Divine Audacity: Dare to Be the Light of the World by Linda Martella-Whitsett is not your Twelve Powers book of old. It is a different look at the material presented by Charles Fillmore in The Twelve Powers of Man. While it obviously references Fillmore, Linda’s take is a different perspective. Divine Audacity serves not “instead of” but “in addition to” the Fillmore material.
I knew that I was in different territory from the first sentence: “Oddly, I, a minister serving a church community, have become less and less religious through the years.” Gasp! Did she really say that? Linda states that her purpose “is to transcend religion and to flatten spirituality, to level the field of thought and experience so that there is no higher and lower, no ‘more spiritual’ and ‘less spiritual.’ I want that we realize our oneness with GOD.”
She caps the word GOD “to distinguish GOD, the One Mind, or Source, from the deity ‘God.’ ” She describes GOD according to twelve attributes, lights or powers—related to Charles Fillmore’s Twelve Powers. In cultivating these powers, we fulfill our divine purpose to be the light of the world.
According to Linda, divine audacity is about living spiritually and boldly, expressing your I AM divine nature. It is about being intentional and accountable, and expressing your highest self in the midst of everyday situations. It is bringing your best self to every situation, the wanted and the unwanted.
Helpful as a Teaching Aid
I used this book for a group discussion at Unity of Independence, Mo., where I serve as a licensed teacher. There were a number of aspects about the setup of this book that made my task easy.
Linda has included a meditation for each power. You can record the meditation to play during the class. I simply played background music and read the mediation. I personally found it helpful to take one of the meditation statements as an affirmation and work with it for the week. (That is included in her suggestions for each power.)
Each meditation mentions the color associated with that power as well as the place in the body (chakra) where the power emanates.
She also has included “Practices to Cultivate” each power. Some suggestions are the same from power to power (read the meditation daily, journal, create a symbol of the power) and some are unique. I appreciated that she had done a lot of the “study guide” work for me.
The suggestions cover a multitude of learning styles (multiple intelligences) so there is something for everyone, including movement. This book is easy to use for a Fall study as you do not have to create or purchase a separate study guide.
Examples: Both Positive and Negative
I appreciate when an author doesn’t just “talk theory” but shows how a power shows up in everyday life. Linda included a numbers of stories from her personal life and they weren’t all in the positive look-how-well-I-do-this category.
In one example of Wisdom, she contrasted the empathetic response Dr T Berry Brazelton had to a mother swatting her child in a grocery store to her own clumsy response to a mother swatting at her toddler in the back seat at a drive-in. The comparison was illustrative, authentic and relatable.
She showed how she held a place for acceptance and healing with her father that eventually came to pass, even though it took years. I admired her honesty and perseverance.
Linda ties in Bible scriptures and stories throughout the book, including quotes from the Gospel of Thomas. She explains the background of some words used in the original Greek version of the Bible as meanings and concepts change over time.
To help explain the importance of Power, Linda lists quotes from a variety of cultures and religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. I appreciate the multi-cultural references as they fit in with Unity’s acceptance of many paths to the Oneness of God.
Divine Audacity is a refreshing take on the Twelve Powers and should be a welcome addition to the material studied in Unity communities.