a person has made himself a body of sin and death,
truth destroys his death and attaches his senses to a body of life.
~ Phineas Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
How the Senses are Deceived
Why is it that I run a greater risk of being misrepresented, in regard to my mode of curing, than practitioners of other schools? I must be allowed to offer my own explanation of this fact, because if I were understood, I should not be in danger of being misrepresented and condemned by the guilty. I stand alone, a target at which all classes aim their poisonous darts. For I make war with every creed, profession and idea that contains false reasoning. Every man's hand, therefore, is against me; and I against every man's opinion.
Man's senses may be compared to a young virgin, who has never been deceived by the errors of the world. Popular errors are like a young prince who stands ready to bestow his addresses upon all whom he can deceive. When he approaches the virgin, he appears like an angel of light and wisdom. By soft speech and imposing address, he wins the virgin mind to his belief. Having become entangled in his web (or false doctrines), she is carried away from her home (or state of innocence) into the gulf of despair; there to live a miserable existence (or become a slave to fashion). In this state, a false theory holds out to her all kinds of ideas, and she becomes a slave to the world.
Error favors the utmost freedom in thought and conduct and offers all the allurements of pleasure and enjoyment to the young. Each one is approached with some fascinating idea with which he is carried away and to which he becomes wedded. These are the ideas, founded in man's wisdom and manifested through man. The pure virgin ideas are also shadowed through the same medium; and each is addressed by truth or by error.
Error, in making up pretense of wisdom, assumes an air of wisdom. Wisdom, however, like charity, is not puffed up, and it is slighted by error. It is looked upon by the young as an old conservative. They say to it, "Depart for a time, while I enjoy the pleasure of error, and when I am satisfied, I will call upon you."
Wisdom is banished from the society of the world, and error, like a raging lion, goes about devouring all whom it can. In the shape of man, it approaches the virgin mind, and in musical tones, commences paying his addresses. Finally overcome by his sophistry, she is now won to his opinion and is soon wedded to his ideas; and they two become one flesh. Her senses are attached to the matter. What is his, is hers - and she is, in all respects, the partner and wife of error. She is no longer a virgin, but a wedded wife. The belief is the husband.
When a person is converted from one belief to another, she leaves her husband and marries another. This was the case with the woman whom Jesus told that she had truly said she had no husband, "For he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." She had served religious beliefs, and as each was destroyed by her wisdom, she became a widow. Then she joined herself to another and became a wife. These husbands were creeds, and the virgins were those who cared nothing for religion and had no settled opinions about the future. The beliefs in regard to another world were represented by men, for they were the embodiment of man's opinion. The virgins were those who might be operated upon, like the virgin soil.
When Jesus sought to explain the truth, he compared it to a wedding, and all who could understand entered in. The ten virgins represented two classes - one having wisdom outside of the natural senses, and those who cannot believe anything outside of these senses. When the truth came, they arose and trimmed their lamps; but those who had no oil (or understanding) could not enter. Everyone who has not risen above the natural man but is contented with being ignorant is a foolish virgin; while those who try to understand are of the other class. Everyone belongs to the former, till he becomes wedded to a belief.
There is still another class. Those having professed to belong to a certain sect, and having united with it, after a while leave and join another one. These are persons having committed adultery, for they are living with a new belief; therefore they are to be stoned (or turned out of the church). This explains the case of the woman brought before Jesus as an adulterer. She had left the world's belief and become interested in Jesus' truths. To the Jews, she had committed adultery and had been caught in advocating his truth. As she did not fully understand, she was not lawfully married, and her first husband (or the church) had claims upon her. The Jews, therefore, thinking she deserved punishment, brought her to Jesus to see what his judgment would be.
When he heard their story he said, "Let him who is guiltless cast the first stone." They all immediately left, and he asked her, “Where are thy accusers (or thy fears that this is not the true light that lighteth everyone that receiveth it)?” She replied, "No belief has any effect on me." And he said, "Go thy way, and believe in man's opinion no more."
This article was written from the impressions that came upon me while sitting by a young lady who was afraid of dying, and also was afraid of being blind.
It may seem strange to those in health how our belief affects us. The fact is, there is nothing of us but belief. It is the whole capital stock and trade of man. It is all that can be and embraces all man has made or ever will make. Wisdom is the scientific man, who can destroy the works of the natural man. Disease is made by the natural man's belief in some false idea.
The young are the soil in which to sow the seed of error. The error comes to the virgin mind and makes an impression. The soil is disturbed, and the mind listens (or waits to be taught). If it is misled, briers and thorns and troubles spring up in its path through life. These all go to make the man of belief. Wisdom destroys these false ideas, purifies the soil and brings the mind under a higher state of cultivation. This is the work of science. When a person has made himself a body of sin and death, truth destroys his death and attaches his senses to a body of life.