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 was the aim of Jesus to raise his disciples or scholars
above the range of the sensuous mind to the perception of
real truth. His fundamental precept was of far reaching
importance to the man who would attain a truly spiritual
life. It was (and still is) "Judge not according to appear-
ance (o'l/ris, external sight, sense), but judge righteous judg-
ment." (John vii : 24.) This righteous judgment or recti-
tude ofthiriking is the Kabalistic justice, and the Sanscrit


rita, real truth, and is identical with Paul's "righteousness
of faith." For faith is the elevation of the mind above the
plane of sense. "We wallt by faith, not by sight" {uihis,
appearance, sense) is the maxim of Paul (II Cor. v : 7) .
The words of Jesus above quoted furnish the key to a truly
spiritual knowledge. All our sense perceptions are falla-
cious, and are to be corrected before they are accepted.
The}- never give us the real truth. This was a doctrine of
the Hermetic pliilosophy. On this subject Swedenborg says :
" Sensual things, and those which by their means enter
immediately into thought are fallacious, and all fallacies
which prevail with men are from this source. Hence it
happens that few believe the truths of faith, and that the
natural man is opposed to the spiritual, that is, the external
man to the internal." (Arcana Celestia, 5084.) All the
profoundcst truths, or truths of the spirit, are contradictionSj
that is, they are the direct opposites of the first appearances^
the illusions, the fallacies of the psychical man. Whatever
the natural man, speaking from the plane of sense, affirms,
we are to interpret it b}' opposites, and we get the real truth,
just as darkness makes the hidden light of the stars visible,
and shows us worlds we never saw by day. In order to aid
us to rise from sense to faith, it will be well to demonstrate
that all our sense perceptions are an illusion or false seeming.
Hence, in judging rightly, they are to be contradicted, and
their testimony ruled out.

To begin with, it is a fundamental illusion that we are in
time and space, for the direct opposite is true ; that is, time
and space are in us as modes of thought and feeling, or
subjective forms of sensation, as Kant demonstrated. Time
is the succession of ideas in our minds, and motion in space
is a change of feeling. In common language, when our
feelings are stirred we are said to be moved. Hence dis-
tance, as it belongs to time and space, is not an external
entity, or something outside of us, but is in us as a state of
the soul.


When the scriptures speak of upward things or things
above, as God and heaven, mountains and hills, etc., the}'
really mean inward things. To ascend into the hill of the
Lord, and stand in the holy place (Ps. xxiv : 3), is to think
from the inner realm of consciousness. The Most High
is the Divine Inmost in man. The power of the Highest
comes upon us when the inmost divine spirit in us is devel-
oped into conscious activity (Luke i : 35). To be en-
dued with power from on high (Luke xxiv : 49) has a
similar significance. When the primordial point, or Central
Life, is placed above us, to go upward is to go inward
towards the centre.

All outward things are in reality inward things. The
objective is the subjective. All the properties of matter are
only sensations and ideas in our minds. The world is not
external only as a sensuous seeming, as 3Iaia or illusion. It
is a mental picture. On this subject, Schopenhauer in " Die
Welt als Wille und Vorstellung," says: "The world is my
presentation or mental picture — is what I represent it to
be ; it agrees exactly with my thought ; it is my thought.
The world exists for me only as a picture and a belief exist-
ent in mj' mind, only so far as it is portrayed by my thought
and present to my consciousness. He prefers, says Prof.
Bowen, to call it as Kant did, a Presentation, a Vorstelliing,
or placing before my mind of certain phenomena or appear-
ances. It is impossible and even inconceivable, that it
should be known to be anything else than it appears to be.
Make this mental picture as vivid or life-like as you please,
it is still only a mental picture. Whatever the ignorant may
fancy, or the superstitious may dream, nothing is known to
be behind it. It is only an appearance or presentation. He
only is a philosopher, says Schopenhauer, to whom this is
distinct and certain. {Bowen' s Modern Philosophfj, p. 394.)
All this is true of the human body, which is no part of man,
but belongs to the world-picture and is a part of it. If man


(or mind) were taken out of the universe, no universe would
remain, because there would be no proof, no manifestation,
of an3"thing outside of us, when j-ou take away man, that is,
mind. For to that alone the world is, and to that alone can
it be shown. God created, and still creates, the world
through man, says Swedenborg, and we may be allowed to
add, only in man.

Again. There are no external senses, whatever the
psyclucal, natural, or souUsh man may believe and affirm,
for the simple reason that there is, and can be, no external
perception. There are no external sounds, for sound is a
sensation, and that exists only in mind. If the music is not
in us, it is nowhere. Light and color, which is a modification
of light, are not outside of me, but are in me. I am the
light. Light belongs only to mind and is a modification of
mind. "God is light," says John (I Jno. i: 5), and the
converse of this is true, the light is God, or an emanative
principle from Him, and is not dependent upon the sun, nor
external eyes.

Do we live an individual and independent life? Is my life
an isolated fragment sundered from the One Life ? Or is it
not rather true, as Paul affirms, " In Him we live, and are
moved, and have our being " ? Then it is no more I that live,
but the Christ, the Logos, the inward Word, liveth in me.
That is, God only lives. He is the living One, the El Chai.
We are taken on board the Universal Life, and can never get
outside of it. So God only sees, as Swedenborg sublimely
asserts in his comments on Gen. xvi : 13. The external
sees from something interior, and this from the inmost, and
this last from the Lord. Hence we may say, " Thou God
seest me," and I see only in thee, — as was taught in the
philosophy of Malebranche, and which was borrowed from
the Arabian Al Ghazzali, and he borrowed it from the
Hindu metaphysics.

Again, let us ask the natural man, who cannot discern tha


things of the spirit, and to whom they are foolishness, Are
the senses in our individual soul, or are they not rather in-
cluded in a universal sense, so that we are in the senses? To
be out of this universal sense is to be u-rational and insensi-
bk. All this will seem to the j^sychical man, as contradio
tory, and impossible, and is therefore spiritually and sublimely
true. There is a universal principle of sense, a Divine Scm-
sorium, as Sir Isaac Newton calls it, which is everywhere
present, and our individual sense is not disjoined or sundered
from it, nor can our senses, as Plotinus affirmed, ever be cut
off from it. There is an all-seeing eye, an all-hearing ear,
an all-pervading and ubiquitous sense of feeling. True vision
is that eye in me, and my hearing is never outside the uni-
versal ear or sense. For a true universal is a one thing that
is in all things. We must learn to see through the all-seeing
eye, and hear through the everywhere-present ear ; that is,
the Universal Divine Soul, the anima mundi. Then tohatever
any person in any part of the world sees, or hears, or feels, we
may perceive. This is a great mystery, but is nevertheless
demonstrably true. We then have sensation and perception
in the universal sense or soul.

Once more. Do we move, or are we really moved? As time
and space are in us, as we have shown above, and as all
motion must be in time and space, it irresistibly follows,
that all motion in its spiritual essence must be in us as a
change in our interiors, to use the language of Swedenborg ;
or, in other words, as a modification of our thoughts and
feelings. Hence, motion in its reality is independent of tlie
body. "We may be carried away in spirit as Ezekiel was to
the river Chebar (Ezek. iii : 14, 15), or like John to an ex-
ceeding high mountain (Rev. xxi : 10), and visit any part of
the world, and not be missed by our friends in the same
room. All this is absolutely impossible, contradictory, and
incomprehensible to the psychical man, and hence must be
divinely true. It is only what Paul asserts, that " in Ilira we


live, and are moved, and have our being." (Acts xvii : 28.)
If our life is included in God's life, wherever He is we may
and must be. He shares with the spirit of man in a mitigated
sense both his omnipresence and omniscience.

Again, it appears to the psychical or soulish man that our
knowledge is self -originated and is our own. But such a
person must become a fool, as the apostle says, in order that
he ma}' be wise. (I Cor. iii : 18.) Do we know, or are we
known ; that is, is our cognition active, or are we passive in
knowing? Is not our knowledge shown to us? One thing is
certain, that we know nothing that is not already known, and
which exists in the Universal Mind or Intellect, with which our
intellect is conjoined. Paul, one of the profouudest of Chris-
tian philosophers, says: "Now we know in part, and we
prophesy in pai"t, but when that which is perfect is come (or
the true Universal is known, and we grasp the idea of the
connection of our mind with it) , then that which is in part
shall be done away." Then shall we fully know even as we
also are fully known (I Cor. xiii : 9-12), where he expresses
the thought, which it is difficult to reproduce in a translation,
that all true and perfect knowledge is a passive reception,
or that we know all things in and through the Universal In-
tellect, the Logos or Word, which illuminates every man that
cometh into the world. The individual mind is only a
mirror, that receives and reflects, but does not shine bj- its
own light. A passive knowing is the highest form of intelli-

It sounds like a contradiction to the natural man, and is,
therefore, true to the spiritual mind, that the sense or mean-
ing of the Bible and all good books is not in the letter or the
external words, but in us. The book does not in reality en-
lighten us ; but we, as it were, illuminate it. The meaning
of words is not in them, but in us. Words are only a sensu-
ous symbol of ideas, and ideas are only in mind, and cannot
by any possibility be in Bibl-js or books. The real Bible is


the inward Word, the Logos, the Christ witliin. In this in-
ward Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowl-
edge. (Col. ii : 3.) And John says of " young men," which
marks a certain stage of spiritual evolution or development,
"Ye are strong, and the word of God abideth (or dwelleth)
in you." (I John ii : 14.) And if it is not in us, either
consciously or unconsciously, it is for us nowhere.

But all this discussion has a practical side to it, and is not
mere idle and useless speculation. We have seen that the
knowledge (so called) of the psychical man or mind, is in-
verted, and things are seen bottom side up. We must turn
them over, and contradict them, in order to come to the
perception of the real truth. The knowledge of the sensu-
ous mind is only a false seeming, and is never the real truth,
or Paul's righteousness of faith, or rectitude of intellectual
judgment. In common language a man says, " I am sick,"
or in suffering or trouble. This is an illusion, as much as
when he says the sun rises and sets. His real self, his spir-
itual entity, and immortal Ego, is not subject to disease, but
this may always affirm, / am well and happy. To come to
an intuitive perception of this, and hold to it with a divine
stubbornness, in spite of the senses, and even reason, is to
reach the summit of faith, — a faith that makes us whole.
To the sensual man or mind,

" It would seem
Less a thing to name or own,
Than an echo overblown

From a dream,"

but is nevertheless an eternal reality.

Finally, one of the most impossible and unreasonable con-
ceptions to the psychical or soul-man, and consequently one
of the most sublime si)iritual truths in the universe is, that
all pain is a positive good and pleasure in the region of our
true being. It is an inner divine good, struggling into a
birth in the externnl range or sensuous plane of our exist-


ence. If accepted without opposition, and its outward birth
is effected, it ceases as pain, and becomes a pleasure. It is
then transmuted into a spiritual delight. The highest spirit-
ual development is born of suffering. When we come to a
clear recognition of this, and can view the pain as an inte-
rior good, it is instantly alleviated. Here the whole mj^stery
of evil is solved. All evil or pain is an inward, divine, spir-
itual good, that struggles to ultimate or externalize itself in
us, and is opposed and obstructed, consciously or uncon-
sciously, by the soul. But when, by a supreme act of faith,
I can bring myself to be willing to suffer, I then cease from
suffering, by one of the deepest laws of my being.

If it be true that our spiritual entity is the real man, and
son of God, and is, by virtue of its divine and immortal
nature, exempt from disease, then the belief of disease is
but a dream, an illusion, a false seeming. Make it appear to
j^ourself that it is so, and " thou art freed from thine infirm-
ity." Demonstrate this grand truth of faith clearly to a
patient, and he is cured. What men call disease is not dis-
ease at all, but only nature's method of curing it. It ici a
medicine and not a disease. This is a truth that is cayable
of an extended illustration.




It should be our steady aim in all that we do and say, to
raise a patient's mind and our own above the mere plane of
sense, with its deep-seated illusions. The external body,
with oil its diseases, exists only on that lower range of thought.
To elevate the mind above the plane of sense is to exalt our
conscious being into the region of faith, where pain and
disease cannot exist. This is done to some extent in what
is called revery or a waking dream, also in the condition of
absent-mindedness, where the mind is withdrawn from exter-
nal things, and we think in ourselves independent of organic
conditions. The first point to be gained is to know our
self; the next to forget the body and become spirit. The
natural or psychical man, or the mind that habitually acts on
a level with the body and the senses, sees everything in an
inverted order, which is the direct opposite of the real truth.
He does not receive (or apprehend) the things of the spirit,
nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned or
judged, as Paul affirms. What men call knowledge, derived
from the testimony of the senses, is not knowledge at all,
but only error and delusion. When we examine the matter
more closely, we are astonished to learn how little we
know from sensation. When I say I hear the bell in the
church tower, it is not strictly true. All that I hear is a
sound which has no meaning in and of itself, but I have
learned by association to connect that particular sound with
a bell. But if I were hearing it for the first time, it would


be impossible for me to know what it was. It is an act of
judgmeut, that is, a decision of the mind on the phxne of
pnre intellect, or what is called in the New Testament and
in Plato, faith, which teaches me that a particular sound is
connected with a bell, or a coach on the street, or an engine
on the railroad. It is one of the offices of faith, or the
higher intellect, to interpret the meaning of a sensation. If
we have a sensation of discomfort, we can make it signify
disease, and this meaning it will bear to us, or we can give
it the opposite meaning, and it will bear that signification to
us. This is a practical principle. A wrong interpretation
of our sensations is a fruitful source of disease.

All that we ever see by the sense of vision, as Berkeley
proved long ago, is a sensation of light and its modification
in the various colors. Ever3'thing else which we attribute to
vision is only an act of judgment. Sensation in itself
teaches us nothing. As long as the mind is fettered by the
senses, true knowledge, which is only another name for
faith, is impossible. In disease the senses give us no real
knowledge of our true condition. We must learn to dis-
believe them, and hearken to the voice of the higher wisdom.
Their testimony must be ignored, their fallacies rejected,
and the interior mind must assert its divine rights. A true
faith, which saves a man body and soul, begins where sensa-
tion ends, and is the "evidence of things not seen." In
order for faith to become a living power to heal ourselves or
others, it must be emancipated from the bondage of the
senses. Their clamorous voice must be silenced, and their
testimony must be ruled out. This is the true freedom from
matter that constitutes us spiritual, and essentially and dis-
tinctively human. Things look quite different to the mind,
when it views them from the spiritual plane of thought and
perception from wliat they do when seen only through the
underground window of the dungeon of the prison of sense.
To cure oursL-lves of disease, and remain under the blind-


ness of the senses, is like a sliipwrecked mariner trying to
keep afloat with a rock attached to him instead of a life-
preserver. Disease, having existence only in the mind on
the sensuous plane, is so far like all our sense-perceptions a
fallacious appearance, and not the reality we suppose it to
be. The spiritual man will learn to treat it as he does all
otlier illusions. But you will ask me, if the corn on your toe
is not as real as the toe itself? To this the answer is, that
neither of them have any real existence except as a thought
on the lower range of the mind, and a false belief; and
neither of them is any part of the real Ego or self. Both of
them could be removed by surgery and the inner man not be
mutilated or touched. Nothing has been subtracted from
our true being. When will the world come to the conscious-
ness of the truth, that it is the pneuma or spirit, and not the
body, that is the man. In its inmost essence it is divine,
and, like Milton's angels, immortal in every part. It is
never separated from God. The last words of Gautama,
when, under the Sdl-tree or sycamore, he was entering into
Nirvana, were : " Spirit is the sole, elementary, and primor-
dial unity, and each of its rays is immortal, infinite, and
indestructible. Beware of the illusions of matter." The spirit
is never separated from God. It is like a wave or ripple on
the ocean of being that is never disjoined from the ocean,
but is one with it. Or, as the divine Christ in Jesus declares,
"I am the vine ; ye are the branches, and apart from me,
ye can do nothing." (John xv : 4, 5.)

There is a fundamental error which it is important that we
correct, for it is the parent of a large class of illusions. I
refer to the false belief, the illusive ajppearance of the exist-
ence of life and sensation, of pleasure and pain, of health
and disease, in the material body. Even motion in its
reality or on the spiritual side of it, is not in the body. It
is only " a change of state in the interiors," as Swedenborg
expresses it. When I raise my arm, the reality of the move-


ment is a modification of the mind. So when we change
our position from one part of the room to another, or go
from Boston to New York, the real movement is an invisible
change in our mental condition. In our dreams we travel
through space, and see objects in space and time. But
where is that space ? It is most certainly in us, for by the
closing of our senses we are shut off from the outer world.
The relation of motion and locomotion to a modification of
the mind is a principle that has importance in connection
with the subject of vision and action at a distance.

But to return to the subject of sensuous delusions. There
is no such thing possible as headache, or what the patient calls
the head, for that is never pained. Pain can no more be
predicated of the head than of the hat or bonnet. To come
to the inward consciousness and certainty of this, is a great
step towards the cure of it. Headache in its various forms
is only some disturbance, some inharmouy or unhappiness in
the psychical or soal-principle. But I shall be asked, if the
head does not ache, what is it that aches? So the sun
appears to rise, but does not. If you ask what it is that
rises? the answer is, nothing rises. It is a deceptive appear-
ance, an error that counts for nothing. So of the headache,
if the head does not ache, nothing aches. It is an illusion,
a false belief of what does not and cannot exist. To in-
tuitively perceive this to be true, is a faith that makes us

The teeth never in reality ache. There has never been
such a thing as toothache since the creation of man. The
teeth were made for the mastication of food, and it is beyond
their function or power to ache. Even Dr. Carpenter, in
his Principles of Human Physiology, affirms that we do not
speak in exact accordance with the truth when we say that
we feel a pain in the hand. He would say that it was in the
sensorium, which is supposed to be located in the brain.
But this is a mistake or an illusion as much as the rising and


setting of the sun. Tiie brain has no more feeling than the
hair, a truth which physiology admits. Dr. Carpenter's
affirmation amounts to saying that a feeling exists in what
has no feeling. The sensorium, or seat of sensation, is not
in the body at all, or in any part of it. It is a principle of
the transcendental philosophy that time and space are not
external entities, but exist in us as modes of thought, time
being the succession of ideas in the mind, and space the
distinguisJiing of things, or the viewing of them as distinct
rather than all at once. But as both time and space are in
us as modes of thongJd, it follows that we locate a pain by
thought and in thought. But we have the same power to deny
its existence in any particular part of the body, or to locate
it outside of the body, that we have to think at all. The
phenomenon of misplaced sensation is one familiar to physi-
cians and physiologists. Where we think a pain to be, there
it is to us, for it exists only in thought. To put it out of
thought is to annihilate it. The same is true of disease in
the proper sense of the word. By thought and in thought
we give it locality. But if it is not in the body, which is
intuitively true, and not in the spirit, which is the real self,
then where is it, you will ask ? It exists in the animal soul
as a false way of thinking. It may come to us from the
general current of the world's life, an established wrong
belief in the collective soul from which we are not discon-
nected. It is the office of faith to correct this established
" public opinion," and lift us out of its disordered current.
Faith disowns the disease or discomfort as belonging to the
non-ego, or the " not me," and by doing this we free our-
selves from it and relegate it to its source.

With regard to other diseases, we may affirm that paralysis
is not in the body. It is a loss of desire and will, which are
the spiritual principle of motion. Nervous diseases, as they
are popularly called, are not in the nerves. This popular


notion or current opinion which is encouraged by the learned
iguorrnce of the various schools of medicine is only super-
ficial nonsense. The nerves are innocent of any fault.
General debility is not a physical condition. "Weakness and
strength cannot in strict propriety be predicated of the bodily
oi-giinisra, as the five hundred muscles are not a force any
more than an engine is a force. In the latter the expansive
l)ower of steam is the energy that moves the powerless
machinery, and even this has its seat in the universal world-
soul or life-principle. General debility, for which we give

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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 5 of 18)