Western Wisdom Teachings

General Causes of Disease


   Disease is really a fire, the Invisible Fire which is The Father endeavoring to break up the crystallized conditions which we have gathered in our bodies. We recognize fever as a fire, but tumors,cancers, and all other diseases are really also the effect of that invisible fire, which endeavors to purify the system and free it from conditions which we have brought about by breaking the laws of Nature.

   Again, we may say that disease is a manifestation of ignorance, the only sin, and healing is a demonstration of applied knowledge, which is the only salvation. Christ is an embodiment of the Wisdom Principle, and in proportion as the Christ is formed in us we attain to health. Therefore, the healer should be spiritual and endeavor to imbue his patient with high ideals so that he may eventually learn to conform to God's laws which govern the universe, and thus attain permanent health in future lives as well as now.

   The Old Testament opens with the account of how man was led astray by the false light of the Lucifer Spirits, giving birth to all the sorrow and suffering in the world; it closes with the promise that the Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with Healing in its wings. And in the New Testament we find the Sun of Righteousness, the true light, come to save the world, and the first fact that is stated in regard to Him is that He is of Immaculate Conception.

   Now this point be thoroughly understood, that it is the Luciferian taint of passion which has brought sorrow, sin, and suffering into the world. When the creative power is used for sense gratification, whether in solitary or associated vice, with or without legal marriage, that is the sin which cannot be forgiven; it must be expiated. Humanity as a whole is now suffering for that sin. The debilitated bodies, the sickness that we see around us has been caused by centuries of abuse, and until we learn to subdue our passions there can be no true health among the human race.

   Prior to the impregnation of the desire body with this demoniac principle, conception was immaculate and a sacrament. Men walked in the presence of the Angels then, pure and unashamed. The act of fertilization was as chaste as that of the flower. Therefore when the mischief had been wrought, immediately the messenger, or Angel, girded them with leaves to impress upon them the ideal which they must learn to live, namely, like that of the plant. Whenever we are able to perform the act of generation in a pure, chaste, and passionless manner as the plant does, an immaculate conception takes place and a Christ is born, capable of conquering death and establishing immortality, a true light to lead humanity away from the will-o'-the-wisp of passion; through self-sacrifice to compassion.

   This then is the great ideal toward which we are striving: to cleanse ourselves from the taint of egoism and self-seeking. Therefore we look upon the emblem of the Rose Cross as an ideal. The seven red roses typify the cleansed blood; the white rose shows the purity of life; and the golden radiating star symbolizes that inestimable influence for health, helpfulness and spiritual uplift which radiates from every servant of humanity.

   Until the Christ life illlumines us from within we do not comprehend, neither do we follow, the laws of Nature, and consequently we contract diseases by our ignorant contravention of these laws. As Emerson put it, a man who is sick is a scoudnrel in the act of being found out; he has broken the laws of Nature. That is why it is necessary that the gospel of Christ should be preached; that every one of us should learn to love our God with our whole heart and our whole soul and our brother as ourselves, for all our trouble in the world, whether we recognize it or not, comes from the one great fact of our selfishness. If the alimentative function is deranged, what is the reason? Is it not that we have overtaxed our system because we have been angered, and exhausted our nervous force by trying to get someone to serve our selfish ends, and we feel resentful because we have not succeeded? In every case selfishness is the prime cause of most diseases; selfishness is the supreme besetting sin of ignorance.

Causes of Mental Disabilities

   The disabilities which affect humanity may be divided into two large classes: mental and physical. The mental troubles are particularly traceable to the abuse of the creative function, when they are congenital, with one exception which we shall note later. The same holds true in case of impairment of the faculty of speech. This is reasonable and easy to understand. The brain and the larynx were built with half of the creative force by the Angels, so that man who, prior to the acqusition of these organs, was bisexual and able to create from himself alone, lost that faculty when these organs were created and is now dependent upon the cooperation of another of opposite polarity or sex in order to generate a new vehicle for an incoming Spirit.

   When we use spiritual sight to look at man in the Memory of Nature during the time when he was yet in the making, we find that wherever there is now a nerve, there was first a desire current; that the brain itself was made of desire substance in the place and also the larynx. It was desire that first sent a motive impulse through the brain and created these nerve currents, that the body might be moved and obtain for the Spirit whatever gratification was indicated by desire. Speech, also, is used for the purpose of obtaining a desired object or end. Through these faculties man has obtained a certain mastery over the world, and if he could just flit from one body to another, there would be no end to his abuse of his power for gratifying every whim and desire. But under the Law of Consequence he takes with him into a new body, faculties and organs similar to those which he left behind in the one preceding.

   When passion haw wrecked the body in one life, it is stamped upon the seed atom. In the next descent to rebirth it is therefore impossible for him to gather sound material with which to build a brain of stable construction. He is then usually born under one of the common signs and usually also, the four common signs are on the angles; for through these signs passionate desire finds it difficult to express itself. Thus the powerful impulse which formerly ruled in his brain and which might be used for the purpose of rejuvenescence is absent; he lacks incentive in life and therefore he becomes helpless--a log upon the ocean of life--often insane.

   But the Spirit is not insane; it sees, knows, and has a keen desire to use the body, though that may be an impossibility, for often it cannot even send a correct impulse along the nerves. The muscles of face and body are therefore not under the control of its will. This accounts for the lack of co-ordination which makes the maniac such a pitiable sight. And thus the Spirit learns one of the hardest lessons in life, namely, that it is worse than death to be tied to a living body and unable to find expression through it because the desire force necessary to accomplish thought, speech, and motion has been spent in unrighteous living in a previous life and left the Spirit without the necessary energy to operate its present fleshly instrument.

   Though mental disabilities, when congenital, are generally traceable to abuse of the creative function in a past life, there is at least one notable exception to this rule: Where a Spirit, who has a particularly hard life before it, comes down to rebirth and feels upon entering the womb that the panorama of the coming life then shown it marks an existence too hard for it to undergo, it sometimes tries to run away from the school of life. At this time the Recording Angels or their agents have already made the connection between the vital body and the sense centers of the brain in the forming fetus; therefore the effort of the Spirit to escape from the mother's womb is frustrated, but the wrench that is given by the Ego deranges the connection between the etheric and physical sense centers, so that the vital body is not concentric with the physical,causing the etheric head to extend above the physical cranium. Thus it is impossible for the Spirit to use the dense vehicle; it is tied to a mindless body which it cannot use, and the embodiment is practically wasted.

   We also find cases where a great shock later in life causes the Spirit to endeavor to run away with the invisible vehicles. As a result a similar wrench is given to the etheric sense centers in the brain, and the shock deranges the mental expression. Everybody has probably felt a similar sensation on receiving a fright; a surging as of something endeavoring to get out of the dense body; that is the desire and vital bodies, which are so swift in their action that an express train is as a snail by comparison. They see and feel the danger and are frightened before the scare is transmitted to the inert and slow physical body in which they are anchored, and which prevents their escape under ordinary strain.

   But at times, as said, the fright and shock are sufficiently severe to give them such an impulse that the etheric sense centers are deranged. This most frequently happens to persons born under common signs, which are the weakest in the zodiac. However, as a ligament that has been stretched and torn may gradually regain comparative elasticity, so also, in these cases, it is easier to restore the mental faculties than in those cases where congenital insanity, brought over from past lives, has caused inadequate connection.

Causes of Physical Disabilities

   With regard to physical abnormalities and deformities, the rule seems to be that as the physical indulgence of passion reacts on the metal state, so the abuse of the mental powers in one life leads to physical disability in later existences. An occult maxim says, "A lie is both murder and suicide in the Desire World," Whenever an occurrence takes place, a certain thought from generated in the invisible world makes a record of the incident. Every time the event is talked about or commented upon, a new thought from is created which coalesces with the original and strengthens it, provided they are both true to the same vibration. But if an untruth is told concerning what happens, then the vibrations of the original and those of the reproduction are not identical; they jar and jangle, tearing each other to pieces. If the good and true thought form is sufficiently strong, it will overcome and break down the thought forms based upon a lie, and the good will overcome the evil; but where the lies and malicious thoughts are the stronger, they may overcome the true thought form of the occurrence and thus demolish it. Afterwards they will jar among themselves, and all will in turn be annihilated. All things, in the ultimate, work together for good.

   Thus a person who lives a clean life, endeavoring to obey the laws of God and striving earnestly for truth and righteousness, will crate thought forms about him of a corresponding nature; his mind will run in grooves that harmonize with truth; and when the time comes in the second heaven to create the archetype for his coming life, he will readily, intuitively, by force of habit from the past life, align himself with the forces of right and truth. These lines being built into his body, will create harmony in the coming vehicles, and health will therefore be his normal portion in the coming life. Those who, on the other hand, have in the past life taken a distorted view of things, displayed a disregard for truth, and exercised cunning, extreme selfishness, and disregard for the welfare of others, are bound in the second heaven to see things in ab oblique manner also, because that is their habitual line of thought. Therefore, the archetype built by them will embody lines of error and falsity; and consequently, when the body is brought to birth, it will exhibit a weakness in various organs, if not in the whole bodily organization.

   Again we warn students not to draw quick conclusions from these tentative rules. It is not our intention to imply that everyone that has a seemingly healthy body has been a paragon of virtue in his past life, and he who suffers from one disability or another has been a scapegrace or good-for-nothing. None of us are able to tell at the present time "the whole truth and nothing but the truth." We are deceived because our senses are illusive. A long street seems to narrow in the distance, when, as a matter of fact, it is just as wide a mile away as where we are standing. The sun and the moon seem much larger when near the horizon than when at the zenith; but, as a matter of fact, we know that they do not gain in size by descending toward the horizon, nor lose by ascending into the mid-heaven. Thus we are constantly making allowances for and correcting sense illusions; similarly, with everything else in the world. What seems to be true is not always so, and what is true today regarding conditions of life may change tomorrow. Therefore it is impossible for us to know truth in the ultimate under the evanescent and illusory conditions of physical existence.

   It is only when we enter the higher realms, and particularly into the Region of Concrete Thought, that the eternal verities are to be perceived; hence we must necessarily make mistakes again and again, even despite our most earnest efforts always to know and tell the truth. On that account it is impossible for us to build a thoroughly harmonious vehicle. Were that possible, such a body would really be immortal, and we know that immortality in the flesh is not the design of God. Paul says that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."

   But we know that even today only a very small percentage are ready to live as near the truth as they see it, to confess it and profess it before men by service and by righteous and harmless living. We can only understand that such must have been few and far between in the by-gone days, when man had not evolved the altruism that came to this planet with the advent of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. The standards of morality were much lower then, and the love of truth almost negligible in the greater part of humanity, who were engrossed in their endeavors to accumulate as much wealth or gain as much power or prestige for themselves as possible. They were therefore naturally inclined to disregard the interests of others, and to tell a lie seemed in no way reprehensible and sometimes even appeared meritorious. The archetypes were constantly full of weaknesses, and the organic functions of the body today are interfered with to a serious degree as a result, particularly as the Western bodies are becoming more high strung and more sensitive to pain on account of the spirit's growing consciousness.

   This article was adapted from "Occult Principles of Health and Healing," page 55-64, by Max Heindel.

Click here to return to home page.