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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 15 - The World of the Senses, part 3 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
HOW THE SENSES ARE DECEIVED
Why is it that I run a. greater risk of being misrepresented in regard to my mode of curing than practitioners of other schools? I must be allowed to offer my own explanation of this fact; because if I were understood I should not be in danger of being misrepresented and condemned by the guilty. I stand alone, a target at which all classes aim their poisonous darts, for I make war with every creed, profession, and idea that contains false reasoning. Every man's hand therefore is against me, and I am against every man's opinion.
Man's senses may be compared to a young virgin who has never been deceived by the world. Popular errors are like a young prince who stands ready to bestow his addresses upon all whom he can deceive. When he approaches the virgin he appears like an angel of light and wisdom. By soft speech and imposing address he wins the virgin maid to his belief. Having become entangled in his web or false doctrines, she is carried away from her home or state of innocence into the gulf of despair, there to live a miserable existence or become a slave to fashion. In this state a false theory holds out to her all kinds of ideas and she becomes a slave to the world. Error favors the utmost freedom in thought and conduct, and offers all the allurements of pleasure and enjoyment to the young. Each one is approached with some fascinating idea with which he is carried away and to which he becomes wedded. These are the ideas founded in man's wisdom, and manifested through man. The pure virgin ideas are also shadowed through the same medium, and each is addressed by truth or by error. Error in making a picture of Wisdom assumes an air of wisdom. Wisdom, however, like charity, is not puffed up and it is slighted by error. It is looked upon by the young as an old conservative. They say to it, "De?part for a time, while I enjoy the pleasure of error, and when I am satisfied I will call upon you." Wisdom is banished from the society of the world, and error like a raging lion goes about devouring all whom it can find.
In the shape of man it approaches the virgin mind, and in musical tones commences paying his addresses. Finally over? come by sophistry, she is won to his opinions, and is soon wedded to his ideas, and they two become one flesh. Her senses are attached to matter. What is his is hers, and she is in all respects the partner and wife of error. She is no longer a virgin but a wedded wife. The belief is the husband. When a person is converted from one belief to another she leaves her husband and marries another. This was the case with the woman whom Jesus told that she had truly said she had no husband, "for he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." She had served different religious beliefs and as each was destroyed by her wisdom, she became a widow. Then she joined herself to another and became a wife. These husbands were creeds, and the virgins were those who cared nothing for religion, and had no settled opinions about the future. The beliefs in regard to another world, were represented by men, for they were the embodiment of man's opinion, like virgin soil. When Jesus sought to explain the truth, he compared it to a wedding and all who could under?stand entered in. The ten virgins represented two classes, one having wisdom outside of the natural senses, and those who cannot believe anything outside of their senses. When the truth came they arose and trimmed their lamps, but those who had no oil or understanding could not enter. Every one who has not risen above the natural man, but is contented with being ignorant is a foolish virgin, while those who try to understand are of the other class. Every one belongs to the former till wedded to a belief.
There is still another class. Those who having professed to belong to a certain sect and having united with it after a while leave and join another. These are persons having committed adultery, for they are living with a new belief, therefore they are to be stoned and turned out of the church. This explains the case of a woman brought before Jesus as an adulterer. She had left the world's belief, and had become interested in Jesus' truth. To the Jews she had committed adultery and had been caught in advocating His truth. As she did not fully understand, she was not lawfully married, and her husband or the church had claims upon her. The Jews, therefore, thinking she deserved punishment, brought her to Jesus to see what His judgment would be. When He had heard their story He said, "let him who is guiltless cast the first stone." They all immediately left, and He asked her, "where are thy accusers?" or thy fears that this is not the true light that lighteth every one that receiveth it! She replied "No belief has any effect on me." And He said, "Go thy way and believe in man's opinion no more."
This article was written from the impressions that came upon me while sitting by a young lady who was afraid of dying, and also was afraid of being blind. It may seem strange to those in health how our belief affects us. The fact is there is nothing of us [the natural man] but belief. It is the whole capital stock in trade of man. It is all that can be changed, and embraces everything man has made or ever will make. Wisdom is the scientific man, who can destroy the works of the natural man. Disease is made by the natural man's belief in some false idea. The error comes to the virgin mind and makes an impression. The soil is disturbed and the mind listens or waits to be taught. If it is misled, briars and thorns and troubles spring up in its path through life. These all go to make the man of belief. Wisdom destroys these false ideas, purifies the soil, and brings the mind under a higher state of cultivation. This is the work of Science. When a person has made himself a body of sin and death, truth destroys his death, and attaches his senses to a body of life.
THE SENSES AND LANGUAGE
Why is it that mankind have settled down on the fact that man has five senses, no more, no less? The wise say the spiritual man has two more, making seven. Now, what is a sense? We often say "such a thing comes within my senses." If "senses" mean what the wise say it does why is man set down above the brute? Let us see how they compare. Man sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels, and so does the brute; neither shows any prominence of wisdom over the other. When you ask where is man's superiority you are told that man reasons and the brute does not. Ask for proof and people can show no difference only as they make their own minds. If you place them together the brute is a little the shrewder.
Now all will admit that there is a vast difference between a wise man and a brute, but the brutal man is as much below the brute as the latter is below the wise man. This wisdom that makes man above the brute is not of this brutal world, but comes from some higher source. I have so much confidence in the wisdom of the wise men of old that I have no doubt but they solved that question, and I have so little confidence in the wisdom of this world that I disbelieve every truth founded on man's opinion.
We often hear of the laws of God, but when we ask for wisdom on the subject, the wise fail to give us the information desired by the scientific man. They can give their opinion and as that contains no knowledge the scientific must look for wisdom elsewhere than to the wisdom of this brutal world of five senses. So I will leave man and brute with their five senses and search out some other way to solve the problem of the senses.
I will ask any one if seeing is matter, or is it something independent of matter? For instance, you see a shadow: is the power that sees any part of the shadow? All will say no. Then the shadow comes in contact with something. Now what is that something called sight or one of the senses? Is it matter? The natural man cannot answer that question any more than the brute. He says the eye is the sight. Jesus says the light of the body is the eye. So the natural man and Jesus differ. Settle this question and you have one of the five senses defined so that there can be no dispute between the scientific and natural or brutal man. As the natural man has failed to satisfy the scientific man let the latter try to convince the natural man of his error. The scientific man makes all sensation outside of the idea of matter, so that to him all sensation must be made on something independent of the natural idea of the senses.
All will admit that God knows all things. If you do not own it you must admit it if you are above the brute; else you, admitting that the brute knows nothing about God, put yourself on a level with the brute. So I take it for granted that this question is settled, that God knows all things. So God sees, that is one sense. All will admit that God is equal to man, at least in regard to wisdom. If we can show that man's senses can act independently of his natural body, if it can be shown that man's wisdom is not of matter but of God, we will divide him into as many senses as it is necessary for the scientific world.
What is necessary for the natural man's happiness is to eat, drink and enjoy himself in the easiest way he can. The savage is a fair specimen of the natural man and the wild beast the natural specimen of the brute creation. One has no preeminence over the other-"might is right"-each is happy when not disturbed. If never disturbed they would be like the fool without even error. But disturbance brings other senses into action, and as wisdom is developed it gives man a knowledge of himself above the natural man of five senses. Thus the wisdom of the scientific man sees the man with the five senses, a little above the brute, in error trying to free himself from his earthly matter, or ignorance, and arrive at knowledge of phenomena that keep him in a state of sin, dis?ease and death. So I will leave the man of five senses in er?ror and talk to the scientific man about the other senses.
He is not embraced in one idea. A man may be scientific in many sciences, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, all that are acknowledged and admitted by even the natural man, though not understood. But the Science of Happiness is not acknowledged by the wisdom of the five senses. It requires more senses to put men in possession of this Science that will teach him happiness. As happiness is what follows a belief it is necessary to know whether our wisdom is of this world of opinion or of the world of Science. This world sees nothing outside of its senses. Wisdom sees nothing of the natural man's senses but ignorance, so that the wisdom of this world is opposed to the Science of Happiness.
Let us see what will be admitted by all. I believe it will not be denied that there is such a phenomenon as mesmerism; if it is denied those who do so may enjoy their own opinions and I will turn to those who admit it. This embraces a large class of the scientific world, so taking it for granted that the phenomenon can be produced, I will show how many senses a person has in a mesmerised state. I once put many persons into this state and none with one exception, had any idea of seeing through their [natural] eyes. There was one who thought he saw through his eyes but all experiments show that it is not so. In fact, a mesmerised subject is all that any person can be in the waking state; at the same time he is another person separate from his earthly identity. He can feel, fly, walk, and pass into the sea and describe things lost. He can find things that he knows not of in another state.
Now where and what was this invisible something that could pass in and out of matter? What is this clairvoyance? It is the mystery or power that has troubled the wisdom of this world to solve. Solve this problem and you give a knowledge to man that the world has always admitted but not understood. To understand the phenomenon is to go back to the First Cause and see what man was. We must go back of language to find the cause that prompted man. So let us pass back of language and we see living beings going round like beasts, not seeming to have any way of communicating with each other. Then each acted on his own responsibility, eating and drinking, as it pleased himself. Now, the desire for food prompted the mind, and as food has a sort of odor that arises from it, man, like the beast, was drawn to the odor from a desire to have this sensation gratified, so that the odor attracted the man like the beast, not by sight but by smell. Here is one sensation, but with no name. It is the same in man and beast, each eats and is satisfied. As they eat taste comes. This opens the mind to see what the thing is; this brings sight, or knowledge. So they go on until all the faculties are developed. As the faculty of smell was of more importance than sight it was the one most desired. For it not only attracted the animal to the thing smelt but also warned him of the danger of, being destroyed, so that all animals cultivate this sense for their safety. So by experience all animals learned to keep clear of each other by the peculiar faculty of smell. As they associated sight with the odor, then when the odor came in contact with their other senses they would create the thing contained in the odor. If it was an odor from some living thing that they were afraid of they would fly or run until they were free from their enemy. So little by little the wild beast settled down to a basis that gave each a faculty to counteract some other faculty in another. The lion depended on his smell and so did all animals who were inferior to their enemies, so that if the lion imitated some other animal, for instance if quick in his motions he would not be so acute in his smell, so the victim could keep out of the lion's way and still be in his sight. The atmosphere of the lion was certain death to the other animals, so that their fright threw off an odor that did not attract the lion until the object of his prey came in contact with his sight. So all things went on in this way and man was at the mercy of the wild beast, his sense of smell was as acute as that of the animal.
Now, necessity is the mother of invention, and it became necessary for man to introduce something to counteract the wild beast. Hence it was natural for man to give his fellow?man a sign of their danger, for men like all other animals would go together in herds or parties. This state must lead to language, so that language came about for the safety of the race. Now the sense of smell was the foundation of language and as language was made to apply to some sensation, it must take time to introduce it, for the odor must be so defined that a person perceiving a thing named could describe it. . . .
As language was introduced the sense of smell became more blunt till like other instincts it gave way to another standard. As imitation was developed the practice of thinking increased, so that thinking came to be as much of a sense as smelling. The action of forming thought into things or ideas became a sense, the power or sense of imitation brought up the sense of motion so that man's thought when put into an idea would seem to have life. All the above was spiritual and it could not be seen by the natural man or beast. So the spiritual man would imitate his idea in some way so that it could be seen and felt by the natural man. Thus invention in the spiritual world was shadowed forth in the natural world. As this invention was received, the spiritual senses were not relied on for the safety of man. Warfare was kept up till man could invent castles or places to defend himself against the wild beast. At last there must be laws or regulations introduced to feed those who could not fight. The ones who stayed at home would be the weaker portion of the race, including the females, the aged and children. So laws or regulations must be adopted for their support and safety and penalties attached to the disobedience of these laws. The officers of the laws would be taken from the most aspiring and cunning part of the tribes. This placed the leaders above the masses, so competition sprang up, which increased the leaders' perceptive faculties to invent all sorts of stories to keep the people quiet. As language was what they all wanted, those who could teach it would be looked upon as superior to the rest. Phenomena would then as now take place and the wise would be called on to explain; this introduced astrology and priest?craft. Then all sorts of invention would spring up to keep the people in submission when they grumbled at their leaders, not as they do now, for we are born slaves, and they were born free. Therefore it required more strict laws and punishments then than now, all sorts of ideas were started, and among others the power of creating objects that could be seen was cultivated for the benefit of the wise. This introduced spirit?ualism among civilized tribes, at first for the benefit of the leaders. So superstition became the power to worship, and as it was necessary that some one should explain the phenomena persons would be appointed, and so priests and prophets sprang up. These men must be paid and cared for and the people were taxed to support them.
At last the tribes formed themselves into nations and kingdoms and gave the power to the priest, so the priest stood at the head of 0e nation. As the priesthood was founded on superstition, it was necessary to keep the people superstitious, so all sorts of inventions were created to keep the people in ignorance, and as science was invented or discovered all the discoveries were kept a secret from the people so that any chemical or mechanical effect could be produced and the people would think it came from God. Astronomy was discovered and the priests kept it as a revelation from heaven, and all their astronomical calculations were made, not as a science for the masses, but as a direct revelation from God to bring about some great design. This kept the people in a state of nervous excitement. Whatever the prophets could make the people believe, they would create. So all they had to do was to start a storm of evil spirits, and the peoples' superstition would produce the phenomena wanted. This was proof that evil spirits did exist. Then it was not hard to make people believe evil spirits could get hold of them. At last evil spirits became a matter of fact, so much so that at the time of Saul there were some fifty ways of getting conmunications from God, and how many ways of getting it from the devil I know not.
We often speak of man's identity as though there were but one identity attributed to him. This is not the case. Man has as many identities as he has opinions, and the one his senses are attached to last is the one that governs him. This may seem strange but it is true. Our senses are not our identity, because they cannot change, they are principles. But our belief, thoughts and opinions can change. So when we say a person never changes it is as much as to say he is only a brute. We say that our tastes change. Does the principle change, or our belief? The fact that we are aware of the change shows the change must be in that which can change.
Then what is it that does not change? It is that Principle that never moves, the foundation of all things. It is that which says when we have found out something new, as we think, " Why did you not find it out before? " It says to us when we are investigating certain mathematical truths, "This truth has always existed, and we believed it." This something is Wisdom. It does not come or go, but is like light. You cannot keep it out of sight, in fact you acknowledge it in every act. But that which acknowledges it is not the something acknowledged. For instance, if you work out a problem aright, you acknowledge a wisdom that existed be?fore you knew it. The trouble is to get our senses attached to Wisdom so that we shall not change.