Health and Mind?
I love books. A friend gave me a book entitled, The Great Quotations, compiled by George Seldes. I immediately looked up the word: health, since I write about it in this blog. I thought I’d find a group of quotes to share. I was surprised to find only one entry.
It was from Christian writer, Mary Baker Eddy. The quote is: “Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health.” What did she mean and what proof did she have to write such a statement?
Eddy has an interesting history. Often ill as a child, she and her family pursued many treatments in order to gain her health. When allopathic medicine could not make her well, she investigated various alternative medicines.
She practiced homeopathy for a while, and wrote this: “Her experiments in homeopathy had made her skeptical as to material curative methods. Jahr, from Aconitum to Zincum oxydatum, enumerates the general symptoms, the characteristic signs, which demand different remedies; but the drug is frequently attenuated to such a degree that not a vestige of it remains. Thus we learn that it is not the drug which expels the disease or changes one of the symptoms of disease.”
She then tried a water-cure popular at that time, and even was treated by a hypnotist. Occasionally, she would feel well, but not permanently. This all came to a head when she suffered a severe fall on the ice. She was taken unconscious to a near-by home and a doctor was called. It was believed the accident was fatal. After regaining consciousness, she asked for her Bible. Opening it, she read, was inspired, and surprisingly to her, healed. She got up and was well.
She spent the rest of her life researching the Bible, practicing what she learned, healing sick individuals, and writing and teaching others how to heal through prayer. Her research led her to call God by many names, including Love, Truth, Life and Mind. She had found that our experience is often determined by how we think. For instance, if we are sad – a tear forms; or if we are embarrassed – we blush.
She found that if we are afraid, that can have deleterious effects on our health. So she wrote and taught how to face our fears, through prayer. She taught that God’s love conquers fear and heals disease. She reasoned that when fearful, we can turn to God for His reassurance, comfort and guidance – that’s why she called Him Mind.
That sentence from the quotation book refers to this understanding of Mind as God. When ill, she instructed her followers that if they turn their thought to God, it can help them overcome fear – the fear that was a major source of the disease. It’s an interesting theory – one that has been articulated in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It has also been practiced in the lives of many individuals for over one hundred years.
It is something to ponder. When you are ill, are you afraid? Can overcoming the fear make you well? Can turning to God for assurance actually bring us health and well-being? At a time when many are looking to alternative methods for wellness, this is something to consider.
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