Monday, January 7, 2013

Why do you call your online magazine, "UU A Way Of Life"?

People have asked me about the title of this online magazine , "UU A Way Of Life", and I have responded that Unitarian Universalism is not just another religious belief, a religious denomination from which to choose in the market place of churches, but rather it is a way of life.

The seven principles are the basis of a covenant that we make with other people, and with the Spirit of Life to live according to certain principles. These principles are grounded in what Adulous Huxley calls the perennial philosophy which means that these seven principles are drawn from at least 6 sources.

Rather than being a religious faith which often mocked for its superficiality because of it lack of a creed and dogma, Unitarian Universalisk is a deep and rich faith requiring ongoing effort if it guiding principles are to be implemented and manifested at a deep level in a person's life. Unitarian Universalism is not a faith for sissies, or the immature. It does not lull the adherent into a false sense of security with easy answers but requires a grappling, a struggle with transcendent ideas that challenge the adherent to live a life which is a work of art in progress.

Unitarian Universalism is not a belief system. It does not require or even encourage a simple conversion experience of accepting belief in a deity and then being "born again". Rather Unitarian Universalism requires deep reflection, and meaning making that slowly takes over one's whole life and way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. One can't simply declare , "I'm a Unitarian Universalist" one actually has live one's life in covenant based on its principles which the person decides to affirm and promote. The covenantal understanding is similar to taking religious vows or vows to one's country or vows in marriage. When one decides to become a Unitarian Universalist one decides and agrees to  take on a responsibility to live a life true to oneself, to one's fellow congregants, and most importantly to a vision of a better life, well lived based on the seven principles drawn from the six sources. This decision and agreement contributes to a life of purpose and meaning which is very deep, rich, nourishing, and satisfying.

Becoming a Unitarian Universalist is to answer a demanding call, the response to which is a path of meaning, fulfillment, and great joy.

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see your post. Many long-time members don't see that. They only look at what we do in church. I feel compelled to help my neighbors and belong to the civic association to make my little part of the world a better place to live. And when I can, I help others outside of the work of the church. I'm also very conscious of the environment and live as green as I can with the resources we have. It's not just something we do at church. This at least follows are first 2 principles and our last 2 - that's 4 out of 7.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're striving to live the good UU Life. Happiness comes from doing what you love and living what Aristotle called a "virtuous life". Caring about the interdependent web of existence and trying to live more green, and helping others outside of the work of the church is very important although I am tempted to say that anything you do based on our convenant to affirm and promote the seven principles is the work of the church. I do a lot of the work of the church which my church is not even aware of and I know that many of my fellow congregants do the same. I would even go so far as to say that when you are living a virtuous UU way of life, you can't tell the difference between doing the work of the church and the other things you do in your life.

      Thank you very much for your comment. I visited your web blog and share many of your ideas and concerns about Facebook. Living life through a virtual media site may be entertaining but I am skeptical how virtuous it is. We are still learning how to use this social media and like any of our other technological tools can be used for good or for bad. Using it well and helping others how to use it well is a worthwhile ministry in this day and age.

      Sincerely,

      David Markham

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