A HEALTH INSTITUTION WITH A SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION—By Dudley C. Outcalt
In general the American people today are better fed, housed and clothed, than at any time in the past. Then, too, education is not only provided at public cost for every child, but attendance is made compulsory. Yet, instead of being made healthier and happier by all of the comforts and cultural advantages so bounteously provided, a greater percentage of our people are diseased in mind and body than at any previous period of our history. The rugged pioneers with all their privations were much better off in the matter of things that really count.
The building of hospitals continues in all large centers in an ever-increasing ratio, but the sick are not cured nor their miseries removed. Have we been going at the thing the wrong way? It is estimated that more than 240,000 young people of from 18 to 30 years of age go into insane hospitals in the United States each year diagnosed as dementia praecox cases. The question faces us of whether this disorder, whether rightly named or not, could have been averted by different educational methods and appropriate treatment applied years before the breakdown occurred. If Yogoda is bringing the solution of the problem it is indeed the great friend in our hour of need.
Religion An Underlying Factor in Good Health
About three years ago there was formed in New York City The National Association for the Advancement of Scientific Healing. Its organizers were a group of leaders in medicine, religion and social service headed by Dr. Edward S. Cowles, an eminent psychiatrist and physician and a graduate of the Harvard Medical School. A society, more or less, ordinarily means little, but this one is significant because of the crystallization of a startling idea; namely, that education in the true sense must include religion and the latter health. Further, Dr. Cowles contends that true religion plays a more important part than does hygiene and diet in any movement for general good health. Health will always come with the consciousness that God is with us—a kind Father and a Great Friend. If, however, the dominant idea is that of a Terrible Avenger, the person suffers a deadly fear that takes deadly toll of his mind and body. Every true physician, says Dr. Cowles, is necessarily interested in religion.
Under the auspices of the association above mentioned there was established a clinic at St. Mark’s on the Bowery, unique in its methods and which is now known throughout the land for the fine results that have been achieved. The services are given gratis by a staff composed of medical specialists, clergymen and social workers.
At the close of each session of the clinic all of the people, patients and workers, join voluntarily in a short, simple, religious service that is undenominational, and all are asked to be calm, to rest, and to experience the indwelling of the Peace of God.
In the realm of education Dr. Cowles contends that a system which allows young men and women to become nervous wrecks and lunatics is wrong in principle and must be reformed. He says: "Education primarily should fit the child for efficient life service, should make the weak strong and the strong stronger. Let each community organize for a better educational and social order. We have not the right to criticize the cults until we can put through a program ourselves of actual constructive work that will outdo the best efforts of any of them. If another has a truth give him credit for it."
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