About this Blog

About this Blog

Wade Greiner is an attorney living in Houston Texas with his wife, son, and two Westies.  He is also a Gnostic UU.

UU stands for Unitarian-Universalist.  Unitarian-Universalism is a religion of folks who have a large array of diverse religious beliefs.  Some are Christian, some are atheist, some are Buddhist, some are Muslim, and the list could go on forever.  Oh, and some are Gnostic.  What is expected of a UU practitioner includes, among other things, that they support each other in each person's individual spiritual path.  There are principles that UU congregations affirm to promote and a list of sources from which UUs draw their principles.  The principles we are called upon to affirm and promote are:

  • 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

  • The sources we draw from are:

    • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
    • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
    • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
    • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
    • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
    • Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

    Those principles and much more about UU can be found at the website for the Unitarian-Universalist Association.

    The Gnostic portion is a reference to a book by my wife, Rice University Religion scholar, Professor April DeConick.  In her book The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today she introduces her idea of Gnosticism as a type of spirituality that is characterized by five attributes that can be present in varying amounts depending on the tradition of the particular Gnostic.  I am paraphrasing the characteristics here, based on April's book.  They are:
    1. Experiential knowledge (gnosis) of a transcendent god.
    2. Ritual that is used to obtain these estatic states of gnosis.
    3. Belief that humans have an innate spiritual nature that is the extension of this transcendence.
    4. A countercultural method of interpreting traditional religions that is transgressive.
    5. A willingness to incorporate ideas and practices from many sources.  Gnostics tend to be open-ended with their beliefs and uses of religious ideas, and to remain "seekers."
    Many of the characteristics of Gnostic Spirituality is reflected in the principles and sources affirmed by UUism.  For example: Gnostic Spirituality is characterized by experiential knowledge (gnosis) of a transcendent god, whereas one source affirmed by UUs for their principles is "Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder..."  Many such comparisons can be made and will be made in the random musings of this blog.

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