SFG 3 Resources – Ideals For Healing

Ideals For Healing

(Posted on: March 4, 2013 by David McMillin)

The Cayce approach to healing has a strong ideals-based emphasis structured around a triune model of the self – spiritual, mental, and physical.  Cayce’s triune model is widely recognized as a “holistic” approach to healing because it is based on using a spiritual ideal to align spirit, mind, and body.  Many Cayce readings even suggest an “ideals exercise” designed to examine and modify dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors based upon spiritual considerations. 

Working with ideals using the ideals exercise will be familiar to anyone using the Searching For God material that is based on the Cayce readings.  This article is intended to provide assistance to anyone familiar with the ideals exercise and wishing to adapt it for healing.  If you are totally new to ideals, you may want to begin with the Searching For God lessons to get you up to speed.  The ideals lesson is the third in the sequence, so you should be able become acquainted with this model fairly soon, if you are motivated to use this approach.

A Healing Emphasis

In doing the ideals exercise, the recommendation is to create areas of emphasis based on your own life.  Thus as you formulate your ideals, think in terms of the main areas of your life where they will be applied.  Typically this would be family, work, recreation, and so forth.  If you are in need of healing, this would be one of your areas to focus on with the ideals exercise. 

So after choosing your spiritual ideal, the mental thought patterns and attitudes for healing need to be identified.  Similarly, the physical ideals will probably be rather unique and focused, based on what you are using as a treatment plan.  This will be discussed below, but let’s begin with the spiritual ideal.

The Spiritual Ideal

Healing for the physical body, then, must be first the correct choice of the spiritual import held as the ideal of the individual.  For it is returning, of course, to the First Cause, First Principles.  (2528-2)

Spirit is the motivating factor in life.  Spirit is what moves us.  In choosing a spiritual ideal as the central focus for life when doing the ideals exercise, the emphasis is on choosing the highest standard that you can imagine for your life.

The readings insisted that as you grow in consciousness, your ideals will change.  One of the first considerations that you might want to reflect upon as you begin your healing journey is whether your current spiritual ideal is optimal for all areas of your life, including healing.  You can pray and mediate on this, and if need be, change your spiritual ideal to meet your present needs.

The readings highly recommended Christ Consciousness as a spiritual ideal.  Christ Consciousness was described as oneness with God, as exemplified in the life of the man Jesus.  So that is one possibility, but the choice is really up to each person.  In considering a spiritual ideal that includes a healing emphasis, you may wish to ponder these questions:

  • What motivates or moves you? 
  • What is the purpose of healing? 
  • Do you desire to be healed so that you can go back and live life as you did before becoming ill? 
  • What is the standard by which you measure health?
  • Is health merely a goal to be achieved?
  • Is there a greater purpose in the pursuit of wellness?
  • Do you daily give thanks for our wellness, whatever you health status may be?
  • Do you truly desire to be well or merely to avoid pain?
  • Do health and healing have anything to do with your purpose for living?

Mental Ideals

I like to think of mental ideals as patterns of thought associated with an attitude.  So the real question is whether your thoughts and attitudes are conducive to being healed. 

… what thy ideals are mentally. How much of this or that is necessary in an individual's experience to cultivate such ideals or ideas …  (3198-3)

Then under the MENTAL heading write the ideal mental attitude, as may arise from concepts of the spiritual … (5091-3)

Can you imagine or visualize the effects of healing that you wish to achieve? As you formulate your mental ideals for healing, here are some questions to ponder:

  • Do you expect to be healed?  Expectation is a mental attitude.
  • Do the thoughts and emotions you entertain have anything to do with health?
  • Do you harbor a negative mental mindset or obsess over your health status in a negative way?
  • What is the ideal attitude to hold regarding health and healing?

Physical Ideals

In doing health research with Meridian Institute, I noticed that probably the greatest challenge was to get individuals to actually follow the treatment plan.  It is not that the people were particularly negligent.  Noncompliance with a treatment regimen is common in clinical practice and research settings, regardless of the model or circumstances.  So when it comes to working with ideals to be healed, the physical ideals portion of the ideals exercise is a challenge for many people. Consider the following excerpt from the Cayce readings:

Remember, healing – all healing comes from within. Yet there is the healing of the physical, there is the healing of the mental, there is the correct direction from the spirit. Coordinate these and you'll be whole! But to attempt to do a physical healing through the mental conditions is the misdirection of the spirit that prompts same … But when the law is coordinated, in spirit, in mind, in body, the entity is capable of fulfilling the purpose for which it enters a material or physical experience.  (2528-2)

While all healing comes from within, notice the triune pattern of healing described in this reading.  Mental and physical healing are directed from spirit – from the spiritual ideal.  Physical, mental and spiritual must coordinate.  That is what the ideals exercise is about – coordinating spiritual, mental, and physical under the direction of spirit.

But there was a problem for the individual who received this reading.  The readings maintained that you cannot expect physical healing to come solely from mental processes.  Some people do try.  They assume that since “mind is the builder” that all they have to do is concentrate mentally – visualize or in some manner harness the power mind in positive thinking or such.  This is all fine as a function of the mental ideal, but if you are open to a truly holistic approach to healing, the physical ideal should be considered as well.

The total reliance on spiritual and mental healing is particularly prevalent amongst people on the spiritual path who are strongly oriented to the spiritual and mental aspects of life.  Spirit and mental healing do occur and may be the optimal for some individuals.  As you look within and analyze your own situation, you will decide what is best for your situation.

For most of the individuals who sought readings from Edgar Cayce the pattern was that the physical dimension of healing (physical ideal) was extremely important.  Most of the physical readings did include specific physical treatments that were regarded as an essential aspect of healing.

For example, in several readings individuals asked if their illness had a spiritual or mental cause.  The reply was that the condition was “purely physical.”  For instance, a man with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) asked Cayce, “What can I do about a disturbing noise that is in my ear (or is this purely physical, requiring physical treatment)?” Cayce responded, “Purely physical and not karmic. Remove the stress by head and neck exercise. Have … corrections osteopathically made in the 3rd cervical to the 1st cervical and 4th dorsal.” (5346-1) In another instance, a woman asked Cayce about the source of her gall bladder attacks: “What mental or spiritual condition brought them about?” Cayce replied, “Neither a mental or spiritual, but rather a purely physical reaction. And, as indicated, keep away from meats!” 

That fact that these individuals asked about possible spiritual and mental aspects of the problem suggests that they had a great deal of spiritual and mental awareness.  Apparently that was not the problem.  A person may be wonderfully spiritual and have a great mind full of positive, constructive thoughts, and for various reasons just never get around to putting it all into practice in a physical way.  If “holistic” healing is based on ideals and follows the pattern of the ideals exercise, then leaving out physical application in the healing process would be like doing the ideals exercise and ignoring the physical ideals.  It could simply be a matter of ignorance – not knowing what to do.

Another possibility is that “purely physical” illness may be the result of neglect.  A reading given for a woman suffering from bowel problems illustrates this point. She asked Cayce, “Since all disease is caused by sin, exactly what sin causes the colon and elimination condition?” Cayce responded, “The sin of neglect. Neglect is just as much sin as grudge, as jealousy – neglect.” (3051-7) She then continued to pursue this line of questioning to identify a more symbolic sin, a spiritual or mental failure perhaps, for the various symptoms that she was experiencing. Cayce kept coming back to neglect as the basic cause of her physical symptoms. Apparently she was just not paying attention to the needs of her physical body.  In terms of the ideals exercise as applied to healing, she was not doing the physical ideals.

So if you decide to use this holistic model of healing and apply the ideals exercise for your unique health situation, consider the role of all three aspects of the self: spiritual, mental, and physical.  Of course by using the holistic model you will need to determine exactly what are the physical activities that are required for your healing.  This may be determined by your interaction with your physician or healing partner, if you have one.  The A.R.E. does offer treatment plans for various conditions that may be suited to your situation.  Trust your inner guidance on this as you would with any question that arises on the spiritual path.

There is one final aspect of working with physical ideals for healing.  Doing physical treatments properly means spiritualizing them by doing them in the right spirit – the spiritual ideal.  They are to be done with purpose and meaning (which are spiritual attributes).  Engage the mind by seeing (visualizing) the results that are to be accomplished while doing the therapies.  Do not do them simply as rote, or as something merely to be done with.

Putting it all together (spiritual, mental, and physical) by applying the ideals exercise for healing makes sense and is a powerful tool for transformation – making a stepping stone from a stumbling block.

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