A Note From a Friend

Dear Friends,

As in those heady days of Unity’s Unfinished Business (some of you still remember), the familiar voice of Bernard Dozier reached out this morning via email from Florida with his insightful comments which appear below mine.  He raises some questions that inspire me to want to clarify an important point: I did not affiliate with Unity for the organization. I knew little or nothing about this aspect. I signed up for the teachings. So it’s probably true, as Bernard points out, that the organization began drifting away from emphasis on the individual awakening to the more bureaucratically driven mentality long before I arrived.

I do believe, however, that under the current and former CEOs of Unity Worldwide Ministries, the drift became a wave — at least within the organization. The world as a whole doesn’t seem to be paying much attention. The hope has been that the Unity field movement would become a significant catalyst for change, not so much within the individual as in the social inequalities of world. In the guise of spirituality, it has taken on a distinct political voice advocating a myriad of left-leaning social causes. And believe me, I would say the same thing if they were right-leaning. Though I’m told the Fillmores were staunch Republicans, there is not even a hint of their political preferences in their writings, or any writings that represent the early Unity message. They appeal to all political classes.

Because it has become politicized, I believe Unity (UWM) has completely alienated the Truth seeker who holds conservative values, which is at least half the nation. The Unity I signed up for spoke to all Americans … all people around the globe, regardless of their political, social or cultural interests. It not only helped the Methodist become a better Methodist, it helped the Democrat and Republican become a better Democrat and Republican.

The spiritual message that is geared to the awakening of the individual does not ask for political preferences. It transcends them. Yes of course, render under to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But first render unto God what is God’s. In my simple way of thinking, Unity’s only function is to teach people how to render unto God what is God’s. As this occurs, the issues around Caesar’s part of the deal are resolved with much greater clarity.  JDB

Now for Bernard:

***
Ocala, Florida
July 29, 2019
Good morning, Friends in Unity,
I’m assuming you read Doug Bottorff’s excellent little, but power-packed, sermon last night (The You That You Are).  And I hope it stimulates your thinking as it has mine.  For those of you who may not get Doug’s blog, I’m pasting it below my comments…and you’ll want to read it first.
It seems to me that we need to determine where/when/how/why Unity shifted from thinking power was centered in individuals to thinking it came from organization and groupness.  BUT, I’m just getting my toe wet in this subject and feel somewhat at a loss to explain it.  I don’t know if there was a single moment in which the shift occurred or if it took place, subtly, over a number of years or even decades.
As I begin to wonder, I’m wondering…did it start when Charles Fillmore, whose consciousness had kept Unity centered, passed in 1948?  At that point Unity would have moved from a single, charismatic leader to a consensus, “Board of Directors,” leadership…Leadership By Committee.  When I arrived at Unity Village in 1959 for what turned out to be a five-year residence, I got the feeling that the focus was more on preservation than innovation…a “mothballed battleship” is the analogy that came to mind back then.
Then, in the mid-60s Unity School divested itself of its field ministry, resulting in the formation of another corporation, each administered by a Board of Directors, and establishing a trend in the Movement in which leadership became the province of Boards and Committees.
Later, around 1990, the Association of Unity Churches, which had been created to represent ministers and to serve them, became more focused on representing churches and on exerting unchallenged and unchallengable power over ministers.  I remember writing about this in the early 90s when I was trying to get a minister’s journal started.
About that same time, if I’m remembering rightly, activists began calling attention to sexism, political correctness, and hate speech.  The result has been a mixed bag.  Awareness has been raised of the need to treat women fairly and affirmatively, but that has gotten mixed up with the notion that “equalness is sameness,” which is leading to the absurdity(if not criminality) of children being subjected to chemical treatment that renders them neither male or female.
Political correctness has made us more aware that language shouldn’t prize maleness over femaleness, but it has had an inhibitory, censorious effect on communication, comedy, and creativity, with super-sensitive people taking offense at the slightest perception of “incorrectness” and bringing suit against those who have a different viewpoint.  This, I suspect, is part of the “groupthink” phenomena in which correctness is granted greater importance than substance, forcing parrticipants to confine their remarks within the “acceptable” range.  To stiffle communication is to stiffle creativity…and to promote
conformity and mediocrity.  People focused on avoiding “offense” are hamstrung, and tend to play it safe.  If you’re worried about whether to say “he” or “she” or “it,” you might just keep your mouth shut.  I know when I’m writing with creative fervor I’m not at all concerned with grammatical niceness or correctness.  After I finish I go back and clean up the poor grammar, misspellings, syntax errors, etc., etc..
Creativity requires somebody going out on a limb…somebody daring to be different…somebody challenging the status quo.  This produces strong–and strong-willed individuals…Leaders…Charismatic Leaders…Leaders whom people want to hear and to align themselves with.
Decades ago Unity had leaders, other than Charles Fillmore–ministers and authors–both male and female–who were always eagerly welcomed on speaking tours.  They were regarded highly.  They were respected.  They projected a Unity stature and authority that has vanished from the Movement.  We have focused on “re-branding,” on organizational unity, on diversity, on grandiose schemes, and have downplayed (trashed) tradition including Silent Unity, the Fillmore heritage, and Metaphysics.  NONE of this has any meaning to the people who come seeking at Unity Churches every Sunday.  We, the Movement, have simply ended up less creative, less energetic, and less empowered than before. (I have recently received word that, under new leadership, Unity School seems to be moving in positive directions.  That’s good to hear, and I hope it’s true.)
That’s the way I see this having unfolded.  Maybe my thoughts will prompt additional and better ones in your mind.   I encourage you to add your thoughts to the pool that Doug dug for us.  Once we get our feet on some solid causality, we can begin to correct the course of a Movement and make it great again. Oops.  Did I use that phrase? (How super-careful we have to be with language these days.)  Are we stuck with leadership by committee?  Are we afraid of having a single person be The Leader of Unity?  Who could fill those two shoes?  Is there anyone whose stature we respect enough to be our Leader and Global Spokesperson?  Is there anyone whose judgment we respect enough to want him or her to represent us…and Unity?  It’s tough to appoint or anoint leaders when we haven’t groomed leaders for decades.  If it were left up to you to select A single Leader–a person with integrity, honesty, vision, diplomacy, and charisma– for the Unity Movement, who would you select?
Feel free to forward this (the entire document) to your friends who may be Unity ministers, and who might have good thoughts to share on this issue.
Blessings, Bernard Dozier

The You That You Are

YouTube: The You That You Are

Audio: The You That You Are

“Show me the money for the tax.” And they brought him a coin. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

This passage presents one of the clearest statements of our material and spiritual responsibilities. Because we are spiritual beings having a human experience, we acknowledge there are details to attend at both levels. The problem is that our human side becomes so pronounced that we give it, with all its societal implications, the bulk of our attention and we lose our sense of individuality.

Groupthink is a situation where individuals refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus. In the interest of making a decision that furthers their group cause, members may ignore any ethical or moral or even common-sense consequences. We see this dynamic at work in everything from mainstream religion to identity politics. For the sake of fitting into a group, individuals begin ignoring rendering unto God the things that are God’s.

The teachings found in early Unity fully support the spiritual strengthening of the individual. In these latter years, the focus has turned from the individual to the organization, the group. Because independent thinking that rises from the spiritually-centered individual poses a threat to the consensus, the movement no longer produces the type of individual leadership whose names populate its early literature and study guides.

The individual is the fountain of God’s unique expression through humanity. Emerson referred to it as the “… infinitude of the private man.” Emilie Cady made a clear distinction between personality and individuality, stressing the need to go alone, think alone, seek light alone. She was not advocating self or social depravation. Her point was to first find one’s center of power and then bring this to the world. This center of power is not found in groups. This center of power is found at your spiritual core, the you that you are.

 

 

 

How To Ask God Tor Help

Youtube: How To Ask God For Help

Audio: How To Ask God For Help

J Douglas Bottorff

Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9

This passage could be summarized like this: God doesn’t give us things we do not ask for. So why is it that we sometimes pray for one thing and get its apparent opposite? Is God playing games, testing us like Job to see how we hold up under pressure? Or, is there something to the observation of James who suggests that prayers are not answered because the one praying is praying amiss?

A standard guitar has six strings. When all six strings are in tune, a strummed chord will produce a pleasant sound. If even one string is out of tune, you can hold the right chord and strum correctly, but the sound will be unpleasant. The sound you get is based on a predictable set of principles that will always give you the same result when you comply with the governing rules.

If we assume that Jesus is articulating a spiritual principle, then we also have to assume that our mixed results stem from our mixed asking. If you pray for a solution then rack your brain trying to come up with the answer, you have a string out of tune. If you pray for a solution expecting it to unfold in perfect order, all your strings are tuned and you synchronize yourself with the creative manifestation process.

The whole state of mind from which you ask, like the six strings of a guitar, produces a vibration that is either in tune or out of tune with the manifestation process. If you pray from a consciousness of doubt and fear, you will tend to create material conditions that support your doubts and fears. This is why Jesus said we must believe in our heart when we pray.

God does not give us things we do not ask for. Tune your whole being to the solution you seek, and it will come forth.

Recognize Your Good

Youtube: Recognize Your Good

Audio: Recognize Your Good

And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear’” (Mark 4:26-28).

Jesus was a master at explaining abstract metaphysical processes using simple agricultural metaphors. In this saying from Mark, he reveals two very helpful bits of information when it comes to manifesting the desires of our heart. First, when you scatter seed, an invisible force takes over to grow that seed. You are responsible for the sowing, not the growing. Second, once the seed starts to grow it follows an orderly process that begins so humbly we may not recognize it.

Holding a mental and emotional vision is the equivalent of sowing seed. This is how we, as individuals, were designed to be supplied. We are given a mind capable of initiating any material condition we desire. We hold to the ideal, sleep and rise night and day, and the ideal begins to manifest, we know not how. We do not need to know how; that is not our department.

When the manifestation begins to occur, we often do not recognize it. It may appear as a feeling of success, or a change in circumstances so slight that we consider it inconsequential. Plant a field of wheat and it will first appear as grass. But because you know what you planted, you know you are seeing the potential for bushels of flour.

Keep your vision on the “full grain in the ear” but learn to recognize and give thanks for the “blade” when it appears. The slightest change in circumstance is evidence that your desire is manifesting. If you pray for abundance and find a dime on the street, think of it as the first blade of manifestation. Soon you will see many blades and these will grow into “ears” which will, in turn, transform into the condition or thing that you desire.