Freedom from Materiality
I Kings 18:30-39
This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on August 25, 2015. Bob writes, "Mr. Fillmore uses the story of the test of Elijah against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:30-39) as his Bible text. If you ever said "Christ" when you meant "Jesus", a Unity slip up no-no, (at least in ministerial school) take heart, Mr. Fillmore did it on page 5 (or perhaps some one transcribing this talk heard "Christ" when he said "Jesus" a possibility). He also points out how Race Thought has created separateness between God and man (p.12) and then explains how to correct it (p. 25 ff)."
CHAS. FILLMORE --- MAY 20, 1923
Freedom from Materiality
Elijah is called one of the greatest characters in the Bible. His advent was spectacular. He came out of the wilderness east of the Jordan, unannounced, without any previous history, and gave his message and gave it in a very spectacular way from start to finish, and then disappeared in the air. If we study the life of Elijah, and the meaning of his name in the Hebrew, we will find it is symbolical, and it symbolizes the advent into consciousness of a new and original aspect of divinity itself. An original law is presented to the mind all at once, and being out of the ordinary law, apparently, of religious preaching and religious activities, it is startling, and as we know Elijah was a religious outlaw.
Nearly all great reformers havet been religious outlaws. Moses was a religious outlaw, and as you follow down the history of the great reformers in the Israelitish teaching, they were outlaws. John the Baptist was an exact type of Elijah, and Jesus Christ said he was the reincarnation of Elijah, that Elijah had come again.
It seems that the organized church is always limited to exact original statements of the spiritual law, and it begins to crystalize and form itself around certain ideas and that makes the institution, and the institution never gets an original thought. Now you will find that nearly every one of the new movements in religion or in any science is from the outside instead of from the within of the organization. That is because of this tendency to crystalize, to set up a certain form of thought, and ceasing the energy and activity from within the mind settles around certain ideas and they have establighed a certain way to live and to work and finally they are accepted as the whole thing.
Now in the time of Christ, he was an outlaw, religiously; there was in the church an accepted idea that God and man were separate individuals. That is they were two persons. God was up somewhere in the heavens and man was on the earth, and the communication between those two states of mind — that is what they are in reality, but as I say they were personalized by the Hebrew church, and that separation had prevented them from getting any new inspiration. They were living in the old law; they were teaching what Moses had taught and Abraham had taught and Isaac and Jacob had taught. This was handed down.
Now, we find exactly the same thing in the church today. God is up in the heavens. Man is on the earth. They are two personalities. The man on the earth has an idea about God, but it is a personal idea. The God of the church today is a personal God, just like a man; he is a God with an arbitrary, dictatorial nature, that he can make things come to pass instantly without law, without order, without system.
Now there is a new spirit coming in and what is that? Why, it is the spirit of Elijah. And what is the Spirit of Elijah? Consult the meaning of his name. Elijah means I Am. God is "jah", and I am God himself manifest. That is really what Elijah means. Elijah means "all"; Elijah means all of God is now being made manifest. In what? Why, a man identity, and that is what every new messenger brings to the world. That is what the mind of God is seeking to impress on all of us, that it is an omnipresent principle, and that man is God manifest. God is mind, and could that mind be separated and be put away in a place? No, you say at once. Mind is omnipresent. Well, Jesus brought the message, God is Spirit, and Spirit and mind are synonymous. God then is mind, the great universal mind, and man is just another state of consciousness in that mind. So Jesus when he said, "I and the Father are one," ---
Now the Jews said, "Why be is making himself God." He also said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." He said that was true of all men who really understood the "principle; that there is no separation between God and man, only in consciousness, but if we for example set up the idea that God is a man or a great being somewhere separated from us, we make it so because God has given us his creative principle, which is the power of thought and word. So be careful how you separate yourself from God. Now as a race we have been taught by the church that God is separate from man; we have been taught that there are two of us, when there is only one. What has been the result? We have made two. We are existing today in a state of separation as between ourselves and God. How must we bring about unity? This is the lesson this morning.
Now we have separated our minds first; we have said, "My mind is separate from the infinite mind; I am a lesser creation; I am just a man, and I live in the world of materiality." What has been the result? We form out of the great universal substance a garden of God or this Mount Carmel which Elijah the I am, goes to to do its mighty works; we nave formed out of this Garden of God a material universe, a material body.
And what is the reformation? How must we get back into this universal consciousness? Why here is the lesson this morning. It is a lesson of transmutation; it is a lesson of refining our thought, your body is a part of your thought. It is a refining, and a lifting up of this son of man said Jesus until he realizes that he is Spirit and when Elijah proposed to these priests of Baal that they have a contest and decide whether their ceremonies and their ideas about God were true or not in demonstration, he was brought right to the test and he said, "Now we will build an altar here." Part of their religious ceremony was to offer sacrifices, and they were blood sacrifices. They killed animals and not only that but humans and put them on these offering places. They burned them.
That you will find has been the history of nearly all materialistic religious ceremonies. Man has an idea back of his religious observances that there is something in the blood, that it is the life, and the more blood he can get the nearer God be is, and if he can offer up this bloody sacrifice he appeases God, and God seems to the barbarian mind to be something that needs to be fed, and so we have in the crude ideas of religion, the giving of offerings.
That is fundamentally right. We must give up certain limited ideas in order to receive new and unlimited. So Elijah carries out this purpose which is really a mental process in its outer observance. He builds before these priests of Baal an altar, and takes the twelve stones as a foundation and says they represent the twelve tribes of Israel. What does that symbolize to us? Bring it right home now to your own self. You will find that you have in your body twelve nerve centers, and those twelve oenters represent twelve identities or twelve ideas working through them.
Now the nerve centers have been materialized, and we find danger in calling even attention to them, but they must be recognized in order that we find the truth back of them. Now the truth, is that they represent twelve ideas or the twelve heads of the tribes of Israel, and you remember those twelve ideas were brought out on the mental plane by Jacob, he blessed or poured out in mind on those twelve centers certain ideas as to what they should be in the future. This is the blessing. We go through exactly that same process, as we get into the Elijah consciousness, and that consciousness is that God, omnipresent Jehovah is my God. He is here. Now as you get into your spiritual inner being and begin to realize that what I consider my material body is really spiritual, it is spiritual in its essence; it is spiritual in its fundamentals but I have recognized it as material, and so long as my recognition of it is as a material process, it will continue to be material.
I must change my ideas about it. And this is really offering, the burnt offering, and when you understand that every nerve center must be raised to its spiritual type, they must be recognized as spiritual identies working in you in twelve fundamental processes. I say when you do that you are going through this offering that Elijah demonstrated. And you will get the result, what will be tha result? Why, your mind will be unified with the higher principle. Jehovah God, the only supreme principle of mind will descend upon you, and there will be a quickening of the whole body, and the mind and the soul and the material concept that subconscious condition which inheres in man will be transmuted to a higher activity, and it will burn up, lick up all of those material thoughts.
Now there is a wonderful, process there. It is a part of regeneration. You will find that the two baptisms are here typified. We are told that there were four jars of water and that they were poured three times. There you have twelve again. That represents denial. Now you must deny all thoughts of materiality, and the four-square formation will bring you up into spiritual consciousness, and when you do this there will be an absolute transmutation. The very cells of your organism will be set into action, and the spiritual force will come in and you will feel a freedom, a lightness, after you have given yourself a treatment of that kind, and I will say that this demonstration of the power of the Spirit can be carried out by any individual any time of day.
Get by yourself, and make this realization that all is Spirit, that I am Spirit, that I am one with the infinite spirit, and call down upon these subconscious altars and the stones, the material consciousness that has come in, call down the spiritual power. Make the unity in yourself, and you will find that you will be lifted up and the transmutation will go on. As I say, this rite and ceremony must be repeated day after day until the whole man is like Jesus Christ raised to an entirely new kind of a man.
Now that is the beginning of a new activity in spiritual man. You know that we have this flve-fold man typified in the world about us. We have first the mineral kingdom, that is the first. Then the vegetable kingdom; The vegetable becomes a little more alive. It has a certain type of activity which we call vegetable life, and the vegetable begins to move about and we have animal life. That still is confined to its locality. It can't get into the air. It doesn't think above material things. Then comes the human. It can think about the stars; it can send its thoughts into the ether and it begins to respond. What is the next step? The human, the fourth is the present race consciousness as a whole.
But here and there like Elijah and Jesus and David, there is a breaking forth Into the fifth realm. What is that? That is the kingdom of God taught by Jesus. That represents the spiritual man, man freed entirely from the limitation of the mineral, the vegetable, from the animal, from the human. Not exactly from the human — not exactly freed, but using this all as a foundation for an entirely new civilization, a new race consciousness, and if you have caught the vision, if you see yourself as a spiritual being, if you see that you are one with this great universal principle, you belong to the fifth-race; you belong to the Jesus Christ man and woman, of which this Elijah was the forerunner. John the Baptist was the forerunner. They are making straight the way of the Lord. You are clearing up in your mind certain propositions, and If you get them cleared you will make those propositions manifest in your whole life.
So this is the lesson, that we shall apply to ourselves this wonderful spiritual power, that we shall proclaim Jehovah he is God, Jehovah he is God. That was the climax, that was the final cap stone that Elijah laid upon this demonstration, this transmutation of his soul and body to a spiritual essence. Let us follow Elijah, let us follow Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, all these great religious reformers. Let us catch the viewpoint, the vision, and proclaim for ourselves Jehovah God, he is God, he is God.
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY