Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The road less taken is the one to heaven

Of all of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism the one with the hook, the one that seems to distinguish this denomination from others is their affirmation and promotion of a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. It is on the basis of this principle that all people even atheists are welcomed to their fellowship. The deeper concern in acting upon this principle is whether this free and responsible search takes one down the path of the ego or the path of the spirit? That choice portends a life of hell or a life of heaven on earth.

There is a difference between pain and suffering. Some people have great pain and suffer little. Other people have little pain and suffer much. What's the difference?

Pain is frightening for some. Experiencing pain they become alarmed and their alarm heightens the intensity of the pain and a vicious cycle is created where pain causes alarm and alarm intensifies the pain which intensifies the alarm.

Others have pain and do not become alarmed. They calmly observe it. They know they are not the pain any more than they are physical pleasure. Pain and pleasure are the same thing. They reside in the body and some people make them important in their lives when they are ephemeral experiences which rise and subside and in the end are not any more real than the importance and significance we attach to them.

As people become miracle minded on the path of the spirit, they take pain and pleasure less seriously and learn how to rise above it. This is the Resurrection which Christians make such a celebration of which Jesus accomplished as his body was being crucified. Jesus' example demonstrates that the body means little while the spirit is paramount and on the path of the spirit death is meaningless for the spirit lives on in the Oneness from which it emerged in the first place.

The concern, when focused correctly, is whether we choose to walk the path of the ego or the path of the spirit. The path of the ego is a path of pain and suffering which we sometimes name "hell." The path of the spirit is a path of peace and joy which we sometimes name "heaven."

As Robert Frost has written in his poem, "The Road Not Taken."

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


  1. The idea of the path of the ego or the path of the spirit is very remarkable. The path of the spirit is the one less taken and, indeed, it does make all the difference.

  2. UUs value freedom about all else and freedom means having choices. People have choices in this day and age like never before. with freedom, though, comes responsibility and people have to use their freedom of choice responsibly or they can cause themselves and others harm. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it no matter what anyone says. :-)


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