W. D. Wattles.

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his life, from this Substance._

_That man himself is Thinking Substance; a mind-body,
permeating a physical body, and that as man's thoughts are, so
will the functioning of his physical body be._

_That if man will think only thoughts of perfect health, he
must and will cause the internal and involuntary functioning of
his body to be the functioning of health, provided that his
external and voluntary functioning and attitude are in
accordance with his thoughts._

When you will to believe these statements, you must also begin to act
upon them. You cannot long retain a belief unless you act upon it; you
cannot increase a belief until it becomes faith unless you act upon it;
and you certainly cannot expect to reap benefits in any way from a
belief so long as you act as if the opposite were true. You cannot long
have faith in health if you continue to act like a sick person. If you
continue to act like a sick person, you cannot help continuing to think
of yourself as a sick person; and if you continue to think of yourself
as a sick person, you will continue to be a sick person.

The first step toward acting externally like a well person is to begin
to act internally like a well person. Form your conception of perfect
health, and get into the way of thinking about perfect health until it
begins to have a definite meaning to you. Picture yourself as doing the
things a strong and healthy person would do, and have faith that you can
and will do those things in that way; continue this until you have a
vivid CONCEPTION of health, and what it means to you. When I speak in
this book of a conception of health, I mean a conception that carries
with it the idea of the way a healthy person looks and does things.
Think of yourself in connection with health until you form a conception
of how you would live, appear, act, and do things as a perfectly healthy
person. Think about yourself in connection with health until you
conceive of yourself, in imagination, as always doing everything in the
manner of a well person; until the thought of health conveys the idea of
what health means to you. As I have said in a former chapter, you may
not be able to form a clear mental image of yourself in perfect health,
but you can form a conception of yourself as acting like a healthy

Form this conception, and then think only thoughts of perfect health in
relation to yourself, and, so far as may be possible, in relation to
others. When a thought of sickness or disease is presented to you,
reject it; do not let it get into your mind; do not entertain or
consider it at all. Meet it by thinking health; by thinking that you are
well, and by being sincerely grateful for the health you are receiving.
Whenever suggestions of disease are coming thick and fast upon you, and
you are in a "tight place," fall back upon the exercise of gratitude.
Connect yourself with the Supreme; give thanks to God for the perfect
health He gives you, and you will soon find yourself able to control
your thoughts, and to think what you want to think. In times of doubt,
trial, and temptation, the exercise of gratitude is always a sheet
anchor which will prevent you from being swept away. Remember that the
all mental healing; it is the whole thing. Here we see the secret of the
great success of Christian Science; more than any other formulated
system of practice, it insists that its converts shall sever relations
with disease, and relate themselves fully with health. The healing power
of Christian Science is not in its theological formulæ, nor in its
denial of matter; but in the fact that it induces the sick to ignore
disease as an unreal thing and accept health by faith as a reality. Its
failures are made because its practitioners, while thinking in the
Certain Way, do not eat, drink, breathe, and sleep in the same way.

While there is no healing power in the repetition of strings of words,
yet it is a very convenient thing to have the central thoughts so
formulated that you can repeat them readily, so that you can use them as
affirmations whenever you are surrounded by an environment which gives
you adverse suggestions. When those around you begin to talk of sickness
and death, close your ears and mentally assert something like the
following: -

_There is One Substance, and I am that Substance._

_That Substance is eternal, and it is Life; I am that
Substance, and I am Eternal Life._

_That Substance knows no disease; I am that Substance, and I am

Exercise your will power in choosing only those thoughts which are
thoughts of health, and arrange your environment so that it shall
suggest thoughts of health. Do not have about you books, pictures, or
other things which suggest death, disease, deformity, weakness, or age;
have only those which convey the ideas of health, power, joy, vitality,
and youth. When you are confronted with a book, or anything else which
suggests disease, do not give it your attention. Think of your
conception of health, and your gratitude, and affirm as above; use your
will power to fix your attention upon thoughts of health. In a future
chapter I shall touch upon this point again; what I wish to make plain
here is that you must think only health, recognize only health, and give
your attention only to health; and that you must control thought,
recognition, and attention by the use of your will.

Do not try to use your will to compel the healthy performance of
function within you. The Principle of Health will attend to that, if you
give your attention only to thoughts of health.

Do not try to exert your will upon the Formless to compel It to give you
more vitality or power; it is already placing all the power there is at
your service.

You do not have to use your will to conquer adverse conditions, or to
subdue unfriendly forces; there are no unfriendly forces; there is only
One Force, and that force is friendly to you; it is a force which makes
for health.

Everything in the universe wants you to be well; you have absolutely
nothing to overcome but your own habit of thinking in a certain way
about disease, and you can do this only by forming a habit of thinking
in another Certain Way about health.

Man can cause all the internal functions of his body to be performed in
a perfectly healthy manner by continuously thinking in a Certain Way,
and by performing the external functions in a certain way.

He can think in this Certain Way by controlling his attention, and he
can control his attention by the use of his will.

He can decide what things he will think about.



I will give a chapter here to explaining how man may receive health from
the Supreme. By the Supreme I mean the Thinking Substance from which all
things are made, and which is in all and through all, seeking more
complete expression and fuller life. This Intelligent Substance, in a
perfectly fluid state, permeates and penetrates all things, and is in
touch with all minds. It is the source of all energy and power, and
constitutes the "inflow" of life which Swedenborg saw, vitalizing all
things. It is working to one definite end, and for the fulfillment of
one purpose; and that purpose is the advancement of life toward the
complete expression of Mind. When man harmonizes himself with this
Intelligence, it can and will give him health and wisdom. When man
holds steadily to the purpose to live more abundantly, he comes into
harmony with this Supreme Intelligence.

The purpose of the Supreme Intelligence is the most Abundant Life for
all; the purpose of this Supreme Intelligence for you is that you should
live more abundantly. If, then, your own purpose is to live more
abundantly, you are unified with the Supreme; you are working with It,
and it must work with you. But as the Supreme Intelligence is in all,
_if you harmonize with it you must harmonize with all; and you must
desire more abundant life for all as well as for yourself_. Two great
benefits come to you from being in harmony with the Supreme

First, you will receive wisdom. By wisdom I do not mean knowledge of
facts so much as ability to perceive and understand facts, and to judge
soundly and act rightly in all matters relating to life. Wisdom is the
power to perceive truth, and the ability to make the best use of the
knowledge of truth. It is the power to perceive at once the best end to
aim at, and the means best adapted to attain that end. With wisdom comes
poise, and the power to think rightly; to control and guide your
thoughts, and to avoid the difficulties which come from wrong thinking.
With wisdom you will be able to select the right courses for your
particular needs, and to so govern yourself in all ways as to secure the
best results. You will know how to do what you want to do. You can
readily see that wisdom must be an essential attribute of the Supreme
Intelligence, since That which knows all truth must be wise; and you can
also see that just in proportion as you harmonize and unify your mind
with that Intelligence you will have wisdom.

But I repeat that since this Intelligence is All, and in all, you can
enter into Its wisdom only by harmonizing with all. If there is
anything in your desires or your purpose which will bring oppression to
any, or work injustice to, or cause lack of life for any, you cannot
receive wisdom from the Supreme. Furthermore, your purpose for your own
self must be the best.

Man can live in three general ways: for the gratification of his body,
for that of his intellect, or for that of his soul. The first is
accomplished by satisfying the desires for food, drink, and those other
things which give enjoyable physical sensations. The second is
accomplished by doing those things which cause pleasant mental
sensations, such as gratifying the desire for knowledge or those for
fine clothing, fame, power, and so on. The third is accomplished by
giving way to the instincts of unselfish love and altruism. Man lives
most wisely and completely when he functions most perfectly along all of
these lines, without excess in any of them. The man who lives
swinishly, for the body alone, is unwise and out of harmony with God;
that man who lives solely for the cold enjoyments of the intellect,
though he be absolutely moral, is unwise and out of harmony with God;
and the man who lives wholly for the practice of altruism, and who
throws himself away for others, is as unwise and as far from harmony
with God as those who go to excess in other ways.

To come into full harmony with the Supreme, you must purpose to LIVE; to
live to the utmost of your capabilities in body, mind, and soul. This
must mean the full exercise of function in all the different ways, but
without excess; for excess in one causes deficiency in the others.
Behind your desire for health is your own desire for more abundant life;
and behind that is the desire of the Formless Intelligence to live more
fully in you. So, as you advance toward perfect health, hold steadily to
the purpose to attain complete life, physical, mental, and spiritual;
to advance in all ways, and in every way to live more; if you hold this
purpose you will be given wisdom. "He that willeth to do the will of the
Father shall KNOW," said Jesus. Wisdom is the most desirable gift that
can come to man, for it makes him rightly self-governing.

But wisdom is not all you may receive from the Supreme Intelligence; you
may receive physical energy, vitality, life force. The energy of the
Formless Substance is unlimited, and permeates everything; you are
already receiving or appropriating to yourself this energy in an
automatic and instinctive way, but you can do so to a far greater degree
if you set about it intelligently. The measure of a man's strength is
not what God is willing to give him, but what he, himself, has the will
and the intelligence to appropriate to himself. God gives you all there
is; your only question is how much to take of the unlimited supply.

Professor James has pointed out that there is apparently no limit to the
powers of men; and this is simply because man's power comes from the
inexhaustible reservoir of the Supreme. The runner who has reached the
stage of exhaustion, when his physical power seems entirely gone, by
running on in a Certain Way may receive his "second wind"; his strength
is renewed in a seemingly miraculous fashion, and he can go on
indefinitely. And by continuing in the Certain Way, he may receive a
third, fourth, and fifth "wind"; we do not know where the limit is, or
how far it may be possible to extend it. The conditions are that the
runner must have absolute faith that the strength will come; that he
must think steadily of strength, and have perfect confidence that he has
it, and that he must continue to run on. If he admits a doubt into his
mind, he falls exhausted, and if he stops running to wait for the
accession of strength, it will never come. His faith in strength, his
faith that he _can_ keep on running, his unwavering purpose _to_ keep on
running, and his action _in_ keeping on seem to connect him to the
source of energy in such a way as to bring him a new supply.

In a very similar manner, the sick person who has unquestioning faith in
health, whose purpose brings him into harmony with the source, and who
performs the voluntary functions of life in a certain way, will receive
vital energy sufficient for all his needs, and for the healing of all
his diseases. God, who seeks to live and express himself fully in man,
delights to give man all that is needed for the most abundant life.
Action and reaction are equal, and when you desire to live more, if you
are in mental harmony with the Supreme, the forces which make for life
begin to concentrate about you and upon you. The One Life begins to move
toward you, and your environment becomes surcharged with it. Then, if
you appropriate it by faith, it is yours. "Ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you." Your Father giveth not his spirit by
measure; he delights to give good gifts to you.



Let me now summarize the mental actions and attitudes necessary to the
practice of the Science of Being Well: first, you believe that there is
a Thinking Substance, from which all things are made, and which, in its
original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the
universe. This Substance is the Life of All, and is seeking to express
more life in all. It is the Principle of Life of the universe, and the
Principle of Health in man.

Man is a form of this Substance, and draws his vitality from it; he is a
mind-body of original substance, permeating a physical body, and the
thoughts of his mind-body control the functioning of his physical body.
If man thinks no thoughts save those of perfect health, the functions
of his physical body will be performed in a manner of perfect health.

If you would consciously relate yourself to the All-Health, your purpose
must be to live fully on every plane of your being. You must want all
that there is in life for body, mind, and soul; and this will bring you
into harmony with all the life there is. The person who is in conscious
and intelligent harmony with All will receive a continuous inflow of
vital power from the Supreme Life; and this inflow is prevented by
angry, selfish or antagonistic mental attitudes. If you are against any
part, you have severed relations with all; you will receive life, but
only instinctively and automatically; not intelligently and
purposefully. You can see that if you are mentally antagonistic to any
part, you cannot be in complete harmony with the Whole; therefore, as
Jesus directed, be reconciled to everybody and everything before you
offer worship.

_Want for everybody all that you want for yourself._

The reader is recommended to read what we have said in a former work[A]
concerning the Competitive mind and the Creative mind. It is very
doubtful whether one who has lost health can completely regain it so
long as he remains in the competitive mind.

[A] The Science of Getting Rich.

Being on the Creative or Good-Will plane in mind, the next step is to
form a conception of yourself as in perfect health, and to hold no
thoughts which are not in full harmony with this conception. Have FAITH
that if you think only thoughts of health you will establish in your
physical body the functioning of health; and use your will to determine
that you will think only thoughts of health. Never think of yourself as
sick, or as likely to be sick; never think of sickness in connection
with yourself at all. And, as far as may be, shut out of your mind all
thoughts of sickness in connection with others. Surround yourself as
much as possible with the things which suggest the ideas of strength and

Have faith in health, and accept health as an actual present fact in
your life. Claim health as a blessing bestowed upon you by the Supreme
Life, and be deeply grateful at all times. Claim the blessing by faith;
know that it is yours, and never admit a contrary thought to your mind.

Use your will-power to withhold your attention from every appearance of
disease in yourself and others; do not study disease, think about it,
nor speak of it. At all times, when the thought of disease is thrust
upon you, move forward into the mental position of prayerful gratitude
for your perfect health.

The mental actions necessary to being well may now be summed up in a
single sentence: Form a conception of yourself in perfect health, and
think only those thoughts which are in harmony with that conception.

That, with faith and gratitude, and the purpose to really live, covers
all the requirements. It is not necessary to take mental exercises of
any kind, except as described in Chapter VI, or to do wearying "stunts"
in the way of affirmations, and so on. It is not necessary to
concentrate the mind on the affected parts; it is far better not to
think of any part as affected. It is not necessary to "treat" yourself
by auto-suggestion, or to have others treat you in any way whatever. The
power that heals is the Principle of Health within you; and to call this
Principle into Constructive Action it is only necessary, having
harmonized yourself with the All-Mind, to claim by FAITH the All-Health;
and to hold that claim until it is physically manifested in all the
functions of your body.

In order to hold this mental attitude of faith, gratitude, and health,
however, your external acts must be only those of health. You cannot
long hold the internal attitude of a well person if you continue to
perform the external acts of a sick person. It is essential not only
that your every thought should be a thought of health, but that your
every act should be an act of health, performed in a healthy manner. If
you will make every thought a thought of health, and every conscious act
an act of health, it must infallibly follow that every internal and
unconscious function shall come to be healthy; for all the power of life
is being continually exerted toward health. We shall next consider how
you may make every act an act of health.



You cannot build and maintain a perfectly healthy body by mental action
alone, or by the performance of the unconscious or involuntary functions
alone. There are certain actions, more or less voluntary, which have a
direct and immediate relation with the continuance of life itself; these
are eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. No matter what man's
thought or mental attitude may be, he cannot live unless he eats,
drinks, breathes, and sleeps; and, moreover, he cannot be well if he
eats, drinks, breathes, and sleeps in an unnatural or wrong manner. It
is therefore vitally important that you should learn the right way to
perform these voluntary functions, and I shall proceed to show you this
way, beginning with the matter of eating, which is most important.

There has been a vast amount of controversy as to when to eat, what to
eat, how to eat, and how much to eat; and all this controversy is
unnecessary, for the Right Way is very easy to find. You have only to
consider the Law which governs all attainment, whether of health,
wealth, power, or happiness; and that law is _that you must do what you
can do now, where you are now; do every separate act in the most perfect
manner possible, and put the power of faith into every action_.

The processes of digestion and assimilation are under the supervision
and control of an inner division of man's mentality, which is generally
called the sub-conscious mind; and I shall use that term here in order
to be understood. The sub-conscious mind is in charge of all the
functions and processes of life; and when more food is needed by the
body, it makes the fact known by causing a sensation called hunger.
Whenever food is needed, and can be used, there is hunger; and whenever
there is hunger it is time to eat. When there is no hunger it is
unnatural and wrong to eat, no matter how great may APPEAR to be the
need for food. Even if you are in a condition of apparent starvation,
with great emaciation, if there is no hunger you may know that FOOD
CANNOT BE USED, and it will be unnatural and wrong for you to eat.
Though you have not eaten for days, weeks, or months, if you have no
hunger you may be perfectly sure that food cannot be used, and will
probably not be used if taken. Whenever food is needed, if there is
power to digest and assimilate it, so that it can be normally used, the
sub-conscious mind will announce the fact by a decided hunger. Food,
taken when there is no hunger, will sometimes be digested and
assimilated, because Nature makes a special effort to perform the task
which is thrust upon her against her will; but if food be habitually
taken when there is no hunger, the digestive power is at last destroyed,
and numberless evils caused.

If the foregoing be true - and it is indisputably so - it is a
self-evident proposition that the natural time, and the healthy time, to
eat is when one is hungry; and that it is never a natural or a healthy
action to eat when one is not hungry. You see, then, that it is an easy
matter to scientifically settle the question when to eat. ALWAYS eat
when you are hungry; and NEVER eat when you are not hungry. This is
obedience to nature, which is obedience to God.

We must not fail, however, to make clear the distinction between hunger
and appetite. Hunger is the call of the sub-conscious mind for more
material to be used in repairing and renewing the body, and in keeping
up the internal heat; and hunger is never felt unless there is need for
more material, and unless there is power to digest it when taken into
the stomach. Appetite is a desire for the gratification of sensation.
The drunkard has an appetite for liquor, but he cannot have a hunger for
it. A normally fed person cannot have a hunger for candy or sweets; the
desire for these things is an appetite. You cannot hunger for tea,
coffee, spiced foods, or for the various taste-tempting devices of the
skilled cook; if you desire these things, it is with appetite, not with
hunger. Hunger is nature's call for material to be used in building new
cells, and nature never calls for anything which may not be legitimately
used for this purpose.

Appetite is often largely a matter of habit; if one eats or drinks at a
certain hour, and especially if one takes sweetened or spiced and
stimulating foods, the desire comes regularly at the same hour; but this
habitual desire for food should never be mistaken for hunger. Hunger
does not appear at specified times. It only comes when work or exercise
has destroyed sufficient tissue to make the taking in of new raw
material a necessity.

For instance, if a person has been sufficiently fed on the preceding
day, it is impossible that he should feel a genuine hunger on arising
from refreshing sleep. In sleep the body is recharged with vital power,
and the assimilation of the food which has been taken during the day is
completed; the system has no need for food immediately after sleep,
unless the person went to his rest in a state of starvation. With a
system of feeding, which is even a reasonable approach to a natural one,
no one can have a real hunger for an early morning breakfast. There is
no such thing possible as a normal or genuine hunger immediately after

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Online LibraryW. D. WattlesThe Science of Being Well → online text (page 3 of 6)