Another month; another source!!
In a living tradition like Unitarian Universalism, there are many sources that influence our spirituality, theology and way of living into our faith. The “Six Sources” try to capture, as concisely as possible, these influences.
The third source is: “Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.”
Among our congregants, we have varying levels of experience or familiarity with world religions. This source makes room for all of them and acknowledges our belief that no one sacred text or religion has a monopoly on truth and wisdom. These can be found in many places, traditions, and flavors.
The first way many of our members and visitors learn about this source is by seeing the banners in our sanctuary, bearing the symbols of several world religions. I also notice many people stop to read the “Golden Rule” poster in the basement common room, which quotes sacred texts of many world religions, all variations on “do unto others, as you would have done unto you.”
Beyond just religion, this source acknowledges the richness to be gained from experiencing wisdom from another cultural framework. When you experience taking your shoes off in a space as a way of setting that space apart (making it sacred) how does that affect the way you think about sacred space? When you experience bold and vivid expressions of emotion, can you consider your own cultural framework and appreciate the richness of many expressions? If you eat food that has been ritually prepared, consider your own food rituals?
Religious and cultural experiences not only teach us about another religion or culture. We end up learning more about ourselves and our spirituality, as well. What world religions have influenced your spiritual journey? Is there a particular religion, religious leader or practice that you feel drawn to? Are there any that make you uncomfortable?
I encourage you to explore these questions and your answers in your adventures this month!
–You have heard it said, “You should love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” -Gospel According to Mark
–“Hate does not overcome hate. Only love overcomes hate. Knowing that we are all destined to die, why fight amongst yourselves?” -The Buddha
–“In war, have mercy. True warriors do not carry arms. True fighters do not get angry. Those who wish to win should not be contentious. This is being in harmony with what is natural and pure.” Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching
–“To Me, all beings are the same. I hate none, and no one is more dear to Me than another.” -Krishna, The Bhagavad Gita
Yours in faith,