1939 Dissertation on Unity
THE PLACE OF JESUS CHRIST IN
THE SALVATION OF MAN
THE PLACE OF JESUS CHRIST IN
THE SALVATION OF MAN
To appreciate the work of Jesus we need to recall the condition of man. Man is not immoral; he is anemic, weakened through error thinking. "Error mentality envelops the human race like a smoky fog. The limited thoughts of disease have weakened, man, and thoughts of death have overcome him. Throughout the long history of the race the life-cells of man's body and mind have become so encrusted with error thinking that there is no possibility of one breaking through and arousing them to their appointed task of demonstrating eternal life. "We cannot, by our efforts alone, save ourselves from this race consciousness of sin, evil, sickness, and death." For mankind to be saved it "became necessary that some great soul reconnect us with the Father-Mind,"
Jesus Christ accomplished this for mankind. According to Mr. Fillmore, Jesus Christ was a perfected soul who attained creative power in a cosmic evolution previous to human history. He first became known to use as Jehovah God, the Creator of our universe. "This world and everything on it was brought forth
- Charles Fillmore, "The Metaphysical Significance of the Crucifixion," Unity, LXX (Jan., 1929), 6.
- Ibid., p. 7.
- Ibid., p. 6.
- Mr. Fillmore says: "We behold in Jesus Christ and our relation to him how men who have developed the divine image in themselves become creators of other men." "Christmas: Its Scientific Meaning," Unity, LXXXV (Dec, 1936), 6.
- See Unity, LXX (Jan., 1929), 6; Unity, LXXXV (Dec., 1936), 6; Unity, LXXXVI (Jan., 1937), 4.
by Him in many earthly incarnations.
When man, the offspring of Jehovah, lost his communion with the Father Mind by acting independently of that Mind, Jehovah, or Christ, in order to redeem man, began a series of physical incarnations. These physical incarnations reached their climax in Jesus of Nazareth, He gave up for ages His consciousness of spiritual perfection in order to contact with our mentality. He entered into the diseased and corrupt flesh consciousness of the race and, through a series of incarnations, he finally in the human Jesus "reestablished the intermind relation that once existed between man and God."
He did part of his work under the names of Moses, Elisha, David, et al. These lives were his days at school, and he arrived at a state of consciousness while manifesting as Jesus of Nazareth where he remembered his past lives.
The body of Jesus became a bridge between the human race and God, Jesus Christ broke through the crystallized thought strata that enfold the race; he "made a great rent in the sense consciousness and opened a way by which all who desire may demonstrate easily and quickly."
The work of Jesus Christ has a two-fold aspect: First,
- Charles Fillmore, "Metaphysical Significance of the Crucifixion," Unity, LXX (Jan., 1929), 7.
- Charles Fillmore, "Transfiguration," Unity, XIV (April, 1901), 149, Since this is an interpretation of the transfiguration scene, one would expect the name Ellas. But Mr. Fillmore says: "The Spirit reveals to me that an error has been made in the text which gives Elias — it should read Elisha."
- Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p, 7.
He is our "Way-Shower," leader, and example. Second, by the process of resurrection and atomlzation, he sowed the atomic units of his body as "points of life and light in our mind and body atmosphere to the end that any one who concentrated his thoughts upon Christ in faith might attract as a spiritual magnet one or many of his body atoms." These atoms of Jesus Christ's regenerated body can be made the nucleus of a regenerated body for any who appropriate them through faith'. This twofold work is the atonement which Jesus Christ has made for the race.
The work of Jesus Christ as "Way-Shower" also had two sides which Mr. Fillmore has designated as the first and second coming of Christ. The first coming of Christ was Jesus' reception of the Truth of Being Into his conscious mind. Jesus realized and affirmed that He was the Son of God. He put out of his mind by the process of denial every racial thought that has bound men through the ages. In his threefold temptation experience He conquered "personal" consciousness. He achieved by the use of affirmations that supreme spiritual selfhood in which he could truly say: "I and the Father are one." Jesus, the soul, recognized Christ, His Superconsciousness, as His Father. He consciously made Himself one with the absolute principle of Being. "He had no consciousness separate from that Being, hence He was that Being to all intents and purposes."
- Charles Fillmore, "All the way," Unity, LXXXVI (Jan., 1937), 4.
- See Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 16.
- Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p. 11.
The first coming of Christ led to the second coming of Christ. This was Jesus' most important work for the race. Having consciously realized that the Superconsciousness was His real self, he now made use of it to redeem the body. The second coming of Christ "is the awakening and the regeneration of the subconscious mind through the superconscious or Christ mind." It is the chipping off of the error-thought crystallizations of history that envelop the cells of the soul and body and the liberation of the atomic energy stored in them. Jesus knew the science of Being and hence knew his own body. "Inherent in the mind of Being are twelve fundamental ideas, which in action appear as primal creative forces." He also knew that these twelve "primal creative forces" or ideas had their residence in man as presiding egos. "The subconscious realm in man has twelve great centers of action with twelve presiding egos or Identities." Jesus symbolized all this by his calling twelve disciples. These twelve faculties of Being, the disciples which represent them, and their centers of action in the human body are as follows:
Faith—Peter—center of brain.
Discrimination or Judgment—James, son of Zebedee—pit of stomach.
Love—John—back of heart.
Power—Philip—root of tongue.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man., p. 15
- Ibld., p. 63.
- Ibld., p. 15.
Imagination—Bartholomew—between the eyes.
Will—Matthew—center of front brain.
Order—James, son of Alphaeus—navel.
Zeal—Simon the Canaanite—back head, medulla.
Renunciation or Elimination—Thaddaeus—abdominal region.
Life Conserver—Judas—generative function.
While every man has these various brain centers or presiding egos, ordinarily he makes use only of the brain in the head. Jesus, when he re&ched a certain stage in his soul development, called to the aid of the I AM these twelve egos of his subconscious life. This is symbolized in Scripture by His going up "into the mountain to pray," and calling the twelve. The mountain is his Superconsciousness located at the top of his head. By direct appeal to these presiding egos, Jesus built out the centers over which they preside. He thought through these other brains, mastered the functions of the body which they direct, and arrested the deterioration that had been taking place throughout the body because of the error-thought of the race. Step by step, by applying denials and affirmations direct to these centers, he revitalized the cells of his body and refined the "man of the flesh into the man of the Spirit."
This entire process was mental. Jesus was patient; he spent much time in denials—fasting. He persistently treated these brain centers against the limited thoughts which the world held. Then he energetically created powerful, unlimited ideas
- Ibid., p. 16.
of Being and sent them into the centers to complete the work, Jesus, by affirmation, "delighted in making great and mighty claims for His God, Himself, His words, and for all men." In other words, Jesus brought the I AM into direct contact with each of the brain centers of his body to its purification and empowerment. The ignorance of Adam was thus undone; the life of sensation was made to yield to the life of the Spirit, Jesus achieved eternal life in the body.
The crucifixion of Jesus'represents the climax of the struggle between the Christ Mind and the sense mind for the control of man. It marks the putting to death of the Judas consciousness, which through the centuries had robbed the race of its vitality. At this point the body of Jesus, because it was ao closely connected with the "personal" or sense-consciousness, passed through great suffering and seemed to die:
The crucifixion of Jesus is the symbolical representation of the crossing out (destruction) of the carnal mind (Satan) in the redeemed man's consciousness, Christ was not killed on the cross, neither was the body of Jesus destroyed. The "ghost" that Jesus gave up with his last breath was mortality. It was the personal, mortal consciousness that cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me." (This god should be spelled with a small g,) The personal concept god always fails to save its worshipper."
Jesus did not really die on the cross, as we understand death. The Christ Mind or Superconseiousness transmuted his body into a higher spiritual substance. The body wars taken from three-dimensional into four-dimensional life. In this resurrection
- Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p. 18.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 69.
Jesus actually demonstrated the power his I AM had gained over his body through calling to its aid the twelve disciples and instructing them in the Truth about God and man. They had learned the lesson that God is Principle and that man is God in action. In his resurrection Jesus, the man, through his Christ-consciousness "unloosed the dynamic atoms of His whole body and released their electrical energy." By thus atomizing his body into the racial atmosphere, "Jesus offered His body as a life or electric transformer" for the human race. This is the "At-one-ment" which Jesus Christ has made for the race.
The process of salvation by means of the Silence, denials, and affirmations needs, then, to be applied more directly than had been done in the past, Jesus has made a "rent" in the racial consciousness of mortal sense. He has made plain the way to the eternal reunion of Spirit, soul, and body. Man must go in at the "rent" Jesus has made. It is not, Mr. Fillmore assures us, an easy task. Only those who really feel that they are "ready for the great adventure into the attainment of eternal life in the body here and now" should take up the development of the twelve powers of man. This method means the release of powerful, dynamic energy and, "if not controlled and raised to the spiritual plane, it may prove a source of body destruction," But whoever has advanced
- Ibid., p. 5.
- Charles Fillmore, "All the Way," Unity, LXXXVI (Jan., 1937), 7.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Men, p. 4.
- Ibid., p. 5.
in spiritual consciousness to the point where he is "willing to give up all worldly ambitions," conserve the "pure substance of his body," and develop the twelve creative centers of his body may follow Jesus in the mastery of his own body and in its resurrection from death. He attained only what is expected of each of us, and we can be saved only as we resurrect or refine our bodies as he did. "It is an error to think that God gives anybody anything that he has not earned." We must work at our own salvation.
Mr. Fillmore claims that the knowledge of the functioning of the body through its twelve brains or "ganglionic centers" is his particular discovery and gift to religion. The application of this discovery gives Unity its status as "Practical Christianity." His account of the discovery follows:
I am transforming, through mental dynamics, the cells of my whole body, the ultimate of which will be immortality in the flesh. I have discovered that all the ganglion centers in the organism are in reality brains thinking thoughts in a measure independent of the central thinker, whose seat of action is usually confined to the head. In order to control the various brains I hage found it necessary to project into them my conscious thought and fill them so full of true ideas that there is no room for the false. This task has not been a light one, and I have spent years in silent willing, denying and affirming, actually rebuilding every cell in my organism from center to circumference. I would way that in this work I have been guided by an invisible intelligence, which I call the Holy Spirit. I have also found that the whole process is symbolically outlined in the life of
- The church has been correct, says Mr. Fillmore, in telling people to "follow Jesus." It has erred in teaching that Jesus was "the only begotten Mon of God, and that He overcame for us, and that by simply believing on Him we are saved." See Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ's Atonement, p. 8.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 28.
Jesus Christ, and is what is technically called regeneration.
Stated briefly, Mr. Fillmore's discovery consists in applying the ideas of Being—faith, strength, discrimination, love, power,
- Charles Fillmore, "A Biographical Sketch," Unity, XVII (Aug., 1902), pp. 69 f.: (this footnote continues with the following:)
Mr. Fillmore here suggests that he made the discovery directly through the Holy Spirit; then he realized that the life of Jesus Christ carried the same discovery in symbolical language. While his genius is shown in working out and applying the idea, certainly the basic materials for such application had been in the "mental-cure" group for some time. Much of it had appeared In the Fillmore publication in the preceding years. George H. Brooks, a Spiritualist, had expressed the idea that any part of the body could be cured by direct application of thought to that part in the first issue of their magazine (Modern Thought, I [April, 1889], 11). The need for strenuous effort; applied over a period of time, in order to accomplish worthwhile results is the central theme in The Temple of the Rosycross by F. B, Dowd, a Rosicrucian. Mr. Fillmore gave this book a favorable review and took from it the idea of the "Winged-Globe," which he made the permanent symbol of Unity (see Modern Thought, I [Nov., 1889], 11).
A simple, yet almost complete, application of the idea is found in the writings of John Hamlin Dewey, who styled himself a Christian Theosophist (see John Hamlin Dewey, New Testament Occultism, New York: The J. H. Dewey Publishing Co., 1895). New Testament Occultism is a plea for joining the teachings of Jesus with the occult knowledge of the East, neither of which is complete without the other. Some of the ideas which we later find in Mr. Fillmore's exposition, The Twelve Powers of Man, are as follows (references are to New Testament Occultism): control of the secret force of life by a direct act of the will (p. 9); control of the forces of nature through appeal to the intelligence lodged in each thing (pp. 22 and 26); the idea that Jesus' control of life in all its planes is open to each of us (p. 27); Jesus realized his supremacy in and over the flesh (p. 45); the New Testament miracles are merely the working out of law (p. 52); the 'spiritual emancipation and illumination experienced and taught by Jesus was the immediate result of an organic transformation under the transmuting power of a spiritual chemistry — Thought (pp. 75-77); Jesus, the living example and demonstration of the possibilities in all men (pp. 87-88); the seven senses of man (p. 106); the three planes of consciousness (pp. 143 f.); the idea of a spiritual body within the physical (p, 150).
The entire idea of body control through the processes of thought and "meditation is found in Yogiism. The Fillmores are aware of this (See Cora Fillmore, Christ Enthroned in Man, p. 2). The early magazines show, as we have suggested elsewhere, that they were reading literature from the East, but most probably such ideas came to them through writers like Dewey. Mr. Dewey's works were repeatedly and favorably quoted (e.g., see Modern Thought, I June, 1889, p. 15).
The idea that man has twelve powers and that these powers were depicted by Jesus through his calling twelve disciples was first presented in Unity by Annie Rix Militz, a Home of Truth leader from Los Angeles (See Thought, V Aug., 1893, 181). Mrs, Militz was in close contact with the Unity fellowship until her death in 1924. Mr. Fillmore's first published statement along this line did not appear until 1901 (See Unity, XII May, 1901 , 509).
imagination, understanding, will, order, zeal, renunciation, and life — to the particular "ganglion center" which each controls in the body of man. This process renews and enlarges these brains so'that'man can consciously think through them to the renewing and revitalizing of all tho cells of his bodv. Thus far man has failed to demonstrate eternal life because he has not known this secret. Jesus Christ's life experience, symbolically interpreted, now gives to the race a complete understanding of the technique. Since Unity claims that its great gift to the world is its practical application of the teachings of Jesus, through the medium of man's twelve powers, to the refinement of the body, it is only fair that Unity leaders should present their own process.
- The apostle Paul is a good illustration of man's failure, Mr. Fillmore writes: "Paul did not 'glorify God' in his body. He saw the possibilities, as we today are seeing then in our study of metaphysics, but he did not allow the Christ-child, conceived by the Holy Ghost in the mind, to go down to Bethlehem (House of Bread—the psycho-physiological substance center at the pit of the stomach), and be born in a manger among the animals. By reason of this failure to form, through psycho-chemical processes In the psychical, a new body on a higher plane of vibration, the Christ-child was without a suitable instrument for manifeating 'itself and Paul's corruptible body went the way of all flesh." "A Question Answered," Unity, VIII (Jan., 1897), 12.
So I give what they call a "Condensed Exercise on the Twelve Powers."
The spiritual center in . . . spiritual understanding, behold yourself a new creature open only to the good. (Note: Tula covers pages 119-125 in the 1944 edition of Christ Enthroned in Man)
Ordinarily one does not try to take such an exercise all at one time, but holds to only one part of it addressing hims If to one of the twelve body centers. The above exercise is a final one for those who have studied the book "The Twelve Powers of Man."
While each man must achieve his own salvation, he is not alone in the struggle. Jesus companies with him through His words. They are more powerful than any other word man can use in the process of body refinement. Especially is this true of the name Jesus Christ itself.
The mightiest vibration is set up by the speaking of the name Jesus Christ. This is the name that is named "far above all rule and authority," the name above all names, holding in itself all power in heaven and in earth. It is the name that has power to mold universal substance,
When the words of Jesus Christ are sown in the body centers, they cleanse these centers of all material thought and awaken and quicken then into newness of life.
Finally, through faith in Christ as Lord—not the historical Jesus but the Christ consciousness in Jesus and in each
- Cora Fillmore, Christ Enthroned In Man, pp. 163 f. This is a book of instructions, supplementary to Charles Fillmore's The Twelve Powers of Man. Mrs. Fillmore says that her husband's book "undoubtedly affords the greatest key to the logical and rational expression of spiritual man that has ever been given to the public."
- Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p.36.
of us — we can attract to ourselves one or many of the atoms which were originally In the body of Jesus. These body atoms, now existing In the fourth dimension, are without number. These become food and drink for us. "They form the nucleus of a regenerated body for the person appropriating them" "Whoever through faith in Christ draws to himself one of the life gems becomes inoculated to that degree with Jesus Christ quality." This is the real meaning of the Lord's Supper. The Catholic theory of transubstantiation is true; but only recently, as we have come to understand the nature of matter, have we known that it was not a miracle but the working of the law of Being. In this way the substance and life of Jesus "becomes" the connecting link between our body and the body of God."
This is "Practical Christianity" — not salvation through physical death and the resurrection of the body — but a mental resurrection of man followed by a gradual refinement of his body through the application of creative thoughts and words. If we co not demonstrate such salvation in our present body, it is
- Charles Fillmore, "All the way," Unity, IXCXVT (Jan., 1937), 4.
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of lean, p. 156.
- See "Holy Communion," Unity, LXXIV (May, 1935), 68.
- While Mr. Fillmore, as early as 1902, insisted that the system ought not to be evaluated on the basis of his personal success, yet he has repeatedly announced that he has making observable changes in his own body by this method: (this footnote continues:)
1902: "I have some teeth that a superficial observer might say needed attention, and I am giving them attention from a spiritual standpoint and getting good results. They are holding their own and I am on my way to the production of an entirely new set. Unity, XVI (Jan., 1902), 37. "I have spent years in silent willing, denying and affirming, actual every cell in my organism from center to circumference." Unity XVII (Aug., 1902), 69.
1905: After relating how he had changed the life current against old age, "Gradually I felt a new life current coming up a faint little stream at first, , and months went by before I got it to the surface. Now it is growing by leaps and bounds. My cheeks have filled out, the wrinkles and 'crow feet' are gone and I actually feel like the boy that I am." Unity, XVIII (Feb., 1903), 2.
1907: Speaking of his right leg which, because of a childhood injury, was some shorter than his left: "Through spiritual realization the leg has gradually lengthened, until now it is less than two inches short, and shrunken muscles and flesh perfectly whole, although as men count time, I am over half a century in this body." Unity, XXVII (Aug., 1907), 104.
1915: "I can testify to a gradual renewal. I can feel the new life coming through my nerves in living streams of energy. This energy I have learned to direct to the various organs of the body, and through daily practice of thought concentration I am renewing both mind and body, My skin is getting pink as in youth, and my gray hair is changing at the roots to Its natural cclor. I am satisfied that I shall overcome the disintegration of my organism and finally conquer death.... I have for the past twenty-five years lived so constantly in the thought of perpetual life that I have no consciousness of less of force of body energy. Unity, XXXIX (July, 1913), 6 f.
1924: "My body is not disintegrating. Why not? Because I am believing in God's life in me; I am affirming that life. I know that if I follow Jesus Christ in this respect I shall overcome death. I know that it is incumbent upon me to enter into realization of the eternal life in the body and to teach the world that it is possible to overcome the last enemy death." Unity LXI (Oct., 1924), 410.
1929: In answer to a question about his expectation of life: "Because I have emphasized the eternal-life-in-the body teaching of Jesus, this question is often asked by Unity readers. Some of them seem to think that I am either a fanatic or a joker if I take myself seriously in the hope that 1 shall with Jesua attain eternal life in the body. But the fact is that I am serious about the matter and am striving earnestly to fellow Jesus in the regeneration, which I am satisfied will result in a transformation of my tody. I an renewing my mind, and, at the same time, working out body transformation," Unity, LXXI (Aug., 1929), 5.
To-day Mr. Fillmore is a quite interesting, humorous, white-haired man, some eighty-four years young. His right leg is much shorter than his left. He wears a higher heel on his right shoe and walks with a decided hitch. When in discussion, his mind is likely to wander from the point at issue. To a superficial observer, his teeth show dental work, certainly not of the "spirit-substance" kind. In July 1933 he ceased his work as a regular weekly preacher before the local Unity Society. He is now almost retired from the business of Unity School, coming from his country home to the headquarters only one or two afternoons each week.
because we do not possess "unwavering belief" in its efficacy. But we may be sure that our efforts have not been in vain. All will be preserved and carried into the next incarnation so that we can start from where we are. "And whoever accepts the Christ
as life and substance, and conforms to righteous living as taught by the Spirit of Truth, will finally sit with Jesus on the throne of dominion over disease and death." When a large enough group of the race have attained the Christ power they will usher in "the new heaven . . . and the new earth." The animal world will be transformed" — the wolf and the lamb shall feed together" — and man shall be in that "place" with Christ which He has prepared for him. Then, perhaps, "both the invisible and the visible universes will be rolled up and disappear and only Mind remain"
- Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers of Man, p. 118.
- Ibid., pp. 68-69
- Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 5.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on September 21, 2014