July 19, 2015
Religion and Science
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Thus truth has had to fight error step by step and the truth has been revealed to the wise and opposed by fools and the ignorant; so wisdom crept along till the time of John, the Baptist. Here was a new development of truth, far above anything reached yet. It held out a new motive to man, placing him above the superstition of the world or error. At the time of John, the world had been embracing false doctrines, not in regard to another world but to this world. They had a vague idea of a world after death and the priests, to strengthen their authority and hold on the people, invented all sorts of ideas, pretending to be empowered with authority to pardon their sins. They held out to the people that the dead should rise at the end of this natural world. All this was not taught by Moses but crept into the church, which itself is only a sort of popular religious opinion and carries sway in men’s minds even to this day. The church contained the belief of the people and as science was developed, the priests lost power over the people. And at the time Jesus appeared, they acted as doctors and cured the diseases of the people. When John appeared his teaching struck at the root of all this error and he said, The axe of science is laid at the root of the trees or theories and every tree or theory that cannot sustain ideas must be hewn down or destroyed. The fire of truth would burn them up. Their beliefs made people sick, just according to the penalty attached to the crime or belief. For instance, the Jews believed that eating pork would produce scrofula; therefore they would not eat it and those who did eat could not help being disturbed by this belief. Where this error started I cannot say. Only, it was to satisfy the ignorant, so they would be better off not to eat the meat. This was for the poor at first and the aristocracy took advantage of it, just as the priests lay restrictions on the people but do as they like themselves. So you see scrofula was the result of their belief and the remedy was total abstinence from pork; but as priesthood went down and their theory was exploded, the idea that pork produced scrofula was absurd. This last belief was worse than the first, for it made this disease a thing independent of pork and therefore the people were afraid of it. Here you see one disease let loose in society. Now to get rid of this disease, mankind must get nervous and wrought up to a very high state of excitement, ready to embrace any idea that the priests could invent. And as the priests lost their hold on the people, medical men were introduced. And at the time of Jesus, it was the complaint that the poor paid all they had to the priests and doctors and got no relief.
As the doctors got control of the popular mind, they invented diseases to humbug the people as the priests had done. At last they made a sort of compromise, the priests taking the souls of men into their charge and the doctors their bodies and between them both they almost destroyed body and soul. This was the state of society at the time of Jesus’ appearance. John saw all this humbug and warned the people against this pretense and foretold that someone would come who would put an end to all this priestcraft and doctoring. He did not know that disease was all in the mind, but thought that the mind had a great influence upon it. Jesus hearing of John and knowing that he taught a new theory went to hear him explain his ideas. This was called baptism. So John baptized or explained to Jesus his ideas of priestcraft and its effect on the mind, but its remedy had never occurred to him. When Jesus heard John’s thought or was baptized, as he came from the water or understood his ideas, the heaven or truth was opened unto him and its voice descending from God or Science, said, This truth is the Son of God or Science.
Then he was led up into the mountains of his belief to be tempted by the errors of the world for the people were all ready to embrace him as king and the temptation he had to go through was against his interest as a man, for preaching this truth and opposing all the errors of his age was not a very pleasant thing. But he overcame them all and took his stand in opposition to all the world, denouncing the priests and doctors as a set of quacks who opposed the people, bound burdens on them and robbed widows and orphans. This made them sick and nervous and the doctors came in for their share. Thus they suffered by these blind guides. Here is the difference between Jesus’ ideas and the rest of the world. The belief of the world was confined to matter. They had never been taught that the senses were a separate identity from the body’s identity but they believed that man as you see him is all there is of him and when the body ceased to act it was dead and this ended man till the resurrection at the end of the world. Some had a different belief but they were all confined to this world.
To keep man in subjection to the laws, certain penalties were attached to every act, thus putting restrictions on the people for the benefit of society. These restrictions were called burdens and the people complained. They had no idea of right and wrong as we have now, but their only interest was in keeping clear of the laws or lash. If a person wanted anything belonging to his neighbor, he did not reason as we should, but like the beast, sought how he could get it without being caught. They reasoned like any person running a risk where dollars and cents are concerned. Not that their happiness or misery was involved in the act, but how to get what they wanted. How shall I get it was the question, not is it right or wrong, but shall I get caught and if so, how much shall I have to pay. So it was a speculation. The happiness was in stealing and evading the punishment and the misery was in paying the fine. This was the whole story and all their study was to take advantage of each other. Their religion was their laws which were all confined to their lives. So when they died they were free from the law and death ended their religious opinions and everything else. Therefore the living mourned for the dead and often hired others to help them mourn. Not that the dead knew anything, but that the living lost something. Neither was this mourning because they loved them, for they would kill anyone to make a little money. In the case of selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites, they cared nothing about his life. Money was their God. So it was with Judas. He cared nothing for Jesus’ life; money was his object, for he had not yet the Christ or truth that Jesus taught.
Now where does Jesus differ from all other teachings? In every particular. His belief is founded on truth and is not of man, but of God or Science. Therefore, his priesthood was not of this world and contained none of the church forms or ideas but taught that misery would follow our acts. His theory was that the senses were not a part of our body and that they were affected by our belief, their happiness or misery being in our belief, which belief was matter and could be changed by a power independent of itself. The science was to put people in mind of this fact, so it was necessary to produce cures on the people independent of anything but his word, for his words were the destruction of matter or disease. This showed man that his belief made his trouble, so he warned them against the bread or the doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees, for they made them sick.
This was his mission—to show that if they robbed or otherwise injured their neighbor, rendering an equivalent would never cure the evil, but that their neighbor like themselves had eternal life. And just as they measured out it should be measured to them again, for action and reaction are equal and the knowledge of the result is in the thought or idea. For instance, if you want to put your hand in the fire, the knowledge of the result is in the thought. So it is in every act or desire of our lives. If we desire to get something from our neighbor without returning an equivalent, the answer is in the desire and the misery is in the answer. It will be as certain to follow, as a weight thrown in the air is sure to return with as much force as it received. Jesus tried to teach this and that was all, for his other world was this truth—that although they destroyed his identity of a body of flesh and blood, this Christ or science would exist and could take a form again. This truth is what he strove to teach his disciples and when he was about to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies, he sat down and performed his last act by talking over this new theory.
When he broke the truth and gave it to his disciples, he said, Eat this bread or theory for this is my Christ or truth. And then he said, Take this cup, or the result of our belief, which is the life of this truth or Christ and as long as you are interested and think about it, you do it in remembrance of me or Christ, till the Science is established on earth as it is in heaven. This was his last conversation with his disciples. Now how long did his disciples continue in this belief and how much did they understand of what he said? How much of a reform did he effect through them according to his desire? Time has shown. The very moment he was arrested they left him and denied their action with him.
[To be continued next week.]
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, July 19, 2015
The question is often asked why I talk about religion and quote Scripture while I cure the sick. My answer is that sickness being what follows a belief and all beliefs contain disease, the belief contains the evil which I must correct in order to cure the patient; and as I do this a chemical change takes place in the mind. Disease is an error for which the only remedy is truth. The fear of what will come after death is the beginning of man's troubles, for he tries to get some evidence that he will be happy and, fearing that he will never arrive at that state of happiness, he is miserable. Another fear is the chance of losing his life which is constantly multiplied as the medical faculty creates new diseases which, like the locusts of Egypt, are in everything we eat and drink. What I shall try to show is that these beliefs do really produce the very evil we are afraid of here.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: Religion in Disease
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We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?
Today’s featured article Religion and Science begins on page 476 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into four installments. The third part will appear in next week’s newsletter.
If you missed last week’s installment, you may read it here.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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