Scientific Healing Affirmations
By Paramhansa Yogananda
Dedicated to my Gurudeva, Jnavatar Swami Yukteswar,
with love, reverence, and devotion
THEORY OF HEALING
1. Why Affirmations Work
Man's word is Spirit in man. Spoken words are sounds occasioned by the vibrations of thoughts; thoughts are vibrations sent forth by the ego or by the soul. Every word you utter should be potent with soul vibration. A man's words are lifeless if he fails to impregnate them with a spiritual force. Talkativeness, exaggeration, or falsehood makes your words as ineffective as paper bullets shot from a toy gun. The speech and prayers of garrulous or inaccurate persons are unlikely to produce bene- ficial changes in the order of things. Man's words should represent not only truth but also his definite understanding and realization. Such speech without soul force is like husks without corn.
Spiritual Power is Man's Word
Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired. Avoid speaking unpleasant words, even if true. Sincere words or affirmations repeated understandingly, feeling and willingly are sure to move the Omnipresent Cosmic Vibratory Force to render aid in your difficulty. Appeal to that power with infinite confidence, casting out all doubt; otherwise the arrow of your attention will be deflected from its mark.
After you have sown in the soil of Cosmic Consciousness your vibratory prayer-seed, do not pluck it out frequently to see whether or not it has germinated. Give the divine grace forces a chance to work uninterruptedly.
The God-Given Power of Man
Nothing is greater than Cosmic Consciousness, or God. His power far surpasses that of the human mind. Seek His aid alone. But this counsel does not mean that you should make yourself passive, inert, or credulous; or that you should minimize the power of your own mind. The Lord helps those who help themselves. He gave you will power, concentration, faith, reason, and common sense to use when trying to rid yourself of bodily and mental afflictions; you should empty all those powers while simultaneously appealing to Him.
As you utter prayers or affirmations, always believe that you are using your own but God-given powers to heal yourself or others. Ask His aid; but realize that you yourself, as His beloved child, are employing His gifts of will, emotion, and reason to solve all difficult problems of life. A balance should be struck between the medieval idea of wholly depending on God and the modern way of sole reliance on the ego.
Use of Will, Feeling, and Reason
As one uses different affirmations, his attitude of mind should change; for example, will affirmations should be accompanied by strong determination; feeling affirmations by devotion; reason affirmations by clear understanding. When healing others, select an affirmation that is suitable to the conative, imaginative, emotional, or thoughtful temperament of your patient. In all affirmations intensity of attention comes first, but continuity and repetition means a great deal, too. Impregnate your affirmations with devotion, will, and faith, intensely and repeatedly, unmindful of the results, which will come naturally as the fruit of your labors.
During the physical curing process, the attention should be not on the disease, lest one's faith be damaged, but on the intimate powers of the mind. During mental overcoming of fear, anger, bad habits, and so on, one's concentration should be on the opposite quality; that is, the cure for fear is the consciousness of bravery: for anger, peace; for weakness, strength; for sickness, health.
Mental Responsibility for Chronic Diseases
While attempting healing, one often concentrates more on the gripping power of the disease than on the possibility of cure, thus permitting illness to be a mental as well as physical habit. This is especially true in most cases of nervousness. Each thought of depression or happiness, irritability or calmness, cuts subtle grooves in the brain cells and strengthens the tendencies toward sickness or well being.
The subconscious idea-habit of disease or health exerts a strong influence. Stubborn mental or physical diseases always have a deep root in the subconsciousness. Illness may be cured by pulling out its hidden roots. That is why all affirmations of the conscious mind should be impressive enough to permeate the subconsciousness, which in turn automatically influences the conscious mind. Strong conscious affirmations thus react on the mind and body through the medium of the subconsciousness. Still stronger affirmations reach not only the subconscious but also the superconscious mind --- the magic store house of miraculous powers.
Declarations of Truth should be practiced willingly, freely, intelligently, and devotionally. One's attention should not be allowed to lag. Straying attention should be brought back again and again like a tyrant child and repeatedly and patiently trained to perform its given task.
Attention and Faith are Necessary
All affirmations, in order to reach the superconsciousness must be free from uncertainties and doubts. Attention and faith are lights that lead even imperfectly understood affirmations to the subconscious and supraconscious minds.
Patience and attentive, intelligent repetition are wonder-workers. Affirmations for curing chronic mentally or bodily afflictions should be repeated often, deeply and consciously (utterly ignoring unchanged or contrary conditions, if any), until they become part of one's profound intuitional convictions. It is better to die, if death has to come, with the conviction of perfect health than with the thought that a mental or physical ailment is incurable.
Though death may be the necessary end of the body according to present human knowledge, still its "destined hour" may be changed by the power of the soul.
2. Life Energy Causes the Cure
Lord Jesus said: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."*
The "word" is life energy or cosmic vibratory force. The "mouth of God" is the medulla oblongata in the posterior part of the brain, tapering off into the spinal cord. This, the most vital part of the human body is the divine entrance ("mouth of God") for the "word" or life energy by which man is sustained. In the Hindu and Christian scriptures the Word is called, respectively, Aum and Amen.
* Matthew 4:4. see John:1:1, "In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GOD."
Cure According to Temperament
Medicine, massage, spinal adjustment, or electrical treatment may help to bring back a lost harmonious condition to the cells by chemicalization of the blood or by physiological stimulation. These are external methods that sometimes assist the life energy to effect a cure; but they have no power to act on a dead body, from which the life energy has vanished.
Imagination, reason, faith, emotion, will, or exertion may be used according to the specific nature of the individual --- whether imaginative, intellectual, aspiring, emotional, volitional, or striving. Few people know this. Coue stressed the value of auto suggestion,* but an intellectual type of person is not susceptible to suggestion and is influenced only by a metaphysical discussion of the power of consciousness over the body. He needs to understand the whys and wherefores of mental power. If he can realize, for instance, that blisters may be produced by hypnosis, as William James points out in Principals of Psychology, similarly he can understand the power of the mind to cure disease. If the mind can produce ill health, it can also produce good health. Mind power has developed the different parts of the body; the mind supervises the manufacturing of physical cells and can revitalize them.
Auto suggestion is also powerless to act on the man characterized by strong will power. He can be cured of an ailment by affirmations that stimulate his will rather than his imagination. Auto suggestion, however, is useful to persons whose temperament is chiefly emotional.
The Power of Emotion and Will
A case is recorded of an emotional person who had lost his power of speech, but recovered it as he fled from a burning building. The sudden shock at the sight of flames caused him to shout; "Fire! Fire!" --- not remembering that hitherto he had been unable to speak. Strong emotion conquered his subconscious disease-habit. This story illustrates the healing power of an intense attention.
* Coue's psychotherapy was based on the power of imagination rather than that of will. He utilized formulas, such as the well known "every day, and every way, I am becoming better," which were to be repeated again and again when the mind was in a receptive state, on theory that they would sink into the subconsciousness and eliminate ideas tending to cause distress and disease. During my first steamer trip from India to Ceylon, I was suddenly seized by a spell of sea-sickness and lost the valuable contents of my stomach. I resented the experience very much; it had been sprung on me at a time when I was enjoying my first experience of a floating room (the cabin) and a swimming village. I determined never again to be tricked like that. I advance my foot and planted it firmly on the floor of the cabin and commanded my will never again to accept the sea-sick experience. Later, though I was on the water for a month going to Japan and back to India, and for fifty days from Calcutta to Boston, and for twenty six days from Seattle to Alaska and back, I was never sea sick again.
Stimulation of Life Energy
Will, or imagination, or reason, or emotional powers cannot of themselves effect physical healing. They act only as different agents, which, according to the varying temperaments of individuals, may stimulate the life energy to cure an ailment. In a case of paralysis of the arm, if the will or imagination is continuously stimulated, the life energy may suddenly rush to the diseased nerve tissues and heal the arm.
The repetition of affirmations ought to be firm and continuous, that the strength of the will or reason or emotion be sufficient to stimulate the inactive life energy and to redirect it to normal channels. One should never minimize the importance of repeated, ever deeper efforts.
In planting, success depends on two factors: potency of the seed and suitability of the soil. Similarly, in healing disease, the essentials are the power of the healer and the receptivity of the patient.
"Virtue (that is, healing power) had gone out of him," and "Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Mark 5:30,34) such Biblical sayings show that both the power of the healer and the faith of the sick person are required. Great healers, men of divine realization, do not cure by chance but by exact knowledge. Fully understanding the control of life energy, they project a stimulating current into the patient that harmonizes his own flow of life energy. During a healing they actually see the psychophysical laws of Nature working in the tissues of the ailing man and bringing about the cure.
Persons of lesser spiritual attainment also are able to heal themselves and others by visualizing and directing an influx of life energy to the affected part of the body.
Instantaneous healing of physical, mental, and spiritual diseases may occur. The accumulated darkness of ages is dispelled at once by bringing the light in, not by trying to chase the darkness out. One cannot tell when he is going to be healed, so do not try to set an exact time limit. Faith, not time, will determine when the cure will be effected. Results depend on the right awakening of life energy and on the conscious and subconscious state of the individual. Disbelief immobilizes the life energy and prevents the perfect working of this divine doctor, body builder, and master mason.
Effort and attention are essential to attain the degree of faith or will power or imagination that will automatically impel the life energy to effect a cure. Desire for or expectation of results weakens the force of true belief. Without one's use of will and faith, the life energy remains asleep or inoperative.
It takes time to revivify a weakened power of will, faith, or imagination in a patient suffering from chronic disease, because his brain cells are subtly grooved with thoughts of illness. As it may take a long time to form a bad habit of disease consciousness, similarly some time may be required to form a good habit of health consciousness.
If you affirm, "I am well," but think in the background of your mind that it is not true, the effect is the same as if you took a helpful medicine and at the same time swallowed a drug that counteracted the effects of the medicine. In the use of thought as medicine, you should be careful that you are not neuteralizing right thoughts by wrong thoughts. To be active and successful, a thought must be impregnated with such will power that it will resist the opposition of contrary thoughts.
Truth is Power in Affirmation
Thoughts have to be understood and applied rightly before they are effective. Ideas first enter man's mind in a crude or undigested form; they need to be assimilated by deep reflection. A thought without soul conviction behind it has no value. That is why persons who use affirmations without comprehending the truth on which they are based --- man's inseverable unity with God --- get poor results and complain that thoughts have no healing power.
3. Healing Body, Mind, and Soul
In his mortal aspect man is a triune being. He longs for freedom from all varieties of suffering. His needs are:
1. Healing of bodily diseases.
2. Healing of mental or psychological diseases such as fear, anger, bad habits, failure consciousness, lack of initiative and confidence, and so on.
3. Healing of spiritual diseases such as indifference, lack of purpose, intellectual pride and dogmatism, skepticism, contentment with the material side of existence, and ignorance of the laws of life and of man's own divinity.
It is of paramount importance that equal emphasis be given to the prevention and cure of all three kinds of disease.
The attention of most people is fixed solely on the cure of bodily harmony, because it is so tangible and obvious. They do not realize that their mental disturbances of worry, egotism, and so on, and their spiritual blindness to the divine meaning of life are the real causes of all human misery.
When a man has destroyed the mental bacteria of intolerance, rage, and fear, and has freed his soul from ignorance, he is unlikely to suffer from physical disease or mental lack.
To Prevent Physical Disease
Obedience to God's physical laws is the method for avoiding bodily ills.
Do not overeat. Most persons die as a result of greediness and of ignorance of right dietary habits.
Obey God's laws of hygiene. The hygiene of keeping the mind pure is superior to physical hygiene, but the latter is important and should not be neglected. Do not, however, live by such rigid rules that the least deviation from your wonted habits upset you.
Prevent decay in the body by knowledge of the conservation of physical energy and of supplying the body with an inexhaustible amount of life current by Self- Realization Fellowship exercises.
Prevent hardening of the arteries by proper diet.
Save the heart from overwork; fear and anger overtax it. Give rest to the heart by the Self-Realization method, and cultivate a peaceful attitude of mind.
Estimating as our ounces the amount of blood expelled by each contraction of the two ventricles of the heart, the weight of blood output during one minute will amount to eighteen pounds. In a day it will be twelve tons; in a year, four thousand tons. These figures indicate the enormous amount of labor performed by the heart.
Many persons believe that rest is received by the heart during its diastolic period of expansion, totaling about nine hours of the twenty-four each day. This period, however, is not true rest; it is only preparation for the systolic movement. The vibrations caused by the contraction of the ventricles reverberate through the tissues of the heart during its relaxation; hence the heart is not at rest.
The energy expended day and night is naturally wearing on the heart muscles. Rest to these muscles would consequently be of great value in maintaining health. Conscious control of sleep, sleeping and waking at will, is part of the yoga training by which man may regulate the beating of the heart. The rest and renewed energy given to the body by sleep is only a pale reflection of the wonderful calm and strength that come through "conscious sleep," when even the heart rests.
St. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:31: "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Jesus Christ our Lord, I did daily" --- that is, the holy peace that comes with Christ Consciousness rests or stops the heart. Many passages in the Bible reveal that the ancient prophets possessed knowledge of the great truth of resting the heart by scientific meditation of by one-pointed devotion to God.
In 1837, in India, a noted fakir by the name of Sadhu Haridas was buried under ground in a controlled experiment at the order of Maharajah Ranjit Singh of Punjab. The yogi remained buried forty days inside a walled enclosure under constant military guard. At the end of that time he was exhumed in the presence of many dignitaries of the durbar (court), together with Colonel Sir C. M. Wade of London and several other Englishmen from the vicinity. Sadhu Haridas resumed breathing and returned to normal life. In an earlier test conducted by Rajah Dhyan Singh at Jammu, Kashmir, Sadhy Haridas remained buried for four months. He had mastered the art of controlling the resting heart.
To Prevent Mental Disease
Cultivate peace, and faith in God. Free the mind from all disturbing thoughts and fill it with love and joy. Realize the superiority of mental healing over physical healing. Banish bad habits, which make life miserable.
Spiritualize the body by destruction of the consciousness of mortality and change. The body is materialized vibration and should be cognized as such. The consciousness of disease, decay, and death should re removed by scientific understanding of the underlying unifying laws of matter and Spirit, and of the delusive manifestation of Spirit as matter, of the Infinite and finite. Firmly believe that you are created in the image of the Father and are therefore immortal and perfect.
Even a particle of matter or a wave of energy is indestructible, as science has proved; the soul or spiritual essence of man is also indestructible. Matter undergoes change; the soul undergoes changing experiences. Radical changes are termed death, but death or a change in form does not change or destroy the spiritual essence.
Various methods of concentration and meditation are taught, but the Self- Realization methods are the most effective. Apply in your daily life the experiences of peace and poise you receive during concentration and meditation. Maintain your equilibrium amidst trying circumstances. Do not abandon yourself to violent emotions; stand unshaken by adverse turns of events.
Evaluation of Curative Methods
Disease is generally considered a result of external material causes. Few people realize that it comes through the inaction of the life force within. When the cell or tissue vehicle of the life energy is seriously damaged, the life energy withdraws from that place and trouble consequently starts. Medicine, massage, and electricity merely help to stimulate the cells in such a way that the life energy is induced to return and resume its work of maintenance and repair.
We should not be extremists in any way but should adopt whatever method of healing are suitable, according to individual conviction. Medicines and food have a definite chemical action upon blood and tissues. So long as one eats food, why should one deny that medicines and other material aids also have an effect on the body? They are useful so long as the material consciousness in man is uppermost.
They have their limitations, however, because they are applied from outside. The best methods are those that help the life energy to resume its internal healing activities.
Medicine may chemically help the blood and tissues. Use of electrical devices may also be beneficial. But neither medicine nor electricity can cure disease; they can only stimulate or coax the life energy back to the neglected diseased body part. The introduction of a foreign element, be it medicine or electricity or any other intermediary aid, is undesirable if we can manage to use the life force directly.
God's Laws as Applied to Matter
Salves may be useful for itches, sores, cuts, and so on. If your arm or leg has been fractured, it is unnecessary to give the life energy the trouble of joining the displaced bones when a surgeon (a child of God and hence capable of serving His instrument) can set them by use of his skill and knowledge of God's laws as applied to matter. If you can instantaneously heal your broken bone by mental power, do so; but it would be unwise to wait until you have attained that power.
By fasting, massage, osteopathic treatment, chiropractic adjustment of the vertebrae, yoga postures, and so on, we may help to remove or relieve congestion in the nerves or vertebrae and permit the free flow of life energy.
Acquiring Power Over Life Energy
On the other hand, mental cure is superior to all methods of physical cure because will, imagination, faith, and reason are states of consciousness that actually and directly act from within. They furnish the motive power that stimulates and directs the life energy to accomplish any definite task.
Autosuggestion and various affirmations are useful in stimulating the life energy; but because a practitioner often employs such purely mental methods without consciously working with the life energy, thus failing to establish any physiological connection, they are not invariably efficacious. A cure is certain if psychophysical techniques are combined with the power of will, faith, and reason to direct the life energy and to reach the superconscious mind. In that blissful state of Reality one comprehends the inseparable unity of matter and Spirit and solves all problems of inharmony.
Self-Realization teachings give the modus ooperandi for harnessing the will to direct the movement of actually vibrating life energy to any body part. By this method one feels in a definite way the inner flow of cosmic vibratory force.
4. The Nature of Creation
Matter does not exist in the way we usually conceive it; nevertheless, it does exist as a cosmic delusion. To dispel delusion requires a definite method. You cannot cure a drug addict in a moment. Material consciousness possesses man through a law of delusion, and he cannot banish it except by learning and following the opposite law, that of truth.
Spirit, through a series of processes of materialization, became matter; hence matter proceeds from and cannot be different from its cause, Spirit. Matter is partially expression of Spirit, the Infinite appearing as finite, the Unlimited as limited. But since matter is only Spirit in a delusive manifestation, matter per se is nonexistent.
Consciousness and Matter
At the start of creation, the hitherto unmanifested Spirit projected two natures --- one, consciousness, and the other, matter. They are Its two vibratory expressions. Consciousness is a finer, and matter a grosser, vibration of the none transcendental Spirit.
Consciousness is the vibration of Its subjective aspect, and matter is the vibration of Its objective aspect. Spirit, as Cosmic Consciousness, is potentially immanent in objective vibratory matter, and manifests Itself subjectively as the consciousness present in all forms of creation, reaching Its highest expression in the human mind with its countless ramifications of thoughts, feelings, will, and imagination.
The difference between matter and Spirit is in the rate of vibration --- a difference of degree, not of kind. This point may be better understood by the following example. Although all vibrations are qualitatively alike, vibrations from 16 to 20,000 cycles per second are gross enough to be audible to man's sense of hearing, but vibrations below 16 or over 20,000 are generally inaudible. There is no essential difference between audible and inaudible vibrations, though a relative difference does exist.
Through the power of maya, cosmic illusion, the Creator has caused the manifestations of matter to appear so distinct and specific that to the human mind they seem unrelated in any way to Spirit.
Thought Is the Subtlest Vibration
Within the gross vibration of flesh is the fine vibration of the cosmic current, the life energy; and permeating both flesh and life energy is the most subtle vibration, that of consciousness. The vibrations of consciousness are so subtle that they cannot be detected by any material instrument; only consciousness can comprehend consciousness. Human beings are aware of the myriad vibrations of consciousness issuing from other human beings --- expressed by word, act, look, gesture, silence, attitude, and so on.
Each man is stamped with the vibratory signature of his own state of consciousness, and emanates a characteristic influence on persons and things. For example, a room in which a man lives is permeated with his thought vibrations. These may be distinctly felt by other persons if they possess the required degree of sensitivity.
Man's ego (his sense of I-ness; the distorted mortal reflection of the immortal soul) cognizes consciousness directly; and cognizes matter (the human body and all other objects in creation) indirectly, through mental processes and through sense perceptions. That is, the ego is always aware of possessing consciousness; but the ego is not aware of matter, even of the body it inhabits, until it takes thought about it. Thus a man in deep concentration on any subject is conscious of his mind but not of his body.
Man's Experiences in the Dream State
All the experiences of man's waking state can be duplicated in his dream state of consciousness. In the dream state a man may find himself walking joyously in a lovely garden and then seeing the dead body of a friend. He is grief-stricken, sheds tears, suffers from headache, and feels his heart throb painfully. Perhaps a rainstorm blows up suddenly and he becomes wet and cold. Then he wakes up and laughs at his illusory dream experiences.
What is the difference between the experiences of a dreaming man (experiences of matter as displayed in the bodies of himself and his friend, the garden, and so on; and experiences of consciousness as displayed in his feelings of joy and grief) and the experiences of the same man in the waking state? Awareness of matter and of consciousness is present in both cases.
Man is able to create both matter and consciousness in an illusory dream world; therefore it should not be difficult for him to realize that Spirit, utilizing the power of maya, has created for man a dream world of "life" or conscious existence that in essence is as false (because ephemeral, ever changing) as are man's experiences in the dream state.
Maya or Cosmic Illusion
The phenomenal world operates under maya, the law of duality or oppositional states; it is thus an unreal world that veils the truth of the Divine Oneness and Unchangeableness. Man in his moral aspect dreams of dualities and contrasts --- life and death, health and disease, happiness and sorrow; but when he awakens in soul consciousness all dualities disappear and he knows himself as the eternal and blissful Spirit.
Then Needs of Erring Humanity
For erring humanity both medical and mental help are important. The superiority of the mind over material aids is undeniable, but the more limited healing power of food and herbs and drugs is also undeniable. When employing mental methods, there is no need to scorn all physical systems of cure, for the latter are the outcome of investigation into God's material laws.
So long as one's material consciousness of the body exists, medicines need not be entirely dispensed with; but as soon as man increases his understanding of the immaterial organ of flesh, his belief in the healing power of drugs disappears: he sees that all diseases has its roots in the mind.
"Wisdom Is the Greatest Cleanser"
My master, Swami Sri Yukteswarji, never spoke of the useless drugs; yet he so trained and expanded the consciousness of many of his students that they used only mental power to cure themselves when ill. He often said, "Wisdom is the greatest cleanser."
Some persons, in both East and West, fanatically deny the existence of matter while they are still engrossed in flesh consciousness they feel famished if they miss a meal.
The state of realization in which the body and mind, death and life, disease and health all appear equally delusive is the only state in which we can truly say that we do not believe in the existence of matter.
Human and Divine Consciousness
Through maya and man's consequent ignorance of his soul, human consciousness is isolated from Cosmic Consciousness. The mind of man is subject to change and limitation, but Cosmic Consciousness is free from all restrictions and is never involved in experiences of duality (death and life, disease and health, fleeting sorrow and fleeting joy, and so on). In the Divine Mind an unchangeable perception of Bliss is ever present.
The process of liberating human consciousness consists in training it by study, affirmations, concentration, and meditation to turn its attention away from the vibrations of the gross body with its ceaseless fluctuations of thought and emotion, and to feel the subtler and more stable vibrations of life energy and of higher mental states.
Rely on the Divine Power Within
Persons whose material consciousness is strong, i.e., those accustomed to thinking of the "self" as the physical body, need to be gradually guided away from dependence on medicine or other outer aids and taught to rely more and more on the Divine Power within.
submitted by Astalea7
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