It has been generally taught that there is a resurrection of this flesh and blood, or that this body should rise from the dead. Now if death is anything independent of ourselves, then it is not a part of our identity, and if death is the annihilation of life, then life dies and if your life dies it is not life. This absurdity arises from the fact that man began to philosophize before he understood himself. Man is superstitious from ignorance. He sees through a medium of ignorance called matter, therefore he sees nothing outside of his belief. His reason is a part of his belief, therefore he is to himself just what he thinks he is. But his belief makes his life and death of the same identity. Therefore when he speaks of life he speaks of saving it or losing it, as though it were matter and must go through a chemical change before it could go to heaven or be separated from itself. Thus we are taught to believe that our lives are liable to be lost and cast into some place of torment, if we do not do something to save the soul, as though life were a thing independent of our self, and we must look out for it or lose it. Absurd as this is, it is the belief of all mankind, infidel or Christian.
Therefore we are taught to believe that Jesus came to make all right, suffered and died and rose again, to let men know that they should rise. Let us see what was really accomplished by His mission according to His followers' opinions of Him. We are told that man had wandered away from God, and had become so wicked that it was necessary that something should be done, or he would be in danger of being banished from God's presence. What was required of him in order to be saved was to repent and return to God, only believing that he should never die. Therefore, his life depended on his belief, for if he did not repent or change his mind, he would be damned. Now, what are we called upon to believe? In the first place, you must believe that Jesus, the man, was Christ or God, and that He died on the cross, and that the man Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven, there to appear before God and sit down with God in heaven. If we believe this we will be saved. If we do not believe it, we must be damned. Now you see that our lives are in our belief, and our belief is made up of some one's opinion who knows just as much as we.
I, for one, do not reason in that way. I know that man has two identities, one in this state called Christian or diseased, and one in the spiritual or scientific state. Death and life are the two identities. Life is the knowledge of our existence, which has no matter. Death is the name of that state of mind that reasons as man reasons. The life of this state depends on its reason. It reasons that life is in it and a part of it, and at the same time acknowledges that life is something that can be lost or saved, and reasons about it as one man reasons with another. Death reasons also with the idea that it is saving its life, and invents all sorts of diseases which destroy its state of self. It prays to be saved, it fasts and observes forms and ceremonies. It is very strict in its laws to protect its life. Knowledge is its destruction, so it fears God or Science. Its life is not destroyed but its opinions are, and its opinions are matter. The destroying of its opinions is death, but not annihilation of matter, but of error. The matter returns to its former condition ready to be formed into some other idea. These beliefs are from the knowledge of this world, and are the inventions of man; but the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God or Science. This world is made up of the above beliefs and is subject to a higher power.
The wisdom of God does not go into the clouds to call truth down, nor into the deep to call God up, but shows us that God is in us, even, in our speech. It sees matter as a cloud or substance that has a sort of life (in the appearance). It sees it move around. It also sees commotion, like persons moving to and fro upon the earth. It can come into this state called "this world" and reason with its followers who are in this world, imprisoned by a belief. To be clear from this world is to know that an opinion is not knowledge, and when this is found out the opinion is destroyed and Science takes its place. I am now speaking of the wisdom of this world.
You see your friend walking about, and you talk with him. Finally lie dies, as you would say. Now his identity with you is that he once lived, but is now dead. You do not know but he may live again, though this is only an opinion. You follow him with the same idea or belief. So you never enter into the world of Science, for flesh and blood cannot enter Truth, it cannot understand the separation from this world or belief.
Where do I stand? I know that all the above is the reasoning of matter, and when people learn the truth, they will make matter subject to Science. Then the wisdom of this world will become subject to the scientific world. This world calls the world of Science a "gift." To call it a gift is to say that those who practice it for the benefit of man are either ignorant of this Science, are humbugs, or are fools talking about what they do not know. Those who call Jesus' knowledge of this Science a power or gift place him on the same level with all the sorcerers of his day.
— April, 1860.
P. P. Quimby