July 21, 2013

LETTERS TO PATIENTS AND INQUIRERS 1

    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, January 25, 1861.                         

To Mrs. Ware:
By the request of E. and S. I sit down by you to see if I can amuse you by my explanation of disease. You know I often talk to persons about religion and you often look as though you would rather have me talk about anything else. Perhaps it would be better if you knew the cause of every sensation, but you would not want a physician.
Now you will want me to tell you how you feel, and if you will give me your attention I will try to explain. This heavy feeling that you have, accompanied with a desire to lie down and a sort of indifference how things go, comes from a quiet state of your system that prevents your food from digesting as readily as it did. But it will act upon you like an emetic or cathartic. Either way is right. So give no care to what you shall eat or drink, for Wisdom will cause all things to work for the best. If you want to eat, consult your own feelings and take no one's opinion. Remember that He who made us knows our wants better than man. So keep yourself quiet and I will reverse the action from your head, and you will feel it passing out of your stomach. Then do not forget to sit up as I used to tell you and remember not to believe what the blind guides say. They will come to you, and if your throat is a little sore, they will merely ask if you think this sore throat is the diptheria, looking as wise as though they had discovered the philosopher's stone. . . .
Remember what I tell you about this disease. For these hypocrites or blind guides are working in the minds of the people like the demagogues of the South. I do not say that you will be troubled by them. But I have kept on their track for twenty years and have not the slightest confidence in anything they say. I hear you now for the first time asking me if I believe in another world. Yes, but not in the sense of the clergy. I will try to explain my two worlds. You live in Chicago and I in Portland, and if it will not be blasphemy to call your place heaven, we will suppose you are in heaven and I in Portland. Now, if I am here sitting and talking with you I must leave the earth and matter and come to you. If I am with you, what is it that has left the body? It cannot be matter in a visible form, yet it is something. Listen, and I will tell you.
You read that God made all living things that had life out of the earth, so that dead matter cannot produce living life nor anything else. As all matter decomposes, the dust or odor that arises from it was the matter that [the natural man] is formed of. As the child is of living matter, not wisdom, when it grows to a certain age it is ready to receive the breath of eternal life. The child was not eternal life. Eternal life is Wisdom as much above human life as Science is above ignorance. . . . Eternal life is Christ or Science, this teaches us that matter is a mere shadow of a substance which the natural man never saw nor can see, for it is never changed, is the same today and forever. This substance is the essence of Wisdom and is in every living form. Like a seed in the earth, it grows or develops in matter, and is as much under the control of the mother's Wisdom as the gold which is dissolved and held in solution is under that of the chemist. If the mother's Wisdom is of this world, the spiritual child is not under her earthly care. Nevertheless it is held in the bosom of its eternal Wisdom that will cherish it till it is developed to receive the science of Eternal Wisdom. Eternal Wisdom and eternal life are not the same. Eternal Wisdom cannot change but acts on eternal life, changes its form and identity. Eternal Wisdom teaches us that all matter is in itself a shadow and is no barrier. Matter is dense darkness. Spirit is light. If you are wise your body or wisdom is light, and just as you sink into error you become dense or dark. Therefore let your light shine, so that when this wind comes blowing round in the form of an opinion you may know it is merely the noise of a demagogue. Believe not, and you will live and flourish. If you can understand this you have the basis of my belief.
For fear I have not made my two worlds clear to your mind, I will say a few words more. The two worlds may be divided in this way: one opinions, the other Science. Opinions are matter or the shadow of Science. One is limited in its sphere, and the other has no limits. One can be seen by the natural eyes: the other is an endless progression. The one is today, and tomorrow is not. The other is an endless progression. One is always changing, the other is always progressing. The natural man never will know this truth, for he cannot see Wisdom and live; Wisdom is the natural man's death. So he looks upon it as an enemy, prays to it, pays tribute to it as though Wisdom were a man. He often uses it as a balance to weigh his ignorance in but never to weigh the difference of his opinions. He often quotes it, talking as though it were his intimate friend, while he to Wisdom is only known as a servant or shadow, all an imitation. Science is of another character. Science rises above all narrow ideas. He who is scientific in regard to health and happiness is his own law, and is not subject to the laws of man except as he is deceived or ignorant. No one after he knows a scientific fact can ignorantly disobey it. So with Science the punishment is in the act. With man's laws it is different; the penalty may follow the act or come after. With Wisdom the laws are science. To know Science is to know Wisdom, and how can a man work a mathematical problem intelligently and at the same time say he is not aware of the fact?
If we know the true meaning of every word or thought we should know what will follow. So a person cannot scientifically act amiss. But being misled by public opinion, we believe a lie and suffer.
I have gone so far that I have reduced certain states to their causes as certain as ever a chemist saw the effect of a chemical change. For instance, take consumption. I know the character of every sensation. Its father or author is a hypocrite and deceiver. I look upon it as the most vile of all characters. It comes to a person under a most flattering form, with the kindest words, always very polite, ready to lend its aid in any way where it can get a hold.
I will illustrate this prince of hypocrites. I will come in the form of a lady, for it has many faces and characters. I enter as a neighbor with the customary salutations and you reply that you seem very well. "Oh, I am very glad, for by what I had heard I was expecting to find you abed. But you can't tell anything by gossip. You do not seem quite so well as when I saw you last." "Oh, yes, fully as well," you say. "Well, you know there are diseases which always flatter the patient. I suppose you have heard of the death of Mr.————" "No, when did he die?" "He died yesterday but was sick a long time. Sometimes he thought he was getting better, but I knew all the time he was running down. But you must not get discouraged because you are like him, for it is not always certain that a person in the same condition you are in has consumption."
Here I make you nervous and you are glad when I leave. Knowing I am not welcome in that form I assume another character. I must now appear as a doctor. I sit down and count your pulse, look at your tongue, take a stick and examine the phlegm that you have raised. Then leaning back in the chair draw a long sigh, and ask if you have a pain in your left side.
The doctor is like a dog that wags his tail while you feed him but when your back is turned will bite you. If superstition is to be put down by scientific facts, it is useless to mince matters. If a person is aiding an enemy, he is as guilty as the thief. I want you to know that every word that is spoken is either matter or Wisdom. Opinions are condensed into a belief. So, if I [as a typical doctor] tell you that you have congestion of the lungs I impart my belief to you by a deposit of matter in the form of words. As you eat my belief it goes to form a disease like its author, my belief grows, comes forth, and at last takes form as a pressure across the chest. The doctor comes to get rid of the enemy and by his remedies creates another disease in the bowels. He begins to talk about inflammation of the bowels. This frightens you. The fright contracts the stomach so the heat cannot escape, and causes a flush in the face which you call a rush of blood to the head. It makes you feel sleepy and weak; you lie down; then the stomach relaxes and the heat passes down into the bowels, this causes pains. You call it "inflammation."
All this is very simple when you know what caused it. This letter is an essay for you to read, so good-night. Let me know how it works.

P. P. QUIMBY.                        

IN REPLY TO A YOUNG PHYSICIAN 1

1 Published in part in "Health and the Inner Life," p 61.
Dear Sir:
Yours of the 5th is received, and in answer I would say that it is easier to ask a question than to answer it. But I will answer your question partly by asking another, and partly by coming at it by a parable. For to answer any question with regard to my mode of treatment would be like asking a physician how he knows a patient has the typhoid fever by feeling the pulse, and requesting the answer direct so that the person asking the question could sit down and be sure to define the disease from the answer.
My mode of treatment is not decided in that way, and to give a definite answer to your inquiry would be as much out of place as to ask you to tell me all you know about medical practice so that I could put it into practice for the curing of disease, with no further knowledge [apart from what] I might get from you. You see the absurdity of that request.
If it were in my power to give to the world the benefit of twenty years' hard study in one short or long letter, it would have been before the people long before this. The people ask they know not what. You might as well ask a man to tell you how to talk Greek without studying it, as to ask me to tell you how I test the true pathology of disease, or how I test the true diagnosis of disease, etc. All of these questions would be very easily answered if I assumed a standard, and then tested all disease by that standard.
The old mode of determining the diagnosis of disease is made up of opinions of diseased persons, in their right mind and out of it, all mixed up together, and set down accompanied by a certain state of pulse. In this dark chaos of error [the doctors] come to certain results like this: If you see a man going towards the water, he is going in swimming; for people go in swimming. But if he is running with his hat and coat off, he is either going to drown himself, or some one is drowning, and soon. This is the old way. Mine is this.
If I see a man, I know it, and if I feel the cold I know it. But to see a person going towards the water is no sign that I know what he is going to do. He may be going to bathe, or may be going to drown himself. Now here is the difference between the physician and myself, and this may give you some idea of how I define disease.
The regular [physician] and I sit down by a patient. He takes her by the hand, and so do I. He feels the pulse to ascertain the peculiar vibration and number of beats in a given time. This to him is knowledge. To me it is all quackery or ignorance. He looks at the tongue as though it contained information.
To me this is all folly and ignorance. He then begins to ask questions, which contain nothing to me, because [this questioning] is of no force. All this is shaken up in his head, and comes forth in the form of a disease, which is all error to me, and I will give you the diagnosis of this error.
The feeling of the pulse is to affect the patient so he will listen to the doctor. Examining the tongue is all for effect. The peculiar cast of the doctor's head is the same. The questions, accompanied by certain looks and gestures, are all to get control of the patient's mind so as to produce an impression. Then he looks very wise, and so on. All the symptoms put together show no knowledge, but a lack of wisdom, and the general credulity of mankind rendering [people] liable to be humbugged by any person however ignorant he may be, if he has the reputation of possessing all medical knowledge.
Now, sir, this is the field you are about to enter, and you will find the hardest stumbling block from diplomas. Greek and Latin, and the like are all of no consequence to the sick. It is impossible to give you even a mere shadow of twenty years' experience. But I may be of some use to you. I will say a word or two on the old practice, (not taking much time,) that will answer all your questions on the old school; for the less you know the better.
Watch the popular physician. See his shrewdness. Watch the sick patient: nervous and trembling like a person in the hands of a magistrate who has him in his power, and whose real object is to deceive him. See the two together, one perfectly honest, and the other, if honest, perfectly ignorant, [the physician] undertaking blindfolded to lead the patients through the dark valley of the shadow of death, the patient being born [mentally] blind. Then you see them going along, and at last they both fall into the ditch.
Now, like the latter, do not deceive your patients. Try to instruct them, and correct their errors. Use all the wisdom you have, and expose the hypocrisy of the profession in any one. Never deceive your patients behind their backs. Always remember that as you feel about your patients, just so they feel towards you. If you deceive them, they lose confidence in you. Just as you prove yourself superior to them, they give you credit mentally. If you pursue this course you cannot help succeeding. Be charitable to the poor. Keep the health of your patient in view, and if money comes, all well; but do not let that get the lead.
With all this advice, I leave you to your fate, trusting that the True Wisdom will guide you—not in the path of your predecessors. Shun evil and learn to do good.
PORTLAND, Sept. 16, 1860.                   P. P. Q.
[This is the fourth 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.]

Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


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Editor’s Corner

Today we are reviewing the fourth 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.
Our focus will be on the first letter above to “Mrs. Ware.”
Dresser condensed many of the articles and letters found in The Quimby Manuscripts due to the lengths of the pieces, and repetitive nature of Quimby’s writings. This letter is no exception.
The reader may be left wondering who these people are, and how do they fit into the life and history of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. Therefore, the first thing I would like to do is explore some historical background.
In late 1858 when Quimby first began to make trips into Portland, Maine, for treating the sick, two of his early patients were the sisters Sarah Elizabeth Ware, and Emma Grace Ware, the daughters of U. S. District Court Judge, Ashur Ware, and his wife Sarah (Morgridge) Ware.
Not only did Sarah and Emma experience healings while under the care of Dr. Quimby, but a strong friendship developed between them, and Quimby’s daughter Augusta, who spent a great deal of time in Portland with her father. Sarah occasionally visited and stayed at the Quimby home in Belfast, and the Quimby family occasionally dined with the Ware family in their Portland home.
Sarah and Emma Ware, along with Quimby’s youngest son George Albert Quimby, served as copyists in the Portland healer’s practices.
On September 5, 1857, Joseph Ashur Ware, the brother of Sarah and Emma, married Ellen M. Willis, and although both Joseph and Ellen were from Portland, Maine, they began their married life in Chicago, Illinois. This is significant because Mrs. Ellen (Willis) Ware was the recipient of today’s letter of discussion.
There is only one copy of this letter in the combined collections of Quimby’s writings, and it found on the Boston University microfilm reel number 3; frames 0683-0687. For today’s examination, I have transcribed it as written. This letter is dated “Jan. 25th, 1861 Portland,” and the significance of this date will become apparent as we move forward.
Mrs. Ware: [Mrs. Ellen (Willis) Ware]
By the request of Emma and Sarah I sit down by you to see if I can amuse you by my explanation of disease. You know I often talk to persons about religion and you often look as though you would rather have me talk about anything else. Perhaps it would be better, but if you knew the cause of every sensation then you would not want a physician. Now you will want me to tell you how you feel and if you will give me your attention I will try to explain. This heavy loggy feeling that you have accompanied with a desire to lie down and sort of indifference how things go along, comes from a quiet state of your system that prevents your food from digesting as readily as it did while here, but it will act upon you like an emetic or cathartic, either way is right. So give no care to what you shall eat or drink, for that wisdom that governs all Science will cause all things to work for the best, and if you want to eat, consult your own feelings and take no one’s opinion. Remember that he who made us knows better our wants than man.
There are two points that I would like to bring to your attention. The first is that even though Ellen Ware seems displeased that Quimby is talking about religion, Quimby, the practitioner, is acknowledging or recognizing God in these last two sentences.
The second point, is Quimby’s reference to, “…your food from digesting as readily as it did while here…” This letter is dated January 25, 1861, and this seems to be a reference to an earlier visit that Joseph and Ellen made to Portland, possibly for the previous holiday season of November or December of 1860.
So keep yourself quiet and I will reverse the action from your head and you will feel it passing out of your stomach. Then do not forget to sit up as I used to tell you and remember not to believe what the blind guides say for they have a new mask. (They will come to you and if your throat is a little sore as I have no doubt it will be from what I see, for when the food acts as a cathartic, it most always makes the throat sore, they will surely ask if you think this sore throat is the diphtheria, looking as wise as though they had discovered the philosopher’s stone. The heat goes up to the head and tickles the nose, then it condenses and runs down into the throat. Remember what I tell you about this disease, for these hypocrites or blind guides are working in the minds of the people, like the demagogues of the South till they get up a disunion party. So keep on the lookout for these deceivers. I do not say that you will be troubled with them, but I have kept on their track for twenty years and have not the slightest confidence in anything they say. Their wisdom is of this world.)
I hear you now, for the first time, asking me if I believe in another world? Yes, but not in the sense of the clergy. I will try to explain my two worlds. You live in Chicago and I in Portland and if it will not be blasphemy to call your place heaven, we will suppose you are there in heaven and I in Portland. Now, if I am here sitting and talking with you I can’t be on earth if your place is in heaven. So I must leave the earth and the matter and come to you. Now if I am with you, what is that that has left the body? It cannot be matter in a visible form, yet it is something. Listen and I will tell you.
Quimby is utilizing the geographical locations of Chicago and Portland to represent differing states of consciousness. His remark of “Now if I am with you…” is an indication of spiritual unification.
You read that God made all living things that had life out of the earth, so that dead matter cannot produce living life, nor anything else. So all living life is matter in a form or out of a form. As all matter decomposes, the dust or odor that arises from it was the matter that man is formed of. This was human life or man. As the child is of living matter, not wisdom, when it grows to a certain age, it is ready to receive the breath of eternal life.
I want to explain one word. I said the child was living life, that is what I mean, not eternal life. Eternal life is a wisdom just as much above human life as Science is above ignorance. I think I hear you say, what becomes of the little child should it die before it arrived at the age? It was made of the dust and shall return to the dust again, and the dust was life. So what have you lost by the change? Nothing for it is still life but sown in death or matter a natural body, it rises a spiritual body. Why is it not seen by the natural eyes? Because the natural man cannot discern spiritual bodies. You can see a piece of silver dissolved by a galvanic battery: is it out of existence? No. Is it its natural self? No, it is the spiritual self. Is it not as much yours as before? I do not know. Well then reverse the poles of the battery or your belief and you condense the silver into a solid, all but the dross.
When a child is dead, as you call it, is dissolved then raised into a spiritual form in the likeness of its natural body—while because it is free from sin or matter. Then you may ask where is it? With its mother’s heavenly man or wisdom and grows in wisdom like a plant or child till it is ready to receive the wisdom of eternal life. Eternal life is Christ or Science. This teaches us that matter is a mere shadow of a substance, which the natural man never saw nor never can see, for it is not matter, it never changes, it is the same today and forever.
This substance is the essence of wisdom and is in every living form. Like a seed in the earth it grows or develops either in matter or spirit just the same, and it is much under the control of its mother’s wisdom as the gold, which is dissolved and held in solution, is under that of the chemist. If the mother’s wisdom is of this world, then the spiritual child is not under her earthly care, but nevertheless it is held in the bosom of its eternal wisdom, that will cherish it till it is developed to receive the Science of eternal wisdom. Eternal wisdom and eternal life are not the same, for the latter is not wisdom but living matter. Eternal wisdom cannot change but acts on eternal life, changes its form and identity. Eternal wisdom teaches us that all matter is to itself a shadow and is no barrier to wisdom, and just as we are wise in one thing our opinion vanishes. The shadow becomes transparent, and nothing remains but the memory of what was but now is not.
Matter is dense darkness; spirit is light. So if you are wise your body or wisdom is light, and just as you sink into error, you can be dense or dark. Therefore let your light shine, so that when this cloud of wind comes blowing round in the form of an opinion, you may know there is something in it, only it is the noise of a demagogue. Believe them not and you will live and flourish. If you can understand this, you get the basis of my belief.
For fear I have not made my two worlds clear to your mind I will say a few words more. The two worlds may be divided in this way: one opinions, the other Science. Opinions are matter or the shadow of Science, both are eternal life but one is limited in its sphere and the other has no limits. One can be seen by the natural eyes: the other is an endless progression. The one is today and tomorrow is not. the other is endless progression: one is always changing, the other is always progressing. The one is made up of reason, opinions, judgment, etc.: the other is Science and is the mystery of the latter. The natural man never will know one, for he cannot see wisdom and live.
Wisdom is the natural man’s death. So he looks upon it as an enemy, prays to it, pays tribute to it as though wisdom was a man. He often uses it as a balance to weigh his ignorance in, but never to weigh the difference of his opinions. He often quotes it, talking as though it were his intimate friend, while he to wisdom is only known as a servant or shadow, all of imitation etc. All the above is matter. Science is another character. Science rises above all such narrow ideas. He who is scientific in regard to health and happiness is his own law, and is not subject to the laws of man except as he is deceived or ignorant, for wisdom cannot let him disobey her truth without knowing the consequences.
No one after he knows a scientific fact can ignorantly disobey it. So that with science, the punishment is in the act. But with man’s laws it is different; the penalty may follow the act or come after. With wisdom, the laws are science. To know science is to know wisdom and how can a man work a mathematical problem intelligently and at the same time say he is not aware of the fact?
It cannot be done and so it is with every act of our lives. If we know the true meaning of every word or thought we should know what follows, so that a person cannot scientifically act wrong. But being misled by public opinion, we believe a lie that we may suffer.
I have gone so far that I have reduced certain states of mind to their causes as certain as ever a chemist saw the effect of a chemical change. For instance consumption. I know every sensation of its character and it is as much a character as ever had an existence. Its father or author is a hypocrite and deceiver. I look upon it as the most vile of all characters. It comes to a person under a most flattering form, with the kindest words, always very polite, ready to lend its aid in any way where it can get a hold. I will illustrate this prince of hypocrites.
I will come in the form of a lady, for it has many faces and characters. I enter as a neighbor with the customary salutations and you reply that you are very well. “Oh I am very glad, for I was expecting to find you abed, by what I heard out of doors, but you can’t tell anything by the gossip. You do not seem quite as well as when I saw you last?” “Oh, yes, fully as well.” “Well, you know there are diseases which always flatter the patient, but you must keep up good courage. I suppose you have heard of the death of Mr.           ?” “No, when did he die?” “He died yesterday, but was sick a long time. Sometimes, he thought he was getting better, but I knew all the time he was running down. But you must not get discouraged, because you are like him, for it is not always certain that a person in the same way as you, has consumption. So good morning.”
Here I make you nervous and you are glad when I leave. Knowing I am not welcome in that form I assume another character. I appear as a doctor, sit down and count your pulse, look at your tongue, take a stick and examine the phlegm that you have raised. Then leaning back in the chair, draw a long sigh, ask if you have a pain in your left side etc. Now I will not say but that the doctor is honest, but if he is, it is worse for you. He is like a dog who wags his tail while you feed him but when your back is turned will bite you. If ignorance and superstition is to be put down by scientific facts it is useless to mince the matter. If a person is aiding an enemy, he is as guilty as the thief.
I want you to know that every word that is spoken is something, either matter or wisdom. Opinions are made up of words condensed into a belief, so if I tell you that you have congestion of the lungs, I impart my belief to you by a deposit of matter in the form of words, and as you eat my belief it goes to form a disease like unto its author, it grows, comes forth and at last takes form as a pressure across the chest.
The doctor comes to get rid of the enemy, and by his remedies he creates another disease in the bowels. This is done by giving some little simple thing. He begins to talk about inflammation of the bowels; this frightens you. The fright contracts the stomach so the heat cannot escape and it presses on the aorta at the pit of the stomach. This sets your heart to beating, causes a flush in the face, which you call a rush of blood to the head.
It makes you feel sleepy and weak, as though you must lie down, then the stomach relaxes and the heat passes down into the bowels, this causes pains. You call it inflammation. All this is very simple, if you know what caused it. I will tell you.
Quimby’s lengthy explanation is leading Ellen along to the realization of her true, spiritual identity. Next, he targets her specific case.
Your situation is the cause. (At the time you were lying on the sofa at your father’s house, Judge Ware’s, while I was sitting by you, I was aware of your situation, almost to a certainty. I thought you knew it almost to a certainty for you kept laughing. Don’t you remember it? I guess you do.)
Evidently, Quimby met Ellen Ware prior to this letter, perhaps at one of those family dinners at the Portland home of Judge Ware. It further seems, that Ellen’s “situation” was never verbalized, and even here, Dr. Quimby discreetly refrains from naming her situation.
As your system changed, it must produce a chemical change in your breast, for the fluids must change. This would make you feel a little nervous, which feeling would affect your head, making you feel stupid and inclined to loll on the sofa. Finally it would take away your appetite. All of this is not anything out of the way. The sickish feelings are to act upon the stomach. This acts on the bowels and if you will only drink water it will produce a diarrhea which will carry off all nervous excitement, and your health will be better than it has been for some time. This letter is an essay for you to read, so good night. Let me know how it works.
Dr. P. P. Quimby
Richard C. Ware, the son of Joseph and Ellen Ware, was born on July 22, 1861 in Chicago, Illinois. Quimby had spiritually discerned before this letter was written, that Ellen’s situation, was that she was in the first trimester of a pregnancy, and suffering from “nausea gravidarum,” “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy,” or what is more commonly referred to as “morning sickness.”
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
Ron Hughes
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