YouTube: Spiritual Independence
Audio: Spiritual Independence
independent: free from outside control; autonomous; not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction.
The Independent aspect of our new name, Independent Unity, serves a two-fold purpose. First, it states our organizational status as an autonomous, nonprofit, Colorado corporation. On the personal level, the term reflects the type of independent thinking that makes the path of spiritual discovery our own. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, co-founders of the Unity Movement, considered themselves eclectic, drawing from all teachings that encouraged the practice of universal spiritual principles. From these many sources, however, they drew their own conclusions.
In his book, The Story of Unity, James Dillet Freeman describes Charles Fillmore’s independent attitude:
“He had an instinctive urge to seek out the meaning of life and he was the kind of person who had to find the meaning in his own soul. He had to find God for himself. Other persons might point the way, others might give him hints and clues, but he would have to test their ideas for himself and prove them in his own mind and his own life before they would have validity for him” (40).
We obviously benefit from the inspired words of others, but we make the most progress when we drink from that same well of inspiration that they point to.
Like Fillmore, we advance in understanding when we free our mind of dogmatic statements of faith that define the thinking of so many followers of mainstream religion. Independent Unity encourages individuals to adhere less to religious dogma and more to their own personal spiritual inquiry.
The inclusion of Unity in our name is intended to assure members and friends that we retain our rich heritage that is rooted in Unity School of Practical Christianity, the Unity of our founders. As the Fillmore’e commissioned and adopted Dr. H. Emilie Cady’s Lessons in Truth as their basic text, so Independent Unity continues to draw from Cady’s work as an inspirational and instructional source. First published in 1894-1895 as a series of lessons, Cady’s writing style naturally reflects that of her era. This work, however, remains the gold standard for capturing the principles embodied in the Unity philosophy. The principles set forth are as timely today as ever.