Read Summary of Health and Healing
- 1 What is Health and Healing?
- 2 What Health and Healing is Not
- 3 What are the Different Types of Healing?
- 4 What Health and Healing is in Different Parts of Being?
- 5 What is Health and Healing in Relation to Other Qualities?
- 6 Why is Health and Healing Important?
- 7 What Happens when Health and Healing is Not Present?
- 8 Why is Health and Healing Important for Physical Well-Being?
- 9 How to Cultivate Health and Healing?
- 9.1 What are the Prerequisites?
- 9.2 What is the Process?
- 9.3 How Does the Physical Healing Happen?
- 9.4 How to Deal with Pain?
- 9.5 Useful Practices
- 9.6 Useful but Limited Practices
- 9.7 Common Errors
- 9.8 Examples
- 9.9 How to Cure an Illness?
- 9.10 How to Heal in Different Parts of the Being?
- 9.11 References
What is Health and Healing?
It is good health, a solid body, well poised; when one does not have the nerves of a little girl that are shaken by the least thing; when one sleeps well, eats well.... When one is quite calm, well balanced, very quiet, one has a solid basis and can receive a large number of forces. If anyone among you has received spiritual forces, forces of the Divine Ananda, for example, he knows from experience that unless he is in good health he cannot contain them, keep them. He begins to weep and cry, gets restless to expend what he has received. He must laugh and talk and gesticulate, otherwise he cannot keep them, he feels stifled. And so by laughing, weeping, moving about he throws out what he has received. To be well balanced, to be able to absorb what one receives, one must be very quiet, very calm. One must have a solid basis, good health. One must have a very solid basis. That is very important. 
Good health is the exterior expression of an inner harmony. We must be proud if we are in good health and not despise it. 
All the circumstances of life are arranged to teach us that, beyond mind, faith in the Divine Grace gives us the strength to go through all trials, to overcome all weaknesses and find the contact with the Divine Consciousness which gives us not only peace and joy but also physical balance and good health. [Based on Aphorism 382] 
Health too is like that. The body will feel quite fine, and suddenly, as soon as some old movement comes back, ah... things will grate and cry, oh!... But the consciousness (in the body, I mean) is growing clearer and clearer, more and more precise. 
When I came down this morning I didn't want my cold to disturb the meditation with X, and this immobility came (Mother brings down her fists, showing a solid mass descending). It's what he uses for healing and I must say that the same thing happens to me, even when it doesn't come from him: a Force that seizes everything, stops everything—no more vibrations, an immobility. 
To feel and love the God of beauty and good in the ugly and the evil, and still yearn in utter love to heal it of its ugliness and its evil, this is real virtue and morality. [Based on Aphorism 49] 
Health as a Power?
What people generally call "healing power" is a very great mental or vital power that imposes itself through the resistance of Matter—but this isn't that at all! It's the contagion of a vibration. And then it's irrevocable. 
You were in a sort of golden light, rather solid, and then from here (the throat) down to here (the solar plexus), there were all the Tantric colors, you know, all the shades. I don't know if you have ever seen them: the Tantrics have an atmosphere with all the colors, not mixed together but side by side. It's a kind of "chart of powers," and according to the color they select and pick out, or use, it serves one purpose or another: one is for health, another for progress, another for understanding, and so forth. 
Health in its Natural Form
For nearly forty years behind the wholly good I was weakly in constitution; I suffered constantly from the smaller and the greater ailments and mistook this curse for a burden that Nature had laid upon me. When I renounced the aid of medicines, then they began to depart from me like disappointed parasites. Then only I understood what a mighty force was the natural health within me and how much mightier yet the Will and Faith exceeding mind which God meant to be the divine support of our life in this body. [Based on Aphorism 382]
And then you will see. When one is normal, that is to say, unspoilt by bad teaching and bad example, when one is born and lives in a healthy and relatively balanced and normal environment, the body, spontaneously, without any need for one to intervene mentally or even vitally, has the certitude that even if something goes wrong it will be cured. The body carries within itself the certitude of cure, the certitude that the illness or disorder is sure to disappear. It is only through the false education from the environment that gradually the body is taught that there are incurable diseases, irreparable accidents, and that it can grow old, and all these stories which destroy its faith and trust. But normally, the body of a normal child—the body, I am not speaking of the thought—the body itself feels when something goes wrong that it will certainly be all right again. And if it is not like that, this means that it has already been perverted. It seems normal for it to be in good health, it seems quite abnormal to it if something goes wrong and it falls ill; and in its instinct, its spontaneous instinct, it is sure that everything will be all right. It is only the perversion of thought which destroys this; as one grows up the thought becomes more and more distorted, there is the whole collective suggestion, and so, little by little, the body loses its trust in itself, and naturally, losing its self-confidence, it also loses the spontaneous capacity of restoring its equilibrium when this has been disturbed. 
What is Aesthetic Sense?
To this general education of the senses and their functioning there will be added, as early as possible, the cultivation of discrimination and of the aesthetic sense, the capacity to choose and adopt what is beautiful and harmonious, simple, healthy and pure. For there is a psychological health just as there is a Physical health, a beauty and harmony of the sensations as of the body and its movements. As the capacity of understanding grows in the child, he should be taught, in the course of his education, to add artistic taste and refinement to power and precision. He should be shown, led to appreciate, taught to love beautiful, lofty, healthy and noble things, whether in Nature or in human creation. 
Health as in Physical Beauty
I have said that from a young age children should be taught to respect good health, physical strength and balance. The great importance of beauty must also be emphasised. A young child should aspire for beauty, not for the sake of pleasing others or winning their admiration, but for the love of beauty itself; for beauty is the ideal which all physical life must realise. Every human being has the possibility of establishing harmony among the different parts of his body and in the various movements of the body in action. Every human body that undergoes a rational method of culture from the very beginning of its existence can realise its own harmony and thus become fit to manifest beauty. When we speak of the other aspects of an integral education, we shall see what inner conditions are to be fulfilled so that this beauty can one day be manifested. 
What Health and Healing is Not
From the standpoint of health, it's terrible. And "health" doesn't exist, it means nothing; it no longer means anything. "Disease" no longer means anything, it really doesn't: it's distortions of vibrations and shiftings of vibrations, and... (what can I call it?) encrustations—from the point of view of movement, it's like bottlenecks, and from the point of view of the cell, it's like encrustations: it's what remains of the old Inertia out of which we came. 
One thing that seems to be trying to come is the power to heal. But not at all as it's described, it's not that at all—it doesn't give the impression of "healing," you understand. It's ... putting things in order. But that's not it either.... It's a little something that disappears, and that little something is ... essentially it's the Falsehood. 
The cases of friction you speak of seem to me to arise from ordinary motives of discord and they are certainly not the results of any spiritual Force working to heal the dangers of social or vital attraction by the blessings (!) of personal discord. 
The body had based its sort of sense of good health on a certain number of vibrations, and whenever those vibrations were present, it felt in good health; when something came and disturbed them, it felt that it was about to fall ill or that it was ill, depending on the intensity. All that has changed now: those basic vibrations have simply been removed, they no longer exist; the vibrations on which the body based its sense of good or ill health—removed. They are replaced by something else, and something else of such a nature that "good health" and "illness" have lost all meaning! Now, there is the sense of an established harmony among the cells, increasingly established among the cells, which represents the right functioning, whatever that may be: it's no longer a question of a stomach or a heart or this or that. And the slightest thing that comes and disturbs that harmony is VERY painful, but at the same time there is the knowledge of what to do to reestablish the harmony instantly; and if the harmony is reestablished, the functioning isn't affected. But if out of curiosity, for instance (it's a mental illness in humans), you start asking yourself, "What's that? What effect will it have? What's going to happen?" (what the body calls "the desire to learn"), if you are unlucky enough to be that way, you can be sure (laughing) that you'll have something very unpleasant which, according to the doctor (according to ignoramuses), becomes an illness or disrupts the body's functioning. While if you don't have that unhealthy curiosity and, on the contrary, will the harmony not to be disrupted, you only have to, we could say poetically, bring one drop of the Lord on the troubled spot for everything to be fine again. 
Visions and experiences need not at all depend upon physical weakness or a pathological taint. It is not safe to judge from individual cases. The majority of those who have developed the faculty do not suffer from these defects. Those on the other hand who cannot keep their psychic experiences when in a robust state of health, lose them because then they get into a very external consciousness and feel at ease in it; but the true psychic does not depend for his experiences on disease. 
I don't know whether I can throw any positive light on X's mystic experiences. The description, at any rate the latter part, is not very easy to follow as it is very allusive in its expressions and not always precise enough to be clear. The first part of the experience indicates a native power of healing of whose action she herself does not know the process. It seems from her account to come from something in herself which should be, from the terms she uses, a larger and higher and brighter and more powerful consciousness with which she is in occasional communion but in which she does not constantly live. On the other hand another sentence seems to point to a Godhead or Divine Presence and it would then be not so much within as above. The language later on would seem to indicate such a Presence giving commands to her to guide others so that they might grow in consciousness. But she distinctly speaks of it as a greater "me" standing behind a blue diamond force. We must fall back then on the idea of a greater consciousness very high up with a feeling of divinity, a sense of considerable light and spiritual authority—perhaps in one of those higher spiritual mental planes of which I speak in The Life Divine and the letters. The diamond light could well be native to these planes; it is usually white, but there it might well be blue: it is a light that dispels or drives away all impure things, especially a demoniac possession or the influence of some evil force. Evidently, the use of a power like this should be carefully guarded from the intrusion of any wrong element such as personal love of power, but that need not cause any apprehension as a keen inlook into oneself would be sufficient to reject it or keep it aloof. I think that is all I can say upon the data given in her letter. 
The general question is a different matter. There is a sort of traditional belief in many minds that the practice of Yoga is inimical to the health of the body and tends to have a bad effect of one kind or another and even finally leads to a premature or an early dropping of the body. Ramakrishna seems to have held the view, if we can judge from his remarks about the connection between Keshav Sen's progress in spirituality and the illness which undermined him, that one was the result and the desirable result of the other, a liberation and release from life in this world, mukti. That may or may not be; but I find it difficult to believe that illness and deterioration of the body is the natural and general result of the practice of Yoga or that that practice is the cause of an inevitable breakdown of health or of the final illnesses which bring about their departure from the body. On what ground are we to suppose or how can it be proved that while non-Yogis suffer from ill health and die because of the disorders of Nature, Yogis die of their Yoga? Unless a direct connection between their death and their practice of Yoga can be proved—and this could be proved with certainty only in particular cases and even then not with an absolute certainty—there is no sufficient reason to believe in such a difference. It is more rational to conclude that both Yogis and non-Yogis fall ill and die from natural causes and by the same dispensation of Nature; one might even advance the view, since they have the Yoga Shakti at their disposal if they choose to use it, that the Yogi falls ill and dies not because of but in spite of his Yoga. At any rate, I don't believe that Ramakrishna (or any other Yogi) fell ill because of his trances; there is nothing to show that he ever suffered in that way after a trance. I think it is said somewhere or he himself said that the cancer in his throat of which he died came by his swallowing the sins of his disciples and those who approached him: that again may or may not be, but it will be his own peculiar case. It is no doubt possible to draw the illnesses of others upon oneself and even to do it deliberately; the instance of the Greek king Antigonus and his son Dimitrius is a famous historical case in point. Yogis also do this sometimes; or else adverse forces may throw illnesses upon the Yogi, using those round him as a door or a passage or the ill wishes of people as an instrumental force. But all these are special circumstances connected, no doubt, with his practice of Yoga; but they do not establish the general proposition as an absolute rule. A tendency such as X's to desire or welcome or accept death as a release could have a force because of her advanced spiritual consciousness which it would not have in ordinary people. 
A body is not a cloth—nor is a sick body a torn cloth. A body weak or sick can renew itself, recover its vitality—that happens to thousands of people. A cloth has not a renewable vitality. It is only if one is old beyond fifty-five or sixty that the renewal becomes difficult—even then health and strength can be kept or recovered enough to keep the body in a good condition. 
Of course injections are all the fashion; for everything it is "inject, inject and again inject". Medicine has gone through three stages in modern times—first (at the beginning in Molière's days) it was "bleed and douche", then "drug and diet", now it is "serum and injection". Praise the Lord! not for the illnesses, but for the doctors. However each of these formulas has a part truth behind it—with its advantages and disadvantages. As all religions and philosophies point to the Supreme but each in a different direction, so all medical fashions are ways to health—though they don't always reach it.
Doctors advise marriage because they think satisfaction of the sexual instinct is necessary for the health and repression causes disturbances in the system. This is true only when there is no true giving up of the sexual indulgence, but only a change in the way of indulging it. 
Misunderstandings of Health and Healing
You ask me whether your illness comes from yoga. By no means—far from damaging health, yoga helps to build up a health that is robust and unfailing. 
How to explain it?... It's rather strange: the cells' attitude and their state of consciousness is changing with extraordinary rapidity; yet from the ordinary viewpoint of 'health,' there is no corresponding progress, quite the contrary. One could say things aren't going too well, but I see clearly that it's not true. I see that it isn't true, it's only an appearance—but reconciling the two is difficult. 
No, only one thing worries me, one thing alone: your physical health. But to tell the truth (the true truth of what I KNOW), I don't think there's any climate a body can't adapt to.
You see, the faith of people is a superstition—it's not faith, it's superstition. Now there are more and more people who think they have faith, and they ask me ridiculous things! They have superstitions like.... Someone brings me a child born with a deformed arm, and the superstition is that if I put my hand on the arm of the child, he'll be healed.... Things like that. It's completely stupid. That's not Power! They need a little miracle, you know, at their level. 
Someone disappears, people ask me where he is, whether he's dead or alive. Someone else has worries: he wants to see me. Someone... People I don't know at all! A stack of letters! They ask me for success in their business, for good health, for a child (a boy!), a good job.... Anyway everything that people are capable of wanting, they write and ask me. Oh, there are also those who ask me to tell their fortune! Many ask me, but I answer them bluntly, "I am not a fortuneteller, I don't read tea leaves". 
Health protected by twenty thousand precautions is the gospel of the doctor; but it is not God's evangel for the body, nor Nature's. [Based on Aphorism 399] 
I don't know, I believe there won't be a dozen people here who have come to the Ashram and eaten the food of the Ashram without saying, "Oh! I am not used to this food. It is very difficult." And how many, how many hundreds of people who prepare their own food because they cannot eat the food of the Ashram! (Mother slams the book down on the stool.) And then, they justify this! So it is here that these ideas begin to come, and they say, "My health! I can't digest well!" All this is only in their head. There is not a word of truth in it. NOT ONE WORD OF TRUTH . It is a perpetual lie in which everybody lives, and in this matter, indeed, I may tell you what I think, you have not advanced any farther than the mass of human beings. 
In my own experience I have found that those who possessed well developed and well organised "psychic" and occult powers were healthy and well poised; indeed they said that in ill health or physical weakness they could do nothing—it impaired their power. These certainly had no lack or deficiency of the red aura. 
It depends on the consciousness [whether one wants to live a long life]. As it is, at present, most people do not get tired of life; they die because they must, not because they want to—at least, that is true of the vital; it is only a minority that tire of life and for many of these it is due to the discomforts of old age, continued ill-health, misfortune. Supposing a consciousness descended in the body that got rid of these discomforts, would people get tired of life in the same way merely because of its length or would they have some source of perpetual interest within as well as without that would keep them on—that is the question. Of course physical immortality would not mean that one is tied down to the body, but that one is not subject to disease and death, but can keep or leave the body at will. I don't know whether Ashwatthaman lives on because he cannot die or because he won't die—whether it is for him a doom or a privilege. There are by the way animals that live for many centuries, but as they have not the philosophic mind the question for them does not arise—probably they take it as a matter of course. 
What are the Different Types of Healing?
These things [cures by faith-healing and psychotherapy] are a matter of evidence and the evidence for Coué's success is over-whelming. There have also been many great healers (guérisseurs) all over the world whose successes are well-attested. Faith-healing and psychotherapy are also facts. 
What Health and Healing is in Different Parts of Being?
It is evident that if spiritual force exists, it must be able to produce spiritual results—therefore there is no irrationality in the claim of those sadhaks who say that they feel the force of the Guru or the force of the Divine working in them and leading towards spiritual fulfilment and experience. Whether it is so or not in a particular case is a personal question, but the statement cannot be denounced as per se incredible and manifestly false because such things cannot be. Farther, if it be true that spiritual force is the original one and the others are derivative from it, then there is no irrationality in supposing that spiritual force can produce mental results, vital results, physical results. It may act through mental, vital or physical energies and through the means which these energies use, or it may act directly on mind, life or matter as the field of its own special and immediate action. Either way is prima facie possible. In a case of cure of illness, someone is lying ill for two days, weak, suffering from pains and fever; he takes no medicine but finally asks for cure from his Guru; the next morning he rises well, strong and energetic. He has at least some justification for thinking that a force has been used on him and put into him and that it was a spiritual power that acted. But in another case medicines may be used, while at the same time the invisible force may be called for to aid the material means, for it is a known fact that medicines may or may not succeed—there is no certitude. Here for the reason of an outside observer (one who is neither the user of the force nor the doctor nor the patient) it remains uncertain whether the patient was cured by the medicines only or by the spiritual force with the medicines as an instrument. Either is possible, and it cannot be said that because medicines were used, therefore the working of a spiritual force is per se incredible and demonstrably false. On the other hand it is possible for the doctor to have felt a force working in him and guiding him or he may see the patient improving with a rapidity which, according to medical science, is incredible. The patient may feel the force working in himself bringing health, energy, rapid cure. The user of the force may watch the results, see the symptoms he works on diminishing, those he did not work upon increasing till he does work on them and then immediately diminishing, the doctor working according to his unspoken suggestions, etc. etc. until the cure is done. (On the other hand he may see forces working against the cure and conclude that the spiritual force has to be contented with a withdrawal or an imperfect success.) In all that the doctor, the patient or the user of force is justified in believing that the cure is at least partly or even fundamentally due to the spiritual force. Their experience is valid of course for themselves only, not for the outside rationalising observer. But the latter is not logically entitled to say that their experience is incredible and must be false. 
To whatever cause an illness may be due, material or mental, external or internal, it must, before it can affect the physical body, touch another layer of the being that surrounds and protects it. This subtler layer is called in different teachings by various names,—the etheric body, the nervous envelope. It is a subtle body and yet almost visible. In density something like the vibrations that you see around a very hot and steaming object, it emanates from the physical body and closely covers it. All communications with the exterior world are made through this medium, and it is this that must be invaded and penetrated first before the body can be affected…This body is built up, on the one side, of a material basis, but rather of material conditions than of physical matter, on the other, of the vibrations of our psychological states. Peace and equanimity and confidence, faith in health, undisturbed repose and cheerfulness and bright gladness constitute this element in it and give it strength and substance. It is a very sensitive medium with facile and quick reactions. 
But now I remember what it was this morning: it was about physical health and balance; because it was like an answer to a sort of call (or prayer or aspiration, anyway, as you like) that I had yesterday evening, and in the night it was as if I was being shown the mechanism to restore harmony in the body's functioning. 
But when I am very quiet (at night, for instance), the new consciousness becomes clearer and clearer, but words cannot easily express it because... it's a kind of... (how shall I say?) it's almost as if a new mind were being formed (but not a mental one). And so speech, words... are a poor means, while the direct communication is getting more and more precise and strong. That's why I can't speak. It's purely physical. But the foundation of the physical poise, I mean the physical health, is changing, that is, it's being shifted: what used to be the condition of good health is practically gone; it is gradually replaced by another condition, but which isn't there yet; so everything is in... (gesture of instability), everything is no longer this, is not yet that. That's how it is. It's inexpressible. That's why I can't express myself.
There have been times, while working in the most material mind (the mind ingrained in the material substance), when I felt my brain swelling and swelling and swelling, and my head becoming so large it seemed about to burst! On two occasions I was forced to stop, because it was... (was it only an impression, or was it a fact?) in any event it seemed dangerous, as if the head would burst, because what was inside was becoming too tremendous (it was that power in Matter, that very powerful deep blue light which has such powerful vibrations; it is able to heal, for example, and change the functioning of the organs—really a very powerful thing materially). 
There is a physical Nature which is perfectly harmonious, which has an absolutely... how to put it... yes, harmonious working, without any disorder, without disequilibrium, without any rupture of harmony, which would be expressed, if it existed upon earth, by a perfect health, a growing force, a continuous progress; and then all that one would like to obtain from one's body one would obtain; and this can go as far as an almost unimaginable progress of perfection.
Green light can signify various things according to the context—in the emotional vital it is the colour of a certain form of emotional generosity, in the vital proper an activity with vital abundance or vital generosity behind it—in the vital physical it signifies a force of health. 
You know (shall I be frank?), it's purely a vital dissatisfaction. And I know that, because it has been (how can I put it?) my great difficulty with you. It was a hundred, a thousand times more violent formerly; now it's beginning to calm down. It's a vital that's very intense in its desires (which may not be ordinary desires at all), but with a sort of almost aggressive intensity, and... essentially dissatisfied. It was very, very strong before, years ago; now it has quieted down. But every time the vital comes into play (and one is obliged to let the vital play because of the physical health; one can't "calm" it down totally because that would make the physical body suffer), it's like that.... It gives me, if you like, the impression of a cat's vital! Cats have a wonderful vital (laughing), far, far more clever and intense than human beings have, but the cat claws, you know, and the feeling is: "I'm not happy, that's that. I'm not happy"! (Mother laughs). 
I am aware of your difficulties, I know them, I've known them since the first day I saw you (and even before you came here); from that point of view there has been great progress, but it has shaken your physical health, because of that struggle. I know that you can be completely cured, but in order for you to be completely cured, your vital must be converted, and what I call "to be converted" isn't to surrender—to be converted is to understand. To be converted is to adhere. 
We are partly aware of its operations, but not by any means of all or most of them, and rather of those which are abnormal than those which are normal; its wants impress themselves more forcibly upon us than its satisfactions, its diseases and disorders than its health and its regular rhythm, its death is more poignant to us than its life is vivid: we know as much of it as we can consciously observe and use or as much as forces itself upon us by pain and pleasure and other sensations or as a cause of nervous or physical reaction and disturbance, but no more. Accordingly, we suppose that this vital-physical part of us also is not conscious of its own operations or has only a suppressed consciousness or no-consciousness like the plant or an inchoate consciousness like the incipient animal; it becomes conscious only so far as it is enlightened by mind and observable by intelligence. 
Finally, the body obeys the mind automatically in those things in which it is formed or trained to obey it, but the relation of the body to the mind is not in all things that of an automatic perfect instrument. The body also has a consciousness of its own and, though it is a submental instrument or servant consciousness, it can disobey or fail to obey as well. In many things, in matters of health and illness for instance, in all automatic functionings, the body acts on its own and is not a servant of the mind. If it is fatigued, it can offer a passive resistance to the mind's will. It can cloud the mind with tamas, inertia, dullness, fumes of the subconscient so that the mind cannot act. The arm lifts itself no doubt when it gets the suggestion, but at first the legs do not obey when they are asked to walk; they have to learn how to leave the crawling attitude and movement and take up the erect and ambulatory habit. When you first ask the hand to draw a straight line or to play music, it can't do it and won't do it. It has to be schooled, trained, taught, and afterwards it does automatically what is required of it. All this proves that there is a body consciousness different from the mind consciousness which can do things at the mind's order but has to be awakened, trained, made a good and conscious instrument. It can even be so trained that a mental will or suggestion can cure the illnesses of the body. But all these things, these relations of mind and body, stand on the same footing in essence as the relation of mind to vital and it is not so easy or primary a matter as Augustine would have it. 
I heard the authentic story of one of these African women who are accustomed to walk for miles carrying heavy loads. She was pregnant and the time of delivery came during one of the day's marches. She sat on the side of the track, under a tree, gave birth to the child, waited for half an hour, then she rose and adding the new-born babe to the former luggage, went on her way quietly, as if nothing had happened. This is a splendid example of what a woman can do when she is in full possession of her health and strength. 
What is Health and Healing in Relation to Other Qualities?
And within... oh! It's like waves, constantly, the equivalent of those nuances of color I was speaking about, waves of this joy of life, the joy of life rippling past, touching; but instead of being.... At times, you see, the body is in a sort of equilibrium (what we, in our ordinary outer consciousness, call 'equilibrium'—that is, good health), and then this joy is constant, like swells on the sea (Mother shapes great waves): it seems to flow on behind everything; it comes and shows its face for a moment, then vanishes. In the very tiny things of life—yes, physical life—the joy of these things, the joy life contains, this luminous, special kind of vibration, rises up as if to remind us that it's here; it is here, it mustn't be forgotten, it's here—but it's kept down by this... tension. 
For instance, that relationship of simplicity (like that of a child) in which you very simply ask for the thing you feel the need for, but without mental complications; without explanations, without justifications, without all that useless farrago—simply, "Oh, I would like ..." You have, for instance, quite a special feeling towards someone or something and you would like that someone or something to be perfectly harmonious, happy (which physically is expressed by good health or favourable circumstances), and so, spontaneously, simply, you say, "Oh!..." (you pray), "Oh, may it be like that!" And it happens. Then the thought (the general human thought): "This has happened, therefore it's the expression of the Truth." And it becomes a principle: "This is true, this is the way things should be." But up above, in that Consciousness—that global Consciousness—in that total Harmony, those things in themselves, in their material expression ("good health," "favourable circumstances") are of no more than minor importance, so to say, of almost nonexistent importance: things may be this way or that or this (they may be a hundred different ways), without its making any difference to the Harmony; but this particular way is chosen because of the simple, pure, candid beauty of the aspiration—that is lovely, that is powerful in its simplicity. And, you know, without mental complication, without hypocrisy of any sort, without pretence of any sort: very simply, but from a luminous, pure, loving heart, without any egoism, "just like that." So that's a lovely light which has its place; and because of it, things may be this way or that (good health, favourable circumstances), it doesn't matter, it's unimportant. Human beings attach importance only to the external form, to what has manifested; they say, "Oh, this is true, since it is"—and it's ... a passing breath of air. But the cause of it, its origin has a place in that total, universal Harmony: a disinterested goodwill, love devoid of egoism, trust that doesn't argue or reason, simplicity—ingenious simplicity for which evil doesn't exist. If we could catch hold of that and keep it ... That trust for which evil doesn't exist—not "trust" in what takes place here: trust up above, in that all-powerful principle of Harmony. 
There are three states, we could say: the state of Harmony—that is the one we reach towards all the time, and sometimes we catch it for a few seconds, then everything works out as if by miracle; then the usual state of Disorder, in which we are constantly on the verge of something unpleasant, in a precarious balance; and when the disorder grows more visible, there is what they call an "illness," but it isn't real. You see, we think the body is in good health, that it's balanced, and that "something is introduced from outside, which causes you to fall ill," but it's not like that! We are ALWAYS off balance, the body is always off balance (more or less), and it is something else, above, a Will or a Consciousness, that holds it up and makes it work. So if we can call on that Will—that Will for Harmony—and if we can have the Flame within, that Flame of aspiration, and make contact, we emerge from so-called illness, which is unreal, an unreal and false sensation and just one way of being of the general Disorder, and we enter into Harmony, and then everything is fine. Last night I experienced this again, and that's why I can assert with certainty: all sensations are false. 
You see, it's a light with several degrees, and in the most material it's slightly... it must be the supramental force, because it's slightly golden, slightly pinkish (you know that light), but very, very pale. One of them (gesture pointing to another, higher layer) is white like milk, opaque—it's very strong. And there's another (gesture very high) which is white like... it's transparent light. With that one, it's strange: one drop of it on the hostile forces, and they're dissolved. They melt like this (gesture before one's very eyes). I said all that to Sri Aurobindo, he completely confirmed it. That's essentially the Grace in its... (gesture very high) supreme state. It's a Light... it has no color, you know, it's transparent, and that Light (I have experienced that, I mention it because I know it), if you put it on a hostile being... it melts like that. It's extraordinary.... And then, in its "benevolent" form, as we might call it (that is to say, the Grace helping and assisting and healing), it's white like milk. And if I want a wholly material action (but this is quite recent—it's since this new Consciousness came), then in its physical action, on the physical, it's become slightly colored: it's luminous, golden with some pink in it, but it's not pink... (Mother takes a hibiscus next to her). It's like this. 
Why is Health and Healing Important?
Good. That's the one thing needed—important, very important: to keep the body in good health, in a sort of balance. We must keep our balance. Very important. The rest doesn't matter!
"Of course you are right, there, when you say that one should seek the Divine for his own sake. For you people, it's easy to understand since you are bathing in this atmosphere here. But for the Western man, a proof is needed, he wants to know what he will gain! The easiest and most striking thing to demonstrate is healing. There. It's really quite simple. I don't know if you understand it. Christ, too, did the same thing!" 
It is in good health that the way towards transformation is found.
As a result of this new relation between the Spirit and the body, the gnostic evolution will effectuate the spiritualisation, perfection and fulfilment of the physical being; it will do for the body as for the mind and life. Apart from the obscurity, frailties and limitations, which this change will overcome, the body-consciousness is a patient servant and can be in its large reserve of possibilities a potent instrument of the individual life, and it asks for little on its own account: what it craves for is duration, health, strength, physical perfection, bodily happiness, liberation from suffering, ease. These demands are not in themselves unacceptable, mean or illegitimate, for they render into the terms of Matter the perfection of form and substance, the power and delight which should be the natural outflowing, the expressive manifestation of the Spirit. When the gnostic Force can act in the body, these things can be established; for their opposites come from a pressure of external forces on the physical mind, on the nervous and material life, on the body organism, from an ignorance that does not know how to meet these forces or is not able to meet them rightly or with power, and from some obscurity, pervading the stuff of the physical consciousness and distorting its responses, that reacts to them in a wrong way. A supramental self-acting self-effectuating awareness and knowledge, replacing this ignorance, will liberate and restore the obscured and spoiled intuitive instincts in the body and enlighten and supplement them with a greater conscious action. This change would institute and maintain a right physical perception of things, a right relation and right reaction to objects and energies, a right rhythm of mind, nerve and organism. It would bring into the body a higher spiritual power and a greater life-force unified with the universal life-force and able to draw on it, a luminous harmony with material Nature and the vast and calm touch of the eternal repose which can give to it its diviner strength and ease. Above all,—for this is the most needed and fundamental change,—it will flood the whole being with a supreme energy of Consciousness-Force which would meet, assimilate or harmonise with itself all the forces of existence that surround and press upon the body.
Positive Effects of Health and Healing
For a few days, and it's becoming increasingly established, there has been an impression that health or illness is a choice (to express it simply). A choice of every minute. For this body, at any rate, that's how it is. 
Why it is Important to Resolve the Rift Between Two Different Beings?
The moral of the condition you describe is not that Yoga should not be done but that you have to go on steadily healing the rift between the two parts of the being. The division is very usual, almost universal in human nature, and the following of the lower impulse in spite of the contrary will in the higher parts happens to almost everybody. It is the phenomenon noted by Arjuna in his question to Krishna, "Why does one do evil, even though one wishes not to do it, as if compelled to it by force?", and expressed sententiously by Ovid, "video meliora proboque, Deteriora sequor". By constant effort and aspiration one can arrive at a turning point when the psychic asserts itself and what seems a very slight psychological change or reversal alters the whole balance of the nature. 
Role in Integral Yoga
The first time I came here and spoke with Sri Aurobindo about what was needed for the Work, he told me (he also wrote it to me) that for the secure achievement of the Work we would need three powers: one was the power over health, the second was the power over government, and the third was the power over money. 
But the effect on me is odd: I have the impression that I am ill—there's nothing wrong with me, I am in good health, yet I have a constant impression of being ill. The truth is, it's the transition from the ordinary mental consciousness to the supramental consciousness. The mental consciousness panics in the presence of the supramental consciousness. The vibration is so different I feel one could die every minute. Only when I am very tranquil.... 
What Happens when Health and Healing is Not Present?
Usually, unless one has taken good care to make it otherwise, the impulses—the impulses of desire—all the enthusiasms and passions with all their reactions are the masters of human life. One must already be something of a sage to be able to undergo a rigorous discipline of the body and obtain from it the ordered, regular effort which can perfect it. There is no longer any room there for all the fancies of desire. You see, as soon as one gives way to excesses, to immoderation of any kind and a disorderly life, it becomes quite impossible to control one's body and develop it normally, not to mention that, naturally, one spoils one's health and as a result the most important part of the ideal of a perfect body disappears; for with bad health, impaired health, one is not much good for anything. And it is certainly the satisfaction of desires and impulses of the vital or the unreasonable demands of certain ambitions which make the body suffer and fall ill. 
What is not good is too much preoccupation with it, anxiety, despondency in illness etc., for these things only favour the prolongation of ill-health or weakness. For such things as the liver attacks treatment can always be taken when necessary. 
All ill-health is due to some inertia or weakness or to some resistance or wrong movement there [in the vital], only it has sometimes a more physical and sometimes a more psychological character. Medicines can counteract the physical results.
The habit you speak of is exceedingly harmful and dangerous; it wastes the energy that should be preserved for the sadhana; it tends to weaken the mind, dislocate the consciousness, exhaust the nervous power, diminish the life-force, create inertia and impotence in the body. The excitations etc. that accompany it build up nothing; their tendency is to disintegrate. Often the result of this habit is to destroy the health and bring in undermining illnesses—it always does so when there is unrestrained indulgence. 
If to you X says that her suffering and ill-health are due to your behaviour, to Y she has said it is all due to the bad room she has got! In fact it is due to her vital cherishing desires and getting disappointed because they are not fulfilled. If one cherishes desires, there is bound to be disappointment and suffering, especially if at the same time one does Yoga and takes up the spiritual life. For such desires, demand for vital affection and love from men and demand for physical comforts are not consistent with the spirit of Yoga in which one must turn one's heart to the Divine and be vitally pure and in physical things must be content with what one gets and equal-minded in all conditions. You were quite right in telling her that these outer demands should be given up altogether. 
What is Illness?
I have told you first of all that all illness without any exception—without exception—is the expression of a break in equilibrium… First, I am speaking only of the body, I am not speaking of the nervous illnesses of the vital or of mental illnesses… That is, if all your organs, all the members and parts of your body are in harmony with one another, you are in perfect health. But if there is the slightest imbalance anywhere, immediately you get either just a little ill or quite ill, even very badly ill, or else an accident occurs. That always happens whenever there is an inner imbalance. 
“An illness of the body is always the outer expression and translation of a disorder, a disharmony in the inner being; unless this inner disorder is healed, the outer cure cannot be total and permanent.” 
What is Resistance?
You have resistances in your body, haven't you? When you want to do an exercise, can you do with your body whatever you want? And when you try to be in good health, does your body always obey? And when you want to learn your lesson, does your brain follow it without difficulty?... That is the resistance, it is all that refuses to progress. And I believe that unfortunately the amount of resistance is much greater than the amount of receptivity. One must work very hard to become receptive. 
Why is Health and Healing Important for Physical Well-Being?
If this envelope is absolutely strong and intact, you can go into places infested with the worst of diseases, even plague and cholera, and remain quite immune. It is a perfect protection against all possible attacks of illness, so long as it is whole and entire, thoroughly consistent in its composition, its elements in faultless balance. 
How to Cultivate Health and Healing?
What are the Prerequisites?
Health naturally depends upon the sadhana; but even that is not so sure: there are other factors. 
…whatever the effort, whatever the difficulty, whatever time it takes, whatever number of lives, you must know that all this doesn't matter: you KNOW you ARE the Master, that the Master and you are the same. All that's necessary is ... to know it INTEGRALLY, and nothing must belie it. That's the way out. When I tell people that their health depends on their inner life (an intermediate inner life, not the deepest), it's because of this.
Obviously, logically you are right, because the healing capacity is there; so if one has the healing capacity, there is the capacity to remedy wear and tear. Obviously. 
You may have a physical aspiration also; that the body may feel the need to acquire a kind of equipoise in which all the parts of the being will be well balanced, and that you may have the power to hold off illness at a distance or overcome it fast when it enters trickily, and that the body may always function normally, harmoniously, in perfect health. That is a physical aspiration. 
The faith in spiritual things that is asked of the sadhak is not an ignorant but a luminous faith, a faith in light and not in darkness. It is called blind by the sceptical intellect because it refuses to be guided by outer appearances or seeming facts,—for it looks to the truth behind,—and does not walk on the crutches of proof and evidence. It is an intuition,—an intuition not only waiting for experience to justify it, but leading towards experience. If I believe in self-healing, I shall after a time find out the way to heal myself—if I have faith in transformation, I can end by laying my hand on and unravelling the whole process of transformation. But if I begin with doubt and go on with more doubt, how far am I likely to go on the journey? 
The Hathayogic method is to bring an immense vital force into the body and by this and by certain processes keep it strong and in good health and a capable instrument.
For the spiritual life to give and not to demand is the rule. The sadhak however can ask for the Divine Force to aid him in keeping his health or recovering it if he does that as part of his sadhana so that his body may be able and fit for the spiritual life and a capable instrument for the Divine Work. 
Whatever it may be—the power of the illness to prevent the sadhana ought not to exist. The Yogic consciousness and its activities must be there whether there is health or illness.
What is the Process?
You know, in a very precise, material and detailed way I am developing the power to heal. I don't do it deliberately, that's just how it is. And then (laughing), I am given opportunities to test, to experiment on my own body—there's always something the matter. Suddenly something goes wrong and I apply my hand, or simply do a concentration, some movement or other, and everything disappears—but materially: the power to heal. You know, I apply my hand and then the Force goes through. It's very interesting. Only (laughing), I am the laboratory! That's not so funny. 
But I know in an absolute way that once this whole mass of the physical mind is mastered and the Brahmic consciousness is brought into it in a continuous way, you CAN ... you become the MASTER of your health. 
I went down into a place ... a place simply in the human consciousness, thus necessarily in my body ... I have never seen anything more timorous, fearful, feeble and mean! It's ... it must be a part of the cells, part of the consciousness, something that lives in apprehension, fear, dread, anxiety ... It was truly, truly dreadful. And we carry that within us! We aren't aware of it, it's almost subconscious—for you see, the consciousness is there to prevent us from yielding to that—it's cowardly, and it can make you fall sick IN A MINUTE. I saw it, I saw things that had been cured and overcome in myself (cured in the true manner, not in an outer way), and then they return! It's cured, but then it begins again. So then I went in search of its origin. It's something in the subconscient—in the cells' subconscient. Its roots are there, and on the least occasion ... And it's so very, very ingrained that ... For example, you can be feeling very good, the body can be perfectly harmonious (and when the body is perfectly harmonious, its motions are harmonious, things are in their true places, everything works exactly as it should without needing the least attention—a general harmony), when suddenly the clock strikes, for example, or someone utters a word, and you have just the faint impression 'Oh, it's late, I'm not going to be on time'—a second, a split second, and ... the whole working of the body falls apart. You suddenly feel feeble, drained, uneasy. And you have to intervene. It's terrible. And we're at the mercy of such things! To change it, you have to descend into it—which is what I'm in the midst of doing. But you know, it makes for painful moments. Anyway, once it's done, it will be something. When that is done, I'll explain it to you. And then I'll have the power to restore you to health. 
But because of my inner work, I become increasingly aware of things, increasingly aware of the Care, the Solicitude and the hierarchical Organization of circumstances so that the most precious and useful thing for the divine work is favored—of course not conspicuously so, but inwardly. And yet, in the three domains—government, money and health—things always reach a POINT, a point of such tension and complication that if you didn't have the inner certitude, they would always seem to point simply to the catastrophe, the fall. And it's ALWAYS at that point that... (gesture of abrupt reversal) everything turns around—not before, not one minute before. 
I have some interesting things to tell you. It's about this cold. An extraordinary healing power ... All the phases in their most acute form, with the study of the process, and each phase gone through in a few hours, or a few minutes (depending on what it was). Usually, when you have a cold, you go through one phase, then another (you know how it is), then it goes lower down, then you cough, then... All that was gone through quickly, and in two days it was over. And with the whole process, but not the mentalized process, not at all: the vibratory process, showing how the Force comes, acts, and at once... Oh, it was very, very interesting, because there was the part played by the inconscient, the part played by conscious reactions, the part played by the will (tremendous, an enormous part), the part played by mental suggestion (tremendous too), and... the action of the supreme Vibration. The whole thing in detail, day and night, constantly; to such a point that at moments I stood still, like that, to follow the course. And it lasted (I saw you on Saturday) for... Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: those three days. 
How Does the Physical Healing Happen?
It readily takes in all kinds of suggestions and these can rapidly change and almost remould its condition…Depression and discouragement have a very adverse effect; they cut out holes in it, as it were, in its very stuff, render it weak and unresisting and open to hostile attacks an easy passage. 
How to Deal with Pain?
... So it is very difficult to make a general rule. But there is a preparation which may be of a general kind. That is, to accustom the body methodically to understand that it is only the outer expression of a truer and deeper reality and that it is this truer and deeper reality which governs its destiny―though it is not usually aware of it. One can prepare the body through a series of observations, studies, understandings,1 by showing it examples, making it understand things as one makes a child understand them, either by observing its own movements―but generally, in this, one is comparatively blind!―or by observing those of others. And in a more general way, this preparation will be based on recognised studies, on clear facts. Like this, for instance: that a certain number of persons, placed in exactly similar circumstances, experience, each one of them, very different effects. One may go even further: in a given set of definite circumstances, there is a certain number of particular, definite individuals, in apparently quite identical conditions, and for some the effects are catastrophic, while others escape without any harm. During the war there was a very large number of such examples for study. In epidemics it is the same thing; in cataclysms of Nature, like tidal waves or earthquakes or cyclones, it is the same thing. The body understands these things if they are shown and explained to it as one explains things to a child: "You see, there was something else that acted there, not only the plain material fact by itself." And, unless some bad will is there, it understands. This is a preparation. Gradually, if you make use of this understanding, you must, with a methodical work of infusing consciousness into the cells of the body, infuse at the same time the truth of the divine Presence. This work takes time, but, if done methodically and constantly, it produces an effect. So you have prepared the ground. Suppose that as a result of some illness or other, there is some sort of pain at a precise spot. At that moment all will depend, as I said at the beginning, on the approach most familiar to you. But we can give an example. You are in pain, in great pain; it is hurting very much, you are suffering a lot. First point: do not stress the pain by telling yourself, "Oh, how painful! Oh, this pain is unbearable! Oh, it is being worse and worse, I shall never be able to bear it", etc., all this sort of thing. The more you go on thinking like this and feeling like this and the more your attention is concentrated on it, the pain increases amazingly. So, the first point: to control yourself sufficiently not to do that. Second point: as I said, it depends on your habits. If you know how to concentrate, to be quiet, and if you can bring into yourself a certain peace, of any kind―it may be a mental peace, it may be a vital peace, it may be a psychic peace; they have different values and qualities, this is an individual question―you try to realise within yourself a state of peace or attempt to enter into a conscious contact with a force of peace.... Suppose you succeed more or less completely. Then, if you can draw the peace into yourself and bring it down into the solar plexus―for we are not talking of inner states but of your physical body―and from there direct it very calmly, very slowly I might say, but very persistently, towards the place where the pain is more or less sharp, and fix it there, this is very good. This is not always enough. But if by widening this movement you can add a sort of mental formation with a little life in it―not just cold, but with a little life in it―that the only reality is the divine Reality, and all the cells of this body are a more or less deformed expression of this divine Reality―there is only one Reality, the Divine, and our body is a more or less deformed expression of this sole Reality―if by my aspiration, my concentration, I can bring into the cells of the body the consciousness of this sole Reality, all disorder must necessarily cease. If you can add to that a movement of complete and trusting surrender to the Grace, then I am sure that within five minutes your suffering will disappear. If you know how to do it. You may try and yet not succeed. But you must know how to try again and again and again, until you do succeed. But if you do those three things at the same time, well, there is no pain which can resist. 
What you have to do is to remain calm and confident and not worry or be restless—be perfectly quiet and prepared to rest as long as rest is needed. There is nothing to be anxious about; rest, and the health and strength will come. 
But that's how it worked with healing. When the Power was there, he said it was even effortless, all he had to do was to put that Power of order, of supramental harmony, and it would act instantly. 
To separate yourself from the thing and call in the Mother's force to cure it [is the Yogic method]—or else to use your own will force with faith in the power to heal, having the support of the Mother's force behind you. If you cannot use either of these methods then you must rely on the action of the medicine. 
Remain quiet, within, concentrated only on receiving strength and health, confident that we are with you all the time, and you will soon be all right.
As for curing you by the Force, the main obstacle is your own vital movements. All this egoistic insistence on your own ideas, claims, preferences—assertion of your own righteousness as against the wickedness of others, complaints, quarrels, disputes, rancours against those around you and the reactions they cause—have had this effect on your liver and stomach and nerves. If you give up all that and live quietly and at peace with others, thinking less of yourself and others and more of the Divine, it would make things much easier and help to restore your health. Quietness of the mind in facing your illness is also necessary—agitation stops the action of the Force. 
These pains are a part of the pressure of the old nature on the body; that is why we consider it can only be healed by the Peace and Power bringing a new movement of the physical nature there. In the stage of the struggle between the two natures, the peace does not always remain, but it will remain longer and longer as you get the habit of opening constantly to it. 
To heal [illness] by the true force is obviously the best—provided the body is amenable. It has a consciousness of its own which must be fully enlightened before it gives a full response.  It is only by emerging from the mind's prison and consciously soaring into the light of the spirit that, through a conscious union with the Divine, we will be able to let Him give us back the balance and health which we have lost. 
Illness must not be accepted as a means of transformation; it rather indicates certain difficulties encountered by the force of transformation especially in the vital and the body. But it is not necessary that these difficulties should be allowed to take this obscure form of illness. All illness should be rejected and all suggestions of illness; the Force should be called in to cure by the assent to health and the refusal of assent to the suggestions that bring or prolong its opposite. 
It is similar with this japa: an imperceptible little change, and one can pass from a more or less mechanical, more or less efficient and real japa, to the true japa full of power and light. I even wondered if this difference is what the tantrics call the 'power' of the japa. For example, the other day I was down with a cold. Each time I opened my mouth, there was a spasm in the throat and I coughed and coughed. Then a fever came. So I looked, I saw where it was coming from, and I decided that it had to stop. I got up to do my japa as usual, and I started walking back and forth in my room. I had to apply a certain will. Of course, I could do my japa in trance, I could walk in trance while repeating the japa, because then you feel nothing, none of all the body's drawbacks. But the work has to be done in the body! So I got up and started doing my japa. Then, with each word pronounced—the Light, the full Power. A power that heals everything. I began the japa tired, ill, and I came out of it refreshed, rested, cured. So those who tell me they come out of it exhausted, contracted, emptied, it means that they are not doing it in the true way. 
Each spot of the body is symbolical of an inner movement; there is there a world of subtle correspondences.... The particular place in the body affected by an illness is an index to the nature of the inner disharmony that has taken place. It points to the origin, it is a sign of the cause of the ailment. It reveals too the nature of the resistance that prevents the whole being from advancing at the same high speed. It indicates the treatment and the cure. If one could perfectly understand where the mistake is, find out what has been unreceptive, open that part and put the force and the light there, it would be possible to re-establish in a moment the harmony that has been disturbed and the illness would immediately go. 
To medical knowledge and experience, add full faith in the Divine's Grace and your healing capacity will have no limits. 
Catch hold of a peace deep within and push it into the cells of the body. With the peace will come back the health. 
It is difficult to say exactly which of the two possibilities would be more helpful to recover your health. But in a general way a change is more helpful for the body at the beginning than in the long run, as the thing most detrimental to the body's welfare is the lack of interest in life and surroundings. Anything new can wake up this interest for the time being—but the effect is never very lasting. 
It is only by correcting your way of living that you can hope to secure good health.
In principle, everything is possible by uniting consciously with the Divine Force. But a method has to be found, and this depends on the case and the individual. The first condition is to have a physical nature that gives energy rather than draws energy from others. The second indispensable condition is to know how to draw energy from above, from the inexhaustible impersonal source. 
In the first case, they are the faculties that develop in man as he opens to the higher mind and overmind, and through those regions he receives the light of the Truth. These faculties are not a direct expression of the supreme Truth, but a transcription, an indirect reflection of it. They include intuition, foreknowledge, knowledge by identity and certain powers such as that of healing and, to an extent, of acting upon circumstances. 
It is in fact something very superficial, but still it should be cured. It is your body that does not feel very strong and is sad because it does not have a sound balance of health. The best cure is plenty of open-air exercise and abundant food. 
I don't need to tell you where your headache comes from; I suppose you know. Only when you become absolutely regular in your material life will you be able to have good health.
I do not also quite catch what you mean about the inner being. If you mean by the vikās the development of the sadhana, to recover health and strength is very necessary for that. The body is an instrument for the sadhana no less than the mind and vital, and it should be kept in a good condition as far as possible. Not to care for the body, thinking it is of no importance compared with the inner state, is not the rule of this Yoga. 
The complete immunity from all illness for which our Yoga tries can only come by a total and permanent enlightenment of the below from above resulting in the removal of the psychological roots of ill health—it cannot be done otherwise. 
It depends on the part. The method is almost the same for all parts of the being. To begin with, the first condition: to remain as quiet as possible. You may notice that in the different parts of your being, when something comes and you do not receive it, this produces a shrinking—there is something which hardens in the vital, the mind or the body. There is a stiffening and this hurts, one feels a mental, vital or physical pain. So, the first thing is to put one's will and relax this shrinking, as one does a twitching nerve or a cramped muscle; you must learn how to relax, be able to relieve this tension in whatever part of the being it may be. The method of relaxing the contraction may be different in the mind, the vital or the body, but logically it is the same thing. Once you have relaxed the tension, you see first if the disagreeable effect ceases, which would prove that it was a small momentary resistance, but if the pain continues and if it is indeed necessary to increase the receptivity in order to be able to receive what is helpful, what should be received, you must, after having relaxed this contraction, begin trying to widen yourself—you feel you are widening yourself. There are many methods. Some find it very useful to imagine they are floating on water with a plank under their back. Then they widen themselves, widen, until they become the vast liquid mass. Others make an effort to identify themselves with the sky and the stars, so they widen, widen themselves, identifying themselves more and more with the sky. Others again don't need these pictures; they can become conscious of their consciousness, enlarge their consciousness more and more until it becomes unlimited. One can enlarge it till it becomes vast as the earth and even the universe. When one does that one becomes really receptive. As I have said, it is a question of training. In any case, from an immediate point of view, when something comes and one feels that it is too strong, that it gives a headache, that one can't bear it, the method is just the same, you must act upon the contraction. One can act through thought, by calling the peace, tranquillity (the feeling of peace takes away much of the difficulty) like this: "Peace, peace, peace... tranquillity... calm." Many discomforts, even physical, like all these contractions of the solar plexus, which are so unpleasant and give you at times nausea, the sensation of being suffocated, of not being able to breathe again, can disappear thus. It is the nervous centre which is affected, it gets affected very easily. As soon as there is something which affects the solar plexus, you must say, "Calm... calm... calm", become more and more calm until the tension is destroyed. 
Yes, but it must be an integral faith and it must be absolute. And it must be of the right kind, not merely a force of mental thought or will, but something more and deeper. The will put forth by the mind sets up opposite reactions and creates a resistance. You must have heard something of the method of Coué in healing diseases. He knew some secret of this power and utilised it with considerable effect; but he called it imagination and his method gave the faith he called up too mental a form. Mental faith is not sufficient; it must be completed and enforced by a vital and even a physical faith, a faith of the body. If you can create in yourself an integral force of this kind in all your being, then nothing can resist it; but you must reach down to the most subconscious, you must fix the faith in the very cells of the body. 
I do not see how the method of faith in the cells can be likened to eating a slice of the moon. Nobody ever got a slice of the moon, but the healing by faith in the cells is an actual fact and a law of Nature and has been demonstrated often enough even apart from Yoga. The way to get faith and everything else is to insist on having them and refuse to flag or despair or give up until one has them—it is the way by which everything has been got since this difficult world began to have thinking and aspiring creatures upon it. It is to open always, always to the Light and turn one's back on the darkness. It is to refuse the voices that cry persistently, "You cannot, you shall not, you are incapable, you are the puppet of a dream"—for these are the enemy voices, they cut one off from the result that was coming by their strident clamour and then triumphantly point to the barrenness of result as a proof of their thesis. The difficulty of the endeavour is a known thing, but the difficult is not the impossible—it is the difficult that has always been accomplished and the conquest of difficulties makes up all that is valuable in the earth's history. In the spiritual endeavour also it shall be so. 
These auto-suggestions [of being restored to good health]—it is really faith in a mental form—act both on the subliminal and the subconscient. In the subliminal they set in action the powers of the inner being, its occult power to make thought, will or simple conscious force effective on the body—in the subconscient they silence or block the suggestions of death and illness (expressed or unexpressed) that prevent the return of health. They help also to combat the same things (adverse suggestions) in the mind, vital, body consciousness. Where all this is completely done or with some completeness, the effects can be very remarkable. 
"Knowledge, when it goes to the root of our troubles, has in itself a marvellous healing-power as it were. As soon as you touch the quick of the trouble, as soon as you, diving down and down, get at what really ails you, the pain disappears as though by a miracle. Unflinching courage to reach true knowledge is therefore the very essence of yoga. No lasting superstructure can be erected except on a solid basis of true Knowledge....
Through Calm Presence
I have noticed something very interesting. Suppose there is a pain, some sign or other that something in the body is out of order. In the consciousness—in the consciousness—you are absolutely indifferent, which means that whether it's life or death, disease or health, there is equality; but if the body reacts according to its old habit, "What should be done to get over it?" and all that it involves (I am not speaking of a reaction in the mind, but here, in the body), the thing takes root. Why? Because it has to stay there... (laughing) to enable you to study it! If, on the other hand, the cells have learned their lesson and say right away, "Lord, Your presence" (without words—the attitude), pfft! the thing goes.
But it keeps increasing, and that sort of "crouching" is greatly lessened by the knowledge and experience that if you are per-fect-ly calm, all goes well—always, even in the worst difficulties.... Very recently, the day before yesterday, there was (always on the physical level; it can't be called "health," but it's the body's functioning) a rather serious attack, which found expression in a rather unpleasant pain; it came with unusual brutality. Then, immediately, the body remembered and said, "Peace, peace... Lord, Your Peace, Lord, Your Peace..." and it relaxed in Peace. And in an objectively perceptible way, the pain went away. 
This explanation is clear; and the healing was the result of tapasya. It's self-explanatory. Something was even saying to my body, to the body's SUBSTANCE, "O unbelieving substance, now you won't be able to say there are no miracles." Throughout all the work that was being done on the 20th, something was saying (I don't know who, because it doesn't come like something foreign to me any more, it's like a Wisdom, it seems like a Wisdom, something that knows: not someone in particular, but "that which knows," whatever its form), something that knows was insisting to the body, by showing it certain things, vibrations, movements, "From now on, O unbelieving substance, you can't say there are no miracles." Because the substance itself is used to each thing having its effect, to illnesses following a particular course and certain things even being necessary for it to be cured. This process is very subtle, and it doesn't come from the intellect, which can have a totally different interpretation of it; it's rather a kind of consciousness ingrained in physical substance, and that's what was being addressed and being shown certain movements, certain vibrations and so forth: "You see, from now on you can't say there are no miracles." In other words, a direct intervention of the Lord, who doesn't follow the beaten path, but does things... in His own way.
The 19th was so-so, and on the 20th I was concentrated all day long: no contacts with anyone, nothing external, only an intense invocation... as intense and concentrated as when you're trying to melt into the Lord at death. It was like that. The same movement of identification, but at its core a will for everything to work out in a good way here [on the material plane]. "In a good way"... I mean I said to the Lord, "YOUR Good, the true Good, not.... The true Good, a victorious Good, a real progress over the way life is usually lived." And I stayed in this unwavering concentration the whole day, all the time, all the time: even when I spoke, it was something very external speaking. And then at night when I went to bed I felt something had changed—the body felt completely different. When I got up in the morning, all the pains and disorders and dangers had... vanished. "Lord," I said, "You have given me a gift of health...." 
I could never cut myself off from people or cut myself off from the world. I had to answer all these calls and these questions, I had to send the necessary force, the necessary light, the healing power, I constantly had to purify all these formations, these thoughts, these wills, these false movements that were falling on me. 
In its normal state, the body always feels that it is not its own master: illnesses invade it without its really being able to resist them—a thousand factors impose themselves or exert pressure upon it. Its sole power is the power to defend itself, to react. Once the illness has got in, it can fight and overcome it—even modern medicine has acknowledged that the body is cured only when it decides to get cured; it is not the drugs per se that heal, for if the ailment is temporarily suppressed by a drug without the body's will, it grows up again elsewhere in some other form until the body itself has decided to be cured. But this implies only a defensive power, the power to react against an invading enemy—it is not true freedom. 
you cannot imagine the immense flood of force that is at your disposal! And generally you do not feel it even. When you feel it, something in you shrinks because it is too much and produces a kind of instinctive fear in your cells; and when you receive it, more than three-quarters of it is thrown away like an overfilled vessel! It gushes out, spills over, because you are not able to hold it. I have met a very large number of people who complained that they were receiving nothing, that is to say, they said they did not have the forces they needed. It was because they were absolutely incapable of receiving them, and there was a hundred thousand times more force than what they could receive. It is like that. You are all in a sea of tremendous vibrations, and you are not at all aware of it because you are not receptive. And there is such a resistance in you that if something succeeds in entering, three quarters of what enters is thrown out violently because you are not able to contain it.... I do not speak of this usually, but since we are talking about the subject, I am telling you. And perhaps one day I shall give you examples of it. It is something unbelievable. For example, just take the consciousness of the Forces, like the force of love, the force of understanding or the force of creation (for everything, it is the same: the force of protection, the force of growth, all that, and the power for progress, for everything). 
When you have a thought, a well-made mental formation which goes out of you, it becomes an independent entity and continues on its way and it does that for which it was made. It continues to act independently of you. That is why you must be on your guard. If you have made such a formation and it has gone out, it has gone out to do its work; and after a time you find out that it was perhaps not a very happy thing to have a thought like that, that this formation was not very beneficial; now that it has gone out, it is very difficult for you to get hold of it again. You must have considerable occult knowledge. It has gone out and is moving on its way.... Supposing in a moment of great anger (I do not say that you do so, but still when you were in quite a rage against someone, you said: "Ah! couldn't some misfortune befall him?" Your formation has gone on its way. It has gone out and you have no longer any control over it; and it goes and organises some misfortune or other: it is going to do its work. And after sometime the misfortune arrives. Happily, you do not usually have sufficient knowledge to tell yourself: "Oh! It is I who am responsible", but that is the truth. Note that this power of formation has a great advantage, if one knows how to use it. You can make good formations and if you make them properly, they will act in the same way as the others. You can do a lot of good to people just by sitting quietly in your room, perhaps even more good than by undergoing a lot of trouble externally. If you know how to think correctly, with force and intelligence and kindness, if you love someone and wish him well very sincerely, deeply, with all your heart, that does him much good, much more certainly than you think. I have said this often; for example, to those who are here, who learn that someone in their family is very ill and feel that childish impulse of wanting to rush immediately to the spot to attend to the sick person. I tell you, unless it is an exceptional case and there is nobody to attend on the sick person (and at times even in such a case), if you know how to keep the right attitude and concentrate with affection and good will upon the sick person, if you know how to pray for him and make helpful formations, you will do him much more good than if you go to nurse him, feed him, help him wash himself, indeed all that everybody can do. Anybody can nurse a person. But not everybody can make good formations and send out forces that act for healing.
Through Sincerity and Aspiration
Naturally, it is always the same thing: one must... must sincerely want to be healed, for otherwise it does not work. If one wants to have the experience solely for the experience's sake and then the next minute one returns to what one was before, this does not work. But if sincerely one wants to be healed, if one has a real aspiration to overcome the obstacle, to rise—rise above oneself, to give up all that pulls one back, to break the limits, become clear, purify oneself of all that blocks the way, if truly one has the intense will not to fall back into past errors, to surge up from the darkness and ignorance, to rise into the light, stripped of all that is too human, too small, too ignorant—then that works. It works, works powerfully. At times it works definitively and totally. But there must be nothing that clings to the old movements, keeps quiet at the moment, hides itself, and then later shows its face and says, "Yes, yes, it is very fine, your experience, but now it is my turn!" Then, when that happen, I do not answer for anything, because sometimes, as a reaction it becomes worse. That is why I always come back to the same thing, say always the same thing: one must be truly sincere, truly. 
Through Working with Memory
But when you have had either an experience or, like this, some kind of phenomenon or an illness (above all in the case of illness or even an accident), the body remembers for a very long time. If you want to be completely cured, you must cure this memory in the body, this is absolutely indispensable. And whether you know it or not, you work in order to cure the memory in the body. When the remembrance is effaced, the body is truly healed.
Useful but Limited Practices
Oh, how I would like it to be true: when I put my hands here, like this (Mother lays her hands on Satprem's shoulders), it would heal! Because I feel such force in these hands! Such CONSCIOUS force—conscious, you understand: it's vibrant with consciousness, light and force. It should heal. It heals me. If I have a pain or something wrong, I put my hand here or there, and it goes away in the space of a minute or two. So why shouldn't it heal others! Maybe because nobody would be ill anymore! (Mother laughs)  There is however usually less need of food and therefore less appetite. From the point of view of Yoga if one can keep a certain quiet in the material body, "peace in the cells", the heat is easier to bear. I mean it may be—it may be—that even an inner transformation (a complete conversion of the vital being, for instance) wouldn't necessarily bring an improvement in your health. It is here where.... It's not something I see imperatively. And to go back to ordinary life would be the end of everything—of your physical life and your inner life too. 
It [inhibition of the sex-impulse] would not be permanently effective in itself, because the seed would always be there unless removed by a transformation of the sex-impulse; but the inhibition can help towards this transformation. It is now being recognised in Europe by the doctors—who used formerly to say that sex was to be inhibited at the risk of complications in the body, that on the contrary there is part of the seminal force that is used for health, strength, youth etc. (turned into ojas, as the Yogins say), another that serves for sex purposes; if a man is perfectly chaste, the latter turns more and more into the former. Only of course the external inhibition does not help this change, if the mind indulges in sex-thought or the vital or body in the unsatisfied sex-desire or sex-sensation. But if all these are stopped then the inhibition is useful. 
If your husband is in a perilous period of his life and suffering from ill-health and you feel for him, the best thing for him is still that you should tranquillise yourself and call the Divine to his help to pass through. Even in the ordinary life disquietude and depression create an unhelpful atmosphere for one who is ill or in difficulties. Once you are a sadhak, then whether for yourself or to help others for whom you still feel, the true spiritual attitude of reliance on the Divine Will and call for the help from above is always the best and most effective course. 
One sees the negative side only during the attack, because the first thing the attack or obstruction does is to try to cloud the mind's intelligence. If it cannot do that, it is difficult for it to prevail altogether for the time being. For if the mind remains alert and clings to the truth, then the attack can only upheave the vital and, though this may be painful enough, yet the right attitude of the mind acts as a corrective and makes it easier to recover the balance and the true condition of the vital comes back more quickly. If the vital keeps its balance, then the attack touches the physical consciousness only with its suggestions and is much more superficial or even it can do no more than create a temporary restlessness, uneasiness or ill-health in the body—the rest of the consciousness remaining unaffected. It is therefore very important to accustom oneself to keep the right mental attitude even in the midst of an attack, however strong it is. To keep faith is the best help for that—the faith that the Divine is there always and I shall pass to Him through whatever trials. That helps to look at other things also in the true light. 
But there is a considerable difference between the real fact, that is, what this body [Mother's body] represents, and X's conception. He has always remained all the way down. This is what, in fact, had ruined his health for a time. And the odd thing is that every time he was ill and CONSENTED to inform me, he was instantly cured—he KNOWS this, but still his first instinct is always to turn to the gods with his ordinary puja. 
But with regard to health, whenever I had an illness (for me it was never an "illness," it was still part of the blows), I had a trust, a complete assurance that it had no reality. And very young (very young, maybe around the age of thirteen or fourteen), every time a blow came, I would tell my body, "But what's the use of being ill since you'll just have to get well!" And that stayed until I was over thirty: what's the use of being ill since you have to get well? And it faded away only little by little, with that growing pessimism. 
If people had an absolute faith in the healing power of the Grace, perhaps they would spare themselves quite a few diseases. 
One may without knowing why, without having the least idea of the cause, pass precisely from a harmony of good health to a disequilibrium and a great uneasiness! One doesn't know why, there is no outer cause, suddenly it happens; one may have been peaceful, content, in at least a pleasant, tolerable condition, then all of a sudden to become furious, discontented, uneasy! One doesn't know why, there is no reason. One may have been full of joy, gaiety, enthusiasm, and then, without any apparent reason, one is sad, morose, depressed, discouraged! It happens sometimes that one is in a state of depression, and then one passes on somewhere and everything is lit up: a light, a joy—why one becomes suddenly optimistic! This of course is rare—it can also happen, it is the same thing, it is also contagious; but still one risks much more catching destructive rather than constructive things. 
The yogi or aspiring yogi who does asanas to obtain a spiritual result or even simply a control over his body, obtains these results because it is with this aim that he does them, whereas I know some people who do exactly the same things but for all sorts of reasons unrelated to spiritual development, and who haven't even managed to acquire good health by it! And yet they do exactly the same thing, sometimes they even do it much better than the yogi, but it doesn't give them a stable health... because they haven't thought about it, haven't done it with this purpose in mind. I have asked them myself, I said, "But how can you be ill after doing all that?"—"Oh! but I never thought of it, that's not why I do it." This amounts to saying that it is the conscious will which acts on matter, not the material fact.
Prolonged fasting may lead to an excitation of the nervous being which often brings vivid imaginations and hallucinations that are taken for true experiences; such fasting is frequently suggested by the vital Entities because it puts the consciousness into an unbalanced state which favours their designs. It is there fore discouraged here. The rule to be followed is that laid down by the Gita which says that "Yoga is not for one who eats too much or who does not eat"; a moderate use of food sufficient for the maintenance and health and strength of the body. 
Pranayam is safe only if one knows how to do it and is on guard against its possible dangers: (1) danger to health by mistakes in the method, (2) rising of the vital forces, especially lust, egoism and wrongly directed strength and force, (3) the awakening of concealed sanskaras of the physical nature or latent karma from past lives. 
A suggestion is not one's own thought or feeling, but a thought or feeling that comes from outside, from others, from the general atmosphere or from external Nature,—if it is received, it sticks and acts on the being and is taken to be one's own thought or feeling. If it is recognised as a suggestion, then it can be more easily got rid of. This feeling of doubt and self-distrust and hopelessness about oneself is a thing moving about in the atmosphere and trying to enter into people and be accepted; I want you to reject it, for its presence not only produces trouble and distress but stands in the way of restoration of health and return to the inner activity of the sadhana. 
There is nothing wrong in taking care of the body in regard to health and, if the liver has gone wrong, the instinct to refuse too sweet or greasy or heavy foods is a right instinct. Mother has no objection to your abstaining while the illness is there nor has she insisted on your taking dal. Her objection is only to what people often do, getting ideas about this or that food and abstaining even when there is no acute illness. During an acute state of bad liver, abstinence is often necessary. Only one must not create by wrong ideas a nervous incapacity of the stomach or a chronic nervous dyspepsia. She had no other meaning.
What has caused all the trouble for X is his insistence on his ego, its ideas, claims, desires, intentions and his aggressiveness in expressing them so that he quarrels with everybody. This quarrelsomeness opens him to all all sorts of forces of the vital plane and their attacks. It is also the cause of the damage done to the liver and organs of digestion—for anger and quarrelsomeness always tend to spoil the liver and through it the stomach and intestines. As his quarrelsomeness is colossal, so also is the damage done to liver and digestion extreme. He must get rid of his egoism, quarrelsomeness and bad feelings towards other, if he wants to recover his health and his sadhana. 
The healing of the nervous pain in the stomach does not depend on more or less eating—often these pains come when one does not eat enough, not only when one eats too much—so it is not by eating less you can cure it.  The ordinary period of sleep most people give themselves is 8 hours. In bad health (I am not speaking of acute illness) it can extend to 9. 12 hours is excessive unless one is seriously ill or recovering from illness or else has underslept for a long time and the body is making up arrears of needed sleep. 
Overreliance on Medical Science
No external measure can enable us to react against the harm caused by mental faith in the necessity of drugs. 
Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing. It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvellous surgery; but, also, it has weakened the natural health of man and multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on natural soundness but a rickety and distasteful crutch compact from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms. [Based on Aphorism 386] 
Do you know the story of the two simultaneous operations of E. and of T.? T. is that vice-admiral who came here and became quite enthusiastic—he had a kind of inner revelation here. The two of them were operated on for a similar complaint, a dangerous ulcer in the digestive system. He was in one town and she was in another, and they were operated on a day apart—both serious operations. And in each case, after a few days had gone by, the surgeon who did the operation said, 'I congratulate you.' Practically the same phrase in both cases. And they both protested: 'Why are you congratulating me?' (Each one wrote me about this separately; they were living far from one another and only met afterwards.) 'Why? You did the operation—you should be congratulated for my quick recovery.' And in both cases the doctor replied, 'No, no; we only operate, the body does the healing; you have healed yourself in a way which can qualify as miraculous, and I genuinely congratulate you.' And then the two of them had the same reaction—they wrote to me saying, 'We know where the miracle comes from.' And they had both called me. Moreover, E. had written me a remarkable letter a few days before her operation, where she quoted the Gita as if it were quite natural for her, and told me, 'I know that the operation is ALREADY done, that the Lord has already done it, and so I am calm.' 
And this man (I saw his photo, he has a magnificent head) says, "I live in God's presence." That's what he says, and I don't think he makes any fuss—besides he doesn't have the time because he goes to bed after midnight and gets up at five every day, starts work at five-thirty and spends the whole day working, that is, seeing people and people and more people (when that was read out to me, I thought, "And I complain!"). It's admirable. He did some studies, but he isn't a philosopher, he doesn't have any theories: he seems to have been born like that, with healing hands. He probably gets rid of infections by dehydrating them, so he cures all the diseases of that nature. And they did (poor man, they must have made his life impossible!), they did encephalograms, cardiograms and so on, and they noticed that just when he lays his hands (for a few seconds, two or three minutes at the most), at that moment his heartbeats suddenly go up from sixty to eighty, then fall back to normal. And he doesn't seem to be making any fuss, unlike that German I told you about—nothing at all, very simple, very nice. 
The doctors were quite concerned about the intestinal ulcer. If it had perforated, it would have been very, very serious—the ordinary recourse is an operation, so.... The doctors were quite concerned. But they didn't show anything, I didn't know about it—I found out about the ulcer only when it was healed (I mean when it was in the process of healing). 
How to Cure an Illness?
There are two ways of curing an illness spiritually. One consists in putting a force of consciousness and truth on the physical spot which is affected. In this case the effect produced depends naturally on the receptivity of the person. Supposing the person is receptive; the force of consciousness is put upon the affected part and its pressure restores order. Many of you here can tell how Sri Aurobindo cured them. It was like a hand which came and took away the pain. It is as clear as that. In other cases, if the body lacks receptivity altogether or if its receptivity is insufficient, one sees the inner correspondence with the psychological state which has brought about the illness and acts on that. But if the cause of the illness is refractory, not much can be done. Let us say the origin is vital. The vital absolutely refuses to change, it clings terrifically to the condition in which it is; then that is hopeless. You put the force, and usually it provokes an increase in the illness, produced by the resistance of the vital which did not want to accept anything. I speak of the vital but it can be the mind or something else. When the action is directly upon the body, that is, on the affected part, it is possible that one is relieved; then, some hours later or even after a few days, the illness returns. This means that the cause has not been changed, that the cause is in the vital and is still there; it is only the effect which has been cured. But if one can act simultaneously upon both the cause and the effect, and the cause is sufficiently receptive to consent to change, then one is completely cured, once for all. 
How to Heal in Different Parts of the Being?
The body in its normal state, that is to say, when there is no intervention of mental notions or vital impulses, also knows very well what is good and necessary for it; but for this to be effective in practice, one must educate the child with care and teach him to distinguish his desires from his needs. He should be helped to develop a taste for food that is simple and healthy, substantial and appetising, but free from any useless complications. In his daily food, all that merely stuffs and causes heaviness should be avoided; and above all, he must be taught to eat according to his hunger, neither more nor less, and not to make his meals an occasion to satisfy his greed or gluttony. From one's very childhood, one should know that one eats in order to give strength and health to the body and not to enjoy the pleasures of the palate. Children should be given food that suits their temperament, prepared in a way that ensures hygiene and cleanliness, that is pleasant to the taste and yet very simple. This food should be chosen and apportioned according to the age of the child and his regular activities. It should contain all the chemical and dynamic elements that are necessary for his development and the balanced growth of every part of his body. 
In all cases, as well for boys as for girls, the exercises must be graded according to the strength and the capacity of each one. If a weak student tries at once to do hard and heavy exercises, he may suffer for his foolishness. But with a wise and progressive training, girls as well as boys can participate in all kinds of sports, and thus increase their strength and health. 
You are young, you have plenty of time before you. And to be young, to be really young, we must always, always keep on growing, developing, progressing. Growth is the sign of youthfulness and there is no limit to the growth of consciousness. I know old people of twenty and young people of fifty, sixty, seventy. And if one does manual work, one keeps in good health. 
This is the Higher Mind in its aspect of cognition; but there is also the aspect of will, of dynamic effectuation of the Truth: here we find that this greater more brilliant Mind works always on the rest of the being, the mental will, the heart and its feelings, the life, the body, through the power of thought, through the idea-force. It seeks to purify through knowledge, to deliver through knowledge, to create by the innate power of knowledge. The idea is put into the heart or the life as a force to be accepted and worked out; the heart and life become conscious of the idea and respond to its dynamisms and their substance begins to modify itself in that sense, so that the feelings and actions become the vibrations of this higher wisdom, are informed with it, filled with the emotion and the sense of it: the will and the life impulses are similarly charged with its power and its urge of self-effectuation; even in the body the idea works so that, for example, the potent thought and will of health replaces its faith in illness and its consent to illness, or the idea of strength calls in the substance, power, motion, vibration of strength; the idea generates the force and form proper to the idea and imposes it on our substance of mind, life or matter. It is in this way that the first working proceeds; it charges the whole being with a new and superior consciousness, lays a foundation of change, prepares it for a superior truth of existence. 
Read Summary of Health and Healing
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