Sunday, August 20, 2017

How are UUs happy?

Osho teaches that there are four stages of well being: pleasure, happiness, joy, and bliss.

Pleasure is when we scratch an itch or engage in some other tension reduction like eating when we are hungry, drinking when we are thirsty, sleeping when we are tired, engaging in sex when we are horny, getting our fix when we are having cravings. Whether tension reduction which Freud called the pain/pleasure principle makes people happy has been studied and while the satiation of physiological needs is pleasurable and often necessary for life, it does not necessarily lead to happiness as experience teaches, but sometimes distress especially from overindulgence.

So what about happiness? Happiness comes from satisfaction and fulfillment of a job well done or an activity that provides a sense of well being. Happiness is situation specific and can be transient.

What, then is joy? Joy is an abiding sense of optimism, and well being. It is an enduring state of awareness no matter the shifting sands of fortune.

And bliss. What pray tell is bliss? Bliss is ecstacy. Is being one with the all. It is being in, what psychologists call, a flow state.

Our blog is called "UU A Way Of Life", and it's title is based on the premise that Unitarian Universalism, when practiced as a way of life, contributes, if not necessarily to pleasure, although the ritual of our coffee hours does that, certainly to happiness, and more importantly joy, and maybe occasionally to bliss although the mystical element of UU is rarely recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated.

Unitarian Universalism has been said to not be as interested in getting people into heaven as heaven into people. And how does UU do that? We will be sharing some ideas about how UU helps people become more intelligent and happy in future articles. Please share your ideas in the comments.

9 comments:

  1. Great article! The Dali Lama said that the purpose of life is happiness. All human beings want to be happy. The Dali Lama ducks the bigger question in his statement because the next question of course is "What will make me happy?" I'm glad to see you will be attempting an answer to his question especially has espousing a UU faith will help with our achievement of happiness.

    Blessings on the work you are doing here.

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  2. The Buddha taught us that suffering is caused by attachment and that happiness and joy are attained by developing our awareness, our intelligence and giving up attachments to our body and material things. Anais Nin said in 1935 that People living deeply have no fear of death." It seems that UUs have less fear of death than people of other religions because they have become aware that there is no hell other than the ones we create for ourselves on the ego plan.

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    1. The stoics also seemed to believe that the good life was equanimity in the face of loss and death. The UU belief in the right of conscience and the disavowal of a judgmental God contributes to a peace of mind that is surpassed in other religions which preach a world of sin and judgement.

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  3. The question worth considering might be how does Unitarian Universalism create and influence a social system that contributes to the well being of the population from which its members come?

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    1. It seems that the politics of the 1% is to keep the masses in fear of amorphous threats like the Wars on Terror and Drugs. This creates a constant anxiety in citizens which make them manipulable, pliant, and unable to identify the real problems in the structure and dynamics of the society which oppresses them. The United States is not the happiest country in the world and the corporatists and politicians like it that way. Religion is the opium of the masses because most of it is not real but fake. It does not address the challenge of materialism to make people unhappy in the long run. Unitarian Universalism offers hope and a way to a better society, if its adherents were to take its principles seriously

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  4. Does building Donald Trump's wall and demonizing immigrants make Americans happy? What are UUs teachings about xenophobia and exclusionary policies? If the opposite is to applaud the diversity of human kind and including the "other" how does these behaviors and intentions make people happy?

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    1. After what I have been through in my life, the nonsense coming out of Trump's mouth and the crazy people who voted for him hold little seriousness for me. When I get upset at the ideas he promulgates, I remind myself that I have more important things to do and I go to work, to earn a living to support my kids. The heck with Trump and his ilk. This approach makes me happy and at lease fails to destroy my focus and peace of mind.

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  5. The Univeralists taught us that Love is our natural inheritance and the trick to life is to remove the blocks, the obstacles, to our awareness of Love's presence.

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  6. Along with Socrates, I believe that happiness (wisdom) comes from knowing how much we don't know. This humility allows us to overcome our ego. The first step of AA is recognizing that ultimately if not presently our life is out of control and we have to turn it over to our Higher Power. If you want to hear God left tell It your plans.

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