Fear Of Accident And Illness
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
First, the Fear of Accidents will be considered. Many people are haunted by vague foreboding that some accident may yet, or surely will, befall them. Such foreboding is, of course, wholly useless, but, what is more to the point, it is also wholly a psychic evil. The psychic state involved may finally operate as a. cause of accident feared. Your apprehension of physical mishap cannot in itself directly induce accident, but it may indirectly do so by bringing about bodily or mental conditions which shall work against you in the time of danger. This operation of psychic factor may tend either to prevent right action in avoidance of danger, or to prevent recovery from injury when sustained. Fear breeds expectation, and expectation provides fear's conditions.
In the meantime, and whether or no, this fear is doing you subtle harm in many possible ways. Primarily, such fear interferes with life's normal satisfaction in itself, and this interference cannot fail to disturb your deeper self, both physical and mental that is, unsettle your personal equilibrium, poise, sense of power. Moreover, the idea may act as a suggestion to the subconscious self, and the suggestion may actually control your action, thus bringing you all unaware into the presence of danger which you other-wise would never confront. This brings us to our
REGIME AGAINST FEAR OF ACCIDENT. First Phase: Optimism. You should, therefore, throttle the notion instantly, at its every appearance, and also habituate yourself to the strong feeling of all-wellness, now and to be. The purpose of these directions, of course, is not your protection, but is solely the dissipation of the idea of accident and the fear-feeling arising therefrom. By exercise of will and occupation of the mind with the confident idea of wellbeing, this double end may be accomplished. If you fill your imagination with pictures of yourself as injured, you feed fear and make it a habit. Similarly, you feed courage and make that a habit by occupying the imagination with thoughts of yourself as always in a condition of safety and happiness.
Second Phase: Psychic Demand. You are invited now to have constant recourse to your power of faith-claim for perfect self-handling against all person-al mishap. If you persistently make use of true psychic demand that all shall be well with you, you will not only banish fear, but also actually suggest to the subconscious self alertness and adequacy against unseen contingencies and unforeseen events that is, you will thus train subconscious activities in personal protection.
The Fear of Illness naturally follows the preceding fear. In the last paragraph sickness may well be substituted for accident. The former, however, is emphatically subject to suggestion. To forebode illness is very likely to induce illness. The subconscious self, grown accustomed to the notion of trouble in the body, operates often to throw physical functions out of order, so that illness may either be self-induced or be made possible because the physical tone has been lowered in resisting power. The limit of recovery from physical equilibrium in health, or what may conveniently be termed the index of resistance (otherwise called the opsonic index), varies somewhat for each individual. When the index is high we speak of such a man as strong or robust; when, on the other hand, it is low, (we speak of it) as weak or delicate. Unquestionably fear modifies the opsonic index of the human body.
Thus, it is evil morbidly to dwell upon one's bodily feelings except to take the warning of evident distress, in which case a physician should be summoned because he may discover avoidable trouble and the fact of his treatment may be just the suggestion that you need, regardless of any other efficiency obtaining in his drugs. The drugs are probably worthless, in almost a majority of cases, but the physician's know-ledge and his presence are often worth immensely more than you will be willing to pay for. Let us look at the matter thus brought up.
I am for the doctor, not for his own sake, not for the sake of his profession, but for the sake of my subconscious self, without reference to the physical action of medicine, and for the sake of his surplus of knowledge over mine. Medicine is almost wholly a matter of education on my part (this is written representatively for you or for any other person). When ill, my (yourall men's) subconscious self wants a first-class physician, and when I am ill, that self shall have a physician, al-though, in nearly every instance, my (your) conscious mind feels that the medicine is, in itself, mere useless superfluity. I (representatively speaking) have only lived on the earth a few hundred thousand years, and my (our) ancestral self has come to lean on a set of men many of whom are immensely crude, notwithstanding the fact that they also have ancestrally lived so many centuries. After a time I (man) shall learn the secret of immortality but thousands of years hence. Mean-time, then, I (you) must yield to the ancestral self until he in me (you) becomes wiser. I (we) have no brief for the doctor, but I have a brief for myself in good health. I have no brief for any other healing profession of the mental or religious sort. What are all these sects and professional divisions to me when they are placed up against the august laws governing personal welfare? The success of mental suggestion and of faith are alike due to law, which is of no school, "science," or religion is of the nature of things alone, and as impersonal toward you and me as are wind and tide. Imagine a "christian science" tide-mill, or a "mental-healing" tide-mill, or an "old-school" tide-mill, or a "homeopathic" tide-mill, or a "suggestive-therapeutics" tide-mill, erected within the flood of law and force that obtain across the diameter of the Universe! I call the physician when I believe I need one, and I call in my infinite psychic resources, in myself or in some mental healer, when I desire. If these will not cooperate, both may depart. I am for myself !
,He who coddles his symptoms nurses an illness into being. Except as above suggested, therefore, it is wise to ignore the slight variations in one's daily feelings and to assert and assume that one is in good or improving health and will so continue. This assumption-assertion is suggested to the subconscious self to right-up matters that may be wrong, and to maintain among functions good order now existing or to be surely brought about. It is also one of the finest of psychic tonics operative for wellbeing throughout the entire system.
And if the physician you employ deals in questions about your symptoms, you are invited to decline the interview. He is not skilled if he cannot by indirection uncover more than you may have disclosed to him at the first. He is grossly antiquated if he asks you a large number of leading questions, such as, "Ever fever up? Have any backache?" and the like (questions put to a real patient in actual life). Why must this dealer in dead matter put evil into my subconscious thought? When the doctor begins this unscientific course he accentuates the fundamental trouble for which you have consulted him. We conclude that always is it better to think health as yours, and at least, not to entertain symptoms and ideas of ill-health. Thus we have our
REGIME AGAINST FEAR OF ILLNESS. First Phase: Pictured Health. You are urged, therefore, to cease entertaining your symptoms and to eliminate, by will and substitution, the thought of yourself as ill or to be ill in the future. Fix in mind, rather, the confident idea and expectation of a good old age, hale, hearty and happy. And the way in which to accomplish this substitution is simply to think of yourself in pictures representing the desired factors, charging the pictures, as it were, with energy and covering them with an atmosphere of sunlight and good cheer.
SECOND PHASE: Psychic Demand. In the manner indicated for the corresponding phase of the pre-ceding regime, you are invited to formulate confident demand that good health shall be yours, now and in the future. Always begin and conduct such demand about as follows: "I am now in full harmony with the whole Universe and with all right-minded intelligences, and on this basis I demand and claim my own normal order of health."