“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5: 15).
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 17, 18).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14: 12).
In my late twenties, when I was new to the broader practice of spiritual healing, I found the first step that must be taken on the road to every physical and emotional healing: that before any physical manifestation of healing takes place on the fleshly body, or in the fleshly sense of mind, a change in consciousness from fear to faith must occur first. In other words, where spiritual healing is concerned, the physical healing follows the change in consciousness from a material assessment of the discordant situation, to the realization of the spiritual situation--the real and true situation. Physical healing occurs after, not before, this change in consciousness takes place.
What's more, many people who do believe in and do practice spiritual, Christlike healing in their daily lives, still don't perceive that this first step is absolutely necessary. They don't realize that fear must be wiped out of consciousness first. Why? Because faith (solid conviction of God's presence and loving control over their lives) and fear (total lack in belief of God's harmonious control) are two opposite states of mind, going in opposite directions with the manifestation of body and human affairs.
Because they want the physical healing more than they want the change in consciousness that must precede it (the realization of spiritual being and existence), the first step in spiritual healing is missed. Those practicing spiritual healing from such a standpoint will find that desiring the physically healing more than the needed enlightenment will cause their success to be slow, if at all. Such a standpoint is also a sign of short-sightedness. To want to be free of disease and other discords in our daily experiences is logical and right. However, it's always best to find the right way, or else tomorrow will have a new threat of disease or discord, under another name. Spiritual growth and enlightenment challenges all forms of evils on this physical plane of thought; and it handles them all. To be free of just one thing isn't much of a victory, if we're still feeling vulnerable and susceptible to all the other millions of evils in the human realm.
Thus, the short-sighted goal of many on the spiritual path is to use truth (like an agent of change, or a magic weapon) to rid themselves of the evil of which they're so fearful and concerned. There is present in their thoughts the commonly held belief that healing doesn't occur until the material form or scene changes back to wholeness. This is a classic example of “getting the cart before the horse,” because the physical change one so desires is a natural result of the truth dawning in consciousness. One doesn't have to find truth, or make truth do anything. One only has to see it--let it dawn like the morning sun in consciousness. Until spiritual truth actually dawns or is realized in one's consciousness, throwing these truths at some illness or discord will have no effect. This is why so many continue to call practitioners to have others do their healing for them--they are seeking the more enlightened consciousness of someone else to bring about the physical results they, themselves, so desire and need.
The tremendous importance of taking this first step was brought to my attention (back then, in my late twenties) when I had struggled with a physical condition for quite awhile, with no results. I was definitely fearful, not only of the condition, but of the idea that I, by myself, didn't know enough to heal it. I felt that, without my finding the right truth, it may never heal. So I called a spiritual healing practitioner (someone who publicly heals others) to do the prayerful work that I felt incapable of doing.
This wonderful practitioner did prayerful work for a day, and asked me to call her the next morning with any change, which I did. “There's not been much change, yet,” I said, thinking I was dutifully reporting what she asked. So I continued to describe the physical symptoms that were still present.
“Oh, I don't care about that,” she replied. “What does the physical have to do with anything? I mean, have you felt any change in consciousness--in your thoughts, your emotions, your spiritual sense of things? Are you less fearful and more peaceful in any way? Have any spiritual feelings or intuitions come to mind?”
Oddly enough, I did feel more peaceful. I felt that God was still with me, and since someone of faith and conviction was praying for me, I expected a healing soon. (I didn't realize at the time that this was my own faith beginning to emerge.) I told her, yes, that much of the fear had left me, even though the physical symptoms were still appearing.
“That's all I need to know,” she said. “The healing has already started to take place. I don't have to work any more for you; you can take it from here.”
She was right. By the next couple of days, even the symptoms were gone. I didn't comprehend, at that time, (but found out later) that the practitioner had declared the presence of my Christ Consciousness--the divine consciousness within us all--which cannot be mesmerized by world belief or the belief in any evil in God's creation. It never occurred to me that her meditation and prayer had been to recognize this divine, spiritual truth that dwells within my own being, and my oneness with this truth. I had expected her to be directing her thought to manipulate a physical body. I thought she would concentrate in that area, rather than in my state of mind. But I was wrong. She never gave the physical body a thought. She knew, in the first place, that material selfhood was the false state of being, not the correct state of being. She saw, declared, and recognized my true body and mind--the spiritual rather than the physical--and in this mind and body, found nothing to be healed, since nothing had ever left God's omnipotent care. And in the second place, she realized that, not only did the Christ Consciousness within her true self know this, but the universal Christ Consciousness within me knew, perpetually, that I was well.
That experience had a profound effect upon the way I viewed spiritual healing from then on. I suddenly understood more what Christ Jesus meant when he declared, “...the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (John 14: 30). These words now meant to me that the 'prince of this world' was the false, material sense of being--the fleshly identity, rather than the spiritual identity. Jesus was telling us that this false sense could not influence, penetrate, or convince his divine consciousness of any lie of being. Suggestions of evil couldn't get a reaction out of him. The Christ Consciousness is our very link to God--it's the place where we are at one with the Almighty Intelligence of the universe. This divine consciousness within is filled with all spiritual truth, and therefore, there is no place for a lie to hide within such infinite knowing. When we are entertaining the right identity of ourselves, (our Christlike, spiritual identity) we can't even believe in sickness or discord. Our divine consciousness within never did believe the lie of materiality--of a place and identity separated from God, our divine Source; nor does it ever believe we're out of the loving control of the infinite Intelligence for a second.
Thus, it became clear to me that when doing spiritual healing activity for ourselves and others, we must first declare the presence and knowing of this universal Christ Consciousness within each of us. We must let it bring forth the truth it knows into our seemingly lower, human conscious awareness, taking away our fears and replacing them with the faith we've always, really, had in God's omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, in which there is no evil, no mortality, no poverty, ill-health, or even death. Right where our limited, human identity seems to have a consciousness of limited scope and knowledge, underneath the seeming is the presence of the real--the divine consciousness that is filled with all truth: the truth of spiritual existence and everything that includes. This truth is seemingly lost in our memory; but our real Mind, the Christ Consciousness, never lost anything.
It took me awhile, of course, (years in fact) to realize that I'm not who I thought I was, and neither is anyone else. That it isn't the limited, human sense of mind that is filled with all truth; that one can hardly remember what it had for lunch yesterday. It's the shared, Christ-Mind within the core of our being that Jesus was trying to show to people. It's our higher Self that has everything it needs to exist eternally--all knowledge, all presence, all power from God. It's the higher Self that doesn't become fearful for any reason, because It knows that in the ever-present kingdom of God, there's nothing to be fearful about. God's spiritual creation, including our real selves, is free of evil. Evil has no cause (starting point) and thus, there can be no effect. And the material forms of things we believe to be evil, the ones to which we grant power in our thinking, these 'causes' can never reach our true, spiritual selfhood, safe in God's keeping. That's how God keeps us perfect and eternal--by keeping us spiritual, in body and mind.
That last point bears repeating: the divine Intelligence we call God, keeps Its own creation eternally safe and sound, by keeping it spiritual. God keeps us whole, healthy and perfect by keeping us spiritual in substance and form. There is no such thing as spiritual evil, and there is no such thing as matter or fleshly forms in God's real creation. Matter is the creation of the universal, false sense of things; and like a night dream, when our consciousness dwells at that level, things in the dream seem very real. Yet, despite how real it seems, it's substance is subject to change with a thought. Thus, on the material plane of thought (where the flawed, fleshly forms and physical creation seems to be) right there is the invisible, perfect substance and truth of all, waiting to be remembered and demonstrated.
Christ Jesus taught his disciples the method of healing, by revealing the spiritual truth of things to them. Jesus didn't DO anything to anyone; he gave them no material medicine, nor told them what to eat, or what not to eat. He clearly knew something the rest of the world didn't perceive about existence, or he couldn't have brought healing to every one who came to him. He didn't ask the name of a condition; he didn't ask who the individual was related to in the fleshly line of succession; he didn't ask their age; he didn't check over their bodies for visible clues to their condition. He simply restored their afflicted human-body manifestations to the spiritual completeness that had never left them.
However they were when they came to Jesus and those disciples who could heal, whatever their physical conditions at the time, the sick, maimed and deficient all left in the same condition: whole and free of the false, material condition of disease. Don't forget that in taking this to a higher level, some were even brought back from the worse false condition of death. But those who were raised from the physical belief in death didn't have any more wholeness than any of the others who were healed. Wholeness is all that's needed; perfection of body substance expresses itself in health. So, a realization and conviction (faith) that our spiritual bodies are perfect, since God, our Source is perfect, makes the change in consciousness that is needed. Then the physical appearance and experience will transform back to wholeness and harmony.
The material form must obey the spiritual command to wholeness, since the physical form is merely the manifestation (expression) of what we believe and identify ourselves to be. The flesh has no intelligence to argue with our own belief about ourself and creation. What we tell it we are, we command it to do and become. That's why it's important to be aware of our deep, almost forgotten beliefs about ourself. We'll manifest what we've accepted from world belief to be true, or likely to be true, about ourselves. Even today, the medical profession is dismissing the mental beliefs of the patient, less and less, and embracing faith more and more. The 'mind-body connection' is what it's called from a physical perspective, but even that's a start in the right direction. Perhaps a few hundred years from now, when both mind and body are generally discerned to be spiritual in substance, rather than material, the medical profession will cease to put the flesh first and the consciousness second, and start treating consciousness first, thus finding the seeming cause of body discords in the patient's material belief system, instead of endlessly medicating its symptoms. But currently, the collective consciousness of the planet is just in its exploring stage.
The Master healer, Jesus, said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33). To my interpretation, he is saying, 'There is a universal Christ identity, within each and every one of you, that will free you from all the fears this place produces. In this material plane of experience, you'll have lots of trouble; but keep your joy, for knowing the true I (the Christ Self that is at the core of your being) overcomes this false state of being, and all its afflictions, every time.'
Thus, the first step of healing is to know the Christ selfhood of ourselves and every one we meet. It is to realize that the shared consciousness of this divine individuality is full, within each of us. It isn't Jan, or Bob, or Linda, who is the Christ consciousness; for to our human sense of selfhood, our mind seems limited in every direction. It's the Christ consciousness within Jan and Bob and Linda that is our salvation, from any woe this world can throw against us. It's the light (truth) that shines from within this Christ consciousness that we can express in our present, material sense of creation, changing places and lives for the good. And the light that is within this universal Christ is the great truth of spiritual existence.
So, take that first step and realize that divine link to God within that does the healing by revealing to us the truth. Open the door for it. Go after the change in consciousness from fear to faith in God's loving control over every element of your being. Listen and wait for any intuition or thoughts of God's love and eternal care to ease the fear. Human consciousness (that has forgotten spiritual reality) is the only place healing has to take place. For, when that light from within begins to assert itself into our false sense of awareness, and the human sense of mind begins to change its position and false assessment of things, the healing is already taking place. Fear is being replaced with faith in God's loving control over all. Nothing can stop the change that then follows, coming into the outer world of form. Go after the enlightened thought first. See the nothingness of the threat before you. Feel the fear leave, and stand in that. Once you feel the presence, sovereign power and unending love of God at your side, you'll be surprised to discover that no other step is needed.