THEOSOPHY, Vol. 25, No. 4, February, 1937
(Pages 178-182; Size: 15K)

SERUM THERAPY

AN important part of the work of the Theosophical Movement is to compare and contrast the limited applications of the laws of Nature made by the world of Science to the practical problems of physical, mental and moral existence, with the universal applications of doctrine which are possible through the perspective of the Wisdom-Religion. It is not that our scientists are ignorant of the laws of life, but rather that realization of the universal presence of Life is lacking. Thus, in all the applied sciences, there is perception of but a part of truth and a total neglect of the whole field of consciousness as yet unknown. A man cannot act on any plane without causing results to flow on every plane of being, whether he is aware of their existence or not. This means that while his actions may appear perfectly lawful within the limitations of his perceptive power, the lawlessness of such actions, when considered as causative factors on other planes, is evident only to beings to whom the existence of these planes is a Reality.

Herein lies the responsibility of theosophists. It is their duty to provide for all who will listen a clear vision of the moral character of every human act, in general, and specifically when occasion demands. To illustrate: Prevailing medical and lay opinion is of the belief that certain of the physical inharmonies which we call "disease" may be adjusted or eliminated through an injection into the body of substances foreign to the human organism. Evidence, theoretical and clinical, indicates the validity of this contention, it is held.

In order to consider this most important question in the light of Theosophy, it is necessary first to take cognizance of the laws availed of by medical science to come to this conclusion. First we shall regard the basic ideas that lie behind the practice of serum therapy, as well as the possible infringement of physical and moral laws of nature; second, we shall look at the record of evidence that has been accumulating for many years. The fundamental ideas upon which this method of treatment is based may be briefly stated:

1. Infectious diseases are caused by the invasion of parasitic microbes -- bacteria -- a specific type to each disease. And lately it has been considered possible that more than one micro-organism may unite as primary agents of infection.

2. Bacteria having entered the body, disease results unless the natural anti-toxins are strong enough to defeat the invaders. They may be "filtered out" by the lymph glands or otherwise destroyed.

3. Science believes that the natural defenses are insufficient to combat the viruses of smallpox, diphtheria and other diseases thought to be caused by germs.

4. Vaccination introduces into the blood stream cultures of the disease which are too weak to bring about an infection but which stimulate defensive reactions.

5. Serums are manufactured through inoculation of animals, usually horses, with germs of the disease. Then blood is taken from the living animal from which the serum is extracted, presumably containing anti-toxin and weakened germs of the original disease.

The first effects of serum therapy are in the majority of cases apparently beneficial, although many instances have been recorded where disastrous effects have followed immediately after inoculation. However, let us ignore for the time the latter cases (as Medical Science does so readily, when not naming the victims martyrs to the race) and concern ourselves with the "successes."

Having briefly outlined the essential principles involved in inoculation as agreed upon for the present by those in authority, let us consider some other "principles" that perhaps are also involved. It is obvious even to those who believe in the Darwinian theory of evolution, that there is a caste system in nature -- dividing lines which cannot be transgressed without disastrous consequences. To Theosophists, who see life in all things, the various degrees of intelligent life are far more numerous. Each level is the result of millions of years of special evolution. In the human kingdom, the geneticist will say -- and it is self evident -- there are definite caste or race lines which should not be mingled. Why? Because the union of a higher type with an inferior one always results in the deterioration of the higher, as well as the upsetting of the natural basis of the so-called inferior type.

If, then, within the various kingdoms themselves there are caste lines, how much greater is the danger when the lines between kingdoms themselves are broken. Scientists have often found that harmless bacteria become dangerously virulent when passed from one organism to another of a higher type. It is well known that in cases of blood transfusion, where the blood of the donor has to be practically identical with that of the receiver, the latter frequently takes on some of the characteristics of the donor. Thus we see that there are "castes" of blood within castes of men. Each individual is a "caste system" within himself, and the sanctity of that individual cannot be violated with impunity.

Scientists, as a rule, have their attention fixed on but two things in their experiments with inoculation: the bacteria that (theoretically) cause the disease, and the anti-bodies supposed to annihilate the disease-producing bacteria. But are these factors the only ones to be considered? What effect do the sub-microscopic substances -- perhaps filterable viruses, or other entities -- that must exist in the blood stream of an animal, have upon the body when they are transplanted into the human blood stream? According to The Secret Doctrine, "Occultism -- which discerns a life in every atom and molecule ... affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the smallest infusoria." If this be true then there are many more factors than those recognized by the Science of Medicine to be understood in this question of inoculation.

Dr. Landsteiner reported at the Harvard Tercentenary celebration that the same mechanism which protects the human body against disease germs is responsible for the long list of allergic diseases -- diseases to which the body acquires a changed susceptibility as the result of inoculation. He also revealed that a slight change in the mechanism that makes possible the treatment of diphtheria with anti-toxin, results in the dreaded reaction known as anaphylaxis, which sometimes produces fatal convulsions upon injections of anti-toxin. This calls to mind a statement by Mr. Judge in The Ocean of Theosophy. Speaking of the lives in the cells, he writes that "they are divided into two classes, one the destroyers, the other the preservers, and these two war upon each other from birth until the destroyers win." Moreover, the same lives which were once preservative may become the destroyers. (See S.D. I, pp. 262-3.) Why should not the unnatural injection of foreign matter into the human organism bring about such a change?

To the short-sighted, any drug or alcoholic drink accomplishes its purpose -- but what about the after-effects, the real effects? It is admitted by some of our doctors that medical research has brought little or no real gain in the general health of the people, for while some diseases have been eliminated these are being replaced by others slower in action but more painful. The statistics for cancer, diabetes, sleeping sickness, infantile paralysis, streptococci infection and circulatory diseases are continually mounting, The present elder generation lives in constant fear of the ravages of cancer, while doctors are frantically searching for the cause as well as the cure of malignant tumors.

In the human being there are two kinds of cells: germ cells, which when fertilized reproduce an entire individual, and the somatic cells, which are the building blocks of the body and which can only reproduce themselves by division into two parts, each of which grows a cell of the same type and function. The latter, according to science, cannot be fertilized. However, evidence is accumulating to show that this may take place under certain conditions. If one such cell among its inert neighbors were to be fertilized, what would happen? It would produce an ever-growing colony of crowding, predatory cells within the flesh, destroying both the organs of the body and themselves. This is an exact description of cancer. Injection of foreign matter into the human system might easily bring about such an unnatural fertilization.

There is no scientifically ascertained time limit for the effects of inoculation to show. Danger is present as long as any of the serum remains. The body reacts differently at different ages and it is quite possible that a serum given to a young child may remain dormant for many years, until the "cancer age" of weakening cellular stability is reached.

Our newspapers repeatedly publicize the miraculous effects of inoculation. Here are some statistics on the subject that seldom find their way into the press:

Since 1905 the majority of the Filipinos have been vaccinated, yet during the smallpox epidemic of 1918-19 there were 107,981 cases of smallpox with a mortality of 59,741. The heaviest mortality, 65.3 per cent, occurred in Manila, where vaccination was most thorough, while in Mindanao where public resistance severely impeded vaccination, the figure was 11.4 per cent.

The decreasing figures of diphtheria are the pride of our cities, yet from 1899 to 1913 diphtheria decreased 57.2 per cent in England, where no control by inoculation had been attempted. During the war there were fearful epidemics of all kinds in the camps immediately after typhoid inoculations. Such figures could be adduced for many pages more, did space permit.

Doctors say that vaccination against smallpox is effective only for from five to seven years. Few people are subjected to more than one inoculation. Why, then, do we not have more epidemics now? There is evidence to show that the real reason is because sanitary conditions have replaced disease breeding hovels.

But why, it may be asked, if inoculation is so dangerous, do so many patients appear to escape from serious results? Turning to the Aphorisms on Karma, we find that:

Karma cannot act unless there is an appropriate instrument provided for its action. And until such appropriate instrument is found, that Karma related to it remains unexpended.
Pettenkofer swallowed a whole tube of cholera germs to prove that they alone did not cause cholera. To the great mystification of the medical profession he did not get cholera. "The important thing," he said, "is the disposition of the individual." Paracelsus held that disease is due to auric infection made possible by Karmic weaknesses of the astral body of the victim, the weakness having been brought about by past misdeeds.

It is difficult indeed for a race saturated with 19th century materialism to relinquish the hope offered by serum therapy for an "easy way out" from the discomfort and pain of physical disease. The problem is accentuated by the face that any real thinking of these things in terms of principles is usually thwarted by the glibly logical though superficial reasoning of medical authorities. The prospect of bitter experience to come, the dread scourges which must eventually flow, if not already present, from such blind tampering with nature's normal processes, should spur students to a careful study of the facts, so that when opportunities arise, they may be intellectually and morally equipped to make a clear statement of the truth, from both scientific and Theosophical points of view.


COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

MORTAL MORALITY

Good and Evil are twins, the progeny of Space and Time, under the sway of Maya. Separate them, by cutting off one from the other, and they will both die. Neither exists per se, since each has to be generated and created out of the other, in order to come into being; both must be known and appreciated before becoming objects of perception, hence, in mortal mind, they must be divided. 


--H. P. BLAVATSKY

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