I am often asked what I call my cures. I answer, “The effect of a science, because I know how I do them.” If I did not know, they would be a mystery to the world and myself. Science is wisdom put into practice; for when it is understood, it ceases to be a science and becomes wisdom to all who know it. This is the case with all wisdom acknowledged by the natural man. To him it is a power or mystery, but to the wise it is wisdom.
The wise make this difference between the two wisdoms. The natural man's wisdom is based on an opinion; but the scientific man bases his on a wisdom that can be demonstrated by facts, and this demonstration is called “science.” So when we say that such-a-thing is based on a scientific principle, it is the same as saying that it is wisdom superior to an opinion.
There are certain truths admitted by the world as science; that is, they cannot explain them, but to such as have wisdom, there is no science but wisdom. All wisdom that has not been acknowledged by the natural man is called a power or gift or spiritual demonstration; not a science. The curing of disease has never been acknowledged to be under any wisdom superior to the medical faculty, so they, by their opinions, have kept the world in darkness, till now, and how much longer they will do so, I cannot tell.
Now to put the world in possession of a wisdom that will make the natural man acknowledge a science is to admit the person who teaches it superior to the medical men. This is what I am trying to do, and if I succeed in changing the minds of men enough to investigate, they will see that disease is what follows an opinion, and that wisdom that will destroy the opinion will make the cure. Then the cure will be attributed to a superior wisdom, not a power.
I will give one or two illustrations to show what must come to pass and how the people must be divided, since they cannot serve God and Mammon; for if a person believes one, he cannot believe his doctor or anything that makes him sick.
I am accused of interfering with the religion of my patients. This is not the case; but if a particular passage in the Bible or some religious belief affects the patient, then I attack it. For instance, a person gets nervous from his belief that he has committed the “unpardonable sin.” His wisdom is attached to the sin of his belief, and his belief is someone's opinion about some passage in the Bible that he believes applies to his case. I know this is all false, so of course I have to destroy his opinion, and this destroys the effect, which is the disease. His senses are attached to an opinion; mine are detached from the opinion and attached to the wisdom that shows the absurdity of the opinion. Their wisdom is of man; mine is of God or Science. All disease is the punishment of our belief, either directly or indirectly; and our senses are in our punishments. My senses are attached to the wisdom that sees through the opinion, so that my love or wisdom casteth out their disease or fear; for their fear hath torment, and perfect wisdom casteth out all opinions.
Now it never entered man's brain that man's wisdom is a part of himself. The natural man speaks of wisdom as a science, which he has not got but wants to get, so of course his senses are not in the thing he has not got. The wise man has what the natural man is looking for and does not know it, when it is in his very thoughts. We talk about the very wisdom that the natural man calls a gift. He calls it a science, when he is the very science, himself, and knows it not.
I will make one illustration. Everyone will admit that a musician can play by note and compose music and teach it to another. This is a science. Now is it wisdom above the man who cannot play or compose? All will say, “Yes.” His wisdom is a mystery to the natural man, but he knows that he can teach that wisdom to another; and he calls it a science, to distinguish it from that wisdom that arises from an opinion. The musician's senses are in his wisdom; the natural man's senses are in his opinions. One is of this world; the other is of a wisdom far above. To be born again is to get the natural man's senses out of his opinions and attach them to wisdom. The science of music is lost in wisdom. Then his wisdom of opinions has become subject to his wisdom of truth.
These are the two kingdoms, and every man is subject to one or the other. Each man contains them both and is judged according to his acts. One is eternal, and the other must come to an end. And as man has borne the one of opinions, he must also bear the other; for opinions cannot live where wisdom is.
I am often asked what I call my cures I answer, the effect of a Science because I know how I do them. If I did not know they would be a mystery to the world and myself. Science is Wisdom put into practice. To the natural man it is a power or mystery. All wisdom that has not been acknowledged by the natural man is called a "gift" or spiritual demonstration, not a science. The curing of disease has never been acknowledged to be under any wisdom superior to the medical faculty, so people have kept the world in darkness till now, and how much longer they will do so I cannot tell. If I succeed in changing the minds of men enough to investigate they will see that disease is what follows an opinion, and that wisdom that will destroy the opinion and make the cure. Then the cure will be attributed to a superior Wisdom, not a power.
I am accused of interfering with the religion of my patients. This is not the case, but if a particular passage in the Bible or some religious belief affects the patient I attack it. For instance, a person gets nervous from his belief that he has committed the unpardonable sin. His thought is then attached to the sin of his belief, and his belief is some one's opinion about a passage in the Bible that he believes applies to his case. I know this is all false, so of course I have to destroy his opinion, and this destroys the effect which is disease. His senses are attached to a disease, mine are attached to the Wisdom that shows the absurdity of the opinion. His wisdom is of man, mine is of God or Science. All disease is the punishment of our belief either directly or indirectly, and our senses are in our punishments. My senses are attached to the Wisdom that sees through the opinion, so that my love or Wisdom casteth out their disease or fear; for their fear hath torment, and perfect wisdom casteth out all opinions. . . .
I am often accused of opposing the medical faculty and the religious creeds. In answer to this I plead guilty, but you must not gather from this that I oppose goodness or virtue. I oppose all religion based on the opinions of men, and as God never gave an opinion I am not bound to believe that man's opinions are from God. The difference between man's opinions and God's wisdom is more than one would naturally suppose, but the former is taken for a truth. This makes the trouble with which the wise have to contend. If a man knew himself he would not be misled by the opinions of others, and as disease is the result of our opinions it is the duty of all to know themselves, that they may correct their own errors. Now if error is something to correct it must require more wisdom than the knowledge which invented it. When I find a person diseased I know his trouble must have a father or beginning. If it is ignorant of its father, it is not to be supposed that it is not without a father or mother. So to destroy your earthly father is to destroy your opinions, and to be with your heavenly Father is to be wise; so that everyone that loses his opinions and arrives at the truth is dead to the natural world, but alive to Wisdom or Christ.
When I sit down by a sick person and he or she wants to tell me what the doctor says, to me it is nonsense for I have not the least regard for their knowledge. Their opinions are what I try to destroy and if I succeed their opinions have no power to create disease. Man's profession, not his wisdom, is the standard of his popularity. I stand in direct opposition to all others in this respect and here is the conflict, whether man's opinion is to rule or his wisdom. If the medical profession is based on wisdom, then it will stand the test, and disease must have its origin outside of the profession; either this must be true or the opposite. I assert that disease is the offspring of opinion. Ignorance produces the phenomenon or effect, as in the brute creation, but the wild animal differs from that of the domesticated animal. So it is with man; the perfect fool knows no aches or pains, where there is no fear there is no torment. Fear is error, Wisdom casts out fear, for it knows no fear. You often hear persons attempt to explain my cures by their own opinions. Thus they make themselves out wise by their own ignorance, since they deny the very power of wisdom which they acknowledge by admitting it as a mystery to them. So they admit a power outside of their knowledge and worship that of which they are completely ignorant. Now I know that this something which is a mystery to them is wisdom to me and that my wisdom sees through their opinions; and also that the explanation is the conversion from an opinion to truth or health. The two characters, wisdom and opinion, stand before each other and the people choose the one they will obey, just as they do in national affairs. . . .
Disease is the offspring of error and as long as the people worship men's opinions, just so long will they be sick. To me it is perfectly plain that if the people could see themselves they would discard all the priests' and doctors' opinions and become a law unto themselves. All I do is to put the world into possession of a wisdom that will keep them clear from these two classes of opinions. You may think I have some feeling against the character of the physicians but this is not so. Neither do I think that they who know me have anything against me as a man, but they scout the idea that I know any more about how I cure disease than anyone else; they think they have the wisdom and I have the power. I stand to the medical faculty in the light of a harmless humbug perfectly ignorant of what I profess to know, and all my talk being to amuse the patients and make them believe that disease is in their imagination. If I succeed in doing this it is all well, but so far as wisdom goes, that is folly. I am aware that this is my position with the faculty and their opinions have such a strong hold on the people that most of them look upon me in the same light, and if by chance someone chooses to see that I am not the person these blind guides call me, they in time are looked upon in the same light. I acknowledge that all this is true with regard to my position in society, and how do I feel in regard to it? I know that it is all false, although my word does not prove it so, but I suppose I have the same right to give my opinion with regard to these two classes as they have to give their opinions about me and I will now give it and let the masses judge for themselves.
The principles which I am trying to establish are something new. All established theories purporting to help mankind are merely the effect of the effort which one set of demagogues make to gain the ascendency over another; the people are no better off, but worse. Disease of a person is like that of a nation, each is governed by arbitrary laws and the governing of both is alike. Disease is acknowledged to have an identity independent of man, and man makes laws to govern it, attaches penalties to their disobedience and calls these laws the "laws of God." . . .
I stand alone, as one arisen from the dead, or the old theories, having passed through all the old ideas and risen again, that I may lead you into this light that will open your eyes to the truth of Him who spoke as never man spoke, and who spoke the truth. This truth condemns all man's opinions, it settles all creeds and priestcraft and upsets the medical profession and brings peace and good will to man. It teaches that man in order to break off from his wickedness or opinions and learn to speak the truth, must not try to deceive his fellow man by pretending to know what is merely an opinion.
Show me the doctor that really thinks his medicine has any curative qualities or any intelligence except as it is associated with his opinion and I will show you a fool, for no intelligent physician would dare risk his reputation on a homeopathic pill to cure a cough, supposing the patient took the medicine in his food and did not know it. This shows that they believe they work on the imagination of the patient. There are certain drugs that will act as an emetic or cathartic; but if the patient should take an emetic by accident, it would make him vomit. Now when the patient vomits, if a wrong direction is given, another effect might be produced; so it all goes to show that the mind must be guided by some wisdom superior to itself. If error directs, nothing certain is known of the effect. If wisdom is at the helm no medicine is wanted, for Wisdom can break opinions in pieces.
Ignorance not knowing how the mind can be affected by a direction outside of itself, identifies wisdom with error or matter, so that truth is a stranger, and it is all the time fighting against itself to get rid of an enemy of its own creation. Now teach men this simple fact, that in all action the wisdom of reaction is in the act though the act knows it not, and their happiness will be the result.
— May, 1861.
P. P. Quimby