Chapter XI of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
1These letters have been somewhat condensed to avoid repetitions.
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
PORTLAND, ME., Jan. 2nd, 1861.
To Mr. H:
In response to your letter I must say, that it is out of my power to visit your place in person at this time, from the fact that I have some thirty or more patients here on my hands, but if there comes a slack time I will come and let you know beforehand so you can meet me in Bangor.
Now a word or two to your wife. I will try my best while sitting by you while writing this letter to produce an effect on your stomach. I want you to take a tumbler of pure water while I write this and now and then take a little. I am with you now seeing you. Do not be in a hurry when you read this, but be calm and you will in a short time feel the heat start from your left side and run down like water; then your head will be relieved and you will have an inclination to rise. Be slow in your movements so that your head will not swim round. I will take you by the hand at first and steady you till you can walk alone. Now remember what I say to you. I am in this letter and as often as you read this and listen to it you listen to me. So let me know the effect one week from now. I will be with you every time you read this. Take about one half hour to devote to reading and listening to my counsel and I assure you you will be better. Now do not forget.
P. P. Q.
PORTLAND, ME., Dec. 30,1860.
To Mr. J.
As your wife is about leaving for her home, I take this way of expressing my ideas of the trouble she is laboring under, thinking you would like my opinion of her case. I think her friends are not aware of her true state. Hers is one of a very peculiar kind. She is not deaf in the strict sense of the word, but her condition has been brought about by trouble of long standing. When I say “trouble” I do not confine it to any neglect on the part of her friends, but trouble when young which made her nervous. This caused her to become low spirited till it has changed her system so that she is not the same person she was twelve years ago. I have given my attention to her general health, not to her deafness; for I think if she should come right in her mental or physical condition as she used to be, she would be well. You can see and judge of her appearance and buoyancy of mind. . . .
P. P. QUIMBY.
PORTLAND, ME., December 27th, 1860.
To Miss G. F.
Your letter was received, and now I sit down to use my power to affect you. I will commence by telling you to sit upright and not give way at the pit of the stomach. If I felt that you saw me as plainly while I am talking to you as I see you, then there would be no use in writing; for you are as plain before my eyes as you were when I was talking to the shadow in Portland. For the shadow came with the substance, and that which I am talking to now is the substance. If I make an impression on it, it may throw forth a shadow of a young lady upright without that “gone place” at the pit of the stomach. . . . Remember that when I see you sitting or standing in the position I saw you in at Portland I shall just straighten you up. If you complain of the back, you may lay it to me and I will be a little more gentle. You may expect me once in a while in the evening. So keep on the lookout. See that you have your lamp trimmed and burning, so that when the Truth comes it shall not find you sleeping, but up straight, ready to receive the bridegroom. It seems that you understand this as I tell it to you. But for fear you will not explain it to the shadow, or natural man, I will try to make you understand so it may come to the senses of the natural man. If I succeed, let my natural man know by a letter. 1
P. P. Q.
1 This letter shows how emphatically Quimby directed attention to “the scientific man” or real self, the self that already possesses the Truth or Science implicitly.
To Mrs. A. C. B:
In answer to your letter I will say that it is impossible to give an opinion of a case till I know something about it [apart from] my natural senses. If I myself cannot take another’s feelings, my opinion is nothing. When I sit by a patient their feelings affect me and the sensation I receive from the mind is independent of the senses, for they [the senses] do not know that they communicate any intelligence to me. This I feel, and it contains the cause of the trouble, and my Wisdom explains the trouble, and the explanation is the cure. You must trust in that Wisdom that is able to unlock any error.
P. P. Q.
January 11, 1861.
To Miss G.
Your letter to Miss W. was handed to me for perusal to see what course I thought best to take. So I will sit down by you as I used to do and commence operations. Excitement contracts the stomach, not from fright but from being over—joyed at your recovery. . . . The food digests slowly and it will make you feel a little sluggish at times. But it will soon act upon your system and relieve you of your trouble, for that is only nervous, and has nothing to do with the kidneys. . . . I will repeat the same till you are all right. Remember that I am with you when you read this and every time you read this you will feel my influence. . . .
P. P. QUIMBY.
[This is the third installment of a five—part series originally written and published as Chapter XI. LETTERS TO PATIENTS AND INQUIRERS, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
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Today we are reviewing the third installment of a five—part serial review of Chapter 11, LETTERS TO PATIENTS AND INQUIRERS, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
Rather than delving into all five of the letters above, I will explore the first one in greater depth today. Dresser has condensed these letters, or extracts of letters; so once again, I have the image of the handwritten document on the computer screen in front of me.
There is only one copy of this letter in the Quimby historical document collection, and it is found in Boston University on microfilm reel number 3, frame number 0680.
Dresser has identified this person as “Mr. H.”
Written in the actual letter is, “Letter to Mrs. Hodsdon,” with Quimby writing from “Portland,” and dated “Wed. Jan. 2nd, 61.”
This letter begins:
In answer to your letter I must say that it is out of my power to visit your place in person at this time, from the fact that I have some thirty or more patients here on my hands, but if there comes a slack time I will come, and let you know before hand, so you can meet me in Bangor.
Prior to opening his healing offices in Portland, Maine, in 1859, Quimby had an earlier practice at the Hatch House in Bangor, Maine. Through my research, I have been able to determine Mr. and Mrs. Hodsdon lived in Levant, Maine, or approximately 10 miles from Bangor. This would be another case of healing at a distance, or non-localized healing. Continuing:
Now a word or two to your wife. I will try my best while sitting by you while writing this letter, to produce an effect on your stomach. I want you to take a tumbler of pure water while I write this and now and then take a little. I am with you now seeing you. Do not be in a hurry when you read this, but be calm and you will in a short time feel it start from your left side and run down like water, then your head will be relieved and you will have an inclination to rise. Be slow in your movements so that your head will not swim round. I will take you by the hand at first and steady you till you can walk alone.
Chronologically, this is the first instance of where we see Quimby instructing the patient to drink a tumbler of pure water while reading his letter. Let us keep this in mind, as he concludes this brief letter.
Now remember what I say to you. I am in this letter and as often as you read this and listen to it you listen to me. So let me know the effect one week from now. I will be with you every time you read this. Take about one half hour to devote to reading and listening to my counsel, and I assure you will be better. Now do not forget.
Earlier in his career as a mesmerist, Quimby believed in the concept of “magnetized water,” because he read about it in the books on mesmerism that he had been studying. In his writings identified as his Lecture Notes, from the mid or late 1840s, he comes to reject this notion, based on his own experiential research work.
In the last four paragraphs of Booklet 4, we find him rejecting “magnetized” water, silk, silk handkerchiefs, cedar twigs, “other articles,” and the entire magnetic fluid theory.
Yet, here in 1861, Quimby is instructing Mrs. Hodsdon to drink a tumbler of pure water. What has changed?
Quimby has changed.
In the interval between his lecture notes and this letter to the Hodsdon’s, Quimby has awoken to his own spiritual identity, and the unfoldment or progression of his own consciousness.
In his 1861 article, Christ Explained, Quimby writes, “The true Christ comes in this way. He takes no thought what he will say but it comes to him when he sits down by the sick and the answer corresponds with the feelings.”
He fully believes he has re-discovered and connected with the same Christ consciousness that spoke through the natural man, Jesus. While working with his patients, he gives himself “in perfect faith to the guidance of a higher wisdom than that of man which feels and sympathizes with the sick.”
It is no longer P. P. Quimby, the natural man, who is speaking and writing to his patients, but rather, it is the indwelling Christ or Science, speaking through him. It is this Christ consciousness speaking when Quimby writes, “I am with you now seeing you.” And, “I am in this letter…”
In the biblical account of Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus is sending forth his disciples to preach, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils.
The last verse of chapter 10 (v 42) is, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
This is repeated again in Mark 9:41, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Once again, we have a communion or unification of spirit.
In the remaining four letters above, we can again see Quimby separating the identities of the natural man, (the shadow), from the real, spiritual identity of the patient.
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
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