Eternity in an Hour: The Long and Short of Enlightenment and Related Ideas
This message is inspired by contrasting views on enlightenment in Buddhism that highlight a more general contrast in religion, education and society. The historical Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment through an extended meditation during which he realized the truths of existence. In the community that emerged from his teachings, enlightenment was viewed as taking considerable time and effort, over multiple lifetimes. Later, Shin Buddhism took a different view of enlightenment, that it could be attained in an instant, that we were already enlightened, we just needed a moment to recognize it. We can see a similar contrast in timescale in Christianity, looking at whether salvation is earned through a lifetime of faith and living Christian values, or an instantaneous recognition of Christ as savior. The contrast between fast critical moments and long, effortful journeys is seen more generally: in the popular conception of scientists we have both the image of the eureka moment of breakthrough and the lifetime of arduous, committed labor. In education, we have the “Ah Ha moment” and deliberate practice. What role does each type of experience play in our own journeys through life? What aspects of each are true and what are likely fictitious? How can we use the recognition of these two types of experiences to better live fulfilling meaningful lives? These sorts of questions will be addressed, explored, and final ultimate answers will likely not be obtained. Chris Nakamura, speaker.
Chris Nakamura has been a UU since around 2006 when he joined the Unitarian Universalist fellowship of Manhattan in Kansas. He has been a member of UUFoM since 2017. In 2012 he joined Saginaw Valley State University where he teaches and does research in the physics department. He likes to think about things and to talk about them.
A Plea for Intolerance
Sometimes people are so convinced of the righteousness of tolerance, that they are prepared to be intolerant of anyone who thinks otherwise. Is this a coherent position? Judith Hill, speaker.
Judith Hill has been a member of the Fellowship since 1989. She is a retired Philosophy professor who lives in the woods with her partner, Sara, their three dogs, and her scroll saw.
Lessons on Leaving
Having left his home of 21 years in Wisconsin, our new minister, Eric Severson, will reflect on lessons to be learned about letting go, detachment, and saying goodbye. Eric Severson leading.
Lessons on Arriving
Our new minister, Eric Severson, will reflect on lessons to be learned about welcoming the unknown, adapting to new conditions, adjusting expectations, and saying hello. Eric Severson leading.
“Caretaker of the Future” We walk as a society to a destination that is forecasted to be worse for our grandkids than we enjoyed. How can we give our children the tools and structure to take the coming times? Doug Barth speaking.
As a lover of nature and renewable energy, Doug Barth comes to share his perspective on society. He wants to portray how important child rearing is as a solution to common problems. He has two bachelors; Biochemistry and Medical Laboratory Science. He took an intensive Permaculture Design Course, and studied subjects relating to regenerative agriculture. Married to Shana, they are raising three kids.