Article #1: Vital Force by Dr. Robert Walter
A Summary of The Facts Established
- The power that made us is the same as that which preserves, and, in case of injury, heals, repairs, cures, in order that it may preserve. This power is variously known as Nature, Vitality, or Vital Force. We have clearly disproved that disease is a malignant entity, bent on the destruction of the patient, even though no intelligent physician now believes it.
- The rapidity and certainty of cure correspond to the amount of the power as well as upon the conditions for its operation.
- Vital force or vitality is a constitutional endowment and not a product; it produced us but cannot be produced by us; it is a cause and not an effect. We expend it doing work, but no work ever manufactured it. It is inherent in the constitution of living things as gravitation and chemical affinity are inherent in matter, and can no more be manufactured than can these.
- The work which this power does is sometimes called health and sometimes disease. Both disease and health are manifestations of the same vital power, which produces corresponding expenditures of it. Chemical affinity makes dynamite or explodes it according to the conditions supplied; gravitation floats the balloon or dashes it to the earth in answer to conditions; so vital force makes health or disease just as we supply the conditions for health or disease.
- Both health and disease are processes of expenditure on the one hand, or of recuperation on the other, according to the degree of activity of the working organs. Increased activity always means increased expenditure, which may continue to feebleness, exhaustion, and death, as under excitement, stimulation, and active work, while reduced activity, as during rest and sleep, or in the crisis and feebleness of the disease (fever), means recuperation of power preparatory to restored function, increased vigor, and abounding health. The secondary effect is the opposite of the primary.
- Recuperation is the process of recovery, the means by which vitality, vigor, and a real increase of power is secured, while development means increased capacity to do work, expend power, and exhaust the vital resources at the very time and by the very means that it appears to give power. Recuperation means closing the valves, preventing escape of the steam and increasing the pressure in the boiler, so getting ready for future vigorous work, while development is the process of enlarging the engine, increasing the expenditure, opening more widely the valves, and so, by increasing the amount of work done, reducing the capacity for further work. When the motive power in a railway train is insufficient to its needs, there are two ways of hurrying the train to its destination—one is to close the valves and wait until sufficient pressure has been built up to work the engine vigorously. The vital organism may be rigorously worked, as by tonics, stimulants, or other violent processes and so become exhausted, or it may be recuperated by soothing, quieting, restful appliances, such as sleep and other relaxing means, by which power is accumulated and vigorous health secured. The locomotive differs from the vital organism in one important respect, however, which must not be overlooked. The power of the one being producible, production may be hurried, while in the other, no means has ever been discovered of increasing its powers except by recuperation through their non-use—that is, through rest and sleep, which involve patient waiting.
- Rest and sleep produce inaction and weakness in the present in order that activity and vigor may be secured in the reaction; while stimulants, tonics, high feeding, exciting baths, etc., produce activity, excitement, and apparent strength in the present only to be followed by increasing weakness and final exhaustion and death. Under such treatment patients are always getting well, but they never get well. The increased power which the patient exhibits is his own vital power which is being called forth and expended with a rapidity corresponding to the vigor of its manifestations. Power manifested is power expended; the strength it seems to be giving is the strength it is taking away. As Newton's law proved that the sun does not revolve around the earth, but the contrary, so Life's Great Law proves that the real effects of all treatments, whether medical or sanatory, whether drugs or baths, even including food in most cases, are the exact opposite of the apparent effects. By sleep and its corollaries we recuperate power through present weakness, and by stimulants and tonics we exhaust power through increased activity and apparent vigor. Life's Great Law is not simply the analogue but counterpart of Newton's law of gravitation, and answers to vital existence and phenomena just as Newton's law answers to mechanical and astronomical phenomena.
- Increased development of body and brain does not necessarily mean increased power possessed by the individual, but rather increased capacity to expend the power. The gymnasts increase their capacities for work but do not, therefore, prolong life; they are generally shortlived, the result being due not to licentious habits, for they are generally models of propriety, but to the very exercises which they vainly imagine are promoting health and prolonging life.
- The supposed or imagined discovery of an elixir vitae is one of the most dangerous discoveries any man can make, for it places his life in jeopardy. A good friend in the prime of life believed that electricity is life, and that with it he could cure any disease and .prolong life indefinitely. He died from exhaustion within two years. Not long since in the great city a vigorous man in the flush of young manhood had discovered what seemed to him a near approach to the "fountain of perpetual youth," and after being before the public for a short time, as a prodigy of physical development, he was carried to an insane asylum and soon died. The man who teaches that "weakness is a crime" is dancing the jig of death on Mt. Pelee. Weakness in man or woman may be the result of bad habits, but is often the God-ordained method of recuperating power for future strength, sleep and rest being the illustrations. Let every man see to it that he first possesses what he would develop, thus making development as easy as it is for water to run down hill; but let him not imagine that he can produce by development any power which does not previously exist in a passive state. Development calls power from the passive into the active condition so expends it; we may develop and use our inheritance but we cannot product it. Development, whether physical or mental, which can be sustained by adequate vital resources, is to be commended, but a physical monstrosity is no more health-promoting than is a cyclopediac mentality.
Reprinted from Life's Great Law
> Lesson 79 - The Laws Of Life
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