Friday, June 20, 2014

The inherent worth and dignity is in the ocean of which we are drops

Aldous Huxley writes in his book The Perennial Philosophy:

"The biographies of the saints testify unequivocally to the fact that spiritual training leads to transcendence of personality, not merely in the special circumstances of battle, but in all circumstances and in relation to all creatures, so that the saint 'loves his enemies' or, if he is Buddhist, does not even recognize the existence of enemies, but treats all sentient beings, sub-human as well as human, with the same compassion and disinterested good will. Those who win through to the unitive knowledge of God set out upon their course from the most diverse starting points." p.44

The inherent worth and dignity of every person resides not in the personality, in the ego, but rather in the common core of being known as the "unitive knowledge of God" in the Perennial Philosophy. In fact to get to the "inherent worth and dignity" referred to in the first principle, a person has to transcend the personality, and become aware of the oneness with everything and that this oneness with everything is what has worth and dignity in which we all share. We are the drops of the ocean and while each drop has worth and dignity, it is the ocean, of which we a part, and we are manifestation of, that is the basis of this worth and dignity.

We tend to forget that we a just a drop. We tend to think that we are the whole ocean, or that we can be something separate from the ocean, and it is in this that we are sadly mistaken. It is in recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting that the ocean is bigger than we are, just little drops, and that we are part of the all, and surrendering our will to be separate, that in losing our separate life, we gain the whole world and salvation has been achieved.

In the Christian prayer, the Our Father, we pray, "...Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Thy will, not my will. It is in surrendering that we find our worth and dignity. In our separateness, we are isolated and we die.

The Greek Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, writes in his book, The Enchiridion, in section 8, "Don't demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well."

As Barry Stevens, the humanistic psychologist, wrote back in the 60s, "Don't push the river." but rather surrender to your Higher Power, however, whatever, whomever you conceive it to be, and "go with the flow."

The "flow", of course, is also thought of as The Tao.

Embracing Tao, you become embraced.
Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.
Clearing your vision, you become clear.
Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.
Opening your heart, you become accepted.
Accepting the World, you embrace Tao.
Bearing and nurturing,
Creating but not owning,
Giving without demanding,
Controlling without authority,
This is love.” 

Lao Tzu

My Kind Of Church Music - Our Father, Andrea Bocelli and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir


  1. Wonderful essay! Thank you very much. You connect a lot of dots for me and I am understanding the inherent worth and dignity principle at a much deeper level which makes much more sense that the thin descriptions I have encountered before. Where do you go to church if you go?

  2. Thank you for your wonderful series on inherent worth and dignity. You are describing ideas that I have never before heard in UU circles and you tie them very well into the Perennial Philosophy with multiple references to the six sources. I have been sharing what I have been learning with others and have gotten interesting feedback.