August 2, 2015

Religion and Science

Fourth and Final Installment

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

As disease is a belief, it has never entered into their minds or senses that their belief is the cause of their trouble. Let this be made plain to the people and then they will not say one to another, Know you this truth! but it will be so plain that any person of ordinary ability can see it. These beliefs will give way to Science and superstition and bigotry will be driven out of the minds of men and the Bible will stand on the rock of Science. Then when a person undertakes to say to you, Believe this or that, the people will say to such, Show me your belief by your works to the sick, as Jesus showed his belief in his day. Then all hypocrisy and deception will be driven from the land. The minds of men will take a more elevated stand and men will be just what their works show them to be. Then when a doctor comes to you and you have to tell him all your feelings and your health is in his belief, you will see that his belief is not one whit better than the priests, who tell you a story about what they have not the slightest evidence of in truth. Then the people will take their beliefs into their own hands and will purge their minds from all these false superstitions that lay burdens on them and bind them on their shoulders in the form of rheumatism, neuralgia and a thousand other diseases for the benefit of the profession.

The people will see that God never bound anyone, only by love for one another and this love knows no ill–will towards its neighbor. It calls no one master but one and that is God or Science and Science never made man or child unhappy to know it. It sometimes makes them unhappy in getting it. This is where all the trouble is. Men who are lazy would rather give an opinion on a scientific subject than to investigate it. All religious opinions are embraced without the slightest investigation, for if they try to investigate, it makes them nervous. This makes them create in their mind the identity of their belief. They attach their senses to their ideas and their misery is in their belief. So it has always been; men would always rather give an opinion than investigate a principle. Phenomena have always taken place which the wisdom of the world has undertaken to explain. So when such take place, they are handed over to the wise men to explain as though God’s laws depended on man’s wisdom or intelligence for an explanation.

All new theories are opposed by the wise who never admit them, till the truth of them is so apparent that their opinions are not wanted for their success. Then they come in and steal the thunder, claim the discovery, cheating the inventor out of his birth right by pressing him till he, like Esau, will sell all for a mess of pottage. This is human nature. It was just so in Jesus’ days. The priests and doctors tried to buy him out but Jesus told them that to put his ideas or truths in theirs would be like putting new wine in old bottles, and their bottles being of leather would burst and the wine would run out. To the priests he said that their theory was like an old worn garment and to put his truth into theirs would be like mending an old garment with new cloth. It would tear out and make the rend wider. So when they saw that they could not do anything with him and that he was going to make his theory or doctrine popular, they were afraid and said, Our craft is in danger. So they got the people enraged by telling lies and representing him as their enemy while he was their best friend. They cried, Crucify him, for our craft is in danger!

The silversmiths would lose their chance of selling their gods, for his ideas struck at all idolatry. So they crucified the man Jesus, thinking that they were destroying the Christ, but when this same Christ appeared again, they were afraid. Jesus’ belief was very simple but the people’s superstition has put a false construction on it and it was a stumbling block to the Jews and to the Greeks, foolishness. But truth proves itself.

It was then and is now believed that Jesus was trying to prove another world apart from this. Now there is not the slightest evidence that he ever hinted at a world independent of man’s senses. On the contrary, all his acts went to show that he never harbored such an idea. I will now state what I believe Jesus’ belief was and the people may take it for what it is worth. Jesus never believed in any world at all as the people do now. The old world was the old beliefs of the Old Testament and no one believes that the writers of that refer to anything but their beliefs, for their own safety; for at death all was ended. Jesus believed that our senses were not a part of this natural body; that death was an unbelief and that the senses lived. So if the people could understand that their senses lived, then death was swallowed up in victory and that belief vanished.

This was all taught as doctrine. This if believed would put away all superstition and upset all forms and priestcraft, so they said, Crucify him! It would not do to have such a fellow among us. And after the deed was done, the priests and doctors gave a turn to public opinion and explained Jesus’ ideas on their own ground, and the people could not see the cheat but embraced it. So what is religion now? It is about as near Jesus’ ideas as democracy is near the old–fashioned republicanism of Jefferson’s day. And if the disciples were here now, hearing the ideas advanced, it would be as new to them as their ideas would be to the people in our days. Religion like politics is undergoing a change all the time and has just about as much to do with enlightening the minds of the men as political parties. It is like a sort of irritation to keep up investigation, like any error. The church is good in its place and like laws will act upon the simple and ignorant till they are ready to embrace Christ’s truth of doing to another as you would that another should do to you. As this is understood, the religion of man goes out of fashion. But it will be a long time, for they have decked it up like a fashionable saloon equal to Solomon’s temple.

If Jesus was here now he would not be permitted to talk in the churches. And if he had the privilege he would not find that class of people that he associated with when on earth, for they can’t attend meetings; it is too expensive. It takes quite a sum to hire seats for a whole family so only one or two can afford to be religious; the rest have to stay at home or go to a cheaper kind. Like saloons, there are all kinds of religions to suit customers and like doctors, they want to make something by their profession. So you see it is the same as it was in Christ’s day. They have turned the houses of the Lord into houses of merchandise and fancy goods and preach for doctrines the commands of men. They thus show that there is not one particle of truth in all they say, for if it was true it would not change and religion like all other fashions changes every year, showing it does not contain one single true idea or one atom of science. Now let Christ or truth be preached: that man’s senses will always exist; that he is just what he makes himself and that his happiness is in his belief and his belief contains his character. It must be taught that man’s act are governed by his belief, his happiness or misery being the fruits of his belief. His belief is the two worlds. To be in ignorance or error is in one world, misery and pain being the fruits. Science and truth is the other and happiness and peace is the reward. So man has these two worlds in him and he is the subject of the one he obeys and God rewards everyone according to his acts. I find no allusion to any world independent of man’s senses, only in the brain of a superstitious world.

1860—Summer—


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, August 2, 2015

Here I will say a word or two to the reader. If you can make the reader believe anything no matter how absurd it is, he will prove it to be true by his experiments. This proves that our beliefs make us act and our acts are directed by our belief, for the wisdom or knowledge is in the belief. People are not aware of this; this was what Jesus tried to prove so all his acts and talk went to prove the truth of what I have said. Make man responsible for his belief and he will be as cautious what he believes as he is in what he says and does, for he will see that just as he measures out to another just so it will be measured out to him. But does the clergy follow this rule? Do they not dictate to their audience what to believe and what not to believe without the least regard to their health? Now to suppose a man can believe one thing and still have a contrary effect is not true.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Editor’s Corner

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 the fourth and final installment of Religion and Science that begins on page 476 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.

If you missed last week’s installment, you may read it here.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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