by Rev. Crystal Muldrow
‘Tis the season. As I write, Christmas decorations are being decked, parties are being planned, gifts are being purchased, everyone is on their best behavior so that Saint Nick will stop by and every 15 minutes a commercial plays the Johnny Mathis song, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”
What does Christmas look like according to Unity?
Thanks to the archives department at Unity World Headquarters, I am able to present a lecture that Charles Fillmore gave on Sunday morning, December 22,1912, simple titled Christmas.
— Rev. Crystal
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This hasn’t always been rightly understood, because the true concept of man has not entered into his consciousness. We have separated Jesus Christ from ourselves, and talked about him as a man, when he represents the Universal Principle, the Supreme Ideal Man, which we are all seeking to put on, to manifest, to be.
It is a question of how shall we go about it? We all admit that we would like to be better men, better women – have a higher standard of Life in all of its details, but seem to be in darkness as to the method of attaining this.
Now, the way is plain and very simple, but it requires some little persistence in following it out, in going that way. And the first step is always to accept that one supreme proposition, that I was, in my original inception in Divine Mind, Supreme, Ideal. The very highest that God could imagine was born into me, created in me, and it is my privilege to express it. Let Christ be formed in you.
Now, do you accept that proposition? If you do, you have taken the first step to the forming of Christ. Then the next step is to affirm that all of the Christ attributes – whatever they may be – are now forming themselves in my character. You follow that out day after day, and you put on Christ, you put on Christ just to the extent that you accept these fundamental propositions, and make them yours.
So, a simple, direct demonstration of putting on Christ is to affirm that Christ is now being formed in my consciousness. Praise the Father, the Christ, that God may be formed in you. Say to Him right now, “Father, let thy Christ, thy Supreme, Ideal Man, be formed in me” Let us all join in that prayer.
Today, all over this land, the birth of Jesus Christ is being celebrated in Christmas sermons, in Christmas carols. Nearly all of these celebrations have, as their central idea, a man named Jesus, who was born in Judea nearly two thousand years ago. I presume that I could count on the fingers of my hand the places in this land where the real understanding of the birth of Christ is preached, and taught.
So many years we have had ingrained and inground into us the idea of an historical event, that it is difficult to erase from our minds that teaching, that idea, that it is a celebration of something that took place in the past, but is not of vital import to every individual in the present.
Now, in our lesson this morning, you will observe that it was prominently brought out in its various symbolical details, that the history of Jesus Christ was symbolical of a change, of a new step forward, in the soul of every man, and every woman who realize the Truth of their Being. The Scriptures so clearly portray this in these symbols, that when one reads in the Spirit, it seems wonderful that anyone could have misconstrued that record, have gone into a mere historical observance of the birth of Jesus Christ. If it were mere history, we would be celebrating greater men in their time – the birth of greater men. Alexander the Great was greater in his day, far greater than Jesus Christ. Even Herod, the Ruler of Judea, was greater in his day than Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was not a great man to his fellows. He didn’t have over a dozen students that were in understanding of him. He was a wanderer up and down the earth, without a place to lay his head a teacher of strange doctrines. Were he here today, he would be considered a Crank; and yet, that man’s teaching has spread around the world, and it is written about and talked about more than any teaching of any man that ever lived. And why this? Is it because he was a supreme man, as a man? Why no! He must have represented a Principle. His teaching couldn’t have continued as it has; it couldn’t have taken such possession of men’s minds all these ages, and grown and increased, if it were not founded on the Principle – a Principle that applies to every and all.
The Principles underlying the life and demonstration of Jesus Christ are just as true in the development of man’s character as the principles underlying the discoveries and demonstrations of Euclid, the great ancient Mathematician. It is for this very reason that they are alive today; that we are celebrating the Birth of Jesus, because he represented a perennial Principle constantly being used by man. But, if you look upon him as a man, and strip him Of the Principle, will you be benefited? Very slightly, Christ must be formed in you, or you must reap the reward of his teaching by realizing the steps that he took, and following them in your own history, in your own experience. You must know that there is a better and higher life for you to live; that you can grow into that larger man, as Jesus grew from a child to manhood; that you can take the same steps in the understanding of what your power is among men and in the world about you, just exactly as Jesus took those steps, portrayed in his history in the New Testament. But you must read between the lines; you must read as one who sees spiritually, and gradually eliminate all the factors of personality, of history – forget about Euclid when you demonstrate his propositions. He was a necessary factor in pointing the way, but he should not include so much of his personal life as to shut out the working in you of the principle.
Now, when we study the Life of Jesus Christ, and celebrate his birthday, it should not be with that external consciousness that thinks about the history; but a deeper understanding of that immortal man, that great Christ Principle which existed in the mind of the Father from the beginning, and which Jesus Christ flashed forth and many other great ones have lighted the world with. It is the light that shineth in the darkness, and the darkness now and then comprehends it, but not always. The comprehension of this Life is so meager that we have looked upon its expressors as exceptional men, when they were the real men, the standard men. We are the exceptional, because we are not up to the standard of man, which exists eternally, always. The Father sees man as Christ. He was man.
Isaiah saw the Christ in himself, and people have said, “Why, this was a prophesy of Jesus Christ.” No, I don’t think that Isaiah looked into the future and saw Jesus of Nazareth, but he saw the Christ potential in himself. He knew that there was a wonderful man; a man within him who would guide him, and a counselor; he knew that there was a man who was the mighty Father, because this higher man is God manifest. He knew that that man was the Prince of Peace; that the Kingdom and the ruling power of all men was upon his shoulders, but he knew that that man must be born as a child; that he must grow in his stature; that is his understanding; he must come into expression.
Christ doesn’t express himself in your consciousness all at once, like a conversion in a revival; but you catch the light; You see the possibility, and this conceives in your soul a larger consciousness of yourself. The soul is typified in the history of Jesus Christ as Mary, the feminine Principle in all, and it first gets the idea of the possibility of a larger consciousness, a greater man; and, in due season, this man is brought forth, is expressed. He is expressed in the body.
We have thought that this Christ consciousness, this forming of Christ in you was to be done in some miraculous way, but no, it comes under a law, and that law is, unknown to us, working itself out in what we call the subconscious mind.
Now, the life principle in man may be compared to the animal. It is that which would eat and drink and sleep; but it has inexhaustible possibilities. You can educate animals. So, the animal in yon can be educated; it can be trained; its faculties can be expanded until you find that the animal is transformed into a human, and the human in its various steps can be transformed and transmuted and lifted up until it becomes the Divine, showing that it is a matter of consciousness.
But the first step, the first foundation laid for this Christ man in human consciousness, is down there among the animals. So, when you see yourself — if a great spiritual idea has become buried, or goes down into your subconscious mind; when you see yourself quickened, know that the Christ is being formed in you. That is the first form of this Christ Mind, your mind at first gathering – Life Illumination. Christ had to grow in wisdom and stature; he had to have the teaching of the Spirit, as we have to have that teaching. He didn’t get into his true spiritual understanding until he became a man say of 30 or 33 years of age. He was a man among men; his faculties developed as yours and ours.
Then, it requires patience in the development and growth of the Christ man; it requires watchfulness, culture, but, above all, a firm conviction that Christ is being formed in me. The Christ idea is like a star in the consciousness of man. It seems away off, but it always hangs over the place where the child is being brought forth. This Star, which to you seems so distant, is the first gleam of light; and as you think more and more about the Christ being formed in you, that Star comes closer and closer, and finally it takes up its abode in you, and your very body is alight with the light which seemed distant, which seemed on the outside – it becomes an inner light; and this is the forming in you of the Substance and Life of the Omnipresent Principle, man.
This is symbolized by the eating and drinking of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas is but a celebration in this eating and drinking, of the Last Supper. That is what Mass means – Christ Mass. And all the masses that are celebrated, have as their foundation this affirmation, because it is a mental affirmation in its highest.
That is the spiritual meaning. And they celebrate the affirmation with these outer symbols of the mind. And the affirming, day by day, year by year, that the Christ of God is in its Substance, in its Life, formed in me. One of the old writers said: “Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born if he is not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn”. If this Christ of God is not born in you, you miss the mark of the high calling; you miss the understanding of this celebration. You fail to eat of the real Substance of the Christ Mind, or drink of the real wine of Life.
Modern Metaphysics has substantiated all that is taught in these symbols of the Christ, and the forming of the Christ in us. When we know that all things are in essence in a great mental universe, and that our minds are forming and transforming and building in and putting out all of these universal elements, – I say, when we know that and realize its truth now, as it was in the beginning, there dawns upon us a new perception, a new consciousness of what Life is, and how we develop and grow, and how we put on Christ, and what these writers meant when they said, “Let Christ be formed in you”. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” “Ye are the temple of the Living God”. “If you follow not Christ; if you do not the will of God, you have no place in His Kingdom.” These writers understood these Principles, but not just in the way that we understand them. There was a spiritual perception. The light was in their minds, but it hadn’t been just worked out in details; but now we have the details; we know absolutely that these are true; that the only requirement on our own, to come into the Christ Mind, and be the full demonstrations of what Jesus Christ was, is to let the Christ be formed in us.
Can there be any greater object than this forming of the Christ mind and the Christ body in you? We spend a great deal of our time in these Christmas celebrations, in running around on the outside, spending our money for the symbols. We are following, instead of Jesus, the wise men who came from the unknown country and brought the presents to the Christ child. But that isn’t the essential thing. The essential thing is to know and understand that the real child of’ God is formed in your soul. – it exists there, and is now being manifest.
Make yourself a present of that thought; and make it an everyday thought. Let Christmas be every day. Enter into the Christ Mind and see Christ in you.
I know a man who has grown wonderfully in spiritual understanding and spiritual power, and he told me once that he made it a daily practice to see Christ in his heart. He saw the Christ as a picture, as a life, and he said he talked mentally to that Christ portrait at his heart’s center; and he said a light has gradually sprung up within me that lights on my way. I am a changed man from mentally seeing Christ in me, instead of looking at the Christ outside, looking at an historical Christ, thinking about the man as separate from me. “I am the Christ of God” is the dominant appellation of that man to himself, and he has demonstrated it. And he is only one of thousands who have brought that Christ principle home to everyday life, they are bringing forth in themselves the Christ of God, who are forming Christ in them.
Now, we are but few in our demonstrations of this Principle, but our light is going forth. We have laid hold of the absolute Truth of our Being, and the world is receiving it more rapidly than they think. And the time is not far distant when all the historical part of this Scripture will be resolved into living principles, and men will universally teach just what we are teaching; and when this light begins to spread around the world, you will find that, just as Isaiah perceived, he is the Prince of Peace, and of the endurance of his kingdom there is no end, and no limit, because this is the footstool, this earth, of the Christ Mind. This is the place where the Christ Mind is to be experienced, through the minds of humanity, and we are the expressions of that mind, just to the extent that we open ourselves to it; that we say to the great Father, “Let Thy son, Christ, come into my consciousness; make me the demonstration of that which thou conceived in the beginning – before Abraham was, I am.
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I pray that every day looks a lot like Christmas. Let 2018 be the year where the Christ Mind is “put on,” and the Christ is seen in and AS you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!