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Who Should Be the Greatest (Fillmore)

Lesson Seven. Mark 9.

Unity Interpretation of
Who Should Be the Greatest?

Given by
November 6, 1941

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We are going to sing No. 183 — a hundred and eighty-three: "Where the Shepherd Leads, I'll Go." one-eighty-three.

1.Through the meadows green, inviting,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go;
Thru the gloom, his presence lighting,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go.

Thru the morning's rosy gleaming,
Thru the noon of splendor beaming,
Thru the twilight shadows streaming,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go.

2. O'er the mountain high and holy,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go;
Thru the valley, peaceful,lowly,
Where the shepherd calls I'll go.

3. All his love and mercy healing,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go.
On the homeward way, he's leading,
Where the shepherd leads, I'll go.

Let's all join in the Lord's Prayer: (In unison) Amen.


We have some announcements to make: Unity Vesper services begin next week Sunday November 9th. Unity Society presents a series of vesper services in the Plaza district. Those services will be held at five o'clock at the United Presbyterian Church, 47th and Ward Parkway. This is to provide for future Unity services at the Plaza, and the keynote of this service is "Prayer and Praise." We are grateful for your presence at all of these services. Another Unity service "Praise and Thanksgiving", November 23rd, ll:00 a.m.; special Thanksgiving services are being planned in Unity Chapel. You will want to come and bring your friends. Everyone of us has been richly blessed and prospered, therefore let us be united at this Thanksgiving service. Thanksgiving offering envelopes are ready and you may receive them from the ushers as you leave. Your offering will be received Sunday morning. This is for the purpose of taking care of such expenses as we have right here in the building — painting etc. This is the only special offering during the season — the Easter offering, us you remember for the temple Fund. This is for local upkeep.

(announcements by Mr. Frangkaiser. re: Defense Exposition tickets etc.)

As you know, this is the seventh lesson in the course, "THE MYSTERIES OF THE FOUR GOSPELS". Today our lesson is based upon the Gospel of Mark 9th Chapter; 33 to 37th verses. Here we read:

9:33And they came to Capernaum: and when he was in the house he asked them, What were ye reasoning on the way? 9:34But they held their peace: for they had disputed one with another on the way, who was the greatest. 9:35And he sat down, and called the twelve; and he saith unto them, If any man would be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all. 9:36And he took a little child, and set him in the midst of them: and taking him in his arms, he said unto them, 9:37Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

How in the very beginning, we have: "They came to Capernaum." What does "Capernaum" mean to you and to me? The word "Capernaum"!

"Capernaum" means "That inner conviction of the abiding restoring power of being."

This is a mighty spiritual accomplishment, is it not? It is a mighty consciousness to attain through prayer, through realization, through living the life and following the guidance of the Christ. Interpreted within ourselves, we know here Jesus symbolizes our "Indwelling Christ" and the "disciples" symbolize our spiritual faculties: faith, love, wisdom, power, life, imagination, and so on: twelve of them.

But evidently Jesus' disciples were not fully spiritualized at this stage of unfoldment. At this time, they were letting the personal ego get into control. Of course, it was then just as it is now: very few were really spiritualized; but here the personal ego was at the helm. The disciples were arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. No matter what each one of those disciples thought, each thought he was the greatest. Of course, we know in our saner moments, that we are only great when we are meek and lowly. We are only great when we serve — serve continually, just as Jesus would serve. We come to know we must be as little children free from all thought of ambition and so forth, to realLy be spiritual.

Genuine service is a mighty spiritual building. Let us think for just a moment of the super-consciousness, super-qualities of God-Mind. God-Mind in all its illumination and majesty, in all its splendor and power; and yet, God-Mind always loyally serves, always lovingly serves the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the good and the bad. God-Mind continually serves. God is the Great Servitor.

But the disciples had a problem, just as we have a problem today. Now is this not so? In the spiritually quickened soul, in the activity of this God-Mind we get some mighty realizations; strong, powerful insistent realizations. When we come out of them, it would seem as though that realization would transform the whole world and free those who are oppressed. It is not transformed! We feel we are truly the first in the kingdom.

Now the truth of the business is that the personal ego within us has not been fully redeemed and it gets this quickening just the same as our spiritual nature, and it comes forth and assumes, or affirms, its personal greatness. Sometimes we spoil it by telling our friends how very strong we are spiritually, and how wonderful we are spiritually. Sometimes we get a bit puffed up.

Emerson said of such he "was inwardly drunk with a certain belief". "Inwardly drunk" with an idea or ideas of personal importance ... inwardly drunk with an idea, or ideas of personal importance.

Jesus Christ set his disciples right by calling them to him and letting them know he who would be first must truly serve. He brought forth the example of a little child's true greatness — a little child who does not yet know personal ambition or who does not know selfishness or greed; whose heart is full of purity, faith and guilelesaness. Then knowing "the Servitor serves" as the keynote for us all. Service of the meek and lowly. One little bit of personality, one little bit of personal ego trying to rule, it clamps down, narrows and distorts the consciousness so that the great Mind of God cannot have unhindered, unhampered expression through the soul. Consequently this lesson is for us today; especially for us today to know that the great Servitor serves continually and that we must serve as God would have us serve.

Genuine service is the mighty spiritual builder, and we would all grow spiritually. Man, created in God's image and likeness, must serve, else his mind preys on itself and robs his life of its vital essence. In God there is no first or last. All sincere service is equal in God's light. Let us realize continually that our hearts are always right with God and that we are willing to serve at all times.

I think Benjamin Franklin said: "Plough deep while the sluggards sleep" — which means we are to realize spiritual truth, build up our spiritual nature regardless. Because in the natural plane, many feast and sleep and grew sluggish, but let us be alive spiritually. GENUINE SERVICE IS THE GREAT SPIRITUAL BUILDER.

Now is our time to realize that ... to realize it in a meek and lowly spirit. May we with one accord turn within. Realize God is the Great Servitor; that we, men and women, are the avenues through which God-Mind expresses. Let us know our souls are not hampered by the personal ego, by the desire for personal greatness. Each in his lowly way, serves as God would have him serve.

We will realize this thought: I am MEEK AND LOWLY. Together please; (repeat).


Together; (repeat)


Together (repeat). Amen.


We all readily see that in our lesson today, we are developing this spiritual man, or we are going along with Jesus in the regeneration. Now this is a process in which we are putting on the Christ. We are letting Christ be formed in us. Now this ideal Man, the real Man ... in this process, we find that the natural man, who is now being set aside is still asserting his importance.

In the lesson today, the importance of the natural man is being asserted. Now we have to meet these claims of the natural man and find out just where they fit into the spiritual man, because the Spiritual Man is the Real Man. And in the lesson today we find that the argument is: that the natural man, or the faculties of the natural man, the Peter and the James and the John, representing our faith and our love and our understanding etc., they are asserting their importance and arguing as to who is the greatest; who is going to be the greatest in this coming kingdom.

Right here, we have to meet this ambitious man; and the ambitious man isn't so bad after all. We wouldn't get very far in our development, unless we have certain ambitions to attain. The question of course is: WHAT and HOW are we letting this ambition assert itself? Is it asserting itself selfishly or unselfishly? Is it asserting itself as a little child — that is, receptively?

Jesus used the symbol of a little child to represent the receptive attitude of mind in which one should be who is putting on the Christ; and we all know what a little child represents: he represents active confidence, that is, natural faith, and he believes everything that he is told. The little child doesn't take much of the logic into consideration, but he takes the facts; he takes certain things in trust; he simply believes.

As Paul said, he "believath all things and hopeth all things."

The majority of our hardboiled people in the world think that is credulity; if you believe everything, you are apt to get fooled — get your eye-teeth cut. There are people "round looking for just your kind of people." That may be an argument. That may be a good argument. But if you are established in the Divine Spirit, you will never got fooled in the end. You will always come out successful. You will always find that there is a protecting presence, that there is a protecting intelligence, that there is a power that goes with that innocence that takes care of a little child.

I remember reading not long ago an incident of the simple faith of little children, who were being brought up — two little boys — after modern ideas of giving them perfect freedom. They shouldn't be called and asked to say why they do certain things. ... One evening after they had gone to bed ... lo and behold! they went back downstairs stark naked, walked around and went upstairs again. The father and mother said to the guests, "Be right still. Don't pay any attention them. We don't know what they are up to. But they are evidently doing something of vast importance to them." Instead of questioning the children, they went to their kindergarten teacher. From her they learned that they had a new game of which they (the parents) hadn't been told. ...

"Mom has 'disappearing' vanishing cream (sotto voce) (Laughter) disappearing cream upstairs. After we go to bed we get up, rub ourselves with that disappearing cream AND NOBODY CAN TELL WHAT WE HAVE ON AND THEY CAN'T EVEN SEE US!"

(The label had disappearing cream on it) a real example of abstract confidence in what it said on the bottle. If we would only remember this and know that we should believe and have simple faith in what is told us, what is written in the Book!

I think that the Bible has been a wonderful guide to Christians who really believed. But there comes a little bugbear, and that is, you finally reach a place when you seek for your understanding to be brought into manifestation, and here's where, as a rule, we have trouble because the understanding sees the ability of the man, and it begins to assert itself, and here's where ambition comes in. As Shakespeare says: "I have no spur to break the way (?) of my intent (?), but only vaulting ambition which o'orreaches itself and falls en the other side." That's where you have trouble with your ambition. And so we find that we much go with this obedient spiritual man as he unfolds and bring into realization the man of Spirit with all his powers.

Now this means if we go along with Jesus and serve — Jesus taught service: whatever we did, it must be service — Paul says: "We are God's fellow-workers." Did you ever realize that you are really, when you understand your spiritual resource, you are the image and likeness of God in idea and that you are forming that image and likeness in manifestation, if you have in mind that one idea, you must work with Principal, with God. Here you emphasize that work in His Name.

We see on every side the works of those who really love their work. If you love your work, you will express the Divine Law under the "John Dispensation" — you will LOVE your work. You see. And if you love your work, you will do good work, whatever it may be.

It is said about Stradivarius, the great maker of violins, that a very great but unprincipled painter one day sneered at Stradivarius for wasting of his talents in making violins, and he scorned the petty practice. But Stradivarius did his work with a sense of partnership with God, and replied:

"When my Master holds 'twixt chin and hand a violin of mine, he will be glad that Stradivarius lived, made violins and made them the very best. My work is mine. If my hand slack, I should rob God, since He is the fulness of good and He could not make Antonio Stradivarius violins without Antonio!"

[TruthUnity note: Eric Butterworth made a similar comment when he wrote in Spiritual Economics that "I am God's living enterprise". Chapter Four.]

That is a real incident there, that God couldn't do a certain work without you — without me. Lots of people can do just as good work as you are doing ... 0, metaphysics is for good students! Well they may do as good work as we are doing, but "not as good work as I am doing — as you are doing." ... God likes everyone of us original. Like the diamond having many facets, doing many kinds of work. But He wants us to do it well, with our whole heart and then it will be permanent, lasting, and it will be good ... it will be God's work.

So we are all striving to follow Jesus in that right kind of work. And that right kind of work is work you are doing. So everyone of us must do the work of the Lord in the Lord's way — not in our way, always. We have certain ideas how work should be done, but let us remember, the real way to do God's work is to take this receptive state of mind, this childlike, open mind, and to believe everything. As I say, you will be made a victim sometimes, apparently. But cling to your God-guidance. Don't be afraid. ...

[You may say,] "If I do make mistakes, if I do make blunders ... " Well, then, make God responsible for your blunders. Pretty soon you will come out of them. That's a strange thought. If you refer your blunders to God-Mind, all at once there will be LIGHT come into your life. You will begin to see how it will work with every line of work.

It doesn't make any difference where we are cast. Some say, "I can't work in the business world, because I am so spiritual!" The business world needs your spirituality. Others say, "I can't go to war. I don't believe in killing." You don't have to go to war to kill ... you go to save people from their killing ideas. Take that stand. You will find you don't have to kill anybody. We have experienced again and again by some of our young men, — some volunteered — who come back rejoicing: "I didn't kill anybody. I had discipline, that I needed." The reason for it? Trusting in God WITHIN.

If you recognize the spiritual Mind it will work with you. If you work with this Divine Mind, it will broaden your viewpoint and you will begin to see in a larger way. I tell you the Spirit is back of everything. There is nothing back of Spirit but an ideal. We talk this over and over again. But has to be impressed upon us: WHAT I AM DOING IS SPIRITUAL WORK. It doesn't make any difference, you may be a typewriter, a letter-writer; you may be doing janitor work. It doesn't make any difference what it is, if you are doing it in the right spirit, it is God's work. But doing it with your own light, with ideas it is outside work, you don't get anywhere. If you do it in that light, it will be dirt and ashes. But doing it, and doing it in Spirit, you will get grand results.

We have with us today David Walter Pye of New York, who has been associated in this work for a great number of years. I might say I have an idea of asking him to come up here, and I am letting him talk about any subject he wants to talk about. Mr. David Walter Pye:


I would like to interpret more completely the remarks your wonderful speaker has made about the writer (speaker). And we were talking over this discussion regarding who should be the greatest, — the other night. There Jesus is at Capernaum, which you understand means "compassion". He was trying to bring something to the disciples who represented the thoughts that were going through his own twelve centers. He was trying to find out how he could convince them it was not necessary for them to dispute with themselves as to their greatness for consideration; that they shouldn't be trying to figure out one might be a little smarter and know a little more than another.

But, they should have a common ground of concentration that which occupies the mind of the so-called little child. So he brought a little child before them. He set the child down in their midst and said: How many understand the child naturally looks at the idea of what we call "father-and-motherhood", and is satisfied it is going to be taken care of.

The child hasn't got a great many ideas of how to run the universe. It isn't in any shape to tell God what His business is. So the child listens and tries to find out what is necessary to come into contact with that lovely spirit of the Father-Mother.

Jesus was telling them that the first thing about greatness, of the manifestation of greatness, was to use this law that we read about in the first chapter of Genesis: that God created man in his image and likeness.

Now if I bring in an electrical quality, as I have it, we might get what is called polarity. That is a positive pole and a negative pole — you better say positive and negative poles. And you want to know what happens when two positives come together in the electrical field! Then you get a fusion (?) and a spark. We should take this lesson as I understand it: if we get over-positive sometimes and we think that the other fellow doesn't know very much — we know it all — the best way to do for it is to get for it the spiritual, the right force in each and everyone. That force, that mind, that which Jesus called the "Father within", which in metaphysics we now call the "Super-mind", now that mind in us is always there acting unselfishly and dispassionately and without a lot of noise and trying to convince us it is everything. Now this super-mind is ever there, and is everything good. It never changes. It is just the fountainhead out of which all ideas come, and makes man a genius.

Now they take a thought and do this and that — which perhaps we feel we cannot do — because they have come in contact with that particular idea or realm of ideas. Through that they have a manifest realization, and are continually magnifying this source, this cause realm rather than their own realm where they may not have assimilated it.

I remember many years ago, with work I was doing with new stock — having changed printers, I was shown what we as a club had sent out ten years or more ago. My gracious, did we ever put "tin-Lizzies" (?) of writing like that out inviting them to come to the show! All we could get was that kind of a card (?). Now today, we have streamlined cars and fluid drive.

In the same way Charles Fillmore pointed out — and leaders pointed out — why not?

I say to myself, I cannot tell you folks anything you don't already know. All I can say for myself when I am here is if I can get into a consciousness where two of you agree it is so — "where two or three are gathered together" in the midst of this Supreme I Am — then that Supreme I Am is going to be here. So we may say altogether, just now, we are really doing what the scientific world says we are going to do within ten or fifteen or twenty years — whatever it may be. They say we are going to take it out of the ethers, whatever any great soul has said. They are already producing — evolving — instruments so we will actually listen to what Jesus was getting at when he spoke to his disciples and told them to quit disputing about what is greatness.

But rather to come to a conclusion that even Jesus could say to them they shouldn't look up to him as a soul, but should remember what he said. And that spiritual "is-ness", that God-almightiness goes to make up the Trinity, that Christ love and healing power of the Holy Spirit ... that we should be thinking of that which produces that which he was capable of doing, not set him, Jesus, up as a superior spiritual being, but as one showing them the way that they could individually take. I say to everyone here, as I say to myself, that we ought to remember what Jesus meant when he said we should become like little children. "Except ye become like a little child, yet cannot enter into the kingdom" of harmony.

What is the Kingdom of Harmony? The Kingdom of Harmony is a realm where everything rests on what we try to explain as God-almighty Spiritual Man ... A man that knows everything naturally, normally, in the spiritual realm of the Fourth Dimension, isn't necessarily held to what the average mind knows in the material third dimension.

In my business life, I have noticed today, when meeting a great many problems, the businessman today is going through a great transformation. He is finding that he cannot carry on as he has in the past. He cannot assume that as a capitalist he has control over the producing mind. He has got either to use the producing mind himself either directly or in contact with those he works with. And in recent interviews, I have noticed as I have traveled around the country, that men try to get quiet and listen a lot to what the other fellow has to say — not interfere with his freedom to speak out — and that they will find after all where I may seem to entirely disagree, that I may have had that in mind. In my relation with particular groups supposed to be doing a little leading, when the other fellow has had his say — as Wilson says in one of his books, 'Don't try to shut anybody off. Just listen." ... And listen. After he gets through make your explanations. You have to do so in that particular to make yourself clear. For his particular experience, what he gets to know in his mind and being, helps to form his particular opinions. But just sit and analyze what has been said to you. Then take the stand: "Well, we are all doing the very best we can do, and that's all an angel can do.

I agree with Charles Fillmore's talks and Unity literature which says: Keep magnifying the highest conception of an idea that you can. Keep always standing firm and not trying to jump into heaven overnight. But really, say: What kind of an idea do I need? What is it I am not developing? Why should I be let up in the air thinking I am smart? Perhaps the light on the other side reveals life in another aspect. So I say: What is it I am not measuring up to? All right: Not measuring up means I haven't connected with the realm of ideas where the answer is. If I sit down and look around without myself, keep magnifying myself without ideas, not measuring up to it, I am shaping the end, and I am not making the emphasis on God who is going to improve our human. The only way to improve the human is with an idea that belongs to Spirit.

Unselfed discipline is good for everybody. I wish everybody to realize with me just now an affirmation Charles Fillmore made many years ago, which keeps coming to me. It is:


Thank you,.....(Strong applause).


CHARLES: We will now all join in the HEALING CONSCIOUSNESS.

CORA: we will have the offering first.

CHARLES: Have the offering first! I hadn't forgotten the offering. (Laughter).

CORA: Let's join in our usual word: DIVINE LOVE THROUGH ME BLESSES AND MULTIPLIES THIS OFFERING. First we will give you a chance to take your offering in your hands. Now together please: (repeat)

Blessing: Father, we thank Thee for this generous outpouring of Thy substance. We accept it in the name of the Lord, realizing that the givers are doubly blessed [unreadable text]

CHARLES: When working with Jesus, we can get some direction from the New Testament in his command to the disciples when he said for them to "Go forth, preach the gospel, heal the sick." Those are fundamentals. In all our meetings and classes, we feel we should hold for the healing power of the Spirit; we should declare that healing power; we should expect to be healed absolutely.

And now at the conclusion of this preaching and teaching, we are taking up the second stop: HEAL THE SICK. Let us take for our central idea that this CHRIST MIND IS NOW FUNCTIONING IN US. When we declare it, it opens ths way to the great Father-Mind. Jesus, in our lesson today, said: Whoever receiveth me receiveth Him that sent me. That "me" is the Christ in everyone of us. Let us realize that the living Christ is here. The living Christ is spiritual man, universal man. That universal man is in us when we open our minds, become childlike and receptive.

Jesus Christ, the Living Christ, is now here and heals you. He is now here doing his perfect work healing you, healing me, healing all. THE LIVING CHRIST IS NOW HERE DOING HIS PERFECT WORK HEALING YOU, HEALING ME. Let's all make that affirmation together:


Again. Everybody. (Repeat) That's better. The demand is that we shall send forth the Word. Again: (repeat). Now we have a list of names here of people on the outside who have asked us to pray for them at this meeting. Keep that thought up.

CORA: May we have your most earnest prayers for these dear ones for health, help, prosperity, also freedom. Please consider yourselves perfect healers, healing all manner of diseases, the thought of poverty, and so on. Give us your best help. I will read the names silently.

CHARLES: We are realizing that the healing consciousness, the healing Christ is here doing its perfect work healing and prospering us and all persons here, those asking, those whose names we have received. THE HEALING CHRIST IS DOING ITS PERFECT WORK IN ME. THE HEALING CHRIST IS DOING ITS PERFECT WORK IN YOU. Let's all speak the word again, please. Say:


Cora: You are healed.

Charles: And prospered.

Cora: You are healed. You are illumined.

Charles: The perfect work of the Christ mind is to do all good to everyone. "Now there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." Now if you have in your mind anybody, it doesn't make any difference where they are, who needs healing, thank of them; repeat their names silently. Speak the word: THE LIVING CHRIST IS NOW DOING ITS PERFECT WORK. THE LIVING CHRIST IS NOW DOING ITS PERFECT HEALING IN YOU. Together: Again: Aloud: Repeat.

BENEDICTION: Let's all give thanks that the LIVING CHRIST is here pouring out upon us spiritual abundance, spiritual abundance, plenty for you and for me, when we realize the power of the Spirit, THE LIVING CHRIST IS NOW HERE GIVING THE CONSCIOUSNESS AND MANIFESTATiON OF ABUNDANCE TO US, EVERYONE.

Let us rise please:

Transcribed by Mark Hicks on August 20, 2016.

We are all going forth with this great consciousness alive in us of the LIVING CHRIST. We are working with this Christ. It is working with us. We are working with and being inspired by this LIVING CHRIST. Amen.