Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Can I experience your experience?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. If this takes one on an external journey, it is a wild goose chase, what we, in Boy Scouts, used to call a Snipe hunt. If this becomes an inward journey there is more hope.

Postmodernism teaches us that our thoughts and perceptions are the result of a social construction. Our thoughts would not have meaning outside of context, and context comes from others.

Sometimes we wonder what other people are thinking and we might say, "A penny for your thoughts," and the person might reply, "They're not for sale at any price." Or maybe they are and the person attempts to share some story of what (s)he is thinking about.

The fact of the matter is, even if we don't want to admit it, that our minds are joined. They are joined in many ways by many things, but the easiest thing to see is language. Beyond language are the common understandings that we assume are shared even when meanings and interpretations of the same word can be quite different. On the path of the ego we become indignant and sometimes even arrogant that our way of thinking is "right." The question arises in A Course In Miracles, "Would you rather be right or happy?"

A simple word like "chair" can lead to all kinds of thoughts about various types of chairs and there is a common understanding at a conceptual, if not specific, level. A word like "God" though instigates many thoughts which, on the path of the ego, are rarely shared but, on the path of the spirit, would be highly shared. For God is not a word but an experience and the experience of God is the sign of salvation which we all share.

The question here is not what thoughts and perceptions do we share, but what experiences? We share very few,if any, experiences on the path of the ego, but on the path of the spirit we are all one experience.


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