November 1, 2015
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Therefore it is no proof because some persons can go into that state themselves, nor is it the result of some spirit. See how many ways a trance can be produced by mesmerism. I can produce it in a great many ways by taking the patient by the hand and also by giving them a piece of money or some other substance and also by sending them a handkerchief or glove. I have produced it on a patient at a distance without their knowing anything of my design of affecting them. I have for the last ten years produced a state of mind in a person who to all appearances appeared to be wide awake. It does not follow that persons in a mesmeric state must have their eyes closed. Some have their eyes open, some hear, others do not. Some cannot say a word while others can talk. Some can throw themselves into a trance, others cannot. You can teach nearly all to, if you please. Therefore the getting into this trance is no proof of its being brought on by the spirits of the dead. Then where is the difference? I am at a loss to say where they differ, only in the opinion of the people. I will now compare some of my experiments with those claimed by the spiritualists.
I profess to be a medium myself and am admitted to be so by the spiritualists themselves; therefore before I give my explanation, I will relate one little circumstance to show what confidence they have in their early impressions when they are not aware of the fact.
I was talking with a friend one day upon the subject of spiritualism. He was a strong believer in the doctrine. We differed in regard to the explanation of the phenomenon. He contended it was from the dead; I, that it was confined to the living. At last I said, Will you admit that I am a medium? He said, “Yes!” And a seeing medium? “Yes.” Well, can you see the spirits, said I? “No,” said he. Then you admit I can see the spirits and talk with them and you cannot. “I do,” said he. Then said I, “I tell you they don't come from the dead.” “Oh, you are mistaken,” said he. Therefore, you see he denied what he had admitted, but this I laid to his early impressions, and reasoning from false basis, his conclusions must be false. You cannot reason with persons from the fact that the whole of their theory is founded on some idea that never had an existence, only in the mind. Destroy the idea of the spirits of the dead and you destroy their theory. Where is the proof of the spirits of the dead? I find none but can bring sufficient proof that the spirits of the living are with us.
I will now explain what I mean by the spirits of the living. The animal spirit is living matter, acted upon by another power which does not depend on an identity for its existence, which cannot be seen even by spiritual eyes but is admitted. This power I shall not undertake to explain, but in all I say, I acknowledge its existence.
Now as man is animal matter, for some wise purpose he is left to develop himself. Like everything else, matter cannot develop itself unless there is some chemical action. So it is with man. Man when excited develops some new principle which could never have been brought about in any other way.
[To be continued next week.]
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, November 1, 2015
Wisdom has never been taken into consideration in regard to man’s composition. But man has been looked upon as a machine, set in motion without any wisdom to guide it; as a locomotive let loose to run its race and die when its fires were out. All calculations made in regard to keeping man running are made without considering wisdom at all, but he becomes a machine of opinions, whose owner is error and he is subject to all the errors which error can invent.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: An Introduction [II]
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Today’s featured article Spiritualism [II], begins on page 530 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into six installments. This is the third part. If you missed last week’s newsletter, you may read it here.
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