New Thought Editorials > Healing Lives: Then and Now


Spring 1999

Healing Lives: Then and Now

Physician Andrew Weil has noted that new systems of treatment for disease are most effective when they first appear on the scene, presumably because people’s interest in the founder/practitioner and faith in the method of treatment are strongest while they are a novelty. Thousands of people were healed or at least helped significantly by P. P. Quimby’s "my explanation is the cure" in mid-nineteenth century New England, just as many were healed by Jesus, whose methods Quimby believed he had rediscovered. But the disciples of Jesus had a somewhat lower success rate, as do the spiritual descendents of Quimby. Jesus and Quimby healed the sick, but that was then; this is now. Is New Thought destined to degenerate into a collection of legends about the good old days when miracles abounded?

Neither Jesus nor Quimby claimed to be able to heal everybody of every ailment. Jesus made it very clear that "the Father," not he, did the healing. He indicated that it was the power of the person’s belief, supported by the belief in the healer, that allowed God to do God’s work of healing. Where belief was not strong, Jesus was unable to do many miracles.

That was then, and people’s knowledge was very limited; they readily believed in miracles, and that belief assisted the healing process. In Quimby’s day, skepticism was somewhat more prevalent, but the average person, hurting, was ready to suspend disbelief and listen to Quimby’s explanations, trusting in the Maine healer.

But this is now. Nobody wants to be gullible. People’s faith is all too often in the skeptics, who doubt everything. Many look to physicians as gods, ironically even more than did the people in the days of Quimby or Jesus. Does our misplaced faith doom us?

Not if we’re like the centurion, whose attitude was, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." We know that the universe operates lawfully, and that the tendency of the subconscious is toward healing, if we’ll just get out of the way. Because of our present knowledge of psychology, knowledge that Quimby had only begun to acquire, we understand how to get our bodies into a relaxed state in which it is easier to tap into the power of the subconscious mind and synchronize it with the conscious mind to create miracles. We also understand that a miracle is not God’s violation of the law, but rather, the operation of a law that we don’t yet fully understand.

Now, we know that God is immanent as well as transcendent, already present and at work in every situation, if we’ll just cooperate by getting out of God’s way. God doesn’t have to break the law in order for us to be healed; we have to start living in harmony with the law and trust God to do the rest.

God’s unconditional love is just as available to us as it was to Jesus and Quimby. We have the same opportunity to heal not only diseased bodies and minds, but also depleted purses and deteriorated relationships, by aligning our wills with the will of God and by turning our attention to God instead of the problem. Then and now, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free.