Mysteries of John, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
WHEN THE DISCIPLES had toiled all night in their fishing boats without results, Jesus suddenly appeared on the shore and called to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and ye shall find." The result was 153 large fishes, so heavy that the net could not be lifted into the boat, yet it did not break. Man's mind is the net that catches thoughts, which are the basis of external conditions. The sea is the mental realm in which man exists. Toil of all kinds is a combination of mental and physical exertion. When the mind is exalted toil is easy. By using his mind man invents machinery that relieves him from wearying muscular labor. In a larger way the spiritual man uses his mind and takes advantage of divine guidance to lighten his toil.
The net of man's thought works hard and long in the darkness of human understanding and gains but little, but once the Christ Mind is perceived and obeyed the net is cast on the "right side," and success follows. The "right side" is the side on which man realizes the truth that inexhaustible resources are always present and can be made manifest by those who exercise their faith in that direction.
Whoever seeks supply through Spirit and submits his cause to the law of justice and righteousness always succeeds. The reason why men fail to demonstrate the many promises of divine support is that they cling to some selfish or unjust thought. "Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
The bread and fish that Jesus provided on the
shore represents the supply of Spirit for the needs of the body. Not only does the Father provide for man in the natural world, as by the draught of fishes, but in the invisible world of substance are elements that correspond to the material things. Bread symbolizes the substance of the omnipresent Christ body and fish the capacity of increase that goes with it. Fish are the most prolific of all living things and aptly exemplify the ability of increase inherent in the Christ substance.
Three times Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Lovest thou me?" Peter's spiritual advancement hinged on his possession of love, and the test of love is its willingness to serve. It is quite evident that Jesus was trying to teach Peter that if he loved truly he would serve.
Faith must be established in love and must work by love; and every faculty of man must be established in love and work by love if perfect harmony and good are to be realized. Faith established in love and working by love will remain steadfast at all times, under all circumstances; it will be our sustaining power during our every hour of need.
In verse 18 of this chapter Jesus explains further what He meant by His questioning. Faith (Peter), when it first begins to awaken to the Christ ideal, sees the unlimited possibilities that are presented in this new life; it realizes that it can bring into manifestation anything that may be desired. In its more
mature state it realizes the necessity for service in a universal sense. The giving up of the personal self (with the consequent working from a universal standpoint) is the death whereby we are to glorify God. However, laying hold of Spirit and its power should accompany the denial of self.
Faith (symbolized by Peter) is the faculty on which depends continuous supply; hence Peter is challenged with the thought of love toward Christ three times. Faith must be in loving communion with the Christ Mind in order to draw down to the thoughts (sheep) the necessary supply. Man does not live by bread alone but by words and thoughts from God. These come into consciousness through mental and spiritual laws. Peter's three successive affirmations of love represent fulfillment of the close Christ union in spirit, soul, and body. Faith at the beginning is wistful, vigorous, vacillating, but in its maturity it gives itself wholly to Spirit and is willing to die to self. This is the "manner of death" by which faith glorifies God: being absorbed into the Divine Mind.
Through repeated affirmations of love toward Christ, man develops a consciousness of divine love that abides at the heart center and fills the whole body with ecstasy. This consciousness is "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
Jesus revealed the mind of the Father. This mind is the life and intelligence of man as well as the substance that provides for all his needs. This providing power of the Father, Jesus brought out prominently, and He showed in various ways how
easy it is to obtain supply by trusting God. This teaching is not an encouragement to man to be idle, but rather to be active and trustful, constantly looking to Spirit instead of matter as the source of his good.
The actual resurrection of Jesus in a body that corresponds to the physical is not a subject open to debate by the followers of Jesus Christ. The historical evidence is ample to convince any unprejudiced mind. However, the study of the constituent parts of man, his spirit, soul, and body, reveals man's innate capacity to overcome the disintegrating effects of error thinking and living, and his ability, by conforming to the standards laid down by Jesus, to destroy the seeds of death and implant health and eternal life in his body.
To the oft-repeated question "If Jesus resurrected His physical body why is He not visible here among us?" we would say that Jesus overcame the sins that caused our original fall from the perfect body of the Adamic man to the diseased and dying body in which the race is now existing. When we have purified our mind and body and cast out every evil thought, our body will become transparent to human sight, as is Jesus' body. The idea that a transparent body is thin air, a ghost, is wholly wrong. Science says that the invisible electrical units composing the atom are millions of times more powerful than any visible thing. When the atomic energy in the atomic bomb was released great cities were destroyed. Jesus told His followers that when they were gathered in that upper room in Jerusalem the
Holy Spirit would descend upon them with power; and they were transformed from ignorant men into linguists of unbelievable ability.
Paul says, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." When we accomplish this transformation we shall see Jesus as He is and as we must all be in the resurrection from the dead and dying body in which we are now functioning. This is not to be accomplished by a great miracle at some appointed time in the future, but day by day we shall be resurrected out of the darkness of sense into the glorious light of Spirit.