1. Presenting The Universal Problem
1.1 Man Is Confused
Rod sat in a chair across the room rubbing his knees. From time to time his body would jerk and he would squirm in his chair as if ill at ease or uncomfortable for some reason or other. He recounted a sorry tale of how he had sought relief from many physicians and medical specialists for the constant pain which had limited his productiveness both socially and in the economic world from his early childhood and which was now causing him to quit his job as an accountant in a multi-national corporation because he could no longer hold a pen or pencil between his fingers.
The young man, just past thirty, recited an array of drugs and supplements which he had dutifully swallowed per the instructions given him. The drugging had begun at the age of two years when he had “come down” with a muscular rheumatism. It had continued unabated to the present day. Even as he spoke, Rod pulled from his pocket the latest prescription, deadly prednisone, and a bottle of a well known and highly advertised multiple vitamin-mineral supplement. Pitifully, Rod cried, “Can you help me? I have nowhere else to go!”
Unfortunately, Rod’s story is only too common in today’s pseudoworld, a world where humankind has been taught to live in a fantasyland of unreality, to believe that humankind can go on indefinitely defying the laws of living structure, that we can eat what, when and how we please, that we can continue to abuse our bodies, that we can take all manner of vile liquids, pills and potions into our bodies, that we can inhale foul air and make all manner of mistakes and not have to come face to face with the realities of our organic existence if we only have recourse to the supplement products offered, for a price, by the huge industrial giants of the times in which we live.
1.2 World Health Statistics
As a result of this kind of foolishness, an insidious creeping debilitating force is at work among the peoples of the world, and especially in this country, with many being troubled by the sickness they see around them and their own eroding well-being, but not knowing what to do or where to turn for help.
The World Health Chart for 1968 shows the average age of males at death in the United States is 66.6 and females 74.1; 25th place for men and 14th for women, respectively among all the nations in the world. In recent years we have dropped from an earlier and now out-dated rating of 15th in spite of the fact that the supplement- and drug-related businesses have skyrocketed in sales and dollar volume. The people have lost confidence in the medical profession.
1.3 Philosophy of Modern Medical Practice
The whole history of medicine is one of palliation and stimulation. If you are sick, you take the proffered pill and make the hurt go away. Are you tired, unable to cope? No matter, just take this vitamin, that herb, a little wine or smoke the weed and swallow a packet of man-made inorganic or fancy synthetically chelated minerals and your body’s vitality battery will be recharged, your mood elevated, your cares soothed away and all problems solved; the sun will shine in the sky and the, world will lie at your feet. It is too good to be true!
We are a sick nation and getting sicker with every passing moment. We have not learned that, only nature can heal, that health will have none of forcing, but must be maintained and built through wholesome eating and living.
Dr. Elizabeth well remembers that when she was a child her mother kept a veritable cupboardful of patent medicines: there was cod liver oil in the form of Scott’s Emulsion, Dr. Lydia Pinkam’s Tonic for Women; and others. There was always a tin of aspirin tablets on hand to relieve the headache as well as a special box of baking soda to soothe acid-troubled stomachs.
You see, at that time, vitamins were a totally new and unexplored area, but the family always had recourse to Grandma’s green “tizzy,” a green drink made from selected herbs which grew in the garden, guaranteed, of course, to “cure” any ailment.
Dr. Robert’s childhood and early years were no different, even though his father was a medical doctor, a specialist in anaesthesiology at one of the large hospitals in the East. The “remedies,” of course, had different names, fancy medical names, but the effects were the same: palliation and stimulation.
Now, we live in modern times. During the past fifty or so years, patent medicines have, for the most part, disappeared from the pharmacist’s shelves and the home cupboards have been replaced by a collection of bottles of all kinds containing all manner of supplements: vitamins, enzymes and minerals especially, but also others. The drugs of our father’s time have also largely disappeared only to be replaced by newer and more potent drugs because the others failed to fulfill the promises made for them—as these will also fail.
“Health” food stores are now found in almost every major and minor shopping center from Maine to California and in countries overseas, all offering all manner of magic ways to restore radiant health to a deeply troubled public eager to buy their offerings. We know many elderly people living on Social Security who trudge wearily into health food stores paying out huge sums for pills and potions which they firmly believe will bring them youthful zest and vigor. Yet all the while they continue their life-destroying practices and drag through the days of their lives ever hopeful that the “magic” of pills will give them back the youth of their childhood.
1.5 Is Supplementation the Answer?
Is it true that because the vast majority of people now live in cities where admittedly the quality of the food is something less than ideal, that we must supplement our diet in order to have any hope of achieving and maintaining a reasonable level of health? Rod, the young man whom we met at the opening of this lesson, was advised by the last specialist he had consulted to drink nothing but pure mineral water so that he would be assured of getting all the minerals his system required and, also, to drink at least one pint of milk every day and to take his prescribed mineral supplements in order to maximize his calcium and other mineral intake.
In this day of known soil mineral deficiencies, should we supplement the mineral content of our foods in order to be sure that we receive a sufficiency of these important nutrients? Do herbs offer a panacea for all of mankind’s ailments as many herbalists contend? After all, it is well known that mankind has historically used herbs since time immemorial and, therefore, ipso facto, they should be an important part of our armentarium so that our systems will be well fortified against possible “attacks” by germ, fungus and/or virus. In other words, through supplementation we can gird our loins, as it were, to do battle against a formidable foe.
Some scientists contend that cooked food is easier to digest than uncooked, that man has cooked his food for so long a time that his digestive organs have become adapted to eating cooked foods, that it is no longer possible for humankind to subsist totally on uncooked food, even though he may once have done so, that his digestive organs have changed over the centuries to accept cooked food and reject raw fruits and vegetable foods as indigestible. We know this is not true.
These “scientists” recommend mega-vitamin and mineral supplementation as a means of ensuring a more youthful resurgence of energy and higher level of health. Do we dare postulate the question, “Is vitamin dosing another gimmick, one perhaps that ensures an acceleration of energy outflow rather than the longed-for extender of youth?”
Are there certain commonly accepted but harmful practices we should all avoid if we would either restore a state of diminished health to a higher level or retain the good health we now have? We believe there are and, hopefully, we will learn some of these in this lesson. Natural hygienists contend that the very structure and function of the body, its physiological and biological methods and practices, its capabilities and limitations, dictate certain unchanging principles which should and, indeed, must dictate how and in what manner the human organism must be nourished to remain in superb health.
1.6 Unchanging Principles Govern Life
Hygienists unequivocably hold that a general law under-girds life, one derived from physiology and biology and that we cannot escape the rule of law either in our eating or in our living, if we would retain our health. If we would escape the degenerative diseases that plague the vast majority of people, we must learn not only what we should do but also what we must not do. When the laws of life are ignored and possibly defied, due accounting will be required of us and, more often than not, such accounting will result in the rapid or more subtle erosion of health according to the inherited constitution and the extensiveness and intensiveness of the infractions of physiological and biological order.
In this lesson we will expand our knowledge in this respect. When we fully understand the truism that we, like all living things, are a part of the universe, one with all life and governed by exact laws, we will cease chasing after “cures,” we will stop popping our pills and having recourse to vile substances; we will forego our stimulating habits and practices and start living hygienically, in accord with body design. As was said long ago by one Thomas Campanella, “The Laws of Nature proclaim themselves and are their own avenger.” And let us proclaim with equal truth that the Laws of Nature, when obeyed, will reward us most magnificently with all the many faces of joy.