1. As a rule, religious people are not scientific. They think that religion and science are separated by a gulf, and that the scientific mind is spiritually dangerous. Science, to them, is associated with Darwin, Huxley, and other students of natural law who have been skeptical about the accuracy of the Bible from the standpoint of natural science, and whom, because of this skepticism, they brand as infidels. Hence it has come to be almost heresy for a good Christian to think about his religion as having a “scientific” side.
2. By science we mean the systematic and orderly arrangement of knowledge. This definition does not confine science to the facts of the material world. There is a science in Christianity, and it is only through the understanding of this science as a fundamental of Christianity that the Christ teachings can be fully demonstrated in the life of man. To fail to understand the science upon which spiritual understanding rests is to fail in nearly every demonstration of its power. Paul says: “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.”
3. There is a gulf between the high spiritual understanding and the material manifestation. It is only by bridging this gulf that science and religion can be reconciled. The bridge needed is the structure that thought builds. When Christians understand the science of thinking, the power of thought to manifest itself, and how the manifestation of thought is accomplished, they will no longer fear material science; when material scientists have fathomed the real nature of the living force that they even now discern as ever active in all nature’s structures, they will have more respect for religion.
4. Both the religionist and the physicist incorrectly hold that the Bible is a historical description of man’s creation. Beginning with the very first chapter of Genesis, the Bible is an allegory. It is so regarded by the majority of Hebrew scholars, and they certainly ought to know the character of their own Scriptures. Paul was a Hebrew, and thoroughly versed in the occultism of spiritual writings; he said, referring to the story of Abraham and Sarah, “Which things contain an allegory.” Hebrews almost universally claim that the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam, Eve, and the serpent is symbology.
5. In the face of these facts, it seems strange that orthodox Christianity should insist that the Bible is a literal history. It is this literal viewpoint that has stood in the way of true spiritual understanding. Read in the light of Spirit, the 1st chapter of Genesis is a description, in symbol, of the creative action of universal Mind in the realm of ideas. It does not pertain to the manifest universe any more than the history of the inventor’s idea pertains to the machine that he builds to manifest the idea. First the problem is thought out, and afterward the structure is produced. So God builds His universe. This is explained in the 2d chapter of Genesis, which says that God “rested . . . from all his work,” and yet there were no plants of the field, “and there was not a man to till the ground.” “And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
6. Only through perception of the mental law by which ideas manifest from the formless to the formed can we understand and reconcile these two apparently contradictory chapters. In the light of true understanding everything is made plain, and we discern just how Divine Mind is creating man and the universe: first the ideal concept, then the manifestation.
7. The six days of creation, as described in the 1st chapter of Genesis, represent six great ideal projections from Divine Mind, each more comprehensive than its predecessor. The final climax is reached in the sixth degree, when that phase of Being called man appears, having dominion over everything, or every idea, that has gone before. This ideal man, who is made in the “image” and “likeness” of Elohim, is the epitome and focal center around which all creation revolves; hence the one important study of man is the mind of man. In mind is the key to all mysteries, both religious and material. When we know how mind manifests from the ideal to the so-called real, we are no longer in the dark, but have that Truth which Jesus said would make us free.
8. There is but one man. On the spiritual side of his being, every man in the universe has access to that man, eternally existing in Divine Mind as a perfect-man idea. When man appreciates this mighty truth and applies it in his conscious thinking, all manifestation becomes harmonious and orderly to him, and he sees God everywhere.
9. A right understanding of the divine law of creation reveals man as a necessary factor in God’s great work. Through man, God is forming or manifesting outwardly that which exists in the ideal. In order, then, that the creation shall go on and be fulfilled as God has designed, man must not only understand the law of mind action in his individual thought, but he must also understand his relation to the universal thought. Not only must he understand it, but in his every thought he must consciously cooperate with divine ideals. Jesus understood this law and repeatedly claimed that He was sent of God to carry out the divine will in the world. This commission is given to every man, and man will not have satisfaction in life until he recognizes this universal law; until he becomes an obedient, willing co-worker with Divine Mind.
10. Spiritual man is I AM; manifest man is I will. I AM is the Jehovah God of Scripture, and I will is the Adam. It is the I AM man that forms and breathes into the I will man the “breath of life.” When we are in the realm of the ideal, we are I AM; when we are expressing ideals in thought or in act, we are I will. When the I will gets so absorbed in its realm of expression that it loses sight of the ideal and centers all its attention in the manifest, it is Adam listening to the serpent and hiding from Jehovah God. This breaks the connection between Spirit and manifestation, and man loses that spiritual consciousness which is his under divine law. In this state of mind the real source of supply is cut off, and there is a drawing upon the reserve forces of the organism, the tree of life. It is in this experience that man is described as being driven out of the Garden of Eden, or the paradise of Being.
11. Every idea projects form. The physical body is the projection of man’s idea; we carry the body in the mind. The body is the fruit of the tree of life, which grows in the midst of the garden of mind. If the body-idea is grounded and rooted in Divine Mind, the body will be filled with a perpetual life flow that will repair all its imperfect parts and heal all its diseases.
12. When man realizes that there is but one body-idea and that the conditions in his body express the character of his thought, he has the key to bodily perfection and immortality in the flesh. But “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” The “flesh and blood” here referred to is the corruptible-body idea that men carry in mind. When we get the right idea of the origin and character of the body, the corruptible will put on incorruption and our bodies will be raised from the dead, as was the body of Jesus. “Neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”
13. The resurrection of our bodies from the dead begins in our minds. We must change our ideas about the body, and hold to the truth of its origin and destiny as conceived of God, in whose mind its real being exists. The spiritual body of man is the conception of Divine Mind, the creation of Spirit for us. Our work is to make this spiritual body manifest.
14. When we have the right understanding of creation, and, with the help of this understanding, begin the redemption of the body, the Spirit of God quickens the inner life of the whole organism, and we know that the promise in Acts 2:17 is being fulfilled in us: “In the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh.”
15. The problem before man in the present race consciousness is how to get back to the “Father’s house,” in which is inexhaustible abundance. As it is by an exercise of the free will inherent in us that we separate ourselves from the Father, so it must be through that same faculty that we again make conscious union with Him. We must realize the foolishness of living in that most external realm where only the husks of things are, and upon which we would fain satisfy ourselves, but cannot. Then let us turn our attention within; by traveling for a season in that direction we find the source and substance of life.
16. This turning within, after one has for a long time been looking without, is no easy matter. The mind that has been trained to the standards of the formed universe is often slow to grasp the formless. But there is a state of consciousness in the soul that has, through ages of experience, learned about this formless world and is at home in it. Our dreams, visions, and spiritual experiences, of which we seldom speak, come from this inner realm. So it is found that we have a household waiting for us on the subjective side of our being, and its welcome is worth all the effort of our seeking it. “We seek a country from which we came forth,” Paul said in substance.
17. Individualize yourself in the highest degree by affirming that in Spirit and in Truth you are all that God is. This is true of man in his spiritual nature, and he must claim the supreme inheritance before he can enter into the mighty mental and spiritual forces that are released from the kingdom of God within man. No one enters the kingdom of God, and sits upon the throne and abides there, until he has the courage and fearlessness to proclaim himself joint heir with Jesus. Then he must prove his dominion by his purity of motive, an unselfish devotion to Truth universal, and a steady industry and patience in overcoming the limitation of his own sense consciousness.
18. Man’s true identity is as the perfect-man idea in Divine Mind. This idea has no mind separate from the one universal realm of ideas. Man must establish himself in the one and only Mind. He came forth from it, and his whole existence depends on it; then why should he not consciously make the mental connection that will establish in himself the harmony and order on which all existence depends?
19. Nearly all religious systems aim to bring about this unity between God and man, and many of them are quite successful in their methods. We owe much to the church, to the education and the help that we have received directly and indirectly through the efforts of spiritual-minded people in all ages. The Truth has pressed upon them, and they have demonstrated it up to their highest understanding of it. We are now in a fuller degree of enlightenment concerning the spiritual laws that govern man and the universe, and consequently we can more definitely and scientifically apply the methods for spiritual development that, in religious systems, are usually followed through faith. To your faith you can now add understanding.
20. One’s getting back into the Garden of Eden, or taking possession of the Promised Land, is a conscious entering into the subjective part of one’s own being. In divine order the will acts upon the body center from within; in the average person this action is through reflection from without. In practice we live outside our body instead of within it. This gives us a very slender hold upon it, and it is in consequence weak and likely to slip away from us on very slight pretexts.
21. Man should constantly affirm: I AM, and I will manifest, the perfection of the Mind within me. The first part of the statement is abstract Truth; the second part is concrete identification of man with this Truth. We must learn the law of expression from the abstract to the concrete–from the formless to the formed. Every idea makes a structure after its own image and likeness, and all such ideas and structures are grouped and associated according to their offices.
22. All ideas pertaining to power group themselves about structures impregnated with power. Such ideas are not attracted to ideas of love. Love has its group, and it builds its structures in a place apart. We have observed certain of the manifest centers in our body; we have recognized and named them as the seat of emotions, as the expression of characteristics supposed to exist in the soul. Love is universally recognized as expressing itself through the heart, and intelligence as expressing itself through the head.
23. In the study of Mind and Spirit, these inner centers of consciousness are concentrated on until they respond to the I will and become obedient to it. By this method man finds that he can control and direct every body function and perpetuate it.
24. This is the “regeneration” of the New Testament, a process of body refinement to the point of physical immortality. Jesus called this estate “the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory.”
“I AM” REALIZATIONS
(To be used in connection with Lesson Three)
1. “I AM THAT I AM.”
2. I am identity demonstrated.
3. I AM THAT I AM, and there is no other besides me.
4. I am one with Almightiness.
5. I am the substance of Being made manifest.
6. I am formed in the perfection of the divine-idea man, Christ Jesus.
7. My body is not material; it is spiritual and perfect in all its being.
8. Centered and established in the one Mind, I am not disturbed by the falsities without me.
9. My identity is in God, and my work is to establish His kingdom within me.
10. I can do nothing of myself, “but the Father abiding in me does his works.”
11. I am striving in all my thoughts and ways to make the image and likeness of God manifest in me.
12. My “life is hid with Christ in God.”
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Christian Healing by Charles Fillmore
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