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Spiritual Reading Online Spiritual Reading Book Club - Maturity by Osho, Growing old or growing up?

Growing old

This is the first article in a series on Osho's book, Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself and comes from the forward.

So first we have to understand what I mean by “life.”

It must not be simply growing old, it must be growing up. And these are two different things. Growing old, any animal is capable of. Growing up is the prerogative of human beings.

Only a few claim the right.

Growing up means moving every moment deeper into the principle of life; it means going farther away from death—not toward death. The deeper you go into life, the more you understand the immortality within you. You are going away from death; a moment comes when you can see that death is nothing but changing clothes, or changing houses, changing forms—nothing dies, nothing can die. Death is the greatest illusion there is.

Osho. Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living) . St. Martin's Press. Kindle Edition.

Comment: Growing old and growing up are two different things. The choice is ours. Many people are in denial and unconscious of fact that they have a choice. Unitarian Universalism requires that people become consciously aware of their choice when it asks them to covenant together with others to affirm and promote the fourth principle to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Unitarian Universalism asks people right up front to take responsibility for becoming oneself by formulating and understanding their own faith, their idea of what Paul Tillich called their "ultimate concern" rather than just going along with what other people expect and require.

Socrates taught that an unexamined life is not worth living. If most people are asked, "What makes you tick?" they become uncomfortable as if they have been put on the spot.

The covenant of Unitarian Universalism asks people to come to awareness of their own state of being. This can be a frightening think initially, but as one searches one finds more peace.

People come to a point in their lives gradually or suddenly that what they have been taught by society is illusional and that there has to be a better way to live their lives.

If we put maturity on a scale of 0 - 10 with 0 being newborn and very immature and 10 being fully self realized, actualized, self-aware, enlightened human beings are mature are you? How mature are the various people that you know well in your life?

My experience of Unitarian Univeralists is that many of them who actually understand and apply the principles in their lives are very mature. How ever I have also met many UUs who are just along for the ride and don't take the faith seriously in terms of working the principles in any kind of meaningful way.

This is article 1 in a series on Maturity: The Reponsibility of Being Oneself


Spiritual Reading Online Book Discusion

Unitarian Univeralism: A Way of Life is introducing a new feature on its blog: an online spiritual reading book discussion group. This feature will provide a series of articles on the book being studied. Readers are invited to comment on the topics under discussion whether they have read the book or not.

If readers have nominations for future books for study, please leave them in the comments or email your nominations to davidgmarkham@gmail.com. 

The first book being discussed is "Maturity: The Responsibility For Being Oneself" by Osho.

Maturity Osho

 

Editor's note: For a brief video commentary click here.


Being judgmental betrays our faith in UUs seventh principle

Judgmental
The map is not the territory. The symbol is not the reality.

We all misperceive what is in front of our eyes, ears, smell, touch, because we perceive through our filter and lens of experience which skews our perceptions in expected and prejudiced directions. We perceive through the lens of what psychologists have called the "self fulfilling prophecy".

Is the glass half full or half empty? Is that event a blessing or a curse, a good thing or a bad thing? History usually gets written by the victors, the oppressors, the more dominant people in the relationship.

So the wise person is not judgemental because (s)he knows that judgement is flawed, imprecise, skewing interpretation and meaning in an prejudicial direction. The wise person knows that only God, Spirit, Mother Nature, Tao can take the ever flowing, changing, oneness of life into account.

The wise person is aware of the seventh principle/value of Unitarian Universalism - "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." The meaning we make of our existence very much depends on our perspective, on our limited experience. Recognizing our ignorance we are moved to humility and we become nonjudgmental.

As Jesus said, "Judge not so that you will not be judged." Matthew 7:1


ACIM and UU - Chapter five, "The world of special relationships."

Chapter five

The world of special relationships

Special relationships

            As we have reflected on the thought systems of A Course in Miracles we have come to appreciate that it is based on a nondualistic metaphysics meaning that the ultimate source is the Oneness which we sometimes call “God.”

            Our human pain and suffering arises from our separation from the Oneness, what A Course in Miracles calls a “tiny mad idea,” and the concomitant guilt, fear, and grievance.  We don’t realize at first that what we call the world and what we think is our life is merely the shadows on the wall of the cave to use Plato’s metaphor. What we think of as the world is merely the illusions we have created as a result of our projections from the world of the ego.

            When we begin to awaken from the dream of this world, we realize that what we seek is the experience of Unconditional Love and not further socialization into a thought system which only perpetuates separation. At this point, we realize that we have the power to choose between the path of the ego, the way of the world, or the path of the Spirit, the Unconditional Love of the Oneness.

            As the drama plays out in our lives, we come to appreciate the tremendous role that what the Course calls “special relationships” play in our lives on the path of the ego. Special relationships take a multitude of forms and involve relationships with not only people but with things and ideas. Whatever form special relationships take, the content is always the same which is the belief that from these special relationships our happiness and salvation will be achieved. This belief always disappoints and fails us even though sometimes it takes a long time and much suffering before we realize it. In Alcoholic Anonymous, the dawning occurs when we hit bottom.

            It is written in A Course In Miracles, “Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening investment in physical sight.” T-2.III.3:5-8

            As we experience this dawning, the search begins for Love, Truth, and Completion. This search first involves a recognition and acknowledgement of our wrong choices and mistaken beliefs. We can’t change what we don’t recognize. We can’t manage what we can’t name. Becoming consciously aware of the obstacles and blocks to our awareness of Love’s presence, our Natural Inheritance, is necessary for their removal. As the Course insists, it is our choice about giving up the path of the ego for the path of the Spirit, and this choice will never be forced on us. The Course tells us in the introduction that we don’t get to choose the curriculum, but we do get to choose when we want to take it.

            The recognition and acknowledgement of the obstacles and blocks to our awareness of Love’s presence is based on our appreciation and understanding of “special relationships” and the roles we have created for them in our lives.

            Unitarian Univeralism is a covenantal religion meaning that people join together to pursue a common goal which is the affirmation and promotion of seven principles. In the covenant, there is a recognition of the Unconditional Love of the Oneness which some call “God” and others call “Tao” or “Higher Power” or “Brahmin.”

            Unitarian Univeralism’s covenant, based on the affirmation and promotion of seven principles, sandwiches 5 of the principles between two that are seminal: the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the first principle, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence, the seventh principle. In these two, the awareness of Love’s presence, our Natural Inheritance, is explicitly stated.

            If the awareness of Love’s presence is our Natural Inheritance, and to experience this we must remove the obstacles and blocks to this awareness, we must recognize and acknowledge the role that special relationships play on the path of the ego to distract, dismiss, and disqualify our awareness of Love. We will turn to the topic of special relationships in more detail in our next chapter.


Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - BUUF

 

The idea for the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship was born on Mother's Day in 2009. This interview with Don Zimmer was done in October of 2010 17 months later.

The church grew and was chartered in 2011 and then slowly atrophied and was dissolved in 2019.

The death of the church has been due to many factors. The primary factor being the lack of leadership which failed to attract, engage, and retain members. Leading a church requires vision, and sense of mission, high levels of energy, persistence, patience, and above all else, an ability to resolve conflict.

The second factor beyond lack of competent leadership is the unwillingness of people to follow. As one person put it, "managing Unitarian Universalists is like herding cats." Being free thinkers and lacking any respect for centralized authority, Unitarian Universalists tend to be lone wolves and their willingness to pull together for a common goal especially when it is contrary to one's personal interests weakens the organizational coheasiveness. 

The life of BUUF would be a good case study in the failure of Unitarian Universalism to provide centralized support for the incubation and development of fledgling congregations.


Don't believe everything you think.


What is the difference between appearance and reality, between perception and truth, between fact and interpretation? There is more to things than meets the eye. As the bumper sticker says, "Don't believe everything you think."

The human mind loves distinctions, comparisons, contrasts. It makes sense of exerience by comparing the yin and the yang, the right with the left, the light with the dark, the loud with the silent, the sweet with the sour, the pain with the pleasure.

While these distinctions seem "real", they are really only a part of the whole, a component of the overall process we call life, or God.

Jesus said we should love our enemies, and the Buddha said we should acknowledge our suffering and strive to be happy, and as the bumper sticker says, in an irreverent way that makes us laugh, "Shit Happens!"

The wise person knows that whatever we exerience whether joy or sorrow, whether triumph or defeat, whether great pleasure or great pain, this too shall pass.

We should strive to become aware of the underlying Tao, the Oneness of God, the awareness of enlightenment. The 7th principle/value of Unitarian Universalism is "The respect for the independent web of all existence of which we are a part." This respect involves the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the blessed and the evil. This respect also involves great humility which is a hallmark of wisdom which teaches us that much of what happens to us in life surpasses our limited mortal understanding.


Sermon rating form

Sermon rating form


Rate the sermon on a scale of 0 - 10 with 10 meaning that the element is present 100% and 0 meaning element non existent.


Articulateness – coherence
Does the sermon make sense? Can you state the main points the preacher was trying to make?

Rating = _________

Relevance
Can you apply the main points of the sermon to your personal life, your relationships with others, and to the world?

Rating = _________

Spiritually nourishing, inspiring, motivating
After the sermon did you feel an increase in energy as compared to no change or a decrease in energy?

Rating = ________

Challenging
After the sermon do you feel encouraged to grow, to become more than you are, to invest effort in making the world a better place?

Rating = ________

Total rating score =________

8 or less = very poor
8 – 20 = needs lots of improvement
20 – 30 = acceptable and needs tweaking
30 or above = excellent


Our original face when born is one of love

"When the child is born he is simple love. He has to be so, because he has not known anything else. In the mother's womb he has not come across any enemy. He has lived in deep love for nine months, surrounded by love, nourished by love. He knows nobody who is inimical to him. He knows only the mother and the mother's love. when he is born his whole experience is of love, so how can you expect him to know anything about hatred? This love he brings with himself; this is his original face. Then there will be trouble, then there will be many other experiences. He will start distrusting people. A newborn child is simply born with trust."

 

 

 

Osho, Compassion: The Ultimate Flowering Of Love , p. 35

Teachings of Osho - From whence does wealth come?

Teachings of Osho is a regular feature of Unitarian Universalism: A Way Of Life which appears on Tuesdays.

Osho 2

Osho has said, "Only those who have no needs are wealthy. Desires make you poor and a mind besieged by desires becomes a beggar. It is continually asking for something or other. You are wealthy only if you have no demands left."

A young man considered entering into religious life which required vows of celibacy, obedience, and poverty. He had no problem with celibacy or obedience, but the vow of voluntary poverty made him pause.

It is not the material wealth per se that is the problem but the desire for it. The desire for material things often indicates an inner insecurity. This inner insecurity is pronounced for those, who may even be affluent, but for whom no matter what they have, it is never enough.

These desires for material things in excess may be a symptom of an inner poverty which could be alleviated if recognized, acknowledged, and foresworn.

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which brings about, ulimately, the awareness that this truth and meaning is not found in material things in the outer world but the awareness of the Unconditional Love which comes from within.