Parable

(The Key to Unlocking the Mysteries of the Spirit World)

 

Aug. 5, 1861

 

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

 

When sitting by a sick person who had a pain in the left side which I felt and described, I said, you think you hive consumption. The patient acknowledged it, saying that her physician had examined her lungs and found the left one very much affected. This she believed and when I told her that her disease was in her mind, it was as much as to say she imagined what was not the case. I told her she did not understand what I meant by the word mind. Then taking up a glass of water I said, suppose you should be told that this water contained a poisonous substance that works in the system and sometimes produces consumption. If you really believe it, every time you drink the idea of poison enters your mind. Presently you begin to hack and cough a little. Would your fears then grow less that the water was poison? I think not. Finally you are given over by your doctor or friends and call on me. I sit down by you and tell you that you are nervous and have been deceived by your doctor and friends. You ask how? You have been told what is false, that the water you drink contains a slow poison, and now your cure hangs on the testimony in the case. If I show that there is no poison in the water then the water did not poison you. What did? It was the doctor's opinion put in the water by your mind. As the mind can receive an impression it can be changed, This change was wrought by the doctor's opinion; so calling mind something it is easy to show that it can be changed by a wisdom superior to an opinion. This wisdom that acts upon the mind is something that never has been described by language, but it is looked upon as a superior "power." This power gives rise to all religious opinions. Man has tried to condense it into a being called God, and he worships it. My theory is based on this something that man is ignorant of, and develops from it a language as comprehensible as any language. It contains no words but speaks from impressions which cannot be mistaken if man knows himself. This language is the feelings of the sick, and to convey these feelings to the well so that they may have some idea of the misery of the sick and its causes has been my study for twenty years.¹ I feel now that my labors have not been in vain. Arranging words to convey this truth to the well is a task very few would like to go through. But I think now that I have succeeded so that any person of ordinary talent can see that it is the key to unlock the mysteries of the spiritual world.

— August 5, 1861.

P. P. Quimby

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