Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday night class - The first principle of UU. What is a "person"?

This is the first class of 16 in a weekly series on the First Principle of Unitarian Universalism the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This first video deals with the idea of what is a "person" who has worth and dignity?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tuesday night class begins on 12/02/14

Thursday, November 27, 2014

UUs do have a good sense of humor.

Are you a UU yahoo?

As a former Roman Catholic I miss a lot of things about my old church like the liturgy which can be beautiful, and the sacraments which help people at times of life transitions. But I have never found any group of people who can laugh at themselves like UUs can and I find it very endearing and charming. It is a grace not to take oneself and one's ego too seriously, Here's what Wes Nisker says about it in the introduction to his book, The Essential Crazy Wisdom:

"...and the most appropriate response to each other is compassion and a sharing of laughter. After all, we really don't have a clue as to what is going on here, if anything, and most likely we aren't really in charge of very much of it anyway, and in the end the joke seems to be on all of us. Knowing tht, we can relax a little and dispense with any blame. So far, as human beings, our greatest gifts, aside from the ability to make good painkillers, are our feelings of love and senses of humor. This book is a tribute to those qualities, as they have so generously appeared in members of our species." p.7

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday night class

Starting next Tuesday, 12/2/14 the UU A Way Of Life will begin its first on-line class on the first principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The class will run every Tuesday for 16 weeks and you can use the material anytime you like. It can be used individually, and in a group.

The text for the course will be:

I hope you will join us and leave your comments or you can send them to me directly at davidgmarkham@gmail.com.

Heaven on earth......really?

And here comes the clincher on this discussion of discerning and living God's will or Life's will from ACIM. "Blessed are you who learn that to hear the Will of your Father is to know your own. For it is your will to be like Him, Whose Will it is that it be so. God's Will is that His Son is one, and united with Him in His Oneness. That is why healing is the beginning of the recognition that your will is His." T-11.I.11:6-9

St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians that if God is with you who can be against you? You and God are a dynamic duo. And yet St. Paul is a bit misleading because you and God were never apart, only your ego would have you think that because your ego wanted to do things itself and so it denied your radical dependence on Life for your very existence.

The ego is a sneaky devil, it really is. It leads us astray in our willfulness. We all are a part of this thing called Life whatever it is, however we can awkwardly describe it. And our destiny, our fate is to be alive as long as Life allows it and we will it. It is indeed a great blessing to discern God's will  and to know it as our own. Therein lies great peace and heaven on earth.

We Unitarian Universalists approach this peace when we recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From whence does our existential anxiety arise?

It is written in ACIM, "You are afraid to know God's Will, because you believe it is not yours. This belief is your whole sickness and your whole fear."

We, humans, live in fear. There is a low level anxiety about our existence. Something is just not quite right even when we can't identify what it is.

Nadia Bolz-Weber says in her interview with Krista Tippett On Being:

"Well, I think we've sort of glamorized certain types of brokenness. You know, there's like the big ones: mental illness, addiction. And in a way, it can be very tempting to allow those people who are so obviously broken to just carry all the brokenness for us...........................Everyone has something that they - like it might not be a huge addiction, the really kind of big sexy ones, but it might be there's something that we feel powerless over, that we feel like has a hold of us, that we don't feel like we have much choice in, like we've lost the ability to choose whether we're going to do this, or this this, or be in this relationship, and then our life has a certain unmanageability because of that. I think that is very, very, very common, even if you don't have one of the big sexy problems that we sort of identify."

When we fear God's will because it means giving up our identification with our own egos, it causes existential anxiety and we are at odds with ourselves and life. We don't know and don't accept who we really are. We doubt our essential worth and dignity. We are one with God, with Life, whether we want to acknowledge our radical dependence on that fact or not and when we deny it, reject it, are unaware of it, we suffer. When we recognize it, accept it, align or give up our egos to be one with it we are at peace.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Doing God's will is "keepin it real"

"God's Will is that you are His Son." it is written in A Course In Miracles. In more contemporary language we might write, "Life's will is that you are part of itself, obviously or you would not be here." It goes on to read in ACIM, "By denying this you deny your own will, and therefore do not know what it is. You must ask what God's Will is in everything, because it is yours. You do not know what it is, but the Holy Spirit remembers it for you. Ask Him, therefore, what God's Will is for you, and He will tell you yours." T-11.1.8:3-7

As a psychotherapist I am constantly reminded how stupid people are. By that I mean unaware, unconscious. The psychoanalytic idea of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious, conscious. Most people have no idea what makes them tick, and yet Socrates told us over 2,000 years ago that the unexamined life is not worth living and how many people do you know that live examined lives?

We pray in the great Christian prayer the Our Father.............Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, They will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, like UUs, believed that we should be getting heaven into people not people into heaven, a lesson which Christianity has pretty much missed and the path to getting heaven into people is to do God's will for us and ACIM teaches that we are in denial. We are too stupid to know what we don't know because we are so caught up in our ego world of projection that we don't even ask what might be deeper, richer, more inspiring, more authentic, more genuine, more real and we could know, we should know, we would know if only we asked the Holy Spirit to remind us and re-member it for us.

ACIM teaches us that God's will is not something external, foreign, but something deep inside of us because we are part of God. The problem is bringing our own consciousness, awareness, into alignment with our inner genuineness and to drop the pretense, the facade, the masks we wear constantly as we go about our daily lives.

The spiritual life is being real and in being real we and God's will for us is one and the same thing. Congruence, alignment, harmony, peace.

My daughter, Kelly, moved to California, and I called her up after a couple of weeks of getting settled in and I asked her how she was doing. She told me she scared herself because she went to work and people are so friendly and said to her, "Good morning, Kelly. How ya doin?" "Dad," Kelly said to me, "I heard myself say, 'keeping it real.'" We both laughed and I said, "It sounds like you're becoming a real California girl, Kel." We laughed again and then I said, "And I wonder what that bit of slang even means? You're not being fake and phony?"

It strikes me as I write this that doing God's will is simply keeping it real. How ya doin?