The prayer exercise is a variation of what I have been doing for years with so very small yet positive effects in retraining the way my spirit views my existence. I would like to respectfully disagree with some of the precepts of this lesson. From my own prospective, it is not the self imposed separation from our mutual great creator that is the source of our "suffering". I believe the the cause of our great mutual suffering has been wrought through the codification and delineation of religious intractability. In my Christian upbringing, I was taught that I was an inherently flawed and spiritually weak being. That left to my own devises and without adherence to the strict laws of the church, I would fall to the hold of the negative side, whatever name it is given.
I was taught that due to my having a birth father who was other than the man to which my mother was married to, and that I not being pure of race, that I as a result of my birth not only bore the mark of "sin", I was the cause of the "sin" itself. My religious foundations providing these precepts taught me through man forms that I was less than human and that the only way I could find redemption and return to commune with our creator was to suffer for my "transgressions" and repent of all that was vile within me.
Yet, in truth, when born was not of any form, other than a creation from the mind of our creator. In many variations mainstream religion, not only Christianity, this imposition of false guilt repeats and repeats again with the intended effect of the beating down of the soul into submission and subservience. I myself did not begin to develop an awareness in me that this was the cause of my suffering till later in life This is when I realized that I was born without flaw, that my soul, created through the love of our creator was perfect. Now all I had to do was convince my self of this. Sounds easy, doesn't it. It was my acceptance of all that I was told that I was, that made me flawed in my heart and soul. This is not to say that I as an act of free will I have not transgressed upon the lives of others, as I have so without doubt have done so. I simply fulfilled the expectations of what those who I held as an authority figure in my sight had taught me that I was. I had accepted the negative self role and acted accordingly. this is no excuses for my actions, as I have come to accept. It takes two to tango. This brings me back to having constantly to remind my self that I am not now, nor have ever been less that what our great creator designed. It was but I that had accepted the negative role of self rather than listen to my true inner soul. In rehabilitation the changing of self view is known as to stop the playing of the old tapes that run rampant in my mind and replace them with new tapes that will nourish the life of my soul. Replacing my old tapes given through my acceptance of the teachings of evangelical and mainstream religions with an new set of tapes affirming my true self is a life long endeavor. I believe few are ever totally free from this reaffirmation of life. My convincing the skeptical me will always the a challenge and the only journey that will ever free me from the false beliefs of self shame and self denigration.
This prayer exercise was the same ever so slow effective change of re-learning who I am.
I respectfully disagree that our guilt and pain was caused by the decision to turn away from our great mutual creator. I believe it comes from the codification and institutionalization of religious beliefs that set down what is accepted as "holy" and what is "evil". From my rather negative personal experience with evangelical and mainstream Christianity, I was simply taught that i was not only flawed and so weak as to sin, that from the illigitamacy of having a birth father other than the one that was married to my mother at the time of my birth and being a child of misogyny, that I was not only born of sin, I was sin incarnate. Fully responsible for my birth. The years of denigration that followed taught me to believe that I was shameful, not worthy of forgiveness without servitude, suffering, that quite frankly , I was less than human. That only through repenting my ill sinful self and accepting the "love" of Christ would I be restored. No matter how much negative was imposed and self imposed, upon myself, nothing changed. I repented like a trained animal, and yet still it seemed I had not achieved acceptance as it was initially flawed to begin with, and that was something that not even our creator could change. In my well over half century life, I have met far to many who have experience the same life path. This results in rage, and submission at the same time, giving reinforcement to shame, guilt, mental and emotional instability, violent unexpected outbursts and absolute separation from the Love of our mutual creator. Eventually, unfortunately for most of those I have met, it has led us to travel down the path of mental illness.
Now back to the prayer exercise. This is the retraining of my soul and spirit over the acceptance of teachings given my mind's ego. For those who have also been in the life long proactive of rehabilitation, it is known as replacing the stinking thinking with new tapes, new thoughts, new ideas and acceptance of the belief that I was created from the thought of our great creator in the form of pure love, regardless of the physical body I inhabit. Its like re-teaching and old dog new tricks. This is not easily accomplished, yet it, hopefully before the end of this physical life it is achievable. There goes that skeptic again with that stinking thinking! By the why, yes I have always been long winded. Just ask my adult children.
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