Prosperity, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
THE KINGDOM of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away."
The mind of man is like the net catching every kind of idea, and it is man's privilege and duty under the divine law to separate those that are good from those which are not good. In this process the currents of unselfish, spiritual love flowing through the soul act as great eliminators, freeing the consciousness of thoughts of hate, lack, and poverty, and giving the substance of Spirit free access into the consciousness and affairs.
In another parable Jesus explained the same process as a separation of the sheep from the goats. When this divine current of love and spiritual understanding begins its work, we must make this separation. We put the sheep, the good and obedient and profitable thoughts, on the right, and we put the goats, the stubborn, selfish, useless thoughts, on the
left. Each must handle his own thoughts and overcome them by aligning them with the harmony and order of the divine thought. There is an infinite, omnipresent wisdom within us that will deal with these thoughts and guide us in making the discrimination between the right and the wrong when we trust ourselves fully to its intelligence. We can establish a connection between the conscious mind and the superconscious mind within us by meditation, by silence, and by speaking the word.
The superconscious mind within you discriminates among the kinds of food you assimilate, controls your digestion, your breathing, and the beating of your heart. It "doeth all things well," and it will help you do this important work of directing you in the thoughts you should hold and the ones you should cast out. As you develop this mind within yourself you will find that you can gradually turn over more and more of your affairs to its perfect discrimination. Nothing is too great for it to accomplish, nor is anything too trivial for it to handle with perfection and dispatch. This mind of the Spirit will guide you in perfect ways, even in the minute details of your life, if you will let it do so. But you must will to do its will and trust it in all your ways. It will lead you unfailingly into health, happiness, and prosperity, as it has done and is doing for thousands, if and when you follow it.
It is just as necessary that one should let go of old thoughts and conditions after they have served their purpose as it is that one should lay hold of
new ideas and create new conditions to meet one's requirements. In fact we cannot lay hold of the new ideas and make the new conditions until we have made room for them by eliminating the old. If we feel that we cannot part with the goats, we shall have to do with fewer sheep. If we insist on filling the vessels with the bad fish, we shall have to do without the good. We are learning that thoughts are things and occupy "space" in mind. We cannot have new or better ones in a place already crowded with old, weak, inefficient thoughts. A mental house cleaning is even more necessary than a material one, for the without is but a reflection of the within. Clean the inside of the platter, where the food is kept as well as the outside that people see, taught Jesus.
Old thoughts must be denied and the mind cleansed in preparation before the affirmative Christ consciousness can come in. Our mind and even our body is loaded with error thoughts. Every cell is clothed with thought: every cell has a mind of its own. By the use of denial we break through the outer crust, the material thought that has enveloped the cells, and get down into the substance and the life within them. Then we make contact with that substance and life which our denials have exposed, and by it express the positive, constructive side of the law. When we consistently deny the limitations of the material, we begin to reveal the spiritual law that waits within ourselves to be fulfilled. When this law is revealed to our consciousness, we begin to use it to demonstrate all things that are good.
That is the state of consciousness that Jesus had, the Christ consciousness.
Every man has a definite work to do in the carrying forward of the divine law of spiritual evolution. The law is set into action by our thinking and is continually supported by our thought as it develops our soul. Within us are the great potentialities of Spirit that, put into action, enable us to be, do, or have anything we will. Science tells us that each of us has enough energy within himself to run a universe, if we knew how to release and control it. We do this releasing by a process of letting go and taking hold: letting go of the old or that which has done its part and is no longer useful, and taking hold of the new ideas and inspirations that come from the superconscious mind. Jesus told Peter that what he should bind in earth would be bound in heaven and what he should loose in earth would be loosed in heaven. He was not talking about a geographical earth or a definite place in the skies called heaven. He was explaining to Peter the law of mind. The conscious mind is but the negative pole of a very positive realm of thought. That positive realm of thought, Jesus called "the kingdom of the heavens." It is not a place at all but is the free activity of the superconscious mind of man. Whatever we bind or limit in earth, in the conscious mind, shall be bound or limited in the ideal or heavenly realm, and whatever we loose and set free in the conscious mind (earth) shall be loosed and set free in the ideal, the heavenly. In other words,
whatever you affirm or deny in your conscious mind determines the character of the supermind activities. All power is given unto you both in heaven and in earth through your thought.
We must carefully choose what thoughts we are going to loose in the mind and what thoughts we are going to bind, for they will come into manifestation in our affairs. "As he [man] thinketh within himself, so is he" and "whatsoever a man soweth [in the mind], that shall he also reap [in the manifestation]." We must loose all thoughts of lack and insufficiency in the mind and let them go, just as Jesus commanded be done with the wrappings that held Lazarus: "Loose him, and let him go." Loose all thoughts of lack and lay hold of thoughts of plenty. See the abundance of all good things, prepared for you and for all of us from the foundation of the world. We live in a very sea of inexhaustible substance, ready to come into manifestation when molded by our thought.
Some persons are like fish in the sea, saying, "Where is the water?" in the presence of spiritual abundance they cry, "Where will I get the money? How will I pay my bills? Will we have food or clothes or the necessities?" Plenty is here, all around, and when you have opened the eyes of Spirit in yourself, you will see it and rejoice.
We mold omnipresent substance with our mind and make from it all the things that our mind conceives. If we conceive lack and poverty we mold that. If we visualize with a bountiful eye we mold
plenty from the ever-present substance. There is perhaps no step in spiritual unfoldment more important than the one we are taking here. We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the things we have prayed for and desired. This is called renunciation or elimination, sacrifice it may even seem to some people. It is simply the giving up and casting away of old thoughts that have put us where we are, and putting in their place new ideas that promise to improve our condition. If the new ideas fail to keep this promise, we cast them away in their turn for others, confident that we shall eventually find the right ideas that will bring that which we desire. We always want something better than we have. It is the urge of progress, of development and growth. As children outgrow their clothes we outgrow our ideals and ambitions, broadening our horizon of life as we advance. There must be a constant elimination of the old to keep pace with this growth. When we cling to the old ideals we hinder our advance or stop it altogether.
Metaphysicians speak of this eliminative work as denial. Denial usually comes first. It sweeps out the debris and makes room for the new tenant that is brought into the mind by the affirmation. It would not be wise to eliminate the old thoughts unless you knew that there are higher and better ones to take their place. But we need not fear this, because we know the divine truth that God is the source of all good and that all good things can be ours through the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
None of us has attained that supreme place in consciousness where he wholly gives up the material man and lives in the Spirit, as Jesus did, but we have a concept of such a life and His example showing that it can be attained. We shall attain it when we escape the mortal. This does not mean that we must die to get free from mortality, for mortality is but a state of consciousness. We die daily and are reborn by the process of eliminating the thought that we are material and replacing it with the truth that we are spiritual. One of the great discoveries of modern science is that every atom in this so-called material universe has within it superabundant life elements. God is life and Spirit, and He is in every atom. We release this spiritual life quality by denying the crust of materiality that surrounds the cells and affirming that they are Spirit and life. This is the new birth, which takes place first as a conception in the mind, followed by an outworking in body and affairs. We all want better financial conditions. Here is the way to obtain them: Deny the old thoughts of lack of money and affirm the new thought of spiritual abundance everywhere manifest.
Every lesson of Scripture illustrates some phase of mental action and can be applied to each individual life according to the need that is most pressing at the time of its perception. If you do not look for the mental lesson when reading Scripture, you get but the mere outer shell of Truth. If however you have the proper understanding of the characters
in the narrative, knowing that they represent ideas in your own mind, you can follow them in their various movements and find the way to solve all the problems of your life. This does not mean that a study of the written Scriptures will itself solve your problems unless you come into the apprehension of the real Scriptures, the Bible of the ages, the Book of Life within your own consciousness. But a study of the outer symbols as given in the written Scriptures can and should lead you into the understanding of the Truth of Being.
In every person we find the conflicting ideas represented by the Children of Israel and the Philistines. They are pitted against each other in a conflict that goes on night and day. We call these warring thoughts Truth and error. When we are awakened spiritually we stand on the side of Truth, knowing that Truth thoughts are the chosen of the Lord, the Children of Israel. But the error thoughts sometimes seem so real and so formidable that we quake and cringe with fear in their presence.
We know that Truth will eventually prevail, but we put the victory off somewhere in the future and say that the error is so large and strong that we cannot cope with it now--we will wait until we have gathered more strength. Then we need to stand still and affirm the salvation of the Lord.
Ideas are not all of the same importance. Some are large and strong; some are small and weak. There are aggressive, dominating ideas that parade themselves, and brag about their power, and with
threats of disaster keep us frightened into submission to their wicked reign. These domineering ideas of error have one argument that they always use to impress us, that of the fear of results if we should dare to come out and meet them in open opposition. This fear of opposing ideas, even when we know them to be wrong, seems to be woven into our very mental fabric. This fear is symbolized by the spear of Goliath which, as the story relates, "was like a weaver's beam."
What is the most fearful thought in the minds of men today? Is it not the power of money? Is not mammon the greatest Philistine, the Goliath in your consciousness? It is the same whether you are siding with the Philistines and are successful in your finances from a material viewpoint, or whether you are with the Israelites and tremble in your poverty. The daily appearance of this giant Goliath, the power of money, is something greatly feared. Neither the Philistines nor the Israelites are in possession of the Promised Land, neither side at peace or happy in any security, so long as this domineering giant parades his strength and shouts his boasts. This error idea claims he is stronger than the Lord of Israel. He must be killed before all the other error thoughts will be driven out of your consciousness and you can come into the consciousness of plenty, the Promised Land of milk and honey.
The whole world today trembles before this giant error idea, the belief that money is the ruling power. The nations of the world are under this dominion
because men think that money is power. The rich and the poor alike are slaves to the idea. Kings and great men of the earth bow and cringe before the money kings. This is because man has given this power to money by his erroneous thinking. He has made the golden calf and now he falls before it in worship. Instead of making it his servant he has called it master and become its slave. The rule of this mad giant has been disastrous, and the end of it is rapidly approaching.
The first step in getting your mind free from this giant bugaboo is to get a clear perception of your right as a child of God. You know that you should put no other gods or powers before the true God. You know also that you should not be under the dominion of anything in the heavens above or the earth beneath, for you have been given dominion over all. You will never find a better time to come into the realization of the truth of who and what you are and what your rights are. Never was a more propitious time to seek a new and better state of consciousness. If you are in fear of the boasting Philistine giant, as so many around you are, begin now to seek a way, as did David, to give his "flesh unto the birds of the heavens." There is a way, a righteous way, that cannot fail, and it is your duty to find it. Follow each step of the way that is symbolically and beautifully set forth in the 17th chapter of I Samuel.
The name David means "the Lord's beloved," and David represents your righteous perception of your privileges as the child of God. You are not a
slave to anything or to anybody in the universe. The threat of this Goliath, the power of money, holds no terrors for you in this consciousness. You have a smooth perception of Truth and you sling it straight to the center of his carnal thinking, his forehead. The weight of his shield and his armor does not intimidate you, for you see them for what they are, empty and meaningless show, vulnerable in many places to the true ideas with which you are armed.
Even the most ardent defenders of the money power will admit that it is a tyrant and that they would not have it rule their world if they could help it. It nearly always destroys its friends in the end. Any man who becomes a slave to money is eventually crushed by it. On the other side are whole armies of righteous people, Christians, who like the army of Israel think that this giant cannot be overcome. They are waiting for reinforcements, something larger and stronger in a physical way, with which to overcome this enemy. They forget that "the battle is Jehovah's."
Do you cringe before this giant when he comes out daily to impress you with his boastings and threats? It does not have to be so. You need not continue to fear. There is a little idea in your mind that can slay him. You perhaps have not considered this little idea of much importance. Perhaps you have kept it off on a lonely mountainside of your spiritual consciousness, herding the sheep, which are your innocent thoughts. Now let this David come forth, this perception of your rightful place in Divine
Mind. Get a clear idea of where you really belong in creation and what your privileges are. Do you think for a moment that God has so ordained that men cannot escape from the terrible servitude of hard conditions? Of course not. That would be injustice, and God is above all just.
It is your privilege to step out at any time and accept the challenge of this boaster. The Lord has been with you in the slaying of the fear of sin and sickness (the bear and the lion), and He will still be with you in slaying the fear of poverty, which Goliath symbolizes. "The battle is Jehovah's," and He is with us to deliver us "out of the hand of the Philistines."
The weapons of the Lord's man are not carnal. He does not wage war after the manner of the world. He does not use armor of steel or brass, the protection of selfishness and the weapons of oppression. He goes forth in the simplicity of justice, knowing that his innocence is his defense. He uses only his shepherd's sling and smooth stones, words of Truth. This is the will and the words of Truth that it sends forth. They are disdained by the Philistines and many people laugh at the idea of using words to overcome conditions. But words do their work, the work whereto they are sent, and the great mass of materiality goes down before their sure aim.
We know that money was made for man and not man for money. No man needs to be a slave to his brother man or cringe before him to obtain money, which is the servant of all alike. We are not bound
to the wheel of work, of ceaseless toil day after day, in order to appease the god of mammon on his own terms. We are children of the living God, who as a loving Father is right here in our midst, where we may claim Him as our support and our resource on such conditions as He lovingly reveals when we have acknowledged Him and denied mammon. This day has Jehovah delivered this proud Philistine into our hands, and the victory is ours. Praise God.
The five smooth stones chosen by David from the brook represent five irrefutable statements of Truth. These statements sent forth from a mind confident of itself, its cause, and its spiritual strength will crush the forehead of Goliath, error's giant. The statements are the following:
I am the beloved of the Lord. He is with me in all my righteous words, and they do accomplish that whereto I send them forth.
My cause is just, for it is my divine right to be supplied with all things whatsoever that the Father has placed at the disposal of His children.
I dissolve in my own mind and the minds of all others any thought that my own can be withheld from me. What is mine comes to me by the sure law of God, and in my clear perception of Truth I welcome it.
I am not fearful of poverty, and I am under obligations to no one. My opulent Father has poured out to me all resources, and I am a mighty channel of abundance.
I selfishly own nothing, yet all things in existence
are mine to use and in divine wisdom to bestow upon others.
Do not hold yourself in poverty by the fear of lack and by practicing a pinching economy. If you believe that all that the Father has is yours, then there is surely no reason for skimping. Nothing will so broaden your mind and your world as the realization that all is yours. When you realize the boundlessness of your spiritual inheritance, nothing shall be lacking in all your world. See with the bountiful eye; for "he that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed." This passage states an exact law, the law of increase.
Religious leaders in the past have spread the belief that it is a Christian duty to be poor and that poverty is a virtue. This is by no means the doctrine of Jesus. He accepted the proposition fully, without reservation or qualification, that God is our resource and that the Father has provided all things for His children. He is often described as being poor, without a place to lay His head, yet He had a parental home at Nazareth and was welcomed gladly into the homes of both the rich and the poor all over Palestine. He dressed as a rabbi, and His clothing was so rich and valuable that the Roman soldiers coveted the seamless robe He wore and cast lots for it. He found abundance in the kingdom of God where everything needful becomes manifest not through hard labor but through the realization of Truth.
Jesus seldom had need for money, because He went back of money to the idea it represents and
dealt with money in the idea realm. Our government is back of all our paper dollars, else they would have no value. God is back of every material symbol, and it is in God rather than in the symbol that we should put our faith. He is back of our call for food and raiment and everything that we could need or desire. Jesus says all we need do is ask in faith and in His name, believing that we receive, and we shall have. And we should not hesitate to ask largely, for God can give much as easily as He can give a little.