Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
The Trinity of Opinion & The Trinity of God or WisdomOctober 1862
Man, as we see him, combines two trinities, although he is ignorant of it. I will try to condense one into a personal identity. Error is the father; belief is the son (or body); wisdom is the Holy Ghost (or reason).
To make it clear, I must take a person where the trinity is the plainest. I will take a sick man - for his is the plainest one. The error is the tyrant; the belief is the son (or offspring of the father). The error wants to hold the truth in subjection; for the truth is the wisdom of God in man, not developed. So error disturbs the mind, and a belief is formed. This belief contains the penalties, and these beget fear. Here you have opinion, the father; the belief, fear or punishment; the son and the knowledge of all, the Holy Ghost. This is the world's trinity.
The trinity of God is wisdom (or God), the father; health, science (or wisdom in practice); the son and the explanation of the two, the Holy Ghost. These three are one and the same in power and wisdom. And to be born of the spirit of wisdom is to break from your wickedness (or opinions) and turn to the truth. The new birth is to put off the old man - that is, error, with all his belief - and put on the new man (or Christ). It is to destroy all the old superstition of the old world, and enter into the world of science, where opinion and belief never come.
In this world, there is no more death or sighing; for the old things are explained away. Death and hell and he that hath the power of death, called “error” is cast into the lake of fire (or science) that will burn up all the chaff (or error) - and the new Jerusalem shall be established in the hearts of men. Then the sun (or wisdom) will light up this new world. There will be no more night (or ignorance), and all will bow down before the throne of wisdom and sing the song of everlasting life.
The error has its creeds and religious worship; for it worships this great truth in a mystery. So it reasons about the other state (or world), because it does not know what it reasons about. Therefore it makes to itself a God, just according to its knowledge. It lays down its articles of belief; for opinions have now become a belief. Truth (or wisdom) is not in its creeds - but a firm belief in the error.
The first article is to believe in a first cause. Not knowing what it is, it calls it God and believes that the man, Jesus, is his son, and the Holy Ghost is the power that God gave his son, Jesus. So in their blindness, they pray to this unknown God, to whom they have attributed all the faculties of man. They believe that he requires certain duties of man, for his own special benefit, and if they will fulfill those laws that he has given them, they will be received into his kingdom; and if not - they will be cast off.
You see there is not the first word of wisdom in all the foregoing, but a simple belief, founded on someone's opinion. Long before all this belief, people were religious, but their religion had no heaven nor hell; and in fact, they nearly all disbelieved in anything after what they called “death.” There were a few who believed in a resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. Therefore, the other world had but little effect on people's lives, for they did not believe that God would reward them after death. If they did wrong, however, they were punished by some plague (or evils) that would affect the body, such as leprosy, scrofula, etc. Their religion consisted in forms and ceremonies, temples and altars, etc., all of which could never explain away their superstition.
But the tide of progression rolled on, and wave after wave swept away some of the old landmarks of superstition, and the people were carried off on the waters of science, flowing from the great ocean of truth. Yet they were like fog, tossed about by the winds of superstition, not knowing where to fly. In this ocean of progression, the voice of John was heard, crying in the wilderness of error; for he had kept up with the current but was not carried into the sea-like something. So he broke the silence by the voice of his reason and exposed the hypocrisy of the priest.
Now Jesus, being posted up on all the theology of the day, went to hear John. As I have said, the idea of a science to test man's goodness was never dreamed of by the wise men of his age. The truth had made its way along in every branch of the sciences, except goodness; and goodness, being what follows our acts - to know how to have it and to attach the wisdom to our acts is a science.
So religion is the nursery of disease. The belief made men sick and unhappy; but the idea of another world had no hold on the people.