The Twelve Powers of Man, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
WHICH is the greater, wisdom or love? After long study of the analysis of love given by Paul in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians, Henry Drummond pronounced love to be "the greatest thing in the world." His conclusion is based on Paul's setting forth of the virtues of love. Had wisdom been as well championed as love was, the author of "The Greatest Thing in the World" might not have been so sure of his ground. It goes without argument that love wins when everything else fails, but, notwithstanding her mightiness, she makes many blunders. Love will make any and every sacrifice for the thing that she loves; on the other hand, she is enticed into trap after trap in her blind search for pleasure. It was this kind of love that caused Eve to fall under the spell of sensation, the serpent. She saw that the fruit of the tree was "pleasant to the eyes." She followed the pleasure of life instead of the wisdom that would have shown her how to use life. Ever since we have had pleasure and pain, or good and evil, as the result of Eve's blind love.
What kind of people would we be if Eve and Adam had been obedient to the Lord of wisdom, instead of obeying the sense of love? This is one
of the biggest questions that anyone can ask. It has been debated for many, many centuries. It has a double answer. Those who get the first answer will claim that it is correct, and those who get the second answer will assure you that there can be no other conclusion. The question hinges on one point, and that is: Must one experience evil in order to appreciate good? If it were possible for man to know all the wisdom and joy of the Infinite, he would have no necessity for experience with the opposite. But do we have to have pain before we can enjoy pleasure? Does the child that burns its hand on a hot stove have a larger consciousness of health when the hand is healed? Has it learned more about stoves? Unnumbered illustrations of this kind might be given to show that by experimentation we learn the relations existing between things in the phenomenal world. But if we apply this rule to sciences that are governed by absolute rules, it becomes evident that there is no necessity for knowing the negative. To become proficient in mathematics it is not necessary that one make errors. The more closely one follows the rules in exact sciences, the more easily and successfully one makes the demonstrations. This goes to prove that the nearer one comes to the absolute or cause side of existence, the greater is one's understanding that wisdom and order rule, and that he who joins wisdom and order rules with them.
God knows that there is a great negative, which is a reflection of His positive, but He is not conscious of its existence. We know that there is an underworld
of evil, in which all the rules of civilized life are broken, but we are not conscious of that world because we do not enter into it. It is one thing to view error as a thing apart from us, and quite another to enter into consciousness of it. In the allegory of Adam and Eve, the man and the woman were told by wisdom not to "eat" (not to enter into consciousness of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil). But the pleasure of sensation (serpent) tempted them, and they ate.
Sensation, feeling, affection, and love are closely allied. Sensation is personified in the Edenic allegory as the serpent, the most subtle of the beasts of the field (animal forces alive in substance). The subtlety of sensation in its various guises is in its pleasure, the thrill that comes when mind and matter join in the ecstasy of life. When the desire for the pleasures of sensation is indulged and the guiding wisdom ignored, a realm of consciousness is established that regards the material universe as the only reality. The Lord, the knowing side of man, talks to him in the "cool of the day." In the heat of passion and the joy of pleasure, man does not listen to the "still, small voice," but in the "cool of the day," that is, when he cools off, he reflects, and he hears the voice of wisdom and judgment saying: "Where art thou, Adam?"
The "great day of judgment"--which has been located at some fateful time in the future when we all shall be called before the judge of the world and have punishment meted out to us for our sins--is
every day. The translators of the Authorized Version and of the American Standard Version of the New Testament are responsible for the "great judgment day" bugaboo. In every instance where judgment was mentioned by Jesus, He said "in a day of judgment," but the translators changed a to the, making the time of judgment appear a definite point in the future, instead of the repeated consummations of causes that occur in the lives of individuals and nations. We know that we are constantly being brought to judgment for transgressing the laws moral and physical. Yet back of these is the spiritual law, which the whole race has broken and for which we suffer. It was to mend the results of this law breaking that Jesus was incarnated.
When we awaken to the reality of our being, the light begins to break upon us from within and we know the truth; this is the quickening of our James or judgment faculty. When this quickening occurs, we find ourselves discriminating between the good and the evil. We no longer accept the race standards or the teachings of the worldly wise, but we "judge righteous judgment"; we know with an inner intuition, and we judge men and events from a new viewpoint. "Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers," sings the poet. This pertains to intellectual development only. When man kindles the inner light, he speaks the word of authority to his subjective faculties. Jesus represents the Son-of-God consciousness in man, to whom was given dominion over all the earth. The Son-of-God man is wholly spiritual, and he uses
spiritual thoughts, words, and laws in all that he does.
When Jesus called the Twelve, He spoke silently to the faculties that preside over and direct the functions of mind and body. When He called Peter, James, and John, there was in His consciousness a quickening of faith, judgment, and love. These three apostles are mentioned more often than His other apostles because they are most essential in the expression of a well-balanced man. Andrew (strength) was also among the first few called; he represents the stability that lies at the foundation of every true character.
"James the Just" was the title bestowed by historians upon the first bishop of Jerusalem. There were many Jameses among the early followers of Jesus, and there is some doubt as to whether James the Just and James the apostle are identical.
An analysis of man in his threefold nature reveals that on every plane there is a certain reflective and discerning power of the mind and its thoughts. In the body, conclusions are reached through experience; in intellect, reason is the assumed arbiter of every question; in Spirit, intuition and inspiration bring the quick and sure answer to all the problems of life. Jesus was the greatest of the teachers of men, because He knew all knowledge from the highest to the lowest. He did not blight the senses by calling them "error" (because they are limited in their range of vision), but He lifted them up. He took Peter, James, and John up into the mountain, and was
transfigured before them. When we realize the spiritual possibilities with which we are indued by omnipotent Mind, we are lifted up, and all the faculties that we have "called" are lifted up with us. "I, if I be raised on high from the earth, will draw all to myself" (Diaglott).
Wisdom, justice, judgment, are grouped under one head in spiritual consciousness. Webster says in effect that the ground of reason in judgment, which makes conclusions knowledge, is found in the connecting link that binds the conceptions together. In religion there is the postulate of a judgment through direct perception of the divine law.
Solomon (Sol-o-mon), the sun man, or solar plexus man, when asked by the Lord what He should give him, chose wisdom above riches and honor; then all the other things were added. Solomon was also a great judge. He had a rare intuition, and he used it freely in arriving at his judgments. He did not rest his investigations on mere facts, but sought out the inner motives. In the case of the two women who claimed the same infant, he commanded an attendant to bring a sword and cut the child in twain and give a half to each woman. Of course the real mother begged him not to do this, and he knew at once that she was the mother.
The appeal of the affectional nature in man for judgment in its highest is in harmony with divine law. We have thought that we were not safe in trusting our feelings to guide us in important issues. But spiritual discernment shows that the "quick-knowing"
power of man has its seat of action in the breast. The breastplates worn by Jewish high priests had twelve stones, representing the twelve great powers of the mind. Ready insight into the divine law was the glory of the high priest. Jesus is called the high priest of God, and every man's name is the name Jesus, written large or small, according to his perception of his Son-of-God nature.
Intuition, judgment, wisdom, justice, discernment, pure knowing, and profound understanding are natural to man. All these qualities, and many more, belong to every one of us by and through his divine sonship. "I said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High!" the Christ proclaims in us all. Paul saw Christ waiting at the door of every soul, when he wrote: "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee."
A quickening of our divine judgment arouses in us the judge of all the world. "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable." When we call this righteous judge into action, we may find our standards of right and wrong undergoing rapid changes, but if we hold steadily to the Lord as our supreme guide, we shall be led into all righteousness.
Many persons doubt that there is an infinite law of justice working in all things; let them now take heart and know that this law has not worked in their affairs previously because they have not "called" it into activity in the creative center of the soul. When we call our inner forces into action, the universal
law begins its great work in us, and all the laws both great and small fall into line and work for us. We do not make the law; the law is, and it was established for our benefit before the world was formed. Jesus did not make the law of health when He healed the multitudes; He simply called it into expression by getting it recognized by those who had disregarded its existence. Back of the judge is the law out of which he reads. This fact is recognized even by those who are intrusted with the carrying out of man-made laws. Blackstone says that the judgment, though pronounced and awarded by the judges, is not their determination or sentence, but the determination and sentence of the law. So we who are carrying forward the fulfillment of the law as inaugurated by Jesus should be wise in recognizing that the law in all its fullness already exists right here, waiting for us to identify ourselves with it and thus allow it to fulfill its righteousness in us and in all the world.
"I am the vine, ye are the branches." In this symbol Jesus illustrated a law universal to organisms. The vine-building law holds good in man's body. The center of identity is in the head and its activities are distributed through the nerves and the nerve fluids to the various parts of the body. The Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ represent the twelve primal subcenters in man's organism. A study of man's mind and body reveals this law.
Even physiologists, who regard the body as a mere physical organism, find certain aggregations of
cells which they have concluded are for no other purpose than for the distribution of intelligence. To one who studies man as mind, these aggregations of cells are regarded as the avenues through which certain fundamental ideas are manifested. We name these ideas the twelve powers of man, identified in man's consciousness as the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, having twelve houses, villages, cities, or centers in the body through which they act.
Wisdom includes judgment, discrimination, intuition, and all the departments of mind that come under the head of knowing. The house or throne of this wise judge is at the nerve center called the solar plexus. The natural man refers to it as the pit of the stomach. The presiding intelligence at this center knows what is going on, especially in the domain of consciousness pertaining to the body and its needs. Chemistry is its specialty; it also knows all that pertains to the sensations of soul and body. In its highest phase it makes union with the white light of Spirit functioning in the top brain. At the solar plexus also takes place the union between love and wisdom. The apostle who has charge of this center is called James. Volumes might be written describing the activities by which this power builds and preserves man's body. Every bit of food that we take into our stomachs must be intelligently and chemically treated at this center before it can be distributed to the many members waiting for this center's wise judgment to supply them with material to build bone, muscle, nerve,
eye, ear, hair, nails--in fact every part of the organism. When we study the body and its manifold functions we see how much depends on the intelligence and ability of James, who functions through the solar plexus.
When man begins to follow Jesus in the regeneration he finds that he must co-operate with the work of his disciples or faculties. Heretofore they have been under the natural law; they have been fishers in the natural world. Through his recognition of his relation as the Son of God, man co-operates in the original creative law. He calls his faculties out of their materiality into their spirituality. This process is symbolized by Jesus' calling His apostles.
To call a disciple is mentally to recognize that power; it is to identify oneself with the intelligence working at a center--for example, judgment, at the solar plexus. To make this identification, one must realize one's unity with God through Christ, Christ being the Son-of-God idea always existing in man's higher consciousness. This recognition of one's sonship and unity with God is fundamental in all true growth. Christ is the door into the kingdom of God. Jesus once spoke of the kingdom as a sheepfold. If man tries to get into this kingdom except through the door of the Christ, he is a thief and a robber. We can call our twelve powers into spiritual activity only through Christ. If we try to effect this end by any other means, we shall have an abnormal, chaotic, and unlawful soul unfoldment.
Having identified oneself with God through Christ, one should center one's attention at the pit of the stomach and affirm:
The wisdom of the Christ Mind here active is through my recognition of Christ identified and unified with God. Wisdom, judgment, discrimination, purity, and power are here now expressing themselves in the beauty of holiness. The justice, righteousness, and peace of the Christ Mind now harmonize, wisely direct, and surely establish the kingdom of God in His temple, my body. There are no more warring, contentious thoughts in me, for the peace of God is here established, and the lion and the lamb (courage and innocence), sit on the throne of dominion with wisdom and love.