Universalists explore three great mysteries

By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

On Sept. 21, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) will present a talk by Dr. Graham Smith about the mystery of the spiritual promise and perils in opening one’s mind and heart to “the infinite beyond the finite.” He will examine questions and approaches to answer such questions as: Who am I? How do I think? Am I part of something greater than myself?

Human reverence for mystery is profound. It is the basis of religion and science. However, science cannot resolve issues greater than the natural world such as morality, faith and transcendence. These spiritual mysteries are, in his mind, greater than the mysteries of thenatural world.

Smith will introduce and discuss three great mysteries that include God (or the divine), the cosmos and the self. He will discuss the risks one may encounter when employing the tools of thought to demystify these mysteries.

Beliefs associated with catholicism and Judaism, mysticism and Buddhism can be used in our search for understanding the spiritual mystery using the metaphysical power of human thought.

But one must be aware of potential consequences when opening our minds too completely. This topic emphasizes our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s principles, including acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; and a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Smith is a retired oncologist who specialized in understanding the disease leukemia. He served as the board president of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durango from 2011 to 2013.

It is the mission of the PUUF to “grow as a diverse community with differing beliefs and shared values.” We seek to encourage spiritual growth and strive for compassion, justice and responsible action in our society and on our planet.

As Unitarian Universalists, life is a constant source of inspiration, calling us to live with greater depth, connection and compassion in our belief in “the worth and dignity of each human being.” To this end, we also believe in the freedom of religious expression and the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening. By welcoming people of diverse religious backgrounds as well as nonbelievers, we are embodying a vision “beyond belief:” a vision of peace, love and understanding.

Come join us in discovering what it means to have a personal faith anchored by diversity and acceptance.

The PUUF sponsors a children’s spiritual educational program and encourages families with children to please join us for our Sunday service. Our children’s religious programs teach our Unitarian Universalist heritage, ethical living, moral precepts to love your neighbor, work for a better world and to search for truth with an open mind. Arts and crafts projects also are utilized to illustrate these principles.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the PUUF Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

This story was posted on September 18, 2014.