LIGHT ON THE PROBLEM OF DISEASE
by Geoffrey Hodson
published by the Theosophical Publishing House (London) in 1930
to Gerald Hounsfield
who possible the writing of this book
THERE are at least three ways of gaining knowledge; observation by oneself, education by another and direct intuitive perception.The first two of these are external, the third interior.
Although the material of this book has been compiled form records of attempts to use the third of these methods, the author makes no claim to authority or to divine inspiration; nor dos he seek by this preface to influence the reader in his evaluation of the material of the book,which must be judged solely on its merits. He does, however wish to acknowledge the source of his information and to answer those who may ask how and whence it was obtained.
Profoundly interested in the problem of human suffering, and particularly of health and disease,he turned all his mental energies to a discovery of its solution. He believes that by a process of meditation he approached for a time that inner realm of consciousness wherein all knowledge lies. He felt himself to be guided by a teacher in his search for Truth. Dimly he saw through unaccustomed eyes, and, seeing, recorded the little which he saw.
Hereby he seeks to pass that little on.
May it serve to lessen, if only by one tear unshed the weight of suffering which presses so heavily upon the world. May it inspire in others the desire to pierce the veil behind which all knowledge lies concealed, and to apply their discoveries to relive the pain and sorrow of mankind.
Stronger minds, keener spiritual vision, and a greater master of English prose are needed ere the vision splendid of perfect knowledge may be truly won and worthily portrayed.
Meanwhile the author offers this.
This book is based upon the following assumptions:-
MAN IS A THREEFOLD IMMORTAL SPIRITUAL BEING, INCARNATED IN FOUR MORTAL MATERIAL BODIES.
THE THREE PARTS OF HIS SPIRITUAL SELF ARE REFLECTIONS OF THE DIVINE WILL, DIVINE WISDOM, AND DIVINE INTELLIGENCE.
In this spiritual aspect of his nature, man is one with the Logos. The difference between the Logos and man lies in the degree in which their triune powers are made manifest.
In God these are fully manifested; in man they are manifested in a gradually increasing degree of fulness, as his evolution proceeds.
MAN'S FOUR MATERIAL BODIES IN THE ORDER OF THEIR DENSITY ARE:
(a) His mental body composed of mental material; his vehicle of thought.
( b) His emotional body, composed of emotional material; his vehicle of feeling.
(c) His vital or etheric body, composed of etheric material; this is the conserving principle of his physical vital forces and the link between the superphysical and physical bodies.
(d) His physical body, composed of physical,solid, liquid and gaseous material; his vehicle of action and self-expression in the physical world.
In this fourfold material aspect of his nature man is temporarily unconscious of his unity with God. As his evolution proceeds he gradually rediscovers his lost knowledge; this rediscovery is the object of all spiritual endeavour.
THE PURPOSE OF MAN'S EXISTENCE IS GROWTH.
Growth consists of the gradual unfoldment from latency to full potency of man's threefold spiritual attributes on the one hand; and on the other, the evolution of his four material vehicles to a condition in which they perfectly make manifest his threefold spiritual attributes. The true purpose of religion is to help man towards this attainment.
THE GOAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTIONIS THE STANDARD OF PERFECTION DESCRIBED IN CHRISTIANITY AS "THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST."
This implies the attainment of a divine state of omnipotence, or perfected and resistless will; omnipresence or perfected and all-embracing love; and omni-science or perfected and all-inclusive knowledge. The attainment of this perfection is absolutely certain for every man. The command "Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" will be literally obeyed by all human beings.
BEYOND THIS STATE OF HUMAN PERFECTION IS A STILL HIGHER STAGE OF SUPERHUMAN PERFECTION; BEYOND THAT AGAIN THERE IS A GRADUAL ASCENT TOWARDS THE SPIRITUAL STATURE OF THE LOGOS HIMSELF.
The Logos is the Creator, Sustainer and Transformer of all worlds and the Spiritual Parent of all men. He Himself is evolving, together with His whole system and all which it contains, towards a goal which is beyond the comprehension of mortal man.
Since man is a god in the becoming, his future splendour, wisdom and power is entirely without limit.
THE GOAL OF HUMAN PERFECTION HAS ALREADY BEEN REACHED BY MEN.
Such perfect men are known as Adepts and Masters of the Wisdom.
THESE SUPERHUMAN BEINGS CONSTITUE THE INNER GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD, AND ARE THE TRUE SPIRITUAL RULERS, TEACHERS AND INSPIRERS OF MEN.
They are the august body of "Just men made perfect," the "Communion of saints."
THE GOAL OF HUMAN PERFECTION IS ATTAINED BY MEANS OF SUCCESSIVE INCARNATIONS IN MATERIAL VEHICLES NEWLY FORMED DURING THE PRE-NATAL PERIOD OF EACH SUCCEEDING LIFE.
THE MULTIFARIOUS EXPERIENCES OF THESE REPEATED INCARNATIONS ARE ALL DESIGNED TO DRAW OUT THE LATENT POWERS OF THE EVOLVING GOD, WHICH IS MAN.
The purpose and effect of repeated physical existence is education in the true meaning of the word.
After the achievement of perfection, rebirth is no longer a necessity; all further progress can be achieved in superphysical worlds. "Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out." Rev.
ALL INCARNATIONS ARE CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER BY THE OPERATION OF THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT OR READJUSTMENT.
All actions, feelings and thoughts produce their own natural and perfectly appropriate reaction. Reactions may follow actions immediately, later in the same life, or in succeeding incarnations. This law is referred to in the test: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The Sanscrit word "karma" is used to designate the operation of this eternal law.
ACTIONS BASED ON A RECOGNITION OF UNITY AND MOTIVED BY LOVE, SERVICE AND UNSELFISHNESS, PRODUCE A PLEASURE, A HEALTH AND A GROWING FREEDOM OF SELF-EXPRESSION WHICH ENCOURAGE THE ACTOR TO REPEAT THEM.
ACTIONS BASED ON SEPARATENESS AND MOTIVED BY DISLIKE, GREED AND SELFISHNESS, PRODUCE A PAIN, AN ILL-HEALTH, AND AN INCREASING LIMITATION OF SELF-EXPRESSION, WHICH DISCOURAGE THE ACTOR FROM REPEATING THEM. THUS THE LAW MOVES MEN TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The intensity of the pleasure or the pain is governed by the degree in which the unselfish or selfish motives found expression in action.
Suffering is neither a punishment inflicted from above, nor an accidental adversity; it is self-inflicted and is designed to apprise the actor of his transgressions; it is therefore truly beneficent and educative in its purpose and effect.
THE SPIRITUAL MAN INHABITING HIS FOUR BODIES IS CONTINUALLY AWARE OF THE OPERATION OF THIS EDUCATIVE LAW AND GRADUALY ACQUIRES KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, POWER AND CHARACTER AS A RESULT.
These constitute man's only true an eternal possessions. They are the "treasurers in heaven which neither moth nor rust doth corrupt".
All material possessions and temporal powers are transient, and the exclusive pursuit of them is utterly vain.
THE ACTION OF THE LAW OF READJUSMENT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY CONTROL OR JUDGMENT TO WHICH MAN IS EVER SUBJECTED.
Man makes his own destiny by his own actions, and within this law is absolutely and unconditionally free. Man is subject to no external spiritual authority or power. All religion which is based on the fear of, or desire to gain favours from, an external God is false.
THERE IS A SPIRITUAL ALCHEMY, BY MEANS OF WHICH ADVERSITY, RESULTING FROM ACTIONS MOTIVED BY SELFISHNESS, CAN BE DIMINISHED OR EVEN DISPERSED BY THE DELIVERATE EXERTION OF ENERGIES AND THE ENACTMENT OF DEEDS MOTIVED BY LOVE.
Love is the true philosopher's stone, service the alchemical process by which baser human qualities and the pains of adversity may be transmuted into the fine gold of spiritual power and happiness.
THIS ALCHEMY OF THE SPIRIT MAY BE APPLIED TO THE HEALING OF DISEASE BY THE SUFFERER HIMSELF, AND CONSTITUTES THE TRUE SCIENCE OF SPIRITUAL HEALING. THIS VOLUME IS AN ATTEMPTED EXPOSITION OF THIS PRINCIPLE.
THE PROCESS OF THE TRANSMUTATION OF THE IMPERFECTIONS OF HUMAN NATURE INTO THEIR OPPOSITE PERFECTIONS MAY BE DELIBERATELY APPLIED TO INCREASE THE RAPIDITY OF HUMAN EVLUTION.
The goal of perfection which awaits all men in the far distant future can be attained in a relatively short time.
THIS SPIRITUAL MODE OF LIFE CONSTITUTES THE SHORT AND NARROW WAY OF CHRISTIANITY, THE NOBLE EIGHFOLD PATH OF BUDDHISM, AND THE RAZOR-EDGED PATH OF HINDUISM. IT LEADS TO SALVATION, NIRVANA OR LIBERATION.
The life of Christ as portrayed in the Gospels is a dramatic representation of the experiences of the soul in this path.
The Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of the Lord Buddha, and the Hindu Scripture, known as the Bhagavad Gita, define the conduct necessary for the achievement of perfection.
THIS PATH OF SWIFT UNFOLDMENT IS OPEN TODAY AS OF OLD: IT CAN BE ONLY TRODDEN BY PURITY OF LIFE AND SELFLESS SERVICE TO THE DIVINE WILL: IT IS THE PATHWAY TO HEALTH, HAPPINESS, PERFECTION AND ETERNAL PEACE.
THE GENESIS OF DISEASE
THE ROOT CAUSE OF DISEASE
SUPERPHYSICAL CAUSES AND THEIR ANTIDOTES
THE MECHANISM OF DISEASE KARMA
DISEASE IN THE SUBTLE AND PHYSICAL BODIES
MOTHERHOOD AND HEALTH
THE GENESIS OF DISEASE
DISEASE is the natural concomitant of imperfection; it is inherent in the nature of the solar system and in the life force and consciousness embodied in that system; otherwise it could not exist. As the whole system is evolving and is at present imperfect, disease or any planet is but the expression of that imperfection in one kingdom of Nature or another. If one could trace them, diseases would be found in the mineral kingdom, as they are already found in the vegetable, animal and human kingdoms. The study of individual cases, and of individual actions which produce the karma of disease, should not blind one to the fact that in the early stages of evolution, disease is a universal phenomenon.
Behind every disease there is a disease consciousness, which finds expression and embodiment in each appearance of that disease. All cancer patients, or any other group of persons afflicted with the same disease, are related to each other by the affinity of their disease. Complete understanding of the operation of karma will not be found by a study of individual cases alone, valuable and necessary through such studies are. Group disease and group karma must also be studied.
Disease is inherent in Nature, and will so continue until a certain standard of perfection has been attained. The healer's office is to quicken the evolution of the individual and of the group, so that the coming of that time of attainment may be hastened. Disease, an as an expression of Nature's voice, drawing attention to transgression, contributes to that end; without it the attainment of perfection would be long delayed.
The healer must, therefore, cease to regard disease as an evil, but rather as the appearance or manifestation of an aspect of evolving group consciousness,under the operation of certain laws designed to produce ultimate good. He must not, however, fall into the error to which the philosopher is prone, that of inaction as a result of philosophical knowledge. He must relive suffering so far as lies within his power, but recognize also, and teach the sufferers themselves to recognize, that disease, even in its apparent cruelty, is essentially beneficent in its purpose. On the rock of this knowledge must research and practice be based.
The separation of planets and solar systems in time and space is an illusion. The cosmos is one continuous whole. The attributes of Nature upon a single globe are not the separate qualities of that globe, but belong to the whole cosmos. For instance,there is actual division between the lunar and the terrene evolutions. They are both essential parts of a common whole.If, however, one would trace the origin of the terrene evolution, one would find it in the moon, but even then the problem is no nearer to solution. [ Vide "Man, How, Whence and Whither", by A.Besant and C.W.Leadbeater, for explanation of solar and planetary schemes of evolution. ]. The investigator must not seek to solve it in terms of time and space and separation; but envisage the solar system as an evolving whole. From that viewpoint alone may one comprehend the phenomena of a part, and propound a philosophy which will be perfect and unassailable.
Karma moves with the life wave, from globe to globe, from chain to chain, and binds together schemes, systems, universes and cosmoi. It is the fundamental law behind them all. In terms of absolute existence it has no attributes; in manifested worlds it has the attribute of beneficence; it exerts a continual pressure towards the highest good, and makes for the attainment of the goal.
Eventually, as systems, chains, globes and their inhabitants draw nearer to the goal, disease will disappear. In the process it will become more subtle and less densely physical, changing with the evolution of the life and consciousness in which it is expressed. The study of the causes, purposes and cures of disease, and the application of its results, therefore, quicken the evolution of the race.
THE ROOT CAUSE OF DISEASE
The root cause of every individual case of disease lies in a resistance to the right of the ego [The Inner Ruler Immortal which is the real man.] to rule his personality [ The temporary manifestation of the ego in terms of thought, feeling and action.] and a refusal to listen to the voice of conscience. This root cause is divisible into two subsidiary classifications. The first of these consists of that type of karma which is the effect of the waywardness of the personality and the deliberate closing of the ears to the voice of the higher self. This results in sins of commission, those positive acts which are contrary to the fundamental principle of unity. The second cause is karma, resulting from the inexperience of the ego and his failure to provide the necessary guidance to the personality: this results in the sins of omission, self-indulgences and failures in self-disciple and in acts of service. Between these two divisions are many variations which partake of the nature of both, with one or the other predominant.
The sins of commission result in active disease, whilst those of omissions produce latent disease conditions which may or may not work out as active physical complaints: they show themselves more especially as deficiencies in character and the absence of those qualities in the personality which make for a healthy life. Perfect examples of the two classes are extremely rare, as they are more generally found in combination.This classification will, however,serve as a useful guide to treatment.
Regarding the two classes as failures of action and of inaction respectively, those diseases in which the first class appears to predominate respond to purely physical treatment, whilst those of the second class require psychological methods. As combinations are more common than perfect examples, these two methods must generally be combined, either method being accentuated as the condition of the patient may require.
All men have latent disease kama, as they also have undeveloped qualities and characteristics. The presence of a latent disease constitutes a continual source of danger. The evolution of medical science must, therefore, be directed towards the perfection of prophylactic methods. The educational system of the future will include efforts in this direction; the curriculum will be so designed as to eliminate the qualities of character which made possible the karma-producing actions, and to train the individual to exert opposing energies which will modify and eventually neutralize that karma; in addition, physical measurers will be applied to eliminate the latent disease from the physical. body We may enunciate the paradoxical axiom that disease must be cured before it arises, for the child must be treated for the elimination of latent disease.
In those cases where karma is so acutely adverse as to make all efforts apparently ineffectual, treatments should be steadfastly continued, even to the end of life. Such treatments and especially such efforts as the patient makes, though apparently of no avail, are actually prophylactic as regards later incarnations.
Though the present disease-ridden state of humanity demands that medical research should be directed towards the cure of disease, this should be regarded as a temporary phase. As the general karma of humanity grows lighter, under the influence of the presence of the Lord [A reference to the supposed visitation of the World-Teacher occurring at the present time in the person of J.Krishnamurti] of the many spiritualizing movements, and of altruistic men and women at work in the world today,disease will become more easily susceptible of cure. This should liberate medical scientists from the study of disease to work for the advancement of prophylactic measures. Disease will never be banished from the earth by curative medicine alone, but rather by the progress of spiritual and occult learning, which will lead to knowledge of the existence of latent disease and of measures for its elimination.
Karma may be met, modified, and even neutralized before it finds physical expression as active disease. In the ultimate, spiritual forces and spiritual knowledge are alone capable of curing disease. The many apparent physical cures which medical science now achieves only occur in those cases where the karma is exhausted. Under all other karmic conditions,medical science per se will inevitably fail.
SUPERPHYSICAL CAUSES AND THEIR ANTIDOTES
Whilst minor diseases which occur through infection need not necessarily have superphysical origin, chronic disease has always its superphysical aspect. Its roots may penetrate as deeply as the mental body. Such deep-rooted diseases may recur in many incarnations. Their origin lies in actions which are deliberate denials by the mind of certain aspects of truth - actions which are persisted in, in spite of the actor's knowledge of their essentially unlawful character.
An example of this type is to be found in the inhuman cruelty which characterized rulers and their subordinate officials in the early centuries of certain civilizations. Such cruelty was a remnant of the savage state, out of which the actors had then definitely, although but recently, evolved. They had reached a stage in which the voice of the higher self had already made itself heard. In pursuing, after they had become civilized, conduct which from a karmic point of view was relatively harmless in the savage, they denied the voice of the higher self.
That voice speaks in the name of unity, which is a fundamental truth. Cruelty is a denial of unity. The karma of such actions reacts upon both mind and body. Cruelty in one form or another is the most general cause of disease. That is why disease in itself appears to be so cruel.
The greatest antidote to all disease is a recognition of unity and its expression through love and service. All sufferers should, therefore, be taught the fundamental law of unity and be inspired to develop and live by love. his is perhaps the simplest method of supplying the superphysical aspects of such processes of physical cure as are also employed. The great majority of sufferers simply require to develop the quality of love; to be taught to radiate affection on all the world and especially upon those within their immediate environment.
Ultimately disease will be cured along these lines. The sufferer will either meditate to discover the deficiency of character which made possible the karma-producing actions or consult a spiritual teacher, and then retire in order to develop and learn to express the required quality.
Mass healing occurs through the operation of this principle, and will probably be increasingly employed in the near future. Large numbers of sufferers will be gathered together under a spiritual teacher, who will teach them to liberate their own inner powers,and to develop the fundamental qualities of human nature in which they are deficient. Individuals and masses must be educated out of disease. Their sense of values must be changed. The intense craving for and the strong hold upon physical existence results from a false sense of values; this craving, born of delusion, is another root cause of disease.
The personalities of Western men temporarily escape from the control of their higher selves through the fierce intensity with which they attach themselves to the physical plane of existence and strive for physical success; by the ardour of his pursuit of physical pleasure and attainments, the consciousness of the man becomes focused outwards towards the physical, which he places highest in his scale of vital evaluation. That attitude must be reversed, and to that end the spiritual healer will seek to inculcate the development of dispassion towards and detachment from the objects of the senses and a recognition of the true purpose of physical existence.
Mere animal emotion and indulgence is less serious in its karmic effects upon the physical body in the early stages of evolution than it is in the later, when a knowledge of the true meaning of life is being acquired. The degree in which an action is a denial of the voice of conscience is the governing factor which decides the intensity and range of a disease. The evolutionary standing of patients must, therefore, be observed when endeavouring to discover the nature and extent of their karmic obligations. The ability to judge the karmic obligation from the disease itself, and to estimate the measure in which it has been met can be readily developed. A classification of types of karma and their corresponding diseases will be found to be of the greatest service .Clairvoyance, though useful for preliminary researches and classifications, is by no means essential. The widely possessed faculty of intuitive diagnosis, carried into the superphysical and moral worlds, will prove to be entirely adequate.
THE MECHANISM OF DISEASE KARMA
Just as there is one basic error which is the source of all adverse karmic reaction, so is there one basic disease which is the parent of all forms of disease. The common error, behind all errors, is that of selfishness; selfishness,in its turn, is due to a failure to recognize unity and is thus the offspring of the sense of separateness. The basic karma behind all disease karma is, therefore, produced by separateness. Separateness is at the root of all transgression, whether the karma is disease producing or not.
Similarly there is a basic poison which produces all disease, as there is also a basic organism which is capable of transmitting disease karma to the physical body; this organism is the first dense physical agent of karma, which has acted in the subtler realms before the lower realms have become affected. That basic organism is present in everyone, and is one of the fundamental constituents of which the body is built. In the case of active disease, karma, incarnate as emotional and etheric poison, has impinged upon this basic physical organism and changed it from a healthy to an unhealthy condition. This change is produced by an interference with the atomic mechanism by which the organism is brought into existence, nourished and sustained. This change affects and alters its function, so that instead of building and supporting the body, t becomes injurious to it. Disease karma works similarly upon the matter of the emotional and etheric bodies, changing their life units, which correspond to the basic organisms in the physical body, from healthy to unhealthy members of the bodily community. The change in emotional matter automatically finds expression in etheric, and finally in dense physical matter,of the astral atoms affected are the counterparts of the atoms of which the physical life units are composed. The change, therefore is a natural one, and occurs in the same part of the body, in each of the tree vehicles.
Karma finds its subject and produces its effects with unerring accuracy life after life. The connection between the mental, emotional and physical bodies of the karma-producing incarnation,and the karmically affected bodies of subsequent incarnations, is made in the permanent atom [ Vide "A study in Consciousness" by Annie Besant.] which is the storehouse of karma. The permanent atom releases its afflictions as well as its treasures when the law of sympathetic vibrations causes it to perform its allotted function.
Human life evolves in a series of minor cycles, each of seven years, and each cycle has its appropriate karma, beneficent and adverse. The disease karma is liberated in the same minor cycle as that in which the action which produced it was performed. Each cycle is in effect a miniature incarnation. If the actions are continued from one cycle into the next, so also will be the disease. Modifications of this law occur, however,when forces are liberated from within the agent to modify his karma. Thus twenty years of transgression may be karmically accounted for in five, three, two or even one year of neutralizing endeavour.
The work of the ego is to develop qualities of character and to liberate forces which will counteract the errors of the personality. He does this more effectively when his personality cooperates, and therein lies the value of educative therapeutics. All therapy should become educative, for, as we have seen, karma can be met and nullified before it produces bodily effects. The scientific application of neutralizing forces by the ego makes this seeming paradox a possibility.
This fact in Nature is used by those who tread the left-hand path. They do not neutralize, however; they withhold. Their failure to neutralize is due to the fact that their lives and motives become the apotheosis of separateness. The karma which they withhold eventually passes through the barriers which they have erected, and reaches them when they themselves have been swept, by a a power greater than their own, into unity with That of which they are a part. If the law which they employ could be used with equal knowledge by those whose basic quality is love, then the demands of the karma of disease could be met before it actually affected the material of the physical body. The degree of success which would crown this effort would depend upon the sufferer's and the healer's knowledge of the law and upon the degree of their realization of unity. No man below the level of Adeptship can have a full and perfect realization of unity, but, by education and meditation, a great measure of realization can be achieved.
Karmic forces may be thought of in terms of the colours of the spectrum. A colour may become white, and so virtually disappear, if it meets and becomes combined with its complementary hue. Adverse forces may be rendered inoperative by a perfect balance of opposite polarities . A deep study must, therefore, be made of the karma of disease,so that knowledge may be gained, firstly, of the type of energy which is behind each disease and, secondly, of the energy by which it may be neutralized.
All this may occur outside the personal sphere. It is a form of spiritual alchemy which will be part of the wisdom of succeeding races of mankind. It cannot operate where separateness remains. Success demands that separateness shall in some measure have been transcended. Unity is the great prophylactic; if attained by the ego, its power permeates the personal vehicles and renders them immune from chronic disease. It belongs to the plane of wisdom, which is said to "mightily and sweetly order all things." The life force of that lofty level surrounds and pervades every atom of every vehicle and forms a matrix for the four-fold personality of man. Under the influence of an intense personal realization of unity a descent occurs in greatly added measure of this spiritual healing energy which is the true antidote to every disease.
Man employs remedies appropriate to his evolutionary age. The final epoch of human evolution on the earth will find man liberated from the karma of disease. He will have entered consciously into a living sense of unity with all that lives, with That which is behind and within all living things. The age which is now drawing to a close has been the age of dense materialism, though, during successive cycles within that age, mankind has grown less and less material. As man progresses the expression of his karma will tend to be correspondingly less and less material. In their turn the remedies which mankind will employ will also become less and less material until, eventually, they will be entirely spiritual in their nature.
Changes and modifications in this basic principle of the gradual refinement of both karmic action and physical treatment frequently occur. Cancer, for example, is an exception, as it has been precipitated upon mankind in order more rapidly to clear away karmic obstacles and to produce a special hastening and quickening of the evolution of human consciousness. This has been made possible by the fact that certain "perfected" members of the human family, whose evolutionary progress has been exceptionally rapid, has been willing to sacrifice the natural rewards of their success in order that the whole race may share in the beneficent karma of their good deeds and their achievement.
Of this great renunciation the World Teacher is the most glorious and shining example. His presence in the world today [ A reference to the supposed visitation of the World-Teacher occurring at the present time in the person of J.Krishnamurti] means far more to the egos than to the personalities of mankind. An opportunity is now offered to many millions of definitely quickening the normal progress of their evolution and of saving themselves an appreciable number of earthly incarnations. Such great promise can only be fulfilled by a a rapid settlement of the human karmic account.
One of the gravest karmic obstacles to this consummation is that which results from the type of transgression consisting of black magic, blood rites, sexuality and vampirism, which began and reached its culmination in Atlantis, [ A continent, upon which the race preceding the Aryan evolved, now sunk below the Atlantic Ocean ] but has been continued, in varying degree and in various disguises, throughout the ages which have passed since Atlantis sank beneath the waves. The high incidence of cancer is a result of the precipitation of that karma.
Man stands upon the threshold of a new age, and must bridge the gulf between the methods appropriate to the present material epoch and those which will be employed in the more ethereal one which is now opening. Signs of this change are apparent on every side. Science herself is passing from a material to an ethereal conception. Eventually she will pierce through the ethereal to the spiritual; then science and religion will be once more recognized as one. Those great opponents, already drawing together, will themselves become the embodiment and expression of the fundamental principle of unity towards recognition of which the whole trend of evolution is slowly wending its way.
The curative technique of the immediate future is difficult of acquisition, for the existing situation forces upon mankind the acceptance of a compromise. A supreme adaptability in thought and in action is now most essential. The Spirit of Wisdom says to all who are ardently seeking a solution of the present problems, physical, mental and spiritual, which beset mankind: "Keep steadfastly before your eyes that spiritual alchemy by which adversity will be ultimately transmuted into power by means of the universal solvent, which is love. Direct your energies towards the evolution of methods of helping men to meet and neutralize by love their adverse karma in the present age, where love is rare and the realization of unity confined to the few. Work for universal brotherhood, and unfailing guidance will be given to you. The adoption of brotherhood as a fundamental guiding principle in all human relationships will help mankind through the present difficult and dangerous period of transition. Evolve more and more perfect methods of cooperation, between the spiritual and the material, between religion and science, between the Church, the laboratory and consulting room. Avail yourselves most freely of all the spiritual aid which it is within the power of religion to give, for the foundation upon which all religion is built is unity. The life of every scientist, as of every churchman, must be based upon unity expressed as brotherhood, as serve and as love. Thus alone can the search for Truth, spiritual or material, religious or scientific, be entirely successful."
In all studies which are concerned with man, it is well to remember the principle which governs the forthcoming of a universe or a solar system. First the field of evolution is outlined and insulated from all other fields. The Logos then utters the creative word, the sounds of which contain within themselves - in terms of vibratory power - all which He, the Logos, contains within Himself.
The universe is God, rendered objective. At its birth it is God reborn; at its close, it is God more highly evolved. So with man, who is also the logos of his universe. His bodies are himself externalized, objective manifestations of his interior capacities. Even his environment is in a measure a representation of his own nature. A man's environment depends not so much upon the objective phenomena, of which it apparently consists, as upon his relationship to those phenomena. The environment of no two people is the same, even though they live together.
As the Logos lives again in His new-born universe so man is constantly reborn in order to evolve through the medium of his vehicles and his environment. His bodies on every plane are expression of himself, materializations of the qualities of his consciousness. All the matter of which his bodies are build corresponds with minute exactitude to the states and nature of his consciousness. When, therefore, experiments reveal that disease springs from one or other of the subtler vehicles, remember that but the external aspect of disease has been discovered. In reality all disease is rooted in the consciousness, which too, must be studied, so that the two halves of the subject of health and disease may fit together perfectly. Man could not err unless within his consciousness there were contained the seeds of error, brought over from an earlier incarnation.
Karma is thus seen to be dual; in action, it modifies the construction and the nature of each vehicle, and it also exists within the consciousness and finds expression there as deficiency of character, capacity to err, or as possibility of error. In this duality lies the explanation of latent disease, as also of susceptibility to and immunity from disease. Latent disease is the outward expression of a weakness in the ensouling consciousness, a deficiency in the nature of the ego. This latent possibility need not necessarily become active disease. In certain cases the nature of the karma offers to the ego the opportunity of remedying the deficiency and of satisfying the karmic obligation entirely in terms of consciousness. This he may achieve by building in the virtue which will replace the deficiency.
On the other hand, the presence of latent disease is always a possible source of danger, as it renders the subject susceptible to infection. It may also operate as a continual drag upon the development of the personality and as a hidden drain upon the vital force of the body. A large number of people who are moderately, but not perfectly healthy, suffer in this way, though they may never experience active disease. They are peculiarly susceptible to the educative aspect of therapy, for, as we have seen, Nature and their karma permit them to meet their obligations in terms of consciousness. They need to discover their inherent deficiencies, and to replace them with the required opposing virtues.
The material aspects of disease has, up to the present day, been considered as being the most important, and has been indeed the only aspect to be generally recognized and treated. Eventually the consciousness-aspect of disease will be the only one with which the healer will be concerned. Matter itself will have become more evolved, and, being therefore more malleable, it will be more easily influenced and affected by changes of consciousness. One result of this will be that deficiencies of consciousness will produce more serious material effects, but it will also enable the sufferer more easily to cure himself by producing the necessary changes in his consciousness.
The present period of transition is particularly interesting, as there is now appearing a tendency to recognise the consciousness aspect of disease, though many advanced thinkers of the past foreshadowed the discoveries of present and future research in this direction. The method of Hahnemann and his school is an outstanding example of this. As soon, therefore, as medical studies have enabled the student to understand the principles of the material aspect of disease, his attention may well be turned to a study of disease in terms of consciousness. He will find, within the deeper levels of the human mind, strange qualities, peculiar inhibitions and limitations, which influence and modify the construction and development of his various bodies.
The effects of these deeper causes of disease appear chiefly during the pre-natal period, when the bodies are being built; from this point of view all disease is pre-natal in its origin, for the possibility of disease which exists in the consciousness is then implanted in the vehicles. Pre-natal conditions are therefore of the utmost importance to the health of the bodies which are being built. Karma, which might be met by the education of the consciousness and with little or no suffering, is frequently precipitated into material disease by unfavourable pre-natal environment. An important section of the medical practice of the future will be developed in this direction.
Pre-natal conditions must be studied in detail, for many sufferers could be saved from the necessity of physical ill-health by the pre-natal applications of prophylactic and remedial measures. The growing bodies are peculiarly susceptible to spiritual influences, as also to material ones. Though modern civilization makes it for the most part impossible, regular attendance at the services of a church, and the regular administration of the sacraments and of spiritual healing to the mother during pregnancy, would be of inestimable value both to mother and child. The church of the future will have special activities under the direct inspiration of the World Mother, [ see "The Miracle of Birth" by the same author ] devoted to helping expectant mothers and reincarnating egos.
The value of such work can hardly be over-estimated, nor its effect upon the health and physique of the race be exaggerated. During the intra-uterine period the vehicles are especially responsive to spiritual influences, and the modification by the ego of the apportioned karma is far more easily attained before than after birth. The ego has more influence upon the condition of his bodies in their embryonic state than after the physical body has been born. Changes produced in him by spiritual means are far more easily expressed in his vehicles. As this also is the period when disease is implanted in the bodies, the importance of spiritual assistance, as well as of perfect environment during pregnancy, will be apparent.
No disease exists above the mental plane, whether of planet, solar system or cosmos. Beyond that level perfection reigns. Differences in degree of evolutionary progress alone are to be found. Spiritual and educative healing should therefore be directed towards lifting the consciousness of the personality into super-mental realms. When that exaltation is attained, the perfection of the higher worlds is automatically reflected in the lower. Floods of power from the realm of the Christ Consciousness or Divine Wisdom in man descends into the personality.
The expression in thought and action of the qualities of Divine Wisdom is the surest means of neutralizing karma, of correcting mental and emotion error, and of harmonizing all the vehicles. Every patient could heal himself, could he but lift his consciousness into that realm, drawn down its light and power and express it in his daily life.
The physician's task is threefold. He must correct and cure the errors and deficiencies, malformations and diseases of the physical body; educate the mind and the emotions; and train his patients to discover and release the healing powers of the Christ within themselves. This is the triple function of the healer, the expression within himself of the triple God.
Christ is the great healer of the world; the Christ in man is the great, the true, the natural healer of man. By the aid of the spiritual light shining within himself, man may see his errors and deficiencies, may understand the working of the law by which he suffers. Thus strengthened and illumined, he may find the power to remedy his deficiencies and the knowledge to satisfy the demands of the great law.
DISEASE IN THE SUBTLE AND PHYSICAL BODIES
Cancer is, above all, a disease which springs from the misuse of power, and one from which those evolving on the first or "will" ray [ A reference to the first of the seven major temperaments or rays into which all men may be classified. See "The Seven Rays", by Ernest Wood ] are prone to suffer. The will is prostituted, is used to master and employ forces and intelligences for personal ends, instead of for the upliftment of the race and the quickening of the individual evolution. An inviolable law ordains that, where the veil which hides the invisible is pierced, the knowledge and the power which are revealed and released must be used for the furtherance of the evolutionary scheme.
All misuse of power, all prostitution of invisible and occult agencies and intelligences, brings down upon the user the new karma of being himself the victim of the agencies and the forces which he has employed. Internal occult energies influence and affect the evolving man, and the karma of their misuse reacts primarily from within the man himself. Kundalinic forces [ An occult power resident in man, sometimes called the serpent fire. Vide "The Chakras" by C.W.Leadbeater ] when misused, affect the cerebro-spinal system adversely. All spinal diseases and malformations may be traced to the misuse of the serpent fire. A principle is thereby indicated that the karma of the misuse of external agencies is attack and injury by invading entities, while the misuse of the interior natural forces of man affects him from within.
The misuse of emotion energies, excess of sensuality per se, apart altogether from magic and unholy ceremonials, tend, by correspondence, to affect the mucous membranes which line the canals and passages of the body. Disease is set up in or upon those membranes as a result. The astral body itself is injured and poisoned, and the physical body is thereby affected.
Diseases which spring from errors in the use of the mind tend to affect the cerebro-spinal system, and more especially the organs of cognition.
Each portion of the body has its correspondence with a subtle principle. Misuse of the principle, or of its energies or capacities, affects the corresponding physical organ. This process can only be fully understood after a study of the pre-natal period, when the bodies are being built. All resultant deficiencies and latent diseases spring from this period in the cycle of incarnation.
The modern psychologist, whilst correct in his inferences concerning the relationship between the subjective and objective man, fails to pursue his subject far enough backwards in the cycle of incarnation. Cancer, for example, begins in any life cycle by a modification of the mental body in the very early days of the pre-natal period. The mind is definitely affected, for a portion of the matter of which the mental body is being built is drawn from a general supply of matter which has been previously set in vibration at the cancer rate; this occurs through the matter having been used in the mind-body of one who committed the transgression of which cancer is a result.
A portion of the matter of the emotional body is tainted in the same way, and has had the cancer vibration imparted to it by a direct contact in other previous bodies with the actions which produced the karmic suffering in this one. Similarly the physical material which goes to build the new body has once been made to vibrate at the cancer rate by association with the unholy orgies of the past.
Even under these afflicting conditions, the latent vibration of the past need not be roused into activity. Large numbers of people are walking the earth under these conditions who have not yet shown symptoms of cancer. Life after life they have the opportunity of neutralizing their karma and of extirpating the offending matter from their bodies. Only after repeated failure to effect this does the latent disease become active in the three vehicles.
So, also, with all the great chronic diseases of mankind. A susceptibility to them is always present after the karma-producing actions have been performed; it is traceable in the matter, both of the subtler and physical bodies; in the latter it is generally to be found in the blood.
The physician meets men at various stages of the working out of their karma, from the latent period of susceptibility to disease to the period of activity when the symptoms appear. From all that has been said, it will be seen that the latent period is the one in which the most favourable results may be produced. The definite suggestion, therefore, is made that all children should be treated as far as possible for latent disease. A technique will need to be evolved whereby its presence may be discovered as soon as possible after birth and measures taken for its removal. Clairvoyance is perhaps the ideal method for making the necessary tests, but instruments will be evolved from those already in use, which will enable medical science to diagnose latent disease during the first year of life.
The sacrament of baptism can be of great assistance to the ego in neutralizing his karma by placing powers in his hands and making for him links with the Great Healer of the World which will assist him towards that end. Confirmation carries further this process, which may reach its apotheosis in the administration of the Blessed Sacrament.
There is urgent necessity for research concerning the application of spiritual aid to the healing of disease.
MOTHERHOOD AND HEALTH
The great need of the world today is for a change in the attitude of the race towards marriage, parenthood, women and childbirth. The mother must be recognized as a representative of the Mother aspect of the Deity, the baby as the Christ Child newly born.
Mary, once the holy Mother of the Lord, now the Divine Mother of the World [ see "The World Mother as Symbol and Fact" by C.W.Leadbeater ] sends forth a great appeal to men to share with Her, Her work for womanhood and motherhood. She calls on all the foremost leaders and thinkers in the world to rally under Her banner; to devote themselves to the service of woman; to work for the exaltation of the ideal of parenthood, and to form a strong body of chivalrous protectors of women and little children.
She seeks a worldwide response to these ideals, and would have men plan an international campaign to reach the hearts and minds of the nations of the world, and plead with them in the sacred cause of Motherhood. She broods over the human race. Incarnate in its womanhood and immanent in every child, She sees Herself in every woman, and Hers Son in every babe.
The degradation through which the women of the human race have passed must cease. The stain of that degradation must be wiped away. Children must be born in joy; the mother must be surrounded with love and protection, with harmony, with beauty and with peace; she must be taught the spiritual significance of her function, and be prepared for its exercise by devotion and by prayer. She needs the best that civilization can provide for her. No offering is too great, when made in recognition of the service which she renders to the race as mother of mankind.
Slums and overcrowded areas, ill-ventilated rooms, ugly surroundings, vice, self-indulgence, interference by the husband, and lack of cleanliness and air make motherhood a ghastly tragedy for thousands of the women of our race. Conditions which fill the office of the World Mother with such sorrow must be removed. Mothers must be lifted out of the slums and crowded areas into the pure air and beauty of the countryside.Fit dwelling-places must be prepared for the sacrament of birth. Physicians must band themselves together to bring about this most necessary reform.
When thinkers and idealists meet together to plan and to prepare for the healing methods of the coming age, the World Mother would have them hold within their thoughts the mothers of their children, and the children too, for they will relieve themselves of half their labours if they will but care wisely and tenderly for mothers-to-be.
If the bodies of all expectant mothers could be cleansed of latent disease, their feelings purified and their minds turned to the contemplation of the beautiful, in one generation alone a race of men, god-like in health, in strength and beauty, would appear. All the material seeds of sickness, of misery and shame, which develop after birth, are sown during the pre-natal period. All these things are latent in the body and the soul, planted there during the months of waiting for the birth. Work must be planned and undertaken, therefore, to awaken the consciousness of men to these fundamental facts, to draw attention to the splendid opportunities for building a healthy, splendid and godlike race by the provision of a perfect environment for motherhood.
She, the Holy Mother Herself, enters into every chamber of birth. She gives Her service in the slum, the prison and the tenement. No woman is so low as to be outside the range of Her all-embracing love. She honours even the most degraded, in the name of the Divine Mother which She sees within. She sanctifies the shrine of birth and welcomes every human babe into this sublunary above.
If thus She serves, will not mankind give service too? If every organized society, secular and sacred, religious and profane, would devote a little of its time and energy to this great cause, the future of the race would be changed as by a miracle. The physique and consciousness of the children of the coming age would be improved beyond all imagining. If medical societies and philanthropic institutions could be brought to realize and recognize the urgency of this need, a magnificent future for the race could be assured.
The concept of the Mother aspect of the Deity must be brought back into the religion of the West, so that it may permeate every order of society. Of what value to raise up churches and shrines to Our Lady, if by their acts and lives men deny the very principle which She represents. Our Lady hovers, brooding over mankind, seeking those who will serve Her, watching for those who will answer to Her call, who She can enrol as knights in Her service. Never has there been greater need for chivalry towards woman and knightly enterprise in her cause than is at present manifest in all the countries of the world. Her knights will reap the full measure of reward, for She herself will lead them, will bless and inspire all their undertakings with the spirit of Her gracious loveliness. Her compassion and Her power. Thus She draws near to the peoples of the earth, seeking those who will serve Her in Her great task, Her office in the hierarchy of "just men made perfect" who live to serve the world. She is seeking and calling in the inner worlds, and now would find voices in the outer, men and women who will plead Her cause, will fight Her battles and represent Her in the field of human endeavour and of sacrifice.
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