What the doctors and psychologists have failed to see clearly is the rather startling fact that the subconscious or low self is not the only one afflicted with fixations of ideas – the complex.
Freud, Jung, Adler – all of them fixed their attention on the subconscious, not realizing that the conscious self had similar and equally dangerous fixes.
The astounding truth is that almost all persons have conscious beliefs or opinions which are fully as fixed as are those of the low self. For instance, take some outstanding examples which will be instantly familiar to all of us. There is the person who is set in some political belief. He has passed beyond all appeals to common sense and logic in his rabid belief that his political party is right and all others are wrong. He will not listen to any argument against his convictions. Any effort to point to parts of his belief that are wrong will be met with anger and loud resentment.
A similar example can be found in any of the millions who have accepted a religion, and who close their minds entirely against any possible change of their opinion. New facts, new findings, or new circumstances make not the slightest impression on these individuals. They have developed a complexed set of beliefs or opinions which are shared by both low and middle self.
Here is another secret from the lore of the kahunas: if you wish to know whether a person has a complexed belief which is shared by his low self, watch to see whether the emotions react to any suggestion that the beliefs might be less than correct.
If you say to a Republican, "I think the Republicans are making a mistake about last week's legislation," and if you are met with an emotional reaction instead of a quiet consideration of the reasons you may go on to give for your opinion, there is a complex behind the political beliefs of the man.
Criticize a man's religion and watch in the same way for the nature of the reaction. The low self is the only one responsible for emotional reactions. The middle self reacts only with logic and reasoning unless it is entangled with the low self in holding complexed views, in which case reason fails to begin to function as emotions flare.
A man's political complexes, fortunately, seldom react on his health. His religious fixations frequently cause endless illness and misfortune.
The kahunas knew what the psychoanalyst has overlooked to a painful extent. It is the fact that when a man has "sinned" and his low and middle self agrees that he has sinned, the low self may have a fixed idea that punishment must be given for sin. If this is the case, the low self may set about punishing the man through illness or accidents.
The point can be illustrated by the case reported by a psychoanalyst, of a young man who had been brought up by an aunt who had given him a very strict religious training. As he finished high school he felt the urge to take up the ministry, but gave up the idea to take a job in a furniture factory. In the factory the paint and varnish fumes sickened him. He was sent to the wood working department, and the sawdust gave him asthma. He got another job and then another. In every case he was made ill by something connected with the job.
He chanced to fall into the hands of a doctor who recognized the symptoms as the indications of a deep-seated complex. His original complex had been formed when he had given up the idea of devoting his life to religious service in the ministry. The low self had shared with the middle self a deep sense of guilt for refusing to give his life to the service of God. Because it was painful to think of the refusal, the young man had shut away the memory of it. But that memory had remained in the low self as a part of the fixation of guilt.
As he had been taught that all sins and guilts are punished by God, his low self had expected and feared punishment. However, as the middle self refused to think about the sin of refusing to go into the ministry, the low self did what is known as "translating" or changing the externals of the complex. It hid its anxiety to have the man become a minister behind a dislike that amounted to illness for every other occupation.
The doctor, after the usual questioning and observation period, dug out the cause of the trouble, but instead of being able to point out the source of the fixation and so rationalize and drain it off, he met a new obstacle. When the young man was forced to recall his refusal to enter the ministry, he was still convinced that he had been guilty before God of a great sin of omission.
The doctor tried to argue with him and met a blank wall. The patient would not listen to reason. He became angry and insisted on denouncing himself. In the end he was advised to enter the ministry to regain his health. He did as advised and his illnesses vanished.
In this case the complex was not removed. It could not be removed in the ordinary way because it was held by low and middle selves alike. Reason could not get a hearing. The only remedy was to let him act in such a way that he would obey the dictates of the dual fixation.
In his report, the doctor showed his failure to recognize the complex as a part of the conscious mind of the patient. He wrote: "... although the fixation was at last brought to light and submitted to the usual process of rationalization, it became evident that it had not been removed. Upon making a visit to the furniture factory where the first symptoms developed, the smell of paint and of wood sandings sickened him in turn. Recovery came only after the fixation was accepted as immutable and a school for ministers was entered."
The urgency of the need for better understanding of the single and dual complex and the ways to combat them may be realized when one considers the dire fact that one out of every family of six will eventually need treatment on this score. Unfortunately the present methods of treatment are far inferior to those formerly used by the kahunas. The most effective method is "deep analysis," but this takes months of time and mints of money. If a cursory review of the case and a small amount of treatment by suggestion does not bring a cure, the patient has an alarming chance of joining the throngs which crowd the hospitals for the insane.
A complex of simple nature or a dual one shared by both selves, if not allowed to have its way, creates a "house divided against itself" which certainly will fall – into insanity, or chronic invalidism.
Dr. Edward S. Cowles,  famous for his "soul clinics," said a few years ago that he was certain that the mental conflicts caused by fixations were the direct cause of the steady lowering of "nerve energy" which, if continued, ended in disaster.
He explained that if the usual supply of nerve energy or vital force falls slightly below normal, the individual begins to feel a lack of spirit and cheerfulness. This turns to a feeling of depression. Further depletion results in melancholia, and there come the progressive symptoms as depletion continues: deeper states of depression, hysteria, fear, nervous breakdown, mania, and psychosis. The dismal fringe of insanity is touched. If one continues to sink lower, exhaustion brings helpless insanity in which reason is lost and memory vanishes. In this condition the patient lies inert and must be artificially fed.
It might be added that during the gradual depletion, there is always the danger that a poltergeist type of low self which has been separated from its middle self, may drive out the selves of the ailing body and obsess it. In these cases there is a return of physical energy but, with the original low self deposed, memories are gone, and with the original middle self gone, all reason is lacking.
With violent death so frequent in the two World Wars, it is inevitable that there are more of these ghostly low self spirits of the poltergeist class abroad awaiting a chance to seize a body and obsess it. We continually read articles calling attention to the alarming increase of insanity. At the present rate of increase, some estimate, we shall in a few years have so many insane that there will not be enough sane people to feed and care for them.
In self defense we need to learn what methods were successfully used by the kahunas to combat the complex in its single and dual form, and to treat the unfortunate victims of obsession. For the moment let us take up the first part of the problem:
Case 25: Kahunas Treat Illness Caused by Dual and Single Complexes
Because modern psychology is so young and so little advanced, it offered little help when I tried to understand the significance of the things the kahunas did in treating patients to remove complexes. Their success proved to me that they had a very superior method, but from a close study of what they did, I was unable to learn what action of mind they used or what force was employed, both of these things being invisible and silent in operation. Only from the externals of treatment and ritual could I draw conclusions. Much later I was able to see what actually took place.
The Cases: [A and B]
(A) There was a driver of "rent" cars in Hawaii in 1926, a handsome, healthy and charming Hawaiian. He had been brought up by a very religious father and had married a very religious wife. He attended church faithfully.
A few years after his marriage he fell violently in love with another woman, even though he remained devoted to his wife. He was much afflicted by his conscience, and greatly oppressed by a sense of guilt for having sinned. His wife discovered his infidelity but, after a stormy scene, forgave him on his promise that he would not repeat his offense.
However, before a year had passed, he had again fallen by the wayside. This time he was not found out, but his sense of guilt was greater than before.
At this time he happened to catch cold. The cold took on the symptoms of influenza, and despite excellent medical care and nursing, he failed to recover. On the contrary, he gradually became weaker and weaker. He lost interest in his surroundings, refused food, and turned his face resolutely to the wall.
His wife, after hearing the verdict of the doctor that he could not live more than another day or two, called in one of the few remaining kahunas who were at work in Honolulu at that late date.
The old kahuna listened carefully to the wife's account of what the white doctor had said. He asked a few questions, and then began his treatment. He bared the body of the sick man and began to rub him slowly.
From time to time he paused and rubbed his own hands slowly together, then applied them to the sick man's back, chest or head, always telling in a low voice how he was pouring strength into the patient to make him strong.
After a time he began questioning the man, asking what he might have done that had hurt someone – had been a sin. At first he was met by a stubborn refusal to answer, but finally the sin was blurted out. After making his confession the patient asked to be let alone to die in peace.
The kahuna, however, reasoned gently. He called in the wife who had been sent to prepare a hot tea of native ti leaves, and told her very simply that her husband had sinned against her and was dying because he could not face her. The wife was enraged for a moment, but facing the danger of death to her husband, agreed to forgive once more. She kissed him and wept over him, then went back to her kitchen.
The kahuna, following a very ancient ritual, produced from the bundle which he had brought with him, four small white stones. He placed one of these at each corner of the bed, commanding them to act as a wall to keep away any spirit who might come to try to interfere with the treatment. Next he took sea water and a brush of green leaves, sprinkling the room while he ordered all unwelcome spirits to leave the place.
The wife brought the decoction of ti leaves boiled in salted water, and it was diluted with cold water in a calabash bowl. Taking a brush of the green sword-like ti leaves, the kahuna approached the patient, telling him that because his wife, who had been sinned against, had forgiven him, his sins could now be washed away with the water in the bowl. Describing carefully the way the sins were being dissolved in the water and being washed away, he sprinkled the patient's body, then brushed vigorously with the leaves, getting some water back into the bowl. He declared that all the sins had now been washed away and had entered the water remaining in the bowl. He asked the wife to raise the patient's head so he could see with his own eyes that the water carrying the sins was poured on the ground outside the door and so was disposed of forever.
The patient was carefully dried and rubbed, being told that his strength was rapidly returning and that he would soon be very hungry, would eat, and then sleep. Upon awakening he was promised that he would be well on the way to recovery. The man's strength did return, he did eat, and he fell asleep. When he awakened hours later, he sat up and called for more food. His wife brought thick soup and he was sitting up happily talking with her when the white doctor called. He was one long in the Islands and experienced. After a careful examination of his patient he turned to the wife and asked, "You had the other kind of doctor?" She nodded, and he went out shaking his head wonderingly.
(B) A white woman, young and lately married to an officer of the Marines, was my neighbor during part of my years in Honolulu. Before her marriage she was a very staid Methodist, looking upon dancing as a sin and considering drinking a very grave sin indeed. Her husband introduced her into a circle where dancing and drinking were the order of the day. She was laughingly pressed to join the fun, and gradually threw off her reluctance and began to learn to dance, even taking a cocktail. She had learned to dance a little when, during a dance at the home of a friend, she tripped over a rug and twisted her ankle. The twist was slight and she continued dancing. But the next day the ankle remained slightly sprained. It did not get well as she had expected that it would, and in a week or so became worse. She went to a doctor, who examined the ankle and made X-ray pictures, finding nothing to explain the failure to recover. In a short time she could hardly walk. Then there developed a strange, deep running sore below the ankle joint. The doctor called in a consultant. It seemed very puzzling. All treatment failed. It was then that the young woman came to me to ask my opinion as to whether the kahunas – of whom she had heard me speak – might be able to help her. I advised her to try one, and she did.
This kahuna was a younger man and more worldly wise if less expert than older healers might have been. He at once suspected a complex – or, as they say, "something eating inside." He asked what sins she had been committing, and she at once confessed dancing and drinking, telling him of her former church affiliations.
With great patience he set to work to explain to her the kahuna point of view regarding sin of all kinds. The kahunas had a very simple way to tell what was a sin and what was not. One asked oneself whether any act was such that it injured another or hurt another's feelings. If it hurt no one in any way, that act was not a sin. He pointed out to her the logic of the kahuna belief that God was too high and all-powerful for any human being to hurt by any act. Little by little he convinced her that dancing and the taking of a cocktail were not really sins. This done, he performed a ritual of forgiveness of sin, sprinkling her bare arms and face with salt water and declaring that all her guilts of every sort had been forgiven and washed away. He then carefully massaged the bad ankle, telling her over and over that it was now becoming healed. He bound the ankle in a poultice of native herbs and told her to repeat frequently to herself, aloud: "I cannot sin against God. I am too small. I have been forgiven for all my sins. I have hurt no one. My ankle is getting well very fast."
The success of the kahuna's treatment became apparent in a short time. The running sore closed and healed with hardly a scar. The ankle recovered its full strength and flexibility.
Not realizing the fact that the trouble had been caused by a state of mind which had been altered by changing her attitude toward dancing and drinking, the young woman failed to obey the kahuna's orders to continue her affirmation of "No hurt, no sin." Again she danced a little and drank a little. As habits of thought are as easily reestablished as, for instance, habits of smoking or using alcohol to excess, her two selves gradually slipped back to the old beliefs. She found herself worrying for fear the kahuna had been wrong and her religious instructions of childhood right.
One morning, to her dismay, she found that the sore had reopened. Going back to the kahuna, she asked him to heal her anew, but when he had questioned her, he refused. He explained that when an old habit of thought, "an eating inside," had been awakened after once having been removed, it was almost impossible to remove it a second time. In the end the ankle was operated on by doctors, bone cut away, and it is to be supposed, enough pain suffered to convince her low self that she had made amends for her sins. She gave up dancing and cocktails, and the sore did not return.
In the two cases given above, the important thing to note and to remember is that the middle self can share a complex with the low self.
In Case "A" the Hawaiian had sinned by being unfaithful to his wife. No form of forgiveness could have convinced him that he had not so sinned. To convince his reasoning middle self that he had been forgiven, his wife had actually to forgive. He had to see her and hear her speak the words of forgiveness – these being physical stimuli which could and did impress the low self which had accepted or brought on illness as a punishment for the sin. While this case does not deal with a deep-seated and hidden complex, it illustrates very well the common cause of illness based on strong fixed beliefs which have their origin in actual facts, and which are shared by both low and middle selves.
The kahunas taught that nothing is a sin if it does not hurt someone. This is a truth which must be shouted from the housetops endlessly if we are to escape the ill effects of the teaching that it is a sin to break dogmatic taboos of various religions. There is no way of knowing how many thousands of cases of illness, insanity and disaster have been caused by complexed religious beliefs developed in childhood, such as the belief of the young woman in Case "B" that dancing and drinking were sins.
The sex urges are the most prolific sources of complexed ideas of sin with which we have to contend, since as children we are taught modesty and are shamed or punished for any display of sex interest. Religious instruction implants the idea that sex urges are sinful and that, therefore, children are born from and in sin.
The kahunas were logical in their approach to sex. If sex acts did not hurt another, they were not considered sins. In any case such acts were not sins against Higher Beings. Sins were only acts that hurt others.
Dr. Emmanuel [?!] Freud, discoverer in the West of the subconscious or low self, found that in treating illness by suggestion, the subconscious would not accept suggestion in many cases. His search for the reason for this brought to light the complex of ideas which can be held by the low self. It was found that the low self, which is the one which accepts suggestion, will reject suggestions which are contrary to its fixed beliefs in morals or its complexed belief in some imaginary condition.
Later on it was discovered that the low self, if thwarted in acting in accordance with a complexed belief, would "translate" that complex or change it so that it seemed to have little connection with the first and important complex.
There was the case of the small boy who developed a complexed dislike for attending church. He may have been forced to attend church when ill, weak or otherwise indisposed. (He may have been punished for not wishing to attend church and so given a shock complex.) The boy loved his parents, and when they explained why he must go to church to worship, and begged him to be a good boy and do as he was told, he tried to obey. He tried to love church, as he had been instructed, and seemed properly convinced that it was his religious duty to attend services. However, the low self, which had become complexed with dislike for attending church, showed the animal-like craftiness so well known to psychologists and the kahunas of old. It translated its fixed determination not to go to church into a major dislike for the smell of incense. Upon smelling incense, the boy would invariably be sick and have to be rushed from the church. The situation then became one in which the child was willing enough to go to church, but could not. The low self had its way.
In complexes built upon sex restraints, the low self may translate the externals of the complex several times. The result of such action is that even the long psychoanalytical study of the patient's dreams and thought associations may fail to bring to light the original complex so that it can be talked over and submitted to "rationalization" – being thus "drained off" or brought under the control of the middle self as are normal thoughts and ideas.
Freud decided that all complexes were based on sex frustrations. Later psychologists modified the severity of this decision, but there is still a school of psychologists who hold with Freud and present very telling arguments to support his stand.
Because the complexed low self will refuse to accept suggestion to remove the symptoms of trouble caused by the complex, the healing value of suggestion is greatly lessened. In Case "B" the low self of the young woman would have refused healing suggestion after the complex had been restored in the second breaking out of the ankle sore. Low selves refuse to accept any hypnotic suggestion that is contrary to the subject's moral beliefs. A hypnotist cannot force a subject to perform acts which he considers immoral.
Because the low self creates all of the emotions for us, it is possible in many instances to discover the presence of a complex or fixation by watching for an emotional reaction when such a complex is stirred into action.
We are accustomed to the spectacle of someone "flying into a blind rage" over some trivial happening. It may be only a word. These small things that touch off emotional explosions are the "triggers," so to speak. Once the trigger has been touched, the full force of all former rages connected with the circumstance that created the complex in the first place is released.
On the other hand, there are good complexes and their triggers. One may have many complexes developed in connection with his daily occupations. For example, the alarm clock rings, and even against our desires, we stir and begin to follow our habitual actions of arising.
One of the ways in which the low self forces its wishes on the middle self is through engulfing the middle self with a great wave of emotion – in which it usually is caught and overpowered. Waves of hate or of desire or of distaste are well known, as are those of homesickness and longing. Of all the emotions, love is the most interesting to study. It seems to be the one which the middle self can most nearly share. Basic physical attraction may be added to by elements of parental or filial love, and to these may be added the logical approval and admiration of the middle self. The resultant emotional mixture is one of the driving forces on all levels of consciousness.