Unitarian Universalism

Being judgmental betrays our faith in UUs seventh principle

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.

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

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