Nov 17, 2017

Thoughts Along the Road - 13

Opening a New Path, Where no Path Exists

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance



* The mirror of wisdom is right action.

* Daily life works as a looking glass: in the way we look at each object or event, a part of our soul is reflected.

* A transcendent purpose creates in due time the opportunities for its fulfilment.

* The daily practice of inner discipline expands the effectiveness of one’s soul.

* In order to know what you will harvest as your destiny, examine what you are sowing now.

* Detachment regarding circumstances must be associated to sincere good will and solidarity.

* Dogs and books are among the best friends of man.

* In theosophy, one learns to develop a sort of detachment regarding all forms of anxiety. Through peace of mind, one sees facts better.

* When the soul attains the silence whose foundation is in peace and equilibrium, the higher self speaks with no words.

* Detachment grants us the necessary rest. A notion of duty and potentiality produces the energy that gives impetus to the good work.

* The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance.

* If you keep in touch with your own immortal and essential nature, you will see the Law of Justice unfailingly acting around you.

* Contentment does not result from external facts. Happiness depends instead on how we look at the outer reality, and in that, detachment is a key factor.

* An effective self-observation is practiced when the student examines both victories and failures as tools for the unfoldment of his sacred potentiality.

* Yoga is the strengthening of the bridge between the impersonal will of Atma, or higher self, and the lower levels of consciousness on the mental, emotional and physical levels of life.

* The victory of the learner can’t be obtained by force. If he tries his best at every instant and with a long-term perspective, he can know that victory will come to him in the right time and in proper ways.

* There is nothing like one victory after the other. But these victories must be small enough, so that they can endure; and our attitude towards them should be humble enough, for us to deserve them.

* Immortal wisdom teaches us the art and science of moderation and discernment. Undeserved satisfaction is short-lived and provokes a lasting pain. Those who deceive good-willing persons will sooner or later have to face the results of the mistakes made.

* He who complains about his suffering is not necessarily ready to get rid of it. To give up pain is not as easy as it seems. Wailing is a form of attachment to the cause of discomfort. He who wants freedom, acts, instead of complaining about the circumstances.

* When we are visited by the wish to lament about something, it is better say thanks. Right thoughts must replace the wrong ones, and gratitude leads us to wisdom. Mistakes must be fought, identifying right and wrong is of the essence, but being grateful elevates us.

* There is a vertical line uniting all levels of individual consciousness, and such union should be reasonably harmonious. One’s inner peace depends on the average degree of direct relation and positive interaction among world view, intention, words, attitude, and practical actions.

* True joy is a state of the soul, and the best smile comes from the heart, going in every direction. Invisibly smiling to oneself and all beings is as important as any kind of smile can be. And this is a result, among others, of an intense contact with one’s own higher, anonymous, self.

* To each acquisition there is a corresponding renunciation. Having a central focus in one’s life is not the same as saying to oneself that this or that goal is the main object in life. Having a central focus means to leave aside everything that is not in harmony with the main goal, or does not help attaining it.

* Discernment and severity are necessary along the spiritual path for one simple reason. The pilgrim must open a narrow Way in the middle of various good-willing falsehoods, pious frauds and sweetened forms of denying facts in the name of the devotion to a master, to a divinity, or to some “divinely inspired” bureaucratic organization.

* Opportunities emerge according to one’s goal. It is not enough to leave selfishness aside. One must have a valuable object during enough time, and search for it with sincerity and in a practical way, avoiding any excess of impatience. And then, it must be taken into consideration that the door will open little by little, showing perhaps unexpected realities and the need for a greater self-sacrifice.

* Every true source of inspiration is a mirror to the sacred potentialities of an individual. Once reflected in it, the light from above reveals whatever is of a higher nature, while burning out the different forms of attachment to ignorance. In this way ignorance becomes knowledge. Our mistakes play the role of wood, in the alchemical fire that sustains the enlightenment.

* Problems stand in line waiting for people. One should not be surprised when after successfully managing one challenge or two, another one or a couple of them immediately appear. Tests have to wait for one’s karma to get ripe enough to allow them to get visible. It is a privilege, therefore, to see “new and heretofore unheard of” problems which need to be solved. It means the previous agenda has been cleared, and we are ready for further steps.

* The higher aspects of the theosophical effort point to sky, and the lower ones point to earth.

* Some of the most important lessons to be learned result from observing the direct relation between the celestial and the terrestrial moments of the pilgrimage. According to the law of symmetry, everything that exists on the spiritual plane has a counterpart on the visible plane.

* One must not think that altruism is a synonym to submission, or obedience.

* Generosity includes renunciation. However, life is complex. Besides being able to renounce, one must have firmness and creativity. Altruism implies an ability to say “no” to selfishness.

* Courage is necessary to open a new path, where no path exists. Altruism is often politically incorrect: it may secretly offend many of those who prefer a different road. For one who has renounced honesty, it may be painful and challenging to see the inner peace of honest individuals.

* Real reason is never apart from feelings. Trying to separate thoughts from emotions is an outstanding factor in spiritual ignorance. Selfishness survives by fragmenting and isolating perceptions of life.

* The feelings behind our thoughts should be examined, so that we make sure we are honest to ourselves. There are many lessons to learn from observing in an impartial way our thoughts and emotions regarding our own actions, and regarding the actions of others.

* A significant degree of harmony among thought, emotion and action is of the essence in theosophy, even if contrast is natural wherever there is diversity. When a dynamic cooperation unites the various levels of consciousness, spiritual intuition is always present.

* Reality unfolds in patterns and cycles. Yin and Yang succeed each other like in the sequence of heart-beatings and day and night. The basic attitude to be adopted before life by the vigilant student of theosophy must anticipate the “predictable surprises” which present themselves in sudden ways, but are in fact cyclic and recurrent. By identifying and recognizing such events as repetitive and not really “unexpected”, one can take practical measures to reduce the impact caused by false surprises.

* In order to avoid unwillingly becoming whited sepulchres, people of good will must practice a constant self-examination on the individual plane. And there is also the need for a permanent self-observation on the collective level, in any association whose goals are noble and elevated. Such an ethical exercise is especially decisive for the theosophical movement and every initiative whose purpose is to work for the good of mankind.

* If your goal is distant and noble and elevated, you may think you can immediately take grand steps towards it. This is not always possible. A great goal usually generates small opportunities at first, to search for it. You will repeatedly try and fail, until the defeats teach you the sacred value of small steps, taken in the right direction. They are the key to a lasting victory. It should not be a surprise that the seeds of true wisdom are small. Yet you must remain vigilant regarding greater steps. When you are ready for them, the right opportunities may emerge any time.

* Let’s not deceive ourselves with the vision of a sad ethical crisis in Europe, United States and other countries around the world. The crisis is real and serious. It must be faced with severity, in its causes and its effects. However, the truth is that we are experiencing in various dimensions the first phase of a beautiful spiritual awakening, on a planetary scale. The initial moments of an awakening to ethics can be quite unpleasant. Later on, the best of it starts to emerge.

* The Universe can be described as the Law in movement, and as Truth in action. He who acts with sincerity is fundamentally in harmony with the eternal principle which regulates all things. But having a stronger degree of unity with the universe is uncomfortable. Those who follow this Path must face a significant number of tests and probations. Their sincere actions inevitably question all karmic structures based on illusion, and these are not small in number.

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Initial versions of the above fragments were published in the August 2015 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. They had no indication as to the name of the author.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.  

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Nov 13, 2017

The Yoga of Editorial Work

Right Action and Self-Discipline
in the Theosophical Movement

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

An example of proof-reading made by Helena Blavatsky during the preparation of
“The Secret Doctrine”. The fragment corresponds to pp. 577-578, volume II of the book.

[ Source of the image: Pasadena Theosophical Society ]



Since ancient time, the frontline of philosophical schools has been kept alive by editorial work, including research, writing, proof-reading and publishing. It has been so both in the East and the West, in Vedantic and Platonic literature alike.

The modern theosophical movement is no exception to the rule. Its main founders were notably its hardest-working authors, translators, researchers and editorial workers. The fact is well-documented that as long as the masters of the wisdom were in direct touch with the movement, they themselves took part in editorial tasks and actively helped the work of publications like “The Theosophist”.

The original Pedagogy of the Masters and Helena Blavatsky recommends a living process of research and study in which the dead-letter memorization is avoided.

The seemingly endless effort in proof-reading philosophical texts - among other editorial tasks - is a form of training. It develops abilities like patience, perseverance, flexibility, attention and concentration. Planning and the right use of time and energy are critically important.

Editorial work forces the student to research and expands the contact of his soul with the ideas discussed in the texts. Being an altruistic effort, the process has many an element of Karma Yoga. The practice teaches humbleness and self-examination, since the student will have to see his own mistakes on a daily basis, and if he is lucky he will have his mistakes shown by friendly readers and persons of good will.

These are some of the reasons why the inner vitality of the esoteric movement directly depends on the importance ascribed to the process of research and writing, while all the individuals involved try to expand both the quality of the work and the altruism of their motivation.

A theosophical association that is not centered on the active search for knowledge ceases to be a community of learning and becomes a community of automatic believers. Its official truths are subject to political negotiation and quietly arranged according to institutional interests.

When Courtesy Replaces Research

While political activity is normally based in corporate interests and superficial opinions, leading-edge research questions old established ideas and destroys attachment to mental routine.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, politics and organized belief have had too much power in the theosophical movement. In the various corporations, research, the practice of the teaching and the search for consistency became uncomfortable for the dominant order in the various corporations.

In the 21st century, the larger and more bureaucratic associations of the theosophical movement are governed by political processes and not by a living unfoldment of advanced study and research. In the esoteric circles which are large enough to be governed by politics, the Karma Yoga of altruistic action is less important, in defining leadership, than the politically correct smile and the art of looking like a saint. While this rosy atmosphere dominates in many an esoteric group, the true theosophical movement follows the example given by its founders.

A Practical Lesson from HPB

Helena P. Blavatsky teaches through her life. She did not spend her days making exercises in public relations. She challenged organized ignorance and fought the causes of human pain. Although her life was an uninterrupted practice of austerity, she adopted no idle form of self-discipline. She followed the discipline of self-sacrifice for a humanitarian goal, and was an editorial worker.

In 1883, during the theosophical attempt to create in India a daily newspaper which would be named “Phoenix”, Alfred P. Sinnett questioned the effectiveness of HPB’s office.

She then revealed to Sinnett some of the circumstances under which the theosophical work has to be done, if the goal is to defeat mental routine and transmit the ethics of universal wisdom:

“I would like to see you undertake the management and editing of Phoenix with two pence in your pocket; with a host of enemies around; no friends to help you; yourself - the editor, manager, clerk, and even peon very often, with a poor half-broken down Damodar to help you alone for three years, one who was a boy right from the school bench, having no idea of business any more than I have, and Olcott always - 7 months in the year - away! Badly managed, indeed! Why we have made miracles in rearing up alone, and in the face of such antagonism, paper, Society, and business in general. (…..) Please remember that while you in the midst of all your arduous labours as the editor of the Pioneer used to leave your work regularly at 4 after beginning it at 10 a.m. - and went away either to lawn tennis or a drive, Olcott and I begin ours at five in the morning with candle light, and end it sometimes at 2 a.m. We have no time for lawn tennis as you had, and clubs and theatres and social intercourse. We have no time hardly to eat and drink.” [1]

The above lines help describe the life of disciples and aspirants to wisdom.

Personal comfort is not their priority; and Damodar K. Mavalankar, whose life constitutes the most brilliant success story in the theosophical movement of all time, is here frankly described by HPB as outwardly “half-broken down”.

NOTE:

[1] “The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett”, TUP, Pasadena, CA, USA, 1973, 404 pp., see Letter XXVII, p. 57.

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An initial version of the above article was published at “The Aquarian Theosophist”, April 2017, pp. 9-11. It had no indication as to the name of the author.

000

On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.  

000 

E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Nov 11, 2017

A Prayer for Those Who Heal

With a Commentary from a
Theosophical Point of View

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A classic portrait of Saint Francis of Assisi



In one of her works, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross publishes a version of the famous prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, adapted to therapists and healers in general.

The prayer says;

LORD,
   Make me an instrument of your health:
where there is sickness,
   let me bring cure;
where there is injury,
   aid;
where there is suffering,
   ease;
where there is sadness,
   comfort;
where there is despair,
   hope;
where there is death,
   acceptance and peace.

GRANT that I may not:
so much seek to be justified,
   as to console;
to be obeyed,
   as to understand;
to be honored,
   as to love. …
for it is in giving ourselves
   that we heal,
it is in listening
   that we comfort,
and in dying
   that we are born to eternal life. [1]


The prayer is not limited to professional healers who perceive the ethical and spiritual dimension of their work.

Anyone who seeks for universal wisdom tends to radiate higher feelings and thoughts around him. Such individual thus becomes up to a certain point a healer, a therapist, and someone who spreads relief among those who suffer.

From a philosophical point of view, one must be able to see the difference between the Cure and the Anaesthesia; between the real relief of pain and the fruitless escape from it; true liberation and a limited struggle against the external effects of suffering. There is a subtle abyss between these two possibilities.

The treatment that leads to an effective elimination of suffering may not be pleasant at first sight.

Every patient who suffers from the disease of spiritual ignorance will have to recognize in his own self the adversaries called fear of healing and resistance to the remedy. These two opponents lead him to reject, in partially unconscious ways, the direct perception and first-hand experience of universal wisdom.

Both the therapist and the spiritual pilgrim must make one central fact clear to their fellow-beings:

That which is good, that which heals and does good, is not always pleasant; and, on the other hand, that which seems to be pleasant is often not good, does no heal, nor does good.

A certain degree of indifference to short-term pain is therefore unavoidable for the true healing to occur, be it physical or spiritual.

An attachment to personal satisfaction and the childish escape from everything that seems unpleasant are two twin sources of the internal imbalance that leads one to the absence of health, on the various levels of life.

When one is aware of these facts, the healing gets deeper and more enduring.

As long as the truth-seeker and the therapist are in full contact with the inner bliss and health, they will radiate courage, confidence and bliss around them. Wherever they are, they stimulate other beings to directly connect in their souls with the inner source of health and well-being.

Experienced therapists and theosophists avoid administering too much of short-term anaesthesia to others. Because of this, one needs a degree of discernment to recognize them, and far more discernment is necessary to gradually become a helping hand oneself.

In the long run, the path of healing is a process of self-realization, self-regulation and self-fulfilment, which occurs in an atmosphere of solidarity and in inner communion with other beings.

NOTE:

[1] “Prayer of Saint Francis”, modified by Charles C. Wise, and published as “Prayer for Healers” in the opening pages of the work “Death, the Final Stage of Growth”, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, USA, 1975, 182 pp.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Nov 9, 2017

Edward Bach, Herbalist

Flower Remedies Can Help Hasten
Our Purification and Enlightenment

Theosophy Magazine

Edward Bach, and his Office



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Reproduced from “Theosophy” magazine,
Los Angeles, April 1951 edition, pp. 245-251.

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“Disease is a kind of consolidation of a mental
attitude and it is only necessary to treat the
mood of a patient and the disease will disappear.
The remedies of the meadow and of Nature,
when potentised, are of positive polarity; whereas
those which have been associated with disease
[such as bacterial remedies] are of the reverse type…”

(Edward Bach)



One early morning in May, 1930, his biographer relates, as Bach “was walking through a field upon which the dew still lay heavy, the thought flashed into his mind that each dewdrop must contain some of the properties of the plant upon which it rested; for the heat of the sun, acting through the fluid, would serve to draw out these properties until each drop was magnetised with power.”

The thought-flash had come to a physician amply qualified to make practical use of the principle involved. It may well have been a reminiscence brought through from former lives, for even as a child Edward Bach [1] had been motivated by the conviction that there must be a simple form of healing which would cure all kinds of disease. He early and all during his life manifested that love of nature and of his fellow men, which was to culminate in his discovery of the healing faculties of the common herbs, flowers and tress so abundantly provided for man by Nature. As a boy in school, it is said, “He would also dream that healing power flowed from his hand and that all whom he touched were healed; and these were no schoolboy flights of imagination, but the inner knowledge of what was to come to pass, for ….. in after years he came to know he did indeed possess the power to heal, and many were the sick folk who were cured by his touch.”

The years between the dream and its accomplishment are briefly and simply recounted in the book from which these passages are taken: The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician, by Nora Weeks. Born in an English village in 1886, Edward Bach enrolled in Birmingham University at the age of twenty, and by 1914 had completed his medical training. He had decided to study all known methods of cure, but while practising, in turn, as a pathologist, bacteriologist, and homeopath, he never relinquished his aim of finding pure remedies to replace the complicated form of treatment which, for all their scientific validity, could offer no certainty of cure. Spending hours in hospital wards, he “saw how the process of healing was often painful, sometimes almost more painful than the disease itself, and this served to strengthen in him his conviction that true healing should be gentle, painless and benign.”

From the commencement of his career, Bach was searching for a more accurate and precise approach to diagnosis and treatment than ordinary medical methods afforded:

“As a medical student Edward Bach spent little time with his books; even then he felt that theoretical knowledge was not the best equipment for a physician, nor the perfect method of dealing with human beings who differed so greatly in their reactions to the diseases which affected their physical bodies.”

“To him the true study of disease lay in watching every patient, observing the way in which each one was affected by his complaint, and seeing how these different reactions influenced the course, severity and duration of the disease.”

“Through his observations he learnt that the same treatment did not always cure the same disease in all patients; for although perhaps five hundred persons, affected by a similar complaint, would react much the same way, yet there were thousands who reacted in a different manner, and the same remedy which would apparently cure some had no effect upon others.”

“Thus early in his search he had gained the knowledge that the personality of the individual was of even more importance than the body in the treatment of his disease.”


This perception recalls the philosophy of Paracelsus, who taught that “there is a great difference between the power that removes the invisible causes of disease, and which is Magic, and that which causes merely external effects to disappear, and which is Psychic [2], Sorcery, and Quackery.” (An interesting reversal of positions, for Paracelsus to consider that form of medicine which works solely with “external effects” as simply a form of Quackery!)

Bach had been serving as Casualty Medical Officer at University College Hospital, but he left his position and ventured into the field of bacteriology. He took with him his faith in his own intuitions, even when they conflicted with orthodox dicta, and he maintained his conviction that the personality of the patient was at least as important, if not more important, than the specific disease he suffered from. Concentrating on those chronic diseases which had hitherto defied the best efforts of the medical profession, Bach felt that he was on the track of a fundamental line of treatment when he discovered that persons suffering from chronic diseases had also a greatly increased number of certain bacteria present in the intestines.

After considerable investigation, Bach became convinced that a vaccine made from these intestinal bacteria and injected into the patient’s blood stream would cleanse the system of the poisons causing the chronic disease. While the results he obtained were “beyond all expectations”, he himself was dissatisfied with the injection method. Contacting Hahnemann’s Organon a few years later, however, he found himself in harmony with the homeopathic philosophy, and thereafter used the homeopathic system of preparation, administering his medicines orally.

Bach also succeeded in isolating seven distinct classes of intestinal bacteria and found, by working out the personality type in which certain bacteria predominated, that the bacterial groups corresponded to seven different and definite human personalities. This discovery naturally changed his method of diagnosis from one of physical examination of the disease, to a “mental” examination to determine the personality pattern of the patient. Miss Weeks remarks that “even at that time he was not at all pleased if he could not recognise the remedy a patient required in the time it took that patient to walk from the consulting room door to his desk.” Paracelsus, we will remember, made the same point, saying that if a physician knows nothing more about his patient than the patient himself tells him, he knows very little indeed. (We are informed by Miss Weeks that Bach had read Paracelsus with interest and profit.)

Although increasingly good results were obtained from his oral vaccines, named the Seven Bach Nosodes (which were enthusiastically received and used by allopaths and homeopaths alike), Bach himself desired more than a system of curing which employed the products of disease. In 1928 he began his studies in natural remedies, and put his whole faith in the healing powers of common herbs and flowers. At the age of 43, he resigned his profitable and highly- reputed work with the vaccines and devoted himself to devising a pure and effective method of potentizing herbs, committing himself utterly to his intuition that this was the right course to follow. Miss Weeks relates that he made a large bonfire of all the pamphlets and papers he had written on his former work, “smashed his syringes and vaccine bottles, throwing their contents down the laboratory sink.” Hereafter, Bach was to make no charge for his healing work, for he felt that what Nature gave so freely, he should likewise dispense without charge. This was his practice, henceforward, no matter what hardships it occasioned him personally.

Impelled by his own intuition, Bach joined the ranks of the mystics of all ages, among whom has ever prevailed a sense - when not a knowledge - of the unknown potencies of plants and stones. This knowledge is termed by H.P. Blavatsky a branch of Magic, and she wrote in Isis Unveiled (Theosophy Co., vol. II, p. 589):

“There are occult properties in many other minerals, equally strange with that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science, and useless to say, too, are unknown to it, except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish.”

The first three herbal remedies (Mimulus, Impatiens and Clematis) that Bach discovered, however, were incapable of producing as good a result as his vaccines did, and this he attributed to a difference in polarity, the vaccines possessing the required negative polarity, while the herbs were undesirably positive. That he considered polarity as an important factor is evident from his definition of disease: “Science is tending to show that life is harmony - a state of being in tune - and that disease is discord or a condition when a part of the whole is not vibrating in unison.” Theosophical students will recall that the subject of plant and mineral polarity is referred to in Isis Unveiled (vol. I, p. 137), where H.P.B. speaks of the varying susceptibility of both plants and animals to different rays of the spectrum, and terms these “differently modified electro-magnetic phenomena.” Space is given also (vol. I, pp. 264-265) to the polarity of precious stones.

How Bach finally discovered in a “flash” the secret of reversing the polarity of his remedies suggests his almost magical rapport with Nature. He collected from flowers sun-magnetized dewdrops, and so delicate were his sense perceptions that he was able to feel the vibrations and power emitted by any plant he wished to test, and his body reacted instantaneously. Miss Weeks tells us that “If he held the petal or bloom of some plant in the palm of his hand or placed it upon his tongue, he would feel in his body the effects of the properties within that flower. Some would have a strengthening, vitalising effect on mind and body; others would give him pains, vomitings, fevers, rashes and the like.” Toward the end of his life, he gained his last group of remedies in an entirely different way:

“For some days before the discovery of each one he suffered himself from the state of mind for which that particular remedy was required, and suffered it to such an intensified degree that those with him marvelled that it was possible for a human being to suffer so and retain his sanity; and not only did he pass through terrible mental agonies, but certain states of mind were accompanied by a physical malady in its most severe form.”

Since the laborious collection of individual dewdrops would be impractical, Bach evolved a new method of potentizing. He chose the best and brightest flowers of a field and floated them in a glass bowl filled with water (preferably from a clear stream nearby). When the flowers had stood in full sunlight for several hours of the morning, the water was impregnated with the power of the plant. Since the tincture thus obtained is prescribed in drops, one supply may last a life-time. A suggestive illustration of the absorptive powers of water is found in H.P. Blavatsky’s book Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Theosophy Co., pp. 143-144), where she describes ice as a “great magician, whose occult properties are as little known as those of Ether.”

Bach’s final philosophy, as summed up by Miss Weeks, deserves to be quoted at some length, for the truly phenomenal success of his Remedies in curing disease is squarely based on these premises:

“A small worry passing through the mind will cause a look of strain to appear upon the face, so a continued large worry will have a correspondingly greater effect upon the body; but in both cases so soon as the worrying thought has been removed and the peace and happiness of the mind restored, all the ill effects upon the body will go also.”

“Physical disease, being merely the results of the disorganisation of the function of the brain caused by such moods as worry, fear, shock, strain, was but a symptom itself, and therefore was no indication for the treatment a patient required. (…) ”

“Recognition of the fact that moods and states of mind were alone responsible for ill health would do much to dispel the fear of disease and of the dreaded names given to certain of them, so prevalent amongst both the sick and the healthy. Then, with the patient’s cooperation, his earnest desire to get well, there could be no incurable or chronic diseases, for fear of disease is one of the chief obstacles to be overcome in sickness, and the greatest hindrance to recovery.”

“The property of the new remedies would be that of so revitalising the whole personality that the patient would easily shake off his fears and worries, and with them the disease from which his body suffered.”

“The remedies used in medicine relieved the physical symptoms of disease, but they did not remove the underlying cause - the mood - and the patient was left without help to rise above his mental troubles. For most this was not easy, and for some almost impossible; hence the long-continued suffering of so many.”

“In acute disease, the result of violent or quickly passing moods, the disorganising effect upon the body was soon over; but when the mood was not so rapidly dispelled the disorganisation continued, gaining a stronger hold upon the organs and tissues, and the after-effects might become permanent, resulting in ‘chronic’ disease.”

“Yet even the so-called chronic and incurable diseases would clear up once the mind and brained regained their normal and wise control of the body.”

Edward Bach’s life was considerably shortened by his work, and so rigorous had been the demands on his final laboratory - his own body - that he died in 1936 at the age of fifty. In all, he had sought and found thirty-eight healing herbs, and he did not leave before fulfilling his aim of providing the layman with a simple method of preparing pure natural remedies for his own use. [3]

It is not much to say that Nora Weeks’ brief volume will be gratefully received by many students of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, especially by those who wish to understand the laws of man’s connection with Nature and the powers exercised by human thought and feeling. Merely to read of the wholesome experiments carried out by Bach and continued by many who have benefitted from his discoveries, does much to restore one’s faith in man’s kinship with the greater universe. Bach was undoubtedly a mystic and a magnetic healer, for on numerous occasions he cured diseases by the laying on of hands, and Miss Weeks records many instances of the clairvoyant powers that seemed to blossom in him after he left his orthodox medical practice and retired to live and work with Nature. It is significant - and fortunate - that Bach did not rest with powers which were peculiarly his own and non-transmittable, but persevered in his attempt to uncover a system whereby each man could be his own physician and cure self-imposed sufferings.

The essentially philosophic approach of the Bach method is evident in the emphasis on the patient’s mental outlook as the determining factor in physical disturbance or disease. It is impossible to read The Medical Discoveries without realizing more deeply that a fundamental philosophy - a science of life - is the foremost remedy for human ills of whatever nature. All else may temporarily alleviate, the best of medicine will restore the patient “to himself” simply, naturally, and directly, but self-knowledge alone can cure. The Bach Remedy News Letter reiterates Dr. Bach’s central thesis that it is the patient who has the disease, and not the disease which has the patient. From this it follows, and experience has shown Dr. Bach and his “Team”, that “the time taken for a patient to show improvement depends upon the patient and not upon the nature of his complaint.” There is no attempt to invade the integrity of another, for Bach declared: “Flower healing demands no delving into the patient’s sub-conscious in an endeavour to drag to the surface the object of his fears. People fear many different things, but it is the fear that counts….. The patient’s mood is usually indicated by his reaction to his physical complaint; work on that and administer the appropriate Remedy.” The Bach theory of health may be epitomized in his own words:

“Illness and disease, if we can only look at it aright, is a healing process of refinement and purification. If we can look at it in this light, it loses its terror. The Herbs are given to hasten our purification, our enlightenment, and hence, the work of illness being done, we can return to health.”

NOTES:

[1] A Welsh name, pronounced baych. (Note by “Theosophy” magazine)

[2] A 2017 NOTE: “Psychic” and not “Physic” as Franz Hartmann wrongly has it, in a book from which Theosophy magazine seems to have taken the quotation. We follow Alexander Wilder, instead of Hartmann. See Wilder’s article “Animistic Medicine”, in “Metaphysical Magazine”, vol. 21, no. 7, November, 1907, pp. 385-394. The quotation will be found at p. 387. The magazine is available online. (CCA)

[3] The two short works entitled Heal Thyself and The Twelve Healers are concise herbal manuals and have been kept in print by C. W. Daniel Co., Ltd., which is also the publisher of The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician. “Dr. Bach’s Team”, located at Mount Vernon, Sotwell, Wallingford, Berks, England, carries on his work, and began issuing, in March 1950, The Bach Remedy News Letter. This small periodical - a quarterly - contains amplifications of Dr. Bach’s theory and practice, together with reports of the work being done with his remedies in all parts of the world. The editors of the News Letter state, for example, that the Bach remedies “have been proved instrumentally to carry definite and measurable radiations. (All things are in a constant state of vibration, each with its specific vibratory rate.) There are some Practitioners who prescribe the Remedies radionically, others by means of radiesthesia.” (Note by “Theosophy” magazine)

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On Paracelsus, who is mentioned several times in the above article, see in our associated websites the article “Paracelsus and the Book of Nature” (by Carlos Cardoso Aveline) and the short story “The Rose of Paracelsus” (by Jorge Luis Borges).

Read in our associated websites the booklet “Health and Therapy”, of various authors, and the articles “Food as Sacrifice”, “Mahatma Gandhi’s View of Food” and “The Meals of the Pilgrim”.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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