Metaphysics Degree

This is a collection of essays regarding several courses on metaphysics offered through the Universal Life Church. Our metaphysics courses cover a wide variety of topics in metaphysics and each carry with it its own degree.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spirit Quest

Grounding with the Master of Metaphysics CourseI took the Spirit-Quest Master of Metaphysics Home Study Course. I greatly enjoyed it. Every week I looked forward to the new course email and the thought-provoking ideas it contained.

Over all, the course was very good. There were some things I learned that, although I have read many books on metaphysics and similar subjects, I had never seen presented in such an elegant and simple way.

There was, however, an idea or set of ideas, that I did not agree with. I will discuss this and then go forward into a few of the many things that I did agree with.

Summarized in Lesson 8, ‘Getting What You Want’, is the series of ideas I most disagreed with in the course. These ideas are similar to what I found in a book I read in high school, called ‘Think and Grow Rich’, by Napolean Hill. I was captivated by the idea that I could make things happen by my thoughts and actions.

It is true. As stated in the course and many other books and schools of thought, we can ‘make things happen’ with our thoughts and behavior. There are few times, however, when I have ever seen the drawbacks of this philosophy of life discussed.

It is quite simply the truth that we often don’t know what is good for us. What we often want is usually not what we need, and focusing narrowly only on our own wants and needs can lead to selfishness, narcissism and arrogance.

There was a period in my life when I concentrated on ‘making’ things happen (usually through visualization), and they often came about. But such shallow goals as we think we desire often fall short once achieved, like ripened fruit that rots in our hand once we have grasped it.

On the positive side were several things in the course that are absolutely life-changing. The first thing was something I had already spent years learning, and that was about ‘forgiveness’. Had I seen the subject matter discussed in Lesson Two earlier in my life, it may have saved me a lot of pain. I had often been told that it is ‘good to forgive’, but never why. I did not know that forgiveness is for the one who forgives, for the freedom that forgiveness brings. That is one of the single most important things, I believe, that any person can learn in life. It was well-presented in this course.

One of the other great ideas presented in the course, that really did change my life, was the idea of the ‘Grounding Cord’ presented in Lesson Three. I had also seen similar visualization techniques presented in other places, but I rejected them with a simple thought: ‘Am I really connecting to the center of the Earth…?’ I thought, ‘No, that’s a ridiculous idea’.

I tried the visualization, however, and I have to admit that it completely changed my meditation practices ever since.

For some reason, when I did the visualization, I felt more ‘grounded’. Now, how could that be, unless it was some kind of illusion or self-hypnosis? Yet, I could not argue with the fact that the technique worked and the effects lasted, in most cases, for the rest of the day.

This led me to a long thought process, through which I could interpret the experience. I think that (and note, this is only my own interpretation), that when I visualize the ‘center of the Earth’, I actually am making contact with the unconscious center of me. That idea makes so much sense and seems to tie in with many systems of philosophy and mythology. Although I would like to explore this idea at length, due to time and space constraints, I don’t think that would be practical here.

I did notice, however, that the experience of meditative depth occurred whether I visualized a cord or cable connecting me to the center of the Earth, a stone dropping to the deepest level of the ocean floor, or myself going down an infinitely deep spiral staircase. Please note again, this is only my interpretation, and my own private experience.

I also noticed, based on ideas I found in the metaphysics course, that if I visualized (realistically, with touch, sight, smell and sound) releasing and watching a helium balloon rise, I come in touch with, in a sense, my ‘higher’ self. After holding this image in my mind, I felt buoyant, happy, and free.

So I incorporated these two simple visualizations into my daily meditation routine. It is my way to connect with and acknowledge my higher and lower self. My way, if you will, to ‘integrate’ myself on all levels. As the first part of my meditation each day, I take deep breaths while dropping a cord or coming into contact with my ‘deeper’ self, and then I take a few more deep breaths and acknowledge and greet my ‘higher’ self. I do not use words, since I think these parts of myself are beyond words. The visualizations work perfectly, every time.

For that gift of insight and the many ideas and concepts presented in the metaphysics course, I give sincere thanks to Amy and ULC.

Rev. Chuck Rackers

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