Charles Fillmore's Prosperity: Lesson Three
What is the starting point in building a prosperity consciousness?
IN THIS LESSON we are considering the subject of faith especially as it applies to the demonstration of prosperity. In this study, as in all others, we must start in the one Mind. God had faith when He imaged man and the universe and through His faith brought all things into being. Man, being like God, must also base his creations on faith as the only foundation. Here then is our starting point in building a prosperity consciousness and making our world as we would have it. We all have faith, for it is innate in every man. Our question is how we may put it to work in our affairs.
What is the relation between faith and substance?
Jesus gave us our best understanding of faith when He described Peter as a "rock" and asserted that His church, the ecclesia or "called-out ones," was to be built up with this rock or faith as its sure foundation. In this sense faith represents substance, the underlying, basic principle of all manifestation. "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
What does it mean to "have" faith?
It is quite possible to possess a reality that cannot
be seen, touched, or comprehended by any of the outer senses. It is faith when we are fully conscious of "things not seen" and have the "assurance of things" not yet manifest. In other words, faith is that consciousness in us of the reality of the invisible substance and of the attributes of mind by which we lay hold of it. We must realize that the mind makes real things. "Just a thought" or "just a mere idea," we sometimes lightly say, little thinking that these thoughts and ideas are the eternal realities from which we build our life and our world.
What is a "seeking" faith? For what does it seek?
As we read these passages by Charles Fillmore regarding faith, we might be struck by the many resemblances these explanations have to what he also says in regard to imagination. We read that faith is "the perceiving power of the mind linked with a power to SHAPE SUBSTANCE." When he explains imagination he states that the imagination has the power to perceive ideas and form mental energy into thoughts and concepts. This may, at first, sound as though faith and imagination both do the same things. But there is a distinction. Imagination shapes mental energy only into thought forms. It creates only the mental patterns, it does not actually produce the finished form. Faith actually brings substance into manifested form. The work of faith has a more definite and much wider range than does imagination.
Ed Rabel - Metaphysics 1, Understanding Faith, Faith
- Ed Rabel
Faith is the perceiving power of the mind linked with a power to shape substance. You hear of a certain proposition that appeals to you and you say, "I have faith in that proposition." Some man whose character seems right is described to you and you say, "I have faith in that man." What do you mean by having faith? You mean that certain characteristics of men or things appeal to you, and these immediately begin a constructive work in your mind. What is that work? It is the work of making the proposition or man real to your consciousness. The character and attributes of the things in your mind become substantial to you because of your faith. The office of faith is to take abstract ideas and give them definite form in substance. Ideas are abstract and formless to us until they become substance, the substance of faith.
Explain how doubt retards manifestation.
A very important work in soul culture is the establishment of a faith substance. Once we discern this law of soul building by faith, we find the Hebrew
Scriptures full of illustrations of it. The 1st chapter of Luke's Gospel tells us how Elisabeth and Zacharias were told by an angel that they would have a son and that his name would be John. Zacharias was burning incense at the altar in the exercise of his duties as a priest. This means that when the mind is looking toward Spirit, even if it be in a blind way, and is seeking spiritual things, it will become spiritualized. The burning of incense typifies spiritualization. Zacharias represents the perceptive and Elisabeth the receptive qualities of the soul. When these two work in conjunction in prayer, meditation, and aspiration, the soul is open to the higher thoughts or angels that bring the promise of a new and definite state of consciousness. Zacharias doubted the promise of a son because his wife was past the age of childbearing, and because of his doubts he was stricken dumb. This means that when we perceive spiritual Truth and doubt it, we retard its outer expression; it cannot be spoken into manifestation through us because of our doubt. All the growth is then thrown upon the soul. Elisabeth "hid herself five months," but when the soul begins to feel the presence of the new ego or new state of consciousness, then we again come into faith expression: the speech of Zacharias is restored.
What is the difference between the conception of John the Baptist and that of Jesus?
It was the same way in the bringing forth of Jesus. A promise was first made to Mary, and Joseph was assured that the child was the offspring of the Holy Spirit. This represents a still higher step in the work of faith. The bringing forth of John the Baptist
is the intellectual perception of Truth. The intellect grasps Truth first. The next step is the bringing forth of substance and life in the subconsciousness. When we have given ourselves entirely to Spirit, we may do things without knowing exactly why. That is because faith is at work in us, and even if we do not know the law and cannot explain faith to the outer consciousness, it continues to do its perfect work and eventually brings forth the demonstration.
Do not fear the power that works out things in the invisible. When you get a strong perception of something that your inner mind tells you is true and good, act on it and your demonstration will come. That is the way a living faith works, and it is the law of your creative word.
How do love and understanding assist faith in its accomplishments?
Faith can also have understanding added to it. We call our spiritual faculties out of our subconsciousness. When Jesus did some of His most remarkable works He had with Him Peter, James, and John; Peter represents faith, James wisdom or judgment, and John love. These three faculties when expressed together in mind accomplish apparent miracles. You have called out faith in things spiritual, you have faith in God, and you have cultivated your unity with the one Mind; if you then use spiritual judgment and do your work in love, you have become "a teacher in Israel."
Are difficult experiences necessary in life? Why do we have them?
Show that it is sinful to think and talk hard times, lack, and other limitations.
In order to have understanding of the law through which we gain or lose in the use of the invisible substance, we must use discrimination or judgment. There is a guiding intelligence always
present that we can lay hold of and make our own. It is ours. It belongs to us and it is our birthright both to know it and to use it. Some metaphysicians mistakenly think that they must have hard experiences in order to appreciate the better things of life. They think poverty is a blessing because it educates people to the appreciation of plenty when they get it. They say that it is God's will for us to have some hard times and some good times, feasts and famines. This is not logically true when you consider God as principle. If you think of God as a man who arbitrarily gives or withholds by the exercise of His personal will, you might reach such a conclusion. But God is changeless, and if He gives one moment He will continue to give eternally. It is His nature to give, and His nature is eternally the same. When you talk of hard times, famines, lack, you are talking of something that has no place in the Mind of God. You are not acknowledging God in all your ways but are acknowledging error and affirming that the world has its source in outer things. You must turn around and get into this consciousness, that in Mind, in Spirit, there is abundance.
Explain the symbology of the five loaves and two fishes.
We often wonder how Jesus could multiply the five loaves and two fishes to meet the hunger of five thousand persons. It was done through a thorough understanding of this law. The five loaves represent the five-sense application of divine substance. The two fishes represent the yeast or multiplying power put into the substance, the source of the increase. We are told that if the yeast of a single setting of
bread were allowed to increase, it would fill a space larger than this planet. This shows that there is no limit to the increasing power of elemental substance. It is for us to use as Jesus used this power. It was not a miracle but something that we all have within us as an unawakened ability and that we can learn to develop and use as Jesus did.
Jesus entered into the silence; prayed and blessed the substance at hand. If we would multiply and increase the power, substance, and life in us and at our command, we must get very still and realize that our resource is Spirit, that it is God, and that it is here in all its fullness. We must make contact with it in faith. Then we shall find it welling up within us. Some of you have no doubt had that experience. But if you just let it ooze away without understanding it, you get no benefit. Here is the key to this life and substance you feel when you sit in the silence. You must begin to speak these words with power and authority.
How does fear produce a stagnation in financial circulation? How does confidence or faith restore normal conditions?
When there is world-wide belief in financial depression, lack of circulation, stagnation, things do not go as we expect and we develop fear, a belief in lack of circulation of money. But if we know the law, we do not come under this fear thought. At any time many persons make money; they use this law and take advantage of opportunity. We should bless everything that we have, for we can increase and multiply what we have by speaking words. Jesus said that His words were spirit and life. Did you ever think that your word is charged with great
spiritual life force? It is. Be careful of your words. Man shall be held accountable for his lightest word. If you talk about substance in a negative way, your finances will be decreased, but if you talk about it in an appreciative, large way, you will be prospered.
How can we go into "the upper room" to wait for the power from on high?
If we could release the energy in the atoms the scientists tell us about, we could supply the world. This power lies within every one of us. We can begin by freeing the little ideas we have and making them fill the world with thoughts of plenty. We must realize that all power is given to us in heaven and in earth, as Jesus said. He told His apostles that they should receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. They were told to go up into that upper room, in the crown of the head, where spiritual forces begin the formation of new ideas. After you get into the spiritual consciousness and receive the quickening, speak the word with authority and power, concentrating the attention at the power center in the throat. We find it effective to speak the words aloud and then sink back to "the other side" (Galilee), as Jesus often did, to rest and speak them again silently. You can send forth this vibratory energy of Spirit and break down the inertia caused by thoughts of fear and lack, carve out ways, open new avenues to the demonstration of your good.
To bring forth these undeveloped spiritual qualities we must believe in them. "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is." Lord, keep us from unbelief, from leaning on the things we see, from judging according to appearances.
How does your mind create? Are its creations always real?
You can conjure up in your mind a thousand imaginary things that will seem real to you. This shows that the mind creates by forming things according to its ideas. The world is awakening in a wonderful way to the truth about the creative power of the mind. Everywhere people are studying psychology or soul culture. The imagination builds things out of the one substance. If you will associate faith with it in its creative work, the things you make will be just as real as those that God makes. Whatever you make in mind and really put faith in will become substantial. Then you must be constantly on your guard as to what you believe, in order that you may bring what is for your good into manifestation.
Why should our faith be in Spirit rather than in material things?
In what do you have faith? In outer things? If so, you are building shadows without substance, shadows that cease as soon as your supporting thought is withdrawn from them, forms that will pass away and leave you nothing. If you would demonstrate true prosperity, you must turn from things and, as Jesus told His disciples, "have faith in God." Do not have faith in anything less than God, in anything other than the one Mind, for when your faith is centered there, you are building for eternity. Mind and the ideas of Mind will never pass away. There will never be an end to God. There will never be an end to Truth, which God is. There will never be an end to substance, which God is. Build with the divine substance, cultivate faith in realities and "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."
Show how faith is essential to success in the professions, in manufacturing, in sales, and in other lines of activity
The foundation of every work is an idea. Faith is that quality of mind which makes the idea stand out as real, not only to ourselves but to others. When others have faith in the thing you are doing, making, or selling, they see it as real and worth while. Then your success and your prosperity are assured. Only that exists in whose becoming really visible or valuable you have great faith. If you say and believe,
"I have faith in the substance of God working in and through me to increase and bring abundance into my world,"
your faith will start to work mightily in the mind substance and make you prosperous. Whatever you put into substance along with faith will work out in manifestation in your world. We have seen it done and we have proved the law too many times to have any doubt.
What do the Bible characters represent to us today? What Bible personage represents faith?
The Scriptures are filled with illustrations of this activity of bringing things to pass through faith in substance. The characters of whom we read in the Scriptures represent ideas carrying forward their work in human souls. If we think that they existed only as people of thousands of years ago, we put our faith back thousands of years, instead of letting it work for us this minute in our everyday affairs of life. To demonstrate as Jesus did we must put our faith in the one substance and say, "I have faith in God."
You demonstrate prosperity by an understanding of the prosperity law and by having faith in it, not by appealing to the sympathy of others, trying to get them to do something for you or give you something.
Faithfulness and earnestness in the application of the prosperity law will assure you of success.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning."
"In all thy ways acknowledge him,
And he will direct thy paths."
Let us all know that just now we are in the very presence of creative Mind, the Mind that made the universe and everything in it. This Mind is here and at work right now as much as it ever was or ever will be. When we fully realize this, we increase the activity of Mind in us immeasurably. You must realize that God is Spirit and that Spirit is very real and powerful, and by far the most substantial thing in all the world.
Is science antagonistic to religion or helpful to its cause?
It may be hard for those who have become attached to material things to realize that there is an invisible real life and substance that is much more substantial and real than the material. The men of science tell us that the invisible forces have a power that is millions of times more real and substantial than all the material world. When we read statements about some of the recent discoveries of science, which everyone accepts and talks about, we are truly amazed. Such statements made by religionists would be called preposterous and unbelievable. Yet religion has been making the same statements in different ways for thousands of years. Now science is helping religion by proving them.
What is the relation between material and substance?
In comparing substance and matter as regards their relative reality one scientific writer says that matter is merely a crack in the universal substance. It is universal substance that man is handling all the time with his spiritual mind. Through your thoughts you deal with the wonderful spiritual substance, and it takes form in your consciousness according to your thought about it. That is why we must hold the thought of divine wisdom and understanding: so that we may use these creative mind powers righteously. We use them all the time either consciously or unconsciously and we should use them to our advantage and blessing.
Is there any lack of anything anywhere? What are we to overcome?
Every time you say, "I am a little short of funds," "I haven't as much money as I need," you are putting a limit on the substance in your own consciousness. Is that wisdom? You want a larger supply, not a limited supply of substance. Therefore it is important to watch your thoughts so that the larger supply may come through your mind and into your affairs. Say to yourself,
"I am God's offspring, and I must think as God thinks. Therefore I cannot think of any lack or limitation."
It is impossible that in this universal Mind that fills everything there can be any such thing as absence. There is no lack of anything anywhere in reality. The only lack is the fear of lack in the mind of man. We do not need to overcome any lack, but we must overcome the fear of lack.
This fear of lack led men to speculate in order to accumulate substance and have a lot of it stored up. This caused a still greater fear of lack in other
men, and the situation grew worse and worse until it became generally believed that we must pile up the material symbols of substance for a possible lack in the future. We have tried that system and found that it fails us every time. We must learn to understand the divine law of supply and the original plan, which is that we have each day our daily bread. That is all we really want, just the amount of things we need for today's use, plus the absolute assurance that the supply for tomorrow's needs will be there when tomorrow comes. This assurance cannot be found in hoarding or piling up, as we have learned by experience. It can be had if we have faith and understand the truth about omnipresent, always available substance. Anything less than today's needs is not enough. Anything more than we need for today is a burden. Let us start with the fundamental proposition that there is plenty for you and for me and that the substance is here all the time, supplying us with every needful thing, according to our thought and word.
What affirmations help most to banish fear and abide in the consciousness of plenty?
In the morning, immediately upon awakening, take a quiet meditative thought. A good foundation statement to hold in the silence is:
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer."
Think of the meaning of these words as you meditate on them. The words of your mouth and the thoughts of your heart are now and always molding
the spiritual substance and bringing it into manifestation. They will not be acceptable to the Lord unless they bring into manifestation things that are true, lovely, and altogether good. After your morning meditation, when you have declared the omnipresence and the allness of the good, receive it as true and go forth to the day's activities with faith that all things needful are provided and your good must come. The soil and substance omnipresent has many names.
Jesus called it the kingdom of the heavens. Moses in Genesis named it the Garden of Eden. Science says it is the ether. We live in it as fishes live in the sea, and it lives in us and supplies us with all things according to our thoughts. When you start to your work, pause a moment and declare:
"I set God before me this day, to guide and guard, to protect and prosper me."
"The Spirit of the Lord goes before me this day and makes my way successful and prosperous."
Make this your proclamation for the day. Decree it to be so, and the Lord will bring it to pass. During the day, if a thought of lack or limitation should for a moment disturb you, banish it at once with the statement:
"Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want."
When your mind comes around again to the subject of prosperity, realize most strongly that your prosperity comes from God. It came with you from God, from your contact with God-Mind in your silence, and your prosperity is right with you wherever you are. Supply may seem to come through
outer channels, but your real success depends on your inner hold on the prosperity realization. Be thankful for supply that comes through outer channels, but do not limit God's giving to any one channel. Look unto Him and be prospered.
Some Prosperity Prayers
I am always provided for because I have faith in Thee as my omnipresent abundance.
I have faith in Thee as my almighty resource and I trust Thee to preserve me in my prosperity.
I trust the universal Spirit of prosperity in all my affairs. I come to God because I believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that seek alter Him.