Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2018

Would you rather be right or be happy?

Do you think you know what things mean?

Is the glass half full or half empty? It the lamp high or low? Is $20.00 too much or too little? Is she pretty or ugly, thin or fat, tall or short, nice or mean, helpful or uncooperative?

Will today be a good day or a bad day. Will people like me or not? Will I be kind or dismissive?

Let's face it. We don't know what things mean. It's all relative. It depends on our mood. It depends on what happened previously. It depends on what we have been told and people are saying.

We get in a rut. We experience the same old thing. We don't think that things will ever change.

As my brother used to say, "There is no such thing as gravity. The whole world sucks." And indeed, for him, it did.

And so, we make up our reality. What we see is what we get or better yet, what we think we will see is what we will get.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Be careful what you fear for fearing something will bring it closer to you.

Don't be afraid but love and let go. Do your best and God, Life, The Universe will do the rest.

It must be admitted, when examined closely, that we don't know shit.

Adopt a position of "not knowing" and live your life with curiosity. Life is a search for the Divine. Greater powers than ours generate the universe of which we know very little if anything. Life is a mystery.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Would you rather be right or be happy?

Unitarian Universalism's fourth principle out of seven is to covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This seems all well and good for progressively minded people but where does one search?

In A Course In Miracles, in the chapter on New Beginnings, there is a section entitled, "The truth behind illusions." It is written, "The truth could never be attacked. And this you knew when you made idols. They were made that this might be forgotten. You attack but false ideas, and never truthful ones. All idols are the false ideas you made to fill the gap you think arose between yourself and what is true. And you attack them for the things you think they represent. What lies beyond them cannot be attacked." T-30.IV.1:4-10

To be vulgar and blunt. We, humans, just make shit up. And then we want to argue about it. And this arguing, brothers and sisters, is what keeps us from the truth.

This arguing, in my experience, is 95% of what Unitarian Universalism is about and consequently UUs miss the truth and their numbers dwindle because of the dissatisfaction that seekers experience with the UU nonsense.

Unitarian Universalism, as a living tradition, should it survive, will need to get better at discerning Truth from baloney. This means they must eschew the desire to place idols before Truth. This means we need to stop arguing over bull shit and focus on the path of the spirit which involves a response to the question, "What would Love have me do?" In the answer to that question, we would find the Truth.

A Course In Miracles asks us, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lack of security contributes to UU unhappiness

Dear UU A Way Of Life:

I don't find UUs an especially happy group. If anything I find them the opposite. They seem ready to argue over every little thing and they aren't good at resolving conflict which often degenerates into passive aggressive game playing and leads to schisms. It seems to me that the reason that UU congregations are so small is that people become unhappy and then walk away. I don't know what the answer to this is for individual churches and for the denomination. I am curious what you might think given your current theme promoting the ideas that UUs are above average in intelligence and happiness.


Tom Kowolski

Dear Tom:

Your observations are accurate and the data supports your concerns. The problem, as is usually the case, is multidimensional. In other words, there is not a single answer, no silver bullet, no magic key. However, having said that, I think, we might say that the problem lies in the lack of security in UU congregations, and the lack of security comes from no clear agreed upon rules, and the lack of nerve when it comes to enforcing the rules.

In any sport, there are rules and a referee who calls infractions. The players agree in advance to abide by the referees decisions and if players or coaches disruptively object they can be ejected from the game. Without a referee and rules, professional sports could not exist.

 Unitarian Universalism suffers from a lack of accountability. Nobody seems to be in charge and so the fight is on for power, control, and dominance. UUs have been encouraged to believe that if they think it, feel it, want it, then their thoughts feelings and desires are as good as anyone else's and they should not have to defer and if they have to in the moment, they carry on resentfully, and aggrieved until they leave or a schism occurs.

The UUA has been derelict it its duty to not develop and implement accrediting standards and hold its member congregations accountable for quality operations. Unfortunately, this has not happened and the denomination and most of its churches continue to suffer like the Israelites wandering in the desert. Security comes from knowing where one stands and who's in charge. In UU, there is very little accountability and guidance and so people flounder, are confused if not perplexed, and then become aggrieved. These UUs are not very happy people, and unfortunately, the denomination is not a very functional organization contributing to its small size and dwindling membership.

David G. Markham
UU A Way Of Life

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How are UUs happy?

Osho teaches that there are four stages of well being: pleasure, happiness, joy, and bliss.

Pleasure is when we scratch an itch or engage in some other tension reduction like eating when we are hungry, drinking when we are thirsty, sleeping when we are tired, engaging in sex when we are horny, getting our fix when we are having cravings. Whether tension reduction which Freud called the pain/pleasure principle makes people happy has been studied and while the satiation of physiological needs is pleasurable and often necessary for life, it does not necessarily lead to happiness as experience teaches, but sometimes distress especially from overindulgence.

So what about happiness? Happiness comes from satisfaction and fulfillment of a job well done or an activity that provides a sense of well being. Happiness is situation specific and can be transient.

What, then is joy? Joy is an abiding sense of optimism, and well being. It is an enduring state of awareness no matter the shifting sands of fortune.

And bliss. What pray tell is bliss? Bliss is ecstacy. Is being one with the all. It is being in, what psychologists call, a flow state.

Our blog is called "UU A Way Of Life", and it's title is based on the premise that Unitarian Universalism, when practiced as a way of life, contributes, if not necessarily to pleasure, although the ritual of our coffee hours does that, certainly to happiness, and more importantly joy, and maybe occasionally to bliss although the mystical element of UU is rarely recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated.

Unitarian Universalism has been said to not be as interested in getting people into heaven as heaven into people. And how does UU do that? We will be sharing some ideas about how UU helps people become more intelligent and happy in future articles. Please share your ideas in the comments.
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