Unity is a spiritual and educational organization that transcends denomination and therefore has been called transdenominational. We teach practical, livable universal principles based on the ideas taught and demonstrated by Jesus. We see this as a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness and peace of mind. Unity is a movement in which we recognize the importance of serving all people in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to create spiritually aware organizations that are nondiscriminatory and that support diversity.
Unity believes that each person has direct, individual and personal access to the unlimited resources of the Universe through affirmative prayer and meditation. Each person can access the Christ within and thus tap into the wisdom, power and life of God. Unity believes that everyone in the world can use these Christ-based principles on a daily basis. The basic principles that make up Unity’s teachings are:
5 Basic Unity Principles
- There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as 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, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
- Through prayer and meditation we align our heart-mind with God. Denials and affirmations are tools we use.
- Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the Truth we know.
Yes. Unity teaches that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it dwells in every person; and that every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life.
Unity students are encouraged to align with the spirit of the Christ within for personal guidance and direction that will best enhance their spiritual growth. The Unity ministry provides a safe and sacred space for study, participation, community, support, transformation and awakening to the joy of living in God’s world. Each Unity ministry is supported by the free-will offerings of those who share its vision. Unity affirms the freedom of each individual to advance spiritually according to his or her own level of understanding. Respect for and faith in the spirit of God in every person makes it unnecessary to set down fixed creeds or impose limiting beliefs. Each individual is encouraged to go to the God within in determining personal responses in his or her life.
Unity Worldwide Ministries is comprised of approximately 915 member ministries and satellite ministries on the North American Continent; through the World Outreach Department of Unity School there are approximately 65 international ministries informally affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries. Each ministry is under the leadership of a licensed or ordained Unity minister, or authorized spiritual leader. The emphasis in Unity organizations is on spiritual activities such as positive, uplifting services, healing meetings, prayer groups, counseling and study classes for adults and young people of all ages.
Unity School is the world headquarters for the Unity movement founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. After Myrtle Fillmore’s remarkable healing utilizing prayer and affirmations, many who were seeking help became interested in how she accomplished this healing. From small prayer circles in living rooms, Unity grew. The first issue of UNITY magazine was published in 1889. The teaching of the practice of prayer, through classes and correspondence led to the establishment of Silent Unity, the 24 hour a day prayer service, Spiritual Enlightment Ministerial Education and Retreat programs. Unity serves millions of people in more than 150 countries through its threefold ministry of prayer, publishing and education.
Unity students are those individuals who have found a deeper understanding of God, of themselves and of their world through the practical methods presented in the Unity teachings. Often this has come as a result of some very trying and seemingly hopeless experience. Unity students include many who are readers of the various publications. Others attend Unity services and classes, finding in such attendance a spiritual “home” in which they are strengthened in their spiritual enfoldment. They are from all walks of life, all races, creeds and nationalities.
Unity puts into practice a true ecumenical approach. Unity sees itself as a vehicle for instruction, inspiration and prayer support for spiritual seekers regardless of their religious affiliation. It views itself as an ever-expanding expression of love, light and peace. Unity believes in the oneness and freedom of all people. Emphasis is always on the similarities rather than the differences in the human spiritual expression.
No, there is no connection. There is sometimes confusion because of the similarity of the names. Many beliefs are held in common including the importance of individual freedom in the quest for Truth. In a very general way, it might be said that the two differ mainly in their beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Unity places great emphasis on spiritual healing, while this is not practiced by Unitarians as a rule. In turn, Unitarians place great emphasis on social and political action.
No. Unity and Christian Science, as well as many other New Thought groups had their beginnings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Many of the leaders in these groups studied under the same teachers. There are similarities in the teachings of Unity and Christian Science, including: the importance of prayer, the practice of spiritual healing and some fundamental theological points. Also, both have great publishing operations. However, the application of principles, the methods of teaching, and the organization of the two movements are quite different.
The Bible is Unity’s basic textbook. It is accepted as a body of history, as a moral and ethical teaching, and as a great literary work. Beyond this, Unity finds deep significance in the Bible through its metaphysical interpretation, wherein names of places and people and their experiences symbolize the enfoldment of human consciousness. Through the study of Unity, the Bible is made more meaningful to individuals. Scripture comes alive when it is understood as a clear and helpful guide for today’s experiences. The Bible reveals the spirit of Truth and the word of God. Holy Spirit, working individually through those who study scripture and listen within, is the final authority in spiritual awakening.
Yes. Symbolically. Whereas baptism by water represents the cleansing of the consciousness, spiritual baptism signifies the inflow of the Holy Spirit. It is often called Christening in which the Christ perfection within the person is honored.
Spiritual communion takes place through prayer and meditation in the silence. The word of Truth is symbolized by the bread, or the body of Jesus Christ. The conscious realization of God-life is symbolized by the wine, or the blood of Jesus Christ. Unity practices communion by appropriating, or partaking of the spiritual energy represented by these elements.
The blood of Jesus Christ represents the spiritual energy of God-life that purifies or redeems the body through a cleansing and renewal of the consciousness by the spoken word. Regarding the “spilled blood,” or the “ransom of many,” the emphasis in Unity is not so much on the death of Jesus as on His life. He did not relieve us of the necessity of working out our own salvation, but His example and teachings show us the way.
Unity teaches that the cross symbolizes the crossing out of all false beliefs. Here again, emphasis is on life and living through the resurrection rather than on the Crucifixion.
Unity accepts the virgin birth as an experience in the spiritual enfoldment of each individual. Thus the virgin birth is spiritually interpreted as the birth of the Christ consciousness (the awakening of the awareness of God’s Spirit within) in the purified soul.
Unity understands the Second Coming as the individual expression of the Christ consciousness. This is not an event to be anticipated in the future. It is happening here and now through prayer, meditation, study and application.
Unity interprets the religious terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit metaphysically as three aspects of mind action: mind, idea and expression. This makes us a part of the Trinity instead of something outside ourselves. Mind, idea and expression is the process through which all manifestation takes place.
Sin is our separation from God in consciousness, caused by our belief in the “devil” or a power other than God, the good. This belief leads to our unwise use of our God-given powers and abilities. Salvation is now–not something that occurs after death. It happens whenever we turn our thoughts (repent) 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.
Many Unity students accept the concept of reincarnation (re-embodiment after a period of soul rest). This allows us to attain new understandings in a new life experience so we can eventually express perfection and demonstrate eternal life. This is our ultimate goal. Unity’s real emphasis is on regeneration, not reincarnation. When we achieve this goal, as Jesus did, it will no longer be necessary to reincarnate. The belief that we could ever be re-embodied into a lower form of life is not accepted by Unity.
To attend Unity is to be assured that one will be kept constantly in the remembrance of his or her own inner Christ potential. This awareness, plus the practical principles for living a happy and successful life, is experienced at Sunday services and weekday classes. It is very helpful for individuals to have a place where they can be involved in putting these teachings into practice in serving others. Unity is part of a global movement which forms a base on which to stand as we build a better world together.