The Guidance Of The Body


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Sources: Power Through Repose

THE literature relating to the care of the human body is already

very extensive. Much has been written about the body's proper food,

the air it should breathe, the clothing by which it should be

protected, the best methods of its development. That literature

needs but little added to it, until we, as rational beings, come

nearer to obeying the laws which it discloses, and to feeling daily

the help which comes from that obedience.



It is of the better use, the truer guidance of this machine, that I

wish especially to write. Although attention is constantly called to

the fact of its misuse,--as in neglected rest and in

over-strain,--in all the unlimited variety which the perverted

ingenuity of a clever people has devised, it seems never to have

come to any one's mind that this strain in all things, small and

great, is something that can be and should be studiously abandoned,

with as regular a process of training, from the first simple steps

to those more complex, as is required in the work for the

development of muscular strength. When a perversion of Nature's laws

has continued from generation to generation, we, of the ninth or

tenth generation, can by no possibility jump back into the place

where the laws can work normally through us, even though our eyes

have been opened to a full recognition of such perversion. We must

climb back to an orderly life, step by step, and the compensation is

large in the constantly growing realization of the greatness of the

laws we have been disobeying. The appreciation of the power of a

natural law, as it works through us, is one of the keenest pleasures

that can come to man in this life.



The general impression seems to be that common-sense should lead us

to a better use of our machines at once. Whereas, common-sense will

not bring a true power of guiding the muscles, any more than it will

cause the muscles' development, unless having the common-sense to

see the need, we realize with it the necessity for cutting a path

and walking in it. For the muscles' development, several paths have

been cut, and many who are in need are walking in them, but, to the

average man, the road to the best kind of muscular development still

remains closed. The only training now in use is followed by

sleight-of-hand performers, acrobats, or other jugglers, and that is

limited to the professional needs of its followers.



Again, as the muscles are guided by means of the nerves, a training

for the guidance of the muscles means, so far as the physique is

concerned, first, a training for the better use of the nervous

force. The nervous system is so wonderful in its present power for

good or ill, so wonderful in its possible power either way, and so

much more wonderful as we realize what we do not know about it, that

it is not surprising that it is looked upon with awe. Neither is it

strange that it seems to many, especially the ignorant, a subject to

be shunned. It is not uncommon for a mother, whose daughter is

suffering, and may be on the verge of nervous prostration because of

her misused nerves, to say, "I do not want my daughter to know that

she has nerves." The poor child knows it already in the wrong way.

It is certainly better that she should know her nerves by learning a

wholesome, natural use of them. The mother's remark is common with

many men and women when speaking of themselves,--common with

teachers when talking to or of their pupils. It is of course quite

natural that it should be a prevailing idea, because hitherto the

mention of nerves by man or woman has generally meant perverted

nerves, and to dwell on our perversions, except long enough to shun

them, is certainly unwholesome in the extreme.





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