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Bethel: the House of God — the Consciousness of Omnipresence

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Mr. Charles Fillmore
915 Tracy Ave.
Kansas City, Missouri.


We can reason out many things that are not tangible to the sense man. It is true to our higher understanding that God is omnipresent, but the senses do not so readily accept the proposition. They want proof.

Then, it is necessary for the whole man to come into the kingdom of the omnipresence of God, through a process. That process is a broadening of the consciousness until it realizes that there is omnipresence in which is everything in its essence that appears outwardly.

Then, how shall we prove to our senses that this omnipresence exists - that it is? Just as we prove everything; that is, by affirmation. Whatever you think, you become, and thinking is a process of either denial or affirmation.

If you deny yourself certain ideas, why, they recede. If you affirm them, they come. In other words, we just establish ourselves through our thought, and the words that we speak, in any state of consciousness. Then, if I wish to prove to my mentality, with its avenues of expression, the five senses, that God is omnipresent, I must affirm that Truth. Affirming it even without understanding, the sense man will stand up and begin to take notice. He will observe certain laws and certain relations that he hasn't taken cognizance of before.

Now, we wish this morning to realize and know absolutely that God is omnipresent as Life, as Substance, as Intelligence. We might get down on our knees and pray for this Great Life to come to us, but our prayers will be more effective if we found them on this rock of Being, which, is Faith and Understanding and take it for granted, and then affirm it.

Now, we have the understanding - let us affirm the Truth and come to the realization. Then, our prayer, our silent prayer, will he, "I believe in the Omnipresence of God, as Life, Substance, Intelligence", and make that affirmation with assurance, at the same time strive to realize it: "I believe God is Omnipresent as Life, Substance, Intelligence". Everybody join in that prayer.


(Responsive Reading).
"Jacob" represents man, derived from Jehovah, “I AM”. Man goes forward in his development or realization of what he is.

The lesson this morning represents Jacob; the “I AM” taking a certain step forward in the realization of the potentialities of his own being. This is given in a narrative in which the “I AM” is represented as going to another country. Jacob left his paternal home, left his father and mother, and all of his possessions, and with the very simple staff in his hand, he went away to the abode of his uncle, Laban, in Haran.

Now, these all represent certain states of mind. Haran means an exalted place. Then, to get the right understanding of the narrative, instead of thinking of Jacob as traveling over about five hundred miles of country to reach the mountains of Haran, we would simply think of the “I Am” in us going to higher states of consciousness. That is what it means. But, in leaving one state of consciousness and going to another, the “I Am” always passes through an unknown country, a country in which he is a stranger.

He [Jacob] understood the country in which he lived, because he had been educated to its surroundings. But he now is going to a higher place, and, in the transition, there is a state of obscurity. It is here called "darkness". He lighted upon a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun was set. The sun of the old understanding was set, and to his consciousness it was dark.

All Christians find that in this state of transition they are left in apparent darkness. This darkness comes to every one of us in this transition, but if we are established in a certain understanding, we rest in that understanding. And this is the teaching given us here of Jacob taking the quiet rest in the desert, not being disturbed over the lack, apparently, of understanding. And the lesson is to everyone who is in this process, or in this transition, that he shall establish himself, not in the light — because he hasn't really cone to the light yet - but that he shall rest in his logical apprehension of the Truth. He took a stone and lay down to sleep.

Now, this stone represents the underlying faith which we have in the understanding that God is everywhere present; that he is manifest in the very stones under our feet, if you will; that those stones represent the inward faith of the mind. And Jesus Christ called Peter and said, "Thou art a stone, and upon this rock I will build my foundation" — the rock of Faith. (Matt 16:18)

You can't see the Substance of your faith, but it is indestructible, unchangeable, eternal, and when you have faith, through your understanding, in the Omnipresence of the Divine Substance; if you can realize in your mind that there is an every-where-present Pure Substance, and that it belongs to God, it is God manifest, you have the Rock Foundation. You can rest in that conviction, that assurance, and it doesn't make any difference whether you see all the ways out of your surroundings, or out of the difficulties that surround you or not, rest on your rock foundation, make that the pillow.

That is the lesson; and if you are undisturbed; if you don't spend all your time running around questioning, asking and studying and trying to find out the Truth, the Truth will come to you.

It is this resting in Faith that establishes one. It is a necessary step in the progress of man’s soul. Unless your soul has a certain tangible, real, substantial integrity, it is loosely woven; it hasn't strength; but in all periods where you are in seeming darkness, when the sun of your spiritual illumination seems to be set, all you have to do is to fall back upon the Substance of Faith. Rest your head upon that, - that is, your understanding, -and you will find that it will be a period of deepening growth. It is necessary that we have a set of thoughts that go down into this substance, go down into the earth and build there a foundation, before we can come out into the light.

But, we are told farther on that Jacob dreamed that he saw a ladder reaching from the earth to the heavens and the angels of God ascending and descending upon that ladder. Now, this is said to be a dream. Well, what are dreams? Dreams are the activities in the mind of mental images or thoughts that either have occurred in the conscious mind of the man or have their place in the original Mind of Being. The thoughts of God are absolute realities; they are unrelated; they are in direct touch with the omnipresent Mind of Being. They make up that Mind. These thoughts are called angels.

When you are in a very childlike, receptive state of mind; when you have absolute Faith in God; when you accept Truth, spiritual truth, like a little child, then the angels or the thoughts of Truth direct from the Infinite Mind begin to express themselves in your mind. Jesus Christ said, using the little child as an example: "These have, in my Father's Kingdom, - or, the angels of my Father are constantly before these in the Kingdom." They see the face of the Father through his thoughts, through his absolute ideas. (Matt 18:10)

So, these are the angels that Jacob saw in his own subconscious. Resting the conscious sense-mind, threw him into the subconscious, and, being at peace, not being worried about things that he hadn't yet come to, why, his mind was open; he was receptive. He treated himself, as we say, before he went to sleep, with the thought of "This is all right. I will rest here in my Father." And that gave the peaceful state of mind.

In the simple every-day affairs of man, it is found that a treatment for peace and confidence and faith in the guidance and the leading of God, gives one sweet peaceful sleep, and good dreams; while a disturbed state of mind, an anxious state, a fearful state, a state in which there is doubt, leads to another kind of dreams. The mind is disturbed, and the images of the daily life take precedence. Those dreams are not safe guides, but where you are established in your Faith, and you put your mind upon the omnipresent God, you will always have good dreams.

You will realize that your dreams mean something; that God can direct you as he did Job, and as he did Solomon, and as he did Joseph, and as he did Peter and Paul - nearly all of those old prophets and sages were directed in their dreams by God. And man in this day can be directed by dreams.

Jehovah stood above and said, "I am Jehovah. Whithersoever thou goest, there will I go with thee". (Gen 28:15, Josh 1:9) And he also told Jacob that he should have all the land that he rested upon; that his seed should "become a multitude; that it should extend from the East to the West and from the North to the South. (Gen 28:14). This represents that fecundity or capacity of the thought of man, when it is based upon the Truth, to express itself in an omnipresent way. There is no limit to the capacity of your ideas, when you have laid hold of the absolute Truth of your being, and thrown yourself into that high state of consciousness where thought works without limitation.

Now, there are two very distinct ways of expressing the powers of the mind. One is along the line of personal consciousness. We send out our thoughts. We treat people as persons. We acknowledge the relation of some telepathic communication between mind and mind. We look upon God’s creation as a formed, related thing. We look upon people - men and women, male and female - and all these related conditions. That comes under the head of mental science.

But Spiritual Science, this Science that Jacob had found, was a step in advance, he raised himself into the unlimited; he saw that the door had been opened. Jehovah, the Great Absolute One, stood at the positive pole of his being, not away off in heaven, but the “I AM”, the free, full, positive absolute “I AM”, revealed itself to him. He saw himself as the Image and Likeness of God, and that threw him into a state of consciousness where his thought went to the uttermost limits of the universe instantly. He didn't have to treat any individual; he didn't have "hour"; he didn't have "statements", but the statement and the hour, the understanding, was there, in its universal aspect, free from every limitation.

When man reaches that place, why, he is one with the highest and the loftiest; he is the Supreme, the All-knowing, the All-powerful, the omnipresent Substance, Life and Intelligence of Being, and this is exactly what Jacob realized at this time.

And Jacob said: "Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I knew it not". Where is this place that Jacob found, where is that place where Jehovah is and man knows it not? Wherever you are: Jehovah is in this place.

The fact is that the only place that man knows anything about is his own consciousness, and Jehovah is in that consciousness. Jehovah, if he is everywhere – if God, in his Being occupies all the presence there is, why, he must be in man, and must be in man in all of his fullness. When you awaken to this Truth, through high spiritual understanding, there is a great awe that comes to you, and you say, "Why, Jehovah, God, is in this place, in this material, apparent limitation, and I knew it not". You hadn’t realized - showing that it is simply a matter of realization, an opening of the eyes, an opening of the ears to hear, then you can't help to see that which has always been, but you never looked in that direction.

This is the house of God, and the gate of heaven. Think of that! Right here is the house of God! Why, Paul said, "Your body is the temple of the Living God". (Cor 6:19). Don't you know that this temple is the Substance of God? There isn't any other substance.

"He poured oil upon the stone and called it Bethel, but the name of that city was Luz at first". (Gen 28:19). Luz means separation. Bethel means "house of God", here again was a change of mind. Instead of looking at the world without, as a plane apart from God, apart from the one Omnipresence, he came to a new realization; he came to Bethel, the House of God. And every one of us, when we realize the Truth of being, the omnipresence of God, come into this unity with ourselves; with the real man, and a new state of consciousness is born then and there.

"This stone which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's House, and of all that I shall gain, will I surely give the tenth unto Thee". (Gen 28:22). Here again we have that lesson given by Jesus, which is, "Freely ye have received, freely give". (Mat 10:8). If we do not give, we cease to receive. This law of giving and receiving is carried out all through the teaching of the Scripture. The Jews adopted it in its outer sense, and they gave one-tenth of everything that they received to the work, to the church, to the priests. Men in Christian religious observance have found that an observance of this character clinches or helps the mind to develop a certain prosperity. It helps the mind to lay hold of the relation between the things of God and the things of sense, by giving a tenth of all their increase.

A man told me that as a boy he caught that idea from reading the Scripture, and he decided to make a covenant with God. If God would prosper him, he would give one-tenth of everything that he received, He said he prospered from the very time that he made that covenant. Well, that was but an outward expression of an inward truth. It was like the symbols used in the church, - the rites, the ceremonies. They represent some spiritual Truth.

Now, this Truth of giving one-tenth simply means that man should recognize the Truth that God is the Source, and that what we receive we must return a certain portion. If you keep constantly thinking about yourself and your needs, there is a tendency to crystallize the thought about the personality. "But, if you think about your relation to man and God, there is a release given to this tension, and the inflow and the outflow is equalized.

The one-tenth, of course, means that part of the quality of numbers which is susceptible of inexhaustible or unlimited increase. "10" is a number that can be expanded indefinitely by the simple addition of ciphers. So, man is the one-tenth; he gives himself with his tenth. You know the figure "1" represents "I", and the "0" (naught) is said to represent the soul. By adding to the right hand, you increase; by adding the naught to the left-hand, you decrease, and the figure "l" is always just I, I, I.

Now, if you wish to increase, add your ciphers to the right hand; throw your net, cast your net on the right side of the ship; if you wish to decrease, cast your net to the left side. By adding thoughts of loss to your thought day after day, - "I am not well to-day; I am not in understanding to-day", you are just simply making “naughts” on the left side; decreasing, decreasing, and, after a while, you will find that the darkness will settle down over you, and you can’t get out of it.

But, in other words, "If you haven't a virtue", said Shakespeare, "assume one". If you are not well; if you are not wise, assume that you are well; assume that you are wise, and these ciphers will he added to the right-hand of your "I” and you will increase, and all at once awake out of that sleepy state, and you will find that the steps that go up and down between you and this higher kingdom are already there. But, you don't jump into the kingdom in a flash. No. You must take the steps.

You can steal the ladder; you can steal the stairway leading to the highest, but you must be patient in taking those rounds one by one until you reach the high place. And you reach that high place by affirming, step by step, adding to yourself by your word the increasing right side of the “I Am”, all the good true statements, all the realizations that you can perceive.

So many people disregard this law of growth. They think and impress upon those who are trying to lead them, that they must, "Oh, I have got to see it clearly. I don't understand it. When you talk about 'The Absolute', I don't know what you are talking about. What does it mean?" Why, it means that you must take a whole lot for granted. In other words, you must see with your mind and then, through your word, lift yourself up into that high place, that exalted state of Mind. And when you do this, as I say, all at once it will dawn upon you that what you have affirmed for yourself was always true, but you didn't come into that Truth, because you lacked courage, or you were weak, or you didn't apply the law.

Now, this is the law: that we shall, like Jacob, rest in our Faith until the Mind, awakens - then boldly step out into that new place, and reap the reward, as he did, which is told in another chapter.

11:33 A.M.
12:03 P.M.