This section of the book is from the "Handbook of Nature Cure Volume One: Nature Cure vs. Medical Science" book, by John L. Fielder.
One of the grievous shortcomings of "medicine" is the one to be mentioned here. If a patient, suspecting that he has some disease, such as gastric ulcer, goes to a doctor, the latter makes a thorough examination and then tells him that just then he has not got that disease, but that it may develop in about six months, so that he must come after that time. This is because doctors are concerned with disease alone, not health. He does not give advice as to how not to get the disease. In the Life Natural there is no need to wait until the disease comes into being. By taking to the practice of living for health, the patient prevents the disease and remains in health.
Thus it will be seen that the Life Natural is both preventive and curative, the prevention being effected by building up better health. Allopathic preventives are different; they prevent disease by suppressing symptoms, which is wrong as will be shown later.
It is a historical fact that it was this divine science that prevailed and was followed from the very beginning of creation by all creatures. None of the medical systems prevailed then; this is probable because animals, both wild and domesticated, are followers of this science. It may be said that animals do this by "instinct’. We do not approve of the mentality that has led to the use of this word for this purpose. Even if it be true that animals are guided by "instinct", it is admittedly a shame that men have lost this instinctive wisdom. The story of the buffalo-calf given before is herein relevant.
Some time ago a book in Sanskrit entitled Ayurveda Sutram was found and published by the Mysore University. It is in the aphoristic form. Its teaching is not medical but Hygienic. It teaches that disease is due to the accumulation of mucus—viscous slimy matter—the end-product of imperfect digestion, due to hungerless and excessive eating; and it recommends fasting, improved breathing, and the free use of herbal foods for the recovery of health; no drugs are recommended; on the other hand the Ayurvedic textbooks that are now in use prescribe all kinds of poisonous remedies, both herbal and metallic. These textbooks came into existence as civilisation advanced and professional motives began to operate.
Naturally the practitioners of present day corrupt Ayurveda did not like this old, long-ago-superseded book, and hence there was no second edition of the Ayurveda Sutram.
It was this lost science that was revived and restored by the pioneers of Natural Hygiene, who had themselves become hopeless of medical methods. Unlike other medical failures, these men of independent and courageous minds did not give way to despair. Guided by divine grace, and also by making some observations of the ways of wild animals, they hit upon new, non-violent methods, and truths of Hygiene, and by following them recovered lost health and became free of their troubles. It happened that each of them discovered just a fraction of the true science. Their successors combined all these fractions and made some discoveries of their own. Among these new discoveries may be mentioned the Spinal Bath and two principles of Vital Economy and Vegetablarianism. The latter supersedes what is called "vegetarianism", which is not fully Hygienic.
It is not intended to convey that all medicos of all time were ignorant and practised this quackery which is falsely called medical science. Some there were who knew a great deal more of Hygiene than the average medico. Among them we may mention one, Dr Abernathy, who used to say: "Stop the supplies, and the enemy will leave the citadel." This was a reference to the great value of fasting. Another, namely Dr Sydenham, known as the English Hippocrates, who lived in the 17th century, looked upon acute diseases as Nature’s efforts to eliminate "morbidic matter", which is what we call "foreign matter", the provocative cause of disease. (Hippocrates was a Hygienist who practised in Athens, Greece in the 4th century BC, who is even now known as the "Father of Medicine", though he certainly would not approve of this quackery if he were to come back and see how medicine has been perverted.) We can also mention Sir Frederick Treves, who declared that diseases are the guardians of health, and that without them mankind would have become extinct long ago. Major RFE Austin, of the Indian Army Medical Service, who died recently, was one of us. Doctors Douglas Latto and others are also noteworthy as disapproving the medical policy of violence.
More than two centuries ago a German doctor named Hahnemann saw that medical practice was both futile and deadly to health, because of its guiding principle, namely violence. He tried to find a non-violent way of using drugs. He could not imagine that drugs could and should be dispensed with altogether. He invented a new method which he called "Homoeopathy" (or homopathy), in which "similar drugs" are used in infinitesimally small doses; similars are those drugs that would set up the same disease in a healthy person, whereas in orthodox practice "opposites" are used. From this time the older system came to be known as "allopathy".
The new system, however, did not succeed in displacing the old one, which continues to flourish with ever-increasing vigour. Besides, homopathic medicine is no more successful than allopathic in cases of deep-rooted chronic conditions. The reason is that in seeking to discover a new system, Hahnemann did not pursue the quest of the truth about disease far enough, so as to reach the true ultimate cause of the loss of health—the cause that is recognised in our Hygienic science. If he had persevered far enough in his quest, he might have discovered this very divine science, in which the cause of disease is understood to be hygienic sin, and the cure is making amends for that sin—Prayaschitta.
We have seen that the pioneers of our science were medical failures. It has now to be stated that they were failures not only of allopathy but also of homopathy. Homopathy could not cure them any more than allopathy could, because though the former was comparatively non-violent, it was not Hygienic; it did not rely on God, but only on drugs chosen and prepared in a different way.
We must now face the question: Why did the divine science, which was alive when the book, the Ayurveda Sutram, was a textbook, come to be lost and forgotten. The reason most probably was that men became less and less willing to live Hygienically, so as to deserve health, and wanted easy cures without reform. At the same time they had transferred to the professional medicos their own responsibility, to themselves and to God, for their own health. The vaidyas, doctors of the corrupt Ayurveda, took over that responsibility, but failed to discharge it strictly according to divine law. They began to ignore the Hygienic teachings of Ayurveda and took to the use of suppressive drugs, which would give their patients a semblance of cure, and this perpetuated the distinction between the professional doctor and his too-trusting client, the patient, and this meant the wilful neglect of health. This dependence of patients on doctors is unnatural, and it is this that has brought about the deplorable state of the people’s health, chiefly among the civilised peoples; and the condition is worst of all among the more "advanced" peoples.
The best policy for the health-lover is to become, and to remain, independent of all doctors—not only those that practise violence, but also of those that profess to practice non-violence. That means that every follower should aim at being his own doctor, subject of course to guidance by divine grace. Guided by grace one should do all that needs to be done and avoid doing whatever ought not to be done. As for the return of lost health, one must rely on God alone. Reliance on God, according to Bhagavan Shri Ramana Maharshi, is true self-reliance, because God is not other than the real self. That such independence is alone blessed was neatly expressed by Bhagavan Manu, the earliest law-giver, in the following line: "Dependence on others is misery; dependence on oneself is happiness." Let it be noted that such independence is not possible in any of the medical systems.
It should be understood that this Hygiene is the only true science of rejuvenation there is. In favourable conditions it restores and prolongs youth.
For practising this system with success it is not necessary to master the intricate details of anatomy, physiology, pathology, toxicology, and pharmacology. A single textbook by a highly cultured and experienced master is quite enough for guidance. Hence it is our devout wish and prayer that this science be studied and practised, by the grace of God, as a domestic science, by every follower in his own home. It may need to be explained here that there should be no dependence even on one that professes to be a Nature Curist or Hygienist. It is difficult to find a professional of such profound intelligence and of such noble character as would be worthy of implicit trust. Also there are principles involved in this science which would be unintelligible, except to men of such high qualifications as above stated. In particular I may here mention Vital Economy, a principle of the greatest importance in the practice of this science. But this principle seems to be insufficiently understood by a great number of professors of Nature Cure. The follower must therefore aim at perfect independence and qualify himself for it by devout study and practical experience, always relying on God for guidance. This will be further explained later.