Understanding In Relation to Experience
This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on September 1, 2015. Bob writes, "This is a later talk of Mr. Fillmore's (1932) He uses the story of Jacob going down to Egypt to live with his son Joseph and does some nice metaphysical interpretation on the story line. He also speaks about Jesus Christ body in the Fourth Dimension (p.16)."
CHARLES FILLMORE — SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 1932
UNDERSTANDING IN RELATION TO EXPERIENCE
Our lesson today has to do "with understanding in relation to the mind and the body; the understanding of its unity. In our interpretation of the Scripture, we take all the characters to represent some action of man; some faculty of mind or body is in course of development, and in this way we get an immediate, up-to-date profit out of the study of the Bible because it is the most all-round, the most thorough exposition of the evolution of man, through his mind, of all the books that we have ever found.
We have been studying for three months the life and experiences of Joseph, and of course where the dominant character has relatives they come into play, just as no one faculty of our minds is working independent of the other faculties. They co-operate; so, we find here a great spirit of co-operation in all that these characters do; and this alone is a lesson to us that we must co-operate with all our faculties; and to get along harmoniously and successfully, we must learn to co-operate with all those with whom we work in the social or the business world. And if we study these lessons with spiritual discernment, we will co-operate, study, and apply them.
The lesson today is of Jacob, going down to reside with his son Joseph in Egypt. This, to a metaphysician, means a union of the mind and the body, roughly speaking—the mind and the body. You will remember that in a previous lesson we had the separation of the mind and the body when Jacob and Esau separated. Esau, the "hairy one," represented the physical, or animal, man; and Jacob, the ideal, represented the mental man. And the birthright that Jacob took, through seemingly unfair means, from Esau simply represents that the mind forges ahead of the body and steals away its spiritual evolution.
The body really is capable of evolving just as fast and becoming just as spiritual as the mind, but that is a pretty hard doctrine to preach to persons who have been educated to believe that the body is a mere bundle of flesh. It is dust, and unto dust it shall return: that is a wrong concept of the body.
The body, in its original essence, is just as real and just as true and just as everlasting as the mind, and these lessons prove that great truth. The body is the realm in which substance and life is manifest, while the mind manifests more of ideals. But what does an ideal amount to unless it is clothed with something? So we find that it is necessary to clothe our ideals with substance and life; and here is the union that is taking place in this lesson between Jacob and the land of Egypt, where Pharaoh, the material-minded man, the material-minded king, reigns.
So, Joseph has gone down. The imagination, years before, was sold into slavery, but it seems that God was in it; that is, the divine law was at work, and this imagination descended into the body as an idea, and it becaine a great conserving idea. It stored up the substance of that body until a time of lack.
The body consciousness, under its present activity, is not very substantial. It has its periods of good and evil, of heat and cold. It is wise one day and ignorant the next. It is eating constantly of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It needs the Spirit injected into it, to make it one with an equalizing process, a unification, and that is exactly what the lesson is teaching today. But Joseph, you will remember, began this, but the I AM, the real consciousness of the man, has not yet made this union. Jacob, you know, represents the Holy Spirit, where you know we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that means the mind, the idea, and the manifestation of the idea. The old Hebrews always referred to their genealogy as coming from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they were referring to the divine trinity, the mind, the idea, and the manifestation, or Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The third in that trinity was Jacob. We, as we study his illumination, His open mind, see that he represents this third degree. You can call it the third degree in the development of your soul if you wish, but it is that degree of unfoldment which takes hold of things, which manifests the idea. We know we have the mind, and we say, "I have an idea now that I must carry out." How do you carry it out? through the application of the force of your mind—and that is Jacob. Jacob is doing down to Egypt with all his possessions, and there he will make contact and live to the body's ends until, under that old law of becoming attached to things that we love, he becomes a slave to them. These Children of Israel were slaves, or the working elements, in Egypt for about four hundred years, according to the history, but they finally got freed from that. The God of Jehovah, the Supermind, the great cosmic Mind was guiding and directing. You will remember that when Jacob first went out from his home he had a dream, and that dream, in essence, was that he saw a ladder planted in the earth and reaching up to the heavens, upon which the angels were ascending and descending; and Jehovah stood at the head of this ladder and talked to him and told him that he would be the father of a great nation, and that great good should come to all the land through him. Now, here again, before Jacob goes down into Egypt, he is leaving the land of Canaan—and I would say right here that the land of Canaan represents the kingdom of the heavens, called by Jesus "the kingdom of the heavens," or it represented this realm of the mind. It is this realm of the mind in which we formulate all idees; in which our minus operate. It is the fourth dimension, really, of the mind; and the third dimension, or the physical organism, is in need of expansion. The substance requires that it be raised to more activity.
If our minds are not active in our bodies, the body becomes gradually denser. The cells and the atoms revolve around one another slower and slower, and that results in what we call "decrepitude" and the hardening of the bones and the arteries, and old age. Now, if we could, infuse into this substance and life an expanding quality, a quality that comes direct from the great Source of all life, it would revolutionize that entirely, wouldn't it?
That is what we are finding in our metaphysical evolution. We are finding that these spiritual ideas can he injected right into our bodies; that there is a subconscious mind here that is receptive, and through that subconscious mind we work on the so-called material elements.
I am going to call your attention again to this second dream. You know that in the Hebrew religion if a dream was repeated it wa.s a great confirmation. It couldn't be anything but true if it were repeated. Here is almost an identical repetition, in this experience of Jacob's, before he went down into Egypt. Jehovah appeared to him in a dream, and said,
"I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, the God of Isaac. Behold, I come with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and I will bring thee again into the land, and will not leave thee until I have shown thee that which thou shalt do."
Here again is a promise from the spiritual mind, the great cosmic mind, that it will bring Jacob into this land; in other words, the evolution of the mind, in its contact with the substance and life in Egypt, will finally result in an uplifting of the whole man, and it will cone back to the fourth dimension
Jesus Christ proved this in His life. He raised Eis body to the fourth dimension, where it is today, vie often think, "If I could onlv see Jesus i if 1 could onlv see where He is I You will never see Him until you go through this experience that Jacob went through. You must go down into your body consciousness, spiritualize the -substance and life of yoxir body, just as Jesus did, and release the pent-up energies in the atomic structure of your body. This atomic structure of the body, as scientists tell us, if freed, would give, us tremendous force and power. Wrapped up in every cell in your body is latent energy necessary to your perfect expression as the son of God; and those energies can be released through a proper contact with this supermind. And Jacob represents the intellectual super mind in a going dovm into Egypt.
There was a famine in Canaan. What does that mean? It means that when the mind works independently of this substance realm, it finally comes to a place where it needs replenishment. It needs more substance. It becomes thin without an application of the idea of substance. Substance gives it endurance and life; gives it perpetuity, continuity. Our minds really grow old end wear out, and we have deterioration of brain structure. The result is that we perish, or die physically. But if we would make this union—this mind needs the corn in Egypt, or it needs this consciousness of substance, down in the body; and this is the way it is made, through the imagination.
The imagination has become great in the land of Egypt: that is Joseph. He is the prime minister, next to Pharaoh in the control of that wonderful country, in that day. But he needs more of the I Am, the Father, and so he gets this Father to come down. He has made a great success as far as he has gone, but the imagination must be unified with, the I Am. He must meditate upon this imaging faculty and pour into it more substance and more life. Then it. will work for us in an enduring unfoldment. We will find, as we follow out these processes of the mind in unifying with the body, that, like Jesus Christ when they told Him about that temple at Jerusalem, that it was forty-six years in building, He said, "I can destroy the temple in three days, and I can rebuild it." They thought that He meant that temple that was forty-six years in building, but the text explains that it was the temple of His body. In these three steps He could reconstruct that body, and make it just what He did make it after the crucifixion, an immortal, imperishable body, existing eternally in the realm of mind.
I could give you citations from various scientific authorities that this fourth dimension is a mind dimension. A recent book has been printed, by Sir James Jeans, the great astronomer of England. It is called, "The Mysterious Universe." Now, Sir James Jeans goes over a lot of new ground for the lay reader. He says, in essence:
"The universe has no substance" (that is, no material substance). "It has nothing but waves, which can be expressed only by mathematics. The universe exists only in the mind, only as an object of thought."
"The law of cause and effect is supplanted by the law of probabilities. Time and space are measured in terms of a mysterious unity equal to a second multiplied by the square root of minus 1, a number which has no existence outside the imagination."
So, you see, Sir James Jeans falls right back on the imagination. He says: "In short, the universe is like a soap bubble, with the insubstantial stars, numbering more than all the sands of all the beaches of the world, floating on its insubstantial surface. Around this empty globe light curves and bends back on itself, showing that space itself is finite.
"With an apparently solid earth beneath our feet, the vast framework of heaven above us, and brick and steel to shelter us, it all sounds weird and fantastic, like a feverish dream. But the thought behind it all necessarily implies a Thinker.
"To my mind," writes Sir James, "the laws which nature obeys are less suggestive of those which a machine obeys in its motion than of those which a musician obeys in writing a fugue, or a poet in composing a sonnet." As he puts it,
"The motions of electrons and atoms do not resemble those of the parts of a locomotive so much as those of the dancers in a cotillion. And if the 'true essence of substances' is forever unknowable, it does not matter whether the cotillion is danced at a ball in real life, or on a screen, or in a story of Boccaccio. If all this is so, then the universe can be best pictured, although still very imperfectly and inadequately, as consisting of cure thought."
In other words, as Sir James Jeans sums it all up, "God is a greet mathematical thinker." And, if God is a mathematical thinker, we are but the figures in a great mathematical problem, and we are mathematical productions. In other words, everything is perfectly designed in your life and in mine, but we must find that Designer and fit into the design where we belong.
Jesus said, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." There is a recognition of the mathematical phase of man. We find that this mathematical problem is being worked out by a unity of mind and body. How shall we unify our minds with our bodies? How shall we raise our bodies to that thought realm where they will float out into—well, not exactly as Sir James Jeans says, soap bubbles? I think that is rather an insubstantial idea. You have to be careful about your ideas. Don't get the idea that you are just nothing; that when you leave your body you will be a soap bubble, but think about yourself as a real, substantial entity; that there is a spiritual body here called "the Lord's body," which is very real and substantial, and that the fact is that at the center of every atom of this so-called material body there is a spiritual energy—an electron and a proton—and they are revolving around each other, as scientists tell us, like the planets revolving around our sun. and that they are filled with energy and life and power.
How shall you make a union between these? That is revealed in this statement in our lesson today wherein Jacob was introduced to Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. We have always thought that Pharaoh was an enemy of the Lord, but this would indicate that there was a point in which unity could be made. They became friends through a blessing; and this opens up to us a great realm of unifying power, through blessing.
Goshen means "unity," and we are in the land of Goshen. We are seeking to make this unity between mind and body, and one of the avenues of unity is that you shall bless your body. Pharaoh represents the dominant ego in body consciousness. We sometimes call him the carnal mind, or mortal mind, and so these things darken, shadow; but Pharaoh can be illumined. Pharaoh can be brought to a higher, a freer plane of consciousness through the blessing of Jacob, the the spiritual I Am.
Are you going down into your body consciousness and blessing it, or are you thinking about it as a physical organism, that if anything comes into your entity, as discord, and needs healing of any kind or attention, instead of going to the Lord with it and learning this law of blessing and spiritual quickening, you will probably go to some medical aid, or you look to some material, outside means. Here is a great lesson for the Christian metaphysician, the follower of Jesus Christ, that you shall go down into your body consciousness in your periods of meditation, and you shall pour out a blessing of the Spirit. You shall say,
"in the name of the Lord, I bless and increase you in your spiritual capacity. I deny that you are any longer allied to this material world. You are spiritual. Your substance is spiritual; you are free with the freedom of the Spirit, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pour out my blessing upon you."
This is the way that Jacob blesses Pharaoh in each one of us, but we have to bear witness to it. be have to be with Joseph, who introduced his father, Jacob, to Pharaoh, and he helps us to make this unity. In other words, we must imagine, first, that all these processes are going on, and, having a certain realization, we must follow up our imagination by blessing and pouring out upon the body consciousness this power of the Spirit. In this way Egypt is redeemed, and all the children of Israel are finally brought to a higher plane of consciousness, through the recognition that God is "in you all, and through you all, and above you all."