The student of the history of Man will find in the legends, folklore, and history of all peoples evidences of the fact that healing by some form of Occult practice has been followed by all races – all peoples – at all times.
These various forms of occult therapeutics have varied from the revolting practices accompanying the grossest form of barbaric superstition, to the most refined form of procedure accompanying some of the fashionable metaphysical cults of today. These various forms of occult healing of disease have been attached to all forms of religion, from the degraded voodooism of Africa, to the highest forms of religion known to the world.
All sorts of theories have been advanced to account for the cures which have resulted from all these forms of healing – all manner of creeds built around the fact that cures have been made. Priests, teachers and healers have claimed Divine powers, and insisted that they were the representatives of the particular deity which was worshipped in their respective countries, simply because they were able to perform cures of bodily ills. And, in nearly every case, these priests and healers have claimed the cures as proof positive of the truth of the respective religion or school of religious thought which they favored; and at the same time insisted that all other forms of religions or occult healing were bogus and counterfeit, and that they, the said priests making the claim, had the only “real thing”; dire penalties being often threatened to those who dared to patronize any of the opposition healers or priests.
Human nature is much the same all over the world, and in all times. We find the same rivalry and claim of “the only real thing” existing today, both in the case of the rival Voodoo doctors of Africa and the polished leaders of the fashionable metaphysical cults of America – and among all who come in between these two poles. Alas for these claimers of a monopoly of one of Nature’s great forces – these people who make cures in spite of their theories, rather than because of them! Nature’s great recuperative force is as free as air and sunshine, and may be used by anyone who cares to do so. It is not owned or controlled by any person, cult or school – and no particular form of religious belief is necessary to one in order that he may obtain benefit from it – God’s children amuse themselves with many forms, sects, and creeds, but He knows them all as his children and smiles at their childish desires to form themselves into cliques of “chosen people,” attempting to shut out their brethren from the common heritage.
It must have become evident to the student that there must be some great principle underlying all these varying forms of occult healing, because they all make cures in spite of the fact that each claims to have the only correct theory and denounces the theories of the others.
There must be some great force which they are all using, blindly in many cases, and their differing theories and creeds which they have built up around their cures must be merely regarded as incidents of the use of the great healing force, and in no way the real explanation of the phenomena of occult healing. Any explanation to be worth a moment’s attention must explain, or attempt to explain, all the various forms of occult healing – for all the various cults and schools make cures, and have done so in all ages – in spite of their creeds and theories. The Yogi philosophers have for centuries past known and practiced various forms of occult therapeutics, and have studied deeply and thoroughly into the principles underlying the cures.
But they have never deceived themselves into imagining that they had any monopoly of the matter – in fact their researches and experiments have convinced them that all healers are using a great natural force – the same in all cases, although applied and called into operation in various ways – and that the metaphysical theories, religious beliefs, claims of divine favoritism, etc., that have been built around this occult healing, have no more to do with it than they would have to do with electricity or magnetism, had they been built around these great forces instead of around the great healing force.
The Yogis realize that all forms of healing are but different means of calling into operation this great force of Nature – some forms being fitted for one case, and some for others – combinations being often used to suit some particular case. The Yogis realize that Prana is the direct force used in all of these cures, although the Prana is called into operation in several different ways, as we shall see as we proceed. They teach that all forms of occult healing can be explained in this way – in fact they perform cures in nearly all the ways used by the great schools of occult therapeutics – and have for centuries – believing that the one theory underlies them all.
They divide the forms of healing into three general classes:
(I) Pranic Healing, including what is known to the Western world as “magnetic healing,” etc.;
(II) Mental Healing, including the several forms of mental and psychic healing, including “absent treatments,” as well as cures made under what is known as “the law of suggestion”, etc.;
(III) Spiritual Healing, which is a very rare form of healing, and is possessed by those of advanced spiritual attainment, and is a very different thing from that which is called by the same name by some of the “healers” of today.
But under even the last advanced form of healing lies the same force, “Prana.” Prana is the instrument by which the cure is effected, no matter what method is used, or who uses it. In considering the subject of Occult Therapeutics, we must go back to the beginning. Before considering the question of cure we must look at the healthy body.
The Yogi Philosophy teaches that God gives to each individual a physical machine adapted to his needs, and also supplies him with the means of keeping it in order, and of repairing it if his negligence allows it to become inefficient. The Yogis recognize the human body as the handiwork of a great Intelligence. They regard its organism as a working machine, the conception and operation of which indicates the greatest wisdom and care. They know that the body IS because of a great Intelligence, and they know that the same Intelligence is still operating through the physical body, and that as the individual falls in with the working of the Divine Law, so will he continue in health and strength. They also know that when Man runs contrary to that law, inharmony and disease result. They believe that it is ridiculous to suppose that this great Intelligence caused the beautiful human body to exist, and then ran away and left it to its fate, for they know that the Intelligence still presides over each and every function of the body, and maybe safely trusted and not feared.
That Intelligence, the manifestation of which we call “Nature” or “The Life Principle”, and similar names, is constantly on the alert to repair damage, heal wounds, knit together broken bones; to throw off harmful materials which have accumulated in the system; and in thousands of ways to keep the machine in good running order. Much that we call disease is really a beneficent action of Nature designed to get rid of poisonous substances which we have allowed to enter and remain in our system.
Let us see just what this body means. Let us suppose a soul seeking a tenement in which to work out this phase of its existence. Occultists know that in order to manifest in certain ways, the soul has need of a fleshly habitation. Let us see what the soul requires in the way of a body, and then let us see whether Nature has given it what it needs. In the first place, the soul needs a highly organized physical instrument of thought, and a central station from which it may direct the workings of the body. Nature provides that wonderful instrument, the human brain, the possibilities of which we, at this time, but faintly recognize.
The portion of the brain which Man uses in this stage of his development is but a tiny part of the entire brain-area. The unused portion is awaiting the evolution of the race. Secondly, the soul needs organs designed to receive and record the various forms of impressions from without. Nature steps in and provides the eye, the ear, the nose, the organs of taste and the nerves whereby we feel. Nature is keeping other senses in reserve, until the need of them is felt by the race. Then, means of communication between the brain and the different parts of the body are needed. Nature has “wired” the body with nerves in a wonder ful manner. The brain telegraphs over these wires instructions to all parts of the body, sending its orders to cell and organ, and insisting upon immediate obedience.
The brain receives telegrams from all parts of the body, warning it of danger; calling for help; making complaints, etc. Then the body must have means of moving around in the world. It has outgrown the plantlike inherited tendencies, and wants to “move on.” Besides this it wants to reach out after things and turn them to its own use. Nature has provided limbs, and muscles, and tendons, with which to work the limbs. Then the body needs a frame work to keep it in shape, to protect it from shock; to give it strength and firmness; to prop it up, as it were. Nature gives it the bony frame known as the skeleton, a marvelous piece of machinery, which is well worthy of your study.
The soul needs a physical, means of communication with other embodied souls. Nature supplies the means of communication in the organs of speech and hearing. The body needs a system of carrying repair materials to all of its system, to build up; replenish; repair; and strengthen all the several parts. It also needs a similar system whereby the waste, refuse matter may be carried to the crematory, burned up and sent out of the system. Nature gives us the life carrying blood – the arteries and veins through which it flows to and fro performing its work – the lungs to oxygenize the blood and to burn up the waste matter. (See “Science of Breath.” Chapter III.) The body needs material from the outside, with which to build up and repair its parts. Nature provides means of eating the food; of digesting it; of extracting the nutritious elements; of converting it into shape for absorption by the system; of excreting the waste portions. And, finally, the body is provided with means of reproducing its kind, and providing other souls with fleshly tenements. It is well worth the time of anyone to study something of the wonderful mechanism and workings of the human body.
One gets from this study a most convincing realization of the reality of that great Intelligence in nature – he sees the great Life Principle in operation – he sees that it is not blind chance, or haphazard happening, but that it is the work of a mighty INTELLIGENCE. Then he learns to trust that Intelligence, and to know that that which brought him into physical being will carry him through life – that the power which took charge of him then, has charge of him now, and will have charge of him always.
As we open ourselves to the inflow of the great Life Principle, so will we be benefitted. If we fear it, or trust it not, we shut the door upon it and must necessarily suffer. The student may well ask what has all this to do with Occult Therapeutics, and may complain that we are giving him a lesson in Hatha Yoga, in which latter statement he would be near the truth. But we cannot get away from the idea that there is that in Nature which tends towards keeping a man in perfect health, and we cannot help feeling that the true teaching is rather to instruct people how to keep well in the first place rather than to point out how they may get well after they have violated Nature’s laws.
The Yogis think that it is illogical to build up a cult around methods of healing – they feel that if cults must be built up let them rally around the centre of Health, allowing the curing of disease to be merely incidental. In “Hatha Yoga”, our forthcoming book, we will give the principles of the Yogi Philosophy of perfect health, in which is taught the doctrine that Health is the normal condition of man, and that disease is largely a matter of ignorance and the disobeying of natural laws of living and thinking. We will teach there that the healing power exists in every man, and may be called into operation consciously or unconsciously. Occult healing is merely the calling into play of this inner force within the individual (sometimes with the assistance of other individuals) , and the opening up of the system to the recuperative energies already within itself.
All healing is occasioned by what we have called the “Vital Force” in the individual. The active principle of this Vital Force is, as we have explained, that manifestation of universal force – Prana. In order to avoid repetition we would refer you to “Science of Breath” and to “Lesson Seventh” of this course, for an explanation of the Nervous System and how Prana operates over it.
Read over what we have said on this subject, and you will be able to more clearly understand what we are about to say regarding the different forms of occult healing. Let us suppose that a person has neglected the rules of right living and thinking, as set forth in “Hatha Yoga” and other works on the subject, and has “run down” in health. He has tried different forms of material treatment, and wishes to avail himself of what may be found in the several forms of Occult Therapeutics. He finds himself offered several forms of occult healing. We will try to make plain to you how these different forms of healing operate, and the explanation behind each. We cannot give you detailed information and methods in a lesson of this size, for each system would require a volume to do that, but we hope to give you a general idea of the several forms of treatment.