June 1, 2014

GOD AND MAN

    Chapter XVII of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser

[Continued from last week.—editor.]

ON WISDOM

Perfect wisdom embraces every idea in existence, and therefore every idea that comes to light through the senses existed before to Wisdom. Every person who was or ever will be existed as much before he ever came to our senses as afterwards, the same as any mathematical truth. Man’s intelligence is a truth that existed before he took form or was seen by the natural eye. Man’s body is only a machine and its senses are its medium to wisdom. The real man is never seen by the natural senses, but the real man makes himself known through Science to his natural senses, as a person who knows a fact can teach it to another. Wisdom or knowledge he teaches through Science, and he uses his senses to explain this Science, for his senses are all the medium the natural man knows. The real man is God, or the First Cause. Every idea that man embraces comes through his natural senses, but this real man is not seen, but is truth or Wisdom. The natural man may be compared to a checker board, and Science and opinion the players. Public opinion or common sense stands looking on and represents spectators. The Wisdom that is superior is that which sees and knows the principle of the game. Now opinion makes a move, and the natural man or common sense says it cannot be bettered. But Science sees the working of opinion, and makes him move in such a way as to compel his opponent to destroy himself, for he knows that opinion knows nothing as he should know it. Every move of opinion suggests his opponent’s move. So if one knows his game and the other does not, the ignorant one is beaten every time. But if both are ignorant they think they play a very scientific game. Now there are certain games or arguments which men play called theories, that have no foundation or basis, and there is no way to test them, because one is not the least above his neighbor and neither can prove anything.

THE CHRISTIANS GOD

I will now sum up by introducing the Gods of the two foregoing theories and as one of them is only man’s opinion, I will introduce a priest, a doctor, and the law as the God–head, for the three are equal in power. Religion is the father, medicine is the son, and law is the Holy Ghost, or explanation. All these make up the Godhead of our superstitious belief. These two first give the people their beliefs, which are sanctioned by an appearance of divine wisdom, and according to their belief acknowledged by the wisdom of the father of all. Strange as this may seem, it is the foundation of all the misery that man suffers. Although we are taught to love and respect this man’s God, as the giver of everything we receive, yet if one half of what we attribute to Him were true, He would be of all tyrants the worst. If we should look upon a parent as we are taught to look upon God, we should hate our very parents. Let us see what kind of God He is and how He compares with a parent. In the first place, He is represented as knowing all our acts and having a watchful care over us like a good father. Now if any parent could have half the power that they say God has over His children, His children would curse Him to his face and look upon Him as a tyrant. Now all this talk about a God who reasons and makes bargains accompanied by rewards and punishments is so much like the natural man’s wisdom that no one can help seeing that our Christian God is the embodiment of man’s belief when man was far behind the present generation.1 No attribute of their God shows any wisdom, but a sweeping idea of everything when His wisdom or acts are spoken of; it is like a military officer, or some grand monarch, or king. He is king of kings, the great High Priest. Once it was the height of honor to be a military officer, for that was the greatest of all professions; therefore God must be a military character, for the Bible says He had war in heaven. The devil was the first secessionist we find and he was driven out of heaven. You never hear God compared to a statesman or any learned man. It is true that when He came to earth some eighteen hundred years ago in the person of Jesus, He was not represented as a military character but was far superior to the wise. He was called a very simple man, uneducated, full of sympathy, so He must have come down since the writers of the Old Testament. How natural it is for man to court the company of the great, especially the military. Aristocracy would not have anything to do with Jesus because he had none of the military turn of mind. Their superstition could not account for His cures, so they had no claim on Him. The wise of this world who base their theory on opinions steal all they can from their neighbors, and when Jesus was crucified they stole His ideas and engrafted them into their aristocratic creeds. This kept them aloof from the masses and God was not permitted to associate with the people but could only communicate through the priest what information they got from heaven.

1 Many of Quimby’s patients were ardent Calvinists, hence their God was out of date.

We all really believe more of this than we are willing to acknowledge and it keeps the people in bondage under the priests. The burden of false ideas makes men nervous and superstitious. This gets their systems in a condition for another swarm of hungry dogs called doctors who invent diseases, make the people admit their opinions, and after their opinions are admitted then they are ready to bring about any disease that can be introduced to them. As people cannot see how disease is made, this false theory has always led the people and always will till the true idea is explained how disease is made. According to my theory, all errors can be explained on scientific truths, so that man can be his own doctor and priest and he shall not say to his neighbor, “Know you the Lord?” but all shall know Him from the least to the greatest. This theory will explain all the phenomenon. If you read the first article in Vol. I you will see that according to that theory mind can be changed and any kind of an idea produced. So apply this truth to the mind, and you can cure or correct the error and establish the truth.1

1 Repetitions of ideas contained in other articles have not been crossed out from the selections in this chapter, because it seemed desirable to show how concrete was Dr. Quimby’s thought of God. He plainly did not mean to teach pantheism or identify his own individuality with God as a mere “part” of Him. But he did wish to attribute to this “invisible Wisdom” whatever power he possessed as healer, as instrument of the Christ within. Quimby did not spend time in mere affirmations about his “oneness” with God. He aimed to establish the Divine presence by ministering to the sick so as to overcome all separateness.

[This is the second installment of a four–part series originally written and published as Chapter XVII. GOD AND MAN, 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 a four–part serial review of Chapter 17, GOD AND MAN, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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