by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
This power, which from the beginning of the world has been associated with the goodness of God, has placed those endowed with it above the masses, like people chosen by God to administer to the suffering of the human race. So the sick, who are always ready to worship the person who cures them, are very loathe to believe such dishonesty. This gives those who had this power a superiority over the sick which they willingly acknowledge to them. In this way religious sects sprang up established by cures, the person claiming that the power was from God. This gave it a religious sanctity and gave these persons power over the sick. Finally the healing power fell into the hands of the priests. Now the power to heal and the right to dictate are two things. The healing is of itself a peculiar gift to the world like any wisdom not reduced to practice. So those who healed were honest, but as soon as their interest came in, there came the deception and as the deception began to show itself, the power ceased. This was the way at the time of Christ. Those who healed had become so corrupt that they were a pest in society, the priests being the worst. A quarrel arose between these two classes and each gave the power to God, so that at the time of Jesus the thinking classes looked upon both as humbugs.
Source: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, beginning on page 294.
by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.]
In the article quoted from above, written when Mr. Quimby had developed and proved his theory of disease so that he could look back and understand the whole phenomenon, so new and at first so baffling in his mesmeric period, he says,
“When I commenced to mesmerise, I was not well, according to the medical science; but in my researches I found a remedy for my disease. Here was where I first discovered that mind was capable of being changed.
“Also that, disease being a deranged state of mind, the cause I found to exist in our belief. The evidence of this theory I found in myself; for, like all others, I had believed in medicine. Disease and its power over life, and its curability, are all embraced in our belief. Some believe in various remedies, and others believe that the spirits of the dead prescribe. I have no confidence in the virtue of either. I know that cures have been made in these ways. I do not deny them. But the principle on which they are done is the question to solve; for disease can be cured, with or without medicine, on but one principle. I have said I believed in the old practice and its medicines, the effects of which I had within myself; for, knowing no other way to account for the phenomena, I took it for granted that they were the result of medicine.
“With this mass of evidence staring me in the face, how could I doubt the old practice? Yet, in spite of all my prejudices, I had to yield to a stronger evidence than man's opinion, and discard the whole theory of medicine, practised by a class of men, some honest, some ignorant, some selfish, and all thinking that the world must be ruled by their opinions.
“Now for my particular experience. I had pains in the back, which, they said, were caused by my kidneys, which were partially consumed. I also was told that I had ulcers on my lungs. Under this belief, I was miserable enough to be of no account in the world. This was the state I was in when I commenced to mesmerise. On one occasion, when I had my subject [Lucius] asleep, he described the pains I felt in my back (I had never dared to ask him to examine me, for I felt sure that my kidneys were nearly gone) and he placed his hand on the spot where I felt the pain. He then told me that my kidneys were in a very bad state,—that one was half-consumed, and a piece three inches long had separated from it, and was only connected by a slender thread. This was what I believed to be true, for it agreed with what the doctors told me, and with what I had suffered; for I had not been free from pain for years. My common sense told me that no medicine would ever cure this trouble, and therefore I must suffer till death relieved me. But I asked him if there was any remedy. He replied, ‘Yes, I can put the piece on so it will grow, and you will get well.’ At this I was completely astonished, and knew not what to think. He immediately placed his hands upon me, and said he united the pieces so they would grow. The next day he said they had grown together, and from that day I never have experienced the least pain from them.
“Now what is the secret of the cure? I had not the least doubt but that I was as he had described; and, if he had said, as I expected that he would, that nothing could be done, I should have died in a year or so. But, when he said he could cure me in the way he proposed, I began to think: and I discovered that I had been deceived into a belief that made me sick. The absurdity of his remedies made me doubt the fact that my kidneys were diseased, for he said in two days they were as well as ever. If he saw the first condition, he also saw the last; for in both cases he said he could see. I Concluded in the first instance that he read my thoughts, and when he said he could cure me he drew on his own mind; and his ideas were so absurd that the disease vanished by the absurdity of the cure. This was the first stumbling-block I found in the medical science. I soon ventured to let him examine me furthur, and in every case he would describe my feelings, but would vary the amount of disease; and his explanation and remedies always convinced me that I had no such disease, and that my troubles were of my own make.
“At this time I frequently visited the sick with Lucius, by invitation of the attending physician; and the boy examined the patient and told facts that would astonish everybody, and yet every one of them was believed. For instance, he told a person affected as I had been, only worse, that his lungs looked like a honeycomb, and his liver was covered with ulcers. He then prescribed some simple herb tea, and the patient recovered; and the doctor believed the medicine cured him. But I believed that the doctor made the disease; and his faith in the boy made a change in the mind, and the cure followed. Instead of gaining confidence in the doctors, I was forced to the conclusion that their science is false. Man is made up of truth and belief; and, if he is deceived into a belief that he has, or is liable to have, a disease, the belief is catching, and the effect follows it. I have given the experience of my emancipation from this belief and from confidence in the doctors, so that it may open the eyes of those who stand where I was. I have risen from this belief; and I return to warn my brethren, lest, when they are disturbed, they shall get into this place of torment prepared by the medical faculty. Having suffered myself, I cannot take advantage of my fellow-men by introducing a new mode of curing disease and prescribing medicine. My theory exposes the hypocrisy of those who undertake to cure in that way. They make ten diseases to one cure, thus bringing a surplus of misery into the world, and shutting out a healthy state of society. They have a monopoly, and no theory that lessens disease can compete with them. When I cure, there is one disease the less; but not so when others cure, for the supply of sickness shows that there is more disease on hand than there ever was. Therefore, the labor for health is slow, and the manufacture of disease is greater. The newspapers teem with advertisements of remedies, showing that the supply of disease increases. My theory teaches man to manufacture health; and, when people go into this occupation, disease will diminish, and those who furnish disease and death will be few and scarce”.
[This is the fourth and last installment of a four part series originally written and published as Chapter III. QUIMBY'S RESTORATION TO HEALTH, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
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This week we are concluding our examination of Phineas Quimby’s own restoration to health as detailed by Horatio W. Dresser in his 1921 publication of The Quimby Manuscripts. Whether this is a review, or is the first time you are reading the account of Quimby’s marvelous healing, I would invite you to acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with his background. You may read the entire chapter here.
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