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 achesand pains; it is a complete revolution in the art and science of living. Itis 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 reformationmovements was inaugurated by Priessnitz in Grafenberg, a small village in the Silesianmountains. The originator of Nature Cure was a simple farmer, but he had a naturalgenius for the art of healing.
His pharmacopeia consisted not in poisonous pills and potions butin plenty of exercise, fresh mountain air, water treatments in the cool, sparklingbrooks, 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. Beforehe died, a large sanitarium, filled with patients from all over the world and fromall stations of life, had grown up around his forest home.
Among those who made the pilgrimage to Grafenberg to become patientsand students of this genial healer, the simple-minded farmer-physician, were wealthymerchants, princes and doctors from all parts of the world.
Rapidly the idea of drugless healing spread over Germany and overthe civilized world. In the Fatherland, Hahn the apothecary, Kuhne the weaver, Riklithe 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 ofthe 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 Peckzelyadded the Diagnosis from the Eye, which reveals not only the innermost secrets ofthe human organism, but also Nature's ways and means of cure, and the changes forbetter 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 tobecome students of Priessnitz. The achievements of these men in their respectivefields of endeavor will stand as enduring monuments to the eternal truths revealedby the genius of Nature Cure.
Quimby, the itinerant spiritualist and healer, became successful andrenowned by the application of the natural methods of cure. At first his favoritemethods were water, massage, magnetic and mental treatment. Gradually he concentratedhis efforts on metaphysical methods of cure, and before he died, he evolved a completesystem of magnetic and mental therapeutics.
Quimby's teachings and methods were adopted by Mrs. Eddy, his mostenthusiastic pupil, and by her elaborated into Christian Science, the latest andmost successful of modern mental-healing cults.
Dr. Still of Kirksville, Missouri, made a valuable addition to naturalmethods of treatment by the invention of Osteopathy, a system of scientific manipulationof the bony structures, nerves and nerve centers, muscles and ligaments. A laterdevelopment of manipulative science is Chiropractic, originated by Dr. Palmer ofDavenport, Iowa. Thus the simple pioneers of German Nature Cure, every one of themgifted by Nature with the instinct and genius of the true healer, who is born, notmade, laid the foundation for the worldwide modern healthculture movement.
They were not blinded or confused by the conflicting theories of booksand authorities, or by the action of a thousand different drugs on a legion of differentsymptoms, but applied common-sense reasoning to the solution of the problems ofhealth, disease and cure.
They went for inspiration to field and forest rather than to the murkyatmosphere of the dissecting and vivisection rooms. They studied the whole and notonly the parts, causes as well as effects and symptoms. Realizing that manhad lost his natural instinct and strayed far from Nature's ways, they studied andimitated the natural habits of the animal creation rather than the confusing doctrinesof the schools.
Thus they proclaimed the "return to Nature" and the "newgospel of health," which are destined to free humanity from the destructiveinfluences of alcoholism, red meat overeating, the dope and tobacco habit, and ofdrug poisoning, vaccination, surgical mutilation, vivisection and a thousand otherabuses practiced in the name of science.
When parents learn how to create children in accord with natural law,how to mold their bodies and their characters into harmony and beauty beforethe new life sees the light of day, when they learn to rear their offspring in healthof body and purity of mind in harmony with the laws of their being, then we shallhave true types of beautiful manhood and womanhood, then children will no longerbe a curse and a burden to themselves and to those who bring them into the worldor to society at large.
These thoughts are not the mere dreams of a visionary. When we seethe wonderful changes wrought in a human being by a few months or years of rationalliving and treatment, it seems not impossible or improbable that these ideals maybe realized within a few generations.
Children thus born and reared in harmony with the law will be thefuture masters of the earth. They will need neither gold nor influence to win inthe race of life—their innate powers of body and soul will make them victors overevery circumstance. The offspring of alcoholism, drug poisoning and sexual perversitywill cut but sorry figures in comparison with the manhood and womanhood of a trueand noble aristocracy of health.