Curiositas

In a few weeks, if anyone signs up for the program, I will facilitate a five-session “course” about Articulating Your Unitarian Universalist Faith.

Faith. The definition that applies to the word in the context of the course is “belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.” Inasmuch as I do not subscribe to the idea that a supernatural being or force or entity exists, my focus will be on the fundamental premises of Unitarian Universalism (UU). I may be among the least likely people to facilitate such a program, given my innate skepticism. Even some of the aspects of foundational UU philosophies challenge me to some extent, so my belief in the “doctrines or teaching of” UU may be subject to question. But, as I think about the core ideas that appeal to me about UU, expressing one’s doubts in the course of searching for answers that may never be found might be precisely what merits contemplation. The idea for the program is to enable participants to explain, in a 30-second “elevator speech,” the foundations of their adherence to UU. We’ll see how that goes.

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My recollection of the Eugene O’Neill’s play, Mourning Becomes Electra, is almost nonexistent. I read it in high school or college—maybe both—but as I tried to recall the story this morning, it eluded me. Only after exploring it online did the fact that the play was a retelling of the Oresteia, the Greek trilogy. I remember learning, only vaguely, that the characters in O’Neill’s play were based on the original play by Aeschylus, the Greek tragedian. Some of the characters from the Aeschylus play, such as Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, are familiar to me, though I am not sure whether that familiarity comes from studying O’Neill’s play or, instead, from learning about Greek tragedies. Regardless, I have retained next to nothing from whatever early exposure I had to either. Until I came across references to the length of the modern play, my foray this morning into O’Neill’s  literary masterpiece tempted me to consider reading it again. But the time involved in reading it, must less grasping the relationship between O’Neill’s story and the original Greek tragedy, would be extraordinary. I am not sufficiently interested to invest that much of my diminishing time in something that might well leave me no more enlightened than I am this morning. And my enlightenment this morning is nothing to cheer about. I do not know what prompted me to explore Mourning Becomes Electra shortly after I awoke today. It was a fluke. A meaningless oddity that led nowhere. And that is where it ended. I will depart nowhere now, in search of somewhere…more interesting or intriguing.

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The time has come for me to take a shower and get dressed for church. Some Sunday mornings, like this one, I have absolutely no interest in going to church. I would rather isolate myself from people and simply think. Or meditate. Or otherwise insulate myself against the intrusion of thoughts that interfere with my hermit-like behavior. Usually, though, I manage to at least tolerate engagement with others; and that tolerance more often than not morphs into interest. Whether that adaptation is just a self-defense mechanism or is a real transition in my attitude is unclear. I may never know.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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1 Response to Curiositas

  1. kozimeg says:

    John, Look at your first sentence. The “U”s are in the wrong order, with a different meaning. Still asleep? Meg

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