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Lesson 1 - Introduction To Life Science As A Way Of Life
Welcome! It is my privilege to introduce you to the science of health known by the descriptive term “Life Science.” It is also known as health science, Natural Hygiene, Hygiene, and other terms.
What is Life Science?
At the outset it is wise to delineate just what Life Science is and what grounds it covers.
Life as we know it is possible and became possible because certain favorable conditions are and were present. Some of these conditions include favorable temperature, presence of oxygen and other gases and minerals, presence of water, absence of lethal substances, etc. Life Science is the study of all the conditions which make life possible. Because present day life seems to be losing touch with those conditions which made life possible, Life Science brings us “back to our roots,” so to speak. We should endeavor to meet life’s requisites so that we can lead a joyous existence.
Science is not the cold dispassionate pursuit many of us have been led to believe. Rather, it is personal, and relevant to all that we are involved in. When we turn our studies upon ourselves so that we may have a very personal science, we begin to arrive at the essence of Life Science.
Science as represented today is not the warm practical medium we speak of here. Science that we can’t use and benefit by is hardly science. Life Science is the exploration and elaboration of those elements and influences we can invoke to exalt our lives and being. Certain truths are applicable to our being. Studying and systemizing these truths so that we can be guided by them is our aim here. That which begets correct results is scientific.
That which begets wrong results is unscientific.
Life Science concerns itself with those principles and truths applicable to human life so that we may observe and avail ourselves of them. We are of the firm conviction that only by scientific living can we realize the loftiest joys and the destiny which is our birthright.
Animals in nature are creatures of instinct. Following the guidance of instinct, they are correctly self-directed to meet their needs. Thus they thrive optimally in accord with their environmental possibilities. Inborn guidance is, in effect, Life Science or a science of life for nature’s creatures.
Humans have infinitely more potential for happiness and goodness than nature’s simpler forms of life. We are endowed with immeasurably more sophisticated faculties.
These superior endowments can keep us in a state of euphoria during a long life.
Life Science must be for humans what inborn direction is for animals. We, too, have instincts, but we are far more than these basic impulses of life. Unfortunately, we not only fail to follow our instincts but we often reject them in our living practices. Our instincts have been vitiated and perverted by unwholesome conditioning in a world that is quite berserk by sane standards. When humans act contrary to instincts they are being unscientific. When their practices are in accord with their instincts—with their inherent biological adaptations—they are living scientifically. Life Science is as simple as that.
Obeying our natural instincts is part and parcel of Life Science. We believe nature did not err in instilling in us guiding instincts. We contend that humans, with our as yet fledgling intellects, do the erring that begets our sickness and suffering.
Life Science is an intellectual endeavor. We are far enough along that we can determine what is good and what is bad for us. We are profound enough in our knowledge to construct a science of life that will guide us to realize the happiness and the destiny that should be ours.
Life Science is, therefore, a way of life that rightfully concerns itself with every facet of human life and human well-being. Only such a thoroughgoing philosophy and concern can be a true science of life.
An Introduction To Life Science
Life Science as a Philosophy of Life
In introducing Life Science as a true philosophy of life thoroughly in accord with the facts of existence, the question arises as to how its validity was determined. The surest way of assessing the correctness of any system is to put it to the test. Does it work? If it works, it must be deemed valid. If it does not work, then it must be unscientific.
Life Science began with success. From its beginnings as a new, but not yet complete, healing science it developed until today it is a full-blown scientific system touching upon everything that relates to human well-being. That it is valid is beyond doubt—Life Science works perfectly!
To capture the essence of the science of healthful living, I feel it appropriate to quote from a most notable hygienist, Dr. Keki Sidwha. He’s been a Hygienic practitioner in Great Britain for almost twenty years.
“In spite of all the great advances in many branches of science, we are still in a period of prehistory, a dark age, in our thinking about health, disease and healing. What the world sorely needs is a new concept of health. A different orientation of thoughts, words and deeds than we have been led to accept for umpteen generations is now urgently called for.
Natural Hygiene, a life science, is that branch of biology which investigates the conditions upon which health depends and the means by which it may be sustained in all its virtue and purity, while we have it, and restored when it has been lost or impaired.
Before physiology developed, the rules of Hygiene were instinctive, traditional, and empirical. Today these rules are based on the growing knowledge of physiology and biology. If we had perfect knowledge of the laws of life and applied them in a perfect system of Hygiene, disease would be impossible and never occur. In this sense Hygiene is the science of intelligent and healthful living.
Natural Hygiene refutes the present-day ideas that disease and ill health are inevitable in people’s lives, depending on chance and circumstances outside their own control and domain. Natural Hygiene is a way of life, a philosophy of living. Health can only be obtained through healthful living; it cannot be bought across the counter of a drugstore, not can it be found in a physician’s office or in a hospital. We contend that healing is a biological process which is continuously going on inside every organism.”
This brilliant expression of the Hygienic stand by Dr. Sidwha deserves immortality. His salutary contributions to the science of healthful living will achieve immortality in our annals. Certainly this statement embodies the essence of hygienic philosophy.
The following is a concise statement of the philosophy, principles and practices of Life Science.
Life Science Philosophy, Principles And Practices
- LIFE SCIENCE holds that life should be meaningful and filled with beauty, goodness and happiness.
- LIFE SCIENCE holds that humans are inherently good, righteous, and virtuous, and that their exalted character will be realized under ideal life conditions.
- LIFE SCIENCE holds that superlative well-being is normal to human existence and necessary to the realization of the highest human ideals.
- LIFE SCIENCE holds that supreme human excellence can be realized only in those who embrace those precepts and practices which are productive of well-being.
- LIFE SCIENCE, which encompasses all that bears upon human well-being, constitutes the only way to realize the highest possible order of human existence.
- LIFE SCIENCE, alone, is in harmony with nature, in accord with the principles of vital organic existence, correct in science, sound in philosophy and ethics, in agreement with common sense, and successful in practice and a blessing to humankind.
- LIFE SCIENCE recognizes that the human body is a fully self-sufficient organism, that it is self-directing, self-constructing, self-preserving and self-healing, and that it is capable of maintaining itself in superb functioning order, completely free of disease, if its needs are met. Foremost among these needs are fresh air, pure water, rest and sleep, wholesome foods, cleanliness, comfortable temperature, sunshine, exercise, constructive work, emotional poise, self-mastery, recreation and pleasant environment.
- LIFE SCIENCE recognizes that humans are constitutionally adapted to a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds eaten in compatible combinations while in the fresh raw natural state.
- LIFE SCIENCE recognizes that diseases are caused by improper life practices, especially dietary indiscretions. Illness proceeds from reduced nerve energy and consequent toxemia. Insufficient nerve energy arises from dissipation, stress, overindulgence, excess or deficiency of the normal essentials of life, or pollution of the body with substances not normal to it. Accordingly, recovery from sickness can be achieved only by discontinuing its causes and supplying conditions favorable to healing.
- LIFE SCIENCE recognizes that a thoroughgoing rest, which Includes fasting, is the most favorable condition under which an ailing body can purify and repair itself.
- LIFE SCIENCE, which teaches that exalted well-being can be attained and maintained only through biologically correct living practices, is not in any sense a healing art or a curing cult. It regards as mistaken and productive of much grief the idea that diseases can be prevented or overcome by agencies abnormal to our natural being. Consequently,
- LIFE SCIENCE emphatically rejects all drugs, medications, vaccinations and treatments because they undermine health by interfering with or destroying vital body processes and tissues.
Therefore, LIFE SCIENCE regards the body and mind as the Inviolable sanctuary of an individual’s being. LIFE SCIENCE holds that everyone has an inalienable right to have a pure and uncontaminated body, to be free of abnormal compulsions and restraints, and to be free to meet his/her needs as a responsible member of society.
An Inquiry Into The Philosophy, Principles, And Practices Of Life Science
The Concept of Innate Individual Worth
Life Science holds that we are born naturally innocent and naturally good. The first two paragraphs of the concise statement we heretofore printed in exposition of Life Science’s philosophy, principles, and practices states this.
Scientific studies of babies and youngsters have pointed to one inescapable conclusion. As gregarious creatures, humans are naturally empathetic, altruistic and moral, i.e., humans are naturally righteous toward one another in keeping with their gregarious instinct.
Humans are woefully perverted by unnatural conditions within the context of civilization. They are made vicious by inhumane influences such as deceptive practices, exploitation, insecurity, and other baneful conditions in a society gone mad.
Individuals usually strive to present the appearance of upright character to others. This bespeaks our innate urge and conviction that we should be righteous. Life Science holds that if a society of assurance exists these innate virtues will assert themselves naturally.
The Concept of Happiness and Ideal Health as Normal
Life Science holds that life was developed to be a long joyous event from birth until a natural death. Happiness and health flow from ideal life conditions. Ideal life conditions ate normal in the environments of our development. However, such is the human intelligence that it has made almost all environments over the face of the globe inhabitable. Many arts, artifices, and artificial environments have been created to satisfactorily supplant the wonders, beauties, and beneficence of a natural environment in many habitats though, in truth, such artifices are never completely wholesome substitutes.
Life Science holds that humans developed to their high state because they adapted so well to the environment and its possibilities. This means that health is normal and natural when the conditions to which we are adapted are met. Superb excellence in humans flows from ideal life conditions and the superlative health begotten of them.
The Self-Evident Concept of Self-Government In All Organisms
Simple observation of the development of complex organisms from the union of sperm and ovum is indicative that the powers of life reside within. Without anything from the outside other than needed raw materials, the organism has the inner direction to fashion itself from a fertilized ovum into a mature adult.
This implies an inherent character that embraces the following capabilities:
- Organisms are self-programmed.
- Organisms are self-directing or self-governing.
- Organisms are self-sufficient when their material requisites are available.
- Organisms are self-constructing in accord with their genetic blueprint.
- Organisms are self-defensive and preservative, defending themselves against all internal and external threats.
- Organisms are self-repairing or self-healing and possess solely and exclusively the faculties and powers to accomplish restoration in event of damage or derangement.
These faculties and powers are self-evident upon the simplest observation of yourself or other organisms. This concept and its axioms should ever be borne in mind when dealing with clients. The confidence needed in dealing with your own problems should you have any, or with the problems of your clients, can be derived and reinforced by referring to these self-evident truths.
Life Science as a New Concept of Healthful Living
Life Science may be said to be a reassertion of the conditions best suited to human life. In pristine nature, humans lived what we now call Life Science because of primal urges—on the instinctual level. They lived as gatherers of fruits from vine, stalk, and tree.
With the development of intellect, humans became ever more versatile in dealing with the forces of nature. But this eventually led to human alienation from both nature and our biological heritage. Though most humans observed much of their pristine endowment well into the civilization of the Christian era, the dark ages of medieval times brought on the renunciation of nature and earthly considerations. Humans became poorer in the observation of the elementary needs of life. Human needs on earth were contravened in the name of religion and salvation.
Fortunately, the dark ages did not wipe out humankind. Near the end of the dark ages the unnatural and inhumane conditions under which European civilization lived decimated the population with plagues. Great plagues were not due to any kind of contagion. The only thing contagious in the times of the bubonic and black plagues was widespread modes of death-dealing living practices.
Hygiene or Life Science as a philosophy and outlook survived the dark ages when the twin human scourges of medical and religious superstition saddled most of what we refer to smugly as the civilized world. In many parts of the world our biological mandate was fairly well maintained, notably in tropical cultures of the Far East and in isolated pockets here and there. It was preserved among many traditions and cultures in part.
Well before the Christian era Pythagoras elaborated a rather extensive philosophy of living on all planes of life. Among them was perhaps the best formulated statement of Hygienic living until this time. While the Greeks, of whom Pythagoras was one, were heavy on fruitarianism, they were also heavy into the incipient practices that begot the modern Goliath of medicine.
The philosophy of Pythagoras gave rise to Appolonius and the Essenes, an ascetic culture that was vegetarian/fruitarian in practice. Much of Essenian philosophy and practices were preserved in the New Testament and is quoted in the sayings of Christ. The thin thread of Hygienic philosophy survived and received a modern impetus from the greatest universal genius of all times, Leonardo da Vinci, who was a vegetarian/fruitarian.
Though medical beliefs remained relatively unscathed while the areas of religious domination were receding during the Renaissance, some elements of the Hygienic philosophy survived.
I reiterate that our natural heritage was largely unaffected by the medical outlook in many areas of the world, notably in the Far East. But healthful living as a philosophy of life in the Western Culture did not exist as such.
It was not until the time of Dr. Isaac Jennings in 1822 that Hygiene as a formalized philosophy of life had its beginnings. Not until the consummate genius of Drs. Graham, Trail, Dewey, Tilden, and Shelton did the philosophy and science of health become fully ascertained.
Life Science is not new from many perspectives, although it is relatively new to what we call civilization. But it is totally new for most who learn it the first time. Now it is alien to our culture because of its relative rarity. At this time Life Science, even though in accord with our pristine being, is in eclipse because of medical thinking and a commerce that trades upon pathogenic fare.
It is our hope to teach enough dedicated individuals this science of health to assure that humanity thrives in health and enlightenment. In pursuing this course you are asked to be the torchbearers of a way of life whose time has come.
Life Science as a Broad-Based Science of Life
By no means is Life Science confined to dietary principles as you might gather from association with today’s Hygienists. Few Hygienists involve themselves with the expansive aspects of Life Science as a philosophy embracing every facet of human well-being.
Dietary concerns are but one area of Life Science’s dominion. It also includes mental and emotional well-being, as well as social and economic well-being. It includes environmental factors or ecology and is coextensive with all factors that touch upon human welfare. While this course is nominally on the specific area of nutrition, nutrition is but a small part of the all-encompassing philosophy of Life Science.
The Concept of Self-Healing or Self-Repair
Self-healing is the only healing. Throughout nature we see animals with cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other injuries undergo healing. Obviously this healing is effected by internal faculties and powers, for in nature, animals seek out a quiet secluded spot and rest. They undergo almost no activity. They partake of no food.
Instinctively an injured animal will abstain from all indulgences that detract from the full application of the body’s energies and faculties to the reparative/restorative process. Likewise, humans when placed under the same conditions in keeping with our nature and disposition undergo healing in a fraction of the time that occurs when regular activities are pursued.
Healing is always and ever a biological process. Our task is but to establish the conditions so that the body may conduct the process more quickly and efficiently. The inherent programming, intelligence, and power that developed a fertilized ovum into a wonderfully and beautifully built creature is all the healing power that is needed. Conditions favorable to the exercise of these powers can be established. As a health practitioner/ nutritionist it will be your role to know and apply these conditions.
Much suffering and grief result from the idea that the body can be helped by the application of substances, conditions, and treatments abnormal to the body. It will be your role to rescue the victims from harmful practices as well as set them on a right course for health recovery and maintenance.
The Concept of Individual Sovereignty
Life Science holds that everyone is an independent entity unto himself or herself within the context of society. Everyone should be entirely free—fettered in no way—within the context of enlightened self-interest—within the context of our symbiotic mandate on earth.
Every man, woman, and child must be regarded as capable of carrying on life’s affairs for himself or herself. It is not our role to judge or impose ourselves on others but to help if our aid is sought. We should not impose ourselves on anyone no matter how wise or unwise, or how good or bad such imposition is or would be. We must accord to everyone the prerogative of leading their lives as is their bent and capability so long as
their pursuits do not impinge upon the birthright of others. The golden rule should be our rule of conduct.
While it may seem unwise to grant the same privileges and prerogatives to both the genius and the relatively unlettered, nevertheless a society is not free in which either are denied their right to pursue opportunities on an equal footing. The capable are bound to succeed and should offer aid to their biologically crippled or less favored brethren.
For all its drawbacks and advantages we must always respect everyone as supremely sovereign. Whatever they do or decide, however good or bad their acts or decisions, in their own interests, we must pursue a role of non-interference. We may, by example, seek to inspire and motivate. But to impose ourselves and our precepts on others is reprehensible.
Discussion Of The Medical Approach To Health And Disease
The Erroneous Notion of “Cure”
The idea behind medicine is more than 2,500 years old and, like most ideas from behind the dark ages, it’s very unscientific. The premise is that the body is like a machine that can be repaired by outside agencies. The machine goes wrong because of invading entities. In ancient times these entities were evil spirits, demons, and devils which had to be exorcised. By and by these evil spirits became known as little beasties called microbes, germs, bacteria, viruses, and yet other appellations.
Medicine today has the concept of “cure,” a word that has been perverted from the original of “care.” Medicine itself means a curative or healing substance. The idea behind the use of medicine is that the “medicine” acts within the organism, that it seeks out the trouble, routs the invaders and effects in some manner the necessary healing. The medical concept of the modus operandi of drugs which they call medicines is very hazy at best. But medicine is the harmful practices that men do to try to help ailing people.
People go to physicians for medical intervention. They want to get “fixed up.” They’re ailing. Something must be done lest they suffer grave consequences or death. Medical practitioners take advantage of the clients—they play upon their fears. They applaud their clients for coming to them when they did. They flatter them for this bit of “wisdom” and assure them that, if they do not do something soon, grave dangers will ensue. The medical man always has a course of treatment to suggest, invariably a prescription of drugs and tests.
The idea is that the tests will reveal what is wrong and thereby determine what drugs to prescribe or what steps to take, as in surgery.
That their beliefs and practices are, on the whole, precisely contrary to biological science seems never to enter their minds. We’ll treat medical concepts in depth at a later time but here, suffice it to say, there is no healing other than self-healing. All modalities can interfere with healing but none can aid healing.
“Cures” Do Not Deal With Causes
Can you imagine trying to develop a drug to “cure” drunkenness without going to the root of the whole matter, i.e., the drunkard’s drinking habit? How can we deal with drunkenness if the drunkard continues to drink?
This is what happens with the medical approach. They try to remedy effects or symptoms without dealing with causes. In reality they drug, butcher, and purge while almost totally ignoring basic causes of physiological problems. They resort to crippling surgery and treatments running into the thousands of dollars when the problems can be simply and inexpensively solved by a change in life practices.
You’ll learn herein that nothing happens without sufficient cause. You’ll learn that all affections of the body must be caused and the cause is almost always initiated by the sufferer. You’ll learn that unless cause is discontinued the problem will always develop again, ever more serious.
In learning nutritional and health science you’re basically learning to do two things:
- To remove causes of problems and
- To establish the conditions of health.
Since these two steps are so very easy overall, that is one reason we can confidently bestow upon you a degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the end of the lessons. If you’ve mastered the understanding of cause and effect in nutrition and health—that diseases are suffered because the sufferer has indulged or been subjected to cause and that health results when reasons for health are dominant—you’ll be a mountain among a throng of mole hills called health care professionals.
“Cures” Do Not Furnish the Needs of Life
To be returned to health the body must be provided with its requirements. First, those substances, influences, and practices which beget illnesses and disease must be discontinued. Secondly, it is necessary to bring to the client the essentials of health. Very simply these are pure air, pure water, correct diet, sunshine, exercise or wholesome activity, adequate rest and sleep, emotional poise, security of life and its means and yet other factor elements and influences.
If you reflect upon medical procedures it is obvious they do not try to ascertain causes that are inherent in lifestyle and practices. They do what an auto mechanic does—they try to find out which cylinder is missing and then proceed as if the body can be repaired much in the manner of a vehicle. They rarely advise about practices and beliefs which cause problems. Since most medical men are financially oriented, it is wise that they do not teach correct habits. They’d be out of business if their clients became well.
“Cures” Destroy Body Vitality
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton must be proclaimed the greatest oracle of Hygienic philosophy, principles, and practices unto this day. He has noted that now we have more medical discoveries than ever before; we have more medical practitioners than ever before; medical men enjoy more respect than ever before (at least until recent years) and yet, for all this, we also have more disease and suffering than ever before.
Why is this so?
Because, very simply, drugs destroy. They never build. It is not within the province of drugs to create cells and replace body tissue. Medical men would be the first to tell you this for they’ve studied physiology too. But yet they act as if their drugs perform some kind of magic that will effect healing.
What do drugs, when administered, really do?
In truth, drugs do nothing other than form chemical unions with body compounds and fluids. When these chemical unions occur, the body suffers distress. When the character of a substance is determined as harmful by the body, it goes into a frenzy. When it does this, it is stimulated. Sometimes the body has a reaction of depression in which case it is sedated or narcotized. This means function has been inhibited or paralyzed. In both cases the reaction is one of self-protection against an unwelcome intruder, in this case a poison even though it is called a medicine.
In causing an emergency in the body, drugs are harmful. The body must redirect its energies from the healing process which it is conducting. The symptoms for which the drugs or medicines are administered are evidences of the body’s self-conducted healing process. When drugs are ingested or injected, the body must leave off partially or wholly the cleansing/healing efforts and attend to a greater threat which the drugs represent. When healing efforts are discontinued the symptoms disappear. Physicians interpret the disappearance of symptoms as a “cure” or a healed condition. They thus mistake drug or poison effects for healing effects. In reality the body has more problems than before. For now it has, additional to its prior problems, the problem of expelling a terrible poison too.
Medical and “Healing Art” Approaches Are Deadly And Dead End
We readily recognize that drug addicts take illicit drugs and eventually become physiological wrecks as a result. Also the drug addict loses moral values. Thinking ability is lessened and almost totally redirected to acquiring the addictive drugs and to the spell the body casts when they are taken.
What we also recognize is that physician-prescribed drugs have precisely the same actions. What we do not recognize is that the prescriptions, administrations and treatments of all so-called healers have the very same effects whether the medics be called physicians, homeopaths, chiropractors, osteopaths, herbal doctors, acupuncturists, or whatever. Their modalities devitalize while their ignorance of cause likewise continues to devitalize and destroy. Because treatments are more or less deadly and because causes are left intact by those who treat the diseased, the situation gets progressively worse. Those who get better do not become so because of the treatments. Better health comes from self-healing which occurs despite, not because of, treatments.
Under medical and other care, recovery takes place about 90% of the time. Medical men, just as do herbalists, chiropractors, osteopaths, etc., attribute healing to their intervention. But the unrecognized truth is that witch doctors have a much higher “cure rate” and that Hygienic practitioners have a nearly 100% recovery rate! As a Hygienic practitioner or health professional following the dictates of a true health science, you’ll realize a nearly 100% success rate. Healing always takes place to the extent of residual healing potential when causes are discontinued and the conditions of health instituted.
What Health Really Is
Delineation and Description of Health
Can we define health?
Yes, we can. Conventionally, a lack of obvious disease is regarded as a state of health. In actuality about 99% of our peoples are diseased in some manner or other regardless of appearances.
Health may be defined as having fullness of function. Health means complete wellbeing, inner and outer harmony, vigor, strength, mental acuity, in short, total fitness.
Perhaps no better statement of health has ever been made than that of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton. I’m happy to quote his definition:
Health is a condition of perfect development, a state of wholeness and harmonious development and growth, an adaptation of part to part of the organism, or organ to organ, with no part stunted and no part in excess.
In this state of organic development lies the perfection and symmetry of beauty. Beauty is but the reflection of wholeness, of health. It is easy to demonstrate that the forms and proportions of humans and every animal and plant which are in their highest and most useful state are the most beautiful and therefore the most healthy.
When every bone is of the best form and size for its service in the total organism, there is perfect proportion. When every muscle is fully and proportionally developed, with just enough of fat and the cellular tissues to round out the muscles, we have the highest beauty of form. When the texture of the skin is finest, when the circulation of the blood most vigorous, the blood well-nourished and freed of all waste, there is the glow and charm of the finest complexion.
The highest beauty is the expression of the highest health. Partial beauty, fading beauty or decaying beauty—these are but expressions of partial, fading or decaying health.
When we suffer any impairment or impediment we cannot be said to be in a state of health. We can be in a relatively high state of health but to the extent we do not enjoy perfection of body function, we are not healthy.
We live in a nation where disease is the norm of life rather than a rarity. In taking up a health career it is our duty to make health the norm and disease a relative rarity.
I refer you to text material included in this lesson for a fuller discussion of what health is. Therein appear two articles by the dean of health teachers, Dr. Herbert M. Shelton.
Beauty as Reflecting Health
Though our standards of beauty are rather low today, they still, nevertheless, take note of the exceptionally beautiful. Beauty, as a reflection of health and well-being, should be the norm, not the exception. How many women have we seen whom are so lovely and beautiful that we are drawn to them as a magnet? How many men are so wholesome, so fit and handsome that they, likewise, are irresistible to their female counterparts? I daresay such men and women constitute less than 1% of our peoples.
The ability to appreciate beauty is highest in humans. And humans would normally be the epitome of beauty if they lived in keeping with their birthright, that is, their biological mandate. We readily recognize beauty in birds, flowers, and other life in nature. But our fellow humans, whether aged or young, whether nice or disagreeable, are, for the most part, in some way repulsive to our aesthetic senses. Forty percent of our population are repulsively overweight. This is but one impact of the ugliness that characterizes an unhealthy population.
I’ve seen “monsters” transformed as if by magic upon undergoing as little as a month’s Hygienic care. Fatness and ugliness both were overcome with the restoration of a relatively high level of health.
One of the “miracles” you can hold forth to your would-be clients is that of handsomeness or beauty. That quality will be tremendously enhanced in those whom you help to achieve a high level of health.
Fullness of Function as a Barometer of Health
While it is not always true that athletes are superb examples of health, it is true that all in superb health are quite athletic. Suppleness, agility, stamina, strength, and vigor are qualities essential to a state of health.
Physiological function will be ideal in every respect to someone in full health. A sense of euphoria, of joy, and of total well-being is a condition of health. Healthy people usually wear smiles and pleasant countenances. Glumness and a downcast disposition personify inner unhealthfulness. Nothing sabotages beauty, function, happiness, and well-being as a body shot through with the poisons or toxins borne of bad living practices.
The Possibility of Perfect Health for Humans
Life Science holds that perfect health is the norm of life. We hold that all creatures in nature adapted perfectly to the conditions of life under which they developed. They changed to cope with their environment and their food supplies.
In nature, perfect health is the norm of existence. Animals have no knowledge or concept about healthful living. They live healthfully naturally by doing only what their instincts bid them do.
It would seem that with a technological society at the apex of development human health would have kept pace and be better now than ever. The contrary is true. Humans are probably unhealthier now than at any time except the immediate past, that is, the last ten to twenty centuries. In the Dark Ages and Medieval times health was at an overall low.
Technological progress builds upon itself, and it is a credit to the human heritage that we still have, even though in a degenerated state, sufficient intelligence to develop and husband a highly technological society. Even though affected by physical degeneracy, the brain is always the least affected of organs in famine, disease, starvation, and physical debilitation.
Perfect health is possible if the conditions of health are ideal. With our intelligence and extensive technology we can create the conditions for healthful living practically anywhere in the world where humans live.
Health Is Normal and Natural
Over eons of time, organisms have developed to cope with changed environmental conditions and food supplies that varied environments were capable of producing. Environments range from the ideal to the impossible for every creature on earth, even microbial forms of life. Perfection arises from adaptation—from coping with conditions. Adjustments to every vagary of nature created organisms that functioned perfectly.
In humans and animals we witness what is obvious: health is normal and natural. We see animals in nature being born, living their natural life spans and dying naturally without once suffering the infirmities of sickness. And for all our modern pathogenic practices we see humans more or less well most of the time. In view of my Hygienic experience and by my observation of hundreds of others who remain sickness-free under the Hygienic regime, there is but one inescapable conclusion: health is a normal condition of life. It is our birthright.
Life Science is truly a science of life for it is based soundly and scientifically upon our biological requirements for thriving in perfect health.
This is the outlook which you are studying in this course and being asked to advocate and follow in your professional career. Let us now explore Life Science’s beginnings.
How Life Science Began in Modern Times
Life Science or Natural Hygiene had its awakening in 1822 when Dr. Isaac Jennings, who had a medical practice in Derby, Connecticut, despaired of drugging. In his many years of practice he was distressed to see his patients become worse from the drugging modality. His patients died and many became chronically afflicted. His yearning to help his fellow beings was sincere.
Dr. Jennings noted that as physicians became older they drugged less and less. He did likewise and found his patients were faring better under less drugging. Then he quit prescribing drugs altogether and found that it wrought miracles.
When patients with problems came to Dr. Jennings he would dispense pills of colored flour and vials of tinted waters. He gave strict instructions for their use just as other physicians gave detailed instructions for the ingestion of drugs. But, in Dr. Jennings’ case, he made a prescription that was to launch a great health movement and an infant science. In 1822 at age thirty-four Dr. Jennings gave his patients placebos with instructions to take them at specified hours of the day with a glass of water. His prescription was that no food could be taken, or else the pills would not work. His patients were ordered to do this for a number of days and then return for a checkup. Upon return they would be terminated from the regimen or continued on it “a few more days.”
Under Dr. Jennings’ new modality, his patients invariably became well. While other physicians lost patients by the graveyard full, his thrived. The ailing flocked to him from far and near.
The success of his “no-drugging” system astounded Dr. Jennings as much as it did his patients and colleagues. Wisely, in his initial years, Dr. Jennings did not reveal his “secrets.” Instead he sought the rationale for his success. He called his treatments “the leave alone” method while professing to dispense pills of unnamed composition. They came to be regarded as pills with magic curative properties.
From this rather inauspicious start, Dr. Jennings began to develop a few laws relative to his observations and experience. He called the system that flowed from the employment of these laws “orthopathy,” or correct affection. He formulated many of the “laws” of life and named some of them as follows:
- The Laws of Action and Repose, i.e., the necessity for activity and rest (sleep).
- The Law of Economy which resulted from his observation of the way in which the body managed its vital energies.
- The Law of Physiological Distribution or the way in which the body supplies all its parts and faculties adequately.
- The Law of Stimulation or how the body accelerates its physiological activities. at a frenzied level when a toxic material is introduced therein.
- The Law of Accommodation or how the body adjusts to poisons by decreasing its vital resistance and more effectively quarantining itself from the toxins’ baneful influences. The body gradually builds defensive mechanisms much as armies grow to ward off attack as the need becomes greater.
- The Law of Limitation or the conservation of vital energies.
- The Law of Equilibrium or the revitalization of debilitated parts and faculties when normalcy has been restored to an ailing organism.
Dr. Jennings, to his credit, saw disease not as an attack from some malevolent entity but as lowered vital energy or vital energy redirected to other purposes. His new outlook ventured that disease was caused by an ebb of the body’s energy supply. In essence he was correct, but his explanations were quite formative for it remained for successors to build upon the foundations he built. Dr. Jennings may rightfully be ascribed as the father of Natural Hygiene or Life Science, for he is the first to attempt a systematic ascertainment of the physiology of health and disease.
The next illustrious forefather of the science of health was Sylvester Graham. He was born six years after Dr. Jennings in 1794. He was a very sickly boy. Becoming healthy was an obsession with him which led him to study health. He became well versed in anatomy and physiology. Before coming onto the health scene, he was a Presbyterian preacher. In 1830 during the temperance movement, he lectured in Philadelphia on the physiological evils of alcohol. As a firebrand orator he was amazingly effective with large audiences. In Philadelphia he expanded his knowledge of physiology and health and became acquainted with the teachings of a “vegetarian” group who abstained from animal foods and products and many modern ways of preparing foods. This group was known as the Bible Christian Church and based its mode of life on Biblical commands.
In the great cholera “epidemic” of 1832 Sylvester Graham rose to fame. He literally took on the whole medical fraternity of New York City and the interests supporting the medical system. While the medical men were advising New Yorkers to abstain from fruit and to cook their food thoroughly, Dr. Graham was advocating eating more fruits in the raw state. He advocated open windows, more light, and fresh air and other healthful measures which were contrary to medical teachings. It is noteworthy that those who followed Dr. Grahams’s teachings were not affected by the cholera epidemic, whereas those who followed medical bidding died wholesale.
His fame as a health lecturer was well established in 1832 and he, more than anyone else, gave health science a tremendous impetus. He was in demand as a lecturer over the whole Eastern seaboard. He appeared before audiences of several thousand. People flocked to his lectures and listened to them raptly for hours in seeking salvation from disease and suffering.
So effective was Dr. Sylvester Graham in his lectures and writings that books and magazines blossomed presenting the “Graham system.” The first health food stores came into existence to sell foods which he advocated. Special eateries and living facilities were established for those who wanted to follow his system. The name of Graham became synonymous with the Hygienic diet and Hygienic living.
Where Dr. Isaac Jennings approached health and healing from the point of view of helping people regain health, Dr. Sylvester Graham was instrumental in teaching the touchstones of healthful living so that people would not become ill in the first place.
During the 1840’s, Dr. Jennings and Dr. Graham were joined by perhaps one of the greatest geniuses the movement has produced, Dr. Russell Thacker Trall. His was an inquiring methodical mind that ever sought the rationale and scientific basis for the concepts and findings developed by his predecessors. Thus he brought the Hygienic system to a standard that could thoroughly challenge the medical system. Dr. Trall delivered a lecture in the Smithsonian Institute to some of the nation’s highest dignitaries in 1863. The title of the lecture was THE TRUE HEALING ART. It made quite a ripple during the time. Dr. Trail is the originator of the famous challenge which, though often repeated, has never been accepted by a single physician unto this day. This challenge is stated below:
- That the medical system is ENTIRELY FALSE. That it is untrue in philosophy absurd in science, in opposition to natural principles, contrary to common sense, disastrous in results, and a curse to humanity.
- That the Hygienic System is TRUE. That it is in harmony with nature, in accord with the principles of vital organic existence, correct in science, sound in philosophy, in agreement with common sense, successful in results, and a blessing to mankind.
The new system of health did not discriminate against women. In fact it encouraged women to participate in the movement on an equal footing with men. Among the notable women in this new movement were such luminaries as Florence Nightingale, Mary Gove, Harriet Austin, Susanna May Dodds, Ellen White (guiding light of the Seventh Day Adventists), and Louisa May Alcott, the famous author whose brother became an M.D. and a Hygienic professional.
In the 1870’s the medical profession adopted the Pasteurian germ theory with a passion. People found it much easier to blame their problems on little mysterious beasties rather than on their mode of living. No matter what they did they were absolved of responsibility for their condition. The germ theory made them unfortunate victims of malevolent entities over which they could exercise little control.
With the ushering in of the “germ era” came about the decline of Hygiene. While the philosophy remains alive and still receives a good following, it has been in continual decline relative to our population. In recent years there has been growth in the ranks of those practicing Hygiene in their lives, but there are yet only a few thousand devoted Hygienists.
The revival of Natural Hygiene in the 1920’s owed much of its impetus to the efforts of Bernarr McFadden and Dr. Herbert M. Shelton. Though there were some great Hygienists in the early part of this century, notably Hereward Carrington, Otto Carque, John H. Tilden, and Linda Burfield Hazzard, Dr. Shelton became the acknowledged voice of Hygiene with the publication of his immortal book, “Human Life, Its Philosophy And Laws”, in 1927. Though Dr. Shelton built upon the shoulders of his predecessors, he produced such a wealth of literature with new findings and thoughts that he added more to the science and art of healthful living than any other person. He had the benefit of new findings, and his fertile mind generated a new body of knowledge based on them.
Today the Hygienic movement still survives though it cannot be said that it thrives. A few thousand Americans practice it conscientiously. A greater multitude pay lip service to it and practice healthier living because of it. But, by and large, Hygiene is almost completely out of the mainstream on the American health scene.
In this lesson we cannot hope to more than summarily deal with Hygiene’s history. Books on the history of Hygiene are practically nonexistent. It must be picked up in fragments here and there from books and magazines that make reference to the past. You’ll pick up the history of Hygiene throughout your studies. Perhaps, someday, a history will be published.
Questions & Answers
What do the words Natural, Unnatural, Normal, and Abnormal really mean?
Natural or normal is that to which we became accustomed while living in a pristine state of nature and that to which our bodies were adapted. That which is contrary to our adaptations, that is, to our biological heritage, is abnormal and unnatural.
What are biological adaptations?
Biological adaptations is a term to describe the faculties an organism has developed to meet its requirements in the environment in which its growth has occurred. What is natural to an organism depends on its environmental adaptations.
Would you say carnivores are biologically adapted to meat-eating because of the structure of their teeth and other body structures?
Yes, I’d say that. Animals that live primarily upon meat have developed the tools or faculties for securing their food supply and best digesting it for their physiological needs. Animals that have claws and fangs are usually carnivores.
Are we adapting to our present environment?
Probably, but not perceptibly. A social adaptation or accommodation is not physiological and anatomical adaptation. Biological adaptations are slow and often require hundreds of thousands of years to come about. For example, when humans started eating meat, they did not during all their meat-eating days over a period of several thousand years develop fangs, claws, or the concentrated hydrochloric acid solution that characterizes meat-eating animals. You need but look at Eskimos to see confirmation of this. Animals adapt very slowly to changed conditions. On the other hand if there is a failure to adapt or the change is too quick, the danger of extinction exists.
In nature there are checks and balances. Isn’t something like the black plague a natural check on the population?
No. In nature there are no such things as checks and balances in that context. In normal circumstances there are periods of famine and periods of feast. When there’s famine, death overtakes many of the organisms that are victims of the scarcity. When there’s a feast, a rapid multiplication occurs. Organisms in nature live in symbiosis with each other and a balance exists amongst them according to the food chain. For instance, if you study and witness insect hordes, you’ll learn that when they are thriving on abundant vegetation there is a corresponding increase in their predators, that is, birds and other animals that feed upon insects. When the insect population is practically wiped out the predators decline in numbers. These are the only kinds of checks and balances that exist in nature. Nothing can exceed its possibilities.
What you call calamities cannot be in any sense referred to as natural. A plague or any sickness or disease is not natural. It happens because an organism has lived contrary to the laws or principles that apply to its life. When we contravene the laws of our existence, we will incur disease. Diseases or plagues are in no sense checks and balances. If humans live in pathogenic perversions they’ll develop diseases and die amidst plenteousness.
What is your opinion of holistic health?
Those who are striving for something better than the medical system with which they’ve become disillusioned must be admired for both their perspicacity and their courage in undertaking an independent course. We Hygienists may not agree with the course or courses they’ve chosen as an alternative, but we hold they have every right to pursue it as is their bent and persuasion.
The word “holistic” derives from the word “health” which, again, means “whole,” “complete,” or possessing fullness of function. The word “holy” also derives from the word whole or healthy, although we have lost sight of this.
What we call “holistic health” in current society is a catchall of all modalities. The term is a tautology. It’s like saying “healthy health.” But the holistic movement involves M.D., homeopath, chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, herbalist, acupuncturist, polarity therapist, foot reflexologist, and just about anything else that attaches itself to the movement. The holistic health movement embraces anyone who wants to join it.
Hygienists who bring their philosophy with them are not accepted in the holistic movement. To be accepted into the movement you must be of a “curing” frame of mind, that is, basically medically oriented. This movement is therapy-oriented rather than health-oriented. However, some of the practitioners in the movement, notably the naturopaths, do recognize that we must remove the causes of disease in order to establish a basis for health. Even some chiropractors are enlightened in this regard. There are, in fact, practitioners in all schools that recognize the real needs of the human organism and advise their clients of these needs.
We call ourselves wholistic. To us this means that we embrace every facet or condition that touches upon human welfare. In the sense that we recognize that health is realized only by the length and breadth of the living regime, we’re wholistic. But we do not identify with the current movement that calls itself holistic.
I think you’re wrong about all healing being self-healing. I’ve personally seen a woman who had a leg ulcer for over a year. Topical application of comfrey poultices healed it in less than ten days. How can you deny that?
I do not deny that the leg ulcer healed, and I do not deny that the comfrey poultice was the agency that precipitated the healing process of the leg ulcer. But the body is probably worse, not better for the treatment.
What happens physiologically to cause the ulcer in the first place? Why do they sometimes persist only to heal later? What happens when the agency of toxic materials such as in garlic, aloe, comfrey, or in pharmacological preparations are applied and the ulcer is healed?
The comfrey poultice neither caused nor healed the ulcer. The body created the ulcer in the first place just as it creates a boil, fever, pimple, or other so-called infection. The body creates these conditions as outlets for an extraordinary load of toxic materials. As long as the body is burdened with toxicity that it cannot eliminate through normal channels, it will utilize vicarious outlets, i.e., outlets other than normal. As long as the practices introduce into the body toxic materials and the sufferer’s habits are such as to cause the body to retain its own metabolic wastes, then the body will protect itself against a death-dealing situation by getting rid of its problems any way it can.
An ulcer is created in two ways. First, a lesion can be created by the body through self-autolyzation of its tissues. The body causes the self-digestion of a hole to the surface in the case of a boil or pimple. It is the body that forces toxic materials into the hole it has created to the surface. It is the body that creates the tremendous pressure necessary to keep the pus and debris near the surface in the form of a boil until drainage or expulsion occurs.
Just so it is the body that causes the ulcer in one way or another. Probably the leg ulcer was caused by the body’s collection and concentration of poisons in a given area until the cells and tissues of the area were totally destroyed. Then the body utilizes the open sore as a drainage outlet much as a teakettle will discharge its steam through a blown hole after the hole is blown. When aloe vera, comfrey, or certain pharmaceutical preparations are applied, they do not solve the body’s problems. Herbs and drugs have not the intelligence or power to create cells and new tissue to bridge the chasm or gulf that constitutes the ulcer or lesion.
What happens is that the poultice or drug application applied to an open sore poses a new danger. Absorption of poisons from the outside causes the body to change strategy. Where it had been exuding poisons to keep them low, the body is now absorbing poisons there. To obviate this new threat the body closes up the dumping ground and seals it off from the outside by scarring it over.
Though the body healed the ulcer, it is now worse off than before. It is retaining the toxic material previously expelled through the open sore or ulcer. Either it must now create a new extraordinary outlet or suffer the retention of the toxic materials it previously expelled through the ulcer.
Had the ulcer sufferer fasted, the ulcer would have healed more quickly than with the application of a poultice. Moreover, the body would, under the fasting condition, be free of the input of toxic materials and toxigenesis due to enervating habits. Under this condition it can accelerate expulsion of toxic materials through regular channels. Once the level of toxicity has been reduced below a certain tolerance level, the body will promptly proceed to heal the ulcer. Healing takes place much more quickly under the fasting condition than any other. While fasting, the body can concentrate its energies and its material resources to the healing process, thus affecting healing much more speedily.
So, the comfrey poultice did not do anything other than become a source of irritation. The body “closed up shop,” so to speak, at the ulcer site and did business elsewhere. Keep in mind that all healing is a body process and never that of drugs. And let us not mistake the drug nature of comfrey. It contains pyrrolizidine and allantoin, two quite toxic alkaloids or glycosides.
Are you telling us we’d get along better without doctors and healers? Does not nature furnish natural remedies for our problems?
I just furnished an example of the physiological modus operandi of the body under the influence of toxic materials. I had hoped that would suffice to dispel any ideas that healing can be effected by extraneous agencies.
Yes, we would be better off without physicians, miscalled doctors, and so-called healers. We do need teachers to help people see their errors concerning health. We need teachers to get them on the right biological track so they can lead healthy and happy lives. Nature never developed humans or other animals so that remedies are needed in the first place, and it never created remedies in the second place. These interpretations errant humans have ascribed to disease and healing phenomena are based on illusory appearances. The only remedy for any ailment is the capacity of the body to right itself once the assault upon it has been discontinued.
Aren’t diseases caused by germs and viruses? Surely you can’t mean that millions of physicians the world over are wrong about this?
We’ll get into the depths of these matters in subsequent lessons. But the answer is no: germs do not cause disease. They can, at worst, complicate them secondarily. Bacteria are our symbiotic partners in life. Partners accommodate each other for mutual benefit. Viruses as an entitative existence are a medical myth. If diseases are caused by un-eliminated metabolic debris, which is what so-called viruses are, then the medics have a point. But we Hygienists call that metabolic debris retained wastes, not viruses. “Viruses” are nothing more than the proteinacious debris of spent cells. Their accumulation can precipitate a healing crisis in the body. When this occurs, the body is likely to transport bacteria to the scene to aid it in cleaning up the mess, but the bacteria did not cause the problem. The habits and practices of the sufferer must be looked to as the real culprits. Once these deleterious habits and practices are discontinued, there will be no further toxic accumulations and thus the need for disease or healing crises will cease to exist. Sickness-free health will exist thereafter.
You say that disease is abnormal. Everyone has been sick at some time or other. Haven’t you ever been sick? If everyone gets sick, wouldn’t you say getting sick is a rather normal thing?
Yes, it is undeniable that disease and sickness are normal in our society. That is one reason there’s a great need for enlightened Life Scientists to be on the scene. We can put an end to this misery.
Let us not, however, confuse what is normal in nature and what is normal in a vitiated society.
Disease is a normal body response to an abnormal toxic condition. But the toxic condition is, let us recognize, abnormal.
You talk about Life Science as a cure-all. Aspirin will cure a headache, at least for a while. Can Life Science cure a headache?
Those practices which, aggregately, we term Life Science, are, indeed, a panacea, a cure-all. Correct diet and health practices build health, not disease. Aspirin does not “cure a headache.” The problems remain as before plus the toxic presence of the aspirin itself. Aspirin merely causes our body to paralyze or incapacitate the nervous system. Just because you remove thermometers does not alter the temperature. The fact that the body finally expels the aspirin from its domain and re-institutes the processes that give rise to another headache is ample indication that drugs solve no problems.
Under the Life Science regime all causes of headaches are removed. Causes of health are instituted. This is the ultimate solution to the problem of disease and suffering. When there are no causes there can be no disease. When only the causes of health are indulged, only health can result.
Article #1: The Return To Perfection by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
Our word health is derived from the Saxon word for whole. Heal is derived from the same word and means to restore to a state of wholeness, soundness, integrity. Holy comes from the same root and signifies wholeness and purity of mind. Taken in its fullness of meaning, health means completeness and perfection of organization, fitness of life, freedom of action, harmony of functions, vigor and freedom from all stain and corruption—in a phrase, it is “a sound mind in a sound body.”
Condition of Perfection
Health is a condition of perfect development, a state of wholeness and harmonious development and growth and adaptation of part to part of the organism, of organ to organ, with no part stunted and no part in excess. In this state of organic development lies the perfection and symmetry of beauty. Beauty is but the reflection of wholeness, of health. It is easy to demonstrate that the forms and proportions of man and of every animal and plant which are in their highest and most useful state are also the most beautiful.
When every bone is of the best form and size for its service in the total organism, there is perfect proportion; when every muscle is fully and proportionately developed, with just enough fat in the cellular tissues to round out the muscles, we have the highest beauty of form; when the texture of the skin is finest and the circulation of the blood most vigorous, the blood well nourished and freed of all waste, there is the glow and charm of the finest complexion. The highest beauty is the expression of the highest health.
Beauty Fades with Loss of Health
Partial beauty, fading beauty, decaying beauty—these are but the expressions of partial, fading or decaying health. They represent unsatisfactory and painful states of existence. Beauty belongs to glowing health and perfection of organization. It is impossible for us to separate these ideals. We cannot picture health in terms of the conventional, for contemporary man is far short of this wholeness of organization and vigor of function that is health.
A Picture of Health
If we try to picture health what do we see? A form of perfect symmetry and proportion; a clean, smooth, semi-transparent skin, with the red blood shining through, especially in the cheeks and ends of the fingers and toes; glossy hair that is full of life; clear, bright eyes that are full of expression and dance with life; rosy lips that smile with the joys of life; pearly white, sound, even teeth; a breath that is as sweet as that of a flower in the springtime; freedom from disagreeable body odors, indeed, where health is perfect, emitting an agreeable aroma; a body that is filled with activity, delighting in work or exercise; and a happy, courageous, mirthful, and hopeful disposition, and a desire to help others.
Such a picture of health can come only from the orderly, regular and perfect performance of the functions of life—from a sound heredity, a congenial environment and conduct that conforms with the constitutional nature of man. Health is the perfect combination of bodily organization, intellectual energy and moral power in harmonious unity. It means perfect organization of brain and nerves that are as finely proportioned as the bones and muscular system. In a healthy person we would expect to see the symmetry and proportion of head of the Cro-Magnon, not the asymmetry and disproportion of head of modern man.
A Perfect Instrument Perfect in Every Respect
As every organ of the body is essential to wholeness and integrity of structure and vigor of function, no organ can be spared. Not merely must the nutritive and drainage systems be perfectly adapted to the requirements of the brain and body, but the smallest and apparently least important parts of the body must be harmoniously and fully developed. As Dr. Nichols so well expressed it: “The smallest instrument out of tune brings discord into the harmony of life.”
How is such a high state of health to 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?
Living in Accord with Natural Law Produces Perfect Health
It should not require argument to convince the intelligent man and woman that this can be done only upon a basis of law—natural law—specifically, upon a basis of those laws that operate to make human life possible. All laws 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 reality to 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.
The un-perverted instincts of wild animals living in their natural homes are the laws of their lives. There seems to be no reason to doubt that man’s instincts were once equally perfect guides in his ways of life. But if this was ever true, it certainly is not so today. Man’s instincts have been so smothered and buried beneath a layer of cultural baggage that they no longer constitute reliable guides to him in his way of life. They have been “conditioned” until they are misguides.
Health-Sapping Perversions Begin Early In Life
Nonetheless it is true that even now instincts are fairly reliable guides to conduct in the young. But we begin the process of perverting these instincts almost from birth. Instinct does not leave us unwarned when we take our first smoke, but social usage demands that we ignore the warning and suppress the vigorous protests of instinct. We must learn to smoke, even now that we are aware that the end may be death from lung cancer. Today we may get our first smoke second-hand as mere infants. Smoking in the house has become almost universal. Many babies are sickened and even killed by the unintelligent practice of fathers and mothers filling the house with the poisonous fumes of burning tobacco.
We are not left unwarned by our first effort to develop alcoholism. The first drink of beer is obnoxious. Wine both smells and tastes fermented, and it is. The first drink of brandy or whiskey burns and bites, it smarts and stings as it goes down, there is protest every inch of the way. But we ignore these protests, we disregard these warnings, we are determined to “grow up,” and the only way this can be done in our society is to become an addict of one or more kinds.
Bad Practices Produce Human Wrecks
Coffee and tea are reproaches to both our sense of smell and to our sense of taste. They produce a “high” state that should not be mistaken for vigor and well-being; they interfere with sleep, keeping us awake for hours. But we ignore these warnings of the faithful sentinels of life. We suppress the urge to flee from such poisons. We are determined to belong. We want to be “one of the gang” even if we have to wreck ourselves in the process.
We have learned to take the miserable fragments of natural-foods with which the food processors and refiners have flooded the market, fragments that lack all appeal to our gustatory sense, and to add sweetening, colorings, flavorings, etc. to them to make them appeal to the senses of sight, smell and taste in spite of their unfitness to serve the needs of human nutrition. We eat them, little thinking that they do not represent true foods or that they may prove to be actually hurtful. We have found ways to get unfit substances by the guards that stand at the entrance to the alimentary canal. We have found ways to deceive ourselves and to wreck ourselves without knowing that we are doing it.
Disciplined Correct Life Practices Will Restore Pristine Perfection
For the evils of ignorance the remedy is knowledge—for the evils of false ideas the remedy is truth. For the source of truth and knowledge we have nature—especially human nature. Only when truth and knowledge are universal can we expect men and women to cease injuring and destroying themselves in riotous indulgence in tobacco, alcohol, and foodless food. In the spread of Natural Hygiene lies the hope of the future.
Article #2: What Is Health?
Health does not consist merely of the absence of symptoms of illness. It is a state of positive well-being that is evidenced by a constant state of euphoria. It is rarely, if ever, experienced by humans today.
Various States of Existence
We could well divide the people we meet into the following categories:
- People who are definitely sick.
- People who are on the borderline of sickness.
- People who are apparently healthy.
- People who enjoy high-level health.
The first three groups constitute the vast majority of our population. Perhaps only a mere handful of our youth could fall within the last category. Great vigor and the buoyant feeling of well-being are extremely rare in our populace.
Health is a state of soundness and integrity of organism; vigor and efficiency of function; and excellence of mental faculties. Much of this well-being springs from antecedent heredity but that is merely the base requisite to building and maintaining health.
Health manifests itself by such a feeling of tone in the entire organism that the body fairly glows with it and bespeaks it at every turn. There is cleanliness and sparkle to the eyes, clearness and fine color to the skin, vigor and activity and bounce to the step, and an evident feeling of joy of living that is infectious.
We witness traces of the pristine vigor and well-being in our youngest children. Rarely do we observe exuberant physiological excellence beyond the age of six. If we really want to see vigor we must watch the young of animals.
This vigor is possible to humans throughout most of their lives.