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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Monday, May 14, 2012

Spiritual Development Course

When I began to mentally outline this essay, I struggled to present something that fit the requirements; what I liked, didn't like;  learned, didn't learn;  how it affected me, etc. I reviewed all the lessons and refreshed the concepts in my mind.  I tried to visualize the teachings as a single unit not separate parts.   Surprisingly, that became the defining moment of the last 22 weeks of study.  That is because it was during those deliberations that I was struck with an epiphany that cut to the core of my quest: What do I really want?  And, in other words, because I believe that we are all very much alike, what do we all really want? 
This course does not answer that question directly but, instead, allows the student, through a series of exercises, to reveal that outcome for themselves. 
All the techniques presented are effective at achieving their stated goal.  In short, the course works, you can achieve outstanding results and I have. I have used them to achieve exactly what is promised by the course.    I have not been greedy but that doesn't mean one shouldn't be.  I was more comfortable proceeding cautiously.  But, I have changed my circumstances, overcome physical limitations that the medical community has referred to as "miracle", and, I have influenced and enjoyed the unfolding of my future knowing that I controlled the outcome through a reliance on the energy and power of the universe.
This course begs one to accept only that your  Paradise exists and nothing more.  With that firmly in grasp, the exercises open doors to the power and influence that flows from this Paradise.  Call it faith, call it conviction, call it clarity but, regardless,  all things are possible.  Within it are the tools to tap that power to achieve your goals.  Tools that work.  But the guidance falls short in one important respect.
My personal quest was a quest for the truth.  For those insights that are absolute.  For those conclusions that are as true for one set of circumstances as they are for all sets of circumstances.  For as long as I remember, I have always wanted the truth.  This was not always an intellectual or, even, a philosophical pursuit.  I wasn't amassing lofty ideas or ideals.  Instead,  I was looking for a feeling.  And here, the course misses the mark, perhaps deliberately.  It does not emphasize that achieving focus and using the power from your connection to the universe, your Paradise, does not come from intellectual focus, it comes from emotional focus … from feeling.  One focuses their thoughts, refines their wants, clarifies their outcomes to strengthen their feelings.  That cannot be stressed enough.  My Paradise contains the answers to all questions.  Even the question, How do I tap into the power of the universe?  Or, How do I shape the life force?  But, none of that would be revealed to me if I did not feel the need for, in my case, the truth.  Not wishing for the truth.  Not demanding the truth like a petulant child.  Feeling the need for it in the very core of my existence.  Not a concept but a feeling.  That is the key to successfully applying the techniques presented; mentally visualize the outcome and feel it … totally … completely.  It will come to pass.
As I began to apply the techniques contained in this course, I began to visualize and feel what lay behind my quest for the truth.  The classic removing of another layer of the onion was within my grasp.    And, as I sat to write this paper,  I was visited by an epiphany:  the truth was comfort.  Of course, intellectually, this is obvious.  The great religions, the great philosophies, even the great politics, all seek the same thing … comfort, the putting of one's mind at ease.  True my comforts may be your discomforts.  Another layer of the onion must be pealed away to reveal the truth behind comfort.   But I am well equipped to begin that journey.

Rev. Donald Brown
Universal Life Church

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