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DURING the past decade there has been an active investigation of the phenomena produced among those commonly known as the occult; and the investigators have run the gauntlet of misunderstanding by probing into things strange and unusual. Some have done this in face of the ridicule of those less liberal and less informed, but the investigations have proved to be of the greatest value to man because of the light they have thrown upon the powers and activities of the mind. They have enlarged the field of man's mental processes, by revealing the fact that below the threshold of normal consciousness lies a region of mind, no less a consciousness, with its own range of memory, and powers not shared by that part of the mind total, which we call the normal mind. The powers and activities of this subjective or sub-conscious region were first discovered accidentally, then produced experimentally, and are now being adjusted scientifically.
This new field of mind is revealing an intricate and intimate relation between itself and every part of the body. It has shown science that within man are intelligent powers which physiology and psychology heretofore have not recognized. It has extended the intelligence of man into that region where physiology has accounted for
activities on a purely mechanical basis. It has brought every organ of the body, and every living cell as well, into a direct connection with the normal mind, establishing a relation and connection between mind and body not generally considered to exist. Thus it will call for the reconstruction of much that physiology has had to teach upon the character of the brain and general nervous system.
All the organic activities, that have been thought to be entirely independent of the mind, have through the discovery of the larger mind been brought into such a close relation to the will as to give man a part in the vegetative and functional activities of his body, hitherto not understood. This relation is to be the great privilege of each man who will understand his powers, and make intelligent use of them. It is to lift from him the bane of fear and worry concerning his health of to-morrow by giving him a stronger individuality. It is to make the organs of the body serve him instead of leaving him at the mercy of his organs. Every part of the physical being will be more amenable and subject to the one who understands the powers and privileges of the mind.
The hope of mankind lies not in the advancements of the ability of medical science to cope with disease, but rather in the elimination of disease through the individual character, by exercising one's inherent powers, and conducting one's self in keeping with the laws of one's being. It must be admitted that the medical fraternity of to-day, being busily engaged in waging war against the existing
ills of the public, is doing little toward educating them regarding the laws of their being, and training them into the exercise of their full opportunities and powers. The knowledge is largely left to the people to learn as best they may. A familiarity with the therapeutic value of mind activity will hasten its employment among the regular physicians, and thereby give to the public a far superior treatment to that given in ignorance of the true relation existing between the mind and the body.
Already many of the most intelligent physicians have come to doubt the efficacy of most of the drugs commonly used, and the question is much discussed, whether in the main it is the drug, or the effect through the patient's belief in the drug, which produces the most salutary results. It is hoped that the physician with his knowledge of anatomy, physiology, surgery, hygiene, and materia medica will lay aside his prejudices and add to his stock of useful information and practise the intelligence and use of psycho-therapeutics. In doing this the physician must indubitably make sacrifices for his patient's sake; for it requires more time and labor than merely writing a prescription, or leaving a few drugs to do their mysterious work.
The greatest value of the healing powers of the mind lies not in the hands of the physician, but in its exercise by each individual upon his own conditions. Every normal individual possesses a mind which may be to him the best physician, in the main, as it is ever present with him, and continually in intimate touch with the members,
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organs, and parts of his body. The author's purpose in writing this volume is to give to the general public the necessary evidence of the mind's power over the functions and conditions of the body, and to teach the reader how to avail himself of the resources of his mind. The evidence here given is not from the testimonial side at all, but from the science of anatomy, histology, physiology, and psychology. Were we to dedicate the book, it would be dedicated to all who are open-minded, and seeking the highest fruition of the laws of their being.
As "there is a mental as well as a physical hygiene," considerable space has been given to the question of character building. This could not consistently have been left out, as the general theme demonstrates the effect of thought upon the body, showing that love, purity, and peace of mind are normal and health-giving; while the antitheses of these are abnormal and corroding in their influence.
In offering this volume to the public the author is aware that it may meet with criticism. If adverse criticism comes from those who have made ample researches and experiments in the positions herein treated, and who deal with the theme from the standpoint of logic and inductive science, it is well; for, if error lies in the work, a just and intelligent criticism may contribute to our stock of knowledge.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, Feb. 1, 1902.
A. B. O.