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The phenomenon of an inert substance resulting in a patient's medical improvement is called the placebo effect. The phenomenon is related to the perception and expectation which the patient has; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect.
The placebo effect is the measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health or behavior not attributable to a medication or invasive treatment that has been administered.
A placebo (Latin for "I shall please") is a pharmacologically inert substance (such as saline solution or a starch tablet) that produces an effect similar to what would be expected of a pharmacologically active substance (such as an antibiotic).
In Western mystical teachings, the analogy of the soul as a castle or palace with myriad chambers has long antecedents. St. Teresa de Avila drew upon this comparison when writing her classic The Interior Castle, and the early mystics of the Kabbalah wrote of journeying in the series of “Heilkhalot” or palaces of the upper worlds. Likewise, in the Western alchemical tradition, there are allusions to towers and castles, which contain important symbolic information about spiritual work. ...
The key to this form of alchemy is that one does not work directly on the physical body, but instead projects the etheric or subtle body in the form of a castle or tower and works within the edifice’s many rooms and grounds by means of visualization. These rooms correlate to the different sephirot or energy centers on the kabbalistic glyph of the Tree of Life, which in turn correspond to the chakras. After each practice, the subtle body is drawn back into the physical. Goddard notes: “[W]e use an indirect route to make the necessary changes within the astro-etheric body, so that the subconscious will proceed to implement those alterations . . .as it continually builds and maintains the physical body.” The author notes that “no work is done directly upon the physical body—except for relaxation, posture (asana), and breath (pranayama)—because direct concentration on the organs . . . of the body can easily lead to an imbalance of the fine electrical and chemical functions and result in disease.” Working with kundalini energy to transform the body (or arousing the dragon, to use Western terminology) is safely done within this mode. ...
According to the author, “The principal alchemical operation is thus to transmute a transient, mortal and gross body into a deathless, physical body of pure Enlightenment.”