June, 2010

From the Historical Newspaper Archives―The Case of Captain John W. Deering

A WONDERFUL CURE―We observed in the Advertiser a few days since, a statement by Capt. John W. Deering of Saco, in regard to his restoration to health under the care of Dr. Quimby. This however is only one case out of many equally remarkable and astonishing which has come to our knowledge during our acquaintance with the Dr. Capt. Deering took board at the same house where we were stopping and we had an opportunity of observing the facts.

The Doctor's theory of cure is original and entirely distinct from spirit mediums and mesmerisers. He never uses medicines of any kind, but relies entirely upon the practical working of his theory. Below will be found Capt. Deering's statement.

Early in August, 1862, I was attacked with a slight pain in the small of my back, and immediately my right leg commenced drawing up, so that in ten days, while standing on my left foot, I could but just touch my right foot on the seat of a common chair. All this time I suffered great pain in my knee pan. I was attended by two of the best Physicians in York County, who applied blisters, leeches and cuppings to my right thigh, with no effect except to increase the pain.

I had become nearly discouraged, when I heard of Dr. P. P. Quimby, and after many solicitations on the part of my friends, I yielded to their entreaties and visited him. After an examination, he told me that the cause of my difficulty was a contraction of the muscles about the right side. Physicians that I had previously consulted had treated me for disease of the hip. Almost despairing of a cure, but willing to gratify the wishes of my friends, I remained in the Doctor's care. Without calling on the spirits of the departed for aid―without mesmerism and without the use of medicines of any kind, he succeeded in completely restoring the muscles of my side and leg to their proper functions, and, I am now as well as ever. I visited Dr. Quimby under the impression that he was some mysterious personage who had acquired a great reputation for curing diseases, and who must exercise some kind of mesmeric control over the will and imagination of his patients. But I am convinced that he is a skilful physician, whose cures are not the result of accident, but of a thorough knowledge and application of correct curative principles.

Saco, Jan. 8, 1863.       JOHN W. DEERING.


What Is God? Part V The Cure

    by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

In the darkness of this superstition when all are either sleeping or ignorant of the danger that awaits them and the sentinels on the watch tower of those minds that see their craft are warning the multitude of the danger, when the enemies of science and progression are mustering the thoughts of the scientific world and casting everyone into prison for their belief, I enter this land of darkness, light the lamp of liberty, search out the dark prisons where the lives of the sick are bound, enter them and set the prisoners free. These prisons, like the prisons of this world, can be detected by the atmosphere or description. I have said all diseases were opinions condensed into an idea of matter that can be seen by the eyes of wisdom. In like manner, all ideas of the priests can be seen by the eyes of wisdom; each throws off its shadow or spiritual matter, and each has its particular sense, so that it can be detected as easily by the eye of wisdom as an apple or an orange can be detected by the eye of opinion. The wisdom of opinions is ignorant of any wisdom that cannot be seen by itself, yet phenomena are admitted by them which cannot be understood.

To be in a state to become a teacher of this unknown God is what never has been acknowledged by the opinions of man's wisdom. Thousands of persons have undertaken to penetrate this land of mystery and have returned with the idea that they have made the discovery and thus have deceived many people, broken up families, led the weak and timid and stimulated the strong. Till the people, like the children of Israel, have left their happy land or state of mind to follow these blind guides, till they have wandered so far from health or home that they have lost their way and fallen among strangers or doctors, who pretending to be their friends have robbed them of their happiness and left them like the prodigal son, sick and disheartened in this land of superstition. Like Moses, I enter this land and lead them out, and as I pass through the sea of blood or beliefs of these blind guides, I feed them with the bread of wisdom and smite the rock of truth and the water or wisdom gushes out and cools their parched tongues. I go before them in this wilderness, holding up the priests’ serpents or creeds, and all that listen to my explanation are healed from the bite of these creeds. The people murmur and complain, some call me humbug and quack; others want to return to their own old ideas of religion, but I stand up and entreat them, stimulating them to press forward and not to give up till I have restored them once more to that happy land of health whence they have been decoyed away. So I am hated by some, laughed at by others, spit upon by the doctors and sneered at by the priests, but received into the arms of the sick who know me.

Aug. 9, 1861

Source: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, beginning on page 610. This is the fifth installment of a six-part series written by P. P. Quimby entitled, What is God?editor.


Reminiscences―Part II.

    by Annetta Gertrude (Seabury) Dresser

The most vivid remembrance I have of Dr. Quimby is his appearance as he came out of his private office ready for the next patient. That indescribable sense of conviction, of clear-sightedness, of energetic action,―that something that made one feel that it would be useless to attempt to cover up or hide anything from him,―made an impression never to be forgotten. Even now in recalling it, after thirty-three years, I can feel the thrill of new life which came with his presence and his look. There was something about him that gave one a sense of perfect confidence and ease in his presence,―a feeling that immediately banished all doubts and prejudices, and put one in sympathy with that quiet strength or power by which he wrought his cures.

We took our turn in order, as we happened to come to the office; and, consequently, the reception-room was usually full of people waiting their turn. People were coming to Dr. Quimby from all parts of New England, usually those who had been given up by the best practitioners, and who had been persuaded to try this new mode of treatment as a last resort. Many of these came on crutches or were assisted into the office by some friend; and it was most interesting to note their progress day by day, or the remarkable change produced by a single sitting with the doctor. I remember one lady who had used crutches for twenty years, who walked without them after a few weeks.

Among those in waiting were usually several friends or pupils of Dr. Quimby, who often met in his rooms to talk over the truths he was teaching them. It was a rare privilege for those who were waiting their turn for treatment to listen to these discussions between the strangers and these disciples of his, also to get a sentence now and then from the doctor himself, who would often express some thought that would set us to thinking deeply or talking earnestly.

In this way Dr. Quimby did considerable teaching; and this was his only opportunity to make his ideas known. He did not teach his philosophy in a systematic way in classes or lectures. His personal explanations to each patient, and his readiness to explain his ideas to all who were interested, brought him in close sympathy with all who went to him for help. But further than that he had no time for teaching, as he was always overrun with patients, although it was his intention to revise his writings and publish them.

Those were days to be remembered. One who never saw him can hardly imagine the conviction of truth that one felt when he uttered a sentence. He seemed to see through all the falsities of life, and far into the depths and into the spirit of things; and his penetrating vision was so keen and true that one felt as if in the presence of a great light that could destroy the darkness of all that stood in his way.

We all loved him truly and devotedly; for how could we help it? He was full of love for humanity, and he was constantly laboring for others without regard to himself. It has always seemed strange to me that any one who knew him and was taught by him could ever forget his loving sympathy and kindness of heart. He was one that inspired all honest souls with a conviction of his own sincerity. He had nothing to gain nor lose; for his own life was a constant out-flowing of the spirit of truth in which he lived.

Consequently, he freely gave of all that he had; and, if any one evinced any particular interest in his theory, he would lend his manuscripts and allow his early writings to be copied. Those interested would in turn write articles about his "theory" or "the Truth," as he called it, and bring them to him for his criticism. But no one thought of making any use of these articles while he lived, nor even to try his mode of treatment in a public way; for all looked up to him as the master whose works so far surpassed anything they could do that they dared not try.

Among the more devoted followers were the daughters of judge Ware, already mentioned, and Mr. Julius A. Dresser, also of Portland, who spent much of his time for several years in the endeavor to spread Dr, Quimby's ideas.

It was also at this time, 1862, that Mrs. Eddy, author of "Science and Health," was associated with Dr, Quimby; and I well remember the very day when she was helped up the steps to his office on the occasion of her first visit. She was cured by him, and afterwards became very much interested in his theory. But she put her own construction on much of his teaching, and developed a system of thought which differed radically from it.

This does not seem strange when one considers how much there was to learn from a man as original as Dr. Quimby, and one who had so long investigated the human mind. Unless one had passed through a similar experience, and penetrated to the very centre of things as he had, one could not appreciate his explanations sufficiently to carry out his particular line of thought. Hence none of the systems that have sprung up since Dr. Quimby's death, although originating in his researches and practice, have justly represented his philosophy, as the succeeding chapters will show.

His treatment did not consist of denials and affirmations, nor did he treat any two cases alike. He had a wonderful power of adaptability, and used such language and illustrations as were suggested by the calling or belief of his patients. In talking with a musician, he would thus use music as an illustration. His treatment was largely explanatory,―an explanation of the real as opposed to the seeming condition of the patient. He seemed to make a complete separation between the sufferer and the sickness, and he talked to the sufferer in such a manner that, gradually his senses would become attached to the new life or wisdom which his words conveyed instead of the painful sensations; and, as this continued, the sickness disappeared.

In one of his articles, written in 1861, Dr. Quimby thus describes his method of cure:

"A patient comes to see Dr. Quimby. He renders himself absent to everything but the impression of the person's feelings. These are quickly daguerreotyped on him. They contain no intelligence, but shadow forth a reflection of themselves which he looks at. This contains the disease as it appears to the patient. Being confident that it is the shadow of a false idea, he is not afraid of it. . . . Then his feelings in regard to the disease, which are health and strength, are daguerreotyped on the receptive plate of the patient, which also throws forth a shadow. The patient, seeing this shadow of the disease in a new light, gains confidence. This change of feeling is daguerreotyped on the doctor again. This also throws forth a shadow; and he sees the change, and continues to treat it in the same way. So the patient's feelings sympathize with his, the shadow changes and grows dim, and finally disappears, the light takes its place, and there is nothing left of the disease."

It was Dr. Quimby's own clear-cut perception and understanding of the case which enabled him to make this separation between the better or real self of the patient and the personal fear and beliefs which, as he says in the above illustration, were daguerreotyped on him. The perception or explanation was itself the cure, and there was no need either of argument or of an attempt to transfer his thoughts to the patient. The separation once made, a change was bound to result; for the senses were carried with it, the whole mental attitude changed as well, and the patient was freed from the tormenting sensations and fears which had been all-absorbing,―absorbing so long, and only so long, as the consciousness was turned in the wrong direction.

His first effort, then, in every case was to free the sufferer from whatever held soul and body in bondage, and to make his explanation so clear that the patient should consciously see the whole matter in its true light; and every one knows that, when we see through a thing that has caused us trouble, its power over us is lost, just as when a startling rumor is denied, or as though one were to meet a lion in the forest, and then learn that he was chained, and could do no harm.

[This is the second installment of a three part series originally written and published as Chapter III. REMINISCENCES, of The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby, with Selections from his Manuscripts and a Sketch of his Life by Annetta G. Dresser. Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, 1895.―editor.]


Correspondence From the Quimby Church...

Hi Ron,

Just wanted to thank you for this very important book Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. To say the least it remains open and I find it very helpful in my life and my service.

The message of Truth lives on and now and again one comes along who shines brightly. Quimby is truly one who's actions were a testimonial to God's Word. He lived it, he understood it. His vision was clear, he was truly awake.

This book brings far more insight then ever before about the man, his oneness with God, his practice in Truth. In one of the letters he wrote to a person in need of his assistance (to awaken within their own Christ Mind). Quimby stressed the point, "Know that I am with you right now in these words. This is my writing, these are my words." This truth principle in knowing there is only One Word, One Mind, One Truth, making manifest through us all and through everything is such an important need for people to wake up to.

Often people take the perfect thought that is always working through us and filter it down drastically and haphazardly to a horrific degree. Quimby shined brightly, so brightly that others would shine brightly (often subconsciously) just by his words, be it verbal or in pen, and they would heal in the awareness of Truth.

He was truly a master and a shining example of what we all can and are meant to be, in the likeness of our Creator.

Again thank you for this wonderful and very important book.

Peace and Blessings,

Rev. Craig Harris
Quimby Church


Editor's Corner

The Center For Divine Love has created an Internet tribute page for our friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Winterhalter (1936-2010) and it may be accessed here: http://www.dscitychurch.org/tribute-rw.html In the left column, you'll find recordings of Dr. Winterhalter's last talks and brief samples of his writings.

In Wisdom, Love and Light,
Ron Hughes