Showing posts with label Principle 7 interdependent web. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Principle 7 interdependent web. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Awareness of the interconnectedness of life.

Modern science is now increasingly able to demonstrate what mystics have always intuited. The relatively new discipline of ecology is one of the most obvious scientific expressions of the interconnectedness of biological life. Other sciences have also made breakthroughs that are less easy to grasp but even more extraordinary in their implications.

Wigglesworth, Cindy. SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence (p. 69). SelectBooks, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

The sixth skill of spiritual intelligence, awareness of the interconnectedness of life, is repressed in our contemporary consciousness by the ubiquitous requirements of the capitalistic system which denies, and if even aware, refuses to acknowledge what are called “externalities” which allows us to hide the true costs of things.

The hiding of the externalities contributes to living in an illusionary world which, if not in the short run, will have negative consequences for the ecosystem in which we live in the long run. Recognition is slowly beginning to dawn on homo sapiens of the interconnectedness of life  as we become consciously aware of what we have done to planet Earth’s climate.

Some people say “ignorance is bliss” while others encourage us to wake up. Unitarian Universalists join together to affirm and promote an awareness of the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We ask ourselves to what extent, low, medium, or high, are we aware of the interconnectedness of life and make decisions about our actions accordingly?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Upside of the Covid-19 pandemic? The wisdom of the seventh principle needs broader distribution and appreciation.

 In spite of our rather boastful talk about progress, and our pride in the gadgets of civilization, there is, I think, a growing suspicion — indeed, perhaps an uneasy certainty — that we have been sometimes a little too ingenious for our own good. . . . We are beginning to wonder whether our power to change the face of nature should not have been tempered with wisdom for our own good, and with a greater sense of responsibility for the welfare of generations to come.

Rachel Carson

Perhaps the world would be better if they joined in the UU Covenant to affirm and promote a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are just a part. Is this the "wisdom" to which Rachel Carson refers?

Will this wisdom be one of the positive things that might arise in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic? What role will Unitarian Universalism play in this elevation of consciousness?

Monday, November 30, 2020

Human Supremacy and the Seventh Principle

 Human supremacy

We are in the midst of the sixth extinction. It is estimated that we can lose 50 percent or more of the planet’s species in this century. Part of the reason for this rapid decline in the biodiversity on planet Earth is the overpopulation of homo sapiens who now number about 7.9 billion. The ideal number is about 2 billion according to Eileen Crist in the interview in the December, 2020 issue of the Sun Magazine entitled, “Our Great Reckoning.”

How does homo sapiens awaken from the trance of human supremacy? Human supremacy is enacted in two primary ways: the geographical takeover of the space on the planet and the disparagement of any species nonhuman and inert substances which make up the planet.

We need to recognize that homo sapiens is part of an interdependent web of existence of which we are just a tiny part. We must learn to respect this interdependent web and live in harmony with it, not dominate it and plunder it for our own selfish satisfaction.

Our Great Reckoning is an interview well worth reading and should be required of all literate people on the planet.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Drinking coffee and our UU seventh principle

an illustration of a supply chain

If there is one thing that has seeped into American consciousness in these times of Covid IXX it is the understanding of supply chains.

Paul Ford writes in his article, "Infinite Loop," in the July/August, 2020 issue of Wired Magazine, "The last light that touched this set of screw drivers was from a different part of the world. Sometimes I say grace. 'Thank you to the people who dug this from the earth, for the people who melted it, for the people who put it together, for the people who carried it to a boat, to the people who carried it to a warehouse. I am grateful for all the labor of strangers."

Ford writes a little further down in his article, "What becomes clear is that I, in my exalted role as American consumer, think of myself as the end-all-be-all terminus for all the world's supply chains." p.17

And I think of our seventh principle, to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

As I write this short article this morning, I am drinking my morning coffee, and I am wondering, "How it the world did this coffee get here on my desk?"

I, too, like Paul Ford, say a little grace, and thank all the people who made my drinking coffee this morning possible.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Climate justice - What are you doing to work for climate justice?

For centuries we have looked to nature as a mirror onto which to first project, then observe, ourselves. But what is the moral? 

There is nothing to learn from global warming, because we do not have the time, or the distance, to contemplate its lessons; we are after all not merely telling the story but living it. That is, trying to; the threat is immense. 

How immense? 

One 2018 paper sketches the math in horrifying detail. In the journal Nature Climate Change, a team led by Drew Shindell tried to quantify the suffering that would be avoided if warming was kept to 1.5 degrees, rather than 2 degrees—in other words, how much additional suffering would result from just that additional half-degree of warming. 

Their answer: 150 million more people would die from air pollution alone in a 2-degree warmer world than in a 1.5-degree warmer one. Later that year, the IPCC raised the stakes further: in the gap between 1.5 degrees and 2, it said, hundreds of millions of lives were at stake.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (p. 28). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, but the immense threat of global warming due to carbon emissions is ignored because the consequences of our current policies and practices are so immense that we engage in denial and minimization in order to continue to function in our daily lives.

We have yet to be able to get the enormity of the consequences of these climate changes into perspective. We have things to do and other things to occupy our attention like political scandals, sports, internet social media, etc.

UUs as a people of faith can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We can educate ourselves and others and advocate for policies and practices that mitigate the immense consequences of what we have done.

How important an issue is climate justice when you make a decision to vote for policy makers at all levels of government? How much of your time and energy have you invested in organizing others to advocate for a change in climate justice policies? How do you affirm and promote our seventh principle, the respect for the interdependent web?

Monday, January 20, 2020

Greatest moral imperative of our time - Protect out climate.

First, the project of remaking the planet so that it is undeniably ours, a project whose exhaust, the poison of emissions, now casually works its way through millennia of ice so quickly you can see the melt with a naked eye, destroying the environmental conditions that have held stable and steadily governed for literally all of human history. That has been the work of a single generation. The second generation faces a very different task: the project of preserving our collective future, forestalling that devastation and engineering an alternate path. There is simply no analogy to draw on, outside of mythology and theology—and perhaps the Cold War prospect of mutually assured destruction.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (p. 29). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

I have become aware that up until now us boomers have no idea what our lifestyles have done to the planet. We lived in a time of economic expansion and the highest quality of living ever experienced on our planet in humanity's history. We thought of it as "progress" and expected that every succeeding generation would have a better life style than the preceding generation until now.

Now we have suddenly become aware that our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and great great grandchildren will not have a better life style but will be, perhaps, much worse. How can we help them and leave a legacy which will be positive?

I support Sunrise even as an old guy. I support Greta Thunberg and the young climate activists unlike the Trumpists who mock and attempt to shame them. I have gotten more politically active to assure that better climate policies are put in place, and better practices are designed and implemented. These efforts are altruistic because I am in the last phase of my life being 74, but I want a safe and satisfying world for my descendents and all others around the world. I am reminded of the Native American value that decisions should be thought of in terms of how they will affect the next seven generations.

Us boomers should be helping the succeeding generations adapt and save Mother Earth for humanity. This needs to be done with a religious fervor. The future of humanity depends on it. Will you join in this effort and commit your time, talent, treasure, and energy to these endeavors?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

An open letter to mental health professionals and my Unitarian Universalists brothers and sisters

Dear Frank et al.

One of my daughters, who is 50, lives in Pasadena and she asked me a few months ago if I offered therapy for people who are having psychiatric symptoms from the events of climate change. I said, "Not here in Western NY but I would guess there would be a big call for it in parts of California and where other climate disasters tragically and traumatically impact people's lives."

We have known about climate warming now for many decades and now we are beginning to see the consequences of these human caused changes. Will technology save us? A change in our human life styles? Psychotherapy?

I read an article last week on the "philosophy of climate change." It wasn't that good of an article but it did take me back a bit because I hadn't thought of climatge change, up until seeing the title of the article, as a philosophical problem. The more I have thought about it, the more it seems to me that it is a huge philosophical problem, and perhaps, part of our current social anxiety, if not panic, is that we have not thought of it as such before. We tend in the United States to see climate change as an economic and political problem primarily if it gets talked about in the public square at all. But it is the primary existential problem of our age and the future of humanity.

As we consider a philosophy of climate change, we also are lead into a consideration of the psychology of climate change. The first, and biggest challenge, is whether, as we face bigger and bigger devastation and human tragedy and trauma, will we help each other and support one another or turn on each other and protect our own? A dystopian future is as easily if not more easily imagined than a utopian one.

Frank seems to be encouraging us at least to be sympathetic and maybe help if we can. It seems to me it will take a national revival in uplifting democratic and humanistic values which have been sorely missing in our national discourse. We have to create a deep understanding that we are all in this thing called Life together and share Gaia, the interdependent web of existence. What happens to my brothers and sisters happens to me. No person is any longer an island. Me, myself, and I doesn't work any more and perhaps needs to be labled as delusional. A societal psychotherapy is long overdue which is based on wisdom, justice, and compassion. The individualism of hyper capitalism is a mortal sin which is creating hell in our midst. The only Democratic Presidential Primary candidate to attempt to surface a discussion of these philosophical issues is Marianne Williamson and she is dismissed as a flake.

We mental health professionals should be in the business of consciousness raising by teaching our fellow travelers that we are all one and how we treat each other and the earth will determine our ultimate fate. Marianne's book is entitled "The Politics of Love" and while I am not endorsing Marianne's candidacy, I am endorsing love.

David G. Markham, LCSWR
Brockport, NY

Monday, August 19, 2019

Public Theology - The end of nation states

The end of nation states

Indeed, government’s role in the world has already changed. The nation-state is not as important as it used to be. No longer are the nation-states islands unto themselves; today we truly live in a global age where ideas, people, capital, and technology flow freely across borders. Entrepreneurs view problems in the aggregate and will source labor from the best available minds, regardless of where people are physically. Nation-states, however, tend to limit themselves to the talent within their own borders.

Jain, Naveen. Moonshots : Creating a World of Abundance (p. 200). John August Media, LLC. 

John Lennon’s dream in his song Imagine is coming true. The importance of nation states is on the decline as transnational corporations and entrepreneurs puruse their transnational goals of serving humanity to make money.

Teihard de Chardin saw this in his evolutionary vision of humankind moving from Alpha to Omega with the development of the “noosphere.” There is a diminishment of tribal and national identities as humanity increasingly recognizes and acknowledges and works to enhance its common bond and soul.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of existence as well as the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Don't believe everything you think.

What is the difference between appearance and reality, between perception and truth, between fact and interpretation? There is more to things than meets the eye. As the bumper sticker says, "Don't believe everything you think."

The human mind loves distinctions, comparisons, contrasts. It makes sense of exerience by comparing the yin and the yang, the right with the left, the light with the dark, the loud with the silent, the sweet with the sour, the pain with the pleasure.

While these distinctions seem "real", they are really only a part of the whole, a component of the overall process we call life, or God.

Jesus said we should love our enemies, and the Buddha said we should acknowledge our suffering and strive to be happy, and as the bumper sticker says, in an irreverent way that makes us laugh, "Shit Happens!"

The wise person knows that whatever we exerience whether joy or sorrow, whether triumph or defeat, whether great pleasure or great pain, this too shall pass.

We should strive to become aware of the underlying Tao, the Oneness of God, the awareness of enlightenment.

The 7th principle/value of Unitarian Universalism is "The respect for the independent web of all existence of which we are a part." This respect involves the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the blessed and the evil. This respect also involves great humility which is a hallmark of wisdom which teaches us that much of what happens to us in life surpasses our limited mortal understanding.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Today's lesson, number 97, "I am spirit."

Today's lesson, number 97 in A Course In Miracles, is "I am spirit."

Am I a body with a spirit or a spirit in a body. Today's lesson is very clear, I am a spirit who, at this moment of time, is in a body. The body is simply a means of communication of ideas and it is ideas that make one holy.

Holy ideas sanctify the world because they share and spread Love.

At our church we say this affirmation every Sunday, "Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest for truth is its sacrament, and service is it's prayer."

The Universalists have preached that God is Unconditional Love meaning that God loves everybody and everything.

Today, April 22, 2019 is Earth Day which celebrates our UU seventh principle, a respect for the interdependent web of which we are a part. The Earth is our celestial body and yet the solar rock on which we reside is nothing without the consciousness which it is home to. It is this consciousness which distinguishes planet Earth from other planets, and once again we realize that we are not of the Earth but of the Divine Spirit from which we have separated ourselves and to which we will return.

Today, remind yourself, 5 minutes of every hour if you are able, that you are spirit and it is your job to spread the Unconditional Love of God around the world.

For a video commentary click here.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Today's lesson, number 96, "Salvation comes from my one Self."

Today's lesson, number 96 in A Course In Miracles, is, "Salvation comes from my one Self."

My "Self" with a capital S is my Oneness with God. We, each, are part of the nondualistic Oneness and not separate selves at all. "We, each,..." do not really exist. Our belief in our separateness is an illusion which gives rise to nothing but drama.

Shakespeare tells us in his play, As You Life It,  "All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,"

There is a part of us which knows that the separate egos we have created are not real, and yet a part of us that believes in our egos desperately and to which we cling.

Are we separate selves or are we, as we affirm and promote in our Unitarian Univeralist seventh principle, a part of the interdependent web?

Today, take five minutes every hour and remind yourself that the many parts we play are just drama and that our real essence is the One Self, the interdependent web of which we are just a part. In this awareness, we experience the Unconditional Love of the Universe and in this awareness we extend the Unconditional Love to the rest of creation.

For a video commentary click here.

Friday, April 19, 2019

UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, speaks on Climate Justice and UU

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

For more click here.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Today's lesson, 75, The light has come.

Today's lesson, number 75 in A Course In Miracles, is "The light has come."

As we undo the grievances, resentments, fear, and guilt we experience on the path of the ego through forgiveness and our joining with the nondualistic Oneness of Life, we experience the peace and joy of the light within.

The first principle of Unitarian Universalism asks us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This requires that we recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate the Divine Spark in every person, even our enemies as Jesus told us we should do.

With forgiveness which leads us to an awareness of the light, we experience peace in ourselves and in our relationships with others. We come to a deep and abiding consciousness of the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Today, we can take several moments thoughtout the day to say with gratitude, "The light has come." The light dwells within me and I extend it throughout the world to everyone and everything I see and encounter. We ask the Holy Spirit to fascilitate this awareness and assist us in its extension.

Truth is my light.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The helpers - How Nicki became a helper to her home, her community, the planet

"The helpers" is a regular feature of UU A Way Of Life ministries blog which appears on Fridays.

How Nicki became a helper.


Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. An example of applying is principle is to engage in stewardship of our resources of which our Mother Earth, Gaia, is our most basic one.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Kids forcing grown-ups to take their future seriously.

Unitarian Universalists covenant togeather to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. The kids get it. What about the adults?

Today's lesson - My happiness and my function are one

Today's lesson, number 66 in A Course In Miracles, is "My happiness and my function are one."

We have already learned that our function is forgiveness. Remember that forgiveness is rising above the perception of separation and joining with Cosmic Consciousness, the Oneness of the Divine.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

Some UUs say that they are first and seventh principle people because they have come to realize that their happiness and function are based on these two principles.

If our function is forgiveness to heal the separation, then happiness and peace are automatically experienced in the carrying out of this function. This fact is the basis of today's lesson that "My happiness and my function are one."

Are your kids or grandkids skipping school today, 03/15/19, to demand action on climate change?

For more click here.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Today's lesson - Universalism is a belief in the Unconditional Love of the Universe

Today's lesson, number 60 in A Course In Miracles, is a review lesson composed of lessons 46 - 50 which includes "God is the love in which I forgive;" "God is the strength in which I trust;" "There is nothing to fear;" "God's Voice speaks to me all through the day;" "I am sustained by the Love of God."

As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, "If God is with you, who can be against you?"

We have come to realize that there is a choice available to us: the path of the ego which is based on conditional love, and the path of the Spirit which is based on Unconditional Love. The Universalists have preached an awareness of this choice in the United States since the late 1700s when John Murray, in reaction to the Calvanists, insisted that God's love is unconditional and the Unconditionally Loving God condemns no person to hell, but invites them all to heaven.

The Univeralists realized that we make our own hell on earth and we can also make our own heaven. It is up to us. God gives us free will and does not tell us what to do. The choice is ours. We have to decide what we want.

In our contemporary society, Unitarian Univeralists offer people a choice of covenanting together to practice seven principles. Unitarian Univeralists, based on the first principle of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person, have accepted that God is the Love in which I forgive. If you don't like the word "God" you may use any word of your choice to refer to your understanding of your Higher Power.

Based on this forgiveness which is simply letting go of the path of the ego and embarking on the path of the Spirit, the Higher Power is the strength in which we trust because we have realized that our lives on the path of the ego are unmanageable.

With this forgiveness, this letting go of the ego, there is an awareness that there is nothing, any more, to fear. We are all okay no matter what. We are are in a calm, peaceful, centered place of bliss.

Being in this centered calm place of bliss our Higher Power speaks to us all through the day. We hear the celestial music, the hum of the Oneness. There is a harmony which is encompassing.

Being encompassed by this sweet harmony, we are sustained and come to not only respect, but love the interdependent web of all existence of which we are happy to have become aware that we are a part.

Awareness of our holiness sanctifies the world.

Unitarian Univeralism, along with A Course In Miracles, are but two spiritual paths that allow us to experience the Unconditional Love of the Divine.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Today's lesson, "I am sustained by the Love of God."

Today's lesson, number 50, in A Course In Miracles is "I am sustained by the Love of God."

All the things that the ego tells us will sustain us: special relationships, money, medicines, clothing, prestige, etc. are nonsense.

St. Paul wrote in his letter to Corinthians, "If God is with you who can be against you?"

You and God are a dynamic duo. God is the ground of your being. It is with God that you are sustained eternally.

Put your faith in the Love of God not the things of the ego.

Ask yourself, "What would Love have me do?" "What would God have me do?"

Jesus has told us that all we have to do is ask, to knock, and the door will be opened to us. Of course, God was there all along, we just had closed the door on Him as we became enamored with other things, and saw them as the sources of our salvation.

A Course In Miracles tells us simply when we chose wrongly, "Choose again." It is, in the last analysis, the Love of God which sustains us.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. In UU terms it is not just the respect for the interdependent web, but the love of the interdependent web which not only sustains us but is the basis for our consciousness.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Today's lesson - The holiness of the interdependent web envelops everything I see.

Today's lesson, lesson 36, from A Course In Miracles states, "My holiness envelops everything I see."

Vision is the thing being referred to not perception.

It is stated in the lesson, "You are holy because your mind is part of God's. And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well."

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. As a part of that interdependent web we see the whole enchilada as holy. We are, after all, part of the all, or one with the all.

Of course, this kind of vision is rare unless we intentionally choose to affirm and promote it.

We say we do in our covenant.

Remind yourself at least four times today that you are part of the interdependent web and more than just respecting it, perhaps, you love it. That love radiates out and touches everything you become aware of.

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