Metaphysics Course

This blog is a collection of essays and lesson comments from several of the Universal Life Church courses on Metaphysics. We have a Spirit Quest Course and one on A Course In Miracles.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spiritual Awareness

Insights Into Spiritual Awareness
Rev. Thomas A. Voss

My first encounter with a 'spiritual' teacher was a regular Sunday school class taught by Dorothy Johnson at Christ Church Episcopal.  I was six.  Though I really tried to be a true believer, by the time I was a teenager I was not buying into the Christian explanation of the cosmos. Now I'm not certain we could accuse the Episcopalians of being too spiritual.  

The reasons I saw for non-believing were written in the Christian Bible.  The whole of the Old Testament to me is simply Jewish folklore no different than the tales told of Gilgamesh on the cuneiform tablets from Sumer.  Many bible stories seem to be like those coming out of the cities of Akkad or Ur from where Abraham and his clan came forth to the land of Canaan. The stories of the flood, for example, are too similar to be talking about different historic events.  As the tales were told and retold by the descendants of Abraham they eventually formed the book of Genesis. In the West we inherited Adam and Eve, Noah, and his Ark – not the Mesopotamian hero with his rafts.

There is a real problem with any "god" that would tell a Jewish general like Joshua to descend upon the cities of the Canaanites (his cousins) and kill every man, woman and child therein because Canaan was the "promised land." Wow – That just sounds like a very poorly disguised justification for mass murder and stealing land from the descendants of Ishmael.  And, they're still doing it!  God doesn't tell people to kill their cousins or anyone else. Nearly everywhere on Earth nature is proactive about life. From single celled microbes to whole galaxies it is clear that Universal Intelligence is abundantly creative not destructive.

Another baffling segment of Judeo-Christianity is the tradition of sacrifice. Apparently for thousands of years their god was satisfied through the offering of bled out, burnt, dead goats, sheep, or birds even his own son - the "Sacrificial Lamb!"  Whoa!  What kind of a mind does it take to be pleased by the death of innocent beings – over and over, again and again?  Well, the truth is, I think, those "offerings" allowed the priests to eat very well and the god took all the bad press. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tsu and others touched upon real power and experienced Universal Intelligence then, priests and scribes (the literate people) came along and wrote those experiences in a bible form so as to create a hierarchy with themselves on top.      

The memories of when I became less Christian, un-enchanted with the bible, and more eclectic are dim.  What people said back then about my change escapes me now.  I do remember that life seemed less certain because there were so many different spiritual ideas.

There is so much out there that talks about what is or is not spiritual. It could be so that from each and all these sources we are getting little bits and pieces of the Great Puzzle. The Celestine Prophecies certainly are a part of the answers and the questions we seek. Teaching people about the Insights is a good idea if only to expand their horizons.  Within Reverend King's course her discussions of the First and Fourth Insights were the most moving for me.  And, I particularly liked all the different exercises she provides such as the "Sacred Place", the "Shadow Exercise," and "Awareness through Movement."

Awareness is everything for homo-sapiens. Awareness of our awareness is the crowning attribute of the species. Without it we would've all been eaten alive long ago.  Without it we wouldn't have begun to have questions about the hereafter. We wouldn't wonder about the cosmos and there would have never been a Stonehenge or Hubble Telescope.

All people need to take notice of those little incidences of life (First Insight) that may in fact bring life altering adjustments on their path to enlightenment.  The more a person observes coincidence in life the more he or she understands that there is a power operating behind all the pettiness and egotism. "Becoming conscious of the reality of coincidences and developing an awareness of their message and meanings constitutes the first step to evolving consciously and more quickly." These words of Reverend King summarize the First Insight. It is the beginning of our own involvement in our own spiritual evolution.  

We need to teach the First Insight and the others to everyone. When someone is on a path to spiritual evolution it isn't likely he or she is going to go out to kill anybody, (unless, of course they're a crazed, misguided Muslim looking for heaven and a bevy of 'heavenly' virgins.) These poor sons o' Muhammad are just more proof that we need to teach the Insights to everyone. I certainly intend to teach what I can about each of the Insights along with Rev. King's exercises such as the "Sacred Place" and meditation among others. We must get people started.

It is my prayer that we do not have to wait for long to reach some sort of "critical mass" before real positive effects of spiritual cognizance can be lived here on Earth. From where I'm standing a thriving, new spiritual awakening around the world is growing, but slowly. The people dying of aids, starvation, and e-coli in Africa haven't any room to think of their spirituality; slow death owns their whole minds and souls. The Near East is at war and boys and girls blow themselves up in the name of their god!  In Western countries including the United States, people are spiritually challenged by having to live what I call "capital slavery." 

Capital slavery is a nation living under the illusion of freedom while it takes both parents working long workweeks and maybe some "side jobs" just to make ends meet.
When house payments are missed whole families are put in the street in a matter of days - their banks do pretty well, though. . . When they make mistakes the government hands them bailouts while the capital slaves get taxed more to pay for them. Over 40% of the people's time and money goes toward taxes. People barely have time to work and get their kids around to soccer practice. And, if they can make it to church on Wednesday nights and/or Sunday services that's about all the "spiritual awareness" for which they have any money or time to experience.

Most the people get a couple weeks vacation time each year. But, over three quarters of them can't afford to go anywhere entertaining or just to relax, let alone to study spiritual enlightenment. Oprah mentioned on her TV show that she has spent some time studying inner awareness and spiritual things. Evidently having complete economic security presents opportunities that most Americans do not ever see.

That's because most people in Western civilization are slaves of capitalism and fundamental to all capitalism is materialism.  So much of the time like the proverbial donkey, capital slaves have the "proverbial carrot" hanging just above their heads. They plod away their lives on paths they never see and are forever trying to catch up to their carrot; it might be a car, a new, HD, flat screen TV, it can be anything that is for sale.  Whatever it is, it keeps them deeply in debt with credit cards maxed out wondering when their life will have some meaning.

Truly, economic systems are the bane of spirituality. That's what the "Awakening" is up against. Within our beloved economic system are embedded the very power struggles that keep people shut off from Universal Energy. I hope the Celestine Prophecies and Reverend King are correct in what she wrote in Lesson 16 about the negativity over the last two thousand years being collected and will be eliminated so as to allow the cycles beginning in the new millennium to start fresh.

Perhaps in this century's fresh start will come a socio-economic system that doesn't have greed and materialism at its foundation.  I haven't a clue what that could be but it isn't Devine Right of Kings, Communism, or Socialism – these have shown their inherent weaknesses and they make real slaves of men, women, and children.  One powerful condition that will help usher in spiritual awakening and social change is that there are so many of us who want something more than extreme debt in our journey.

Through the light of the Fourth Insight we see one of the most important steps of the entire journey. Each of us must learn and then teach others about sources of energy and it's misuse. They must become aware of the "Master Addiction" and the "psychological lift" they are getting through present strategies of communication and interaction with others.  Most of all they need to know how stealing energy from others cuts them off from the truth and real energy. 

Eric Berne aside – Lesson 4 touched me more than any of the other lessons. Long ago I didn't care for Mr. Berne's book or Trans-actual Analysis simply because it isn't necessary to teach people how to divide their minds into multiple personalities in order to help them. The one personality they have is already complicated enough.

Part I and Part II of Lesson 4 are good processes for getting people to be in touch with a new path to energy. Connecting to our own "higher wisdom", understanding competition, and energy are all about the first steps to spiritual consciousness.  It was Lesson 4 that was sent to me via e-mail to show me what Reverend King's course was going to be.
When I first read it I knew she had something good to say and, I will be using it in to teach others.  The best way to show a congregant is by being. Next, the minister needs some processes as Reverend King placed in the course.  Through out the course there are wonderful exercises and process she teaches to help the reader and later, his or her flock. I would use first, as she did, the sacred place exercises.  From there she has constructed a stairway to allow us to show our people the way to becoming a Multi-sensored being in the new millennium as in the Ninth Insight.

We have to do some work about getting people to drop their baggage.  L. Ron Hubbard called it "getting clear."  EST called it "getting it."  What needs to happen for the client is a disassociation from their habits and new cognizant processes formed to move them toward the light. That may take a week, month, or a lifetime. Only the "congregant" will be able to say – it depends on how badly they need their problems. It is about overcoming their present personality and who they think they are and giving them the tools to move beyond their world of only five senses to the richer association between their personality and their soul.  This being will "sense" with the spirit for that which is spiritual and the normal everyday senses i.e. "the Multi-sensored Being." 

Reverend King said, "Understanding the Fourth Insight is a matter of seeing the human world as a vast competition for energy and essentially, power. When we can stop depending on control as the sole impetus for change, the Universe guides us and puts the mystery back into life and makes us feel truly alive again." I believe if we teach just the essence of Lesson 4 alone we will change the world.  People would immediately recognize their control measures and how needless they really are. When congregants do see, we can show them the process of connecting with the Universal Intelligence and its abundant energy.

The Seventh Insight tells us to focus on beauty, iridescence, and mindfulness then let these lead us to intuition.  The persons from whom we need answers and information will be placed in front of us. It teaches us our dreams and daydreams contain information and that we need to focus to glean from them what is there for us. Again, within Lesson 6 and Lesson 7 regarding the Seventh Insight Reverend King teaches exercises and processes (tools) to help her students and then, their students to focus on the environment, learn to build energy, ask the right questions, tell the difference between intellect and intuition, and then to follow intuition. 

The lesson of the Seventh Insight is all about evolving consciously and staying alert to the things the Universe provides. . . in other words – Awareness.  To teach people to be aware and open to the Universe is our mission or, at least it is my mission and Reverend King has provided some fine methodology to use every day.

"How will society change in the coming millennium as a result of the growth in awareness and conscious evolution?  What is the reason for people being here on this planet?  What is the spiritual intent and meaning of life?"

Wow!  Would that I could know all that.

I would hope that in this millennium people will stop the vicious competition for energy and power.  When that happens we will be a kinder, gentler race. We will focus more on the real things in life rather than materialism and "One upsmanship."  Perhaps 'power' will come to mean electricity and nothing else. We will come to know that, "Love is not an intellectual concept or a moral imperative. It is the background emotion that exists when one is connected to the energy available in the universe. . ."

Michael Murphy is saying that there are extraordinary human abilities in communication and the paranormal that will be far more prevalent in this millennium.  I look forward to that; there do seem to be more and more people talking about and willing to explore things like ESP and other psychic abilities  

If one is a Christian then one is on the planet to please and believe in Jesus the son of God and that will get you to "heaven." If one follows Islam then one has calloused knees and awaits Allah to take s\he to a different "heaven."  I'm not too sure exactly what awaits Gods people - Israel, but it is another heaven, I think. . .  If you are Hindu you get to keep reincarnating into new bodies until you get it right – karma and all, then, you get to join the "One" much like Lao Tsu's "Tao." At any rate, each man and woman has their own answer as to why they are on the planet.  Hopefully gaining spiritual consciousness is a big part of that.  For all we know this is already heaven and it's up to us right here to make and keep it that way.  The Ninth Insight says that, that is so and we all will learn to vibrate at a higher level and stay right here.

The spiritual intent of life is to evolve above materialism while respecting and nurturing body, mind, and spirit.  The meaning of life is to nurture and love all peoples, especially the little ones and leave our little corner of Earth a better place than we found.  

All in all I really enjoyed the course, Insights Into Awareness.  Reverend Elizabeth King did a great job in bringing the Insights to my level of understanding.  I have never read the Celestine Prophecies and I probably won't.  I am not one to readily believe in reincarnation and/or vibrating until others can't see me. But these things are only the 'frills' of Reverend King's course, not the meat – like having a 'savior' for Christians.  Just as there is so much more to Christianity in the teachings of Jesus than in some need to believe he was sort of a sacrificial lamb who was brutally murdered for my sins, there is far more in Reverend King's course than souls zipping on and off the planet gaining karmic knowledge.  It isn't likely that too many Christians will buy into the reincarnation story. So? We can teach them spiritual evolution anyway without ticking them off or alienating them. The substance of Reverend King's course is to evolve spiritually. That can be taught to any of my congregants from whatever background of faith they come. 

I mentioned earlier that I particularly liked Reverend King's use of exercises and processes along with our notebooks wherein she achieves getting her student to live within the particular Insight she was teaching in the lesson. I must say, though, I do not intend to go out and try to teach Rev. King's stuff right away.  That's because every time I re-read a lesson or do an exercise over, something else to think about pops up. It's wonderful!  Her course is still unfolding within me and probably will until I die. After awhile when I feel a bit more stable thinking within her concepts I'll be teaching them.  The world needs to know about the Insights, about energy, about evolving spiritually.  Reverend King's course is a great place to start.  

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas A. Voss


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