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.]
WRONG USE OF WORDS
We often use words, putting upon them a wrong construction, and think that a person is bound to believe what we say because we say it. For instance, you often hear a scientific person make this assertion, that there is no such thing as weight, that weight is attraction, that its true scientific explanation is attraction. Now this is easy to say, but hard to prove. You cannot convince a man of what does not come within his senses, and he will not believe it because some one says so. Neither party is right, and both are nearly right. If you place the two weights in an exhausted receiver they will both fall at the same time. This proves attraction. Take them into the open air, and then the iron weight will fall the faster. Now is it attraction, or must you introduce another word? Why do they not fall in the same time as in the receiver? Because they have to fall through a medium called atmosphere or air. This medium is more dense near the earth, but as it recedes from the earth it becomes less dense, and bodies are weighed or measured in this medium. So attraction is of no use except to show that all things have a tendency towards the earth. To suppose that the attraction is in the thing attracted is wrong, and so is the idea that the weight is in the matter attracted. The word weight is the name of matter in motion, for when there is no motion it is called pressure. Weight in motion makes mechanical power, and as velocity increases weight diminishes until weight is lost in velocity, then the whole is under the law of attraction.
Now as the human body is matter and mind is weight, the natural man knows no law of attraction, any more than the metal knows of the attraction that governs it. The law or science that governs man is as much in the dark to the natural man as attraction is to weight. Attraction knows weight is ignorance. As the mind is like the weight, and the soul or truth is like the attraction, as we gain in knowledge we lose in mind or ignorance. So as perfect velocity casts out weight, perfect knowledge casts out mind or ignorance, and truth reigns in all. God is the attraction of both. Ignorance, like the brute, sees no higher law than itself, therefore the ignorant act in accordance with their belief. Man, who is a little above the brute, has discovered that there is a law of attraction, and that same knowledge sees in man a higher and more intelligent law of knowledge that the natural man knows nothing of. This teaches man that as he loses in ignorance by embracing the truth he leaves this world of error, and as he learns Science he disregards error till all error is swallowed up in truth. Then one shall not say to another, “Know you the truth?” but all shall know it from the least to the greatest. Then disease shall be destroyed and truth shall reign all in all.—March, 1860.
Can two persons be in harmony except they be agreed? If you are affected by any person in a way that produces fear, you cannot be in perfect harmony with another till the fear is cast out. If it is from some idea that affects your character, you will be imprisoned in the idea till free from it. The idea may or may not be accompanied by an individual, but if it is so accompanied you will be affected by that person in your sleep, the same as in your waking state. One of these effects is attributed to the natural mind, and the other to the spiritual mind, but both have the same effect on health.
But as my knowledge contains no matter I am free from your prison, and as I break or destroy the prison or person that holds you, you come out of that spiritual idea and come to me. You will have no fear, and if you dream of me you will not be afraid. I am your protector, but till you know who I am you may be afraid because you have been deceived so many times. You look upon all sensation with suspicion, and you suspect yourself. The ignorance of yourself is the worst enemy that you have to contend with; for its character is public opinion, which is taken for truth.
To separate us from what we look upon as truth is not a very easy task, for sometimes we think we like the very thing we really hate. This keeps us in ignorance of ourselves. When we would do good evil is present with us. It is not ourselves but the evil that dwelleth in us. This evil comes from the knowledge of this world, and as this world is made up of flesh and blood, no true knowledge is in it. To separate us from the error, and bring us into harmony is to explain the false idea away, and then all sorrow will pass away, nothing will remain save the recollection of what is past, like a dream or nightmare, and you will not be likely to get into the same error again.
All sensation, when first made, contains no direction, but is simply a shock. Error puts a false construction or opinion upon it, and speaks disease into existence. The mind is then imprisoned in the idea, and all the evils that follow are what are called disease. I shall speak of two kinds of disease. One is called by the doctors, local, the other nervous. I make no difference as far as the effect of the mind is concerned.
Nervous diseases are the effect of the regular’s opinion reduced to a belief, and so are all others. I will state two cases to show the difference. A person is exposed to the cold. Ignorance and superstition, have reduced [this sensation] to a disease called cold or consumption. This is set down as a real disease, and so it is, but it is based upon an ignorant superstitious idea. This is one of the errors of this world, judged by this world and proved by the effect on the body. This is called “real, and no mistake.”
Now, tell another that there is a serpent in his breast, or a hell that will torment him in case he does not dream just such dreams or believe just so, and when you have succeeded in making the person believe this, seeing him tormented and miserable you turn about and accuse him of being fidgety or nervous. All the sympathy he gets is to be told that he is weak—minded for believing what doctors and ministers have told him, and warned him against for years. This is the judgment of this world’s belief. To condemn all this folly is to disbelieve in all peoples’ opinions that tend to make one sick or unhappy. Let God or Truth be true, and all men liars. If two ideas come in conflict in you, investigate the wrong and you will find that it is from some one’s opinion. You have tried to carry it out, to your own destruction. You have taken some effect for an element. This makes all the trouble. Error can produce no element, but can only create disease and misery. Elements are like true love or Science. They contain no evil except when hatred or passion is put in. Then they may take the name of the author of the evil. For instance, you may love a person, and he may love liquor, you may be induced to drink; your love for the person may be transferred to the liquor, and you may become a drunkard. Now to cure you is to have some one interest you in those who have a distaste for liquor, and in that way, if you follow your friend, and if he knows what be is about, he restores you to health and happiness.—April, 1860.
When two persons are in harmony in regard to a fact, they are as one, for there is no jar. The fact may be of truth or error, but if they are of the same opinion in regard to it, then they harmonize. If the harmony is pleasure, it is well, if it is trouble, it is harmony with them and discord with something else. Error cannot be in harmony with truth. Ignorance is as a blank, error is the working of ignorance to arrive at harmony or truth. Truth can govern this chemical change in ignorance to bring it in harmony with science. Truth contains no happiness, no misery, but is that power that governs all things according to itself. This truth is in all men, but it is not in the brutes, for it is not matter but the knowledge of creating matter or destroying it. Therefore, fear not that power that can destroy the body and nothing more, but fear that power that can destroy both body and soul. The power that can destroy and create matter, is the destruction of the life of error. Ignorance says in its heart there is no such power. Error knows that there is but is ignorant of its locality. To ignorance this power is an unknown God. The knowledge of this power is the harmony of one person in trouble with another in truth and happiness.—April, 1860.
[This is the thirteenth 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.]
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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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.
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