Is it contagious?

Some YEARS AGO , when I was at a friend's house, another guest's young daughter was suffering noticeably from allergies. My heart went out to her. The next day, I began to have identical symptoms. That was odd. I'd never been allergic to anything. Besides, I knew that allergies weren't transmitted from one person to another. So, why the sudden attack? In a flash, I realized my sympathy for the girl was so strong that I had mentally "caught" the ailment. "How absurd!" I thought, and laughed out loud. Instantly, the symptoms vanished, never to return.

This episode convinced me that allergic reactions have a mental, not a physical, source. It confirmed that the cause of allergies is not cat hair, milk, mold spores, peanuts, or pollen. The real culprits?—accepting the premise that we are made of matter, and fearing that we can be harmed by material conditions. The provable fact is, however, that we are wholly spiritual and good—as "unmaterial" and untouched by matter or evil as our Maker is. When we reach out to God, His love lifts us out of fear and sickness. And this love can also keep us safe from contracting disease. When I forgot these spiritual facts and went along with the symptoms of allergy, I suffered from the symptoms myself. In the split second it took to see what was going on, I became free from suffering.

February 17, 2003

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