by Rebecca Beard
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"Here is a book which is not merely interesting, but of outstanding significance. I believe that it is one of the most important books that has ever been written on the subject of Spiritual Healing. The writer, an American doctor, shows in her thesis the striking influence of the mind over the body. She stresses the importance of positive thinking and expectant prayer. The author has herself been healed of serious heart trouble by a deep faith in God and by prayer -- she is now actively engaged in psycho-somatic healing . . . .This is a book which should be read by every priest and by any layman who is keen to help his fellow-men." - Bishop Cuthbert of Croydon
Rename Your World
Will you consider with me the possibility of creating a new world out of scientific knowledge and accumulated faith? Have we not come to a place where it is necessary to rename and remake our world? Has mankind any longer a choice? Isn't it likely that unless we rebuild our world that it may be changed for us in a most disastrous way? Then the rebuilding will have to be done later and with rubble.
Perhaps we would do well to face some of these questions and think on these things. Students of the New Testament tell us that this remaking and renaming of our world is part of the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are tremendous issues at stake, and it is our belief that the Master would arouse us from our inertia, and lift us from our indifference, calling anew with the words He used of old those words of power and positive, dynamic force.
We have not yet begun to live the things that He taught. We have not yet begun to scratch the surface of the things that He told us were true. We have not begun to believe the promises that He made. He said, “Greater things shall ye do if ye abide in me and my words abide in you.” Yet we are afraid to step out on that. We are afraid even to mention it. We are afraid to say to people, “Believe and hear this dynamic message.” Why are we afraid? Of what are we afraid? Afraid that we cannot live up to the promises or that belief? Afraid of ridicule? Afraid that someone will say, “It does not work”? Afraid they may say, “They prayed for this one and that one and it did not do any good”?
Is that what you fear? Why should we fear? Jesus prayed for the lepers and not all of them were healed permanently. All were healed at the moment, but not all remained healed. Do we say that this was because His power was not great enough in each instance? Did He fail? Did God fail? Did God's love not come through to all of them alike? What then does fail? We, the children of God, fail.
We must learn to live these things that He taught if we are going to live at all. We shall have to learn how to talk because out of the mouth comes our fulfilment or our destruction. The tongue is a powerful organ. The heart which in the Old Testament was not called the subconscious mind because they did not know that word then, was the source of man’s conscious action. Wasn’t it the subconscious mind that was meant when they said, “Out of the heart the mouth speaketh”? “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life”? It is that which is in the subconscious, deep down in our belief, that comes forth and causes us to act as well as speak. “By thy words thou shall be condemned; by thy words thou shalt be justified.”
It is only when we have trained and disciplined the heart or subconscious, with positive thoughts and actions that our world will become positive and we can step up on top of the negative things that surround us and threaten us with destruction. Only then can we move out into that high place of knowing which belonged to Jesus Christ.
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These are not easy things to teach. People are filled with prejudices--they have certain teachings against which they have formed a feeling of dislike. That is a pity because many of these things are part of our Christian tradition, and we should not have lost them. We have allowed ourselves to be influenced, and we have learned a language of frustration and negation.
I have a little phrase, “Take a vacation from negation.” Try it for a day. See how many times you correct yourself when you make some claim that is not positive. If we are to abide in the words of Jesus Christ, and His words are to abide in us, then the words we speak must be positive words, for He spoke no negative words. His words were always words of action. “Go,” “Behold,” “See,” “Stretch forth thine hand,” “Arise,” “Walk.” Always they were dynamic words of power and action. They were never theoretical.
Never but once did He touch on anything that was not positive and it seems as though that incident was either not fully understood or not correctly reported. I allude to the parable of the fig-tree. Is it conceivable that the Master should have destroyed the fig-tree because it bore no fruit? Was Christ not saying in essence to His disciples, “Look, I will show you that this law which we have been studying and which I have been demonstrating day after day will work in reverse. It will work for the negative as well as for the positive. I can curse this fig-tree and it will die. When we come back this way tonight it will be dead.” And it was.
Yes, the law will work in reverse, just as an automobile will go backward as well as forward under the same power when the gears are reversed. That which you magnify tends to magnify or destroy you. We make our world what we name it. We make our life what we name it though some do not yet know this. Jessie Rittenhouse puts it,
We claim what we want and we get what we claim. When we hear this for the first time it offends us because it brings the burden of guilt directly upon ourselves. When men no longer have a personified power of evil to blame what will they do? If we take the devil out of the picture and do no have him there to carry our alibis we will have nothing behind which to hide. We have always hidden behind the idea that there is an evil power working against the power of good, and because of that other power it is impossible for us to be free to live always in the light of God's Love. Because men have felt that they were subject in some degree to this second power it seemed impossible for them always to do the constructive thing. Hiding, they were not willing to face the issue.
Today we must return, or perhaps, come for the first time to the belief in one power, and that power God, or good. There can be no other. We are told throughout the Bible that we should have no other God before Him, yet man instinctively brings evil forward and thinks of it in terms of equal power with good.
It is true there are inversions of good. It is true there are many things which seem to us to be directly the opposite of good. And they are. They are complete inversions of good, but they are still the same power operating. They are that power working in reverse. We are but seeing the negative aspect, as we see the negative and positive expressions of electricity. We know there are not two powers just because we see two expressions of it. We know if we cross the negative pole we will be hurt. The negative pole represents evil, the opposite of the positive pole, or good. As a rule we believe it is only when we touch or cross the negative pole, or evil, that we are hurt. But on reflection we know that if we cross the positive pole we will be hurt, also, even though the positive pole represents good.
I don't suppose there is anything which brings us such great suffering as a wilful disregard of Divine guidance when we refuse to move with the current of Divine wisdom and deliberately move against that current. We cross the positive pole and we suffer and it is not evil that has caused the suffering. We cannot break God's laws any more than we can break the law of gravity when we step out of a second-story window. We disobey God's laws, we don't break them. In disobeying them they break us. The things which befall us are the things which we, not understanding, bring upon ourselves. One of the things which we have least understood is the power of our words. We have bound ourselves by the chains of our own beliefs.
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Think of the things that we say! Think of the beliefs under which we labour!
The common belief is that if you run into the path of a germ you are bound to have the infection which that germ produces. Perhaps we even go out of our way to meet it on its path, for we say, “We catch” a cold. I would not ask you to believe that germs are not real. They are more real to many people than God. We have made a god of science to the extent that we almost worship the laws of science, and believe in them more firmly than we believe in the laws of God.
The germs, like the poor, are always with us, but the germs are accessories after the fact. If the germ were the primary offender no one would escape. An epidemic would take everyone in its path and no one would be spared. But that is never true. Even in the Black plague of the Middle Ages not everyone succumbed. There were always those who were immune. What gave them that immunity? It was not always those who were blessed with great physical vitality, for some of the strongest were taken. It is not only an immunity of the body. Is it not perhaps an immunity of the body through the spirit? The immunity lies in the consciousness lifted beyond the laws of the material world. It is moving our of a lower dimension into a higher dimension in which the laws of the lower dimension no longer apply.
Physical science itself is bringing us the answer, and it is the same answer Jesus gave us. It is the answer which Jesus taught and lived. It lies in the discovery of the laws of wave mechanics; the laws of the sub-atomic world. In speaking of these in his book, The Road to Reason, Lecomte du Nuoy writes, “We must establish the continuity between the two universes (atomic and sub-atomic) that are still separated; the universe of the molecules..... and the underlying universe of electrons, protons, and neutrons, indisputable base of the first, but subject to different laws.”
The two worlds of which Jesus spoke, one visible and the other invisible, are subject to different laws. “Blessed are the ears,” wrote Thomas à Kempis, “that hear the pulses of the Divine whisper and give no heed to the many whisperings of the world.”
Some of us are no longer disturbed by the idea of infection because we know there is a higher law of immunity than lower one of infection. We do not deny the law, but we deny that we need to come under it. We are not dealing with negatives. We are dealing with positives, and therefore have no fear. Having been a doctor of medicine and knowing the fixity of general conviction about the power of germs, it amazes me to see how rapidly the world is accepting new light on this subject. We do not repudiate the laws of hygiene. We obey them, but we call upon a higher law for our immunity from them.
To claim something for yourself that you do not want seems to be the height of human folly. If one wishes, for instance, to be strong, why neutralize that desire day after day by affirming weakness? I borrow this paragraph from the book of a friend,
"One girl in particular I remember--a lovely personality--yet one who chose to grow in instead of out. In the ever narrowing circle of her thought, she became as a record, over and over repeating almost automatically the same phrases ‘I can’t,’ ‘Not strong enough,’ ‘Life is so difficult,’ ‘The Doctor says,’ ‘l never could,’ ‘Mother always told me,’ ‘I have done all I could.’
“It is distressing to watch anyone succumb to the dictates of the imprisoned ego. The constant repetition of destructive phrases leads to exaggeration, to a strengthening of trouble, and usually to greater difficulties. We may long to sweep away these impediments, but the sad thing is that another can seldom sweep them away or lift them out of a life with any enduring effect. The owner must cast them out herself as she awakens to the value of life with its possibilities of achievement.”
Thomas à Kempis wrote, “Know that the love of self doth hurt thee more than anything else in the world. With it everywhere thou shalt bear a cross. If thou seekest thine own will and pleasure thou shalt never be quiet nor free from care, for in everything something shall be wanting.”
What were the demons that Jesus always spoke about, and ordered to come out of people? Do you think they were disembodied spirits that had come in and possessed them? Whether disembodied spirits or obsessions they were very real. When you correlate His attitude towards disease with His command to the demons you begin to have an inkling of what those demons might have been.
It is fascinating to study His attitude toward disease. When He went to Simon Peter’s home and the wife's mother lay with fever, He rebuked the fever. He did not rebuke the woman. His attitude was something like this, “How dare you be here?” “How dare you come into this body?” “You are out of place. You do not belong here.”
In this same way He commanded the demons to come out of them and never enter them again. Was it a demon of belief in a power which could hold a child of God in bondage that he rebuked? Was it this which he commanded to “come out”? Did He not say that He wanted to show us the truth that would make us free? He not only lived it, but He died for it. What was this truth? Was it not the truth of the existence of one illimitable power, greater than all others? This power was certainly the power of love, and He taught us that if we abide in that love, speaking the words of love, then everything about us would swing into the harmony and rhythm of life.
When you speak only words of accord, harmony and love, then the power of Divine love flows through you constantly, renewing you. As we give more and more of ourselves we become more deeply immersed in the universal life, and we are constantly renewed as was the milk in the pitcher which the herdswoman set before the gods of Olympus as they walked upon the earth. Each time they drank from the pitcher it was refilled. It is when we speak words of disharmony, discord, hate and resentment that the strength and vitality go out of us.
We need to watch and pray, and watch what we pray. We need to watch what we say even when we are not praying. Most of us have learned not to hate or be resentful. We have learned not to be angry or hold envy. But we have not yet learned to say positive words about ourselves and our world. We have not yet learned that it is unwise to claim things we do not want.
“But,” you say, “I cannot lie to myself. If I have a pain I have a pain.” That is true. But it is true, also, that you need not lie to yourself. You can tell the truth to yourself, and the truth is that as long as you claim the pain or the limitation of weakness it is not likely that any power can overcome or help you to overcome it.
If you do not want the negative you must claim the positive. The positive is always stronger. When we fully understand the power of words we shall speak no more words of discord and disease, but speak only words of health and harmony. The law of harmony is the law of love, and the law of love is the law of God. The light will always overcome darkness. The darkness can never put out the light. Words create anew. Words of harmony bind together and unite in strength. Words of discord undo connections, disintergrate and tend to destroy. We must choose which we would use, the creative or the destructive law. We must choose this day whom we shall serve. We must choose this day which world we would create for ourselves, the one described in the first chapter of Genesis, or the one described in the second chapter.
What about the question, “Perhaps it is God's will for me to suffer?”
If you believe it is God's will that you must suffer to be disciplined, then that is true for you. But if you really believe that it is the will of God for you to suffer, what right have you to go to the doctor constantly? Have you thought about this? Do you want to seek help to cure you or ease the pain when you think that it is God's will that you should suffer it? Are you not seeking to disobey God's will if this is what you believe?
There are people who believe they must be poor in order to be saintly. Even such a remarkable woman as Muriel Lester gave up a beautiful home to live in poverty in the East End of London because she felt it was a necessary step for her. Kagawa, similarly, thought it a spiritual necessity that he live in the slums and share the lives of the wretchedly poor. For the few these things may be necessary, but for the many it is not necessarily true.
When we learn that in our Heavenly Father's house there is an abundance of everything we no longer seek to clutch our possessions and they no longer have the power to possess us. Then we become stewards of things. They are no longer our masters and we can use them freely. We take, receive and give, and that is right, for in that way no one is bound, no one is held, and we have no fear either of lack of money or the burden of it.
Similarly disease has no power over us except the power which we give it. Are you sure that disease comes to us from God? God knows no iniquity. God knows no inharmony. God is love, kindness, tenderness, understanding and compassion. The Master said, “If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
God is all life. How could life ever create anything less than itself? There is abundant life. This universe is full of life. The primordial stuff of the universe itself is life. What then shuts us off from life? Can it be our negative affirmations and beliefs? Many years ago Herbert Spencer knew that “man is ever in the presence of an infinite and eternal energy from which all things proceed”.
In the middle of the garden of Eden God placed the tree life from which man could eat all that he wished, but he was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest he die. And the serpent told he would not surely die. And he didn't. It only deprived him of the fullness of life.
Try always to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of His love I can do anything.” St.Paul said, "Of myself I can do nothing, but in Christ I can do all things.” Was not Paul at times too busy building churches and establishing a great organisation that he neglected to go back to the source of his power and touch again that Infinite life that would have kept him steady and in perfect health? When he was forced to stop and take to his bed, he would then come back in spirit to that which he knew and the Christ spirit would renew him. We are told that he would arise from his sick bed and continue his tasks to the amazement of all.
Tomorrow, if someone should ask, “How are you?” would you be willing to say, “I am strong in Christ and in the power of His might?” And could you believe it? Most Christians art so pussyfooted it is quite pitiful. They wouldn’t want to make such a statement.
Yet here we stand with the greatest power in the world and the greatest promises that could be given to man. Here we stand with a future before us filled with the things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard; things already prepared for them that love God, and we hesitate because we think someone might think us queer. Try for one day to see only positive things. Try not to make one single claim that does not ring with the positive note of Jesus’ own words, and others shall see in you a new radiance, and it will manifest in your body.
The early Christians had shining faces filled with wonder and glory. They dared not walk abroad in the day for fear of being picked out from the crowd and sent to the arena. Where has that glory gone? Why have we lost it? Who has taken it? Who has robbed us of our heritage? No one but ourselves. We are the thieves and the robbers. We are the guilty ones.
Oh, beloved, as never before let us pray in these days of the world’s need for the courage and strength to speak words of command, backed by the love and authority of Christ. We have nothing of ourselves. For did He not say of Himself He could do nothing that it was the Father who worked through Him? So in that name, and in that authority, and with the power of the Holy Spirit behind us, we should be able to say to men and women, “Arise and walk,” “Stretch forth thy hand and be whole.”
Did He not imply there was nothing gone, destroyed, neither dead in that body? Remember the physical body will not tolerate anything in it which is dead, not even a splinter. The body will get it out. Anything you eat that doesn't belong must come out immediately. The body may, under extreme conditions, encase the foreign matter in a wall or sac so that it cannot be free in the blood-stream to cause trouble, but the living body will not allow anything dead to remain in it. So do not believe that you have dead nerves, dead cells or dead anything. They may be dormant but they are not dead. They may be only five per cent. awake, but they are alive, and because they are alive they can be more alive.
With the touch of the divine life moving through the cells they come into quickened life. Did He not give us authority to say to these dormant cells, as He said to Jairus' daughter, “Come alive,” “Come awake,” for they are not dead but sleeping?
When a crooked back straightens, when seemingly paralysed muscles suddenly take on new strength, either through prayer, the spoken word, or the healing hand, we see God's power manifesting. When we see a woman with a paralysed arm held tightly to her side suddenly able to lift it above her head we know the power of belief which had bound her was broken by the faith and conviction of those who were praying for her. These are not miracles in the sense of breaking a law; they are the operation of a higher law which has long waited our recognition and use.
Paraphrase Coue’s formula and repeat over and over, “Day by day in every way, in the power of the Christ, I am stronger and stronger.”
Day by day you can rebuild your body. Every cell in your body except the sex and brain cells are replaced every year of your life. Why, then, are they always renewed in the same pattern? Because you do not change the pattern. Why not make a new frame of reference? Make a picture of what you desire and keep it before you, seeing nothing else, for we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds”.
Annette Kellerman was told she was crippled for life and could never do what normal girls do because of a curved spine. She put a picture before her of Annette Kellerman doing all sorts of athletic and acrobatic stunts, and her body built itself into that picture until she became the world's champion swimmer with one of the most beautiful bodies the world has ever seen. Nothing can stand in the way of the human will backed by God's will when used for constructive purposes toward greater and greater life!
One stands before us with arms outstretched. He begs “Come unto Me and learn of Me.” “I will teach you. I will show you all things,” “Let My words abide in you.” If we obey that call then our words must not be, “I am afraid,” “I don't think I can,” “I don't see how.” Too many of us are like the man in Luke vi.6. We sit with a shrivelled right arm forgetting that if we stretch it forth in the Master’s work it will be made whole.
We are afraid to step out, not realizing that no matter how weak or shrivelled that arm may be, once it is stretched forth in His service His power will make it strong. None are ever ready for His ministry in the sense of being adequate. We would never go out if we waited until we were fully prepared. We are so full of imperfections we could not. But we are all made adequate when we go out in the name and nature of Christ. It does not take perfection. Jesus took Simon the unstable, Simon the mercurial, Simon the impulsive, and renamed him Peter, the Rock.
Let Him rename you! Let Him show you how to rename your condition! He can, and He will.
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The things I have written here are embedded in my life and experience. Through them has come a knowledge and a certainty of tremendous healing power available to us today as in the days when Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth. I say them because of the things I have witnessed. They are the reason why I have written this chapter and this book. R.B.
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"Everyman's Search" by Rebecca Beard
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