Oneness, Not Sameness: The Struggle Between Unity and Individuality
One: Where the world is dark with illness,
All: let us kindle the light of healing.
One: Where the world is bleak and suffering,
All: let us kindle the light of caring.
One: Where the world is dimmed by lies,
All: let us kindle the light of truth.
A Story for Kids: Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
May the Love which overcomes all differences,
Which heals all wounds,
Which puts to flight all fears,
Which reconciles all who are separated,
Be in us and among us
Now and always. – Frederick E. Gillis
Love is the spirit of this congregation
And service its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.
Opening Song “Gather Us In”
This service is about being one, together, while retaining our individual identities.
Intolerance lies at the core of [trouble]
Not the intolerance that results
From any threat or danger
But intolerance of another being who dares to exist
Intolerance without cause. It is so deep within us
Because every human being secretly desires
The entire universe to himself.
Our only way out is to learn
Compassion without cause. To care for each other
Simply because that ‘other’ exists. – Rabbi Manachem Menle
“Oneness not Sameness” (from Todd Eklof, UU Minister at UU Church of Spokane, (www.toddeklof.info)
As UUs, we try to inform our spiritual life from many traditions. Often, we turn to Buddhism, with its emphasis on compassion, love, patience, and peace. So I give you this, from the Metta Sutta (from accesstoinsight.org):
Be capable, upright, & straightforward, easy to instruct, gentle, & not conceited, content & easy to support, with few duties, living lightly, with peaceful faculties, masterful, modest, & no greed for supporters. Do not do the slightest thing that the wise would later censure.
Think: Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart. Let no one deceive another or despise anyone anywhere, or through anger or irritation wish for another to suffer. As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings.
With good will for the entire cosmos, cultivate a limitless heart: Above, below, & all around, unobstructed, without enmity or hate. Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, as long as one is alert, one should be resolved on this mindfulness. This is called a sublime abiding here & now. Not taken with views, but virtuous & consummate in vision, having subdued desire for sensual pleasures, one never again will lie in the womb.”
The spiritual life of individuals has to be extended both vertically to God
and horizontally to other souls; and the more it grows in both directions, the less merely individual and therefore more truly personal it will become.” -Scholar on mysticism Evelyn Underhill (from wayofoneness.wordpress.com)
Song: Imagine by John Lennon
Joys and Sorrows