The ongoing national discourse surrounding the identity of our movement, Unity, is a complex web of diverse thoughts and theories. Each perspective shared is valid, reflecting individual fears about personal identity or an unwavering commitment to self-awareness, acknowledging shadows and misconceptions.
At its core, these discussions delve into profound explorations of spirituality, the essence of church, the meaning of sacred community, and the concept of service. The fundamental question emerges: Does pledging allegiance to a specific group or identifying with particular words truly make a significant difference?
Human communication relies on the nuanced use of words, symbols, and expressions to convey intricate feelings and experiences. In my reflections today, I employ American English symbols for writing and speech to articulate my thoughts.
Earlier this morning, uncertainty loomed over whether I had thoughts worth sharing. Now, the challenge lies in articulating them in a way that resonates with the majority. To grasp diverse perspectives, I've immersed myself in online groups, subscribed to various magazines, and explored news outlets, aiming to understand different lifestyles and points of view.
This process is not flawless, and while understanding prevails, agreement is not always guaranteed. Perhaps, therein lies the essence of my point.
In a recent group discussion, disdain was expressed for psychism and mediumship, with "fortunetelling" labeled as a derogatory term. Interestingly, terms like intuition, spirit-led, and prophetic were deemed acceptable. These encounters underscore the subjective nature of interpreting words and symbols.
I vividly recall feeling compelled to place an LGBTQ ally flag in our Center's flower garden. The reason wasn't immediately apparent, but the act persisted despite someone repeatedly taking it down. Months later, a young lady walked into the building seeking support, choosing it because of the flag. She felt safe due to the flag's presence. Various words describe that moment, yet for me, it encompasses all of the above terms, especially when I take into consideration the meaning placed on them by those I have shared this story.
Observing discussions on social media, I've found that explaining personal experiences and interpretations of words can temper heated conversations, fostering a more level playing field. This is the foundation of our community—a recognition that we view the world through different lenses shaped by unique experiences, traumas, joys, interpretations, waking-up moments, and awareness levels.
When consoling those grappling with grief, discussions often turn to signs and symbols from loved ones in Spirit. People seek reassurance that their departed loved ones persist, and stories circulate about dreams, falling objects, pennies, or specific birds as signs. Yet, concerns arise if experiences differ from others.
I remind them that each person's uniqueness extends to interpreting the physical and non-physical. Some create stories and interpretations more than what is truly present, shaping their reality to find stability.
Years ago, in a meditation led by Rev. John White, participants shared diverse experiences—from lights and archangels to encounters with departed loved ones and spiritual teachers. Questioning the authenticity of my own less grand experiences, John reassured me. Our brains interpret information in ways necessary for our understanding at a given time. My interpretations were correct for me.
We have scientific explanations on how our bodies decode information and turn it into thoughts and interpretations. There's a psychological understanding of these experiences. When we experience Oneness, Divine, the Christ Essence, or something beyond our humanity, we often outsource the importance. We say we are being guided by something other than ourselves and our connection. There's an unwillingness to consider that our humanity may not be ready to accept our profound connection and divinity and that is why we find another more powerful essence for guidance.
Humanity's capacity for interpretation is extraordinary, translating the world around us based on who we are and what we're ready to comprehend. Divine experiences and oneness receive inputs and theories depending on the nature of human experiencing.
When we come together with this understanding, we can appreciate different and broader perspectives. We can appreciate that even when using the same words, we may not be using the same meaning of the words. It goes beyond agreeing to disagree; it involves moving beyond black and white into the grays and pastels of life. It means opening ourselves to discomfort and reflecting on whether it challenges our alignment. It means moving beyond the image we think we need to uphold and into a place where we understand that the image shifts with each breath of humanity; collectively and individually.