October 23, 2016

Science

Third and Final Installment

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

This separation was his religion, for vice and passion were the inventions of man. It was a sort of appetite and made the people brutish. I will not say brutish for that is a stain on God or goodness, for the brutes act as they were intended to and to compare them to man, who debases himself below the brute, is a stain on the noble character of the horse, for instance. I have seen a thing driving a horse who looked more out of place than he would if he were in the hills, and the horse had the reigns. This sort of intellect, which is made up of the lowest passions of men, is as much beneath the brute as the hawk is beneath the dove. These two characters make up man. One is ignorance, superstition and all kinds of passion, to gratify the lusts of a low, contemptible mind which cannot see honesty in anything except as a restraint upon the appetites; so he looks upon all restraints as burdens and oppressions. This is the wisdom of this world. This wisdom has always been in the ascendancy. It has been the enemy of truth or science. So when any new development of truth comes up, this brutal intellect catches the seed or idea and puts a low construction on the acts. This causes the war of error to see which should get the mastery. Science comes as a natural result of the quarrel, for the truth never makes war for anything; all the fighting is done by ignorance and superstition.

Now as I have already said, the beasts were made perfect as they were intended to be; no change is visible in each succeeding generation. The combination of the natural brute is perfect. But it does not contain science or wisdom. Man, that being who is called the noblest work of God, has a higher development and shows that there is something outside of matter that can control matter. This something is what the world has always been looking for. It is not in the beasts, for it is not life and that the beasts have; nor is it reason, for the beasts have that; nor is it passion, nor is it love nor temper, for all of these the beasts have. Then what is it that makes man above the beasts? Science or revelation from a spiritual world, higher than the natural world. And this wisdom or science is, like all other wisdom or science, progression. Although it is in the beastly man, in some it is never developed, yet in others it has.

Wisdom or science makes the distinction in man by this figure: man is of the earth and is earthy or brutal; yet in him, like the grain of mustard seed, was this science in the form of a rib or this higher power and the science called it woman. And this woman or wisdom is to lead man or ignorance to truth and happiness. Now, neither the woman nor the man had any science, so you see that the man, like the beast, was willing to live under restriction, as all other animals did; for God placed all other animals under the law of might. But it was not so with the rib. The rib saw farther ahead than the beast; it had more sagacity and, like the serpent, said to it, Here is a tree or knowledge of good and evil or judge of right and wrong, and if you eat it or investigate, you shall be like the father of it, more than the brute. Here you see the true character of wisdom. It shrinks not from investigating, although it is unpopular and has the whole world to contend with. It fights its way regardless of danger. So it ate or investigated whatever it saw.

Now I will suppose the tree. All theories are called trees. John says every tree that beareth not good fruit shall be hewn down. In this sense, a tree means anything that man wants to investigate. You must go back to Adam and Eve or to a little child, as Jesus said when he undertook to explain the same idea. So of course it had no reference to man and woman as we see them now but to the development of knowledge above the brute. So he takes man and woman as figures of truth and error and shows that the mind of woman is better calculated to receive seed or investigate than man. They have more endurance and have more patience to investigate any new science than man, but their wisdom is not of this world but of that higher power called science. When they give their idea to man, he then eats or understands and then goes to work to form the idea that has been given to him by the woman. It has always been the case that all spiritual wisdom has been received through the female. The oracle of Delphi was a woman. As men's minds are more brutal and less scientific or spiritual, they never believe till they can see with the natural man's eyes. To them science is shadow. Now as man is of matter and his thoughts are a part of himself, he lives on his ideas and forms all of his plans in matter and carries them out in matter; thus the natural man knows nothing above matter. The spiritual man, or the woman, is not of matter and sees all the changes of matter. These two characters are in every man and the way they can be distinguished is by the answer. If the answer is true, it can be shown; if the person has the wisdom of science, and if the answer is to be proved by an opinion of the person or others, it is of this world and is of no force, if true.

Paul, in trying to separate this wisdom from the natural world, called it charity and said, Though I speak with the tongues of angels and have not science or charity, it is of no force; the world is no wiser. And though I have the gift of turning tables and everything else upside down and have all faith that it is of God or spirits but have no knowledge or science, it amounts to nothing. And though I give all my goods to the poor to establish this science and even go as far as John Brown did to establish his opinion in regard to slavery, there was a truth in it, but his act was governed by an opinion; and although he might be honest, as I have no doubt he was, yet it all amounts to nothing, for it does not embrace charity or wisdom. And this has been the way with all fanatics. Although they may be honest and give all they have and at last sacrifice their lives, it is only their opinion of a science that they worship; the science they know not of. Science or charity does not act in that way. Science suffers long before it becomes a fact. It envieth not other science, it praiseth not self, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not over trouble but rejoiceth in the truth. Science never fails but prophesies. The knowledge of this world fails but science never fails.

July 1860


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, October 23, 2016

For opinions of popular quacks are law and gospel about blindness, and so long as the blind lead the blind, they will both be in the ditch. Thirdly, you ask me if I can cure anyone from using intoxicating liquors. This is a hard question to answer, for it involves considerable. If you drink it is not my business; neither is it yours if I drink, for neither can set up a standard to judge the other by. I judge no man. Judgment belongs to God or Science and that judges right, for it contains no opinion. Giving an opinion is setting up a standard to judge your neighbor by, and this is not doing as you would be done by. The true science judges in this way. If you are sick and come to me, if I tell you how you feel, this is doing as you would like to be done by; there is no discord. Now you come to me, a criminal or debtor, accused of disobeying some opinion of man which you will not accept and worship. You are accused, condemned, and cast into prison; your punishment is your feelings.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Article: Letter to Mr. A. A. Atwood

Printed Page: 113; Kindle Location: 3756

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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.

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The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)

On the same page, James, after describing “a good deal of the mind-cure literature” as “so moonstruck with optimism and so vaguely expressed that an academically trained intellect finds it almost impossible to read it at all”, states in a footnote that he considers Horatio W. Dresser and Henry Wood “far and away the ablest of the group” of mind-cure authors.

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Editor’s Corner

We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?

Today’s featured article is Science that begins on page 494 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This is the third and final installment. If you missed last week's installment, you may read it here.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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