Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Mind – Not Wisdom1864
Every person admits the mind has a great deal to do with the body, and each one makes a difference between them. To such, the mind is the intellectual part of man and the body, the servant. In one sense this is true to them, but to wisdom it is false; for they all admit that the mind can be changed, and if intelligence can change, it cannot be wisdom. Jesus made the real man of wisdom. Wisdom cannot change, but it can arrange and classify ideas, each in its proper place, and show where mind falls short of wisdom. To suppose mind is wisdom is as false as to suppose power is in weight.
The natural man, whose intellect is linked with the brute and who cannot see beyond matter, reasons this way. He is in matter but thinks he is outside of it. He cannot see his absurd mode of reasoning, but it is shown in disease, which is the subject of my philosophy.
Man is composed of a combination of fluids and gases - and also his mind. The mind, being the offspring of his body (or brain) is virtually the same, although in his conversation, he makes a distinction between them; but being in matter, his intelligence cannot see beyond it. Therefore, he only believes in a superior wisdom as a mystery. The fact that he admits it as a mysterious gift or power shows that he does not know it. To make man know himself is to convince him that he - his wisdom - is as distinct from his belief as he is from anything that exists separate from him. Then he will give to mind an identity embracing everything having a beginning and ending. Sickness and disease are contained in it, but wisdom is no part of it.
The sick embrace what they know and no more. Their wisdom is in their senses. The cause of so much mystery lies in the fact that man cannot understand how wisdom can have an identity and not be seen by the man of matter. We put wisdom in matter, and if we cannot see it exhibiting life, then no wisdom represents it. If we see a dead person, we have no idea of a wisdom that exists, with all the faculties that were exhibited through the body. We try to believe, but our belief is vague. We cannot describe it. Man is not developed enough to see outside of his idea, matter. He is in the idea, prophesying of what may come hereafter.
I have developed this wisdom - which is the real man - till I have broken through the bars of death and can see beyond the world of opinion into the light of science and wisdom. I can see what things have a being and how we take our opinions for a truth.
The sun, I will take as a representation of the man of wisdom. Let the light be his senses and the thing we see, his body. The senses embrace all the light and wisdom - even its own identity. The idea sun sees the light, and not comprehending its power, looks upon the light as light, without intelligence; while it is the intelligence embracing everything. This is the spirit world.
The moon is a figure of the natural man. Its light is borrowed (or the light of the opinions of the sun). It thinks it has life of itself, but the sun's light knows that it is the reflection of the sun's light.
The wise man, in like measure, knows that the light of the body (or natural man) is but the reflection of the scientific man. Our misery lies in this darkness. This is the prison that holds the natural man, till the light of wisdom bursts his bonds and lets the captive free. Here is where Christ went to preach to the prisoners bound by error, before the reformation of science.