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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 14 - Christ or Science, part 3 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY BELIEF 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, bow 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 apply?ing 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 inde?pendent 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 may 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 nat?ural 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 thir 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 representive 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 bands, and in a hypocrital 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 man?kind? 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 re?lieving 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 "hum?bug" 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 in?to 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 mis?construed, 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 intro?duction 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.