Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Does Donald R. Trump promote the teachings of the Anti- Christ?

The White Supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville should come as no surprise to people who have watched Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign and presidency. Trump has consistently engaged in hate speech and promoted an ideology of racism and xenophobia which has attracted and gained the support of people who live in fear of being marginalized and disenfranchised by people that they perceive as "other." His marketing slogan of "Make America Great Again" gives whites the hope of returning to an era when America engaged in enslaving and subjugating people based on racial and ethnic characteristics.

The desire for power and superiority as a means of dominating others is a sickness that infects not only the United States but other countries as well, indeed, most of humanity and other animal species. Most animal species have the so called "pecking order" and Donald J. Trump's appeal is enhanced with his tough guy projection of the Alpha male. This projection of an Alpha male persona is very attractive to people who desire to be protected and lead, and relieved of responsibility for initiative and self awareness.

In some circles the persona of Donald J Trump has been called the persona of the Anti-Christ because of the qualities and beliefs he manifests which are at odds with the teachings of Jesus and other enlightened beings. To beings of higher consciousness, the dichotomy which Donald J. Trump's teachings and behavior present to the spiritual teachings of Jesus and other spiritual teachers are apparent, and a cause of concern because of their appeal to beings of lower consciousness who have been infected by virulent values which lead to the harm of the Body of Christ and the At-One-Ment of  existence created by the Spirit of Life.

The incentive for the development and maintenance of a racist and exclusionary value system is the desire for power. This desire for power is the driving force and energy of the ego which wishes to exalt in its willfulness, which it calls freedom, to do as it pleases. Any restrictions or constraints on this willfulness, aka freedom, is interpreted as a threat, and the source of the threat is attacked to diminish or eliminate its constraint.

As so it is that the less conscious attempt to hold on to or regain that which was never theirs truly but only criminal behavior justified under the self serving guise of freedom which was only theirs while they domineered, subjugated, and stole the dignity and respect of others whom they considered of lesser value and consideration.

Unitarian Univeralists and beings of higher consciousness appear on the horizon of history with a witness and voice so marginalized and silenced that it is hardly recognized let alone acknowledged and appreciated. And yet the witness, no matter how anemic must continue because it is a marker of sanity and the health of humanity that gives hope and satisfaction of a higher quality life of the spirit if not of physical well being.

Resistance to the teachings of the Anti-Christ is not enough. A more authentic vision of the real spiritual world must be promoted with a missionary zeal as long as life permits. So join us in promoting a vision of equality, respect, dignity, and justice for all. Simply put, love your neighbor and people more distant in foreign lands and sing with the Beatles, "Love is all there is."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The mission of Unitarian Universalism is to teach forgiveness

We teach what we believe about ourselves. What do Unitarian Universalists believe about themselves? Do they believe they are special living in a hostile world? Do they believe that they are defective and unacceptable in some way and therefore are attempting to create a safe space into which they can feel like they belong? Do they believe they alone have a progressive message that the world would benefit from hearing?

Life presents us with a curriculum which we are to learn and we find ourselves repeating the lessons until we do learn them and then we desire to teach them to others to save the world from its suffering.

And what is the primary lesson we need to learn by teaching? It is an existential lesson which is simply that our suffering comes from our attempts to separate ourselves from our creator by building up and protecting our egos. Our mission is to teach that we are not our ego but a part of something far more mysterious, glorious, and awesome. The path to happiness is to eschew the ego, forgive ourselves and others and join the rest of Life in the At-one-ment. This involves looking for the divine spark, the Great Rays, from all living things and encouraging others to do the same.

The mission of Unitarian Universalists is to teach not only a respect but a love for the interdependent web of all existence and the most important step in this direction is to forgive our own trespasses and the trespasses of others against us.

Take away = The basis of our Unitarian Univeralist faith is forgiveness and this requires awareness and generosity. How can you teach the value of forgiveness to others so that you better learn the lesson yourself?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Unitarian Universalism needs missionary zeal encompassing learning what it would teach

Unitarian Univeralism is a dying denomination along with many of the other mainline Christian Churches. They are dying because these institutions are no longer relevant to our contemporary, digital, global community. The old practices, beliefs, and traditions no longer are attractive enough to engage, retain, and nurture membership. UU churches have become social clubs that tend to be cliquey and unable to resolve conflict well. Most importantly, UU as a denomination, and its churches, have no missionary zeal to spread its primary beliefs and principles. As W. Edwards Deming, the Total Quality Management guru from the 80s said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

Where is Unitarian Universalism going? What is its key message for the salvation of the world? How is that message spread?

In A Course In Miracles, it is taught that the usual role of teaching and learning is reversed. It is written, “The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same.”

It is further written, “The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn.”

“Teaching is but a call to witness to attest to what you believe. It is a method of conversion. This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be a chance to teach others what you are and what they are to you.”

Observation would lead to an awareness that this is rarely done in UU churches and other mainline Christian churches. If one were asked what difference a church makes in its community in terms of positive influence, often the responder would be hard pressed to articulate a coherent response.

If Unitarian Univeralism is to survive as a social institution in our society, it must develop an awareness of what it wants to learn and how to teach it so that that learning can occur. If Unitarian Universalism is to survive, let alone grow, it must develop a missionary zeal focused on spreading the good news of its core principles and beliefs. As it is empowered by the learning that comes from its teaching it may be a source of influence for the salvation of the world.

Take away - You learn what you teach. What do you want to learn? What do Unitarian Universalists need to learn?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The love of God does not require sacrifice

Unitarian Universalists have a rich tradition of believing in the unconditional and universal love of God. UUs do not believe that unconditional love requires sacrifice of any kind. UUs do not believe in the traditional Christian God that requires sacrifice of His son's to appease His anger at His creatures' sins.

As human beings we are very confused believing that love requires sacrifice. This may be true of conditional love of the ego but it is not true of the unconditional love of God.

What is not love is fear and the ego relishes fear. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You believe it is possible to be host to the ego or hostage to God.”

More specifically it is written, “Your confusion of sacrifice and love is so profound that you cannot conceive of love without sacrifice. And it is this you must look upon; sacrifice is attack, not love. If you would accept but this one idea, your fear of love would vanish.” T-15.X.5:8-10

And so we fear the Love of God because we believe that God’s love demands the ultimate sacrifice, the loss of our ego whether through enlightenment or death.As human beings we are very confused believing that love requires sacrifice. This may be true of conditional love of the ego but it is not true of the unconditional love of God.

What is not love is fear and the ego relishes fear. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You believe it is possible to be host to the ego or hostage to God.”

Heather's mother, Joanne, told Heather repeatedly in so many words, "I'll love you if you get good grades, do your chores, keep your room clean, and stop fighting with your brother." Heather craved her mother's love and so felt guilty when she didn't please her mother. It seemed her mother always wanted something and whatever Heather did was not good enough.

Heather's older brother, Michael, told her, "Mom is a bottomless pit. Nothing you do will ever be good enough for her. Mom reminds me of the joke about the little girl who asked her mother why it was raining and the mother said, 'Because God is crying.' and when the little girl asked her mother why God was crying, the mother said, 'Probably because of something you did.'"

Heather didn't laugh much. She said, "Is God like mom?"

Michael said, "That's what they say. That's why I don't believe in God. What kind of God would want His son to suffer and die on a cross to appease His disappointment with His creations' mistakes? Why did He create them that way to begin with? The whole story seems screwed up to me."

"I don't believe in a God like mom," said Heather. "That would be a hell."

Michael said, "My God loves us unconditionally just the way we are. We having nothing to fear from my God."

Heather said, "I like your God. Can I believe in Him too?"

Michael said, "Yes, of course. It's up to you."

"Is there a church that believes in your God," asked Heather.

"No," said Michael, "but you can read about Him in a book called A Course In Miracles when you get older."

"I love you, Michael," said Heather.

"I love you too, Heather," said Michael, "no matter what."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

People are not their bodies. Focus on the divine spark within them.

The first principle of Unitarian Universalism is to covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Does this principle refer to the physical body or the spiritual nature of human beings?

People are not bodies. They are so much more. When we are preoccupied with the body we miss the divine spark within each of us. This is the teaching of A Course In Miracles.

And yet, we live in a society very preoccupied with the body. Advertisements bombard us with how to make the body look better, smell better, move better, operate in a healthier way. In this preoccupation with the physical, we overlook the spiritual, the divine spark which is hidden in each of us.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Limit your sight of a brother to his body, which you will do as long as you would not release him from it, and you have denied his gift to you." T-15.IX.4:4

John told me that he and his wife Judy rarely had sex anymore because Judy had gained weight after the last child, over 50 lbs. and Judy now weighed over 200 lbs. at 5'6".

"She's a good mom and a good wife, but I find her disgusting to look at and just can't get it up. I've told her she needs to lose weight and all she says to me is, 'I know. I'm trying.' But then no change. This has been going on for 2 years now. We were coasting until she found me looking at pornography and now she says she wants a divorce. Maybe it's for the best, but I don't really want to lose my family."

My heart went out to John but it seemed to me that he has a spiritual problem not a psychological problem. I wondered how I could help him. It seemed that John's values were out of wack. He is more influenced by his physical responses than by his spiritual understandings. I asked, "Do you like Judy as a person? Do you have fun with her doing things? Without friendship, there will be a terrible loneliness in your marriage."

John looked pensive and said, "I might have taken our marriage for granted and we were just going through the motions. Are you saying that I should focus more on enjoying doing things with her and overlooking her physical appearance?"

I replied, "How does that strike you?"

John said, "Like the right thing to do. If I did that I might be happier."

"Focus on the divine spark in Judy and let the rest go and see what happens," I suggested.

John said we would call if he wanted to talk again. When I heard from John a year later he told me that he and Judy were still together, happier than ever, and her weight no longer mattered to him. The funniest thing he said was that now that her weight no longer mattered to him she had lost 30 lbs.

And what is the moral of the story? Leave a comment, will you?

Monday, August 7, 2017

The path to peace of mind.

The fifth principle of Unitarian Universalism is to covenant to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. The right of conscience is a key idea in the fifth principle, and it is often taught that the right of conscience is based on an "informed" conscience. The right of conscience does not refer to an unrestrained individual willfulness, but a conscience that has been informed by interaction with others. The key to an informed conscience is an open hearted willingness to listen to the Spirit of Life as it communicates with us through our lived experience and inner examination and reflection.

The Dali Lama when asked what the purpose of life is replied "happiness." Good answer but it begs the deeper question, "What will make me happy?"

A Course In Miracles gives the answer over and over again in its text. In section VIII of of chapter 15 in paragraph 2 it is written: "Hear Him gladly, and learn of Him that you have need of no special relationships at all. You seek in them what you have thrown away. And through them you will never learn the value of what you have cast aside, but still desire it with all you heart."

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37  "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."

What we crave, deep down, is the oneness with God's creation of which we are a part. As is taught in 12 step problems in step one, we recognize and acknowledge that our lives are unmanageable, in step two that there is a power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity, and in step three we make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power as we understand it.

In the Christian prayer, the Our Father, we pray, "...Thy will we done on earth as it is in heaven." What do we understand God's will for us to be? This understanding is the benefit of discernment. We live our lives in open hearted ways forgiving our trespasses as we forgive others their trespasses against us. This is the path to a happiness better named joy and peace.

Bringing our will into alignment with what we believe is the will of the Spirit of Life for us is to know peace.