Prosperity, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
IT IS SAFE to say that all men are striving to fulfill the law of their being, but few have understood the law. The law is one of the most important things we can study, because only as we come to understand it and in proportion as we understand it can we comply with its requirements and demonstrate our divine possibilities through it.
In reading the Scriptures we gradually raise our consciousness of them as mere history and begin to apprehend them as setting forth the principle or law of life. We find the great Bible characters fitting into the pattern of our own consciousness, where they represent ideas. This makes the Bible a divine Book of Life rather than merely the history of a people. The idea of the law is symbolized by Moses. In our individual consciousness he is denial, the negative side of the law that precedes its affirmative expression. Moses gave the law as "Thou shalt not." Jesus represents the law in its affirmative expression "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God."
Moses could not go into the Promised Land, the
four-dimensional state of consciousness, for there can be no negation there. Joshua, whose name has the same meaning as that of Jesus, entered the Promised Land and opened the way for the Children of Israel. He represents the first step in mind toward that full consciousness of the omnipresence and omnipotence of God that was attained in Jesus. Moses was the lawgiver, and Jesus was, in His own words, the fulfillment of the law.
We must begin to see this four-dimensional world within, with its innate capacity for all things. Everything is right here, all that ever was or ever could be, simply waiting to be brought forth into manifestation. The Lord has prepared a great feast and invited all of us to it, just as Jesus explained in parable. We have right here within and all around us this substance ready for our appropriation or eating. Eating is the outer symbol of mental appropriation. We begin to break bread by breaking the substance of mind, everywhere abundantly provided.
We have discovered that there is within us a life force that can be quickened into greater activity by thinking. Everyone has at some time demonstrated that he could overcome the negative condition of weakness by holding the thought of strength. Sometimes the strength follows the thought immediately, sometimes the thought must be persistently held for days or weeks. In demonstrating the law of ever-present abundance we should and do expect the same results. If the demonstration seems slow in coming, patience and persistence will win. That may be because
the poverty consciousness has a tenacious hold and takes effort to be got rid of.
There is a law that governs the manifestation of supply, and we may learn that law and apply it by mental determination and faith in the logical sequences of spiritual realities. We have thought that the laws of God were mysterious and sacred, far removed from the ordinary individual, and that we had better try first to learn the laws of food, of medicine, of a thousand other secondary things. A strict metaphysician looks on all these temporal laws as secondary to the one law of God. That one law, we are told, is to be written in our heart, our inward parts. Then there is something within us that naturally responds to the law of God. If we accept this as true, that we know the one law by an inner intelligence and that all other laws are secondary to it, we are in a position to get results, to demonstrate prosperity.
In the natural world about us we see that everything is governed by law. We are told that the whole animal kingdom is guided by instinct. Many theories have been advanced to explain instinct in terms of material thought. Some philosophers have stated that it is something handed down from one generation to the next, incorporated in germ cells. Whether this is true or not, there is every evidence that there is a law either in or around the cells that controls their formation and duplicates the pattern laid down ages ago in Mother Eve and Father Adam. This is the law written in our inward parts, which is not a
figure of speech but a recognized fact. We must look within for the law and not without. The laws we find in the outer are the secondary laws. The infinite, creative Mind has given to every one of us a key to the workings of this unfailing inner law. It is that everything we touch mentally or physically represents substance and that it is limited only by ourselves in our thought capacity. We cannot ask God for more substance, for the universe is full of it. We can and should ask for understanding to lay hold of it with our mind; that is, for an increase in our capacity. Back of the substance is the substance idea, and man is related to the cause side of this idea through his oneness with God.
You may think that you could live better and do more good if you had lots of money. Things would not be a bit better with you if you had a million dollars, unless you also had the understanding to use it for the good of yourself and others. Would you give a child a million dollars to go buy candy and ice cream for himself? We must evolve with our possessions until we get the ability to handle them. Then the law is fulfilled. The supply unfolds at the same rate as the need or ability to use substance is developed. Let us realize this law of unfolding substance and get busy to fulfill it in ourselves by developing our understanding and appreciation of it. We should pray for just as much each day as we need or can handle. "Give us this day our daily bread" is a prayer that conforms to the divine law and answers itself.
Infinite Mind has a lawful way for providing its children with supply for all their needs. Nothing is left to chance. God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field, and He will feed and clothe us unless we make it impossible by our refusal to accept His bounty. Paul said that the fulfilling of the law is love. That is exactly what we must do, love the Lord and love our neighbor as ourselves, and love our work. The law is there, in our inward parts, in our very heart. We know what to do. We don't have to pray or beg for God to give us anything. All we need do is to meditate quietly and affirm the presence and power of the great Giver of all, and then accept the gifts. To be true to the law is to stop looking to the without and to look within for supply. Looking to the within means fixing the mind on God as an ever-present Spirit that is also substance and power. Wrapped up within each of us is a great richness of thoughts. These thoughts are prisoners in the subconsciousness only waiting to be set free to go to work for us. They are waiting for the coming of the Son of God, who releases the prisoners and sets the captives free. This Son is now seeking expression in you; is you. Release your rich thoughts, set free your innate powers, and take from the rich substance of the Father what you will.
Through faith in the overcoming power of Jesus Christ, the sense mind will be overcome and the spiritual mind brought into control of your life and affairs. The sense mind is filled with lacks and limitations; the spiritual mind knows only limitless abundance.
You are linked with the universal spiritual mind through the Christ Mind. It is through the Christ Mind that all things come to you; it is the channel to the all-mind of the Father. Make the unity of wholeness with the Christ Mind. Hold that you are master with the Master, one with the all-providing substance and that your prosperity runneth over. As you begin this process of unifying yourself consciously with the inner life and substance, it will begin to well up within you and to overflow into your affairs, so that you will be prosperous. Remain true to this inner life no matter what the outer appearance may be, and you cannot help but bring the good things of life into manifestation.
All manifest substance flows from a realm of light waves, according to the findings of modern physical science. James says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." This is an exact statement of a scientific law, even to the use of the plural form of the word "lights," for as science states, one or more light particles, electrons, form the atom that is the basis of all material manifestation. God ideas then are the source of all that appears. Accept this as an absolute truth, an all-productive truth, and consciously connect your mind with the Father-Mind. Then you will begin to realize a never-failing prosperity that comes from Being itself.
The German philosopher and poet Goethe says, "The highest and most excellent thing in man is formless, and we should guard against giving it
shape in anything less than noble dress." This is a recognition of the truth that man has the capacity within himself to give form to the formless substance. Jesus expressed the law by saying, "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This heaven is the realm of pure ideas in Mind. We are constantly incorporating these ideas into our mind and giving them form and shape according to our loyalty to Truth.
To every metaphysician this is a very important and very delicate process, because it is through this that we develop our soul. This soul development is often compared to the development of a photographic plate. The light puts the image on the sensitive plate in the first place, or as James says, it is a gift from "the Father of lights." There is then an image on the plate, but it is invisible and unmanifest until it goes through a developing process. Infinite Mind has imaged all its attributes in the soul of every man. But man must develop this image into the clear picture, and much of that work must be done in the dark with perfect faith in the law of manifestation. The photographer works in the darkroom, putting the plate through many processes. Sometimes the developer may make an error in some of the operations and the plate will come out with an imperfect image. So the human manifestation sometimes seems distorted, but the image of perfection imprinted by creative Mind is there. This perfect image is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Our body and affairs are first proofs of the development of the picture, but floating in our mind are the higher ideas, the real image to be developed. Our mind is engaged more or less in a chemical process. It is hard to find a line of demarcation between physical and mental chemistry, for they follow the same law. However what has been imaged can be brought out by the proper method of development. Whatever you image yourself as doing, you can do.
In our human understanding we have divorced this imaging power of the mind from the executive power. Now let us bring them together and unify them, for when imagination and will work together all things are possible to man. The will is symbolized in Scripture by the king. King Solomon was probably the world's richest man, and in so far as the world is concerned he was a great success. He demonstrated prosperity. He did not ask God for riches. Let us note that carefully. He asked God for wisdom, for ideas. God is mind and His gifts are not material but spiritual, not things but ideas. Solomon asked for and received the ideas and then developed them himself. Because he was wise all the world came to his court seeking wisdom and bringing riches in exchange for it. The King of Tyre brought the material he needed to build the Temple. The Queen of Sheba brought him great quantities of gold. From this we should get our cue: ask God for rich ideas (substance) and then put them to work in our affairs.
Do not hesitate to use the divine ideas that come to you, but do not forget their source or foundation. There are many people who are very active executives. The moment they get an idea they make use of it, but oftentimes they do not get far, because they forget the foundation on which such ideas rest and from which we must start to build. With a foundation of Truth, of spiritual ideas and substance we can build an enduring structure of prosperity. It will not be based on a false premise. It will stand when the rains descend and the floods come and the winds blow and beat upon it. We do not desire prosperity today and poverty tomorrow. We should seek for the steady, day-by-day realization of abundant supply.
Jesus understood and used this law of forming the formless substance by the power of imagination and will. When the woman touched the hem of His garment, some of this substance, of which He was vividly conscious, flowed from Him and healed her. He immediately remarked that someone had touched Him. Many had touched Him in the throng and no substance had left His body from those contacts, but the woman of faith was open to receive the healing substance and consciously appropriate it. This proved her faith, and Jesus told her to be of good cheer, for her faith had made her whole. The same substance was available to others who crowded against Him, but only the one who recognized it and laid hold of it received. Even so you and I shall receive no benefit, although substance is everywhere around us and in us, unless we
recognize its presence by faith and lay hold of it by the hem of its garment (outer expression).
Jesus recognized the omnipresence of substance when He laid hold of it to multiply the loaves and the fishes. He dwelt in a consciousness of it at all times. Once He told the apostles when they asked Him to eat, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." He built this divine substance into His body, cell by cell, replacing the mortal flesh with the spiritual substance, until His whole body was immortalized. He demonstrated it and told us how it was done. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." Then why are so many people poor, distressed, ill, or troubled? There is a way, a law, and a wisdom to apply the law, and there is an abundance of substance waiting to be formed by each of us into whatsoever we will, when we apply that law as a son of God.
There is an inherent faculty that instinctively lays hold of what it calls its own. Even little children like to have their own toys and to keep them separate from those of other children. There is nothing to be condemned in this, for it is the natural outworking of a divine law. It proves that we know, somewhere in our deepest being, that we have been provided for from the foundation of the world and are entitled to our own portion without question. The power of the mind to draw to us those things to which we are divinely entitled is a power that can be cultivated and should be.
We are now on the verge of a new state of mind in matters financial. Let us do away with the erroneous idea that men must be poor to be righteous. Money is man's instrument, not his master. Money was made for man, not man for money. Only those who put money above man and give it power in their minds by worshiping it, are the "rich" men to whom Jesus referred in His story about the camel and the needle's eye. It is not money that controls men, but the ideas they have about money. Ideas of poverty are just as powerful to enslave men as are ideas of wealth. Every man should be taught how to handle ideas, rather than money, so that they serve him rather than have dominion over him.
Some physical scientists are telling us that the time is near when men will manufacture from the ether, right at hand, everything that they need or desire. Man will not have to wait for seedtime and harvest when he learns to use the power of his mind. When we have that consciousness in which our ideas are tangible, all our demands will be quickly fulfilled by the higher law. Throw into your ideas all the life and power of your concentrated thought, and they will be clothed with reality.
When Jesus went into the wilderness of His (then) untried mental powers He was tempted to turn stones into bread. We all have had this temptation, and most of us have succumbed to it. We get our bread out of material things (stones) instead of out of the words that proceed from the mouth of God. It is the word, the idea, that feeds the soul of
man. That is admitted. But we must realize that it is the word, the idea, that feeds the body and the affairs of man also, for unless the word is recognized and appropriated, there is a lack of the true substance and there is no satisfaction in the food. Fortunately the "Father knoweth that we have need of all these things," and in His compassion and mercy He feeds us with the substance even while we still try to assimilate the stones. If we would seek first the kingdom of God, the substance, the "things" would be added and we should consciously enjoy the fullness of living, the abundant life of Jesus Christ.
There is a universal law of increase. It is not confined to bank accounts but operates on every plane of manifestation. The conscious co-operation of man is necessary to the fullest results in the working of this law. You must use your talent, whatever it may be, in order to increase it. Have faith in the law. Do not reason too much but forge ahead in faith and boldness. If you let yourself think of any person or any outer condition as hindering your increase, this becomes a hindrance to you, for you have applied the law of increase to it. Fear of it may cause you to become timid and bury your talent, which defeats the law. Keep your eyes on the abundant inner reality and do not let the outer appearance cause you to falter.
Do not give too close study to yourself or your present condition. To dwell in mind upon your seeming limitations only prolongs their stay and makes your progress slow. A child loses sight of everything
but his increase in size. The boy sees himself as a larger boy, even as a man. It is the childlike mind that finds the kingdom. Then look ahead to the perfect man you are to be in the Spirit and behold yourself as the beloved son in whom the Father is well pleased.
God gives the increase, we are told in the Scripture. This is to be remembered, for we so often think that increase is the result of our personal efforts. Increase comes by the operation of a universal law, and our part is to keep that law. Use the talent of life, and it will expand wonderfully. You do this by talking about life, praising it, and giving God thanks for it. Act as though you were alive and glad to be alive and you will gain a new realization of life, an increase in life itself.
Never allow yourself to come under the control of the "I can't" man. He believes in limitations, wraps his talent in them, and hides it away in the negative earth, and no increase is possible to him. Be positive in Spirit and you will succeed. All the negative talents that are buried away in the depths of material thought can be resurrected by Spirit and made positive, put to the right use, contributing to the increase of your good. Appetite and passion, which are decreasing and destructive in the material can be made increasing and constructive when directed to the things of Spirit. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
If there is any lack apparent in man's world it is because the requirements of the law of manifestation
have not been met. This law is based on mind and its operation through thoughts and words. The key to the operation of mind is symbolically set forth in the Genesis account of the six days of creation. Man's mind goes through the identical steps in bringing an idea into manifestation. Between the perception of an idea and its manifestation there are six definite, positive movements, followed by a (seventh) "day" of rest, in which the mind relaxes and sees its work in process of fulfillment.
In bringing forth a manifestation of God's abundant supply, take the first step by saying, "Let there be light"; that is, let there be understanding. You must have a clear perception of the principle back of the proposition "God will provide." The one universal, eternal, substance of God, which is the source of all, must be discerned and relied on, while dependence on material things must be eliminated from thought. So long as you depend on money alone you are worshiping a false god and have not discerned the light. You must first enter into the understanding that God, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, is the source and that you can draw on this source without limit. If you have established that light, you have begun your demonstration and can go to the second step. A "firmament" must be established; that is, a firm place in the mind, a dividing of the true from the apparent. This is done through affirmation. As you affirm God as your supply and support, your words will in due season become substance to you, the substance of faith.
The third step is the forming of this substance into tangibility. "Let the dry land appear." Out of the omnipresent substance your mind forms whatever it wants by the power of imagination. If it is food you need, see yourself as bountifully supplied with food. If you have already taken the other steps, you can picture in mind the things you desire and bring them into your manifest world. If the other steps of understanding and faith have not been taken first, there will of course be no demonstration, for above all the creative law is orderly and works by progressive steps. Many people have tried to demonstrate by visualizing and concentrating and have failed because they have put the third step first. They have not developed understanding or faith. If you work according to the law, conforming to its orderly operation as revealed in the degrees of creation, you cannot fail, because when you have fulfilled the law you have found the kingdom.
Jesus recognized order as a fundamental factor in the law of increase. When He fed the multitude He made them sit down in companies. If you study the story carefully you will see that there was a great deal of preliminary preparation before the demonstration was made. There was a recognition of the seed ideas, the loaves and fishes carried by the small boy. There was a prayer of thanks for that supply and then it was blessed. All this preceded the actual appearing and appropriation of the supply. Every demonstration is based on the same law
of increase and goes through the same orderly steps.
Pray, but let your prayer be affirmative, for that is the prayer of faith. A begging prayer filled with ifs is a prayer of doubt. Keep praying until affirmations become a habit of mind. The race thought of lack must be penetrated and so charged with the truth of God's omnipresent abundance that all consciousness of lack and poverty disappears from the face of the earth. The more we trust to the simplicity and infallibility of the law the better will be our individual demonstration and the more we shall contribute to the transformation of the race thought that causes lack and famine. Those who make the greatest spiritual demonstrations are not the wise of the world but the obedient children of the law on the bosom of infinite love.
See what you need as already manifest and as yours. Do not put it off to some uncertain future time. God wants you to have it now. Remember always God's omnipresence, and if doubts come in, do not entertain them. Say: "I trust Omnipotence." "I refuse to be anxious about tomorrow or even the next minute. I know that God does provide for the fulfillment of His divine idea, and I am that divine idea." This divine idea is the son, the perfect man, the Christ, brought forth on the sixth day. If you would have your inheritance, you must not omit this sixth-day realization. God expresses Himself as man and works through man to bring perfection into expression.
To give up all anxiety and trust in the Lord
does not mean to sit down and do nothing. "My Father worketh even until now, and I work." We are to work as God works; to work with God, as a son follows the occupation of his father. We are to form what God has created. In the 1st chapter of Genesis we see how the Father works. The various steps in His method are clearly pointed out, and we shall have results only as we faithfully follow them.
Some people think of prosperity as something separate from their spiritual experience, "outside the pale" of religion. They live in two worlds: in one for six days of the week when man runs things, and in the other on the seventh day when God is given a chance to show what He can do. It is personality's demonstration when people find themselves complaining of hard times and depression, but it is not the way to demonstrate God in the fullness of all things. Do all things to the glory of God seven days a week rather than one. Take God into all your affairs. Use this thought in the silence and bring God and His law of prosperity into your affairs: I trust Thy universal law of prosperity in all my affairs.