[The articles published under this head constitute Vol. I of the Quimby writings. They are published here in the order in which they were copiedfrom 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.
One of the copybooks containing these studies has emendations in pencil, made under Quimby's directions by Miss Sarah Ware, in preparation for a book. The following introductory note by Dr. Quimby is written on the page opposite the first article. It is given here wordfor word as written.]
It will be necessary to give the reader some idea of what suggested the following article, headed Mind is Spiritual Matter. I found that by the power of my own mind I could change the mind of my patient and produce a chemical change in the body, like dissolving a tumor. Now the word mind is not the substance, only the name of the substance that can be changed. The world makes mind intelligence, i.e., direction. I put no intelligence in it, but make it subject to intelligence. The word fire, for instance, doesn't mean the substance to be consumed but the process of consuming it. So mind is the name of a spiritual substance that can be changed. We speak of a cold fire or a hot fire, yet we do not mean that the fire itself is cold or hot, only that we make it hotter or colder; yet it is fire, subject to our direction. Wisdom I do not use in this piece. I call the power that governs mind, spirit. But you will see that I recognize a Wisdom superior to the word mind, for I always apply the word mind to matter, but never apply it to the First Cause.
Mind is Spiritual Matter
Thought is also matter, but not the same matter, any more than the earth is the same matter as the seed which is put into it. Thought like the seed germinates and comes forth, like the tree, in the form of an idea. It then waits like the fruit to be eaten. Curiosity is excited and wants to be gratified; it tastes and then inquires; the answer comes and the spirit is affected in proportion to the answer. Illustration: A thought is sown in the mind while asleep or ignorant, it grows and comes forth. The curiosity tastes; it produces a strange sensation in the throat. The spirit inquires, the answer comes, Bronchitis. The spirit is disturbed and tries to rid itself of its enemy. This disturbance is the effect called disease. Now if no name had been given or fears excited, the idea or tree would have died of itself. - Oct. 1859.
What is Disease
Disease is what follows the disturbance of the mind or spiritual matter. When I speak of disease I do not mean to confine the word to any particular phenomenon or disturbance of the mind, but that mind is disturbed like the soil of the earth ready to receive the seed. This disturbance contains no knowledge or thought, any more than a house on fire which disturbs the inmates or spirits, who flee out, not knowing the cause. It embraces mind without truth or error, like weight set in motion without direction.
Weight like mind could never set itself in motion, but being set in motion it is called mechanical power. So is mind set in motion spiritual power. Both are governed by laws of truth or error, the fruit shows which of the two powers governs. If it is directed by the wisdom of God no bad results can follow, but if directed by error and ignorance, as ignorance is the enemy to truth, the truth will show which governs. As there is no knowledge in error, it sometimes happens that some results follow, as it did in the case of selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites. They, it is said, meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Truth does not work in that way (that is, by accident). Truth works by laws, like mathematics;–error like chance.
The answer may come right, or may come wrong (in error) either way it contains no law by which the world is wiser. Ignorance is its life and truth its death. So by error comes disease or death. But by the destruction of error comes the introduction of Truth or Science, or health; and as error is matter or mind, it is the instrument of its own destruction. The matter is not annihilated, but the opinion is.
The combination which shows itself in persons in the form of an opinion, indicates its character by a peculiar show of wisdom superior to its followers, and when disturbed by Wisdom or Truth, it dies, but when not opposed, its opinions are sown into the minds of others, like seed in the ground, which comes forth in some form.
This form which follows the disturbance of the mind the doctors call disease. Here is where all the error lies; they take the effect for the cause. We confound the error and truth together; we take an opinion for a truth. This is an error, for what we know we have no opinion of. Knowledge is the destruction of an opinion or disease. Disease is what follows an opinion, it is made up of mind directed by error, and Truth is the destruction of this opinion.
These ideas, and hundreds of others, have been given to explain the effect of the mind. All admit the mind one thing and disease another. This theory that mind is one thing and disease another, has left the people in darkness, and caused more misery than all other evils put together. It has always been admitted that a theory that cannot be put in practice is not good.
Mind is a spiritual matter which, being agitated, disturbs the spirit. This disturbance contains no knowledge of itself, but produces a chemical change in the fluids of the system. These disturbances may be produced in various ways, for instance, by a shock on the mind, by the death of a friend, or by religious excitement, witchcraft, etc. All of the above contain what is called knowledge, which is communicated to the spirit and sets it to work to form disease, after the form the spirit gives the mind. The mind being the matter under the control of the spirit, is capable of producing any phenomenon. - Oct. 1859.
How Does the Mind Produce Disease?
I will give the symptoms of a person who called on me to be examined. The upper part of his body above his hips felt so large that his legs were not strong enough to carry the weight, therefore he complained of weakness in his knees. This idea of weakness was in his mind, for there never was any strength or knowledge in his knees of themselves, any more than there is power in a lever of itself. If the lever, or legs, had to create its own power his body would never move. Therefore, if his body ever moved, it must be by some power independent of his knees or legs. There is such a thing as pressure, but pressure is not power, for it contains motion and motion is another element.
These two elements together we call mechanical power, so mind agitated is called spiritual power. Neither matter nor mind contains any knowledge. As this man's mind was in a state in which it contained motion or error, (for error is motion, not knowledge), it was not all pressure. As health is the enjoyment of all our faculties, any foreign substance trigs the wheels so as to retard the motion, so error trigs the mind or retards the motion. This was the state of this man's body. To put this man in full possession of his faculties is to remove the burden that binds him down. These burdens are the effect of error having control of the mind. These errors are made of mind or matter first formed into an opinion, then comes reason, then comes disease or death, accompanied by all the misery the idea contains. - Oct. 1859.
Mind is Not Intelligence
Intelligence contains no thought, nor opinion or reason. Mind contains them all. Disease is the offspring of the mind, not of intelligence. All the above is the result of a chemical change, to bring about and develop some scientific law that will put man in possession of a knowledge of himself, so that he will avoid the evils which man [through his ignorance] is to.
Thoughts are like electric sparks. Knowledge classifies and arranges them in a language nearer itself so as to use them for a medium with which to communicate an idea to another. This is the state of all men. Under this state of mind all the laws of science have been developed. Every day brings to light some new idea not yet developed, but bursting forth to the natural world. During this process, the mind undergoes very powerful changes which affect the body, even to the destruction of the same. But this destruction contains no wisdom, it is only the destruction of the idea. The effect still agitates the mind till its end is accomplished. Then the mind returns to its quiet state, and the law is understood.
While all this is going on, as in all sciences, ideas come forth and the minds are affected, and try for the prize; for instance, the idea of navigating the air. All minds are excited. Experiments are tried; accidents, as they are called happen, and lives are lost to this world of error. But that which governs life cannot be lost, but must mingle in with the idea of progression - not losing its identity. What man loses in weight or matter, he makes up in science or knowledge. Therefore, accidents as they are called must happen, and we say, woe to them that are affected; it would have been better, as we think, if they had never been born. This would be true, if it were the erd of their existence. Now as these laws develop themselves, is the trouble in the laws or in ourselves? Accidents are the errors or diseases. Correcting these errors and establishing the Truth or Science is curing the disease or establishing the law.
I have said that when any new idea comes up a class of persons enter into the investigation of it, but very few are ever able to put the idea into practice, or get the prize, though most all can understand something of the theory. There is a vast difference between talking a theory, and talking about a theory. Talking about a theory is like talking about a science we do not understand; it contains no wisdom. Wisdom contains no opinion or selfishness; and, like charity, has no ill will towards its neighbor, but like the rays of the sun, is always ready to impart heat to all who will come to the light.
To cure a disease is to understand the law by which that disease was produced. To make it more plain, I will suppose a case. In supposing a case the person you address must suppose himself perfectly well. Now as thoughts contain a substance set in motion by error to form an idea, this substance acts upon another like a galvanic battery, and keeps up a deposit of thought till the idea is formed in the mind. These thoughts may arise from different causes. I will select one. Suppose you become acquainted with a person, the first impression is a shock from his mind, this shock is kept up till an idea is formed in your mind. The motive or disease is in the idea of the person from whom you receive the shock. To you it contains no knowledge. You receive it as a sweet morsel that you can roll under your tongue. You nurse and foster it in your breast till it becomes a part of yourself. You form a strong attachment for it, and as it contains the character of this father, you become attached to the author. When the idea becomes developed and you find what it contains, you see you have been fostering a viper, that will sting you to the heart. Grief, passion, fear and love, take possession of your mind; reason enters into the combination, and a warfare commences. Hatred takes the place of love, truth the place of ignorance, firmness takes the place of weakness, and a battle ensues. As truth works through this error or disease, wisdom and happiness take its place, the evil is cast out, the author or idea is despised, and the mind is changed. You see the author or idea is despised, and the mind is changed. You see the deception. Your knowledge is the emancipation of the error, and all that followed it, the Truth sets you free and happy, which is the cure.
Now sensations can be learned [* footnote 1] before they affect the body or produce disease, so that they [will] fall harmless at your feet. It is necessary that all persons have a teacher, till they can teach themselves. The question then arises, How can a person believe in one whom he has never heard, and how can he learn without a teacher, and how can one teach without he is sent? –Nov. 1859.
Is the Curing of Disease a Science?
I answer, yes. You may ask, Who is the founder of that Science? I answer, Jesus Christ. Then comes the question, What proof have you that it is a science? Because Christ healed the sick, that of itself is no proof that He knew what He was doing. I answer, If it was done, it must have been done by some law or science, for there can be no such thing as accident with God, and if Christ was God, He did know what He was doing. When He was accused of curing disease through Beelzebub or ignorance, He said, "If I cast out devils or diseases through Beelzebub or ignorance, my kingdom or science cannot stand; but if I cast out devils or disease through a science or law, then my kingdom or law will stand, for it is not of this world." When others cast out disease, they cured by ignorance or Beelzebub, and there was no science in their cures, although an effect was produced; but not knowing the cause the world was none the wiser for their cures.
At another time when told by His disciples that they saw persons curing or casting out devils in His name, and forbade them, He said, "They that are with us are not against us, but they that are not with us, or are ignorant of the laws of curing, scattereth abroad, for the world is none the wiser." Here, you see, He makes a difference between His mode of curing and theirs. If Christ's cures were done by the power of God, and Christ was God, He must have known what that power or science was, and if He did, He knew the difference between His science and their ignorance.
His Science was His Kingdom therefore it was not of this world, and theirs being of this world, He called it the kingdom of darkness. To enter into Christ's Kingdom or Science, was to enter into the laws or knowledge of curing the evils of this world of darkness. As disease is an evil, it is of this world, and is in this kingdom of darkness. To separate one world from the other, is to separate the truth from the error, and as error is death and truth is life, the resurrection of one is the destruction of the other. [* footnote 2] –Nov. 1859.
Is Disease a Belief?
I answer it is, for an individual is td himself just what he thinks he is, and he is in his belief sick. If I believe I am sick, I am sick, for my feelings are my sickness, and my sickness is my belief, and my belief is my mind. Therefore all disease is in the mind or belief. Now as our belief or disease is made up of ideas, which are [spiritual] matter, it is necessary to know what beliefs we are in; for to cure the disease is to correct the error, and as disease is what follows the error, destroy the cause, and the effect will cease. How can this be done? By a knowledge of the law of harmony. To illustrate this law of harmony I must take some law that you will admit. I will take the law of mathematics. You hear of a mathematical problem, you wish to solve it; the answer is in the problem, the error is in it, the happiness and misery are also in it. Your error is the cause of your sickness or trouble. Now to cure your sickness or trouble, is to correct the error. If you knew the real state of things, you would not call on a person who knows no more than you do, if you knew that fact. Nov. 1859.
Life and Disease
True life is health, knowledge, and happiness. Death is disease, error, misery and pain; all in this belief. Each of the above is called our knowledge, and to believe in one is to disbelieve in the other, for our life is in our belief. Death is the destruction of the one, and the life of the other, or the disbelief of the one, and the belief of the other. Christ came to destroy death or belief, and bring life and immortality to light, and this life or belief was in Christ. They that lost their life or belief for his sake should find it. Upon this rock I build my faith, and the gates of death cannot change me. Now your life is in your belief, and you are known by the fruits. As I impart my Truth to you, it is your life or health. As you receive my life you die to your own.
My life in you grows to a truth and this is your health or happiness. Nov. 1859
What is disease? It is what follows the effect of a false direction given to the mind or spiritual matter. The body is composed of matter, not mind, but when agitated, that part which is called heat, and is thrown off, is mind or spirit. It is not intelligence, but a medium to be used according to the direction given it, by a power independent of itself,--like that direction given to mechanical power. The effect of this direction (call it what you please) on the body, is to destroy itself, for its life is its own destruction. - Dec. 1859.
Love, part I
What is the strongest feeling in man or woman? Love for the sake of love for others. For this love they will lay down their lives, when directed by knowledge, for no passion can follow true love. What makes what is called animal passion? Ignorance of ourselves, not understanding the truth. Love contains no fear; ignorance puts a false construction on love. Here lies all the trouble. Love and ignorance are the mother and father of all error or disease. Now to know ourselves is to know the truth of this problem. Love is an element of itself, without any form; it has no length or breadth, or height or depth; it neither comes nor goes, it fills all space, and melts all error down that comes within its power. Its power is its heat, its heat is its love, it is heaven. For this love Christ laid down His animal life or passions for mankind, that they might understand themselves and be saved from the endless hell of misery that follows our ignorance of this power or love. On these two powers, love and ignorance, hang all the law and the prophets. The gospel is love, the law is error; therefore when you are under the law, you become subject to the laws and penalties. When you are freed from that law, it has no power over you. This law of love is that love in mankind that is working in us or our error to bring us to truth and set us free from the law of sin or death. The laws of love are the destruction of the laws of error, and they make us a law to ourselves. This law of love has no penalties or prisons; but, like the bird that flies in the sky, is not troubled with earthly laws, but is a law to itself. Its purity is its buoyancy, its ignorance is its weight or stupidity. Each is governed by a sort of intelligence, like science and ignorance. As ignorance and superstition are what are under the law of error, Science and Truth are their opponents, and the mind is the medium of them both, like the telegraph-wire a medium of truth and error. Love is a substance like food that comes from heaven to feed the soul. Error is matter, and contains reason and all the faculties. Love is the true answer to our desire; in our desire is our hope, and when we get that which we hope for, it contains nothing but true knowledge or love, no sorrow, nor pain, nor grief, nor shame, nor fear. - Dec. 1859
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 unraveling 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. [* footnote 3] 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 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. [* footnote 4]
Love, part II
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
How Dr Quimby Cures
Every phenomenon in the natural world has its birth in the spiritual world. [* footnote 5] The world gives credit where it is not due, mistaking noise for substance. No man should have any credit over his fellow men unless he shows some superiority over the errors of his age. To show that he is superior is to reduce to a science some phenomenon which has never been explained, music for an example. Before music was reduced to a science there was a phenomenon: People could whistle and sing, but no one supposed that the one who made the most noise was entitled to any credit above the rest. Credit was due to him who first reduced it to a science.
Take diseases. The world is full of sickness, arising from various causes,--the phenomenon exists in the natural world, while the causes originate in an invisible world. Doctoring is confined to the natural world, and [it attributes] the causes of the disease to the natural world.
Dr. Quimby, with his clairvoyant faculty, gets knowledge in regard to the phenomena, which does not come through his natural senses, and by explaining it to the patient, gives [another] direction to the mind, and the explanation is the science or cure. To illustrate: suppose a patient calls on Dr. Q. for examination. No questions are asked on either side. They sit down together. He has no knowledge of the patient's feelings through his natural senses, till after having placed his mind upon them. Then he becomes perfectly passive, and the patient's mind being troubled [this] puts him into a clairvoyant state, together with his natural state, thus [he is in] two states at once; when he takes their feelings, accompanied by their state of mind and thoughts. A history of their trouble thus learned, together with the name of the disease, he relates [this] to the patient. This [state which he discerns] constitutes the disease and the evidences in the body are the effects of the belief. Not being afraid of the belief he is not afraid of the disease.
The doctors take the bodily evidence as disease. Disease with him does not come to the natural senses, therefore he cannot explain to the well his mode of treatment. The well take no interest, and his theory is of no use to them. Then what use is it to the world? To give the sick such confidence that they will not be frightened by the opinions of the world, for disease is an imprudent opinion. He throws the [patient's] feelings off, and imparts his feelings [* footnote 6] which are perfect health, and his explanation destroys their feelings or disease. His theory in this respect differing from any other, is the result of the success of his practice. Therefore when he is with the sick, they feel safe. He is like a captain who knows his business, and feels confident in a storm, and his confidence sustains the crew and ship when both would be lost if the captain should give way to his fears. Dr. Q. comes to the sick as a pilot to the captain of a ship in a storm or fog, when dangers thicken and inevitable destruction threatens. He learns the trouble from the captain, and quieting the crew by his composure inspires them with confidence, gives other directions, and brings them into harbor. - Jan. 1860.
What did Jesus mean to convey when He said all men had gone out of the way, that there was none doing good, no not one? It is generally that man had wandered away from God, and had become so sinful that he was in danger of eternal banishment from the presence of God, and unless he repented and returned to God, he would be banished from His presence forever. This being the state of mankind, God, seeing no way whereby man could be saved, gave His only Son as a ransom for the redemption of the world; or, God made Himself manifest in the flesh, and came into the world, suffered, and died, and rose again, to show us that we should all rise from the dead.
This is the belief of most of the Christian world. Its opposes disbelieved all the above story but death. They can't help believing that man dies, and they have a belief that there will be some sort of hocus-pocus or chemical change, that the soul or spirit will jump out at death, and still have an existence somewhere. After the soul is set at liberty, it can go and stay just where it pleases. Others believe it goes to God, there to be in the presence of God, and be a saint and sing forever.
The above embraces all of mankind's belief, and in this belief people feel as though Jesus Christ was the author and finisher of their faith. These beliefs embrace all the horrors of a separation from this world, and a doubt whether man will obtain that world beyond this life.
No person is in danger of this change but the sick, for if a person is well he can't be dead, and if he does not die, he is in no danger of heaven or hell, therefore to keep well you keep clear of both. This was just about the same belief that the people had before Christ began His reform. I will try to show that Jesus never taught one single idea of all the above, but condemned the whole as superstition and ignorance. He not only condemned the idea of a world independent of man, but proved that there was none by all His sayings and doings. He looks upon all the above theories or beliefs as false and tending to make men unhappy.
These beliefs Jesus came to destroy, and established the Kingdom of God or Truth in this world. The two beliefs are in ourselves and we become the servant of the one we obey. The embracing of the true Christ is the resurrection from the dead. The dead know nothing. To be dead in sin or ignorance is [to be in a state of] separation from God or Truth. To know God is to know ourselves, and this knowledge is Christ or Truth. What is the difference between Christ's belief, and the world's belief? Christ had no belief. His Kingdom was an everlasting Kingdom, without beginning or end. It is a Science based on eternal truth. It does not contain an opinion or belief. It is all knowledge and power, and will reign till all beliefs and error shall be destroyed. The last error or belief is death or ignorance, the Truth and Science will reign till ignorance is destroyed. Then the son or law shall be subject to God. - Jan. 1860.
What is your position in regard to the world, or the errors of the world? You cannot embrace both. If you embrace the world you embrace its errors, and become a servant to its laws, and the spirit or truth departs to the God that gave it. But if you hold on to the Truth the world is in subjection to you, and instead of becoming a servant you become a teacher of Truth to the world, to lead other minds to the Truth.
Instead of your happiness being in the world, the world's happiness is in you. Here is your true position, and this is the struggle you will have to go through. Shall the world lead you, or shall you lead the world? This is the point that is to be settled in your mind.
Now I will give you the signs of the times. Many shall come in the name of the Truth, and say, do this, or do that - music, dancing, and all sorts of amusements. But Truth says beware, be not deceived, seek first the truth, and all the above will be a pleasure to you. To know whether you are born of the truth, the truth shall show just your position in the world. Then you can take the lead, and the world will listen to you. Then the kingdom of this world has become subject to the kingdom of heaven, or error has become the subject of Truth.
This is a trying scene to go through, it seems as though you must leave all the world's pleasure, and seclude yourself from society. But this is not the case; you will like society all the better. For where the carcass is there will all the eagles be gathered, so where error is, truth will go, to lead the captive free. This will make you love amusement for the sake of doing good. Then you will rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep, and your happiness will be their happiness. Then you will be loved and respected for your love or knowledge, then you will draw around you those minds that are in harmony with yours. Then will the old ideas or errors of the world come and knock at your door for admittance, but the truth will say, "Depart ye cursed, for when I wanted truth ye gave no answer, when ignorant or naked, you gave me no truth or clothes, therefore depart ye cursed, into everlasting darkness, where ignorance and error dwell." - Dec. 1859.
All effects produced on the human frame are the result of a chemical change of the fluids with or without our knowledge, and all the varieties and changes are accompanied by a peculiar state of mind. If the mind should be directed to any particular organ, that organ might become deranged or might not. In either case the trouble is in the mind, for the body is only the house for the mind to dwell in, and we put a value on it according to its worth. Therefore if your mind has been deceived by some invisible enemy into a belief, you have put it into the form of a disease, with or without your knowledge. By my theory or truth I come in contact with your enemy, and restore you to your health and happiness.
This I do partly mentally and partly by talking till I correct the wrong impressions and establish the Truth, and the Truth is the cure. I use no medicines of any kind, and make no applications. I am no spiritualist. ... I am not dictated to by any living man, but am guided by the dictations of my own conscience, as a lawyer is in pleading a case governed by the evidence. A sick man is like a criminal cast into prison, for disobeying some law that man has set up, I plead his case, and if I get the verdict, the criminal is set at liberty. If I fail, I lose the case. His own judgment is his judge, his feelings are his evidence. If my explanation is satisfactory to the judge, you will give me the verdict. This ends the trial, and the patient is released. - Dec. 1859
Establishing a New Science
'What has a man to contend with who undertakes to establish a new science? He has the opposition of all the opinions of the world in regard to it, and all their influence. He will be misunderstood by fools, and misrepresented by knaves, for [his science] will tear down their fortress or belief, and they will use all their skill and deception to defeat their enemy. Their weapon is their tongue, and the tongue of a hypocrite is of all weapons the most deadly to truth; for it can assume the form of an angel, while it is sapping your very life's blood from your soul. Its life and happiness are its own torment. Ever since the world began, Science has had this enemy to contend with, and some very hard battles have been fought before error would leave the field. Even when forced to retreat into darkness it would come out. ... Therefore, science must keep awake for its own safety. These two powers are in every person, and each one's happiness or misery shows which one he is under subjection to. If well and happy, it is no proof that he has been through this war of science and arrived at the truth, but that from some cause, he is satisfied to become the friend of both powers. In this way he is a kind of know-nothing; but his position is not safe, for his enemy knows his position, and only lets him remain while he will keep still or quiet.
What has Truth accomplished? A great deal. It has planted its standard in this battlefield. The standard of mathematics waves its banner to the truth. These monuments of Science, like Solomon's Temple, are the place where truth comes to worship, and the true priests are those who can teach these sciences understandingly, and the masses are those whose belief is founded on these teachers' opinions,
without knowing the Science or Truth, but whose faith is pinned on another's opinion or sleeves. This credulity of the people prompts men to selfishness, and there arise false teachers, whose aim is to deceive the people and make themselves famous. They throw discredit on their ideas, and render them unpopular, so that if the same standard should be adopted by a true priest, he would have much opposition to meet with in the minds of those who have been deluded and imposed upon by hypocrites. This places a man in a very bad situation to defend himself, and all the influence he gets is from those he cures, and they dare not stand up and face the world and sustain their position, for it is so unpopular that their reputation is at stake. This is the state the two armies are in, when the leader plants his standard of Science with this inscription, The Science of True Religion is Health, Happiness, and Deliverance. - Dec. 1859.
There are two sciences, one of this world, and the other of a spiritual world, or two effects produced upon the mind or matter by two directions. The wisdom of this world acts in this way: It puts its own construction on all sensations produced in the mind, and establishes its knowledge after the effect is produced. For instance, a child feels a pain in its head, the child has no idea what it is, and if the mother is as ignorant of its origin as the child no effect of any moment is produced. But the wisdom of the world arrives in the form of a lady. She hears the account of the pain from the mother, and assuming a wise look gives her opinion in regard to the trouble, and says the child is threatened with dropsy of the brain, because she shows the same symptoms of another child who died of that disease. This account excites the mother, whose mind acts upon the child. The explanation of the wise lady gives direction to the mind, and presently the work commences to show that she is right. A doctor is called who is as wise as the lady, and not being willing to be outdone by her he puts in a few extras like congestion of the brain, says the lady was right but did not get the whole of the matter. So he has two chances after the child is killed to prove his superior wisdom over the lady.
It sometimes happens that a controversy arises between the two parties, each trying to establish their own opinion so as to have the disease turn their way. In the meantime the patient is left to her own self and gets well. This is all the good result I ever saw from such a controversy. The patient is a mere tool in the hands of these blind guides who attempt to cure her. While this controversy is going on, seeing that all each party wants is to establish their own way, the mother sends for me in her dilemma. I arrive and a fire-brand is thrown in between the combatants. I contend that the child has no dropsy of the brain, but only some slight shock upon its mind, and quieting the child is all that is necessary for a cure. Here the controversy ends. If the mother employs me I prove my theory and the child gets well. If they prove theirs they kill the child, and an examination is made which establishes their theory, and I am a humbug or quack. If I take the case, and the child gets well, the child was not sick, only a little nervous. - Dec. 1859.
Christ and Truth
Eighteen hundred years ago, while Jesus was disputing with the Pharisees upon the old scriptures, He asked the question, what do you think of Christ or this Truth? Has it a father, if so, who is he? They answer, "David," or this truth is David's ideas or theory. Jesus said, "If David is the father of this Christ (or theory, or ideas, or truth), why did he call it Lord, if it was his son?" Here they both admitted a truth independent of the natural man. The Pharisees believed it was the offspring of David, and therefore called it David's son or theory. Jesus knew it was not of this world, but of God or Truth, hence that it could be reduced to a Science. This has been the rock upon which the people have split. This is the thing to decide, whether there is a knowledge independent of man, or whether it is the offspring of an organized being. Jesus called this truth the Son of God. Peter called it Christ. The people's ignorance confounded the two together, and called it Jesus Christ. This last construction has given rise to all the religious wars and bloodshed since the Christian era. Decide this question and you shut the mouths of all the lions of the world.
Now let us look at the controversy of the two parties. This makes the two worlds, ignorance the one, and Truth or Science the other. These two powers act upon every man. One is identified with the body and a part of it. Jesus gave some of the traits of that power when He said that it is of the earthly man, and when He said, "Out of the heart proceedeth all kinds of evil thoughts." These thoughts are matter, and are the result if error, superstition and ignorance, without any knowledge of God.
Science is the opponent of the above, and as it accounts for all phenomena, ignorance is destroyed. Science has had to fight this battle with the world of error and ignorance before it could establish its standard, and take its position above the natural man. Then it is acknowledged and worshipped in spirit and in truth. Before it becomes a science it is under the law of ignorance and superstition, directed by blind guides leading the blind, through the knowledge of this world, and this wisdom Jesus calls foolishness with God (or Science). Now to separate these two, so that the wisdom of this world shall become subject to the knowledge of God, is not an easy task. Almost all who have ever tried to do so have lost their lives.
I will not go back further than John the Baptist. John saw that the time was very near when his truth or Christ was to become a science, therefore he says, "As the truth is laid at the root or foundation of their theories, every tree or supposed science that cannot stand the test of true science must be hewn down." Therefore his belief was like water that could wash away some of their errors, but when the Truth or Holy Ghost should come then it would be reduced to a science.
At this time Jesus had not received the Holy Ghost so as to explain it. Therefore He went with others to John to be baptized or hear John's ideas, and when Jesus asked John to explain to Him, John modestly replied, "I have need to be baptized or taught of you." Jesus declined explaining, so John then went on to tell his ideas or belief. Jesus entered into his water or belief, and understood it, and when He came out of the water, the Heavens were opened to Him alone, and the Holy Ghost descended like a dove and lit on Jesus and a voice said to Him alone, "This is my beloved Son (or Science), in whom I am well pleased."
This Science had no name till Peter gave it the name of Christ, as an answer to the question put to him by Jesus - "Whom do the people say that I, this power, am?" - Peter answered, "Some say, Moses, etc." Jesus then said, "Whom say you that I am?" - not Jesus, as is supposed, but this power; for all the persons that Peter had named were dead, so of course Jesus did not include Himself, but His theory. Peter answered Him "Jesus, the Christ, the living God (or Science)."
This Science he called Christ. Then Jesus said, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you." It must have come from the same power that Jesus had. Therefore He said, "Upon this rock or truth I will build my church or theory, and the gates of error and superstition shall not prevail against it." This truth or Christ is what Jesus taught. This broke the locks and bars, opened the prison doors and let the captive free from the old superstition and ignorance. By this power He healed all manner of diseases, cast out devils, established health and happiness, brought peace and good will to man.
This theory came in contact will all other theories, for there were false ones and Christ warned the people against them. He said there were false Christs and told them how to distinguish between the false and the true. Now as Jesus became popular with the people, the chief priests, and the doctors or scribes sought how to put Him down, and they tried in every way to catch Him. At one time while in the temple the chief priests and elders of the people came to ask by what authority He did these things.
Jesus answered them by asking them a question which, if they answered, He would tell them how He performed His cures. The baptism of John, or his theory, was it from Heaven or of man? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we say, from Heaven, He will say, "Why then did ye not believe it?" - for they had killed John as a prophet. And so they answered, "We cannot tell." "Neither can I tell you how I do these things."
As it never has been explained how Jesus did these things, the people have looked upon them as miracles. But to suppose Jesus performed a miracle is to suppose Him ignorant of the power He exercised, and if so He was just as much a quack as those He condemned; for He said, when accused of curing through ignorance or Beelzebub, "If I cast out devils through Beelzebub, my theory or kingdom cannot stand, but if I do it by Science, it is not of this world, but of God, and it will stand."
Here He makes a difference between ignorance and knowledge. Again, if Jesus was ignorant of His power, and did not know how to explain it to others, why did He tell His disciples to go out in all the world and heal all manner of disease? If ignorant of what He said, and gave no explanation of His manner of curing, He was as ignorant as they. But I am certain that He knew more than His disciples could understand, and as soon as Jesus was crucified, the cures ceased to be done by a Science, but went back into the hands of priests and magicians, and have been a miracle ever since, and the Christ that prompted Jesus' acts is not known at all.
That Christ never did any doctoring, nor offered up prayers, nor creeds. It never belonged to this world, nor talked about any kind of religion. It talked itself. Itself was its life, and its life was the healing of the sick and distressed. It takes the feelings of the sick and knows their wants, and restores to them what the world has robbed them of. This is the Christ that was crucified eighteen hundred years ago. Now the only thing we hear is what was said about Him. Yet He is in the world but has no identity as a Science. - Jan. 1860.
Difference Between Myself and Others
Where does Dr. Q's. mode of practice differ from that of others? In every particular. Disease is admitted by every one (though there may be a few exceptions) as a something independent of the mind. Dr. Q. denies all this and asks for the proof of it.
Disease is a departure from life. Now, how can a man lose his life, and know it after it has taken place and at the same time, not know it? For if health is life, and a departure from it death, how can this change take place, independently of the mind? For if the mind is not that which undergoes the change how can it suffer death? ... We are called upon to prepare for this change from life to death, or from health to disease.
People understand this theory pretty well, for they prove it in a very few years to the satisfaction of both parties.
This was the state of the mind when Christ came to destroy this theory of disease and death by showing the Truth, which was and is life. And no person was in any danger of hell, except those who were sick, for the well need no physician. Therefore to keep well was to keep clear of hell, and to get into it was to get sick, for sickness led to death, and death led to hell.
Therefore as long as man is well, according to this theory, he is safe. Now as Christ was the sick man's advocate, He warned the people against believing either of the two advocates of health or disease. He said to the people, "Beware of the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees, for they undertake to tell of what they know nothing about, and they bind burdens in the form of disease or opinion, and lay them on your shoulders, which are grievous to be borne, and which must lead to death, or the departure from life or health."
To keep in health, and keep clear of death, was to understand ourselves, so that their opinions cannot harm us. Now, in all the above belief or theory, there is not the slightest intimation of any knowledge independent of mind. It is true that some people have a vague idea of something independent of the mind, but the person who dares express such an opinion is looked upon as a sort of lunatic or fool. Phenomena are constantly taking place, showing that there is a higher order of intellect that has not yet been developed in the form of a theory, but which can unravel the old theory, and bring in one that will lead man to health and happiness, and destroy the idea of disease and death. Dr. Q's theory, if understood, also goes to correct this error that is depriving so many of the life and happiness of mankind. His belief is his practice, and his practice gives the lie to the old beliefs. - Jan. 1860
True and False Christs
I will try to explain the true Christ from the false Christ, and show that "Christ" never was intended to be applied to Jesus as a man, but to a Truth superior to the natural man - and this Truth is what prophets foretold. It has been called by various names, but is the same truth. There is a natural body of flesh and blood - this was Jesus. His mind like all others was subject to a law of truth that could be developed through the natural man.
This power Jesus tried to convince people of, as I am trying to convince people that there is such a state as clairvoyance, that is, that there is a power that has an identity and can act upon the natural man, which the natural man is ignorant of. When this power acts upon his senses it acts in the form of an idea or thought. The natural man receives it like the servant, but acts as though he was the father of the idea. The world gives him credit for this superiority over the rest of his fellow men.
But unwilling to admit this power, the world attributes it to some unknown cause, as the best way to get out of trouble. People would rather have it a miracle than a science, for otherwise it would lower them in the estimation of themselves and cause their own destruction, as all truth destroys error. This belief that there is an intelligence independent of ourselves has always been admitted, but attributed to some miraculous power from another world. - Jan. 1860.
Your True Position
Question: "I understand you to say, sometimes that mind is matter, and at another time you separate the two by showing that the mind leaves the body and goes to a distant place, sees and describes objects that are not known to any person present." Answer: Certainly and I will give you the proof. The mind is the medium of a higher power independent of the natural man that is not recognized. When we speak of mind we embrace this power, as we often do in speaking of a lever, supposing the power to lie in the lever, not thinking that the lever contains no knowledge or power.
This natural mistake is attributed to our ignorance of mathematics. The same mistake exists with regard to mind and matter. The body may be compared to dead weight, the mind to a lever. Error puts knowledge into the lever. Here is where the mystery lies. The natural man cannot see beyond this standard, and as all our happiness or misery is in what follows our acts, it is not strange that we are all the time getting into trouble. Now, separate the power from the lever or mind, and the mind becomes subject to this independent power, and acts upon another's mind in the same way that the natural man may suggest to his friend the best way of applying his power to a lever to move matter.
As our bodies are the machine to be moved like the locomotive, and our mind is the steam, the whole must be kept in action by a power independent of itself, for the steam contains no knowledge, any more than the body or engine. Now all men will admit the two elements. These two powers are not understood or admitted to have an existence independent of the lever or mind. These two powers govern the mind and body as the engineer governs the steam-engine. Knowledge of ourselves as spiritual beings separates both. - Jan. 1860.
When I talk to the sick I talk my theory, when I talk to the well I talk about it. It is so with my religion, I have no religion independent of my acts. When I am religious, I talk it and put it into practice. When I am not putting my religion into practice for the benefit of the sick and those whom I can help, then if I talk I am talking about something. Here is a distinction that may at first seem curious to some, but if you will look at it rightly you will see that there is more in it than you would at first suppose. One of Christ's followers made a remark like this in regard to the same distinction, only he called their talk or belief, Faith, which is religion put in practice. He said, show me your religion or faith independent of works, and I will show you my religion or faith by my works. There is no such identity as goodness by itself. - Jan. 1860.
What is happiness? It is what follows any act of the law of science, but it is not always understood. Sin and misery are the effects of our belief put in practice, governed by the law of sin and death. Man is the medium of the two laws; the one, chance or ignorance, which is of this world; the other, God or Science, which is of a higher. The wisdom of one is called the law, the knowledge of the other is the Gospel. These two laws enter into all our acts. Mathematics contains the two laws. The solving of a problem does not establish the science, although it may be right, but it develops a phenomenon for a more wise and excellent law so that the world may be benefited by it.
So by establishing the law of science we destroy the law of ignorance. This holds good of all the laws of science, the introduction of the one is the destruction of the other, to all who understand. To such there is no offering up of sin or sacrifices, but a fear of judgment because of wrong-doing. This keeps us on our guard. Now, it has not entered into man's heart to conceive a more excellent law whereby man may be saved from the sins or errors that bind him down by the laws of sin and death. To introduce a Science that can explain the errors that keep us in trouble is what prophets foretold and wise men have looked for ever since the world began. This knowledge has been called by various names. It was called the New Jerusalem that came down from heaven, and it was called the kingdom of heaven. This is the law that was written in the heart; it is the knowledge of ourselves that can see the evils of our own misery.
It may be asked, how can we distinguish between the two, for every one has a right to his own opinion? That is true, but science does not leave it answered in that way, but proves it so that there can be no mistake. Now as disease is an error, so the mind, as in any error, must be corrected by a power independent of itself, and this power must be governed by a science in all cases; though it may not be necessarily understood by the person applying this power. As Science, like God, never acts except like a balance which judges correctly, it contains no [mere] thought or reason, but judges every one according to his worth.
As error is a chemical action and contains all of the above, it is like two rogues, at war with itself. There is an old saying, and a very good one that, when two rogues fall out an honest man gets his due; so when error is at war, it develops some truth. As the degrees from total darkness or ignorance are progressive, they embrace all kinds of talent, like teachers from the lowest classes of this world to the highest of the spiritual world. All science to the natural world is looked upon as mystery, witchcraft, sorcery, etc., because the natural world cannot see anything beyond itself. But there is a mind that can teach it, and another that can learn it, and so on till it reaches Science.
Then comes the end of the world of error, and the introduction of a more excellent law of God. As a person's happiness is the effect of his knowledge, to be good is the fruit of Science. All religion that embraces creeds is of this world, and is governed by laws, and contains rewards and punishments; therefore holding out inducements to be good with one hand, and retribution with the other, is not the religion of Christ. He is in us, and a part of us, and to know ourselves is to know Christ, and to preach Christ is to help each other out of our troubles, destroying the enemy that has possession of us.
The laying down of your life for your friends is not so easy a matter as some might think. It is easier to talk about religion than to talk it. To talk it is to put it into practice, and to put it into practice is to give it to those who ask, for to give them a stone when they ask for bread is what any one can do, as then you part with nothing. To give to every one that asks of you some spiritual food or knowledge, that will cool their feverish tongue, or soothe their excited brain, and lead them like the true shepherd to their home or health, where they can rejoice with friends, is not so easy as to sit down and thank the Lord that you are not like other men. To be a follower of Christ is not an easy thing, but to be a of the kingdom of heaven is not very hard, it only requires one to become as ignorant as a child.
To call yourself a follower of Jesus, is to call yourself a pattern of goodness, and that was more than Jesus did of Himself, for He never sounded the trumpet of His own praise. We are all called upon to become followers of Jesus so that the world may be benefited by His truth. This is our happiness and the happiness of others, for we are all workers for the same truth. Therefore dismiss error, and embrace the true Science, and fight the enemy of health, like a soldier of Science. - Feb. 1860.
Can any good come out of prayer? I answer yes, but not in the sense that is supposed. A phenomenon can be produced in the same way that is brought about by mesmerism, but there is no knowledge in the church-prayer. It is the effect of superstition and ignorance. It is not of Christ, but from a mind ignorant of self and God. No man prays except the one who wants a favor, to be rewarded for more than he deserves, or one who has more of this world's goods than his neighbor. Witness the effect of the prayer on this world, those who pray to the earthly man, who belong to the lowest class of mankind. No man of character will beg or pray for the sake of gain.
True prayer is the desire of the heart, and if the heart is right the prayer will be answered. For as the heart is only the figure or emblem of knowledge, a true heart must have scientific knowledge, and a corrupt heart must be full of superstition and ignorance, deceit and hypocrisy.
It is generally admitted that prayer is of divine origin, but if it is to be offered to God this is not the case. If it is of the devil, I will admit that it is as old as its father, for we read that the devils prayed, as when the devil wanted Christ to worship him. So do all men of narrow minds like to be worshipped for what they have no claim to. One great argument offered in favor of prayer is that Christ said, "He who humbles himself shall be exalted." What is required of a person to humble himself is to get down on his knees and hold up his hands, and in a cant ask of God some favor which he is not entitled to.
But God rewards everyone according to his acts, and He knows our wants before we ask. So to ask of a Being whom we acknowledge knows our wants is either to curry favor or flatter Him with the idea that we think He will be pleased to see how much we honor Him. This is the wisdom of this world, but not the wisdom of God. God asks no such worship. To worship God is to worship Him in spirit and in truth, for He is in the truth, not in the error. Our reward is in our act and if we act rightly and honestly we get the reward. If we act selfishly we get the result also. He who expects God to leave Science and come down to ignorance and change a principle for a selfish motive to please Him, is either a knave or fool and knows not God. God is like the fire which throws heat or love on all around. Those who will can enjoy the heat or love, but if we choose to stand out in the cold, we cannot expect exclusive privileges; for God has no respect to one over another.
I have no account with God, He pays me as soon as my work is done, and I do not ask favors of Him apart from His principles. If I act wrongly He will not step out and correct me. I must do it myself. If I act rightly I get my reward, for our happiness or misery is in our acts, and as we are a part of each other, our happiness is in our neighbor, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. If you understand this, Jesus said, you are not far from the kingdom of heaven. Jesus had no sympathy with the hypocrites' prayers. He warned His disciples and the multitude against all such prayer. His prayer was that God would forgive them for they knew not what they did. A desire to know God, is a desire to know ourselves, and that requires all our thoughts to come into that happy state of mind. That will lead man in the way to health. This is a science and is Christ's prayer. - March, 1860.
I look on church-prayers as I do on all other errors that have been invented to govern mankind and keep the people in ignorance of themselves and God. You may ask if I would destroy prayer. No more than I would the law for murder or theft; but I would put into man a higher law that would teach him to worship God as a God of science and knowledge. This law would put the law of ignorance to death. For prayer is the law of man, not of God, and makes God nothing but a mere sorcerer or magician to frighten the ignorant and superstitious. It puts Jesus on a level with the jugglers of His day. The construction upon the parables shows the state of intelligence of the church. It makes Christ's mission here of but little account to the world of science.
Take for instance the parable at the wedding. The turning of water into wine is quoted as some great thing, as though God took this way to convince man of His power. But if there could not be a better explanation of this parable than the church gives, Christ is merely a magician.
Why should the explanation of Christ's mission which was to heal the sick, destroy death, and bring life and immortality to light, be left to persons who have no sympathy for the sick, but who by their interpretation of Christ keep man sick and ignorant of himself? Of what advantage has Christ been to the sick, according to the common opinions of mankind? Does the priest relieve them of any burdens? If not, where is the benefit of the church-prayer? It is in contradiction to Christ's own teaching. What was Christ's idea of prayer? He called it hypocrisy and a blind guide to lead the blind. He warned the people against those who prayed in the streets, told them to obey all the laws, but not to believe in the doctrines, for they laid burdens on the people grievous to be borne. Now, if these burdens were their belief Jesus must explain them away, to relieve them, and his explanation was their cure. Therefore He said to them, "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy leaden, and I will give you rest." Jesus's explanation was his religion, but their religion contained all the superstition of Egyptian darkness, prayers, sacrifices, and burnt offerings.
Jesus did not condemn any of the above, but He had a knowledge of the errors that man is subject to and His mission was to bring science to light, in regard to our ignorance or darkness, and put man into a state where he might, by relieving the sufferings of his fellow men, be of some advantage to himself and to the world. His religion was not of this world, and the world knows Him not. Christ is God or Science, and to know God is to know Science and put it in practice so that the world can be benefited by it. This tells the rules of action. They are not left to the natural man, but they must prove themselves on some subject that is in need of it. The same subject is in the world now that was at the time when Jesus put His theory into practice. He gave His disciples knowledge to put the same into practice for the benefit of mankind.
Who art, thou, O man, that shall say to the poor and sick, lame and blind, that the person who can help you is a "humbug" or acting under the direction of the devil? If the devil will take your aches and pains and relieve you, cling to him, and at the end of your disease you will see that this devil is the same one who was crucified eighteen hundred years ago, by just such enemies to the sick as they have now. I, for one, am willing to be called a humbug by all such people. I have the same class to uphold me that Jesus had, the sick. The well opposed Him, and the well oppose me.
I do not set myself up as an equal with Jesus, or any other man, but I do profess to believe in that principle that Jesus taught, which I call Christ. That I try to put into practice as far as I understand it, and the sick are my judges, not the well; for as the well need no physician they cannot judge me. Neither am I willing to be judged by the creeds till they can show that their belief is above their natural power. I shall not take their opinions of what they know nothing about. I will draw a line between the professor of Christ and myself, and leave the sick to pass judgment. As I have the Bible I have the same means of judging as any one, for every one has a right to his opinion concerning it. But there is no truth in an opinion unless it can be put into practice as Christ put His into practice. Then it becomes a fact.
What does Jesus Himself say of this power? He admitted it, for He says, "of myself I can do nothing," thus admitting a power superior to Himself; and also when asked a question by His disciples, He said, "No man knoweth, not the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but My father only." At another time when asked by a scribe who had been listening to Jesus, while He reasoned with a Sadducee, "What is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered "The first commandment is Hear, Oh, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." Here He admits a supreme power, and says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself."
The young man said unto Him, "Well, Master, thou hast said truly, for there is one God, and there is none other than He, and to love Him with all thy heart and soul is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." Jesus saw that he had answered discreetly and He said unto him, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." These questions and answers were given before the whole multitude, and I see no reason for disputing Jesus' own words by putting a misconstruction on some passage, and making Jesus something that neither He nor any one else ever thought of. He was accused of making Himself equal with God, but that was their ignorance, which gave that construction, and if I had not been accused of the same thing a hundred times, I might put the same construction on Jesus as others do.
But I can see, and show to the sick beyond a doubt, the difference between Jesus and Christ, and the difference between the two words gives a very different meaning to religion. The church's construction makes our acts and lives one thing and our religion another. Jesus made our acts the effect of our knowledge and in proportion as we understand Science we understand God, and acknowledge Him in truth. This Science separates us from this world of sin and death and brings life and immortality to light, and this life was what Jesus taught. Ignorance of Christ or Science put "Jesus" and "Christ" together and said "Jesus Christ." For superstition could not account for any of the cures that Jesus made except they were from heaven, and although Jesus tried all in His power to convince them to the contrary, He could not. The religious people of Jesus' day like the Christians of this day, made heaven and hell places independent of man, and although some may deny it their acts give the lie to their protests.
All people pray to a being independent of themselves, acknowledging a state or place where God is, and when they pray, supposing that He listens, ask Him to hear their prayers and relieve their wants. This is precisely what the heathen did, and Jesus called them hypocrites and condemned them, for He said this offering up of prayer and sacrifices year after year could never take away sin or error, so Jesus embraced Christ or Truth and laid down His own life for the happiness of mankind. Before this the world knew not Christ or Truth.
This truth Jesus taught, and His teaching was the healing of the nations, and if His truth had not been misconstrued, the world at this time would have been rid of thousands of errors it now has. This was Jesus' truth, which was to the people a mystery, and seemed to embrace a belief merely, for a truth to a person who cannot understand it is a belief. But Jesus labored to convince the people that it was a science, that the fruits of it were seen in His practice, and that it could be taught; for He made a difference between His cures and His disciples' cures, and the cures of the rest of the world.
The magicians and sorcerers cured by their belief. They thought their power came from a spirit-world, and they acted upon this belief. They believed that disease was sent into the world to torment mankind. The priests had the same belief. Each one's prayer was to his own God, to keep him clear of his enemy. The priest held up to the people the idea that they must do something different from living honestly and dealing with mankind as though we were one family, that a certain belief was necessary to keep us clear of hell, which itself had been invented to torment man. This doctrine kept the people in ignorance of themselves and made them nervous, giving rise to belief in evil spirits.
As people are all the time inventing ideas for their own interest, it finally led to the introduction of the medical faculty. Now it seemed to cover all the ground that ignorance and superstition wanted, it put the masses into the power of the two classes, the priests and the doctors. The priests would offer up prayers to their God for the salvation of souls, and the doctors would offer up prayers for their business. The people are, in the mean time, in the condition that the prophet told of when he said, "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests can rule by their means, and the people love to have it so, but what will they do in the end thereof?"
Jesus wanted to introduce this Science, which He called Christ, which gave the lie to all the old opinions of Jesus' day. He had no heaven or hell out of man, no happiness, or misery outside of us. His God was in Him and in us, and His prayers were in Him and in us, and His life and ours was this Christ, the law which He put in all of us. If this law could be understood, it would rid us of all the evils that are bound on mankind. It would not keep man in ignorance of himself, but would exalt him in the natural world. It would rid him of the superstition of the world, would make men worship God, not as one who could be flattered by our hypocrisy, but as a God of science that gives to every man just what he learns.
Those who seek Him in prayer desiring to learn His laws will be rewarded in proportion to their labor. He asks no prayers for His good, and a prayer made up of words is lost unless accompanied by good to some one, and if we do good to one another our prayer is in the act. When Jesus said to the righteous, "Come ye blessed for I was naked and you clothed me," they were not aware that they had done any good, but He said, "Inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these my brethren you did it unto me," or God, and in His answer to the wicked, "Inasmuch as you did it not to them, ye did it not to me," He put the good and bad in acts, and not in the words. So true prayer is in our acts, false prayer is in our words, and by their fruits you shall know them. For He said, "Not all those who say, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven or Science"; not those who say, "I understand it," but those who put it into practice so that the world shall be the wiser for the knowledge. If this is so, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man," or one learned in this world's knowledge to embrace this Truth or Christ. But I say to all, strive to understand. - March, 1860.
How I Hold My Patients
The question is often asked, how I hold my patients, when I give no medicine, and make no applications. I answer, it is through my knowledge. Then you may ask me where I differ from others. In everything so far as disease and what produces it is concerned. All persons believe in disease and their belief is in the thing believed. For instance, take consumption. People are not aware that consumption has an identity, as much as a serpent or canker worm, that it has life or a sort of knowledge. [* footnote 7] It is liable to get hold of us, and if it does we cannot shake it off, as Paul did the viper, from his hand. All diseases have an identity and the well are likely to be deceived. But these diseases are in the mind as much as ghosts, witchcraft, or evil spirits, and the fruits of this belief are seen in almost every person. These beliefs show what the people are afraid of, and what they have to contend with, and make it necessary for them to have help in driving off their enemies. For if a person cannot conquer his enemy or disease himself, he must have help.
Now the people involved admit the existence and superiority of their enemy or disease, and commence making war with him by first firing calomel, and if that does not start him, the next is blistering, or burning. This only enrages the enemy, and a regular battle commences. Finally a council of physicians is called, a suspension of arms takes place, a compromise is made, health yields up all claims to happiness and enjoyment, and the victim has the privilege of going about a cripple and an outcast the balance of his natural life, knowing all the time that he is liable to be caught by any of his enemies, at any time, either asleep or awake. This keeps him in a nervous state of mind, not fit for any business, like a man who is in prison, under sentence of death. This is the state of this world.
Now, is it strange that a person is known by this character, and is afraid of this state of mind or disease? And when one who has the power of restoring health and destroying these enemies comes up to another who is tormented by these devils, is it strange that he likes him and feels safe in his presence, until he himself is perfectly free? This feeling is not always known by the sick, but it is felt. It cannot be understood, for its language is its feelings, and it cannot talk till it learns to speak through the senses. It knows and feels its friend, and clings to him as a child does to its parent before it can walk; it is led by sympathy till it can go alone and can understand that it has power over its enemy. Then its knowledge is its cure. Till then it feels the want of some one who can protect it from its enemy.
Now my wisdom is their protector and my explanation is their cure. My wisdom is accompanied by sympathy for their troubles, and like a shepherd who leads his sheep I lead the sick home to health and deliver them to their friends. Then I leave them happy, and feel that they appreciate the benefit I have been to them. This money cannot buy. This is what holds my patients. It is what none but the sick can appreciate. The well know nothing of the feelings of the sick, therefore to them it is a stumbling block, and to the doctors foolishness. - March, 1860.
How I Cure the Sick
I will illustrate to you the way in which I cure, or correct the sick. You know I talk parables. To the well this is of no consequence, for they cannot see any sense in my talk. So it is in every science with those who are ignorant of the meaning the person wishes to convey. This was the trouble Jesus had to contend with. All His knowledge must be explained by parables, for the people's belief was in the thing believed. To reduce their belief to a science was a very hard task, for it had to be done by parables of things that each person could understand. When He talked to the multitude it was about the Science or principle that was intended to be applied to each person's individual case.
The parable of the sower illustrated the principle like an illustration regarding some science. It was not intended to be applied to any individual case, therefore when the disciples heard the parable, they did not understand it, and wanted an explanation. Now His explanation to them is as much of a parable to the rest of the world as His parable to the multitude was to His disciples.
So a parable of mine is of no use to the well, for it is not intended for them, and must be varied to suit the case that calls it out. Like a lawyer's argument, it depends upon the case to be tried. So it is with the sick, each must have his case explained to himself. The Science can be explained to the well, but not by the same parables that are necessary to be applied to the sick.
I will illustrate. A lady called on me whose feelings were as follows: She felt so weak that she could not keep from stooping over, it was with difficulty that she could sit up. This feeling I could feel but the woman who was with her could not detect it. To cure her and make her sit up, the work must be done by an explanation she could understand, by a parable, because the patient's identity was in her belief.
Her body had an identity apart from the earthly body, and this sick (spiritual) body is the one that tells the trouble. This body seemed to be holding up the natural body, till it was so weak it could barely sit up. This spiritual body is what flows from, or comes from the natural body, and contains All the feelings complained of. It speaks through the natural body, and like the heat from a fire has its bounds, is enclosed by walls or partitions as much as a prison. But the confinement is in our belief, its odor is its identity; its knowledge is in its odor; its misery arises from false ideas, and its ideas are in itself, connected with its natural body. This is all matter, and has an identity. The trouble, like sound, has no locality of itself, but can be directed to any place. Now as this intelligence is around the body, it locates its trouble in the natural body, calls it "pain" or by some other name. Now the sick person is in this prison, with the body, which body feels as though it contained life.
But the life is in the spiritual body, which being ignorant of itself places its own identity in the flesh and blood. This is because the heat which arises from the body contains the identity, and the soul puts such a construction upon the pain as has been taught, and thinks its trouble is in and part of the natural body. This is the prison which Christ, not Jesus, entered, and broke the walls by His word or power and set the captive free. At this door He stands and knocks, and if we will let Him in He will explain away the error or forgive the sin, and save the soul. He will deliver us from our earthly hell made by the wisdom of the world. - March, 1860.
Do People Really Believe What They Think?
To some this may seem a strange question but it involves more of our knowledge than we think it does. Our belief involves all our religious opinions. Our opinions are the foundation of our misery, while our happiness is in the knowledge that follows the solving of the problem or error.
To illustrate, when solving a problem you have an opinion, and are in trouble about it. But when .the answer comes the happiness accompanies it. Then there is no more death, or ignorance, sorrow or excitement. Error and ignorance have passed away, all has become new, and we are as though we never had been. We have all the happiness we want; the misery is gone, and the spirit returns to the Great Spirit, ready to solve another problem.
Now the problem I wish to solve is what I first named. Do we really believe in what we think we do? I answer, "No," and shall show that we deny what we profess to believe in almost all we say and do, thereby proving ourselves either hypocritical or ignorant. We profess to believe in Christ, that He is God, that He knows all things, and is capable of hearing and answering our prayers. We also believe that man is a free agent, that he is capable of judging between right and wrong, and believe that if man does not do right he will be punished. When asked for proof of all this, we are referred to the Bible. When we ask an explanation how Christ cured, we are told it was by miracle.
If we ask if Christ did not know all things, the answer is, "Yes." Then did He not know what He was about, what He did, and how He did it? "Yes." Then if you ask how He knew, the answer is, "It is a miracle," or "The ways of God are past finding out," - and thus you are left in the dark. Now those who reason this way will not accept any fact based upon any other way of reasoning. You must bring the strongest proof to convince them of a fact produce in the same way, otherwise they will not believe. The fact is they don't reason or compare at all, and admit what they have not the slightest proof of, except the explanation of some person of existence.
Now, when I show that I can produce a phenomenon that to all appearance is just like some produced by Christ, and in the living, who speak for themselves, I should like to know by what authority anyone dares to say that it is not done in the same way that Christ did His works. If they cannot tell how I do it, or how He did it, how do they know but that it is done in the same way? Their only objection can be that it happens to be contrary to their own opinion, which is not worth anything, and they admit it; for they will say it is a miracle to them.
This makes them what Jesus said of such guides. He called them blind guides leading the blind, and warned the people against them. He called them whited sepulchers, and all kinds of names, and the world has been led by such guides every since. Jesus told the people how they should know them. He said, "Not all who say Lord! Lord! shall enter into this theory or kingdom, but he that doeth the will of the Father that sent him." Now what do they do that Jesus did? Nothing. You cannot point to one act that Jesus did that these guides do. All who do good according to Scripture imitate the Pharisees in every respect. He called them the children of the devil, and He said their father (or error) was a liar from the beginning. Jesus judged them by their works, and told the people to do the same; for He said, "by their fruits ye shall know them." - March, 1860.
Jesus and Christ
When Jesus asked Peter, "Whom do the people say that I am?" Peter and the disciples said, "Some say, John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Now all of these were dead, therefore they did not mean to confound the man Jesus with them. But they believed the spirits of these men came back and entered the living, and talked to the people. Jesus knew that this was their belief, and they knew it. When Jesus asked His disciples the question, He never intended to convey the idea that He wanted to know who He, Jesus, was, but who this power was.
They thought it must be the spirit of some person who had been on earth, and when Peter said it was the Christ or God: Truth or Science, this was a new idea, and Jesus answered, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed this explanation to you," and upon this explanation He, Jesus, would build His Christ or Church, or Truth, and the gates of error could not prevail against it. He, that is, Jesus, would give Peter the keys or explanation so that he could understand and practice it for the benefit of mankind. This knowledge would give him power to loose those who were bound in heaven or in. the mind, and loose those bound in the earthly body. The idea that the man Jesus was anything but a man, was never thought of. Jesus never had the least idea of such an explanation.
The prophets had foretold a Messiah that should come, and when the child Jesus was born, the people believed that David's spirit had come and taken possession of his body, so they called Jesus the son of David. But they meant to be understood that it was David's spirit speaking through Him, Jesus, and some called Him the Son of Man.
Now, every one admitted the power that Jesus had, but there was a difference of opinion in regard to it. All men have a power, but to have a power superior to the natural man, has been a question ever since the world began. Upon this question the people split. To believe it is to believe in a power the natural man cannot explain. If Jesus had a power, we must admit a knowledge superior to it, that governs and directs it, and if we do admit it where does it come from? All will answer, from God. All will admit that there is another power that affects man for evil. There must then be a sort of bad knowledge, or false Christ that governs it. How are we to know the good from the bad? Only by the fruits or direction. If we must take an opinion we have no standard; for every one has a right to his own opinion, and by doing so we throw away Christ's teaching when He says by their fruits men are to be judged.
We judge them by their works. What are the works? I suppose Jesus knew what He meant, and He meant to give His disciples the true idea when He called them together and gave them power to heal all sorts of diseases, and cast out devils. Did He mean to give power without any knowledge how to apply it, or did He give the knowledge with the power? If He gave the knowledge so that it could be applied, are not the ones who apply it better acquainted with the power than those who are ignorant of the power and the knowledge?
I will try to illustrate what Jesus meant by these powers, when He was accused of curing by ignorance. You may have seen in the paper an account of a young lady being cured by the prayers of a Mormon preacher. I have no doubt that he raised her up through his prayers, and the belief in Mormonism would naturally be established in the young lady's mind. This cure, as far as it goes, is to establish Mormonism. Now if the Mormons established all their belief and that is right, why do not all people who believe in prayer embrace Mormonism and all the Mormons preach?
When the disciples said to Jesus, We saw men casting out devils in Thy name and forbade them, He said, "Forbid them not, for they that are with us are not against us, and they that are not with us scatter-eth abroad." Here Jesus showed the difference between His knowledge and theirs in using this power. The others cured, but the world was no wiser for their cures, so they scattered abroad. The cure was right, but it was done through ignorance.
This is the way with prayer. Prayer contains no knowledge and only leaves men in ignorance and superstition. Seeing this account in print, and knowing how it was done, I thought I would try the same experiment on a lady, myself, according to my way of curing disease. I have no creed or belief. What I know I can put into practice, and when I put it into practice I am conscious of it, and know what will be its effect. I sent to the lady (the subject of my experiment) who lived out of town, a letter, telling her I would try my power on her from the time I commenced the letter which was Sunday, and visit her at different times till the next Sabbath, and on the next Sabbath I would come between the hours of eleven and twelve, and make her rise from her bed, where she had been confined by sickness, unable to walk for nine months.
At the time appointed I went and used my power to restore her to the use of her limbs and to health. On the Wednesday following my letter, her husband wrote me that on Monday night she was very restless, but was better the next day. On the Monday following that, I received a letter saying that at the time I appointed for her to rise from her bed, she arose from the bed, walked into the dining room, and returned, and laid down a short time. She then arose again, dined, and also took tea with the family, rested well that night, and continued to do well.
Now I suppose all of this transaction would be accounted for by the religious community by the power of the imagination of the patient. Suppose you do give it that explanation. How was the lady cured by prayer? On the same principle, I suppose. If so, how was it with the centurion who came to Jesus, saying that he had a servant lying sick with the palsy, grievously tormented? Jesus said unto him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion said, "Speak the ward only and my servant shall be healed." Then Jesus told him to go his way and the servant was healed in that self-same hour. Now who cured the servant? Jesus, or the centurion, or the servant's own imagination? Settle this question among yourselves.
Another case: When Jesus came into Peter's house, He saw the mother of Peter's wife lying sick with a fever. He touched her and she arose and administered unto them. Now if you cannot tell how this was done, and yet admit it, you must admit a power that you cannot explain or understand, and if you cannot understand it, it is an unknown power. To attribute to any individual this power from which you hope to derive benefit is to worship an unknown God or principle. This principle which you ignorantly worship, this I declare unto you by explaining it. - March, 1860.
Wrong Use of Words
We often use words, putting upon them a wrong construction, and think that a person is bound to believe what we say because we say it. For instance, you often hear a scientific person make this assertion, that there is no such thing as weight, that weight is attraction, that its true scientific explanation is attraction. Now this is easy to say, but hard to prove. You cannot convince a man of what does not come within his senses, and he will not believe it because some one says so. Neither party is right, and both are nearly right. If you place the two weights in an exhausted receiver they will both fall at the same time. This proves attraction. Take them into the open air, and then the iron weight will fall the faster.
Now is it attraction, or must you introduce another word? Why do they not fall in the same time as in the receiver? Because they have to fall through a medium called atmosphere or air. This medium is more dense near the earth, but as it recedes from the earth it becomes less dense, and bodies are weighed or measured in this medium. So attraction is of no use except to show that all things have a tendency towards the earth. To suppose that the attraction is in the thing attracted is wrong, and so is the idea that the weight is in the matter attracted. The word weight is the name of matter in motion, for when there is no motion it is called pressure. Weight in motion makes mechanical power, and as velocity increases weight diminishes until weight is lost in velocity, then the whole is under the law of attraction.
Now as the human body is matter and mind is weight, the natural man knows no law of attraction, any more than the metal knows of the attraction that governs it. The law or science that governs man is as much in the dark to the natural man as attraction is to weight. Attraction knows weight is ignorance. As the mind is like the weight, and the soul or truth is like the attraction, as we gain in knowledge we lose in mind or ignorance. So as perfect velocity casts out weight, perfect knowledge casts out mind or ignorance, and truth reigns in all. God is the attraction of both.
Ignorance, like the brute, sees no higher law than itself, therefore the ignorant act in accordance with their belief. Man, who is a little above the brute, has discovered that there is a law of attraction, and that same knowledge sees in man a higher and more intelligent law of knowledge that the natural man knows nothing of. This teaches man that as he loses in ignorance by embracing the truth he leaves this world of error, and as he learns Science he disregards error till all error is swallowed up in truth. Then one shall not say to another, "Know you the truth?" but all shall know it from the least to the greatest. Then disease shall be destroyed and truth shall reign all in all. - March, 1860.
Can two persons be in harmony except they be agreed? If you are affected by any person in a way that produces fear, you cannot be in perfect harmony with another till the fear is cast out. If it is from some idea that affects your character, you will be imprisoned in the idea till free from it. The idea may or may not be accompanied by an individual, but if it is so accompanied you will be affected by that person in your sleep, the same as in your waking state. One of these effects is attributed to the natural mind, and the other to the spiritual mind, but both have the same effect on health.
But as my knowledge contains no matter I am free from your prison, and as I break or destroy the prison or person that holds you, you come out of that spiritual idea and come to me. You will have no fear, and if you dream of me you will not be afraid. I am your protector, but till you know who I am you may be afraid because you have been deceived so many times. You look upon all sensation with suspicion, and you suspect yourself. The ignorance of yourself is the worst enemy that you have to contend with; for its character is public opinion, which is taken for truth.
To separate us from what we look upon as truth is not a very easy task, for sometimes we think we like the very thing we really hate. This keeps us in ignorance of ourselves. When we would do good evil is present with us. It is not ourselves but the evil that dwelleth in us. This evil comes from the knowledge of this world, and as this world is made up of flesh and blood, no true knowledge is in it. To separate us from the error, and bring us into harmony is to explain the false idea away, and then all sorrow will pass away, nothing will remain save the recollection of what is past, like a dream or nightmare, and you will not be likely to get into the same error again.
All sensation, when first made, contains no direction, but is simply a shock. Error puts a false construction or opinion upon it, and speaks disease into existence. The mind is then imprisoned in the idea, and all the evils that follow are what are called disease. I shall speak of two kinds of disease. One is called by the doctors, local, the other nervous. I make no difference as far as the effect of the mind is concerned. Nervous diseases are the effect of the regular's opinion reduced to a belief, and so are all others. I will state two cases to show the difference. A person is exposed to the cold. Ignorance and superstition, have reduced [this sensation] to a disease called cold or consumption. This is set down as a real disease, and so it is, but it is based upon an ignorant superstitious idea. This is one of the errors of this world, judged by this world and proved by the effect on the body. This is called "real, and no mistake."
Now, tell another that there is a serpent in his breast, or a hell that will torment him in case he does not dream just such dreams or believe just so, and when you have succeeded in making the person believe this, seeing him tormented and miserable you turn about and accuse him of being fidgety or nervous. All the sympathy he gets is to be told that he is weak-minded for believing what doctors and ministers have told him, and warned him against for years. This is the judgment of this world's belief. To condemn all this folly is to disbelieve in all peoples' opinions that tend to make one sick or unhappy. Let God or Truth be true, and all men liars. If two ideas come in conflict in you, investigate the wrong and you will find that it is from some one's opinion. You have tried to carry it out, to your own destruction. You have taken some effect for an element.
This makes all the trouble. Error can produce no element, but can only create disease and misery. Elements are like true love or Science. They contain no evil except when hatred or passion is put in. Then they may take the name of the author of the evil. For instance, you may love a person, and he may love liquor, you may be induced to drink; your love for the person may be transferred to the liquor, and you may become a drunkard. Now to cure you is to have some one interest you in those who have a distaste for liquor, and in that way, if you follow your friend, and if he knows what he is about, he restores you to health and happiness. - April, 1860.
When two persons are in harmony in regard to a fact, they are as one, for there is no jar. The fact may be of truth, or error, but if they are of the same opinion in regard to it, then they harmonize. If the harmony is pleasure, it is well, if it is trouble, it is harmony with them and discord with something else. Error cannot be in harmony with truth. Ignorance is as a blank, error is the working of ignorance to arrive at harmony or truth. Truth can govern this chemical change in ignorance to bring it in harmony with science. Truth contains no happiness, no misery, but is that power that governs all things according to itself. This truth is in all men, but it is not in the brutes, for it is not matter but the knowledge of creating matter or destroying it. Therefore, fear not that power that can destroy the body and nothing more, but fear that power that can destroy both body and soul. The power that can destroy and create matter, is the destruction of the life of error. Ignorance says in its heart there is no such power. Error knows that there is but is ignorant of its locality. To ignorance this power is an unknown God. The knowledge of this power is the harmony of one person in trouble with another in truth and happiness. - April, 1860.
Difference of Opinion About the Dead
Why should there be such a difference in opinion in regard to the dead? It is of the body, I suppose. If the body is matter, has matter life? If it has then the life is a part of the body, and if the body dies the life dies also. If you mean that this is the end of man, what lives after the life and body die? You will say, the soul. Where is the soul? Has any one ever seen it? or is it an opinion? The fact is that the theory of the body and soul is not in keeping with the progress of truth or science. It leaves everything in the dark. It gives no proof of any phenomenon, but assumes that man must take an opinion of some one about which no proof can be shown, unless you admit an opinion of something that took place five thousand years ago, and was renewed eighteen hundred years ago. Jesus tried to establish the kingdom of truth in man so that men could teach it, but man was not developed enough to receive it.
It is sometimes supposed that the wisdom of God or Science is made manifest in some simple girl or man. This is the case, and phenomena are constantly occurring, which baffle the world's wisdom to explain. ... I can prove that mind is spiritual matter, that there is no matter without mind, and that death is nothing but an opinion or state of mind made up of matter which can be destroyed like any other opinion. It is true to the soul that is in matter, but to the Science that is out of the matter it is nothing but an idea. The word matter is applied to man in his lowest state, just a little above the brute. ...
It is not to be supposed that every man who walks upright is to be set down as a scientific man, nor is it true that every one who calls himself scientific is so. But it is he who can show himself so to the world by his acts, who can explain some truth, thereby putting the world in possession of a fact that it has been ignorant of, increasing the wisdom and happiness of mankind. This is the case with Science.
Now, if death can be explained away so that man can be put in possession of life eternal, the world will be put in possession of a fact it is now ignorant of. This I will try to do. What is life? It is admitted that it is something. It is consciousness of existence, and death is the fear of the annihilation of that consciousness. The natural man never sees anything beyond the idea of his belief. Therefore he lives in death and is all his life subject to his own belief. Convince man that there is something independent of this belief that is true, that there is no such thing as matter only as it is spoken into existence, and he will then see that mind is the matter or error that is his belief.
As his belief changes the matter or opinion will change, and when a chemical change takes place the mind or opinion will be destroyed and truth or Science take its place. Then Science will stand out from mind or matter and show how mind can be made the medium of any soul to bring about any belief. When man arrives at that then death will be swallowed up in Science. Then the world will rejoice in the Science that teaches man that he can be molded to any belief taking a form to suit its author, and that all misery is in ourselves arising from some idea that our soul is in like a prison. The destruction of the prison is the destruction of our belief, and the liberation of our soul from bondage is life eternal. This is God or Science. - April, 1860.
It has been generally taught that there is a resurrection of this flesh and blood, or that this body should rise from the dead. Now if death is anything independent of ourselves, then it is not a part of our identity, and if death is the annihilation of life, then life dies and if your life dies it is not life. This absurdity arises from the fact that man began to philosophize before he understood himself. Man is superstitious from ignorance. He sees through a medium of ignorance called matter, therefore he sees nothing outside of his belief. His reason is a part of his belief, therefore he is to himself just what he thinks he is. But his belief makes his life and death of the same identity.
Therefore when he speaks of life he speaks of saving it or losing it, as though it were matter and must go through a chemical change before it could go to heaven or be separated from itself. Thus we are taught to believe that our lives are liable to be lost and cast into some place of torment, if we do not do something to save the soul, as though life were a thing independent of ourself, and we must look out for it or lose it. Absurd as this is, it is the belief of all mankind, infidel or Christian.
Therefore we are taught to believe that Jesus came to make all right, suffered and died and rose again, to let men know that they should rise. Let us see what was really accomplished by His mission according to His followers' opinions of Him. We are told that man had wandered away from God, and had become so wicked that it was necessary that something should be done, or he would be in danger of being banished from God's presence. What was required of him in order to be saved was to repent and return to God, only believing that he should never die. Therefore, his life depended on his belief, for if he did not repent or change his mind, he would be damned. Now, what are we called upon to believe? In the first place, you must believe that Jesus, the man, was Christ or God, and that He died on the cross, and that the man Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven, there to appear before God and sit down with God in heaven. If we believe this we will be saved. If we do not believe it, we must be damned. Now you see that our lives are in our belief, and our belief is made up of some one's opinion who knows just as much as we.
I, for one, do not reason in that way. I know that man has two identities, one in this state called Christian or diseased, and one in the spiritual or scientific state. Death and life are the two identities. Life is the knowledge of our existence, which has no matter. Death is the name of that state of mind that reasons as man reasons. The life of this state depends on its reason. It reasons that life is in it and a part of it, and at the same time acknowledges that life is something that can be lost or saved, and reasons about it as one man reasons with another. Death reasons also with the idea that it is saving its life, and invents all sorts of diseases which destroy its state of self.
It prays to be saved, it fasts and observes forms and ceremonies. It is very strict in its laws to protect its life. Knowledge is its destruction, so it fears God or Science. Its life is not destroyed but its opinions are, and its opinions are matter. The destroying of its opinions is death, but not annihilation of matter, but of error. The matter returns to its former condition ready to be formed into some other idea. These beliefs are from the knowledge of this world, and are the inventions of man; but the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God or Science. This world is made up of the above beliefs and is subject to a higher power.
The wisdom of God does not go into the clouds to call truth down, nor into the deep to call God up, but shows us that God is in us, even, in our speech. It sees matter as a cloud or substance that has a sort of life (in the appearance). It sees it move around. It also sees commotion, like persons moving to and fro upon the earth. It can come into this state called "this world" and reason with its followers who are in this world, imprisoned by a belief. To be clear from this world is to know that an opinion is not knowledge, and when this is found out the opinion is destroyed and Science takes its place. I am now speaking of the wisdom of this world.
You see your friend walking about, and you talk with him. Finally lie dies, as you would say. Now his identity with you is that he once lived, but is now dead. You do not know but he may live again, though this is only an opinion. You follow him with the same idea or belief. So you never enter into the world of Science, for flesh and blood cannot enter Truth, it cannot understand the separation from this world or belief.
Where do I stand? I know that all the above is the reasoning of matter, and when people learn the truth, they will make matter subject to Science. Then the wisdom of this world will become subject to the scientific world. This world calls the world of Science a "gift." To call it a gift is to say that those who practice it for the benefit of man are either ignorant of this Science, are humbugs, or are fools talking about what they do not know. Those who call Jesus' knowledge of this Science a power or gift place him on the same level with all the sorcerers of his day. - April, 1860.
[This is a supposed "communication" from one said to be "dead," to show how little reality there is in death.]
"William, will you give me your idea of death?" "I can give you my opinion, but you will say an opinion is no proof, and therefore is of no force." "Well, tell me what you think." "Well, if you want me to tell you what I have no proof of, and what is only my opinion, I suppose I can 'do it, if it will be of any use. You remember when I was sick in bed, and one night when you were sitting by me, you know I was very weak, and you all thought I was worse, and I thought so. Mother thought I would die, and I thought sometimes that I should; and don't you remember that I told you to put me to sleep?" "Yes." "Well, that was to get rid of that feeling, and when I went to sleep I felt a little nervous, I suppose, and I had a dream that I never told of before, because it troubled the family and made them feel badly.
"I dreamed that I was dead; and you wanted me to go to Bangor and stay till the trouble was over, and I seemed to go there, but I knew all about it. But as it was a dream, and the association made me feel so badly, I could never speak of it to mother, for it seemed they had the same dream, so I kept it to myself." "How long did you sleep?" "Till the trouble was over, and when I woke up, it seemed like a reality." "Did you have any sort of knowledge in this sleep of your opinion while awake?" "Yes, I reasoned I was with you, just as you and I used to be when you would talk me to sleep before, but I never was conscious, before, of the idea of death having so much effect on a person, for I could reason with myself, and I am satisfied if I had been taught to believe as some people do, my belief would have governed my dream, and 1 should have been ten times more unhappy; for when I woke up it did not affect me so long, from the fact that I knew it was only an opinion, and you say that is no proof, and I always remembered that.
"But I know how to pity those who take an opinion for a truth, for an opinion is as real to the person who believes it as though it were true. As I have reasoned myself into a belief that man never dies, I shall not try to give myself any trouble about others' belief. If people believe that they die, and their spirits come back and talk with their friends, I have no doubt but what they do. But it is their opinion and that is of no consequence, except to lessen their belief that there is such a state as death; perhaps it gives them some happiness. But as far as I am concerned I am satisfied with my belief."
"Suppose I should believe that you were dead?" "Suppose that you should, would that make it so?" "No." "Suppose I should believe that you were dead, what would you say to that?" "I should say, if I knew anything, I know I am alive." "Well, can't you be as charitable toward another as you would like them to be towards you?" "Yes, but I can't believe that you are dead." "Did you ever know a dead man to speak?" "No, but you know that we all believe that the body dies and the soul lives." "Yes, but did you ever see a soul?" "No." "Then why do you believe the soul lives, when you say an opinion is of no force? Have you any proof that a person is alive, when you see him dead?" "No, only my belief." "You say that your belief is of no force, for it contains no proof, is it not so?" "Yes."
"Well, suppose I admit that I am dead, will that make you any better satisfied?" "No." "Well, what shall I admit." "I don't know, but I wish I really knew whether I was talking to you." "Don't you believe your own senses?" "Certainly, but you don't come within my senses." "Why not?" "Because I can't see you." "Then because you think you can't see me, I am dead?" "Yes." "Can you see John?" "No." "Is he dead?" "No." "How do you know?" "I think he is alive." "That is nothing but an opinion which you say is of no force." "Will you give me your opinion about it?" "I have no opinion about it. I know that I am here now, and that is all I care about it. If I am dead, it is news to me: I don't know any more about it than Lucius knew when he was asleep, that he was asleep. So if death is only a mesmeric sleep, it is not much to go through." - Dec. 1859.
My Use of the Word 'Mind'
You know I have tried to prove that mind is spiritual matter; and if I have proved that, I will now show you that matter is life. This you will admit so far as vegetation is concerned. Now see if animal matter is not life. If so you see that man is made up of life. His body is particles of animal life condensed into a form or idea, called man, or a living being of life; not Science, but life is governed by Science. Now what is man when he is not man? for you say man dies. What is Science? Is it that wisdom which controls life? Is it not life? If it is then there is no word to define it, for life is matter, and matter is life.
Animal life is in flesh and blood, so flesh and blood is not Science, but Science controls it. What are Wisdom's attributes? Has it an identity? The wisdom of man has an identity in a living form. Can you give any definite idea of what people mean by "the soul?" The one who invented the word must have applied it to an idea that never had an existence, for soul is always applied to life. We read of "fat souls" and "lean souls," and "saving souls and losing souls"; so that word cannot explain man when he is not man. When he is not man he is not soul, so we must get some other word to define what man is when he ceases to be matter.
I will now try to explain what man is, and what he is not; and show that what he is, he is not, and what he is not, he is. I will illustrate the two men so that each shall be a separate and distinct identity. I will take for my illustration the man as we see him, and Science as the man who cannot see through the natural man (for Science cannot be seen, only its effects) and show how they differ. The natural man is made of flesh and blood; Science is not. Man has life; Science is life. Man has sight; Science is sight. Man has feeling; Science is feeling. Man has all of the five senses; Science is all of the five senses. Man of himself cannot do anything; Science can do all things. Man is of matter; Science is not. Then what is man, independent of Science? Nothing but an idea of life and death. Then where does he differ from the brute, where does Science make the distinction? It makes no distinction. Who does? The first cause or God. How? In attaching Science to the identity called man.
Then does Science have an identity? Yes. What is it? Wisdom or God. When you give it all its qualities, what kind of person is it? It is the Scientific man, not of flesh and blood, but of that world where error never comes. It speaks through man. What does? Its life or the wisdom. of God, How does it get its food? By the sweat of its brow, or the development of itself. Where does it differ from the natural man? In everything. Show by illustration. The natural man is nothing but an idea which Science uses to illustrate some fact or problem that is for the development of Science. Then what does man gain or lose by death as it is called? Just as much as any matter that is always changing. [* footnote 8] –Aug. 1860.
[* 1] Our aches and pains may be more wisely interpreted.
[* 2] This is the first article in which Dr. Quimby identifies Science with Christ. Later he used the term Christian Science.
[* 3] That is, without mediumship, spiritism, etc.
[* 4] Man's true intelligence or intuition.
[* 5] A cardinal proposition with Dr. Quimby.
[* 6] That is, the silent spiritual realization of the Divine ideal.
[* 7] That is through the life or reality which we attribute to it.
[* 8] Dr. Quimby held that death is never a fundamental or decisive change, but a relatively external or incidental experience. It is our spiritual state that is decisive. This depends on our real or external wisdom.