otherwise


fatal bite and poison of the viper. Jesus also says, "Be it
unto thee according to thy faith " ; but faith is only a mode
of thought. The passive life-principle of the human body
and of all things is as sensitive to the influence of thought
and imagination as the mercury in the bulb of the thermome-
ter or barometer is to atmospheric changes. This universal
life-principle and primordial substance has an affinity for our
inward character, as some one has said, and is en rapport
with the purposes which we wish to effect by it, — as the relief
of pain and the cure of disease. Our minds and wills can
give quality to it ; and by the projectile power of the mind,
and by a thought-impulse, a current or tendency of it can be
determined upon the body of another, to recruit and augment
his vital energy. B}'^ certain movements of the hands, which
are but the expression of our thoughts, we can cause it to
accumulate in the brain, and the whole physical organism or
any part of it, and its invigorating effects will sometimes
border on the marvellous. The reinforcing the vital power
of the whole system is the shortest and most du-ect way of
curing any diseased part. The air and the water contain aU
the invisible essences of things, that from which all plants and
minerals arise, and of which they are, so to speak, only con-
densations, ox precipitations^ so that they become manifest to
our crude senses. We see granite rock floating in the air in
the form of dust. But there is an invisible, imponderable
dust, or primal stuff, or substance, — the mysterious clay of
the first chapter of Genesis, — out of which dust the body of
man was and is formed, and to which it returns. These
spiritual virtues and living principles of things are control-
lable by the will, faith, and imagination of man, and can,
with any quality our thought may give them, be determined
upon the body or any of its organs. The}' can also be
infused into any inert substances, as milk-sugar, or water,
or even paper, and tliey become invested with the peculiar
properties of any herb or drug. But all this lies within the


unexplored domaiu of the occult science of medicine. In an
old work by a Scotch physician b}- the name of Maxwell, enti-
tled " Medicina Magnetica," and published at Frankfort in
1679, it is said : " That which men call the world spirit (the
welt-geist of the German, the anima mundi of the Platonic
philosophy) is a life, as fire, spiritual, fleet, subtle, and ethe-
real as light itself. It is a life-spirit everywhere, and ever}'-
where the same ; and this is the common bond of all quarters
of the earth, and lives through and in all.

" If thou canst avail thyself of this spirit and accumulate
it in particular bodies, thou wilt receive no trifling benefit
from it, for therein consists all the mystery of magic (or
magnetism). This spirit is found in nature free from all
fetters ; and he who understands how to unite it to a har-
monizing body possesses a treasure which exceeds all

" He who knoivs how to operate on men by this spirit can
heal, and this at any distance he pleases." {Ennemoser's His-
tory of Magic, Vol. II., p. 258.) This brief extract contains
the key to the mystery of healing by magnetism, and by
mental forces and agencies. The true magnetic healer has
learned the nature and properties of the universal divine life-
principle, and how to influence its action. It is an exalted
science in its higher applications, and will be rescued from
its present degradation, and restored to its ancient dignity as
the science of sciences. It was once called magic, a word
which signifies wisdom, for it was a true spiritual philosophy,
founded upon immutable and eternal principles, and was
practised by many of the noblest and divinest men the world
ever saw.




Magnetism, as the universal life-principle, and that by
which God is present and acts in nature, is in a perpetual
effort to ultimate or actualize the divine idea of things in
material forms. This effort we believe can be aided, and its
operation greatly accelerated, by the intelligent will and im-
agination of man. When I think that a patient is well, or
is getting well, — and this is true, as has been shown before,
of his immortal self or spiritual entity, — the thought by an
occult law takes form in an idea, in the Logos or Divine
Truth, as Swedenborg would call it, which is a spiritual and
living substance. But this idea will take a more external
shape in the universal soul-life of nature, the primal sub-
stance or cosmic matter. It then becomes a real creation,
an ideal entity, a thing of the unseen world. But the soul
of the patient is a part of the soul of the world and not dis
connected from it ; and on his soul the ideal picture may be
photographed, and it will still tend outward by a force pro-
portioned to the intensity of the original thought and vivid-
ness of the idea, until it translates itself into a full bodilj'
expression, or creates the physical organism into its own
image. "An idea," says Plutarch, "is a being (or thing)
incorporeal, which has no subsistence by itself, but gives
figure and form unto shapeless matter, and becomes the
cause of its manifestation." (De Placitio Philosophormn.)
The cosmic matter, the primal stuff of which all things are
made (and which is recoguizcd in science as the universal


flether) , and which is the same everywhere and in all things
in the universe, is of itself loilhout form or quality. It is the
original chaos. It only receives form and quality from ideas
vjhich are in mind only. Hence it is that mind shapes mat-
ter, and gives it all its properties. This universally diffused
principle, the great magnetic agent, and which Sir Isaac
Newton called the divine sensorium (for it is really the seat
of all sensation) , is the anima mundi, the soul of the world.
The animal soul of man is an individualized expression of it,
and through it we are connected in sympathy with all other
souls, and all the objects of nature, even to the stars and all
the heavenly bodies. Newton says of it in his "Fundamental
Principles of Natural Philosophy' " : "Here the question is of
a very subtle spirit, which penetrates through all, even the
hardest bodies, and which is concealed in their substance.
Through the strength and activity of this spirit (or immate-
rial substance) bodies attract each other, and adhere to-
gether when brought into contact. Through it electrical
bodies operate at the remotest distance, as well as near at
hand, attracting and repelling (he might have said that in
it and by it distance is annihilated, and all objects touch
each other) ; thi'ough this spirit (or intelligent, nn.-material
substance), light also flows and is refracted and reflected,
and warms bodies. All senses are excited by this sjnrit, and
through it the animals move their limbs. But these things
cannot be explained in few words, and we have not yet sufll-
cient experience to determine full}' the laws by which this
universal spirit operates." Thus far and no farther can
modern science go. But the Archaic or Hermetic pliiloso-
phy gives to the universal cether certain occult metaphysical
properties, with which it was familiar, but of which our mod-
ern materialistic science is totally ignorant. The word is
from aiOio (aitho), to burn, to shine. This aether, according
to Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato, Hj-ppasus, Heraclitus,
Hippocrates, and all the oldest philosophers, was viewed as


a divine, luminous principle or substance, which psrmeates,
and at the same time contains all things in it. It was called
by the Hermetic philosophers the astral light, which signifies
not star-light, as the word would seem to indicate, but the
feminine wisdom-principle, it being from the same root as
Astarte and Ashtaroth. It is a spiritual fire that does not
burn. In the treatise on the Nature of the Gods (Lib. ii., c.
36) , Cicero says : Aerem amplectatur immensus CBtJier, qui
constat, exaltissimis ignibus, the immensurable aether, which
consists of the most subtle and exalted fire or flame, embra-
ces the air. Also Apuleius (" De Mundo") says: Coelum
ipsum stellasque colligens, omnisque siderum compago, CBther
vocatur, non lit quidem putant quod ignitus sit et incensus,
sed quod cursibus rapidis semper rotatur. The aether is that
in which all thiugs exist when we get round to their immate-
rial side. All life is compared to a flame, and the soul is
poetically, but truly said to be a vital spark of heavenly fire.
AU growing things assume the flame form, as leaves and
grasses. The aether is the unparticled substance, of which
all things are made, and to which they return. The fire of
which John the Baptist speaks, the baptismal flame, is iden-
tical with the Holy Spirit, and is the universal aether of
occult philosophy ; for it was not viewed as material in the
common acceptation of the term. In the Book of Hermes,
called Pimander, which signifies the Divine Thought, it is
said : " The light is I. I am the nous or intelligence, and I
am thy god, and I am far older than the human principle
which escapes from the shadow. I am the germ of thought,
the resplendent Word, the Son of God. Think that what
thus sees and hears in thee, is the Verbum of the Master,
it is the Thought wliich is God the Father. The celestial
ocean, the ather, which flows from east to zuest, is the Breath
of the Father, the life-giving principle, the Holy Ghost."

The universal aether, according to the authors of that
remarkable book, the "Unseen Universe," is the repository


of the spiritual images of all living things, and even human
thoughts. All things that ever were, that are, or ever will
be, all that was ever said or written, thought and felt, leaves
its record upon this imperishable tablet of the unseen world ;
and the truly spiritual man, by using the vision of his own
spirit, may read it there, and know all that has been known
or can be known ; for it still exists in the universal princi-
ple, which is the Apocalyptic " book of life," and the myste-
rious "tree of knowledge" of Genesis, and the memory of

It is one of the fundamental ideas of the work mentioned
above, that "thought affects the matter (or substance) of
another world simultaneously with this," and the missing link
connecting mind and matter is thus found, and the great law
of continuity is maintained. A blow on the body of another
affects not merely the external shell, but goes deeper, and
wounds and scars the primitive matter of the body. So a
treatment given to another in kindness and a desire to heal,
affects the inner man, and through that tends to form the
external body into the image of health and divine harmony.

A thought impulse can affect and set in motion the univer-
sal aether, the life-principle. It can create a current in the
astral light, the icelt-geist of the German, and give it quality,
and direct it to a person near at hand, or send it as a sana-
tive influence to any distance. Few persons know of the
marvellous power that lies latent and slumbering in human
nature ; and it is well it is so.

Our thoughts and feeUngs are not the evanescent things
they are supposed to be, but they record themselves on this
unseen tablet, and create a current, or, as it were, an eddy-
ing sphere, in the universal aether or life. The prevailing
mode of thinking and predominant feelings of an age or cora-
munit}' create a current or tendency in the world's life that
bears us on with it, and it is hard to row against the stream.
This is what js called in the teaching of Jesus the icorldy


which is viewed as the antagonist of the spiritual life. " Ye
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the
world," by which is not meant the earth, but the general
current of thought and feeling in the age and country where
we live. To the spiritual eye most souls are seen floating in
it like the dead and withered leaves of autumn upon the sur-
face of a swollen and muddy stream. To take a patient and
lift him out of this current of established beliefs and con-
firmed illusions, is the Herculean task before the true physi-
cian. When one is sick in any degree, the general current
of the world's life leads him to think that he must take some-
thing, or do something. There is only one way in which we
can not only stem this flood, but rise entirely out of it into a
higher stratum of thought and feeling, and that is through
the power of an intelligent faith. " This is the victory that
overcometh the world, even your faith." (I John iv:4.)
" And to him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree
of life which is in the Paradise of God." (Rev. ii : 7.) This
is purely Kabalistic, but full of meaning to him who has the
key to it. The garden of God, according to the old science
of correspondence, signifies spiritual wisdom and its delights.
"The tree of life" is the Kabalistic Adam Kadmon, the
primal and universal spiritual man, the true maxiimis homo,
or greatest man, of the Scandinavian seer. To eat of this
tree is to come into direct communication with the centi-al
fountain of all manifested life, that from which all exist-
ence springs, and to wliich it seeks to return. This is the
elixir of life, " the spiritual essence of silver" of the Alche-
mists and Hermetic philosophers. The tree of life of the
Kabala was represented with its roots upwards and branches
downwards. So we need to be taken up from our present
inverted condition, — the illusory life of sense, — and trans-
planted into the garden of God, and ])lanted with the spiritual
root of our l)eing upward, and we shall bear fruit downward.
We shall receive influx from above, and no longer from


beneath, from the mephitic vapors of the Stygian lake. Then
we reach the secret of a long life in that tranquillity of mind
which results from a life above the world, or that sphere or
current of mental disorder that constitutes the life of men in
general. It is on this plane alone that disease (which in its
essence is discontent, dissatisfaction) can exist. On the
spiritual plane we look down upon it, like earthly fogs seen
from the summit of a mountain.

In closing this lesson I would remark that things become
necessary to the sustenance or maintenance of life in propor-
tion as they become more and more subtle and interior.

1. We have the mineral and earthy elements in our food.
A due proportion of these is essential to the preservation of
the integrity of the corporeal structure.

2. Water, which is an element less gross than minerals,
and we can live longer without food than we can without

3. The air, which is more subtle than the aqueous element
and a thousand times more necessary to life.

4. Lastly, the universal £ether, the principle of life itself,
and the universal magnetic agent.

We must caution the reader against taking a too material
conception of this subtle principle, as is done b}' modern
science, but was not done in the ancient Ilermetic philosophy.
This is the " one thing needful," a designation applied to it
in the old spiritual science, and often recurring in the writ-
ings of the Alchemists of all ages, and also employed by
Jesus in his conversation with Martha. (Luke x: 38-42.)
It is that rema or emanation from God, from which man lives
more than from bread. (Luke iv : 4.)




The universal life-principle in its latent state is the pri-
mal matter and cosmic substance, and fills all space, and
connects all worlds. It pervades and contains the air, as
the air contains the water, and the water the earth. We
inhale it with every breath, aud in it we live, and move, and
have our being. But it is "without form and void" of
quality. It is pure existence^ and to it properties and qual-
ities are given by thought alone. To it any quality can be
given by the imagination as we breathe it in. It is the
mother principle, the feminine creative potency, the passive
power in nature, and is co-eternal with spirit, of which it is
the correlative opposite. It is an interesting fact that the
word mother and matter are nearly identical in most of the
languages of the world. In Latin we have mater and
materia, the matter, stuff, or material of which anything is
made. In Italian, madre signifies mother, cause, origin,
root, spring, and mould for castings. In the latter sense, the
mother principle is the universal matrix. In Spanish we
have madre, mother, and materia, matter. In Portuguese,
madre means mother and the mould for castings. Even in
the Irish, mathair means mother and also matter. This pri-
mal matter is the mother principle, or feminine passive ray,
emanating from the " Uulcnown." It is the universal mould
in which all ideas take shape. It is represented in the Jew-
ish cosmogony by Eve (or lieva), " the mother of all living
things," the very name signifying completeness and fulness


of life. The feminine principle of things is not absolutely
passive, but its characteristic is reaction. The quality which
we impress by our thought upon this universal life-princii)lc,
it takes, and it is reflected back with it in the respiration.
The sun shines by its own light, and the feminine moon
reflects. There is an occult air, immaterial and impercepti
ble to any of the gross external senses, but most vitally real,
for things increase in reality as they come nearer to the
central point of existence. "This air," says the Kabala,
" is the most occult (occuUissimus) attribute of the Deity."
It is identical with the akasa of the Hindu philosophy. In
its latent state it is the universal aether, the air of immensity,
" an unburning vivific flame." It is the Shekinah of the
Hebrew Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit of the New Testa-
ment as a feminine life-principle. The Shekinah is that
subtle light, or divine luminous substance, or visible glory,
which was a symbol and vehicle of the divine presence. It
was the sacred fii-e of the Persians, and the Astral light of
the Rosicrucians. This primal, every wliere-present principle,
or immaterial substance, is the universal matrix in which the
ideas of the intellect take form and become to our minds
and senses visible entities. In the Hindu theosophy, the
grandest system of metaphysics the world has ever seen, it
is called Nari and Mariama, the universal mother. It was
symbolized by the Lotus ; and Brahm, the active masculine
potency seated on the Lotus floating on the water creates
the world. In the Egyptian philosophy it was called Isis,
and the attributes and names given to it, the Roman Catholic
system has borrowed and given to Mary, which name means
the sea as a feminine principle. In the Archaic wisdom-
religion this universal principle was denominated the mother-
soul of the universe and the astral virgin, which waits to be
fertilized or impregnated by the intellect or male potency.
It was called pure essence, the mother of the five virtues,
elements, or potencies : in other words, the primal force from

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Online LibraryW. F. (Warren Felt) EvansThe primitive mind-cure : the nature and power of faith, or, elementary lessons in Christian philosophy and transcendental medicine → online text (page 12 of 18)