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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 15 - The World of the Senses, part 2 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
DEATH OF THE NATURAL MAN
I am often asked where I differ from a spiritualist. In everything, but as this is an opinion I will try to make it clear. The spiritualists believe in the dead rising, and they sometimes say there is no such thing as death. Now let us see what their works show. The senses of the natural man are attached to his knowledge, and that is made of opinions, and so his senses are attached to his opinions. His opinions embrace all belief. So to destroy his belief is to destroy his life, for his life is in his belief, and a part of it.
Let us see what his belief embraces. In the first place he believes in matter, called living matter, that has life; for he says that life or matter must die or perish. Now here is the contradiction in the spiritualists' belief. They deny that the dead rise, but if the dead do not rise, what are the dead? You are pointed to a man lying motionless and to all appearance even according to a spiritualist, dead. Now is he dead, or is he not dead? The spiritualist may answer. He says the body is dead. Was it ever alive ? You must say, "yes," for I point to a man moving around and ask if that man is dead and your answer is, "no." Then he must be a living man, and according to your belief we have a living man and a dead one. Now where do they differ? Here is the mystery, their belief like all others flies back to the old superstition which they have all believed: that the dead rise, and in this fog they get lost.
I will show you where I differ from spiritualists and in fact all other sects. If you will admit that mind is spiritual matter, for the sake of listening to my ideas, I will give you my theory. I assert that according to man's belief there are certain facts admitted and established beyond a doubt, and as my wisdom is not of this world or man's belief, only in part, it follows that what I know I have no opinion about. All knowledge that is of man is based on opinions. This I call this world of matter; it embraces all that comes within the so-called senses. Man's happiness and misery is in his belief, but the wisdom of science is of God, not of man.
To separate these two kingdoms is what I am trying to do, and if I can succeed in this I have accomplished what never has been done, but what has been the aim of the philosophers since the world began. The secret of life and happiness is the aim of all mankind, and how to get at it is the mystery that has baffled the wisdom of the world. I should never under?take the task of explaining what the wise men have failed to do but for the want of some better proof to explain phenom?ena that come under my own observation. The remedies have never destroyed the cause nor can the cause be destroyed by man's reason, and Science cannot admit what cannot be proved. Until some better proof of what we see and hear and feel can be produced the world must grope in darkness and scepticism.
I will separate the two worlds of which I am now speaking and show what one has failed to do, also that the other is not acknowledged as independent of the first. The world of opinions is the old world. That of Science is the new, and a separation must take place and a battle fought between them. The world of error and opinions has held Science in bondage ever since man began to be independent of savage life. The child of Science has been nourished in the bosom of its mother in the wilderness of error till it grew up so as to assume a character, then when it has undertaken to assume its rights it has always been met with the thunder of error. But as it is so much of a friend to the happiness of man, the enemies or error could never prevent its growth, for that was in the scientific world, and that world has no matter, or it is so rarified that error cannot see through it. So the scientific man can pass through the errors and instruct the child of Science till it bursts forth and becomes a man or law. Then the natural man or error destroys its leaders and falls down and worships the scientific laws, and acknowledges them as king of this world. As Science is now acknowledged, the kings of the earth are cut off and the kingdom is divided against itself; the leaders with their armies flee into the wilderness, there to rally for another attack when any new science is started. Now the Science of Life and Happiness is the one that has met with the most opposition from the fact that it is death to all opposers. It never compromises with its enemies, nor has it any dealings with them. Its kingdom is of Truth, not of error; therefore it is not of this world of matter.
I will state its laws, how much it admits, how much it condemns and how it puts its laws in force. Its habitation is in the hearts of men, it cannot be seen by the natural man, for he is of matter. All he has is his senses, there is his residence for the time, he has no abiding city, but is a traveler or sojourner in the world. His house is not made with hands but is in the scientific world. So his whole aim is the happiness of man. The scientific man sees through matter which is only an error acknowledged as a truth, although it is to the natural man a reality. As error holds on to all territory as under its power, it keeps the scientific man in slavery or bondage. So to keep the Science of Life down, men invent all sorts of humbugs in the shape of invisible things and attribute life to them, while they pretend to be the people's guide to wisdom. It is almost impossible to tell one character from another, as both communicate through the same organs. As the scientific man has to prove his wisdom through the same matter that the natural man uses he is often misrepresented and put down by false stories of the errors of the natural man. This was where Jesus found so much trouble in His day, for the people could not tell who was speaking.
The scientific man was called by the natural man, "angel." So if an angel spoke he would listen. The natural man, being superstitious and ignorant, is easily led by the cunning errors of the world; the leaders, being crafty and superstitious, believe in every phenomenon which is produced, and they attribute it to a power from the invisible world. The locality of this world is the mystery, so all varieties of speculations are got up about it. It opens all the avenues of matter, through which to give the inhabitants "communications" But the natural man has possession of the mediums, so that the scientific man is misrepresented in nine-tenths of all he says. To be in the scientific world is to acknowledge a wisdom above the natural man, which will enter that world where wisdom sees through matter. This is the condition of those who are thrown into the clairvoyant state. To them matter is nothing but an idea that is seen or not, just as it is called out. . . . The explanation is given by these blind guides, who have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, and hearts but cannot understand Science. They are afraid of the truth lest it destroy them, for the death of error is the introduction of the Science of Life and Happiness.
As the standards of parties are established by error; it is almost imposible to introduce any new science unless it is explained on some of the theories of the natural man. Thus all phenomena are thrown into the bands of blind guides who have pronounced judgment upon everything that has appeared. Whenever anyone shows a phenomenon, the priest and doctor catch the idea out of the mouth of the author and explain it. on some theory already known to the people. The theory of health is one that has come up many times and failed because of the blindness of the wise, so that it has now almost become a terror to the one who had boldness enough to stand up and face the blind leaders of the blind. . . .
This Christ whom you crucify by your theories, is the same that Jesus taught eighteen hundred years ago. It was taught by the prophets of old and has always been in the world, but has never been applied to the curing of disease, although false Christs have arisen and deceived the people, and the true Christ has been crucified by the priest and doctor to this time.
I will now try to establish this science or rock and upon it I will build the Science of Life. The starting-point is animal matter or life which set in action, leads to thought. Thoughts, like grains of sand, are held together by their own sympathy or attraction. The natural man is composed of these particles of thought combined and arranged to make a form called man. As thought is always changing, so man is always throwing off particles or thoughts and receiving others.
As man's senses are in his wisdom, and his wisdom is attached to his idea or body, his change of mind is under one of the two directions, either of this world of opinions, or of God or Science and his happiness or misery is the result of his thought. As the idea man has always been under the wisdom of this world, the scientific man has always been kept down, from the fact that no man has ever risen to that state where the scientific man could control the wisdom of the natural man. This has always caused man to be at war with himself. In this warfare if the natural man rules, disease and unhappiness are the fate of man. If Science rules, life and happiness are the reward.
Now I stand alone on this rock, fighting the errors of this world, and establishing the Science of Life by my works. What is my mode of warfare? With the axe of truth, I strike at the root of every tree of error and hew it down, so that there shall not be one error in man showing itself in the form of disease. My knowledge is my wisdom and is not matter or opinion. It decomposes the thoughts, changes the combinations and produces an idea clear from the error that makes a person unhappy or diseased. You see I have something to reason about, and this something is eternal life, which is in Science and is what Jesus tried to establish.
If I can show that man's happiness is in his belief and his misery is the effect of his belief then I shall have done what never has been done before. Establish this and man rises to a higher state of wisdom not of this world, but of that world of Science which sees that all human misery can be corrected by this principle, as well as the evil effects of error. Then the Science of Life will take place with other sciences. Then in truth can be said "Oh ! death (or error) where is thy sting. Oh! grave where is thy victory!" The sting of ignorance is death. But the wisdom of Science is life eternal.
I will show the world's reasoning and how I reason. I will take the oracles of the world, for all science of this world of opinions has oracles. These oracles of which I speak are those who pretend to instruct the people in regard to health and happiness. The first is the clergy, for they take the lead in everything pertaining to man's happiness. I will ask them what they think of Jesus, His mission if He had any, and of what advantage it was to the world. They reply that the world had gone so far astray that it was necessary to send Jesus Christ into the world to convince man of a future state of rewards and punishments, that he might repent and be saved. If this is true I ask why did Jesus devote so much time to the sick? (Oracle) To show that He came from God. (Q) What does that prove? If I cure a person does it prove that I come from God? (0) No, but do you make yourself equal with Christ? (Q) Have you any proof of any thing that you never saw and is only an opinion? (0) The Bible. (Q.) Does the Bible speak for itself or does some one explain it? (0) We must take the Bible as our guide to truth. Let us now sum up the wisdom which this oracle has delivered. All of his wisdom is founded on an opinion that there is another world and that Jesus came from that world to communicate the fact to the inhabitants of this one. The happiness of man is not increased by this theory, because this oracle cannot cure the sick. Now Jesus cured the sick and said if they understood Him they might do the same. We want a theory like that of Jesus, not of talk but of words, for a theory that cannot be put into practice is worthless.
My oracle is Jesus: He proves the goodness of wisdom. Jesus was the oracle and Christ the wisdom shown through this man for the happiness of the sick who had been deceived by the other two classes, priest and doctor. God or Wisdom has seen how these blind guides had robbed the widow and the poor of their treasures, deserted them and left them forsaken and despairing, dependent upon the charity of a wicked world.
This wisdom developed itself through the man Jesus and He fearlessly stood up and denounced these blind guides as hypocrites and devils.
Are our senses mind? I answer, no. This was the problem ancient philosophers sought to solve. Most of them believed the soul, senses, and every intellectual faculty of man to be mind, therefore our senses must be mind. The translator of Lucretius says Lucretius attacks the ancient academics who held the mind to be the sole arbiter and judge of things, and establishes the senses to be the arbitrators. For, says he, "whatever can correct and confute what is false, must of neces?sity be the criterion of truth, and this is done by the senses only." This difference is true in part. Both were right. But they confused mind and senses into one, like the modern philosophers who make wisdom and knowledge, mind and senses, Jesus and Christ, ,synonymous. Now mind and senses are as distinct as light and darkness, and the same distinction holds good in wisdom and knowledge, Jesus and Christ. Christ, Wisdom and the spiritual senses are synonymous. So likewise are Jesus, knowledge and mind. Our life is in our senses: and if our wisdom is in our mind, we attach our life and senses to matter. But if our wisdom is attached to Science, our life and senses are in God, not in matter; for there is no matter in God or Wisdom; matter is the medium of Wisdom.
This difference has been overlooked by the ancients. And modern philosophers have put mind and soul in matter, thus making a distinction without a difference. Now according to modern philosophy, the soul, mind, life and senses are all liable to die; but according to this truth mind is spiritual matter, and all matter must be dissolved. Wisdom is not [physical] life. Our senses are not life. But all of these are solid and eternal; and to know them is life and life eternal. Life is in the knowledge of this wisdom, and death is in the destruction of your opinions or matter.
I will give some experiments of a man of wisdom acting through and dissolving the man of matter so the man of wisdom can escape. This process is Science. Take for example two persons, or you and myself. One wishes to communicate to the other some fact. You feel a pain, I also feel it. Now the sympathy of our minds mingling is spiritual matter. But there is no wisdom in it, for wisdom is outside of matter. If we both feel the same pain, we each call it our own; for we are devoid of that wisdom which would make us know we were affecting each other. Each one has his own identity and wants sympathy, and the ignorance of each is the vacuum that is between us. So we are drawn together by this invisible action called sympathy. Now make man wise enough to know that he can feel the pains of another, and then you get him outside of matter. The wisdom that knows this has eternal life, for life is in the knowledge of this wisdom. This the world is unacquainted with.
Now Jesus had more of this life or truth than any other person, and to teach it to another is a science. If you know it and can teach it, you are a teacher of the truth. But if you know it and cannot teach it, you are a follower of the truth. Now the knowledge of this truth is life, and the absence of it is death. There are a great many kinds of life.
The natural man begins at his birth. Animal life is not vege?table, and vegetable is not animal life. And there is another kind of life that is not understood, and that is the life that follows the knowledge of this great truth. The word "life," cannot be applied to Wisdom, for that has no beginning and life has. The word death is applied to everything that has life. All motion or action produces life, for where there is no motion there is no life. Matter in motion is called life. Life is the action of matter, and to know it is a truth, and to know how to produce it is Wisdom. This Wisdom was pos?sessed by Jesus, for He says: "My sheep hear my voice and I give unto them eternal life." "I (Christ) and my Father are one"
I shall show that Jesus was not life, but life or Christ was in Him, and He taught it. He says: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it." The people believed their life to be in themselves. But Jesus knew their lives were in God, for if they lost their opinions and found this Truth, then they had lost their life and found it.
I will now take my own practice to explain what life is according to Jesus. I said if two persons were sitting together, and each felt a pain each would call it his own. Now this pain is life, for it contains our senses, and this life is in matter, for the pain is in our mind, and our mind, senses, and life are all the same according to the world's wisdom. I know I can take a person's feelings, and this knowledge to me is truth, and to know it is life, and this knowledge the patient does not possess. He knows he has a pain and this to him is a truth, but this life is in his belief, and so his life is liable to be lost by his losing his mind. My life is in my wisdom and my wisdom is not matter. So that to know this is a truth outside of my patient's belief, and this truth contains my life. To get his senses out of his matter into this truth is to give him eternal life. I want to give him eternal life to save him from the sufferings occasioned by his belief that he may lose his life by disease of the heart. My wisdom acting is in matter but it is no part of it, so what to him is disease is to me spiritual matter that can be changed. His ignorance keeps his senses in fear of death, and all his life subject to bondage through his belief.
I commence by describing his feelings. These he admits; but how I can tell them is to him a mystery. This I know for I see him in his error, yet he cannot see me in his wis?dom, for it is in its own prison. It wants me to explain how I can see it, and how I know how it feels. I will suppose you, the reader, to be the patient, and that you acknowledge that I tell your feelings and what you think is your disease. All this I get from you without your knowledge, therefore you do not know how I do it. So I will inform you. Ideas have life. A belief has life or matter, for it can be changed. Now all the aforesaid make up the natural man, and all this can be changed. As I am trying to convince you how I take your feelings I must use such illustrations as you understand, for my life is in my words, and if my words cannot destroy your life or matter, then I cannot give you my life or wisdom.
I will now take a rose for an illustration. You are like a rose. You throw from yourself an atmosphere or vapor. When the rose is dead all outside of it is darkness to the germ of the bud. This is the child. As the rose opens it expands and unfolds itself to the world, the same as a child's brain ex?pands and opens the folds of its understanding. As the rose comes before the world of roses it takes its stand with the rest of its kind. So it is with man. As he unfolds his knowledge, he is classed with others of his kind. As the rose throws off its peculiarities to the air, the world judges of its odor. So as man throws off his peculiar character or life, health or disease, the world is to judge of his happiness or misery by the fruits of his belief.
Take a person with consumption. The idea consumption decomposes and throws off an odor that contains all the ideas of the person affected. This is true of every idea or thought. Now I come in contact with this odor thrown from you, and being well I have found by twenty years experience that these odors affect me, and also that they contain the identity of the patient whom this odor surrounds. This called my attention to it, and I found that it was as easy to tell the feelings or thoughts of a person sick as to detect the odor of spirits from that of tobacco. I at first thought I inhaled it, but at last found that my spiritual senses could be affected by it when my body was at a distance of many miles from the patient. This led to a new discovery, and I found my [real] senses were not in my body, but that my body was in my senses, and my knowledge located my senses according to my wisdom. If a man's knowledge is in matter all there is of him (to him) is contained in matter. But if his knowledge is in Wisdom, then his senses and all there is of him are outside of matter. To know this is a truth, and the effect is life in this truth, and this truth is in Wisdom. So the man who knows all this is in Wisdom with all his senses and life.
Then where do I differ from you? In this respect. My wisdom is my health, and your wisdom is your disease; for your wisdom is in your belief, and my wisdom is my life and senses, and my senses teach me that your trouble is the effect of your belief. What is light to me is darkness to you. You being in the dark stumble and are afraid of your own shadow. I with the eye of Truth see in your darkness or belief, and you seem to me blind. Or, like the rose, you cannot see the light, while I am in the light, and see through the clouds of your ignorance, see your senses and all there is of you, held in this ignorance by error, trying like the life of the rose bud to break through and come to the light. You have eyes, taste, and all your senses, but the clouds are before them, and as Jesus said, "Ye have eyes and see not, and have ears and hear not, and a heart that cannot understand." Now what is the reason? It is this. Your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, and your heart has not understood what happiness there is in knowing that your life, senses, and all that there is near and dear to you is no part of matter, and that matter is only a belief or casket to hold you in till Wisdom dissolves the casket, and lets you into the light of Science. Then you will hold life in the form of the rose, and live in a world of light, where the sorrows of hell and disease can never come, where you can sit and see that what man takes for reality is only the works of heathen superstition. Then you will not be afraid of disease, which leads to death.
You may ask if all I say is true what is it good for? If it is only a belief, I admit that it is of no more value to a person than any religious belief. You may ask for proof that will give some light upon the subject. I will give it, as near as a man who has eyesight can explain colors to a blind person. When I sit by a patient, if he thinks he has disease of the heart, the atmosphere surrounding him is his belief, and the fear of death is in the density of the clouds of his mind. Now knowing he is in the clouds somewhere I, as it were, try to arouse him. But it appears as though he were blind. So I shake him to arouse him out of his lethargy. At last I see him aroused and look around, but soon sink back again. By my talk I disturb the clouds, and this sometimes makes the patient very nervous, like a person coming out of a fit or awakened from a sound sleep. What I say is truth, and being solid it breaks in pieces his matter or belief, till at last he looks up to inquire what has been the trouble. My explanation rouses him and gives another change to his mind, and that is like a thunder storm. When it thunders and the lightning flashes, the patient is nervous. When the cloud of ignorance passes over and the light of truth comes, then the patient sees where his misery came from, and that it was believing a lie that made him sick. My arguments are based upon my knowledge of his feelings, and this knowledge put in practice is the Science of Health, (1) and is for the benefit of the sick and suffering.
(1) This was written in 1861.