If people become ill, it is quite fashionable to say that the immunity system has temporarily failed – yet the body itself knows that certain ‘dis-eases’ are healthy reactions. The body does not recognise diseases as diseases in usually understood terms. It regards all activity as experience, as a momentary condition of life, as a balancing situation.

It is … fashionable to say that that men and women have conscious minds, subconscious minds and unconscious minds – but there is no such thing as an unconscious mind. The body consciousness is highly conscious. You are simply not conscious of it.

You might say [instead] that varying portions of your own consciousness operate at different speeds. Translations between one portion of consciousness and another go on constantly, so that information is translated from one ‘speed’ to another.

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Many psychiatrist and psychologists now realise that a disturbed client cannot be helped  sufficiently unless the individual is considered along with his or her relationship to the family unit.

The same idea applies to physical illness as well.  It is possible, however, to carry this idea even further, so that a person in poor health should be seen by the physician in relationship to the family and also in relationship to the environment. Old-time family doctors understood the patient’s sensitivity to family members and to the environment, of course, and they often felt a lively sympathy and understanding that the practitioners of modern medicine often seem to have forgotten.

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Modern medical science largely considers the human body to be a kind of mechanical model, a sort of vehicle like a car that needs to be checked by a garage every so often.

As an automobile is put together at an assembly line, so the body is seen as a very efficient machine put together in nature’s ‘factory’. If all the parts are in their proper place, and functioning smoothly, then the machine should give as excellent a service as any well-running automobile – or so it seems.

All of the automobile’s parts, however, are alone responsible for its operations so long as it has a responsible driver. There are, however, hidden relationships that exist between various parts of the body – and the parts themselves are hardly mechanical. They change in every moment.

The heart is often described as a type of pump. With the latest developments in modern technology, there are all kinds of heart operations that can be performed, even the use of heart transplants. In many cases, even when hearts are repaired through medical technology, the same trouble reoccurs at a later date, or the patient recovers only to fall prey to a different, nearly fatal or fatal disease. This is not always the case by any means, but when such a person does recover fully, and maintain good health, it is because [their] beliefs, attitudes and feelings have changed for the better, and because the person ‘has a heart’ again; in other words because the patient himself has regained the will to live.

Many people who have heart trouble feel that they have ‘lost the heart’ for life. They may feel broken-hearted for many reasons. They may feel heartless, or imagines themselves to be so cold-hearted that they punish themselves literally by trying to lose their heart.

With many people having such difficulties, the addition of love in the environment may work far better than any heart operation. A new pet given to a bereaved individual has saved more people from needing heart operations than any physician. In other words, a ‘love transplant’ in the environment may work far better overall than a heart-transplant operation, or a bypass, or whatever; in such ways the heart is allowed to heal itself.

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People have been taught to trust X-rays for a picture of what is happening in their bodies, and cautioned not to trust their own feelings. Period. Some public-service announcements stress the ‘fact’ that the individual can be gravely threatened by high blood pressure, for example, even though he or she feels in excellent health.

In many cases people exercise quite simply because they are afraid of what will happen if they do not. They may run to avoid heart disease, for example, whilst their own fear can help to promote the very eventuality they fear.

The body’s health is an expression of inner well-being. Poor health is an expression also, and it may serve many purposes. It goes without saying that some people become ill rather than change their activities and their environments. They may also become ill, of course, to force themselves to make such changes.

I do not mean to imply that exercise is detrimental to good health. It is true, however, that the reason you exercise is more important than the exercises that you do perform. The reason can promote your good health or actually impede it.

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The concept of survival of the fittest has had a considerable detrimental effect in many areas of human activity – particularly the realm of medical ideology and practice.

Politically as well as medically, such distortions have led to unfortunate conditions; the Aryan supremacy biological ideas fostered in the second world war, the concentration upon ‘the perfect body’, and other distortions. The idea of the ideal body has often been held up to the populace at large, and this often set forth a stylised ‘perfect’ physique that actually could be matched by few individuals.

Any variations are frowned upon, and any birth defects considered in the most suspicious of lights. Some schools of thought then, have it that only the genetically superior should be allowed to reproduce, and there are scientists who believe that all defects can be eliminated through judicious genetic planning.

The handicapped are often given messages, even by the medical profession, that make them feel like misfits, unworthy to survive.

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Your ideas about yourself are, again vital in the larger context of a healthy lifetime. The condition of your heart is affected, for example, by your own feelings about it. If you consider yourself to be cold-hearted or heartless, those feelings will have a significant effect upon that physical organ. If you feel broken-hearted then you will also have that feeling reflected in one way or another in the physical organ itself.

…. each individual also has many options open. Everyone who feels broken-hearted does not necessarily die of heart failure for example. The subject of health cannot be considered in an isolated fashion … each person will try to fulfil their own unique abilities, and to ‘fill out’ the experience of life as fully as possible.

If an individual is hampered in that attempt strongly and persistently, then the dissatisfaction and frustration will be transformed into a lack of physical exuberance and vitality. There is always an unending reservoir of energy at the command of each person however, regardless of circumstances …

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Thoughts and beliefs do indeed bring about physical alterations. They can even – and often do – change genetic messages.

There are diseases that people believe are inherited, carried from one generation to another by a faulty genetic communication. Obviously, many people with, for example, a genetic heritage of arthritis, do not come down with the disease themselves, while others indeed are so afflicted. The difference is one of belief.

The people who have accepted the suggestion uncritically that they will inherit such a malady do then seem to inherit it: they experience the symptoms. Actually the belief itself may have turned a healthy genetic message into an unhealthy one.

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…pain and suffering are also obviously vital, living sensations – and therefore are a part of the body’s repertoire of possible feelings and sensual experience. They are also a sign, therefore, of life’s vitality, and are in themselves often responsible for a return to health when they act as learning communications.

Many diseases are often health-promoting processes. Chicken pox, measles and other like diseases in childhood in their own way ‘naturally inoculate’ the body, so that it is able to handle other elements that are a part of the body and the body’s environment.

When civilised children are medically inoculated against such diseases … to an important extent the natural protective processes are impeded. Such children may not come down with the disease against which they are medically protected, then – but they may indeed therefore become ‘prey’ to other diseases later in life that would not otherwise have occurred.

I am not advising people to refuse to have their children vaccinated, since you now have to take vaccination into consideration because of its prominence in society. It is very possible however, that science itself will in time discover the unfortunate side effects of many such procedures, and begin to reevaluate the entire subject.

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… no person dies ahead of his or her time. The individual chooses the time of death. It is true however, that many cancers and conditions such as AIDS result because the immunity system has been so tampered with that the body has not been allowed to follow through with its own balancing act.

Again, however, no individual dies of cancer or AIDS, or any other condition, until they themselves have set the time.

…no consciousness considers death an end or a disaster, but views it instead as a means to the continuation of … existence.

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People with life-threatening diseases … often feel that further growth, development, or expansion are highly difficult, if not impossible to achieve at a certain point in their lives. Often there are complicated family relationships that the person does not know how to handle … In all cases, however, the need for value fulfilment, expression, and creativity are so important to life that when these are threatened, life itself is at least momentarily weakened. Innately, each person does realise that there is life after death, and in some instances such people realise that it is indeed time to move to another level of reality, to die and set out again with another brand new world.

Often, seriously ill people quite clearly recognise such feelings but they have been taught not to speak of them. The desire to die is considered cowardly, even evil, by some religions – and yet behind that desire lies all of the vitality of the will to life, which may already be seeking new avenues of expression and meaning.

There are those who come down with one serious disease – say heart trouble – are cured through a heart transplant or other medical procedure, only to fall prey to another, seemingly unrelated disease, such as cancer. It would relieve the minds of family and friends, however if they understood that the individual involved did not ‘fall prey’ to the disease, and that he or she was not a victim in usual terms.

This does not mean that anyone consciously decides to get such-and-such a disease, but it does mean that some people instinctively realise that their own development does now demand another new framework of existence.

Much loneliness results when people who know they are going to die feel unable to communicate with loved ones for fear of hurting their feelings. Still other kinds of individuals will live long productive lives even while their physical mobility or health is most severely impaired. They will still feel that they had work to do, or that they were needed …

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Many cancer patients have martyrlike characteristics, often putting up with undesirable situations or conditions for years.

They feel powerless, unable to change, yet unwilling to say in the same position. The most important point is to arouse such a person’s belief in his or her strength and power. In many instances these people shrug their shoulders, saying “What will happen, will happen,” but they do not physically struggle against their situation.

It is also vital that these patients are not overly medicated, for oftentimes the side effects of some cancer-eradicating drugs are dangerous in themselves. There has been some success with people who imagine that the cancer is instead some hated enemy or monster or foe, which is then banished with mental mock battles over a period of time. While the technique does have its advantages, it also pits one portion of the self against the other. It is much better to imagine say, the cancer cells being neutralised by some imaginary wand.

Doctors might suggest that a patient relax and then ask himself or herself what kind of inner fantasy would best serve the healing process. Instant images may come to mind at once, but if success is not achieved immediately, have the patient try again, for in almost all cases some inner picture will be perceived.

Behind the entire problem, however, is the fear of using one’s full power or energy. Cancer patients most usually feel an inner impatience as they sense their own need for future expansion and development, only to feel it thwarted.

Again, we cannot generalise overmuch, but many persons know quite well that they are not sure whether they want to live or die. The overabundance of cancer cells represents nevertheless the need for expression and expansion – the only arena left open – or so it would seem.

Such a person must also contend with society’s unfortunate ideas about the disease in general, so that many cancer patients end up isolated or alone. As in almost all cases of disease however, if it were possible to have a kind of ‘thought transplant’ operation, the disease would quickly vanish.

Consciously you might want to express certain abilities, whilst unconsciously you are afraid of doing so.

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For all of life’s seeming misfortunes, development, fulfilment and accomplishment far outweigh death, diseases and disasters. Starting over can be done – by anyone in any situation, and it will bring about some beneficial effects regardless of previous conditions.

Behind all maladies, in the most basic manner lies the need for expression, and when people feel that their areas of growth are being curtailed, then they instigate actions meant to clear the road, so to speak.

Before health problems show up there is almost always a loss of self-respect or expression.

In the matter of the disease call AIDS, for example, you have groups of homosexuals, many ‘coming out of the closet’ for the first time, taking part in organisations that promote their cause, and suddenly faced by the suspicions and distrust of many other portions of the population.

The struggle to express themselves, and their own unique abilities and characteristics, drives them on, and yet is all too frequently thwarted by the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds them. You end up with something like a psychological contagion. The people involved begin to feel even more depressed as they struggle to combat the prejudice against them. Many of them almost hate themselves. For all their seeming bravado, they fear that they are indeed unnatural members of the species.

These beliefs break down the immunity system and bring about the symptoms so connected with the disease. AIDS is a social phenomenon to that extent, expressing the deep dissatisfactions, doubts and angers of prejudiced-against segment of society.

Whatever physical changes occur, happen because the will to live is weakened. AIDS is a kind of biological protest, as if the homosexuals are saying: “You may as well kill us. We might be better off than the way you treat us now” …

The attitude of doctors and nurses towards the handling of such patients shows only too clearly not only their fear of the disease itself, but their fear of homosexuality, which has been considered evil and forbidden by many religions.

Yet AIDS can be acquired by those who are not homosexuals, but who have similar problems. It is a great error to segregate some individuals, like a modern colony of lepers.

Many other conditions that seem to be spread by viruses or contagions are also related to the problems of society in the same manner, and when these conditions are righted the diseases themselves largely vanish. It should be remembered that it is the beliefs and feelings of the patients that largely determine the effectiveness of any medical procedures, techniques or medications.

Unfortunately, the entire picture surrounding health and disease is a largely negative one, in which even preventative medicine can have severe drawbacks, since it often recommends drugs or techniques to attack a problem not only before the problem emerges, but simply in case it emerges.

Many of the public-health announcements routinely publicise the specific symptoms of various diseases, almost as if laying out maps of diseases for medical consumers to follow.

The body’s own healing processes are forever active however – which I why I so strongly advise them being relied upon along with whatever medical help seems appropriate. But the individual, even as a patient, must always have a choice, and the right to refuse any treatment being offered.

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You cannot divorce philosophy from life, for your thoughts and opinions give your life its meaning and impetus. There are some people who believe that life is meaningless, that it has no purpose, and that its multitudinous parts fell together through the workings of chance alone. Obviously I am speaking of scientific dogma, but such dogma is far more religious than scientific, for it also expects to be believed without proof, on faith alone.

All of life is seen as heading for extinction in any case. The entire concept of a soul, life after death, or even life from one generation to the next, becomes doubtful, to say the least. In such a philosophical world it would seem that man has no power at all.

… those concepts can have a hand in the development of would-be suicides, particularly of a young age, for they seem to effectively block a future.

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For centuries it was taken for granted that God was on the side of the strongest, richest nation. Surely, it seemed, if a country was poor or downtrodden, it was because God made it so.

Such ideas literally held people in chains, fostering slavery and other inhumane practices. The same unfortunately applies to Eastern concepts of nirvana and to the Christian idea of heaven.

There are many differences between the ideas of nirvana and heaven, but each has been used, not only to justify suffering, but also to teach people to seek pain.

Quite ordinary people often believe, then, that suffering itself is a way towards personal development and spiritual knowledge. In matters of health, such beliefs can have most unfortunate results. They are often responsible for needless sacrifices of physical organ in imprudent operations.

Some individuals become anxious and worried if they think they are too happy – for them it means they are not paying sufficiently for their sins. They may be threatened by some undeniable danger, until finally, in one way or another they seek out their own punishment once again – wondering all the time why they are so frequently besieged by poor health or disease.

This kind of syndrome can affect individuals, families, and to some extent entire nations. They mitigate directly against man’s health, survival and exuberance.

Constant fears about … catastrophes can also fall under this classification. 

This is true of individuals, but it also applies to many so-called survival groups, who congregate in one or another portion of the country.

Most such people expect a period of chaotic time, in which all laws are broken down. Another version stresses the economic area, foreseeing the collapse of the economy, anarchy, and other conditions that pit one individual against another. Some use religious dogma and others rely upon scientific dogma to prove their cases …

Good mental or physical health can hardly flourish in such conditions.

Such ideas affect every level of life, from the most microscopic onward. It is not that plants understand your ideas in usual terms, but that they do indeed pick up your intent, and in the area of world survival, they have a stake.

I do not want to romanticise nonhuman life either, or to overestimate its resources, but nature also has its own ways – and in those ways it constantly works towards the survival of life in general. Nature may not bail you out, but it will always be there, adding its own vitality and strength to the overall good and health of the planet.

Communication flashes between viruses and microbes, and they can change in the wink of any eye. Once again then, ideas of the most optimistic nature are the biologically pertinent ones.

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This is a good place to bring up some extreme food practices, such as over-fasting and an obsession with so-called natural foods. I am not talking about a natural and healthy interest in the purity of foodstuffs, but of a worrisome overconcern.

Behind many such attitudes is the idea that the body itself is unworthy, and that starving it somehow cuts down on the appetites of the flesh. You usually end up with a flurry of different types of diets.

Some concentrate almost exclusively on protein, some on carbohydrates – particularly rice – but in any case the large natural range of foods and nutrients are cut out.

This keeps the body in a state of constant turmoil. Some people are so convinced, in fact, that that eating is wrong that they diet until they become ravenously hungry, then overeat and force themselves to vomit up the residue.

Other people, in a well-meaning attempt to watch their weight, skip their breakfasts entirely – a very poor procedure.

It is far better to eat moderate amounts of food in all of the food ranges, and to consume smaller portions more often … four light meals a day will overall serve you very well.

These food ideas are important, since they are often passed on from parents to children, and parents often use food as a way of rewarding a child’s good behaviour, thus starting the youngster out towards the condition of overweight.

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If you do have health problems, it is much better to look for their reason in your immediate experience …

… try to understand that the particular dilemma of illness is not an event forced upon you by some other agency. Rather realise that to some extent or another your dilemma or your illness has been chosen by you

If you realise that your beliefs form your experience, then you do have a very good chance of changing your beliefs, and hence your experience.

You can discover what your own reasons are for choosing the dilemma or illness by being very honest with yourself. There is not need to feel guilty since you meant very well as you made each choice – only the choices were built upon beliefs that were beliefs and not facts.

If you are in serious difficulties of any kind, it may at first seem inconceivable, unbelievable or even scandalous to imagine that your problems are caused by your beliefs. In fact, the opposite may appear to be true. You might have lost a series of jobs, and it may seem quite clear to you that you are not to blame in any of these circumstances.

You may be in the middle of one or several unsatisfactory relationships, none of which seem to be caused by you, while instead you believe you are an unwilling victim or participant. You may have a dangerous drug or alcohol problem, or you may be married to someone who does.

In most cases, even the most severe illnesses or complicated living conditions are caused by an attempt to grow, develop or expand in the face of difficulties that appear to be insurmountable to one degree or another.

An individual will appear to be striving for some goal that appears blocked, and hence he or she uses all available energy and strength to circumnavigate the blockage.

[In fact] the blockage is usually a belief which needs to be understood or removed rather than bypassed.

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You are not healthy … no matter how robust your physical condition, if your relationships are unhealthy, if your relationships are unhealthy, unsatisfying, frustrating or hard to achieve. Whatever your situation is, it is a good idea to ask yourself what you would do if you were free of it. An alcoholic’s wife might wish with all her heart that her husband would stop drinking – but if she suddenly asked herself what she would do, she might – surprisingly enough – feel a tinge of panic. On examination of her own thoughts and feelings, she might well discover that she was so frightened of not achieving her own goals that she actually encouraged her husband’s alcoholism, so that she would not have to face her own ‘failure’. Obviously this hypothetical situation is a quick example of what I mean, with no mention of the innumerable other beliefs and half-beliefs that would encircle the man’s and the woman’s relationship. 

Each person is so unique that it is obviously impossible for me to discuss all of the innumerable strands of belief that form human experience …. you may discover not just one you, but several you’s, so to speak, each pursuing certain purposes, and you may find out furthermore that some purposes cancel others out, whilst some are diametrically opposed to one another. Such cross-purposes, of course can lead to mental, spiritual, emotional and physical difficulties.

Large numbers of people do indeed live unsatisfactory lives, with many individuals seeking goals that are nearly unattainable because of the conglomeration of contradictory beliefs that vie for their attention. They are at cross-purposes with themselves.


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