Portland, Feb. 22nd, 1862
I was very glad to receive your letter of Dec. 1st, but since then have been too busy to answer it, until now. And now I scarcely know how to commence, knowing that I am about to tread on holy ground; and feel like Moses, who viewed the promised land lying before him, but could not enter with all his errors; so he saw for others what he was not permitted to enjoy in the natural man.
This truth that I practice is as plain to me as mathematics, but the developing of that science depends upon the progression of all other improvements; for if the world was ignorant, like the savages, that wisdom called mathematics would still exist, but their darkness could not see it. So as the light of God or wisdom springs up, man learns the truth and applies it to the phenomena of his day, so it can be understood. This we call mathematics or God's wisdom revealed to man.
I think that all controversies in the world are in matter; and man has attached himself to the idea of matter and lives and dies in it, till the light of wisdom opens his eyes to the truth; that his life is in this great light that sees matter as nothing but shadows. I will try to illustrate my ideas by a parable. You know what the phenomenon called mesmerism is. Clairvoyance is perfect light. Matter is annihilated, except as it is admitted. Thought-reading is another state in matter, like darkness; so that thought-readers see or feel by the light of another, while clairvoyance sees by its own light. Our senses are in one or the other of these states of light and darkness. The separation of these states has always been the great problem. They who were sitting in darkness saw this light spring up, but as the prince of darkness had sway, they crucified the light. Now the world attaches their senses to the thing they can feel and see, but Jesus attached his to the light; so that his light was in their error, and they saw it not.
By this time I hear you say, “Show me this light or truth, and it will satisfy me.” I answer, “Have I not sat by you and told you how you suffered, and yet you cannot see me?” The light of the body or wisdom is the eye; and if your wisdom is all light, your light is all wisdom; but if your light is darkness or thought-reading, it is darkness to wisdom. Such is this, to those who cannot understand, but I feel as though you said, "I understand that." How do I show to the world my light? For a light under a bushel gives no light to those outside. So to let your light shine, you must make some physical demonstration of it.
When I sit down by a patient, their thought is their wisdom or opinions; and to me there is no light in them. My light or wisdom sees through their darkness or belief, and I, knowing that their sufferings are the effect of this world's wisdom, take them by the hand and guide them by my light, till I raise them from the dead or error into the light of science or heaven. This is my heaven. My hell is where I was and where all others are, till they come to a knowledge of this great truth, that man is outside of matter. When he knows this, he cuts himself clear and floats in the ocean of light, where matter is, to him, a shadow, moved around by a wisdom attached to it; and their ignorance knows not that they are not of the matter, but outside.
I will illustrate. Suppose I create a dog in my mind and mesmerize a person, till I make him see it, and finally I succeed. Now his senses or light is in my idea, the dog. He sees it, but does not see the creator. And seeing the dog with life, he of course thinks the life is in the dog. If he never comes out of that state, then the dog follows him; and if I present it to him, then to himself he has a dog, but to his neighbors he is insane. All the while, I know I am the author. Suppose I call the great God of all, clairvoyant. All matter, to him, is nothing.
P. P. Quimby