Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Moral Unitarian Universalist - Cardinal sin seven: slavery and acedia

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You are free to choose. What will it be?

The mission of UU A Way Of Life is to improve spiritual health, reduce immoral and sinful behavior, and work across systems for positive societal change. This article is another in  a series of articles on reducing immoral and sinful behavior. “Sinful” in the context of the UU A Way Of Life mission statement is defined as mistaken. The mission statement could read, “reducing immoral and mistaken behavior” but the mistakes being referred to are ones that cause spiritual injury and so we use the word “sinful.”.

The seventh component of spiritual health is freedom from and freedom to. What is the opposite freedom free and freedom to? It is slavery, possession, domination, subjugation, coercion and boredom, apathy, indolence, sloth, laziness, and what is called in the spiritual literature, acedia.

Slavery, possessing bodies, is a cardinal sin, but what’s even worse is enslaving a person’s mind by breaking their spirit. It is known colloguieally as “soul murder.” It happens all the time when we lie to people, manipulate people, put them down, bully them, insist they do things they don’t want to do and when they don’t punish them in the ten thousand ways we have learned to attack and get revenge and exact our will.

Dispirited, demoralized, it is easy to give up, to not care, to deny, to minimize, to alter our moods with chemicals and other compulsive activities and to keep going until we run out of resources, burn all our bridges, hit bottom, and.or sink into lethargy. We become proverbial couch potatoes.

With freedom comes responsibility. When a person develops a mind of their own, can stand on their own two feet, becomes captain of their own ship, and master of their own fate, they have come to stand for something, to take a position on things, to have gotten their shit together,and have become the real deal. Many people don’t want to take the responsibility. Their fear keeps them prisoner and they blame others for their spiritual failure to take responsibility for themselves.

The choice is actually very simple, the way of the ego or the way of the Spirit. The way of the ego is the path of separation, attack, resentment, revenge, grievance, and fear. The way of the spirit is the path of Oneness (holiness), love, joy, and peace.

We are free to choose any time. More likely the fork in the road will be encountered multiple times, sometimes in one day. All we need to do is ask “What would love have me do?” Love of God, love of self, love of others, love of life?

In what do we choose to put our faith: the things of the ego or the things of the spirit? We become aware of our freedom to choose. The question is which will it be?

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