General Tone Of Health
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The word "tone" means, "sound in relation to volume, quality, duration and pitch," then, "peculiar characteristic sound as of a voice or instrument," then, "characteristic style or tendency, predominating aim or character, tenor, strain, spirit."
Hence, in the sense of health, tone signifies "the state of tension or firmness proper to the tissues of the body; the state in which all the parts and organs have due tension or are well strung; the strength and activity of the organs on which healthy functions depend; that state of the body in which all the normal functions are performed with healthy vigor."
We thus see that health-tone involves the whole personality, physical, mental and moral.
But the truth of the matter hides in a deeper region than that of mere material flesh or organ. Matter is a form of the Universal Ether, so far as science seems to declare, or, at least, matter presupposes the ether in a state of vibration. Your body is a "field" in which etheric vibrations are constantly taking place. All its reality and all its activities involve such vibrations. The brain, regarded as the organ of conscious life, of thought and feeling, and the entire nervous system, involve such vibrations. And as your thought and feeling constitute the foundation of your moral character, the latter also becomes a matter of movements in the ether.
In the case of heat, light, electricity, etc., differing kinds of such vibrations determine the kinds of phenomena. We may say, then, that there is one general kind of ether-movement for matter, and another for thought and feeling, and another for the moral life. Each individual, however, presents variations of these general kinds of vibrations,— a particular variation for his body, and for his mental person, and for his right or wrong self-spirit. We individualize the ether. Or, we are individualized as we use the ether.
The tone of a person's health is determined by the state of the etheric movements characteristic to himself.
If the vibrations underlying the body life are full and harmonious according to their individual character for a person, his organs are all sound and active. He possesses physical tone. If there is a similar fullness and harmony within his mental life, he must exhibit health of mind. If a corresponding condition obtains in the moral personality, the highest health of the deeper self prevails.
These three individualized varieties of ether-movement in man mutually interact and determine one another's character. I know that this law does not always seem to operate. Poor minds and wrong morals are sometimes found in apparently healthy bodies, and great minds and noble spirits in feeble bodies. But the bodies of the one class do not represent the finest physical health, involving coarseness, flabbiness, susceptibility to disorder, etc., etc., and are not contradictions of the law. Moreover, the inner life is not always fully expressed by apparent departures from right living: as you may frequently see in some sudden burst of nobility, generosity, tenderness, heroism, in those who possess sound bodies but are outwardly not particularly refined. The rough exterior may hide a splendid germ of true spiritual manhood or woman-hood. Could we look deeply into the physical nature, we should always find the law holding good that our three-fold ether-movements do influence and in the long run determine one another for weal or ill. Where the inner self is right yet the physical tone weak or disturbed, we should perceive, if we had the "spirit of discernment." that the better life within has surely influenced and ennobled the essential nature of the body. It should be remembered that two confusing factors prevail where a fine spirit dwells in a diseased body: first, the thought-life of centuries has, so to speak, warped the character of the inherited body and its vibrations to such an extent that they may not, perhaps (I, do not know), be altogether reformed within a human life-time; secondly, the thought-life of the individual, how-ever nearly right in many respects, is wrong in one particular, the belief, feeling, conviction — an inheritance of ages — that disease of the body must necessarily obtain in some cases at least, no matter what the inner life may be. This conviction is a tremendous force for harm. Invalids accept it as true, and try to be reconciled. But it is not true. The belief prevails, and so prevents the real truth from appearing: that Perfect Health is the Primary Intention of . the Nature of Things for All. When we can believe this magnificent truth, we shall be able to see that right vibrations underlying the mental and moral personality must tend to reform wrong vibrations underlying the body. So long as the former conviction prevails, that disease is some-how a part of Nature, the better life contends with a double difficulty, the existing physical conditions and the false suggestion that the individual must continue to be ill in the nature of things or as the will of Deity. The false suggestion should be displaced by the affirmation and realization of physical health. Such a reforming suggestion, made effective by mental realization and proper regimes, tends to counteract the existing effects of previous wrong suggestions and positively to change conditions of ill-health, because fullness and harmony of the three kinds of ether-movements are the designed ideals of our lives and the laws of perfect well-being (what other design can we possibly imagine?), and the good suggestion operates to bring about that ideal.
Let us be rid of the notion that anyone is ill because a Divine Being wants him to be ill.
But we must remember that while these principles cannot be otherwise than true, every individual has behind him, at any present moment, two great forces — the past of his ancestors and the past of his own life. Let us be sensible, even while we insist upon truths which are among the most beautiful in the world. The past means much to all of us. Such is law. We cannot get away from law, whatever our theories or religious belief. To me all Nature's laws are of the White Life and untenably beneficent. The idea that law is something hard and disagreeable is itself a false suggestion and a wrong thought. Law is good. The law that life is determined more or less by the past is a fine example of this goodness. If it seems to go against us in some cases, it surely goes for us in assisting a right past to make for a right future. When it seems to work hardship, the fact is the law is trying to face us about for a right time to come. That is the meaning of experience: it is law talking to us out of our past. The law that our past and that of our ancestors must be reckoned with in all our efforts to reform the etheric vibrations in our personal fields involves the element of time, which element may be greater than we can control in the material life. This element of time is important because there is another law, that great real reforms in the individual require effort continued more or less in order that all laws involved may properly and fully operate. If the person who is a noble self in a weak body could add to his thought-life the sufficiently powerful affirming realization of physical health for himself and live long enough, I certainly believe the suggestion would ultimately prevail. For I do not for a moment accept disease as a necessary part of human life. Is disorder in your machinery a part of the ma-chine? I cannot see how a continuously perfect self, starting with a sound body, could ever come to possess a diseased body. I must believe that the self, growing to the ideal, may bring into harmony a diseased body, provided its health-suggestion is strong enough and sufficient time is afforded for the full working of the law. The law does not, of course, cover such cases as broken bones, because treatment then calls for mechanical operations, which involve laws altogether distinct from those that govern harmony among the functions and organs of the body as underfounded by etheric vibrations within the physical, mental and moral fields.
The limits set to self-healing power we do not know for any individual case. The splendid general law is not overwhelmed, is not contradicted, by such limits, what-ever they may be, because the limits are not set by the original intention of the nature of things, but by wrong living and false ideas running through centuries. As we may not know the limits in any case, and as the great law shines ever before us and is equally for all so far as it may be claimed, and not for a favored few of some particular religious or semi-religious belief, it is ours to seize all advantages afforded by the best medical science together with every atom of power in the white life affirming and realizing physical health at its best. You do not know your own limits; therefore lay hold upon the law, the universal, age-long law, for all you can derive from its beneficence. You are not required to turn your back upon any other advantage, but only to swing the law into harmony with that advantage.
Health-tone, then, is really a triune series of full and harmonious ether-movements within the personal field working together for a buoyant right self in a sane and truth-loving mind in a spiritually expressing physical organism. By so much as it is yours, by so much, in the nature of the case, must fear be an alien and courage the breath of your life.