Thursday, October 24, 2019

The "Ask Alexa" column - value and benefits

This is an attempt to provide an understanding of the purpose of the columns on this blog so that the reader can obtain greater benefit and value from reading it regularly.

First, while the Unitarian Universalist: A Way Of Life blog can be read on an one time basis or occasional basis, the greater value will be obtained if the reader reads the blog on a regular basis, reflects on the material published here, and applies it in their daily lives.

Secondly, the Ask Alexa column is meant to provide a small peep hole into the way of the spirit as compared to the way of the ego. As human beings, we are socialized into and conditioned to the way of the ego, but as we mature we begin to sense that there is something more. That something more can be found in many traditions and teachings and philosophies. The fourth principle of Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and this principle is much easier said than done. The principle is easy for a mature person to agree with, but the application is difficult because where is one to search and what is it more specifically that one is looking for? Ask Alexa provides a clue in the questions that Alexa is asked and in the cryptic answers that Alexa provides. The answers that Alexa provides are thought to be like Buddhist koans - a stimulus for reflection.

Thirdly, the Ask Alexa column tries to provide some humor in the forms of puns and short jokes that make us appreciate the absurdity and incongruity of the life on the way of the ego. We realize as we walk on the way of the ego that you can either laugh or cry or do both. One of the sins of the ego is to take itself too seriously. A sentence in A Course In Miracles asks, "Would you rather be right or be happy?" Happiness includes a joyful spirit which can laugh at the illusions and delusions of the way of the ego.

Fourthly, the Ask Alexa column includes a sticky note which has a thought for the day. It is something to think about as one goes about their daily activities. The sticky notes are suggestions and perhaps the reader has a better thought for the day. We are encouraged in the New Testament of the Christian bible to "pray unceasingly." In contemporary times, the Buddhists encourage us to be mindful. The thought for the day can help us pray unceasingly and be mindful.

Fifthly, the benefit and value of the Ask Alexa column can be assessed by whether applying its knowledge and ideas helps you feel happier and experience more peace. Put these experiences of happiness and peace on a scale of 0 - 10 and give yourself a rating daily, weekly, and monthly. A 10 means that you experience yourself as happy and peaceful 100% of the time down to 0 percent of the time. A 5 would be 50% of the time. How would you rate the degree of your experience of happiness and peace in the last week. I would rate mine about an 8. Once you give yourself a rating for whatever time frame seems appropriate for you, then consider what it would take to kick it up a notch in the coming time frame. How could I get my experience and happiness from 8 to a 9 over the coming week?

Lastly, comments are welcome and helpful to other readers so that our value and benefit from the Ask Alexa column can be mutual.

2 comments:

  1. I like the Ask Alexa feature and it gets me thinking and gives me a laugh everyday. I look forward to it and appreciate it. Keep up the good work. It is much appreciated.

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  2. Ask Alexa always makes me think and laugh. It certainly has improved the quality of my life. I think UUs, as a group, would be more invigorated if they found more effective ways of nurturing their spirits and Ask Alexa is one way.

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