To affirm anything is to assert positively that it is so, even in the face of all contrary evidence… The beautiful Presence all about us and within us is the substance of every good that we can possibly desire…
Unity’s affirmations were a central principle from the beginning, taking inspiration from Mark’s famous gospel passage: Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mk. 11:24).
Emilie Cady in her foundational Unity work, Lessons in Truth, described four fundamental affirmations which she saw as at the heart of our ‘practical Christianity’. Here is what she wrote about these core affirmations.
There are four sweeping affirmations of Truth that cover a multitude of lesser ones, and which do marvellous work in bringing good to ourselves and to others.
First: God is life, love, intelligence, substance, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence.
As you repeat this affirmation, please remember that every particle of life, love, intelligence, power, or of real substance in the universe is simply a certain degree, or so to speak, a quantity of God made manifest or visible through a form. Try to think what it means when you say that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.
If God is omnipresence (All-Presence) and AllGood, where is the evil? If He is omnipotence (AllPower), what other power can there be working in the universe?
Since God is omnipotence and omnipresence, put aside forever your traditional teaching of an adverse power, evil (devil), that may at any moment thwart the plans of God and bring you harm.
Do not disturb yourself about the appearance of evil all about you, but in the very presence of what seems evil stand true and unwavering in affirming that God, the good, is omnipresence. By so doing, you will see the seeming evil melt away as the darkness before the light or as the dew before the morning sun, and good come to take its place.
Second: I am a child or manf’station of God, and every moment His lift, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me. Jam one with God and am governed by His law.
Remember while repeating this affirmation that nothing—no circumstance, no person or set of persons—can by any possibility interpose between you and the Source of your life, wisdom, or power. It is all “hidden with Christ [the innermost Christ or Spirit of your being] in God” (Col. 3:3). Nothing but your own ignorance of how to receive, or your wilfulness, can hinder your having unlimited supply.
No matter how sick or weak or inefficient you seem to be, take your eyes and thoughts right off the seeming and turn them within to the central fountain there and say calmly, quietly, but with steadfast assurance: This appearance of weakness is false; God, manifest as life, wisdom, and power, is now flowing into my entire being and out through me to the external. You will soon see a marvellous change wrought in yourself by the realization that this spoken word will bring to you.
You do not change God’s attitude toward you one iota by either importuning or affirming. You only change your attitude toward Him. By thus affirming, you put yourself in harmony with divine law, which is always working toward your good and never toward your harm or punishment.
Third: I am Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, for Spirit is God, and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid. I manifest my real Self through this body now.
Fourth: God works in me to will and to do whatever He wishes me to do, and He cannot fail.
Our affirming His mind working both to will and to do makes us will only the good, and He, the very Father in us, does the works, hence there can be no failure. Whatever we fully commit to the Father to do and affirm is done, we shall see accomplished.
These, then, are the four comprehensive affirmations:
God is life, love, intelligence, substance, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence.
I am a child or manifestation of God, and every moment His life, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me. I am one with God and am governed by His law.
I am Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, for Spirit is God, and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid. I manfèst my real Self through this body now.
God works in me to will and to do whatever He
wishes me to do, and He cannot fail.
Commit these affirmations to memory so that you can repeat them in the silence of your own mind in any place and at any time. Strangely will they act to deliver you out of the greatest external distresses, places where no human help avails. It is as though the moment you assert emphatically your oneness with God the Father, there is instantly set into motion all the power of Omnipotent Love to rush to your rescue. And when it has undertaken to work for you, you can cease from external ways and means and boldly claim: It is done; I have the desires of my heart.
You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.”
EMILIE CADY, from ‘Lessons in Truth’ (first published 1903)