The Revolution is in Your Mind

Choosing love.

James Leroy Wilson

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This talk was given at Unity Lincoln on July 2, 2023.

Good morning!

When Reverend Evan asked me if I could give the talk on July 2, he suggested it could be about Independence Day or the History of New Thought class that I facilitate. Well, in my mind, I had wanted my next talk to be about the Ten Commandments and aliens. So we’ll see if I can bring them all together.

Now, if you’re new to Unity, you might think, “Oh, cool, Unity is into aliens!” Or you might think, “Oh, no, Unity is into aliens.” So I should clarify that Unity is NOT into aliens. I am, kind of, but not Unity. Anyway, let’s begin.

In a couple of days, on this fourth of July, Americans will once again celebrate Independence Day. It’s a time for music, food, games, and fun.

And one of the reasons I’m proud to celebrate being an American, that is, to feel fortunate to have been born here and to live in this country, is a culture founded on freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

And it’s more than just the self-evident truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence or the legal freedoms in the Bill of Rights. It’s also freedom from tradition, from old social arrangements, it’s in the freedom to try new things.

An example is found in the History of New Thought Class that meets here every Sunday at 9 am and also on Zoom, we learned that Ralph Waldo Emerson left his position as a minister in the Unitarian Church when he decided he did not agree with the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

He was NOT put on trial for heresy, because there was no state church with the power to do that. He was NOT burned at the stake. Nobody had power over him. He could think, speak, and write as he pleased. As Eric Butterworth said, the same people who didn’t want Emerson preaching on Sunday morning would go hear him lecture on Monday evening. Emerson helped inspire future generations who formed the New Thought movement which includes Unity.

THIS is the culture of freedom I am blessed to live in.

Now, we didn’t discuss Emerson’s view of the Lord’s Supper in the class, but I did read his essay on it. Emerson wrote:

“… [T]that for which Jesus gave himself to be crucified; the end that animated the thousand martyrs and heroes who have followed his steps, was to redeem us from a formal…

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James Leroy Wilson

Former activist. Writer with a range of interests from spirituality to sports.