Outline of the section: Basic diagnosis enables the physician to express a more accurate opinion as to whether the case will improve, or whether the individual will continue to decline. It also enables him to determine which organ system needs the greatest attention from a therapeutic standpoint. Read more about basic diagnosis here.
One of the fundamental principles of the philosophy of Natural Therapeutics is the unity of disease. This means that all the various forms of disease arise from a few primary manifestations, namely, lowered vitality, abnormal composition of vital fluids and accumulations of morbid waste and systemic poisons in the organism. It remains for us to explain why it is possible that in the same kind of an organism a great variety of diseases can arise from a few primary abnormal conditions. To this we answer, it is the organism which is infinitely complex, not the disease. Man, not his disorders, is the great study.
Since a few primary causes or manifestations of disease may produce an infinite multitude of symptoms, it is impossible to accurately diagnose the underlying disease from external symptoms. Therefore, basic diagnosis does not attempt the diagnosis of symptoms, but aims at the diagnosis of the patient.
When we understand the organism, the functions and interdependence of its parts and organs, disease offers but a simple problem.
All men are not alike. All men do not function alike. They are alike only in general anatomical structure--only in crude form or mould. Man is not altogether a machine operating on mechanical principles. Closely allied with the mechanical structure, and controlling it, are the vital or psychical and the mental or intellectual principles.
The numerous functions of the human body may conveniently be classified under three main groups, namely, respiration, alimentation and generation.
Respiration is that function which takes care of the oxygenation of the blood and the elimination of burned carbonaceous materials through the lungs. As explained in Vol. II of this series, in the chapter dealing with correct breathing, respiration is the function on which depends the inflow of the dynamic force or life force necessary to maintain the vital activities within the body.
Alimentation is that function which enables the body to digest and assimilate the proper quantity and quality of food, and which removes the residue of such processes from the body.
Generation is that function which assures perpetuity to the human race by means of reproduction. The secretions of the ductless glands of the generative organs are necessary to the maintenance of the vital activities of the organism.
Back of these three basic functions of the human organism lie three corresponding life principles--the physical material principle, the mental or intellectual principle, and the psychical or moral principle.
The material principle stands for substance, solidity, physique, and is closely allied to the terrestrial plane. This principle is in sympathy with physical nature, and its nerve mechanism--the great sympathetic--is the instrument through which the life force controls animal functions.
The one who possesses a large proportion of this principle is hardier, stronger and more robust than those individuals in whom either the mental or psychical principle predominates.
The psychical or moral principle connects us with the Psyche or Soul of the universe. Through the psychic principle the individual consciousness receives an influx of intuitive intelligence and creative will from the great universal creative Intelligence which some call God or Nature, others Cosmic Intelligence, Creative Will, Over-soul, Brahm, and by many other names. The psychic "wireless" is therefore the source of inspiration and illumination; it makes possible the apprehension of abstract truth,--of time and space, of right and wrong. It is the "light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world".
Consciousness is the passive capacity of the individual intelligence, soul or ego. It receives impressions and impulses from two sources--from the physical material surroundings through the sensory organs, and from the immaterial psychical world of laws and causes through the psychic principle. Through the psychic wireless it receives an influx of intuitive intelligence and creative will. This innate intelligence senses, observes and compares the sensory impressions and sensations, and discriminates between them. It classifies the contents of consciousness and from them draws conclusions and judgments. Thus originates and grows the reasoning mind. From this it will be seen that the mind is that principle which stands between and connects the physical and psychical principles, and that we create it ourselves.
The mind has been likened to a circle, the center of which is the ego and the circumference of which may be anywhere in the universe. In the new born infant or in the idiot its diameter is exceedingly limited, while in the great scientist or philosopher it may fathom the secrets of the starry heavens. It does not reach full completion until it embraces all there is to be known in the sidereal universe.
Its expansion depends upon the number and variety of sensory impressions and impulses received from the physical or spiritual (material) surroundings and upon the amount of thinking, reasoning and philosophizing brought to bear upon the contents of consciousness. These psychological phonographic and photographic films constitute memory and the subconscious mind of the psychologists and occultists.
Sensory impressions and impulses from without and the thinking and reasoning from within, give rise to sensations, emotions, impulses and desires which, in turn, call forth the activity of the will. The will in action is volition.
What nerve specialists and psychologists call the reflex arc consists of this twofold function of receiving and giving, which underlies all the activities of human life. The balancing of receiving and giving constitutes physical health as well as intellectual, moral and social health.
Violations of Nature's laws in all domains of life and action involve the violation of this basic principle of giving and receiving which is the law of compensation in operation. On it depends the preservation of energy; it is the basis of civil as well as of ethical and moral law. Only by complying with its demands can we solve the social problem.
Reason and common sense should tell us that the relationships of human life must be under the control of natural law as well as the relationships of numbers, of atoms of matter and the harmonics of sound. This is true notwithstanding the assertion of materialistic philosophy that there is nothing innately settled and permanent about ethics and morals, that they are subject to change and custom like fashions in hats, frocks and walking canes.