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and manners, their music and poetry Shall
be here then?” the and literature, their painting and sculp
Frenchman inquired. ture and architecture. They've all that Sure," said the American. and we have n't; we can't compete with · Could you get it for me?" René them in any of those things. Let them queried. “If you could I should like to brag of their cathedrals, and art-galleries, put it up over the fireplace at Pertuis." and court-balls, and all the rest of it. "With what's-his-name's stirrup and They are wonderful. But that flag thing-em-a-bob's glove?” Wade asked. . stands for the most wonderful thing in all “Yes,” René answered, “with the the world, for the finest thing the world gauntlet left by du Guesclin with that has ever produced yet. Not for talk hostess who had nursed him back to about brotherhood, but for the real life; with the stirrup-iron from the saddle thing. That's my view, you understand.” which Gaston de Foix gave his boyhood
“I comprehend indeed,” René re- crony, my ancestor; with the other like peated. “And how long will that flag relics, not a few." stay there ?”
“My wife went wild over that chim“Till the 30th of next May,” his host ney-piece,” Wade affirmed. “She said replied.
it was the finest she had seen in France What will they do with it then ? " and the most wonderful collection of Des Pertuis queried.
mementos she ever saw in a private “ Throw it away, I suppose," Wade house." answered easily. “It will be pretty well “Madame Wade is very kind,” René used up by then, you see, and they 'll replied. “ If you will be so good I should stick down a fresh one."
like to place among them this very flag.”
THE NEW ART OF HEALING
BY MAX EASTMAN
This is the great error of our day in the to a reformer who happens to be right. treatment of the human body, that physicians Reformers are as rarely right as the wind. separate the soul from the body. - PLATO. We need both resistance and guidance
Some innovator in natural science against them, if we are to arrive at any I think it was Galvani -- said that the port. The learned and the ignorant are two classes who impeded him most were helm and ballast in a somewhat precathe scientists and the know-nothings. It appears also in our own day that the Wherefore, ranking this paper bravely learned and the ignorant are the chief among the deliverances of the learned, foes of progress. The former, having ac- we find that its mission is to offer guidquired their learning with some labor, are ance in a matter about which a great naturally loath to see it outdated, and the quantity of the general public is very latter, having been perhaps at considera- much at sea. In this question of “mindble pains to preserve their ignorance, are over-matter," the reformers have done not to be startled out of it by any means. their work. They have stirred things up. But we should not condemn two such They have bestowed upon the world valuable things as learning and ignor- about a hundred and fifty little religions ance because of the resistance they offer and a confused idea that there must be
some truth in the matter somewhere. quered, the cause of the bodily trouble is The ignorant have done their work. removed, and health ensues. The comThey have persecuted the believers, panion belief that one can secure the jeered at them, or damned them with a Presidency by going into the silence, and vacuous smile. This world will never holding the thought with sufficient tenaclack ballast. It is only the scientists that ity, we can afford to neglect, because it have failed of their duty. They have has nothing to do with therapeutics. stalked through a routine of elevated There are, however, a number of Orilectures, written a few incomprehensible ental philosophers, Yogi Healers, darkbooks, and kept the science of Psycho- eyed Hindus, and Theosophists, who logy, so far as the hungry world goes, swim in the wake of the New Thought, sealed up in their own proud bosoms. In and whose business is to treat the sick. all this uproar of faith-cures, and mira- They would be called “fakirs” in India, cles, and shouting prophets, we have I think, without disparagement; and it heard few illuminating words from the is characteristic of our western view of universities. The consequence is that we things that we have identified that word are without a helm, and the reform blows with deceit. They are in their own eyes now one way and now another.
mysterious priests and servants of manThe religion of mental power has kind, and we cannot but recognize an nearly as many formulations as there are uncommon power in their tradition, arisindividual believers. Christian Science ing out of the dark bosom of Asia and is numerically in the lead, and we may sum up its contribution in these words Other forms of this faith, too, are from Mrs. Eddy's Book:
fresh in our minds. The miraculous “Become conscious for a single mo- cures of Alexander Dowie, in the person ment that life and intelligence are purely of Elijah, are reported to have been genuspiritual — neither in nor of matter ine and of some durability. Then there and the body will then utter no com- are the séances, the work of physicians plaints. If suffering from a belief in sick- returned from the “spirit-land,” the layness you will find yourself suddenly ing on of hands in the dark, and cures well.”
wrought by this hope of immortality. Next in importance stands " Mental Magicians of all kinds are to be found, if Healing,” which one of its advocates in one searches, casting out demons and a moment of unfortunate complacency calling on the name of the Lord. There called “The New Thought.” It can are sudden healings of paralysis by the best be summed up, however, in the old ancient method of prayer and faith; words of Plato:
there are the miraculous relics of the “For it is not by the body, methinks saints, the shrines, and fountains; there that they cure the body but they cure are mesmerists, evangelists, and crowthe body by the soul, which, while in a ing little prophets on all sides. Charladiseased state, or becoming so, is in- tans or genuine believers who can tell capable of performing any cure what- that does not preside at their thinking ? ever."
The world is full of tradition and hope. There are a thousand varieties of By the side of, or in the wake of, these each doctrine, but, generally speaking, more or less mystical practices, a school the “New Thought Movement repre- of physicians has appeared, who comsents, besides much simple wisdom, the bine with their medical treatments a belief that one powerful mind can, by serious attention to the mental condition “concentration ” in presence or absence, of their patients. They treat nervous help another mind to overcome its wrong disorders by suggestion, they consider ways of thinking. When these are con- a great many disorders nervous which
were not formerly considered so, and use Republican party, and if you knew that suggestion as a help in the treatment of a thousand persons in the next county other troubles. These physicians pro
believed with equal vigor in the greatness ceed humbly in the path which a strict of the Democratic party. An idea tends science points out. They have found to become fixed in your mind by vigorthat one truth which underlies the var- ous repetition from another person ious visions of the enthusiasts. We may without appeal to your reason. Educasafely aver that the whole movement tion should make us resist, and submit will resolve itself into a momentous re- such ideas to the judgment of reason. form in the practice of medicine. And Character consists largely in such rethe purpose of this
sistance. what psychological law this reform. is But if we purposely relax our judgbased, how these physicians operate, ment, put ourselves in a passive attitude and how they differ from the wizards toward these Republicans, we will find of Christian Science and the wielders of our own politics fixed in less than a "thought-vibrations” and “magnetic
magnetic month by the politics of the community fluid.”
in which we live. This happens all the The Law of Suggestion, which is one time with persons who have not the charof the great discoveries of modern science, acter to demand reasons. They become was first formulated by Dr. Liebault at possessed without reason of an “unalParis, in a book published in 1866. Since terable conviction.” We will say that it his day the number of physicians who might happen to us, if we voluntarily practice suggestive therapeutics” has relaxed our customary firmness. steadily increased, until to-day no thor- The attempt to fix an idea in the mind ough clinical hospital is without a pro- without reason is suggestion. It is acfessional suggestionist. This practice complished usually in medical practice does not involve any metaphysical theo- by asking a patient to lie down and relax ries, the
passage of any hidden force his body and his mind, and then vigorfrom one brain to another, any “planes ously stating to him the desired idea. It of existence," or any religious upset, or may be accomplished in a number of any poetic physiology, or the swallowing ways. The patient may be told that the of any occult doctrines whatever. It is operator is a wizard and is about to transone of the simplest and coolest of scien- fer an idea from his own mind to that of tific theories. It is a question of the re- the patient. If the patient believes him lation between the brain and the bodily he will very likely accept the idea. It organs. It seems never to have been may be accomplished by gestures or clearly stated that healing disease by sug- incantations which the patient regards gestion depends not in the least degree with superstitious awe, provided it is upon any theory of the relation of mind explained beforehand what these gestand matter.
ures are meant to produce. It may be
accomplished by telling the patient he Suppose that you knew nothing about has no body, and sitting with him for a politics, but lived in a community of a while in a spiritual silence, provided he thousand persons, each of whom believed, knows what he is to expect. All these and frequently asserted, that “the Re- methods, if one believes in them, are publican party is the greatest party in good, and they prove by their success the the country.”
" It would be only by an law of suggestion. But the method that effort of will that you could resist believ- is based on a sure truth is the method of ing that yourself. And this would be the scientist. He reasons with his patient, true, if not one of those thousand persons he stirs in him what moral and religious ever gave a reason for the greatness of the enthusiasm he can, and to these means
he adds tactfully the subtle suggestive the world. Hundreds of people refuse to power of his own presence and eloquence. get well after the physician has cured This force, together with the power them. It is not his fault, and it is not which is revealed in a man of correcting their fault; but they have simply had his own mental habits, is the greatest disease suggested to them until they canpractical discovery of modern psychology. not think at all except upon
assumpIt is clear that, if for a good reason I tion. It is an “auto-suggestion,” or it is decide to relax my critical faculty toward a family-suggestion, and the only way to a person whom I trust, and make my- remove it is by the vigorous counterself open to his suggestion, I have not suggestion of another person. The value ,
. “weakened my will," any
moral “ fixed idea ” of health, as being dignity. This is a childish and unthink- only the removal of a fixed idea of dising superstition. My relinquishment is ease where there was no organic reason an act of will. Persons of strong will for it, will hardly be disputed. Yet one when they coöperate with a physician cannot overestimate the multitudes that
the best patients. Not only is such there are of these invalids, sitting in a voluntary subjection of one's self to a padded chairs and making ready for the chosen master an act of will, but it is a hearse, whose trouble is primarily menhigh and difficult discipline. It is seen in tal; and how many there are again who all the history of religion and morals to have a slight organic infirmity, and have be a victory. And, confining ourselves to а
increased its effects a thousandfold by therapeutics, it is difficult to see why it what we may call /“ household suggesis any more a suspension of judgment to tion.” let a physician you have decided to trust One is particularly reminded of those lodge a helpful idea in your mind, than victims of so-called nervous depletion, to let him lodge an ominous-looking cap- who are denied even the last resort of a sule in your body.
chronic invalid — the enjoyment of culSuggestive therapeutics is the use of tivating a virtue. Patience is too absorbsuggestion to fix in the mind ideas of ing for these sufferers, and unselfishness health, or healthy mental habits. And a desperate indiscretion. Day in and day we are now in a position to inquire what out they are taught that they must foster is the value of a fixed idea of health. My vacuity, which is the one thing the hudiscussion here divides itself into two man heart unconditionally rejects. Most parts, according to the varieties of hu- of us have sat shuddering at one time or man infirmity.
another under the incubus of an idea,
and these most pitiable persons are often A great deal of alleged physical suffer- in a dire extremity of the same plight. ing is primarily mental. A great many This remark sounds, at the first blush, people have “fixed ideas ” of disease, like a personal affront to a self-respecting pain, debility, fatigue, dread, inefficiency, and properly smothered invalid. But and unexpressible woes. Much oftener upon reflection we will realize that the than we realize, these can be trans- mind is no more incriminated than the planted without surgery or medication. body by the fortuitous admission of toxic I do not mean that they are not real matter. If we respected a psychic ailsufferings. They are as real as the grave. ment more we would cure it more, and we But they are not grounded in physical would avoid it oftener. To quote Mrs. infirmity, and they are not to be cured Eddy's best sentence, with physic. The mind becomes pos- "When this mental contagion is unsessed of a conviction that a certain part derstood . . . we shall avoid loquacious of the body is infirm, and imputes pain to tattling about disease, as we should avoid that part in spite of all the medicine in advocating crime."
What we are to avoid is a thousand ferent question. There were crutches house-grown maladies of the imagination enough left at the holy shrines, but there
a crew of impalpable lemures and were no wooden legs. And many people blood-sucking ghosts, such as no man who believe in the use of suggestion do can afford to have about his hearth. not believe that any palpable ailments Many of them now occupy recognized were ever helped by it. They think that seats in the infernal hierarchy of the such a belief would involve theories of Pathologist, and their number has been “mind-over-matter," and they do not amply exhibited by Dr. Dubois in his care for these theories. recent book. This has been tacitly But there is no difference in kind beunderstood by the less chemical and dog tween a so-called mental and a physical matic of doctors for a long time. The trouble, because every mental condition chief value of many pills lies in the satis- is paralleled by a brain condition. That faction of taking them.
brain condition must be removed if the Apropos of which subject I am re- trouble is to be cured. So if we grant that minded of the silver-haired Dr. Grimes- suggestion can affect a physical condibeckle, a good friend of my youth, and a tion of the brain, we have only this quesphysician of the old Garden School that tion left — to what degree can it affect is now nearly extinct. For him a few the whole nervous system and thereby grassy herbs and a pair of shrewd com- the body? I remember seven theories of passionate hands were the main items in the relation of mind and matter, and not Materia Medica. Yet I have seen him one of these has more than an incidental load up a cantankerous patient with bearing upon this subject. At the exdoses of such portentous-looking pellets pense of the reader's patience I shall try -- having about the size of a sea-going to make this important point clear before — torpedo as made my own inwards to quake. And that too, when the diagno- Psychology and physiology agree that sis, as announced by him in the helpful every mental change or condition is tones of a cheerful auctioneer, was no- paralleled by a physical change or conthing of nobler nature than an “old- dition within the brain or nervous sysfashioned stomach-ache.” If you ven- tem. When I say “is paralleled by ” I tured to remonstrate with him outside mean that they happen together in time, the door upon the abandon with which and that is all I mean. No question here he had served out physic to your relative, of inter-relation, of cause or effect, soul he would look you up and down with a or body -- simply that the occurrence kind of anatomical disdain, and he would of every idea in the mind is accompangrumble this out at you: “Some people, ied by some physical occurrence in the my boy, never believe anything until they brain. Physiology has to do with the get it stuck in their throat.” Which mys- physical occurrence, not with the idea. terious formula meant, as I afterward An idea of a healthy stomach is accomlearned, that all he had given the patient panied by a certain brain-condition; an was a dose of corn-starch and a slap on idea of a diseased stomach is accomthe back.
panied by a different brain-condition.
Those are physical conditions. And we Suggestion is indispensable in curing may now cease to consider the ideas at ailments which are primarily mental. all. Our question is: Can those physical But whether a fixed idea of health or a conditions of the brain affect the physical healthy fixed idea can cure or help to condition of the stomach ? We know cure a bodily disease, seems to be a dif- that the brain-condition which accom
1 The Psychic Treatment of Nerrous Disor- panies the idea of raising our hand can ders. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co. 1905. affect the condition of the muscles of our