Keep a True Lent, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
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 make up our consciousness. By analyzing ourselves we find that we unconsciously separate ourselves into different personalities. We should do this work consciously. We should enter into the understanding that the I AM power is given to us in consciousness, and then join or unify that consciousness with the great Christ Mind.
Thus the central idea in this word 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 Spirit. But Spirit is the source of all.
In daily worship it is well to impress on the sensitive mind that it is unified with Divine Mind through Christ or the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.
With this understanding as the basic principle of our thought, and realizing the power of thought to
impress itself on the sensitive plate of man's mind, this prayer is invaluable:
I separate myself in consciousness from the mind of the flesh, that I may enter into the mind that was in Christ Jesus.
First we disentangle our thoughts from the flesh and lift them 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 world comes from this one Spirit-mind; so it is well to hold this affirmation until the most sacred ethers respond to our realization:
I separate myself in consciousness from the mind of the flesh, that I may enter into the mind that was in Christ Jesus.
In connection with the value of prayer and realization we call to mind the experience of Jacob and Esau in 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 Jacob through connivance with his mother Rebekah, got the blessing, and of course it was by subterfuge. The procedure was dishonest. Esau was wroth against his brother Jacob for taking precedence in this case, 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 according to the meaning. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. The Bible is a spiritual book. We arrive at a greater understanding and enhance our interest in these two different characters, Jacob and Esau, when we look on them as representative not only of individuals but of the race as a whole.
If we study the characters Jacob and Esau, we find that they represent dominant ideas in man, ideas that pertain to his very being. They are of vital interest to us. As we read out of the law we find that Esau--a hunter and a lover of the things of appetite--represents the flesh, the body. A man of a little different turn of mind, one 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. But here 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, blessing is a great source of inspiration. It lays a firm foundation in the mind and it brings out the good. A curse emphasizes evil; a blessing emphasizes only good. Thus we come into an understanding of the importance to the soul's evolution of the development of these two characters, Jacob and Esau.
As we look at the blessing that Isaac gave Jacob and Esau (for he did bless Esau after he had blessed Jacob, giving Esau the blessing that would bring out his character), we discover that he was governed by law. The blessing he gave Jacob belonged to the mind and not to the body; in fact, it belonged to 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 the inherent faculties of the mind that enter into the exercise of authority: "Let peoples serve thee." The mind dominates the body. "Let . . . nations bow down to thee." We see nations being dictated to by some great mind, some great 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 they are radiating energy constantly and that whatever we send out comes back. We see this 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 be thy dwelling": man lives very close to the earth. "And by thy sword shalt thou live": he is the man of flesh that the man of the mind sends forth 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 bidding.
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 of 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 social and economic evolution where the earth and all that it has will be recognized in a larger way, and 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 today we have 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 the mind as anywhere. The blessing of the I AM consciousness brings out the intelligence that has the greatest ruling power. But we find also that we must
bless not only the body but 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 country, another state of consciousness, 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 awakened 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 to the heavens and angels or messengers of God ascending and descending. Jehovah was at the top of this ladder and told him 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 that place; 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, regardless of surroundings, God is 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 in the desert. The great lesson for us is to know that God is everywhere evenly present, 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 realize that God is functioning with him constantly, he seeks to make a union with infinite Mind, omnipresent God-Mind. In the Scripture we read: "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 in his first great illumination on the subject of the one omnipresent substance. He may have realized before that God was the great I AM, the Jehovah leading him, but he had not realized 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 part 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 meaning 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 what man should do in his finances, for he was something of a trickster. He represents the world in its trickery and cunning in finances. But apparently Jehovah, the one Mind, was with him. (Sometimes there are contradictions that we cannot understand.) When we know that we are the directive power as regards all that belongs to us, we may get on financially; however, in the end we have to account to infinite Mind.
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 increase. 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 part of all substance, and that if man wants to handle substance wisely and well, if he wants to handle it for great financial success, he should do what Jacob did: take God into partnership with him.
There is an omnipresent financial Mind, and if man begins to deal with this financial Mind he will have a partner that has all resources at His command.
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. This is what Jacob realized, and he became a greater financier. I would say to everyone who wishes to demonstrate prosperity: take God into partnership with you and you will demonstrate abundance.