Rosicrucian Writings Online
How Nature Provides for Our NeedsBy Royle Thurston
[From The Mystic Triangle August 1929]
I WOULD like to call the attention of our readers, from time to time, to some of the natural methods which the ancients of all lands discovered, as valuable contributions to our physical needs. I do not refer to our needs for sustenance, but to our needs for health, vitality, strength, and the prevention and cure of diseases.
We hear so much about the marvelous cures that the Indian medicine men made through the use of nature's own remedies, as well as through psychological or mystical processes, and we read of similar cures made through natural methods by the Chinese, the ancient inhabitants of Thibet, the mystics of India, the wise men of Egypt, and the miracle workers of other lands, that often we feel that more information in regard to these things might make us better acquainted with many of nature's wonderful lessons.
As an illustration of one of these very unusual or rather uncommon benedictions from nature, I wish to refer briefly to a spring of peculiar water that is not popularly known in America, but which has an interesting history. This spring is located in the Berkshire hills at Lebanon Springs in New York state. The Indians knew of it, and it was famous with them for many centuries according to their ancient traditions. Among their peculiar rites and records, it is claimed that the weak, the sick, the diseased, and those especially suffering from unknown diseases or evil possessions, came to this spring, remained awhile, and went away again in perfect health.
It was in 1756 that a Captain James Hitchcock, an English officer who was stationed at Hartford, Connecticut, learned of the spring by some Indians whom he had befriended. They conducted him across the mountains to this spring, because his health had begun to fail, and he seemed to have some disease which herbs and medicine did not affect, and which the Indians believed was connected with the spirit of some evil being, which could be washed away by the waters of the spring.
May I be permitted to say in passing that these ideas held by the Indians in regard to an evil spirit holding a person in disease, and that water would wash away the evil influence, seemed crude expressions of what the Indians really thought. It has been my privilege to be the personal acquaintance of a number of Indian medicine men in the past, and to have been the student of many of the Indian medicine men's processes and beliefs as part of my long researches and study of matters relating to early mystical teachings. I must say that the common expressions of the American Indian's beliefs are simply the statements that the Indians gave to the white men, and not the true beliefs that the Indians held in their own hearts. Of course, I am speaking only of the educated Indians who were mystics of the first water, and real students of human psychology.
It is possible that the average uneducated Indian was told the same story that the average white man was told. When the educated Indian or the Indian medicine man or miracle worker spoke of evil influences, and possessions or obsessions, he was not speaking of spiritual beings, or creatures that took hold of another person, as was believed by those who followed the witchcraft doctrines. He was speaking of impersonal influences of an etheric nature, and the nearest I can come to interpreting his explanation is to say that he believed in spiritual vibrations which entered the human body at certain times, and set up certain causes of disease, these vibrations had to be removed by other methods than the use of medicines. We see in this a primitive form of a scientific understanding of the real psychic nature of many diseases. The idea that fire or water could change his vibrations or remove the evil influence is likewise a primitive form of an old scientific belief in regard to fire and water being universal solvents. This takes us into the realm of alchemy as associated with the early phases of the study of medicine, and therapeutic methods, and it is not my intention to go into this matter at the present time.
However, to go on with my story, the friendly Indians certainly performed a very friendly act when they led Captain Hitchcock to this old spring. Hitchcock's health began to improve, and in a manner that convinced him that the waters of the spring were responsible, and he began an investigation to determine who owned the spring and how its waters might be used to help many others who were unaware of this wonderful natural blessing. He found that the spring was owned by a Charles Goodrich, and that it could be leased. Hitchcock's plan was to protect it from becoming contaminated in any way, and to preserve it for the future, if such a thing was possible. It is a notable incident in the records that were preserved that on December 19th, 1778, the spring was leased to Hitchcock and the wording of the lease clearly shows the humanitarian purpose which Hitchcock had in mind, and which Goodrich recognized, for the lease reads that the spring was turned over to Hitchcock for the period of his natural life, and the consideration was "the love of God, the public good, as well as benevolence toward said Hitchcock."
In a few years, the fame of the spring spread throughout the communities of the white men, and an increasing number of visitors came to it to drink and to bathe. Most of these were cured of various physical conditions in such an unusual manner and so completely that the spring was called a miracle worker, and eventually it was known as "the blessed water--the wine of God." This is the name given to it in an ancient chronicle.
During the days of the first Rosicrucian organization with its headquarters in Philadelphia, the efficacy of this spring was known and its benefits told to many of the prominent men of governmental affairs who came in contact with the Rosicrucian organization. Persons went from Philadelphia, and even from Baltimore and other eastern cities to New York state to be benefited by this wonderful spring, and a treasured register of the visitors to the spring contains the autographs of the Marquis de Lafayette, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Daniel Webster, Joseph Bonaparte, the ex-king of Spain, De Witt Clinton, Charles Francis Adam, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George Peabody, Albert and Roscoe Conklin, and many others of historic fame.
The spring bubbles up from the bottom of a rock basin about twelve feet in diameter and nine feet deep, and at the present time yields an endless stream of about five hundred gallons a minute or approximately seven hundred and twenty thousand gallons a day. Scientific investigation has shown that the depth from which the water flows through numberless purifying strata to the surface of the earth is indicated by the fact that its volume is unaffected by surface conditions. In other words, it is not decreased by drought, or increased by rainfall. Many eminent scientists, chemists, and experts connected with experimental laboratories have investigated the spring from time to time, even recently. They find that the water has an unvarying temperature of seventy-eight degrees, the year round. Professor von Oefle, who is probably the leading authority in America on mineral waters says that the origin of the Lebanon spring was volcanic, which accounts for its even temperature of seventy-eight degrees. The many scientific analyses made of the water reveal that it has a very distinctive nature, resembling very closely the springs of Gastein and Wildbad in Europe. It is believed that the water has some radio activity because of its contact with certain elements deep in the earth.
According to those who have gone there and been benefited by the waters of the spring, it would appear that those who receive the utmost benefit are those who suffer from any abnormal condition of the kidneys and bladder. The water seemed to have an unusual effect upon broken-down tissues in these organs, and upon gouty and rheumatic affections, or upon most skin conditions.
The Rosicrucians have always held that the waters of this spring and similar springs contain mineral elements necessary to establish a harmonic chemical composition in the human body when such elements become deficient through improper eating, the destructive processes of germs, or the subnormal functioning of certain organs in the body. The most important of such minerals produces a solution of rare ingredients in which nitrogen and helium often predominate, thereby giving the radio activity in the water that greatly aids in curing certain diseases.
If any of our members are touring through New York state, I would suggest that they make a visit to the Berkshires at Lebanon springs, and enjoy this water for a few days, and likewise enjoy the many stories and interesting incidents told about its past and present accomplishments. I hope, however, that our members will not write to me or the organization asking for more details about the spring, or about how to get there or who owns it now, or how they may get samples or anything of this kind, for we are not attempting to advertise or promote any commercial activities in connection with this spring, and merely speak of it as an interesting illustration of nature's ways of contributing to our needs in disease as well as in health.
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