Showing posts with label Perennial philosophy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perennial philosophy. Show all posts

Monday, November 29, 2021

Perennial philosophy - Human beings partake of the two realms of reality


2) Human beings partake of both realms. We are not only physical but also spiritual beings. We have bodies, but we also have, at the core of our being, in the depths of our minds, a center of transcendent awareness. This center is described as pure consciousness, mind, spirit, or Self and is known by such names as the neshamah of Judaism, the soul or divine spark of Christianity, the atman of Hinduism, or the buddha nature of Buddhism. This divine spark is intimately related to—some traditions even say inseparable from and identical with—the sacred ground or foundation of all reality. We are not divorced from the sacred but eternally and intimately linked to it.

Essential Spirituality, Roger Walsh, p.6

Roger Walsh teaches that there are four crucial claims in the Perennial Philosophy, the first of which is that there are two realms of reality and the second that we, as humans, partake of both realms: the profane and the sacred.

Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes this when it holds as its fourth principle, the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This search is engaged in in the realm of the sacred. It does this by exploring the six sources of its living tradition. Each congregation seems to find one source or another as a center of gravity for this exploration. Some congregations tend to be more Christian or Buddhist or Earth Centered or humanistic. Some dabble in all six.

One of the strengths and weaknesses of Unitarian Universalism is the eclecticism in telling its story of the sacred. It tries to be a jack of all trades while a master of none and like the Israelites of the Old Testament wander in the desert led by Moses after escaping slavery in Egypt for 40 years.

Now is the time for a recognition of a perennial philosophy which brings all the spiritual teachings of the world religions together in unified concepts and practices.

Today we recognize and acknowledge not only that there are two realms of reality which human beings experience, but that we partake in them whether we are consciously aware of it or not. We can all agree that we have Life but what the nature of this Life is is less well understood depending on many factors.

Unitarian Universalism attempts to elucidate and manage those factors so that a healing can be achieved between our separation from and rejoining with our Transcendent Source.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Road NotTaken by Robert Frost

 When we consider the two realms of reality we realize we have a choice: the low road or the high road, the road well worn or the road less traveled where the path is less clear. Which would you choose: the safe road of convention or the less well known road of post convention?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Perennial Philosophy - The Two Realms

 Developed over thousands of years, the perennial philosophy is a treasure house of humankind’s accumulated wisdom. Vast in scope, profound in depth, it offers numberless insights into the nature of life and love, health and happiness, suffering and salvation. 

At its heart lie four crucial claims—actually observations, since they are based on direct insights by advanced spiritual practitioners—about reality and human nature. 1) There are two realms of reality. The first is the everyday realm with which we are all familiar, the world of physical objects and living creatures. This is the realm accessible to us via sight and sound and studied by sciences such as physics and biology. But beneath these familiar phenomena lies another realm far more subtle and profound: a realm of consciousness, spirit, Mind, or Tao. This world cannot be known through the physical senses and only indirectly through the physical instruments of science. Moreover, this realm creates and embraces the physical realm and is its source. This domain is not limited by space or time or physical laws, since it creates space, time, and physical laws, and hence it is unbounded and infinite, timeless and eternal.

Walsh, Roger. Essential Spirituality (pp. 6-7). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Different spiritual paths at the same church

Editor's note:

The idea that there are different spiritual paths which cover the same territory and wind up in the same destination is called the "perennial philosophy" or the "perennial psychology." I prefer the term "perennial psychology" because it refers to the same "experience" while "philosophy" refers to a thought system.

Thought systems can be different, but the experiencial psychology is the same which is Unconditional Love and completion are a merging with Eternal Oneness.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What is the fourth of five themes in the perennial psychology?

The fourth theme of the perennial psychology is service. Service is born out of empathy and compassion. Service is born out of the awareness that salvation is not an individual enterprise but a communal one that encompasses what Unitarian Univeralists call the interdependent web.

As we awaken, we come to understand that no person is an island but simply one part of the whole.We also come to realize that we learn what we teach and that we are paradoxically enriched by giving away. What is a joke kept to oneself? What is a song that is closed up on one's heart? It is in sharing the joke, the idea, the song that our joy is not only experienced but enhanced.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Salvation is a collaborative venture. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you give Him to your brothers.” T-4.VI.8:204

Anyone who says that they love God and hate people either are lying or don't understand. There is a spark of the divine in every person and Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Living this principle, UUs, take joy in being of service to all people.

A friend of mine told me one time that you don't go to church for God, you go to church because someone there might need you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What is the third of five themes in the perennial psychology?

The third theme of the perennial psychology is renunciation, the giving up of attachments. It is one of the four noble truths of Buddhism that suffering is caused by attachment. In Christian monasticism and religious life, adherents take three vows; celibacy, poverty, and obedience. In our daily lives as secular followers, Peace Pilgrim teaches the "four relinquishments" which are: relinquishment of self-will, relinquishment of the feeling of separateness, relinquishment of attachments, and relinquishment of all negative feelings.

Rather than cause pain and sorrow and sacrifice, renunciation, giving - up, is an unburdening, a liberation, a freeing, a lightening and gives one a sense of relief and joy. "Thank goodness I don't have to deal with that any more!"

There is no principle in Unitarian Univeralism that asks us to renounce our attachments to the things on the path of the ego directly. However, the first principle which is to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the second which asks us to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in our human relations require some renunciation of the ways of the ego so that we can proceed on the path of the spirit.

Perhaps, above all else, Unitarian Univeralism asks us to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which involves giving up our cognitive and emotional attachments to idols and beliefs that are no longer relevant and valid for us. This fourth principle asks us to give up the faith of others which has been imposed on us and to seek our own truth in the frightening space of the unknown. This search takes bravery, courage, awareness, discipline and a willingness to renounce the attachments to the things of the world we know for the world we may intuit but are not familiar with yet.

Unitarian Univeralism is not a faith for the timid and cowardly. Unitarian Univeralism asks a renunciation and a giving up of control of the things we are used to and have been conditioned by. UU asks us to sacrifice for what we come to value as a greater good of more importance in the realm of the Divine rather than stay stuck in the mundane on the path of the ego.

As we saw yesterday in the article on purification, Jesus tells the rich young man that if he truly wants eternal life he should give up all his riches, give the money to the poor, and come follow Him, and the rich young man is saddened because renouncing his stuff he will not do.

Be careful what you own and value because it may be that you don't own the things you are attached to but they own you. Renounce the things on the path of the ego which burden you, constrain you, limit your willingness to experience the eternal Divine.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The four way assumptions of a perennial philosophy/theology

This morning for reasons I don't understand I woke up thinking about the perennial philosophy/theology - that is - what all religions seem to have in common.

I came up with four things:

Life is good
Human nature has a shadow side
Love/compassion makes the world go around
There is something which transcends the ego

Anything else?

If these are the four perennial ideas what does Unitarian Univeralism have to say about them?

If we are to develop a religion that is not just fluff we have to come up with some pretty good answers.
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