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.
As choosers, then, the privilege is ours to be open and receptive to whatsoever is good, true, and useful in the realms of thought - as expressed in the literature of poetry, fiction, philosophy, religion, or science, or from association with individuals - that may be of use to ourselves or other human beings. We should study it honestly, appropriate its truths, and live by them in all depart-ments of life.
In the same realm of human experience, with respect to whatever is not pood, and not true, and not useful for our best growth and development, let us exercise the courage of our convictions and reject it, even though it has the time-honored sanction of conventionalism and authority. We should let truth herself sum up the ease, and guide our lives and conduct in accordance with the light and knowledge of the present age. This is the clue to the correct training of the subconscious self.
Then, too, since we realize the power of mind upon mind and the influence of the mind upon the body, both for our own good and for the benefit of others, we should encourage mental states that make us hopeful, optimistic, and cheerful. We should look upon the bright side of everything and strive to say and do something to cheer the lives of others. As we sow shall we also reap is the law of nature in the realm of both thought and action. Whosoever uses suggestion to help others is using the highest form of autosuggestion to help himself. Our effort to create healthful mental states in others reacts upon our own subconscious selves, so that what we are is to a great extent the result of what we have given to others.
Individuality and strength should be our highest and most constant aim in life. The great subconscious self, with its millions and millions of living cells of brain, and blood, and bone, and muscle, all reservoirs of expressive energy, is for us to educate, train, and develop in accordance with the laws of evolution. Each individual is the maker of himself in a far greater sense than is realized by the pessimistic philosophers of our age, who would surrender all to heredity and environment. The limitations set by heredity and environment are, of course, beyond question, but, when once we become strong enough to think for ourselves and to rely upon the powers and capabilities inherent within the cells of our organism, those influences that would fetter and mold a weaker individual, and hinder bodily and mental growth and development, become for us strengthening and wholesome exercise.
Each individual contains within himself an ideal man, and to bring forth this individual harmoniously and symmetrically developed in all the qualities of selfhood should be our constant endeavor. What the man or woman of the future is to be depends upon our habits of thought and conduct today. No proposition is more true than that by constant endeavor we can day by day gain in strength of body, mind, and character.
The great trouble with the majority of people is that they have not an adequate appreciation of the potentialities and possibilities inherent within the cells of their own organism, which are ever ready to be trained into active, useful service. Others are satisfied as they are, and they constitute a large percentage of our population. They are drifting along day after day without making any special effort at self-development, and almost wholly dependent upon others to think and do for them. Depend upon others to think, and act, and do for you, and you become incapable of thinking, and acting, and doing for yourself. That which makes a man strong in all the qualities of self - social, intellectual, physical, moral, business, or ethical - is action, effort, concentration, persistency, determination.
Recognition of our defects and desire for self-improvement are the incentives which urge us to higher growth and development. Those who feel that they are self-sufficient, and are all that they care to be, have not been stirred by the influences which induce a self-consciousness that gives rise to the impulse to make effort. Perhaps they are unfortunate, and have not been awakened to a consciousness of what they are as compared with what they may become.
The hope of humanity lies in the law of the "survival of the fittest." The great mass of the people do not think for themselves above the most elementary questions of life. In problems of health and education, ethical and moral ideals, their views are more a matter of inheritance than based upon intelligent conviction as the result of careful investigation. The physician who can arouse them to observation, reflection, and self-activity is doing them the highest service that an enlightened mind can render.
The problems of health are the problems of life, and pertain to all questions of human interest. Body, mind, and character are hut reflections of the great subconscious realm, with its inherited or acquired impulses, habits, instincts, or ideals, and these, like the flower garden, need to be continually uprooted and reset. The false, and barren, and useless should be rejected, and new varieties planted in keeping with knowledge and experience.
Surely this line of thought has a practical application in the practice of medicine. Stand any day you choose on a street corner and see the masses as they pass, and with pencil and paper in hand make a mark for every one who is weak and living minus the qualities of a normal, healthy individual, and you will find that at least fifty percent of our population have weak bodies and imperfect nervous organizations.
The great majority of those who are sick need to be taught how to keep well, how to eat, how to drink, how to exercise, how to work, and how to sleep - in short, how to live. More than at any time in any age does the individual need self-reliance and the feeling of independence and freedom. This belongs only to those who have achieved sufficient selfhood to dare to exercise the courage to stand by their convictions.
Self-reliance is nothing more than one's own recognition of his or her ability to act, and think, and live according to the dictates of reason and judgment. Each individual has a different problem to solve. All people are not "born free and equal," so far as heredity and environment are concerned, but all are born with the privilege to think, act, and do for themselves, that the greatest health and happiness may be maintained.
People, as a rule, are not sufficiently educated to take their lives into their own hands. In their efforts to do for themselves and to struggle with the problems of life, they make many blunders which react with ill results to both mind and body, and, as experts in the healing art, our aid is sought to help them. They do not always need medicine, but they do always need education, knowledge, and guidance.
The physician must have more than professional knowledge and skill. He should be an expression of the highest thought and culture of his age - to be prepared to take his place as a leader and teacher of his fellowman.
The practice of medicine offers great privileges for real, genuine, unselfish service. The opportunities for being of real help to our fellowman are the greatest of any calling in the list of human achievement. In no other profession are such conditions offered for brain development, self-reliance, and altruism.
The people have a right to make every effort to keep healthy and strong without relying upon us to administer to their physical necessities. It should be a part of our work to help them to help themselves, and then the followers of the different nonmedical therapeutic systems would no longer continue their hold upon the people.
So long as new-born babies come to gladden the hearts of the men and women of the world, physicians will be in demand. While human endeavor continues, accidents will happen and the surgeon will be needed. We have not yet subdued the mosquito so as to prevent his carrying malaria and yellow fever germs, or eradicated vice to prevent the diseases of physical degradation due to infectious germs.
The Klebs-Loffler bacillus, the bacilli of anthrax and typhoid fever, and the thousand other germs of infection, do not respect even a healthy human organism, and for all these conditions the services of the physician will be invoked. The astigmatic eye and other refractive errors are here to stay to cause reflex disturbances and functional diseases of both mind and body. Infantile diseases will claim our little ones as long as it is human to err in dietetics and the world remains the abode of Weischelbaum's bacillus of meningitis and other infectious diseases. The great white plague alone claims one out of ten of all human beings. In spite of our knowledge of mental therapeutics, women will grow tumors, and a million years of special effort will not annihilate the physical results of inebriety and syphilis or prevent insanity in its various forms.
The one sure event in the pathway of every human being is death, sooner or later, and the one hope of every individual is that his life will be prolonged. Let us, then, do all we can with all therapeutic measures when the people are sick, but by all means let us help them to keep well by teaching then how to live, as far as possible, to maintain healthy bodies.
The benefit to be derived from work, exercise, water, laughter, rest, food, companionship, education, environment, and self-development in a thousand ways should he ever kept before them. All these things should be studied by the people, and all these constitute the correct training of the subconscious self.