Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Don't believe everything you think

Today is the last day of September, 2014, and we are finishing up the theme of the month which has been on the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. In October, 2014, the theme of the month is the fifth principle which is the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large,

The fourth principle is a huge topic covered by the philosophical field of epistomology, how do we know what we know if we know anything at all? One frame of reference teaches that there are four ways of acquiring knowledge about the world: perception, language, reason, and emotion. In the last two hundred years science has contributed a great deal to the advance on the evolutionary trajectory of homo sapiens by providing practices of perception, language, and reason. Science looks primarily at the external world. Religion has focused on the internal world. Jesus told us that the kingdom is within us, not out there.

Perhaps the key concept is awareness and consciousness, what Osho calls intelligence. The world is populated with "educated idiots" who know a lot about the phenomena of the world, but their values are perverted and so we wind up with Hirsohima, environmental degradation contributing to the extinction of species, etc.

People look to religion for a value system which will facilitate wise decision making about what we do with our knowledge and skills. Unitarian Universalism, relying on its six sources, has come up with seven principles, or what I think of as values, to guide our decision making about how to create the "good life" for ourselves and others.

My favoritie bumper sticker reads, "Don't believe everything you think." Indeed. May it be so.

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