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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Subject of Mind, The

From time immemorial the subject of mind has been a theme of ancient and modern philosophers. Now if the idea of mind did not embrace all our reason and philosophy, man would not be all the time trying to investigate its nature.

Mind is always associated with something else. Moses used the word wisdom in the sense of mind when he said God created the heavens and the earth, which means mind and matter.

The philosophers of our day separate matter from mind and call matter material and mind immaterial, so that matter is not under the control of mind and as mind is immaterial it is nothing. Now can nothing produce something? The philosophers of our day may answer. Lucretius divided mind from matter in these words: body and space or void, void being mind. He also called it space and vacuum, so all philosophers have gone back to matter and tried to trace it up to that point where it ceases to be matter. Lucretius makes no difference in matter but calls it all matter. This includes mind, for he says in Book fourth, four-hundred and forty-first page, “Sound is substance as experience shows, since to the sense impulsively it flows.” Now why all these different applications of the same term? If mind is matter, what is life? To show that mind is matter we must illustrate it by something that men will admit. But what is it to man whether mind is matter or not? I say it is of vast importance to the world, for if it can be shown that mind is matter, it will be seen that even mind is under the control of a wisdom possessed by man, so that wisdom acting upon mind changes the mind and produces another idea. Now if I speak and the sound is substance, it must come in contact with some other substance or fill some vacuum in the mind.

I will show that matter is a medium for wisdom and when I say matter I embrace mind in it, so it is not necessary to repeat the two every time I allude to mind.

I will now show that there is no such a substance as weight nor gravitation in wisdom, that even the earth is not governed by wisdom according to man's philosophy, for if it was, God could not see all around a globe at the same time. And if the globe is matter independent of wisdom, then it fills some space. So that man on the globe is not in the center of space; therefore he must be on one side and all the planets that are at such great distances from the earth and each other cannot all be in the center of space.

Let us see how this theory holds out and analyze it. All persons have noticed when the skies look dark they are nothing but shades. Now as the particles of matter are set in motion by some invisible power, they are separated and driven before a more powerful substance; this brings them into a more solid form, so at last they can be seen by the eye. Then as they are driven against an opposite power or atmosphere they become more dense till their density is seen and felt. This is called snow; forced still closer together, it becomes ice. It is now called matter; this gives rise to a new philosophy. The world has been divided into three classes of philosophy. The Grecian experience shows that it is dangerous to search too deeply into science, for as all things must be proved by wisdom, the invisible things must be proved by the visible. So that although a person's theory may be true, yet not having the wisdom to put it into practice, only in their own lives, the ignorance of the world, while it gives to the author the credit of honesty, sets him down as a fanatic and thus misrepresents him when his very philosophy is true.

We at this time boast of our philosophy as though it was a late discovery, but when tested by the philosophy of the Greeks, it vanishes like dew before the sun. They searched for wisdom beyond the narrow limits of the human mind and soared above the idea that this world is all there is. And they went on to dissolve all matter and hold it in solution.

All of this is true but it wants to be brought to the understanding of the natural man. They went so far as to believe that they had not only discovered the wisdom that governs all things but they were accused of discovering life itself and it taught them to apply it to man for his happiness. This required proof to sustain it and as their wisdom stopped at the fact it gave their opponents the advantage of them and they were looked upon as visionary theorists. So the wisdom of this world established new things based on things that could be seen and felt.

As I stand alone, separate from all these things and all theories, I have a right to introduce a new and more perfect theory based on facts produced by my own wisdom and admitted by my patients.

This wisdom gives to every theory its just due and condemns all error. It proves all things and holds fast that which is true. I shall show that the Grecian philosophers were correct and so was the Copernican system and that all former philosophies did not believe the earth was flat but they spiritualized all things for the happiness of man.

Now there are two philosophies that will bear the name of wisdom: one is founded on the idea of matter, etc. and on the present philosophy of the day, and the other is the philosophy of wisdom. One admits all that is governed by their philosophy and looks upon all wisdom that cannot be accounted for as a mystery or gift.

I shall try to separate the one from the other and show that the philosophy of this world is based on the phenomena of the scientific world.

The scientific world is in opposition to the natural world. Each world proves its works but the natural world is the shadow of the spiritual world and is governed by a lower class of minds too gross to rise to the substance that is attached to the shadow, so that every truth has its shadow and the two modes of reasoning prove their works. One reasons out of matter, the other reasons in matter. So the philosophy that is founded on the basis of matter has the majority, like all other errors. Every truth is in a minority and is opposed by the majority. The principle of this world is that the majority is right, and so, of course, as error is always in the majority, it must be right.

Now let us see if it does not hold good. Is it not so in religion and politics? The truth is not acknowledged at all as an opposer of error, but a mere balance to weigh each man's opinion.

Opinions are the substances that are weighed. Truth is nothing but the balances. It has no existence in this world because it is of the world of wisdom and that is a stranger to matter. Now these two worlds or philosophies split up the world of matter, for one reasons in matter and the other out of it. One has laws, the other has none; one has religion, the other has none. One has the wisdom of matter, the other the wisdom of God and each proves its science. Now man is made out of the wisdom of matter, and matter has its God, and all of its laws are found in matter, and as disease is a transgression of these laws of matter, man is punished by the laws. Now to punish a man for disobeying a law, is to suppose the law existed before the offense was committed, for where there is no law, there is no transgression. So this world's God supposed that man would do wrong and so made a law in advance. The disobeying of this law was sin. “So by the law came sin and by sin came disease and by disease came death.” So everyone is under the sentence of death, for all have sinned. This is one of the majority reports, and to get clear is to do something to get rid of nothing. For the law is the enemy to get rid of and that is made of nothing. It contains nothing, for the same majority says that where there is no transgression, there is no law.

So then, if there is no act, there is no law. This makes it just as the wisdom of God makes it. Every act contains the law of action and reaction and that is all the law that wisdom ever had, but the wisdom of man puts the other construction on it, namely that the effect comes before the cause. This holds good in all of this world's philosophy and I shall show that all their philosophy is based on phenomena that take place in the spirit world or above the natural man, and man in his ignorance gets up a philosophy to explain his ignorance of the phenomena.

This causes the misery that human persons suffer and is the ignorance of themselves. Man invents his misery and lays it to God. Being ignorant of God or wisdom, he sets up a standard based on an opinion.

For instance, how often we hear this saying, “Wrap up so you will not take cold.” Now if you go out in the cold under certain conditions, you transgress one of God's laws. Now I ask the question if winter and summer heat were not made before man? All will say, Yes. Will any person stand up and say that anyone going outdoors alters the weather? No. Then the cold does not forbid a person going out or have anything to do about it. So if a man goes out, he goes according to his belief and he is affected just according to it. We will take two persons: one believes in taking cold, his fears excite him; the other is accustomed to the cold and never knew anything bad about it. Now I ask anyone if they think these two persons go out under the same feelings? All will say, No. Then the one that is always catching cold would be the most likely to be affected? Yes. Now God made a law that if a person exposed himself to the cold and he disobeyed this law of health, he must be punished. You may say the healthy man was not really exposed, for he was not in feeble health. Then the man in feeble health is the one to be punished or take cold.

Now see how absurd such a belief is. According to this experiment, and this holds good in every case, the great Father of every good and perfect gift is all wisdom, knows all things, and sees the effect before it happens, governs all our acts, not a hair can fall without his knowledge, made all laws for the happiness of man and had such great love for us that he exposed himself to his own laws and took the penalty to save us poor sinners. All this is taught by the clergy.

Now listen to me for a short time till I set all this right. This law, it seems, was not to embrace those that did not catch cold, for they could not have broken the laws; for if you disobey the law in the least, you are guilty. So the law was for them that disobeyed it. So it is for the sick, these poor weak creatures that can hardly get a breath of air without transgressing a law that these benevolent gods have made and punish all that break them. Now strange as this crazy idea is, it is the belief of 99 in 100 foolish men! How long will you be deceived by false teachings! It is just as impossible to disobey God's wisdom as it is to cut your finger with a razor and say you were ignorant that a razor would cut, when you got it for that purpose. God cannot have a law, for a law presupposes a disobedience, and if God was not wise enough when he made all things to know what would be the end of every act, then he is not the God the Christians claim him to be. And is he dead? No. Then he certainly has respect for persons and gives preference to the well, for all the laws that are attached to God by the Christian world are to punish the sick; for the well are not punished at all. So to keep clear of his laws is to have nothing to do with him, for the weak flourish under his government like the green bay tree and the Christian finds it a hard road to travel. And if it was not for the leaders exciting and driving them on they would all turn back and become as bad as the rest of the world. Now what infidelity and hypocrisy there is in the world in this 19th century, yet we boast of our religious wisdom!

If any person can show me one single idea in any creed that ever Jesus subscribed to I should like to see it. Religion now is just what it was 2,000 years ago; all the Grecian philosophy opposed it and some were imprisoned and some killed. Jesus opposed it and they murdered him and destroyed his theory and kept up the same old theory only as it has been broken in two by come-outers. It has always been opposed to science. It imprisoned Copernicus and has persecuted all investigators ever since the pagan philosophers blew it up and showed its hideous form and bloody bones. It is founded in ignorance and superstition and is the greatest evil that ever invaded the human mind and were it not for science the world would have at this time the places of torment.

All of this error is the effect of the philosophy of minds. The wise have never established their philosophy by experiments. Error has, and so as one is established, the other becomes the subject. Now establish the true philosophy or goodness and happiness, and then you have a heaven on earth. Then Jesus' words will come to pass when he says, I will create a new heaven or philosophy and a new earth or matter where there shall not be any darkness but all will be light. Now this is the new heaven or philosophy that was foretold in the days of the wise men and repeated by Jesus 1800 years ago. Now I will show you the new philosophy or Jerusalem that man is destined to enter, where there shall be no more sickness or death, where old things are done away and all things become new. Now this philosophy was for man alone, for he had wandered away in the dark and had become so gross that he could not see anything but gross matter. So Jesus said to such, “Ye have eyes but cannot see, and ears and cannot hear and hearts but cannot understand.”

Now I shall show that there is a philosophy that has nothing to do with the common philosophy of the day and that our philosophy and religion causes all the evils we mortals suffer. Now if man knew the true philosophy, the shadow could not do any harm; but man worships the shadow and loses the substance. I shall show this and prove it, for I do not mean to give my opinion when I have the truth in hand. My object is the good of mankind independent of all religious sects or creeds. It is a philosophy which, if understood, will make man free and independent of all creeds and laws of man and subject him to his own laws, being free from the laws of sin, sickness and death.

Being once freed I know how to teach others, so I will tell you what must follow this new science, and what it teaches man and how far he is bound. And his binding is a free offering and cannot be altered it he knows the truth or philosophy, so that no one shall enter in blindfolded so he will want to retract before he understands. I will give you my experience as one that believes what he says and is ready to be judged by his patients, and if the world finds fault, I will listen to them; and if their philosophy does more good to the sick than mine, I will consider it and give it the preference. So I will give mine or the philosophy of health and ask my questions of the world. Are not words sound and is not sound something? For if it is not something it could not produce something. Then this something in the form of language is something. Now two somethings of the same kind cannot produce another something, so that one something must act on another something and then a third something can be produced. So if sound is something, it does not act upon itself and if it acts at all, it must act on something else. Now one of these somethings I call God or wisdom. Now as wisdom is a substance that cannot be changed, it cannot fill any more space than all space. It cannot act separate from itself, so it is in all and a part of all; it knows no bounds nor time, it is eternal. Now as every substance throws a shadow, the shadow must have a background of something and this something I call mind or matter and as this something acts on matter it does not act on itself. So of course that that acts is not the same as that that is acted upon, so that that acts is this substance that cannot change but is under two somethings that act upon the same something.

As it may confuse you to understand these somethings I will classify them. The substance acted upon is mind or matter. This I will call No. 1. The substance that acts upon No. 1 I call essence or God and this I will call No. 2. Now the two somethings that govern and direct No. 2 I call wisdom and error. Now as wisdom is all light, it knows no matter, and as error is made of matter, or animal life, it acts upon itself. So as error excites No. 1, error's light produces a shadow, and its shadow is its own making. Now the world's wisdom is in No. 1 and the wisdom of God or the essence is in No. 2. Now there are two directions: one the wisdom of God or essence, the other the wisdom of animal life or matter. Animal life or matter is always changing, so science or wisdom's essence or God is always progressing. Man is in these two somethings; wisdom is the seed sown in matter or ignorance, and as matter is animal, it is disturbed by the child of wisdom and tries to get rid of it. Therefore in its ignorance it is excited and this excitement brings out the child of error, so the children are conceived in the same matter and grow like the two spoken of in the Old Testament, Jacob and Esau.

“Jacob (or wisdom) have I loved, but Esau (or error) have I hated.” The same characters were in the parable of Cain and Abel. Cain was the error. Abel was the wisdom. So all through the Old and New Testaments you can trace the two characters and know their generation from Adam and Eve down to the present day. Error is the older, science is the younger, so that the error is always before the truth in this world of matter, but truth is eternal with the fathers of wisdom. Jesus illustrated these two characters by himself, the flesh and blood or mind and matter or animal life. The essence or child of wisdom was Christ or God, so as the Christ grew in the likeness of the father or wisdom, it threw off the error or natural man and became perfect or wisdom. Yet the Christ used the servant or earthly body as a medium to communicate to the natural man; but Jesus, the natural man, knew not Christ, only as Christ made himself manifest in his works.

Now these two characters were mysteries to the natural man, so the natural man is called the Christ, a power. So it is now. People often ask if I “can impart my power to anyone,” and when I tell them it is not a power in the sense they mean, they cannot understand it. So I have to let it go. I have a power and all that call it a power are in the same state that the people were that were looking for a second coming of Christ. Jesus said he was near you, even in your thoughts and you do not know it. When I say I can teach this wisdom, I mean that there are a great many persons who can learn this wisdom, and when once learned, the wisdom is a power; and to put wisdom at the root of a tree or error hews it down like the axe strikes at the root of a tree.

This wisdom is to error or disease like fire; it burns up root and branch.—PPQ

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