Marinating in metaphysics describes how I have felt after a summer and fall with overlapping classes in Unity Metaphysics. Don’t misunderstand; I enjoyed the classes. Yet reading, writing and attempting to integrate some of these concepts into my life are the main reasons why I have not published a blog for many months.
I actually started several posts, but none felt right or complete. My focus in blogging is to express what I am learning in life in ordinary language. Being immersed in Unity teachings, I found my writing felt too much like Unity talk.
My studies are a natural extension of my desire to be more conscious, positive, and active in my life. Unity teachings complement what I have learned through Buddhism about being fully present and appreciative of life.
One thing that was missing for me with Buddhism was a way to understand the Presence I have felt over my life. Some call it God. Buddha Nature felt too diffuse. Unity largely focuses on the Divine as an internal presence, our Higher Self or Christ Consciousness. There is a deconstruction of God as this external, bigger than life Being. While closer to what I experience, I still wonder if there is a part missing when we only focus on within. Within and without are at heart one; no separation.
Meanwhile, we continue to live in a culture—or is it cultures—where criticism seems much more easily expressed than praise, and where truth, compassion and community are often neglected. Unity provides some fresh air, helping me to see and acknowledge what goes right. I am learning better how to seek and recognize the good in people and situations without being blind to the suffering and apparent limitations that exists.
Unity’s first principle is that God exists and is good. The second is that we are made in the image of God—from the Bible of course. It naturally flows from this that each of us are also good at core—not originally flawed nor even neutral. This does not mean that whatever we do or however we act is good. But it provides a hopeful perspective to deal with those not-so-nice stuff and behaviors. Recognizing that the ‘enemy’ or opposition is also human, encourages working to find common ground rather than simply trying to win. Racist and misogynist generalizations as well as “baskets of deplorables” may seem at first the easy and even truthful responses. Yet they damage the ability to have a civil society, instead fueling a world based more on fear and hate rather than love and compassion.
New learning takes time and effort to incorporate in life. Cut me off in traffic, do some nasty blame game on me or loved ones, and my learned defenses rise quickly. Growing up in New York, I learned to ‘sharpen my tongue.’ Yet the more I choose not to act or react defensively, not to be run by my fight or flight instincts, the more I can live my principles. I feel empowered and begin to see the truth that, “You Can’t Ruin My Day.”* For you see feeling and expressing compassion for the Other when they are behaving badly, whether or not it encourages them to act more humanely, frees me to be who I want to be.
* You Can’t Ruin My Day is a plug for my husband Allen Klein’s new book, which explores ways to not let external events and people ruin your day. You can buy it on Amazon and elsewhere or order it at his web site http://www.allenklein.com/ruin_day.htm.