Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Knowledge or wisdom?


Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the responsible search for truth and meaning. Where does this responsible search take them? If it takes them down the road of more information, opinion, belief, and factoids, this leads them to what Stephen Colbert calls "truthiness."

"Truthiness" is, of course, not real Truth nor even deep meaning, if by deep meaning we mean wisdom.

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. In our modern internet age, Google has made knowledge available at our finger tips, but Google does not provide wisdom. Wisdom comes from another place than just the accumulation of knowledge. In the age of Google there are more and more educated idiots and fewer and fewer wise people.

Unitarian Univeralists know that knowledge does not make us wiser and holier. Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part and it is in this respect that we approach wisdom.

Wisdom is more a matter of the heart than the head. Wisdom is an appreciation of context. Wisdom is the ability to put things in perspective, to prioritize, to paradoxically take things one thing at a time and yet to appreciate the whole. Wisdom is the awareness that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Wisdom is not merely having knowledge, but having knowledge and knowing what to do with it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Today is Yom Kippur the day of forgiveness

In the Jewish tradition, today is Yom Kippur, the day we ask God for forgiveness for our sins. There is nothing similar to this in the Unitarian Universalist tradition and it is a shame. We all are defective and inadequate in some way because we have separated ourselves from the Divine to create our own ego, our own false self apart from God.

It is this separation at our birth which caused all the problems. Would it have been better if we had never been born? Life is suffering the Buddha teaches and we are here to learn how to become consciously aware of shedding our egos and uplifting our Divine nature.

The popular word these days seems to be "asshole." It appears in the title of many books. It seems to attract people because of the smile of recognition and use of the word seems to sell books. Even if the word "asshole" is vulgar, it seems to sell books and be used on a regular basis to curse people who irritate us and disgust us.

What's the opposite of being an asshole? It is being a mensch, a wise person.

Yom Kippur is the day that we pray to God to assist us in giving up our asshole ways and to move toward the ways of wisdom, which is to say, to become One with the Will of God.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Do you want to be happy? Do you know what it takes?

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles. Applying these principles are thought to bring its adherents to bliss. Has Unitarian Universalism nurtured and facilitated the development of many saints? If one were to aspire to sainthood, to holiness, would adherence to the seven principles help? Are there wise ones among the fellowship to help us on the path?

The Dali Lama has said that the purpose of life is happiness. The big question is, "What will make me happy?" The answer is to live a moral life full of virtue. People respond, "You can't tell me what to do!" And the answer is, "Of course not, it is not my intention to deprive you of your freedom. It is my intention to help you figure out what will make you happy."

Becoming happy is the outcome of implementing certain skills. As with any skill, a person could exercise it any old way he/she wants to, but will this willy nilly approach get the same results? We pay big money for tutors, for teachers to help us improve our skills because we have grasped that accomplishment takes deliberate practice. If you are to play the piano well, it must be practiced on a regular basis and a piano teacher can help.

If you are to live life well it takes a lot of practice and a certain amount of intention and reflection and a good teacher can help as well.

Many things on the path of the ego create obstacles and block our progress to happiness. Are we even aware of what thoughts and behavior will lead to happiness?

Osho makes an important distinction between pleasure, happiness, joy, and bliss. People seek sensory pleasure, but this doesn't contribute to longer term happiness let alone joy and bliss. The Universe calls us to bliss and few people know how to attain it. Sometimes the achievement of bliss requires the forgoing of pleasure. Feeling good and doing good can be two different things.

Achieving happiness and bliss requires discipline and awareness. In achieving a degree of happiness and bliss, wisdom accrues. Seek out and learn from the wise ones.
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