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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 13 - Questions and Answers, part 2 of 2
Table of Contents to this Topic
6. "If I understood how disease originates in the mind and fully believe it why cannot I cure disease?

If you understand how disease originates, then you stand to the patient as a lawyer does to a criminal who is to be tried for a crime committed against a law that he is ignorant of breaking, and the evidence is his own confession. You know that he is innocent, but you can get no evidence, only by cross-questioning the evidence against him. Disease has its attending counsel as well as truth or health, and to cure the sick is to show to the judge or their own counsel that the witness lies. This you have to show from the witness' own story, then you get the case. The error is on one side and you on the other, and out of the mouth of the sick comes the witness. I will first state a case. A sick person is like a stranger in his own land, or like an ignorant man not knowing what is law or right and wrong according to law. Both are strangers and both are liable to get into trouble, so each is to be punished according to the crime he has committed. Now the man, ignorant of state laws wants a horse, seeing one he takes it, not knowing that he is liable to any punishment, but as a matter of conven?ience, and when he has used him as much as he pleases he lets him go. Now, he is arrested for stealing, and being ignorant he is cast into prison to await his trial. I appear against him as state's attorney, and you appear for the prisoner. All the testimony is on my side, but if you are shrewd enough to draw from me an acknowledgment that the law cannot punish a man that is ignorant of the law (and not know it) after I have shown the testimony and made my plea, then if you can show that the prisoner has been deceived, and led into the scrape by me, I having received pay from him, then the court will give you the verdict, and arrest and imprison me. A sick person is precisely in this very state. The priests and doctors conspire together to humbug the people, and they have invented all sorts of stories to frighten man and keep him under their power. These stories are handed down from one generation to another till at last both priest and doctors all believe they are God's laws and when a person disobeys one he is liable to be cast into prison. Suppose you are a doctor of the law of health as it is called, and you call on her and commence explaining the necessity of being acquainted with the laws pertaining to health. She being ignorant or like a child sees no sense in your talk; but you continue to explain, and as she grows nervous you keep it up till she shows some sign of yielding to your opinion, then you tell her she has the heart disease, or lung disease and it will soon be found out, and then she will be punished with death at any time that the Judge sees fit to call her. In her fright, she acknowledges she is guilty, then you enter a complaint against her. She is arrested and cast into prison, there to await her trial, you are the devil or error's attorney and she is the judge; she is brought into court to be tried by error's tribunal. Now I appear, for I have heard her story, unknown to the judge or attorney. I have the evidence and see that the very attorney against her is her disease and the author of her trouble. This I keep to myself, till I draw from the judge that a person cannot be tried for a crime which they were forced to commit. This being done, I commence my plea for the victim and show that she has never committed any offense against the laws of God and that she was born free, etc. Then I take up the evidence and show that there is not one word of wisdom in all that has been said, also that she has been made to believe a lie that she might be condemned. In this way I get the case. Disease being made by a belief, or forced upon us by our parents or public opinion, you see there is no particular form of agreement, but everyone must suit his to the particular case. Therefore it requires great shrewdness to get the better of the error: for disease is the work of the devil or error, but error like its father has its cloven foot and if you are as wise as your enemies you will get the case. I know of no better answer than Jesus gave to His disciples when He sent them forth and told them to preach the truth and cure. Be ye wise as they were, or serpents, and as harmless as doves, that is, do not get into a rage. In this way you will annoy the disease and get the case. Now if you can face the error and argue it down, then you can cure the sick.

7. "I can see this belief places man entirely superior to circumstances, but will it not therefore take away all desire for improvement and cause invention to cease, and the whole go back rather than progress, and cause us also to become indifferent to friends and social relations, and say of everything that it is only an idea without substance, and so take away the reality of existence ?"

The answer to this is involved in the last. You can answer it by your own feelings, when you plead the case of the sick, condemned by the world, cast into prison with no one to say a cheering word, but left to the cold icy hand of ignorance and superstition, who have no heart to feel and whose life depends on its destruction. If you can be the means of pleading their case and set them free from their prisons or superstitions and error, into the light of wisdom and happiness, there to mingle with the well and happy, knowing that you were the cause of so much happiness, would it not be enough to prompt you to continue your efforts for the salvation of the sick and suffering, till the great work of reformation is completed? You may answer for yourself, and say if it does not place man superior to the interests of this world, and instead of taking away the reality of existence it makes man's existence an eternal progression of joy and happiness, and its tendency is to destroy death and bring life and immortality to light.

8. "Suppose a person kept in a mesmeric state, what would be the result? would he act independently if allowed? If not, is it not an exact illustration of the condition we are in, in order to have matter which is only an idea seem real to us, for we act independently?"

I think I understand your question. God is the great mesmeriser or magnet,(1) He speaks man or the idea into existence, and attaches His senses to the idea and we are to ourselves just what we think we are. So [man] is a mesmerised subject, they are to themselves matter. You may have as many subjects as you will and they are all in the same relation to each other as they would be in the state we call waking. So this is proof that we are affected by one another, sometimes independently and sometimes governed by others, but always retaining our own identity, with all our ideas of matter and subject to all its changes, as real as it is in the natural or waking state.

(1) Quimby says this to try to bring meaning from an obscure question. He uses no such expression in his other writings.

9. "What do you think of phrenology?"

As a science it is a mere humbug. It is at best a polite way of pointing out the soft spots of a man's vanity.

10. "What is memory, or that process by which we recall images of the past?"

I have explained memory in that class of reason called knowledge. It is one of the chemical changes to arrive at a fact, matter being only a shadow. When the senses are detached from it we forget the shadow, till it is called up by another. This is memory. If there was no association there could be no memory and those that have the greatest amount of association, and least wisdom have the greatest memories. Those who rely on observation and opinion as the laws of reason have great memories, for their life is in their memory. But the former retain their reason as it is called and are forgetful of events. Memory is the pleasure or pain of some cause or event that affects our happiness or misery, or it is something ludicrous. For instance, a judge hearing one tell another "his coat-tail was short," and the other replied "it will be long enough before I get another" attempted to repeat the joke, but he forgot the sympathy or music in it, and said, "a man told another his coat-tail was short, and he replied, it would be a long time before he got another one." The company failed to laugh and he said, "I do not see anything to laugh at myself, but when I heard it I laughed heartily" Memory is the effect of two ideas coming in harmony so as to produce an effect that leaves a scene of some idea either ridiculous or otherwise embracing so many combinations that it brings up the scene. Memory is one of the senses of man and will exist so long as the idea matter exists. (1)

(1) Elsewhere Quimby calls matter much more than a "shadow" or "idea."

11. "What became of the body of Jesus after it was laid in the ground, if you do not believe it rose?"

Jesus is the idea "matter," so those that believed that Jesus Christ was one believed that His body and soul were crucified. Now came their doubts whether this same idea should rise again. Some believed it would, others doubted. So far as Christ was concerned, all their opinions had no effect. Christ was the Wisdom that knew matter was only an idea that could be formed into any shape, and the life that moved it came not from it but was outside of it. Here was where their wisdom differed. The disciples believed that the wisdom of man would rise out of the error or idea "man," or matter, and matter comes under the head of memory. How far their idea of Jesus went I am unable to say. Some said He was stolen, others that He rose. There is as good reason for believing one story as another. Now, Jesus said nothing about it. Now, I take Christ's own words for truth when He said touching the dead that they rise, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." He knew that they could not understand, but to Himself Christ went through no change. To His disciples He died. So when they saw Him they were afraid because they thought He was a spirit, but Christ had not forgotten His identity Jesus, or flesh and blood. So He says, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have." If Christ's believers of this day could have been there with their present belief, I have my doubts whether they could have seen or even heard any sound. Yet I believe Christ did appear and show Himself as dense as their belief could be made, but their unbelief made the idea so rarified that it was a spirit. These are my ideas of the resurrection of Christ. But Jesus [according to] the world's idea (if the people were as they are now) was without doubt taken away; at any rate, their idea man never rose. Christ lost nothing by the change. Every person rises from the dead with their own belief, so to themselves they are not risen and know no change, and the dead as they are called have no idea of themselves as dead.

12. "Do we receive impressions through the senses and do they, acting upon the mind, constitute knowledge?"

This question is answered by Paul to the Romans, although he did not use the same words. This belief means faith, the peace in the truth was through their belief. Hope is the anchor made fast to the truth, belief is the knowledge that we shall attain this truth, so that we glory in the tribulation or action of the mind, knowing that it brings patience and patience confidence and confidence experience, that we shall obtain the truth. Knowledge is opinions, so when an impression is made on the mind it produces a chemical change, this comes to the senses and opens the door of hope to the great truth. This hope is the world's knowledge or religion that is used like an anchor to the senses till we ride out the gale of investigation and land in the haven of God or Truth.

13. "How is matter made the medium of the intelligence of man ?"

There are two ideas, one spirit and one matter. When you speak of man you speak of matter. When you speak of spirit you speak of the knowledge that will live after the matter is destroyed or dead. This is the Christian's wisdom. With God in all the above is only opinions and ideas without any wisdom from God or Truth. All the above is embraced in his idea as an illusion that contains no life but lives, moves, has its being and identity in his wisdom. So that to itself it is a living, moving something with power to act to create and destroy. Its happiness and misery are in itself. So when its shadow is destroyed to B and C he is dead. A loses nothing but is the same as before, but to B and C he is dead. So the shadow is the medium of truth and error, to error it is matter but to Truth it is an illusion.

14. "Do I err in thinking knowledge the effect of some influence on the mind, instead of something independent of the whole individual?"

Knowledge is the effect of an influence on the mind and is the medium that carries the senses to this great Truth.

15. "Can any one bear any amount of excitement and fatigue without a reaction?"

No, no more than a mathematician can solve every problem without a reaction, but as he becomes master of the science, the reaction diminishes, till all error is destroyed.


Dr. Quimby's writings are not to establish any religious creed or bolster up any belief of man, but they are simply the out-pouring of a truth, that sees the sick cast into prison, for no other cause than a belief in the opinions of man, there to linger out a miserable existence, driven from society into the dark cell of disease where no friend is allowed to enter to soothe their woes. The knowledge of this condition is known to him from their own feelings and calls forth his plea in their behalf. He stands to the sick as an attorney to a criminal, a friend. This is what he believes Jesus intended to communicate to the world when he said, "they that are well need not a physician, but they that are sick." So he pleads their case and destroys their opinion, breaks the bars of death and sets the prisoner free. This was Jesus' religion, that he believed, taught, and practised. (1)

(1) This paragraph was added by Dr. Quimby for the sake of the general inquirer.
See Also:

Dale Pond
Tulsa Seminar
Dale Pond and Atlin
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