The Palma Christi – the Palm of Christ – is the name given during the Middle Ages to the common castor oilplant. No one knows exactly why it was so named. But it’s interesting to consider the importance of symbols and the place symbology plays in the lives of men.
Was it just coincidence when our son, David, told us one morning that he had had a dream that Jesus put his hand on his back, and his back got better? David had fallen on the sharp edge of a step just before going to bed; the blow had been so severe we were apprehensive about a possible fracture of a vertebra. It hurt him so much, at eight years of age, that nothing helped except to keep him quiet. We placed a castor oil pack on his injured part and he slept on the floor beside us that night, very restless until about four o’clock a.m., when he suddenly quieted down and went soundly to sleep.
When he awakened and told us the dream, we examined his back. It was fully normal in all respects. There was no pain, no aching, no sign of injury. David was well. What did the job? Was it imagination? Was it only the soothing of the oil pack? Was it a vibratory effect? Was it a spiritual healing? Certainly my medical experience of more than twenty years told me that there should have been some very painful muscles and bones in the morning at the very least. How does healing come about anyway?
Garth Nicholson, who heads the Electron Microscopy Laboratory of the Salk Institute in LaJolla, California, grows cultures of normal and cancer cells in his laboratory. He reports that one of the lectins which they have purified “from toxic local wild castor plants in the marsh regions of San Diego County . . . can kill cancer cells at concentrations at which normal cells are not affected.” The process apparently is related to the ability of the protein to agglutinate cancer cells and destroy them by a process operating at the cell membrane structural level.
By this time, no story about the castor bean plant would surprise me – I’ve heard too much about its healing power as found in the oil extracted from the beans. But let’s consider man’s place in the larger scheme of things, for healing of the body is the potential of every human being. And we should know our nature better – then, perhaps, we might know more about how a lectin destroys the cancer cell, how an oil pack might ease an injury or an illness.
The readings relate illness and health to error and right action; this concept is superimposed on a cosmic plan that places man in the center of things, with a spiritual origin and a spiritual destiny. Space, time and patience become important concepts to contend with and work with.
As has been given, error or separation began before there appeared what we know as the Earth, the Heavens; or before Space was manifested. This becomes hard to conceive in the finite mind; as does the finite mind fail to grasp the lack of or no time. Yet out of Time, Space, Patience, is it possible for the consciousness of the finite to know the infinite. Hence, then, the interpretations of Spirit as it manifests to the sons of men must follow closely what we have chosen as Holy Writ. Before this began (this not as history but as the basis of the interpretation), we have had how one Amilius with that projection of self brought into being the awareness of desires as related to relationships with the beings – or matter – about. Hence there began what is now known as the correlating, or the cohesive activity, or the relativity of matter as it relates to what becomes positive and negative. Remember, negative is only error. (262-115)
The human body and its mystery is like space and its infinitude, like the atom and its vastness, for we understand none of these with our finite minds – even as we understand God only partially and our own spiritual nature with limited vision. But all of these mysteries help us understand that healing of the body might well come to us in many forms, for we indeed do not know what we are – not yet!
Thus the lowly castor bean plant, which someone called the Palma Christi, may have many secrets locked within its nature which could be a healing influence when its full potential is discovered.[† September, 1973, Volume 8, No. 5, page 221, Copyright © 1973 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]