Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
The Scientific Man1863
I will try to define what I mean by the “scientific man” (or a man outside of matter). To do this, I must assume myself in relation to mind, as God stands to all creation. The natural man is only an idea, made by God's wisdom, like a shadow. After this shadow goes through a certain change, like any other matter, it is then in a state to be a medium of a higher power than itself. God sends an identity of his wisdom to take control of the medium and carry out his own design and bring man to a knowledge of the father. This identity that he sends is science (or the son of God).
It is very difficult to illustrate to a person what you may know, for the want of wisdom in the person you address. Like this. You cannot make a child understand what you say, till it arrives at a certain state of mind. Every person is a child in what they cannot understand. So to illustrate, I must use a strong figure, so you can get at my meaning. For if you do not do the thing God does, then you cannot be the son of God, unless you do his will. Christ was called the “son of God.” Now, why was he called the son of God? Because he did the will of his father that sent him. Now to be a son of God, you must do his will, and his will is to subject your errors to the truth, so that you can know that you are born of God.
Now I will suppose God, when he spoke man into existence, knew that man was his own idea; and if he made him, then nations were all of God, not of the idea. Now call these nations a “chemical change” that was going on for a certain time, for a certain effect, till man became of age - or until men became ready to be governed by a higher principle than matter. Now science is wisdom put into practice. So science is the son of God (or wisdom). Now science, being the son of wisdom - it is a part of wisdom. Now give this science an identity, with a knowledge of its father, and then you have a son ready to take possession of man (or matter), when matter becomes purified (or a chemical change takes place), so it can be governed by an independent power.
Now for proof of what I have said. I know that I can create an idea of some kind of animal and make it appear to have life, but the life is in myself (or my own knowledge of this wisdom). Now suppose I give the created animal to another. He sees it and sees that it has life and moves. He knows it has life. Now to him, it has life - but to me it is nothing but an idea of my own make. His wisdom keeps life in the animal, just according to his belief.
Now suppose I teach that person how to create the animal, so that he can create one himself - then I impart my own wisdom to the matter (or idea) man, till a son (or scientific identity) arises; and this son is equal to his father, so far as he acts according to scientific wisdom. And to show that he is equal to his father is to do the things his father does; thus he is the master of the matter (or idea) man. This son (or science) is not seen by the natural man, so the natural man thinks his life is in this belief.
Now to come to the knowledge of this is the new birth. You may ask what benefit all this wisdom is to man, if man lives right along, without any change. It is of vast importance to man. Suppose man had no idea of progression, then...