Notes on Quimby and Related Topics

This site contains mostly quotations about Phineas Parkhurst ("Park") Quimby. The material is fragmentary, but valuable. It partly duplicates other material available on the Web. Sometime I may arrange it differently, but for now it seems better to have it here in any form than not to have it on the Web at all.


1. Christian tradition
2. Scottish Common Sense Realism (dualism)
3. Mesmeric technique and theory (materialism)
4. Quimby's own curiosity, tenacity, spirituality


1. Discovery that "mind acts directly on mind"
2. Discovery that "the explanation is the cure"


Milmine 44:

He was born in New Lebanon, N. H., February 16, 1902, but spent the larger part of his life in Belfast, Me. He was one of seven children, and his father was [45] a poor, hardworking blacksmith. Quimby, therefore, had practically no educational advantages; indeed, he spent actually only six weeks in school. Apprenticed as a boy to a clockmaker, he became an adept at his trade. . . . Quimby had an ingenious mind and a natural aptitude for mechanics. He invented, among other things, a band saw much like one in use at the present time, and he was one of the first makers of daguerreotypes. From the first he disclosed one rare mental quality: his keen power of observation and originality of thought forbade his taking anything for granted. He recognized no such thing as accepted knowledge.

48: His personality inspired love and confidence in, and his patients even now affectionately recall his kind-heartedness, his benevolence, and his keen perception. . . .

He was a small man, both in stature and in build, quick, sensitive, and nervous in his movements. His large, well-formed head stood straight on erect, energetic shoulders. He had a high, broad forehead, and silken white hair and beard. His eyes, arched with heavy brows, black, deep-set, and penetrating, seemed, as one of his patients has written, "to see through all the falsities of life and far into the depths and into the spirit of things." At times his eyes flashed with good-nature and wit, for Quimby by no means lacked the jovial virtues. If his countenance suggested one quality more than another, it as honesty; whatever the public thought of his ideas, no one who ever saw him face to face doubted the man's absolute sincerity. He demanded the same sympathy which he himself gave. He dealt kindly with honest doubters, but [49] would have nothing to do with the scornful. Unless one really wished to be cured, he said, his methods had no virtue.

	[50]	In all the relations to life, Quimby seems to have been
loyal and upright. Outside of his theory he lived only for his family and was the constant playmate of his children. His only interest in his patients was to make them well. He treated all who came, whether they could pay or not. For several years Quimby kept no account and made no definite charges. The patients, when they saw fit, sent him such remuneration as they wished. Inevitably, he drew his followers largely from the poor and the desperately ill. "People," he would say, "send for me and the undertaker at the same time; and the one who gets there first gets the case."

A. G. Dresser Phil. of PPQ, 45 PPQ was

a kindly gentleman who met me with such sympathy and gentleness that I immediately felt at ease. He seemed to know at once the attitude of mind of those who applied to him for help, and adapted himself to them accordingly. His years of study of the human mind, of sickness in all its forms, and of the prevailing religious beliefs, gave him the ability to see through the opinions, doubts, and fears of those who sought his aid, and put him in instant sympathy with their mental attitude.

[47] The most vivid remembrance I have of Dr. Quimby is his appearance as he came out of his office ready for the next patient. That indescribable sense of conviction, of clear-sightedness, of energetic action,þthat something that made one feel that it would be useless to attempt to cover up or hide anything from him,þmade an impression never to be forgotten. Even now in recalling it, after thirty-three years, I can feel the thrill of new life which came with his presence and his look. There was something about him that gave one a sense of perfect confidence and ease in his presence,þa feeling that immediately banished all doubts and prejudices, and put one in sympathy with that quiet strength or power by which he wrought his cures.

Julius A. Dresser, in True Hist.. [Horatio W. Dresser, Health and the Inner Life, 1906, 32] says

that he was one of the most unassuming men who ever lived; for no one could well be more so, or make less account of his own achievements. Humility was a marked feature of his character (I knew him intimately). To this was united a benevolent and an unselfish nature, and a love of truth, with remarkably keen intuitive powers. But the distinguishing feature of his mind was that he could not entertain an opinion, because it was not knowledge. His faculties were so practical and intuitive that the wisdom of mankind, which is largely made up of opinions, was of little value to him. Hence the charge that he was not an educated man is literally true. True knowledge to him was positive proof as in a problem of mathematics. Therefore, he discarded books and sought phenomena, where his intuitive faculties made him master of the situation. Therefore he got from his experiments in mesmerism what other men did notþa stepping-stone to a higher knowledge than man possessed, and a new range to mental vision.

CAA: There were few, if any, instantaneous cures with Quimby. Healing was the result of the patient's growing understanding. Some patients taught others.

AGD, 49: Those were days to be remembered. One who never saw him can hardly imagine the conviction of truth that one felt when he uttered a sentence. He seemed to see through all the falsities of life, and far into the depths and into the spirit of things; and his penetrating vision was so keen and true that one felt as if in the presence of a great light that could destroy the darkness of all that stood in his way.

We all loved him truly and devotedly; for how could we help it? He was full of love for humanity, and he was constantly laboring for others without regard to himself. . . . He was one that inspired all honest souls with a conviction of his own sincerity. He had nothing to gain nor lose; for his own life was a constant outflowing of the spirit of truth in which he lived.

Consequently, he freely gave of all that he had; and, if any one evinced any particular interest in his theory, he would lend his manuscripts and allow his early writings to be copied. Those interested would in turn write articles about his "theory" or "the Truth," as he called it, and bring them to him for his criticism.

AGD, 48: In this way Dr. Quimby did considerable teaching; and this was his only opportunity to make his ideas known. He did not teach his philosophy in any systematic way in classes or lectures. His personal explanations to each patient, and his readiness to explain his ideas to all who were interested, brought him in close sympathy with all who went to him for help. But further than that he had no time for teaching, as he was always overrun with patients, although it was [49] his intention to revise his writings and publish them.

CAA: One might suppose that such a charismatic figure as Quimby would heal in some dramatically forceful way. But this was not the case. AGD tells us that

[45] instead of telling me that I was not sick, he sat beside me, and explained to me what my sickness was, how I got into the [46] condition, and the way I could have been taken out of it through the right understanding. He seemed to see through the situation from the beginning, and explained the cause and effect so clearly that I could see a little of what he meant. My case was so serious, however, that he did not at first tell me I could be made well. But there was such an effect produced by his explanation that I felt a new hope within me, and began to get well from that day.

He continued to explain my case from day to day, giving me some idea of his theory and its relation to what I had been taught to believe, and sometimes sat silently with me for a short time. [She came to understand such of his sayings as] "Whatever we believe, that we create" and "Whatever opinion we put into a thing, that we take out of it."


A. Wagon ride: H&IL, 34: A forerunner of later developments, perhaps before he came to mesmerism, almost certainly something on which Q reflected later on, if not immediately.

B. Kidneys: Referred to by Q as his conversion [H&IL 33] from disease to health

C. Poyen and Collyer:

D. Electrical storm:

E. Bible (and other writings): JAD [in True Hist. quoted in HWD H&IL, 32] notes about Quimby's discovery that the truth is the cure: This discovery, you observe, was not made from the Bible, but from the study of mental phenomena and as a result of searching investigations; and, after the truth was discovered, he found his new views portrayed and illustrated in Christ's teachings and works.

HWD, H&IL 30: Very much has sometimes been made of the fact that Mr. Quimby was once a mesmerist, and some have contended that he was never anything more. [CAA the main question is whether the action of God is required in any healing, by Q or by anyone else. Is there any purely horizontal level of activity, any horizontal mind to mind influence without a vertical dimension of divine influence?] The simple facts are that mesmerism afforded him an opportunity to discover his own powers, and that when he saw the significance of mesmeric phenomena he discarded both the theory and the practice.


AGD maintains:

Unless one had passed through a similar experience, and penetrated to the very centre of things as he had, one could not appreciate his explanations sufficiently to carry out his particular line of thought. Hence none of the systems that have sprung up since Dr. Quimby's death, although originating in his research and practice, have justly represented [51] his philosophy . . .

His treatment did not consist of denials and affirmations, nor did he treat any two cases alike. . . . He seemed to make a complete separation between the sufferer and the sickness, and he talked to the sufferer in such a manner that, gradually his senses would become attached to the new life or wisdom which his words conveyed instead of the painful sensations; and, as this continued, the sickness disappeared. [see 51 Q description of how he operates]

Quimby's thought is reminiscent of Plato's. Each divided all that is into two regions, one of appearance, one of reality.

AGD [at 58] emphasizes the importance of "science" or wisdom in Q's thought:

He believed that goodness was a science, and could be taught scientifically; and by the word "science" he always meant, not what is commonly understood by that word, but something spiritual,þthe higher nature or wisdom of man, which accounts for all that is mysterious to the natural man or every-day man of the world.

therefore, he sought to make clear the distinction between [1] the ever-changing opinions of the [59] world, the


1. [60] "the influence of opinions and beliefs"

2. [65] "how . . . fears, unconscious mental influences, doctors' opinions, and false interpretations of sensations [can] be so influential in the creation of disease"

3. [69] the abiding principle or permanent identity or "the real man, or the senses, seldom using the world 'soul.'" this was Q's "most suggestive discovery."

4. [72] [73:] But deeper than all this that can change is the unchanging [CAA constant, reliable, responsive] Wisdom, the one true and living God, of whose nature we partake, and who awaits our recognition.

[74] He wrote of God as the first cause, and as an omnipresent Spirit, but more especially as the immanent life of man, the power behind the senses, the love that stirs in the hearts of the people, and is ever ready to help those who are in need. [Quimby took no personal credit for healing.]

5. [75] Dr. Quimby's most marked characteristic, then, was his wonderful spiritual perception. He made almost no use of books, saying that they were full of unproved assertions, and developed his philosophy wholly alone, without any aid but his own keen penetration and desire for practical mathematical truth.


Milmine, 88:

The Quimby controversy is chiefly upon two points: whether Quimby healed mentally, through the divine power of the mind, or physically, through mesmerism or animal magnetism; and whether he himself developed his own theory and wrote his own manuscripts or obtained his ideas from Mrs. Eddy.

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings:

3:167-69 "How I Cure the Sick": he speaks in parables. The Christ explains the error.

3:195 Mind is spiritual matter. Mind is the name of a spiritual substance that can be changed. Opinion to reason to disease p. 196

3:197 to cure the disease is to correct the error; and as disease is what follows the error, destroy the cause, and the effect will cease. How can this be done? By a knowledge of the law [198] of harmony.

3:203 if Jesus was the Christ or God

3:205 biographical account of how his practice led to change of his views.

3:210 how he cures, incl. clairvoyant ability


Events occur and people want to know why. This, perhaps more than anything else, makes them people. They come up with good and bad answers, nearer and farther from the truth, but all these answers however mythical or scientifically or philosophically inadequate, are approximations of truth, steps on the way to more adequate understanding.

An early, brilliant, philosophical-scientific contribution to understanding reality was the atomic theory of Leucippus, Democritus and others. It held that what can be seen is to be explained by invisibly tiny particles, called atoms. These were believed to be solid bits of matter of various shapes and sizes, which clump together in any number of patterns to form everything that we observe. This atomic theory became popular in early modern science, which began about five centuries ago. Around the start of the 20th century physicists found evidence that atoms were not (as the name means) unsplittable. Einstein came up with his famous formula of the equivalence, and quantum physicists found that energy comes in momentary bursts of energy called quanta (singular, quantum).

By the end of the first half of the 19th century a Maine clockmaker turned mesmerist turned spiritual healer, Phineas Parkhurst ("Park") Quimby learned how to promote healings by what he believed to be the method used by Jesus. He called God Wisdom and believed that people have minds that can receive either divine wisdom or popular misconceptions, and will experience health or illness in accordance with which they accept.

Quimby did not publish his writings, and they were not published in their entirety until 1988 (Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings, edited by Ervin Seale). After his time various people took his ideas directly and indirectly, through the teachings of others who were indebted to Quimby, and modified them in line with their own understandings of philosophy and religion. In the process Quimby came to be largely overlooked or dismissed as a positive contributor to the understanding of spiritual healing. The prevailing philosophy adopted by the people who knowingly or unknowingly followed in the footsteps of Quimby was absolute idealism of both Western (especially in the Hegelian tradition) and Eastern (notably Hindu) varieties.

In developing their forms of what, in the 1890's, came to be known as New Thought, they naturally (as did the traditional Christian theologians who preceded them) introduced notions of substance and a changeless God. With the Hindus and such mystical philosophers as Plotinus, they held that God is impersonal (although some of them may have meant simply that God is impartial, rather than really impersonal, lacking in the personal qualities of self-consciousness, rationality, and purposefulness), and scientific exaltation of changeless law.

As metaphysics looked at physics, it occurred to Alfred North Whitehead that physics was correct in reducing substance to process, but was incorrect in considering energy, or process, or activity, to be basically lifeless. Whitehead held the basic units making up all the atoms etc. to be momentarily-developing units of living experience. These "occasions of experience" turn out to be amazingly like what Quimby had said of human experience. They can accept either the perfect plans given by divine wisdom or they can take the human (and other) views embodied in the past. This eliminate all epicycle-like notions as intermediate responsive law-like substance and emanation from the One, or God. Now we are starting to see what in effect is both a return to Quimby and an incorporation of Whiteheadian insights into New Thought, in the form of Process New Thought.

Quimby, using a combination of traditional and original terminology, referred to the following ingredients, presented here mostly in the words of a writing almost certainly by Horatio W. Dresser: (CAA dissertation, pp. 34-35)

(1) The omnipresent Wisdom, the warm, loving, tender Father of us all . . .

(2) The real man, whose life is [everlasting] in the invisible kingdom of God, whose senses are spiritual and function independently of matter.

(3) The visible world, which . . . Quimby once characterized as "the shadow of Wisdom's amusements"; that is, nature is only the outward projection or manifestation of an inward activity far more real and enduring.

(4) Spiritual matter, or fine interpenetrating substance, directly responsive to thought and subconsciously embodying in the flesh the fears, beliefs, hopes, errors, and joys of the mind. [Note that Quimby believed that this is a direct activity in oneself, rather than the indirect process of Troward and Holmes, who believed that there is an intermediate Law.]

(5) Disease is due to false reasoning in regard to sensations, which man unwittingly develops by impressing wrong thoughts and mental pictures upon the subconscious spiritual matter.

(6) As disease is due to false reasoning, so health is due to knowledge of the truth. To remove disease permanently, it is necessary to know the cause, the error which led to it. "The explanation is the cure."

(7) To know the truth about life is therefore the sovereign remedy for al ills. This truth Jesus came to declare. Jesus knew how he cured; and . . . Quimby, without taking any credit to himself as a discoverer, believed that he understood and practiced the same great truth or science.

Ernest Holmes, in his 1955 Seminar Lectures, p. 82, says:

In every school of metaphysics [he uses metaphysics in its popular sense of an applied idealism] the whole system of spiritual mind treatment is invariably based on Quimby's concept that "mind is matter in solution and matter is mind in form," but that the matter in solution and the mind in form is the dual nature of that which he termed "a superior wisdom." The "Quimby Manuscripts" is one of the most original books in the world. Our whole system of teaching is based upon Quimby's concept that the things which have to be resolved are mental, not physical. We must be able to reduce everything to mind, or consciousness, because consciousness does not operate upon something external to itself. Consciousness is the one great reality in the universe. In other words, our thought does not spiritualize matter and it does not materialize Spirit. Spirit and matter, or thought and form, are one and the same thing.

It is clear that at least in the closing years of his life, Holmes appreciated Quimby (who is not mentioned in the textbook). From the clues that Quimby provided, Holmes should have been able to work out a theory of direct cooperation with God in co-creation. However, decades before he produced the Seminar Lectures, Holmes accepted the thought of Thomas Troward, who had produced a theory of indirect action, in which one does not simply meet God and directly co-create, but one thinks a thought and sends it out to God, who in God's capacity as intelligent but unconscious Law produces the desired result. Lately I have been referring to Troward as the Ptolemy of New Thought, drawing an analogy between Troward's indirect co-creation with its unnecessary Law and Ptolemy's epicycles to explain how the heavenly bodies revolve around our little planet, which of course they do not. Occam's Razor, the principle of parsimony, which calls for adopting the simpler of competing explanations, requires that we rule out both Ptolemy's epicycles and Troward's impersonal Law. (This, by the way gives us a great opportunity to hold a major contest to decide what should fill the middle level of Holmes's diagrams, after we remove thingified Law; should we replace it with strawberries, acorns, ball bearings, sea sand? You name it.)

W. Frederic Keeler, in his The Science of Prayer, in Mind Remakes Your World, p. 184, said, "The great originality of Quimby lay in his discovery and teaching that the cause of sickness lay in wrong thought patterns." Note that he did not say "in current thinking." A great discovery of Quimby was that it is our persisting beliefs, what we take to be reality even when we are not thinking about it, that lead to our illness or wellness.

From C. Alan Anderson, Healing Hypotheses, Chapter III, Foundations of New Thought:

1. Western Religious Healing before New Thought

"Nothing in the evolution of human thought appears more inevitable than the idea of supernatural intervention in producing and curing disease." One finds

power over disease claimed in Egypt by the priests of Osiris and Isis, in Assyria by the priests of Gibil, in Greece by the priests of Aesculapius, and in Judea by the priests and prophets of Jahveh.

The physicians were priests, or rather the priests were physicians, for the religious aspect did not preclude the use of drugs, medicinal springs, diet, and even surgery.

The concern here is with the distinctively religious modes of healing.

There is no doubt that Christianity began with an emphasis on faith healing. Jesus healed many, and told them that their faith had made them whole. When people had no faith, He was limited in His healing activities. His cures were not miraculous in the pagan sense, however. He always connected the patient's faith with God, and bade those, whom He cured, to give thanks to the Father for His love and mercy towards them.

However, "in the first three centuries of our era the Church increasingly lost the gift of spiritual healing.

. . ." As more people became converted, or partly converted, to Christianity, the original faith became modified, as far as many understood it. "In many ways, the Church itself was captured by the paganism which it had attempted to destroy. . . ." Magic crept into the Church's healing, and superstition took the place of symbolism in the interpretation of Church practices.

Obviously, much has to be omitted from this account. After 300, "spiritual healing languished for 1500 years." However, it was not lost completely.

Saints like St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Martin Luther (1483-1546), St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), George Fox (1624-1691), John Wesley (1703-1791), Father Matthew (1790-1856), Pastor Blumhardt (1805-1880) and Father John of Cronstadt (1829-1908) were all healers .

As this list shows, healing has not been confined to the Roman Catholic Church. "Healings have taken place in connection with almost every Protestant community." Some of the most outstanding healings were those associated with an Irish Protestant, Valentine Greatrakes (1628-1683); his healings of such conditions as "grievous sores" and "cancerous knots" were authenticated by "the scientist and astronomer Flamsteed, the moralist Cudworth, and

 Bishops Patrick and Wilkins."Greatrakes is interesting not
only as a layman in religious healing, but as a commoner. Before him,

for generations the healing touch was regarded as the property of kings. . . . The practice of the king's touch faded with the removal of the Stuart line from the British throne. . . .

After Greatrakes, "psychotherapy . . . could be dispensed by physicians and laymen as well as by kings and priests."

It has been said that

in this transposition of faith from sovereign to subject, was a nodal point in the development of faith-healing. It was a visible phase in the investment of the psychotherapist with powers accepted almost universally as the attributes of divinity.

In America, where there were less fixed lines of division of occupation and status, it may have been natural for healing to develop without much regard for the classification of those associated with it. Among religious groups with some relatively early American healing were the Shakers, Mormons, and Perfectionists. However, it was outside of organized religion that the modern religious healing movement began, or at least was given an impetus that had waned within religion, as normally recognized. It was from mesmerism that there came the stimulus that led to the religious healing.

2. Magnetism and Mesmerism

i. Introduction

Since New Thought originated in the United States, it seems unnecessary to trace the long European history of its antecedent mesmerism in detail. However, a bit of this history may be helpful. From at least the time of Thales, in the sixth century, B.C., there was speculation on the connection of magnetism and life. It came to be believed that there was a subtle magnetic fluid uniting all people with one another and with the heavenly bodies. It was maintained that one's life could be controlled through this field.

The most famous figure in the field that came to have his name was Franz or Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). He made mesmerism fashionable and secured the attention of a French scientific committee. This group rejected the claims of a magnetic fluid, and attributed mesmeric phenomena to imagination. The importance of the production of physical effects by imagination was generally overlooked then. However, there was set up the question of fluid or imagination as the explanation of mesmerism. As the alternative name, animal magnetism, indicates, the nature of the subject was in doubt. Some upheld materialistic theories and others more idealistic ones. Recently discoveries regarding the importance of magnetism in relation to living systems and the recognition of nonmaterial fields as real in the realm of physics may leave the question unresolved, although in the twentieth century the fluid theory generally has been regarded as a thing of the past.

Mesmerism reached the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century. This was before it received much medical recognition under the name of hypnotism. Some curative value was attributed to mesmerism, but this aspect of it was of less interest to many than the so-called higher phenomena of mesmerism; these were various parapsychological happenings brought about in connection with some mesmerized subjects. These phenomena included, it was reported, mind reading, sharing in the sensations of other people, seeing distant places or seeing through opaque materials wherever located, and, as part of this, diagnosing illnesses and prescribing remedies for them.

When Charles Poyen St. Sauveur came from France to the United States in the 1830's and spread the knowledge of mesmerism, various people took up the practice of mesmerism and speculated on its nature. Perhaps because philosophical idealism had not recovered from the Enlightenment and because most mesmerizers probably had no very great knowledge of philosophy of any sort, the theory that a fluid was sent between operator and subject was the most popular view. Most speculation seemed to be a matter of variation on this theme. Perhaps because Franklin's electrical experimentation had gained widespread recognition, little-understood electricity was offered as a characterization of the nature of the fluid. Poyen was one who turned to electricity as this fluid after a consideration of mesmerism or animal magnetism. In his defense of the fluid, finding no "loss of any sensible matter" from the body when one sometimes becomes weakened, he suggests that there has been a loss of a

substance, extremely subtile and nice, a fluid, running over all his body intimately and deeply connected with his organs--a fluid that can be accumulated or lost through peculiar circumstances.

After considering animals that are known to generate electricity, he concludes "that the nervous agent is of the same nature as the electric fluid."

3. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Phineas Parkhurst ("Park") Quimby was born on February 16, 1802, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and died on January 16, 1866, in Belfast, Maine. He lived practically all his life in Maine. Quimby received practically no formal education, but was intelligent and inventive.

Until becoming a mesmerist, as a result of visits of passing mesmerists, he was a clockmaker. In the early 1840's he gave mesmeric lectures and demonstrations. His writings show him to have been acquainted with some philosophy and a considerable amount of mesmeric writing.

He discovered a youth, Lucius Burkmar, who had remarkable extrasensory abilities when mesmerized. Quimby used him in diagnosing illness and prescribing remedies. However, Quimby came to believe that the boy was reading minds, rather than doing more helpful work in healing, so he abandoned use of Lucius and somehow developed his own conscious extrasensory perception. When thus equipped Quimby practiced a form of healing in which one's mind was not subjected to another human mind, as in mesmerism, but was allowed to attain its fullest freedom in relation to whatever divine dimension of reality there may be.

The exact theory that underlay Quimby's practice is something that cannot be determined here, for the consideration of his large body of writing would be a task requiring a major study in its own right. However, for the purposes of considering Dresser and New Thought, it is not necessary to know with certainty what Quimby believed; what is most important here is that which will be seen in regard to Dresser's understanding of what he meant, and what Evans produced after becoming acquainted with Quimby. In one of his writings on Quimby, Dresser summarized Quimby's views as follows:

Had Dr. [as he was called] Quimby systematized [his] writings, the development of his thought would have been somewhat as follows:--

(1) The omnipresent Wisdom, the warm, loving, tender Father of us all, Creator of all the universe, whose works are good, whose substance is an invisible reality.

(2) The real man, whose life is eternal in the invisible kingdom of God, whose senses are spiritual and function independently of matter.

(3) The visible world, which Dr. Quimby once characterized as "the shadow of Wisdom's amusements"; that is, nature is only the outward projection or manifestation of an inward activity far more real and enduring.

(4) Spiritual matter, or fine interpenetrating substance, directly responsive to thought and subconsciously embodying in the flesh the fears, beliefs, hopes, errors, and joys of the mind.

(5) Disease is due to false reasoning in regard to sensations, which man unwittingly develops by impressing wrong thoughts and mental pictures upon the subconscious spiritual matter.

(6) As disease is due to false reasoning, so health is due to knowledge of the truth. To remove disease permanently, it is necessary to know the cause, the error which led to it. "The explanation is the cure."

(7) To know the truth about life is therefore the sovereign remedy for all ills. This truth Jesus came to declare. Jesus knew how he cured and Dr. Quimby, without taking any credit to himself as a discoverer, believed that he understood and practiced the same great truth or science.

Quimby did not live to publish a book containing his views. But they served as an inspiration for writings of some who went to him as patients. The first one to publish was Warren Felt Evans.

OBITUARY OF ERVIN SEALE>The New York Times, Wed., Feb. 14, 1990, p. B5:

The Rev. Dr. Ervin Seale
Minister, 80

The Rev. Dr. Ervin Seale, a minister of the nondenominational Church of the Truth, who broadcast services each Sunday over WOR Radio in New York, died of pneumonia on Monday at his daughter's home in Asheville, NC. He was 80 years old and had homes in Manhattan and Asheville.

Dr. Seale broadcast his weekly sermons on "Healthymindedness" from about 1940 to 1973, when he retired. He also wrote several books on religious themes, including "Ten Words That Will Change Your Life" and "Success Is You."

The Church of Truth, a metaphysical religion, had offices and held services in Carnegie Hall and later at Philharmonic Hall, now Avery Fisher Hall. The church is no longer in existence.

Dr. Seale is survived by his wife, Elva; a daughter, Kathryn Weir; three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.


I first met Ervin Seale one Halloween evening (give or take a day or so, probably in 1957), when he spoke at the dedication of a new Divine Science church in Meriden, Connecticut. I used to listen to his Sunday evening broadcasts on WOR, which I could hear well from Manchester, Connecticut, where I lived. He announced his coming speaking, and I decided to drive there. In 1959 I began my doctoral studies at Boston University. Since my dissertation was on "Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of New Thought," I called Ervin to learn how to contact Quimby relatives. I believe that it was from Ervin that I learned of his Curry honorary degree, which I never did find listed at Curry. Dimas Avila, of the Quimby church in New Jersey, was working on a biography of Ervin, but died suddenly, and his material for this was lost.

I recall only two trips to the Library of Congress. I first saw the Quimby material now at Boston University in the home of Quimby's granddaughter, Elizabeth Pineo, in Belfast, Maine. I arranged for the material to be moved to Boston University, but was not involved in the transportation of it.

The copies of Quimby material in Harvard University was placed there by the Dresser family after Horatio Dresser's death.

We owe much to Ervin Seale, Erroll Collie, Herman Aaftink, the Weirs, and others who worked to get the complete writings of Quimby published.

"The Healing Idealism of P. P. Quimby, W. F. Evans, and the New Thought Movement"

"Phineas Parkhurst Quimby": the man often referred to as the Father of New Thought.

"Quimby as Founder of New Thought"

The Healing Wisdom of Dr. P. P. Quimby edited by Mason Alonzo Clark.

The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby by Annetta Gertrude Dresser (and Horatio W. Dresser).

New Thought Movement Home Page

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by Alan Anderson
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