Guide Booklet: Practical Christianity
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11
In the first chapter, “The Purpose of Living,” Myrtle Fillmore sets forth in simple language what should be our purpose on earth: “to unfold the many departments of your mind which God has planned for you, and which will enable you to know and to do His will.” Once we accept the truth of this idea, we are ready to begin a program of self-development. The first part of such a program should be gaining a clear understanding of how we may best use the principles of Jesus Christ in our lives.
In Chapter 2, the author compares the “new way” of Truth with what we may have known before. Our disappointments and frustrations may have resulted “from our trying to see life through a little knothole of personality.”
But now God has made us to know that a better way of life is available to us; He has given us new light. And we do well to want to change what does not measure up to “the best that our new light shows us.” But, says Myrtle Fillmore, we should not be concerned if we do not get immediate results from our study and prayer. The fact of our spiritual awakening is infinitely more important than the immediate results we accomplish materially and physically.
Our relationships with others will be more harmonious if we learn to see them as God’s children, striving to develop and grow just as we are.
Anxiety and worry can be stumbling-blocks in our path of progress. And worry about spiritual progress can cause neglect of physical development. Sometimes we require the prod of physical suffering to remind us that we are neglecting the body.
Nor is our responsibility solely to ourselves; we are responsible for helping others to slough off old race beliefs, and see life by the new light of Truth. Even such deeply ingrained race beliefs as those concerning death, old age, and the like must eventually be wiped away by the truth that “Spirit has no age; it is eternal, as God is eternal and unchanging.”
In Chapters 4 and 5, Myrtle Fillmore discusses the Unity teachings as “spiritual science.” The prime reason for studying this science is to get a broader conception of God; and while God is Principle, He “is not a cold, senseless principle like that of mathematics, but the Principle of life, love, and intelligence.” Since there is but the one Mind—God—the real life of all mankind is identical, in its inner meaning and purpose. Whatever is seemingly out of harmony with the great universal plan is illusion, caused by selfishness or “desire for something separate and apart from God.”
The author warns, “we are studying a spiritual science as exact as its requirements, as logical in deductions, and as demonstrable in its workings as the science of mathematics.” And the essentials to success in the study of mathematics are also essential to success in the study of spiritual science.
The fifth chapter deals with the fearless, almost revolutionary teachings of Jesus Christ, and how some present-day interpreters of His teachings distort them. The way to prove our understanding of His teachings is to do the works that He did.
In Chapter 6, Myrtle Fillmore discusses the “fundamental propositions” that Jesus Christ taught. A careful study of this chapter is particularly essential, for when we understand the great propositions set forth here, we shall know once and for all how to make Truth a reality in our lives.
Mrs. Fillmore cautions that we “cannot enter the kingdom of mind weighed down and piled high with old burdens of false notions and prejudices. ... We must drop old prejudices and old thoughts and sit meekly down to learn what is true.”
Chapter 11 contains helpful advice for those of us who occasionally have setbacks in our individual development. Unpleasant conditions, says the author, are the natural results of “the Spirit of Good doing a much needed housecleaning work.”
Complete these statements:
- My purpose on earth is (page 14)
- I understand that man comes into harmony with God by (page 26)
- I see that the three essentials to success in the study of Truth are (page 27)
- I take the three steps to bring an end to undesirable conditions within: (page 67)