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Topic: Quimby Wisdom
Section: 04 - Preface
Table of Contents to this Topic
PREFACE by the Editor
Doctor P. P. Quimby, a clock-maker and inventor of mechanical devices, born in New Hampshire February 16, 1802, became America's greatest healer. He learned the wisdom of the ages by sitting with sorely afflicted people, listening to their false beliefs, and instructing them so they would heal themselves.
Note: The life and times of Park Quimby are described more completely in an Appendix at the end of this book.
Park Quimby entered his career as a healer through the study and demonstration of mesmerism. A true scientist, he experimented and observed. He rejected mesmerism as a deception, but these experiments and his later studies taught him the true nature of disease and the true method of healing.
After twenty years of healing practice in Portland and Belfast, Maine, he began to write notes recording his observations and his knowledge for an intended book. His notes are a daily journal: repetitive and disorganized. He did not have time to edit the notes and the book never was published. We have his notes preserved in the Library of Congress. Two compilations have been published and micro-film copies of the notes are available in some libraries.
Because his notes were not published until sixty years after his death--and then incomplete and difficult to read-- Quimby is little known even to those who acknowledge him as the origin of their beliefs. It is one of the purposes of this book to make the wisdom of Park Quimby more available. The other purpose is to satisfy the needs of the editor to better understand the nature of this world. There is no better instructor than Doctor Park Quimby.
"Only from the authors themselves can we receive philosophic thoughts; therefore whoever feels drawn to philosophy must seek out its immortal teachers in the still sanctuary of their own works."
We follow this advice of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in seeking out the wisdom of Park Quimby in his own words. But the words of one teacher, however great, are only selected fruits from the tree of Wisdom. We will all know the tree better if we learn also from many teachers. But how to distinguish fruits of the tree of Wisdom from the fruits of the tree of false beliefs which is so much more prolific? The missionary doctor, Albert Schweitzer tells us:
"Just as a tree bears year after year the same fruit and yet fruit which is each year new, so must all permanently valuable ideas be continually born again in thought."
We see the validity of Doctor Quimby's opinions by the fact that they have been discovered and rediscovered by great thinkers in all nations and cultures and from all ages.
You may feel overwhelmed by this dense concentration of great thoughts, but Quimby expresses them in simple words written in his office while sitting with patients. Test your own experience against his observations.
You are NOT bound to believe with Quimby; but you ARE bound to be responsible for what you DO believe.
Doctor Quimby wrote:
"Make man responsible for his beliefs and he will be as cautious in what he believes as he is in what he sees or does."
Doctor Quimby's main concern throughout is with the problem of false beliefs. All that he writes has to do with this problem. He expresses his own beliefs mainly to show that change is possible and to compel his patients and you, the readers, to analyze their beliefs. This, he says, is the greatest study of all.
He found that beliefs create disease. He healed by showing the errors. His cures were in his belief or wisdom. He tells us that truth is the cure. His comments about medical and religious beliefs retain much validity today. He found medical cures to be, not in the medicine but in the confidence of the doctor. Great medical men have said the same. Many successful drugs, prescribed in great quantity, have been later found to be no more than placebos "given to please" but without material effect, yet effective in curing.
Doctor Quimby had clairvoyant ability, which he explains. He had the ability to "clearly see"--to clearly sense--the feelings of his patients; and to such a degree as to become two persons at once: himself and a person with the feelings of his patient. The feelings were so real as to be sometimes frightening. It was this great power of empathy, coupled with his analysis of false beliefs, that made him a miraculous healer.
All opinions of the world opposed his science: the church, the medical faculty, the proud, the spiritualists, the aristocracy. In this too, Park Quimby was united with the great thinkers of all ages.