This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
The new psychology and the science of mental and spiritual healing teach us that the lower principles in Man stand or should stand under the dominion of the higher. The physical body, with its material elements, is dominated and guided by the mind. The mind is inspired through the inner consciousness, which is an attribute of the soul. The soul of man is in communion with the Oversoul, which is the Source of all life and all intelligence animating the universe.
Wherever this natural order is reversed, there is discord or disease. Too many people think and act as though the physical body is all in all, as though it is the only thing worth caring for and thinking about. They exaggerate the importance of the physical and become its abject slaves.
The physical body is the lowest and least intelligent of the different principles making up the human entity. Yet people allow their minds and their souls to become dominated and terrified by the sensations of the physical body.
When the servants in the house control and terrify the master, when the master becomes their slave and they can do with him as they please, there cannot be order and harmony in that house.
We must expect the same results when the lower principles in Man lord it over the higher. When physical weakness, illness and pain fill the mind with fear and dismay, reason becomes clouded, the will atrophied and self-control is lost.
Every thought and every emotion has its direct effect upon the physical constituents of the body. The mental and emotional vibrations become physical vibrations and structures. Discord in the mind is translated into physical disease in the body, while the harmonies of hope, faith, cheerfulness, happiness, love and altruism create in the organism the corresponding health vibrations.
Have you ever noticed how the written or printed notes of a tone piece or the perforations on the paper music roll of an automatic player are arranged in symmetrical and geometrical figures and groups? Dry sand strewn on the top of a piano on which harmonious tone combinations are produced shows a tendency to arrange itself in symmetrical patterns.
In this you have a visual illustration of the translation of harmonious sound vibrations, which express the harmonics of the soul's emotions, into correspondingly harmonious arrangements and configurations in the physical material of the paper roll.
A jumble of discords of sound, if reproduced on a music roll, would present a chaotic jumble of perforations.
Thus the purely mental and emotional is translated into its corresponding discords or harmonies in the physical.
As the perforations on the paper music roll arrange themselves either symmetrically or without symmetry and order, in strict accordance with the harmonies or discords of the composition, so the atoms, molecules and cells in the physical body group themselves in normal or abnormal structures of health or of disease in exact correspondence with the harmonious or the discordant vibrations conveyed to them from the mental and emotional planes.
Another Illustration: Two violins, as they leave the shop of the maker, are exactly alike in material, structure and quality of tone. One of the two instruments is constantly used by beginners and persons incapable of producing pure notes. The other passes into the hands of an artist who understands how to use the instrument to the best advantage and who draws from it only musical tones that are true in pitch and quality.
After a few years, compare the two violins again. You will find that the one used by the tyros in music has deteriorated in its musical qualities, while the one in the hands of the artist has greatly improved in quality and purity of tone. What is the reason? The atoms and molecules in the wood of the two instruments have grouped themselves according to the discords or the harmonies that have been produced from them.
If this rearrangement of atoms is possible in dead wood, how much easier must be this adjustment of atoms, molecules and cells to discordant or harmonious vibratory influence in the living, plastic and fluidic human organism!
What harmony is to music, hope, faith, cheerfulness, happiness, sympathy, love and altruism are to the vibratory conditions of the human entity. These emotions are in alignment with the constructive principle in Nature. They harmonize the physical vibrations, relax the tissues and open them wide to the inflow of the life force.
Swedenborg truly says: "The warmth of life is the heat of the divine love permeating and animating the universe." The more we possess of hope, faith, love and their kindred emotions, the more we open ourselves to the inflow and action of the vital energies. The good-natured, cheerful, sympathetic person is more alive than the crabbed, morose or selfish individual.
It has been proved over and over again by everyday experience that mental and emotional conditions positively affect the chemical composition of the tissues and secretions of the body. The destructive emotions of fear, worry, anger, jealousy, revengefulness, envy, etc., actually poison the fluids and tissues of the body. The bite of an angry man may cause blood-poisoning and prove as fatal as the bite of a mad dog. Sudden fear, anger or any other destructive emotion in the nursing mother may cause illness or even death of the infant.
In psychological laboratories it has been found by scientifically conducted experiments that under the influence of destructive mental and emotional conditions, the secretions and excretions of the body show an increase of morbid and poisonous elements.
Selfishness, fear and worry contract and congeal the blood vessels, the nerve fibers, and the other channels through which the life forces are conveyed from the innermost source of life to different parts and organs of the physical body. The flow of the life currents is impeded and diminished. Such are the actual physiological effects of fear, anxiety and egotism on the physical organism.
A man under the influence of great fear and one exposed to freezing present the same outward appearance. In both cases death may result through the congealing of the tissues and the shutting out of the life currents. The person afflicted with the worry habit may not die suddenly like the one overcome by great and sudden fear. Nevertheless, the fear and worry vibrations maintained constantly will surely obstruct and diminish the inflow of the life force, lower the vitality and therewith the resistance to the encroachment of influences inimical to the health of the organism.
The cells in the body are negative, or, at least, they should be negative to the positive mind. The relationship of the mind to the cell should be like that of hypnotist to subject. If the mind could not exert such absolute control over the cells and cell groups, it would be impossible for us to walk, talk, write, dodge danger, etc., with almost automatic ease.
The cells are not able to reason upon the truth or untruth of the suggestions conveyed to them from the mind. They accept its promptings unqualifiedly and act accordingly.
Thus, if the mind constantly thinks of, say, the stomach as being in a badly diseased condition, unable to do its work properly, the mental images of weakness and disease with their accompanying fear vibrations are telegraphed over the efferent nerves to the cells of the stomach and these become more and more weakened and diseased through the destructive vibrations sent to them from the mind.
I often advise my patients to procure a book on anatomy and physiology and to study and keep constantly before their mind's eye the normal structure and functions of a healthy stomach or liver or whatever organ may be involved in any particular case.