In the ecclesiastical history of Socrates, there is mention made of Theodorus, a martyr put to extreme torture by Julian the Apostate. Ruffinus in his history says that he met Theodorus after his trial and asked him if the pains were great. He replied that at first they were terrible, but after a while there seemed to stand by him a young man in white, who with soft handkerchief wiped off the great sweat from his body, and bade him be of good cheer. When the tormentors has done, the angel was gone.
Angel or Deva Helpers
Many instances of this nature are found in ancient literature. We will look into a few of the more recent, well-attested instances of the work and place of these invisible Helpers among the great Health Intelligences.
"I was very ill with pneumonia and an account of the long-time weakness of my heart, the physician despaired of my recovery. One of my favorite books, The Voice of the Silence, was open near me, and I read 'And greater still is . . . the Buddha of Compassion.' A wonderfully cool and and refreshing thrill penetrated me, and my love rushed out to the Blessed Lord Buddha, whose teachings are the guide of my life. I asked humbly if I could also be permitted to serve Him and the other helpers of humanity. The answer came with lighting rapidity. With my eyes open I saw at the foot of the bed, the snowy-white, sun-like Blessed Master, sitting in meditation, in a dazzling, radiant, outflowing light. With that came a new, stronger and somewhat different thrill, as if warm sun-rays had penetrated me through and through; and I felt happy and full of peace. I thought - May I, too, learn to be unselfish to the endless end! - and I lay there full of a measureless peace. Shortly after I got up, and took up my duties; the weakness of the heart was gone, to return no more."
The case is full of instruction, and there are points in it that can so far only be glimpsed. The "I am" consciousness was fully active in the physical body, a condition we find characteristic of this type of cases. The earnest devotion of this gentleman to the divine Founder of Buddhism must have built into his consciousness a most definite thought-form of Him as He sits in meditation for the helping of the worlds. The most natural result of this devotion would be that he would see the form as in mind he always imaged Him. Even to see the form as he did, enveloped in radiance, might be the result of the refining by illness of the gross physical body, thus enabling the inner etheric vision to become clear.
But now, for the first time in his experience, the form was alive and full of radiant outflowing lightrays, whose warmth and health penetrated even his physical body and healed it; and his mind, too, became peaceful under their beneficence. Who but a trained occultist can say what glorious Intelligence responded to his whole-hearted desire to serve humanity, and in return radiated in full abundance the bounteous Nature health-Life into mind and body.
A case with some similarities, but a difference worth noting, is that of a lady who had been very ill with la grippe. Very weak, nervous and still full of pain, she got up and walked to the home of a friend a few doors away from her own home. This friend was just sitting down for the noon-day meditation, and asked the lady to join her. The lady states: "At my friend's request I sat down in my usual way. Suddenly there appeared something very brilliant to my right, a little above and in front of me, which, as I looked, definitely outlined itself as a majestic figure; and I then noticed most shining golden rays streaming from it toward and through me, and which continued while the meditation lasted. Absorbed by the glorious vision I at once started home, and as I reached my steps I noticed with astonishment that I was walking with my usual vigor. I had no pain; I never felt better; I was fully cured."
The fact of there being color in the shining rays is an important point. The lady did not know the significance of color as connected with health or that the color of the rays had any relation to her case. But of all colors, this is the most efficacious in the disease she was suffering from. The strong inference must be, that the Intelligence taking that method of helping her, used a suitable elemental essence through which to pour out the Health Life to her.
The question arises whether she could not have been cured as quickly if she had remained at home. What part, if any, did the friend have in the cure? This brings us to the importance of psychological environment as an aid in any form of healing, and especially in psychological cases. The friend had for some hours been studying a Hindu medical book, and had been intent upon understanding the mechanism of the etheric body, and of the "Ojas" which flowed through the etheric nerves. As all physical bodies are continually throwing off and taking on infinitesimal particles of matter, and as the etheric body, animated by the life energies, sends out and is played upon not by particles, but by vibrations, life-waves, magnetism-waves, which also ceaselessly flow out and those from others flow in,
(An Advanced Text Book of Hindu Religion and Ethics, Part II, Chap. III)
reasonably such an atmosphere as existed in the friend's room had in it a higher type of elemental essence and consequently a more helpful health power through which the Intelligence could work, than did the pain-filled home. To this extent we can each become helpers, by making our own outflowing physical particles, and our etheric vibration-waves such as will be helpful to all we contact.
In the case of a youth very ill with epilepsy, the boy's own story is this: "I was alone in my bed when my misery overcame me. I prayed in agony for relief. Suddenly I heard a knock at the door, and then the door was thrown open with a loud crash, and I saw a pure white globe like a ball, and it came to me and glided up and down my body, and a voice said: 'Boy, thy cross is very heavy, but trust in God and rise; thou shall be helped.' 'May God reward thee,' I said, and the globe moved upward and vanished. Now I rose from the bed and sat down and prayed fervently and hopefully. While thus praying, something fell down from the ceiling onto the box on which I was sitting and I saw it was the globe. I shook with fear. 'Child,' said the voice, 'God sends me here. You are cured. You can now go wherever you wish. You are cured. Walk, stand, do as you like, your cross has been taken from you.' " From this time his health was perfect and there was no relapse.
(The Theosophist, Vol. XXII., p. 764.)
It may quite reasonably be asked, why should the helping Intelligence use the form of a globe? From the study of a number of like cases, it would seem that if the Intelligence understood the fluidic nature of etheric matter, as reasonably it would, it could manipulate it as readily as a boy could shape his snowball. The form, then, which would be used as the channel for the Health Life, would only need to be such as best fitted the boy's own desire nature, one which would excite the least fear. The Intelligence could work and speak through a globe of ether, as easily as through any other etheric form. In the cases so far studied, the form usually seems to be the image of some high ideal of the individual. If a Christian, the Virgin Mary or the Christ; if a Hindu, Shri Krishna. But if no religion, if no ideal is held there might be no vision and probably there would be only the healing in evidence.
"I had known for some time that I was overworking, but supposed that I could overcome the complaining of my body as I had done in the past, and rise above physical conditions. But one morning, after a more than usual strenuous week of mental and physical labor, I realized that I was really ill. A dear physician friend was sent for. At her next visit, a few hours after, she brought another friend for consultation, and I soon found myself in the hands of doctors and a trained nurse.
"The one condition that was dominant above the complications that arose was a feeling that my spine had taken its departure, and that only a large hollow tube existed in its place. That feeling of the tube was most peculiar, and unpleasant, and all faculty for consecutive thought seemed nil. After a week had passed I was cognizant of faint odors, as of fresh herbs and resins, such as one might get in a great piney forest. It seemed familiar, and made me think of an occurrence in southern California, where I had been a few weeks before. I did not just know where the odors came from, but it seemed as if there lay a healing balm within the perfume, if I could only get enough of it - it had been vary faint.
" remember thinking, in a sort of dreamy way, that if I could breathe in a quantity of that balmy fragrance it would have a curative effect on my spine.
"One evening as I was lying quietly, wishing some help could come to relieve that awful hollow feeling (for it seemed as if I might lose consciousness otherwise), I suddenly found my myself deeply inhaling those odors. Then a, to me, most wonderful thing happened. I could see H. P. Blavatsky standing close by my side, holding her beautiful hands (one arched over the other, the tips of the fingers of the one hand touching the palm of the other, thus making a hollow space between) from whence issued the fragrance I was inhaling. I was almost startled, and the tears began to come, but I knew I must control my emotions. I felt so humble. Why should this great Soul come to me? It had not been my karma to know her personally. The thought came, 'Oh! did you bring the odors? I thought they might come from southern California today.'
"Speaking in French, she said: 'It is just as easy to convey it from Thibet as from Los Angeles.' The words were not spoken in human language. Those who had like experiences will know that there is a method of communicating thought without using articulate sounds. I went on inhaling the perfume and could feel a change going on within my body.
"Presently a peculiar thing happened. The figure of H. P. B. disappeared, and a tall, dark man stood there, his hands in the same position. The the odors faded, and the figure disappeared. It all seemed so wonderful that H. P. B. should come to me and bring that healing power. In that short time I felt my spine renewed, and in three days' time it was quite normal. The fragrance came fainter and fainter each day. I think I did not notice it after the fourth day."
This was a very sensible, matter-of-fact physician. The fact that the "helper" came in the form of a revered and living teacher is interesting, and emphasizes the statement made in Chapter IV concerning human helpers on the invisible planes. In this case the patient's etheric sense center of smell became a part of the channel for the Health-Life. Not infrequently well people sense odors when none are physically near. The physical senses are only the counterparts in gross matter of the real sense faculties in finer matter whose powers are not so limited in time and space.
Putting aside many fully verified and equally interesting cases, we will take up a cure of the same nature, which has, through newspaper discussion, been almost world-wide celebrity. This is done in order to bring out further points regarding the rational elements in occult cures. The story is a typical illustration of this, the story of Miss Dorothy Kerin, of London, England.
During her seven years of illness, much of which time she had been bed-ridden, thirty-seven doctors had been called in to see her, and although during the first years of the illness there had been much talk of "hysteria" and "malingering," it was finally recognized that some disease did exist. The disease had reached a point where all the advanced phases of tuberculosis of the lungs were well marked, and so admitted by the physicians attending her at the time. Her case had been officially registered by the attending physicians under the Compulsory Notification of Consumption Act.
We make our synopsis of the story from the published account of Dr. E. L. Ash, her family physician. On Sunday evening, February 18, 1912, she was and had been for several days in a comatose state. The relatives were gathered round what they believed to be her death bed. Suddenly those present were surprised to hear her say very slowly, "I'm listening." Her own version of the facts tell the story fully.
"In my sleep something said 'Dorothy' three times distinctly. And I said, 'Yes, I'm listening - who is it?' And then the Voice said, 'Listen!' And then I felt two warm hands take hold of both of mine and lift them up and put my hands on my eyes, and then put them down again. The Voice then said, 'Dorothy' again, after it had put my hands down.
"Then there was a beautiful light which flashed over the screen at the corner of the foot of the bed. The light came right over the bed - and at the back of it was a beautiful Angel. It had got my hands in its hands - and put them onto my eyes - and then it said:
"'Dorothy! Your sufferings are over! Get up and walk!'
"My eyes came open and I looked round and saw them all - my relations - round my bed. And I said 'I want my dressing-gown; I want to walk.'
"My mother then tried to hold me down in bed, and the Voice - which had together with the light come to here (showing a place near the left side of her face) again said: 'Get up and walk.'
"My mother said, 'You must not get up.' And I said to her, 'Can't you hear it?' and she couldn't.
"Then after all they gave me the dressing-gown, and some of the light from the foot of the bed came round by me and I put my hand on it, and I got out of bed and followed it, and it went straight to the door, and then I walked straight out of the passage into the little room at the end of the passage to see if my stepfather was there, to find him. And he wasn't there, so I went right back into the front room again.
"The light was still on my hand, and I went out of the door again, and down the passage and into the little room, where he (my stepfather) was then.
"And then I went right back to the front room and sat down on a chair and the light joined itself to the other piece of light again (a portion of this had wandered over the bed) and disappeared over the screen, where it had come from.
"When I sat down in the chair, they (my relations) were all shaking and frightened. And my stepfather fell down on the floor and started crying, in an attitude of prayer.
"And I said, 'Why are you so frightened? I am quite, quite well!'
"And I told them I felt as though I could eat some supper. And I had it, and ever since I have been quite well and strong, without even the least bit of pain - not even tired."
Two other visions occurred to her, the last one on Mars 11th, when her restoration to health was fully admitted by all who saw her.
"I suddenly heard a Voice say 'Dorothy!' Then I woke and sat up in the bed; and that great beautiful light came all over the bed again, from the foot, until it came right up all around me; and then in the middle it opened, and there was a beautiful, beautiful woman's face, with a halo on the head.
"The shoulders and arms followed the head out of the light. In her right hand she had a beautiful Annunciation lily - a big one - and she was holding both her hands up like that - (extending her arms and raising them until the hands were just above the level of the head.)
"And then she said: 'Dorothy, you are quite well now. God has brought you back to use for a great and privileged work. Many sick will ye heal in your prayer and faith. Comfort the sorrowing! Give faith to the faithless!' Then she said: "Many rebuffs you will have, but remember, you are trice blessed. His grace is sufficient for thee, and He will never leave thee!"
"Then she made the sign of the cross on me with her beautiful lily, and it came right on my face, so that I could smell the scent of it. Then she said, 'Now sleep, child!' I did not see her go away, but after she was gone the room was full of scent of the lily. Then I slept until the morning."
In a letter Dorothy says: "There is a science of religion as well as a science in every phase of the material world. The old thought that God and His holy Angels dwell far away in Heaven is inconceivable. We live ever in their presence. The holy Angels are ever with us to protect and guide, and to bring all things to our knowledge. Their nearness has been revealed to me often - most frequently, out in God's great cathedral of Nature, where trees, flowers, birds, are expressions of His thoughts, and praise Him in their beauty. In my own case I realize that my long illness and quietness prepared me to receive a message from unseen which health and success and ambition sometimes shut away."
"The facts remains," states Dr. Ash, "that she has been well ever since her remarkable recovery."
The comments upon the case have been many and varied. Some, even medical men, have scoffed at the statement, and denied the possibility of such cure; but we may safely put against these, the opinion of the many doctors in the case, some of whom were expert diagnosticians. Others again have said that "the form assumed was a hypnotic suggestion conveyed by the apparition to the sub-consciousness of the percipient." While this is a definite admission that the apparition itself was a conscious, intelligent entity, yet, neither in the "hypnotic suggestion," nor in the "apparition," nor in the" sub-consciousness of the percipient" do we seem to find a satisfactory explanation of the main fact in the case, viz.: there was a inflow of the Health-Life so full, so free, that the whole body was instantly revitalized, the whole inner nature at once changed from fear to courage, from doubt to faith, from helplessness to strong will in action.
Another view claimed that the vision was a thought-form built up by the patient from the religious teachings of her childhood. Even supposing this to have been true, as it may or may not have been, such a possible thought-form had never so far as known previously manifested any life in it. Whence came, then, all the conditions of a living, vital, radiant being, able to speak and otherwise comport itself as humans do? Something seems to be lacking in such an explanation. There is an unknown quantity, a potent Life, manifesting through all the phenomena of form; and it is this Life which we would reverently, scientifically seek for and find. It is true that one body of scientists denies to science the right to concern herself with ultimate causation, but it would seem to be very limited scientific outlook which, because a particular had been found, would refuse to consider a universal and even deny its existence. Every form is a universal, particularized by life. Both must be investigated. Neither life nor form are outside the realm of true, all comprehensive science. We will now take such clues to the scientific occult aspects of this case as we have found, and with them, seek for more.
The real question is: How and through whom was the instantaneous cure accomplished? Analyzing the different elements set forth enter into Occult Healing, it would seem that neither planetary relations alone, nor elemental essence alone, nor thought-forms alone, nor polarization alone, nor all combined could have gathered the Health-Life into that devitalized body which for five days had lain in an inactive, comatose state, permitting the Self, the "I am" consciousness, but very faintly to express its powers through it; though reasonably all these factors may have had their special part to perform in the cure. Let us look into the statement of Miss Dorothy herself, that "It was an angel."
The most illuminating study upon the Healing Devas or Angels of which we know, is that to be found in "Man; Whence, How, and Whither?" by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater.
In Chapter XXIV, entitled, "Religions and Their Temples," we find a description, as seen by the higher clairvoyance, of how a Healing Angel does his work. The great Order of Healing Devas belong to the type identified by Christian Mystics with the hierarchy of the Archangel Raphael. Each of these healing angels has special cases in his plans of service, which during the Temple worship he brings before the great Deva Teacher, presenting them as his devotion offering to the Logos, with the thought that thus he throws himself and his life into the healing of souls and minds and bodies, as his sacrifice to the Logos. The outstreaming sacrifice from each such Deva, showing as luminous colors of sunset green interspersed with the darker greens, are gathered into a focus by the Deva Teacher, and are sent up by him to a circle of healing Devas above, and through them to the Chieftain of the Healing Ray, who once more presents this aspects of the World to the Logos. When they thus offer themselves and their thoughts, there comes back a great flow of response. It seems as though the Logos pours Himself, rays Himself through His higher Devas into them, and then again out through them to the objects of their sympathy. The culmination of their sacrifice is to be an active agent for His action.
It is reasonable, from the standpoint of the world-scriptures, and from the statements of the Mystics of all ages, as well as the confirmation of present-day experiences, that a Healing Angel had quietly watched the progress of mind and body in this case, and patiently waited for the psychological moment, the fitting time to come, to become the active agent for the kind of healing needed. As the Health Life raying out along positive lines, through the Angel, touched the etheric atoms of the three bodies, every molecule, every organ, every fluid would spring into action with the new Life and the healing be accomplished.
One very important fact should be noted. The healing was for a purpose. Dorothy was given a work to do. "Comfort the sorrowing. Give Faith to the faithless." May she indeed become a world-helper.
Another view of this great subject is one, not of healing but of endurance of pain, such as that of Theodorus the Martyr, mentioned in the early part of this chapter. One phase of this power of endurance, with some at the present day, grows out of the recognition that for ages we have by resistance of personal suffering thrown off from us our own justly earned pain. We have thrown it out into the great maelstrom of world pain, making the world's suffering greater on account of it.
Recognizing this, there develops in the heart a great longing to lessen the world pain, a willingness to bear one's own when it comes, to pull it out, as it were, from the great seething world mass, and burn it up by suffering it oneself. To illustrate: In a case of severe inflammation of the brachial nerve plexus, the pain was excruciating. But the higher Self was beginning to rule its bodies. The soul was growing strong and was trying to lessen the world pain, and the reply when help was urged was to this effect: "Through the ages past, I have rebelled against pain, and have thrown it off, not caring what became of it so long as I was free. Now I shall bear it, burn it up with will to relieve the world suffering to that extent at least." Here service is rendered in two ways: lessening the world pain by bearing it oneself, and the angel helpers are left free for other work.
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