- July 3, 2016 -
Long ago, humans around the world were dependent upon the tribe for survival. Every member had his or her part to play in the survival of the community. Some were hunters. Some cared for the children. Others tended the fires or protected the tribe. Everyone knew their job from an early age and everyone’s job was vital to the community. They were truly a community and had no concept of I, me or mine. Everything was shared.
One day a girl was born to the community and from a very young age, she seemed to be different. She didn’t quite fit into the accepted ideas or roles of the community. There was no room for differences. So they treated her like everyone else and taught her to contribute like everyone else. As a result, a deep and lasting struggle was took place in inside her. As she grew, she came to know herself and the struggle increased and moved from inside to outside of her.
She struggled against the peoples’ norms. She pushed against the boundaries. They held onto what they knew and tried to contain her within their ideas of how things, how she should be. She fought and they resisted. One day she broke free from their grasp and escaped the confines of the small community and ran into the woods. She ran until she was exhausted. Stopping in a clearing she turned to the sky and shouted for all the world to hear, “I Am!” She repeated over and over, “I am. I am.”
Then, she slipped into the forest. For years, she lived on her own. She taught herself to hunt and fish. She learned to bend to the ways of nature in order to survive. She became strong and independent, needing and relying on no one but herself. But, there was a quiet yearning within her for companionship; a desire for conversation, no for connection. She moved around keeping close to the grazing animals she had discovered. They weren’t company. But they were a good source of food.
One day, they wondered close to the edge of a cliff. She noticed far below that there were people down in the valley. For days she watched them. Her curiosity drew her closer each day. Yet, she remained hidden from their view, or so she thought. One day a child came to her and offered her food. Before leaving, he told her that it was going to rain that night and she should come into the shelter.
That evening, it did rain. In fact it poured and she cautiously moved closer until she was just outside the shelter where everyone had gather for the night. They brought her into their circle and warmed and fed her. She stayed with them for days and they taught each other new and exciting things. She showed them new ways to hunt and trap that she had learned while on her own. They showed her how to make better clothing. Before long she felt like a part of them.
Just as it was when she was small, everyone had a job and everyone’s job was vital to the community. Yet, in the sense of true community, they shared strengths and ideas and their lives got better, easier and more enjoyable. Everyone’s contributions added to the others creating something no one person could have on his or her own. They were living in an ever evolving system of consciousness evolution; a system of interdependence where everyone’s strengths were valued and weakness were compensated by the whole. She had made a transition from dependence to independence to interdependence. Now, she had found a home.
This is the story of evolution. Most recently it is the story of my becoming the minister of this community. This is the story of every human being and it is your story as you evolve into a fuller expression of our spiritual nature within a spiritual community. We are living in a time where people are self-absorbed with mixed up priorities and values. But there is a growing number of us who recognize the importance and value of collaboration, of supporting each other in and through difficult times. So, this is a story of breaking free from the confines of dependence on others, discovering who we really are, bring our skills together with people of like mind and learn to give ourselves to the world to make it a better place.
At Unity of Greater Hamilton, that’s why we exist: to spread the Unity message and to co-create “a world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening.” We have determined that this Center’s purpose is to “teach and live spiritual principles that inspire shared awakening, transformation, and service.”
In our efforts to live out our vision and mission, we recognize that no single person can do this alone. It must be a collaborative effort. We must work interdependently to bring them to fruition and we must do it based on our spiritual understanding.
So, let’s take a moment to explore how our principles inform our behaviour with each other. How do we move from “me” to “we” in our interpersonal relations and as a community based on our spiritual principles?
The first principle says, “There is Only One Presence and One Power.” There is One Source, the Creative energy that is behind all things and exists in all things. It calls us to ground all our interactions, and decisions in the Oneness and Unity of Spirit. We start by knowing that we are all part of a sacred whole and we’re working towards the common intention of becoming more spiritual while helping the world to do the same. Ram Dass said, “We're here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.” So, we can’t awaken as separate individuals. We have to work together.
The second principle states that each of us is an Individualized Expression of God. Spirit expresses uniquely in, through and as each of us as the Christ Presence. How does this direct us individually and collectively towards interdependence?
diverse ideas and opinions; different passions, functions, skills talents; supporting strengths and weaknesses; honour global differences while remaining committed to the teachings of Unity as our primary focus and intention.
Our third principle is, “We Create our Experiences through the Activity of our Consciousness.”
The thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, feelings and so forth shape, create and attract people, situations and circumstances into our lives. If can remember that all experience are here for our soul growth and nothing and no one is against us, we have a greater chance of living interdependent with those around. We’ll see them as opportunities for growth as God calling us to a higher level of living. Life and everything in it is feedback on how we’re showing up in the world.
Our fourth principle is: Prayer and meditation awaken us to our True Nature and connect us with Spirit. How can we use this principle in working towards interdependence?
Let’s commit to holding one another, this organization, and the Unity movement in prayer and to trusting the movement of Spirit to reveal to us what is ours to do in awakening human consciousness.
The fifth principle is a simple one. I like to say, “Practice the truth you know in order to grow.” It means we must live from the inside out. Our action need to reflect our thoughts and beliefs if we are to co-create “a world that is powerfully transformed and awakened.”
As we move towards interdependent interpersonal and global relations, we recognize Spirit in everyone and everything and allow Sprit and the principles of Unity to guide us. We are awakening from the illusion of separation together and we joyously embrace and are attracted by the future Spirit is calling us to, and we work collaboratively to live from dependence to independence to interdependence as a mature and healthy Unity community to find ourselves at home.