found that by the power of my own mind I could change the mind of my
patient and produce a “chemical change” in the body, like
dissolving a tumor.
~ Phineas P. Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Mind is Spiritual MatterOctober 1859
It will be necessary to give the reader some idea of what suggested the following article headed, “Mind Is Spiritual Matter.” I found that by the power of my own mind, I could change the mind of my patient and produce a chemical change in the body, like dissolving a tumor. Now the word “mind” is not the substance, only the name of the substance that can be changed. The world makes mind intelligence. I put no intelligence in it, but make it subject to intelligence. The word “fire,” for instance, doesn't mean the substance to be consumed, but the process of consuming it. So “mind” is the name of a spiritual substance that can be changed. We speak of a cold fire or a hot fire, yet we do not mean that the fire, itself, is cold or hot; only that we make it hotter or colder, yet it is fire.
Wisdom, I do not use in this piece. I call the power that governs mind “spirit.” But you will see that I recognize a wisdom superior to the word mind; for I always apply the word mind to matter, but never apply it to the First Cause. Mind is spiritual matter. Thought is also matter, but not the same matter, any more than the earth is the same matter as the seed which is put into it. Thought, like the seed, germinates and comes forth, like the tree, in the form of an idea. It then waits, like the fruit, to be eaten. Curiosity is excited and wants to be gratified. It tastes and then enquires. The answer comes, and the spirit is affected in proportion to the answer.
Illustration. A thought is sown in the mind while asleep (or ignorant). It grows and comes forth. The curiosity tastes. It produces a strange sensation in the throat. The spirit enquires. The answer comes, “Bronchitis.” The spirit is disturbed and tries to rid itself of its enemy. This disturbance is the effect called “disease.” Now if no name had been given or fears excited, the idea (or tree) would have died of itself.