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The Foundation and Object of the Unity Work
Published February 1915 Unity Magazine
Report of an address delivered at the Dedication of the New Unity Building, Kansas City, January First, 1915
EVERY great work must have as its foundation a great idea. If the great idea is not present the work will fail in attaining the object for which it stands.
The great idea upon which the Unity work is founded is a right concept of God. Our God is not an enlarged man, but the One Great Principle of Being. God is Spirit—the direct opposite of matter. God is Supreme Mind—the storehouse of all perfect ideas. God is the One Spirit-Mind in whom all ideas of life, love, substance, intelligence, power, originate. Spirit-Mind is the indwelling idea at the center of everything that has real existence.
The one distinguishing feature of the Hebrew religion, making it supreme among the religions of antiquity, was its worship of the one God. That this God was mind and not matter, was implied in the command that no graven image of him should ever be made. Although the Jews lapsed into a personalization of Deity, Jesus restored his universality when he proclaimed “God is Spirit.” Then the followers of Jesus, like the Pharisees, fell into the pit of personality and attributed human characteristics to God. Others located God in both mind and matter, thus reviving the ancient pantheism. Now is God again restored to consciousness in his reality and his creative law explained rationally.
Under the Divine Law all the great ideas of Spirit-Mind are gathered together and epitomized in God’s supreme creation, Spiritual Man. This Man-Idea is the “only begotten Son of God.” He is the one creative idea of Divine Mind. All other ideas are parts—man is the whole. Through his Man-Idea God creates his universe. Jesus Christ is the manifest name of this Supreme God-Idea, and through him the worlds come into existence.
God’s Supreme-Idea, named variously Jehovah, I Am, Lord God, Christ, forms himself, then Adam, the human race, appears. It is here that the great problem of self-consciousness is worked out.
Jesus Christ demonstrated the capacity of man to receive the inspiration and power of Divine Mind. He restored to our consciousness the Man-Idea conceived in us by Divine Mind in the beginning, which conception we had lost sight of through sin—a disregard of the Divine Law.
The great work of Spiritual Man is to restore this Divine Consciousness to the whole race. This is our work, and this dedication of another workshop is evidence that there is demand for the teaching which we set forth; also that we are going forward in our efforts to meet that demand.
The Truth which we teach is not new, neither do we claim special revelations or discovery of new religious principles. The Scriptures of all religious people tell of Truth, but none have a complete revelation. Truth broadens to man’s consciousness with the enlargement of his mental capacity. No man realizes the height and depth of his own inspiration. The Old and New Testaments are filled with new revelations of Truth when read in the light of Divine Understanding.
One of the fundamentals of Truth is that whatever God has revealed to man in one age he will continue to reveal to him in all ages. Spirit-Mind is omnipresent—immanent in all creation—and it must be that the same law that inspired Moses and Isaiah, quickened the understanding of Paul and demonstrated its perfection in Jesus Christ, is here with us. “Lo, I am with you alway.” This is good logic, and there is nothing in the Scripture opposed to it, but on the contrary abundant testimony corroboration.
It is the logical truth of these premises, and the inspiration which follows the worship of God as the One Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Spirit, that has moved us to plant here these temporal structures, from which this Truth shall be taught.
Paul did not hesitate to tell that Jesus had talked with him as he journeyed to Damascus, or that he stood by his couch at night and encouraged him when he was great peril in Jerusalem. Why should we, this day of religious skepticism, be afraid to proclaim that God has again and again told us of the work which we are to do? Over forty years ago the Lord dream prophesied this work and directed us to this locality. His guiding Spirit has ever since been with us in dreams and visions, inspirations and spiritual quickenings. And has been no child’s play, this culture of the crude mentality both individual and society. Like the children of Israel, our ignorance and stubbornness have been grievous, but we have always been encouraged by visions of the Promised Land, and our faith its final pos session grows stronger as we approach it.
The object of this school the redemption of the human race. It is a link in the great educational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ, which not only taught the Truth, but demonstrated it also.
The greatest of all the philosophies of life Christianity. It is the Science of Life, which the foundation of Jesus Christ’s doctrine, and not revealed exoteric Christianity. There an esoteric Christianity, which the letter of the text does not convey. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive.” Even the disciples of Jesus did not receive the full understanding. They were not spiritually awakened to the degree which they could comprehend the creative laws underlying existence. But knowledge the soul has wonderfully increased and especially during the last half century. Superstition has been superseded by science; faith has been joined to understanding and man has found that he must know truth for himself—also that he must prove his truth to be true by demonstrating it.
Then the object of this school to discern the truth in Christianity and prove it. We do not bind ourselves to precedents our study of Truth, nor its demonstrations. We know, however, that what has been done by man can be done again, under like relations—it is merely a matter of finding the law. The claim of religion to miracles is either ignorance or chicanery. Jesus and his followers did not work miracles—they applied laws in a field of mind beyond the range of average men. These laws constitute what is called esoteric Christianity, or the doctrine of the mystics. The time has now arrived for all men to come up higher. The Lord of the Universe has prepared the opening of all mysteries to the most humble citizen.
This school an open door to the heretofore secret things of Spirit. Although we are not financially endowed institution, we are inviting students everywhere to take our lessons and literature and give return what seems to them just and right. “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, come ye, buy and eat: without money and with out price.”
The “signs that follow” prove that we are teaching the doctrine taught by Jesus. The evils (“devils”) are cast out; a right use of words inculcated (“speak with new tongues”); the subtleties of sense consciousness are taken up (“shall take up serpents”); destructive thoughts are rendered harmless (“if they drink any deadly thing, shall no wise hurt them”); and the power of the Spirit is exercised in healing (“they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”). But these “signs” do not constitute all the proof we have that the Truth is being promulgated. Thousands testify that their minds have been illuminated with a new understanding of God, man and the universe, and from nearly every part of the world men and women are writing us letters of thanksgiving for the light that has come into their souls through the study of our literature.
We thank you, dear friends, not only here present, but wherever you may be, for the help you have extended toward the erection of this New Unity Building. The Lord has assured us again and again that those who give to the furtherance of his work shall receive again with increase.
This is but the beginning of a work that will in due season encircle the earth. The vision of the future which the Lord has shown us is of a magnitude beyond present description. The New Jerusalem is not to be in Palestine, but in the heart of the American continent.