Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
To Those Seeking the Truth
This is written to show you how you stand in regard to this truth and how I stand in regard to you. This applies to all persons seeking after the truth. I will liken it unto a treasure in the wilderness of which you have heard and go in search of. You stand in your search with no guides but what you have seen and enjoyed. You hear of men embarking in the enterprise, but not having found it, shortly return to their own opinion. You listen to their story and learn, as far as they are concerned, they have never seen one who has entered that land of light, where disease never comes. They all, after a short time, return and live and die in their own belief. This makes you feel gloomy.
Then one comes along saying, “I have felt the warm atmosphere of the place; it invigorates me, and I felt as buoyant as though I had been in the air.” This gives you courage, and you pray that you may be guided by this light that you see, now and then, dimly; and so you travel on, sometimes in the dark, guided by a power that you cannot see; sometimes by the light of wisdom, and then you take courage.
Now in the darkness of the night, you hear the cries of the sick who are tormented, and you halt, not knowing what to do. Then some unknown hand reaches out, and in a whispering voice says, “Fear not; pass forward.” Then come the groans of the dying, and you tremble. At last the voice of the sick dies away, and the light of wisdom springs up - and you see the prize you are seeking for in the darkness. So you tread lighter and lighter, till you become so buoyant that you feel as though you did not weigh anything.
Now you are standing in this place between opinion and wisdom and looking at everything, as you see it, but not knowing the names of things you meet. You hesitate, but you have gone so far that you cannot get back; yet not far enough to feel sure that it is the land of the living. So you are surveying the land and reasoning about it. At last, shadows will appear before your eyes, and your senses will be brought into play. The shadows will take form; then life will enter. Voices, like the rushing winds, will salute your ears, and you will look, and individuals will arise of flesh and blood. Then you will know that you have passed from death unto life. Your belief is lost in sight; you will not doubt. Your grief will be turned into joy, and you will see that all your misery is in opinions. And as you grow, you will see the error of the world's opinions.
I will now tell you where I am and how I am leading you along. You are in the old world (or testament). I am in the new world (or testament) - not P. P. Quimby, but this truth. It is the light that lighteth everyone that cometh into this world; and to make you understand it, it takes upon itself flesh and blood. So when it speaks, it speaks not as man speaks; but it speaks the truth, not opinions. The natural man is opinion; not wisdom. The scientific man is not flesh and blood, but wisdom. And where wisdom is recognized by the natural man, then the natural man is not far from the kingdom of heaven.
To gain the kingdom of heaven is to gain science. There are many kinds of science, but they are all from one great wisdom. And science is the name of that particular application of wisdom to a particular phenomenon. For instance, “chemistry” is the name of a wisdom reduced to practice, and the practice is called “science.” Now man looks upon chemistry as something separate and apart from him, as much as religion; while chemistry is one of the elements of his own existence, for it contains no matter. So it is with mathematics and all the sciences that ever have been developed.
Man is just as large as he is wise in science; so science is that solid that will break in pieces all opinions. There is one development of wisdom that has never been acknowledged by the natural man, and when that is acknowledged, the natural man then becomes subject to a higher power. This is the science of wisdom, whose fruits are health and happiness. This is the foundation of all other sciences. It is the rock of wisdom, and man is made of it. Opinion is its servant, and when the servant becomes the master, then the wicked reign, and the people mourn.
It may be asked - if health and happiness is a science, how can it be put into practice for the benefit of man? I answer - just as you put into practice any other branch of wisdom for man's good. All wisdom that has been reduced or developed is the growth of the scientific man. And as wisdom is developed, it is put into practice for the happiness of man.
Opinions (or beliefs) are the natural man, and as he dies, the spiritual (or scientific) man takes his place. Just as the wilderness is the natural man, and civilization clears away the trees and cultivates the soil; so the natural man is full of brutal and false ideas warring against himself. And science lies and sees the wicked do wickedly, till their wickedness is destroyed by the weapons of their own make. As the wisdom is developed that sees through all the evils of the world of opinion and belief, it corrects the error and establishes the truth. This changes the natural man into a man of wisdom that will see that human misery is based on an opinion.
Let a person just look at himself as the image of his maker, and he will see that man is a complete image of the very God he ought to worship. I will make the one living and true man the father, the son and the Holy Ghost. The scientific (or wisdom) is the father; the idea man (or matter), the son (or flesh and blood); the explanation of the unity is the Holy Ghost (or wisdom). These three make the one living and true man. The father (or wisdom) will reign through the son (or matter) by the word (or Holy Ghost), till all enemies are explained through the son. Then the son shall become subject to the father (or science), and wisdom shall reign all-in-all.
In the days of old, this wisdom spake through the prophets. At last, it spake through science (or a wiser medium) - but it has never spoken to the sick in prison. But ancient and modern philosophy has looked for the true Messiah (or wisdom) that shall open the prison doors, burst the bolts and bars, break the chains of superstition and set the captive free. When this comes, there shall be a time such as was never seen before; when the priests and doctors shall hide their faces from the people to keep from being ridiculed for their superstition and ignorance. They will be set down on a level with the old Salem witchcraft. Their power shall be taken away from them, and they shall be turned out to eat the fruits of their own labor. Then to be religious is to show the world that you can correct some of the diseases that have been invented by these blind guides.
As man knows himself, he learns that all he is is his life, and his senses are in his life; that opinions are mind, subject to his life. His life embraces all his faculties, and his happiness is in knowing that he is no part of what is seen by the eye of opinion. The world is the shadow of wisdom's amusement. All that is seen by the natural man is mind reduced to a state called matter.