January 5, 2014
THE WORLD OF THE SENSES
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.]
DEATH OF THE NATURAL MAN
I am often asked where I differ from a spiritualist. In everything, but as this is an opinion I will try to make it clear. The spiritualists believe in the dead rising, and they sometimes say there is no such thing as death. Now let us see what their works show. The senses of the natural man are attached to his knowledge, and that is made of opinions, and so his senses are attached to his opinions. His opinions embrace all belief. So to destroy his belief is to destroy his life, for his life is in his belief, and a part of it.
Let us see what his belief embraces. In the first place he believes in matter, called living matter, that has life; for he says that life or matter must die or perish. Now here is the contradiction in the spiritualists’ belief. They deny that the dead rise, but if the dead do not rise, what are the dead? You are pointed to a man lying motionless and to all appearance even according to a spiritualist, dead. Now is he dead, or is he not dead? The spiritualist may answer. He says the body is dead. Was it ever alive? You must say, “yes,” for I point to a man moving around and ask if that man is dead and your answer is, “no.” Then he must be a living man, and according to your belief we have a living man and a dead one. Now where do they differ? Here is the mystery, their belief like all others flies back to the old superstition which they have all believed: that the dead rise, and in this fog they get lost.
I will show you where I differ from spiritualists and in fact all other sects. If you will admit that mind is spiritual matter, for the sake of listening to my ideas, I will give you my theory. I assert that according to man’s belief there are certain facts admitted and established beyond a doubt, and as my wisdom is not of this world or man’s belief, only in part, it follows that what I know I have no opinion about. All knowledge that is of man is based on opinions. This I call this world of matter; it embraces all that comes within the so–called senses. Man’s happiness and misery is in his belief, but the wisdom of science is of God, not of man.
To separate these two kingdoms is what I am trying to do, and if I can succeed in this I have accomplished what never has been done, but what has been the aim of the philosophers since the world began. The secret of life and happiness is the aim of all mankind, and how to get at it is the mystery that has baffled the wisdom of the world. I should never undertake the task of explaining what the wise men have failed to do but for the want of some better proof to explain phenomena that come under my own observation. The remedies have never destroyed the cause nor can the cause be destroyed by man’s reason, and Science cannot admit what cannot be proved. Until some better proof of what we see and hear and feel can be produced the world must grope in darkness and scepticism.
I will separate the two worlds of which I am now speaking and show what one has failed to do, also that the other is not acknowledged as independent of the first. The world of opinions is the old world. That of Science is the new, and a separation must take place and a battle fought between them. The world of error and opinions has held Science in bondage ever since man began to be independent of savage life. The child of Science has been nourished in the bosom of its mother in the wilderness of error till it grew up so as to assume a character, then when it has undertaken to assume its rights it has always been met with the thunder of error. But as it is so much of a friend to the happiness of man, the enemies or error could never prevent its growth, for that was in the scientific world, and that world has no matter, or it is so rarified that error cannot see through it. So the scientific man can pass through the errors and instruct the child of Science till it bursts forth and becomes a man or law. Then the natural man or error destroys its leaders and falls down and worships the scientific laws, and acknowledges them as king of this world. As Science is now acknowledged, the kings of the earth are cut off and the kingdom is divided against itself; the leaders with their armies flee into the wilderness, there to rally for another attack when any new science is started. Now the Science of Life and Happiness is the one that has met with the most opposition from the fact that it is death to all opposers. It never compromises with its enemies, nor has it any dealings with them. Its kingdom is of Truth, not of error; therefore it is not of this world of matter.
I will state its laws, how much it admits, how much it condemns and how it puts its laws in force. Its habitation is in the hearts of men, it cannot be seen by the natural man, for he is of matter. All he has is his senses, there is his residence for the time, he has no abiding city, but is a traveler or sojourner in the world. His house is not made with hands but is in the scientific world. So his whole aim is the happiness of man. The scientific man sees through matter which is only an error acknowledged as a truth, although it is to the natural man a reality. As error holds on to all territory as under its power, it keeps the scientific man in slavery or bondage. So to keep the Science of Life down, men invent all sorts of humbugs in the shape of invisible things and attribute life to them, while they pretend to be the people’s guide to wisdom. It is almost impossible to tell one character from another, as both communicate through the same organs. As the scientific man has to prove his wisdom through the same matter that the natural man uses he is often misrepresented and put down by false stories of the errors of the natural man. This was where Jesus found so much trouble in His day, for the people could not tell who was speaking.
The scientific man was called by the natural man, “angel.” So if an angel spoke he would listen. The natural man, being superstitious and ignorant, is easily led by the cunning errors of the world; the leaders, being crafty and superstitious, believe in every phenomenon which is produced, and they attribute it to a power from the invisible world. The locality of this world is the mystery, so all varieties of speculations are got up about it. It opens all the avenues of matter, through which to give the inhabitants “communications” But the natural man has possession of the mediums, so that the scientific man is misrepresented in nine–tenths of all he says. To be in the scientific world is to acknowledge a wisdom above the natural man, which will enter that world where wisdom sees through matter. This is the condition of those who are thrown into the clairvoyant state. To them matter is nothing but an idea that is seen or not, just as it is called out. . . . The explanation is given by these blind guides, who have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, and hearts but cannot understand Science. They are afraid of the truth lest it destroy them, for the death of error is the introduction of the Science of Life and Happiness.
As the standards of parties are established by error; it is almost imposible to introduce any new science unless it is explained on some of the theories of the natural man. Thus all phenomena are thrown into the bands of blind guides who have pronounced judgment upon everything that has appeared. Whenever anyone shows a phenomenon, the priest and doctor catch the idea out of the mouth of the author and explain it on some theory already known to the people. The theory of health is one that has come up many times and failed because of the blindness of the wise, so that it has now almost become a terror to the one who had boldness enough to stand up and face the blind leaders of the blind. . . .
This Christ whom you crucify by your theories, is the same that Jesus taught eighteen hundred years ago. It was taught by the prophets of old and has always been in the world, but has never been applied to the curing of disease, although false Christs have arisen and deceived the people, and the true Christ has been crucified by the priest and doctor to this time.
I will now try to establish this science or rock and upon it I will build the Science of Life. The starting–point is animal matter or life which set in action, leads to thought. Thoughts, like grains of sand, are held together by their own sympathy or attraction. The natural man is composed of these particles of thought combined and arranged to make a form called man. As thought is always changing, so man is always throwing off particles or thoughts and receiving others.
As man’s senses are in his wisdom, and his wisdom is attached to his idea or body, his change of mind is under one of the two directions, either of this world of opinions, or of God or Science and his happiness or misery is the result of his thought. As the idea man has always been under the wisdom of this world, the scientific man has always been kept down, from the fact that no man has ever risen to that state where the scientific man could control the wisdom of the natural man. This has always caused man to be at war with himself. In this warfare if the natural man rules, disease and unhappiness are the fate of man. If Science rules, life and happiness are the reward.
Now I stand alone on this rock, fighting the errors of this world, and establishing the Science of Life by my works. What is my mode of warfare? With the axe of truth, I strike at the root of every tree of error and hew it down, so that there shall not be one error in man showing itself in the form of disease. My knowledge is my wisdom and is not matter or opinion. It decomposes the thoughts, changes the combinations and produces an idea clear from the error that makes a person unhappy or diseased. You see I have something to reason about, and this something is eternal life, which is in Science and is what Jesus tried to establish.
If I can show that man’s happiness is in his belief and his misery is the effect of his belief then I shall have done what never has been done before. Establish this and man rises to a higher state of wisdom not of this world, but of that world of Science which sees that all human misery can be corrected by this principle, as well as the evil effects of error. Then the Science of Life will take place with other sciences. Then in truth can be said “Oh! death (or error) where is thy sting. Oh! grave where is thy victory!” The sting of ignorance is death. But the wisdom of Science is life eternal.
I will show the world’s reasoning and how I reason. I will take the oracles of the world, for all science of this world of opinions has oracles. These oracles of which I speak are those who pretend to instruct the people in regard to health and happiness. The first is the clergy, for they take the lead in everything pertaining to man’s happiness. I will ask them what they think of Jesus, His mission if He had any, and of what advantage it was to the world. They reply that the world had gone so far astray that it was necessary to send Jesus Christ into the world to convince man of a future state of rewards and punishments, that he might repent and be saved. If this is true I ask why did Jesus devote so much time to the sick? (Oracle) To show that He came from God. (Q) What does that prove? If I cure a person does it prove that I come from God? (O) No, but do you make yourself equal with Christ? (Q) Have you any proof of any thing that you never saw and is only an opinion? (O) The Bible. (Q.) Does the Bible speak for itself or does some one explain it? (O) We must take the Bible as our guide to truth. Let us now sum up the wisdom which this oracle has delivered. All of his wisdom is founded on an opinion that there is another world and that Jesus came from that world to communicate the fact to the inhabitants of this one. The happiness of man is not increased by this theory, because this oracle cannot cure the sick. Now Jesus cured the sick and said if they understood Him they might do the same. We want a theory like that of Jesus, not of talk but of words, for a theory that cannot be put into practice is worthless.
My oracle is Jesus: He proves the goodness of wisdom. Jesus was the oracle and Christ the wisdom shown through this man for the happiness of the sick who had been deceived by the other two classes, priest and doctor. God or Wisdom has seen how these blind guides had robbed the widow and the poor of their treasures, deserted them and left them forsaken and despairing, dependent upon the charity of a wicked world.
This wisdom developed itself through the man Jesus and He fearlessly stood up and denounced these blind guides as hypocrites and devils.
[This is the fourth 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.]
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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.
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