• Preface
  • Chapter 1 – The Principle of Health
  • Chapter 2. The Foundations 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


This volume is the second of a series, the first of which is “THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH.” As that book is 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, through 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, he is 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

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 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 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 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 man 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 man 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 him without personal application. The Science of Being Well, then, includes the two fields of thought and action. To be well is not enough that man should merely think in a Certain Way; he must apply his thought to himself, and he must express and externalize it in his outward life by acting in the same way that he thinks.

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 man’s conscious mind; and he can perform them in a perfectly healthy way if he will.

If he does not perform them in a healthy way, he cannot long be well. So we see that if man thinks in a certain way, and eats, drinks, breathes, and sleeps in a corresponding way, he will be well.

The involuntary functions of a man’s life are under the control of the Principle of Health, and so long as man thinks in a perfectly healthy way, these functions are perfectly performed; for the action of the Principle of Health is largely directed by man’s conscious thought, affecting his 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. Man holds in his 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 his own 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 men have 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 sub- conscious 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 he begins to draw crude figures; That which lives in him is trying to express Itself in art. Give him a set of blocks, and he will try to build something; That which lives in him is seeking expression in architecture. Seat him at a piano, and he will try to draw harmony from the keys; That which lives in him 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 men, past and present. If man’s thoughts of himself had always been those of perfect health, man 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.

Chapter 3. Life And Its Organisms

The human body is the abiding place of an energy which renews it when worn; which eliminates waste or poisonous matter, and which repairs the body when broken or injured. This energy we call life. Life is not generated or produced within the body; it produces the body.

The seed which has been kept in the storehouse for years will grow when planted in the soil; it will produce a plant. But the life in the plant is not generated by its growing; it is the life which makes the plant grow.

The performance of function does not cause life; it is life which causes function to be performed. Life is first; function is afterward.

It is life which distinguishes organic from inorganic matter, but it is not produced after the organization of matter.

Life is the principle or force which causes organization; it builds organisms.

It is a principle or force inherent in Original Substance; all life is One.

This Life Principle of the All is the Principle of Health in man, and becomes constructively active whenever man thinks in a certain way. Whoever, therefore, thinks in this Certain Way will surely have perfect health if his external functioning is in conformity with his thought. But the external functioning must conform to the thought; man cannot hope to be well by thinking health, if he eats, drinks, breathes, and sleeps like a sick man.

The universal Life Principle then, is the Principle of Health in man. It is one with original substance. There is one Original Substance from which all things are made; this substance is alive, and its life is the Principle of Life of the universe. This Substance has created from itself all the forms of organic life by thinking them, or by thinking the motions and functions which produce them.

Original Substance thinks only health, because It knows all truth; there is no truth which is not known in the Formless, which is All, and in all. It not only knows all truth, but it has all power; its vital power is the source of all the energy there is. A conscious life which knows all truth and which has all power cannot go wrong or perform function imperfectly; knowing all, it knows, too much to go wrong, and so the Formless cannot be diseased or think disease.

Man is a form of this original substance, and has a separate consciousness of his own; but his consciousness is limited, and therefore imperfect. By reason of his limited knowledge man can and does think wrongly, and so he causes perverted and imperfect functioning in his own body.

Man has not known too much to go wrong. The diseased or imperfect functioning may not instantly result from an imperfect thought, but it is bound to come if the thought becomes habitual. Any thought continuously held by man tends to the establishment of the corresponding condition in his body.

Also, man has failed to learn how to perform the voluntary functions of his life in a healthy way. He does not know when, what, and how to eat; he knows little about breathing, and less about sleep.

He does all these things in a wrong way, and under wrong conditions; and this because he has neglected to follow the only sure guide to the knowledge of life. He has tried to live by logic rather than by instinct; he has made living a matter of art, and not of nature. And he has gone wrong.

His only remedy is to begin to go right; and this he can surely do. It is the work of this book to teach the whole truth, so that the man who reads it shall know too much to go wrong.

The thoughts of disease produce the forms of disease. Man must learn to think health; and being Original Substance which takes the form of its thoughts, he will become the form of health and manifest perfect health in all his functioning.

The people who were healed by touching the bones of the saint were really healed by thinking in a certain way, and not by any power emanating from the relics. There is no healing power in the bones of dead men, whether they be those of saint or sinner.

The people who were healed by the doses of either the allopath or the homeopath were also really healed by thinking in a certain way; there is no drug which has within itself the power to heal disease.

The people who have been healed by prayers and affirmations were also healed by thinking in a certain way; there is no curative power in strings of words.

All the sick who have been healed, by whatsoever “system,” have thought in a certain way; and a little examination will show us what this way is.

The two essentials of the Way are Faith, and a Personal Application of the Faith.

The people who touched the saint’s bones had faith; and so great was their faith that in the instant they touched the relics they SEVERED ALL MENTAL RELATIONS WITH DISEASE, AND MENTALLY UNIFIED THEMSELVES WITH HEALTH.

This change of mind was accompanied by an intense devotional FEELING which penetrated to the deepest recesses of their souls, and so aroused the Principle of Health to powerful action. By faith they claimed that they were healed, or appropriated health to themselves; and in full faith they ceased to think of themselves in connection with disease and thought of themselves only in connection with health.

These are the two essentials to thinking in the Certain Way which will make you well: first, claim or appropriate health by faith; and second, sever all mental relations with disease, and enter into mental relations with health.

That which we make ourselves, mentally, we become physically; and that with which we unite ourselves mentally we become unified with physically. If your thought always relates you to disease, then your thought becomes a fixed power to cause disease within you; and if your thought always relates you to health, then your thought becomes a fixed power exerted to keep you well.

In the case of the people who are healed by medicines, the result is obtained in the same way. They have consciously or unconsciously, sufficient faith in the means used to cause them to sever mental relations with disease and enter into mental relations with health.

Faith may be unconscious. It is possible for us to have a subconscious or inbred faith in things like medicine, in which we do not believe to any extent objectively; and this sub-conscious faith may be quite sufficient to quicken the Principle of Health into constructive activity. Many who have little conscious faith are healed in this way; while many others who have great faith in the means are not healed because they do not make any personal application to themselves; their faith is general, but not specific for their own cases.

In the Science of Being Well we have two main points to consider: First, how to think with faith; and second, how to so apply the thought to ourselves as to quicken the Principle of Health into constructive activity. We begin by learning What to Think.

Chapter 4. What To Think

In order to sever all mental relations with disease, you must enter into mental relations with health, making the process positive not negative; one of assumption, not of rejection. You are to receive or appropriate health rather than to reject and deny disease.

Denying disease accomplishes next to nothing; it does little good to cast out the devil and leave the house vacant, for he will presently return with others worse than himself. When you enter into full and constant mental relations with health, you must of necessity cease all relationship with disease. The first step in the Science of Being Well is then, to enter into complete thought connection with health.

The best way to do this is to form a mental image or picture of yourself as being well, imagining a perfectly strong and healthy body; and to spend sufficient time in contemplating this image to make it your habitual thought of yourself.

This is not so easy as it sounds; it necessitates the taking of considerable time for meditation, and not all persons have the imaging faculty well enough developed to form a distinct mental picture of themselves in a perfect or idealized body. It is much easier, as in “The Science of Getting Rich,” to form a mental image of the things one wants to have; for we have seen these things or their counterparts, and know how they look; we can picture them very easily from memory. But we have never seen ourselves in a perfect body, and a clear mental image is hard to form.

It is not necessary or essential, however, to have a clear mental image of yourself as you wish to be; it is only essential to form a CONCEPTION of perfect health, and to relate yourself to it. This Conception of Health is not a mental picture of a particular thing; it is an understanding of health, and carries with it the idea of perfect functioning in every part and organ.

You may TRY to picture yourself as perfect in physique; that helps; and you MUST think of yourself as doing everything in the manner of a perfectly strong and healthy person. You can picture yourself as walking down the street with an erect body and a vigorous stride; you can picture yourself as doing your day’s work easily and with surplus vigor, never tired or weak; you can picture in your mind how all things would be done by a person of full of health and power, and you can make yourself the central figure in the picture, doing things in just that way.

Never think of the ways in which weak or sickly people do things; always think of the way strong people do things. Spend your leisure time in thinking about the Strong Way, until you have a good conception of it; and always think of yourself in connection with the Strong Way of Doing Things. This is what I mean by having a Conception of Health.

In order to establish perfect functioning in every part, man does not have to study anatomy or physiology, so that he can form a mental image of each separate organ and address himself to it. He does not have to “treat” his liver, his kidneys, his stomach, or his heart.

There is one Principle of Health in man, which has control over all the involuntary functions of his life; and the thought of perfect health, impressed upon this Principle, will reach each part and organ. Man’s liver is not controlled by a liver- principle, his stomach by a digestive principle, and so on; the Principle of Health is One.

The less you go into the detailed study of physiology, the better for you. Our knowledge of this science is very imperfect, and leads to imperfect thought. Imperfect thought causes imperfect functioning, which is disease. Let me illustrate: Until quite recently, physiology fixed ten days as the extreme limit of man’s endurance without food; it was considered that only in exceptional cases could he survive a longer fast.

So the impression became universally disseminated that one who was deprived of food must die in from five to ten days; and numbers of people, when cut off from food by shipwreck, accident, or famine, did die within this period. But the performance of Dr. Tanner, the forty-day faster, and the writings of Dr. Dewey and others on the fasting cure, together with the experiments of numberless people who have fast