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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 19 - Science, Life, Death, part 3 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
What is the true definition of death ? Death is the name of an idea; an idea is matter, so that the destruction of an idea is death. Every opinion has its center, and its center is the idea. Now if a person believes in anything that is founded on an opinion the idea is in the opinion, and the senses being also in the opinion are attached to the idea. This imprisons the senses in the opinion. Now the idea is of itself nothing but an opinion condensed into a solid and called matter and every word goes to make the idea. So to make an idea men reason about something they have no proof of only as an opinion. So they build their building and in the center is the idea, and if they succeed in establishing their opinion they imprison their opponent and the misery is what flows from the idea.
I will illustrate. Take the word "consumption" This word is of itself nothing to the person who never heard of it. To make it is to create the opinion or building and then reduce it to an idea. So matter in the form of words is so arranged as to make the idea in the opinion. While the opinion is forming in the mind a chemical change is going on, and the matter is held in solution till it is condensed into a form according to the pattern given by the direction of mind, and after the opinion is fairly established in the mind and the person in the idea which is in the center, the senses are attached to the idea and become part of it. Now to separate the senses from the idea is death to the idea, but life to the senses. This separation called death is only death to the one idea.
Man is always dying and living in progression, for error or opinion must always be in the mind and mind must always exist till time is no more. Man is made of science and ignorance, or life and death. Man, seen by the senses is the center of our belief, and the senses are attached to the idea called man, so the idea "man" varies as much as one star differs from another. . . .
The animal is content to be just as he is, and seeks no wisdom above his kind; he lives the animal and when his identity is destroyed he is forgotten by his race, but this is only my opinion. But the animal that is dead to the living is as much alive in the higher state of matter or mind as the man who loses his idea. Each retains his own identity, but man is progressive and the beast is the same forever. The beast has but one rotation of life and death, but man lives all his life subject to death. So although he destroys one idea called death, he is liable to die again and again to the end of time unless his wisdom destroys death by the Science of Life. The last enemy is death, so the scientific man or idea shall reign till all error is destroyed. All identities called man are not the same. There is the well identity of man, the lame, the sick, the deaf, the dumb, and so on. All men are liable to have a combination of all these identities. For instance, a well man or child is an identity. Now it changes to a sick identity, so the well identity is destroyed, and the child's senses are attached to the identity of a disease. The Science of Life is to know how to keep man from getting into death or error. This is my theory; to put man in possession of a Science that will destroy the ideas of the sick and teach man one living progression [development] of his own identity, with life free from error and disease. Now as man passes through these combinations, they differ one from another. So it will be in the resurrection (of the dead), to life, freed from false ideas and in truth. Suppose a man could be so wise as to know every sensation that affects his senses. He could never change, so he would be always the same. Now take another who believes in all the opinions of man, and he is dying and living all the time, dying to error and living to truth, till he dies the death 'of all his opinions or beliefs. Therefore to be free from death is to be alive in Truth, for sin or error is death and Science is eternal life, and this life is in Christ.
I said that every opinion had a center, and this center was an idea. I will try to make this more plain, for it is the center or foundation on which all error rests. Destroy this and disease is out of the mind, for this central idea is the fortress error erects to keep the subject in submission. As wisdom is its enemy, it keeps up a constant cannonading to frighten wisdom into subjection. This idea is built by public opinion, got up by demagogues or doctors and priests, its father or founder was a liar, its foundation is ignorance and superstition; its reign is tyranny and slavery to wisdom, its victims are ignorance. This kingdom of darkness is the error of man, every man's mind is subject to this prince of darkness, its power is in its popularity; its laws are arbitrary and binding on all; it knows no mercy; its chief end is the destruction of man's happiness. For that purpose it holds out large rewards, as it did to Jesus, to those who will enter its service. Its honesty is hypocrisy, and in fact its whole aim is slavery and power. What classes does it embrace? It embraces every opinion of man. Ignorance is the foundation, destruction to freedom or Science is its chief end, so its leaders invent all sorts of falsehoods and bind them on the people, or matter, which is liable to be changed or moulded into their belief. Every inducement is held out to persuade the senses to become interested in their idea or opinion. Now an opinion is like a city or town that has its center or laws. So as man's senses are traveling, like the man going down to Jericho, who fell among thieves, he listens to these false leaders and hears of some idea like a place. It is described to him by some doctor or priest in an earnest manner; this excites the mind, curiosity is aroused, the senses leave their home or father's house like the prodigal son, and wander away into this place or state; here he is accused of being a stranger and is cast into the belief. The belief is a prison, the idea is the laws, and if he chances to hear of diphtheria, he believes it is as much a place as Boston; so if he chances to go near the place and happens to feel a soreness in the throat, he is accused, and if he acknowledges that he has it, his acknowledgment becomes a belief, this places him in the prison and the sentence being passed, punishment commences. The prison or belief em?braces all persons who have transgressed the laws of diphtheria. So every opinion is a. prison or place, to hold the per?son that believes it, and man's senses may have as many in?dictments against him as he has opinions. So Science or Christ enters the cities or towns, and pleads the case of the senses that are impriseoned, and if he gets the case, the prisoner is set at liberty, or the senses detached from the idea, and the error in the mind explained. Then the prisoner or senses rises from the place of torment into the kingdom of health. Its boundaries are opinions, its subjects are superstitions, and its laws are for the destruction of science. To destroy this kingdom is to introduce Science, is that the warfare is endless, for neither party will yield, no compromise is en?tered into by Science, but as the kingdom is divided against itself it cannot stand. Now as these two parties are in one man, it may be necessary to define their tactics and show how the senses may keep clear of both. One party assumes an idea and uses all their cunning to make it admitted by the senses, so when that is established, then commences the argument. The opposite side being more ignorant, but more honest, admits the idea but tries to destroy it. Here is an illus?tration; the children of the kingdom assert that sin is of divine origin, so the opposite acknowledge it and then try to reason it out of existence. They say that Adam's sin was the cause of all sin. Admitting it, then they try to show how inconsistent it is. They say sin is death; when admitted it becomes a law, so they go on assuming anything, and the other side admit, then argue about it, so that the kingdom of Science is not known in all their reason. Science has battled down the walls of error and established liberty or truth in much of their kingdom. It has hewn down the trees of superstition and established the science of mathematics. It has struck at the Science of Health, this is an unbroken wilderness never entered by man. Ever since the days of Moses there have been adventurers, but none has as yet planted the standard of life with such an inscription, "the Science of Life is in the wilderness." Jesus tried to do it but was crucified, Paul and all of his disciples also tried, but no one has ever yet been able to penetrate this dark wilderness and raise the standard and sustain it. . . .
As I explained but one side of the question I will now give the other which is life. I showed that death is opposed to life. I did not use that term, but you will see that is what I mean. Now death is life to the natural man as much as error is. Truth and error have their kingdom, and our senses are in one or the other according to our acts. I gave an explanation of the natural man or error which is matter and showed that all our misery is in our ignorance of the other kingdom called life or Science. This Kingdom is that spoken of in the Scriptures, which was hewn out and came down to earth or the natural man, and became embedded in the hearts of the people. This was the stone or Science that the builders of error rejected which has been the head or foundation of the new Science of Life, and on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. This child was the one without father or mother. It had no beginning of days nor ending of years, but it is from everlasting to everlasting. It was the rock that followed Moses in the wilderness of superstition. It is progress, it knows no evil. It is a consuming fire, that will rage till it burns up every selfish idea. It is never found boasting of its wisdom; it is not puffed up, it sits and sees itself swell in the hearts of the people, but they see it not. Their minds are now seeing the light that is going before them; they are afraid, so that even the kingdom of darkness is in rebellion against itself. The leaders begin to tremble, for they see that the angel of Science has sounded his trumpet, the earth or matter is moved out of its place, the stars or parties are falling, and the powers of the kingdom are shaken.
The spears of superstition have been beaten into plough?shares, Science has ploughed up all the stubble and burnt up the rubbish, the fields of life are bringing forth flowers of happiness, the streams of blood have turned into living waters. The birds of wisdom are sounding their notes of peace, and all the people rejoice. The old beliefs are passed away, and a new belief or heaven is established in the hearts of men where all beliefs shall be tested by Science and the wicked or error shall be destroyed. Wisdom aims at opinions, its march is progress. It knows no fear, its qualities are love. It neither turns to the right nor to the left. It is death to error, when error undertakes to retard its progress, it seeks not its own kingdom or happiness but works on earth or in man for his happiness. Its aim is to establish wisdom in man, and as it is a Science, its identity is eternal life or progress. For this cause it leaves father and mother or error and ignorance, goes into the kingdom of darkness, and seeks out the sick ideas which are prisons, wherein are the children of Science who have been deceived by blind guides. It enters the prison or belief, unknown to the keeper; for wisdom can not be seen by error, and error or matter is no obstacle to wisdom. It pleads in the prison with the captive, reasons and teaches the Science of Happiness, and protects the prisoner from its enemies in the wilderness of darkness.