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

February 2, 2014


    Chapter XV of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser

These selections have been chosen from articles written between June, 1860, and July, 1865, and arranged, with condensations, according to topics. The omitted portions have been left out to avoid repetition. The sub–titles are usually the titles of the original articles.” ~Horatio W. Dresser.

[Continued from last week.—editor.]


We often speak of man’s identity as though there were but one identity attributed to him. This is not the case. Man has as many identities as he has opinions, and the one his senses are attached to last is the one that governs him. This may seem strange but it is true. Our senses are not our identity, because they cannot change, they are principles. But our belief, thoughts and opinions can change. So when we say a person never changes it is as much as to say he is only a brute. We say that our tastes change. Does the principle change, or our belief? The fact that we are aware of the change shows the change must be in that which can change.

Then what is it that does not change? It is that Principle that never moves, the foundation of all things. It is that which says when we have found out something new, as we think, “Why did you not find it out before?” It says to us when we are investigating certain mathematical truths, “This truth has always existed, and we believed it.” This something is Wisdom. It does not come or go, but is like light. You cannot keep it out of sight, in fact you acknowledge it in every act. But that which acknowledges it is not the something acknowledged. For instance, if you work out a problem aright, you acknowledge a wisdom that existed before you knew it. The trouble is to get our senses attached to Wisdom so that we shall not change.


It is an undisputed fact which philosophy has never explained, that persons affect each other when neither are conscious of it. According to the principle by which I cure the sick such instances can be accounted for, and it can be proved beyond a doubt that man is perfectly ignorant of the influences that act upon him, and being ignorant of the cause is constantly liable to the effect. To illustrate this I will relate a case that came under observation.

A woman brought her little son, about five years old, to be treated by me. When I sat with the child I found his symptoms were similiar to those which people have in spinal or rheumatic troubles. But the child being ignorant of names, and having no fear of disease could only describe his feelings in this way: He complained of being tired. Sometimes he said his leg was sore and sometimes his head was tired. To me his feelings were as intelligent as any odor with which I am familiar. I described his feelings to his mother, telling how he would appear at times. This she said was correct, and feeling impressed with the truth I told her she said she would sit with me and see if I were equally correct in describing her case. I found that the mother had precisely the same feelings as the child, yet she complained of disease which the child never thought of, and furthermore she had not the least idea the child had such feelings. To prove that I was right about the child, I told her to ask him if he did not feel so and so when he would lay his head down, and she found I was correct. These were the mother’s symptoms: A heavy feeling over the eyes, a numbness in the hands, weakness in the back, and a pain going from the foot to the hip, all accompanied by a feeling of general prostration. To her every sensation was the effect of a sort of disease, yet every sensation she had the child had also, but he had not attached names to them. After playing his leg would pain him, and he would be restless at night; while the mother reasoned from the same feelings that she had spinal disease, trouble of the heart, and was liable to have paralysis. If she had been ignorant as the child of names, she would not have had the fear of these false ideas, and the child would have been well; for all its trouble came from its mother, and her trouble was from the invention of the medical faculty.

It may be asked, how could the child be affected by its mother? In the same way I was affected. To have the sense of smell or any other sense, requires no language. An odor can be perceived by a child as well as by a grown person. To every disease there is an odor, [mental atmosphere] and every one is affected by it when it comes within his consciousness. Every one knows that he can produce in himself heat or cold by excitement. So likewise he can produce the odor of any disease so that he is affected by it. I proved that. I could create the odor of any kind of fruit, and make a mesmerised person taste and smell it.1

1 With his subject, Lucius, 1843.

Ignorance of this principle prevents man from investigating the operation of the human mind. Such a course would change our whole mode of reasoning. It would destroy society as it is now and place it on another basis. In the place of hypocrisy, aristocracy and democracy, the three original elements of society, science, progress and freedom would be introduced. In his ignorant state man belongs to the lowest of the aristocracy, but as he becomes scientific he subdues this element, and then the others are not needed to sustain it. His science works out patience, his patience perseverance, and perseverance wisdom, and the fruits are religion. Now the religion of today contains the elements of society and they run through all its roots and branches and poison its fruit. Science makes war upon this trinity, and the war will continue till it is crushed.

Then democracy will be subject to science, and hypocrisy will not appear in the leaders. Then will come a new heaven or dispensation, based on eternal Truth, and man will be rewarded for what he knows, and not for what he thinks he knows. The popular teachers will then publicly correct the democracy of the errors which make them sick, as well as political errors. Now political doctors in addressing the masses bind burdens on them, which they kneeling like camels receive and kiss the hands that bind them. This slavery is the will of aristocracy and consequently it is not popular to oppose it. Therefore no appeal must be made to the higher feelings but the base passions must be addressed. Aristocracy never complains of oppression except when it cannot oppress. Its motto is “rule or ruin,” and where it rules slavery is considered a divine institution. Science is mocked at in its religion and the mockery is echoed by hypocrisy, and it sits in the hearts of the rulers and delivers the law. Science like an under–current is deep and strong, and as its tide advances it will sweep away the foundations of aristocracy. Revolutions must come, and no man can tell what will be the end of this generation. But Science will work out the problem of universal freedom to the oppressed in body and mind.

I prophesy that the time will come when men and women shall heal all manner of diseases by the words of their mouth. They will show democracy that they have been deceived by blind leaders who flattered them that they ruled, when they have no more to do with ruling the nation than the dog who is set on to the swine has to do with his master’s affairs. No slave either black or white ever did or ever can rule. They both will fight for their master till they are intelligent enough to know their own rights. . . Such evils arise from man’s ignorance of himself. If man knew himself his first object would be to become acquainted with sensations that affect him. He would then learn that a corrupt fountain cannot bring forth pure water, and that from aristocracy nothing but the blackest corruption can issue, which however is becoming popular because of the fountain. From the dens of iniquity comes an atmosphere as pleasant to aristocracy as tobacco to one who has been poisoned almost to paralysis by it. Tell him it hurts him; the answer is, I know it, but I can not help using it. Such abject servitude is the medium of aristocracy, for democracy would never have taken the weed had not the former set the example. All drugs when taken stupify the intellect, so that science cannot reign. Error is a tyrant and democracy is its agent to destroy the progress and happiness of man. Show a man who smokes or chews just how the habit affects him and he will part company with tobacco as quickly as a democrat will leave his leaders when he sees the corruption of their motives. A democrat is like a disease, he believes in everything popular and opposes everything unpopular, and does not regard the welfare of his government.

To be popular in religion, praise the institutions of the sabbath and the church. Say what you please in the street about priestcraft and fear of man: only mention that your family go to church and you will be considered sound. To be unpopular, be honest in every act; treat others with respect; mind your own affairs, and permit others to do the same. Then like an old fashioned person you will be out of society and no one will care for you. To be independent is to speak the truth on all subjects without fear or vanity; condemn error whenever it is popular; treat others as you wish to be treated, and let your religion be shown in your acts. Such a man will be envied by aristocracy, respected by the wise, hated by hypocrites, and listened to by the thinking classes. He is at the same time popular and not popular. His style pleases the people, therefore aristocracy will be forced to admire him, in order that it may retain their power over him, for the rule is: “keep as near a kicking horse as possible.”

Physicians will admit what the people believe. They will acknowledge I cure, but limit my power to a few nervous cases, and appeal to the vanity of intelligence, by saying that it is not possible that an uneducated person can really cure actual disease. . . .

[This is the eighth installment of an eleven–part series originally written and published as Chapter XV. THE WORLD OF THE SENSES, 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 continuing an eleven–part serial review of Chapter 15, THE WORLD OF THE SENSES, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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