The Science of Mind, by Ernest Shurtleff Holmes , at sacred-texts.com
Mental healing means mind healing. The possibility of healing physical diseases through the power of right thinking rests entirely on the theory that we are surrounded by an Infinite Mind which reacts to our thought.
That people have been healed through prayer and by faith in all ages, there is no question. But we live in a Universe of Law and Order, and at no time can that Law or Order be broken; therefore, if people have been healed through prayer and faith, it is because they have somewhere contacted a Law which really exists. To suppose that God would heal one man any more readily than another, would be to suppose that God is human and subject to the changing emotions that we ascribe to the human mind. To believe that the Divine Power would operate for one man simply because he asked It to, but would not operate for all, would be to believe in a God more human than man himself. It is very evident, however, that many times people have been healed through prayer; and either God has especially answered them, while He left others to suffer, or else by the act of prayer they have complied with some law. Again, many people have prayed and their prayers have not been answered; yet they have prayed to the best of their ability. Why have some been heard and others not heard? The only possible answer is that some reached a place in their mentality where they believed, while others fell short of this mental attitude. After all, prayer is a certain mental attitude, a certain way of thinking, a certain way of believing. All prayer is mental; some prayers reach a state of belief, while others fall short of that state. This leads us to suppose that the answer to prayer is in the prayer when it is prayed. True prayer stimulates a belief in Good which nothing else can, and often causes
the one who prays to rise to a point in mentality where the healing work may be done according to the Law of the Universe, which is a Law of Mind.
We have no objection to any form of healing. Anything that will help to overcome suffering must be good, whether it takes the form of a pill or of a prayer. We do not oppose doctors nor medical practitioners, but gratefully acknowledge the wonderful work that they have done and are doing. We hold no controversy with any one on the subject of healing. We are glad when any one is healed, or helped, by any method. We believe in any and all methods, and know that each has its place in the whole. We know that man's life is a drama which takes place on three planes;--the physical, the mental and the spiritual. We know that each needs to be taken into account. We believe in proper food, proper exercise, proper clothing, proper sanitation and in everything that is real and sensible. We include all and exclude none.
But, while we do not hold arguments with any one, neither will we allow any one to hold controversies with us. We know that man's life, in reality, is spiritual and mental; and that until the thought is healed, no form of cure will be permanent. We will gladly coöperate with any and all; but we will not accept the judgment of any and all. We know that there is a Law higher than the physical, and we seek to use It. We, perhaps, shall not always succeed, but we shall not become discouraged or confused over the issue, but will continue until we arrive.
We hold no arguments over any form of theology. We believe in any and every church and in all forms of worship. Above all, we certainly believe in God. But we will not allow any one to tell us how to worship God, nor compel us to worship in any way other than the way we choose.
We reject the theory that the Truth has been once and for all time given and that It cannot be added to nor taken from. We know this to be true about the Truth; but we also know that no one, so far, has arrived at a complete understanding of Truth. We expect more light all along the line, and we repudiate any belief that says that all truth has been given.
We know that the authority of man is, in most cases, an assumption
and not a reality, and we refuse to be hypnotized into believing in any man-made mandate.
WHAT WE UNDERSTAND ABOUT HEALING
We understand that health is a mental and not a physical state. We seek to heal men's mentalities, knowing that to the degree in which we are successful we shall also be healing their bodies. We know that to the degree in which we are able to see a perfect man he will appear. We feel that man is really perfect, no matter how he appears; and we seek to uncover that perfection which is within every man's life, for this is healing.
We realize that mental healing must also be spiritual healing, for the two cannot be divorced. We know that a belief in duality has made man sick and that the understanding of Unity alone will heal him. We seek to realize that Unity with God in all our healing work. Every treatment must carry with it a realization of God if it is to be a good treatment.
We are not superstitious about this, but understand that it is necessary since all Life is One. God stands to us for the One Life in which we all live.
THOUGHTS ARE THINGS
We know that thoughts are things. We know that thought is intelligent and has power within itself to objectify itself. We know that belief makes thought very powerful. We know that our thought lays hold of Causation and manipulates real Substance. We know that the word of man is the law of his life, under the One Great Law of all Life. We know that thoughts of sickness make man sick, and that thoughts of health and perfection will heal him. We know that a realization of the Presence of God is the most powerful healing agency known to the mind of man. We do not argue over the issue, nor seek to convince any one of its merits. We have passed the stage of doubt and uncertainty; for we KNOW. We also know that we can heal only to the degree that we can think from the higher motive; and we know that we should be constantly on the alert, seeking to embody higher thoughts.
[paragraph continues] Meanwhile, we will use the best thought that we have and will expect to heal and help all who ask our aid.
Thought is the conscious activity of the one thinking, and works as he directs; it works through Law, but that Law is consciously set in motion. We know that Law will operate for us to the fullest extent of our belief in, and understanding of, it.
We realize that since our understanding is not yet complete, it is legitimate to use any and all methods that will help humanity; but we do look forward to the day when Truth alone will answer every need. That day will come to the degree that we know it is already here. The mental healer will do all of his work in Mind and will give his whole time and attention to correct knowing; but he will leave his patient free to use any method that will help him. In this way he will get the best results, for everything is good so far as it goes; but a consciousness of Truth alone can really and permanently heal.