When building a spiritual community we must seek to know each-other so clearly that there can be no mistaking the bond that we share with others. Even communities founded in love and peace find division amongst themselves when they forget to acknowledge their spiritual kinship. I often find myself standing and listening to conversations among members of New Thought philosophies and realizing that there’s a debate, an argument, that no one is willing to admit is happening.
Trying to “agree to disagree” can be painstaking and often-times passive aggressive work. There may be a willingness to allow the other person to hold their own beliefs while also being dismissive of them at the same time. Imagine a community where we were not only willing to be different and believe in different things but where the things we disagree on don’t become the things that divide us. A common ground where “agree do disagree” is replaced by “that sounds like an awesome way to do things. I’m glad it’s working so well for you.” so that the need to be separate from one another is removed from the equation.
The Science of Mind is that common ground that allows each of us to coexist and be “for” one another, even when our specific views and practices seem to be in conflict. Imagine that you can be in complete disagreement while also being in complete support of your spiritual brothers and sisters. What could you do for one another? How would you share your ideas more freely? This is the great gift of our teaching and the powerful practice that allows us to truly care for one another.
We must remember that our experience of the Divine, of God, is a personal one. Whatever “techniques”, approaches”, “practices” or “technologies” (or whatever you want to call the way you commune with the infinite) are personal and unique to each. The key is the fact that we are in communion with our God. When we realize that the “What” is so simple and that the “How” is so full of infinite possibilities we begin to celebrate those who are in communion rather than only those who commune the way we do.
Being able to claim this common ground is what gives our teaching the kind of strength that allows such diverse spiritual perspective to be housed under one roof. When we remember that “It is done unto us as we believe” it reminds us also that, “It is done unto others as they believe” and so we no longer need to be concerned about “us’ or “them”. Now, our personal experience is something to share with others but not something we need or demand for others to accept for themselves in order to be “right” or “doing it right”.
But it’s not enough to just say, “Let’s agree to disagree” or “Well, that’s your opinion” when seeking unity. We must release the sense of self approval and self righteousness that comes with these perspectives and embrace the idea that Love can unify us in our multiplicity. When we accept that everyone is “doing it their right way” we’re able to more fully love them even when we don’t use the same spiritual practices to commune. So long as they are in communion with a power greater than themselves, understand that everyone has equal access to the divine no matter what they believe and are committed to Love as the highest calling, all of which Religious Scientists believe, then we have made all the agreements we need to in order to begin celebrating one another.
Our teaching is not about doing a specific thing a specific way. Religious Science is the deliberate practice of studying our personal relationship with an impersonal God to discover our own divinity. It gives like unto like, love unto love, joy unto joy and is eternal in nature. All of us are equal receivers of God’s good, given the freedom to explore how to become magnificent avenues through which that good may flow. When we get less hung up on how we commune with the infinite source we become more available to how much good we can allow to flow through us and into the world. This is how we come to realize the possibility of a world that works for everyone.