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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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What Is God? Part III Comparison between Two Gods

All the parables were intended to illustrate the two principles, truth and error. Truth is the wisdom of God; error is the god of opinions; and the two have no dealing with each other. Each has his disciples, the god of opinions and the god of Science or Love; but their acts are so different that their characters can be easily explained. I will give you the religious or political god. He is represented as watching the movements of the armies and dictating to the heads of the nation. No one approaches him except the ordained priest. He takes particular care of the President and the heads of departments; in fact he is the ruler and dictator of all things. But he must be approached with as much reverence as the President or General Scott. The South has another god, not so great, according to the account of Jeff Davis; he seems to be of a lower intellect, for he sanctions this low guerilla warfare and a kind of cruelty which is only practiced by the Indians. These are the gods of the religious world.

Now where is my God? He is in the hearts of the people. How does he act? He is not a man, nor a being, nor has he form. He is neither male nor female. I will give you some illustration of his wisdom. If you see a man in trouble, you are or you are not bound to help him. If you have ever admitted it is right to help a man in distress, he will put you in mind of your agreement. Then if you neglect your duty, punishment must follow, for action and reaction are equal and the truth never varies. This embraces the law and the gospel, and on this hangs all man's happiness and misery. If man is governed by this truth, it develops his higher wisdom and enables him to prove all things by a standard based not on opinions but on what can be proved. It shows that all man's happiness and misery are in keeping or breaking this agreement. Now if a man is in trouble, although you may bind yourself to help him in the best of your ability, if you do not know it you cannot be punished. This is the law of opinion, so it is with the higher law. This higher law is not known as having any responsibilities, but it is the most perfect of all laws. It is very little understood, and not at all intelligently. To understand it intelligently is to make it your rule of action with the sick, or those in trouble, for the well are not bound by it.

I will show you how a well person is not bound by this higher wisdom. Suppose a person is sick and in great distress. A well person sees the sick one but cannot feel his aches and pains. Then he is not bound to relieve him, for he is ignorant of his feelings. To bind him so he is responsible for his acts, he must be born again, as it is said of Christ, so that he can feel another's feelings. Then he knows what the world of opinions is ignorant of. Then he stands in relation to the sick as one man stands to another who is in trouble of the natural world of right and wrong.

I will take myself as one risen from these dead ideas or opinions into that higher kingdom of wisdom where my acts have as much restriction over my life as my acts toward the well. My wisdom shows me the sick in prison; it also puts me in possession of their troubles and the causes, and if I listen and agree to help them out of their trouble, the agreement on me is more binding than any obligation towards the well.

I will here say a word or two which the well must take as an opinion but which the sick will admit as a truth. The sick are imprisoned for their belief; the imprisonment is what they suffer. When I come in contact with them they affect me not in the way one man of opinion affects another. Their language is different. The well speak in my own tongue, but the sick cannot do that for the language of the well cannot describe the feelings of the sick. Thus they are prisoners in their own land, among strangers and not understood.

Aug. 9, 1861

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