Jane Richardson was a long time member of UCM, who explained Unity better than anyone:
The Unity Movement
Non-fiction by Jane Richardson
Unity – a practical spiritual lifestyle, co-founded by Charles & Myrtle Fillmore over 100 years ago.
Unity refers often to the Bible, but its main reference is “Lessons in Truth.”
Dr. H. Emilie Cady’s ability to define spiritual ideas is amazing because things spiritual are hard to put into words and she has done a remarkable job, I feel, as I read “Lessons in Truth.” Let us begin with the central statement of Unity philosophy. “There is only One Presence and One Power in the universe and in my life, God, the Good, Omnipotent.”
God can be called any name you choose. God has many names and is not a Being, God is spirit - pure essence.
Cady explains its meaning very clearly to me. She states her case by questioning. “If God is omnipresent (All-Presence) and All Good, where is the evil? If He is Omnipotence (All-Power) what other power can there be? The answer, of course, is none! No other power!
Absorbing this concept into my being has really, truly cast out fear from my life. Unity’s beliefs speak to my heart and Cady illustrates them so well. Deep within me or my consciousness, I know now that there is no Devil or evil in the world to harm me; the appearance of evil is an absence of love, as in a dark room, there is an absence of light.
A second core belief is that of Christ individualized. Quoting Cady, “God is principle but God is individual, also. Principle becomes individualized the moment it comes to dwell in external manifestation in a human body.” Christ is the name we have given to the Divine in us. Unity distinguishes a difference between personality and individuality.
In my understanding, personality (from persona) can change and shift – as a mask can be worn or changed – according to circumstances, but individuality is the real truth of us. As we grow and mature, we learn to let the Divine in us out into expression more and more, our true nature or being comes into manifestation and the more individualized we become. In this way the inherent gifts we were born with can be more readily known and shared with others – to help others. I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s well known statement, “To thine own self be true, (your individuality, not personality) And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Now we come to a third core belief – the law of mind action. There are spiritual laws as true and unyielding as natural laws. One of these is that what is held in mind (our inner thoughts) will manifest itself in one’s experience (the outer). Whatever you dwell upon will appear. I think this law can be likened to the old statement regarding computers, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
The Old Testament reminds us also, “What you sow, that you shall also reap.” Unity and Cady constantly remind us of this law by admonishing us to watch our thoughts. Thoughts are energy, energy is matter, so thoughts are things.
“I stand guard over my thoughts,” Myrtle Fillmore said, and by doing so, she was healed of terminal illness. I am watching my thoughts!!
Denials and Affirmations – Important in Unity, they form a fourth core belief. Truth students find that denials and affirmations work as powerful tools to be used as one journeys on the spiritual path. Denials as Cady explains help rid or clear the consciousness of error thinking – they act as a cleansing mechanism. (Unity’s use of the word is not to be confused with today’s psychological usage, as refusing to face the truth of some behavior).
Cady refers to four common error thoughts, which in the past have been granted great power. Since I agree with Unity and Cady, I deny them also by stating these denials:
- There is no evil or Devil.
- There is no absence of life, substance, or intelligence anywhere.
- Pain, sickness, poverty, old age, and death cannot master me for they are not real.
- There is nothing in all the universe for me to fear, for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
Since we are now cleansing our minds of error thinking, we affirm statements of truth, repeating I AM messages into our consciousness. Affirmations that have helped me become more aware of my Divine potential are: I AM a child of God, now! I AM capable! I AM self-reliant!
Cady, also, states four inclusive affirmations for us. I quote here the statement that I love. “Whatever we fully commit to the Divine Spirit to do and AFFIRM IS DONE, we shall see accomplished.” This is so powerful and I have seen it come true in my life.
Fifth belief from the Fillmores – prayer and meditation. Of course, these two also, are central to Unity teaching. Prayer is thought of as talking to Spirit or God. Truth students may use written prayers – such as the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, etc. – or speak from the heart to God as if talking to a dear friend; as truly God is our best friend and longs for us to be His best friend, too.
Meditation is listening to God in the Silence, a very basic Unity teaching. Underlying all the noise of the world is the silence where God is within each of us.
Cady explains that prayer must come from the heart to be effective. One cannot just repeat the words as a parrot might do. And as for meditation, she states that, “Sitting in the Silence is not just lazy drifting, but is a definite waiting upon God.”
By practicing these core beliefs of Unity, I am taking a closer walk with God and I AM A HAPPY WOMAN!
“To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
-- Luke 2:11-12.