Could the power of the mind be a cure-all?
"Mind governs the body, not partially but wholly," wrote thought-leader, Mary Baker Eddy, over 100 years ago.
In ensuing years of painstaking research, discovery, testing and analysis the bio-sciences, too, have come to generally support the idea that there is a distinct connection between thought and body.
Jo Marchant's latest book CURE attempts to come to grips with this idea - explaining the increasing evidence that our thoughts, emotions and beliefs affect our bodies. It suggests that this knowledge, when applied in certain ways, can ease pain, heal wounds, fend off infection and heart disease and even slow the progression of AIDS and some cancers.
Along with researchers and practitioners who take a holistic approach, the British journalist concludes that success in the use of placebos, faith healing and positive psychology depends on the strength of our beliefs and how nurtured we feel during the process. These two very important points are worthy of further investigation.
It could also be suggested that success in ANY health treatment depends on the strength of our beliefs and how nurtured we feel. We see it over and over again in the lives of others as well as in our own life - when we're feeling loved, supported and in our right place spiritually … healing happens so easily!
Despite all the evidence of the power of belief on the body, Marchant points out the one thing she says she has learned from her investigations: "the mind is not a panacea" … or cure-all.
That's undoubtedly true of the human mind. But the author mentioned previously, Mary Baker Eddy, provides some useful insights from a spiritual standpoint that Marchant may not have considered.
"Erring human mind is by no means a desirable or efficacious healer," she wrote. And her explanations about a new basis of scientific thinking, showing how the divine Mind (capitalized to differentiate between the human mind and Deity) can bring consistent, repeatable healing results, helps us understand all these complexities a little better. In her foundational text, SCIENCE AND HEALTH, she explains the perfect Mind Jesus claimed as his own, as "universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death."
He saw every man, woman and child as the faultless expression of that loving Mind. Doing so healed them! And it can heal us, too.
I'm discovering that this divine Science of God and man is no more obscure or supernatural than the science of numbers. A couple of days after flying-in to another country recently, I woke up early with nausea and vomiting. Opting to stay in the lodge while my family and friends went out for the morning, I spent an hour or so affirming divine Love's government and my perfect, spiritual substance, though all the while dealing with the symptoms that seemed to say the opposite.
However, I soon began to feel spiritually loved and nurtured. Once the realisation was reached of the divine Mind's goodness and only-ness - and my resulting faultless being - I found that I was immediately healed of the symptoms and was able to have a late breakfast right away, with no physical after-effects whatsoever.
The way we understand God has profound implications for healing. As a news item last week also indicated, our views on God affect the way societies develop, including our governments and legislation, the way we do business, and our social support systems.
When we understand the divine nature better, "mankind will no longer be tyrannical and intolerant from lack of love". And "religion" - and science and medicine? - "will then be of the heart and not of the head" (Eddy).
Not the human mind, but the divine Mind - properly understood and proved - IS a universal panacea and cure-all.
Please share your experiences with spiritual thinking and healing in the comments section below.
Kay Stroud writes about health and spirituality, and practises Christian Science healing www.health4thinkers.com