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Christian Healing: the science of being, by Charles Fillmore, [1926], at

Lesson Four
The Formative Power of Thought

1. That the body is moved by thought is universally accepted, but that thought is also the builder of the body is not so widely admitted. We know that thought moves the various members of the body, because we have constantly before us manifestations of the close sympathy between thought and act. Before I run, I think that I will run, and my legs begin to move swiftly in imagination before I begin the action outwardly. It was found by a system of experiments made at Harvard University that the thought of running causes the blood to rush into the legs. A man was put flat on his back on a balanced beam, which was adjusted so that the least bit of added weight at head or foot registered on the index. When a perfect balance was attained the man was given a problem in mathematics to solve. Immediately the index showed increased weight at the head, indicating that thought had called the blood there. Then he was told to imagine that he was running, and the index showed added weight shifting to the feet.

2. Here is proof that thought not only moves the external members of the body, but that it controls the fluids flowing within the body. If thought so readily moves the blood from place to place, who shall say that it does not move the nerve fluid, or that still more volatile substance, the magnetic force that pervades all organisms? We affirm that thought controls

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nerve forces and magnetic force, and that it not only moves them but also forms and organizes their activities in the body.

3. Medical authorities of the highest repute tell us that certain organs of the body are self-renewing; that it is a puzzle to them how these parts ever wear out. If you had a sewing machine that constantly replaced the little particles worn away by friction, would that machine ever be destroyed? In health, man's body has this power of replacing worn parts and when it is in harmony it never wears out. The harmony referred to is self-adjustment to the law of Being, to the law of divine nature, to the law of God. It does not matter what you call this fundamental principle underlying all life--the important thing is to understand it, and to put yourself in harmony with it.

4. We have often been told that we should be healthy if we conformed to the laws of nature, but no one has been able to tell us just what those laws are. Some have said that this conformity consists in eating the right kind of food, or in drinking the right kind of water in the right sort of way, or in breathing pure air and wearing suitable clothes. We have done all these things, and there is yet something lacking. It is quite evident that we have not, by observing these external adjustments, gotten at the underlying principle of nature. Nature works intelligently, and we shall never be able to conform to her laws until we approach her as we would a wise

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and loving mother, who, we know, gladly gives us what we want when we use it wisely. Nature is not a blind force working in darkness and ignorance. All her works indicate intelligence--mind in action. This being true, we perceive that we cannot conform to the laws of nature until we recognize the Mind through which she works.

5. Those who have not thought about this proposition, those who have not tried to know and understand the mental side of life, are like men walking in broad daylight with their eyes closed. The mind has eyes, and we can see (perceive) the inner intelligence when we look with mind. But those who look wholly with the physical eye are really blind--having eyes, they see not. Man's salvation from sin, sickness, pain, and death comes by his understanding and conforming to the orderly Mind back of all existence. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

6. Man is an epitome of Being. Psychology finds his soul responding to all the emotions, sensations, and vibrations of the sentient world about him, and spiritual science discerns that his superconsciousness is inspired with all the ideas fundamental in Divine Mind. Man, then, is the key to God and the universe, and he may know all things by studying his own constitution. Supreme in this constitution is mind. Man must base all his researches on mind, because mind is the starting point of every thought and act.

7. Some metaphysicians teach that man makes

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himself, others teach that God makes him, and still others hold that the creative process is a co-operation between God and man. The latter is proved true by those who have had the deepest spiritual experiences. Jesus recognized this dual creative process, as is shown in many statements relative to His work and the Father's work. "My Father worketh even until now, and I work." God creates in the ideal, and man carries out in the manifest what God has idealized. Jesus treats of this relation between the Father and the Son in the 5th chapter of John: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner."

8. Thought is the creative power by which man builds a mentality and a body of perfection. Man understandingly uses his creative thought power by mentally perceiving the right relation of ideas, "what he seeth the Father doing," as stated by Jesus. Thus we see the necessity not only for thinking right thoughts, but also for having a right basis for our thinking. We must think according to universal Principle. The successful mathematician bases all his calculations on the rules of mathematical science; so the successful metaphysician bases his creative thinking on the unlimited ideas of the one Mind. Christianity is a science because it is governed by scientific principles of mind action. These principles are really the foundation of all the various sciences, but these sciences are secondary; divine science is primary.

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9. The physical scientist deals with the electron, or molecule, or cell, in his analysis of forms. He postulates that atoms exist, but he has never seen one. He assumes that the realm beyond the ken of physical perception is not possible of investigation. The metaphysician, however, delves into the realm where atoms, and molecules, and cells are formed, and he not only sees how they are made, but he acquires the ability to make them. He finds that they all are dependent on ideas, and that by using right ideas he can make manifest any form or shape that he may desire. For example, what externally is named substance has its source in a mental idea of form and shape. What is termed life has its source in an idea of action. What is termed intelligence has its source in an idea of knowing. All the manifestations that we see about us are produced in the same way; they have their source in some idea in mind, and they can be formed and transformed at will by one who understands and uses this mind power.

10. A study of the mind and its innumerable manifestations reveals often a difference between a thing and the mind in which the thing has its original impetus as an idea. Life in Divine Mind is unlimited as an idea back of perpetual, omnipresent action, but by man's thought it may be subjected to many limitations. Substance in Divine Mind is an idea of perfection in form, but man's thought usually caricatures it. Intelligence in Divine Mind is all-knowing, but man's thought has said that there is ignorance, so

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ignorance has been demonstrated. But we should not assume that all manifestation is good because the originating idea came from Divine Mind. All ideas have their foundation in Divine Mind, but man has put the limitation of his negative thought upon them, and sees them "in a mirror, darkly."

11. Applying this reasoning to individual consciousness, we find just how man thinks his body into disease. Instead of basing his thought on what is true in the absolute of Being, he bases it on conditions as they appear in the formed realm about him, and the result is bodily discord in multitudinous shapes. Pervading all nature is a universal thought substance that is more sensitive than the phonographic record. The mechanical record receives and preserves vibrations of sound, but the thought substance does better than this; it transcribes not only all sounds, but even the slightest vibration of thought.

12. The telephone system of a large city is a good illustration of the manner in which thought works on the organism. The nerves are the wires and the nerve fluids are the electricity. The ganglionic aggregations throughout the body are the substations. The presiding intelligence sends its thought from the head; "Central," at the solar plexus, receives the message and makes connection with the part of the body designated. You think of your stomach; instantly the connection is made with that center and the presiding thought stationed there takes your message and carries it into effect. If the message is,

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"You are weak," weakness is recorded. If you say, "You are strong, vigorous, fearless, spiritual intelligence, life, and substance," that message is transcribed and carried into action.

13. Every part of the body is connected with the great solar-plexus central station, which is very obedient in carrying out instructions received from the presiding intelligence in the head. There are several great subcenters and innumerable minor centers in the organism. These centers of thought are the formed ideas of mind that have an affinity for one another, based upon the attractive power of love, the binding factor of the organism. Physical science calls this binding energy centripetal force, but all forces of whatever character are fundamentally spiritual, and they must be reduced to ideas, thoughts, and words, in order to be understood.

14. All ideas pertaining to life expression have their center of action in that part of the body called the generative system; whatever thought we think or express in words about life is immediately sent to this generative ganglion and registered there. Not only are these thoughts registered, but man has, by repeated thinking, built up an ego, or identity, at that center. The dominant thought of this identity is life action in its various phases. The life center is divine, and should be thought about and used in the purest, highest way. This will lead to the perfect manifestation of life in the whole body. All thoughts about the loss of life, or the weakness of life, or

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the impurity of life, should be persistently denied out of mind, and we should make the strongest kind of affirmations of what life is in God. In this way we connect the life center with its spiritual source, and it is restored to divine harmony.

15. A majority of the ills that afflict the body have their origin in erroneous thoughts about life and in misuse of the generative life function. In Genesis the life center is compared to a tree--its roots are in the ground and its branches reach up to the heavens. All the pleasant sensations in the organism are produced by the forces emanating from this center. Along the nerves, or branches, the life center sends its currents of life to the very extremities of the body, and even beyond, into the finer ethers of the soul. The life center is spiritual, but its vibrations are so subtle (serpentlike) that man is tempted to eat its fruits, to consume in its pleasant sensations the reserve forces of his organism. His indulgence unfrocks him--takes away his robe of power and mastery and dominion over the physical forces that environ him. Instead of abiding at the center of his body and consciously ruling it and the world of nature without him, he is cast out "from the garden of Eden."

16. By a right understanding, and by using right thoughts and words, man will regain the kingdom within him and will be reinstated in the Garden of Eden. This process of man's taking up power and dominion again is now being carried out in all those

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who are seeking the righteousness of the Christ consciousness. In this higher-thought realm, all ideas pertaining to the life of man are in harmonious relation, and when we ask in silent thought for this knowledge, our mind is flooded with its light. We apprehend only according to the receptivity, steadfastness, understanding, and persistent faith of our mind. But we grow in faith and understanding, and no matter how slowly we seem to be progressing we should never be discouraged or give up. Everyone is heir to this higher-thought consciousness, and all must eventually attain it. When the beauty of this spiritual realm is spread before us we should express gratitude--give thanks to the great Soul of the universe. When the astronomer Kepler realized the grandeur of the laws that were revealed to him, he exclaimed: "O God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee."


(To be used in connection with Lesson Four)

1. "As he thinketh within himself, so is he."

2. My heart is righteous toward God.

3. Where my thoughts are gathered together in my Christ name, there I am in the midst of them.

4. I will think no evil, for Thou art always with me.

5. The thoughts of God are His angels: "He shall give his angels charge concerning thee."

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6. "The thought of foolishness is sin."

7. "The thoughts of the righteous are just."

8. "Commit thy works unto Jehovah, and thy purposes shall be established."

9. "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil."

10. "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!"

11. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts."

12. "Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

13. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

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Next: Lesson 5