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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Religion [II]

What is the true meaning of another world? It is supposed that man dies and goes to God or a spirit-world. This is the general belief and if this is true, why should it be so strange that some persons should believe that their friends return to earth and appear to the people? This was the belief of a large class of mankind in the days of Christ. If all this is called truth, it is founded on an opinion that there is another world and the Bible is quoted in proof of it. Now all the above is to me error based on ignorance of science. Science would never have led man to that belief. Paul said that all men had gone out of the way, none doeth good, no not one. Now where did they go?

It is said that man had wandered away from God and become so wicked that he was in danger of eternal punishment. What does this mean? Man is here on the earth as he always was, so it does not mean that he got off the globe. To wander away from God is to suppose that He had some locality, and to be in His presence is to return to His place of residence. This place could not be in another world, off the globe. It must be somewhere in this world that God resided because it says, Christ came to lead man back to God. Now if God is in another world and Jesus came from that place down to the earth to lead man there, or to open a way whereby man could get there himself, then it is to be supposed man had been in heaven in the presence of God but had wandered away and could not get back. All this looks very silly when we think of asking men to believe it, but we don't think of half we believe, embracing it without giving it the least thought.

Man is made up of thought and ideas. There is nothing about man unchangeable but his science, for science embraces a principle and principles are not matter or ideas but a knowledge of them. Life is an evidence of science and science acknowledges it. So is feeling, taste, etc. All the senses are admitted by science to exist independent of matter because matter is accident and can be changed. Ideas are matter. Our bodies are an idea and the senses are applied to the idea, but the senses can act independently of the idea of body. So the senses are all there are that cannot be changed. They may be obstructed by error but not destroyed. To separate these two ideas explains the true meaning of life and death. The people all believed in death, Jesus did not; therefore, his arguments were to prove that death was a false idea. If we believe in death, we are in our belief, and if we know it is an error, we are in life. And if we believe in either, it is proof that we are alive. Now Christ wished to prove that what we called death was to him nothing but a separation of his truth from the people's belief, they of course being in their belief, the crucifixion of Jesus was death according to their belief.

Jesus never intended to allude to the natural body, for it is an idea that belongs to the natural man or error. So when he speaks of a resurrection, it is from the dead, not that the dead rise, for that would go to show that he was still a believer in matter and if he believed in matter, he must believe it dies and then rises again. But if he believed that it is nothing but a medium for the senses to use and control, then all that he meant was that his senses should rise from the dead or error of the people, who believed that the senses are a part of the idea called body. Here was where the difference was. Now to prove his truth was to show himself to his disciples after they had seen him, as they supposed dead, alive again. This to them was a resurrection of the dead, not Christ or Jesus' teachings. Jesus' teaching was to show that Christ was a truth of God or a higher knowledge that separated science from ignorance, and this Christ was in the idea Jesus, that Christ was all that ever could exist without changing and that Jesus was nothing but the idea of matter that could be changed or made into any form.

Christ is the man that should rise from this superstitious idea. So when the people saw their idea or form destroyed, their hope was cut off; but when in the clouds of their ignorance they saw this same Christ or truth take form again, they were afraid, and as it became dense enough to be identified, it was recognized as Jesus' body, but it was not the body or idea that they had believed in some days before.

Now the people called this identity Jesus Christ. This is where the trouble lay; the people's mind was changing but not scientifically and they were left in a more nervous state than before, for now they thought Jesus' body rose and if Jesus' body rose, it went to show that his ideas were not changed from the common belief. It amounted to nothing at all, for no man has ever risen since and there was no proof of Jesus' soul being separated from his body.

So man gets up a belief in opposition to the Bible's belief or he must believe that Christ went to heaven with a body of flesh and blood; this man cannot believe, so the common explanation of the resurrection leaves it worse than before. Now look at it in a common scientific way and see if I cannot explain it so that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.

Take the man Jesus as a man of flesh and blood, like all other men. Give him the knowledge that mind is matter and that matter is under the control of a higher power that can act independently of matter or ideas and that he, Jesus, could be in two places at the same time and be outside of the body or idea called Jesus, then it would not be very hard to believe that this knowledge called Christ, which Jesus had, should say, Although you destroy this idea of Jesus, he, that is Christ, should rise or make himself known to the people. For this Christ or truth had the power to assume any form that it pleased, and as the people knew it not except as it came within their senses as the natural man, they could not believe till it took the form of Jesus as a man. This form the people called Jesus; therefore it went out that Jesus rose from the dead, and it has always been believed by those who call themselves disciples of Jesus that the man or idea Jesus rose from the dead.

Now here is my belief: I believe in Christ or the truth. This truth taught this, that although the people thought that when they crucified the idea Jesus, they crucified Christ, Christ knew that they knew not what they did. Therefore he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” This same power was not in the idea the people had but just so far as this power or knowledge was made known, just so far it could make itself manifest to man. And those who believed that Jesus would rise, just so far this Christ could make itself known. But to those who saw it, it was Jesus, for they never had any true idea of Christ independent of Jesus.

Now to believe that the idea, Jesus or flesh and blood rose is to believe that the dead rise. This Jesus denied when he said that that rises from the dead not that the dead rise, but that that rises from the dead, never marries nor is given in marriage, but as touching the dead, that they rise, he says, that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to God.

May 1860

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