THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 10, August, 1929
(Pages 454-455; Size: 7K)
METAPHYSICAL HEALING DANGERS(1)
MORTAL ills and the needs of the stomach rank next after the instinct of self-preservation among all the subjects which engage the attention of the race. If we do not go on living we cannot do the work we think there is to do; if we remain hungry we will lose the power to work properly or to enjoy, and at last come to the door of death. From bad or scanty food follows a train of physical ills called generally disease. Disease reaches us also through too much food. So in every direction these ills attack us; even when our feeding is correct and sufficient it is found that we fall a prey because our Karma, settled by ourselves in some previous life, ordains that we enter on this one handicapped by the hereditary taint due to the wickedness or the errors of our fathers and mothers. What wonder, then, that the cure of disease is an all-absorbing subject with every one!
All of this has given to the schools of mental and so-called "metaphysical" healing a strong pull on the fears, the feelings, the wishes, and the bodies of those to whom they address themselves, and especially in the United States. It is something like patent medicine. Offer a cure to people for their many ills, and they will take it up; offer it cheap, and they will use it; offer it as an easy method, and they will rush for it under certain conditions. Metaphysical healing is easy for some because it declares, first, that no money need be paid to doctors for medicine; second, that medical fluids and drugs may be dispensed with; and third, that it is easily learned and practised. The difficulties that arise out of the necessities of logic are not present for those who never studied it, but are somewhat potent with those who reason correctly; -- but that is not usual for the general run of minds. They see certain effects and accept the assumed cause as the right one.
The line of demarcation between black and white magic is very thin, but it is quite plain when one sees the art of healing by means of such high forces as are claimed by these schools practised for purely selfish ends or for money in addition. There is danger in it, and all theosophists ought to look well that they do not fall themselves or cause others to.
The great danger is from the disturbances that are brought about by the practice. It is a sort of yoga without any right knowledge of method; it is blind wandering among forces so subtle and so violent that they are liable to explode at any moment. By continuing in the way taught a person actually from the first arouses latent currents of the body that act and react on the astral and physical and at last bring about injury.
A number of fallacies have to be noticed in these systems. Using the word "thought," they say that our diseases are the product of our thought, but they ignore the fact that young children of the tenderest age often have very violent diseases when no one will say they have had time or power to think. Babies have been found to have Bright's disease and other troubles. This is a fact that looms up before the arguments of the mental healer and that never will down. The next fallacy is in the system of affirmations and denials. To assert as they do that there is no matter, that all is spirit, and that there is no evil but that all is good, and that "this my body is pure and sweet and free from trouble," is philosophically and as a mere use of English false in every respect. By these foolish affirmations all relativity is abolished, and we are asked to abandon all proper use of words in order to satisfy those who wish to show that optimism in all things and at all times is the right position.
But regarding it from the Theosophical side, we know that the thoughts of the preceding life are the causes for the troubles and the joys of this, and therefore those troubles are now being exhausted here by the proper channel, the body, and are on the way down and out. Their exit ought not to be stopped. But by the attempt to cure in the way of the healer they are stopped often and are sent back to the place they came from, and thus once more are planted in the mind as unexpended causes sure at some other time to come out again, whether in this or in another life. This is one of the greatest of dangers. It will in many instances lead to insanity.
This is the true ground of our objection to metaphysical healing practices, which we distinguish from the assumptions and so-called philosophy on which those methods are claimed to stand. Much of our misery is due to discontent and to selfishness, and will disappear as we grow contented and whole-souled. Many of our bodily complaints fade away when we have restored the mind to normal action. But this normal action is not secured by bad logic and worse statistics. All good physicians have said that much depends on the mind of the patient, but that does not do away with the necessity for good physicians; it only calls for more sense on the part of the patients.
MR. JUDGE ON THE BHAGAVAD-GITÂ
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(1) Excerpted from the writings of William Q. Judge.
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