The focus of THE
SPIRITUAL LIFE DEPARTMENT
is the question:
That is, "Why
organize one's life around Spiritual practice?" The department
provides education about the insufficiency of non-spiritual or
"piecemeal spiritual" means for achieving true and lasting
happiness for individuals, and for adequately addressing our own
mortality. It also provides a basic introduction to a spiritual
a life organized around genuine spiritual practice
and contrasts it with the conventional life of materialistic self-fulfillment.
Some of the questions
we address in this educational track include:
- Why do
we suffer? What can we do to be happy? Is it possible to be
perfectly happy? What,
in spiritual terms, is the root
of our un-happiness, from moment to moment? If change
of circumstances (wealth; fame; a desired career; a loving partner,
children, and friends; etc.) doesnt guarantee happiness (and
this is clear from the records of the wealthy, the famous, the
successful, and even the loved), then what
spiritual means are available
for restoring us to happiness?
- What can
we do about the fact of
our own mortality? What does
happen after we die?
In what way
does how we live impact what happens to us after we die?
the best way to live in order to serve tangible spiritual growth,
as well as our destiny after death?
- Is it
possible to go beyond just talk of (and belief in) God and a
Greater Reality, and actually have direct experience of that
Greater Reality? Does
God exist? Why are we not aware of God right
now? How do we actually find God for real? How can
we stay in communion with the Divine Being under any circumstance?
God really like? How can we know God directly?
- Do I have
to give up my ordinary enjoyments, or become an ascetic, or
leave the world, in order to be a true Spiritual practitioner?
If not, surely something is required, as I can't see getting
something for nothing.
The Problem of Mortality: Transcending Life and Death in God
Does your life have a purpose? If so, is it one that isn't going
to get instantly ripped off when you die? Many of us spend our
lives denying death, allowing ourselves to be completely consumed
and distracted by our responsibilities, our indulgences, and our
search for things we cannot take with us after death in any overt
form (knowledge, accomplishment, fame, or friendship). But death
is still coming. We get little support from culture, society,
biology, or even conventional religion for becoming adequately
prepared; indeed, we are actively discouraged from even considering
the matter. True wisdom takes into account both the fact of our
mortality and what we are likely to carry with us after death,
and uses the course of a lifetime proactively, for the purpose
of understanding our limits, and linking up now with That which
is greater than life and death. This course examines mortality,
death, and beyond, and provides an adequate spiritual address
to mortality and limitation altogether.
Why Settle for Less Than Perfect Happiness: Addressing Suffering
At Its Root
One of the longstanding questions of believers in God, particularly
in the Judeo-Christian tradition, is "If God is all-good, how
could God create a universe that contains evil or in which people
suffer? Or, if God didn't create evil or suffering per se, how
could God allow it?" Many people slide into atheism largely for
lack of an adequate address to these questions. This course examines
the history of this question (and the responses to it), and then
provides a real answer to the problem of suffering, by placing
responsibility where it belongs on us and elaborating what
we must understand and do (which is necessarily Spiritual in nature)
in order to be completely free of suffering, and to truly help
others be completely from suffering.
Evidence for the Existence of the Greater Reality
in spirituality (and the reasons why it makes sense for a human
life to be organized around spiritual practice) should be aware
of the latest evidence available confirming or strongly suggesting
the existence of various aspects of the greater-than-material
reality. This course examines studies and data that are drawn
from such diverse sources as: neurotheology; psychic phemonena
studies; studies of documented miraculous phenomena; quantum physics;
reincarnation studies; and more.
Does God Exist? Why Are We Not Seeing God RIGHT NOW?
We examine the long history of this infamous question, the traditional
"answers" to it, and then examine whether it is a real question.
As C.S. Lewis once quipped, "God has better things to do than
sit around for centuries waiting for God's existence to be proven."
If God exists, why is God not obvious to us? We examine what we
are doing to prevent the Vision of God, how everyone else supports
us in doing that, and what we can do instead to go beyond the
greatest human blind spot of all time.
Why Be Blinded by Science and Materialism
To be blinded
by science and materialism into thinking technological self-fulfillment
is one's highest potential is to choose a destiny wherein one
is increasingly pleasurized in body, and increasingly stimulated
in mind, but increasingly desperate at heart. This course does
not exclude the spiritual or the subjective from the study of
Reality, unlike scientific materialism. It instead considers the
full nature of Reality, including greater-than-material dimensions,
consciousness, death and beyond. On this basis, it identifies
the greatest human potential, which is inherently Spiritual and
Transcendental, and not material-only.
Beyond Believing: Why Belief in God and Being Good Won't Get You
This course examines the differences between conventional religion
and genuine spiritual practice. A recent Gallup poll reported
that 86% of all American adults believed in God. "Belief in God"
is the primary way many of us describe our relationship to the
Greater Reality. But why settle for believing in God, or even
for some "spiritual experiences" now and then, when the tangible,
ego-melting, suffering-dissolving Revelation of Real God, pervading,
washing, and dissolving "you" again and again (through a lifetime
of Spiritual practice), would utterly transform your life, and
fulfill your heart's otherwise unendingly unfulfilled desire for
Why Settle for Piecemeal, Do-It-Yourself Spirituality
This course critically examines the often piecemeal practices
and experiences one often finds in many "New Age" circles, and
considers as an alternative a systematic
means for bringing about the greatest possible Spiritual Realization.
It also considers the critical importance of genuine Spiritual
Authority in Spiritual Realization and the anti-authoritarian
trend in our culture that tends to rob us of our greatest source
of spiritual help.
Psycho-Physics: Toward a Theory of (and Participation in) Everything,
Everyone, and God The Promised Land of physicists
is a simple GUT (Grand Unified Theory) or TOE (Theory Of Everything)
capable of explaining all physical phenomena. But a theory that
truly accounts for everything, must also take into account subjective
as well as objective phenomena
(and subjectivity itself). Consequently, this course considers
a unified theory that is not merely a physical theory (i.e., "physics")
but a psycho-physical theory.
It then extends that psycho-physical theory into a DART (Divinely
Aligned Reality Theory), which is grounded in the Transcendental