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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 17 - God and Man, part 2 of 3
Table of Contents to this Topic
To be in a state to become a teacher of this unknown God is what never has been acknowledged by the opinions of man's wisdom. Thousands of persons have undertaken to pene?trate this land of mystery and have returned with the idea that they have made the discovery and thus have deceived many people, broken up families, led the weak and timid, stimulated the strong, till the people, like the children of Israel, have left their happy land or state of mind to follow these blind guides, and the v have wandered so far from health or home that they have lost their way and fallen among strangers or doctors, who pretending to be their friends have robbed them of their happiness and left them like the prodigal son sick and disheartened in this land of superstition. Like Moses, I enter this land and lead them out, and as I pass through the sea of blood or beliefs of those blind guides I feed them with the bread of wisdom and smite the rock of truth and the water or wisdom gushes out and cools the parched tongues. I go before them in this wilderness, holding up the (priests,) serpent or creed, and all that listen to my explanation are healed from the bite of these creeds. The people murmur and complain, some call me humbug and quack; others want to return to their old ideas of religion, but I stand up and entreat them, stimulating them to press forward and not to give up till I have restored them once more to the happy land of health whence they have been decoyed away. So I am hated by some, laughed at by others, spit upon by the doctors, and sneered at by the priest, but received into the arms of the sick who know me.
6. Perhaps by this time it would be well to sum up all this journey, describing how I entered this land and how I passed through it. I will do so in a few words. After I found that mind was spiritual matter I found that ideas were matter, condensed into a solid called disease, and that this, like a book contained all the wisdom of its author. Seeing the book (for sight with Wisdom embraces all senses; hearing, tasting, etc.) I open it and see through it. To the patient it is a sealed book but to Wisdom there is nothing hid which cannot be revealed or seen, nor so far off that it cannot be reached. So I read the contents of the book to the patient and show that it is false, then as the truth changes his mind light takes the place of darkness, till he sees through the error of disease. The light of Wisdom dissipates the matter, or disease, the patient once more finds himself freed of opinions and happiness is restored. What I have said is produced on me by the patient, by lighting up the mind and making the patient clairvoyant, so that he sees through the priests' and doctors' opinion. This dissipates the opinion, for it is nothing but a shadow taken for a substance and the misery comes from mistaking the opinion for a truth; here is the trouble that arises from opinions. Now let men cease from giving opinions or let the people understand that there is no wisdom in one, then you shut the mouths of these barking dogs, howling night and day, which keep the people in constant excitement.
How often you hear this expression used, "such a person murders the King's English" This I admit may be the case, if language is applied to the things of this natural world, but if it is to be applied to the spiritual world, or to ideas that cannot be seen by the natural man, then I beg leave to differ from the knowledge of this world, for I know that in such a case the world cannot judge of the correctness of language. In the first place a healthy person is not a judge of a sick person's feelings. Therefore, if anyone gives a name to a feeling which a sick person has he names a sensation that he knows nothing of except as described by the sick. In this there is no standard of right or wrong that the people can agree upon. So every one sets up his own standard of right and wrong, and if a person is ever so sensitive to another's feelings, he must use such terms as the world admits, or he is ignorant of the King's English. So the invisible things must be judged by the visible. Here is a great mistake, for if the learned had to prove to the unlearned everything they said, it would be as hard as for those who are sensitive to feelings of the sick to prove them to the learned. Who is to say what God is? Webster, Worcester, or any author, unless he can give some evidence that comes within a person's feeling or senses? Here is where the trouble commences, with the idea of God. What is God? This is the question, and let man come forward and show who and what God is.
The word God is the name of something material or im?material. If He is material then God can be seen by the material eyes, and if He is immaterial, the natural man cannot see Him. So that if His name sprang from the natural man, he gives a name of something that he knows nothing of. Therefore one man's opinion is as good as another's, till some one can give the substance or impression that caused the word to be applied. Now suppose that man calls Wisdom the First Cause, and that from this Wisdom there issues forth an es?sence that fills all space, like the odor of a rose. This essence, like the odor, contains the character or wisdom of its father, or author, and man's wisdom wants a name given to it, so man calls this essence God. Then you have wisdom manifest in God or the essence, then this essence would be called the Son of Wisdom. Then Wisdom said, "let us create matter or mind or man in our image," or in the likeness of this essence or God. So they formed man out of the odor called matter or dust, that rises from the grosser matter, and breathed into him the living essence, or God, and the matter took the form of man.
Perfect wisdom embraces every idea in existence, and therefore every idea that comes to light through the senses existed before to Wisdom. Every person who was or ever will be existed as much before he ever came to our senses as afterwards, the same as any mathematical truth. Alan's intelligence is a truth that existed before he took form or was seen by the natural eye. Man's body is only a machine and its senses are its medium to wisdom. The real man is never seen by the natural senses, but the real man makes him?self known through Science to his natural senses, as a person who knows a fact can teach it to another. Wisdom or knowledge he teaches through Science, and he uses his senses to explain this Science, for his senses are all the medium the natural man knows. The real man is God, or the First Cause. Every idea that man embraces comes through his natural senses, but this real man is not seen, but is truth or Wisdom. The natural man may be compared to a checker board, and Science and opinion the players. Public opinion or common sense stands looking on and represents spectators. The Wisdom that is superior is that which sees and knows the principle of the game. Now opinion makes a move, and the natural man or common sense says it cannot be bettered. But Science sees the working of opinion, and makes him move in such a way as to compel his opponent to destroy himself, for he knows that opinion knows nothing as he should know it. Every move of opinion suggests his opponent's move. So if one knows his game and the other does not, the ignorant one is beaten every time. But if both are ignorant they think they play a very scientific game. Now there are certain games or arguments which men play called theories, that have no foundation or basis, and there is no way to test them, because one is not the least above his neighbor and neither can prove anything.
THE CHRISTIANS GOD
I will now sum up by introducing the Gods of the two foregoing theories and as one of them is only man's opinion, I will introduce a priest, a doctor, and the law as the God-head, for the three are equal in power. Religion is the father, medicine is the son, and law is the Holy Ghost, or explanation. All these make up the Godhead of our superstitious belief. These two first give the people their beliefs, which are sanctioned by an appearance of divine wisdom, and according to their belief acknowledged by the wisdom of the father of all. Strange as this may seem, it is the foundation of all the misery that man suffers. Although we are taught to love and re?spect this man's God, as the giver of everything we receive, yet if one half of what we attribute to Him were true, He would be of all tyrants the worst. If we should look upon a parent as we are taught to look upon God, we should hate our very parents. Let us see what kind of God He is and how He compares with a parent. In the first place, He is represented as knowing all our acts and having a watchful care over us like a good father. Now if any parent could have half the power that they say God has over His children, His children would curse Him to his face and look upon Him as a tyrant. Now all this talk about a God who reasons and makes bargains accompanied by rewards and punishments is so much like the natural man's wisdom that no one can help seeing that our Christian God is the embodiment of man's belief when man was far behind the present generation. (1) No attribute of their God shows any wisdom, but a sweeping idea of everything when His wisdom or acts are spoken of; it is like a military officer, or some grand monarch, or king. He is king of kings, the great High Priest. Once it was the height of honor to be a military officer, for that was the greatest of all professions; therefore God must be a military character, for the Bible says He had war in heaven. The devil was the first secessionist we find and he was driven out of heaven. You never hear God compared to a statesman or any learned man. It is true that when He came to earth some eighteen hundred years ago in the person of Jesus, He was not represented as a military character but was far superior to the wise. He was called a very simple man, uneducated, full of sympathy, so He must have come down since the writers of the Old Testament. How natural it is for man to court the company of the great, especially the military. Aristocracy would not have anything to do with Jesus because he had none of the military turn of mind. Their superstition could not account for His cures, so they had no claim on Him. The wise of this world who base their theory on opinions steal all they can from their neighbors, and when Jesus was crucified they stole His ideas and engrafted them into their aristocratic creeds. This kept them aloof from the masses and God was not permitted to associate with the people but could only communicate through the priest what information they got from heaven.
(1) Many of Quimby's patients were ardent Calvinists, hence their God was out of date.
We all really believe more of this than we are willing to acknowledge and it keeps the people in bondage under the priests. The burden of false ideas makes men nervous and superstitious. This gets their systems in a condition for another swarm of hungry dogs called doctors who invent diseases, make the people admit their opinions, and after their opinions are admitted then they are ready to bring about any disease that can be introduced to them. As people cannot see how disease is made, this false theory has always led the people and always will till the true idea is explained how disease is made. According to my theory, all errors can be explained on scientific truths, so that man can be his own doctor and priest and he shall not say to his neighbor, "Know you the Lord?" but all shall know Him from the least to the greatest. This theory will explain all the phenomenon. If you read the first article in Vol. I you will see that according to that theory mind can be changed and any kind of an idea produced. So apply this truth to the mind, and you can cure or correct the error and establish the truth. (1)
(1) Repetitions of ideas contained in other articles have not been crossed out from the selections in this chapter, because it seemed desirable to show how concrete was Dr. Quimby's thought of God. He plainly did not mean to teach pantheism or identify his own individuality with God as a mere "part" of Him. But he did wish to attribute to this "invisible Wisdom" whatever power he possessed as healer, as instrument of the Christ within. Quimby did not spend time in mere affirmations about his "oneness" with God. He aimed to establish the Divine presence by ministering to the sick so as to overcome all separateness.
What truth did Jesus come to bring to the world? One simple fact that man is a progressive being, that his happiness and misery are of his own make, that his belief is his wisdom and if founded on an opinion it is liable to make him unhappy. To separate the truth from the error is a Science the knowledge of which teaches how to correct an error or disease, and in this knowledge is eternal life. Jesus never intended to teach the people a belief in another world, His words and acts showed them that their beliefs were false, and that they were the cause of their misery, but this they could not understand, and being in their belief, their belief became part of their identity. As they were taught to believe in spirits their misery was attributed to them, and as error begets error the people were tormented by their own beliefs. It never entered into the minds of these blind leaders that as a man sows so shall he reap; that action and reaction are equal. Knowledge of science was not general, and the possibility that the belief of man had anything to do with his health was not dreamed of. All that was believed was something that could not be seen, so the prophets prophesied of some one coming from heaven. Now if heaven had not been something that people believed in away and apart from this earth it would not have been in the prophecies. So this heaven was an established fact and all their controversies were in regard to it. They introduced all sorts of mediums who purported to come from and have communication with that place. There was the dwelling of God and all religious theories were based upon the belief that there was another world where God dwelt and where He ordered all things according to His own will. Absurd as this is, a man is made of this composition, for man is only a mass of ideas combined together by a wisdom superior to the matter of which the ideas are formed.
Science is not recognized in this belief for it belongs to that class of minds which have never risen to a state where they can discern that man perceives anything independently of his natural senses. To this class of minds whatever is not established is a mystery. If a lead ball is thrown into the water it sinks to the bottom, that is a fact; if a wooden ball is also thrown into the water it floats, and then comes the mystery. A medium from the other world is required to explain the phenomenon; argument is of no force, the explanation must come from God, and thus it is with every mysterious phenomenon: supernatural power only can explain it. Thus man is kept constantly excited to understand every little thing that happens. He never has thought that heaven and hell were part of his belief and consequently part of himself, but he believes that these two places are independent of himself and he is liable to go to one or the other after he is dead. So he lives in hell all his life trying to get to heaven, but he never gets there for it is always at a distance, and he is looking for a saviour to save him from hell.
How often we hear very good people say that they are weary of this wicked world and long to be with Christ, showing that they are not with Him now but hope to be. Their faith contains a belief, not a substance. The faith that is of man is merely a belief in something not obtained, for when the substance is obtained their faith or belief is lost in the substance, and they have what they hope for. Jesus' faith was the substance of our belief and that substance was Christ. The Christ or faith is intended to be applied to man, and Jesus put this in practice for our happiness. The question arises, has the Christ an identity? I answer it has; it is all that ever had an unchangeable identity, it is Wisdom itself. But the Christian's faith is an opinion about this Wisdom. I have said that the faith of Jesus had an identity and to this His senses were attached. Then Jesus could say to His faith, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." What did this Christ strive to do? It strove to enter the heart of man and teach him to break away from his errors and learn the truth. Jesus taught Christ and put it in practice by His words. Do the Christians the same? No, they preach about it. So their faith is not of works but a belief. The world is no wiser or better for it. To prove your faith in music is to play a tune on an instrument by your faith or science, not to talk about music, telling how beautiful it is. The Science of Health which Jesus taught was practised by His faith or wisdom, and His instrument was man. He took man after he had been beaten, bruised and deceived by the priests and doctors, and applied His Science or Christ to put man in tune so that he could sing psalms to the one loving and true Science, and appreciate Jesus; for "He hath opened the seventh seal," that which can correct the errors of man who shall be saved from disease and misery.
How does Jesus stand by the side of His pretended followers? He talked and taught His Christ to the people, priests and doctors talk about it. Here is a vast difference. Jesus put intelligence in the Christ or Science; the Christians put no intelligence in Christ or Science, but apply all the intelligence to Jesus, calling the Christ a "power." This difference has always been kept up; the natural man cannot see intelligence in anything he cannot understand, therefore Christ or the intelligence of Jesus is to him a mystery, and he wants to know whence it came. This ignorance on the part of the priests and the people originated all this speculation about Jesus. The Christ or higher intelligence to them was shrouded in darkness, for they could not see why He, merely a man, should be more than a man.
Every one knows that a clairvoyant state is different from the natural state. Let me illustrate what all will admit. Persons in a clairvoyant state can talk, using the same organs as when awake, they also have every faculty which they possess in the waking state, independent of the natural body, and space and time may or may not be annihilated. They act independently of any one, independently of the natural body or identity of flesh and blood. Now where is the identity when the natural man is acting, for both cannot be acting at the same time? Every one will perceive that if a man could retain his reason and natural senses, and at the same time be conscious of the other state he would be a man beside himself, thus making two living intelligences in one identity acting through one [organism]. Thus the clairvoyant man could correct the errors of the man of the flesh and blood and keep him in subjection to his wisdom.
This Wisdom or Christ was the mystery to mankind, this was the Christ that should reign till all error should be subject to it. Disease being the offspring of error, it deceives the people, making them nervous, sick, and liable to death. But it is the design of Wisdom that matter should be the servant of this clairvoyant man or Science, therefore when Jesus received this Wisdom He received God and man. When the man spoke it was like any one else, but when the Christ spoke it spoke not as man for that is of God or Wisdom from above. Jesus taught the people to distinguish by their works the true Christ from the false. It must have proved its source by works, for He says, "Not every man who says, I am Christ, is so himself, but he who doeth the will of the Father (Wisdom) that sent me."
Let us see if a test can be found such as Jesus laid down. When He called his disciples together He gave them power over all unclean spirits and sent them forth to heal the sick. Here is the test of the Christ-power or Wisdom. How did he apply it when he cured disease? Of course if He was in this state all the time all things were present to Him so that not a sparrow could fall to the ground unnoticed by Him, not Jesus, for although Christ was made known through Jesus, it was only made known according to the necessity of the time when He, Jesus, lived.
I will take one of His miracles to show that Jesus and Christ acted together. When the centurion came to Jesus to tell Him that his servant was sick, Jesus was not aware of the fact, but immediately became subject to His clairvoyant [or intuitive] state, saw the servant and administered unto him. Then He said to the centurion, "Go, thy way, and according to thy faith be it unto thee." " So the centurion left and the servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
This is as plain to me as any cure I ever performed. This was not a "power" but a higher wisdom that the world knows not of. I will now introduce myself showing that I cure the same way. Every one knows that there is a difference in clairvoyance: subjects differ in the direction of their minds. I do not practise clairvoyance except with the sick and I will show others how to be clairvoyant like myself. . . . To make a good clairvoyant one must, beginning on earth, rid himself of all beliefs and every theory of man, and as he sees the absurdity of his own opinions he becomes lighted up in another atmosphere [on a higher plane] where he feels the discords of this world. He then becomes sensitive to the errors and opinons of man. They affect him and his spiritual senses act independently of his natural will or senses; then he is two persons.
This is my state as far as regards the sick. When I sit by the sick and take a patient by the band I feel a sensation; this affects me and the sensation is produced by something coming within my senses as a man of flesh and blood. This excites the spiritual or scientific man, and the senses being freed from matter or opinions see the natural man or opinion that causes the trouble. As I retain two identities (1) I see the error and explain it to the natural senses. These are set at rest and harmony is restored. I cannot find language to explain this so that you will understand it. . . .
(1) That is, consciousness on two planes or levels.