October 25, 2015
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Most all believed in a resurrection of the dead, but it was at the end of the world. This idea Christ opposed by correcting Martha when she said to him, “If thou hadst been here our brother would not have died.” Christ answered her by saying, Thy brother shall rise again. She replied that she knew he would rise again at the last day, at the resurrection, showing that she believed in a resurrection at the end of the world. But did Christ sanction this belief? No, he said, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me shall never die. Now where did Christ's belief differ from the rest of the people? In this: He knew what the people's belief was concerning a resurrection; they believed that the dead would rise again; he knew that there was no such state as death, but man continues along and is just what he makes himself. Now here was a difference of opinion. Their opinion embraced all of the errors of the Egyptian darkness. It embraced a belief in a located heaven and hell; it also embraced a devil and evil spirits which were let loose in the world to torment man. It also embraced the belief in disease and all its bad effects; besides these exist hundreds of other beliefs which affect the people.
This was the state of the world when Christ commenced his reform, and this was what he had to contend with. These beliefs were called yokes and the priests and rulers would not lift their finger to lighten their burdens. Therefore Christ said to the people, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.
Now what was Christ's yoke? It was his belief and the burden was truth and truth condemned all these errors; therefore to take his yoke upon them, the burden would be in proportion to the yoke. Therefore if they believed in Christ, they would throw off the Egyptian yoke or burden and all. Now the burden borne by the yoke or belief was their opinions in regard to a located heaven or hell. This belief Christ opposed and tried to convince the people that these places were states of the mind and that there was no such a being as a devil, independent of the person affected.
Take mankind as they are, believing some in good, some in bad spirits and some in none at all and it is not strange that any excitement produced by the development of the mind should disturb mankind. If the people would settle down on some belief on which they could agree, in a short time they would not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine; but I shall take the world as it is and show that all of these developments are the effect of the mind and have nothing to do with the dead. I will admit all that is claimed by the spiritualists but must differ with them in their explanation of the facts. Where does the idea arise that it is the spirits of the dead, from what is said while in this trance? The medium when aroused from the trance remembers nothing of what he has been saying. When asked by someone of the company if he was conscious of what he had been doing, his answer is No. The company are then left to argue the subject and then adopt a belief.
This arouses all their prejudices in regard to spirits of the dead and at last leave the scene just about as their former beliefs were. This is the same in regard to mesmeric experiments. The medium's belief is founded on his friend's opinion and his friend's opinion is founded on what he said in an unconscious state. This state is produced in various ways. The oracle of Delphi is an example. The shepherds while watching their sheep discovered that they would go to a certain place and hold their heads over a chasm in a rock from whence issued forth a sort of vapor, this would make them spring, jump and cut all manner of capers. This fact was made known to the priests, who took advantage of it and erected a house over the chasm and also placed a stool perforated with holes over the chasm on which the medium was placed. The vapor would rise and the medium would be convulsed and at last fall into an unconscious state and then foretell future events. This was believed by the people to come from the spiritual world. All persons know that there are certain people affected by religious excitement and will go into a trance, but very few believe that they get any knowledge from the spiritual world.
[To be continued next week.]
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, October 25, 2015
This is my theory. Mind is matter or the medium of wisdom and has no more wisdom in it than iron or brass. It is a material for wisdom and error to manufacture into any idea that comes up. So mind, being the material called man, is a shadow or machine whose owner cannot be seen, like a corporation. You see the building and the laborers and the machine but the corporation you cannot see. In like manner, you see the machine called man but the owner is out of sight and never can be seen by the shadow, but it is all that contains what is called man. Now when the machine gets out of order, I tell him, not the machine where the trouble is and convince him of the fact; then we (not the machine) go to work to repair the damage. I have been twenty years repairing these old machines and have never called to my aid spirits, mediums nor any of those agencies I have mentioned. I appeal to the owner of the body or machine, and if he has not sense enough to understand what to do, I have to do it myself.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
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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 Spiritualism [II], begins on page 530 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into six installments. This is the second part. If you missed last week’s newsletter, you may read it here.
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