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.
It is a common occurrence for students to ask me for a "formula" for Mental Suggestion adapted to the requirements of Mental Healing. They seem to imagine that there is some particular grouping of words, which, when suggested into the mind of the patient, will act with a magic effect and remove all diseased conditions. In this opinion they share the blind fanaticism of some of the religious healing cults, the leaders of which give them certain "statements of truth" which, when repeated, will drive away diseased conditions and bring about normal conditions of health.
But this idea is erroneous, and clearly shows that those making such a request have not fully grasped the fundamental principle 'underlying the therapeutic application of Mental Suggestion. One of the first things that the student of Therapeutic Suggestion must learn is that he must reach the mind of the patient along the accustomed channels of thought communication. He must not insist upon creating and establishing new channels through which his suggestions may flow into the mind of the patient. To follow this last mentioned course is but to expend unnecessary time and energy. The sane and sensible plan is to first ascertain just what channels are open to him for use in this connection, and then to use them as the means of getting his positive suggestions into the mind of the patient.
This, I know, will be vigorously disputed by those who have been taught to believe in the absolute truth of some particular metaphysical or theological theory of cure; such persons will insist that the first thing necessary is to instill the Truth into the mind of the patient, and then base the subsequent treatment upon this foundation of Truth. This is all very well for those who see "Truth" crystallized into the particular teachings and doctrines of their own particular "school," cult, or "science"; but the matter takes on a different significance and meaning to those of us whose vision is sufficiently broad to grasp the fact that all of these schools, cults, and "sciences," through their respective practitioners, are making cures in about the same percentage of results-this notwithstanding that each of them has its own particular theory or doctrine which it asserts as "Truth," and as the basis of cure. Those who have grasped this fact find it logical to assume that all of these theories, doctrines, and principles are but forms of applying some general principle of healing which is higher than any of the particular conceptions, yet common to all of them.
The scientific student of Mental Therapeutics soon discovers that all of the formulas, methods, and wording of the various treatments of these schools, cults, and "sciences," are but the capsules in which are contained the real healing agency. He sees undoubted proof of this idea in the fact above stated, i. e., that cures are made under all these theories and methods in about the same percentage. This point once grasped, the practitioner proceeds to adapt his methods and suggestions to the particular requirements of each particular patient. He first discovers the mental and emotional characteristics of the patient, and then proceeds to use these characteristics as channels through which his suggestive treatment may flow to the mind of the patient. He becomes "all things to all men," in the best meaning of this term. He takes men as he finds them, and turns to the best account all of the personal peculiarities, characteristics, and idiosyncrasies of each of them. He takes the material before him, just as it presents itself to him, and then proceeds to work it over into what he desires it to be. He effectively applies % the well-known principle of "the law of the line of least resistance."
Some may consider this an unworthy ideal and practice, but the scientific mind does not so regard it. Science has no particular theological or metaphysical conception of Absolute Truth to which it seeks to convert all comers for help, healing, and health. It has no Procrustean bed into which it must make all patients fit-stretching out the short ones and chopping off the legs of the long ones, so as to make all conform and fit into the fixed dimensions of the bed of Truth. Its only ideal of Truth is Perfect Health; and it endeavors to develop a practical and actual manifestation of that Truth in the minds and bodies of the patients applying to it for help and cure, instead of attempting to convert them to some particular metaphysical or theological theory.
But, here, a word of caution to students and practitioners of Mental Healing: Do not attempt to preach this doctrine of All-Truth to your patients-particularly when they first present themselves to you. First get them cured and well, and then you may give them such practical instructions regarding the Law of Cure as may seem fit for them. Do not become a zealous dis-peller of illusions regarding the theory and principles underlying Suggestive Therapeutics, for tins is as great a folly as that committed by those who wish to convert their patients to their own particular metaphysical or theological theories. Your business is to make cures, not to make converts-to teach Health, not doctrines or theories. Moreover, it is a fact of human nature that most persons insist upon having their Truth well dressed upon in fanciful garments, or disguised with fanciful trimmings and masks. The pure undiluted Truth has for them the alarming clearness of distilled water-they miss the familiar taste, and complain that it does not agree with them. Wise is the practitioner who figuratively asks the patient: "What flavor?" and then proceeds to give him his mental medicine disguised with the preferred flavoring and coloring.
Is this hypocrisy? Not at all; it is common sense based on experience with the race, and designed to produce the best results. Here the old aphorism, "the end justifies the means/' has a striking application, in the best sense of its meaning and content. This plan is not the furthering of error, but rather the transmutation of error into actual Truth-the Truth of Perfect Health. It is the Pragmatic Method, as opposed to the Theoretical and Dogmatic Method. Its test is, "Does it work out in good results?" Not, "Is it the Absolute Truth?" And, at the last, may we not ask with Pilate the time-old question, "What is Truth?" Until Absolute Truth is discovered, let us proceed along the lines of a Working Truth-a Truth that works out in good results I