The Individual Search Within Community

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This was a talk given at the Spirit of Life Unitarian Fellowship in 2014

by Geoffrey R. Usher.

Many people are looking seriously for a religious home that is right for them. Why?  One reason is that, in the middle of the most technologically advanced civilisation we have ever known, many people feel terribly lonely.

We have lots of people around us. There are lots of institutions, organisations, clubs and causes of all kinds asking for our attention, our support, our involvement. There is plenty of information, and plenty
of means of communication. We have access to more news and chatter of all kinds than any other generation has ever had in the whole history of humankind.

The problem is that what we hear, so often, is only chatter, chatter, chatter.
Chatter – without meaning.
Chatter – without real concern.
Chatter – without depth.
Chatter – without appreciation for any ultimate purposes.
Chatter – without connection to any sources of quiet strength or calm or purposefulness.
Chatter – without relevance to anything that rises above what might be discussed on a Wednesday morning talk show.

To read the rest of this talk click here.

The Politics of Wealth

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Notes from address given by Colin Whatmough on 5 October 2014 at Kirribilli  Neighbourhood Centre.
The following is based on the research of Al Gore, former Vice President of the USA in his recent book ‘The Assault on Reason’.
I  invite you to ponder on one of the Unitarian Principles – the right of conscience and/or reasoning and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and within society at large.
Democracy begins with the premise that all are created equal and seeks to meet human needs – it values access and equity concepts.
By contrast, capitalism begins with  the premise that competition will inevitably produce inequality – depending on differences in talent, industriousness and fortune – in its desire for profit.
These two systems have been the reigning philosophies in two different spheres of life. Most Western countries exist as the Democratic Capitalist style of government. The faultline that marked  the boundary between capitalism and democracy generated tremors in Abraham Lincoln’s mind in 1864, quote, “But I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the Civil War, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow; the money  power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices  of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a few  hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”
Al Gore makes the case that Abraham Lincoln’s suspicions have not proved groundless in the current American democratic Capitalist system especially with respect to the immense power exerted by modern  multinational corporations and media outlets in the new globalised world of Earth Incorporated.