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
The major part of the medical profession is a long way from the Tipperary of a curing understanding of diet.
"Tildenites" have long known how to live, and the present war reform will not change their manner of living.
Just use the word "enzymes" for "vitamin," and mystery disappears.
Therapeutics defined is, in a few words, the science and art of applying remedies to the cure of disease.
"Everybody knows" that there is such a thing as curing disease; hence, when I say that there is no such thing as curing disease, the average individual looks askance and inquires: "If you don't cure anybody, what do you do? What are you teaching?"
There is a therapeutics of doing nothing. For years I have said that it takes more wisdom to do nothing well than to administer all the remedies in Christendom. It takes more knowledge, more experience, more will, more independence, more individuality, to do nothing well, and scientifically, than to apply all the science that has ever been discovered.
The profession of healing is a sacred one--the outcome and acme of all priesthoods--divinest conquest of the human intelligence--and will appear one day.
The question is: Did Carlyle build better than he knew? The probabilities are that he believed in some kind of therapeutics, and his highest conception was that there would be a divine remedy, instead of human intelligence, to pilot man out of disease-producing influences.
On the subject of therapeutics--giving something to cure--I am a drug nihilist; I have been accused of drug nihilism for forty years. It has been said that I do not believe in anything; and I am accused of it yet. However, I never have seen anyone who has more beliefs than I have. I have beliefs enough and to spare; and I admit having a lot of unbeliefs. I do not believe in the fixity of states and the unchangeableness of good. I believe in never-changing law and order, and man's ability to adjust himself amicably to nature's requirements.
Whether Carlyle knew what he was talking about I cannot say. But he told one of the biggest truths that have ever been recorded. Now, what did he mean by it? If he meant what is ordinarily understood as sacred, that would indicate that he did not have the right idea of cure--that he did not have the right idea of therapeutics.
Perhaps it would be well for me to say what I mean when I admit that I am a "drug nihilist"--why I talk on therapeutics, and yet do not believe in therapeutics.
All curing is within the body itself. All we can do is to make the sick comfortable by removing obstructions to the normal operations of the body. The tendency of the body is toward health. The tendency of everything on the side of evolution is toward the ideal. The tendency of vegetation is to develop the ideal type; and if it does not develop the ideal, it is because of obstruction. When trees are planted close together, they grow high and very slender, they are not well proportioned, and they always lack vital resistance. A plant that grows ideally must not be obstructed; it must receive the sun's rays, be exercised by the wind, and have enough of suitable nourishment to promote its growth and allow it to develop ideally.
It is the same with the human body. If it has been planted unideally--in a soil that does not represent all the elements--the child cannot grow ideally and cannot represent an ideal human being. Now, the question is: Can a child born in such an environment ever be brought around to an ideal state? To answer this question opens a large field of therapeutics in which I do believe; namely, the adjusting of the individual to the environment, and the environment to the individual, so that he may evolve into as normal or ideal a state as his potentiality will allowhis potentiality is able to assimilate the elements necessary to bring on ideality.
If man is hampered by being gestated and born in an environment that does not represent all the elements necessary for ideal body-building, and then the mental state of the mother has been one of depression all the way through the gestation period, we have a big job in bringing that child into an ideal state. The question is: Can it be done?
Eugenics is the subject of much talk these days, and a lot of it means nothing. There is too much importance attached to heredity. The possibilities of man making good are as numerous as the rays that radiate from a center of light. This being true, why talk about his being held down by his inheritance? It is his environment that holds him down, more than heredity.
Pausanius was a Greek traveler who lived in the second century. A physician said of him: "He ails nothing." To which he replied: "I use none of your physic." Again the physician said: "Sir, you are an old man." To which Pausanius replied: "That happens because you never were my physician." Long life often means possessing enough sense to avoid all kinds of opportunities to die. Doctors have had to take the jokes of philosophers from right and left; and it is right that they should, for they as often kill as they cure. Why is it that the people are suspicious of the profession today? Why is it that there are more people who do not have the confidence in the profession which they once had?