More About Unity
Whether you have a strong spiritual foundation, are just at the beginning of your spiritual journey, or do not believe in God at all, Unity offers spiritual insights and guidance for all people. While having its origins rooted in Christianity, the Unity teachings bring together ancient wisdom from many faith traditions. You will not find dogma in Unity, and we honor all spiritual paths.
What Is Unity?
Unity is positive, practical Christianity. We teach the effective daily application of the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. We promote a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind. Unity has established centers of study and worship throughout the world where people discover and practice the Unity way of life. We address physical, mental, and emotional needs through affirmative prayer and spiritual education. We serve those who seek inspiration and prayer support as well as those who use Unity teachings as their primary path of spiritual growth. We believe that all people are created with sacred worth, and we strive to reach out to all who seek support and spiritual growth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. Our ministries and outreaches are free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability, and sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to create spiritually aware organizations that are nondiscriminatory and support diversity.
What are Unity's basic teachings?
The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are:
God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
We are spiritual beings, created in God's image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Is Unity a Denomination?
Some aspects of the Unity movement are denominational, and some are not. For example, there are more than 900 Unity churches and study groups affiliated with Unity's sister organization, Unity Worldwide Ministries. This is a denominational aspect of Unity. In addition, Unity Institute and Seminary, located at Unity Village, trains approximately 60 students every two years to be Unity ministers. This is also denominational. However, the majority of the work done by Unity involves prayer, publishing, and education services to people of all faiths. These nondenominational aspects include the prayer ministry, Silent Unity, Daily Word (Unity's nondenominational inspirational bimonthly magazine), retreats, and spiritual enrichment and education classes (SEE) that are open to everyone and teach Unity principles in nondenominational settings.
What does Unity believe about God?
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. Because we know that each person comes to Unity at a different place on their journey, we invite you to use the language that resonates with you. Whether you like to say God, the Universe, Spirit, divine truth, Love, or some other phrase, we believe that this divine energy is all the same: a benevolent expression of goodness, order, abundance, and love in the world.
What does Unity believe about Jesus?
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 teaches that the spirit of God lived in Jesus, just as it lives in every person. Every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ as Jesus did, by being more Christlike in everyday life.
What is the role of the Bible in Unity?
Unity 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.
What are Unity's views on 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.
What does Unity teach about sin and salvation, heaven and hell?
Sin is our separation from God, the Good, in consciousness. Salvation is now--not something that occurs after death. It happens whenever we turn our thoughts from fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt to thoughts of love, harmony, joy, and peace. The "fall" takes place in consciousness whenever we fall into negative habits of thinking. Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, not geographical locations. We make our own heaven or hell here and now by our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Does Unity practice baptism and communion?
Yes, symbolically. Whereas baptism by water represents the cleansing of the consciousness, spiritual baptism signifies the inflow of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a mental and spiritual process that takes place within the individual as he or she aligns with the spirit of God. Spiritual communion takes place through prayer and meditation in the silence. The word of Truth is symbolized by the bread or body of Jesus Christ. The conscious realization of God-life is symbolized by the wine or blood of Jesus Christ. Unity practices communion by appropriating, or partaking, of the spiritual energy represented by these elements.
What is Unity's view on sexuality?
Unity teaches that all people are created with sacred worth and that no one exists outside the heart of God. Its basic principles state that God is Good, and because all people exist within God, they also are inherently good. To reflect its inclusiveness, Unity issued a formal Statement of Diversity in 1995: "We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people within the Unity family in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. We strive for our ministries, publications and programs to reach out to all who seek Unity support and spiritual growth. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to ensure that all Unity organizations are nondiscriminatory and support diversity."
Is there any connection between Unity and Unitarianism?
No, there is no connection, although there is sometimes confusion because of the similarity of the names. Each is a distinct organization with its own set of beliefs and practices.