Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Course In Miralces and Unitarian Universalism - Do you have faith?


It is written in A Course In Miracles in Chapter 21, section III, paragraph 4 

T-21.III.4. Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. This is His direction; the only one He ever sees. And when you wander, He reminds you there is but one. His faith and His belief and vision are all for you. And when you have accepted them completely instead of yours, you will have need of them no longer. For faith and vision and belief are meaningful only before the state of certainty is reached. In Heaven they are unknown. Yet Heaven is reached through them.

Jesus said to his disciples repeatedly, “Oh you of little faith” and I imagine He would laugh gently at their silliness is believing in things in the world of the ego.

The mission of UU A Way Of Life is to help people become aware of their holiness so they can sanctify the world. The first step in carrying out this mission is simply to help them become aware that they have a choice. The choice, A Course In Miracles teaches, is between right minded thinking and wrong minded thinking. Right minded thinking is composed of the world of God and wrong minded thinking is composed of the world of the ego.

Wrong minded thinking is one of resentment, grievance, fear, victimization, and vengeance. Right minded thinking is one of forgiveness, joining, peace, agency, compassion, and love.

A Course In Miracles points out that right minded thinking is our natural inheritance while wrong minded thinking is based on fear of punishment for separating ourselves from the Unconditional Love of God in the first place.

The only question ultimately worth asking is “Which will I choose: heaven or hell?” How will I choose to live: playing the victim full of fear and resentment, or surrendering to the Oneness of God and experiencing peace and love?

In which type of thinking will I put my faith? To what extent do I believe that I have a choice? What kind of life for myself and the whole world do I envision?

Monday, July 1, 2019

What do you believe in?

"I've got to have something to believe in, otherwise life is just meaningless."

Woody Allen in Hannah and Her Sisters. Video clip lasts 1:59.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Course In Miracles and Unitarian Universalism - Keep the faith!

From A Course In Miracles:

T-21.III.3. Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? 

This is indeed a little feat for such a power. For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains. And when he is released from them it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him, and placing it in his freedom instead.

It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. What faith you give to sin you take away from holiness. And what you offer holiness has been removed from sin.

A Course in Miracles . Foundation for Inner Peace. p. 451-452


Back in the 60s there was a common expression when one was saying good-bye which was "Keep the faith!"

I loved this expression but always wondered what it meant. What is the "faith" that one is keeping? If one UU was to say this to another UU what could this expression mean? What would "the faith" refer to which one is encouraged to keep?

In the passage above, the "faith" appears to be in freedom as compared to sin. "Sin" in A Course In Miracles refers to separation from the Oneness with God so we can pursue our own will in the world of the ego.

Freedom refers then, counter-intuitively, to doing the will of God and eschewing the ways of the ego, the ways of the world.

Unitarian Universalists practice this "faith" by living their covenant with each other to affirm and promote seven principles, the third of which is to accept one another and encourage each other's spiritual growth. It is the faith in the freeing power of the path of the Spirit (Unconditional Love) as compared to the path of the ego which is the foundation of the Unitarian Universalist faith.

"Keep the faith," in Unitarian Universalism means eschewing the ways of the world and the ego, and supporting the turning things over to the life of the Spirit and the will of God. Another way of saying this, is to become one with the Tao and go with the flow and accept the integration of the Ying and the Yang. This "going with flow" requires forgiveness which is the giving up of resentments, judgments, and grievances.

Jesus says as He is being crucified, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

This kind of faith in the foundational Love of the Universe is awesome and beyond human understanding and thus requires "faith."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Should I live my life based on faith or desire for success?

The heresy of the path of the ego is to do things with faith, not to succeed.

Success is in God's hands. Whether we succeed or not is out of our control. Our call is to act with faith.

In AA the first step is to come to understand that our lives are unmanageable. The second step is to turn our lives over to our Higher Power whatever we conceive our Higher Power to be. Some call this surrender. Others call it acceptance. Others, still, call it "going with the flow."

Here at UU A Way Of Life ministries we call it faith. Faith is enacted when, based on our covenantal relationships based on the seven principles, we live our lives intentionally for the shear joy, peace, and bliss of living in this way. Will it bring us success in life on the path of the ego? It's out of our hands. Will it bring us joy, peace, and contentment on the path of the spirit? Absolutely. Living in our covenantal relationships based on our seven principles brings a satisfaction and fulfillment beyond material understanding.

In AA the slogan is "Let go and let God," which can be shortened to simply "Let go," and act with Love with the intention of doing the  best right thing.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

What is the virtue of motivation or faith?

The mission of Unitarian Univeralism: A Way Of Life ministries is to sanctify the world helping people become holy. Some might ask, "What does the word 'holy' mean?" The word "holy" refers to the manifestations of virtues.

Virtues are best not thought of as character traits, but as skills that have been developed and pefected through deliberate practice. Virtue is not something that a person is born with, but skills and competence that have been created and developed by practice over time.

At UU A Way Of Life ministries we are developing the Virtue Development Project where we are identifying and experimenting with ways that people can develop these virtuous skills. The key virtues we have identified so far are: kindness, goodness, honesty, empathy, self-knowledge, self-control, and motivation or what we call "faith." In each one of these virtue categories, there are also collolaries or subsets of skills, sometimes identified as virtues such as generosity, gratitude, compassion, but these skills are different forms of the primary virtue.

There will be articles periodically published on this blog which identify, define, describe, and suggest ways of creating and intentionally developing the virtuous skills for one's own benefit and for the benefit of those with whom that person has relationships.

As these virtures are further identified, defined, described, and practiced, UU A Way Of Life ministires will be developing courses which people can study which will help them facilitate their virtuous skills.

One of the key components of emotional intelligence is motivation. In the Emotional Intelligence model, motivation is defined as the desire to achieve for the satisfaction and fulfillment experienced in the achievement itself. In other words, the motivating rewards are intrinsic primarily and not extrinsic. On the path of the spirit we call this faith. People are motivated by faith to live a certain way, to interact with others in a certain way, to go about their daily routines and tasks in a certain way "for the greater glory of God and God's creation."

People who are motivated by faith can tolerate high degrees of frustration and yet persist in the pursuit  of the goal of mutual well being. In our contemporary times this persistance is called "grit".

Where do people get this motivation of faith? To become a virtue, motivation of faith has to be desired by the person, but it is often initiated by the expectations and "faith" of others in that person. "Faith" is contagious and this contagion is often called "hope."

We have known for several decades about the "Pygmallion effect" or the "self fullfilled prophecy" of the idea that "what you see is what you get." But as psychologists have studied this phenomenon further, it has become clearer that this thing called "faith" has a subtle way of influencing the ways we interact with others. Faith is based on our expectations about the actualization of the other's potential. Do we believe in the positive growth and development of others and their ability to achieve a state of joy, peace, and bliss?

Here at UU A Way Of Life ministries we really believe that this state of joy, peace, and bliss is possible for everyone in the world. We expect it for ourselves and for others even in the face of the evidence of our day to day observations that we often have fallen far short. Our faith however instills in us hope, and courage, and effort to continue on the path of making our world better.

There is power in our expectations. There is power in our faith in our UU principles and our seven principles. "Keep the faith!"

Friday, August 3, 2018

Why is the "Living Tradition" of UU dying?

Unitarian Universalism has it backwards, the "it" being its relationship with the world.

Does UU attempt to sanctify the world or allow the world to contaminate the "Living Tradition?"

The obvious answer to the question is the later, Unitarian Universalism allows the world to contaminate its "Living Tradition."

Unitarian Universalism is passive when its faith is attacked. The old saying is that if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. UUs covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles and most UUs don't even know what the seven principles are that they covenant together to affirm and promote, and even if they did, they have no guidance from the church on how to stand up to the assault on them from the world.

In the era of Trumpism, the principles of the UU Living Tradition are trashed on a daily basis with 80% of Republicans supporting this trashing. Does UU accommodate this assault on its principles or does it cry foul and impose penalties? Unfortunately, it does the former rather than the later because of its poor organizational cohesiveness. The "Living Tradition" is left for the individual congregations to promote and affirm even though there is an attempt at coherence at the periodic general assemblies.

The failure of Unitarian Universalism to achieve more cohesiveness contributes to its failure to thrive as a "Living Tradition" as a church. Its stagnant and somewhat dwindling membership demonstrates not only its inability to survive as a voice to sanctify the world, but also demonstrates that it has sold its soul to a secular philosophy of relativism and accomodation.

The ineffectiveness of Unitarian Univeralism to sanctify the world is a shame because it has much to offer but it doesn't know what it is and how to share its faith with the world in a coherent way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What do you have faith in?

Osho says,

"In fact, the moment a child is perfectly conditioned by you, you are very happy; you call it 'religious education.' You are very happy that the child has been initiated in the religion of his parents. All that you have done is you have destroyed his capacity to know on his own. You have destroyed his authenticity. You have destroyed his very precious innocence. You have closed his doors and windows. Now he will have an encapsulated existence. He will live in his inner darkness, surrounded by all kinds of stupid theories, systems of thoughts, philosophies, ideologies. He will be lost in a jungle of words and he will not be able to come out easily.

Even if he comes across a Master, if he meets a Buddha, then too it will take years for him to unlearn - because learning becomes almost your blood, you bones, you marrow. And to go against you own knowledge seems to be going against yourself, against your tradition, against your country, against your religion, It seems as if you are a traitor, as you are betraying. In fact, your society has betrayed you, has contaminated your soul." p.217 "Ah, This!"

Rev. Galen Guengerich, the pastor at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City describes, in his book, God Revised, how when he left his conservative Mennonite community in central Delaware to go to Princeton Theological divinity school that his family and friends were afraid he would lose his faith. Guengerich said, in fact, he didn't lose "his" faith, he lost "their" faith, and now was free to find his own.

Spirituality, unlike religion, is not taught to a person, or given to a person, it must be found by the person as part of his/her own experience. Spirituality is not a creed, a set of beliefs, or the practice of special rituals, or adherence to traditional activities. Spirituality is the experience of the Divine within and among the Divine's creations.

Most of religion appears on the path of the ego. Spirituality appears on the path of the spirit.

What do you have faith in? What informs and gives your experience of your life meaning?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Is God smiling on you?

My fears make me jealous and paranoid.

My insecurities make me hypervigilant and I think I see things that aren't there.

Hell has come into my own head and heart, and I spread my personal hell into my relationships with others.

I blame them for things they didn't do. I falsely accuse them of things which makes them angry and drives them away. I insist that they are doing things to me which they deny and that only makes me more jealous and paranoid and them angry and rejecting.

Where do these fears come from that fuel the jealousy and paranoia?

Yes, I have been hurt in the past. Yes, I have been wounded. Yes, I don't want to be hurt again. Yes, I live my life on high alert, seeing things that aren't there just to protect myself.

I know what is happening to me. I am becoming aware of the patterns. I realize increasingly what that thing is that always happens to me. There was a time when my fears were appropriate. My fears wanted me to be safe and no longer attacked and harmed. My fears back then were a friend trying to help me. Now, fears have taken over my life and instead of helping me and protecting me, they are destroying my relationships and making my life a living hell.

I have come to realize that my fears are no longer my friend. They have done their job and its time for them to move along. I have learned that deep down I am loved by a Divine energy that is beyond any human understanding. It is in this Divine energy that I will put my trust and accept that no matter what happens I am loved and will be okay.

This connection with the Divine energy within protects me and with this new found source of security, I find myself engaging with the world in an open hearted rather then a close hearted way.

I realize that while others have hurt me, God has smiled on  me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What don't you do that you should be doing?

Rev. Galen Guegerich writes in his book, God Revised, in chapter 6, "Keeping the faith"; "Faith requires a leap of moral imagination to connect the world as it is to the world as it might become." p. 121

This idea might raise a question such as "What don't you do that you should be doing?"

What are you going to keep doing that sustains your faith, or what new thing could you do that would be an act of faith in your life based on your belief that what really matters to me and others in my life is _____________. Leave your intention in the comments to go public with your own intention and perhaps to inspire others. Thank you.
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