CHAPTER EIGHT: SALVATION
Unity School of Christianity teaches "Practical Christianity for Practical Christians," which it interprets as the "application in all the affairs of life of the doctrine of Jesus Christ." It thinks of itself as restoring that system of redemption taught by Jesus Christ, now largely lost by the organized church. It uses in the presentation of its thought much of the nomenclature of orthodox Christianity, Such terms as "forgiveness," "repentance," "regeneration," "the new birth," "resurrection of the body," "atonement," "crucifixion," and the "second coming of Jesus Christ" frequently occur in its literature.
But it does not offer to its adherents the salvation proposed by the orthodox confessions. It does not concern itself with a future heaven in which the "saints immortal reign." The keys of the kingdom which Jesus gave to Peter are given to "all who through faith apply the binding (affirming) and loosing (denying power of Spirit in the earth (substance consciousness.)" "Unity teaches that the eternal life taught and demonstrated by Jesus is not gained by dying, but by refining the body until it
- Unity, XXXIX (July, 1913), 1.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 173
- Mr, Fillmore says: "It adds greatly to the stability of a Christian's faith to know that Jesus anticipated the discoveries of modern science of the existence of that kingdom called the 'ether.' He named it the kingdom of the heavens and His illustrations of its possibilities are unsurpassed. He did not say it was a place the good would inherit after death but an estate we could have here and now." Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 5.
becomes the undying habitation of the soul." Its central doctrine is the "regeneration of the body," here and now. It claims to teach how the individual can demonstrate health over sickness, prosperity over poverty, life over death. Unity is the religion of "Perpetual Incarnation."
Since both God and man are under the law of Being, salvation involves the reversal of the process through which man became lost. Man became lost by ignorantly turning away from the source of his life — Divine Mind. In the place of Divine Mind he set up "personality," and this has proved the "abomination of desolation" for him. If he is to reclaim the infinite resources that belong to him as a son of God, he must deliberately reunite himself with Being that "God may be all in all." This involves in each individual the reunion of the subconscious mind — "the sum of all man's past thinking" including its work of carrying on the functions of the body — with the Superconscious Mind — the I AM or Christ — through the agency of the conscious mind. After this "involution" has taken place, "evolution" will naturally follow. Evolution consists in dissolving out of the conscious and subconscious life all the temporal forms produced by "personal" thinking and putting in their place the unlimited, imperishable forms of infinite wisdom. Unity suggests four practical steps in accomplishing this end: First, enter into self-realization of
- Charles Fillmore, "Why Unity Withdrew from the I.N.T.A.," Unity, LVII (July, 1922), 49.
- Unity, XX (Jan., 1904), 35 (editorial).
- See "Definition of Names Used in Practical Christianity," Unity, XL (Jan., 1914), 30.
your divinity through the practice of "the Silence." Secondly, by use of "denials" in thought and word dissolve out of existence all these temporary manifestations of evil that have been formed by the sense-consciousness. Thirdly, by use of "affirmations" in thought and word manifest the true, unlimited ideas of Being both in the body and in the environment. Finally, co-operate with the divine ideas which you are manifesting by appropriate action in the process of living.
The best method of freeing one's self from the "personal" or sense-consciousness and restoring to its rightful throne the superconsciousness is the practice of the Silence, Through its exercise the theory that God is omnipresent can be vitalized into individual realization. The Silence must not be looked upon as an end in itself; it is the open door into the infinite resources of Divine Being. Its fundamental purpose is "to establish a means of communion between God and man." The Silence should be practiced consistently. It is man's opportunity to establish himself at the center of his being, the one place where the supply of life and substance is inexhaustible. God is the eternal life that he makes into living. There are three stages in the practice: relaxation, concentration, realization. First, the individual should put himself in a comfortable position and then seek physical and mental freedom by surrendering to the presence and power of God. If need be, one should definitely think his
- E.V. Ingraham, The Silence (Kansas City: Unity Sohool of Christianity, 1937), p. 10.
body into relaxation part by part. This is necessary in order to break up the tensions built up by the "personal" ego and to release the individual from a consciousness of self.
Relaxation should be followed by concentration — the attunement of the individual to the Infinite. One should not be too strenuous in this but should approach it with joyous anticipation. The easiest way to concentration is to turn the attention to some statement of truth upon which meditation can take place. The individual can meditate himself into oneness with Divine Mind.
The more you think about the Christ within, the stronger will grow your consciousness of the divine presence and your oneness with Him, until you can be still, and "know that I am God"; until you can still all the outer thoughts and meditate upon "Christ in you the hope of glory," Many have been helped mightily, gloriously in finding the silence, by repeating the holy name "Jesus Christ" time after time with short intervals between.
The most necessary thing here is to select a simple statement capable of infinite enlargement. Such statements as "God is the name of my Good" or "I think thy thoughts after thee" are the common practice of the Unity group.
True meditation consists in allowing the mind to make unlimited flights of speculation regarding the nature of the mind of God, the power of that mind, the love of that mind, the wisdom contained in that mind, the substance which comes
- Myrtle Fillmore gives these instructions: "When you start to go into the silence, you should breathe evenly, in the happy feeling that you are taking in great drafts of God's pure life-sustaining air. ... Take your attention down out of the head into the organism. The flow of the blood will follow the attention down into the trunk of the body and into the feet and hands, and thus the forces of being as well as the flow of the blood stream will be equalised." Letters of Myrtle Fillmore, p. 37.
- Letters of Myrtle Fillmore, p. 40.
from that mind and out of which all things are formed, the instant availability of all the elements of that mind to the individual who is open and receptive to it, and so on until man becomes conscious of the presence of God as he is now conscious of the presence of warmth, of light, or of any other element with which he has become familiar.
The final stage of the Silence is realization. The individual should never hasten from concentration and meditation into action; he should await the "still small voice within" until every fiber of his being thrills with the assurance that he is always standing in God's presence.
As you come out of the Silence, count your blessings and give thanks for them. Realize that only the good exists in you and your world, that the power you contacted in the silence may have opportunity to multiply and increase your blessings. Give thanks that you have already received the good for which you looked to God in the silence.
It is not easy for one immersed in materialistic thinking to practice the Silence. Such a person should not so prolong it that his relaxation is broken but should return to it often, unity not only gives instruction in the private practice of the Silence but actually drills in this method of approach to God in each of its public services. Its public prayer is a communal practice of the Silence.
The Silence, inducing in the individual a realization of his oneness with God, prepares him for action. Since Unity believes that all concrete expressions are the product of ideas, action means ideation. The process of ideation, in thought and
- E.V. Ingraham, The Silence, pp. 23-24.
- Letters of Myrtle Fillmore, p. 42.
word, is carried on by the method of denials and affirmations.
Knowing that all good things are in the One Great Universal Mind, and that we can only come into a consciousness thereof through thought, we use in a systematized way this "I can't" and "I can," to bring about any desired change in our condition. We group under the head of "Denials" those false appearances of which we wish to be rid, and under "Affirmations" those desirable qualities which we know to be potential in Infinite Mind.
First, denial! Man is now filled, both in soul and body, with error thoughts. Denial (repentance in orthodox theology) is the method of cleansing the individual from these limited expressions of Idea. "What man forms that is evil he must unform ... Here enters the factor that dissolves the structures that are no longer useful; this factor in metaphysics is known as denial." Through denial the individual repudiates the false beliefs that have produced physical, mental, or financial trouble. These false beliefs have encrusted themselves about the cells of our bodies and souls; and, by denial, this crust is broken through so that the substance and life of the cells are freed to accomplish their initial impulse, which is to conform to the divine-natural law. Mr. Fillmore says that the "greatest discovery of all ages" is "that man has power to deny and dissolve all disintegrating, discordant, and disease-forming words."
In dealing with any particular disease we must first "deny the name for any seeming inharmony," Thinking is formative
- Six Days Treatment," Thought, III (Sept., 1891), 243.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 148.
- Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 64.
and to carry in your mind the name which the physician gave to the inharmony only fastens the disease on the individual more securely. Then, take up the thought and word cause of the disease and dissolve them out of existence.
Unity deals with the disease of poverty in the same way as with other diseases. The individual must drop out of the mind every thought that suggests that God's bounty is limited or that it can be locked up from any one. "Lack of any kind is not possible in God's universe. So when there is an appearance of poverty anywhere, it is our duty to deny it." The only lack is the fear that haunts the mind of man. We need to "overcome the fear of lack."
In using the method of denial one of the most necessary things is to forgive oneself. Here is where many fail in the demonstration. They let their consciences trouble them. One
- Mr. Fillmore states: "Doctors are especially industrious in creating microbes in their particular line. They make a new disease every day, or rename an old one, and each is endued with its specific microbe that gives it standing among the people who believe in such thing, and its inventor goes down in history as a benefactor of the race." Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (2nd ed.), p. 150. Silent Unity also suggests that when patients describe their disabilities to them they always enter a silent mental denial for each statement of error which they make. See Unity, XI (Nov., 1898), 226.
- Unity repeatedly affirms that it does not prohibit the use of medicines by those whom they treat; and most of their published testimonials show no awareness on the part of their followers that there is any inconsistency between the philosophy of Unity and the employment of physicians. Yet Silent Unity declares: "We have found that when a person's faith is quickened to the extent that he is willing to give up all dependence upon doctors and medicine, he is a hundred fold more receptive to this mighty healing power of God." Unity. XLI (July, 1914), 58.
- Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 58.
- Ibid.. p. 52.
must part forever with the "accusing conscience."
He who condemns himself for a past mistake uses the law in the wrong way twice and so reaps two undesirable harvests: first by entertaining the negative thoughts that caused the experience that he has called a mistake, and second by condemning himself for the past mistake.
Since the impersonal God is perfect and does not know evil, those New Testament passages suggesting forgiveness must be interpreted in terms of the law of cause and effect as related to the power of thought. "Forgiveness of sin is the erasure of mortal thoughts from consciousness." This, of course, applies to the mistakes of others as well as our own. The individual should never condemn another, God is everywhere, and the creative mind must think of the goodness of God that is in every person. He must not let the appearance of evil blind him; he must think of his neighbor as that one exists in God Mind.
Miss H. Emilie Cady, author of Unity School's first and perhaps most influential textbook, names four great denials in which one should be persistent if he would completely cleanse his consciousness from all error:
There is no evil (devil).
There is no reality, nor life, nor intelligence apart from Spirit.
Pain, sickness, poverty, old age, and death are not real, and they have no power over me.
There is nothing in all the universe for me to fear.
These denials contain the common error thoughts of the race. When one does not know the particular thought that has caused his
- Marjory H. Stageman, "Forgiving Ourselves," Unity, XC (May, 1938), 45.
- Charles Fillmore, Christian Haaling (14th ed.), p. 53.
- Emilie Cady, Lessons in Truth, p. 39.
trouble, one of these general statements will be found effective in cleansing from error.
The individual should practice denial at set periods each day; he should also be prepared to use it in all the petty vexations of life, whenever and wherever they happen to arise. He should not let anger, fear, jealousy, self-pity, unhappiness, or similar emotions have standing in his life. He should deny them at once. Also any wrong bodily condition, the moment it appears to the sense, should be dissolved out of existence. One should not induce tension by his denials but rather speak to error in such a way that it will glide silently out of existence.
Affirmation, the third step, is most necessary, One dare not leave his house "empty, swept and garnished" lest worse spirits come and possess it. "Though denial is very important in clearing the subconsciousness of its error, affirmation is more so, for it fills the consciousness with the constructive ideas of Truth." Denial is the means of chipping off the error crystallization which envelops the cells of body and mind; affirmation is the method of calling these cells to their divine tasks. All the infinite potentialities of Divine Mind are waiting to be manifested by the "I can" habit. "You can praise yourself from weakness to strength, from ignorance to intelligence, from poverty
- Charles Fillmore says: "Make your denials in a a quiet, indifferent way, and your affirmations with a strong, bold, vehement, positive mind," Directions for Beginners (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity), p. 14 (pamphlet).
- Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of Genesis, p. 178.
to affluence, from sickness to health." Affirmation is the linking of the "I will" with the "I AM" to the manifestation of perfection of Being.
Unity leaders insist that affirmation must not be confused with what ordinarily is called prayer. Prayer, as they interpret it in the organized church, is largely request; but affirmation is realization. "God-Mind expresses its thought so perfectly that there is no occasion for change." All God's creation is under law. Affirmation is self-realization of that law. Neither does Unity claim actually to do healing. "We can't heal you, but there 1b a Presence hero than can ... We will help you find that Presence." Denial and affirmation will lift the consciousness to that Source where healing power is available for every ill. "There is no such thing as a 'disease' or incurable condition to the system."
God is the supreme perfection; the word is like unto that perfection. All its creations are perfect. It takes cognizance of the perfect only. When we realize this perfection and speak the words of Truth from that plane of understanding, the word goes forth and establishes that which is. It does not heal anything. There is nothing to heal. Its office is to see the perfection of Being established; and as we do the works of the Father,
- Charles Fillmore, Christian Healing (14th ed.), p. 74.
- Ibid, p. 17.
- "Questions and Answers," Unity, XIV (May, 1921), 222.
- Mr. Fillmore believes that the "so-called" organic diseases can be healed by spiritual means as readily as the less serious forms. He thinks that the only difference between diseases is their depth in the subconsciousness. See Charles Fillmore, Modern Spiritual Healing (Kansas City: Unity School of Christlanity), p. 6 (pamphlet).
- Letters of Myrtle Fillmore, p. 54.
we establish that which is and always was.
Affirmations should not be so specific in expression as denials. Realization of oneness with Being is sufficient to fill the individual against the attack of any enemy. Also, human life is a unity of soul and body; so the healing word should acknowledge the wholeness of an individual's being. Although the healing word may be spoken to some specific part of the organism, yet the affirmation should always end with the "thought of being every whit whole." Silent Unity, in its healing meetings, does not treat each patient separately; it expresses a general affirmation which is effective for the group. It considers this more effective than individual treatment.
The affirmative side of a prosperity treatment parallels
- The Healing word," Unity, LXXXV (Nov., 1936), 8.
- Unity's monthly Healing and Prosperity Thoughts are quite general. In its book of healing affirmations we read: "Regardless of the name of the specific error that is being treated, or the part of the body in which it ie located, the majority, if not all of the healing prayers given in this book, carry with them the thought of health and wholeness for the entire man." Divine Remedies, p. 107. Certainly they use the same cure for a multitude of diseases.
- See Unity, XXV (Oct., 1911), 357.
- "The Twenty-Third Psalm" (revised) is suggested as an excellent prosperity treatment:
"The Lord is my banker; my credit is good.Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 69.
He maketh me to lie down in the consciousness of omnipresent abundance;
He giveth me the key to His strongbox.
He restoreth my faith in His riches;
He guide th me in the paths of prosperity for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk in the very shadow of debt,
I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me;
Thy silver and Thy gold, they secure me.
Thou preparest a way for me in the presence of the collector;
Thou fillest my wallet with plenty;
my measure runneth over.
Surely goodness and plenty will follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall do business in the name of the Lord forever."
that of healing. If one desires some particular good he may affirm it, but he should be careful lest he seek less than the Divine Mind has in store for him. God's infinite resources are ever present, and man has no one to blame but himself if he does not get what God has for him:
Do not envy the rich. Never condemn those who have money merely because they have it and you do not. Do not question how they got their money and wonder whether or not they are honest. That is none of your business. Your business is to get what belongs to you, and you do that by thinking about the omnipresent substance of God and how you can lay hold on it through love. Get in touch with God riches in spirit, lay hold on them by love, and you will have sufficient for every day.
Unity seeks to minister to the spiritual man. Therefore, the above statement should not be interpreted as an invitation to selfishness. An individual can use the law of cause and effect to amass temporary possessions; man, by his love of money, has attracted great amounts of money. But such a person cannot have a "prosperity consciousness." God is Order. If man is to have true health and prosperity he must realize God as Order in his own inner life. God has provided an abundance for every one, so there is no necessity for hoarding. Selfishness is one of the root causes of disease. It separates a man from God and his fellowmen. The key to abundant receiving is right giving. Both
- Mr. Fillmore suggests that a person might visualize a hundred dollars and get it when a thousand was headed his way. See Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 101.
- Ibid., p. 110.
avarice and charity are wrong ideas and are harmful to any individual who holds either thought.
The Fillmores, from the very beginning of their movement, have sought to destroy these ideas by introducing the "love offering" as the standard of reward for services. Those who serve should have faith that God is faithful; those who seek to receive cannot do so save as they also lovingly give. "The avaricious suffer most in body and are the most difficult to heal, because of the mental bias that prompts them to get everything as cheaply as possible, including the kingdom of heaven." Unity School works constantly by use of the silence, by mental drill, and by written instructions to educate its group to the "divine law of equilibrium" in financial matters so that they can achieve that spiritual balance which results in happiness, health, and prosperity. In recent years this training has been built around the idea of the "tithe."
Demonstration through the use of the Silence, denials, and affirmations requires constant and persistent effort. Unity leaders find that many fail to demonstrate both as to health and as to prosperity. This failure is always traced to a lack of persistence and faith in the patient. "Your disabilities may be erroneous thoughts of generation after generation of ignorant ancestors, and you cannot, therefore, reasonably expect an instantaneous recovery." So they instruct their followers:
- Ibid., p. 153.
- Thought, III (Sept., 1891), 241.
"Affirm: Affirm!" and assure them that, if they will keep at it, they will inevitably gain the sense of the Divine Presence and see the work accomplished before their eyes. Miss Emilie Cady has suggested learning a few great affirmations which cover every situation and which may be the basis of constant drill in the regenerative process:
God is Life, Love, Intelligence, Substance, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence.
I am the child or manifestation of God; and his life, love, wisdom, power, flow into and through me every moment. I an one with God, and am governed by his law.
God works in me to will and to do whatsoever he wishes done by me; hence I cannot fail.
Co-operation with Divine Substance
The fourth step in Unity's technique of salvation is cooperation on the part of the individual with the Divine Substance he is seeking to manifest. The person who is honest in his desire to demonstrate Being will look into his thought habits to be sure that they are "prompted by faith and divine love and wisdom and life and joy and freedom." In the problem of prosperity he will be alert to see and accept those opportunities which come his way. In the question of health he will follow his thoughts down into his body and note their effects on the body and its functions. And he till develop "those habits which keep him making the right use of all his faculties, and powers, and the life energy and substance." Here the Fillmores, following their theory of the
- H. Emilie Cady, Lessons in Truth, p. 50.
- Letters of Myrtle Fillmore, p. 95.
- Ibid., p. 74.
origin of evil, have stressed two requirements for the regenerative process: The regenerate person must be absolutely continent, and he must become a vegetarian. They think that flesh-eating and the use of tobacco and alcohol naturally follow from the indulgence in sensation.
First, vegetarianism! Unity School early taught that vegetarianism was needful in the revitalization of the body. "Food is an important issue in the-regenerative process and no flesh-eater can survive." Mr. Fillmore went to the limit in this direction suggesting that it was best to refrain even from such animal products as milk and eggs. The argument against the use of animals took several forms. Sometimes it was based on the law of justice:
It is cruel to kill and it is cruel to steal. The milk of the cow is needed by her and her calf ... It is believed by many who have looked into the matter that tuberculosis among cattle is caused by the drain of their substance from their systems in milk. They need this substance for body building. Therefore, to be just man should refrain from stealing animal products.
A second approach was through the asserted consequences to body and mind of taking flesh into the human system: "He who eats the flesh of animals is, by and through that process, taking into his consciousness all the passions, desires and emotions of the animals." We need to realize, also, that organized life holds tenaciously to its present forms. Fear grips an animal when it is being killed and sets up vibrations of terror in its flesh.
- Unity, XXXIV (Feb., 1911), 180. This declaration repeatedly occurred before 1920.
- Answers to Questions," Unity, XL (May, 1914), 483.
- Charles Fillmore, Flesh Eating Metaphysically Considered (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity, 1896), p. 9 (pamphlet). This article has been repeatedly published in Unity.
If a person eats this flesh, the vibrations of fear, one of man's greatest enemies, are transferred to his own body. However, Mr. Fillmore has gradually modified his position concerning flesh-eating. At the request of the writer he gives his present position as follows:
Diet is not of primal importance in Unity's interpretation of Christianity; consequently no one is ostracised or condemned because he does not conform to the vegetarian diet, which is universally being recommended by food experts as best suited to man.
"Do all things as unto the Lord." That is, ask continually for divine guidance in all things and you will be shown what is best in food and drink for your individual growth. Food and drink have much to do with body sensations; consequently we should watch the effects of these body sustainers and choose what gives the best results. Personally I have been guided by a spiritual intelligence which communicates with me in dreams, visions and inner inspirations. I call it Spirit or my Higher Self. When I eat the wrong food and produce discord in body, I usually have a dream in which the cause and cure is pointed out. For many years I was a very strict vegetarian, abstaining wholly from milk, eggs, butter-in fact every form of animal products. Then came a period in which I had unusual platform work to do, in which I had to meet and shake hands with hundreds of persons. This sometimes made me nervous and irritable, and I was shown that my vibration was not strong enough physically to meet and hold my own against the flood of eager souls who were charged with animal impulses and that I would have to either quit my public work and become a recluse or build up a body that would hold its own with other bodies of like character. I then began to eat certain animal products like butter, milk, cheese, eggs, but never meat.
Then came a period in my spiritual unfoldment, which includes the body as a vehicle, where I lacked mental expression. I got ideas but could not formulate them in thought and word. This lasted for months, or until I asked the Spirit to show me the cause. On day like a flash came the words, apparently out of thin air. "Your brain lacks phosphorus; Eat fish." Since that time I have added sea foods to my diet ... We should remember that Jesus ate broiled fish.
- As late as 1933 Silent Unity was asked if the Bible record that Jesus ate fish was sufficient reason for rejecting vegetarianism. Its reply is illuminating. "The supposed example of Jesus in eating fish is often given by the Adversary as proof sufficient that vegetarianism is wrong. The undisciplined appetite of the carnal mind in its love for the fleshpots tries to hide behind the Savior of love and mercy. We do not believe that the Bible record concerning the eating of fish by Jesus has even eating of fish by Jesus has even the slightest bearing on the question." The article continues by sugesting that when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes he was just illustrating the law of spiritual supply and that the of the appropriation by man of the divine ideas of substance. See Unity, LXXIX (Dec, 1939), 79.
Unity does not make a fetish of food. The primal source of body energy is thought. If you think spiritually you automatically select the more refined types of food. But do not be a food fanatic.
Second, continence! Unity School, with its theory that "sex sensation has made a broken cistern of man's consciousness," has consistently taught that refinement of the body can be accomplished only through the elimination of sex in its outer manifestation. However, it has not followed the technique of Anne Lee and the Shakers. It has taught that the companionship of man and woman can be made helpful in the regenerative process. But such a fellowship cannot be built on the glorification of sex. To see with the eye of purity means that you become "so mentally translucent that you see men and women as sexless beings." Cora Dedrick Fillmore presents their present teachings as follows:
Regeneration means just what the word describes — a regeneration of man's soul and body through a spiritual activity of the generative organs. In regeneration the generative center is no longer allowed to waste its substance on the sense plane; by pure thinking and chaste acting it generates an uplifting, living energy in soul and body that, when raised to the Jesus Christ purity of life, arouses all the faculties to power and ability. Then the understanding of the silent and spoken word is magnified, and with renewed thought it comes forth in a new expression in both soul and body."
- Letter from Charles Fillmore, May 9, 1939.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 164.
- Cora Dedrick Fillmore, Christ Enthroned in Man (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity, 1937), p. 151.
Man cannot become pure by the mere repression of the external sex life through an act of will. To deny and fight the monster of sex may only make it an obsession. Purity comes through an understanding of the real nature of one's being. When we realize that each individual carries both the masculine and the feminine within himself and that satisfaction can be attained only from within ourselves, then we will not dissipate our energy in uncreativeness but will manifest it in "new ideas, new accomplishments, in beauty, in grace, in usefulness . ... Make your passions write poetry."
However, since the "Motherhood" dispute of 1920, Unity School has been content to carry within its group two types of Christians — regenerate and generate. While not relaxing its former teaching, it has insisted that those practicing generation were not to be condemned. They are providing bodies for souls that have lost out in a previous incarnation and are waiting to try again. The soul originally had power to ideate its own body out of Divine Substance, but that power was lost in the "fall." This would seem to bind the human family to an endless cycle of generation. But Mr. Fillmore teaches that this process of physical generation will be dropped when the body of Christ is sufficiently formed in the race:
Children of the mind can be brought forth and all those awaiting reincarnation be given a spiritual body. This will be the ultimate of the regenerative movement that is now
- Theodosia D. Schobert, Regeneration (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity), p. 6 (pamphlet).
- See pp. 78 ff
going on, and we should, therefore, strive to put on Christ, and let the body of Christ be formed in us, that we may help those who are in darkness.
Those who practice generation may, for the time being, be doing a good thing, but they must realize that they cannot escape the heartache, disease, and death which are concomitant to that plane of living.
The law of man's being is perpetual incarnation. When Spirit evolved into soul, soul demonstrated its self-consciousness by forming for itself a body. The permanent intercommunion of these three — spirit, soul, and body — is eternal life. The race lost its opportunity to achieve eternal life through the ignorance and sin of Adam. Though him the recurring cycle of birth to death became fixed in the race consciousness.
Man's task is to overcome the racial belief in death and to restore the consciousness of life. Because of the many generations of "mortal consciousness" through which the race has gone that work, even though the technique of salvation has been discovered, may not be finished in any single life span. Therefore, when death takes place, the law of Being works in man's soul for re-embodiment, and the soul "takes advantage of Adam's habit of generation to regain a body." Ernest C. Wilson says: "Reincarnation
- "Extracts," Unity, XXXIV (Jan., 1911), 66.
- Charles Fillmore, Preserving the Unity of Soul and Body (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity), p. 1 (pamphlet).
is a token of God's love for us whereby, if we lose the body, we may be reclothed with another, to try again to complete the great work the Father has given us to do."
Unity School recognized that the truth of reincarnation was first discerned by the "so-called heathen" of the East but insists that these people did not realize its significance in the scheme of racial redemption. They interpreted it pessimistically: man, bound by his karma, is in an almost endless struggle of birth, death, and rebirth seeking to work out the accumulated effects of the sins of past lives. Unity's thought about reincarnation is optimistic: "... rebirth is the unifying force of nature at work in its efforts to restore man to his original deathless state." It is not necessary as a step in the evolution of the race but a "makeshift," a temporary gift to "mortal man." Reincarnation has only the value of a new opportunity. Therefore, it should not be unduly emphasized. The mind of man should be centered on "resurrection," the regeneration or lifting
- Ernest C. Wilson, Have We Lived Before (Kansas City: Unity School of Christianity, 1936), p. 47.
- The struggle in Christianity is no short one. As we shall see, Christ struggled through repeated incarnations before he was able to demonstrate perpetual incarnation through the body of the historical Jesus of Nazareth (see Unity, XIV (April, 1901), 149). And his thought and words "had to work in the race consciousness almost two thousand years before any one was sufficiently awakened and quickened to believe in a complete redemption and to strive to lay hold on it" (Charles Fillmore, Preserving the Unity of Soul and Body, p. 7). We have no way of knowing how long it will be before the race follows Jesus in the demonstration of perpetual incarnation.
- Charles Fillmore, Preserving the Unity of Soul and Body, p. 5.
up of the body unto eternal life. When the Christ consciousness is again enthroned in the life of the individual and the fleshly body refined into the spiritual body, death will be no more. Reincarnation will cease.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on October 12, 2014