"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
October 29, 2017
[Conclusion from last week.]
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Jesus, as a man of flesh and blood, as we all are, purified his own life, received this eternal life in the name of Christ and took all our opinions that would have killed him if he had been ignorant of the truth, rose again, pure and clean from all priestcraft and superstition and then denounced the priests and doctors as the enemies of the happiness of man. Now to be a follower of Christ is to do the things that he did, but to be a believer in Christ embraces what you know nothing of, only as a belief. There is a vast difference between a belief and knowledge. Knowledge is wisdom and does not contain a belief. A belief is error or the wisdom of this world and the only way to tell them apart is to detect them by their work or fruits.
I will give you the key to heaven or science as far as correcting the errors in regard to your health is concerned so that you cannot be deceived by the errors of the world. I will give you a sign so you can tell the difference between my theory as a teacher of Christ or Science and my opinion as a man, so you shall not be deceived by false teachers, who will come and say to you, I understand; I do just as Dr. Q. does. It is all spiritualism. I can tell your feelings just as well as he can. If you know me then you will say, By your fruits I shall know you. Now if they tell you how you feel and locate disease, offering any opinion in regard to your diet or advice concerning what you shall do, if they give a name to your trouble and tell you that your feelings are the symptoms of some disease of a serious nature, thereby giving you a glimpse of a long train of troubles which you are liable, to such you can say: That is not like Dr. Q. You are known by your fruits. Now if he had been a true disciple of me, he would have taken upon himself all your feelings. These feelings are my knowledge of your trouble as they are yours, but to me they contain the true answer and when my explanation satisfies you, then your difficulty is gone and you are happy. Jesus knew that all the troubles of mankind arose from ignorance of immortality and Christ revealed to the people that man was spiritual and his unhappiness lay in a wrong belief. This belief amounted to this—that the natural world is all there is and as man required something higher to satisfy him, the spiritual world was admitted and made to contain all sorts of witches and frightful things to keep the people in subjection. So this spiritual world, as it is called, has never been investigated as a science and all revelations from it and allusions to it are steeped in mystery and superstition. Thus most of us are in this mystic land. We only know our bodies and further than that we are in the dark. Christ is that revelation, a science of the spiritual world which is a knowledge and cure of all the ills flesh is heir to.
The people are divided in two classes: followers of Christ and followers of Jesus. This is a great mistake. To illustrate the difference between Jesus and Christ, I will take myself. There are a great many persons who believe in my healing power but know nothing of the truth of it; so they make me as a man responsible for all my acts and belief in all things. Thus my private character is brought into my belief just as though I could not be a teacher of truth unless my character as a man was in harmony with the errors of the world. Now I stand before the people, judged according to my outward acts by one class and by my science by another. So if I should put on the cloak of hypocrisy and attend meetings, pay tithes and be very strict in all things pertaining to the wisdom of this world, then I am received by the wisdom of this world, but the scientific world looks upon me as a hypocrite. Jesus’ private character as a man had just about as much to do with Christ as P. P. Q. has with his cure. Jesus, as a man, knew nothing of Christ as P. P. Q., as a man, knows nothing of this wisdom or truth, but when he feels it, he speaks not as P. P. Q. but as the patient’s trouble is revealed to him. So this science in P. P. Q. takes the trouble or sins of the patient and the answer is accompanied with the feelings. Thus P. P. Q. is the medium of the truth to correct the errors of the world, just as Jesus was the medium of God or truth or Christ to convince man of his errors and lead him to Christ or health or truth. I will now give you an illustration to show where the followers are and where the disciples are.
I will take myself as a figure. Suppose that music had never been reduced to a science and I discovered that it could be taught to others and undertook to teach it. Suppose I called the science Christ, then it would be P. P. Q.’s Christ or theory. Suppose further that you should try to learn it so as to teach it; would my character as a man have anything to do with my Christ or theory? All will say, No. If I am a very good man, that has nothing to do with my science; it may make it more admired or perhaps it might make persons give more heed to what I say. Now suppose that I am as bad a man as I can be. Does that prevent me teaching my Christ or science? Now suppose the wisdom of the world sits in judgment on me; they will all admit that I play very well but I know no more about it than they do. So they say he has a power but it is of God, but I know nothing of it myself; so they put all the power in me as a man and call my name P. P. Q.’s Music. Now suppose that I am a very good man and a pattern in society, kind in my manners, possessed of every quality that belongs to a good man of this world. There are two classes: one the scientific and the other the aristocratic or ignorant. Each professes to believe in me and as they can’t agree, it is left for me to decide. So I decide in this way. All you that believe in me as a scientific musician or a Christ and understand the science shall do as I do; and all you that don’t understand but believe that I, the man P. P. Q., have a power that you acknowledge shall be called followers of me; so you undertake to follow me by acting as I do and trying to imitate my character, while those who are the disciples of my theory care nothing about my character except as a secondary thing. Of course we all would like a person that is amiable and pleasant if he is a teacher of any science, but it is not absolutely necessary that he be a good or a bad one. Now as far as Jesus stands, I for one, do not pretend to be or not to be a disciple of Jesus, for I let my life and acts as a man speak for themselves. I do not pin my belief on Jesus’ character nor care anything about it, any more than he did himself. Like all other men who are willing to be judged by their acts, he let his character speak for itself. It was the Christ that Jesus was proud of; so all men ought to be proud of any science that would make the world wiser and better. I believe the same, so I profess to be a disciple of Christ, not of Jesus or the man. I let my man speak for himself, but I believe in Christ and put Him in practice on all those who live in this world of misery without this science or truth. So all my prayers are offered up to Christ, not to Jesus. The world prays to Jesus but Jesus prayed to God to forgive them or teach them for they knew not what they prayed to.
Now this Christ is in this element of love or sympathy that contains no error but is pure love that will wash away all error that chances to get into it. It knows no evil, it sees no wrong, and in itself it is perfect harmony and attraction. It contains our senses. So it is, as it were, our life and all that is good and harmonious. It seeks the wisdom of this world of error as a person seeks gold to purify the gold from the dross. Its happiness is the developing of God’s love or science. It analyzes all misery and trouble to liberate the soul that is bound in this world of error.
What was it that Jesus wanted to communicate to the world? One simple fact that man was a progressive being, that his happiness and misery were of his own make, that his belief is his wisdom and if it is founded on an opinion, it was liable to make him unhappy. To separate the truth from the error is a science, the knowledge of which teaches how to correct an error or disease and in this knowledge is eternal life. Jesus never intended to teach the people a belief in another world. His words and acts showed them that their beliefs were false and that they were the cause of their misery. But this they could not understand, and being in their belief, their belief became a part of their identity. As they were taught to believe in spirits, their misery was attributed to them. And as error begets error, the people were tormented by their own belief. It never entered into the minds of these blind leaders that as a man sows, so shall he reap, for action and reaction are equal.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: Spiritualism (Death of the Natural Man)
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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond is the ultimate reference source for historically accurate information of this nineteenth–century clockmaker turned metaphysical teacher and healer. Including the Missing Works of P. P. Quimby; based on new and independent research by the editor, the present volume surpasses all previously published “complete” compilations of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby’s writings in size, scope and historical accuracy. Published by the Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center.
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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.
Wood, along with Horatio W. Dresser, was one of two New Thought authors specifically singled out for praise by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Here is what James had to say about New Thought, known at the time as “mind cure”:
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.
The present volume is based on a long series of weekly columns commenting on Wood’s thought over the course of ten books. It includes the Suggestions and Meditations from Wood’s flagship work, Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, and the Suggestive Lessons from The New Thought Simplified.
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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 we are concluding our current featured article Spiritual Interpretation that begins on page 526 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. If you missed the first installment, it may be read here.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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