Charles Fillmore's Prosperity: Lesson Two
Why are ideas the most important things in life?
EVERYTHING that appears in the universe had its origin in mind. Mind evolves ideas, and ideas express themselves through thoughts and words. Understanding that ideas have a permanent existence and that they evolve thoughts and words, we see how futile is any attempted reform that does not take them into consideration. This is why legislation and external rules of action are so weak and transient as reforms.
Ideas generate thought currents, as a fire under a boiler generates steam. The idea is the most important factor in every act and must be given first place in our attention if we would bring about any results of a permanent character. Men formulate thoughts and thoughts move the world.
What is desire in origin, purpose, and result?
Ideas are centers of consciousness. They have a positive and a negative pole and generate thoughts of every conceivable kind. Hence a man's body, health, intelligence, finances, in fact everything about him, are derived from the ideas to which he gives his attention. Man has never had a desire that could not somewhere,
in the providence of God, be fulfilled. If this were not true, the universe would be weak at its most vital point. Desire is the onward impulse of the ever-evolving soul. It builds from within outward and carries its fulfillment with it as a necessary corollary.
What is the difference between "is-ness" and "existence"?
What is the difference between "being" and "appearance"?
All is mind. Then the things that appear must be expressions of mind. Thus mind is reality, and it also appears as phenomena. The is-ness of mind is but one side of it. Being is not limited to the level of is-ness; it has all possibilities, including that of breaking forth from its inherencies into the realm of appearances. Mind has these two sides, being and appearance, the visible and the invisible. To say that mind is all and yet deny that things do appear to have any place in the allness is to state but half the truth.
What is the relation of figures to the problem they help solve? How does this illustrate spiritual reality and material phenomena?
An idea is capable of statement as a proposition. The statement is made in response to a desire to know experimentally whether the proposition is capable of proof. A number of elements are involved in the statement of a proposition that are not integral parts of the proposition itself but necessary to its working out. In the simplest mathematical problem processes are used that are not preserved after the problem is solved yet that are necessary to its solution. The figures by the use of which we arrived at the solution are immediately forgotten, but they could not be dispensed with and it is to them we owe the outcome. The exact outcome of each step in the solution is a matter of experiment. The intermediate
steps may be changed or retracted many times, but ultimately the problem is solved and the fulfillment of the desired result attained. If this is true of the simplest problem in arithmetic it is equally true of the creation of the universe. "As above, so below." Here is where many who have caught sight of the perfection and wholeness of the ideal fail to demonstrate. They deny the appearance because it does not express perfection in its wholeness.
The student in the depths of a mathematical problem who should judge thus would erase all his figures because the answer was not at once apparent, though he may have already completed a good part of the process leading up to the desired answer. We would not say that a farmer is wise who cuts down his corn in the tassel because it does not show the ripened ears. Do not jump to conclusions. Study a situation carefully in its various aspects before you decide. Consider both sides, the visible and the invisible, the within and the without.
What is implied in the fact that man can conceive of an ideal world?
Should we deny the existence of material things? Can we do so successfully? What should we deny about the things of the outer?
The very fact that you have an ideal condition or world in your mind carries with it the possibility of its fulfillment in expression. Being cannot shirk expression. To think is to express yourself, and you are constantly thinking. You may deny that the things of the outer world have existence, yet as long as you live in contact with them you are recognizing them. When you affirm being and deny the expression of being, you are a "house divided against itself."
What is the "I AM identity"? How does it differ from Divine Mind?
We have all wondered why we do not understand
It is very difficult for some individuals to let go of the notion that God is a person. This is understandable. Almost all the words we are accustomed to hearing about God are words we use when we are talking about persons. Even Jesus personified His realization of God by calling Him "Father." But Jesus was not “defining” God when He spoke of the Father. Jesus was naming His feeling of RELATIONSHIP by use of the word Father. He also used the simple word "good" in describing God. Spirit is not a person. Good is not a person. Good is a principle beyond definition. And so it is with God. Ed Rabel, Metaphysics 1, What Is God?, God Is Not a Person"
- Ed Rabel
more truth than we do or why it is necessary to understand at all, since God is all-wise and all-present. Understanding is one of the essential parts of your I AM identity. Man is a focal point in God consciousness and expresses God. Therefore he must understand the processes that bring about that expression. Infinite Mind is here with all its ideas as a resource for man, and what we are or become is the result of our efforts to accumulate in our own consciousness all the attributes of infinite Mind. We have learned that we can accumulate ideas of power, strength, life, love, and plenty. How should we use these ideas or bring them into outer expression without understanding? Where shall we get this understanding save from the source of all ideas, the one Mind? "But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Why is spiritual understanding important? How is it gained?
In following the principles of mathematics we use rules. There is a rule of addition that we must observe when we add; other rules that must be followed when we subtract or multiply. The ideas of Divine Mind can only be expressed when we follow the rules or laws of mind, and these rules require understanding if we would follow them intelligently and achieve results. Man is given all power and authority over all the ideas of infinite Mind, and the idea of wisdom is one of them.
Closely associated with the idea of wisdom in Divine Mind is the idea of love. These ideas are the positive and the negative pole of the creative
Principle. "Male and female created he them." The ideas of God-Mind are expressed through the conjunction of wisdom and love. God commanded that these two ideas should be fruitful and multiply and replenish the whole earth with thoughts in expression.
What connection exists between ideas in Divine Mind?
We have access to the divine realm from which all thoughts are projected into the world. We are constantly taking ideas from the spiritual world and forming them into our own conception of the things we desire. Sometimes the finished product does not satisfy or please us. That is because we have taken the idea away from its true parents, wisdom and love, and let it grow to maturity in an atmosphere of error and ignorance.
What divine idea is back of riches? What ideas are the "parents" of this idea? How can this knowledge help us in demonstrating?
In the matter of money or riches we have taken the idea of pure substance from the spiritual realm, then have forgotten the substance idea and tried to work it out in a material atmosphere of thought. It was a wonderful idea, but when we took it away from its spiritual parents wisdom and love, it became an unruly and disappointing child. Even if without love and understanding of substance you accumulate gold and silver, your store will not be stable or permanent. It will fluctuate and cause you worry and grief. There are many people who "don't know the value of a dollar," with whom money comes and goes, who are rich today and poor tomorrow. They have no understanding of the substance that is the underlying reality of all wealth.
Are all men equally entitled to wealth? What ideas should accompany the acquiring, using, and spending of wealth?
To have adequate supply at all times, an even
flow that is never enough to become a burden yet always enough to meet every demand, we must make union with the Spirit that knows how to handle ideas as substance. Men have the idea that material substance is limited, and they engage in competition trying to grab one another's money. Divine Mind has ideas of substance as unlimited and everywhere present, equally available to all. Since man's work is to express substance ideas in material form, we must find a way to connect ideas of substance with ideas of material expression, to adjust the ideas of man's mind with the ideas of Divine Mind. This is accomplished by faith through prayer.
Do we expect God to give us actual loaves of bread when we pray the Lord's Prayer? What does He give instead of material things?
That part of the Lord's Prayer which reads, "Give us this day our daily bread," is more correctly translated, "Give us today the substance of tomorrow's bread." By prayer we accumulate in our mind ideas of God as the substance of our supply and support. There is no lack of this substance in infinite Mind. Regardless of how much God gives, there is always an abundance left. God does not give us material things, but Mind substance--not money but ideas--ideas that set spiritual forces in motion so that things begin to come to us by the application of the law.
Why do people have dreams? Do dreams help men with their problems?
It may be that you solve your financial problem in your dreams. Men often think over their problems just before going to sleep and get a solution in their dreams or immediately upon awakening. This is because their minds were so active on the intellectual plane that they could not make contact
with the silent inner plane where ideas work. When the conscious mind is stilled and one makes contact with the superconsciousness, it begins to show us how our affairs will work out or how we can help to bring about the desired prosperity.
What is the value of relaxation and the silence when we seek God's gifts?
This is the law of mind. The principle is within each one of us, but we must be spiritually quickened in life and in understanding before we can successfully work in accord with it. However we must not discount the understanding of the natural man. The mind in us that reasons and looks to the physical side of things has also the ability to look within. It is the door through which divine ideas must come. Jesus, the Son of man, called Himself "the door" and "the way." It is the divine plan that all expression or demonstration shall come through this gateway of man's mind. But above all this are the ideas that exist in the primal state of Being, and this is the truth of which we must become conscious. We must become aware of the source of our substance. Then we can diminish or increase the appearance of our supply or our finances, for their appearance depends entirely on our understanding and handling of the ideas of substance.
The time is coming when we shall not have to work for things, for our physical needs in the way of food and clothing, because they will come to us through the accumulation of the right ideas in our mind. We will begin to understand that clothing represents one idea of substance, food another, and that every manifest thing is representative of an idea.
What relation has prosperity demonstration to the kingdom-of-the-heavens consciousness?
In the 2d chapter of Genesis this living substance is called "dust of the ground" in the Hebrew, and Adam was formed from it. We find that the elemental substance is in our body. The kingdom of the heavens or the kingdom of God is within man. It is a kingdom of substance and of Mind. This Mind interpenetrates our mind and our mind interpenetrates and pervades our body. Its substance pervades every atom of our body. Are you giving it your attention, or do you still look to outer sources for supply? Are you meditating and praying for an understanding of this omnipresent substance? If you are, it will come, and it will demonstrate prosperity for you. When it does, you are secure, for nothing can take that true prosperity from you. It is the law that does not and cannot fail to operate when once set in operation in the right way.
This law of prosperity has been proved time and time again. All men who have prospered have used the law, for there is no other way. Perhaps they were not conscious of following definite spiritual methods, yet they have in some way set the law in operation and reaped the benefit of its unfailing action. Others have had to struggle to accomplish the same things. Remember that Elijah had to keep praying and affirming for a long time before he demonstrated the rain. He sent his servant out the first time, and there was no sign of a cloud. He prayed and sent him out again and again with the same result, but at last, after repeated efforts, the servant said he saw a little cloud. Then Elijah told them to prepare for
rain, and the rain came. This shows a continuity of effort that is sometimes necessary. If your prosperity does not become manifest as soon as you pray and affirm God as your substance, your supply, and your support, refuse to give up. Show your faith by keeping up the work. You have plenty of Scripture to back you up. Jesus taught it from the beginning to the end of His ministry and demonstrated it on many occasions. Many have done the same thing in His name.
What does the parable of the lilies teach us about substance?
Jesus called the attention of His followers to the inner realm of mind, the kingdom of God substance. He pointed out that the lilies of the field were gloriously clothed, even finer than Solomon in all his glory. We do not have to work laboriously in the outer to accomplish what the lily does so silently and beautifully. Most of us rush around trying to work out our problems for ourselves and in our own way, with one idea, one vision: the material thing we seek. We need to devote more time to silent meditation and like the lilies of the field simply be patient and grow into our demonstrations. We should remember always that these substance ideas with which we are working are eternal ideas that have always existed and will continue to exist, the same ideas that formed this planet in the first place and that sustain it now.
What is the physical, psychological, and spiritual reason for preparing the way for the prosperity demonstration?
A great German astronomer had worked the greater part of his life with a desire to know more about the stars. One night, quite suddenly and strangely enough--for he had given but little
thought to the spiritual side of things--he broke right out into a prayer of thanksgiving because of the perfect order and harmony of the heavens. His prayer was "O God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee." The soul of this man had at that moment made the contact and union with infinite Mind. But though this contact seemed to be made suddenly, it was the result of long study and the preparation of his mind and thought. Jesus expressed the same at-one-ment with God at the moment of His supreme miracle, the raising of Lazarus. His words were "Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always."
What effect does the attitude of thanksgiving and praise have upon our prosperity?
This gives us another side of the prosperity law. We open the way for great demonstrations by recognizing the Presence and praising it, by thanking the Father for Spiritual quickening. We quicken our life by affirming that we are alive with the life of Spirit; our intelligence by affirming our oneness with divine intelligence; and we quicken the indwelling, interpenetrating substance by recognizing and claiming it as our own. We should meditate in this understanding and give sincere thanks to the God of this omnipresent realm of ideas because we can think His thoughts after Him. We can thank the Father that His thoughts are our thoughts and that our natural mind is illumined by Spirit. We can illumine our mind any time by affirming this thought:
I thank Thee, Father, that I think Thy thoughts after Thee and that my understanding is illumined by Spirit.
Spiritual thoughts are infinite in their potentiality, each one being measured by the life, intelligence, and substance with which it is expressed. The thought is brought into expression and activity by the word. Every word is a thought in activity, and when spoken it goes out as a vibratory force that is registered in the all-providing substance.
Why is asking in the name of Jesus Christ more effective than any other prayer?
The mightiest vibration is set up by speaking the name Jesus Christ. This is the name that is named "far above all rule, and authority," the name above all names, holding in itself all power in heaven and in earth. It is the name that has power to mold the universal substance. It is at one with the Father-Mother substance, and when spoken it sets forces into activity that bring results. "Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you." "If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do." There could be nothing simpler, easier, or freer from conditions in demonstrating supply. "Hitherto [before the name Jesus Christ was given to the world] have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full."
The sayings of Jesus were of tremendous power because of His consciousness of God. They raised the God ideal far above what had ever before been conceived. These ideas so far transcended the thought plane of the people that even some of the disciples of Jesus would not accept them, and they "walked no more with him." Until fairly recent times most men have failed to grasp the lesson of the power of the spoken word expressing spiritual
ideas. Jesus has never been taken literally, else men would have sought to overcome death by keeping His sayings. Few have taken His words in full faith, not only believing them but so saturating their minds with them that they become flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone, being incarnated in their very bodies, as Jesus intended.
The secret of demonstration is to conceive what is true in Being and to carry out the concept in thought, word, and act. If I can conceive a truth, there must be a way by which I can make that truth apparent. If I can conceive of an inexhaustible supply existing in the omnipresent ethers, then there is a way by which I can make that supply manifest. Once your mind accepts this as an axiomatic truth it has arrived at the place where the question of processes begins to be considered.
No one ever fully sees the steps that he must take in reaching a certain end. He may see in a general way that he must proceed from one point to another, but all the details are not definite unless he has gone over the same ground before. So in the demonstration of spiritual powers as they are expressed through man, we must be willing to follow the directions of someone who has proved his understanding of the law by his demonstrations. We all know intuitively that there is something wrong in a world where poverty prevails and we would not knowingly create a world in which a condition of poverty exists. Lack of any kind is not possible in all God's universe. So when there is an appearance
of poverty anywhere, it is our duty to deny it. Sorrow and suffering accompany poverty, and we wish to see them all blotted out. This desire is an index pointing the way to their disappearance. As the consciousness of the kingdom of heaven with its abundant life and substance becomes more and more common among men, these negative conditions will fade out of seeming existence.
Jesus said that all things should be added to those who seek the kingdom of heaven. We do not have to wait until we have fully entered the kingdom or attained a complete understanding of Spirit before prosperity begins to be manifest, but we do have to seek, to turn the attention in that direction. Then things begin to be added unto us. Thousands of people are proving the law in this age. They accept the promise of the Scriptures and are looking to God to supply their every need. In the beginning of their seeking they may have little to encourage them to believe that they will be provided for or helped along any particular line. But they carry out the command to seek and in faith act just as though they were receiving, and gradually there opens up to them new ways of making a living. Sometimes avenues are opened to them to which they are strangers, but they find pleasant experience and are encouraged to continue seeking the kingdom of God and rejoicing in its ever increasing bounty.
Many such people today are wisely using their one talent. They may not have seen the holy of holies in the inner sanctuary, but they are getting
closer to it. This is the step we must all take: begin to seek this kingdom of God's substance. Trust in the promise and see the result in the mental currents that are set in motion all about us. You may not be able to see at just what point success began, or what separate word of allegiance to the Father first took effect, but as the weeks or months go by you will observe many changes taking place in your mind, your body, and your affairs. You will find that your ideas have broadened immensely, that your little limited world has been transformed into a big world. You will find your mind more alert and you will see clearly where you were in doubt before, because you have begun thinking about realities instead of appearances. The consciousness of an omnipotent hand guiding all your affairs will establish you in confidence and security, which will extend to the body welfare and surroundings. There will be a lessening or entire absence of prejudice and faultfinding in you. You will be more forgiving and more generous and will not judge harshly. Other people will feel that there has been a change in you and will appreciate you more, showing it in many ways. Things will be coming your way, being added unto you indeed according to the promise.
All this is true not only of your own affairs. The effects extend also to those with whom you come in contact. They will also become more prosperous and happy. They may not in any way connect their improvement with you or your thoughts, but that does not affect the truth about it. All causes are essentially
mental, and whoever comes into daily contact with a high order of thinking must take on some of it. Ideas are catching, and no one can live in an atmosphere of true thinking, where high ideas are held, without becoming more or less inoculated with them.
"Ye are gods,
And all of you sons of the Most High."
The idea of God covers a multitude of creative forces. In this case you are working to bring prosperity into your affairs. Hence you should fill your mind with images and thoughts of an all-providing all-supplying Father. The ancient Hebrews understood this. They had seven sacred names for Jehovah, each one of which represented some specific idea of God. They used the name Jehovah-jireh when they wished to concentrate on the aspect of substance. It means "Jehovah will provide," the mighty One whose presence and power provides, regardless of any opposing circumstance. To quicken the consciousness of the presence of God the Hebrews used the name Jehovah-shammah which means "Jehovah is there," "the Lord is present." Realize the Lord present as creative mind, throbbing in the ether as living productiveness.
Charge your mind with statements that express plenty. No particular affirmation will raise anyone from poverty to affluence, yet all affirmations that carry ideas of abundance will lead one into the consciousness that fulfills the law. Deny that lack has any place or reality in your thought or your affairs and affirm plenty as the only appearance. Praise what you have, be it ever so little, and insist that it is constantly growing larger.
Daily concentration of mind on Spirit and its attributes will reveal that the elemental forces that make all material things are here in the ether awaiting our recognition and appropriation. It is not necessary to know all the details of the scientific law in order to demonstrate prosperity. Go into the silence daily at a stated time and concentrate on the substance of Spirit prepared for you from the foundation of the world. This opens up a current of thought that will bring prosperity into your affairs. A good thought to hold in this meditation is this:
The invisible substance is plastic to my abundant thought, and I am rich in mind and in manifestation.