by Paula Schneider
Note: This talk by Charles Fillmore was apparently given between 1913 and 1925, based on references to a 1913 movie, Quo Vadis and the Scopes trial which was in 1925. These were both mentioned in Fillmore’s talk.
Fillmore began his talk introduction by discussing an important topic of that era (and, incidentally, still is today): 1. Whether or not to teach evolution in schools and 2. What to tell our youth about evolution, if anything. He then goes on to explain Unity’s position on the topic, “Unity unifies these two ideas, the fundamental or real creation of God, as taught in the first chapter of Genesis, and the evolution of that direct creation as given in the succeeding chapters of the Bible. Unity teaches that there is a direct spiritual creation, and that creation is followed by evolution.”
He goes on to explain that in the first chapter of Genesis, Elohim God creates everything spiritually because this God was the great universal Mind and then Jehovah God, in the second chapter of Genesis, creates the material world. Our human minds work just like Elohim and Jehovah—we have a spiritual mind and everything that we bring forth is first created in that mind and goes through six steps; then we rest.
Fillmore believes, and that belief is put written into Unity teachings, that the spiritual man and the universe were idealized by that spiritual Mind (Elohim) and they afterward, through the law of evolution, came into manifestation. He says that it is of the utmost importance that man, who creates the same way that Divine Mind creates, “plug in” to that Divine Mind so we are in complete alignment with it. Then our human creations or products become more perfect, because we have been “charged up” by Mind. He says that we cannot have a material world without the spiritual ideal back of it. Unity teaches that we do not believe in the evolution of matter without the directing power of the mind.
Here may be Charles’s most profound words in the entire talk: “We say that in Spirit everything is finished; I rest from all my work when I have worked my problem out in Spirit; then I begin the manifestation. Balance yourself, unify yourself, and you will understand all these differences between the two creative processes—the direct spiritual creation of man and the universe and the evolutionary or material creation. They are both true, and eventually the world will accept both.”
In this talk, Charles Fillmore, it seems, is working through his own understanding of what he later called, “the creative process.” A few years after this talk, he wrote the book, Mysteries of Genesis, which explains the process much more fully and in depth than he did in this talk. Clearly, he was evolving in his understanding as time went on and this fact really stands out in his lectures.