Understanding Unity Series
Part 1 of 8
Click for audio: A Paradigm Shift
“We all should learn the need of teaching the fundamental principle of life as the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God, and the oneness of each individual with God. Theories and dogmas and systems do not fulfill this purpose. Only that which is true to the fundamental fact in creation – that “God is all,” and the individual is one in and with God – is worthy of the name, Truth” (Charles Fillmore, Cofounder of Unity).
When Jesus spoke of the problem of placing new wine into old wineskins, he was talking about a clash between two ways of thinking, two paradigms. In the context of his ministry, we think of these two paradigms as the differences between Old Testament and New Testament theology. We can also use this wine and wineskin metaphor to represent two completely different spiritual paradigms: a paradigm of separation and a paradigm of oneness.
The contrasting ideas of separation and oneness have to do with the individual’s relationship to God. Most of us grew up with a paradigm of separation, believing that God lived in the sky, or in some remote and physically inaccessible place. Our connection with God would be made through the Church, through the Bible, or through some form of prayer.
The paradigm of oneness, on the other hand, places God within the individual. Spiritual systems based on this paradigm, which include all mystical and New Thought teachings, stress that the connection with God involves an inner awakening to our already established oneness.
The paradigm we hold will make a great deal of difference as to how we think of God, ourselves, and our life. It is good to become clear on this so we do not make the mistake, as Jesus pointed out, of attempting to put new wine into old wineskins.