Chapter 5 SELECTIONS FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS OF P. P. QUIMBY.
I AM often asked what I call my cures. I answer, the effect of a science, because I know how I do them. If I did not know, they would be a mystery to the world and to myself.
After I found that mind was matter, I found that ideas were matter condensed into a solid called disease, and that this, like a book, contained all the wisdom of its author. Seeing the book, for sight with Wisdom embraces all the senses, I open it, and see through it. To the patient it is a sealed book ; but to Wisdom there is nothing hid which cannot be revealed or seen, nor so far off that it cannot be reached. So I read the contents of the book to the patient, and show that it is false. Then, as the truth changes his mind, light takes the place of the darkness, till he sees through the error of disease. The light of Wisdom dissipates the matter, or disease, the patient once more finds himself freed of opinions, and happiness is restored.
I have been trying all my life, ever since I was old enough to listen, to understand the religious beliefs of the world, and see if people understood what they profess to believe. After some fifty years of observation I have come to the conclusion that ninety-nine hundredths of mankind are listeners to some one telling a story, like the "Arabian Nights" in marvellousness ; and they get excited like a mesmerized person, till they really create the scene in their own minds, and will suffer rather than abandon their belief. This is the state of society in regard to the subject of religion. But, as science has progressed, it has explained some of the grossest errors. Still, nine-tenths of every man's religious belief is of that kind.
I know I was as free from superstition as almost any one; yet I was full enough of it, and all the while I was not aware that I had a belief of any kind. For the last twenty years I have been ridding myself of my old superstitions, and am now better prepared to see it in others.
I have sat with more than three hundred individuals every year for ten years, and for the last five years I have averaged five hundred yearly, people with all sorts of diseases, and in every possible state of mind, brought on by all kinds of ideas in which people believe. Religion in its various forms embraces many of these causes. Some cases have been occasioned by the idea that they had committed the unpardonable sin. When asked what it was, no two persons ever answered alike.
I am often accused of opposing the medical faculty and the religious creeds. In answer to this, I plead guilty; but you must not gather from this that I oppose goodness or virtue or wisdom. I oppose all religion which is based on the opinions of men; and, as God never gave an opinion, I am not bound to believe that man's opinions are from God. The difference between man's opinion and God's wisdom is more than one would naturally suppose; but the former is taken for a truth, and this makes the trouble with which the wise have to contend. If man knew himself, he would not be misled by the opinions of others; and, as disease is the result of our knowledge or opinions, it is the duty of all to know themselves, that they may correct their own errors.
Man is made of opinions,- of truth and error; and his life is a warfare like all other lives before him.... Man goes on developing error upon error till he is buried in his own belief ; and it makes him but little higher than the animal kingdom. It is the office of wisdom to explain the phenomena in man called disease, to show how it is made, and how it can be unmade. This is as much a science as it is to know how to decompose a piece of metal.
One thing is certain: the time will come when the opinions of priests and doctors must give way to the science of life; for their opinions lead to death and misery, and the science of life is health and happiness.
THE SCIENCE OF LIFE AND HAPPINESS.- I Will show where I differ from Spiritualists and, in fact, all other sects. My theory is founded on the fact that mind is matter; and, if you will admit this for the sake of listening to my ideas, I will give you my theory. I assert that, according to man's belief, there are certain facts admitted and established beyond a doubt; and, as my wisdom is not of this world, or man's belief, only in part, it follows that what I know I have no opinion about.
All knowledge that is of man is based on opinions. This I call this world of matter. It embraces all that comes within the so-called senses. Man's happiness and misery are in his belief; but the wisdom of science is of God, and not of man. Now to separate these two kingdoms is what I am trying to do; and, if I can succeed in this, I shall accomplish what never has been done, but what has been the aim of all the learned philosophers ever since the world began. The secret of life and happiness is the aim of all mankind; and how to get at ~ it is the mystery that has baffled the wisdom of the world. I should never undertake the task of explaining what all the wise men have failed to do but for the want of some better proof to explain the phenomena that come under my own observation, which have never been explained from the fact that the error exists now as much as ever. The remedies have never destroyed the cause, nor can the cause be destroyed by man's reason; and science cannot admit what cannot be proved. Until some better proof of what we see and feel and hear can be produced, the world must grope on in darkness and scepticism. My object is not to strike at any science that is established. I admit such, for fear I may be misunderstood.
I will separate the two worlds of which I am now speaking, and show what one of them has failed to do ; also that the other is not acknowledged independent of the first. The world of opinions is the old world: that of science is the new; and a separation must take place, and a battle must be fought between them. The world of error and opinions has held science in bondage ever since man began to act independent of the savage life. The child of science has been nourished in the bosom of its mother, in the wilderness of error, till it grew up so as to assume a character. Then, when it has undertaken to assume its rights, it has always been met with the thunder of error. But, as it is so much of a friend to the happiness of man, the enemies, or error, could never prevent its growth, for that was in the scientific world; and that world has no matter, or it is so rarefied that error cannot see through it. So the scientific man can pass through the errors and instruct the child of science, till it bursts forth and becomes a man, or law. Then the natural man, or error, destroys its leaders, and falls down, worships the scientific laws, and acknowledges them as king of this world. So, as the science is now acknowledged, the kings of the earth are cut off, and the kingdom is divided against itself. The leaders, with their armies, flee into the wilderness, there to rally for another attack when any new science is started.
Now, the science of life and happiness is the one that has met with the most opposition, from the fact that it is death to all opposers. It never compromises with its enemies, nor has it any dealings with them. Its kingdom is of science, not of error. Therefore, it is not of this world of matter. I will state its laws,-how much it admits, how much it condemns, and how it puts its laws in force.
Its habitation is in the hearts of men. It cannot be seen by the natural man, for he is of matter; and the scientific man is not matter. All he has is his [spiritual] senses. There is his residence for the time. He has no abiding city, but is a traveller or sojourner in the world of matter. His house is not made with hands, but is in the scientific world. So his whole aim is the happiness of man. Now, as [the natural] man is of matter, his belief embraces all there is of him. The scientific man sees through this matter, which is only an error acknowledged as a truth, although it is to the natural man a reality. Now, as error holds on to all territory as under its power, it keeps the scientific man in slavery or bondage. So, to keep the science of life down, they invent all sorts of humbugs, in the shape of invisible things, attributing life to them, while they pretend to be the people's guide to wisdom.
It is almost impossible to tell one character from another, as both communicate through the same organs. As the scientific man has to prove his wisdom through the same matter that the natural man uses, he is often misrepresented and put down by false stories,- representations of the errors of the natural man. This was where Christ found so much trouble in his days, for the people could not tell who was speaking. The scientific man was called angel by the natural man. So, if an angel spoke, they would listen. The natural man, being superstitious and ignorant, is easily led by the cunning errors of the world. The leaders, being crafty and superstitious, believe in every phenomenon which is produced; and they attribute it to a power from the invisible world. The locality of this world is the mystery. So all varieties of speculations are got up about it. It opens all the avenues of matter, through which to give the inhabitants communications ; but the natural man has possession of the mediums, so that the scientific man is misrepresented in nine-tenths of all he says. Now, to be in the scientific world is not necessarily to be wise, but to acknowledge a wisdom above the natural man, which will enter that world where wisdom sees through matter.
This is the condition of those persons who are thrown into a clairvoyant state. To them matter is nothing but an idea that is seen or not, just as it is called out. All their senses are in this state, but are under the control of the natural man. So it is always hard to establish a fact in this world which goes to destroy the power of the natural man. All the explanation of this scientific world is given by these blind guides, who have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, and hearts but cannot understand science. They are afraid of the truth, lest it will destroy them ; for the death of error is the introduction of the science of life and happiness....
... I will now try to establish this science or rock, and upon it I will build the science of life. My foundation is animal matter, or life. This, set in action by Wisdom, produces thought. Thoughts, like grains of sand, are held together by their own sympathy, wisdom, or attraction. Now, man is composed of these particles of matter, or thought, combined and arranged by Wisdom. As thought is always changing, so man is always throwing off particles of thought and receiving others. Thus man is a progressive idea; yet he is the same man, although he is changing all the time for better or worse. As his senses are in his wisdom and his wisdom is attached to his idea, or body, his change of mind is under one of the two directions,- either of this world of opinions or of God, or science; and his happiness or misery is the result of his wisdom.
Now, as the idea man has always been under the wisdom of this world, the scientific man has always been kept down, from the fact that no man has ever risen to that state where the scientific man could control the wisdom of the natural man. This has always caused man to be at war with himself. These two powers compose him, and the science lies in keeping the natural man in subjection to the scientific man. In this warfare, if the natural man rules, disease and unhappiness is the fate of the scientific man. If the latter rules, life and happiness is the reward.
Now, I stand alone on this rock, fighting the errors of this world, and establish the science of life by my works. What is my mode of warfare? With the axe of truth I strike at the root of every tree or error and hew it down, so that there shall not be one error in man showing itself in the form of disease. My knowledge is not matter or opinions. It decomposes the thoughts, changes the combinations, and produces an idea clear from the error that makes a person unhappy or diseased. . . .
My object is the good of mankind, independent of all religious sects and creeds. It is a philosophy which, if understood, will make men free and independent of all creeds and laws of man, and subject him to his own agreement, he being free from the laws of sin, sickness, and death.
Every one is made of matter, and matter is continually going through a chemical change. This change is life, not wisdom, but life, like vegetable or mineral life. Every idea is matter, so of course it contains life in the name of something that can be changed. Motion, or change, is life. Ideas have life. A belief has life, or matter; for it can be changed. Now, all the aforesaid make up [the natural] man; and all this can be changed.
Every disease is the invention of man, and has no identity in Wisdom, but to those that believe it it is a truth.
It may seem strange to those in health that our beliefs affect us. The fact is, there is nothing of us but belief. It is the whole capital and stock in trade of man. It is all that can be changed, and embraces everything man has made or ever will make.
People never seem to have thought of the fact that they are responsible to themselves for their belief. To analyze their belief is to know themselves, which is the greatest study of man.
There is one thing that man is ignorant of. It s this: that he is a sufferer from his own belief, not knowingly, but by his own consent. Not being intelligent enough to judge of cause and effect, he becomes the victim of his own free will. . . . When a person tells you anything which you cannot understand, you are not bound to believe it unless you please; but, if you do, you convict yourself of a crime which you have acknowledged right. Our belief cannot alter a scientific truth, but it may alter our feelings for happiness or misery. Disease is the misery of our belief, happiness is the health of our wisdom, so that man's happiness or misery depends on himself. Now, as our misery comes from our belief, and not from the thing believed, it is necessary to be on the watch, so as not to be deceived by false guides. Sensation contains no intelligence or belief, but is a mere disturbance of the matter, called agitation, which produces mind, and is ready to receive the seed of error. Ever since man was created, there has been an element called error which has been busy inventing answers for every sensation.
Man from ignorance has associated truth with error, till error has got to be as true as life itself.
Human misery universally arises from some error that man admits as true. We confound our fears with the idea feared, and place the evil in the thing seen or believed. Here is a great error, for we never see what we are afraid of.
Man's belief is his heaven or his hell.
DISEASE.-What is disease? This question involves much speculative reasoning. Some suppose that disease is something independent of man, some think it is a punishment from God for the wrongs of our first parents, others that it comes from disobeying the laws of God. Now let us analyze all the above, and see if there is any truth in these statements. If there was not a living thing on earth, there could not be any disease, or, otherwise, disease must have had an existence before man was created; and, if so, God created it or some purpose. According to man's reasoning, disease is his enemy; and, if God created an enemy to destroy man, then God cannot be man's friend, as is thought. Thus the idea that a benevolent God had anything to do with disease is superstition. Then the question comes up again, Where does it come from? I answer, It does not come: it is created, not by God, but by man.
Disease is false reasoning. True scientific wisdom is health and happiness. False reasoning is sickness and death. On these two modes of reasoning hang all our happiness and misery. The question is, How can we know how to separate he one from the other? The truth cannot be changed: the false is always changing. The one s science : the other is error, and our senses are attached to the one or the other. One is the natural development of matter, or mind; and disease one of the natural inventions of error. To show how disease is not what it is supposed to be by those who use the word, I must show the absurdity of error's reasoning; for error is the father of disease. We are all taught by this error to call disease something that is independent of man.
To make it more plain and show where the two modes of reasoning act, I will suppose a case, and take that of a young man who, feeling a little disturbed, calls on a physician. The physician sounds his lungs, examines his heart, and tells the patient he is very liable to have the heart disease. The patient asks him how he got it, and is told that he is liable to catch disease and have it ; for it is not a part of him, and to get it or have it or catch it is to admit that it exists independent of himself, and, though the patient be dead, yet it would exist the same, and others would be liable to get it.
At last the patient really has the heart disease which his physician described to him. Now has he created it himself, or has the doctor created it for him? I propose to show that he has made what the world calls heart disease himself, without any one's help. To show how a building is raised is to frame one, and then take it down again. So I will take down this building, heart disease, which this man has raised; and then he can see how ideas are made or raised. I will say to the patient, You have built the disease yourself in your sleep or ignorance. This he cannot understand. So I tell him how he has worked in his sleep, and made the very edifice, heart disease, that he has got. I begin to tell him his dream by telling how he feels, in which he admits I am correct. Now, when he was asleep or ignorant of the feelings that disturb him, behold, a spirit in the form of a doctor sat by him; and, lo! and behold, he called up from the dead a person with the heart disease, as he called it. And he handled you ; and your sleep departed from you, your limbs became cold and clammy, and your pulse quickened. This excited your brain, and at last a figure of a person arose like unto the one you saw in your dream. Then you were afraid, and you awoke in your fright. At last the image became more terrible, till at length it overshadowed you and became a part of yourself, so that, when you awoke, you looked, and, lo! and behold, the dream had become reality, and you had the heart disease Now whose was it, the doctor's or yours? Did you catch the doctor's, or did you create it yourself by your own reasoning in your sleep or ignorance, according to the pattern set you by the doctor? I say, you made it yourself.
Now to cure you, or take down the building, is to show you that all the feelings that you had at the commencement arose from trifling cause, and that, when I can make you understand it, I have performed the cure. Instead of giving medicine or going to work by guess to destroy the building, I commence by showing the patient how he framed it by his own hand or wisdom. So I reason in this way. You listened to the doctor to rty to understand what caused the heart disease. He explained every variety of feeling or symptom and you listened till you understood it. Now, without knowing it, you created in your mind the disease, as much as you would if an artist or mechanic had taught you how to draught a building, and you would carry in your mind the building, and in your sleep you created it. The only difference would be that one would please you, for it would contain wisdom; while the other would bind you, for it would contain fear, and would threaten to destroy your life. Your trouble is the material with which to build the building, or disease. A chemical change in the fluids of your system takes place, and you condense them into a phenomenon corresponding with your draught. The fluids become diseased, and your ingenuity in manufacturing the disease has been the destruction of your happiness. To destroy the disease, I convince you that what the doctor said was an idea gotten up by error, not knowing how to account for some little disturbance which in itself amounted to nothing. But by the doctor's mode of reasoning about what he knew nothing, you were led astray into the darkness of heathen superstition where all kinds of evil spirits and diseases dwell in the brain of man. Superstition always shows itself through the ignorance of man's reasoning, assuming as many names and forms as the father of all lies, the devil, or the error of mankind.
Every word is supposed to have a meaning. Now, words are like nuts. Some are full, some partially full, and some are empty. The food, or wisdom, is in the word; and, if the word contains no wisdom, then it is like husks or froth. It fails to satisfy the desire of the person who seeks the substance. Natural food is to satisfy the natural man; and spiritual food, or wisdom, is to satisfy the inner, or scientific, man. The child before it begins to know is fed by natural food, while its spiritual food is opinions expressed in words. Therefore, as I said, words contain more or less truth. All are not full, and some are empty. But, when a person speaks a word that contains the real substance, and applies it to the thing spoken of, that is what is called the bread of life; and he neither hungers nor thirsts for wisdom in regard to that.
The sick have been deceived by false words, and have fed on food that contains no wisdom. Hungry and thirsty, they apply to strangers for food, they ask for health, or the bread of life, and the natural man, taking bread as a natural substance, brings bread to them; but their state of mind does not hunger for natural food. Therefore, to them it is a stone.
There is a bread which, if a man eat, he is filled ; and this bread is Christ, or science. It is the body of Christ. Jesus says, " Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; for my flesh is meat, indeed, and my blood is drink." The Jews of his days were like the scholars of the present day. Bread is bread, and blood is blood; and they say, " How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They do not understand that wisdom is a body, and opinion a shadow. The natural man's belief is his body; and to eat and drink the world's wisdom is to eat condemnation, or disease.
Now, I will illustrate a cure. I sit down by a sick person, and you also sit down. I feel her trouble and the state of her mind, and find her faint and weary for the want of wisdom. I tell her what she calls this feeling that troubles her; and, knowing her trouble, my words contain food that you know not of. My words are words of wisdom, and they strengthen her; while, if you speak the same words, and the sound should fall on the natural ear precisely as mine, they are only empty sounds, and the sick derive no nourishment from them.
I will describe this food, that you may taste it, and be wiser for your meal. In order to prove that food satisfies a person's hunger, I must find a person who is hungry ; and, in order to prove that my words satisfy the sick, I must take one who hungers and thirsts for the bread of life, or health.
Being weak and faint from exhaustion, she applied to a physician for food to satisfy her desire; for she was famished for the want of wisdom in regard to her trouble. Instead of giving her wisdom, which would have satisfied her, he, in his ignorance, gave her these words full of poison : " Your trouble is a cancer in the breast." As she received these words, she became more faint and exhausted till she became sick at her stomach. She ate of this poisonous food till seeds of misery began to agitate the matter, the idea began to form, and a bunch appeared in the breast. As she attached the name " cancer " to the bunch, the name and the bunch became one body. The physician's words contained the poison, the poison produced the bunch, their ignorance associated the name with the bunch, and called it cancer.
I was called to see the lady, and, being perfectly ignorant of her trouble, I felt the faint and hungry feeling; and, as I felt the effect of the doctor's food, or opinions, on her, I said, "The food you eat does not nourish you: it gives you a pain in the breast." (This I said in reference to the way she reasoned in regard to her trouble.) "How do you know?" said she. I then told her that she thought her trouble was a cancer, and she admitted that it was so. I then told her she had no cancer except what she made herself. "I will admit the swelling," said I; "but it is of your own make. You received the seed from the doctor, and he prepared the mind, or matter, for its growth; but the fruit is the work of the medical faculty.
"Let us see how much the idea cancer exists in truth. The name exists before the bunch. Then the bunch before it appeared must have been in the mind; for it was not in sight when the word was first applied to it, or when you were first told that you had one. You know that you can be affected by another mind?" "Certainly." "Now I wish to show you that every phenomenon that takes form in the human body is first conceived in the mind. Some sensation is felt which we cannot account for. We then conjure up some idea which we create into a belief; and soon it is condensed into a form, and a name given to it. Thus every phenomenon taking the name of a disease is a pattern of some false idea started without the least foundation in truth. Now, this bunch I call a phenomenon; for I cannot call it a cancer, because, if I do, I admit a thing outside of the mind. The senses are the man independent of flesh. That is one thing. The word `cancer' is another.
"Now, I want to find the matter that the word is applied to. To say a thing exists and prove its existence are two different things. If any doctor will tell me where that cancer was before it was in sight, I will ask him how he knows. Let him say it was in the blood, that the state of the blood indicates the presence of cancerous humor. Now do you deny that I told your feelings?" "Certainly not." " Then have I a cancerous humor?" "By no means." "Then there is no wisdom in that argument. Again, he never knew you had an ill-feeling till you told him. Then where did he get his knowledge? Not from you, for you never thought of a cancer. It must have been from what you said about your pain. Suppose that I had said that I felt these same pains, and you had held your peace. Then, according to his theory, I must have a cancerous humor. Now, I know that I have no humor, nor had I an idea or pain till I sat by you. Therefore, this story of a cancer is a lie made out of whole cloth, without the least shadow of truth. It is like the stories of Sinbad the Sailor, or some witch fables that have no existence in truth. Then you will ask, What is this bunch? It is a bunch of solid matter, not a ghost or any invisible thing; but it was made by yourself, and no one else. I will tell you how you made it.
" You remember I spoke of your having a heat. This heat contained no good or ill; but it was a mere decomposition of your body, brought about by some little excitement. It troubled you.... Then your superstitious fear of disease began to haunt you in your sleep, creating an action in the part of your breast where the error had made a stand. You commenced then to foster the idea, till at last you have excited the muscles to such an extent that the bunch has appeared. If now I have proved the cure, I have effected it; and the bunch will disappear. Do you wish to know why?" "Yes." "Can the effect remain when the cause is removed?" " I presume not."
"How do you feel?" "I feel easy." " How do you feel in regard to your trouble and in regard to what I have said?" " I think you are right, and it looks more reasonable than the doctor's story." "Then your senses have left his opinion, and have come to my wisdom. This is the new birth: you have risen from the dead, and you are free from the doctor's ideas. This truth has destroyed death, and brought life and health through science. Now I say unto you, Take up your bed or this truth, and go your way; and, when the night of error comes, spread out the garment of wisdom that enfolded Jesus, and wrap yourself in its folds, or truth, till the sun of life shall shine upon your body, or truth, and you rise free from the evils of the old beliefs."
Of all mean-looking things, a human being that is completely under the medical faculty is the lowest. He is as much a slave as the negro at the South, and, in fact, more so.
Look at a sick woman suffering from some opinion that the doctors have made her believe. See their minds,-they are completely under the doctor. They are not allowed to eat or drink, or even walk or think, except as their family physician gives direction. They have given their souls to the priests and their bodies to the physicians. They then tell about the good doctor,-how much he has done for them,-showing that he has deprived them of all noble, manly feelings, and left them sick, feeble in mind and body. . . .
This may seem strange; but it is God's truth that the sick are a mere tool in the hands of the medical faculty, to be treated just as they please. It never will be any better till the sick rise in their wisdom, and declare their independence....
I am a white abolitionist. The blacks, it is true, are slaves; but their slavery is a blessing compared with that of the sick. I have seen many a white slave that would change places with the black. The only difference is that white slavery is sanctioned by public opinion. But make the slave know that he is one, and you will see a difference in the result. It is hard for me to keep myself within bounds when I think of the groans of the sick, knowing that it is all the effect of superstitious ignorance.
Does not the South quote the Bible to prove that slavery is of divine origin? Do not the priests and doctors quote the old heathen superstition to bolster up a weak and feeble edifice, just ready to crumble and crush the leaders ? Is not Science raising her voice, and crying aloud to the people, saying, How long shall it be till the old heathen idolatry shall come to an end, and man shall learn wisdom, and be his own master, and not a slave?
DEATH.- What is the true definition of death? Death is the name of an idea. An idea is matter, so that the destruction of an idea is death. Every opinion has its centre, and the centre is the idea. Now, if a person believes in anything that is founded on an opinion, the idea is in the opinion ; and the senses, being also in the opinion, are attached to the idea. This imprisons the senses in the opinion. The idea is of itself nothing but an opinion condensed into a solid called matter, and every word goes to make the idea. So, to make an idea, men reason about something they have no proof of only as an opinion. . . . If they succeed in establishing their opinion, they imprison their opponent in their opinion ; and the misery is what follows from the idea.
I will illustrate. Take the word "consumption." This word is of itself nothing to the person that never heard of it. To make it is to create the opinion, or building, and then reduce it to an idea, or matter. So matter in the form of words is so arranged as to make the idea in the opinion. Now, as the opinion is forming in the mind, a chemical change is going on ; and the matter is held in solution till it is condensed into a form according to the pattern given by the direction.... So the senses become wedded to the idea; and both are held in the belief, or opinion. Now, to separate the senses from the idea is death to the idea, but life to the senses. This separation is what is called death ; but it is only death to the one idea [not to the real man or the senses].
Man is always dying and living in progression ; for error, or opinion, must always be in the mind, and mind must always exist till time is no more. Man is made of science and ignorance, or life and death. Man, seen by the senses, is the centre of our belief; and the senses are attached to the idea called man. So the idea man varies as much as one star differs from another. No two men or ideas are alike.... Man lives all his life subject to death, so that to destroy one idea called death he is liable to die again and again to the end of time, unless his wisdom destroys death by the science of life. The last enemy to science is death, so the scientific man, or idea, shall reign till all error is destroyed. . . .
Man's life is a life of progression governed by science or error, and to know what makes happiness is to know what makes misery. The science of life is to know how to keep man from getting into death, or error. This is my theory: to put man in possession of a science that will destroy the ideas of the sick, and teach man one living progression of his own identity, with life free from error and disease. As man passes through these combinations, they differ one from another. . . . He is dying and living all the time to error, till he dies the death of all his opinions or beliefs. Therefore, to be free from death is to be alive in truth ; for sin, or error, is death, and science, or wisdom, is eternal life, and this is the Christ.
THE SENSES.- I have spoken of the senses as something that can exist independent of our natural body. This is new to the world, or it has never been admitted; for the senses are attached to and a part of the body, and the idea of their being separated is something that has not dawned on the intelligence of the world. It may be a belief among some persons, but it is not admitted among the scientific. To have a knowledge of this science is to know when an impression is produced on the senses.
The senses contain no knowledge of themselves. When a sensation is produced on them, if the soul, or identity, is aware of it and knows its true meaning, it does not produce the same sensation as though the soul were ignorant of the true meaning. . . . I believe matter to be nothing but an idea belonging to the senses.
. . . The senses of themselves do not embrace any idea of good or bad, but are simply the act of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. All these are independent of knowledge, for the beast and child contain them. Mesmerism proves the life of all of them independent of the body. So I set them down as senses, not matter, or mind, but life, or the medium of the soul....
The senses are life, and are sensitive to impressions, not through flesh and blood, but through this medium called senses. This fills all space, and contains all sight, smell, etc. All these are light; and light contains all the elements of the senses. The senses may be compared to particles of light. . .. Each person is a particle of this great light, or sense; and the knowledge of it, the soul.... Therefore, the life of the body, or ideas, is the knowledge of its senses.
Are our senses mind? I answer, No.... Mind and senses are as distinct as light and darkness ; and the same distinction holds good in wisdom and knowledge, Jesus and Christ. Christ, wisdom, and senses are synonymous. So likewise are Jesus, knowledge, and mind. Our life is in our senses; and, if our wisdom is in our mind, then we attach our life, wisdom, senses, etc., to matter. But, if our wisdom is attached to science [or that which is spiritual], then our life and senses are in God, and not in matter; for there is no matter in God, or wisdom, but matter is the medium of wisdom. . . .
... The idea [disease] is matter; and it decomposes, and throws off an odor that contains all the ideas of the person affected. This is true of every idea or thought. Now, my odor comes in contact with this odor; ... and 1, being well, have found out by twenty years' experience that these odors affect me, and also that they contain the very identity of the patient whom this odor surrounds. This called my attention to it; and I found that it was as easy to tell the feelings or thoughts of a person sick as to detect the odor of spirits from that of tobacco. I at first thought I inhaled it, but at last found that my senses could be affected by it when my body was at a distance of many miles from the patient. This led to a new discovery; and I found my senses were not in my body, but that my body was in my senses. My knowledge located my senses just according to my wisdom. If a man's knowledge is in matter, all there is of him [to him] is contained in matter. But, if his knowledge is in wisdom, then his senses and all there is of him are out of matter.
The senses are all there is of a man. Therefore, when he changes his senses, it is necessary to know what he gains or loses by the change, and also what he embraces. To suppose a man has but five or seven senses is as absurd as to suppose he has but a certain number of ideas. His senses are himself,-what he knows and what he thinks he knows.
As man knows himself, he learns that all he is is life. His senses are in his life. Opinions are mind, subject to his life. His life embraces all his faculties, and his happiness is in knowing that he is no part of what is seen by the eye of opinion.
. . All that is seen by the natural man is mind reduced to a state called matter.
Man is just as large as he is wise in science.
When man speaks of himself as a man, he is matter; but, when he speaks a scientific truth, he is out of matter, and so far equal to God.
Is man spirit or matter? Neither. Then what is he? He is life. What are his attributes? A knowledge of himself as a living, thinking, seeing, and moving being without matter, or mind. Then what is this body that we see? A tenement for man to occupy when he pleases; but, as a man knows not himself, he reasons as though he were one of the fixtures of his house, or body.... We do not think or know that all there is of us is our wisdom, and [that] happiness and misery is what follows our belief. If we had no belief, we should either be fools or wise men. So a belief makes neither, but [makes] a man of error, or matter that can be changed. All of these faculties are out of the idea body but one; that is, error.
We often speak of man's identity as though there were but one identity attributed to him. This is not the case. Man has as many identities as he has opinions, and the one his senses are attached to last is the one that governs him. Now, this may seem strange; but, nevertheless, it is true. Our senses are not our identity, because they cannot change; for they are principles. But our belief, thoughts, and opinions can change; for they are matter. So, when we say a person never changes, it is as much as to say he is nothing but a brute ; for he really denies the principles of progression, because he does not admit such a thing as change.
Now, we know that our tastes change. Does the principle change or our belief ? The fact that we are aware of the change shows the change must be in that which can change, and this must be matter. Then what is it that does not change? It is that principle that never moves, or the foundation of all things. It is that which says when we have found out something new, "Why did you not find it out before? "It says to us, when we are investigating certain mathematical truths, "This truth has always existed, and we believed it." This is the something that is Wisdom. It does not come nor go, but is like light. You cannot shut your eyes but you see it. You cannot keep it out of sight; and, in fact, you acknowledge it in every act.... The trouble is to get our senses attached to this, so that we shall not change.
Perfect wisdom embraces every idea in existence ; and, therefore, every idea that comes to the light through the senses existed before to Wisdom. Every person who was, or ever will be, existed as much before he ever came to our senses as afterwards.... Man's intelligence is a truth that existed before he took form or was seen by the natural eye.... The real man is never seen by the natural senses; but the real man makes himself known through science to his natural senses,' as a person who knows a fact, and can teach it to another.... The real man is God, or the first cause.
GOD.- We have not a true idea of God. God is not a man any more than man is a principle. When we speak of God, we are taught to believe in a person. So we attach our senses to a person called God, and then talk about his laws and the violation of them is our trouble.... The Christian's God is a tyrant of the worst kind. God is the name of man's belief.... The God of the savages is their belief, the God of the Mohammedans is their belief, and so on, to the Christian's God. . . .
Man has invented a God according to his belief, so that God is the embodiment of man's belief. As man's belief changes, so his God changes; but the true God never changes. The wisdom of man condensed into a being called God is set up for the ignorant to worship ; ... and we have revered and worshipped it not from love, but from fear. . . . The true God is not acknowledged by this man's God, but is in the hearts of the people working like leaven till it leavens the whole lump.
To believe in this God is to know ourselves, and that is the religion of Christ. It is Christ in us, not opinions we are in. Just as we know this truth, we are of and a part of God, . . . and will be guided by the Father of all truth. This purifies and cleanses our minds from all opinions, and leads us into the world of science where opinions never come. Then one man shall not lead us by his opinions; but, if one says, "Here is the truth," let him prove it. This raises man to a higher self-respect ; and, if man does not respect himself, he cannot complain if others do not respect him.... This something [God] is what the world of opinions reasons about.... It has always been in the world, or in man's belief; but man knows it not. It has no place in men's hearts nor in the religious world except as an unexplained mystery. It comes to man's senses, but man knows it not. It stands knocking at the door, but is not recognized as having an identity. So it is mocked at, spit upon, hated, and despised by all men. Yet it is always the same, calm and unmoved, sympathizing with its friends, who are bound down by opinions of this world's belief. . . .
Now, what is it? It is an invisible Wisdom, which never can be seen by the eye of opinion any more than truth can be seen by error. . . . It is the key that unlocks the innermost secrets of the heart. . . . It is in the prison of man's belief, and it leads the prisoner who has been bound captive to health. . . . It is a Wisdom which fills all space, whose attributes are all light, all goodness and love, which is free from all selfishness and hypocrisy, which makes or breaks no laws, but lets man work out his own salvation, which has no laws and restrictions, sanctions all men's acts according to their belief, and holds them responsible for their belief, right or wrong, without respect to persons.
This Wisdom teaches man that, when our senses are attached to opinions of any kind, we become the subject of that opinion, and suffer according to the penalty attached to it, unless forgiven, or the debt paid by the truth. This is the new truth spoken of by Jesus. To know this is to have eternal life; and the life is the Wisdom that can enter the dark prisons of man's mind, find his life imprisoned by the opinions of this world, hear his groans, feel his sorrows, break the prison walls of his belief, and set him free.
. . . Where is the God in whose wisdom I believe ? He is in the hearts of the people. He is not a man nor a being, neither has he form: he is neither male nor female. I will give you an illustration of his wisdom.
If you see a man in trouble, you are or you are not bound to help him. If you have admitted it right to help a man in distress, then he will put you in mind of your agreement. If you neglect your duty, punishment must follow; for that action and reaction are equal is a truth which never varies. This embraces the law and the gospel, and on this hang all man's happiness and misery. If man is governed by this truth, it develops his higher wisdom, and enables him to prove all things by a standard based not on opinions, but on truth.
Jesus always wished to make a difference in regard to his opinions and what he knew as a science. To show how he separated himself as Jesus the man of opinions from Christ the scientific man, it was necessary to show something as proof. So the sick was the problem to be solved. This separation was a mystery to the people, their superstition was called into action, and, instead of listening to Jesus when he talked the Christ, or truth, they attributed his works to a power from God; and all the cures were taken as proof of that fact. If the people believed he came from God, it was useless to know how he cured; for, if they knew this, it would destroy the belief that he came from God, and so overthrow their religion. Therefore, the leaders labored to prove to the people that Jesus had a mission from heaven to save souls, and the cures which he performed were only to prove that he came from God.
This same Christ which you crucify by your theories is the same that Jesus taught eighteen hundred years ago. It was taught by the prophets of old, and has always been in the world, but has never been applied to the curing of disease, although false Christs have arisen and deceived the people, and the true Christ has been crucified by the priest and doctor to this time.
Jesus was the oracle, and Christ the wisdom, shown through this man for the happiness of the sick, who had been deceived by the priest and doctor.
The natural world is full of figures that may illustrate man's belief. The silkworm spins out his life, and, wrapping himself in his labor, dies. The infidel and brutal man reason that they do the same. The caterpillar is a good illustration of the natural man groping in the dark, guided by a superior wisdom that prompts his acts. When his days are numbered, wrapped in the mantle of this earth, he lies down to sleep the sleep of death ; ,but the wisdom that brings forth the butterfly also develops its science. In order that truth may come forth, error must be destroyed ; and science, groping in darkness, bursts into light, and rises from the dead as the butterfly, not the caterpillar.
All men have sinned, or embraced beliefs. So all must die to their belief. Disease is a belief health is in wisdom. So, as man dies to his belief, he lives in wisdom. My theory is to destroy death, or belief, and bring life and wisdom into the world. Therefore, I come to the sick, not to save their beliefs, or life in disease, but to destroy it. And he that loseth his life for wisdom will find his health, or life.