October 12, 2014
SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH
Chapter XIX of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
It seems strange to the well why I do not cure every one who comes to me as easily as I do some. The reasons are plain to me and I can explain them to the sick, but to the well it is a mystery from the fact that they are under an influence that is adverse to the sick. The well have no sympathy with the sick, and every dollar they pay comes as hard as though they had contributed to some charitable object which they took no interest in but from fear of being called mean they would subscribe a small sum. When a sick person is brought to me the real person is not known in the controversy, but the error or person that brings him. So I have to address myself to that character called by the world our natural man, but the victim is not known and has nothing to say. Every case is a variation of these feelings, and I know the difficulty I have to contend with, while the well do not understand.
I divide man into two characters. One governs by selfishness and the other by sympathy, and man’s senses are attached to one or the other of these elements. . . . Every combination that leads to disease is like the little streams that run into the ocean of death. As all men live and move in their belief, their belief is like a house or barque either in the ocean of death or the rivers that enter into it. Men find it hard to stem the current when the tide of public opinion is running so fast that they are in danger of being driven on the rocks. The pilots who are waiting to get a call are found to be under the pay of the master of the seas, the devil. So the streams and rivers are filled up with false lights to deceive the mariners while sailing on a voyage of discovery. This may seem strange to the well, but I can make it plain to the sick.
Fashion and pride cover a multitude of sins. I do not like to blame the well, but we are so constituted as to look upon disease as an evil and the sick as afflicted that we cannot help being affected by these opinions. . . . The Christian has no sympathy with his neighbor’s children if they do not walk up to the mark, while his own children are provided with a seat in heaven because he is a pious man. . . .
People do not stand in relation to each other as they should, owing in a great measure to our religion.
Money, it is said, is the root of all evil, but this is not the case: pride and selfishness and love of power are the evils; this creates the desire for money.
Spiritual wisdom is always shadowed forth by some earthly or literal figure. Thus the Bible is spiritual truth illustrated by literal things, but religious people follow the shadow or literal explanation and know nothing of the true meaning. When God said “Let us create man in our own image,” it means Wisdom created man in the image of Truth. When He formed man or matter, that was the medium for this image to have and control, like all other living things that He made out of matter.
What is there that all will admit as existing independently of matter? Take the senses of man and see if there is any matter in them. All will admit that God is not matter. No one will say that sight is matter, for God sees all things, His sight penetrates the darkest places, and not a thing can be hidden from His sight. So it is with all the [spiritual] senses of man, and there is no matter in them. A knowledge of these senses condensed into an idea, spoken into existence called man and the senses attached to it—this is man in the image of his Maker.
Sympathy annihilates space. Discord makes it. Man is in one and Christ in the other. To be with Christ is to be in harmony with his wisdom, and this Wisdom will keep us from the evils of man’s opinion. When our senses are attached to Truth we are heirs of Christ, and when attached to error we are heirs of this world. The Christ is to separate the error from the truth, for truth is harmony and error discord.
Man reasons in this was about the body: a child commences to grow, and man calls the growth of the child “life.” When the child has reached a certain maturity the body begins to decompose and die, like the tree; then the dust returns to the dust and the life of the body departs. No such ideas as these come from Wisdom, for Wisdom puts life in the spiritual senses: if we attach these to Wisdom, our life is in Wisdom, and as that never dies our life never dies.
Happiness is contentment, not life or death. Misery is discord, not Wisdom but error. If then you attach your life to an error, like distributing life to the body, then your life is unhappy according to the loss or disturbance.
If our happiness is from Wisdom it becomes a part of ourselves, but if it is from a belief it is adopted and we may lose it.
We often hear people say that their religion makes them happy. But if religion is anything outside of ourselves it contains neither happiness nor misery. Can any person define what he gets except that it is a belief? A belief that will make one person happy will make another miserable.
Look at any religious society and you will find that the individuals cannot agree in belief. So those who cannot agree are slaves to those whose authority they admit as their rulers.
The poor soldier who fights for the leaders sinks under the burden bound upon him. To keep up his courage the officers hold out the idea that he is fighting for a great and good cause, and a crown of glory in heaven awaits those who die upon the battlefield. This is all the happiness the privates get. So they fight to keep society from ruin while their reward is the satisfaction of fighting the devil and supporting the officers.
Reverse the tables, making the priest the soldier, and tax him to pay the former soldier for his instructions, then it would be shown how well their principle of action, which they preach to others, applies to themselves.
The minds of individuals mingle like atmospheres, and every person’s identity exists in this atmosphere. The odor ascends and contains all the passions and feelings of the natural man.
Jesus contended that He understood what He said and did, but that the prejudices of the people were so strongly in favor of His having a “power” that they could not understand when He tried to teach them that His acts and words proceeded from a Wisdom superior to their belief, and that it could be taught. To question their belief was to make Himself equal with God. In the same way when I say that I know how I cure, people say I blaspheme and make myself equal with Christ. They do not know how I cure and dislike to admit that any one else does. Consequently they strive to make my explanation as objectionable as possible.
According to my experience, mind in solution is a thing in common, which all admit contains life. Each person has his senses in this life or mind, as a globule of water in the ocean. So if a sensation is made on the water each particle is affected, and each person may locate the trouble in himself. For instance, when the idea “consumption” is called up man’s senses see the image in this mind. Fear comes and the reflection is thrown on the idea–body. . . . When sitting by a patient I feel the sensation in my mind, and immediately a figure or spirit is made which is reflected as an impression on my body. Now, if I were not aware of the cause I might think I was the author or originator of this horrid belief. But knowing that it is only the reflection from my patient’s mind, the idea dies. The wisdom that puts me in possession of this truth is Christ, the Wisdom above my patient. By this wisdom I explain the fears away and destroy the torments, and this process is a science. Is it a sin to know this and teach it for the happiness of mankind, and do I make myself equal with Christ? If I do then I will submit to the odium willingly.
Ideas are as separate as seeds. An apple seed will not produce a pear, neither will the seed or idea of consumption produce liver complaint.
[This is the ninth installment of an twelve–part series originally written and published as Chapter XIX. SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
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Today we are continuing an twelve–part serial review of Chapter 19, SCIENCE, LIFE, DEATH, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
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