Monday, January 5, 2015
St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians in part 12, verse 12 - 13 "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." The key in Paul's statement here is "by one spirit" meaning that we are all part of a whole. It is this part of the whole which is holy, which has worth and dignity.
Another metaphor rather than the body might be the ocean of which we each are single droplets. As a droplet we tend to think we are self sufficient and autonomous when, in fact, we are utterly dependent on the whole. And so we can come to understand that what we do to and for our brothers and sisters we do to ourselves. We are all in this thing called life together.
The genius of Unitarian Universalism is the Universalist idea that we all go to heaven. No one goes to hell. It is one for all and all for one.
While other religions have taught condemnation and exclusion, Unitarian Universalism has taught the opposite, the basic goodness of everybody and the need for compassion and inclusion. This idea of the over-soul articulated by Emerson in the mid nineteen century further strengthens this Universalist belief. Mr. Markham, in his Tuesday night class, referred to this idea, in passing, as "cosmic consciousness." This cosmic consciousness comes at the later stages of spiritual development and is something that a person has to be ready for.
Perhaps, one of the reasons that UU is such a small denomination is that, as Jesus said, "many are called but few are chosen" meaning that the majority of humans are not at a place where cosmic consciousness is yet possible. It is our job, though, as Unitarian Universalists to facilitate this growth by reminding our fellows that every human being has inherent worth and dignity even if there are barriers and obstacles to its recognition. The feet and the eyes may not seem to have much to do with each other as very different anatomical parts but they both are important parts of the human body.