Teach Us to Pray, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
THIS affirmation is a good one to take into the inner consciousness, and we would emphasize the word "consciousness." This whole matter of soul unfoldment depends upon the consciousness that we have.
We have no independent mind--there is only universal Mind--but we have consciousness in that Mind, and we have control over that consciousness. We have control over our own thoughts, and our thoughts fill our consciousness. By analyzing ourselves we find that we unconsciously separate our self into different personalities. Now we should do this work consciously. We should enter into the understanding that the I AM power (all power) is given unto us in consciousness, and then join or unify this consciousness with the great Christ Mind.
Thus the central idea in this word of affirmation that we are seeking to understand and to incorporate into our consciousness is the Christ Mind. As spiritual metaphysicians we find that the Christ Mind is the Mind of Spirit. In the consciousness of man
it functions as two states of consciousness: one in the flesh, the other in the Spirit. But the mind of the Spirit is the source of all.
In daily worship it is well to impress upon the sensitive mind that it is unified with Divine Mind through Christ, through the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.
Understanding this as the basic principle of our thought and realizing the power of thought to impress itself upon the sensitive plate of man's mind, we find this prayer invaluable:
First we disentangle our thoughts from the flesh and lift our consciousness up to Spirit. We hold them steady in spiritual consciousness until they begin to get hold of Spirit essence, Spirit power, Spirit love. Everything that we see in the manifest comes from this one Spirit-mind; so it is well to hold this affirmation until the most sacred ethers respond to our realization:
When considering the value of prayer and realization we call to mind the case of Jacob and Esau receiving the blessing of their father Isaac.
It was customary to give the first-born the prior
blessing, and this blessing of the first-born belonged to Esau. But through the connivance of the mother, Rebekah, and Jacob himself, Jacob got the blessing, and of course by a subterfuge. The procedure was really a dishonest one, and Esau was wroth with his brother Jacob for taking his blessing and threatened his life. The mother advised Jacob to flee to the country of her brother Laban, and Jacob immediately set out on his journey. He was however in a wilderness of thought.
As metaphysical Christians we take this scripture to be a spiritual history of man as well as a history of outer events. We try to read it in the spirit appropriate to it. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. The Bible is a spiritual book. We arrive at a greater understanding and enhance our interest in the different characters of Jacob and Esau when we look upon them not only as individuals but as representatives of the race as a whole.
If we study the four characters of Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and Rebekah, we find that they represent dominant ideas in man, ideas that pertain to his very being, that are of vital interest. As we read out of the law we find that Esau--a hunter, a person subservient to his bodily appetites, a man of the flesh--represents the flesh, the body. A person of a little different turn of mind, a man who loved home and the quiet spiritual things of life, Jacob represents the mind, the intellectual man.
Of course in the process of evolution the natural man comes first. Then the spiritual man begins to
unfold in us. Here in the Bible story we find that the spiritual man, or rather the intellectual man illumined by Spirit, gets the blessing. The Israelites set great store by this blessing. Rightly understood, a blessing is a great source of inspiration. It lays a firm foundation in the mind, and it brings out the good. A curse sees the evil and emphasizes it; but a blessing sees only the good and emphasizes only the good. Thus we come to see the importance for the soul's evolution of an understanding of the development of these two Biblical characters.
As we look at the blessing that Isaac gave Jacob and Esau--for he did bless Esau after he had blessed Jacob, though he gave Esau the blessing that would bring out his character--we discover that he was governed by law. The blessing he gave Jacob was one upon the mind and not upon the body; in fact, it was a blessing of the part of the race mind concerned with service, the part that has to do with the exercise of authority.
In this blessing there is a calling forth of those inherent faculties of the mind which enter into the exercise of authority. "Let people serve thee." The mind dominates the body. "Let . . . nations bow down to thee." We also see nations being dictated to by some mind, some dictator.
Here we can see the power of ideas to bless or to
curse. We see that he who uses his mind to curse gets the curse in return, while the mind that blesses receives blessings in return.
If we study our mind we find that it is radiating energy constantly and that whatever we send out comes back. This is true of the mind of man, and we see it in evidence everywhere, not only individually but collectively.
To Esau Isaac said,
Here in these symbols we have the body man or man of the flesh. "The fatness of the earth shall by thy dwelling": man lives very close to the earth. "And by thy sword shalt thou live": the man of flesh is sent forth by the man of the mind to carry out his warring ideas. Intellectual man is the general or the governor or the dictator that sends the man of the flesh to do his biddings.
In the evolution of man, the body (Esau) finally comes into its own. The Isaac blessing is carried out in the world today. We find that the working classes
that have been under the yoke of the intellect--the intellectual man--now are beginning to assert themselves. They are breaking loose from the yoke of bondage to the intellect, the mind; the flesh is beginning to assert itself. We are giving more attention to the flesh every day. People are awaking to the fact that the body is an important part of man, and so we see everywhere the fulfillment of this blessing.
If we study ourselves, we find a tendency toward the working out of the two minds. The tendency of the intellect is to dominate, to have its way and ignore the body. But the body is beginning to break loose from this bondage and demand its own. It is saying to us: "Why, I am a very important part of this world. You can't leave me and go off to some faraway place. I am an important part of you." So with Esau the flesh begins to break loose from this dominance of the mind that has separated it from the good things of the heavenly estate. We raise it up, and it begins to become a power in the world. We must soon come to a place in our national, social, and economic evolution where the earth and all that it has will be recognized in a larger way, become an integral part of our life. This is very clearly taught in this story of the mind and the heart. Isaac (the I AM) recognized this unity and brought it into expression in his blessings of his two sons.
We have these two "sons," the mind and the body. It is the mind that connects us with Principle.
Jacob made this connection, but Esau had as yet failed to come to the place where he could recognize that he was a son of God. Jacob took that blessing from him. He became the sole representative when he was really the secondary one, but he forged ahead in the race; and so we have today the intellect dominating almost everything. It is evident that the Jacob faculty (the illumined intellect) has assumed its prerogative in the world today. The illumined intellect rules. God is omnipresent, God is intelligence, just as much in our mind as anywhere. The blessing of the I AM consciousness brings out the intelligence that has the greatest ruling power. But we find that we must also bless the body as well as everything connected with it.
As we study the Bible we find that after he broke away from the material consciousness Jacob had many experiences. He went into another state of consciousness (another country), in which he was awakened spiritually to a still higher plane. In the 16th verse of the 28th chapter of Genesis we read: "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not." He was in the sleeping state of consciousness. He had a dream and saw a ladder extending from the earth up into heaven and angels or messengers of God ascending and descending it. Jehovah was at the top of this ladder, and He told Jacob that he was to be the father of a great nation and that a certain blessing was to be poured out upon him. When Jacob awoke he saw that God was in the
place where he was; that the place was the very "house of God," the dwelling place of God.
In other words, here was evidence of omnipresence. Each individual must have his first awakening to the truth that God is everywhere and that, whatever may be the place, God is there as omnipresent Spirit-mind. In this instance Jacob was surrounded by rocky hills, and he piled up stones and made an altar to Jehovah right there. The great lesson for us is that God is everywhere, no matter how material the surroundings may seem to be. To the unregenerate man there is usually a great awakening in an experience of this kind.
When man begins to see beneath the surface and to realize that God is with him constantly, he seeks to make a union with infinite Mind, omnipresent God-Mind. The Scripture reads: "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Jehovah will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
Here was a covenant or an agreement made by a man at the moment of his first great illumination as regards the one omnipresent substance. He may have realized before that God was the great I AM, the Jehovah, leading him, but he did not realize that this earthly substance, the rocks about him, were
really representative: that they are a part, a living part, of the God substance; that the I AM man in his illumination has a share in that substance; that it is his substance through infinite Mind. The covenant of Jacob to give one tenth of all his increase was the real beginning of what in modern times we call tithing: making God a partner in all our finances.
Jacob became a great financier of the ancient world, and through the illumination that he got from Jehovah he knew how to take advantage of every opportunity.
We do not take Jacob as an example of how man should handle his finances, for he was something of a trickster. In truth he represents the trickery and cunning of the world in this field. But apparently Jehovah, the one Mind, was with him. Sometimes there are contradictions that we cannot always understand; but when we know that we are the directive power as regards all that belongs to us, we may get on financially. But in the end there is an adjustment, illustrated in the meeting of Jacob and Esau at the ford Jabbok.
But with it all Jacob loved Jehovah and shared his wealth with the Lord. He proved the law of tithing, that tithing is one of the foundation principles of financial success. Man can become a great possessor of the substance of this world if he follows certain rules of tithing. Jacob gives us the key, which is the recognition that God is all substance, and that if man wants to handle this substance wisely and well, if he wants to handle it for great material
success, he should do what Jacob did: take God into partnership with him.
There is an omnipresent economic Mind, and if a man begins to deal with this economic Mind he will have a partner that has all resources.
If you want to become a rich man, if you want to be possessed of every good thing in the world, take God as your partner, incorporate His mind into your mind, in your daily giving. Give of your substance with the thought that it is God's money you are handling. Realize that it is His tenth that you are giving for His glory. With this thought in your mind you will begin to attract new spiritual resources, and things will begin to open up in your affairs. You will know that infinite Mind is with you. That is what Jacob realized, and he attained great success in his affairs. I would say to everyone who wishes to demonstrate prosperity: take God into partnership with you and you will demonstrate abundance.