theory is that all disease that flesh is heir to is the effect of
sensations produced on the mind,
and when I say all disease - I mean so - and I use the same power (or reason) to cure them all.
~ Phineas Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Dr. Quimby Explains His Method of Cure
As I am constantly receiving letters from persons who are sick, asking my opinion in regard to their disease, it is impossible for me to answer every inquiry; therefore I take this method to inform them of the mode in which I treat disease - and as I treat it entirely different from any other person, it is necessary for me to state what I call “disease” and how it originates. My theory is that all disease that flesh is heir to is the effect of sensations produced on the mind - and when I say all disease, I mean so - and I use the same power (or reason) to cure them all.
I will illustrate what I mean by the “power” I use. If you send a watch to a watchmaker to have it repaired, he would say at once that he had the knowledge and all the necessary tools to repair a watch. Therefore, it is knowledge of a watch that enables him to repair the damage. Again, if you are in trouble in regard to a suit at law, you apply to a lawyer and state your case. He examines the evidence and gives his opinion, accordingly. But to give a correct opinion, he must hear both sides of the question. Then the case must go to a jury of men in whom you have no confidence in regard to their opinion of the question in dispute; so that the whole case depends entirely upon the impression made upon the minds of the jurors.
The difference in these cases is this. The watchmaker does his job mechanically, without regard to outward influences, and the knowledge that enables him to repair carries with it the conviction that the watch will keep time. On the other hand, the lawyer has two powers acting against him - the arguments of the opposing counsel and the ignorance of the jury, regarding the truth of the case. From these two cases, I will try to illustrate my mode of examining a case.
A person applies to me for help. He says he is sick. I do not ask him to tell me that he is sick, like the lawyer, but sit down, like the watchmaker, and examine into his case. Persons often say to me, as to the watchmaker, such-and-such things are out of order. I pay...