A Flood of Good
This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on May 5, 2015.
Bob writes, "Mr Fillmore uses the allegory of Noah and the Flood in this talk. He also speaks about "building a place of safety within us" (page 10) and presents an interesting "scientific" argument in favor of death (page 17 ff) Margie and I will be doing this show together. Ahhh... fun with my honey."
"A FLOOD OF GOOD"
MR. CHARLES FILLMORE
913 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri
SUNDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 2, 1913
Our lesson this morning is based upon the allegory of the flood. In the Scripture symbology, the meaning of Noah is "One who rests." Metaphysically, we would say Noah represents one who makes a practice of resting in the consciousness of the God presence, or one who goes regularly into the Silence, until he cultivates a spiritual mind. The mind of the Spirit must be brought to consciousness.
We are created after the image and likeness of the one Divine Mind, but it is our work to bring that consciousness, into expression, and unless we do that, we are lost in the great flood of material thought.
The purpose of this meeting is to habituate us, if we haven't been started in the way of observing the Silence, becoming like Noah, "One who rests in God", that we may be saved from the flood. When you rest in God, you always have a thought of the Presence — it formulates itself in your mind. You think about how obedient I am going to be, and how faithful I will be to the Great Ruler of the Universe.
Now, we will take those two attitudes. Obedience: Jesus said, "Not my will, but Thine be done". Faithfulness: "I have faith in the power of the Living God to save me from every ill; from every disaster; from all of those conditions that seem to be overtaking me. I have faith in the Power of God".
Briefly stated, the story of the Flood is that the Sons of God became enamored of the daughters of men, and took unto themselves wives. Then wickedness began to increase in the earth, until all the imaginations of the heart of men were only evil, the Scripture states. God regretted that he had made man, and decided to destroy him from the face of the earth. He came unto Noah, and told him of ithe coming destruction, and instructed him to build an Ark for the saving of the children of obedience, which Noah did; but the wicked people reviled him and he went on with his work, built the Ark, and took all of the animals, two by two, and he and his three sons and their wives, went into the Ark.
Well, the rains came, and for forty days it continually rained, and then ceased, but the Ark floated around for fifty days - five months, and all the animals in the world - two of them, two of each. One of the accounts states of some there were seven - seven each. I don't think it is said about how he got fodder - how the elephant that eats hay enough in twenty-four hours to make a stack as big as it was, nearly - how Noah put that ail away in a ship about the size of an ocean liner. I think now we are building ocean liners twice the else of the Ark. It was four hundred and fifty feet in length, about seventy-five feet in width, and forty-five feet in depth. You read of ocean liners nine hundred feet in length. So, from the viewpoint of magnitude, there is a discrepancy here as to the capacity of that Ark; but, as I say, we know that it was an allegory. Everything indicates it, allegory that existed long before this Bible was written.
On the tablets which we find now in Nineveh and Babylon are records made two thousand years before this Bible was compiled, in which the flood is virtually described as it is in the Scripture, showing that it is a borrowed account, and that the different names and situations refer to facts that exist continually in the world.
We know that this earth has been flooded again and again. I can take you up here on the Rocky Mountains, and show you the water lines, four thousand, five thousand - in some cases ten thousand feet - above sea level, where the ocean swept over this whole country. We know that after the Glacial Period, in Newfoundland, the earth there must have been five hundred feet under water, and Grimm's Land, geologists say, it was two thousand feet. That flood continued for ages. And we know that the water has been sunken and upheaved, and this whole space has been continually going through a change; so that it doesn't refer - this allegory doesn't refer in any way to the outer material earth. It is a metaphysical proposition.
As I say, it is something that is going on continually in the development of man. You are having experiences that, if you read the Scripture aright, are in accordance with its allegorical statements. In other words, man is here shown in the various stages of his development. Noah represents one who, as stated in our prayer, "rests in the Spirit". He has an inner spiritual consciousness and that develops a communion within him, toward or with Divine Mind. It builds a new consciousness, so that this Ark is continually being built, and it is the saving grace in another phase of development of man.
Now, we are told that before Noah began the building of this Ark, the Sons of God became enamored of the daughters of men, and married them. What does this mean? Why, man is potentially the son of God. He has, in his superconsciousness, the ideas that link him directly with the Father-mind, the Universal, Cosmic Mind, and those ideas are precipitated, we might say, into another plane of consciousness; and we, in our development, are continually going down into the affectional soul consciousness, and the soul is so full of a certain joy, that the higher man, the spiritual man, becomes enamored of the soul man, and in this, there is more or less of a materialization of the consciousness.
We get led off into the by-ways of the formed world. Life is very attractive. The feminine is the mother of all living. The soul in us is constantly drawing upon the higher, the ideal, and these are making a union; the sons of God, the Divine Ideas in you are expressing themselves in the soul consciousness, and, as I say, at certain stages of your development, or, as you may call it, your growth, you are getting more and more into the material world. You are becoming enamored of the daughters of men; and if you don't watch out, you will be imagining a whole lot of things as true that are not true. You will get a little mixed in your spiritual discernment, and this leads to error, wrong relation of things. That is sin. Every time that you fail to preserve the true spiritual idea back of the appearance, you are liable to make a mistake. You go wrong, and that is the sin; that is the falling short. That is what sin means - a missing of the mark, or a falling short of the absolute truth.
Now, in no other place can you find absolute truth but the Spirit. The wise man doesn't allow himself to be wholly led off into sense consciousness. He, like this Noah who is said to be a man who rests, acquires, through his daily meditations, a place where he can commune with the higher Spiritual - he keeps keeps his eye upon God, the Supreme Mind. Then he begins to build a place of safety.
Now, this place of safety is an absolute real place. Don't think about it as something that occurred to the the human family ages ago. It is occurring today. You will find in your own experience that as you think about Spirit, think about God, you have new revelations. There is a development of consciousness, and you are in this way building the Ark.
The Ark is built out of wood in a certain stage of man's unfoldment. It is a perishable outer expression, but there is an inner Principle, and that inner Principle is the man. But the man is constantly going forward in a state of progress, and this is what we are every one of us passing through.
Well now, about this other state of consciousness, this flood: We hold that it is merely a cleansing; that as we build up from the world of form, and shape, we put on limitations, and those limitations materialize our minds, and those material thoughts express themselves in the body, and the body becomes finally so material, the imaginations of the heart are so gross, that it is absolutely necessary that there be a cleansing. You must let go of some of the material limitations in our consciousness. Then comes the cleansing of error by error. In other words, If you don't live up to the standard of the Spirit, see everything spiritual, even to your body, why, there is sure to be a day of reckoning.
This, then, points a way to us, and shows us that way. If we are going to let the material world take so much of our attention, we must have a center of consciousness to save enough of us to carry us on and again people our earth. If we give up wholly to the material world, why, of course, we go the way of that world, we die. But we find metaphysically that if we have faith in Spirit; cultivate the "spiritual side of life", think about Spirit, there gradually builds in us a spiritual center, a spiritual consciousness, and when the flood comes along, we are in our ark, and we have there all of the masculine and the feminine qualities, the positive and the negative forces, that will bring forth into expression anything that it realizes in Spirit.
Now, the Noah in us rests this inner consciousness, and is not disturbed by the outer reviling us. It goes steadily forward in faith, believing in the spiritual, holding to the spiritual, and when the day of sickness comes; when the great negative flood of error begins to sweep through the body, why there is a quiet floating upon the ocean of error, and, instead of going down, instead of sinking into Diabetes or Bright's Disease, or some of the terrible scourges that sweep through the race. Losing all, that man rises above them. He may have the appearance of those things, but he knows that it is simply error washing itself away, and that flood is going on - that is the point. And when you get to that place in your development, where you can see how the forces work in your mind and body, you will welcome all of these cleansing processes. You will know that every time you let go of a certain proposition, you can lay hold of another, and this laying hold of the higher Principle with your mind, making it practical everywhere, adds to the strengthening power of Spirit. It increases your strength, your faith, and faith is something that grows. It doesn't come with one great jump into man's mind, but Faith is increasing constantly to those that follow after the Spirit. And Faith is part of this Ark.
Now, the Ark that Noah built and the Ark of the Covenant that the Children of Israel constantly kept in their temple is the same thing, that is, the same symbol under different form; and this inner spiritual Ark, this place in which the spiritually minded rest, is, as I say, a real place. It is the foundation of the new body that Jesus Christ developed; and when we, in our beginning, find that place of peace in which we can go and rest in spite of all the turmoil, all the sickness, all the error of the outer consciousness, we are in the Ark; and if you can take in that Ark your sons and your daughters, and all the principles, when you can realize within yourself that you have, in spite of outer appearances a Spiritual Presence, a Spiritual Life, a Spiritual Good, you have, gone into the inner consciousness, and, as I say, it doesn't make any difference how the winds may blow, how the floods may come, what the outer is, you rest in security, you float upon the very top, the mountain top of all the discords below.
Now you, many of you, have had experiences, and as your attention is called to these symbols, you say at once, "Of course, that is exactly what that means". Then it comes to you it is of practical import. You see that by cultivating, day by day, the silent quietness of the Spirit, holding yourself obedient to the Divine Law, as Noah, who is said to have been a man righteous in the sight of God, so you can become righteous in the sight of God, and this righteousness would add to your spiritual strength, and when the world is in the throes of some great trial, some great financial flood, some great disease, some great depression, some great sickness, you rest in and are far all above those conditions. You know that there is a God in the Universe; you know that God is in the world; you know that spiritual forces are in the world, and that all these so-called diseases, all the disasters that we see are in a way good.
I read the other day a strong argument in favor of death as an absolute necessity. Now, we don't look upon death as good by any means; but this Scientist argued that if it was not for death, we would soon be smothered hy insects. That one fly could increase and in a few years fill the whole atmosphere solid; that one fish, like a cod, could, in six years, multiply and fill the ocean - just one fish could fill the ocean full of cod fish, until they would be just a struggling mass. So with nearly all of the animal creations. Leave them to themselves, take death away, and they would monopolize the whole earth. With man, the same thing was proven to be true. Then, the argument was death is a good thing. It is necessary that death should be in the world.
We have to admit that proposition so long as men are in a state of sin, so long as men believe in evil and do evil, why, I don't know but it is good that, this great universal cleansing take place. So, a flood is constantly in the world, a flood of one kind of thought devouring another kind; and that keeps the cleansing, the flood going on.
But is that necessary? Isn't it possible for the Great Infinite Mind, with all of its power, with all of its resources, to make a world in which selfishness and death and the devouring of one another can be eliminated? We say certainly. And that is just the kind of a world that is coming into expression. When that world begins to express itself, why, all the insects will, of their unreal necessity - because they are all formed in the minds of men first - they will disappear. The world will be cleansed of those evils that are found down in Egypt, and the devouring element in man's mind will cease to go forth and a new realm be created. So, the human family will cease its selfishness, and a new state of consciousness come into expression. Men will refine their bodies, and there will be plenty of room. If you knew your real spiritual consciousness, your body would express that spirituality until we would find ourselves passing right through each other. There would be no obstruction to the cells, composing the body; they would all be free in a state of constant flux, with beautiful colors radiating from their activity, and we are told that in all of this activity of the so-called "material world", there is a Divine Harmony like music.
When we get into the spiritual consciousness, which the Millenium is now fast forcing into outer expression, the world will be filled with beautiful colors of all kinds, so that we see and hear and feel and smell - everything will be a continuous joy under a new law - a law of Spirit that the old condition, the old law, the old material conception will be just swept away. A great flood, a cleansing flood, is now being ushered in, and we should rejoice, if we are in the Spirit, that God's great Mind is now cleansed from the mind of men of all errors, cleansed of all shortcomings.
Then, let us be thankful for the flood. Let us be thankful for the cleansing. It is a baptism, a baptism of the Holy Spirit. It isn't cleansing us from anything but the error, and when you have an experience, see first if it isn't good for you to have that experience. Don't immediately think that is is some great evil coming upon you. No! It is probably the Spirit working out from your external, the outer planes of consciousness, some error, some evil, some shortcoming. Then, let it work. Hold steadily to your center. Rest in God; become like Noah, obedient, righteous under the law, and all will go well.
11:39 A M.
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY