Showing posts with label Principle seven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Principle seven. Show all posts

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Experiencing the no thing of the All, the non dual Oneness.

When you have experienced the protection of God, the making of idols becomes inconceivable. There are no strange images in the Mind of God, and what is not in His Mind cannot be in yours, because you are of one mind and that mind belongs to Him. It is yours because it belongs to Him, for to Him ownership is sharing. And if it is so for Him, it is so for you. His definitions are His laws, for by them He established the universe as what it is. No false gods you attempt to interpose between yourself and your reality affect truth at all. Peace is yours because God created you. And He created nothing else. T-10.IV.6:1-7

A Course in Miracles (p. 347). Foundation for Inner Peace. Kindle Edition. 

When we experience the non dual Oneness, the cosmic consciousness, we don’t want the idols of the world of the ego. We have an experience of peace and bliss and the eternal now. We experience being one with God our Creator of which we are an extension.

In Unitarian Universalism some of us covenant together to affirm and promote a love for the interdependent web of all existence which is beyond our understanding or apprehension. The love of God’s creation is beyond understanding and yet we can remove the blocks to the awareness of this love when we eschew the idols of the ego. This is done in meditation when we relax into the no thing of the All.

Some of us set aside times during our days to meditate. In meditation we remind ourselves from whence we have come and to which we yearn to return, our true home with our creator.

To what extent do Unitarian Universalists have a meditation practice? Is meditation taught in our congregations? Is meditation encouraged? Are UU clergy and other leaders skilled in accessing the Transcendent Oneness?

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Principles Project - Applying the seventh, the respect for the interdependent web.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. This is the seventh of the seven principles. It provides many insights and opportunities for spiritual practice. One spiritual practice is caring for our environment. Name one of your spiritual practices applying this principle in the comments.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Mother Nature and Homo Sapiens: Conflict or collaboration?

The idea that Mother Nature has become more dependent on homo sapiens than the other way around is an advance in human consciousness that has not yet occurred for the majority of the population. The biblical teaching to dominate the earth still fuels a grandiose sense of entitlement in homo sapiens which is having pernicious consequences.

The challenge of climate change is being met with technological thinking which is helpful but at a deeper level it is a spiritual problem and until their is a societal change of heart and mind we will continue down a self defeating path.

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

Friday, January 31, 2020

The most important justice issue for the survival of humanity - climate stewardship

The impact of The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells on my life has been significant. 

It's not that I didn't know and wasn't aware of many of the ideas and facts he describes in his book, but to see them put together in one place with such stark explicitness helped me appreciate the enormity of the Anthropocene which our species has created on the planet Earth.

Without awareness we are doomed to the negative consequences of our own behaviors as a species of mammals on the planet. Knowledge gives us power even though the truth hurts and can be horrifying.

I have been inspired to learn more, and do more, about the climate change issue. I am inspired to change my own personal habits of consumption and disposal, and also to engage in collective and political action to change the macro systems that affect the environment on this planet.

At age 74, I am lucky if I have another 10 or 15 years on this planet, and learning what I have learned now from this book, my life has new meaning and purpose, to work with the succeeding generations to assure, as best we are able, their health and well being, and the highest quality of life for them and their co-inhabitors on the planet and in the solar system.

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Advocating for policies which protect this interdependent web, respect it, love it, live in harmony with it, is the most important justice work any congregation can be working on with great reverence and a sense of piety.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Do gratitude and compassion flow from our awareness of our utter dependence on the interdependent web of all existence?

Rev. Galen Guengerich, Senior Minister at All Soul's in New York City, says that one of the key components of a Unitarian Universalist theology should be an understanding and appreciation of gratitude. This gratitude, he says, is based on our realization of our utter dependence. I agree with Rev. Guengerich, and today I am reading Osho's book on compassion.

Osho says that compassion is like a fragrance that emanates from meditation by which I think he means awareness of the "interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." In a sense I think that is what Rev. Guengerich means by utter dependence generating gratitude, and this is what Osho means by compassion.

Osho says, "... and I call a person religious who has come to understand that the whole existence is a family. He may not go to any church, he may not worship in any temple, he may not pray at any mosque or gurudwara - that doesn't matter, it is irrelevant. If you do, good, it is okay; if you don't that is even better. But one who has understood the organic unity of existence is constantly in the temple, is constantly facing the sacred and the Divine."
Osho says further that compassion can't be forced, it is not a discipline, it is a natural consequence of the awareness of the wholeness of creation. For this I think we not only experience compassion, but also tremendous, joyful gratitude.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Where would you rather go: hell or heaven?

Universalism teaches us about the unconditional love of the Divine. There is a very small audience for this idea. Most people put their faith in special relationships. They have made an idol out of special relationships. Special relationships are the home of the ego and this home is its own kind of hell.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part and then ignore this affirmation and promotion and travel along the path of the ego in pursuit of special relationships. No wonder it is a stagnant faith slowly losing membership and unable to attract new adherents. UUs don't act on what they profess to believe.

Just as we have special love relationships, we have special hate relationships. "I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you."

I get to play the victim if you will play the persecutor. "Why does this always happen to me!" is the cry of the victim.

There is a certain sense of righteousness with the expression of indignity at the projected attacks. These attacks are not only the things the persecutor did, but the things the persecutor didn't do especially not loving me enough or in the right way or only a little bit when the full attention was expected.

It is taught in A Course In Miracles that the special relationship is the ego's home. As Kenneth Wapnick, a teacher of the Course writes, "It is to protect its 'home' that the ego always strives to justify anger." p.19 (Christian Psychology in A Course In Miracles)

The path of the ego takes us to hell. The path of the spirit takes us to heaven. Where would you rather go?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Where does greatness lie?

The Universalists know where greatness lies. It is this experience which has inspired the Unitarians. Together they have proclaimed that greatness lies in the interdependent web of all existence. They covenant together to affirm and promote this principle.

It is written in A Course in Miracles in the introduction in the section on clarification of terms in paragraph 2, verse 5, "A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary."

Has this been your experience, too?

Truth lies beyond illusion. Illusion fragments and Truth unifies.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is that greatness which is Divine.

Greatness is found on the path of the spirit not on the path of the ego.

Monday, September 11, 2017

UU and heaven on earth

Steve, the Dali Lama said one time that the purpose of life is happiness. All human beings want to be happy. And you asked, "What will make me happy?" Your question is, of course, the logical follow-up question and a question the philosophers have been discussing for millennia, and recently the positive psychologists have joined the conversation and have been adding their research findings to our base of knowledge. There also is a growing spiritual awareness coming from Ken Wilbur, A Course In Miracles, Osho, Matthew Fox, the Buddhists, Sufi's, and a resurgent interest in Native American earth centered spiritualities. The marketing and popularizing of these ways of looking at the world can be very attractive, seductive, interesting, and enjoyable. Have you noticed how "mindfulness" is now all the rage and is applied to everything from mindful walking to mindful eating to mindful elimination? As you mentioned to me, most of this is nonsense even if it is an attempt to move ourselves in a more positive direction towards what A Course In Miracles calls the Atonement.

The essential question is whether anything on the ego plane can ever truly make us happy or should we focus instead on the spiritual plane which involves the Love of the transcendent and our brothers and sisters as one? We have tasted the divine ecstasy of well being when we have entered what the psychologists call a "flow state." The flow state is when we become one with the all and lose track of time and awareness of ourselves as separate from things. People achieve flow sometimes doing exercise, or listening to music, and becoming enthralled in whatever activity we deeply enjoy and are focused on. This transcendent state is called in A Course In Miracles, the "Holy Instant." It is written in A Course Of Miracles, "The holy instant is a miniature of Heaven, sent you from Heaven."

Unitarian Universalism has little to say about our choice between two worlds: the world of the ego, and the world of the Love of Creation although it does hold dear, in covenantal relationships with others, the seventh principle of respect for the interdependent web of all existence. It is odd that the wording of the principle states "respect" for the interdependent web instead of the "love" of the interdependent web. Respect implies a standing apart rather than a joining with although the full wording of the principle is "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

So Steve it would seem that what will make us truly happy is a joining the Love of Creation by extending ourselves to our brothers and sisters with the intention of achieving the At-One-Ment which I have defined as when everybody loves everybody all the time. You asked me whether I thought this was really possible and I told you "absolutely." Of course, this is a statement of faith and hope, yet also one based on the experience of flow. Our Universalist tradition inspires me in this faith. If is what sets us apart as UUs from other religious systems of belief and it is the part of our faith which we must preach more fervently if we are to learn it better and more deeply ourselves.

May you enhance your happiness by extending Creations' love to all our brothers and sisters and being mindful and grateful for your experience of flow. Flow is a taste of heaven on earth.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

What's romantic love got to do with it? UU and its seventh principle.

Hector, in your comment yesterday on the article "Cosmic Consciousness and Unitarian Universalism" you wrote, "In the couples I counsel the often hold a secret resentment which goes, "You used to love me and still could, if only you would, but you won't because you________." We blame our unhappiness on our partner as if it were in his/her power to make us happy. This assumption is, of course, delusional, because our partner can't make him/her self happy. How could (s)he take responsibility for our happiness? The answer is not to look for happiness in external relationships, but to seek happiness within. Jesus said, I believe, that the kingdom of God is within you." Unitarian Universalism teaches that happiness resides in the respect for the interdependent web of all existence.

It is interesting how we, in Western Civilization, put special relationships, especially those based on romantic love, on a pedestal to be worshiped. This worship goes on in our arts such as music, movies, TV shows, literature, as well as gossip, and personal stories where these relationships are held up as a path to our salvation or damnation depending on the arc of the story. We have ignored or forgotten that these special relationships are but a small part of the interdependent web of all existence and often they blind us to it because of the intense focus and drama which these relationships entail for us. We would do well to remember Tina Turner's great song, What Does Love Got To Do With It?

To those with higher levels of consciousness, there is an awareness that romantic love is an illusion and special relationships are a counterfeit substitute for the authentic fulfillment and completion of ourselves that we seek. That authentic fulfillment and completion can only come with reunion with the creative energy of the universe, the interdependent web of all existence of which our physical bodies are only a temporary manifestation. We spent so much time and energy looking for that fulfillment, completion, and peace in all the wrong places.

Universalism teaches that God loves us unconditionally and forgives our separation and is waiting patiently for our reunion. And so, Hector, thank you for your comment and sharing what you have learned from your couples' counseling. It helps us understand a tremendous source of our unhappiness on the ego plane. It would be well if we could rise above the idolatry we practice with romantic relationships. Overcoming this idolatry would be a major step in bringing a higher quality joy and peace to our human existence and creating heaven on earth.

All the best, and thanks for your comments,


Monday, August 28, 2017

Do UUs believe in mysticism?

George you asked about mysticism and whether it is real? It seems that you doubt that there are people who have tuned in to a higher frequency. The question is not only whether people have tuned into that frequency but whether there is such a frequency.

We Unitarian Universalists recognize and acknowledge such a frequency in our seventh principle which is a respect for the interdependent web of all existence. What do you suppose that interdependent web of all existence is? No one can say because it is undefinable and yet we can intuit it from time to time and there are witnesses to it which can enhance our appreciation of it.

Some might say that we experience the interdependent web when we join our minds with others and seem to rise above the everyday drama of the ego plane. This happens sometimes when we have an aesthetic experience stimulated by a work of art or at worship or in being of service to others in such a way that we are moved with them to something greater than just our immediate circumstnaces. I sometimes have these experiences in talking with people about intimate experiences and there is a deep rapport where we communicate beyond the words. It is rare, George, but it happens and I feel that we are loved by existence beyond our understanding. In A Course In Miracles this experience is called a miracle, and we are taught that it is our natural inheritance.

When a miracle occurs we need to turn it over for the use of the Spirit Of Life and who knows where it is going? It is like throwing a rock in a pond and watching the ripples, or nowadays the popular metaphor is a butterfly flapping its wings in South America generating a hurricane in North America or a cyclone in Asia. Can our science account for such things, George, or is it something beyond our understanding as we stand in awe of the mysterious workings of Mother Nature and the universe?

One year, a local church in Brockport, NY at Christmas time had a saying on its sign in front of the church which read, "You, too, can hear the angels sing if you tune into the right frequency." No need to limit this tuning in and listening to just Christmas time. Mystics do it all year around and we all are called to be mystics and share in these mystical experiences if we are open to them.

Have a mystical day,

Uncle David

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More unum, less pluribus

Dear Jason:

I am glad you enjoyed the bumper sticker, "Too much pluribus, not enough unum." It made me laugh as well and there is nothing that joins people together in a holy instant of communication like a good laugh, and a song.

We get so hung up on bodies and we get aroused sexually by the fantasy of their interaction that we forget that the joy and the bliss of such togetherness comes from the rapport, the deep communication not from physical friction. And so we might appreciate that heaven would be the joyous rapport without the necessity of bodies, only pure communication and a sense of beloved oneness. It says in A Course In Miracles, "For communication embraces everything, and in the peace it re-establishes, love comes of itself."

When, Jason, you find a friend that you can talk to without any effort or sacrifice, only pure joy and openness, you no doubt, if you are mindful, will be aware of a blessing which we call grace. If we are skilled enough to listen deeply to a person and we look for the divine spark and focus on that we can establish this kind of rapport with any of our brothers and sisters. These skills do take a purity of mind, an intention of generosity of our effort and energy, and the deliberate diminishment, if not elimination, of our fears. These skills are a very tall order, but achievable of development with sincere intention.

Our Unitarian Univeralist covenant calls us to this kind of life in our first, second, and third principles. We promise to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person,  to strive towards justice, equity, and compassion in all our human relations, and to accept one another and encourage the spiritual growth of ourselves and those we interact with in our congregations, our work places, our families, our communities, our states, our nation, and the whole wide world.

If you wonder, Jason, if this can be done, we can study and reflect on the lives of Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis, Martin Luther King, Jr. and any number of other enlightened masters and saints who have walked the earth. You may have your own heroes and heroins whom you admire and would like to emulate. We UUs call these people "prophetic women and men" and their lives and witness are the second of six sources of the UU tradition.

If there is one quality which I would encourage you to look for it would be a cosmic consciousness, what we UUs call a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. There seems to be a minority of human beings who achieve this level of awareness and I don't know if UUs are any more developed than our fellow citizens, but at least we intellectually acknowledge this value which is far more than most human organizations and individuals do.

Let us work together, Jason, for more unum and to respect and appreciate the pluribus without attacking it as threatening.

We should strive Jason to create heaven right now, right here where we presently find ourselves. We can accomplish this with the establishment of loving communication. I define the atonement as that time in human history when everybody loves everybody all the time. Each time we ask the Holy Spirit to help us with this activity, we decrease the length of time before human kind achieves this state.

Blessings to you and your family,

Uncle David

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The second source, the seventh principle, and moments of grace

The second of six sources of the living tradition of Unitarian Universalism is the words and deeds of prophetic women and men. How do we draw upon this source?

A primary way is reading biographies about the lives of informative and inspiring women and men.

Another way I have found is by reading the Sun Magazine which every month has an interview with an interesting and inspiring person and a section called "Readers write" where "Readers Write asks readers to address subjects on which they're the only authorities." In other words, Readers write, invites people to tell stories from their lives. Here is a moment of grace as described by David Armitage in response to the topic for May, 2016 for Readers Write which was "backyards."

in the early 1980s I started a rigorous six-year academic program in Boston that required me to work during the day, take classes at night, and do homework on the weekends. On my first summer off, I wanted to get far away from my studies, work with my hands, and be close to the earth. So I went to live with an Amish family in Pennsylvania. The experience renewed me, and I decided to do it again the next summer.
That year I drove from Boston to Pennsylvania on a holiday weekend, and what was normally a six-hour trip took more than ten hours. By the time I arrived, just before dusk, I was anxious and exhausted.
My Amish hosts had delayed their dinner for me. During the meal I tried to act natural, but I felt full of nerves. My Amish host could clearly tell something was amiss, because at the end of dinner he said, “Come with me.”
I followed him to their backyard, which bordered an alfalfa field. Although his faith discouraged smoking, the farmer lit a cigarette. Three of his children gamboled about while two others clung to him. The farmer stood without saying a word, looking out over the alfalfa. I did the same.
The dark-green field was becoming harder to see in the fading light. The sky was peach at the horizon and deep blue higher up. Stars had begun to appear. Then out of the alfalfa rose fireflies — a few at first, but soon there were hundreds. Their pinpricks of light mingled with the stars: heaven and earth meeting in this humble man’s backyard. I felt my nervousness leave me.
The farmer turned and said, “That’s for you.”
David Armitage
Boston, Massachusetts
Mr. Armitage's story reminds me of the seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism which is "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." When we pull back from the stress of our daily routines and get things into perspective, and nature often helps us do that, we can experience an ease and comfort which seems almost miraculous and like a moment of grace.
To visit the Sun Magazine Readers Write in the May 2016 issue click here.
The Brockport Sun Magazine Discussion Group meets on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 - 8:00 PM at the Lift Bridge Book Shop, 45 Main Street, Brockport, NY to discuss the previous month's issue. While everyone is welcome, registration is required. For further information, contact David Markham at or 585-727-3663.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Climate change very disruptive for bird life in North America

The New York Times reported on September 8, 2014 that climate change will have a huge disruption for bird life in North America according to Audubon scientists.

For more click here.

Editor's note:

The UU A Way Of Life makes an effort to report on stories that exemplify UUs seven principles. Stories dealing with the affects of climate change are directly relevant to UUs seventh princple, the respect for the interdependent web of existence.
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