From Your Interim Minister

From Your Interim Minister

The mail-lady delivered to me a booklet yesterday titled Spiritual Wisdom from New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.  ‘Harbinger’ is a word you don’t see every day.  It means a person or thing that announces the approach of something else.  So I opened the seals of the little booklet to find out what is approaching, and it turned out that it is consciousness that is coming.

Some considerable care went into the production of this 48-page booklet including color images and an attractive typeface.  A wide array of authors with works mostly under 300 pages were featured and these works were made available for under $20.  The booklet is a catalog of writings on the subject of non-duality, a term I understood right away; however, I was not familiar with the varieties of religious philosophy that it comprised, nor how long it has been around.

The authors may be known to some or many of you:  Rupert Spira, Amoda Maa, Mooji, Greg Goode, Joan Tollifson, and a dozen more.  The titles were attractive too:  The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is, Beyond Mindfulness, The Transparency of Things, The Untethered Soul, The Mirage of Separation, and so on.  Much of the religion is Hindu and Buddhist-based.

It didn’t take much of a leap to see that this non-duality is a form of small-u unitarianism that contains the same spirit and intuition that can be summed up as ‘it’s all one’, or ‘One’, if you like.  The encyclopedia agrees that religious expression of non-duality includes Unitarians and Universalists.

Duality sets up things in separation and opposition: mind and body, good and evil, heaven and hell, all of which inculcates a mindset that is more disposed to think of people as ‘us and them.’   Thinking of ‘them’ as being foreign and ‘not like us’ is the root much fearsome evil-doing.  Being a good Unitarian, I am not a dualist, I’m a ‘monist,’ which turns out to be a real word.

It is better to have everybody be ‘us,’ all of us. This applies to fellow congregants, our three Gatherings, and relations among communities and States and nations.  It applies to races, genders, orientations, classes, and all the other little things that can divide us, if we allow it.  Let’s work to not allow it, and instead work on being ‘us.’

Rev. Leland Bond-Upson, Interim Minister