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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Religion [I]

It has been generally taught that there is a resurrection of this flesh and blood, or that this body should rise from the dead. Now if death is anything independent of ourselves, then it is not a part of our identity and if death is the annihilation of life, then life dies and if your life dies, then it is not life. This absurdity arises from the fact that man began to philosophize before he understood himself. Man is superstitious from ignorance. He sees through a medium of ignorance called matter; therefore he sees nothing outside of his belief. This belief is his matter and his reason is a part of his belief; therefore he is to himself just what he thinks he is. But his belief makes his life and death the same identity. Therefore when he speaks of life he speaks of saving it or losing it, just as though it were matter and must go through a chemical change before it could go to heaven or get separated from itself.

Thus we are taught to believe that our lives are liable to be lost or cast into some place of torment if we do not do something to save it, just as though life were a thing independent of ourselves and we must look out for it or we should lose it. Absurd as this is, it is the belief of all mankind, infidel or Christian.

Now you see, this is the matter or belief that is in matter reasoning about something outside of itself that may be lost if it is not seen to.

Therefore we are taught to believe that Jesus came to make all right, suffered and died and rose again to let mankind know that they should rise. Let us see what was really accomplished by his mission according to his followers' opinions of him. We are told that man had wandered away from God and had become so wicked that it was necessary that something should be done or he would be in danger of being banished from God's presence. What was required of him in order to be saved was to repent and return to God, only believing that he should never die. Therefore his life depended on his belief, for if he did not repent or change his mind, he would be damned. Now, what are we called upon to believe? In the first place, you must believe that Jesus, the man, was Christ or God and that he died on the cross and that the man Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven, there to appear before God and sit down with God in heaven. If we believe this we shall be saved. If we do not believe it we must be damned. Now you see that our lives are in our belief and our belief is made up of someone's opinion who knows just as much as we.

I, for one, do not reason in that way. I know that man has two identities: one in this state called Christian or diseased, and one in the spiritual or scientific state. Each is governed by its own belief, and when one has the ascendency, the other is the servant. Death and life are the two identities. Life is the knowledge of our existence that has no matter. But matter is its servant or medium. Death is the name of that state of mind that reasons as man reasons and the brutes and all of God's creatures. The life of this state (death) depends upon its reason. It reasons that life is in it and a part of it, and at the same time acknowledges that life is something that can be lost or saved and reasons about it as one man reasons about another. Death reasons also with the idea that it is saving its life and invents all sorts of diseases which destroy its state or self. It prays to be saved, it fasts and observes forms and ceremonies. It is very strict in its laws to protect its life. Knowledge is its destruction, so it fears God or Science as its destroyer. Its life is not destroyed but its opinions are, and its opinions are matter. The destroying of its opinions is death, but not annihilation of matter, but of error as far as it goes. The matter returns to its former condition ready to be formed into some other idea. These beliefs are from the knowledge of this world and are the inventions of man, but the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God or Science. This world is made up of the above beliefs and is subject to a higher power.

The wisdom of God does not go into the clouds to call truth down nor into the deep to call God up, but shows us that God is in us, even in our speech. It sees matter as a cloud or substance that has a sort of life (in appearance). It sees it move around. It also sees commotion, like persons running to and fro upon the earth. It can come into this state called this world and reasons with its followers or science, who are in this world, imprisoned by a belief, for science not understood is not safe unless it has an identity. Its identity is a knowledge of itself, for if you should do right ignorantly, you are not safe. To be clear from this world is to know that an opinion is not knowledge; and when this is found out, the opinion is destroyed and knowledge or science takes its place and the identity or opinion is not in this world only as it is remembered. I will give an illustration. I am now speaking of the wisdom of this world.

You see your friend walking about and you talk with him. Finally he dies, as you say. Now his identity with you is that he once lived, but is now dead. But you do not know but that he may live again, though this is only an opinion. You follow him with the same opinion or belief and so on. So you never enter into the world of science, for flesh and blood cannot enter truth, nor can it enter Science. It cannot understand the separation from this world or belief.

Now where do I stand? I do not stand at all. I know that all the above is the reasoning of matter and when people learn the truth, they will make matter subject to science. Then the wisdom of this world will become subject to the scientific world. This world calls the world of science a gift. To call it a gift is to say that those who practice it for the benefit of man are either ignorant of this science, are humbugs or are fools talking about what they do not know. Those who call Jesus' knowledge of this science a power or gift place him on the same level with all the sorcerers of his day.

April 1860

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