"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
September 11, 2016
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
How can a person learn to cure the sick? As a pupil in mathematics learns to work out a problem. Every word is supposed to have a meaning. Now words are like nuts. Some are full, some partially full and some are empty. The food or wisdom is in the word, and if the word contains no wisdom, then it is like husks or froth; it fails to satisfy the desire of the person who seeks the substance.
Natural food is to satisfy the natural man and spiritual food or wisdom is to satisfy the inner or scientific man. The child before it begins to know is a blank. It falls into the hands of the natural man and is fed by natural food, while its spiritual food is opinions expressed in words. Therefore, as I said, words contain more or less truth; all are not full and some are empty. But when a person speaks a word that conveys the real substance and applies it to the thing spoken of, that is what is called the bread of Life and he neither hungers nor thirsts for wisdom in regard to that.
The sick have been deceived by false words and have fed on food that contained no wisdom. Hungry and thirsty they apply to strangers for food; they ask for health or the bread of life and the natural man taking bread as a natural substance brings bread to them, but their state or mind does not hunger for natural food, therefore to them is a stone. There is a bread of which, if a man eat, he is filled. This bread is Christ or Science. It is the body of Christ. Jesus said, “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life. For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed.” The Jews of his day were like the scholars of the present day. Bread is bread, blood is blood and they said, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? They do not understand that wisdom is a body and that opinion is a shadow. The natural man's belief is his body and to eat and drink the world's wisdom is to eat condemnation or disease.
Now I will illustrate a cure. I sit down by a sick person and you also sit down. I feel her trouble and the state of her mind and find her faint and weary for the want of wisdom. I tell her what she calls this feeling that troubles her and knowing her trouble my words contain food that you know not of. My words are words of wisdom and they strengthen her, while if you should speak the same words and the sound should fall on the natural ear precisely as mine do, they are only empty sounds and the sick derive no nourishment from them.
I will describe this food that you may taste it and be wiser for your meal. In order to prove that food satisfies a person's hunger I must find a person who is hungry, and in order to prove that my words satisfy the sick I must take one who hungers and thirsts for the bread of life or health. The lady I have now in my mind felt an uneasy feeling as though she was hungry. Being weak and faint from exhaustion, she applied to a physician for food to satisfy her desire, for she was famished for the want of wisdom in regard to her trouble. Instead of giving her wisdom that would have satisfied her, he in his ignorance gave her these words full of poison. “Your trouble is a cancer in the breast.” As she received these words she grew more faint and exhausted till she became sick at her stomach. She ate of this poisonous food till the seeds of misery began to agitate the matter; the idea began to form and a bunch appeared on the breast. As she attached the name cancer to the bunch, the name and the bunch became one body. The physician's words contained the poison, the poison produced the bunch. Their ignorance associated the name with the bunch and called it cancer.
I was called to see the lady and being perfectly ignorant of her trouble, I felt the faint hungry feeling; and as I felt the effect of the doctor's food or opinion on her, I said the food that you eat does not nourish you, it gives you pain in the heart. This I said in reference to the way she reasoned in regard to her trouble. How do you know, she said. I told her then that she thought her trouble was a cancer and she admitted that it was so. I then told her that she had no cancer except what she made herself. I admit the swelling said I, but it is of your own make. You received the seed from the doctor and he prepared the mind or matter for its growth, but the fruit is the work of the medical faculty.
Let us see how much of the idea cancer exists in truth. The name existed before the bunch, then the bunch before it appeared must have been in the mind, for it was not in sight when the word was first applied to it or when you were first told that you had one. You know that you can be affected by another mind? “Certainly,” she said. I wish to show you, said I, that every phenomenon that takes form in the human body is first conceived in the mind. Some sensation is felt which we cannot account for; we then conjure up some idea which we create into a belief; it is soon condensed into a form and a name given to it. Thus every phenomenon taking the name of disease is a pattern of some false idea started without the least foundation in truth. Now this bunch I call a phenomenon, for I cannot call it a cancer because if I do, I admit a thing outside the mind.
The senses are the man independent of flesh. That is one thing; the word cancer is another. Now I want to find the matter that the word is applied to. To say a thing exists and to prove its existence are two different things. If any doctor will tell me where that cancer was before it was in sight, I will ask him how he knows. Let him say it was in the blood, that the state of the blood indicates the presence of cancerous humor. Now do you deny that I told you your feelings? Certainly not, she says. Then have I a cancerous humor? No, then there is no wisdom in that argument.
Again he never knew you had an ill feeling till you told him. Then where did he get his knowledge? Not from you, for you never thought of a cancer. It must have been from what you said about your pain. Suppose I had said that I felt these same pains and you had kept your peace; then according to his theory, I must have a cancerous humor. Now I know that I have no humor nor had I an idea or pain till I sat by you; therefore his story of a cancer is a lie made out of the whole cloth without the least shadow of truth. It is like stories of Sinbad the Sailor or some other fable that have no existence in truth. Then you will say, What is this bunch? It is a bunch of solid matter, not a ghost or any invisible thing, but it was made by yourself and no one else. I will tell you how you made it. You will remember I spoke of your having a heat. This heat contained no good or ill but it was a mere decomposition of the body, brought about by some little excitement.
It troubled you for you say your dress fretted the parts. Then your superstitious fears of disease began to haunt you in your sleep creating an action in the part of your breast where the error had made a stand till finally you called on the doctor and got his opinion of what he knew nothing. You commenced then to form the idea till at last you excited the muscles to such an extent that the bunch has appeared. If now I have proved the cure, I have affected it and the bunch will disappear. Do you wish to know why? Yes. Have I not explained that the doctor's theory is based on a lie? Yes. Can the effect remain when the cause is removed? I presume not. How do you feel? I feel easy. How do you feel in regard to your trouble and in regard to what I have said? I think you are right and that it looks more reasonable than the doctor's story. Then your senses have left his opinion and have come to my wisdom. This is the new birth. You have risen from the dead if you are free from the doctor's ideas. This truth has destroyed death and brought life and health through science. Now I say unto you, Take up your bed or this truth and go your way. And when the night of error comes, spread out the garment of wisdom that enfolded Jesus and wrap yourself in its folds or truth till the sun of life shall shine in upon your body or truth and you rise free from the evils of the old belief.
Most persons think that all who heal by the profession of some admitted power in man, are to be classified together and so they put Dr. Quimby in with the rest and whatever honor they render to him as superior and intelligent and respectable, they reason belongs to the whole of the before mentioned class, regardless of his assertions to the contrary. We believe in the right of every man to be heard in explaining his position, but when a man has anything new to offer of course he meets with opposition. When Dr. Quimby’s voice shall be heard respecting himself, it will be seen that he is not a Spiritualist, nor a mesmerizer, nor a clairvoyant, nor a healing medium, nor a deceiver of any kind, nor under anything that the most scrupulous aristocrat would object to being himself, that he is an honest and sensible man coming to the sick with a way of curing entirely new, and which in point of intelligence the educated and scientific man would not fail to respect.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: How Dr. Quimby Cures II
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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’s featured article is How Can a Person Learn to Cure the Sick? that begins on page 301 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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