Use of the Sabbath
This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on February 10, 2015. Bob writes, "This is an early talk (1916) of Mr. Fillmore's. It is entitled 'The Use of the Sabbath' but it more likely should be called 'The Creative Process'. If you are looking for extra material for the SEE class 'the Creative Process' this talk is it. He begins talking about the Sabbath but shifts to the creative process as it appears in Genesis. Enjoy."
Our lesson today is - The Sabbath Day. Resting in the Sabbath. The Sabbath means cessation; that is the Hebrew meaning of the word, it is a cessation from works. We have found that when we withdraw our thinking mind from the realms of the outer, and center it within - if we reach a certain place - a great quiet comes to us; a stillness - as if all the activities of thought were stopped. That is the Heaven within, and when we rest in that heavenly place, and cease all, thinking - that is the Sabbath Day.
We will begin our worship this morning by going into that quiet realm, the heaven within, and resting from all our works. Stop all thoughts about the realm of the exterior and rest - just rest in some thought that will give you a consciousness of the one presence and the one power. The word that we will take is formed something like this:
You don't have to observe this in its exact form; take a general idea. Let us all go into that place of quietness; when we realizetthe omnipotence of the One Mind, we are observing the Sabbath Day. (Silence)
Among the laws given by Moses is the commandment by which the observance of a certain day was laid down. This is called the fourth Commandment. The Jews were commanded to cease from all labor of every kind, and this was also commanded in the whole body politic. It extended to, not only the religious life, but covered the temperoral life also. All works of every kind among men and animals even, and the neighbor, should absolutely cease.
This was carried on far by the literal interpreters of the law that it became absolutely a burden. They kept hair-splitting on the meaning of labor and the cessation of labor until it was ridiculous. A man who had shoes with nails in them was oonsidered as a breaker of the law because it was laborious to carry the nails along. One who wore false teeth on the Sabbath Day was considered breaking the law; it was laborious to carry the teeth along.
They even limited the length of a walk a man should take on the Sabbath Day - "A Sabbath Day's Journey." And so they also avoided the law. A man could take a journey a certain distance, from his domicile to the place he was going; and they avoided the law by the day before taking food to a certain place that was about a day's journey from their home, and that then was their domicile; they could go to that place where the food was and go on another day's journey. And so in various ways they avoided the law and at the same time held the people under its strict observance.
So when Jesus Christ came, the law of the Sabbath was a great burden to the Jews, and he knew that. He saw that they had made the law stronger and greater than the man; so he came proclaiming that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was for man; He did not do away with the Sabbath Day by any means; that is, he did not do away with the rest day, and when his disciples went into the field and took the heads of grain and rubbed them in their hands to get out the grain, that was labor; that was work. It was not the taking of the grain that the Pharisees objected to; that was expected. The fields in Palestine had no fences; anyone that was hungry could help himself. But it was a transgression of the law to do any work - even rubbing a few heads of wheat in the hands to get the grain out; that was labor, and the Pharisees objected.
Jesus wanted them to understand that man was greater than all the laws that he might make to interfere with his freedom. He proclaimed and demonstrated by his healing on the Sabbath that man could do good works, or any kind of works so far as that is concerned on the Sabbath day if he does them under the law.
Then what is law? The law is always found by appealing to the mind, and we can only understand the application of the act by studying the mind. What idea is in the mind that produces the effect in the affairs or in the acts? Now, what idea is back of the Sabbath day? It was a day of rest.
Is it necessary then that man rest from his labors one day out of seven? Well, experience seems to prove that that is about the right number of days, or the period which man rests in and gets the best results. Men have tried other days. During the French Revolution, they had their decade, or ten days; but it did not prove successful, and they resorted again to the seven days.
Now, Moses did not originate this seventh day of rest; he borrowed it from the Babylonians, and they got it away back from" their ancestors; there is no telling just when man began to observe in a religious way Sunday, or the Day or the Sabbath Day.
Now, to our minds it does not make any special difference whether we observe the Lord's Day, which is the first day of the week - that is, the day on which Jesus was resurrected - or whether we observe the last day of the weak, which is the seventh, the day instituted by Moses, as Sabbath. Some of the ohurch people make this difference between the observance of the two days an important point in their doctrine. We have a sect which makes the seventh day the great issue in their religion: The Seventh Day Adventists. And there are several other sects that preach the observance of the seventh day or the first day as an absolute necessity; that you cannot worship God unless you are sure of the right day of the week on which to worship.
Well, now I cannot see that it makes any special difference to God. In the early history of the Christian Church they observed both days, but the custom finally resolved itself into the observance of the one day. So we observe the first day. We do not observe the day commanded by Moses at all. The Seventh Day Adventists do; they observe Saturday. I used to know a man who was a very pronounced Seventh Day Adventist. He would let his garden get weedy all week and on Sunay morning he would go to work in that garden - just to show people that he was an observer of the Moses day. On Saturday he dressed up in his best clothes. Now, I do not know that that made that man any better - to observe the day commanded by Moses or the day that has become the custom of the people.
It is not the day, then, that men observe - it is how you observe it, and what your understanding is of the real meaning of this commandment. Now, we understand that the universe and man were created by God; that there is a creator back of the things that appear; that they were not made from nothing, nor was blind force the cause. There must have been an intelligence, and that intelligence must still be the omnipotent former and manifester in the Universe.
Now, how was this brought about? What are the movements of the creative mind? The only sure way to determine that is to observe the movements of your own mind. You will find, if you analyze your thought about any definite idea that you are working out, that it has six active degrees, and then you have your periods of rest when you are not thinking about whatever you are doing.
It may be an invention. You started that invention with an inspiration - a flash. You saw the necessity. That is the first day's creation. You will find six days outlined in the first chapter of Genesis; I will give you in just a few words the Spiritual exposition of that first chapter. I shall not have time to go into details and tell you the meaning of all the symbols given, and it is an exposition based upon symbols.
The first chapter of Genesis is a spiritual description in symbols of what took place in the mind of God when the universe was first created. You will remember that In the second chapter of Genesis we read that God finished his work and rested on the seventh day; and there was no herb growing on the earth and no man to till the ground. Now, this plainly indicates that the description of the creation which preceded the second chapter must have been idealistic; it must have been in the mind of God because the man that God created was in his image and likeness had to be formed; so God formed a man, in the second chapter, out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life, and man became a living soul. That is, he began to manifest himself.
In the first chapter we have the movement of the great, creative mind before man came into expression. You will notice that these movements were in a series of six, and on the sixth day - or sixth movement of the mind - the man appeared. Did he appear as a man as you are a man? No. He appeared as an idea; a perfect idea; the result of the sixth great movement of Divine Mind. If you would analyze your own thinking in any great movement of your mind, you will find that these different degrees were expressed.
The first is the bringing forth of the concept, or consciousness of what you want to do. And God said: "Let there be light, and there was light." Now, that word light there represents the seeing power of the mind. You perceive that you are going to create, or you are going to invent something. You see the thing; the necessity of that invention. God saw the necessity, or the possibility, of bringing forth from his great mind a universe, and that was the first emanation, the first expression - the first day.
Now, you will find that in everything you do you send out thought of the possibility, the capacity, the power - that is light. Really, that is the knowing capacity of the mind, when you have this thought of what you can accomplish. It may be that you see some great ideal in yourself that you are going to bring forth. That is the light; that is the first day's creation.
You have not arrived yet; you may thru your enthusiasm and zeal see yourself already there - and that is good. There is no doubt but what God saw the creation perfect from the very beginning; but these various steps have to be passed thru. This seeing power of the mind is symbolized by the all-seeing eye. This consciousness of the power in mind to accomplish its ends is sometimes expressed in you in - well, you see a light. I have had people tell me that they had received a flash, an inspiration of spiritual things that it took years to work out - a sort of prophecy. Where is that? It is in the mind.
So Jesus said: "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light." If you can get into your consciousness a clear realization of the one all-knowing mind, and realize its omnipresence and its omnipotence, every cell in your body will be lighted up by that knowing quality. So I say, it is necessary in the beginning of any work that we may have, to realize that the light of the Spirit is with you and that that light can go before and make clear the way. We take that as a word preceding our acts:
The Adam man, if he had realized that the light of God was with him in the beginning, always with him, he would never have made any mistakes; he would not have listened to the serpent. You would not fall into the clutches of body sensation; you would throw yourself into the Light. Hold that your eye is single to the one Spiritual Consciousness, and all your appetites and your passions, all your emotions, all your loves and hates are pervaded by the one all-seeing Light, the all-knowing mind; everything about you will begin to take on a new quality.
For the second day's creation - (I am Just giving here an epitome of what was said) - God said: "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters." and God called the firmament "Heaven." Now, as the mind begins to express itself end its ideas go forth, there is an accumulation of the one everywhere-present substance. We live in an ethereal substance, and your mind as you do things and think about things takes hold of that substance, and if you think about a certain proposition, building it up in your mind, after a while it takes on character of its own. It begins to think you. In other words, the idea becomes identified in your consciousness.
Now, this is a law, and that idea becomes so strong that it seems to be the man. It works in his religious or spiritual thought; it works also in his earthly thought. We call this having faith in things. The hope we had, that vague idea, has become so substantial that we can lay right hold of it.
This is symbolized in scripture as the disciple Peter. Jesus called him a rock. "And he said; Thou art Peter - or a rock." You are the eternal substance of things. Not what we see in the manifest world, not matter, not the earth, but the idea back of that; and that idea was to have power in - not only the heavenly or the ideal realm, but also in the firm earth. That is. not in the outer, but in the substance of things.
Then Peter was given the key to heaven. In other words; his mind, this mind of faith does move things. It has power in the spiritual realms and in the ideal realms and it also has power in the substance lying baok of the material; and when you set your faith to going in any direction, you bring about results. This is the second day's creation.
You will find that if you want to accomplish things, you must have faith in them. No matter what it is. You must have faith in your own ability; you must have faith in the power of the ______ you wish to have; you must have faith in whatever you want to accomplish as an inherent quality of the man to make union with God. This is the Peter in you; that power to bind things in earth, and that binding extends to the heavens, or to the realms of the ideal.
If you make an affirmation in your conscious mind and do it in the name of the Lord, it reaches right up and takes hold of the spiritual realms. So you want to be careful of what kind of affirmations you make when you are in Spirit or when you are talking about Spirit. That Is why swearing is so dangerous. When a man swears or curses in the name of God, he lays hold of all potential forces of being, and that fixes him in that state of mind. So Jesus said "Swear not, neither by the temple, not by God, nor by anything, but let your conversation be Yea Yea and Nay Nay". Don't call down the powers of heaven upon anybody or anything because you bind yourself. You are putting the very substance of your thought in that. That is the second movement of the mind.
ON the third day, God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together at one place, and let the dry land appear; and God called the dry land earth. Now, there is always in mind on the third day a bringing forth. You will find that your mind _______________ just goes thru three movements; it is, light, or consciousness, or mind, then the idea, and then the manifestation. On the third day there is a manifestation; the dry land appears. That was in the mind.
God realized the possibllity of doing away with all negative conditions; the waters were separated. Now, the mind of man works in a negative element so far as the outer realms are concerned. About ninety percent of your body is water, and water just flows according to gravity. It flows to the lowest place in the earth; it always takes a low place.
Yet it can he elevated - lifted up. This process is thru the heat of the mind - or the sun. If you would lift up your hody, you must throw into it a consciousness of power. You must have the power then that you can move your mind and separate it from any negative oondition. The waters above must be separated from the waters below, and then the dry land will appear; in other words; there will be a manifestation.
But this is not the end of all manifestation. Manifestation goes on; there are other steps in the process - so we have another day: The fourth day. And God said: "Let there he a light in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night." And God made two great lights.
Now, we are told that there was light on the first day. Why then the necessity of these two great lights? This must refer to a movement of the mind; a state of mind; and so it does. People who have tried to interpret this first chapter of Genesis and have it accord with the geological construction of the earth have run across a great many hard nuts to crack. They have reduced it to six different ages, the first age being the age of fire, when the earth was all in a gaseous state. Then there was a cooling process, and we have what is called the Stone Age. This was succeeded by the watery age - just as stated in the Bible - the Age of Water. Then the Reptilean Age; then the Mammalean Age, then the Age of Man. These different ages are really outlined in this description that I am giving you of the Six days creations, but all in symbols.
You cannot say that the earth itself shows everything, only in an abstract way. It shows forth In the material, and back of the material - back of what we see, there are forces, and they are the creative forces. So that if we would understand the meaning of the six days of creation we must study the mind; we must study the idea. So, on this fourth day we have the creation of two lights; one for the light of the day and the other for the light of the night.
Now this evidently refers to some of the faculties of the mind that were working in the light and in the darkness. The light, of course, means the understanding, and the darkness means ignorance - or lack of understanding. What are these two forces in our minds? We know that the first is the will which works in the darkness. Now, the will hasn't any law; it doesn't know; it is just blind force; it works in the dark. But the understanding that goes with it works in the light because it is light.
So you can see that these two lights that were brought forth, one to light the day and the other the night, were not necessarily the sun and the moon; they represent the -— intellect and the spiritual understanding. And it is evident that this refers to the creation, or the bringing forth in the mind, of Will and Understanding. So the fourth day of creation was the bringing into expression, into consciousness, the Will and the - Understanding; the Will working in the dark, and the Understanding working in the light.
This refers to the manifestation of Thought. When you reach your fifth day your thoughts begin to express themselves in a certain freedom. Until after he has gotten beyond the third day of creation, man in the movement of his mind takes no cognizance of his thought. The ordinary individual who lives in the material world has no concept of the power of thought. He simply knows that he can, thru the evolutions of his mind, move the members of his body, but he does not know that his thought goes out and moves other things.
He does not know that he is moving the furniture of house; and he does not know that the animal world, and the children, and even the ______ around are doing according to his dominant will - but they are. Because there is an invisible emanation of thought. There is an active energy going out from the mind all the time, and when you begin to take hold of your powers you can see and feel how your mind works.
There are two realms of thought; the thoughts of the mind working in the subconscious - that is called in the Scripture letting the waters bring forth abundantly - that is, in the waters of the mind. The subconscious is a negative place. Now, this begins to bring forth. In other words, you are farming in your subconscious the great whales - that is the whale that swallowed Jonah; that whale was all in Jonah's own mind; he fell into his own negative thoughts. The Lord told him to do a definite thing, and he sank; he didn't want to do it, and this back-action threw him into a state of moroseness, or a state where he was not in Spirit. His thought submerged him.
And so we always get submerged when we fail to follow the law. You get inspirations every day about what you ought to do, but you don't want to do it; it is too hot, or the conditions are not just right for that kind of work, and you say: "I will just put that off; I don't feel like doing it." And so you go down into the negative element in your consciousness, and some of the great, negative creatures which you carry around with you all the time swallow you up, and you are a Jonah; you are swallowed up by dome of your own great fish. But, of course, after the weather cools off, you come out of it, and the fish throws you up on the land again, and you get hold of yourself.
But you can, if you know the law, stop that falling down into negation. You can hold yourself right up in the air. We are told that there were fowls of the air. That means the free thoughts that get away from the material. The birds represent thoughts that have a certain amount of freedom. They cannot free themselves entirely from earthly conditions - but they have full freedom of thought, which we are all desirous of.
On the sixth day God said: "Let us make man. Here comes the final creation, the summing up. God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and every living thing over all the earth."
Here on the sixth day is the final culmination of your ideal creation. You have gone thru six movements of mind, and if you see perfection, if you see the image and likeness as brought forth in its fullness, and put into it all the potentialities - we are told that God made this ideal man - now remember this was the man you see, but it is not the man that is identified in you - that is the second movement; but back of you is this perfect idea; back of you is the perfect body which God created on the sixth day; and back of you is the rising mind of omnipotence waiting for you to bring forth that which has been created for you.
Now this is the great seventh day's rest; this is the Sabbath of us all - to rest in the consciousness that God has created in mind the universe and man, and that we are the apex of that creation that has been going on for sixty millions or sixty billions of years - I don't know that years enter into. The latest scientific researches show that man has been living on this earth - some say fifty millions of years, some say five hundred millions of years, they have found the bones and implements or evidences of men having lived here on this earth that long ago.
Well, what has he been doing all this time? He has been growing into his divine ideal; that is where we are today; laying hold more and more of this divine perfection which is constantly hovering over us; which is constantly here as the accumulated ideas of God's creation. So this first chapter of Genesis is absolutely true when we understand it and see that God has made man and given him dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air and the animals.
Where are these animals? In mind. "Greater is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." When you have gotten hold of your mind and realized your powers as the image and likeness of God, and brought these forces out, you can rule the animals; you can rule all the kingdoms, of the earth. Everything will fall down and worship you when you know your omnipotence in spirit; when you become master of your thoughts - that thought of antipathy, that little thought of sickness, that little thought of weakness - you have to begin with the small thoughts and get the mastery of them.
and you will be surprised how your thoughts will fall right in line, and you will find that this dominion that was given you in the beginning is something to be used and how easy it is to use it if you will only get busy and use it. (Quotation from Luther)