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Joseph Wolpert: Classical Christianity and Unity


Of course, God being eternal and perfect, God's ideas are also eternal and perfect including God's idea of "man" which Unity equates with the "Christ".

"Man is an idea in Divine Mind. He is the epitome of Being. Man is the apex of God's creation, created in His image-likeness. Ideal man is the perfect man, the Christ, the offspring of Divine Mind. Before there could be a man there must have been an idea of man. God, the Father, Divine Mind, had an idea of man, and this idea is his Son, the perfect-man idea, the offspring of God-Mind. This Son is the Christ, the only begotten of the Father. The Son, being the expressed image-likeness of the Father, is perfect, even as the Father is perfect. All that we find in Divine Mind we find in its offspring." (Ibid., pp 43-44)

Important to understanding Mr. Fillmore's comprehension of "man" is the way in which he discusses the "three departments of man". There is 1) Spirit-Man; 2) Soul-Man; and 3) Body-Man in Mr. Fillmore's thought.

"The Spirit is the divine center in man and is always in the Absolute; it does not become involved in effects but stand as the creative Cause of the absolute good. It is the indwelling Christ or spiritual nucleus within each individual" (Ibid., pp 46-47)

While Mr. Fillmore speaks in terms of man and Spirit, soul, and body, it is well to point out that it is a mistake to speak in terms of these three as though they were something that man "has".

"Man has neither Spirit, soul, nor body of his own - he has identity only. He can say 'I'. He uses God Spirit, God soul, and God body, as his 'I' elects. If he uses them with the idea that they belong to him, he develops selfishness, which limits his capacity and dwarfs his product. In his right relation, man is the inlet and outlet of an everywhere-present life, substance, and intelligence" (Ibid., pp 45-46)

2) Soul, in Unity terminology refers to man's consciousness. It is consciousness that lies back of each and every expression. The soul touches at two levels. On the one hand, it touches the inner realm of Spirit from which it can receive direct inspiration. On the other hand, it touches the external world from which it receives impressions.

3) The body of man is the expression of the soul. It is the product of consciousness.

"God creates the body idea, or divine idea, and man, by his thinking, makes it manifest. All thoughts and ideas embody themselves according to their character. Material thoughts make a material body. Spiritual thoughts make a spiritual body. The body is the outer court of the soul, an exact representative inform of the ideals that are revolving in the inner realms of its domain." (Ibid., pp 47-48)

Original humanity then was (and still is) essentially divine according to Unity. What happened (metaphorically recorded) with the "Fall" described in Genesis chapter three was that humankind (symbolized by the term Adam) turned away from the contemplation of the One (in Neo-Platonic fashion) and became enmeshed in materiality by appropriating ("eating"), beliefs in two powers - Good and Evil, God and not-God.

"Having developed a consciousness apart from his divine nature, man must 'til the ground from which he was taken,' that is, he must come into a realization of God as the source of his Being, and must express ideas in harmony with Divine Mind." (Ibid., p 258)

Before going further, it is well that a few comments be made here regrading Unity's understanding of "Consciousness" because it plays a significant role in understanding Jesus Christ and how salvation is achieved.