Unity Metaphysics: Tan Book 1 Introduction
Unity Metaphysics 1 (Tan Book)
I.A WHAT IS TRUTH?
"What we mean by Truth is concerned with the great fundamental questions that have always perplexed and at the same time engaged the profoundest attention of men:
(Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 84)
- What is the character of God?
- How does God create?
- What is the real character of man?
- What relation does he bear to source?
- What is the ultimate destiny of his man and the universe?"
It is helpful to realize that we have a special meaning for the word Truth as used in Unity. We do not mean "all the Truth there is." Nor do we mean "all the facts that are known." The Unity usage of the word Truth is in connection with DIVINE IDEAS AS THEY RELATE TO GOD AND MAN. Divine ideas are the spiritual patterns for all that pertains to us. They are all the components known to our mind which constitute what we call GOOD. Anything that acknowledges, verifies, supports, or expresses divine ideas is called "Truth" in Unity terminology. Anything which contradicts or attempts to negate divine ideas is called "error" in Unity terminology. In Bible terminology, the opposites of Truth are called "sin" or "evil." For us, the most essential and basic of all divine ideas are what we now experience as our twelve spiritual faculties: faith, strength, love, power, imagination, understanding, order, zeal, will, judgment, renunciation, life.
I.B ABSOLUTE TRUTH/ RELATIVE TRUTH:
"It is only from the plane of mind that one can know Truth in an absolute sense. That which we pronounce truth from the plane of appearances is relative only. The relative truth is constantly changing, but the absolute Truth endures; and what is true today always was and always will be true." (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 88)
Absolute Truth is the realm of God's divine ideas in all their original purity and power. Man's mind does not function in the absolute nor as the absolute. Man can only RELATE TO the absolute. In order to do this, our mind must draw upon divine ideas, giving them form and relating them to time and space. For this purpose we create thought. Thought forms divine ideas into usable concepts. Thoughts change constantly, mostly determined by time, place, and circumstances. Divine ideas (absolutes) never change.
I.C METAPHYSICS DEFINED:
"Metaphysics" The systematic study of the science of Being; that which transcends the physical. By pure metaphysics is meant a clear understanding of the realm of ideas and their legitimate expression." (Revealing Word, Metaphysics)
Again, it is useful to realize that we have a special meaning for the word "metaphysics" in our Unity terminology. As is the case with the word "Truth" the essential key is acknowledgment of divine ideas. Metaphysics is really the study and science of divine ideas, which may totally transcend the data of existing physical facts. When we use the word metaphysical in Unity, we almost always mean something which is TRUE concerning the inner life of every human being, regardless of time, place, and circumstances.
- Forgiveness primarily benefits the forgiver.
- Temptation constitutes an opportunity for choice.
- Health is our true and natural state.
Even if existing facts of the moment seem to contradict any of the above statements, their metaphysical validity remains intact.
I.D METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION DEFINED:
"As metaphysical Christians we take the Scripture to be a spiritual history of man as well as a history of outer events. We try to read it in the spirit appropriate to it. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. The Bible is a spiritual book." (Teach Us To Pray 140)
"In reading the Scriptures we gradually raise our consciousness of them as mere history and begin to apprehend them as setting forth the principle or law of life. We find the great Bible characters fitting into the pattern of our own consciousness, where they represent ideas. This makes the Bible a divine Book of Life rather than merely the history of a people." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 70)
"This does not mean that a study of the written Scriptures will itself solve your problems unless you come into the apprehension of the real Scriptures, the Bible of the ages, the Book of Life within your own consciousness." (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 180)
Perhaps the clearest definition of metaphysical Bible interpretation is stated in the preface of the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary:
"The Bible is, from Genesis to Revelation, in its inner or spiritual meaning, a record of the experiences and the development of the human soul and of the whole being of man; also it is a treatise on man's relation to God, the Creator and Father .. . We see in the Bible symbolical pictures showing the growth and unfoldment of the latent spiritual power in man up to the time when he comes into manifestation of the perfect 'image' and 'likeness' in which he was created."
What makes METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION unique is that it allows us to interpret characters and events in Scripture as various aspects of our own consciousness. We then use these insights and the increased awareness they generate to transform our lives.
I.E NEW AGE:
"Jesus never taught that God would destroy the earth, but He did teach that race evolution was being carried forward in great periods or ages, one of which was ending in His time." (Keep a True Lent 27)
"All this presages a new state of consciousness for the whole race. It is the beginning of the visible reign of the Christ, whose seed man was Jesus of Nazareth ... He it was who went into all the domains of thought and formulated ideas that have waited for a people who could comprehend and utilize them. We are that people. The dawn of the millennium is in our keeping. We possess the keys that open the gates of the New Jerusalem ... A higher state of consciousness is bursting full-blown upon the whole race. It is everywhere, and those who are most open to its influx are being rewarded. The power is abroad in the earth, and it calls to men and to nations, 'Come up higher’." (Talks on Truth 124)
We are the posterity to whom Jesus addressed most of His words. Many of the people of His time and place did not comprehend most of the words He spoke. For them, Jesus gave a ministry of WORKS. For the few who had "ears to hear" and for people of the future, He gave His ministry of WORDS. The level of consciousness which can now comprehend Jesus' words could be called The New Age. We are now in that age, and the words of Jesus have greater meaning and impact now than they ever had before in history. This is one meaning of the "second coming of Jesus Christ." He has come to us now, two thousand years after His resurrection in the form of His words. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Mark 13:31)
Mr. Fillmore often refers to "the coming of the end of a religious dispensation." Although this term is not entirely clear, it must relate to the cycles or "ages" of certain levels of religious thinking. The level of religious thinking just prior to the present could be designated as Old Testament, "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," strict letter of the law of mechanical cause and effect. The current new age could be designated as New Testament, metaphysical Christianity, forgiveness of sin, grace, and Truth. For those who "have ears to hear," the WORDS of Jesus can come alive as the new age religion. Jesus said, "My words are Spirit and they are life."
I.F CHURCH OF CHRIST
"The church of Jesus Christ still waits for a ministry that will represent it as it is—an organization in heaven without a head on earth, without a creed, without a line of written authority. This church exists, and must be set up in its rightful place—the minds and the hearts of men. It can never be confined to any external organization; whoever attempts such a movement, by that act, ceases to represent the true church of Christ." (Talks on Truth 109)
These words were written by Mr. Fillmore at a time when he was very much opposed to organized churches if they in any way interfered with the development of greater freedom of individual consciousness. Most existing churches of his time were of that type. So Mr. Fillmore was somewhat anti-church. But many things have changed since then. Today, it is likely that Mr. Fillmore would relax his views concerning the true church of Jesus Christ. Many Unity churches are churches of Jesus Christ, even though they may be quite organizational. If the actual teachings of Jesus are being presented, then it is a legitimate church of Jesus Christ. Of course, this true church must have its foundation in the mind and heart of each individual.
I.G. PROGRESSIVE NATURE OF TRUTH
"We are receiving new Truth in all fields, and if we are to use it, it seems most important that our religion be progressive, that we get new and higher concepts, and that we see deeper and more scientific relations in the lessons and experiences of those who have preceded us in study and demonstration of spiritual Truth." (Jesus Christ Heals 126 )
"Do not dogmatize in creed, or statement of Being, as a governing rule of thought and action. These things are limitations and they often prevent free development because of foolish insistence on consistency. The creed that you write today may not fit the viewpoint of tomorrow; hence the safe and sure religious foundation for all men is that laid down by Jesus, 'The Spirit of Truth. . . shall guide you into all the Truth.' A statement setting forth the teaching of a religious institution is essential, but compelling clauses should be omitted." (The Twelve Powers of Man 111)
Correct teaching of metaphysical Truth keeps such teachings organic. One correct method of teaching is to always keep an "open door" in all presentations. Knowledge can be a living thing. All living things must be free to grow. Knowledge increases as more light enters the human consciousness. When any system of knowledge contains "closed doors," then the organic quality of such knowledge begins to deteriorate. In religious thinking this deterioration becomes static dogma, outworn theology, mechanical repetition, and superstition that is out of step with the times. This has happened to almost all important religions in our history on earth. It can be prevented from happening to New Age metaphysical Christianity (Truth) if we preserve its organic quality by keeping the "open door" policy in effect.
Transcribed by Sheri Owen on August 3, 2015.