Are you familiar with Unity, also known as Unity church? Founded in 1889 by Charles Fillmore and his wife Myrtle, it started as a small church within the New Thought* movement. Classified today as “a spiritual nonprofit,” there are currently almost 1,000 Unity “churches” across the US.
I was recently reminded of Unity, a group I vaguely knew, by Jim Blake. A former CEO of Unity, Blake has just published a book title The Zen Executive, Gems of Wisdom for Evolutionary Leadership. But as I read the book, I found myself wanting to learn not about business leadership techniques, but the core principles behind Blake’s thinking.
In his book, Blake touches briefly on “the 5 fundamental principles” of Unity that “pull together teachings of Truth that flow through all the world’s great religions.” Curious, I reached out to Unity HQ in Kansas City, Missouri for more information. They sent me a pamphlet explaining the 5 principles which are contained within several short stories. The essence of these principles is captured below, with an assist from Blake and The Zen Executive.
The 5 principles present subject matter that many of us in the “spiritual but not religious” community already know. But pulled together as a whole, it’s a case where the sum is greater than the parts. They truly are teachings to live by, reminders that there is more to this amazing world than meets the eye.
5 Core Principles for Spiritual Living
God is Absolute Good and is present everywhere.
God is not sitting on a cloud judging you. God is the force of love and wisdom that underlies everything. Present at every point in space at the same time, God is an intelligent presence that is everywhere. Being itself, not a being.
Human beings have a spark of divinity within them.
The very essence of humanity is God and we all possess the spark of divinity. God lives within you at every moment, the Christ spirit within. This presence and power pervades the universe, connecting humanity and all living things. The world is a seamless whole, every person your brother and sister. This divinity dwells in all you encounter.
We create our experiences by our thinking.
Your thoughts have the power to determine events and attract experiences. You are a co-creator with God, creating your reality through the thoughts in your mind. When you set your mind, energy, and attention on what you truly desire, the universe will conspire in your favor. “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.” ~WA Ward
Prayers heightens our connection with God.
Prayer, along with meditation, aligns you with God and the universe. This is where you can recognize and remember your full and complete oneness with God. Prayer and meditation bring unison of body, mind and spirit along with the knowledge you are a spiritual being, experiencing the privilege of living in the human realm.
We must live the Truth we know.
It is not enough to understand spiritual teachings. You must demonstrate and practice this truth and understanding in your daily life. Love is the foundation of truth. In every moment, choose to see or seek the presence of love. Your spiritual nature gives you access to all the attributes of God—and the love, wisdom, faith, and order that you need for this human journey.
*The term “New Thought” was coined by William James in the late 1800s and was meant to separate this eclectic branch of thinking from “Ancient Thought” as found in the Bible and Greek and Roman philosophies. Wikipedia describes New Thought “as a loosely allied group of religious denominations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.”