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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles

[For the Advertiser.]

Outline of New Principles in Curing Disease.

It is an ancient and time honored custom for the educated classes to oppose every new thing that they cannot comprehend and account for. Being themselves the standard of intelligence, they deny every fact that does not come from the development of their own knowledge, and oppose en masse the possibility of intelligence coming from any other sources than their researches. So when a question comes before the people, originating outside of their education, it meets every species of opposition,—is misrepresented and abused in every possible shape before it reaches a successful stand. Therefore to obtain a candid hearing for a subject not understood nor admitted by the world, is impossible. Its first appearance will be mistrusted and considered as an absurdity.

The experience of Dr. Quimby has not been an exception in this respect. Curing disease without medicine is looked upon as a humbug, and its advocates considered as visionary fanatics. Yet it comes forth again, claiming public respect and attention. He is misunderstood and distrusted by many, because they class him among things which hold no respectable position in the world; and the opposition which they feel towards him arises from the mistaken character of their opinions. Some persons think he cures by power from the devil, and consequently have no respect for him. From their acquaintance with the aforesaid personage, whey conclude that the Dr. must be as wicked, and powerful as he is, and so they consider him a questionable character. This judgment is the basis of the prejudice that exists in the community against him.—There are others, however, who are willing to allow him a hearing in explaining his way of curing.

Dr. Quimby claims that he cures disease under the guidance of a principle, which being understood must set free the sick. Consequently his system as far as he carries it, is an intelligible one, and his position in regard to treating the body as an intelligent organization, with independent life, he finds the life and intelligence in the man, who occupies it. His process reverses their relation to each other, making the visible form, the shadow, while the everlasting substance is not seen in the natural world. His theory separates them and brings to light the pure intelligence of man, letting it work in the world of matter as master and not slave. From this stand-point he advocates the cause of the sick against the whole world, for everybody believes that the body is diseased and the mind or real man is not affected. He says the voice of the sick is not heard in the world; it is what the well say about them that gets the public ear, while they, passive and helpless are completely controlled by the influences coming from the knowledge of those whose duty it is to cure them. He also says the well know nothing of themselves about the sick, and consequently their judgment is uncharitable and fallible. It is his duty to get the sick free from the charges made against them, and this he does by a full knowledge of their feelings, which he takes upon himself. These feelings, which are the evidences against them, he explains in a way that destroys what they prove to the world.

Statements made by him to the sick have a strange sound, and need an explanation to render them intelligible; for he often tells a person he has no disease when nothing it plainer than that he has. Here comes in his peculiar belief, which to him is knowledge. He does not trace disease to a hidden or mysterious source, or no source at all, neither does he pay any respect to it as though it came from God. He refers it directly to man himself, under the dominion of errors invented by man, and believed in as true and of independent origin, and to cure it intelligently and in the most beneficial way to mankind, is to destroy the error on which it is based. Then he lifts disease from its pretended basis of truth, and places it on its proper basis of error; consequently in his reasoning, disease is not the ruling power, and he does not admit it, except as a deception. In demonstrating his position, he comes in contact with prejudices which are as strong as our existence, and in many cases meets with opposition from the strong and bitter religious prejudices, which are so common in the community. He cannot admit a disease and then cure it any more than a court can pronounce judgment on a criminal without trying the case. Dr. Quimby gives the sick the same chance for their health as an indicted supposed criminal has for his life, and if he, by analysing his symptoms, can destroy the evidence of disease, then the patient is cured. In this he follows no track before trodden by man, and ventures into a field entirely unknown to the regular physicians, and hence he cannot be ranked with any association of practitioners.

He does not place disease upon the presumption that it is imagination, and if a person would only think he was well, he would be so. The anguish of the body is as real as anything, but it is not intelligent of itself and is dependent on the construction of those, who never felt it, to receive a name and character determining the condition of the organs and the danger of the patient’s life. He says the body does not act of itself, but is acted upon by its owner, or some other outward influences, and it is the development of his principles to detect those influences and correct them when wrong. With the sick the reverse is true in common belief. The body is sick, suffers and dies, and very little is known of the owner. To them the body is a cruel tyrant, the organs all conspiring together or singly, to kill them. The lungs say he shall not have any air, the stomach refuses to give him food in peace, and there is a general confusion of threats and compromise. The body haggles and encroaches, man become cowardly and is finally overcome and gives up to whatever the body agrees upon; and disease gains the victory, and where is man? Where is his ambition, his self—respect, his power of taking care of himself? He has become a weak complaining being, that he would despise in the day of his health. This is the being that Dr. Quimby cures, and according as he restores to him a sense of his lost rights, and makes him feel that he is, and ought to be master; just so the body ceases to be a tyrant and becomes a servant, subject to his direction. Then when it is asked by what power Dr. Quimby cures disease, it is answered, by the knowledge of the wisdom that gives man the control of his body, and the understanding of which produces health and happiness. Just according as man walks in the knowledge of this truth, he is wise and happy; but any deviation from it, admitting matter superior to man, creates an error, which really imprisons him.

Ages of education have condensed these errors into living facts, and now nothing is plainer to those who still are young, than the inevitable approach of many sorrows and trials. To free the burden of life of one of its greatest evils, and prepare the way for greater works of the same plan, is the effect of the establishment of Dr. Quimby’s system. In a brief communication like this, it is impossible to do justice to a subject like this.—Time will prove that his cures are wrought under a principle, that must work out the redemption of mankind from disease; and his system will be found based on eternal principles, and as capable of being explained and understood, as the science of astronomy, or music.


[“E. G. Ware” is handwritten below the article. “Mar 22 1862” is handwritten at the side of the article.—RH ]
[Published Date: Saturday, March 22, 1862; Paper: Portland Daily Advertiser (Portland, ME); Volume: XXXII; Issue: 68; Page: 4.—Ron Hughes.]

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