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tinythinker

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tinythinker last won the day on May 2 2017

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About tinythinker

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  1. Yeah, and for the record (not that anyone asked) I don't think orthodoxy is a boogey-man, and while I agree that simply giving intellectual assent to a set of historical propositions itself is a poor basis for religion or co-pilot of faith, even the more expansive view of faith described in the TED talk requires that we do believe in the sense of accepting the reality of something, in this case, of a Higher Power that orients, inspires, and sustains us. Otherwise what is one loving, prizing, holding dear, committing oneself to, or engaging with? A comforting abstraction? A ungrounded set o
  2. 2 CENTS: The path of uncompromising honest inquiry can take you many places, so long as you don't get bogged down on a sand bank from over-correcting your course (the tension of the dialectical inquiry). I went from conservative Christianity to deism to agnosticism to bitter atheism to secular seeker to secular Buddhist to spiritual Buddhist to interfaith mystical inquirer and have been heading back towards Christianity from a completely new direction. Labels and social/mental constructions come and go - stay true to your heart and keep a clear head.
  3. I doubt there are many who visit here who haven't heard about the assault on Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church last Sunday by a gunman who wanted to attack the "liberal movement", or the two people who died as a result. I wanted to have a thread here because despite a few of the issues I have with some aspects of UU culture or UU structure, they are prominent and historic example of Progressive Christianity. The Unitarians and the Universalists began as Christian denominations who came to see that if Jesus is the incarnation of light and life and if God is love then any sacred t
  4. I agree with what you wrote, but it wouldn't so much be uncomfortableness on my part so much as not wanting to give a false impression. As for the specific suggestion, it is appreciated, but I just don't feel UUA is expressing its principles and its potential in a way that would adequately challenge and support me at present. I will quickly add that this is just true for me. I don't presume that is true for anyone else. And I am not living up to my principles and potential either, so I am not putting myself above anyone. And I haven't been to the UU church in my new town either, so they c
  5. If you have read (or get a chance to read) Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers Hanh does a good job of offering a liberating appreciation of the concept of faith and the Holy Spirit as well as an interesting interpretation of the first several lines of a Apostle's Creed which comes from his own insights as well as his lifelong friendships and dialogues with Christian (often Catholic) priests and laypersons. I am sure there are Christian theologians who offer similar ways of appreciating such statements as a matter of trust and fidelity. Still, there is the question of honesty (see below
  6. It was down quite a while. I just happened to check back and here it is. Unfortunately such crashes and downtime tend to scatter members who then start spending times on other forums.
  7. I like the attitude and perspective displayed by Catholics such as Dorothy Day, Fr. Thomas Keating, Fr. Bede Griffiths, Fr. Thomas Mertion, etc, but I have a lot reservations about the culture of Roman Catholic Church and many of its official teachings and requirements. I like the originality and insight displayed by Episcopalians such as Marcus Borg and Bishop Spong, but I am wary of the divisive debate over homosexuality and I am unsure whether I would be any more acceptable to the Anglicans than to the Catholics. I like the "firsts" of the UCC and its forerunners in terms of ordaini
  8. Yeah, I've done this kind of thing before. It was a forum for either general poems, meditations, prayers, or specific prayer requests. Here is how that forum description appeared in the list of forums... Sanctuary (Alms) Candles sit on the rocks and the ground, they fill the smooth tables and some even float on the small stone-lined pool. They flicker in the gentle breeze. This is a place to come and place offerings of remembrance, prayers, and well-wishes. **NO DEBATING HERE** Moreover, in the instruction pinned at the top of the forum it was reiterated that if you wanted to s
  9. A common idea that I have run across from highly realized practioners from various traditions is this - Yes, when we get closer to the Source, particularly in contemplative exercises descreasing our false self and increasing our direct understanding of our true nature, the descriptions of the experiences of the saints, mystics, and deeply holy women and men start sounding similar and in some cases virtually identical. However, in order to "get there", one must be firmly rooted in a particular tradition and method, which ironically then allows for a greater genuine appreciation of and shar
  10. I saw it in the local library and had to check it out just on the the title alone. The run-down: It is short, it drags a little in places ("could use more editing"), and doesn't try to go really deep into an intellectual analysis. That doesn't make it unintelligent, and it actually does attempt to be interfaith in its presentation. Instead the book tries to focus on a few main points on issues that trip people up, such as the idea that we need to stop thinking of prayer or God etc as "problems" to be "solved" with our intellect alone. Concerning such overthinking, the author does a
  11. I just realized I can't participate in my own poll because I don't attend any kind of service for any religious community. Nuts.
  12. Slightly off topic, but this is why I find the stories of the disciplies of Jesus as well as of the Buddha so intriguing. I find myself saying, "Sheesh, would I have even gone as far as some of the 'worst' of the students of these figures?" Every story where a student misses the point, falls asleep, becomes cocky, or just freaks out and wants to run away gives an air of authenticity to those accounts that no other element of the stories could. I can only imagine what a book of the New Testament or a Buddhist Sutra based on my life and insights would look like. Extremely disappointing, poin
  13. The quote cited from the study guide reminded me of a Hindu/Buddhist quote (that seemed apt and which could be readily adapted to a Christian theme if one wished by using "Satan" instead of "Mara"...): One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara's attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth." "Doesn't this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?
  14. Justice is about equality, particularly reciprocity. This can take the form of vengeance, as in "an eye for an eye", or it can focus on compassion and empathy, in which case an eye for an eye "makes the whole world blind" as Ghandi observed. I think it meant the latter for Jesus. To use an example from a well-known social activist and peacemaker, Thich Nhat Hanh once said he didn't think Jesus would take sides, even against the powerful. This comes from a view that we all co-create the world in which we live, and because of dependent co-arising, what affects one eventually affects everyone.
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