“The body’s defense system is automatic, and yet to a certain degree it is a secondary rather than primary system, coming into mobilization only when the body is threatened.
“The body’s main purpose is not only to survive but to maintain a quality of existence that promotes health and fulfillment. Natural, biological fear alerts the body, and allows it to react completely and naturally. You might be reading a newspaper headline, for example, as you cross a busy street. Long before you’re consciously aware of the circumstances, your body might leap out of the path of an approaching car. The body is doing what it is supposed to do. Though consciously you were not afraid, there was a biological, pertinent fear that was acted upon.
“If, however, you dwell mentally in a generalized environment of fear, the body is given no clear line of action. It is allowed no appropriate response. Look at it this way: Animals, wild and domesticated, react to immediate threats in a certain fashion, and are alert to everything in their environment. A cat does not anticipate danger from a penned dog four blocks away nor, does it wonder what will happen if the dog escapes and finds the cat’s cozy yard.
“Many people, however, don’t pay attention to everything in their immediate environment. As a result of their beliefs, they concentrate only upon “the ferocious dog four blocks away.” They don’t respond to real or potential threats in front of them. Instead, they dwell upon threats that may or may not exist or directly affect them.
“When the mind signals a threat that is nowhere physically present or perceivable, the body cannot clearly respond. It therefore reacts to a pseudo-threatening situation, and is caught in between gears, so to speak, with resulting biological confusion. The body’s responses must be specific.
“Your overall sense of health, vitality, and resiliency is a generalized condition of contentment—brought about by multitudinous specific responses. Left alone, your body can defend itself against any disease, but it cannot defend itself appropriately against an exaggerated general fear of disease on your part. It must mirror your own feelings and assessments.
“Your entire medical system literally generates as much disease as it cures – for you are everywhere hounded by the symptoms of various diseases and filled with the fear of disease. You are overwhelmed by what seems to be the body’s propensity toward illness—and nowhere is the body’s vitality or natural defense system stressed. Private disease, then, happens also in a social context. This context is the result of personal and mass beliefs that are intertwined at all cultural levels and, to that extent, serve private and public purposes.
“The illnesses generally attributed to all different ages are involved. Those of the elderly, again, fit in with your social and cultural beliefs and the structure of your family life. Old animals have their own dignity, and so should old men and women. Senility is a mental and physical epidemic—a needless one. You “catch” it because when you are young you believe that old people cannot perform. There are no inoculations against beliefs, so when young people with such beliefs grow old they become “victims.”
“The kinds of diseases change through historical periods. Some become fashionable while others go out of style. All epidemics, however, are mass statements both biologically and psychologically. They point to mass beliefs that have brought about certain physical coalitions that are abhorrent at all levels. They often go hand-in-hand with war, and represent biological protests.
“Whenever the conditions of life are such that its quality is threatened, there will be such a mass statement. The quality must be at a certain level so that the individuals of a species-of any and all species-can develop. In your species the spiritual, mental, and psychic abilities add a dimension that is biologically pertinent.
“There simply must be a freedom to express ideas. There must be an individual tendency and a worldwide social and political context in which each individual can develop his or her abilities and contribute to the species as a whole. This climate depends upon many ideas that are not now universally accepted. However, the species is so formed that the biological importance of ideas cannot be stressed too strongly.
“More and more, the quality of your lives is formed through the subjective realities of your feelings and mental constructions. Again, beliefs that foster despair are biologically destructive. They cause the physical system to shut down. If mass action against appalling social or political conditions is not effective, then other means are taken, and these are often in the guise of epidemics or natural disasters. The blight is wiped out in one way or another.
“Such conditions are the result of beliefs, which are mental, and so the most vital work must always be done in that area.”
From The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events. Channeled by Jane Roberts and recorded by Robert F. Butts. Current copyright holder: Laurel Davies-Butts