Excerpts from

The Science of Being Well
Wallace D. Wattles

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Preface by the author

This volume is the second of a series, the first of which is "THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH." As that book is intended solely for those who want money, so this is for those who want health, and who want a practical guide and handbook, not a philosophical treatise. It is an instructor in the use of the universal Principle of Life, and my effort has been to explain the way in so plain and simple a fashion that the reader, though he may have given no previous study to New Thought or metaphysics, may readily follow it to perfect health. While retaining all essentials, I have carefully eliminated all non-essentials; I have used no technical, abstruse, or difficult language, and have kept the one point in view at all times.

As its title asserts, the book deals with science, not speculation. The monistic theory of the universe - the theory that matter, mind, consciousness, and life are all manifestations of one substance - is now accepted by most thinkers; and if you accept this theory, you cannot deny the logical conclusions you will find herein. Best of all, the methods of thought and action prescribed have been tested by the author in his own case, and in the case of hundreds of others during twelve years of practice, with continuous and unfailing success. I can say of the Science of Being Well that it works; and that wherever its laws are complied with, it can no more fail to work than the science of geometry can fail to work. If the tissues of your body have not been so destroyed that continued life is impossible, you can get well; and if you will think and act in a Certain Way, you will get well.

If the reader wishes to fully understand the monistic theory of the cosmos, they are recommended to read Hegel and Emerson; to read also "The Eternal News," a pamphlet by J. J. Brown, 300 Cathcart Road, Govanhill, Glasgow, Scotland. Some enlightenment may also be found in a series of articles by the author, which were published in The Nautilus, Holyoke, Mass., during the year 1909, under the title, "What is Truth?"

Those who wish more detailed information as to the performance of the voluntary functions - eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping - may read "New Science of Living and Healing," "Letters to a Woman's Husband," and "The Constructive Use of Foods," booklets by W. D. Wattles, which may be obtained from the publishers of this book. I would also recommend the writings of Horace Fletcher, and of Edward Hooker Dewey. Read all these, if you like, as a sort of buttress to your faith; but let me warn you against making the mistake of studying many conflicting theories, and practicing at the same time, parts of several different "systems"; for if you get well, it must be by giving your WHOLE MIND to the right way of thinking and living.

Remember that the SCIENCE OF BEING WELL claims to be a complete and sufficient guide in every particular. Concentrate upon the way of thinking and acting it prescribes, and follow it in every detail, and you will get well; or if you are already well, you will remain so.

Trusting that you will go on until the priceless blessing of perfect health is yours, I remain,

Very truly yours,



Chapter 1 - The Principle of Health...................................
Chapter 2 - The Foundation of Faith.................................
Chapter 3 - Life and its Organisms....................................
Chapter 4 - What to Think...............................................
Chapter 5 - Faith.............................................................
Chapter 6 - Use of the Will..............................................
Chapter 7 - Health from God............................................
Chapter 8 - Summary of the Mental Actions......................
Chapter 9 - When to Eat..................................................
Chapter 10 - What to Eat.................................................
Chapter 11 - How to Eat..................................................
Chapter 12 - Hunger and Appetites...................................
Chapter 13 - In a Nutshell.................................................
Chapter 14 - Breathing.....................................................
Chapter 15 - Sleep...........................................................
Chapter 16 - Supplementary Instructions...........................
Chapter 17 - A Summary of the Science of Being Well.......

CHAPTER 1 - The Principle of Health

In the personal application of the Science of Being Well, as in that of the Science of Getting Rich, certain fundamental truths must be known in the beginning, and accepted without question. Some of these truths we state here:

The perfectly natural performance of function results from the natural action of the Principle of Life. There is a Principle of Life in the universe; it is the One Living Substance from which all things are made. This Living Substance permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe; it is in and through all things, like a very refined and diffusible ether. All life comes from it; its life is all the life there is.

Man is a form of this Living Substance, and has within him a Principle of Health. (The word Principle is used as meaning source.) The Principle of Health in man, when in full constructive activity, causes all the voluntary functions of his life to be perfectly performed. It is the Principle of Health in man which really works all healing, no matter what "system" or "remedy" is employed; and this Principle of Health is brought into Constructive Activity by thinking in a Certain Way.

I proceed now to prove this last statement. We all know that cures are wrought by all the different and often opposite, methods employed in the various branches of the healing art. The allopath, who gives a strong dose of a counter-poison, cures his patient; and the homeopath, who gives a diminutive dose of the poison most similar to that of the disease, also cures it. If allopathy ever cured any given disease, it is certain that homeopathy never cured that disease; and if homeopathy ever cured an ailment, allopathy could not possibly cure that ailment. The two systems are radically opposite in theory and practice; and yet both "cure" most diseases. And even the remedies used by physicians in any one school are not the same. Go with a case of indigestion to half a dozen doctors, and compare their prescriptions; it is more than likely that none of the ingredients of any one of them will be in the others. Must we not conclude that their patients are healed by a Principle of Health within themselves, and not by something in the varying "remedies"?

Not only this, but we find the same ailments cured by the osteopath with manipulations of the spine; by the faith healer with prayer, by the food scientist with bills of fare, by the Christian Scientist with a formulated creed statement, by the mental scientist with affirmation, and by the hygienists with differing plans of living. What conclusions can we come to in the face of all these facts but that there is a Principle of Health which is the same in all people, and which really accomplishes all the cures; and that there is something in all the "systems" which, under favorable circumstances arouses the Principle of Health to action? That is, medicines, manipulations, prayers, bills of fare, affirmations, and hygienic practices cure whenever they cause the Principle of Health to become active; and fail whenever they do not cause it to become active. Does not all this indicate that the results depend upon the way the patient thinks about the remedy, rather than upon the ingredients in the prescription?

There is an old story which furnishes so good an illustration on this point that I will give it here. It is said that in the middle ages, the bones of a saint, kept in one of the monasteries, were working miracles of healing; on certain days a great crowd of the afflicted gathered to touch the relics and be healed. On the eve of one of these occasions, some sacrilegious rascal gained access to the case in which the wonder-working relics were kept and stole the bones; and in the morning, with the usual crowd of sufferers waiting at the gates, the fathers found themselves shorn of the source of the miracle working power.

They resolved to keep the matter quiet, hoping that by doing so they might find the thief and recover their treasures; and hastening to the cellar of the convent they dug up the bones of a murderer, who had been buried there many years before. These they placed in the case, intending to make up some plausible excuse for the failure of the saint to perform his usual miracles on that day; and then they let in the waiting assemblage of the sick and infirm. To the intense astonishment of those in on the secret, the bones of the malefactor proved as efficacious as those of the saint; and the healing went on as before. One of the fathers is said to have left a history of the occurrence, in which he confessed that, in his judgment, the healing power had been in the people themselves all the time, and never in the bones at all. Whether this story is true or not, the conclusion applies to all the cures wrought by all the systems. The Power that Heals is in the patient themselves; and whether it shall become active or not does not depend upon the physical or mental means used, but upon the way the patient thinks about these means.

There is a Universal Principle of Life, as Jesus taught; a great spiritual Healing Power; and there is a Principle of Health in man which is related to this Healing Power. This is dormant or active, according to the way a man thinks. He can always quicken it into activity by thinking in a Certain Way.

Your getting well does not depend upon the adoption of some system, or the finding of some remedy; people with your identical ailments have been healed by all systems and all remedies. It does not depend upon climate; some people are well and others are sick in all climates. It does not depend upon avocation, unless in cases of those who work under poisonous conditions; people are well in all trades and professions. Your getting well depends upon your beginning to think - and act - in a Certain Way.

The way a person thinks about things is determined by what they believe about them. Their thoughts are determined by their faith, and the results depend upon them making a personal application of their faith. If someone has faith in the efficacy of a medicine, and is able to apply that faith to his or her self, that medicine will certainly cause them to be cured; but though their faith be great, they will not be cured unless they apply it to themselves.

Many sick people have faith for others but none for themselves. So, if you have faith in a system of diet, and can personally apply that faith, it will cure you; and if you have faith in prayers and affirmations and personally apply your faith, prayers and affirmations will cure you. Faith, personally applied, cures; and no matter how great the faith or how persistent the thought, it will not cure you without personal application.

The Science of Being Well, then, includes the two fields of thought and action. To be well it is not enough that you should merely think in a Certain Way; you must apply the thought to yourself, and must express and externalize it in your outward life by acting in the same way that you think.


CHAPTER 2  - The Foundations of Faith

Before a man can think in the Certain Way which will cause his disease to be healed, he must believe in certain truths which are here stated:

All things are made from one Living Substance, which, in its original state permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. While all visible things are made from It, yet this Substance, in Its first formless condition is in and through all the visible forms that It has made. Its life is in All, and the intelligence is in All. This substance creates by thought, and its method is by taking the form of that which It thinks about. The thought of a form held by this substance causes It to assume that form; the thought of a motion causes It to institute that motion. Forms are created by this substance in moving
Itself into certain attributes or positions.

When Original Substance wishes to create a given form, it thinks of the motions which will produce that form. When It wishes to create a world, It thinks of the motions, perhaps extending through ages, which will result in Its coming into the attitude and form of the world; and these motions are made. When It wishes to create an oak tree, It thinks of the sequences of movement, perhaps extending through ages, which will result in the form of an oak tree; and these motions are made. The particular sequences of motion by which differing forms should be produced were established in the beginning; they are changeless. Certain motions instituted in the Formless Substance will forever produce certain forms.

Man's body is formed from the Original Substance, and is the result of certain motions, which first existed as thoughts of Original Substance. The motions which produce, renew, and repair the body of man are called functions, and these functions are of two classes: voluntary and involuntary. The involuntary functions are under the control of the Principle of Health in man, and are performed in a perfectly healthy manner so long as man thinks in a certain way. The voluntary functions of life are eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. These, entirely or in part, are under the direction of person's conscious mind; and they can perform them in a perfectly healthy way if they will. If they do not perform them in a healthy way, they cannot long be well. So we see that if a person thinks in a certain way, and eats, drinks, breathes, and sleeps in a corresponding way, they will be well.

The involuntary functions of an individual's life are under the control of the Principle of Health, and so long as person thinks in a perfectly healthy way, these functions are perfectly performed; for the action of the Principle of Health is largely directed by one's conscious thought, affecting the subconscious mind. Man is a thinking center, capable of originating thought; and as he does not know everything, he makes mistakes and thinks error. Not knowing everything, he believes things to be true which are not true. A person holds in their thought the idea of diseased and abnormal functioning and conditions, and so perverts the action of the Principle of Health, causing diseased and abnormal functioning and conditions within the body.

In the Original Substance there are held only thoughts of perfect motion; perfect and healthy function; complete life. God never thinks disease or imperfection. But for countless ages mankind has held thoughts of disease, abnormality, old age, and death; and the perverted functioning resulting from these thoughts has become a part of the inheritance of the race. Our ancestors have, for many generations, held imperfect ideas concerning human form and functioning; and we begin life with racial subconscious impressions of imperfection and disease. This is not natural, or a part of the plan of nature.

The purpose of nature can be nothing else than the perfection of life. This we see from the very nature of life itself. It is the nature of life to continually advance toward more perfect living; advancement is the inevitable result of the very act of living. Increase is always the result of active living; whatever lives must live more and more. The seed, lying in the granary, has life, but it is not living. Put it into the soil and it becomes active, and at once begins to gather to itself from the surrounding substance, and to build a plant form. It will so cause increase that a seed head will be produced containing thirty, sixty, or a hundred seeds, each having as much life as the first.

Life, by living, increases. Life cannot live without increasing, and the fundamental impulse of life is to live. It is in response to this fundamental impulse that Original Substance works, and creates. God must live; and He cannot live except as He creates and increases. In multiplying forms, He is moving on to live more.

The Universe is a Great Advancing Life, and the purpose of nature is the advancement of life toward perfection; toward perfect functioning. The purpose of nature is perfect health. The purpose of nature, so far as man is concerned, is that he should be continuously advancing into more life, and progressing toward perfect life; and that he should live the most complete life possible in his present sphere of action. This must be so, because That which lives in man is seeking more life.

Give a little child a pencil and paper, and they begin to draw crude figures; That which lives in them is trying to express Itself in art. Give them a set of blocks, and he will try to build something; That which lives in them is seeking expression in architecture. Seat them at a piano, and they will try to draw harmony from the keys; That which lives in them is trying to express Itself in music. That which lives in man is always seeking to live more; and since man lives most when he is well, the Principle of Nature in him can seek only health. The natural state of man is a state of perfect health; and everything in him, and in nature, tends toward health.

Sickness can have no place in the thought of Original Substance, for It is by Its own nature continually impelled toward the fullest and most perfect life; therefore, toward health. Man, as he exists in the thought of the Formless Substance, has perfect health. Disease, which is abnormal or perverted function - motion imperfectly made, or made in the direction of imperfect life - has no place in the thought of the Thinking Stuff. The Supreme Mind never thinks of disease. Disease was not created or ordained by God, or sent forth from Him. It is wholly a product of separate consciousness; of the individual thought of man. God, the Formless Substance, does not see disease, think disease, know disease, or recognize disease. Disease is recognized only by the thought of man; God thinks nothing but health.

From all the foregoing, we see that health is a fact or TRUTH in the original substance from which we are all formed; and that disease is imperfect functioning, resulting from the imperfect thoughts of mankind, past and present. If our thoughts of ourselves had always been those of perfect health, we could not possibly now be otherwise than perfectly healthy Man in perfect health is the thought of Original Substance, and man in imperfect health is the result of his own failure to think perfect health, and to perform the voluntary functions of life in a healthy way.

We will here arrange in a syllabus the basic truths of the Science of Being Well:

There is a Thinking Substance from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. It is the life of All. The thought of a form in this substance causes the form; the thought of a motion produces the motion. In relation to man, the thoughts of this Substance are always of perfect functioning and perfect health.

Man is a thinking center, capable of original thought; and his thought has power over his own functioning. By thinking imperfect thoughts he has caused imperfect and perverted functioning; and by performing the voluntary functions of life in a perverted manner, he has assisted in causing disease.

If man will think only thoughts of perfect health, he can cause within himself the functioning of perfect health; and the Power of Life will be exerted to assist him. But this healthy functioning will not continue unless man performs the external, or voluntary, functions of living in a healthy manner.

Man's first step must be to learn how to think perfect health; and his second step to learn how to eat, drink, breathe, and sleep in a perfectly healthy way. If man takes these two steps, he will certainly become well, and remain so.

"The Science of Being Well" by Wallace D. Wattles

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The Science of Being Well
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