›› ››  

 << New Thought Authors  << New Thought Ebooks

Spiritual Health and Healing

Originally Published: 1922

New York, Thomas Y. Crowell Company Publishers

[Read Plain-Text Version]

Click on ebook to turn pages

[Audio/Video not available]

[Read Plain-Text Version]

[Find at Local Library]

[Purchase This Book]

>> More by Horatio W. Dresser


I. The Power of the Spirit

II. The Priceless Possession

III. The Christ

IV. The Spiritual Science

V. The Christ Method

VI. Spiritual Health

VII. Spirit and Body

VIII. The Spiritual Healing

IX. The Affirmative Attitude

X. The Quickening Word

XI. "With Signs Following"

XII. The Value of Denials

XIII. Spiritual Influx

XIV. The Intuitive Method

XV. Spiritual Success

XVI. Instantaneous Healing

XVII. The Overcoming of Disease

XVIII. Creative Health

XIX. The Secret Place

XX. How To Demonstrate

XXI. Summery and Definition

XXII. Spiritual Psychology


Interest in spiritual healing has reached a point where it is no longer necessary to dwell on such elementary matters as the influence of fear and worry, the power of suggestion and the utilizing of the subconscious. These considerations are now taken for granted by those who believe that inner healing is more than mental. Suggestion is not regarded as decisive except by those who would ignore the spiritual life and limit healing to the sphere of psychology. For those of us who believe that the spiritual life is inseparable from true spiritual healing, the question of mental influences and mental methods is forever secondary. It ought rather to be a question of cultivating the mode of life which produces spiritual health. All our efforts should be constructive. Our clues should be drawn from the ideal, not through study of conditions w^hich produce disease. To be normal, to live in spiritual health is to be in accord with the universe: to think, will, live by the Divine order. Spiritual health is the standard set for man by God's purpose in bringing him into being. It is man's birthright as heir of the heavenly kingdom. It is inherent in his nature as created in the Divine image and likeness. Jesus came among us to disclose that standard in its fulness, and establish it in the minds and hearts of men by inspiring works and words. He promised greater works when it should become a social ideal. He taught that wisdom which should become man's guide in living the life which produces health and free- dom. A spiritual science was implied in those teachings. A spiritual art was exemplified by those works and words of healing. Those who would be true followers ought to give this science first place, taking the clue from Christ as archetype. Interest in spiritual health begins from above and works down, from within and works out. Ordinary healing is from below and is concerned with measures of relief and the improve- ment of man's material environment. Christ bids man so live that health shall always radiate from him as virtue radiates from one whose religion is "to do good." Thus health is made a secondary consideration in comparison with that larger, more splendid life which manifests health as one of the signs of its beauty. Health is to be a result of the abundant life. It will come as a consequence, just as our tastes change, our manners become more gentle, our affections more constant, our faces more radiant through the inner touch of the Spirit.

In the following pages this philosophy of the Christ is taken for granted. Many writers have taught it in their favorite ways, since the time of P. P. Quimby, who was the first healer in our day to plead for a "Science of the Christ." This philosophy includes the idea of the Divine indwelling as the guiding principle of the inner life, of the spiritual world as the nearby source of real power ; the idea that there is a heavenly purpose in our strivings, that the natural world is a theatre for the development of the soul. If different writers would express these introductory matters in various ways, all would agree that the endeavor to live by this higher wisdom is the great consideration. The chief need at present is for a clearer statement of the ideas which lead beyond mental to spiritual healing. Some teachers would put the whole matter in the present tense, affirming the ideal as realized now, making light of the natural world with its opportunities, and passing by the ages of philosophic thought. Hence they would identify man in his real selfhood with "the Christ within" and end the matter with ever-varying affirmations turning upon one idea. Others would maintain that we make no headway except through acknowledgment of "the light of Christ in the soul" as leading us on to greater and greater attainments. While they would agree that man in spirit already exists in the Divine image and likeness, they would find reality and meaning in his progress from stage to stage in the natural world. It would seem clear that the truth of the Christ is too great and too wonderful to be apprehended except as man looks up to the Master, admitting that he has more and more to learn. It is this view which we plead for. A new statement of this ideal is called for because the trend of thought among people interested in inner healing is too much the other way. We hope to show that this philosophy of upliftment toward the Christ is the true view of spiritual healing.

A word seems to be called for concerning "A History of the New Thought Movement," 1919. Some reviewers have complained because I did not indulge in adverse criticisms. But I had supposed a historian should be impartial. I was telling a story, not commenting on its reality or truth. In other volumes, especially "A Handbook of the New Thought," 1917, I had made critical estimates enough; pointing out that the psychology of the New Thought is one-sided, that some leaders tend to exalt the human self so as to make it a god, thereby advocating egotism instead of spiritual healing. My interest in the movement was to call attention afresh to its beginnings, in order to emphasize the fact that the therapeutic movement had not realized its spiritual standard. Since 1919, the remaining branches of the movement, save one, have been united in an effort to make the Christ the cardinal principle. It is now a question of looking forward to see what the movement will make of the Christ as its ideal. Critics of New Thought and Christian Sci- ence in its various forms have pointed out that we are not "parts" of God, because God is one and indivisible; that man is not "life in itself," for God only is life in itself; that man is not "one with God," but may be conjoined with Him through responsiveness: hence that man's recipiency of life is measured by his love, not by his affirmation or thought. These discriminations point the way beyond mysticism and pantheism in all its forms, beyond self-centredness and mere thought to the ideal of constancy of love for God and man in frank recognition of our sonship. The whole outlook changes with the adoption of this higher point of view. We realize that the spiritual life has hardly begun, since it is rather a gift of the Spirit in us than the work of our efforts at self-control and efficiency in the use of thought. It changes too because we adopt the idea of a spiritual incoming of power, touching the inmost being first, then quickening the understanding, spreading through mental life as a whole. The ideal is no longer a mere settling down into self in poise and composure, as if we had nothing to acknowledge and nothing to overcome; it is the attainment of inner openness to the Spirit, that the Divine life may freely course through all channels. It means that regeneration is still essential, hence that we need to make ready by purifying our desires, living on simpler food, keeping closer to nature, and avoiding anything like drugs and stimulants which clog and impede. Right thinking assumes its proper place at last as instrumental to right living. The life is a test in a far deeper way than we had realized. There is something better than being either healed or cured. We need a nobler prevailing love. We need practical Christianity in all its fulness. We need the inner or spiritual Word. We need the living Christ, the glorified Lord. This is the great truth of the New Age. Interest in spiritual healing is one of the tendencies of life today which point to this truth. We have not begun to interpret it aright until we regard the healing movement in this its relation to the new time. We may therefore pass beyond the crudities and extravagant claims in quest of the really spiritual element. The discerning reader will find in these pages a very different way of stating the whole matter, and will proceed to test it by direct reference to life, in contrast with the mere criticism of theories.

The best way, in fact, to overcome the limitations of those who have not grasped the full idea of spiritual healing is to look back to the prophetic teachings of the New Age. For some this will mean deeper study of the writings of Swedenborg. For others it will mean pro- founder knowledge of Dr. Quimby's philosophy. In writing this volume I have had both of these interests in mind. Some of the chapters are concerned with Swedenborg's theory of the Divine influx. In others I have tried to make a clearer statement of the ideas and methods which Dr. Quimby sets forth in his manuscripts. This book may then be regarded as an estimate of the Quimby method of healing. It is not written in Quimby's terms. I have not assumed that Quimby's view is in every way superior to ideas now passing current. But it was the original view, it contained the spiritual impetus which gave rise to the modern therapeutic movement, it was the result of many years of pioneer work in this field, and it is still the view by which we may most directly test our own ideas and methods. My parents were patients under Quim- by's care in Portland, Maine, and from Dr. Quimby they learned the method of silent healing which is here advocated. I have felt it a duty I owed to humanity both to publish the manuscripts and to make my own statement of the ideas and methods which have come down to us from Quimby. I began to put this work in final form with the publication of ''The Power of Silence," Boston, 1895. The present volume completes this work, as the prime result of a later study of Quimby's writings.

 << New Thought Authors  << New Thought Ebooks 

[Top of Page]

 [Previous Page]      
 Copyright © 2014-2015 | Privacy Policy | Site Disclaimer