In forming a conception of health, it is necessary to think of the manner in which you would live and work if you were perfectly well and very strong; to imagine yourself doing things in the way of a perfectly well and very strong person, until you have a fairly good conception of what you would be if you were well. Then take a mental and physical attitude in harmony with this conception; and do not depart from this attitude. You must unify yourself in thought with the thing you desire; and whatever state or condition you unify with yourself in thought will soon become unified with you in body. The scientific way is to sever relations with everything you do not want, and to enter into rela[Pg 140]tions with everything you do want. Form a conception of perfect health, and relate yourself to this conception in word, act, and attitude.
Guard your speech; make every word harmonize with the conception of perfect health. Never complain; never say things like these: "I did not sleep well last night;" "I have a pain in my side;" "I do not feel at all well to-day," and so on. Say "I am looking forward to a good night's sleep to-night;" "I can see that I progress rapidly," and things of similar meaning. In so far as everything which is connected with disease is concerned, your way is to forget it; and in so far as everything which is connected with health is concerned, your way is to unify yourself with it in thought and speech.
This is the whole thing in a nutshell: make yourself one with Health in thought, word, and action; and do not connect yourself with sickness either by thought, word, or action.[Pg 141]
Do not read "Doctor Books" or medical literature, or the literature of those whose theories conflict with those herein set forth; to do so will certainly undermine your faith in the Way of Living upon which you have entered, and cause you to again come into mental relations with disease. This book really gives you all that is required; nothing essential has been omitted, and practically all the superfluous has been eliminated. The Science of Being Well is an exact science, like arithmetic; nothing can be added to the fundamental principles, and if anything be taken from them, a failure will result. If you follow strictly the way of living prescribed in this book, you will be well; and you certainly CAN follow this way, both in thought and action.
Relate not only yourself, but so far as possible all others, in your thoughts, to perfect health. Do not sympathize with people when they complain, or even when they are sick and suffering. Turn[Pg 142] their thoughts into a constructive channel if you can; do all you can for their relief, but do it with the health thought in your mind. Do not let people tell their woes and catalogue their symptoms to you; turn the conversation to some other subject, or excuse yourself and go. Better be considered an unfeeling person than to have the disease thought forced upon you. When you are in company of people whose conversational stock-in-trade is sickness and kindred matters, ignore what they say and fall to offering a mental prayer of gratitude for your perfect health; and if that does not enable you to shut out their thoughts, say good-by and leave them. No matter what they think or say; politeness does not require you to permit yourself to be poisoned by diseased or perverted thought. When we have a few more hundreds of thousands of enlightened thinkers who will not stay where people complain and talk sickness, the world will advance rapidly[Pg 143] toward health. When you let people talk to you of sickness, you assist them to increase and multiply sickness.
What shall I do when I am in pain? Can one be in actual physical suffering and still think only thoughts of health?
Yes. Do not resist pain; recognize that it is a good thing. Pain is caused by an effort of the Principle of Health to overcome some unnatural condition; this you must know and feel. When you have a pain, think that a process of healing is going on in the affected part, and mentally assist and co-operate with it. Put yourself in full mental harmony with the power which is causing the pain; assist it; help it along. Do not hesitate, when necessary, to use hot fomentations and similar means to further the good work which is going on. If the pain is severe, lie down and give your mind to the work of quietly and easily co-operating with the force which is at work for your good. This is the time to exercise gratitude[Pg 144] and faith; be thankful for the power of health which is causing the pain, and be certain that the pain will cease as soon as the good work is done. Fix your thoughts, with confidence, on the Principle of Health which is making such conditions within you that pain will soon be unnecessary. You will be surprised to find how easily you can conquer pain; and after you have lived for a time in this Scientific Way, pains and aches will be things unknown to you.
What shall I do when I am too weak for my work? Shall I drive myself beyond my strength, trusting in God to support me? Shall I go on, like the runner, expecting a "second wind"?
No; better not. When you begin to live in this Way, you will probably not be of normal strength; and you will gradually pass from a low physical condition to a higher one. If you relate yourself mentally with health and strength, and perform the voluntary functions of life in a perfectly healthy[Pg 145] manner, your strength will increase from day to day; but for a time you may have days when your strength is insufficient for the work you would like to do. At such times rest, and exercise gratitude. Recognize the fact that your strength is growing rapidly, and feel a deep thankfulness to the Living One from whom it comes. Spend an hour of weakness in thanksgiving and rest, with full faith that great strength is at hand; and then get up and go on again. While you rest do not think of your present weakness; think of the strength that is coming.
Never, at any time, allow yourself to think that you are giving way to weakness; when you rest, as when you go to sleep, fix your mind on the Principle of Health which is building you into complete strength.
What shall I do about that great bugaboo which scares millions of people to death every year—Constipation?
Do nothing. Read Horace Fletcher[Pg 146] on "The A B Z or Our Own Nutrition," and get the full force of his explanation of the fact that when you live on this scientific plan you need not, and indeed cannot, have an evacuation of the bowels every day; and that an operation in from once in three days to once in two weeks is quite sufficient for perfect health. The gross feeders who eat from three to ten times as much as can be utilized in their systems have a great amount of waste to eliminate; but if you live in the manner we have described it will be otherwise with you.
If you eat only when you have an EARNED HUNGER, and chew every mouthful to a liquid, and if you stop eating the instant you BEGIN to be conscious of an abatement of your hunger, you will so perfectly prepare your food for digestion and assimilation that practically all of it will be taken up by the absorbents; and there will be little—almost nothing—remaining in the bowels to be excreted. If you are able[Pg 147] to entirely banish from your memory all that you have read in "doctor books" and patent medicine advertisements concerning constipation, you need give the matter no further thought at all. The Principle of Health will take care of it.
But if your mind has been filled with fear-thought in regard to constipation, it may be well in the beginning for you to occasionally flush the colon with warm water. There is not the least need of doing it, except to make the process of your mental emancipation from fear a little easier; it may be worth while for that. And as soon as you see that you are making good progress, and that you have cut down your quantity of food, and are really eating in the Scientific Way, dismiss constipation from your mind forever; you have nothing more to do with it. Put your trust in that Principle within you which has the power to give you perfect health; relate It by your reverent gratitude to the[Pg 148] Principle of Life which is All Power, and go on your way rejoicing.
What about exercise?
Every one is the better for a little all-round use of the muscles every day; and the best way to get this is to do it by engaging in some form of play or amusement. Get your exercise in the natural way; as recreation, not as a forced stunt for health's sake alone. Ride a horse or a bicycle; play tennis or tenpins, or toss a ball. Have some avocation like gardening in which you can spend an hour every day with pleasure and profit; there are a thousand ways in which you can get exercise enough to keep your body supple and your circulation good, and yet not fall into the rut of "exercising for your health." Exercise for fun or profit; exercise because you are too healthy to sit still, and not because you wish to become healthy, or to remain so.
Are long continued fasts necessary?
Seldom, if ever. The Principle of Health does not often require twenty,[Pg 149] thirty, or forty days to get ready for action; under normal conditions, hunger will come in much less time. In most long fasts, the reason hunger does not come sooner is because it has been inhibited by the patient himself. He begins the fast with the FEAR if not actually with the hope that it will be many days before hunger comes; the literature he has read on the subject has prepared him to expect a long fast, and he is grimly determined to go to a finish, let the time be as long as it will. And the sub-conscious mind, under the influence of powerful and positive suggestion, suspends hunger.
When, for any reason, nature takes away your hunger, go cheerfully on with your usual work, and do not eat until she gives it back. No matter if it is two, three, ten days, or longer; you may be perfectly sure that when it is time for you to eat you will be hungry; and if you are cheerfully confident and keep your faith in health, you will suffer[Pg 150] from no weakness or discomfort caused by abstinence. When you are not hungry, you will feel stronger, happier, and more comfortable if you do not eat than you will if you do eat; no matter how long the fast. And if you live in the scientific way described in this book, you will never have to take long fasts; you will seldom miss a meal, and you will enjoy your meals more than ever before in your life. Get an earned hunger before you eat; and whenever you get an earned hunger, eat.