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The design of the following treatise is to explain the nature and laws of the inner life of man, and to contribute some light on the subject of Mental Hygiene, which is beginning to assume importance in the treatment of disease, and to attract the attention of physiologists.

We have aimed to illustrate the correspondence of the soul and body, their mutual action and reaction, and to demonstrate the causal relation of disordered mental states to diseased phyiological action, and the importance and mode of regulating the intellectual and affectional nature of the invalid under any system of medical treatment.

We have also endeavored to demonstrate the value, as remedial agencies, of those subtle forces, both material and spiritual, which the improved science of the age is beginning to recognize, and to explain the laws of our interior being which render the so-called magnetic treatment so efficient in the cure of diseased conditions of the organism, and which bids fair to supplant the current and longer established therapeutic systems.

We have pointed out the laws that govern the action of mind upon mind, and the transmission of vital force from one person to another, and the potent influence of our inward states in the generation of pathological conditions of the body, and in its restoration to health.

While it does not profess to be a work on mental philosophy, some discussion of the nature and laws of the mind seemed to be necessary to a proper understanding of the general subject of the volume. We have endeavored to prove the essential spirituality of human nature, to elucidate its hidden, undeveloped powers, and its vital and sympathetic relations to an ever-present world of spirits interfused within this outside circumference of being.

This latter idea is beginning to be looked upon as something more then a traditionary theory, on item in a creed, by a large and rapidly increasing number of intelligent persons in all countries of the world, and is a demonstrated fact that is taking its proper place in the positive science of the day. It is to be hoped the volume may prove acceptable and useful to all who feel an interest in the imperfectly explored region of human knowledge into which it attempts to penetrate with the light of philosophy.

It was far from our design to present to the public an exhaustive treatise on the subjects discussed, but to give, with as much brevity as was consistent with perspicuity, fruitful hints and suggestions, to stimulate thought and lead to further inquiries.

The author had but little in works on mental and physiological science to guide him in his investigations, but was under the necessity of following the light of his own researches, experiments, and intuitions. He claims no infallibility for his opinions and conclusions, but submits them to the candid judgment of all men who love truth for its own sake.

(W.F.E. Claremont N.H. Feb 22nd, 1869.)


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