Thursday, June 30, 2016

16 Reflections On The First Principle Of Unitarian Universalism: The Inherent Worth And Dignity Of Every Person

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To attain peace which surpasses understanding we must surrender our ego

"Go into your fear. Silently enter into it, so you can find its depth. And sometimes it happens that it is not very deep."

Osho, Fear: Understanding and Accepting The Insecurities of Life.

"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 your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite."

A Course In Miracles, Introduction

"What is fear made of? Fear is made of ignorance of one's own self. There is only on fear; it manifests in many ways, and that is that 'Deep inside, I am not be.' And in a way it is true that you are not. Godliness is, you are not. the is not, the guest is. And because you are suspicious - and your suspicion is valid - you don't look in. You go on pretending that you are; you know that if you look in, you are not! This a deep, tacit understanding. It is not intellectual, it is existential; in your very guts, the feeling that 'I may not be. It is better not to look in. Go on looking out.' At least it keeps you fooled, it keeps the illusion intact that 'I am.' But because this feeling of 'I amness' is false it creates fear."

Osho, Fear: Understanding and Accepting The Insecurities of Life, p.4

Today, practice surrendering your ego. In Alcoholic Anonymous, the famous 12 step program, this surrender is the third step of the program, "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." With this surrender comes the decrease of fear and the experience of peace that surpasses all understanding.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pursuing a spiritual path involves purification, a giving up, a surrender to God's will instead of insisting on our own.

The seventh miracle principle in A Course In Miracles is: "Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first."

The purification mentioned in this principle refers to our mind not our body. The Course teaches that the body is an illusion, it merely is a conduit of our spirit. In itself it is nothing and to focus on it is to miss the point or distract us from where the effective focus should be our mind.

Our egos are so full of drama, resentments, grievances, attacks that to be miracle workers it needs purification. If we are to be more aware of Love's presence in our lives we must remove the obstacles and barriers to Love's presence. It is this removal of these barriers and obstacles to the awareness of Love's presence that the Course is referring to when it says that "purification is necessary first."

Miracles are not something only certain very holy people can do. They are everyone's birth right. In fact, for humanity to achieve its ultimate purpose all people must become miracle workers because a miracle, in the terms of the course, is simply right thinking and right awareness. We come to the place where we understand what is really important which is to love. Kenneth Wapnick in discussing this principle quotes St. Augustine who said "Love and do what you will." The ego distracts us from loving and so whatever blocks our loving awareness needs to be removed so that our awareness can be purified. In Unitarian Universalism our principles help us with this purification when we covenant "to affirm and promote the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth" and when we support the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. A free and responsible search should involve a purification of illusions and drama so that we get closer to our authentic and genuine selves which involves the awareness of the inherent worth and dignity of ourselves and every person.

Here is a moral tale of purification of a prosecutor who made terrible mistakes because of ego:

It is interesting that so much of our justice system is motivated by "winning" rather than the truth.

Today, do not get caught up in "winning" and having to be right. Perhaps practicing "not doing" as was suggested yesterday by the Tao Te Ching can help.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Not-doing brings us peace with whatever is.

It is written in the third chapter of the Tao Te Ching:

"Not praising the praiseworthy keeps people uncompetitive.

Not prizing rare treasures keeps people from stealing.

Not looking at the desirable keeps the mind quiet.

So the wise soul governing people would empty their minds, fill their bellies, weaken their wishes, strengthen their bones, keep people unknowing, unwanting, keep the ones who know from doing nothing.

When you do not-doing, nothing's out of order."

It is written in A Course In Miracles that there is a difference between perception and knowing. Perpection is always incomplete while knowing is the wholeness of eternity. ACIM reassures us that the separation of perception has not interrupted our deeper knowing which gives us partial glimpses of the eternal. These glimpses are created in the doing not-doing which allows us the experience of nothing being out of order.

This doing not-doing is what ACIM calls a "miracle" or a shift in our awareness from the ego world of perception to the peace of oneness with Life which is another word for God.

Today, be quiet. Give up desire and attachment. Let them go and be at peace with whatever is.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Be careful of the ego's dichotomous mind

Today, I am reading the second chapter of the Tao Te Ching which says that from the beautiful comes the ugly, from good things come bad, from easy comes difficult, from long comes short, from high comes low, and so we come to understand the dichotomous mind which loves the ying and yang of things.

We are left to wonder what the one thing would be without the other? Could we even understand the one thing without the opposite? And when we understand our dichotomous minds, we slowly begin to intuit the whole, how it might all work together.

Jesus says in A Course In Miracles that His task is not completed until He has lifted every voice with His in appreciation and gratitude for the Whole which is the peace of God given to us through the Spirit. T-13.VII.17:2-3

So today, I intend to set the drama aside, the divisiveness, the enmity, not in rejection and exclusion, but in love and appreciation for without these things I could not understand the peace, the inclusion, the compassion, the beauty and goodness of Life. Today, I will look beneath the veil, read between the lines, reflect on the deeper mysteries which permeate my consciousness, as  I focus my attention, with the help of the Holy Spirit of Life, on the unitive experience of the Tao which engenders great peace.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Looking through the glass, darkly

The Tao Te Ching reads, in Stephen Mitchell's translation, "The tao that can be told is not the eternal tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things."

And in A Course In Miracles it is written, "Christ is still there, although you know Him not. He lives within you in the quiet present, and waits for you to leave the past behind and enter in the world He holds out to you in love." T-13.VII.5:7-9

And so I wonder what is the mystery we call Life?

St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 13 verse 12," For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

I share with my clients in psychotherapy, "If you can't name it, you can't manage it." Being able to identify what the problem is that is afflicting you is 90% of being on the road to changing things in your life hopefully for the better. But at a spiritual level, the things that we name at the cognitive level are not real. They are simply our cognitive constructions and they, too, will pass away after they have distracted us from the deeper mystery of our existence and consciousness.

In living a spiritual life we should walk humbly, aware that our cognitive arrogance can lead us astray from our awareness of Love's presence.