May 29, 2016

Religion [III]

[First Installment]

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

What does Jesus mean by the Kingdom of Heaven? We all know the common opinion was that heaven was a place. Now some suppose it to be a state of mind. Had Jesus either of these ideas? I say he did not, and will show what his ideas were. God is represented as all wisdom and love. Now love is not wisdom, but a desire for wisdom; therefore, a desire to get wisdom for the sake of happiness that follows is the highest love. This is heaven and to be deprived of this love is to be out of heaven. The sick are strangers to this heaven. It is true they have a sort of love but it is governed by a false love or wisdom. It is the light or wisdom of man. This leads to death but to have the true love or desire that leads to wisdom, this is heaven.

Now as I have said, the sick are strangers to this truth and being strangers, they are deceived into a false belief that lulls them to sleep. To cure them it is necessary to arouse them from their lethargy and show them their errors. To get a person out of an error is to destroy their error. This can be done in two ways, one by ignorance, the other by science.

I will now give the true conversion of a man of this world or sick man converted to the religion of Christ or cured intelligently, and also one converted from one disease or error to another. I call all error disease that leads to death, and the remedy is religion or a knowledge of the truth that will save us from the evils that flow from our sins. To illustrate the different forms of religion is to show the different modes of restoring the lost child of disease to health and happiness. To show how Jesus differed from all others is to show each religion separately and how the belief affects mankind.

All will admit that Jesus opposed all the religion or modes by which the medical men and priests used to save the people from their sins or evils called diseases. For to be diseased was an evil and the sick were dealt with accordingly; and the false idea that the sins or diseases of the parents are visited upon the children is handed down to this generation. This was the belief of the people in the days of Jesus and to save them from their sins was to cure them of their disease. For this cause Jesus came into the world, suffered and died and rose again that all that believe might be saved from these sins and enjoy the presence of God which was heaven. This was the doctrine Jesus taught.

Now what was the idea the world had of heaven? People never had such an idea as the Christians have now. They never believed in any other world, but their suffering was their evil and to be cured was their heaven or happiness. For this object they employed every means in their power according to their belief. The people were taught that there were certain rivers and pools the angels would disturb and those who visited them were healed. Certain diseases were held so sinful that the victims were kept aloof from the people till the priests cured them. So their religion was all for their health or happiness. This idea of preparing for another world never entered into their minds. It is true that there was a small class who believed that at the end of the world the dead would rise. This belief has been handed down from generation to generation so that religion was in that mode which was used to restore them to health. This of course made them happy. This to them was heaven.

So all religion was for the happiness of man, but their religion never extended to any state after death. Now Jesus opposed their religion or belief so it was necessary to destroy them to cure the sick, for these beliefs made them sick. To do this he had to show them the absurdity of their own belief, so he called them to him and said, Beware of the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees for their doctrines bind burdens on you. It made them superstitious, made them believe in ghosts, spirits and all sorts of juggling. This kept the people under the rule of the priests who invented all sort of craft to deceive the people, pretending to take away their sins so that God would not torment them with evil spirits and disease. Jesus knew it was all in their beliefs, and if he could introduce a higher principle or a better mode of reasoning or priesthood that could take away their sins or errors so that they would be more enlightened he would be doing them a great favor, and would establish a universal truth that would work out a more excellent law. To do this it was necessary to bring proof of his superior wisdom. So it is said, He came into the world, suffered, died and rose again. He was talking about this great truth called God that governs every true and scientific mind. He made two worlds: one the natural or superstitious man that they were all; the other the scientific man. Now the scientific man was to rise from the earthly or superstitious man. This he called a resurrection from the dead. Not that the dead rose, for if you cannot get a man out of his error, there is no resurrection. As Paul says, If Christ (or this science) be preached that it rose from the dead (or error), how say some among you that there is no higher truth than man's opinion? As science is spiritual, it must be explained by literal things. So he used parables to show how this truth grows in the minds, for he makes the mind matter and sows the seeds of wisdom in the mind. So he takes, for example, a little child before its mind is filled with the errors of priest, as a figure of heaven. Not that the mind contains any wisdom, but like the soil of the earth it is pure from foul seeds or error, ready to receive the true seed of wisdom, guided by a higher development than the priest. He says, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven,” that this truth could live and grow in the child. Not that the heaven or kingdom was happiness, but the happiness was in the one that got into it. But as the kingdom grew, false ideas would creep in, for it is not to be supposed that Jesus ever intended to make his kingdom perfect till every enemy or error should be destroyed. So he likens it unto a great many things, to a sower in a field, and an enemy sowing in the same field. Here you have good seed and bad seed, truth and error, good and evil. But the good was good, and the bad was bad, and they never mingled.

I will take a person as he would come to Jesus, and show how he preached to them the kingdom of heaven. Take the little child that was tormented by the devils that would throw him into the fire and water and on the ground. See what he does. See if he ever said anything about another world, but ask the parents when they said they had carried him to the disciples and they could not cure him. The cure was what they wanted. So here was the cure: Jesus asked how long the child had been in this way . When told, he said, Do you believe all things possible with God? They said, “Yes.” So then he cured the child, not by a “power” but by his wisdom, for he knew what he was about. So their faith in him kept the child from having any more fits. All his cures went to prove his theory of the mind. This theory of Christ was what he talked about. It was a science. So he preached it and illustrated by parables, and proved it by showing himself to the multitudes after they believed him dead. This truth was called Christ and when Jesus spoke it he spoke Christ and the identity of it was a body and the doctrine was its blood. So when he says, “If you eat not my flesh nor drink my blood, you have no life in you.” But the ignorance of the people thought he meant to eat the man Jesus.

[To be concluded next week.]


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wisdom has no laws, it is the true wisdom or light. The law of man is the invention of evil thoughts and wisdom is not in it, for as wisdom is in us the law is dead. So to be wise is to be dead to the law, for the law is man's belief and wisdom is of God which is science. Now if we could understand the true idea of causes and effects, we could learn where the cause of disease originates.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Article: What Is Disease? Part II—Same Subject

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Editor’s Corner

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 the first of two installments of Religion [III] that begins on page 468 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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