The healer triumphantly asks, "What do you think of my theory now?" It is of little use for him to reply that he does not see that the theory is necessarily correct because he was healed. Most likely he fails to think of that, in his gratitude for restored health. But if he does, he is met by the triumphant response, "By their fruits ye shall know them." To the average mind, untrained to habits of logical reasoning, that settles the question; and Christian science has scored a triumph and secured a follower. He may not be able to see quite clearly the logical sequences involved, he may be even doubtful whether the theory is necessarily correct; but not being able to formulate his objections, he contents himself with the thought that he is not yet far enough advanced in "science" to understand that which seems so clear to the mind of his teacher. In any event, he ceases to antagonize the theory by any process of reasoning, and eventually believes, objectively as well as subjectively, in the substantial correctness of the fundamental theory.
In the mean time it is easy to see that his subjective faith has been made perfect by his passivity under treatment, and that his objective faith has been confirmed by his restoration to health.
In all systems of healing, the processes, or rather the conditions, are essentially the same, the first essential condition, as before stated, being the perfect passivity and receptivity of the patient. That is always insisted upon, and it is the essential prerequisite, be the theory and method of operation what they may. The rest is accomplished by suggestion. Thus, the whole science of mental healing may be expressed in two words, - passivity, and suggestion.
By passivity the patient becomes receptive of subjective impressions. He becomes partially hypnotic, and sometimes wholly so. The more perfectly he is hypnotized, the surer the favorable result. But, in any case, perfect passivity is sure to bring about a good result. In the Christian science methods the healer also becomes passive, and partially self-hypnotized. And this constitutes the difference between individual healers by that method. The more easily the healer can hypnotize himself, and the more perfect that condition, the more powerful will be the effect on the patient. The reason is this: the suggestions to the subjective mind of the patient are conveyed telepathically from the subjective mind of the healer. In order to produce that effect in perfection, it becomes necessary both for patient and healer to be in a partially hypnotic condition. The two subjective minds are then en rapport. The subjective mind of the healer, being properly instructed beforehand, then conveys the necessary suggestions to the subjective mind of the patient.
The latter, being necessarily controlled by such suggestion, exercises its functions in accordance therewith; and having absolute control of the sensations, functions, and conditions of the body, it exercises that control; and the result is that pain is relieved, and the normal condition of health is restored.
It is not, however, always necessary that either the patient or the healer should become even partially hypnotized, provided the requisite faith or confidence is established in the subjective mind of the patient. In such a case, however, it requires a concurrence both of objective and subjective faith to produce the best results.
It has been claimed by some mental healers that faith on the part of the patient is not an essential prerequisite to successful healing. Doubtless some of the more ignorant ones believe that statement. But an observation of the methods of treatment employed by some who make this claim leads one. to suppose that the statement often made to their patients that faith is unnecessary is rather a cunning evasion of the truth for the very purpose of inspiring faith. Thus, a patient enters the sanctum of a mental healer, and begins by saying, "I understand that it is necessary that your patients have faith before they can be healed. If that is the case, I never can be healed by mental treatment, for I am utterly sceptical on the subject.". To which the ready reply is, "Faith is unnecessary under my system. I do not care what you believe, for I can heal you, however sceptical you may be." This is generally satisfactory to the sceptic. He brightens with hope, and submits to the treatment, full of the faith that he is to be healed without faith. It is superfluous to add that by this stroke of policy the healer has inspired the patient with all the faith required, namely, the faith of his subjective mind.
I will not animadvert upon the propriety of this course, though I cannot help but contrast it with that of the Great Healer, who never descended to falsehood, even to the end that good might come. He always told his followers frankly that faith was essential; and his words are as true to-day as they were when he proclaimed to mankind that great secret of occult power. Jesus was the first to proclaim the great law of faith ; and when he uttered that one word, he epitomized the whole science of psycho-therapeutics.