The Science of Being Well



In order to sever all mental relations with disease, you must enter into
mental relations with health, making the process positive not negative;
one of assumption, not of rejection. You are to receive or appropriate
health rather than to reject and deny disease. Denying disease
accomplishes next to nothing; it does little good to cast out the devil
and leave the house vacant, for he will presently return with others
worse than himself. When you enter into full and constant mental
relations with health, you must of necessity cease all relationship with
disease. The first step in the Science of Being Well is, then, to enter
into complete thought connection with health.

The best way to do this is to form a mental image or picture of
yourself as being well, imagining a perfectly strong and healthy body;
and to spend sufficient time in contemplating this image to make it your
habitual thought of yourself.

This is not so easy as it sounds; it necessitates the taking of
considerable time for meditation, and not all persons have the imaging
faculty well enough developed to form a distinct mental picture of
themselves in a perfect or idealized body. It is much easier, as in "The
Science of Getting Rich," to form a mental image of the things one wants
to have; for we have seen these things, or their counterparts, and know
how they look; we can picture them very easily from memory. But we have
never seen ourselves in a perfect body, and a _clear_ mental image is
hard to form.

It is not necessary or essential, however, to have a clear mental image
of yourself as you wish to be; it is only essential to form a CONCEPTION
of perfect health, and to relate yourself to it. This Conception of
Health is not a mental picture of a particular thing; it is an
understanding of health, and carries with it the idea of perfect
functioning in every part and organ.

You may TRY to picture yourself as perfect in physique; that helps; and
you MUST _think of yourself as doing everything in the manner of a
perfectly strong and healthy person_. You can picture yourself as
walking down the street with an erect body and a vigorous stride; you
can picture yourself as doing your day's work easily and with surplus
vigor, never tired or weak; you can picture in your mind how all things
would be done by a person full of health and power, and you can make
yourself the central figure in the picture, doing things in just that
way. Never think of the ways in which weak or sickly people do things;
always think of the way strong people do things. Spend your leisure time
in thinking about the Strong Way, until you have a good conception of
it; and always think of yourself in connection with the Strong Way of
Doing Things. That is what I mean by having a Conception of Health.

In order to establish perfect functioning in every part, man does not
have to study anatomy or physiology, so that he can form a mental image
of each separate organ and address himself to it. He does not have to
"treat" his liver, his kidneys, his stomach, or his heart. There is one
Principle of Health in man, which has control over all the involuntary
functions of his life; and the thought of perfect health, impressed upon
this Principle, will reach each part and organ. Man's liver is not
controlled by a liver-principle, his stomach by a digestive principle,
and so on; the Principle of Health is One.

The less you go into the detailed study of physiology, the better for
you. Our knowledge of this science is very imperfect, and leads to
imperfect thought. Imperfect thought causes imperfect functioning,
which is disease. Let me illustrate: Until quite recently, physiology
fixed ten days as the extreme limit of man's endurance without food; it
was considered that only in exceptional cases could he survive a longer
fast. So the impression became universally disseminated that one who was
deprived of food must die in from five to ten days; and numbers of
people, when cut off from food by shipwreck, accident, or famine, did
die within this period. But the performances of Dr. Tanner, the
forty-day faster, and the writings of Dr. Dewey and others on the
fasting cure, together with the experiments of numberless people who
have fasted from forty to sixty days, have shown that man's ability to
live without food is vastly greater than had been supposed. Any person,
properly educated, can fast from twenty to forty days with little loss
in weight, and often with no apparent loss of strength at all. The
people who starved to death in ten days or less did so because they
believed that death was inevitable; an erroneous physiology had given
them a wrong thought about themselves. When a man is deprived of food he
will die in from ten to fifty days, according to the way he has been
taught; or, in other words, according to the way he thinks about it. So
you see that an erroneous physiology can work very mischievous results.

No Science of Being Well can be founded on current physiology; it is not
sufficiently exact in its knowledge. With all its pretensions,
comparatively little is really known as to the interior workings and
processes of the body. It is not known just how food is digested; it is
not known just what part food plays, if any, in the generation of force.
It is not known exactly what the liver, spleen, and pancreas are for, or
what part their secretions play in the chemistry of assimilation. On all
these and most other points we theorize, but we do not really know.
When man begins to study physiology, he enters the domain of theory and
disputation; he comes among conflicting opinions, and he is bound to
form mistaken ideas concerning himself. These mistaken ideas lead to the
thinking of wrong thoughts, and this leads to perverted functioning and
disease. All that the most perfect knowledge of physiology could do for
man would be to enable him to think only thoughts of perfect health, and
to eat, drink, breathe, and sleep in a perfectly healthy way; and this,
as we shall show, he can do without studying physiology at all.

This, for the most part, is true of all hygiene. There are certain
fundamental propositions which we should know; and these will be
explained in later chapters, but aside from these propositions, ignore
physiology and hygiene. They tend to fill your mind with thoughts of
imperfect conditions, and these thoughts will produce the imperfect
conditions in your own body. You cannot study any "science" which
recognizes disease, if you are to think nothing but health.

_Drop all investigation as to your present condition, its causes, or
possible results, and set yourself to the work of forming a conception
of health._

Think about health and the possibilities of health; of the work that may
be done and the pleasures that may be enjoyed in a condition of perfect
health. Then make this conception your guide in thinking of yourself;
refuse to entertain for an instant any thought of yourself which is not
in harmony with it. When any idea of disease or imperfect functioning
enters your mind, cast it out instantly by calling up a thought which is
in harmony with the Conception of Health.

Think of yourself at all times as realizing conception; as being a
strong and perfectly healthy personage; and do not harbor a contrary

KNOW that as you think of yourself in unity with this conception, the
Original Substance which permeates and fills the tissues of your body is
taking form according to the thought; and know that this Intelligent
Substance or mind stuff will cause function to be performed in such a
way that your body will be rebuilt with perfectly healthy cells.

The Intelligent Substance, from which all things are made, permeates and
penetrates all things; and so it is in and through your body. It moves
according to its thoughts; and so if you hold only the thoughts of
perfectly healthy function, it will cause the movements of perfectly
healthy function within you.

Hold with persistence to the thought of perfect health in relation to
yourself; do not permit yourself to think in any other way. Hold this
thought with perfect faith that it is the fact, the truth. It is the
truth so far as your mental body is concerned. You have a mind-body and
a physical body; the mind-body takes form just as you think of yourself,
and any thought which you hold continuously is made visible by the
transformation of the physical body into its image. Implanting the
thought of perfect functioning in the mind-body will, in due time, cause
perfect functioning in the physical body.

The transformation of the physical body into the image of the ideal
held by the mind-body is not accomplished instantaneously; we cannot
transfigure our physical bodies at will as Jesus did. In the creation
and recreation of forms, Substance moves along the fixed lines of growth
it has established; and the impression upon it of the health thought
causes the healthy body to be built cell by cell. Holding only thoughts
of perfect health will ultimately cause perfect functioning; and perfect
functioning will in due time produce a perfectly healthy body. It may be
as well to condense this chapter into a syllabus:--

_Your physical body is permeated and fitted with an Intelligent
Substance, which forms a body of mind-stuff. This mind-stuff
controls the functioning of your physical body. A thought of
disease or of imperfect function, impressed upon the mind-stuff,
causes disease or imperfect functioning in the physical body.
If you are diseased, it is because wrong thoughts have made
impressions on this mind-stuff; these may have been either your
own thoughts or those of your parents; we begin life with many
sub-conscious impressions, both right and wrong. But the natural
tendency of all mind is toward health, and if no thoughts are
held in the conscious mind save those of health, all internal
functioning will come to be performed in a perfectly healthy

_The Power of Nature within you is sufficient to overcome all
hereditary impressions, and if you will learn to control your
thoughts, so that you shall think only those of health, and if
you will perform the voluntary functions of life in a perfectly
healthy way, you can certainly be well._

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(Next Lesson) CHAPTER V. FAITH.
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