July 10, 2016
The Parables of Jesus
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
The question is often asked why Jesus spoke in parables to convince the people of another world. Why not tell the simple story and not mystify everything, so that even his own disciples could not understand him. I will admit that there is something in that question that looks dark, but when one understands what Jesus was trying to establish or teach, it will give you a very different slant on his ideas. The first question should be: what was Jesus trying to establish—not take it for granted it was another world. It is generally believed that it was to establish a belief in a future state or world beyond this material world and it was necessary for him to come from heaven to earth in order for him to teach this great truth and to show the people that he really did come from heaven; and to make them believe, he must show a sign or do something a little above the rest of mankind. How natural it is to mystify everything so that the ignorant cannot understand! Men do not want to think; so if they can only get rid of investigating a phenomenon and attributing it to an invisible power so that they stand just as well as their neighbors, that is all they want. There is another class called the wise men, who have been set up as oracles of wisdom. To them everything that starts up must take its rise from their fountain, or they will open their flood gates and overflow the little streams that are trickling over the rocks and pebbles of their superstition.
It is too much labor to be a hewer of wood; so if you take a person of eminence and make him a laborer, he will say like the slothful servant that truth is a hard master. So such persons will hide their talent because they will not put themselves on a level with the thinkers of their age, but rather lie still and cry, Crucify him, for our craft is in danger! The people take the cue and fall upon him with staff and stone or ridicule till they have put him down. Then those wise men rise in their majesty and praise the people for their good sense in putting down the very person who is their friend. This was the case with Jesus; the opposition came from the wisest men or class of men who led the people for their own good. This course taken by the wisdom of this world has always opposed all science ever since the commencement of the world. For when science is established the wisdom of this world has to yield, but a hard battle must be fought before the science is established.
So when Jesus commenced his reform he was despised of all men, misrepresented by fools and construed by knaves and hated by priests and doctors. They thought as they do now: our craft is in danger, so they called him infidel and imposter. When they crucified Jesus they put such a construction on his acts as they pleased and instead of giving his ideas, they gave just such an opinion as anyone would expect from those who wanted to keep the people in subjection and ignorance. Thus they have explained Jesus' meaning just according to their ideas. Now the Bible is in the hands of the people and they can all read and judge for themselves and everyone has a right in this land of liberty to give his own opinion in regard to the Bible. I will avail myself of the same liberty as others. All I ask of you is to lay aside all prejudices and listen to my explanation of Jesus' mission in the world. I will state what I intend to prove, and afterwards, I will prove it by his works and my own and leave it to the people to judge which is the most natural construction—the priests or mine. I will now give my opinion. I take this ground, that Jesus never intended to teach any kind of religion, acknowledged by any religious class of people, but opposed all kinds of religion of his days and ours. Secondly, I say he never meddled with any institution or laws made by the people. Thirdly, he never put any restrictions on man but left him a free agent to do just as he pleased, but subject to the laws of men, for God never made a law. All laws are the inventions of men, not of God and Jesus' kingdom or truth was not of this world but of science. His religion was a science and science was never known to have any connection with ignorance.
There are two standards: one is ignorance of science. It belongs to that class of intellect or wisdom that is of this world and can be detected as easily as you can detect any other error. The difference between the two is this: the wisdom of this world tells what others know. It takes memory of events and the history of the learned for science. But science talks what it knows and stands ready to prove it by works.
Here is the difference in men. A great man is one who can remember anything he ever heard and repeat every person's opinion but has no idea of his own. He stands ready to prove all he says by his standard, so if he is doubted, he shows you his authority. Thus he is a sort of court or town record that is ready to receive any opinion that is supposed to be true, having the court or town stamps—this makes a learned man. A truly scientific man is a book of nature, understood, so that he can prove all he says. He is made not of opinions but of wisdom, and never refers to old authors but proves all things by his science. His memory of events or names or places, he has no shelf to put on, for to him they are only as an amendment. He listens to persons having that knowledge as a parent listens to a child to hear him give an account of some play or story that amuses him for the time. In his leisure hours, he seeks such men as a person goes to a play for the sake of amusement, not expecting to realize any true wisdom. This sort of amusement is of this world and is well expressed by Shakespeare when he says, “All the world's a stage and all men are players,” etc. This is the case and as science is a stranger to this world it comes into this world and pays tribute money, to be instructed in all things pertaining to the world.
It pays the clergy for their opinions of truth or science of this world for its own amusement. It asks questions of the wise men about itself as science, as Jesus did, to hear what kind of answers they gave to this spiritual world.
[To be continued next week.]
Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, July 10, 2016
To illustrate, I stand to this Science as the teacher or expounder of it, not as the Truth itself. So when the Truth says through me that all disease is in the mind, you want me to explain what it means. You ask the question because you do not understand what is meant by the mind. It is this: all opinion, belief, reason and everything that can be changed originating in man—all these are included in the word mind. Thought is a seed or an effect of this great ocean of mind. The word mind covers all man's reasoning as the word wood covers all vegetable substances. A chair is made of wood but it is an idea made out of wood. In the same way mind is the material and disease is a manufacture made of the material, but the wisdom that forms the idea is called something else. Here you see that mind embraces every part of man but his wisdom, and here is the distinction which the world makes only in a different sense. The world calls the parts mind and matter. I call them wisdom and matter.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
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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 is the first of three installments, The Parables of Jesus and begins on page 436 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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