The Principle of Health is moved by Faith; nothing else can call it into action, and only faith can enable you to relate yourself to health, and sever your relation with disease, in your thoughts.
You will continue to think of disease unless you have faith in health. If you do not have faith you will doubt; if you doubt, you will fear; and if you fear, you will relate yourself in mind to that which you fear.
If you fear disease, you will think of yourself in connection with disease; and that will produce within yourself the form and motions of disease. Just as Original Substance creates from itself the forms of its thoughts, so your mind-body, which is original substance,[Pg 47] takes the form and motion of whatever you think about. If you fear disease, dread disease, have doubts about your safety from disease, or if you even contemplate disease, you will connect yourself with it and create its forms and motions within you.
Let me enlarge somewhat upon this point. The potency, or creative power, of a thought is given to it by the faith that is in it.
Thoughts which contain no faith create no forms.
The Formless Substance, which knows all truth and therefore thinks only truth, has perfect faith in every thought, because it thinks only truth; and so all its thoughts create.
But if you will imagine a thought in Formless Substance in which there was no faith, you will see that such a thought could not cause the Substance to move or take form.
Keep in mind the fact that only those thoughts which are conceived in faith[Pg 48] have creative energy. Only those thoughts which have faith with them are able to change function, or to quicken the Principle of Health into activity.
If you do not have faith in health, you will certainly have faith in disease. If you do not have faith in health, it will do you no good to think about health, for your thoughts will have no potency, and will cause no change for the better in your conditions. If you do not have faith in health, I repeat, you will have faith in disease; and if, under such conditions, you think about health for ten hours a day, and think about disease for only a few minutes, the disease thought will control your condition because it will have the potency of faith, while the health thought will not. Your mind-body will take on the form and motions of disease and retain them, because your health thought will not have sufficient dynamic force to change form or motion.[Pg 49]
In order to practice the Science of Being Well, you must have complete faith in health.
Faith begins in belief; and we now come to the question: What must you believe in order to have faith in health?
You must believe that there is more health-power than disease-power in both yourself and your environment; and you cannot help believing this if you consider the facts. These are the facts:—
There is a Thinking Substance from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.
The thought of a form, in this Substance, produces the form; the thought of a motion institutes the motion. In relation to man, the thoughts of Original Substance are always of perfect health and perfect functioning. This Substance, within and without man, always exerts its power toward health.
Man is a thinking center, capable of original thought. He has a mind-body [Pg 50]of Original Substance permeating a physical body; and the functioning of his physical body is determined by the FAITH of his mind-body. If man thinks with faith of the functioning of health, he will cause his internal functions to be performed in a healthy manner, provided that he performs the external functions in a corresponding manner. But if man thinks, with faith, of disease, or of the power of disease, he will cause his internal functioning to be the functioning of disease.
The Original Intelligent Substance is in man, moving toward health; and it is pressing upon him from every side. Man lives, moves, and has his being in a limitless ocean of health-power; and he uses this power according to his faith. If he appropriates it and applies it to himself it is all his; and if he unifies himself with it by unquestioning faith, he cannot fail to attain health, for the power of this Substance is all the power there is.
A belief in the above statements is a foundation for faith in health. If you believe them, you believe that health is[Pg 51] the natural state of man, and that man lives in the midst of Universal Health; that all the power of nature makes for health, and that health is possible to all, and can surely be attained by all. You will believe that the power of health in the universe is ten thousand times greater than that of disease; in fact, that disease has no power whatever, being only the result of perverted thought and faith. And if you believe that health is possible to you, and that it may surely be attained by you, and that you know exactly what to do in order to attain it, you will have faith in health. You will have this faith and knowledge if you read this book through with care and determine to believe in and practice its teachings.
It is not merely the possession of faith, but the personal application of faith which works healing. You must claim health in the beginning, and form a conception of health, and, as far as may be, of yourself as a perfectly[Pg 52] healthy person; and then, by faith, you must claim that you ARE REALIZING this conception.
Do not assert with faith that you are going to get well; assert with faith that you ARE well.
Having faith in health, and applying it to yourself, means having faith that you are healthy; and the first step in this is to claim that it is the truth.
Mentally take the attitude of being well, and do not say anything or do anything which contradicts this attitude. Never speak a word or assume a physical attitude which does not harmonize with the claim: "I am perfectly well." When you walk, go with a brisk step, and with your chest thrown out and your head held up; watch that at all times your physical actions and attitudes are those of a healthy person. When you find that you have relapsed into the attitude of weakness or disease, change instantly; straighten up; think of health and power. Refuse to consider[Pg 53] yourself as other than a perfectly healthy person.
One great aid—perhaps the greatest aid—in applying your faith you will find in the exercise of gratitude.
Whenever you think of yourself, or of your advancing condition, give thanks to the Great Intelligent Substance for the perfect health you are enjoying.
Remember that, as Swedenborg taught, there is a continual inflow of life from the Supreme, which is received by all created things according to their forms; and by man according to his faith. Health from God is continually being urged upon you; and when you think of this, lift up your mind reverently to Him, and give thanks that you have been led to the Truth and into perfect health of mind and body. Be, all the time, in a grateful frame of mind, and let gratitude be evident in your speech.
Gratitude will help you to own and control your own field of thought.[Pg 54]
Whenever the thought of disease is presented to you, instantly claim health, and thank God for the perfect health you have. Do this so that there shall be no room in your mind for a thought of ill. Every thought connected in any way with ill health is unwelcome, and you can close the door of your mind in its face by asserting that you are well, and by reverently thanking God that it is so. Soon the old thoughts will return no more.
Gratitude has a twofold effect; it strengthens your own faith, and it brings you into close and harmonious relations with the Supreme. You believe that there is one Intelligent Substance from which all life and all power come; you believe that you receive your own life from this substance; and you relate yourself closely to It by feeling continuous gratitude. It is easy to see that the more closely you relate yourself to the Source of Life the more readily you may receive life from it; and it is easy[Pg 55] also to see that your relation to It is a matter of mental attitude. We cannot come into physical relationship with God, for God is mind-stuff and we also are mind-stuff; our relation with Him must therefore be a mind relation. It is plain, then, that the man who feels deep and hearty gratitude will live in closer touch with God than the man who never looks up to Him in thankfulness. The ungrateful or unthankful mind really denies that it receives at all, and so cuts its connection with the Supreme. The grateful mind is always looking toward the Supreme, and is always open to receive from it; and it will receive continually.
The Principle of Health in man receives its vital power from the Principle of Life in the universe; and man relates himself to the Principle of Life by faith in health, and by gratitude for the health he receives.
Man may cultivate both faith and gratitude by the proper use of his will.