EXTRACT FROM A LETTER
Portland, Feb., 1862
To Mrs. Woodward:
I will class all people who believe in another world in this way. They all believe that mind is one thing and spirit is the highest wisdom known to the Christian world. As mind is, then man's spirit is that part that lives after the mind is dead or gone. Mind, matter and spirit are all one and the same, like the lamp, the oil and the light. The lamp is the body, the oil is the mind, and the light is the spirit. So when the oil is out, the spirit is dead, and this is the end of the religious world.
Now this is the way I divide man. The lamp is matter, the oil is mind, and the light is the wisdom or spirit of the oil. The wisdom that carries the lamp is God, and you will see that it is separate and apart from the other combinations of the lamp so that when we see the lamp, the wisdom that directs it is out of sight. This wisdom is what guides the sick. It trims your lamp and furnishes it with the oil or truth so that when the cry of the bridegroom or truth comes, your lamp may be filled and trimmed; and you will not be gone to borrow oil lest he comes when you are after oil, and he passes along and the door is shut.
So do not get into your lamp but keep outside. Do not put your light under a bushel but on top. The light of truth or wisdom is like the sun; that of error, like the moon in the firmament of mind.