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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 19 - Science, Life, Death, part 2 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
When we speak of life we speak of it as though it were a thing. But there are as many kinds of life as there are birds or fishes or anything which grows, and the life of a plant is not the same as that of a tree; neither is the life of man the same as that of a beast. All life is the result of the chemical action of some idea, so that life is matter, and it lives on life or matter; therefore the material man is made up of life and death. This life is continually changing, so that we live on life which we receive from others. Ideas are [spiritual] matter and of course they contain life.
We eat or receive life in the wrong sense. For instance, the Jews when they ate pork thought they ate life, for their belief was that it would produce a disease: although the pork was dead it would rise again in the form of scrofula. So to avoid having that life in them they would not eat pork.
Now, as absurd as this idea is, it is the basis of our knowledge about disease. How often are we reminded not to eat such and such things. We all admit that animal food has life in it. So we eat it as life; for when we say that it is so far decayed that it is not good we look on it as poison. So also we receive life into our stomach as though it really added to our life or strength. How often we talk about fat making us warmer. All these ideas are the result of error and their fruits are disease.
Does the dog eat meat as though it had life? No, he eats it as "dead" and expects no bad effects from it. So it is with all living beings but man. Man has reasoned himself into a belief that all he eats and drinks contains life, and this life or food is his enemy or friend according to his belief. Thus he is kept continually on the watch what kind of food he receives. Although the life or food that he receives contains the idea of death, yet his belief is that he lives, and he is affected by his belief.
Now when I eat or drink, the life that was in the substance eaten is dead to me, and has no life in it. So I am not afraid in eating pork of any bad effects. Neither am I afraid if I listen and take a person's feelings arising from scrofula or any other disease that I shall have the disease, for the life of the disease is in the person who believes it.
What is the weapon that destroys this life or disease? Science. This is eternal, and that destroys all other life. This is to the animal life, death. So Science to the natural man is nothing that contains life. But this Science is a Principle. This is the only living and eternal life. This Science is what rose from the dead or natural life.
Man in his natural state was no more liable to disease than the beast. But as soon as he began to reason he became diseased, for his disease was in his reason. Therefore his reason was his life, and this made him afraid of his reason. This the doctors called nervousness, and to prevent this nervous life they introduced disease in certain things we eat or drink.
Let man rid himself of these blind guides and follow the command of God, and take no thought of what he shall eat or drink as having anything to do with his health and he will then be much better off. Seek first Science at the appearance of every phenomenon, and pay no attention to your food any more than the rest of God's creatures do. If man were as wise in regard to what goes into his stomach as the beast he would be much better off. Let the health alone. Seek to enlighten man in Science, and as Science is developed man will become wise and happy. This life is in his wisdom and his wisdom is a science. To put his science into practice for his own happiness is to correct some error that he has embraced. To prove the science to others is to take something that man is troubled about in the form of a disease which creates unhappiness, ,and correct the opinion so that health is established.
I have shown that there is no matter independent of mind or life. It is proved by geologists that matter is going through a process of change which is called life. Then life is in the atmosphere or space. And if life is in a state invisible to matter it may fill all space. In this space there must be diversity of matter or life, namely, the life of minerals, the life of vegetables, and the life of animals; and all these are in the atmosphere like the mist that went up from the earth at creation. Thus matter or life is in an invisible state to the visible matter, but governed by the same God. This makes the material earth or natural world. God made matter and condensed it into certain forms and elements that were necessary for man. And to be a combination of these it was necessary that there should be a chemical union of all matter dissolved into space before man could be formed. For man's body is made of the dust of this living matter.
As man contains all the elements of this material world or life, he is a minature world in himself. This matter or life under the wisdom of God forms the identity of what is called the natural man, so that man, spoken into being, was made up of all the elements of the material world. . . . The natural man commences his life in a higher state of matter. The field or garden in which he is placed is with all the creation of animal forms, and he is liable to all the evils which his life is capable of knowing. . . . It is not strange that phenomena should appear while man is so ignorant of what he is composed of which can be traced to the animal kingdom. All phenomena are the effect of what man receives from this animal life . . . and as his life is in his belief he reasons his life out of existence. Being a progressive process, his life has to contend with all the grosser life or matter of the animal. But as he is the rib or purest part of animal life, he contains the elements of knowledge, and this the lower life does not contain. . . .
MAN AND WOMAN
Man, like the earth, is throwing off a vapor, and that contains his knowledge. Out of this vapor comes a more perfect identity of living matter, more rarified than the former, and consequently in danger of being devoured by it. The latter life is less gross, therefore more spiritual, so that what it loses in physical strength it receives from a higher power approaching God or Science. This Science is the wisdom of God that controls the higher intellect. As the earth is composed of different kinds of soil, so man varies from the lowest grade of animal intelligence to that higher state of consciousness which can receive Science. . . . The spiritual rib that rises from man is more perfect matter or soil, called woman. . . . I do not mean that. woman means every female. Nor do I pretend to say that man means everything of the animal. But that the mind of the female contains more of that superior substance required to receive the higher development of God's wisdom. For this element is pure love that has been purified by the change life has gone through. . . .
Phenomena have always occurred in the form of Science, as though man had once been advanced far beyond his present condition. . . . The male creation feeds on the lower order of life. It makes the higher order a sort of pet for a while, the natural man sports and plays with the female. While the purer part of his nature is sympathizing with its own love in a higher soil or life, the animal life is prowling around to devour the little pleasure that is striving to grow in this barren soil. This keeps science down, for it is not known to the natural man. But put this science into the life or soul of the female, and then she is safe from the animal life, and it puts her in possession of a Science that the natural man knows nothing of. It separates her from matter and brings her into that spiritual state that rises from all animal life with a knowledge of its character. Like a chemist she then stands among all kinds of matter, which are under her control, and which she has the power of changing. Then she becomes a teacher of that Science which puts man in possession of a wisdom that can subject all animal life to his own control, and separate the wisdom of this world from the wisdom of God. Then woman becomes a teacher of the young, and man stands to woman as a servant to his Lord, ready to investigate all phenomena by Science. The woman is the one who gives all the impressions to the child. . . . But man from some cause, probably from having more physical strength, and looking upon all things as inferior to his own wisdom, is not content to subject all the brute creation to his will, but must subject the very creature that his best life or nature adores, and in this way woman is deprived of carrying out the science that God intended. By this physical force woman is kept down, and does not take the place in the world which God intended. But I maintain that wherever in the world matter or life becomes pure enough for science to reign over ignorance, then Science will become the master and ignorance the servant. . . Mind is only another state called life that is purifying itself to receive a higher life that will never end; that is Science. . . . Man lives on such active life as his appetite craves, and as he separates the animal from the spiritual, his appetite or passions change till he is completely carried away by the spiritual life. . . .
Science teaches man that although he is not of this world he is a teacher in it, and being a teacher he is a soldier in the hands of Science. To fight the life of error like a soldier and contend for the truth or Science requires more courage than it does to fight for your own bread. . . . As the soil of California is rich enough to produce gold, so the soul or life of the female is rich enough to produce the wisdom of Cod. It does not follow that the life of woman is the only soil capable of producing Science, but it contains more spiritual wisdom than is found in man. This is as should be, and if it could be admitted by man, so that woman could have her place in the life of man, the world would in a short time be rid of the scourges, the medical faculty and priests that now infest the land. Women are religious from Science naturally, and had not man instructed them the world would have been free now from super?stition and evils that follow our belief. Woman is not so superstitious as man. . . . Her sympathy is inexhaustible. While men would get out of patience and would leave the sick, woman will cling to them as much as to say, "Death, you shall not have this life."
Now, where is woman placed? Just where man puts her to satisfy himself. She has nothing to do with her situation, but she must be content with what man chooses to assign her. In wisdom he of course is to be the great center of attraction, and although he has no light, only as it is thrown from the sun or higher power of his wisdom, woman thinks his light is derived' from a power superior to himself. . . . But a female coming forward in public to advocate man's ideas is as much below the male as a male who personifies a brute for the gratification of an audience is below the brute itself. . . . Where is woman's true position? As a teacher of the Science of Health and Happiness. This is what man does not want to do. It is too much like labor to toil over little children, and sit by the sick and take their sufferings upon oneself. Men will not do this. But they are very willing to bind burdens upon their neighbors, which they will not lift one finger to remove: by teaching false doctrines, whose effect on the people they do not know, which keep the people in bondage and all their lives subject to death. . .
Man is the life of all life before him. He becomes a sort of living matter, subject to all the laws of life or matter. . . . At last he becomes more refined, and becomes the medium of the life of Science or everlasting life, where there is no death, but where all things are tried by Science. . . .
Every man is a part of God, just so far as he is wisdom. So I will tell what I know, not what I believe. I worship no God except my own and I will tell you what He teaches me. In the first place He puts no restrictions on me, in fact He is in me, and just as I know myself I know Him; so that God and I are one, just as my children and I are one. To please myself I please God, and to injure myself is to injure my God. So all I have to do is to please myself. As God and I are one so you and I are one, and to please myself is to please you, and to injure myself is to injure you, so just as I measure out to you I measure out to myself. As you and I are one, you and your neighbor are one, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more than all the prayers made by all the priests in the world. I know that if I do by another as I would be done by in like circumstances I feel right, so I judge no man. I do not judge of myself, for my knowledge of this Wisdom is as plain to me as my senses.
To the world this is a belief, but to me it is wisdom that the religious world knows not of. It they did they would never crucify me as they do in their ignorance. So my religion is my wisdom which 'is not of this world, but of that Wisdom that will break in pieces the wisdom of men. Man's wisdom is the superstition of heathen idolatry; all Science is at variance with it. I stand alone, not believing in anything independent of Science; so you can put me down as having no sympathy with any belief or religion concerning another world, or in anything belonging to the Christian death. Neither have I any belief in the resurrection of the body. My death is this, ignorance; life is Wisdom, death is darkness or matter. All men have wandered from light and believed in darkness. To destroy matter you introduce light or life.
I will illustrate. Suppose you are sitting in the dark, call that this world. Now as the light springs up where is the darkness? The light is the resurrection of this body or darkness. What becomes of it when the light rises? So it is with man. Man is an idea of matter or darkness, and as his mind becomes lit up or clairvoyant the darkness of the idea of matter is gone, and he is in light that the wisdom of this world or darkness has not. So light came into darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.
When I sit down by a patient I come out of this matter or darkness and stand by the patient's senses, which are attached to some idea of the wisdom of this world which troubles him. I retain my former man and senses. I also have another identity independent of matter, and as I (knowing what is the cause of his misery) stand by the matter or belief of my patient and destroy his belief or the effect it has on his senses, then as the darkness or belief is lit up by the wisdom of Science, his darkness disappears and he rejoices in the light. The light leads him back to his health, from whence he had been decoyed by the blind guides spoken of in scripture. Here you have what I believe and what I disbelieve-the two are my law and gospel. By the law no one can be saved, but by the gospel of Truth, Science will have all saved, -not from the Christian world, but from this world of superstition and ignorance, saved for the greater truth that was prepared from the beginning of the world for all those who search and try to find it. You cannot go into the clouds to call it down, nor into the sea to call it up, but it is in you, in your very thoughts. It is not of this world, but of a higher state, that can penetrate this earthly matter as light through darkness. As the senses are the body of truth they travel through the light, as a man with a lamp travels through the dark. So it is not every one who has a lamp with oil, nor is every one wise who says he is so. But he is wise who can come up to the one in the dark, and lead him through this wilderness of disease into the light of reason and health. Like the good man who had the hundred sheep and one wandered away in the dark, he left the ninety and nine that were in the light and went and found the lost one and restored him to the fold. Now let those who pretend to be shepherds of the sheep, or of poor sick persons starving to death like the prodigal son for spiritual food, eating the husks of science, not the priest's food, go and guide them along to the father of health where they can eat and be glad and have music and dancing. This was Christ's truth; He was the good shepherd, the people were His sheep, and all who looked at Him and listened to the true wisdom, were saved from the errors of the priests and doctors. As Moses lifted up the serpent of the old Egyptian theology or creed, and explained them, and all those who looked on his explanation were healed of their errors that made disease, so Christ was lifted up, and all who understood were healed from the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees. So in our day [November, 1860] I hold up the serpent of creeds and doctors' theories, and show the absurdity of their beliefs and all who understand are healed of their diseases.
What is death? Man from ignorance has associated truth with error till error has got to be as true as life itself. Life cannot be seen except as it is made manifest in some idea. This idea is called matter, and it has become so identified with life that life cannot exist without it. This is the way man reasons: To destroy life is to destroy the idea that contains it. Therefore when we see our idea without life we say our life is dead. This would be true if death were life. But this is not so, according to the words of Jesus. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He came to destroy death, and him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Now if the devil has the power of death, death cannot mean what the people think it does. If death means what we are taught to believe it does, then Jesus knew not what He said. It either means an idea can be changed or it means the destruction of life, and in the latter case what Jesus said amounts to nothing.
I am certain that I know what Jesus meant to convey to the people, for I have seen death myself and the eternal life He spoke of, and can testify that I have passed from death unto life, as He taught the disciples. And knowing this life that is in Christ I teach it to you, not by opinions but by words of wisdom that will destroy death and put you in possession of that true life that will make death only an idea, like all other ideas man must be rid of to be happy.
At the time Jesus taught this eternal world the world was in darkness in regard to one thing, that was life independent of a belief. But as the lamp of Science was lit up it dispelled the shadow of opinions and embraced life. Matter is with Science nothing but a shadow. As its belief is changed death is destroyed and life takes its place. . . .
We have all been made to believe that we were flesh and blood. . . . I believed as all the world did that this body would die, and that I might be raised and reunited with my friends in another world, either happy or miserable. Now, all this is under the law, but by the law no flesh can be saved. In the darkness of this error the light sprang up and I rose from the dead or unbelief to the light of Science, and am now out of my old belief.
I will illustrate. You were once ignorant of mathematics. If some one had given you a mathematical book it would have been darkness to you. But the principle or spiritual wisdom. was in the book. As you began to understand you would have life, and the life would be in your understanding. You would still have a body of flesh and blood in your belief. Losing your ignorance, you would rise from the dead into the scientific world, where those in the law or ignorance would not see you; for the dead know nothing of mathematics.
Instead of being in the book, therefore, you are out of it, and to prove this you say to those who are struggling with the world that you will show yourself by your resurrection. So you do a mathematical problem without the book, and then show people that they are to be judged by their own books, and if they are not found in the book of Science they are dead in their own sins or ignorance. You have a body of flesh and blood in both worlds.
So it is with all other error. Death is ignorance, and unless you are made to destroy it by your own belief [effort] you cannot get rid of it. The world has made an end of life, but Jesus was the end of the world's life; so the world's life to Him was death and His life was the destruction of their belief. So I believe in flesh and blood but not in death, for I have passed from that belief into a life that is eternal. I have flesh and blood, as you all see; I shall never be without it [never without a body]. But you from belief may destroy my life to yourself, while to me it is the same today and forever. Here you have the belief of one who has seen the idea death swallowed up in Science, therefore to me the change is not a thing of belief but a truth.
You may ask me if I do not believe in what is called death. I answer, yes, if I did not I should not try to destroy it in others. To know that my friends are separated from me on account of their unbelief makes me more earnest that they should believe the truth. If your father or mother were carried out of your sight and you thought they were dead, if they knew it would they not weep for your unbelief ? They know they are alive with flesh and blood. But your belief makes a wall so dense that you cannot penetrate your own belief.
I will now say a few words in regard to the state called death. As this error is so well established that it is folly to deny it, I must explain my grounds for denying what every one believes. Let us see what man loses by the change called death. If you make a man admit that his happiness is in this state of error or opinions, then to get out of it would be death. But convince every person that he might sit down and fall into a state in which he might go where he pleased, and enjoy the society of those he did in his waking state, and be responsible for his acts the same as though awake, and if his ability and genius and good character earn for him the sympathy of some friend that would like to have him accompany him to a foreign country, and he should go and enjoy all the privileges of a guest, then wake up, don't you suppose he would like to take another trip ?
Now destroy all ideas of death and that would destroy disease. Then man would labor for wisdom, and when he grew rich he would say to himself, "I am rich enough, so I will now lie down and rest and enjoy my friends, and listen to the world's talk." So he gives up his cares and lies down, and rides around and enjoys himself. One is a figure of the other; but one is real, and the other is a shadow. The man who is rich in this world's goods to the exclusion of some scientific capital cannot travel in the world of Science with his money. To have money and no wisdom is to be like the rich man in the Bible spoken of by Jesus. He had been at work and got rich, and his crops were so large that he said to himself: "I will tear down my old house and barn, and build me a more expensive establishment; or I will dress up and go into more educated society, among the literary world and enjoy myself." But Science says to him, "This night shalt thou be satisfied that all thy riches will not make thee a man of Science." So you must lose all that foolish pride that impels the rules of the world, for where Science comes riches take to themselves wings and fly away into the wilderness of darkness. When these two characters lie down together, they are received into society according to their worth or talent. For money is not wisdom. So the rich man of this world may be the beggar of the scientific, while this beggar or man of small means with scientific riches will be as far removed from his neighbor as Dives from Lazarus. One must die to become the other. See the man that is made of money and knows nothing but his money when he is past making it. He is feverish and all he thinks of is his money. This is his happiness and some one is all the time getting it away; so he is in trouble, while the man of science is investigating all the improvements of the age and becoming acquainted with scientific secrets. Now they both lie down to enjoy their riches. The miser is all the time nervous and frightened about his money, while the scientific man is travelling on the interest of his capital; and if an expedition is fitted out for some great discovery, where his science is wanted, he receives an invitation and goes and enjoys himself; while the miser is prowling around to buy some secondhand lock to put on his door to keep out robbers. These two characters may go on for hundreds of years, for time is nothing in eternity. So we see every day figures of change. How many persons are there in this city who get up in the morning and pass the day without gaining enough wisdom to last them till nine o'clock? But you will see them up in the morning before day looking around to find some hole to creep into to get a drop of water or a substance to moisten their tongue, for they are tormented by an appetite for this world's goods. So their life is one continual state of excitement, always opposing everything that enlightens men's minds and elevates character. Such a man is dead to the world of Science, whether he is on top of the ground or underneath, while the man of Science is alive whether on the earth or in it. They both lie down in their own sepulchre. If one is made of opinions, he must take it. If the other is science, he will be in it. So while one is progressing, the other is looking on. They are both rewarded for their acts.