|There is no such thing as
Now if death can be explained away so that man can be put in possession of life eternal -
then the world will be put in possession of a fact it is now ignorant of.
~ Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Difference of Opinion About the DeadApril 1860
Why should there be such a difference of opinion in regard to the dead? If there is such a thing as death, what is it? It is of the body, I suppose. Now if the body is matter, has matter life? If it has, then the life is a part of the body; and if the body dies, then the life dies also, for the life is the body. Now if you mean that this is the end of man, what lives after the life and body die?
You will say, “The soul.”
Where is the soul? Has anyone ever seen it? Or is it an opinion? The fact is that the theory of the body and soul is not in keeping with the progress of truth (or science). It leaves everything in the dark. It gives no proof of any phenomenon but assumes that man must take an opinion of someone who does not undertake to prove it - and admit an opinion of something that took place five thousand years ago and renewed eighteen-hundred years ago.
Mankind is just the same as it always was, and so is the brute creation and all of God's race. They can be classified from the vegetable world to the spiritual world, but not as they have been; for there never has been a single philosophical grade above the brute since Christ. Jesus tried to establish the kingdom of truth in man, so that men would teach it, but he failed - not because he was ignorant, himself, but because man was not developed enough to receive it.
It is sometimes supposed that the wisdom of God (or science) is made manifest in some simple girl or man. This is the case, and phenomena are continually occurring, which baffle the world's wisdom to explain; so they are set down as humbug or deception.
By a mesmerized subject, I can prove that there is no such thing as death, as it is understood by all Christians. All will admit that a person can be mesmerized, and when in that state can read and travel, going off to distant places.
I can prove that mind is matter, and there is no matter without mind, and death is nothing but an opinion (or state of mind), made up of matter, which can be destroyed, like any other opinion. It is true to the soul that is in matter; but to the science that is out of matter, it is only an idea. The word “matter” is applied to man in his lowest state, just a little above the brute. The brute has his soul, but he is always in matter, for he shows no knowledge over any other brute. He shows no power of teaching more than the brute before him. This proves his limits. The fowls are the same, and all creation have, as yet, shown no science.
Now if it was intended for the above classes to learn and teach science, it is natural to suppose that they would have shown some symptoms of it before now, so I leave them as they are, and pass on to man. It is not to be supposed that every man who walks upright is to be set down as a scientific man - nor is it true that everyone who calls himself “scientific” is so. But it is he who can show himself so to the world by his acts - who can explain some truth, thereby putting the world in possession of a fact that it has been ignorant of, thus increasing the wisdom and happiness of mankind. This is the case with science.
Now if death can be explained away, so that man can be put in possession of life eternal, then the world will be put in possession of a fact it is now ignorant of. This, I will try to do.
What is life? It is admitted that it is something. It is a consciousness of an existence, and death is the fear of the annihilation of that consciousness. The natural man never sees anything beyond the idea of his belief. Therefore, he lives in death and is, all his life, subject to his own belief.
Now convince man that there is something independent of this belief that is true - that there is no such thing as matter, only as it is spoken into existence - and he will then see that mind is the very matter (or error) that is his belief. As his belief changes, the matter (or opinion) changes, and as matter (or opinion) (or mind) is all the same, when a chemical change takes place, the mind (or opinion) is destroyed, and truth (or science) takes the place of error.
Then the soul (or science) stands out from the mind (or matter) and sees how the mind can be made the medium of any soul to bring about any belief (or disease). When man arrives at that - then death is swallowed up in science. Then the world will rejoice in the science that teaches man that he is nothing but a mass of ideas; can be destroyed and molded to any belief; and take a form to suit its author.
The knowledge of this teaches us that all misery is in ourselves, arising from some idea that our soul (or science) is in, like a prison. The world is the belief; the destruction of the prison is the destruction of our belief; and the liberation of our soul from bondage is life eternal. This is in God (or science).