Menticulture - Mental Ills
( Originally Published 1901 )
"Can anger and worry be entirely eliminated from the human mind ?"
" Yes; they are simply bad habits of the mind, parasites, unnatural, and therefore uncivilized conditions, nursed by false ideas of pride or necessity; and their elimination is a purely mental process within the control of every intelligent person who has sufficient self-respect to recognize within himself the reflection of the Divine Image."
"In what does the germ cure of mental ills differ from the Christian method of repression through answer to Prayer ?"
" Christ clearly advocated the germ cure. He did not say 'Try to do unto others as you would have others do unto you,' but 'Do unto others,' eta. 'Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.' In all of his teachings do and be were the commands. Most of the creeds, however, endow man with a weakness which is self-condemning. The prayers are offered perfunctorily, and sometimes without belief in their efficacy, while, the passions are nursed privately in full belief that they are essential attributes of fallen man."
"May not the elimination of anger and worry take away some of the stimulation to effort that is necessary to human progress ! "
" Assuredly not. The absence of anger and worry is an evidence of strength and not of weakness. So-called righteous anger is a weakness in the presence of judicial calm. Without anger and worry one is stronger to ward off a blow, administer a correction, or protect a principle. The emancipated mind is as eager for effort as a child is for play. Freed from anger and worry one can shovel more dirt, plough more furrows, perform every duty better, and with less fatigue, than if under their influence."
"Are there examples in everyday life, among everyday people, that prove the Possibility of superiority over anger and worry? "
Yes. Habitually profane men do not swear in the presence of ladies. Vicious men are gentle when among those whom they respect. The passions are subservient to the will under conditions that reverence or fashion prescribe. If they are subservient under any conditions they can be controlled under all conditions. Nothing for instance, could make you angry while we are talking on this subject, because you would feel ashamed to show slavery to a condemned and unmanly weakness."
"If it is possible to get rid of the depressing passions, and they are so unprofitable, why has not mankind become emancipated long before this? "
" This question can best be answered by asking others. Why were a personal devil and witches and filmy ghosts considered possibilities as late as the beginning of this century? Why was human slavery believed to be a divine institution by the majority of the world's inhabitants as late as fifty years ago? Why are the divine right of kings, and the assumption that the sovereign can do no wrong, possibilities of the present? Why is it possible that a Supreme Court of the United States can be divided on questions of political significance, and the points of difference of opinion be in harmony with the previous political affiliations of the justices? Politics represent the selfish in human contact as at present managed, while justice is supposed to be spotlessly unselfish yet the former unblushingly invades the sanctuary of the latter, because selfishness is held to be a necessity."
Is not the condition of Emancipation selfish? Is it not selfish not to worry for one's friend, even if self-worry is eliminated? "
"Emphatically, no! Emancipation puts one in a condition to be unselfish. Suppose his friend need aid or sympathy ; will worry furnish either ? With the extirpation of the depressing passions comes the strength, and the ability, and the desire, to give to others, the aid and sympathy they may be in need of. Actual, or even metaphorical, wringing of hands, is not the sort of sympathy that soothes. It is like the "blind leading the blind," or rather, the weak trying to assist the weak. Better try to help with the strength born of Emancipation than with the weakness of the enervating passions."
I can easily understand how anger can be classed as a sin, because it is aggressive and affects something outside of us, as a sin, I can see how it ought to be cast out; but as worry deals only with one's self, I do not believe it can be called a sin ; then why is it necessary to eliminate it, especially as it may be an incentive to action, to prevent the causes of the worry? "
" This whole question has been answered before in the presentation of the theory, but as it has not carried the force of impression that I intended, I will take it up piecemeal, and try to be more clear.
In the first place, one's first duty is to one's self in the matter of cultivation and care ; this, not on account of egotism or selfishness, but in order to fit him to be strong and useful and a good member of his circle, As a parent, he should make himself the most perfect progenitor and example possible; as a member of Society he should aim to be the most able and useful; and as the custodian of the Divine Essence within him, he should not harbor or encourage weeds of the soul, whether visible to others, or with-in the secret corners of his own heart.
"As to worry ever being an incentive to wise or good action, I will repeat a section of the theory. ` Worry's prophesies are seldom realized, and if they are, the realization is generally caused by the worry itself.'
"How can emancipation 6e secured for the community?"
"Through the influence of the emancipated individual; chiefly through the influence of the emancipated woman. In the crossing of sabers she cannot assist; but in a war against the enemies of the mind, when love is the weapon, she can and will occupy a place in the front rank. She can make anger and worry unfashionable, as she already has made profanity and obscenity unfashionable.
" To accomplish this, let clubs be formed in each community and in each church, and let each church become a club-house as well. Introduce healthful amusements such as make other clubs attractive, and place in large letters over the portal and the altar
You will have then constantly before you the only cure for mental cancers, and the essence of all religions expressed in three words ; you will have touched the button of the Divine cam-era within you whose film is sensitive only to the rays of good. Love and growth will do the rest. The teachers of morality and religion will do abler work under the realization that not only the 'old Adam,' but the Divine Essence as well, have seats in each human soul, and that, when the good is appealed to in terms of confidence and understanding, evil will be cast out instantly, without a lifetime of controversy, and without waiting for eternity, or even for the death-bed to unloose the fetters.
As a result of organization on the basis of Emancipation, and when it has become an accepted fact that anger and worry are only bad habits of the mind, no clergyman can show them and retain the respect of his congregation ; no King's Daughter can entertain them and be worthy of her badge ; no member of the Christian Endeavor Society can harbor within himself the arch enemies of Christianity which the Master commanded his disciples to cast out, and be loyal to his cause ; and no individual in the pursuit of duty, or even of selfish pleasure, can afford to carry such weighty handicaps and hope to win the race."