It should be said, before we enter into the details of our subject, that we are dealing with an extraneous growth which is now attempting to attach itself to the superstructure of Therapeutics. Instead, we find that the principles of Occult Healing are part of the very foundations of the earliest systems of Healing.
OCCULT HEALING SCHOOLS
The Western world has no theory concerning the origin of Health and Disease, but a very definite one is set forth in the therapeutical books of the East. In the Ayurveda, one of the great medical scriptures of ancient India, it is stated that the knowledge of perfect Health, or the Science of Life, was taught by Brahma, the Creator, to the inhabitants of the highest heaven realms, the Celestial Devas or Archangels.
The Celestial gods communicated the Science of Health received by them from Brahma, to Indra, the next lower in rank to themselves, for they were bound by the ancient law governing the imparting of knowledge, which required that when one had been taught a science he must teach it to another; otherwise he committed a far-reaching sin. Indra was the chief of the gods whose home was in the next lower realm or plane, and he should have taught the science to the lesser gods of his realm, who would have guarded the health of the people by passing on the knowledge to them. But he failed to perform this sacred duty. He kept the knowledge to himself and, as a result, instead of the universal Health which had till then prevailed, decrepitude and diseases of divers kinds, and shortness of life, began to afflict mankind.
Discovering his fatal error too late for the protection of the people, Indra determined that the science should not be wholly lost to mankind. He called together some wise men who, through austerity and self-control, through vows, gifts, study, meditations and the practice of universal compassion, had earned the right to be taught the laws of Perfect Health - "This most sacred of all sciences, which promotes longevity, which prevents the effects of decrepitude and disease, which infuses strength, which is as nectar itself, which is most beneficial to all beings, which affords protection to the afflicted, and which is wholly unsectarian as regards its doctrines."
To these wise men Indra delivered the true science of Life and Health, and from their works those of their pupils to whom they passed on the ancient knowledge, have come down through the ages many stories of instantaneous healings, now termed miracles.
Glimpses of what these truths may have been will be found in the records of the Occult Healing Schools of the ancient East, where the hidden side of Nature in all its phases was earnestly studied. Not only did they teach the mysteries concerning the movements of planets and their influence upon the elements of matter in all bodies, and the evolution of the Deva or Angel kingdom and its relation to the human kingdom, but they penetrated into the sacred mysteries of Life itself.
The instantaneous restoration from disease and death to health, which characterized the highest healing in those most ancient records, is found to be characteristic also of the later schools of the Therapeutæ and their earnest students. According to Philo, a learned writer of the first century A.D.,
(Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by G. R. S. Mead. p. 66.)
there had existed for many centuries before that date communities called Essenes, very learned bodies of students, whose chief characteristics were love of God, love of virtue, and love of mankind; and their methods of demonstrating these virtues made them greatly beloved. Within this outer body was an inner School called Therapeutæ, or wisdom-lowers, who devoted themselves to the study of the super- and sub-physical Nature, and to the understanding of the highest elements of health for both souls and bodies.
They claimed that by means of these studies they obtained an art of healing superior to the ordinary; by constant study of Nature, of Nature's administrators, the devas, and the union in the One Self, they developed the intuition which enabled them to directly know the nature of pure souls and to be able to understand and use the powers inherent in the essence of matter, and also to know the causes of disease. One aim of the Therapeutæ was to attain to such a state of holiness as to be able to perform instantaneous cures. Only those who, by complete purity of mind and body, and by fullest love and compassion had reached the highest grade in the Schools, were able to bring the dead to life.
To these Essenes were attached outer circles of pupils living in the world, who were in training for the higher grades of healing, and from these schools were sent out from time to time small bodies of colonizers into different countries. They established therapeutical schools in Egypt and Greece. According to one author
(Historie des Sectes Religieuse, by Greorie (Abbe), Vol II, p. 292)
Moses of the Old Testament and Aaron his brother were initiated into the Therapeutæ of Egypt, and were profoundly versed in the mysteries.
In the far-famed school of Pythagoras, 600 B.C. the pupils were required to have great knowledge of Mathematics and Music, preparatory to admission, and also extreme purity of life; the idea being to not to make a saint of a man, but that he, having become a saint, with a pure mind and a pure body, and great power of love and knowledge, was permitted to enter the school in order to unfold fully within himself his own god-power, the Divine Life. Pythagoras, who had spent years of his life in India, where such schools had existed since the beginning of the Aryan Race, taught the art of highest healing not only of the physical body, but psychological or soul healing, showing that super-physical health needs existed, which the physician must meet and relive. In his Golden Verses he say: "The race of Man is divine. Sacred Nature reveals to them the most hidden mysteries. If she impart to thee her secrets, thou wilt easily perform all the things which I have ordained thee. And by the healing of thy soul, thou wilt deliver it from all evils, from all afflictions."
It is said that it was in one of these Essenic schools that Jesus was trained, a lad whose pure body and pure soul and tender sympathy for the suffering made Him a channel for the highest wisdom, and enabled Him to offer to the Supreme world-Teacher, the Christ of the Western World, Shri Krishna of India, a body which could be made a perfect exemplar of the power to instantly heal all manner of disease and restore the dead to life.
In the Pistis Sophia, one of the most occult of the early Christian Mystery teachings, given after the resurrection, we read that the Master said: "The rest of the Mysteries which have been committed to the pupils, may be given to others, except the mystery of the resurrection of the dead, and the healing of the blind, for that mystery pertaineth to the Rulers," or highest order of healers.
In one of these records of the past is a statement concerning Apollonius of Tyana, that illustrates the power with which such purity, such super-knowledge endows its possessors. Apollonius in his conversation with the Babylonian monarch, Vardan, said that he himself was a physician of the soul, and could free the king from diseases of his mind, not only because he knew what ought to be done according to the discipline in the Pythagorean schools, but also because he knew the nature of the king.
(Apollonius of Tyana, by G. R. S. Mead, p. 113.)
This wisdom was his through his having unfolded the divinity of his whole nature, thus making possible a perpetual state of intuitional clear-seeing of hidden things.
It is a matter of history that Apollonius broke up the plague which was raging at Ephesus, by pointing out the cause of it and ordering the cause to be removed; also that he demonstrated his power to restore the dead to life.
Hippocrates (about 450 B.C.), the Father of Modern Medicine,so-called, held both in his teachings and his practice that there existed a restoring essence in nature, penetrating through all creating; that this intelligence is the agent which is constantly striving to preserve all things in their natural stage, and to restore them when they are disarranged, and that in the observation, understanding, and management of this vis medicatrix naturae, the art of the true physician consisted.
(Fathers of Biology, by C. McRae, M.A., F.L.S., p. 9)
(Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by G. R. S. Mead, p. 175.)
was especially famed for his healing schools in Samaria. His teachings were on psychological lines; ho taught of the seven creative powers of Nature and their Rulers, and the ways whereby these planetary powers could be subjected to the purified, compassionate will.
A century later Hippolytus writes of the healing schools of the Ophites, in which the symbol of the serpent was a marked feature. For the serpent as a symbol of the Health Intelligence played a great part in the mysteries of the wisdom and healing schools in Greece, Egypt and Phoenicia, and can be traced back to Syria, Babylonia and further east to India.
An ascetic sect of Jews existed in the first century after Christ, of whom Milna speaks as the ancestors of the Christian monks and hermits. They resided near Alexandria in Egypt, and bore a striking resemblance in their doctrines of purity, health and compassion for humanity, to the Essenes. Their system of healing pervades some of the high degree of masonry.
The great physician, Galen, born 131 A.D., in Asia Minor, looked upon Nature, including planetary intelligences and influences, as the prime mover of everything and upon the physician as one of the chief human administrators of the powers of these planets. He taught the existence of an occult intelligence, hidden in nature, which heals
(Medical Portrait Gallery, by F. J. Pettigrew, F.R.S.)
Paracelsus, born in 1492 in Switzerland, was the most noted physician of his own time, holding high civic offices, consulted by royalty, teacher in the Universities. Considered in the light of present day materialism, it is nor strange that his teachings should have been gradually discarded by physicians for the less mentally laborious use of patent remedies. He says: "I have discovered a great many secrets in Nature, and I will tell you that he only can be a true physician who has acquired the knowledge of this healing essence, and the power to use it. This Intelligence, being an emanation of the spiritual Life, contains the elements of all cosmic influences, and is therefore the cause by which the action of the stars, the cosmic intelligences, upon the etheric and astral bodies of man may be explained."
These high orders of Therapeutæ have not wholly disappeared. They work in silence, for the benefit of humanity, with a knowledge the depth and beauty of which the profane world cannot conceive. Under their guidance, brotherhoods of healers are forming in different countries.
It is only too apparent that the requirements of pure body, pure mind, and intimate knowledge of the true healing power in nature, and a profound compassion for humanity, are no longer required in the medical schools of today. As a consequence, only the lower grades of healing are recognized by, taught to or practiced by the medical profession. But if evolution be true, some of those highly trained souls of the past may soon return to earth andre-establish the higher grades once more. Indeed, the greatest healer of the present historic age, the Lord Maitreya of India, the Christ of the Western world, may well return and perform those greater world-healings of which two thousands years ago He said He could not "because of their unbelief." For, with the power and the methods better understood by the people, and with the scientific demonstrations of it under Nature's own law of Health, unbelief will speedily be supplanted by knowledge.
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