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"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

December 8, 2013


    Chapter XIV of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser

[The articles published under this head constitute Vol. I of the Quimby writings. They are published here in the order in which they were copied from the originals, as written, save for a few changes made under Quimby’s supervision, and slight condensations. They are printed in this order instead of being arranged in connection with other pieces on the same topics, because they were the first papers containing a statement of the general theory, and the copy–book containing them was sometimes loaned to patient–students, including the one who made liberal use of their contents.

In these studies Quimby speaks of mind, in the ordinary sense of the term, as a “substance” which can be changed, in which thoughts are sown as seeds. Mind is put in contrast with intelligence or Wisdom. Thus intelligence is said to possess an “identity” or reality which mind does not have. The next step is to show that the human soul has clairvoyance or intuition, independent of the natural senses. This fact Quimby had proved by repeated experiments in diagnosing the sick.

The term “matter” is used in a peculiar sense throughout, to cover the processes of change attendant upon suggestion and taking place subconsciously. “Thoughts are things,” later writers have said.] (Horatio W. Dresser.)

[Continued from last week.—editor.]


You know I have tried to prove that mind is spiritual matter; and if I have proved that, I will now show you that matter is life. This you will admit so far as vegetation is concerned. Now see if animal matter is not life. If so you see that man is made up of life. His body is particles of animal life condensed into a form or idea, called man, or a living being of life; not Science, but life is governed by Science. Now what is man when he is not man? for you say man dies. What is Science? Is it that wisdom which controls life? Is it not life? If it is then there is no word to define it, for life is matter, and matter is life. Animal life is in flesh and blood, so flesh and blood is not Science, but Science controls it. What are Wisdom’s attributes? Has it an identity? The wisdom of man has an identity in a living form. Can you give any definite idea of what people mean by “the soul?” The one who invented the word must have applied it to an idea that never had an existence, for soul is always applied to life. We read of “fat souls” and “lean souls,” and “saving souls and losing souls”; so that word cannot explain man when he is not man. When he is not man he is not soul, so we must get some other word to define what man is when he ceases to be matter.

I will now try to explain what man is, and what he is not; and show that what he is, he is not, and what he is not, he is. I will illustrate the two men so that each shall be a separate and distinct identity. I will take for my illustration the man as we see him, and Science as the man who cannot see through the natural man (for Science cannot be seen, only its effects) and show how they differ. The natural man is made of flesh and blood; Science is not. Man has life; Science is life. Man has sight; Science is sight. Man has feeling; Science is feeling. Man has all of the five senses; Science is all of the five senses. Man of himself cannot do anything; Science can do all things. Man is of matter; Science is not. Then what is man, independent of Science? Nothing but an idea of life and death. Then where does he differ from the brute, where does Science make the distinction? It makes no distinction. Who does? The first cause or God. How? In attaching Science to the identity called man. Then does Science have an identity? Yes. What is it? Wisdom or God. When you give it all its qualities, what kind of person is it? It is the Scientific man, not of flesh and blood, but of that world where error never comes. It speaks through man. What does? Its life or the wisdom of God. How does it get its food? By the sweat of its brow, or the development of itself. Where does it differ from the natural man? In everything. Show by illustration. The natural man is nothing but an idea which Science uses to illustrate some fact or problem that is for the development of Science. Then what does man gain or lose by death as it is called? Just as much as any matter that is always changing.1—Aug. 1860.

1 Dr. Quimby held that death is never a fundamental or decisive change, but a relatively external or incidental experience. It is our spiritual state that is decisive. This depends on our real or external wisdom.

[This is the fifteenth and final installment of a fifteen–part series originally written and published as Chapter XIV. CHRIST OR SCIENCE, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]

Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Editor’s Corner

Today we are concluding a fifteen–part serial review of Chapter 14, CHRIST OR SCIENCE, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.

It has been most gratifying to hear from so many people who are following along with our reading each week. Next week we will be starting an eleven–part review of Chapter 15, THE WORLD OF THE SENSES. I invite you to study with us.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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