"Talks on Truth"
by Charles Fillmore
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Fourteen enlightening talks by Unity's confounder explore the metaphysical aspects of Christianity.
Reform Your God Thought
THIS IS distinctly the age of reforms. Never before have there been such widespread and persistent efforts by both men and women to right the wrongs of religion, society, and politics.
2. From the hearts and the souls of millions goes up the cry, "Set us free from our burdens!" Every imaginable scheme of release is proposed, and each advocate of a panacea for the people's ills stoutly affirms his to be the only remedy that has virtue. It is observed that the majority of these reformers are clamorous that laws be enacted to force their theories upon the people. In this they are following the same methods to cure the ills of the body politic that they have followed in curing the body physical, and the results will surely be of like impotency.<>3. Laws, whether natural or artificial, are but the evidence of an unseen power. They are simply effects, and effects have no power in themselves.
When man looks to them for help in any condition of inharmony, he is departing from a universally recognized principle of sequence. God, Spirit or Mind--whatever you choose to name it--is the supreme dictator, and thought is its only mode of manifestation. Mind generates thought perpetually; all the harmonious and permanent affairs of men, and the innumerable systems of the infinite cosmos, are moved in majestic measures by its steady flow.
4. All power has its birth in the silence. There is no exception to this rule in all the evidence of life. Noise is the dying vibration of a spent force. All the clatter of visibility, from the harangue of the ward politician to the thunder's roar, is but evidence of exhausted power. As well try to control the lightning's flash by wrapping the thunder about it, as attempt to regulate mind by statutory enactments.
5. All reforms must begin with their cause. Their cause is
mind does all its work in the realm of silence, which in reality is the
only realm where sound and power go hand in hand. The visible outer
world, with all its social, religious, and political laws, customs, and
ceremonies, is but the flimsy screen upon which mind throws its
incongruous opinions. God's thought is love, the inherent potentiality
of the God man, which knows neither persons nor things, mine nor thine,
but a universal brotherhood in which perfect equity and justice reign
in joint supremacy. All philosophers and sages have recognized this
silent cause, this perpetual outflow from center to circumference.
Emerson says of Plato: "He was born to behold the self-evolving power of Spirit, endless generator of new ends; a power which is the key at once to the centrality and the evanescence of things." Jesus Christ said: "The kingdom of God is within you." "Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Elijah found God, not in the whirlwind, or the earthquake, or the fire, but in the "still small voice."
6. All men who have moved the world to better things have received their inspiration from the Spirit within and have always looked to it for instruction. God is not a person who has set creation in motion and gone away and left it to run down like a clock. God is Spirit, infinite Mind, the immanent force and intelligence everywhere manifest in nature. God is the silent voice that speaks into visibility all the life there is. This power builds with hands deft beyond the comprehension of man and keeps going, with all its intricate machinery, universe upon universe, one within another, yet never conflicting. All its building is from center to circumference. The evidence for this runs from the molecule and the atom of the physicist to the mighty swing of a universe of planets around their central sun.
7. Every act of man has its origin in thought, which is expressed into the phenomenal world from a mental center that is but a point of radiation for an energy that lies back of it. That point of radiation is the conscious I, which in its correct relation is one with Cause, and has at its command all the powers potential in Cause. The conscious I can look in two directions--to the outer world where the thoughts that rise within it give sensation and feeling, which ultimate in a moving panorama of visibility; or to the world within, whence all its life, power, and intelligence are derived. When the I looks wholly within, it loses all sense of the external; it is then as the Hindu yogi sitting under his banyan tree with his eyes riveted on the point of his nose, denying his very existence until his body is paralyzed. When it looks wholly without, upon sensation and feeling, it loses its bearings in the maze of its own thought creations. Then it builds up a belief of separateness from, and independence of, a causing power. Man sees only form, and makes his God a personal being located in a city of dimensions. This belief of separateness leads to ignorance, because all intelligence is derived from the one Divine Mind, and when the soul thinks itself something alone, it cuts itself off in consciousness from the fount of inspiration. Believing himself separate from his source, man loses sight of the divine harmony. He is like a musical note standing alone, looking upon other notes but having no definite place upon the great staff of nature, the grand symphony of life.
8. Life is a problem solvable by a principle whose essence is intelligence, which the wise man always consults. The ignorant and headstrong trusts to his intellect alone to carry him through, and he is always in a labyrinth of errors.
9. A belief prevails that God is somewhat inaccessible; that He can be approached only through certain religious ordinances; that is, a man must profess religion, pray in a formal way, and attend church in order to know God. But these are mere opinions that have been taught and accepted by those who perceive the letter instead of the spirit. For if God is Spirit, the principle of intelligence and life, everywhere present at all times, He must be just as accessible as a principle of mathematics and fully as free from formalism. When a mathematician finds that his answer to a problem is not correct, he consults the principle and works out the correct solution. He knows that all mathematical problems inhere in mathematical principles and that only through them can they be worked correctly. If he persistently ignored principles and blundered around in a jungle of experiments, he would be attempting to get up "some other way," and he would prove himself a "thief and a robber," for there is but one way. Jehovah God, infinite Mind in expression, is the way, and this Mind is always within reach of every man, woman, and child.
10. It is not necessary to go in state to God. If you had a friend at your elbow at all times who could answer your every question and who loved to serve you, you certainly would not feel it necessary to go down on your knees to him or ask a favor with fear and trembling.
11. God is your higher self and is in constant waiting upon you. He loves to serve, and will attend faithfully to the most minute details of your daily life. If you are a man of the world, ask Him to help you to success in any line that you may choose, and He will show you what true success is. Use Him every hour of the day. If you are in doubt about a business move, no matter how trivial, close your eyes for an instant and ask the silent one within yourself what to do, just as you would send a mental message to one whom you know and who could catch your thought. The answer may not come instantly; it may come when you least think of it, and you will find yourself moved to do just the right thing. Never be formal with God. He cares no more for forms and ceremonies than do the principles of mathematics for fine figures or elaborate blackboards.
12. You cannot use God too often. He loves to be used, and the more you use Him the more easily you use Him and the more pleasant His help becomes. If you want a dress, a car, a house, or if you are thinking of driving a sharp bargain with your neighbor, going on a journey, giving a friend a present, running for office, or reforming a nation, ask God for guidance, in a moment of silent soul desire.
13. Nothing is too wicked or unholy to ask God about. In my early experience in the study of Christian metaphysics, I was told that through the power of Divine Mind I could have anything I desired. I had a lot I wanted to sell and I asked God to dispose of it to a certain man who I thought needed it. That night I dreamed that I was a bandit holding up my customer. The dream showed me that I was asking God to do what was not right and I thereby gained a lesson. A saloonkeeper came to me for health treatments and was helped. He said: "I also need treatments for prosperity, but of course you could not prosper a man in my business." I replied: "Certainly. God will help you to prosper. 'If ye shall ask anything of the Father, he will give it you in my name' does not exclude saloonkeepers." So we treated the man for prosperity. He afterward reported that he was out of the saloon business, and had found prosperity in other lines of work.
14. If you are doing things that are considered wicked, you will find swift safety in asking God first, then acting or refraining, as you are moved. Some people act as if they thought that they could hide themselves from the one omnipresent intelligence, but this is the conclusion of thoughtlessness. God knows everything you do, and you might just as well have His advice. God does not want you to reverence Him with fear. God certainly never can get your confidence if you constantly stand in quaking fear of Him. He will do you a favor just as quickly if you ask in a jolly, laughing way as He would if you made your request in a long, melancholy prayer. God is natural, and He loves the freedom of the little child. When you find yourself in His kingdom it will be "as a little child."
15. God's kingdom of love and unity is now being set up in the earth. His hand will guide the only ship that will ever sail into the Arcadian port, and the contented, peaceful, and happy people that throng its decks will sing with one voice: "Glory to God in the highest."
And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the
field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto
the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the
man called every living creature, that was the name
THE AUTHOR of Genesis was evidently a great metaphysician. He described Being as God, Jehovah God, and Adam. We would express the same truth in the terms Mind, idea, and manifestation. The manifestation is always the self-conscious, hence the limited; this is Adam. But Mind, idea, and manifestation are one. Manifestation rests upon and is sustained by the idea, and the idea is encompassed by the Mind that conceives it; therefore the real Adam is Jehovah God, and the omnipresent fount of Jehovah God is Elohim God. This being true, man has no permanent existence while he is wholly in the consciousness of the personal estate. The Adam condition is not all of his being; it is merely a part. His being is summed up in a consciousness of God, Jehovah God, and Adam. These three are not separated, but are present in everyone. The only walls of separation are those built by consciousness of separation. When wisdom is found and its conditions are complied with, the consciousness of the omnipresence of the three in one is proclaimed: "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works."
2. Adam is perfectly legitimate in his right place, and that place is the consciousness of the omnipresence of the Father; here he is back again in the Garden of Eden. Adam has a very important place in creation, in that he is the factor in the manifestation of Being that names or gives character to its potentialities. Man is more than Adam; Adam is a part of man's consciousness. Adam is your intellect, but you transcend the intellect. You form your intellect--Adam--from the "dust of the ground"; that is, from the omnipresent substance, and through it as a kind of reflecting lens, you give character to your surroundings.
3. Those familiar with the operations of the intellect, tell us that it is constantly making images of the ideas that float into its surroundings. It is when we know this that we are astonished at the metaphysical depth of Genesis. Jehovah God is described as bringing "every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens" to Adam "to see what he would call them."<>4. The beasts of the field are the ideas in Being pertaining to organized life, and the birds of the heavens are ideas of spiritual life. It is our intellect or Adam that gives character to both ideal conditions; it is through him that man makes his heaven or his hell. Among the disciples of Jesus, Peter represented one aspect of the I AM. He had been in a measure opened to the light of Spirit, and his power over ideas had been recognized. "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This is a repetition on a higher plane of the allegory of Jehovah God's bringing to Adam the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heavens to see what he would call them.
5. He who studies Mind may know how to "discern the signs of the times." He becomes familiar with certain underlying principles and he recognizes them in their different masks in "the whirligig of time." Under the veil of historical symbology the Scriptures portray the movements of Mind in its different cycles of progress. These cycles repeat themselves over and over again, but each time on a higher plane. Thus the sphere or circle is a type of the complete Mind, but in manifestation the circles are piled one on top of another in an infinite spiral.
6. We today are repeating the mental circle of two thousand years ago. The descent of Spirit into the earth consciousness, as symbolized by the life and the death of Jesus, is being re-enacted in our age. The idea of a personal Messiah has been raised to include Messiahship for all who will drink of the waters of life that are now being poured out upon mankind; it includes all who will dwell in the fadeless, immanent light, the Christ of God.
7. But principles do not change; man makes his heaven or his hell, just as he did two thousand or two million years ago. In the days of Moses the Egyptians refused to give freedom to the Israelites (their spiritual ideas), and they saw frogs, lice, locusts, and blood in earth, air, and water. Today those who contend for the Egyptian darkness of the intellect see disease germs, death microbes, and destructive animalcules in the same earth, air, and water.
8. It is now almost universally accepted by physicians that the majority of diseases are caused by minute forms of life commonly called microorganisms. Each disease--cancer, consumption, diphtheria, croup, and so forth--has its specific microbe. These microbes may be seen with very strong microscopes, and the form and the character of the different varieties are described by such experts as Pasteur and Koch, whose antidotes for these destructive little germs have been widely advertised. Their remedy consists in destroying the microbe--they do not attempt to explain his origin. They find the little worker busy in the bodies of mankind, and they seek to put him out of action, not asking whence he came nor whither he may go.
9. The reflective mind is not satisfied with this superficial way of dealing with such destructive agents. It asks their cause, but no answer is vouch-safed on the part of those who study microbes. Only the students of mind can answer the question of the origin of disease germs, and only in terms of mind can there be given a rational explanation of these minute life forms.
10. The Adam man, the intellect, is responsible for all the microbes. He gives character to all the ideas that exist--he "names" them. This process is intricate, and it may be explained and understood in its details only by metaphysicians of the deepest mental insight, but it is summed up in what is commonly called thinking. Many factors enter into the process of thinking. The capacity of the thinker to form thoughts, to give them substance and force, is the great factor. The understanding of right and wrong, truth and error, substance and shadow, is also important. Many other significant conditions enter into that mental process loosely termed thinking.
11. But we should not be ignorant of the fact that every mental process is generative, that from thinking is evolved what is called living. Thinking is formative--every thought clothes itself in a life form according to the character given it by the thinker. This being true, it must follow that thoughts of health will produce microbes whose office is to build up healthy organisms, that thoughts of disease will produce microbes of disorder and destruction. Here we have the connecting link between materia medica and metaphysics. The physician observes the ravages of the disease microbe, but is at a loss to account for its source; the metaphysician stands in the factory of Mind and sees thoughts poured into visibility as microbes. This opens up a field of causes unlimited in extent. Every thought that flits through the mind of every man, woman, and child in the universe, produces a living organism, a microbe of a character like its producing thought. There is no escape from this conclusion, no escape from the mighty possibilities of good and ill that rest with the thinker.
12. Take an illustration by observing the various stages of the law in the case of diphtheria. A child is attacked, the doctor is called, and from symptoms he detects the disease. He communicates his fears to the family, and in addition to the diphtheria microbe, another of more deadly character begins its inroads upon the nerve centers of the whole family, including the weakened and therefore doubly susceptible patient; this is the microbe of fear, which paralyzes life throughout the body. When these microbes have done their work up to a certain point, still another is created to complete it--the microbe of death.
13. This may seem an exaggeration, but we have the authority of Dr. Parker, a physician of New York, who states that he has discovered the microbe of death and experimented with it. A newspaper article, describing his discovery, says:
Death is caused by a certain specific microbe that can be
recognized and bred, just as the microbes of various
diseases have been discovered and propagated by Koch,
Pasteur, and other bacteriologists. The labors of these
great men have made further discovery possible, and it was
through the study of their achievements that Dr. Parker
conceived the idea that, inasmuch as disease was caused by
these infinitesimal derangers of the human system, the
culmination of disease must have its own specific microbe
to put the finish to the work of dissolution, without which
the various organs of the body, distempered and degraded
from their pristine purity and vital activity, would remain
a purulent mass of living corruption, unable to resolve
itself into its primal elements and to form other
combinations, a process which we see taking place every day
as defunct animal matter sinks into the earth, or vanishes
into the air to afford food for new and active organisms.
14. This is not at all improbable, but the discovery might properly have been anticipated by the metaphysician. If thought is creative, it must cover every phase of life; every thought must form its microbe; every life expression must have originated in some thought. These propositions are axiomatic, and when one familiar with mind discovers a microbe he should know just what idea in the Adam consciousness, or intellect, gave it form and name.
15. Anger, jealousy, malice, avarice, lust, ambition, selfishness, and in fact all of the detestable ideas that mankind harbors, produce living organisms after their kind. If we had microscopes strong enough, we should find our body to be composed of living microbes, doing to the best of their ability the tasks which intellect has set before them.
16. If you have said, "I hate you," there have been created in your atmosphere hate germs that will do the work for which you created them. If one's enemies alone were attacked by these microbes of thought, the law would not be so severe, but they have no respect for anyone, and are likely to turn upon the body of their creator and tear it down. Doctors are especially industrious in suggesting microbes in their particular line. They make a new disease, or rename an old one; each is indued with its specific microbe that gives it standing among the people who believe in such things, and its inventor goes down in medical history as a benefactor of the race.
17. So the fears, the doubts, the poverty, the sin, the sickness, the thousand erroneous states of consciousness have their microbes. These organisms whose office it is to make men miserable do their work to the very best of their ability. They are not responsible for their existence; they are the formed vehicles of thought, and are the servants of those who gave them life. So it is not to the microbes that the wise regulator of affairs should look, but to those who are creating them and thereby bringing into existence discord and disease.
18. Remedies beyond number are advertised for microbes, but they are guaranteed to kill the germ only. What is needed is a medicine that will prevent its appearance. To apply the remedy to the poor little microbe is like trying to stop the manufacture of counterfeit money by destroying all that is found in circulation.
19. All counterfeit thought comes from the intellect, which alone originates the disease germ and the destructive microbe. We need go no farther than this disobedient Adam to find the cause of all the ills to which humanity has become slave. Wisdom is not an attribute of the intellect. The assumption that its observations are a source of wisdom is the one thing against which the Lord God especially warned Adam. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." This very clearly indicates the inability of the intellect, on its own account, to set up a standard of knowledge of good and evil; it also declares the end to which Adam will come if he disregards the prohibition specified.
20. That there is something wrong in the present standard of good is evidence by the variety of opinions in the world as to what is good and what is evil. There should be no question on such vitally important points, and there would not be if the intellect would relinquish its claim to a knowledge of good and evil, and would relegate to Spirit the offices of wisdom and understanding.
21. The intellect is the formative, character-giving mechanism in the man; it draws its substance and intelligence from Spirit. Like the prism through which the ray of white light is passed, it shows the potentialities of Spirit. If it looks within and seeks the guidance of Spirit, it reflects divine ideas upon the screen of visibility. This is the plan that the Lord has for it, and it is building according to that plan only when it admits that there is a higher source of wisdom than itself, when it submits to wisdom, for approval or disapproval, the ideas that it conceives.
22. The manifestation of life is through the Adam
which is, in a way, attached to and responsible for the forms thus made
Hence the reform--the transformation--of existing conditions must be made from the standpoint of Adam as an important factor. To ignore Adam is to slight one of the established creations of Jehovah God. If Adam was not a part of the divine plan, why was he formed from the dust of the earth, the breath of life breathed into him, and a living soul capacity given to him?
23. No, we are not to erase Adam, but we are to transform him. He is not a safe guide in anything; his conclusions are derived from observation of conditions as he sees them in the external world. He judges according to appearance, which is but one side of the whole. Appearances say that microbes are dangerous and destructive, but one who is familiar with their origin is not alarmed, because he knows that there is a power and wisdom stronger and wiser than the ignorant intellect. It is to this power that we are compelled to go before we can right the wrongs that now dominate the minds of men. There is but one fount of wisdom, and that is Wisdom itself.
24. The belief that wisdom is attained through the study of things is an error prevalent in this age. They who wait upon the Lord shall be wise. That the wisdom of health can be evolved from the study of disease microbes is a concept of the intellect in its tendency to look without instead of within. The without, the universe of things formed, is not and never can be a source of wisdom. The things formed are the result of efforts to combine wisdom and love, and their character indicates the success or the failure of the undertaking. When wisdom and love have been invoked, and their harmony has been made manifest in the thing formed, God is manifest.
25. We love to name or give character to the ideas of Jehovah God, because it is our office in the grand plan of creation to do so. The glory of the Father is thus made manifest through the Son. In no other way can the ideas in Being be made manifest, and man should rise to the dignity of his office and formulate them according to the plans of Divine Mind.
26. Disease germs and microbes would quickly disappear from the earth if men would consult God before passing judgment upon His creations. It is not man's province to give form to anything but what will be a pleasure in God's eye. If he makes microbes, it is because he thinks microbe thoughts. When he thinks God thoughts he will form only the beauties of nature and mankind, and there will no longer be anything in all his world that will cause a fear or a moment of pain. God is not the author of this condition of so-called "progress from matter to mind"; God is the one source from which and of which man makes his existence.
27. There is a law of unfoldment in Being, a law as exact as the progressive steps in a mathematical problem in which no error is made, a law as harmonious as that which governs a musical production where discord has found no place. But microbes and disease germs are not a part of this divine law. They are as far removed from it as would be error in the steady, careful steps in the progressive unfoldment of numbers, or false notes in symphony or song.
28. It does not require labored arguments or hard thinking to see how easily the problems of life would be made orderly and divine if men would let the Lord into their mind. Jesus said that the yoke was easy and the burden light. He was victor over all the hard conditions to which men and women think themselves yoked, and He made light of sin, disease, and poverty, by annulling them and preaching boldly in the face of an adverse theology that it was the prerogative of the Son of man to blot these errors from the world of mankind.
29. There is a royal road for every man--a road in which he will be conscious of the dominion that is his by divine right. That road, Jesus said, leads out from the I AM. As Moses delivered the Children of Israel from the Egyptian darkness of their ignorance by affirming in their ears the power of the I AM, so Jesus gives us a series of affirmations that will deliver us from the wilderness of ignorance. His command is "Keep my word." Then His words are set before us: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." "I am the resurrection, and the life." "I am the light of the world." "I am meek and lowly in heart." "Before Abraham was born, I am."
30. I AM is the polar star around which all the thoughts of
revolve. Even the little, narrow concept of the personal "I am" may be
led out into the consciousness of the great and only I AM by filling
its thought sphere with ideas of infinite wisdom, life, and love.
31. "Hitch your wagon to a star," said Emerson. Your wagon is that which carries you along. Your I AM is that which carries you up or down, to heaven or to hell, according to the idea to which you have attached it. Then hitch it to a star and let it carry you to the broad expanse of heaven. There is room aplenty--you will not knock elbows with anyone if you get out of the surging crowd and hitch your I AM to the star of spiritual understanding.
32. Cease making disease microbes, and turn your attention to
things. Make love alive by thinking love. Make wisdom the light of the
world by affirming God's omnipresent intelligence. See in mind the pure
substance of God, and it will surely appear. This is the way to destroy
microbes--that is the antidote for disease germs. The real, the
enduring things of God are to be brought into visibility in just this
simple way. This is the way in which the I AM makes itself manifest.
The method is so easy that the man of great intellect passes it by; it
is so plain that a simpleton may understand it; a college education is
not necessary. One does not have to know about anything whatsoever
except God. How easy it is, how light the burden! No long, tedious
years of study; no delving into depths of intricate theories and
speculations about molecules, atoms, and ethers, but just a simple,
childlike attention directed to the everywhere present Spirit, and a
heart filled with love and goodness for everything. "I thank thee, O
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things
from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes."
33. "The soul of things is sweet, the heart of Being is celestial rest; stronger than woe is will; that which was good doth pass to better, best.
34. "Ye suffer from yourselves. None else compels, none other holds you that ye live and die, and whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss its spokes of agony, its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness. Behold, I show you truth! Lower than hell, higher than heaven, outside the utmost stars, farther than Brahm doth dwell, before beginning and without an end, as space eternal and as surety sure, is fixed a power divine which moves to good. Only its laws endure."
"Talks on Truth"
by Charles Fillmore
Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $1.95 (+ printing charge)
or click here to order from Amazon.com for $14.95