Chapter XIII of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser
[In order to clear the way for real understanding of his theory, Dr. Quimby wrote in February, 1862, answers to fifteen questions put to him by one of his patients. Copies of this manuscript were kept on hand to loan to new patients, and some of the patients made their own copies. On the cover of a copy made in June, 1862, George Quimby has written, “Mrs. Patterson first saw Dr. Quimby in Oct., 1862, 4 months after this was written. Questions and Answers. Portland, June, 1862” George Quimby loaned a copy of this manuscript to Miss Milmine when she was tracing out the various changes made in “Questions and Answers,” as recorded in her “Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy.” 1 This manuscript is not so clear as the brief articles printed in the following chapter, and known as “Volume I,” also loaned to patients and Mrs. Patterson—Eddy. It is printed as originally written, with a few changes in punctuation and capitalization to conform to writings of the same year. Obscure points will be made plain by selections from later articles, in Chapters XV-XVIII.] (Horatio W. Dresser.)
1 See Appendix, “The Quimby-Eddy Controversy.” 166.
[Continued from last week.—editor.]
10. “What is memory, or that process by which we recall images of the past?”
I have explained memory in that class of reason called knowledge. It is one of the chemical changes to arrive at a fact, matter being only a shadow. When the senses are detached from it we forget the shadow, till it is called up by another. This is memory. If there was no association there could be no memory and those that have the greatest amount of association, and least wisdom have the greatest memories. Those who rely on observation and opinion as the laws of reason have great memories, for their life is in their memory. But the former retain their reason as it is called and are forgetful of events. Memory is the pleasure or pain of some cause or event that affects our happiness or misery, or it is something ludicrous. For instance, a judge hearing one tell another “his coat—tail was short,” and the other replied “it will be long enough before I get another” attempted to repeat the joke, but he forgot the sympathy or music in it, and said, “a man told another his coat—tail was short, and he replied, it would be a long time before he got another one.” The company failed to laugh and he said, “I do not see anything to laugh at myself, but when I heard it I laughed heartily.” Memory is the effect of two ideas coming in harmony so as to produce an effect that leaves a scene of some idea either ridiculous or otherwise embracing so many combinations that it brings up the scene. Memory is one of the senses of man and will exist so long as the idea matter exists.1
1 Elsewhere Quimby calls matter much more than a “shadow” or “idea.”
11. “What became of the body of Jesus after it was laid in the ground, if you do not believe it rose?”
Jesus is the idea “matter,” so those that believed that Jesus Christ was one believed that His body and soul were crucified. Now came their doubts whether this same idea should rise again. Some believed it would, others doubted. So far as Christ was concerned, all their opinions had no effect. Christ was the Wisdom that knew matter was only an idea that could be formed into any shape, and the life that moved it came not from it but was outside of it. Here was where their wisdom differed. The disciples believed that the wisdom of man would rise out of the error or idea “man,” or matter, and matter comes under the head of memory. How far their idea of Jesus went I am unable to say. Some said He was stolen, others that He rose. There is as good reason for believing one story as another. Now, Jesus said nothing about it. Now, I take Christ's own words for truth when He said touching the dead that they rise, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” He knew that they could not understand, but to Himself Christ went through no change. To His disciples He died. So when they saw Him they were afraid because they thought He was a spirit, but Christ had not forgotten His identity Jesus, or flesh and blood. So He says, “a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have.” If Christ’s believers of this day could have been there with their present belief, I have my doubts whether they could have seen or even heard any sound. Yet I believe Christ did appear and show Himself as dense as their belief could be made, but their unbelief made the idea so rarified that it was a spirit. These are my ideas of the resurrection of Christ. But Jesus [according to] the world’s idea (if the people were as they are now) was without doubt taken away; at any rate, their idea man never rose. Christ lost nothing by the change. Every person rises from the dead with their own belief, so to themselves they are not risen and know no change, and the dead as they are called have no idea of themselves as dead.
12. “Do we receive impressions through the senses and do they, acting upon the mind, constitute knowledge?”
This question is answered by Paul to the Romans, although he did not use the same words. This belief means faith, the peace in the truth was through their belief. Hope is the anchor made fast to the truth, belief is the knowledge that we shall attain this truth, so that we glory in the tribulation or action of the mind, knowing that it brings patience and patience confidence and confidence experience, that we shall obtain the truth. Knowledge is opinions, so when an impression is made on the mind it produces a chemical change, this comes to the senses and opens the door of hope to the great truth. This hope is the world’s knowledge or religion that is used like an anchor to the senses till we ride out the gale of investigation and land in the haven of God or Truth.
13. “How is matter made the medium of the intelligence of man?”
There are two ideas, one spirit and one matter. When you speak of man you speak of matter. When you speak of spirit you speak of the knowledge that will live after the matter is destroyed or dead. This is the Christian’s wisdom. With God in all the above is only opinions and ideas without any wisdom from God or Truth. All the above is embraced in his idea as an illusion that contains no life but lives, moves, has its being and identity in his wisdom. So that to itself it is a living, moving something with power to act to create and destroy. Its happiness and misery are in itself. So when its shadow is destroyed to B and C he is dead. A loses nothing but is the same as before, but to B and C he is dead. So the shadow is the medium of truth and error, to error it is matter but to Truth it is an illusion.
14. “Do I err in thinking knowledge the effect of some influence on the mind, instead of something independent of the whole individual?”
Knowledge is the effect of an influence on the mind and is the medium that carries the senses to this great Truth.
15. “Can any one bear any amount of excitement and fatigue without a reaction?”
No, no more than a mathematician can solve every problem without a reaction, but as he becomes master of the science, the reaction diminishes, till all error is destroyed.
Dr. Quimby’s writings are not to establish any religious creed or bolster up any belief of man, but they are simply the out—pouring of a truth, that sees the sick cast into prison, for no other cause than a belief in the opinions of man, there to linger out a miserable existence, driven from society into the dark cell of disease where no friend is allowed to enter to soothe their woes. The knowledge of this condition is known to him from their own feelings and calls forth his plea in their behalf. He stands to the sick as an attorney to a criminal, a friend. This is what he believes Jesus intended to communicate to the world when he said, “they that are well need not a physician, but they that are sick.” So he pleads their case and destroys their opinion, breaks the bars of death and sets the prisoner free. This was Jesus’ religion, that he believed, taught, and practised.1
1 This paragraph was added by Dr. Quimby for the sake of the general inquirer.
[This is the fourth and final installment of a four—part series originally written and published as Chapter XIII. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser. THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY, 1921.—editor.]
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Today we are concluding a four—part serial review of Chapter 13, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, of the 1921 publication, of The Quimby Manuscripts by Horatio W. Dresser.
“Recent scholarship” has questioned the source of the last paragraph quoted by Horatio W. Dresser in today’s final installment of QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. There are three copies of this document in the Library of Congress collection of Quimby materials. These copies have been located in the Library of Congress since April 5, 1930, and this paragraph is included in each copy. Based on the Primary References section outlined in Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, the specific microfilm references are, reel number 3, frame numbers 1300, 1303, and 1327.
Next week, we will move on to Chapter 14, CHRIST OR SCIENCE, of The Quimby Manuscripts.
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
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