"Once upon a time, a fabulously wealthy king had a son whom he adored. The boy was bright and handsome — perfect in every way — except one: He had a severely hunched back. This saddened the king no end. So he proclaimed that a huge reward would go to the person who figured out how to heal the boy's back. Months and months passed without a solution. Wise men and women with good ideas traveled to the palace from all over the region. But no one knew what to do.

"Then one day, a famous guru happened into the kingdom and heard about the problem. 'I don't want your reward,' said the tiny woman (who was herself all scrunched over with age and wrinkled up like a prune). 'But,' she added, 'I do have your answer.' This was her advice:

" 'In the center of your courtyard, you must construct a sculpture — an exact replica of your dear son, with one exception: Its back must be straight and lovely in appearance. That's all. Trust God for the healing.'

"With that, the Master disappeared and the king's artisans set to work. In no time, a beautiful marble sculpture sat in the center of the courtyard. Every day as the little boy played, he studied the figure admiringly. He stared to feel, 'Why that's me! That looks exactly like me.' Every day, the prince gazed lovingly at the sculpture until he identified with it.

"Bit by bit, the boy's back straightened. One day, a year or so later, as the king watched his son frolicking in the gardens, he suddenly noticed the prince's back was totally healed. The young boy's identification with the marble sculpture had been so complete that he believed it represented him — straight back and all. Body obeyed belief."