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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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What Has My Writing and Talking to Do with Curing?

It is natural to ask what has all my writing and talking to do with the curing of disease. Having the right to explain my own theory, I will try to show that by this very theory which I talk and write I detect the causes of disease while the remedies are similar to those used to correct any false idea that can be changed by a true explanation. Every man is made of truth and error and the change from error to truth is a progression; accordingly, each man's senses show his grade by his acts and reasoning. Some are so equally balanced that it is hard to tell which preponderates. I will introduce different characters showing the working of this theory on man. The natural man is a being without ambition, whose wants are confined to his appetites and are therefore easily supplied; docile, easily ruled, he makes a good slave or waiter, but a poor steward, for he has no pride to be gratified. Although he walks upright, this man contains more of the brute than the human species. The next in order comes the servant. Vain like the peacock, he is pleased to make a show. This man has the seeds of ambition and is a compound of the brute and the vanity of error, with no wisdom higher than opinions and not always that.

These two classes are healthy, for they are too ignorant to be fearful or too much taken up by their vanity to be interested in what makes disease or to counteract any opinions. After these comes another set of minds of a different combination. They are conceited and at the same time brutal; they embrace a large class and are hard to rule, except when their prejudices are appealed to and then it is easy. It is only necessary to attack something beyond their opinions. This is the masses whose mind is the field in which another class of higher development act. The latter contain a superior element; governed nevertheless by the intelligence of the masses; therefore, their whole reasoning is based on the prejudices of the lower order of minds and they do not give their thoughts to scientific research but become as prey to low and selfish motives. Hence the finer and higher feelings of the people are blunted and they gratify their appetites in a lower circle even than the leaders. Low and desperate, their health corresponds to their belief and when overcome by some misfortune which cramps their spirits, they wilt down and give up easily. Through their low, ignorant state this class is healthy. This takes in the Irish and the dissipated of all classes. They become stupid and consequently are not liable to disease but they are superstitious and are just the subjects for epidemics. This applies more to males than to females, for the latter when degraded are generally out of the reach of diseases. All these are not so liable to disease as a higher class, for they lose all self-respect and respect for others.

There is still another class constituting the higher element in the development of mind who are governed by another set of rules as dishonest as the former and whose effect on the masses is still more dangerous. While the masses are kept in ignorance and brutal degradation, the latter is kept in bondage by spiritual chains that torment their souls. While the former only suffer like the brutes in dirt and poverty, the latter is kept in pitiful servitude and cast into prisons of a spiritual nature; thus they are kept sick by the leaders. To this class or lost house, I come to preach this theory, to open their eyes and break their prisons and set the captive free. Their torments or disease are the effect of their blind guides, and to explain away their belief is to put this new theory in practice. Therefore, everything I write goes to destroy some idea which we have, for we live on our wisdom and our health depends on our reason. Therefore if we reason wrong, we suffer the penalty of our own reasoning. Those who do not reason are more brutal but less sick. This is as far as man has arrived. Now let the wise learn that to be healthy is to seek the true philosophy of health. Then health and wisdom will be the father and mother of peace and happiness.

Dec. 1862

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