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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Difference between My Philosophy and That of Others

The difference between my belief and the rest of those who have written upon the philosophy of the mind is this: every philosophy aims at happiness as the greatest object to be attained. So they believe that goodness is one of the means to obtain this great point. So all their thoughts are aimed at this one object, happiness, thinking it is somewhere in the future and as though it was something which by laboring they might obtain. This is the great study of all great philosophers. Now I pretend to study the philosophy of the mind and have been for the last twenty years a constant student of this science, and I have come to the conclusion that happiness is like light and misery is like darkness and man being in darkness chooses darkness rather than light because of his ignorance. All philosophy teaches man how to find this light by prescribing certain rules and regulations as to what one shall eat and drink and wherewithal he shall be clothed, and they place all sorts of restrictions on man to be observed so that he may obtain this light. Now all the above leads him into darkness, death, disease and misery.

I differ from all such philosophy and call light happiness and darkness misery, and instead of trying to find the light, I labor to destroy the darkness. I will give an illustration: disease is the effect of darkness or a belief, for a belief has no light or wisdom; wisdom is light, and opinions are darkness. Now when man is in opinions he is in darkness and to get out of his opinions is to get into the light. Therefore I commence to correct the error that troubles him. This trouble is his darkness, so I convince him of the error and the light springs up and his light is his happiness. As the Bible says, the people which sat in the darkness saw a great light and to those which sat in the region and shadow of death the light is sprung up. Matt. 4:16

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