This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
Every country has its educated or intellectual, intelligent, and ignorant classes. These are not distinctions without differences. Intellectuality does not always mean intelligence; intelligence does not mean intellectuality, neither does it mean ignorance.
In our country we have a North and a South, an East and a West. The people in these four divisions have distinctive characteristics. 'There is a type called the "westerner," who is distinctive and unlike the "down easterner." And there is a westerner who is cosmopolitan in personality, and who is typical of all other cosmopolitan types.
These differences are brought about by intelligence, travel, and food. Causes for varying types of man at the beginning are certainly geographical, climatic, and food, as well as physical, influences. Climate and food are type-builders.
Psychology should not be left out of the list of causes of type-building. From now on this subject will hold a conspicuous place among causes that make for individuality.
Religion has stamped its influence on the face of humanity. A close student of physiognomies can read the ancestral type of religion in the faces of humanity today. This shows what part the mind has played in molding the body.
When we consider that a fixed physical development can be made to function in such a way as to change the individuality, we are ready to believe that there is nothing fixed from a hereditary standpoint, except the elements and genus or type, and the possibilities of types. The possible types into which the elements may be molded are infinite. This being true, it should be easy to see that there is little which is bound to the hard and fast lines of heredity, and that heredity, outside of genus and species, is more an accident than a well-ordered plan. If a child takes after its parents, it will be due to postnatal, rather than to prenatal, influences. On this subject I have experienced a most radical change in belief in the past twenty-five years. I certainly hope I am not retrograding.
An adopted child from a criminal family will show as much advance in a good family as a child from a good family will show degeneracy when brought up in a bad family.
As function precedes structure, it must be obvious to the mentally discerning that a change in function must be followed by a change in structure.
But when does a change in function take place? Only when function is changed. We may profess a change in belief--we may preach our belief--but if we do not live it, we do not function it; hence there is no structural change. We may believe in diet as a remedy for all our physical and mental defects, but if we do not live our beliefs, we do not reap the benefit of our beliefs.
We see the proof of this in so-called criminals. They are put in reformatories; they are made to conform to the laws of reform; they talk it and act it, but do not think it; hence no structural change takes place, and, when the acid test comes, they are found to be the same.
When the Mongolian takes up his abode in our country, and proceeds to establish the habits and customs of his native country, and lives them daily, he continues to function Mongolian-like, and builds a physical structure to match. If he leaves Mongolia behind, and thinks, eats, and lives the American life, his structure changes to agree with his change in function. The physiognomy of structure is what I mean; for, as a matter of act, a real change of the fundamentals of genus requires much time and many generations. The foreign-born citizen who lives the life and thinks the thoughts of his native country never becomes a citizen in love and sympathy; he remains an alien to his adopted country so long as he lives.
It is impossible to amalgamate and assimilate disagreeing functions. Universal amalgamation will follow universal like functioning--like sympathies.
In matters of religion, we often see orthodoxy affecting reform--pretending liberality; the leaders struggling to reconcile their old beliefs to new ones, even going so far as to compromise on strong differences. Among the lay orthodox many live, act, and talk in such a way as to make it appear that they have experienced a change in belief. But there is really no change; for below the surface they function orthodoxy, hence preserve a structural physiognomy to correspond.
A pretended belief will bring no change. Belief must be lived; then a change in structure that is potentialized. follows, and this is inheritable. But please understand that it is inherited as a potentiality, which, if it be cultivated, may develop, but which may never arise as a material attribute.
When organs function crime, it is because the stimulation which causes the functioning calls out this particular effect. Change the stimulation, and we change the functioning--poisoning; for whatever toxins there are in the system cause a functioning to correspond.