This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on July 26, 2016. Bob writes, "Here is the PDF transcript I will read from on tomorrow's (July 26th) show. Wow....this is a keeper. If you ever wondered why Unity Baptism does not use water, this is the explanation. Great to have on hand to answer questions of why not use water like other more mainstream churches."
CHARLES FILLMORE --- May 16, 1923
The Unity Society administers the writ of baptism without water. Quite a few of the people who are studying Unity have asked the question if we are not taking away from the church rites and ceremonies something which is absolutely essential, and they ask, "Are you giving something in its place?" People have believed in water baptism. The church has taught that as one of the fundamental rites of the church. Now if you take that away from your church, what do you give in its place?"
We are teaching primitive Christianity. We are also teaching the spiritual side of Christianity. We are striving to bring to the scientific mind of the race the fact that Christianity is based upon scientific truths. The scientific mind cannot conceive how so material an element as water, could wash away the sins of the mind, and through that lack of understanding a great many people in this day and age who think scientifically think from cause to effect, have refused to believe in Christianity. They cannot understand for example how the blood of a man who died 1900 years ago and ever can save them from their sins. These questions are constantly coming up until the church is split right in two on what they call fundamentals.
The new concept of Christianity, the evolutionary school cast out all so-called miracles. They refuse to believe anything they can't prove by the rules of the three dimension world. Now it seems to us that there is something necessary to the church right now, that they need this understanding of the fact that there are things in the universe that haven't yet been disclosed to man. Shakespeare said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy."
So we can come to you with this message that there is a spiritual water and that that spiritual water is very much more powerful than any material water, that it has the power to enter into the mind and cleanse it, and that there is a great fundamental truth back of baptism; that those people who have been baptised feel a great cleansing and purity, and no doubt the church has brought about fundamental changes in the lives of people through baptism, but the water didn't really have anything to do with it. That is an outer symbol.
The church teaches today that baptism, or the water, is but an outer symbol of an inward grace. Now we have found what that inward grace is and claim that there is an omnipresent principle, a spiritual principle that apprehended by the mind will enter into the consciousness and cleanse it, and that that has been virtually used by the church all these years, but it hasn't been used with as much power as it might.
Water has been given the power when there is really no power in the water at all. The water can't do anything to you but wash your face, or cleanse you in some way, but there is a power that goes deeper than that, and water is the outer expression of that power.
Now we find as we get into this inward consciousness, as we say we pray in the silence, why we are thrown into a realm where we come into contact with forces that cannot be seen outwardly. There is nothing in the sense man's vocabulary that can describe these inner forces, but you can feel it, and as you come into that feeling, there comes with it a certain knowledge. The mind is quickened, and you really have a cleansing of your mind.
Now in this day we have discovered a great many things that the people at large knew nothing about in the time of Jesus. They had no scientific understanding, well of the simplest forces. They knew nothing about the air, only as they felt it; they didn't know that it was composed of certain gases that can be condensed and solidified. We know those gases are right here all the time, but you don't gee them if you depend on your senses. We have gone deeper than that and say there is not only all these gases but there is an electrical force, and a magnetic force, and in the last forty years we have discovered what is called the universal ether.
Can you tell me how to come in touch with that ether? Do you know how to do it? You say you don't know unless you have studied metaphysics and gone with Jesus Chrsit in the kingdom of the heavens. Now he didn't talk about a place in heaven. Get that clear. He never mentioned a place, but he talked continually about the kingdom of the heavens. He was talking about this interior higher realm of consciousness which we are just beginning to touch with the radio.
Now that inner principle, we are told, is really the source of everything we see outwardly and we have found by experimentation that it carries the sound of a voice or the sound of a musical instrument 186,000 miles a second. That is rapid word, isn't it? In other words, one sitting over in that corner listening to my voice don't get it as quickly as one in China would get it from a receiving station. That is a fact. Now that shows how much quicker this ether is in carrying sound than air.
Now this should call our attention to things that are here and yet we know absolutely nothing about. Why did God create man and put him into a world with all these potentialities and give him no means of apprehending them and using them? No, every one of us have these inner faculties. We have powers of mind and spirit that can come in conscious touch with not only the ether that carries the radio message, but a still higher form of activity, an energy, a force, a power that will take right hold of not only our bodies, but our souls, and transform them.
That is mind, a universal mind, and this is what we use in our service. We ere using forces that if you believe in them -- I wouldn't say that you can receive this consciousness or this ability to lay at once hold of the universal ether or the universal cleansing power that Jesus called your attention to, I wouldn't say that it was possible to all at once understand the mind, the intelligence that directs that and builds the universe, but by practice, by studying, by meditation, by thinking you can develop this power.
And it is the initiation of the individual into the most wonderful secret society that was ever set up in the world, that you are initiated in when you join the church if you join it with this understanding and those people who are associated in the work of that church understand it sufficiently to open the door for you. We find those people who develop soul forces connected with the spirit can radiate an energy, they can radiate a force, a power, that will open the soul of the believer, the initiate into that consciousness. It is a matter of consciousness; you must believe that these things exist, that believing is the open door to the entry of your consciousness, and through that your soul.
So we in a measure do believe that these things exist. Belief is the foundation. Jesus said to his followers, "If you only believe that you can do these things, you can do them." In other words, belief and faith to him seemed to be almost identical. If you believe strong enough that is faith, and faith is the very substance. That is, you come into the consciousness of this substance.
There are two baptisms. There was the baptism of John, and John was called the immerser, and he immersed his followers, and according to the record he immersed them in the river Jordan.
What did that represent? Jesus Christ said, "You are cleansed through the power of my word; you are all clean except one, and he has still got the devil in him." The understanding was that that was Judas, the adverse consciousness, that consciousness that doesn't believe in these things, believes only in the material. Now, that to us is a state of mind, and through the understanding of this state of mind we can cleanse and purify ourselves by what? By changing our minds.
Paul said, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." You must absolutely know that there is a cleansing power that will wash away all darkness, you might say the grit in your mind, the mud in your mind, just as the rain falling through the air washes it out. We know that in the air we are breathing now there are a lot of gases and acids and different chemical compositions, and it needs washing. After a rain the air seems so pure and we open our lungs and breathe it. Has there been a washing? Certainly. Did you see it? You saw the rain descend, but you didn't see how the atmosphere was cleansed.
That is a parallel of just how this wonderful descent of the Spirit into the mind washes and cleanses and purifies it, and you are an entirely different being so far as your thought is concerned, so far as your mental atmosphere is concerned, if you receive this baptism of John, but there is another baptism following. That baptism cleanses the conscious mind.
You have a conscious mind and a subconscious. Now it is found that in the denial or in this descent into the consciousness of the first baptism, the cleansing of that conscious mind, is a new state of mind. You begin to think about spiritual things in a different way, think about yourself in a different way. If you are rightly taught, you get a scientific understanding of what God is, man is, your relation to God and your fellow man; what this so-called matter is in reality; what life is, what death is, and a whole lot of those things that become fundamental in your consciousness.
That is really what the church today is holding for. They claim that they are holding for the fundamentals of Christianity. This was what Jesus Christ taught. He didn't believe a whole lot of dogmas that you have to believe because he said so, or it was taught by the early church fathers, or written in the Bible, not at all. He taught principles that if you open your understanding and allow this great universal spirit to cleanse it of its falsities, then it will come to you, you will begin to see that there is a universal, logical foundation for all truth and that Christianity is based upon that.
Christianity will be accepted some day by the whole world because it is the highest and broadest and deepest religion that has ever been given to the human family. It is that because it is based upon exact law. It is just as true as the law of gravity, or the laws that have been discovered in chemistry and electricity. Christianity, dealing with ideas and thoughts, finds these words and thoughts are related in the mental realm just as these elements are related in the physical or electrical world.
We must deal then with ideas and words; we must deal with a mental man instead of a physical man, and when you take hold of certain movements of the mind.
You say, "Now if my thoughts take up room in my mind, I have only about so much space to fill, and if my mind is chuck full of ideas, there isn't any room for new ideas is there?" What are you going to do about that? Wash them out. You may have ideas that are out of date. You are not living in the present.
The great majority of people today are living back among their ancestors; they believe they have to grow old and die. It is a universal slogan now that a man is just as old as he thinks he is. You are just as old as you think you are. If you are 100 and think you are 25, and think it strong enough and come into Unity with the great universal mind, you will look like a man of twenty-five, and feel like it.
We see people every day that after the understanding they have received of this truth, they feel as if they were just as young as they ever were. Why don't they show it? They haven't got it down into the subconscious, they havein't entered into the second baptism.
The baptism of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit is the baptism in which you breathe upon yourself. We are told that Jesus didn't baptize, that only his disciples baptized. He didn't give this outer spiritual baptism to everybody, but he did breathe upon his disciples and said, "Receive ye the Holy spirit," and they received it, they got something; they went through a transformation in the organic structure of the body. The cleansing force went down into the very cells of the organism, and those disciples began what we might call the redemption, the renewal of the cellular forces of the organism, end that is eternal life and there is no other eternal life.
We talk about eternal life away off somewhere in a heaven, in the soul, but there is no proof of that, but we do know that Jesus Christ demonstrated eternal life in his body. They couldn't kill him. He overcame death. Paul says the last enemy to be overcome, the last enemy of man is death.
How are you going to do that? Why you must receive these two baptisms, and not only receive them today, or if you were here last Sunday and received that baptism, but you must be taught so you can repeat the process. In other words, that whenever you enter into that same consciousness that you received in this baptism it will be repeated, and it will be increased and strengthened, and after a time the baptism will become so strong that you will feel it walking on the street, and you will know that you are in the presence of a high power, a vitalizing, an energizing power that will transform you and make you a new creature. That is the way the new man is coming into existence.
I attended a lecture by a man who says that there are millions now upon the earth that shall never see death, and he claimed that we were all going to be resurrected as Paul said, and somebody in the audience asked him how we were going to keep our bodies alive after we got them resurrected, and he said he thought God would give us a new kind of food just like the manna he gave the children of Israel.
That is guess work. We want something that we can demonstrate, that we can realize here and now in its elemental steps for example, and that is that we shall enter into the consciousness in an ABC degree of this wonderful resurrecting power and gradually we will unfold the ability to lay hold of the universal ethers, and as I say not this ether alone, but the intelligence back of it, and why the love of God is here just like the ether only it is love instead of ether, and the power of God is here, only it is power instead of a transmuting energy.
How the ether is only the substance, we might say the wire through which intelligence transmutes itself, and when you awaken that soul in you that knows and understands about God, you will get messages from all over the universe through the universal ether. You can see we are laying hold of something that is scientific. It is true end it will be, I think, only a few years until it will become an accepted fact that there are people who know about these hidden forces of the mind, and the hidden forces of the universe.
We find if we cleanse, our minds of foolishness and wickedness and sickness and supersititions -- you are superstitious if you are sick, and if you cleanse your mind of that, why you can be healed. That is all you have to do is to understand what God is and deny the belief in fear of sickness and evil and sin, and all at once you come into a better frame of mind, and if you are grief stricken and believe in loss, get into the consciousness that nothing is lost, that everything is stored up in the universal ether.
Jesus Christ said in this universal ether God had many mansions. The time will come when we will walk right out into the ether and carve out our houses for ourselves. We will live in the ether, we will float in the air and get away from the earth. That is What we are trying to do with our flying machines. I have a flying machine in myself, and 1 will fly some day.
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY