Thursday, January 23, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Forty six, Will we experience miracles arising?

Day Forty six
Will we experience miracles arising?

“Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.” ACIM.T-1.1.43:1

Kenneth Wapnick, a teacher of A Course In Miracles, calls the “state of miracle-readiness” right mindedness compared to the way of the ego which is wrong mindedness.

Even though, the Course In Miracles can seem very esoteric and complicated to most readers because the metaphysics are so counter-cultural, its teachings are very simple. We have a choice to make: the world of the ego or the world of the Spirit. The path of separation and projection of blame and guilt or the path of joining, alliance, and Unconditional Love.

The Universalists, as a religious denomination, make the choice for Love a couple of centuries ago. Why the witness of Universalists for this choice has fallen out of popularity the last several decades is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it is our capitalistic, industrialized, urbanized way of life in pursuit of ego gratification which have pushed the other choice into the background. With the coming days of climate change and consequent suffering perhaps a period of reflection, re-prioritizing, and a change in decision making will occur.

The survival of homo sapiens and other species on this earth will take great Love something, up until now, it is not clear that humanity is capable of. However, humanity has not been put to such a test before.

A Course In Miracles teaches that miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, meaning a loving mind which is congruent with the path of the Spirit. As human beings, who make plenty of mistakes, we can always choose again and find a better way to proceed with our lives. Hopefully, we will choose Love and experience miracles arising.

Today, when I realize I am getting upset, I will pause and recognize it never is for the reason I think. I am upset because I have chosen fear, guilt, resentment, blame, rather than Love, forgiveness, joining, and peace.

Should Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalists celebrate Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday this year, 2020, is on February 26th.

As an RCUU should you celebrate it? Will you celebrate it?

Ash Wednesday is the day we are reminded from Genesis 3:19 that from dust we have come, and to dust we shall return."  This idea is memorialized in the Stoic prase "Memento Mori" which translated from Latin into English means "remember you will die."

Ash Wednesday is the celebration of our mortality and a reminder to use our time here in this incarnation wisely. Memento Mori and Ash Wednesday can be invigorating and a reminder to live each day to the fullest with a sense of priority and urgency.

Ash Wednesday is intended as the beginning of the six week perior of Lent when we are encouraged to exercise enhance discipline to focus our attention on our purpose and mission to become our best selves and to serve others and our world.

Join us here at UU A Way Of Life this year as we prepare to celebrate Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Forty five, "Make me one with everything."

Day Forty five
Make me one with everything.

“A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.” ACIM.T-1.1.42:1

People feel lonely and then project blame on others for depriving them of connection and association. Loneliness is born out of a sense of lack and scarcity. Loneliness, fundamentally, is a spiritual problem not a social and psychological one.

The false sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack only occurs in the world of the ego. In the world of the Spirit there is only unconditional Love and peace. Which world we choose to inhabit is within our power to decide. First, we must recognize that we have the choice. Second, we must acknowledge that the choice is ours. Third, we must act on our choice and focus our attention on one or the other, the world of the ego or the world of the Spirit. In making the choice for the world of the Spirit, the miracle occurs and we become One with Divine Creation.

Today, when I am feeling lonely, I will remind myself that I am not alone, but a part of something much bigger than my separate ego. I will calm myself and clear my mind of all obstacles and barriers to the awareness of pure Being. I will try to experience the becoming of One with Everything and experience the peace and joy that arises.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Gems - What are the characteristics of a mature soul?

"A life is a work of art in progress. A mature soul is constantly reflecting, learning, adjusting and continuing its work of creating a masterpiece. There is an aura around such a life, it radiates a lovely perfume for all to enjoy. I wish you well on the creation of your masterpiece."

From What Are The Characteristics of a Mature Soul, on Chalicefire, 09/18/08

Editor's note:

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. Are you living an examined life? How many people do you know that are living examined lives?

Now days, the buzz word describing this phenomenon of being a witness to our own functioning is called "mindfulness." How mindful are you on a scale of  0 - 10 with 10 being 100% of the time down to 0 being none of the time.

How does the Unitarian Univeralist faith fascilitate people living mindful lives? (Hint: Fourth principle.)

Daily Reflections, Day Forty four, God doesn't make junk.

Day Forty four
God doesn’t make junk.

“Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, are atone for, the faulty perception of lack.” ACIM.T-1.1.41:1-2

Deep down, truth be told, most humans are afraid that they are inadequate or defective in some way. This feeling of lack generates a sense of shame. We spend our lives trying to prove to ourselves and others that we are okay, that we are whole.

The spiritual term for wholeness is abundance to distinguish this experience from scarcity. Even in marriage we often describe our spouse as our “other half” or our “better half” as if we are lacking in some way and require another person or relationship to complete us.

This principle tells us that our experience of wholeness, completeness, abundance, and not lack, inadequacy, defectiveness is a miracle. This experience of lack arises from our separation from God, the source of our being. We are not the authors of our own lives. Our own consciousness has been given to us, and it is something we must cultivate, and as we cultivate it, we come to realize that we are part of a greater whole from which we have separated ourselves.

When we eschew our egos and willingly return to that from which we have come, peace, and joy and abundance is experienced.

Today, several times, I will remind myself that at my core, I lack nothing. I will remind myself that I am not defective, inadequate, and separate. I will remind myself in turning my will over to my Higher Power that I am one with God and God doesn’t make junk.

Greatest moral imperative of our time - Protect out climate.

First, the project of remaking the planet so that it is undeniably ours, a project whose exhaust, the poison of emissions, now casually works its way through millennia of ice so quickly you can see the melt with a naked eye, destroying the environmental conditions that have held stable and steadily governed for literally all of human history. That has been the work of a single generation. The second generation faces a very different task: the project of preserving our collective future, forestalling that devastation and engineering an alternate path. There is simply no analogy to draw on, outside of mythology and theology—and perhaps the Cold War prospect of mutually assured destruction.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (p. 29). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

I have become aware that up until now us boomers have no idea what our lifestyles have done to the planet. We lived in a time of economic expansion and the highest quality of living ever experienced on our planet in humanity's history. We thought of it as "progress" and expected that every succeeding generation would have a better life style than the preceding generation until now.

Now we have suddenly become aware that our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and great great grandchildren will not have a better life style but will be, perhaps, much worse. How can we help them and leave a legacy which will be positive?

I support Sunrise even as an old guy. I support Greta Thunberg and the young climate activists unlike the Trumpists who mock and attempt to shame them. I have gotten more politically active to assure that better climate policies are put in place, and better practices are designed and implemented. These efforts are altruistic because I am in the last phase of my life being 74, but I want a safe and satisfying world for my descendents and all others around the world. I am reminded of the Native American value that decisions should be thought of in terms of how they will affect the next seven generations.

Us boomers should be helping the succeeding generations adapt and save Mother Earth for humanity. This needs to be done with a religious fervor. The future of humanity depends on it. Will you join in this effort and commit your time, talent, treasure, and energy to these endeavors?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday Sermon - Jesus teachings are highly recommended.

Jesus teachings are highly recommended.

John 1:29-34 
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Who do you say that Jesus is? What is He to you?

Christians say that He is God, the Second member of the Trinity.

Most Unitarian Universalists say the Jesus is not God and there is no Trinity but only One God. Some UUs might say that Jesus was a prophet and a teacher of God but not God himself.

Whatever you want to believe, John said, in so many words, “This guy is the real deal and you should listen to Him.

Is Jesus a son of God? Yes, as we all are. Perhaps it is easier to consider Him an old brother who guides us, teaches us, shows us by His good example a better way to live.

In A Course of Miracles, Jesus tells us that He is no different from us other than that he has remembered who He is, a child of God. Most of us have forgotten that fact, and believe what we have been taught in the world of the ego. Jesus tells us that the world of the ego is nonsense and has no bearing on who we really are.
Jesus tells us in so many words, “You could have the peace that I have, if you only knew that you are part of God and as such know that God loves you.” The Universalists have taught this, and known this from their religious experience. The Unitarians spend too much time in their heads and have never embraced the idea that what Jesus taught is very rational and makes good sense if you can get past the form of things to their essence, which is love.

So, John, in today’s gospel tells us that Jesus has come and He’s worth listening to. I have listened to Jesus my whole life and have learned a lot. Like John, I highly recommend Jesus’ teachings to you. We will hear and study more about Jesus taught in word and deed in weeks to come.