One thing you will quickly learn about Unity is that it is free of much of the dogma or rigidly codified set of beliefs that you find in more traditional Christian traditions. In fact, Unity’s co-founder, Charles Fillmore, who believed in the ongoing revelation of truth, famously reserved the right to change his mind should new truth be revealed that would require it. However, he also maintained he would never change his mind about truth principles.
The closest Unity comes to anything remotely resembling dogma is the five principles. However, these principles are more about Universal Truth and less about dogma. As Rev. Ellen Debenport points out in her book The Five Principles, these principles “reflect laws of the universe [that] apply to everyone, all the time.” Our work is to understand for ourselves the essence of spiritual truth implied by those principles, and to discern what that truth means in and for our lives.
The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are:
- There is only One Power and One Presence in the Universe and in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.
- We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
- We create our life experiences through our thoughts and feelings.
- There is Divine Power in meditation and affirmative prayer which increases our awareness of our oneness with God.
- Knowing and understanding these Spiritual Principles, also called Truth, is not enough. We must live them.