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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Conversations with Patients during a Sitting

(Patient) I wish to ask you a few questions in regard to the way in which you cure diseases. Do you use medicine? (Doctor) No, none at all. (P) I have a bad feeling. (D) I never want a patient to tell me their feelings, that is my business. (P) That is all the better, for if a doctor can tell me my feelings I shall have more faith, but you say you don't use any medicine? (D) No. (P) Well, I don't understand, but I suppose it makes no difference with you. (D) No. (P) If you tell me what makes that pain in my side ... (D) I just said I did not want you to tell me anything in regard to yourself. (P) Oh, yes. Go on and tell me if you feel that pain I have in my shoulder. (D) I can't examine you. (P) Why not? (D) You can't keep your tongue still. (P) Why, I have faith, and if you will tell me how my head feels I shall have perfect confidence. (D) I must put off my examination for the present, from the fact that you cannot know anything about my mode of treating disease. So if you will listen I will try to make you understand, so that if you choose to come again you will know how to proceed. (P) I can't see into it all I want to. (D) Stop or you will let out some more of your trouble. (P) Then you do not want me to tell you anything? (D) No. (P) Then I will be silent and you may go on. (D) No, I will not go any farther this morning, but I will give you some idea of how I cure and how I find out the trouble. (P) Well, I should like to hear for I understand you are a mesmerize—some say you are a Spiritualist, others that you are a humbug. But I do not care what you are provided you cure my lame back. (D) That's right, let out all you know. I have told you not to tell me about your feelings. (P) As I do not care about the theory, I will not stop now but come in tomorrow. Good morning.

Here ends one dialogue of a hundred cases. It is almost impossible to make some persons understand what I mean and these are the facts. I stand before the public just as this patient says. Some say I am a mesmerizer and Spiritualist, others a humbug. Some understand my position and come intelligently and, while others come believing in some of the above theories, I have to take every one as I find them and it is very hard to get along with some. Here comes one of another class.

After learning that I am the doctor she says: I called to see if you ever cured consumption. (D) I never give an opinion at all. My opinion is worth just as much as any physician's and that is nothing. (P) How do you cure? What is your mode of treating disease? (D) I believe disease is all in the mind and treat it accordingly. (P) You believe there is no such thing as consumption, that it is all in imagination? (D) I do not believe in imagination. (P) I thought you said consumption was all imagination in the mind. (D) You said that, not I. (P) I cannot see any difference. (D) Then because you cannot see that a person may believe a lie and be affected, then it is all imagination. (P) I don't understand your meaning. (D) I mean that if you have a pain you know it. Is your wisdom all imagination? (P) No. (D) Suppose your pain stops, do you not know that and is it not a fact, too? (P) Yes. (D) Then where is the imagination? (P) There is none in that. (D) So it is with all cases. Disease is not seen at all except in the effect. The cause is out of sight. The medical faculty takes the shadow for the substance. This makes all the trouble. Let the medical faculty make this difference between causes and effect and then you will see that the effect called disease is a result of some opinion.

An opinion is the answer to what we think we know, from the sensation that is made on our mind. There is no wisdom in the cold air nor in the heat and the science is to teach the child that the fire will burn and the cold make you chilly. The fire and the heat and the child are three different things. When the child comes in contact with the cold, the sensation is the disease or deception and the effect is the phenomenon. This holds good in every idea. The trouble is in the fact that the wisdom of man has never been reduced to practice or science so as to receive the idea that mind is ideas and takes form just according to the wisdom you admit.

September 1862

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