Showing posts with label Enlightenment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Enlightenment. Show all posts

Friday, August 31, 2018

What is the pinnacle of human development?

Wakefulness, enlightenment, is more supported in some cultures and religions than others. Most of the major religions have their tradition of mysticism which is widely acknowledged if not aspired to.

Some cultures are supportive of the mystical experience and admire people who are awakened and enlightened. In India, for example, the awakened state is recognized, admired, supported, and encouraged. Not in the United States and other Western Countries. That's why Westerners go to India seeking spiritual experiences. In the United States such seekers must seclude themselves in monasteries or drug communes.

In Unitarian Universalism there is no recognition of the awakened state and no cultural support. The closest UUs come to recognizing, acknowledging and admiring people who have awakened, or aspire to awakening, is the UUs appreciation of the transcendentalists and admiration for people like Thoreau and Emerson and Browning.

Awakening, enlightenment, can be considered to be an advanced evolutionary leap in consciousness similar to what Maslow called "actualization" on the pinnacle of his pyramid of needs. Awakening is a transformation of the self-system which encompasses an awareness of and love for and experience of the seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism's  "interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." UUAWOL ministries calls this stage of human spiritual development "cosmic consciousness." It is exemplified by the person who asks the hot dog vendor to "make me one with everything." When the person asks the vendor for his change, the hot dog vendor replies, "change comes from within."

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What are the signs of wakefulness?

What are the signs of wakefulness?

  1. Oneness. The person has felt a deep abiiding sense of the interdependent being of all existence.
  2. Inner stillness other wise called peace. Christians call it the peace of Christ.
  3. Self awareness and self regulation which is not disturbed by the likes and dislikes of others or the ups and downs of external circumstances.
  4. Compassion, empathy, and atruism towards all of life.
  5. Surrender to the Higher Power being at one with the Tao.
  6. Tuned in to the vibrations of the universe not tuned out and oblivious and impervious.
  7. Bliss - an abiding sense of well being and all being right with the world.
  8. Love has eradicated fear.
This state is called by UUAWOL ministries "cosmic consciousness." It is generated by and maintained by covenantal relationships intended to affirm and promote the seven principles. Very few Unitarian Univeralists have achieved this state of spiritual development. The faith has given us the means but few have chosen to accept it and pursue it. UUAWOL ministries is offering people an opportunity to engage in and enhance their covenantal relationships in pursuit of a better way of life to increase personal holiness and sanctify the world. Will you join us?

Monday, August 27, 2018

What is the Unitarian Universalist path to salvation?

The experience and idea of awakening exists in all cultures and all religious traditions. It goes by various labels whether it is called samadhi in Hinduism, enlightenment in Buddhism, Tao in Taoism, the beatific vision in Christianity or Fana in Sufiism. In Unitarian Universalism, it might be called cosmic consciousness or Oneness with the interdependent web.

Regardless of what it is called, the perennial psychology holds the concept of the difference between the unconscious state of being asleep on the path of the ego or the conscious state of being awake on the path of the Spirit to be universal.

It might be said that the ultimate goal of the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism is the love of the interdependent web of existence which provides a cosmic consciousness. This stage of human evolution is not, usually, easily attained. As has been described earlier, some are born more attuned to this sensibility while others achieve it as a result of a crisis in their lives and others achieve it through diligent practice. Affirming, promoting, and living the seven principles as a path to salvation, awakening, is the key to the faith which Unitarian Universalists hold dear.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

What are the paths to awakening?

How does a person wake up? There are three ways.

First, some people are born awake. They are rare, but they exist. They are sometimes referred to as an "old soul" even at a young age. They seem wise beyond their years. They are empathic and sensitive to the other beyond the bounds of their individual ego.

Second, some people wake up from a crisis. A near death experience, NDE, is the most familiar, but it can also occur from another life shattering experience after which things will never be the same again. These experiences are so ego shattering that the person can never go back to the way things were before. When you have seen the light of Truth, a person cannot go back to the darkness of ignorance.

Third, some people gradually awaken. They come to realize usually after frustration, discouragement, failure that there must be a better way. It dawns on the person that there must be more than just the trudging on the path of the ego, The person wakes up and begins a search for a better way beyond the path of the ego. Following this yearning is a matter of faith. Some people adopt the 8 fold path of Buddhism, some follow the practices of Christian mysticism, and some decide to enter into a covenant to affirm and promote the seven principles of Unitarian Univeralism.

This third path of awakening, using the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism's seven principles, involves relinquishment of the path of the ego. This third path involves a change in one's life pattern, a commitment to going beyond the small self of the ego. There are many aspects to this change, but perhaps one of the biggest is a simplification of one's life and an increase in honesty and authenticity.

Following the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism affirming and promoting the seven principles helps one become holy and this transformation sanctifies the world.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

How do people keep their consciousnesses asleep?

The perennial psychology distinguishes between the states of human consciousness as asleep and awake. Most human beings spend most of their lives with their consciousness asleep. Steve Taylor describes the sleep state of consciousness in his book, The Leap, as having four categories of signs and symptoms: affective, perceptual, conceptual and behavioral. We will be taking these categories of signs and symptoms of a sleeping consciousness one at a time. In this article we will describe the signs and symptoms of the behavioral category. 

People who are asleep, most of humanity, manage their dis-ease in two major ways: entertainment that is mood altering, and filling their internal void up with stuff, accumulating things.

President George W. Bush, who professes to be a follower of Jesus, told Americans after the 9/11 attack to "go shopping" because we can't let the terrorists defeat our American way of life. Really? 

The answer to national anxiety after being attacked by terrorists is to go shopping is the second behavioral strategy for staying asleep. Continuing to sleep, America pursues its immoral wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which continue to this day 17 years later. These wars are evidence of the spiritual poverty of Americans. Americans are so asleep that very few people even question the fact that America is still at war in Afghanistan and has spent over one trillion dollars on this ineffective and disastrous strategy to create world peace.

The first strategy of entertaining ourselves to avoid our dis-ease is evidenced by the preoccupation with social media, drugs, and materialism in all its shapes and sordid configurations. The desire to be entertained has led to the election of a reality TV president who filled the airways during his campaign and Presidency with all kinds of sensationalized lies, cheats, and attacking behaviors. As a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, President Trump is a cartoonish figure whose outrageous antics have aroused passions which contribute to Americans continued sleep while all kinds of immoral policies are enacted in their names from immigration, to racism, to misogyny, to "tax reform" taking from the poor to enrich the one percent.

Somnolent consciousnesses of Americans is addressed one soul at a time by the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism which affirms and promotes seven principles. The covenant of UU is a path to salvation. It is written in A Course in Miracles, “Salvation is nothing more that ‘right-mindedness,’ which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored. Right-mindedness leads to the next step automatically, because right perception is uniformly without attack, and therefore wrong-mindedness is obliterated.” T-4.II.10:1-2

The seven principles which UUs use as a compass to discern "right-mindedness" which takes us to the One-mindedness which we all yearn for. The mission of UU A Way of Life ministries is "to sanctify the world by helping people become holy." This sanctification involves becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of our somnevalence. Becoming aware we can choose to wake up.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Have your left the path of the ego for the path of the spirit?

The perennial psychology distinguishes between the states of human consciousness as asleep and awake. Most human beings spend most of their lives with their consciousness asleep. Steve Taylor describes the sleep state of consciousness in his book, The Leap, as having four categories of signs and symptoms: affective, perceptual, conceptual and behavioral. We will be taking these categories of signs and symptoms of a sleeping consciousness one at a time. In this article we will describe the signs and symptoms of the conceptual category. 

When individuals are still asleep all they care about are me, myself, and I. They are thoroughly embedded on the path of the ego and their only lens to perceive and understand themselves and their world is through their own desires and benefits. This is the view of the young child. In kindergarten, if not before, we learn to share, wait our turn, and not budge in line. Recognizing that other people and other things in the world have their own agendas and needs different from our own takes awhile to comprehend.

With the growing perception and understanding of the needs and desires of other people and things in the world be begin to develop a group identity and this too is egocentric. My family, my community, my school, my state, my country, my church. There is a sense of threat from the "other" the not me and mine.

Steve Taylor writes, "Awakened individuals have little or no sense of group identity. They see distinctions of religion, ethnicity or nationality as superficial and meaningless They see themselves purely as human beings, without any external identities, who are do different from anyone else. As a result, they don't put members of their own group before others, but rather treat people equally." p.19, The Leap.

The way that Unitarian Universalists awaken is to covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of existence. Our awareness becomes that of the Oneness, Existence, the All. Unitarian Universalism is not an exclusive faith that separates people, but rather an inclusive that celebrates all the parts of the whole. We leave the path of the ego and emerge on the path of the spirit shedding our ego like a butterfly sheds its cocoon. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When you look at the world and yourself what do you see?

The perennial psychology distinguishes between the states of human consciousness as asleep and awake. Most human beings spend most of their lives with their consciousness asleep. Steve Taylor describes the sleep state of consciousness in his book, The Leap, as having four categories of signs and symptoms: affective, perceptual, conceptual and behavioral. We will be taking these categories of signs and symptoms of a sleeping consciousness one at a time. In this article we will describe the signs and symptoms of the perceptual category. These signs and symptoms of the perceptual category are not in any particular order.

The perceptual category involves the underlying understanding of the world. In our Western Civilization we have been educated in the Aristotelian model of reduction and causation. With the development of this understanding the scientific method has been created. We see things in linear sequences of causation; a lead to b leads to c leads to d and so on. We have broken things down into component parts, named them as objects, and learned how to manipulate their configurations and interactions. This has given us humans great power over our physical world and motivates the basic questioning of 4 years old who harass their parents with the constant question of "why?"

With maturity and further development in cognitive abilities we come to realize that objects are part of greater wholes and a system awareness dawns on us that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We come to realize that the objects in the universe are interdependent and imbued with a power that isn't explained by its component parts and thus scientists become mystics.

We are told in the Tao Te Ching that "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginnings of the heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things." Those ten thousand things though only exist because of the Nameless.

When we awaken from our sleep we no longer just perceive objects. We not only know there is more, but we sense it intuitively. The seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism involves covenanting together with others to affirm and promote the "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." Perhaps love is a better word than respect.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How does a person awaken?

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the acceptance of another and encouragement to spiritual growth. What is this "spiritual growth" to which the principle refers? In the perennial psychology the epitome of spiritual growth is called enlightnement or awakening.

How does a person achieve enlightenment or awaken? According to Steve Taylor in his book, The Leap, there are three ways: a small number of people are born awake (They have been called "old souls"), some awaken gradually, and some awake in a miraculous moment often induced in a crisis.

The greatest number of people reaching enlightenment are probably in category two, the gradual awakeners. These are people who engage in spiritual practices such as prayer, fasting, meditation, community service in mindful ways, spiritual reading, etc.

Awakening has several associations in psychology such as emotional intelligence and Murray Bowen's concept of "differentiation." Both EQ and differentiation require self knowledge, self control, motivation, empathy, and social skills (interpersonal connections called in religious language agape or love).

The first two aspects of EQ: self knowledge and self control get the biggest focus in religious practices. Shedding the ego, undoing social conditioning, leaving the path of the ego to enter onto the path of the spirit, is the road to enlightenment.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Have you forgotten that you are loved?

The Universalists knew that they were loved, not condemned. They shared their message with the world and it spread in the early days like wild fire and then burned out. Few people believe it any more and when it is proclaimed, people sniff and turn back to their distractions.

They are afraid to look within. Afraid of what might lurk there. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, famously, "The greatest fear is fearing fear itself." And we are a nation on anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant drugs, and our kids and fellow human beings are killing themselves suicidally and with inadvertent overdoses in the hundreds of thousands.

The spirirtual impoversishment in the United States is apparent, depicted daily with a psychopathic, criminal government which the people have elected. As we rip children from the arms of their parents under the guise of national policy to keep America safe, we have lost our way, and it is time for the Universalists to step forward again and start another fire of awareness to remind people of the love that is within and there is no need to fear.

Some people think that achieving enlightenment takes a lot of work over a long period of time. Osho says this is nonsense as does A Course In Miracles. The truth is that you are already enlightened, you just aren't aware of it. You have forgotten.

You can remember your enlightened consciousness in an instant. A Course In Miracles even calls it the "Holy Instant," moments when we merge into the Oneness and experience cosmic consciousness. Psychologists call it "flow." It is an orgasmic experience of bliss.

The orgasmic experience of bliss is not just physical, not just mechanical, it is all encompassing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It requires a huge letting go, a letting go of the ego. For some people this is easier than others. Avoidant and anxious types have great difficulty. Secure types find it much easier.

Realizing that Godliness is already a part of us is the antidote for fear and it is, in this realization, that we remember our natural inheritance which is enlightenment or Love with a capital L.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The project of enlightenment.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. From where does this "worth and dignity" come? Where does it abide?

Osho says, "There is only one sin and that is unawareness, and only one virtue and that is awareness." p.49, "Ah, This!"

The graffiti on the men's room wall over the urinal read, "Be alert! America needs more lerts."

We all struggle with our unconscious. Dr. Freud said people can either talk it out or act it out. People act stuff out all the time unconscious of why they are doing what they are doing. There are sometimes patterns of behavior that are unconscious. There seems to be things that always happen. They make the same mistakes over and over and over again. You know, that thing that they do.

You know that thing that you do. If you don't, ask your partner or your kids or your best friend.

A good spiritual practice is asking for feedback. This requires the person to be open and willing to listen. This is how the blind spots become illuminated, how the unconscious becomes conscious.

To paraphrase Osho, the only sin is not being willing to listen to feedback so that you can illuminate your blind spots and make your unconscious, conscious. The virtue is manifested in listening to feedback, reflecting on it, and if accurate, accepting it, and using it to change, first one's understanding, then one's intention, and then one's behavior.

Enhancing self knowledge is the project of enlightenment.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The source of enlightenment is already within you.+

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This means to most people the freedom from creeds and orthodoxies which is a first step on the path of the spirit. Having achieved this freedom, then what? Where does the search take the seeker?

I love Osho. He says the most startling things that make perfect sense to me and so when I am startled by what he says, I pause a second, and then usually wind up saying to myself, "Why, or course. That makes perfect sense."

In the book "Ah, This!" Osho says on page 27, "Enlightenment is always sudden because it is not an achievement; it is already the case. It is only a remembering, it is only a reminding, it is only a recognition. You are already enlightened; you are just not aware of it. It is awareness of that which is already the case."

A similar idea is expressed in A Course In Miracles in the introduction where it is written, "The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."

The way to enlightenment is to drop the ego. Give it up. Get rid of it. Purify your consciousness. Eliminate the blocks to your awareness of the Divine.

This is an experience not a thought. This experience of the Divine does not come from more knowledge but from looking within and becoming aware of the All.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Are we sleep walking through life because of our conditioning?

Making the unconscious conscious is
The Challenge of a life well lived
Epiphany after epiphany until enlightenment

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