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Esoteric Healing - Chapter I - The Psychological Causes of Disease
I should like here, in this connection, to give you the third of the Laws which govern the sacred art of healing.

Diseases are an effect of the basic centralization of a man's life energy. From the plane whereon those energies are focused, proceed those determining conditions which produce ill health, and which, therefore, work out as disease or as freedom from disease.

It will be apparent to you, therefore, that a shift of the inner attention (the mental attitude) of the patient can and will produce either real freedom from physical ills or an intensification of those reactions which produce discomfort, disease or death.

In the three laws which I have given you and which you now have before you for consideration, it is obvious that the following facts emerge. These should form the basis of your reflection:

  1. Disease is the result of the blocking of the free flow of the life of the Soul.
  2. It is the product, or the result, of three influences:
    1. Ancient error, emanating from the past history of the person involved.
    2. Human taints, inherited because one is a member of the human family.
    3. Planetary evil, imposed upon all forms on earth by the basic condition, and by time.
  3. It is conditioned by the forces emanating from that plane whereon a man's consciousness is primarily centered.

To the above statements should be added a further fact, already mentioned, that: [55]

  1. There are five major groups of diseases, with their allied complaints and subsidiary diseases.
    1. Tuberculosis.
    2. The syphilitic diseases.
    3. Cancer.
    4. Heart difficulties.
    5. Nervous diseases.

I am not dividing what I have to say into organic and functional troubles, nor do I here refer to illnesses induced by epidemics or by accidents. I refer to those basic taints or predispositions that are the dubious heritage of humanity as a whole, and to those difficulties which are incident to those stages in evolutionary development which are characteristic of those upon the more advanced stages of the Path. It will be seen, therefore, that man comes into incarnation having inherited predispositions to disease which come:

  1. From his own past; i.e., effects which are the result of causes initiated in earlier incarnations.
  2. From the general racial heritage of humanity.
  3. From the condition of the planetary life. These latter causes lift the whole problem out of the usual comprehension of the average man.

A human being is also predisposed to trouble if he has succeeded (as a result of a long evolutionary history) in awakening in some fashion, however slight, the centers above the diaphragm. The moment that that occurs he becomes subject, for a long cycle of lives, to difficulties connected with the heart or with the nervous system in its various branches. Frequently an advanced human being, such as an aspirant or a disciple, may have freed himself from the inherited taints, but will succumb to heart trouble, to nervous disorders, mental imbalance, and over-stimulation. They are [56] classified occasionally as the "diseases of the Mystics."

I would like to make it clear that it is not my intention to enter into the realm of physiological discussion, to elaborate the symptoms of disease, or to deal with the lesions, the pathological conditions, and the distressing details attendant upon the breakdown of any human organism. I am not going to write a treatise on anatomy or on the various sciences which have grown up from a study of the mechanism of the human being, connected as they are with the framework and structure, the organs, nerves, brain tissue and interrelated systems which compose that intricate piece of machinery, the human body. As far as the exoteric science is concerned, two things would successfully deter me:

  1. The whole subject is marvelously dealt with in the many books which embody the literature of medicine and of surgery. There is little that I could add which would be of profit in such a discussion as this.
  2. The readers of my words are not, with few exceptions, versed in the construction and constitution of the human body; and pathological details, the description of diseases, and the various unpleasant symptoms of human degeneration are unwholesome reading for the average man or woman. A little knowledge along these lines can be a most dangerous thing.

I seek to deal primarily with causes, with the inner sources of disease and deal with those states of consciousness (I do not say states of mind only) which induce wrong functioning, and eventually wrong conditions.

The problem of the healer, therefore, is twofold:

  • First, he must know whether the difficulty lies above or below the diaphragm; this takes him definitely into the realm of occult as well as of psychological knowledge.
  • Secondly, he must [57] have a clear grasp of the patient's inner emphasis; this last aids him in the diagnosis of the first.
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