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BENEDICT LUST, N. D., M. D.
BUTLER, NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK CITY TANGERINE, FLA.
Time is the only sure test for a truth. If our actions, based on our convictions, bring results that satisfy us and our neighbors, then we may know that our convictions were right.
After ten years of experience and observation, the author would re-affirm his belief in the efficacy and the desirability of sane fasting. He knows of hundreds of cases where a partial or complete fast, of one to thirty days, cleansed and renewed the body and mind to a most gratifying extent.
He would urge, however, the need of caution--it is safer not to fast than to do it wrong. As regards a theory of health, most people are of two classes, progressives or conservatives. The progressives are apt to swallow a new theory blindly, rashly, prematurely--and they acquire mental and moral indigestion. The conservatives are apt to refuse to sample a new theory at all--and they die of mental and moral paralysis. While indigestion is not so fatal as paralysis, neither is wholesome. And the radical needs always to be on his guard, lest he act unwisely.
A fast longer than three days should be taken only under expert supervision and direction. Certain readers of this book, following some of the rules here given, and wholly neglecting others, have fasted and come to grief. Then they blamed the book. Other readers, doing exactly as the book suggests, took their long fast and were literally made over--in body, mind and spirit. Therefore the advice to have expert supervision of a protracted fast is due not to the incompleteness of this book, but to the inability or unwillingness of the average reader to follow directions as given.
The writer acknowledges herein a boyish exuberance and semblance of conceit, of which he trusts he would not now be guilty. But he feels that the truth is here, in spite of excrescences or peculiarities. The individual who has found himself always appears odd, simply because the natural is so unusual in civilization.
When a bird escapes from an iron cage, after a long imprisonment, it does not pause to choose the manner of its flight or to measure the passage. It only knows it is free; and, being free, it must dare the upper world.
The first two prose books by the author of this volume were his crude but sincere attempts at mental and spiritual flight, when he had just broken away from the confines of disease, worry, fear, tradition, convention, fashion, pedantry, prudery, and ecclesiasticism.
He was so glad to be out of the dungeon, so eager to mount the heights, that he sped in his mind on the first words that came. He had no time to think how they would sound. Hence these two books, "The Philosophy of Fasting" and "Lords of Ourselves", were not finished products, in a literary sense. But they were honest efforts, and the writer still believes that honesty is the highest faculty of speech.
If you read these books with a preconceived notion of literary style, you may he disappointed. If you read them with an earnest desire to understand the human soul, and to find better ways of thinking, working and living, you will experience a new courage, hope, and strength of mind and body.
The writer is not an anarchist, an atheist, or any other abnormal type--as a few non-thinking persons have concluded. He is a staunch defender of marriage, the home, the church, and all other bulwarks of human integrity. But he is an ardent foe of the littleness, the selfishness, the formalism, artificiality and compromise which attend most homes, colleges, and houses of worship.
He cannot believe that health resides in drugs, nor education in books, nor truth in rituals, nor love in ceremonials, nor peace in prohibitions, nor virtue in legal enactments. Regulations are impositions. All expectations of us are restrictions about us. Only as we come, through long endeavor, high purpose, hard and painful struggle, to know, revere, trust, empower and express our own divine, natural selves, can we ensure a permanence of the verities of life.
May this book serve in some little way to clarify your thought, strengthen your faith, deepen your convictions, broaden your opportunities, and quicken your highest aspirations.
Woolworth Building, New
A Personal Prologue
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