Mental Purification and Healing

Hazrat Inayat Khan




There are different ways of looking at illness. One person will look at an illness as a punishment from above; another person looks at it as a punishment brought about by his own misdeeds. There is another way of looking at illness, and that is that it comes from the past karmas, that one has to pay back by illness the karmas, the actions of the past. I have seen patients go through their illness in the though that as it is the debt of the past that one has to pay, it is just as well that it should be paid back. When we look at it critically, we find that the one who thinks that it is a punishment that God inflicts upon a person, certainly puts God in a severe light, making Him a hard Judge instead of a most merciful and compassionate Father and Mother, both in one. If the earthly mother and father would not like to inflict pain and suffering upon their child, it is hard to think that God, whose mercy and compassion are infinitely greater than those of the earthly parents, could send illness to a person as a punishment for his actions. It seems more reasonable when a person says that the illness is brought about by his own actions. But it is not always true, it is not true in every case. Very often the most innocent and the best souls, who have nothing but good wishes and kind thoughts, will be found among sufferers.

Thinking that it is the debt of the past life gives on the idea of fatalism, that there is a certain suffering through which one must pass, that there is no other way, and that therefore one must patiently endure something which is most disagreeable. I have seen a young man suffering from an illness, who most contentedly told me, on my giving him advice to do something for his health, 'I believe that this is a debt of the past that I have to pay. I might just as well pay it.' From a business point of view it can be looked at differently. What man does not wish for himself is not for him, is not his portion. For in every soul there is the power of the Almighty, there is a spark of divine light, there is the spirit of the Creator; and therefore all that man wishes to have is his birthright. Naturally a soul does not wish to have an illness unless he is unbalanced. If the soul knew the power of his natural inclination to enjoy health, he would experience health in life in spite of all the difficulties that the conditions of life may present.

One may wonder if illness is never to be understood as being the will of god. And if not, how is it with death? Death is different from illness, for illness is worse than death. The sting of death is only momentary; the idea that one leaves one's surroundings is one moment's bitter experience, no longer; but illness is incompleteness, and that is not desirable. Is it wrong to let a person die who is suffering very much, or should one use artificial means to keep him alive? It is not advisable that a doctor, or a relation, or anyone should kill a person who is suffering very much from a disease, in order to save him from pain; for nature is wise, and every moment that one passes on this physical plane has its purpose. We human beings are too limited to judge, to decide to put an end to life and suffering. We must try to make the suffering less for that person, to do everything in our power to make that person feel better. But to use artificial means of keeping someone alive for hours or days is not aright thing to do; because that is going against nature's wisdom and the divine plan. It is as bad as killing a person. The tendency is for man always to go further than he ought to; that is where he makes a mistake.

Can astrology help to find out the cause of a disease? Is such a method to be recommended? Yes, astrology can help to find out the cause, if it is the right astrology; but it is not to be recommended for a person who looks at a condition in which he is helpless. In a case in which it is favorable, then it works to his disadvantage. For instance an astrologer said to someone, 'In three year' time you will be ill, and in the end you will die.' This man became ill and died at the end of three years. Why must we, therefore, depend upon such things? Why not depend upon the life and light of God which are in us? why not say to oneself that life lives and death dies? And why not always hope for the best to come, never look at nor expect the worst to come? One might say that in order to be ready to face the worst we should look at the dark side. But by looking at the dark side of things one focuses one's spirit on it, and so involves oneself in all kinds of obscurities, instead of rising above it and seeking for the light, hoping for the best to come. In that way one prepares oneself also to face the worst if it should come.

No doubt a man is very often himself the cause of the disorder of this physical mechanism. It is this disorder which he calls illness, whether it is physical or mental. Sometimes it is his neglect, sometimes an unbalanced condition around him cause an illness. Nevertheless, to have a yielding attitude towards illness is not the right thing. No doubt it is a good thing to look upon the illness of which one has been cured as having been a trial, a test, an ordeal through which one was passing and which one has left behind; thinking that it was for the better, that one is now purified, that one has learned a lesson from it. And that one has become more thoughtful and considerate towards oneself and others by an experience like this. To think, 'What I am going through is something that I must continually bear,' is not the right attitude. The attitude should be, 'No, this is not my portion in life. I forget it. I must do everything in my power to overcome it, by a thought, by a feeling, by a belief, by a good action, by progress, by a conception, by healing, by whatever method.' There must be no limitation.

Sometimes a person says, 'I believe only in healing, I will not touch medicine, it is material'; that is wrong also. Sometimes a person says, 'I only believe in medicine, I have no faith in healing'; that is wrong, too. To grow towards perfect health, to bring about a cure, one must heal oneself from morning till evening. One should think, 'Every ray of the sun cures me, the air heals me; the food I take has an effect upon me; with every breath I inhale something which is healing, purifying, bringing me to perfect health.' With a hopeful attitude towards a cure, towards health, towards a perfect life, a person rises above disorders, which are nothing but inharmonious conditions of mind or body, and makes himself more fit to accomplish his life's purpose.

It is not selfish to think about one's health. No doubt it is undesirable to be thinking about one's illness all the time, to worry about it, or to be too anxious about it. But to care about one's health is the most religious thing there is, because it is the health of body and mind that enables one to do service to God and to one's fellow-men, by which one accomplishes one's life's purpose. One should think, 'I come from a perfect source and I am bound for a perfect goal. The light of the perfect Being is kindled in my soul. I live, move, and have my being in God. And nothing in the world of the past or present has power to touch me if I rise above all.' It is this thought which will make one rise above influences of inharmony and disorder, and will bring a person to the enjoyment of the greatest bliss in life, which is health.