Chapter VII of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[These articles and letters are taken from a manuscript book containing copies of “pieces,” as they are called, written previous to the first volume of articles, which was begun in October, 1859. Most of the pieces were written before 1856. They were copied by Miss Emma Ware from the originals, and are here printed without any changes whatever. (Horatio W. Dresser)]
THOUGHT, like the blossom of the rose, or tree, contains all the elements of the tree or rose. Now as the law of vegetation governs the tree or rose, so the law of mind acts upon the idea or spiritual tree, known by the name of good or evil. Now although this tree differs from all other trees in the garden of man, it cannot be detected except by its fruits, and as the fruits appear pleasant to the eye of the mind, and are supposed to make men happy, it is cultivated without knowing the peculiar properties it contains.
Now as this tree grows it sends forth its thought like blossoms, and as it is looked upon as a fruit much desired to make one well it is received with joy and cultivated in the garden of our minds. Now in the beginning of the creation of man this tree was a tree that differed from all others in man and was very like the tree of life. The fruits of this tree have been the foundation of all the philosophy of man ever since man was created.
Now as man’s natural body contains the soil for this tree to grow, as the earth is the soil for the rest of the trees and herbs and creeping things that have life, it is the duty of man to investigate this tree and see what its fruits contain. The tree is to be known by its fruits. This tree is an idea like all other ideas in man, but differing in one peculiarity, happiness and misery. All the rest of the trees of knowledge contain right and wrong without any regard to happiness or misery. This is the difference between the trees.
Now as this tree can bear the fruits of other trees, it is another reason for its being cultivated, but to understand the tree or idea is to understand its fruits or thoughts.
I shall now call this tree an idea which contains happiness or misery and also truth and error. Now as error, like the serpent, is more subtle than any other idea in man, it acts upon the weaker portion of our thoughts and ideas, and engrafts them into the idea of happiness and misery. Now as this idea grows and sends forth its fruit, it is conveyed by error to other trees or ideas in others, and thus spring up false theories, false doctrines, etc. Now as this tree or idea sends forth such a variety of thoughts or fruit, it is like Joseph’s coat of many colors, hard to tell what was the original color or idea. This throws man into darkness and doubt, and he wanders about, like a sheep without a shepherd, running after false ideas. Being blind he is not capable of judging for himself, and suffers himself to be led by the blind.
Now as the tree of knowledge of good and evil was an idea of happiness and misery, it is easy to detect its fruits. All other ideas are spiritual and the fruits or thoughts are spiritual, and are not perceived till they come within our senses. We are very apt to get deceived by them, for they come like a thief in the night, when man is off his guard. Now as health and happiness is the greatest blessing that can be bestowed on man, and this was the original fruit of the tree, it can be very easily detected from the grafted fruit or ideas. The original fruit is spiritual and cannot be detected by the eye, for it does not contain even spiritual matter. Its qualities are sympathy, harmony and peace the fruit of the evil contains matter, and has form and can be seen and felt.
Dr. Q. has been induced by the great number of cases which have come under his care within the last twelve years, to devote his time to the cure of diseases. His success in the art of healing without the aid of medicine has encouraged many persons who have been suffering from sickness of long standing to call and see him for themselves. This has given him a very great advantage over the old mode of practice, and has given him a good chance to see how the mind affects the body. He makes no pretension to any superior power over ordinary men, nor claims to be a seventh son, nor a son of the seventh son, but a common every day man.
He contends there is a principle or inward man that governs the outward man or body, and when these are at variance or out of tune, disease is the effect, while by harmonizing them health of the body is the result. He believes this can be brought about by sympathy, and all persons who are sick are in need of this sympathy.
To the well these remarks will not apply, for the well need no physician.(1) By these remarks I mean a well person does not know the feelings of the sick, but the sick alone are their own judges, and to every feeling is attached a peculiar state of mind which is peculiar to it. These states of mind are the person’s spiritual identity, and this I claim to see and feel myself.
(1) Dr. Quimby here changes from the third to the first person.
When there is discord in these two principles, or inward and outward man, it seems to me that the outward man or body conveys to me the trouble, the same as one man communicates to his friend any trouble that is weighing him down. Now all I claim is this, to put myself into communication with these principles of inward and outward man, and act as a mediator between these two principles of soul and body; and when I am in communication with the patient, I feel all his pains and his state of mind, and I find that by bringing his spirit back to harmonize with the body he feels better.
The great trouble with mankind is this, they are spiritually sick, and the remedies they apply only serve to make them worse. The invention of disease, like the invention of fashion, has almost upset the whole community. If physicians would investigate mind a little more and medicine a little less, they would be of some service; but this inventing disease is like inventing laws: instead of helping man, they make him worse. Diseases are like fashions, and people are as apt to take a new disease as they are to fall in with any new fashion. Now if there was a law made to punish any person who should through any medical journal communicate to the people any new disease and its symptoms, it would put a stop to a great deal of sickness. Seven cases out or ten throughout the whole community of old chronic cases are the effects of false impressions produced by medical men, giving to the people the idea they have spinal disease, or heart or kidney or liver disease, or forty others that I could name, to say nothing of the number of nervous diseases.
Now all of these ideas thrown into the community are like so many foolish fashions which the people are humbugged by. I do not dispute but that any of these diseases may be brought about through the operation of the mind, but I do say if there was no name given to disease, nor its symptoms, there would not be one—tenth of the sickness there is at this day. I have taken people who have been sick with all of the above diseases, as they thought, and by describing their symptoms and state of mind without their telling me what the trouble was, and they have recovered immediately. A person sick is like a person in a strange land, without money or friends. Now there may be some one near by who would be glad to receive such persons, but they are ignorant of them. The sick are not in communication with themselves, nor any one else—they feel as though no person could tell them how they feel.(1)
(1) Dr. Quimby’s reference to “the last twelve years,” would indicate that this “piece” was written between 1852 and 1855. It is his first statement concerning his spiritual method.
[This is the first installment of a four part series originally written and published as Chapter VII. EARLY WRITINGS, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
by C. Alan Anderson
Have you selected your God as carefully as you would select your pet? And how do you care for your God? Do you have a twenty—first century concept of God, a concept compatible with space—age knowledge about the universe? Are you stuck with an oxcart God when you need space—age solutions to space—age problems? Is your God big enough, wise enough, powerful enough, loving enough, and world—involved enough to support you and to help you meet the complicated challenges of today’s living? Did you lose your baby teeth but not your baby beliefs about God?
People’s beliefs about the nature of reality affect their entire lives, whether or not they are consciously aware of what beliefs underlie their actions. Their most important beliefs are those about the most important realities, and beliefs about God head that list.
In the third millennium, more and more people are taking a fresh look at their outgrown childhood notions about God. This delightful, sometimes slightly irreverent, lighthearted but serious—minded book comes along just in time to help them rethink their basic philosophies of life.
The book’s witty, concise, penetrating exploration of what God is like and how God works in our lives refreshingly challenges much of what we usually take for granted. Whether you agree or disagree with the author’s conclusions, you cannot afford to be unaware of them if you seek greater understanding and more effective and constructive ways of approaching life.
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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 launch into the first installment of chapter 7 of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser, for the EARLY WRITINGS of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby.
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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