August 1st, 1861
What is disease?
This question involves a large number of speculative ideas. Some suppose that disease is independent of man, some that it is a punishment from God for the wrongs of our first parents, others that it comes from disobeying the laws of God.
Now let us analyze the above and see if there is any truth in these statements.
If there were not a living creature on earth, then there could not be any disease. Otherwise disease must have had an existence before man was created, and, if so, God created it for some purpose. According to man's reasoning, disease is his enemy, and if God created an enemy to destroy man, God cannot be man's "friend," as is supposed. Thus the idea that God had anything to do with disease is superstition. Then the question comes up again, where did it come from? I answer, "It does not come, it is created, not by God, but by man. We have not a true idea of God. God is not a man any more than man is a principle. When we speak of God, we are taught to believe in a person, so we attach our ideas to a person called "God," and then talk about his laws, and the disobeying of them is our trouble.
How often we hear these words: "If man would obey all the laws of God, he would never be sick."
Now the acknowledgment of this error is the cause of nine-tenths of our sickness, for all laws are arbitrary and binding; and when a law is so severe that man is liable to be cast into prison for committing an act, or even thinking a thought that is not in accordance with the law, it is no wonder that people grumble and complain. The Christian's God is a tyrant of the worst kind.
God is the name of a man's belief, and our senses are attached to our opinions about our belief or God. The savages' God is their belief; the God of the Mohammedans is their belief, and so on, to the Christian's God. The Christian's God, like themselves, is like a house divided against itself. The God of the North and the God of the South are as much at war as the Christian worshippers, each prays to God for help, and each condemns the other.
Thus it is plain that God is a mere farce, and all our worship is from a superstitious fear of a tyrant whose name we dare not take in vain. The time will come when the true God will be worshipped in spirit and truth, for God is a spirit and not a man.
When I say, "spirit", I mean that invisible something that, like the earth, is ready to receive the seed of wisdom or error. Wisdom is the sower and God the vineyard, and as man is made in the image of God, his mind is spirit and receives the seed of wisdom or error. Wisdom has no laws. It is the true wisdom or light. The law of man is the invention of evil thoughts, and wisdom is not in it, for as wisdom is in us, the law is dead.
So to be wise is to be dead to the law, for the law is man's belief, and Wisdom is of God, which is Science.
Now if we could understand the true idea of causes and effects, we could learn where the causes of disease originate. Man has invented a God according to his belief, so that God is the embodiment of man's belief. As man's belief changes, so his God changes, but the true God never changes. So the wisdom of man condensed into a being called "God" is set up for the ignorant to worship, and as all men have been made to acknowledge what they have no proof of, the idea of a personal God is believed in, so that no one questions the identity of such a being. This God was made up of the wisdom of the heathen world, and we have revered and worshipped it, not from love, but from fear. Its only opponent is Science. So as Science enters, this God gives way, but not without a struggle. The true God is not acknowledged by this man's God, but it is in the hearts of the people, working like yeast, till it affects the whole lump. It is called by the children of this world of opinions "Infidel" and "Deist," etc. So to be an infidel is to question that God of man's opinions. If a man questions a certain class of opinions, he is an infidel.
Jesus saw through all this hypocrisy, that the God of the heathens was not the God of peace, but of war, and this same God is worshipped now as then. He is called on now more than he has been since the revolution. He is one of the most convenient Gods I know of. He listens to the North and the South, and leads their men on to battle, and from the prayers of his followers is as much interested in the victory as the winning party.
All this sort of cant is kept up with a certain solemnity and form, as though there were real truth in it. But the time will come when all this must give way to a higher worship, for it is a vain worship that shows itself in every church in Christendom. They worship they know not what. This false idea is the foundation on which the Christian world stands, and the waters that flow from this fountain are corrupt, for where the fountain is corrupt, the stream is also.
When the angel of truth disturbs the waters, they throw forth every kind of corruption. This poisons the minds of the multitudes and makes them sick. The true Wisdom, like Science, explains away this earthly God and brings man into a more happy state, where opinions give way to facts.
— August 1, 1861.
P. P. Quimby