The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 22


Faith and nature-imagination are what count most in the cures by physicians, by healers who treat through laying on of their hands, by “miracles,” at shrines and pools, by patent medicines, colored lights and symbols, by mental and by so-called “spiritual” healers or under cults of Christian churches.

Faith is a kind of belief, in that it is a feeling of assurance of something without personal experience or evidence; but faith differs from mere belief in that trust and confidence are added and that there is no room for argument or doubt. Faith is a kind of doer-imagination, which is the voluntary image making by active thinking. Doer-imagination differs from nature-imagination, which is the spontaneous and uncontrolled play of present sense impressions with memories. The pictures made by the four senses merge on the breath-form with memories of similar impressions, and represent the realities of the physical plane. This new combination is nature-imagination and it usually causes sensation in the doer. Instances of sensations occasioned by nature-imagination are the dizziness and fear of falling, caused by walking over a narrow plank at a height, or by standing on the edge of a precipice or of a high building; the chill that overtakes one who will have to plunge into water; the fear of being bitten by fish in the water; the fear of drowning; the fear of unseen things in the dark. The sensations created in such cases may be without foundation in necessity or reason, but the compelling power is beyond argument. Reasoning will not overcome the sensation caused by nature-imagination.

The power of faith and of nature-imagination is in the impressions which they make on the breath-form. Faith is imagination which comes from the doer to the breath-form and makes its strong impression because of assurance, trust, confidence and lack of doubt. By faith the thinking may be stilled. Right or wrong, wise or foolish, faith has a great power, when it comes to the breath-form and it makes there a deep impression. Nature-imagination, and that may be even more powerful than faith, comes to the breath-form from nature. These two factors, faith and nature-imagination, enter into all phases of life. They play also the most important part in cures.

If it is a person’s destiny that he shall be cured, faith or nature-imagination or both will be the means that assist the physician or surgeon in curing him. There are only a few specifics the effects of which are definitely known. The use of most medicines and treatments is a venture accompanied by some hope. Uncertainty is the main feature in the practice of medicine. No one knows this better than an experienced practitioner. The patient will go from one physician to another, from one remedy to another, until the time is ripe and then a cure is effected. Usually the sufferer does not dream that his faith or his nature-imagination is in play.

It is quite different where a healer, whatever his denomination, effects a cure. He also performs the cure by faith and nature-imagination. These are the only two ways in which he can cure. But he manufactures the faith or compels the imagination. In his case they do not come naturally to the breath-form. The wrong lies not in the mere manufacture, but in self-deception and in teaching others to practice self-deception.