June 5, 2016
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
I will give an illustration. Suppose a person comes to me to learn navigation. I say, “You must be born again, for your ideas of navigation are all false.” He says, “How can I learn or be born again when I am so old?” I answer, “You must be born in the science, of navigation.” This he cannot understand, but still he wishes to learn. So I begin to explain. As he begins to learn, this is called the love that is spoken of with which he so loved the world, etc. Now the love for wisdom prompts him to learn, and as he learns his happiness is full. This is entering into heaven. This is the heaven that God has prepared for everyone who will try to learn, and if everyone will search for God or Wisdom, God will not cast him off.
I will apply this to disease. To me the disease is a lie or burden bound upon you by the errors of the world. I take upon myself your infirmities that I may lead you to health, for health to you is heaven. The love for health prompts you to come. My love for you prompts me to lead you to health. This I do by teaching you the errors of your belief and showing you where you have been deceived. The truth, like love, leads you to see your error, and the happiness of your recovery is heaven. People believe that religion is one thing and health another. This is a false idea, and if you look at it you will see that to be happy is the chief end of man. And now what is happiness is in what we think we have obtained. Take the religion of our day: but that is a poor illustration of happiness, for the misery it occasions is twice the happiness. We are taught our belief is one thing and our health another. But it is not so. Man's belief is his heaven or his hell. You may not be aware of the effect of your belief.
Disease is one of the evils that follow our belief. For instance, I will cite a case. Take a young lady. Begin to tell her that her happiness depends upon her having religion. She has no idea what you mean. So to convince her you give an account of what religion is and show that she must get it or be eternally lost. This makes her nervous. So you tell her to come to Christ. This to her is all blind. You say Christ is standing with his arms extended to embrace her. Now for her to fall into the arms of a stranger is more than she can do. So she weeps, not knowing what to do. She becomes unhappy. This you tell her is the conversion of her soul. At last she is made to believe she is not worthy to be a Christian. Then come the soothing words of the priest and his words soothe her aching head and she quiets down. Then you tell her this is a change of heart. Now she is in a state to get religion.
What has been brought to pass? The young lady has been deceived into a belief that has cost her all the happiness she had. It will be said her religion had nothing to do with her health, but this cannot be the case for our life is nothing but a belief and when this fact is known then people will begin to be cautious what they believe. For every person is responsible to God or Wisdom for his belief, and must take the consequences of his belief.
Now as I said, religion is a belief and disease or happiness is what follows. So as all men have sinned or got a belief, the sentence of death has been passed upon them, for all have sinned and come short of the truth. So this truth came into the world of opinions to open the eyes of the blind, or appeal to a higher intelligence to lead them to the truth that would cure them of their sins or errors. Now a religion or a theory was to explain to the masses to keep them out of their trouble. We suppose that Jesus wanted to convey the idea that man was in danger of being destroyed after death, but if he would believe in Jesus he should be saved.
So our belief depends upon our beliefs. Now what was Jesus' idea? Let us see if Jesus' belief was founded on man's opinion or on the scientific fact that man through his belief in the priest had been deceived. This deception had brought on evils that were unable to destroy. The leaders of the South who have deceived the people and brought forth all the evils we are now suffering from. They have a God and a religion which upholds them in their wicked belief. The North also have their God and their religion. Now Jesus' religion or belief was different from this. He had no words or ceremonies but a love for the higher development of the human soul. This was Jesus' religion and he put it in practice by his acts upon the sick, not by giving an opinion of what he knew nothing but by showing that their sickness was the effect of their belief. Now see if you admit that mind is matter and to change the mind you remove the burden.
How often have you heard persons say that they are not nervous and they never change their mind. That is as much as to say that they have no wisdom, for wisdom changes the mind. Make a person believe a thing. The belief being matter or mind is an obstacle to wisdom. This obstacle must be removed before the truth can shine. If there is not wisdom enough to remove the obstruction we say such a man has a strong mind. It is true he has a strong error to be overcome, but his mind embraces just as much intelligence as a stumbling block in the way of a train of cars. That must be overcome by wisdom. The dissensions among the passengers represent the contrast between the strong-minded and the intellectual man. One sees no way to remove the obstacle and concludes that it cannot be overcome and settles down in the strength of his mind, while the wisdom investigates the chances and sets himself to work to remove the burden. As the intellectual man works, his mind changes; while the strong man sits and contends that he knows, and when he makes up his mind nothing can change it. The other is fickle and therefore has no mind or stability.
This is the case with disease. The belief is the burden to be overcome. In any disease the strong mind means a man deficient in mechanical wisdom who can't see whether the world develops him or he develops the world. The strong-minded man is a man whom the world develops and he, not knowing the fact that change comes with the growth, and therefore he never changes. While the man of God or Wisdom develops the world, for the world is one universal truth, while matter is one universal error. These two principles of truth and error make up the extremes and every identity is in the one called truth, but the controversy arises about the sensation made on this mind or matter. The strong-minded man's foundation is in what has been handed down from one generation to another. This to him is truth and the disciples of this are his leaders. So his wisdom is based on their opinions and these, being false, are the burdens that the scientific man has to remove, so that the conflict is not to establish an opinion but to destroy an error. The error is the disease and the destruction of the error is freedom from the disease. But the strong-minded man reasons as though you wanted to destroy his belief and make him embrace yours. But truth reasons in this way. Truth is a universal element of God and the destruction of error leaves the man this element without an opinion, but with wisdom.
I will give an illustration. Suppose someone should say that a messenger had just arrived and said that Washington was taken by the Rebels. Now the minds of men would be disturbed and their wisdom would begin to create in themselves burdens according to their mode of reasoning, except those who were bound before. This class would begin to throw off their burdens, so each one's mind is in action directed by their wisdom, governed by their love of party. So this love or enemy would destroy or create trouble. Now when the mind is disturbed the ignorance of our wisdom rises from what they know, and as the lower kind of reason comes from error, there is no wisdom but fear or submission. This is the element that man is afraid of. This is the element man worships and bows down to and prays to. He worships it not because he loves it but because he is afraid of it.
May 1, 1864
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, June 5, 2016
Suppose a person comes to me to learn navigation. I say, ‘You must be born again, for your ideas of navigation are all false.’ He says, ‘How can I learn or be born again when I am so old?’ I answer, ‘You must be born in the science, of navigation.’ This he cannot understand, but still he wishes to learn. So I begin to explain. As he begins to learn, this is called the love that is spoken of with which he so loved the world, etc. Now the love for wisdom prompts him to learn, and as he learns his happiness is full. This is entering into heaven. This is the heaven that God has prepared for everyone who will try to learn, and if everyone will search for God or Wisdom, God will not cast him off.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: Religion [III]
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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?
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If you missed the first installment from last week, you may read it here.
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