Friday, August 27, 2010
Spiritualism or Defining Spirituality
An essay for a course from Universal Life Church Seminary
Rev. Carol Birdwell
This course had 19 lessons and covered a great deal of the history of western thought and the development of religion. It was directed toward the minister so that she would know how to respond to people who argue against spirituality as unscientific.
It is my belief that today we are seeing science and spirituality merge and meet each other in Quantum Physics, but it may be years yet before this becomes widely recognized as fact. Just last week my 17-year old nephew sent me an email in which he expressed his atheistic beliefs, but did not wish to go into explaining why he feels that way. He has never been exposed to any religion in his young life.
I dove right in and took the opportunity to explain some of my spiritual beliefs to him in a very kind and loving way, that I hoped might be “dropping a seed” for him to pull out and look at some time in his future, perhaps after it has even “grown” a bit. There was only love between us in this email exchange and he wrote back a nice note and I was thrilled.
As ministers it is important that we observe people and decide which ones are mind driven and which ones are heart driven. If we want to talk about our beliefs to others it is important that we never, ever push our beliefs, but always be gentle, kind, and understanding, and be aware of where “they are coming from”.
In this course, we studied people whose names I was not familiar with, that I have never studied before, and we also studied many well-known names, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Einstein, Nietzsche, Merlin, Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, and others. We also learned of various movements and groups.
I agree with our course teacher that if Jesus were alive today, it is very likely he would not be a Christian, and if he were a Christian, he would not be the kind of Christian we are most accustomed to seeing most of the time. He would certainly not be a “fundamentalist” Christian, but more likely a Positive Christian or a New Thought Christian, like the kind of Christian I am. For many years I even took offense at the word Christian and certainly would not call myself one!
Jesus did not come to this planet to start a religion. None of our great teachers and avatars did. They came to teach. Jesus was our big brother and came to teach us that we are Gods, co-creators with all of the energy of the universe, of all that is and ever was and ever will be.
He came to teach us that LOVE is the lesson, and that we can do the same miracles he did and “even greater”, when we know and accept who we are, all of us a part of the Divine Creator, all Divine Energy, all the same Sons of God that he was, our teacher, not our savior as the fundamentalist Christian churches believe.
We walk our paths, our many different paths that all lead back to God, from whence we came and in whom we have our very lives and breathe our very breaths, the breath of God, with whom we are all one, and all of us are all one together, all the same Divine Energy, that changes form, forever and ever, and is always God, as you, as me, as the guy next door.
I very much enjoyed this course, and intend to continue to study it over and over. There is a lot of history and philosophy in it with which I want to become more familiar. There are more “reads” ahead for thes lessons I have saved on my computer.
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