This section is from the book "Mental Therapeutics Or Just How To Heal Oneself And Others", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: Mental Therapeutics or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others.
One of the first things that the student of Mental Therapeutics should learn is this: That the human body is not a mass of mindless matter, but is, instead, as truly an organ of the mind as is the brain, although its mental work is along different lines. This may seem like a startling statement to the person who has not acquainted himself with the discoveries of modern psychology and physiology.
Not only is the body as a whole the outward aspect of an inward mentality, but every part of it (even the cells themselves) has mind immanent within it and acting through it. And, more than this, every part has its own particular mental nature; and every cell its own mental being. There is no part of the body, no organ of the body, no cell of the body, that is without its own mental being or nature.
When this important fact is perceived, the fundamental explanation of mental healing is had. The student then no longer speaks of the power of "mind over matter," for he sees that it is really a manifestation of mind over mind- of one kind of mind over another kind of mind. This fact being grasped thoroughly, the whole system of mental cure is perceived as a reasonable and logical idea, instead of a theory opposed to the accepted facts of Nature.
Just as the activities of the brain-cells in performing their own allotted work are so closely correlated and combined that they are regarded as a unity, and form our thinking "mind" as a whole; so are the activities of our cells, parts, organs and members of our bodies so closely correlated and combined in their actions and interaction that they form a unity, and may be regarded as one mind working in harmony and unity. For the want of a better name this combined mind may be called "The Corporeal Mind." This term will be used in these lessons to indicate this great indwelling mind which is the active spirit of our physical functions and bodily life.
The term "corporeal" means: "pertaining to a material body." Therefore Corporeal Mind means "the bodily mind." As we proceed we shall discover the qualities, properties, and attributes of the Corporeal Mind.
The Corporeal Mind, however, must not be thought of as dwelling apart and separate from the other fields of mental activity which exist in every person. In fact, no part or field of activity in the human being, whether physical or psychical, so dwells apart; everything is correlated, interdependent, and interactive-all coordinated and harmonious parts of one whole.
The Corporeal Mind is really one of the phases or planes of that great field of human mentality known as the Subconscious Mind. The Subconscious Mind performs about eighty percent of the mental activity of the person; the remaining twenty percent being left for the Conscious Mind to perform. Just as the Conscious Mind consists and is composed of the many faculties of sensation, perception, thought, etc., so is the Subconscious Mind composed of numerous distinct planesf or fields of subconscious mental activity. The many excellent works on the Subconscious Mind have given the world full information regarding the activities of this great field or plane of mentality. It is not' necessary for us to consider the general subject here; so we shall confine ourselves to merely that part of the Great Subconsciousness that relates to the functions of the human body, i. e., the Corporeal Mind.
But, in our consideration of the subject we must not omit the consideration of the important fact that the Corporeal Mind, like all other phases or aspects of the Subconscious Mind, responds to the ideas, suggestions, and orders given it by the Conscious Mind of its owner. And, also it "takes up," or accepts the ideas, suggestions, or commands of the minds of others, unless its owner orders it not to do so. This important psychological fact explains the undoubted occurrence of the causing of disease by the accepted ideas and suggestions of others, or of one's owTn conscious mind; and, likewise, the cure and removal of disease by the same causes.
Before proceeding to the consideration of the details of the nature of the Corporeal Mind, it will be best for us to consider this fact of the acceptance of the ideas and suggestions, or autosuggestions, by the Corporeal Mind, and its response thereto. It is always well to become acquainted with the general principles and laws before proceeding to the study of their detailed and particular manifestations.
There are several general laws ^hich govern the activities of the Subconscious Mind, which are found to manifest universally, and which therefore may always be expected to exert their influence. These laws are as follows:
I. The Subsconscious Mind accepts as true any idea suggested to it, or impressed upon it; unless (a) there already exists in the Subconscious Mind a contrary idea sufficiently strong to counteract the new one; or (b) the Subconscious Mind has acquired a certain mental trend, or habit of thought, which is opposed to the introduction of the new idea; or (c) the Subconscious Mind is commanded by its owner not to receive or accept such suggestions or ideas, or classes of ideas.
II. The Subconscious Mind proceeds to logically manifest the conclusion of the suggested and accepted idea; to make it take form in action or physical condition; to adopt it as a habit of manifestation and action, thereafter.
III. The Subconscious Mind will continue to manifest along the lines of the accepted suggested idea until either (a) it is neutralized, cancelled, and replaced by a sufficiently strong opposing idea or suggestion; or (b) the accepted suggested idea is traced back to its birth in the mind of the person, and is thereupon shown to be erroneous, based on wrong premises, and therefore untrue; in both of which cases it is wiped from the tablets of the mind, and cease to manifest-or, to be more exact, it is thus painted over by the new and true idea, and ceases to appear in the mind, or to manifest in action or form.
The student is cautioned against regarding the term "Suggestion" to mean any mysterious use of the mind; or as being confined to certain forms of ideas. The term "suggestion" means merely "an indirect or guarded mode of presenting an idea, especially an argument or piece of advice." It is distinguished from argument, or logical proof, by the absence of formal evidence or discussion. A suggestion is usually merely an idea which seems plausible, and which is advanced with an air or appearance of truth, reality, or accepted fact. An "auto-suggestion" is a suggestion advanced by the conscious mind of the person himself, usually derived from the "working over" of ideas which he has heard but which were not accepted at the time; although when the person is acquainted with the psychology of suggestion he may deliberately form ideas which he deliberately "auto-suggests" to his Subconscious Mind as facts.
Ideas are suggested and accepted by the Subconscious Mind in a number of ways, of which the following are the most important classes:
Persons are strongly affected by ideas suggested with an air or appearance of authority. Persons exercising authority, such as priests and preachers, teachers and instructors, physicians, lawyers, judges, persons in charge of and directing other men, writers, public speakers, etc., manifest an appearance of authority, and speak in tones of authority, hence their suggestion carry with them a weight which in many cases is out of all proportion to their truth or real value.
Persons accept implicitly, in many cases, the ideas of those around them. They imitate the mental states of others, and accept their ideas and belief becomes of the influence of numbers. "Everyone thinks so-and-so" takes the place of proof in their minds. More than this they 'i take on ' ' the physical conditions of those around them, for the same reason. The Subconscious Mind is quite imitative, and readily falls into the habit of accepting the beliefs, ideas, and conditions of those around its owner.
Persons accept easily suggested ideas which resemble other ideas which they have previously accepted. They associate the new idea with the old one, although there may be little or no resemblance between them. Consequently, shrewd and unscrupulous men sometimes impose upon honest persons in this way, i. e., they make themselves, or their proposition, appear like some other person or proposition which has been satisfactory to the person, and this associated sameness disarms the person and causes him to accept the suggested idea far more readily than he would have otherwise. The confidence man, charlatan, and fakir operates along these lines of suggestion. And, likewise, many persons accept suggestions concerning their physical condition, because of this fancied resemblance to something else, which they otherwise would have refused to notice.
An important law of suggestion is this: Suggestion gains force by repetition. The first suggestion may make but little impression; but the same suggestion repeated frequently makes a deeper impression by each repetition; until finally the idea is firmly impressed upon the Subconscious Mind of the person.
We shall not consider the important results of suggestion in general, for we are concerned merely with those which produce physical effects. When the Subconscious Mind accepts suggested ideas relating to physical conditions, functioning, health, etc., it at once passes the idea over to that phase, aspect, or department of its activities that we have called the Corporeal Mind. The Corporeal Mind then proceeds to manifest into reality and physical form and function the idea so placed within it, and which it accepts as truth in absence of opposing ideas.
In this way many persons have developed conditions of disease from purely mental causes, and many have died from the logical development of such diseases. Many persons are made ill from fear and suggestions of contagion and infection. Many persons acquire disease by reason of vivid pictures placed in their minds through reading newspaper descriptions of disease, patent medicine advertisements, etc. It is a fact known to all officials of the medical schools that students frequently "take on" all the symptoms of the diseases they are studying about in their text-books.
And, likewise, the law works with equal force in the opposite direction. For all the cures made by the faith-healers, prayer-curists, divine healers, and other practitioners of the same kind; and by the practitioners of mental therapeutics, suggestive therapy, and similar scientific methods of applying the power of the mind to cure physical ills; are really based upon this fundamental principle. This may seem strange to the student when first stated; but a careful examination of the facts of the case will bring to him such an overwhelming proof of its correctness, that it will seem strange to him that anyone can doubt it.
Remember, though, that Therapeutic Suggestion means simply the indirect placing of an idea in the Subconscious Mind in such a way that it is accepted as truth, and thereupon manifested in action, form, and functioning by that phase of the Subconscious Mind known as the Corporeal Mind, which has control of the functions and activities of the physical body.