Showing posts with label Transcendentalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transcendentalism. Show all posts

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Are there holy people among Unitarian Universalists?

Developmental psychologists teach that human beings move towards the actualization of their potential given the nurturing and facilitating circumstances required. There are a few models of human development such as the one for cognitive development taught by Piaget, moral development taught by Kohlberg, epigenetic development taught by Erikson, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Maslow taught that after physical, social, emotional, and psychological needs are met, the human being reaches the pinnacle of his pyramid of needs which is the need to actualize one's potential. The spiritual teachers tell us that the actualization of that potential is God consciousness or what we call, at UUAWOL ministries, cosmic consciousness. Up until now in human history very few human beings have flowered into their potential. Most stay stuck and content, perhaps, at lower levels.

The attainment of higher levels of need fulfillment, the actualization of one's potential, is often involuntary in the sense that the individual was not consciously aware of the drive for actualization but simply felt in their uneasiness that there must be a better way. As their life has gone on they became less psychologically attached to the building blocks of their personal identity for various reasons, some intentional and some circumstantial. This detachment from aspects of personal identity when engaged in intentionally, are what is called renunciation which is the third theme of the perennial psychology.

In Unitarian Universalism, this actualization of potential at the highest level is the shedding of the ego to enter into an experience of the interdependent web of existence. Without a clearly articulated mystical tradition of its own other than transcendentalism, Unitarian Univeralists don't get much help from their religious faith in moving into this level of consciousness. Ralph Waldo Emerson takes a stab at describing this level of consciousness in his essay about, what he called, the "oversoul."

There may be a few awakened souls among Unitarian Universalists but the they often go unrecognized because their fellow UUs don't know what they are experiencing when interacting with them. These people are the saints, the holy ones. The failure of Unitarian Univeralists to recognize the holy among them limits their ability to carry out their mission which is sanctify the world by helping people to become holy by covenanting together to affirm and promote the seven principles.

Most people would not recognize the Buddha or Jesus were either one to walk amongst us today. We are too busy texting, and Facebooking. The actualization of potential requires a real, not a virtual, relationship. Be on the look out for a holy person. If you know what you are looking for, it is more likely you will find one.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Getting back home

Unitarian Universalism has a bit of a mystical tradition in its identification with the transcendentalists. Some UUs turn to them for inspiration and direction when they begin searching for a better way to live life. The transcendentalists are psychotherapists of sorts who questioned the path of the ego and began seeking on the path of the spirit. They remind us that there is more to life than the idols of this world which we conditioned to worship.

The initiation of an interior spiritual life begins when it dawns on a person that there must be a better way to live his/her life. The way of the ego isn't working any more. This can be called "the dawning."

With the dawning comes the desire to search for that better way. The person becomes a seeker.

Where does one begin such a search? The first place people begin, mistakenly, is in the ego world of idols. They want to make more money, they want to find a romantic partner, they seek power and glory, they seek adventure and titillation, they begin a new career, they turn to education, they turn to food, chemical substances, and sometimes religion. It is believed that the acquisition of these things will provide a sense of completeness and fulfillment but it doesn't work.

As one ages, one's sense of loneliness increases, and futility and depression sets in along with a fear of death, one's own and the death of a loved one.

Sometimes the person turns to psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the healing of the mind. It is written in the Psychotherapy supplement to A Course In Miracles in the introduction, "Psychotherapy is the only form of therapy there is. Since only the mind can be sick, only the mind can be healed. Only the mind is in need of healing. This does not appear to be the case, for the manifestations of this world seem real indeed. Psychotherapy is necessary so that an individual can begin to question their reality."

Sometimes this psychotherapy occurs with interactions with friends, family, and others. Sometimes it happens with a credentialed, licensed psychotherapist. Regardless with whom this psychotherapy occurs, the spiritual task is the same, to move from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit which is the only path that will help the person get home.
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