Chapter X of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
PORTLAND, Feb. 9th, 1860.
To Miss K., Kennebunk, Me.
Your letter of the 5th is received. I am surprised that you do not remember that all my patients have “a cold” as they call it, when the belief is [of this character]. For instance, if you are told you have “consumption,” this belief is matter under the direction of error, and as it is put into practice it changes the mind, so that the idea of consumption is thrown off from the belief. If you are excited by any other belief, you throw off all the misery that follows your belief. For instance, you are made to believe you are not so good as you ought to be: your belief puts restrictions on your life, and as it is a burden to you, it makes you throw off a shadow that contains the punishment of your disobedience. This makes you another character, and you are not the happy child of Wisdom.
This was your belief when you called on me. As I struck at the roots of your belief with the axe of Truth, everything having a tendency to make you unhappy I tried to destroy.
So in the destruction there must be a change. This change must be like its father. So if you had grief, it would produce grief for the present. Finally the Truth would dry up your tears and you would rejoice in that Truth that sets you free.
So in regard to the “cold”: if you had the idea of “consumption” when I drove that enemy of man out of your belief, this must produce a like cough, but it is all for the best. Remember that every error has its reaction, but an unravelling of error leads to life and happiness, while the winding it up leads to disease and misery.
All that is taking place in your case is just what I anticipated. So it is all right. Keep up good courage and all will come out right. Tell Miss F. to keep good courage her cure is certain.1
P. P. Q.
1 The regenerative process was often emphatic in the case of Dr. Quimby’s patients because his power was great, its action immediate. In another letter Dr. Quimby says, “To reverse the action is not a very easy task, but if you will wait patiently I cannot help thinking it will take place.”
PORTLAND, March 3, 1861.
To Miss T.
Your letter of the first was received. . . . I will now give you a short sitting and amuse you by my talk. But as you seem to want your head cured I will rub the top of it, and while doing this I will tell you what makes it feel so giddy.2 You know I have told you, you think too much on religion or what is called religion. This makes you nervous, for it contains a belief, which contains opinions and they are matter, i. e. they can be changed. If opinions were not anything, they could not be changed. . . . All [so-called] religion is of this world and must give way to Science or Truth; for truth is eternal and cannot be changed. . . . So you see according to the religious world I must be an infidel. Suppose I am. I know that I am talking to you now does the Christian believe in [this talking with the spirit] ? No. Here is where we,differ.
2 This shows how little emphasis Dr. Quimby himself put on rubbing the head: he could do it as well absently! That is, it was merely “suggestion.”
Eighteen hundred years ago, there was a man called Jesus who, the Christian says, came from heaven . . . to tell man that if he would conform to certain rules and regulations he could go to heaven when he died; but if he refused to obey them he must go to hell. Now of course the people could not believe it merely because he said so . . . so it was necessary to give some proof that he came from God. Now what proof was required by the religious world? It must be some miracle or something that the people could not understand. So be cured the lame, made the dumb speak, etc. The multitude was his judge and they could not account for all that he did: then he must come from God. Now does it follow? . . . I have no doubt that he cured. But his cures were no proof that he came from God, any more than mine are, nor did he believe it. . . Jesus was endowed with wisdom from the scientific world or God, not of this world. Nor can he be explained by the natural man. . . . His God fills all space. His wisdom is eternal life, with no death about it. He never intended to give any [theological] construction to his cures; [they] were for the benefit and happiness of man. Men were religious from superstition, their religion was made of opinions, and as these were the light of the mind the opinion or light contained an idea: when the idea is lit up, it throws its rays and our senses [consciousness] being in the rays, they are affected by the idea. As their ideas affected the people, they were like burdens grievous to be borne; so the people murmured. . . .
Jesus knew all this. No man was able to break the seal or unlock the secret of health. . . . Wisdom, seeing the groans of the sick, acted upon this man Jesus and opened his eyes to Truth. Thus the heavens were opened to him. He saw this Truth or Science descend, and he understood it. Then came his temptations: if he would listen to the people and become king they would all receive him. This he would not do. But to become a teacher of the poor and sick would be very unpopular. . . . He chose the latter, and went forth teaching and curing all sorts of diseases in the name of this Wisdom, and calling on all men everywhere to repent, believe, and be saved from the priests and doctors who bound burdens on the people. . . .
Hoping this will settle your head and make you easy on the subject of another world.
P. P. Q.
PORTLAND, March 3, 1861.
To Mrs. D.
In answer to your letter I will say that you know I told you that your disease was in your mind. Now your mind is your opinion, and your opinion is that you have scrofulous or cancerous humour. . . . This opinion shows itself in your system. . . . As I change this something or opinion, it must change the effect, . . . and in the change it will produce these feelings, because it is in the fluids. As this change goes on it must affect your head and also your side, and it ought to affect your stomach. This will bring on a phenomenon like a cold . . . this carries off all the false ideas and relieves your system of that bloat and heat. Keep up your courage. It is all right.1
1 Although Quimby speaks of disease as “in the mind,” he speaks of the error or opinion as “something,” and mentions the bodily effects without denying that such changes are produced in the physical system. But he turns the thought as quickly as possible to the regenerative changes presently to come.
PORTLAND, March 3rd. .
To Mr. R.
When your letter was received I went to your relief, but I cannot say that I affected you. But now I will sit down and try to affect your stomach so that you will not want to smoke. I feel . . . that if you were aware of the evil influence of the enemy that is prowling around you, enticing you to smoke, you would not harbor him one moment; but hurl him from you as you would a viper that would sting you to the heart. I know that opinions are something and they are our friends or our enemies. So the opinion you have of smoking is a false one and is an enemy to you. It is subtle like the serpent that coils around you like a boa constrictor till you feel its grasp around your chest, making your heart palpitate and sending the heat to your head. Then you will struggle to rid yourself of his grasp, till overpowered you become paralyzed. He will laugh at your folly when your fear cometh. Remember that “love casteth out fear,” and fear hath torment. Science is love. Fear is disease: torment is your reward. So watch lest he enter your house while you are asleep and bind your limbs, and when you awake find yourself bound hand and foot. So remember what I say to you as a friend.
P. P. Q.
March 3rd, 1861.
To Miss G.
I will now sit down and put on paper what I did at the time I received your letter. I went to you [in spirit] at that time and have visited you at times ever since. I wish now to let you know that I am still with you, sitting by you while [you are] in your bed, encouraging you to keep up good spirits and all will go right. If you cough, it is to get rid of the heat that has gone to your head.
P. P. Q.
[This is the second installment of a four—part series originally written and published as Chapter X. LETTERS TO PATIENTS, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond is the ultimate reference source for historically accurate information of this nineteenth-century clockmaker turned metaphysical teacher and healer. Including the Missing Works of P. P. Quimby; based on new and independent research by the editor, the present volume surpasses all previously published “complete” compilations of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby’s writings in size, scope and historical accuracy. Published by the Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center.
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Today we continue our review or examination of Chapter 10, LETTERS TO PATIENTS, in Horatio W. Dresser’s 1921 publication of The Quimby Manuscripts.
These letters and more, now preserved in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center of Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, and Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington D. C., provide testimonial evidences of the correspondences between Dr. Quimby and his patients.
Through these communications, we can see the challenges faced by the patients. We can also learn what Quimby expected of his patients, as he stood with them on their road to recovery.
Whether this is your first exposure to these letters, or it is a review, I would invite you to follow along with us in the coming weeks.
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
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