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1939 Dissertation on Unity


Page 145

The Origin and Nature of Man

Man originated not as a free act of a personal Creator but by the process of the eternal Mind unfolding itself into self-consciousness. "Man is a focal point in God-consciousness and expresses God."[1] We have noted how Mr. Fillmore conceives of God as having three phases — substance, idea, and expression. Man, the third of these phases, comes forth from the other two. The first phase, substance, is the passive essence out of which all things evolve. This phase he frequently designates by the Old Testament term, Elohim. The second phase is the active, ideating, or causal side of Being — that in Being which enables it to unfold itself. "The supreme creative Spirit that we call God includes, as of His very nature, fundamental laws or principles by which He works."[2] In Unity literature this phase of Being carries the names Jehovah, I AM, the Logos, or Man. This last term, when so used, is always capitalized or given such an adjective as spiritual or ideal to distinguish it from the term used generically. The generic man, Adam, is the product of the elements of the essence phase of Being, substance, life, love, intelligence, etc., ideated through the active or causal side of Being. Adam is Being expressed in thought. "God-Mind is under the law of thought, seeking to express its perfection."[3] The term "thought" is the


  1. Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 29.
  2. Correspondence School Lessons, Series 2, Lesson 1, p. 7.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ©d,), p. 22.

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best Mr. Fillmore has to express the activity or movement of Being. He insists that the key to God-Mind is the action of the human mind. Since man is a "phase of God-Mind," his mind acts like the original. Hence, as we apprehend the working of bur own minds we get an understanding of God-Mind. The basic quality of the individual mind is its power to think. Out of thinking comes expression. Ideal man, then, is God in idea; racial man is God expressed.

Mind at the human level is not to be thought of as having developed into independent entities. Because each individual mind manifests only bits of knowledge we seem to see myriads of minds. But, in reality, "all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are expressions of ideas in one Mind pressing forth through different channels according to the capacity of the channel through which they are coming forth."[1] Man is simply Being arriving at the "I-plane" of unfoldment. Potentially, this ego stage is all that God is. God-Mind cannot be divided; every stage of unfoldment carries all that God is at that stage of evolution. However, these stages are demonstrations, and the Principle is always superior to the demonstration. Therefore, the individual should say, "The Father is greater than I."

Since Being is triune — substance, idea, and expression — man, made in the image of Being, is triune — spirit, soul, and body. God and man are under the same law of development, Man


  1. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 22.
  2. Correspondence School Lessons, Series 2, Lesson 1, p. 12.

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as Spirit is like God as Substance. Spirit is ideal man, the "only-begotten" of Elohim, the Logos or I AM. This first element or, we should say, phase of man is that which has existed from eternity. Mr. Fillmore frequently calls this phase "The Superconsciousness." It is the invisible, intangible, divine essence of man upon which the other two phases of the human trinity are dependent.

Soul, the second in the trinity, is the demonstration of Spirit. "Spirit is potential man ... soul is demonstrated man."[1] This second is the revelation of the first. "Man is spirit, absolute and unconditioned, but man forms an Adamic consciousness into which he breathes the breath of life. This is divine idea."[2] The soul is that part of man which says "I." It is man's memory, both conscious and subconscious; it is that which responds to the Spirit or I AM by saying "I will." Unlike man's Spirit, the soul is not eternal although we cannot say when any soul actually came into existence. Unity members believe that every soul has gone through the process of death and birth many times. "The race to which we belong on this planet began thinking and acting in self-consciousness many millions of years ago. God alone knows the exact age of every soul."[3] We shall note the law of these repeated incarnations of soul as we deal with the question of evil.


  1. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 136.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 27.
  3. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 136.

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As in the divine trinity, the first or Elohim phase is substance and the second or Jehovah phase is cause; so, in the human trinity, spirit or superconsciousness is the essence of man, and soul is the agent of man. Spirit or substance is at the service of soul, and from substance soul forms a body. The soul accomplishes this feat by the power of thought. Thought eventuates in action, and action "gives rise to relation, time and space and form."[1] Mr. Fillmore says: "Man is omnipotent Spirit, he expresses himself through soul, which makes a dwelling called body."[2] The body, which man originally organized for himself was not a fleshly body such as the race now manifests. Now the body of man is matter, limited both in its functioning and life-span, but soul's original manifestation was a "divine-substance" or "universal dust" body without such limitations. "We should remember that the first Adam was perfect in his elemental soul and body."[3] The limitations which are now a part of our bodies will be considered in a later section.

A final word of caution at this point: Neither the divine trinity nor the human may be partitioned in our thought of them. God is substance, idea, and expression; Man, too, is spirit, soul, and body. Soul is the extension of spirit, and body is the extension of spirit through soul. In Adam, the third phase of the


  1. Charles Fillmore, Thought. IV (May, 1892), 93.
  2. Charles Fillmore, "Perpetual Incarnation vs. Reincarnation," Unity, VIII (May, 1897), 421.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 22.

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divine trinity, the eternal being is continuing to evolve itself.

Man is also like God in that he carries in his nature both masculine and feminine qualities. We have noted how the Divine Mind begins to unfold itself through the process of ideation. The law of unfolding Being seems always to carry both a positive and a negative, a masculine and a feminine side.

Mental activity in Divine Mind presents two phases: first, inception of the idea; and secondly, expression of the idea. In every idea conceived in mind there is first the quickening spirit of life, followed by the increase of idea in substance. Wisdom is the "male" or expressive side of Being, while love is the "female" or receptive side of Being. Wisdom is the father quality of God and love is the mother quality. In every idea there exist those two qualities of mind which unite in order to increase and bring forth under law.[1]

The first stage in the ideation of Being was Jehovah — "spiritual man or God's perfect idea of man." Mr. Fillmore says that this first ideation carried within itself both wisdom and love and that the very name of this first stage of God's unfoldment expressed this distinction of qualities.

Jehovah in the Hebrew is written 'Yahweh.' 'Yah' is the masculine and 'weh' is the feminine. The word is made up of masculine and feminine elements and represents the joining together of wisdom and love as a procreating nucleus.[2]

Jehovah, the ideal man, formed Adam, the man of self-consciousness. In this process the male became separate from the female; yet, even in this plane of existence, each individual center of consciousness carries within itself both the masculine and the feminine principles. "In the subconsciousness of every man is the feminine principle and in that of every woman is the masculine."[3] Therefore, each human being is complete and needs nothing


  1. Ibid., pp. 22-23
  2. Ibid., p. 30.
  3. Ibid., p. 27.

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outside himself to give satisfaction. As we shall see later, this idea forms the basis of Mr. Fillmore's criticism of the external sex life of the race. He says that the command of Elohim — "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth" — was not spoken to manifest man, but to the Logos and was a call to wisdom and love to unite in bringing forth "true ideas, thoughts and words."[1]

Man's Self-Realization

Man's self-realization begins at the point where the God-consciousness forms itself into self-conscious centers. Here the I AM becomes the "I will."

As the will of God, man represents I AM identify. This is self-consciousness, freedom to act without dictation of any kind, selfhood without consciousness of cause, the power to make or break without limitation, constructive and constructive ability with a universe of potentialities. The will is the man.[2]

Apparently the God-process, as impersonal, has evolved to its limit in Man. And if the world process is to continue further it must be by a deliberate act of the race. The potentiality of the Infinite has come to a focus in man. "God is the one Principle; we are as free to use God as we are free to use the principles of mathematics and music. The principle never interferes."[3] Man does not create any basic substance or originate ideas. God-Substance, "without form and void," invisible and intangible, fills the heavens. The ideas for manifesting it are as eternal as the Substance. Man's task is to bring into expression the


  1. Ibid., p. 28.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing, p. 101.
  3. Ibid., p. 105.

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eternal Substance, God, by calling forth the ideas. In this sense, man becomes a co-operator with God. What a wonderful opportunity; An early Unity writer states it after this fashion:

Man is the thinking part of God. God in his rich knowledge, power and wisdom created (thought) man, and man appeared in visibility, a conscious identity. As thought bears likeness to the mind whence it proceeded, man, God's thought, bears an exact likeness to the Universal Mind — God. He is the image and likeness of this Universal Mind, and he has the power, as his Father has power, to form the world in which he lives.[1]

The technique by which man is able to continue the creative activity, combining the intangible Substance into forms after the eternal patterns, is that used originally by God — "God said." By nature, ideas manifest forms; that is the law of Being. "As God created by the Spoken Word, 'without which nothing was made that was made,' so man can create by his spoken word."[2] If this seems far-fetched we must remember Unity's concept of the nature of things. "Every form in the universe, ever function, all action, all substance — all these have a thinking part which is receptive and controllable by man."[3] This is the key to man's creativeness. He does not need to "concern himself with the action and reaction of the chemistry of matter, nor does he need to know all the intricate laws of electricity and magnetism in order to get the very highest use of them. They are susceptible to thought through the knowing faster in their construction."[4]


  1. M.P. Freas, "Thinking," Unity, XII (Jan., 1900), 293.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Unity, XXIV (June, 1903), 363.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Christian, Healing (14th ed.), p. 46.
  4. Ibid., p. 47.

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All that man needs to know, then, is the eternal patterns that are to be combined into forms and the words necessary to bring them into expression. As has been suggested, this knowledge is gained directly from God in an intuitive fashion. Potentially a creator, man becomes a perfect organ for the expression of being as he realizes his true nature or oneness with Being. This is what Mr. Fillmore means when he suggests that the individual throw himself into the trinity. "Know yourself as an integral idea in the Divine Mind, and all the other ideas will recognize you as a fellow worker."[1] Just how this recognition works out is illustrated by him in the following paragraph:

Seven emanations, or "words" or God are operative in the natural world. They are; Wisdom, Life, Love, Power, Substance, Strength and Order. All nature is keyed to this scale. The seven colors of the spectrum, the seven notes of music, the seven physical senses of man. (two not yet universally developed),[2] are all emanations of the mystical Words of Being. When man studies and masters thought he discerns the relation between the various manifestations and the "words" from which they arise. To illustrate: when the word Life is repeated in the mind a vibration is sent out whoso color is red, in the musical scale it is do, and its substance is alcohol; so each "word" has its effect upon the seven fundamental planes of the natural world, and when man learns to use words in the right relation, he has the key to all creative processes, and can, at will, change not only his own body, but also all the natural forces operative everywhere.[3]

Man's "chief end," then, is the self-conscious evolution of Being. This self-conscious evolution involves the deliberate organization in a body of three basic factors or streams of Divine Being — life,


  1. Ibid., p. 19.
  2. Mr. Fillmore says the two undeveloped senses are thinking and intuitive perception. "The brain is the thinking organ and the solar plexus is the receiving organ." Charles Fillmore, Weekly Unity. XXII (Feb, 2S, 1931), 8.
  3. Charles Fillmore, "Sunday School Lessons," Unity. XX (Jan., 1904), 30.

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substance, and intelligence. These exist in Being as unconscious of each other. "Each of these attributes is conscious only of the principle involved in it."[1] Man as "I" is to lay hold of these three attributes and so relate them in his body that he gives a perfect demonstration of being in bodily form:

Jehovah God, the active representation of Divine Mind in man, places man in the Garden of Eden[2] to "dress it and to keep it." Man dresses and keeps this garden by developing in his consciousness, the original, pure idea of Divine Mind. As man establishes ideas of Truth in his mind he calls into manifestation his spiritual body imaged in substance by Divine Mind.[3]

As generic man does this through the body his whole, total environment positively responds so making a universal demonstration. Thus the Son of man consciously becomes Son of God. He can say: "I and the Father are one." Each individual achieves his true destiny by becoming in his bodily manifestation an epitome of Being. In this man finds complete satisfaction.

The Origin and Nature of Sin

Mr. Fillmore insists (the one point at which he deliberately turns from intuition and logic) that the theological concept of the "fall of man" is historically true. Our universal experience shows us that man is not now spiritual or perfect. The possibility of evil in the evolutionary process arose at the


  1. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 130.
  2. Mr. Fillmore says the Garden of Eden is an allegorical representation of the elemental life and intelligence placed at the disposal of man through which he is to evolve a soul and body. See Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 35.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 38.
  4. "The 'fall of Man' antedated the formation of this planet as we behold it geologically." Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement (Kansas Cityi Unity School of Christianityj, p. 4 pamphlet

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point where the universe developed self-consciousness. Freedom, a characteristic of Being, came to a focus in form at the level of self-conscious expression. The inherent characteristic of self-conscious form is that it must voluntarily maintain itself. Form at this level is more than an extension of Principle; it is also a user of Principle. Freedom consists of man's ability to combine the characteristics of Being as he sees fit. The characteristics of Being which come to expression in human nature are Strength, Faith, Wisdom, Love, Power, Imagination, Understanding, Will, Order, Zeal, Renunciation, and Life. Man's task is to combine these characteristics according to the law of Truth. There are a multitude of possible combinations but only one true combination. "Man forms his own consciousness from the elements of God, and he alone is responsible for the results."[1] Sin consists in setting up a wrong relationship between these elements of Being.

How man came to make this wrong combination of the elements of Being is explained allegorically in the third chapter of Genesis. In cultivating the garden of Eden, i. e., in handling the elements of Substance, Adam had two possibilities: First, he might turn directly to God, the I AM of him, and gain an absolute knowledge of the law of Truth. There could, then, have been no failure on man's part. Or man could begin to experiment and gain a phenomenal knowledge of the relations existing between the elements of his nature. "Man is a free agent. He can open his mind to the divine intelligence and know the creative law, or


  1. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 161.

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he can work out his character through blind experimentation."[1] The human pair took the second way thinking that they would thus gain wisdom and pleasure. The serpent, the "life center" and the organ of "sensation," tempted the soul, "the center of feeling and love," suggesting indulgence in the pleasures of sense as the way to a deeper understanding of God and his laws. The soul or love center succumbed to the suggestion of sense consciousness and turned itself downward in the body to the life center instead of pushing upward to the wisdom center in the body. Thus the serpent became 'the villain in breaking up the "holy marriage" of wisdom and love through which union Being was perfectly manifesting its ideas. "Man's sin is the misappropriation of ideas, which leads to sensation."[2] Man's fall is his descent into the "lower consciousness of sense."

God cannot be blamed for this failure on the part of man. "Sensation is itself a divine creation, and all God's creation was pronounced good."[3] Nor was man's fall a moral one. He acted blindly, falling to understand the real nature of sensation. Sensation is a mental quality in nature and can be satisfied only by being lifted up by the spiritual side of man's being. "The marriage mystically spoken of in Scripture, and in other sacred books, takes place in consciousness; it is a soul communion of the two-in-one more sweet than that between the most harmoniously


  1. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 66.
  2. Ibid., p. 50.
  3. Ibid., p. 53.

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mated man and woman."[1] If man had realized the true nature of his being; if the feminine in man — the love center, located near the heart — had arisen to union with the masculine in man — the wisdom center, located at the top of the head — man would have experienced an ecstasy far beyond anything that outward physical sensation could give.

But man ignorantly chose the other way and expressed his choice in the "misuse of the sexual function," the results, says Mr. Fillmore, were disastrous:

In its right relation the serpent stands upright on its tail, and forms the connecting link between the swift vibratory forces of Spirit and the slow vibrations of the flesh. ... In the body the spinal cord is the main cable of sensation, "the tree ... in the midst of the garden," and its branches extend to all parts of the system. The "fruit" of this "tree," which the desire for sensation (serpent) urges man to eat, is the seminal fluid, which flows throughout the nervous system and is the connecting link between the mind and body. When desire for sensation leads man to dissipate (eat) this precious "fruit" of the "tree" in his earthly garden, the whole nervous system is drained of its vitality and the spinal cord loses its capacity to conduct the higher life into the consciousness.[2]

Sex sensation has made a broken cistern of man's consciousness; for generations the life stream has been turned into this receptacle, and lust has robbed the bodies of the whole race, making them mere shells, void of life. The failing eye, the deaf ear, the festering or withering flesh, all bear testimony to this perversion of God's life.[3]

Some Unity teachers have hesitated in so thoroughly condemning all sexual intercourse; but Mr. Fillmore, during the entire history of his movement, has been very explicit in this interpretation of the nature of man's sin. In an earlier chapter, we have


  1. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 164.
  2. Ibid., pp. 165-166
  3. Ibid., p. 163.

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given quotations showing his teaching before 1920. The following statement is taken from his most recent treatment of the subject:

The tendency to plead that there must be good in sense habits persists very strongly. We cannot conceive why these functions, widen seem, so necessary to reproduction of the race, should not be under the divine law. This is because we have not yet awakened to the fact that they are but an external and counterfeit expression, a degenerate imitation of divine reproduction.[1]

Man's mental transgression cannot be interpreted as a sin against God. God is not the kind of being that can be touched by evil.

In the serene Mind of God, there is no duality, no good and bad, no day and night, no understanding and ignorance.[2]

There is no such thing as sinning against God for this would imply that we could break up the very foundations of Being itself.[3]

Man cannot corrupt the inherent purity of any of God's attributes.[4]

These statements are in line with Unity's frequently repeated assertion: "God is good; there is no evil."[5] Here Unity is often confused with Christian Science. But Unity does not deny the existence of evil; it only denies its independent existence. "Good and evil are opposite but not adverse to each other."[6] Evil


  1. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 101.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 51.
  3. Charles Fillmore, "Where True Reform'Begins," Unity, XII
(Feb., 1900), 353.
  4. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 130.
  5. Charles Fillmore, Pure Reason and Honest Logic of Practical Christianity, p. 50 (pamphlet).
  6. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 55.

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does exist temporarily but it does not have Principle back of it; evil does not adhere in substance, for substance is all of God. Evil is only wrong relationship between the elements of substance, and it has only such power as the human mind gives it. When we quit thinking in terms of wrong relationships, evil will disappear:

Let us compare God to the sun and the clouds and mists to evil and sin. The clouds and mists pass away; they are un-enduring and therefore not real. They are not a part of the sun, and although they may seem to hide its shining glory for a while at times, yet they eventually cease to be, while the sun continues to shine on. In like manner the evil and sin within people ... seem to hide the glory of the Christ within them, but eventually that which is not of God will pass away, and the beauty and goodness of God will be revealed.[1]

Again, man's mental transgression did not destroy his ability to manifest or form things through the power of thought and words. This power is inherent in man as a center of self-consciousness.

Even in his ignorant use of thought, man's mind is forming conditions, even to the changing of the face of nature itself. Every thought that goes forth from the brain sends vibrations into the surrounding atmosphere and moves the realm of things to action. The effect is in proportion to the ability of the thinker to concentrate his mental forces. The average thought vibration produces but temporary results, but under intense activity, conditions more or less permanent are impressed upon the sensitive plate of the universal ether, and through it they are brought into physical manifestation.[2]

Thought, word, manifestation — this is the eternal law. Even "every idle word" produces its proper effect. "The curses of the witch and blessings of the priest" equally manifest in nature.


  1. "Explanations," Unity, LXXVI (Jan., 1932), 80.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ad.), p, 57.
  3. Ibid., p. 62.

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This explains certain seeming inconsistencies which we see about us. If thought makes the body how can a selfish person manifest a beautiful body? Unity would reply that beauty, health, wealth, etc., are not rewards given for certain thoughts; they are the expression of thought. Their absence is an evidence of limited or error thinking, but their presence is not necessarily an evidence of good thinking.[1]

Stated positively, Adam and Eve in their fall into sense-consciousness lost sight of the one great causing Mind.[2] "Man became confused and lost in a maze of effects and secondary causes."[3] He brought himself into a false state of consciousness, binding himself in limitation and error, and thus shutting off for a time his divine possibilities. Through ignorance man became "Personal."[4] "Personality" affirms "possession and separation," but in the logic of the Absolute there can be no apartness from the Universal, Because man set himself over against Being,


  1. For example: "Selfish persons are usually vain also. Therefore they absorb all good with but one idea in mind, to perfect and beautify their physical bodies. Not having the beauty of Spirit, but desiring to be attractive to their fellow beings, they substitute the counterfeit, the beauty of form. Since thoughts make the body, their bodies develop according to the idea they hold in the mind, the idea of a beautiful body." "Answers to Questions," Unity, XL (May, 1914), 595.
  2. Mr. Fillmore states this quite materialistically: "When the desire for sensation leads man to dissipate the previous fruit of the tree of life in his earthly garden, the whole nervous system is depleted and loses its capacity to contact the higher life current and waper-mind wisdom." Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 53.
  3. Ibid., p. 47.
  4. Personality is defined as "a false state of consciousness formed by identifying one's self with error." "Definitions of Names Used in Practical Christianity," Unity, XL (Jan., 1914), 30.

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the Divine Mind,"[1] and "is no longer inspired with the ability to idealize direct from the ether"[2] to satisfy his needs. In terms of the third chapter of Genesis, man now received a "coat of skins" and was "sent forth from the garden of Eden." The "coat of skins" indicates that the "divine-substance" body which man originally had was now slowed down in its vibrations until It became the body of flesh—a body corresponding in quality to man's thought. "Sent forth from the garden of Eden" means that man now seeks to supply his needs through toiling in effects rather than supplying them direct from first Cause through conscious union with his I AM or superconsciousness.

In summary, man by sinning did not lose contact with Being. All that man is and uses is Divine Substance. Nor did man lose his ability to ideate or express in forms under the law of Being. But, because he blindly turned from Being as Cause, man put mental limitations on Being's expressions. Man began to ideate forms under the limited sphere of "personal" consciousness. "All ideas have their origin in Divine Mind, but man has put the limitation of his thought upon them and see them 'in a mirror, darkly.'" As a sinner, man has inevitably affected both his own body and his environment. Under the law of thought man has imposed


  1. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 50.
  2. Ibid., p. 54.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 41.

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directly upon himself such basic limitations as disease, poverty, and death. Under the same law he has "by important thoughts and words, interfered with the natural harmony — producing cyclones, droughts, and floods."[1] Man has sinned only against himself.

The Historical Consequences of Sin

First, as a result of sin, each individual soul when it manifests form now has a gross, fleshly body formed by "limited" or error thought. This body is subject to bondage through conscious and subconscious[2] thoughts — "thoughts of fear, anger, jealousy, hate, poverty, death." Death is now the universal experience.

Secondly, following the fall of man, the race by its inherent power to manifest ideas has created a realm that separates it in consciousness from the Father-Mind. The babe is bound by his physical environment. Incongruous conditions in the formed realm about him — not only such larger catastrophes as earthquake and flood, but malformation of body, disease, and the like suggest limitations to his thought. This explains why we, the offspring of Divine Mind, "are not naturally conscious of its presence,"[3] This process has been building up through the centuries.


  1. "Sunday School Lessons," Unity, XX (Jan., 1904), 30.
  2. I use the term in the Unity sense to mean "the sum of all man's past thinking," This refers to previous incarnations as well as the present. See "Definitions of Names Used in Practical Christianity," Unity, XL (Jan., 1914), 30.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 14.

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Sometimes the effects are apparent at once, but sometimes the manifestations of combined-error-thinking are delayed for long periods of time. They then break forth with terrific violence, providing avenues of escape for the "pent-up" error within. Such was the flood of Noah's time. "If all could understand this law of thought expression, we would realize that thinking not only influences our own affairs but contributes to the total race thought and by the same law comes into expression in the race environment."[1]

Thirdly, inheritance plays its part; traits of mind and body are handed down from generation to generation. Mr. Fillmore thinks that physical heredity may have some effects, but he definitely minimizes it.[2] The dominant characteristics of a child until the age of puberty are largely determined by physical heredity and the conscious thoughts of the parents. His emphasis, however, lies in another direction. "It is not in the flesh that we inherit, but in the thoughts of the flesh."[3] Believing in reincarnation, he says that the "incarnating Ego," "the great aggregation of cells known as man," begins to assert a character of its own at the age of puberty. Habits of thought are thus carried over from generation to generation.[4] "The flesh has returned


  1. Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 63.
  2. See Charles Fillmore, "Reincarnation Questioned," Unity, XXVIII (April, 1908), 212.
  3. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 145.
  4. Mr. Fillmore illustrates by referring to a case of dumbness in a child in whom all the organs of speech were perfect. Such a person through anger or moroseness undoubtedly had refused to talk for a long period in a previous experience. Thus a habit had been fixed in his mentality and carried over into the next generation. See Unity, XVI (April, 1902), 241. He affirms that this law worked itself out in the experience of Paul, who because of his ambition was reincarnated as Napoleon Bonaparte. Unity, XVIII (Jan., 1903), 36.

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to dust, but its memories endure until a higher mind power cleanses and lifts then to purer states of consciousness."[1] We always get the fruit of our earthly acts in some future earthly life. This may seem to be unjust to some parents, but Mr. Fillmore assures us that the incarnating Ego is under the law of attraction. Like attracts like. The souls of murderers and drunkards are drawn to people of similar thinking. If we hold pure thoughts, "there is no danger of tramp Egos incarnating"[2] with us.

In the fourth place, there is a social drag upon the individual. This appears in two places: First, the thought of the child from his birth is geared to the realm of effects. When man sinned and lost contact consciously with Wisdom, the first Cause, he turned to the intellect for guidance. Thus the soul became wedded to the intellect, and the racial system of education rises no higher. Racial education is concerned primarily with the "realm in which the thoughts and actions of the mind are concerned with reason[] and the relation of ideas in the outer


  1. Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 145.
  2. Charles Fillmore, "Reincarnation Questioned," Unity, XXVIII (April, 1908), 212.
  3. Mr. Fillmore says that such men as Kant, Hegel, Mill, Schopenhauer, and Sir William Hamilton are limited in their thinking because they handle the mind and its faculties from this intellectual standpoint only. See Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 65.

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world."[1] Modern science has bogged man in the realm of effects.

But beyond the educational pattern, there is an immediate social drag upon the individual of which he for the most part is unaware. Society thinks many negative thoughts, and these thoughts directly affect the individual as well as physical nature. It is possible to think another into disease or even death. Perhaps some children have diseases because of the fear thoughts of their parents, although they also may come from the thoughts in a previous incarnation. All thoughts, "the curse of the witch as well as the blessings of the priest," produce vibrations which are re- corded in whatever they strike.[2] While Mr. Fillmore thinks it best not to dwell on this, it is a necessary part of his theory. He does caution his readers against thinking negative thoughts and also suggests ways by which they can protect themselves against such thoughts from others.

The time is coming when man will be able to perceive the impact of a thought as he is now able to feel a physical blow. When that time comes the nature of thought will be better understood, and the world will assume the defensive against negative thought waves.[3]

Protection against negative thought waves requires constant vigilance, and the most definite and successful protection


  1. Ibid.
  2. This was the basis of Mr. Fillmore's argument concerning the positive efficacy of the blessed Red Leaf (see pp. 53-57). On its negative side, this line of thinking bears a resemblance to Mrs. Eddy's "M.A.M.," which the Fillmores so vigorously criticised in 1889.
  3. "Power of Thought over Another," Unity, LXX (April, 1932), 81.

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consists in keeping the mind so filled with constructive ideas that there literally is no room left in which negative thoughts may find lodgment.[1]

Finally, in spite of the fact that sin does not adhere in Principle and that it is a mental transgression only, the condition of man 1b quite serious. This is evident from the regularity with which death attacks the race. What has happened to the race? "The tendency of thought emanation is to crystallize about the form it has made, and, in spite of the struggle of the man ego, to hold it."[2] This has taken place in the case of man. He has submerged his thinking power in a gross thought-pattern, which we can only designate as "carnal consciousness." This racial state of mind has become so crystallized that we are held in bondage to the mortal beliefs of "sin, evil, sickness, fleshly lusts and death."[3] Although man has absolute freedom[4] so far as his will is concerned, for will is an attribute of Being, somehow he has not been able to demonstrate the immortal life in form, which is his intended destiny as a self-conscious ego. Man now finds himself "we1l" under the "hypnosis of death."[5] Mr. Fillmore summarizes


  1. "Business Problems," Good Business, XXXI (Aug., 1937), 46.
  2. Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p. 6.
  3. Ibid., p. 7
  4. See Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), pp. 101-102, where he deals with the problem of free will. He says "We know that God is the Great unlimited, and man, his 'image and likeness,' must be of the same character; consequently man has the same freedom that God has to act in the fulfillment of desire."
  5. Charles Fillmore, "The Metaphysical Significance of the Crucifixion," Unity, LXX (Jan., 1932), 9.

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the condition of man as follows:

We can readily see how a whole race might be caught in the meshes of its own thought emanations and, through this drowsy ignorance of the man ego, remain there throughout eternity, unless a break were made in the structure and the light of a higher way let in. This is exactly what has happened to our race.[1]

The race has become lost in the meshes of its own thought emanations.

Under the influence of the "carnal thought" pattern of the race, individuals are also binding themselves more firmly, bringing particular diseases upon themselves by the power of their thoughts and words. Mr. Fillmore says that "materia medica" and metaphysics agree that the immediate cause of disease is microbes or germs. But the physician, who deals with effects only, cannot account for the origin of microbes. So he deals with the situation only superficially by trying to destroy the microbes. The metaphysician, on the other hand, knowing that "every mental process is generative ... stands in the storehouse of thoughts and sees them poured into visibility as microbes."[2] These microbes are of every sort depending upon the character of man's thinking. "Fear, anger, jealousy, lust, and kindred thoughts manufacture disease germs, and no sanitation or serum will ever stop their destruction."[3] Even death has its own specific microbe which


  1. Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p. 7.
  2. Charles Fillnore, Christian Healing (2nd ed,, 1910), P. 147.
  3. Charles Fillmore, A Talk on Christian Healing (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity), p. 6 (pamphlet). Perhaps are unnecessary, for Unity teaches that diseases do not come because other people have them. The microbes seem to stay with the person who has called them forth. See Unity, LX (Feb., 1926), 171.

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completes the action of the others.

Therefore, to know the names doctors associate with particular diseases is not important; rather, we should study to learn the particular thought which calls forth the microbes that produce that particular condition. Unity has taken care to point out many of these thoughts, connecting them with their particular disease manifestation. The following diagnosis of thought-causes is taken from their text, Divine Remedies:[1]

Anaemia ... results from a belief in a lack of strength and substance of life.

High blood pressure results from tension, from living too much in the head.

A hard, unforgiving state of mind, hardheartedness, is often the cause of hardening of the arteries.

Continuous thought about self and selfish interests throws the life force to the nerve centers and these centers become clogged. This causes deafness.

A condition of cross-eyes denotes an inner crossing of the thoughts.

Cataracts are caused by looking at the material world too closely.

Corns and bunions denote a belief in hard, material conditions. They also may be produced by pride.[2]

The top brain is the seat of spiritual thought, and persons


  1. Divine Remedies (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity, 1923) (pamphlet).
  2. Sometimes they forget their theory that all disease cause is mental, in this instance they suggest that corns may also be produced by lack of good judgment in choosing shoes. See Divine Remedies, p, 47.

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whose minds are kept active in the higher ideals seldom become baldheaded. Most men become bald as they approach middle age because they get material in their thoughts; the cells in the top brain become atrophied and the hair follicles die. Women more than men, are given to religious thought; they keep alive the top brain, and therefore few women get bald.

Worry is the cause of Bright's disease.

The root cause of rheumatism is a critical, cynical state of mind ... which fills the nerves with an acid that eats out the vitality.

Grief and bitterness are the root causes of gallstones.

Some thought of accumulation is the cause of too much flesh — obesity.

Paralysis often results its from financial grasping and holding.

Infantile paralysis has its primal cause in the fear of the loss of life.

The central thought cause of goiter is greed.[1] The greed may not be for money; it may be a desire for knowledge or some other good, a desire that has become such an all-absorbing interest in the individual's consciousness that he has become selfish and stingy.

Constipation is the expression in the body of selfish thought.

Poverty, also, belongs among the diseases: "It is caused by a microbe that infests and grows lean in the brains of those who cultivate it by their poor thoughts."[2] "Nobody needs to be poor. It is a sin to be poor."[3] In the same way, by the law


  1. Unity's diagnosis of goiter was a critical point in the trial of Clark v. Commerce Trust Co. et al. The plaintiff's attorneys argued that such statements had an undue influence on Miss Laura R. MacMahon in her willing her property to Unity. Miss MacMahon had toxic goiter. See Case No. 50415 Supreme Court of Missouri, Appellant's Abstract of Record, II, 867 f.
  2. Charles Fillmore, "Our Prosperity Treatments," Unity, XXI (Aug., 1904), 111.
  3. Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 60.

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that like attracts like, man gathers about him those forms of animal life that distress him and cause him discomfort. For example, mice may be attracted from their native hearth into the home because someone there holds "unsatisfied thoughts," especially an unsatisfied sense-consciousness for food."[1]

Thought causes are so complex that it is not always possible to point out the specific thought which causes a particular disease; nor can we infer, when we see one under the dominance of a certain ill, that his own immediate thought has produced the condition. Else we could not explain how people who in their conscious minds are far removed from impure and limited thoughts become victims. The thought cause of a particular disease may lie in the great realm of the subconscious. In it lie stored error-thoughts received from ancestors or from commonly accepted beliefs of the race or from previous incarnations.

Mr. Fillmore suggests, however, that it is not necessary to know the specific thought connected with a disease in order to overcome it. What we need to realize is that mind has a dual nature — a "yes" function and a "no" function. We see this dual aspect of mind expressed in all nature. Night and day, hot and cold, intelligence and ignorance proclaim it. And diseases are largely an overemphasis of one of these states of mind. A grasping, affirmative mind carries with it constipation and other stomach troubles. A mind excessively negative will end in dropsy, kidney trouble, or Bright's disease. So will all diseases: Idealists,


  1. See "Answers to Questions," Unity, XV (Dec. 1901), 373.

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especially, should understand this, for they are likely to bring physical disabilities upon themselves in their attempts to reform others. If a reformer's "feelings come to the point of 'righteous indignation' and he 'boils' with anger over the evils of the world, he will cook the corpuscles of his blood."[1] Hence, we should not attach ourselves too strongly to the social ills of our fellow men. An excessive "yes" or "no" state of mind leads to disease. Disease, if it is not arrested and "dissolved," leads to death.


  1. Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 117.

Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on October 11, 2014

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