Chapter 1 – The Twelve Powers of Man

Chapter 1

Charles Fillmore
The Twelve Powers of Man

THE SUBCONSCIOUS realm in man has twelve great centers of action, with twelve presiding egos or identities. When Jesus had attained a certain soul development, He called His twelve apostles to Him. This means that when man is developing out of mere personal consciousness into spiritual consciousness, he begins to train deeper and larger powers; he sends his thought down into the inner centers of his organism, and through his word quickens them to life. Where before his powers have worked in the personal, now they begin to expand and work in the universal. This is the first and the second coming of Christ, spoken of in the Scriptures. The first coming is the receiving of Truth into the conscious mind, and the Second Coming is the awakening and the regeneration of the subconscious mind through the superconscious or Christ Mind.

Man expands and grows under divine evolution as an industrial plant grows. As the business expands, it is found that system is necessary. Instead of one man’s being able to do the work with the assistance of a few helpers, he requires many helpers. Instead of a few helpers, he needs hundreds; and in order to promote efficiency he must have heads for the various departments of the work. Scripture symbology calls the heads of departments in man’s consciousness the twelve apostles.

Each of these twelve department heads has control of a certain function in soul or body. Each of these heads works through an aggregation of cells that physiology calls a “ganglionic center.” Jesus, the I AM or central entity, has His throne in the top head, where phrenology locates spirituality. This is the mountain where He so often went to pray. The following outline gives a list of the Twelve, the faculties that they represent, and the nerve centers at which they preside:

Faith–Peter–center of brain.


Discrimination or Judgment–James, son of Zebedee–pit of stomach.

Love–John–back of heart.

Power–Philip–root of tongue.

Imagination–Bartholomew–between the eyes.

Understanding–Thomas–front brain.

Will–Matthew–center front brain.

Order–James, son of Alphaeus–navel.

Zeal–Simon the Cananaean–back head, medulla.

Renunciation or Elimination–Thaddaeus–abdominal region.

Life Conserver–Judas–generative function.

The physiological designations of these faculties are not arbitrary–the names can be expanded or changed to suit a broader understanding of their full nature. For example, Philip, at the root of the tongue, governs taste; he also controls the action of the larynx, as well as all vibrations of power throughout the organism. So the term “power” expresses but a small part of his official capacity.

The first apostle that Jesus called was Peter. Peter represents faith in things spiritual, faith in God. We begin our religious experience, our unity with Divine Mind, by having faith in that mind as omnipresent, all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful Spirit.

Faith in the spiritual man quickens spiritual understanding. Peter believed that Jesus was the Messiah; his faith opened his spiritual discernment, and he saw the living Christ back of the personal mask worn by Jesus. When asked, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” the apostles, looking upon personality as the real, said: “Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus appealed to their own inner spiritual understanding and He said: “But who say ye that I am?” Only Simon Peter answered: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

Spiritual discernment of the reality of man’s origin and being is the only enduring foundation of character. It was to this faith in the understanding of the real being of man that Jesus gave power in earth and heaven. It was not to the personal Peter that Jesus gave the keys to His kingdom, but to all who through faith apply the binding (affirming) and loosing (denying) power of Spirit in the earth (substance consciousness). Right here and now the great work of character-building is to be done, and whoever neglects present opportunities, looking forward to a future heaven for better conditions, is pulling right away from the kingdom of heaven within himself.

People who live wholly in the intellect deny that man can know anything about God, because they do not have quickened faith. The way to bring forth the God presence, to make oneself conscious of God, is to say: I have faith in God; I have faith in Spirit; I have faith in things invisible. Such affirmations of faith, such praise to the invisible God, the unknown God, will make God visible to the mind and will strengthen the faith faculty. Thus faith (Peter) is called and instructed spiritually.

When a center loses its power it should be baptized by the word of Spirit. We are told in the Scriptures that Philip went down to Gaza (“the same is desert”), and there baptized a eunuch. Gaza means a “citadel of strength.” It refers to the nerve center in the loins, where Andrew (strength) reigns. “Lo now, his strength is in his loins.” Gaza is the physical throne of strength, as Jerusalem is the throne of love.

The back grows weak under the burden of material thought. If you are given to pains in your back, if you become exhausted easily, you may know at once that you need treatment for freedom from material burdens. Eliminate from your mind all thought of the burdens of the world, the burdens of your life, and all seeming labors. Take your burdens to Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

We are pressed upon by ideas of materiality. Thoughts make things, and the material ideas that are pressing upon us are just as substantial in the realm of mind as material things are substantial in the realm of matter. Everything has origin in thought, and material thoughts will bring forth material things. So you should baptize and cleanse with your spiritual word every center, as Philip baptized the eunuch of Gaza. Baptism is cleansing. It always represents the erasing power of the mind.

When the baptizing power of the word is poured upon a center, it cleanses all material thought; impotence is vitalized with new life, and the whole subconsciousness is awakened and quickened. The word of the Lord is there sown in the body, and once the word of the Lord is sown in any of these centers–the cells of which are like blank phonograph records–they take the thought that is given them, and send it through the whole organism. The baptism of strength goes to the uttermost parts of the body, and every one of the twelve powers, under the divine law, feels the new strength.

James, the son of Zebedee, represents discrimination and good judgment in dealing with substantial things. James is the faculty in man that wisely chooses and determines. It may be in the matter of food; it may be in the matter of judgment about the relation of external forces; it may be in the choosing of a wife or a husband–in a thousand different ways this faculty is developed in man. The spiritual side of the James faculty is intuition, quick knowing.

James and John are brothers, and Jesus called them “sons of thunder.” These brothers preside over the great body brain called the solar plexus, or sun center. James has his throne at the pit of the stomach; and John, just back of the heart. They are unified by bundles of nerves and are metaphysically closely related. Whatever affects the stomach will sympathetically affect the heart. People with weak stomachs nearly always think they have heart trouble.

Jesus called those two apostles “sons of thunder.” Tremendous vibrations or emotions that go forth from the solar plexus. When your sympathies are aroused, you will find that you begin to breathe deeply and strongly, and if you are very sympathetic you can feel the vibrations as they go out to the person or thing to which you are directing your thoughts. All fervor, all the high energy that comes from soul, passes through these centers.

Bartholomew represents the imagination. The imagination has its center of action directly between the eyes. This is the point of expression for a set of tissues that extend back into the brain and connect with an imaging or picture-making function near the root of the optic nerve. Through this faculty you can project an image of things that are without, or ideas that are within. For instance, you can project the image of jealousy to any part of your body and, by the chemistry of thought combined with function, make your complexion yellow, or you can image and project beauty by thinking goodness and perfection for everybody. Bartholomew is connected directly with the soul, and has great power in the pictures of the mind. Jesus saw him under a fig tree, a long way off, before he was visible to the natural eye. Do not imagine anything but good, because under the law of thought combined with substance it will sooner or later come into expression, unless you head it off, eliminate it by denial.

Man has faculties of elimination, as well as of appropriation. If you know how to handle them you can expel error from your thought body. The denial apostle is Thaddaeus, presiding in the abdominal region, the great renunciator of the mind and the body. All the faculties are necessary to the perfect expression of the man. None is despised or unclean. Some have been misunderstood; through ignorance man has called them mean, until they act in that way and cause him pain and sorrow. The elimination, by Thaddaeus, of the waste of the system through the bowels is a very necessary function.

Thomas represents the understanding power of man. He is called the doubter because he wants to know about everything. Thomas is in the front brain, and his collaborator, Matthew, the will, occupies the same brain area. These two faculties are jointly in occupation of this part of the “promised land.” Like the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, their inheritance in undivided.

James, the son of Alphaeus, represents divine order. His center is at the navel.

Simon, the Cananaean, represents zeal; his center is at the medulla, at the base of the brain. When you burn with zeal and are anxious to accomplish great things, you generate heat at the base of your brain. If this condition is not balanced by the co-operation of the supplying faculties, you will burn up the cells and impede the growth of the soul. “For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.”

Judas, who betrayed Jesus, has his throne in the generative center. Judas governs the life consciousness in the body, and without his wise co-operation the organism loses its essential substance, and dies. Judas is selfish; greed is his “devil.” Judas governs the most subtle of the “beasts of the field”–sensation; but Judas can be redeemed. The Judas function generates the life of the body. We need life, but life must be guided in divine ways. There must be a righteous expression of life. Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, must in the end be cleansed of the devil, selfishness; having been cleansed, he will allow the life force to flow to every part of the organism. Instead of being a thief (drawing to the sex center the vital forces necessary to the substance of the whole man) Judas will become a supplier; he will give his life to every faculty. In the prevailing race consciousness Judas drains the whole man, and the body dies as a result of his selfish thievery.

It is through Judas (the desire to appropriate and to experience the pleasure of sensation) that the soul (Eve) is led into sin. Through the sins of the sex life (casting away of the precious substance), the body is robbed of its essential fluids and eventually disintegrates. The result is called death, which is the great and last enemy to be overcome by man. Immortality in the body is possible to man only when he has overcome the weaknesses of sensation, and conserves his life substance. When we awaken to the realization that all indulgence for pleasure alone is followed by pain, then we shall know the meaning of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or pleasure and pain.

If you would build up your faculties under the divine law, redeem Judas. First have faith in the power of Spirit, and then speak to Judas the word of purity. Speak to him the word of unselfishness; baptize him with the whole Spirit–Holy Spirit. If there is in you a selfish desire to exercise sensation, to experience the pleasures of sense in any of its avenues, give that desire to the Lord; in no other way can you come into eternal life.

These twelve powers are all expressed and developed under the guidance of Divine Mind. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts.” You must keep the equipoise; you must, in all the bringing forth of the twelve powers of man, realize that they come from God: that they are directed by the Word of God, and that man (Jesus) is their head.

Chapter 2

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The Twelve Powers of Man
Table of Contents

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