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“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.