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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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dr. of Spiritual Awareness by Rev. Crosson

Dr. of Spiritual Awareness
          The lessons included in this course are interesting and thought provoking.  The idea of using psychic ability to heal is always intriguing, and to do so from a distance is always available and comforting as thought and intention are never limited by time and space.  To be reminded of this, especially in these precarious times, is extremely settling to this troubled heart.  The main culprit that causes my dis-ease is, of course, the evening news.  How anyone can watch the turmoil in the middle east, the unrest within the borders of our own precious country, and the increased tension between races and religions and not be disquieted is beyond me.  I hear friends and acquaintances more and more frequently tell me they simply have stopped watching, stopped listening and have found peace in their ignorance.  My question to them is how they can ever be prepared for any disaster that may come, and how will they react when it "sneaks" up on them?  When you get into your car, you fasten your seat belt, check your mirrors and look up and down the street and behind you before and as you back out of the drive.  You have done all you possibly can to avoid disaster.  If it still happens, perhaps the damage would be less severe than if you'd made no preparation at all.  It may be just as personally devastating, but the damage may be more easily and quickly repaired if you've prepared properly.
          The same goes for the country.  In this volatile political season, when absolute nastiness seems to be drawn from even the meekest among us, it is good to watch, ponder and prepare for the worst possible contingency, just in case it happens.  If it doesn't, then you end up a very organized human being!  If it does, you just may survive with a slightly more comfortable lifestyle.  What does preparing mean?  Different things to different people, I imagine.  Some will prepare for food shortages, others will collect weapons and ammunition, still others will do both, plus gathering survival gear, water purification systems, and a host of other means of survival in the worst possible scenario.  Then, if their nightmares do come true, they will at least feel they have a fighting chance of living through it until things get better. 
          In all of this preparation though, are they giving thought to their spiritual survival at all?  When the world seems to spin faster toward total loss of control, that is the most vital time to be still and get quiet inside, to listen to that "still, small voice within," and to wait for direction to come from that divinity that lives inside us all.  It is necessary to go to a quiet place, away from the chaos, separate from the collections and amassed stuff, into a space of calm, of beauty, of peace - inner peace - and listen, really listen to our spiritual hearts.
          The television is blaring the latest news of the most recent incendiary statement by the politician of the moment, and talk show hosts on the radio tell of impending doom, and the topic of conversation overheard at restaurants and retail stores is angry, disbelieving or just plain mean.  It is in the air, especially during a really divisive political campaign, and the atmosphere is charged with negativity and chaos and fear.  It's difficult to find that quiet place, that peaceful moment, so we push on, ignoring the nagging feeling that we've forgotten something important.  We have.  We forgot to pray.  We forgot to meditate.  We forgot to listen.
          It is this forgetfulness, more than anything else, that will bring about our ruin.  It has been said that we are not human beings on a spiritual journey, but we are spiritual beings on a human journey.  I've seen that thought attributed to everyone from Albert Einstein to Stephen Cope to Chief Joseph, so I'm not sure who actually said it, but they were right.  Spiritual beings on a human journey make their way as best they can by human endeavor, which, for some inexplicable reason, seems to overpower their spiritual sense until it is drowned by the howls of human despair or elation.  Those howling voices rise and fall each time the need arises for peace and quiet to distract us from the path we should walk, the way we should go, the lessons we should learn. 
          Time must be taken to sit.  Moments must be given to that deep, calming breath before angry words are spoken.  Mouths must be shut and opinions held, to dissipate with the emotion that accompanies them.  We are spiritual beings, period.  We've forgotten.
          So how to remember?  Discipline, that most horrible of ideas that is resented and resisted with great success every single day around the globe.  If your spiritual path tells you to pray, then you must take time every day to pray.  If your spiritual path tells you to meditate, then you must take time to meditate every day.  If your spiritual path tells you to talk a walk in nature and listen to her music, then you must take time to walk in nature every day.  No exceptions, no excuses, no delays, no forgetting.  Even if you only sit or walk for five minutes, they are the most crucial minutes of your entire day.  It is in those minutes, those precious minutes, that you find your true nature, your true self, as an idea of God, a thought of divine mind, a spark of the divinity of pure consciousness.  How could we forget such an important thing? 
          Martin Luther said, "I would never have time to do everything I must in a day if I did not pray for three hours each morning."  Three hours!  The time we spend resting in peaceful contemplation clears the decks and aligns our minutes and hours to follow.  They take on a kind of flow, as the Taoists say, and when we are quiet inside, we can listen and know the best way to stay in that flow to move through our day with the least resistance and the most joy.
          Listening inside involves the intuition mentioned in this class in order to touch that spark within us.  It is not something that can be seen on an xray or CAT scan; not something that be observed with the physical senses.  It is a deeper part of us that resides in our spiritual hearts, the size and extent of its influence being determined by our devotion to our spiritual practice.  It never leaves us, though, but it can, through neglect, be malnourished and sickly. 
          We must nourish it!  We must feed it!  We must cherish and protect that most precious part of ourselves - our Selves - and recognize that we are, indeed, spiritual beings.  From there, our preparations to care for and guard our human selves will be imbued with that care and loving kindness that comes from a gentle, sweet caretaker.  You will be taking the very best care of You, and this is the best preparation there can be.  Use the intuition, psychic and psychometric abilities, and the other ideas the lessons of this class include, but foremost, prepare - you!

Rev. Crosson

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