Before embarking on my journey of discovery in the study of metaphysics I was not very sure what to expect. I knew that it would give me an opportunity to explore new avenues, and I hoped that I would grow in maturity and understand more about life,but beyond that my expectations were quite vague…
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Before embarking on my journey of discovery in the study of metaphysics I was not very sure what to expect. I knew that it would give me an opportunity to explore new avenues, and I hoped that I would grow in maturity and understand more about life,but beyond that my expectations were quite vague. My first impression of the course was shock. I was surprised at the daunting list of books and articles that I was expected to read and understand. Somehow I had thought that there would be more thinking for myself and less reading of the work of other people. With practice, however, I have come to appreciate that a lot of time can be saved by learning what other people have thought about in the many centuries before it was my time to be on this planet. The best human minds of the past have taken the trouble to leave their insights for future generations, and this is a great gift. It took quite a long time, however, for me to learn how to make best use of this gift, so that it would have real meaning in my life, and not just be a collection of titles on a shelf. One discovery which has been very important for me has been the realization that thought lies at the heart of our lives. When I was reading As a Man Thinketh by James Allen it was as if a curtain opened, and some things which I had sensed from a distance, suddenly became sharp and clear. I had already been quite familiar with the destructive effect that negative thoughts had been having on my life, and it has been a struggle sometimes to overcome fear and even panic. This text taught me that what goes on inside my head can also have good and positive effects, so long as I learn to channel the positive things in the world and have courage to take responsibility and control for my own actions, while leaving the things I cannot change to exist as they are. Most of the things that people are afraid of are due to bad experiences in the past, or stress in the present, and it was a valuable lesson for me to discover that mental attitude can have a big influence on shaping the way that the future unfolds. Reading a book such as The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi H. Dowling was an interesting experience for me, because it raised all sorts of questions about the sources that underpin most of the modern denominations of Christianity, and the different branches of Judaism, Islam and other world religions. I was intrigued, but not was entirely convinced by the authenticity of this material, but it caused me to wonder about how the scriptures that modern Christians use came to be in the form that they are. It was clear to me that large sections of the life of Jesus were not recorded there, and this means that the record has gaps. The missing teenage years are possibly very relevant to today’s world, but the traditional texts do not include them. I reflected on the combination of written texts, religious practices and personal experience of God that makes up modern Christianity, and this gave me a deeper understanding of how and why differences arise in the way that particular groups choose to live out their faith. Emphasis on one or other aspect can change the whole style of a religious group, and even cause major difference in items of doctrine. In the past I have been perplexed by this, but now I can see that it is very human for variations to creep in, and for multiple paths to be formed, leading in the same general direction. I am less worried about minor differences now, and can see that there is something to be gained in an appreciation of different perspectives. I do not think that any one group, or even any one religion, has the complete and absolute truth, and now I can see value in the differences. One thing that I will always be grateful for is the discovery that opening the mind can be a wonderful thing. Instead of looking down on some types of metaphysical belief and activity, like for example some of the more unusual features of “
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