The world is changing. The United States is becoming less and less a “Christian” nation. Neighborhoods that used to be predominantly Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish are now receiving those who are Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. Further, there has been an increase in interest in older religions such as Wiccan and various types of paganism.
As a minister, I believe we must be able to work with those of other faiths. We can easily go into our own religious or denomination corner with the idea of separation for “purity” sake or we can actively engage all we come into contact with. Religions that emphasize conversion require its followers to “go into the world and make disciples of all nations.” But to do so does require some knowledge of the other religions.
This course is an absolute necessity for any minister of any faith. As the communities and work places become more mixed, we need to be aware of the differences and similarities between the various religions. Further, as a part-time Protestant chaplain I encounter people seeking guidance who are not Christian. So this course comes to me as a welcome addition to my education.
One of the strengths of this course was the wealth of resources I was directed to. I was able to find many of the various sacred texts needed to study. I have been studying these other texts in between lessons to help me gain a broader understanding of the world’s religions.
This course was very in-depth in content. I realize that this was a very challenging task for the course developer to take on. The material and the scope of this subject are such that it is possible to make two courses to cover a total of 40 weeks between the two. I must congratulate Rev. Kythera Ann for her ability to put together such comprehensive course and avoid the temptation of just skimming a topic here and there.
The illustrations given in each lesson were very helpful. They added “flavor” to the lessons. Along with the illustrations were the many scholarly quotes and footnotes that I found useful as well. The charts were all helpful. For me, I like to see things as part of my learning style. Having a chart gives me something to evaluation in a simple, direct fashion. The chart in lesson 20 was real illuminating to me.
One criticism I have of this course is the occasional website links provided were broken. This is not the fault of the course developer. The Internet is dynamic place with new sights being posted, old ones being updated, and some being deleted. The one recommendation I would have is that this course’s links be reviewed quarterly. Also, I would recommend the first lesson include some administrative instructions about notifying ULC about links that are broken or no longer active. This is the only criticism I have.
I highly recommend this course to any minister of any religion. I would also encourage Rev. Kythera Ann to develop other courses and would be happy to study the material. Blessings to all who take this course.
Final Essay for Master of Mystical Christianity Course;
The Master of Mystical Christianity course has had impact on my spiritual thought, prayer life and academic knowledge. I found much of what Mother Maryesah Karelon OMM taught through the lessons to be thought provoking. The format of Questions for the Heart and Mind inspired me to view the lessons with prayer and reflection, as well as from the academic point of view.
The lessons clarified issues which had been in my mind at the start of the course. In the first lesson, I realized just how important the Scriptures and Sacred Writings are for me. They are my daily spiritual bread. I now have deeper understanding of further dimensions to the Genesis story after studying the teaching of Mother Maryesah. This has been reflected in the blog post I wrote;
The second lesson highlighted for me the necessity of ecological respect as a part of spirituality. The third lesson deepened my understanding of each of us being called through the inspiration from God to be priest, prophet and king in our personal lives.
As the course progressed, I learned much about Gnosticism and other movements in spirituality over the years. I relived experiences in myl life through reflection on the lessons and questions. I learned more about myself and my personal spiritual road.
I understand more clearly now that God has had a plan in my life, while leaving me free to make decisions.
I realize how important Jesus Christ is to me, and just how much I love and admire Him. Reflections about His Life as put before me by Mother Maryesah led me to spend much time in reading the Bible and Sacred Writings. The understandings I came to during the courses are beneficial resources to me in my ministry.
I derived much benefit from learning more about the mystics Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart and Teresa of Avila. The writings of the mystics seemed so difficult in the past for me to understand; Mother made them simple. The mystics are simply writing about their experience. The further we move in spirituality, the more we understand of how God moves profoundly and deeply within our souls as He leads us to growth and wholeness. God leads us to reincarnation of our inner selves as we constantly grow in our spirituality.
The teachings of Mother Maryesah on the mystics inspired in me the thought that God manifests full intelligence in harmony with compassion and emotional intimacy. God is able to reach out to all without over harshness or over emotionality. God is thus balanced, and I believe upon completing the course that it is our life’s work to continue to seek harmony within our personal beings.
The overriding lesson I have learned from Master of Mystical Christianity is the reality that:
God is not outside me.
God is not at the end of a long life road
God is not in another heaven that I must move forward to attain.
God is within me, and has always been within me.
In the final lessons of Mother Maryesah I reflected on all I was learning.
I realized that I I simply need to turn within and contemplate the God Who has been in my heart, soul and mind all the time I have been seeking with Him without.
“The kingdom of God is within you,” Luke 17;21. (The great Jesus)
“You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.” (Augustine, Late have I loved Thee)
Essay for the Master of Gnosticism Course
Joseph H KovacicHaving dabbled in the study of Gnosticism for several years, a formal examination of the subject seemed in order. The course, “Master of Gnosticism,” offered at Universal Life Seminary appeared to be a means of satisfying that goal. Early on the World Wide Web provided a plethora of information on Gnosticism. Ecclesia Gnostica offered an abundance of data on their web site (www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm). Bishop Dr. Steven Hoeller, is a prolific writer, scholar and Bishop of the “Ecclesia Gnostica” Diocese in Los Angeles, California and the expanded Diocese consisting of parishes in several western states. There were reams of data on Ecclesia’s Web Site, including a Gnostic Catechism (http://www.gnosis.org/ecclesia/catechism.htm). Various texts on Gnosticism were used to supplement a wealth of information from other sources such as: The Gnostic Bible (Meyer, Barnstone); The Nag Hammadi Scriptures (Meyer) and works by Erhman; Freke and Gandy; Tabor; Krosney; Pagles: Starbird; Nahmad and Bailey; Jacobovici and Pellegrino; Leloup; Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, et. al. The Gnostic Bible and The Nag Hammadi Scriptures were used primarily as references and The Catholic Encyclopedia was also consulted. It is a good source of information about Gnosticism. One, however, must read the material cautiously and filter out all of the negative propaganda and focus on the history.
In addition, the ULC Seminary’s course provided, not only reinforcement for previously learned material, it offered new Concepts. Myth is presented throughout the “Master of Gnosticism” course. Evidently, certain movies reflect the Gnostic Experience. “Matrix” was alleged to contain “many” elements of Gnosticism. Science fiction? Well, . . . don’t know about that. This writer saw the movie after reading its reference in an early lesson (lesson two) of the “Master of Gnosticism” course. The movie was alleged to offer many examples of Gnosticism; that, however was not recognized by this student. Only “bits and Pieces” were observed; the movie was found to be boring. It was probably someone’s loss having not focused during the preponderance of the “flick.”
There were many terms presented, id est: demiurge, aeons, archons, Basilides, Valentinus, Marcion, Docetae, monad, pleroma, Sophia, Jaldabaoth, Jao, Sabaoth, Adonaios, Astaphaios, Ailoaios, Oraios and many others. Basilides, Valentinus, and Marcion were bishops who were excommunicated by the orthodox Roman Church. Having became disillusioned by the narrow views ordered by the orthodox, they drifted to Gnosticism and founded important Gnostic schools. Actually, they drifted prior to excommunication.
This observer finds the KISS principal (keep it simple, stupid) more than adequate for consideration of the Gnostic phenomenon. The many myths seem to be an encumbrance.
Basilides, Valentinus, and Marcion were involved with establishing various schools of Gnosticism. Egypt, Alexandria, and Syria were some of the areas these men congregated and disseminated Gnosticism. Gnostic is from Greek and means knowledge. This is not knowledge one embraces via a book. Here one does not need to search for knowledge outside of oneself. Seeking knowledge from others, priests, bishops, etc. is not necessary. All one need do is look inwardly and commune with God directly. This did tend to pose a threat to the orthodox establishment. Therefore the establishment sot to eliminate the Gnostics. Solitary worship is what is practiced by most Gnostics according to Bishop Hoeller.
Gnosticism is dualistic; good, bad, evil, etc. The Demiurge would be equivalent to the creator god of the universe, earth and all material things encompassed therein. That would be concomitant to the Jewish people’s god; angry, punitive and a “witz-vogel”, so to speak. Space alien maybe; that was Yahweh. The Absolute God is far above the Demiurge and projects love rather than the hatred and meanness as do the lessor gods.
The Supreme Being was unknowable, a pure Spirit. Jesus was, perhaps, associated with this “loving” God. Love is what Jesus represented, and thus the all powerful God made its appearance through and in Jesus. That would be the basis for the concept of duality, two gods, the materialistic evil god and the Supreme Spiritual Good God of Love; the Trinity, Father, Son and the Holy Ghost with Sophia representing the Holy Ghost; Wisdom.
Bishop Hoeller in one of his homilies mentioned that many people consider themselves Gnostic, but there are few who actually are. Clarification would be helpful. This writer considers himself a Gnostic Christian. Where did he go wrong?
One of the possible authors (there were obviously several writers involved in the course construction) of the “Master of Gnosticism” course drew some outstanding contrasts between Gnostic Christianity and Orthodox Christianity in lessons fourteen and fifteen. Perhaps the author overdid the comparisons in lesson fifteen. This writer took offense at the very extreme presentations and called it “tommyrot.” Although, there were obvious errors in spelling, grammar and syntax, etc., the information was thorough. Yet, there may have been a bit of redundancy, but that is expected. Driving the issue home may be crucial. Repetition is of value to the student. So, that was, perhaps, a favorable technique.
This writer was confused by some of the text. Run on sentences without definite conclusions plagued this writer, especially in undergraduate school. This may still be a problem.
I’ll start by saying how much I learned in this course. I really enjoyed the history lesson going back to ancient Greece where western thought is believed to have originated. This course was also designed to teach ministers how to minister to scientificfically minded people, which is good information all ministers can make good use off in this scientific age off ours.
According to this course there are only two kinds of people. Those that are influenced by there hearts and those that are influenced by there minds. Heart people of course are those that trust there feelings, are feely touchy, are compassionate and warm and believe in things they cannot see (faith) etc. Whereas Mind people tend to be rational, logical, analytical etc., not believing anything they cannot see etc. As Ministers driven by are hearts we of course feel for mind driven people and want to help them. The only problem with this of course is that if we push to hard our efforts might backfire and all we’ll accomplish is scaring people away. As this course teaches rational scientific types a lot of times will come to a place in there lives where science, as great as it is, can only go so far in answering the real deep questions about life. That’s when these rational scientific types will suddenly become interested in seeking answers that science in all its greatness cannot answer. That’s when they start seeking out us, the heart driven types for answers. As we learn in this course when these mind types finally decide to seek us heart types out we should be loving and kind not preachy and observe and listen. Remembering always to be a guide only and empowering people to seek out answers for themselves.
This course also takes us through a history of western thought starting with the Pythagoreans going all the way to Freud. Fascinating is all I can say. I think the philosopher I really enjoyed the most was Plato. I think the reason for this is because I’m very intuitive and spiritual and I found My spirit resonating with Plato’s philosophy. Plato believed in the duality of the universe. He believed there existed another dimension or a dual or parallel universe.This world that we live in now is imperfect and there exists in another dimension a perfect dimension or universe so to speak. Jung talks about this years later and calls it the unconscious mind.According to Plato the ultimate goal of Mankind was to reach for this perfect world as much as they possibly could. A good ex., of this perfect world is shown in His allegory of the cave. After taking this course I was inspired to actually read Plato’s Republic in its entirety and was amazed at how little has changed since Plato when it comes to people. Although I admitted to liking Plato this course teaches to learn from all philosophers. Balance in all things.
I really appreciated how this course ended by the author. He went on to share his personal life journey and open himself so that He could show us His real self. This takes courage and guts to say the least. I agree with the author that to be an effective minister requires one to be open and transparent with ones own life thus being believable and trustworthy. People open up to you more because they have found someone they can relate to and trust. I find that this makes you a whole lot more effective minister than someone who comes across as this perfect person on an ivory tower. If there is such a person.
Obviously there is no such thing as a perfect course, but this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve taken. As I said at the beginning of this essay I learned a lot and I can see myself coming back to this course over and over again for further study.
I have greatly enjoyed the challenges presented in this course. There are many questions and fascinating discoveries surrounding the events depicted in the Bible. I am most intrigued by the “Exodus” of the Israelites out of Egypt. Among Egyptologists there is much controversey over the alleged great Biblical Exodus of Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Some Egyptologists point to the critical lack of evidence that the event ever occurred and speculate that what may have happened, was that there possibly could have been a relatively small migration of Israelites who fled Egypt during a period of depression. The difficult times of drought or famine quite possibly may have been a result of a series of unfortunate natural disasters, such as the Santorini volcanic eruption; thus leading to assigning of blame for the events to the Israelites. The events, some believe, were then greatly embellished in later generations to add far more drama and luster to the story.
One of the more curious details about the whole Exodus story is one rarely mentioned or discussed, but may in fact be the one detail that hints at what may have actually ignited the rapid rush out of Egypt and the subsequent pursuit of the Pharaoh after the Israelites.
The book of Exodus chapter 12 verses 35 and 36 states:
“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and raiment (Holy Bible,Exodus 12:35):”
“And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians (Exodus 12:36).”
This tells us that this was done in obedience to earlier instructions from Moses as supposedly predicted by God:
“And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go (Exodus 3:20).”
“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty (Exodus 3:21):”
“But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians (Exodus 3:22).”
This allegedly fulfills an earlier prophecy found in the book of Genesis chapter 15:13-14 that reads:
“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years (Genesis 15:13);”
“And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance (Genesis 15:14).”
The great marauding and plundering that supposedly takes place on the last night, the eve of the Exodus, was also the night all of Egypt’s first born children are killed by God during the first Passover. The story goes on to tell us that Pharaoh was so upset and distraught, he commanded the Israelites to leave Egypt because it appeared as if their presence seemed to have brought a terrible curse upon Egypt.
What happens next is somewhat peculiar; consider the following events.
Exodus 14:5 indicates that word reached Pharaoh that the Israelites had fled the land which, if we recall, was ordered by the same Pharaoh. Here he seems stunned that they actually left and it is even more surprising when you consider the large number of Israelites that left Egypt according to the Bible. If Exodus 14 is to be believed, it’s as if the Pharaoh was completely oblivious to this.
As a result, we are told that Pharaoh has “a change of heart” and amasses an army to go after the Israelites to bring them back into slavery. That Pharaoh having a change of heart is puzzling considering he gave the order for them to leave Egypt in the first place. Considering that in a superstitious world, it would be very easy to believe that as long as the Israelites remained in the land, Egypt would continue to suffer from one disaster after another while the Israelite groups in the Goshen area of Egypt were unaffected by the plagues. Why would Pharaoh want to bring them back knowing the disaster their presence brought?
What some scholars have suggested is, the ‘mixed multitude’ of Israelites actually marauded and plundered as opposed to borrowing Egyptian items on their migration out of Egypt as indicated in Exodus 12: 35-36. The theory is that Pharaoh was actually pursuing the Israelites to take back and return what was stolen from and rightfully belonged to the Egyptian people. The rest of the Exodus story, they posit, is highly propagandized and/or embellished to sanitize it in favor of the Israelites while simultaneously demonizing the Egyptians and Pharaoh. It leaves me asking the question as to why would the Egyptians and Pharaoh have been so sympathetic toward the Israelites and in such a giving and generous mood when it was quite evident the Israelites were responsible for all the ills and despair Egypt had suffered compounded by the deaths of all their firstborn.
The much, so much more to explore and learn about humanity’s past. How we evolved and developed through the ages. How we humans learned and explored our environment and our inner being guided by a spark of curiosity, awe, faith, and mystery. How we learned to socialize, grow and develop fantastic civilizations and beliefs as we continue to occupy this planet. We all still have much to learn as we continue our quest to learn who we are. Thank you for a great course.
The Holy Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers,
That as a Carpenter Jesus would not have been a man of slender build. At this time in history Carpenters were also Stonemasons. Lugging around stones, lumber and tools would made a man of muscular build. Longhair was not worn in those times by men, unless they had taken the Nasserite vow. Judas had to give a sign, with the kiss to identify Jesus, to the Romans and the Jewish Priests present at the time of arrest. The average height of men of that time was about 5’1″. A tallish man of slender build, and long hair, would have made him stand out. Easy to identify, and easy to be captured, when the Romans, and Jewish Elders went about looking for Jesus. First to accuse, then to try to trick him, then to have him done away with, because how dare he challenge their worldly earthly authority. Then would that mean their Authority came from the Prince of the Air?
After fulfilling the Nasserite vow, one was to shave their head, and wash, for long hair on men was shameful.
Dec. 25th coincides with the Pagan belief in the Deity of Saturnia. To make the one God belief religion more palatable to new converts; many Pagan beliefs were inserted in to this new system. Such as Easter Eggs, Xmas Trees, and many more.
Now could have the parting of the Red Sea, and the Flood be examples of the plan of physical death being a requirement for spiritual rebirth. Does it not read-that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit, it spirit? Considering the subject of the message below, it seemed only right to insert other, validations of misconceptions. Smile, you are seeing a smile with what teeth are left in my head.
The Journeys of Paul: Paul and Barnabas continue their journey and came to Pisida, here they were invited to speak in the synagogue where Paul preached a good sermon. This was the first recorded sermon of Paul. Acts 13: 16-48 versus when Paul preached to the crowd before him. Paul sermon was very clear about his will from God and that he sent from him to the human race to give them a good news about God words to his people and saving them from destruction of mankind. Paul traced the promised through the history of Israel, and he spoke of how God had stood beside them in all their trails and tribulations: God had promised not to forsake them, God had promised to send a savior and God did just what he said he would, if anyone doubted that Jesus was that savior, the resurrection was the proof that his or her doubt was mistaken. The resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of the gospel. It was something that God did, and doing it God confirmed fulfilled that promise of Salvation.
I believe that the teachings in this book are brilliant. The way that Jesus answers the question to Pharisees about taxes was so smart. He answered the question honestly and without offense. I believe that the teaching about loving others as you would want to be loved is one of the most important lessons taught.
I think that the lessons about greed talk so much about the trouble the world is having today. I know that The times that we are living in now are what Jesus was talking about and I do believe that being prepared means spiritually. I think that everyone should find and get to know God and be prepared for everything has has prepared for us.
I think the story of Jesus being captured and betrayed teaches us that real trust is very hard to come by. I enjoyed this whole book I think that it taught a lot about today’s life.
The idea of coming “full circle” in strategies for creating health and balance within clients is growing daily.
Each culture in history has had its concept of healing powers and rituals used by the people of that culture. With modern medical models the more technically advanced societies have turned away from ancestral healing traditions.
While modern medical models provide dramatic results, they are still limited because there are many cases where a client full recovers against all odds while other cases where a client dies even though a procedure has been perfectly performed. Those who daily work in the modern medical setting see these situations of life and death. They also experience clients relating their interactions with the energetic or spiritual realms during the times the client is in the hospital.
Such experiences compiled over time are causing modern medical workers to consider “the more” that is at work in healing.
I am trained and certified in energetic healing and have for the past 25 years pursued the knowledge that is commonly regarded as non-traditional when compared to medical and spiritual contemporary ideas.
This acquisition of learning (fueled by a subtle knowing) increased when I became so ill I was unable to continue working. Nothing modern medicine could do changed or improved my condition. It wasn’t until I spent my time actively practicing alternative therapies that my health began to improve. I came to understand that my spirit/soul was so unbalanced that my health failed. This situation gave me the time to use the alternative healing skills I was learning. It also gave me the opportunity to grow spiritually, seek further understanding and skills in energetic healing.
Now on a path of seeking knowledge, applying it to myself and finally to others, I find myself engaged in things that suit my personality and can help others by direct application or through teaching and/or mere exposure to metaphysical ideas.
While on this newer path, I have been blessed to have a friend who is a nurse at a leading hospital. She also offers healing touch to her clients. She has first-hand experience having a foot on each side of the issues of health/illness, and life/death as she follows emergency patients from intake to release. Her strong belief in Christianity brings yet another aspect to her healing techniques.
This course in metaphysics brought me the knowledge of the strong movement of organization and validation of spiritual healers in South Africa. I was completely unaware of this activity and found it interesting and enlightening. The cooperation between seemingly opposite medical models is breathtaking. I am awed by the scope of work and efforts put forth to create such an alliance. The time for cooperation has truly arrived.
Reading about the hurdles and opposition Dr. Lee overcame through the years shows me that God/Universe can move everything aside and empower those struggling for positive change when the time is right.
Dr. Lee’s work and efforts, I believe, are a powerful beginning to meld regular and spiritual medicine in today’s world. When the standard approach to health is holistic we will all benefit greatly. When working for wellness rather than tamping down symptoms or surgically removing parts of our bodies becomes the norm I believe we will see dramatic miracles daily. The connectedness to our Source is necessary for true health.
The metaphysical joined with the traditional will create a world full of balanced beings in touch with their Creator. This synergistic approach will create the much needed health for all beings and our planet. This harmonious world is just a thought away!
I came into this discourse with a limited knowledge and understanding of the Wiccan practices, I left with information overload!Devon and Lord Starwalker gives us an impressive overview of all basic aspects of the Wiccan lifestyle, the reasons for the rituals and the holidays which they celebrate and honor.Starting with the history, which has been ongoing for many hundreds of years and their beliefs handed down throughout the generations.This first lesson gives a point of reference to how and why this group came to be and the importance of the rituals they practice.The responsibility for the magick performed is placed on the performer and is taken seriously and respectfully.
The tools of the practice are simple, but again taken seriously, using your own positive energy to bring them in alignment with the highest good for each use.The list given is quite extensive with an excellent explanation of each:Athames, candles, incense, salt, water, Chalice, Ritual Book, Book of Shadows, Pentacles, sword.Most of these tools are handed down to the next generational leaders or cult group.Another section dealt with the use of the pendulum, dowsing rods and using Bio-electric energy.
I especially enjoyed the area of holidays and how to celebrate the changing of the seasons.As Mother Earth revolves around the four seasons, I love the fact of honoring her for this precious gift of change.The Equinox’s show us the full potential of the power of God.Each seasonal change gives me a chance to start anew, fresh start with a beginning point for advanced growth.
There are a few chapters on rituals, which did not strike a cord with me and my present belief system.I recognize and honor the choices of others; they have some belief which is much better than no beliefs.It just seems to me a lot of preparation and ‘work’ to get to a place that is much simpler to attain with prayer and meditation.Religion and religious practices all seem to get us into a ritual frame of mind to keep our attention on the structure of the church.Focusing on the ritual and that it is done correctly instead of the point that the Higher Power is a touchable and commutative Being to each of us.Is it the ritual that unites us within the clan?Is it the ritual that unites us with the Higher Power that we seek?I truly see that there is Only One – given any name or label you wish.With sincere love and adoration my God is with me each moment within and without external guidance.
My overall comments on this discourse are positive.Thank you, Devon and Lord Starwalker for a brilliant, well written and researched discourse.I appreciate your insights and references.The entire class came together with enlightenment on a ‘mysterious’ religion that I knew little about and is not that scary fiction that is sometimes represented.
I’ve never been very good at writing, but here goes. Before I begin I’d like a few moments for some background. I initially heard about the ULC on some TV show where the host got himself ordained online and performed a wedding ceremony for some of his production staff. I decided to do the same, however the certificate that spat out of my printer looked kind of cheesy and I didn’t do much with my new status as Reverend, until recently. I had a chance to perform my first wedding so I ordered a wall credential to show the county. I must be a shallow person because seeing my name on a fancier document suddenly triggered a change in me, the ordination suddenly stopped being a joke and that’s when I decided to start taking some seminary courses.
To get some “street cred”. I hope to start my own ministry some day, but until I get some more classes under my belt I have no business occupying a pulpit.
As for the course, kudos to who ever chose the text, it was an easy read. It was much like a novel. I didn’t get any particular trouble or comfort from the course, instead I got perspective. This was a particularly difficult time to pursue studies. My father-in-law became very ill and succumbed to the illness and passed away. It was difficult for us to watch him suffer and we frequently asked God why? This may seem like a cold response but why not? In John 3:16 it is said that God sent his only begotten Son for our salvation, and roughly 33 years later he died for all of our sins for now and forever. Where does the perspective come in? I’ve always been confused why if Jesus suffered and died for our sins then why do we centuries later have suffering? My only answer is this, God has a reason for everything he does, perhaps the suffering he allows is as a reminder of what his Son went thru for us. After all any discomfort we “mere mortals” go thru is but a small fraction of the humiliation and suffering that Jesus went thru for our salvation.
I enjoyed the course and can’t wait till the next one which will likely be the Comparative Religion Course.
I found Spirit Quest to be one of the most helpful of my courses to date. The exercises were delightful to read and easy to follow. The tools I found to be most helpful were the grounding and meditation exercises. When I first created a grounding cord, I could hardly rise from my chair. I felt very heavy and attached to the earth. When I released it, I felt lighter, as if I might be able to float. I have incorporated these techniques in a class I’m teaching and have received rave reviews on it. It has actually helped one of my students learn to visualize.
This course has actually helped heal my spirit and solar plexis chakra which became damaged about a year ago. I had been working on it for almost a year without getting too far, and this course has really sped up the healing process. The blowing up of roses has been a tremendous benefit when ever I’m feeling angry, lonely, sorrowful, or depressed. I can now pour that negative energy into a few roses and blow them up and feel better and behave better.
The discourses on reincarnation and the different life cycles of the spirit were a tremendous help in understanding who I am and where I am in this incarnation. I have always known I was an old soul and reading the definitions and characterizations of each cycle was a true revelation. I recognized quite a few people in each of the cycle descriptions. It has also helped me become more tolerant and understanding towards others of younger life cycles, and confirmed what, I personally, have been teaching. That some people are not yet ready to evolve spiritually, yet, and attain a higher form of enlightenment.
I have also learned that I’m a person worthy of good things and respect and that I don’t have to be around those who are negative and abusive. I can still love someone without having to be around them when they are being nasty.
Over all, this course was wonderfully enlightening and enjoyable. Rev. Amy Long did a fantastic job putting this course together and making me feel worthwhile. I loved her anecdotes on her personal experiences. It’s always nice, in a class, to hear of the teacher’s pitfalls and triumphs. These are great tools for anyone to use.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I’ve been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
This is a short essay from a minister who has completed the Spirit-Quest:
Wow!!! What have I learned? Let me start from my beginning:
Well, there is so much that I have learned. So much practice and so much growth in the last six months. I feel that I am in a constant mode of change and evolution.
My own personal experience may explain what I mean by changes. After taking my discourses, I realized that I was receiving information about people and their need for healing. Names of people would come to my head. When I would contact them, they indeed needed some type of physical or emotional healing. I also saw colors, and was directed through colors to where I should work on someone or myself.
I started working with people by facilitating sessions for them, the changes that occurred in some of these people was amazing, however I want to make sure that you the reader understand that these people were the ones wanting this healing and I was just a channel that facilitated that healing, it was not me doing the work it was the Source, the Creator of all things.
I found that I could no longer eat certain types of foods. My body only wanted those things that were good for me, this please me immensely. It also provided me with more energy than I had ever had before. Meats were no longer appealing to me, where before I enjoyed meats like everyone else. Wine had always been a problem for me. I found it better to stay away from wine all together. My allergies were a year round happening. I lived on allergy pills. This new lifestyle really helped as I no longer had to take allergy pills, or ibuprofen for headaches as these went away as well. I now only take allergy pills every once in a while when allergy season is at its highest.
The most wonderful and beneficial thing for me was to be able to make a connection with the Divine. This is something that was so special for me that I would never regret having gone through this course; on the contrary it made me whole. Once undergoing the process, if you are committed to your spiritual enfoldment, it will rock your world. Nothing will ever be the same. Life will be much richer and fuller, you will be happy within yourself. You will no longer look at external means for happiness. Your husband will become a companion, yet not your source of happiness. You will love your children, family, friends, yet they are no longer your only source of happiness. Happiness will lie within you, and that is what I found. I will not tell you that I have no challenges, I find that now I can cope with them much easier. I see them in a different light. To be able to take the tools that I have learned in the last year and apply them to life is what has made a huge difference.
I came to the realization that I am the best chocolate cake out there. There is no chocolate cake better than me. Everything else is frosting added to the cake as one of the ladies I know stated.
My life continues to evolve and I find that I see life through different eyes. My evolution started over seven years ago, however I know that I have been connected all my life. This discourse has fine tuned all that I have learned throughout the years. The practice of mastery is what has made the difference. Being able to take a concept and practice it for a week or however long is necessary is what I have found makes the difference
Life is a wonderful thing and to understand your role in life you need to look within yourself, understand your soul purpose and search within for answers. No one can do this for you, only you can do this for you. Everyone is born with a purpose, something you are here to learn during this lifetime, or you are meant to do. Have you thought of what your purpose is? Have you looked within to figure out how you can be happy within yourself? (This is a challenge that only you can figure out for yourself.
No matter what your religion or set of beliefs are, Spirit-Quest may enrich your life and experience, if you are willing to look within yourself to discover your life purpose. First of all, you will need quiet time for yourself. To look within yourself, you will need time to meditate.
There are many ways of accomplishing this; spirit quest may not be for everyone, however it was for me. It did enrich my life. I was able to experience something very rich, how it is related to every aspect of our being, from emotional happiness to emotional difficulty, physical illnesses, relationships,programming and more.
This is what this experience has done for me. It has made me more aware of my body, my mind, my soul and it has connected me to the Divine Source, the creator of all things. I now find life to be richer, fuller and something that I truly can enjoy on a moment-by-moment basis.
By staying in the now I can ensure forward movement of my life. I can co-create with the Universe. I can plan my day every morning and work with the Universal life force to manifest those things that I need in my life.
That is the power of the work we have down and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking to practice mastery.