U is for Unity

Unity is Birthed by Individuals (UW-Madison by Laurie Buchanan)
Unity is Birthed by Individuals (UW-Madison by Laurie Buchanan)

Unity, though concerned with the larger group, is birthed by individuals—you and me. It’s my perspective the unity has two orientations:

Vertically, it’s our connection with Source Energy
Horizontally, it’s our connection with the people around us

The intersection of these two lines is the seat of compassion—the key ingredient for unity at its best.

Identification with a group is vital to how we define ourselves. The worth of any group lies in the behavior of its individual members. Every group has people who are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. And of course, every group has people who are otherwise.

Connecting with like-minded people helps to make us aware of our inherent unity. When we’re warmly included—validated—it nurtures a warm sense of belonging; a sense that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.

One of my friends, an aspiring writer shared, “I wish I weren’t so shallow. But sadly, honestly, I am. I wait for validation. I wait for recognition. I wait to be invited … by him … by her … by them … by the publishing world. While I wait, I sharpen the tools of my craft and I dream.”

There are a multitude of groups we can align ourselves with: ethnicity, religious affiliation, spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, and political association—to name but a few. Regardless, as the camel driver in Paul Coelho’s book The Alchemist said, “All of our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.” Inherent unity.

Being one’s authentic self within a group is vital. Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of organic architecture said, “The reality of a building is the space within. And what you put into that space will affect how you live in it and what you become. Don’t clutter the place with stuff that does not ennoble it.”

His point is that it’s the details that express the whole. This is equally true of our personal ecology—inner landscape—which brings us right back to the beginning. Unity, though concerned with the larger group, is birthed by individuals at our compassion-filled, authentic best.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan


© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

25 thoughts on “U is for Unity

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention U is for Unity « Speaking from the Heart -- Topsy.com

  2. Laurie,

    I love how you created a circle around this word “unity” ! A Circle in which all are one, there is no leader, yet all have a voice to share. Collectively the voices become a “world view” or vibration.

    Quote I used this morning on my Facebook page:

    “Whether you are conscious of it or not, whether you see it or not, we are all One. The sooner you see and experience it, the quicker the suffering will dissolve.”

    The Christ Blueprint
    Padma Aon Prakasha

  3. “Identification with a group is vital to how we define ourselves. The worth of any group lies in the behavior of its individual members. Every group has people who are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. And of course, every group has people who are otherwise.”

    Gee, how true is this? But then the entire presentation compellingly lays out the groundwork for this most vital part of the equation. The example of Frank Lloyd Wright is excellently interwoven, as is the definition of unity as having two aspects: source energy and connection with those around you. I don’t think we’d be able to count off the fingers on one hand to add up those who were spiritually and physically fullfilled without support from others, and loving relationships. Family is essential to the fabric of communication and lasting affection, while even in the instance of friendship there can be a substantial level of bonding that exceeds even the instances of family estrangement.


    In Yasujiro Ozu’s great 1953 masterpiece TOKYO STORY, an elderly couple are shunned by their children and spouces in the big city, only to find that deepest of affection and loyalty from their daughter-in-law (a young widow, since her husband’s death during the war) who tenaciously attends to the well-being and emotional needs of her in-laws. After the elderly matriarch passes on, she stays by her father-in-law, who urges her to marry again. In one of the most wrenching scenes in all of cinema he tells the saintly young woman: “You aren’t even our flesh and blood, yet you showed us more love and loyalty than even our own children.” It’s one of those transcendent moments on screen that reaches the most profound level of human emotion.

  4. Very powerful Laurie. I don’t think we fully realize how much we affect “the group” of wherever we are at the time being. I love that is birthed with the individual and truly a responsibility. I am grateful for the reminder that even in a challenging group situation, I can focus on my authentic abilities and hope to serve as an example by my actions when words aren’t able to enlighten.

    • Lisa – And well you know about actions and words. With all of the little people — our future — in your care and keeping each day, looking to you as their model. All I can say is: Namaste’ – the divine in me, honors and bows to the divine in you.

  5. I lay in bed this morning and wondered what “U” might be. Never once thought of Unity–but it’s perfect. Love your thoughts and description. thanks, Laurie.

  6. Profound connectedness of thought trains this morning Laurie.

    After waking and doing my stretches I went back to bed to read a few pages of “The Emperor’s New Mind”, it’s the sort of book one can only read a few pages of before having to take “time out” for contemplation.

    I had just finished the chapter on “Touring Machines” (mathematical abstractions of possible computational devices, and was thinking about some of the statements made on the nature of infinities in some of the examples used.
    I started to contemplate two of the simpler infinities, the infinity of whole numbers, and the infinity of fractions.
    I started to wonder what the relationship was between any fixed subset of those infinities, characterised by a number “n”.
    If one counts zero as a number, then the set of whole numbers up to n has n+1 elements.
    I wondered how much bigger, exactly, is the set of numbers and fractions. So I worked it out.
    It turns out to be (n+1) +( ( n+1) times the sum of all the digits 1 … n-1). So it is very much larger than n.
    That took me a couple of minutes to figure out and test, using the standard procedure of mathematical induction.

    That started me on a couple of minutes of fairly abstract contemplation of the nature of infinity, which then bought me back to the beginning.

    There are two different sorts of counting systems.
    There are those that start from 1, and there are those that start from zero.
    I started to contemplate which was more valid, and how each related to reality.
    I quite quickly found myself in a loop, where I was switching from viewing the world as starting from one, and viewing it as starting from nothing, until the two different abstractions sort of blended into a greater unity, a sort of “grand equivalence” – where it was all simply a matter of perspective.

    Did it really matter if one considered that nothing gave rise to one, or that one gave rise to something else. Aren’t the processes essentially equivalent?

    Is it really possible to contemplate the absence of something, without also holding an example of that thing, in which case the concept of nothing (zero) never really exists (as the thing must always exist in the abstract as a referent to be able to state that there is none of it). There may in fact be none of it in existence, but it is not possible to refer to none of it being in existence without bringing at least one of “it” into existence (at least in the abstract) as a referent.

    It turned into a fascinating half hour of mental gymnastics – from the purely abstract mathematical realm, to the realm of reality, the birth of cosmology and us, to the philosophy of ontology.

    It got me contemplating how many errors I have found in the great works of mathematics and logic. Einstein’s relativity has an error in premises for example. He states that in the absence of external referents, it is impossible to tell if one is in an accelerating frame or a gravitational frame. Actually – it is relatively simple to tell the difference. All one needs is two pendulums suspended from a bar.
    If one is in a gravitational field, each weight will point to the center of mass of the attractor, thus the strings will not be parallel but will converge.
    If one is in a pure accelerating frame, then they will be parallel.
    If one is in a mixed frame, then the angle of convergence will change with time.
    If one is in a centripetal frame (on the inside of a spinning wheel), they will diverge.
    I guess it is possible to create very unusual configurations of matter that may take three or more pendulums to distinguish between, and the principle still holds.

    So yes – I agree with Wright; the details are important.
    The details of logic.
    The details of history.
    The details of evolution.
    The details of experience.
    The details of what we do with the infinite possibility available to us.
    The details of the language we use to express the relationships and abstractions that present themselves to our awareness, in the hope of communicating them to another.

    These context machines that are our human brains are sensitive to context at every level.

    There does not appear to be any limits to the levels of abstraction available; and there are very real limits on what exists in reality, and how much any physical thing can do in a given amount of time.

    Finding a balance of actions between sustaining body, sustaining relationships, contemplative exploration, physical exploration, making money, creating new contexts – is not a simple task. No “right” answer – just the answers we have in the moment.



    creative space

    Holographic relationships – the more one experiences, the greater the clarity available, and always a sense of being somehow not quite all there, and all there, at the same time.

    It has been a fun morning – Thank you for your part in it.

    • Ted – Don’t think for one moment that I understood a single word you said (another one of those whipping through the galaxy on your coattail moments), but I’m delighted that I somehow had a part in it 🙂

      • Bugger!

        I left out the really tricky stuff about infinities, and tried to keep the connections in place, so you would be able to follow.

        When I was thinking about number systems starting with 1 or with 0, consider a that a system starting from zero is equivalent to an atheist view, and one starting from one equivalent to a god centered view. This morning I got into an abstract space where I could see both as equivalent (in a certain sense).

        The other central theme would be one of alignment with Wright, that the details do matter.
        What we allow into our brains, what we read, what we see, what we hear – does matter, and it is only one of many factors that enter into the probability matrix that produces what we do.

  7. Hi, Laurie — some days I feel like an out-of-work shaman searching for a tribe. Other days, I feel as if I belong to the whole world and every person I meet is my tribe. I do alone very well, but I am happiest when I am connected with others. It is one of the gifts that I receive that I am sharing with my brother (who is still on the edge of homelessness and struggling to find a solution). Every day I connect with him. I can’t fix his problem but I can let him know that he is not alone and I will not abandon him. He is stronger because of my presence and we (along with his girlfriend and my sister) are creating unity to see him through this difficult period. We all know all things pass — this too shall pass. I am blessed to be able to support him from a position of security and comfort. Unity is a force that requires individuals yet its power is triple that of any human struggling alone.

    • Barbara – I can’t even begin to imagine you as an out-of-work shaman. I believe it’s much more a case of every person being in your tribe. The word picture of unity you painted (you, your sister, and your brother’s girlfriend) is a shining example. Thank you for sharing it here.

  8. Nothing lifts me up like knowing I am a part of the Whole. Like Ted, I contemplate Infinity, although not quite in his fashion. I some times feel very, very small, as indeed I am. Infinitesimal, in fact. Then I cheer myself up with the thought that I am a tiny gear in the clock and that the clock needs all its gear if it is to run at all. What a grand post, thought on a Grand Scale.

  9. Boy, now I feel a bit guilty!

    I identified with the folowing!
    “I wish I weren’t so shallow. But sadly, honestly, I am. I wait for validation. I wait for recognition. I wait to be invited

    Sad but oh so true in some situations. My voice is silence and courage is some how not around, or even a voice…..

    Unity can also mean internal and external are one being unified to give joy and peace to ourselves

  10. I enjoyed this post immensely. Talk about synchronicity, I was just reaching out to fellow bloggers, taking time and going through the posts of my subscribtions and feeling unified with the writing community. Vertical unity and Horizontal unity, for whatever reason this opened a little path in my mind and I was able to feel connected to this great big universe we lay claim to as our home. I thank you for sharing this post. I think at this point in history the world could use an education on unity.

  11. Pingback: Merry Christmas | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  12. Pingback: Merry Christmas | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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