Saturday, May 5, 2018

The dawning - "I need help."

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Notice that the principle reads, "inherent" and not "apparent" or "ostensible" or "assumed." The worth and dignity of every person is qualified.

I was talking with a 12 year old 7th grader yesterday who is having trouble in school with his grades and his teachers as well as with his fellow students. His biggest complaint was, what he called, "ridiculous people." I agreed with him that most people are, indeed, "ridiculous." We both laughed about this observation and then I said, "Given that most people are 'ridiculous', how do you think you can best manage this fact in your life?" This began a very interesting discussion based on the presumption that superficially most people are "ridiculous" and yet, deeper down, they all have inherent worth and dignity. How do you get past the "ridiculousness" to something more precious?

We think in images we call thoughts. We make these up. Our thoughts are not real.

The bumper sticker says, "Perception is reality." Most people seem to believe that what they think is real, and they "see" it when they look. They are not "seeing" they are projecting and displacing. What they think they are seeing is an "illusion."

And so when we think things, and see things, we need to remind ourselves that what we are thinking and seeing isn't real but rather perceptions and experiences we have made.

Off we go, "half cocked" as they say, "making shit up" to fit our preconceived notions and preferences.

My favorite bumper sticker says, "Reality is when it happens to you."

Dr. Freud called the checking of our beliefs and perceptions with our experience, "reality testing." We come to learn that life is not the way we thought it was and is, at the bottom, quite different.

We come to the point where we realize that "there must be a better way." As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve step programs with step one, "We have come to realize that our lives are unmanageable."

And so the moral of the story is "Don't believe everything you think."

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