THE REVEALING WORD:
A Dictionary of Metaphysical Terms"
by Charles Fillmore
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The Revealing Word offers Truth students the metaphysical meanings and uses of words and phrases that frequently appear in Unity publications, and many that appear in the Bible. Whereas Unity's Metaphysical Bible Dictionary explains the esoteric meanings of scriptural proper names, The Revealing Word is devoted mostly to common names. In addition to words that have religious significance, hundreds of words that are in everyday use appear in this book. Thus the reader is given inner meanings that he or she can apply to daily living. All things in life are expressed in words. Equipped with the inner meanings of words, a person can control all the issues of his or her life, from the insignificant to the great. (Bible quotations in this book are from the American Standard Version.)
abate--To lessen; to moderate. In making a demonstration, when we reach the point where the mind changes from the negative to the positive state the troubled thoughts begin to abate. A certain set of negative ideas has run its course, and the restorative thought forces are in evidence.
Abba--A word of endearment signifying father. It is only as we come to know our sonship, our true relation to God, that we enter into the consciousness of love and tender affiliation with Spirit, signified by the word Abba. (see Mark 14:36)
abdicate--To let go; to relinquish; to renounce. The ability to abdicate is twofold in action: it eliminates the error, and it expands the good. When the ego consciously lets go and willingly gives up its personal ideas and loves, it has fulfilled the law of denial and is restored to the Father's house.
abide--To continue in a fixed thought of God, the All-Good; to dwell in the Christ consciousness. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).
abiding--A conscious centering of the mind in divine Principle within us by means of repeated affirmations of our faith and trust in Principle.
abiding Presence--Christ, the presence of light, peace, joy, love, life, and substance that is ever within, about, before, and beside man. (see presence of God)
Absolute, the--Divine Mind; unlimited Principle; the almighty One; the all-pervading Spirit; the Infinite; the Eternal; the Supreme Being. The one ultimate creative Mind; the Source of all things. That which is unconditioned, unlimited, unrestricted, and free from all limitations. The self-existent God.
Absolute, to place judgment in the--The metaphysician finds it necessary to place his judgment in the Absolute in order to demonstrate His supreme power. This is accomplished by first declaring that one's judgment is spiritual and not material, that its origin is in God, that all its conclusions are based on Truth, and that they are absolutely free from prejudice, false sympathy, or personal ignorance.
Absolute, treating in the--Treating in the consciousness of the Spirit of God; affirming the absolute Truth of Being for man.
Absolute, unification of man with the--Man unifies himself with the Absolute through recognition that he is the son and heir of the Father, in whose image and likeness he was created. By realizing the Mind of Christ, he becomes one with the Absolute.
abstract, the--The realm of pure ideas such as goodness, purity, wisdom, and love.
abundance, spiritual--Ideas in consciousness of the omnipresent supply and support of the one Mind; invisible substance, with infinite capacity of expansion when held in mind, affirmed, and praised. "All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine" (John 16:15).
abundance, steps in demonstrating--First, we must recognize abundance as an idea that is real and has the power to expand. Then, we must talk abundance--choose words representing abundance--and thus build up an invisible world of substance. In this way, we build or form in our mind that which draws to us an abundance of every good thing. "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given" (Luke 8:18).
accident--An unfortunate event that takes place without our conscious foreknowledge.
accidents, cause and cure of--The cause of all accidents lies in sense consciousness. To be free from all accidents, we must raise our consciousness, so that it is spiritually positive and Christlike. Then we shall attract only good.
accuser--Opposer; hater; an enemy. (see Devil and Satan) The accuser is overcome by casting him down in the name of Jesus Christ.
achievement, universal desire for--The craving for accomplishment, innate in every man. The universal desire for worth-while achievement, giving a mighty impulse to all things, is divinely good.
acquisitiveness--The desire to acquire. It is a legitimate faculty of mind, but covetousness is the Judas trait. When a man seeks to acquire from God only, acquisitiveness builds up his consciousness, but when he oversteps the law and seeks that which belongs to another his acquisitiveness becomes a destroyer. (see covetousness)
activity, spiritual--Thoughts in relation to spiritual Principle. Mind movement in accordance with the activity of Divine Mind.
Adam--Red; reddish. The first movement of mind in its contact with life and substance. Adam was created from the "dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7). Dust represents the radiant earth or substance. When spiritual man (I AM) enters into this substance and makes use of the God ideas inherent in him, he brings forth the ideal body in its elemental perfection. Adam was first perfect as an idea in elemental divinity.
Adam man--Unregenerate sense man; antichrist: the man who has fallen away from spirituality. Originally Adam was the spiritually illumined man of God. The Adam man was primitively identified with an infinite capacity for expansion. When he recognizes his identity as spiritual he expands in divine order and brings forth only good.
Adam man, ills of--The many ills of the Adam man grew out of his belief that he could satisfy and nourish himself with material food and drink alone. To feed the body is not enough. The spiritual man hungers for the bread of life and thirsts for living water, even the Word of God.
Adam man, transformation of--We are not to erase Adam, but we are to transform him by the renewing of our mind. "And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
adjustment--The rearrangement of thoughts according to the divine order of the Christ Mind; a bringing of man's consciousness into exact correspondence with God's perfect harmony, or heaven. "And the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways smooth" (Luke 3:5).
adultery--Mixed thoughts, errors that have their existence in the unregenerated feelings; thoughts that have not come under the dominion of the I AM.
Adversary, the--The vain imagination that there could, in reality, be anything opposed to Divine Mind, or could be any separation of man from it, led to the forming of a state of mind that is described in the Bible as the "adversary." We find that the various names--Satan; Devil; Adversary; accuser; carnal mind; old man; man of sin; and personality--all refer to the consciousness that man has built up in his ignorance of his true estate.
affirm--To hold steadfast in mind or to speak aloud a statement of Truth.
affirm the salvation of the Lord--To realize silently and to declare audibly that the Christ within us is taking charge of all our affairs.
affirmation--A positive statement of Truth. By the use of affirmations we claim and appropriate that which is ours in Truth. (see denial)
affirmation, act of--The "yes" action of the mind; the act of affirming; the declaring of Truth; the mental movement that asserts confidently and persistently the Truth of Being in the face of all appearances to the contrary.
affirmation and denial--Two movements of the mind that express power to accept or to reject, to lay hold of or to let go. (see denial)
affirmation, how made--Affirmations do not have to be made only in set terms such as, "I affirm my body to be spiritual." The sum total of thought in all its positive aspects composes the affirmations that bring ideas into form.
affirmation, purpose of--To establish in consciousness a broad understanding of the divine principles on which all life and existence depend. By affirming Truth we are lifted out of false thinking into the consciousness of Spirit.
affirmation, remedial effects of--All unrighteous conditions may be adjusted through affirming the power of the great universal Spirit of justice. Affirm: "The infinite Spirit of love and justice is now operating in all my affairs, and all is well."
age--A cycle or a dispensation. Jesus was acquainted with cycles or ages of spiritual development of which the natural man knew nothing. Jesus came at the end of an age. Age to mortal man is the measurement of the life or existence of a person or thing. It is based on the false concept of time as reality. "What is the signal of Your presence, and the completion of this age?" (Matt. 24:3, Fenton.)
air--The deific breath of God. It symbolizes a purifying, vitalizing power that revives and makes alive.
alchemy, divine--Transmutation; changing in action and in character from the mortal into the spiritual. It has been said that the mind is the crucible in which the ideal is transmuted into the real.
alcoholism--A diseased condition brought about by one who, thirsting for the true stimulation of Spirit, resorts to the excessive use of false stimulants, such as alcoholic beverages. The way to demonstrate over this condition is to turn wholeheartedly to Spirit and to realize and to affirm that the desire for false stimulants is dissolved and dissipated and that the pure spiritual life of Christ satisfies and uplifts.
allegiance to the Father--The consciousness that divine wisdom is guiding the universe and man, which gives man a feeling of security. Allegiance to the Father signifies a constant devotion to and trust in the Father.
allegory--A symbolical representation of Truth. "Which things contain an allegory" (Gal. 4:24).
All-Good--Divine Mind; God; the principle of divine benevolence that permeates the universe.
almighty--All-powerful; having all power or force to accomplish anything. All things are possible with God, because He is infinitely all-mighty. All the power, all the force, all the might of the universe are God's; He is, in truth, almighty God. "Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God Almighty" (Gen. 17:1).
Alpha and Omega--The beginning and the end; the Son of God; all in all. "I am the Alpha and the Omega" (Rev. 22:13).
altar--Stabilized place of worship. A fixed, definite center in consciousness; the place in consciousness where we meet the Lord and are willing to give up our sins, to give up the lower for the higher, the personal for the impersonal.
The altar mentioned in Rev. 11:1 symbolizes the consciousness of full consecration that takes place first in the temple of worship within: "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service" (Rom. 12:1).
altar, brazen, of temple worship--Represents the generative life.
altar, golden, of incense--Symbolizes the establishing of permanent resolutions of purity and covenants with the higher law of obedience, although it may entail daily sacrifice. (This applies to the altar of the burnt offerings also.)
altar, to an unknown God--A yearning to know the unrevealed Spirit and a reaching out for a fuller realization of its source.
alternate between good and evil--To swing the mind from good to evil and vice versa, with consequent variation in the application of Truth principles. Alternation is fatal to realization. "For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:7,8).
ambition--A subtle mental force that drives men toward their goals. If it is dedicated wholly to Spirit and acts from Principle, it will work for good. If its motto is, "The end justifies the means," it is a menace.
ancestors--Forefathers. Those who think of themselves as descended from human ancestors are in bondage to all the limitations of those ancestors, regardless of their claims to the contrary. It is a falling short of the full stature of man to regard himself as descending from the human family. This is the sin that keeps the majority of men in bondage to sense consciousness.
angel--A messenger of God; the projection into consciousness of a spiritual idea direct from the Fountainhead, Jehovah. "And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar" (Luke 1:11). The word of Truth, in which is centered the power of God to overcome all limited beliefs and conditions.
angel, of Jehovah--The quickening thought of God appearing in the form of light or divine intelligence, intuition, and understanding.
angels, ascending and descending--The imaging power of the
receiving divine ideas and reflecting them into the consciousness.
angels, office of--To guard, to direct, and to redeem the natural forces of the body and mind, which have in them the future of the whole man.
anointed of God, the--One who is conscious of the real spiritual outpouring from the source of his being; a consecrated person, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me" (Luke 4:18).
anointing--A symbolical expression of the pouring out of the spirit of love on one who has faith in God. Rubbing with oil; consecrating the body with the living Spirit of Christ. "But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face" (Matt. 6:17).
antichrist--That which denies or opposes the idea that the Christ dwells in and is the true self of each individual. The active effort in the world to exalt death and to delude men into believing that death is the way to eternal life is an instance of work that is antichrist. Such a thought is opposed to Christ. Jesus came to deliver the human race from death and to fulfill in man God's perfect will, abundant life. The antichrist thoughts must be persistently denied. The perfect will of God for all men is abundant life, not death.
anxiety--A form of fear; a negative mental attitude that keeps God's good from man.
apostles--Those sent forth; messengers; ambassadors; active spiritual thoughts. Jesus conferred this title on the Twelve whom He sent forth to teach and to heal.
In order to command our powers and to bring them into unity of
action, we must know what they are and their respective places on the
staff of Being. The Grand Man, Christ, has twelve powers of fundamental
ideas, represented in the history of Jesus by the Twelve Apostles. So
each of us has twelve faculties or fundamental ideas to make manifest,
to bring out, and to use in the attainment of his ideals. There are
innumerable other ideas, but each one stems from some one of these
Jesus' twelve apostles were: Peter (faith); Andrew (strength); James, son of Zebedee (wisdom or judgment); John (love); Philip (power); Bartholomew (imagination); Thomas (understanding); Matthew (will); James (order); Simon the Cananaean (zeal); Thaddaeus (renunciation or elimination); and Judas (life conserver). (see disciple, calling of)
appetite--Either the craving of the sense man for fulfillment of his fleshly desires or the hunger and thirst of the spirit for its divine inheritance. "But he awaketh . . . and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite" (Isa. 29:8).
appetite, carnal or sensual--A hunger and thirst for sensual pleasures; misdirected effort to obtain satisfaction through feeding the insatiable sense man. All indulgence of such appetite must be denied out of man's consciousness before Christ can be manifested.
appreciation--The act of appreciating; esteeming. Spiritually, man's mind esteems to a great measure the loveliness and power of omnipresent God, All-Good. "I will give thee thanks with my whole heart" (Psalms 138:1).
appropriation--The act of taking possession of something. To appropriate the word of Truth is to take the substance of the word into one's mind and heart.
ark--A holy place; a sanctuary; a tabernacle; the Christ center within wherein man is one with pure Being.
ark, Noah's--Symbolizes the spiritual part of oneself, built in the midst of the flood of error. One builds one's ark on the scientific understanding of the wisdom, presence, and power of God and on the affirmations of what one is in Spirit.
The only refuge from the Flood (see Gen. 6:18) was the ark of Jehovah. The ark represents a positive, saving state of consciousness, which agrees with or forms a covenant with the principle of Being, with subconscious inspiration, with Christ. This ark is the product of "rest" (Noah) in the spiritual part of us, right in the midst of the flood of error.
Ark of the Covenant--Represents the original spark of divinity in man's being, which is a sacred and holy thing. On its development depends man's immortality. The original spark (Ark of the Covenant) occupies the most holy place in the body temple and must be cared for with great devotion; otherwise, the spiritual forces are scattered.
No human hand is allowed to touch this ark of the covenant. No human thought can enter the sacred precincts, which are kept veiled from all eyes.
armor of God--The robe of righteousness. Error cannot enter the consciousness that is strongly fortified with the light, life, power, and substance of Spirit.
ascension--The ascending or progressive unfoldment of man from the animal to the spiritual. It is measured by three degrees or states of consciousness: first, the animal; second, the mental or psychical; and third, the spiritual. Jesus first manifested Himself as the man on the physical plane, from which He was resurrected to the mental or psychical; from thence He ascended to the spiritual.
asceticism--The practice of severe self-denial; the attempt to deny the body itself as an evil thing instead of beholding it as the sacred temple of the living God to be revered, respected, and loved.
aspirations--The deep longing of man for union with his source, with his Father-Mother, God.
ass--In Oriental countries in Bible times kings and rulers rode the ass, and it was the accepted bearer of royalty. The animal part of the human consciousness is typified by the ass, and the purpose of Jesus' riding an ass into Jerusalem was to portray the mastery by the I AM of the animal nature and its manifestation (colt). Jerusalem is the city of peace or spiritual consciousness. The characteristics of the ass are stubbornness, persistency, and endurance. To ride these is to make them obedient to one's will.
association, spiritual--Living in an uninterrupted relationship with ideas that come into consciousness from God.
astrology--"The pseudo science which treats of the influence of the stars upon human affairs, and of foretelling terrestrial events by their position and aspects" (Webster). Astrology represents the belief in man that his good depends wholly on something outside himself--his ruling star, fate, providence--instead of depending on the power of his own thoughts to establish within himself and his world what he wills.
It is true that we are in sympathy with all nature, which includes the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. These are all ensouled, and their actions can affect us when we do not believe in a higher power. But there is a higher power in everyone: Spirit. In Genesis it is stated that spiritual man, the image-and-likeness man, was given dominion over all creation.
astronomy--"The science which treats of the celestial bodies, their magnitudes, motions, constitution, etcetera" (Webster).
The material universe is only the outpicturing of the spiritual universe. The pulsations of the spiritual forces impinge on and sway men, nations, and planets according to laws whose sweep in space and time is so stupendous as to be beyond the ken or comprehension of astronomy. But the fact should not be overlooked that higher astronomy had its votaries in the past. The Magi and the illumined sages of Chaldea and Egypt had astronomical knowledge of universal scope.
There is evidence that proves that the sages of the distant past knew a higher astronomy than do we of this age and that they predicted the future of this planet through cycles and aeons--its nights of mental darkness and the dawn of its spiritual day--with the same accuracy that our astronomers do its present-day planetary revolutions.
Jesus evidently understood this higher astronomy, and He knew that His work as a teacher and demonstrator of spiritual law was related to it, yet not controlled by it. He co-operated with the "law . . . and the prophets," as far as they went, but He knew the higher law of the Christ man and affirmed His supremacy in the words, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18).
atmosphere--Individually, an extension of consciousness; collectively, the pervading influence of the predominating thoughts.
atom--"One of the small parts out of which any physical quantity is built up" (Webster). A particle charged with tremendous energy that may be released and made to give to man powers beyond expression. Jesus used the dynamic power of thought to break the bonds of the atoms composing the few loaves and fishes of the boy's lunch--and five thousand persons were fed. Material science says that each atom of matter has force and intelligence and a certain individuality; hence, it is a form of mind.
atonement--Reconciliation between God and man through Christ; the uniting of our consciousness with the higher consciousness. Jesus became the way by which all who accept Him may "pass over" to the higher consciousness. We have atonement through Him.
attainment, intellectual--Intellectual attainments are not in themselves of use in matters spiritual. They have their end in teaching the student how to command his faculties and to bring them into subjection. We must drop them out of our mind as quickly as we can and be willing to commence anew in the school of the higher life. Let us affirm often: "I am meek and lowly of heart. I am led of the Spirit."
attainment, spiritual--A laying hold of the high and lofty ideas of the Christ Mind; the bringing of spiritual ideas into manifestation in one's mind, body, and affairs.
attitude--The state of mind in relation to some matter or situation; a mental position. Attitude of mind toward environment determines the nature of man's environment. A positive attitude draws the good; a negative attitude brings its train of sin, sickness, poverty, and death. "For as he thinketh within himself, so is he" (Prov. 23:7).
attributes of Being--That which is inherent in the twelve powers of faculties.
augury--The blind following of the commands of some omen or voice, not of Spirit.
aura--The thought emanation that surrounds every person. As to whether it is an illumined aura, or medium, or dark and cloudy depends on the dominant thought force of each person. The aura around the bodies of sincere, honest persons is usually bright blue or some modification of blue. The aura is not visible to all persons, but only to those who have their psychical nature quickened on the spiritual plane.
There are in the world today men and women who have followed the teaching of Jesus and developed in their bodies a superenergy or life that not only permeates the physical structure but envelops it in a luminous aura that can be and is felt by both themselves and others. Spirit reveals that spiritual thinking breaks open the physical cells and atoms and releases their imprisoned life, which originally came from Divine Mind. Jesus carried this process so far that His whole body was transformed and became a conscious part of the Father's life and intelligence. (see halo)
aura, how created--Prayer liberates the energies pent up in the mind and body. Those who pray much create a spiritual aura that eventually envelops the whole body. The bands of light painted by artists around the heads of saints are not imaginary; they actually exist and are visible to the sharp eye of the painter. Luke testifies (9:29) that when Jesus was praying "his countenance was altered, and his raiment became white and dazzling." After Moses had been praying on the mountain his face shone so brightly that the people could not look at it, and he had to wear a veil.
authority--Rightful power; mastery; or dominion. "For he taught them as having authority" (Mark 1:22).
authority, having--Inspired by Spirit within. The Spirit of truth is the one and only authority in the study of Truth. (see John 16:13)
authority, parental--Human parental authority is a thought of bondage or slavery in mortal consciousness based on desire of parents to domineer and to wield power. Divine parental authority is child guidance based on love and understanding. It includes willingness to grant freedom to the child by helping him to know and to live Truth.
autosuggestion--The conscious impression of selected thoughts on the subconscious mind by oneself.
avarice--Inordinate greed for material riches. (Symbolized by "the money-changers.") The avaricious suffer most in body and are the most difficult to heal, because of the mental bias that prompts them to get all things as cheaply as possible, including the kingdom of heaven.
avarice, how to be free from--Establish in consciousness the idea of giving generously and freely, not from compulsion or for the sake of reward but from the pure love of giving.
awakening, spiritual--Becoming conscious of the things of Spirit, or God.