As I stand alone, separate from all these things and all theories, I have a right to introduce a new and more perfect theory, based on facts, produced by my own wisdom and admitted by my patients.
~ Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Dr. Phineas P. Quimby

The Subject of Mind

From time immemorial the subject of mind has been a theme of ancient and modern philosophers. Now if the idea of mind did not embrace all our reason and philosophy, man would not be all the time trying to investigate its nature. Mind is always associated with something else. Moses used the word “wisdom” in the sense of mind, when he said, “God created the heavens and the earth," which means mind and matter. The philosophers of our day separate matter from mind and call matter “material” and mind, “immaterial,” so that matter is not under the control of mind; and as mind is immaterial, it is nothing. Now can nothing produce something? The philosophers of our day may answer. Lucretius divided mind from matter in these words; body and space, a void, void being mind. He also called it space and vacuum, so all philosophers have gone back to matter and tried to trace it up to that point, where it ceases to be matter. Lucretius makes no difference in matter, but calls it all matter. This includes mind, for he says in Book fourth, four-hundred and forty-first page, “Sound is substance, as experience shows, since to the sense impulsively, it flows.”

Now why all these different applications of the same term? If mind is matter, what is life? To show that mind is matter, we must illustrate it by something that men will admit. But what is it to man whether mind is matter or not? I say it is of vast importance to the world, for if it can be shown that mind is matter, it will be seen that even mind is under the control of a wisdom possessed by man; so that wisdom, acting upon mind, changes the mind and produces another idea. Now if I speak, and the sound is substance, it must come in contact with some other substance, or fill some vacuum in the mind. I will show that matter is a medium for wisdom, and when I say matter, I embrace mind in it, so it is not necessary to repeat the two, every time I allude to mind.

I will now show that there is no such a substance as weight nor gravitation, in wisdom; that even the earth is not governed by wisdom, according to man’s philosophy, for if it was, God could not see all around a globe at the same time. And if the globe is matter independent of wisdom, then it fills some space. So that man on the globe is not in the center of space; therefore, he must be on one side, and all the planets that are at such great distances from the earth and each other cannot all be in the center of space. Let us see how this theory holds out, and analyze it. All persons have noticed, when the skies look dark, they are nothing but shades. Now as the particles of matter are set in motion by some invisible power, they are separated and driven before a more powerful substance. This brings them into a more solid form, so at last they can be seen by the eye. Then as they are driven against an opposite power (or atmosphere), they become more dense, till their density is seen and felt. This is called snow; forced still closer together, it becomes ice. It is now called matter. This gives rise to a new philosophy. The world has been divided into three classes of philosophy. The Grecian experience shows that it is dangerous to search too deeply into science, for as all things must be proved by wisdom, the invisible things must be proved by the visible. So that, although a person’s theory may be true, yet not having the wisdom to put it into practice, only in their own lives, the ignorance of the world, while it gives to the author the credit of honesty, sets him down as a fanatic and thus misrepresents him, when his very philosophy is true.

We, at this time, boast of our philosophy, as though it was a late discovery, but when tested by the philosophy of the Greeks, it vanishes, like dew before the sun. They searched for wisdom beyond the narrow limits of the human mind and soared above the idea that this world is all there is. And they went on to dissolve all matter and hold it in solution. All of this is true, but it wants to be brought to the understanding of the natural man. They went so far as to believe that they had not only discovered the wisdom that governs all things, but they were accused of discovering life, itself; and it taught them to apply it to man, for his happiness. This required proof to sustain it, and as their wisdom stopped at the fact ,it gave their opponents the advantage of them, and they were looked upon as visionary theorists. So the wisdom of this world established new things, based on things that could be seen and felt. As I stand alone, separate from all these things and all theories, I have a right to introduce a new and more perfect theory, based on facts, produced by my own wisdom and admitted by my patients. This wisdom gives to every theory its just due and condemns all error. It proves all things and holds fast that which is true. I shall show that the Grecian philosophers were correct, and so was the Copernican system; and that all former philosophies did not believe the earth was flat, but they spiritualized all things, for the happiness of man.

Now there are two philosophies that will bear the name of wisdom. One is founded on the idea of matter, etc., and on the present philosophy of the day, and the other is the philosophy of wisdom. One admits all that is governed by their philosophy and looks upon all wisdom that cannot be accounted for as a mystery or gift. I shall try to separate the one from the other and show that the philosophy of this world is based on the phenomena of the scientific world. The scientific world is in opposition to the natural world. Each world proves its works, but the natural world is the shadow of the spiritual world and is governed by a lower class of minds, too gross to rise to the substance that is attached to the shadow; so that every truth has its shadow, and the two modes of reasoning prove their works. One reasons out of matter; the other reasons in matter. So the philosophy that is founded on the basis of matter has the majority, like all other errors.






Dr. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby



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