November 10, 2013

CHRIST OR SCIENCE

    Chapter XIV of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[The articles published under this head constitute Vol. I of the Quimby writings. They are published here in the order in which they were copied from the originals, as written, save for a few changes made under Quimby’s super­vision, and slight condensations. They are printed in this order instead of being arranged in connection with other pieces on the same topics, because they were the first papers containing a statement of the general theory, and the copy­book containing them was sometimes loaned to patient—­students, including the one who made liberal use of their contents.
In these studies Quimby speaks of mind, in the ordinary sense of the term, as a “substance” which can be changed, in which thoughts are sown as seeds. Mind is put in contrast with intelligence or Wisdom. Thus intelligence is said to possess an “identity” or reality which mind does not have. The next step is to show that the human soul has clairvoyance or intuition, independent of the natural senses. This fact Quimby had proved by repeated experiments in diagnosing the sick.
The term “matter” is used in a peculiar sense throughout, to cover the processes of change attendant upon suggestion and taking place subconsciously. “Thoughts are things,” later writers have said.] (Horatio W. Dresser.)
[Continued from last week.—editor.]

HOW I HOLD MY PATIENTS

The question is often asked, how I hold my patients, when I give no medicine, and make no applications. I answer, it is through my knowledge. Then you may ask me where I differ from others. In everything so far as disease and what produces it is concerned. All persons believe in disease and their belief is in the thing believed. For instance, take consumption. People are not aware that consumption has an identity, as much as a serpent or canker worm, that it has life or a sort of knowledge.1 It is liable to get hold of us, and if it does we cannot shake it off, as Paul did the viper, from his hand. All diseases have an identity and the well are likely to be deceived. But these diseases are in the mind as much as ghosts, witchcraft, or evil spirits, and the fruits of this belief are seen in almost every person. These beliefs show what the people are afraid of, and what they have to contend with, and make it necessary for them to have help in driving off their enemies. For if a person cannot conquer his enemy or disease himself, he must have help.
1 That is through the life or reality which we attribute to it.
Now the people involved admit the existence and superiority of their enemy or disease, and commence making war with him by first firing calomel, and if that does not start him, the next is blistering, or burning. This only enrages the enemy, and a regular battle commences. Finally a council of physicians is called, a suspension of arms takes place, a compromise is made, health yields up all claims to happiness and enjoyment, and the victim has the privilege of going about a cripple and an outcast the balance of his natural life, knowing all the time that he is liable to be caught by any of his enemies, at any time, either asleep or awake. This keeps him in a nervous state of mind, not fit for any business, like a man who is in prison, under sentence of death. This is the state of this world.
Now, is it strange that a person is known by this character, and is afraid of this state of mind or disease? And when one who has the power of restoring health and destroying these enemies comes up to another who is tormented by these devils, is it strange that he likes him and feels safe in his presence, until he himself is perfectly free? This feeling is not always known by the sick, but it is felt. It cannot be understood, for its language is its feelings, and it cannot talk till it learns to speak through the senses. It knows and feels its friend, and clings to him as a child does to its parent before it can walk; it is led by sympathy till it can go alone and can understand that it has power over its enemy. Then its knowledge is its cure. Till then it feels the want of some one who can protect it from its enemy. Now my wisdom is their protector and my explanation is their cure. My wisdom is accompanied by sympathy for their troubles, and like a shepherd who leads his sheep I lead the sick home to health and deliver them to their friends. Then I leave them happy, and feel that they appreciate the benefit I have been to them. This money cannot buy. This is what holds my patients. It is what none but the sick can appreciate. The well know nothing of the feelings of the sick, therefore to them it is a stumbling block, and to the doctors foolishness.—March, 1860.

HOW I CURE THE SICK

I will illustrate to you the way in which I cure, or correct the sick. You know I talk parables. To the well this is of no consequence, for they cannot see any sense in my talk. So it is in every science with those who are ignorant of the meaning the person wishes to convey. This was the trouble Jesus had to contend with. All His knowledge must be explained by parables, for the people’s belief was in the thing believed. To reduce their belief to a science was a very hard task, for it had to be done by parables of things that each person could understand. When He talked to the multitude it was about the Science or principle that was intended to be applied to each person’s individual case.
The parable of the sower illustrated the principle like an illustration regarding some science. It was not intended to be applied to any individual case, therefore when the disciples heard the parable, they did not understand it, and wanted an explanation. Now His explanation to them is as much of a parable to the rest of the world as His parable to the multi­tude was to His disciples.
So a parable of mine is of no use to the well, for it is not intended for them, and must be varied to suit the case that calls it out. Like a lawyer’s argument, it depends upon the case to be tried. So it is with the sick, each must have his case explained to himself. The Science can be explained to the well, but not by the same parables that are necessary to be applied to the sick.
I will illustrate. A lady called on me whose feelings were as follows: She felt so weak that she could not keep from stooping over, it was with difficulty that she could sit up. This feeling I could feel but the woman who was with her could not detect it. To cure her and make her sit up, the work must be done by an explanation she could understand, by a parable, because the patient’s identity was in her belief.
Her body had an identity apart from the earthly body, and this sick (spiritual) body is the one that tells the trouble. This body seemed to be holding up the natural body, till it was so weak it could barely sit up. This spiritual body is what flows from, or comes from the natural body, and contains all the feelings complained of. It speaks through the natural body, and like the heat from a fire has its bounds, is inclosed by walls or partitions as much as a prison. But the confinement is in our belief, its odor is its identity; its knowledge is in its odor; its misery arises from, false ideas, and its ideas are in itself, connected with its natural body. This is all matter, and has an identity. The trouble, like sound, has no locality of itself, but can be directed to any place. Now as this intelligence is around the body, it locates its trouble in the natural body, calls it “pain” or by some other name. Now the sick person is in this prison, with the body, which body feels as though it contained life. But the life is in the spiritual body, which being ignorant of itself places its own identity in the flesh and blood. This is because the heat which arises from the body contains the identity, and the soul puts such a construction upon the pain as has been taught, and thinks its trouble is in and part of the natural body. This is the prison which Christ, not Jesus, entered, and broke the walls by His word or power and set the captive free. At this door He stands and knocks, and if we will let Him in He will explain away the error or forgive the sin, and save the soul. He will deliver us from our earthly hell made by the wisdom of the world.—­March, 1860.
[This is the eleventh installment of a fifteen—part series originally written and published as Chapter XIV. CHRIST OR SCIENCE, 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 fifteen—part serial review of Chapter 14, CHRIST OR SCIENCE, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
Ron Hughes
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