Our lives are modified, more than we know, by constant, active influences. Not only are our minds molded, obeying unconsciously many silent orders; but also our bodies and organs. There are serious chronic nervous diseases which have no found cause in any change of tissue structure, and which are increased or cured by emotions and impulses. Emotions and impulses are actually only automatic reactions to impressions which are often not even possible to discover. It is established that emotions may cause specific changes in many of the body functions: the action of the heart and lungs, the tension of the blood vessels, the con duct of muscles and even tendons. In normal healthy bodies muscular tremors have been demonstrated, registered by laboratory instruments, produced by arousing mental conditions such as curiosity, or fear, or anger. And it is common to find tendon reflexes modified by similar emotions, or even by ordinary excitement. And just such mental conditions are present as the cause of many abnormal physical conditions such as nervous indigestion, insomnia, nervous depression, constant eyestrain, and even distinct diseases with muscle spasms and mental disturbances. And above all, the brain itself with all its nerves, is dominated by the same impressions from the world it lives in, and is molded like the softest clay.
Suppressions, conscious or unconscious, increase these abnormal conditions of tension, and we are constantly suppressing. And worst of all, we are thoughtlessly allowing abnormal and harmful influences to suppress the natural normal functions of our subconscious mind, and mislead us into complexes that are the causes of many diseased conditions.
It is possible to relieve these abnormal conditions by the simple expedient of securing a state of relaxation of the muscles of the body. Without muscular relaxation there never is mental relaxation. And when the muscles are relaxed mental relaxation is always present. There are different methods and varieties of technique by which this muscular relaxation may be secured. But they all must depend upon the same laws of psychology and physiology. It is necessary to enlist the cooperation of the subconscious mind. This can be accomplished by occupying the conscious mind so completely with some carefully chosen impression that the subconscious mind is also influenced by that voluntary control for a period of time. This method has been proved. It is scientific and successful. It requires, however, that the patient be receptive, earnest, and confident.
The story in this book is founded on these truths. Vision is the most precious of the senses which feed the life and the happiness of the human. That vision should be allowed to degenerate into a crippled dependent upon a mechanical device is an ominous threat to the future of the race. If the mind can be roused into a consciousness of its loss, the recovery of the natural power of the eye will be the smallest of the glorious achievements that will come with the new life.
It has been interesting to try to imagine the mighty spirits of the past contemplating the modern hosts that are helpless without their pieces of glass. How could those independent souls understand this new habit. How long will it be before the minds of children, who are beginning the lives, will be taught to use their own eyes, with the freedom and the power which belongs to them, and which will give them a new fullness of life.
W. B. M.