February 1, 2015
To the Sick in Body and Mind
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Dr. Q. has been induced by the great number of cases which have come under his care within the last twelve years to devote his time to the cure of disease. His success in the art of healing without the aid of medicine has encouraged many persons who have been suffering from sickness of long standing to call and see him for themselves. This has given him a very great advantage over the old mode of practice and has given him a good chance to see how the mind affects the body. He makes no pretension to any superior power over ordinary men, nor claims to be a seventh son, nor a son of the seventh son, but a common everyday man.
He contends there is a principle or inward man that governs the outward man or body, and when these are at variance or out of tune, disease is the effect, while by harmonizing them health in the body is the result. He believes this can be brought about by sympathy, and all persons who are sick are in need of this sympathy.
To the well these remarks will not apply, for the well need no physician. By these remarks I mean a well person does not know the feelings of the sick, but the sick alone are their own judges, and to every feeling is attached a peculiar state of mind which is peculiar to it. These states of mind are the person’s spiritual identity, and this I claim to see and feel myself.
When there is discord in these two principles, or inward and outward man, it seems to me that the outward man or body conveys to me the trouble, the same as one man communicates to his friend any trouble that is weighing him down. Now all I claim is this, to put myself into communication with these principles of inward and outward man and act as a mediator between these two principles of soul and body; and when I am in communication with the patient, I feel all his pains and his state of mind, and I find that by bringing his spirit back to harmonize with the body he feels better.
The great trouble with mankind is this. They are spiritually sick, and the remedies they apply only serve to make them worse. The invention of disease, like the invention of fashion, has almost upset the whole community. If physicians would investigate mind a little more and medicine a little less, they would be of some service; but this inventing disease is like inventing laws; instead of helping man, they make him worse. Diseases are like fashions, and people are as apt to take a new disease as they are to fall in with any new fashion. Now if there was a law made to punish any person who should through any medical journal communicate to the people any new disease and its symptoms, it would put a stop to a great deal of sickness. Seven cases out of ten throughout the whole community of old chronic cases are the effects of false impressions produced by medical men, giving to the people the idea they have spinal disease, or heart or kidney or liver disease, or forty others that I could name, to say nothing of the number of nervous diseases.
Now all of these ideas thrown into the community are like so many foolish fashions which the people are humbugged by. I do not dispute but that any of these diseases may be brought about through the operation of the mind, but I do say if there was no name given to diseases, nor symptoms, there would not be one–tenth of the sickness there is at this day. I have taken people who have been sick with all of the above diseases, as they thought, and by describing their symptoms and state of mind without their telling me their trouble, have satisfied them what the trouble was and they have recovered immediately. A person sick is like a person in a strange land, without money or friends. Now there may be someone nearby who would be glad to receive such persons, but they are ignorant of them. The sick are not in communication with themselves, nor anyone else. They feel as though no person could tell them how they feel. [unfinished]
To The Sick—[A Printed Circular]
DR. P. P. QUIMBY would respectfully announce to the citizens of ___________ and vicinity that he will be at the __________where he will attend to those wishing to consult him in regard to their health, and, as his practice is unlike all other medical practice, it is necessary to say that he gives no medicines and makes no outward applications but simply sits down by the patients, tells them their feelings and what they think is their disease. If the patients admit that he tells them their feelings, etc., then his explanation is the cure; and if he succeeds in correcting their error, he changes the fluids of the system and establishes the truth or health. The Truth is the Cure.
This mode of practice applies to all cases. If no explanation is given, no charge is made, for no effect is produced. His opinion without an explanation is useless, for it contains no knowledge and would be like other medical opinions, worse than none. This error gives rise to all kinds of quackery, not only among regular physicians but those whose aim is to deceive people by pretending to cure all diseases. The sick are anxious to get well, and they apply to these persons supposing them to be honest and friendly; whereas they are made to believe they are very sick and something must be done ere it is too late. Five or ten dollars is then paid for the cure of some disease they never had nor ever would have had but for the wrong impressions received from these quacks or robbers (as they might be called), for it is the worst kind of robbery, tho’ sanctioned by law. Now, if they will only look at the true secret of this description, they will find it is for their own selfish objects—to sell their medicines. Herein consists their shrewdness, to impress patients with a wrong idea, namely, that they have some disease. This makes them nervous and creates in their minds a disease that otherwise would never have been thought of. Wherefore he says to such, never consult a quack. You not only lose your money but your health.
He gives no opinion; therefore you lose nothing. If patients feel pain they know it, and if he describes their pain he feels it, and in his explanation lies the cure. Patients, of course, have some opinion as to what causes pain. He has none; therefore the disagreement lies not in the pain but in the cause of the pain. He has the advantage of patients, for it is very easy to convince them that he had no pain before he sat down by them. After this it becomes his duty to prove to them the cause of their trouble. This can only be explained to patients, for which explanation his charge is_______ dollars. If necessary to see them more than once, ________ dollars. This has been his mode of practice for the last seventeen years.
There are many who pretend to practice as he does, but when a person while in “a trance” claims any power from the spirits of the departed and recommends any kind of medicine to be taken internally or applied externally, beware! Believe them not. “For by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond
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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Today’s featured article, To the Sick in Body and Mind, begins on page 570 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.
In preparation of writing a book, Quimby wrote at least a dozen different introductions of his ideas:
- Introduction [I]
- Introduction, An [II]
- Introduction [III]
- Introduction [IV]*
- The New Truth
- To the Reader [I]
- To the Reader [II]
- To the Sick
- To The Sick—[A Printed Circular]
- To the Sick in Body and Mind
- To the Sick: The Conflicting Elements in Man
- To Those Seeking the Truth
We will be reviewing some of these introductions in the coming weeks as we move further into this New Year. I invite you to follow along with us!
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
P.S. Do you have your copy of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond as of yet? This is our flagship publication, and within its pages, you will find a great source of Quimby information that is published for the very first time!
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