Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lesson one - The mystical life as a love story

"The Tao that can be told of is not the Absolute Tao."

Tao Te Ching

"Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience."

A Course In Miracles, T-1.II.2:1-3

The Bagwah Shree Rajnesh latter called Osho said in his talks on the Tao Te Ching on June 11, 1975,

" If you don't know how to be silent, it becomes heavy. ....You can talk, and you can create a screen of words around you so that your real situation cannot be known by others. You clothe yourself through words."

All the scriptures from various faith traditions, from the religions of the world can do is point you to the experience of God, the experience of God which A Course In Miracles calls revelation. As Bhagwan says, these scriptures awaken a curiosity, a thirst, a search for a spiritual experience which is clouded over by our daily lives in the ego dream of separation from God from whence we have come.

"Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love."
T-1.II.3:7

Unitarian Universalism is a very young religion and has no mystical tradition of its own other than what it draws from its six sources to which I now add a seventh, A Course In Miracles. ACIM is a manual for returning to  a relationship with God here on earth. Properly understood and practiced it brings joy and peace to its practitioners and to those in relationship with them.

From now on many of the articles on UU A Way Of Life will reference A Course In Miracles and readers are invited to study ACIM and contribute to the discussions here that will occur in the comment sections of the articles. Articles may be appearing a little more often than just on Mondays, but the Monday articles will be the main articles that set the focus for the study for the week.

The focus this week is on the mystical life as a love story.

Questions for the week:

1. Have you experienced revelation in your life and if so, what has that been like for you, how has it affected how you have functioned, and what, if anything, have you done with that experience?

2. What factors or circumstances if any have contributed to this experience of revelation? Have you been able to re-create the experience again?

3. Bhagwan says that silence, which allows one to go within, is an important factor in facilitating the experience of revelation, but there are other spiritual practices such as the whirling dervishes in the Sufi tradition which are used to achieve a flow state of revelation. Others say that drugs such as LSD is a short cut while others dismiss this as just a pharmaceutical alteration of brain chemistry and not a genuine mystical experience. What do you think?

4. Unitarian Universalism seems to be more focused on social justice values than facilitating revelatory experiences with one's Higher Power. Is this why UU has remained a small, marginalized religion without much influence in the increasing consciousness of humanity? Would the development of a mystical tradition give Unitarian Universalism a more solid core and foundation for its work in transforming the world?

Please leave your comments.


2 comments:

  1. I am reminded of what Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh says about the the transmission of revelatory experience. He says, "The only way, and I emphasize it, the only way is to live with someone who has attained to the experience, something mysterious will be transferred to you...not by words, it is a jump of energy. Just as a flame can jump from a lit lamp to an unlit lamp, you bring the unlit lamp closer to the lit lamp, and the flame can jump, the same thing happens between a Master and a disciple: a transmission beyond scriptures, a transmission of energy not of message, a transmission of life not of words."

    Have you ever experienced this in the presence of another person? It may be falling in love, not in an erotic way, but in a platonic way. You feel you are in the presence of something powerful and beautiful and loving.

    I have felt this more often in the presence of a text which seems far beyond anything temporal. The words bring about a sense of the transcendent and I am filled with a sense of the Holy. In the reading I am transformed and have become a better person.

    I have sometimes felt this way in the presence of a good sermon whether I was physically present, listened to it on a podcast, or read the transcript.

    The power is not in the words but in the sharing of the experience, and it is in the sharing that a resonance is created that is revelatory of something awesome and a kindred spiritship is created that leads to a source of love which is beyond words.

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  2. 1) Revelation to me is coming to separate fact from fiction. In other words, what are the true motives/goals/psychologies that underwrite our society/culture. With this knowledge one is able to realize that there is no such thing as a monopoly on truth, and more often than not what is put forward as "mainstream lifestyles" are incredibly destructive and spiritually bankrupt.

    2) Revelation to me is a day to day ongoing unfoldment, not a one-time homerun sort of moment. (althought these flash-of-insight moments are possible and important).

    3) There are many paths to revelation; no one is "better" than the other. It is largely depends on the individual, their circumstances, etc. Drugs have been used for thousands of years safely to obtain ecstatic experiences; there is even evidence early christians engaged in such activities. Other groups use deprivation to achieve their goals, such as the Native American Vision Quest. Others simply engage in deep meditation. All are viable.

    4) Hard to say.

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