This is the problem with which all medical practice down the ages has wrestled. In our present mechanistic age we have wandered far to the surface of things and away from the partially true point of view of earlier centuries which traced disease back of the “evil humors” bred and festering in the inner subjective life of the patient. In the evolution of knowledge on every hand we are now on the surface of things (note I do not use the word “superficial”), and the hour has struck in which knowledge can again re-enter the realm of the subjective and transmute itself into wisdom. There is today a dawning recognition on the part of the best minds in the medical and allied professions, that in the subjective and hidden attitudes of the mind and of the emotional nature, and in the life of inhibited or excessive sex expression, must be sought the causes of all disease.
From the beginning of our studies, I would like to point out that the ultimate cause of disease, even if known to me, would fail to be comprehended by you. The cause lies back in the history of the distant past of our planet, in the career (occultly understood) of the planetary Life, and that it has its roots in what is largely designated “cosmic evil.” This is a perfectly meaningless phrase, but one that is symbolically descriptive of a condition in consciousness which is that of certain of the “imperfect Gods.” Given the initial premise that Deity itself is working towards a perfection past our comprehension, it may be inferred that there may exist for the Gods Themselves and for God (as the Life of the solar system), certain limitations and certain areas or states of consciousness which still await mastering. These limitations and relative imperfections may cause definite effects in Their bodies of manifestation – the various planets as expressions of Lives, and the solar system as the expression of a Life. Given also the hypothesis that these outer bodies of divinity, the planets, are the forms through which certain Deities express Themselves, it may be a true and logical deduction that all lives and forms within those bodies may be necessarily subject also to these limitations, and to the imperfections growing out of these unconquered areas of consciousness and these states of awareness, hitherto unrealized by the Deities, incarnated in planetary and solar form. Given the postulate that every form is a part of a still greater form, and that we do indeed “live and move and have our being” within the body of God (as St. Paul expresses it) we, as integral parts of the fourth kingdom in nature, share in this general limitation and imperfection.
More than this general premise is beyond our powers to grasp and to express, for the general mental equipment of the average aspirant and disciple is inadequate to the task. Such terms as “cosmic evil, divine imperfection, limited areas of consciousness, the freedom of pure spirit, divine mind,” which are so freely bandied about by the mystical and occult thinkers of the time: What do they really mean? The affirmations of many schools of healing as to ultimate divine perfection, and the formulation of their beliefs in the real freedom of humanity from ordinary ills of the flesh, are they not frequently high sounding phrases, embodying an ideal, and based often on selfish desire? Do they not constitute utterly meaningless sentences in their mystical implications? How can it be otherwise, when only the perfected man has any real idea of what constitutes divinity?
It is surely better for us to admit that it is not possible for man to understand the deep seated causes of that which can be seen emerging in the evolution of form life. Is it not wise to face the issue and the facts, as they exist for our present realization, and understand that just as man can enter more intelligently into the mind of God than can the lesser mind of the animal, so there may exist other and greater Minds, functioning in other and higher kingdoms in nature which will surely see life more truly and more accurately than does mankind? It is possible, is it not, that the objective of evolution (as outlined and emphasized by man) may (in the last analysis) be only that partial fragment of a greater objective than he, with his finite understanding, can grasp. The whole intent, as it lies hid in the mind of God, may be very different to what man may conceive today, and cosmic evil and cosmic good, reduced to terminologies, may lose their significance altogether, and are only to be seen through the glamor and the illusion with which man surrounds all things. The best minds of this age are only just beginning to see the first dim ray of light which is piercing this glamor, and serving first of all to reveal the fact of illusion. Through the light thus cast, the following truth may stand revealed to those who have the expectant attitude and the open mind: Deity itself is on the road towards perfection. The implications of that statement are many.
In dealing with the causes of disease, we will take the position that the foundational and ultimate cosmic cause lies beyond our comprehension, and that only as the kingdom of God is revealed on earth shall we enter into some real understanding of the general widespread disease to be found upon our planet in all the four kingdoms in nature. A few basic statements can be made, however, which will be found true eventually in the macrocosmic sense, and can already be demonstrated to be true where the microcosm is intelligently concerned.
- All disease (and this is a platitude) is caused by lack of harmony – a disharmony to be found existing between the form aspect and the life. That which brings together form and life, or rather, that which is the result of this intended union, we call the soul, the self where humanity is concerned, and the integrating principle where the subhuman kingdoms are concerned. Disease appears where there is a lack of alignment between these various factors, the soul and the form, the life and its expression, the subjective and the objective realities. Consequently, spirit and matter are not freely related to each other. This is one mode of interpreting Law I, and the entire thesis is intended to be an exposition of that Law.
- This lack of harmony, producing what we call disease, runs through all the four kingdoms in nature, and causes those conditions which produce pain (where the sentiency is exquisite and developed) and everywhere congestion, corruption and death. Ponder on these words: Inharmony, Disease, Pain, Congestion, Corruption, Death, for they are descriptive of the general condition governing the conscious life of all forms, macrocosmic and microcosmic. They are not causes.
- All these conditions, however, can be regarded as purificatory in their effects, and must be so regarded by humanity if the right attitude towards disease is to be assumed. This is oft forgotten by the fanatical healer and by the radical exponent of an idea, finitely grasped and in most cases only part of a greater idea.
- Methods of healing and techniques of alleviation are peculiar to humanity and are the result of man’s mental activity. They indicate his latent power as a creator, and as one who progresses towards freedom. They indicate his discriminative ability to sense perfection, to vision the goal, and hence to work towards that ultimate liberation. His error at this time consists in:
- His inability to see the true uses of pain.
- His resentment at suffering.
- His misunderstanding of the law of non-resistance.
- His over-emphasis of the form nature.
- His attitude to death, and his feeling that the disappearance of the life out of visual perception through the medium of form, and the consequent disintegration of that form, indicates disaster.
- When human thought reverses the usual ideas as to disease, and accepts disease as a fact in nature, man will begin to work with the law of liberation, with right thought, leading to non-resistance. At present, by the power of his directed thought and his intense antagonism to disease, he only tends to energize the difficulty. When he reorients his thought to truth and the soul, physical plane ills will begin to disappear. This will become apparent as we study later the method of eradication. Disease exists. Forms in all kingdoms are full of inharmony and out of alignment with the indwelling life. Disease and corruption and the tendency towards dissolution are found everywhere. I am choosing my words with care.
- Disease is not, therefore, the result of wrong human thought. It existed among the many forms of life long before the human family appeared on earth. If you seek verbal expression, and if you want to talk within the limits of the human mind, you can say with a measure of accuracy: God, the planetary Deity, is guilty of wrong thinking. But you will not be expressing the truth, but only a tiny fraction of the cause, as it appears to your feeble finite mind, through the medium of the general world glamor and illusion.
- From one angle, disease is a process of liberation, and the enemy of that which is static and crystallized. Think not, from what I say, that therefore disease should be welcomed, and that the process of death should be cherished. Were that the case, one would cultivate disease and put a premium on suicide. Fortunately for humanity, the whole tendency of life is against disease, and the reaction of the form life upon the thought of man fosters the fear of death. This has been rightly so, for the instinct of self-preservation and the preservation of form integrity is a vital principle in matter, and the tendency to self-perpetuation of the life within the form is one of our greatest God-given capacities and will persist. But in the human family this must eventually give place to the use of death as the organized, freeing process in order to conserve force and give to the soul a better instrument of manifestation. For this liberty of action, mankind as a whole is not yet ready. The disciples and aspirants of the world should now, however, begin to grasp these newer principles of existence. The instinct to self-preservation governs the relation of spirit and matter, of life and form as long as the Deity Himself wills to incarnate within His body of manifestation – a planet, or a solar system. I have in the above statement given to you a hint as to one of the basic causes of disease, and to the endless fight between the imprisoned spirit and the imprisoning form. This fight uses for its method that innate quality which expresses itself as the urge to preserve and the urge to perpetuate – both the present form and the species.
- The law of cause and effect, called Karma in the East, governs all this. Karma must be regarded in reality as the effect (in the form life of our planet) of causes, deep seated and hidden in the mind of God. The causes that we may trace in relation to disease and death are in reality only the working out of certain basic principles which govern – rightly or wrongly, who shall say? – the life of God in form, and they must ever remain incomprehensible to man until such time as he takes the great initiation which is symbolized for us in the Transfiguration. All along in our studies, we shall be dealing with secondary causes and their effects, with the phenomenal results of those subjective effects which emanate from causes too far away for us to grasp. This should be admitted and grasped. This is the best man can do with his present mental apparatus. When the intuition rarely works, and the mind is seldom illumined, why should man arrogantly expect to understand everything? Let him work at the development of his intuition and at achieving illumination. Understanding may then come his way. He will have earned the right to divine knowledge. But the above recognition will suffice for our work and will enable us to lay down those laws and principles which will indicate the way humanity may gain release from the form consciousness and consequent immunity from the victory of death and those disease-dealing conditions which govern today our planetary manifestation.
We will divide our consideration of the causes of disease into three parts, eliminating from our quest for truth the quite understandable but equally futile desire to apprehend the mind of Deity.
- The psychological causes.
- Causes emanating from group life.
- Our karmic liabilities, the karmic causes.
In all this we shall but gain a general idea (all that is now possible) as to the presence of disease in the human family, and of that to be found also, in part, in the animal kingdom. When this general idea is grasped, we shall have a clearer understanding of our problem and can then proceed with our consideration of the methods which will enable us to handle the undesirable effects with greater facility. Students of the Art of Healing should likewise remember that there are three ways in which healing can be brought about, and that all three ways have their place and value, dependent upon the point in evolution of the subject being healed.
First, there is the application of those palliatives and ameliorating methods which gradually cure disease and eliminate undesirable conditions; they build up the form life and foster the vitality, so that disease can be thrown off. Of these methods the allopathic and the homeopathic schools and the various osteopathic and chiropractic and other therapeutic schools are good exponents. They have done much good and constructive work, and the debt of humanity to the wisdom, skill and unselfish attentions of the physicians is great. They are dealing all the time with urgent conditions and dangerous effects of causes which are not apparent on the surface. Under these methods, the patient is in the hands of an outside party, and should be passive, quiescent and negative.
Secondly, there is the appearance of the work and methods of the modern psychologist, who seeks to deal with subjective conditions and to straighten out those wrong attitudes of mind, those inhibitions, psychoses and complexes which bring about the outer states of disease, the morbid conditions and neurotic and mental disasters. Under this method, the patient is taught to cooperate as much as he can with the psychologist, so that he may arrive at a proper understanding of himself, and so learn to eradicate those inner compelling situations which are responsible for the outer results. He is trained to be positive and active, and this is a great step in the right direction. The tendency to combine psychology with the outer physical treatment is sound and right.
Thirdly, the highest and the newest method is that of calling into positive activity a man’s own soul. The true and the future healing is brought about when the life of the soul can flow without any impediment and hindrance throughout every aspect of the form nature. It can then vitalize it with its potency, and can also eliminate those congestions and obstructions which are such a fruitful source of disease.
This gives you much to ponder upon.