Welcome to a sample of lesson three of the Dr. of Spiritual Awareness program. Each week you will receive a discourse that talks about the study of developing your spiritual awareness. You will be receiving an email for this course approximately once a week. If for any reason you don’t receive one, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org so she can re-send your material.
Dr. of Spiritual Awareness
Universal Life Church Seminary
Lesson 3 -- Reverence, heart and intuition
Webster defines reverence as honor or respect felt or shown, to revere. Webster then goes on to describe revere as to show devoted deferential honor to : regard as worthy of great honor.
Looking at this from a spiritual aspect, I feel that we can take this much further than Webster.
The first step is to recognize that whatever we see is only the shell or outer aspect of the thing, and that we must look for the essence of it. I can look at a person and see a physical form. It may be fat or skinny, short or tall, muscular or weak, ugly or beautiful, vibrantly healthy or sickly. But that is only the shell and not the real thing, or at least only a part of the real thing. Were I to look only at that shell, and think of that shell as being all that there was to it, there would be no real reason for reverence. By looking beyond the shell or outer aspect and looking for the essence of the thing, we can see that there is much more than is immediately apparent.
In the above example, I used people to look at, but if we reserve reverence for people alone we are being very short sighted indeed. Actually, reverence is honoring all life, whether it be human, animal or plant. And even there we should not stop. Find a woodland pond. Sit beside it and allow yourself to really feel that place. You will discover that it has an ambience, and an energy. That too should be revered. The same could be said for a mountain side, a beach or even a busy city. And while it is true that these places may not be alive, still there is an energy, the energy of their creation that abides there. And that energy deserves reverence.
The entire universe and everything in it should be approached with reverence. Remember, you are a part of the universe. Reverence is a way of interacting with the universe. Let me give you an example. You can pick up a stone, casually inspect it and toss it aside, a common act. But pick up that same stone with a sense of reverence and it becomes something else entirely. For instance, I picked up a crystal from my desk and just held it. I could feel the energy of that stone. I set it down and picked up a different one in the same manner. The feel of the energy innate to that stone was different from the first even though they had a very similar appearance. Had I simply accepted these stones according to their attractive appearance, I would never had known of that other, larger aspect of them. So you need to look beyond the outer shell, seek the inner, larger aspect of whatever is around you.
Reverence and respect are two different things, although they are related. You can feel reverence for a complete fool, but not respect them. I find it hard to respect a mosquito that would suck my blood. And even though I may understand why she is doing it, I did not give her my permission. So she is being a thief, and I do not respect a thief.
In a sense, reverence is being one with the universe, being one with all things. In one way, reverence must include our psychic senses in order to be complete. You may look at another person and see their physical form, but with your psychic senses you can also see their energy. You can touch their hand or their face and feel the texture of their skin. Is it hard or soft, smooth or rough, cool or does it feel feverous? But with the psychic sense, you can also feel their energy. Just standing near another person you can feel much about them. What is their mood? Are they feeling any pain? Are they energetic or despondent? This is actually an empathic sense. And all of these senses will help you to connect to the inner being of the other person.
How will living a life with a sense of reverence change the way that you react or relate to others? First of all, lets take the example of a man who is not reverent. Assume that he becomes very angry at another man, he may very well attempt to destroy that other man. But a man who lives a reverent life can become just as angry and would not dream of attempting to destroy the other. Why? Because even though he may very well be angry, he still honors the other and their right to be. I have heard this expressed as “Put yourself in the other’s place.” We may not like another person, and not respect them, still we must honor their right to be. Remember that in reality they too are a soul that is growing and learning. A life of reverence is compassionate, a life without reverence is brutal. Regardless of your religion a good example of the former would be Jesus and a good example of the latter would be Adolf Hitler.
As the words of the song say, “You gotta have heart, miles and miles and miles of heart.”
Again, lets check the dictionary. Lets see, it says: the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature as generous disposition . A capacity for sympathy or generosity; compassion.
All right, now that we have Mr. Webster et. al. out of the way, let me say that heart is closely related to reverence. This subject may be a little more difficult to talk about because many of the concepts involved are abstract. But we shall endeavor to make them as concrete as possible.
We have all heard sayings like, “He is all heart,” or, “He has no heart,” or, “He has a heart of gold,” or, “A stone cold heart,” or “A heart of stone,” or, “It has touched my heart.” All of these sayings have one thing in common. They all refer to how someone deals with the world on a feeling level. And in this case, the intellect goes straight out of the window. That is, if a person is working through heart. In the case of no heart or heart of stone, it is exactly the opposite, the person is operating totally through their intellect and either has no feelings, or ignores and suppresses them completely. Of course, most people operate somewhere between these two extremes.
So heart is really feelings, compassion, caring about others and their welfare.
Lets take some examples. I will describe a situation, then I will show how a person who operates totally through intellect will handle them and how a person who operates totally through heart would handle the same situation.
Mr. X owns a small business. He has a secretary and a receptionist as well as other employees. The receptionist operates the switchboard and greets visitors and does typing as well in her spare time. One morning he brings a stack of hand written paperwork to her and tells her that it has to be typed and go out that day. That day, the switchboard is particularly busy and there are far more visitors than normal. The woman works through her lunch period trying to get the typing done, but because of the extra load of her primary duties she is unable to finish the job in time. When Mr X finds out that she did not finish the typing and get the paperwork out on time, he gets mad and fires her.
Mr. Y owns a small business. He has a secretary and a receptionist as well as other employees. The receptionist operates the switchboard and greets visitors and does typing as well in her spare time. One morning he brings a stack of hand written paperwork to her and tells her that it has to be typed and go out that day. That day, the switchboard is particularly busy and there are far more visitors than normal. The woman works through her lunch period trying to get the typing done, but because of the extra load of her primary duties she is unable to finish the job in time. When Mr Y finds out that she did not finish the typing and get the paperwork out on time, he says that he is sorry, that he should have checked her progress and made sure that she was going to be able to finish the job on time.
Which man was working through heart and which one through intellect?
The economy is in a downswing. Unemployment is high. A man stands on a street corner. His features are gaunt, his clothing is worn and ill fitting, baggy. A prosperous looking man approaches and the man on the corner asks, “Mister, can you spare a little change?” The other man glances at him and snaps, “Get a job,” and continues on his way. The next person that comes along is a young man who is also out of work, but has only been that way for a short time and still has unemployment compensation coming in. “Mister, can you spare a little change?” The young man stops and looks, then digs a dollar bill out of his pocket. “I am out of work too. This is my last dollar, but I get my unemployment tomorrow. You look like you need this more than I do.” He gives the beggar the dollar and continues on his way. The beggar now has a dollar, certainly not enough for a meal. Then another prosperous looking man comes by. “Mister, can you spare a little change?” The man stops and looks at him. “How long has it been since you have had a decent meal?” he asks. “Gee, Mister, I don’t know, it has been a long time,” is the reply. The man leads him to a nearby restaurant, sits him down and buys him a good meal. While the beggar is eating, he asks, “How long have you been out of work?” The beggar replies around a mouthful of food, “It has been a little over a year now, there just don’t seem to be any jobs available and I have looked everywhere.” The other man digs a small notepad and a pen out of his pocket and scribbles a note. Then he tears the paper out, folds it over and writes an address on it. Giving it to the beggar, he says, “Come to this address in the morning and give this note to the receptionist.” The next morning he shows up bright and early, hands the note to the receptionist and she reads, “Give this man a job starting today. And give him a 25% advance on his first pay check today.” It was signed by the president of the company.
Lets talk about the beggars three encounters. Let us take the first encounter. How do you think that he was operating? Certainly, his actions read no heart.
How about the second encounter? How was that young man operating?
Although he could not do much, he did everything that he could. I would say all heart.
How about the third encounter. What do you think of him?
Certainly this man acted with compassion. Now he could likely have afforded to give the beggar a couple hundred dollars and gone on his way. Instead, he fed the man and made certain that he had something to tide him over, and most importantly, gave him the opportunity to rebuild his own self respect. So the third man encountered was operating somewhere between the extremes, but on the side of heart and compassion.
A person with no heart can actually perceive things which a normal person would consider to be evil as being good. And thereby they can end up doing a lot of harm. This statement would lead you to believe that a person who was all heart could do nothing but good, after all the two are opposites. But this is not the case. A person who is all heart, in their attempt to do good, can end up doing harm as well. Let me explain that. Lets take the case of the beggar down on his luck. Now this is a man who has always worked for a living and been fairly happy to do so. He has been a productive member of society. But he has been out of work for a long time and has actually become homeless. He may even have reached such a state that he is no longer capable of performing any work. So along comes a person who is all heart. They take pity on him and feed him. In the process, they learn that he is homeless, so they give him a place to stay and continue to feed him and furnish his needs. The beggar starts regaining his strength and starts putting weight back on. And decides that he has got it made. After all, all that he has to do is watch television, eat and sleep. He becomes a leach. And the person who is all heart continues to take care of him. So in an attempt to do good, the person of all heart has actually done harm.
What I am getting at here is that a balance is needed, which will be the subject of another dissertation.
First of all, Mr Webster says:
1 : quick and ready insight
2 a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.
Other definitions say:
[n. 1 immediate apprehension by the mind without reasoning. 2 immediate apprehension by a sense. 3 immediate insight. (Intuitionalism. Philos. The belief that primary truths and principles esp. of ethics and metaphysics are known directly by intuition.]
OK, now that we have the experts out of the way, lets see what we can come up with on our own.
I was once associated with a group that defined an intuitive as a person that depended on thoughts, that is, thoughts from outside of themselves. That is another way of looking at it. I think that we can safely say that intuition is the process of suddenly having answers, insights or ideas without going through the lengthy process of logical cognition. The knowledge that we gain in this manner may seem irrational and we may be inclined to not trust it because of that seeming irrationality. But, and this is important, intuitive knowledge is usually correct.
Now why did I say “usually?” We are all psychic to some degree or other. I really don’t think that there are any exceptions to this, certainly not among anyone who would be reading this. And there are disincarnate entities all over the place. Many of them are not really enlightened, some are really very confused. Now if we are thinking about something, it can happen that one of those confused entities can send a thought to us, giving us their ideas. And these ideas may be very wrong. So in this case, the trick is to be aware of where thoughts are coming from, and learn to recognize thoughts that are not our own. And to reject the thoughts of lower life forms.
But let me give an example of how intuition can work for you, and how it has worked for you in the past. We have all had “hunches” about something and had them later prove to be true and accurate. So hunches are just an example of our psychic senses using intuition. Wow, kinda convoluted thought there.
Intuition can use logic. Now does that contradict what was said up above? Not really. We may be thinking about a problem or something else, and going through a long logical analysis of it. And long before we come to a logical conclusion, we reach an intuitive answer to the problem. We may continue the logic and come up with the same conclusion. What has happened is that the logic has set us on the path that has allowed our intuitive nature to kick in and furnish an answer.
Intuition can also operate without any “conscious” logic being involved at all. You may just look at something or someone and suddenly have an intuitive insight about it or them. Or you may be casually talking to someone and have that intuitive insight kick in. It happens all of the time and most people tend to disregard it. But if you look back on it, those insights are usually right.
So where does this intuitive information really come from? I bet you thought that I was not going to tell you. Brace yourself now, that intuitive information actually comes from ourselves. Let me explain that. The “you” that you are consciously aware of is only a small part of you. There is the physical part of you, your human body. You are certainly aware of that. Then there is the conscious part of you, your thoughts and feelings, again a part that you are aware of. Add in the subconscious mind, that storehouse of information and the programs that we have built that control our actions and behavior. This is all part of the human “you.” But there is more to you than that. The higher parts of ourselves actually reside in the spiritual realm. These higher parts are still you, you are just not normally consciously aware of them. And it is from these higher parts of yourself, your soul if you will, that intuitive insights come from. And since these higher parts of yourself are in communication with other souls and spirits, we can say that the intuitive information really comes from the universe. Also be aware that these higher parts of yourself have access to everything that you have ever learned, including what you learned in past lives.
Often intuition may be incomplete, simply because we cut it off before the full concepts are realized. And in this case the information may seem somewhat inaccurate. And that is really not the case, we just didn’t get the full picture.
Intuition can operate in many ways, you may just get feelings or “see” symbols. Or it may be more complex and you can get thoughts, ideas or detailed visual images. Or you may even get abstract concepts that you really can’t put into words. The information may be quite clear or may be rather hazy. A lot of it depends on you and how well you are communicating with your higher self, even if that communication is not conscious.
However it operates for you, you need to pay attention to it. When you get an intuitive insight, forget what logic tells you, how does it feel? Often logic may say one thing when intuition says something else. This is often caused by logic not having the full facts and details to operate on. And if you are missing a key piece of information, then logic can come up with a solution that is very wrong. Because of the real source of intuitive information, it tends to be correct. Only when we don’t get the full picture will we be likely to be wrong.
How can we improve our intuition? In one word, practice. Pay attention to your intuitive insights. One person suggests using a journal to keep track of your intuitive insights and then check back later to see if you were right. Meditation can help. By making yourself quiet and trying to “tune in” to your higher self, you will be strengthening your communications line with your very soul. And this will help with your intuitive process.
When you receive an intuitive flash, don’t just reject it. You don’t have to follow through on it if you do not feel comfortable with it, but at least make note of it and check on its accuracy later. By paying attention to those intuitive insights you will be encouraging them.
There is another aspect to intuition that we need to address. That is the feeling aspect. We also use our feelings to gain intuitive insights. I know, I said that intuition comes from the soul, but look at it this way. The soul is a part of us. So if we are in a situation where we are close enough to someone to pick up psychometric information from them, then our soul has full access to that information, just as we consciously may have. So our empathic senses can be an input that feeds our intuition.
One more note on feeling and then I will end this subject. Whenever we receive what we may think is an intuitive insight about anyone or anything, ask yourself how does it feel? Does it feel right or does it feel that something is wrong with it. Notice that I did not say to check it out logically, don’t think about it. Just see how it feels to you. And learn to trust your feelings.
Actually all of our senses, physical and psychic play a role in intuition. This may seem to be a strange thing to say, for instance, how could taste perform a role in intuition? Well, I can give an example. More than once I have seen my father take one taste of a food and say, “Don’t eat that.” His intuition had told him that it was not safe even though it had tasted fine to me. But he was accurate with that. He was in the Naval Reserves and once on a cruise he tasted a food and informed everyone at the table not to eat it. He was ignored. Well, to make a long story short, he was one of only a handful on that ship that did not come down with severe diarrhea. I have known of people “smelling” something burning, and immediately upon unplugging their electric coffee maker, the smell went away. There have been times when I have looked at someone and instantly known that they could not be trusted, or that they were not what they were pretending to be, and later had my intuition proven correct. I am sure that you can all think of similar experiences.
I would like to end the topic of intuition with this quote that I was given. “Intuition is the voice of the nonphysical world received by the physical senses.”