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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles

[For the Advertiser.]

Dr. Quimby’s Mode of Curing Disease.

One of the noticable characteristics of the present time is a growing distrust in the virtue of medicine, as in itself able to cure disease; and this state of the public mind—this demand for some better mode of treating the sick, has either created, or finds ready, an army of new school practitioners of every possible kind, some sincerely desirous of doing good and firmly believing what they profess, while others are only too willing to impose upon credulity and benefit themselves thereby.—Under such circumstances it would be extremely difficult for a true reformer, who not only sees the errors of the past and present, but dares to take entirely different views even of the origin of disease, to acquire for himself a reputation distinct from the many who also profess to have advanced far in the new paths they have chosen, though, in reality, having started from the same point that all others have in times past, they will in the end arrive at nearly the same conclusions. Even great success in the practice of his theory, might for a time be insufficient to establish public confidence, and prevent his being ranked with all the innovaters of the day.

Many people who have lost faith in the ancient school, are at the same time startled by such reasoning as Dr. Quimby uses with regard to disease. It is so contrary to the commonly received opinions, they hardly dare believe there can be any truth in it. They hear of remarkable success in his practice, but are then still more incredulous and say, “The age of miracles has passed away, and this is too much to believe.” But “seeing is believing” the proverb says, and after having an opportunity to see some of the remarkable effects which Dr. Quimby has had upon obstinate cases of long standing disease, they are compelled to yield, though it may be reluctantly, that there is living truth in his principles—that he has cast off the shackles of opinion, which would narrowly enclose the limits of investigation, and studying the mysterious workings of the mind discovered there, the true explanation of that which has so long been misunderstood and unsatisfactorily accounted for. They came to him, suspicious, almost unwilling to believe what they saw, ignorant of his theory which, even after it was explained, they found difficult to understand, and, therefore, had to go through with this process of gradual conviction, before they would receive its truths. So it may be said that he has to contend with those who would be his friends, as well as with his enemies.

The following outline of his theory was written after having passed through similar change of feeling, and may give some general idea—though a very imperfect one—of the principles which are so effective in opposing disease:

According to this new theory, disease is the invention of man. It is caused by a disturbance of the mind—which is spiritual matter—and, therefore, originates there.

We can call to mind instances where disease has been produced, instantly, by excitement, anger, fear, or joy. Is it not the more rational conclusion, that disease is always caused by influences upon the mind, rather than that it has an identity, comes to us and attacks us?

Living in a world full or error in this respect, and educated to believe that disease is something we cannot escape, it is not strange that what we fear comes upon us. We take the opinions of men which have no knowledge in them, for truth. So we all agree to arbitrary rules with regard to our mode of life, and suffer the penalties attached to any disobedience of the same. These diseases or penalties are real to us through the result of belief.

It is reasonable to infer from these statements, that the only way to approach and eradicate disease, must be through the mind, to trace the cause of this misery, and hold up to it the light of reason, or disbelief in the existance of disease, independent of the mind. Then the cloud which shadows us vanishes, as error always will when overpowered by the light of truth.

Dr. Quimby proves the truth of his belief by his daily works. The marvelous cures he is effecting are undeniable evidence of his superior knowledge and skill in applying it for the benefit of suffering humanity. He does not use medicine or any material agency, nor call to his aid mesmerism and any spiritual influences whatever, but works upon scientific principles, the philosophy of which may be understood by the patient; therefore, he is not only rid of the present trouble, but also to the liability to disease in the future.

Accepting this new theory, man rises superior to circumstances—easily adapting himself to any necessity, free from all fear of disease, he lives a more simple, natural and happy life. He is enabled to control the body and make it subservient to his will, instead of his being a slave, completely at its mercy, which he will be if he allows that it is subject to disease.

This truth is capable of extensive practical application in all the exigencies of life, and we learn to make constant use of it as we advance in knowledge. It helps us to place a just estimate upon everything, the value of life is enhanced, and as we have more of this true knowledge in ourselves, we shall love and worship God, who is the source of all wisdom, more sincerely and intelligently.


[Published Date: Tuesday, April 29, 1862; Paper: Portland Daily Advertiser (Portland, ME); Volume: XXXII; Issue: 100; Page: 4.—Ron Hughes.]

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