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February – March 2019 – The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, v. 7, “The Healing of the Self”

PB’s writings in this volume about health and healing encompass “Laws of Nature,” “The Spiritual Importance of Health,” “Hidden Causes of Disease,” and “The Philosopher’s Body.” The following is an example of one of the ways to promote healing. “It is the routine activity of the brain, and especially the mental tendency toward anxiety and fear which is expressed through it, which interferes with Nature’s healing processes—whether it be spiritual or physical or both—or obstructs them or delays them or defeats them completely. This anxiety arises through the sufferer’s confinement to his personal ego and through his ignorance of the arrangements in the World -Idea’s body-pattern for the human body’s protective care. The remedy is in his own hands. It is two-fold: first to change from negative to positive thinking through acquiring either faith in this care or else knowledge of it; second, to give body and brain a total rest as his capacity allows, which is achieved through fasting and in meditation. The first change is more easily made by immediately substituting the positive and opposite idea as soon as the negative one appears in his field of consciousness. He trains himself not to accept any harmful thought and watches his mind during this period of training. This constructive thought must be held and nourished with firm concentration for as long as possible. The second change calls for an abstinence from all thoughts, a mental quiet, as well as an abstinence from all food from one to three days.” (10.3.57)

The Universal Life Force

“There is a single source of Life which envelops the universe and pervades man. By its presence in himself he is able to exist physically and function mentally.” (10. 2.1)

“That Power which brought the body into existence originally maintains its involuntary functions, cures its diseases, and heals its wounds. It is within the body itself; it is the life-force aspect of the Soul, the Overself. Its curative virtue may express itself through various mediums—as herbs and foods, hot, cold, or mud baths, and deep breathings, exercise, and osteopathy—or may express itself by their complete absence as in fasting, often the quickest and most effective medium. Or, disdaining physical methods entirely, it may act directly and almost miraculously as spiritual healing.” (Ibid. para 2)

Spiritual and Mental Healing Defined

PB emphasizes the essence of healing. He says, “Spiritual healing must be separated from mental healing, as the former works by a descent of divine grace but the latter by a power-concentration of mind. A cure in the first case will not only be permanent but also affect the character of the patient, whereas in the second case a cure may be and often is (especially when hypnotic methods are used) transient whilst the character remains untouched.” (10.5.2) “When this happens it means that some kind of wrong thinking or wrong feeling is the cause of his physical sickness…. The proper way to heal it, therefore, is to get at the psychological seat of the problem—that is effect an inner change.” (Ibid. para 4) In the case of mental healing there is not necessarily any change at all in the character of the patient…. His cure simply illustrates the power of mind over body—his own of someone else’s mind. (Ibid. para 5)

Healing Power of the Overself

The point is made that ill health is a mighty teacher.

“The basis of higher healing work is the realization of man as Mind. But the latter is a dimensionless, unindividuated, unconditioned entity. It is not my individual mind. The field of Mind is a common one whereas the field of consciousness is divided up into individual and separate holdings. This is a difference with vast implications, for whoever can cross from the second field to the first, crosses at the same time from an absurdly limited world into a supremely vital one. Consequently, genuine and permanent healing is carried on without one’s conscious association and can be effected by dropping the ego-mind and with it all egoistic desires. Hence the first effort should be to ignore the disease and gain the realization. Only after the latter has been won should the thoughts be allowed to descend again to the disease, with the serene trust that the bodily condition may safely be left in the hands of the World-Mind for final disposal as It decides. There should not be the slightest attempt to dictate a cure to the higher power nor the slightest attempt to introduce a personal will into the treatment. Such attempts will only defeat their purpose. The issues will partly be decided on the balance of karmic and evolutionary factors concerned in the individual case.” (10.6.132) PB’s view on healing is from this perspective: “The Overself knows what you are, what you seek, and what you need.” (Ibid. para 138)