Charles and Myrtle Fillmore's Greatest Contribution To the Christian Faith
To My Friends, especially my friends in the mainstream Church:
In my view, the greatest contribution Charles and Myrtle Fillmore have given to the Christian faith is claiming and defending the body as an inseparable unit of human existence or “being.” Their claim is that we can never evolve to our full potential or Christ nature while we perceive the body is isolated from the unity of Spirit and the soul.
The movement they founded, Unity, was their attempt to bring a healing faith to the mainstream church without requiring people to leave their church for Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science church. For many reasons, they were not successful.
The cost to our body has been enormous. We do not eat properly. We do not get enough sleep. We are obsessed about body image and physical attractions. We rely on medical interventions for lifestyle illnesses. We subsidize unhealthy food products.
But the cost to our soul is even greater. In a perverse way we have become obsessed with body comfort. That obsession has diminished our desire for true comforts of the soul—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—fruits of the Spirit.
And the cost to our world is terrifying. Every of us has our own list, but whatever they include, they leave us all with a great deal of fear, anxiety and anger, much of which is stored, unconsciously, in our body. What might be different if we shifted our focus from the network news to the sacredness of our own body?
What might happen if we, like Myrtle Fillmore many years ago, speak to each cell in our body, ask for forgivness and pledge to love it as much as our own soul? What might happen if we were to demand of our ministers and medical doctors a better understanding of the unity of Spirit, soul and body?
Here is an article by Charles Fillmore in October 1922 that gives some insight to what the Fillmore’s were promoting as “practical” Christianity. I’ve used bold font for some of the text because many people misundertand what the Fillmores claimed about the unity of Spirit, soul and body, about spiritual healing and about regeneration of the body. Here are some things I’ve emphasized:
- The process of healing the body through spiritual means can take a lifetime, or perhaps several lifetimes.
- The process is best done slowly, focusing on deeply embedded root causes and conditions.
- Jesus overcame death, lives in a spiritual body and is in our midst today.
- While it is possible to see Jesus in his spiritual body, it is by entering with him into a feeling of God’s presence that a healing force is experienced.
- By his simplicity of life, Jesus tried to show us that he was one of us. He was the “Son of man,” and he wanted us to realize that we have power on the earth to forgive sin, to overcome sickness, and finally to resurrect the body to an undying state.
- Healing is more powerful and extends outward to the earth when we develop our Christ consciousness together.
- We also have, like Jesus, spiritual bodies which, at some point in our evolution, await our inhabitation in a higher dimension.
- Many people do not understand evolution because they do not comprehend the involution of Spirit and the connection of Spirit and matter.
- Religion has learned from science that evolution works at a cellular level and we must align ourselves with God to become its “direct conscious cooperator.”
- Not understanding involution, human beings are striving to evolve in materialistic ways.
- But Jesus Christ provides a better way to “divine evolution” through divine ideals and thoughts moving through life and substance.
- The plastic condition of the body responds quickly to thought and will “build from a single high ideal an entirely new organism.”
- Christ and Jesus represent the spiritual consciousness and mental consciousness and, when they are properly aligned, bring forth the perfect human being.
- The process of alignment requires a clearing away of obstacles which have accumulated in the mind because of ignorance.
- The higher power, the Christ, cannot express itself perfectly in an imperfect body.
- Health and a regenerated body do not come by external means but by setting the cells of our body to a new and higher life activity through daily thought activity.
- Keep spirit, soul and body unified in consciousness and go about “the Father’s business” of awakening to our inner perfection.
My friends in the mainstream Christian church, please take a second look at how we think, speak and treat our body. And ask if it is the way Jesus would have us live.
Sunday, October 8, 2023
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Click on images to download a PDF of Unity's Statement of Faith. This document contains much of the information contained in this article.
JESUS IS ALIVE AND IN OUR MIDST TODAY
Extracted from Unity Magazine, October 1922, pages 303-314
THE least understood claims of Christianity, are the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Those who think that God does his works capriciously, and not under law, ignore all teaching concerning evolutionary processes. Such people hold that when God decided to take Jesus to heaven, he just did it without preliminaries or laws of any kind. Such assumptions are not borne out by the facts of the resurrection and ascension, as recorded in the Scriptures. Those who study the workings of regeneration in mind and body, find that regeneration is under law, and that no end is accomplished without cooperating with spiritual ideas and powers. Jesus spent thirty-three years refining and harmonizing his mental and physical forces, preparing for the great transition from the earthly to the heavenly estate; and he worked out the higher evolution of man under the laws that govern all human development. The governing principles of the higher law are ideas, thoughts, and words. When we study and apply these principles, we find that the character of our minds and the structure of our bodies sometimes go through marvelously swift changes. Then again, the change may be very slow in showing on the surface, although we may be conscious of tremendous forces at work within. The variation indicates the plane of consciousness on which we work. If we go to the very root of conditions, and work to the surface, progress may seem slow, but the results will show that we have been thorough. If we begin at the surface and strive for quick results, we may get them, but there will always be weaknesses that will keep us from standing shoulder to shoulder with the Master.
According to his promise, Jesus overcame death in the physical body, as testified in Luke 24:39. He afterward showed himself to his disciples and to many others in his resurrected body. The next demonstration he made, was his ascension, when he disappeared in a cloud. This was done by raising the atoms of his resurrected body to such a high vibratory rate that his body became invisible to the physical eye; nevertheless, it is a real body, in which Jesus lives now.
Jesus has ever since lived in this, his real spiritual body. He showed himself many times in his spiritual body to those who had temporarily opened the spiritual sight. Paul testified that he saw and talked with him several times. In the first chapter of Revelation, John says that he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, when he heard behind him a great voice like a trumpet, telling him to write in a book what he saw. He says that he saw Jesus, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breast with a golden girdle, and his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters.
When John saw Jesus in his glorified body, he fell at his feet as one dead. But Jesus laid his hand upon him and said: “Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.”
Very many people have since then seen Jesus in his spiritual body, and his presence in our midst today is well established. His promise is: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Any one, and especially a company of sincere souls who have faith in the living Christ, can feel and sometimes see the Superman, Jesus, in his spiritual body. We have the consciousness of his presence in nearly all of our healing meetings in Silent Unity, and some of our members see him. We find, however, that beholding him objectively is not so advanced a phase of soul development as is feeling his presence and power. When we enter with him into the consciousness of God’s presence, a mighty illuminating and healing force comes to us, and we are lifted up to a consciousness where the limitations of matter disappear and the heavens are opened. Then we know for a fact that we do not do the works, but that the Father and the glorified Jesus work through us.
All questions about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus are easily answered, if one applies simply and naturally the truths of existence, and the laws which we are so fast discovering. By his simplicity of life, Jesus tried to show us that he was one of us. He was the “Son of man,” and he wanted us to realize that man has power on the earth to forgive sin, to overcome sickness, and finally to resurrect the body to an undying state.
We should not try to bring Jesus back into the dead and dying body of flesh by expecting him to appear again in the earthly consciousness. He overcame the thoughts of sickness, sin, and death, and this overcoming raised the body of flesh out of negative matter into radiant Spirit. Jesus lives in his perfected spiritual body, and we shall see him as he is, when we purify ourselves as he purified himself. The process of regeneration, Jesus called overcoming. “He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches (assemblies).”
Paul urges those who are looking for Christ, to be not forgetful of assembling themselves together. Jesus said: “When two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” People who are developing the Christ consciousness, experience increased power when they cooperate in prayer, and in song, and in affirmations of Truth. The unifying of many minds by thinking and speaking the same words, sends a tremendous force into the universal ether, and when this is done repeatedly, a spiritual atmosphere is established in the whole earth. In and through this unified spiritual thinking of trained minds, the new heaven and the new earth are to appear, as promised in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation. Jesus will never need to reincarnate in another body, because he prevented physical disintegration of his body and made it undying and eternal.
When we are lifted up with Jesus, as discerned by Paul, we shall not need to reincarnate, but shall live continuously in our perfectly healthy spiritual bodies. To the question: “Where shall we live?” we would answer in the language of Jesus: “Where I am, there ye may be also.” Jesus said that he would make a place for those who have faith in him. Spiritual understanding shows us that, in the universal ether or fourth dimension, the Superman can form any condition which he desires. Jesus has segregated and purified a portion of the ether for us, and we shall enter into the consciousness of it when we are purified, mentally and spiritually, as he was. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” Christians have a vague idea of this as a far-away heaven, to which they will go when they die. But Jesus said, “He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.”
INVOLUTION AND EVOLUTION
The dictionary definition of evolution is, “development or growth.” In a materialistic interpretation, it is the doctrine of the derivation of all forms of life by gradual modification from one rudimentary form. This theory of creation claims that the germ preexists in the parent, and that the germ contains in material potentiality all the parts of the fully formed organism.
Evolution is variously distinguished as materialistic evolution, which denies everything but matter and energy in the evolutionary process; agnostic evolution, which postulates an unknown and unknowable as the basis and explanation of the process; and theistic evolution, which assumes God back of all, working out results along the unalterable line of natural law, and by physical forces exclusively, often improperly confounded with the development theory.
Materialistic evolution is the theory of the development of all forms of life through a gradual change and improvement from one primal elementary germ. Lord Kelvin said that if the whole universe were destroyed it could be reproduced again from a single cell.
Your attention is called to these various theories of evolution because they are, in some of their aspects, widely accepted. Although the Christian clergy originally denounced Darwin and his theories, a goodly share of Christian ministers are now teaching something akin to Darwinism. Instead of the six days’ creation, as recorded in Genesis, and originally taught in a literal sense, they are proclaiming six great periods of development corresponding to the geologic ages whose history is written in the crust of the earth. Not understanding the true character of God, they have not been able to explain the involution of Spirit, as esoterically taught in the first chapter of Genesis, and its evolution through many forms, as symbolically expressed in the second, and in all succeeding chapters in the Bible.
But a new school of thought, in which involution and evolution are logically explained, is gradually gaining attention in the world. The premise of this school is that the foundation of all existence is in a great universal Mind, that mind, rather than matter, is the evolutionary power. This school harmonizes materialistic and theistic evolution and offers the only rational explanation of existence: Mind is all and the foundation of all. There could be no material evolution without mind as the intelligent, immanent power.
When Darwin first gave forth his theory of the descent of man, he was called an atheist and an infidel, because he seemed to have left God out of his scheme of creation. This nonrecognition of God was the result of a lack of the understanding that intelligence is the connecting link between Spirit and matter. When this connecting link is once understood, there is seen to be no gulf between religion and science. Science can never explain its various theories clearly until it accepts immanent intelligence, and religion cannot understand its doctrines until it comprehends their law and method of demonstration in evolution.
We are told by the schools of material evolution that the primal cell has within it all the elements that enter into its ultimate growth, and that the various outpicturings or expressions are the result of desire on the part of the energy within, to express itself without. We cannot ignore the divine law which governs the development of a large body of cells from a single cell. We see evidences of this law everywhere, and there is no reason why it should be overlooked in the building of a greater man—even the Christ-man. We must consciously unify ourselves with the great Mind back of the universe, and become its direct conscious cooperator in the process of regaining the “image and likeness.” Instead of being as driftwood, we, by application and understanding of Divine Law, must express within ourselves the directive force, and cooperate therewith.
No one is satisfied with the present status of man. The whole race is alive with a new desire, a new impetus. Not understanding the import of this impelling force from within, men are striving, in material ways, to bring about the higher expression. They are trying to evolve as material beings instead of as spiritual beings. In this regard, the understanding of spiritual law is very important.
In the working of your own mind, you have the key to the creation of the universe. Any teacher or book of mental science will tell you that mind is expressed through ideas, and that the character of expression is a matter of development or evolution. The first and second chapters of Genesis give a symbolical picture of the creation of the universe and man by Divine Mind. The first chapter tells of the idealization by Elohim, and the second chapter tells of the formulation by Jehovah. The first chapter reads, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” In the second chapter, it is written that “no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up,” and “there was not a man to till the ground.” Then “Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground.”
Here spiritual impregnation, or divine idealism, and divine evolution are both clearly taught to one who reads “not of the letter,” but in the Spirit. Jesus Christ is the evolution, through substance and life, of the ideal man imaged in the beginning by Elohim Mind. All things and all men are in various stages of evolution, with ideas, thoughts, minds, moving in and through life and substance.
When Mr. Bryan and the school of higher criticism study the spiritual psychology of the Bible, their differences will disappear.
In one of the more recent translations of Genesis, the passage, “The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters,” is written: “The Spirit of God was waving over the face of the waters.” This means that the Spirit of God vibrates over the waters. The “waters” represent the negative, receptive life, and the Spirit of God is constantly sending out waves, vibrations, energies, into every part of it. This energy is imparted to all the aggregations of cells and to every cell. A large part of the human organism is water. As with water, the plastic condition of the body causes it to respond quickly to thought, and man can produce in it any condition that he may desire. It is an easy matter to bring to bear upon substance the renewing power of mind, and to build from a single high ideal an entirely new organism.
This is exactly what Christianity teaches. “Be renewed through Jesus Christ,” is the command. In the symbology of Christianity, Christ represents the spiritual consciousness and Jesus the mental. The one lesson to be learned is that there is a new mind in, Christ, a progressive mind, that makes a new man. This is the standard man, and Jesus Christ demonstrated that standard; but before Jesus, was Christ, the Idea. These two, rightly joined in mind, make the divine man, the Son of God, and we should every one of us, be about the process of bringing forth in ourselves this perfect Man.
This work is preceded by a clearing away in consciousness of the obstacles which have accumulated in the mind because of ignorance of the law. In the Scripture, this clearing process is given as John the Baptist, coming to make straight the way of the Lord. If divine harmony had always prevailed, sin would never have been committed. The organism would have been continually new because, in the spirit of their minds, men would have walked and talked with God.
We can never know Divine Law until we make union with Divine Mind. Such union will bring us back, first to the divine natural man, symbolized by John the Baptist, who makes “straight the way of the Lord.” Then will follow in divine order the Christ Mind and the Lord’s body. The higher power, the Christ, cannot express itself perfectly in an imperfect body. There must be a baptism, a cleansing, a change of mind of the natural man, repentance, a letting go of all lustful passions and appetites. The way to accomplish this is by denial and affirmation. “Now are ye clean through the word.”
People sometimes say, “If there is a universal law, I will just throw myself on that law and be carried along to perfection.” But this will not do. The time has come to choose whom you will serve. Observing some simple rules of thought will bring forth in you a new consciousness. Apply yourself to the law as a child in school, and you will come into a new consciousness even Christ Jesus.
Do not think that health and the new body will come in some marvelous way, or by some external means. It will not come by listening to sermons, or to teachers, or by reading books, or even from Jesus Christ, as a savior outside of you. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” You will grow rapidly if you sit by yourself every day, for a time, and throw your thought into your organism. Be renewed in the Spirit of your mind, and set going in the cells of your body a new and higher life activity. Do not look for separation and corruption of body, but for unification: Unify and keep together spirit, soul, and body in Christ Jesus. As you hold to perfection, you will awake, day by day, to a new realization of your own inner perfection. If you belittle yourself, you will never rise to the perfection which is yours in Spirit. Be about the Father’s business; go within and know for yourself what this means: “I am that I am in Jehovah God.”
The radio has opened up a new avenue for the spreading of information, and on every hand we hear of the use of the radio by those who desire their messages to reach the people. Unity has two receiving instruments, but does not yet possess a broadcaster. For the present, we have the use of the Western Radio company’s plant, every Sunday evening, at 7:00 o’clock; at that time Francis J. Gable, editor of The Christian Business Man, gives a talk which reaches many receiving stations within 500 miles of Kansas City.
The radio is awakening people to the reality of invisible intelligence in a way which they cannot ignore. Sound radiations overcome time and space almost to the point of omnipresence, and the question of the nonexistence of matter and seeming material conditions, is now being seriously discussed by physical scientists. Step by step material science is being forced to recognize the reality of the fourth dimension, or “kingdom of the heavens,” of which Jesus taught. That the luminiferous ether is the medium of transmission for matter, heat, light, and of all other things that appear on this planet, has been mathematically proved, and now the radio is demonstrating that it is also the medium through which intelligence is transmitted. The next conclusion will be that the ether is the source of intelligence and that the mind of man is the most perfect of all receiving and sending instruments.
New Thought people have been quick to recognize the analogy of radio waves to thought transference, and in this regard our literature is becoming charged with comparisons, suggestions, and theories. A recent mail brought an address delivered by Robert Bryan Harrison at the International New Thought Alliance congress, at Atlanta, Ga. It is entitled "Broadcasting Station, Bob no. 1,” and is a very cordial greeting to all New Thought people, individually and collectively. The whole address is worth reading. It will be sent for a love offering for the New Thought Free School of Health, which Brother Harrison is launching. Hie following extract gives an idea of the character of the address:
The evolution of the messenger is interesting, beginning with the courier on foot; then the pony express; the stage coach; the steamboat; the steam railway; the magnetic telegraph; the telephone; the tell-a-woman; Marconi’s wireless; the airplane; leading up to the present radio broadcasting stations that will soon encircle the globe. All these systems require material equipment.
Antedating all of these, is a method of sending and receiving messages on a higher plane, which does not require any equipment outside the operator. The spiritual message is more direct and accomplishes more for humanity than all others.
The earliest spiritual broadcasting station was recorded of Jesus the Christ.
“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him.
“And saying. Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
"And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
"The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
“For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man. Go, and he goeth; and to my servant. Do this, and he doeth it.
“When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
The centurion, being a wise man, was quick to discern that what he could do in the physical realm, sending and receiving messages, Jesus could do in the spiritual. Doubtless the servant who was sick with the palsy, was listening in and catching the vital current from the Battery of life, and was instantly healed.
A marvelous broadcasting station was established by Saint Bernard, in the first century of the Christian era, on a high point in the Alps, 8,000 feet above sea level, where he founded a monastery. Since the most ancient times, there was a path across the Pennine Alps leading from the valley of Asta to the Swiss canton of Valaias, over what is now the pass of the Great Saint Bernard. The pass is covered with perpetual snow from seven to eight feet deep, and drifts sometimes accumulate to forty feet. This pass was often used by French and German pilgrims on their way to Rome. Saint Bernard’s elevated hospice was renowned for the generous hospitality extended to all travelers over the Great and Little Saint Bernard.
At all seasons accompanied by their well trained dogs the heroic monks would go out in search of victims who had lost their way. This was on the physical plane. From their lonely cells on the higher plane or spiritual realm, day by day, hour by hour and moment by moment they sent out such prayers as, “God bless humanity everywhere.”
Evidently many souls who had lost their way in quest of happiness, listened in and caught the message in the air and were turned toward God.
We are told by travelers that the faces of these tireless workers in the Master’s vineyard are radiant with joy and peace, as the radio messages sent out by them, after encircling the globe, return and illumine the lives of the senders. This is an infallible law.
So we find these spiritual broadcasting stations all down through the ages. Coming closer home, can you faintly conceive of the wonderful work that has been accomplished by broadcasting station E.T. no. 1, Holyoke, Mass., and broadcasting stations Nona no. 1, Denver, Colorado, RIX no. 1, Los Angeles, California, and Unity no. 1, Kansas City, Mo?
From these and many other New Thought broadcasting stations, every day at high noon, every night at ten o’clock, spiritual messages of the highest and purest character are released, and the thousands who have listened in, have caught the message in the air and have been directed to the pass across mountains of unrest to havens of health, happiness, joy, and peace.
What the saints of old and the saints of today are doing every individual can do, and as Adam had a telephone concealed upon his person, so have you a complete and perfect radio equipment available every moment of your life either while awake or asleep. The more you use it, the more radiant you will become.
We beseech Thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord.—Book of Common Prayer.