Because of ingrained prejudices of students, teachers, professors, and the man-on-the-street, Hygienists must be both courageous and adamant in their convictions. Our ideas, our motives, and our characters are assailed with a violence, which in a dark age, would have consigned us to dungeons or lighted for us inquisitional fires. Our prison is a conservative ostracism--we are pilloried in the public press--and the fires of persecution glow for us in the rage of our enemies.
This age has to learn the great fact, that no living truth can be crushed out of the minds of men. If our science of Hygiene is false, let it be so proved. We believe it to be true, and truth of the most vital importance to the purity and progress of the race. How can we progress when we suffer physically and mentally? Obviously, our progress is limited so long as we are ill. Drugged and tranquilized bodies are incapable of functioning normally.
Past and present Hygienists have so firmly believed in the truths of Natural Hygiene and in its capability of bringing man out of his lethargy and drug-induced miseries, that they have been willing to go to jail for their beliefs and practices. They have been men who have loved truth.
The love of truth impels the lover of truth wherever the truth lies. A genuine love of truth possesses as an inseparable and essential characteristic, a willingness to be governed by it implicitly, and to follow it, both theoretically and practically, wheresoever it may lead, even though this may only be done at the complete sacrifice of our preconceived and most cherished notions, and of our good opinion of ourself.
If one stumbles upon the truth about health and disease, and is a lover of truth impelled to follow every new truth one learns, there is no turning back. One may become peeved when truth blocks indulgence in a cherished vice. In the long run, however, one is happier in knowing the truth and glad to be able to follow it, for therein lies superior health and happiness.
When the devotees of any dogma, whether in religion, politics, medicine, or science, shrink from the light of thorough searching and impartial investigation, they manifest a latent consciousness of the weakness or error of the dogma, and apprehension that the light of clearly unfolded truth will reveal its deformity and untenableness. They are afraid to learn truth, as it will nullify all their beliefs and practices. They will be compelled either to be hypocrites thereafter or to follow the truth wherever it may lead.
"Wisdom," said Trail, "is ever crying in the streets, but how few are there who listen to her voice." They are afraid to listen to the voice of truth, because truth is always radical--it gets to the root of things. Trail said, "There never was a greater fallacy than the adage, that truth is a medium between extremes. Truth is always radical, always ultra: it is invariably an extreme or the other of any given proposition."
A genuine science declares its own truth; it does not have to be declared true by some powerful society or governmental body. Hygiene is not apparently true only, it is invariably a true science. Practices based upon its broad principles always follow a set pattern, and the results can be predicted in every instance. This cannot be said of medical practice, where each time a dose of drug is given to an individual, one should always expect the unexpected.
It may be argued that medicine is scientific (it is at least experimental) and Hygiene is not. The truth is just the opposite. Medicine is not and never was a science. It is a manner, mode, or method of treating the sick. Physiology, biology, anatomy, etc., are sciences, based on demonstrable principles, but these are not medicine. Although in becoming a physician, the medical student is required to study these sciences, medicine is not based on them. Medicine lacks a single principle that can be demonstrated, either by reason or experiment. Its modes of treatment are ephemeral, a thing that would not be so were they truly scientific.
Dr. Shelton is no disciple of the school that holds that "scientists" can do no wrong. He does not believe in the infallibility of "scientists." He does not believe that "science" is a body of perfect knowledge, that all of its "facts" are facts and all of its theories and hypotheses are true. He does not believe that all of its techniques are the best and that all of its practices are good. There is much that is done, he says, "in the name of 'science' and that has the endorsement of 'scientists' or many 'scientists' that is definitely evil." "The remedy for all of this may be more science, but only if we define science to be truth and recognize that if it is not truth, it is not science."
The "experimental method," with all of its admitted shortcomings, holds the mind of modern man in a vice-like grip. Its hold upon man is not weakened by the obvious fact that it has brought the race to a pitiable plight. By and large, we continue to submit meekly, unquestioningly, in many instances unknowingly, to the harmful practices that have been originated by the experimental method. Let me not be understood as denying any value to the experimental method. I plead only for a reappraisal of its results and of the situation into which its results have gotten us, as the cloud-fog of irrationality that surrounds us today is probably without equal at any other period of human history.
Science is but an infinite handicraftsman using the materials of the world around us out of which to mould his brain-children. A science is a nexus, that is, an integrated body of facts and laws and classifications, with its emphasis not upon a mere summarizing of fact-knowledge, but also on the necessary timeless relationships between the great body of facts that enter into the structure of the science, and the laws that give it structure.
Einstein is quoted as having said: "There is no finality in science." This would seem to indicate that what we know as science today is somewhat in the nature of an interim report of the processes of research, a process that had its origin in the dim past and which will proceed for an indefinite time. The search will go on so long as there are scientists searching for objective truth. This same fact is indicated by the frequent protestation of scientists that all of their conclusions are tentative and subject to change, alteration or to being discarded as further discoveries are made.
As scientists make discoveries and new facts are uncovered, we should welcome them. Unfortunately, new truths are fought with the strength of a Goliath. New truths interfere with the image we have of ourselves. We are too proud to admit we have been wrong in the past, so the new truths are rejected, out of self-conceit, or to prevent some profitable activity from being destroyed by it.