Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Do you know how to get to the promised land?

One of the problems with Unitarian Univeralism which hinders its growth and acceptance in a society to which it hopes to sanctify is a misunderstanding of the fourth principle which is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This is often interpreted as meaning that Unitarian Universalism is a creedless religion, that there is no doctrine, and that the seeker can seek whatever he/she wants. Not really. This is anarchy and nihilism which does not contribute to the creation of a cohesive covenant.

Francis David, the Unitarian pioneer in the sixteenth century famously said that we need not think alike to love alike and in his famous, and often quoted maxim, Francis David reframes the spiritual search from a cognitive activity to an experiential one.

As human beings we have a head and a heart. A well integrated personality uses both in alignment. The head and heart are working together in harmonious cooperation. There is no imbalance. Some people spend too much time in their head and not enough in their heart, and some people spend too much time in their heart and not enough in their head. Spiritual and psychological peace is realized when head and heart are in balance, what psychologists call "congruence."

In our search for sainthood, holiness, awakening, enlightenment, buddahood we are mis-served by the idea that anything goes and its every person for him/her self. The Unitarian Universalist church asks us to covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles. It is this covenant and these principles that provide the path to sainthood. The belief that this covenant and these principles will facilitate our spiritual growth is the basis of our faith. It is of concern that this faith in the covenant and principles is so often out of focus, disregarded, marginalized, ignored in our Sunday morning worship. The covenant and principles are rarely the topic of sermons and other elements of UU liturgies and therefore the people are mystified, oblivious to the key to the teachings of their purported faith.

If Unitarian Univeralism is to survive and grow it needs to be rejuvenated and revived. It has been on death support now for some time. It is time to uplift the path for the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which is the covenant  to affirm and promote the seven principles. This path is journeyed with both our heads and hearts and it is a path that will take us to the promised land. As W. Edwards Deming said, "If you don't know where you're going any road will take you there."

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