Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Is Language Always Applied to Science? IDecember 1862
Is language always applied to science? Everyone must answer, “No.” Then it must sometimes be applied to error. Language, when applied to science is true, if it represents the thing it means; but when applied to error, it contains no real meaning but is merely words used to represent what the author thinks is true; which he does not pretend to prove but only states as opinion. This is knowledge. It contains no wisdom but is matter that can be changed; therefore, when a man tries to explain what he knows as a science, he is not understood by a man of knowledge.
Wisdom is eternal truth, and the language that can explain that cannot be changed, although other words may be used to explain the same truth. Knowledge is seen represented by language, which contains no wisdom - and as Paul said, words with no meaning. Take two persons, one with wisdom (or science); the other, with knowledge. When the former undertakes to talk with the man of knowledge, he is not understood but is misrepresented by the latter, whose wisdom, being in his words, contains opinions only, and not science. Such men are always referring to some celebrated author. For instance, if their knowledge of the Bible is disputed and the absurdity of their opinions shown, they will fall back on the authority of someone who, not understanding, gave an opinion to agree with what he happened to think was right.
That will not be admitted by the scientific man, who proceeds to give another explanation of the Bible. Then comes the contradiction on language. He is accused of ignorantly perverting the meaning of words and flying into obscurity, when the man of knowledge cannot follow him. This last may be true, for he contains no wisdom; and to talk science to such a person is like casting pearls before swine. If the man of science will labor with the man of knowledge, till he makes him understand his meaning - then the language is without fault.
I have seen this in my own case. The world has no idea of what I wish to communicate; so in his ignorance, each one thinks the obscurity lies in my want of knowledge. While if I excite their muddy brains and create my idea in their mind - then they can see and understand it, and my language is correct. This was the case with Jesus. The priests and scribes found fault with his education, for after he had been telling them of this great truth which they could not understand, the Jews marveled saying, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?”
Jesus answered, “My doctrine is not mine but from him who sent me.” Here he was accused of being ignorant - and he would be now, by the same class, were he on earth. Jesus taught - not opinions, but a truth based on eternal science that he could practice; which was the science of health and happiness. He called this truth his “father,” and when it spoke, it was not Jesus; therefore, he makes a difference between himself, as a natural man and himself as this truth (or science).
He says, “If any man will do his will (this truth), he shall know of the doctrines, whether they be of God or whether of man.” Again, “He that speaketh of himself speaketh his own glory; but he that speaketh His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” Here Jesus shows that his doctrine (or wisdom) was not of man but from a higher power, which he acknowledged superior to himself. This the people could not understand, for it did not come within their senses, and they said he had a devil. Others said he was ignorant, and others said he made himself equal with God.
In the same spirit, when I say that the wisdom that I speak to the sick is superior to my natural senses - and yet I understand if some say it is all myself. And if I undertake to explain it, and they cannot understand it - some say it is from want of education on my part, and others say that I make myself equal with Christ. While talking with a Christian, if I contend for my own explanation of the scriptures, which differs from their own - this is to make myself equal with Christ. It is the same with the medical faculty. They are the truth (or Christ), and if I contradict them and show the absurdity of their theory - then I make myself equal with Christ. Christ is their standard, and if I refuse their explanation - which I know is false - then I am accused of making myself equal with them or Christ.
Jesus warned the public against false Christs and told the people to test them by their works. The Christ that he taught healed all manner of diseases; while they who profess to be followers of Christ in these days cannot do one thing that Jesus did. Still, they assume to be leaders of the true religion, which really contains not a shadow of truth. It is made up of forms and ceremonies and sacrifices and can never take away sin (or disease) that man is suffering from. This is the kingdom I am making war with.