Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday night class #6 - The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday night class #5 - Who is the you who gets lonely?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Akilter - Pope Francis may be a universalist

Vatican - Cardinal Scariemando told Akilter, off the record on Friday, that Pope Francis has confided in him that he really is a universalist. Cardinal Scariemando said that the Pope wishes he could come out of the closet on his true beliefs but he fears that this would be pushing the church too far given all the other changes which he is also making.

Scariemanda said that Francis told him that he believes in a God that is all loving and would not consign any of God's creatures to hell eternally. Scariemando said that the Pope told him, "We make our own hell. God has nothing to do with it."

Scariemando said that the Pope is very aware that the church could not have become what it is today had it not put the fear of God into people and convinced them that only the church and its priests could save them from eternal perdition. "This belief starts right at birth with original sin," said Scariemando. "So we've got them in our control right from birth on. Even at conception we have people shamed by sexual sin. You have to admit that the Catholic church is a marketing genius."

However, as humanity has matured and more and more people are becoming "nones" that is, they don't believe in any religious myths, we have lost our credibility with these toxic stories of original sin. "It was good in Augustine's day, I guess," said Scariemando, "but it has outlived its usefulness and Francis knows this."

"Once you float the idea of universality," said Scariemando, "people can do whatever they wish with impunity. They no longer need the church. The jig is up. Game over. So Francis keeps his personal beliefs under his Papal Mitre."

One of the board members of the UUA said, "I like Pope Francis, I really do, but he is about 500 years behind us. The UUs are way ahead of him and we welcome him. Better late than never. We will help him in any way we can to get the church to catch up to postmodern awareness. Humanity is not free until all of humanity reaches the cosmic consciousness that we all are one with Life. Really, how it could be any other way?"

Friday, January 9, 2015

Unitarian Universalists are miracle workers when they enact the role of enlightened witness

by Stephen Dailey

There is no more toxic belief system to be inculcated in human beings than the belief that they are born defective because of Original Sin. The only other belief as toxic is the belief in retaliatory justice, the old Hammurabi code of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It could be argued that the second toxic belief flows from the first that human beings are innately evil and so need to taught a lesson by some vengeful, retributive authority figure whether it is a divine being like God or an social constructive like the State.

Along comes a small counter cultural group like Unitatarian Universalists who buck the tide of millennia of toxic false beliefs. We, as UUs, are pissing in the ocean and farting in a hurricane and yet we bring radically different values and provide a role of the enlightened witness professing good news that here is a different and more holy way of perceiving and creating the world.

To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, "The people that the people admire the most are the biggest and most daring liars; the people they detest most violently are those that would dare to tell them the truth puncturing holes in the beliefs they have been taught erroneously to believe in."

Unitarian Universalists have been criticized regularly for being heretics. We don't oppose the common beliefs and norms to be contrary, but rather to point to another more miraculous reality. That reality is God's love for God's creation in which God is well pleased.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What is a person's basic nature? Are we born with the original blessing or with original sin?

by Susan Schmidt

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You are a work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is." T-1.III.2:2-4

This statement affirms the idea that human beings are born with an original blessing and are basically good. It is the drama of the ego plane which distorts their perceptions which influences dysfunctional behavior.

As the 4th Tuesday night class emphasizes, the Unitarian Universalist value of the inherent worth and dignity of every person puts UUs at odds with much of the culture they find themselves living in. This has significant implications for a UU way of life which won't be described here at this time but which you can pause and imagine in your own mind. I'm sure, if you are living the first principle, you have your own story of conflict and disagreement with the predominant culture you are living in.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "As long as a single 'slave' remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete. Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only goal of the miracle-minded." T-1.VII.3:13-14 If we are to take this statement from ACIM seriously, it means that we UUs have a lot of work to do to raise the consciousness of our fellow human beings who are "slaves" to norms and beliefs in our culture which are antithetical to the Atonement. The most important function of UUs in our contemporary world is to witness to the truth, and in this case, the truth which we covenant to affirm and promote is the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Amen! May it be so.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday night class #4 - Original blessing or original sin?

The worth and dignity of every person is found in merging with the All.

by Jack Turner

The Buddha taught that the source of human suffering was attachment. Along with this idea of attachment comes the idea of impermanence. Nothing stays the same forever. When we apply these ideas to the "person," the self, it becomes apparent that a great deal of human suffering arises because we become attached to the person we think we are, and this perception of our person is often wrong, inaccurate, constantly changing.

Psychologists describe the "false self", the "ideal self" and the "authentic self". Which self, which person, has worth and dignity referred to in the first principle of Unitarian Universalism? Buddhist meditation seems to aim at the dissolution of the egotistic self so that the "person" can become one with the all. The ego disappears. This also is a common understanding in mystical Christianity.

At the time of death, if not before, we would have more peace if we could give up our attachment to our self, our person, because we become more aware that this creation of an ego has not brought us the peace and love which we have desired. In fact, we realize more and more that it is in giving up the willfulness of this ego, and shedding it, like a snake sheds its skin, that the of a mature spirituality is achieved.

The idea of the worth and dignity of every person refers, at a mystical level, to the awareness that the person's worth and dignity arises from an awareness that the "person" is merely a part of something much greater, a whole that is mysterious and unfathomable on the earth plane. It is this awareness which is a manifestation of a miracle because it takes us beyond the drama of the ego to an awareness of peace and perfect love. The path of this awareness is surrender to our Higher Power whatever or whomever we conceive our Higher Power to be and a willingness to do God's will for us. We surrender our willfulness for willingness. It is in the detachment from our egos that we ascend the ladder to the awareness of the worth and dignity of every person as a part of the mysterious All.