Sundays are Spirituality Day here at Taking it to the Streets
Continuing on the theme I began last Sunday, I’ll explore my take on the five Unity principles.
At my church we frame the second principle as “The Christ spirit lives within me.” Another variation, shown on our website is “We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.”
My view of God has changed a lot since I was a child. Then I pictured God as a distant (in all ways), somewhat stern, male authority figure. God seemed to be a person, but even more powerful than my father – imagine!
In other words, God was only a transcendent God – above and beyond us – outside of our beings.
The best way for me to describe God’s immanence (lives within me) as well as transcendence (but is also a force outside of me) is from Maurice Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen.” In that delightful children’s book, the wee hero, Mickey, is in a bakery in the middle of the night, when they are baking bread. He falls into a huge vat of milk and exclaims “I’m in the milk and the milk’s in me!”
The transcendence (I’m in the milk) and immanence (and the milk’s in me) of God.
This principle speaks to God’s immanence. Our Hindu friends use the lovely greeting “Namaste” to express the same principle: “the God in me beholds the God in you.” Our Buddhist friends talk of our Buddha nature. Interestingly, “Immanence” in Wikipedia provides a perspective across religions on this topic.
But what is important to me is how do I apply this principle in my life?
For me, the best shortcut to this principle is the lovely salutation “Namaste”. It reminds me that the Good (aka “God”) within me is always there for me to tap into. I don’t have to be a jerk, even when that is tempting! And it also reminds me that even though you may be disguising your God nature (aka goodness) at this moment as you cut in front of me in line in the store, that it is still there – your innate goodness.
One of the purposes of religions or religious schools of thought is to provide a code for moral conduct. This is the moral conduct part of this principle – act in a “Godly manner”.
But it is deeper than that. For me, this is a radical departure from the teachings of my youth – the belief that God IS within me. Which gets to the heart of the nature of God.
For me, it’s love. Kindness. Goodness.
It’s not just who I am when I call a friend who is grieving (the moral code/behavioral component), but it is also who I am when childlike wonder bubbles up in me as I open the blinds on a Sunday morning and see a magical landscape of fat fluffy snow falling.
And the reason my favorite way of expressing this principle is “Namaste” is that it brings in YOU, and relationships. If I can remember not only my own “Christ consciousness”/Buddha nature – but yours as well, it not only makes life more pleasant, but it adds meaning and mystery.