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
In the olden times the wiseacres--the teachers, the professors, the learned men of the healing profession, priests, and lawyers--declared that disease was a punishment sent upon man by his God for being wicked. Epidemics were sent by God to kill many people because they had incurred His divine wrath. The cure, of course, was logical; namely, appease the wrath of God. And, as divine wrath required human sacrifice, the doctors, priests, and their allies put the people to the rack. If they had not performed their duty in this respect, they would have become "participes criminis," and in turn would have brought punishment upon themselves.
It is unnecessary to enter very largely into a description of the therapeutics (the cures) of that day. Those who would have a minute history of the cause and cure of disease in those days should read the sacred and secular histories of that time. And those who would have the whole truth should not neglect reading history on down to the "History of Celebrated Crimes" by Alexandre Dumas. Then, while engaged in that study, it would be well to follow it down to the anointed of today, and behold the greatest of all great wars--a logical sequence of all that has gone before. In it, behold a drastic and most heroic treatment of almost the entire world for the commonest and least understood diseases of mankind--namely, selfishness, ignorance, stupidity, and incorrigibility!
Disease is not an entity, the nature and cause of which can be summed up as is done in the profession's "blue book," known as "Medical Nomenclature," which starts with "abasia" (lost power to stand) and "adenoids," and ends with "yellow fever" and "yellow jaundice." No name ever fits a disease; for cause is multiple--many-factored--and the causes and factors vary in quantity and quality.
The commonest cause of disease is, first, last, and all the time, overindulgence of appetites and passions. In the primitive age, man was protected by the simple life. Instinct and absence of imagination controlled him sensually. As social life or civilization advanced, morality evolved. Up to this time man had been unmoral. The ABC of morality is self-consciousness; and the first act, after selfconsciousness is born, is to clothe nakedness. It is obvious to the discerning that sexuality is the rock on which morality is based, and alimentation is the rock on which life, health, and body development are built.
Fundamentally, then, the life of man rests on sexuality and nutrition: he must be begotten, and then he must be fed.
In the subconscious state these processes are carried on by the cosmic urge--the subtle, developmental energies of nature. We see the birds in the springtime mating, nesting, and raising young. If the nest is destroyed with the eggs, another nest is built and other eggs are laid; with nothing to account for the whole procedure except want, or the developmental urge. It is long after this before ratiocination comes on the psychological stage.
Man has the cosmic urge manifesting in want of food and want of family. Around and about these fundamental wants springs up everything in man's life. The manner in which he satisfies these wants determines his moral status, and his moral status marks the degree of health and the length of life which he enjoys. The world is taught a morality separated and apart from health and its fundamentals, but it is stupidly idealistic and devoid of sense and reason. When we know enough, we shall be able to see that all our physical and mental woes are brought upon us because of such false reasoning. World-wars are built out of such morality.
At the birth of man's freedom from the slavery of the subconscious rule, he interprets his freedom as license, and his conduct is governed by brutal selfishness; he glories in satisfying appetite and passion, and to the protesting voice his answers are sneers and curses. The first check that comes to him in the drunken revel with which he celebrates his freedom to eat, drink, and be merry, is religion. Religion brings its appeal to his moral, esthetical, and intellectual nature before these potentialities are evolved. Instead of appealing to the physical--the base on which these higher qualities depend--and preparing this base for the evolution of the ethical, esthetical, moral, and religious, the whip of fear has been held over him. He has been taught that he must love God--and that, too, without anything except a grotesque knowledge of the Deity; he has been forced to acknowledge a love he could not feel, and to worship without desire; for, when man worships intelligently, he must know the being worshiped, and this being must have qualities of character that draw respect, love, and worship. Respect is founded on knowledge; love springs up when the object possesses lovable qualities; worship comes when the object loved proves to be the embodiment of perfection, as we understand it.
Man has been forced to confess respect, love, and worship for a formulary morality, creed, and God, under penalty of future punishment, or, what is worse, social ostracism. This coercion made a slave of him, and he has secretly rebelled. 'This rebellion has grown a hypocrisy that may be described as an immorality dolled up to give a presentable appearance. A religion and morality by title only is a monstrosity without sense or reason--a thing professing one thing and living another. Man is suffering in body and mind from this fallacious education, and he will get rid of it as soon as he awakens to a knowledge of his horrible predicament. Man is certainly suffering from respectable false teachings which have made him mentally blind.
Is nature, by this World War, endeavoring to wake man out of his moral lethargy? If it kills forever our slavery to a morality that builds hypocrisy as its principal asset, impoverishing the earth and killing off the flower of our manhood may be as small a price as can be asked for so great a service; but would it not be the irony of hen if our reconstruction would be on the same old ethical conception? This will certainly be our fate, unless autocracy, imperialism, Caesars, kings, presidents, and all classes of rulers who have a God as a silent partner, are put out of business.
Man has made the mistake of attempting to bridge the distance from aboriginal ignorance to a state of intelligence and moral responsibility that can never be realized until appetite and passion are controlled through intellect, and not through sentiment, emotionalism, or fear of God.
Disease is ignorance--the greatest foe to Truth, to Nature, to Nature's God, to the Universe.
Ignorance per se is not dangerous to truth. Indeed, truth would have no trouble with ignorance, if it were not for the retinue of lieutenants and attendants who hover about this great mass of intellectual stone--of undifferentiated mental protoplasm--which selfish jugglers--moral perverts-convert into a veritable King Juggernaut.
Chief among the hordes of advisers on the staff of King Ignorance is the commander-in-chief, Knave, who is not ignorant, but who finds rebellion against truth more to his liking, and to serve his purpose best. It is he who upholds "law and order," the better to fleece the public. He is in the forefront of every reform. His culminating influence is always faced opposite the direction in which he appears to be going. He is the eyes, ears, and tongue of King Ignorance. His selfishness, vanity, jealousy, and dishonesty prejudice Ignorance against Truth to such a degree that the great king of the nether world remains hopelessly blind and deaf. Surely there is no blindness so blind as the blindness that will not see, and deafness so deaf as the deafness that will not hear.