Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey
UNITY CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH is our new name! At our Annual Meeting on Sunday, after some discussion and sharing the results from the cards returned from many of you with your choice name, it was decided that we would adopt this new name. To be clear, our legal name is Unity Church of Truth; however, we will be doing business as Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. This spring the State of Maine will be widening River Road and the expectation is that we will need to move our sign, which will be a perfect time to have one with our new name and that is lit at night. Over the next several weeks you will be seeing the change in name on publications coming out from us.
On Sunday we continued with the book Peaceful Revolution written by Paul K. Chappell and looked at the Muscle of Reason. I want to share some thoughts that come directly from Paul. On the site Peace Literacy.org he writes this: “Just as language is a faculty that can be developed and strengthened — similar to a muscle — hope, empathy, appreciation, conscience, reason, discipline, curiosity, and imagination are faculties that can be developed and strengthened. These metaphorical muscles, along with peace literacy skills and accurate understanding, are areas of potential growth.’
You have often heard that oil and water don’t mix well; the same is true for reason and emotion. Fear and hatred, for example, strangle reason, where empathy and appreciation give reason the oxygen that it needs to breathe. I have found, and you probably have as well, that when someone is either fearful or angry you can’t have a conversation that is logical and reasonable. First you must get them calmed down and then the chance to have a rational conversation goes up significantly.
Nelson Mandela went to prison a young, bitter, angry man, and while in prison he began to learn the language and history of the prison guards; he began to experience empathy and appreciation for them and understand their motivation and fears. Mandela’s empathy allowed him to think clearly and rationally during incredibly difficult circumstances. We all know what he went on to do, and to be: a nonviolent presence to the world.
Paul writes: “When we use the power of reason to ask the right questions, we become more difficult to deceive and politicians have a much harder time manipulating us. In our struggle to end war, reason allows us to question and refute the myths that keep the war machine running. If we believe the myth that human beings are naturally violent, then peace is viewed as a naïve dream and war seems inevitable. Reason tells us this could not be further from the truth.”
Charles Fillmore wrote a pamphlet called THE PURE REASON AND HONEST LOGIC OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY (1920 Edition). The information in this pamphlet is as relevant today as it was when it was written. You can read the complete pamphlet here to hear what I shared from it, listen to today’s talk.
The takeaway from this muscle is when we harness the muscle of reason in the 21st Century we can build solutions to our national and global problems. Paul writes, “We must also build an economic system that values people over profit, a fair society where people are given opportunity, and technology that allows us to live in harmony with our environment. Above all, we must build a global civilization of peace and prosperity that unleashes our full potential as human beings.”
Next week it will be the muscle of discipline.
Join me next Sunday after the service for a two-hour workshop on The I of the Storm.
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey