Healing, Mental Purification, and the Mind
by Hazrat Inayat Khan
PART II: HEALING
THE MAIN ASPECTS OF HEALING
Health depends upon the balance between activity and repose in the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch; and every sense, in the normal condition of health, must be able to express itself and to respond. The senses need more time for repose than for activity. Therefore the mystics go into seclusion in order to give a chance of repose to the senses, which are different in every man. Everyone passes every moment of his waking state in activity of the senses, partly by intention, partly involuntarily. For instance, the eyes look at things intentionally perhaps a hundred times a day, but nine hundred times they look at things without intention. This shows a waste of energy in an average man's life.
In order to develop healing power one must regulate and control the senses by regulating their activity and repose; and this, done with a spiritual thought, converts power of mind into divine power. A person can heal with power of mind alone, but the results will be limited; but a person with divine power can obtain through it unlimited results.
It depends on the condition of the health how much activity one can stand and how much repose is necessary; a general rule cannot be made for everyone. A normal amount of activity stimulates and strengthens the body. Therefore physical exercises are given for physical development, and exercises of concentration and studies are given for the development and repose of the mind. According to psychic law the day is natural for activity and the night for repose, and when this is not carried out it naturally works against health. It is not necessary to rest after every little exertion, but a degree of balance ought to be maintained. And it is advisable in life to take repose without allowing it to develop into laziness.
Breath is the principal and essential power that can help in healing. There is a silent healing, and a healing by focusing the glance, by holding the painful part with the fingers, by rubbing it, by waving the hand over the painful part, by touching and by not touching it. But behind these different ways there is one power working, and that is the power of the breath. This power can be developed by breathing practices, and when the breath is so developed that it creates an atmosphere around the healer, then the very presence of the healer heals. The power of the breath can be developed by physical exercises, by rhythmic exercises of the breath, by pure living and by concentration.
The power of healing is greater than the power of the channels one uses to heal, such as the fingertips or eyes. The eyes have more power than the fingertips. They are finer, and the power that manifests through them is radiant, while it is not so radiant in the fingertips. But besides the power of healing one must have a clear idea of how to recognize the compliant of another person and of the best way to heal him.
Healing with Fingertips
Hygiene is the first subject to consider in healing with the tips of the fingers. Hands that have been engaged in any work or that are stained with any liquid must be washed for healing. The healer must first observe the hygienic rules of keeping his body, as well as his clothes, pure and clean; especially at the time of healing he must be absolutely free from all that is unhygienic. The sleeves, at the time of healing, must be rolled back, and the fingernails must be clean and properly trimmed. After healing, one should wave the hand, as it were shaking it, to shake of any fine atoms, or even vibrations, so that a poison taken from the painful part of the patient may not be given to the patient again.
There are cases in which the sensation of the body is deadened by the pain, and the pain has gone into the depth of the affected part of the body. In such cases waving the hand or touching is not enough. Rubbing is necessary. When dealing with the effects of poison from the sting of a bee or scorpion, or from snake-bite or the bite of any other poisonous animal, a simple soft touch or stoking of the affected part is indicated. If the pain is more intense touch is not necessary, simply the waving of the hand close to the affected part. In the case of the bite of a mad dog, one should put some lime, mixed with water on a copper coin of the affected part must be healed by touching and stroking it with the tips of the fingers. Bites of mosquitoes and midges may be cured by applying butter, that has been boiled and allowed to cool, and then waving the hand over the affected part. Rosewater may be used for bites of all kinds, in cases of severe inflammation.
The Tracing of Disease
The healer's work in tracing disease is subtler than healing. For in healing, power is necessary, but in tracing the disease-its nature, its cause, its secret-psychic power is of no use, there inspiration is needed; and a healer without this is an incomplete healer. The patient generally does not know the real cause, nature, and secret of his complaint. He is not supposed to know; for the patient knows the effect of the poison, not its cause, nature and secret. The healer must trace the patient's complaint from his face, expression, voice, work, and movement; everything tells. Sometimes the healer must find out the cause by asking the patient the details about his pain and the circumstances of his life, and by knowing the attitude and the inclination of the patient.
The secret of disease can be traced also by observing what a person desires in the way of food and clothing, and in what environments he prefers to be, what attitude he has towards his friends and foes, his choice of sweet and savory and his attraction to colors. For instance a person with a complaint that originates from melancholy will have a liking for purple. A person who has lost control over his passions will show an inclination towards passion, and he will generally like red; a person, who is lifeless, who has an inclination to emptiness, will have a tendency towards white. A person, who has gone through a sorrow and mourned over things and weakened his heart by it, will have an inclination towards black.
So it is with sweet and savory: the patient who shows an inclination for sweet shows weakness of heart, and by that general weakness; and the patient who shows inclination towards savory lacks circulation.
There are many things in the patient that one can perceive not only from his inclination but also by noticing his face and features; for in this way one reads more than by any other method. The features tell his general characteristics, and therefore a person knows the weakness that may have been the origins of his complaint, and the general expression shows the thought behind it. Since mind is the cause of all causes, the healer gets at the root of the complaint as soon as he touches the mind of the patient. How true is the saying, man's face is the mirror of his heart.
The Chief Reason of Every Disease
According to the mystical point of view there is on chief root, which can be called a common cause, from which all diseases are derived, and that is disorder of rhythm. The upset of the nerves, is stated by scientists, to be the chief origin of all of the mental diseases. And their effect upon the body produces various diseases in the body. Religious people teach concentration and meditation, sitting in a prayerful attitude. The wisdom behind all this is to bring the activity of mind and body to a normal condition. For it is the nature of activity to become more active every moment; it is the activity itself that produces energy, and the consequence is that by so producing energy, its own strength throws it out of its normal rhythm.
This one can see in the burning of the fire. The activity is little at the start; but with every moment that it burns its activity increases and culminates in the end in its utmost speed. And the speed of the beginning compared with the speed of the end will prove that it is the increase of speed of the fire, which has brought about the climax, when it consumes itself. In human nature we see the same tendency. When speaking one is inclined to speak more and more quickly, until the speed is so increased that one leaves out several words of the sentence without any intention of doing so. So it is in walking; the pace increases wit every step until a person finds himself almost running. So it is with the imagination, and sometimes one sees the same thing with the pulsation of the body and the circulation of the blood. Uncontrolled increase of speed, in all its aspects, hastens the climax, and when unbalanced culminates in disastrous results.
A healer without this knowledge is a blind healer who does not know the cause of diseases; his healing is a chance; but the one who knows this is more than a physician and more than a healer. He will control his own activity, and the power of control thus gained will enable him to control the activity of others, in order to keep it normal, in which is the true health of min and body.
The Reason for Tiredness
Tiredness is due to three causes: loss of energy, which is the chief reason, and besides this excess of activity of mind and of body. One generally knows tiredness to be caused by excess of bodily activity, but one is apt to overlook the fact that excess of activity of mind also causes tiredness.
The activities that specially cause tiredness are worry, fear, anxiety, and pain. There is, however, one mental cause that is less obvious, and that is the thought of being tired. Among a hundred cases of tired people you will find ninety cases of this particular kind of tiredness. When a person thinks, 'I am tired', the very though creates the feeling of tiredness in support of the thought, and reason brings forward a thousand reasons that seem to have caused the tiredness. There are some, who think that the presence of people, or of some people, or the presence of a particular person, tires them. Some think that their energy or their life, is eaten up by some people. Some think that a particular action takes away their energy. Some think that their strength is taken out of them by their everyday duty in life or the work they happen to do, such a singing, speaking, doing bodily or mental work; and of course, as they think so they experience.
In truth, there is no doubt that every kind of activity must take away some energy, more or less. But by one's though one increases the loss; by preserving the energy and using it economically one saves it to a great extent. And there is one way, which is a spiritual way, in which one can give out energy with every activity that necessitates one's giving it out, yet at the same time one can absorb much more energy than one loses, from the life within, without, around, and about one. It is for this reason that religion has given the conception of God being almighty. Those who consider Him to be far away in heaven keep away from Him, but those, who realize the meaning of the teaching in the Bible that
we live and move and have our being in God', feel Him at all times by their side. If consciousness of wealth makes one feel rich, and if consciousness of strength makes one feel strong, how much stronger and richer should he feel who is really God-conscious!
A healer often finds patients whose complaints may differ and yet may have originated in lack of balance. Balance is the most difficult thing in life to keep for anybody and everybody. Many times a healer succeeds in curing a patient by just showing him some practices by which he can attain balance. This, besides healing, brings about a most desirable effect. Balance is gained in different ways, even in ordinary actions: such as sitting, lying, standing, and walking; standing with even weight on both legs, sitting cross-legged, or on one's heels, both carrying an equal part of the weight of the body. Also kneeling, walking rhythmically with an even force given to the wing of both arms. By regularity of eating and drinking, working and resting, sleeping and rising, one gets balance too. The first thing a healer should consider when treating a patient is that he must give him balance.
Pain has two origins: the mind and the body. Sometimes it is caused by the mind and held by the body, and sometimes it is caused by the body and held by the mind. If one were absent or did not partake of the pain suggested by the other part of the being, the pain would not exist, or if it existed it would vanish. the body being the servant of the mind, can never refuse to bear the pain given by the mind, having no free will of its own; it is only the mind that could refuse, if it were trained to do so.
The doctrine that some people hold that there is no such thing as pain, is very helpful in the training of the mind, although its truth may be questioned. If it is true that there is no such thing as pain, it can only be true in the sense that everything in this world is an illusion, it has no existence of its own, it does not exist in reality, compared with the ultimate reality that is. But when a person says that it is only pain, which does not exist, but the joy exists and all other things exist, then he is wrong
Sufis dervishes have tried to become pain-proof by inflicting upon themselves cruel injuries: such as whipping the bare arms or cutting the muscles of the body, or piercing the body with knives, or taking the eyes out of their sockets and replacing them in their sockets again, which I have seen myself. By this they have discovered a truth and have given t to the bodily pain, and by so doing the bodily pain is felt much less than it would otherwise be. When the mind goes forward to receive bodily pain, out of fear or self-pity, it increases the pain and makes it much more than it would otherwise be. The proportion that fear or self-pity add to the pain is ninety-five percent. And the first thing that the healer must do in curing patients suffering from pain, is to erase the pain from the surface of the patient's mind by suggestion and also by his healing power. In the absence of support on the part of the mind, the body must give up pain, for it has no power to hold it any longer without the mind.
Healing by Medicine
Very often it happens that a healer or believer in healing goes to such an extreme that he does not accept healing by medicine. In reality, the thought of being given medicine by a doctor and the thought of repeating the treatment he has prescribed so many times a day, apart from its medicinal influence, is psychically helpful. And the healers of the East, considering this, have to a certain extent played the part of a physician also. With their healing power, spiritual, psychic, and magnetic, with their hypnotic suggestion and with their mesmeric influence, they gave the patient something to eat or to drink in the form of medicine. Sometimes they gave a charm to keep by him and sometimes magnetized water.
The idea is that man is more conscious of the objective world and its activity than of any other plane of existence, and by eating or drinking, or by holding or possessing a certain thing the impression upon him becomes more real. The thought of the healer, which should ease the mind, is often hindered when the external senses of the patient are not fully responsive to it. But when the patient eats or drinks something, or tastes something, or feels something applied to or touching the painful part, the senses become the medium for the healer's thought to reach the mind of the patient. Knowledge of the physical medium is most essential for a healer, for every psychic operation requires a medium, and through a distinct and responsive medium every psychical work meets with success.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL NATURE OF DISEASES
Causes of Diseases
The psychological nature of diseases can be explained in a few words as being the lack of life, either because of insufficient matter in the body, or because of excess of matter which leaves no scope for the spirit; it is also the impression of pain which the mind holds. Pain is not always physical. There are physical causes; but as soon as the mind knows of discomfort, out of fear it holds it; and this is called pain.
Disease is often caused by lack of rhythm, be it in thought or feeling, in the breath, in action, or in one's everyday life. For instance, to stay up in the night when one is accustomed to sleep, to change the dinner-hour, to take a nap when one is not accustomed to, to do anything that one is not accustomed to do, puts one out of rhythm. People who are accustomed to be angry or to quarrel would become ill if they were not allowed to do that. There is a story told in India that a person who could not keep any secret was compelled to keep quiet. In the end he became ill, and the doctor had to cure him by permitting him to let it out. All this signifies rhythm. Every habit forms a rhythm.
The fear of catching a disease is also a cause of illness. There are people who wonder if they are ill, and try to find out if there is something wrong with them. There are some, who enjoy self-pity or the sympathy of other; these invite disease. Some entertain disease when they are to a certain extent unwell. They wish to be treated like a patient, or try to take to a lazy life. By so doing the mind naturally holds the disease longer, since it is allowed to do so.
There are many other causes of illness. Among them the most unfortunate is the impression: 'I have got an illness that can never be cured', for this impression is worse than a disease. In any pain or disease, and it constantly heals mind and body and if it were not for the mind and body, which create illness a person would always be well. It is natural to be healthy; and all illness, pain, and discomfort are unnatural.
The health of both mind and body depends upon a magnetic power, which may be called in metaphysical terms the power of affinity in elements and in atoms. It may be pictured as scattered grains of rice united by being attracted to one another; and it is this power which attracted them and shaped them into a certain form. Both mind and body are made of atoms. The former of mental atoms, the latter of physical atoms and the power that gathered them and made them into one body or one mind is the magnetic power.
Lack of this power causes all pain, discomfort, and disease, while development of this power secures health of body and mind. By physical practices this power is developed in the body, and by mental exercises the same power is improved in the mind. It is generally found that the ill lose their magnetism to a certain extent. A healthy person often seeks to escape from the presence of the sick. It is natural because it is magnetism in a person to which mankind is attracted, and it is its lack which cause repulsion. This also explains the reason for the attraction of youth and childhood, although in childhood this magnetism is not fully developed. The lack of this is felt in age for the same reason.
In Sufi terms this magnetism is call Auwwat-e-Maknatis; and it springs from every atom, physical or mental. It may be called strength or energy. It is wealth; and just as one person can enjoy wealth for a longer time if he is careful with it, and another may spend it thoughtlessly following his fancies, so does a man do with this magnetism. Either he attracts others or he is attracted to other. In one case he is better off, in the other case he loses. Man, of whatever evolution, whatever disposition, in whatever condition of life, needs this magnetism more than anything else; for health, which is the greatest of all gifts in life, depends greatly on magnetism.
In Sanskrit breath is called Prana, which means life. This prana, not only gives life to oneself, but it gives life to another person too. Sometimes the presence of someone fills you with life, and sometimes the presence of another so to speak takes away your life from you. One feels tired and depressed and eaten up by the presence of on person, and another person's presence gives added strength, life, and vigor. This is all accounted for by the breath. The one who has more life gives life, while the one who has less life takes it from the one who has more. But there is contrary process too. Sometimes the stronger one takes away what little life is left in the weaker one, and sometimes the weaker one gives out his life to the stronger one. A person who takes away life in fact absorbs the life from another. In the presence of that person even flowers fade sooner and plants die.
Many deaths occur and many lives are retained by the phenomena of the breath. Therefore for the healer there is no greater source of healing. He can throw his breath upon the affected part of the patient as easily as he can cast his glance upon a painful part. Even eatables and objects that a healer's breath has magnetized carry with them the power of healing. If touch makes certain finger-marks through perspiration upon a thing, why should not the breath, the very essence of life, live in an object and give the object some greater part of life, producing in it an effect which may be a greater cure than medicine?
When the breath is developed and purified, it is not necessary for the healer, even to make an effort to throw his breath upon the patient. But the atmosphere that his breath creates, the very presence of the healer brings about a cure, for the whole atmosphere becomes charged with magnetism.
There are no doubt many physical causes of various aspects of insanity, but a keen study of the subject will prove that insanity is mostly due to mental causes. Some lack of balance caused by the intensity or excess of a certain thought and feeling is found to be at the root of every cause of insanity. The physician fails to cure such cases, especially he who traces the cause of insanity in its outer manifestations and in the physical body. Every cause has an external effect, and yet it is a mistake to take the effect for the excuse. It is not generally medicine or even surgical operations or any external application that can be of great use. It is more the work of a healer than of a physician to cure insanity.
Like every disease, insanity could easily be cured in its earlier stage. And it is again the work of the healer to recognize the signs of insanity in their primary state; for mostly such signs are not noticed in a person, or they are passed over as 'something funny' or 'queer'. The first step towards healing insanity is to get at the root of the complaint by association with the subject; and as soon as the root of the complaint is touched a great relief is brought, even before healing. Naturally, insanity being a mental disease; thought-power alone is the remedy for it.
Loss of memory, confusion, puzzlement, instantaneous temper and passion, all these are signs of the beginning of insanity. Insanity is inherited from the family, but it can also be traced in several weaknesses and vices, among which drink and fondness for drugs, unnatural habits, too much worry, anxiety, and allowing melancholy thoughts to develop in the nature. These are all things that cause insanity.
The work of the healer is first to detect the primary indication of insanity, and that is loss of memory. It is caused by weakness of the mind. The mind has not sufficient power to bring forward the thought entrusted to it at command of the will. It is this, which may be called loss of memory, and it must be healed and cured in its very beginning. The primary stage is marked by an extreme activity of mind, which results in extreme thoughtless anger or passion. Then when its spell is passed repentance comes. This should be avoided at its beginning. A guilty conscience, fear of consequences, doubting tendencies. All such things are like fuel to the fire of insanity. A pure, thankful, useful life, a constant thought of appreciating things and avoiding blaming things and people and conditions, all these help to keep away the germ of insanity.
There is a part of one's life, which can only be called life. There is no other name appropriate for it, and the English phrase, 'to pull oneself together', means to set that part of life to work. It might be called spirit, as this part in itself is both intelligence and power. It is intelligence because any part of the body and mind or every part of both in which it dwells, it makes sensitive; and it is powerful because whatever part of the body and mind it touches, it strengthens that part.
In games and sports, when people jump down from a great height, what is it that protects them from hurt? It is this spirit, and they have made it their habit to call this spirit to their aid. When people throw balls to each other, and even in boxing, the receiver of the blow awakens this spirit in that part on which he receives the blow. The sportsman does not know what this spirit is, though he takes refuge in it. The mystic understands it by his meditation, also by research into metaphysics. When a person awakes from a deep sleep, the first thing that rises through his mind to his body, when the tendency of stretching and contracting comes and of twisting and turning, and of gradually opening the eyes, is this spirit; it rises, so to speak, and spreads.
By the mastery of this spirit diseases are cured, age is mastered, even death is conquered. With this spirit is lacking, energy is lacking, intelligence, joy, and rest are lacking, and when there is this spirit there is hope, there is joy, there is rest; because the nature of this spirit is to hold intact the body of atoms and vibrations. Comfort lies in its being held, discomfort when that spirit is not sufficient to hold the body intact. Thus it is the lack of this spirit that is the cause of a great many diseases. By the development of this spirit in himself the healer can give a part of his spirit to another, and that becomes the best source of healing.
The Origin of Diseases
Almost every disease originates in the mind, even when one catches infectious diseases. It does not mean that it must always be wickedness of the mind. If it were so good people would never be ill; and yet it cannot be overlooked that it is a weakness of the mind, in some way or other, that allows the disease to enter. Besides this, negligence, oversight, irregularity, mental and physical, also cause diseases. Life and death are two forces, constructive and destructive, and there is continual fighting between these two forces. There are times when one power wins, and the success of that power means either better health or disease and death. The body must be ready and fit to fight this battle; but the mind ahs a still greater part to perform, and when the mind fails to perform its part the body with all its fitness is incapable of retaining health. But if the mind is capable of keeping health, the body to a great extent obeys it. Still, harmony of both mind and body is needed to fight the battle of life.
The Effects of Food
It is the secret of nature that life lives upon life, as all carnivorous animals live on the flesh of other animals, and sometimes on their own kind. This shows that life sustains its body by the same element of which it is made. Man's body is made of the food he eats, and it is according to the life in the food he eats that his life develops. Little insects, which live on flowers, create the beauty of the flower in their body. Insects that are fed on leaves sometimes become green and beautiful like a leaf, but insects living in the earth and in dirt have a similar body. This teaches that mans body depends upon the food he eats. Any decay in the vegetables he eats and any disease in the animal whose flesh he uses, all have their effect on man's health.
Brahmins, who have been the most scientific and philosophical people in the world, have always considered this subject; and one always finds in the race of Brahmins intelligent and superior minds. In the West, although there is continual scientific discovery and discussion on hygienic life, important things in regard to food are overlooked, and this can be explained in a few words as due to the lack of home-life. Many have to take their food in public places where it is impossible for special consideration to be given in this way. There are, moreover, differences in the animal foods one eats. Some animals are clean, others unclean, and their flesh differs accordingly. This has a great influence on the health and the mind of a person.
The question as to what the mind has to do with bodily food may be answered thus, that as an alcoholic drink has an effect on the mind, so every atom of food even has a particular effect. There are foods of three kinds: Sattwa which gives nourishment with calm and peace; Rajas which gives stimulus to work and move about; and Tammas which gives sleep, laziness, and confusion.
A healer must become aware of all kinds of foods and their effects so as to prescribe for the patient, and to see whether the food is the cause of the illness, which is so in many cases, and to keep himself in such a condition that he may be able to heal successfully.
There are many people who may be said to be of nervous temperament. They have a tendency if they walk to walk quickly, if they work to work hurriedly, if they talk to talk fast, so fast that they may drop words and make the hearer confused; whose temper may rise suddenly and who are inclined to laugh or to cry easily. This condition in a way gives a kind of joy, but it weakens a person and takes away his self-control, and in the end this results in nervous diseases. It begins as indulgence in activity and ends in weakness. Many mental diseases are caused by this negative state of mind and body. From childhood there is an inclination to this, especially among children of nervous temperament; and if it can be checked at that time there is a sure result. No disease can be worse than an increasing weakness of the nerves, which is lack of self-control; for life is not worth living when control over the self is lost.
Man is not only constituted of matter in his being but also of spirit. However well built a body he may have with its mechanism in good working order, there is still something that is wanting in him. For the physical body is sustained by material food and drink, breath by the air, mind by thoughts and imaginations and impressions,; but that is not all, there is something besides mind and body that man possesses in his being, and that is his spirit which is light, a divine light. It is for this reason that sunshine makes on feel bright; but it is not only sunshine that is needed for the spirits. Man's soul is like a planet. And as the planet is illuminated by the sun, so man's spirit is illuminated by the light of God. In the absence of this, however healthy and joyful a man may look, he is not really healthy. He must have some spiritual touch, some opening in his heart which will let the light come in, the light of God.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF HEALING POWER
The breath is the principal power needed in healing. Al the various manifestations of the magnetic current which come from the tips of the fingers, from the glance, and from the pores of the skin are indirect manifestations of the breath. It is the strength of breath, which gives magnetic power in all its different aspects. Weakness of breath causes weakness of mind and body, and strength of breath is strength to both. One can not lack energy and magnetism if one's breath is full of energy. Therefore before developing any other means of healing the power of the breath should first be developed.
There are two ways of developing the power of the breath. One way is to make it extensive and the other way is to make it intensive. After that the breath should be mastered so that it can be directed to any desired part of one's own body; and secondly, it should be mastered so that it may be directed to any side, level, upward, downward, to the right or to the left. Just as one becomes master of aim when one is able to hit the target at any point, so one must master the breath.
There are Yogis in India who can put out a light at some distance by the power of the breath. And even the circle of Tansen, who is aid to have lighted candles by the power of his song when he sang the Dipak, can be nothing else but the power of breath in its fullest development.
Science has always admitted, and values every day more highly, the importance of cleanliness around the patient and on the part of the physician; and things of different kinds have been used as disinfectants in many cases of disease. The healer, who has to do more with the mind, must, therefore, realize how very important it is to consider purity of mind as well as of body for the purpose. No doubt it is difficult after learning the nature of things to say which is pure and which is impure; but one way of understanding it is that everything in itself is pure, and when another element is mixed with it, then its purity is polluted. Deep thought in this direction would open a vast field to a thinker.
Another way of understanding the pure and impure is that there is one thing alone that keeps things pure, and that is life, and then the life is gone out of them they are impure. There is a third way of looking at: that death is impurity of things, but destruction is their purity. This also opens a vast scope of understanding to an observant student of life.
In short, it is necessary for a healer to observe the laws of hygienic life and to keep himself from taking the germs of disease from the patients he heals. Besides, he should avoid all thoughts of bitterness, ill-will, wrath, anger, jealousy, purify his mind from all spite or malice, and bathe so to speak in devotion to God, so that his heart may become saturated with mercy and compassion. It is not only the power of mind that heals, but also the purity of mind. The mind free from all crookedness, deceit, treachery, is alone capable of emitting power, strong, and pure in its nature, which can give to a patient a new life and relieve him from all pain.
The development of healing power depends upon the development of the breath. The breath can be developed by purification, by extension, by expansion, and by rhythm.
There are three different kinds of rhythm in the breath: the rhythm, which cannot be distinguished in the continuation of inhalation and exhalation. The rhythm that can be distinguished by the two distinct swings of inhaling and exhaling and evenness in breathing. Those who have not mastered their breath are under the influence of these three rhythms, their health, their mood, and their condition in life. But those who master the breath, can put their breath in any of these rhythms; and when mastery is acquired then the healer has the key to wind any clock. In reality every disease means something wrong with the rhythm. As a doctor says congestion is the root of diseases, so to a Sufi congestion means lack of rhythm; it may be in the circulation, in breathing, in activity, or in repose. A physician in order to find a disease examines the pulse, the beats of the heart, and the condition of the lungs. This itself is the proof that rhythm is the keeper of health. And when there is something wrong with he health the rhythm in some way or other has gone wrong, as when the tick of the clock gets out of rhythm the clock goes too fast or too slow, and it does not give the proper time.
The healer, therefore, must get his rhythm right, so that he can control the mechanism of another person's body. In India there is a custom of clapping the hands or snapping the fingers when somebody is yawning. The idea is that yawning is the sign of the falling of the rhythm. It is the rhythm of one's body that falls to a slower rate when one feels inclined to sleep, and the clapping of the hands and the snapping of the fingers set the pulsations of the other person in the same rhythm as before. It is just like shaking a person who is nodding, to bring the mechanism of his body into proper working order. When the healer is capable of regulating his own rhythm he becomes capable also of making another person's rhythm regular. It requires great knowledge and inspiration concerning the nature of the human mind and body; and the healer who knows how to work with it is like the conductor with the orchestra. The health of everyone that he heals he keeps regular, as the conductor keeps the rhythm of every musician who plays in the orchestra.
The Power of the Breath
It is the power of the breath, which heals body and mind, since breath is life, and through the breath life can be imparted to the mind and body of another person. The breath is also a cord that runs through human beings, connecting them in one life. If it were not for the breath the senses would never have perceived the external world. Therefore all that one sees, smells, feels, tastes, and hears is through the channel of the breath, and therefore no medicine can have such influence on a patient as the breath. Weak breath is susceptible to all contagious diseases, and a healer with weak breath could get the disease from his patient in one healing; that is why power of breath is the most essential thing before one should attempt to heal.
Power of breath can be developed in two ways: volume and length, which make it intensive and extensive. It is dangerous to try healing before one is fully sure of the power of the breath in both ways. The development of the power of the breath is felt, and one knows when one is ready to use it in healing.
One Common Cause of All Diseases
All pain, discomfort, disease, decay, and destruction of every sort are lack of life. The word life, which we use in everyday language, is the name of the result of two activities working harmoniously: one, the constant life of the spirit; the other the life that matter provides for it. This is a negative and positive activity. It is the power of inner life, which attracts outer life to it, and again it is the strength of external life by which it clings to the inner life. In this way the reciprocal action of both keeps the flame of life burning, and the lack of either of these activities is the cause of disease.
There are five bodies through which the soul experiences life, the physical body being the poorest of all, for it is born of matter, fed with matter, attracted to matter, find its life in matter, and returns to matter. As it demands matter for is sustenance, so matter demands it in the end; this demand is called disease or death when this body loses its strength; and this is caused by the loss of energy of the nerves, which so to speak pull together and keep the flesh, bone, blood, and skin not only intact, but active and vigorous. It is the weakening of these nerves by exhaustion or by lack of sustenance, by lack of rest or by loss of energy in whatever manner, which is the cause of all disease.
Thus healing may be called life giving to that part that needs life or to the body as a whole. The materialist believes that a person, however weak, can be saved and brought to life by injecting into his body the blood of another. If that is a successful remedy, how much more could the power of thought, of life, which has more power than matter, produce life in another! And, even the fine essence of the healer's physical body may be passed through gases, by the process of: earth rising to water, water to fire, fire to air, air to ether, and sending the finest atoms of physical energy and strengthening vibrations of mental energy to a person who needs it. The difference between medicine and healing is this: instead of sending a thing by railway it is sent through the sky by an airplane.
One may ask if it is worth while weakening oneself by giving part of one's life to another. No doubt it would not do for a poor person to give his last penny to one who is starving, but it is the only thing for a rich man to do, to make use of his riches for the comfort and happiness of those who are in need. A spiritual healer is rich with divine strength, and his power will not be lessened if he gives it out. Therefore material healing is a failure. However successful it may seem, it is powerless compared with spiritual healing, because the spiritual healer has the power of God on his side.
Development of Power in the Fingertips
The human form may be called materialized light, the symbol of which in mysticism is the five-pointed star, suggesting the head, arms, and feet, which make five points. The nature of light is to spread its rays, and as the human form is made of light -Nur-the hands and the feet, the fingers and the toes, the organs of the senses and the hair all represent rays. It is the knowledge of this light that one sees in the Eastern customs of blessing with the tips of the finger on the head; and of kissing the hand or touching the feet, for the fingers and toes are the source of the radiance.
The healer, therefore, develops the power of the fingertips. As by directing the breath in a certain way through the body and mouth one can produce certain pitch on a certain note, so by directing the energy through the fingertips one develops the power of healing. Moses is known to have possessed a light in his palm, which the poets call Yad-e-baiza*; and Zoroaster is always pictured with burning fire in his hand. Both suggest the radiance, the battery that can be developed in the human hand. When the power is developed in the palm it pours out from the tips of the fingers and it shoots out when it is directed by the will. Then by magnetic passes and by touch on the painful part the healer is able to cure diseases.
The Power of the Presence
It must be understood by a healer, that his very presence must emit healing power. And in order to do this the healer must have an overflowing life, power, and magnetism. In the first place the body must be healthy, clean, and pure, so that physical magnetism may be beneficial. Also purity of mind is necessary, together with sympathy for the patient and a desire to cure him instead of profiting by his cure. The soul speaks most in the form of the atmosphere; in other words, the atmosphere tells what the soul says. The development of the soul is brought about by a spiritual process and a spiritual life. Therefore the development of the mind, of the body, and of the soul is necessary in order to possess a healer power and presence.
The Power of the Mind
The power of concentration is the first thing necessary to develop healing power. The healer must be able to hold steadily the thought for the cure of his patient whenever he requires. Concentration is most difficult, but if this is accomplished, there is nothing that one cannot accomplish. It is useless to try and cure the patient by any process, however successful and good it may be, if there is no power of concentration. The work of the mind in healing is much greater than in anything else. It is using the power of the mind on matter; and matter, which has been a disobedient slave of the spirit for ages, through the mineral, through the vegetable, and even through the animal kingdom always rebels against being controlled.
*Baiza means egg; the palm is egg-shaped.
No doubt mind can control matter and do with it whatever it likes. But when mind is enfeebled by serving matter, it loses power over matter. If it were not so, every man would cure himself by controlling matter and there would be no need of a healer. One's own power has a greater influence on oneself than the power of another; besides no one can feel so much sympathy for another as one can for oneself. The nature of the mind is to slip from one's grip. Concentration is the practice, which enables the mind and which, so to speak, strengthens its own mind. It is even with the power of concentration the mind does not hold anything that is not interesting, and it is sympathy in the mind, which is the stimulus to the holding power of the mind. Therefore no one can be a successful healer unless his sympathy comes forward with its hands extended to raise the patient from his pain.
The Power of Concentration
Before a person attempts to heal another he must develop in himself the power of concentration. The concentration of a healer should be so developed that not only when sitting in meditation and closing his eyes can he visualize the desired object. But that even with his eyes open he should be able to hold fast the picture that his mind has created in spite of anything that may be before his eyes. In healing it is necessary to know what picture one should hold in one's mind. If the healer should happen to hold the picture of a wound, he would help the wound to continue instead of being healed; and so if he thought of pain it might perhaps be continued more intensely by the help of his though. It is the cure that he should hold in mind. It is the desired thing that he must think about, not the condition. In all aspects of life this rule must be remembered; that even in trouble one must not think of the trouble and in illness one must forget about illness. Man often continues life's miseries by giving thought to them. The healer must from beginning to end hold the thought of cure and of nothing else.
Sending Power to a Distance
The greater development in healing power is to be able to send power to a distance. Neither land nor sea can prevent power being sent by the mind. Scientific discoveries such as wireless telegraphy prove that by means of instruments thoughts can be sent to a distance, but the mystic has always realized and practiced to a great extent the sending of thought to a distance. As goodness, he naturally does not feel inclined either to prove to the world the greatness of his power or to utilize his power for any worldly end except for healing.
The Hindu metaphysical term Nada Brahma, meaning sound-God, explains the secret of life, that sound is motion and therefore nothing takes place unless first moved by some force behind. As for external action a physical movement is necessary, so for a mental action the motion must be caused by one's mind. The voice of one person may reach to the other corner of the room. And the voice of another may reach to the other end of the street, and so it is with the power of the mind, but it should be remembered that the gift of healing is always necessary. A gifted person may progress much further and more quickly than a person without the gift.
There are three things necessary in sending thought to a distance; first, faith in the theory; second, self-confidence, meaning confidence in one's own power; third, the power of concentration. However great the power of concentration may be, without self-confidence it is of no use; and self-confidence without faith in the theory is powerless. Healing at a distance is the last stage at which a healer arrives after long experience in healing, and attempting this at the beginning would naturally result in failure. Work gives experience, and experience give confidence; and faith becomes firm when it is built by experience and strengthened by confidence.
THE APPLICATION OF HEALING POWER
Healing by Charms
There is a great power hidden in the mystery of the repetition of a sacred word. But there is a still greater power in writing a sacred word, because the time taken to write a sacred word carefully is perhaps five times or ten times as long as the time taken to repeat a sacred word. Besides, action completes the thought-power better than speech. In writing a scared name it is the completing of a thought, which is even more powerful than uttering the word. But when a person thinks, feels, speaks, and writes, he has developed the thought through four stages and made it powerful. Sufis, therefore, give a charm to the faithful who they think believe in the healing power of the charm. They call it Taviz. The patient keeps it with him night and day, and links his thought with the thought of the healer, and feels it every moment that he is being healed.
In India they put a charm in a silver or gold plate, or keep a charm engraved upon stone or metal. And the very fact of that has a healing influence upon him becomes such a help to the believer that he feels that every moment of the day and night he has the healer with him, and that he is being healed.
As a gift is nothing without the giver, so a charm is nothing without a personality that gives confidence to the patient. Therefore a charm written by an ordinary person has no effect; the personality of the person who writes the charm should be impressive, his piety, his spirituality, his love, his kindness, should all help to make the charm that he gives valuable and effective.
Water is the most responsive substance; it partakes of the color and effect of everything. The magnetism that runs through the finger-tips enters into everything that a healer holds in his hands, and thus water can be charged with that electricity more than any other substance. Again, the breath that heals is powerful enough to produce an added life in all life-giving substances. Water especially, which is a most invigorating substance, partakes of life from the breath.
Among the ancient Hindus there was a custom of giving water as a benediction to guests, which is observed even now. A Brahmin will, as a rule, first offer water to his guest, which means not only to quench the thirst, but also is like giving life to the guest. The Persians have called the water of life Ab-e Hayat, and in many verses one finds this word. Among Sufis everywhere in the East there is a custom that the Shaikh gives a loaf of bread or a glass of water, milk, syrup, or buttermilk, or a fruit or some sweet, which is accepted as something that heals both mind and body. No doubt it is not only the effect of the breath or touch, it has also the power of mind with it, which is hidden as a soul in the substance which is its body.
Healing by Breathing
A healer must know in the first place that breath is the very life and that breath is the giver of life, and that breath is the bringer of life. One can live without food for some time, but one cannot live without breath even for a few minutes. This shows that the sustenance that breath brings to man's life is much greater and much more important than any nourishment upon earth. Every atom of man's body is radiant. But if the body is the flame, the breath is the fire, and a s the flame belongs to the fire, so the body belongs to the breath. As long as breath dwells in it, it lives, and when breath leaves it, it is dead, for all its beauty, strength, and complicated mechanism. That is why the effect of the breath of a holy person can magnetize water, bread, milk, or wine, fruit, or flower.
The breath that is developed spiritually will have a healing effect upon any painful part that it falls upon. If one knows how to direct the breath there is no better process than healing with breath; and in all the different methods of healing breath is the main thing, since in breath is hidden the current of life.
Healing by Magnetic Passes
All scriptures have explained in some way or other that life is like light. In the Moslem scripture the word Nur is used; in the Vedanta it is called Chaitanya. The nature of this light is to express itself in a particular direction, and that accounts for the face and back in our forms. At the same time the tendency of the light is to spread. This can be seen in the tendency, and also earth and all things on earth. A deep study of every form will show that the nature of life is to spread in four direction, for instance north, south, east, and west, or head, foot, right, and left.
Life and light have their center in the center of every forms. But they express themselves through the directions in which they spread. Therefore the power of the hand has been shown in ancient symbology. Hindus have pictured the divine incarnations with four hands. This means two hands of the mind and two hands of the body, and that when four hands work together the work is fully accomplished. This shows that in healing the hands are most important. The physical hands are needed to help the hands of the mind, and when thought is directed from the mind through the hands. And its power becomes double and its expression fuller.
Every atom of man's being, mental or physical, is radiant and throws its rays outward. These are life itself and give life. All illness is lack of life. It needs life to be cured. The power of electricity has been discovered by scientists. And they believe that it cures diseases when it is used for that purpose. But the mystic has discovered ages ago the power of this hidden electricity, the life of the mind and the life of the body, and he believes and knows that its application in healing is most beneficial. There are sores and wounds and painful parts, which are too tender to touch. In such cases healing by magnetic passes, in other words by waving the hands over the affected part and so allowing thought to heal, brings about a successful cure.
Every atom in man's body is in reality radiant, living and powerful compared with other objects, herbs, or drugs. By the very fact of being a living body, besides being the finest and most perfect compared with other living bodies, it has a great power. Therefore, shaking hands, speaking to a person and touching him have a certain effect. In India when a wrestler goes to a wrestling match and when he comes back his teacher pats him on the back, saying, 'Sahibs, Bravo!' This actually gives him added strength and courage and power, which otherwise he would not have had. People speaking in friendship, and even disputing and arguing, hold each other's hands, which brings about a better understanding. A mother takes away the discomfort and restlessness of the child in one moment by patting it. Therefore massage is helpful when there is pain, and yet it is poor treatment when compared with the healing treatment; for the healer operates the power of the mind through his finger, as a musician produces his feelings on the violin. Is it everybody that can produce on the violin the same tone that an expert could? It is not the placing of the finger on a certain place on the instrument; it is the feeling of the musician's heart manifesting through his fingertips that produces a living tone. So it is with the touch of a spiritual healer.
Healing by Glance
The eye is the most wonderful and powerful factor in the body, which conveys to another pleasure or displeasure, joy or sorrow, love or hatred, without a word being spoken. This shows that the eye is the most responsive instrument for the mind to express thought and feelings. Sometimes in an assembly two people just look at each other and there is agreement between them, and two people may stare at each other and it may have a worse effect than shooting. This again proves that both fire and water can manifest either to destroy or to inspire. To a healer, therefore, there is no better means than the eyes to send his thought of healing; and there is no better means of receiving this thought in the patient than his eyes. The healer can send the healing power through his glance to the painful part of the body, but it is more helpful still when he sends his power direct to the eyes of the patient. As there is a link between the mind and the eyes of the healer who sends the power, so there is a link between the eyes and mind of the patient who receives it. Medicine can touch the physical body, but thought can touch the mind, where the root of every disease often is; and a suggestion that a powerful healer gives to his patient reaches his heart and destroys the germ of disease.
The eyes of every person are not capable of healing. It is the penetrating glance and stillness of the eyes, then the power of the glance and ability to aim that are necessary. These are developed by certain exercises, though some eyes have a natural ability for this purpose. Also, concentration of mind, which gives power is necessary in healing, for power of mind directed by the glance brings about a successful result.
Healing by Suggestion
There are five elements that constitute man's being: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Air represents the voice, and it reaches the ether, which means that the voice reaches farther than anything else in the world. It touches the depths of man's heart. Therefore music is a living miracle. There is nothing that can thrill man's being through and through as sound can. This explains why suggestion is much greater and more beneficial in healing than any other remedy.
In India, where the daily life of the people is based upon psychical laws, they take great care in speaking to another person that it may not produce a bad effect upon his physical, mental, or spiritual self. A healer, who by the power of Zikr develops the healing power of his voice, impresses his word with the power of his heart on the heart of the patient.
The healer must be sincere in his suggestions. Because all the power lies in his sincerity; he must also be self-confident; he must have psychic power developed in him; but beyond and above all he must be a good man, so that at the time no thought of humiliation or of any sort of uneasiness should come to him. His thoughts, feelings, and actions should be satisfactory to his conscience; if not, any discomfort, dissatisfaction, fear, or repentance weakens his power. Then he is no longer capable of healing, however learned and powerful he may be. When the healer thinks he is healing, his power is as small as a drop. When he thinks God is healing, and when owing to this thought his own self is forgotten and he is only conscious of the self of God, then his power becomes as large as the ocean.
Healing by Presence
There is warmth in fire, and there is a greater warmth in feeling. The presence of a person with warm feelings can create an atmosphere of warmth, and the presence of the cold-hearted can freeze one. No doubt warmth of heart is not the only quality the healer needs, he must have the power to heal, besides concentration and a desire to heal. But at the same time it is the name of Christ that is know as that of the Messiah. Messiah in the East means healer, and for a Messiah the power of love is the first quality, love in the form of sympathy. One sympathizes with another, thinking perhaps, 'He is my relation, friend, or acquaintance', but when sympathy develops to its fullest extent one begins to see in everybody 'I', 'myself', and the pain of everybody one begins to feel as one's own pain.
This is a sign of a true Messiah. How can he heal the wounds of the hearts of the children of the earth and relieve them from pains and sufferings, since life is full of them, when his sympathy is not awakened to such a degree that he feels the pain of another even before feeling his own pain? Every healer who has a spiritual aspiration must develop a spark of the fire of the heart of the Messiah; and then even before trying to heal a person his very presence will heal. When a child is ill the mother approaches it with the wish that it may be well, with a pain in her heart for the suffering of her child. From that moment she becomes a healer, her touch, her word, and her glance do more than medicine or any other remedy. When this mother quality is developed in the heart of the healer, then, when he heals not for any return except the happiness of seeing a soul released from pain, he becomes a healer who can heal merely by his presence.
Healing by Prayer
Prayer is a wonderful means of healing oneself and another, for concentration alone, without the thought of God, is powerless; it is the divine ideal which strengthens the healing power, which gives it a living spirit. Therefore a spiritual healer has more hope of success than a material healer. For the material healer directs his own thought; however powerful it may be it is limited by his own personality; but the spiritual healer who in the thought of God and His divine power forgets himself, has much greater success than the former. It does not matter what form of prayer one uses, sincere prayer in every form will bring a fruitful result.
Prayer is in reality the contemplation of God's presence, who is the power and origin of the whole creation; and it is considering oneself as nothing before Him, and placing the wish which stands before one's personality before the Almighty. Therefore naturally the result must be incomparably greater, though it depends upon the contemplation of every individual.
In the first place, he who prays for the cure of another must surely be blessed, because goodwill and love, from which his prayer rises, of necessity bring a blessing to him. Also prayer for one's own cure is not selfish, it is making oneself a fitting instrument to be more useful in the scheme of life. On the other hand, neglect of one's own health very often is a crime. Praying to God in thought is perhaps better than in speech, but it must be remembered that speech makes concrete; therefore thought with speech makes prayer more effective than thought alone. Words without thought are vain repetitions.
When a healer has practiced healing for a certain time successfully, then the next step in the line of healing is to heal a patient from a distance. The method of absent healing is totally different from healing in the presence. In absent healing the power of thought alone is necessary, and those who are accustomed to use the magnetism through the tips of the fingers, through the eyes, through touch, find it difficult to direct thought-power without an external channel. Also when the patient is not present, in the first place the beginner wonders whether his thought power will reach the patient, and it is also difficult to hold in one's thought a patient who is not present.
The mastery of Fikr helps a healer to hold the thought of the patient before his mind. It is Fikr that helps to heal a patient from a distance. Breath, so to speak, is an electric current that can be attached anywhere; distance makes no difference. A current of breath so established puts the ethereal waves in space into motion and according to the healer's magnetic power the space between the healer and the patient becomes filled with a running current of healing power. There is no doubt that spiritual evolution is the first thing necessary; without this the mind power of a healer, however strong, is too feeble for the purpose.
By spiritual development is meant God consciousness. There is a believer in God who may be called pious, but it is the God-conscious who become spiritual. It is the belief and realization that: 'I do not exist, but God', which gives power to the healer to heal from a distance; also it is the realization that gives him the belief that his thought can reach to any distance, because the knowledge of the all-pervading God gives him the realization that the Absolute is life in itself, and that even space, which means nothing to the average person, is everything; in fact, it is the very life of all things.
VARIOUS METHODS OF HEALING
The Origin of Healing
Consciously or unconsciously. every being is capable of healing himself or others. This instinct is inborn in insects, birds, and beasts, as well as in man. All these find their own medicine and heal themselves and each other in various ways. In ancient days the doctors and healers learned much from animals about the treatment of disease. This shows that natural intuition has manifested in the lower creation as well as in the higher. The scientists of today should not, therefore, claim with pride that they are the inventors of chemical remedies, but should humbly bow their heads in prayer, seeing that each atom of this universe, conscious of its sickness, procures for itself from within or without a means for its restoration. In other words, medicines were not discovered by physicians, but were intuitively found in creation as the necessity for them arose.
The excess of man's artificial remedies has had the effect of increasing disease. This is also mainly due to the modern artificial ways of life, so different from the natural living of the ancients which is ridiculed today by so-called civilization. Today the luxuries and needs of life are obtained at the sacrifice of true health and comfort.
Healing without drugs and medicines is the most natural method, although the absolute neglect of them is inadvisable. There are cases in which surgical instruments are also permissible but only when absolutely necessary. If horses can move wagons, why should engines be used? In the same way if a disease can be cured with a simple remedy the mental power should not be wasted, for it may be used in a more serious case. If every malady were to be healed mentally then why were all drugs and herbs created? On the other hand diseases which will yield more easily to mental treatment should not be left entirely to material remedies, for their root must first be healed. So many patients recover temporarily by the help of medicine but again become sick, and in such cases healing is especially needed. It is much to be deplored that in the present age such important work as healing has been undertaken by people who are often most materially minded and do not understand its psychology, making it a profession and thus bringing discredit upon it.
Self-healing is more desirable than healing by others; the former strengthens the will, the latter weakens it. Many people think that hypnotic and psychic power alone can heal; but they do not realize how the healer must first heal himself by the practice of the strictest morality from the lowest to the highest phase of his existence. He must purify himself by Iman, or faith. Then only can he claim to be a healer.
There are five kinds of disease caused by various disorders on different planes of existence. Some diseases on the physical plane are contracted from without, while others spring from within. There are several supposed causes, but in reality the true cause of disease is weakness, while the cause of health is strength. This does not mean physical weakness or strength only, but strength and weakness on all planes of existence. Activity causes what is called life, while the reverse brings about death, the former causes circulation and the latter congestion. Circulation gives health, while congestion causes disease.
The scientists of today are giving electric treatment as a comparatively new discovery, and it is claimed that it is the most beneficial of all remedies. Healing is also electric treatment, and has been given throughout the different planes of life for ages. Every being has a natural gift of healing in a greater or lesser degree, but it may be developed. The physical and mental faculties should be opened in such a way that the electric vibrations on the various planes of existence are enabled to operate. Physical vibrations depend upon the purity and energy of the body, and they can be projected through the finer parts of the body such as the palms of the hands, the tips of the fingers, the soles of the feet, the cheek, the forehead, the ear, the lips, nose, and eyes. The finest of all these is the eye; it is much more useful than all the other organs, for it is through the eyes that the electric rays can be emitted. The nose has also an important part to perform, it being the very channel of breath. The ears can work when the healer is spiritually advanced, and the vibrations can also pass through the tips of the fingers.
The Oriental custom of placing the eyes upon the holy hands or feet of the sage is not only expressive of humility, but it has a still greater meaning. It signifies the healing by the holy hands or feet, which illuminate the devotee. The sages who bless those aspiring souls by placing their hands upon the head, inspire them by sending forth the rays of their power through the fingertips. In kissing the hands or feet of the Holy Ones the Orientals have the same object in view. In the same way the caress of the mother heals the child of all its pains and soothes it to sleep. Courage and consolation are given to another by placing the hands on his shoulders, the vibrations in this action give new life and courage.
A patient can only be healed if he has sufficient faith in the power of healing and confidence in the healer. In the case of self-healing, self-confidence and the power of breath and concentration are most necessary. There is a well-known story that Shams-e Tabrez, the Shiva of Persia, was once most respectfully entreated by the priests of the day to awaken the crown prince, who had just died from his last long sleep. The Shah, his father, issued a decree that if there was any truth at all in religion his only son must be restored to life by prayer, otherwise all the mosques would be destroyed and the mullahs be put to the sword. In order to save many lives Shams-e Tabrez complied with their request and sought the dead body of the prince. He first said to the body of the prince, 'Kun ba Ismi Allah' (Awake at the call of God). The dead body did not move. He then, under the spell of ecstasy, exclaimed, 'Kun ba Ismi' (Awake at my command). At this suggestion the prince immediately arose. The story goes on to relate that this abrupt command, although it restored the prince to life, brought the charge that he had claimed to be God against Shams-e Tabrez, and according to the religious law, he was condemned to be flayed alive. He gladly submitted to this punishment in order to keep religion intact, as it is the only means of elevating the multitude.
By this we understand: Shams-e Tabrez, in his first suggestion to the dead spoke conventionally, entreating God as a third person, which had not the slightest effect on the dead body. But in his next command he lost his individual self from his consciousness and felt himself to be the whole Being of God. This story made it clear that the healer must be confident of his at-oneness with God, and during the time of healing he should most assuredly feel the power of the Almighty working through him, thus absolutely losing the thought of his individual self.
The electric battery, which heals is charged in three ways: by controlling the breath, by strengthening the will, and by absorbing the electricity of the sphere.
In order to make use of this healing battery it is most essential that the eyes should be made to work so that they project the electricity. They must be first cured of their nervousness, that ever-moving condition to which they are addicted from birth. They eyes are naturally weakened and made tired by allowing them to respond from morning to night, to every attraction which invites their attention. The healer, in order to make use of them for healing, first trains them to be steady.
The electricity can be absorbed by striking with the fingers the finer vibrations in space; and it can be discharged in the same way by slowly passing the tips of the fingers through the space above the affected part of the patient's body. Sometimes passing the fingers closer to the body, and sometimes slightly touching the affected part is helpful. It depends upon the intensity of pain suffered by the patient and the amount of electricity required. It is very necessary that each time the fingers have passed over the affected part they should be shaken in order to disperse the poisons collected there; in other words poisonous germs collected on the fingers should be thrown away. It is advisable to shake the fingers over a fire so that the germs may not be left on the floor, and also to have incense burning in the room. Some healers, in order to protect the fingers, make use of peacock feathers, which sweep away all such germs.
The healer can test his healing power by feeling the electric current running through his fingers as he shakes them. A healer even when playing an instrument can heal the listeners with his music. If a healer gives a gift with a good wish it brings good luck, and if he writes a word it becomes a charm, a healer in itself which heals the possessor and keeps him free from death and disaster
Mental healing is performed by suggestion. In most cases the parents are the first healers, for they convey their thought to the child by the knitting of the brow or by looking at him fixedly. Even animals can be trained in the same way.
There are many diseases of the human mind produced by self-consciousness. They develop unconsciously, and are such as love of praise and flattery, intolerance of insult, irritability, infatuation, jealousy, anger, passion, and greed, besides the craving for alcohol and drugs. In order to cure such diseases the healer must have great control over himself, or his own shortcomings may keep the patient back. The Holy Prophet was once requested by an aged woman to speak to her son, who spent all his daily wage on dates, leaving her penniless. The Prophet promised to do so after five weeks' interval. On the appointed day the boy was brought before the Prophet, who spoke to him very kindly, saying: 'You are such a sensible lad that you ought to remember that your mother has endured much suffering for your sake, sacrificing all her wages in order to bring you up. And now she is so old and you are in a position to support her, and you are squandering your money on dates. Is this just or right? I hope by the grace and mercy of Allah you will give up this habit.' But the disciples of the Prophet wondered, and asked why the reproof was delayed for thirty-five days. The Holy Prophet explained, saying, 'I myself am fond of dates, and I felt that I had no right to advise the lad to abstain from them until I had myself refrained from eating them for five week.' The healer of character should never for a single moment try to heal another of weaknesses to which he is himself addicted.
Spiritual healing is still higher in its nature than either of the former methods. It can be performed by a single being as well as by a group of people. In this case the heart of the healer can send forth its feelings and vibrations, and in accordance with their intensity the subject is healed. In absent spiritual healing the desire spreads forth its rays and reaches the patient wherever he may be, curing him without the presence of the healer. The concentration of several people united together works still more wonderfully.
The power of the healer depends upon the warmth of this heart. Devotees by their power of concentration, by their purity of life, and by their divine love become wonderful healers. Their every tear and sigh become a source of healing for themselves and those around them. Devotion is the fire in which all infirmities are consumed and the devotee becomes illuminated within himself; and the joy of the devotee and his pain cannot possibly be compared with any other joy in life. Spiritual healing does not require the fixed gaze, the touch of the fingers, or the power of breath, but Tawajoh (a kind of glance), or Do's (a good thought) of the spiritual healer serves the purpose.
In abstract healing the soul, heart, and body are healed of all diseases and weaknesses therein. This healing is only possible during the ecstasy of the healer. The strong psychical vibration which run through the pores of his body from his inner self naturally pierce through the bodies, hearts, and souls, of all around him, who receive them in accordance with their power of receptivity. Murshids have frequently inspired their mureeds without reading or discussing, and such mureeds have reached perfection. It is a wonderful phenomenon, which an exceptional mureed once in a while experiences under the guidance of his Murshid.
There is a story of Hafiz Shirazi, who, together with ten other Hafiz, was being trained under the same Murshid. A certain time was set apart for their meditation and other practices, and a certain time for food and sleep. Hafiz Shirazi kept awake during the night in rapt contemplation of Allah. After years of patient waiting, one evening the Murshid, in ecstasy, called for Hafiz. The wakeful Hafiz was the only one who heard, and he answered the call and was blessed by the Murshid, who chose this ideal time to inspire all his mureeds. Each time he called for Hafiz the same Hafiz answered the call, all the others being asleep. So the wakeful one who received an eleven-fold blessing, his own and that of the ten others, who lost this precious opportunity, by their sleep. And Hafiz became the greatest spiritual healer of his time, whose every word, from that day to this, has been powerful to heal.
[Volume IV Contents]