Some say that Unity has a lot in common with a lot of other belief systems. They have a point. You can find compatible ideas all over the place, from Joel Osteen and Deepak Chopra to most of the self-help section at Barnes and Noble. Even here at the Unity Society, we’re not trying to post 100% canonical material. Instead, our goal is just to give you ideas and experiences that are consistent with the Unity life. We know that you’ll like what you see, and we’re certain that you’ll be hungry for more.
That’s the thing. Start with what’s comfortable for you, and it will pull you out of your comfort zone and into something more profound. If you let it.
There is a good bit of common ground between Unity and pop spirituality. One reason is that a lot of what you’ll find in the mainstream is borrowed. You can trace the ideas you find in a lot of bestselling books back to the Fillmores and their peers. On the one hand, I’m delighted that the concepts are still finding an audience. There’s no copyright on Truth, after all, and I’m just glad people are looking.
Then again, I want to inspire seekers to go back to the source. The journey from classic Unity teaching to contemporary self-help sentiment is often like a long game of telephone. In this case, though, the translation is mediated not only by go-betweens but also by marketability. Over time, things tend to get watered down and challenging elements removed.
But challenge is what we need.
A lot of books can make you feel better. That’s wonderful. It’s time to make the world better, though, and that takes courage and love. And that’s what Unity brings to the table, in a way I don’t think anything else can. Yes, there are a lot of great ideas in the mainstream, in books and speakers and Facebook posts. Let’s be open to learning wherever we can find it. But Unity represents a unique offering; a special and distinctive way to approach the world and speak the word.
If you want to life a life that works, dig as deep as you can and demand answers that make sense to your head and your heart. Put on your Indiana Jones fedora and do some archeology. Find out what Unity taught a hundred years ago, and you’ll discover that it tells you more about life here and now than anything you’ll find anywhere else. Along the way, your passion, and the resultant demonstration in your life, will be a catalyst for change. When Unity people live the teachings out loud, we all grow.
That’s how we used to do things, and it’s time to get the old magic back.
Spend some time with May Rowland. If Charles and Myrtle Fillmore are mom and dad, then May is the cool aunt who taught you about rock and roll. Every Unity old-timer has a great May Rowland story; wherever she went and whatever she did, people healed and things changed. She exemplifies the Unity spirit and inspires the kind of badassery that we need now.
If you want to pray like a Unity person, if you’re just getting started on your path, or if there’s a tornado bearing down on you, go find A Drill in the Silence at your local Unity church. If you want to learn how to live this life, read Dare to Believe. There’s nothing like it.