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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Christ, the Word and the Spirit. His personality^ is an inlet
and an outlet of those universal divine principles, and a
medium through which they may enter into each one of us,
and through which the human race may have access to them.
In him and through him we may have an actual communica-
tion with the Christ, " in whom are hid all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge," as we can have through no other
man of human history. If this is true (and I fully believe it
is) , why need we go any farther to find all the instruction
we need in the divine science of spiritual things. Coming


into sympathetic relation ^vith bim, I am brought into con-
junction with the fountain of all true wisdom, and it may
flow into my mind according to the degree of my receptivity.
For neither Jesus or the Christ have ever removed out of
hailing nearness to the human spirit. In his second coming
or advent as the Paraclete, " the Spirit of truth," he prom-
ised to teach his disciples all things and guide them into all
truth ; in fact, to make known to us those many things
concerning the mysteries of the kingdom of God, which he
had to say, but men were not then able to receive. There is
no doubt that all that was ever known by man still exists in
the world of mind, and through Jesus may be communicated
to the spirit of man ; so that there is nothing hid, no occult
wisdom, that may not be revealed. For Jesus was and
is familiar with it all, and it is the nature and animus of
Christianity to make what was confined to the few in past
ages the common property of man. It is but three steps
upward to communion with the Highest. Jesus conducts us
to the Christ, and the Christ to the Father. He has been
lifted up or elevated on the mystic cross, — not merely the
wood of Calvaiy, the place of skulls, but the Hermetic cross
as " the tree of life," — and from his spiritual altitude he is
drawing all men unto him. (John xii : 32.) Jesus repre-
sents not merely an Oriental Christ, but the Universal
Messiah or anointing One. What he said to . one he said to
all mind in that condition. (Mark siii:37.) No word he
ever uttered can be lost beyond recall. (John xiv : 26.) It
still exists in mind. In Jesus as a man raised up to repre-
sent all humanity, the Christ touched with a vivifying contact
our psychical nature, and that need not be suppressed by
extreme ascetic mortifications, as is done in Brahmanism,
and the lower Buddhism, but may be lifted up enthe, aa
Moses symbolically lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
the representative of the sensual principle in man. So in
Jesus, every " son of man" — a Kabalistic expression for the


human soul — ma}' be elevated from a mere sensuous or psy-
chical plane of thought to a true spiritual life, with all its tran-
quil blessedness. An invocation directed to Jesus will reach
the listening ear of an ever-present and never-distant Christ.
The Christ of whom I have spoken might seem to many to
be too absti'act a conception, too transcendental, until men
are raised to a higher spiritual level. But in Jesus we have
a principle of mediation. In him the Christ becomes objec-
tive, and through him my thought-utterances and heart-crav-
ings may reach the heart of the Christ, as certainly as the
sound vibrations of my voice may be heard by my friend, far
removed from my sight, through the telephonic wire and its
ethereal vibrations. After long and patient study of the
Christ of Paul and his relation to the human spirit, the real
life of man, and the relation of Jesus to the Christ and to
humanity, I can say to the world, as the inspired apostles
said to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, " Let all the house
of Israel know assuredl}' that God hath made this Jesus
whom ye crucified both Lord and Christ." (Acts ii: 36.)
And if any one asks, AVbat must I do to be saved (or healed
of sin and disease) , the shortest, most definite, and divinely
efficacious prescription I could give is, " Believe in the name
of the Lord Jesus Chiist, and thou shalt be saved." Believe
in him for all his name implies. For Jesus is presented to
us in the Chi-istian system as able to save to the uttermost
(or to the remotest boundary of our being, the body) all
that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for us (or to execute the divinely established
function of mediation between us and the only saving power
in the universe, and which is concealed in his name). If he
cannot save, I know not where to look, or to whom to apply.
In the formula fidei or condensed expression of faith of
Buddhism, which is called Trisharana or "the three ref-
uges," it is said, " I take my refuge in Buddha, Dharma,
and Samgha." By Dharma is meant the doctrines, teachings,


and precepts of Gautama. Samgha signifies the assemblies
and ritualistic observances of the Church. After a careful
study, pursued without prejudice, of the system of Buddhism,
both in its theoretical and practical aspects, while acknowl-
edging in it much that is divinely true, and identical with
Christianity, I am still constrained to say, " I take my refuge
in Jesus the Christ." In every age of the world God has
raised up extraordinary men, and imparted to them a high
degree of light from the living Word. Such was ]Moses,
Zoroaster, Confucius, Plato, and above all Gautama the
Buddha. There was many a stray beam of the living light of
the Logos in all their systems, but it does not come in a fonn
to be easily and practically appropriated by the souls of men
in general. And if Jesus should say to me as he did to the
twelve select disciples, when many of his shallow followers
were leaving him, "Will you also go away?" I should be
constrained to saj-, as all the world's great teachers passed
in procession before the mind, " Lord, to whom shall I go?
Thou hast the words of eternal life." (John vi:68.) In
Jesus we may come into saving contact with the "Word of
Life." (I John i : 2.) In no person was there ever so con-
scious a union with God, as even Renan affirms. The phi-
losopher Porphyry was united to God, as he says, but twice
in his life, while his teacher Plotinus had been six times.
They had come to the perception of their owii inner divine
spirit, the Augoeides, or shining One, of the philosopher in-
itiates. But a conscious and inseparable union with God was
the normal condition of Jesus. And there is no shorter or
better route to the attainment of the highest spiritual light
and life than a sympathetic conjunction with Jesus, the AVay,
the Truth, and the Life. For that eternal Life which was
with the Father is manifested in him, and brought within our
grasp. In the Pauline development of Christianity, when
rescued from the dogmas of a theology that has been grafted
upon it, and freed from the shell of exoteric Judaism and


restored to its primitive meaning, we find God's response to
our soul's inmost needs. It is the power of God and the
wisdom of God unto salvation for both soul and body, to
every one that believeth.

But, according to Paul, my salvation in Christ is not to be
viewed as an event to transpire in a distant or near future,
but a genuine faith appi-ehends and appropriates it as an
eternally existing fact. " The head of every man is Christ,
and the head of Christ is God." (I Cor. xi : 3.) That is,
the highest region of our being, the immortal Ego, and real
self, is inseparable from the Christ, the God-Man, and the
Man-God, and that spiritual and divine entity was never
lost, or diseased, or unhappy. It is not the head, the sum-
mit of human nature, the spu-it, that needs to be washed or
cleansed. That is already pm-e ; but it is the feet, the
animal soul ; and if these are washed, we are then clean every
whit. This is one of those profound sayings of Jesus that
even the apostles did not understand until they were initi-
ated more fully into the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
(John xiii : 4-10.) All men were created in Christ, as I
have before said, something as an artist creates his picture
or statue, in idea. This is the real and immortal entity. So
in Christ; or, as " a man in Christ," as Paul expresses it,
I am perfect and complete. This is the true idea of my
existence, the divine plan of my life. If I believe this of
myself and of Christ, and steadfastly maintain this idea and
belief, it will work itself out into an ultimate expression, and
translate itself into even a bodily manifestation. This idea
of ourselves has been lost to our consciousness, and the
divine plan may have been temporarily marred. But Paul
teaches that we may be created anew in Christ Jesus unto
good works, which God before ordained that we should walk
in them. (Eph. 2 : 10.) Through Jesus, the divine ideal
becomes the actual. Every one of us was made for a use in
the grand economy of the universe. To find out what we


are created for, and to do that use, is our highest health and
happiness. Jesus sought to find in those he healed the true
idea of their being, and to so create them anew as to make it
an actuality. We should do the same.

It has been said of Gautama the Buddha, that his life is
" the history of a soul in search of spiritual rest, of the
various experiments by which he vainly sought to find it, of
the success that at last crowned his efforts, and finally of his
life-loug endeavor to communicate to others the blessing he
seemed to himself to have obtained." The answer of Bud-
dhism to the inquiry,

" O where shall rest he found,
Eest for the weary soul ? "

is in the extinction or " snuffing out" of desire. Desire, it
is said, begets will, and will is force, and force is matter,
and matter is evil. So the descent from desire to matter
and unrest is in as direct a line downward as that pursued
by an apple in falling from the tree to the ground. There is
much of truth in this. The answer of Jesus, speaking as the
Christ, is " Come unto (or up to) me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Mat. xi : 28-30.)
In the doctrine of the Christ and of his relation to me as
constitutiug m}' inner and true self, we find a secure refuge
from sin and disease. When, by a supreme act of faith, I
perceive that my spiritual self is included in him, as the
Collective or Universal Man, I have found myself, and fo«nd
it in Chi-ist, as Paul expresses it. So far as I believe this it
becomes to me a conscious reality, and in him I am possessed
of all good that can be an object of desire, and have nothing
to ask. (John xvi : 23.) We have reached the true Nirvana,
or snuffing out of desire, when we can sa}', —

" Thou, Christ, art all I want.
More than all m thee I find."


This is not bo much an extinction of desire, as it is its com-
plete satisfaction and fulfilment. As disease in its essence,
as the word radically signifies, is a state of unrest and
disquietude, when I have found my real self in Christ, and
in him every need is met, I am in a state of true health.

" Now rest, my long divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful centre, rest.
Nor ever from thy Lord depart,

With him of every good possessed."

No one was ever entirely satisfied with himself until he
finds his real self; and, as Plotinus would express it, the
man that I am here is united to the man that exists in True
Being, or the Christ. But why was man from a pure spirit
reduced to the bondage of the senses, and imprisoned in
matter? The reason is given by Paul in the Epistle to the
Romans. The intelligent creation, or man as an intelligent
spiritual being, was made subject to vanity (which is the
maia or illusion of the senses and of matter of the Bud-
dhists) , not willingly on our part, and consequently it is not
what we are condemned for, but it was done by the reason
of Him who hath subjected us to this in hope of deliverance.
For the "creature," says Paul, shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of
God, which is the designation of man as a pure spiritual
intelligence. Then he will connect in his own personality
the two extreme links of existence, the Alpha and the Omega,
or spirit and matter. The evils and sufferings of our present
sensuous condition are only travailing pains that are followed
by the birth of a higher state. (Rom. viii : 18-22.) All
this was taught Kabalistically or symbolically in one of the
early chapters of the Book of Genesis. The marriage of the
Benai Eloheim or sons of God, which represents our spiritual
nature, with the "daughters of men," the psyche of the
Greeks, or the mind on the sensuous and material plaue,


gives birth to a higher race, mighty men, and men of re-
nown. From this union of our higher with the so-called
lower nature, we have a race of men who can consciously
dwell in the world of sense and at the same time in the realm
of spirit, like Jesus " the son of man who is in heaven."




In the philosophy of Plato and Ae Oriental Theosophy the
word "justice" had an occult meaning far transcending its
ordinary signification. In the popular mind it had, and stiU
has, the same meaning as equity^ but among the philosopher
initiates it was something more, and much more. Plato says in
the " Cratylus " that he learned from the sacred mysteries that
justice is the same as cause, it being the vnost penetrating of
all things. But in stating this, he says, he seems " to inquire
farther than is becoming, and to pass beyond the trench."
He therefore puts it into the mouths of others, of whom he
asks the meaning of the word, to give its full signification.
One man gives it as his opinion that justice is the sun,
because the sun's light penetrates and influences everything,
meaning of course the spiritual sun, whose light is pure truth.
Another is made to say that justice is that intellect of which
Anaxagoras speaks when he affirms that intellect — by which
he means a pure deific or spiritual intelligence — orders and
is the cause of all things. It is a rectitude of thought, a
perception of things on the square, to use a Masonic symbol.
These higher intellectual perceptions, uninfluenced by the
illusions of the senses, and which are the rays of a divine
intelligence, are " the righteousness of faith" of which Paul
speaks. It is the faith o/the Clu-ist, the intellectual percep-
tion that belongs to the crest or summit of our being. It is
the faith of the " Son of God," the Kabalistic designation of
our inmost spirit. It is at the same time a deific intelligence


and a deific power, because it is a manifestation in us of the
same intellect that creates and governs the world. Accord-
ing to Plato, our gnostic or knowing powers exist in three
degrees. The lowest is mere animal instinct, and reason,
and opinion, which may be true or false. The next higher
degree is faith, which is far more than opinion and that
degree of knowledge which is called science, which is a super-
ficial perception of external facts. The highest of all is
intuition, which is the divine light that illuminates the
inmost or supreme man 'or mind. This is an intelligence
invested with a large fraction of God's omnipotence.

It is also said by Plato in the "Timaeus" — and it is a fun-
damental doctrine of the ancient Theosophy — that there are
two classes of things of which our minds are cognizant;
first, things that exist in true being, or those that have a real
existence, and are, as Kant would call them, " things in
themselves." These are ideas. Secondly, there are things
that are in a state of " becoming to be," but reall}' are not.
These include all our sense-perceptions and the objects of
the so-called external world. They are not realities, but
only their appearances or resemblances. These are recog-
nized by opinion, — which is only a little elevated above the
animal life, — conjoined with irrational sense. The other
class of things, or those that have true being, are appi'e-
hended by pure intellect, which, as we have seen, is identi-
cal with the Kabalistic " justice " and Paul's righteousness
of faith. The word so often used by Paul, hiKioa-vvq, and
which is in our common version translated " justification," is
the understanding of the just man, as Plato asserts, or the
attainment of pure intelligence. Dr. Ackermann, in his
" Christian Element in Plato," says that the Platonic mean-
ing of a/xapTLa (liamartio) , sin, is an error of the understand-
ing, and we must suppose that Plato and even Paul under-
stood Greek. By sin is meant the illusion and erroneous
judgment of the senses, which is always the direct opposite


of the truth, or that clear iutelligence which is called justice
and faith. Paul says, " Let not sin reign in your mortal
bodi^'s," that is, let not these erroneous and illusory judg-
ments of the mind on the plane of irrational sense control the
corporeal condition. But let grace (or occult ivisdom, as the
word Kabalistically means) reign unto righteousness, tlirough
Jesus Chi'ist our Lord. (Rom. v : 21.)

In every case of disease it is incumbent on us to ask,
whether it belongs to things that really are, or those which
have an existence in our true being?, or to the class of things
which includes all our sense perceptions, that onl}' appear to
be, but really are not. It is our right to appeal the case
from the court of irrational sense, with all its phantasms, to
a higher intellectual tribunal, — to the decision of the Pla-
tonic and Kabalistic justice, and Paul's "righteousness of
faith," where the decision of the mind on the plane of sense
will be reversed, and the disease will be classed among illu-
sions, deceptive appearances, or sin which has no right to
reign in our mortal bod}'. This is only following the precept
of Jesus, " judge not according to appearance (sight, sense),
but judge righteous judgment " ; or, according to the true
nature of things, which is alwaj's the direct opposite of the
decision of the sensuous mind. Faith in the above sense, as
the perception of truth which is above and beyond the grasp
of the senses, would seem to be the divinely appointed
remedy for the maladies of the soul, from which the diseases
of the body arise, and of which they are the corporeal ex-
pression. In the " Timceus," Plato says, "that the disease of
the soul is folly, or a privation of pure intellect. But there
are two kinds of folly, the one madness, the other ignorance.
Whatever influence therefore introduces cither of these must
be called disease." ( Works of Plato, by Thomas Taylor,
p. 544.) If this is true, it irresistibly follows that the most
eflicient remedy for the soul's ailments must be real truth,
and the perception of truth that lies above and beyond the


plane of sense, and that puts our minds on the same exalted
level with that divine intellect that creates and governs tlie
world, is the Kabalistic justice, and Paul's righteousness of
faith or rectitude of thought. This pure thought uninflu-
enced by sense, which separates the disease from our true
being, and views our real self as exempt from all evil, is a
silent but omnipotent energy that is the sovereign panacea
for the maladies of the soul and its body. He who has the
most of it comes nearest to the Chi-ist, before whose name
every knee bows, or owns allegiance.

The docti'ine of the triune nature of man has always been
the teaching of the spiritually minded of all ages and coun-
tries of the world. It is a doctrine of which we must never
lose sight, and it must be to us something more than an
opinion; it must become to us an intuitive perception, as it
was to the mystics of the middle ages, — as Ruysbroek,
Eckart, and Tauler. Th&j looked upon human nature as
tripartite, like the three stories of a house, or like the tem-
ple of Solomon, which is more a symbolic than a historic
edifice. There is in man, first, the outer court of sense ;
next, the inner sanctuary of the intellectual soul ; and
lastly, in the East, the most holy place, the spirit, where,
like the high priest, we may commune with God. This is
the inmost region of our being, and our real self. It is
included in the Christ, or the Universal Spirit. On this
subject, Ruysbroek says, " I believe that the Son is the
image of the Father, that in the Son have dwelt from all
eternity, foreknown and contemplated by the Father, the
prototypes (or ideas) of all mankind. We existed in the
Son before we were born. He is the creative ground of all
creatures, — the eternal cause and princii)le of their life.
The highest essence of our being rests therefore in God, —
exists in his image in the Son." (Vaughn's Hours with the
Mystics^ Vol. I., p. 25.) This summit of our being, which
is the real and divine man, is never contaminated by evil,


nor invaded by disease. The recognition of this truth, and
the separation in thought of sin and disease from our inmost
and only true self, is the Platonic (and also the Pauline)
idea of redemption. Says Dr. Ackermann, " It is evident
what Plato means by redemption, or how he conceives this
event in the life of the soul. He thinks of it as a coming to
one's self, an apprehending of one's self as (truly) existent,
as a severing of the inmost being from the surrounding cle-
ment, as a separation of one's self from the changing mass
of the world and life, as a concretization of the original spirit-
ual element in man to a divinely illuminated germ of light and
life" {Cliristian Element in Plato, p. 247.) This coming
to ourself, or the discovery of our true being, as in the case
of the prodigal son, is the first step in our return to the
Father, and the finding of this self not only in one's self, but
also at the same time in another and higher being ; that is,
in God in Christ, is the Christian and Pauline idea of Salva-
tion in the full sense of the word. We are expected and
taught by the pulpit and the Church to find oui* real self, and
to view it as polluted by sin, from the crown of the head to
the soles of our feet. But this is the direct opposite of the
truth. It was one of the doctrines of the Hermetic philos-
ophers of all ages, among whom we unhesitatingly class
Paul, that there centrally dwells in human nature the voice
of the Divine Wisdom. This is the Genius Optimus, the
Daimonion or divine guide of Solo-ates, our inmost divine
spirit and true self, the " Soul of the Soul," and the all-
seeing eye of the mind. It is that part or region of man
that is incapable of contamination or damnation, and is
never affected by evil and never lost, even in the greatest
of sinners. This is even said to have been Cromwell's firm
reliance and belief, and his last question to his attending
chaplain bore reference to the assurance of it. In most men
it is latent, and is as unknown to consciousness as the inte-
rior of the pyramid of Cheops, or the central world of the


universe. But it will sometime rise from its chrysalis enfold-
ments, and come into conscious life and activity. In this
life of sense, we have taken our journej' into a far country
away from our Fatlier's house or the realm of pure spirit.
" Our (true) country," says Plotinus (that is, truly existing
being), "is that from whence we came, and where our
Father lives." Again, he says of this world of spirit, the
kingdom of God in man, ' ' Whoever is a spectator of this
divine world becomes at one and the same time both the
spectator and the spectacle, for our inmost self and immortal
Ego is inseparable from it. He no longer beholds this intel-
ligible world, or world of intelligence, externalh', but he
becomes the same with it." {Plotinus, Translated by
Thomas Taylor, p. 100.) This is man as an image or idea
of God, and not the vulgar and debased thing to which that
divine name is usually given. And faith, when it rises
above mere opinion, and becomes a clear intellectual percep-
tion of eternal truth, is the divinest power and highest saving
and healing energ}- in the universe. " If thou canst believe,
all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark ix : 23.)
" If ye had faith as a grain of mustard, ye might say to this
sycamore tree. Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou

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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 15 of 18)