October 8, 2017
Jesus, His Belief or Wisdom
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Every man is a representative of the natural and spiritual worlds, as taught in the religion of Jesus and illustrated in his life and death. The natural world spoken of by Jesus is mans belief and the knowledge of the truth is the spiritual world. And as opinions and error (the natural world) died, truth and science rose from the dead; the dead opinions did not rise, for God is not the God of the dead but of the living truth. As man has borne the image of error he shall also bear the image of wisdom. Like other men Jesus bore the image of opinions but he also bore that of God or science.
To the world his science was a belief, but as such it was a mere casket that once contained life. To Christ a belief contained no life or truth but like all matter was liable to perish. So he labored to demonstrate his theory and establish it as a science for the benefit of mankind. Therefore he applied the principles of his wisdom to man’s condition. He saw that troubles of every kind originate in belief and in order to relieve these he must change his belief. For this purpose he came into the world, as it is called, not into the natural globe, but into the errors of man. Jesus was all that was seen by the religious world. Christ was never seen. Yet Christ was in Jesus and through him entered the world of opinions to reconcile the opinions to truth and to establish the kingdom of heaven in man’s mind as a science. Hence Jesus preached his truth for the healing of the nations from the errors of their belief. Everyone who believed in a doctrine containing punishment was liable to be punished; therefore he urged repentance towards the wisdom that would explain their errors and forgive their sins. Reading the New Testament with this chart, you will see that the world to be saved is man’s, the vast domain of man’s religious understanding which had been enslaved by the priest, that all men had gone out of the way and none thought right. To save them from their consequent sick and disheartened condition, Jesus opened their eyes to their religious errors, loosed the bands of opinion and prejudice and set the captive free from the prison of his belief.
When he cured the sick he saved them from the other world into which the priest was forcing them, for he never entertained any idea of “another world” as taught by religion, ancient or modern. Christ taught Jesus that man is a progressive being, that his existence is a part of God, that the two worlds were an invention, and death was an error of belief and not a reality of truth. Consequently, life and death being conditions, if a person believes he will die, the belief does not alter the fact, but it keeps a man continually subject to the fear of death. It also taught that man can in no wise avoid the punishment following a wrong act whether he knew that the act was wrong when he committed it or not, for action and reaction are equal and this is true both in matter and spirit.
A man cannot walk into the fire without being burned, and no amount of prayers to God will prevent it, but he is answerable only to himself for his act, not to an offended God. The knowledge of this will save man from the evils that he himself has made and will teach him that the principles of right and wrong are contained in every thought.
If I tell a man a lie and he believes it, he receives the punishment that follows and I too get my just reward, for as we measure out to another so we measure out to ourselves. If I wrong a man, I do not wait for him to repay me; I first wrong myself, for a pure fountain cannot send forth impure water, and neither can an honest man do a dishonest act. He must first become dishonest in order to injure another; therefore Jesus says, “First cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote from thy brother’s eye.” These two “brothers” represent the two principles of truth and error in one man. They are also introduced in the passage where Paul says, “If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.” Here Paul did not refer to any other but himself. Under this interpretation, the passage means: If meat makes my error or my belief in dyspepsia to offend, then I will eat no meat till I explain why I cannot, or work myself out of the error. So when he arrives at the truth, the opinion is destroyed and he has entered the new world where he can eat meat.
Jesus told his disciples that his belief would be destroyed by the religious world but that his science would rise from the destruction. To them this was a mystery, for in regard to life and death they were in their old religious belief. To believe that their idea Jesus should both live and die was a contradiction; it was impossible. He must be dead or not dead; if dead, then the dead must rise. Jesus denied this in his dispute with the Sadducees when he said, “God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” But they did not understand him because of their religious prejudices. At another time he said, “Yet a little while am I with you and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me and shall not find me and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” These words were also misunderstood by the disciples from the darkness of their belief. I will explain them as I understand them.
Christ is that unseen principle in man, of which he is conscious but which he has never considered as intelligence. It is God in us, and when man arrives at that state that he can recognize an intelligence that transcends belief, then death is swallowed up in wisdom. All will acknowledge that every scientific discovery might have been known before, that is, the truth existed before we knew it. We, in like manner, have an existence as active in itself as man in his opinions, but both cannot be seen at the same time for as one dies the other rises.
To put man in possession of this truth, it is necessary to destroy the entire religious belief. Jesus endeavored to do this in order to convince man that his only true living self was the science of God. He also labored to prove that the sympathy that we feel towards each other is a living being with all the attributes of intelligence and that it remains when the natural man is destroyed. This was science to him, and its truth said, “I come again,” etc.
I believe that Jesus came to convince man of this truth; I believe it and practice it so far as I understand it. The world, or man’s belief, accuses me of making myself equal to Christ as they accused Jesus of making himself equal to God. One of these accusers can visit the sick and with a long face ask God to hear his prayers and raise the sufferer; then if the patient recovers he believes that God blessed the means. But if I attribute my cures to God or Christ, the whole church is against me, and I am accused of making myself equal to Christ. They are not so sensitive about Christ, but it is their own reputation that they fear; they claim to be the ordained instruments of God and if man is saved it must be by their means. Jesus who opposed priestcraft met the same difficulty. It was the duty of the priests to care for men’s souls; therefore he must not enter upon that ground, else he make himself equal to them, which was blasphemy.
Jesus opposed the doctrine of another world and taught that man continued progressing; therefore at his crucifixion, when the idea matter was killed by opinions, the Christ that governed it was forced away. The casket or idea was left with the disciples and this to them was death. To see a form of Jesus was either to see a spirit or a resurrection of the old form. To him the science was different. He suffered as a man suffers the penalty of the law. The law of religion said he must die, and when they saw the law of their belief fulfilled, this was the end to the law of man. Now it was necessary that the new revelation of Christ should come to pass and he should show himself to his disciples and others. Therefore the law did what is done by persons now; it put him into a state of unconsciousness, not that he might die, for his belief was that he would return, and the difference of belief made the controversy.
Jesus, like a clairvoyant, went from the idea on the cross to fulfill his promise to the disciples. Unconscious of change, he believed he had flesh and blood and when they thought he was a spirit, he said, “Hath a spirit flesh and bones as ye see me have?” Here he destroyed the belief in death and triumphed over the grave.
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, October 8, 2017
Every man is a part of God, just so far as he is Wisdom. So I will tell you what I know, not what I believe. I said I knew I was here. I worship no God except my own and I will tell you what He teaches me. In the first place He puts no restrictions on me, in fact He is in me and just as I know myself I know Him; so that I and God are one, just as my children and I are one. So to please myself I please God and to injure myself is to injure my God. So all I have to do is to please myself. Now as God and I are one so you and I are one and to please myself is to please you and to injure myself is to injure you, so just as I measure out to you I measure out to myself. As you and I are one, you and your neighbor are one and to love your neighbor as yourself is more than all the prayers made by all the priests in the world. I know that if I do by another as I would be done by in like circumstances I feel right, for I judge no man. I do not judge of myself, for my knowledge of this Wisdom is as plain to me as my senses.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
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