Blog Genevieve Stebbins

Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics available online

title page, second edition

Although this important book by Genevieve Stebbins is not available yet on Google books, I did find a copy on, which Marc Demarest was able to use to create a Word document.  The book will be added to the Recommended Reading list when the document has been stored in an accessible site, but meanwhile the available version at is quite readable. This passage from the second page of the introduction gives a taste of Stebbins’s approach to science vs. religion:

To those, however, whose studies in life have enabled them to penetrate beneath, or to rise above, the bias of theological dogma, upon the one hand, and the specula­tive hypotheses of scientific schools upon the other, there will be no difficulty in reading between the lines of the present contest between religion and science, which, after all, is more a war over the intellectual com­prehension of terms than over basic principles in nature. This contest has been caused by a free use of modern scientific terms to express certain ideas which we clearly understand, and a thorough misuse of hoary and antique mystical terms which, unfortimately, we do not clearly understand, and of which, if we will be frank, we must admit we have only the most vague ideas and concep­tions ; so that if by any formula of intellectual analysis we could separate from religious teachings and scien­tific hypotheses that which we really know from that which we do not know, but which on each side consti­tutes that unsatisfactory authority known as personal opinion, we should find nothing to fight over, nothing left, in fact, about which there could be any miscon­ception.

Spiritual writings or ideas must always receive a spiritual interpretation before we can find any possible analogy by correspondence between the visible and the invisible worlds of existence ; while material science in its turn must give a physical explanation of its laws, otherwise they would be self-contradictory ; in each case premise and conclusion must occupy the same plane. When this test is applied, it will be found that the only difference between the two consists in the mutual misinterpretation of terms ; the one attempting to explain spiritual verities in terms of matter, and the other attempting to reveal the truths of matter by translating them in terms of mind. True science must have a pure religion for its base, and all true religion must naturally rest upon the foundations of pure science ; to this grand spiritual and intellectual goal the accumulating wisdom of humanity is now rapidly advancing.