DESIGN OF PROCREATIVE POWER IN NATURAL EXERCISE AND REST.
Creative power was given to convey the gift of an unending existence to others, and to do that work in the best manner possible, there can be no lower estimate of its design. Unlike the appetite for food, which sustains the life of the individual by rational indulgence, the procreative energy gives off life, and is ever exhausting except in its rest and the distribution of that force to sustain other mental or physical activi ties. It is capable of stirring the brain and spinal cord to exalted, intense action, which, if not early and carefully guarded, takes on an insane unrest which is unmanageable. Perfect control and self direction of this power is possible, and is a strong lever for the control of all others, and nowhere is self-guidance more necessary in order to secure its greatest good. Were we to choose, we should ask of our parents, as our simplest right, that they give'us the most perfect organization of soul and body which it is in their power to bestow, though their after-care might be only the protection of the humblest home in a life of poverty. This gift cannot be given in its fulness till the parents have reached a well-pre served maturity themselves.
Within the limits of a well-assorted marriage there is room for all the expenditure of creative power which is well for either parent. In the gift of a new life, the soul and all the vital forces become exalted to their greatest intensity of action, and then, through the medium of the nervous system, the soul, energies, and physical strength are called from the brain, spinal cord, and every portion of the body, to the centres of reproduction, where they are given off and lost if the natural result be not The return to the individual man for this exhaustive drainage of all the energies is the immortal inheri tance given to his children, and a pure spiritual and intense physical happiness which is hallowed in mar riage, but accursed outside its limits; If the sexual act is quite natural and uninter rupted, the strong movement of the nervous currents and of the blood is downward, diverting from the nerve centres, and stilling the tumultuous agitation in the quiet of exhaustion. This quiet is purchased, whether in health or disease, by au expenditure which cannot be frequently made without a loss which would essentially curtail the strength necessary for the daily activities of a useful life. In this connec tion it should be remembered that no action is so intimately associated with every fibre of soul-organi zation, and, in health, moves so quickly with the thoughts and feelings. Everyone knows how readily adverse mental impressions will turn the strongest movements of the affections, as well as the tides of physical feeling, to utter coldness or bitter repulsion. There is a wise reason for this great susceptibility, for the ends of marriage should never be reached but in the greatest soul harmony between the parents.
Rest of soul and body is ever.the essential element in the recuperation or recreation of either. The rule, without exception, in regard to all the bodily functions is, that the more exhaustive and intense the quality of action, the more fully it should be understood, the more care needed in its exercise, and the more imperative a requisite interval for rest. It has been urged that the exercise of the creative func tion was necessary to the mental and physical health and the longevity of every man and woman; but I assert that a life of useful and chaste celibacy is not only possible, but entirely healthful, and much more so than living in a perverted marriage relation, when onanism, unhappy alienation, or sexual excesses are found.
Often in the happiest marriage, for weeks and months, there may be need of the same self-control that enables the unmarried to be happily continent. In the decline of old age, or when there is general loss of power, as in those diseases dependent upon nervous exhaustion or leading to it, rest from all sources of nervous tumult and drainage is imperatively de manded. In such cases voluntary expenditure of virile force is as debilitating as exhaustive veriesection under the same circumstances. Thinking men of dif erent nations, in all ages, who have tested the results of conservation of this power in its influence upon the body and intellect, both before and after the period of senile decadence, have borne unanimous testimony to its wisdom.
There is no richer or more desirable gift to or woman than a full endowment of creative or sexual vigor; but it should. be remembered that this vigor in health, while forceful to the fullest degree, is con trollable, and only in impaired conditions of the ner vous system is it incessantly unrestful and excitable. It will be seen from all we have said that control of this force is difficult, and certain diseased conditions make it painfully so. Some may say it costs too much self-denial to struggle, wait, and suffer priva tions, if such is the price to pay for the highest man hood, but it may justly be asked in return if there is anything in life better worth striving for? Is any high attainment ever made without effort and trial? And what is the possession of millions, the fame of the poet, the scholar, or the artist, with individual degradation? There is no success worth the name for any of us save as we are a success in ourselves 'in the personal attainment of true manliness. Years of careful study and observation as a physician prove that this method of self-control, considered so hard, is by far easier than an incontinent life, and more conducive to happiness, health, longevity, and the highest intellectual and spiritual attainments.