Difference Of Opinion About The Dead


April 1860


by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Why should there be such a difference in opinion in regard to the dead? It is of the body, I suppose. If the body is matter, has matter life? If it has then the life is a part of the body, and if the body dies the life dies also. If you mean that this is the end of man, what lives after the life and body die? You will say, the soul. Where is the soul? Has anyone ever seen it? or is it an opinion? The fact is that the theory of the body and soul is not in keeping with the progress of truth or science. It leaves everything in the dark. It gives no proof of any phenomenon, but assumes that man must take an opinion of someone about which no proof can be shown, unless you admit an opinion of something that took place five thousand years ago, and was renewed eighteen hundred years ago. Jesus tried to establish the kingdom of truth in man so that men could teach it, but man was not developed enough to receive it.

It is sometimes supposed that the wisdom of God or Science is made manifest in some simple girl or man. This is the case, and phenomena are constantly occurring, which baffle the world's wisdom to explain [so they are set down as humbug or deception. By a mesmerized subject] I can prove that mind is spiritual matter, that there is no matter without mind, and that death is nothing but an opinion or state of mind made up of matter which can be destroyed like any other opinion. It is true to the soul that is in matter, but to the Science that is out of the matter it is nothing but an idea. The word matter is applied to man in his lowest state, just a little above the brute [the brute has his soul, but he is always in matter, for he shows no knowledge over any other brute. He shows no power of teaching more than the brute before him. This proves his limits.

The fowls are the same, and all creation have, as yet, shown no science. Now if it was intended for the above classes to learn and teach science, it is natural to suppose that they would have shown some symptoms of it before now, so I leave them as they are and pass on to man.]

It is not to be supposed that every man who walks upright is to be set down as a scientific man, nor is it true that everyone who calls himself scientific is so. But it is he who can show himself so to the world by his acts, who can explain some truth, thereby putting the world in possession of a fact that it has been ignorant of, increasing the wisdom and happiness of mankind. This is the case with Science.

Now, if death can be explained away so that man can be put in possession of life eternal, the world will be put in possession of a fact it is now ignorant of. This I will try to do. What is life? It is admitted that it is something. It is consciousness of existence, and death is the fear of the annihilation of that consciousness. The natural man never sees anything beyond the idea of his belief. Therefore he lives in death and is all his life subject to his own belief. Convince man that there is something independent of this belief that is true, that there is no such thing as matter only as it is spoken into existence, and he will then see that mind is the matter or error that is his belief. As his belief changes the matter or opinion will change, and when a chemical change takes place the mind or opinion will be destroyed and truth or Science take its place. Then Science will stand out from mind or matter and show how mind can be made the medium of any soul to bring about any belief. When man arrives at that then death will be swallowed up in Science. Then the world will rejoice in the Science that teaches man that he can be molded to any belief taking a form to suit its author, and that all misery is in ourselves arising from some idea that our soul is in like a prison. The destruction of the prison is the destruction of our belief, and the liberation of our soul from bondage is life eternal. This is God or Science.

— April, 1860.

P. P. Quimby

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