Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What is the second of five themes in the perennial psychology?

The second of the five themes of the perennial psychology which Steve Taylor describes in his book, The Leap, is "purgation or purification." Purgation or purification is the giving up of desires for ego enhancing objects and activities.

Peace Pilgrim identifies four areas of our human experience needing purification:
the body, the mind, our desires, and our motives. These are similar to the eightfold path of Buddhism and the vows of monasticism in Christianity.

In Unitarian Univeralism, when we covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles, we are giving up our individual desires for the good of the whole community. We set our individual egos aside, our sense of specialness and acknowledge the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This requires humility and the purification of our individual special desires for pleasures of the body in favor of dignity, health, and wholesomeness.

UUs also affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in our human relations which requires a desire for loving relationships with all people not just some. Purifying our desires to get more than others, to lord it over others, to use people for our own satisfaction requires discipline and correct attitudes. It requires purifying our egotistical need to control in favor of surrendering to the flow of the Tao.

UUs affirm and promote the right of conscience and use of democratic process which requires a purification of one's individual preferences and desires for the good of the relationship and the whole community. As it is written in A Course In Miracles, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

UUs affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which requires a purification of our motives and biases in favor of what's right and accurate.

This purgation and purification is not asceticism although ascetic practices from time to time can be part of the theme. At UUAWOL ministries we prefer the word "simplify" or simplification. People on the path of the spirit desire to simply their lives and no longer complicate them with the trinkets which the path of the ego offers.

Purgation and purification is necessary to travel more lightly and unencumbered. You cannot move up if you are being held down.

One of the most wonderful stories about purgation and purification is Jesus' encounter with the rich young man.

Matthew 19:16-22 The Message (MSG)

16 Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”
18-19 The man asked, “What in particular?”
Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.”
20 The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?”
21 “If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.”
22 That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article. This is a great explanation of purification. I have been simplifying for years.

    ReplyDelete