Metaphysical Principles and Lessons Gleaned from Charles Fillmore's Statement of Faith
These thirty-two statements seem to reveal deeper insights when they are read in parallel, or two statements at a time, and contemplated upon as couplets. If so, they would follow a pattern also found in the Book of Psalms, where a spiritual principle or teaching is given in two verses, the second augmenting or completing the teaching of the first. That is how these insights emerged for me in my own contemplation of these thirty-two statements and the following is my own understanding of what they reveal.
We believe in God, the one and only omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Spirit mind and we believe in Christ, the Son of God, in whom is imaged the ideal creation, with perfect man on the throne of dominion (Statements #1 and #2).
Oneness is not only belief, but practice. Spiritual maturity occurs when we listen to God only, as a sheep listens only to it's shepherd. At this point, we shift from belief to trust, which is the foundation for all statements of faith. Peace, be still; wait upon the Lord only.
Expression of the Christ
We believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God made manifest in Jesus of Nazareth, who overcame death, and who is now with us in His perfect body as the Way-shower in regeneration for all men and we believe in the Holy Spirit, which baptizes the universe and man with the thoughts of God, and perpetually establishes the divine law in all manifestation (Statements #3 and #4).
We are not only children or a creation of God, but rather expressions of a Divine Idea in God Mind, known as the Christ. While we honor all religious traditions, our own spiritual path is "Christian." As we look to Jesus Christ, as the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, and to the Holy Spirit as our guide, we trust that our spirit, soul and body is transformed to express God in its fullest manifestation.
The Supremacy of Good Over Truth
We believe in the supremacy and the eternity of the good, as the one and only objective of man and of all things visible and invisible and we believe that the twelve disciples, the twelve powers of man, go forth into mind and body with power and authority to teach, to preach and wholly to save man and the world from sin, sickness, and death (Statements #5 and #6).
While our spiritual development begins with high intellectual self-awareness and comprehension of Truth, our journey eventually leads to a baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is grounded in a deep psychological consent to the Good. The Good has power beyond our comprehension of the Truth. This power of the Good flows into us by means of twelve channels or pathways, which we know as our twelve powers. The twelve disciples, when they were first taught Truth, were an unruly group and were without power to heal. Only later, when the Truth in them had been transformed by the Good, were they empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth into mind and body to teach, preach and heal. We are also so empowered only when our twelve faculties are also transformed by the Good.
Life, Substance and Intelligence is Everywhere Present
We believe that "God is Spirit," as Jesus taught, and that all of His Spirit is with us at all times, supplying every need and we believe that divine intelligence is present in every atom of man and of matter, and that the "more abundant life," which Jesus promised, is flooding the world and quickening the minds and the bodies of men everywhere (Statements #7 and #8).
As Christian metaphysicians, we come to realize that all things in the Universe are embued with life, substance and intelligence, which are Divine Ideas, reflecting the Goodness of God. We look to the effect of these Divine Ideas for the "quickening" of our life, a more abundant life, one that brings health, prosperity and joy. We know that contained within the essence of every problem we face is a perfect and elegant solution. We must only perceive that solution in it's life, substance and intelligence.
Our Power Rests in Consent to the Reign of God
We believe that the original authority and dominion given to man was over his own thoughts, emotions, feeelings, and passions, and that in the lawful exercise of this authority, he will harmonize all discords within and without, and restore the kingdom of God on the earth. We believe in the creative power of thoughts and words; that they do accomplish that whereto they are sent, and that all men are held accountable for even their lightest word (Statements #9 and #10).
While our ability to think and to speak does have power in the outer, physical world, we are most effective in bringing into manifestation the kingdom of God when we direct our thoughts and words to be in harmony with the life, substance and intelligence that already exists in all things.
Commitment to Overcoming
We believe that, through indulgence in sense consciousness, men fell into the belief in the reality of matter and material conditions. We believe that the "kingdom of God" can be attained, here and now, by overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil, through Jesus Christ. We believe in the at-one-ment that Jesus reestablished between God and man, and that through Jesus we can regain our original estate as sons of God (Statements #11 and #12).
While no work of consciousness, sincerely undertaken, is unrewarded, there is the greater hope of becoming completely free of "sense consciousness" and fully attaining the "kingdom of God" in our life and in our world. In Unity, this process is known as "overcoming" and our commitment as Christian metaphysicians is to the attainment of this greater level of oneness with God.
Praying from a state of Realization
We believe that the prayer of faith will save the sick, resurrect the body from "trespasses and sins," and finally overcome the last enemy, death. We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is alive and in the world today. We believe that the "more abundant life," which Jesus promised, is poured into the race stream as a vitalizing energy, and that, when accepted in faith, it purifies the life-flow in our bodies, and makes us immune to all disease thoughts and disease germs (Statements #13 and #14).
Can a baby nurse without confidence that mother's milk is present? Such is our confidence, or prayer of faith, that a more abundant life is flowing into our life stream.
Raising Up Sense Consciousness
We believe that sense consciousness may be lifted up, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," and that all men may be again restored to paradise through faith, understanding, and practice of the divine law, as Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated. We believe that creative Mind, God, is masculine and feminine, and that these attributes of Being are fundamental in both natural and spiritual man. "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Statements #15 and #16)
Many people equate sense consciousness as ego, and subsequently teach that it must be suppressed, or eliminated, in order to achieve the Christ state of consciousness. But sense consciousness is in fact an essential part of our soul, providing necessary information about the physical world and our relation to it in time and space. Rather than bashing the intellect, Jesus taught that sense consciousness must be raised up. This is achieved through integration with the feminine phase of soul, the subconscious phase, represented by Eve. Integration of our masculine and feminine phase of soul allows us to be open to inspiration of Spirit through the superconsciousness and results in a raising up of our sense consciousness.
The Eternally Begotton Body
We believe that we live, move, and have our being in God mind; also that God mind lives, moves, and has being in us, to the extent of our consciousness. We believe that the body of man is the highest formed manifestation of Creative Mind, and that it is capable of unlimited expression of that Mind. "Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?" (Statements #17 and #18)
We are not a body that has a Spirit and a soul. We are rather a Spirit and soul that expresses a body. We easily accept that Spirit lives, moves and has its being in God; does it not follow that Spirit's expression—the body— is also so rooted in God?
We believe that through conscious union with Jesus in the regeneration man can transform his body and make it perpetually healthy, therefore immortal, and that he can attain eternal life in this way and in no other. We believe that the "blood" of Jesus represents eternal life; that the "body" of Jesus represents incorruptible substance. We believe that these are original elements in Being, and that they can be appropriated by all who, through faith and understanding, attain the Christ standard of spirituality. (Statements #19 and #20).
Communion, or "conscious union" with God opens the flow of original elements in Being: life, substance and intelligence. We partake in spiritual communion when we appropriate these original elements by understanding and faith.
Reincarnation and Regeneration of the Body
We believe that Spirit, soul, and body are a unit, and that any separation of these three is transgression of the divine law. We believe that the death that came into the world through the Adamic man resulted in body dissolution, and that the restoration of the lost Eden is already begun, in the demonstration over death of the body, as shown in the ressurection of Jesus Christ. We believe that the dissoluion of Spirit, soul, and body, caused by death, is annulled by rebirth of the same Spirit and soul in another body here on earth. We believe the repeated incarnations of man to be a merciful provision of our loving Father to the end that all may have opportunity to attain immortality through regeneration, as did Jesus. "This corruptible must put on incorruption." (Statements #21 and #22).
The goal is not perfection of the body, rather it is a perfect union of Spirit, soul and body. Those who deny the importance of the body, or who declare it to be an illusion or a hinderance to spiritual perfection, suffer from the same consciousness of separation that resulted in the loss of Eden. The Fillmores believed that our journey to spiritual enlightenment, through eternal union of Spirit, soul and body, is assured because of our soul's ability to reincarnate until regeneration occurs.
How To Establish the Kingdom of Heaven
We believe that the kingdom of heaven or harmony is within man, and that, through man, the law and order existing in Divine Mind are to be established on the earth. We believe that the "second coming" of Jesus Christ is now being fulfilled, that His Spirit is quickening the whole world. "For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man." "Watch therefore; for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh." (Statements #23 and #24).
The kingdom of heaven is our individualized expression of the pure, absolute kingdom of God. When, in the midst of chaos and seeming hopeless disorder, we look inwardly for the appearance of our inner Christ, rather than looking outwardly for human solutions, Christ will break through the clouds of subconscious mind, appearing unexpectedly, establishing order and harmony with elegant and unforseen solutions.
How To Attain Christ Perfection
We believe that the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," should be the standard of action between men. We believe that Jehovah God is incarnate in Jesus Christ and that all men may attain the Christ perfection by living the righteous life. "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Statements #25 and #26).
These two statements appear to be contradictory; the Golden Rule instructs us to look empathically outward to others, attaining Christ pefection seems to have us look soley inward to ourselves. However the true teaching of Jesus, and the most likely reason Charles Fillmore placed these two statements in this order, is that attaining the Christ perfection begins by recognizing the same Christ perfection in others and calling forth the Christ nature in ourselves is not possible without calling forth the same Christ nature in everyone else.
Ethical Choices Are Rooted In the Word of God
We believe that the "Word of God" is the thought of God expressed in creative ideas and that these ideas are the primal attributes of all enduring entities in the universe, visible and invisible. The Logos of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is the God idea of Christ that produced Jesus, the perfect man. We believe that the Scriptures are the testimonials of men who have, in a measure, apprehended the divine Logos, but that their writings should not be taken as final. We believe that all life is sacred and that man should not kill or be a party to the killing of animals for food; also that cruelty, war, and wanton destruction of human life will continue so long as men destroy animals. (Statements #27 and #28).
It may be tempting to hold that, since it is God that ideates and it is man that thinks, it is man who, by chosing and combining Divine Ideas, establishes what is moral and good. This is the position taken by post-modernists today, who reject any sense of a revealed Truth or Good. But there is such a thing as the Word of God, which emanates from Divine Mind, is revealed to humanity, contains all the primal attributes (ideas) of God's Will and, when received into our thoughts, feelings and words, leads to perfect peace and harmony. One such Word of God, in the opinion of the Fillmores, is that we refrain from the killing of animals for food.
Spiritualizing the Physical; On Earth as it is in Heaven
We believe that the misuse of the generative function is responsible for the majority of human ills. Therefore we believe that purity and control of sex are essential to health and the final overcoming of death. We believe in the final resurrection of the body, through Christ. We believe that we do free our mind and resurrect our body by true thoughts and words, and that this resurrection is being carried forward daily and will ultimate in a final purification of the body from all earthly errors. Through this process we shall be raised to the consciousness of continuous health and eternal life here and now, following Jesus Christ in the regeneration or "new birth." (Statements #29 and #30).
The spiritualization of the body, as with the physical, mental and emotional process that generates body-life, is establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth. There are two approaches to achieving enlightenment; one pathway is the killing off of all distractions, such as sexuality, the body, the intellect, the ego and the emotions that lead to sexual impulse. The other pathway is including the body, its related body functions, as well as our messy intellectual and emotional life into the process of becoming a full expression of Spirit. Such is the pathway taught by the Fillmores.
Vision With the Single Eye of Truth
We believe all the doctrines of Christianity, spiritually interpreted. Almighty Father-Mother, we thank Thee for this vision of Thine omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, in us and in all that we think and do, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen! (Statements #31 and #32).
Charles Fillmore wrote the thirty-two Statements of Faith in response to fundamentalist and evangelical Christians who criticized Unity as abandoning the doctrines of Christianity. Charles responded that he had not abandoned the doctrines of Christianity and that he was fully comfortable with the traditional language of his day, spiritually interpreted. His point was that Truth transcends language. Today's world is no longer pre-modern, but rather post-modern. If Charles were living today, he would not have been criticized for abandoning the language of Christianity, but rather for embracing it. Today's critics argue that those who use the traditional language of Christianity are spiritually immature and stuck in a pre-modern worldview. But those modern-day critics are focused on the letter and not the spirit of the Word and they insist on everyone using what they perceive as the correct use of language. That is modern-day Pharisaism. What is important is not doctrine, nor language, but seeing with the single eye of Truth.
Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Copyright 2012 by Mark Hicks. Please build upon this framework to develop new and original interpretations of the Unity Statement of Faith.