No diet, no oxygen, no sunshine, will produce vital operations in a corpse. Everything we do, whether well or sick, must be subservient to the power of life. Food is valuable only in connection with the power to utilize it. Given a wholesome environment and physical and mental habits that maintain normal nerve energy and the functions of man's body will be normal and this is health. If the environment and habits are enervating and functions are lowered, disease evolves as a necessary consequence of lagging function. Upon the healthy condition, the purity and richness of the blood, depends our physical well-being, our bodily strength, our mental sanity and the happiness of our existence.

Say what you like, healthful habits do not cause death. Pure air, pure water, moderate eating of wholesome foods--these and similar wholesome things are not disease producing. Impure air, impure water, excesses of food, unwholesome food, imprudence in eating, excesses of all kinds, lack of rest and sleep, inadequate exercise, poisoned drinks, smoking, etc., are all disease producing. Here, then, we have set before us two ways of life--opposite ways--the one leading straight to health and strength, the other equally as straight to weakness and disease. The physician who thinks that the prevailing habits of eating and drinking are correct will give no attention to these causes of disease. He will search for germs or viruses--he will ignore coffee, tobacco, alcohol, excesses, late hours, sexual over-indulgence, passional stresses, etc., and lead his patient to believe that his suffering is due to some obscure something called disease that has seized upon him and must be destroyed.

Life and health are composed of a concatenation of circumstances over which individual control is a necessary condition to self-improvement and progression. It remains true, unfortunately, that most health seekers attempt to regain health by the employment of partial or incomplete measures. Instead of wholeness of program, they adopt some one or two elements of what should be a health-building way of life and ride this as a hobby. Full health requires, nay, it demands a full program of healthful living. One does not attain fullness of health by diet alone nor by exercise alone nor by means of a fast alone, etc. None of the needs of healthy life can be neglected; none of them can be over-indulged.

Concerning the necessity for a total Hygienic program, Trall said editorially in the Journal for October, 1861: "The world moves. Since the establishment of the New York Hygeio-Therapeutic School in 1853, whose professors are Hygienic physicians, Hygienic or Health Education seems to have become a prominent topic with many teachers and patrons of literary institutions. Amherst College, Mass., has led the way in establishing a chair for special instruction in gymnastics and Harvard is urging the appointment of a Professor in Hygiene. But we fear the functions of the professorship are destined to be altogether too limited. The idea of Hygienic education or training, with nearly all teachers and institutions who have dignified it with the position of a chair or department of the general educational course, embraces little more than gymnastic and calisthenic exercises. These are useful and important, so far as they go; but they constitute only a fractional part of Hygiene. A professor of Hygiene should be nothing more nor less than a practical physiologist. Physiology is the doctrine of functions, as anatomy is the doctrine of structures. It is for the anatomist to reveal the order and arrangement of the living machinery, so fearfully and wonderfully made; and for the physiologist to explain its actions and uses. It is the business of the hygeist so to exercise each of the vital tissues and organs as to secure the equal and harmonious development of all. This theme, therefore, comprehends something more than mere muscular exercises.

"The material of which the structures are formed is quite as important as are the amount and kind of exercise; hence diet is one of the subject-matters of the Professor of Hygiene. And on this subject we are quite sure that a majority of the Hygeian professors teach altogether the wrong sentiments . . . The Hygienic professor's vocation not only embraces exercise and diet, but it comprehends also air, respiration, ventilation, clothing, temperature, rest, sleep, passional influences, etc. All of these subjects are comprehended in the course of the Professor of Physiology and Hygiene in the Hygeio-Therapeutic College and should be taught by every Professor of Hygiene.

"We believe that one of the drug-medical schools of this city introduced a chair of Hygiene last year; or at least the subject of Hygiene as a branch of education to be properly taught in a medical college. But we suspect it did not amount to much. Hygienic and drug-medical education can never flourish in the same school. They can never long coexist. The druggery must soon poison out the Hygiene, or the Hygiene will inevitably exterminate the drugs . . ."

Time enters as an essential element in working for the perfection of the individual and development must necessarily go through a consecutive course of gradations. Health is not regained in a bound. There is a day-by-day, often unobservable improvement in health, as conformity to the laws of being is continued.

We have set forth in this work the laws of life so far as these are understood and we think that just in proportion as these laws are observed, so far as all the functions of life are concerned, will more people have health and happiness. It is our thought that most of the ills, diseases, premature mortality and general unhappiness of our race are intimately connected with violations of these laws. We can pardon not the incredulity with which this statement will be received by those most interested in its truth. We tend to cling to our errors and our vices and even to hug our chains. We seem to be in love with sickness and rush upon premature death as if it were not in violation of the laws of nature. We find it difficult to believe in a condition of universal health, plenty and happiness. Some are even mad enough to fight against it--distrusting the goodness of the universal order and blaspheming it by slandering its creatures and its laws.

In the world as at present organized, which is an irreversible antihuman machine, no individual can obey these laws so as to have integral health--it is an impossibility. We tend towards health as far as we and others become aware of the evils that exist. But if my neighbor poisons the air with the fumes of tobacco, if he pollutes the water with the exhaust from his factory, if he radiates evil wherever he goes, he makes me suffer with him. There is a unity in the race that makes the crimes of one man rebound to the hurt of another. We cannot repudiate this unity any more than we can repudiate the unity of our own body. I cannot be healthy alone--I cannot be honest alone. In a society in which dishonesty is the fashion, as it is everywhere, though people do not understand it, dishonesty is forced upon all. The full Hygienic life must await that broader social revolution that will liberate man from age-old slaveries that bind him to social evils.