Monday, August 28, 2017

Do UUs believe in mysticism?

George you asked about mysticism and whether it is real? It seems that you doubt that there are people who have tuned in to a higher frequency. The question is not only whether people have tuned into that frequency but whether there is such a frequency.

We Unitarian Universalists recognize and acknowledge such a frequency in our seventh principle which is a respect for the interdependent web of all existence. What do you suppose that interdependent web of all existence is? No one can say because it is undefinable and yet we can intuit it from time to time and there are witnesses to it which can enhance our appreciation of it.

Some might say that we experience the interdependent web when we join our minds with others and seem to rise above the everyday drama of the ego plane. This happens sometimes when we have an aesthetic experience stimulated by a work of art or at worship or in being of service to others in such a way that we are moved with them to something greater than just our immediate circumstnaces. I sometimes have these experiences in talking with people about intimate experiences and there is a deep rapport where we communicate beyond the words. It is rare, George, but it happens and I feel that we are loved by existence beyond our understanding. In A Course In Miracles this experience is called a miracle, and we are taught that it is our natural inheritance.

When a miracle occurs we need to turn it over for the use of the Spirit Of Life and who knows where it is going? It is like throwing a rock in a pond and watching the ripples, or nowadays the popular metaphor is a butterfly flapping its wings in South America generating a hurricane in North America or a cyclone in Asia. Can our science account for such things, George, or is it something beyond our understanding as we stand in awe of the mysterious workings of Mother Nature and the universe?

One year, a local church in Brockport, NY at Christmas time had a saying on its sign in front of the church which read, "You, too, can hear the angels sing if you tune into the right frequency." No need to limit this tuning in and listening to just Christmas time. Mystics do it all year around and we all are called to be mystics and share in these mystical experiences if we are open to them.

Have a mystical day,

Uncle David


  1. Very nice! Never thought about the seventh principle in these terms. Wow!!!!!

  2. It does seem that UUs tend to rely on the transcendentalists for their roots in mysticism, but it goes much deeper in the Universalist side of the denomination. The Universalists believed and preached about their understanding of the unconditional love of the creator and in this can be no separation only union of all of God's creation. Unfortunately, this understanding is not taught as much as it probably should, but I have spent my career trying to encourage it.

  3. Aristotelian logic has been paramount in Western Civilization and has led to great advances in science because of its linear, reductive logic. This approach has advanced human kind tremendously. However, there also is a systemic view that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and now we enter into an appreciation of our existence where Aristotelian logic fails us. The two approaches linear and reductive and systemic and wholistic are not mutually exclusive but complementary. At the end of the debate though we come to know that there is much more we don't know and understand about the universe than we do. Some of the greatest modern day mystics are probably our scientists.

  4. The joining of minds in service of the Holy Spirit is miraculous. People might not call it such, but they know it when they experience it.

  5. Some people call the meeting of the minds and the good that comes from it karma. Karma is the synergistic consequence of intention and action which leads to the observation that nothing succeeds like success and evil has a way of causing further difficulty unless corrected. UUs don't seem to have a concept for sin or bad karma. They seem to ignore it in favor of doing good things. Some people see this as snobby or overintellectualized but I see it more as deliberate disregard for evil that doesn't deserve the reinforcement of attention.

  6. It was mentioned before that the mystical experience may be similar to the flow state described in psychology. I experience flow in many different ways and one of the most enjoyable for me is walking in time to the beat of music I listen to through my headphones from my Ipod. The Bee Gees "Stayin Alive" is awesome!


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