Myrtle Fillmore, along with her husband Charles, read widely in the spiritual literature of their day. Their first spiritual periodical, Modern Thought magazine (published in April 1889) contained articles and new items from a variety of spiritual teachings, philosophical schools and religious outlooks.
These included the Scriptural teachings of Jesus, the Transcendentalist works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Christian metaphysics of Warren Felt Evans, the Theosophical works of Helen Petrovna Blavatsky, the Christian Science of Mary Baker Eddy and several who reinterpreted her work, including Emma Curtis Hopkins. The Fillmores had also read into Hermetic Philosophy, Spiritualism, the religions of the East—Buddhism and Hinduism—as well as the works of Emanuel Swedenborg.
It is a mystery as to how they accomplished this by the spring of 1889 when they began Modern Thought magazine. Myrtle was forty-four at the time, the mother of two young sons, and a former Clinton, Missouri, school teacher. Charles, nine years younger than Myrtle, was a thirty-five-year-old Kansas City businessman with no formal education. It is apparent that Myrtle and Charles were two extremely bright, curious and spiritually engaged people, who spent a great deal of time acquainting themselves with a wide range of spiritual literature.
Jesus developed what Myrtle described as the “Christ Mind” or the “Christ Consciousness,” through his conscious recognition and inner realization of his oneness with God. Myrtle believed that Jesus had no greater inherent powers than other human beings, and that his accomplishments were within our reach. For those who sought to manifest the Christ Consciousness, it was necessary to develop and use intuition. “Intuition,” Myrtle asserted, was “the divine knowing faculty” helping people “know beyond question of doubt” what their “best good” was.
It was a faculty that went beyond reason, giving guidance the rational mind was incapable of providing. When we awaken “the knowing faculty of mind-intuition,” we no longer need “to stop and reason out seeming conflicts and inconsistencies that appear.” She distinguished between the power of the left-brain and the power of intuition with the pithy comment, “Intellect reasons, but intuition knows.”
Intuition came from the depths of the human spirit, and constituted the voice of the soul. Myrtle urged her correspondents to use it:
Those who understand the soul to be the total of consciousness, the fruit of the individual entity’s experiences in unfolding and expressing what the Creator has given … realize that these leading, or voices, which they intuitively know to be right and dependable, come from the innermost realms of the soul itself.
It was important, she believed, to rely on your own inner knowing rather than accept the dictates of outside authorities, particularly in matters of spirit. She advised:
Now that you have the inner conviction that the only reliable source of instruction is the Spirit of Truth within you, make up your mind that you will stand by this inner leading regardless of the various doctrines that people try to force upon you. Your own intuition will show you whatever degree of truth there may be in all doctrines that come to your attention. When the Mind of Truth within you shows you that thing is true, accept it; do not accept a proposition as true merely because somebody says it is the truth.
Disciplining the Mind
Myrtle told her correspondents that they needed to be aware of when they were harboring negative thoughts and emotions, and take action to shift their consciousness from the negative to the positive. She said, “You must refuse to open the door of your mind to any anxious negative thought. You cannot let these ‘thieves and robbers’ of your health and peace of mind come in…. When the mind is undisciplined and open to all kinds of disagreeable thoughts there can be no peace.” She believed that these thoughts could be controlled.
Disciplining the mind took constant work, as our minds had the tendency to drop into negative thinking: “You must discipline your mind day after day, and control your thoughts, so that you will not be full of faith one moment, and doubting, wavering and unstable the next.”
One of the primary ways of shifting consciousness was through the use of affirmations. Affirmations, she said, “are just the right arrangement of words to train the thoughts into harmonious ways.” Affirmations that worked well took the form of declarations. “Begin to declare,” she told a correspondent, “that you are the strong, healthy, free, wise, powerful, beautiful, successful child of God.”
In making declarations of “Truth” the words one chose were important and should be carefully selected:
Get the affirmations—which are just the right arrangement of words—fixed in the mind, so that they will automatically discipline any negative or undesirable thoughts or habits that might spring up.
Affirmations should be on our lips as we move through the day. She suggested that you say to yourself, “I am stepping out to face blessings, to face prosperity, to face the glory of life.”
Myrtle indicated that “I AM statements of Truth” were particularly effective. “I AM,” she asserted, “is God expressing in you, in your mind, in your soul and body.” She suggested:
Instead of letting your thoughts run along old lines of materiality, when you are busy with daily duties, as well as when you pray, use “I AM” truths. Make them an established part of your consciousness. The more you think about “I AM” your Christ self, the greater will be the realization of your innate righteousness and purity.
Myrtle believed that the I AM statements of Jesus were particularly powerful and recommended that we use them:
I AM the resurrection and the life. I AM the light of the world. I AM with you always. I AM the health of my people. I AM and there is naught beside me. Be still and know that I AM God. I AM that I AM.
Words of “Truth,” Myrtle maintained, were most effective and made the biggest impression on the mind if formulated in a meditative state which she referred to as “The Silence.” She said, “When you get very still and go into the silence, when you commune with your Indwelling Guide, you will be shown the easy, pleasant, harmonious and orderly way out of every situation.”
She described the many benefits from establishing a regular daily meditative practice: The daily quiet time, for study and meditation, and identification with our Source, helps us to grow—to come into understanding of our son-ship, and our full, free use of our God-given faculties and powers.
Failure to pay proper attention to the inner life had its consequences. She warned, “When we spend so much time working on the outer without setting aside needed periods to gather new strength in the silence, we get the results of our sowing.”
One of the best ways to manifest the Christ Consciousness was during silent meditation:
When we are in the silence we become open and receptive to the inflow of the Holy Spirit, which fills every part of us, and makes us new and strong and whole…. As you still all the outer thoughts and meditate on the Indwelling Christ, you will be spiritually quickened uplifted and strengthened. You will be inspired with new and rich ideas and will demonstrate good things for you.
While Myrtle was firmly committed to knowing and understanding the principles of the “Truth of Being” and teaching them to others, she had an equally strong commitment to putting Truth principles into practice through healing others physically, psychologically and spiritually. Silent Unity was the spiritual healing organization that she and her husband Charles worked through at Unity School of Christianity located at Unity Village, Missouri, outside of metropolitan Kansas City.
In absent healing, as the Silent Unity work is called, the healer was not physically present with the client when the work took place. Myrtle testified to its value.
Some folks think they will get better results if they are treated by an individual healer, but our experience is that the healing averages higher where cases are handled from an impersonal standpoint. There is good reason for this—the work is not done by the healer, but by the Spirit of Truth, and where both patient and helper forget self and center all power in the Great Supreme, the consciousness is raised to a higher plane and the result Divine.
Myrtle Fillmore was close to the work of Silent Unity for four decades until her death at age eighty-six in 1931. Even in her eighties, Myrtle participated in the daily healing meetings, and answered letters from those who wrote for prayer and spiritual guidance. In 1930 she described Silent Unity as “a radiant dynamic center of spiritual life, joy, health and power…. This mighty power station of Spirit is always in operation.”
Affirmations, meditation and disciplining the mind enable the Unity student to practice spiritual healing, which is what the Unity teachings are directed towards, and is the heart of the Unity movement itself. Myrtle Fillmore showed us the way.