April 16, 2017
My Religious Belief
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
In giving to the public my ideas in regard to curing the sick, it will be necessary to correct some false ideas that have been circulated in regard to my religious belief. So I will say I have no belief in regard to any person's opinion or religion or disease. I know they are all based on a false idea of wisdom. I take the sick as I find them and treat them according to their several diseases. As their diseases are the result of their education or belief, I have to come in contact with their beliefs. Their religious beliefs are often the cause of their trouble, but the medical theory causes more trouble than all the rest at the present day. In times of old when the priests led the masses, the causes emanated from the priests, but since the right of religious freedom has been granted to all, the truth has destroyed the power of the priest. It has not, however, enlightened the people but has transferred the idea of disease to the medical faculty, so that now the people have these two powers to contend with, the physician and the priest.
I will not call the power of the priest religion but in opposition to it. All the religion I acknowledge is God or Wisdom. I will not take man's belief to guide my barque. I would rather stand at the helm myself, but the priests and medical faculty have assumed the livery of truth and one pretends to look after the body and the other the soul. So between them both, they have nearly destroyed soul and body, for you cannot find one person in ten but complains of some trouble in the form of disease. All disease leads to destruction or death; therefore death is one of the natural results of disease. So to save persons from what may follow, a religious belief is introduced and another world is made which is to receive all mankind, and then they are rewarded according to their acts. This makes up the whole progression of man's life. Now in all this, progression and intelligence and every kind of goodness is not included. It is true we are told that to live a virtuous life is good, but you never hear that to be posted up on all the wisdom of the world and understanding science gave such a person any advantage over the weak and humble believer who swallowed everything the priest told him; but it is rather the reverse effect. To be a good Christian according to their explanation of religion is to be humble and not be wise at all. Now every person partakes of this belief, and in fact they are all made up of belief, for everything you can think of or remember is such, except principles, and these are never admitted or spoken of in any religion.
Now all things must end according to man's belief, and there never has been any theory yet that has ever come in collision with it. Therefore life and death are the natural destiny of man. It is true that the medical faculty try to stave it off, but their efforts are like those of the Rebels—the harder they work the surer they are to destroy the thing they are trying to save. So man's belief is the thing to be either saved or lost and to this end all their skill is directed. This was just the state of the world when Jesus appeared.
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, April 16, 2017
So awake from your lethargy and come to the light of wisdom that will teach you that man's happiness is in himself, his life is eternal; this life is wisdom and as wisdom is progression, its enemy is ignorance. So seek wisdom and believe no man's opinion, for these opinions make you nervous. This causes a heat to go to your head making your head feel heavy and producing a dullness over your eyes, in fact, causes all your bad feelings, not that you have any disease independent of your mind, but your mind is matter, not wisdom. So if I can lift your wisdom above the error or mind, then you will be free.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
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The Thought of Henry Wood (1834-1909)
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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.
Wood, along with Horatio W. Dresser, was one of two New Thought authors specifically singled out for praise by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Here is what James had to say about New Thought, known at the time as “mind cure”:
The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)
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We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?
Today’s featured article is My Religious Belief that is found on page 396 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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