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Topic: Quimby Manuscripts
Section: Chapter 19 - Science, Life, Death, part 4 of 5
Table of Contents to this Topic
If these principles are true, there is no good in dying, for that does not change us at all. We are just what we were before. If we have any ideas which make us unhappy we still have them. Our influences are changed, it is true, for our friends believe us to be dead and away from all communication with them. So we stand a chance to be changed. But that we get rid of all sickness and sorrow when we shuffle off this mortal coil is a mistaken idea.
If mind is spiritual matter, and all effects in the natural world have their cause in the spiritual world, it is evident that heat and cold, food, in short all those things which are addressed to the outward senses, as we call them, must first gain access to us through other means than are apparent.
The first mistake is in locating the senses in the body, when they really exist entirely independent of it. But "according as a man thinketh, so is he," and if we believe that taste is in the tongue, hearing in the ear, sight in the eye, and feeling in the nerves of the surface, etc., we must be affected according to our belief.
Our spiritual senses are often more acute and sensitive than the natural ones.
Is experience wisdom? Certainly not. Experience is the construction which we put upon any event which occurs in our life. For instance, the death of a friend : one person may draw one experience from it, and another, another. When Science proves that there is no such thing as death, all the various experiences which are the result of belief in the idea are annihilated.
Jesus, when he appeared after the crucifixion, had con?densed His spiritual self so that it could be seen by the natural eyes, and He did it scientificallv.
I use words merely for convenience which I say are wrong. For example, "death." The time will come when such words will be obsolete. They will not be used when there is knowledge.
If we become acquainted with each other spiritually, where is the need of the natural senses, and how can we ever be separated ?
Our next world is here where we are and always must be. This teaches us to do to others as we would have others do to us, because we are all a part of each other. When we injure one part the whole feels it.
Destroy the man of opinions and Christ lives in the flesh.
Man is just as large as he is wise in Science.
Man is a complete image of the God he ought to worship.
This which I put in practice I call Christ acting through the man Quimby.
As Science is of light, it makes no shadow, but like the rising sun burns up the darkness or error.
God, not being matter, has no matter only as an idea. So matter to God or Science is a medium of communication with the natural man in his own language or semblance.
Every man is a part of God just so far as he is Wisdom. To cure an error intelligently is to know how to produce it. The idea that matter and mind make the man prevents man from understanding himself.
Jesus had no religious opinions; His works were in His life, and His life was His Christ or theory. His natural man had become subject to His scientific man or Wisdom.
Death is the name of something error wants to destroy, and this something is life. So the warfare is between life and death. Life cannot be destroyed but death can. Man is the battlefield of these two, life and death.
There never was a man who could translate the original language of God, for He never spoke at all. So we must listen to the sound of God's voice, not in the language of any person, for God speaks in that still small voice of sympathy which says to the poor sick, "Be of good cheer, your sins or errors will be explained, and. your soul set at liberty."
If God spoke [to Moses] it must have been in the common language of the day. So man must have invented language before God could communicate with him. This God keeps up with the times, and every now and then man finds out that God was mistaken about certain passages in the Bible.
The beast has five senses, and a great many human beings have not half so many.
We are affected according to the fear we associate with our senses.
Death and disease are matter, and when the senses are attached to the body we become subject to the laws of matter.
Here is the theory of my religion: My God is wisdom, and all wisdom is of God; where there is no wisdom there is no God. God is not matter, and matter is only an idea that fills no space in Wisdom, and as Wisdom fills all space, all ideas are in Wisdom. To make creation larger than the Creator is absurd to me. The Christian God is in everything; my God is in nothing, but everything is in Him. Attach all sight, smell, and all the senses to Wisdom, then they fill all space; everything to which we attach wisdom, and all inanimate substances are in this Wisdom.
There is no such thing as reality with God except Himself. He is all Wisdom and nothing else. All other things having form are things of His creation. His life is attached to all that we call life.
God is the embodiment of light or clairvoyance, and to His light all is a mere nothing. When He spoke man into existence His wisdom breathed into the shadow and it received life. So the shadowed life is in God, for in this light it moves and has its being, and it becomes the son of God.
As Jesus became clairvoyant He became the son of God, and a part of God. He said, Although you destroy this temple (or thought) I, that is, this clairvoyant self, can speak into existence another like the one you believe you have destroyed. Jesus attached His senses as a man to this light or Wisdom, and the rest of the world attached theirs to the thought of darkness or the natural man.
Every man is a representative of the natural and spiritual worlds as taught in the religion of Jesus and illustrated in His life and death. The natural world spoken of by Jesus is man's belief, and the knowledge of the truth is the spiritual world; and as opinions and error die truth and science rise from the dead.
Like other men, Jesus bore the image of opinions, but He also bore the image of God or Science.
When Jesus cured the sick He saved them from the other world into which the priests were forcing them.
Christ is that unseen principle in man of which man is conscious, but which he has never considered as intelligence. It is God in us, and when man comes to recognize it as intelligence transcending belief and learns its principles, then death will be swallowed up in Wisdom.
A river has its bed into which little streams flow to supply it. So man has an intellect which is sustained by various streams from the fountain of Wisdom. The banks take the name of the river as a man's name is affixed to his bodily form, but both man and river existed before they were named. . . . Man's wisdom exists and when it is discovered it is named, and the name is of man. The water of the river is like the mind, both are continually changing . . . and the mind seeks the heights of Wisdom that it may draw others to it. Suppose every particle of water to have an identity of intelligence; its continual motion does not destroy its iden?tity; it is water alike in the stream, the lake, the river and the sea; and when it is taken into the earth and replenished it is water still. So man's intellect has its identity whether in one condition or another, and the body is to the intellect what the banks of the river are to the water: an identity to signify that water can be condensed into a form.
Wisdom outside of matter is not recognized, but when it is reduced so that its effects can be seen it is acknowledged, though not separated from matter. The banks are generally admitted to be the river, and when there is no water in the bed we say it is dead. Now the water is as much alive as ever, and it retains its identity, but man's name is de?stroyed. In the same way God in man is not recognized except in the body, and when man sees the wisdom depart, to him the man is dead.
Intellect, like water, is always flowing and cutting new channels, and each new channel is like the birth of a child it receives a name but retains that of its father.
Man in his wisdom gives life to his own name, and when his idea is destroyed the life seems to be dead. Man puts wisdom in the water and not in the principle, so when matter is destroyed the principle appears to be dead. But man's wisdom is not of God. God's wisdom is not in matter but outside of it and through it, as the identity of water is distinct from a particular valley. It may be said that this is what all men believe, but actions show that our wisdom is placed in the natural man or matter. Man has no idea of wisdom identified with anything but his own belief. But if God or Wisdom is the First Cause everything that is seen is only a representation of Wisdom developed into form. Therefore all identities of man and beast exist with the Father. . . . When a form is seen the world says it is in existence, but it existed before Wisdom brought it to man to name. Thus everything exists with God and man names it. But Wisdom has already given it a name which man does not recognize, and by that name it will always exist and recognize itself.
My body sits and writes, and all that can be seen is myself and it is my opinion. But the Wisdom that knows what I say as a man is not an opinion. . . . There cannot be an identity without intelligence, therefore man's identity is not in what we see, but in the Wisdom which cannot be seen, and only shows itself through some medium of expression. . . . Look beyond the body for the created being which is prior to intelligence.
We speak of an intelligent, scientific or patriotic man as if all intelligence, science or patriotism died with him. What are all these when he dies? Do they emanate from his material organism, and die with it? In short, are wisdom and progress the developments of matter?
Man lives and acts in an element different from matter, the universal nature of man can be traced to a different principle than that which would have him, a transitory being. What element is that which is not matter yet in which man lives and acts? It is impossible to describe it in one word or in a few words, but it may be illustrated by facts that are known by all.
A child knows its mother, not by looks or voice, but by something not included within these two senses: it is that something that makes her different in her relation to the child from any other woman. Suppose it be called love, or a desire for the child's happiness identified with her own. According as she directs the child in the pure intelligence of that love or yields her feelings to knowledge derived from a source which does not contain that love, so shall the fruits be. This love contains an intelligence which if followed in spirit and truth might destroy every obstacle in the way of the child's happiness, and develop it into a self-governing responsible being. Then why is it not so? Because from our religious and social education no woman can carry out the high principle of her affection. She is taught by established morality to put restrictions on the child that would make her miserable in the child's place.
All feelings and thoughts have an origin and can be referred to their causes as certainly as actions can be proved the result of a certain state of mind. The spiritual man has a knowledge of these causes and knows what every sensation is good for, where it springs from, what its effect would be if not corrected before it condenses into a belief.
It seems strange to the well why I do not cure every one who comes to me as easily as I do some. The reasons are plain to me and I can explain them to the sick, but to the well it is a mystery from the fact that they are under an influence that is adverse to the sick. The well have no sympathy with the sick, and every dollar they pay comes as hard as though they had contributed to some charitable object which they took no interest in but from fear of being called mean they would subscribe a small sum. When a sick person is brought to me the real person is not known in the controversy, but the error or person that brings him. So I have to address myself to that character called by the world our natural man, but the victim is not known and has nothing to say. Every case is a variation of these feelings, and I know the difficulty I have to contend with, while the well do not understand.
I divide man into two characters. One governs by selfish?ness and the other by sympathy, and man's senses are attached to one or the other of these elements. . . . Every combination that leads to disease is like the little streams that run into the ocean of death. As all men live and move in their belief, their belief is like a house or barque either in the ocean of death or the rivers that enter into it. Men find it hard to stem the current when the tide of public opinion is running so fast that they are in danger of being driven on the rocks. The pilots who are waiting to, get a call are found to be under the pay of the master of the seas, the devil. So the streams and rivers are filled up with false lights to deceive the mariners while sailing on a voyage of discovery. This may seem strange to the well, but I can make it plain to the sick.
Fashion and pride cover a multitude of sins. I do not like to blame the well, but we are so constituted as to look upon disease as an evil and the sick as afflicted that we cannot help being affected by these opinions. . . . The Chris?tian has no sympathy with his neighbor's children if they do not walk up to the mark, while his own children are provided with a seat in heaven because he is a pious man. . . .
People do not stand in relation to each other as they should, owing in a great measure to our religion.
Money, it is said, is the root of all evil, but this is not the case: pride and selfishness and love of power are the evils; this creates the desire for money.
Spiritual wisdom is always shadowed forth by some earthly or literal figure. Thus the Bible is spiritual truth illustrated by literal things, but religious people follow the shadow or literal explanation and know nothing of the true meaning. When God said "Let us create man in our own image," it means Wisdom created man in the image of Truth. When He formed man or matter, that was the medium for this image to have and control, like all other living things that He made out of matter.
What is there that all will admit as existing independently of matter? Take the senses of man and see if there is any matter in them. All will admit that God is not matter. No one will say that sight is matter, for God sees all things, His sight penetrates the darkest places, and not a thing can be hidden from His sight. So it is with all the [spiritual] senses of man, and there is no matter in them. A knowledge of these senses condensed into an idea, spoken into existence called man and the senses attached to it- this is man in the image of his Maker.
Sympathy annihilates space. Discord makes it. Man is in one and Christ in the other. To be with Christ is to be in harmony with his wisdom, and this Wisdom will keep us from the evils of man's opinion. When our senses are attached to Truth we are heirs of Christ, and when attached to error we are heirs of this world. The Christ is to separate the error from the truth, for truth is harmony and error discord.
Man reasons in this was about the body: a child commences to grow, and man calls the growth of the child "life." When the child has reached a certain maturity the body begins to decompose and die, like the tree; then the dust returns to the dust and the life of the body departs. No such ideas as these come from Wisdom, for Wisdom puts life in the spiritual senses: if we attach these to Wisdom, our life is in Wisdom, and as that never dies our life never dies.
Happiness is contentment, not life or death. Misery is discord, not Wisdom but error. If then you attach your life to an error, like distributing life to the body, then your life is unhappy according to the loss or disturbance.
If our happiness is from Wisdom it becomes a part of ourselves, but if it is from a belief it is adopted and we may lose it.
We often hear people say that their religion makes them happy. But if religion is anything outside of ourselves it contains neither happiness nor misery. Can any person define what he gets except that it is a belief? A belief that will make one person happy will make another miserable.
Look at any religious society and you will find that the individuals cannot agree in belief. So those who cannot agree are slaves to those whose authority they admit as their rulers.
The poor soldier who fights for the leaders sinks under the burden bound upon him. To keep up his courage the officers hold out the idea that he is fighting for a great and good cause, and a crown of glory in heaven awaits those who die upon the battlefield. This is all the happiness the privates get. So they fight to keep society from ruin while their reward is the satisfaction of fighting the devil and supporting the officers.
Reverse the tables, making the priest the soldier, and tax him to pay the former soldier for his instructions, then it would be shown how well their principle of action, which they preach to others, applies to themselves.
The minds of individuals mingle like atmospheres, and every person's identity exists in this atmosphere. The odor ascends and contains all the passions and feelings of the natural man.
Jesus contended that He understood what He said and did, but that the prejudices of the people were so strongly in favor of His having a "power" that they could not understand when He tried to teach them that His acts and words proceeded from a Wisdom superior to their belief, and that it could be taught. To question their belief was to make Himself equal with God. In the same way when I say that I know how I cure, people say I blaspheme and make myself equal with Christ. They do not know how I cure and dislike to admit that any one else does. Consequently they strive to make my explanation as objectionable as possible.
According to my experience, mind in solution is a thing in common, which all admit contains life. Each person has his senses in this life or mind, as a globule of water in the ocean. So if a sensation is made on the water each particle is affected, and each person may locate the trouble in himself. For instance, when the idea "consumption" is called up man's senses see the image in this mind. Fear comes and the reflection is thrown on the idea-body... . When sitting by a patient I feel the sensation in my mind, and immediately a figure or spirit is made which is reflected as an impression on my body. Now, if I were not aware of the cause I might think I was the author or originator of this horrid belief. But knowing that it is only the reflection from my patient's mind, the idea dies. The wisdom that puts me in possession of this truth is Christ, the Wisdom above my patient. By this wisdom I explain the fears away and destroy the torments, and this process is a science. Is it a sin to know this and teach it for the happiness of mankind, and do I make myself equal with Christ? If I do then I will submit to the odium willingly.
Ideas are as separate as seeds. An apple seed will not produce a pear, neither will the seed or idea of consumption produce liver complaint.
To know that you exist is a truth, but to prove that you always will exist is a science.
The matter which is seen is the condensation of the matter not seen, and the unseen matter is mind, and in that are all our beliefs, opinions, emotions, etc. When the mind is disturbed by some opinion, or unknown fear, it must take a form before it can affect the body. So when the mind is disturbed the disturbance is shown in the body.
The Christ or Truth can walk on the water of opinions and know that it is no part of itself.
I fitted out my barque some twenty years ago and started without chart or compass, trusting to the wisdom of my experience, determined to be guided by the inhabitants of the land where I journeyed, and make my way to the passage that led to the other world, or to a new world on this globe. . . .
Sometimes I was nearly exhausted and on the point of returning, when a light would spring up, or a solitary bird would sing its beautiful notes from the clear sky, while from this light came a mild breath of pure air that would revive my very soul. In this warmth it seemed as though I heard a voice say, "Come up hither."
The earth is round . . . and man is ambitious to explain the outside and also the inside of it. So exploring parties are fitted out to discover hidden truths. But there is a different class of minds who believe there is another world called the spiritual or scientific world which is as much a world as the natural world and which contains the latter. So the people are all inside the spiritual world together. . . . The scientific contains strata of scientific wisdom whence all science springs.
When this came to light that all I had been doing was to burn up my error by progressing in wisdom, and as the light of science sprang up in my mind I could see men walking on their belief as I was walking on my science, I asked, How can I make the natural man understand this? The answer came, The natural man is not of the world of Science, but the child of Science is in the world of error striving to escape and this is disease.
Then came an illustration of all I saw: Man as we see him is a representation of the earth; his internal structure is the attraction for the natural man to explore, the surface of his body is where he looks to see how he is affected by outward sensations, his wisdom sits in the upper chamber, called his brain, and in the majesty of his knowledge he gives his opinion and all lesser lights bow their heads in subjection to his will. This kingdom being all over the world, it rules its subjects. So when the son of Science encounters it, a decree goes forth to put every one to death.
Science is light and the wisdom of this world is in darkness, hence it does not see the light. Therefore Wisdom governs the natural man, although to him it is unknown. It suggests to the natural man, and he being vain and dishonest assumes to be the author of his own wisdom. . . . Like all demagogues, error pretends to be kind to the poor, especially when its life depends on holding wisdom in slavery.
. . . So the error in the sick brings the patient to me. The Science which is confined in bondage knows the language of Wisdom and secretly tells me its misery, but the natural man or error knows it not. When I tell error how the sick feel, to him it is a mystery; for error is matter and has no feeling, while sympathy is the language of the sick. While I sit by the sick I feel their pain, which is the grief of their wisdom; this is outside of their opinions or body, and my wisdom being outside of my opinions, I, in my wisdom, see their belief, but their errors do not see me, therefore to them I am a mystery.
Suppose a patient sits by my side who has the idea of heart disease. If he believes it, to him it is a reality, his belief contains the substance or identity of a man with heart disease. From this substance goes an atmosphere, and in it is the person. His body is to his mind a sort of mirror which reflects the shadow of the idea: by the doctors this is called disease. I see the original idea and also the shadow, and to cure the disease I destroy the matter by explaining the error, and the shadow on the body disappears.
Language is used in two senses. The natural man uses it to express whatever can be demonstrated. This embraces what is called truth by the learned. But the feelings of the sick and wretched cannot be described by one who cannot feel them, and the sick are at the mercy of those who cannot understand their feelings, and who attempt to relieve them of something they have no sympathy with. Now the Bible is written to convey to such the cause of their trouble, and the New Testament applies more particularly to the sick. The language which Jesus used was not used to describe any?thing that could be seen, or understood by the wisest men of the day. For if what He wished to explain could be seen then language could have described it.
Sympathy is not matter but is what is troubled by matter. A patient has feelings which cannot be felt by another in his natural state, and which cannot be described by the natural man. But the latter without any knowledge of himself names a feeling and undertakes to account for it.
To understand how I cure is to see yourself outside of the natural man or your opinions, with all your senses and reason; then instead of the essence being in matter [you will see that] matter is in the essence. It is often said that God is in everything. This makes God less than the thing He is in. Now make God the essence with all the senses attached to it, then you have an eternal and everlasting Essence without matter or [visible] form, a point without magnitude but eternal. Call this eternal Wisdom the Father of all that is out of matter, see this Wisdom by its will speak the idea matter into existence, and every shape and form that ever was or will be, and everything that man calls life. All these things are in the knowledge of this Wisdom, not the Wisdom in the things that are spoken.
It is the same with man. His wisdom is the living man. To put his wisdom into his body or natural man is to make an opinion greater than a scientific truth. Disease is an opinion. To put man's wisdom into it is to make the disease larger than the real man.
It is a common remark that after we shake off this mortal coil the spirit will be set free. This is to acknowledge that the body is larger than the spirit or wisdom. No wonder with such a belief men pray to be delivered from the body of sin and death.
Thanks to this wisdom I, my wisdom, can see myself out?side this earthly belief and afloat in the ocean of space, where opinions are like stones and pebbles that men throw at each other, while to me they have no weight at all. All these are in me, that is, in my wisdom, and not wisdom in them. I stand in my wisdom to the sick who are in their opinions trying to get me out, and the harder they try the deeper they go into the mire. So Wisdom pleads their case, and if I get their case then opinion is destroyed and health resumes its sway. If you understand this you can cure.
All that is seen by the natural man is mind reduced to a state called matter.
Man's happiness is in knowing that he is no part of what can be seen by the eye of opinion.
This world is the shadow of Wisdom's amusements.