I will give a chapter here to explaining how man may receive health from the Supreme. By the Supreme I mean the Thinking Substance from which all things are made, and which is in all and through all, seeking more complete expression and fuller life. This Intelligent Substance, in a perfectly fluid state, permeates and penetrates all things, and is in touch with all minds. It is the source of all energy and power, and constitutes the "inflow" of life which Swedenborg saw, vitalizing all things. It is working to one definite end, and for the fulfillment of one purpose; and that purpose is the advancement of life toward the complete expression of Mind. When man harmonizes himself with this Intelligence,[Pg 66] it can and will give him health and wisdom. When man holds steadily to the purpose to live more abundantly, he comes into harmony with this Supreme Intelligence.
The purpose of the Supreme Intelligence is the most Abundant Life for all; the purpose of this Supreme Intelligence for you is that you should live more abundantly. If, then, your own purpose is to live more abundantly, you are unified with the Supreme; you are working with It, and it must work with you. But as the Supreme Intelligence is in all, if you harmonize with it you must harmonize with all; and you must desire more abundant life for all as well as for yourself. Two great benefits come to you from being in harmony with the Supreme Intelligence.
First, you will receive wisdom. By wisdom I do not mean knowledge of facts so much as ability to perceive and understand facts, and to judge soundly and act rightly in all matters relating[Pg 67] to life. Wisdom is the power to perceive truth, and the ability to make the best use of the knowledge of truth. It is the power to perceive at once the best end to aim at, and the means best adapted to attain that end. With wisdom comes poise, and the power to think rightly; to control and guide your thoughts, and to avoid the difficulties which come from wrong thinking. With wisdom you will be able to select the right courses for your particular needs, and to so govern yourself in all ways as to secure the best results. You will know how to do what you want to do. You can readily see that wisdom must be an essential attribute of the Supreme Intelligence, since That which knows all truth must be wise; and you can also see that just in proportion as you harmonize and unify your mind with that Intelligence you will have wisdom.
But I repeat that since this Intelligence is All, and in all, you can enter[Pg 68] into Its wisdom only by harmonizing with all. If there is anything in your desires or your purpose which will bring oppression to any, or work injustice to, or cause lack of life for any, you cannot receive wisdom from the Supreme. Furthermore, your purpose for your own self must be the best.
Man can live in three general ways: for the gratification of his body, for that of his intellect, or for that of his soul. The first is accomplished by satisfying the desires for food, drink, and those other things which give enjoyable physical sensations. The second is accomplished by doing those things which cause pleasant mental sensations, such as gratifying the desire for knowledge or those for fine clothing, fame, power, and so on. The third is accomplished by giving way to the instincts of unselfish love and altruism. Man lives most wisely and completely when he functions most perfectly along all of these lines, without excess in any of them.[Pg 69] The man who lives swinishly, for the body alone, is unwise and out of harmony with God; that man who lives solely for the cold enjoyments of the intellect, though he be absolutely moral, is unwise and out of harmony with God; and the man who lives wholly for the practice of altruism, and who throws himself away for others, is as unwise and as far from harmony with God as those who go to excess in other ways.
To come into full harmony with the Supreme, you must purpose to LIVE; to live to the utmost of your capabilities in body, mind, and soul. This must mean the full exercise of function in all the different ways, but without excess; for excess in one causes deficiency in the others. Behind your desire for health is your own desire for more abundant life; and behind that is the desire of the Formless Intelligence to live more fully in you. So, as you advance toward perfect health, hold steadily to the purpose to attain complete life, physical,[Pg 70] mental, and spiritual; to advance in all ways, and in every way to live more; if you hold this purpose you will be given wisdom. "He that willeth to do the will of the Father shall KNOW," said Jesus. Wisdom is the most desirable gift that can come to man, for it makes him rightly self-governing.
But wisdom is not all you may receive from the Supreme Intelligence; you may receive physical energy, vitality, life force. The energy of the Formless Substance is unlimited, and permeates everything; you are already receiving or appropriating to yourself this energy in an automatic and instinctive way, but you can do so to a far greater degree if you set about it intelligently. The measure of a man's strength is not what God is willing to give him, but what he, himself, has the will and the intelligence to appropriate to himself. God gives you all there is; your only question is how much to take of the unlimited supply.[Pg 71]
Professor James has pointed out that there is apparently no limit to the powers of men; and this is simply because man's power comes from the inexhaustible reservoir of the Supreme. The runner who has reached the stage of exhaustion, when his physical power seems entirely gone, by running on in a Certain Way may receive his "second wind"; his strength is renewed in a seemingly miraculous fashion, and he can go on indefinitely. And by continuing in the Certain Way, he may receive a third, fourth, and fifth "wind"; we do not know where the limit is, or how far it may be possible to extend it. The conditions are that the runner must have absolute faith that the strength will come; that he must think steadily of strength, and have perfect confidence that he has it, and that he must continue to run on. If he admits a doubt into his mind, he falls exhausted, and if he stops running to wait for the accession of strength, it will never come. His[Pg 72] faith in strength, his faith that he can keep on running, his unwavering purpose to keep on running, and his action in keeping on seem to connect him to the source of energy in such a way as to bring him a new supply.
In a very similar manner, the sick person who has unquestioning faith in health, whose purpose brings him into harmony with the source, and who performs the voluntary functions of life in a certain way, will receive vital energy sufficient for all his needs, and for the healing of all his diseases. God, who seeks to live and express himself fully in man, delights to give man all that is needed for the most abundant life. Action and reaction are equal, and when you desire to live more, if you are in mental harmony with the Supreme, the forces which make for life begin to concentrate about you and upon you. The One Life begins to move toward you, and your environment becomes surcharged with it. Then, if you appropriate it by faith,[Pg 73] it is yours. "Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Your Father giveth not his spirit by measure; he delights to give good gifts to you.