Science, religion and medicine have intermingled and sometimes clashed in fascinating ways throughout the course of human history. And one little-remembered, controversial American figure symbolizes this clash better than most: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby , whose writings, unpublished during his time, provided the underpinnings for the New Thought movement, which is based on the idea that the spirit is more powerful and real than matter and the mind has the ability to heal the body. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby " in She describes his work as essentially a sort of 19th-century precursor to the modern field of psychology. I would also say that he was a psychologist. Because he studied the mind
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Science, religion and medicine have intermingled and sometimes clashed in fascinating ways throughout the course of human history. And one little-remembered, controversial American figure symbolizes this clash better than most: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby , whose writings, unpublished during his time, provided the underpinnings for the New Thought movement, which is based on the idea that the spirit is more powerful and real than matter and the mind has the ability to heal the body.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby " in She describes his work as essentially a sort of 19th-century precursor to the modern field of psychology. I would also say that he was a psychologist.
Because he studied the mind Like chemical changes taking place in the brain. This is over years ago. He was observing the placebo effect and many other things that would be under the realm of psychology," said Newman. Quimby also known as PPQ for short or "Dr. Quimby" to his patients was born in in New Hampshire. As an adult, he built clocks and watches, but his true vocation would come in the form of his work in the realm of healing.
Quimby possessed no formal institutional training in medicine and was often skeptical of the prowess of doctors who did. The following quote is an excerpt from the Quimby manuscripts , which were a collection of Quimby's key writings and articles, edited and published by his disciple Horatio W.
Dresser decades after Quimby's death:. Quimby's mistrust of doctors grew out of personal experience. Quimby himself was once deathly ill he probably had tuberculosis and was diagnosed as a hopeless cause by a medical doctor. Quimby had all but given up on life, but found his life force renewed by a vigorous horseback ride. This experience set off Quimby's lifelong disdain for the medical profession and his passionate exploration of the human mind, which started with studies of animal magnetism — which pertains to mysterious forces said to influence individuals, including hypnosis — and expanded over time to using his psychological understanding to diagnoses diseases of the mind.
Newman notes that Quimby's teachings were radical for the time, because although he acknowledged Jesus in his field of work, he disavowed all major religions and disputed belief in the power of God as a means of curing individuals.
These are just beliefs and opinions. And he said you should never trust somebody else's belief or opinion. It isn't the truth. It's just a belief. You can't prove it. He believed in science. He called science 'wisdom,'" said Newman. He called it thought and reasoning. He didn't cure people by any special means or power. Keith McNeil, author of the academic study, " A Story Untold: A History of the Quimby-Eddy Debate ," cites a passage from one of Quimby's flyers to lay out how the treatment method worked in practice:.
So, essentially, Quimby listened to patients explain their ailments, and if there was a mental source contributing to their disease — say, anxiety — Quimby would then diagnose and explain that phenomenon in a way the patient could understand. He called these diagnoses "the truth. McNeil further explains that "PPQ believed that the human mind could create material conditions such as disease, so that it was necessary to change the human mind to create a healing condition.
However, Newman maintains that Quimby did not believe that all diseases stem from the mind, unlike one of his disciples, Mary Baker Eddy , who eventually founded the Christian Science religious denomination that focused on spiritual healing and divine connection to God. This is ridiculous. It puts people responsible for their own diseases when some of them are definitely not their fault.
Some can be. And those would be the ones where the explanation would be the cure. Otherwise, they'd better get to a doctor," says Newman. In an age when it feels like everyone has a therapist on hold, Quimby's approach to healing may not seem like anything visionary, but it was an unorthodox method for the time. However, despite Quimby's spurning of organized religion, he did imbue his course of treatment with some spiritual inklings and reference to Jesus. McNeil describes the unique way that Quimby blended these different worlds.
It was customary for non-medical healers, mesmerists, faith healers, etc. Several of Quimby's teachings were published posthumously by the aforementioned Dresser, though there is some dispute over whether these were actually Quimby's writings, considering that, you know, he had been dead for several decades by the time the manuscripts saw the light of day.
Some scholars like McNeil believe that the main text is indeed the work of Quimby, but that Dresser edited the articles in such a way as to present a somewhat biased view of Quimby. Newman believes the teachings are Quimby's but found out that several of Quimby's documents and journals had not been published in Dresser's version of Quimby's manuscripts, so she took it upon herself to research and publish her own edited book with Quimby's writings in full.
Today, Quimby is perhaps most famously known for inspiring the mind-healing philosophy of the New Thought spiritual movement, though Newman disputes the idea that Quimby significantly influenced the religious group's modern-day teachings. During his life, Quimby acquired thousands of fervent patients and disciples, including Eddy. Eddy was quite sick at the time, and no doctors had been able to successfully cure whatever plagued her. Eddy's husband wrote to Quimby, and the couple joined the innovative thinker in Maine.
There, Eddy received treatment from Quimby and observed his unique methodology. Although Eddy was by all accounts loyal to Quimby during his lifetime, critics of Eddy accused her of essentially taking Quimby's works to form the tenets of Christian Science after his death.
This led Eddy to ardently assert the independence of Christian Science from Quimby. Newman, too, argues that the lessons of Christian Science are fundamentally different from Quimby's beliefs, stating that the "Dressers went after [Eddy] with a vengeance. I could find nothing [similar] That it was all nonsense. If those Dressers had wanted to start a movement, they should have started it themselves.
Not going after Mary Baker Eddy because she was once a client of Quimby's. However, while McNeil stresses that although there were significant differences between the philosophies of Eddy and Quimby, there were also similarities:. Christian Science is based on the belief that all is spiritual in reality thus seeming material conditions are ultimately not real, like the night dream seems real but is not real," says McNeil.
PPQ believed in an alternate reality ultimately but his healing methodology was, as noted by many, far more materialistic than his followers wished to admit. So, why should we care about Quimby and his manuscripts nowadays? Well, some scholars have asserted that the rising popularity of New Age and non-traditional spiritual movements at the turn of the 21st century has been remarkably similar to the mind healing, spiritual science, New Thought and Christian Science movements that cropped up at the turn of the 19th century.
So although Quimby's mortal body died long ago, he lives on — in a sense — through the teachings of the those who were inspired by him. And so does Mary Baker Eddy. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby delved into metaphysics and psychology to underscore his belief that the body was simply a vessel for the five senses and the faculties of the human mind.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center. Thus man is a mere lump of clay in the hands of blind guides and whatever they say to the people they believe. Their beliefs disturb their minds and the doctors sow the seed of disease which they nurse till it grows to a belief, then comes the misery. The Truth is the Cure. This mode of practise applies to all cases.
If no explanation is given, no charge is made, for no effect is produced. It remains an influential international newspaper and has been awarded seven Pulitzer Prizes to date.
Is Money a Religion? Is the brain hardwired for religion?
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Resource Center
Quimby eventually came to work with an uneducated youth named Lucius Burkmar, who exhibited an amazing ability to diagnose disease and to prescribe a remedy by clairvoyant powers when hypnotized by Quimby. Quimby's work with Burkmar led to his conclusions about the cause of all illness, the source of error beliefs and the mental basis for healing. Quimby eventually came to understand that the cause of the cure was not the remedy prescribed by Burkmar but rather that Burkmar's remedies were removing erroneous beliefs in the mind of the person being healed. This led Quimby to see that the cause of disease is an erroneous belief. Quimby condemned priests and doctors for causing these error beliefs.
New Thought: Current Beliefs In Mind-Driven Healing Trace to Maine Spiritual Thinker Phineas Quimby
Jonathan was a skilful blacksmith by trade and relocated his growing family to Belfast, Maine in The Quimby blacksmith shop was situated directly across the road from their home and together they perched on Quimby Hill with a splendid view of Belfast Bay. After many changes and alterations the original Jonathan Quimby house was razed ca Although the availability of a local public education was meager at best during his formative years, he continued to educate himself by focused observation and reading many books. He had a natural aptitude towards anything mechanical and followed his oldest brother William into the world of clock making. Park apprenticed with his brother William and made beautiful clocks.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Quimby employed hypnosis as a means of healing but discovered that he could also heal by suggestion. Hence, cure lies in discovering the truth. Although not religious in the orthodox sense, he believed he had rediscovered the healing methods of Jesus. He became a controversial figure when Mary Baker Eddy , who had sought him out for treatment and had been for a time a disciple , denied that her discovery of Christian Science was influenced by him. The Quimby Manuscripts , ed. Dresser include his philosophy. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby.