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of the question, and do not begin with the great underlying principles in such a way as to attract and hold the attention of the masses. One advocates one plan, and another an entirely different, and sometimes a directly opposite plan--such as uncooked vs. thoroughly cooked food; a strictly vegetarian diet, and mental culture in place of attention to either, etc. Such a state of affairs makes it confusing to average people and gets them to believe that health reformers are all at sea, and what is good for one is not good for another, or, in common language, "what is one man's meat is another's poison."
Now, I know it is natural, and doubtless best, that there should be a difference of opinion on any question, but at the same time, if any movement is to be crowned with great success, there should be some underlying principles upon which all should agree, and these should be pressed to the forefront, so as to attract and hold the attention of the people, in place of the divergent details upon which they disagree. If these fundamental laws and principles are thoroughly studied and well defined, it may be found that they would explain the discrepancies between the different theories, and that under certain conditions, one plan is best, and that under different conditions another plan is more applicable, etc. The pushing of these fundamental principles to the front would also tend to correct errors into which the different theorists have fallen, and would certainly tend to make the different theories more homogeneous and more easily understood by people in general, than at present.
In my opinion, the general fundamental principles of life and health are what people need to understand more than anything else. Without this, most of the details will be meaningless or at least confusing dogmas. I don't mean by these fundamental principles the details of anatomy, or, for that matter, the details of anything else, but the general rules governing life and death, so that people may know which way they, are tending, and may understand the many illusions with which life and death, as well as all else in nature are beset.
Louden Mfg. Co.,
The present volume and others of the "Nature Cure Series" which are to follow are an attempt to answer Mr. Louden's inquiry and to formulate and elucidate the fundamental laws of health, disease and cure for which he and many others have been vainly seeking. Who among you at some time or another, has not thought and felt like Mr. Louden and in doubt and perplexity voiced Pilate's query,
What Is Truth?
The exact information and rational method of teaching which Mr. Louden is seeking, has heretofore been wanting in health-culture literature.
Many, indeed, stand ready and willing to show the way to physical, mental and moral perfection. Hundreds, yes, thousands, of different cults, isms, teachers, books and periodicals treat of these subjects, but their teachings are so manifold, so contradictory and confusing, that one becomes bewildered amid the ever increasing testimony. As is often the case in the study of complicated subjects, the more one reads and the more one hears, the less one knows. I believe that no one has described more strikingly this state of general perplexity than Mr. Louden in his excellent letter.
Nevertheless, these simple fundamental laws and principles really exist. They must exist, because everything in Nature, including the processes of health, of disease and cure, of birth, of life and death, are subject to law and order.
Allopathy, or Old School Medical Science, admits that it does not know these fundamental principles; that it reasons, not from underlying causes, but from external symptoms and personal experiences. It is, therefore, self-confessedly full of doubts, errors and confusion; in short, empirical--and necessarily, a failure.
Many teachers of Nature Cure, Hygiene and Health cults have stumbled accidentally upon some of the natural laws and true methods of healing, but have failed to grasp and to formulate the broad underlying principles. For this reason they are often partly right and partly wrong and very apt to overdo certain methods to the neglect of others just as effective and essential, or even more so.
I shall endeavor in these volumes to formulate and elucidate some of the fundamental laws and principles underlying the phenomena of life and death, health, disease and cure, and shall try to ascertain in the light of these laws how much of truth and how much of error, how much of usefulness and how much of harmfulness there may be contained in the various theories and systems of living and of healing.
Nature Owe an Exact Science
One of the reasons why Nature Cure is not more popular with the medical profession and the public is that it is too simple. The average mind is more impressed by the involved and mysterious than by the simple and common-sense.
However, it remains a fact that "exact science" reduces complexity and confusion to simplicity and clearness. Science becomes exact science only when the underlying laws which correlate and unify its scattered facts and theories have been discovered.
These simple laws rightly understood and applied will do for medical science what the law of gravitation has done for physics and astronomy, and what the laws of chemical affinity have done for chemistry, they will place medical science in the ranks of exact sciences. The understanding and proper application of these truths will explain every fact and phenomenon in the processes of health, disease and cure, and will enable the student to reason from simple, natural laws and principles to their logical effects. The "Regular" school of medicine, so far, has endeavored to build a medical science on the observation of "effects" and "experiences," but since one fundamental law of nature may produce a million seemingly differing effects it becomes self-evident that it is utterly impossible to found an exact science on such uncertain and conflicting evidence.
The primary laws and principles once understood, it becomes easy to reason from and to explain through them, the various phenomena which they produce. Herein lie the merit and achievement of the Nature Cure philosophy.
THE UPAS TREE OF DISEASE
EVIL IS NOT AN ACCIDENT, NOT AN ARBITRARY PUNISHMENT, NOT ALWAYS AN "ERROR OF MORTAL MIND." IT IS THE NATURAL AND INEVITABLE RESULT OF VIOLATIONS OF NATURE'S LAWS. IT IS INSTRUCTIVE AND CORRECTIVE IN PURPOSE, AND WILL REMAIN WITH US ONLY AS LONG AS WE NEED ITS SALUTARY LESSONS.
What ~Is~ Nature Cure?
It is vastly more than a system of curing aches and pains; it is a complete revolution in the art and science of living. It is the practical realization and application of all that is good in natural science, philosophy and religion. Like many another world-wide revolution and reformation, it had its inception in Germany, the land of thinkers and philosophers.
About seventy years ago this greatest and most beneficent of reformation movements was inaugurated by Priessnitz in Grafenberg, a small village in the Silesian mountains. The originator of Nature Cure was a simple farmer, but he had a natural genius for the art of healing.
His pharmacopeia consisted not in poisonous pills and potions but in plenty of exercise, fresh mountain air, water treatments in the cool, sparkling brooks, and simple, wholesome country fare, consisting largely of black bread, vegetables, and milk fresh from cows fed on nutritious mountain grasses.
The results accomplished by these simple means were wonderful. Before he died, a large sanitarium, filled with patients from all over the world and from all stations of life, had grown up around his forest home.
Among those who made the pilgrimage to Grafenberg to become patients and students of this genial healer, the simple-minded farmer-physician, were wealthy merchants, princes and doctors from all parts of the world.
Rapidly the idea of drugless healing spread over Germany and over the civilized world. In the Fatherland, Hahn the apothecary, Kuhne the weaver, Rikli the manufacturer, Father Kneipp the priest, Lahmann the doctor, and Turnvater Jahn, the founder of physical culture, became enthusiastic pupils and followers of Priessnitz.
Each one of these men enlarged and enriched some special field of the great realm of natural healing. Some elaborated the water cure and natural dietetics, others invented various systems of manipulative treatment, earth, air and light cures, magnetic healing, mental therapeutics, curative gymnastics, etc., etc. Von Peckzely added the Diagnosis from the Eye, which reveals not only the innermost secrets of the human organism, but also Nature's ways and means of cure, and the changes for better or for worse continually occurring in the body.
In this country, Dr. Trall of New York, Dr. Jackson of Danville, Dr. Kellogg of Battle Creek, and others caught the infection and crossed the ocean to become students of Priessnitz. The achievements of these men in their respective fields of endeavor will stand as enduring monuments to the eternal truths revealed by the genius of Nature Cure.
Quimby, the itinerant spiritualist and healer, became successful and renowned by the application of the natural methods of cure. At first his favorite methods were water, massage, magnetic and mental treatment. Gradually he concentrated his efforts on metaphysical
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