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(11:32.) Illnesses usually represent unfaced problems, in your terms, and these dilemmas embody challenges meant to lead you to greater achievement and fulfillment. Because body and mind operate so well together, one will attempt to cure the other, and will often succeed if left alone. The organism has its own beliefs in health that are unconscious on your part.
For all her talk of desperation, then, Dineen has chosen her field of conflict. She will avoid any kind of disfiguration or severe health problem, which to her would be a far greater danger. Because of different personal characteristics, another individual will hold qualities of the mind, say, inviolate, and work out challenges through bodily illness. Another may choose the severest poverty, projecting into that situation his or her own resolved conflicts. Another may choose alcoholism.
As I have said before, your thoughts are reality. They directly affect your body. It seems that you are highly civilized people because you put your ill into hospitals where they can be cared for. What you do, of course, is to isolate a group of people who are filled with negative beliefs about illness. The contagion of beliefs spreads. Patients are obviously in hospitals because they are ill. The sick and their doctors both work on that principle.
In such cases the dilemma is projected outside of the self and seen as an exterior condition which can be manipulated. Indeed, a “magical” transformation is involved. This is not to be construed, however, as a statement that all creative acts result from individual problems or neuroses. Quite the contrary, in fact. Such problems projected outward can never really be solved as far as the individual is concerned, of course, since their source is not understood.
Since the source is not understood, no exterior manipulation in the social structure will be effective enough, and the person involved will see the problem personified in every issue. Hence, even improvements in the social framework will be “invisible” to the individual’s perception — not noticed. They will seem so minute in comparison with the problem.
(Pause.) In all of these areas the problem, whatever its nature or cause, is in one way or another “magically” transferred to another facet of activity, projected away from the self. Huge energy blocks are moved. The man who has believed that he was evil may now see the world, or persons of another faith or political affiliation, as evil instead. He then feels rid of the problem itself but is quite ready to attack it in others, and with great self-righteousness and justification.
Dictation: I am not implying that all social workers are driven by personal problems. On the other hand, it is quite true to say that many such questions turn into challenges with a change of mind, and are then used as impetuses to affect social alterations.
The same sort of reaction occurs if you concentrate upon a personal illness, and then find any improvements insignificant because of the great focus of your attention upon the negative aspects.
You will often try to project a problem outward to free yourself. If this is done the question at issue will seem forever outside of you, beyond solution, and of mass proportion. Let us look into a situation involving a woman I will call Dineen, who telephoned Ruburt today from a Western state, and see one of the predicaments that can arise.
You are convinced of the reality of illness. It may not be “out to get you” as viciously as Dineen believes that evil is bent on threatening her, but the issues are the same.
You can project your dilemmas or your abilities outward into other avenues of activity, then, but until you realize that you form your reality and that your power resides in the moment, you will not be able to solve your problems nor utilize your strengths properly.
Each individual has what I will call a psychic territory of power. This represents an inviolate area in which the person insists upon remaining supreme, aware of his or her uniqueness and abilities. This psychic region will be protected at all costs, and here there is indeed immunity from all disease or lack. Other portions of the psyche may be battlegrounds for problems, but the individual will not really feel threatened in a critical way as long as this primary territory is intact.
In these cases there can be some feeling of panic if an analyst, or friend, tries to switch the areas of conflict. For instance, the alcoholic is well acquainted with the battleground he or she has picked. An ill person, suddenly well, has to face dilemmas that were ignored before, or personified in disease.
(11:09.) The habit of not facing problems, which indeed are challenges, can be addictive. A feeling of powerlessness in one field can be transferred to others. When this happens through natural hypnosis, then even the psychic territory of power can be assailed. Here the individual becomes thoroughly aroused, threatened, and realizes for the first time perhaps the nature of belief and his or her predicament. Here you have life and death struggles in creative terms. Some miraculous cures or change-abouts in midlife occur as a result.
(Very intently all through here:) Women delivering children are placed in the same environment. This may seem very humane to you, and yet the entire system is structured so that childbirth does not seem to be the result of health but of illness.
Stimuli pertaining to health is effectively blocked in such organizations. The ill are gathered together and denied all of their normal and natural conditions, including the compensating motivations that alone would sometimes be enough to restore health if given time.
(11:23.) For all practical purposes the ill are put into prison. They are forced to concentrate upon their condition. All of this applies quite apart from any other dehumanizing effects, such as overcrowded conditions, the denial of human privacy, and often the negation of dignity.
Furthermore, the natural elements of sun, air, and earth are refused him. The stability of familiarity is withdrawn. Now with your set of beliefs you are indeed more or less obligated to go to hospitals in severe conditions. I am not saying here that many doctors and nurses do not try their best to promote healing, and certainly healings occur — but they do so despite the system and not because of it. In many cases the belief of a doctor in a person who is ill revives him and rearouses his own belief in himself. The patient’s confidence in the doctor will then reinforce the entire medical procedure, and he may then be filled with faith in his recovery. But as there are natural healing processes within animals, so there are in your race.