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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 14 - Christ or Science, part 5 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
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 be 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 hap?piness 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 moulded 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 he 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 practise 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 I 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; per?haps 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 1 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. (1)-Aug. 1860.
(1) 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.