Healing in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

 

Paragraphs on the body, illness, healing, transforming suffering, healers, vegetarianism, and spiritual practices for healing

All the experiences which life brings us are meaningful. Let us use our intelligence and learn these meanings. For life is trying to develop that intelligence in us until she can make us aware of the highest meaning of all -- the Soul. (12-Intro, p.2)
The experiences which come to him and the circumstances in which he finds himself are not meaningless. They usually have a personal karmic lesson for him and should be studied much more than books. He must try to understand impersonally the inner significance behind these events. Their meaning can be ascertained by trying to see them impartially, by evaluating the forces which are involved in them, by profound reflection, and by prayer. Each man gets his special set of experiences, which no one else gets. Each life is individual and gets from the law of recompense those which it really needs, not those which someone else needs. The way in which he reacts to the varied pleasant and unpleasant situations which develop in everyday life will be a better index to the understanding he has gained than any mystical visions painted by the imagination. (13-1-46, P)

Introduction

Paul Brunton (1898-1981) is one of the 20th Century’s most well-known spiritual authors. His first ten books, based on his personal experience and research conducted on five continents, awakened millions to the reality and practices of a spiritual life and earned him a world-wide following. In the 1950’s he abandoned his travels and worked in solitude, compiling extensive “notebooks” on subjects relating to the spiritual life.

Brunton, who spent so much of his life seeking for and researching the Truth, did not pursue his quest only for himself. Always present in his mind and heart was the motivation to help all spiritual seekers, especially those who were in need of a contemporary spirituality. In his books he offered a synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophy, distilling the essence of the sacred teachings in an accessible form that is both a deep and poetic expression of that inner being which he calls the “Overself.”

His life was filled by surrender and dedication, patience and practices, studies, travel and research. Much of the time he pursued a totally solitary path. Throughout the world the silence of his heart was listening on behalf of those who sought the deeper meaning of life and who were without the personal guidance that he himself was privileged to receive.

Only a few of his readers had the blessing to meet him in person. Yet all who were open had the opportunity to know him deeply through the communication of the heart, and telepathically through the communication of the mind. Reading his books one can perceive his silent presence and the power of the ideas for which he was a channel.

Today, over thirty years after his death, and over seventy-five years after the publication of his first book, Brunton’s writings remain popular and contemporary, with readers throughout the globe studying his books and living by his ideas. A well-known contemporary spiritual teacher, Jose Trigueirinho Neto from Brazil, said the following about him:

Paul Brunton clarifies, reveals and instructs us with wisdom and precision regarding themes that normally are considered complex… he is a Sage who has turned himself into a totally and completely human expression and verifies in his life and in his being the possibility of attainment for ourselves of such enoblement and self-completion.”

Healing was a topic of great interest to Brunton. Always curious about alternative approaches to health and in the spiritual basis of healing, he approached this issue with a critical mind and with the ability to separate truth from illusion and false hope. The selections in this book demonstrate the value of a thoughtful, spiritually-informed analysis of the topic of health, healing and healers.

Most of the material in this book is taken from the volumes on “Healing of the Self” and “The Body” in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Volume’s 7 and 4i, respectively), which are published in the original English by Larson Publications for the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation. The reader is encouraged to contact these websites for additional information about Paul Brunton, his life, and his writings, including the posthumously published sixteen volumes of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton.

The Notebooks are organized by categories (for example, “Healing” or “The Body.”) Each of the paragraphs selected for this booklet is marked with the appropriate category number and then the section and paragraph number from the published Notebooks volume. For example, the notation 10-2-2 indicates a quote from Category 10, Healing (published as Volume. 7) and 2-2 indicates that the paragraph is #2 in Chapter 2, of Volume 7. If the paragraph was also published in Volume 1, Perspectives the notation is followed by a “P.”

In the name of Paul Brunton’s immense love for humanity, and in the name our eternal love for truth, we dedicate this selection of living, inspired thoughts to you, that it may help you find a bridge between your heart, mind and Overself, and that in reading these selections you may find a pathway to greater health and well-being of body, mind and heart.

Micha-El and Gran (Alan and Beatriz Berkowitz)

[Please note that the information contained here is not intended as a substitute for proper medical care. Donations for these resources help the PBPF to make this material available on the web and in print. Thank you for your support.]


Topics:


THE BODY

ATTITUDE TOWARDS SUFFERING

CAUSES OF ILLNESS

HEALING AND HEALERS

UNIVERSAL LIFE FORCE

MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALING

THE HEALING POWER OF THE OVERSELF

MEDITATIONS AND EXERCISES

  • Healing light
  • Relaxation
  • Harmony

THE PHILOSOPHER’S BODY

VEGETARIANISM


 

THE BODY

A course of spiritual development which corrects the bad habits of the mind and purifies the feelings of the heart but shows no interest in the habits and conditions of the physical body is based on a one-sided concept of man. It is unbalanced. How can it yield any other than an unbalanced and incomplete result? Whether the body is ignored or considered, life must still be lived in its entirety by all human beings. This includes spiritually seeking human beings, and their bodies are still with them whatever they do or fail to do. (5-Prefatory, p. 7)

On this plane, the body is indeed the only medium of our existence and is not to be disconnected from our higher aspirations. A complete and competent spiritual instruction ought not to be so foolish as to neglect or overlook the physical frame of the disciple being instructed, but should see it with its several organs and higher senses as it truly is; that is, as an expression of Infinite Intelligence through which one can gather the experience needed to become fully aware of his relation to that Intelligence. There is another and usually much less considered point of view to this matter: the body contains countless little lives which look to us as their protector and leader and guide, which need and should get from us kindly attention. (5-Prefatory, p. 8)

Philosophic asceticism practices disciplines because it properly values the body, not because it hates the body. Incarnation is an opportunity for salvation. The body is a holy temple. The flesh is a revelation of the World-Mind's working. (5-2-34)

The mystic who recognizes the never-ceasing wonder and divine worth of his body, who accepts it as the stage on and through which he has to fulfill himself and realize his ideal, is not degrading that ideal or falling back into bondage but is actually carrying out the high purpose which is held before man in the cosmic scheme. (5-2-31)

The body (like the soul) gives messages of counsel, warning, or approval to him but too often he does not listen to them, does not understand them, or does not want his complacency (formed by tendencies, habits, and surroundings) disturbed. (5-2-45)

This cleansing of the body, the emotions, and the mind is an indispensable preparatory stage of the Quest. For the advanced techniques, it is a necessary means of clearing the way for the influx of spiritual forces during meditation. Meditation which is not accompanied by purification leads easily to pseudo- intuitions. The aspirant may follow at one and the same time the paths of purification and meditation, or he may place them in their logical order and attend to them consecutively. There is much to be said for both choices, although tradition has usually said that purification should precede meditation. (5-Prefatory, p. 10)

The body is our physical home. Through its five senses we may suffer pain and misery or enjoy satisfaction and pleasure. Therefore it should be well treated and well cared for, kept healthy as far as we can. This is not only a personal need but also a spiritual duty for its condition may obstruct or assist the inner work. (5-2-39)

When a man's health has broken down, nothing seems so important to him as its restoration. It is only then that he really realizes the value of good health. This has been stated from the merely conventional and worldly standpoint. But what of the spiritual standpoint? The aspirant whose health has broken down becomes continually preoccupied with the condition of his body, so that the thoughts and time which he gives to it are taken from the thoughts and time which he could have given to his spiritual aspiration. And when he comes to his meditation periods, he may find it difficult to rise above his bodily states, so that even his concentration and power of meditation may be disturbed by it. For after all, the body is the instrument with which he has to work, and through which he has to achieve his high purpose during incarnation on this earth. This is why systems have been created to lay a foundation of health and strength for the spiritual endeavours of the aspirant. Moreover, if he seeks to be of service to his fellow men, his capacity to serve will be limited by the condition of his health, and may even be inhibited on the physical plane altogether. With good health he becomes more valuable to others but with bad health less so. (10-1-1)

The human body is a part of consciousness, indeed a major part, but consciousness itself is only a part of a larger and deeper consciousness of which we are normally unaware. Yet it is in this mysterious region that the creative origin of the body-idea lies. If the ordinary "I'' cannot make the body keep well by merely holding the thought, this is because the creative power lies in an "I'' which transcends it. The ego which identifies itself with the body thereby stultifies its latent powers. But as soon as it begins to identify itself with pure Mind, certain powers may begin to unfold. Many cases of mystic phenomena, such as the stigmata of Catholic saints, confirm this. (21-5-55, P)


ATTITUDE TOWARDS SUFFERING

The ego naturally and understandably revolts bitterly against calamities which are put upon it by chance, by destiny, or by any other apparent cause outside itself. The quester must not accept this emotion but ought to separate himself from it. In this way he advances at a spurt on his quest. (13-1-5)

If he can bring himself to look upon events when they flow upon him as being intended to elicit his qualities and exercise his powers, and thus give him the chance to cultivate them, he will learn to acknowledge and accept the responsibility of choosing whether those qualities be positive or negative, whether those powers be good or bad. (13-1-9)

Life on earth for us is not to be a goal in itself, but a means to the goal. All its experiences are to be used to shape our character and increase our knowledge and, above all, to bring us nearer the discovery of, and identification with, our Overself. (13-1-21)

If we accept the existence of a higher power behind life and the universe and if, further, we believe that infinite wisdom is an attribute of this power, then, finally, we must also accept life as we find it and as we humanly experience it. (13-1-24)

There is no problem which does not carry within it a hidden meaning, no person associated with us who does not bear within himself a hidden message. As soon as we rise above the level of their appearance, and as long as we stay on that level, the problem shows us the way to solve it and the person plays his true note in the harmony of our lives. (13-1-25)

It requires a strong faith to believe that even in the midst of the direst distress, of the gloomiest hardship, what happens is sanctioned by, and under the rule of, divinely ordained laws and that it has a rational and higher meaning which we should seek to extract and heed. Those who lack this faith bear strain-ridden faces that betray no inner calm. Yet it is only a single step to turn around and start the journey from inner wretchedness to inner radiance. (13-1-26)

The troubles and inconveniences of life do not come to us without the knowledge and sanction of the higher power. Therefore they do not come to us without some reason. (13-1-31)

Whatever difficulties we encounter in the course of a lifetime, we should remember that some reason has put them there: they are not meaningless. But whether put there by our own fault or by other people's fault, or by an implacable destiny, it is usually possible to extract profit from them, at the least, or to get through them successfully, at the most. Through the capacity they draw out, the power they develop, or the discipline and correction they impose, they can be made to yield personal advantage. (13-1-275)

If he works faithfully on the quest, every experience which is essential to his inner growth will gravitate to him, every thing or person needful to his development will be drawn to him, subject to some synchronization with his personal karma. He, on his side, ought to welcome those situations which can be used to strengthen his inner life. (13-1-42)

Every outward experience has its inward benefits, if only we will look for them with ego-free eyes. And this is true even when the experience involves suffering. Behind suffering we may learn to find some lesson to profit by, some purificatory discipline to be undergone, some ignored fact to be faced, or some wisdom to be gleaned. (13-1-283)

Out of this physical suffering he should have learned the lessons of a deep wisdom: first, that this earth is not his home but only a camp; second, that this body is not his true self but only a garment; third, that suffering, disappointment, or discontent is inseparable from earthly life, real happiness is to be found only in the super-earthly life; fourth, that the full force of the mind must be developed by renunciation, sacrifice, concentration, and aspiration so that it can even here to a large extent create an inner life that continues peacefully in whatever state the body may find itself. (10-1-54)

If suffering brings moods of dejection, it is only fulfilling its intention. This is part of its place in the scheme of things, leading to the awareness that underneath the sweet pleasures of life there is always pain. But thought would present only a half-truth if it stopped there. The other half is much harder to find: it is that underneath the surface sufferings which no one escapes, far deeper down than its counterpart, is a vast harmony, an immense love, an incredible peace, and a universal support. (24-1-102)


CAUSES OF ILLNESS

The universe is perfect because God is perfect. But it is for each man to find and see this perfection for himself, otherwise the trouble and tragedy in life may obstruct his vision and obscure his path. (26-1-37)

Wrong thinking expresses itself in the end in wrong functioning of some organ of the body. The nature of the thoughts and the nature of the malady correspond to each other. (10-3-29)

There is a universal order, a way which Nature (God) has of arranging things. This is why what we see around us as the world expresses all-pervading meaning, intelligence, and purpose. But we catch only a mere hint of these veiled qualities - the mystery which recedes from them is immeasurably greater. (26-1-82)

In a broad general division, philosophy finds three causes of sickness. They are wrong thinking, wrong living, and bad karma. But because karma merely brings back to us the results of the other two, we may even limit the causes of disease to them. And again because conduct is ultimately the expression of thought, we may limit the cause of disease finally to a single one of wrong thinking. But this is to deal with the matter in a metaphysical, abstract, and ultimate way. It is best when dealing with sickness in a practical way to keep to the threefold analysis of possible causes. Yet the matter must not be oversimplified as certain schools of unorthodox healing have oversimplified it, for the thinking which produced the sickness may belong to the far past, to some earlier reincarnation, and not necessarily to the present one, or it may belong to the earlier years of the present incarnation. In those cases, there is the fruit of an unknown earlier sowing, not necessarily of a known present one. Therefore, it may not be enough merely to alter one's present mode of thought to insure the immediate obliteration of the sickness. If we shoot a bullet in the wrong direction, we cannot control its course once it has left the gun. But we can change the direction of a second shot if we realize our error. We can continue our efforts, however, to change our first thinking, to get rid of negative harmful thoughts and feelings and thus improve our character. For if we do this, the type of physical karma manifesting as the sickness which they create will at least not come to us in the future, even if we cannot avoid inheriting it in the present from our former lives. Study of this picture would reveal what sickness as a karma of wrong thinking really means and why it often cannot be healed by a mere change of present thought alone. The proof of this statement lies in the fact that some people are born with certain sicknesses or with liability to certain diseases, or else acquire them as infants or as children before they have even had the opportunity to think wrongly at all and while they are still in a state of youthful innocence and purity of thought. Therefore it is not the wrong thoughts of this present incarnation which could have brought on such sickness in their case. Nor can it be correct to suggest that they have inherited these sicknesses, for the parents may be right-thinking and high-living people. By depriving themselves of faith in the belief in successive lives on earth…,they deprive themselves of a more satisfactory explanation of the problem of sickness than the one they have. They say that it was caused by wrong thinking, and yet they cannot say how it is that a baby or a child has been thinking wrongly to have been born with or to have acquired at an early age a sickness for which it is not responsible and for which its parents are not responsible. (10-3-7, P)

The question you ask about the inevitability of ill health on this path needs a page to itself. Generally speaking, there is no such inevitability. Indeed the cleansing of the subconscious mind, the discipline of the bodily senses, and the quieting of the emotional nature promote good health. Where, however, the student through ignorance or through outside factors fails to make certain necessary changes in thought, feeling, attitude, or living--necessary at a certain period for his further evolution--then his higher self forces those changes upon him through upheavals or upsets in his environment or in his body. This is done by sending down some karma. In the latter case it means, of course, illness or disease--sometimes "accident." This covers certain individual cases, but there are many others where ill health is only the ordinary karmic result of earlier transgressions of the laws of physical, emotional, moral, or mental health, and not the result of special Overself intervention. Finally, there is the third group where it is the result of the natural imperfection of life on this earth where everything, as Buddha said, is doomed to decay and perish. Nobody escapes this general law…nor could Buddha himself escape it, as he once explained when he fell ill with fever. Such imperfection is, however, one of the causes which drive mankind to seek a higher life, a diviner better existence; so it is not useless. This earth is not our true home. We belong elsewhere, nearer to God's perfection, beauty, harmony. (10-1-8)

Although we can often find the physical causes of physical ailments, behind these physical causes there are quite often maladies of the soul. Heal the soul and the bodily healing may follow. Obviously there are many cases where no success would result. (10-1-12)

If the mind of a spiritual healer can help to remove disease, it is equally true that the mind of some other person can contribute to cause it. If one's own wrong thinking may be partly or wholly responsible for one's diseases, others who are thinking constantly or powerfully about one may be partly or even wholly responsible for them too. This is the basis of sorcery in the Orient and of witchcraft in the medieval West. (10-3-59)

It comes to this--that much of human disease and sickness is traceable to the faulty functioning of the human self. Learn how to use that self correctly in its physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects and you learn how to prevent or cure part, or most, or even all of your ill health. (Volume 7, p. 2)

Diseased conditions in the human body are often traceable, by a subtle and penetrating analysis, to diseased conditions in the human soul. Medical science deals chiefly with the physical organism, and so long as it persists in regarding only that part of the being of man, so long will it continue to find its theories falsified, its carefully prepared experiments turned into blind guesses, and its high percentage of failures maintained. I might make my point clearer, perhaps, by stating that the body is after all only a sensitive machine, and that if the thinking and feeling man who uses that machine in self-expression is distorted, unbalanced, or discordant in any way, then these undesirable qualities will reproduce themselves in the physical organism as appropriate disease or functional derangements. (10-1-9)

If the change begins in the body's behaviour it may influence the mind to a very limited extent, but if it begins in the mind's thinking it will influence the body to a very large extent. That is the difference. (10-1-20)

People do not understand how their destructive moods, thoughts, and emotions affect the cerebro-spinal system and through that eventually the intestinal organs to the degree of creating poisons within those organs. It is not enough to take care of the diet and to eliminate foods which are harmful to physical health. It is equally necessary to take care of thoughts and feelings, and to eliminate all those which are harmful both to spiritual and physical health. (10-3-67)

There is a corrective purpose in the existence of disease. Any cure which removes the symptoms but fails to correct the inner mental or physical cause of them is merely a temporary expedient, not a real cure. It serves the ego's present convenience. But the future must necessarily be menaced by a reappearance of the same disease, or of a different one which will also express the cause. And this may happen either in the same lifetime or in the next. (10-3-71)


HEALING AND HEALERS

The role of physical treatments of any kind is to supply favourable conditions for the action of the universal life-force which does the real healing work, just as food, water, and air supply materials to this same force for the repair of tissue and the regeneration of cells. (10-2-3)

A wise system of healing would coordinate physical and psychological, artificial and natural, dietary and spiritual treatments, using some or all of them as a means to the end - cure. But as the spiritual is the supreme therapeutic agent - if it can be touched - it will always be the one last resort for the desperate and chronic sufferers when all other agents have had to accept defeat. (10-4-1)

The first principle of healing is to stop the obstructive resistance of the little ego so carried away by the belief that it can successfully manage its own life. The method of doing this is to cast out all negative thoughts, all destructive feelings, and all excessive egoisms. The second principle is to attune the individual to the universal life-force. The method of doing this is to learn the art of relaxing body and mind. (10-2-35)

How few have learned that it is not the quantity of medicine they swallow but the degree of contact with Nature's life-force that they establish which cures their diseases. (10-2-38)

Why should we not unite working on the body by physical means with working on it by the healing power of the higher self? Why not give the latter a chance to repair its own work, since the physical-mental ego is its own projection? (10-4-3)

To pray for a bodily cure and nothing more is a limited and limiting procedure. Pray also to be enlightened as to why this sickness fell upon you. Ask also what you can do to remove its cause. And above all, ask for the Water of Life, as Jesus bade the woman at the well to ask. (10-5-98, P)

We know that a person can worry himself into a state of physical sickness, but there seems to be less acceptance for the opposite idea that emotions and thoughts can also produce healing and not injury. (10-3-43)

The healing does not come from the healer himself; it comes through him. What he does is to prepare conditions rendering it possible for this to happen. But this is no guarantee that the Overself will necessarily make use of them every time. (10-5-116)

Those who are born with healing skills, probably brought over from former births, function on different levels. The commonest is that which radiates life- force and energizes the cells of the sick person. This kind of healer must first put himself into a passive mood and then, when he feels the vibratory force of the life-force active within him, let it pass, with or without touching the patient, into the latter. The vibrations of the life-force are universal; they are not the healer's own personal property. He simply possesses a skill in letting himself be used as a channel, and it is usually concentrated in his hands. A healer like Saswitha, who says he is merely drawing the therapeutic power from his patient and redirecting it or returning it back to the patient, forgets that if this is so the patient himself gets it from the cosmic forces. It is not his own personal property. (10-5-68, P)

Those who approach him with their wish to be healed and their faith in his power to bring it to realization, have still not approached him aright. They must also be willing to have their own contribution to the disease's existence pointed out. They must also agree to rectify wrong habits of living and thinking. If they come only for pleasant words and a successful cure, if they are not prepared to deny themselves or to discipline themselves, he cannot heal them. (10-5-95)

An honest healer can say only that his healing depends on two conditions being fulfilled: the faith of the patient and the permission of the higher powers. (10-5-106)

All healers lose their power after a time. This is to lead them to a higher level. (10-5-90)

It is foolish to believe that there is any particular healing method which has only to be applied for it to be universally and equally successful or that there is any particular human healer who has only to be visited for one to be cured. (10-4-14)

Just as philosophy seeks a full rounded development of the psyche in its approach to spiritual self-realization, so does it seek a full adequate treatment in its approach to the problem of curing sickness. It recognizes that even if a sickness began with evil thoughts or wrong feelings or disharmonious courses of action, these have already worked their way into and affected the physical body and brought about harmful changes in it, either causing its organs to work badly, or introducing poisons into its blood system, or even creating malignant growths in its tissues. Therefore physical means must also be used to treat these physical conditions, as well as the spiritual means to get rid of wrong thoughts and discordant feelings. Both methods should be applied together to make an adequate treatment. Consequently philosophy does not, like Christian Science, deny the utility or necessity of ordinary medical treatment. On the contrary, it welcomes such treatment, provided it is not narrow-minded, materialistic, or selfishly concerned more with fees than with healing. (10-4-2)


THE UNIVERSAL LIFE FORCE

There is a universal order, a way which Nature (God) has of arranging things. This is why what we see around us as the world expresses all-pervading meaning, intelligence, and purpose. But we catch only a mere hint of these veiled qualities - the mystery which recedes from them is immeasurably greater. (26-1-82)

After all and in the end, it is Nature which brought us to birth on this planet. Can we not therefore credit her with the power of restoring the health needful to maintain the lives she has taken the trouble to originate? (10-2-12)

In the moment when you feel that actual contact with the One Infinite Life-Power has been made, draw it into the body and let it permeate every part, every organ, and every atom. It will tend to dissolve sickness and drive out disease. (10-2-60)

This life-force, this invisible energy, is behind and within, around and above the physical body. Under certain circumstances its area can be seen and traced out and its recuperative healing power drawn upon. It forms an aura, the etheric or vital body of light, but not the still more elusive and subtle divine body of Light nor the aura of various colours, the astral body. (10-2-20)

That Power which brought the body into existence originally maintains its involuntary functions, cures its diseases, and heals its wounds. It is within the body itself; it is the life-force aspect of the Soul, the Overself. Its curative virtue may express itself through various mediums--as herbs and foods, hot, cold, or mud baths, and deep breathings, exercise, and osteopathy--or it may express itself by their complete absence as in fasting, often the quickest and most effective medium. Or, disdaining physical methods entirely, it may act directly and almost miraculously as spiritual healing. (10-2-2, P)

There are no miracles in Nature, but there are happenings to which science possesses no key. The human consciousness, for instance, is capable of manifesting powers which contradict psychological knowledge, just as the human body is capable of manifesting phenomena which contradict medical knowledge. Both powers and phenomena may seem miraculous, but they really issue forth from the hidden laws of man's own being. The processes take place in the dark only to us. (10-2-19, P)

After he has felt the divine power and presence within himself as the reward of his meditative search, he may turn it towards the healing of his body's ailments. This would be impossible if he were less than relaxed, peaceful, assured, if either fear or desire introduced their negative presence and thus obstructed his receptivity to the healing-power's penetration. When the contact is successfully made, he should draw the power to every atom of his body and let it be permeated. The cure could be had at a single treatment, if he could sit still and let the work go on to completion. But although the power is unlimited, his patience is not. And so he must treat himself day after day until the outer and physical result matches the inner and spiritual achievement. (10-2-49, P)

What are the "higher bodies''? Just as man has a physical body with which to operate in the physical world, so he has a vital body, an emotional body, and a mental body through which to express these other parts of his nature. This is the teaching of Theosophists, Hindus, and occultists. These bodies survive the death of the physical body, but are reduced to seed atoms when, between incarnations, man passes into a state of happy dreamless slumber. But from the philosophical viewpoint, the "higher bodies'' are simply thought bodies, or, more correctly, states of consciousness. (10-2-22)

Behind, within, and around the physical body there is another and invisible body which we may call the vital body. This is a kind of archetype or pattern for the physical body. On several points they coincide, but not on others. This subtler etheric body comes into existence before actual birth and remains for a while after actual death. During incarnation it is closely connected with the physical body and especially with its vitality, health, and sickness. The part of it which surrounds the physical body and which we may call the vital aura should not be confused with the other and larger aura wherein emotions and thoughts are reflected. During experiments which I made with a group of London physicians before the war, it was found that this vital aura extended for about forty-five centimetres beyond the physical body. When the vital aura was in a devitalized, fatigued condition, there was less resistance to sickness; but when it was energized the resistance increased. The life-force which we draw from the universal life-force enters into the vital body. Resistance can be increased by deep breathing, by exercise, and by imagining the life-force as a white light entering through the head and penetrating downwards into every cell of the physical body. This also helps the healing process in sickness. Not only are the cells permeated by these methods, but they are also purified. (10-2-27, P)

The healing powers of Nature truly exist, quite apart from the medical powers evoked by physicians, but they exist like electricity. To benefit by them we must draw them, focus them, and concentrate them on ourselves. This is done by our strong and sufficient faith, by our own concentration of attention, and by our relaxing and stilling of the whole being. (10-2-29)


MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALING

Spiritual healing must be separated from mental healing, as the former works by a descent of divine grace but the latter by a power-concentration of mind. A cure in the first case will not only be permanent but also affect the character of the patient, whereas in the second case a cure may be and often is (especially when hypnotic methods are used) transient whilst the character remains untouched. In this connection there are some statements in the chapter on "Errors of the Spiritual Seeker'' in my book The Inner Reality. (10-5-3)

What happens during these relaxed moods? The focus of the conscious mind is withdrawn from the flesh and the vital centres, leaving the unconscious mind in sole sovereignty over them. What results from this? The destruction of the body's tissue is repaired, the fatigue of its nervous and muscular systems is removed. The fuller the relaxation, and the soul activity within, the fuller the recuperation. (3-3-67)

The constant practice of identifying himself with the mind rather than with the body-idea which inheres in it, leads in time to a certain freeing of himself from himself. (21-5-26)

Think of yourself as the individual and you are sure to die; think of yourself as the universal and you enter deathlessness, for the universal is always and eternally there. We know no beginning and no ending to the cosmic process. Its being IS: we can say no more. Be that rather than this - that which is as infinite and homeless as space, that which is timeless and unbroken. Take the whole of life as your own being. Do not divorce, do not separate yourself from it. It is the hardest of tasks for it demands that we see our own relative insignificance amid this infinite and vast process. The change that is needed is entirely a mental one. Change your outlook and with it "heaven will be added unto you."(P, 21-5-95)

Spiritual healing does not necessarily follow automatically upon the giving of complete faith. Nor does it necessarily follow upon the voluntary cleansing of the emotional nature. There are other factors involved in it. The place of suffering and sickness in the World-Idea is one of them. For those aspirants who will be satisfied with nothing short of achieving the Highest, the need of transcending the ego takes precedence over everything else, even over the body's healing. (10-5-141)

Spiritual healing cannot be successfully practiced by anybody who has merely picked up its jargon and intellectually familiarized himself with its ideology. It can be successfully practised only by one who has entered into the consciousness of, and surrendered his ego to, the divine spirit within himself. (10-5-122)

It is not the true spiritual healing if it leaves the character and outlook untouched, unimproved. There are other kinds of healing which may relieve or cure one kind of ailment while leaving the person still open to make the karma that later brings on another kind of ailment. (10-5-7)

A genuine spiritual healing of the physical body will always produce spiritual results. That is, it will produce an inner change in the character of the person healed. But when this happens it means that some kind of wrong thinking or wrong feeling is the real cause of his physical sickness. For instance, thoughts of bitterness, resentment, criticism, and condemnation strongly held and long sustained against other persons can and very often do easily produce liver trouble. So long as that kind of thinking and feeling continues, so long will the liver trouble continue. The proper way to heal it, therefore, is to get at the psychological seat of the trouble--that is, effect an inner change. Where spiritual healing treatment influences a man to give up the wrong thinking, so that it leaves him utterly, the physical effects of the change may show themselves suddenly and miraculously or slowly and gradually. Although they show themselves as a cure of a physical malady, note that it first began as a mental malady or as an emotional malady. And if the inner change is an enduring one, the following cure will be an enduring one too. This is the only type of healing which can truly be called spiritual. All other kinds of so-called spiritual healing are merely mental healing or hypnotic healing, and the cure can never be equal in quality or durability. Quite often, they have only temporary results and the sickness reappears because the inner man has been left with all his psychological neuroses uncured. Mental healing and hypnotic healing are not, strictly speaking, healing at all. They are suppression of symptoms, and at the cost of retention of the hidden causes of these symptoms. (10-5-4)

In the case of mental healing there is not necessarily any change at all in the character of the patient. His angers, his hostilities, or his resentments may remain as active as before. His cure simply illustrates the power of mind over body--his own or someone else's mind. It is achieved by faith or concentration or suggestion. But in the case of spiritual healing there is an inner change along with bodily cure. (10-5-5)


THE HEALING POWER OF THE OVERSELF

Those who do not understand the Overself's workings expect it always to manifest--if it manifests at all--in all its naked purity. If they desire healing, they think that the Overself's help can show itself only in a direct spiritual healing, for instance. The truth is that they may get the cure from a purely physical medium, like a fast, a diet, or a drug; yet that which roused them to seek this particular medium or gave it its successful result was the Overself. (10-5-114, P)

The Overself does have the power to heal the diseases of the body by its Grace, but whether that Grace will be thus exercised or not is unpredictable. It will do what is best for the individual in the ultimate sense, not what the ego desires. For the Divine Wisdom is back of everything every time. (10-5-140)

The Overself's power to alter circumstances, create opportunities, and uphold persons is available to anyone who fulfils the requisite conditions. These include some amount of mental preparation and moral purification, some clear perception of the fact that the Overself is present here and now, an instant and constant remembrance of this fact, and finally a willingness to trust completely to its providential help, supply, and support no matter how undesirable or intolerable a situation seems to be. (22-3-61)

To put anxiety aside, which follows naturally when our personal attachment to results and the eager desire for ends are laid aside, is to have the fullest faith that the higher power will take care of our true needs. (24-3-235)

Deep down within the heart there is a stillness which is healing, a trust in the universal laws which is unwavering, and a strength which is rock-like. But because it is so deep we need both patience and perseverance when digging for it. (10-5-97, P)

The sufferer should use whatever physical medical means are available--both orthodox and unorthodox ones. At the same time he should practice daily prayer. But he should not directly ask for the physical healing for its own sake. He should ask first for spiritual qualities and then only for the physical healing with the expressed intention of utilizing his opportunity of bodily incarnation to improve himself spiritually. (10-5-135)

Whatever the trouble be which distresses anyone--be it physical or mental, personal or public, worldly or spiritual--there is one sure refuge to which one can always turn and return. If he has learnt the art of being still, he can carry his trouble to the mind's outer threshold and leave it there, passing himself into its innermost recess of utter serenity and carefree tranquility. This is not a cowardly escapism or a foolish self-deception, although with the un-philosophical mystic it could be and often is. For when he emerges from the inner silence and picks up his trouble again, he will pick up also the strength to endure it bravely and the wisdom to deal with it rightly. This will always be the case if his approach is through philosophical mysticism, which makes inspired action and not inspired dreaming its goal. Furthermore, his contact with the inner Mind will set mysterious forces working on his behalf to solve the problem quite independently of his conscious effort and knowledge. (24-3-278, P)

…it is essential to note that the healer can utter these healing formulae, think these healing truths, either out of his intellect or out of his insight. In the first case his words and thoughts are merely like the map of a country. In the second case they are like an actual visit to the country. The first healer makes an unwarranted claim, does not see that his statements could be truly made only if he attained the stature and purity of Jesus. It is not enough that the patient should have faith; the healer himself must have the requisite higher consciousness. For the divine power which actually effects the healing will not come from his ordinary self but out of this higher one. (10-5-39)

The attunement of one’s mind to the Universal Mind, of one’s heart to the fundamental love behind things, is capable of producing various effects. One of them may be the healing of bodily ills. (10-5-131, P)

If you want to heal a person do not concentrate upon the nature of their disease, or you may strengthen it. Concentrate rather upon the nature of their Overself, that its mighty grace may be released to them. Do not even pray that they will be cured. Pray rather that the power of the Overself's grace may work within them, and do what it will. (10-2-46)

Dismayed by the failure of my physicians' last resort, I was sitting up in bed reading a passage from an old journal of John Wesley about spiritual healing. It quoted a friend as saying: "I could not move from place to place, but on crutches. In this state I continued about six years. At Bath I sent for a physician but before he came, as I sat reading the Bible, I thought, 'Asa sought to the physicians, and not to God; but God can do more for me than any physician'; soon after rising up, I found I could stand. From that time I have been perfectly well."
    As soon as I finished this passage I thought it should be applied to my own case, and laid the book aside. A great mental stillness and inner indrawing came over me at the same time. I saw that all the methods hitherto used to eliminate the disease were futile precisely because they were the ego's own methods, whether physical, magical, mental, or mechanical. I had exhausted them all. So the ego had to confess its total failure and cast itself on the mercy of the higher power in humiliation and prayer. I realized that instead of thinking that I or my physicians were competent to cure the disease, the correct way was to disbelieve that and to look to the Overself alone for healing. I saw that the stillness was its grace, that this quietness was its power. It could best cure me, if only I would relax and let it enter. So I surrendered to it and within a few weeks was healed. (10-5-153)

Unless a genuinely scientific and metaphysical basis is found, it will be discovered, as one famous healing cult has already discovered, that although cures are effected which cannot be doubted, many of these cures are not permanent. The principle which is the key to such healing--if it is to be real healing and not a temporary suppression of symptoms--and which overrides all others, was pointed out in an earlier book (The Inner Reality, also published as Discover Yourself). It is the surrender of the conscious will, the personal will, to a higher power. It is the giving up of ego by offering of your body-problem to the power behind all bodies. The cure is not effected and cannot be effected by the patient himself or by any professional healer who may be employed. It is done only by the Overself itself, which means that it is essentially a bestowal of grace. Now grace is an active force, not a mere intellectual thought or emotional attitude. It is the cosmic willpower, or what Indians call kundalini. This bestowal in turn requires that not merely the body alone be touched, but also the mind. Hence a cure which is genuine and permanent will always involve to some extent a mental re-adjustment, a correction of outlook, even an ethical conversion. (10-5-113)

From the moment that a man begins to look less to his changeful outer possessions and more to his controllable internal ones, he begins to gain the chance for real happiness. When this truth breaks upon the intelligence, he learns to keep his final reserves hidden in his heart. Then whatever happens, whatever course fortune takes, no one and nothing can take it from him. So long as he can carry the knowledge of truth in his head and the peace of God in his heart, he can carry the best of all his possessions with him wherever he may go. Not having lodged his possessions--whether material things or human affections, capitalized wealth or social honours--in his heart but having kept them outside it where they belong, he can remain calm and unmoved when Fortune's caprice disturbs or even destroys them. He has learnt to keep within his heart only inalienable possessions like wisdom and virtue, only what renders him serenely independent of her revolutions. He who depends on externals plays dice with his happiness. He who depends on his own Overself attains unfailing serenity. (24-3-279, P)

Remember that no enterprise or move should be left to depend on the ego's own limited resources. The humble invocation of help from the Higher Self expands those resources and has a protective value. At the beginning of every day, of every enterprise, of every journey, and of every important piece of work, remember the Overself, and remembering, be obedient to its laws. Seek its inspiration, its power. To make it your silent partner is to double your effectiveness. (18-1-54, P)

It is a mistake, however, to turn the higher self into a mere convenience to be used chiefly for obtaining healing or getting guidance, for healing the sicknesses of the physical body, or guiding the activities of the physical ego. It should be sought for its own sake, and these other things should be sought only occasionally or incidentally, as and when needed. They should not be made habitual. In his periodic meditations, for instance, the aspirant should seek the divine source of his being because it is right, necessary, and good for him to do so and he should forget every other desire. Only after he has done that and found the source, and only on his backward journey to the day's activities, may he remember these lesser desires and utilize the serenity and power thus gained for attending to them. (10-5-133)

Whoever can understand that substance is inseparable from life and that life is inseparable from mind, whoever can intellectually perceive that the whole universe itself is nothing less than Mind in its different phases, has found the theoretical basis for an appreciation of the wonderful possibilities which dwell behind human experience. The mind's powers can indeed be extended far beyond their present puny evolutionary range. He who reflects constantly upon the true and immaterial nature of Mind and upon its magically creative powers tends to develop these powers. When he becomes capable of successful and ego- free concentration, these powers of mind and will come to him spontaneously. It is natural that when his will becomes self-abnegated, his emotion purified, his thought concentrated, and his knowledge perfected that higher mental or so- called occult powers arise of their own accord. It is equally natural that he should remain silent about them, even if only because they do not really belong to the named personality which others see. They belong to the Overself. (21-5-53, P)


MEDITATIONS AND EXERCISES

What is the practical use of enquiring, "To whom is this experience happening? To whom this pain, this joy, this distress, or this good fortune?'' First, it makes him remember the quest upon which he is embarked by reminding him that it is the ego which is feeling these changes and that he is not to identify himself with it and thus limit his possibilities if he really seeks the higher self behind it. Second, it suggests that he look for the root of his ego and with it his hidden "I'' instead of merely being swept away by what is happening within the ego itself. (23-6-108)

Don’t occupy yourself with things or thoughts, not even with the search for inner experiences, but be quiet and desireless. (24-3-204)

A valuable practice of the Short Path is to see himself already enjoying the realization of its goal, already partaking of its glorious rewards. This is a visualizing exercise in which his own face confronts him, a smiling triumphant face, a calm peaceful face. It is to be done as many times every day as he can remember to do it. (23-6-50)

The basis of higher healing work is the realization of man as Mind. But the latter is a dimensionless unindividuated unconditioned entity. It is not my individual mind. The field of Mind is a common one whereas the field of consciousness is divided up into individual and separate holdings. This is a difference with vast implications, for whoever can cross from the second field to the first, crosses at the same time from an absurdly limited world into a supremely vital one. Consequently, genuine and permanent healing is carried on without one's conscious association and can be effected by dropping the ego-mind and with it all egoistic desires. Hence the first effort should be to ignore the disease and gain the realization. Only after the latter has been won should the thoughts be allowed to descend again to the disease, with the serene trust that the bodily condition may safely be left in the hands of the World-Mind for final disposal as It decides. There should not be the slightest attempt to dictate a cure to the higher power nor the slightest attempt to introduce personal will into the treatment. Such attempts will only defeat their purpose. The issues will partly be decided on the balance of the karmic and evolutionary factors concerned in the individual case. And yet there are cults which do not find it at all incongruous to suggest to the Infinite Mind what should thus be showered upon one, or to dictate to karma what exactly it should do! Once surrender is truly made, the desires of the self go with it and peace reigns in the inner life whether illness still reigns in the external life or not. Thus there is a false easy yielding of the will which deceives no higher power than the personal self, and there is an honest yielding which may really invoke the divine grace. (10-5-132, P)

We are influencing the coming years by our thoughts. The importance of thought in forming external environment, the value of imagination in ultimately creating circumstances, and the use of visualizing the sort of life we aspire to have, are to be impressed and re-impressed on a generation which has to escape from the materialistic outlook. By this twofold process of rising to our divine source and controlling our intellectual ideas, we can begin to control our outward life in an extraordinary manner. (21-5-84)

So far as past errors are concerned, forget them and start afresh, as if it were your first day in this body; but so far as your present contacts are concerned, be kind to them, as if it were your last day in this body. (24-3-226)

Even his bodily movements must be brought into conformity with his mental attitude. His very gait in walking must be brought frequently to conscious attention and harmonized with the deliberations, the patience, the equilibrium, and the uprightness which, ideally, exist there. (5-5-55)

It is as necessary to make a daily ritual of these cleansing habits and physical exercises as it is of religious or mystical ones. They should be combined, the physical being practised before the spiritual ritual as a preparation for it and for the day's activity (5-5-65)

BREATHING EXERCISES

Revitalizing Breath Exercise : (1) Stand at an open window, spine erect, body straight, hands tightly holding hips. (2) Expel all stale air through the mouth. (3) Take three short, sharp sniffs of air and expel the total quantity in one long- drawn exhalation. Pause and breathe normally. Repeat three times. (4) Breathe in deeply through the nose, starting as low in the abdomen as possible, rising upward in the lungs until the upper part is filled. (5) The mind should concentrate on the solar plexus behind the navel. Imagine a stream of golden- white energy being drawn from there and radiated throughout the body. (6) Pucker up the lips and let all the air out as vigorously as possible. Tighten the diaphragm muscle while doing so, and move it upwards. Pause and breathe normally. Repeat three times. (5-6-5, P)

Breathing Exercise : A useful exercise which I have mentioned in one of the earlier books is to breathe out slowly and then let the inbreath come of itself, naturally. While breathing out, hold the thought of throwing out all negative thoughts and undesirable emotions. I ought to add now to the description of that exercise that this exhalation should last as long as possible without undue discomfort and that it should be originated in the region of the diaphragm--the abdomen or behind the navel. Keep the spine upright, with the head and neck in line with it. This enables you to better receive cosmic currents of life-force. It also strengthens the power of self-control, of disciplining the body. (5-6-6)

The importance of diaphragmatic breathing is not only a physical one, because full breathing enables us to get the full manifestation of the life-force in the body, but also because it allows for a fuller and freer manifestation of the mind. (5-6-14)

By watching the incoming and outgoing breath, its rhythm naturally slows down, thus calming the violent action of heart, lungs, and diaphragm. The heart pumps about seventeen tons of blood a day, and gets no rest at night, hence is the most overworked organ in the body. The ancients knew this method of resting the heart, thus increasing the span of life and also liberating a tremendous amount of life power, which revitalizes the cells of the body. (5-6-28)

HEALING LIGHT

It is possible to direct the healing power of the white light, in imagination and with deep breathing, to any part of the body where pain is felt or to any organ which is not functioning properly. This does not instantly remove the trouble, but it does make a contribution towards the healing process. (10-2-44)

Healing Exercise : Hold the thought that all these countless cells which compose your anatomy shall receive this transmuted energy. Along with the concentration inhale deeply, hold the breath, and exhale for an equal amount of time. (10.2.52)

The exercise of drawing down the Life Force as a white light should be accompanied by deep rhythmic breathing. It will be effective only after inspiration has been sought in meditation, and partially found. Hence it is best performed just before, or just after, the stillness is reached. (23-6-59)

Healing Exercise : Inhale deeply but slowly and unhurriedly. With each breath fix the mind in the life-essence pouring in and permeating each part of the body until the whole of it is bathed and held by the stream. (10-2-51)

FOUR EXERCISES (from: 10.2.72 and 23.6.67)

Exercise I: To Relieve Tension and Cultivate Relaxation
  1. Sit upright on a chair of comfortable height, with the knees and legs together, if comfortable, or slightly apart if not. Lean slightly forward, keeping the spine straight, and allow both the arms to hang down full length and lifeless, like heavy weights, from the shoulders completely relaxed.

  1. Both hands are then lifted very slowly at the elbows, almost to shoulder height, then abruptly dropped, palms upright, on the upper thighs. Keep the feeling of limpness and heaviness in the arms, with the lower part of the body utterly relaxed.

  1. Picture an ethereal aura of pure, white, electrifying Light all around you. Then, imagine this magnificent Light is actually pulling you upright by the top of your head. Its compelling force should, as a result, automatically straighten the spine, and the back of your trunk, neck, and head form a perfectly erect line. Finally, imagine the Light is pervading inside the whole of your body.

This exercise should give a feeling of physical refreshment and complete physical relaxation. It is also useful when having to listen to lengthy talks, lectures, and so on, or when reluctantly trying to practise meditation after a fatiguing day.

Exercise II: To Promote Harmony Repeat Exercise I, then add:

  1. Try to see and feel that the aura of Light has an actual substance and that It is becoming part of you, that you are melting into It, becoming one with It. Next, think of it as being the pure essence of Love, especially in the region of the heart.

  2. When this Love has been experienced as a sensation of heart-melting happiness, let it then extend outwards to embrace all the world. This exercise should give a feeling of being in harmony with Nature, the universe, with all living beings, and with humanity as a part of Nature.

Exercise III: To Heal Sickness Repeat Exercises I and II, then add:

  1. Think of the white Light as being Nature's intelligent and recuperative Life-Force.

  1. Let it pour in, through the top of your head, passing directly to the solar plexus centre, which is the region which must first be worked on and affected if the healing force is to become efficacious. Thence send it to any afflicted area, remaining there. Feel Its benevolent, restorative, and healing presence working upon it.

  1. In order to be fully effective this exercise must be accompanied by intense faith in the recuperative powers of this Light.

Astonishing proof of its effectiveness in relieving a troubled organ or curing a diseased part of the body, when persevered in for a sufficient period of weeks or months, has been clearly shown by results. In some cases, paralytics have regained full use of their disabled limbs by following the outline given here.

Exercise IV: To Establish Telepathic Harmony or Help

Repeat Exercise I, II, and III (a), then add:

  1. Let the White Light enter the region of the heart, remaining there.

  1. Form a mental image of the face of the individual you wish to contact, and reduce it in size until it is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

  1. Place this tiny image in the centre of the white Light permeating your heart.

  1. Endeavour actually to see the individual there in your heart. This exercise should be used to promote physical or mental help to a distant friend, to bring about goodwill from one who has expressed enmity, or to establish a deeper spiritual relationship. It is also useful in the student-teacher relationship, because it promotes better sympathy and affinity, as well as strengthening the telepathic link.

Note : Where imagination is well developed the attempt to visualize light may be used, but where either the intellectual or the instinctive preponderates over it, the attempt need not be made--only the unseen power invoked and directed.

Healing Exercise and Meditation: (from 10-2-50, P)

  1. Lie flat on back on flat surface (for example, rug on floor).

  2. Let body go completely limp.

  3. Relax breathing with eyes shut, that is, slow down breathing below normal. Slowly exhale, then inhale; hold breath two seconds, then exhale slowly again. Repeat for three to five minutes. While inhaling, think that you are drawing in curative force from Nature. While exhaling, think that there is being taken out of your body the ill condition. (Note that on the inhaled breath, you--the ego--are referred to as the active agent, whereas in the exhaled breath this is not so and the change is being effected spontaneously.)

  4. Let go all personal problems.

  5. Reflect on the existence of the soul which is you, and on the infinite life-power surrounding you and in which you dwell and live.

  6. Lie with arms outstretched and palms open, so as to draw in life-force either through palms or through head. (This makes contact with higher power through silent meditation, and it draws on the reconstructive and healing life-force attribute of this power.) Draw it into yourself. Let it distribute itself over the entire body. Let its omni-intelligence direct it to where it is most needed, whether that be the affected part or some other part that is the first cause of the sickness.

  7. Place hands on affected part of body and deliberately direct force through hands to body. A feeling of warmth should be noticeable in palms of hands.

  8. Recollect through imagination the all-pervading sense of God and its infinite goodness.

Self-healing Relaxation Technique: (from 10-2-70)

Allow at least about twenty minutes to a half hour for this practice each day, but you should continue for a much longer period if the desire or capacity for it arises. Select a time of day when you can be alone, free from disturbances, and when you are free from emotional reactions to any personal matters other than this need of being cured. It would be useless to treat these instructions in a merely superficial and external way, for then they could be followed and finished in about sixty seconds. There are two prerequisites that must be satisfied for these instructions to be effective. First, the whole of one's mind and feeling should be concentrated on each of their separate parts as unfolded in each sentence. Second, it is essential that you should not leave any part and pass on to the next one before you have fully soaked yourself in and surrendered yourself to it. There must be no haste.

  1. Posture : Assume supine posture, lie flat on your back on a couch, completely limp, no tenseness in the body, entirely comfortable, quiet, and relax all muscles from head to foot. Merely lying down is not enough; loosen also the muscles in your lips, eyes, and hands. Close the eyes.

  1. Breathing : Concentrate on the rhythm of breathing for a couple of minutes. Give it all your attention for this period until you are so immersed as to become unified with it. While concentrating, make the inhalation and exhalation breaths of equal duration. They should be long deep slow and even, not jerky and not strained. This slowing down of respiration should result in a lessening of tension.

  1. Making contact on the physical level : Begin to think of and dwell upon the One Infinite Life-Power, filling all space and pervading the entire universe, existing everywhere, containing and permeating all creatures, all humanity, including one's self. Accept and stress its existence. Next call on its help, then concentrate on the idea of its recuperative power, which develops and sustains every cell of the body from birth, heals its wounds and knits its broken bones, for your own case.

  1. Treating the body : Imagine this Power to be flowing into you as a White Light. Mentally draw the current into the body, through the forehead, the palms, and the solar plexus. Lastly, bring it to the diseased part of the body needing healing and concentrate it there. Place a hand lightly over this part and bathe both hands and affected part with the White Light, trying to feel this intensely, for about two minutes. Forget the rest of the body, and hold full intense attention here. Then with the mind's eye, forget the sick part. Become relaxed again, letting the Light immerse in and distribute itself throughout the entire body.

  1. Reaching to the soul : Think of the whole body as being a manifestation of Creative Intelligence and as a projection of the higher self. Next regard it as a perfect thought in the World-Mind. Finally forget it entirely. Lift consciousness above the plane of the physical world. Immerse thought in the concept of the higher self alone, forgetting its projected personal self. Next, empty the mind as far as possible of all thoughts and seek inward sacred stillness.

  1. Supplementary work :

    1. At fixed or odd times during the day he stops the pressure of life and people on himself and learns by repeated recollection to remain consciously relaxed throughout the day, even if it be only for a minute or two.

    1. Whenever possible, take off five minutes every hour for relaxation practice at fixed times.

 

THE PHILOSOPHER’S BODY

There is no disease which can affect the man's divine soul, no sickness which can lay it low. It is his incorruptible element. Hence it is certainly true to say that the perfect man does not suffer from these things. But what is usually ignored or generally unknown is that "the perfect man" does not exist on earth, only "in heaven"; never in the flesh, only in the spirit. This earth and this body have been given over to the alternations of decay and growth, of death and birth--in short, to processes of change involving corruptibility. There is only one sure, permanent, and impeccable way of overcoming disease or sickness, and that is to live consciously in the Overself as well as the body. Whoever understands all this will find it easy to understand that the same causes prevent the possibility of living forever in identically the same body, and thus of attaining physical immortality. The laws which influence the building up of the body are precisely the laws which also influence its eventual breaking down. There is no trustworthy record in history that any human being has so far evaded the operation of these laws and survived the planet's vast evolutionary cycles. That man may discover how to prolong his life beyond the present average span or how to preserve his body in good functional and organic health is, however, a possibility which need not in any way be denied by these statements. (10-1-48)

The pains and maladies which accompany and punctuate physical existence are not taken away from the spiritually aware man. Their presence continues to act as a reminder--as much to him as to all other men--that just because they do accompany the body's life, that life is an imperfect and unsatisfying one. His five senses are working like all other men's and so must report the painful as well as pleasurable sensations. But what he does gain is a peace deeper than the body's sensations, and unbreakable by their painful nature. One part of him--the lesser-- may suffer; but the other part--the greater--remains undisturbed. In his higher and spiritual nature he is well fortified against these afflictions, sustained by heavenly forces denied to other people. (10-1-55)

We need also to remember that the attitude of the advanced soul towards personal suffering is not the same as the common one. His standpoint is different. So far as we know human history on this globe, all the facts show that sickness, pain, disease, and death are parts of the conditions governing the physical body's experience because they are inescapable and inevitable parts of all physical-plane experience for highly organized forms, whether human or otherwise. That is, they are part of the divine plan for man. We humans resent such experiences, but it may be that they are necessary to our rounded development and that the Illuminated who have approached closer to the infinite wisdom perceive this and drop their resentment. Here we may recall Sri Ramakrishna's attitude towards the cancer in the throat from which he died, Saint Bernadette of Lourdes' attitude towards her painful lingering and fatal disease of consumption, Ramana Maharshi's fatalism about his bodily pains and ailments, and Sri Aurobindo's reply to the physician who attended him for a broken knee after a fall: "How is it that you, a Mahatma, could not foresee and prevent this accident?" "I still have to carry this human body about me and it is subject to ordinary human limitations and physical laws." (10-1-58, P)

Pain and suffering, sin and evil, disease and death, exist only in the world of thoughts, not in the world of pure Thought itself. They are not illusions, however, but they are transient. Whoever attains to pure Thought will also attain in consciousness to a life that is painless, sorrow-free, sinless, undecaying, and undying. Being above desires and fears, it is necessarily above the miseries caused by unsatisfied desires and realized fears. But at the same time he will also have an accompanying consciousness of life in the body, which must obey the laws of its own being, natural laws which set limitations and imperfections upon it. This much can be said to be the element of truth contained in some theoretical doctrines of Vedantic Advaita and Christian Science. (10-1-78, P)


VEGETARIANISM

It is necessary to eat living things as food in order to keep living ourselves. That is not a matter of our choosing but a necessity forced upon us by Nature or God. We have no freedom in the choice. But we are free to reduce the area of our destructiveness and to lessen the amount of pain we inflict. It is less destructive to uproot a vegetable or pluck a fruit than to slay an animal--and there is less suffering too. This is the answer to the argument that we still destroy life when we become vegetarians. (5-3-64)

The aspirant who fails to practice non-injury sets up an evil relationship which will have to be worked out later, a relationship which will block his entry into the state of lasting enlightenment until it is so worked out. The unnecessary taking of animal life for his food is one form, although a common one, of violation of this ethic. (5-3-91)

If he really believes in this teaching, he will seek to bring it into every area of his life. There is no area from which it can rightly be left out, not even from that of the kind of food he eats. (5-3-84)

The custom which prevailed so widely on vanished Atlantis of offering animals and slaughtering prisoners during the periodical religious rituals, and which was carried over by the survivors into African, American, and Asiatic civilizations of historic times, has died out as purer and more rational concepts of religion have risen. But the custom of offering animals to please not a divine being but a human one, is just as prevalent today as the stupid Atlantean barbarity formerly was. Men still breed hapless four-legged creatures by the million only to slay them in the end and serve them at meals. Such destruction is carried out without feeling, without conscience, and without real necessity. And what right does any of these human beings have to destroy the existence of such a multitude of creatures who have their own place, function, and purpose in the divine World- Idea? In claiming for himself such a right, man arrogantly proclaims himself wiser than his Creator and in disturbing the creation itself by his bloody habits of eating, he violates sacred laws for which he is duly punished. His health suffers, his passions are never allayed, and his violence in war is never ended. (5-3-101)

The vegetarian who refuses to turn his body into a graveyard for slaughtered animals is obeying not only a moral law but also a hygienic and an aesthetic one. (5-3-130)

He alone is entitled to ask for help or mercy--which is a form of help--who himself shows pity, spares life, eschews cruelty, and grants mercy to the helpless and oppressed, who does not, in Plutarch's phrase, "allow his lips to touch the flesh of a murdered being." (5-3-106)

Is the peaceable man to reduce or stop violent aggression against his fellow men but to continue it against other fellow creatures? What about the animals? We are not entitled to destroy animal life without an adequately necessary and morally justifiable purpose. Therefore it is well to enquire from the wise and good into the character of such purposes, and be guided by their counsel rather than by environmental custom. For the latter has led us, through its utter ignorance and total unawareness of the higher laws, into a situation where blow after blow falls heavily upon the human race. Why should we be so astonished that peace is so hard to obtain, that all too often flaming violence of war and death and mutilation is carried across the land despite our prayers to God and our plans to the contrary? So long as millions of innocent animals are bred only to be sent to the slaughterhouses for our unnecessary food, so long will Life pay us in like coin. The lower characteristics are taken into the body, the blood, the nerves, and the brain. They become a part of us. The mind's response to higher ideals is dulled. The passions which make for strife and thence for war meet with less opposition from conscience and reason. The fear, suspicion, fright, and desire for self-protection which contribute toward war, being impregnated into the blood of our meat during the moments preceding its slaughter, are little by little brought into us too through the glands, the nervous system, and the brain, as our own blood feeds them in turn. It would be desirable, although admittedly difficult, gradually to adopt a meatless diet as a help to secure both the individual's development and the world's peace. (5-3-160)

Food does not directly supply energy but its presence in the body during the process of metabolism acts as a channel for energy to be set free in the body. This is why those who fully undergo the purificatory processes of the Quest and thus regenerate their body, not only need less food than others do, but subsist on finer forms of food. (5-3-104)

The greatest of all diet reforms is the change from meat-eating to a meatless diet. This is also the first step on the spiritual path, the first gesture that rightness, justice, compassion, purity are being set up as necessary to human and humane living, in contrast to animal living. (5-3-5)

If there is any single cause for which I would go up and down the land on a twentieth-century crusade, it is that of the meatless diet. It may be a forlorn crusade, but all the same, it would be a heart-warming one. (5-3-6)

A meatless diet has practical advantages to offer nearly everyone. But to idealists who are concerned with higher purposes it has even more to offer. On the moral issue alone it tends to lessen callousness to the sufferings of others, men or animals, and to increase what Schweitzer called "reverence for life." (5-3-8)

Why should we abstain from meat-eating? (a) Cultivated land if planted with vegetables, fruits, and nuts will yield much more food for an overpopulated world than it could yield if left under pasture for cattle and sheep. (b) The ghastly work of slaughtering these harmless innocent creatures can be done only by hardened men, whose qualities of compassion and sympathy must inevitably get feebler and and feebler. How many housewives could do their own butchering? (c) In terms of equal food value, the meatless diet costs less. (d) Animals which suffer from contagious diseases pass on the germs of these diseases to those who eat their flesh or parasites. (e) Meat contains excretory substances, purins, which may cause other, non-communicable diseases. (5-3-11)