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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Friday, December 03, 2010

Spiritual Awareness

This course covers a wide range of subjects under the rubric of spiritual awareness. It considers such basic practices as reverence, heart, intuition, balance, service, and meditation along with the issue of death. It provides a well-written discussion of the nature of religion, ethical systems and other fundamentals such as the perception of good and evil. There are three full lessons devoted to the listing and explication of universal spiritual laws. These are not only interesting but contain a great deal of practical advice for the serious spiritual seeker. These three lessons may form the central teachings of this course. A full lesson is also devoted to the importance of self-love to spiritual awareness.

There is a lesson on auras and unconditional love in which the author relates the practice of unconditional love to the perception and development of auras and the balancing of the chakras. Another lesson discusses the role of affirmations in spiritual awareness. 

The author devotes two full lessons to the development of psychic abilities such as psychometry, clairvoyance, and telepathy. The assumption is presented that everyone has latent psychic ability and that these abilities can be increased through practice. A number of exercises are given which can be used to increase these abilities.

A full lesson is also devoted to the issue of finding answers through teachers and guides. An excellent discussion of the process of identifying an appropriate teacher and spirit guide is provided. This includes a discussion of identifying inappropriate guides and teachers – an important lesson for all seekers as well as for would be teachers. Related to this lesson is the lesson which addresses communication with spirits. Various types of spirits are discussed along with methods for dealing with unwanted spirits and such methods of spirit communication as automatic writing.

There are also two lessons on energy. These address, among other things, methods of using energy for protection and healing. One of these lessons uses the Hindu concept of kundalini to discuss the flow of energy. It uses this paradigm to present a method of using energy to heal others.

The final lesson seems to be an extension of the lessons on energy and communicating with spirits. It is essentially a listing of the cholas, or spiritual masters, associated with various aspects or “rays” of the universal energy. This lesson seems almost out of place with the rest of the lessons and it is not clear exactly how the authors expected this information to fit in with the rest of the course. This information clearly derives from a specific tradition (perhaps Eckankar, but I’m not sure) but it might have been useful to have more context. 

There was a lot of useful information in this course although it mostly fell outside the type of information which is normally addressed in ministry. As a minister I am most interested in helping others (and myself) develop a stronger and more meaningful relationship with the Divine. I believe that in its most profound manifestation this relationship is more a matter of being known by the Divine rather than of knowing the Divine. Having said this I can see that a knowledge of more trivial aspects of the non-physical world can also be an important part of personal growth and I think this course provides much useful guidance in this area.

Rev. Robert Nelson


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