|This is a partial, informal, and preliminary exposition of some
ideas I have been developing. I look forward to receiving the
benefit of your insights on this subject. Dan Massey
We have learned that finite existence can be understood in
terms of three levels of reality -- material, mental, and spiritual.
Our experience of being results from the harmonization and unification
of these three levels of our existence by personality. Total
health -- personal well-being -- stems from the quality of this
unifying process, and is realized on all three levels of experience.
On the level of spirit as happiness. On the level of mind as
sanity -- mental efficiency. On material levels as bodily health,
physical well-being. (43:4, 1097:72 2065:7)
The total experience of well-being is affected by the quality
of health on all three levels. Two processes are active. Failure
of development at any one level will limit the truth receptivity
of the mind and the ability of the personality to harmonize
the three classes of experience. In addition, failure at a higher
level directly impairs the growth potential at lower, dependent
To put these ideas more positively, true religious growth,
attained through prayer, worship, and other authentic spiritual
experience has beneficial effects on all levels of being and
living. Spiritual growth and truth reception is favored by balanced
development on all three levels of being. (1000:6, 1209:4)
There is a universal impulse to perfection active in all persons.
This impulse is so strong that, even in the absence of a strong
spiritual consciousness, it appears as a desire for physical
and mental health. In the spirituallly and scientifically backward
culture of Jesus' day this was manifest as a nearly universal
desire for physical healing and relief from mental and emotional
anguish. Even the healthy sought these works for others, taking
them as signs of power, and thus bolstering their faith in Jesus
as the Messiah. This impulse was so powerful that Jesus was
forced to devote much of his service time on Urantia to this
particular form of ministry. (1245:2-1646:1, 1633:4)
In Jesus' ministry we learn to distinguish the ideas of health
and healing. Health is a dynamic state of well-being, characterized
by balanced, harmonious growth on all levels of personal experience.
Perfect health is a state of growing, relative perfection, such
as Jesus exhibited throughout his life. By healing we mean a
related growth process by which the levels of personal being
are brought into a unified harmony of relative perfection. Both
health and healing imply positive and constructive growth towards
final perfection. Health is growth in balance and harmony. Healing
growth grows towards balance and harmony.
Although there is no sharp boundary, we think of healing in
terms of growth for the resolution of a state of extreme, abnormal
imperfection or disharmony. We find Jesus practicing healing
in at least five distinct ways:
- 1. First, we see a supportive ministry in which he comforts
the sick and helps them by attending to their immediate physical
needs. This was a novelty for the period.
- 2. Second, we see Jesus applying his superior (superhuman)
knowledge of practical material therapies for specific diseases
- 3. The third category includes a series of involuntary contact
healings in which the faith of the seeker combines with the
compassion and power of the Son to bring about physical healing
in accordance with the Father's will. (Paper 149, Section
1, Pp. 1668-70)
- 4. Fourth, Jesus performed a series of voluntary acts of
healing which were to help the spiritual growth or service
potential of individual believers. (1699:1)
- 5. Finally, Jesus exercised his power and authority as Creator
Son to heal (or, in the case of Lazarus, to resurrect) a person
who did not seek or may not have merited such by faith. In
these cases, the purpose seems to have been related to the
revelation of the Father to a broader audience or the satisfaction
of Jesus' unusual sympathy and compassion.
It is clear that Jesus intended that his followers would minister
according to this example, and the experiences of the seventy
teachers showed that they were able to cure "nervous disorders."
(1807:1) At the same time, many of Jesus' own healing actions
were clearly contingent on his personal, incarnate presence
to occur, for they drew on spirit energies of divinity or ministering
celestial personalities under his direction. To learn what was
possible/hoped for/expected of his follower, it is useful to
review the story of James of Safed and his demon-possessed epileptic
son. (Paper 158, sec. 4-6, pp. 1755:3)
We should review this to learn the factors which contributed
to the failure of the apostles to heal the child, and to discover
the extent to which they might have effected a cure. Clearly
they started off with an unspiritual, egocentric attitude (1756:1),
and compounded this with boldness and presumption (1756:3);
however, subsequent prayer and meditation still failed to enable
a cure (1756:4). When Jesus arrived, he identified "doubting
unbelief" as an obstacle, and then challenged the faith
of the father seeking the cure (1757:2). After reinforcing James'
faith, Jesus accomplished the cure according to the Father's
will (1757:3). The healing was both physical and spiritual (1758:1).
Later that evening, Jesus analyzed the apostles' defeat in
detail (1758:3-5). His summary is noteworthy in that, while
criticizing the apostles, it affirms three principles at work
in his ministry:
- 1. It is potentially possible to time-shorten natural events
when the goal is the Father's will.
- 2. It is potentially possible to perform spiritual work
in the presence of spiritual power.
- 3. Willful actualization of these potentials depends on
the experience of living faith.
This is, in a sense, an elaboration of the principle that the
desire of a true son, when willed by the Father, must be. These
principles applied to Jesus' followers, as was shown by the
later successes of the seventy in spiritual work. If the apostles
had been prepared and grown spiritually, they need not have
failed in their efforts.
From Jesus' example we can identify forms of healing therapy
appropriate to the present day. These include:
- 1. Material therapy--life support, care for the physical
body, corrective surgery, for example.
- 2. Scientific therapy--material application of mental discoveries.
Material therapeutic intervention, specific actions affecting
body operation favorably, based on scientific knowledge, medicine.
- 3. Mental therapy--applied psychology, education, other
aids to emotional and intellectual growth and mental efficiency.
- 4. Spiritual therapy-- spiritual power applied to improve
the function of all levels of personal being.
In these terms we find at least five forms of spiritual therapy
exemplified in Jesus' ministry:
- 1. To build faith and spiritual health-happiness.
- 2. To enhance emotional stability and maturity.
- 3. To build sanity by augmenting truth receptivity.
- 4. To cure nervous disorders.
- 5. Directly to heal physical disease.
All five of these forms of spiritual therapy are potentially
workable for Jesus' true sons.
Jesus' analysis of the apostles' failure with the epileptic
boy gives us some idea of the requirements for such powerful
spiritual actions. We clearly understand that the presence of
total living faith is a prerequisite for the actualization of
the healing potentials inherent in such an occasion. While we
cannot know exactly what James' declaration signified to himself,
his words provide some indication of the kind of faith which
We know that any sequence of events abridging the normal limitations
of time must be for a pure purpose which accords with the Father's
will. What forms of phenomena might be time-shortened in accordance
with the Father's will? What goals would accord with the Father's
Finally, we must consider whether the need to assure the presence
of the necessary spiritual power constitutes a limitation. Specifically,
can we be assured of the presence of the necessary spiritual
Jesus told his apostles they would see the Kingdom come in
power during their own lives, and this promise was fulfilled
in the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth and the universal bestowal
of the Thought Adjusters at Pentecost. The remembrance supper,
the act of communion, factualizes the presence of God, and constitutes
the basis of true worship. While this act, which is the only
sacrament established by Jesus, has purely symbolic significance
to the intellectual believer, its spiritual significance is
increasingly perceived by the more spirit-conscious. To the
truly God-knowing faith son, the Maters' personal presence is
fully revealed. (1133:1, 1942:5)
Although Michael, incarnate as the Son of Man, is no longer
physically among us, this same spirit being, even the Master
Son himself, is still with us, whenever and wherever we choose
to acknowledge his presence. And this presence is surely endowed
with sufficient spiritual power to accomplish all spiritual
work according to the Father's will.
When man thus practices the presence of God, and enters into
the communion of true worship, he participates with the Creator
in his own co-creation by accepting God's will. At the same
time, man also participates in a larger undertaking--the eventuation
of the brotherhood of man.
Since Michael is the Father-Son, his will is the Father's will
and his supreme purpose should indicate to us that will. Our
pure purpose must look towards the emergence of human brotherhood.