What the doctors and psychologists have failed to see clearly is the rather startling fact that the subconscious or low self is not the only one afflicted with fixations of ideas—the complex.
Freud, Jung, Adler—all of them fixed their attention on the subconscious, not realizing that the conscious self had similar and equally dangerous fixes.
The astounding truth is that almost all persons have CONSCIOUS BELIEFS OR OPINIONS WHICH ARE FULLY AS FIXED AS ARE THOSE OF THE LOW SELF. For instance, take some outstanding examples which will be instantly familiar to all of us. There is the person who is set in some political belief. He has passed beyond all appeals to common sense and logic in his rabid belief that his political party is right and all others are wrong. He will not listen to any argument against his convictions. Any effort to point to parts of his belief that are wrong will be met with anger and loud resentment.
A similar example can be found in any of the millions who have accepted a religion, and who close their minds entirely against any possible change of their opinion. New facts, new findings, or new circumstances make not the slightest impression on these individuals. They have developed a complexed set of beliefs or opinions which are SHARED BY BOTH LOW AND MIDDLE SELF.
Here is another secret from the lore of the kahunas: if you wish to know whether a person has a complexed belief which is shared by his low self, watch to see whether the emotions react to any suggestion that the beliefs might be less than correct.
If you say to a Republican, “I think the Republicans are making a mistake about last week’s legislation,” and if you are met with an emotional reaction instead of a quiet consideration of the reasons you may go on to give for your opinion, there is a complex behind the political beliefs of the man.
Criticize a man’s religion and watch in the same way for the nature of the reaction. The low self is the only one responsible for emotional reactions. The middle self reacts only with logic and reasoning unless it is entangled with the low self in holding complex views, in which case reason fails to begin to function as emotions flare.
A man’s political complexes, fortunately, seldom react on his health. His religious fixations frequently cause endless illness and misfortune.
The kahunas knew what the psychoanalyst has overlooked to a painful extent. It is the fact that when a man has “sinned” and his low and middle self agrees that he has sinned, the low self may have a fixed idea that punishment must be given for sin. If this is the case, the low self may set about punishing the man through illness or accidents.
The point can be illustrated by the case reported by a psychoanalyst, of a young man who had been brought up by an aunt who had given him a very strict religious training. As he finished high school he felt the urge to take up the ministry, but gave up the idea to take a job in a furniture factory. In the factory the paint and varnish fumes sickened him. He was sent to the wood working department, and the sawdust gave him asthma. He got another job and then another. In every case he was made ill by something connected with the job. He chanced to fall into the hands of a doctor who recognized the symptoms as the indications of a deep-seated complex. His original complex had been formed when he had given up the idea of devoting his life to religious service in the ministry. The low self had shared with the middle self a deep sense of guilt for refusing to give his life to the service of God. Because it was painful to think of the refusal, the young man had shut away the memory of it. But that memory had remained in the low self as a part of the fixation of guilt. As he had been taught that all sins and guilts are punished by God, his low self had expected and feared punishment. However, as the middle self refused to think about the sin of refusing to go into the ministry, the low self did what is known as “translating” or changing the externals of the complex. It hid its anxiety to have the man become a minister behind a dislike that amounted to illness for every other occupation.
The doctor, after the usual questioning and observation period, dug out the cause of the trouble, but instead of being able to point out the source of the fixation and so rationalize and drain it off, he met a new obstacle. When the young man was forced to recall his refusal to enter the ministry, he was still convinced that he had been guilty before God of a great sin of omission.
The doctor tried to argue with him and met a blank wall. The patient would not listen to reason. He became angry and insisted on denouncing himself. In the end he was advised to enter the ministry to regain his health. He did as advised and his illnesses vanished.
In this case the complex was not removed. It could not be removed in the ordinary way because it was held by low and middle selves alike. Reason could not get a hearing. The only remedy was to let him act in such a way that he would obey the dictates of the dual fixation.
In his report, the doctor showed his failure to recognize the complex as a part of the conscious mind of the patient. He wrote: “… although the fixation was at last brought to light and submitted to the usual process of rationalization, it became evident that it had not been removed. Upon making a visit to the furniture factory where the first symptoms developed, the smell of paint and of wood sandings sickened him in turn. Recovery came only after the fixation was accepted as immutable and a school for ministers was entered.”
The urgency of the need for better understanding of the single and dual complex and the ways to combat them may be realized when one considers the dire fact that one out of every family of six will eventually need treatment on this score. Unfortunately the present methods of treatment are far inferior to those formerly used by the kahunas. The most effective method is “deep analysis,” but this takes months of time and mints of money. If a cursory review of the case and a small amount of treatment by suggestion does not bring a cure, the patient has an alarming chance of joining the throngs, which crowd the hospitals for the insane.
A complex of simple nature or a dual one shared by both selves, if not allowed to have its way, creates a “house divided against itself” which certainly will fall—into insanity, or chronic invalidism.
Dr. Edward S. Cowles, famous for his “soul clinics,” said a few years ago that he was certain that the mental conflicts caused by fixations were the direct cause of the steady lowering of “nerve energy” which, if continued, ended in disaster. He explained that if the usual supply of nerve energy or vital force falls slightly below normal, the individual begins to feel a lack of spirit and cheerfulness. This turns to a feeling of depression. Further depletion results in melancholia, and there come the progressive symptoms as depletion continues: deeper states of depression, hysteria, fear, nervous breakdown, mania, and psychosis. The dismal fringe of insanity is touched. If one continues to sink lower, exhaustion brings helpless insanity in which reason is lost and memory vanishes. In this condition the patient lies inert and must be artificially fed.
It might be added that during the gradual depletion, there is always the danger that a poltergeist type of low self which has been separated from its middle self, may drive out the selves of the ailing body and obsess it. In these cases there is a return of physical energy but, with the original low self deposed, memories are gone, and with the original middle self gone, all reason is lacking.
With violent death so frequent in the two World Wars, it is inevitable that there are more of these ghostly low self spirits of the poltergeist class abroad awaiting a chance to seize a body and obsess it. We continually read articles calling attention to the alarming increase of insanity. At the present rate of increase, some estimate, we shall in a few years have so many insane that there will not be enough sane people to feed and care for them.
In self defense we need to learn what methods were successfully used by the kahunas to combat the complex in its single and dual form, and to treat the unfortunate victims of obsession.
For the moment let us take up the first part of the problem.
Case 25: Kahunas Treat Illness Caused by Dual and Single Complexes
Because modern psychology is so young and so little advanced, it offered little help when I tried to understand the significance of the things the kahunas did in treating patients to remove complexes. Their success proved to me that they had a very superior method, but from a close study of what they did, I was unable to learn what action of mind they used or what force was employed, both of these things being invisible and silent in operation. Only from the externals of treatment and ritual could I draw conclusions. Much later I was able to see what actually took place.
(A) There was a driver of “rent” cars in Hawaii in 1926, a handsome, healthy and charming Hawaiian. He had been brought up by a very religious father and had married a very religious wife. He attended church faithfully.
A few years after his marriage he fell violently in love with another woman, even though he remained devoted to his wife. He was much afflicted by his conscience, and greatly oppressed by a sense of guilt for having sinned. His wife discovered his infidelity but, after a stormy scene, forgave him on his promise that he would not repeat his offense.
However, before a year had passed, he had again fallen by the wayside. This time he was not found out, but his sense of guilt was greater than before.
At this time he happened to catch cold. The cold took on the symptoms of influenza, and despite excellent medical care and nursing, he failed to recover. On the contrary, he gradually became weaker and weaker. He lost interest in his surroundings, refused food, and turned his face resolutely to the wall.
His wife, after hearing the verdict of the doctor that he could not live more than another day or two, called in one of the few remaining kahunas who were at work in Honolulu at that late date.
The old kahuna listened carefully to the wife’s account of what the white doctor had said. He asked a few questions, and then began his treatment. He bared the body of the sick man and began to rub him slowly. From time to time he paused and rubbed his own hands slowly together, then applied them to the sick man’s back, chest or head, always telling in a low voice how he was pouring strength into the patient to make him strong.
After a time he began questioning the man, asking what he might have done that had hurt someone—had been a sin. At first he was met by a stubborn refusal to answer, but finally the sin was blurted out. After making his confession the patient asked to be let alone to die in peace.
The kahuna, however, reasoned gently. He called in the wife who had been sent to prepare a hot tea of native ti leaves, and told her very simply that her husband had sinned against her and was dying because he could not face her. The wife was enraged for a moment, but facing the danger of death to her husband, agreed to forgive once more. She kissed him and wept over him, then went back to her kitchen.
The kahuna, following a very ancient ritual, produced from the bundle which he had brought with him, four small white stones. He placed one of these at each corner of the bed, commanding them to act as a wall to keep away any spirit who might come to try to interfere with the treatment. Next he took sea water and a brush of green leaves, sprinkling the room while he ordered all unwelcome spirits to leave the place.
The wife brought the decoction of ti leaves boiled in salted water, and it was diluted with cold water in a calabash bowl. Taking a brush of the green sword-like ti leaves, the kahuna approached the patient, telling him that because his wife, who had been sinned against, had forgiven him, his sins could now be washed away with the water in the bowl. Describing carefully the way the sins were being dissolved in the water and being washed away, he sprinkled the patient’s body, then brushed vigorously with the leaves, getting some water back into the bowl. He declared that all the sins had now been washed away and had entered the water remaining in the bowl. He asked the wife to raise the patient’s head so he could see with his own eyes that the water carrying the sins was poured on the ground outside the door and so was disposed of forever.
The patient was carefully dried and rubbed, being told that his strength was rapidly returning and that he would soon be very hungry, would eat, and then sleep. Upon awakening he was promised that he would be well on the way to recovery. The man’s strength did return, he did eat, and he fell asleep. When he awakened hours later, he sat up and called for more food. His wife brought thick soup and he was sitting up happily talking with her when the white doctor called. He was one long in the Islands and experienced. After a careful examination of his patient he turned to the wife and asked, “You had the other kind of doctor?” She nodded, and he went out shaking his head wonderingly.
(B) A white woman, young and lately married to an officer of the Marines, was my neighbor during part of my years in Honolulu. Before her marriage she was a very staid Methodist, looking upon dancing as a sin and considering drinking a very grave sin indeed. Her husband introduced her into a circle where dancing and drinking were the order of the day. She was laughingly pressed to join the fun, and gradually threw off her reluctance and began to learn to dance, even taking a cocktail. She had learned to dance a little when, during a dance at the home of a friend, she tripped over a rug and twisted her ankle. The twist was slight and she continued dancing. But the next day the ankle remained slightly sprained. It did not get well as she had expected that it would, and in a week or so became worse. She went to a doctor, who examined the ankle and made X-ray pictures, finding nothing to explain the failure to recover. In a short time she could hardly walk. Then there developed a strange, deep running sore below the ankle joint. The doctor called in a consultant. It seemed very puzzling. All treatment failed. It was then that the young woman came to me to ask my opinion as to whether the kahunas—of whom she had heard me speak—might be able to help her. I advised her to try one, and she did.
This kahuna was a younger man and more worldly wise if less expert than older healers might have been. He at once suspected a complex—or, as they say, “something eating inside.” He asked what sins she had been committing, and she at once confessed dancing and drinking, telling him of her former church affiliations.
With great patience he set to work to explain to her the kahuna point of view regarding sin of all kinds. The kahunas had a very simple way to tell what was a sin and what was not. One asked oneself whether any act was such that it injured another or hurt another’s feelings. If it hurt no one in any way, that act was not a sin. He pointed out to her the logic of the kahuna belief that God was too high and all-powerful for any human being to hurt by any act. Little by little he convinced her that dancing and the taking of a cocktail were not really sins. This done, he performed a ritual of forgiveness of sin, sprinkling her bare arms and face with salt water and declaring that all her guilts of every sort had been forgiven and washed away. He then carefully massaged the bad ankle, telling her over and over that it was now becoming healed. He bound the ankle in a poultice of native herbs and told her to repeat frequently to herself, aloud: “I cannot sin against God. I am too small. I have been forgiven for all my sins. I have hurt no one. My ankle is getting well very fast.”
The success of the kahuna’s treatment became apparent in a short time. The running sore closed and healed with hardly a scar. The ankle recovered its full strength and flexibility.
Not realizing the fact that the trouble had been caused by a state of mind which had been altered by changing her attitude toward dancing and drinking, the young woman failed to obey the kahuna’s orders to continue her affirmation of “No hurt, no sin.” Again she danced a little and drank a little. As habits of thought are as easily reestablished as, for instance, habits of smoking or using alcohol to excess, her two selves gradually slipped back to the old beliefs. She found herself worrying for fear the kahuna had been wrong and her religious instructions of childhood right.
One morning, to her dismay, she found that the sore had reopened. Going back to the kahuna, she asked him to heal her anew, but when he had questioned her, he refused. He explained that when an old habit of thought, “an eating inside,” had been awakened after once having been removed, it was almost impossible to remove it a second time. In the end the ankle was operated on by doctors, bone cut away, and it is to be supposed, enough pain suffered to convince her low self that she had made amends for her sins. She gave up dancing and cocktails, and the sore did not return.
In the two cases given above, the important thing to note and to remember is that the middle self can share a complex with the low self.
In Case “A” the Hawaiian had sinned by being unfaithful to his wife. No form of forgiveness could have convinced him that he had not so sinned. To convince his reasoning middle self that he had been forgiven, his wife had actually to forgive. He had to see her and hear her speak the words of forgiveness—these being physical stimuli which could and did impress the low self which had accepted or brought on illness as a punishment for the sin. While this case does not deal with a deep-seated and hidden complex, it illustrates very well the common cause of illness based on strong fixed beliefs which have their origin in actual facts, and which are shared by both low and middle selves.
The kahunas taught that nothing is a sin if it does not hurt someone. This is a truth which must be shouted from the housetops endlessly if we are to escape the ill effects of the teaching that it is a sin to break dogmatic taboos of various religions. There is no way of knowing how many thousands of cases of illness, insanity and disaster have been caused by complexed religious beliefs developed in childhood, such as the belief of the young woman in Case “B” that dancing and drinking were sins.
The sex urges are the most prolific sources of complexed ideas of sin with which we have to contend, since as children we are taught modesty and are shamed or punished for any display of sex interest. Religious instruction implants the idea that sex urges are sinful and that, therefore, children are born from and in sin.
The kahunas were logical in their approach to sex. If sex acts did not hurt another, they were not considered sins. In any case such acts were not sins against Higher Beings. Sins were only acts that hurt others.
Dr. Emmanuel Freud, discoverer in the West of the subconscious or low self, found that in treating illness by suggestion, the subconscious would not accept suggestion in many cases. His search for the reason for this brought to light the complex of ideas which can be held by the low self. It was found that the low self, which is the one which accepts suggestion, will reject suggestions which are contrary to its fixed beliefs in morals or its complex belief in some imaginary condition.
Later on it was discovered that the low self, if thwarted in acting in accordance with a complex belief, would “translate” that complex or change it so that it seemed to have little connection with the first and important complex.
There was the case of the small boy who developed a complexed dislike for attending church. He may have been forced to attend church when ill, weak or otherwise indisposed. (He may have been punished for not wishing to attend church and so given a shock complex.) The boy loved his parents, and when they explained why he must go to church to worship, and begged him to be a good boy and do as he was told, he tried to obey. He tried to love church, as he had been instructed, and seemed properly convinced that it was his religious duty to attend services. However, the low self, which had become complex with dislike for attending church, showed the animal-like craftiness so well known to psychologists and the kahunas of old. It translated its fixed determination not to go to church into a major dislike for the smell of incense. Upon smelling incense, the boy would invariably be sick and have to be rushed from the church. The situation then became one in which the child was willing enough to go to church, but could not. The low self had its way.
In complexes built upon sex restraints, the low self may translate the externals of the complex several times. The result of such action is that even the long psychoanalytical study of the patient’s dreams and thought associations may fail to bring to light the original complex so that it can be talked over and submitted to “rationalization”—being thus “drained off” or brought under the control of the middle self as are normal thoughts and ideas.
Freud decided that all complexes were based on sex frustrations. Later psychologists modified the severity of this decision, but there is still a school of psychologists who hold with Freud and present very telling arguments to support his stand.
Because the complex low self will refuse to accept suggestion to remove the symptoms of trouble caused by the complex, the healing value of suggestion is greatly lessened. In Case “B” the low self of the young woman would have refused healing suggestion after the complex had been restored in the second breaking out of the ankle sore. Low selves refuse to accept any hypnotic suggestion that is contrary to the subject’s moral beliefs. A hypnotist cannot force a subject to perform acts which he considers immoral.
Because the low self creates all of the emotions for us, it is possible in many instances to discover the presence of a complex or fixation by watching for an emotional reaction when such a complex is stirred into action.
We are accustomed to the spectacle of someone “flying into a blind rage” over some trivial happening. It may be only a word. These small things that touch off emotional explosions are the “triggers,” so to speak. Once the trigger has been touched, the full force of all former rages connected with the circumstance that created the complex in the first place is released.
On the other hand, there are good complexes and their triggers. One may have many complexes developed in connection with his daily occupations. For example, the alarm clock rings, and even against our desires, we stir and begin to follow our habitual actions of arising.
One of the ways in which the low self forces its wishes on the middle self is through engulfing the middle self with a great wave of emotion—in which it usually is caught and overpowered. Waves of hate or of desire or of distaste are well known, as are those of homesickness and longing. Of all the emotions, love is the most interesting to study. It seems to be the one which the middle self can most nearly share. Basic physical attraction may be added to by elements of parental or filial love, and to these may be added the logical approval and admiration of the middle self. The resultant emotional mixture is one of the driving forces on all levels of consciousness.
CHAPTER XV: THE SECRET KAHUNA METHOD OF TREATING THE COMPLEX
While modern psychoanalysts have never found a simple and effective method of finding the complex and bringing it to light to be rationalized and drained off, there is a method to be learned from the kahuna lore.
The importance of finding such a method cannot be overestimated, for, if we can learn to use it, the healing art will take its greatest single stride forward since the discovery of suggestion.
This method is a violent one. It will seem very strange to the civilized man at first glance, but no stranger than the use of violent insulin shock on insane patients in modern asylums.
Because this secret method is so new and radically different to us, it will bear a step-by-step explanation.
Please recall the fact that the kahunas believed that thoughts were invisible little things—thought forms—and that they were very real and substantial. The thought form (aka) is made when we think. Every thought is made into a permanent thought form. Thought forms come in clusters of associated thoughts, thus linking one idea or thought to the one which came before or after it, and to all similar thoughts.
Recall also the fact that thought form clusters flow on currents of vital force, which in turn flow along tiny threads of shadowy body material connecting two per, sons, as in telepathic communication. In giving suggestion there is a flow of vital force from the operator to the subject, through hands placed on the subject, through shadowy substance threads connecting the two after the first physical contact, or through contact established by the line of sight or even the sound of the voice. (Also through one traveling during sleep in the shadowy body, or by means of contact made through the assistance of the spirits of the dead.)
SUGGESTION IS THE IMPLANTING OF A STRONG THOUGHT FORM IN THE LOW SELF OF THE SUBJECT. The power of the vital force accompanying the implanted thought form plays a part in its effectiveness, but not nearly as large a part as is generally supposed by psychologists. I have seen hypnotists strive to put their “will” into a suggestion to make it effective, their eyes burning, their faces becoming red, and perspiration standing out on their foreheads, and still no results were obtained. The “will” or middle self voltage of vital force is not the hypnotic agent. It only directs its own low self to plant the thought form of the suggestion in the shadowy body of the low self of the subject. The effectiveness of the suggestion depends on the acceptance of the thought form by the low self of the subject.
As already explained, the acceptance of the thought form of a suggestion is greatly hastened by the use of a physical stimulus—something physically real that may be sensed by the low self of the subject and which will make it believe that a real something is behind the suggestion.
Now comes the vital secret of dealing with the complex.
It is not necessary to search for the original complex of the patient as is done through deep analysis in psychoanalysis. It is not necessary to study the patient’s dreams for symbols and hints. No matter whether the original complex has been translated from one form to another and to another, it can be treated by suggestion. THE SECRET IS TO MAKE THE LOW SELF OF THE PATIENT ACCEPT A SUGGESTION CONTRARY TO ITS COMPLEX OF BELIEF. This is done by an almost violent use of low voltage vital force.
Recall the kahunas who filled throwing sticks with low voltage vital force by an effort of their wills to accumulate such force and transfer it to the stick—and the almost human way in which the force obeyed instruction to leave the stick and knock the enemy senseless or paralyze him on contact when the stick was thrown.
Recall the American Indian medicine men who accumulated this force (which they called orenda and other names) and discharged it through a touch of a finger into the body of a strong brave, rendering him unconscious.
Remember the case of Dr. Brigham and the death prayer directed at one of his boys while in the mountains of Hawaii on a collecting expedition. The death prayer was a matter of charging low self spirits with great charges of low mana, then sending them to contact the victim and discharge into him the full shock force of the charges. This shock force broke down the resistance of the victim’s low self, particularly if it harbored a guilt thought or complex, and forced it to accept the thought form of death sent by the kahuna. The low self spirits then attached themselves to the victim and drew from him his vital force, storing it in their shadowy bodies, and preparing to take it with them after the death of the victim through exhaustion of vital force. (The suggestion of death causes the victim’s low self to stop making enough vital force to sustain life. Most illnesses which do not mend in the normal course, grow worse when for some reason the usual supply of force is not made.)
THE SECRET OF FORCING THE LOW SELF OF A PATIENT TO ACCEPT A THOUGHT FORM OF SUGGESTION LIES IN THE USE OF AN OVERPOWERING SHOCK OF A LARGE CHARGE OF VITAL FORCE—THIS CHARGE ACCOMPANYING THE OFFERING OF THE SUGGESTION.
Dr. Brigham gave me one evening a detailed account of a case of kahuna healing which had long puzzled him, and which puzzled me in my turn until I came to understand the methods outlined above.
A kahuna had been treating a native patient for a fugitive set of symptoms which prevented the patient from crossing the beach to his canoe to go on his daily round of fishing. At first a paralysis of the left leg would appear when he tried to cross the beach. This was treated and seemingly cured, but next there came dizzy spells at the approach to the beach, and next, complete blindness which lasted until the patient left the beach and returned to his home.
The final treatment, which Dr. Brigham did not see, but which was described to him at great length later, consisted of a very impressive use of a physical stimulus accompanying a suggestion in the form of the repeated assertion that the treatment was removing all things that prevented the patient from crossing the beach and going to fish in the usual manner.
The physical stimulus took the form of a large wooden bucket filled with brackish water. The kahuna, in the presence of the patient, worked for a long time over the water to make it potent and ready to cure. He stirred it with green ti leaves, added grated yellow ginger root, and placed the palms of his hands repeatedly on the surface.
When he was satisfied with his preparations he called his patient and instructed him to sit down before the bucket and thrust in his face, holding his breath and drinking as much as he could. The patient was told that the water would enter him and drive out all the things which had been causing the trouble and that they would never return.
The patient did as instructed and began to drink, the kahuna placed his hands on his arms and commanded the illness to leave the body. The patient drank very rapidly for a moment, then sagged and fell over the bucket as if dazed. He was slightly lifted by the kahuna to clear his face from the water, but was left huddled in that position for several minutes, the kahuna quietly repeating his assertion that the ills had vanished never to return.
The man had recovered from his dazed condition and had immediately been taken by the kahuna and ordered to cross the beach. He found that he could do so without a return of the mysterious maladies. He was then told not to think of his trouble—a usual precaution taken by the kahunas to prevent the recurrence of the complex—and the work was done. The trouble did not return.
A review of the case, long after Dr. Brigham described it, and in the light of knowledge gained of the kahuna “Secret,” brought out the undoubted fact that the kahuna had filled the water in the bucket with a shocking charge of low mana or vital force. He had used this force literally to break down the resistance of the low self of the patient and make it accept his thought form suggestion of the removal of all ills which prevented the usual crossing of the beach to the canoe. (One is reminded of Mesmer’s practice of charging a vat of water from which iron rods protruded to contact his patients and transfer to them the vital force which he called “animal magnetism.”)
It is to be noted that the original complex was never located or drained off by recognition and rationalizing. THE COMPLEX WAS REPLACED BY ANOTHER COMPLEX IN THE SHAPE OF A THOUGHT FORM IMPLANTED BY THE SUGGESTION-SHOCK TREATMENT. The thought form of the suggestion was, of course, a cluster of many related thought forms. The suggestion had included rational arguments to show that there was no valid reason why the beach could not be crossed and the fishing done.
Case 26: Direct Physical Reaction to Suggestion
While we do not know the limits of the ability of the low self to act on the body to bring about healing, the evidence accumulates which shows that the power is very great.
While I was living in Honolulu, a young white man came to sell me advertising space in a newspaper each week. He became interested in the Hawaiians and often told me of attending their dinner dances given in the open.
One day he came to me much upset. He had become acquainted with a Hawaiian woman at a dinner party, and the woman had admired his girlishly fine skin. She had asked him thoughtfully if he did not find it a great chore to shave daily, and had solemnly told him that she could make his beard stop growing if he wished to be relieved of the shaving chore. She said that many Hawaiian men had so been relieved of the necessity of shaving. In a tolerant mood he pretended to accept her offer gladly, being certain that it was a native superstition of no consequence.
Taking him aside the woman stroked his right cheek with her fingers for a short time, saying that the beard would stop growing on his face and that he would be free of the need of shaving.
He had forgotten the incident when, about two weeks later, he suddenly noticed that there was a place on his cheek the size of a dime upon which no beard grew. To his alarm the spot grew larger day by day. When it became as large as a half dollar, he remembered that I had spoken of the kahunas and came rushing to me to ask my advice. He was almost girlish of face and realized that without a shadow of beard he would be disastrously feminine in appearance.
I advised him to inquire among his Hawaiian friends for the woman who had caused the difficulty, and when he found her, to ask her to reverse her suggestion. He had some trouble finding the woman, but did eventually, and she reluctantly stroked his cheek and gave the suggestion (it was suggestion beyond doubt) that the beard would return to the bare spot. In a little over a week the beard again began to grow in the denuded circle. Where I had found the skin bare, I could see the dark beard stubble reappearing. In a short time the beard was back to normal.
Such control is of great interest in as much as it shows how surprisingly the low self can react to suggestion in making changes in bodily functions.
Suggestion may get results for any functional control with the possible exception of invading foreign bodies which normally lie beyond the range of the control of the low self. Most disease germs can be brought under control by the low self in due time. The kahunas believed that contagious diseases were like accidents in that they just happened to come along. If a person had an accidental injury or contracted a contagious disease the low self would set to work to heal the injury or combat the disease. If not afflicted by a complex or weakened in some way, or of advanced age, the chance for recovery was good.
While nothing has so far been learned of the kahuna attitude toward cancer or similar growths which seem to be invasion of foreign cells in the body, it is probable that the low self of the sufferer from these afflictions may have allowed such an invasion because of a complex, but may not be able to expel the intruding tissues by its own efforts even after the complex is removed. For the cure of these things there may be a method of controlling the consciousness behind the invading cells, whatever that consciousness may be. However, the instant healing to be had through the High Self is the positive cure.
The importance of the kahuna methods of dealing with the complex may be better grasped if we realize that in the United States we have about four thousand psychiatrists, and hundreds of thousands of patients needing their help. We have a very few trained psychoanalysts, and only a handful of them have learned to use suggestion to help delve for the complex. None know the method of shock with charges of vital force to cause the patient to accept suggestion to replace the complex.
Out of the young men found otherwise physically fit for war duty in World War II, twelve out of every hundred were unfitted for service because of psycho-neurotic conditions which needed treatment.
The average doctor knows little or nothing of the treatment of these cases, nor will he take the time to learn to use suggestion. The professional hypnotists have been allowed no standing by the medical associations, and practice at their peril where healing is the objective.
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