Using Metaphysical “Aikido” as a Powerful Faith-Lift

Published on: June 6, 2016

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Aikido is a Japanese martial art form that uses a synthesis of philosophy, spiritual beliefs and martial art studies. Translated, aikido means “the way of unifying” or “the way of harmonious spirit.” The goal of aikido is to defend yourself while redirecting the momentum of an opponent’s attack, and at the same time, protecting the attacker from harm.

We coined the term “metaphysical aikido” to describe the unifying and harmonizing effects that 21st century metaphysical interpretation has on sacred scripture. We have found that people who are “Bible shy” readily embrace the ramped-up metaphysics we teach.

Why? Because we place the Trojan horses of science and metaphysics in the Troy of mainstream religion.

We encourage Unity leaders, at every level of leadership, to adopt science-flavored metaphysics as their chief approach to teaching, because it incorporates the latest findings of scientific disciplines such as epigenetics, quantum physics, neurobiology, evolutionary virology, molecular biology, positive psychology and the esoteric teachings of the world’s major faith traditions to amplify the spiritual truths Unity teaches.

This highly integrative approach moves scripture from its limited literal perspectives to its deeper, more universal spiritual meanings. It interprets people, places, things and events “out there” as qualities, traits and characteristics within each of us.

It takes mainstream Christianity back to its metaphysical and mystical roots without getting stuck in the old paradigms. We believe that’s important, because it keeps Unity teachings positive, practical, progressive and 21st century-relevant.

Metaphysical aikido is for those who have outgrown the literal-only scriptural interpretation penchant of mainstream Christianity and who yet recognize the teachings of the Christ as Jesus for their intrinsic worth. It is for those who believe there is more to sacred scripture than its literal interpretations—which have led to denominational exclusivity, dogmatic rigidity and religious myopia.

And, in our opinion, that’s one of Unity’s chief contributions to the world—its metaphysical treatment of scripture!

Here’s why metaphysical aikido creates such powerful faith-lifts:

  • It fosters open inquiry over parochial close-mindedness;
  • It helps truth students gain spiritual clarity over stagnant religious dogma;
  • It champions superior discernment instead of the close-mindedness that characterized the embedded theology most of us grew up with as children;
  • It automatically nurtures inclusivity rather than exclusivity;
  • It promotes the marriage between science and spirituality instead of the longstanding and unnecessary religious rift between them;
  • It recognizes a spirituality based on original blessing instead of original sin;
  • It encourages an expanded spiritual consciousness over bottled-up religious biases and denominational sparring.

While the Bible is our chief spiritual text and the teachings of the Christ as Jesus are our chief Christian-centered curriculum, we believe Unity must continue honoring the other major faith traditions as well, adopting the best practices from each. After all, that’s one of the foundational strategies the Fillmores used to launch the Unity movement.

Those who are in leadership positions in our Movement know that many Unity followers—and those who come through our doors searching for higher truths—are a bit “Bible shy.” Many people who visit our spiritual communities are what we call “church alumni.” They’ve “been-there-done-that” when it comes to traditional mainstream religion and feel a bit wounded by the dogma, inerrancy of scripture language, over-emphasis on tithing, and exclusivity experienced.

Unity’s leadership has an excellent opportunity—no, privilege—of making the Bible come alive and vibrant for those “stung” by literal-only interpretations of scripture. After all, the Bible is one of the most compelling stories of humankind’s evolving spiritual consciousness.

Metaphysical aikido is intended to help those interested in their own spiritual growth to connect with the innermost level of their being, which is their Christ Self, their Authentic Self, their SuperSelf.

So, if the “spiritual you” is nudging the “religious you” to awaken to the hidden truths buried in the Bible, we believe you will find metaphysical Christianity a fascinating stop—and perhaps a permanent destination—on your path toward enlightenment.

Metaphysical Aikido in Action

Here’s an example of how to turn mere “churchianity” into vibrant, Unitized metaphysical Christianity. First we’ll share a traditional interpretation of Matthew 8, and follow that up with a metaphysical interpretation of the same scripture:

Matthew 8:23-27 (New International Version)   
Jesus Calms the Storm
23. Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26. He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:23-27 (A Metaphysical Interpretation)  
Stilling the Storms of Life
23. When we organize our life around a positive, practical and progressive spiritual consciousness (the boat), the rest of our thinking (disciples) follows suit. 24. And when we stand firmly in our Christ Consciousness, we can face any crisis or turmoil (furious storm) with unruffled composure. 25. However, sometimes we allow outer appearances to fool us and frighten us even though we have assured ourselves that we are one with Spirit. 26. When that happens, all we have to do is give ourselves a faith-lift and believe in our connection to Spirit. Those actions alone will bring us peace and serenity. 27.Our intellect cannot comprehend the power of something as abstract as faith, and marvels at how much even a little faith can calm the emotions and evaporate fears.

In our opinion, the world is starving for a content-rich metaphysical treatment of scripture. We believe New Thought people want to plumb the depths of the Bible. However, we believe they want a deeper, more spiritual than religious exposure.

Once people all over the world taste 21st century metaphysical cuisine (metaphysical teachings, spiritual insights, complementary scientific findings, esoteric revelations) all of the delicacies of mainstream faith traditions (dogma, literal-only interpretations of scripture, an anthropomorphic god) will become tasteless and unappetizing. We’re “just sayin”.

Unity leadership is in the perfect position to take people to higher ground. However, it will take coordinated leadership Unity-wide. We have the teachings to give millions of people a faith-lift. But first we’ve got to lift them out of the dogma of literal-only interpretations of scripture.

We can help people deepen their Christian experience by discovering the hidden wisdom that underwrites all literal interpretations of scripture. Metaphysical Bible interpretation is one of our chief global differentiators. In our opinion, it must be a Unity-wide leadership strategy.

Cher & Bill Holton
Revs Drs Bil & Cher Holton are ordained Unity ministers and founders of The Global Center for Spiritual Practices. They combine metaphysics, spiritual practices, and science to help people walk the spiritual path on practical feet.

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  • John Zenkewich

    I look forward to your further development of the idea of “Metaphysical Aikido” As “Ai” may also be translated as Union which is the core principle of Unity spirituality. Many Aikido practitioners would say that the goal/definition of Aikido is to become one with the Ki of the universe, Keep up the good work.Thank you for the article.

    • Cher-Bil Holton

      Thanks for your comments, John! We love the definition of becoming one with the Ki of the universe. That is what spirituality is really all about! Blessings!

  • Kyra Baehr

    Love the article and the fresh approach!

    • Cher-Bil Holton

      Thanks, Kyra! We hope you’ll find lots of ways to use this in your own spiritual enrichment. Blessings!

  • Allison Smith

    I love the way you (and Paul when you’re “romping”) coin terms such as “religious myopia”, “faith-lift”, “taste 21st century metaphysical cuisine”…so descriptive and engaging! Following you from the Virgin islands, I’m all over “science-flavored metaphysics as their chief approach to teaching”. Thanks for your insight and humor! You inspired me long ago with your belly laughs.

    • Cher-Bil Holton

      What awesome feedback! Thanks so much, Allison! You made our day! We value listeners like you to our show, and look forward to our continued connection around the “virtual kitchen table!” PS: We hope you can attend our Think Tank Retreat in April at Unity Village!