UNITY AND DIVERSITY’S ONGOING VISION
by Rev. Dr. Mary Anneeta Mann
We lost a warm glow when Rev. Leland Stewart moved away from our midst in March 2018. Yet the vision that so clearly defined his life always endures and those of us who loved him must now pick up facets of the light he transmitted and cautiously move forward in implementing the vision so that it not only endures but expands as it must.
So what is this vision really? It is much more than harmony among all religions and spiritual groups. It is humankind’s ultimate endeavor to envision the greatest work of art ever created. It is the vision of the transcendent harmony of the universe consciously chosen by human beings as they joyfully embrace their divine gift and their responsibility as custodians of the planet. In the words of David Harris, it is the understanding that We are all unavoidably one with Source, the Supreme Creative Life Force of all Creation, and we must act on that understanding.
Humans are social beings earnestly seeking out others who resonate with them. Now in the 21st century, after twenty centuries of non-recognition of the need to accept all other humans as kindred rather than aggressors or competitors for the largess of nature, we are coming closer to this great vision that so many brilliant minds over many centuries have been encouraging us to embrace.
And, we are coming very close because the Universe itself is warning us every day with tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, and droughts that we MUST.
Leland and his wife Elizabeth built up Unity-and-Diversity as a model for this harmony with certain specific methods of outreach that we can and must now continue and expand upon.
The monthly Sunday Interfaith Celebrations will be continuing and expanding. The elements of the Celebration are described on pages 280/282 in Science and Spirituality. While they have always been held on the third Sunday of each month and will continue when our facilitator Seth Youn, and we will arrange a special Celebration as an introduction to exploring the concept of Integrity Circles masterminded by David Harris and extremely successful in the past.
The Peoples’ Alliance or the Global People’s Assembly or whatever designation it will end up having, has vast potential.. The 21st century is a century for coming together. So many groups are becoming more and more interested in belonging to a global civilization as they must if we are to survive and a method of cohesion and strength will come from recognizing the gifts of people globally and bringing the gifted together to solve global occurrences. Paul the Apostle writes of the Varieties of Gifts as recorded on pages 216/7 of Science and Spirituality, to each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same spirit. So in the 21st century, we may have philosophers, doctors with all of their various specialties, religious leaders coming from all of the religions and spiritual groups, teachers, with their specialties, administrators, business people with their ideas for improving everything pertaining to prosperity for all, helpers of every ilk, all using their own gifts in concert with others coming from every place on the planet, eventually superseding nationhood, and the United Nations while retaining all of the elements of human morality.
It is important to remember that when Science and Spirituality were published one of its aims was an outreach for Unity-and-Diversity. Many people over years contributed to its different parts and our plans included getting copies to prisons, retirement homes, and any other places where people of all walks of life might be brought together without regard to beliefs or political leanings. We found that people in restricted areas bonded when they shared a gathering that was all-inclusive.
David J. Harris, the founder of the Mandala Society, has become fundamental to the future and vision of Unity-and-Diversity Council. He has been creating with the organization for over 50 years including establishing at The University of California San Diego. But since Leland’s passing, his role, input, ideas, have filled the organization with hope, prosperity, and ideals, of creating a more sustainable world in which we live.
David is behind the first-ever Holistic Health Conferences with a Medical school and the First National Holistic Education Conference and in 1968 the first Developing Personal Potential program evolved to focus on the Unity-and-Diversity Council being a paramount gift to the Non-Organization O.U.R. Holistic Renaissance Evolving Social Media Web Site for spotlighting action that is birthing our Sustainable prosperity for all with Freedom and Justice for All.
Also, The World Peace Prayer Society will be working with Unity-and-Diversity and the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks as well as the Cultural Affairs Department in planting Peace Poles through the beautiful parks in the city of the Angels with the words May Peace Prevail on Earth in many languages welcoming inhabitants from every place on the planet who now reside in the city of the Angels. It is important to be mindful here that this society was founded in Japan after Hiroshima and its significance for Global Peace and Justice could be unparalleled.