While traveling in India, Joseph Campbell met with Sri Krishna Menon, a renowned Hindu teacher. Menon asked him if he had a question. Indeed Campbell did. “Since in Hindu thinking all is Brahman, all is a product of divine energy, no matter how we judge things ethically or in terms of prudence, it is still all a divine manifestation. So: should you, or can you, or how do you say “no” to anything? How do you say ‘no’ to stupidity, to ignorance, to thoughtlessness, to vulgarity, to brutality, to war?” Menon’s answer was that you have to say yes to everything reality presents because that’s the way the world is. You may remember Jesus says things like loving your enemies and judging not. The Buddhists have a saying that Campbell frequently quoted: “The joyful participation in the sorrows of the world”. With friends, we’ll explore this complicated but essential question of our existence, and perhaps get a few thoughts from the audience.
Phil Sweet is a long-time friend of UUFDC, and a marvelous and insightful story-teller. He served as minister of Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay and two rural churches in western Minnesota.