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The Influence of Fear in Sickness


Discordant Emotion and Its Results.

Most persons know instinctively that it is best not to be afraid, but comparatively few are aware that Fear actually results in physical disease. Yet this fact has been repeatedly proved in Metaphysical practice by cases where the removal of the mental image producing some overpowering degree of fear was followed by permanent relief from a physical ailment which had been pronounced incurable.

This subject is worthy of patient examination by all thinkers. It is of vital importance, though commonly set aside with the remark: "Yes, I know that fear sometimes makes sick people worse, because they are already nervous and imaginative, and it is always well not to be afraid. But I am not imaginative nor hysterical; my sickness is a real physical disease, and fear has nothing to do with it. I am not afraid of anything, yet I am sick; consequently, the theory does not apply to my Case or to any real sickness; it can apply only to persons of weak minds and doubtful intelligence, who simply imagine themselves sick." These and similar remarks are heard constantly by all mental healers. They are honestly made, and to the speakers seem conclusive; but the opinions thus expressed indicate that the term Fear as used with reference to sickness, as well as the character and scope of its action, together with the nature and origin of disease, are entirely misunderstood.

Haste in drawing conclusions on this subject is the greatest mistake that can be made. The subject contains truths of great and universal importance, while the principles involved lie at every door and bear directly upon each life in almost every detail of experience; and this because Fear in some degree abounds everywhere, and every life is in some measure influenced by its destructive action. The only safety lies in knowing the nature and cause of its action, and in understanding how to avoid or how to counteract its baneful influence.

Every sick person is either consciously or subconsciously under the influence of the mental image of some experience, which at the time of its occurrence generated discordant mental emotion of some kind - perhaps fear in some degree, either in his own mind or in that of some person from whom it was received through the reflection of the mental image. This is not always conscious fear. There are numerous activities in mind of which we are not immediately conscious, and many forms of fear that are not recognized as such - in fact, are not recognized at all save through the outward effect in corresponding physical agitation.

Fear is a mental emotion, based upon lack of confidence or apprehension of injury or danger. It many degrees, varying all the way from slight dissatisfaction down through grades of discontent and unhappiness, doubt, apprehension, solicitude, anxiety, worry, dread, repulsion, loathing, hatred, anger, horror, hopelessness, fright, terror, shock - perhaps followed by insensibility or total unconsciousness on the physical plane, the ultimate of which is the state spoken of as death.

All these emotions are direct results of the varying degrees of fear. Each shares the general characteristics of the state known as being afraid of something; for the objective point of each similar state of mind is some thing, person, influence or action not desired, and hence feared in direct ratio to its uncle sirability. The existing mental state is frequently the result of thought applied to that subject with relation to its probable effect on the happiness of one's own life, or perhaps indirectly, on the happiness of another. It is an emotional state of mental unrest, unease, disquiet - that is, of disease.

A thought of disquiet will register as physical unease, and corresponding sensations will pulsate through the finest nerves. If severe or tinued, this condition of unrest or disquietude settles into nervous disease and a Disease of the nerves becomes established. This disturbed condition of the circulation of nerve fluids is transferred to and correspondingly registered in the blood circulation, and diseases of the blood ensue. These register on the vital organs and through the various tissues of the body, producing with different physical systems every variety of disease. The detail of each disease varies according to individual circumstances, but all bear direct relation to the corresponding degree of the mental emotion of fear by which they were generated.

Some physicians deny these facts; but those who have had large experience recognize that, in some inexplicable manner, fear does sometimes cause sickness. They usually argue, however, that when it has become established, the organic disease is an 'independent physical thing, and a material remedy must be administered in order to produce a cure. This conclusion is inconsistent with the premise, and illogical in view of demonstrated facts. Similar opinions prevail, because the universal laws through which mind controls the nervous system are not well understood. The fertile field of Mental Therapeutics has not been investigated to any appreciable extent by these thinkers; therefore, a material remedy for the apparently physical disease is considered a necessity.

Mind acting on the superconscious plane of natural activity builds its own body in healthy tissue and keeps it strong. But in acting subconsciously through fear each mind partially unbuilds its body by modes of action which correspond to the uncertain thought entertained.

If mind, through fear, loses selfcontrol and becomes completely absorbed in the thought of destruction, it literally deserts its body because of the fright occasioned by the mental picture of death by accident. This was entirely unnecessary, and if the thoughtpicture had not been formed it would not have occurred. If this picture had been changed or removed, there would have remained no incentive to the act. If the body is rendered a useless machine by injury, Mind, its active intelligence, deserts it; this commonly called death. The physician frequently attributes this change to heart disease or "heart failure."The question, for an answer to which the people look to Science, is, Why did that heart fail at that particular time? Until the advocates of Materia Medics can answer this question intelligently, with a real remedy for unnecessary occurrences of the kind, their therapeutics has no claim to be considered an exact science, and no moral right to exclusive practice. Metaphysics answers this question, with an application of principles which releases many a victim from hitherto unrecognized influences which have been hastening him over the border, while medical science confidently signed the death warrant.

Through knowledge, mind has control of its body, and may carry it safely through many of the occurrences which would otherwise result in bringing life on the physical plane to an untimely end.

In the practice of Metaphysical Healing this theory has been successfully applied in thousands of instances, all the evidence of which goes to prove that if the fear or mental unrest which originated the physical condition be removed the mental action soon changes, its reflection in the nervous system disappears, and, as a natural consequence, nerve cir culation is reestablished. The Brain becomes quiet, the rate of the pulse returns to the normal, the temperature is oftentimes reduced almost immediately, respiration becomes natural, sleep returns under the quieting influence of pure and restful Thought, digestion is improved and finally restored, whereupon perfect assimilation is followed by natural rebuilding of every part of the system.

Superconscious mental action is the only reconstructive agency. Nature, which is Universal Mind in harmonious action on the superconscious plane, is always ready to begin natural restorative processes the instant that obstructions to her modes of action are removed.

Knowledge of Metaphysical Principles enables one to begin immediately the removal of mental obstructions, and aids in establishing mental quiet, cheerfulness, courage and hope. With these conditions present, Nature again assumes her sway and life renews the vigor of the system.

When once entered upon, Metaphysical diagnostication for mental causes of nervous and physical diseases becomes an extremely interesting study. The investigation is most fascinating, not only because an insight is gained into the nature of these disturbances, but also because the intricate workings of the It mental mechanism are so clearly defined through the Imaging process of Thought as to compel astonishment at the extent, rapidity, intensity and endurance of Thoughtactivity, as well as at the infinite variety of results produced by its reflection.

The immediate correspondence between the Thoughtpicture and its physical copy in the nervous system is an exceedingly interesting and important feature of diagnostication.

The line of Thoughtactivity which caused the sickness will be in some measure like the sickness itself; i. e., in some one or more ways the same modes of action will exist in both the mental cause and the physical effect - the same laws of activity will be manifested in each. This resemblance one to the other is always marked, and often exact in every particular. Frequently the mental action is very intense; then the physical agitation is severe and the accompanying sensations correspondingly acute in their appearance. Each mode of action appearing in any physical condition accurately denotes a Law involved in the mental act from which that condition proceeds. The degree of intensity is always modified somewhat, though never wholly changed, by the mental nature of the individual.

Every distinct feature of the bodily ailment is an exact copy of the Mental Image of some one or more features in a Thoughtpicture existing in the mind of the sufferer, either from direct thought, conscious or subconscious, or reflected there from thoughtactivity generated in other minds. If this picture had not been formed in mind, or its reflection had not been absorbed, the sickness could not have occurred; if its action can be made to cease the sickness will disappear. With an adequate understanding of the principles involved in these facts it becomes possible to trace back directly from the physical symptom to the corresponding mental emotion which caused it. This once removed, the road to recovery is easy and certain.

The natural steps in this Thoughtprocess are as follows: (a) In conscious thought a Mental Picture is developed.

(b) The mental picture is reflected, producing Nervous Action.

(c) That Action is registered in and through the tissue of the physical body.

(d) A corresponding bodily condition, more or less permanent, is the inevitable result.

Many people have experienced fear, the remembrance of which causes a chill to pass along the spine, a cold perspiration to start, or a shudder to vibrate through the system. Some people faint repeatedly for no other reason than the subconscious recurrence in mind of a past fearful experience; others feel dizzy, and inclined to fall, for the same reason. It is common to hear such expressions as "It makes me shudder to think of the danger,""I tremble at the remembrance of that situation,""My heart sinks at the thought of how near death came to me,""My teeth chatter at the very sound,""I dream of a similar occurrence and awake in fright,"and others of like character.

In many such cases the season of the year, the day of the month or week, or the particular hour of day or night at which an accident happened, act as a coincidence to call the picture into subconscious action. Thereupon the original fear returns and an attack of illness is experienced which is the immediate result of that disturbed nervous action, and bears direct correspondence to the particular picture formed at the moment of the accident. Nearly every acute disease is generated in this manner through laws of corresponding mental action.

All the earnest physicians of the civilized world are searching through every substance upon earth, in all possible combinations, for material remedies for these diseases. Think you such will be found? Not while the imaging faculty of mind continues to register and retain the features of scenes of fright. So long as Mental Imaging continues to be the law of mental action the nervous system will persist in expressing a nervous copy of the mental impression, and the best of humanity - because the most sensitive and responsive will continue to slip through the fingers of Materia Medica practitioners in spite of experience, skill and watchful care, together with consultations of learned men and concoction of remedies without number.

This is not in any particular an overdrawn picture or an exaggerated statement. It is the common experience of all civilized communities. Millions annually pass from this plane of life for no other reason than that the imaging faculty of the human mind and its natural effects are not understood, while other millions live but to suffer the torture of harassing thoughtpictures generated either in physical accidents or in morally wrong lines of thoughtaction.

A striking illustration of the effect of an impression left upon the mind by a scene of terror is contained in an experience of the late Charles Dickens, an account of which is given in the concluding installment of an extremely interesting reminiscent series of six papers, entitled "My Father As I Recall Him,"by Mamie Dickens.

In the number for April, 1893, Miss Dickens writes: "It was while on his way home . . . that he was in the railroad accident to which he alludes in a letter which I quoted in the last number of these reminiscences, saying that his heart had never been in good condition since that accident. It occurred on the ninth of June, a date which, five years later, was the day of his death."Then follows a letter written by himself, describing in detail the accident from which he escaped in a marvelous way: "I have I don't know what to call it - constitutional (I suppose) presence of mind, and was not in the least fluttered at the time, but in writing these scanty words of recollection I feel the shake and am obliged to stop."Miss Dickens further explains: "We heard afterwards how helpful he had been at the time, ministering to the dying ! How calmly and tenderly he cared for the suffering ones about him ! But he never entirely recovered from the shock."More than a year later the novelist wrote: "It is remarkable that my watch (a special chronometer) has never gone quite correctly since, and to this day there sometimes comes over me, on a • Published in "The Ladies' Home Journal,"Philadelphia, Pa.

railway train or any sort of conveyance, for a few seconds, a vague sense of dread that I have no power to check. It comes and passes, but I can not prevent its coming." Miss Dickens adds: "I have often seen this dread come upon him; and on one occasion . . . my father suddenly clutched the arms of the railwaycarriage seat while his face grew ashy pale and great drops of perspiration stood upon his forehead; and though he tried to master the dread, it was so strong that he had to leave the train at the next station. The accident had left its impression upon the memory, and it was destined never to be effaced. The hours spent upon railroads were thereafter often hours of pain to him. I realized this often while traveling with him, and no amount of assurance could dispel the feeling." In this account it is clearly evident that this accident was considered the cause of his nervous trepidation and of the suffering which no one could then relieve.

To quote again from the same paper, in regard to his last hours: "He made an earnest effort to struggle against the seizure which was fast coming over him, and continued to talk, but incoherently and very indistinctly. It being now evident that he was in a serious condition, my aunt begged him to go to his room . . . Come and lie down,' she entreated. Yes, on the ground,' he answered, indistinctly. These were the last words that he uttered as he sank to the floor. On the following day . . . with a shudder, a deep sigh, and a large tear rolling down his cheek, his spirit left us - the evening of the ninth." To those who understand the natural effect of mental pictures of distress, every feature of the last scene in Mr. Dickens's life corresponds clearly to the mental experience of that accidental occurrence.

The entire scene was retained in his mind as a picture. As the anniversary approached this picture became intensely active - perhaps he had been consciously thinking over the scene. Reaching the absolute degree of realization, it was reflected in his nervous system in imitation of the scene. The first feature of the picture was the fright which occurred at the moment of the accident. This was clearly expressed in his sudden attack of illness. The next feature was the mental shock from horror at the devastation and destruction of human life, with the picture of people dying while lying upon the ground, and whom he was helpless to save. This was clearly expressed in his last words, given in response to the request to lie down, "Yes, on the ground,"although he was then in the house. At the last moment the selfcentering of the ultimate realization of death scenes in the accident is so clearly expressed in the shudder of horror, the sigh of hopelessness, and the large tear of sympathy, that there is little doubt but that his soul passed from this life during and because of subconscious realization to the ultimate degree of the scene of the accident from which he could not escape.

Mental Imagery of the incidents and experiences of life, with its inevitable effects on the entire physical system, regardless of conscious recognition by the individual, has now become a wellattested fact, and it is also certain that, by acting in accordance with the laws of Mental Healing, all injurious mental impressions can be permanently effaced, and their aftereffects avoided.

This is the scientific ground upon which Metaphysical Healing stands, and the field of action in which today a nobler work is being performed for the human race than has ever before been exhibited to the world. Its beneficial power is not limited to the healing of bodily ailments, neither will its action cease when the last cure is effected. The principles of life involved in metaphysical healing extend to every moral 'action, and cover the entire diapason of active life in the Mind, Soul and Spirit of the human individual. Its importance, therefore, can not be overestimated.

The remedy for every inharmonious state is found in a reversal of the action which produced it.

Incorrect Thought develops wrong Action, which must inevitably come to an end. Correct Thought establishes right Activity, which will endure forever in harmonious life on the spiritual plane.

Reality is Eterna.

mental, action, physical, mind and life