How To Stay Well
by Christian D. Larson
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In How To Stay Well, author Christian D Larson argues that any disease comes from the violation of one or more of the laws of life. And, therefore, it can be cured only by bringing mind and body back again into harmony with those laws that have been violated. Mr Larson presents a complete and practical system of life, through which the new view of health may be realized. It is a system that will enable anyone to get well and stay well no matter what their physical or mental condition may be at the present time.
Chapter 1 - THE NEW WAY TO PERFECT HEALTH
Chapter 2 - THE METAPHYSICAL PROCESS OF CURE
Chapter 3 - THE CURATIVE POWER OF THOUGHT
Chapter 4 - THE INNER FORCE OF THOUGHT
Chapter 5 - RENEW YOUR MIND AND BE WELL
Chapter 6 - HOW THE MIND CAN PRODUCE HEALTH
Chapter 7 - HOW TO MAINTAIN PERFECT HEALTH
Chapter 8 - THE REAL MAN IS ALWAYS WELL
Chapter 9 - REALIZING THE PERFECT HEALTH WITHIN
Chapter 10 - PURITY OF MIND AND BODY
Chapter 11 - THE HAPPINESS CURE
Chapter 12 - HOW TO REST AND RECUPERATE
Chapter 13 - LETTING GO OF YOUR AILMENTS
Chapter 14 - HOW THE SUBCONSCIOUS CREATES HEALTH
Chapter 15 - THE POWER OF MIND OVER BODY
Chapter 16 - THE RELATION OF MIND AND MATTER
Chapter 17 - THE GREATER POWERS IN MAN
Chapter 18 - THE HIGHER CURATIVE FORCES
Chapter 19 - THE USE OF SPIRITUAL POWER
Chapter 20 - HOW TO ENTER THE SILENCE
Chapter 21 - THE USE OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Chapter 22 - STATEMENTS OF TRUTH AND SELECTED AFFIRMATIONS
Chapter 23 - CHIEF ESSENTIALS IN PREVENTION AND CURE
Chapter 24 - PRACTICAL HELPS TO GOOD HEALTH
Chapter 1 - THE NEW WAY TO PERFECT HEALTH
There are many systems of healing, and their number is growing steadily, but there is no single system in existence as yet that is based on all the laws of life.
Disease comes from the violation of one or more of the laws of life, therefore, it can be cured only by bringing mind and body back again into harmony with those laws that have been violated; but if the system of healing employed ignores certain laws it is unable to bring mind and body back into harmony when those certain laws are violated.
Here we find the real cause of failure in all systems. A system that is only physical can produce cures when certain physical laws are violated, but it is powerless when the malady comes from the violation of moral or mental laws. A system that ignores all laws except a few mental laws may produce cures when it is those few mental laws that have been violated, but when the trouble comes from the violation of other laws such a system can do nothing.
It is, therefore, simple to understand that a complete system of healing must not only recognize all the laws of life, but must embody exact scientific methods for correcting all the possible violations of those laws. Such a system must be both physical and metaphysical and must have the understanding of all the laws of life as its foundation. That such a system could cure everything is a foregone conclusion, and that it is possible to formulate such a system every thinker must admit.
There is so much knowledge in the world today on the subject of health that no one ought to be sick any more, but the fact that most people you meet are ailing in some way, proves that this knowledge is not bringing practical results. The cause is lack of system. Therefore, if we can formulate all of this knowledge into a complete working system, and we can, we shall have the privilege of rendering a great service indeed. We all agree that it is everybody's privilege to have perfect health, and when we study the subject carefully we must admit that it is possible for everybody to secure perfect health.
There are no incurable diseases. When we encounter ailments that do not respond to the cures we employ, the cause is simply this, that the methods we employ do not reach the laws that have been violated. But there are methods that can reach those laws. For every ill there is a remedy, because every negative has its own positive, and there is no wrong that cannot be made right. If we have the power to violate a certain law, we have also the power to correct that violation; but we cannot correct the matter unless we understand the law that has been misapplied. Therefore, if our system of healing is to be complete it must be based upon the understanding of every law in human nature, metaphysical as well as physical.
To establish such a system one of the first essentials is to remove every form of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. That truth can come from all kinds of sources and through all grades of mentalities is a fact that we all ought to be familiar with in this age; and when we recognize this fact we will not confine our research to the limits of any one of the regular schools.
Millions of people have been sent to their graves because prejudice has refused to try something else; and thousands are still going the same way every year for the same reason; but there are many ways of doing things, and, since it is' everybody's privilege to live a long life and enjoy health as long as he lives, no person should be left to suffer and die until every possible method of relief has been tried. Those who are engaged in the healing of the sick are not dealing justly with the public unless they are prepared to employ and recommend everything that is known to have healing power; and they are not competent to decide as to what does not possess healing power unless they have made a personal test, or personally witnessed such a test.
We daily hear intelligent and well-educated people declare that there is nothing in this or that particular system of thought; but upon what do they base their conclusions? Prejudice, or the habit of accepting mere public opinion as truth is usually the cause of such narrow views and in the meantime millions suffer and thousands die on account of those views. The fact is that the more we learn, the more convinced we become that there is something in everything, that every system has its virtues, and every belief its latent truth. To find this virtue in every system, and bring forth the hidden truth in every belief, and then arrange them all into a working system for everyday, practical use - this must be our purpose.
Life is too important to be cut short on account of prejudice, ignorance or narrow-mindedness; and the joy of living a large and full life is so great that no one should f or a moment be deprived of its pleasure. The new age demands completeness, the best of everything for everybody, the removing of all barriers, that all truth from all sources may minister to all minds. And when all minds will come together and work in such a spirit, the full emancipation of the race will be at hand, and the coming of a fairer day will no longer be a dream. But it is all possible, and what is possible will surely come to pass.
With this spirit in mind we shall proceed to outline what we consider to be a complete system of prevention and cure - a system that can bring health to everybody.
The Value of Health
To do one's best in life, to fully enjoy life, to get everything of worth from life that life has to give, to fulfill the purpose of life and realize in the fullest measure any aim, ambition or ideal that one may have in view in life, perfect health is necessary.
Perfect health should be sought by everybody and sought with unceasing persistency, but it should not be sought simply because it insures the comfort and the well-being of the individual; it should be sought principally because it is an absolute necessity to the full use and right use of everything that has worth in human existence; and we are here to make the largest and best use of all that is in us.
To fail in health is to fail, in a measure, in everything; to continue in poor health is to continue in a condition where no faculty or power can give itself justice.
To add to one's health is to make it possible to add to one's power, one's worth, one's usefulness and one's efficiency; and to gain perfect health is to gain possession of one of the most important factors in the making of human life all that nature demands it should be.
It is in perfect health alone that man can be true to himself, that he can be true to his work, that he can be true to the race. Perfect health, therefore, is not a mere matter of personal comfort, though that in itself is a great deal. We all have the right to personal comfort to the very highest degree; but perfect health is more, vastly more; it is a necessary element in all the workings of nature; it is an indispensable factor in the great universal plan.
The New View of Health.
We have recently discovered that it is natural to be well; that it is possible for everybody to be perfectly well, and that perfect health can be secured by all through methods that are not beyond the understanding or ability of anyone. In the past we looked upon sickness as inevitable; now we look upon every form of ailment as positively wrong. We do not criticize or condemn the man who is sick; we give him sympathy and practical help instead, as we have no right to condemn anybody; nevertheless we insist that he should know better, and we are making it our personal business to see that he does know better.
The new view demands that no one should be sick at all, that no one should be incapacitated for a moment, that no one should ever be compelled to suspend physical or mental activity on account of ill health; and even more than that, it demands that no one has a right to be sick. And the new view is not irrational; on the contrary, it is based upon the most substantial facts in modern science.
It is not possible to become sick unless one violates the laws of life, which include the physical, the mental, the moral, and the spiritual. But no one need violate any of these laws at the present time nor henceforth, as the key to the understanding of the right use of all natural law is now within the reach of everybody. The new view, therefore, demands perfect health of all; and demands it with the same right as it demands manhood, womanhood, morality, justice, liberty, truth.
The Purpose of This Study.
The chief purpose of this course of study is to present a complete and practical system of life, through which the new view of health may be realized; that is, a system that will enable anyone to get well and stay well no matter what his physical or mental condition may be at the present time. This study will aim to present all the facts known in the science and art of attaining health; it will give due attention to all efficient methods of cure, with special attention to those that have proved themselves to be the best; and will aim to give instructions with regard to the use of those methods that all can readily and successfully apply. It will explain in the clearest and simplest manner possible the real cause of disease, and how every ailment known to man may be prevented as well as cured. And it will aim to carry out this broad and far-reaching purpose by turning the light of exact science upon the whole nature of man - his spiritual and mental nature as well as his physical nature. In brief, this course of study will aim to present sound, thorough and practical information concerning those principles, laws and methods that will, by whomsoever applied, lead to the very highest degree of health, strength and wholesomeness.
The Cause of Disease.
It is natural to be well; therefore, the presence of disease indicates that the human system is not in harmony with nature; and as it is not possible to get out of harmony with nature without violating one or more of nature's laws, we conclude that all disease must come from the violation of natural law; but to refrain from such violation and thereby avoid disease, it is necessary to know, first, what constitutes natural law, and second, what to do to continue in harmony with natural law.
Complete information, however, on these important subjects has not been given in the past. A few of the physical laws of nature have been studied and carefully observed, but little or no attention has been paid to such other laws as might operate in conjunction with human activity. For this reason vast numbers have become sick without being able to arrive at the cause. Living in the belief that they are caring for themselves properly, they could see no reason why they should not remain well, but in caring for themselves they observed certain laws only, while others equally important were ignorantly and completely ignored.
To enable everybody to avoid all disease by living in harmony with all the laws of nature, we must understand the sphere of the natural, so as to include all activity that may transpire anywhere in the world in which we may act, think and live. In brief, we must study and observe mental and moral laws as well as physical laws, because they are all natural laws - laws that are so closely connected with the actions of man that he will either use them or misuse them, as the case may be, nearly every hour of his existence.
The following outline and division of the subject will therefore prove valuable in connection with this part of the study:
(1) Violation of Physical Laws. - We have heard much about physical exercise, but the truth is, that not one person in a thousand exercises his body properly. The majority pay no attention to the subject, and therefore most of their muscles do not receive sufficient exercise, and a large percentage of those who do give the matter attention, overdo it, so that in either case the proper exercise is barely secured. The same is true of breathing. Natural law demands a certain kind of breathing, but there are very few that comply with that demand. With regard to nourishment, we are face to face with the same condition. Foods that should not be taken are taken by the majority nearly every day, and there are very few people who do not eat too much. The other physical laws are misused more or less in the same way. It is readily seen, therefore, that causes of disease are produced in abundance almost daily in the physical life of the average person; but all those causes can be prevented both easily and completely.
(2) Violation of Moral Laws. - The lack of vital energy is one of the chief causes of the ills of man, and all immoral thoughts or actions tend to deplete the vital energy of the system. We have frequently been told that certain things are wrong, but we have not been told why. Therefore, we have doubted the sinfulness of those particular actions. When we find, however, that such actions almost invariably drain the system of vital energy, thereby placing the system in a condition where all kinds of disease may get a foothold, we understand why they are wrong. Whenever we do anything that will decrease or lower the natural amount of vital energy, we violate some of the most important laws of nature, and at the same' time we originate those causes that are responsible for more than one-third of the ills of the race.
(3) Violation of Mental Laws. - To be in harmony with nature, the mind should always be in a state of harmony with itself, and should always be wholesome in its actions and tendencies. To permit mental disorder in any form is therefore a violation of natural law, and it is a well-known fact that mental disorder is nearly always followed by physical disorder. The consequent physical disorder may in many instances be too slight to produce actual illness in the body, but it will in every case interfere more or less with the normal functions of the body. And if that particular disorder is continued, as it usually is, physical diseases will be the final result. To permit such mental states as worry, fear, anger, hatred, envy, gloom, depression, discouragement, dread, anxiety, grief, antagonism, revenge, excitability, and all other mental states of a similar nature, is to violate natural law; and such violation always leads to physical and mental weakness, and frequently to actual disease. To fear disease, to think of disease, to expect disease or to suggest the possibility of disease to oneself or others, is likewise a violation of natural law; and such violation leads to ailment of some kind in the majority of cases. How the misuse of the mind and the entertaining of wrong states of mind may cause disease, is therefore simply understood, and it has been estimated by close observation, that most of the ills of the human race come originally from this cause; but, as is true of all other adverse causes, it can be prevented or removed completely.
Prevention and Cure.
Since all ills come from the violation of natural law, all that is necessary to remove an ailment is to restore the human system to perfect harmony with natural law; and for the same reason all that is necessary to prevent disease is to maintain the human system in continual harmony with natural law; but it is not possible to live in complete harmony with the laws of nature unless we understand them all. To be in harmony with physical law is not sufficient, neither is it sufficient to be in harmony with the mental or moral laws. To continue in perfect health we must be in harmony with all the natural laws, and to restore health we must restore harmony in that particular part of the human system where disorder is found.
If the ailment comes from the violation of mental law, we may employ all the hygiene in the world and the best medical treatment to be secured without securing any results whatever. It is only when we restore harmony and order in the field of that particular mental law that results will be secured in that case. In every case we must know what law has been violated before we can effect a cure, and we must adopt that method that can restore the system to perfect harmony with the law that has been violated. This, however, necessitates a complete study of all those laws of nature that act in the life of man; that is, the moral and the mental as well as the physical.
To prevent disease we must know all those laws so that we may live in harmony with them all. To cure disease we must know all those laws so that we can find the law that is violated and restore order in the very place where order is required. But this need not mean an extensive or complicated study. Nature is simple. Anyone can understand nature. It is only necessary to study the whole of nature instead of fragments only, as we have done in the past; and we shall find that the whole of nature is far more interesting than the fragments, and much easier to understand.
To secure the best results from the application of the many methods presented herewith, the following principles should be observed:
(1) Live a Natural Life. - The laws of nature, physical and mental, should be observed with the greatest of care in all things and under all circumstances. Gain as clear an understanding as possible of what it means to be natural; then make it a point to be as natural as present conditions will permit. Become fully familiar with those laws of nature that operate in body and in mind; then live, think and act at all times in harmony with those laws. Violate no natural law, neither in action nor in thought, but aim to apply more and more of the laws of nature in everything you think or do, and you are on the way to the living of a natural life.
(2) Think Wholesome Thoughts. - Train the mind to think and entertain only such thoughts as are conducive to health, harmony and well-being. Think of the good, the true and the perfect; think of the larger, the greater, and the better; think of the worthy, the strong and the superior; think of the pure, the beautiful and the ideal. Give attention to those things that build, that elevate, that make for a richer state of existence, and create only such thoughts as have a rising, growing and expanding tendency. Give health and wholeness to every thought, by thinking health into every thought. Use the power of thought to produce health and direct every mental action to add to the quality and the measure of health.
(3) Believe Yourself Well. - If you are perfectly well, continue to believe with all your mind and heart and soul that you always will be well. If you are not perfectly well, believe with the same absolute certainty that you are getting well; believe that the conditions you desire are being produced for you now; believe in the possibilities of your own power to produce any condition that you may desire, and make that belief as strong as the limitless strength of your own soul.
(4) Feel Yourself Well. - Aim to live and think constantly in the consciousness of health, and enter as far as possible into the deepest feeling of health; try to feel well at all times, and try to impress that feeling upon your deepest feelings. Permit every feeling of health to sink into a deeper feeling of health until you consciously realize that perfect health that forever abides in the purity, the wholeness, the strength and the divinity of your own soul. Know that perfect health is always within you, always existing in the depths of your real being; then try to feel this perfect health by training yourself to feel health at all times, and by permitting that feeling to enter at once those depths of life and consciousness where perpetual health may always be found. What we feel we express, and what we become conscious of in our deeper life we gain possession of in our external life.
(5) Imagine Yourself Well. - The imaging faculty should constantly picture before the mind the perfect health that is desired. What we imagine we think, and as we think we become. See yourself well in your own imagination and claim the actual possession of what you have thus seen. Know that when you imagine yourself being in perfect health you cause all the powers of your system to produce perfect health. What you imagine becomes the pattern, and the mental workmen always build in the likeness of that pattern that stands out most clearly and most distinctly. Therefore, picture yourself well in your imagination and make that picture strong, positive, clear and distinct.
(6) Be Morally Clean. - Live a clean life both in thought and in action. A clean life means a strong life, and a strong life means health, vigor, endurance and power. Entertain only such states of mind as are clean, wholesome, and uplifting, and encourage only such actions of mind and body as are directly conducive to higher attainments and greater achievements. Be true to the best that you know, the best that you are and the highest that you aim to realize. Train your ambitions to seek that richer life which is found by acting in harmony with purity, and that greater greatness that he alone can reach who has mastered those finer elements that exist in the world of virtue.
(7) Maintain The Masterful Attitude. - In all things and at all times be your own master, think your own thoughts, feel the way you want to feel and act the way you know you should act. Permit no condition in yourself or in your environment to influence your mind or determine your conduct. Know that you can control your own life your own body and your own mind; and be determined to exercise that control for the complete emancipation of every atom in your being. Master yourself for the attainment of better health, greater strength and a higher state of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Know that you can then proceed with all the life and power that is in you, to do what you know you can do.
(8) Have Faith in All Things. - To have faith is to enter into conscious touch with the best that exists in that in which we have faith. We can have faith only in that which is worthy of faith; therefore, to have faith in all things is to live in mental contact with the worthy in all things; and when the mind comes in contact with greater work it invariably ascends, and to ascend is to gain freedom. We always become free from the lesser, or that which we do not want, when we rise into the realization of the greater, or that which we do want. Have faith in your own power to produce and maintain perfect health and you place your mind in possession of that very power. That power is already within you. To have faith in that power is to enter into its very life and action and thereby gain, personally, the possession of it for actual use. Have faith in the perfect health that is in you, and have faith in faith; thus you enter into that health, and accordingly all will be well.
(9) Depend Upon Higher Power. - Recognize at all times the presence of higher power; know that you are surrounded with higher power; that you are filled with higher power, and that this power will work with you in everything you may wish to do. Whatever the condition of your mind or body, know that this higher power can restore all things. Depend upon that power, have faith in that power, enter into the spirit of that power, permit every atom in your being to become alive with the active presence of that power, and complete emancipation will be realized instantly.
(10) Live On The Heights. - All is well on the heights. Go up and live in, the perpetual sunshine of truth, in that smile of God which has the power to change everything. Transcend the world of things and dwell constantly upon the mountain tops of supreme spiritual existence. Learn to work with things and to master things, but live always above things. Ascend to the heights and you take mind and body out of weakness and limitations up into the freedom of greater strength and perfect health. You also refine the entire personality, thus making the personal man a more perfect instrument for the expression of the richer life and the greater powers of mind and soul. Live above conditions. Live in the real, the perfect, the true, the sublime. Live with the Infinite, in conscious unity with the Supreme and feel at all times that you are living, walking and working with God. There is immense power in such a realization - a power that can never fail whatever it may be that we wish to have done.
Before entering upon the study of this vast subject it will be well to note certain important facts connected with this particular field - facts that clearly indicate the nature and possibilities of the new way to health, and that are admitted by all, even the most exact among scientists, in every line of research, who have given this unique subject their consideration. A few of these facts are as follows:
(1) A complete change of mind tends to produce a similar change among the vital conditions of the body, so that when the mental change is uplifting and wholesome, all unhealthful conditions of the body will tend to disappear.
(2) All unhealthful states of mind nearly always produce physical disturbances, which, when deeply felt and prolonged, frequently result in actual ailments both functional and organic.
(3) The restoration of healthy states of mind tends to produce physical equilibrium and improved health, with added strength and vitality.
(4) The functions of the body are aided remarkably by a full and continued state of mental harmony. Most stomachs could digest almost anything if the mind was always in harmony, and the other organs of the body would greatly increase their strength and endurance in the same way.
(5) The fear of a certain disease has frequently produced it; even contagious diseases have been produced through the fear of contagion when that contagion did not exist in the vicinity.
(6) People who are absolutely fearless and who are absolutely certain that they will not catch it, may go where there is contagion and not get it, provided there is a full supply of vital energy in their systems at the time.
(7) The more faith you have in a medicine, in a physician or in a certain form of treatment, the better the results; while if the patient has no faith or confidence in a treatment, or in the one who administers it, it is almost impossible to get satisfactory results.
(8) Emotions that are deep, strong and exhilarating tend to increase the activity and the energy of the vital organs, thereby promoting the functions of the system. Depressed emotions tend to decrease activity and energy, thereby preventing those organs from doing their work properly, and such a condition is frequently the beginning of disease.
(9) Depressing memories tend to decrease functional activity and physical energy, while pleasing memories and exalting or inspiring ideas have the opposite effect.
(10) The attitude of expectancy, if deep, strong and continued, tends to produce the very conditions expected. Those conditions are nearly always produced in the mind, and in most instances in the body, frequently to the fullest degree.
(11) A nervous, anxious, agitated state of mind will prevent digestion, while states of mental sunshine, good cheer, light-heartedness and pleasing anticipation will promote digestion.
(12) Mental states with deep feelings will affect the flow of the juices of the physical system. The flow of any juice, such as saliva, gastric juice, etc., can be increased or decreased at will by entertaining certain deeply-felt states of mind.
(13) A strong, continued desire for health and life will stimulate all the energies of the system, and usually to a sufficient degree to increase permanently the health and the vigor of the body.
(14) When a patient deeply and vitally believes that a certain agent has remedial powers, benefit will be derived from applying that agent, even though it may have no remedial virtue whatever.
(15) When a patient absolutely forgets, through some startling event or other cause, that he is ill, the ailment nearly always disappears for a time, and in many instances disappears permanently.
(16) When the mind lives in the exhilarating atmosphere of an inspiring ideal there is a decided increase in the quantity of mental energy and a marked improvement in the quality. And in nearly every instance, a similar increase and improvement in the physical energies follows.
(17) A new and uplifting mental atmosphere can take the body so completely out of old or diseased conditions as to cause those conditions to disappear completely. The entire physical system is thus taken up out of its usual state into a state that is new and wholesome, and all the elements of the body change to correspond.
(18) To secure something new and something most desirable to live for will renew the life of the body, increase vital energy, stimulate the circulation, bring color to the face, health and charm to the personality and restored activity to the mind.
(19) When the mind enters a deep and perfect calm where it feels the interior serenity and fullness of life, and continues thus for several hours, disturbances of mind or body as well as threatening ailments will disappear.
(20) When you believe that a certain thing is harmful, you will be harmed by it mentally in every instance, and in many instances you will be harmed physically, especially in the nervous system.
(21) The action of the mind for or against any mode of treatment will assist or retard that treatment as the case may be.
(22) When a man works with a definite aim in view, his energy and working capacity will be maintained indefinitely, and hours of actual weariness will be few; but if he works with no aim in view, weariness and exhaustion will come frequently and his working capacity will be decreased from twenty-five to fifty per cent.
(23) A courageous and hopeful state of mind aids remarkably in the overcoming of disease, no matter what the treatment may be.
(24) In functional and nervous diseases, thoughts and ideas can be made direct remedies in every case. And in organic diseases those same agencies can so assist nature as to insure complete recovery; that is, when nature is given a fair chance in all other respects as well.
(25) Nature is constantly at work to keep the well man perfectly well and to make the sick perfectly well. To give nature a fair chance to do this work right is frequently all that is necessary to restore health, but there is nothing in human life that can assist or interfere so much with nature in this respect as the attitude of the mind.
(26) Medicine, or any material substance can produce certain definite effects upon the chemical life of the body; therefore, those substances do have the power to change physical conditions, and accordingly promote cures, when those particular changes are needed for the welfare of the system; but that power is limited, and the change the medicine will produce will depend largely upon the state of the patient's mind at the time.
(27) The attitude of the patient's mind at the time the medicine is taken will modify the usual effect of that medicine. That attitude can and frequently does neutralize the expected effect of the medicine; and in many instances the effect desired by the medicine is produced wholly by the mind through expectation and faith.
(28) Certain kinds of music, stimulated emotions, promise of reward, a new purpose in life, an agreeable change of work, new opportunities, the appearance of greater possibilities - all of these, and scores of similar factors or experiences, invariably increase the activity of the mind and the vital energies of the body.
(29) Through the direct and intelligent use of the mind any physical ailment may be prevented or permanently cured.
Chapter 2 - THE METAPHYSICAL PROCESS OF CURE
There is a belief among many that mental and spiritual healing is produced by some extraordinary or mysterious power, a power that is very difficult to obtain if one does not naturally possess it; but when we understand the power that heals, or the process of cure, we shall find that it is like all other great things, very simple.
All healing is the result of mental change, and the various systems of cure that are being employed are simply different methods for producing the same thing - mental change. The mental change, however, must be towards higher and finer states of thought, or the cure will not follow. And here we find the reason why spiritual and metaphysical systems of thought are usually very successful whenever they attempt the art of healing. The same is true of the various systems of optimistic suggestion. Any suggestion that can produce an elevating change of mind will produce a cure whenever such a change is made, and this is true even though the system of suggestion employed may not be exactly scientific nor possess a complete understanding of the truth.
The beneficial results that come from going away for your health are produced through the same law - mental change. New scenes, new associations, new experiences, etc., produce new impressions upon the mind, and these, if deeply enjoyed, will change the mind. When one expects to regain his health by going away, the results are usually better, because the change of mind produced will have health in view, and whatever the mind has in view it always tends to produce.
Our thoughts are created in the likeness of those ideas that are uppermost in consciousness; therefore, if health is the predominating purpose, the conditions of health will naturally be instilled into every thought. In some instances, however, a change of scenes does not produce a change of mind, the reason being that the person either lacks impressibility or the new scenes lack impressiveness.
The physician who sends his patients away for their health is simply giving them metaphysical treatment without the name. The real object is to get the patient away from his present state of mind, and anything that will accomplish this can produce a cure; but it is possible to get away from your present state of mind without taking a journey to some other country, and it is usually more convenient. Until recently people have depended upon a change of environment to produce a change of mind, but we are now learning to change our minds in any way that we like, regardless of the environments in which we may be placed.
We are beginning to become masters over ourselves, and we are learning to so live that external conditions will not control us any more. We have discovered that we can change our own minds whenever we like, and in any way that we like; also that mental changes produce physical changes, and that we may be completely transformed through the renewal of our minds.
The secret of all healing and all changes in body, mind or personality is thus revealed, and instead of being a mysterious power, is simplicity itself. It is not something far beyond our reach, but a power that we are using more or less daily simply the power to change the mind.
Since any change in the human system can be produced through the proper mental change, our leading purpose in this connection will consequently be to find the best methods for producing such changes, and we shall not have to search far nor wide to find the methods desired. The first principle to learn is, that every mental change must be subconscious; that is, the change must be a change of the heart or no change in life will follow. The thought of the heart is the thought created in the subconscious, and as the subconscious thought is the only thought that produces effects in the system, we understand readily why the change must be subconscious.
Every idea or belief that is impressed upon the mind in deep feeling will enter the subconscious. Therefore, every effort to change the mind should be made in deep feeling. The fact that feeling plays such an important part in this respect, proves why impressionable minds respond the most readily to those systems of healing that are based on mental change. It also explains why emotional and religious systems are so very successful in healing whenever they attempt this fine art. Emotional methods, however, do not always produce permanent results, while those results that come from deep metaphysical systems are nearly always permanent.
The best system of healing would consequently be a system wherein feeling and intellect were combined, where the emotional was employed to give speedy mental change, and the metaphysical employed to establish those changes permanently.
To produce mental change, three different factors may be employed; first, new impressions from without; second, new ideas formed through the usual intellectual process; and third, new states of consciousness. Those impressions that come from without will at times produce decided changes in the subconscious mind, though as a rule they simply divert attention so that you will not think about your ills. This is important, however, because so long as you think deeply about your ailments you impress them more deeply upon the system and make matters worse. But when you stop thinking about the trouble, nature will have a chance to restore harmony and health without being interfered with.
When attempting to produce new ideas through your own independent thinking, it is well to remember that the most wholesome ideas are always those gained from thinking about the real, the absolute and the perfect; in other words, metaphysical thinking is the most wholesome, provided it is truly metaphysical and not speculative; and all metaphysical thinking will be true and wholesome that is based upon man's highest understanding of the ideal.
To produce a change in consciousness, various methods may be employed. Anything that touches the inner life, such as good music, words of inspiration, higher mental experiences, growth and ascension in soul life and similar mental attitudes, will produce new states of consciousness.
If the attention of the mind is centered upon health, while the change of consciousness is taking place, the mental change that follows will always have a tendency to produce better health. A change in consciousness is always the most decided change and should therefore be sought in preference to any of the others. And the reason is because such a change affects directly the real life and action of the mental forces; and these in turn affect the chemical life of the physical system.
A chemical change in the system is always required before health can be restored, and it is upon this principle that medicines aim to work; but it has been thoroughly demonstrated that the subconscious forces of the mind can produce chemical changes in the body with far greater rapidity and certainty than any drug taken into the system. And what is important, subconscious changes will be correct changes, while too often medicines produce the wrong chemical change, thus making matters worse. In many instances medicines produce no chemical change in the system whatever, and there is no cure unless the patient has sufficient faith in the medicine; in that case the change is produced by faith, and it is well to remember in this connection that faith can produce any change in the system that is possible under natural law.
Of all states of the mind, that state usually described as faith is the deepest, the largest, the most penetrating and the most powerful. Since mental change is the real secret of healing, and since this change must be towards the higher, the finer and the interior nature of life, the greatest results in healing would naturally come from that mental process that always moves towards the ideal; and that is faith. Faith is that state of mind that always goes up into the higher and more perfect; in fact, it is not faith unless there is mental ascension into or towards the absolute.
Faith is a normal, upward mental change, and there is no upward mental change possible without faith, because every mental process that will have the power to produce an upward change must be inspired by faith. For this reason faith can never fail, because faith is an upward mental change, and every upward mental change will unfailingly produce a change for the better in the body. When we have faith in anything we elevate the mind. No matter what it is we have faith in, the mere matter of having faith will elevate the mind. The elevating of the mind causes the renewal of the mind, and when we renew our minds we always change things for the better.
Every subconscious action of the mind is a cause; and when the mind is taken up into a new and more perfect state, all these causes will become better and more powerful because they will accordingly produce greater and better effects. When the mind is taken up the entire system is taken up and is taken out into the freedom of the more perfect. The same process tends to produce right mental states, and such mental states are always conducive to good health.
All wholesome impressions formed upon the subconscious will produce wholesome effects upon the system. And all ascending, enlarging and perfecting states of mind, if deeply felt, produce wholesome impressions upon the subconscious. This proves that faith can never fail, because faith is always ascending, always enlarging, always perfecting, and is always deeply felt. "As your faith is, so shall it be unto you," is a strong statement, but we know it to be absolutely true when we discover what faith really is, and what it has the power to do.
Faith invariably awakens the powers of the inner life, and those powers are higher and stronger than the ones that act in the external personality. Those powers, therefore, can accomplish more, and, what is well to remember, they can accomplish anything because they are unlimited. Failure, however, becomes impossible when unlimited powers are at hand, so, therefore, we realize again that faith can never fail.
It has been stated that the ascending change of mind is the secret of all healing, regardless of what the treatment might be, and as there are many ways to bring about such mental changes, our object must naturally be to find the best way; and we find the best way in faith. How to secure faith and how to employ faith will, therefore, become great questions in this study.
Faith comes from having faith in all things and at all times. There is nothing that develops so rapidly with use as faith, and the reason is because the attitude of faith is towards the larger, the higher and the superior at all times. To have faith and to exercise faith is to press on directly to greater things. It is therefore self-accumulative and self-developing, and demonstrates most positively the truth of the statement that to him that hath shall be given.
"I have faith," and "I have faith in faith," are statements that should be employed constantly, and the meaning of those statements should always be deeply felt. Whenever you think of faith or try to exercise faith turn your mind upon the great within, the boundless, and try to feel your consciousness entering into the seeming void with the assurance that it is all solid rock. If your faith has become well developed you will know through your own interior perceptions that whatever realm your consciousness may penetrate, it is only the real and the substantial that will be found. You then realize that you can go out anywhere in the vast mental world and always be on solid ground.
In the application of the laws of mental and spiritual healing the value of such a realization is simply unbounded, because those systems of healing depend very largely upon realizing the reality of the real. When disease is present the system is in confusion; therefore, if the mind can change into harmony by entering into the understanding of that which is ever real, right, perfect and absolutely good, the regaining of health must positively follow. While in the consciousness of absolute harmony we can know neither confusion nor disturbance of any kind, and we cannot be in a condition of ill health while we are in a state where all is well.
The great secret of healing, therefore, is to change the mind from a state of confusion, disorder and false action into a state where the absolutely good is realized to be real, omnipresent and eternal. It is leaving the stormtossed billows of perverted life and landing safely upon the solid rock of absolute truth. And here we should remember that it matters not where you may be upon this angry sea, faith will guide you safely, surely and speedily to the harbor of perfect peace.
To depend absolutely upon faith is of the highest importance, because faith cannot fail. We may fail, but faith never; and the reason why we fail is because we do not take advantage of the highest wisdom, the superior insight and those mightier powers that may be given to us through faith. In this connection we should fully realize that faith is not blind belief; belief may be blind, but faith sees everything. Faith is constantly ascending into more and more light, because faith is the mind growing into the light. When you say that you take things on faith, you really mean that a superior insight has informed you that those things should be taken, and that it will be very profitable in some way for you to do so. When you are trying to help yourself or others, this taking of things on faith will prove to be the one perfect path to remarkable results.
Faith declares that all things are possible, and after making this statement faith proceeds to awaken those greater powers in your larger and higher life through which the mind may gain the capacity to do the very things that faith declared could be done. Faith knows that in the great within there is health in abundance; that the real man is always well and that there is sufficient power at hand to bring this perfect health into positive and tangible evidence in every part of the physical system. Faith not only knows this, but acts according to its convictions.
The result is, that what we took on faith we received through faith, and we found it to be very substantial, profoundly real and absolutely good. What we receive through faith is always good, because faith is the continuous ascension of the mind into the absolutely good. Faith may also be defined as the mind's ascension into absolute truth; therefore, the more faith we have the more of truth we shall understand; and it is the understanding of truth that brings complete emancipation.
"How To Stay Well" by Christian D. Larson
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