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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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spiritual Awareness

Justin M. Oles

Universal Life Church Seminary
Master of Spiritual Awareness
Final Essay

            I figured that since the final discourse of this course gives you a bunch of questions to answer that I would answer those questions and call that my essay.  Looking at several other essays on the webpage that seemed to be the general consensus so here goes.

            The first insight tells us that the universe will present us with opportunities to meet our spiritual goals and destiny.  We must keep our eyes, minds and hearts open to see these opportunities.  It gives us the awareness of a path for us to follow, it shows us that both our spiritual lives and our mundane lives are a journey, not simple a destination.  By looking out for opportunities to help ourselves and others we are able to more effectively learn the lessons we are meant to learn during each lifetime.

      I began to question my traditional religious beliefs as an adolescent largely because a lot of the answers I got were "because that's the way it is" or "because the bible says so."  I never had a personal connection with God and I never felt his presence in my life in the way that Catholics and Christians explained it.  Some people were very aggravated not having an answer themselves and just taking things on blind faith.  Others were more open minded and tried to explain things using biblical fact that directly contradicted historical and scientific fact.  I found later that often this was due to their ignorance and that frequently religion and science can work hand in hand to prove both as being factual.  I also found that if the historical contexts were taken as relative and not literal as they often are by the religious extremists that the two will in fact mesh.

            As was taught in middle school about why people hurt others it is often to make themselves feel better.  The sad part is that while this may make you feel better temporarily it does nothing in the long run.  In fact, it only leads to the spread of more hostility as those your hurt often do the same to another to gain back their self worth, thereby causing a never ending cycle of pain and suffering.  If people would help others rather than hurt them they would find that this gives a longer term feeling of happiness and is often reciprocated by others thereby increasing the pleasure and self worth felt.  A good way to begin this process is to try to give everyone you meet a truthful compliment of some sort.  This will make you feel better and make them feel better, a win-win.  If you put someone down it may make you feel better but it will make them feel worse, a win-lose, and ultimately a lose-lose in the long run.

            As a minister and servant of others we often find ourselves helping people with situations we are ill equipped to deal with.  While sometimes the logical solution is the best it often fails to deal with the emotional aspect of the issue.  By asking the right questions and learning how to receive and interpret the answers we are better equipped to aid others in their lives.  In doing so we are also better equipped to help ourselves as live will often throw issues our way in our own lives that we have no idea how to deal with.

            As humans are better able to understand each other and themselves there will be less fighting and war, people will help others so there will be less poverty and hunger and people will be more able to relate to others so there will be less discrimination and prejudice.  People are here on earth to learn how to be better beings through reincarnation and development of the soul over several lifetimes.

Ultimately these lessons have taught how to better and more happily life with ourselves and others.  It taught how one person can make a difference in the world and how all of us should strive to be better people individually and therefore as a whole.


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