Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
TO THE READER II
introducing this work to the reader, my only excuse is the existence
of evils that follow the opinions of the world in regard to man's
health and happiness.
My practice for 20 years
has put me in
possession of facts that have opened my eyes to the misery of
mankind - from ignorance of ourselves.
My object is to correct the
false ideas and strengthen the truth.
I make war with what
contact with a person's health or happiness, believing that God made
everything good, and if there is anything wrong, it is the effect of
ourselves - and that man is responsible for his acts - and even his
Therefore it is necessary that man should know himself - so that he shall not communicate sin (or error) that will rebound to his disadvantage.
my writings are the effect of impressions made on me while sitting
with the sick, so that my book is of the lives and sufferings of my
patients... their trials and sorrows - and my arguments are on their
It may seem strange to the well that I write upon so many subjects, but when you take into consideration the great variety of persons and the peculiar taste of lecturers - varying from the most cultivated taste to that of the lowest intellect - it would be strange if my writings did not excite the curiosity of the reader.
instance, one is all full of religious ideas and becomes almost
insane - and some are entirely so. This excites me, and my thoughts
run upon religion.
Another will be almost
insane upon spiritualism -
then I have to battle that (or show the absurdity of that) belief.
are excited upon Millerism and believe the world is coming to an end.
This brings up arguments to refute their belief - some upon
Now their minds are
continually dwelling on all these
subjects and on the Bible. So
to cure, I have to show - by the
that they have been made to believe a false
arguments change their minds - and the cure comes.
people are lovesick and disappointed.
Some are shipmasters.
But all mankind must be
by parables, so I illustrate by such parables - and symbols - as they can
All my illustrations are
called out by the case I have to
Females are more spiritual than men - therefore,
with them my
illustrations are drawn more from the Bible than from any other work.
The medical science I
have to use rather hard, for the sick have the
most bitter feelings towards the physicians and the religious
teachers. These two classes I have to come in contact with. The fear
of these two classes makes the patient sick.
I have found this out by
the effect the patient has on me. I have been so provoked when
sitting by the sick - with the physician and also with certain classes
of disease - that it was with the greatest difficulty that I could
keep my temper, and I had never seen the doctor or minister.
always found that when I would get the patients clear from their
opinions, they would express themselves in as strong terms as I had.
I thought the fault might
be with me, but I am now satisfied that I
was only the scapegoat to carry off feelings they dare not lisp out -
but could not tell why.
Therefore, as far as I am
concerned, I have
not the slightest feeling, as a man, towards any person - but error.
That I have no sympathy with. It is a hypocrite in myself - and in everyone else.
You may say that I have gone out of the way to attack religious denominations. If I have - the fault is in my patient. Everyone knows that some very pious persons, when sick, are the most profane and talk the worst about the Bible. This is because they are the most in fear of it - this is the cause.
these remarks, I will leave this part of my subject and say a word or
two in regard to words.
I differ from all persons about some words.
One is "mind." Mind, to me,
is not Wisdom - but spiritual
And I think before you get through my book,
you will think so
too - and be convinced of the truth of what I say.
So far as my education is concerned - I need make no apology. If I have learning enough to explain my theory - it is all I want.