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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

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Dr. Phineas P. Quimby
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THE SENSES AND LANGUAGE

December 1860

Why is it that mankind has settled down on the "fact" that man has five senses - no more, nor less?
 

The wise say the Spiritual Man has two more - making seven senses. Now what is a "sense?" We often speak in this way: "Such-a-thing comes within my senses."

If senses means what the wise say it does - why is man set down above the brute? Let us see how they both compare.

The man sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels - and so does the brute. As far as the five senses go - man and brute are alike. Neither shows any preeminence of wisdom over the other.

When you ask, "Where is man's superiority," you are told that man reasons - and the brute does not. Ask for proof - they can show no difference. Only as they make it in their own minds - for if you place them both together - the brute is a little the shrewder.

Now all will admit that there is a vast difference between a wise man and a brute, but the brutal man is as much below the brute as the latter is below the wise man.

This Wisdom that makes man above the brute is not of this brutal world - but it must come from some higher source.

I have so much confidence in the Wisdom of the wise men of old, that I have no doubt but they solved that question - and I have so little confidence in the wisdom of this world - that I disbelieve every truth founded on man's opinion.

All Science is susceptible of proof - so that an opinion is of no force to the Scientific Man.

We often hear of the Laws of God - but when we ask for wisdom on the subject - the wise fail to give us the information desired by the Scientific Man.

They can give their opinion - and as that contains no knowledge - the scientific must look for wisdom elsewhere, than to the wisdom of this brutal world of five senses.

So I will leave man and brute with their five senses - and search out some other source to solve the problem of the senses.

I will ask anyone if seeing is matter - or is it something independent of matter?

For instance, you see a shadow - is that which sees any part of the shadow? All will say, "No."

 
Then the shadow comes in contact with something.
Now what is that something called "sight" - or one of the senses? Is it matter?

The natural man cannot answer that question, any more than the brute. If it is answered at all scientifically - it must come from elsewhere than the natural man.

The natural man says that the eye is the sight.
Jesus says the light of the body is the eye.

So the natural man and Jesus differ - for the natural man puts sight in the natural eye.

Settle this question and you get one of the five senses defined, so that there can be no dispute between the Scientific and natural (or brutal) man - and as the natural man has failed to satisfy the Scientific Man - let the latter try to convince the natural man of his error.

The Scientific Man makes all sensation outside of the idea of matter, so that to him all sensation must be made on something independent of the natural man's idea of senses.

All will admit that God knows all things.

If you do not own it, you must admit it, if you are above the brute, else you - admitting that the brute knows nothing about God - put yourself on a level with the brute.

So I take it for granted that this question is settled - that God knows all things.

So God sees. That is one sense.

All will admit that God is equal to man, at least in regard to wisdom, so if he can show that man's five senses can act independently of his natural body - besides having other senses - no one will allow that man's wisdom is superior to God.

So if it can be shown that man (or this wisdom) is not of matter - but of God - then we will divide him into as many senses as is necessary for his happiness or that of the scientific world.

What is necessary for the natural man's happiness is to eat, drink and enjoy himself in the easiest way he can. The savage is a fair specimen of the natural man - and the wild beast the natural specimen of the brute creation.

One has no preeminence over the other. Might is right. Each is happy when not disturbed. If never disturbed they would be like the fool, without even error - so that disturbance brings into action other senses - and as Wisdom is developed, it gives man a knowledge of himself above the natural man of five senses.

Thus the Wisdom of the Scientific Man sees the man with the five senses a little above the brute - trying in error to free himself from his earthly matter (or ignorance) - and arrive at the knowledge of the phenomena that keep him in a state of sin (or disease) and death.
 

So I will leave the man of five senses in error to talk to the Scientific Man about the other senses.

He is not embraced in one idea. A man may be scientific in many sciences - chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, botany  - all that are acknowledged and admitted by even the natural man, though not understood.

But the Science of Happiness is not acknowledged by the wisdom of the five senses, so it requires more senses to put man in possession of this Science that will teach him happiness.

As happiness is what follows a belief, it is necessary to know whether our wisdom is of this world of opinions - or of the world of Science.

This world sees nothing outside of its senses. Wisdom sees nothing inside of the natural man's senses - but ignorance - so that the wisdom of this world is opposed to the Science of Happiness.

Let us see what will be admitted by all.

I believe that it will not be denied that there is such a phenomenon as mesmerism. If it is denied - then those who do so may enjoy their own opinions - and I will turn to those who admit it.

This embraces a large class of the Scientific world, so taking it for granted that the phenomenon can be produced - I will show how many senses a person has in a mesmerized state.

I have put many persons into this state, and none - with one exception - had any idea of seeing through their eyes. There was one who thought he saw through his eyes - but all experiments show that it is not so.

This shows that sight is not through the eyes.

It is also proved that breathing, as it is called, is one of the faculties. In fact, a mesmerized subject is all that a person can be in his waking state - at the same time.

He is another person, separate and apart from his earthly identity. He can feel, fly, walk and pass into the sea, and describe things lost - and can find things that he knows not of in another state.

Now where and what was this invisible something that could pass in and out of matter?

He could eat, drink and even get so intoxicated that he would show it through his natural senses. And all these effects would be produced without his natural senses being addressed in any way.

Now what is this something called "mesmerism," "clairvoyance" or "spiritualism?"
 
It is the mystery (or power) that has troubled the wisdom of this world to solve.

Solve this problem, and you give a knowledge to man that the world has always admitted - but not understood. To understand this phenomenon is to go back to the "first cause" and see what man was.

As language is the invention of man, we cannot get at the cause of the introduction of that by the analyzing of it, so we must go back of language to find the cause that prompted man to invent it.

So let us go back of language, and we see living beings going round like beasts, not seeming to have any way of communicating with each other. Then each acted on his own responsibility, eating and drinking as it pleased himself.


Now the desire for food prompted the mind, and as food has the sort of odor that arises from it, man - like the beast - is drawn to the odor from a desire to have this sensation gratified. So that the odor attracted the man, like the beast - not by sight - but by smell.

Here is one sensation - but with no name. It is the same in man and beast - they eat and are satisfied. As they eat - taste comes. This opens the mind to see what the thing is. This brings sight (or knowledge) - so they go on, till all the faculties are developed in man and beast.

As the faculty of smell was more important than even sight, it would be the one they most desired - for it not only attracted the animal to the thing smelt - but warned him of danger of being destroyed. So that all animals cultivate this sense for their own safety.

The fowls would cultivate it to protect themselves by their wings when any animal or man came near them. So by experience, all animals have learned to keep clear of each other by the peculiar faculty of smell.

As they associated sight with the odor, then when the odor came in contact with their sense - they would create the thing contained in the odor. If it was an odor from some living thing that they were afraid of, they would fly (or run) till they were free from their enemy.

So little-by-little the wild beast settled down on a sort of basis that gave each one some faculty to counteract some other faculty in another.

The lion depended on his smell, and so did all animals who were inferior to their enemies. So that if the lion imitated some other animal - for instance if he was quick in his motions, he would not be so acute in his smell - so the victim could keep out of his way and yet remain in his sight.

The atmosphere of the lion was certain death to the other animals, so that their fright threw off an odor that did not attract the lion, till the object of his prey came in contact with his sight.

So all things went on in this way - and man was at the mercy of the wild beast. His sense of smell was as acute as that of the wild beast, but his physical strength was less.

Now "necessity is the mother of invention," and it became necessary for man to introduce something to counteract the wild beast - so it would be natural for man to make signs, or have some way to give his fellow man a warning of his danger.

For men in these times, like all other animals, would go together in herds (or parties) - for although each might not know each other's ideas - they all had a fear of their enemies.

This state of progression must lead to a sort of language - so that language was invented for the safety of the race.

Now the sense of smell was the foundation of language, and as language was made to apply to some sensation, it must take some time to introduce it - for the odor must be so defined that a person perceiving the thing named could describe it.

So at first it must be partly smell and partly acted out by gesture, so that the person could understand what was intended to be communicated to him.

For instance, the sense of smell for food must be named, so that one could convey the idea to another. Now when man wanted food his sense of hunger excited his sense of smell more than the one who was not hungry - so that the hungry must be drawn to the food by the odor that arose from the food desired.

To communicate the food to another must be done by bringing the food to the other - or by accompanying the other to the place. Therefore, the name was given to some odor that could be smelled - for instance some vegetable or root. So when the name was mentioned - the person would create the thing named.

This created the power of creating.

So the odor contained the thing created - as there was no call for creating anything but food and drink to sustain life.

Man would naturally give names to all the odors he liked, and the names would correspond to the pleasures that the food produced, accompanied with gestures of joy - while those odors that contain frightful things, although they could eat them, were represented by gestures of a frightful kind - for instance, the odor of a beast that they could kill when perceived by someone.

To communicate the idea to others, he must create the beast in his own mind - and so change his matter that an odor would arise from him so strong that it could be perceived by the person affected.

This would introduce the art of language and make man shrewder than the beast. As language was introduced, the sense of smell became more blunt, till it - like other instincts - gave way to another standard.

So as man became shrewder than the beast, he became more savage - till at last man's superior shrewdness would make the beast afraid of him.

Man, having imitation like all other brutes, would imitate and invent some new thing, thus bringing a new faculty into play - and as men excited this faculty, that of smell was confined to a narrow sphere.

As imitation was developed, the practice of thinking would increase - so that thinking came to be as much of a sense as smelling.

Forming thought into things (or ideas) became a sense.

The power (or sense) of imitation brought up the sense of motion, so that man's thought - when put into an idea - would move and seem to have life.

All of the above was spiritual, and it could not be seen by the natural man or beast - so the natural man would imitate his idea in some way that it would be seen and felt by the natural man.

Thus invention of things in the spiritual world was shadowed forth in the natural world.

As this invention was received, the spiritual senses were not relied on for the safety of man - so the invention of weapons would give a person an advantage over a wild beast. This warfare was kept up, till man could invent castles - or some place of defense.

In the progress of the world, men would form themselves into parties (or tribes), and then rivalry would spring up, and aspirants would come forward to lead off.

And as hunting would be the only sport or amusement - the hunting ground would be a bone of contention. That would lead to fighting among men and the invention of weapons of some kind - till wars would become the order of the day.

This would increase the power (or faculty) of thinking which would lead to inventions of different things. And at last there must be some laws (or regulations) introduced to feed those who could not fight.

The ones who stayed at home would be those of the weaker portion of the race - including the females, the aged and children. So some laws must be adopted for their support and safety - and penalties attached to the disobedience of these laws.

The officers of the laws would be taken from the most aspiring and cunning part of the tribes. This placed the leaders above the masses, so competition sprang up - which increased the leaders' perceptive faculties to invent all sorts of stories to keep the people quiet.

As language was what they all wanted - those who could teach it would be looked upon as superior to the rest. Phenomena would then, as now, take place - and the wise would be called upon to explain.

This would introduce astrology and priestcraft, so that at last there came up a sort of "craft" among the leaders - like politics of our day. Then all sorts of inventions would spring up to keep the people in submission when they grumbled at their leaders - not as they do now - for we are born slaves and they were born free.

Therefore it required more strict laws then than now. All sorts of ideas were started - and among them the power of creating objects that could be seen. That faculty was cultivated for the benefit of the wise.

This introduced spiritualism among civilized tribes, at first for the benefit of the leaders - so superstition became the power to worship. And as it was necessary that someone should explain the phenomena, persons would be appointed - and thus priests and prophets sprang up.

These men must be paid and cared for, and the people were taxed to support them. At last the tribes formed themselves into nations and kingdoms and gave the power to the priests, so the priests stood at the head of the nation.

As the priesthood was founded on superstition, it was necessary to keep the people superstitious - so all sorts of inventions were made to keep the people ignorant.

And as science was invented (or discovered), all the discoveries were kept a secret from the people - so that any chemical or mechanical effect could be produced - and the people thought it came from God.

Astronomy was discovered. The priests kept it as a revelation from heaven, and all their astronomical calculations were made - not as a science for the masses - but as a direct revelation from God to bring about some great design.

This kept the people in a state of nervous excitement and made them excite the idea of "spiritual sight" - knowing that whatever they could make the people believe - they would create.

So all they had to do was to start the storm of evil spirits - and the people's superstition would produce the very phenomena wanted. This was proof that evil spirits did exist.

Then it was not hard to make them believe that the spirits would get hold of them, so that at last it became a matter of fact - so much so that at the time of Saul there were some fifty ways of getting communications from God - and how many ways of getting it from the devil, I know not.


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