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.
Heredity plays an all-important part in the mode of manifestation of the sexual instincts; so much so, that a single fertilized cell contains all the psychic and physical qualities, dispositions, traits of personality, and mental and physical attributes of ancestors for ages past. All the potentialities are transmitted in this microscopic fertilized cell.
But what is really inherited at the time of the birth of the individual is that innate, inherent quality of psychophysical force - that instinctive primordial "urge," strong or weak as it may be - which is expressed in the various manifestations of the conduct of the individual and indicated by what is commonly referred to as desire. We see it manifested in the new-born chick as it kicks, and scrambles, and bursts its way out of the shell in which it was developed, and seeks a broader, more favorable environment, where it can grow and develop according to the laws of its being. We see it also manifested in the healthy human infant as it ravenously seizes its mother's nipple when placed in contact with it, and so markedly is this desire manifested that many children are what is sometimes described as "born hungry." This appetite, desire, or craving is generally admitted to be a strong motive to conduct, and this is manifested from the time of birth all the way through the entire life of the individual.
More and more is it dawning upon us that the mode of manifestation of this inherent quality of psychophysical force - or creative energy, natural virility, or life power - depends upon the influences brought to bear upon the individual after we are born. It is at least very largely determined by education, knowledge, and guidance, which is received by the individual in his growth from infancy to manhood, as is furnished by environment.
This guidance, as the result of the influence of environment, may be for the good or harm of the individual. It may be acquired consciously or unconsciously. Who can determine at what age the impressions made upon the receptive tablets of the child's brain plasm are retained, by which ideas, propensities, and inclinations are conserved, to manifest themselves in the life and conduct of the individual later in life?
Contemporary psychologists are agreed that ideas are conserved by the neuron elements, forming psychophysiological complexes, or physiological centers, the functionating of which determines the individual's habits of thought and conduct in after-life. These groups of ideas are conserved by the neuron elements in such a way as to form physiological centers, that carry with them ideas and bodily feelings as well, and these do not always functionate in such way as to conduce to the best interest of the individual. The result is the development of many manifestations of abnormal mental and bodily symptoms, commonly referred to as the functional psychoneuroses. The reason for this inharmony between man's acquired habits of thinking and bodily functions, and those natural physiological processes with which we are born, is the result of false education. All education should be in harmony with the natural functions of the human body, and not antagonistic to them - as such antagonism will pervert them - if health, happiness, and contentment is to be maintained.
This is natural morality, and any educational or religious influence contrary to the laws of nature - such as cause the individual to condemn the body, and regard his normal sexual feelings as sinful, as "lust of the flesh" - is responsible for many unhappy psychoneurotic manifestations, resulting in divorce, suicide, insanity, and often in death. Such religious teaching is positively immoral and deserves to be condemned.
We should not regard our normal sexual feelings as something sinful, low, vile, and lustful, as theological morality has taught. They are, on the contrary, indications of normal virility and belong to all normal, healthful, human beings; and are an indication of creative power that can be directed into lines of healthful, useful endeavor, as various as are the pursuits, pleasures, and avocations of mankind, and should at all times be under the dictation and guidance of reason and judgment.
We are constructed on a double principle. Man has a dual nature, and contains within himself two forms of existence, intimately and mutually interwoven, which are respectively constantly influencing each other, and they should never be at war or out of harmony with each other.
As animals, we have within us the instincts, passions, feelings, and sensations common to all other animal life. As intelligent human beings, we possess a moral will, by which we are able to modify, guide, and direct the bodily motions. Mental action and bodily functions also go hand in hand, constituting the psychic and physical manifestations of man as a psychophysical organism. These mutually influence each other, as is indicated in the old maxim, "mens sana in corpore sano." This is why many influences commonly designated as sympathies, or irradiations of the nervous system, frequently manifest themselves as psychoneurotic functional disorders. The psychic contents of the personality, as the result of education and environment, are collected in the central nervous system, conserved as dormant physiological complexes, and make themselves manifest as dissociated unconscious reflexes, or as conscious sensations. Hence arise moods - such as mental irritability, nervousness, perversions of imagination, jealousy, and other obstacles of a normal sexual life - and these are the greatest obstacles to the manifestation of a normal, useful, happy, successful existence as well.
The highest privilege of life is that the individual develop and give to the world the very best personality that can be made of himself - physically, mentally, and morally. This is the very goal of all human endeavor and achievement, and, no matter what success the individual may attain, life is a failure unless one has succeeded in the acquirement of a personality consisting of such physical and mental attributes as are an inspiration and encouragement to other personalities with whom he or she is associated.