Thursday, November 15, 2007

Arrrgggh! I can't find what I'm looking for!

Don't you hate that? I've been scouring the house for a book I bought from another minister some time ago, which should help me in composing this Sunday's sermon, and I CAN'T FIND IT! It's not the end of the world, because I put a note out on the ministers' chat line asking for their thoughts about how "the wisdom of the world's religions" has enhanced their personal Unitarian Universalism, and I've gotten a few responses. But one response reminded me about Peter Richardson's book "Exploring our UU Identity", so I went searching for it, knowing I have it. And I CAN'T FIND IT!

So maybe you can help, dear readers. If you are a Unitarian Universalist, can you tell me how your own personal belief system is enhanced by the wisdom of the world's religions? I have my own thoughts on it, but I would like to offer more examples than my own. And please let me know if it's okay to share it with my congregation. I'll post the sermon Sunday night.


Earthbound Spirit said...

Well - I may post on this someday on my blog... My own theology is informed by our U & U Christian heritage, our UU Humanist strand, and Buddhism - particularly the engaged Buddhism of the Order of Interbeing, founded by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Interbeing resonates with the interconnectedness that I see as the common thread running through MOST UU's theologies today, and offers me a way of grounding my UU beliefs that doesn't find much expression in current Christian theology (with the notable exception of Jurgen Moltmann, oddly enough!).

Toonhead said...

The best way to find something is to stop looking for it. Things often pop into plain sight once I stop looking.

Lizard Eater said...

Well, A. Powell Davies said it better than I can:

"Why should any of us be confined within a single area of religious culture? When I read Amos and Jeremiah, I say 'Would to God I were a Jew.' When I read the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I say 'Would I were a Galilean.' When I read the 13th of 1st Corinthians, I wish with all my heart that I might be a Christian after the manner of the Apostle Paul. When I think of Buddha and his Eightfold Path, I say, 'I, too, would be a Buddhist.' And when I remember the trial of Socrates, I say in awe but with exalted spirit, 'Oh that I might be so brave a humanist.' And thus at the end, there is nothing I can say but that, like Emerson and Channing, I want to live with the privilege of the illimitable mind.”

But speaking for myself ... I won't discount the value of finding a completely new idea in world religions, but for me, the most help has come when I have a vague sense of something and then find it perfectly explained through the wisdom of religious thought. Case in point: with what happened to Little Warrior, I just could not accept any sort of Christian view that God "has a reason" for everything; nor could I accept the New Agey view that this was happening for educational purposes. I couldn't quite accept the Buddhist view that pain is necessary, suffering is optional. In Judaism, I read about the belief that pain/suffering is a mistake ... that it's NOT part of "the plan" and that it's okay to rail against God.

That made sense to me. I don't expect it to help someone else ... but that's the great thing about UUism ... we have the whole world, open before us, to help us find and define our answers to the questions that haunt our souls.

Anonymous said...

My eclectic bag of theology is like a scrappy bitch who bounds from the Humane Society in purebred pieces of glory. One day I roll in the muddy earth to scratch my pagan itches and then arise amazed and filled with awe at the beauty that surrounds me and sustains me, never failing even in my darkest hours. The scent of magic draws me down the next path where I find my daily bowl, my sustenance, the map of all the trails I can explore which have been trod for thousands of years in mindful practice. This grid of kibble, coelesces my spinning thoughts into the quiet "thoughtless", thoughtfull-ness of the moment, my diverse brand of Buddhist Taoism or Taoist Buddhism, with splashes of Judaism from my favorite Holiday, Yom Yippur, the day of Atonement where I can join with the pack annually to publically, ritualistically, apologize and forgive myself and others for unskillfullness in living, my muddy paws, which I also do daily, privately. My collar is the Mala bracelet which I wear to constantly remind myself to come home, home to the moment, the heart of all joy, peace, and possibility. My leash is the Sangha, my pack of other practitioners who compassionately help with my training and discipline. And the heart of my
dog-eared life, my bed, is the Dharma, comprised of all that teaches me, from the mountains of Tibet, the rice paddies of Vietnam, the backroad in Canada, to just the outline of my muddy paws on the clean floor. What a lucky dog I am. MEJUBUUU

ms. kitty said...

Thanks for the input. Can I have your permission to quote it, if it fits into my sermon? I particularly like the dog analogy and think it would be fun to offer it.

Anonymous said...

One bark means yes; two ,no.
(dogeared theologian from Maine)