Menticulture - Toledo Saturday Blade Nov. 16, 1895
( Originally Published 1901 )
EMILY S. BOUTON
It was Aristotle, I think, who declared that the passions are habits of the mind, and can be gotten rid of as physical habits are gotten rid of.
The same thought has been expressed in many ways by the thinkers upon the true philosophy of life. but while the idea is accepted there are comparatively few who go systematically at work to carry it out. People do not recognize the fact that when angry, for instance, they are using real material forces, unseen because upon the mental plane, until their efforts become visible upon the physical plane. If we could hold that thought, remembering that every time we put these forces in motion we are adding to their powers, life would seem something very different from what it does now, even in its physical expression.
The growth of a faith in the possibility of governing, to a large extent, the circumstances upon the outward plane through right thought scientifically directed, is evident in the literature of the day. We find it everywhere, and where a few years ago it was passed over carelessly or with a smile-of incredulity, it is read now with attention and more or less belief, according to the reader's understanding of the mental and spiritual law upon which it is founded.
I picked up a little book today which has just been issued, entitled " Menticulture; or, The A-B-C of True Living," by Horace Fletcher, which is in evidence of what I have been saying.
I think there is no doubt that this [the contention of Menticulture] is true. When anger has control, the voice of the Higher Self cannot be heard; consequently there is no upward aspiration, and hence no spiritual progress. Mental balance, too, is always lost, as we know; therefore no intellectual growth is possible. Every part of the physical body is by anger put under a strain, its processes violently interrupted and changed, so that the renewal of its parts, which makes for health, is impossible. All this is the absolute result of every fit of anger upon the individual who is angry, to say nothing of the destructive forces started upon the unseen thought plane that will affect others; for it is absolutely true that we cannot stand alone, we cannot limit the evil done to our-selves, for every thought as well as every action has a propulsive force towards others that we cannot measure.
Viewed both from a scientific and philosophic standpoint, emancipation from these passions is possible and necessary.
The little volume is one to attract and hold the attention of many who have not hitherto studied the real philosophy of life and its purpose—the constant evolution toward the Divine. Not that the author has discovered anything new, but he simply puts in another way the fact that mental and spiritual growth are the product of our own efforts, and that the difficulties in our path are mostly the result of what, rightly understood; may be wholly swept away,