What is a sacred text?

It recently dawned on me that the description of the Sacred Text Reading Group was somewhat misleading. It implied that we do a kind of “comparative religions” study, which is wildly off base. So it now reads:

What do we mean by a sacred text? Any text that helps us to:

  • connect to something of supreme importance to us
  • feel more connected to other beings or to the universe
  • feel more intensely alive
  • align our lives with our values,
  • perceive or feel more deeply
  • be more fully and authentically ourselves.

As Unitarian Universalists, we find these kinds of meanings everywhere, so the text itself might be from a so-called secular source, or from a religious canon, or something in-between.

The participants over the years have found that the approach we take, and the respectful, affectionate community of inquirers in which we read and converse, are as important as the text.

“Group” is also a bit of a misnomer, since the combination of people in the room varies widely from session to session. Some folks come almost every week and some drop in once every few months. Whoever is there is the group.

This Saturday, 2/25, at 4 pm, we have a chapter of the Tao te Ching (translated by Ursula Le Guin):

In the degradation of the great way

come benevolence and righteousness.

With the exaltation of learning and prudence

comes immense hypocrisy.

The disordered family

is full of dutiful children and parents.

The disordered society

is full of loyal patriots.

This challenging chapter is particularly delicious for a hard-core fan of Le Guin’s great Taoist novel, The Lathe of Heaven, because the problem it delineates is very much at the heart of the book, and she uses it as the epigraph of one of the chapters. It will be interesting to see what the group makes of it. The Zoom room for this and every Saturday is https://zoom.us/j/91019857324,  (email sacred-text-reading+owner@uucpa.org for the password).

The Zoom room for Wednesdays is https://zoom.us/j/96865808923, (email sacred-text-reading+owner@uucpa.org for the password).

More details, such as how to sign in via phone, are on www.uucpa.org–just click on the calendar page for the day in question.

Take care,