PREAMBLE TO THE BUSINESS MEN’S CONSTITUTION
Thursday, July 28 (1921, 27 OR 32)
By Charles Fillmore
It was announced Sunday evening that I would use the Constitution of the United States as a basis for my theme, but I have not yet aspired to that state. I am going to talk about the “Preamble to the Constitution of the Business Men’s Christianity Unity.” I am going to read that to you, in order that you may get an understanding of what I am aiming at.
This is a preamble to the Constitution of the Business Men’s Christian Unity. This was originally drafted for our local Society in Kansas City, Missouri, at 913 Tracy Avenue.
Mr. Fillmore then read the PREAMBLE.
You can readily see that this preamble is very comprehensive and it presents to you a whole lot of problems that we suppose have been worked out in detail. We always aim at something a good deal higher than we hit the mark. We don’t always get in our first attempt the object that we are proclaiming, so I don’t think we claim that we have attained the whole feat, but we are on the way. Now to one fundamental principle of course in this work of the Christian Business Christian Unity is to find out, to search for the law of God in matters of business, and I would say in the beginning that we are all doing God’s work: consequently, we are as Jesus said, “about the Father’s business.” When His father and mother lost Him in Jerusalem, they found Him asking questions and answering questions for the wise men of that land. And they wanted to know why He had disobeyed them and not been with them, and He said, “Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s work?” In the original that is, about my Father’s business. The fact is that commercially we are all selling God; we are all in the work of demonstrating the goodness of our Source, and also how to make it usable in the world. You may say that this is rather a commercial presentation of God and His law, but it is a true one and if you run over the history of the various religions, you will find that each one of them had to have a salesman. The originator of the religion didn’t sell it. Now, Moses was the salesman for Jehovah and Paul for Jesus Christ.
You all know that the religion of Jesus Christ would have died if Paul had not put it over. He went about the country selling it to people. So we find in our modern metaphysical religion that Mrs. Eddy sold Mrs. Quimby’s religion. She was a good drummer. She made people pay for it, and “Where your treasure is there as your heart will be also.” So I think that you will find that in this Unity presentation we have to have a sales department. I presume that I am responsible in a large way for the formulation of the ideas we are presenting, but I am not a good salesman. I don’t know hardly anything about system and order. If you want to see the condition of my mind, all you would have to do would be to look through my desk for papers. Miss Dedrick, my secretary, tries to keep me in line, but I lack order and system in the expression of certain principles; that hasn’t been developed apparently. Now in this presentation of these principles that are so nicely formulated primarily, we need to put them forth, or to make them efficient. We all know that the business world is asking for more justice, righteousness, and honesty in business. Business is on the rocks; there is too much competition, too much greed, selfishness.
I see Bill Smith back there. When he was here last, he told us that the American business man had a very prevalent disease – he called it the “gimmies”. We all have the “gimmies”. We want somebody to give something to us. We are searching for bargain counters where they are giving things away. You will never find a place where you can get something for nothing; in the end it will be a lot more expensive thing you deal with. I used to hunt for bargain counters and cheap places and I find through hard knocks that there was no such thing. As the old farmer said about the giraffe, “There ain’t no such animal.” So you must make up your mind that you must give value received for value given. You must render a value for the good that you get from this omnipresent life substance, intelligence, and power. And in our work we start fundamentally with that proposition that all things are here, waiting for us to appropriate them, to enter into this great storehouse of the Infinite Mind and take whatsoever we need. But we must leave something in its place. “Freely you have received, freely give” is a universal law. But we take these factors of the mind of God manifest these in the physical world, and resolve them into their primal elements. Now business is something that deals with ideas. We talk about doing business and the business world today are asking for persons who have more of this understanding of the values of the business world resolved to their prime factors; that is, ideas. They like to have more men with imagination, to conjure up shorter and better ways of doing business. I read about a man the other day in a large corporation who was criticized for putting his feet on the desk and looking out of the window instead of working. Somebody said, “Look here, this fellow isn’t doing anything.” “Why don’t you fire him?” And the president of the firm said, “Don’t you know that that young fellow is thinking? He has ideas and one idea that he gave to this corporation has made us a million dollars. I would like to find a lot more people with their feet on the desk, gazing out of the window, with ideas.” That is one of the fundamental ideas that we lay down in the Business Men’s Christianity Unity. It isn’t necessary to be so active in the outer but to get busy and think up newer and, better ways of doing business. No doubt that is what the business world is really up against today in this slump. They have been doing business in a shortsighted way, that didn’t bring real permanent results. Now we have time to think the matter over, and we are beginning to see that these principles of justice, righteousness, equity, and honesty and efficiency — all those things—enter into a successful business man’s life. But we must in the cold, hard-boiled business world give more attention to the higher attitudes of business and what is that but God? We don’t preach to you about a God sitting on a throne, dealing out vengeance to those who break the law: but there is a Divine Principle of existence that every one of us must conform to, and that principle requires that we should be trustworthy and honest and truthful and think of the other fellow. So we have as the key note of our Business Men’s Christian Unity loving service, loving service. That is the key note I think of the Rotarian Society, and it is successful all over the world, showing that when you get the right idea back of your association you get something to lead it right on to success. So we will find that instead of working to get something for myself, I am working to help my neighbor to get something for himself, and then mine will come to me in due course. That is a direct reversal of the old way. The first thing under the old sense law is how much is there in it for me? But that must be dropped out of your consciousness if you are going to work under the Divine Law. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is a law of service. It is something that should guide every business man, and then he will advance in his technique. He will begin to see certain Principles. We find this being worked out in a measure in the business world today. This service in hotels that you go to — they bring out the service idea — that is the big thing — and they tell you how they will serve you with everything you want, but the more service you get the more you have to pay. But at the same time this service is something that is required. It is the big idea in the business world and we should dwell upon it and find out its spiritual relation. Jesus laid that down as fundamental of His religious activities. He demonstrated to His disciples that they must follow Him. He even washed the disciples’ feet, seemingly a menial service, and I think that had to do with the universal idea. Through service we try to give everybody that applies to us something worthwhile. Now we have also this fundamental understanding in our work of the power of mind, and business men tell us that they are looking for men with imagination, men that can see just a little ahead of the present business methods of every institution. They want a larger vision. They want to see in a broader way. That is something that comes into our minds as we catch the infinite possibility of this thing that we are dealing with, and that opens up a very large field of research for you. We begin to see beyond our little temporal things.
We see that this principle that we are dealing with is a principle that has infinite, inexhaustible possibilities back of it. There is no limit to the supply and support of this Infinite Mind and we are piling up in our thoughts those things that pertain to satisfy the Infinite Mind and nothing but those things will satisfy a business man who understands these principles. So we see how a small business—a few loaves and fishes—can be multiplied to meet the needs of fifty, 500, 5000, or 50,000 and. hundreds of thousands. It is an enlarging, expanding consciousness that we have when we deal with this law under the Infinite. We find the inexhaustible possibilities. So we have in addition to this the application of faith. We must inspire confidence in those with whom we deal. There must be a spirit of fellowship and unity. We get beyond the mere business proposition in the consciousness that we are all children of the one God, and that we are all interested in the welfare of those with whom we do business. Instead of trying to force, through high pressure salesmanship, we must be careful not to sell unless it is going to bring good. That should be the big idea. And we should be producers instead of parasites. Many of the people in this world, are parasites; they are not bringing forth good to the people. In everything you do ask yourself, is this going to bring happiness and satisfaction to those whom I am bringing it to; in other words, as business men, we are selling good things and only good things. But we have the advantage of knowing a law of Mind that everything that is has its origin in Mind, and that through our minds we can help those who are discouraged; and helping them, we help ourselves.
Not long ago I heard of two men in business in the same town, and a certain drummer went to one and he was optimistic and happy and everything was all right and he sold the man quite a bill of goods. But right across the street was another man—both of these (the man and his customer) were in the depths of depression. This drummer told a long tale of woe and didn’t sell anything. This shows how the attitude of the salesman affects his customer. Are you carrying the signs of a prosperous man, or are you talking about the negative side of the proposition? These thoughts are catching. Some things are catching as though contagious, and some are infectious.
You know doctors make a distinction between contagious diseases and infectious diseases. We make a distinction between the thoughts of our mind, and we do find that people make all the states of mind that we carry. Even though you don’t say a word, your soul atmosphere is vibrating at a certain rate and people feel that. If you have something to sell you must be on your guard and not radiate the foolishness and ignorance or the sense man. We are very apt to do that. So, we study our mind not as something that has to be dissected but something that has to be keyed up. We are constantly giving character to these elemental ideals: that is, understanding of Christianity—that means forming out of the universal ether thoughts that make up his world and where there is that dominant, pushing Spirit of the salesman, he is selling those ideas to people constantly and they are tinctured with his thought, and that thought is catching. It is contagious. Sometimes it is infectious. You get beneath the skin of the one you want to sell it to. But all thoughts are contagious: they are radiating all the time. You know, thoughts are things, and these thoughts that we have are imbued with the character of our minds. If your mind is tricky and you are foxy in the things; you are putting over, you will exhibit it in your conversation and thoughts and you constantly will feel that, so we find that it is absolutely essential that we be honest. These thoughts are like microbes, and they go out and confuse things.
The old wise salesman said, “Oh, how can a man conceal himself?” You can’t! You may think you can, but you don’t. No one conceals himself, because what we think is pictured in our faces and we grow into the kind of face that we think way back in our thought world. And we see these faces, and we say there is a fellow that is tricky or foxy or dishonest. Other people are reading our minds just the same. How can we change this character? By putting into our thought world these true ideas that rise in our souls. We have a great resource here in the Infinite Mind, and we know that it is absolutely honest and just and good: and if we want to be successful we must put over that Mind, we must affirm in everything that we do that this Mind is forming in us ideas, and that these ideas are becoming the thought germs, or microbes that are going up from us. We are broadcasting stations every one of us.
What are you broadcasting? Truth or deception? The listening public will find out sooner or later just what you are broadcasting. How about our own business? Can we, through thinking thoughts of prosperity and riches—can we bring up our business? Certainly. Whatever you think you will manifest. This is a law; that whatever we think we begin to form in this universal substance and life. Now the material scientists tell us that every atom has three dualities: first is substance: then that substance is moved; and then there is an intelligent something that tells it where to move. That is fundamentally all the things that we have to deal with, no matter what there is you are dealing with these three substances. There is an intelligence that tells this substance where to go: those are microbes or germs in our mind and they are constantly being piled up and expressed in our world. There are microbes that correspond to every thought that you formulate: microbes of depression, health, etc. Doctors tell us that these microbes are all through our systems—some are building health, and others are destroying that health, and there are policemen microbes, watching these germs. Mow there is a point that every business man wants to take into his consciousness. We read a great deal about these disease microbes and we are very careful not to let them into our dwelling. You can get so that you are scared stiff all the time of disease microbes, but you don’t have to go into excess on that point. But I think we should pay more attention to these various microbes. If you are thinking about lack and insufficiency, you are manifesting that kind of microbes—yes, hard times microbes. You will in the business world meet people every day who are just chugged full of the depression and think things aren’t looking any better, and well, there is a little hope in the future. There is a hope microbe. But it is always a little ahead; it will never get there. Don’t think along that line if you are to be successful. Jesus Christ told about that. He said, “Be rich toward God.” That is all right if you will fill your mind with thoughts of richness, plenty for everybody, plenty for yourself, and you will begin to manifest right in the inside of your mind these microbes.
You might say that a lot of things aren’t going all right with you, but you can stem the tide. It will begin to operate in this Infinite Mind, and pretty soon you will feel it in your supply and support. It may seem almost a miracle if you are not used to it. I have read again and again about men who were right on the verge of failure getting out of it by getting down on their knees and praying. The other day I saw where a certain banker was on the rocks and he went to another city banker to get a loan, but he did not get any. But during the conversation the city banker had to get up and go out, and when he got hack the country banker was on his knees praying. The city banker said, “O, do you pray about things?” And the country banker said, “yes.” So the city banker said “let’s pray together.” And they prayed together, and when they finished the city banker said he believed he would let him have the loan. That was a case in which the Spirit of the Lord came in and made that fellowship manifest which belongs to every one of us. So let us bring to the whole world this thought that we must pray more. We must work more with these microbes that build and construct and unify. The whole world needs this Christian unity. We all need to know that there is a great spiritual faith back of this all, and we can be productive and do something. I wouldn’t like to tell you what I can see as the future of this country unless we do get more of these principles into our government. We are building a Tower Babel. We are thinking that out of these material elements we are going to get up to heaven, and we will all be destroyed if we think that. We will be scattered abroad. We won’t even know our mother tongue, which is a spiritual language; and the only remedy is to get together in the Lord, and know that there is one God and. that that God is the Source of all our prosperity: that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” Before we will have a successful civilization, we must get hack to that original—having all things come as the early disciples of Jesus Christ. The Christian Business Federation is headed for that very thing. That is why we are here today, to put into the business world some ideas that will work out more spiritual love and do away in a measure at least with this greed and selfishness. Greed and selfishness are in the world today, and the business world is moved largely with that greed and selfishness, and fear that if they don’t hang on to everything they have they will go to the poor house; the fact is that everything that has any action in its secondary mind is operated out of the elemental substance and we are putting into them our thoughts and that takes possession of it. So it is a great Hum disease and we are in the throes of this disease, Satan. We have often said to you that the selfishness and greed in the business world is a disease. So it is. The getting of money is a disease and it gets to be so dominant that men forget everything else. They have that greed for the things of this world and they are not satisfied. When they have millions they want more millions, and if they lose their millions and all they want to commit suicide. I read abort a man the other day that committed suicide because he lost %7,000,000. He had had $10,000,000 and had only $3,000,000 left. To him that seemed like nothing. We would think about that as a great sum, but to him it was nothing. So this is a disease and it is something that ought to be trained just like other diseases.
We know the real remedy. You can’t find any medicine in the world that will heal your fear of losing your money, and the only remedy is to know that there is an infinite, inexhaustible resource, and that resource is here at all times and by unifying with it and making a covenant with it day in and day out, it will work out salvation for every one of us in all of our finances.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on June 25, 2018.