The grandest desiderium in the twentieth century, surpassing in value all other discoveries that may be made in this or any succeeding century, is a true and reliable science of health or, more properly, a science of life. It would render life and health as certain as chemistry and physics, electricity and, perhaps, astronomy. When we think of how numerous and how intense the joys of living can be when we are in exuberent health and when we contrast this state of euphoria with the suffering and discomfort of disease, why do we think of the man or woman who cultivates health as a mere faddist?
We are daily surprised at the lack of information possessed by the people pertaining to their health and its maintenance. Although it is obviously to their highest interests to know how to preserve high-level health, they appear to be entirely indifferent to the matter. This can be accounted for only by assuming that they have been conditioned to depend upon others to look after their well-being. Formerly they were led to believe that Providential arrangements have removed the vital issues of life from their control, so that there was no use for them to look after and try to preserve their health. More recently they have been taught to believe that it is of no consequence to care for health--the most ignorant and indifferent to the precise conditions of life being just as likely to escape illness as he who consciously seeks to preserve his health. If these surmises are not correct, it still remains certain that the vast majority of our people are not enjoying good health and that under our present ways of living we have not been able to extend the length of human life.
Our people have no philosophy of life. If they are religious, they assume that God intends that man shall be sick. God does not hold us responsible for our illnesses. If they are scientific, they assume that sickness is inevitable, indeed, that health is but a mirage. Science assures us that sickness is unavoidable except as it discovers immunizers.
If we could fully realize that no foul fungus springs from healthy flesh and no plague develops in pure, living blood, we could grasp the supreme importance of health in all our activities of mind and body. We would understand the importance of health in the conduct of the affairs of the world. We would demand health in our leaders, if we are to continue to play the sorry game of "follow the leader." What can we expect of poetry, if the life of the poet is one long disease; of literature, when the writers are drugged to intoxication; of art, when the artists are degraded to the level of their own indulgent lives; of religion, when its ministers are steeped in sensuality; of the state, so long as its administrators are drunk and diseased; of education, when our teachers are morbid throughout; of students, when coffee, cigarettes, hot dogs, soft drinks and sex occupy so much of their time and attention? When the very foundation of our civilization is rotten, how shall we make it serve the genuine interests of mankind?
The first need of our world is health. Everybody knows this, but so universal is sickness that men do not recognize disease as abnormal, the result of violations of the laws of life established in nature for the control of our complex being. Health is the basis of goodness and happiness, the foundation of all progress and the theme to which our thoughts and energies will at this time be devoted. Show us anything in the universe that is in normal relations to all other things and we will point you to a good thing, a source of pleasure to every living thing, a blessing to all creation.
How may a high state of health be attained? How may we assure wholeness and fullness of development, vigor of function and freedom from disease and suffering? How may man be returned to that soundness and integrity of structure and vigor and force of life that he knew in the morning of his existence? If contemporary man is so lacking in health that he is but a puny specimen of manhood, how can he be restored to his pristine power and majesty? In a word: how may man be healed? The sun of those far away days has grown chary of its beaming countenance, while groping wanderers cast up longing eyes to its vivifying effulgence; but purblind and weary, they involve themselves in inextricable labyrinths. Although we may, perhaps, be conscious of its diffused radiance, between us and the source of light there seems to be an impenetrable veil.
It should not require argument to convince the intelligent man and woman that man can return to health and strength only upon a basis of law--natural law--specifically, upon a basis of those laws that operate to make human life possible. All laws essential to the welfare of man are written in his own constitution. Every rule of human conduct to be valid in promoting human welfare and happiness must be in harmony with his nature. No law, no social custom (convention), no moral precept, can have any validity for man that does not accord with his highest welfare. If it is not intimately related to man's highest fitness--physical, moral and intellectual--it cannot correspond to his highest ideals of truth, duty and enjoyment.
Those of us who study and understand Natural Hygiene look upon this subject from an elevated standpoint. Taking a comprehensive view of it and living within the benefits of Hygiene, we are hardly aware of the prejudice to be combated and the ignorance to be removed, before mankind will be brought to understand that it is better, from every point of view, to live in a state of health than in a state of disease--in a state of happiness than in one of suffering and misery. Our people seem content to be useless half of their lives, and they watch with indifference the mounting incidence of degenerative disease.
They reject the idea that it is our right and duty to live in health to a good old age--that sickness, pain and early death are results of our wrong doings. If they could but grasp the significant fact that man is the builder of his own suffering, the architect of his own miseries, they could begin earnestly to look at their habits and ways of life. They would then be more likely to study the ways of life to the end that they may enjoy uninterrupted good health and an abounding vigor. The people need urgently to learn that the normal condition of human beings is one of health, that man is never sick without cause and that sickness is always the result of violation of the laws of life. Never a child cries with colic nor an adult groans with it, there is never a neuralgia or a diarrhea, no child suffers with a cold and no adult has an ulcer of the stomach, unless there has been repeated violations of the laws of organic being.
The habits of the people are subversive of health in almost every important respect. They eat, drink, smoke, play, work, rest, marry, bear children, go wherever their fancy desires, wherever their appetites and passions lead them--they do almost everything, all without reference to the laws of the human constitution. The body resists the influence of these violations and repairs daily the ravages of such, so that their cumulative effects are long in making themselves felt as disease.