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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cure everybody and everything without regard to conditions,
that sometimes lie beyond our control. Even Jesus, the
Christ, did not and does not now scatter cures around him,
like a royal prince tlirowiug a handful of coiu into a crowd of
beggars. He cui'ed the receptive few, and left the unrecep-
live many as they were. Nor is there any system of healing
known to the most peneti'ating eye of spiritual science that
can cure a man and leave him to live as he lists. This is a
noxious medical heresy, at which we wish to hurl a passing
rebuke, for it is either ignorance of all the laws that govern
i-uman life, or something worse. If the former, I take back
the rebuke ; if it be the latter, I let it stand. Nor is there
.-oy mental science of healing the ills that flesh is said to be
heir to that a man can learn and successfully apply, irrespec-
tive of the degree of his mental attainments and spiritual
development. It is possible to giA'e to a student of spiritual
philosophy only the alphabet, and he must become in himself
all the rest. As the Rosicrucians of the days of old said,
" the Rosie Cross becomes and is not made." And the
needed spiritual evolution or unfolding is not the result of a
single revolution of the earth on its axis, like the abnormal
and unsubstantial growth of Jonah's gourd, but may be the
slower and surer product of years. But I would not convey
the impression that to become spiritual we must hide away
from the world in the unapproachable solitude of mountains,
or entomb ourselves alive within the barred enclosure of a
monastery. Jesus did not this, and never recommended it.
We may grow up with the world and in it, and not be of it.

To return to the subject of silent suggestion, we remark
that it may be employed as an expression of faith in the
reatment of ourselves. Based on the doctrine of the triune


nature of man, and that the pneuma of the Now Testament
psychology and the Buddhi of the Hindu philosophy is divine,
and that matter is an illusion, we ought to be able to say in
thought, and to teach an invalid to say, I am not sick or
UNHAPPY. The disease is no more a part of myself than the
mould on the plant is the same as the plant, or the barnacles
on a ship are a part of the ship. The body is no more
myself than the clothes I wear, and a rent, a stain, or a patch
in my garment does not affect the man. But the ti'uth of
which the suggestion is the formulation, to be the most effi-
cient, must arise from within. It then becomes the secret
Logos, the Vach or sacred speech of the Vedas, the still small
voice, the inaudible " word," and has a divine potency' in it.
This soundless word is the Deus dixit, the Lord said, of the
Old Testament and of the Jewish prophets. It is the " lost
word " which modern Masonry laments, and for which they
try to find a substitute. It is that word or " ineffable name,"
through which, according to the belief of all nations, wonders
were wrought, and which Jesus possessed in its perfection.
The remarkable faith of the centurion consisted in liis confi-
dence in the saving power of this word. " Speak the word
only, and my child (or servant) shall be healed." (Matt.
viii : 5-10.) If we have not this inner or occult word, we do
but little in the cure of disease by spiritual forces and
agencies, and we must cover our face with a mantle and
stand in the opening of the cave, as Elijah did, until it
comes to us.

There is above us, and around us, and in us a realm of
pure spu'it, and inhabited by spiritual beings as much above
our ordinary humanity that conti'ibutes to the swelling of the
volume of the census as they are above the lower order ot
animals. It was a favorite conception of Plato that thinldng
is asking. Thought directed to the universal world of spirit
becomes a silent interrogative impulse, and a response is
echoed back in a spiritual idea or thought in our minds.


Hence the pliilosophieal disquisitions of Plato took the
dialogue form. If the reader should feel that thought
addressed to this boundless realm of life is like speaking into
vacancy, let him think of Jesus, and your cogitative aim has
hit the central mark, for he, according to Paul, has been
exalted to its summit and stands at its head. Through him
as a point of contact we come into communion with the high-
est realm of life and thought. We drink at the fountain-
head of pure spiritual knowledge. I cannot better close this
somewhat protracted lesson than in the language of that
noble man, Keshub Chunder Sen : " As pilgrims we approach
the great saints, and commune with them in spirit, killiug
the distance of time and space. We enter into them, and
they enter into us. In our souls we cherish them, and imbibe
their character and principles. If they are not personally
present with us, they may be spiritually drawn into our life
and character. They may be made to live and grow in us.
This is a normal psychological process, to which neither
science nor theology need take exception. I believe philos-
ophers have not noticed one thing, — the absorbent character
of the soul. It is a wonderfully impressionable substance.
An hour in the company of the saints is enough. The whole
heart is revolutionized. All Scriptures bear testimony to
this blessed iufluence." {Oriental Christ, by P. C. Mozoom-
dar, p. 128.)

" Each creature holds an insular point in space,
Yet what man stirs a finger, breathes a sound ;
But all the multitudinous beings round
In all the countless worlds, with time and place
For their conditions, down to the central base.
Thrill, haply, in vibration and rebound,
In full antiphony, by a common grace "?
I think this sudden joyance, which illumines
A child's mouth sleeping, unaware, may run
From some soul newly loosened from earth's tombs.
I think, this passionate sigh, which half begim.


I stifle back, may reach and stir the plumes
Of God's calm angel standing in the sun."

(Mrs. Browning.)

The universal spiritual realm of light and life is not reluc-
tant to impart, but is waiting to give of its exhaustless stores
as soon as we become admissive of its higher life. Jesus
but gives voice to it when he says, " I have many things to
say unto you ; but ye are not able to bear them now. How-
beit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all the truth." (John xvi : 12, 13.) The sole condi-
tion of receiving is a willingness to receive, and a disposition
beneficently to use. Then by assuming an attitude of pas-
sivity, or mental inertia, toward it, we may absorb it, as the
earth imbibes the light and heat of the sun.





There is often in the minds of people only a vague idea of
what it is to be spu'itual. It is to them an indefinite something
or " somewhat," which they are feeling round in the dark to
find, and would hardly recognize it, even if they accidentally
laid their hands upon it. It is among rehgious people
usually confounded with a certain devotional frame of mind,
and sometimes is viewed as an ecstatic state of the emotional
nature. But these may exist, and the subject of those expe-
riences may not have attained to the life of the spirit. They
may be onl}' the bubbles, painted b}^ the sun with the hues of
the rainbow, and floating on the current of the lower soul.
What is it to be spiritual? how may I become so? are ques-
tions of the gravest practical importance to every human
being. The great spiritual philosopher of the North answers
the question by saying that, to think spiritually is to free
thought from the limitations of time and space. In the
Buddhistic philosophy, these inquiries are answered by teach-
ing that to be spiritual is to be liberated from the bondage
of matter. In the Christianity of Jesus, the inquiry is met
with the answer, "Judge not according to ajjpeaj'ance (oi/^i?,
sight, sense), but judge rigJiteous judgment," which is the
Sanscrit rita, the real truth. (John vii : 24.) This freedom
from the bondage of matter and sense is to be accomplished
not merely by ascetic mortifications, which are of no value
except so far as they give us self-control in the fullest sense
of the word, but by reaching a higher mental position, the


standing-ground of faith, from which material things are
seen and felt as illusions ; that is, as an evanescent and de-
ceptive appearance. To emancipate the mind from the fet-
ters of sense, is to be free from disease and sin in the
Platonic and New Testament signification of the word. This
deliverance, together with the quenching of the lower desires,
and a consecration to a life of love and use, is the Nirvana
of Buddhism, and the kingdom of the heavens of Jesus.
This can never be reached on earth (for it is a state attainable
here and now) , so long as we view matter as the most real
thing in the universe. With this view as a confirmed and
governing conviction, we can no more become spiritual than
we can sail our ships of commerce in the air. In the most
exalted moments of our religious life and feeling we are
sometimes borne upward above the plane of sense, and
earthl}^ things seem vanity and delusion, " an empty show."
But these experiences are often only transient moods, mere
flashes of spiritual light in the starless darkness above and
around us, instead of permanently established modes of
thinking. In these ecstatic visions, which have no unshaken
basis on which to rest, but are supported only by our ever-
varying emotions, and a slender devotional framework, we
soon again descend to the dead level of the plane of sense.
Thus we alternately rise above the earth and sink into the
dismal swamp of materialism. To be carried up by a mere
devotional frame of mind, as in a balloon which is in constant
danger of collapsing, is a very different position from that
occupied by the man who has built his habitatiou and erected
his observatory upon the summit of a mountain, which is an
immovable point above the clouds, where the life of the heav-
ens ever meets and mingles with our lower conditions. A
philosophical idealism, of which Bishop Berkeley is one of the
best exponents, when inwrought into the very texture of the
mind, furnishes a secure and permanent foundation for a
spiritual mode of thinking. It is the spontaneous philosophy


of the interior man, as the current materiahstic science is of
the psychical or natural mind. The eagle is at home in the
lofty atmospheric heights ; the earth-worm is equally so in
the mud ; and both are useful in their proper place. " The
great lesson," says Professor Fiske, "which Berkeley taught
mankind was, that what we call material phenomena are
really the products of consciousness cooperating with some
Unknown Power (not material) existing beyond conscious-
ness. We do very well to speak of ' matter ' in common
parlance, but all that the word really means is a group of
qualities which have no existence apart from our minds.
Modern philosophers have quite generally accepted this con-
clusion, and every attempt to overthrow Berkeley's reasoning
has hitherto resulted in complete and disastrous failure. . .
We are thus led to a view of things not very unlike the views
entertained by Spinoza and Berkeley. We are led to the in-
ference that what we call the material universe is but the
manifestation of infinite Deity to our finite minds. Obvi-
ously, on this view, matter — the only thing to which mate-
rialists concede real existence — is simply an orderly phan-
tasmagoria, and God and the soul, which the materialists
regard as the fictions of the imagination, are the only
conceptions that answer to real existences." ( Unseen World,
pp. 51, 52.)

When we come to a clear perception and intuitive convic-
tion of this, a new and higher existence has dawned upon
us. We have attained to the all-satisfying ti'uth, and are
made free. (John viii:32.) In that day the interior soul
of man has left the circumference of being, with all its
unsubstantial shadows, and has moved up an immense dis-
tance toward the Central Life and Supreme Reality. Such
a person is not of the world, even as Jesus the Christ was
not of the world. (John xvii: 14-16.) He can now act
upon the body from within, as God perpetually operates in


It is the doctrine of idealism that matter exists only in
mind. This was the doctrine of Berkeley, Fitche, Hegel, and
Emerson, and is well stated by Rev. Arthur CoUier, a con-
temporar}' of Berkeley. In the introduction to the " Clavis
Universalis," he observes: "I suppose I need not tell my
reader that when I affirm that all matter exists in mind, after
the same manner that body exists in place, I mean the very
same as if I had said, that mind is the place of body, and so
its place, as that it is not capable of existing in any other
place, or in place after any other manner."

Matter, inclusive of the human bod}', exists for us only in
the mind, and in the mind on the plane of sense, its lowest
range of action. To elevate our consciousness above that
basement story of our being, is to be clear of it. This is
faith. We would ask the reader, K all your five senses
were closed or were quiescent, would not matter to you be
deprived of all its properties, and would there remain for you
any external world or any physical body ? The same is true
of physical disease. It is the office of faith, as defined by
Plato, and as the term is used by Jesus, to raise us to a
higher plane of thought and perception, where disease as an
external entit}' disappears. I would not affirm that to attain
to this spiritual mode of thought is an easy acquirement, nor
would I affirm that it is next to an impossible achievement to
reach it. To apprehend it as theoretically true is not diffi-
cult. And most of us remain here looking up rather than
gomrj up. To the great mass of mankind, if they ever tliink
of it at all, it is only a promised land seen in the distance
from the mountain summit of our highest spiritual experi-
ences. The humanity of Jesus climbed up to this celestial
height, and also to some extent that of Gautama, the Buddha.
Jesus, as an incarnation of the universal Christ, represents
the whole of humanity, and hence he says, " If I be lifted
up, I will draw all men unto me." (John xii : 32.) In the
Grecian Mysteries, whose original aim was to lead the


initiate from a mere external and sensuous plane of thought
to the profoundest spiritual attainments, the fifth and last
stage was denominated friendship and interior communion
with God. This was the holy of holies of their spiritual
temple, in which man reaches that summit of thought where
there are but two trutlis in the universe, the All, and the
nothing. Christianity aims to conduct its sincere disciples
to the same goal, not by a mechanism of rites and ceremo-
nies, nor by an unenlightened superstition and shallow enthu-
siasm, but by an orderly evolution of our spiritual nature.
The nearer we approach it, the more our spiritual power and
psychological force are augmented. It has been univer-
sality taught in the ancient spiritual philosophy, that the
inmost soul of man is the outcome, or offspring, or offshoot,
of the Universal Soul, and is a manifestation under finite
limitations of the first creative Principle. If this is so (and
it is intuitivel}' true) , then the inner nature of man must of
necessity share in a degree the attributes of the world-creating
Power. It is made into the image of God, and so far is
God. "We can form no idea of God that is not to some
extent realized in us. The idea is in us and a part of us.
We can worship no God that is not bounded by our concep-
tions, and we can conceive of nothing in Him that is not
actually existent in the spiritual and divine powers which
are either active or latent in us. The highest image we
can form of Him is only what we are capable of becoming.
I would not affirm tliat this is all of God, but only all that
we can know of Him. Just so far as we know God, we
become God, and can to the same extent do divine works.

As all matter exists only in mind, it follows that all modi-
fications of the mind effect changes in that appearance which
we call matter. This is an invariable law. The same object
is never seen twice alike ; as, for example, the ocean, the
mountains, or the forest. Matter is an illusion or deceptive
appearance that is perpetually changing with our ever-vary-


ing mental states. It is a sublime truth of the old phi-
losophy, that the world is created through man, and every-
thing in it corresponds to something in man. There is a
close relationship between the life of the world and the life
of man. "We impress our character on our surroundings, or,
to use a fashionable word, our environment. The latter does
not make us, but we give character to it. It is said that
when man fell, or descended from spirit to sense, the ground
Wfis cursed for his sake. So Milton says :

" Earth felt the wound, and nature sighing through all
Her works, gave signs of woe that all was lost."

As life is developed, the world is seen to be more and
more. It is fair to suppose that the highest animal does
not see as much in the world as we see. Take an idiot,
and suppose him to rise in intellect until he becomes a
sage ; the earth keeps even pace with him. Suppose the
sage gradually to sink into idiocy ; the earth descends
with him, becoming less and less, until it disappears.
Hence the remark, so often made, that we shall die, but
the world will live on, is not strictly true. The real truth
is, the world will die, or become evanescent to our exter-
nal senses, that is, the world that is in us, but we shall con-
tinue to live in a higher world, that goes forth from us,
and through us. The same law holds good in regard to the
relation of mind and bod}-. The body is but a part of the
external world, and both are to us what we think and believe
them to be.

If we glance at our very ancient diagram, which symboli-
cally represents the triune nature of man, the first triangle
represents the spirit, as a personal limitation of the grand
unity of spirit, and with its point downwards, its tendency
to descend. It is masculine or active. The lower triangle
represents the animal soul, which is considered in its relation
to spirit as feminine or reactive, and in nearly all languages


the word is feminine in form, as the Greek psyche, and the
Latin anima. With the point upward it represents the ten-
dency inherent in its nature, to ascend to meet the spirit.
The union of the two, as in the two interlaced triangles, is
significant of the highest condition of man on earth, the con-
junction of the soul and spirit to form the interior man. The
two triangles thus interlaced, are, according to Jacob
Behmen, the highest religious symbol. It signifies not only
the union of the spirit and soul, but also of God and man.
The lower triangle, with its point upward, is aspiration,
which meets a response in inspiration represented by the
upper triangle with its point downward. The two together
are the "Blazing Star," the "Star in the East," of the
Magi, whose significance was fully realized in Jesus. The}'
represent the true ideal state, the " celestial-natural" condi-
tion, as it was denominated by Swedenborg, the true life oj
faith, in which the higher light of the spirit perpetually cor-
rects the illusions or deceptive appearances of the sensis.
Faith is not merely an intellectual state, but intellect in
union with feeling, which is life, — life on a higher plane of
thought. Belief and life, in their etymological sense, seem
to be the same. To believe is to live, as the first syllable is
only intensive, and the latter from the Danish lever, the
German lehen, the Dutch lieven, all meaning life or to live.
To believe is a movement of our interior life towards the
state which is the object of desire and of faith. To believe
that we are well or are becoming so, turns the current of our
life and of the Universal Life in that direction. To believe
the truths of the spirit in opposition to the illusions of sense,
is salvation in the complete signification of the word. These
truths are the " blood of the Lamb," by which we overcome.
(Rev. xii: 11.) It was a peculiarity of the old philosophy,
that they expressed and preserved the highest truths under
the covering of appropriate symbols. In the original zodiac,
which signifies the circle or cycle of life, there were only ten


signs, answering to the ten Sepliiroth or emanations of the
Kabala. The first was Aries the Lamb, and this answers to
the Chi-ist of Paul, the Universal Spirit. By the blood of the
Lamb is thci-efore signified the living truths of the spirit,
which is a meaning as fixed in the science of correspondence
as the definitions of geometry. In this blood, which is per-
petually shed for the many, we ma}- wash our robes and
make them white. It is this, and this alone, which can save
the soul from its illusions, its sin, and disease. To save a
man from bodily disease, without an effort to save the soul,
is to act like a fireman who should rush into a buniing build-
ing to rescue a sleeping inmate, and should only seize his
clothes, and leave the man as he was. Not so did Jesus the
Christ, who illustrates in his beneficent life the truth that
the highest function of a healer is to be a doctor or teacher.
And the highest and most saving truths we can dispense, are
not those that we learn from books and teachers, but are the
clear shining of the " Star in the East" within us. The
Arabian alchemist, Abipili, utters these golden words: " I
admonish thee, whoever thou art, that desirest to dive into
the inmost parts of nature ; if that thou seekest thou findest
not within thee, thou wilt never find it ivithout thee." When
we act mentally upon an invalid or upon ourselves from the
spiritual world within us, we act iu concert with the intelli-
gent forces that control nature, and can determine them to
the healing of disease, or at least accelerate their action. It
is the divine order that spirit should govern matter ; or, as
it was expressed in the ancient metaphysical science, that
the heavens should rule. (Dan. iv : 26.)

The person who desires to become spiritual and acquire
the power to cure disease by mental forces, in order to make
money and become rich, has parted company with Jesus,
and lost his way at the very commencement of his journey.
He has switched off upon a side-track, and has accidentally
stepped on board a freight train that is bound in the opposite


direction, and lias missed the passenger car which has moved
on due East. He who desires to make money out of spirit-
ual science, is like the man who vainly sighs for the wings
of a dove that he might use them in wading in the mud.
The wings of the soul of which Plato speaks are not given
for that use. The truly spiritual man or mind does not
desire to sell a minimum of spiritual truth for a maximum
price in money ; but rather imparts to all who will receive
without money and without price. Spiritual gifts, among
which is the gift of healing, God has never thrown into the
markets of the world. The first recorded attempt to buy
a spiritual gift was a disastrous failure, and the speculator
in heavenly things purchased to himself only a severe re-
buke. (Acts viii : 20.) To bringdown the celestial life of
the spirit into the disgusting scramble for wealth, is like
inviting our angelic visitors to aid us in ditching our swamp.
The most spiritual men the world has ever held, including
Jesus, have been poor, in the ordinary sense of the word.
But while poor in that sense, they possess all things. They
may have no legal title to the land, but they own the whole
landscape. They have in themselves as an everlasting in-
heritance all that the goodly things of earth spiritually
signify and represent. They seek first the kingdom of God
and its righteousness (right thinking), and all other things
are thrown in, like the wrapping paper of the merchant.
(Mat. vi:33.) Gold and silver are symbols of celestial
good and truth. Having in ourselves the latter we possess
all that is of value in the former. This is the teaching of
Jesus the Christ, and is Christian science and true meta-

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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 8 of 18)