Chapter 1 – Practical Christianity – Dynamics For Living

Chapter 1
PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY

Charles Fillmore
Dynamics For Living

PEOPLE everywhere on earth are now realizing as never before that the well-being of this world rests with its inhabitants. It is no longer a religious dogma or a philosophical theory that the destiny of the race is in the hands of man.

Humanity has built age after age only to find that its structures do not endure. They are faulty because the divine plan has not been consulted by the builder. Our Bible plainly teaches that God implanted in man executive ability to carry out all the creative plans of the Great Architect.

The great and most important issue before the people today is the development of man’s spiritual mind and through it unity with God. The taproot of all confusion is our failure to use our minds intelligently. Religion and all that it implies in prayer and recognition of God in idea and manifestation is the one and only way out of the chaos in which we find ourselves. We must therefore begin at once to develop this unity with the Father mind by incorporating divine ideas into all that we think and speak.

People in this atomic age civilization ask why God does not reveal Himself now as He did in Bible days. The fact is that God is talking to people everywhere, but they do not understand the message. We need to divest ourselves of the thought that wise men of the Bible were especially inspired by God, that they were divinely appointed by the Lord to do His work. Everything points to their spiritual insight as the result of work on their part to that end.

Thus, practical Christianity is the only system of religions before the people today that, because of its universal appeal to the pure reason in man, can be accepted and applied by everyone and every nation under the sun.

Revival

Modern metaphysics is merely a revival of the philosophies taught by an almost forgotten past. The principles that underlie existence are being again brought to the attention of men. The race is again entering the cycle of knowledge. We catch once more the light of pure reason and honest logic.

Few people have come into the light. Pure reason is almost an unknown quantity. When strict deductive methods are introduced into religion, and logical conclusions are reached from a stated premise, the average believer is at sea. People have been taught that certain relations exist arbitrarily no matter how opposed these relations may be to the logic necessary to cause and effect.

In order to arrive at a mutually harmonious and correct conclusion, the result of a logical argument, we must have a premise or point of beginning upon which we can all agree. Logic in its strictest sense is the only accurate method for arriving at truth. That system of philosophy or religious doctrine which does not admit of the rules of perfect logic in reaching its conclusions from a stated premise must be outside the pale of pure reason and in the realm of manmade dogma.

To know accurately about the reality of things we must disregard all appearances as indicated by the five senses and go into pure reason–the Spirit from which was created everything that has permanent existence.

The Difference

Practical Christianity and Truth stand upon the same foundation and are interchangeable terms. Practical Christianity is not a theory having origin in the human mind; nor is it a revelation to humanity from some prophet whose word alone must be taken as unquestionable authority. It is in this respect totally different from the other religious systems of the world because it does not in any respect rest its authority upon revelation. It has no dogmas nor creeds, nor are its students expected to believe anything which they cannot logically demonstrate to be true.

It takes as the basis of its doctrine a fundamental truth that is known alike by savage and civilized, and from that truth, by cold, deductive reasoning, arrives at each and every one of the conclusions which are presented. Thus it does not in any manner partake of the popular concept of religion, as a vague something which has to be accepted on faith, and believed regardless of its consistencies. On the contrary, it invites the closest mental scrutiny. The analytical logician will find a new world open to him in following the sequential deductions which this science of pure reasoning evolves.

Truth of the Ages

This system of deductions from intuitively ascertained facts is not new, nor are its conclusions new, for the historian tells us that similar methods of arriving at the fundamental truth of things were in vogue thousands of years ago. Long before the historical period, legend and tradition report the existence of temples where pure reason was taught. History also tells of similar schools that existed five thousand years before Christ.

Faithfulness

You will find, if you are faithful in following the line of argument here presented, that a principle will be disclosed to you which will demonstrate itself in an unmistakable manner. The logical deductions from the premise stated may not come to your full comprehension at once because of certain intellectual limitations into which the race has plunged itself. Men have been so long divorced from logic and pure reason that they are confused when a clear-cut proposition is stated and carried to a conclusion along the lines of perfect sequence.

Independent Thought

To think in an independent, untrammeled way about anything is foreign to the habit of the races of the Occident. Our lines of thought and act are based upon precedent and arbitrary authority. We boast much of our freedom and independence, but the facts are that we defer to custom and tradition. Our whole civilization is based upon manmade opinions. We have never thought for ourselves in religion, consequently we do not know how to think accurately and consecutively upon any proposition. We have not been trained to draw conclusions each for himself from a universal pivotal truth. Consequently, we are not competent to pass judgment upon any statement so predicated. Our manner of deciding whether or not certain statements are true or false is to apply the mental bias with which heredity, religion, or social custom has environed us, or else fly to some manmade record as authority.

In the study of practical Christianity all such temporary proofs of Truth are swept aside as chaff. We entertain nothing in our statements of Truth that does not stand the most searching analysis, nothing that cannot be practically demonstrated.

Starting Point

In order to carry on an intelligent, rational line of argument it is necessary to find a mutual starting point which is universally accepted as true. There may be many pivotal points chosen from an intellectual standpoint that would doubtless be accepted as reasonably true. Upon close analysis they will usually be found resting upon another and anterior so-called truth. For instance, we might agree that ponderable objects always fall toward the earth. Yet, the question quickly arises, “What causes them to fall?” The ready answer is, “Gravity, of course.” “But what is gravity?” Thus, we are led back and back until lost in First Cause, or God.

In agreement upon a statement as the basis of an argument of universal nature, we must be careful to get one that has no anterior. There can be but one basis of being, and consequently but one basis of being’s movements and forms. When we have fully agreed that everything of which we are cognizant can be traced in its last analysis to God, and no further, we have a basis upon which to rest a doctrine that cannot be successfully opposed, if its deductions are logical and can be demonstrated. This is exactly what is claimed for this science of Christ. It is not only a system of philosophy which cannot be disputed by the rational mind, but it also demonstrates in the world of phenomena that its conclusions are true.

Primal Cause

Having decided upon God, or Primal Cause, as the basis of our system, the next step is to decide upon the nature of this Primal Cause. It is safe to assert that in all the world not a single person of intelligence can be found who would say that God is anything but good. It requires no exhaustive reasoning to arrive at this conclusion, for it is the ready response of the intuitive faculty of all mankind, which it is always safe to count as correct.

Having agreed that God, or the Primal Cause of all things, is the only safe basis on which to predicate an argument that deals with life in all its sinuous windings, and that the nature of that First Cause must necessarily be only Good, we can by logical deduction evolve a doctrine that must of necessity be universal in its application.

It is sometimes thought by certain people that man should not attempt to find out the nature of God because He is so far above and beyond the comprehension of the finite that such attempts are sacrilegious folly. Yet when carefully analyzed it is found that the one aim and end of man’s existence is to find God. The source of life is the great mystery which has commanded the closest attention and study of men in all ages, and as that source must be the Infinite, it is thus ever inviting man to comprehend it.

The Bible says, “No man has ever seen God,” and our physical scientists all agree that primordial life, or First Cause, is invisible or spiritual, exhibiting itself as an intelligent force. Hence, as corollary to the statement that God, or First Cause, is good, we assert that He is also Spirit.

Value to Man

Having established a basis grounded in irrefutable truth, from which deductions may be drawn in an infinite number of directions, the next very natural question that presents itself is, “What good can come to man from a study of God?”

The facts are that the only good that has come to this world has been through the study of God, notwithstanding that the preponderance of that study has been of a nature to preclude the discovery of God or His mode of manifestation. People have been taught that God is a personal being who rules the universe much after the manner of an arbitrary monarch. This erroneous and contracted teaching has led to a belittlement of God in the concepts of men and they have imaged a man-god, and have also formed a “graven image” of God, who is Spirit.

The true concept of God is that He is the Intelligent Principle of the universe, and, like all principles, totally impartial in His expressions. This is the concept of God which has come to us in this awakening age. It is not new. The wise old sages of the Orient tell us that their ancestors thousands of years ago, in secret temples dedicated to the study of God, or the Primal Cause of all, found that in certain stages of high understanding, the result of systematic training, they came into such harmonious relations with this primal principle, or First Cause, that they were endowed with causing power themselves.

They did not seek God for the sake of the power over things which might thereby accrue to them, but that they might have wisdom and understanding of the good. They found that by thinking right thoughts and living unselfishly, they awakened new faculties within themselves. They sought the good, or God, and in harmony with that law by which like attracts like, the good, or God, sought them. They found that when they came into right relations with the good, they had apparently supernatural powers.

They discovered what Jesus Christ called “the kingdom of God within,” and all things were thereby added unto them. They caused, so tradition and certain records say, rain or sunshine, heat or cold, and produced at will all the fruits and flowers of the field. These records state that they could also fly through the air, having acquired an understanding of that which lies back of gravity. They, in short, controlled all the so-called forces of nature by word or thought, and proved conclusively that we become like that which we study. They studied cause and became masters of the world of effects.

Transformations

They found that by coming into interior relations with the invisible Cause, they were moved by it to give expression both in thought and speech to certain words. When those words were so expressed by them, wonderful transformations took place in their surroundings. The conditions which they had always assumed to be impossible of variation from what are known as the laws of nature, were in the twinkling of an eye set at naught. They had always believed that sickness, decay, and death were part of an immutable law. Yet, they found that certain words, which are in harmony with the pivotal truth that First Cause, or God, is Spirit and All-Good, heal the sick, make happy the sorrowful, and fill the coffers of the poor.

They found that this invisible Principle of pure intelligence expresses itself only in the words or thoughts that produce happy results. They also found that the words which work such wonders in transforming their surroundings always represent those qualities which by deductive reasoning they found can originate only with a Being or Principle of goodness.

The Real and Unreal

They not only knew God as All-Good through the intuitive faculty, but they proved Him so by demonstrating that He responds to those attributes only that are representative of the good. Hence, these words they called words of Truth or reality.

On the other hand, they found that certain other words or thoughts that do not correspond to or harmonize with the attributes of a primal cause of good produce conditions of inharmony. Under their expression people become sick, sorrowful, and generally unhappy.

Through spiritual illumination, by comparison, logical deduction, and practical demonstration, they definitely arrived at words of Truth and their opposites. They knew that the words of Truth must proceed from the cause to which they correspond and consequently must be the Real. They could find no tenable point of origin for the opposites or words of error. Thus, they necessarily classified them as the unreal, the nothings, the dropping away from the one Principle of the universe.

They arranged and classified their words of reality and unreality as the electrician of our day classifies the positive and the negative poles of electrical action. In the realm of mind the effect of the expressed words of Truth is fully as forcible as is the positive power of the battery in the realm of electricity.

The effect of words is an exact science. It can be demonstrated as such by all who will study it assiduously. It is the science of life. Upon its understanding hinges the happiness or unhappiness of man’s existence. It is not a science whose laws were discovered and arbitrarily classified by those metaphysicians of the past. On the contrary, it is universal in its unfoldment and application. Every man works in its laboratory every day of his life and is using its principles with every thought he thinks and every word he speaks. He uses the law whether he knows it or not. Hence, no one should be ignorant of the effects which the manipulation of these hidden forces produce in the character and surroundings of each child of earth.

Pure Christianity

Pure Christianity is a spiritual doctrine. It has no opposite whatsoever. In its purity it is one with the underlying cause of all that is. It admits of no differences among those who understand it. The modes of teaching it may vary, as do the characteristics of each teacher; but all its teachers must necessarily present the same Truth, though their words and illustrations may differ. Each individual needs but to be given the key in order to unlock for himself the entire metaphysical plan of the universe.

The Principle of Being is not only all good, but it is all intelligent. It is the fount of your intelligence. When you study it you will find yourself becoming one with the principle of all wisdom. To be one with the principle of All Intelligence is to know. When you know you will find yourself so broad in judgment and understanding that you will have charity for all who differ from you in religion, metaphysics, and even politics.

This system of metaphysics is but another name for universal Truth. It consequently covers the therapeutic, ethical, and religious departments of life.

Therapeutics

Metaphysical therapeutics treats of healing by an understanding of the reality of things. It does not in its exact meaning teach how to heal diseases by the power of thought. It teaches how, by the power of thought, false conceptions may be eradicated and the divine Reality brought into manifestation, showing forth in health and harmony. This department attracts the majority of people because of the great need of healing.

Ethics

Ethics in the curriculum of metaphysics shows the student how the moral world may be reformed. It teaches him how he may be wise and happy by holding in mind certain thoughts that will bring about these conditions. It shows him how he may attain his ideal ends in reforming society. It shows him how a dull, stupid, or ignorant mind may be quickened morally and brightened intellectually by the power of right thinking.

Religion

The religion of metaphysics includes all these and adds to them a certain and sure knowledge of man’s immortality and divine relation. The religion of metaphysics is its crowning principle–it is this department that places it in the category of science. Religion is a science–the science of life. It will so demonstrate itself to the student, both logically and practically.

When you understand it in its religious aspect you know your true relation to the Creator, and just what that relation must lead to. You get a revelation of your status as a living soul that is impregnable in its logic, and you are brought into such close relation with the divine Cause that you know intuitively that you are not of the flesh, but of God.

Upliftment

Nothing is too small or insignificant for God’s uplifting presence. God is not a theory of life. He is life itself. He is the harmonious manifestation of life.

Those who have honestly studied metaphysics and applied its rules in their daily work will tell you that it has made them over physically, mentally, and morally. They will tell you that they are better men and women; that life has new zest for them, and that they can now do good and help others where before they were helpless.

New and Old

Some will tell you that they were not able to make this science fit into their old theories and incoherent vagaries in matters religious and ethical. They will tell you that its very simplicity stood in the way of their quick acquirement of its power. They had listened all their lives to learned and ponderous disquisitions of professors upon the body and mind, man’s relation to his Maker, etc., and had long ago decided that only the very learned could ever hope to fathom the depths of wisdom necessary to comprehend even a very little of the subject. They will also tell you that from childhood they have listened to flowery sermons by learned ministers about God and man’s duty to Him. Yet in all this, the subjects were so encumbered with the ponderous appearance of wisdom that they failed to connect them with simple, everyday life.

Here we have a presentation of the deep things of God, so simple and easy that the wise and mighty pass it by as a religious vagary.

Problems of Life

The problem of life is getting into more and more of a tangle among those who depend upon the material. There is much running to and fro upon the earth by seekers for satisfaction, yet no satisfaction is found.

Where will you find a person who will admit that he has peace of mind, health of body, and a knowledge of Truth? The rich admit that their possessions bring increased cares and great mental disquietude. The poor long to be rich, not knowing that happiness cannot be bought with money. The learned are not satisfied with their acquirements because when they just begin to get wisdom their bodies fail them. So it goes among the denizens of this discontented world of matter. Many lose faith in things ever being better.

Happiness Here and Now

Happiness here and now is the beautiful part of Jesus’ teaching. He did not defer health nor salvation to a world to come after death, but taught that it was attainable right here. He taught that the kingdom of heaven is within you. He proved by His works that it could be made to show forth in the bodies and minds of those who follow the way He pointed out.

Unprejudiced Mind

If you would get Truth in its purity you must listen to its statements with the unprejudiced mind of the child. All about you are potencies and power of which you do not dream. Your philosophy has not grasped the faintest concept of the wonderful, undiscovered country that lies right within your reach, yet unseen and unknown to the mortal senses because of their narrow range.

You live, move, and have your being in a realm elysian. Now and then you may catch faint glimpses of its rare beauty in your high moments of spiritual illumination. This realm is not of matter but of Mind. It encompasses you on every side and you contact its invisible glories, but know them not. A false education has shut you away from God’s creation. Do you say this is idealism? The illusions of imagination?

Here again you betray the mental congealing which hereditary prejudices and race education have produced. Did not that subtle fluid, electricity, exist in the invisible before it was brought into manifestation? Does not the modern analytical chemist tell us that our planetary atmosphere carries in solution all the elements that go to make up this visible world? It is rash for any man to assert that anything is impossible.

New Era

A new era has dawned. The old is passing away. In the advent of this new dispensation the heavens are rolled up as a scroll, and in that process is revealed the long-hidden realm of causes. Invisible forces are always the most powerful. The dynamics of mind control the universe. In mind originates all that is. By its actions all things are moved. When man understands the laws of mind he has solved the mysteries of the universe.

The New Testament is a sealed book to one who has no knowledge of the laws of mind. It is a secret manual. It reads like an ordinary narrative unless one has the key that unlocks its hidden meaning.

Practical Christianity gives that key. He who knows all the principles of its philosophy can enter the holy of holies of the Bible. He can penetrate the mysteries of the sacred scriptures of all peoples. There is no limit as to time, place, or personality in Scriptural promises.

Study of Truth

In the study of Truth you are not under any circumstances to listen to testimony of your external senses. You are placed in the clear light of logic and reason, and are expected to draw all of your conclusions from that standpoint. From the premise of Spirit alone you shall evolve the world of reality in which you live, and you can demonstrate to your full satisfaction that you have been deluded all these years in believing that which is not true. You shall prove each for himself that all causation is from Spirit, that you can make the world in which you live conform to that which you know by clear reason to be true.

The one Life-Intelligence is your life-intelligence. When you let it freely flow into your consciousness, you know that it is all good. As there can be but one Cause for all that is, and as that Cause is All-Good, you have a pivotal center from which you can draw conclusions that will settle definitely all the debatable questions of existence.

Chapter 2

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Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
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