THE CHRIST CONSCIENCE
BY CHARLES FILLMORE
There is a divine goodness at the root of all existence. It is not necessary to give in detail the place of abode in each sentient part of existence of this central goodness; it is there, wherever you look, and whenever you look. No man nor woman is so low but what it may at the touch of its secret spring be brought to light in them. Even the animals exhibit its regulating and directive power. It sleeps in the recesses of every mind and it comes forth when least expected. Many hush it up for years, maybe for ages, but its day comes and it is a day of reckoning.
It is the law of universal balance—the equilibrium of Being. It cannot be put aside with transcendental philosophies, metaphysical denials, any more than it can be smothered in the forces of blind passion.
Men and women are loathe to admit that there is within them a monitor with which they have sooner or later to cope, and they put off the day of judgement just as long as possible. They love not to deal with this leveler of the Spirit. It is too exact; it vents justice to the very limit.
Whoever has felt the prick of conscience has been spoken to by the Spirit. Whoever has sat at the feet of his own inner convictions has caught sight of God.
Man is never without a guide, no matter how loudly he may cry out for leading. There is always at hand a sure torch-bearer if he will but follow its light. It is too simple, too easy. Man has formed in his mind a far-off God who talks to him from some high mountain, or in the invisible depths of space. By thus looking afar for his God he ignores the one and only spark of divinity ever shining in his own soul.
Herein is man fooled into believing that he can do those things which are not in harmony with truth and yet escape the consequences. He presumes upon God being too far away to ever behold his shortcomings, and ignores the God monitor within his own soul.
This is the meaning of that old saying that a man and his conscience are always good friends so long as the way is smooth, but when it grows rugged they fall out. They fall out because man has reached a point where he begins to consider his ways and look carefully over the life he is leading. This brings him to a beholding state of mind. He sees that what he considered right in the clear light of the divine good is not up to its standard. Here is where the divergence takes place between man and his conscience. They were friends in appearance only before or during the period of license. The conscience may seem to assent to the shortcomings of men, but it is ever the inner protestant that keeps knocking at the soul until the steps are arrested.
Fortune in a worldly way is not always a blessing to man. In fact, under present customs it is apt to be just the reverse. So long as questionable methods are successful in bringing results, conscience has but a small chance for a bearing. It is only when failure follows the efforts of the misguided that conscience gets his ear. Then the field is surveyed with the eye of a general in an unjust cause. The heat of battle blinded him and he gave no thought to the lives he was uselessly sacrificing.
Here is where remorse gnaws the vitals of the unwise, and here the true wisdom is revealed. It is said that experience is a dear school and only the wise learn therein. This paradox carries with it its own nullification, like any of the intellect’s wise observations. Experience is the school of fools. The wise do not take lessons within her doors.
There are two ways of getting understanding. One is by following the guidance of the Spirit that dwells within, and the other is to go blindly ahead and learn by hard experience. These two ways are open to everyone. It is recognized by the man who has had experience that he can advise the one who has not, and thus save him these laborious steps of that rocky road. In the light of Omnipresent Intelligence, is there not One who knows all things, all roads, all combinations, and the outcome of every thought?
Do not men and women by their constant efforts to peer into the future prophesy a wisdom that knows all futures? They certainly do; and when man looks in the right direction he always finds such an oracle.
It is the prerogative of the Spirit to know the future, and when man consults that Spirit with pure heart and unselfish motives, he has pointed out to him the very lines his life shall be east in if he is obedient to his Most High Genius.
It is no great achievement for one who lives in the Omnipresent to forecast the future. To the Spirit the future is a succession of events based on the ideas revolving in the mind at the present. Whoever rises into his own ideal realm can read his future to himself. He finds there a chain of causes at work which he can easily see will produce certain results. It is not necessary for him to read the definite line along which each separate idea will travel to its ultimate. That is reasoning from cause to effect. In Spirit cause and effect are one. Then they appear as one, and the ultimate is just as clear as the inception. In mind all things reach fruition the very instant they are conceived. Time not being a factor, how can there be a beginning and an ending? The architect plans a house and sees it finished in his mind before a single stone is laid or a pound of earth excavated, He can change his plan many times before the construction begins. He can destroy it entirely if he so desires. So man builds the house in which he lives. If he has been planning to build a home for self alone, in which there is but one room and that on the basement floor, he has created in mind just such a plan, and it is complete and awaits its descent into the earth. If he has made a plan of a larger structure in which are many rooms for the entertainment of his fellow men in hospitable manner, that plan will also descend into visibility.
Some people build their houses far ahead in mind and say nothing about it to anyone. They are planning and planning without a soul in their confidence, such people make most substantial plans and they are infused with the most enduring substance of the invisible. Such was that of Napoleon when he silently planned to be emperor, or that of the shepherd who resolved to be pope. Vanderbilt’s rule of life to which he attributed all his success was to reveal to no one his plans.
Jesus said, “Let your conversation be aye, aye, and nay, nay.” Talking is a waste of energy—a dissipater of power. If you want the greatest success, don’t talk too much about your plans. Keep a reserve force of new ideas always on hand as a generative center. Let the work speak for itself.
The electrician recognizes a certain universal law of action in the revolutions be given his dynamo. The energy produced is based upon the size and texture of the dynamo and the rapidity of its motion. Mind has a law of dynamics equally as scientific. The character of an idea is the estimate of its size and your active faith in it the rapidity of its motion. Ideas generate energy with a swiftness unparalleled in physical dynamics. Instead of moving inanimate things they move men and women. Instead of temporarily lighting for a few hours our streets they light the lamps of intelligence that burn eternally. The secret of doing this successfully lies in knowing how to handle your ideas. The electrician constantly improves the efficiency of electricity by studying the machinery that generates the power. The same rule holds good in mental dynamics, study your ideas if you want to improve the service of your body, your intelligence and your surroundings, for from those ideas flow forth, the currents that move the machinery of them all. If your ideas are based in truth and you are satisfied that they will stand the test of the most rigid justice, don’t let the currents which they produce in your mind leak away on some ground wire.
The world is full of people who are filled with high and mighty resolves to do good, and they are sincere, but they are connected with ground wires. You must keep your wires properly insulated or your plant will not prove successful. For instance, you are holding an idea of health, which is generating currents in your mind that might flow out on the wires of faith and heal the world, but you have grounded. the current by believing that it should pass through a pill, a magnetic hand, or the mind of someone whom you think is stronger than you are.
Stop this leak, and send the current straight to the mark on the wires of your own true word. You have an intuitively correct idea of the truth on every question that comes up in your mind, but you do not trust that idea. You ground its free currents by believing that some book, some person, or some church organization has sifted the truth and somehow established it before you came into existence. This fallacy makes a menial of the genius and puts out the light of the world in the souls of generation after generation of the sons of God. Spiritual ideas must have spiritual wires or their power dissipates. So you need to watch both the ideas you hold and the words with which you set them free. If I have an ideal world in which I see things as I want them, think it an impossibility that that world may be realized here and now, I am dissipating the power which my ideas are generating. So throughout the laboratory of thought generation, every idea must have a wire that corresponds to its plane.. Your words, your acts and your whole life must accord with your ideas.
The realm of ideas is at the call of each one of us—it is in fact the source from which we draw our real sustenance. It exists in Being as Universal intelligence, and as it is the cause and source of all intelligence it must sooner or later assert its unobstructed sway in the lives of all mankind. When this realm of ideas becomes so active in the consciousness that it attracts our special attention, we call it a quickening conscience. It is the universal intelligence asserting its inherent moral equilibrium. Man cannot distort the fair face of the God-Image, whose likeness he is. He may for a season wear the grotesque mask of the mountebank or the fool, but in God’s own good time he will be unmasked by that silent inner self that must be heard when its hour has come. God is not mocked, nor is the secret place of the Most High in every soul forever made a cave for thieves. When conscience cries out in your soul, “Make straight the way of the Lord,” you will save time heeding it. Let its cleansing waters of denial flow over you. Change your ideas. Be meek and lowly. Let your thoughts go up to the Spirit (Christ) and ask whether he be the one to whom your homage is due. Then acknowledge him as one whom you in your mortal consciousness are not able to comprehend in the majesty of His spiritual understanding.
If you are of haughty, domineering, self-sufficient will, you stand as Herod, the ruler in Judaea. You are married to the passions of the human soul, Herodias. She leads you into sense gratifications so deep, so degrading that you cut off the head of John, have turned you into the highway of the good, man is short-lived. Your kingdom is taken away from you and you are banished from your native land. This was the fate of Herod after he beheaded John the Baptist. This is the fate of everyone who refuses to listen to the voice of his higher self.
The key to the development of Jesus of Nazareth’s great powers was in his meek and lowly spirit in the sight of the Father. He disclosed it when he said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Whoever makes himself nothing in the sight of God may be possessor all things below God.
Man on one side is open to God when he wills to be open. That opening is made by an attitude of absolute mental negation on the part of the personal man. Thus the likeness takes on the express image of the Father, and in no other way can it be done.
“I am meek and lowly of heart,” said the mighty Nazarene. Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” was the mental attitude he always took when communing with the Father. It was always the same spirit of love and willing obedience to the guidance of a wisdom which he knew must transcend his.
Jesus did not take the universe on his shoulders by affirming his self-sufficiency. He unloaded every burden and rested in the sufficiency of the Father. “I can of mine own self do nothing; the Father within me, he doeth the works.” This is the total denial of self—the giving up of all personal desires, claims and aims. Before man can do this successfully he must change his ideas—there must be a mental house-cleaning. This baptism of water always proceeds the baptism of the Spirit. One is the denial of the personal man and the other is the affirmation of the spiritual.
The command, “Deny thyself and follow me,” is not broadly interpreted by the world. Some men think that the self is denied sufficiently when they acknowledge God to be mind, life, love, substance—and all else error; others that they have only to give up the recognized sins of the world end believe in a personal savior, Jesus. But the denial of self goes deeper than all this, it must reach, to be effective, the very depths of the consciousness and dissolve all the organic forms which the ideas held by the personal self have there precipitated. When a man gets into his own soul he finds a chemical laboratory in full operation. There are thoughts in their various stages of crystallization. Some are free gases, others flowing solutions, and at the bottom are the precipitations. The magnetisms, fluids and solids of the body are the forms of thoughts. Every human body has its stratified layers of consciousness. These strata have, like the earth, been built up layer after layer through ages and ages of ethereal time. The body you live in is the result of a labor which you began millions of years ago, It is the stored up memories of your experience in thought generation. You may have dissolved that body ten millions of times, but no part of its reality have ever been lost to you. Because you have failed to energize it to the perpetuation of its form indefinitely is no argument against its being the very body you have had off and on for aeons upon.aeons. The shape of it changes, but the mental pictures you have formed in all those ages are intact somewhere in your own private gallery.
But now the clouds are clearing away from your world, the Sun of Righteousness is rising with healing in his beams. You are awakening to your powers and possibilities as a Son of the Most High.
The day of selflessness has come. That day delivers you from all burdens. You find that you do not have to bear any of the cares of existence on your shoulders. You say with Jesus, ’‘All things are done for me of my Father.” You do not breathe from yourself, but you see God breathing in and through you. You do not have life of your own, but you see the life of God living itself through all your organs. You say to your feet, your hands and every part of your body, “You are now lived by God; you are perfect in his spirit.” You do not think from yourself nor of yourself; you speak the words of the Spirit rushing through your mind like a mighty wind. Then tongues of fire come upon you, because you are inspired by the Holy Ghost. Neither do you lave possessions of your own, nor cares nor troubles about your life or your family; you leave all those things to God—you are absolutely without responsibility where you have fully denied yourself and followed the Christ. All responsibility drops from you when you let go the idea that you are a personal bseing and are possessed of parts, passions and faculties which belong to you individually. Nothing like a. personal man exists in the idea of God. The idea of God is Jesus Christ—one universal man—Men are but the mind organs of that one man—they do not possess of themselves anything whatsoever, but all that the Christ possesses flows through their consciousness when they have ceased to believe in personality. This is the at-one-rnent—”I in thee, and thou in me,” and end the apprehension of that at-one-ment dissolves forever that inner monitor called an Accusing Conscience.Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on June 26, 2018.