August 31, 2014
SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH
Chapter XIX of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
When we speak of life we speak of it as though it were a thing. But there are as many kinds of life as there are birds or fishes or anything which grows, and the life of a plant is not the same as that of a tree; neither is the life of man the same as that of a beast. All life is the result of the chemical action of some idea, so that life is matter, and it lives on life or matter; therefore the material man is made up of life and death. This life is continually changing, so that we live on life which we receive from others. Ideas are [spiritual] matter and of course they contain life.
We eat or receive life in the wrong sense. For instance, the Jews when they ate pork thought they ate life, for their belief was that it would produce a disease: although the pork was dead it would rise again in the form of scrofula. So to avoid having that life in them they would not eat pork.
Now, as absurd as this idea is, it is the basis of our knowledge about disease. How often are we reminded not to eat such and such things. We all admit that animal food has life in it. So we eat it as life; for when we say that it is so far decayed that it is not good we look on it as poison. So also we receive life into our stomach as though it really added to our life or strength. How often we talk about fat making us warmer. All these ideas are the result of error and their fruits are disease.
Does the dog eat meat as though it had life? No, he eats it as “dead” and expects no bad effects from it. So it is with all living beings but man. Man has reasoned himself into a belief that all he eats and drinks contains life, and this life or food is his enemy or friend according to his belief. Thus he is kept continually on the watch what kind of food he receives. Although the life or food that he receives contains the idea of death, yet his belief is that he lives, and he is affected by his belief.
Now when I eat or drink, the life that was in the substance eaten is dead to me, and has no life in it. So I am not afraid in eating pork of any bad effects. Neither am I afraid if I listen and take a person’s feelings arising from scrofula or any other disease that I shall have the disease, for the life of the disease is in the person who believes it.
What is the weapon that destroys this life or disease? Science. This is eternal, and that destroys all other life. This is to the animal life, death. So Science to the natural man is nothing that contains life. But this Science is a Principle. This is the only living and eternal life. This Science is what rose from the dead or natural life.
Man in his natural state was no more liable to disease than the beast. But as soon as he began to reason he became diseased, for his disease was in his reason. Therefore his reason was his life, and this made him afraid of his reason. This the doctors called nervousness, and to prevent this nervous life they introduced disease in certain things we eat or drink.
Let man rid himself of these blind guides and follow the command of God, and take no thought of what he shall eat or drink as having anything to do with his health and he will then be much better off. Seek first Science at the appearance of every phenomenon, and pay no attention to your food any more than the rest of God’s creatures do. If man were as wise in regard to what goes into his stomach as the beast he would be much better off. Let the health alone. Seek to enlighten man in Science, and as Science is developed man will become wise and happy. This life is in his wisdom and his wisdom is a science. To put his science into practice for his own happiness is to correct some error that he has embraced. To prove the science to others is to take something that man is troubled about in the form of a disease which creates unhappiness, and correct the opinion so that health is established.
I have shown that there is no matter independent of mind or life. It is proved by geologists that matter is going through a process of change which is called life. Then life is in the atmosphere or space. And if life is in a state invisible to matter it may fill all space. In this space there must be diversity of matter or life, namely, the life of minerals, the life of vegetables, and the life of animals; and all these are in the atmosphere like the mist that went up from the earth at creation. Thus matter or life is in an invisible state to the visible matter, but governed by the same God. This makes the material earth or natural world. God made matter and condensed it into certain forms and elements that were necessary for man. And to be a combination of these it was necessary that there should be a chemical union of all matter dissolved into space before man could be formed. For man’s body is made of the dust of this living matter.
As man contains all the elements of this material world or life, he is a minature world in himself. This matter or life under the wisdom of God forms the identity of what is called the natural man, so that man, spoken into being, was made up of all the elements of the material world. . . . The natural man commences his life in a higher state of matter. The field or garden in which he is placed is with all the creation of animal forms, and he is liable to all the evils which his life is capable of knowing. . . . It is not strange that phenomena should appear while man is so ignorant of what he is composed of which can be traced to the animal kingdom. All phenomena are the effect of what man receives from this animal life . . . and as his life is in his belief he reasons his life out of existence. Being a progressive process, his life has to contend with all the grosser life or matter of the animal. But as he is the rib or purest part of animal life, he contains the elements of knowledge, and this the lower life does not contain. . . .
[This is the third installment of an twelve–part series originally written and published as Chapter XIX. SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
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Today we are continuing an twelve–part serial review of Chapter 19, SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
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