We humans are a curious lot! I’ve noticed we upgrade so many things in our lives: our computers, our phones, our TV’s, our home appliances, our cars. The list goes on. But some of us are sluggish at upgrading our thinking! I believe it’s time to upgrade some of our Unity thinking to be non-dual. Here are some thoughts about that to ponder.
In last week’s article, I emphasized how important I believe it is for New Thought students to define their terms when discussing philosophical or theological topics. There must be something in the air, because in the current issue of Unity Magazine (Jan/Feb 2014), Unity minister, Ed Townley, wrote an article entitled Dualistic Unity in which he admonishes Unity Truth students to be “vigilant against vagueness, generalities, or sloppy definitions that might previously have been useful but won’t serve us as we move forward.”
Ed uses several examples of frequently used and often vague Unity statements or affirmations that might be due for an upgrade. One is, “God is blessing me now.” Ed believes that few of us really adhere to the God out there in heaven with a flowing white beard image, a being who vicariously doles out blessings and curses. Why do we continue to say these words, which clearly, in many cases, conflict with what we believe? Might it be time to rethink what we say?
I believe Ed is giving examples of dualism, or dualistic thinking, which is, of course, the opposite of non-dualistic thinking (more on that in a minute). I looked up dualism in Webster’s Dictionary and one of the meanings is “a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements (as matter and spirit).” Do we in Unity believe we are dualistic beings—two beings in one—a body and a spirit? Or are we one unified entity? Ed writes in his article he believes we are a united entity, one that is called the Christ. In other words, the Christ is not in us, it is us!
A while back, Larry and I read Fr. Richard Rohr’s book on non-dualistic thinking entitled, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See. We were already familiar with what non-dualistic thinking was, and fully agreed that we believe that way, but Richard’s book gave many examples of the benefits of non-dualistic thinking. I highly recommend all Unity Truth students read his insightful book.
Dualistic words and statements are deeply engrained in New Thought culture, as evidenced by Daily Word messages and other “Unityisms” we hear in so many Unity centers. All Ed and Larry and I are doing is encouraging New Thought thinkers to examine our literature, our thoughts, and our words to make sure they line up as much as possible with what we truly believe in this 21st century. As our beliefs evolve based on scientific findings and deep study, so too must our language keep up with our beliefs!
Lastly, we owe it to the sages and mystics who came before to acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of the giants who dared to imagine, ponder, and pass on to future generations (s) the foundations of New Thought philosophies. I believe it’s time for an upgrade in how we examine and understand what we believe about our world and our relationship to it as well as how we express these beliefs to ourselves and to others.