This excerpt from The Essential Charles Fillmore captures two of the most important Unity teachings: the interpretation of the Trinity and the understanding of the divine nature of human beings. Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore founded Unity in 1889, and the revised edition of this book captures his fundamental beliefs. The original writing is from a chapter titled “Being’s Perfect Idea” in Christian Healing. Written more than a century ago, the formal language and masculine pronouns were typical of the time.

Charles Fillmore’s metaphysical explanation of the divine nature of humans

Every man asks the question at some time, “What am I?” God answers: “Spiritually you are My idea of Myself as I see Myself in the ideal; physically you are the law of My Mind executing that idea.”

“Great is the mystery of godliness” [1 Timothy 3:16], said Paul.

A little learning is a dangerous thing in the study of Being. To separate oneself from the whole and then attempt to find out the great mystery is like dissecting inanimate flesh to find the source of life.

The Trinity in Unity

If you would know the mystery of Being, see yourself in Being. Know yourself as an integral idea in Divine Mind, and all other ideas will recognize you as their fellow worker.

Throw yourself out of the Holy Trinity, and you become an onlooker. Throw yourself into the Trinity, and you become its avenue of expression.

The Trinity is known commonly as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; metaphysically it is known as mind, idea, expression. These three are one. Each sees itself as including the other two, yet in creation separate …

Reducing the Trinity to simple numbers takes away much of its mystery. When we say that there is one Being with three attitudes of mind, we have stated in plain terms all that is involved in the intricate theological doctrine of the Trinity …           

The Mind of God is Spirit, soul, body; that is, mind, idea, expression. The mind of man is Spirit, soul, body—not separate from God-Mind, but existing in it and making it manifest in an identity peculiar to the individual.

Every man is building into his consciousness the three departments of God-Mind, and his success in the process is evidenced by the harmony, in his consciousness, of Spirit, soul, and body.

If he is all body, he is but one-third expressed. If to body he has added soul, he is two-thirds man, and if to these two he is adding Spirit, he is on the way to the perfect manhood that God designed.

Man has neither spirit, soul, nor body of his own—he has identity only. He can say, “I.” He uses God Spirit, God soul, and God body, as his “I” elects. If he uses them with the idea that they belong to him, he develops selfishness, which limits his capacity and dwarfs his product.

The Mind of God is Spirit, soul, body; that is, mind, idea, expression. The mind of man is Spirit, soul, body—not separate from God-Mind, but existing in it and making it manifest in an identity peculiar to the individual.

Expressing God

In his right relation, man is the inlet and the outlet of an everywhere-present life, substance, and intelligence. When his “I” recognizes this fact and adjusts itself to the invisible expressions of the one Mind, man’s mind becomes harmonious; his life, vigorous and perpetual; his body, healthy.

It is imperative that the individual understand this relation in order to grow naturally. It must not only be understood as an abstract proposition, but it is necessary that he blend his life consciously with God life, his intelligence with God intelligence, and his body with the “Lord’s body.”

Conscious identification must prevail in the whole man before he can be in right relation. This involves not only a recognition of the universal intelligence, life, and substance, but also their various combinations in man’s consciousness.

These combinations are, in the individual world, dependent for perfect expression upon man’s recognition of and his loyalty to his origin—God-Mind. Man is in God-Mind as a perfect idea. God-Mind is constantly trying to express in every man its perfect idea, the real and only man.

Your True Self

The perfect-man idea in God-Mind is known under various names in the many religious systems. The Krishna of the Hindu is the same as the Messiah of the Hebrews …

The Christ man, or perfect idea of God-Mind, is now being expressed and demonstrated by men and women as never before in the history of the race 

This perfect-idea-of-God man is your true Self. God-Mind is, under the law of thought, constantly seeking to release its perfection in you. It is your Spirit, and when you ask for its guidance and place yourself, by prayer and affirmation, in mental touch with it, there is a great increase in its manifestation in your life.

It has back of it all the powers of Being, and there is nothing that it cannot do if you give it full sway and make your thought strong enough to express the great forces that it is seeking to express in you …

This means that we must think of ourselves as God thinks of us, in order to appreciate and to receive His thoughts and to bring forth the fruits. If you think of yourself as anything less than the perfect child of the perfect Parent, you lower the thought standard of your mind and cut off the influx of thought from Divine Mind.

Jesus referred to this law when He said: “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” [Matthew 5:48].

About the Author

Charles Fillmore founded the Unity spiritual movement with his wife Myrtle in 1889, part of a growing philosophy called New Thought, a successor to Transcendentalism. Charles and Myrtle both healed lifelong ailments through the power of mind over body, and they sought to share the universal principles they were learning, drawing from the world’s religions. Read more of his work in The Essential Charles Fillmore by James Gaither, Th.D.

Charles Fillmore


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