What Is Life?
our study of the cause and character of disease we must endeavor
to begin at the beginning, and that is with LIFE itself, for the
processes of health, disease and cure are manifestations of that
which we call life, vitality, life elements, etc.
endeavoring to fathom the mystery of life we soon realize, however,
that we are dealing with an ultimate which no human mind is capable
of solving or explaining. We can study and understand life only
in its manifestations, not in its origin and real essence.
are two prevalent, but widely differing, conceptions of the nature
of life or vital force: the material and the vital.
former looks upon life or vital force with all its physical, mental
and psychical phenomena as manifestations of the electric, magnetic
and chemical activities of the physical-material elements composing
the human organism. From this viewpoint, life is a sort of spontaneous
combustion, or, as one scientist expressed it, a succession of fermentations.
materialistic conception of life, however, has already become obsolete
among the more advanced biologists as a result of the wonderful
discoveries of modern science, which are fast bridging the chasm
between the material and the spiritual realms of being.
medical science, as taught in the regular schools, is still dominated
by the old, crude, mechanical conception of vital force and this,
as we shall see, accounts for some of its gravest errors of theory
and of practice.
vital conception of life, on the other hand, regards
it as the primary force of all forces, coming from the great central
source of all power.
force, which permeates, heats and animates the entire created universe,
is the expression of the divine will, the "logos," the
"word" of the great creative intelligence. It is this
divine energy which sets in motion the whirls in the ether, the
electric corpuscles and ions that make up the different atoms and
elements of matter.
corpuscles and ions are positive and negative forms of electricity.
Electricity is a form of energy. It is intelligent
energy; otherwise it could not move with that same wonderful precision
in the electrons of the atoms as in the suns and planets of the
intelligent energy can have but one source: the will and the intelligence
of the Creator; as Swedenborg expresses it, "the great central
sun of the universe."
this supreme intelligence should withdraw its energy, the electrical
charges (forms of energy) and with it the atoms, elements, and the
entire material universe would disappear in the flash of a moment.
this it appears that crude matter, instead of being the source of
life and of all its complicated mental and spiritual phenomena (which
assumption, on the face of it, is absurd), is only an expression
of the Life Force, itself a manifestation of the great creative
intelligence which some call God, others Nature, the Oversoul, Brahma,
Prana, etc., each one according to his best understanding.
is this supreme power and intelligence, acting in and through every
atom, molecule and cell in the human body, which is the
true healer, the vis medicatrix naturæ, which
always endeavors to repair, to heal and to restore the perfect type.
All that the physician can do is to remove obstructions and to establish
normal conditions within and around the patient, so that the healer
within can do his work to the best advantage.
the Christian Scientist will say: "That is exactly what we
claim. All is God, all is mind! There is no matter! Our
attitude toward disease is based on these facts."
what of it, Brother Scientist? Suppose, in the final analysis, matter
is nothing but vibration, an expression of Divine Mind and Will.
That, for all practical purposes, does not justify me to deny and
to ignore its reality. Because I have an "all-mind" body,
is it advisable for me to place myself in the way of an "all-mind"
locomotive moving at the rate of sixty miles an hour?
question is not what matter is in the final analysis,
but how matter affects us. We have to take it and
treat it as we find it. We must be as obedient to the laws of matter
as to those of the higher planes of being.
Life Is Vibratory
the final analysis, all things in Nature, from a fleeti g thought
or emotion to the hardest piece of diamond or platinum, are modes
of motion or vibration. A few years ago physical science assumed
that an atom was the smallest imaginable part of a given element
of matter; that although infinitesimally small, it still represented
solid matter. Now, in the light of better evidence, we have good
reason to believe that there is no such thing as solid matter: that
every atom is made up of charges of negative and positive electricity
acting in and upon an omnipresent ether; that the difference between
an atom of iron and of hydrogen or any other element consists solely
in the number of electrical charges or corpuscles it contains, and
on the velocity with which these vibrate around one another.
the atom, which was thought to be the ultimate particle of solid
matter, is found to be a little universe in itself in which corpuscles
of electricity rotate or vibrate around one another like the suns
and planets in the sidereal universe. This explains what we mean
when we say life and matter are vibratory.
early as 1863 John Newlands discovered that when he arranged the
elements of matter in the order of their atomic weight, they displayed
the same relationship to one another as do the tones in the musical
scale. Thus modern chemistry demonstrates the verity of the music
of the spheres--another visionary concept of ancient mysticism.
The individual atoms in themselves, as well as all the atoms of
matter in their relationship to one another, are constructed and
arranged in exact correspondence with the laws of harmony. Therefore
the entire sidereal universe is built on the laws of music.
which is orderly, lawful, good, beautiful, natural, healthy, vibrates
in unison with the harmonics of this great "Diapason
of Nature"; in other words, it is in alignment with the constructive
principle in Nature.
which is disorderly, abnormal, ugly, unnatural, unhealthy, vibrates
in discord with Nature's harmonics. It is in alignment
with the destructive principle in Nature.
we call "Inanimate Nature" is beautiful and orderly because
it plays in tune with the score of the Symphony of Life. Man alone
can play out of tune. This is his privilege, if he so chooses, by
virtue of his freedom of choice and action.
can now better understand the definitions of health and of disease,
given in Chapter Two, "Catechism of Nature Cure" as follows:
is normal and harmonious vibration of the elements and forces composing
the human entity on the physical, mental, moral and spiritual planes
of being, in conformity with the constructive principle of Nature
applied to individual life."
is abnormal or inharmonious vibration of the elements and forces
composing the human entity on one or more planes of being, in conformity
with the destructive principle of Nature applied to individual life."
question naturally arising here is, "Normal or abnormal vibration
with what?" The answer is that the vibratory conditions of
the organism must be in harmony with Nature's established harmonic
relations in the physical, mental, moral, spiritual and psychical
realms of human life and action.
What Is an Established Harmonic Relation?
us see whether we cannot make this clear by a simile. If a watch
is in good condition, in harmonious vibration, its movement is so
adjusted that it coincides exactly, in point of time, with the rotations
of our earth around its axis. The established, regular movement
of the earth forms the basis of the established harmonic relationship
between the vibrations of a normal, healthy timepiece and the revolutions
of our planet. The watch has to vibrate in unison with the harmonics
of the planetary universe in order to be normal, or in harmony.
like manner, everything that is normal, natural, healthy, good,
beautiful must vibrate in unison with its correlated harmonics in
Obedience the Only Salvation
medical science attributes disease largely to accidental causes:
to chance infection by disease taints, germs or parasites; to drafts,
chills, wet feet, etc.
religiously inclined frequently attribute disease and other tribulations
to the arbitrary rulings of an inscrutable Providence.
Scientists tell us that sin, suffering, disease and all other kinds
of evil are only errors of mortal mind, or the products of diseased
imagination (though this in itself admits the existence of something
abnormal or diseased).
Cure philosophy presents a rational concept of evil, its cause and
purpose, namely: that it is brought on by violation of Nature's
Laws; that it is corrective in its purpose; that it can be overcome
only by compliance with the law. There is no suffering, disease
or evil of any kind anywhere unless the law has been transgressed
somewhere by someone.
transgressions of the law may be due to ignorance, to indifference
or to wilfulness and viciousness. The effects will always
be commensurate with the causes.
science of natural living and healing shows clearly that what we
call disease is primarily Nature's effort to eliminate morbid matter
and to restore the normal functions of the body; that the processes
of disease are just as orderly in their way as everything else in
Nature; that we must not check or suppress them, but cooperate with
them. Thus we learn, slowly and laboriously, the all-important lesson
that "obedience to the law" is the only means of prevention
of disease, and the only cure.
Fundamental Law of Cure, the Law of Action and Reaction, and the
Law of Crises, as revealed by the Nature Cure philosophy, impress
upon us the truth that there is nothing accidental or arbitrary
in the processes of health, disease and cure; that every changing
condition is either in harmony or in discord with the laws of our
being; that only by complete surrender and obedience to the law
can we attain and maintain perfect physical health.
Self-Control, the Master's Key
Nature Cure brings home to us constantly and forcibly the inexorable
facts of natural law and the necessity of compliance with the law.
Herein lies its great educational value to the individual and to
the race. The man who has learned to master his habits and his appetites
so as to conform to Nature's Laws on the physical plane, and who
has thereby regained his bodily health, realizes that personal effort
and self-control are the Master's Key to all further development
on the mental and spiritual planes of being as well; that self-mastery
and unremitting and unselfish personal effort are the only means
of self-completion, of individual and social salvation.
naturist who has regained health and strength through obedience
to the laws of his being, enjoys a measure of self-content, gladness
of soul and enthusiasm which cannot be explained by the mere possession
of physical health. These highest and purest attainments of the
human soul are not the results of mere physical well-being, but
of the peace and harmony which come only from obedience to the law.
Such is the peace which passeth understanding.