October 13, 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.]

TWO SCIENCES

There are two sciences, one of this world, and the other of a spiritual world, or two effects produced upon the mind or matter by two directions. The wisdom of this world acts in this way: It puts its own construction on all sensations produced in the mind, and establishes its knowledge after the effect is produced. For in a child feels a pain in its head, the child has no idea what it is, and if the mother is as ignorant of its origin as the child no effect of any moment is produced. But the wisdom of the world arrives in the form of a lady. She hears the account of the pain from the mother, and assuming a wise look gives her opinion in regard to the trouble, and says the child is threatened with dropsy of the brain, because she shows the same symptoms of another child who died of that disease. This account excites the mother, whose mind acts upon the child. The explanation of the wise lady gives direction to the mind, and presently the work commences to show that she is right. A doctor is called who is as wise as the lady, and not being willing to be outdone by her he puts in a few extras like congestion of the brain, says the lady was right but did not get the whole of the matter. So he has two chances after the child is killed to prove his superior wisdom over the lady.
It sometimes happens that a controversy arises between the two parties, each trying to establish their own opinion so as to have the disease turn their way. In the meantime the patient is left to her own self and gets well. This is all the good result I ever saw from such a controversy. The patient is a mere tool in the hands of these blind guides who attempt to cure her. While this controversy is going on, seeing that all each party wants is to establish their own way, the mother sends for me in her dilemma. I arrive and a fire—brand is thrown in between the combatants. I contend that the child has no dropsy of the brain, but only some slight shock upon its mind, and quieting the child is all that is necessary for a cure. Here the controversy ends. If the mother employs me I prove my theory and the child gets well. If they prove theirs they kill the child, and an examination is made which establishes their theory, and I am a humbug or quack. If I take the case, and the child gets well, the child was not sick, only a little nervous.—Dec. 1859.

CHRIST AND TRUTH

Eighteen hundred years ago, while Jesus was disputing with the Pharisees upon the old scriptures, He asked the question, what do you think of Christ or this Truth? Has it a father, if so, who is be? They answer, “David,” or this truth is David’s ideas or theory. Jesus said, “If David is the father of this Christ (or theory, or ideas, or truth), why did he call it Lord, if it was his son?” Here they both admitted a truth independent of the natural man. The Pharisees believed it was the offspring of David, and therefore called it David’s son or theory. Jesus knew it was not of this world, but of God or Truth, hence that it could be reduced to a Science. This has been the rock upon which the people have split. This is the thing to decide, whether there is a knowledge independent of man, or whether it is the offspring of an organized being. Jesus called this truth the Son of God. Peter called it Christ. The people’s ignorance confounded the two together, and called it Jesus Christ. This last construction has given rise to all the religious wars and bloodshed since the Christian era. Decide this question and you shut the mouths of all the lions of the world.
Now let us look at the controversy of the two parties. This makes the two worlds, ignorance the one, and Truth or Science the other. These two powers act upon every man. One is identified with the body and a part of it. Jesus gave some of the traits of that power when He said that it is of the earthly man, and when He said, “Out of the heart proceedeth all kinds of evil thoughts.” These thoughts are matter, and are the result if error, superstition and ignorance, without any knowledge of God. Science is the opponent of the above, and as it accounts for all phenomena, ignorance is destroyed. Science has had to fight this battle with the world of error and ignorance before it could establish its standard, and take its position above the natural man. Then it is acknowledged and worshipped in spirit and in truth. Before it becomes a science it is under the law of ignorance and superstition, directed by blind guides leading the blind, through the knowledge of this world, and this wisdom Jesus calls foolishness with God (or Science). Now to separate these two, so that the wisdom of this world shall become subject to the knowledge of God, is not an easy task. Almost all who have ever tried to do so have lost their lives.
I will not go back further than John the Baptist. John saw that the time was very near when his truth or Christ was to become a science, therefore he says, “As the truth is laid at the root or foundation of their theories, every tree or supposed science that cannot stand the test of true science must be hewn down.” Therefore his belief was like water that could wash away some of their errors, but when the Truth or Holy Ghost should come than it would be reduced to a science. At this time Jesus had not received the Holy Ghost so as to explain it. Therefore He went with others to John to be baptized or hear John’s ideas, and when Jesus asked John to explain to Him, John modestly replied, “I have need to be baptized or taught of you.” Jesus declined explaining, so John then went on to tell his ideas or belief. Jesus entered into his water or belief, and understood it, and when He came out of the water, the Heavens were opened to Him alone, and the Holy Ghost descended like a dove and lit on Jesus and a voice said to Him alone, “This is my beloved Son (or Science), in whom I am well pleased.” This Science had no name till Peter gave it the name of Christ, as an answer to the question put to him by Jesus—“Whom do the people say that I, this power, am?”—Peter answered, “Some say, Moses, etc.” Jesus then said, “Whom say you that I am?”—not Jesus, as is supposed, but this power; for all the persons that Peter had named were dead, so of course Jesus did not include Himself, but His theory. Peter answered Him “Jesus, the Christ, the living God (or Science).” This Science he called Christ. Then Jesus said, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you.” It must have come from the same power that Jesus had. Therefore He said, “Upon this rock or truth I will build my church or theory, and the gates of error and superstition shall not prevail against it.” This truth or Christ is what Jesus taught. This broke the locks and bars, opened the prison doors and let the captive free from the old superstition and ignorance. By this power He healed all manner of diseases, cast out devils, established health and happiness, brought peace and good will to man.
This theory came in contact will all other theories, for there were false ones and Christ warned the people against them. He said there were false Christs and told them how to distinguish between the false and the true. Now as Jesus became popular with the people, the chief priests, and the doctors or scribes sought how to put Him down, and they tried in every way to catch Him. At one time while in the temple the chief priests and elders of the people came to ask by what authority He did these things. Jesus answered them by asking them a question which, if they answered, He would tell them how He performed His cures. The baptism of John, or his theory, was it from Heaven or of man? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we say, from Heaven, He will say, “Why then did ye not believe it?”—for they had killed John as a prophet. And so they answered, “We cannot tell.” “Neither can I tell you how I do these things.”
As it never has been explained how Jesus did these things, the people have looked upon them as miracles. But to suppose Jesus performed a miracle is to suppose Him ignorant of the power He exercised, and if so He was just as much a quack as those He condemned; for He said, when accused of curing through ignorance or Beelzebub, “If I cast out devils through Beelzebub, my theory or kingdom cannot stand, but if I do it by Science, it is not of this world, but of God, and it will stand.” Here He makes a difference between ignorance and knowledge. Again, if Jesus was ignorant of His power, and did not know how to explain it to others, why did He tell His disciples to go out in all the world and heal all manner of disease? If ignorant of what He said, and gave no explanation of His manner of curing, He was as ignorant as they. But I am certain that He knew more than His disciples could understand, and as soon as Jesus was crucified, the cures ceased to be done by a Science, but went back into the hands of priests and magicians, and have been a miracle ever since, and the Christ that prompted Jesus’ acts is not known at all. That Christ never did any doctoring, nor offered up prayers, nor creeds. It never belonged to this world, nor talked about any kind of religion. It talked itself. Itself was its life, and its life was the healing of the sick and distressed. It takes the feelings of the sick and knows their wants, and restores to them what the world has robbed them of. This is the Christ that was crucified eighteen hundred years ago. Now the only thing we hear is what was said about Him. Yet He is in the world but has no identity as a Science.—Jan. 1860.
[This is the seventh 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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