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Talks on Truth, by Charles Fillmore, [1912], at

Lesson III
The I AM in Its Kingdom

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates;
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

IDEAS ARE hinged; they swing in and they swing out. Not everyone has observed this. But everyone must observe it, and note also the swing of his particular ideas. An idea that swings in has a mission. It is of Spirit, and has power to do far beyond an idea that swings out and dissipates its forces in the whirl of the periphery. On the inner side, ideas behold the great wisdom and attach themselves to it; then they lose their identity as limited things and take on the unlimited.

2. A single idea born of wisdom is irresistible.

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No one can estimate the power for good that is in an idea generated in the center of the home of ideas, the inner man. When an idea comes from that great galaxy of supreme ideas it goes forth in strength and harmony. It is a perfect sphere with no point liable to friction or collision.

3. A man once conceived the idea of building a ship, water-tight above and below. He put his idea into visibility and sent the ship forth on the waves. At first it rode the sea with comparative safety; but storms came, the waves dashed against it, and it went down. Why? Because he had not ballasted it. It was secure above and below from the elements, but it was not equalized in the rolling waves.

4. You are daily, hourly conceiving ideal ships and sending them out upon the waves of the angry sea of human thoughts. They are apparently water-tight; they carry your highest aspirations and desires. You look longingly for their return, but they do not come. Why is it? They were staunchly built according to human plans. But something was lacking. You failed to put your soul into them. They were shells, without depth or hold or cargo of love.

5. All the mental ships that you send out upon the turbulent seas of human thought must be ballasted with your heart's love or they will eventually founder. They may float safely for a season, but the reefs wait for them in the distance, and you may watch in vain for their return.

6. I AM is expressed through I will; it is the business of I AM to know when the I will activities are ideally true. In its right relation in Being, I

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AM never possesses or owns anything. All things in the universe are its to use, but it must not claim them as personal property.

7. If the wheel that rests in the water and communicates energy to the machinery of the mill should suddenly become possessed with conscious volition and proceed to dip out a portion of the stream as its individual property, it would well represent the position of the I AM that attempts to separate its powers and capacities from universal Mind.

8. The I AM is pure Spirit, without parts or passions. It is the prism through which the white light of Being is focused and refracted on the screen of visibility in many colors.

9. But the I AM is not inertia--it is ever spurred on by an original impulse to know. Knowing is not complete as long as a single factor of Being is left out by him who seeks to know.

10. The I AM has its being in heaven; its home is in the realm of perfect ideals, the Christ within, but it has its freedom. It loves to be. To be is to enjoy. To enjoy is for the time to be that which we enjoy. When you are absorbed in the recital of an interesting story, you are lost to all else. The I AM is for the moment identified with that which it enjoys. Here is the solution of a great mystery--how the I AM ever came to separate itself from its sphere of wisdom.

11. But it is wonderfully simple when you understand it. You are demonstrating the so-called fall of man every time you lose yourself in the whirl of sense pleasure. The mission of the I AM is happiness.

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It seeks joy and bliss; they are set before it in unstinted measure, and it revels in their intoxicating draughts, but the mastery of the higher mind should ever be maintained.

12. But sensations of pleasure originate in and depend for their vitality upon the central I AM, and when man follows things and forgets the source, he eventually finds the pleasure waning. The impetus grows less and less until that which in the beginning was pleasure becomes so slow of action that its inertia leaves the impression of pain.

13. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are the inherent birthright of every one of us. We exist to that end, and by our constant effort to attain perpetual joy we recognize it as our natural state.

14. That our efforts are not always crowned with success should cause us to pause and consider. Have we not left out some factor necessary to happiness? If so, what is it?

15. We think of heaven as a place of unending happiness, and we have been taught that it is somewhere in the skies. But in the geography of the universe, heaven has not been authoritatively marked. Jesus Christ, of all those claiming intimate acquaintance with spiritual things, gave heaven definite location. He often referred to the Father dwelling in Him; He also told others that the Spirit of God dwelt in them. As a climax He definitely located heaven "within you."

16. This statement has always been looked upon by the world's people as a figure of speech, and

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even metaphysicians who have delved into the abstractions of mind have had vague ideas about there being such a place as heaven within them. They have said it was a state, a condition.

17. So it is, but it is also a place. It is not outside your body today, and inside it tomorrow, nor is it possible for heaven to exist anywhere but right at the center of what seems to you to be the physical. This insistence upon the location of heaven is a startling proposition to those who have postulated mind as universal, without bounds.

18. We are seeking to get into the kingdom of heaven where all things shall be added, and it is proper that we should know where that kingdom is. All that we really know about ourselves at present comes to us by comparison with the "things which appear." We have a body, which we clearly perceive is moved by an invisible principle called mind. We have never seen this mind or felt it or sensed it in any way.

19. We know that certain combinations of thought produce effects upon the sense nature. The action takes place from the center of consciousness, the physical body. Then, so far as we are concerned, the mystery of Being is wrapped in and around that which we are wont to call clay. Do not mistake the proposition and assume that the physical man as he now appears to your comprehension is the summum bonum of existence. This is not the claim. The claim is that to your consciousness the corporeal man surrounds and gives definite place to that which you seek--"the kingdom of God . . . within you."

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20. The argument is frequently brought forward that the "lesser cannot contain the greater." This is but a play upon words, so far as the relations of mind are concerned. We know that in Being there can be no greater and no lesser. Mind is not a thing; Mind is. It is that which, through orderly process, produces the thing. This orderly process, we have learned by observation, is from an invisible center to a visible circumstance. So if anywhere in the universe you behold a form, you may know that within that form there is a potential center from which spring all its qualities. That the invisible cause is or is not confined to that form is not essential to the proposition. So far as the sentient identity of the form itself is concerned, its source of intelligence and life is always within, and it can never know anything about its cause except from that center.

21. When an astronomer sees a system of planets describing geometric circles, he knows without looking that there is at the center of those circles a power which holds them in place. Every atom in the human body is like a miniature planet revolving about its own invisible center, and all the atoms revolve about a great center within. I have discovered this to be an absolute fact in my own experience. I have, by persistent practice, learned to drop my attention from the head to a point under the heart. This is separating the I AM from the personal, or limited consciousness, and connecting it with the universal, or spiritual consciousness, with which it forms a union at the point mentioned. When my I AM touches this inner center there springs into its

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consciousness a wonderful vibration, and to every part of the body strong currents of energy are transmitted. At this point I seem to be in touch with all creation; the barriers of form are as nothing; there is only a great sea of throbbing life.

22. I am but a novice in this inner exploration, but I have penetrated far enough to know that it is the undiscovered country for which all are seeking. I have not only found the invisible center of my consciousness, but many subcenters, and so many marvelous things in connection therewith that I could not, for lack of comparisons, describe them, even if I knew a language that would convey to the natural man a conception of their marvels and the joy and the satisfaction that they give to the soul.

23. I have proved to my own satisfaction that when Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you," He meant it literally and not figuratively. There is within every one a place, a conscious sphere of mind, having all the attractions described or imagined as belonging to heaven. My most exalted ideas of the joys of heaven never anticipated the ecstatic thrill that suffuses my whole being while I rest in Spirit at this center within. In the redemption of man from sin, the outer thoughts are made to conform to the inner ideas. This is regeneration, in which man is saved from his evil thoughts--Satan--and permanently united with his good thoughts--Christ. This is my work and your work--to conform to the within.

24. It seems marvelous that we should be so totally unconscious of this undiscovered country right

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under our heart. When I drop down there and feel its sweetness and light, and the inner voice tells me that this heaven exists in everyone else, as it does in me, I cannot comprehend how we have been so long ignorant of it. Yet I know that before the discovery of the circulation of the blood, men knew nothing about the intricate canal system within their own bodies. Then why should it be improbable that still deeper within exists another realm on a different plane?

25. But this kingdom within is not material--it is spiritual. In it is the seat of the king, and when we become sufficiently acquainted with it, we shall be able to reign from the throne that was prepared for us from the beginning.

26. This inner country is the domain of that superior wisdom which we term the Christ. Jesus called this place of wisdom the Father within Him, and to it He ascribed all His power and wisdom.

27. It is not created for our especial benefit, nor do we evolve it through thinking! it is that Word which was in the beginning with God, which is with God, which is God; we simply recognize it, and through recognition we realize its presence.

28. The theory that we are progressing from a lower to a higher state is not tenable when viewed from this inner place of understanding. When we touch its shining shore, we suddenly seem to know that we are at home again; that there has somehow been a departure, a separation of the I AM from its rightful place in the bosom of the Father.

29. That man has wandered away from and lost

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consciousness of his wisdom sphere, is claimed by all ancient teachers of inner truths. The banishment of Adam from the Garden of Eden is an allegory based upon this truth, and the four Gospels reiterate again and again that the mission of Jesus of Nazareth was to find that which was lost; not that the real man is lost or in condemnation, but the I, the man identity, has gone "into another country" and is lost to his spiritual consciousness.

30. That this sphere of wisdom is present in what has come to be known as the subjective consciousness of man is demonstrated in a certain measure in hypnotic experiments. The I of the hypnotized subject is temporarily separated from the external and thrown onto the internal plane, where it functions in marvelous manner in matters pertaining to mental action. This has given rise to the theory of two egos, the subjective and the objective.

31. The fact is that there is but one ego, one I, and its domain of consciousness is not limited to the things of sense, but is meant to range all creation from the within to the without. Instead of considering these sporadic cases of a higher sense in man as abnormal, we should know that they are normal and that the limitations and ignorance of the five-sense man is the abnormal.

32. The regaining of this lost consciousness is a matter that rests between God and man. We cannot get into this "kingdom" through such artificial means as mesmerism, hypnotism, mediumship, or any other "short cut" to spirituality.

33. The I AM can never be coerced or robbed of

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its perfect freedom, and all attempts in that line will meet with final disaster. When we have once decided to return to the Father's house, to regain this lost estate within, it is an easy road. It may seem hard at the start, because we have to throw away so much baggage, but it grows easier as we get closer and closer to the great heart of the loving Father. A Helper has been provided, the "Spirit of truth . . . shall guide you into all the truth"; all we have to do is to seek honestly and sincerely to enter in. "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." This promise is to everyone.

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Next: Lesson 4