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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Where Do I Differ from All Others in Curing Disease?

In the first place, all mankind admit disease is a living thing independent of the mind; therefore the cures must be brought about by some agent also independent of the mind. So all sorts of inventions are produced to cure the disease. Some believe in prayer, some in Bandrith's pills, some in the spirits of the dead, others in Poland water, some in travelling in foreign countries, etc. All these claim a power beyond man's reason and are believed to contain a virtue far superior to man himself. To me they are all humbugs from the allopath to the prayers of the Mormon. They are all founded on one false idea, that mind is wisdom. I employ none of these aids; I believe they are the medium of disease, and instead of lessening the evil, they increase it. It is like Salem witchcraft; instead of explaining the phenomenon, they create disease by their ignorance.

This is my theory. Mind is matter or the medium of wisdom and has no more wisdom in it than iron or brass. It is a material for wisdom and error to manufacture into any idea that comes up. So mind, being the material called man, is a shadow or machine whose owner cannot be seen, like a corporation. You see the building and the laborers and the machine but the corporation you cannot see. In like manner, you see the machine called man but the owner is out of sight and never can be seen by the shadow, but it is all that contains what is called man. Now when the machine gets out of order, I tell him, not the machine where the trouble is and convince him of the fact; then we (not the machine) go to work to repair the damage. I have been twenty years repairing these old machines and have never called to my aid spirits, mediums nor any of those agencies I have mentioned. I appeal to the owner of the body or machine, and if he has not sense enough to understand what to do, I have to do it myself. With children I always do it myself, for their little minds are like mortar that can be molded into whatever form of health and happiness you may please if you know how to do it. I should as soon think of stopping the revolutions of a steam engine by throwing coal on the fire as stopping the operation of the mind by a box of Bandrith's pills, or curing a disease by medicine. Disease is what follows a belief. There is a vast difference between a disease and a phenomenon. A fool with a large head and no brains is not diseased, for it is perfectly satisfied with itself. Tell a bright child that if it does not do so and so, it will be like a fool; and if you succeed in making the child believe, then the wisdom or child will commence with its mind to make a child or shadow like the pattern. The misery you have produced on the senses shows itself in the shadow, and this is what the world calls disease. I call it the effect of the disease and the shadow shows the misery in the belief.

Here is where I differ from all others. I use common sense; my medium is my wisdom. So is theirs, but they put their wisdom in their remedies, and so do I. The Spiritualist puts his wisdom into the dead. The Christian who believes that prayer can cure puts his remedy in prayer. They all have something which works the cure. The homeopath puts his wisdom into a pill and it must be powerful. I have nothing to get into. My wisdom is outside of the cause and sees right through it and sees that medicine is all useless unless it satisfies the patient till nature restores the mind to a quiet state; then the doctor claims the cure. Ever since the world began, certain men have led the masses by their wisdom which has been merely their opinions, and they make the people believe they are the wisdom of the world. In ancient days, these were among the Chaldeans. Nebuchadnezzar, when he besieged Jerusalem, took certain of the wise men favored in knowledge and understanding science to stand in the king's palace where they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. Here is the first and only place in the Old Testament where wisdom and learning were called a science. Paul in 1st Timothy 6:3 says, If any man teach otherwise and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ (or Science) and to the doctrine which is according to goodness, then he says such a man does these things knows nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railing, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself. In the 20th verse he says, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called, which some professing have erred concerning the faith.”

December 1861

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