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.]
WHAT IS MY THEORY?
The question is often asked, if I am a spiritualist. My answer is that I am not, after the manner of the Rochester rappings, but I am a believer in the spirits of the living. Here seems to be a difference of opinion. The common opinion of the people in regard to the dead I have no sympathy with, from the fact that their belief is founded on an opinion which I know is false; yet I believe them honest but misled for the want of some better explanation of the phenomenon. We see men, women, and children walking around, by and by they pass away from us, and their bodies are laid in the earth. We look on the scene and pause. A cold icy sensation passes through our frame. We weep from our ignorance. We have seen the matter in a form moving about as though it contained life. Now it lies, cold and clammy, and our hope is cut off. Perhaps it is a son or daughter, in whom we have had hopes, raised to the highest extreme, of seeing them stand before the world, loved and respected for their worth, now gone forever. Doubts and fears take possession of our minds. We want to believe that they will know us, and in this state of mind, we often ask this lump of clay if it does know us, but no answer returns, we weep and repeat the question. No answer comes, and in a convulsive state of mind we leave and retire to some lonely spot to pour out our grief. Some kind friend tries to console us by telling us that our friend is not dead, but still lives; by talking what they have no knowledge of, only a desire that it may be so.
Their sympathy and ignorance mingle in a belief, and we try to believe it. This is the state of the people in regard to the dead. Their belief arises from the necessity of the case, but it keeps them in ignorance of themselves, and all their life subject to bondage.
Now where do I differ from all this belief? In every respect. My belief is my knowledge, my knowledge is my practice, and my practice gives the lie to all my former belief. I believed as all others did, but my theory and practice were at variance with each other. I therefore abandoned all my former beliefs, as they came in contact with my practice, and at last followed the dictates of the impressions made on me by my patients. In this way I got rid of the errors of the world and found an answer to all my former opinions. These former opinions embraced all sorts of disease, and ideas that contained error, disease and unhappiness, which led to death. The unravelling of my old opinions gave me knowledge of myself, and happiness the world knew nothing of, and this knowledge I found could be taught to others. It teaches man that he is not in the body, but outside of it, as much as the power is outside of a lever; and the body is to the soul as the steam engine is to the engineer a medium without knowledge or power, only as it is given by something independent of itself.—Jan. 1860.
Clairvoyance is a state of existence independent of the natural senses or the body, which has no matter nor reason, but is perfect knowledge. Thought—reading is a lower order connected with mind, but superior to the natural man. This state is what would be called spiritualism, and contains the knowledge and reasoning of this world. Clairvoyance is a higher state entirely disconnected with the natural man, but can communicate information through him while in a dreamy or mesmeric state which the company cannot know. This principle is in every man.1 The understanding of it is eternal life. This eternal life was in Jesus, and was Christ. It has manifested itself in various forms in all ages of the world, whenever Science has been discovered. This ignorance of the world with regard to this higher state of knowledge looks upon the manifestions of the thought—reading state as the highest development of man. This state dies and the clairvoyant state rises from the dead. It is all that is left. It can act on mind. It has an identity, and never knew of its beginning nor ending. It is all the intelligence in man.2
1 That is, without mediumship, spiritism, etc.
2 Man’s true intelligence or intuition.
The identity of woman’s soul can be compared to a fire, which throws an equal heat on all around. This heat is pure love, containing no knowledge, no selfishness, but is like the love of a mother for her child. This love is little understood, and causes doubts and questionings. It is an element of itself, containing no matter and asks nothing in return. Ignorance and superstition put false construction on this love, and think intelligence is contained in it. Its language is itself. It speaks not as man speaks, for it contains no error. It answers our inquiry by an impression which cannot be misunderstood, if man knows himself. This love is what leads man to truth. When I speak of man, I speak of the errors and ignorance of the world, and the heat that arises from this error contains the character of its author. When these two elements meet, which I will call man and woman, then comes the temptation, and as love never makes war for gain, it knows no evil. As error contains selfishness, dishonesty, jealousy, and disease, it cannot see truth or love in any element differing from its own, it therefore judges others by its own standard. This element, when excited by love to lead us to truth contains all kinds of disease and error. All mankind embrace both elements, and the separation is the resurrection from error into truth. As we learn the truth, we discard the error. True knowledge is in true love. False knowledge is in error. As God is in the former, He contains no matter. As man is the latter, he is made up of truth and error. Now as there is a gradual progression from error to Wisdom, our identities act in the two elements of pure and combined love; for man has two elements, and is subject to the one which he obeys. The question arises, Are these elements capable of separation? I answer, yes, by the mother for her infant, but not understandingly. She was a law to herself, and did the things contained in the law, without a knowledge of that law.—Dec. 1859.
[This is the fourth 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.]
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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.
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