Sunday, December 21, 2008

Morning meditation - Shit happens. Why?


"Your gifts

whatever you discover them to be

can be used to bless or curse the world."


Rebecca Ann Parker

This quote from a Rebecca Ann Parker poem reminds me of the quote from Carl Jung which was something like, "Every addict is a creative genius gone awry."

It is interesting to reflect on the idea that God makes us humans all unique and special and like snowflakes no two of us is identical, and then places us at a particular point in world history. Why?

I don't know the answer any more than anyone else does, but my best guess is because God wants us to become the person that God created us to become and to contribute to God's creation. For this reason God gave us all unique talents and abilities and interests. And we can use them as Parker points out to bless ourselves and the world or to curse ourselves and the world.

As a social worker and a citizen I see the cursing all the time, and I also see the blessing as well. And if you asked me why people curse and bless I have a number of psychological and sociological and theological theories about that question which again, get implemented ultimately in unique ways at the individual level. But if there was one answer to summarize it all, I would say that what curses humanity and the world is narcissism and fear.

Most people are just plain stupid and what I mean by that is ignorant and what I mean by that is unaware or as some people might say, "immature". And when stupid people are scared, fearful of something, look out, you have problems.

On the contrary, people who bless the world are usually wise and loving. They know what matters and they have been able to overcome their fears by reaching out to themselves and others in an open hearted way.

And what is the difference between people who curse themselves and others and bless themselves and others? I think it is whether they have been loved and blessed themselves and are aware of it and greatful. This awareness comes as the result of discipline and hard work administered in a loving way. A lot of people nowdays don't get that. As Mother Teresa pointed out, in the United States we are materially very rich, and spiritually very poor. This has come about because people in the U.S. are spoiled in the sense that they are wealthy and don't know it and are not greatful and avoid the pain and suffering in their midst and in the world. It is an avoidance borne out of narcissism and fear.

Unitarian Universalism is a religion which values the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We are a people who supposedly want to know the truth of injustice, of suffering, of evil in the world so that we can rectify things, repair the harm, and bless the world, not curse it with our ignorance, our narcissism, our fears.

There was a bumper sticker very popular in the early 90s which said, "Shit happens!" as if we have to be reminded, but I think the point of the bumper sticker was to remind people that it is OK to acknowledge shit when it happens. It is OK. While other religions have a theology that explains the shit such as original sin, lack of obedience to God's will, lack of submission to Allah, etc. I don't know that Unitarian Universalism has an explantion for shit. Why do people curse instead of bless? Is it stictly a matter of individual choice, or social forces, or bad brain chemistry? Are there scientific explanations for the evil in the world or is their some theological explanation which the UUs are missing? What does Unitarian Universalism have to offer when people ask why there is suffering in the world and what needs to happen to cope with it, minimize it, eliminate it? Other religions have an answer. What's UU's answer?

I hope that today, I bless the world in spite of the shit. It is in blessing the world instead of cursing the world that we have a lot of work to do.

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