Onlline Sermons

We have posted a lot of sermons from our Universal Life Church ministers. Some are Christian and some are not. You are welcome to use them or just enjoy them as you like.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spiritual Development

Doctor of Spiritual Development
Rev. Justin Oles
This course used an interesting methodology to teach the material which worked very well for me. My world is very much based around reason and logic and it would appear that the author's is as well. As such I was able to more easily relate to the discussions brought up in the discourses than I am in some of the fanciful courses that the seminary offers.

Dr. Crouch starts out the course right from the get go with a scientific explanation of where the mind exists within our world. He then in future discourses goes on to explain how to use the mind to change our world and ourselves to help us grow, develop, and meet our needs and wants. He also goes on to explain how with a little work we can change the way we think about certain things by moving around their location on our "visuo-spatial workbench" or cognisphere, in other words what we see when we look through our minds eye. Dr. Crouch explains that the location of things within our "workbench" has a lot to do with how we view things.

For example, if something gets stored away near the area of things you dislike, then you will dislike it, but if we make a conscious effort to move that thought over to the area of things we enjoy then we may be able to get ourselves to like it. The same thing works the other way. While this may seem like a trivial item, who cares about changing what you like or don't like, you feel that way for a reason right? This technique can be useful in our personal and spiritual growth, for example, if there is something that is causing a road block in your development due to fear or anger, and you can't seem to understand why and get over it, you may be able to change its location in your thought processes and therefore change the way you feel about it.

In lesson 2 Dr. Crouch continues with his scientific methodology by first stating the "universal law", which is that energy follows thought. From there he goes on to give examples of cases where scientists while looking for something and expecting a certain result went on to find exactly what they expected. Are these cases of sheer coincidence or are we seeing scientific proof that energy follows thought. Are we finding what we expected because it was always there, or are we finding it because we expected to and therefore made our expectations manifest based on our strong assumption that it is the way is must be? Using the assumption that whatever thoughts we have will change the very energy of the universe he goes on to talk about how by accepting this and then accepting or affirming what we need or desire we may be able to provide for ourselves.

Dr. Crouch also explains in several of the lessons how the mind works and how it works with the universe. He states that in order for the mind, and therefore thoughts, to change the energy of the universe that it must be placed in the present-positive mind set. The positive portion of this is easy to prove as the mind only works in positives. A good way to think of this is to try to tell yourself that something can not happen or does not exist. Because the mind only works in positives if you try to prove this to yourself you will only see on your minds eye what you are trying to disprove.

For example, try to not think about pink elephants and what will you picture in your mind, why a pink elephant of course. The only way your mind can tell itself not to think of something is by thinking of it. The present portion of this theory is harder to prove without getting more in depth but long story short the only thing that really exists is the present, the past is gone and only a memory, often an incorrect one at that, and the future has yet to occur. Also the only part of this timeline you can affect is the present for the same reasons.

Dr. Crouch goes on to give several more examples throughout the course of how to affect the universe through your thoughts but as this course was long and in depth I'm not going to explain it here, you'll just have to read the discourses for yourself. Near the end of the discourses Mr. Pavlina takes over the writings for Dr. Crouch but the message stays the same, as did most of the thought process and narrative. I would recommend this course to everyone, but specifically those than want to gain a new way of looking at the universe.

By Rev. Justin Oles

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