Skip to main content

Knowing and Unknowing

Is Unitarianism too rational a religion?

What does 'reason' mean in anycase?

I have never quite understood people putting reason and spirituality at odds. For me they are deeply intertwined. My prayer often gives me insights into ideas. Thinking can often become prayer and prayer can become thinking. Coming to an understanding or creating an idea is a spiritual experience for me. There is revelation in words and ideas, but there is also revelation in silence. We need the words, because they give us insight into the Truth. But we also need the place where we dare not speak the words because we know they cannot possibly approach the Truth.

Sometimes I wrestle with ideas, and succeed or fail in coming to an understanding. Sometimes I simply give up trying to understand the reality that is so much beyond me. There are times when I give up, submit, and retreat into my soul. But I find comfort there too. There is something important about falling into the stream and letting it take you where it will.

My spiritual high points, and my dark nights of the soul, have always involved rational and non-rational stuggles.

Unitarianism is about bringing your whole self to the spiritual quest, not leaving behind body or mind or soul (whatever those words mean). My sexuality, my critical mind, my sense of beauty and spirit are all parts of me. All of me is needed to stand before the one Truth.


LaReinaCobre said…
Stephen - how do you make time to read all of those books! I feel ashamed of myself! =)

I agree that rationality and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, and if we see them as being at odds, we will never feel right with ourselves. To my mind (ha!), spirituality has to do with that part of ourselves that gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. How can we possibly neglect that? To do so leads to ... what? Materialism and consumerism? It has nothing to do with relationships or passion.
Matt said…
Personally speaking, I think rationality compliments and is a path to spirituality... the two go hand in hand for a person wanting to arrive at a secure, yet open-minded, spiritual outlook.

This is a good article on the subject:
lol, Hafidha, I only work part time, plus preaching and stuff, so I use a good part of my time to keep studying in preparation for formally reentering education (again). Plus just because I list a book I'm reading doesn't mean I'm reading more than a couple of pages a week in some cases!
LaReinaCobre said…
Stephen - okay, then. I won't feel so remiss in my duties as a UU citizen of the world. I'm still inspired to try and "keep up" with you, even though we aren't even reading the same books.
The Haikuist said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog

From liberalism to radicalism

I've been reflecting recently on the journey I've been making from liberalism to radicalism, and how I'm beginning to see it as a necessary evolution if you're not going to get stuck in a kind of immature liberalism that fails to serve both you and the world. By liberalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise personal freedom and not being restricted by the patterns of the past. By radicalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise justice, solidarity, and liberation from oppression. Yes, I'm using broad categories here. Let me give an example. Let's talk about sexual liberation in a Western context for example. We can talk about women getting more agency over their bodies; gay and bi people being able to have sex with one another and marry one another; we can talk about the work of overcoming shame around sexuality. All of that is liberalism. It's good stuff. It's still ongoing. So we might ask the question "where next for sexu

Am I an activist?

  I remember being at some protest outside the Senedd once, and someone introduced me to someone else, and said, "Stephen is an activist." I remember thinking - am I? I don't know. What does it mean to be an activist? Who gets to use that title? Am I an activist because I turn up at a few protests? Or do I have to be one them organising the protest to be an activist? Do I have to lead? Do I have to do the organisational work to be an activist? Because the truth is that since I moved to Cardiff I have kept myself at the periphery of a lot of activist groups. I go to meetings, I hear about things, I turn up at protests, but I have rarely got really fully involved. Why is that? It's not for the reason that I don't have time. I do, in fact. But often I sit in these meetings and protests and think "Is this effective? Is it worthwhile? Is it going to produce something at the end of it all that is worth the effort?" I suppose, coming from the world of church I

LOST and theology: who are the good guys?

***Spoiler alert*** I'm continuing some theological/philosophical reflections while re-watching the series LOST. One of the recurring themes in LOST is the idea of the "good guys" and the "bad guys." We start the series assuming the survivors (who are the main characters) are the "good guys" and the mysterious "Others" are definitely bad guys. But at the end of series 2 one of the main characters asks the Others, "Who are  you people?" and they answer, in an extremely disturbing way, "We're the good guys." The series develops with a number of different factions appearing, "the people from the freighter" "the DHARMA initiative" as well as divisions among the original survivors. The question remains among all these complicated happenings "who really are the good guys?" I think one of the most significant lines in the series is an episode when Hurley is having a conversation with