Raymond Charles Barker was one of the most popular exponents of New Thought in the mid-20th century. Below is an excerpt from his book Treat Yourself to Life:
For twenty years I have been talking with hundreds of these people and have proved to them that their happiness can be regained and expanded IF they follow a few simple rules.
Wherever you are, in an apartment in New York or San Francisco, a farm in Iowa, a house in Texas or a bungalow in Florida, there is an inner you which is craving love, self-expression, permanence in your health and security in money.
If not actually fearful of the future, you are at best suffering mild anxiety, the number one mental symptom of the twentieth century.
Elizabeth Andrews in a great New York City hospital looked up at me from her bed and said:
“I have just been told by the doctors that I have Padgett’s Disease, a malignant disease, and that I will never walk again without heavy braces and crutches. I don’t want to accept this verdict. Need I?”
Knowing that this woman was capable of making drastic changes in her thinking and feeling, I answered: “While the factual evidence of bone disease is true— your need to believe it permanent is not. You can treat yourself out of this, and I know it can be done.”
Eight months later, without a brace or a crutch, Elizabeth Andrews walked into her church on a Sunday morning and joined others in the acknowledgment of a Power which knows no incurability!
How could this happen? Life limits no one, offers itself freely to all. If you can accept this new viewpoint as Elizabeth did, you can treat yourself to greater living. Elizabeth had learned that what man, with his material science, could not do for her, creative thinking could, provided she directed it herself.
Standing at her bedside on the day of her sentence to a life of invalidism, I saw her faint hope that I would agree she would walk again. Knowing her sincerity, and her capacity in the past to control her thinking, I immediately said:
“You certainly can walk again, and I will help you every step of the way.”
Every day for months, she and I knew certain basic truths together. She, in her hospital bed, and I, in my home or office, replaced in her subconscious the verdict of an incurable disease with a sure knowledge of a woman walking through life with ease.
One cold autumnal day when Elizabeth was walking down Fifth Avenue, she suddenly fell. The ambulance intern told her she had broken her leg. Her fall, however, had not been the usual kind, no broken pavement, no icy sidewalk, nothing to trip over. The bones in her right leg had simply given way!
At the hospital the X-rays showed the disease. The doctor anxiously made his way to her room, carrying the pictures with him, hoping that as her own eyes saw the condition, the blow would be softened as he told her:
“You have Padgett’s Disease.”
She had faith in her doctor and obeyed his orders. She knew that his diagnosis was accurate and factual.
For a single moment the news terrified her, tears came to her eyes and panic clutched her heart. But she instantly turned in thought to her greater, faith in God and affirmed that the Creative Power was equal to this situation. The calm came, the faith returned, and I came to her bedside in answer to her call.
Her recovery was not miraculous. For four months she never left the bed. I was there the day they brought to her the heavy massive brace, to cover her from hip to toe. She looked at it and had a momentary cry. Then, catching herself, she turned to me and said:
“We’ll fool them yet, won’t we?” My agreement with her faith was instantaneous.
Four months later she walked into church without that brace or even a crutch!
The key to Elizabeth’s victory was in her own ability to keep her thinking clear and to waver not in her knowledge of her own self as a creative channel for an unlimited intelligence. She knew that life would respond to her as she responded to it.
This reciprocal action between your patterns of thought and feeling, and the universal life has determined every experience which you have ever had, are having or will ever have.
You can learn how to treat yourself to greater living. Your mind is no different than Elizabeth’s, mine or anyone’s else. The greatest sages, saints and messiahs had minds no greater and no finer than yours. Only, they knew how to use them. They knew how to keep their minds directed to creative ends. This book is not written to give you faith, that your church will give you. It is written to show you how to translate your faith into right subconscious action, to produce the results you want.