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Source: Mastery of Self
Category: Chapter I - The Twin-Verses

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


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

womanhood 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 lifetime;

secondly, the thought-life of the individual, however 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


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 somehow 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 untellably 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 machine? 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, whatever 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

We may now go on to the general consideration of



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