Leander E. Whipple, great (7) grandson of Matthew, Sr., was a teacher and practiced mental healing in Hartford, Conn. and New York City and authored several books. A native of Southborough, Mass, he used the term “mental science” when he began his work as mental healer. The interest aroused by his highly successful work made him a pioneer in mental healing.
He founded the Metaphysical Publishing Co. in 1893 in New York. It was originally located at 331 Madison Avenue and later had headquarters at 503 and 465 both on Fifth Avenue. In addition to publishing, it sold books and advertised that it would “supply any number of copies of any book relating to Meta Physics, Philosophy, or any of the Mental Sciences and works on kindred subjects – which are its speciality. Also any book on any subject published in any part of the world. Those having overstocked libraries or possessing CHOICE EASTERN WORKS to sell or exchange should write us, giving full descriptions and prices.”
He founded The Metaphysical Magazine, a monthly review devoted to science, psychology, philosophy, metaphysics, and occult subjects. It was the first magazine devoted to mental healing in the country. The Astrologer’s Magazine, published in England (founded in 1890), welcomed its birth and congratulated “our American readers in being able to obtain such literature and we hope the advanced thoughts of America will give its unstinted support to the publishers and encourage them in their bold enterprise.” The subscription was $2 annually and 25 cents a copy.
Volume 1, Number 1 was dated January 1895. It was edited by Leander and J. Emery McLean. Its offices were at 503 Fifth Avenue. Contents of the first issue: The Telekinetic Theory of Levitation, by Prof. Elliott Coues; The Antecedent of Life, by Alexander Wilder, M.D.; The Ideal of Universities, I, by Adolph Brodbeck, Ph.D.; Abolish Capital Punishment by Council Ella Narrai Kow; The Nature and Uses of Pain by Henry Wood; The Religious Training of Children, I, by Abbie Morton Diaz; Occultism Among the Mayas, by Alice D. LePlongeon; The Power of Mind, by Ezra Norris; The Ethics of Mental Healing, by W. J. Colville; The World of Thought, with editorial comments; and Mental Training, Studies on the History of Humanity.
He began teaching metaphysics by correspondence before starting the American School of Metaphysics in New York. The science of metaphysics investigates first causes of existence and knowledge and seeks to explain the nature of being and the origin and structure of the world, uniting man’s physical, mental, and spiritual character “into its true nature of holism.” He predicted Metaphysics would influence the work of ministers and teachers in handling the emotional and physical problems of youth and maturity and in dealing with the sick and dying. He taught that “the true metaphysician is a combination of teacher, healer, and counselor and espoused universal spirituality.” Some followers, incorrectly, referred to him as “the head of the metaphysical movement in this country.”
During his 30 years of teaching, he authored a number of books including The Philosophy of Mental Healing in 1893. It addressed metaphysics versus hypnotism, mental healing and surgery, telepathy, thought images, the effects of fright, mental causes, curative influences, the law of correspondences, etc. In promoting the book, his publishing company described it as “Elegantly printed on fine paper. Handsomely bound in cloth and gold.” It cost $2.50, “postpaid to any part of the world reached by Postal Union.”
He wrote Mental Healing in 1905 and Practical Health in 1907. The latter discussed the effect that the mind has on cases of sickness either for good or bad. His A Manual of Mental Science (1911) gave concise rules for the application of mental science to everyday living. He wrote Healing Influences in 1913 which in 14 chapters described “The True Healing Power, Mental Processes and Healing Results, The Relation of Thought to Health, True and False Conceptions of Mental Science, Metaphysics and Health, The Idea and Its Image, Symbolism In Mentality, and Spiritual Healing.
In A Manual of Mental Science, he wrote that science relates to knowledge, both exact and enduring and is capable of being expressed in definite operations of the mentality. He argued that “a mental process may, and always should, be exact in all ways, definite in statement, ultimate in its conclusion, both logical and mathematical in character, and scientific in its activity.” He wrote that mental science “stands for and includes the best possible action and operation of the mind of man, in all the features of pure mental concept and right accomplishment. It carried a healing proposition, because the right and therefore real processes of mentality lead directly to a wholeness of idea, establishing healthy action, impulse, and generative force thus opening the way to thorough scientific thinking.” He said the knowledge that accumulates by means of such thinking comprises the ‘Mental Science’ of today and properly maintained it is the greatest of all sciences and that the possibility of attaining scientific understanding is a matter of accurate thinking and appreciative attention.”
He described a Concentrated Table of 28 items: 1) Man is forever a spiritual being. 2) The mind is man’s living instrument, spiritual and real. 3) To each man his mind seems to be himself. 4) The mind is the mental man; the man who thinks. 5) All things are first produced in the mind. 6) The body is the external instrument of the mind, and reproduces the action of its personal thinking. 7) Man is spiritual in essence but mental in action. Man builds his own body, unbuilds it and rebuilds it according to the state of mind that he is in at the time of action. 9) Minds are one in nature and fundamentally they operate together. 10) Every intelligent thought culminates in a Mental Image of the form of action involved. 11) Mind sees mental images, which in milder form are called mental pictures. 12) Images and pictures correspond exactly in character, quality, form, power, and in all action, to the thoughts they represent. 13) Fear in the mind is reproduced in nervous distress. 14) Fear in the mind results in sickness, which may culminate in disease, either mental or physical.
15) The mentality is the only phase of man that is ever sick; and the body is the only part used to express the wrong action. 16) Mental pictures of fear reflect the action of distress in the nerve-centers of the body and thus produce sickness which may become disease. 17) The range and power of the subconscious mentality is far superior to all forms and combinations of external sense-action, or sense-consciousness. 18) The mind of man is a continuous state of consciousness that can never cease to be, or to know real things and actions. 19) The cause of disease is first in the mind; therefore it is always mental. 20) The soul is real and is never sick or deluded. 21) The mentality is the only source of sickness and the mind, while thinking truth, is the only adequate curative agency. 22) The disease of the body always corresponds to its cause in the mind. 23) Curative thought is based upon fundamental truth and is the opposite of all thought that can cause disease. 24) Thoughts of actual truth are superior to those of error, in any form. 25) Truth is exact and has no emotional or sensuous forms. It rests in reality. 26) Exact thinking renders mental healing possible, sure, and safe. 27) The influences of mental healing and the operations of mental science all operate for the good of mankind. (28) All features of life are enhanced by the use of the philosophical thinking that is embodied in the true mental science.
At the time of his death May 25, 1916, he was known as a distinctive teacher and healer. See New York Library (catnyp.nypl.org) for his books and the Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) for a list of his learned journals.
Post Script. Leander was a devotee of “New Thought,” a mind-healing movement that originated with Dr. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby who developed theories of mentally-aided healing and opened an office in Portland, Maine in 1859. Among his students and patients who joined his studies and helped him reduce his teaching to writing were Warren Felt Evans, Julius and Annetta (Seabury) Dresser, the founders of New Thought as a named movement, and Mary (Patterson) Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science movement. The mental-healing process grew as a result of the teaching of Evans, the Dressers, and Eddy. Leander was a student of Mrs. Elizabeth G. Stuart of Hyde Park, Mass. who had been a student of Eddy.
Quinby’s practice was unlike medical practice as he gave no medicine. He said, “I tell the patient his troubles, and what he thinks is his disease, and my explanation is the cure. If I succeed in correcting his errors, I change the fluids of the system and establish the truth or health. The truth is the cure. This mode of practice applies to all cases.” Quimby’s fundamental teaching was that the spirit is more real and more powerful than matter and that the mind has the power to heal the body.
The Metaphysical Club of Boston, founded in 1895, was one of the first distinct New Thought organizations and said the purpose of New Thought is “to promote interest in and the practice of a true philosophy of life and happiness; to show that through right thinking, one of the loftiest ideals may be brought into present realization; and to advance intelligent and systematic treatment of disease by spiritual and mental methods.”
Elizabeth Stuart, Leander’s teacher, was a member of an organization known as “Humanity.” which identified Truth as being established “through the law of polar or real opposites and its twin sister, the law of contradictories, revealed to man by the science of numbers. It is to that science man must look for a solution of the problems of life in their varied relations.”
She also taught that the “imaging faculty is the highest known to man; through it he expressed the ideal, and it is the means by which he expresses to the senses whatever intellect accepts, thus forming the relation between mind and body. Through that open door fear enters and stamps upon the body distorted, untrue mental images, which physicians name, then proceed to try to erase from the body by physical means.
“As a man thinketh, that he be becometh. As is the mind, so is the thought; as is the thought, so is the image expressed in form externally. Let him who would have pure blood keep his picture-gallery free from impurity. Whatever he does not desire to appear in the external, must be watchfully kept out of mind. Once there, its picture hangs upon the inner walls ready for the favorable moment to appear. The imaging faculty is both cause and cure for all bodily discord.”