Dr. Owen Thomas spoke to us about his spiritual journey.
Life is complicated. Owen has an odd early relationship with Unitarians. His home in Bloomington Indiana was turned into a UU church after he moved out of it.
An intriguing early concept for Owen was the “we” of human beings. For each of us, how we define “we” is central to our identity, so, of course, it was important to Owen. He remembered Dr. Suess of his childhood, and held an affinity for the “comics” community to satisfy his need for feeding a feeling of “we.” He retreated there for a while until he discovered the “Zine” and the comfort of the security of math. As different as these two are in their directions, both offered a refuge in which he could find the “we” he was seeking. Zines were a small circulation self-published fantasy texts and images that were run off on photocopiers in those days. The small community was supportive.
By the 1970’s moved on to the usual drugs of choice of the ’70s. After that sordid part of his life (ed. note: “sordid” was his word folks, not mine) he found AA.
Gaining hope is the critical function of AA. The religious underpinnings of AA helped bring back vestiges of Christianity that lingered in his soul.
At this point in his life, Owen became a singer-songwriter. In that world, he found a new sense of “we.” Owen explained that the stage can be a place where you bring yourself into the center of attention, but it doesn’t have to be. Singing and playing in a cafe’ setting allows the people to continue to make themselves the center of attention while he created the ambiance.
Teaching math created a similar retreat. He was at the head of the class, but the Math was center stage not the math teacher.
And so, Owen continues to seek a sense of “we” within his sense of self. Or, his sense of self within his sense of “we.” In our little community of Unitarians who gather each week in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, we hope that Owen and many others can come join us from time to time and assist us in finding our own sense of the “we” in which we exist. We are intrigued when we hear others tell us about their sense of seeking. It makes us reconsider our own journeys.
The Devil and Mr. Blake (Blake/Vlorbik) By Owen Thomas I rose up at the dawn of day Get thee away, get thee away The Lord of this World by my side does stand And he holds my moneybag in his hand For my worldly things God makes him pay And he'd pay for more if to him I would pray But though you can do the worst you can do Be assured Mister Devil, I won't pray to you He says if i won't worship him for a god I'll eat coarser food and I'll go worse shod But as I don't value such things as these Do, Mister Devil, just as God please