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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 11 - Letters to Patients and Inquiries, part 1 of 2
Table of Contents to this Topic

(1) These letters have been somewhat condensed to avoid repetitions.

PORTLAND, Dec. 7th, 1861.

Miss L.

Your letter was safely received, but my engagements have been such that I have not had time to give my attention to your case until now. Although we have lived side by side ever since we were children, we were ignorant of that power or Science that is necessary to smooth our ruffled path as we travel along the road to Wisdom, whence no child of Science returns to his former home of ignorance and superstition, You and I have a power called the inner man by the ignorant, but its true name is Wisdom or progression. This is the child of God, and although at first almost without an identity this little wisdom implanted in this earthly man or idea is held in ignorance till some higher wisdom frees it from its prison.

YOU remember when your little pupils would stand by your side looking up to you for wisdom to satisfy their desires. You with your power like Moses went before them leading them through the sea of ignorance, they following your light as a pillar of fire, and in the clouds of darkness your light sprang up. As you traveled along, they murmuring and complaining, you like Moses fed them with the bread of Science and eternal life. You smote the rock of wisdom that followed them and they drank of the waters that came out of your teaching and this rock or Wisdom was Christ. You have a Teacher as well as I that goes before us teaching us Science. We become the child of the one we obey. You, like Moses, held up the serpent of ignorance before your little pupils and all who looked upon your explanation and understood were healed of their disease or ignorance; but the murmuring of your pupils would make you nervous and although you, like Moses on Mount Pisgah, could see the promised land, your heart failed you and you sank down in despair. In your discontented state of mind you call, as Job did, but no answer returns from your comforters, your doctors or spiritual advisers, who being blind guides find you . . . and fall upon you and rob you of all your wisdom. So here you are a stranger among thieves, cast into prison by the very ones you have always taken for your leaders on the road to health; you are bound with bands, sick and with no hope of ever being set at liberty.

Now your belief is like a bark and your wisdom attached to it, on the water of this world, for water is an emblem of error, so that the medical wisdom or ocean is where your bark seems to be moored. Here you are tossed to and fro, sometimes expecting to be lost, while the winds of spiritualism are whistling in your ear till they shake the bark to which your wisdom is attached. So the heavens are dark and the light of wisdom is extinguished in the opinions or waves of medical science.

As you are lying tossing to and fro you see me coming. When I say "me" I mean Science in P. P. Q., not the P. P. Q. that you used to see, but Wisdom in a body, not of flesh and blood, but a body such as Wisdom gives it; for Wisdom gives to every one a body as it pleases and to every science its own body. Your body or bark is of this world and your wisdom is in it, and I have come through your wisdom to get you clear of your enemies. So you may look out of the window of your bark while reading this and you will see me coming on the water of your life saying to spiritualism and the waves of the medical faculty. "Be still, and I will come on board of your bark, [quiet] your fears and return you once more to your own house whence you have been decoyed by these blind guides."

As disease is in accordance with the laws of man, a penalty is attached to every act so that every one found guilty must be punished by the law. As you are accused of a great many transgressions your punishment is greater than you can bear. So you sink under your trouble. I appear in your behalf to have you tried by the laws of your own country, not by the laws of these barbarians. So I will read over the indictment that stands against you. Here it is: You are accused of dyspepsia, liver complaint, nervousness, sleepless nights, weak stomach, palpitation, neuralgia, rheumatism, pains through your back and hips, lameness and soreness, want of action in the stomach. What say you to this indictment: are you guilty or not guilty? You say "guilty." But as I appear in your behalf I deny that you are guilty of the evils which cause this punishment. I want you to have a fair trail before the judge of truth, and if you have disobeyed any law of God or Science you must answer to Science, not to man. I will call on the hypocrite or doctor who goes around devouring widows' houses, and for a few dollars has got the people into trouble from which they cannot get out. He says you have all the above diseases.

On cross-examination when asked how he knows, his answer is [that] you told him. This is all the proof that he or any other doctor can bring. So by their false testimony you have been condemned for believing a lie, that you might be sick. Now as your case is one of a thousand I have, I have only to say a few words to your wisdom as judge. All disease is only the effect of our belief. The belief is of man and as Science sees through man's belief it destroys the belief and sets the soul or wisdom free.

I will now sum up the evidence. You have listened to the opinions of the doctors, who are blind guides crying peace, peace, till you have embraced all their wisdom. This has produced a stagnation in your system and what their ignorance has not done the spiritualists have tried to do. So between them both you are a prisoner, and in the same state as the people were in the days of Jesus when he said to them, "Beware of the doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees; for they say and do not, they bind burdens on you that they cannot explain."

This keeps you nervous. So awake from your lethargy and come to the light of Wisdom, that will teach you that man's happiness is in himself, that his life is eternal, this life is Wisdom and as Wisdom is progression, its enemy is ignorance. So seek Wisdom and believe no man's opinion, for these opin?ions make you nervous. This causes a heat to go to your head making your head feel heavy and producing a dullness over your eyes. In fact [this opinion] causes all your bad feelings.

So if I can lift your wisdom above the error or mind then you will be free. But now this nervous heat is all through you and comes to the surface. When the cold strikes you it chills you. This you take for a low state of the blood. But it is a stagnation of your own self, not able to explain the phenomena that you are affected by. As you read this it will excite you to understand it. This is like a little leaven that is put into your bread or belief. It will work till it affects the lump and causes you to feel as though you had a very bad cold. Then it will work upon your system and affect your bowels.

Then you may know that your cure is at hand. So do not despair, only remember the signs of the times and pray that your flight may not be in the night nor on the Sabbath day when you are at meeting. So keep on the lookout and I think you will be better. If so let me know. When you read this letter I will be with you and you will not think it strange, for it will produce some strange sensations, sometimes joy and sometimes grief. But it is all for the best. So keep up good courage and I will lead you through the dark valley of the shadow of death and land you safe in that world of Science where disease never comes.

I will stop at this time. But remember as long as you read this and drink in these words. For this is my [wisdom] and to drink it is to understand. Do this in remembrance of me, not P. P. Q., but Science, till your health comes. I will leave you now and come again and lead you till you can go alone. If you will see fit to show this to Julia H., when you read it we shall all be together. You know what this Truth says that when two or three are gathered together in Science, Wisdom will be there and bless and explain to them.

P. P. Q.

PORTLAND, December 16th, 1861.

Miss B:

Yours of the 7th is received containing $2.00 as a fee for my services on yourself. As you have shown a spirit of sympathy that I never have received before, I certainly shall not prove myself one who will not return to another as I would that another should do to me. So I receive your two dollars sent in hope of a relief and return your money, believing it came from one who is as ready to give as to receive. I believe if two persons agree in one thing sincerely, independent of self, it will be granted.

I will now use my skill as far as I am able to correct your mind in regard to your trouble. The heat you speak of is not a rush of blood to the head but it is caused by a sensation on your mind like some trouble. This causes a weakness at times at the pit of your stomach. The heat in the second stomach causes a pressure on the aorta which makes the heart beat very rapidly at times. This you take for palpitation and it causes a flash or heat, which of course you take for a rush of blood to the head. But it is not so; it is in the fluids. As the clouds in the skies change when the wind blows, so the fluids under the skin change at every excitement. The skin being transparent reveals the color; this annoys you and the false idea that [the cause] is the blood that keeps up the fire. Now just take into your mind the [idea of the] spine as a combined lever of three parts, and you will see how to correct your [thought] so as to ease the pressure. . . . Now imagine yourself sitting in a chair with the lower lever or spine at right angles with your limbs. This [will] relieve the stomach, take the pressure from the aorta and put out the fire so there can be no heat. This will produce a change in your feelings and the change is the cure.

If you will sit down on Sunday evening I will try to straighten you up so as to relieve that feeling. [When] I succeed, if you feel that I am entitled to anything in the shape of a gift, it will be received if ever so trifling. Your sincerity towards me interests my sympathy in you, and if I relieve you I shall be very glad. You have taken the way to make me try my best. This is true sympathy to sympathize with those who make the first sacrifice. It is of no consequence if it be one cent or one hundred: the sacrifice is all. It shows your faith, and according to your faith so shall your cure be. This being a new experiment, let me know how I succeed and if I change your mind, the change is the cure. I send you one of my circulars which will tell you more of my treatment. It is easier to cure than to explain to a patient at a distance. But I am sure of the principle and feel confident that I shall cure at a distance. For distance is nothing but an error that truth will sometime- explode. If my faith and your hope mingle, the cure will be the result, so I will give my attention to you as far as my faith goes and shall like to hear how I succeed. P. P. QUIMBY.

Miss B

Yours of the 7th is received and I am glad to learn that I have relieved your mind by "my power," as you call it. But you misunderstand my power. It is not power but Wisdom. If you knew as much as I do about yourself you could feel another's feelings; but here is the trouble. What people call "power" I call Wisdom. Now if my wisdom is more than yours then I can help you, but this I must prove to you, and if I tell you about yourself what you cannot tell me, then you must acknowledge that my wisdom is superior to yours and become a pupil instead of a patient.

I will now sit down by you and tell your feelings. You may give your attention to me by [mentally] giving me your hand. I will write down the conversation that I hold with you while sitting by you. You have a sort of dizzy feeling in your head and a pain in the back part of the neck. This affects the front part of the head causing a heaviness over the eyes. The lightness about the head causes it to incline forward, bringing a pressure on your neck, just below the base of the brain, so that you often find yourself throwing your head up, to ease that part of the head. This makes it heavy so it bears on the shoulders, cramps the neck, numbs the chest, so that you give way at the pit of the stomach and feel as though you wanted something to hold you up. This cramps the stomach, giving you a "gone feeling" at the pit of the stomach. Now these symptoms taken of themselves are nothing. But you have had medical advice, or have got from some one else an answer to all these feelings. You are nervous. You think you have the heart complaint. Your blood rushes to the head. . . . [If] all these symptoms together would not make your face red, what would?

Listen to me and I will give an explanation of all the above feelings. I must go back to the first cause, say some years ago. I will not undertake to tell just the cause but I will give you an illustration. Suppose I (the natural man) were sitting by you, and we were alone. If I should go and fasten the door, and go towards you and attempt to seize hold of you, and if you asked me what I intended to do and I should say, "keep still, or I will blow your brains out," you would see that this would frighten you. I think your heart would beat as fast as it ever did. This explanation I do not say is true. For I suppose a case, [but a shock or] start contracts the stomach, the fright or excitement [generates] heat, [and the pressure] sets your heart beating, and throws the heat to your head, this heat tries to escape out of the nose causing a tickling in your nose and you often rub it because it itches and feels hot. It then tries to escape through the passage to the ears making your cheeks red and burn and causes a noise in your ears sometimes. This after a while subsides, the stomach relaxes and the heat passes down from the stomach into the bowels. .

Now follow the directions in the last letter and relieve the pressure on the aorta. This will check the nervous heat and relieve the excitement and then the heat will subside. The color is in the surface of the skin and has nothing to do with any humor or disease: it is nothing but excitement. As I told you in my last, I will be with you when you read the letters and you will feel a warm sensation pass over you, like a breath. This will open the pores of the skin and the heat will escape.

I send back the five dollars till the cure is performed. I don't like to be outdone in generosity and I am willing to risk as much as any one in such a cause as this. If I come off conqueror then it will be time enough for you to offer up a sacrifice. Till then if I accept a gift it is without an equivalent on my part. I feel as certain of success as you do, so I feel as though I run no risk. All I look for is the cure. You ask if I give any medicine. The only medicine I ever give is my explanation and that is the cure. In about a week let me know how the medicine works. Hoping to hear good news when next I hear from you, I remain,

Your friend,


PORTLAND, ME., Jan. 2nd, 1861.

To Mr. H:

In response to your letter I must say, that it is out of my power to visit your place in person at this time, from the fact that I have some thirty or more patients here on my hands, but if there comes a slack time I will come and let you know beforehand so you can meet me in Bangor.

Now a word or two to your wife. I will try my best while sitting by you while writing this letter to produce an effect on your stomach. I want you to take a tumbler of pure water while I write this and now and then take a little. I am with you now seeing you. Do not be in a hurry when you read this, but be calm and you will in a short time feel the heat start from your left side and run down like water; then your head will be relieved and you will have an inclination to rise. Be slow in your movements so that your head will not swim round. I will take you by the hand at first and steady you till you can walk alone. Now remember what I say to you. I am in this letter and as often as you read this and listen to it you listen to me. So let me know the effect one week from now. I will be with you every time you read this. Take about one half hour to devote to reading and listening to my counsel and I assure you you will be better. Now do not forget.

Yours, etc.,

P. P. Q.

PORTLAND, ME., Dec. 30,1860.

To Mr. J

As your wife is about leaving for her home, I take this way of expressing my ideas of the trouble she is laboring under, thinking you would like my opinion of her case. I think her friends are not aware of her true state. Hers is one of a very peculiar kind. She is not deaf in the strict sense of the word, but her condition has been brought about by trouble of long standing. When I say "trouble" I do not confine it to any neglect on the part of her friends, but trouble when young which made her nervous. This caused her to become low spirited till it has changed her system so that she is not the same person she was twelve years ago. I have given my attention to her general health, not to her deafness; for I think if she should come right in her mental or physical condition as she used to be, she would be well. You can see and judge of her appearance and buoyancy of mind. .


PORTLAND, ME., December 27th, 1860.

To Miss G. F

Your letter was received, and now I sit down to use my power to affect you. I will commence by telling you to sit upright and not give way at the pit of the stomach. If I felt that you saw me as plainly while I am talking to you as I see you, then there would be no use in writing; for you are as plain before my eyes as you were when I was talking to the shadow in Portland. For the shadow came with the substance, and that which I am talking to now is the substance. If I make an impression on it, it may throw forth a shadow of a young lady upright without that "gone place" at the pit of the stomach. . . . Remember that when I see you sitting or standing in the position I saw you in at Portland I shall just straighten you up. If you complain of the back, you may lay it to me and I will be a little more gentle. You may expect me once in a while in the evening. So keep on the lookout. See that you have your lamp trimmed and burning, so that when the Truth comes it shall not find you sleeping, but up straight, ready to receive the bridegroom. It seems that you understand this as I tell it to you. But for fear you will not explain it to the shadow, or natural man, I. will try to make you understand so it may come to the senses of the natural man. If I succeed, let my natural man know by a letter. (1)

Yours, etc.,

P. P. Q.

(1) This letter shows how emphatically Quimby directed attention to "the scientific man" or real self, the self that already possesses the Truth or Science implicitly.

To Mrs. A. C. B:

In answer to your letter I will say that it is impossible to give an opinion of a case till I know something about it [apart from] my natural senses. If I myself cannot take another's feelings, my opinion is nothing. When I sit by a patient their feelings affect me and the sensation I receive from the mind is independent of the senses, for they [the senses] do not know that they communicate any intelligence to me. This I feel, and it contains the cause of the trouble, and my Wisdom explains the trouble, and the explanation is the cure. You must trust in that Wisdom that is able to unlock any error. P. P. Q.
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