Monday, November 19, 2018

First Principle Study Group - Class three - What is a "person?"

The first principle of Unitarian Univeralism is based on a covenant to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The question to be considered is: What is this object we have named “person?”
Is a person their body? No, their body is constantly changing.
Is a person their mind? Decartes is famous for saying “Cogito ego sum,” I think therefore I am, but thoughts change constantly.
Is a person their emotions? Again their emotions fluctuate and change all the time.
Is a person their personality? No, their personality often changes for various reasons.
Are they their social status and the roles they play? No, they also change frequently.
So if a person is not the body, the mind, the emotions, the personality, the status and roles, what is the person?
The person is the witness. The witness is that part of a person which observes the person’s functioning in all of the domains.
Some people have a more highly developed witness than others. In the field of Emotional Intelligence, this is called “self knowledge.” To what extent does a person understand what makes him/her tick?
At a spiritual level, a mature soul recognizes that (s)he is part of the interdependent web. The person is a social construction which can only be understood and appreciated in a social context, in relation to other people.
In A Course Of Miracles, “Son of God” refers to the plural aggregation of all of humanity.
At advanced stages of spiritual development, the ego is dropped and there is a merging with the Ground of Being. The Buddhist monk, in the joke, asks the hot dog vendor to make him one with everything.
The energy which animates our egoistic manifestation is eternal and lives in the Universe eternally.

         There are many sides to our personality which we are aware of in our different relationships and roles we play. We are one person with our parents, another with our partner, another with our children, another with our co-workers, another with our friends, etc. Who is the real you? Who is the you that rises above these roles and relationships? Describe it as best as you can.

To what extent have you set your ego aside and gone with the flow on the spiritual path? What helps you move into and stay in this space?

To what extent have you been able to meditate and achieve a state of “no mind”?

To what extent do these ideas matter to you? 

To what extent is it important to you to rise above the mundane concerns on the path of the ego?

To what extent do you desire to find peace and joy which comes from rising above the every day concerns of the material life?

This is the third class out of 8 on the first principle of Unitarian Universalism. Class materials are published every Monday.

Ask Alexa - Is there a better way?

Alexa: How do people come to "the dawning?"

People come to "the dawning" in many ways but the most common is after a great deal of pain and suffering in their lives that leads them in desperation to say, "There must be a better way."

My Kind Of Church Music - Angel From Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt and Ruthie Foster

UU A Way Of Life ministries - How many Americans kill each other and themselves with guns?

  • Number of firearm homicides in U.S. 2015 - 2016 = 27,394
  • Number of firearm suicides in U.S., 2015-2016 = 44,955
  • Number of firearm homicides in U.S. among persons 10 - 19 in 2015-2016 = 3,224
  • Number of firearm suicides in U.S. among persons 10 -19 = 2,115

When Major Metropolitan Statistical Areas MSAs are compared between 50 largest metropolitan areas there is wide variability in firearm homicide deaths.

  • Number of firearm homicide deaths 2015-2017 in the Providence Warwick = 1.1/100,000
  • Number in New Orleans/Metairie = 16.6/100,000
  • Average number for all 50 MSAs = 4.9/100,000
  • Number of MSAs were rate of firearm homicide rate increased from 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 = 43/50
  • Percentage of males as firearm homicide victims during both reporting periods = 85%
Editor's note:
Just as the human body can manifest symptoms of illness, so a social body can manifest symptoms of illness. The social body of the United States is manifesting symptoms of spiritual illness in the form of increasing homicide and suicide rates. These observations are often interpreted as public health problems and political problems and here at UU A Way Of Life ministries we interpret these observations through a spiritual lens.

UUs covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles. In looking at firearm homicide and suicide rates we might apply our principles of inherent worth and dignity of every person, and  justice, equity, and compassion in human relations and conclude that the basic principles of our UU faith are being ignored and not even perceived, let alone understood, as important builing blocks of covenantal relationships intended to sanctify the world by helping people live holy and happy lives.

Unitarian Univeralists have a message of hope to share with the beleagured and weary world in which it finds itself a part. How can we shine our light in a more focused way to help the people living in darkness?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Can we keep our balance in a turbulent world?

When life gives you white water, get a surf board.

Turbulent times are best navigated with balance.

Exert too much or too little and you lose your balance.

Rome wasn't built in a day. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat.

In spite of what you have been taught, Life is not mechanical, it is organic.

Retreat from the extremes and find the center. It is in the center that balance is found.

If you would find peace, harmony, bliss, it will be in the Ground of Being not in the ten thousand things.

Unitarian Universalists know about the center because they covenant together to affirm and promote the interdependent web of all existence of which they just a tiny part.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all persons, and in this awareness they find refuge.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion and with this principle they evolve to the heavens where Oneness abides beyond the ten thousand things.

Ask Alexa - What is "the dawning?"

Alexa: How do people develop an interior spiritual life?

First they have to realize that they have a choice to either walk on the path of the ego or the path of the spirit. This awareness of a choice is called, "The Dawning."

My Kind Of Church Music - Can't Find My Way Home, Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton