August 13, 2017

Scenes from the Belief in Death and the Belief in Life—Part II

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

I was called to see a young lady who was dying, as it is called. She was seated in a rocking chair, and after sitting by her a few moments, I knew she was about to leave the body and just as I was going to ask her if I should not lift her on to the bed, she said to me, “Shall I now lay you on the bed?” I said, Yes, and took her in my arms and laid her on the bed. She then said, “Now I will place your head so you will be easy.” I placed her head on the pillow and she said, “Now I will cover you up.” I did as she said, and she then remarked, “I will now sit down by you and make you quiet, so you can go to sleep.” So I took my chair and sat down by her, and in less than five minutes she had ceased to breathe. This young lady was as much detached from her body as I was and she grieved for me instead of herself. She believed that I was sick, so her happiness was in helping me. But her life was in her wisdom, for she knew she was alive and was trying to comfort me, since I felt grieved to see her leave, as I had then the same idea which the world has. This is one of the many cases I might mention to show that when persons are leaving the body, they have all their senses, but to those who are looking on the person appears insane.

I was sitting by a patient whom I had put to sleep that she might have a needle extracted from her arm and while the surgeon was performing the operation, she said to me, “Does it now hurt you?” I replied, “No.” She said, “I should think it would.” Here was a person awake to all that was going on, who at the same time took my body and arm for the one in which the needle was. When I mesmerized my subject, if his nose itched he would say to me, “I wish you would scratch your nose,” and if I did, it would satisfy him. I know that every person like the gold exists in the solution with all his life qualities of wisdom and opinion and is happy or miserable according to his life.

I will now say a word to those persons who are so anxious to have their friends know they are dying. To me this is horrible, and if they only knew what I know, they would never forgive themselves for the misery they inflict on those who would like to stay with them. There is no worse punishment I can inflict on a mesmerized subject than to mentally carry him away and leave him among strangers. Everyone who has ever mesmerized knows this fact. Now see how the dying like to embrace their friends. The army nurses will tell you that the dying man will get as near you as possible, and that they like to have you soothe them till they are separate from our belief of life, for that is what torments them. I have seen a great many when their friends cut the cord that held them to their belief of life and I know how it acts upon them. According to the Christian belief, it is necessary to prepare the dying to go to heaven. So the minister comes to create a heaven in his own mind, far off, and to impress the dying man of it; and as he grows nervous, he creates one according to his own belief and starts for it under the direction of his pious friend.

The scene is as trying as it is to tear a child from its mother and lodge it in some dungeon and then say good night. Both are as full of grief as they can be, but the dying get to that pitch which grief cannot reach; then they become as marble, and their friends console themselves by saying they are calm. I have seen all this many times. This is what I want to impress on the friends. If you want the satisfaction of having your friends with you, never even hint that they are going away, for you will drive them from you, but sit by them just as though you were all together and you will see a scene that you will always greatly remember, for you will always feel this life of your friend or child mingling with yours, not to be separated by a belief. These are the proofs of that wisdom which teaches me that my life, senses, and everything near and dear to me in this world of solution, which is God, and in it we all live and move, although by our belief we all live without God and in bondage through fear of death, and the knowledge of this wisdom is the new birth. Disease is a departure from this wisdom which will dissolve the error that holds the life in bondage and set them free from death. To be free and know it is to know this great truth and put it into practice. Therefore to cure disease as I do, it is necessary to believe this, not as a blind belief but as a wisdom which is a light that sees through the error of man's belief.

October 1862


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, August 13, 2017

The question has been asked if I do not cure many who do not receive my wisdom and may not even know what my belief is, and why cannot I, who believe that there is truth in you and wish to be taught by you, be cured? To the first question I answer, Yes. I do often cure persons who have no understanding or curiosity about the manner in which I cure them. My wisdom is my remedy and the application to the patient is the cure. It is not necessary that a person who is thirsty should have another teach him where he can find a spring of water to quench his thirst, if the person will be good enough to supply his present wants. But if the person has arrived at that wisdom where he knows there is danger of being thirsty again, then it is necessary that he should be put in possession of a wisdom that will lead him to the fountain so that he will not thirst but where he is to himself a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Article: On Healing Those Who Do Not Understand

Printed Page: 411; Kindle Location: 13972

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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.

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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)

On the same page, James, after describing “a good deal of the mind-cure literature” as “so moonstruck with optimism and so vaguely expressed that an academically trained intellect finds it almost impossible to read it at all”, states in a footnote that he considers Horatio W. Dresser and Henry Wood “far and away the ablest of the group” of mind-cure authors.

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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 Scenes from the Belief in Death and the Belief in Life—Part II that begins on page 493 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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