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The Principle of Unanimity
Many confuse unanimity with uniformity, but these are two quite different things, as is clearly shown by the root of each word: Unanimity comes from anima-soul, and means having the same soul; uniformity comes from form, and means having the same form.
This fundamental difference is not so clearly understood in practice. The true ideal of unanimity is difficult to maintain; it easily becomes distorted and uniformity slips into its place. But this is a trap; the imposition of uniformity is all too easy if a leader assumes too much authority in a group, and although it may be called and even though to be true unison, it is not so and is in no way what we need to work towards in the Aquarian Age.
Unanimity means having identical intention - it means that one basic purpose unites a group or a section of people in a common endeavour, but it does not mean that everyone’s endeavour has to be the same. Diversity of effort, of expression, and of form are perfectly compatible with unanimous purpose and , indeed, ae the guarantee of a continual living unanimity springing from within.
Unity of purpose permits differences both in the fields of manifestation and in the ways and means by which it is carried out. There can be a great variety of plans for the carrying out of some central purpose, and those plans may reach into all kind of fields which necessitate corresponding differences of methods. But if unanimity of purpose is strong and clear it need not in any way be affected by such differentiation, but will simply be interpreted to meet each new situation as it appears.
Needless to say this is not easy to accomplish for often, however good our intentions, our vision varies and our ideas of the best methods to employ may quite well differ. But fluid outer cooperation, based on inner contact and relationship is possible and there are techniques that are helpful:
The first is a continual building of the inner relationships and the maintaining of a sense of oneness and common endeavour despite any outer divergence; this means cultivating love, understanding and trust.
Another technique is recognition of what is essential and what is not, of where unity is necessary and where liberty is advantageous; this calls for clear thinking, discrimination and wisdom. The issue of “freedom” has to be seen in right perspective and, without emphasis on freedom for its own sake, it has to be utilized to bring strength, growth and full mobilization of the group potential. An essential unanimity which gives freedom and the needed variance of expression is the key to right relationship in a group and to its smooth working towards its goal.
Avoidance of emphasis on method and detail is another useful technique, for such emphasis often results in divergences; we all have our own ideas as to how things should be carried out, and each one’s opinion may be justified to some extent. So a wise precaution is to maintain emphasis on the common intention and leave the lesser issues of detail on the form side to work out gradually. Sometimes there may be a unanimous opinion as to the best methods, but often this is not possible and by focus where the differentiation lies the group itself becomes torn and weakened.
Another technique to be cultivated is appreciation of the value of others. Diversity in unity entails mutual respect and a willingness to give and take with no assuming of authority over each other. It also flowers where there is sound humility based upon the recognition of the inevitable incompleteness and imperfection of all personal views and actions. The individual approach can rarely be all-comprising, and extension in group work today is needed to meet the increasing demands of life in this new age that we have entered. Group contribution governed by the good of the whole or “the greatest good for the greatest number”, creates a strong rounded-out, and unanimous force, with the many facets of its members and the potential of each individual multiplied by the strength of the whole. A good illustration of this is the fact that the cord is the harmonious blending of different sounds, and also that white is the result of the blending of all the colours of the spectrum. It is clear that this is quite a different method to that of uniformity or “conforming” and dictatorship.
“There are secret forces at work, blending together those who belong together”, wrote I Ching, and this secret Force of Unanimity brings a deep inner joy, for it is an expression of that central Oneness out of which all differentiation, all manifestation has evolved. When we experience it in unity of purpose and inner linking with others concerning some specific goal, we touch subjective sources of strength and joy that spring from our “ essential oneness”; we are rediscovering unity, our basic, essential unity, and it is a conscious participation in the One Life.
What is Unanimity?
1. It is an expression of the essential unity underlying all creation.
2. Unanimity is not uniformity - it is unity in diversity and diversity in unity.
3. Organic unity - Functional unity ( consider the analogy of the human body).
4. Unanimity is not imposed - it is free adherence.
5. Its various aspects include:
A. Purpose - intention - will - motive
6. Fields of Unanimity:
A. Within oneself
B. Group unanimity
C. Inter-group unanimity
D. World unanimity
Unanimity is beginning to be recognized as the key to forward going in a growing number of fields. Moves towards the same goal can be combined. It could be said that the fundamental principle of Unanimity is emerging as a definite force in the world. It is recognition of unanimity, that is, oneness of soul, consequently meaning a sameness of goal, purpose and direction, not regimentation of means and methods, which is the key to the mutual forward going of humanity, with all its countless outer divisions of race, colour, creed, education and social conditions. It is this fundamental unity and consequent similarity of need that we must bring increasingly into our thinking, for it is the strengthening of this in human consciousness - so that it emerges in human affairs - that will bring about the needed bridging of long-established divisions. It is the will to cooperate which must be reached.
This needs to be attained not only because cooperation must supersede competition as spiritual evolution proceeds, but because of the practical fact that the increasing number of human beings on our planet makes this pooling of effort essential; upon it may well depend our very survival.
Unanimity is recognized in the secret places of the heart. It is verified, not by the divisive exercises of the analytical mind, but by the spiritual perception of the illumined higher mind. It might be said to be one of the first messages of the intuition. Here the value of meditation in reaching a true higher concept or “knowledge” will be seen, and we should not confuse this attainment with the more general all-pervading feeling of oneness which belongs to the emotional levels. “Heart -knowledge” is a phrase used in some of the Eastern teachings to describe the higher levels of arriving at truth or reality. It is a phrase worth pondering for it reveals the especial qualities for “knowing” offered not only by heart and head seperately, but by the two when rightly balanced and combined. The development in ourselves of the principle of Unanimity is also an example of how the individual will, as it gradually collaborates with the will of the soul, contributes to the good of the whole.
Unanimity should be cultivated as an agreement in aim. We must face the fact realistically that before the establishment of world unification and a true new world order of right synthesis and cooperation we cannot expect a general unanimity in humanity. During times of change, as now, there is always bound to be widespread conflict between the past and the future, between individuals and groups who cling to old forms and ways of life and those who are endeavouring, sometimes impatiently and violently, to create the new. But it is possible for each of us to achieve an increasing sense of unanimity, so that our thinking and attitudes become conditioned by it more and more and we are able to work in our environment clear-sightedly and wisely, avoiding much unnecessary friction, delay, and waste of energy. In this way we shall also contribute by radiating the harmonious cooperation which emerges from true unanimity
Unanimity is symbolized by the diamond which, with its many facets, reflects the many-sided splendour of unity manifested through diversity. It has also been likened to a symphony, which is made up of a very great number of musical notes. These are welded into phrases, the phrases into themes, and the themes into movements. The whole symphony has a unity which is achieved by bringing together these component and distinguishing and even conflicting parts in such a way that a resolution of opposites is brought about and harmony emerges out of particular discords. Throughout, the basic, underlying purpose or “motif” is expressed in various ways, occurring again and again to sound out the original message or purpose of the composer.
At certain points in our development we become aware of a joint goal, of an essential unity under diversity of form, methods and techniques. Let us therefore work at developing this latent, deeply hidden knowledge in ourselves - our sense of unanimity - recognizing where it lies and bringing it into practical usefulness whenever the need or opportunity appears. In this way we are activating a great divine principle here on earth.
The Principle of Unanimity and Glamour
Unanimity may, at first sight, seem to be so closely related to Group Endeavour that the same glamours must obstruct them both, and this is true to a large extent. But the Principle of Unanimity is of different level and of far greater significance than the combining together which constitutes a group effort. It is, in fact, what might be called the vertical impulse which flows down into the horizontal activity of true group endeavour, because - as the word un-ani-mous denotes - it is fundamentally a oneness of soul, a unity on soul levels.
This means that, as well as the glamours which hinder cooperation with others and group endeavour, we need to consider those which prevent response from soul impulse and realization of the group consciousness and more inclusive awareness that exists on soul levels.
Individuals may combine for many reasons, expedient and materialistic, but their cooperation is sometimes partial and temporary without unanimity., without the driving force of a united purpose, a mutual intention, a deeper and more significant unity binding them together. Unanimity alone arouses the urge to serve with selflessness, the will to harmonize, cooperate, share the load, and achieve mutually that which is acknowledged as a common goal.
The Principle of Unanimity brings the pulse of a greater, more inclusive livingness, and therefore, when it is at the heart of an undertaking of a wider nature than our personal activities and objectives, it strengthens, stimulates, and lifts it into new dimensions. Unanimity is not uniformity, and when it is at the core of any group endeavour it is the greatest antidote to all the problems that are liable to beset it at the personality level.
There are various ways in which we can try to open ourselves to this principle and take advantage of its reality. Recognition of the vivid, eternal truth of the Inner Life, development of group awareness, and the cultivation of concern for others, empathy, and a sense of responsibility all help us to put us in touch with the spirit of unanimity.
There are greater, unanimous purposes than we realize underlying our lives as individuals, groups, races and humanity as a whole, as well as - to take even a wider perspective - the life of all kingdoms on earth. We cannot know the Divine intention, but we can recognize its manifestation in what we know to be good and see to be redemptive for the whole. With these demonstrations of Reality we can ally ourselves, cooperate, and work; to them we can give our allegiance, and we will find that the strength which they channel from their Source then surges through us - we become aligned with the heartbeat of the Greater Life in which, as souls, we are one - un-ani-mous.
Many of the glamours already spoken of hinder the expression of Unanimity, especially the positive glamours which tend towards an extreme sense of independence and individuality, and which build up self-aggrandizement and make it very difficult to subordinate the personal self to the group good, and the individual will to that of the greater whole.
I Glamours which obstruct Unanimity:
Assertive personal will
Over-emphasis on detail and outer achievement
Love of organization and order to the extent of forgetting whether they are fulfilling the original purpose
Lack of inclusiveness
Desire for personal freedom
Failure to see the more far-reaching and widely shared goals
Insensitivity to the subtler but more inclusive impulse of the Soul
II Points for Reflection:
How can a greater sense of Unanimity be developed?
Does this require more dedication and shared goals?
More readiness to work for the good of the whole?
More Soul communication and responsiveness to spiritual impulse?
What are some of the mutual goals of humanity?
To list some of these will quickly show where the Principle of Unanimity is working out and where we can cooperate with it more than we do.For our meditations we recommend consulting the list of Soul Qualities we gave with Group Endeavour.
Universal Laws Committee
The World Service Association - P.O. Box 733, Salmon Arm, BC. V1E 4N8
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