"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
June 15, 2014
Chapter XVII of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
What is the element that receives all sensation? Love for ourselves. This is the groundwork or foundation of all our acts. It is the mortar or dough in which all sensation is made. Of itself it contains no knowledge, it is perfect harmony; its elements or language is its perfection. It embraces all the senses; it is not Wisdom but the power Wisdom uses to bring all things into harmony with itself. To this world of ignorance it is not known but admitted and the matter or ideas of this world is put into this element. Like the ocean it can hold all sorts of ideas, be disturbed to its lowest depths and then calmed by Wisdom so that not a ripple on the surface can be seen. But in the depth of this ocean of love lie all sorts of evil spirits that are gnawing the life of the soul and are identified with it; this is the disease in the mind.
When the storm of ignorance and superstition was raging and all the ships or minds were tossing to and fro, even Jesus’ disciples were in danger of being swamped by the errors of the age: when their bark or belief was just going down into heathen idolatry and their enemies disturbed their water or belief, in the darkness of the night of error, when there was no eye to see nor heart to feel, no arm to reach out nor voice to be heard, Christ or Truth was seen walking upon their waters or belief, saying to the waves “Be still!” And the wind and waves obeyed Him and there was a great calm.
This was the state of their minds in the days of Jesus, the people’s belief was the disease and to embrace their error was taking their disease. Their misery was what followed their belief, and their happiness was the unlearning of their errors. The ships were their theories, the water was their mind, and their ideas were the danger. Their wisdom was of this world of matter, but the wisdom of God could say to their wisdom, “Be thou still,” and their ideas or mind and matter would obey. The introduction of Jesus’ ideas was a new heaven or wisdom and a new earth or belief. The new heaven under the wisdom of God or Science could create a new belief wherein could be peace and happiness that the old heaven or wisdom knew nothing of where there should be peace and joy in the Holy Ghost or explanation of this new world, where no error, selfishness, or jealousy dwells, so that all ignorance and superstition shall be cast out into outer darkness, never to return.
Now, as Jesus was walking by the seaside, seeing the leaders’ ideas, He saw two men, Andrew and Peter, fishing in the old Mosaic laws or sea, and said to them, “Follow me and I will make you teachers of this truth to men.” So they abandoned their nets or old belief and followed Him. They went on and saw others mending their creeds or nets, for their nets like the priesthood were worn out and were like a garment ready to drop to pieces. So they left their father (or old belief) in their ships (or error) and followed Jesus. He travelled all through the land curing all sorts of diseases, preaching the kingdom of Science, and His fame went everywhere. Great multitudes followed Him and He went up into a higher state or Science and opened His mouth to them in truth or parables.
The laws of Moses laid a tax on the people for paying the priests to forgive their sins, and the doctors exacted a fee for forgiving or curing the sins that affected the body. So all persons who were not of their belief were strangers and needed teaching to have their eyes opened to the truth. Their ideas or opinions were like fish in a great sea, so they asked tribute money or an answer to all questions to pay for teaching strangers. When Jesus came into Capernaum, those who received tribute money, or gave information in regard to the truth, asked Peter if his Master paid tribute money or sought information concerning their religion, and Peter said, “Yes.” Then as he went into the house Jesus said to Peter, Who pays tribute money, the children or the believers (sceptics or strangers)? He answered, “Strangers.” Then He said, “Lest they be offended let us ask a question for them to answer. Go to the priest (or sea) and cast in a hook, or put a question, catch an idea or fish, and open it and in it you will find an answer, or a piece of money. Go and give it for you and me.” Now this sea, or belief, was the ocean which contained all the wisdom of the world, for the preachers, or spouters, fished in it, and the ships were the little societies or churches where the people congregated to catch spiritual food. When Peter and Andrew left their father or belief, their nets or society or ships and followed Him, then they left all for His sake. When the young man came to Jesus and asked Him what he should do to inherit eternal life or His (Jesus’) wisdom, He said, “keep the commandments.” The young man replied, “this have I done from my youth upwards, what lack I?” Then Jesus said, “if you wish to be perfect, go and give your religious ideas away and follow the Science or Me.” As he could not understand, he went away sorrowful, for he had much wisdom of this world. When His disciples heard this they thought it a hard saying, so they said to Him, “we have forsaken our old ships and nets and even our father and mother for your sake, what shall we have?” Jesus said, “if they could understand His truth so that they could teach the people, they would sit on twelve thrones judging or teaching the twelve tribes of Israel.” This they could not understand so when called upon to stand up and defend the Science they all forsook Him and there never has been a person since Jesus who has ever thrown a particle of light on His Science. As soon as Jesus was crucified the disciples were driven away or killed. So all the writings fell into the hands of men who knew nothing of Jesus’ Science, they took the records and put such a construction on them as they pleased, and all we have is the opinions of men who lived hundreds of years after the crucifixion of Jesus.
They could not cure any persons, so of course the teachings of Jesus must be explained in some other way which did not require proof. So right in the face and eyes of Jesus’ teaching where He gave His disciples power or wisdom and told what would follow—that they should cure all diseases as He did and perform greater works than His—the priest had to get over this by saying that the days of miracles are past. The people have crucified Christ in every way error could invent by believing in these fake–guides. Now, Jesus stood alone in the world of flesh and blood, weeping over their sins or errors that bound them down and well might He say as He did, “Oh! Jerusalem thou that stoneth the wisdom of God and hateth those that teach it to you, how oft would I gather you together in love for each other as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings of sympathy, and run the risk of her life for her young.” To them this was all nothing, they could not see any sympathy outside of dollars and cents, or feel another’s woes. So He said to them, “You have eyes but see not, ears but cannot hear the voice of misery, and no heart to feel another’s woes.” Now they did not want to understand, for it would make them break off from their sins, turn to the truth and become honest and good. Jesus’ love for the sake of the world’s happiness He laid down for the sins or belief of man, and, was received into the bosom of this love or sympathy, which was pure, not a selfish idea independent of all, but a love for the sake of all.
Jesus, as a man of flesh and blood as we all are, purified His own life, received this eternal life in the name of Christ and took all of our opinions that would have killed Him if He had been ignorant of the truth, and rose again pure and clear from all priestcraft. He then denounced the priests and doctors as enemies to the happiness of man. Now to be a follower of Christ is to do things that He did, but to be a believer in Christ only embraces what you know nothing of only as a belief. There is a vast difference between a belief and knowledge: knowledge is wisdom, and contains no belief, a belief is error, or the wisdom of this world, and the only way to detect them is by their works or fruits.
I will give you the key of heaven or Science, as far as correcting the errors in regard to your health is concerned so you cannot be deceived by the errors of the world. I will give you a sign so you can tell the difference between my theory as a teacher of Christ or Science and my opinion as a man, so you need not be deceived by false teachers who will come and say to you, “I understand this Science and can treat disease as Dr. Quimby does.” Then if you understand me you will answer, “by your fruits I shall know you.” Then if he tells you how you feel, locates a disease and offers any opinion in regard to your health, giving you a glimpse of a long train of suffering which you are liable to have, to such you can say, “your fruits show you to be ignorant.” My theory teaches me to look upon you as an intelligent creature. I take upon myself all your feeling and see all your troubles. These feelings are my knowledge of your troubles as they are yours, but to me they contain the true answer and when my explanations satisfy you, then your difficulty is gone and you are happy. Jesus knew that the misery of mankind arose from their ignorance of immortality, and Christ revealed to the people that man was spiritual and his unhappiness lay in wrong belief. Their belief amounted to this, that the natural world is all there is, and as man required something higher to satisfy him the spiritual world was admitted and made to contain all sorts of witches and frightful things to keep the people in submission. So this spiritual world as it is called, has never been investigated as a science and all revelations from and allusions to it are steeped in mystery and superstition. Thus the most of our identity is in this mystic land, we know only our bodies and further than that we are in the dark. Christ is that revelation or Science of the spiritual world which is the knowledge and cure of all the ills flesh is heir to.
The people are divided into two classes, followers of Christ and followers of Jesus. To illustrate the difference between Jesus and Christ I will take myself. There are many persons who believe in my “power” of healing, as they call it, but they know nothing of the truth of it. So they make me as a man responsible for my acts or my belief in all things. Thus my private character as a man is brought into my belief, just as though I could not be a teacher of truth unless my character as a man were in harmony with the errors of the world. Now, I stand before the people judged according to my outward acts, by one class and by my Science by another; so if I should put on the cloak of hypocrisy, attend church and be very strict in all things pertaining to the wisdom of the world, I should be received by the wisdom of this world, but the scientific would look upon me as a hypocrite. Jesus’ private character as a man had just as much to do with Christ as P. P. Quimby has to do with his cures. Jesus as a man knew nothing of Christ, neither does P. P. Quimby as a man know anything of this Wisdom or Truth, but when he feels it he speaks not as P. P. Q. but as the patient’s troubles reveal it to him. This Science of P. P. Q. takes the sins or troubles and the answer is accompanied by the feelings. Thus P. P. Q. is the medium of the Truth to correct the errors of the world, just as Jesus was the medium of God or Science to convince man of his errors and lead him to Christ, health, or Truth.1
1 These statements show plainly why Quimby did not claim his Christian Science as a special “revelation,” and why he took no credit to himself as expounder of the spiritual meaning of the Bible. The Science or Christ is not dependent on persons, books, or organizations. It is demonstrable by its works or “fruits.”
I will take myself as a figure. Suppose music had never been reduced to a science and I had discovered that it could be taught to others, and I undertook to teach it, and I called the Science, Christ. Then it would be P. P. Quimby’s Christ or theory. Suppose you should try to learn it so as to teach it. Would my Christ or theory have anything to do with my character as a man? All will say, no. If I am a very good man, that has nothing to do with my science, only to make it more admired, or it might make persons give more heed to what I say. Now suppose I am as bad a man as I can be, does that prevent me from teaching my Christ or Science? Now suppose the wisdom of the world sits in judgment on me, they all admit that I play very well, but that I do not know any more about it than they do. So they say he has a power which is of God, but he knows nothing of it himself. So they put all the power on me as a man and call my music P. P. Q’s music. Now suppose I am a very good man and a pattern of society, kind in my manners and the possessor of every quality which is necessary to a very good man of this world. Here are two classes who profess to be believers in me, one the scientific and the other the aristocratic or ignorant, but as they cannot agree it is left for me to decide. So I decide in this way. All you who believe in me as a scientific musician of Christ, and understand the Science, shall teach as I do; and all you who do not understand but believe that I, the man, P. P. Quimby, have a power that you acknowledge, shall be called followers of me; so you undertake to follow me by acting as I do and try to imitate my character. Of course we should prefer a person who is amiable and pleasant, if he is a teacher of any science, but it is not absolutely necessary that he should be a good or a bad man. So far as Jesus stands I do not pretend to be or not to be a disciple of Jesus, for I let my life and acts as a man speak for themselves. I do not pin my belief on Jesus’ character, nor do I care anything about it any more than He did Himself. Like all men who are willing to be judged by their acts, He let His character speak for itself. It was the Christ that Jesus was proud of, and so all men ought to be proud of any science that would make the world wiser and better. I profess to be a disciple of Christ, not of Jesus or the man. I let my man speak for himself, but I believe in Christ, which I put in practice on all those who live in this world of misery without this Science. So all my prayers are offered to Christ, not Jesus. The world prays to Jesus, but Jesus prayed to God to forgive or teach them, for they knew not what they prayed to. Now this Christ is in this element of love or sympathy that contains no error, but is an element of pure love that will wash away all error that chances to get into it. It knows no evil, it sees no wrong in itself, it is perfect harmony and attraction. It contains our higher senses. So it is as it were our life, and all that is good and harmonious. It seeks the wisdom of this world of error, as a person seeks gold to purify the gold from the dross. Its happiness is the developing of God's love or Science, it analyzes all misery and trouble to liberate the soul that is bound in this world of error.1 —July, 1860.
1 Dr. Quimby’s idea of Jesus was midway between the humanism of those who deemed Him “mere man” and the theological teachings of those who called Jesus “our Lord” or “the Lord.” No merely humanistic conception could account for “the Christ” or Divine wisdom disclosed as universal, the source of all true Science.
[This is the fourth and final 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.]
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 conclude a four–part serial review of Chapter 17, GOD AND MAN, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
Next week we will move forward to Chapter 18, RELIGIOUS QUESTIONS.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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