Showing posts with label Principle 1 Worth and Dignity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Principle 1 Worth and Dignity. Show all posts

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Daily reflections, Day Twenty three, Focus on the Divine Spark within every person you meet.

Day Twenty three
Focus on the Divine Spark within every person you meet.

“Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the     recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.” ACIM, T-1.1.20:1-2

Are you a body with a spirit or a spirit with a body? This is not cute wordsmithing. This question and your answer makes all the difference in the salvation of the world.

The answer, according to A Course In Miracles, is that you are a spirit with a body, and it is in the mind that miracles occur not in the body.

The body is constantly changing and is not permanent, but the mind is eternal and lives for ever in its unification with the Tao, the Oneness that some call the God Force, the Ground of our Being.

At Unitarian Universalism: A Way Of Life we teach that the Holy Spirit resides in the relationship when people join together in a common purpose of becoming aware of their holiness and the holiness of all. It is this joining that Jesus is referring to when He says that people will know His disciples by their love for one another.

The first principle of Unitarian Universalism is to covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This “person” is not the body, but the Spirit, the Divine Spark within every human being and all living things.

Today I will apply the advice of Peace Pilgrim who said that when she meets people she looks for the Divine Spark within them and focuses on that.

Friday, August 16, 2019

To what extent are you a bottomless pit?

 Beyond all idols

If what we long for is completeness, wholeness, to become One with All, then why do we pursue idols thinking that they will complete us and make us whole? 

Is the idol we pursue romantic love, money, status, power, material things? None of these idols can complete us. We are like bottomless pits. If we get an inch we want a foot. If we get a foot we want a yard. If we get a yard we want 10 years, then 100 yards, then 1,000 yards, then a mile, then 10 miles…………...When will it ever stop?

A Course In Miracles tells us that what we seek we already have.

T-30.III.4. It never is the idol that you want. But what you think it offers you, you want indeed and have the right to ask for. Nor could it be possible it be denied. Your will to be complete is but God’s Will, and this is given you by being His. God knows not form. He cannot answer you in terms that have no meaning. And your will could not be satisfied with empty forms, made but to fill a gap that is not there. It is not this you want. Creation gives no separate person and no separate thing the power to complete the Son of God. What idol can be called upon to give the Son of God what he already has?

A Course in Miracles . Foundation for Inner Peace. P.631

T-30.III.8. The Thoughts of God are far beyond all change, and shine forever. They await not birth. They wait for welcome and remembering. The Thought God holds of you is like a star, unchangeable in an eternal sky. So high in Heaven is it set that those outside of Heaven know not it is there. Yet still and white and lovely will it shine through all eternity. There was no time it was not there; no instant when its light grew dimmer or less perfect ever was.

A Course in Miracles . Foundation for Inner Peace. P.632

The Course tells us that God’s love is always there for us. All we need do is remember and welcome it.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This means the person doesn't have to do anything, acquire anything, achieve anything, be associated with anyone, believe anything in particular, to be saved. 

UUs believe that people are already saved. They probably just don't know it yet. They are not aware of it. They need to remember it and become aware of it. Of course, it helps if they are coached, suggested, encouraged, supported in remembering and welcoming. The new fangled idea for this is "self compassion."

Friday, August 2, 2019

Osho - What's the difference between dignity and ego?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. What is this quality we call dignity?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Feds, under Trump, bring back practice of the death penalty.

From the Washintgon Post on 07/25/19
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it plans to resume executing prisoners awaiting the death penalty, ending almost two decadesin which the federal government had not imposed capital punishment on prisoners.
Attorney General William P. Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions for five inmates on death row. The prisoners were convicted of murdering children.
The Trump administration’s push to resume capital punishment in the federal system, while not surprising, goes against the recent trend of declining executions across the country.
The last federal execution was in 2003. In the years since, there has been an informal moratorium on executions of federal prisoners, as Justice Department officials reviewed its lethal-injection procedures. That practice was underscored during the Obama administration by then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s personal opposition to the death penalty, even while he approved prosecutors’ decisions to seek the death penalty in specific trials.
Editorial note:
Pope Francis declared last year that the death penalty was no longer permissable under Catholic teaching.
Back in the 1980s, Cardinal Joseph Bernadin popularized the concept of the "consistent life ethic" meaning that pro-life proponents to be consistent also should be against the death penalty, war, and euthanasia.
Republicans have always been very conficted and contradictory about the consistency of their pro life positions. This is very apparent now in the era of Trumpism as Republican states have passed legislation making abortion unavailable in their states but still promoting the death penalty and being "hawks" when it comes to war mongering.
The United States is the only first world country that still practices the death penalty.
Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. As Sister Helen Prejan, the author of Dead Man Walking, has said, "Every person is worth more than their worst act."

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Course In Miracles and Unitarian Universalism - The bloodied body of Jesus of Nazareth.

From A Course In Miracles:

T-29.VII.3. The lingering illusion will impel him to seek out a thousand idols, and to seek beyond them for a thousand more. And each will fail him, all excepting one; for he will die, and does not understand the idol that he seeks is but his death. Its form appears to be outside himself. Yet does he seek to kill God’s Son within, and prove that he is victor over him. This is the purpose every idol has, for this the role that is assigned to it, and this the role that cannot be fulfilled.

A Course in Miracles . Foundation for Inner Peace. p. 617-618

Sigmund Freud names the ultimate idol of the ego, the death wish, thanatos. We humans love war, murder, and violence which brings death or threatens one with death. Witness the popularity of movies with a lot of violence, and WWE wrestling, and our preoccupation with war, and guns, and killing things. It gives the mood altering feeling of power.

We, in America, are "second amendment" people who love our guns, 300 million of them floating around. Mass shootings arouse people's emotions and the media revels in them as do the politicians who control the public's access to these instruments of death.

Controlling death, worshiping it, makes us like God and we like to play God. We pretend its sometimes horrific and traumatic, but this is a charade because we continue to inflict it, ennoble it, and worship it.

We have made a whole religion out of the crucifying of one man's body. We have built a whole mythology about a man who supposedly cheated death by rising again in spite of his body being killed.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person which refers to the person's spirit not to his/her body. The spirit is eternal and manifests in different forms even though it is part of One. We are an extension of this Oneness whether we are consciously aware of it or not, and to assert our authority over this Oneness, we delusionally think we can kill it. This, the ego would have us believe, and this, we arrogantly align our wrong mindedness with.

Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified to demonstrate to humanity that the body and its death means nothing. It is an illusion. As the Romans were killing Him, Jesus laughed at their silliness and said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Jesus teaches us that making an idol out of the death of the body is nothing more than a sick joke.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Course In Miracles and Unitarian Universalism - When you perceive other bodies what do you envision?

Is a person a body with a spirit or a spirit in a body?

Does this sound like a petty and picky distinction or is it very important? In A Course In Miracles this move from seeing a brother and sister as merely a body and instead seeing their spirit is what the Course calls a "miracle."

It is written in the Course:

As they desire to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of their belief and faith sees far beyond the body, supporting vision, not obstructing it. But first they chose to recognize how much their faith had limited their understanding of the world, desiring to place its power elsewhere should another point of view be given them. The miracles that follow this decision are also born of faith. For all who choose to look away from sin are given vision, and are led to holiness. T-21.III.8:3-6

UU A Way Of Life ministries teaches that the mission of Unitarian Universalism is to facilitate the spiritual development of all people in the world by helping them to decide to switch their focus from bodies to spirit. The Course calls this "vision." It is this "vision" of what Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote as the inherent worth and dignity of every person that helps people become holy and sanctifies the world.

When you perceive yourself and your fellow brothers and sisters, what do you see?

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Spiritual reading discussion - Maturity by Osho - Form or content: What's important?

We have not bothered about the outside; we have insisted that only the inner should be paid attention to. The outer is unimportant. Somebody is young, somebody is old, somebody is black, somebody is white, somebody is man, somebody is woman—it does not matter; what matters is that inside there is an ocean of silence. In that oceanic state, the body takes a certain posture.

Osho. Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living) . St. Martin's Press. p.xvi


What appears on the outside is form. What is important is what's on the inside, the content.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. What this UU principle points to is the content not the form.

Look for the divine spark in every person, today, and focus on that. It's what's inside that counts not the outside. Same is true for oneself. I'm a fat old man, but inside I'm a beloved child of God.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Based in UU's first principle, the death penalty is indefensible and yet is still on the law books in 30 States.

America Magazine, in its April 29, 2019 issue, has an editorial entitled, "At its core, the death penalty is indefensible."

"In March, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California imposed a moratorium on the use of capital punishment in that state, which has the highest population on death row (737 inmates) in the Western Hemisphere. The Democrat also ordered the dismantling of the state’s gas chamber; any future governor who seeks to restart the execution process will have the grisly task of procuring the equipment to do it."

In another place it is written, "Mr. Newsom has recognized this futility. “Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure,” the governor said in March. “It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent.” Pope Francis went further when he revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this point last summer, declaring that the death penalty “is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Pope Francis has banned the death penalty as a legitimate criminal justice sentence and activity last year declaring that it violates the inherent worth and dignity of every person which is the first principle of Unitarian Universalism. Has the UUA and all UU congregations also taken a public stand againts the death penalty?

There are 30 states where the death penalty is still in their law books.

For more information about the death penalty click here.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

After church on Sunday, 03/17/19 - Green Book

After church on Sunday, 03/17/19, I didn't go to the demonstration in front of the local Muslim Mosque to show solidarity with Muslims after the horrific killings in New Zealand, and I didn't go to the workshop at the Methodist Church on social justice policies. I went instead to the local art film theater to see Green Book.

So far, it seems like a great decision. I loved the movie, Green Book. It is inspiring, funny, down to earth, informative, and entertaining. It did win the 2018 Academy Award for the best film, and Mahershala Ali won the award for best supporting actor for playing the role of Dr. Donald Shirley.

The creative tension is developed between Dr. Shirley, an African American concert pianist, touring in the deep south of the United States in 1962 during the time of segregation, and his hired driver and body guard, Tony Vallelonga, who is a prejudiced Italian from Bronx.

A friendship and mutual regard develops as the two men spend two months on the road together ending on Christmas eve in Birmingham, Alabama.

This movie demonstrates how discriminatory behavior, and prejudicial beliefs change when we get to know people personally as human beings. The movie demonstrates how human relationship facilitates the awareness of the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

I do want to demonstrate my solidarity with my Muslim brothers and sisters, and I do care about social justice issues, and I am not sure whether my decision to spend my time at the movies watching Green Book was the best experience by comparison to my other options for spending time after church, but I am a better person for having seen this movie and knowing that it has gathered acclaim in our country and the world.

Having had my first principle values affirmed and promoted, I feel grateful and blessed.

I give this movie 10 out of 10 stars and highly recommend it to audiences, 10 and up.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Today's lesson - God goes with me wherever I go.

Today's lesson, number 42, from A Course In Miracles, is "God goes with me wherever I go."

We have been told that the biggest problem in America today is lonliness. Do you believe that?

Why would lonliness be one of the biggest problems in America?

What kind of a problem is this: psychological, social, spiritual, all of them?

Lonliness, as a problem, at its core, is a problem of the ego. The ego is lonely. It isn't getting enough strokes. When our egos experience lonliness it is because we have forgetten who we are.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. How can a person with inherent worth and dignity ever be lonely? Lonliness makes a person unworthy and undignified. Lonliness and inherent worth and dignity seem to be a contradiction, a paradox.

It is written in A Course In Miracles that God goes with us wherever we go, but "We understand that you do not believe all this. How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within, under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see?" Lesson 41.5:1-2

And so, today, just sit quietly and clear your mind of nonsense, of insane thoughts, or what the Buddhist's call "monkey mind." Say to yourself, "God goes with me wherever I go."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Today's lesson - "I am blessed as a Son of God!"

Carlos would say when asked in greeting, "How you doin?" "I'm too blessed to be stressed."

"I'm too blessed to be stressed."

Carlos quip and good cheer always got a laugh and the person who received his response always seemed to be blessed by it.

Today's lesson, number 40, in A Course In Miracles asks us to say to ourselves very ten minutes duing the day, if possible, "I am blessed as a Son of God."

The question is, "Is this just a corny affirmation or is it heartfelt?"

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Do UUs really believe that each person has inherent worth and dignity or is this just a platitude which has become a cliche?

We're back to the idea that we can't give what we don't have, can't share what we don't possess and so before we an affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity in other people we must, first, affirm and promote it in ourselves by recognizing and acknowledging our own true nature.

Problem is that most people don't believe they have intherent worth and dignity and this why the rates of anxiety, depression, suicide, substance abuse, gun ownership, animosity are so high.

So, reminding ourselves every ten minutes today that "I am blessed as a Son of God" is a good idea. How many times will we have to tell this to ourselves before it sinks in and we really believe it?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Today's lesson - Holiness is your natural inheritance.

We all know many people who suffer from low self esteem, low self worth, low self compassion. We forget that first and foremost we are children of God and God doesn't make junk.

However, we have been taught that God's love is conditional. God will love us if ____________. A very popular idea is "karma," what goes around comes around. We get what we deserve.

In A Course In Miracles, in lesson 35, it is stated, "My mind is part of God's. I am very holy." How many people do you know that actually believe this? Of others or of themselves?

We have many images of ourselves which have been thrust onto us by others. Judgement is the name of the game, and pecking orders get established in our families, among our friends, at school and work, in our nation, etc.

Unitarian Universalists reject judgement and covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Before we can believe that other people have inherent worth and dignity, we have to believe it first about ourselves.

"My mind is part of God's. I am very holy."

The mission of UU A Way Of Life ministries is to sanctify the world by helping people become holy. One of the main activities of UU A Way Of Life ministries, in carrying out this mission, is simply to remind people that holiness is their natural inheritance.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Do you fear punishment?

If people live in fear of punishment for doing the wrong thing, few will do it.
If a person does not fear punishment, the person is free.

Fear of punishment gives the punisher power over the punished.
Those who do not believe in punishment can live in peace.

Some people believe that it is better to be the punisher than the punished.
These people identify with the attacker and live in fear of disobedience.

Those who live by the Tao do not punish and are not punishable.
Those who live by the Tao journey on a different path, free of fear, in Love.

Unitarian Univeralists live in a covenant to affirm and promote seven principles. These principles have nothing to do with punishing  or being punished. The UU covenant takes its participants on a different path in life respecting the Tao, the interdependent web of all existence which can't be named, and affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all people.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

When was anger ever an argument?

Anger can be a force for constructive action not destruction.
A good soldier is not violent but intends to rectify injustice.

A winner does not gloat and lord it over the vanquished but serves with compassion and generosity.
A good employer is fair, respectful, and appreciative.

Constructive confrontation points out contradictions so that awareness arises.
Reconfiguring so that justice, equity, and harmony occurs is the epitomy of wisdom.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to apply seven principles based on the affirmation and promotion of the inherent worth and dignity of every person because they are part of the interdependent web which is not only respected but loved.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What makes Unitarian Univeralists defenseless?

"I know every person has inherent worth and dignity because God doesn't make junk."

God's creations do not need defense. They are precious just as they are.

Drop the ego and reality is what is left.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."

One of the characteristics of a teacher of God is defenselessness. The teacher of God knows that what God has created needs no defense. What God has created is not vulnerable to destruction.

Unitarian Universalists know this when they covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person which includes everyone in the Body of Christ.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How do sparks of inherent worth and dignity grow in power and might?

It's the small things that count.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

Take things one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.
In the complicated, see the simple parts.

The wise person does not bite off more than can be chewed.
It is from the small accomplishment that great things arise.

The wise person does not avoid difficulties.
The wise person crosses each bridge when it is reached and not before.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote  the inherent worth and dignity of every person and it is in this affirmation and promotion that small sparks become a roaring blaze.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Do we need to get back to basics?

The way is straight but there are many distractions.
Bread and circuses keep the masses asleep.
While people starve and suffer, the 24/7 cable news spew out "he said, she said" to keep people's minds off the real issues.

The blame game is emotinally captivating
Forgetting that other people are out brothers and sisters, we attack them thinking it will make us safe.
The people have lost their way and have forgotten who they really are.

Returning to the Ground of our Being requires that we put all nonsense aside, and get back on track.

Unitarian Universalists know that their covenant based on seven principles will save them. They know that affirming and promoting justice, equity, and compassion is the better course. UUs know that every person has inherent worth and dignity and, of this, UUs need to remind themselves regularly and share their light with the world.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Are you pushing the river?

Have your noticed that the harder we try the more tense we get and the more likely we will choke up?

Have you notices that we often find ourselves trying to put a round peg into a square hole?

Have you felt demoralized because you are working harder than everyone else who doesn't seem to care as much?

Have you ever thought that you were right and surrounded by idiots?

Dr. Carl Whitaker, the pioneering family therapist, told his students, "If you are going to be missionaries, you will get eaten by cannibals."

If you are trying harder, working harder, insisting more vehemently than everyone else, alarm bells are ringing that something is wrong.

You may be pushing the river. You'll get there if you relax and just go with the flow.

Unitarian Univeralists know this because they rely on their covenantal relationships based on seven principles. These principles nourish and guide their relational lives. They know that it is easy for those relationships to get skewed and out of sync if their principles are ignored or mis-applied.

In Alcoholics Anonymous they have slogans such as "Easy does it." and "Let go and let God," and "One day at a time."

In Unitarian Univeralism we convenant together to affirm and promote our first principle,  the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and our seventh principle,  a respect for the interdependent web of existence. Some UUs call us first and seventh principle people.

These principles are imbued with an awareness of the Tao which resonates with eternal beauty, goodness, truth, and balance. Relax and lfit up your awareness to the Oneness of the Divine.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

What keeps UUs going through dark times?

There are times when the living gets tough. We find ourselves in dark places, very dark places.

There are times when we want to give up, even want to die. We think, "It would have been better if I were never born," and "I've had enough. I don't want to go on."

At such times of despair when there is no hope to be found, what then?

There is a dim, weak sense of Life. Against our egotistical will we are called to continue into God only knows what. We don't want to go on, but something beyond us wants us to.

That something beyond us some call the Tao, some call Grace which has been described as "amazing", some call it the Holy Spirit, and some with no other name call it simply "faith."

Faith keeps us moving in the darkness through our despair. We intuit that in spite of everything horrible, destructive, evil, Life goes on.

We are living a mystery. We are living the question as Rilke said.

Unitarian Univeralism teaches that the covenant based on seven principles will somehow see us through, of which the first and the seventh are the most important: the inherent worth and dignity of every person no matter what, and the love for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.

As was said in the 60s by way of encouraging one another, "Keep the faith!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

UUAWOL ministries index - U.S. cap on immigrants in 2018-2019

  • Cap on refugees to U.S. in 2018 - 2019 = 30,000
  • Change on cap from previous year = - 15,000
  • Actual number settled so far this year in U.S, = 21, 000 (Fiscal year ends on 09/30/18)
  • Previous year when number of refugees settled was so low = 1980
  • Number of refugees seeking immigration around the world = up significantly due to war and famine
Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
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