>> >> For Families 家庭 >> >> >> KidTalk 與孩子談宗教 (explore holidays from various religious traditions, as well as spiritual practices and social service projects 探索世界宗教節日、UU修行與社會行動等)
>> >> >> Between Sundays 答孩子 (help answer religious questions raised by children 回答孩子的宗教問題)
"A human being" he [Einstein] said, "experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Alex's comment: Einstein is surprisingly Buddhist.
For most of my childhood and adult life, I had been very dismissive of miracles portrayed in the New Testament, including the healing stories. I read them narrowly and very literally, and I absolutely disbelieved in a deity engaged in supernatural interventions that defy the laws of nature and cure incurable diseases, available only to those who have faith in Jesus.
Interestingly, it was through Buddhism that I came to an understanding of New Testament healing stories that allows me to claim them as a significant part of my own theology. More specifically, Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his beautiful book, Living Buddha, Living Christ, helped me see the beauty of these Christian healing stories. ...
...Hope is found in relationship, whether with my pets, friends and family, strangers, all of nature or with God, if you are comfortable with that word.
If religion is defined as the expression of human relationship with self, others and the universe, then hope is a manifestation of that relationship and a valuable piece of our active faith. Unitarian Universalists mostly do not hope for a heavenly home; we hope for an earthly home that is heavenly and we know that it is our job to build that home. ...
"Unitarian Universalists mostly do not hope for a heavenly home; we hope for an earthly home that is heavenly and we know that it is our job to build that home."
What a golden verse of UUism!
...A major theme of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, is the authoritarian government’s use of doublethink. This likely inspired what we commonly call doublespeak, the art of using language in a way that deliberately disguises, distorts or reverses the meaning of words. In the novel, the superstate of Oceania is a world of perpetual war, with constant government surveillance and public manipulation by masters of doublespeak. Doublespeak in politics is when powerful, patriotic, even moral language is used, but with a contrary or empty meaning to the underlying words. As a great example, one of the official slogans of the ruling Party was “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”
...And even after the brutal Civil War brought an end to the institution of slavery, the struggle for equality, dignity and freedom continued, and continues today.
...The Jewish Austrian psychiatrist, Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author of the famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, writes:
Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.
This is so important, this coupling of freedom and responsibleness. I cannot be free if you are not free. For, in the words of Nelson Mandela, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” This idea that freedom by itself, alone, has the tendency to degenerate into mere arbitrariness is why our rhetoric of freedom echoes so hollow when it is deployed to defend and protect individual religious preference, personal ideology, or the protection and benefits of privilege.
...True freedom is knowing that we cannot be free when others are oppressed. The power of freedom is in the call for equity and liberation and justice for all. And this freedom does not exist by itself, or in a vacuum, or as some idealized state. It exists in relationship, arising from how we live in ways that enhance each other’s freedom.
...As Unitarian Universalists, we are a people of freedom, committed to religious freedom, but that commitment cannot be separated from the call to love one another. In one of the most precise and beautiful articulations of the challenge and the aspiration of the religious life, A. Powell Davies describes us as, “The religion that knows that we shall never have hearts big enough for the love of God until we have made them big enough for the worldwide love of one another.”
...When we choose love, we move toward freedom—we move toward God, toward beauty, toward our highest aspirations, toward the fullness of what lives within us. When we choose love, we begin to be the people of freedom.
Alex's comment: This sermon is very good! Doublespeak is what the Hong Kong government and the pro-establishment camp is doing right now.