All through the long history of the human race there
are records of the practice of healing by magnetic, mental
and spiritual methods. The great messengers have practiced
the art themselves and have enjoined it upon their disciples.
Even among the most primitive races we find traces of such
It is true that there was a time, when to be ill and
weak was accounted a sign of saintliness, when those who
were seeking to tread the spiritual path neglected and ill
treated their bodies, starved and ill-used them until they
were living skeletons, reduced to the lowest possible state
of misery and distress, and quite incapable of constructive
thought and action. These days are past, wiser counsels
now prevail. The mind of man has come to a saner and wiser
opinion. He realizes that the body, which is the temple
of God, should be a fitting habitation for its heavenly
Guest, and that the instrument through which man functions
should be as perfect a machine as possible.
The engineer in charge of a delicate piece of machinery
sees to it that it is kept clean, well oiled and free from
dust in order that it may fulfill his will and carry out
his commands. He well knows there is a danger unless these
conditions are fulfilled; yet, man, who is using as an instrument
the human body, the most delicate piece of machinery that
has come from the hands of the great Engineer, often neglects
and misuses it and fails to keep it in good working order.
It is often asked why people are ill. Many answers might
be given; probably none of them will satisfy the engineer
wholly, until he can hear within his heart the 'still small
voice' telling him in no uncertain language the cause of
the trouble in his own case. It is certainly true that at
the back of every apparent cause there is lack of harmony;
some part of man's being is out of tune, and the
jarring note sets
up vibrations, which affect the whole system. It may be
that there is some habit or weakness in his life, which
is poisoning the springs of his being. No one who is holding
in his consciousness anything which falls below his own
ideal can be in a state of harmony, for all the time – whether
he is aware of it or not – the struggle for mastery between
the higher and lower self is going on.
But then it may be asked why people, who are quite frankly
living a life devoted to material pleasures, are so often
well and happy, while they deny themselves nothing that
will minister to their own physical and emotional satisfaction.
May not the answer be: because in their case there is no
struggle, the soul is not yet awake, the higher consciousness
is sleeping. They are traveling along the line of least
resistance, there is no conflict as yet for them.
Then again it is asked why so often good people are
ill, and we may perhaps answer that question by asking another:
What is goodness? Some people who are called good are very
negative; they allow their minds and bodies to be open to
every sort of influence that comes to them from without.
The garden of their soul is not guarded and tended by the
wise gardener, and the winds blowing from north and south,
from east and west, carry all sorts of seeds: seeds of weeds
and thistles and thorns which fall upon the soil, take root
and spring up very quickly; often they choke the flowers
that are also growing in that garden, and then, in a sensitive
personality, there is struggle for mastery. Disharmony results
from it and consequently weakness and illness.
Let us strive for wisdom, that we may know what to take
in and what to cast out; for when wisdom guards the threshold
we shall become strong and steady like the waterwheel which
revolves at such a rapid rate that it resists and throws
off any object, however heavy, that is thrown against it.
Above the portal of a small convalescent home in an English
country village these words are written, so large that all
who enter may read them and take heed:
For good may ever conquer ill
Health walks where pain has trod
As a man thinketh so is he
Rise then and think with God.
We read in the Christian scriptures: 'Whatsoever things
are good, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things
are of good report – think on these things.' Thought is
creative, thought has a dynamic power: 'as a man thinketh
so is he.' We are taught that every thought has its birth
and death, and that the life of every thought is far longer
and more enduring than the life of the human being.
Hundreds of wireless messages are passing by us during
every hour of the day, but only the instrument that is tuned
to the right note can receive them. The discovery of wireless
telegraphy has been to the thinker a most illuminating example
on the physical plane of what is always happening in the
spiritual spheres. Distance is no longer any obstruction,
and just as in the physical world a receiver is necessary,
so also in the spiritual world; for the law is universal
both in the spiritual realm, the realm of reality, and in
the physical world, which is only the shadow of the real
Let us see to it that our hearts and minds are tuned
to the higher vibrations, so that only those things that
are good, pure, holy, and of good report can enter and dwell
there. Let us keep out the idle thoughts, the unkind thoughts,
the envious thoughts that come knocking at the door of the
heart and which, if we admit them, will result in speech
and action, and produce in our bodies illness, weakness,
weariness. Then when this happens, man in his ignorance
of the true cause goes to the doctor or surgeon who perhaps
performs an operation, and often the patient may be no better
but rather worse, for the real cause of the trouble is untouched.
One may ask: is pain always an evil thing? – And I would
answer: far from it. Sometimes pain comes to us as a kindly
warning. It is the moving finger pointing to us and bidding
us to give heed to our ways, to take account of our doings.
There are different kinds of pain: pain of the body which
is often hard to bear, pain of the mind which is far worse,
and pain of the heart, the deepest part of man's being,
which may be agony. Yet the cry of agony which comes from
the depth of the heart may be a sound of the greatest beauty,
for pain has its beautiful aspect. Think of the pain expressed
in the most perfect music, the finest poetry. There are
moments of intense feeling when pain and joy meet, and one
cannot distinguish where one ends and the other begins;
they have their meeting place in the heart of man. Pain
is like the herb in the hands of the great Transmuter, the
divine Alchemist; falling on the melted silver of the heart,
it turns it into the purest gold, and renders the heart
of man more fitting to be the altar of God.
Who are those to whom people go for sympathy when they
are in trouble? Surely to those who have suffered much, those
who, having gone through great tribulation, have overcome
and have learned by experience that true happiness comes
from within and is independent of outward circumstances.
They can feel not only for others but with others, and out
of the depth of their own experience teach them how to find
courage, faith, and hope. They can help them to bind up
their wounds, and heal their broken hearts. If suffering
can develop in us the blessed gift of sympathy, then surely
we have not suffered in vain; we may well thank God for
every pang, which we have endured.
What of the pain endured by all the great Saviors and
Masters of humanity? We feel here that we are touching a
most sacred mystery which words cannot express – but may
we not reverently believe that, by taking to themselves
the burden of pain of the whole world, they transmuted it
by the process of alchemy, and sent it out as a fountain
of love and power springing up into everlasting life?
However, while pain is one thing, disease is quite another
thing. Disease must always be contrary to the divine Will,
and it is our duty to combat it by every means in our power
and to order our lives along the lines of the sane, healthy
living, obeying the laws of health in matters of diet, sanitation
and clothing. Disease is largely the product of over-civilization.
People of less highly evolved civilization know how to keep
themselves in health by simple nature remedies, such as
herbs. It is said that the North-American Indian, when he
comes home tired after a long day's hunting, will fling
himself down upon the ground, relax every sinew and muscle,
and draw into himself fresh stores of energy from the magnetic
currents of the earth, so that after an hour's rest he is
ready to rise up and to go forth again, if necessary, with
renewed strength and vigor.
Among wild animals in their natural state there is very
little disease. They die of old age, of accidents, or of
the attacks of enemies stronger than themselves.
We in the West have lost the knowledge of the use of
simple nature remedies, and there is scarcely one who really
knows how to relax. We should do well to try to get back
this lost knowledge, for health is more likely to be gained
in this way than by use of drugs or the surgeon's knife.
Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm; every substance in
the earth is to be found in the body of man, even to the
lately discovered radium. Therefore it is in a very true
sense that we speak of Mother Earth, and the closer we live
to nature, our great Mother, and the simpler we make our
manner of living, the healthier shall we surely become.
What is health? Health is surely wholeness of body,
heart and mind, complete harmony of the whole being.
Wholeness is also holiness. Nothing short of this should
content us, if as Sufis we are endeavoring to tread the
path which leads to the culmination of love, harmony and
beauty – that perfect trinity which is the goal of all
life. God alone is the healer; those who minister will
only truly heal when they keep this truth always before
them, for it is not the solid wood that makes the flute,
it is the empty reed. The healer is only the instrument
which God Himself is using and, in so far as he can put
aside his own lower personality and dedicate and
consecrate his life to the great service, will he be
successful in the work he has undertaken. He should
endeavor to cultivate an attitude of calmness, serenity,
and poise, of harmony within and without; for just as
the waters of a lake, when tossed to and fro and broken up
by the winds of a great storm, cannot reflect the clear
blue sky, neither can the heart of the one who is disturbed
and distracted by the turmoil of the world and confused
by the sound of earth's many voices, reflect the will of
the God and Father of us all.
It has been said that we grow into the likeness of that
which we habitually contemplate. Therefore constant and
habitual contemplation of the perfect ideal, dwelling in
thought upon the attributes of divine beauty, keeping the
heart tuned to the note of love and harmony, and making
this the practice of daily life, the mind still and calm,
the heart pure and open so that it can reflect the perfect
Will – this should be the aim of life of the one who aspires
to serve humanity as a spiritual healer.
We are told that one of the properties of radium is that,
if for a time you shut up certain substances in an appropriate
receptacle with even a tiny portion of the radium, these
substances will acquire some of the properties of the radium
and will show its power. After some time they lose these
properties and have to be replaced close to the radium in
order to be recharged. We read of the great masters that,
when exhausted after days of teaching and ministering to
the sick, they retired into the mountains and forests to
commune with the Almighty God, and came forth again charged
with fresh power to resume their work of healing and inspiring.
If even for the great ones these times of quiet were necessary,
how much more for us. The action of the radium is a parallel
of the Almighty Father's power; it speaks to us of the refreshment,
which comes from quiet communing with the Supreme.
What should be the attitude of the patient? He must have
a living faith, he must do his part in the work. We read
of Jesus Christ that in one place even he could do no mighty
works because of the unbelief of the people, and again in
another place people came to him with all manner of diseases
and he healed them all. The patient must believe in the
power of God to heal and he must have confidence and trust
in his healer. God holds His blessings out to us, but we
must take them from His hands. If we refuse to co-operate
in the work of healing, we cannot receive the blessing;
if we set up obstacles, we can obstruct even the river of
So the patient must have confidence and trust in the
healer; he must open himself to receive the healing currents
for the conveyance of which the healer is only the channel,
for life and health are the gifts of God Himself.