This is an essay taken from Flora Wood’s discourse notes. Flora Wood was an initiate of Great Master Sawan Singh and later went on to become Master’s representative in the UK. She also authored the book In Search of the Way. In this essay she talks about the 40 day period which Jesus spent in isolation and the various aspects of spiritual healing from the point of view of Jesus.
Having reached the Regions of Mind in the Master’s Radiant Company, we are advised not to be complacent, but to realize all we now meet will have a dual aspect – an image and a reality. The image will increasingly resemble the reality to such an extent as to be very often mistaken for it; indeed, we would not perceive the reality were we not blessed with Master’s spiritual insight. We should therefore never leave His presence even for an instant. To understand this, let us take spiritual healing as an instance and, guided by Sant Mat examine it from the point of Christ’s ministry.
In the earliest weeks after His initiation into spirituality by John the Baptist, Jesus went into the desert and undertook a period of meditation. These ‘vigils’ are invariably taken by all great Masters at a time when, having connected the Sound Current to the ‘personality’ at the time of their own initiation, the ‘personality’ reaches the point where it surveys its future ministry as a whole – all the karma involved, both good and bad, the whole mass of karmas of whom they are destined to initiate – their marked sheep. They survey all the temptations of mind that they are likely to undergo, just as Christ was tempted by Satan, in the same way as all or any one of His disciples would be tempted. This is surveyed in a high mind plane during meditation (forty days of it, and the desert spoken of, was the aridity of the mind). He not only surveyed it but was tempted by it for two reasons. It was necessary for His ministry to carry complete conviction to those from whom his message was meant. To do so he had to be seen to have been subjected to all the temptations his disciples were going to suffer, and to have surmounted them. Thus only could he prove that it was possible for a human being to rise above such karmas. The second reason is that no Master will nullify Kal’s laws. Being omnipotent, he had the power to release all the souls in the world in a single flash, saying: “There will be no more suffering, sin or death,” (thus prematurely dissolving this mortal world, but this is not God’s purpose when he brought it into being), but as all Sat Gurus do in obeying the will of the Lord and at the same time exerting their far-seeing compassion, He agreed to obey the karmic rules of His creation in the same way in which His children has to obey them, and still to demonstrate the possibility of surmounting them so as to be able to go back to the Supreme Father. So doing, He also demonstrated the ability to shed the lower mind with its round of Karma and reincarnation, without invoking the miraculous powers of the higher mind (i.e. the Riddhis and Siddhis) to work miracles in order to better the worldly visible lot of mankind without relation to their spiritual advancement – as an end in itself. During the lifetime of all perfect Masters, miracles do occur, but they are not an end in themselves, but a means to a spiritual end. If like them, we were in the position to examine the entire karmic aspect of each situation ourselves having supreme insight, then we would see the whole karmic load of the beneficiary of the miracle. We would see whether he was in a fit state to gain permanent spiritual benefit from the sure – i.e. that it should come about in association with the permanent spiritual emancipation, and not just to relieve the worldly distresses and distraints of blindness, lameness, leprosy, or even death, which are, after all only symptoms of the mental state of mind. If only the curing of the body had been Christ’s mission, he could have brought it about at the beginning of creation, by giving us never failing, built-in, self-curing mechanism. For some reason connected with our past karma, which we cannot, with our physical minds, at present understand, we have to undergo these sufferings so that we may learn by experience to purify the mind which causes them. It is all a part of the divine plan. Curing the physical symptoms will nullify the mental disease, but if it is almost ‘burnt out’ and is negligible in relation to the disciple’s faith in his Master then, in some cases the very fact of purifying the small remaining mental stress will remove the symptoms permanently. It may look spectacular but very little physical miracle is involved and the all-important spiritual lesson is underlined by it in the beneficiary’s mind. By far the greatest miracle is the unseen cure of the mind itself. Christ, in some cases did give his power to his disciples, but he never told them ‘teach others to heal.’ A Master will never infringe upon the ministry of a Master of the future.
So what happens is the uninformed or the semi-informed student of spirituality takes upon himself the task of curing the sick. Let us take it subjectively. He may have a limited skill, (due to past good karmas) to bring about the cures he undertakes. His stock, however, still consists mainly of higher mind-power and is subject to mind, for he has not yet truly contacted his soul area. He is moved by the immediate compassion mixed with emotion (I-cannot-bear-to-see-such-suffering type of emotion) we all feel to a greater or lesser degree, accordingly to our own sensitivities, caused by the interplay of karma). This pity is not divinely fully informed of all karma involved, our own very much included, and is mixed up very subtly with ego, and therefore we are unable to see the complete karmas of the people we seek misguidedly to relieve. We invoke this great power (spirit veiled in mind and senses) to bring about a change in the person we are trying to help, drawing on our own very limited stock to do so, and depleting it still further.
When the woman with the issue of blood was cured, Jesus himself demonstrated that a payment to Kal must be made by anyone who undertakes miracles, (even a Master), when He said: “Who touched me…for I perceived that virtue is gone out of me.” Our stock being limited, is severely depleted when we seek to work miracles. His being limitless, would easily stand the strain without the least harm to his own spiritual well-being. This miracle was performed to demonstrate this very truth. He did not say “virtue is gone out of my Father” but “out of me,” i.e. Him in his human state, involved in body and mind – not his Father’s in heaven above mind. Unless we are consciously connected with the reservoir of the infinite then we deplete our limited ‘bank’ of virtue and suffer loss accordingly. Unless we are given a mission personally, by a physically living Master to cure in His name, we are the losers. We only delude ourselves if we assume that mission once he is no longer on this plane, in the same way one cannot baptize oneself. Even Christ’s disciples were limited in their ability to cure as in the case of the lunatic boy: (Matthew 17:14-21) “…there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying Lord have mercy on my son; for he is a lunatic and sore vexed; for oft-times he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you, bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples of Jesus apart, and said, why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
This indicates very clearly that we must be under the direct influence of a living Master, subject to his personal guidance before we may assume that which we are doing is for our own spiritual benefit as well as for that of those we seek to cure. They had apparently not fully understood the way karma works and they, even they, his near and dear disciples, had not had enough faith. How, therefore can anyone in all humility, at this distant time, assume that they are doing what is best for both themselves and the object of their pity in Christ’s name.
If we examine the language used in connection with the miracles Jesus worked, we find they were accompanied by significant injunctions which are apt to be overlooked in the amazement of the physical alteration. “Go and sin no more,” And he charged them: see that no man knoweth it.” (Matt. 9:30) “See thou tell no man.” (Matt. 8:4) To divulge what was primarily a spiritual benefit, means spiritual loss.
Again, Jesus asked if it was easier to say “Son they sins are forgiven thee” or to say “Arise and walk.” He clearly meant that it was much more to the point to cure the soul so that it may be relieved of the physical pain in the worldly sense. The bodily cure was incidental to the far greater spiritual purification. A clear demonstration of the subordination of the image to the reality.
Should it not occur to us when we conduct spiritual healing that we are assuming God needs to be asked by us(ourselves full of sin) to forgive another’s sins and thus cure him physically when we are incapable of seeing the whole Divine Plan. We cannot have understood that the sinner’s suffering is a part of that plan since we are assured that no sparrow can fall without His foreknowledge. However we may disclaim it, spiritual healing on our own initiative inflates our ego, and encourages a spiritual loss in the object of our pity, thus involving us both in rebirth, for there are no short cuts to spirituality.
The power Christ gave his disciples “to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt. 10:1) was the ability to turn the already willing soul Godward. All sickness and disease are automatically cured thereby though the physical symptoms may persist for a life or two, till the ego is sufficiently exorcised from the mind and the karmic balance is favourable. His miracles were he curing of the illness of the higher mind: mind-leprosy, mind-blindness, mind-dumbness, and the raising up of the dead was the ultimate saving of souls from having to return to the round of karma and reincarnation.
Our present Master sums up the whole situation beautifully when He says: “If we use supernatural powers that we have gained through meditation, we do it always at our own expense. We lose what we have gained. The Lord does not bestow that power on us to become His rival. He just gives it to us for our own benefit, to clear our own karmas, and clear our own path, to go back to Him. If we start using those supernatural powers for other purposes, we inflate our ego and we lose what we have. So I personally advise satsangies never to dabble in these things at all.”
What is our only duty in life? – To find our way back to the Father. Our spiritual consciousness is so fitful that if we use it with misguided compassion to help others we are trying to go in two directions at once: outward to assuage the physical and mental worries of others, and inward to God; whereas God should be our only goal, both in them an in ourselves. There are two forms of compassion: absolute compassion, unconnected with ego, which only a fully evolved soul can evince, and the compassion such as we know here, one of a pair of opposites and containing an element of emotional sentiment. If one feels the latter type of compassion for someone there is always a subconscious tendency to think of oneself as being slightly better than them (otherwise we should not be in the position of pitying them). One should not, however smother feelings of compassion altogether, but any action towards the alleviation of another’s suffering should not take the form of drawing on one’s own slender spiritual stock to do so; for it becomes extremely doubtful so to whether what is being invoked is indeed of the spirit.
This whole question would be much better understood if one fully believed that God has foreknowledge of our sufferings; they are a part of His divine plan which we have no power to bend or alter. The decision to suffer is taken at the moment when we decide to depart of His will, and sin; for suffering is the karmic outcome of the sin. Only the All-seeing Lord can show mercy and reduce or wipe out that suffering, if He thinks it is in our best spiritual interests to do so. Who are we to interpose our will upon the Divine Plan. This, of course, does not in any way preclude the use of medical or psychiatric means of relieving physical and mental ills and of extending compassionate help to others in the ordinary way.