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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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 17 of 18)
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adept had, b}- a single effort of will-power, given them for
the brief moment the same perception of the spirit of sound
as he himself constantly enjoys." {Isis Unveiled., vol. ii.,
pp. 605, 606.)

These phenomena are absolutely established facts, and
contain a principle which is applicable to communication
with the universal world of spirit, the realm of angels, and
heaven of the blest. In solitude and inward silence, their
thoughts may come to us as "the still small voice within."
"What we call language is only thought expressed on the
plane of sense. But our ti-ue being lies behind the veil of
sense, and this may hear and speak the soundless language


of thought and ideas. Thought, being the supersensuous
side of language, is a more real and potent thing than spoken
words. On this principle is based the practice of the cure
of disease by the ideal or transcendental method.

The transmission of thought, the transference of ideas
from one mind to another, in perfect harmony with the laws
of mind, and without a mkacle, has been practised b}' many
persons in various countries. In this case, the old maxim
of the Hindu metaphysical philosophy, and one much older
than Lord Bacon, holds good : " Power belongs to him who
knows." If we understand the laws that govern it, and the
conditions under which it can take place, we can do it. It
takes place as naturally as the descent of water from a
higher to a lower level. Thought is not a faculty of mind ;
it is mind itself. It is the very being of mind. It is spirit.
And our spirit may enter the soul region of another person
in a passive state, as readily as the light of the sun enters a
sky-light in the roof of a building and illuminates the room

The Abb6 Fretheim, who lived in the seventeenth century
and published a work entitled " Steganographie," could con-
verse with his friends any time he pleased, by a transmission
of his thoughts. He says: "I can make my thoughts
known to the initiated, at a distance of many hundred miles,
without word, writing, or cypher, and even" without a mes-
senger. If any correspondent should be buried in the deep-
est dungeon, I could still convey to him my thoughts, as
frequently as I chose, and this quite simply, without super-
stition, without the aid of spirits." A certain Cordauus is
chronicled as having been able to send his spirit or thoiight-
presence on such psychological errands, with any messages
he chose to transmit. When he did so, he affirms that he
felt "as if a door was opened and I myself immediately-
passed through it, leaving the body behind me." There was
more reality in this than the world at large is prepai*ed to


admit. It is not an illusion, but a substantial reality ; since,
by one of the deepest laws of my inner being, the sjnrit is
always present with the spirit of him who is the object of
thought. So wherever my thought is, there the spirit itself
is ; and the spirit is the sovereign power in human nature.

The case of a high German official, a counsellor Weser-
man, is mentioned in a German paper on Psychology, pub-
lished in 1820, who claimed to be able to cause any friend
or acquaintance, at any distance, to dream of any subject he
chose or see any person he liked. His claims were proved
good, and were testified to on several occasions, by sceptics
and learned professional persons. {Isis Unveiled, vol. i.,
pp. 476, 477.)

From my own observation of these, to many incredible,
phenomena, now for more than twenty years, I have no rea-
son to doubt the truth of the above. I will only say, that all
that is claimed above to have been done, I have many times
witnessed. And why should it be thought a thing incredible,
that there should be such a thing as a system of psychologi-
cal telegraphy, and even the transference of our inner con-
scious self to any distance of space, which for it has no real
existence? Every one knows that he can transport himself
wherever he pleases by that power and mode of thought
which we call imagination. But imagination is inseparable
from the spirit of man ; so that wherever I imagine myself
to be, there my real personality is. And if I am there, why
may I not speak in thought, which is the language of spirit,
to my friend, who, as to his inner being, is another spirit?
The thing is really as natural as our ordinaiy conversation
with each other.

In sleep, when the soul is more or less emancipated from
the body, and freed from its limitations and restraints, the
mind acts with more intensity and power on other minds.
And the more we can pass into an interior state, where the
bodily senses become quiescent, which is the Neo-Platonio


ecstasy, the more we can do so. This is well illustrated by
a fact mentioned by Dr. Abercrombie, which, as an instance
of psychological telegraphy, or the transfer of thought and
idea from one mind to another, is explained on this princi-
ple : A young man, who was at an academy an hundred
miles from home, dreamed that he went to his father's house
in the night, tried the front door, but found it locked ; got
in by a back door, and finding nobody out of bed, went
directly to the bed-room of his parents. He then said to his
mother, whom he seemed to himself to find awake, " Mother,
I am going a long journc}', and have come to bid 3-ou good-
bye." On which she answered, under much agitation, " O
dear son, thou art dead ! " He instantly awoke, and thought
no more of his dream, until a few days after he received a
letter from his father inquiring very anxiously after his
health, in consequence of a frightful dream his mother had
on the same night in which the dream just mentioned oc-
curred to him. She dreamed she heard some one attempt to
open the front door, then go to the back door, and at last
come into her bed-room. She then saw it was her son, who
came to the side of her bed, and said, " Mother, I am going
a long journey, and am come to bid you good-bye" ; on
which she exclaimed, " uear son, thou art dead ! " Noth-
ing unusual happened to either of the parties. {Inquiries
concerning the Intellectual I\jo)ers., p. 210.) .

Dr. Abercrombie can give no explanation of this interest-
ing fact, though he vouches for its truthfulness. But it is
neither a miracle nor a "coincidence," by which is meant
the happening of two things together. But it is easily
accounted for on the principle of the transmission of thought
and idea, under certain conditions, from one mind to an-
other. Once admit the possibility of this, and all is plain
and natural.

I remember to have read in the Neio York Tribune many
years ago, an account of two men who were intimate friends,


and vrho, on separating from each other for a short time on
business which took them many miles apart, agreed that on
a certain da}', at nine o'clock at night, each would retire to
his room and think of the other, and write down their
thoughts. When they met, they were to compare what they
had written. One of them at the appointed time went to his
room, but forgot the engagement, and retired to bed and fell
asleep. The other thought of his friend, and imagined a
beautiful landscape garden with flowers, arbors, fountains,
statues, etc., and ivrote down his tlwughts and ideas, with his
mind fixed upon his friend. On meeting, the one who forgot
the appointmentjie had made, apologized for his forgetful-
ness, but said that in his sleep he had a remarkable dream,
which, on waking in the morning, he had written down. On
reading it, it was found in all essential particulars to be a
copy of the thoughts of the other. This was not a mere
" coincidence," but under the same or like circumstances
would "happen" again. How much the thoughts of our
friends influence us for good or evil, we do not know, but
much more than the world is ready to admit. Our formula
of invocation is based on the reality of this influence, and
aims to show how most effectually to use it, and how our
loill, imagination, and faith may best employ the divine
power of truth in the cure of mental and bodily disease.

The communication of thought and idea from one mind to
another takes place without effort on our part, under certain
conditions and limitations that are necessary to prevent its
being abused to purposes of evil. It is easy for him to do
who " knows," but if it were too easily done, it would intro-
duce inextricable confusion and disorder into the realm of
mind. To do it requires a certain degree of spiritual de-
velopment, which, when attained, deprives one of all desire
or inclination to abuse it, or to use it only for the most benefi-
cent ends, as the relief of suffering, the removal of the cause
of mental inharmony, and the cure of disease. It is only


giving quality, and direction, and a definite aim to the sphere
of our own tlioughts and feelings, which is very easily done.
Says Cornelius Agrippa : "Out of every body proceed
images, indivisible substances, and on that account a man is
in a condition to impart his thoughts to another man who is
hundreds of miles away." (Sprengel's History of Medicine,,
Part II., p. 267. Ennemoser's History of Magic, Vol. II.,
p. 254.)

This is what Swedeuborg calls the emanative sphere of a
person or thing. Each emanative ray or immaterial atom is
a living resemblance or idea of the person, possessing his
peculiar quality, and by means of this sphere we may make
ourselves visible to the inner senses of another person remote
from us in space. This idea may take shape in the universal
substance, the cosmic matter, and be, as it were, a duplicate
of ourselves. It is our " thought," our inner and real per-
sonality externalized and extended abroad. According to
the doctrine of Aristotle, every object and every person is
continually emitting or throwing off certain resemblances of
themselves. These species, or phantasms, as they were
caUed, like the Platonic ideas, are directly present to our
organs of sense in the soul, however remote in space the
objects may be from which they proceed. This was the
theory of vision which prevailed in Europe for more than a
thousand years ; and it has the merit of being as rational as
the one adopted by the materialistic science of to-day.

Spirit cannot effect the grosser form of matter directly,
but only through an intermediate substance or principle. In
order to reach the soul of the patient, and through this affect
the body, our spiritual thought and ideas must be impressed
upon the " astral hght," the universal life-principle, which
is the wire through which our thought must pass. This is
always near us, for every soul is in it and is a part of it.
Our thought may be impressed upon it by a whispered utter-
ance, and tacit speech, also by the hand (and this is the


philosophy of gesture) , and also by au expiratory respiration.
The hand can be made the sileut tongue that speaks the
voiceless language of ideas. It may be made to speak a
language understood by the life-principle, the world-soul,
just as certainl}' as you can beckon a man to come to you, or
go away from you, and without saying a word can cause hira
to look at an object by pointing your finger towards it. In
treating a patient by the transcendental method, we must
learn to tallc to him in thoiight, in words, and with the hand.

When a person is in the magnetic state, what you suggest
to him becomes the law of his being. Say to him that an
apple is an orange, or that water is wine, and he has so
vivid an idea and belief of those things that they are trans-
formed into an orange, or into wine, as the case may be,
possessing all the sensible properties of those objects. But
only a few persons are good subjects of magnetism. For-
tunately, it has been found that when a person is in a passive
state, and is desirous of being healed, and is predisposed to
believe and to follow your directions, to silently suggest the
truth to him creates in him a tendency to think the same.
This is a very ancient principle of the science of magnetism.
There is a silent action of mind on mind, without the use of
spoken words. It is generally admitted by medical men,
that our faith will affect ourselves ; but they wholly ignore
the fact that our faith and imagination may affect another, if
not to the same extent as it does ourselves, yet as certainly
in a degree. We can be helpers of another man's faith.
That our faith or mode of thinking may affect the mind of
another, through the medium of a universal mind or life
which connects all minds by a law of sympathy, is a truth
recognized in the promise of Jesus, "These signs shall fol-
low them that believe" one of which is, "They shall lay
hands on the sick, and they shall recover," (Mark xvi : 18.)

The principle of silent suggestion has its application albo
to self-healing. It is possible for the higher soul or spirit to


speak to the lower soul somewhat as we address another per-
son. The faith of which Paul so often speaks, and by which
we attain to righteousness, or a divine rectitude of thought,
is the recognition and affirmation of the truth with regard to
our real self, that in the Christ or spirit we are already
saved. In the Christ are hid all the ti-easures of wisdom
and knowledge, and in him we are complete or made full.
(Col. ii: 9, 10.) The intuition of this great truth, and the
confident affirmation of it, is the Pauhne justification, and
Kabalistic righteousness, which means soundness of mind.
It is a faith that makes us whole. To affirm this of ourselves
in thought is a supreme act of faith. And to give it vocal or
verbal utterance intensifies and confirms it. " For with the
heart (or in the centi-e of our being), man believeth unto
righteousness ; and with the mouth, confession is made unto
salvation." (Rom. x : 10.)




According to Plato, there was once a winged race of men
on the earth. Of course this is symbolical of a race who
could emancipate themselves from the limitations and thral-
dom of the body, and who could rise in their thoughts above
the plane of sense. According to Swedenborg's science of
correspondence, wings denote spiritual truths, and to rise on
eagles' wings signifies to be elevated by spiritual truths to
celestial light. {Arcana Celestia, 8764.)

The great majority of mankind have lost their wings, and
are grovelling in the dust.

" Here man, fool man, inters celestial hopes.
Without one sigh, and prisoner of earth.
And pent beneath the moon, here pinions all
His wishes, winged of God to fly at infinite,
And reach it there where seraphs gather
Immortality on life's fair tree, fast by
The throne of God."

The higher soul of man, imprisoned in the body and buried
in the sepulchre of irrational sense, loses the use of its
wings, and its angelic powers are latent and dormant.
Instead of soaring into the heavens, it can at best only wade
in the mud.

The true wings of the soul are faith and love, or the per-
ception of real truth, and a pure emotional state to balance

How to emancipate the soul from the body and the mind
from the illusions of sense, so that we may attain to a truly


spiritual mode of thought and feeling, and to the almost
deific powers belonging to such a condition, is the great
problem of religion and philosophy. Momentous conse-
quences are involved in its solution. The importance and
necessity of the resurrection of the soul from the body in
order to the attainment of a spiritual life on earth is well
stated by Sokrates in the " Phsedo " of Plato. He says : " In
fact it is quite plain that if we are ever to know anything
clearly, we must be released from the body, that the soul by
itself may see things by themselves as they really are. And
then only, methinks, shall we have that which we desire, and
of which we caU ourselves lovers, namel}', wisdom." Here,
then, is the only pathway which leads up to the temple of a
true spiritual knowledge. For as Sokrates, or rather Plato
through him, says, "We shall be so much nearer to true
knowledge the more we refrain from such contact and fellow-
ship with the body as is not absolutely necessary." The way
to effect this emancipation of the soul, imprisoned in the body,
from material limitations, at which all the ancient philoso-
phies aimed, is as well stated by Sokrates in the " Pbaedo" as
it can be expressed. He says : " They who love knowledge
know that their soul when first received by philosophy is
absolutely bound up in the body and glued fast to it, and
compelled to survey the things that really exist through it as
through the bars of a dungeon, and not in her own nature ;
and that she is wallowing in all ignorance as in a mire, and
is not aware that the strength of her prison comes from her
own desires, so that the prisoner actually conspires to his
own captivity."

"Well, as I said, lovers of knowledge know that philosophy,
receiving the soul in this condition, gently encourages her,
and tries to effect her release by showing that perception by
means of the eyes and ears and other senses is altogether
deceitful, persuading her, moreover, to withdraw the senses
so far as she can dispense with them, and exhorting her to


retii-e into herself and be self-collected, and to believe none
other than herself, and that part of real independent exist-
ence which she contemplates directly in herself ; but to hold
as untrue whatever things, by means of different faculties,
she may perceive to be varying in their different manifesta-
tions ; knowing that such as these belong to the visible and
to the realm of sense, but that what she sees in herself alone
belongs to the invisible and to the realm of thought. She
withdraws herself as much as possible from pleasures, and
desires, and pains, and fears, deeming that when any one is
powerfully affected by pleasure, or fear, or grief, or desire,
he brings upon himself no slight evil, as might be expected,
like sickness, or waste of property, occasioned by indulging
the passions, but he suffers the last and worst of all evils,
and yet takes no account of it."

"And what is that evil? It is this. The soul of every
man at the time of undergoing intense joy or intense sorrow
is led to believe that whatever causes these is most real and
true, although in reality it is not so. And this applies espe-
cially to things visible. And it is in this state of feeling that
the soul is most effectually imprisoned in the body. Because
every pleasure and every pain is, as it were, a nail which
nails and clamps the soul to the body, and fasliions her in
the image of the bod}', causing her to believe that to be true
which the body affirms to be true, and from agreeing with
the body and rejoicing in what appertains thereto, she must
perforce, I think, end by acquiring a like nature and habits."
{Phcedo, sec. 83.)

These are golden words, uttered by one who represents the
ancient wisdom, the old wine of the kingdom of God. "We need
to learn to close the senses to the external world of illusion,
and turn the mind inward towards the light of the unseen and
real world. We must forever fix it in our minds that things
seen by the senses are temporal, unreal, and evanescent
shadows, but things not seen by the mortal eye, but lying


wholly beyond its ken, are the only eternal and enduring
realities. We must as much as possible divest the soul, the
inner man, of all its material and sensuous integuments, " the
coats of skin " with which it has been clothed, and free it
from the finite limitations of its personal existence, and
leave it in its primitive innocent nakedness to absorb the
light and life of " true being," and to become one with that
boundless realm of uncreated spiritual eflfulgence. We must
close the lower windows, and, like the ancient temples, let
the light in at the top. Then

" The world that time and sense have known
Falls off, and leaves us God alone."

It is a fundamental doctrine of the Hermetic philosophy that
the soul of man is not of necessity included in the body, nor
bounded and circumscribed by it. The body exists in the
soul, and is included in its existence, but the body does not
and cannot limit and contain the soul. This is the divine
method of viewing it, and is in direct contradiction to the
common popular conception of it. According to Plato in the
' ' Timaeus," God first creates the world-soul, the anima mundi,
and then the world is created or generated in it. The world-
soul is not limited by the world, but fills all space, and is
space itself, in which everything exists. So the soul of man,
according to the Platonic philosophy, was made out of the
universal soul, of which it is a personal and finite limitation,
and in the interior of the soul the body was formed. The
body, to use an imperfect illustration and analogy, is like an
island in a lake or ocean. While it is true that the island is
pervaded by the water, it does not contain, measure, or
bound it. He who views the body as containing the soul is
like the man who should suppose that the water he finds by
digging in the sand of an island is all there is in the lake or
ocean which surrounds it. So the soul of man is much more
than what is included in the body. It is by divine right a


freeman of infinitude, as it is not, only in our unbelief or
misbelief, separated and disjoined from the divine soul of
the universe. This is a principle of the ancient wisdom, and
is one of far-reaching importance. When the soul is freed
from the bondage of the enfeebling conception that it is in
the body, its fetters are broken, and the stone is removed
from the door of its sepulchre. It is no longer subject to
the body, which is an inverted order of its life, but it
becomes its rightful sovereign. If the body is not external
to the soul, but is internal, then the soul, being more than
the body, when properly instructed and reinforced by the
higher divine spirit, can form the body after the pattern of
any idea it pleases. Men on the stage form an idea of a
certain state which they would represent, and even children
in their sports do this, and then the idea moulds the body
into its outward expression. Can we not make these bodily
representations of an inward idea permanent? We can
become the part we play. In the drama of life we can assume
the character of perfect health, and the body will come into
harmony with that idea. For the body is passive and inert
clay, and the soul is the potter. That the soul is not of
necessity imprisoned in the body like a bird in a cage, but
as a part of the divine Soul of the world, from which it is
never sundered, may attain to a boundless freedom, with its
senses almost unlimited in their range, is a truth which has
always been known to the initiates of the inner sanctuary.
This is the liberty of the " sons of God," of which Paul
speaks, and which is enjoyed by the adepts of the Himalaya
Mountains to-day. A soul imprisoned in the body is subject
to the laws of matter ; freed from the body, it is subject only
to the laws of thought.

But how reach this state ? Not as long as the soul is
bound to matter, and views matter and the body as reall>j
existing things. Not surely as long as tlie soul thinks and
feels that it is limited to the body and bounded by it. For


then its powers are dormant, and it can act only in and
through the body. On this subject let the soul in us listen
to the voice of the ancient wisdom. Says Plothius (Ennead
3, lib. 6), " Since matter is neither soul, nor intellect, nor
life, nor form, nor reason, nor bound, but a certain indefi-
niteness ; nor yet capacity, for what can it produce ? Since
it is foreign from all these, it cannot merit the appellation of
being, but is deservedly called non-entity." He proceeds to
alKrm that it is but the shadow and imagination of bulk, like
an image in a miiTor or in water. It is constituted in the
shade and defect of true being, and hence must be the most
unreal thing in the universe, a mere flj'ing and ever-changing
mockery. It has, in fact, no solidit}^ which is one of the
most firmly seated of our illusions in regard to it, and one of
the last to quit its hold upon us. For when a man puts his
hand upon a block of marble, it is difficult to feel that its

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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 17 of 18)