THE WISDOM OF HEALING
I would like to start with Myrtle Fillmore's healing prayer: "I do not believe in evil. I believe in Good. I do not believe in sin. I believe in Truth. I do not believe in want. I believe in Abundance. I do not believe in death. I believe in Life. I do not believe in ignorance. I believe in Intelligence. There are no discords in my being. Being is peace. My faith, understanding and love are becoming one. 'What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.'" Amen
Continuing our series on Wisdom -- looking at the Words of the Wise. So far, we have looked at the Wisdom of Being and the Wisdom of Knowing.
Last week, I shared several Spiritual Truth statements including: "We believe that the prayer of faith shall save the sick."
Today, we are going to look at the wisdom of Healing and how the power of this mind works through us. One of the great messages of the New Thought/Ancient Wisdom movement is that you can be healed. In fact, physical healing was the cornerstone of the New Thought movement in the mid-late 1800's.
Here's a story from Mitch Horowitz's book that tells all. Phineas Quimby is ill. His medical treatments are just poisonous foolery. One day he is exhilarated by a rapid carriage ride. He noted that he felt better. He was better. He wondered why.
Now most of us would decide to take up rapid carriage riding! In fact, 19th century doctors were full of such ideas. Lots of us in these waning days of automotive obsession would follow the Quimby carriage-ride cure and buy a newer, faster car. That would make us feel better. The fast freedom of owning the road!
Not Quimby. He made the crucial leap inward, not outward. His mind was the answer. He felt better. He was better, because he had exhilarating thoughts. The thoughts, not the ride, were the cure. This practical New Englander had hit upon a moment of spiritual genius. What's more? He saw that potential in each of us.a
I said last week that one of the attributes of "knowing" was that you did not need to look for proof or evidence that it was so. I will expand upon that idea this morning to say that when we do know something, and in particular this morning, when we know that illness can be healed through the power of this mind, we prove it all the time!
And while looking for proof, confirms that we don't know the Truth; proving it shows that we do!
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore did not teach an abstract theory; they lived what they taught; they put it into practice. They worked for long hours in prayer and meditation to discover Truth and then they applied to their own bodies and their own affairs the Truth that was unfolded to them.
Believe me, it is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice it.
Practicing it takes:
an ability to look beyond appearances,
a willingness to take personal responsibility and
a discipline in our thinking.
And sometimes, for some of us, one or all of those things can prove to be challenging. We are going to spend some time this morning looking at each one of them and seeing how they can apply to healing.
Make it personal -- think how these ideas apply to you or to someone you love who is experiencing some sort of physical challenge.
1. AN ABILITY TO LOOK BEYOND APPEARANCES
1. An Ability to Look Beyond Appearances.
What is it that we need to see? There is an original blueprint of health embedded in our beings. And so, in a spiritual sense, there is nothing to heal -- only our innate perfection to reveal.
You have heard me say before, especially if you have taken a class or two from me: There is nothing to be healed, only something to be revealed.
The metaphysical meaning of healing from Charles Fillmore's Revealing Word is: Restoring to original purity or integrity The first step in all spiritual healing is to believe, and the next step is openness and receptivity to the stream of healing life. Through the exercise of faith and our words, our spiritual quality is fused into unity with the power of Christ and the work is marvelously accomplished.
"All healing is based on mental cleansing. When the mind is free from error thoughts, harmony in the body ensues. Permanent healing is never accomplished until the mental cause of the disease, the error thought, is removed. ... Thus the true way to heal is to find the mental cause and destroy it forever."b
Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Being.
Revising my statement: There is nothing to be healed, except the thought, which then allows the Divine Perfection to be revealed.
In the late 1800's, a young woman was desperately ill. She had come from a family with a history of consumption (t.b.) and she had contracted it also. She had tried everything medically to cure her consumption, but she was only getting worse. The doctors had written her off completely.
At this same time, there was a new movement in the U.S. on the horizon. One with some radical ideas about healing; ideas that people could be cured of illness and disease simply through prayer and mental work -- this new-fangled movement was founded on one principle:
That we are spiritual beings and we each have a built-in capacity for wholeness.
There was a lot of negative talk and skepticism about this movement, but this young woman was convinced by a friend to go hear a lecture. Perhaps she had not heard the negative talk or perhaps she figured she had nothing to lose, so she and her husband went.
It is told that her husband didn't think much of the lecture, but she heard one sentence that came as a true revelation to her -- and "ah-ah": She opened herself up to the truth of these words:
"I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness."
She started seeing beyond the appearance to the Truth. She left the lecture repeating this statement and her whole outlook toward herself and her life began to change. She began to change the idea of sickness to one of wholeness. She started talking to her body and telling it a new story.
And she stuck with this even though her healing took time. In fact, it took two years for her to become completely free from t.b., but she never doubted for a moment that she would be healed.
And the New Thought movement is glad she did -- because Myrtle Fillmore and her husband, Charles, became significant players in the furtherance of the New Thought movement by forming this little organization called Unity.
Moving forward to modern times, this belief in the inherent perfection to be revealed is referred to by Dr. Richard Cabot, former Dean of Harvard Medical School, who said: "The body simply has a super wisdom which is biased in favor of life rather than death, and which is ten times as powerful as medicine's initiation. What is this powerful force? It is God, the power upon which all of us depend in order to be here today. I earnestly recommend to the medical profession to let the patient know of this great force that is working within him, working on the patient's side, working on the doctor's side. It does the medical profession no good to avoid the word "God," why not teach people the truth?"c
Charles Fillmore wrote: "The healing word is not a special creation to meet an emergency. The word goes forth and establishes that which is. It does not heal anything--in its perfection there is nothing to heal. Its office is to behold the perfection of Being."d
2. A WILLINGNESS TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
2. A Willingness to Take Personal Responsibility.
New Thought Minister David Owen Ritz: "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free -- but first it will really tick you off!"e (And in the original quote the word wasn't "tick"!)
Because, first we have to take responsibility.
Metaphysicians often turn to Louise Hay for guidance on the cause of illness. She has a whole chart of illnesses and their mental causes in her book Heal Your Life.
In taking responsibility, we can get into trouble by blaming ourselves for our illness. What did I do to create that?
We often wonder what we did wrong when such things occur in our lives, feeling guilty, thinking we did not "get it right." We ask why we fell, got cancer, caught a cold, had a toothache. The question "Why?' can have the nagging inference that we did something wrong.
As we become more conscious of the connection between our emotions, our living habits, and our bodies, we may even add derogatory judgment to the process.
We run the risk of moving from taking no self-responsibility to blaming ourselves.
We feel that if we were more conscious, more spiritual, then this "bad" thing would not have happened, that there was something we should have done better. We feel it is our fault. This is self-disparaging judgment.
Balanced and conscious assessment of an experience is helpful. It is important to connect our thoughts and feelings with our actions and our body. It is valuable to ask questions. However, being unduly critical or shaming ourselves keeps us looking back at the past.
We can find the benefit, lesson or plan of action without this type of judgment. Rather than assessing blame, we can look for what will bring the desired movement, the shift, the healing.
We also can feel guilty if we use a doctor or need a surgery or a prescription. But, we must remember that we can only manifest at the level of our spiritual understanding.
Since our spiritual understanding is not sufficient to enable us to mentally set bones, we call in a surgeon; since we cannot walk on the water, we take a boat. We can go only as far as our spiritual knowledge takes us. Principle is Infinite, but we shall demonstrate Its power only at the level of our concept of It. . . . If we had the understanding that Jesus had, we would be able to walk on the water.
A priest, a rabbi, and a New Thought Minister decided to go on a fishing trip together. They went down to their local lake, rented a boat, and went out on to the lake for a day of fishing.
As the afternoon approached, the trio got hungry - and realized that they left their lunches on the shore of the lake. So, the priest got out of the boat, walked across the lake, got his lunch, walked back, and sat down ... beginning to eat his lunch.
"You should have gotten all of our lunches!" scolded the New Thought Minister, so she got up, walked across the lake, picked up her lunch as well as the Rabbi's, walked back across the lake, and sat down, handing the rabbi his afternoon meal.
The rabbi at this point is almost out of his mind, his eyes wide with shock. Finally, he manages to sputter.. "Wha.. what... how did you...?"
The priest grinned at the New Thought Minister, nudged her, and whispered "Do you think we should tell him about the rocks?"
To which the New Thought Minister, with a raised eyebrow, replied "What rocks?"
If we had the understanding that Jesus had, we would be able to walk on the water. Someday one will come along who knows how to walk on or over water. [Until then], . . . If a plaster will relieve, use it. If a pill does any good, take it, but gradually try to lead the thought from where it is into the higher realms of consciousness where the soul recognizes its own I-Am-ness.
One of the best questions that can be asked is:
How can I bring myself back to what I know to be true -- that I am whole, I am safe, I am a perfect manifestation of the Divine? How do I get to that understanding again?
Remember, a higher idea always heals a lesser one -- and that's where our disciplined thinking comes into play.
3. DISCIPLINED THINKING
3. Disciplined Thinking.
Our thinking profoundly affects our physical state of being. This is no longer just a religious or spiritual belief.
Article in July 29, 2002, Arizona Republic: "Optimism may lead to long life, study says."f
Think positive; it could postpone death. The latest study confirms previous research and found an even greater impact. According to the findings, research subjects with positive perceptions of their aging processes lived an average 7-1/2 years longer than those with a negative self-perception.
The 600 people studied were age 50 or older at the time of original questioning in 1975 by Miami University researchers in Oxford, Ohio. They were asked a variety of questions, five of them relating to aging -- questions such as, "As you get older, do you believe you are less useful?" AND "As you get older are things better, worse or the same as you thought they would be?"
More than two decades later, scientists analyzed the answers to those questions. Then they compared the answers with death records to see how long the subjects lived. The researchers controlled for factors such as overall health, age when surveyed, loneliness, gender and socio-economic status. Taking all this into account, it was statistically verified that people's perception of aging predicted the length of their lives.
How or why that worked is another matter. Researchers could not attribute it to a single psychological or biological mechanism.
That's because first it's a spiritual mechanism!! As the Bhagavad Gita says: "Curving back within myself, I create again and again."g
A positive mind set -- which is really a mind set focused on the Spiritual Truth, has a positive effect on our physical being.
Regarding your physical wellbeing, here's a vitally important question: Can you afford the consequences of your thinking?
We can, however, change our thoughts much faster than our bodies. Being far denser in its composition than thought, the body may be slower to catch up. This is good news and perhaps bad news. The good news is that it allows us to recognize and interrupt the thoughts that may create difficulty.
The bad news is that it also accounts for why, when we have understood and corrected an unhealthy pattern, the physical change doesn't appear to immediately follow. The body is slower to respond and that is why the repetition of visualization and relaxation is necessary to break the pattern and alter the physical situation. Remember, Myrtle Filmore! She did her mental work for two years before she saw a physical healing.
We can become discouraged and give up quickly. Not seeing immediate results, we abandon our practice and settle back into fear or despair or complacency. This is rather like committing to take a car trip from California to New York but upon becoming lost in Las Vegas, we say, "Oh, it's no use. It'll just turn around and go home."
Rerouting is all that is required to put us back on track no matter how many times we lose our way while changing an unhealthy pattern. The constant rerouting is what unavoidably interrupts the undesirable wave pattern being laid in the body.
It's been said that the Apollo 11 spacecraft was off course 90% of the time during its long voyage to the moon. But the destination was preprogrammed, and the spacecraft kept correcting and adjusting its bearings until finally it reached the moon.
What seed thoughts are we planting?
&149;an ability to look beyond appearances and see the Spiritual Truth of ourselves,
&149;a willingness to take personal responsibility and
&149;a discipline in our thinking.
Born within you is inherent wholeness. See that! Know that!
Take responsibility (not blame) for you own experience calling in all the support you need.
Be disciplined in staying with knowing your spiritual truth.
This, my friends, is the wisdom of healing!
Myrtle Fillmore used this process to heal herself of TB. So let's end with her method of prayer and faith:
Tell the life in your liver that it is not torpid or inert but full of vigor and energy. Tell the life in your stomach that it is not weak or inefficient but energetic, strong, and intelligent. Tell the life in your abdomen that it is no longer infested with ignorant ideas of disease put there by yourself or doctors but that it is all alive with the sweet, pure, wholesome energy of God. Tell your limbs that they are active and strong. Tell your eyes that they do not see of themselves, but they express the sight of spirit and that they are drawing on an unlimited source. Tell them they are young eyes, clear bright eyes because the light of God shines through them. Tell your heart that the pure love of Jesus Christ flows in and through its beatings and that all the world feels it's joyous pulsation.
Now go to all the life centers in your body and speak words of truth to them, words of strength and power. Ask their forgiveness for the foolish, ignorant course that you had pursued in the past when you had condemned them and called them weak, inefficient, and diseased. Do not become discouraged at their being slow to wake up; keep right on both silently and aloud declaring words of truth until your organs respond. Tell them that they are free, unlimited spirit and they are no longer in bondage to the carnal mind; they are not corruptible flesh but centers of life and energy omnipresent
I now ask the Father to forgive me for taking His life into my body and using it so wastefully. I promise Him that I will never again restrict the free flow of that life through my mind and my body by any false word or thought; but I will always bless it and encourage it with true thoughts and words in its wise work of building up my body temple. I will use all diligence and wisdom in telling it just what I want to do
I will become very watchful as to what I think and say. I will not let any worried or anxious thoughts into my mind. I will stop speaking gossipy, frivolous, petulant, or angry words. And let a little prayer go up that Jesus Christ will be with me and help me to think and speak only kind, loving, true words and I am sure that he is with me because I am so peaceful and happy now. Amen
bCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
cDr. Richard Cabot, former Dean of Harvard Medical School
dCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
eDavid Owen Ritz
fArticle July 29, 2002, Arizona Republic