We Are That

By Rev. Mark Fuss

I Am Inspired

Affirmation: I am inspired to do all that is mine to do.

According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to inspire someone is “to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on” them. The origin of the word is found in the Latin inspirare, meaning to “breathe into.”

As I read this, my mind went to the people and the ideas that have inspired me. They breathed into who I am—what I think and believe about myself and the world around me.

Dr. Robert Fish, my teacher and friend, is one person who enlivened and inspired me. Fish, as he was affectionately known to his students, taught Homiletics, Storytelling, Reader’s Theater, and other public speaking classes during my seminary experience. Fish taught me to plumb the depths of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences to bring a story to life for myself and for an audience. He taught me to breathe into the idea that a story is conveying, to bring it to life. Fish was particularly skilled at the use of metaphor and story in sharing an inspiring idea.

One such inspiring idea and story for me is “Acornology.” Jacob Needleman popularized this metaphor in his book Lost Christianity and named it “Acornology.” It was retold by Cynthia Bourgeault in her book, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, where I first came across it. I hope it inspires you as well.


Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a kingdom of acorns, nestled at the foot of a grand old oak tree. Since the citizens of this kingdom were modern, fully Westernized acorns, they went about their life with a purposeful energy; and since they were mid-life baby-boomer acorns, they engaged in a lot of self-help courses. There were seminars called “Getting All You Can out of Your Shell” and “Who Would You Be Without Your Nutty Story?” There were woundedness and recovery groups for acorns who had been bruised in their fall from the tree. There were spas for oiling and polishing those shells and various acornopathic therapies to enhance longevity and well-being.

One day in the midst of this kingdom there suddenly appeared a knotty little stranger, apparently dropped out of the blue by a passing bird. He was capless and dirty, making an immediate negative impression on his fellow acorns. And to make things worse, crouched beneath the mighty oak tree, he stammered out a wild tale. Pointing up at the tree, he said, “We … are … that!”

Delusional thinking, obviously, the other acorns concluded, but they continued to engage him in conversation: “So tell us, how do we … become that tree?” “Well,” said he, pointing downward, “it has something to do with going into the ground … and cracking open the shell.”

“Insane!” they responded. “Totally morbid! Why then we wouldn’t be acorns anymore.”

We Are That!

I have shared this story countless times throughout the past decade and it never fails to animate, enliven, and inspire those who hear it. An acorn is a seed, and its nature and destiny is to become an oak tree. We, too, are seeds—our nature and destiny is to become!

The idea that “we are that”—the Divine in expression—is central to Unity teachings. We are not broken but blessed. Our thoughts, words, and actions are creative. When we can crack open and go into the ground of our being, a world of growth and possibility opens before us.

This month I invite you to consider:

  1. Who inspires you?
  2. What qualities/abilities do they demonstrate that animate or enliven you?
  3. What do they call forth in you?
  4. What key idea or creative thought inspires you to be the Divine in expression—to do all that is yours to do?

I am inspired to do all that is mine to do. And so it is.