There are two sciences, one of this world, and the other of a spiritual world, or two effects produced upon the mind or matter by two directions. The wisdom of this world acts in this way: It puts its own construction on all sensations produced in the mind, and establishes its knowledge after the effect is produced. For instance, a child feels a pain in its head, the child has no idea what it is, and if the mother is as ignorant of its origin as the child no effect of any moment is produced. But the wisdom of the world arrives in the form of a lady. She hears the account of the pain from the mother, and assuming a wise look gives her opinion in regard to the trouble, and says the child is threatened with dropsy of the brain, because she shows the same symptoms of another child who died of that disease. This account excites the mother, whose mind acts upon the child. The explanation of the wise lady gives direction to the mind, and presently the work commences to show that she is right. A doctor is called who is as wise as the lady, and not being willing to be outdone by her he puts in a few extras like congestion of the brain, says the lady was right but did not get the whole of the matter. So he has two chances after the child is killed to prove his superior wisdom over the lady.
It sometimes happens that a controversy arises between the two parties, each trying to establish their own opinion so as to have the disease turn their way. In the meantime the patient is left to her own self and gets well. This is all the good result I ever saw from such a controversy. The patient is a mere tool in the hands of these blind guides who attempt to cure her. While this controversy is going on, seeing that all each party wants is to establish their own way, the mother sends for me in her dilemma. I arrive and a fire-brand is thrown in between the combatants. I contend that the child has no dropsy of the brain, but only some slight shock upon its mind, and quieting the child is all that is necessary for a cure. Here the controversy ends. If the mother employs me I prove my theory and the child gets well. If they prove theirs they kill the child, and an examination is made which establishes their theory, and I am a humbug or quack. If I take the case, and the child gets well, the child was not sick, only a little nervous.
— Dec. 1859.
P. P. Quimby