by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Every phenomenon in the natural world has its birth in the spiritual world. Of this truth however men are ignorant and mistaking shadow for substance, they give credit when credit is not due. No man for example should be considered superior to another unless he proves his superiority by reducing to a science some phenomenon hitherto unexplained. Before musical sounds were reduced to a science they were simply phenomena. People could sing, but he who sang best was not entitled to more praise than any other; for he sang ignorantly. To him only was credit due who reduced musical sounds to a science.
The same is true with regard to disease and its cure. The world is full of sickness arising from various causes; the phenomena are in the natural world while the causes originate in an invisible world. Medical science, being based on opinions, is confined to the natural world where the causes of disease are supposed to arise. This is not the case with the science by which I cure. By a clairvoyant faculty, I obtain a knowledge of disease which cannot be obtained through the natural senses. This being imparted to the patient, changes the direction of his mind and effects the cure. In other words, the explanation of the disease is its cure. I will state a case for illustration. A person calls on me for examination. We sit down together. No questions are asked on either side. I have no knowledge of the patient’s feelings through my natural senses. After placing my mind upon him I become perfectly passive and the patient’s mind being troubled puts me in a clairvoyant state. As I retain my natural senses I am, it is evident, in two states at once. The history of his trouble together with the name of his disease I now relate to the patient. This constitutes the disease and the evidences in the body are the effect of his belief.
Disease, according to my theory, does not reach to the natural senses; I cannot therefore explain to the well my mode of treatment. The well take no interest in it, for to them my theory is of no use. Then of what use it may be asked is it to the sick? It gives the sick such confidence in themselves that they are not frightened by opinions of disease, for disease itself is an impudent opinion.
Guided by it I throw off the feelings of the sick and impart to mind my own, which are those of perfect health.
The explanation I make destroys their disease.
I am to the sick as a Captain to his crew, when storms arise, dangers thicken and destruction seems inevitable. He understands his business, has confidence in himself, inspires the crew with his own spirit and finally brings the ship safe into port.
[Originally untitled, the previously published versions of this article are written as a third person’s account of how Dr. Quimby cures. I found this earlier version in the Boston University collection that is written directly from Quimby’s perspective, and is one of thirty-seven recently rediscovered "missing works" of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby that are published for the first time in Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. These rediscovered articles are not found in any other "complete" publications of P. P. Quimby's writings.―editor.]
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
I will illustrate the manner in which the sick express themselves. Ideas or thoughts are matter or opinions. These opinions are in the world of matter and our senses or life are attached to our belief or opinions. As opinions are something believed and admitted, they become matter according to the wisdom of this world and are subject to all the laws of the wisdom of this world. Thus the priests invent creeds with penalties attached to their disobedience and the doctors invent diseases with other penalties. The teachers of the young are instructed to establish the sayings of the priests and doctors in the children's minds. Now everyone knows if he will stop and think that if a child when it is first born is given to the savages it will grow up one and with all the peculiarities of one or nearly so; this proves that the life or senses of the child is attached to the belief of the savage and the child has become subject to its teachers.
In the same way religion or a belief in another world is binding on the child and the penalties of the doctor's beliefs are also binding. Suppose you bring the same child into this country at the age of a man, will anyone say or believe that he is bound in his conscience to obey the laws of our priests and doctors? I think not. This then shows that the child's mind or wisdom can be molded into a savage and if this can be done it will not require a great stretch of imagination to make a disease. Just admit this child's mind is matter. According to common belief every form of matter can make a shadow under certain conditions of light. Disease having a form makes a shadow according to its identity or description. For instance consumption is a belief; this belief is matter and throws off a shadow; this shadow is the atmosphere of a belief and life is attached to the shadow. As life is the senses and the senses are in the mind or matter, they are all associated together; here is where the mistake lies.
I will make an illustration to show where the mind affects the senses or life and yet you will see they are different. Suppose you are ignorant of the effect of a charcoal fire. You sit down in a room, the heat affects the mind or body or matter; all this contains no intelligence. At last the life is disturbed, just as the cold would be and would wish to rid itself of the sensation of heat. The senses, being attached to life, will become disturbed. Opinions enter which are like more coal and fan the heat or excitement. Reason, which is another element of fire, fans the flames till life and the senses are so affected that they will not remain. This is disease.
Suppose I come in. The instant the heat affects my mind my wisdom communicates to my senses the cause and the remedy. My senses become composed, my wisdom directs my senses, and they act on the body; the door is opened, the trouble is explained, the patient is saved from his torment, his mind or opinion is destroyed, but his life is saved and his trouble is at an end. Opinions are the elements used to torment life or senses. They contain no wisdom above the brute but are matter and can be destroyed. All the opinions of the priests are condensed into a solid according to their belief, and although they cannot be seen by the natural eye, the eye of opinion can see them and lead the senses that are attached to the opinions to the locality where these beliefs are.
For instance the priests tell their hearers that there is another world separate and apart from this. They give such a glowing account of it that their opinions like fuel set fire to the audience and a chemical change takes place. Their minds are disturbed like mortar and their senses are affected by the opinions of the priests and a plan or expedition is fitted out to go to this world, which is actually created by the priests' opinions. The minds are so disturbed that the life, losing its relish for this world, is persuaded to embark for the world of the priests' opinions, to which their lives and senses are attached. Their senses are held between two opinions, not knowing what to do; this is called by the doctors “disease of the mind.” They, not knowing the cause of the trouble, take the story of the patient who, also being ignorant, is ready to be deceived by the ignorance of the doctor. So the doctor, like the priest, gets up a false idea or disease and engrafts into the patient's belief a new idea of some disease that affects the body. Then he reasons till it takes root in the mind and comes forth in the image of its father. The life or senses are then attached and the thing is brought to the doctor to receive a name. So after he examines it he gives it the name of cancer. The patient now wants to know what is to be done. The doctor gives the punishment of such a disease; this troubles the life or senses so that life wants to leave the opinions of the doctor or cancer and escape to the priest's world where they are told that diseases never come. Here they are halting between two opinions; this last stand is called a real disease of the body. Now these two blind guides quarrel with each other. The doctor accuses the priest of frightening the patient and the priest accuses the doctor of the same. Between the two a war is made and the whole world is affected by their opinions. Parties spring up, reason is brought to inflame the minds and the weaker portion of the people are disturbed till the whole world of man's mind is overrun with false theories.
Aug. 9, 1861
Source: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, beginning on page 609. This is the fourth installment of a six-part series written by P. P. Quimby entitled, What is God? ―editor.
by Annetta Gertrude (Seabury) Dresser
IT was some time in 1860 that I first heard of Dr. Quimby. He was then practising his method of curing the sick in Portland, where he had been located about a year. My home was a few miles from that city, and we often heard of the wonderful work he was doing. We also heard something about his philosophy; and, as he made war with the prevailing theories of the day, there was a strong prejudice against him in the minds of many people. His patients, however, became his friends, and he gradually won his way into the hearts of the people, especially among those who had received benefit from him, either through his practice or his ideas; and his fame spread more and more.
My own experience with Dr. Quimby was a very interesting one, and attended with most happy results. In fact, my first interview with him marked a turning-point in my life, from which there has been no turning back.
I went to him in May, 1862, as a patient, after six years of great suffering, and as a last resort, after all other methods of cure had utterly failed to bring relief. I had barely faith enough to be willing to go to him, as I had been one of those who were prejudiced against him, and still had more of doubt and fear than expectancy of receiving help. But all fear was taken away as I was met by this good man, with his kindly though searching glance.
The events connected with this first interview are as vivid in mind as those of yesterday. It was like being turned from death to life, and from ignorance of the laws that governed me to the light of truth, in so far as I could understand the meaning of his explanations.
In order to understand the great change which then came into my life, let the reader picture a young girl taken away from school, deprived of all the privileges enjoyed by her associates, shut up for six years in a sick-room, under many kinds of severe and experimental treatment in its worst forms, constantly growing worse, told by her minister that it was the will of God that she should suffer all this torture, seeing the effect of all this trying experience upon the dear ones connected with her,―simply struggling for an existence, and yet seeing no way of escape except through death,―and the reader will have some idea of the state I was in when taken before this strange physician. And, in order to complete the picture, let the reader imagine the inner conflict between all this that was so disheartening and a hope that never wavered, a feeling that there was a way of escape, if it could only be found, a conviction deeper than all this agony of soul and body that the whole situation was wrong, that the torturing treatment was wholly unnecessary, and that it was not God's will that any one should be kept in such a prison of darkness and suffering.
To have this great hope realized was, indeed, like the glad escape of a prisoner from the darkest and most miserable dungeon. Yet timid, and expecting to find a man without sympathy, who would attempt some sort of magic with me, it was naturally with much fear and trembling that I made my first visit to his office.
Instead of this, I found a kindly gentleman who met me with such sympathy and gentleness that I immediately felt at ease. He seemed to know at once the attitude of mind of those who applied to him for help, and adapted himself to them accordingly. His years of study of the human mind, of sickness in all its forms, and of the prevailing religious beliefs, gave him the ability to see through the opinions, doubts, and fears of those who sought his aid, and put him in instant sympathy with their mental attitude. He seemed to know that I had come to him feeling that he was a last resort, and with but little faith in him or his mode of treatment. But, instead of telling me that I was not sick, he sat beside me, and explained to me what my sickness was, how I got into the condition, and the way I could have been taken out of it through the right understanding. He seemed to see through the situation from the beginning, and explained the cause and effect so clearly that I could see a little of what he meant. My case was so serious, however, that he did not at first tell me I could be made well. But there was such an effect produced by his explanation that I felt a new hope within me, and began to get well from that day.
He continued to explain my case from day to day, giving me some idea of his theory and its relation to what I had been taught to believe, and sometimes sat silently with me for a short time. I did not understand much that he said, but I felt "the spirit and the life" that came with his words; and I found myself gaining steadily. Some of these pithy sayings of his remained constantly in mind, and were very helpful in preparing the way for a better understanding of his thought, such, for instance, as his remark, that "Whatever we believe, that we create," or "Whatever opinion we put into a thing, that we take out of it."
The general effect of these quiet sittings with him was to lighten up the mind, so that one came in time to understand the troublesome experiences and problems of the past in the light of his clear and convincing explanations, I remember one day especially when a panorama of past experiences came before me; and I saw just how my trouble had been made, how I had been kept in bondage and enslaved by the doctors and the false opinions that had been given me. From that day the connection was broken with these painful experiences, and the terrible practices and experiments which had added so much to my trouble; and I lived in a larger and freer world of thought.
[This is the first 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.]
As mentioned in our last issue of Science of Wisdom, the final book by Dr. Robert Winterhalter, The Healing Christ, is now published and is available in printed form from the publisher, Ozark Mountain Publishing, http://www.ozarkmt.com (type "Winterhalter" without the quotation marks into the search box and follow the links). It is also available as an electronic download for your Kindle device from the Amazon web site.
In a private email communication, Dr. Winterhalter told me this book took him more than 30 years to write and it stands as a testament to his life of service as a biblical scholar, Divine Science minister, teacher, and healer.
No doubt, Divine Science Practitioners and others will find this book valuable for its insights into the "miraculous" healings made by Jesus over two-thousand years ago.
In Wisdom, Love and Light,