Science Of Being Well

By Wallace D. Wattles
Edited by & with new material by Darlene Hedrick Sartore

Timeless wisdom and a practical program for
vibrant health from the forgotten 1910 classic!

NOTES: From the Glossary

Throughout the Book 2 very important terms are used: "Purpose and The Certain Way"...


Today we generally use this word as a noun meaning variously:

  • The object toward which one strives (Example: a goal),

  • The reason for which something exists (Example: the purpose of life)

  • The reason for taking action (Example: our purpose is to get well).

The word "purpose" in Mr. Wattles' day was often used as a verb. When one purposes to do something, it means one completely intends to perform or accomplish that something. It describes total determination, dedication, and commitment.

I suggest that when you see this word used in The Science of Being Well, The Science of Getting Rich, or The Science of Being Great, you consider ALL possible meanings for "purpose". They all make sense!

The Certain Way

Mr. Wattles uses this phrase "The Certain Way" in all three of the books mentioned above, and there are a couple of meanings, both of which apply. First he is referring to:

  • A particular, specific way of thinking, acting, living, etc.

And the word "certain" also means:

  • Sure to come or happen; inevitable: certain success.

  • Established beyond doubt or question; indisputable. (Example: What is certain is that every effect must have a cause.)

  • Capable of being relied on; dependable: (Example: A quick and certain remedy.)

  • Having or showing confidence; assured.

Once again, all these meanings are useful.

* * * * * * * * * *

NOTE: In Chapters where there are terms and names which may be unfamiliar, or are not commonly used today, are explained in GREEN color AT the END of the Chapter in which there is FIRST ENCOUNTER with these words...

Chapter 1: The Principle of Health

1. 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:

2. The perfectly natural performance of function constitutes health, and 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, and 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.

3. A human being 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 a human being, when in full constructive activity, causes all the voluntary functions of life to be perfectly performed. It is the Principle of Health in a human being 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.

4. 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 counterpoison, 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. Although they cannot be used effectively at the same time in a sick person. 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 also 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"?

5. 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 conclusion 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 conditions, 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?

6. 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 all who did so were 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 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 effective 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.

7. Whether the 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 himself, 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 every human being which is related to this Healing Power. This is dormant or active, according to the way a person thinks. He can always quicken it into activity by thinking in a Certain Way.

8. 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 case 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.

9. The way a person thinks about things is determined by what he believes about them. His thoughts are determined by his faith, and the results depend upon his making a personal application of his faith. If a person has faith in the efficacy of a medicine, and is able to apply that faith to himself, that medicine will certainly cause him to be cured. But though his faith be great, he will not be cured unless he applies it to himself. Many sick people have faith for others but none for themselves. So, if he has faith in a system of diet, and can personally apply that faith, it will cure him. And if he has faith in prayers and affirmations and personally applies his faith, prayers and affirmations will cure him. Faith, personally applied, cures. And no matter how great the faith or how persistent the thought, it will not cure 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 a person should merely think in a Certain Way. The person must apply their thought to theirself, and must express and externalize it in their outward life by acting in the same way that person thinks.

Allopath... An allopath is a doctor who uses strong substances to counteract the body's processes during disease. The emphasis is often on stopping symptoms. Modern examples would be a medicine to reduce a fever, or dry up your runny nose during a cold, or a drug so you don't feel pain. During Mr. Wattles. time, injected morphine was the standard painkiller. A variety of substances we now recognize as toxic, such as mercury and large doses of strong alcohol, were common allopathic medicines back then.

Homeopath ... A homeopath is a doctor who uses extremely dilute doses of substances which, if taken in large dose, would cause the very same symptoms the patient is having. The theory is that symptoms are the natural result of the body's effort to heal itself, and that these dilute substances support, rather than counteract, this effort to heal.

Osteopath... An osteopath is a doctor who uses musculoskeletal manipulation with the goal of healing the whole body by restoring circulation and nerve impulses to all body organs and systems.

Bills of fare... In Mr. Wattles' day a "food scientist" would guide a person to health by giving a list of specific foods to eat or avoid. This could be called a diet plan, menu, or "bill of fare".

Christian Scientist... A Christian Scientist follows a religion founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, practicing spiritual healing based on the teaching that cause and effect are mental, and that sin, sickness, and death are destroyed by a full understanding of the divine principles of Jesus. teaching and healing.

Mental scientist... A mental scientist believes that the mind is fully capable of healing the body, or in limiting its healing, through belief, and that the mind can be trained in positive belief through verbalizing positive statements called "affirmations".

Hygienist.... Hygienists followed a health reform movement begun in the 1830's by Sylvester Graham. They urged a regimen of unrefined flour, daily exercise, cold baths, hard mattresses, loose clothing, and abstinence (from drinking alcohol, smoking, and masturbating), all tied to "Christian morality". As meat was viewed as a substance likely to stimulate immoral sexual passions, the ideal diet was thought to be vegetarian.

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