by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.]
What this method was we are now prepared to understand in a measure when we note that his early experiments had taught him how to converse with Lucius mentally, and had also shown him that there is a still higher way of communication. When he talked with Lucius it was by way of expressing a merely personal thought or wish, that is, telepathically, as we now say. Such thought—transference included also the transmission of suggestions involving imagery and emotion, such as the mental picture of a bear and the fear of a bear’s presence would arouse. Quimby made this transfer effective by vividly creating the mental object in his own mind. Had he stopped there he would have rivalled some of the “applied psychologists” of our day who scorn the idea of anything spiritual.
But by discovering that there is an inner or higher mind, Quimby learned that spirit could talk with spirit. Such conversation did not involve the transfer of personal thought or emotion, but what we who believe in spiritual healing now call “realization,” that is, the vivid picturing of the Divine ideal of man in perfect health and freedom. This spiritual process tended to arouse the same activity or spirit within the patient. It was not the influence of mind on mind, but the operation of spiritual power or Wisdom; for Dr. Quimby objected to the word “power” and always insisted that the real efficiency was Wisdom. That Wisdom is in all men, as Quimby says in his later writings on the subject of “God.” It can be appealed to in all. It is the creative Mind within all. Man’s part as healer is to establish the truth of this Mind. Hence Quimby dedicated his great powers of concentration to this vivid realization.
The apparent receptivity of the patient when sitting silently by Quimby, or waiting at a distance to feel an effect, was dependent of course on the patient’s belief, which might mean that Quimby was regarded as a kind of wonder—worker, or that he was not supposed to know how he healed. But Quimby was not dependent on the patient’s conscious attitude or faith.(1) He discerned the inner condition, and conversed with “the scientific man,” looking for subconscious after—effects. What he then wrote or said to the patients depended on what he saw that they as conscious beings, with little understanding, were prepared to see. Hence he had often to content himself with brief statements concerning the bodily condition and the physical changes to be expected. But we learn from his more enlightened patients that the silent healing was a religious experience or spiritual quickening, and that to them the great healer began forthwith to talk about the things of the Spirit.
(1) One of his patients assures as that when she visited Dr. Quimby, in 1862, she deemed him “an old humbug,” and that she received his treatment at first merely because her mother insisted.
It is this varied series of impressions produced by patients which account for the varied character of his writings, and on this point it would be well to hear from Quimby in his own words:
“The reader will find my ideas strewn all through my writings, and sometimes it will seem that what I said had nothing to do with the subject upon which I was writing. This defect is caused by the great variety of subjects that called the pieces out; for they were all written after sitting with patients who had been studying upon some subject, or who had been under some religious excitement, suffering from disappointment or worldly reverses, or had given much time to health from the point of view of the medical faculty and had reasoned themselves into a belief, so that their diseases were the effects of their reasoning. I have all classes of minds, with all types of disease. No two are alike. The articles are often written from the impressions made on me at the time I wrote.
“For instance, one person had a strong desire for this world’s goods, and at the same time had been made to believe his salvation depended upon his being honest and steady. Hence his religion acted as a kind of hindrance to his worldly prosperity. This kept him all the time nervous, and he put all his troubles into the idea ‘heart disease.’ Another was a man who had a great deal of acquisitiveness and self—esteem, while all his acts were governed by public opinion. He wanted to be a great man by making himself wise at others’ expense, or gaining every idea of value without paying for it. Hence he would often force himself into society where he was not wanted. His religion was always the last thing to think of. To him heaven and hell had no claims till he had gone through hell to make up his mind which place was the better for his practice. To cure these two was to show them the hypocrisy of their belief, and show that all men are to themselves just what they make themselves . . . So my arguments are always aimed at some particular belief, sometimes words, sometimes one thing, again another. . . . Hence what I write is like a court—record or a book on law with the arguments of each case. I take up a little of everything.”
[This is the fourth and last installment of a four part series originally written and published as Chapter VI. INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, 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 our exploration of the INTERMEDIATE PERIOD of Phineas Quimby’s personal development, with the fourth and final installment, outlined in chapter 6 of The Quimby Manuscripts, by Horatio W. Dresser in 1921.
Follow along with us as we trace his footsteps!
Horatio Willis Dresser, the first child of Julius Alphonso Dresser and Annetta Gertrude (Seabury) Dresser, was born on January 15, 1866, or the day before Quimby died. His parents first met, fell in love and then married while they were each patients of Dr. Quimby during the years of his healing practice in Portland, Maine.
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