This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
The pursuit of happiness is the incentive to the acts of all human beings as well as the motive of conduct of the lower forms of life, and children should have the education that the human animal needs to meet the requirements of his primitive instincts and to adapt his life to conform to the requirements of morality and of civilization as well.
Prevention of disease, poverty, unhappiness, insanity, divorce, suicide, crime, incompetency, illiteracy, and all that tends to the degeneracy of the human race are the watchwords of the present age. The tendency of the age is toward the growth of convictions that are more concerned with the conduct of life and the development of the individual qualification for meeting the exigencies of life, incident to making his struggle for existence, than mere belief in dogma. There is a growing conviction among all well-educated people that the work of physicians, educators, politicians, philanthropists, social servants, jurists, theologians, and commercial men should be in closer touch, in greater harmony, in deeper sympathy for the accomplishment of the best results in either field. The line of demarkation between work that is secular and work that is religious, work that is human and work that is divine, is growing less and less every day, and scientific knowledge practically applied for the social, moral, mental, and physical welfare of humanity is permeating every phase of human life. Body, mind, and character are so related that their development can not be separated.
It is practically impossible to obtain the highest development of one element of human personality while the others remain weak or degraded. The test of the value of any line of work is displayed in its influence on the development of man as a whole. The final test must ever be found in the character and purpose of the individual effort to contribute to the public weal. We have reached that stage in the development of the virile human intellect where we have ceased to become afraid. Progress is the order of the world, and to have a part in the universal movement for the uplifting of humanity is the work that is most worth while.
As we advance in knowledge we behold a new order of things. Old conceptions are dropping out of sight, and we have a clearer viewpoint of life, duty, and destiny. Only those who are inert and impotent mentally and morally are content to be satisfied with the existing order of things. Too long have we submitted, under the guise of religion, to the promulgation of those ideas not in harmony with the teachings of modern science, with the result that life has been suppressed, intellect has been overthrown, and all the potentialities inherent within the protoplasmic elements of the individual stifled and smothered.
Those who speak lightly of the functional psychoneuroses, including such as the undifferentiated depressions, psychasthenia, hypochondriasis, neurasthenia, hysteria, and obsessions, and disregard the part played by education and environment in their etiology, are asleep, and they need to be aroused from their lethargy.
The prophylactic spirit, so conspicuously at work in applying the principles of bacteriology and immunity to the prevention of infectious diseases, is no less in evidence in the field of preventive insanity, preventive degeneracy, poverty, crimes, drunkenness, and other conditions resulting from perverted or misguided potentialities. Who can say that neurasthenic symptoms, if neglected for a sufficient length of time, will not become a contributing factor in paresis, dementia precox, paranoia, or a maniacal depressive insanity?
The treatment of the psychoneuroses, which are usually the result of the failure of the individual to receive that guidance of his powers of mind and body to qualify him or her to exercise them in wholesome, useful lives of thought and action by psychotherapeutic measures - which embrace moral education, physical education, prophylactic education, as well as the employment of suggestion both with and without hypnosis - in order to overcome the harmful effects produced by false education upon the functional activity of the neuron elements, if timely administered, would prevent a greater proportion of the insanities than is commonly supposed. The people in our insane asylums are the same kind that we see every day on the outside, but with exaggerated differences. All that is needed for a great portion of the human race to develop manifestations of insanity is the unfortunate environment that has surrounded during infancy and childhood those who are insane. The heredity of many of us is not better than those mental defectives who are allowed to become so because of false education, and, had the same environing influences fallen to our lot, the results would have been the same.
Children should be given something truthful and practical to think about and to act upon - they should be taught to exercise their faculties by early wholesome work and employment. They should be made to feel that they are helpers in carrying the burdens of life and thus develop self-reliance. They should be made to realize that they have within themselves an inherent quality of psychophysical force, or natural virility, which they can exercise so as to be of real use in the world.
They should be made to realize that every man is a creator - that he is endowed not only with procreative energy, as is indicated by the normal sexual feelings, but that this is one manifestation of that innate, inherent capacity of mind and body with which his influence in the world of thought and action will be felt by his kind.
Desire is the positive part of our being, and by it the normal instincts are manifested. These, by false education, may be repressed, perverted, pr stifled, and abused, as the case may be; or they can, as the result of education, knowledge, and guidance, be encouraged into normal lines of activity, by which the individual is developed and the best interest of the human race conserved.