How to Understand Spiritual Healing
I am not a spiritual healer. I have never been healed of any disease or even witnessed a spiritual healing. Everything I write is based on my years of study of the subject.
In this article I will share the ideas that have convinced me that healing is not limited to the world of doctors and hospitals. I invite you to comment on this article and tell me about any personal experience you have had with spiritual healing.
Spiritual healers may use different words to articulate their understanding of the healing process, but if we listen carefully we can hear one voice speaking to us through all of them.
Finding the Source of Spiritual Healing
I have been writing about spiritual healing and spiritual healers for a number of years. I have written about healers who performed well-documented healings. Still, the world tends to ignore or marginalize inconvenient facts. Even documented cases of spiritual healings are dismissed as frauds, or attributed to chance, or otherwise explained in terms of accepted physical laws.
There is nothing wrong with this dismissive attitude toward spiritual healing. It is the attitude held by the vast majority of people. In this article, I will discuss four attitudes of learning. The first is by far the most common and most popular. It accounts for the attitude that dismisses spiritual healing.
The First Attitudes of the Learning: Dualism
The four attitudes of learning and the explanations of each that follow are summaries of ideas presented in, The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary R. Renard. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Renard in Baltimore and found him to be modest and helpful. His books* have had a major impact of my understanding of spirituality and spiritual healing.
The first attitude of learning is called dualism and it is the attitude or thought system of the vast majority of us. if we believe in God, we may believe there is a world inhabited by God and another world inhabited by man. Or, we may believe there is a universe out there and man is separate from this universe. If we believe in spiritual healing, we believe that a separate God listens to the words of man and decides to heal or not heal according to His judgment about the faith of the patient or the healer. Bottom line, there is you and there is God or a universe seemingly separated from you.
The Second Attitude of Learning: Semi-dualism
Semi-dualism is a gentler form of dualism. In this attitude of learning, we begin to accept some new ideas about God. One of these is the idea that God is Love. The problem with this attitude is that we must wonder how a loving God allows such awful things to happen in the world. If God is Love, how can He also be vengeful against His own creations? Can He be responsible for sending or allowing so much suffering in the world?
In the attitude of semi-dualism, we do begin to lose some of our terrible hidden fear of God. He becomes less threatening. The seeds of forgiveness are taking root in our mind. According to The Disappearance of the Universe, "You still think of yourself as a body, and both God and the world seem to be outside you, but now you sense that God is not the cause of your situation."
Most spiritual healers attribute sickness to our subconscious vs. our conscious mind. The idea that God is the cause of sickness and disease is abandoned as we move into the third attitude of learning, non-dualism.
Third Attitude of Learning: Non-dualism
The non-dualistic attitude of learning is rare among human beings. Non-dualism is a state of mind where we are unconvinced by perception or the evidence presented by our five physical senses. This attitude of learning is gaining support from the science of quantum physics, which is beginning to show that duality is a myth. Non-duality can be summed up with the simple statement that the universe is not here. There is only mind. This subconscious mind transcends all dimensions and is completely outside the system of time, space, and form.
While non-dualism is being supported by quantum theory, this is where we are likely to leave most readers behind. In order to accept the idea that there is no universe, we must accept the counter intuitive idea that we do not exist as bodies. In this attitude of learning, the body is seen as an illusion made by our mind on a subconscious level. It is not real. This is the foundation of the teachings contained in A Course in Miracles among other metaphysical teachings. Everything is in your mind including your own body.
The miracle described in over 600 pages of text in ACIM is nothing more than a shift in perception from the conscious mind over to the Holy Spirit or One Mind (subconscious in our normal state of awareness). This is the only possible direction for the mind with a non-dualistic attitude of learning. If there is only oneness, then our perception of a separate world is an illusion and the miracle is the joining of our mind with the mind of God, or the Universal Purpose.
The Infinite Way teachings of spiritual healer Joel S. Goldsmith teaches a similar concept. The Infinite Way is a mode of consciousness. Goldsmith experienced this mode of consciousness with increasing intensity over a period of many years. He understood Christhood as the perfect attainment of full conscious union with God. Such Christhood is the attainable spiritual destiny of all human beings.
the Fourth Attitude of Learning: Pure Non-dualism
The essence of the last two attitudes of learning in relation to spiritual healing is the acceptance of the idea that what we are seeing on this earth is not the truth. This leads naturally to the conclusion that we can change what we are seeing. This belief is central to most explanations of spiritual healing.
According to The Disappearance of the Universe,, "Pure non-dualism recognizes the authority of God so completely that it relinquishes all psychological attachment to anything that is not God. This attitude also recognizes what some people have called the "like for like" principal, which says that anything coming from God must be like Him. Pure non-dualism is not willing to compromise on this principle either. Rather, it says that anything that comes from God must be exactly like Him. God could not create anything that is not perfect or else He would not be perfect."
This idea is similar to one of the themes of Christian Science that the same fountain can not bring forth both sweet and bitter water. If we come from God, then we are exactly like God, and sickness must have another source. That source is our mind creating illusions.
Closing Thoughts on Spiritual Healing
Spiritual healers may not use the same terms or articulate their ideas in the same way, but they all share some idea of a power beyond our limited senses. Healing is nothing more than putting the mind in touch with that power. ACIM teaches that the body does nothing but respond to the mind. The miracle shows us a new way of seeing.
Joel S. Goldsmith teaches that we are capable of conscious union with God. Dr. Phineas Quimby believed that disease originated in that invisible world outside the body. The invisible world is the world of the subconscious and healing is a way of correcting the errors in those hidden parts of the mind. His method was to gently direct the mind of the patient away from error to the light of truth.
Forgiveness is a way of overlooking what we see and accepting a non-dualistic attitude that says there is only God or love and anything else is unreal. Jesus frequently overlooked the evidence of the physical senses in favor of his vision of the father (God). In the Book of Mark, Jesus told a paralyzed man "Your sins are forgiven you", and the man got up and walked. Sin can be seen as "error" or the fixed belief that perception must be real and cannot be changed. When perception is forgiven, when we can overlook the evidence of our senses and accept the holiness inside - we are healed.
* Gary Renard's books are written with the help of two Ascended Masters who appear and speak to Gary. If you do not believe in spiritual beings, it's not likely you are interested in what they have to say. For me, I have read each of Gary's three books and been amazed at the depth of the spiritual teachings. I often share some of the ideas with readers who may not be familiar with Gary's work.