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Wild Path

A11. The Healing and Renewing Force of Spring.

Your body is acted on in its growth and changes by the same laws and elements which govern the growth and enter into all other organized bodies, such as trees, plants, birds, and animals.

In the early spring of every year, there comes and acts on this planet a force from the sun which affects all organized forms of life,—trees, birds, animals, and, above all, man. For man’s being the highest, most complicated, and most powerful mental organism on the planet, absorbs the most of this power, and will absorb far more in the future, and to far greater advantage than at present, as he learns to place himself in the best states to receive it.

Material science calls this force “heat”; but the quality known as heat is only its outward or physical manifestation. The quality known as heat which comes from the sun is not converted into heat until it reaches our planet and acts on the earth elements. There is little or no heat a few miles above the earth’s surface.

Were this force in the form of heat on leaving the sun, or during its passage, the air on the mountain tops would be as warm as that of the valleys. As we know, on the highest peaks snow and ice are perpetual, for the sun‑force at such elevation is not sufficiently mingled with earth elements to convert it into that degree of heat felt in the valleys and plains.

This force causes the increased movement and circulation of sap in the trees, which commences as soon as the sun of the new year acts on them. The sap is a new life to the tree, from which later comes its buds, blossoms, and fruitage. The inflowing of this unseen sun‑force gives the tree power to draw new supplies of nourishing elements through its roots from the earth. It gives it power also to cast off any dead leaves remaining of the last year’s crop which have hung on during the winter, as you may see in forests of oak or hickory.

This force acts also in the later winter and earlier spring months on animals and birds, especially if in their wild or natural state, causing them to shed their last year’s coats of fur or feathers. But this casting off of old visible matter is but a relatively small part of the change going on within them. There is also a casting out or shedding of old invisible matter throughout the bird or animal’s entire body. It goes off through the pores or other passages in various forms, some visible, others invisible, and is succeeded by new elements within, as the new fur, hair or feather is grown without.

Your body is governed by the same law. During the later winter and earlier spring months, you are “moulting.” You are casting off old, dead matter, and taking in new, providing you give this force opportunity to act on you to the best advantage, by ceasing to be active either with mind or body when they call for rest, as do birds and animals during their moulting period, or process of casting off the old elements and receiving the new.

This element or force received at this time by you and them is invisible to the physical eye, as all force is invisible. The new fur, the new plumage of the bird, the new skin and tissues without and within your body, if received, the new buds, leaves, and twigs, are all materialized expressions of this force. They are new crystallizations coming of a new solution of invisible chemicals, in which bird, animal, tree, and your body are bathed. All of last year’s solution or elements so absorbed have been used up. The tree or other visible organization of bird, animal, or your body, stands in the same relation to this reclothing solution as does the slip of metal in the solution of mineral which attracts out of such solution the crystallizations which form on it.

There is no great dividing line betwixt what we call matter and spirit. Matter is but a form of spirit or thought seen of the physical eye. Matter is force temporarily materialized, as in the lump of coal which, when set on fire, sends off the force bound up in it to move the engine. The lump passes then mostly into element invisible. So all about us we find force ever passing from physical visibility into invisibility, and vice versa. Millions on millions of tons of invisible matter may be on a clear day suspended over our heads one hour, the next to fall in the visible form of rain or snow, which a few hours after may be drawn upward again, but invisible.

The Indian called February and March the “weak months,” recognizing, as he did, being a closer observer of nature than we, the tendency to sluggishness and inactivity in animal and man, which always prevails when this power is recuperating, renerving and renewing any organized body.

The most perfect crystallizations out of mineral element come of the solution kept most free from agitation. Your body is governed by the same law in this spring renewing and recrystallization of its elements. To receive the fullest benefit of the healing and renewing element of spring, you should rest whenever you feel like resting, whether it be the middle of the day or the middle of the night. If you keep the body or mind at work against their inclination—if you force your muscles to exertion through mere strength of will‑if you work with either mind or body to the verge of utter exhaustion, not knowing how depleted you are of strength until your work is over, as thousands on thousands do and are compelled to do, through our unnatural system of life and the arbitrary demands of “business,” you prevent this healing and recuperative power from acting to its fullest extent on the body. You prevent the new element, which is renewing the tree and causing the buds to swell, from assimilating with your body. You hold on to worn‑out element which should be cast off as the oak has cast all its dead leaves before the winter is over; you carry, then, this dead element, a “dead weight,” about with you, instead of the new and upward rising life. It is this, among other causes, which stoops the shoulders, bleaches the hair, and furrows the face with wrinkles, through shrinkage of tissues.

The decay of the physical body that we call “old, age,” is owing entirely to man’s neither believing nor knowing that he can place himself in the proper conditions to receive a never ceasing supply of force, which would reclothe the spirit constantly with new material. Mere muscular strength and constant activity of body are not always signs of the most perfect health. In the delirium of fever a relatively weak man may require two or three others to hold him. When this delirium has passed away, he is weak as an infant, yet often, the crisis being passed, is pronounced out of danger. In a manner somewhat similar in the walks of business, in the keen, almost fierce competition of trade, thousands of people lead a feverish, excited life. They are always on a tension. They demand to be in this state. They cannot work unless “strung up” to a certain pitch. If, at times, through nature’s own demand for rest, their nerves are relaxed and they feel languid, they mistake this friendly signal for some form of disease, and treat it accordingly. Even in these cases, when laid for weeks or months on sick‑beds, and nursed through what is called a “dangerous illness,” and believing it to be one, they sometimes come out at last better and stronger than they had been for a long period previous. Why? Because through this enforced cessation from physical or mental activity, nature was at work as well as she could under certain unfavorable circumstances, rebuilding a worn‑out body, and as a result the man arose with new, fresh element in his bones, muscles, and nerves, put there because nature had then his body laid up in quiet, so it could be repaired.

If you will but entertain this idea of spring’s renewing force respectfully, though you cannot believe it thoroughly at first, you will receive much help by such respectful entertainment; for if you do not kick a live truth out of your mind when it first presents itself, it will take root and live there, and prove itself by doing you good.

Men, through incessant physical toil, wear out far sooner than is generally realized. The hardy sailor’s “hardiness” often lasts but a few years. He is often an old man at forty‑five. The toiling farmer, who works the year round from early dawn till dark, and thinks work to be the greatest virtue in the world, is often a mass of bony knobs and rheumatism at fifty. The average duration of lives of hard labor is much less than those given to occupations requiring less physical lugging, straining, and fagging, hour after hour, when the body is really exhausted.

In the mines of California, where I swung a pick for years, and worked with gangs of men, lifting, wheeling, and shovelling, I noted that the last three hours of a day’s work of ten and sometimes twelve hours’ length, was done by the men, strong as they might be, with far less spirit than the earlier day’s labor,— in fact it was often a mere pretense of work, unless the watchful eye of the “boss” was constantly on his men. Why? Because physically they were no longer fit to work. It was only will that was urging muscle to exertion. And of the stout, “hardy” miners, aged twenty‑five or thereabout, who were so working in 1860, and who persisted in such drudgery, a large majority are dead, and of those who are alive to‑day, four‑fifths are broken down men.

In the kingdom of nature, we find periods of rest constantly alternating with periods of activity. Trees rest during the winter. The circulation of sap is sluggish. There is no creation of leaf, blossom or fruit. Wild birds and animals after the summer breeding season, do little save eat and sleep. Some animals and reptiles sleep during the entire winter. Even soil must rest to bring the best crop. Where it is forced, through constant artificial fertilization, the product is inferior in flavor and nourishing quality to that raised on “virgin soil.” Disease, blight, and destructive insects come unknown to vegetation in its natural state. When man recognizes the fact that he cannot use his body year after year, from the budding strength of youth to the age of forty or fifty under such a full, unceasing pressure of nerve or will power without great injury, and when he does recognize the fact that through placing himself oftener in restful and receptive states, as do tree, bird, and animal in their natural state, he will then, through receiving far more of this element, enjoy a far greater health of body, elasticity of muscle, vigor and brilliancy of mind. He would also have other senses and powers awakened within him, whose existence is still doubted by most people.

Some Oriental and Indian races have, to an extent, the uses of these senses and powers, partly by reason of their more restful lives and their living like tree and animal, more in conformity to the influence on them of the seasons. They have not our domineering, aggressive force, which invades and conquers for a time, as England has conquered India, and our own people have subdued and almost exterminated the Indian. But mark: this force does not conquer in the end. The thought‑power which works most while the body is relatively inactive, is really the strongest, and ultimately prevails. It is subtle, noiseless, unseen. Working with the highest motive, it refines and polishes the rude, warlike, conquering races, by grafting on them the civilization of the conquered. In such manner was the art and civilization of conquered Egypt transferred to the Assyrian. Centuries afterward the conquered Assyrian transferred this power to conquering Greece. Greece fell before Rome, yet Grecian civilization held sway in Rome. Rome fell physically before the Goths and Vandals, the then savage races of Northern Europe; but in the kingdom of mind it is the influence of ancient Italy which has been the great factor in refining the Goth, Hun, and Vandal of ages ago into the modern German, Frenchman, Spaniard and Italian. Every convulsion, agitation, and conquest has made this power take root on a wider field. To‑day the best English mind is seriously studying the laws which at last it has recognized in India, and that force is in a sense to subdue England, for she is already sitting at the feet of India, receiving her first lessons in the alphabet of laws and force, hitherto quite unrecognized by her learned men. “What power is this?” you ask—“How gained? How developed?” It is the power coming of minds united on one purpose, in perfect concord, and who do not use it all in physical activity. For if you put all your thought or force in the working of the members of your body, in working with your hands at any calling day in and day out, year in and year out, with no regard to the impulses and instincts of times or seasons, you keep all that force working merely the instrument—the body— and wearing it out. You prevent it from operating at a distance from the body. You prevent also the inflowing and assimilation of this recuperative power of spring. You breed the habit of keeping the body always in motion. You prevent yourself from getting that order of sleep which would bring your body the most strength for the waking hours. For if the body or mind are fagged out day after day, the same order of thought prevails and is fagging it out by night. You breed the belief and error that you are accomplishing nothing unless at work with body or brain. You cannot get into that state of repose when your thought‑power could work at a distance and apart from your body, and bring you in time an hundred‑fold more of beneficial result than can ever be realized through mere physical exertion.

The quality in the plant’s leaf, root, or berry, which, when taken as medicine, acts on the internal organs, is the force in that plant, liberated through the digestive process. The strength you get from bread or meat is force liberated from the food in the same manner. Digestion is a slow burning up of the material taken in the body, as coal is burned in the boiler, and the force freed, by such burning you use to work the body as the engineer uses heat to run the engine. The newer the bud, the more tender is its outward material formation; yet that bud, when used medicinally, contains the most active force, principle, and quality of the plant. The choicest and strongest tea is made of the topmost and tenderest buds of the plant. In California, the bud of the poison oak affects some people though they only stand near it, so great is an injurious force it sends out in the air. The tender buds of spring contain that force which, later on, will make the more solid leaf or branch. In your own organization in the spring are the same tender, budding elements. So, if your body is weak in the spring, it is a sign that the new buds, so to speak, within you are forming. They are full of force. But that force has not had time to act on your material organization and form the new bone, muscle, and sinew which will come at a later period, providing such budding or new crystallization be not agitated, disturbed, and possibly destroyed by undue exertion of mind or body, where the same relative damage is done your body as would be done the budding tree by a hurricane.

Possibly you say, “But how can I carry on my business and earn my bread if I so lay my body up for nature’s repairs?” We answer, “The laws of man’s business are not the laws of nature. If nature says ‘Rest,’ and man says ‘Work,’ and will work or must work, man always gets the worst of it.” What society calls vicious practices or habits are not the only agencies which bring disease, pain, and death. Thousands perish annually in lingering agony on respectable beds, and in the “best society.” Consumption, cancer, insanity, dropsy, rheumatism, scrofula, fevers, rage and are ever raging among the most correct people, from the conventional standpoint. Why is this?

If you are in conditions of life where at present it is impossible to give yourself needed rest and you feel thoroughly the need of such rest, you may rely upon it that your persistent desire, your prayer, your imperious demand that you shall have opportunity to receive and profit by nature’s restoring forces, will bring you in some way the opportunity to so profit by them. When any need is thoroughly felt, the thought and desire coming of such feeling is itself a prayer—a force which will bring you helps and take you out of injurious surroundings and modes of life. We repeat this assertion often. It needs frequent repetition. It is the main‑spring of all growth and advance into a happier and more healthful life. The Christ of Judea embodied this great law in the words, “Ask, and ye shall receive: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” He wisely made no attempt to explain this mystery whereby earnest human thought, desire, or aspiration always in time brings the thing or result desired. For this and other mysteries are inexplicable, and so fast as any alleged cause is given for any certain result in nature’s workings, do we find a deeper mystery in the very cause. We say, “wind is air in motion.” What sets it in motion, and keeps it in motion? Once we “explained” the tides on the theory of the moon’s attraction. But apart from the tides, what power keeps in motion the gigantic system of currents ever traversing the oceans, revealed more fully during the last forty years? What power keeps our lungs breathing day and night, or the blood running to every part of the body? Are not all of these of the power of God, or the infinite spirit or force of good, working within you as it works in everything that lives and grows? Only to us is at last given the knowledge to work this power intelligently. The body of the tree, animal, and bird decays at last, through lack of such intelligence.

Q's note:

Take your time to heal and renew your energy.  Rest for a while.  Don't rush or jump into anything.  Rest!


Image Credit:


Google (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from


Mulford, P. (1886-1887). The healing and renewing force of spring. Your forces and how to use them (pp.239-247). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09

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