NOT BUILT WITH HANDS
R.H. Grenville [Beatrice C. Rowley]
No fairer structure has been raised on earth
Since time began; no walls of costly stone
Built for a Solomon had half the worth
Of this fine edifice of flesh and bone.
Here is a city in itself complete,
At once a temple and a citadel,
Set like a palace in the common street,
Wondrous beyond the power of words to tell.
Perfect and beautiful in every part,
The ark of each man's covenant with life,
Shines the bright altar of the human heart,
A sanctuary in the midst of strife,
Fairer than any which the prophets trod --
Behold the temple of the living God!
- What is the one way to health?
- Explain what is meant by the statement that there is no reality in disease.
- What reason have we for believing in health as our birth-right?
- Is it possible to heal all diseases? Explain.
- Since we are the offspring of God, why have we appeared to be unlike Him?
- What is forgiveness of sin?
- What is the relation of forgiveness to healing?
- What is repentance?
- Is there a power of evil? Explain fully.
- How is the mind renewed?
- What place has prayer in the attainment of health?
- What is a treatment?
- In what respects does the prayer treatment differ from the old concept of prayer?
- Explain how to treat another.
- Is it right to give a treatment to any person who has not requested it?
Series 1 Lesson 2
What is the one way to health?
Health is a blessing greatly to be desired. That men appreciate it is shown by their efforts to regain it when once it seems to be lost. The question is: What is the true method of gaining health?
Everyone instinctively feels that there must be a way to health, an exact, sure way founded upon principle. There is such a way. It may be found by the earnest student in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The teaching of Jesus is an absolute science. Webster defines science as a knowledge of principles or facts, "systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws."
The foundation principle upon which the universe was created was that it was "good" and "very good" (Gen. 1:31). This principle should be understood and applied; this cause should be set into operation in order to produce a like effect. When the mind of man is trained to believe in the good, the true, the perfect in self and in all others, a like effect will be produced in the body and will show forth as health or wholeness. Jesus knew God; He knew the principle, the law lying back of every man's being. He, the great Teacher, was perfectly competent to instruct men in the law of their being.
"Then the real object of existence is to attain the consciousness of eternal life . . . Jesus was the great way-shower to the attainment of this realization of Spirit" (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 151-52).
The law of man's being is I AM, the Word, the creative power of God. Man uses this law or creative power of God by his thinking and feeling. The use that man makes of the law of his being is his formative power of thought, or his use of I AM power. "The law of manifestation for man is the law of thought" (Mysteries of Genesis 12). Conscious knowledge and understanding of the law of man's being, followed by right thinking, right feeling, and obedience, result in health in soul (mind) and body. There is no other way to health. Living in conscious harmony with man's true identity — I AM — and using the power of I AM in the right way in thinking, feeling, words, and actions, is the true method of manifesting health. This lesson aims to explain the operation of cause and effect and show how the laws of God may be made practical by everyone in the demonstration of health.
Explain what is meant by the statement that there is no reality in disease
The fault with the healing systems of man lies in the fact that men have tried to cure disease without removing the cause of it. Causes are not remedied merely by dealing with effects. This is a simple proposition and one that easily appeals to our reason. To find a remedy, we must go to cause first. If a cause is removed, its effect is removed. This is the right and only sure method of wiping out the appearance of disease — and it should be remembered that disease is only an appearance; there is no power or reality in it, for God did not create it. If mental and physical discords were real they could not be healed, because that which is real is enduring, unchangeable. Disease does not have a divine idea or principle behind it as a pattern for its formation. Therefore, any belief or condition of disease can be changed because it is not a God creation.
What reason have we for believing in health as our birth-right?
The "real" is that which cannot be changed, which always is. Health is real, abiding, eternal, unchangeable. Health or wholeness is every man's birthright. "The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4). It is very important to remember this because the thought of man has so built up the belief in the power and reality of sickness and disease that they seem impregnable fortresses of evil. This is especially true of the forms of error which have been stamped "incurable." There are no incurable diseases. Every appearance of ill has a cause, and that cause can be removed. When the cause has been removed, then the effect will disappear.
Is it possible to heal all diseases? Explain.
The belief in the power and the reality of disease is itself one cause for the appearance of disease in the body. When men see that there is no truth in such a belief they let go of it, and the appearance then yields readily, not having the sustaining force of thought to keep it in evidence. A law was stated by Jesus when He said, "According to your faith be it done to you" (Matt. 9:29). Those who believe in disease as a reality have faith in it; they get results according to the application of their faith faculty, and some form of physical error keeps manifesting in their lives.
All causes are mental. Everything starts in mind as an idea or a concept of some idea. If we want to manifest health, we must think of the life idea, build a concept of it, and see it manifesting in us as health. Then the law ("according to your faith") will work for us to bring about health in the body.
Since we are the offspring of God, why have we appeared to be unlike Him?
What is the basis of our faith in health? It is understanding of the real nature of God and of ourself as His offspring. God is perfection, wholeness; His offspring must be like Him, so it is very evident that we have had wrong concepts about ourself if we have considered imperfections as being real, enduring. We have thought ourself so different from God that it seemed sacrilegious to claim our Godlikeness. Every idea, every thought we have is like a seed, and it produces "after its kind." The thought of man's unlikeness to God has worked out in appearances that are the image of the thought that produced them. Appearances cannot be changed except by going back into mind and correcting the thoughts that are making the error appearances. Such changes are accomplished by a transforming of thoughts so that they harmonize with the ideas of Divine Mind, God. Nothing is accomplished by working in the external alone—men have tried that for ages without success. Analysis of our thoughts determines whether the beliefs back of them have their foundation in wholeness and perfection, or whether they are based upon the limited concepts about life that have been built through ignorance of Truth.
What is forgiveness of sin?
All sin is the result of a belief in dual powers — good and evil — and this belief must be eliminated from consciousness.
"Sin is a falling short of the divine law, and repentance and forgiveness are the only means that man has of getting out of sin and its effect and coming into harmony with the law" (Jesus Christ Heals 59).
What is the relation of forgiveness to healing?
The process by which sin and error are erased from the mind is the forgiveness or remission of sins. In the healing work of Jesus, forgiveness was prominent. We can readily understand why forgiveness plays so important a part in the life of the overcomer when we know the relation of sin to disease, of righteousness to health; when we remember that the appearance of the body is the outpicturing of the beliefs held in mind. In other words, the appearance of the body is the result of the individual's thoughts. Thus we see that forgiveness is related to healing as cause is related to effect.
What is repentance?
The first step to be taken toward healing is "repentance," a change of mind, turning away from the belief in things as they appear and turning within toward God, then making the necessary change in conduct. Penitence and sorrow emphasize the feeling, but repentance is more than this — it signifies new purpose, a determination to change the beliefs that have been the cause of the imperfect results. "I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting; for you felt a godly grief" (II Cor. 7:9, 10).
Is there a power of evil? Explain fully.
In making this change, we have not only to behold ourself as perfect in mind and body, but we must eliminate from our mind all consciousness of sin and evil, all belief that they have reality. We must learn to see the perfection of God as being brought forth in all creation, to know that there is no sin in the divine plan for man, no evil in reality, though it may exist as an appearance. (See How I Used Truth Lesson 7 Annotation 6.) We must all come to see that each person is expressing God according co his individual concept, his highest knowing in spite of appearances. Today each one knows in part; tomorrow his knowing will be greater, and he will express in a way that is becoming a little nearer to the perfection which God is.
How is the mind renewed?
By a complete change of thought the mind is renewed, made fresh and clean with pure ideas about God and man, and by this renewal of the mind the outer world, the whole realm of appearances, is transformed. "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment" (John 7:24). In this way appearances of evil, sin, and sickness are changed. Because the appearance of the body is the result of the thoughts that are held in mind, the more one thinks of the divine, the ideal, the perfect, the more these thoughts will outpicture in the body. Prayer then is a very important factor in the attainment of health, for it is conscious communion with God, or good, and this good includes life that produces health in the body. Thus daily meditation and prayer, where unity with Divine Mind (the source of life) and its perfect ideas is realized, is very essential to well-being.
Since we are the offspring of God, why have we appeared to be unlike Him?
The belief in fleshly heredity keeps many persons in bondage to disease. "And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven" (Matt. 23:9). This Biblical statement is a complete denial of the belief in fleshly heredity. As we are the off-spring of God, our inheritance must be from Him and not from the flesh man. In Truth there is no such thing as a hereditary disease, and appearances of such are due entirely to man's limited belief. He is ignorant of the fact that God is his Father, and he insists upon claiming man as the source of his life, thus connecting himself erroneously with flesh as his origin instead of Spirit. The fruit of this thought must be "eaten" until the thought is changed. To overcome this error thought, one should enter the silence in this realization:
I am the offspring of God and I inherit His perfect Mind and life.
I am made in His image and after His likeness.
I live, move, and have my being in Him, and I express His wholeness.
Love is a healing balm. Our knowing God as our Father and as the Father of all men will take away the great burden of condemnation from our minds. When condemnation is removed from mind, many of the ills of the flesh will disappear, because condemnation, criticism, and faultfinding make sick bodies. Instead of judging by appearances we shall practice seeing ourself and others as we are in Truth. Thus, we shall remove the appearance instead of condemning it.
Every form of hate and envy and jealousy is a burning fire, a disintegrating force that disturbs the mind and tears down the body. But love will restore us when we enter the silence, affirm our oneness with love, and express it. There is but one power — the power of God's love.
What place has prayer in the attainment of health?
One might conclude that since all disease is caused by error thought he should be continually searching his mind for error. This is not necessary or profitable. "But who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults" (Psalms 19:12). The point is that we are to deal with the cause side, and we do this more effectively by keeping our thoughts busy in establishing the good than by looking for error. We need to remember that thought is formative, and it brings forth into the manifest world in accordance with the character of the thought. If the mind is dwelling on error, then error is what will be produced, because keeping it active in mind shows that we are placing the energy of our faith faculty in it. Those who conscientiously give up (deny) their ignorant and untrue thoughts and lay hold of true thoughts (by affirmation) based on divine ideas are called "overcomers." They find, as they turn the whole matter over to Spirit and trust in its wisdom and power to overcome, that the work proceeds in an orderly way. They do not have to spend their time looking for error; they affirm the Truth and hold themselves in an attitude of willingness to be guided. If there is an inharmonious condition, the cause of it will be revealed to them. The light comes not by anxious thought but by the revelation of Spirit within, which is made operative in consciousness through meditation and prayer.
What is a treatment? In what respects does the prayer treatment differ from the old concept of prayer?
A prayer for healing is sometimes called a "treatment." The old concept of prayer was more a beseeching of God for something which (it was felt) might or might not be His will to give. We are now learning to think of prayer as described in the first lesson of this course — a conscious communion with God, not a beseeching for good. We are learning to pray with understanding and with faith. When a treatment or prayer is spiritual and scientific, it asserts but one real Presence and Power — perfect Spirit — and is a call to the Christ within (Spirit in the individual) to come forth and take dominion in the manifest. The steps in prayer are the same as the steps in a treatment, so if we know how to pray, we know how to treat. (See Lessons in Truth Lesson 10 Annotation 4)
Explain how to treat another
In helping others, we must first enter the silence and realize the one Presence and one Power, God omnipotent. We might hold a thought such as this:
It is not I but the Father within me, He does the works.
We declare oneness with God and feel the fullness of life and power. We speak the healing word to the patient, giving thanks that in Truth he is every whit whole. We must realize for him the truth of his being, his wholeness, his perfection as the offspring of God, and declare that it is manifest. We need to deny whatever seems to be the specific error appearance, and affirm that the saving grace of Jesus Christ cleanses the mind and the body of all belief in evil and establishes the Truth that makes free.
In considering the "saving grace" of Jesus Christ, we find that the word grace means gift or favor; saving means freeing from that which binds or limits either in mind, body, or affairs. The "gift" comprises all the God qualities within us and the power to express them. Metaphysically, "Christ" is the divine pattern, God's idea of Himself with all the principles necessary to reproduce God in man. "Jesus," that which saves us, is our right use of the pattern and the God principles; or the unfolding in our consciousness of all the qualities that are required to bring forth divinity into manifestation through us.
Is it right to give a treatment to any person who has not requested it?
The question sometimes arises: "Is it right to treat any one without his consent?" In solving this problem, we should know that free will is every man's God-given right, and no one is justified in interfering in any way with the freedom of another. But also we should take into consideration the fact that if we think of another at all, our thoughts carry responsibility, because we must think of him either as he is in Truth or as he appears to us. If we hold him in negative appearances, the power of our thought goes out against him and has a tendency to fix him more firmly in adverse conditions; if we think of him as he is in Truth, in Being (God), we help to set him free. In a sense this might be called "treating," but it is what we term "holding him in the universal." We do not interfere with another's free-will when we "hold him in the universal," because we hold no thought that he shall do this or that specific thing.
Another point arises here. If a man is in bondage to some habit — drugs, liquor, for instance — he thinks he wants the stimulant and sometimes feels that those who keep him from it are interfering with his free will. The fact is that it is not his will but his sense of lack of some good that is demanding satisfaction. Thus his will is in bondage to his unrighteous desire. Friends who love him and would save him have the right to declare for him the Truth that makes free yet are not interfering with his right of choice.
In all prayer the "secret place of the Most High" must be recognized as the "point of mystical union between man and Spirit" (Emilie Cady Lessons In Truth 9:10); therefore the body of every man should be blessed with the understanding that it is the "temple of God" wherein the "secret place" may be contacted. Healing is sometimes slow in manifesting because the "temple" has been profaned with the thought that it is merely physical — flesh and blood — and not worthy of a place in the divine plan of salvation. Such a thought can and must be overcome by statements of Truth such as these:
My body is a temple of the living God.
The glory of His presence illumines and quickens and heals every cell and fiber with His wholeness.
This temple is not material but spiritual; every cell is now alive with the life, substance, and intelligence of Spirit.
We Can Be Healed
We can be healed!
Each day His healing word
Waits to be spoken
as the living Truth,
Waits to subdue the aching flesh
And heal the fearful mind,
Waits for our growth . . . .
We can take up our bed and walk,
We can reach upward,
We can be healed!
— Christie Lund Coles