What is Unity?
Unity is for people who might call themselves spiritual but not religious. It is for those who sense the depths of their own being and celebrate the awareness of a power greater than themselves.
The teachings in Unity bring together ancient wisdom with new interpretations of what it means to be alive and human. Unity inspires different ways to think about the force of love and intelligence that many people call God.
Some of what you’ll find in Unity might sound familiar and other parts brand-new. Although the principles of healing and prosperity taught in Unity have now been scientifically explained, the ideas must have seemed radical when they were put forth by founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore beginning in the 1880s.
What are Unity teachings?
Unity has no doctrine. The Fillmores were reluctant even to issue a statement of beliefs. They wanted to remain in constant exploration.
Throughout the years, they pulled together teachings of Truth that flow through all the world’s great religions. Later, leaders of Unity boiled them down to five basic principles.
The Five Principles
- God is all there is and present everywhere. This is the force of love and wisdom that underlies all of existence.
- Human beings are divine at their core and therefore inherently good.
- Thoughts have creative power to determine events and attract experiences.
- Prayer and meditation keep us aligned with the one great power in the universe.
- It is not enough to understand spiritual teachings. We must live the Truth we know.
Unity Then and Now
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore created Unity almost by accident because they were trying to heal their bodies.
Both had experienced lifelong health issues in an era when medicine was primitive, so doctors had not helped them. As they explored metaphysical methods of healing—that is, beyond the physical—they discovered what were then new discoveries about the power of mind over body.
In years of devoted meditation, they both experienced significant physical healing but also awakened to a spiritual plane where they recognized the innate power in every human being.
They shared their new understanding not through a church, which came later, but through magazines in which they wrote about what they were learning and encouraged others to explore for themselves. Unity Magazine and Daily Word are still published today with global circulation.
They also suggested that all their magazine subscribers pray together at a certain time each evening, and they began to answer prayer requests by letter. This quickly grew into a prayer ministry now called Silent Unity®, which responds by letter, phone, email, and text to 1.4 million prayer requests a year.
The Fillmores taught others to share the same messages, and those teachers in turn created new learning circles that now number about 1,000 churches, centers, and study groups around the world.
Through Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, Unity now trains teachers and ordains ministers and also offers classes to interested laypeople, almost entirely online.
Now - How Friends of Unity Got Its Name
By Phil Ernzen
Did you ever wonder how Friends of Unity got its name? These are my remembrances.
In the Fall of 2010, a group of Unity students who were part of the Unity of Farmington
Hills (Michigan) community wished to form a new Unity community.
There were about 20 people who agreed to form a planning team for this new
community. They met weekly to address each of the tasks that would be needed to
form this new community. These tasks included: who would be the leader, bylaws,
applying for membership with Unity Worldwide Ministries, applying for a legal identity
(501c3), how many Board Members would it have, and many more issues.
At some point, they had to address what the new community would be called. Many
ideas were considered. One idea, proposed by Vic Huber as I recall, was “Friends of
Unity Truth”. After some discussion, that name was shortened to “Friends of Unity” and
adopted as the official name.
The term “friends” seemed to reflect well the feelings of friendship that existed in this
group of pioneers. And the inclusion of the term “Unity” was important to this group to
maintain the group’s identity as a member of the worldwide Unity movement, since all of
them had a long history of feeling very attached to such a community. It was also felt
that including the term “friends” would indicate their openness and hopefulness that new
folks would be attracted to a “friendly” community.