On Sitting With Patients


September 1862


by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Various ideas come up sitting with patients. I am often asked questions by my patients in regard to children and idiots, because I say disease is all in the mind; having told them many times that mind is the medium (or material) used by wisdom to bring about a result. Then they will say, “I had no mind about it.” That is just like a man who has made a pair of boots, and someone says to him, “You must have given a great deal of thought (or mind) to come to the knowledge of making a pair of boots.”

“No,” says the shoemaker, “I never had any mind about it. I merely took up the leather and knife, and immediately the boots were all cut out. While I was talking about their wear, I looked, and the boots were all made, and I never had any mind about it.”

To me, one is as plain as the other. The man's mind and thought were one and the leather and material, the other. Now he would reason that the boots made themselves. Everyone can see the folly of this kind of reasoning in everything but disease, from the fact that the people have been made to reason from a false basis. Men of opinions have led the world, when the fact is that they are only a stumbling block to science. Man who reasons is in the dark, or he would not reason, for if he knows a thing, he can prove it.

Someone says, “I believe there is such a place as London, yet I never saw it.” His belief is based on someone's wisdom. To those who have seen London, it is a fact based on sight. You may have a thousand proofs like the former, yet it is an opinion, and opinion always admits a doubt, if it is ever so small. This doubt is the very thing to overcome. It is like a dead point in a steam engine. Get rid of this, and you have perpetual motion. It is so with the mind. Lift the curtain that hides you from an object, and it is present. This is where man fails. His wisdom is in his sight; that of the wise is in their wisdom. So to be wise is to see by the eye of wisdom, then you do not have to ask.

When my patients cannot understand, they think I do not know, myself. It is hard to convince by talk, a blind man who was born blind, that you can see what he cannot. The blind man must admit what he cannot see, before he can have his spiritual eyes (or wisdom) open. So it is with my patients. They must admit what they cannot understand, as in all sciences. There never was, nor ever can be, a science without a phenomenon. My theory is like all the others. No theory was ever established on nothing. Even the theory of religion has its phenomena.

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