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.

Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shamanism Course Essay

Rev. Victoria Hogan

I had not known what to expect when I chose to take this course Bishop Pat created. In finishing the course, the amount of research Bishop Pat did over many years is to be honored and respected.

The course on Shamanism takes the participant on a journey through the early history of the shamanic people, the various cultures, different races, different beliefs and how the individual shamans portrayed their shamanic roles and practices.

My great grandmother came from the Finnish-Russian area and was known for her gifts of sight, her dreams, her prophecies, her knowledge of the plant medicines, and her ability to walk and talk with the Spirits. She was known as the area healer and mid wife.

Many generations ago, my Native American grandmother was also known for her gifts, as the area midwife and her ability to speak many languages. There was very little else known about her.

There were many people in my family born with gifts, with sight, with the ability to have prophetic visions and with the ability to walk and talk with the Spirits. However, we also lived in a world where these "gifts" were or could be discounted, mocked, or cause other people to label a person with gifts as mentally ill.

My mother spoke of her fear that if people found out her grandmother, father or other family members had dreams, visions, talked with the spirits, had prophetic visions, etc., that they would take the people of her family away and lock them up in an insane asylum.

My father did not want any one to know of our Native American ancestry, certain gifts, or certain aspects of my great grandmother's life and her involvement with the people of tribe close to where she lived.

There is so much in our modern age that can and does undermine the shaman, the shaman's gifts, and the people that are born to these gifts. So much of the old knowledge and training were lost or went underground.

Bishop Pat shares his journey that started with a question he had regarding shamanism. He traveled to many different parts of the world to meet with shamans, to hear their stories, and or to learn from them. Bishop Pat also studied what many different authors had learned and written on.

One of the the points Bishop Pat makes is the transformation that came to him, when he learned to ask the right questions, how this lead him into his own personal research and the revelations this research brought to him.

Along with the history of the shamanic people, Bishop Pat also shares information on shamanic practices as they relate to Christianity, Science, modern age and research into the paranormal.

There is a portion of this course that is focused on the Mayan culture, the Mayan calendar and what the deeper research that Bishop Pat did revealed.

While the course is not a course designed to teach a person how to become a shaman in 10 easy lessons, it does explain about several parts of the shamanic practices and how some of these altered states, dream states, out of body experiences, and more can be achieved.

Bishop Pat shares how shamanism was once part of the Jewish history, as it was of most indigenous cultures. I had spent many years learning of the life of Jesus and read of gifts, his dreams, and his healing gifts. I knew the stories of my own ancestors. I had my own dreams and gifts and knew the gifts my mother carried. Then a time came in my life where I was given an opportunity to spend many years with a medicine man and other medicine people, the shamans. What I learned was in many ways so identical to the teachings of Christ. The healing ways and special abilities of Christ and some of the healing ways and special abilities of the shamans were so identical that there had to be a common source of learning, a common beginning.

Towards the end of the course, Bishop Pat talks about the scientific research that is being done now, or over these past years, into the paranormal, the mind, the energy, and learning what we can do just with our thoughts, once we learn to activate these gifts.

While some people choose to use some of the shamanic practices to harm or control others, which tends to give shamans and shamanic practices a bad name or the label of evil, black witches, evil spells, etc. it should be remembered how much evil has also been done by those that declare they are doing certain things in the name of God or as Christians. Bishop Pat speaks to the many ways the shamanic gifts have been suppressed by governments, mental health people, and others.

I have been with others where we were given an opportunity to learn how we could manipulate a computer with our thoughts. I have seen this work. I have witnessed levitation by a thought. I have witnessed healings that have been done through prayers. I read where Michael Harner's people were able to use their thoughts to clean contaminated water. I have witnessed the healing of mental illness that has come through the shamanic healings.

There is a story in the Bible where the disciples go to Jesus and complain that a man who was not one of them was doing healing work as Christ had been doing. Christ admonished the disciples and stated that the man believed in the power of God to heal and so he was able to bring healing.

Fools Crow, a Native American healer taught that any one could have this power, they just had to learn how to become empty and allow the Great Spirit to work through them. Fools Crow spoke of becoming like an empty tube.

There is so much that we as a people do not know about our brains, our energy, our gifts, or our potential to do some amazing things. We were born with so much. Some people did not understand their own gifts or abilities. These people often feared the people that did understand these gifts and abilities. Some people wanted power and control over others, so they forbid the use of these gifts and or abilities and had those that were known as shamans, healers, etc., killed off, destroyed or locked away. Governments enforced rules that forced people to turn away from the knowledge of their gifts and abilities. The inquisitions and witch hunts tortured so many people and or put them to death

As Bishop Pat shared in the last part of this course the scientific studies shows the discovery of many hidden gifts and abilities that a person was unaware that they had access to. We learned to suppress so much in order to just survive.

Then does this not speak to how these gifts and abilities were given to us by the Creator, these things are part of us, and perhaps the greater purpose and potential of using these gifts, was in the end, part of the Creator's greater plan.

One of the things I was taught was this: "Power is a gift of the Great Spirit (Creator, God). Power cannot be used out of anger, for self gain or to harm the spirit of another person or to interfere with their spiritual journey. Power can only be used in ways that honor the Great Spirit."

Christ had admonished the disciples because they did not have the faith and belief that the other man had, which was that God could use him to heal other people. In the end did not Jesus instruct us and teach us, that if we had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains.

I want to thank Bishop Pat for the extensive research he has done over these years and then sharing this information with us. This course shows how irregardless of our race, culture, religion, beliefs, the color of our skin, or any other difference we may have, how as a people of this world, we shared a common beginning, a common belief, a common base and that how over time, we simply diversified.

There is a part in the Bible that speaks to how we should not hide our light under a bushel basket and another part that says how we should not bury our talents. When the Creator created us with gifts and abilities, perhaps there has been a huge wrong doing by those who tried to destroy these gifts and these abilities by destroying the people that honored them and used them. Perhaps the greater wrong was done by those who fear the condemnation and judgment of man/men, should they choose to honor these gifts and abilities given to us by the Creator.

Each of us has to choose our paths and how we will walk those paths. Do we walk in a way that honors all the gifts and abilities the Creator has given to us to use? Or, do we walk in a way that denies our gifts and abilities, so we can honor and follow the men that rule, the men that govern, the men that hold high offices or who are the power of the churches? Who do we choose to serve?

One of the greatest things this course by Bishop Pat does, is to teach us the importance of learning to ask the right questions and to then search for the answer and the truth to those questions.

No comments: