Thursday, 28 July 2011

The empty path

Someone once said to me that Unitarianism is an empty path. They meant it as a criticism, but I thought it sounded rather positive and Taoist. "The way that can be named is not the true Way" (usually written as "The tao that can be named is not the true Tao", but Tao just means "way").

In "Mind your language", Danny Crosby reflects on the view expressed by a character in The Simpsons that Unitarianism is like an empty bowl.  The point about an empty bowl is that you can fill it with whatever you like; it is clean and receptive, and it gives form to whatever fills it.

The point about an empty path is that it is not cluttered up with extraneous symbols, meaningless rituals, and pointless prohibitions.

I like the idea of the empty path, because it reminds me of apophatic theology and the via negativa described by Matthew Fox.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

My christology

“The incarnation is true, not of Christ exclusively, but of Man universally, and God everlastingly.” - James Martineau
My christology is neither high nor low,
but broad and deep.

We are all Christ,
emerging wet and shining
from the River Jordan,
with the light of heaven
shining on us.

We are all Buddha,
reborn each moment,
arising dependent,
Buddha-nature unfolding.

We are all John Barleycorn,
cut down in autumn,
ploughed back into the earth each winter,
putting on green shoots in spring.

We are all Aradia,
bringing her subversive message of hope
to an oppressed people.

We are all messiahs,
and we must all save the world
together, like rainbow warriors.

Let us recognise the work
to which we are called,
and open our sacred hearts to the world.

Yvonne Aburrow
2-7-11, 6.01 am


  • Aradia is the messianic figure supposed to have appeared to Italian witches and taught them the mysteries of Diana
  • Christology is what you think the nature of Christ is (in relation to God and humanity)
  • John Barleycorn is a dying and resurrecting vegetation spirit in  Wiccan mythology
  • The Legend of the Rainbow Warriors is a prophecy of the coming of saviours

(part of the Write for your Life practice developed by Merle Feld)