Karezza, Ethics of Marriage, by Alice B. Stockham, , at sacred-texts.com
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.
No doubt if the idea of Karezza is new, the first thought will be that it is impossible, and that no one can so regulate his life as thus proposed. But scores of married men and women attest that such self-control is perfectly and easily possible.
At all times to subordinate the physical senses and desires to the spiritual is a matter of education and growth in the knowledge of the laws of being - a knowledge of the power of the spiritual nature.
There is no part of the body that is not under the dominion of the mind, and that cannot be influenced by an intelligent voluntary mental action. Certain physiological processes and muscular movements that ordinarily have been classed involuntary are really carried on by the unconscious or subconscious action of the mind, by the intelligent operation of creative energy.
The body cannot think, cannot move, cannot perpetuate itself. It is made up of solids, fluids and gases, and without mind it has no power; it has no living, moving, breathing, creating force in itself.
Creative energy as intelligence enables us to breathe, day in and day out, sleeping or waking. Mind in its unerring and subconscious action propels the heart's blood through radiating channels and microscopic tubes, defying the law of gravitation and keeping a uniform rhythm day and night for scores of years.
It is mind, surely, that enables cells to discriminate and take from heterogeneous varieties of food, and appropriate with an orderly and unerring skill, material for either bone, muscle or sinew.
All physiological functions and vital processes can be modified by a conscious action of the intellect, a voluntary mental effort. This is true of the liver, the kidneys, the skin and the processes of digestion, circulation, excretion and secretion. They are not automatic and fixed beyond our control as has been taught.
One breathes naturally about twenty times a minute, but by a very little effort one may train the subconscious mind, so unceasingly engaged in inspiration and expiration, to hold the breath for a long period of time. Although one winks unconsciously when an object flits suddenly before
the vision, still consciously, he can steadily hold the eye open and gaze at the same object.
Darwin mentions the case of a person who could suspend the pulsations of the heart at pleasure, and of another who could move his bowels at will - accelerating their peristaltic action by thought alone. Thinking of fruit, sour or luscious, affects the salivary glands and causes the mouth to water. The thought of some stimulant or medicinal preparation has an effect similar to that of the thing itself, even if less in degree.
Many years since I had a patient to whom I had given a preparation of podophyllum for a torpid liver. Two or three powders produced the desired result. Several months afterwards he laughingly told me that he had carried one of those powders in his pocket, and whenever he thought he needed to stimulate the action of the
liver, he imagined the taste and peculiar properties of the remedy, and soon was happy in having the desired result although he still preserved the powder. This was at least a more economical procedure for the patient than for the doctor.
Medical science is coming to recognize the power of thought over all bodily functions. It is possible, too, that the laws of the mind will become so universally understood that desired action of special functions can be obtained without even carrying the remedy in the pocket.
All so-called physical sensations represent conditions of thought, or rather results and effects of thought building, and are more or less under control of the mind's action.
Habits of thought produce and govern susceptibility to degrees of temperature to barometric conditions; to varied effects of food
and drink. For one, sensation, lays down the law of heat and cold to the nicety of a degree, while for another certain rheumatic pains or stings predict a westerly gale or a northeastern thunder storm. Is it any glory to make thermometers and barometers of our bodies through our cultivated sensations? Will it not rather redound to one's credit if he has power of adaptation, and has ceased to limit his activities through his feelings?
The body, which has been coddled and babied through the centuries is not the living man and must not dominate him. Man is a living, spiritual being. Recognition and acknowledgement of the power of the spirit, not only frees him from limitation of the senses, but gives him dominion over every faculty and function of the body. "It is the glory of man to control himself,"
and the best use to make of his life is to develop and demonstrate the supremacy of the spiritual over the physical.
Only within a few years have Western people learned that they can consciously and systematically train all their powers. This training enables the possessor to attain health, strength, peace of mind and control of body.
Karezza teaches the supreme action of the will over the sexual nature, as well as the complete appropriation of the creative energy to high aims, lofty purposes and enduring results. In this knowledge man is no more the machine to be buffeted by circumstance and environment; he is rather the machinist having control of both the mechanism and the power of the bodily instrument. He recognizes in his spiritual nature the real man which has unlimited resources, and he claims the ability to remove self-made limitations.
He enthrones his divine nature which gives dominion and mastery, and at no time does this dominion serve him with more satisfaction than in the marital relation, thus making possible the attainment of Karezza.