by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
When we speak of disease, we confound cause and effect together, yet we all speak of cause and effect as separate. Still when we speak of disease, we really admit them as one. Now sickness is as separate from disease as cause is from effect, and this confounding the two together prevents us from understanding the true philosophy of sickness. Sickness is what we feel and complain of, and disease is what we call the cause. There is sickness without any apparent disease, yet we call the sickness disease. How often do we hear this remark, Your disease is nervous or general debility. Now all names of disease embrace cause and effect as one. The same error is seen in all religions. Jesus Christ is one, yet they are no more one than the sickness and disease. Jesus is the man and Christ is the God or Wisdom, and the natural man makes them one, as he does sickness and disease, but science separates one from the other.
The law is a representative of the natural man; the Gospel or Science, that of the spiritual man; so what the law or natural man cannot explain by their arguments, science, coming through the natural man and putting an end to his common sense or reason, introduces a higher law or reason and appeals to the higher element or Christ. Now all disease is of the lower element of man and must be reasoned out by the higher element. The higher element is the Christ or the God manifested in man. This is the element by which science will judge the world of opinion in righteousness and it holds every word responsible to it. Therefore every idle word must give an account of its meaning and receive its reward for good or evil. All science does the same and error must give way.
Now sickness and sorrow is what Christ is to destroy; it makes war with our “common sense” for “common sense” is not wisdom but what man believes. But wisdom is what he knows and this wisdom knows that “common sense” is man's reasoning from false premises upon what he has no real wisdom of, only as an opinion. I will give one illustration to show how we reason and are affected by this false idea of sickness and disease. A person feels a slight sensation in the chest. I will suppose that the person has no idea what it is. Now the feeling is the sickness. No disease is there; the cause not being known to the patient, he is in trouble. Now if a person that had the true wisdom should feel the trouble, he would know the cause and relieve the fears of the patient and there would be an end of the trouble. But if they should send for one of those blind guides or doctors whose wisdom is based on someone's opinion, he would give some name of some evil spirit or disease (which is the same thing) that has gotten hold of the patient.
Now fear takes possession of the sick person, and the fear and sickness being wedded, they give birth to a child called congestion of the lungs. This is called after its father or physician. Now the patient becomes the medium of this evil spirit whose father was a liar and the truth was not in him. Now these two having one flesh, the patient will answer when asked what ails you, My sickness is congestion of the lungs. Here the sickness and disease are one. Now I have to separate the one from the other. I know the patient is sick, this I admit, but the devil or disease I say is a lie and is in the mind, for it troubles the sick person, but it has no effect on me I know it to be a lie. I feel the sickness, but the fright caused by this devil does not frighten me. So my practice is to reason (not to argue) to convince their senses, not their “common sense,” for their “common sense” is the reason for this evil spirit or doctor's belief. So if I destroy the evil or cast it out by the science of wisdom, then the cure will stand, but if I cast out the devil by Beelzebub or medicine or some hocus pocus, then my kingdom being based on a lie cannot stand, and the disease may return and take possession of the patient.
Now Jesus saw the working of the priests, for they pretended to cure, and they did, for disease partook of the belief of the patient. Leprosy was an evil spirit which the priests created and the priests could destroy it when no application could. So when the priests controlled the minds, they created a class of evils that they gave names to, that they could control. But after Jesus began to cure, the priests lost their power over the sick and it passed into the hands of another class. Now all evils are the result of false reasoning and can never be remedied till the same principle is applied to all science, not to let an opinion have any sway over your minds. Let an opinion be looked upon as it ought to be, just what a man thinks, not what he knows.
The beasts are sick yet they have no fear of opinion, but I have no doubt that they are affected by man and they suffer and die when, if they could be left to themselves, they would get over their trouble. A great many think that I believe all disease is of the imagination, but this idea is wrong. I always admit the sickness, for that is what I feel and that is real, but the disease is another idea that I deny as having any identity outside of the mind or belief. There are certain ideas of nature that we all admit as having identities: beast, bird, and every living thing, trees, and all creations of wisdom, but to wisdom they are nothing but ideas. So man by his error has created images of things that never had an existence outside of his superstitious mind. These are just as real to man as the things wisdom has created. The difference is that wisdom's creation is for our own happiness and man's invention is for our misery. These are the two worlds, and to get into God's kingdom is to get out of man's kingdom. This is the new birth and blessed and happy is he that understands it, for on such the opinions of man have no power.
Source: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, beginning on page 214.
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While reading this months’ featured article, it might be helpful to keep in mind that “disease” can be also read as “dis-ease,” or “out-of-ease,” and applied to other areas of our lives that seem out-of-alignment.
It is also helpful to notice that the nineteenth century usage of the word “pretend,” also means “claim.” Where P. P. Quimby writes, “…for they pretended to cure…” it should be interpreted as, “…for they claimed to cure…”
In Wisdom, Love and Light,
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