I will give you the symptoms of a patient whom I just examined. He was a man about fifty years old and his symptoms affected me in this way. I felt a trembling sensation that went down to my head and a tightness across my chest with a tendency to sigh. This made me melancholy; then my thoughts left my body and I seemed to be in space creating places and attaching my senses to the ideas I created, while my happiness and misery was in the scenes of my own creation. I could see a sort of another world like the city of New York and it seemed so plain that I really felt the difference in the society of the city. This amazed me for it was a disease and although the man's thoughts had different localities, they affected me like a disease located in the body. Here I could see how we are affected by our opinions. His mind or belief was in matter of this world and was as plain to be seen by me as my thoughts are to a mesmerized subject. To him they were spiritual and although they were the imitation of some other's ideas, they were real truth to him. He attached his senses to the things or places he had made and in them was his happiness and misery. All the above was matter except the happiness and misery—this is always what follows a belief. All the rest I say was matter and belonged to the wisdom of this world.
By the spiritualist it would be called spiritualism; so it is, but it is of this world and confined to matter. That wisdom from above is not in this but can see through it and is not seen by the wisdom of this world at all. Now as I was out of his wisdom or this world and in the essence that flows from the higher wisdom, I was in a clairvoyant state, with my senses attached to an identity in this essence. This essence is light and is capable of penetrating this matter or mind, so that to it matter is annihilated. If a person's senses are in this light he sees all ideas as matter in the dark to those who are in them. One state is thought-reading or the wisdom of matter or spiritualism and the other is clairvoyance or the wisdom held in solution in this ocean of essence. The wisdom of this world is spiritual like an odor that arises from the earthly man. In this odor, all sorts of forms are made of a spiritual nature, governed by the same laws as their father. Thus the spiritual world is the son of its father. Jesus called it the devil, and its believers the children of their father, and as he was of matter he must be destroyed. Now the kingdom of God was not of matter but wisdom, so God called it father; as God is the son of wisdom; wisdom made man out of this essence or life. So that when he formed man out of the dust of this earth and breathed into him this breath of life, he then became a living progressive wisdom or man.
This life is the light or clairvoyant state that sees no matter independent of itself or mind and all matter is subject to this essence. Disease is the offspring of error or the devil, and wisdom in this essence acting through man can break the bars of death or error and set life free. For death is the name of something that error wants to destroy and this something is life. So the warfare is between life and death. Life cannot be destroyed but death can. The senses are attached to the identity of our belief and we are affected according to the fear that we associate with our senses. Death and disease are matter and when the senses or essence are attached to this body, it becomes subject to the laws of matter, and as mind is matter, it makes laws for strangers; as life is a stranger, it looks upon it as an enemy to death. All the happiness which death has is trying to destroy life, so for this effect it invents all sorts of diseases. This death is the king of terrors and is the worst enemy life has to contend with. Now man is the battlefield of these two powers: life and death.
If life is imprisoned in death's prison it is hard work to get clear. The only way is to destroy death or error and set life free. Our senses are the enemy of death and when they are attached to disease, disease holds them in its jaws and nothing but a direct revelation of wisdom can break the jaws of death. This truth is destruction to death and freedom from error and superstition. Then life rises to that state of light which is the essence called God—there to be free from matter, except as a medium to communicate through. Now all persons who can take another's feelings are in this state, but their senses may not all be attached to the same idea. For instance, a person may feel another's pain; this comes with the sense of feeling, but this feeling contains no wisdom. This is the case of mesmerism. One subject feels the aches and pains of another; this is called thought-reading. Another sees the deranged state of the body; this is called sight, but sight is not knowledge. All this is called the wisdom of the dead. So it is, but it is not the living, for it is confined to the wisdom of error or this world. The senses may be in this light, so far as to see and describe all that is asked, but that is from the father or God. His wisdom sees the effect, feels the aches and pains, sees the cause and sees the senses imprisoned in matter, steps forward and runs the risk of being imprisoned for the sake of his friends. He sees all the causes, stands and pleads their cases, gets the verdict and sets the captive free. This is the difference in the two. One is a power without knowledge. The other is knowledge applied to an idea that it can break up and scatter to the four winds of heaven.
I will try and show the two theories. I will say to you as Jesus said, Except you become as a little child you cannot understand and apply these sayings to the curing of disease. The Christian idea of the above parable, I have no sympathy with, for it contains no wisdom. Everyone knows that a little child is of all things the most ignorant and helpless. It has no wisdom at all. It will creep into the fire or water or anything else because it knows no fear. Now it is of all living creatures the very foundation on which to erect wisdom or error. Its senses are attached to its ideas, so as it creeps to the fire, the wisdom of its mother takes it from the fire. If the mother whips the child it shows fright, not wisdom. If the mother's wisdom is of this world, she reasons in this way. If you go near the fire I will whip you. This at first is Greek to the child, for it does not understand. So the child tries it again and the mother repeats the same sound, accompanied with her hand on the child's ear. The child puts wisdom in his senses, which he applies to his ears and keeps away from the fire, not because the fire will box his ears or harm him. His fear is in his idea of what will follow his mother's hand. But he is not at rest. His curiosity is excited and the more the mother whips the child the more earnest he is to know why he must not go near the fire. So at last when alone it creeps towards the fire and its little hand feels the heat. This frightens it and it holds on to whatever it touches till someone takes it away. The child remembers this and looks at its enemy with grief, as it does when its mother whips it. The mother is alarmed and changes her tone. She now tries to soothe the child by caressing him and showing some sympathy, and reasons with the child that the fire does not mean to burn it, that it was hot and that if it went up to the fire, it must be burned. This is the wisdom of God.
Man would say it is a naughty fire and if it burns you again, I will whip it. As soon as the mother gets over her fright, she sets the child down on the floor with a bounce, accompanied with a threat like this: Now don't go near the fire again; if you do I will take your skin off. So the child sits trembling, once in a while drawing a long sigh and a tear drops from its eyes. In all this the child has sinned not. It has been punished for the sins or errors of its mother. Now the wisdom from above, acting through Jesus, called Christ, reasons to the child in this way. It makes the child acquainted with the effects of the fire. It has forbearance with the little ideas the child has formed and tries to breathe into this little earth the seed of wisdom so that it grows like the grain of mustard seed. It would see and learn that fire was not its enemy or its friend but a servant, ready to be used at the will of the master. These two modes of reasoning embrace man and beast; neither embraces true wisdom. One is God's reasoning and the other is man's. But there is something beyond all this that man is destined to reach, which is creation and formation, destruction and eternal life. True wisdom is eternal and its knowledge is the destruction of all the above. Even the son of God was to be subject to this wisdom. Now just as a person understands this wisdom he can put it into practice. It is not confined to any particular branch but applies to all science for the healing of the nations from error and superstition.
It is not everyone who says he understands that does, but he who can teach the same understandingly to others. Everyone knows that in the natural world, some persons are good mechanics, but it is not absolutely necessary that every artist should be a chemist, nor every chemist an artist. But if a man should undertake to teach chemistry with no knowledge except what he obtained from books, his wisdom is like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals; it was already known. Look at the professors of chemistry; they never have the sick or anything else in their philosophy. The object of chemistry when first discovered was not to apply any theory, but it was the discovery of a new process. It was intended to analyze all sorts of substances and separate one element from another and not to apply them to any particular theory or science. The person who discovered the art of making whiskey from corn never thought of it to cure consumption or any other disease. There was a phenomenon produced and to apply it to something was another matter. Franklin discovered electricity, but he never found out that it had any curative qualities. That was left to those who knew just as much about it as they did before Franklin made this discovery.
The fact is that all kinds of drugs were discovered by chemists, not with any idea that they contain any curative qualities. Iodine is used now to cure half the diseases there are and its good qualities set forth by physicians. All these second hand ideas are applied by the medical faculty and not one out of a hundred knows how to make the medicines he uses. Yet they talk of the medical science! Here is the great mistake. To produce a phenomenon is one thing and to know how you produce it is another and to destroy it is still another. To cure an error intelligently is to know how to produce it. It will show that the doctors are not only ignorant of what they do when they make a cure, but by the very means they use to make it, they bring about the phenomenon they are trying to cure. To show how this is brought about I must illustrate it in some way, showing how the mind is affected through the ignorance of the physician.
Suppose you have a fine piano which you place a great value upon and you feel annoyed because everyone who comes in thumps on the keys. Finally you get so nervous that you cannot rest when anyone is near it. At last you grow sick and send for a physician. He comes in, as ignorant of music as the rest, goes to the piano and begins to look at it, you meanwhile growing nervous as he fusses over the piano. Then he turns toward you and says, “You look sick and your blood is low; you need some little tonic. Your head is a little affected; I think your music is hurting you. I will leave you some powders.” As he leaves he strikes the piano again and you remain just where you were when he came, only a little worse. In a day or two he calls again and inquires, How are you. You say, “No better.” The sight of the doctor reminds you of the instrument and you grow nervous. So he alters the medicine and gives some different directions and leaves without touching the piano. You are left alone and no one comes in to disturb you and in a short time you are out of doors. The doctor meets you and inquires how you are getting along. You reply, “Very well.” “Continue the medicine as I directed. You are doing very well.” So driven off you return home, and the neighbors begin to come in. The idea of the piano comes up again, making your heart beat and you feel faint as the piano is thumped.
At last you are left alone and you feel very weak, so you take some whiskey. This excites the brain and a flush comes over you and you sneeze. Now comes up the idea of a cold; you grow nervous and the doctor is sent for. He comes in, takes off his hat and overcoat and very deliberately sits down by the piano. This makes you nervous so he feels your pulse and looks at your tongue, then “hems” and says, You have taken a slight cold. He reminds you of what he said the other day, and he makes another alteration in the medicine. This process is kept up till the doctor is dismissed for another of the same kind. And so on, till they have run through the medical faculty and wind up with spiritualism and if the patient lives it is only by accident. In all this you get the whole of the medical knowledge and not one particle of wisdom. You can see by this illustration, when I apply the piano to your body, that the doctors make nine-tenths of all the diseases through ignorance and when a cure is effected it is through the same medium. Take the piano as your body and yourself as No. 2 and then you will understand the illustration. Your body is the property of No. 2; No. 2 sets a great value on it and tries to keep it in order. Just return to the piano again. You will admit there is no wisdom or music in the piano of itself, nor in those you are afraid of. For if they knew how to execute music, it would be a pleasure to listen, but to have experiments tried on your instrument annoys you.
Your doctor may be a very clever fellow in his way, but having no ear for music, his honesty towards you does not compensate for your fears about your instrument. On the whole you are no better off for his wisdom. You see then no wisdom in the doctor and all the noise he made evinced an entire ignorance for the science of music. You turn him away and send for another physician. This one has more sagacity and less science, if you call making a disease science. And having more natural ear for music, he sits down to the piano and does not touch the music, so he shows more sagacity than the other. He commences running over the keys and strikes some very musical chords. As you listen you grow more calm. He says nothing about music or disease but leaves you some little homeopathic pills. Mother comes in and asks what the doctor thinks. You say, “He thinks I shall do very well.” “What does he recommend?” “Nothing but pure air and says that since I have been confined to this room so long, so associated with my disease, I had better travel.” “How would you like that?” “Very much.” “Did he say where you had better go, North or South, or in foreign parts, or to some springs?” “No, but I will ask him the next time he comes.” “Well, what do you think of your new doctor.” “I think that he is a very intelligent physician.” “But you know he is not an educated man.” “Yes, but I like him and he has some ear for music, for when he sat down by the piano, he did not make me so nervous as the other doctor did.” “But he is no musician.” “Well, I do not know as he is, but he does not make me so nervous.” “Well, if he can cure you I do not care if he is a quack for this learned science I am tired of. But what will doctor A say?” “I do not know or care. I want to get well and if Dr. B is a quack, I don't care.” “We had better send for Dr. A and see what he thinks of it. You know it will not be polite to dismiss an old doctor and employ a quack.” “I don't believe he is a quack.” “Why, you know that all those who have not received diplomas are quacks.” “Yes, and some who have.” “We will send for Dr. A.”
The doctor arrives a little nervous, removes his coat and seats himself by the piano. This disturbs the patient a little, which the doctor observes. Like all the rest of his wisdom he shows his ignorance in this; he looks very wise as though he had just discovered a gold mine, says, You seem a little disturbed. I understand the cause. You have had that young quack here and feel a little guilty I suppose, but you need not be alarmed. Persons as sick and weak as you are are very easily thrown off their guard, so cheer up and saying, What did the fellow say?, commences rapping the keys of the piano. Mary, sick from the fear of the instrument being injured, is silent. The doctor stops rapping and turning around to Mary says, “Do not be afraid; tell what he said.” As soon as the doctor leaves the instrument, Mary becomes more calm and says that he did not say much of anything. The doctor sneeringly smiles and says, That is where he shows his wisdom. Did you know Mary that this fellow is a quack and one of the worst impudent imposters that ever lived?
(Mary) Did you ever meet him?
(Dr.) Meet him? Do you suppose that I would so degrade my honorable profession as to consult with a quack? Why Mary you must be insane and your mother too. If this kind of humbug is kept up, the medical science will pass into the hands of these quacks and any educated physician will be ashamed to be seen among such fellows. You have no idea of employing this fellow, have you?
(Mary) Mother seems to be inclined to let him try. I do not have anything to say. I want to get well.
(Dr.) Won't you ask your mother to step in? I want to see her alone a few minutes. (Exit Mary and enter Mrs. H.)
(Mrs. H.) Why Mary thinks she is not getting along as fast as she would like and seeing her running down, I thought I would do anything to please her.
(Dr.) Oh, then it is Mary's plan.
(Mrs. H.) Yes.
(Dr.) I thought you were a woman of more sense. I always considered you a woman of superior mind and when Mary told me that it was your move, I must say I was a little surprised, but it is all right now. The world is getting into a dangerous way, even our clergy are attacked. These spiritualists make war with the church and even pretend to cure disease. It is blasphemy to suppose that Christ cured as these fanatics do. It is astonishing that sensible men and women will run after such things. I should think the church ought to call a meeting and excommunicate any who countenanced such imposters in religion or in doctoring. For if things go on in this way, my practice will be ruined and then Parson W. will lose one of his best parishioners.
(Mrs. H.) I suppose you do not know what I pay him every year, besides his doctor's bill, which is always large as he has had two or three sick in his family ever since I have been in this town. You know I came here about the time when the first parson first settled. I was the first member admitted into his church after he came and was very friendly to his family which at that time consisted of three young ladies from fifteen to nineteen years old. They were pretty and in good health and would probably have been alive and well if they had followed my advice. I took the utmost pains to give them the best of Christian advice. You remember when they first came to town, they attended that great ball given by Mrs. D. and that the church did not approve of their attending it. If it had not been for me, those three young ladies who I now trust are in heaven, would doubtless have continued going to such places now if they had lived.
At this time Mary came in and said, Perhaps if they had continued going to balls and parties and had done as they wanted to, they would be alive now.
(Mrs. H.) Hush Mary, you do not know what you are talking about.
(Dr.) Mary, you are young and I was just relating the sad case of our parson's family. I had the care of these three young ladies and they placed entire confidence in my medical skill as well as in my Christian character. These qualities they appreciated and I still continue to practice in the family. I have seen six out of their eight children borne from this world of trouble to the world of spirits. All went just as I foretold and their mother will tell you if you ask her of the good advice I gave the eldest, when to all appearance she was as well as anyone. Yet I saw where the destroyer worked and warned her of her danger, but she could not or would not see it till it was too late. Then I had the comfort of reconciling them to Christ and soothing them till the Redeemer came and took them. So I have cared for six of their children till the Lord took them home. Mary, I am your friend and if you know when you are well off, take my advice, do not risk your life in the hands of a quack, for it is of more value than gold.
(Mary) I want to get well. You have been attending me for a year and when you began, I could go about and attend balls and enjoy myself; now I can scarcely sit up two hours a day.
(Dr.) Yes. I have seen all that and have been trying to counteract the disease which has been preying upon your system. I will be frank with you Mary. You have the seeds of consumption in your frame which I detected long ago. I noticed it when I first came and used to play your piano; I could see the real hectic come into your face.
(Mary) Did you call that hectic?
(Mary) Well, then you made it, for you used to make me so nervous that it seemed as though I should fly. (Exit the doctor)
(Mary) (Alone) Now I begin to understand myself, I can see that neither of the two knows anything about me, not half as much as I do myself. This physician has convinced me that he knows nothing, for he saw the hectic on my cheek while he was drumming on the piano, which was merely my nervous hatred of him. And if that is hectic I know what produced it. All this I can trace to the piano, for when I was left alone I was better and went out. But on my return some friends came in and I became very nervous for fear they would injure my piano—this acted upon me like a cold. When the new doctor came he could play and this made me calmer, for I was not afraid of his injuring the instrument. So between them both I have come to this conclusion: if my old physician was honest in his practice, he is ignorant of its effect and the world is no wiser for his knowledge. As for the young man he showed more good sense, if not knowledge, than the other, for his qualities of mind are more agreeable to me. I know this one thing; it requires no science to make a disease, nor cure it, if the patient can find where he has been deceived. I know how my disease came, so all I have to do is to give up all opinions and try to understand, so as not to be deceived by any person's opinion, when no proof is offered.
Now let us sum up the evidence in this case and see how much is science and how much science and wisdom and how much disease have been evinced. All will admit that the piano contained no intelligence and the doctor showed no knowledge. The lady was the victim of the doctor's opinion. Now as a judge, judging from the evidence, it is a case of pure malpractice. And as the law stands, it is right to murder if you have a diploma from a medical school. But we, as a judge and reporter of cases, have a right to suggest a more perfect law by which the people can correct their own evils without employing either of the two professions, as we believe them both in error. We will show what needs to be done for the benefit of mankind. You see the world is no wiser for the theories of either priest or doctor, if it is not a disgrace to science to call the practice of medicine a theory. Where can science stand to have a foothold on this humbug? It is between the cure and the disease. To stand there you must know what is to be done. Now I am going to show what is not generally understood, if at all. Everyone knows that we can all agree on everything made by hand. For instance, if you go into a machine shop, you have no controversy about what the articles there are called: a sleigh for instance, or anything else. So if there is any controversy, it is in regard to where there is an opinion and the trouble lies in the understanding, not in the thing known. So it is with disease. The idea that matter and mind make the man prevents man from understanding himself.
I will give my ideas of man. When we see man we look at him as a whole, not seeing anything separate and apart. So when he is dead as it is called, this ends his life. Whatever opinions we may have of what follows, we have no positive proof that anything remains. If there is any proof that man is anything after what is called death, the natural man has never been able to give that proof to the world. Now is there any proof of a wisdom higher than the natural man? All Christians will admit that there is, but when asked for proof, they quote the Bible as such. If you will not take this, then they can give no proof. So if the Bible is proof, then man's opinion is of no use, for to the Bible, he can add no force. Let us go to the Bible. It lies on my table. It does not speak if I open it. It gives me no proof. I find that there is an account of the creation of the world and a great deal of other matter. So not getting there an answer to my inquiry, I turn to Mr. A. He tells me that it contains certain great truths and finally explains it according to his creed. I call on Mr. B and he gives his creed and so on to Mr. W. All are very sure it contains an account of another world and each one is sure that his own creed is right.
I sit down and look at the whole and come to this conclusion: that if the Bible contains anything, the explanations must be false, for they are at war with each other. They are like the man and his wife, never at peace, except when someone comes in to separate them. So it is with the churches; they will fight with each other like animals, but let someone step in and call religion a humbug and they will all be down on that person as though he was the greatest infidel in the world. So you cannot get any proof in that way.
I will give you my investigations for belief I have none, but I will tell you what I do not believe. This is what Jesus did; he told not what he believed but what he knew was false. When I sit by a patient, I do not try to electioneer for any creed. If I made war with a Baptist, it is not to make him a Universalist, nor anything else. And if I made war with a Methodist, or any other religious sect, or an infidel, as I often do, it is not to convert them to my creed or belief for I have none.
You may ask what is my religious belief. I answer none. I know I am sitting here now and I know I was here yesterday and I expect to be here tomorrow. This last is my belief, founded on the knowledge that I am here now and was here yesterday. My senses can act upon a person at a distance without that person knowing it. This I know. I also know that the Bible never spoke of itself. I know that God never made anything that is attributed to man's wisdom. I know that all language is the invention of man. I know that God never made happiness or misery. I know that man makes both. I know that with God, might is not right, that God never spoke to one being more than to another. I know that no priest ever went into another world and never came from one. I know that all their talk is but the invention of man. I believe in no priest's opinion. I know that all their doctrines are all the invention of men and the cause of nine-tenths of the misery in the world. I know that the profession of doctor, like that of priest, is all the invention of this world and causes nine-tenths of the diseases. Both together make more misery than all other evils. I will tell you why I am opposed to all the above. It is because I know that all disease is what follows our belief and happiness is the result of getting rid of our belief. Every man is a part of God, just so far as he is Wisdom. So I will tell you what I know, not what I believe. I said I knew I was here. I worship no God except my own and I will tell you what He teaches me. In the first place He puts no restrictions on me, in fact He is in me and just as I know myself I know Him; so that I and God are one, just as my children and I are one. So to please myself I please God and to injure myself is to injure my God. So all I have to do is to please myself. Now as God and I are one so you and I are one and to please myself is to please you and to injure myself is to injure you, so just as I measure out to you I measure out to myself. As you and I are one, you and your neighbor are one and to love your neighbor as yourself is more than all the prayers made by all the priests in the world. I know that if I do by another as I would be done by in like circumstances I feel right, for I judge no man. I do not judge of myself, for my knowledge of this Wisdom is as plain to me as my senses.
To the world it is a belief, but to me it is wisdom that the religious world knows not of. If they did they would never crucify me as they do in their ignorance. So my religion is my wisdom, which is not of this world, but of that Wisdom that will break in pieces the wisdom of man. Man's wisdom is the superstition of heathen idolatry; all Science is at variance with it. I stand alone, not believing in anything independent of Science; so you can put me down as having no sympathy with any belief or religion concerning another world or in anything belonging to the Christian death. Neither have I any belief in the resurrection of the body. My death is this—ignorance. Life is wisdom, and as death is darkness or matter, so life is light or wisdom. All men have wandered away from light and believed in darkness. To destroy matter you introduce light or life.
I will illustrate. Suppose you are sitting in the dark, call that this world. Now as the light springs up where is the darkness? All will say, the darkness is gone. The light is the resurrection of this body or darkness. What becomes of it when the light rises? So it is with man. Man is an idea of matter or darkness, and as his mind or matter becomes lit or clairvoyant, the darkness of the idea of matter is gone, and he is in light that the wisdom of this world of matter or darkness has not. So light came into darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
When I sit down by a patient, I come out of this matter or darkness and stand by the patient's senses which are attached to some idea of the wisdom of this world which troubles him. I retain my former man or matter and its senses. I also have another identity independent of matter, and I (knowing what is the cause of his misery) stand by the matter or belief of my patient and destroy his belief or the effect it has on his senses; then as the darkness or belief is lit up by the wisdom of Science, his darkness disappears and he rejoices in the light. The light leads him back to his health, from whence he had been decoyed by the blind guides spoken of in Scripture.
Here you have what I believe and what I disbelieve—the two are my law and gospel. By the law no one can be saved, but by the gospel of Truth; Science will have all saved, not from the Christian world but from this world of superstition and ignorance, saved for the greater truth that was prepared from the beginning of the world for all those who search and try to find it. You cannot go into the clouds to call it down, nor into the sea to call it up, but it is in you, in your very thoughts. It is not of this world, but of a higher state of matter that can penetrate through this earthly matter as light through darkness. As the senses are of the body of truth, they travel through the light, as a man with a lamp travels in the dark.
So it is not everyone who has a lamp with oil, nor is everyone wise who says he is so. But he is wise who can come up to the one in the dark, and lead him along through his dark wilderness of disease into the light of reason and health. Like the good man who had the hundred sheep and one wandered away in the dark, he left the ninety and nine that were in the light and found the lost one and restored him to the fold. Now let those who pretend to be shepherds of the sheep or of sick persons starving to death like the prodigal son for spiritual food, eating the husks of science, not the priest's food, go and guide them along to the father of health where they can eat and be glad and have music and dancing.
This was Christ's truth; he was the Good Shepherd; the people were his sheep and all who looked to him and listened to the true wisdom were saved from the errors of the priests and doctors. As Moses lifted up the serpents in the old Egyptian theology and creed and explained them, and all who looked on his explanation were healed of their errors that made disease, so Christ was lifted up, and all who understood were healed from the doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees.
So in our day I hold up the serpent of creeds and doctors’ theories and show the absurdity of their beliefs and all who understand are healed of their diseases.