it is not everyone who has a lamp with oil; nor is everyone wise who
says he is so.
But he is wise who can come up to the one in the dark and lead him along
through this wilderness of disease into the light of reason and health.
~ Phineas Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Every man is a part of God, just so far as he is wisdom. So I will tell you what I know - not what I believe. I worship no God, except my own, and I will tell you what he teaches me. In the first place, he puts no restrictions on me. In fact, he is in me - and just as I know myself, I know him. So that I and God are one, just as my children and I are one. So to please myself, I please God; and to injure myself is to injure my God. So all I have to do is to please myself.
Now as God and I are one, so you and I are one - and to please myself is to please you; and to injure myself is to injure you. So just as I measure out to you, I measure out to myself. As you and I are one, you and your neighbor are one; and to love your neighbor as yourself is more than all the prayers made by all the priests in the world. I know that if I do by another as I would be done by in like circumstances, I feel right; for I judge no man. I do not judge of myself, for my knowledge of this wisdom is as plain to me as my senses. To the world it is a belief, but to me it is wisdom that the religious world knows not of. If they did, they would never crucify me as they do, through their ignorance.
So my religion is my wisdom, which is not of this world, but of that wisdom that will break in pieces the wisdom of man. Man's wisdom is the superstition of heathen idolatry. All science is at variance with it. I stand alone, not believing in anything independent of science. So you can put me down as having no sympathy with any belief (or religion) concerning another world or in anything belonging to the Christian death. Neither have I any belief in the resurrection of the body.
My death is this - ignorance. Life is wisdom; and as death is darkness (or matter), so life is light (or wisdom). All men have wandered away from light and believed in darkness. To destroy matter, you introduce light (or life). I will illustrate. Suppose you are sitting in the dark - call that this world. Now as the light springs up, where is the darkness? All will say the darkness is gone. The light is the resurrection of this body (or darkness). What becomes of it when the light rises? So it is with man.
Man is an idea of matter (or darkness), and as his mind (or matter) becomes lit (or clairvoyant), the darkness of the idea of matter is gone, and he is in light that the wisdom of this world of matter (or darkness) has not. So light came into darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. When I sit down by a patient, I come out of this matter (or darkness) and stand by the patient's senses, which are attached to some idea of the wisdom of this world, which troubles him. I retain my former man (or matter) and its senses. I also have another identity, independent of matter, and I, knowing what is the cause of his misery, stand by the matter (or belief) of my patient and destroy his belief (or the effect it has on his senses). Then as the darkness (or belief) is lit up by the wisdom of science, his darkness disappears, and he rejoices in the light. The light leads him back to his health, from whence he had been decoyed by the blind guides spoken of in Scripture.
Here you have what I disbelieve. The two are my law and gospel. By the law, no one can be saved; but by the gospel of truth, science will have all saved - not from the Christian world, but from this world of superstition and ignorance; saved for the greater truth that was prepared from the beginning of the world for all those who search and try to find it. You cannot go into the clouds to call it down, nor into the sea to call it up, but it is in you and in your very thoughts. It is not of this world, but of a higher state of matter that can penetrate through this earthly matter, like the light through the darkness. As the senses are the body of truth, they travel through the light, as a man with a lamp travels in the dark.
So it is not everyone who has a lamp with oil; nor is everyone wise who says he is so. But he is wise who can come up to the one in the dark and lead him along through this wilderness of disease into the light of reason and health. Like the good man who had the hundred sheep, and one wandered away in the dark - he left the ninety-and-nine that were in the light and went and found the lost one and restored him to the fold. Now let those who pretend to be shepherds of the sheep (or of the poor, sick persons, starving to death like the prodigal son for spiritual food, eating the husk of science - not the priests' food ) go and guide them along to the father of health, where they can eat and be glad and have music and dancing. This was Christ's truth. He was the good shepherd. The people were his sheep, and all who looked to him and listened to the true wisdom were saved from the errors of the priests and doctors.
As Moses lifted up the serpent of the old Egyptian theology and creed and explained them, and all those who looked on his explanation were healed of their errors that made disease; so Christ was lifted up, and all who understood were healed from the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees. So in our day I hold up the serpent of creeds and doctors' theories and show the absurdity of their beliefs, and all who understand are healed of their diseases.