Showing posts with label path of ego. Show all posts
Showing posts with label path of ego. Show all posts

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What is the most important choice we ever make?

The most important question in life is whether we want to become aware of our holiness or not?

All people are holy but they have forgotten it. Society has beaten it out of them and taught them to deny their holiness and aggrandize the ego. People even think that they are their ego. This is a silly idea that has taken over their lives. The first step on the road of spirituality is when the person can laugh at the very idea of his/her ego.

To attain an awareness of holiness a person has to give up the ego. The ego has promised happiness if the person feeds it with all kinds of things like money, special relationships, power, social status, physical pleasure, etc.

In case you haven't noticed, the ego lies.

People who have pursued the fulfillment of the ego's desires have become people of the lie. And deep down within, the small voice of sanity calls to them and offers them a choice: continue to seek fulfillment of ego desires, or go home to the holiness of Oneness with the source of our creation.

The trip home is done by forgiveness. We forgive ourselves and others for our mistaken belief that fullfilment of our egos could ever make us happy.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Ready to let go of your baggage?

Some people, not many, realize that they are asleep. They sense that there is more to their life that their day to day experience on the path of the ego. Often there is a vague "dis-ease". This is a sense of depression, anxiety, fatigue, pessimism, and sometimes, negativity.

It dawns on these people that there must be a better way. This is what, at UUAWOL ministries, we call "the dawning." The dawning then initiates a searching, an impulse for self-transformation. Sometimes these people are called "seekers," and Steve Taylor, in his book The Leap, writes that he prefers the word "awakeners."

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself. Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been and always will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate it." T-4.VI.1:6-7

The awakener becomes aware of his/her other life and is attracted to it. In the introduction to A Course In Miracles it is written, "The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is you natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite."

The mission of UUAWOL ministries is to sanctify the world by helping people become holy. UUAWOL ministries activities are focused, in part, on helping people remove the blocks and obstacles to their awareness of love's presence by facilitating covenantal relationships to affirm and promote the seven principles.

The first step in awakening is to recognize that there is something more than what the path of the ego has to offer. Osho says that the first step in a spiritual life is rebellion. What Osho means by rebellion is a rejection of what the path of the ego has to offer. This rebellion is what the Buddhists call the giving up of attachment. This frees a person up to become aware of richer experiences and a cosmic life.

The awakener learns how to travel lightly. (S)he gives up his/her baggage.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

What are the paths to awakening?

How does a person wake up? There are three ways.

First, some people are born awake. They are rare, but they exist. They are sometimes referred to as an "old soul" even at a young age. They seem wise beyond their years. They are empathic and sensitive to the other beyond the bounds of their individual ego.

Second, some people wake up from a crisis. A near death experience, NDE, is the most familiar, but it can also occur from another life shattering experience after which things will never be the same again. These experiences are so ego shattering that the person can never go back to the way things were before. When you have seen the light of Truth, a person cannot go back to the darkness of ignorance.

Third, some people gradually awaken. They come to realize usually after frustration, discouragement, failure that there must be a better way. It dawns on the person that there must be more than just the trudging on the path of the ego, The person wakes up and begins a search for a better way beyond the path of the ego. Following this yearning is a matter of faith. Some people adopt the 8 fold path of Buddhism, some follow the practices of Christian mysticism, and some decide to enter into a covenant to affirm and promote the seven principles of Unitarian Univeralism.

This third path of awakening, using the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism's seven principles, involves relinquishment of the path of the ego. This third path involves a change in one's life pattern, a commitment to going beyond the small self of the ego. There are many aspects to this change, but perhaps one of the biggest is a simplification of one's life and an increase in honesty and authenticity.

Following the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism affirming and promoting the seven principles helps one become holy and this transformation sanctifies the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Have your left the path of the ego for the path of the spirit?

The perennial psychology distinguishes between the states of human consciousness as asleep and awake. Most human beings spend most of their lives with their consciousness asleep. Steve Taylor describes the sleep state of consciousness in his book, The Leap, as having four categories of signs and symptoms: affective, perceptual, conceptual and behavioral. We will be taking these categories of signs and symptoms of a sleeping consciousness one at a time. In this article we will describe the signs and symptoms of the conceptual category. 

When individuals are still asleep all they care about are me, myself, and I. They are thoroughly embedded on the path of the ego and their only lens to perceive and understand themselves and their world is through their own desires and benefits. This is the view of the young child. In kindergarten, if not before, we learn to share, wait our turn, and not budge in line. Recognizing that other people and other things in the world have their own agendas and needs different from our own takes awhile to comprehend.

With the growing perception and understanding of the needs and desires of other people and things in the world be begin to develop a group identity and this too is egocentric. My family, my community, my school, my state, my country, my church. There is a sense of threat from the "other" the not me and mine.

Steve Taylor writes, "Awakened individuals have little or no sense of group identity. They see distinctions of religion, ethnicity or nationality as superficial and meaningless They see themselves purely as human beings, without any external identities, who are do different from anyone else. As a result, they don't put members of their own group before others, but rather treat people equally." p.19, The Leap.

The way that Unitarian Universalists awaken is to covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of existence. Our awareness becomes that of the Oneness, Existence, the All. Unitarian Universalism is not an exclusive faith that separates people, but rather an inclusive that celebrates all the parts of the whole. We leave the path of the ego and emerge on the path of the spirit shedding our ego like a butterfly sheds its cocoon. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Are you ready for the Truth?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. The question for UUs is that the truth with a small t or a capital T?

We are all called to be teachers of God. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all constantly teaching by how we behave not by what we say. Stephen Gaskin said that, in the last analysis, all we have to offer another human being is our own state of being. So what state of being is your being in?

The Truth with a capital T will set us free. We are so easily enamored with our truths, small T, that we often don't become aware of the Truth with a capital T. For those of us who are aware of the Truth with a capital T, it is incumbent on us to share it. As Pope John Paul II said, "Never impose, always propose."

And so it is up to us, the Truth tellers, to propose the Truth with enthusiasm, energy, and joy. The Truth of Existence is always fun, enlightening, invigorating, and generous.

It is up to Truth to change the world, not the world to change the Truth. Many small truths don't make things right. Truth is found in right mindedness and truths are found in wrong mindedness.

Often, my truth is not the same as the Truth. The Truth is to be found on the path of the spirit which means we have to leave the path of the ego. Jesus tells the rich young man that if he would enter the Kingdom he would need to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and come follow Him. It was too  much for the young man. He became sad and walked away. He, unfortunately, was not yet ready for the Truth.

Truth which is everything and when we are in our right mind costs us nothing. It is free for the asking and taking. However in our wrong mind, the Truth appears to be very, very costly.

The Truth does not change or disappear. It is always there waiting for us to recognize it and accept it. When will be the time for you?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Has secular noise overwhelmed the silence of sanity?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Unfortunately, they focus all too often on the truth with a small t instead of the Truth with a capital T.

Robert Barron says, "The secular establishment always prefers Christians who are vacillating, unsure, divided, and altogether eager to privatize their religion. That's the kind of Christianity the regular culture likes:utterly privatized, hidden away, harmless." p.107, To Light A Fire On The Earth.

In our contemporary culture, postmodernist philosophy teaches that truth is a social construction. Truth, small t, is a social construction, relative, situational, a figment of human beings creations on the path of the ego. However, Truth, capital T is about spiritual laws and this Truth is absolute and not of the making of human beings. One truth is found on the path of wrong-mindedness, and the Truth is found on the path of right mindedness.

In our secular world, no distinction is made between truth and Truth. This distinction requires a level of wisdom and understanding that most modern people don't understand. This lack of understanding generates much anxiety and fear. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You have every reason to feel afraid as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you realize that you did not and could not create yourself." T-3.IV.3:8-9

The spiritual path is not about intelligence, knowledge, creeds, belief systems, etc. Spirituality is not cognitive. In order to ascend on the spiritual path one must "lose one's mind." As St. Paul writes, we have to become "fools" for Christ. True spirituality is a return to child-like innocence wondering at the Oneness of existence.

People on the  path of the ego don't want to hear about the Truth. It scares them. It means they would have to detach from the things that they think will make them happy. This is too much. The young man asks Jesus how to get to the kingdom and Jesus tells him to sell all he has, give the money to the poor, and come follow me, and the young man walks away sad.

People on the path of the ego who worship all kinds of idols don't want to hear about the Truth, they just want the Truth tellers to go away, shut their mouths, and keep their understandings to themselves. Unfortunately, they has happened more and more as the secular noise overwhelms the silence of sanity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What are you?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This presumes that UUs understand what a person is.

You are not a body. The body changes over your life span. How could you be it? Look at your baby pictures; you are no longer a baby.

If we are not our body, what are we?

We are not a body with a spirit, we are a spirit with a body.

Same is true of other people. They are not bodies either. They are spirits within bodies.

Watch what one body does to another in war, in bullying, in physical abuse and assault. What is going on?

Bodies come in different colors, different shapes, different weights and heights. Some we judge to be beautiful, some mediocre, and some ugly.

Some bodies kill other bodies. In the U.S.A. black and brown bodies are assaulted, attacked, and killed by white bodies.

President Trump says that because he is a celebrity he can kiss, fondle, and grope bodies as he prefers. He says, "They let me do it." This has become our national standard. If you are rich and powerful your body can do what it wants to obtain pleasure.

However, the spirit becomes sad and is dispirited. The energy is very low and leaden. The spirit becomes demoralized when people are treated as bodies and not as spirits.

We recognize that something is wrong. Our minds have been lead down a mistaken path. We have become wrong minded instead of right minded. We have been robbed of our peace and joy. In this recognition it dawns on us that there is a better way and we begin our search for the better way to live our lives and engage with others who are called to a similar search. We come to understand that the person's inherent worth and dignity comes from the spirit not from the body.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Is it time to listen to the wise ones?

The perception in our society of Unitarian Universalism is that anything goes. There is no creed and UUs accept anyone and require very little of anyone stating that "to each his own" is the way to go. The UU fourth principle is that we covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

The critical word in this principle is, or course, "responsible."

We live in a culture which is radically subjective and relativistic. It has given up any belief in an objective morality. It believes that anything goes in certain situations, for certain people, at certain times.

In the postmodern world, every thought, every belief, every value, every preference is a social construction. Conscience, justice, goodness, truth, beauty have become things of the past that exist in the realm of nostalgia and sentimentality.

Where are the smart people? Where are the wise ones? Does nobody stand for anything anymore? Is there nothing that I can use as my compass, my navigational north star?

Into this moral morass, this moral swamp, comes Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu. However, these enlightened people shared an understanding of reality that the common human, who is asleep in social conditioning, cannot apprehend let along understand and apply in their lives.

What then is to be done to improve the human condition? Psychotherapy is needed at a societal level. The purpose of this societal psychotherapy is to remove the blocks and obstacles to truth. This removal of the blocks and obstacles to truth is the removal of fear. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said which he is believed to have gotten from Henry David Thoreau, the biggest fear is fearing fear itself.

The biggest problem humans experience at a personal and societal level is fear. Fear prevents them from loving which is the path to peace, joy, and comfort.

The tool to eradicate fear is forgiveness. Until we can rise above the dramas on the path of the ego we will continue to experience turmoil and distress. Forgiveness requires a shift in perception and belief from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. The means of this shifting is what Jesus, Buddha, and Lao Tzu attempted to teach their fellow human beings. However, because of their fear and willfulness most people do no have the ears to hear, nor the eyes to see, nor the minds to comprehend the suggestions that the great ones offered humanity.

We are coming to a time of listening and awakening. It is here, now, and requires each of us to pay attention, reflect, understand, and apply the wisdom offered to us. Rising above the drama, sensationalism, and entertainment of the ego to embark on a new path of love, compassion, generosity, and charity is the means to the path forward in our human evolution.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What are two things of beauty you have become aware of today?

Unitarian Universalists, like other Protestant denominations, threw beauty out of church after the reformation. The Protestants are nothing like the Catholics when it comes to beauty. Protestants saw the Catholics use of statues, paintings, architecture, music, liturgy as a form of idolatry and so they purged their churches of the Roman influences. It is too bad. Where are the great UU cathedrals, icons, music, liturgies? There are few things that UUs can point too when the topic of beauty is raised in religious imagery. The flaming chalice is about it. The "living tradition" has not motivated or inspired much else beautiful when it comes to expressing and articulating its religious vision for human kind and the world.

Beauty is what moves us. The path of the ego pushes the ugly in front of our awareness constantly to capture our attention and encourage our emotional arousal and response. The path of the ego is littered with fear, contempt, disdain, criticism, rejection, and abandonment. These tactics are woven into our lives causing angry attacks, depression, anxiety, and to their extreme: homicide and suicide. The path of the ego is the path to hell.

Exhausted, totally demoralized, on the verge of a nervous break down we cry out to the Universe, "There must be a better way!" And the Universe gently and lovingly responds with signs that there is. And we become aware of what A Course In Miracles calls the Atonement or At-onement.

We come to understand that the path of the ego is hell on earth and its main motivating force is fear. We realize that the path of the spirit is heaven on earth and its main motivating force is love. We come to the fork in the road and realize that we can continue on the path of the ego which is filled with rear and ugliness or the path of the spirit which is filled with love and beauty. Which will I choose: the high road or the low road?

The low road is easy because we can sleep walk it. It takes no effort. The high road is difficult because we have to be awake and awareness while it may not take more effort, it does take discipline.

Beauty is comprised of the true and the good and it illuminates our consciousness. We are moved by it and surrender to it and it fills us with grace. A thing of beauty is a wonder to behold. To make heaven on earth we need to recognize and acknowledge at least two things of beauty we have become aware of every day.

While the path of the ego is littered with ugliness, the path of the spirit entails abundant beauty.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Have you become aware of the light?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Are you affirming and promoting the search in the right direction, in the right places? Truth and meaning is within not without. Truth and meaning are intrinsic not extrinsic. Truth and meaning within is a light the illuminates our experience and when it illuminates our experience, it illuminates others experiences as well.

When we have seen the light, we want to share it. It is not something to kept to oneself. It is like a joke, it is meant to be shared if we are to truly enjoy it.

We live in a society though that doesn't recognize the light because it is so mesmerized by darkness. Mammon and the ego rule the world providing many idols for worship. Those idols are easily shared and envied. Advertising bombards us 24/7/365, constantly. As a society, we have become the people of the lie. We have become so adapted to the con, the scam, the sell that we think nothing of it. This marketing seems normal and even entertaining.

When gears get shifted and the path of the ego is not doing it for us any more, it dawns on us that there must be a better way to live. We give up Mammon and Mammon's idols for something more precious, the real deal, the authentic, the genuine, the Oneness with the Divine, the Source of our Source.

Remember the old gospel hymn, "This little light of mine?" I'm gonna let it shine. This is not ego talking and strutting, this is something within and beyond my ego self. The song title might be better stated as "This little light within" I'm gonna let it shine and illuminate you too."

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What is the path to peace?

Do Unitarian Universalists want peace? It is mentioned in the sixth principle as "the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all." The way the principle is worded would make one think of political peace more than spiritual peace.

Catholics make a big deal out of spiritual peace asking worshippers to extend to one another the wish for peace during their worship services and ritually say, "Pax vobiscum," peace be with you during their liturgies.

Peace is considered in the perennial psychology as a major sign of spiritual attainment. It is inner peace that is being referred to however.

The third step of the twelve step program for people in recovery is to make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God.

This decision to "turn it over" comes after the dawning that there must be a better way. This turning initiates the search. What is that better way? What does it look like? How can I stay on the right track and not get lost again? Are there trail markers I should look for or am I to blaze the trail all on my own only following an intuitive compass that points at God's will for me?

What are the differences I should be alert to to discern the differences between the path of the ego and the path of the spirit?

The two biggest trail markers on the path of the spirit are: What is the loving thing? and Will this bring us peace? Notice the word "us". What will bring "us" peace includes "me" but not "me" alone. My relationships with others must be brought into consideration as well.

The body is the not the temple of the Holy Spirit as so many of us have been incorrectly taught. The temple of the Holy Spirit is in relationships. Remember the Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be." Jesus was referring to the Divine when He said "I" not his personification.

Giving up our ego is a scary thing. We feel like we are giving up control, and indeed, we are intentionally giving up control, and turning it over to the Divine. We come to not only learn that we are not in control of the universe but we gladly give up the fantasy and illusion.

Let it go. There are far greater things going on than we could ever understand. Give up our attempts to control every thing. As they say in AA, "Let go and let God."

A genuine surrender is the path to peace.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

What is the purpose of our lives?

The Unitarian Universalist preacher said that UUs don't believe in getting people into heaven but heaven into people. It was cute. People laughed and nodded knowingly and that was it. She didn't say how that was to be achieved.

UUs have a lot of sayings and slogans that upon further analysis, unpacking, and deconstruction seem to have little substance. Unitarian Universalism has a very thin theology. To find the answers to the significant spiritual questions, the seeker has to look elsewhere, to what UUs call their six sources none of which belong to Unitarian Universalism itself, but which they have sometimes attempted to colonize.

The three primary existential questions which all humans must deal with are: why was I born; what is the purpose of my life; what happens when I die.

A Course In Miracles provides answers to these three questions but the ego does not like these answers and blocks our awareness of Love which is our natural inheritance.

We are born to become consciously aware of the Atonement. Prior to our birth we were a part of the Atonement but not consciously aware. Birth gives us that opportunity.

The purpose of our lives is to achieve forgiveness which is the recognition that the separation is an illusion of our own creation and that beyond this illusion there is a reality of Love and Peace which is more than we can comprehend.

The important function of forgiveness is to align our individual wills with God's will and let the Holy Spirit lead the way. It is in recognizing, acknowledging, and joining in the Will of God, the Tao, the Oneness that authentic Life lies.

The perennial psychology tells us that we are sleeping and to experience life fully, we must wake up. This waking up can be achieved in several ways, there are many roads to Rome, but the destination, the becoming one with the All is the same experience regardless of the road taken to get there.

The way in the Course In Miracles is forgiveness, first ourselves for our mistake in thinking the path of the ego was the way to happiness and fulfillment rather than the path of the spirit, and then, when we get on the right track, extending this same forgiveness, awareness and intention, to others.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Did you ever think that life is absurd?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and then get tired of the search. They are looking in the wrong places. Truth and meaning is not external, it is internal. And strangely and unexpectedly, the primary activity of the search is forgiveness.

Forgiveness, as the term is used in spiritual discourse, is not the pardoning of an offense, or asking to be excused for a harmful act or mistake for which we have regret and may now feel ashamed. Forgiveness, in the spiritual sense, is the recognition that all the drama and nonsense on the path of the ego is not real. It is a figment of our  imagination.

Jesus says as they are killing Him, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," and they didn't and we are still talking about it 2000 years later. We could say the same for most of the stuff that happens to us and that we do to others. "Father, forgive us for we know not what we do," or as my 13 year old friend, Jackson, says, "It's ridiculous, just ridiculous!" And Jackson is expressing Jesus' forgiveness. Jackson and Jesus have the same understanding and Love.

Practicing forgiveness is this shifting of gears from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit. It is a rising above and not taking the drama seriously. It is a deep and hearty laughter at the absurdity and incongruity of life.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Are you looking for Love?

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. UUs, though, aren't clear what this search entails and where it will take the seeker.

Unconsciously, and sometimes consciously, we feel guilty and ashamed for separating ourselves from the Oneness, the Divine, God. How do we resolve this shame and guilt? A Course In Miracles calls this "Atonement" or At-one-ment. Christians call it the Body of Christ. It is the drop rejoining the ocean.

The atonement is oceanic. It is ascending to a cosmic consciousness. It is rejoining and becoming one again with the all.

The major tool and activity of the Atonement is forgiveness. Forgiveness, in this sense, does not mean excusing an offense, an unfairness, harm that was done to us, but rather a recognition that all the shenanigans on the path of the ego are illusory. We rise above the bull shit, the drama, the ridiculousness, the illusions on the path of the ego and enter onto the path of the spirit. As Kenneth Wapnick has written in his book, Christian Psychology in A Course In Miracles, on page 29, "The Course teaches that every form of distress reflects some form of unforgiveness in ourselves. We call to God for help, not always understanding the help we need, for we do not recognize the real problem."

The path of the spirit involves the recognition, acknowledgement, and connection with the Divine within us and between us in Creation. The sign of being on the right track is rejoicing in Life.

Look for the Divine spark in yourself and in others and connect the dots. It will build a roaring fire of Love on earth as it is in heaven.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Will you choose to forgive or condemn?

Unitarian Universalism doesn't say much about forgiveness and yet it is key to the spiritual life. How could UUs ignore something so important? Is it because they have denied the imperfect aspect of humanity which has arisen because of our separation from the Divine? Some UUs even deny the Divine. Former UUA president John Buehrens is said to have asked atheists what god it is that they don't believe in.

If we substitute the word "Life" for the word "God" how could anyone not believe in Life? And if by "Life" we mean the nondualistic Oneness how could a part of the Oneness condemn and attack the whole?

Would you choose to forgive or condemn? People either act out of love or they are making a call for love. The choice we can make in this world, which is our classroom, is to condemn and attack or  forgive and connect.

When we respond to attacks with counter attacks we confirm that there is something to fear. We have sided with the ego and not the Holy Spirit. Politicians do this constantly. President Nixon said, "The best defense is a good offense." President Trump and his administration provides us with a morality play daily of counter attacking and playing the game of "What about ________!" It is a childish game of "he hit me first!" and "look at what she did!"

The morality play broadcast daily in our media demonstrates the futility of the games of the ego. Symptoms of distress emerge in rising suicide rates, mass shootings, protests, and increasing divisiveness. Underlying fears fuel racism, mysogony, xenophobia, and state sanctioned murder with drone strikes, torture, and threats of war.

Kenneth Wapnick writes in his book, Christian Psychology In A Course In Miracles on page 27, "The Holy Spirit's correction is the miracle of forgiveness. It is this that replaces guilt with holiness, illusion with truth, and darkness with light. It is holy because it reflects Christ's love."

The challenge of the times is a whole new way of thinking and understanding of our human experience. Jesus said we should love our enemies. On the path of the ego this injunction is insanity. On the path of the spirit it makes perfect sense. We are all part of the Oneness. We are all in this thing we call Life together and no one gets out alive.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

What is true forgiveness?

Unlike other religions, Unitarian Univeralism is not big on forgiveness. It is rarely mentioned as being necessary for salvation. It is not only downplayed, it is ignored and repressed. UUs do this at their peril, because forgiveness is the key to gratitude, healing, and wholeness. The forgiveness being referred to here, though, is not the forgiveness discussed on the path of the ego. True forgiveness is the recognition and understanding of what never really existed except in the hell of our own minds.

In A Course In Miracles, there is an unusual definition of forgiveness. To understand this definition there first must be an understanding of the metaphysics upon which the Course is based.

The first important idea in A Course In Miracles is that the primary problem we, as human beings, experience is the fact that we have separated ourselves from the Oneness which is God. This separation is the Original sin although the Course does not speak of "sin" but of "mistakes." So the separation was our first mistake.

The second important idea is that during the separation from the Oneness we have created a world of illusions within which to live. In other words, the experience on the path of ego is a figment of our mutual imaginations. None of it really exists. It's all make believe. In the Oneness, the world we have created on the path of the ego is filled with mirages which constantly change like dreams in our sleep. Most of the time, viewed from mindful perspective, they don't even make sense.

The third important idea is that if what we are experiencing are mirages of our own illusional making, there is nothing to forgive. As Kenneth Wapnick puts it in his book, Christian Psychology In A Course In Miracles on page 22, "The Course has an unusual definition of forgiveness: we forgive others for what they have not done to us." A little further, Wapnick explains that if we forgive others in the usual way on the path of the ego we see ourselves as "better" while the others are "worse." Wapnick writes on page 23, "Our sense of separation from them is thus increased rather than healed."

Forgiveness, as taught in the Course, is a rising above the situation not a letting go. We come to see mistakes for what they are on the path of the spirit which is simply illusions. Jesus demonstrates this understanding when He says, as He is being crucified, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And they didn't, and we don't, because if we did, we wouldn't do it.

Love is never having to say you're sorry, Unconditional Love, that is, which is part of the Oneness which we experience on the path of the spirit. How could the drop say to the ocean, "I'm sorry?" And what would the ocean say? "Welcome home."

True forgiveness is a healing brought about by an understanding of what has never been.

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?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

What does the term "projection" mean?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. And they're off and running. Where exactly?

The pharisees ask Jesus, "So, rabbi, where's this kingdom of yours that you keep talking about? You know, that mythical place where everybody is supposedly happy. If I could get there, will it make me happy too? I might make the effort to make the trip there if only you would give me directions. Help me out here, pal. What's the way? Enlighten me."

The psychological term for it is "projection." Projection is an "if only" state of mind. If only this happened or that happened, if only he would or she would, if only I could, then, then, then, I would be happy.

The little mantra we repeat over and over and over again to ourselves is "(S)he could if only (s)he would, but (s)he won't because (s)he is holding out on me." And we project our wishes, our resentments, our hopes, and our grievances onto the other person or the situations that we THINK will make us happy.

Even worse, we, then, go looking for evidence that our propositions about the other making us happy are right. Oh, how we want to be right; we are sure we are right; so sure we become mad or sad that our expectations go unfulfilled, sometimes even murderously enraged.

The big mistake, of course, is that external people and things can't make us happy. This idea, we come to understand as we spiritually mature, is utter nonsense, an illusion we create in our desire for our own wish fulfillment.

We need to grow up and take responsibility for our own happiness, not project this responsibility onto others.

People are so silly, ridiculous really. Ask most people what it would take to make them happy and they say silly things like "Winning the lottery," and then they giggle because they know how unlikely and how silly this is. What is frightening is when they say it seriously as if they truly believe this would bring them deep, abiding, authentic happiness.

Jesus says clearly that the kingdom of God is among you. Jesus, when asked by the Pharisees where His kingdom is, says, and I paraphrase, "the kingdom of God is not a place. You can't say look here or look there. The kingdom of which I speak is right here, right now, between you. It is in your midst, but you don't see it because you are constantly looking elsewhere." Luke 17:21.

We are looking for love in all the wrong places.

Stop the projection nonsense. Stop the "if only" game you play with yourself and others. Grow up. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Quit projecting that responsibility onto others. Projection is a main tactic on the path of the ego. It doesn't work. It is disappointing and frustrating. Turn on to the path of the spirit and walk with love: love for yourself and your fellow creatures.

The question is not what can they do for me which they aren't doing, but rather, how do I take care of myself and in the process help them and contribute to the well being of the community?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Is it time to turn off the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit?

Unitarian Universalists, and many other Americans, look at what's happening on the U.S. southern border and are horrified and deeply upset. This is not the first time the world has witnessed such governmental child abuse.

U.S. President, Donald R. Trump, is not the first leader in the world to abuse children. King Herod does it in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era when he ordered all the male babies under two to be killed.

It is written in the gospel of Matthew, chapter two, verse 16, "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi."

There are similarities in the personalities of Donald Trump and King Herod. They both are narcissistic, grandiose, paranoid, and brutal bullies.

What should we make of Herod killing babies and Trump separating children from parents at the southern U.S. border?

One of the lessons to be learned is that the path of the ego is littered with death, destruction, and aggrandizement at the expense of others for power. The quest for power, the maintenance of power is an exploitative enterprise which deprives the human community of health and happiness.

When an ego has riches, the other thing to crave is power, domination, subjugation to enhance one's own willfulness.

The will to power is the antidote to Love.

Love does not exploit, it supports. Love does not harm, it nurtures. Love does not bully, it collaborates. Love does not demean, it uplifts. Love does not bully, love respects the dignity of others.

Millions of Americans voted for a narcissistic, grandiose, paranoid, rich, brutal bully. They are getting what they voted for and the children and their families and the human community has been brutalized and are suffering.

It's time to remind ourselves that we are all part of the same human family and turn off the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit and get on the Love train.

It also is time to make changes in our U.S. government at the mid terms so that the abuse can be stopped and respect and collaboration restored.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

What is the one decision which makes all the difference?

Unitarian Universalists are a pretty egotistical bunch. They don't think much of a Higher Power and argue among themselves not only what the Higher Power is like but even if there is a Higher Power at all. Is such a theological position one of arrogance and willfulness or one of humility and willingness? If the function of a church is to facilitate the development and nurturance of saints, the harvest has been meager.

Yes, we have separated ourselves from God. We think we are in charge of our own lives. This idea, of course, is ridiculous. We were born from the Oneness and we will return to the Oneness. In the meantime we feel guilty, unconsciously, of our separation.

This guilt which is better called "shame" is the knowledge that we are not separate from God, and our willfulness will cause problems.

What kind of problems you ask? How about violence, attack, anxiety, depression, compulsive and addictive behaviors, and general all purpose misery? The variations of misery and suffering are as numerable as the stars for every individual is unique and special and his/her suffering is unique and special as well.

And so, we are afraid of more suffering, hurt, and pain, and it our hurt and pain rather than admit our mistake, we insist we are right and project the cause of our suffering onto other people and circumstances. In our misery and pain we come to see ourselves as victims rather than as agents. This defensive strategy for most people is very entrenched and clung to with every fiber of one's being to preserve the ego which has been created.

Of course, all these defensive attempts to protect our egos are bound to crack at some point, perhaps at death when we have no choice but to give up the fight and our stubbornness is overwhelmed. Rather than die peacefully, we die clinging to the last shred of ego we have defended our whole lives, and die in agony.

As is taught in twelve step programs we need to recognize that our lives of the ego are unmanageable and that there is a power greater than ourselves. We then in step three decide to turn our will over to our Higher Power whatever we conceive of that Higher Power to be. This turning over of our will allows us to perform the miracle of changing willfulness into willingness and this decision makes all the difference.

This decision involves the turning from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit and it makes all the difference.

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