Prosperity, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
FORGIVE US our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." In these words Jesus expressed an infallible law of mind, the law that one idea must be dissolved before another can take its place. If you have in your mind any thought that someone has wronged you, you cannot let in the cleansing power of Spirit and the richness of spiritual substance until you have cast out the thought of the wrong, have forgiven it fully. You may be wondering why you have failed to get spiritual illumination or to find the consciousness of spiritual substance. Perhaps the reason is here: a lack of room for the true thoughts because other thoughts fill your mind. If you are not receiving the spiritual understanding you feel you should have, you should search your mind carefully for unforgiving thoughts. "Thoughts are things" and occupy space in the mind realm. They have substance and form and may easily be taken as permanent by one not endowed with spiritual discernment. They bring forth fruit according to the seed planted in the mind, but they are not
enduring unless founded in Spirit. Thoughts are alive and are endowed by the thinker with a secondary thinking power; that is, the thought entity that the I AM forms assumes an ego and begins to think on its own account. Thoughts also think but only with the power you give to them.
Tell me what kind of thoughts you are holding about yourself and your neighbors, and I can tell you just what you may expect in the way of health, finances, and harmony in your home. Are you suspicious of your neighbors? You cannot love and trust in God if you hate and distrust men. The two ideas love and hate, or trust and mistrust, simply cannot both be present in your mind at one time, and when you are entertaining one, you may be sure the other is absent. Trust other people and use the power that you accumulate from that act to trust God. There is magic in it: it works wonders; love and trust are dynamic, vital powers. Are you accusing men of being thieves, and fear that they are going to take away from you something that is your own? With such a thought generating fear and even terror in your mind and filling your consciousness with darkness, where is there room for the Father's light of protection? Rather build walls of love and substance around yourself. Send out swift, invisible messengers of love and trust for your protection. They are better guards than policemen or detectives.
Do not judge others as regards their guilt or innocence. Consider yourself and how you stand in the sight of the Father for having thoughts about another's
guilt. Begin your reform with yourself. That means much to one who enjoys an understanding of mind and its laws, though it may mean little to the ordinary individual. He who knows himself superficially, just his external personality, thinks he has reformed when he has conformed to the moral and governmental laws. He may even be filled with his own self-righteousness and daily lift up his voice to praise God that he is not as other men are, that he has forgiven men their transgressions. He looks on all men who do not conform to his ideas of morality and religion as being sinners and transgressors and thanks God for his own insight and keenness. But he is not at peace. Something seems lacking. God does not talk to him "face to face," because the mind, where God and man meet, is darkened by the murky thought that other men are sinners. Our first work in any demonstration is to contact God, therefore we must forgive all men their transgressions. Through this forgiveness we cleanse our mind so that the Father can forgive us our own transgressions.
Our forgiving "all men" includes ourselves. You must also forgive yourself. Let the finger of denial erase every sin or "falling short" that you have charged up against yourself. Pay your debt by saying to that part of yourself which you think has fallen short: "Thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee." Then "loose him, and let him go." Treat sin as a mental transgression, instead of considering it as a moral deflection. Deny in thought all tendency to the error way and hold
yourself firmly to the Christ Spirit, which is your divine self. Part company forever with "accusing conscience." Those who have resolved to sin no more have nothing in common with guilt.
"Shall I be in debt as long as I hold debts against others?" We find this to be the law of mind: a thought of debt will produce debt. So long as you believe in debt you will go into debt and accumulate the burdens that follow that thought. Whoever has not forgiven all men their debts is likely to fall into debt himself. Does this mean that you should give receipted bills to all those who owe you? No. That would not be erasing the thought of debt from your mind. First deny in mind that any man or woman owes you anything. If necessary, go over your list of names separately and sincerely forgive the thought of debt which you have been attaching to each person named. More bills may be collected in this way than in any other, for many of these people will pay what they owe when you send them this forgiving thought.
Debt is a contradiction of the universal equilibrium, and there is no such thing as lack of equilibrium in all the universe. Therefore in Spirit and in Truth there is no debt. However, men hold on to a thought of debt, and this thought is responsible for a great deal of sorrow and hardship. The true disciple realizes his supply in the consciousness of omnipresent, universally possessed abundance. Spirit substance is impartial and owned in common, and no thought of debt can enter into it.
Debts exist in the mind, and in the mind is the proper place to begin liquidating them. These thought entities must be abolished in mind before their outer manifestations will pass away and stay away. The world can never be free from the bondage of financial obligations until men erase from their minds the thoughts of "mine and thine" that generates debts and interest. Analyze the thought of debt and you will see that it involves a thought of lack. Debt is a thought of lack with absence at both ends; the creditor thinks he lacks what is owed him and the debtor thinks he lacks what is necessary to pay it, else he would discharge the obligation rather than continue it. There is error at both ends of the proposition and nothing in the middle. This being true, it should be easy to dissolve the whole thought that anyone owes us or that we owe anyone anything. We should fill our mind with thoughts of all-sufficiency, and where there is no lack there can be no debts. Thus we find that the way to pay our debts is by filling our mind with the substance of ideas that are the direct opposite of the thoughts of lack that caused the debts.
Ideas of abundance will more quickly and surely bring what is yours to you than any thoughts you can hold about debtors discharging their obligations to you. See substance everywhere and affirm it, not only for yourself but for everyone else. Especially affirm abundance for those whom you have held in the thought of owing you. Thus you will help them pay their debts more easily than if you merely erased
their names from your book of accounts receivable. Help pay the other fellow's debts by forgiving him his debts and declaring for him the abundance that is his already in Spirit. The idea of abundance will also bring its fruits into your own life. Let the law of plenty work itself out in you and in your affairs. This is the way the Father forgives your debts: not by canceling them on His books but by erasing them from His mind. He remembers them no more against you when you deny their reality. The Father is the everywhere present Spirit in which all that appears has its origin. God's love sees you always well, happy, and abundantly provided for; but God's wisdom demands that order and right relation exist in your mind before it may become manifest in your affairs as abundance. His love would give you your every desire, but His wisdom ordains that you forgive your debtors before your debts are forgiven.
To remedy any state of limited finances or ill-health that has been brought about by worry one must begin by eliminating the worry that is the original cause. One must free one's mind from the burden of debt before the debt can be paid. Many people have found that the statement "I owe no man anything but love" has helped them greatly to counteract this thought of debt. As they used the words their minds were opened to an inflow of divine love and they faithfully co-operated with the divine law of forgiveness in thought, word, and deed. They built up such a strong consciousness of the healing and enriching power of God's love that
they could live and work peacefully and profitably with their associates. Thus renewed constantly in health, in faith, and in integrity, they were able to meet every obligation that came to them.
The statement "I owe no man anything but love" does not mean that we can disclaim owing our creditors money or try to evade the payment of obligations we have incurred. The thing denied is the burdensome thought of debt or of lack. The work of paying debts is an inner work having nothing to do with the debts already owed but with the wrong thoughts that produced them. When one holds to the right ideas, burdensome debts will not be contracted. Debts are produced by thoughts of lack, impatient desire, and covetousness. When these thoughts are overcome, debts are overcome, forgiven, and paid in full, and we are free from them for all time.
Your thoughts should at all times be worthy of your highest self, your fellow man, and God. The thoughts that most frequently work ill to you and your associates are thoughts of criticism and condemnation. Free your mind of them by holding the thought "There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus." Fill your mind with thoughts of divine love, justice, peace, and forgiveness. This will pay your debts of love, which are the only debts you really owe. Then see how quickly and easily and naturally all your outer debts will be paid and all inharmonies of mind, body, and affairs smoothed out at the same time. Nothing will so quickly enrich your mind and
free it from every thought of lack as the realization of divine love. Divine love will quickly and perfectly free you from the burden of debt and heal you of your physical infirmities, often caused by depression, worry, and financial fear. Love will bring your own to you, adjust all misunderstandings, and make your life and affairs healthy, happy, harmonious, and free, as they should be. Love indeed is the "fulfillment of the law."
The way is now open for you to pay your debts. Surrender them to God along with all your doubts and fears. Follow the light that is flooding into your mind. God's power, love, and wisdom, are here, for His kingdom is within you. Give Him full dominion in your life and affairs. Give Him your business, your family affairs, your finances, and let Him pay your debts. He is even now doing it, for it is His righteous desire to free you from every burden, and He is leading you out of the burden of debt, whether of owing or being owed. Meet every insidious thought, such as "I can't," "I don't know how," "I can't see the way," with the declaration "Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want." You "shall not want" the wisdom, the courage to do, or the substance to do with when you have once fully realized the scope of the vast truth that Almightiness is leading you into "green pastures ... beside still waters."
In the kingdom of Truth and reality ideas are the coin of the realm. You can use the new ideas that divine wisdom is now quickening in your mind
and start this very moment to pay your debts. Begin by thanking God for your freedom from the debt-burden thought. This is an important step in breaking the shackles of debt. The funds to pay all your bills may not suddenly appear in a lump sum; but as you watch and work and pray, holding yourself in the consciousness of God's leadership and His abundance, you will notice your funds beginning to grow "here a little, there a little," and increasing more and more rapidly as your faith increases and your anxious thoughts are stilled. For with the increase will come added good judgment and wisdom in the management of your affairs. Debt is soon vanquished when wisdom and good judgment are in control.
Do not yield to the temptation of "easy-payment plans." Any payment that drains your pay envelope before you receive it is not an easy payment. Do not allow false pride to tempt you to put on a thousand-dollar front on a hundred-dollar salary. There may be times when you are tempted to miss paying a bill in order to indulge a desire for some thing. This easily leads one into the habit of putting off paying, which fastens the incubus of debt on people before they realize it. It is the innocent-appearing forerunner of the debt habit and debt thought that may rob you of peace, contentment, freedom, integrity, and prosperity for years to come. The Divine Mind within you is much stronger than this desire mind of the body. Turn to it in a time like this, and affirm: "Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want" this thing until
it comes to me in divine order.
Bless your creditors with the thought of abundance as you begin to accumulate the wherewithal to pay off your obligations. Keep the faith they had in you by including them in your prayer for increase. Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more; for through the avenues of Spirit more means will come to you and every obligation will be met.
If you are a creditor, be careful of the kind of thoughts you hold over your debtor. Avoid the thought that he is unwilling to pay you or that he is unable to pay you. One thought holds him in dishonesty, and the other holds him subject to lack, and either of them tends to close the door to the possibility of his paying you soon. Think well and speak well of all those who owe you. If you talk about them to others avoid calling them names that you would not apply to yourself. Cultivate a genuine feeling of love for them and respect their integrity in spite of all appearances. Declare abundant supply for them and thus help them to prosper. Pray and work for their good as well as for your own, for yours is inseparable from theirs. You owe your debtor quite as much as he owes you and yours is a debt of love. Pay your debt to him and he will pay his to you. This rule of action never fails.
Far-seeing Christians look forward to an early resumption of the economic system inaugurated by the early followers of Jesus. They had all things in
common, and no man lacked anything. But before we can have a truly Christian community founded on a spiritual basis we must be educated into a right way of thinking about finances. If we should all get together and divide all our possessions, it would be but a short time until those who have the prevailing financial ideas would manipulate our finances, and plethora on one hand and lack on the other would again be established.
The world cannot be free from the bondage of debt and interest until men start to work in their minds to erase those things from consciousness. If the United States forgave the nations of Europe all their debts and wiped the slate clean, the law would not necessarily be fulfilled; for there would probably remain a thought that they still owed us and that we had made a sacrifice in canceling the obligations. We should not feel very friendly about it and would not truly forgive them, and in that case the error thought would be carried on. We must first forgive the error thought that they owe us money and that we would be losing money by canceling the debts. The man who is forced to forgive a debt does not forgive it.
Above all we should fill our mind with the consciousness of that divine abundance which is so manifest everywhere in the world today. There is as much substance as there ever was, but its free flow has been interfered with through selfishness. We must rid our mind of the selfish acquisitiveness that is so dominant in the race thought, and in that way do
our part in the great work of freeing the world from avarice. It is the duty of every Christian metaphysician to help in the solution of this problem by affirming that the universal Spirit of supply is now becoming manifest as a distributing energy the world over; that all stored-up, hoarded, vicious thoughts are being dissolved; that all people have things in common. that no one anywhere lacks anything; and that the divine law of distribution of infinite supply that Jesus demonstrated is now being made manifest throughout the world. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."
There is a legitimate commerce that is carried on by means of what is called credit. Credit is a convenience to be used by those who appreciate its value and are careful not to abuse it, for to do so would be to ruin it. However, many persons are not equipped to use the credit system to advantage and are likely to abuse it. In the first place, few individuals are familiar with the intricacies of sound credit systems and often assume obligations without being certain of their ability to meet them, especially should some unforeseen complication arise. Frequently an individual loses all that he invests and finds himself involved in a burden of debt in addition. Such things are not in divine order and are largely responsible for retarding prosperity.
No one should assume an obligation unless he is prepared to meet it promptly and willingly when it comes due. One who knows God as his unfailing resource can be assured of his supply when it is needed.
Then why should he plunge into debt when he is confident of his daily supply without debt? There are no creditors or debtors in God's kingdom. If you are in that kingdom, you need no longer be burdened with the thought of debt either as debtor or creditor. Under divine law there is no reaching out for things that are beyond one's present means. There is an ever-increasing richness of consciousness coming from the certain knowledge that God is infinite and unfailing supply. Outer things conform to the inner pattern, and riches are attracted to the one who lives close to the unselfish heart of God. His environment is made beautiful by the glory of the Presence, and there is satisfying and lasting prosperity in his affairs.
There is but one way to be free from debt. That is the desire to be free, followed by the realization that debt has no legitimate place in God's kingdom and that you are determined to erase it entirely from your mind. As you work toward your freedom you will find it helpful to have daily periods for meditation and prayer. Do not concentrate on debts or spoil your prayers by constantly thinking of debts. Think of that which you want to demonstrate, not that from which you seek freedom. When you pray, thank the Father for His care and guidance, for His provision and plenty, for His love and wisdom, for His infinite abundance and your privilege to enjoy it.
Here are a few prosperity prayers that may help establish you in the truth of plenty and erase the
error thought of debt. They are offered as suggestions for forming your own prayers but may be used as given with excellent results.
I am no longer anxious about finances; Thou art my all-sufficiency in all things.
The Spirit of honesty, promptness, efficiency, and order is now expressed in me and in all that I do.
I am free from all limitations of mortal thought about quantities and values. The superabundance of riches of the Christ Mind are now mine, and I am prospered in all my ways.
The 23d Psalm
A Treatment To Free The Mind Of The Debt Idea
Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever.