"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
May 28, 2017
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
In introducing this work to the reader, my only excuse is the existence of evils that follow the opinions of the world in regard to man's health and happiness. My practice for 20 years has put me in possession of facts that have opened my eyes to the misery of mankind, from ignorance of ourselves. My object is to correct the false ideas and strengthen the truth. I make war with what comes in contact with a person's health or happiness, believing that God made everything good, and if there is anything wrong it is the effect of ourselves, and that man is responsible for his acts and even his thoughts. Therefore it is necessary that man should know himself so that he shall not communicate sin or error that will rebound to his disadvantage.
All my writings are the effect of impressions made on me while sitting with the sick so that my book is of the lives and sufferings of my patients, their trials and sorrows, and my arguments are on their behalf. It may seem strange to the well that I write upon so many subjects, but when you take into consideration the great variety of persons and the peculiar state of literature varying from the most cultivated to that of the lowest intellect, it would not be strange if my writings did not excite the curiosity of the reader.
For instance, one is all full of religious ideas and becomes almost insane, and some are entirely so. This excites me, and my thoughts run upon religion. Another will be almost insane upon spiritualism; then I have to battle that or show the absurdity of that belief. Some are excited upon Millerism and believe the world is coming to an end. This brings up arguments to refute their belief, some upon witchcraft. Now their minds are continually dwelling on all these subjects and on the Bible. So to cure, I have to show by the Bible that they have been made to believe a false construction. My arguments change their minds and the cure comes. This is my excuse for what I have said upon the Scriptures.
Some people are lovesick and disappointed. These are not a great many. Minds are affected in various ways. Some are shipmasters. Their sickness is caused by various things. But all mankind must be reached by parables so I illustrate by such parables and symbols as they can understand. All my illustrations are called out by the case I have to treat. Females are more spiritual than men; therefore with them my illustrations are drawn more from the Bible than from any other work. The medical science I have to use rather hard, for the sick have the most bitter feelings towards the physicians and the religious teachers. These two classes I have to come in contact with. The fear of these two classes makes the patient sick. I have found this out by the effect the patient has on me. I have been so provoked when sitting by the sick, with the physician and also with certain classes of disease, that it was with the greatest difficulty that I could keep my temper, and I had never seen the doctor or minister. But I always found that when I would get the patients clear from their opinions, they would express themselves in as strong terms as I had. I thought the fault might be with me, but I am now satisfied that I was only the scapegoat to carry off feelings they dare not lisp out but could not tell why. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I have not the slightest feeling as a man towards any person but error. That I have no sympathy with. It is a hypocrite in myself and in everyone else.
You may say that I have gone out of the way to attack religious denominations. If I have, the fault is in my patient. Everyone knows that some very pious persons, when sick, are the most profane and talk the worst about the Bible. This is because they are the most in fear of it; this is the cause.
With these remarks, I will leave this part of my subject and say a word or two in regard to words. I differ from all persons about some words. One is “mind.” Mind to me is not wisdom but spiritual matter. And I think before you get through my book you will think so too and be convinced of the truth of what I say. So far as my education is concerned, I need make no apology. If I have learning enough to explain my theory, it is all I want.
What is Dr. Quimby's theory? It is reducing the Christian Religion to a Science so that it can be applied to ourselves and others for the happiness and knowledge of mankind. By his theory we correct our errors which ignorance and superstition have bequeathed to us. It separates us from the phenomenon and makes man look for science or the cause outside of the phenomenon. Ignorance directs us to look for the cause inside the phenomenon. Now all mankind think and act upon these two theories. This is the field where all the battle must be fought.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: The Christian Religion Reduced to a Science
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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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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.
Wood, along with Horatio W. Dresser, was one of two New Thought authors specifically singled out for praise by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Here is what James had to say about New Thought, known at the time as “mind cure”:
The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)
On the same page, James, after describing “a good deal of the mind-cure literature” as “so moonstruck with optimism and so vaguely expressed that an academically trained intellect finds it almost impossible to read it at all”, states in a footnote that he considers Horatio W. Dresser and Henry Wood “far and away the ablest of the group” of mind-cure authors.
The present volume is based on a long series of weekly columns commenting on Wood’s thought over the course of ten books. It includes the Suggestions and Meditations from Wood’s flagship work, Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, and the Suggestive Lessons from The New Thought Simplified.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016942723
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ISBN 978-0-9849276-8-5 ebook
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center
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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 is To the Reader [II] that begins on page 567 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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