The 5th UU Principle: The Right of Conscience by Cathy Combs

Dear Community,

This fifth UU principle calls to mind three pentrating questions: What is my intention? What is the underlying meaning of conscience? What is the right of conscience? Here are my answers that I offer to you. Being mindful of my intention in each moment is a way to slow me down, to be more focused. I now understand "conscience" in a whole new way. "Con-science", with science, with deliberation speaks to me of my connection with all life. Conscience as guilt speaks to me of an absence of connection with divinity, as though I needed to be motivated by the negative in order to be good, rather than knowing that I am inherently good and would choose out of my goodness to consider myself and others.

This paradigm shift is integral to what I see as necessary for us to build a healthy relationship with ourselves and each other. This paradigm shift is integral to the Goddess, Earth-based traditions. I see this paradigm shift reflected in our Mission Covenant statement at Gaia Community. My hope is that as these traditions grow and prosper and take root again in the larger conscience of our world we will see and experience a global commitment to a new power structure that truly is a democratic process of honoring and listening to every voice.

I hear this precious hope also reflected in the Iroquois Confederacy statement, "Let your every deliberation be considered unto the 7th generation." Can you imagine the magnanimous world we would create if we lived in that spirit of connectedness? We can choose to live in that spirit. We can embrace an all encompassing love, rather than fear and guilt. We can embrace "power within" and "power with" rather than "power over" and "power under". By actively promoting "power within" my hope is that we will embrace the divinity that I believe lives within us, and then we will embrace each other as a reflection of that divinity. In so doing we will participate in healing our precious Earth in mind, body and Spirit. We will truly live as one, individual and yet inseparably linked, in our intention to embrace our sacred lives. I invite you to embrace your sacred life.


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