May 17, 2022
Hardly a day goes by when I don’t turn to Unity’s Five Principles to see me through. So often, they provide a firm foundation to see me through the crisis du jour. Jesus talked about building on a rock and that many people attempt to construct their lives on sinking sand.
Some examples of possible sinking sand include:
- I have a secure future with the XYZ Corporation, and my 401(k) is my ticket to prosperity;
- They love me, and they will always be there for me;
- I have always been healthy, and I feel fantastic;
- My kids are wonderful, so successful, etc.
A true story: A British scientist tried to determine where he could retire and be safe. Where was the least likely to be involved in a war, potential nuclear fallout, pollution, negative impacts from global warming, pandemics, overpopulation, economic dislocation, and stress? He collected a ton of data and ran it through computer models and numerous statistical simulations.
The result was that this man decided to move to one of the Falkland Islands, off the coast of South America. Six months after he arrived, the war between the United Kingdom and Argentina commenced. His house was on the bay where the Argentinian troops first landed, and the war was practically fought in his front yard and living room.
I have found that Unity’s Five Principles are an excellent way to build on a rock – God/Spirit – and avoid potentially sinking sand. At Unity of Roanoke Valley, we have devoted a new round of Spirit Circles to Rev. Ellen Debenport’s insightful book The Five Principles.
Spirit Circles are small groups that meet in peoples’ homes, at Unity of Roanoke Valley, and online. They are studying Rev. Ellen’s book and making friends within our fellowship. I am also devoting six Sunday messages to Unity’s Five Principles. This spring session of Spirit Circles will not only help newcomers to Unity, but it will also help Unity oldtimers re-examine and deepen their understanding of these key spiritual concepts.
A simple drawing of a hand has helped me think of Unity’s Five Principles as being like a metaphysical high five. From the thumb to the pinky, a Unity principle is on each finger, and it goes like this:
First Principle: God is
Second Principle: I Am
Third Principle: I think
Fourth Principle: I pray
Fifth Principle: I live
God is Yes, remember in the heat of the crisis du jour that God is absolute good and is everywhere present. There is no spot where God is not. God is there in your financial challenges, your love life dilemmas, and when the election results don’t go your way.
I Am Yes, remember that our real essence is “Christ in you – the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The Divine Spark is inside you, and you are “one with the One.” In the final analysis, your real essence is not your fears, your sense of lack, the “mistake” you may have made in 1994, or any error thoughts.
I think Yes, as the old Unity song goes:
Our thoughts are prayers,
And we are always praying.
Our thoughts are prayers,
Take charge of what you’re saying.
Our thoughts and feelings matter – and they matter big time! As the Law of Mind/Action states: “A thought in mind produces after its kind.” We are co-creators with God.
I pray Yes, daily prayer and meditation are needed to maintain conscious contact with Spirit. All of the great spiritual masters have shown this to be true. The Unity movement started as a prayer ministry, and prayer remains at the center of all that we do. We suggest that you try Affirmative Prayer. Jesus stated it this way: “When you pray, believe that you have received, and you will receive” (Mark 11:24).
I live Yes, it is not enough to know this stuff on a “head level.” We need to feel and act on this on a “heart level.” To obtain the benefits, we must live the spiritual truths that we know when the rubber meets the road. The medicine only works when we take it.
Let me give an example of how these Five Principles have made a difference in my life. Roughly five years ago, my wife Debbie died of cancer. I started to go through waves of grief and despair. I also sensed real fear and anger running through me.
For a few days, I felt cut off from God. But then I remembered Unity‘s first principle. I realized that if there was no spot where God is not, then Spirit was here right in the middle of this loss. I re-examined what I believed about God, and I discovered waves of deeper faith than I had ever imagined.
I also again started to sense that the Divine Spark is inside me – and all people. This is my real essence, and it does not die – as it did not die for Debbie. With this came a renewed realization that my thoughts and feelings matter. As that New Thought saying goes: “Change your thinking, and you change your life.”
I redoubled my prayer and meditation life, and this investment in time and energy paid off beyond my wildest dreams. Lastly, I started to feel hopeful and grateful as these principles unfolded in my life.
These Five Principles work – particularly when the chips seem to be down. These Five Principles seem to encapsulate so much of the spiritual wisdom of the ages. However, sometimes the most challenging part of applying these Truths to our life is remembering them when things don’t appear to be going our way.
Remember that the Five Principles are there for us during rainy days. They are there for the long dark nights of the soul and for the times when it feels so great to be alive. They are a metaphysical high five!