Unity Metaphysics 1 (Tan Book)
18 Denials and Affirmations
18A THOUGHTS ARE THINGS:
"Thoughts are things; they occupy space in the mental field. A healthy state of mind is attained and continued when the thinker willingly lets go the old thoughts and takes on the new. This is illustrated by the inlet and the outlet of a pool of water. Stop the inlet, and the pool goes dry. Close the natural outlet, and the pool stagnates, or, like the Dead Sea, it crystallizes its salts until they preserve everything that they touch." (The Twelve Powers of Man 144)
It is because thoughts are "things" that we can observe and talk about the law of mind action and the formative power of thought. The relationship of a human being to "things" holds true for the realm of thoughts. Things come and things go. Some things belong to us and some do not. Some things cause harm, others are blessings. All these observations about things are also true about thoughts, for they are things. All thoughts that come to us do not belong to us. We may have taken hold of certain thoughts that came to us and are calling them our own. If they are negative they will do us harm. But we can let go of these, and further harm will cease. We can then attract new and better thoughts to us. But best of all, WE CAN BEGIN DOING OUR OWN THINKING. This is quite a high attainment, much rarer than we may realize. When we are really doing our own thinking we receive much new inspiration and guidance, because we are then generating an energy that will let more light into our minds.
18B KEYS TO THE KINGDOM:
"Whatever we bind or limit in earth, in the conscious mind, shall be bound or limited in the ideal or heavenly realm, and whatever we loose and set free in the conscious mind (earth) shall be loosed and set free in the ideal, the heavenly. In other words, whatever you affirm or deny in your conscious mind determines the character of the supermind activities. All power is given unto you both in heaven and in earth through your thought." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 177)
Here Charles Fillmore emphasizes the great importance of the work done on the conscious level of the mind. It really and truly does have the keys to the kingdom. Actually, the keys to two kingdoms: heaven and hell. The conscious level of mind has two significant abilities not found on other levels of the mind. It can consent and it can refuse. It cannot create and it cannot destroy, but it can consent or refuse. This is where all trouble starts, but it is also where all improvement starts. The first step is to begin to pay more attention to what is going on in the conscious level of mind and make some decisions about what is going on, rather than just automatically accepting whatever is going on. The old Greek word for this control is "metanoia" inadequately translated into English as "repentance."
18C DENIAL & AFFIRMATION:
"It is just as necessary that one should let go of old thoughts and conditions after they have served their purpose as it is that one should lay hold of new ideas and create new conditions to meet one's requirements. In fact we cannot lay hold of the new ideas and make the new conditions until we have made room for them by eliminating the old." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 175)
"It is found that, by the use of these mind forces, man can dissolve things by denying their existence, and that he can build them up by affirming their presence. This is a simple statement, but when it is applied in all the intricate thought forms of the universe it becomes complex. The law of mental denial and affirmation will prove its truth to all those who persistently make use of it." (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 51)
Denial and affirmation are the two great expressions of polarized energy in the life. Both are essential. Both serve us in our efforts to evolve consciousness in obedience to spiritual law. Denial is the ability to let go of the old, the outworn, the negative attitude, the incorrect belief. It is also the ability to refuse, to reject. It is the great "nay, nay" saying power of mind. Affirmation is the ability to accept the newer, the truer, the higher, the more correct attitude and belief. It is also the ability to say yes and accept better concepts of divine ideas. It is the great "yea, yea" power of mind.
18D CAUSE & EFFECT:
"There is a chain of mind action connecting cause and effect in all the activities of life. This chain is forged by man, and its links are thoughts and words.” (Jesus Christ Heals 132)
Cause and effect is a law of life which operates on many levels. A simple definition of this law is: "like attracts like," or "thoughts held in mind produce after their kind." On higher levels, the law of cause and effect is seen to have other dimensions and aspects. Feeling becomes involved. Cause does not have to lie only in the past. This is the gaining of insight into the God thought revealed by Jesus that is called Spirit, Father, or Absolute Good. Paul speaks of this higher, finer, more conscious level of the law as "grace and truth." In Unity the terms, "law of cause and effect" and "law of mind action" are used synonomously.
18E GOOD & EVIL:
"We should not assume that all MANIFESTATION is good because the originating idea came from Divine Mind. All ideas have their foundation in Divine Mind, but man has put the limitation of his negative thought upon them, and sees them 'in a mirror, darkly’.” (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 45)
"What man forms that is evil he must unform before he can take the coveted step up the mountain of the ideal. Here enters the factor that dissolves the structures that are no longer useful; this factor in metaphysics is known as denial. Denial is not, strictly speaking, an attribute of Being as principle, but it is simply the absence of the impulse that constructs and sustains." (The Twelve Powers of Man 150)
Sin and evil are not self-existent things in and of themselves. They are words which describe certain human expressions or lacks. Primarily these words refer to any human attempt to negate any divine idea. This can take many forms. Mr. Fillmore calls denial an "absence of the impulse that constructs and sustains." This, of course, is the opposite of affirmation. But just as affirmation requires that a decision be made, followed by a certain effort of the mind, so it is with denial. A true denial is not just an "absence" of something. It is an effort made in mind to bring about an "absence." It is the effort required to say "no," to let go, to refuse or reject.
18F HOW DENIALS WORK:
"In all actual transformation of mind and body a dissolving, breaking-up process necessarily takes place, because thought force and substance have been built into the errors that appear. In each individual these errors have the power that man has given to them by his thought concerning them. These thought structures must be broken up and eliminated from consciousness. The simplest, most direct, and most effective method is to withdraw from them the life and substance that have been going to feed them, and to let them shrivel away into their own nothingness. This withdrawal is best accomplished by denial of the power and reality of evil and affirmation of the allness of Spirit. Nothing is destroyed, because 'nothing' can't be destroyed. The change that takes place is merely a transference of power from an error belief to faith in the Truth, through the recognition that God is good and is all that in reality exists." (Jesus Christ Heals 63)
In this paragraph Mr. Fillmore urges us to confine the use of denial to errors found within our own consciousness. He does not suggest the use of denial on things already existing in the outer, nor on personalities that are already expressing. We do not deny the existence of things. We deny their power over us.
18G HOW AFFIRMATIONS WORK:
"One who knows Principle has a certain inner security given him by the understanding of God-Mind. Our affirmations are for the purpose of establishing in our consciousness a broad understanding of the principles on which all life and existence depend." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 56)
"In order to demonstrate Principle we must keep establishing ourselves in certain statements of the law. The more often you present to your mind a proposition that is logical and true, the stronger becomes that inner feeling of security to you." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 57)
Affirmation works because of the faculty which is most directly involved in affirmation—faith. Affirmation plays an important part in the process of divine ideas becoming facts and experiences in man's existence on earth. More about this will be said in the next section on faith.
18H CONSERVING CREATIVE ENERGY:
"Jesus said, 'Let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay.' Talking is a waste of energy—a dissipater of power. If you want the greatest success, do not talk too much about your plans. Keep a reserve force of new ideas always on hand as a generative center. Let your work speak for itself." (Keep a True Lent 47)
"Make your denials as if you were gently sweeping away cobwebs, and make your affirmations in a strong, bold, vehement, positive attitude of mind.” (Teach Us To Pray 183)
Although creative energy is limitless in the Absolute, it is limited through our capacity to receive it. Therefore it is important that we learn not to waste or misuse our creative energy. Too much mechanical talking wastes energy used in affirmation. Violence or too much force wastes energy used in denial. Rightly used creative energy GENERATES MORE CREATIVE ENERGY! This is why times of inner silence and stillness are so valuable. This is why continuous forgiveness of sins is so important. The alternative is squandering of energy, followed by disappointment and fatigue.
18I ABSOLUTE VS. RELATIVE:
"Christian metaphysicians have discovered that man can greatly accelerate the formation of the Christ Mind in himself by using affirmations that identify him with the Christ. These affirmations often are so far beyond the present attainment of the novice as to seem ridiculous, but when it is understood that the statements are grouped about an ideal to be attained, they seem fair and reasonable." (Keep a True Lent 71)
Affirmations are, of course, based upon acknowledgment of the Absolute, but they occupy a very special category in the vocabulary of Unity. Affirmations are verbalized divine ideas, and the language of absolutism is proper for them. Statement of facts and description of existing things are another matter. Here, the language of absolutism is out of place. Here is where accuracy of language, right names for things, and relative terms constitute the correct vocabulary.
Transcribed by Sheri Owen on August 13, 2015.