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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Dr. Phineas P. Quimby
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Popular Belief of Curing Disease

December 1861

In every age of the world, there have been individuals who have appeared before the people, claiming to come from or get information from the world of spirits. And strange to say, there is scarcely a living being who does not believe, more or less, in this place. They only differ in some slight variation. You may include the deists and all the religious beliefs, down to the modern spiritualist. Say and preach what they please, they all have a belief that there is a God or something independent of themselves, but his locality or whereabouts is a mystery.

Look at your churches and see the worship of this unknown God. If the people do not believe that he can hear and answer prayer - why do they call upon him? For they certainly do call upon this unknown God in their troubles. This error is the beginning of trouble. It makes the child place his dependence on an invisible something that he knows nothing of. He is made to believe God is somewhere and that, if he is a good child, he shall go to God when he dies. This is the old story, and every child has heard it from his mother, if not from his father. All of this, to me, is superstition that leads to a phenomenon in the child, as well as in the man, and prepares the mind for another humbug, as false as the former - the medical profession.

Now disease is as much a part of our belief as the spirit world - but the devil manages his affairs, so as to cut his own throat. He reasons to man in this way; he is very good to put man in possession of all information. He was the first to receive Eve, and he has not forgotten his old trade, for he labors as hard for his kingdom as Christ did for his. The only difference is the devil employs the priest, and Jesus preached himself.

I will take this prince of darkness and hold him up, as Moses did in the wilderness, and show his absurdities. The devil I call error in man; so that all men who deceive the people for gain are the children of the devil. He has so fixed his craft that every man, woman and child is made to worship him, and he employs all sorts of inventions to sustain his kingdom.

I will introduce him in a neighborhood where people are perfectly ignorant of such a being. He enters the town and finds the people very happy and ignorant. He asks them if they ever heard of Christ. They say, “No,” and ask him what he means by “Christ.” He then goes on to tell his story, which is not a very pleasant one for them to believe; for it shows them they are very wicked, and unless they pay him for preaching, they will all be lost. By his mesmeric will, he excites them and sets their minds to work. This frightens the rest - and he tells them his is the power of God. Some go into hysterical fits; others into trances - and he governs it all for the benefit of the craft; and when he has finished his revival, some are crazy and others are sick with brain fever. And now he in­troduces his pet lamb - the doctor. He, the doctor, takes the sick (or those who are affected) and mesmerizes them into some belief. This frightens them, and instead of calling his fright the power of God, he calls it a disease and gives them to understand that he can cure them.

So between the two they manage to rob the sick of their money and health. And at last the devil gets what there is left, by the voluntary desire of the sick to hold up his kingdom. Here is the origin of disease. Jesus saw that; and also saw the remedy. The priests, as well as the doctors, make a world out of sight and pretend to explain it. If they succeed in making the people believe that there is another world, then there must be a space between the two. This space (or gulf) is what every man must pass. And if the doctors make them believe that there is a disease independent of themselves (although such a thing was never seen detached from some human or animal life), it is as true to them as the belief in another world; which no mortal eyes have ever seen and whence no traveler ever returns.

This sort of de­ception has been kept up ever since the days of idolatry. Let us see if Jesus looked at this sort of theory, and if he gives us any account of this other world. If Jesus was God, he must have filled this space (or gulf); for the devil (or priests) admit that God fills all space - so he must fill more than they do. Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven down to their understanding (or earth) and established it in their hearts. The devil prepares man to go to heaven - instead of having heaven in man. So you may trace the priests down and compare their belief with Jesus' truth (or Christ), and you will see a complete contradiction in them.

I will now show how God (or science) fills all space, and yet does not move at all. I will begin with the little child when it begins to learn. I will introduce the devil (or priest) and Jesus. Hear the priest explain some passage that he knows nothing about. Jesus sees through his ignorance and knows it is false. So the priest's lie to the child is transparent to him, and there is no space between the cause and effect. Jesus sees it is false, and no effect is produced on him; but to the child, there is space and distance and time to arrive at a truth.

This is so with the doctor - he makes the sick man one thing and disease, another; so that the man is liable to catch it. He is space. Jesus knew it was false, and his wisdom filled the space that the doctor made. He called the multitude to him and told them how they had been deceived by these two classes and tried to explain where it was. But the space was so plain to the people that it could not have much effect; yet he cured them of their beliefs, so far as the disease was concerned - but they did not understand, so that there was no space.

Just remember one thing. All opinions leave a space between the person and the thing believed. For instance, I tell you that there is a certain person who is in town. You ask me if I have seen him. I say, “No, but I have no doubt of it.” Here is a space between my opinion and the fact. To make it one and no space, I must prove it - then space is annihilated. So it is with every opinion.

Now as the other world is in our belief, when man sees through his belief, there is no other world. The space is filled by the wisdom, and as the wisdom is not in the opinion, the opinion is gone - and this world fills the vacuum. It is so in disease. The doctor makes a space in the patient's mind. He makes him believe a lie (or an opinion). This makes a space. So to pass this space is to get well, and that is what the patient wants. So he believes a lie, that he may be sick (or get separated from health). This separation is disease - and my business is to fill up this space in the patient's mind (or light up his wisdom); so that he can see through the doctor's opinion - and then he is all right. I hold up the serpents (or theories) of the two to the people and show their absurdities, and the light guides them back to health (or destroys the darkness of their belief).

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