4. Mental Healings In Ancient Times


The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

Chapter 4:  Mental Healings in Ancient Times

Down through the ages men of all nations have somehow instinctively believed that
somewhere there resided a healing power which could restore to normal the functions and
sensations of man’s body. They believed that this strange power could be invoked under
certain conditions, and that the alleviation of human suffering would follow. The history
of all nations presents testimony in support of this belief.

In the early history of the world the power of secretly influencing men for good or evil,
including the healing of the sick, was said to be possessed by the priests and holy men of
all nations. Healing of the sick was supposed to be a power derived directly by them from
God, and the procedures and processes of healing varied throughout the world. The
healing processes took the form of supplications to God attended by various ceremonies,
such as the laying on of hands, incantations, the application of amulets, talismans, rings,
relics, and images.

For example, in the religions of antiquity priests in the ancient temples gave drugs to the
patient and practiced hypnotic suggestions prior to the patient’s sleep, telling him that the
gods would visit him in his sleep and heal him. Many healings followed. Obviously, all
this was the work of potent suggestions to the subconscious mind.

After the performance of certain mysterious rites, the devotees of Hecate would see the
goddess during sleep, provided that before going to sleep they had prayed to her
according to weird and fantastic instructions. They were told to mix lizards with resin,
frankincense, and myrrh, and pound all this together in the open air under the crescent
moon. Healings were reported in many cases following this grotesque procedure.

It is obvious that these strange procedures, as mentioned in the illustrations given,
favored suggestion and acceptance by the subconscious mind of these people by making
a powerful appeal to their imagination. Actually, in all these healings, the subconscious
mind of the subject was the healer.

In all ages unofficial healers have obtained remarkable results in cases where authorized
medical skill has failed. This gives cause for thought. How do these healers in all parts of
the world effect their cures? The answer to all these healings is due to the blind belief of
the sick person, which released the healing power resident in his subconscious mind.
Many of the remedies and methods employed were rather strange and fantastic which
fired the imagination of the patients, causing an aroused emotional state. This state of
mind facilitated the suggestion of health, and was accepted both by the conscious and
subconscious mind of the sick. This will be elaborated on further in the next chapter.

Related Hypnosis Session: Fast Natural Healing

Biblical accounts on the use of the subconscious powers

What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall
have them. MARK 11:24.

Note the difference in tenses. The inspired writer tells us to believe and accept as true the
fact that our desire has already been accomplished and fulfilled, that it is already
completed, and that its realization will follow as a thing in the future.

The success of this technique depends on the confident conviction that the thought, the
idea, the picture is already a fact in mind. In order for anything to have substance in the
realm of mind, it must be thought of as actually existing there.

Here in a few cryptic words is a concise and specific direction for making use of the
creative power of thought by impressing upon the subconscious the particular thing, which you desire.

Your thought, idea, plan, or purpose is as real on its own plane as your
hand or your heart. In following the Biblical technique, you completely eliminate from
your mind all consideration of conditions, circumstances, or anything, which might imply
adverse contingencies. You are planting a seed (concept) in the mind, which, if you leave
it undisturbed, will infallibly germinate into external fruition.

The prime condition, which Jesus insisted upon, was faith. Over and over again you read
in the Bible, According to your faith is it done unto you. If you plant certain types of
seeds in the ground, you have faith they will grow after their kind. This is the way of
seeds, and trusting the laws of growth and agriculture, you know that the seeds will come
forth after their kind. Faith as mentioned in the Bible is a way of thinking, an attitude of
mind, an inner certitude, knowing that the idea you fully accept in your conscious mind
will be embodied in your subconscious mind and made manifest. Faith is, in a sense,
accepting as true what your reason and senses deny, i.e., a shutting out of the little,
rational, analytical, conscious mind and embracing an attitude of complete reliance on the
inner power of your subconscious mind.

A classical instance of Bible technique is recorded in MATTHEW 9:28

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith
unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then
touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were
opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, see that no man know it.
In the words according to your faith be it unto you, you can see that Jesus was actually
appealing to the cooperation of the subconscious mind of the blind men. Their faith was
their great expectancy, their inner feeling, their inner conviction that something
miraculous would happen, and that their prayer would be answered, and it was. This is
the time-honored technique of healing, utilized alike by all healing groups throughout the
world regardless of religious affiliation.

In the words see that no man know it, Jesus enjoins the newly healed patients not to
discuss their healing because they might be subjected to the skeptical and derogatory
criticisms of the unbelieving. This might tend to undo the benefits they had received at
the hand of Jesus by depositing thoughts of fear, doubt, and anxiety in the
subconscious mind.. . . for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits,
and they came out. LUKE 4:36.

When the sick came to Jesus to be healed, they were healed by their faith together with
his faith and understanding of the healing power of the subconscious mind. Whatever he
decreed, he felt inwardly to be true. He and the people needing help were in the one
universal subjective mind, and his silent inner knowing and conviction of the healing
power changed the negative destructive patterns in the patients’ subconscious. The
resultant healings were the automatic response to the internal mental change. His
command was his appeal to the subconscious mind of the patients plus his awareness,
feeling, and absolute trust in the response of the subconscious mind to the words which
he spoke with authority.

Miracle Healings at various shrines throughout the world

It is an established fact that cures have taken place at various shrines throughout the
world, such as in Japan, India, Europe, and America. I have visited several of the famous
shrines in Japan. At the world famous shrine called Diabutsu is a gigantic divinity of
bronze where Buddha is seated with folded hands, and the head is inclined in an attitude
of profound contemplative ecstasy. It is 42 feet in height and is called the great Buddha.
Here I saw young and old making offerings at its feet. Money, fruit, rice, and oranges
were offered. Candles were lit, incense was burned, and prayers of petition recited.
The guide explained the chant of a young girl as she murmured a prayer, bowed low, and
placed two oranges as an offering. She also lit a candle. He said she had lost her voice,
and it was restored at the shrine. She was thanking Buddha for restoring her voice. She
had the simple faith that Buddha would give her back her singing voice if she followed a
certain ritual, fasted, and made certain offerings. All this helped to kindle faith and
expectancy, resulting in a conditioning of her mind to the point of belief. Her
subconscious mind responded to her belief.

To illustrate further the power of imagination and blind belief I will relate the case of a
relative of mine who had tuberculosis. His lungs were badly diseased. His son decided to
heal his father. He came home to Perth, Western Australia, where his father lived, and
said to him that he had met a monk who had returned from one of the healing shrines in
Europe. This monk sold him a piece of the true cross. He said that he gave the monk the
equivalent of $500 for it.

This young man had actually picked up a splinter of wood from the sidewalk, went to the
jeweler’s, and had it set in a ring so that it looked real. He told his father that just
touching the ring or the cross healed many. He inflamed and fired his father’s
imagination to the point that the old gentleman snatched the ring from him, placed it over
his chest, prayed silently, and went to sleep. In the morning he was healed. All the
clinic’s tests proved negative.

You know, of course, it was not the splinter of wood from the sidewalk that healed him.
It was his imagination aroused to an intense degree, plus the confident expectancy of a
perfect healing. Imagination was joined to faith or subjective feeling, and the union of the
two brought about a healing. The father never learned of the trick that had been played
upon him. If he had, he probably would have had a relapse. He remained completely
cured and passed away fifteen years later at the age of 89.

One universal healing principle

It is a well-known fact that all of the various schools of healing effect cures of the most
wonderful character. The most obvious conclusion, which strikes your mind, is that there
must be some underlying principle, which is common to them all, namely, the
subconscious mind, and the one process of healing is faith.

It will now be in order to recall to your mind once more the following fundamental truths:
First that you possess mental functions, which have been distinguished by designating
one the conscious mind and the other the subconscious mind.

Secondly, your subconscious mind is constantly amenable to the power of suggestion.
Furthermore, your subconscious mind has complete control of the functions, conditions,
and sensations of your body. I venture to believe that all the readers of this book are
familiar with the fact that symptoms of almost any disease can be induced in hypnotic
subjects by suggestion. For example, a subject in the hypnotic state can develop a high
temperature, flushed face, or chills according to the nature of the suggestion given. By
experiment, you can suggest to the person that he is paralyzed and cannot walk: it will be so.

By illustration, you can hold a cup of cold water under the nose of the hypnotic
subject and tell him, “This is full of pepper; smell it!” He will proceed to sneeze. What do
you think caused him to sneeze, the water or the suggestion?

If a man says he is allergic to Timothy grass, you can place a synthetic flower or an
empty glass in front of his nose, when he is in a hypnotic state, and tell him it is Timothy
grass. He will portray the usual allergic symptoms. This indicates that the cause of the
disease is in the mind. The healing of the disease can also take place mentally.
You realize that remarkable healings take place through osteopathy, chiropractic
medicine, and naturopathy, as well as through all the various religious bodies throughout
the world, but it is obvious that all of these healings are brought about through the
subconscious mind—the only healer there is.

Notice how it heals a cut on your face caused by shaving. It knows exactly how to do it.
The doctor dresses the wound and says, “Nature heals it!” Nature refers to natural law,
the law of the subconscious mind, or self-preservation, which is the function of the
subconscious mind. The instinct of self-preservation is the first law of nature. Your
strongest instinct is the most potent of all autosuggestions.

Related Hypnosis Session: Believe In Yourself

Widely different theories

It would be tedious and unprofitable to discuss to any great extent the numerous theories
advanced by different religious sects and prayer therapy groups. There are a great number
who claim that because their theory produces results it is, therefore, the correct one. This,
as explained in this chapter, cannot be true.

You are aware that there are all types of healing. Franz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian
physician (17341815) who practiced in Paris, discovered that by applying magnets to the
diseased body, he could cure that disease miraculously. He also performed cures with
various other pieces of glass and metals. He discontinued this form of healing and
claimed that his cures were due to “animal magnetism,” theorizing that this substance
was projected from the healer to the patient.

His method of treating disease from then on was by hypnotism, which was called
mesmerism in his day. Other physicians said that all his healings were due to suggestion
and nothing else.

All of these groups, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, osteopaths, chiropractors,
physicians, and all the churches are using the one universal power resident in the
subconscious mind. Each may proclaim the healings are due to their theory. The process
of all healing is a definite, positive, mental attitude, an inner attitude, or a way of
thinking, called faith. Healing is due to a confident expectancy, which acts as a powerful
suggestion to the subconscious mind releasing its healing potency.
One man does not heal by a different power than another. It is true he may have his own
theory or method. There is only one process of healing and that is faith. There is only one
healing power, namely, your subconscious mind. Select the theory and method you
prefer. You can rest assured, if you have faith, you shall get results.

Views of Paracelsus

Philippus Paracelsus, a famous Swiss alchemist and physician, who lived from 1493 to
1541, was a great healer in his day. He stated what is now an obvious scientific fact when
he uttered these words, “Whether the object of your faith be real or false, you will
nevertheless obtain the same effects. Thus, if I believed in Saint Peter’s statue as I should
have believed in Saint Peter himself, I shall obtain the same effects that I should have
obtained from Saint Peter. But that is superstition. Faith, however, produces miracles; and
whether it is true or false faith, it will always produce the same wonders.”

The views of Paracelsus were also entertained in the sixteenth century by Pietro
Pomponazzi, an Italian philosopher and contemporary of Paracelsus, who said, “We can
easily conceive the marvelous effects which confidence and imagination can produce,
particularly when both qualities are reciprocated between the subjects and the person who
influences them. The cures attributed to the influence of certain relics are the effect of
their imagination and confidence. Quacks and philosophers know that if the bones of any
skeleton were put in place of the saint’s bones, the sick would none the less experience
beneficial effects, if they believed that they were veritable relics.”

Then, if you believe in the bones of saints to heal, or if you believe in the healing power
of certain waters, you will get results because of the powerful suggestion given to your
subconscious mind. It is the latter that does the healing.

Bernheim’s experiments

Hippolyte Bernheim, professor of medicine at Nancy, France, 1910-1919, was the
expounder of the fact that the suggestion of the physician to the patient was exerted
through the subconscious mind. Bernheim, in his Suggestive Therapeutics, page 197, tells
a story of aman with paralysis of the tongue which had yielded to no form of treatment.
His doctor told the patient that he had a new instrument with which he promised to heal
him. He introduced a pocket thermometer into the patient’s mouth. The patient imagined
it to be the instrument, which was to save him. In a few moments he cried out joyfully
that he could once more move his tongue freely.

“Among our cases,” continues Bernheim, “facts of the same sort will be found. A young
girl came into my office, having suffered from complete loss of speech for nearly four
weeks. After making sure of the diagnosis, I told my students that loss of speech
sometimes yielded instantly to electricity, which might act simply by its suggestive
influence. I sent for the induction apparatus. I applied my hand over the larynx and
moved a little, and said, ‘Now you can speak aloud.’ In an instant I made her saw ‘a,’
then ‘b,’ then ‘Maria.’ She continued to speak distinctly; the loss of voice had

Here Bernheim is showing the power of faith and expectancy on the part of the patient,
which acts as a powerful suggestion to the subconscious mind.

Producing a blister by suggestion

Bernheim states that he produced a blister on the back of a patient’s neck by applying a
postage stamp and suggesting to the patient that it was a fly plaster. This has been
confirmed by the experiments and experiences of many doctors in many parts of the
world, which leave no doubt that structural change, are a possible result of oral
suggestion to patients.

The cause of bloody stigmata

In Hudson’s Law of Psychic Phenomena, page 153, he states, “Hemorrhages and bloody
stigmata may be induced in certain subjects by means of suggestion.

“Dr. M. Bourru put a subject into the somnambulistic condition, and gave him the
following suggestion: ‘At four o’clock this afternoon, after the hypnosis, you will come
into my office, sit down in the armchair, cross your arms upon your breast, and your nose
will begin to bleed.’ At the hour appointed the young man did as directed. Several drops
of blood came from the left nostril.“On another occasion the same investigator traced the
patient’s name on both his forearms with the dull point of an instrument. Then when the
patient was in the somnambulistic condition, he said, ‘At four o’clock this afternoon you
will go to sleep, and your arms will bleed along the lines which I have traced, and your
name will appear written on your arms in letters of blood.’ He was watched at four
o’clock and seen to fall asleep. On the left arm the letters stood out in bright relief, and in
several places there were drops of blood. The letters were still visible three months
afterward, although they had gradually grown faint.”

These facts demonstrate at once the correctness of the two fundamental propositions
previously stated, namely, the constant amenability of the subconscious mind to the
power of suggestion and the perfect control, which the subconscious mind exercises, over
the functions, sensations, and conditions of the body.

All the foregoing phenomena dramatize vividly abnormal conditions induced by
suggestion, and are conclusive proof that as a man thinketh in his heart [subconscious
mind] so is he.

Healing points in review

1. Remind yourself frequently that the healing power is in your own subconscious mind.

2. Know that faith is like a seed planted in the ground; it grows after its kind. Plant the
idea (seed) in your mind, water and fertilize it with expectancy, and it will manifest.

3. The idea you have for a book, new invention, or play is real in your mind. This is why
you can believe you have it now. Believe in the reality of your idea, plan, or invention,
and as you do, it will become manifest.

4. In praying for another, know that your silent inner knowing of wholeness, beauty, and
perfection can change the negative patterns of the other’s subconscious mind and bring
about wonderful results.

5. The miraculous healings you hear about at various shrines are due to imagination and
blind faith which act on the subconscious mind, releasing the healing power.

6. All disease originates in the mind. Nothing appears on the body unless there is a
mental pattern corresponding to it.

7. The symptoms of almost any disease can be induced in you by hypnotic suggestion.
This shows you the power of your thought.

8. There is only one process of healing and that is faith. There is only one healing power,
namely, your subconscious mind.

9. Whether the object of your faith is real or false, you will get results. Your
subconscious mind responds to the thought in your mind. Look upon faith as a thought in
your mind, and that will suffice.

>>> Next Chapter 

Home – Self Hypnosis USA