Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

A Course In Miracles

I Choose Love By Harriet Spradley-Thompkins

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

After taking this course, the above quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes became alive to me. I learned that we are governed by our past and belief systems. Because we have no control of what cultural or family we are born into, we have no control of our early belief systems. For example, religion, when one is born into a Catholic family; they simple identify themselves as Catholic. The other day I was having lunch with a former co-worker. Beginning of the meal he said grace and then the “cross” thing. I looked at him with puzzlement. “I can not help that I am Catholic” he said. I thought to myself, he is doing this ritual not because he truly believes in it, he was doing it because what he was programmed to believe.

Your belief system is the actual set of precepts from which you live your daily life, those which govern your thoughts, words, and actions. It is difficult to change a person’s belief system. However, once the mind is stretched to a new belief, it can not go back to the original thought. This has happen to me in this course. I once believed that a miracle was some mammoth event like winning the lottery or being healed from a terminal illness. I believe now that a miracle is a correction in perception. It is a correction in how we perceive and how we think. There is no world outside us. It is only a projection of what is inside us; we are responsible for choosing to think from the ego or from the Love of God.

According to Reverend Loretta M. Siani, Ph.D. in Lesson #4, we can choose to be guided by the limited, self-absorbed thinking of ego that is always trying to get things from the world and projecting its judging, analyzing, and demanding thoughts onto it. Or, we can choose to be guided by the loving awareness of our true, spiritual selves that accepts life, offers peace and wants to extend, share and give to the world.

Ego is the cause of the "I" syndrome (I want), making us feel separate and alone, or telling us we can run things better our own way. Ego acts only for the self. Love helps you to realize that there is no self, that we cannot be separate, for as soon as one person affects another person for good or ill, they are joined by that experience. In witnessing or even hearing of their experience we are then joined to them, and that makes us a "we". If the experience was through Love and good we all benefit, if the experience was caused by the traits of ego, therefore bad, we all suffer, for we are all one.

The only thing that truly heals is undoing the belief that we are separate from God, which is where our fears come from. When your mind is really healed, it will not be a burning issue for you. It does not mean that the tumor will not disappear. It just means that your investment will not be in having it disappear. Your investment will be in having peace in your mind. Remember Love casts out fear. That is why I choose Love.


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