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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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 Swedeuborg,
that there are thi*ee discrete degrees of the mind, is one of
the oldest doctrines of philosophy, but is wholly unrecog-
nized in our modern systems of metaphysics. It is a funda-
mental idea in the New Testament psychology, as also in
the philosoph}' of Plato, and is the ke}' to the theosophical
sj'stem of the Christ. In the First Epistle to the Thessalo-
nians, 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 whule (or
entire) without blame at the appearance of our Lord Jesus
Christ." (I 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 ethevial 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
vian, which is badl}' 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 Bud-
dhists is called kavia nqxi, or body of desire, and vehicle of
will. By the Hebrews it was called nephesh, and is the ser-
pent of Genesis, through the influence of which man fell
from the spiritual state into whiph he was created into a sen-
suous 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 crea-
tion 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, b}' 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 fixith as the large
majority of mankind ever come. Here, also, is what we
call reason, which is a much less unerring guide than


histiuct, wliicli 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 wliich 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 con-
sciousness 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 trans-
lated 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 miglit under-
stand the Scriptures (Luke xxiv:45). And the psalmist
prays: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may see wondrous
tilings out of thy law" (Ps. exix : 18). This is that region
of mind that perceives things in idea, and consequently inde-
pendently of the senses. Its range of vision is well-nigh
unlimited. In this region of our being the divine omnis-
cience comes to the dawning in us. Of the state of intellec-
tual lucidity and spiritual vision that is natural to this degree
of the mind, Paul speaks as " having the eyes of the under-


standing enlightened" (Eph. i:18). And he pra3-s thui
the Colossian Christians miglit be filled with tlie 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 instru-
ments. It is what Swedenborg inaccurately denominates the
spiritual man, though he properly apprehends and describes
this state of man.

It is proper to remark that this distinct region of mind and
higher story or plane of our being is the seat of faith, which
is the perception of truth lying above the range of the senses.
It is the location in us, so to speak, of the higher senses and
of ideas. In it also is found conscience, of which animals
are destitute. In it we perceive reality, the rita of the
Sanscrit, which answers to the Kabalistic justice and Paul's
"righteousness of faith," which signifies the perception of
real truth in opposition to the illusions of the senses.

As the intellectual soul is the real man, and is capable of
thinking and acting independent of both time and space,
which are not external to it, but only modes and states of
thought, it can transfer its real presence and personality to
any place however remote. As in this degree of our being
we begin to partake of the divine omniscience, so also we
begin to share the divine omnipresence. It is this principle
hi us, when conjoined with the more subtle elements of the
animal soul, that is capable of going where it pleases, and of
actually appearing to distant persons, and speaking to the
inward ear, as we read of the Hindu adepts. This is done
by them b}' the application of certain mental forces and
spiritual laws, a knowledge of which can be acquired. Tliis
occasionally takes place with persons at the hour of death,
but could be done as well before this if we learn to free the
interior man from the trammels of the body. Swedenborg


affirms from his own experience that the spaces and dis-
tances, and consequent progressions or movements which
exist in the natural world are, in their origin and first cause,
only changes of the state of interior things ; in other words,
of thought and feeling. And man, as to his spirit, is capa-
ble of translation to any distance, while the physical body
continues in its own place. {Earths in the Universe, sec.

Tlie pneuma or spirit is the supreme degree of the mind or
thinking principle, — the dome of the temple of God in man,
where our being rises into the immeasurable heavens. The
pneuma of Jesus and Paul is the inmost degree of the mind,
the angelic and divine man, the immortal and real self. It
is the celestial range of the mind's activity, and the seat of
the divinest powers and capabilities of human nature, since,
as Jesus declares, "God is Spirit," man as a spirit comes
into close relationship to the Godhead. Says Philo, the
mystic Alexandrian Jew, in a letter to Hephsestion, " God
has breathed into man from heaven a portion of his own
divinity. That which is divine is invisible. It may be extended,
but is incapable of separation. Consider how vast is the
range of thought over the past and the future, the heavens
and the earth. This alliance with an upper world, of which
we are conscious, would be impossible were not the soul
(spirit) of man an indivisible portion of that divine and
blessed Soul." The spiritual degree of the mind is the divine
realm of our being where the boundary line that distinguishes
our individual existence from the Godhead is obscurely
marked, so that where the one ends and the other begins can
with difficulty be discerned. Here each one of us is a finite
limitation of the universal spirit, but not separate from it, as
the air in this room, though a distinct portion of the boundless
atmosphere, is not sundered from it. From this inmost depth
of his conscious life Jesus, speaking for all men, said, "I and
my Father are one " ; and his being became so intermingle?'


with that of God that he could saj', " The Father is in me,
aud I am in the Father."

" The spirit," sa3's Dr. Wyld, " is the third factor in the
triune man. It is that which is an atom or spark of the
spirit of God. It is the hidden centre or 'light of every
man that is born into the world,' and hidden from the foun-
dation of the world. It is the secret Logos, which became
effulgent in Jesus, and it is that by which only God can be
known. It is above and beyond reason. It is the nature of
the knowledge and wisdom and power of God." {Theosophy
and the Higher Life^ p. 12.)

Tins region of our being was denominated b}' Pythagoras,
the Kous, pure intelligence. In it faith becomes intuition,
its highest form. It is that immaterial and immortal sub-
stance, or essence, that is called in the German, geist; in
the French, esprit; and in the New Testament, pneuma.
But the Sanscrit designation of it as huddhi is the most
expressive of all the names given to it in the various lan-
guages. This means about the same as the inward Christ
of Paul. It is the Christ principle within, and the only hope
of glory. Its development in us, from its latent state into
consciousness, is eternal life. For this region of the real self
ie never diseased or unhappy, and never dies. "It is only
the finite that suffers," says Emerson; "the infinite lies
stretched in smiling repose."

The spirit in man is the ' ' Son of God " of which Paul and
the Kabala speak. It is also the " inward voice," the Meta-
tron, the redeeming angel. This still small voice is the
Vach^ the sacred speech, the unutterable word of the occult
philiosophy. This is resident in the hidden depths of our
own being, and in its reality always comes from within, aud
never from without.

It is a great advance in our spiritual development, and an
important point gained toward the attainment of a mental
power to cure disease in ourselves or others when we come


to a clear perception of the truth that man is akeady a spirit,
and not merely sometime to become one. Every man, as
to his inner and real self, is as vei'itable a spirit as he ever
will be, only he does not know it ; and we do not see him as
such, because, in our supei'ficial vision, we see only that which
hides the real man from our sight.

This is the true idea of man ; and, when intuitively per-
ceived, the idea, steadfastly maintained, will translate itself
into an expression upon every plane of our being. The
spirit is the supreme and celestial man ; and, by virtue of
its divine and immortal nature, it is never diseased or un-
happy. It possesses the right of dominion over the lower or
outer degrees of our being. It speaks, and it is done ; it
commands, and it stands fast. It is one of the highesi*
powers in nature because it is divine.

It is proper to remark, in closing this explication of the
triune constitution of man, that this doctrine is absolutel}'
fundamental, and must be fully apprehended and appropri-
ated, or our progi-ess will hereafter be laborious and difficult.
"We need so to master this conception of human nature, that
we can more or less distinctly define, in our consciousness,
the boundaries of these discrete regions of our mental being,
so that our varying thoughts and feelings, good or evil,
which make up the whole of human life, may be referred to
their proper place in us. To assist us in doing this, and to
make this desirable attainment easier, and to aid the memory
in tenaciously holding this doctrine, we furnish the reader
with the accompanying ancient diagram which symbolically
represents it to the eye.





Pure Intelligence.

Inward Voice.







Higher Senses.








Seat of Evil.

Sin. Disease.




Intellectual Soul
Human Soul.

Animal Soul.
External Sense.
Psyche of N. T.
Kama Rupa.
Psychical Mau-

Body. Soma.
Unreal Man.




In the region of our own spirit we come into s^^mpathetic
and receptive communication with the collective intelligence,
or the universal Christ. There is a unity in the sublime life
of the spirit that leaves no room for a mere isolated individ-
uality, a mere personal existence sundered from the grand
whole. Each discrete region of our being is connected with
a universal principle or sphere of existence, of which it is a
personal limitation. The soul of man is a part, so to speak,
of the ayiima mundi, the soul of the world.

The intellectual soul is a personal manifestation of the
" intelligible world " of Plato, the Logos of the New Testa-
ment. The spirit is an atom, a monad, an item in the uni-
versal spirit. The parts are not scattered fragments, but are
inseparably included in the whole, and the whole is in each
of the parts. This grand whole, made up of innumerable
parts, or the universal world of spiritual intelligence, is
called in Sanscrit, Addi-Buddha. In the writings of Paul,
it is called the Christ. In it there may be distinct, but
never separate individualities, any more than there can be
sciparate raj's of light.

The spirit has in it the life and power of the sublime unity
of spirit. We should never lose sight of this truth. The par-
ticular, separate from the universal, is as nothing — it is power-
less. The part, sundered from the whole, can do nothing.
Even Jesus could say, "the Son can do nothing of him-
self," or by himself. Echoing this necessary and eternal
truth, Emerson says: "The blindness of the intellect begins


when it would be something of itself. The weakness of the
will begins when the individual would be something of him-

It was a maxim of the Hermetic philosophy, that "power
belongs to him who knows," which refers to the true self, or
the spirit. Knowledge is power. But what knowledge will
give us the greatest power to save ourselves and help us to
save others, and how ma}' we reach the highest consciousness
of authority over disease and sin ? It is only by climbing
up to a position of thought where we can see that the self,
the immortal Ego^ is neither diseased nor sinful, but is al-
ready saved, and was never lost except to our own conscious-
ness. Its inseparable conjunction with God on this plane of
our being makes disease and death an impossible concep-
tion to it. Can we gain this loftier altitude of being ? Or is
it, like the summits of the loftiest mountains, inaccessible to
the foot of man ? That there is in us a region of being in
which divinity dwells, and which is never invaded by evil or
sin, or any discomfort, we can easily admit as a theory, but
how can we make it real to our consciousness ? "VVe can ap-
prehend the idea intellectually ; how can we feel it to be
true? Jesus, as a Son of God, a divinely human spirit,
clearly saw and felt this great truth. But the development
of souship in one single person of human history does not
fulfil the broadly benevolent design of Christianity. Every
one who receives the Logos, the inner divine light and Hie,
becomes also a son of God. (John ii : 12.) That the real
self, the spirit of man, and the son of God is exempt from
evil and indestructible, is taught in the Jewish and Christian
scriptures, and the spiritual philosophy of all antiquity. In
the Vedanta it is alErmed, "No weapons will hurt the selj
of man ; no fire will burn it ; no wind will dry it up. It is
not to be hurt. It is imperishable, unchanging, immovable.
If you know the self of man to be all this, grieve not." If
then wi! are diseased, and sinful, and unhappy, it is not in


our true self, and these things are not to be classed among
realities, but are appearances only. This truth of faith,
though dimly seen, like a star from behind a cloud, has in it
a redeeming efliciency. For the best remedy for disease and
uuhappiness is to find out that I am neither sick nor unhappy.
This is the knowledge that has in it a saving power. It is a
profound truth of Christianity that our true being is included
in God, and there is no evil in Him. It was the object of
Fichte in his great work, the Wissenschaftlehi-e, or science of
knowledge, to search out and discover the first and absolutely
fundamental principle of human knowledge. This was sup-
posed to be unprovable^ for the reason that it was a first
principle, and consequently there could be nothing Ij'ing back
of it that could be a subject of cognition. This first princi-
ple must be in itself intuitively certain, and must be that
which lends certainty to everything else which we know.
This absolutely fundamental principle is the Ego, or conscious-
ness of self. The Ego (the I, the myself) , was regarded by
him as embracing within itself the whole sphere of reality.
Outside of it there is absolutely to us nothing. The Ego is
the subject and the object. It is that which thinks, and that
which is thought, the perceiver and the perceived, the feeling
and the felt. The so-called non Ego, or the objects not my-
self, are known only in myself, and their inmost reality is
my thought. This is as far as science can go. It is its ultima
Thide. But there is a Beyond, which Fichte himself entered
in after life, as unfolded in his Destination of Man and Way
to True Blessedness. In the region of religious feeling and
intuition, and the transcendental realm of faith, we rise to the
recognition of a still more fundamental principle. It is not
merely that I am, but this truth arises from another back of
it, and out of which it springs, — God is, and I am in Ilim,
and I am because He is. Our individual self is found, as
the Vedanta and Plato, and .Jesus and Paul all aflirm, to be
included in the contents of the Absolute Being or Self.


Outside of this all-comprehendiug Being, we never can be and
be anything. He who feels this, not as an empty, shallow,
unenlightened, noisy religious enthusiasm, but is forced to it
by a philosophical necessity of thought, will be conscious of a
power that partakes of the tranquil omnipotence of God. It
is a power which cannot otherwise be attained. It is an im-
movable fulcrum, more stable than the everlasting hills, on
which the lever of faith may rest. Such a person will un-
derstand as never before the words of the risen Jesus, and
the feeling which they express when he afHrms that all power
in the heavens and the earth was given unto him. (Matt,
xxviii : 18.) Having attained to the idea and feeling of one-
ness with God, being borne up to it by a logical and philo-
sophical necessity, we do not approach disease in ourselves
or others, with a curative intention, in our solitary-, inflated,
but really empty selfhood : but as our individual self plus the
Godhead, and the whole power and life of nature.

When we act from the external plane of thought and feel-
ing, as we do in our ordinar}' life in the world, our spiritual
and psychological power is at its minimum. "When in fav-
ored moments, which by habit and culture might become
more frequent and prolonged, we retire inward by an intro-
version of the mind, we climb to a summit of our being
where we act as one with God, and all below us in the scale
of life is subject more or less to our influence. In propor-
tion as we act from the inmost degree or realm of our exist-
ence, we become possessed of a divine and miraculous
energy, meaning bj' a miracle the control of matter b}' spirit.
In harmony with this idea Paul affirms, " I can do all things
in Him who strengtheneth me." (Phil, iv : 13.) There is a
profound philosophy, or rather theosophy, in this passage.
In man and in the wonderful powers of the mind we see the
highest exhibition of the Godhead. To sa}' that man is a
part of God does not express the exact truth, nor the
highest verity. He is rather a vianifestation of God, who


is not divisible into fragments or fractions, but is an indis-
soluble unity and whole. Saj's Carlyle, who was imbued
with the philosophy of Fichte, "To the eye of vulgar
logic, what is man? An omnivorous biped that wears
breeches. To the eye of pure reason what is he? A soul, a
spirit, a divine apparition. Well said Chrysostom, with his
lips of gold, ' the true Shekinah is man.' Where else is the
GocVs- Presence manifested, not to our eyes only, but to our
hearts, as in our fellow-man?" (Sartor Eesartus, pp. C3,

To act in and from God, and thus possess a power above
our ordinary energy-, is to attain to a deep conviction that
"in Him we live, and are moved, and have our being," in
other words it is to feel that our life is included in his Life,
and that his Being comprises ours in it. Till we make this
discovery, and come to the cognition of this eternal verity,
we are weak and spiritually poor. Without it, the angels
would no longer "excel in strength." (Ps. ciii : 20.) A man
may have a mine of gold hidden beneath the surface of his
field, but is none the richer for it until he comes to believe
it and know it. Then and then only he attains to a mental
appropriation and true possession of it. So we may have in
the manifested God, the Christ, the Collective Man, wisdom,
and righteousness, and health and blessedness, but if we are
blinded by our sensuous mind to this truth, it is all the same
as if we had it not. The deepest reality in man is spirit,
and as a spirit he is an individual, that is, indivisible (as the
word means) manifestation of the grand unity of spirit
which is God. Even his body, when we take a more pene-
trating look at it, is a symbol of spirit, and not wholly
material. It is a complex of spiritual forces, a combination
of ideas and sensations, without which it is to us as nothing,
and which are wholly included in the life of the soul. There
is a region of thought where we translate matter itself into
spirit. "Matter," says Carlyle, following the steps of


Fichte, "were it never so despicable, is spirit, the mauifes-
tation of spirit ; were it never so honorable, can it be more ? "
{Sartor Besartus, p. 65.)

In our spirit, in the inmost centre of our conscious exist-
ence, human life, as I have before said, and here again
earnestly reaffirm, merges into the Divine. Thence it is
that it springs. From that point the stream of life starts,
and thence forever proceeds. But this region of the Divine
Life in us, and seat of the highest spiritual power, is not an
inaccessible solitude that can never be approached and ex-
plored by consciousness, as if all access to it were forever
closed in this stage of our existence. It sometimes crops
out above the surface of our earthly life. It is only the
attainment of the good, the to agathon of the Platonists. In
every inspired thought, in each flash of intuition, in every
good deed and beneficent act springing from an inward
impulse and desire, there is a manifestation of it. The veil
of sense is then suddenly rent, in a degree, if not from the

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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 3 of 18)