Excerpted from In the Flow of Life.
“Some people get all the breaks!” How often this cry is heard from the self-pitying or the sympathetic! And it would appear to be true. It has been proved that certain people are “accident prone,” while others are always stumbling onto everything from exciting jobs to interesting vacation spots. The Egyptians have a saying about the person who always “falls in the river and comes up with a fish in his mouth.”
Certainly it would appear that some people are always getting into or out of sickness, while others are always in good health. Some people are victims of the seasonal contagions that “make the rounds,” while others are untouched, referring to themselves as “disgustingly healthy.”
It is as if some people are on the right and others on the wrong side of life. But are there right and wrong sides of life? Are some people doomed to lives of pain and suffering because they happen not to be born on the right side? Richard Rumbold, commenting on the political aspect of the question, once cried out: “I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.”
All down through the ages and until comparatively recent times, when sickness appeared in the flesh, the cause was thought to be, almost without exception, in the flesh itself. It was just bad luck or God’s will or “the way things are.” So the person made no attempt to be other than what he or she believed himself or herself to be; and sadly, sickness was part of what was believed to be. It has been 3000 years since Solomon said, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7 KJV), but it has been a long time getting through to man that “bad luck” is simply a “bad mental habit.”
Medicine has been slow to accept the influence of attitudes and emotions on the function of the body. However, the weight of much valid research in the field of psychosomatic causes of illness has become increasingly undeniable. Today doctors are coming to accept as a fact of life the evidence that many ills are emotionally induced or, at least, influenced. There are those who say that 50 percent of all illness is EII(emotionally induced illness). Others say it is more like 90 percent. However, more and more doctors are accepting the revolutionary idea that “all disease is psychosomatic in origin” and that the secret of healing of any kind is to correct the conditions that are impeding the natural flow of life by altering states of consciousness.
In John 21:1-6, there is an episode in which Jesus teaches through a “living parable.” The disciples, who were mostly fishermen, were plying their trade on the Sea of Galilee. After a whole night of work, they had caught nothing. At daylight they returned to shore, tired and discouraged. They came upon Jesus who suggested they try again, but that this time they should “cast the net on the right side of the boat.” Just imagine their reaction! After all, they were experienced fishermen. What could the carpenter know? And yet, after all they had seen, how could they question His insights? So, they cast out their net as He suggested, and now they were not able to haul it in for all the fish.
The story dramatically symbolizes the right and wrong sides of life. As Shakespeare said, “The fault . . . is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” It is a matter of consciousness and not in the will of God or the fickle finger of fate, and consciousness can be changed. The disciples, in consciousness, were out of the flow of life. By the sheer act of casting from the other side of the boat, they changed their whole experience. This means that by the device of turning in thought from negative to positive, from moods of insufficiency to attitudes of confidence, one may alter one’s whole experience from failure to success. “On the right side” of life you get in tune with the inexorable flow of good.
Many are they who have suffered through painful illnesses that have defied all curative processes. Like the disciples, they have figuratively “toiled all night” in their quest for healing, possibly employing either or both medical and prayer treatment, but without avail. The story seems to imply that regardless of the experience or the techniques involved or even the fervency of the desire, if you are on the “wrong side” (negative state of consciousness) there is no help. The need is to get on the “right side,” to get into the flow of the healing stream.