June 28, 2015

The Senses [II]

[First Installment]

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Are our senses mind? I answer, No. This was the problem the ancient philosophers sought to solve. Most of them believed the soul, senses and every intellectual faculty of man to be mind; therefore our senses must be mind. The translator of Lucretius says Lucretius attacks the ancient academics who held the mind to be the sole arbiter and judge of things and establishes the senses to be the arbitrators for, says he, “Whatever can correct and confute what is false must of necessity be the criterion of truth and this is done by the senses only.” This difference is true in part. Both were right. But they confused mind and senses into one, like the modern philosophers who make wisdom and knowledge, mind and senses, Jesus and Christ, synonymous. Now mind and senses are as distinct as light and darkness, and the same distinction holds good in wisdom and knowledge, Jesus and Christ. Christ, Wisdom and the spiritual senses are synonymous. So likewise are Jesus, knowledge and mind. Our life is in our senses; and if our wisdom is in our mind, then we attach our life and senses to matter. But if our wisdom is attached to Science, our life and senses are in God, not in matter, for there is no matter in God or Wisdom. Matter is the medium of Wisdom. This difference has been overlooked by the ancients, and modern philosophers have put mind and soul in matter, thus making a distinction without a difference. Now according to modern philosophy, the soul, mind, life and senses are all liable to die; but according to this truth mind is matter, that which is not true is matter, the life of a lie is matter and all matter must be dissolved. Wisdom is not life. Our senses are not life. A truth is not life. But all these are solid and eternal; and to know them is life and life eternal. Life is in the knowledge of this wisdom, and death is in the destruction of your opinion or matter.

I will give some experiments of the man of wisdom acting through the man of matter and dissolving the man of matter so the man of wisdom can escape. This process is the Science of Wisdom. Take for example two persons, or you and myself. One wishes to communicate to the other some fact. You feel a pain. I also feel it. Now the sympathy of our minds mingling is matter, but there is no wisdom in it, for wisdom is outside of matter. If we both feel the same pain, we each call it our own for we are devoid of that wisdom which would make us know we were affecting each other. Each one has his own identity and wants sympathy, and the ignorance of each other is the vacuum that is between us. So we are drawn together by this invisible action called sympathy. Now make man wise enough to know that he can feel the pains of another, and then you get him outside of matter. The wisdom that knows this has eternal life, for life is in the knowledge of this wisdom. This the world is unacquainted with.

Now Jesus had more of this life or truth than any other person, and to teach it to another is a science. And although one may know it, he may not be able to teach it. If you know it and can teach it, then you are a teacher of the truth; but if you know it and cannot teach it, then you are a follower of the truth. Now the knowledge of this truth is life and the absence of it is death. There are a great many kinds of life. Man begins at his birth. Mineral life is not vegetable and vegetable life is not animal life and there is another kind of life that is not understood, and that is the life that follows the knowledge of this great truth. The word life cannot be applied to Wisdom, for that had no beginning, and life has. The word death is applied to everything that has life. All motion or action produces life, for where there is no motion there is no life. Matter in motion is called life, but life is not wisdom but a chemical change of matter, and that is called animal life. Life is the action of matter, and to know it is a truth and to know how to produce it is wisdom. I will now show how to produce eternal life. It was possessed by Jesus, for he says, “My sheep hear my voice and I give unto them eternal life. I and my Father are one.”

I shall show that Jesus was not life but life or Christ was in him, and he taught it. He says, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Then people believed their life to be in themselves, but Jesus knew their lives were in God, for if they lost their opinions and found this truth, then they had lost their life and found it.

I will now take my own practice to explain what life is according to Jesus. I said if two persons were sitting together and each felt a pain, each would call it his own. Now this pain is life, for it contains our senses, and this life is in matter. So the pain is in our mind, and our mind, senses, and life are all the same according to the world’s wisdom. I know I can take a person’s feelings, and this knowledge to me is a truth, and to know it is life, and this knowledge the patient does not possess. He knows he has a pain and this to him is a truth so that his knowledge is life, but this life is in his belief and his belief is his knowledge and his knowledge is his mind and his mind is matter. So his life is liable to be lost by his losing his mind. My life is in my wisdom and my wisdom is not matter; so that to know this is a truth outside of my patient’s belief. And this truth contains my life. To get his senses out of his matter into this truth is to give him eternal life. I want to give him eternal life to save him from the sufferings occasioned by his belief that he shall lose his life by disease of the heart. My wisdom acting on matter is in matter but it is no part of it. So what to him is death is to me matter that can be changed and there is no wisdom in it. His ignorance keeps his senses in fear of death and all his life subject to bondage through this belief. I will try to teach him the truth which will free him from the fear of death and give him eternal life which is this truth.

I commence by describing to him his feelings. These he admits; but how I can tell them is to him a mystery. This I know for I see him in his error, yet he cannot see me in his wisdom, for wisdom is outside of error and error cannot see outside of itself for it is in its own prison. It wants me to explain how I can see it and how I know how it feels. I will suppose you, the reader, to be the patient, and that you acknowledge that I tell your feelings and what you think is your disease. All this I get from you without your knowledge; therefore you do not know how I do it. So I will inform you. Everyone is made of matter and matter is continually going through a chemical change; this change is life, not wisdom, but life like vegetable or mineral life. Every idea is matter, so of course it contains life and is the name of something that can be changed. Motion or change is life. Ideas have life; a belief has life or matter, for it can be changed. Now all the aforesaid make up man, and all this can be changed. As I am trying to convince you how I take your feelings, I must use such illustrations as you can understand, for my life is in my words; and if my words cannot destroy your life or matter, then I cannot give you my life or wisdom.

[To be concluded next week.]


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, June 28, 2015

This is where I differ from all others. I believe that man’s life is not confined to this body. It is an unchangeable eternal substance, and what we see, hear and feel of ourselves and the world is the course of belief or order of effects departing from this fact, and which mankind have been educated into.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Editor’s Corner

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?

Today’s featured article The Senses [II] begins on page 507 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into two installments. The conclusion will appear in next week’s newsletter.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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