That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.


Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:10 am

by Arthur Lovell




Table of Contents:

• Preface to Seventh Edition
• Preface to Second Edition
• Preface to First Edition
• 1. Introduction
• 2. Water, Light, Diet
• 3. Breathing
• 4. Physical Culture
• 5. Transference of Nerve-Energy and Suggestion
• 6. Mental Vigour
• 7. Power of Will
• 8. Imagination
• 9. Concentration
• 10. Manners
• 11. Vril and Individual Influence
• 12. Symbology of the Perfect Man
• 13. An International Problem
• 14. A New Spirit

For all practical purposes, the microcosm, our own individual world, is the only world we are condemning or denouncing, in fact, is the only world we have the slightest business to condemn or denounce...let us consider whether we have the power to judge, not the world as a whole, but any other individual whatsoever, in the world beside ourselves...we are always dealing with ourselves and our inseparable shadows, not with a foreign world....the whole point is this: that our own state of mind for the time being is strong enough to tinge the whole of the world with its colours....Bear constantly in view this fact, then, that the world we are judging is our own individual world...I want to make it quite clear that I am not taking up the cudgels in defence of that terrible bugbear "Idealism," nor doing battle with what the Philosophy of Common Sense prides itself upon denominating "Realism." My sole object is to emphasise a fact which we are very apt to ignore, and which it is of the utmost importance to remember. The world we are condemning or praising is not the world at large, but the world within ourselves...

Applied to the human organism, the aim is to transmute gross muscular energy into fine nerve energy. This is the idea of Plato in the "Republic," in which is embodied the Greek Ideal...By creating an "ideal" within our mental sphere we can approximate ourselves to this "Ideal Image," till we become one and the same with it ...Man's conception of heaven is the ideal or perfect state of consciousness which can express itself only, in the ideal or perfect form and appearance...If "heaven" is the goal of humanity, as it undoubtedly is, we might just as well turn our eye in that direction now and here, by paying all the attention we can to the laws of the human form, and endeavouring to get as near as we can to the ideal..."The Rider on the White Horse" portrays the evolution of a new race upon the earth with new ideals, new methods, and new conditions, which will transcend the civilisations of the past...

For thousands of years, cure of disease by Transference of Nerve-Energy has been a well-authenticated fact in the experience of mankind. It was practised in the temples of Egypt and India long before the Christian era, and though it fell more or less into disuse at various times and places, it never in any age was entirely unknown to the few. In modern times the man who brought it into prominent notice was MESMER, from whom is derived the term "Mesmerism."Mesmer propounded, or rather formulated, the theory of a Universal Fluid, which in reality corresponds in conception to the scientific doctrine of Conservation of Energy, and applied it with astonishing success to the alleviation of pain and the cure of disease...

The term "Personal Magnetism" has been rather extensively used within the last few years, but there are many objections to it, though from a popular standpoint it does fairly well. Reichenbach, coined the term Od or Odyle, but this does not, somehow or other, carry sufficient weight to render it an ideal word. Unquestionably the best term of all is that used, and so far as I know coined, by Lytton in The Coming Race. It expresses, with precision, nerve-energy and will-force combined in the developed individual. The word itself suggests the very noblest and highest ideas connected with mankind. The Romans used the words "vir" and "virilis" in a very different sense from "homo." The latter signified a mere man pure and simple, while the former expressed a lofty conception of the genus homo. The word vir or vri has the same signification, more or less, in all the Aryan languages, e.g., in MacDonell's Sanskrit Dictionary, the following is given: Vi-rá, m. (vigorous: √ vi) man, esp. man of might, hero, champion, chief, leader; Vir-yá, n. Manliness, valour, power, potency, efficiency, heroic deed, manly vigour; Vra-tá, n. (willed, √ vri, perh. old p.p.) will, command, law, ordinance, dominion. The term "vril," therefore, naturally signifies the height of dominion attained by cultivation of man's latent power, and, as such, is the best that could possibly have been devised...

I had been studying as well as teaching the science of breathing for years before I realised the actual significance of the cranial air-chambers in respiration and the immense part they played in human evolution. I had read most of the books published on breathing, especially the textbooks of Physiology containing chapters devoted to respiration. In not a single one had I ever come across a passage bearing upon the importance of the cranial sinuses. And -- perhaps a feature more curious than the silence of the text-books -- in not a single piece of poetry or a romance in which wonderful visions are portrayed is there to be found any reference to the potentiality of the cranial sinuses. The reader meets with ideally beautiful women, majestic super-men, but no hint is dropped as to the process of their evolution...

For the practical purposes of Ars Vivendi breathing, all that is really required to understand is that in addition to going down to the chest, the air also goes up to the region of the forehead. The frontal sinuses are roughly marked by the eyebrows; the sphenoidal (perhaps the most important) are just behind the eyes; the others are located at the root and sides of the nose. These little cavities are small in size compared with the chest, and the volume of tidal air going in and out of them is insignificant compared with the volume going in and out of the lungs; but they contain the essence of the life of the whole system, and they regulate and control the development of the human being physically, mentally and morally...

The principal factor is the inability of the sinuses to open out in the normal manner, as they were intended by Nature to do in normal growth of body and mind. Just as one child does not thrive physically through lack of sufficient air in the body as a whole, so another child does not thrive mentally through lack of sufficient air in the cranial sinuses as they open out in normal growth...

The method I have found most successful both in personal treatment and by correspondence is to direct the student to imagine a V placed in the centre of the forehead between the eyes, and to start breathing as silently as possible and without strain or effort with mouth closed, from the centre of the nostrils, roughly the bridge of the nose, upwards to V. The out-breathing to be done in the same manner with mouth closed, and with as little noise as possible. By degrees, as the nostrils become clearer, and the breathing habitually more easy and copious, the V will seem to be more pronounced. This is the beginning of a higher stage of evolution, corresponding somewhat faintly to the halo of light represented in art as surrounding the head of "saints." It is an actual mental illumination brought about by chemical action of the oxygen in the air inspired. At this stage, V reveals itself as symbolical of the very highest conceptions of man, such as Vitality, Vision, Will, stamped upon the human brow. It is "the white stone on the forehead," the abode of the spirit in man. In Sanskrit literature, Shiva or Spirit dwells in the forehead. Swedenborg and all the mystics arrive at the same conclusion. The sign V placed in the Ars Vivendi manner, unites in one plain but comprehensive symbol the universal aspiration of the human race....

There is no chance working at random, producing a genius here and a dunce there. The signs are written at the root of the nose for all who can read them, marking unerringly the narrow-minded, the broad-minded, the dull-witted, the degenerate, the weak-willed, the intellectual, leading up to the eagle eye which takes in a situation at a single glance...

The portraits of Napoleon in early life show this trait unmistakably. The formation of forehead and root of nose reveal plainly his ability to freshen and clear the brain. ...

In the Hebrew alphabet the letter vau symbolises light and brilliance. Fabre d'Olivet, a French author, commenting upon its signification, says that it is the universal convertible sign expressing the deepest mystery of creation, and linking together the light of the physical senses with the inner spiritual light...

There is only one way of doing it and that is growing a new eye, capable of receiving and interpreting the rays of the inner light as the physical eye receives and interprets the rays of the physical light...

The Ars Vivendi principle of breathing up to the V in the forehead is the direct road towards the Light which shineth in Darkness, and is therefore the final and universal religion embracing all nations, all sects and all creeds in a comprehensive unity of Inspiration and Aspiration, for God is Light and God is Spirit, and they who worship must worship in the Light of the Holy Spirit of Breathing and Truth.

-- Ars Vivendi, by Arthur Lovell
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:11 am



IN issuing the seventh edition of "Ars Vivendi," I beg to draw special attention to the two new chapters which have been added -- namely XIII and XIV. These should be read first by all readers, new and old. The last chapter gives the key to the others.

The former editions, containing Chapters I-XII, have been so well received by the Press both of this country and abroad, and have secured the approval of so many of the foremost men and women of thought and action, that they can dispense with the attention of the critic. The fact that "Ars Vivendi" has been translated into two Indian languages -- Hindi and Urdu -- the first by the Indian Students' Culture Association, and published at Allahabad, the second by a professor of Urdu at Lahore, is sufficient proof of the value of the book. Other translations are in progress.

The two chapters now added complete the edifice. Chapter XIII, "An International Problem: The Question of Tuberculosis," contains beyond doubt the final solution of the treatment and cure of Tuberculosis. The two cases given are not isolated examples, but must be looked upon as typical illustrations of a great principle which can and will be applied successfully in every part of the world. Its international adoption would save every year thousands of human lives.

The last chapter sets forth for the first time a full account of the discovery of the respiratory use of the Cranial Sinuses or Air-chambers. This will open up a new vista for Humanity -- by forming the nucleus of the universal religion, embracing all varieties of sect, creed, and race in one comprehensive formula of development, one mode of inspiration, and one ideal of aspiration.

It is the practical inauguration of a new era in human evolution.


94, Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London, W.I.

January, 1922.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:12 am


IN issuing the second edition of "Ars Vivendi," I embrace the opportunity of expressing my best thanks to the Press and private correspondents from all parts of the world, for their warm appreciation of this little book; whilst my only answer to the adverse critic is that whosoever can show a weak point in the doctrine inculcated in these pages, taking it as a whole, or can map out a shorter cut to Mental and Bodily Vigour, I shall be very grateful. My sole desire is to "pursue the gradual paths of an aspiring change," and if anyone knows a better way than the method known to and inculcated by me, I am not only willing, but eager, to follow. What have I, or you, or anybody in his senses to do with wrong ideas, or nonsensical opinions, or stupid prejudices? We are struggling towards the tight. Let us courageously abandon once for all our insensate pride in "I think this, or I think that, and you won't make me change my opinion," and admit that the only thing really worth talking about is what is the fact, and what is the right view to hold. Time was when the individual could complacently say that his method of life was moulded on that of his father and grandfather; but in this age of fierce competition and quickened mental activity the individual must stand more firmly on his own feet. In self-defence he has to cast from him antiquated notions. The more he acts thus the better, particularly with regard to what so nearly concerns him -- Mental and Bodily Vigour. No longer need we be content with prophesying that a new era will dawn upon humanity. Thank God! this era has already dawned, and every year more and more the increasing light is flooding us. Ere long we shall enjoy the full splendour of the Sun of the Spirit, and realise on earth the glorious visions of prophet and poet -- Health, Happiness, Peace.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:12 am


THE title of the present little volume sufficiently explains its aim and scope. It is an attempt to treat actual life as a work of art and every individual as an artist. To discuss the question whether life is worth living seems to me as idle as to the painter engaged at work to ask whether it is worth while painting.

On the other hand, very few know how to live properly. The majority bungle anyhow through life -- perhaps in ill-health or poverty, or both, not even suspecting that the fault lies in themselves. The present book will, at all events, help its readers to come more to the point, and concentrate attention upon the one thing lacking -- learning the rudiments of the art of living. It is meant to be thoroughly practical. Man is here treated, not as a pill-swallowing machine, or a receptacle for mineral poisons, but as a Unity of Mind and Body, and the method is taught of acquiring Vigour of Mind as well as Health of Body. We are all made of the self same stuff, and, if we condescend to learn the art, there is nothing except our own ignorance and prejudice to prevent us from carving our lives as we will.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:15 am




SCHOPENHAUER was of opinion that this was the worst of all possible worlds. If we accept the conclusion of the great modern pessimist, we must admit with him that life is not worth living at all, and the wisest thing we can do is to quit it as soon as we conveniently can. But here's the rub. A philosopher once very sagely remarked that man is not a reasoning animal, but merely an animal capable of reasoning. That this is a truism -- though our pride often mistakes it for a paradox, nay more, a libel on the inherent superiority of the genus homo -- is in no case more clearly proved than in the theories and the conduct of the pessimists. If man were by nature a reasoning animal, he would not rest content with stating a premise, but would deduce the logical conclusion at once, there and then; and, consequently, pessimism would keep one half the world constantly engaged in burying the other half. Luckily, or unluckily, that is not so.

Undoubtedly the most comprehensive definition of man puts him down simply and solely as a "talking animal." First of all, and most important of all, he talks -- whether sense or nonsense is quite a secondary consideration. However loudly he decries life, it will take a great deal, a very great deal, to make him quit it. When it comes to the actual point, your pessimist loves life and the world quite as much as your optimist. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and all the grumbling of the Schopenhauers, great or small, cannot alter it one whit.

The most amusing thing about the pessimists is that they are very careful to advise that, as the burden of existence cannot, somehow or other, be shirked, it had better be accepted with the best grace possible under the circumstances. Since one must live, say they, one might as well try to make oneself for the time being as comfortable as one can. That is sound philosophy. I only want to go just a step further, and say, Your life is exactly what you make it. You talk of the world, condemn it, praise it, sneer at it, laugh at it, and forget it is only yourself you are laughing or sneering at, condemning or praising.


The individual is a whole world in himself. Wise men of old were fond of describing man as the microcosm -- the little world, which corresponded to, explained, and dominated the macrocosm -- the universal world. For all practical purposes, the microcosm, our own individual world, is the only world we are condemning or denouncing -- in fact, is the only world we have the slightest business to condemn or denounce. Man is a very sociable creature, who delights in giving advice (purely disinterested, of course,) to his fellows, and still more disinterestedly damning them should this advice not be followed. He passes judgment on the whole world, and has no hesitation whatever in condemning it wholesale if it is not exactly to his liking.

But, honestly, is not this the height of impertinence? What right have I to judge, even if I had the power? However, the doctrine that might is right, which everybody instinctively acts upon, seems to nullify the force of this objection. The simple reason that we do judge and condemn the world every day of our lives and often get credit for wisdom when our flippant sentence is pronounced, seems to argue the right.

Abandoning, therefore, as impracticable the question as to our right, let us consider whether we have the power to judge, not the world as a whole, but any other individual whatsoever, in the world beside ourselves. Should it be shown that we have not the power, common sense will soon teach us that we had better leave off passing judgments which can have, in the nature of things, no weight or consequence of any kind. Barren sentences are waste of energy and time.


Facts are stronger than all theories and arguments. If it is shown to be the fact that we are always dealing with ourselves and our inseparable shadows, not with a foreign world, my case is won without further contention. Calm reflection alone will convince us of this. Look at two typical cases -- a young man in love, and a disappointed man of the world the wrong side of fifty. Worldly wisdom, taking it in the narrow sense in which it is commonly used, would perhaps consider the bliss of the former as an illusion destined to be shattered by the reality of life, and the bitterness of the latter as the inevitable result of experience of the world. Whether that is the truth has nothing whatever to do with my present contention, the whole point of which is this: that our own state of mind for the time being is strong enough to tinge the whole of the world with its colours. If we are sad, it is a sad world; if we are happy, it is a happy world; if we are hopeful, it is a hopeful world; if we are despairing, it is a despairing world.

"The wine of life is low with me, and therefore 'tis that I, an old man, think the world is on the lees." The old are fond of talking of the illusions of youth, as if old age, forsooth, were freed from all illusions and at last contemplated the naked reality. Now the greatest of all illusions is to remain ignorant of the mighty fact that we only see ourselves, deal only with a world which we create and govern incessantly from day to day, from year to year, from birth to death.


The aim of all the literature in the world, from the sacred books of the ancients to the newest romance of the present day, is to teach this great fact, turn it over and over, throw sidelights upon it, illustrate it by endless combinations of words, so that at last the most ordinary mind may get a glimpse of it and act upon it in the routine of his daily life. The best books are those which teach this truth in the simplest and plainest manner. The greatest men are those who, on the one side, by their writings explain it to others, as Plato, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Emerson, and those who, on the other side, act upon it directly in their own lives, as Caesar and Napoleon. Even Schopenhauer is at such pains to show that everything at last depends upon the individual himself for weal and for woe, that it is surprising that this great writer did not make the discovery that the only world we are dealing with is the inner world of self. The writings of Goethe and Emerson -- the two greatest thinkers of the nineteenth century -- can be described as long commentaries on this text.

Goethe is continually dwelling upon the thought that "man's highest merit always is, as much as possible, to rule external circumstances, and, as little as possible, to let himself be ruled by them. Life lies before us a a huge quarry lies before the architect. All things without us are mere elements, while within us lies the Creative Force, which out of these can fashion what they were meant to be."

Emerson expresses the same idea in a different way. "The hero sees that the event is ancillary; it must follow him. All things exist in the man tinged with the manners of his soul. With what quality is in him he infuses all nature that he can reach, nor does he tend to lose himself in vastness, but, at how long a curve soever, all his regards return into his own good at last. He animates all he can, and sees only what he animates. He encloses the world as a material basis for his character and a theatre for action."


Bearing constantly in view this fact, then, that the world we are judging is our own individual world, or our own thoughts, feelings, passions, sufferings, aspirations, we can account for pessimism in a perfectly natural manner. "This is the worst of all possible worlds," says the pessimist. We accept the verdict he deliberately pronounces, not upon the world as a whole -- for of that he has neither the right nor the power to judge -- but upon himself. It is quite admissible that life, as he leads it, is not worth living, and the wisest thing he can do is to mend it or end it. The natural outcome of his existence can be nothing but pessimism. A life of ill-health, a life of pain, a life of grinding poverty, a life of utter wretchedness -- surely that is not worth living! The individual has both the power and the right to pronounce sentence upon such a life, and say, "My world is the worst possible of all worlds." Extremes meet. The optimist, or he who thinks this the best of all possible worlds, can join hands with the pessimist, or the man who thinks this the worst of all possible worlds, provided the latter has sense enough to see what he is condemning.

I want to make it quite clear that I am not taking up the cudgels in defence of that terrible bugbear "Idealism," nor doing battle with what the Philosophy of Common Sense prides itself upon denominating "Realism." My sole object is to emphasise a fact which we are very apt to ignore, and which it is of the utmost importance to remember. The world we are condemning or praising is not the world at large, but the world within ourselves.

To enlarge further upon this point would be to go beyond the scope of the present work, and I will therefore content myself with having at the outset laid stress on what appears to the reflecting mind a self-evident proposition.


Well, then, since our own individual world is the only world of real importance to us, and since our happiness depends entirely upon the state of this individual inner world, it behoves us to try to get some knowledge about this little world of ours -- the microcosm, in alchemical phrase.

Man, it has been said, is arrogant in proportion to his ignorance. As he begins to feel his feet, he looks about him fearlessly. He sees the great world around him, begets an invincible tendency to interfere by advice and action, finds fault with things in general, and comes to the conclusion that if he had had a hand in the making of the universe he would have produced a much better article. Bit by bit he learns a thing or two, but not till he gets repeated raps on the knuckles. The curious thing is that the more raps he gets the more knowing he becomes. Gradually he admits, very grudgingly, however, that the world is not quite such a stupid thing as he took it to be, and that perhaps it is much better than he thought it was. This feeling grows upon him more and more. After repeated lessons, he at length begins to mind his own business. The more he does this, the more astonished he is at what happens. He sees that the world within is, like the world without, subject to the operation of cause and effect. He discovers that the globe he inhabits is pierced through and through by laws, which by obeying he controls for his benefit, and which if ignored or disobeyed revenge themselves upon him without the slightest pity. At first he thinks such a proceeding unnecessarily cruel. At last he attains wisdom, and sees that the very thing he aims at all along -- power -- consists in the fact that he is not dealing with a capricious universe, but with a world where everything is subject to law, and where everything he really wants can be had at a fair price. Nay, further, he knows that Universal Power resides within himself. By obeying the law, he elevates himself to an independent world, in which he is the supreme ruler and judge. His own verdict is sufficient for him, his own condemnation more than enough.

"The mind which is immortal makes itself.
Requital for its good or evil thoughts --
Is its own origin of ill and end --
And its own place and time. Its innate sense,
When stripp'd of this mortality, derives
No colour from the fleeting things without;
But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy
Born from the knowledge of its own desert."

"Take a hair of the dog that bit you," says the homely adage. Man does this with Nature. The very necessity that hooped him in is the kind mother that pronounces his freedom.


Having now, I trust, sufficiently cleared the ground of misconceptions and misrepresentations of the nature of the problem every individual is called upon to solve, let us look a little more closely into this inner world, and inquire what is the state most favourable for the well-being of the individual who holds the reins of government. And herein a very obvious comparison presents itself. A country torn with civil war cannot be in a flourishing condition. For the development of industry and the wellbeing of the community as a whole there must be internal peace. In the same manner the individual world must maintain internal peace before it can give a good account of itself. The value of health, bodily and mental, at the present time is simply incalculable. Well did Emerson say: "The first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited, and cannot serve anyone; it must husband its resources to live. But health or fulness answers its own ends, and has to spare, runs over and inundates the neighbourhoods and creeks of other men's necessities ... Health is the first muse, comprising the magical benefits of air, landscape, and bodily exercise on the mind.... Get health; no labour, pains, temperance, poverty, nor exercise, that can gain it must be grudged. Sickness is a cannibal which eats up all the life and youth it can lay hold of, and absorbs its own sons and daughters. I figure it as a pale, wailing, distracted phantom, absolutely selfish, and afflicting other souls with meanness and mopings, and with ministration to its voracity of trifles. Dr. Johnson said severely, 'Every man is a rascal as soon as he is sick.' The best part of health is fine disposition. To make knowledge valuable you must have the cheerfulness of wisdom."

The paramount importance assigned to health by the great American writer is amply justified by the practical experience of every individual. Other great writers and thinkers, such as Pythagoras, Solomon, Plato, Descartes, Goethe, Schopenhauer, etc., have attached equal importance to the maintenance of health. The celebrated Pythagorean school of Crotona, established about 500 B.C., inculcated practical rules of health as well as taught philosophy, whilst the proverbs of Solomon contain excellent suggestions for health.

In the immense majority of instances, health is the indispensable condition even of a bare existence, whilst the difference between happiness and misery is often represented solely by the presence or absence of health.


No more eloquent testimony can be given to the paramount importance of health than the enormous sum of money spent every year upon "doctoring" in some shape or other. In addition to the regular army of medical men, there is the corps of "irregulars" -- the patent medicine vendors, many of whom make large fortunes by the skilful and persistent advertisement of their "specialities." One looks after the stomach, another takes the liver in charge, another the kidneys, another the lungs, another the bowels -- seemingly with such astounding results that the wonder is a single invalid exists throughout the length and breadth of the land.

As soon, however, as one understands the action of drugs of all kinds on the organism, one perceives that it is impossible to secure sound health by resort to drug-stimulation any more than it is possible to maintain a sound financial position by constantly patronising the pawnbroker. The two cases are precisely alike. It is very easy to get ready money by pledging or selling the furniture in your house, provided it is well stocked. But this cannot be done indefinitely. And if you want to get back to the financial condition you were in previous to this transaction, you must redeem your furniture and pay heavy interest into the bargain. If you cannot get legitimate possession of money in some other way than by selling your furniture and personal belongings, your affairs are in an awkward state. Thus it is with vitality. Drug-medication uses up your reserve energy at a frightful rate. Occasionally, very occasionally, it may serve your purpose; but make a habit of it, and you will very soon exhaust your stock of nerve-force and become a chronic invalid. The craving for excitement and stimulants shows a diseased nerve condition which generally goes from bad to worse, as is known to those who are acquainted with the undercurrents of modern life.

Within the last few years the drug-habit has developed into a curse of civilisation. The following extracts are from a fashionable ladies' paper and a morning daily: --

Even the Arab does not lie so persistently as does the morphia victim. All sense of honour deserts her. Whereas, perhaps, formerly she was scrupulous in money matters, she rapidly becomes little less than a thief. If she is hard-up, in order to buy drugs she will invent the most elaborate and plausible stories, and screw money out of the unsuspecting. There is no doubt whatever that drug-taking is enormously on the increase. No one who has ever witnessed the rapid deterioration, both in appearance and in character, which inevitably follows from it can hesitate to call it one of the most frightful curses of modern days."


"'AEsculapius' writes: -- 'I am a chemist in a fashionable part of London, and I can say that the extent of drug-taking to-day is simply appalling. Every day I get numerous requests for morphia, cocaine, chloroform, and ether, and I know that hundreds of society men and women carry the tiny syringe with them wherever they go. They take numerous doses of their particular drug every day. One extremely sad case has just come to my notice. A brilliantly clever young man quite recently died as a result of excessive drug-taking, and it was then found that scarcely an inch of skin surface on his body was left unmarked by the punctures of the morphia-needle.'

"Recent tragic events have revealed something of the growth of the most deadly form of narcotism known -- the cocaine habit. Not long since this was quite unknown here. To-day every busy West-end chemist can tell stories of its victims who flock to him.

"The first alarm of the growth of the cocaine habit came from New York about fourteen years ago.

"Now cocaine injection has firmly established itself in London, not among the common people, but among the cleverest men and women. It can be carried on so secretly that for a time even the nearest friends of the drunkard have no suspicion of it. It has none of the repulsiveness of ordinary intoxication. Doctors are its chief victims, writers and politicians come next, and the more artistic the temperament the greater the peril this new habit presents.

"Cocaine injection is, without question, the most dangerous and subtle form of inebriety known. Compared with it, even morphinomania is comparatively harmless. It grows on one with amazing rapidity, and gives little or no warning of the harm it is doing until the evil is accomplished almost beyond recall.

"The first harmful result seen is often enough not physical but moral. Cocaine, even more than morphine destroys the moral sense. This is no figure of speech, but a plain statement of an observed and undeniable fact. The cocaine fiend does not become violent or brutal. On the contrary, he seems more gentle and more refined than ever before. His artistic perceptions are in every way quickened. But though he has hitherto been scrupulously honest, he will now often steal without shame. He often seems to forget the meaning of truth. It is yet a moot point with psychologists how and why this destruction of the moral sense is accomplished. But that it is accomplished admits of no denial.

"Many of the cases of kleptomania which excite so much surprise, and many of the unaccountable crimes among well-to-do people are solely due to this. As one chemist put it somewhat bluntly to me: 'When a person comes in here and asks for cocaine or morphia or chloral, I, of course, fill in the doctor's prescription. This is my business. But I take care to keep a close eye on that customer's fingers all the time she is in the shop. The cocaine fiend will steal anything if she thinks she can do it unobserved. If you let her get into your debt she will never pay you. Among my regular customers some come with a story that they have left their purses behind, or something like that, and wish me to trust them. I never do that with a cocaine or chloral taker now. I have been bitten too often. Every other chemist will tell you the same.

"This is only the beginning. The moral effects are after a time followed by very decided physical ones. First comes indescribable depression of spirits, sleeplessness, distaste for food. This is often enough followed by complete mental breakdown, sometimes by suicide. So much has the habit grown that a new industry has sprung up in England during the past few years, the establishment of 'homes ' for well-to-do narcotists. These homes are not usually registered under any Act. Many of them do not advertise, but are supplied with patients by their private connection of doctors. Others advertise as regularly in medical papers as great hotels do in ordinary organs.

"But so long as these drugs go under their own names their harm is to a certain extent limited. A greater danger is when they are disguised by greedy sellers as harmless preparations. Some delightful French tonics largely used by ladies who would scorn whisky, and who look on brandy as an abomination, are nothing but pure spirits of wine flavoured. Many 'bitters,' soothing syrups, and cough syrups, largely sold under fancy names, contain great proportions of opium. Worst of all, are many so-called 'cures for the drug habit.'

"The cocaine habit inevitably means death if persevered in. If the victim tries to conquer it him or herself, failure is the most likely result. But by placing himself under the absolute control of a stronger will cure can be had."


A very large percentage of those who confess themselves helpless victims of the drug-habit will tell you that they took to it at first strictly "under doctor's orders," and at length found themselves utterly unable to do without it. The modern doctor is the descendant of the leech and the apothecary of the Middle Ages, whose main ideas of treating the sick were to bleed him within an inch of his life, and then pour into him delightful concoctions like lizard's eyes, pig's gall, toad's liver, snake's juice, etc., flavoured with a variety of ingredients from the mineral kingdom. The drug practitioners of to-day would, of course, laugh such treatment to scorn, and point with pride to the remedies of the pharmacopaeia. But it is only just a few years ago when a method of "rejuvenescence" was proposed by a well-known French medical man and scientist of great repute that would have delighted the heart of the leech and apothecary of three and four hundred years ago.

Undeterred by failure upon failure, the drug practitioner makes frantic efforts to discover new "cures."

Some of the most eminent members of the medical profession, however, have seen the folly of the practice, and have given free vent to their scorn and contempt. In fact, the most damaging criticisms on medicine have been made by members of the profession themselves. And surely they ought to know.

Abernethy, one of the best known of English medical men of the last century, didn't seem to favour the idea of "the more medical men the better." "There has been," he said, "a great increase of medical men of late years; but, upon my life, diseases have increased in proportion." Dr. James Johnson wrote: "I declare it to be my most conscientious opinion that if there were not a single physician, or surgeon, or apothecary, or man-midwife, or chemist, or druggist or drug in the world, there would be less mortality amongst mankind than there is now." Dr. Billing said: "I visited the different schools of medicine, and the students of each hinted, if they did not assert, that the other sects killed their patients." Dr. Reid thought that "more infantile subjects are perhaps diurnally destroyed by the mortar and pestle than in the ancient Bethlehem fell victims in one day to the Herodian massacre." Sir Astley Cooper, the famous surgeon, said that "the science of medicine was founded on conjecture and improved by murder." Dr. Knighton thought "medicine one of those ill-fated arts whose improvement bears no proportion to its antiquity." Dr. Gregory considered "medical doctrines little better than stark, staring absurdities." Dr. Dickson wrote that "the ancients endeavoured to elevate physic to the dignity of a science. The moderns have reduced it to the level of a trade."

What do the distinguished medical men of America think?

Professor J. W. Carson, M.D., said: "The same uncertainty exists in medicine that the law is so noted for. We do not know whether our patients recover because we give them medicine, or because Nature cures them." Professor Stevens declared that "notwithstanding all our boasted improvements, patients suffer as they did forty years ago." Professor Clark thought that, "in their zeal to do good, physicians have done much harm. They have hurried thousands to the grave who would have recovered if left to Nature." Professor Parker thought that "as we place more confidence in Nature, and less in preparations of the apothecary, mortality diminishes." Professor Gillman said that "the things which are administered for the cure of scarlet fever and measles kill far more than those diseases do. Many of the chronic diseases of adults are caused by the maltreatment of infantile diseases."

If we turn to the medical schools of the Continent, the admissions of the leading medical men and professors are equally frank. Let the following quotation from Professor Majendie -- one of the foremost physiologists of his time -- suffice. In a preliminary lecture to his class, he said: "I know medicine is called a science. It is nothing like a science. It is a great humbug! Doctors are great empirics when they are not charlatans. We are as ignorant as men can be. Who knows anything in the world about medicine? Gentlemen, you have done me the honour to come here to attend my lectures, and I must tell you, frankly, in the beginning, that I know nothing about medicine, nor do I know anyone who knows nothing about it. Nature does a great deal, imagination does a great deal, doctors do devilish little when they don't do harm. Sick people always feel they are neglected unless they are well drugged -- the fools!"


If we ascertain the opinion of the foremost men of thought or action, we find them equally strong in their condemnation of the drug-habit. We shall take three typical men -- Napoleon, Carlyle, and Ruskin.

Napoleon, at St. Helena, was being continually pestered by his physician, Antonomarchi, to take the medicine in vogue at the time, but declined with thanks. "Believe me," he argued steadfastly, "we had better leave off all these remedies. Life is a fortress which neither you nor I know anything about. Why throw obstacles in the way of its defence? Its own means are superior to all the apparatus of your laboratories. Corvisart candidly agreed with me, that all your filthy mixtures are good for nothing. Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind." Carlyle consulted a physician of the West End, and uttered his opinion of the consultation with the directness and force characteristic of the Sage of Chelsea. Ruskin's opinion was equally pronounced.


In this state of things there must be something wrong somewhere. And that "something wrong" is not far to seek. The "doctor" with his "medicine" has been, is, and will be a necessary and inevitable failure. The view he takes of his patient is so restricted that nothing short of a perpetual miracle could possibly make his system a success. Man is a trinity of Spirit, Soul, and Body, and the outer shell is the least important to deal with. Through him flow incessantly the forces of Heaven and Hell -- forces which must be kept nicely balanced, the least disturbance of which entails far-reaching consequences. The medicine habit degrades this centre of force -- an emanation of the Infinite and Eternal -- to the base level of a mechanical and chemical mass, the predominant feature of which is a stomach that must be irritated, goaded, and poisoned by crude mineral and earthy compounds. Against this degradation the instinct of man revolts.

There is a very sound maxim to the effect that knowledge of the cause of disease is half its cure. The maintenance of health involves factors not dreamt of by the medical profession, and requires in the man who assists others in the cure of disease a far wider range of knowledge than is taught in the medical schools. [1] The all-important influence of Mind upon Body, the effect of the passions, the power of the will, the creative force of the imagination -- these are factors of paramount importance in the consideration of the well-being of the individual world. Health is the effect produced by the harmonious co-operation of these and other powers under the dominant influence of the Spirit silently working within. This is what is meant by the Rabbinical saying, "Great is Peace, for all other blessings are comprehended in it." It was the constant text of the Hebrew writers that the work of righteousness shall be peace -- health of mind and body, tranquillity, harmony, the height of internal bliss.

Taken in its true signification, then, the word "Health" expresses far more than is generally meant when medicine is referred to. To look for a "specific," a "cure," for this or that malady is to travel on the wrong road -- a road that leads only to bitter disappointment, a road already strewn with the dead bodies of misleading and misled. Nature points the way to health and vigour, and holds in her hand prizes of incalculable value. Her wealth, unexhausted and inexhaustible, is designed to enrich man; but she will open the door of her treasure-house only to the wise. To ignorance, to folly, to wilful perversity, her face is stern, her curse is terrible. "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity, and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit upon you, will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; and have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also, will laugh at your calamity: I will mock when your fear cometh. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer. They shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."


Health is not a matter of chance, but a question of understanding of the law. And in this lies the safety of the individual. "This do, and thou shalt live." But this do not do, and thou shalt suffer pain and disease, no matter thou art millionaire or pauper. Living is an art that must be learnt and practised. It is the art of arts. A fine life is a much better object to contemplate than a fine picture or a fine statue. It requires infinitely greater skill to live properly than to draw properly. And yet how few have ever given this a single thought! With no more backbone than the jelly-fish, human beings float on the tide of circumstances, never dreaming that, as Goethe said, "In this sea of time the rudder is given into the hands of man in his frail skiff, not that he may be at the mercy of the waves, but that he may follow the dictates of a will directed by intelligence." The immense majority not only start life with wrong ideas, but go to their graves intellectually blind and deaf, bungling hopelessly, blaming everybody and everything but the right ones, not even suspecting that they have only themselves to find fault with. In passing judgment upon the world they condemn their own life-long perversity. In every instance of ill-health -- accidents, of course, being out of the question -- the individual himself is chiefly, if not entirely to blame. There are laws of health which if he transgresses he pays the corresponding penalty. In proportion as he learns and obeys these laws, he becomes healthy and wise, and as he neglects or disobeys them, foolish and weak and diseased.

To sum up the present chapter. We are dealing only with our own individual world. Of this world we are the creators and rulers. With us it rests whether to be weak or strong, diseased or healthy. But we must set to work intelligently and manfully to ascertain what is to be done, and to learn how to do it. The two great factors in our lives are the Understanding and the Will -- Knowing and Doing -- the union of which constitutes Wisdom -- symbolised by the Sphinx. First of all, there must be an intelligent grasp of the principles of health and of the forces at work; and then there must be the will to master these forces, instead of being mastered by them.

The following chapters contain not only sound theory, but the fruit of a long experience, and are designed to form a thoroughly practical guide to lead the individual from a condition of weakness, pain and ill-health, to a state of bodily and mental strength.



1. I am not referring to the surgeon. Surgery is an art and requires skilled training.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

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IN the early stages of mental development disease is considered to be the work of evil spirits, who delight in torturing helpless mortals. Gradually this view is modified into the belief that the gods inflict ill-health upon man as a punishment for disobedience to their commands. In a still higher stage of development man begins to understand the operation of cause and effect, and at last to realise that every event is subject to the operation of invariable law. From the complexity of the phenomena presented in the various phases of health and disease, and the consequent difficulty in tracing the operation of cause and effect, it has taken thousands of years of constant development for the human mind to grasp the notion that the action of law is invariable within the domain of bodily health, just as in any other department of Nature. The physical and chemical laws are much easier to understand than the laws of vitality.

As an instance, let us, take a person suddenly attacked with a stroke of paralysis. The previous day he might have presented the appearance of sound health, and now lies a helpless mass, devoid of sensibility and power of movement. The change is appalling, and well may appear to deride any attempt at bringing the phenomena of health and disease within the dominion of law. But, in reality, what has happened? Merely the culmination of a process which had been going on for months, and perhaps years, within the organism. This process could be detected by the keen and practised eye, and its inevitable result predicted with as much certainty as the movement of a star by the astronomer. But the process which culminated in paralysis was much more complex than the movement of the star, inasmuch as the individual might have postponed or entirely prevented the evil day by a change of habits, thus calling into operation other forces to counteract the downward movement. But, left to itself, it could have ended only in one way.

The difficulty in understanding the presence of fixed law in all the phenomena of health is due not to any defect in the action of Law, but to the faulty habit of reasoning and want of observation on the part of the mind. How very common such a remark as the following: "I have done so and so, but I haven't found any ill effects from it. I feel as strong now as ever before in my life." The mistake of such a mode of reasoning is fatal, because the great majority of the various forms of disease -- of course disease is only one -- are of insidious growth, of imperceptible progress. Nature is long-suffering, gives long credit, but never forgets the debt you incur. At the moment, perhaps, when you are least prepared, she will demand payment with a voice void of pity and of mercy. This truth is expressed in a very dramatic form by the wise man of antiquity: -- "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."

To give a practical illustration. Suppose you have a certain sum at your banker's which with care and economy will last a lifetime. Draw larger cheques than your capital can stand, and the day will come when you wake up a bankrupt. If you look at the various cheques by themselves, not a single one could ruin you, but make a simple sum in addition and the explanation is easy.


Taking these simple truths into consideration, everyone must see that for the maintenance of bodily health, the mind must have an intelligent grasp of certain fixed principles. I do not mean it to be implied that an intimate acquaintance with Anatomy and Physiology is indispensable to the student of health. Indeed, the very opposite is so near the truth that I have often thought the reason why drug practitioners are such bad healers is that their mind is overwhelmed with details which serve no practical purpose whatever. Their whole training is based upon a wrong principle, and they have to unlearn a great deal of what they have crammed into their heads, hastily bolted, and therefore ill-digested. Having been taught to contemplate disease in all its hideous aspects, they hardly know what bodily vigour is, and, worst of all, their Power of Will, which is the leading factor in the cure of disease, is necessarily weakened by brooding over ghastly symptoms. The art of living in health is never learnt by poring over revolting details. If we were always conscious of the dangers incidental to swallowing a single morsel, we should be inclined to thank our stars every time this intricate operation was successfully performed. But we do swallow every day with consummate skill, and all the knowledge in the world will not enable us to do it any better.

There is, then, on the one hand, a knowledge which, though valuable in itself and indispensable to the surgeon, is really unnecessary to practise with success the art of living in health; and. on the other hand, there is a knowledge which is not taught in any of the medical schools, and which is absolutely necessary to the student. These principles are of universal application, and upon their observance or nonobservance will depend the individual's success or failure in the art of preserving his health.


The first thing he must learn is what not to do. Somebody has said that the most important lesson in manners is to know what not to do. Whether or not that forms the rudiments of behaviour, it is most certainly the foundation of health. Don't take pills; don't take opening medicine; don't take tonics or stimulants; don't take more food than you really require -- that is the beginning of health. The habit of taking medicine has been so strong within the last few hundred years that it is very natural to ask, "What must I take?" And kind friends are always anxious that you should try what has worked such marvels with them. You are assured it can do you no harm, as Smith has been having it for weeks and is not dead yet, while Robinson lived several years after having first taken it. Nevertheless -- don't!

Instead of asking yourself, "What must I take?" say simply, "What have I done, and what must I do?" The natural state of the organism is health. Self-preservation is the first law of Nature. Death is resisted to the very last, is fought step by step with unflinching determination, with unremitting vigilance, till every particle of energy is exhausted, till the struggle can no longer be prolonged. What we call "disease" is the irresistible impulse of Nature to protect her child to the very last moment. This aversion to succumb to the attack of Death is beautifully illustrated in the various stages of consumption. Like a brave and skilful general, Nature displays a consummate mastery of tactics even when she is on the losing side, and when the troops at her disposal -- the vitiated blood of the individual -- are scanty, ill-fed, incapable of exertion, and overpowered by the superiority of the enemy. This is what is vaguely termed the vis medicatrix naturae -- the recuperative force of Nature. It is the main factor to be taken into consideration in the treatment of disease.

Treated with intelligence from the outset, fever can be managed not only with absolute safety, but -- what is meant to be by Nature -- advantage to the patient. All that Nature asks is cooperation on the part of the patient and his professed ally, and a certain amount of care in placing the body under the best conditions for putting forth its curative energies. This is the only method of cure that has the smallest pretence to be called "scientific," drug medication being, at its best, only a temporary makeshift, a plausible make-believe that is apt to delude both doctor and patient. "Throw physic to the dogs, I'll none of it," is the corner-stone on which rests the edifice of health.

It is sometimes objected by stupid or thoughtless people that to do so-and-so is too much trouble, while to take medicine and have done with it is the easiest thing in the world. To such there is only one answer: If you value health, you will consider nothing that is necessary for your well-being as a trouble. If you are foolish enough to squander your inheritance for not even a tasty mess of pottage, but a nauseous dose of medicine -- well, do it, and take the consequences. We are now sufficiently experienced in the ways of health and disease to say with absolute confidence, "This do, and thou shalt live; this fail to do, and thou shalt suffer."


The bitter and rancorous opposition presented by medical men to the Water Cure would seem to suggest that the system inaugurated by Vincent Priessnitz in the early part of the last century was a complete innovation on the ideas of the past. But such is not the case: for the use of water had been recommended and practised in various countries and in various ages by men who had attained a knowledge of the art of preserving health.

Pythagoras, in his famous School of Philosophy, at Crotona in Italy, enjoined the use of cold bathing to his disciples as the best method of acquiring mental and bodily vigour. The Egyptian priests largely employed water as one of the chief remedies for the cure of disease; whilst the ceremonial of the Hebrew religion was intimately associated with the maintenance of bodily health by means of frequent ablutions and bathing. Hippocrates, who is styled the "Father of Rational Medicine," used water and friction in the treatment of the most serious complaints. Pliny, in speaking of Musa, who cured Horace by means of cold water, said he put an end to drug-taking; and the same writer mentions Charmis, who made a great sensation at Rome by the extraordinary cures effected with water. Galen, a renowned physician of the second century, recommended cold bathing to the healthy, as well as to patients' attacked with fever. Michael Savonarola, an Italian doctor in the fifteenth century, recommended cold water in gout, ophthalmia, and hemorrhages: Cardanus, of Pavia, complained that the doctors in his time made so little use of water in the cure of gout. Van der Heyden, in a work published in 1624, states that during an epidemic of dysentery he cured hundreds of persons with water, and added that during a long practice of fifty years the best cures he ever effected were by means of water. Sir John Floyer published a book in 1702, showing how fevers were to be cured by water. Currie, of Liverpool, published, in 1797, a work on the use of water, and attained great success in its private application. The Rev. John Wesley published a work in 1747, which went through thirty-four editions, in which he strongly deprecates the manner in which drugs were imposed upon mankind, the mysteries with which medicine is surrounded, and the interested conduct of medical men. "The common method of compounding medicines," he truly writes, "can never be reconciled to common sense. Experience shows that one thing -- water -- will cure most disorders at least as well as twenty put together. Then why add the other nineteen? Only to swell the apothecary's bill! Nay, possibly on purpose to prolong the distemper, that the doctor and he may divide the spoil."

Dr. Macartney, in lectures at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1826, declared that "if men knew how to use water so as to elicit all the remedial results which it is capable of producing, it would be worth all the other remedies put together."

From the foregoing it will be seen that the value of water in the treatment of disease had been widely known before the advent of Vincent Priessnitz, of Grafenberg, Silesia, Austria, who established the use of water on a systematic basis which entitled it to the consideration of being by far the most scientific method of treating most of the ailments that flesh is heir to. He opened his establishment about 1826, from which time till his death invalids of all nationalities flocked to undergo the "Cold Water Cure," as it was enthusiastically but somewhat erroneously called. Since the time of Priessnitz the Water Cure has been domesticated in England by Wilson, Gully, Johnson, Balbirnie, Smedley, etc.; in Ireland by Barter; and on the Continent by several, notably Kneipp, the Bavarian priest.

Within the limits of the present volume it is not necessary to give a detailed account of the various baths and processes of Hydrotherapeutics, my aim being more to give a general idea of the most serviceable method of maintaining average health. When a person has seriously declined in the scale of health, as a general rule, he or she requires to be guided back to vigour by the firm hand and dominant mind of a master of the art.

The Water Cure is by no means, as is often erroneously supposed, an exclusive use of cold water, nor does the expression "shivering in cold sheets" convey an adequate impression of the Full Pack. Nor, again, has the rich man any advantage over his poorer brother in commanding a greater variety of bathing apparatus. The important thing is to try to grasp the principle of the cure. An intelligent use of a watering-can, or a wash-tub, is of far greater service than an indiscriminate resort to the various "needle spray," "ascending douche," "wave bath," and other mysterious and imposing varieties of applying water, hot or cold, to the body. Water after all, is only a means to an end, and the individual must treat it as such.


Hot fomentations, applied over the region of stomach, liver, and bowels, three or four times weekly, for one hour, are of great use in indigestion and all chronic cases. They are also invaluable when applied to any part of the body for the relief of pain. A folded piece of flannel is wrung tightly out of hot water, and renewed when getting cold. The best method of taking stomach fomentations is in the evening, at bedtime. First spread a folded blanket across the bed, lie down on the blanket, have the flannel applied, draw the blanket over, and put on top a hot water bottle or fomenting can, which will keep the flannel hot as long as desired. Be very careful, on removing the flannel, to sponge well the fomented part with cool or cold water.


This is a piece of linen or cotton wrung out of cold or tepid water, and covered with dry flannel and macintosh or oiled silk. It can be applied to any part of the body, and when worn as a waist bandage for two or three hours at a time, or kept on all night in bed, renders great service to the liver and organs of digestion. For rheumatic or gouty joints, sore throats, bronchitis, lumbago, sciatica, its constant use (renewed every two or three hours) is strongly to be recommended. The part to which the compress is applied should be well sponged with cool or cold water every time it is removed.


This is a larger compress than the waist bandage, and is done as follows: -- Lay a piece of macintosh across the bed. Fold a blanket over this: then fold a sheet, wrung out of cold or tepid water, sufficiently wide to cover the trunk from armpits to thigh. Lie down, and have the sheet drawn over the body, then the blanket and the macintosh. The neater and tighter it is done the better. Duration of half pack, from one to three hours, followed by vigorous sponging or a bath.


This envelops the whole body from feet to neck. As the success of the pack to a very large extent depends upon the manner it is done, too great care cannot be exercised in its preparation. The best way for persons in average health is to take a brisk walk, undress quickly, and have the pack in readiness to jump into it. It is advisable to lay a large piece of macintosh on the mattress, over this place three or four pairs of blankets (more in cold than in warm weather), and on top of all the full sheet wrung tightly out of cold or tepid water. Wrap round quickly, first sheet, then blanket, lastly macintosh, so that in a few seconds the "packee" resembles nothing so much as a dignified mummy. If the feet are not comfortably warm, put a hot water bottle to them. In from ten to twenty minutes the "packee" should feel warmly comfortable, and in about half an hour, should the operation have been properly done, a most soothing and delightful sensation will come over him, and he will agree with Lord Lytton in describing the full pack as "the magic girdle which soothes pain"; and, even as Sancho Panza blessed the man who invented sleep, so will he bless the man -- Vincent Priessnitz -- who invented the pack. For fevers, and all conditions of the body in which the skin is hot and dry, the pack is a sovereign remedy. Taken once a week, or once a fortnight, the business man, with hot and aching brain, would find the full pack the best and truest friend he ever had. It must always be followed by the cold or tepid bath.


This is very simple to take. It consists in keeping the feet in water for a certain length of time. In headaches, neuralgia, and cold feet it is very valuable. The hot foot bath for ten or fifteen minutes on going to bed will often cause refreshing sleep when every drug has been given up as useless. For poor circulation, first of all take a sharp walk, then put the feet in a few inches of cold water for two or three minutes, dry quickly, and take another sharp walk till the feet are in a glow. This regularly repeated will effectually cure cold feet.


This is more powerful, both as a derivative and a tonic, than the foot bath. It consists in sitting down in water of a depth of two to six inches, for a certain length of time, according to the object desired. It strengthens the whole pelvic region, cures constipation, piles, and most of the diseases women are subject to, whilst its effect on the throat, chest, stomach, and brain is equally powerful and curative. The cold sitz for five to ten minutes is tonic, while the warm or tepid sitz for fifteen to thirty minutes is sedative.


This is perhaps the bath most generally used. It can be taken with advantage every morning, and the temperature can be varied to suit individual taste. For daily use as a morning refresher it had better be taken quite cold, or, in depth of winter and when the bather is not robust, with the chill taken off. Depth of water, only enough to cover the lower extremities and lower part of spine when the legs are stretched out at full length. It is advisable to rub legs and feet briskly in water, and to sponge upper part of body, with exception of the hair, which should not, as a rule, be wetted more than once a week. Duration of bath, a few minutes, according to individual taste.


This had better be taken about once a week, with plenty of soap and friction. The water should always be cooled down before the bather comes out.


The object of these baths is to thoroughly open the pores of the skin, and thus promote cutaneous transpiration, which is liable to be checked by want of exercise, confinement in close and badly-ventilated rooms, etc. The importance of an active skin in the maintenance of health as well as the cure of disease cannot be overestimated. When the skin fails to do the work assigned to it, the liver and kidneys feel the pressure of overwork, and the lungs are very liable to become diseased. The skin plays a leading part in consumption and cancer. Treatment directed chiefly to the skin, as is the aim of the Water Cure, will effect wonders by oxygenating the blood and cleansing the body. Hydrophobia has been repeatedly cured by the hot-air bath. This has been proved beyond doubt by Buisson and others.


Light is the most glorious phenomenon of the external universe; it kindles into being the whole vegetable world, and is the source, direct or indirect, of all material life, not to speak of electricity and other forces. Pancoast, in his valuable work, "The True Science of Light," says -- "The laws of nature are all comprehended in the laws of light. Light is the source, the sustainer, the renewer of the Universe, and of all life therein. Light is the universal motor, the one prime source and cause of every motion and operation in and of the Universe -- motion and operation are life -- and hence is the fountain of life. Light was the secret and universal medicine of the ancients. With it they were enabled to cure the most inveterate diseases."

In fact, Light is the greatest factor in our planetary existence, and were it to fail life would perish. It is a well-known fact that plant life, in its perfection, requires abundance of light. It is a very interesting experiment to compare the growth of two plants, sprung from seeds of the same kind and quality, one of which has scanty, the other abundant light. The difference in the leaves and flowers is striking. Equally important is light to the perfection of animal life. Compare two children -- one who lives in the country with abundance of light, and one who is brought up in a narrow street where the direct sunlight is seldom to be seen.

Chromopathy is the art of healing disease by light and colour. For general purposes, nothing is so beneficial as the direct sunlight. The sun bath is far more used on the Continent than in England, mainly owing to the conditions being more favourable than in our climate. It consists in letting the rays of the sun play for a certain time upon the skin, whole or partially uncovered. As a rule, this must not apply to the head; but when the heat of the sun is not too powerful, as in spring, and late summer and autumn, great benefit will be derived by thoroughly tanning face and hair. It exercises a most beneficial influence upon the skin by rousing its dormant energies, which are often smothered by the habit of the people of cold climates of being too warmly clothed.

The sunlight is composed of different colours -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Judging from analogy of the variety of Nature, we might conclude, a priori, that there is a difference in the action of these colours from each other and from the sunlight as a whole. Take the two colours, red and blue. Common experience talks of red as a "warm colour." It is associated with warmth, as, for example, in the body, if we are warm our skin is more or less ruddy, partaking of the colour "red." "Blue," on the other hand, is a "cold" colour in ordinary language. If we are cold, the red disappears, and the blue predominates, with blue veins, finger-nails, etc.

Chromopathy says that disease is a lack of equilibrium in the colours throughout the body. In chronic disease -- that is, in cases where the system has not enough force to throw off the disease, the blue predominates, and, therefore, must be counteracted by the warm colours -- red, yellow and orange. In acute diseases, such as inflammatory and other fevers, the red is predominant, and must be counteracted by the cold colours -- blue, indigo, and violet. For all conditions of violent excitability or acute mania, the cold or negative colours are indicated; for mental depression, melancholia, and similar conditions the warm or positive colours must be used.

The best way of getting the desired rays is by means of coloured glass. Panes of red or blue glass can be inserted in an ordinary window, or a piece of glass can be inserted in a light frame and hung in front of the window when required. For general use this is the best method, as the glass can be affixed to any window and kept on for a certain length of time. As a rule, about two hours of the red or blue glass once a day will compose a "ray-bath." The cure of lupus and other affections by application of light is now an established fact.


The influence of the "concord of sweet sounds" is very great both in health and disease. The well-known story of David playing the harp before King Saul, and driving away the "evil spirit" of Melancholia, shows that music was employed by the ancients in the treatment of nervous affections.

Music, like colour, produces its effect by vibration of the subtle, all-pervading, and all- penetrating ether in which we live, move, and have our being. It is divided into the two great classes of (1) stimulating or rousing, (2) lowering or soothing. These finer forces of Nature, it is needless to say, are much more powerful and much less harmful in their effects than crude mineral drugs.


A great many worthy people are vastly concerned with "what to eat," while they consider the problem of "how to eat" as quite beneath their notice. And yet, perhaps, in the majority of cases, "how" is a far more pertinent inquiry than "what," for the stomach itself frequently puts a direct veto upon "what"; while it fails entirely to give the slightest hint to the dyspeptic as to the important point of how best to introduce the food to its notice. The victim of indigestion has an irresistible tendency to lay all the blame upon the stomach, and when all his efforts to coax it into decent activity have failed, he regards it as an ungrateful organ upon which kindness is thrown away. He therefore hurries over his meals as quickly as possible, and is heartily glad when the disagreeable function of eating is over; it never seems to strike him that the stomach demands the requisite conditions for the due performance of its work, and that if those conditions are violated, it is unreasonable to expect it to do that work in a satisfactory manner. The stomach is an organ more sinned against than sinning.


1. The animal machine is kept going by nerve-energy. Inasmuch as digestion means the transformation of the energy stored up in the food we take into the living force and nerve- energy, this process should be carried on in as perfect a manner as possible; otherwise the machine is deprived of the proper amount of driving force.

The only stage in the process of digestion over which the individual may be said to have direct control is the first stage, the mechanical reduction and trituration of the crude solids of the food in the mouth, accompanied by insalivation. Saliva is one of the digestive fluids, and it may be taken as a rule that the more thoroughly insalivated a morsel is, the more easily will it be digested; whilst the less it is acted upon in the mouth, the less easily will it be digested. Therefore the primary rule of good digestion is thorough mastication. This implies that each morsel is worked upon in the mouth for a certain time -- say forty to fifty seconds -- before the stomach receives it. Food hastily bolted interferes most seriously with the action of the stomach itself, for each morsel as it is received undergoes a series of movements round its walls, to expose it thoroughly to the chemical action of the gastric juice. The mischief of rapid eating, therefore, is twofold: (1) it introduces into the stomach crude morsels which are not sufficiently prepared for chemical action, and act as strong irritants; (2) it disturbs the digestive effort of the stomach by not only giving it more work than it ought to have, but by actually preventing it from even doing that work. Therefore eat slowly and masticate thoroughly.

2. The mental state at the time of eating has an important effect upon digestion, by its action on the production of saliva. Worry, anxiety, or any violent emotion inhibits the secreto-motor nerves, and lessens the flow of saliva, while ease of mind and pleasurable feelings have a gently stimulating effect.

Therefore, when eating, make it a rule to banish all violent emotions. The aim and object of eating is to supply you with the energy you require for the work you have to do in the world.

3. After a heavy meal, a certain amount of rest should be taken, to give the stomach the additional energy it requires for the important work it has in hand. Therefore immediately after eating, do not tax the brain or take violent exercise.


After solving the problem of "How to eat," the "What to eat" will, as a general rule, not turn out to be very troublesome.

Considered from the standpoint of physiology, "food" is a substance that can be made to supply bodily energy, and contains nitrogen and carbon as essential elements. Nitrogen enters the body in proteid and leaves it in urea; carbon enters the body in fat and carbohydrates (sugar and starch), and leaves it in carbon dioxide. Gain or loss of nitrogen signifies gain or loss of flesh in the organism; gain or loss of carbon signifies gain or loss of fat. The balance of nutrition is kept when the income is equal to the expenditure of energy.

Inasmuch as people vary enormously in size, temperament, occupation, and general conditions of life, it will be seen at once that it is a hopeless task to lay down a hard and fast rule of universal application. It does not follow that what will benefit one person will do the same good to another. Some thrive wonderfully well on vegetarianism, while others could not stand it, at all events in its present form, for any length of time without diminishing in weight and strength. On the whole, the diet most serviceable to man, and the most easily digested, is the ordinary mixed diet of meat and vegetables and the cereals. The golden rule, is strict moderation in eating, and still stricter moderation in drinking alcoholic liquors. The only cure for a host of diseased bodily conditions, such as gout, rheumatism, liver and kidney complaints, etc., is stern attention to diet. Too much nourishment is as bad as too little, for the digestive organs are prematurely worn out by the excessive labour imposed upon them.

Count Cornaro, an Italian nobleman of the Middle Ages, was a wreck at forty through "riotous living." He turned over a new leaf, confined himself to a strict regimen and lived till past 100 in first-rate health, passing away peacefully and painlessly in his sleep.

An occasional fast of varying duration, according to the bodily condition, is an excellent thing. But I deprecate all extremes and fads.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:17 am


THE adage "Familiarity breeds contempt" is very strikingly illustrated in the way in which "the man in the street" treats the function of breathing. To look at nine out of every ten persons to be met with during the course of the day, one would think that their greatest solicitude is to take every possible precaution against giving the lungs free play. They seem to take positive pride in literally sitting on their chest and bottling up the avenues of respiration, and then consider it the right thing to complain of indigestion, liver, rheumatism, gout, neurasthenia, or anything else that a pompous nomenclature can invent in the way of fashionable ailments. In face of the simple principles of health, nothing appears to me so utterly contemptible as the multiplication of names of diseases.

Without exaggeration, it is safe to assert that fully three-fourths of the various forms of ill-health can be directly and indirectly traced to deficient breathing. This leaves a sufficient allowance for accidents, poisons, and causes over which the individual may have no control.

Breathing is the immediate motive power of the whole animal machine. When breathing begins, the machine starts. When breathing stops, the machine stops. It is the most mighty factor in life -- nay more, it is Life Itself. To breathe is to live, and to live is to breathe, from the highest organism to the lowest. The more one breathes -- not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well (when the nature of Breathing is comprehended, Mental and Spiritual Breathing is understood) -- the more rich, abundant, and splendid the life; the less one breathes, the less becomes the life, till it reaches the stagnation of death.

The following definition is applicable to all the planes of being: "Breathing is the act of interchange between the Universal and the Particular, whereby Individual Life is generated."


In the lowest organisms the exchange of gases necessary for every living cell is carried on by direct diffusion, without the intermediation of respiratory organs. In the vertebrata, the act of respiration becomes twofold -- internal, or the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the organism, and external, or the preliminary process, by which a supply of oxygen is obtained.

The external and internal again can be considered under two aspects; so that breathing, viewed as a whole, can be divided into four parts.

1. The actual respiratory movements, (a) Inspiration, (b) Retention, (c) Expiration.

2. The exchange of gases taking place in the lungs between the air and the pulmonary blood.

3. Internal respiration, or the exchange of gases between the arterial blood (purified in the lungs) and tissue and lymph.

4. The actual chemical changes which subsequently take place in the living tissues, and which constitute the life of the organism as a whole, and of each cell in particular.

"The breath of life" is thus not a poetic phrase, but the expression of an actual fact, for life is the result of breathing. Before birth, the lungs have no elasticity, and contain no air; after birth, the alveoli or air-cells, of which the lungs are composed, open out to receive the air, and the fire of life is kindled. The brightness or dullness of this fire depends upon the presence of oxygen, and Nature has elaborated the most wonderfully ingenious mechanism in order to ensure an abundant supply. The lung is made up of air-cells, the walls of which are covered with a close network of capillaries, containing the blood to be purified. Physiologists have computed that the total capillary surface exposed to the action of the air is about 150 square meters, while the surface of the alveoli amounts to about 200 square meters. It will thus be seen what immense importance Nature attaches to perfect and complete oxygenation of the blood.


Ill-health or bodily weakness: what is it but the cry of the millions of millions of cells in a particular organ, and in the whole system, for oxygen? What wonder is it that the cells give up the struggle of life in despair, when you, the father and king they look to for protection and support, refuse to listen to their cries and starve them to death, by refusing to breathe enough of the fresh air around you! Consumption, cancer, and hosts of other names so dear to the heart of the patient and the doctor, are but weeds that grow in a soil impoverished by a deficient supply of oxygen. The Open-Air Treatment of Consumption had been advocated by hydropathists and hygienists all through the nineteenth century. The medical profession would have none of it, but went in for booming every quack-remedy it could lay hands on, till the climax was reached in the Koch fiasco. Who can forget the tremendous booming of Dr. Koch and his cure of consumption that was carried on by the bacteriologists in every part of the civilised world? Was there ever a more pronounced and utter failure? After all the labour of the mountains, not even the ridiculous mouse came forth. The curative value of his "lymph" is absolutely nil.

So far as the Open-Air Treatment of Consumption is concerned, it is certainly a beginning in the right direction, and a reform of the old, stupid, and idiotic ideas of treatment. But it is only a beginning. The "Open-air Treatment" sounds very well, but if the patient is not taught the importance of breathing deeply and fully, and, in fact, put through a systematic course of instruction in the science and art of acquiring mental and bodily vigour, the "Open-Air" system will not be enough. A little while ago, I went over a hospital for consumption, and could not help being astonished at seeing how much the medical profession is behind the times so far as the question of health and the cure of disease are concerned. This sanatorium is considered to be one of the most up-to-date in the United Kingdom, and so far as scrupulous cleanliness is concerned, the arrangements are excellent; but in almost every aspect touching the cure of disease it has much to learn, as will be seen from the following considerations.

1. The air of the place is far too relaxing. The treatment of Consumption is best carried on in a bracing and exhilarating air, not in mild, enervating atmosphere.

2. Every invalid should be practically taught the rudiments of Health, the influence of mental emotion upon the organism, the practice of Concentration, the right use of Imagination, and Cultivation of Will-Power. There should be systematic Breathing and other exercises, graduated according to the strength of each individual patient.

3. Transference of Nerve-Energy from a healthy operator should be daily carried out in every case that was far gone.

4. The whole establishment should vibrate with the life-giving force of a Dominant mind, whose Healing Suggestions would overpower the fear and the despair so natural in the man or woman upon whom consumption has fastened its icy grip.

A sanatorium run on those lines is the ideal establishment. Contemplating that ideal, and comparing it with this hospital, I could not help being struck with the total absence of Active Treatment, and of the Science and Art of Curing disease. When, however, I thought of the barbarous "treatment" in vogue a few years ago -- the drugging, the bleeding, the shutting out the blessed fresh air from the room of the consumptive -- I felt thankful that the medical fraternity had taken this small step -- and Heaven knows it is small enough -- in the right direction. But my feeling is akin to Hamlet's advice to the first Player, who says with the pride of his art: "I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us," "O reform it altogether." Let the physician cease to be the apothecary as he has ceased to be the leech, and let him take his stand as the master and teacher, who instructs his generation in the laws of Physiology and Psychology, and the Supreme Science of the Development of Man. Thus only shall we free humanity from the grip of disease.


1. The first requisite is to have a due sense of the importance of full breathing. The mind must grasp the principle in order to work intelligently and steadfastly. Therefore, enter, as it were, into the spirit of this chapter before attempting to reform your ordinary breathing.

2. Then begin by simply taking longer breaths than you have been accustomed to take. This can be done sitting, lying down, standing, or walking.

3. This advice would be quite enough, were it not for the inherent conservatism of the system itself, which resists any change in its habits as obstinately as the orthodox theologian or doctor any innovation on his own pet notions; and also for the marvellous ingenuity displayed by the average person in hitting upon the wrong way of doing anything.

4. There is no necessity whatever to sniff, or snort, or suck the air in. Correct these habits sternly, and practise breathing quietly.

5. You should exercise the whole of the lungs equally. Women, owing to tight lacing, as a rule breathe only with the upper part of the lung. Men prefer the abdominal breathing, but the developed breathing should exercise the whole of the lung.

6. After the lungs are full, retain the air for a few seconds, then breathe out slowly and evenly, not in sudden gasps.

7. This practice at first should be carried out, say, three times daily, for five or ten minutes, according to individual strength and capacity. Care must be taken not to strain or over-tire. The development should be slow, gradual, and methodical. A good plan would be to put a watch on the table and breathe in and out three times in the minute, and by degrees accustom the organism to slow and regular full breathing.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:18 am


THE aim of the Ars Vivendist -- that is, the man or woman who deliberately aims at making the most of life from every point of view -- is, so far as Physical Culture is concerned, briefly explained in the Preface to "Volo, or the Will," the second volume of the series. This system "does not neglect the body, nor does it allow the body to usurp a position which does not belong to it, but treats it as the indispensable servant and ally of the higher powers of the individual. It is in the cultivation of these higher powers that man becomes more than man."

I consider abnormal muscular development, in a sense, almost as bad as abnormal accumulation of fat. Both interfere most seriously with the general harmony of organic functions, as well as retard individual development. The man who has the muscle of an ox, and the strength of an elephant, excites wonder and admiration in the beholder; but, after all, he is only a freak of nature, like the two-headed giant, or the fat man, or the lion-faced lady. The first thing to do with over-developed muscle is to get it down to the normal standard as quickly as possible, for the only purpose it serves in the organism is to strain the heart and starve the brain.

The object of the trained intellect is to convert mechanical into electrical energy. Applied to the human organism, the aim is to transmute gross muscular energy into fine nerve energy. This is the idea of Plato in the "Republic," in which is embodied the Greek Ideal -- Perfect Harmony or Justice in the State and the Individual. Plato shows the folly of developing merely the physical; and it is an utter mistake to regard the modern athlete or strong man, with his weight-lifting, as the embodiment of the Greek Ideal. The strain undergone by the football player during the few winters of his professional existence plays havoc with his system, and the still more severe strain to break the record in this or that department has often ruined health irretrievably. The gaping crowds who gloat over these contests are exactly on a level with the Romans who demanded the gladiatorial shows. The watchword of all games and trials of strength should be Moderation and Balance, not Strain and Excess. As soon as physical development or training is carried beyond its due and proper limits, and is exploited professionally, it becomes a snare and a delusion. In India, the physical training of Hatha Yoga became a serious evil, when it was practised apart from Raja Yoga, or Mental and Spiritual Development.


To emphasise the very great difference between the ordinary idea of Physical Culture and the ARS VIVENDI aim, the student should concentrate attention upon the problem of walking. Show me the man or woman who walks well, and I will show you the ideal of physical culture. How few can walk! I meet with plenty who crawl, or shuffle, or creep, or hobble, or jump, or skip, or waddle, or act like a poker on wheels. And the expert eye can generally form a shrewd estimate of the character from the manner of locomotion, so much so that I have often wondered why a quick-witted and enterprising person has not started a new science -- suppose we call it Locomistry or Locomology -- by which the character and the fortune of the consultant can be ascertained. As the fortune generally depends upon the character, and as the manner of locomotion gives a clue to the character, there is no reason why this method should not become a rival of palmistry. For fashionable bazaars it could not fail to be an enormous attraction.


There are so many principles involved in the art of good walking, and so much practice is essential to even a slight modicum of success, that I must warn the student not to be too sanguine in hoping for immediate results. Above all, no attempt should be made to display the new style in public until a good deal of practice at the exercises given in this chapter has been gone through. Good walking is the direct result of the exercises, and therefore, unless the aim of the exercises is first accomplished -- perfect flexibility, ease, and suppleness -- it is useless to expect an improvement in the walk. The ideal walk is an easy, gliding, forward motion, expressing the majestic dignity of the human form divine; supple without wriggling, and steadfast without awkwardness or stiffness, or heaviness.

The aim of the exercises is to remove obstacles in the way of the spirit struggling to express itself in a manner and a gait worthy of itself -- not cabined, cribbed, confined within the prison-house of flesh, but the self-conscious Master of Matter. The student should, especially when not working under experienced guidance, remember that without the intuition which sees how far to go and when to stop, the best rules cannot always lead aright.



I -- This must be looked upon as the foundation of the set of exercises. Standing or walking, the balance or poise should be kept. It means that the weight of the whole body is evenly divided by a straight line, drawn from the middle of the head to the middle or ball of the foot. Stand erect, sideways, before a mirror, rise slowly on the toes, and watch carefully whether you have to bring the after part of the body forward an inch or more, before you can rise. It you find you cannot rise without bringing the body forward, you are like most people, out of balance. In the proper poise, the vertical line through the centre of gravity falls on the ball of the foot, not behind the heel.

II -- After getting used to balancing on the ball of the foot, and rising on the toes in a straight line with the standing posture, practise kneeling slowly with both knees, without actually touching the ground, the head and trunk kept still in the straight line. This movement carefully done strengthens the knees, and produces steadfastness of poise.

III -- Stand on one leg, and swing the other to and fro, keeping the trunk and head steady. These exercises will develop the poise, and after a while, can be ingeniously varied in many ways.


IV -- After the general idea of the poise of the body has been acquired, the student should aim at flexibility of the joints. The exercises fall under the four main divisions, (a) Neck, (b) Trunk, (c) Arms, (d) Legs. [1]

(a) NECK

1. Bend head backwards and forwards.

2. Turn head from left to right.

3. Turn head from right to left.

(b) TRUNK -- Ordinarily, the trunk is like a stiff board, but by degrees it will become flexible and pliant.

1. Bend forward from waist only; recover normal poise, and bend backwards from waist, trying to feel the movements of the ribs and the joints of the back.

2. Sway from side to side, right and left.

3. With chest expanded, turn trunk and head from right forward to left backward, and vice versa.

(c) ARMS

1. Shake the arms loosely and freely from the shoulders.

2. Extend them in front to touch each other, then outwards and backwards, as in swimming, expanding chest at same time.

3. Extend them sideways, stretching out as far as you can (this enlarges the chest); then lower the one, and bring the other over the head in a circular movement.

(d) LEGS

1. Stand firmly on one leg, and swing the other loosely and freely from the hip in every way you can, the object being to acquire perfect suppleness of this great hinge. Without this an easy walk is impossible.

2. Move knee, ankle, and toes. These are also very important for the walk. The ankle is capable of more varied movement than the knee and toes. All the exercises for the development of flexibility and suppleness should be gone through as easily and as loosely as possible.


V -- The principle in this is "tension," as opposed to "relaxation." This hardens and strengthens. I seldom or never advise dumbbells or weight-lifting, though in many cases they are of use. But, personally, I use no apparatus of any kind. The best plan is as follows: Extend the arm, imagine you have a resistance to overcome, either in drawing towards, or pushing from you. "Put your whole strength" in that arm, which will then become tense and hard. Apply the same principle to any other part of the body that is below par in strength; but beware of overdoing it, for no purpose whatever is gained thereby. This kind of physical culture has been vastly over-estimated.



1. During each exercise, the other parts of the body should be kept steady.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:19 am


ON no subject have been more brutally exhibited the very worst and vilest passions -- bigotry, calumny, lying, spitefulness, and all uncharitableness -- than the heading of this chapter, which is unquestionably the corner-stone of the science and art of curing disease. It being of unspeakable importance to form a just and adequate conception of its fundamental principle, I shall therefore lay before the student the Doctrine of Modern Science -- Conservation of Energy and Correlation of Forces.

The investigations of modern scientific men have, by observation and experiment, corroborated the a priori deductions of the great thinkers of the past -- that the Universe is One, an indissoluble and impregnable whole, and that the sum of Energy or Force throughout the Universe remains the same "yesterday, to-day, and for ever." This sum we can neither add to nor subtract from. But if we can perform neither general addition nor general subtraction, we can do a great deal of particular and local arithmetic. We can add or subtract almost ad libitum, so far as this or that spot or point is concerned, and we can change the "form" of manifestation of Universal Energy into another form that suits our individual purpose or fancy. Electricity, chemical affinity, heat, motion being so many different "forms" of one energy, there is nothing theoretically improbable in their mutual conversions, and when we find on experiment that one form can be changed into another, the generalisation is justified both by Theory and Practice.


The student is urged to pay great attention to the scientific definition of these two terms, which is taken from Clerk Maxwell's "Matter and Motion": --

"Work is the act of producing a change of configuration in a system in opposition to a force which resists that change.

"Energy is the capacity of doing work. The total energy of any material system is a quantity which can neither be increased nor diminished by any action between the parts of the system, though it may be transformed into any of the forms of which energy is susceptible.

"If, by the action of some agent external to the system, the configuration of the system is changed, while the forces of the system resist this change of configuration, the external agent is said to do work on the system. In this case the energy of the system is increased by the amount of work done on it by the external agent. If, on the contrary, the forces of the system produce a change of configuration which is resisted by the external agent, the system is said to do work on the external agent, and the energy of the system is diminished by the amount of work which it does.

"Work, therefore, is a transference of energy from one system to another; the system which gives out energy is said to do work on the system which receives it, and the amount of energy given out by the first system is always exactly equal to that received by the second.

"If, therefore, we include both systems in one larger system, the energy of the total system is neither increased nor diminished by the action of the one partial system on the other."


From a strictly scientific standpoint it is not correct to speak of "dead" matter, inasmuch as all matter is equally "alive," at all events, so far as incessant atomic and molecular motion is concerned. However, there are sufficient lines of demarcation between "dead" and "living" matter to serve all practical purposes. The same remark also applies to vegetable and animal living matter. The development of animal life in the scale of existence is characterised by the elaboration of a mechanism, by which supervision and control of the various parts of the structure is vested more or less directly in a central government. Beginning with a homogeneous mass of living protoplasm, excitable and contractile equally in every part, as in the amoeba, the Life-Principle gradually produces changes in the various parts, till at last a perfect gradation of rank is attained in the organism, with the nervous system ordering and controlling all the operations going on. In man this is carried still further, till the nervous system itself is brought under the control of the trained will. Physiology demonstrates that all the processes of the body are carried on by what is called "Nerve-force," or Nerve-Energy, which is much akin to Electricity, though it has many important points of difference.

Nerve-Energy, therefore, is, from a scientific standpoint, a particular form of Universal Energy, which does "work" in and throughout the animal organism. Just as the form of energy known as "heat," is different from the form of energy known as "chemical action," so the form of force known as Nerve-Energy is different from the form known as Electricity or Magnetism. Nerve-Energy will not, under ordinary conditions, attract iron filings; but no magnet could do all the "work" that Nerve-Energy does in the living organism.


While, therefore, Nerve-Energy must be differentiated from every other form of Universal Energy still it must come under the general principle of Conservation of Energy and Correlation of Forces; that is to say, it must be capable of transference from one system to another, and also of doing work upon the system to which it has been transferred, if the conditions of its power of action are observed. No form of energy can do "work" without the conditions necessary for its manifestation. Only a fool would find fault with the chemist for not demonstrating a delicate experiment without the necessary materials, anywhere and at any time. Under suitable conditions, it can easily be shown that the law of transference of Nerve-Energy from one living system to another corresponds to the general law enunciated in the extract from Clerk Maxwell -- the system which gives out energy does work on the system which receives it, and the amount of energy given out by the first system is always exactly equal to that received by the second. To give an example. Suppose Nerve-Energy be transferred from a healthy and vigorous human being to another that is weak or diseased, the latter gains what the former loses, and the transference of energy is demonstrated by the "work done" on the latter in promoting a better organic state.


One of the recognised instruments of scientific research is intelligent observation of phenomena. Whenever a truly scientific mind has ascertained a fact by repeated observation, it proceeds to seek for the underlying cause, and in time to propound a theory that will explain the fact. For thousands of years, cure of disease by Transference of Nerve-Energy has been a well-authenticated fact in the experience of mankind. It was practised in the temples of Egypt and India long before the Christian era, and though it fell more or less into disuse at various times and places, it never in any age was entirely unknown to the few. In modern times the man who brought it into prominent notice was


from whom is derived the term "Mesmerism." Mesmer propounded, or rather formulated, the theory of a Universal Fluid, which in reality corresponds in conception to the scientific doctrine of Conservation of Energy, and applied it with astonishing success to the alleviation of pain and the cure of disease. He soon attracted followers, who carried out his methods with equal success, thus proving beyond a doubt the transference of Nerve-Energy from the healthy to the invalid. Year after year "Mesmerism" rallied to its banner, an increasing number of enthusiastic adherents, animated by a sincere desire to relieve the sufferings of their fellow-creatures, and honestly convinced that the underlying principle of "Mesmerism" was of more value to the invalid than all the remedies of the pharmacopaeia put together.

It is only reasonable to expect that the medical profession would have welcomed with open arms this new ally in the war against disease; but, with few honourable exceptions, the faculty treated it not only with derision, but persecuted its adherents with a rancour worthy of the Spanish Inquisition. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the great Napoleon was profound contempt for the average human being. If he had lived through the nineteenth century and read of the manner in which the medical faculty behaved towards the Mesmerists, his contempt, perhaps, could not have increased, but he would certainly have claimed that his opinion of the ordinary intellect was more than justified.

In spite, however, of the uncompromising opposition of the medical faculty, Mesmerism steadily made headway under one name or another. As I am now dealing only with the underlying principle of the cures performed -- Transference of Nerve-Energy -- it is unnecessary to refer to the history of the movement.

It was remarked a page or two before that the truly scientific mind is not content with observing and recording a fact, but desires to account for that fact by a theory of the cause or causes at work. The Mesmerists had plenty of facts to go upon, but the first thoroughly scientific explanation of the cause of the effects produced was furnished by an Austrian scientist, who conducted a remarkable series of experiments on the nature and properties of the force that was employed by the Mesmerists.


Reichenbach first published his researches in the year 1845. An English translation from the pen of Dr. Ashburner appeared in 1850. Dr. Gregory, in his valuable work on Animal Magnetism, gave an abstract of the investigations about the same time. Those who want to thoroughly study the matter should go very carefully and slowly through the original text, or Ashburner's translation, which, in addition to a faithful rendering of the author, contains very valuable notes and suggestions in connection with the practice of Mesmerism as a therapeutic agency.

Reichenbach was a splendid type of the true scientific mind -- cautious, patient, laborious, and, above all, thoroughly equipped for the task he undertook by his previous scientific training. In the preface he says: "One must understand how to investigate, one must know how to question Nature, if one would obtain a clear and instructive answer, but it is not every one who can do this, so far as we know."

The importance of Reichenbach's investigations will become more and more apparent with the progress of time. When he first published the results of his labours, he was in some quarters ignored, in other quarters assailed in a disgraceful manner by men who arrogated to themselves the title of scientists, and who showed complete ignorance of the primary postulate of scientific research -- a calm and dispassionate understanding. Reichenbach treated them with the scorn and the contempt they deserved: "Every criticism expressed in a good spirit I shall receive with thanks, and try to improve my work accordingly. But imperious abuse, from one who is profoundly ignorant of the work he reviews, must be repelled, and the reviewer must be taught the limits of decency." When the very names of those who pooh-poohed and scoffed at his researches will be forgotten, the memory of Reichenbach will be treasured as the first scientific investigator in the difficult domain of Nerve-Energy.

The following summary of Reichenbach's researches will serve for ordinary purposes: --

1. A strong magnet exercises a peculiar action upon the human organism.

2. Every crystal, natural or artificial, produces a similar effect. A crystal has two poles, + and -, which have different effects upon the organism.

3. Human hands, when passed over another person, produce the same feeling as magnets and crystals.

4. To emphasise the fact that there are essential differences between Magnetism, Electricity, Heat, Chemical Affinity, on the one hand, and this peculiar force on the other hand, a new word was coined, Od or Odyle, which corresponds to what is now termed Nerve-Energy.

5. Od can be transmitted by induction and conduction, but much more slowly than Electricity. It differs from Electricity in another very important point -- all solid substances conduct it equally well.

6. Od penetrates water, clothes, boards and walls, etc., but less easily and quickly than magnetism.

7. Bodies charged with Od emit a light more or less faint, which is visible to sensitive people. This odyllic light surrounds the body like a fine atmosphere of grey or white colour.


The following rules are meant more for the amateur than the professional operator, and are intended only for the alleviation of pain and the cure of disease. All experiments of the mesmeric and hypnotic kind, such as one sometimes meets with in the drawing-room or on the platform, should be sternly discountenanced, unless in very special circumstances, and in the hands of a thoroughly competent and experienced operator. But the more the public is accustomed to the fundamental principle of Transference of Nerve-Energy, in ordinary ailments and below par conditions, the better for the whole world. The time will soon come when the patient will demand not a dose of medicine, but instruction in the art of acquiring health, and a "charge" of vigorous Nerve-Energy to reinforce his enfeebled condition. Low states of vitality, such as Cancer, Consumption, and severe constitutional affections should not be treated by the amateur, as a general rule, for the drain of Nerve-Energy will be serious. Of course, if a person has superabundant vitality, all well and good. The name of the complaint does not matter. The patient's stock of Nerve-Energy in every case of illness wants replenishing. Every operation in the body, from fever and inflammation to indigestion and headache, is directly governed by Nerve-Energy, and if your Nerve-Energy is strong and healthy it will supply what is lacking in the invalid. On this principle, the selection of a nurse and medical attendant for the sick room is very important; all weak or debilitated persons should be avoided, and those only selected who are strong in mind and body and of cheerful temperament. The general adoption of these principles would cure in very little time about three-fourths of the "hopeless invalids."

1. Nerve-Energy is transferred both by approximation without touching, and by actual contact.

2. Actual contact, such as taking both hands of the patient in yours, or putting one hand on the head and the other over the Solar Plexus (pit of stomach) is advisable where strong action is required.

3. The long pass without contact from head to foot is better in cases where a gentle and soothing effect is desirable. Stand before the subject, and extend the hands towards the head, at a distance of from 1 to 12 inches, draw them slowly to the feet, then shake them gently on each side, as if throwing off the diseased Nerve-Energy. The long pass should generally take thirty seconds.

4. In local affections, such as headache or pain in the arm, etc., make the passes over the seat of pain, drawing off at the nearest extremity.

5.The patient will often feel drowsy after a few minutes. Sleep is beneficial, and, while the operator should not aim directly at producing sleep, unless in cases of Insomnia and Excitability, it should not be interfered with when it comes. When it is not convenient for the subject to sleep for a longer time than the operation lasts, care should be taken to remove the drowsiness by blowing sharply on the forehead, and making a few reverse passes.

6. The duration of each operation, as a general rule, should be about fifteen or twenty minutes. But, of course, there are many exceptional cases.

7. The operator should carefully wash his hands after each treatment, and keep a determined, positive attitude during the whole operation to avoid "taking on" the diseased condition.

8. Silence and Quiet should be observed in the room while the passes are made. This assists both operator and subject to develop Concentration of Mind -- in itself one of the most powerful remedies that can be applied to the distracted sufferer.

9· Water absorbs Nerve-Energy readily. Therefore water charged by passes should be drunk by the patient.


The influence of suggestion is potent for both good and evil, especially when the mind is in a passive or receptive condition. Various methods have been adopted to induce this passivity. The fundamental principle is fixity of attention and concentration on an object, such as a coin held in the hand, a bright shining surface, a glass of water -- anything, in fact, that will occupy the undivided attention of the mind. When the desired state of passivity has been attained, the subject will receive and act on the suggestion given him by the operator.

Suggestion may be Silent or Verbal, for it acts on the mental plane, and mind can communicate with, and act on, mind without words.

The rationale of the effects produced by Suggestion is as follows: --

An idea produces a certain movement in the brain. This movement produces a corresponding movement in the nervous system, which in its turn affects the circulation of the blood, and thus the entire system. To give an illustration. A tells B, "You are looking very ill." B records that in his brain, and if he is sensitive or not feeling up to the mark, his nervous system immediately loses tone, the circulation is in consequence instantaneously depressed, and he actually feels himself in the state described by A. In extreme cases, suggestion has killed like a flash of lightning. Again, A tells B, "You are looking very well." B records that in his brain, and his whole system receives a gladdening message: -- that it presents the appearance of magnificent health. A great stimulus is accordingly given to the system, and Nerve-Energy increases its tone.

That, in short, is the simple mechanism of Suggestion. On thinking the matter calmly over, it will be seen that Suggestion can be made a very powerful instrument in the cure of disease. But, on the other hand, a great deal of exaggeration has clustered round it in the hands of the Hypnotists and the Christian Scientists, and the therapeutic value of Suggestion has consequently suffered in popular estimation. Everything in Nature is a question of Force. The effects produced by a given Force are conditioned by many considerations, such as Resistance, etc. Two forces acting in opposite directions neutralise each other if they are equally powerful. Again, a force may produce its effect when the resistance is only slight, but be spent in vain if the resistance is great. For example, if A has not very much the matter with him, the suggestion that he is all right will often be enough to make him so; but if he is seriously ill, the suggestion will be of no avail, because the resistance to the force of the suggestion is too great. In such a case the suggestion that there is nothing the matter with him is an insult to his understanding, for he is deficient in Nerve-Energy, and the most effectual way of helping him is to give him fresh energy.

Hypnotism and Christian Science (both systems are practically working with the same instrument, Suggestion) have ostentatiously ignored the great principle of Transference of Nerve-Energy. The Hypnotist often affected to scoff at the Mesmerist, while the latter waged war with the former, as a spurious practitioner of Mesmerism. The competent master, however, is acquainted with both principles, and his skill is shown in employing either or both, as occasion requires.

Auto-Suggestion consists in the individual acting on himself in the same manner as another does in suggesting an idea. The man who believes thoroughly in himself, in his capacity to do this or that, may be said to act on his own Suggestion that he is sufficiently powerful to accomplish his design. This state of mind gives him an immense advantage over the man who is continually suggesting to himself that he will fail. In serious illness, such as cancer or consumption, the constant dread of impending suffering and death acts powerfully as an auto-suggestion for evil.

The ideal master of the Art of Healing is the man who not only has abundance of Nerve- Energy, which he can transfer at need, but also has the power to impart to the mind the irresistible Suggestion of Health and Vigour.
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Re: ARS VIVENDI (ART OF LIVING), by Arthur Lovell

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:22 am


IN the present time, when increasing competition in business entails upon the majority a bitter struggle, not only for the comforts, but even the bare necessaries of life, it becomes a matter of supreme importance to ascertain if there is a method of acquiring mental vigour. Though it is true, in general, that physical health means vigour of mind, it is by no means the invariable rule, as numerous instances could be given of robust bodily health and decidedly weak mental power. Whilst mind and body exert a mutual influence one upon the other, either can be strong without the other. Real health, of course, includes the strong mind and the strong body -- the consciousness of mental and physical well-being; in short, equilibrium of forces concerned in the working of the organism.

Nervous and mental affections are now very much on the increase. They form a class of maladies with which the ordinary medical treatment is all but powerless to deal.

For the acquisition of mental vigour the chief thing necessary to understand is that we are dealing with laws as strict and inviolable as those relating to physical health. Mental vigour can be attained by conforming to the laws, and mental weakness can be reached by disobeying the laws. Of that fact there can be no more doubt than of any other natural fact. Of course, some attain to an eminence of intellectual greatness entirely out of the reach of the ordinary human being, but this admission does not invalidate the proposition that mental vigour, as well as bodily strength, can be attained by conforming to the laws. I suppose very few would care to deny this truth when put before them in an abstract way; but when it comes to actual life, very few indeed there are who do not constantly neglect or deny it, by flagrantly violating every law that conduces to vigour of mind.


It is not the actual amount of hard, solid mental work performed during the course of the day that causes the increase of nervous ailments so noticeable at the present time. The root of the evil is want of knowledge of the forces we are constantly dealing with. All mental emotion is so much expenditure of energy, and as mental and bodily energy is strictly proportioned to the capacity of each organism, it follows that every individual can only with safety spend a certain amount of force. This being the case, the part of wisdom is to confine the expenditure of energy to what is strictly necessary in the actual performance of work, and on no account to let any energy run to waste. I do not mean recreation and amusement as unnecessary expenditure of energy. Amusement is a necessity of life just as much as food. What I am referring to is the unconscious and totally unnecessary waste of energy caused by want of knowledge of the effect of mental emotion in maintaining or disturbing the equilibrium of health. And here let me insist upon the fact that the mind can originate certain states and feelings independently of the action of the body. While it is true, on the one hand, that a sluggish liver is a frequent cause of mental depression, it is equally true, on the other hand, that mental depression is often solely caused by ideas and emotions entirely independent of the action of the liver. The strongest physical man could be instantaneously killed by the force of an idea which he was unable to control. The explanation is the change in polarity -- a complete swinging of the needle of vitality from the positive pole of vigorous health to the extreme negative of death. Instantaneous effects of this kind are extremely rare; but between the two poles -- Life, the positive, and Death, the negative -- Health is continually oscillating, till it gradually points to the negative -- Decay, Weakness, and Death. Every state of mind can be classed as either positive or negative. Some mental emotions approximate more than others to the poles, and some to the equator of neutrality; but, regarded from the point of view of life, they can all be classed under the two poles, positive and negative. Viewed in this light, then, every mental emotion whatever can be regarded in itself either as preserving or as destroying vitality. Whether or not it succeeds in making its influence felt at the time being by the individual depends upon other considerations, such as intensity or duration of the feeling, amount of vital force to be worked upon, etc.; but, so far as the emotion is concerned, it either lowers and wastes, or preserves and increases vital force.

As a knowledge of this fact is of extreme importance to all who are exposed to the trials and vicissitudes of life -- and from this category who is exempt? -- I shall endeavour to make it as clear as possible by grouping the principal mental emotions, feelings, or states under the two heads -- Positive, or Life-preserving, and Negative, or Life-destroying.

(a) Courage / (a) Fear
(b) Determination / (b) Melancholy
(c) Belief, or Faith / (c) Grief
(d) Cheerfulness / (d) Worry
(e) Joy / (e) Peevishness
(f) Desire / (f) Ennui
/ (g) Anger
/ (h) Despair



To define courage is rather a difficult task. But, everybody knows what it means, and most of all the person who hasn't got it. Why is it that man in every stage of development, savage or civilised, always admires courage and condemns its opposite, cowardice? To be branded as a coward has always been the greatest indignity heaped upon any creature, man or brute; while a spark of courage will cover a greater multitude of sins than the proverbial cloak of charity. The greatest ruffian will soften the memory of his crimes by the display of undaunted courage. This trait in human nature is not an accident of this or that time or country, but is as wide as the world itself. Is there a reason to account for it? And if there is, what is the explanation? It is as deep as life, as broad as the universe. Courage is the assertion of the fact that within Man is a Force superior to anything found in the external world, a Force which in essence is Infinite, unconquered, and unconquerable by anything opposed to it. The instinct of Man loves the assertion of this principle in any shape or form, ascending from the rudest feeling of brutish strife to the heights of moral and spiritual courage, which no odds can shake. No poet has depicted courage in a more exalted form than Byron. His heroes are immovable in their centrality. Conrad, bereft of his followers, loaded with chains, and at the absolute mercy of an inveterate foe who will spare no tortures --

Still, in his stern and self-collected mien,
A conqueror's more than captive's air is seen,
Though faint with wasting toil and stiffening wound."

Mercy from the God he had "abandoned in his youth" he will not beg in the hopelessness of the last hour.

"I have no thought to mock His throne with prayer
Wrung from the coward crouching of Despair.
It is enough -- I breathe -- and I can bear."

Manfred resists the fiends to the last gasp, and his courage -- sublime thought -- compels them to disappear.

The literature of all the nations teems with anecdotes and romances of courage, which, in reality, is the healthy state of man. In this attitude alone are we free to do what we can. Many fail in life entirely through want of courage. Appalled by the difficulty of the problem presented to them for solution, their mental and physical energies are rapidly exhausted, till at length they swell the ranks of invalids.

Whatever the difficulties to be encountered, and whatever the obstacles to be surmounted, let the soul whisper "Courage" to the last; for the best use to which we can put anecdotes of courage is to "make our lives sublime" by displaying the same quality in whatever scale of life we are placed.


"A determined man, by his very attitude and the tone of his voice," said Emerson, "puts a stop to defeat, and begins to conquer." Determination consists in having a fixed object in view, a goal to which all our efforts are directed. The power for good of this attitude of mind is very seldom seen in the preservation of health, the cure of disease, and the prolongation of life. This, to a very large extent is accounted for by the fact that a strong mental impression has been made upon the human mind that the only way to cure disease is by taking physic. Any attempt to mitigate pain or cure disease in any other way than the orthodox dose of medicine has always elicited from the superior person a most unctuous smile. In consequence of this paralysing influence, even the most determined men, once they are laid on a bed of sickness, throw away the armour of determination, and expose themselves as helpless as babes to the attack of the disease, afraid even of expressing a resolution to recover. Numerous instances could be given of the effect of "Determination" in resisting the approach of death. Space will only permit the mention of the following, related to me by an Indian officer: --

A regiment was homeward bound from India. Near Aden a soldier was taken seriously ill, and the medical man expressed his conviction that he could not possibly last more than a day or two at the utmost. The poor soldier was made acquainted with his approaching end, but the wish to see his native land once more was so strong within him that he vowed he wouldn't die till he saw the old shores again. Day after way the struggle between life and death was kept on, in spite of the pronouncement of the medical man that he ought to have been dead a few hours after he was taken ill. At last came the welcome news that Plymouth was in sight. The dying man was taken on deck, and on seeing the sight he had longed for, a smile of satisfaction came over his face. He had attained his object, and in half an hour peacefully breathed his last. Life had been prolonged simply through the intense longing to see the old country, and, till this object was attained, the intense determination of the dying man kept the flame from spluttering out, by rallying round it every particle of energy, which, in a negative state, would have been scattered and extinguished.


Perhaps no word in the English language has been so misinterpreted and abused as the word "Faith." In the various creeds Faith has been degraded to a caput mortuum of dogmatic teaching, which neither saved nor damned anybody but in the imagination of those who framed the creeds; whereas faith -- used in its real sense -- is that condition of mind essential not only to "salvation," but to the performance of any act whatsoever. Without faith I could not take a single step, or write a single line. Faith is the very groundwork of our lives. It is a living force within man, not a dead make-believe in events which are recorded as having occurred in certain places and at certain times. Faith is a power, the manifestation of which lifts man to inconceivable heights of might and grandeur, and the absence of which renders him a helpless molecular mass. "He that believeth not shall be damned." "I don't believe it," says the sceptic. But, all the same, it is true that he who does not believe, not only shall be damned, but is already damned by the negative state of mind he is in -- damned much more effectually than he could be by the fire and brimstone of theology. "I bear within a torture that could nothing gain from thine." Faith is not blind, unreasoning credulity, but firm, unshaken confidence, based on knowledge. To give a practical illustration: --

Suppose a person has run down in health to such an extent that life is to him an intolerable burden. He has consulted doctor after doctor, tried remedy after remedy, and at last has reached the mental attitude of Prince Henry in "The Golden Legend": --

Purge with your nostrums and drugs infernal
The spouts and gargoyles of these towers,
Not me! My faith is utterly gone
In every power but the Power Supernal."

This is the negative pole of health, and the vital needle is pointing to the lowest degree -- Death. Now, let the invalid's confidence be roused, his hope awakened, by a superior individuality who understands the method of Nature's cure, and has the power to communicate to the depressed mind a strong belief in the possibility of restoration, and the "Elixir of Life" is instantaneously quaffed.

"Speak! Speak!
Who says that I am ill ?
I am not ill! I am not weak!
The trance, the swoon, the dream is o'er!
I feel the chill of death no more!
At length,
I stand renewed in all my strength!
Beneath me I can feel
The great earth stagger and reel,
As if the feet of a descending god
Upon its surface trod,
And like a pebble it rolled beneath his heel!"

This change of polarity, when completely and instantaneously effected in the organism, is the secret of the various miraculous cures, no matter in what age or in what country. It should be borne in mind, however, that faith is not merely an instantaneous change in the mental condition, and thereby a capacity of working sudden miracles or wonders; it is more than that, it is an unswerving confidence in the natural method of healing by a recourse to the ordinary means of Water, Air, Exercise, Diet, etc. In the majority of cases -- as, e.g., in consumption -- it would be impossible for faith to work an instantaneous cure, but when with patience and perseverance it employs the right means, the result will be far more efficacious than a sudden change, though the process may be tedious compared with a miracle. For the radical cure of a long-standing affection, which is sure to have wrought certain structural changes in the various organs and members of the body, faith is indispensable on the part of both healer and patient. Without it, little or no progress will be effected. The reason why many a fine hydropathic establishment has languished, and finally degenerated to the level of the boarding-house, is that this force is wanting, and nothing can adequately make up for the deficiency. Priessnitz was the born healer of men, whose very presence worked wonders by restoring confidence and hope to the despairing patient.


This is a state of mind which everybody knows by experience to be conducive to mental and bodily vigour. The nervous and circulatory systems, under its mild and genial influence, feel perennially the balmy and invigorating air of spring. It is a kind of domesticated courage meeting the petty cares and annoyances of daily life with an unbroken front, neither elated in prosperity nor depressed in adversity.


The influence of joy is much more powerful than cheerfulness. In fact, wherever cheerfulness is habitual, joy, at least in its violent form, very seldom has an opportunity of manifesting itself. It is in chronic cases of long-standing grief or pain that a sudden joy at unexpectedly seeing a dear friend or near relative is able to demonstrate its healing and strengthening influence. An amusing instance is related of the crew of the "Centurion," the flag-ship of Lord Anson. Very many sailors were laid down with the scurvy, when the joyful news went round the berths that a rich prize had come in sight in the shape of a large Spanish galleon. This unexpected piece of good luck acted like magic on the scurvy, and the prostrated sailors sprang out of their berths and manned the guns.


"As long as there is life there is hope." The desire of life is a powerful incentive to live, and once the desire to live has been extinguished in the invalid, nothing will cure short of rekindling the spark. What a spur to vigorous activity is the desire for wealth and fame! It concentrates the individual's energies into a burning focus which illumines the path to be trodden. And so of the desire for life. In almost every instance of a long or painful malady the patient becomes perforce resigned to his condition, and, to a large extent, loses the strong desire to get well. This is very marked in those who have led a life of misery or poverty, and those who, though in affluence, have drained the cup of sorrow to the dregs. To awaken in such the desire for life would be, alas! but a bootless and a thankless task.



Fear is the contrary of courage. Just as the latter is the object of universal admiration, so is the former the object of universal detestation, scorn, and ridicule. "Beware of Fear; Fear is the deadliest enemy to knowledge." So says Wisdom to the candidate for initiation into the mysteries of Truth. Courage is the soul's conviction that man is infinite; fear is the denial of this, and the belief that man is but a worm to be trodden upon by a malignant Fate. Fear is the principle called "Evil," and when this principle or idea becomes incarnate in a form suitable for the imagination to grasp, then arise terrible spectres of evil spirits, varying in names and attributes according to the development of the mind. To free himself finally and for ever from the bonds of fear is the end for which man is working. It is a difficult struggle, and we are apt to halloo long before we are out of the wood. To find an absolutely fearless man is the rarest of rarities. Emerson has a passage in his "Essay on Character" as follows: --

"We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry. What have I gained that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove or to Neptune, or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides, or the Catholic Purgatory, or the Calvinistic Judgment Day; if I quake at opinion, the public opinion as we call it, or at the threat of assault, or contumely, or bad neighbours, or poverty, or mutilation, or at the rumour of revolution or of murder? If I quake, what matters it what I quake at? Our proper vice takes form in one or another shape, according to the sex, age, or temperament of the person, and if we are capable of fear, will readily find terrors."

To show what effect Fear has upon the bodily functions, I will take the following from Hufeland's "Art of Prolonging Life": --

"Fear is an incessant cramp; it contracts all the smaller vessels; the whole skin grows cold, and perspiration is completely stopped (in cases of sudden fright, however, the sweat pours forth). The blood is collected in the interior large vessels, pulsation becomes irregular, and the heart is overcharged. Circulation is deranged, and digestion is interrupted. All the muscular power is palsied; the sufferer attempts to run, but is not able; he is seized with a general shivering; he breathes short and with difficulty. In a word, fear has all those effects which are produced by a mortal secret poison and its consequences are equally pernicious in shortening life."

In every instance an invalid is more or less under the influence of fear, especially if he is laid down with an epidemic or an acute disease. From the above description of the effect produced by fear upon the body it will be seen how serious a state this is for the sick person, who is conquered by himself long before the disease has assumed the mastery. Every nation delights in anecdotes and fables designed to illustrate the pernicious effect of fear.

An Arab fable says that one day a traveller met the Plague going to Cairo, and asked what was the object of the visit. "To kill three thousand people." rejoined the Plague. Some time afterwards the traveller met the Plague on its return journey, and complained that thirty thousand has been killed. "I am not responsible for that," protested the Plague, "I only killed three thousand. The other twenty-seven thousand died of fright at my arrival." A fitting counterpart to the above fable is given by Goethe, who says that Napoleon visited those sick of the plague to show that the man who could vanquish fear could conquer the plague as well. "And he was right," adds the poet. "'Tis incredible what force the will has in such cases; it penetrates the body and puts it in a state of activity which repels all hurtful influences, whilst fear invites them."

Fear makes the whole organism passive at a time when the utmost active resistance is called for. The fortress of life is often surrendered without a blow struck in its defence. An example in point is given in the annual London Necrology about 1714. A man named Britton was very fond of giving musical evenings to his friends. A wag thought it a good joke to bring into the company a ventriloquist, who, in a very solemn tone, forewarned the host of his impending dissolution. Britton was thunderstruck by such a mysterious communication from the ceiling, and so great was his fright that he died a few days afterwards.

Examples such as these could be multiplied indefinitely, but no purpose would be served in a book of this kind, designed as it is to explain the principles of health and disease. If the elements of health are grasped by the reader he can very easily accumulate for himself facts to show their actual working in daily life.

The best and, in fact, the only antidote to fear is knowledge. In proportion as man knows himself and his surroundings does he tend to master fear. This especially applies to bodily and mental health. Let man keep the law with intelligence and discretion, and he has little or nothing to fear from the attack of disease.


This state of mind is the opposite to cheerfulness, and is as detrimental to organic well- being as the latter is beneficial. Though it often depends upon inactivity of the liver, still it is very frequently a settled mental habit, which, like all habits, requires an effort of will to overcome. There are people who always see a black cloud hovering over their heads, and are sorely disappointed if it does not burst and overwhelm them with its torrents. Such a mental state influences, of course, every organ of the body, and most of all the liver, the action of which, in purifying the blood, is hampered by the nervous force supplied from the nerve centres.


Grief is more intense and concentrated in its effect than melancholy. Its action on the hair is well known. Instances are on record where a night of grief has completely blanched the hair. The modus operandi in this process is a chemical change produced in the colouring matter of the hair. A sudden change of this kind is not frequent, but the gradual yearly change produced by grief in lowering and depressing organic force can be very often met with. To die of a broken heart is literally true. Step by step the outward signs are more and more visible -- the haggard eye, the sunken cheeks, the mouth drawn down, showing that the insidious poison is corroding the very vitals of life.


This word has assumed an aspect of serious significance in the life of the modern world. The terrible competition in business circles calls forth every particle of available energy, and subjects every nerve and muscle to incessant strain. Add to this the lamentable waste of individual force caused through ignorance of the law, and we have a pitiable struggle to keep up position and to do more work than the organism is capable of. Business begins to get wrong, and when the greatest coolness, penetration, and mental vigour alone will set it right, the mind loses its "balance," and "worry" fastens its fatal grip on the individual. A man in this plight is an object of profound pity. The ordinary medical treatment, when it finds its drugs of no use, contents itself with advising not to worry. The patient groans, "That is much easier said than done," and goes on as before till he is wasted to a skeleton, and pines for the rest he cannot find in the body. Worry can only be overcome by learning the art of cultivating the will and disciplining the imagination. This will be taught in the succeeding chapters. If anybody thinks it will be too much trouble, I can only remind him of Schopenhauer's remark that it is much better to be controlled from within than from without. If you have not learnt the art of self-control, you are habitually exposing yourself to the control of pain, poverty, and disease. Which of the two do you prefer?


This is a condition which is absolutely unpardonable in any adult, male or female, for it is an incessant waste of force, and the more it is indulged the stronger it becomes. Hufeland refers to this state of mind as follows: "Certain habits or dispositions of mind not only deprive the body of its vital powers, but, as they incessantly sharpen the gall, they are continually preparing a secret poison, and, by the general irritation of the gall, increase in an extraordinary degree self-consumption. To these belongs that malignant disposition of mind known by the name of peevishness. Nothing can so much blast the bloom of life, shut up every access to pleasure and enjoyment, and change the beautiful stream of life into a stagnated puddle, as this disagreeable habit. I advise everyone who regards his life to fly from this deadly poison, and never to suffer it even to approach."


Every person ought to have some business or interest in life, for otherwise the feelings run astray. "The devil finds mischief for idle hands to do." There must be no "coddling" of any kind, bodily or mental, in the maintenance of health. Man was made to work. It is for this purpose health is given, and only on the condition that he does work can he retain health in its perfection. To do nothing is very hard work, and can only be done after years of mental growth -- and then only by the wise. The reason why ennui, or languor, kills so many people, directly by suicide, and indirectly by what is called dying naturally, is that this mental state destroys the cohesion, or concentration -- working round a centre -- which constitutes vigorous life.


Anger can be viewed in two ways. An occasional angry fit rouses up the whole system of a lymphatic person to the performance of an achievement otherwise beyond his power. It is a substitute for the calm and resolute determination of the strong man. A violent and immoderate fit, on the other hand, brought on by a trifling cause, is very harmful, for it will arrest or modify the various organic secretions as suddenly as an electric shock, and actually make the bile as acrid and irritating as will a full dose of calomel, and the saliva as poisonous as will a mercurial salivation. A nursing mother, under the effect of furious anger, can change the milk in her breast to a deadly poison.


In most cases despair of recovery is the beginning of death. It envelops the system like a cloud, preventing the various organs, especially the skin and lungs from carrying on their functional activity.


A fitting commentary on the above classification is furnished by the investigations which an American scientific man carried out in a field hitherto considered beyond the pale of exact science -- the influence of mental emotion upon the body. His researches show in a practical way the effect produced by various states of mind upon individual health. "Suppose half-a-dozen men in a room. One feels depressed, another remorseful, another ill-tempered, another jealous, another cheerful, another benevolent. It is a warm day, and they perspire. Samples of their perspiration are placed in the hands of the psycho-physicist. Under examination they reveal all those emotional conditions distinctly and unmistakably. Each unpleasant or bad emotion produces its own peculiar poison, which has an ill-effect upon the individual physically. Bad ideas and memories kill energy. Happy feelings create energy. Of all the chemical products of emotions, that of guilt is the worst. If a small quantity of the perspiration of a person suffering from feelings of that kind be placed in a glass tube, and exposed to contact with Selenic acid, it will turn pink. For each bad emotion there is a corresponding chemical change in the tissues of the body, which is life-depressing and poisonous, while every good emotion makes a life-promoting change."


To summarise the present chapter, mental vigour is subject to the law of cause and effect. It is possible to increase and to weaken the power of the mind by indulging certain mental states. Starting from this point, the next step is to learn the art of controlling the mind, so as to avoid as much as possible the negative or life-destroying, and to acquire as much as possible the positive or life-preserving states of mind.

The objection that such an achievement is beyond the powers of man is nullified by the simple fact that every person is, consciously or unconsciously striving to attain it. Life is a continual search after Power, and the human race is never tired of seeking.
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