Talks on Truth
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[Talks on Truth]
[Charles Fillmore's Works] [Unity on the Web Home Page]
Jesus Christ's Atonement
THERE MAY be found, in the traditions of nearly all
peoples, reference to a time when man was in a state of
consciousness very much superior to that which he now
manifests. In the Hebrew Scriptures that superior plane is
symbolically described as the Edenic state, and the
departure from that place in the divine economy is called
the "fall of man." Of late years we have been taught in the
new metaphysics that there never was a "fall of man"; that
man never fell; that his creation was spiritual, and that
he is just as spiritual today as he ever was, or ever will
be. Of man as an idea in Divine Mind, this is true; but
that there is not a harmonious manifestation of that idea
clearly indicates that there has somewhere been a lapse in
2. When by study of himself as "mind" and finding his place
in Being man gets away from the sense consciousness, he
rises into a mental atmosphere where he sees the relation
of ideas in divine
order. This perception can be attained by anyone who will
detach his thinking ego from the world of phenomena and let
his free ego float out into the universe of causes. It has
been attained by thousands in every age, and their
testimony is worthy of careful consideration.
3. When man touches in mind this plane of causes, he sees
that the discords of humanity, in body and affairs, are the
direct result of disorder in his relation to creation. He
sees that there has been, through man's power of free
thought, a most vital and far-reaching departure from the
divine idea of his being.
4. Man cannot thwart the divine plan, but by virtue of his
own creative or formative power he can turn his part of the
work in that plan of its true course and impede the
consummation of it. This has been done, and we exist today
in a state of lapse, so far as our relation to God and the
orderly movement of His idea of creation are concerned. So
we have to admit that the "fall of man" is in a measure
true. When we understand this "fall" we shall perceive more
fully why certain conditions that prevail are so
incongruous in a world where a good and perfect God is
supposed to rule.
5. Material science says that evolution is the order of
nature and that all the silent records of earth, as left by
departed races, testify to a steady rise of man from lower
to higher conditions.
6. A large number of metaphysical writers and teachers have
fallen into this line of thought and have assumed that the
records of man's evolution,
as found in archaeological and geological research, bear
testimony to his mind evolution, and that the experiences
through which he has passed are in the divine order of
creation. We must accept this, reconcile it, or expunge it.
7. We accept the testimony, but we say that it is but the
evolution of man out of a lapse from divine order in
creation, and that it is no part of the original divine
plan, any more than a fall into a muddy swamp would be a
necessary part of a journey to a beutiful city. Man is the
son of a God whose methods are harmonious in bringing forth
His ideas. Man is His idea--a self-conscious entity, having
in embryo all the faculties and powers of that from which
it came forth. In following the orderly path of its
unfoldment this man idea is in conscious mental
communication with its source, and knows what to do and
what not to do in bringing forth creation. "And Jehovah God
commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou
mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
8. The Garden of Eden or Paradise of God is in the ether,
and we see that the "fall of man" antedated the formation
of this planet as we behold it geologically. Jesus
recognized this when He said: "And now, Father, glorify
thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with
thee before the world was."
9. We are by birth a spiritual race, and we should never
have known matter of material conditions if
we had followed the leadings of our higher consciousness.
10. It is the recognition of this higher consciousness and
the reorganization of our place in Being that we are
seeking. We are emerging from the darkness of Egyptian
bondage--we see the Promised Land, and we want to know the
shortest way to it. That way is the Jesus Christ way. The
demonstration of Jesus relates Him to us in a metaphysical
sense, because it is only by a study of states of
consciousness formed by thought that it can be understood.
11. We have been taught by the church that Jesus died for
us--as an atonement for our sins. By human sense this
belief has been materialized into a flesh-and-blood
process, in which the death of the body on the cross played
the important port. Herein has the sense consciousness led
the church astray. That spiritual things must be
spiritually discerned seems to have escaped the notice of
the church in forming its scheme of atonement. At the root
of the church's teaching is Truth; Jesus of Nazareth played
an important part in opening the way for every one of us
into the Father's kingdom. However, that way was not
through His death on the cross, but through His overcoming
death. "I am the resurrection, and the life."
12. To comprehend the atonement requires a deeper insight
into creative processes than the average man and the
average woman have attained; not because they lack the
ability to understand, but because they have submerged
their thinking power in a grosser thought stratum. So only
study Being from the standpoint of pure mind can ever
understand the atonement and the part that Jesus played in
opening the way for humanity into the glory that was
potentially theirs before the world was formed.
13. We who have studied these creative processes through
thought action know how states of consciousness are formed
and how persistent a certain mental state is after it has
once crystallized. The man ego seems to lose its identity
in its own formations, and forgets for the time all its
past experiences and powers. We see this in certain social
states among the people. No matter how miserable and
degraded their state, people get so accustomed to it that
they do not aspire to anything higher. Reformers of the
criminal classes in our large cities tell us that their
most difficult problem is to awaken in these people a
desire for better things. They are attached to their habits
of thought and living, and they do not want to be reformed.
The same is true in the history of efforts to civilize the
savage races. Just when they are about to reach the place
where they will see the desirability of a better way of
living, they suddenly fall back into the old life, and are
satisfied. The tendency of thought emanation is to
crystallize about the form that it has made and, in spite
of the struggles of the man ego, to hold to it.
14. We can readily see how a whole race might be caught in
the meshes of its own thought emanations and, through this
drowsy ignorance of the man ego, remain there throughout
eternity, unless a break were made in the structure and the
light of a higher
way let in. This is exactly what has happened to our race.
In our journey back to the Father's house we became lost in
our own thought emanations, and Jesus Christ broke through
the crystallized thought strata and opened the way for all
those who will follow Him.
15. By so doing He made a connection between our state of
consciousness and the more interior one of the Father--He
united them--made them a unit--one, hence the at-one-ment
or atonement through Him. He became the way by which all
who accept Him may "pass over" to the new consciousness.
That which died upon the cross was the consciousness of all
mortal beliefs that hold us in bondage--such as sin, evil,
sickness, fleshly lusts, and death--which He overcame. "I
have overcome the world." Jesus, "overcoming" made a great
rent in the sense consciousness, and opened a way by which
all who desire may demonstrate easily and quickly.
16. But in order to receive the benefit of Jesus' work it
is necessary for everyone to go to the place where He made
the rent in the race beliefs. If you were held in the
meshes of a great spider web, and someone made a hole
through which you could pass, you would go where the hole
was and would pass out that way. The same rule holds good
of this breach that Jesus made in the limitations of sense
that hold the race in bondage--we have to go where He is,
mentally and spiritually. "I go to prepare a place for
you." So we see that the church is not so far wrong in its
call to "follow Jesus." The error lies in the belief that
He was the only begotten Son of God,
and that He overcame for us, and that by simply believing
on Him we are saved.
17. In believing Him to be the only begotten Son of God, we
have confounded His higher consciousness or Christ
consciousness, which is the only begotten Son of God, with
His lower or Jesus consciousness. He recognized His
identity in God as the Christ, the Son of God; He also
recognized His consciousness of self, the son of man. So
each of us is a son of God. We shall come into conscious
recognition of the Christ mind, effecting the junction
between our mind and God's mind just as soon as we let go
of the limitations of mortal sense. God has but one Son,
the Christ, the one ideal man. This divine conjunction was
accomplished by Jesus, and the Christ shone out through His
mortal self and illumined it, until it lost its personality
and disappeared into divine individuality.
18. By believing that Jesus was more divine than other men,
the church has assumed that He had certain privileges that
the Father does not extend to all; that in a superhuman way
He made good all our shortcomings; that we are saved from
suffering for our acts by simply believing on Him and
accepting Him, in a perfunctory way, as our Saviour. Paul
is responsible for a good share of this throwing of the
whole burden upon the blood of Jesus--doubtless the result
of an old mental tendency carried over from his Hebrew idea
of the blood sacrifices of the priesthood. In order to show
the parallel in the life of Jesus, Paul preached to the
Jews that He was the great once-for-all blood sacrifice and
that no other
blood sacrifice would ever become necessary.
19. But Jesus went further than this. He said: "Come,
follow me." "Keep my sayings." He meant: Do as I do. I have
overcome; now by following in my footsteps you shall
20. We all recognize the advantage of thought co-operation.
It is much easier to hold ourselves in the true
consciousness when we are associated with those who think
as we do. It was the work of Jesus to establish in our race
consciousness a spiritual center with which everyone might
become associated mentally, regardless of geographical
location. He said to His disciples, "I go to prepare a
place for you. . . . that where I am, there ye may be
also." That place is a state of consciousness right here in
our midst, and we can at any time connect ourselves with it
by centering our mind on Jesus and silently asking His help
in our demonstrations. It is not the prayer of a "worm of
the dust" to a god, but of one who is on the way asking the
guidance of one who has passed over the same road, and who
knows all the hard places and how to get through them.
21. This in one sense is the relation of Jesus to each of
us, and so far as our present demonstration is concerned,
it is the most important relation. The road that we are
traveling from the mortal plane of consciousness to the
spiritual plane is beset with many obstructions, and we
need the assistance of one stronger than any of those who
now dwell in flesh bodies. He who is still in the
perception of the earthly is not always a safe guide,
because he sees in a limited way. We want one who sees
wholly in Spirit, and such a one we find in Jesus Christ.
22. He has not left us or gone to some faraway heaven, but
He may be reached by the humblest of us in a moment's time,
if we really aspire in soul for His companionship and help.
23. This is a simple statement of the relation that Jesus
of Nazareth bears to us. Yet He was more than Jesus of
Nazareth, more than any other man who ever lived on the
earth. He was more than man, as we understand the
appellation in its everyday use, because there came into
His manhood a factor to which most men are strangers. This
factor was the Christ consciousness. The unfoldment of this
consciousness by Jesus made Him God incarnate, because
Christ is the mind of God individualized, and whoever so
loses his personality as to be swallowed up in God becomes
Christ Jesus, or God man.
24. We cannot separate Jesus Christ from God, or tell where
man leaves off and God begins in Him. To say that Jesus
Christ was a man as we are men is not true, because He had
dropped that personal consciousness by which we separate
ourselves into men and women. He was consciously one with
the absolute principle of Being. He had no consciousness
separate from that Being, He was that Being to all intents
25. Yet He attained no more than is expected of every one
of us. "That they may be one, even as we are" was His
26. It is all accomplished through the externalization of
the Christ consciousness, which is omnipresent
and ever ready to manifest itself through us as it did
27. This principle has been perceived by the spiritually
wise in every age, but they have not known how to
externalize it and to make it an abiding state of
consciousness. Jesus accomplished this and His method is
worthy of our adoption, because, so far as we know, it is
the only method that has been successful. It is set forth
in the New Testament and whoever adopts the life of purity
and love and power there exemplified in the experiences of
Jesus of Nazareth will in due course attain the place that
28. The way to do this is the way Jesus did it. He
acknowledged Himself to be the Son of God. The attainment
of the Christ consciousness calls for nothing less on our
part than a definite recognition of ourselves as sons of
God right here and now, regardless of appearances to the
contrary. We know that we are sons of God--then why not
acknowledge it and proceed to take possession of our God
right? That is what Jesus did in the face of most adverse
conditions. Conditions today are not so stolidly material
as they were in Jesus' time. People now know more about
themselves and their relation to God. They are familiar
with thought processes and how an idea held in mind will
make itself manifest in the body and in affairs; hence they
take up this problem of spiritual realization under
favorable conditions. It must work out just as surely as a
mathematical problem, because it is under immutable law.
The factors are all in our possession and the
rule that was demonstrated in one striking instance is
before us. By following that rule and doing day by day the
work that comes to us, we shall surely put on Christ as
fully and completely as did Jesus of Nazareth.
29. The process of Jesus' evolving from sense to soul was
first a recognition of His spiritual selfhood and a
constant affirmation of its supremacy and power. Jesus
loved to make the highest statements: "I and the Father are
one." "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and
on earth." He made these statements before the
resurrection, so we know that He was not fully conscious of
their reality. But by the power of His word He brought
about the realization.
30. Next in the process was that constant cleansing of the
consciousness through denial, or fasting. He prayed much
alone, and fasted. He was being tempted on every side,
within and without, and was always overcoming. He daily put
out of His mind all the ideas that bind men to the world.
He recognized that the kingdom of the spiritual man is not
of this world--that it is a world that transcends this and
controls it; therefore He was not attached in any way to
the things of sense. Personal self, the Devil, told Him to
turn stones into bread, but He did not yield to this
temptation to use His God-given power for material gain.
Personal sense took Him upon ambition's high place and
showed Him what He might have in the fame of the world if
He would worship personal sense, but He refused to lower
His standard. He was using spiritual power
and He was true to its character; He did not mix it with
matter or with material ways.
31. When Jesus said, "The words that I have spoken unto you
are spirit, and are life," He touched the inner Christ word
which created all things, and we know that His words were
vivified from that center with a life essence and moving
power that will demonstrate the truth of His statement.
32. These words have rung through the souls of men and set
them afire with God's Spirit, throughout the ages. This is
because they are spiritual words. Within them are the seeds
of a divine life and they grow in the minds of all who give
them place, just as a beautiful flower or a great tree
grows from the seed germ planted in the ground.
33. Jesus recognized that the consciousness of man was
submerged in the things of sense; that it could not
perceive Truth in the abstract, and that it must, under
these conditions, be stirred into activity by some
stimulating force dropped into it from without. Hence He
sent forth His powerful words of Truth to the thirsty
souls, and said to them, "Keep my saying."
34. To keep a saying is to revolve it in mind--to go over
it in all its aspects, to believe it as a truth, to
treasure it as a saving balm in time of need, and above all
to obey the law that it sets forth.
35. People in all ages have known about the saving power of
words and have used them to the best of their
understanding. The Hebrews bound upon their foreheads and
wrists parchments with words of Scripture written upon
them. The Hindus,
Japanese, Chinese, and the people of nearly all other known
nations have their various ways of applying the sacred
words to the modification of their ills, and the invocation
of the invisible powers to aid them in both their material
and spiritual needs.
36. Although these methods are faulty in that they use the
letter of the word, instead of its spirit, they are useful
to us as indicators of the universal belief in the power of
the sacred word.
37. We know that words express ideas, and to get at their
substantial part we must move into the realm of ideas.
Ideas are in the mind and we must go there if we want to
get the force of our words. The Hebrews' phylacteries and
the lamas' prayer wheels are suggestive of the wordy
prayers of the Christian; but their use is not keeping the
sayings of Jesus, nor reaping the inner substance of the
mystical word. This can be done only by those who believe
in the omnipresent Spirit of God and in faith keep in mind
the words that express His goodness, wisdom, and power.
38. Jesus more fully voiced this nearness of God to man
than any of the prophets, and His words are correspondingly
vivified with inner fire and life. He said that those who
kept His sayings should even escape death, so potent was
the life energy attached to them.
39. This is a startling promise, but when we understand
that it was not the personal man, Jesus, making it, but the
Father speaking through Him, we know that it was not an
idle one; for He said, speaking to His disciples, "The word
which ye hear
is not mine, but the Father's who sent me."
40. This is the reason why these words of Jesus endure, and
why more and more they are attracting the attention of men.
41. Whoever takes these words into his mind should
consecrate himself to the truth that they represent. That
truth is not the doctrine of any church, nor the creed of
any sect--not even Christianity. That truth is written in
the inner sanctuary of every soul, and all know it without
external formulas. It is the intuitive perception of what
is right in the sight of God. It is the truth and justice
that every man recognizes as the foundation of true living.
42. Whoever consecrates himself to follow this inner
monitor and live up to its promptings, regardless of social
or commercial customs, consecrates himself to do God's
will. He is fitted to take the words of Jesus and make them
43. It is no idle experiment, this keeping in the mind the
words of Jesus. It is a very momentous undertaking, and may
mark the most important period in the life of an
individual. There must be sincerity and earnestness and
right motive, and withal a determination to understand the
44. This requires attention, time, and patience in the
application of the mind to solving the deeper meanings of
the sayings that we are urged to keep.
45. People deal with sacred words in a way that is too
superficial to bring results. They juggle with words. They
toss them into the air with a heavenly tone or an
oratorical ring and count it as compliance
with divine requirements. This is but another form of the
prayer wheel and the phylactery. It is the lip service that
Jesus condemned because its object is to be "seen of men."
46. To keep the sayings of Jesus means much more than this.
It has peculiar significance for the inner life. Only after
the inner life is awakened is the true sense of the
spiritual word understood. But the sincere keeper of Jesus'
sayings will by his devotions awaken the inner spirit, and
the Lord will come to him and minister to his call, as
lovingly as a father to a beloved son.
47. Jesus tells us that His words are Spirit, and then
tells us to keep them. How can one keep a thing of which he
knows nothing? How can one keep the words and sayings of
Jesus unless he gets them into his consciousness and grasps
them with his mind, his spirit?
48. Surely there is no other way to keep His sayings. Those
who are doing so from any other standpoint are missing the
mark. They may be honest, and they may be good, sincere
people, living what the world calls pure Christian lives,
but they will not get the fruits of Jesus' words unless
they comply with His requirements.
49. Unless you perceive that there is something more in the
doctrine of Jesus than keeping up a worldly moral standard
as preparation for salvation after death, you will fall far
short of being a real Christian.
50. Jesus did not depreciate moral living, but neither did
He promise that it fulfilled the law of
God. Very negative people are frequently trusty and moral.
But that does not make them Christians after the Jesus
Christ plan. His Christianity had a living God in it--a God
that lived in Him and spoke through Him. It was a religion
of fire and water--life as well as purity. Men are to be
alive--not merely exist half dead for a few years and then
go out with a splutter, like a tallow dip. Jesus Christ's
men are to be electric lights that glow with a perpetual
current from the one omnipresent Energy. The connection
with that current is to be made through the mind by setting
up sympathetic vibrations.
51. The mind moves upon ideas; ideas are made visible
through words. Hence holding right words in the mind will
set the mind going at a rate proportioned to the dynamic
power of the idea back of those words. A word with a lazy
idea back of it will not stimulate the mind. The word must
represent swift, strong, spiritual ideas in order to infuse
the white energy of God into the mind. This is the kind of
word in which Jesus reveled. He delighted in making great
and mighty claims for His God, Himself, His words, and for
all men: "I and the Father are one." "All authority hath
been given unto me in heaven and on earth." "The Father is
greater than I." "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye
are gods?" "The works that I do shall ye do also; and
greater." These were some of the claims with which He
stimulated His mind. And He produced the results--His words
52. Many who for years have been students of
the science of Christ and have a clear, intelligent
perception of its truths are yet outside the kingdom of
Spirit. They anxiously ask: "Why do I not realize the
presence of Spirit?"
53. Have you kept the sayings of Jesus? Have you said to
yourself in silence and aloud until the very ethers
vibrated with its truth, "I and the Father are one"?
54. Have you opened the pores of your mind, by mentally
repeating the one solvent of crystallized conditions, "I in
them, and thou in me"?
55. This means mental discipline day after day and night
after night, until the inertia of the mind is overcome and
the way is opened for the descent of Spirit.
56. The personal consciousness is like a house with all the
doors and windows barred. The doors and the windows of the
mind are concrete ideas, and they swing open when the right
word is spoken to them. Jesus voiced a whole volume of
right words. If you will take up His sayings and make them
yours, they will open all the doors of your mind, the light
will come in, and you will in due time be able to step
57. Another cannot do this for you. You really do not want
him to do it, though you may think it would be nice if some
master of spiritual ideas would help you to his
58. But this is a childish dream of the moment. You want to
be yourself, and you can be yourself only by living your
own life and finding its issues at the Fountainhead. If it
were possible for one to
reveal Truth to another, we should find heaven cornered by
cunning manipulators of mind and its glories stored up in
warehouses awaiting a higher market.
59. Let us be thankful that God is no respecter of persons,
that Truth cannot be revealed by one mortal to another. God
is a special, personal Father to every one of His children,
and from no other source can they get Truth.
60. Jesus, who has clearly revealed the Father in His
consciousness, may tell all men how it came about. He may
point the way. He may say, "I am the way, and the truth,
and the life," but there is always a condition attached to
its realization: One must exercise faith, keep His sayings,
and follow Him. Summed up, it means that by adopting His
methods one will find the same place in the Father that He
61. "If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our
abode with him."
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