Embrace the Possibility of Today
One of the wonders of the universe is that its laws operate unfailingly under all conditions, whether we are aware of those laws or not. In 1687 Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which described the Universal Laws of Motion. After reading and absorbing the information, no one ever thought that the description of the laws actually created them. So too with Spiritual Laws. They operate everywhere, at all times, and under all conditions whether we are aware of them or not.
This week, Rev. Joanne and a small team of dedicated congregants (musicians and technical personnel) provided our Sunday service via livestream in an empty Unity Hall. With growing concerns about COVID-19 contagion, it was decided that it was prudent to limit physical access to Unity Spiritual Center, just as most churches throughout the country also follow recommended safety protocols.
This decision was not made from a place of fear. One of the Twelve Powers with which all humans are endowed is Wisdom (see last week’s blog post). We use the gifts of our innate human intelligence and Spiritual Wisdom, and take the necessary actions to ensure that we remain healthy and safe. That is very different than acting from a place of an “oh no, . . ., what-if” state of consciousness.
Even though our congregation was physically separated, we remain a strong and united community. As Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore tells us:
The true church is not made of creeds and forms, nor is it contained in walls of wood and stone; the heart of man (humans) is its temple and the Spirit of truth is the one guide into all Truth. When men (all people) learn to turn within to the Spirit of truth, who is in each one for his light and inspiration, the differences between the churches of man will be eliminated, and the one church will be recognized.1
Fillmore was not suggesting that the Unity movement was or is “the one church.” He did not advocate for separation from or judgment of others. He was saying that it is within the hearts of people where a church community is located, not a street address.
One of the foundational teachings of Unity are its Five Principles. Rev. Joanne gives some suggestions of how we may use these principles during COVID-19 conditions or during any time in our life, challenging or not.
Principle #1 - God is all there is and present everywhere. This is the force of love and wisdom that underlies all of existence.
Using our the spiritual power of Understanding, we can recognize the Truth of this first principle. We can also choose to change our minds from acting from a place of fear to knowing that God is our strength. We must also know that there will be unforeseen blessings that emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Principle #2 - Human beings are divine at their core and therefore inherently good.
Because the Spirit of God is good and is also within us, we have the ability to receive, recognize, and use Divine Ideas to rise to any challenge we face. We do not ignore difficulties (as if we even could), but acknowledge them and act in creative new ways to not just survive, but thrive.
Principle #3 - Thoughts have creative power to determine events and attract experiences.
This principle is not saying that we can pretend our way into whatever we want to see appear in our lives. It says that when we are looking for a way to solve a problem we are much more likely to find it than if we adopt a pessimistic attitude. Our emotions and psychological state have an effect on our physical bodies. Numerous scientific studies have shown that immune response is lowered during stress, including a 30 year meta-analysis of independent testing sources.2 Since we have the ability to use our thoughts to create our own experience, a really good place to start would be to employ relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to lower our stress levels and thereby increase our immune systems compared to our more stressed out selves.
Principle #4 - Prayer and meditation keep us aligned with the one great power in the universe.
Unity teaches the idea of Affirmative Prayer. This is very different from the plaintive, beseeching, bargaining prayer many people employ. Affirmative prayer is the highest form of creative thought. It includes the release of counterproductive, negative thoughts as well as holding in mind statements of spiritual Truth. Through meditation, we experience the presence of God. Prayer and meditation heighten our awareness and thereby transform our lives.3
Principle #5 - It is not enough to understand spiritual teachings. We must live the Truth we know.
This principle, in some ways, is the most important of all. There is a saying, “The universe doesn’t care about what you know, think, or believe, only about what you do.” You will not loose weight by simply reading diet books. Nor will you get in shape by watching exercise DVDs. In exactly the same way, once we begin to learn spiritual principles for daily living, we must actually employ them for them to have any effect. “Keeping a good thought” does not mean optimism alone will win the day. Optimism coupled with the next right step, then the next, is what propels us forward.
Optimism is a powerful tool. One of the ways we can use that tool is by saying affirmations of Truth. I suggest short affirmations that can be memorized, or easily posted on sticky notes around your home. Here are just a few affirmations that may be helpful during our current global health challenge:
- My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
- Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
- I fill my day with hope and face it with joy.
- I am releasing my concerns by breathing slowly and deeply.
- I am thankful and grateful for the good in my life.
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
This week, choose one of the Five Principles to work with each day. Make a conscious effort to find things in your life that reflect the Truth of who you are. Jot them down as they come to you. Look at them often to remind yourself of the Christ within you.
1Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, The – Fillmore, Charles, Unity Press, 1962.
2Segerstrom, S. C. and Miller, G. E. (2004). Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 130, No. 4.
3Unity of Medina, OH, www.unityofmedina.org