HOME PAGE HYGIENE LIBRARY CATALOG
Introduction to Toxemia
Enervation Is General
The Causes of Enervation
Could I but crystallize these midnight tears
And gather from their beaded bitterness
A rosary for burning lips to press,
Some pain-born token of these joyless years,
To teach the faith that saves, the hope that cheers;
Then would I bid these fountains of distress
Flow fast and free, if their sad floods could bless
Or murmur peace in some poor sufferer's ears.
My world has shrunk at last to this small room,
Where, like a prisoner, I must now remain.
I'd rather be a captive in the gloom
Of some damp dungeon, tearing at my chain;
For then, perchance, my freedom I might gain.
Ah God! to think that I must languish here,
Fettered by sickness and subdued by pain,
To die a living death from year to year,
Joy banished from my breast and Sorrow brooding there.
I often think how once these stumbling feet,
That now can scarcely bear me to my bed,
Were swift to follow, as the wind is fleet,
That baleful beam that to destruction led;
Thou domineering power, or love, or lust,
Or passion, or whatever else thou art,
How have thy crimson roses turned to dust
And strewn their withered leaves upon this heart!
Though through my vitals now they venomed dart
Strikes like an adder's sting, yet still I feel
From Egypt's flesh-pots it is hard to part;
And my weak, wandering glances often steal
Back to sweet sinful things, until my senses reel.
Still one retreat is left, to which I flee:
Dear dreamy draught, in which I often steep
Body and soul, I turn again to thee,
And drift down Lethe's stream out on Oblivion's sea.
Thirty-five years is a short life for a brain to live that can conjure the English language as the above snatches indicate. Thousands pay the price that this man paid, but very few can win so much admiration and sympathy with their swan-songs. Few people can read the psychology of swan-songs. Often they are an epitome of a lifetime.
Babies should not be trundled about too much; should not sleep in their mothers' arms; should not be exposed to bright lights, loud talking, noises, too much heat or cold; should not be jolted about in baby-buggies, automobiles, trains, street cars.
The very young are made sick by too much excitement of all kinds. Very young children should be kept quiet enough to favor sleep all the time, except when bathed and when clothes are changed. They should not he taken up every time they do any fretting. All that is needed is to make them dry and change their positions.
Young children should not be fed oftener than every four hours, and not that often unless they are awake. To awaken a child for food is very unnecessary and harmful.
A human being is a cerebro-spinal dynamo, and should be kept as much as possible in a static state, conserving nerve-energy for future use. Poise or self-control--teaching a child to be contented alone--must be started at birth.
Children need no entertainment. When left alone, they find entertainment in becoming acquainted with themselves.
Children that are coddled in the matter of being entertained--dancing attendance on them--develop discontent and bring on enervation, which favors "the diseases peculiar to children."
Children of school age are enervated by being urged in school work, exercise, and all kinds of excitement. Play should he limited. When hysteria shows up, stop the play.
Much study, examinations, exercise without desire, competitive examinations of all kinds, causes a capricious craving for food. When a growing child is forced to the limit of its nervous capacity, nature must conserve in some way; and as there is no way to sidestep convention's eternal grind, the normal desire for food is lost.
Forced Feeding to Increase Weight.--The whole system of school feeding, is one of destroying health by enervating, if not killing the child.
The federal government is ruining thousands of our young men, teaching them the sick habit. The government should give them a pension and turn them loose. The present coddling is pernicious, not only for the ex-soldier, but also for those who are interested in keeping their hospital jobs.
Doctors must be able to detect cunning and craft. The sick habit often starts as a joke, an experiment--just to see how those interested will take it--and ends in deceiving the deceiver.
A common habit, and one that often leads to a sick habit, is self-pity--being sorry for one's self. Children are inclined to play sick to buy what they want.
Giving even school lunches enervates by building dissatisfaction. It is disease-building. Children must be given an independent spirit--pride will save the world. Then, to add to all this routine of nerve-destroying customs of our schools, teeth must be straightened; which means pressure on nerve and more or less irritation. The tonsils and appendix must be removed. This is a pernicious medical fad. Feed right, and there will be no excuse for operations.
Vaccine and serums must be used to immunize from disease that results from the enervation brought on from all preceding causes. This is another senseless fad, besides it is disease building.
People are sick from wrong living. Operations remove erects. Stop the cause, and disease goes away. Nature cures, when allowed to do so, by removing the causes of enervation.
Children Pampered and Spoiled.--This brings on the bad and enervating habits of irritability, wilfulness, overeating, improper eating, and temper. Many of the older children use tobacco, coffee, and an excessive amount of sweets and pastry. Self-abuse begins early in many, and is the cause of stomach symptoms. Adolescence comes with excessive dancing, loss of sleep, smoking, drinking, lasciviousness, venereal disease, and the fear springing from the contemplation of the consequences. Irritable children are hard to do anything for. The reason they are irritable is because they are pampered and not made to mind.
It is a crime not to control children. They should be compelled to obey. But do not wait until they are sick. A cranky irritability will help bring on disease and keep a child sick.
Fear.--Fear is the greatest of all causes of enervation. Children are subject to many fears. They are educated to fear the dark, the bogy-man, and punishment. Parents often keep children in a state of fear by irritably cuffing them for the slightest excuse. There are many parents who do their "scrapping" before their children. It is a dreadfully common thing to do.
Outlawry begins at home and at the breast of the mother. A child that cannot respect its parents will not respect the laws of the state or nation. No parent is respected who is not obeyed at once and without capitulation. Unconditional surrender is the discipline necessary for character-building. But children will not obey laws that parents disregard.
In domestic infelicity are born disease and crime, and no amount of doctoring by doctors of medicine, law, and theology can cure; for none of them removes the cause. Those who die of chronic disease have no self-control.
There is much fear and anxiety in a child's life. No child can thrive living in a state of fear in home, school, or church. Discipline taught by respected parents brings love and not fear.
Longevity has increased since hell-fire and brimstone have ceased to be taught and to build fear. A morality kept intact by fear is not health-imparting, and is not a morality at all. Remove the fear, and mob license succeeds it. Fear and love are antidotal. Man has been taught to fear God, and at the same time love Him. Where the fear is real, the love is fictitious. Love being the basis on which ethics is built, a love founded on fear builds humbug ethics; and this is the foundation of all the conventional lies of our civilization.
Fear in all lines concerning children, from their conception to their birth, and on through school life, social life, and marriage, leads to enervation. The dearth of worth-while knowledge of how to feed and otherwise care for children keeps up an unnecessary worry with parents concerning their health. How to teach the young to avoid breaking their health and handicapping their minds by excesses in play, eating, drinking, in controlling temper and emotions, and in self-pollution is a knowledge sadly lacking in nearly all homes. Disease follows these excesses in the young. There is not a habit so self-destructive and so generally practiced as venereal excitement; and there is no habit receiving so little attention from parents.
Ataxia is supposed to be caused by syphilis, but in fact, it is caused by cerebro-spinal enervation, brought on from sensuality in all forms--particularly venereal. Subjects of this disease usually begin onanism early in life. Parents should teach children to avoid destroying habits. I have had locomotor-ataxia cases confess to me that they began their self-pollution as early as eight years of age. Ten to fifteen are the years when active pollution begins. Unless a physician is very tactful, youths will not confess. I will say that very few boys have been untruthful to me. This practice is not quite so common with the opposite sex.
The physical abuse in this line is not nearly so enervating as allowing the mind to dwell on sex-subjects. Lascivious dreaming debauches the victim as much as excessive venery. Early pollution, followed by excessive venery, often communizes a mind that would shine in the forum and in intellectual pursuits. There is a difference, however, in garrulity and garrulous parroting, and giving a feast of reason. Bright intellects at twenty and twenty-five often degenerate into mediocrity at forty-five because of brain-enervation due to venereal excess. Add to sex- abuse, tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, and excessive or wrong eating, and no wonder man at sixty is fit for little else than chloroforming, if nature has not already administered euthanasia.
Adults, too, have much fear in their lives. The bread-and-butter problem gives anxiety; but when enough has been accumulated, so that fear along this line is unnecessary, fear is felt that something may happen that will put them back in the breadline. Why? There is no confidence in business ethics--there is no God in business.
Business Worries.--Business worries are a source of enervation. Business--any business--is not the cause of worry. A work well done is a delight, and anything that delights is character-building. A work slovenly carried on dissatisfies; but the worrier never looks within to find the cause. This life brings enervation in time, and disease as a sequel; then more worries looking for a cure. Business is what a man makes of it. A thorough understanding of business, with honesty and industry, removes all worries and saves nerve- energy. Worry does not build efficiency; neither is inefficiency removed by worrying. Worry, lack of control over the emotions, improper eating, stimulants, all build disease.
Nothing is so conducive to poise as a thorough understanding of one's personal habits and occupation. Bluff and bluster may put the idea of efficiency "across" to the people for a time; but, as surely as chickens come home to roost, the truth will out. Worry, even though presenting a smooth exterior, will break through; the worker will break down--disease will claim him for its own. Housewives who carry a burden of worry become enervated and lose health. The cause of their worry is lack of control of eating, lack of control of the emotions, lack of care of the body, and lack of efficiency. Instead of resolutely going to work to remove all the defects, they are downed by them. An uncontrollable temper must be downed, or it will down the one who gives way to it. Gossip is not an admirable quality, and, unless overcome, it will in time drive friends away. Envy and jealousy are cancers that eat the soul out of those who indulge them. What is left to love when the soul is gone?
When anyone, from indolence and health-destroying habits, allows himself to gravitate below the standard expected of him by his friends, he must not be surprised when they run away from him.
Who are the old people who are left alone? Those who have lived selfish lives--who have demanded entertainment when they should have been entertaining themselves. Happiness and entertainment must come from within--from a love of service, work, books. If this fountain of youth and pleasure is not found before old age creeps over us, we shall find ourselves alone. Even in the midst of a throng we shall be alone, forever alone. What could be more pathetic?
Self-Indulgence.--Self-indulgence is contrary to ethics and brings its condemnation. What about the ethics of gluttons--what about their religion? Excess in everything follows on the heels of abnormal selfish indulgence. Coming under this head are self-pity and a desire for cure. Extravagant habits, even if there is an inexhaustible supply, builds a self-destructive morale, on the heels of which, like a nemesis, runs the trail to premature death. The causes are called heart disease, apoplexy, paralysis, kidney disease, suicide, etc.; but what is in a name? Names are all misleading; for the cause--first, last, and all the time--is a selfish body and mind--destructive self-indulgence.
A study of nature reveals the fact that man must live for service; not giving alms, but helping others to help themselves.
Self-indulgence in the use of stimulants, even in moderation, is a constant drain on the nervous system; and a time comes when the last cigar, the last cup of coffee, the last hearty meal, snaps the vital cord; and the contingency is always unexpected and a surprise.
Overwork is said to enervate; but this is an excuse behind which are hidden many bad habits that kill, rather than the work. Work without pleasure in the work is enervating and disease-building; an unsatisfied mind--a desire to engage in some other work before efficiency has been attained in the work engaged in; more desire for pay than to do good work. A work is never well done until it takes on the individuality of the worker. We should work with the creative instinct. Our work should be created in the image of its creator --love of the creator--of the work' not the emoluments.
Dissatisfaction and overworked emotions are enervating. Worry, fear, grief, anger, passion, temper, overjoy, depression, dissatisfaction, self-pity, pride, egotism, envy, jealousy, gossip, lying, dishonesty, failing to meet obligations and appointments, taking advantage of misunderstandings, abusing the credulity of friends, abusing the confidence of those who confide in us--all enervate and in time build incurable disease.
Grief.--Grief is enervating. Those who are very enervated and toxemic will be prostrated by grief, and, unless put to bed and kept warm and quiet, and without food, may die. Food eaten under such circumstances will not digest, but acts as a poison. Some people are made invalids for life by a great grief.
Shock.--Shock, mental or physical, may enervate so greatly as to kill by heart failure, or be followed by permanent nervousness. Wrong eating or overeating may prevent a return to health. The shell-shock that many soldiers suffered during the World War was converted into permanent invalidism by tobacco and other enervating habits. Certainly overeating prevents a return to health.
Anger.--Anger is very enervating. A daily shock of anger will build profound enervation. A temper that flies at the slightest provocation ruins digestion and builds nervousness. Unless controlled, epilepsy may evolve, and cancer may end life. The chronic grouch is liable to build ulcer or cancer of the stomach. Those who cannot control their temper often build rheumatic arthritis, hard arteries, gall-stone, and early old age.
Egotism.--Because of self-love, selfishness, misanthropy, and distrust, the egotist sees unfriendliness in all the acts of others--every hand is against him. This causes enervation and Toxemia, which lead on to many nervous derangements, and even insanity. A misanthrope loves self above everything and everybody. The moment the nearest and dearest friend is suspected, the friend's head comes off figuratively. The egotist hates all who fail to feed his vanity. Hate and anger are always on tap, but draped with a mocking smile when finesse or stratagem demands. Friendship, honor, honesty, and veracity must go when self-interest is being impinged upon or neglected. Men of this type have no gratitude. They demand everything, and give nothing without an ulterior motive. Where egotism is mild, it may not go beyond a disagreeable, overbearing selfishness.
Selfishness.--A selfish nature always looks after self first. A common type of selfishness is interpreted as love of children. But when a son or daughter marries against the father's wish, disinheritance follows. Why? Because ambition is piqued. Love is oftener a selfish ambition than affection. Selfishness leads on to enervation and Toxemia.
Ambition.--Ambition of a selfish type brings on ill-health; for it meets with so many disappointments. Where successful, it enables the one who succeeds to gratify his sensual nature, resulting in all the so-called diseases following in the wake of selfish gratification. A noble ambition goes with self-control and service to mankind, and health and long life are two of the rewards. Ambition for display, ostentation, gives an evanescent gratification; but it costs more in wasted nerve-energy than it is worth.
Thousands of semi-invalid women bring on toxemic crises as their reward for giving dinners and displaying dress, homes, and furnishings.
Women gratify silly, stupid ambitions, and pay for their thrills in broken health.
Many waste more energy at an afternoon card party than they can renew in a week.
Envy.--Envy of a low and disease-producing type is of a begrudging nature. The man possessing this kind of envy is a vandal. He will slip a monkey-wrench into the machinery of those whom he envies. He will poison reputations by innuendo.
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he who filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed. (Shakespeare.)
When safe, such a person will go the limit in doing even bodily harm to those whose merits tower over his. Laudable envy is that of a desire to equal in success the one envied. To rejoice in the success of others, and try to equal them, where the success has been achieved on merit, builds a healthy mind and body.
Love and Jealousy.--According to Solomon: "Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave." Solomon should have known.
Shakespeare knew about everything worth knowing up to his time. He said:
How many fools serve maddened jealousy!
The venomed clamors of a jealous woman
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
The systematic poisoning of overwrought emotions has been known since reasoning began; but, aside from knowing that '`a poison is generated in the system" from great anger, love, jealousy, hate, and grief, just what the poison is, and the modus operandi of its production, have never been satisfactorily explained until made clear by the Philosophy of Toxemia. The pathology of jealousy Shakespeare knew well, as evidenced by the words he put into the mouths of some of his characters.
Excessive emotion--jealousy, for example, or great anger-- precipitates a profound enervation, which inhibits elimination. This floods the blood with toxin, and brings on a malignant Toxemia in the form of toxin drunkenness, which in people of a belligerent nature causes them to run amuck. Murder, several murders, are sometimes committed. In those with more consideration for others--those with less self-love--suicide ends the psychological storm.
Jealousy and unrequited love, when not malignant--developing in avicious, unmoral subject--in time undermine the constitution by keeping up a gradually increasing state of enervation and Toxemia. Catarrhal inflammations and ulcerations get better and worse, with no hope of final recovery until the causes of enervation are overcome namely, enervating habits of mind and body, of which jealousy is chief.
Overeating.--Overeating is a common and universal enervating habit; eating too much fat--cream, butter, fat meats, oils, rich pastries, sweets; eating too often; eating between meals, and checking digestion with water-drinking between meals.
Food-inebriety is more common than alcohol-inebriety. The subconscious is as busy as a hive of bees substituting, antidoting, and in reparation work; substituting one stimulating excess for another--demanding whiskey, tobacco, opium, etc., for gluttonous eating; thrills, shocks, sensual excesses for food-poisoning. Ungratified sense-demands are appeased by food excesses or other stimulants; and when nature is balked in her demands, the victim runs amuck.
A French sheep-herder's daughter, being opposed by her father in marrying a lover, killed the parent while he slept by their campfire. A short time after the tragedy some men came upon the camp and discovered the girl eating her father's heart, which she had cut out and roasted in the fire. When surprised at her cannibalistic feast, she held up what was left of the heart, and, with a sardonic laugh, declared: "He broke my heart, and I am eating his."
Only a short time ago the overwrought nerves of a jazz-and alcohol-crazed girl forced her to kill her mother because the latter undertook to oppose her in the gratification of her subconscious demands for more stimulation.
When enervation and Toxemia have reached the stage of inebriety seen in the two girls mentioned above, civil and moral laws have abdicated to the subconscious laws, which, like cosmic law and order, are unmoral, but run true to necessity.
Psychological, like physical, cyclones are out of the regular order, yet they are obeying the laws of their nature. They have no scruples to gainsay, but tear through order as ruthlessly as fiends.
Every human being should know that such phenomena are potential to him, and that the road to such catastrophes is enervating habits.
Prohibition is a beautiful ideal, but it is palliating one social disease while it is building a greater.
What mother would not rather have her son brought home from the corner grog-shop drunk than see him escorted to jail hand-cuffed to an officer?
Enervation and Toxemia focused on the brain bring out neurotic states, with all kinds of symptom-complexes. Drunkenness substitutes for bank robbery and other outlawry. So long as food-drunkenness retains its prestige with the professions--prescribed by doctors; babbled to us Sundays, and deciding our brawls on Monday--it will take more than statutes to enforce law and order. Most of our laws are made while the law-makers are drunk on food and tobacco.
Drunkenness and crime of all kinds are vicarious toxin eliminations--crises of Toxemia. Enforcing temperance and control of crime must fail In object--namely, causing people to be temperate and law-abiding. The reason should be obvious to the student of nature. Our wants are based on our subconscious needs; sentiment and ethics have nothing to do with it. Our subconscious is not moral nor immoral; it belongs to the Great Cosmos, which is systematic, perfect in order, but unmoral. Intemperance of any kind establishes a want which, if not satisfied in the usual way, will turn to other ways of being satisfied. The surgeon, laws, and anodynes perhaps relieve effects, but cures are based on removing causes. Legislatures are quack doctors. Self-control is the only cure. To develop self-control, the need must be understood.
The gluttonous build putrefaction in the bowels. Nerve-energy is used up in resisting systemic infection. The supply of blood to the surface of the body for purposes of warmth--radiation--resisting cold and heat, is called to the mucous membrane of the gastro-intestinal canal to neutralize the septic material that is about to enter the system through the absorbents. The mucous membrane becomes turgid with blood, establishing a mucorrhea (excessive secretion of mucus). This is what we call catarrh. This secretion mechanically obstructs absorption of putrescence, and also antidotes the poison by bringing the antibodies from the blood.
A battle-royal is on all the time in the intestines of the gluttonous. The subconscious musters all the help possible, and when the system is drained of autogenerated antidotes, the victim is sent by his subconscious to find alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, condiments, and more food. Moral preachments, and prohibitory laws passed by Solons drunk on toxin. bowel putrescence, and tobacco, like all monstrosities, are abortions.
Insatiable desire for food and stimulants means an enervated state of the body brought on from overindulgence--overstimulation.
A driving desire for food three times a day means enervation; trouble is only a little farther on. The wise will get busy and correct appetites.
Perverted appetites are built by overeating; eating rich food until enjoyment is lost for staple or plain foods; excessive use of stimulants--alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea; excessive use of butter, salt, pepper, and rich dressings, eating without a real hunger (real hunger will take the plainest foods with a relish); eating when sick or uncomfortable; eating at all hours, between meals; eating until uncomfortable.
Gossips are always slanderers, and slanderers are always and forever potential liars. If they do not know that they are broadcasting lies, they are criminally careless in not endeavoring to find whether the tale they gossip is true or not. Gossip enervates the gossiper.
Gossips are always enervated, for they live in fear of being discovered. Their secretions are always acid. They are inclined to develop pyorrhea and mucous-membrane infections. They are slow to recover from catarrhal crises of Toxemia.
Gossips are empty-headed slaves to their habits of slander and spite; they are malignant parasites that feed upon carrion. They are the lowest type of criminals; hell monsters that kill with their breath. They often die of cancer.
Sycophancy.--Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs. (Byron.) He hurts me most who lavishly commends. (Churchill.)
A real sycophant, like all people who are not honest, lives a life that enervates, and which nature condemns early.
Dishonesty.--Dishonesty eventually hardens the arteries, and cancer ends a miserable existence.
Religiosity.--Morbidly pious, yet practicing the foregoing habits and ending in premature death.
A saving religion, Christian, Jewish or Mohammedan, is one free from mental and physical habits that overstimulate, enervate and intoxicate.
If Toxemic get rid of enervating habits. Cures--prayers, drugs, surgery--all honest or dishonest cures--will not cure. Get rid of cause and stay rid of it, then health returns and abides perpetually.