Or The Yogi Philosophy Of Physical Well-Being
by Yogi Ramacharaka (1904)
The Mental Attitude.
Those who have familiarized themselves with the Yogi teachings regarding the
Instinctive Mind and its control of the physical body—and also of the effect
of the Will upon the Instinctive Mind-will readily see that the mental
attitude of the person will have much to do with his or her health. Bright,
cheerful and happy mental attitudes reflect themselves in the shape of normal
functioning of the physical body, while depressed mental states, gloom, worry,
fear, hate, jealousy, and anger all react upon the body and produce physical
inharmony and, eventually disease.
We are all familiar with the fact that good news and cheerful surroundings
promotes a normal appetite, while bad news, depressing surroundings, etc.,
will cause the loss of the appetite. The mention of some favorite dish ill
make the mouth water, and the recollection of some unpleasant experience or
sight may produce nausea.
Our mental attitudes are mirrored in our Instinctive Mind, and as that
principle of mind has direct control of the physical body, it may readily be
understood just how the mental state takes form in the physical action of
Depressing thought affects the circulation, which in turn affects every part
of the body, by depriving it of its proper nourishment. Inharmonious thought
destroys the appetite, and the consequence is that the body does not receive
the proper nourishment, and the blood becomes impoverished. On the other hand,
cheerful, optimistic thought promotes the digestion, increases the appetite,
helps the circulation, and, in fact, acts as a general tonic upon the system.
Many persons suppose that this idea of the affect of the mind upon the body is
but the idle theory of occultists, and persons interested along the line of
mental therapeutics, but one has but to go to the records of scientific
investigators to realize that this theory is based upon well established
Experiments have been tried, many times, tending to prove that the body is
most receptive to the mental attitude or belief, and persons have been made
sick, and others cured by simple auto-suggestion or the suggestion of others,
which in effect are but strong mental attitudes.
The saliva is rendered a poison under the influence of anger; mother's milk
becomes poisonous to the babe if the mother manifests excessive anger or fear.
The gastric juice ceases to flow freely if the person becomes depressed or
fearful. A thousand instances of this kind could be given.
Do you doubt the fact that disease may be primarily caused by negative
thinking? Then listen to the testimony of a few authorities of the Western
"Any severe anger or grief is almost certain to be succeeded by fever in
certain parts of Africa."—Sir Samuel Baker, in the British and
Foreign Medico Chirurgical Review.
"Diabetes from sudden mental shock is a true, pure type of a physical
malady of mental origin."—Sir B. W. Richardson, in
"In many cases, I have seen reasons for believing that cancer had its
origin in prolonged anxiety." —Sir George Pages in
“I have been surprised how often patients with primary cancer of the liver
lay the cause of this ill health to protracted grief or anxiety. The cases
have been far too numerous to be accounted for as mere coincidences."—
"The vast majority of cases of cancer, especially of breast or uterine
cancer, are probably due to mental anxiety."—Dr. Snow, in The
Dr. Wilks reports cases of jaundice resulting from mental conditions. Dr.
Churton, in the British Medical Journal, reports a case of jaundice
arising from anxiety. Dr. Makenzie reports several cases of pernicious anemia
caused by mental shock. Hunter reports "an exciting cause of angina
pectoris has long been known to be emotional excitement."
"Eruptions on the skin will follow excessive mental strain. In all these,
and in cancer, epilepsy, and mania from mental causes, there is a
predisposition. It is remarkable how little the question of physical disease
from mental influences has been studied."-Richardson.
"My experiments show that irascible, malevolent and depressing emotions
generate in the system injurious compounds, some of which are extremely
poisonous; also that agreeable happy emotions generate chemical compounds of
nutritious value, which stimulates the cells to manufacture energy."—
Dr. Hack Tuke, in his well known work on mental diseases, etc., written long
before the "Mind-cure" interest was manifested in the Western world,
gives numerous cases of diseases produced by fear, among them being, Insanity,
idiocy, paralysis, jaundice, premature greyness and baldness, decay of the
teeth, uterine troubles, erysipelas3 eczema and impetigo.
During times when contagious diseases are prevalent in communities, it is a
well attested fact that fear causes a great number of the cases, and also
causes many deaths in cases in which the attack is but light. This is readily
understood when we consider the fact that contagious diseases are more apt to
attack the person manifesting impaired vitality, and the further fact that
fear and kindred emotions impair the vitality.
There have been a number of good books written upon this matter, so there is
no occasion for us to dwell at length upon this part of the general subject.
But before leaving it, we must impress upon our students the truth of the oft
repeated statement as "Thought takes form in action," and that
mental conditions are reproduced in physical manifestations.
The Yogi Philosophy, in its entirety, tends to produce a mental attitude of
calmness, peace, strength and absolute fearlessness among its students, which,
of course, is reflected in their physical condition. To such persons mental
calmness and fearlessness comes as a matter of course, and no special effort
is necessary to produce it. But to those who have not as yet acquired this
mental calm, a great improvement may be obtained by the carrying of the
thought of the proper mental attitude, and the repetition of mantrams
calculated to produce the mental image. We suggest the frequent repetition of
the words "BRIGHT, CHEERFUL AND HAPPY," and the frequent
contemplation of the meaning of the words. Endeavor to manifest these words
into physical action, and you will be greatly benefited both mentally and
physically, and will also be preparing your mind to receive high spiritual