"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
December 10, 2017
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Are our senses mind? I answer, No. This was the problem the ancient philosophers sought to solve. Most of them believed the soul, senses and every intellectual faculty of man to be mind; therefore our senses must be mind. The translator of Lucretius says Lucretius attacks the ancient academics who held the mind to be the sole arbiter and judge of things and establishes the senses to be the arbitrators for, says he, “Whatever can correct and confute what is false must of necessity be the criterion of truth and this is done by the senses only.” This difference is true in part. Both were right. But they confused mind and senses into one, like the modern philosophers who make wisdom and knowledge, mind and senses, Jesus and Christ, synonymous. Now mind and senses are as distinct as light and darkness, and the same distinction holds good in wisdom and knowledge, Jesus and Christ. Christ, Wisdom and the spiritual senses are synonymous. So likewise are Jesus, knowledge and mind. Our life is in our senses; and if our wisdom is in our mind, then we attach our life and senses to matter. But if our wisdom is attached to Science, our life and senses are in God, not in matter, for there is no matter in God or Wisdom. Matter is the medium of Wisdom. This difference has been overlooked by the ancients, and modern philosophers have put mind and soul in matter, thus making a distinction without a difference. Now according to modern philosophy, the soul, mind, life and senses are all liable to die; but according to this truth mind is matter, that which is not true is matter, the life of a lie is matter and all matter must be dissolved. Wisdom is not life. Our senses are not life. A truth is not life. But all these are solid and eternal; and to know them is life and life eternal. Life is in the knowledge of this wisdom, and death is in the destruction of your opinion or matter.
I will give some experiments of the man of wisdom acting through the man of matter and dissolving the man of matter so the man of wisdom can escape. This process is the Science of Wisdom. Take for example two persons, or you and myself. One wishes to communicate to the other some fact. You feel a pain. I also feel it. Now the sympathy of our minds mingling is matter, but there is no wisdom in it, for wisdom is outside of matter. If we both feel the same pain, we each call it our own for we are devoid of that wisdom which would make us know we were affecting each other. Each one has his own identity and wants sympathy, and the ignorance of each other is the vacuum that is between us. So we are drawn together by this invisible action called sympathy. Now make man wise enough to know that he can feel the pains of another, and then you get him outside of matter. The wisdom that knows this has eternal life, for life is in the knowledge of this wisdom. This the world is unacquainted with.
Now Jesus had more of this life or truth than any other person, and to teach it to another is a science. And although one may know it, he may not be able to teach it. If you know it and can teach it, then you are a teacher of the truth; but if you know it and cannot teach it, then you are a follower of the truth. Now the knowledge of this truth is life and the absence of it is death. There are a great many kinds of life. Man begins at his birth. Mineral life is not vegetable and vegetable life is not animal life and there is another kind of life that is not understood, and that is the life that follows the knowledge of this great truth. The word life cannot be applied to Wisdom, for that had no beginning, and life has. The word death is applied to everything that has life. All motion or action produces life, for where there is no motion there is no life. Matter in motion is called life, but life is not wisdom but a chemical change of matter, and that is called animal life. Life is the action of matter, and to know it is a truth and to know how to produce it is wisdom. I will now show how to produce eternal life. It was possessed by Jesus, for he says, “My sheep hear my voice and I give unto them eternal life. I and my Father are one.”
I shall show that Jesus was not life but life or Christ was in him, and he taught it. He says, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Then people believed their life to be in themselves, but Jesus knew their lives were in God, for if they lost their opinions and found this truth, then they had lost their life and found it.
I will now take my own practice to explain what life is according to Jesus. I said if two persons were sitting together and each felt a pain, each would call it his own. Now this pain is life, for it contains our senses, and this life is in matter. So the pain is in our mind, and our mind, senses, and life are all the same according to the world’s wisdom. I know I can take a person’s feelings, and this knowledge to me is a truth, and to know it is life, and this knowledge the patient does not possess. He knows he has a pain and this to him is a truth so that his knowledge is life, but this life is in his belief and his belief is his knowledge and his knowledge is his mind and his mind is matter. So his life is liable to be lost by his losing his mind. My life is in my wisdom and my wisdom is not matter; so that to know this is a truth outside of my patient’s belief. And this truth contains my life. To get his senses out of his matter into this truth is to give him eternal life. I want to give him eternal life to save him from the sufferings occasioned by his belief that he shall lose his life by disease of the heart. My wisdom acting on matter is in matter but it is no part of it. So what to him is death is to me matter that can be changed and there is no wisdom in it. His ignorance keeps his senses in fear of death and all his life subject to bondage through this belief. I will try to teach him the truth which will free him from the fear of death and give him eternal life which is this truth.
I commence by describing to him his feelings. These he admits; but how I can tell them is to him a mystery. This I know for I see him in his error, yet he cannot see me in his wisdom, for wisdom is outside of error and error cannot see outside of itself for it is in its own prison. It wants me to explain how I can see it and how I know how it feels. I will suppose you, the reader, to be the patient, and that you acknowledge that I tell your feelings and what you think is your disease. All this I get from you without your knowledge; therefore you do not know how I do it. So I will inform you. Everyone is made of matter and matter is continually going through a chemical change; this change is life, not wisdom, but life like vegetable or mineral life. Every idea is matter, so of course it contains life and is the name of something that can be changed. Motion or change is life. Ideas have life; a belief has life or matter, for it can be changed. Now all the aforesaid make up man, and all this can be changed. As I am trying to convince you how I take your feelings, I must use such illustrations as you can understand, for my life is in my words; and if my words cannot destroy your life or matter, then I cannot give you my life or wisdom.
[To be concluded next week.]
Liberal religion has destroyed the devil as a being and located him in man's evil thoughts and acts. And we are taught that to get rid of him is to keep ourselves free from mischief and learn to do good. In like manner, science will show the serpent's head called disease. And when man learns that its body is in our ignorance and we create him in ourselves, the same as we create the devil, then this old serpent the devil or disease will vanish and man will be free from one of the greatest curses that ever affected the human race.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: Disease [II]
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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond is the ultimate reference source for historically accurate information of this nineteenth–century clockmaker turned metaphysical teacher and healer. Including the Missing Works of P. P. Quimby; based on new and independent research by the editor, the present volume surpasses all previously published “complete” compilations of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby’s writings in size, scope and historical accuracy. Published by the Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center.
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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.
Wood, along with Horatio W. Dresser, was one of two New Thought authors specifically singled out for praise by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Here is what James had to say about New Thought, known at the time as “mind cure”:
The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)
On the same page, James, after describing “a good deal of the mind-cure literature” as “so moonstruck with optimism and so vaguely expressed that an academically trained intellect finds it almost impossible to read it at all”, states in a footnote that he considers Horatio W. Dresser and Henry Wood “far and away the ablest of the group” of mind-cure authors.
The present volume is based on a long series of weekly columns commenting on Wood’s thought over the course of ten books. It includes the Suggestions and Meditations from Wood’s flagship work, Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, and the Suggestive Lessons from The New Thought Simplified.
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We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?
Today’s featured article The Senses [II] begins on page 507 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into two installments. The conclusion will appear in next week’s newsletter.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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