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Unity Metaphysics: 12 Personality and Individuality

Unity Metaphysics 1 (Tan Book)
12 Personality and Individuality

Unity Metaphysics (Tan) Book 1 Cover


"There are always two men in each individual. The man without is the picture that the man within paints with his mind. This mind is the open door to the unlimited principle of Being. When Jesus prayed He was setting into action the various powers of His individuality in order to bring about certain results. Within His identity was of God; without He was human personality." (Jesus Christ Heals 69)

It is important to understand that the "two men" Mr. Fillmore speaks of here are not two distinct entities, but the two sides of a single entity: the inner and outer self. Our Bible is filled with character symbols who represent these two aspects of an individual life. Adam and Eve (this is one person), Cain and Abel (this is one person), Jacob and Esau (this is one person), Abraham and Sarah, Martha and Mary all are symbolic of the "two men" Mr. Fillmore speaks about. It is only in the character of Jesus that we have a Bible symbol who is the same within and without. Jesus was not "two men." Perhaps this was one of His meanings when He said, "The Father and I are ONE."


"Individuality-The true self; that which is undivided from God; our spiritual identity... That which characterizes one as a distinct entity or particular manifestation of divine Principle. Individuality is eternal; it can never be destroyed." (The Revealing Word, Individuality, p.106)

Individuality is a word that has sometimes been misunderstood in our Unity terminology. Originally it simply meant each person's individual uniqueness. You are you, and you will always be you. You will change, day after day, but it will still be you. You may even reincarnate in many more lifetimes, but it will be you who reincarnates. This you who will always be you is your individuality. Christ is something even greater than individuality, but Christ has generated individuality. Christ is whole, complete, changeless, perfect, divine. Individuality is unfinished, constantly evolving toward perfection and divinity.


"Personality—The sum total of characteristics that man has personalized as distinct of himself, independent of others or of divine principle. The word personality as used by metaphysicians is contrasted with the word individuality. Individuality is the real; personality is the unreal, the mortal, the part of us that is governed by the selfish motives of the natural man...Personality is what man seems to be when he thinks in his three-dimensional consciousness; individuality is what he really is when he thinks in his unlimited spiritual consciousness. As the true Christ self emerges, personality decreases. The real self, the individuality, begins to express. 'He must increase, but I must decrease.’ (John 3:30)." (The Revealing Word, Personality, p.148)

One might say that individuality is my self, and personality is the sum total of all my changing opinions about myself. This gives much insight to John the Baptist's highly symbolic statement quoted here: "He must increase (individuality), but I must decrease (personality, opinions about myself)." Similar insight may come to us from Jesus' teaching that man must "... deny himself ... and follow me." Who is this "himself" which Jesus asks us to deny? It may be that he meant something which needs to be released in regard to one's sense of self. It may well be that he meant the sense of self which claims to be the whole thing, or the self that believes there is nothing higher than itself. This is called selfishness or exaggerated self-centeredness. Surely this must be denied if one is to become aware of higher levels of being.


"The devil is the personal ego which has in his freedom formed a state of consciousness peculiarly his own. When man lives wholly in the consciousness that personality has built up, he is ruled by the carnal mind, which is the adversary, or satan." (The Twelve Powers of Man 69)

The paragraph states that "The devil is the personal ego..." This can be expanded quite a bit. The devil is a biblical symbol. It is not the name of a creature that has an existence of its own. It is a part of human nature. He stands for more than just one thing; he stands for a combination of things, but generally we can say that the devil stands for the tendency toward negativity in human nature. Jesus also classifies him as the tendency to lie. ("He is a liar, and the father of lies.") He stands for selfishness and for all the offspring of selfishness. Still, his meaning is not entirely negative. He also stands for the adversary and the tempter. As tempter, he symbolizes opportunity for choice. We are always being "'tempted," which simply means constantly being given opportunities for choice. So we see that the devil has both positive and negative meaning in metaphysical symbolism.


"'... Ye must be born anew,' was the proclamation of Jesus. The first birth is the human—the self-consciousness of man as an intellectual and physical being; the second birth, the being 'born anew,' is the transformation and translation of the human to a higher plane of consciousness as the son of God. The second birth is that in which we 'put on Christ.' It is a process of mental adjustment and body transmutation that takes place right here on earth. 'Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,' is an epitome of mental and physical change that may require years to work out. But all men must go through this change before they can enter into eternal life and be as Jesus Christ is." (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 26)

There are many ways of interpreting the new birth which Jesus says is necessary in order to "see the kingdom of God." Especially significant is this insight by Mr. Fillmore: "It is a process of mental adjustment and body transmutation." The new birth occurs when a person makes a certain commitment to Spirit. It can be in many different forms, but basically it is a commitment to make the effort to change the level of one's religious thinking. For Truth students it is the effort to let go of inadequate God concepts and enter into worship of God as Spirit and as Truth. This brings about the beginning of new "mental adjustment and body transmutation" which Mr. Fillmore writes about.


"The cry goes up: 'This is foolish, sacrilegious, to put man beside Jesus Christ and claim that they are equals.' The claim is not that mortals, in their present consciousness, are equal with Jesus, but that they must be equal with Him before they will emerge from the sense of delusion in which they now wander.” (Talks on Truth 143)

This paragraph clarifies a common misunderstanding concerning Unity's views on Jesus Christ. The important thing is what Jesus taught and demonstrated, and the important thing for modern Truth students is whether or not Jesus' teachings really work. However, to put them to the test requires that they first be understood, and this is where metaphysical interpretation comes in.


"Paul urged that we let Christ be formed in us. That means that through the study of the life of Jesus and the discipline He gave His mind we shall put into our mind the same ideas that He had. These ideas will form in our mind a new kind of man, which is God's man." (Teach Us To Pray 85)

If Christ already is within us, then why does Paul tell us to let Christ be formed in us? The answer lies in the difference between that which IS and that which we are aware of. The Truth always IS. But the field of our awareness always expands or contracts, according to our thoughts.


"This perfect-idea-of-God man is your true self. God-Mind is, under the law of thought, constantly seeking to release its perfection in you. It is your Spirit, and when you ask for its guidance and place yourself, by prayer and affirmation, in mental touch with it, there is a great increase of its manifestation in your life. It has back of it all the powers of Being, and there is nothing you cannot do if you give it full sway and make your thought strong enough to express the great forces that it is seeking to express through you." (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 23)

"If you would bring forth the very best that is in you, study the methods of Jesus. Study them in all their details, get at the spirit of everything that is written about this wonderful man, and you will find the key to the true development of your soul and your body. If you will carry out His system, there will be revealed to you a new man, a man of whom you never dreamed, existing in the hidden realms of your own subconsciousness." (The Twelve Powers of Man 40)

The desire to become a new person is universal in the hearts of mankind. No matter how good we are, how many advantages we may enjoy, how much satisfaction we feel in our lives, the desire for newness of being is always there. This desire would not be implanted in us if it were not possible for successful fulfillment. The new person exists in every one of us in embryo form. It is the seed of regeneration, the spark of divinity. It is growing; it is unfolding. Mr. Fillmore sees in the teachings of Jesus the right pattern to follow in helping this growth continue.

Transcribed by Sheri Owen on August 11, 2015.

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