If you pick up a Daily Word or a Unity Magazine published in the 40s or 50s, you’ll find a level of spiritual substance that’s missing from today’s publications. This absence won’t be noticed by many of today’s readers, largely because we’re experiencing a culture that has traded actual substance for “likes” and “hits.” If it sells, it must be true.
The deterioration of a spiritual movement is a deterioration of spiritual values. The original value system is grounded in the soul level. Over time the system migrates to the more surface, easily accessible interests of the popular culture. We move from cultivating our own orchard to settling for plucking the low hanging fruit from another’s. We try to re-dress the core values in the latest fashions, but it isn’t long before the latest fashions become the basis of the core values. Genuine values either take a back seat or go into the trunk. It’s no longer about the message. It’s about the rock band or the coffee and donuts.
It’s safe for me to say that my ministerial career has reached an all-time low. Nationally and locally, I’ve either exposed or said “no” to so many people and situations that I’m no longer welcome in the circles I used to hang with. This, of course, has been my choice. My decisions were always based on knowing the difference between what sells today and what is true forever. I do not lament my choices. I lament the fact that I invested my life in a spiritual movement that clearly has lost the ability to discern the difference.
I am deeply grateful that I could pursue a career that allowed me to explore and teach the universal principles that are the key to a meaningful life. I’m even more grateful for the spiritual teachers who instilled in me the courage to go it alone.
High and low moments come and go. Sometimes it’s a lively party and sometimes it’s a lonely, dark night of the soul. In the right season, people will tell you how great you are, but you really don’t find your soul’s greatness until you’re plunged into the dark night. We find our greatest strength when we become willing to confront our greatest weakness. We rarely do this at the party.
My career is not over. To the contrary, it’s just beginning. I’ve discovered that if I can find my strength alone, I can share it at the party. I don’t believe I came into this life to run with the slickest, most popular herd. I came to bear witness to the Truth as it’s given to me.
The teachers I admire the most did the same. They knew what it was to walk alone with their God, with their principles. Their ability to do so inspired others to do the same. If we don’t do this ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us.
9 thoughts on “It Sells, But is it True?”
This is so true and awesome. Since Roy moved up there, we have totally lost true Unity principles. Your writings are food for me.
The change you’re writing about became noticeable to me about 10-12 years ago when the Unity magazine changed from the format it had used, including beautiful photos and pictures, lovely poetry, inspirational and instructional articles (yours included) and a strong spiritual focus to a slick, larger sized, more commercially oriented magazine. I wrote several letters asking why the change and for the old format to be returned, but the decision to move forward in a new direction had been made, so I sadly discontinued my subscription. The truths espoused in the original Unity teachings still remain the core of my spiritual belief system. Emilly Dickinson wrote, “Much madness is divinest sense; much sense the starkest madness. ‘Tis the majority in this, as all, prevails. Assent you’re considered sane; demur, you’re straightway dangerous and handled with a chain.” Take heart in knowing that many hear and appreciate your “voice crying in the wilderness.” Cry on!!
I took this post down for awhile then re-read it. I put it back up because it really expresses gratitude for what I have gained rather than for what I have lost with this change. Yes, we’ve all lost something we cherished, but we still have what it has given us and, hopefully, even more. The amazing thing is that those who are seeking material and teachers with spiritual substance will continue to find it, as we did.
I need to vent on occasion. Writing is a way for me to gain perspective. I truly appreciate this audience and the support all of you have given me. We’re not going to resurrect the dead, and there’s certainly no need to hang out in that tomb. On occasion something will trigger an emotion or an unresolved issue in me, and I’ll write about it. But I am forward looking, thrilled with the freedom to explore and share ideas that continue to blossom from seeds that were planted long ago.
Again, as always, thank you for your input.
You are so right about how Unity has changed and watered down the teachings that made it so powerful back in the day. This political/social justice/save the environment aspect of the modern version of Unity just does not feel like the Unity message I first encountered. Thank you for your perspective.
Change is not always for the better. But something else will pick up the slack. Thanks for your comment
Doug, you are an inspiration because you are a person of substance. To your point about Unity publications: They are the fruit of the organization. “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” As someone who has tried to help and serve Unity for almost five years, I’ve seen some bizarre power plays, both as a paid writer and a volunteer editor. I’ve watched people pretending to protect Unity who are merely protecting their own positions there. I’ve also discovered that volunteers are suspect. “Why would he do that? What’s in it for him?” Nevertheless, as within, so without. To improve the harvest, bring in people who believe and practice the principles. “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart….” When only six or eight people out of 300 employees show up for the Silent Unity Prayer Service, you have to wonder what’s going on there. On a hopeful note, I’ve seen indications of positive change under Jim Blake’s leadership. He’s one of the handful attending the prayer service. We’ll know soon enough if he has been successful in effecting real change. The fruit will tell us.
Thank you Sammy. I certainly wish Mr. Blake the best. The world desperately needs a solid spiritual anchor.
Thank you for being the authentic and courageous teacher that has helped myself and so many others.
Thanks Mike. I appreciate your good words.