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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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Astral Projection

I am fortunate in that I have had several experiences in Astral Projection in the years before I took this course. Since the experience was so intense, I have always looked for ways to achieve this state again. This course seemed to be the ideal methodology to accomplish this task.

            To properly remember events that happen when asleep, it is imperative that one keep a dream journal. It is unusual, in my experience, to actually be able to remember a dream after going back to sleep or when just lying around. The recollection of the dream seems to evaporate and while one may grasps at threads the whole cloth of the dream remains elusive.
When I had my OOBE (Out of Body Experience), it was not an exercise in creative visualization. It was an actual experience that I participated in, not one in which I was conducting the exercise. I actually have a little bit of a hard time allowing creative visualization to be catagorised as Astral Projection. This is one of the differences that I have with my experiences and that of the author.
The concept of Might-Have-Been (MHB) is a fascinating one. In situations where there is a sudden break or departure, such as a death in the family or an unexpected or sudden break-up, I have often felt (or better yet – hoped) that the timeline which was so recently interrupted might continue on in some separate reality or place. Perhaps it is an alternate universe; perhaps it is the Astral Plane. In either case, I like the concept of MHB – it allows something beautiful to continue on somehow, somewhere else.
Desire and longing notwithstanding, I do not see the MHB as something substantive. If the Astral Plane in this instance is just a faculty of the imagination, then so be it – that separate reality may carry on in my head, but not necessarily in this Universe. I am not convinced that the MHB exist a priori of the rest of reality.
The selected writing by Monroe and DeGarcia are superior. Both works are exceptionally well developed and treat the Astral Plane as something tangible that exists as a separate place outside of ourselves. I concur with this approach. Many years ago, I was introduced to a belief system called Eckankar, which postulated seven planes, much like DeGarcia does. I found this similarity to be interesting and perhaps the impetus for one is the other. One system does not justify the other but it does support the premises presented by the other.
The visualization exercises provided are very good and do help with the process of visualization. The underlying question for me, however, is whether the things I imagine exist outside of my mind. In my opinion, they do not, and I am skeptical that they have any objective or a priori existence. The author asks “Did it matter what was me and what was real?” – To me, the answer is “yes”. It is the difference between reality and fantasy.
The author describes various entities that he states one will encounter on the Astral Plane. I had a little bit of a problem with some of the things that were conveyed during this and subsequent lessons, especially where the Gods are concerned. To me, the Gods are living, vibrant entities that exist separately from me and my perceptions. When it is claimed that one can become a God or can interact with a God on the Astral Plane, I am a little taken aback by this. When the author claims that his wife mated with Cernunnos or Herne to make the springtime happen, I had a definite hard time with that concept. We are humans and the Gods are the Gods and we are separate and distinct. If one wishes to think that one can become a God, well that may be fine for that individual, but it is not how I believe the universe is put together.
In summary, this was a very interesting course that included some excellent instructions for both journaling and meditation. Additionally, the reference material from DeGarcia and Monroe is so important in taking work with the Astral Plane to the next level. The inclusion of these two sources is a real asset to this course.

Rev. Jean Pagano


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