"SPIRITUAL UNFOLDMENT MAKES MAN MASTER"
By: CHARLES FILLMORE
Our lesson today revolves around the one thought of man, through the righteous unfoldment of his inherent abilities, to become a master, or a super-mind. We all understand that man in his present unfoldment, is not carrying out nor fulfilling the ideal of his source, God. And we are all more or less in perplexity as to why.
Well, there is a reason — a reason for all things, and a very plain reason for man's failure to measure up to the Divine Standards, and that reason is "THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL." The Constitution of the United States tells us that man has "the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Now man is a spiritual being and his Source is Spirit, and that Spirit has given to all of us ITSELF — call it 'God', call it 'Spirit', call it 'Creative Hind' ... whatever you will, It is a Spiritual Essence, or a Spiritual Something that man incorporated into his mind and makes himself what he is — whatever that may be. And we must logically postulate that that Spiritual Source is perfect, and that if Its laws are complied with, all of Its creations, all of Its freedoms, that It gives ITSELF to, would be perfect.
Then the question always comes up, "Why do we behold imperfection?" Why, if this man that Infinite Mind, Infinite Spirit gives ITSELF to, does it behave as it does? Well, we always have to go back in any explanation of the behaviour to first principles, to take up the principle itself, follow it through, before we can get an adequate explanation.
Now we find in Genesis — the first and second chapters of Genesis — an allegorical story of this creating by Infinite Mind of a Perfect Man and that man going forth in his freedom and making that perfect man manifest in its perfection: – or – its imperfection.
Now according to the first chapter of Genesis, We have Elohim God giving to his man, or His idea, spiritual identity, the 'imagination' or the Image of a Perfect Man, His image and likeness. This is really the Son of God. But right here in this initial statement about the creation of the Perfect Man, we have a paragraph which leads us to further thought:
"And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Now this Jehovah God — this Elohim God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He them; male and female, created He them. God blessed them and said unto them: Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue, it: and have dominion over the birds end fishes and every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
Now it is presumed that this man would fulfill the law. But if we read the succeeding ohapter we see that he doesn't; that he begins to think on his own account. And this power of thought is the outlet for the images, or the divine image that is impressed upon man's mind. So the whole Bible tells of man's experiences in striving for what? Why, the mastery over these elemental forces, these pictures, these images that are flashed into his consciousness by the Perfect Idea.
So that all history, not only in the Bible, but in addition to the Bible, — all history of man is a record as to how the human family, which is man, has struggled to fulfill the primal impulses of dominion implanted in them from the beginning. And these are symbolised by, of course, the high ideals, the birds of the air; and the cattle, or besets of the field, the low ideas, animal forces; and the fish of the sea, or the generative, or the increasing ability impulse; and the creeping things represent the great mass of thoughts too numerous to classify.
Now it has been assumed that man's dominion was to be exercised through aggression, 'and physical mastery.' That is man's first thought. And this is the outcropplng of what is in the Scripture called 'the Gentile mind'. And this idea has instigated man to war. Naturally all of which, his higher thoughts tell him, is in direct violation of the Divine Law. But the human family have gone on in bringing out this part of his freedom, or this phase of his freedom, until we have gotten into suoh a complex, such a mess of conditions through greed and selfishness, that an end is approaching.
But our higher reasoning, backed by Divine Law within our own soul, helps us in facing failure. We must have dominion. We must overcome the — well — material tendencies of the natural man and direct them into line with the Divine Law. That is our work.
Now Jesus Christ, the manifester of the 'Image and likeness man' announced that "All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth," and he also said, "To him that overcometh, will I give to sit on my throne." We can't escape this activity. But we must take up the work and apply ourselves to it because we are to sit on the throne with this Supreme Man, this Master Man; and yet, remember, it was not an overcoming of the outer things, the external things, the world manifest. He said, "My kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD."
Now Jesus Christ didn't raise armies to fight for the possession of land that belonged to others, nor to sit upon an earthly throne.
And let us remember Jesus didn't carry out the command literally: "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." All through, it is universally recognized he meant for man to live up to the standard of the Perfect Man. He didn't replenish the earth under physical law. He didn't fulfill that part of the command literally. Of all of which, we must find an interpretation ether than the literal, to this Scripture that is so vital in bringing out the creation of man and how man acts.
Now in various ways, the Scripture tells us over and over again that spiritual things are spiritually interpreted. But try to reduce to material terms that which is obviously spiritual and you get into trouble. So the man, Elohim God-created, described in the first chapter of Genesis, was like God, a spiritual man, and we must read this with the understanding that all the attributes of this man work spiritually and that it is through a spiritual interpretation and a manifestation in our minds first, that we make contact with this great Mind that finally brings forth the Perfect Expression.
Now when man discovers that he has creative powers over thoughts and ideas, through which he can master outer things, it opens up an undiscovered frontier, greater than any on earth or heaven, in the Cosmic Universe. We are told that the frontiers of this United States of America are all discovered. There is nothing for our young people to do; they have to fall in line with the old conditions. Now the Truth is, there never were such opportunities for young people as now, to enter into the kingdom within. There is an inner kingdom, and those who try in physical ways to replenish the earth in carrying out this law, are running counter to the really spiritual expression of man.
Now we are asked today, to explain WHY THERE IS A GREAT WAR and HOW LONG IT IS GOING TO LAST! and so forth.
Now it is unnecessary to refer to the oft-repeated observations of commentators from every phase of life. We are at the end, evidently, of a 'certain world civilisation.' In the Scriptures it is called "the end of the age." Some interpreters have it, "the end of the world", and it has caused a great deal of comment among religious people with certain ideas of reading the Bible literally. But, this represents the "end of a dispensation" or "an age in which man must function and bring forth certain results." It is like the end of a semester in school — end of a term — you have an examination. Now we are approaching — we are right in this end and determination of a certain lot of studies that we have had, or developments. So people everywhere are catching this idea and they are telling us here is the climax of the age in which the 'few have dominated the mass' ... and there has been a great deal of selfishness and greed and isolation of man from the proceeds of his labor, and that this is coming to an end. So we find it represents that period — I mean metaphysically, in man, where he gets rather indifferent or lazy; we might say, mentally he doesn't think out to the end and arrive at conclusions through good judgment. He unloads all his detemination on what we might call the part of him that just acts without thinking ... "the will." He lets that faculty fight his battles.
Now this change in the minds of the people is duly set forth in the 8th chapter of Samuel. I would say right here: 'whatever takes place in the individual, takes place in the race', and the Scriptures set forth first the individual's expression and then the race.
Then in the first chapter of Samuel, the Israelites had been a peaceful and rather happy people, but they saw the temporal success of other nations that were ruled by kings, and they went to Samuel and they said, "Now make us a king to judge us like all nations." And Samuel prayed unto Jehovah ... And to think that the Israelites had been ruled by Judges and those Judges had always been in touch with Jehovah, they inspired, and the carried everything on successfully and harmoniously. But when they asked for a king, Samuel felt very much upset and he went to Jehovah and Jehovah told him that the people had not rejected him "but they have rejected me." That is, Jehovah.
He told Samuel he should let them have their way. However, he recited to them what they might expect when they get a king, - or a dictator. He said,
"This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you. He will take your sons and appoint them unto himself for his charioteers, and to be his horsemen, and they shall run before his chariots; and he will appoint him hundreds for captains, and thousands will he set them plowing the ground, reaping harvests and to make his instruments of war; and he will take your daughters to be cooks, and to be bakers; and he will take your fields and your vineyards and olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants; and he will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give them to his officers and servants; and he will take the tenth of your flocks; and you shall be his servants and you shall cry out in the day because of your king, whom you have chosen, and Jehovah will not answer you, In that day."
But the people refused to harken unto the voice of Samuel. They said, "Nay, nay but we will have a king over us that we may be like all the nations and that our king may judge us and go out before ue and fight our battles."
Now here, as I say, is where we — we are the people; we are the Israelites; we are these people reincarnated again — we came to a place where we refused or became so indifferent about the law of life that we just wanted to unload living onto somebody else. We find that is true in a measure today. So we find from that time on, they had kings, and they ignored the wisdom and good judgment of Jehovah, and entered into a long series of uninspired kings beginning with the erratic King Saul.
Now in every age this tendency of the master over the people to dominate is in evidence, and it always leads to national greed and egotism. The spiritual phase of man's consciousness is dominated by the animal and he seeks to gain his ambitions by personal aggression and physical domination.
Now this state of mind is the prime cause of the present war.
Were the principles of Christianity taught and made standard in the government today and the conduct of its people, there could not possibly be a war. But those standards of Christian principles have been repudiated and the greatest war of the Ages is beginning its terrible havoc among the nations and they cry out, "Now long will it last! Now long will it last!"
Prophets of evil are quite popular. Though in effect, the natural rebellion of the human mind against disaster has a tendency to nullify the culmination ef those disasters, and the prophecy isn't always fulfilled. Of course the prophet may see the cause, but like the old man who said he had lived a long time and had seen a lot of sorrows ... most of which had NEVER COME TO PASS! We find prophecies don't come to pass.
However, one who studies mind and its outworking in human affairs, can make a fairly accurate estimate as to how certain worldwide accumulations of thought will — well accumulations of thought universally, can upset these thrones, or nations. You know, if every man has thought war — how to evercome his neighbor, and be the dominant race, so the present European war is the climax, is the aggregation of thought, the very Armageddon foretold in Scripture, which, is evidently upon us to put an end in consciousness to the old idea of vast armies. This is the conclusion of thoughtful people in every part of the world. It is as if the Lord has inspired independent observers and many leaders in many lands, and they have concurred in this observation without conference or communication of any kind. I mean by this, everywhere, we are beginning to find these same ideas, that we are at the end of the old forms, the old ideas and everything.
Now these people see in the aggressions, and uncompromising minds of world leaders, the determination in this way that through it shall come the absolute destruction of all the people in the opposing forces. This means war to the bitter end, whatever that may be.
Now those who believe that God has moved in all Ages in the world's affairs point out Biblical prophecies now being fulfilled in this war. They tell us that Daniel and also Jesus Christ bore corroborative testimony to this as the sign ef the end of the rule of the Gentile in world affairs.
In the last chapter of the book of Daniel, the prophet relates some startling facts on what would some to pass at the end of a certain time of trouble, such as never was, and he ends with: "That from the time of the continual burnt offering shall be taken away and the abominations that man's desolation set up, there shall be twelve hundred and ninety days." (Dan. 12:12)
Now this reference to "the continual burnt offering and setting up of abominations that man's desolation set up" ... has puzzled interpreters of both Daniel and Jesus, because they both refer to this mystical occurrence.
Now there are other translations than the King James version, coupled with Anti-Christ proclamations from the warring nations, and they clear up the mystery. For instance, Farrar Fenton, in his Modern English Bible, says, "And from the period when the perpetual sacrifice is taken away and the desolating brute is set up, there will be twelve hundred and ninety days."
I call your attention to the way this is worded in Farrar Fenton's translation, where he said, "From the period when perpetual sacrifice is taken away and the desolating brute is set up, there shall be twelve hundred and ninety days."
Now it is quite plain "perpetual sacrifice is being taken away" refers to renunciation of all Christianity and its sacrifices would be its principles, and in its place the "desolating brute force" making Christian nations continual sacrifice of the sons of God — "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed on him shall have everlasting life." That is the perpetual sacrifice in Spirit, in mind, for our race, for those who take advantage of the generosity of Jesus Christ shall be saved. But this, we are told, when this is taken away and 'brute force' set up, then we are approaching the end and this will be twelve hundred and ninety days from this time, from the time that this sacrifice is taken away, and the "'brute force'set up".
Now Jesus Christ corroborates this in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, where he says, "When ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place ..." that whole chapter. the 24th chapter - tells as about this great climax of the Age in whieh there shall be wars and rumors of war.
He said though, "That the end is not yet." There is every evidence they were careful not to name just the day because in this same chapter by Daniel, there are 'fifteen days added' ... well, from the time that this change of attitude and the open allegiance of heathen gods and brute force is mentioned ... will be about three and a half years in round numbers.
And here we have the duration of the war and the time it will last as given by these ohapters, and as I say, the prophet Daniel gives it, and it is corroborated in the endorsement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, I think, endorsed no other prophet except this one.
And everything indicates that this will be a war of exhaustion. None of the warring nations will be left at the conclusion to declare that they are victors. The end will be starvation, exhaustion, painful casualties for all the nations of the earth. This will be the end of blind rumors. That is, the rumors all about the leaders today, that corresponds in time with the prophets' time. And that is what the rulers of today are carrying out, and after this, there will be a period of revolution, and after that the final rehabilitation. And that rehabilitation must be based on Christian principles.
There must be a recognition of the unity of man — that we are all of one blood. And we are also consoled with the thought that men who recognise God, those who endure to the end in their faith, will be changed.
I have given you rather a dark picture of what we are up against in this great war, but we should always remember that we are looking to the Divine Source. We are looking to God, and God is the Power behind everything in this world; and He is behind our world and those who cling to Truth, and unify in Jesus Christ, need not worry about the outcome of the other individual who trusts in God.
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY