What is Unity?
Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.
God is Spirit, the loving source of all that is. God is the one power, all good, everywhere present, all wisdom. God is divine energy, continually creating, expressing and sustaining all creation. In God, we live and move and have our being. In Unity, some other ways we speak of God are Life, Light, Love, Substance, Principle, Law and Universal Mind.
The Nature of Humankind
We are each individual, eternal expressions of God. Our essential nature is divine and therefore inherently good. Our purpose is to express our divine potential as realized and demonstrated by Jesus and other master teachers. The more we awaken to our divine nature, the more fully God expresses in and through our lives.
Prayer and Meditation
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
We believe that Jesus expressed his divine potential and sought to show humankind how to express ours as well. We see Jesus as a master teacher of universal truths and as our Way Shower. In Unity, we use the term Christ to mean the divinity in humankind. Jesus is the great example of the Christ in expression.
Unity co-founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore studied the Bible as history and allegory and interpreted it as a metaphysical representation of humankind's evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening. In addition, Unity recognizes that the Bible is a complex collection of writings compiled over many centuries. We honor the writings as reflecting the understanding and inspiration of the writers at the time they were written. The Bible continues to be a valuable spiritual resource for us.
Unity teaches that each person is a unique expression of God created with sacred worth. Living from that awareness transforms our lives and the world.
Unity emphasizes the creative power of thought in our life experience. We refer to this as the Principle of Mind Action. When we take personal responsibility to choose life-affirming thoughts, words and actions, we experience a more fulfilling and abundant life.
Unity emphasizes the importance of applying spiritual principles in our daily lives.
Unity teachings continue to evolve as we identify, embrace and apply spiritual insights and the spiritual implications of new discoveries.
What is Unity?
Unity's Five Basic Principles
- There is one presence and one power active as the universe and in my life, God the good.
- Our essence is of God. Therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus the Christ.
- We are co-creators with God, helping to create reality through thoughts held in mind.
- Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart and mind with God.
- Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the Truth we know.
(To learn more, read The Five Principles: A Guide to Practical Spirituality by Rev. Ellen Debenport)
“Unity is a link in the great educational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ; our objective is to discern the truth in Christianity and prove it. The truth that we teach is not new; neither do we claim special revelations or discovery of new religious principles. Our purpose is to help and teach mankind to use and prove the eternal Truth taught by the Master.”
Several years following their marriage, Myrtle and Charles Fillmore attended classes taught by a leader in New Thought theory. When they applied the ideas they learned to their own lives, each was astonished by rapid recovery from chronic illness and disability.
The place was Kansas City, Missouri in the late nineteenth century. The Fillmores became proponents of a new perspective which developed into the movement which they called Unity.
Within a few years they had dedicated themselves to this cause, publishing the periodicals Modern Thought and Unity and developing the prayer group known as “Silent Unity.”
A series of essays published in Unity by a homeopathic physician, Dr. H. Emilie Cady, were gathered together and published as a book, Lessons in Truth, which remains a core text on Unity thought to this day.
The other text of profound importance to Unity practitioners is the Bible, which the Fillmores read as allegory.
In 1919 Myrtle and Charles purchased a tract of land south-east of Kansas City. Originally used as a weekend and vacation retreat for their family and Unity employees, this bucolic spot was expanded over time to become Unity Village which is incorporated as a town and is today the spiritual headquarters of Unity.