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"To Occult Medicine we shall owe discoveries destined to extend the domain of Philosophy," was the prophecy of the renowned French philosopher Descartes. Today, nearly three hundred years later, we find his words approaching fulfillment, for the world is face to face with a new movement in Therapeutics. An insistent, increasing, persevering demand is arising for investigation into the hidden side of the Health law; for a fuller, clearer light upon the Truth of Health itself. The hour of Occult Medicine has come.

At present, however, the demand for the truth is not universal; instead, the conditions strongly exemplify the eternal struggle between the radical and the conservative. The radicals include a very large number of separate organizations of intellectual people who believe that the laws of the Health are as yet but imperfectly known; who are seeking to discover the hidden truths of Health which, from observed facts of healing, they are convinced will make them independent of drugs and surgical operations. To the radicals belong also the students of Sociology, who are demanding that measures for the prevention of disease and for the establishing of a true standard of Health shall obtain, not alone for the classes, but for the masses as well.

On the other hand, materialistic medical science, basing itself on the inviolability and invariableness of known physical laws, declares that healing other than by physical remedies is not practical; that the cited cases of occult healing - where the disease is obscure, and the remedies used cannot be measured and handled - are not subject to fixed laws, and therefore that such cases are wholly outside the domain of scientific investigation. This ultimatum is supposed to prelude further discussion.

But these so-called "un-scientific" healings have occurred and are continually occurring; so there must be in this world, admittedly built and sustained by law, a law governing these cures. It is in the hope of helping to find a basis for the classification and scientific study of these many thousands of unclassified cures, to help to find the law of them, that this little book is written.

It is fully in keeping with this intellectual evolutionary progress that we shall attempt to apply religious, philosophic and scientific concepts in the solution of the more fundamental medical problems which are now coming to the front. For instance, we can more easily investigate and explain the oftentimes extremely difficult facts in cures, by noting their reciprocal relations with other laws of Nature.

This is the age of scientific constructive hypothesis. Medicine is in progress of construction. It is only in the experimental stage as yet, and experiment is its method. Its first law is to study facts; to observe reasonable caution in presenting explanations, and a willingness to recast conclusions that may have been arrived at on insufficient data; to use the same openmindedness, tolerance and fearlessness as do the researchers in Astronomy or Physics.

The demand of the age is, that a scientific study be made of the etheric bodies and the emotion and mental bodies of our every-day humanity; that the power which the Self, the super-man, can assert over his own, his own emotions, and over the etheric elements in his physical body, shall be recognized and taught as a definite part of the larger therapeutics. In addition to this, there must come an intellectual recognition that there are greater and lesser intelligence working in all matter. The subtler sense faculties of healers and healed must be trained to note the actual effect of thought and emotion upon and through human bodies. For this training no divine gift is needed. It is only necessary that healers shall learn to use the sense organs which already exist in these finer bodies, which belong to the phenomenal world of sense, but are, except in a small number of cases, as yet underdeveloped.

Science, working in Physics, is demonstrating conclusively by means of "rays" and "waves," that there are different grades of matter, each with its own rate of vibration. In advanced Photography, science is furnishing proof that thought and emotions express themselves as definite shapes in matter so fine as to be invisible to the physical eye. In Psychology, science recognizes the Self as the builder and ruler of its bodies. Other sciences are taking advanced steps. Let us gather together these already established facts and correlate with them the facts of healing, facts of differing bodies and types, facts of all the known laws of Nature, including the great fact of Evolution, and thus help to make ready for the next step forward in medical progress. Reasonably, when the etheric and desire-emotion and mental bodies of human beings become disordered, each must have its own specialized form of treatment. Should we not study carefully all the bodies before attempting to treat the apparently physical ailments which may be directly traceable to a disabling of one of the finer bodies?

The evolution of the atomic theory furnished an illustrations of the urgent necessity at this time for a more liberal attitude of mind toward the inevitable changes in the science of Therapeutics. The theory of atoms was supposedly complete; the chemical atom was, by the Western world, accepted as a finality in atoms. But facts relating to atoms were from time to time found which were not accounted for under that theory, and through further research in Nature's secret, occult storehouse, a still more ultimate atom has been discovered, which consists of infinitely finer matter and powers and possibilities, and the chemical atom has been - not blotted off the register, but - relegated to its proper place as a very fine molecule. The real science of atoms has been advanced immeasurably, but who can now say when the ultimate atom will be found?

So of the Health law. The knowledge of it is but fragmentary. The many unclassified facts of healing can reasonably be hypothetically viewed as expressions of certain unknown, or but dimly glimpsed, potentials existing within the sphere of Health. These facts cannot be suppressed, therefore their source should be found at whatever cost to long-time cherished views.

In very ancient days, India had a graded system of healing, adjusted to meet the needs of the various types os bodies. It gave to the younger in evolution the crude drugs, while for those much more advanced other remedies than drugs were used. Today, the swift resistless onward sweep of the new cycle of evolution forces Therapeutics beyond the study of remedies for the bodies of the less evolved alone, and necessitates an understanding and control of such of the hidden powers of the Health law as will apply to the more advanced in evolution also.

The modern mind, with its ready acceptance of the law of evolution, and of the continuity of life, is beginning to glimpse the fact that a profound philosophy underlies the healing power; that there may be grades above grades of studies in human needs in health and healing; and that the gross and etheric matters of the physical body, and the still subtler matter of the emotion and concrete mind bodies, must not be treated as one undifferentiated mass of matter, but that their differing rates of vibration shall be as definitely calculated and given due place in treatment, as would be done in a corresponding problem in physics.

In the few cases selected for illustration, no attempt to prove their truth will be made, though that is known. They are given only as examples of well known facts, in and through which we may hope to find some explanation of the occult processes of the Health law. In what is set forth in the following pages, we have drawn freely from the literature of all kinds, believing that we should not limit ourselves in our search for truth.

The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statements contained herein.

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