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We humans are inclined to identify things in terms of the feelings we have experienced in contact, or relationship, with them. "Pain, suffering, trouble, and sorrow" are the associations we tend to make when "hospital" is brought to our attention. With such associations in mind and feeling, emphasized through the years, it is no wonder that anxiety, fear, and terror rise up in us when hospital-experience becomes imminent. We recognize and admit, from the evidence of our conditions, that we need help; we desperately want release from the inharmony and discomfort of disease and injury; but, in our limited comprehension of "hospital-truth," we tend to intensify our difficulty. We become so preoccupied with pain and fear that we anesthetize our consciousness of health and our faith in the availability of healing powers. It is true that people can release themselves from physical, emotional, and mental inharmony by an internal action, a switch in consciousness from congestion-on-inharmony to realization-of-health. These persons give living proof that healing is internal. The primordial, instinctive will-to-live is the basic healing agency for even those persons who are not aware of a conscious faith in recovery. However, the conscious intensifying of the awareness of health and healing not only hastens the correction of the particular condition but re-establishes health on all planes of functioning. All of these forms of service which might be called the "paths of healing" are, in truth, means by which humans assist other humans to diminish fear and hopelessness and to intensify their recognitions of the nature of well-being. Pisces, the twelfth house-sign of the Great Mandala, is the key.
There are two astrological mandalas, extracts from the Great Astrological Mandala (twelve-housed wheel, Aries as Ascendant-sign, thirty degrees of each zodiacal sign corresponding to each house), which may be studied in consideration of why humans have hospital-experience. The first one depicts the evolutionary causes. This is drawn by indicating the symbols of the mutable signs at the cusps of the ninth, sixth, third, and twelfth houses, the symbol for Sagittarius at the ninth cusp drawn larger than the other three, and all four cusps connected by a sequence of straight lines and the two intersecting diameters. This drawing results in the mutable square and its internal complementary lines of force. The drawing of the square should start at the Sagittarius cusp because this sign is the "fire-sign representative" of the mutable cross; as such, it symbolizes the apperception of truth. The fourth sign in clockwise sequence from Sagittarius is Pisces, representing the water-element, and the subject of this discourse. A more condensed representation of this sequence will be seen in a vertical line of the four mutable signs with Sagittarius at the bottom, Virgo next above, Gemini next above, and Pisces at the top; a vertical line at the side, with the arrow-head at the top next to Pisces will show how (because this is a "square-mandala") "default in Sagittarius leads to negative Pisces conditions;" in other words, lack of apperception of truth leads to twelfth house, Pisces, karmic condition. In terms of "square and opposition aspect-interpretation," this mandala reveals that hospitals are places of limitation, constriction, and entombment only to the consciousness which refuses the opportunities to recognize Truth; the conditions which make hospitalization necessary are always the results of having expressed un-truth in the past. But, Truth is an attribute of eternal Being; it is always available, always serviceable, and omnipotent to help. Therefore, the karmic necessity which we call "hospital- experience" can be regarded as an opportunity to perceive truth-of-being in greater degree than ever before.
If, in this mandala of the mutable square, Sagittarius represents past default on cognition and expression of Truth, then Pisces—at the top of the sequence—represents the outpicturing of that default in terms of necessity to make atonement. We make atonement by a process of refocalization of consciousness and the externalizing of this refocalization is the slowed-down experience of being incarcerated in the hospital. A hospital is a place of limitation, incarceration, sorrow, pain, and trouble only to a person who refuses to expand his consciousness of himself in relation to his experience. To a person who truly seeks truth, the hospital is a place of opportunity for re-newal. Pain-experience focalizes the great internal query of "Why?" When a person's "why?" is sincere, Truth always and inevitably recharges his consciousness and clarifies the meaning of the experience. Self-pity, unreasonable worry, and bitterness keep the person aligned to the "mutable square"—and all of its implications. The sincere desire to realize health inspires the suffering person to seek the truthful understanding of the causes of his condition.
One person's hospital-experience also provides similar opportunity to each of his loved ones who are thus given the opportunity to expand and impersonalize on the emotional and mental planes. In unthought-ful pity we emphasize the painful elements of our loved one's experience because our attention is on the pain-ful outer aspect, not on the truthful significance of the experience as an indication of opportunity for growth, harmonization, and realization. Sagittarius, as the "root" of this representation of the mutable square, states that there is an understanding of principle to be perceived in the experience; when the opportunity is resisted and resented, the incarceration-in-difficulty intensifies; when it is accepted with a dissolution of self-pity and self-justification, the inpouring of Truth not only clarifies consciousness but it also strengthens faith and deepens the capacity for pure sympathy. One then comes into clearer and more truthful understanding of the difficulties of others, and the powers of right helpfulness are expanded and re-enforced.
The path of humanity's evolution is traversed by two principal "modes." One is the mode of mysticism; this is the "Heart Path" of sympathy, inspiration, instrumentation, impersonal devotion, prayer, and dedication. It is basically symbolized by Pisces as ruler-ship sign of Neptune and exaltation-sign of Venus. The other is the mode of esotericism, the radiative power and mind Path. It identifies the path of scientists, inventors, creative artists, magicians, and alchemists. All humans who serve through healing activities incline, basically, to one or the other of these modes, but both modes are essential for the identification of a Master Healer.
The mystic path of healing-activity is well illustrated by such persons as Bernadette Soubirous, through whose inspired instrumentation the Grotto of Lourdes was established; Father Flanagan, who established Boys' Town, and all persons who pray for humanity's healing also illustrate the mystic mode. Research scientists, inventors, administrators, surgeons, and dentists illustrate the esotericist mode. Florence Nightingale, primarily an example of the esotericist mode, was a wonderful example of the combination of both modes.
In the type of healer who most closely is associated with the correction of the patient's illness will be found an important clue as to the karma cause of the illness. The healer stands as a personalized representative of an expansion of consciousness which the patient needs to make—truly to correct the cause of his illness. The skill of a surgeon (esotericist) may correct the external aspect of the condition, but the devoted and loving tenderness of the nurse (mystic) may be the power which most completely inspires the patient with renewal of his consciousness of the truth of health; a nurse who is careless, indifferent, and without sympathy may discourage the patient and increase his preoccupation with his trouble. His surgeon, however, may inspire him by his command of knowledge and skill, and this form of inspiration may stimulate in the patient a deeper- than-ever desire to know the truth of his condition. It is sincerely felt by the author that the healer-as-esotericist is basically symbolized by Neptune being exalted in Leo, the Sun's sign and arch-symbol of power.
The second mandala of hospital-experience is the water-trine mandala: an equilateral triangle formed by straight line connecting the cusps of the twelfth, eighth, and fourth houses; the symbols for Pisces, Scorpio, and Cancer appropriately placed; the symbol for Pisces drawn larger than the other two sign-symbols, and the symbol for Neptune placed in the twelfth house. Prepare three of these. In the first, indicate the diameter Pisces-Virgo; in the second, indicate the diameter Scorpio-Taurus; in the third indicate the diameter Cancer- Capricorn. These mandalas illustrate the fullness of the significance of each of the water-signs to hospital-experience by application of the Principle of Polarity. The symbols for the three water-signs arranged in a vertical line with Pisces at the top, Scorpio second, and Cancer at the bottom, will clearly picture the sequence which is appropriate to this discussion.
First mandala—Pisces-Virgo: This is the diameter of consciousness of health, the depletion of which makes therapy or hospital- experience necessary. Virgo is health as the basic potency which makes serviceable activity possible; Pisces is the needed redemption of that potency. The person whose consciousness of physical potency or ability is less than its natural fullness cannot express the fullness of his serviceable activity, even though he may make heroic efforts in spite of his limitation. Those efforts, made as an expression of his will, are in effect redemption from within, but if therapy can assist to unfold expansion of ability, then the person "asks for help from Pisces"—he enters a hospital, "cuts off" from his previous activity for a time, accepts limitation of activity, and, at the same time, he accepts the opportunity more fully to improve his physical condition and his capacity for serviceable activity. The hospital-building which he enters for help and regeneration is an externalization of the overshadowing powers of divine grace. Think about this.
No one is immune from the action of the Law of Cause and Effect, but, though every individual must face and resolve his karmic residues, the powers of Divine Grace are inherent in every activity by which humans receive help in the resolution of their difficulties. The presence of Divine Grace in the human heart is evidenced by any hospital, from the small tent-ward on the field of combat to the gigantic and complex institutions of metropolitan cities; all hospitals, from smallest to largest, are continually over-shadowed and recharged by healing agencies from higher dimensions. The most inspiredly dedicated of our healers are those who are, consciously or unconsciously, most sensitive to the directive stimulus of these Higher Agencies. Humans, seeing only the surface of things, interpret hospitals as being places of pain, sorrow, and darkness. The exact opposite is true: Hospitals are focalizations of the healing powers of light and love. When suffering humanity realizes this, the whole attitude toward their necessary hospital-experience undergoes a drastic and illuminating change. Faith, gratitude, hopefulness, and reassurance neutralize the constricting effects of pain, and both consciousness and body expand to make a more efficient adjustment to healing treatments. The power of Divine Grace transforms a hospital from being a place where ripe karma of pain, sorrow, and limitation must be endured to being a place where redemption and at-one-ment may be experienced.
If the first mandala, headed by Pisces, is the "what and where" of hospital-experience, then the diameter Scorpio-Taurus indicates the means by which hospital service is carried out and fulfilled. Esoterically, Scorpio-Taurus is the diameter of stewardship, the spiritual principle which is distilled in human consciousness through experiences of "possession and ownership." That which is "stewarded" in hospital service and experience is regenerative power. It originates in higher, invisible dimensions, it is directed by Invisible Servers and channeled in each healing-institution by human servers to those in need. The Invisible Servers work dedicatedly through long spans of time to direct the focalization of power for human needs and the sign Scorpio symbolizes very clearly the dedicated consciousness and disciplined abilities of all true human healers.
Florence Nightingale, whose indefatigable labors extended through a lifetime of ninety years stands as a wonderful human example of the persistent services of Invisible Healers. Healers discipline themselves to qualify, but no healer "owns" healing power— in his stewardship of his personal equipment he acts as a "steward" of that which is projected from Invisible Sources for use on this plane. All releasement of power is subsequent to focalization of Power; the healer who, in a balanced and harmonious way, conserves his personal resources is the one who can most effectively release the power which flows through him to his patients; these resources pertain to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of his being. Therefore, Scorpio- Taurus refers to the material of power which makes healing-regeneration possible through focalization and release; it refers to the Principle of Stewardship which operates through the consciousness of invisible and visible healers; it refers to the omnipresent Source of power, the provid-ance of Father-Mother God for the preservation and regeneration of evolving forms and microcosms. He who would serve as "healer," in dedicated service, "takes hands" with his Invisible Elders and serves as their incarnated "grounded" instrument.
The third representation of this mandala, emphasized by Cancer, which is polarized by Capricorn, illustrates "that" which inspires or prompts a human to walk the Path of Healing-service. It is the parental power of pure sympathy. It was once said that "the first hospital was built when a human first prayed unselfishly and in the fullness of faith for the healing of a fellow human." That form of prayer when externalized in the physical is the hospital-building which encloses, as the womb encloses the growing embryo, the expanding emergence of health-consciousness. Cancer, the maternal symbol, illustrates the qualities of sympathy, tenderness, mercy, and compassion which inspire humans to assist in the healing of others; Capricorn, the paternal symbol, illustrates the providence of organized material form for the protection and enclosure of healing-activities, corresponding to the material home which a father provides for the protection of his young. "Embryo in the womb" and "patient in the hospital" correspond to each other in the sense that each is having the opportunity to unfold anew his life- consciousness through experience.
The relation of hospital-administrators and servers to patients has many points of similarity to the relation of parents to their children. All therapists are "parents" to their patients' renewal of Life-consciousness through their activities in health-improvement, and health- improvement is always an agency of liberation. He who would liberate himself from the causes of physical inharmony must renew, regenerate, and revitalize his consciousness; he who would most truly serve on the path of healing must add to his technical knowledge and skill by learning of the importance of helping others to regenerate their consciousness. Healing is a spirit-ual thing; those who heal most truly are those who serve to reveal the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of the Indwelling Spirit. Prayer is the "technique" for this revealment; prayer and skill-knowledge unify the mystic-esotericist powers in the healer. Sympathy, humility, dedication to factual and spiritual truth, balanced personal discipline, and faith make it possible for each healer to "ground" the regenerative forces from the higher realms for use in the hospital where he or she serves.
In conclusion, these three representations of the water-trine mandala may be used to study prison experience. In their essential nature and purpose prisons are hospitals. In both, karmic residues are to be faced and resolved; the same Power and the same Agencies serve both; the prime objective of both forms of service is: atonement, and "atonement" means increased consciousness of at-one- ment, the harmonized unification of body, emotion, mind, and soul with Spirit.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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