Rosicrucian Writings Online
Are Miracles of Healing Possible?AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION OF A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION
By Royle Thurston
[From The Mystic Triangle September 1929]
WE hear it said constantly that many of the miracles recorded in the Bible, which are practically duplicates of miracles recorded in other sacred writings of the Orient, must be either exaggerations in statements, or misconceptions of the facts. So often is this point argued and so strongly, that we find a very large class of persons who doubt many of the other important passages of the Bible simply because they have no faith in the statements pertaining to the so-called miracles. This, of course, is tending to break down the religious faith of many people, and it is one of the important arguments used by the atheists of the atheistic society of America in the attempt to spread its horrible propaganda.
Most generally the ones who argue against the possibility of the miracles as recorded in the Bible and against any present-day miracles of healing are those persons who are somewhat familiar with a few of the physiological, pathelogical, and biological laws of the human body. Their knowledge of these laws and principles is so superficial that it is like all superficial knowledge of any kind--a dangerous thing. When we find a person who has only a little knowledge of a subject, he is very apt to have false conclusions derived from incomplete reasoning, resulting naturally from his lack of thorough insight; these false conclusions very seriously affect his thinking and acting. Often those persons who believe they have a fair understanding of all scientific principles will attempt to argue scientifically against any kind of miracles in healing. On the other hand, a few men, eminent specialists in medicine and surgery, who have been thoroughly trained in the material sciences relating to medicine and surgery, also claim that miracles are impossible and base their conclusions and beliefs upon their reasoning. Their reasoning is also faulty because their education has been limited to material laws of nature or the laws of material functioning in nature; broad and profound as their knowledge may be, it is still incomplete if it does not include an understanding of the metaphysical laws of life.
One of the arguments generally put forward by the superficially informed or by the learned physicians and surgeons is that a condition that has been established in the human body for sometime cannot be instantly changed by any miracle, even of a divine nature, since nature has certain fundamental laws which are immutable, and which require time and conditions for alteration or modification. They rightly argue that if an eye is mutilated or taken out of its socket in the head, a new eye cannot be grown in its place in the fraction of a second by any miracle because nature has certain laws for the growing of eyes and the development of such organs, and these laws require time. They also rightly argue that if a limb has been amputated, a new one will not grow in a moment by any miraculous application of any law, because limbs can be grown only by nature in certain ways requiring a certain length of time. Such persons also argue that if we take a perfectly normal arm and bandage it fast to the body in a cramped position, and leave it bandaged in this manner for several years, that it will become stiff and the muscles atrophied or below normal in size from non-use, and that the shrunken arm cannot be unbandaged and immediately put into good use by any miracles known to man or to the spiritual Masters. They say that only in the course of time, and in accordance with certain natural laws, can the shrunken and atrophied parts of the arm become normal in size again, and flexible enough to function so that the arm can be used in a normal manner.
Thus there is a certain amount of soundness and saneness in their arguments, or at least there seems to be, and we are always reluctant to question such statements because while our opinions differ, these persons have at least the benefit of rationalism on their side and they can produce a predominance of testimony to show that their conclusions are correct. Of course, if we accept the Bible statements and the miracles therein presented, we have evidence to the contrary. But, it is impossible to bring the evidence of the Bible into any argument with these persons, because they say that the witnesses to the Bible miracles are not dependable and that we are not sure that the miracles ever happened.
However, we find that occasionally something happens in these modern days that lends color at least to the possibility of miracles. Before telling you of one of these modern miracles, I would call your attention to the fact that we still adhere to that interesting proposition presented by James, the eminent psychologist, as stated a number of times in our lectures to the effect that, "It takes but the presence of one white crow to prove that all crows are not black." It takes but these occasional modern miracles to point out clearly the possibility of many of the miracles recorded in the Bible and in the sacred literature of the far East.
Now let us look at one of these modern miracles. Here in our own locality there has lived for a number of years a man who at one time was wealthy and prosperous in his business, but who was so injured in an accident that it left him with all of the lower part of his body and half of the upper part completely paralyzed. For twenty years he has lived in a wheel chair, hardly able to feed himself, and incapable of dressing himself, attending to his personal needs, or conducting any business to support himself in a financial way. Through the non-use of limbs and arms and hands, and part of the face for twenty years, the muscles and sinews of certain parts of his body had become subnormal in size and were considered atrophied by experts who had examined him. During the first years of his paralysis, his large income was spent rapidly through treatments, examinations, and tests by eminent experts and everything failed to give him the use of the paralyzed parts of his body. He finally became a poor man living almost on charity, despondent, hopeless, and in every way a pitiful case. I am sure that if we had seen him trying to struggle on his hands and knees down the highway of any one of our cities, we would have seen a cripple like unto those pictured and described in the Biblical stories. Certainly every physician and scientist, specialist, and renowned authority agreed that "nothing less than a miracle could restore life and action to the paralyzed parts." How freely these scientists and specialists make these statements when they find themselves balked in every attempt to bring relief to suffering humanity. I do not mean my words to be a criticism of the medical or surgical sciences and arts, and I know that most of these men speak honestly and with sincere conviction when they say that "nothing less than a miracle" can change the conditions of some of their patients. Yet, the irony of it all is that these same specialists and scientists who make such statements have little or no faith in the possibility of any miracle ever doing anything for anyone. Perhaps that is because they have been trained to think along certain lines and because miracles so seldom happen.
To return to the man who was paralyzed here in California, however, we want to say that in the last few years he became so despondent and such an outcast of society, so friendless, and homeless, in many ways, that he became obsessed with the idea that death or transition was the only way out of his permanent misery. If we, as mystics, or any scientist as a specialist would have dared to step forward and state in the presence of witnesses or in any literature or in a magazine article of this kind that there was a way by which the man could be instantaneously cured of his paralysis and in the twinkling of an eye given full possession of all of his body, so that he could stand erect and walk and use his hands and arms and face and other organs and parts of his body in a normal way, we would be criticized and the finger of ridicule and charlatanism pointed at us. Who among us is brave enough to face this sort of thing in our own communities? Perhaps the thought of ridicule causes many of us to keep our thoughts to ourselves and in silence perform our duties, remaining contented with the knowledge which we have, but which we hesitate to proclaim before the doubting multitudes. Certainly, to have claimed that this man in this city could have been cured so instantly as to be a miraculous cure of an instantaneous nature would have been to invite serious comment of a critical nature. And who would have believed it?
But just see what happened. In his despondency the other day, this poor, crippled, hopeless man decided to commit suicide. To make sure that he would bring about transition in a quick and positive manner, he placed himself in a full tub of water, turned on the gas, and decided that if the gas overcame him, his body would slip into the water and drowning would bring about his transition. Then he added a third method to his plan, and decided to cut the upper artery of his throat with a razor blade. This he did. But before the loss of blood could bring transition to him, or the gas or water end his life, he was discovered in his predicament and hastened to a hospital. There the flow of blood was stopped and consciousness was gradually restored in a few minutes. Upon the return of consciousness, the nurse, the physicians, and the friends of the man were startled to find that his paralysis had left him and that he was capable of moving every part of his body. The case caused widespread interest, specialists called to see him, and the man is today rapidly recovering from the self-inflicted injury and is ready to start life over again in full possession of his faculties and the functions of his body, and capable of carrying on in a normal manner. This is not the only case that we have on record in our files at Headquarters similar to this. We know of a number of instantaneous cures that came about, not through metaphysical treatment, not through any act that was intended to cure or relieve the condition. The outstanding fact, however, is that either by an injury or shock to the nervous system, an instantaneous change was brought about in the physical or mental body which restored it to a normal condition, and in that way a natural miracle--if we may use that term--was performed. This fact proves that such cases are not hopeless, even though medicine and surgery have not learned the secret of these instantaneous cures. It proves, furthermore, that nature does not always require time and certain conditions for the restoration of health or normality. And such cases open up this possibility: If a material effect upon the nervous or mental system can result in an instantaneous reaction upon the physical body, may we not find some metaphysical means of applying such a stimulus to the nervous and mental body as would bring about the same result? This is something for the members of our Order to think about, and perhaps we will have more to say about this subject in future issues.
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