by Bob Charpentier
Unity encourages us to ask questions and find our own answers. With every discussion, I was mentally assembling facts and conclusions that flowed from logic. My theology not only had to be practical, but also had to be logical.
I learned from Philosophy 101 that the tool to test for logic is called the “syllogism.” The syllogism is a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is deduced from two given premises. For example, if Premise #1 is “Yesterday, I painted the house,” and if Premise #2 is “Today the house is red,” then I can conclude, quite logically, that “I painted the house red.” However, the syllogism is only a tool. Logic still requires your review. For example, if I observed that, #1 “Sugar is white,” and #2 “Snow is white,” and I concluded, “Sugar is snow,” I can discern that something is not logical.
Even before the syllogism can be used, I needed to understand and agree with the definitions of the words that Christianity uses. The most difficult word for me to grasp is ‘grace.’ For that, Unity provides a dictionary called, “The Revealing Word.” Here, grace is defined as an aid from God. Someone once said to me that grace occurs as a favor from the Universe. With these definitions, I can apply the concept to an event in my past:
Premise #1: I had a difficult time accepting why bigger boys would bully me.
Premise #2: I was guided to a clear understanding about it when I was watching an episode of Fraser on TV.
Conclusion: Clarity, guidance, and awakening were the grace that the Universe (God) provided for me.
Another Christian word I had difficulty with was ‘salvation.’ “The Revealing Word’ defines it as the restitution and conscious possession of our spiritual attributes. Eckhart Tolle, in his book, “The Power of Now,” calls it, the fulfillment and peace to be who you are; the feeling of the Good within you. In the section of his book on love-hate relationships, he points out that, if loving tenderness can turn into an attack in an instant, then it wasn’t love. It was an ego-need. True love does not turn into its opposite in an instant.
Now, if I can make sense of all this “data,” I might be able to come to the same conclusions that Jesus did:
Premise #1: True love is a state of mind and heart that exhibits positive and supportive spiritual attributes.
Premise #2: True love has no opposite, such as an attack or disrespect.
Conclusion: Therefore, I give and receive true love when I positively support and respect my partner and others, with the enduring and endearing attributes of spirit.
Premise #1: True love is the positive support and respect I give and receive by the enduring and endearing gifts of spirit.
Premise #2: I feel the fulfillment and peace of salvation, when I positively support and respect my partner and others, with the enduring and endearing attributes of spirit.
Conclusion: Therefore, my salvation is true love.