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Chapter 21 The Mind Not Limited by Space in the Transmission of Psychological and Sanative Influences

It is one of the peculiar properties of mind, or spiritual essence, that it is not subject to the limitations of time and space. These are the essential conditions of what we call matter. It exists in time and fills space, and is limited to the space it occupies. But the human spirit is free from this confinement and restraint. In the realm of spirit, time and space are not objective realities, but subjective states, or as Kant expresses it, “forms of the intellect.” It can be present, really and substantially, with those who are miles away. It is a common form of expression, not originated by Paul, but arising from an intuitive recognition of its mysterious nature and powers, that we are present in spirit with certain loved ones, though absent from them in body. Not that our souls actually leave their bodies, for the connection between them is never dissolved but once, but our mental presence and force seem to go forth to a distance, and break loose from all spatial restraints. For in another world the spirit moves not so much by a psssing from one point of space to another, as by a change of state, and a transferrence of its force. In this way we may appear to ourselves to journey miles away, until we are present with some distant person. Sometimes the intervening objects and scenery pass in review, and may be described.

We may influence the thoughts and feelings of the distant one, with whom we come into rapport, which is only a spiritual presence and conjunction of two minds, in the same way, it is to be presumed, that one spirit acts upon and into another spirit in the world above. We often feel an indefinable sense of the presence of persons, both those who are still living in the flesh, and those who have passed to the inner sphere of life. This is something most real, and not the working of what we call imagination. It usually occurs in connection with those with whom we are in sympathy. Through the impression made upon the spirit, the body, or any of its organs, may he affected. For all psychological influences effect a change in the physiological movements. In this way life may he infused into any weakened part, pains may be dispersed, and inflammations and congestions relieved.

When examining a patient hundreds of miles away, we have sometimes been sensibly affected with their diseased state both of mind and body. Once where the patient was troubled with almost perpetual nausea, it occasioncd vomiting in us. Such effects are common in psychometrical examinations. If a patient can thus
affect a physician, not merely with mental impressions, but in a moment modify the functional action of the bodily organs, can he not influence the patient as well? Availing himself of this mental law and force, he can affect the physiological action of any organ in the body. We have found many cases where this mode of treatment was even more efficient than the ordinary magnetic manipulations. We devoted more than a year to the study of the laws that govern this transmission of vital force to a distance, and to experiments with it.

Most of the experiments made in psychology have been of a trivial nature, and of no other value than the proof they afford of the existence of a law of action and reaction between minds at a distance. Our experiments were entered upon, not so much with the desire to establish the reality of such an influence of mind upon mind, as to see if it could not be turned to some important hygienic use. This has been satisfactorily demonstrated, and it has proved itself to be a sanative agency to an extent far beyond our expectations. Many quite desperate cases of chronic disease have been cured in this, to some incredible way, in a few days. The rest of this volume could be filled with authenticated facts in relation to marvelous cures by the use of no other remedial agency. But we have deemed it better, at least it is more in consonance with our feelings, to imitate the great Physician, and say to the patients thus healed and loosed from their infirmities, “See thou tell no man.” Certificates of wonderful cures and advertisements of miraculous gifts, spring more from a desire to make money out of the sufferings of humanity, than a desire to do good to the souls and bodies of men. They are no reliable evidence of an ability to cure “all manner of sickness and disease among the people,” but sometimes indicate a lack of that pure, unselfish love which is the only healing power.

The great forces of nature are silent in their operation, and make but little show or noise. It does not come within the scope of the present volume, to make an encyclopedia of facts, but to unfold the principles and the philosophy of all the individual facts that could be collected under the various subjects treated of. We hold to the heresy that principles come before facts in the true order of mental growth, and the knowledge of things in their causes, is of more worth than a recognition of effects. This we acknowledge is not the Baconian method of philosophyzing.

Jesus of Nazareth possessed the power of transferring his mental presence and spiritual force through any extent of spatial distance, and in a degree never witnessed before in the world. It is the highest glory of a disciple to be like the Master or Teacher. He speaks of being in heaven even while he dwelt bodily on the earth. “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man who is in heaven.” The import of these words is, that while on earth his soul had risen to a truly spiritual life. His inner selfhood was not in bondage to material limitations, but was subject to the laws that govern human nature in the spiritual world, and having attained to the exalted privileges of the other and inner life, was invested with the powers of a pure spirit. His interior manhood, thus made capable of acting independently of the bodily instrument, and freed from material limitations, read the very thoughts of men; told them, as in the case of Nathaniel, secret facts in their past life; and sometimes disclosed the future, by a piercing glance into the realm of causation. In a word, though possessed of a material body, the inner man was emancipated from material thraldom, and asserted its supremacy. In this state, he cured disease, often without touching the patient. His spirit acted directly upon the living spirit of the diseased, and thus acted upon the cause of the external pathological condition. Just in proportion as anyone attains to the state exhibited by him, can he cure diseases of mind and body as he did.

We wish to steer clear of all theological speculations and controversies, and shall enter upon no discussion as to the nature of Jesus, nor cry, Ecce Homo, nor Ecce Deus, nor Ecce Deus-Homo, though we cannot well avoid the confession of our faith in him, as the one and only God made flesh, and dwelling among us. One thing all theories and creeds admit, — and this is the only truth we care now to deal with — that he had a complete human nature, which passed through a perfectly human development from its birth to its glorification and ascension. And what the divine nature did for him, it is willing to do for us, in a degree, and we may be glorified or spiritulized with him. This is certainly the teaching of the New Testament.

The interior state of which we are speaking is not a negative one, but is intensely positive toward all on a lower plane. It is a state receptive of spiritual influx, of life and light from the celestial realms, but is positive and communicative towards those who are only in the sensuous degree of the mind’s action. It is a position of great spiritual power. The lower plane of being is always negatively passive to the spiritual world. So persons, elevated or unfolded to the state we have described, are positive towards those on a lower and less spiritual plane.

In harmony with the laws that govern in the action of mind upon mind, prayer avails for the cure of disease, and would be a more common and efficient remedial agency, if there was more faith among men in the reality and power of spiritual influences. Prayer for another, in its essence, is a desire for the good and happiness of its object. It is one of the forms in which a genuine neighborly love or charity is expressed, and it always affects the mind of him who is the subject of our intercessions. It is only another illustration of the action of one spirit upon another. Among the early Christians, it was a common practice in the cure of diseased states of mind and body. (James v. 14, 15.) And no good reason can be assigned why it should not be as efficient today as it was eighteen centuries ego. We have known several persons who devoted themselves to this method of cure, and with a success that put to shame more material, but less rational and efficacious methods of medication. If disease has a spiritual origin, and its causes are found in pre-existing disordered mental states, Proseuchopathy, or the prayer cure, is as well adapted to the removal of the prior pathological condition of the inner man, as Allopathy, or Hydropathy, or Homeopathy. A return to the pure unselfish love and undoubting faith of the primitive church, would restore to favor again this efficient spiritual remedy for disease. The Seeress of Prevorst, characterized for her unassuming piety and ardent Christian love, in this way cured the Countess Von Maldeghem of insanity and bodily disease.

The power to cure disease by spiritual forces is found in the divine principle of love. Just so far as anyone receives into himself the pure unselfish love of God, — a love that in him is an irrepressible desire to communicate good, — so far there is in him a power to impart life and health and peace to others. Thcre is lodged within him a fraction of the divine omnipotence. So far as he is calmly and humbly conscious of this divine element within him, has he power to do the works of God. Love is the life of all; it is the life of God; it is the divinest and most potential thing in the universe. If a man has attained to tbe life of love, having risen above all selfish considerations as controlling motives of conduct, and is filled with an all-absorbing divine longing to impart good to every human being, and has a faith rooted in love, his slightest touch is healing. His very presence is fraught with sanative influences. His sphere is a life-giving emanative energy. This healthy spiritual life is communicated by actual material contact, or the action of his mind upon others in the distance. It is a law of our being, and we cannot escape from its operation, that everytime we think of an absent person we affect them for good or evil.

In studying the cures wrought by Jesus, one is struck with the apparent ease with which he overcame every diseased condition. The secret of this seems to be, he healed first the mind, going to the secret mental state as the cause, and on removing this, the effect or correspondent bodily condition ceased at once. The suddenness with which this takes place may be illustrated in this way. If in a fracture of the skull a portion of the cranium presses upon the brain, the patient is deprived of consciousness. The external manifestations of the mind are by this cause suspended. But as soon as the cerebrum is relieved of this pressure, consciousness is restored. Just so soon, in most cases, when the mental state, underlying any diseased condition, is changed to the normal one, the outward pathological state ceases. An effect cannot exist when its cause no longer acts. In this way Christ carried his healing power into the realm of spiritual causes. He addressed himself as a spirit to the spirit of the patient.

If we understand all that is implied in this, and can go and do likewise, diseases of long standing will yield at once to the potent energy of our love. This may be effected at a distance, as well as in the presence of the unhappy sufferer. The greatest difficulty in the cure of a disease, is in coming to the perception of the interior cause, and in finding how to remove it. Independent clairvoyance or intuition is adequate to the first, and magnetism, using the term not merely for mesmerism, but for the law by which mind communicates its spiritual states and forces to another, is equal to the latter result.

In our verbal communications with a patient, we should forget that he has any material body, and speak as a spirit to his spirit. Here is a source of power that is overlooked. We generally speak to each other’s body, and think of nothing else. The reverse of this should be true. If we approach a patient as if he were a spirit, abstracting the mind from the mere perception of his outward organism, and op-proach him with our interior manhood, the living soul, as if we were a spirit, then the better mental state, which is always the stronger, will prevail over and suppress the other and weaker. This is as certain as in a combat of physical strength between two gymnasts, the stronger and more skillful of the two will overcome the other. In this way the patient is renewed in mind, the inner man. He is spiritually healed. The hidden cause of his malady being removed, the spirit being restored to health, the body with all its living, moving forces, soon becomes adjusted to the new order of things that exists within. We must induce upon the patient a new mental state, and supplant the old mode of feeling and thought. We must give him in a proper sense, a new spiritual birth, or at least impregnate him with better interior life. We must convert him.

Such mental changes are sometimes permanent. In the popular revivals, where men’s souls are addressed, and where they almost forget that their hearers have such a thing as a physical body, lasting mental changes are wrought. The convert receives an impulse, an influence, an impression, that changes the whole current of his inner life. It remains for weeks, for months, for years, and often through the rest of his earthly existence. There is nothing supernatural or miraculous in this, and we have nothing to say against it. Good may come out of it. It is in perfect harmony with the spiritual laws that govern us. The united effort of the minister and of those in sympathy with him, being directed to the production or induction of a new mental state upon the “anxious” or “penitent,” they generally succeed in effecting the desired result, the conversion or change of the soul. They might do it much easier, if they were good magnetizers, and understood the laws that control the action of mind upon mind. The most susceptible and passive natures make the easiest converts, and the men who have the most magnetic power, as it is called, are the most successful revivalists.

There is no need to call to our aid any supernatural influences to account for such spiritual metamorphoses. The laws of our mental nature are adequate to produce and explain all such phenomena. The minister and the church induce upon the convert their own mental state. They impart their own mental life, their modes of thought and affection to him. There is nothing more miraculous in this, or out of the usual order of things in the world of mind, than there is when a bar of steel, bent in the form of a horse-shoe, is brought in contact with a powerful electro-magnet, and is made thereby permanently magnetic. All forms of religion effect such mental transformations, both the evangelical and the heretical. Mahometans, Shakers, Adventists, and even Mormons, “do so with their enchantments.” And the law by which it is done is available to change the habitual mental state of a patient, and is legitimately used for such a purpose. To effect such an interior change should be the first aim of an intelligent and benevolent physician. He should be a spiritual midwife to assist the inner men to a birth into a higher and happier life.

We have shown that the sphere which goes forth from every human spirit is not an emission into space of spiritual particles, but is analogous to the action of the radiant forces, heat, light, and electricity. These are now explained by the theory of vibration. When a message is telegraphed from New York to London, no imponderable fluid shoots along the wire, but there is only the transmission of force, a vibratory wave in an elastic medium called the ether. So when one mind acts upon another mind, and influences its thoughts and feelings, when the bodies they animate are separated by hundreds of leagues, the effect is produced in a similar way. There is only a transmission of mental force, and the action and reaction of one spirit upon another. This vibratory movement takes place in an all-pervading, everywhere present element far more refined, elastic, and subtle, than the ether. It is a semi-spiritual essence that fills all space, which has been denominated the aura, the atmosphere of the inner world. It is the medium through which mind acts upon mind, and also upon matter. By means of it, mental and vital force is transmissible to unlimited distances.

This law of action and reaction, between mind and mind, explains the phenomena of fascination or charming, which is only the trsnsmission of spiritual force from one being to another. When an animal is thus enchanted by another, their life becomes so interblended, that an injury indicted upon the charmer, is felt by the other, and the killing of the fascinating animal sometimes proves instant death to the captive. When one person, by a psychological influence, is magnetized or entranced by another, any effect the operator produces upon himself, is communicated to the subject. Their life seems to be intermingled. An unseen but potent influence takes possession of the mind of the subject, and controls its actions. Here is a power that can be turned to good account, or perverted to evil. It can be made an efficient agency in the system of mental hygiene, under the direction of good men and angels, or it can be perverted to witchcraft and demoniacal obsessions. For these invisible forces are controllable by spirits either in the flesh or disrobed of their mortal covering, They may take advantage of these natural laws, and greatly aid in producing the desired benevolent result.

Let us see how this law may be employed in communicating a sanative influence, and remedial force. To think of another, interiorly and abstractly, occasions a spiritual presence, and his image seems to stand before us. Where the thought is grounded in love and good-will, it causes an interior conjunction — a mantel sympathy, a state of rapport. By it they come into a living communication, as real as it would be if they reached through the intervening space and grasped each other by the hand. The feelings of each are communicated to the other. The mental state of the one who is the most positive will predominate, and take possesion of the other, for the stronger force will prevail over the weaker. Thus a healthier mental state will be induced upon the patient. This spirito-magnetic influence can be transmitted independently of spatial distance. We have experimented with it at a distance of over a thousand miles, and once between New Hampshire and Louisiana. The patient should assume an easy and quiet position, and be as passive and undisturbed as possible. The time may be agreed upon between them. It is well for him to be in a room by himself, which is to be but little lighted. For darkness, being a negative state of the surrounding atmosphere, is favorable to psychological influences and impressions, and renders the body more passively susceptible. The room also, in which the patient is, should be only moderately heated. When in the state of spiritual presence and conjunctive sympathy, any effect the operator may produce upon himself, or which he receives by influx from spiritual presences, will be telegraphed instantly to the patient. If he applies his hand to his fore-brain, as if to remove a catarrhal inflammation, it produces the same effect upon the patient. Sometimes such manipulations upon the operator’s person affect the patient a hundred miles away, in as great a degree as they would were he bodily present, and are sometimes as sensibly felt. They affect the spiritual body, which is the seat of sensation.

Instead of applying his hands to himself, the operator may in thought, apply them to the person he would affect, and where and in what way the diseased condition would require. This mental act affects the spiritual organism of the invalid, and through this the physical body. It acts from within outward. It is the transmission of a mental force which produces physiological changes. Its results are sometimes marvelous to those who do not comprehend the spiritual laws that govern us. The patient will be influenced in a degree proportioned to his susceptibility, and the mental force of the operator. If the latter have great strength of will, mauifested in calmness, self-reliance, undoubting faith, a peaceful desire to impart good, and confidence in the help of higher powers, the effect produced on the mind of the invalid, end the change wrought in the functional action of the bodily organs, will be decided and permanent. Thus the mysterious forces of life can be transmitted as far as those of light, heat, or electricity can be conveyed through space, and in an analogous way. We feel confident that to every ardent lover of truth the above hints and suggestions will be found to enclose a germ capable of almost unlimited unfoldment. We humbly submit them to the consideration of such minds.

It is well known that, by the law of sympathy, certain diseased states both of mind and body become contagious. The convulsions of hysteria are often propagated among young women in this way. The same is true of chorea, and of stammering. We insensibly imbibe the tastes, manners, habits, and even the bodily condition of others. Boerhaave relates that the pupils of a squint-eyed schoolmaster near Leyden, after a while, exhibited the same obliquity of vision. Those who have the care of the insane and the sick, are more or less affected by them. All abnormal states of mind or body are, in some degree, contagious. But healthy states both of the inner and outer man are equally communicable. The law of sympathy, according to which disease is transmitted from one person to another, is available for the propagation of sound states of the spiritual and physical nature of man. The law operates with equal force both ways. A genuine sympathy, arising from a benevolent disposition, for a person in suffering, actually relieves him of his pain. There is by means of if an interchange of states. We enter, as it were, into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and take upon us his feelings and impart ours to him. We bear a part of his burden, and in proportion as we take upon ourselves his painful sensations and unhappy mental states, is he relieved of them. Patients feel better the moment a physician who is in sympathy with them, comes into the room. His words bring sunshine into their darkness, his presence supplies the magnetic life they need, his touch sends a thrill of pleasure through their whole frame, and his very look dispels their mental and bodily pains. Thus the doctrine of sympathy is of practical value in the treatment of the sick, and can be turned to a useful account.


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