Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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

The third theme of the perennial psychology is renunciation, the giving up of attachments. It is one of the four noble truths of Buddhism that suffering is caused by attachment. In Christian monasticism and religious life, adherents take three vows; celibacy, poverty, and obedience. In our daily lives as secular followers, Peace Pilgrim teaches the "four relinquishments" which are: relinquishment of self-will, relinquishment of the feeling of separateness, relinquishment of attachments, and relinquishment of all negative feelings.

Rather than cause pain and sorrow and sacrifice, renunciation, giving - up, is an unburdening, a liberation, a freeing, a lightening and gives one a sense of relief and joy. "Thank goodness I don't have to deal with that any more!"

There is no principle in Unitarian Univeralism that asks us to renounce our attachments to the things on the path of the ego directly. However, the first principle which is to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the second which asks us to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in our human relations require some renunciation of the ways of the ego so that we can proceed on the path of the spirit.

Perhaps, above all else, Unitarian Univeralism asks us to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which involves giving up our cognitive and emotional attachments to idols and beliefs that are no longer relevant and valid for us. This fourth principle asks us to give up the faith of others which has been imposed on us and to seek our own truth in the frightening space of the unknown. This search takes bravery, courage, awareness, discipline and a willingness to renounce the attachments to the things of the world we know for the world we may intuit but are not familiar with yet.

Unitarian Univeralism is not a faith for the timid and cowardly. Unitarian Univeralism asks a renunciation and a giving up of control of the things we are used to and have been conditioned by. UU asks us to sacrifice for what we come to value as a greater good of more importance in the realm of the Divine rather than stay stuck in the mundane on the path of the ego.

As we saw yesterday in the article on purification, Jesus tells the rich young man that if he truly wants eternal life he should give up all his riches, give the money to the poor, and come follow Him, and the rich young man is saddened because renouncing his stuff he will not do.

Be careful what you own and value because it may be that you don't own the things you are attached to but they own you. Renounce the things on the path of the ego which burden you, constrain you, limit your willingness to experience the eternal Divine.


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