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"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

May 4, 2014


    Chapter XVI of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser

Dr. Quimby is so greatly interested in calling attention to the power of human beliefs in relation to all man’s troubles that he does not give much space to a description of the natural world, does not state his idea of matter very definitely, and often leaves the reader wondering how he distinguishes between matter and “spiritual matter” or the mind of opinions. He is especially interested to point out that matter can be “condensed into a solid by mind action,” that it undergoes a “chemical change” as a result of mental changes. He sometimes speaks of it as an “error” or shadow, as “an idea seen or not, just as it is called out.” Whatever its objective reality in the Divine purpose, matter in itself is inanimate, there is no intelligence in it. His view of matter is idealistic, therefore, and in considering his theory of disease and its cure we need to bear in mind that matter for him is plastic to thought. The ordinary or external mind which is “spiritual matter” is the intermediate term. Above this mind is the real man with his spiritual senses, his clairvoyant and intuitive powers. The final term is Wisdom, making known its truths in so far as there is responsiveness and intelligence on man’s part. This is said to possess a real “identity.” To find himself as an “identity” in every truth, man should know himself as the “scientific man,” able through Wisdom’s help to banish all errors from the world.” ~Horatio W. Dresser

[Continued from last week.—editor.]


How can a person learn to cure the sick? As a pupil in mathematics learns to work out a problem. Every word is supposed to have a meaning. Now words are like nuts, some are full, some partially full, some are empty, the food or wisdom is in the word, and if the word contains no wisdom, then it is like husks or froth, it fails to satisfy the desire of the person who seeks the substance. Natural food is to satisfy the natural man and spiritual food or wisdom is to satisfy the inner or scientific man. The child before it begins to know is fed by natural food, while its spiritual food is opinions expressed in words. Therefore as I said, words contain more or less truth; all are not full and some are empty; but when a person speaks a word that contains the real substance and applies it to the thing spoken of, that is what is called the bread of life and he neither hungers nor thirsts for wisdom in regard to that. The sick have been deceived by false words and have fed on food that contains no wisdom. Hungry and thirsty they apply to strangers for food; they ask for health or the bread of life and the natural man taking bread as a natural substance, brings bread to them, but their state of mind does not hunger for natural food, therefore to them it is a stone.

There is a bread, which if a man eat, he is filled, and this bread is Christ or Science. It is the body of Christ. Jesus says, “whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.” “For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink.” The Jews of His days were like the scholars of the present day. Bread is bread, and blood is blood, and they say, “how can this man give us his flesh to eat?” They do not understand that Wisdom is a body and opinion a shadow. The natural man’s belief is his body, and to eat and drink the world’s wisdom is to eat condemnation or disease.

Now I will illustrate a cure. I sit down by a sick person and you also sit down, I feel her trouble and the state of her mind, and find her faint and weary for the want of wisdom. I tell her what she calls this feeling that troubles her, and knowing her trouble my words contain food that you know not of. My words are words of wisdom and they strengthen her, while if you should speak the same words and the sound should fall on the natural ear precisely as mine, they would be only empty sounds and the sick would derive no nourishment from them.

I will describe this food that you may taste it and be wiser for your meal. In order to prove that food satisfies a person’s hunger, I must find a person who is hungry, and in order to prove that my words satisfy the sick, I must take one who hungers and thirsts for the bread of life or health. Being weak and faint from exhaustion she applied to a physician for food to satisfy her desire, for she was famished for the want of wisdom in regard to her trouble. Instead of giving her wisdom which would have satisfied her, he in his ignorance gave her these words full of poison. “Your trouble is a cancer in the breast.” As she received these words she became more faint and exhausted till she became sick at her stomach. She ate of this poisonous food till seeds of misery began to agitate the matter, the idea began to form and a bunch appeared in the breast. As she attached the name cancer to the bunch the name and the bunch became one body. The physician’s words contained the poison, the poison produced the bunch, their ignorance associated the name with the bunch and called it cancer.

I was called to see the lady and being perfectly ignorant of her trouble, I felt the faint and hungry feeling and as I felt the effect of the doctor’s food or opinions on her, I said, The food you eat does not nourish you, it gives you a pain in the breast. This I said in reference to the way she reasoned in regard to her trouble.

“How do you know?” said she. I then told her that she thought her trouble was a cancer and she admitted that it was so. I then told her she had no cancer except what she made herself. I will admit the swelling, said I, but it is of your own make. You received the seed from the doctor, and he prepared the mind or matter for its growth, but the fruit is the work of the medical faculty.

Let us see how much the idea cancer exists in truth. The name exists before the bunch, then the bunch before it appeared must have been in the mind, for it was not in sight when the word was first applied to it, or when you were first told that you had one.

You know that you can be affected by another mind. Now I wish to show you that every phenomenon that takes form in the human body is first conceived in the mind. Some sensation is felt which we cannot account for, we then conjure up some idea which we create into a belief, and soon it is condensed into a form and a name given to it. Then every phenomenon taking the name of disease, is a pattern of some false idea started without the least foundation in truth.

Now, this bunch I call a phenomenon, for I cannot call it a cancer, because if I do I admit a thing outside of the mind. The senses are the man independent of flesh, that is one thing, the word cancer is another. Now, I want to find the matter that the word is applied to. To say a thing exists and to prove its existence are two different things. If any doctor will tell where that cancer was before it was in sight, I will ask him how he knows. Let him say it was in the blood, that the state of the blood indicates the presence of cancerous humor.

Now, do you deny that I told your feelings? “Certainly not.” Then have I a cancerous humor? “By no means.” Then there is no wisdom in that argument. Again, he never knew you had an ill-feeling till you told him. Then where did he get his knowledge? Not from you for you never thought of a cancer. It must have been from what you said about your pain. Suppose I had said that I felt these same pains and you had kept your peace, then according to his theory I must have a cancerous humor. Now, I know that I have no humor nor had I an idea or pain till I sat by you, therefore his story of a cancer is a lie made out of whole cloth, without the least shadow of truth. It is like the stories of Sinbad the Sailor, or some witch fables that have no existence in truth. Then you will ask, what is this bunch? It is a bunch of solid matter, not a ghost or any invisible thing, but it was made by yourself, and no one else.

I will tell you how you made it. You remember I spoke of your having a heat. This heat contained no good or ill, but it was a mere decomposition of your body brought about by some little excitement. It troubled you, then your superstitious fear of disease began to haunt you in your sleep, creating an action in the part of your breast where the error had made a stand. You commenced then to foster the idea till at last you have excited the muscles to such an extent that the bunch has appeared. If now I have proved the cure I have affected it and the bunch will disappear.

Do you wish to know why? “Yes.” Can the effect remain when the cause is removed? “I presume not.” How do you feel? “I feel easy.” How do you feel in regard to your trouble, and in regard to what I have said? “I think you are right, and it looks more reasonable than the doctor’s story.” Then your senses have left his opinion and have come to my wisdom. This is the new birth, you have risen from the dead and you are free from the doctor’s ideas. This truth has destroyed death, and brought life and health through Science. Now, I say unto you, Take up your bed or this Truth and go your way, and when the night of error comes spread out the garment of Wisdom that enfolded Jesus, and wrap yourself in its folds or Truth, till the sun of Life shall shine upon your body, and you rise free from the evils of the old belief.1

1 1864

[This is the tenth installment of a twelve–part series originally written and published as Chapter XVI. DISEASE AND HEALING, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]

Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Editor’s Corner

Today we are continuing a twelve–part serial review of Chapter 16, DISEASE AND HEALING, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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