I like to think of each of us as something of a facet on one giant prism. And I like to think that something of a universal light pours itself over each and every facet of that giant prism without preference or prejudice.
This light doesn’t reward some facets. This light doesn’t punish some facets. The light simply is. And yet, as this universal light pours itself over each and every facet of that giant prism, each and every facet speeds that light and slows that light and redirects that light in accord with its – well – facet-ness. So, if you refract a color you don’t relish, it’s not the light that has to change.
Unity’s first tenet would say, God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
Second, human beings have a spark of divinity within them, the Christ spirit. Their very essence is of God, and therefore they are also inherently good.
Third, human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thought.
And fourth, there is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our awareness of God.
And I might say that if you refract a color you don’t relish, it’s not the light that has to change, it’s you that has to change. Prayer, meditation, scripture, study, music, nature, poetry and chant are tools with which we can reposition ourselves to refract new colors; with which we can change consciousness for there can be no lasting outer change, without lasting inner change.
It was Unity Co-founder, Charles Fillmore, who said, “We don’t have to pray or beg for God to give us anything. All we need do is to meditate quietly and affirm the presence and power of the great Giver of all, and then accept the gifts.”
Emilie Cady, “We don’t have to beseech God any more than we have to beseech the sun to shine. The sun shines because it is a law of its being to shine; it cannot help it.”
Butterworth, “Startling as it may sound, it really doesn’t make any difference to God whether or not we pray, but it makes a lot of difference to us because prayer is not a matter of conquering God's reluctance, but of attuning ourselves to God’s eternal willingness.”
And this fifth and final tenet is what I might call the rubber-meets-the road tenet, the put-up-or-shut-up tenet, the push-comes-to-shove tenet. For it basically says, while you can keep getting up on Sundays and having it done to you, that it’s only as you begin getting up on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and embodying something of a higher truth and allowing that higher truth to infuse the daily activities of your life that it will make any real difference.
In other words, let’s heed the challenge offered by this fifth and final tenet: it’s not enough to know the truth; a person must live the truth that he or she knows.
Myrtle Fillmore makes it clear that our spiritual work is never to be a substitute or a replacement for our earthly work. She once said that you can pray for health all you want, but until you stop smoking, you might not get results. Our Platform Assistants quote her every few weeks, “Prayer is an exercise to change our thought habits and our living habits.”
For her, our spiritual work — whether through prayer, meditation, scripture, study, music, nature, poetry or chant — is never to be a substitute or a replacement for our earthly work, but our spiritual work is to become the foundation from which our earthly work springs.
In other words, the spiritual path isn’t to spend eternity on some remote mountaintop wearing a loin cloth. The spiritual path is to visit the mountaintop through prayer, meditation, scripture, study, music, nature, poetry or chant, and then to allow that mountaintop consciousness to become the foundation from which our earthly work springs.
There’s a reason that so many of the healing works of Jesus were realized after he had spent time in high places. The real story isn’t that Jesus prayed for healings to occur. The real story is that Jesus prayed, and from that mountaintop consciousness, healings occurred.
And those are very, very different interpretations.
I like to summarize these tenets as God is, I am, I think, I pray and finally – springing from the first four - I do.
My job is to find creative, new ways of encouraging you to visit the mountaintop—encouraging you to cultivate that mountaintop consciousness.
And your job is to bring that mountaintop consciousness back into our world.
As I said last week, every tradition has said something like this: We emanate from the singular infinite potentiality that is God. We will return to the singular infinite potentiality that is God. In the meantime, we delight in an illusion of separate finite limitation.
So it’s not in finding God that we enter an altered state of consciousness. It’s in becoming human that we enter an altered state of consciousness.
Even in the midst of the illusion, there’s something in us that remembers the higher truths of that singular infinite potentiality from which we emanate.
And those who remember most clearly become the avatars, the gurus, the Buddhas, the Christs of a people.