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Chapter 22 Appetites, Intuitions and Impressions, and their Use

We have demonstrated the truth, that the only real thing in the life of the body is the mind, and that the organizing force is the spiritual principle. When the body receives an injury, the inner man goes to work to repair the damage. This was attributed by the earlier physiologists to what they called the vis medicatrix nature, the healing power of nature. But this healing force is evidently spiritual, as all negative, depressing mental states greatly enfeeble its action, while the positive states of the mind increase its vigor. When the system is invaded by disease, the chances of a speedy recovery depend upon the condition of the patient’s mind. If he be free from anxiety, is cheerful, full of hope, and has a stubborn faith, his restoration will be far more speedy under any system of medical treatment. The mind is the hidden force that reacts against disease, and repairs the damage sustained by any of the tissues by accident. To assist the vis medicatrix nature, is the only office of the physician.

In the vital germ in the womb, the soul-principle, imparted to it, sets itself to work to complete the bodily structure. The germ in the female ovaries, is a primary form receptive of the influx of spiritual life. It attracts to itself the most vital elements of the blood, which being robbed of its spiritual essence, is cast out of the system. It is vitalized still more, or receives an additional spiritual principle; from the male semen, and thus endowed with a living force, attracts to itself and around itself from the circulation of the mother the elements necessary to the growth and completeness of the fetal organism. The same process is seen in the egg of the fowl. The germ of the future chick is the yolk. When this receives the vivifying principle from the male, it goes to work to build up the bodily struture. The albumen, or white of the egg, contains in a soluble form all the elements needful for the purpose. The building materials that enter into the composition of the body, are all found in this nutritious substance, and ready to be appropriated. It diminishes in quantity, as the germ enlarges, until it is finally all absorbed.

There is something similar to this in the action of a spiritual organizing force in adult life. Action always implies waste both in mind and body. From the body the devitalized particles are eliminated by the excreting organs, and a new supply is demanded to maintain the integrity of the organization. And we firmly believe that the mind, left to itself, and unbiased by education and the influence of others, will attract to itself what is needful to repair the waste resulting from the wear of its outward machinery. It goes forth in special longings, unerring appetites, and instinctive cravings, for what the body needs. The word appetite (from ad and peto) meas a seeking after something. The mind left to its natural instincts will search, through the whole range of nutritive substances, after that which will supply the needed elements. If our appetites were unvitiated, they would give us with undeviating certainty a safe guide to what the body needs. If our mental intincts and intuitions were properly educated and trusted, they would prove our best physician, whose prescriptions we might rely upon with unhesitating confidence.

In most, if not all, diseased conditions, there is a lack of some particular element, the loss of which impairs the healthy functional action of the weakened organ or organs. To supply this primitive element, whether it be phosphorus, iodine, chlorine, the alkaline or acid principle, is the aim of any judicious medication, or dietetic regulations. Any prescription that fails to do this, is useless, if not positively injurious. In nine cases out of ten, the mind of the patient, in its instinctive cravings, will be the safest guide, and will give a prescription in plain English, without any unintelligible Latin or Cabalistic signs, where there is a deficient quantity of any element entering into the composition of the human frame, the mind will be moved by a a special desire and longing for that very thing, or for some article of diet containing a large percentage of it. Or if there be an excess of some organic element, the soul will put forth its feelers after something to neaturalize it. In a torpidity of the liver, the alkaline bile accumulates, and the patient feels a desire for acids to neutralize the excess of alkali. For the mind, as an organizing force exhibits a perpetual conatus to keep the body in such a state as to render it a suitable instrument for the performance of the uses of the soul in this lower range of existence.

We have known children to eat salt with greater apparent relish than others would sugar. This indicates a want of chloric acid, which that article supplies. In certain cold and negative states, we have known others to exhibit a special appetite for starch, which they would devour with avidity. In a large proportion of diseases there is a superabundance of the alkaline principle. In such cases the citric acid of lemons and of most sour fruits, or the lactic acid of sour milk cheese and buttermilk, become grateful to the taste. Lehmann, in his Chemical Physiology, has shown that the essential elements of the gastric juice are the lactic and chloric acids, in a free state. They also assist in the absorption of the chyle from the alimentary canal. In some diseases, as dropsy, there is a lack of the alkaline or an excess of the negative or acid element. The mind, through the sympathetic nerves, would then prescribe, as a diet, something abounding in alkali to neutralize the accumulating acid, and restore the balance between the positive and negative forces of the system. If we would learn the language of our inward oracle, and heed reverently its voice, we should discover within ourselves a temple of Esculapius, whose responses to our questionings would be a safe guide to health and longevity. But we stop our ears to its divine revelations, heed not its suggestions, and listen to the blind and senseless formulas of the drug practitioner, but too often repent our folly when it is too late.

The mind also needs nutriment to furnish the spiritual pabulum necessary to its endless growth, and to supply the means of recuperation from the fatigue resulting from long continued action in a given direction. It needs recreation, or recreation, which is only a change in the mode of its activity. We are so constituted that whatever will heighten our spiritual activities, add to the growth and vigor of our powers, and increase our happiness, we instinctively long for, and seize upon with avidity. Many morbid mental states are only a starved condition of the intellect or the affections. There is an indefinable longing, an unsatisfied craving for something it has not. The pathological state resulting, is that of mental weakness and bodily decrepitude. If the human mind was left more to itself, and to a freer development of its individuality, the world would be better and happier. Every healthy soul is the supreme judge of its own needs.

There are many in the present advanced age of society, who have outgrown the infantile state that can draw nutriment from books, sermons, essays, and the mouldy Gibeonitish crusts of cant phrases used in the current religious instruction, so called. The mental stomach loathes the innutritious and unsavory cookery of the church, which has only the power to sharpen men’s appetites for something better. We rise from its table with our inward hunger unsatiated, our thirst unquenched. We crave the vital essence of truth itself, and not the external husk. Such minds turn with instinctive longing to the opening heavens, and seek, in communion with the angel-world, the living bread. This they do as intuitively as the new-born infant seeks the maternal breast. We ask our appointed teachers for bread, and get a stone; for fish, and a serpent is served up for us; for an egg — for a living germ of truth, — and are turned off with a scorpion. We run over their ancient bill of fare, worn and defaced, and find nothing which our mental instincts crave. We go through their round of outward ceremonies, their genuflections, washings, prayers, and psalm-singing, rehearse an unintelligible creed, and like a hungry man, dream we are filled, but awake, and behold, we are empty.

In such a state, it is practicable for us to listen to the voiceless instruction of the angel-world. No miracle, no departure from the ordinary laws of the spirit is required to open a living intercourse with the heavens. It is a fact, as well established as any principle of chemistry, that one mind can impress its thoughts and feelings upon another, without the intervention of spoken words. Thousands of successful experiments have confirmed its truth and reality. We accept it as a settled principle. Angelic spirits may impress our delicately sensitive inner organism, as easily as they are supposed to play upon a golden harp, and thus give us an intuitive knowledge of the truths we need. A larger proportion of our highest and best thoughts owe their origin to this source, and come to us from the upper realms, than we are aware of. We should receive vastly more from those in the inner world who love us, and long to share their celestial treasure with us, if we had not been educated to fear them, and even to believe that intercourse with them is wicked notwithstanding Jesus set us the example of communion with the ever-present heavens. Such teachers take away the key of knowledge. They will neither enter the temple of wisdom themselves, nor suffer others, whom they can prevent, to do so.

In consequence of this unnatural education, there is many a one who would be much afraid of the spirit of his mother, as he ought to be of the me medieval devil. But the desire to communicate good and truth to man on earth is as natural for good spirits, as it is for water to descend from a higher to a lower level. It is the delight of their life. It is something like what we observe in ourselves here. If your loved and loving friend is removed from you, how be longs to see you and speak to you. If there was anything you needed to make you well and happy, if it were possible for him to speak to your inner ear, how gladly would he inform you where to find it. This longing, this pang and chasm of separation, which we feel when we are absent from loved ones, is but an expression of the same feeling that leads those above to desire to communicate their better thoughts and feelings to those below. It would be painful for us to visit one we loved , and fail in our attempts to cause him to recollect us, and to have him fly from us as from one who would do him injury. These are natural feelings, belonging to the very essence of the soul, and are carried over with us to the other life. When we outgrow our unnatural fear of our best friends, and do not fly from their love as if it were infernal hate, and welcome their return to us, and recognize them in their true character, converse with the upper sphere of being will be more frequent and elevating.

We have reason to believe, that in consequence of this unnatural feeling which we owe to our want of proper education, and our dismal doubts of their real existence, our friends who have migrated to the celestial plains, feel our loss as much as we do theirs. It must be unpleasant for a child who returns home from a journey to a foreign clime, to the parents he loves, and to whom he longs to impart the rich stores of information he has gained, to have them be frightened at his approach, refuse his offered treasures, and close the door in his face.

It is remarked by one who had a larger experience of an open intercourse with the angel-world, than any man in modern history, that in the other world there is a universal communication of thoughts and affections, owing to the very nature and laws of spirit. The knowledge of an individual or association is as naturally
imparted to all who desire it, as for a heated body, for instance a gold coin, to transfuse its heat into another in contact with it. Only in the spiritual world this is done more perfectly and without any diminution of light in the communicating mind. In the Arcana Celestia we are truly told, “That there is not only a communication of another’s affections and thoughts, but also of his knowledge, and that so completely, as for one to think that he known whatever another does, although before he had no aquaintance with such subjects. Thus all the attainments of one are communicated to others. Some spirits retain what they are thus made acquainted with, but others do not.”

The same illumined author further observes, “Souls are surprised on their entrance into another life, to find that there is such a communication of the thoughts of others, and that they instantly become acquainted, not only with the character of another’s mind, but also with that of his knowledge.”

This is only a universal law and property of mind, and we may avail ourselves of it here and now, for we are only spirits clothed with a material body. It is as natural for one mind to communicate its thoughts and feelings to another, as for a flower to emit fragrance. The inner world spontaneously flows into the outer. No influx is necessary to this influx of celestial light, anymore than is needful to cause the stars in a clear firmament to shine into the darkness, but only a receptive mind. We may come into a conscious communication with the light of the spiritual world, which, in its essence, is pure truth, and we may do this without intercourse with any individual spirit. We may imbibe the living light of a higher sun. The higher always gravitates to a lower level, the interior to the external. This is the established order of influx. And we have it in our power to commence a course of education, or development from within, in place of the bungling instruction we receive from without — from books and tutors. To put our spirits into harmonious conjunction with the angelic realms and the living light of a higher sky and diviner sun, is to come into a position where we may learn, in the brief space of an hour, more than by months of patient study in the schools. Blessed is the man who has been inserted into an angelic consociation, who has an all-satisfying fellowship with those who have graduated to a nearer approach to the Infinite Mind, and who find a conscious celestial companionship in the most lonely solitude.

If we would educate our intuitions and impressions, they would become an almost unerring light. Man are influenced by them now far more than in the pride of their boasted reason, they are ready to acknowledge. What we need is the restoration of our inner life to freedom. It was made to rule the outward senses, not to be in bondage to them. Most men are in an abnormal state, an inverted position. Our inner self, by which we are placed in contact with the spiritual world, is overlaid and suppressed by our sensuous nature. To our inner man, the heavens may speak in a still small voice, — in a calm and deep revealing. Internally we are always in speaking distance with the angels. They are our nearest neighbors. Ideas, which are only the living images of things, have their home in the spiritual realm. They are an objective creation there. They are the primitives of all our mental conceptions, the soul of our thoughts, and inmost essence of vocal language. Angelic and celestial ideas flow into our thoughts so far as they are able to contain them, and spoken words are the outward expression of thoughts.

Thought in the spiritual world is as distinctly heard as words are in our social intercourse here. For thought occasions a vibration in the spiritual atmosphere, which is conveyed to the inner ear, just as our vocal utterances cause an undulato-ry movement of the air, which affects the external organ of hearing. But the one is as audible as the other. Converse with those in the interior or spiritual realm is as easy to those who understand the principles and laws by which it is effected and governed, and who have passed through the necessary development, as it is for us to speak to one another in this external plane of life. There is a far more satisfying and reliable medium of communication then written or oral language. We do not attach the same meaning to outward words, hence do not understand each other fully. But our thoughts, if they were communicated to each other, would be clear and intelligible. In Dr. Brittan’s recent excellent work, “Man and his Relations,” he says: “The human mind in its progress employs media and methods of communication, suited to the several stages of its development. However serviceable these instrumentalities may be — each in its appiopriate time and place — they may be inadequate to meet the demands of more enlightened periods. We realize the insufficiency of written and oral language to express the highest thoughts and deepest feelings. There is another — it may possibly become — a more perfect medium of commnnication. This language, though unwritten and unspoken, may be adequate to a fuller expression of all we feel and know. It is not unfrequently the means, — little as it is practiced and understood — of revealing thoughts and impulses to which a vocal utterance has been denied.”

In the other world language is a cogitatio loquens, a cogitative utterance. It is the communication of thought from one mind to another. This is as perceptible to the inner auditory sensory as words are to us. When an angelic idea is received by us, the degrees of descent are these. Spiritual ideas flow into our thoughts, and these find utterance, or an embodiment, in the words that are in our memory. But our thoughts may not be capacious enough to hold an angelic idea, and our words but poorly express our thoughts. He whose mind is exalted to a spiritual plane of activity, may perceive, as Paul did, unutterable things. The soul, in the calm, loving, and living light of a supersensuous realm, may enjoy an ineffable intellectual and affectional experience.

In what we have said, there may be seen the operation of an arcane principle, a hidden and undeveloped law of our minds, of which we may avail ourselves in holding an all-satisfying communion with the angel-world, and became receptive of its light. If we are diseased and unhappy, and know not where to turn for relief, we may be assured that the light we need is shining on the other shore. Our angel guardians know, or may learn, what we need and will communicate it to us, if we will open the inner ear to receive it, as gladly as a mother would tell her child what will relieve its pains, and we may receive the needed truth as naturally as the opening flower drinks in the rays of the sun. We may rely on such im-pressional intelligence, and intuitive flashes of a higher light, far more than upon the prescriptions of a well-meaning, but imperfectly enlightened physician. In a calm, passive, and receptive mental state, our first impressions, before we have had time to reason, are always the safest and surest guide. What we call reason, is often only a struggle of doubt with truth, and not unfrequently throws us from the pathway of light into the dismal darkness on each side of it.

Sometimes a person attains to a state, where the thoughts of men, which are the vernacular language of the spirit, become distinctly cognizable. Jesus perfectly understood this inner language. There are those now who will answer a question put to them in thought, as readily as if it were addressed to them by the external organs of speech. We have often told what a person’s thoughts and feelings were, many miles away. Madam Guyon relates, in her Autobiography, that she was accustomed to enter into protracted conversations with her Confessor, without the use of spoken words, employing only the cogitatio loquens, the inner language. At length they could thus converse when they were at a distance of miles from each other. This was no miracle. It was only the unfoldment of an unused power of our nature. There is in every man the innate faculty of conversing with spirits in the flesh or those who have put off their outward envelope. Speech similar to that of the spiritual world is implanted in every man, but our sensual educational systems, do not unfold the hidden germ, but oftener suppress it. As soon as anyone comes into the other life, he finds himself in the same speech with the inhabitants of that hitherto mysterious realm, and is able to converse with them without instruction. We could do it here and now, if we would possess ourselves of a knowledge of the laws of the human spirit, and take advantage of them. In ancient times, and all along the stream of human history, there have been those who made use of this inner language, and had communication by means of it with the spiritual world.

What human nature has ever done, is practicable today. For in no epoch of the world have all the hidden powers and capabilities of our being been unfolded. But we are not to suppose that this privilege would be accorded to us for our amusement or that of others, but only for the accomplishment of some important use.

For God always gives to every man the light he needs for the performance of the work assigned him in the plan of Providence. Guided by these hints and suggestions, we may educate ourselves to this high and holy converse, and in advanced years as well or easier than in youth. There are many persons who are dissatisfied with the mere shell of knowledge, the rind of the fruit, the cortex of the tree of life, and long for something to nourish and allay the cravings of their spirit. In harmony with the laws of their being, they may find what they need. The tree of knowledge is beginning to be looked upon as no forbidden fruit, but an enlightened science is giving us access to it, and we may eat and live.

Our highest conceptions we do not get from books, but they are flashes of a purer light, undulations of the abyss of light that communicate a concordant vibratory movement to our minds, and come to us as the whisperings of a still, small voice within. Such communicated thoughts have been appropriately called impressions. If men were less sensuous, and their inner life was adjusted in harmony with the celestial realms, they would not be an unreliable source of knowledge. They are an effort of the heavens to impart to us their living ideas and share with us their intellectual and affectional treasures. For such is the nature of the divine and angelic love, that there is in it a perpetual conatus to impart its own life to all the lower degrees of existence. All that we need is a spirit admissive of it, and the light of the higher realms will spontaneously flow in. The needed receptivity consists in the love of truth for its own sake, and a desire and purpose to apply it to a benevolent use.


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