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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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What I Impart to My Patients

The question is often asked me do you impart anything to your patients when you talk? I answer, I do and I will try and make you understand how. To do this I must give you an illustration in language applied to something that you wish to know and which gives you trouble. The trouble is the disease, and the phenomenon is the effect.

To make you understand I will illustrate. Suppose you are purchasing goods and in your hurry you lose your wallet containing all your money. You do not miss it until you go to pay your bills and then you find that you have lost your cash. Now the shock excites your system or mind, just according to the amount you are disturbed. Now you become excited and very nervous. This is accompanied with a feverish state of mind or body, for the body is only the reflection of the state of the mind. At last you let your trouble be known to some person and you begin to look for the money. You cannot find it and borrow the money to pay the person assisting you. This adds to the trouble and at last you take to your bed and send for a physician. He feels your pulse, says your head is affected and orders your head shaved and a blister applied. This only aggravates the nervous excitement. So you keep on until you finally give up and dismiss all the doctors and come to the conclusion that your money is gone and you must make the best of it. The next day you feel more reconciled, and your doctor calls as a friend, finds you better and says the medicine you took had a good effect on you.

Now the question arises who gave the medicine? Not the doctor, but wisdom took possession of the man and he began to reason, and this contains something, but not all, so he sends for me. I know nothing of his trouble but I have found a pocketbook containing $10,000 and am going to advertise it. At the sight of the pocketbook he starts and says that is mine. The shock changes the mind and the cure is made. Now who imparted the cure? The $10,000 I gave him?

So this is the way I cure. The person has lost something that he cannot find or has got into some trouble that he cannot get rid of. Now he wants something to satisfy his desires, and whatever that is, it is the same as the money, and the one that can impart it gives to him the remedy. Suppose a person receives a shock from falling into a river in the winter. This produces a shock and he returns home excited like a cold. This produces a cough. Now as there are many ghosts in the form of disease, he feels some of them may get hold of him. So he goes to a doctor and lays his case before him. The doctor says you are very liable to have consumption. Now of course you are troubled, and are all the time like the man who was looking for his lost money. So he enquires of every person what is good for a cough or if they can tell where his money is. So every person gives his opinion, and there is just as much in one opinion as there is in another. Both are husk and contain no food. At last in despair he gives it up and now I am sent for. Now I will show how I really give the sick person something he needs.

I first tell him what he is afraid of by telling him how he is affected. Here is something he cannot get from the doctor. This makes him feel more comfortable, and then I go on to show him how he has been living on husks or opinions about an idea that never had an existence, only in the superstition of the people. Now as the patient is full of these opinions, I have to give him something in the form of truth that will dissolve the error and satisfy the patient. Now the something that satisfies the patient is the substance, like the money, for the money contained no value in itself but was a representation of value. So health and happiness is what every man wants. So the substance is the representative. The wisdom that I impart to him by my words, filled with the substance that he longed for was to him like the money, and his soul was satisfied. Now if I had no more wisdom about his troubles than he had, my substance would have been like chaff or opinion, containing no food. Here is the difference; it is my own wisdom that is superior to his. As in every case of trouble, opinions never impart any wisdom, and science never imparts opinion but truth.

So the scientific man, in whatever he does, imparts to the world some substance, while the man of opinion never imparts anything but what must be destroyed. One reasons from the basis of statics and the other, from dynamics. These two principles are seen in chess and checkers. You will see two persons playing a game. Here they show power: One that can play both sides while the poor player cannot play either. Now take two poor players; they really believe they show as much science as the very best players and they will look as long and make as great calculations as they think is the very best, when they show no kind of sagacity or science. While the other has both set before him and he is at a loss to know how to move at first until he finds his strength or wisdom of his opponent and then he feels his superiority. Then he moves with confidence.

1863

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