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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Is Language Always Applied to Science?—Part III—Same Subject Continued

Was it the intention of the authors of language to enslave man or to elevate and instruct him? If those who first reduced words to a language intended to enslave man, then the end was equal to the means. But if it was their design to elevate man and make him superior to the savage, then they have failed to accomplish their object. All man's misery may be attributed to language, for if there had been no language, man would have been but little above the brute. Thus language has developed sciences and at the same time enslaved mankind. Language when used to instruct man in arts and sciences is in its proper province, but when used to deceive and mislead man, it is abused and perverted. All will admit that language is to express one's thoughts and feelings, for if a man had not these to be expressed, language would be of no use.

The beasts have a language for their wants which are selfish and within themselves, but man has feelings which he wishes to express and this desire makes him an inventor of language to communicate his ideas to another. Now language is like all other commodities got up by speculators of very little benefit to the masses. The speculators use it for their advantage to keep control of the market while the masses take it second-hand from the wise, as Lazarus fed from the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Such is the food of the masses.

Language that is used by the inventive classes is very simple and constructive, but when it is applied to an invisible world, it is all confined to the intellect of a wisdom that can be seen only by its effects. Look at the amount of language about some invisible something whose existence sprang from the brain of persons who, by their language, have brought into the world invisible evils in the form of diseases and have counterfeited everything that is for the benefit of man, and who have deceived the people into invisible errors from which they are suffering. Meanwhile, their language is to enslave the masses till they have made an invisible world corresponding to this with an army as large and formidable as that of the Potomac, which is marshalled and led forth to attack all scientific improvements in freedom from slavery and from disease. This all comes from the misuse of language. I use language to express the feelings produced on me while sitting by the sick and I find that all the evils that I encounter are from some belief in some invisible thing invented by a superstitious mind and described as true. The people hear the story and eat it, and it comes forth in a belief and their misery is the proof that the story is true. This kind of deception keeps this invisible world in ignorance of its existence in the minds of men.

To rid the world of this kind of imposition is to show man that when a person talks about what is in the dark, he is either deceived himself or is trying to deceive others. It is true that I am talking about things that the patient cannot see, but he can feel them; therefore my language is not confined to what I do not know but to what I do know by my own feelings. This is what I know: that language has been counterfeited. It is only words used to explain our ideas and if a person is made to believe a lie, he uses this medium to convey it to another. This is what makes disease of all kinds. The priests use language to make people believe in their ideas; the doctors and politicians do the same. All their beliefs are without the slightest foundation in wisdom. They are the inventions of error and represented as truth, requiring a language to explain them in order that the people can swallow them. This keeps the people in ignorance of disease and all their lives subject to the power of these wise men whose wisdom is of man and, as Job says, will die with them. These crafty persons use language as a weapon to subjugate the masses, for their proofs come after their predictions; this makes an appearance of knowledge greater than the masses. But if man knew himself he would know that to believe a lie is to create it, and the misery following is our own.

December 1862

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