1953 First New York Practitioner Class
Joel S. Goldsmith
Tape 45B – A Great Deal on Treatment (1/6)
Good morning. A question has arisen about healing work, and of course one of the most important functions of our work is the healing work for the simple reason that the amount and the degree of the healing work testifies to the degree of our spiritual awareness. Healing work in our work, in The Infinite Way, is a little different than in the old days of mental healing.
It was a much simpler matter to bring about healings thirty or forty years ago than it is today, because the healing work then was entirely on a mental basis. So there was very little, almost no spiritual healing. There was some little among those who had a measure, a degree of spiritual consciousness. For instance, Mrs. Eddy says that she, herself, did not use mental argument for healing. That meant of course she was doing spiritual healing. On the other hand we have manuscripts of hers in her own handwriting, in her earliest days showing that her healing then was entirely mental. There was nothing spiritual about it. She knew nothing of God or Christ in those days except an orthodox sense of God. But there are manuscripts, I have copies of some in her own handwriting in which she says that when she healed she usually took on the disease of the patient and had to have someone pull her out of it. Now that’s purely a mental process of healing.
But she went from there to a little better sense of mental healing—I mean for her students and probably for herself, and that was in the days when you treated by: “You are well and you know it. You are God’s perfect child. You are spiritual. Evil cannot come nigh your dwelling place.” And the treatment was addressed to “you”, to the patient, and you just sat there and let that mental pressure pour in on you, and ultimately you believed it. You will find evidences of that in Miscellaneous Writings under “Mental Treatment Illustrated” in which the practitioner keeps up this line of argument until the patient’s mind yields. And then the patient says, “I am well and I know it.”
Of course that is a healing by suggestion. That is just the power of one mind over another. And Mrs. Eddy warns that in this type of treatment you must be careful. Why? Because from the same mind that can do good, or rather, the same mind that can do good, can do evil. And that was her discovery in the days of the first edition, she found that some of her practitioners who were doing healing work with their minds were also doing malpracticing. That is how a great deal of the scandal about Mrs. Eddy and Christian Science came about. Not due to any fault of hers, but due to the fact that at that time she didn’t know the same mind that could do good could do evil and she had prepared no protection against it. And so there were men, practitioners, in her group who not only were whispering in their patients’ ears that, “You are well and you know it,” but they were also whispering in their ears, “Bring me more money when you come next time.” And a few things more serious than that. And in the first edition of Science and Health she warned against that type of mental practitioner, and she was referring only to her own students, because they were the only mental practitioners of those days. And she had to throw out several of her early practitioners, because of their mental malpractice.
Now the reason that mental healing was easier in those days than this is for the same reason that in the first year in which penicillin was given there wasn’t as much given in an entire year as later was given to one patient in one shot. In other words as time has gone on people have built a resistance to penicillin and so with each inoculation it must be stronger.
And so it has been with mental treatment. In the early days people knew little or nothing about the mind. All they knew about was the body. Their mind had not been subjected to propaganda, to advertising, as we know advertising today. And so the mind was a fertile field to work on and it responded.
You will find also that Mrs. Eddy says that “The day will come when it will not be necessary for a thief to enter your house to steal. He will just sit in his home and give you a mental treatment and you will bring it to him what he wants.”
Now that was the result of her experience with mental malpractice. It was true in those days, but it is not true now. The human mind has built such a wall of defense against that that it is a very difficult thing to sway it by treatments.
As time went on and that was recognized, a man in the Christian Science Movement became known as one of the greatest healers in the Movement. Cases that other practitioners couldn’t touch, he could heal. And he became very famous in the country as a healer and people asked him his secret and for a long, long time he wouldn’t give it, because he wanted to be a loyal Christian Scientist. Finally when the demand grew very strong, people, even practitioners insisted they must know this man’s secret. He was doing such wonderful work. He wrote a book about it and he tried to have it published or authorized from Boston and failed. So he left the Movement, and when he left thousands of people left with him, hundreds in a single church left with him. And then began another era of better healing work. It only lasted for a few years.