Saturday, May 17, 2014
Reading the stoics, A Course In Miracles, and Unitarian Universalism - It's all vanity
The stoic philosophy is considered to be the foundational ideas behind the psychotherapy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The basic idea is that our thoughts are what cause our emotional distress, and behavioral dysfunction. Today in my study of A Course In Miracles, I am reading the chapter on Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship. UUs covenant to affirm and promote the values of the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations and I like to add "in the world".
The first verse in the chapter on Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship reads" The betrayal of the Son of God lies only in illusions, and all his "sins" are but his own imagining." T-17.1.1:1 In other words, it's all bull shit. This seems to tie directly to the UU belief in Universalism. God, the Higher Power, Mother Nature, Life, whatever you want to call the transcendent loves us dearly and all the crap, the conditionings, the projections, the fantasies are illusions which we create. These illusions have very little or nothing to do with the essential reality of Love.
Throughout the day I forget this and get caught up in the nonsense. Every now and then, I catch myself, and pull back, step down, take a deep breath figuratively if not literally, and I remind myself that within me is the divine spark and this is part of the all, of everything, and I become aware of being one with everything, the universal. I rise above the nonsense and know that this isn't real and will pass away as surely as the next thought will come. Monkey mind the Buddhists call it. Being raised in the Christian tradition I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Unitarian Universalism has taken a wrong turn from its spiritual underpinnings when it gets too involved in social justice issues. It might as well be the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions or some other civic organization. It is easy to get caught up in the dramas of social justice and forget in the grand scheme of things, it is all illusions. We have to choose between God or Caesar and Jesus very aptly says "Give to God the things that are God's and to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." And when we, as UU's become hyper focused on Caesar and forget about God, we are in trouble, because we have given vanity a reality and importance it does not deserve. We are called to Universal Love and our church should help us develop and sustain this enlightened awareness. This is its mission and should be its vision. What helps you become a better person every day to awaken yourself and inspire others?
Posted by David G. Markham at 12:53 PM