Session #4 of the “Planning your Returning Resurrection” conference.
According to the Divine Principle, returning resurrection has only been necessary because fallen human beings have failed to fulfill the purpose of creation during their lifetimes.
In the Completed Testament Age, the path is open for humans to avoid the need for returning resurrection by fulfilling the First Blessing.
In this paper I will explore the idea of fulfilling the First Blessing in the context of the teaching of the Divine Principle, the words of our founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and my own spiritual experiences through prayer and meditation.
Simply put, completing the First Blessing means attaining oneness with God as an individual. Page 97 of Exposition of the Divine Principle states that it is now possible to do this due to “the merit of the age”:
In the Last Days, therefore, many faithful believers will acquire the ability to communicate with God…
Rev. Moon describes what it feels like to communicate with God in his speech God’s Hope for Man 10/20/1973:
When you are standing in the love of God, every cell in your body jumps for joy. You breathe in and out with the entire universe. In this state your life is fulfilled. This is how God means us to live, intoxicated in love and joy.
When you say, “Heavenly Father,” do you really have a living and vibrant feeling of God’s presence? Don’t you want to hear God answering, “Yes, my son?”
In my view, the most important question is – “How can we establish this communication with God?”
I heard Rev. Moon say that prayer should be like a baby crying for its mother’s milk, so let us consider that statement for a moment. Here are some excerpts from my book Reconciled by the Light, Book II.
When you think about a baby requesting milk, it’s the opposite of politely trying to get the attention of a waiter in a restaurant.
Imagine a restaurant scenario—you want some milk, but the waiter is a few feet away. You stay in your seat and wait. Every once in a while you raise your hand and wave hoping to get his attention. Eventually, the waiter notices you, and walks over to your table. You calmly and courteously say, “Excuse me, Mr. Waiter. I know you’re really busy right now, but if you get a chance, could you please bring me a glass of milk. Thank you so much.”
Hopefully, a few minutes later the waiter reappears with your milk.
That is NOT what my teacher had in mind.
When a baby wants its mother’s milk, it takes a deep breath and screams—“WAAAAA!!!!!” —at the top of its lungs. Its little arms and hands wave around trembling, and its feet kick in the air. It puts all of its energy into crying out, as if to say—“I’m dying here. I don’t care what you’re doing, I want you to drop everything and meet my needs—NOW!”
Praying with that intensity creates the kind of power and energy that breaks through anything that might be keeping you from experiencing God. (page 86)
It has been my experience that God is immanent, i.e., he is present here and now. If that is the case, then why do some of us have a difficult time experiencing that presence? In my view, there are two types of factors involved – internal and external. By internal and external in this context I am not talking about sung-sang and hyung-sang. What I mean is that some of the difficulties originate within us, while others are outside of us. For the sake of brevity in this paper, I will address the internal factors only.
Sometimes I refer to the internal factors as “blocks.” We possess internal factors that block out the Divine Experience:
These blocks vary from person to person. Some of these blocks include feeling unworthy or unqualified to receive the love of God, being afraid of God, harboring resentment or anger towards God or others, and possessing belief systems that prevent us from being open to the possibility that we actually can have a direct experience of the love of God. I’ve had to overcome every block on this list and maybe a few others that I’ve forgotten about. (page 57)
Another way to think of it is as if God is transmitting over a radio. The radio waves are immanent. They penetrate the airspace all over, say, New York City, so everyone in the 43rd Street building has access to them. He is transmitting over a specific radio station. Call it station WGOD, at a frequency of 104.3 on the FM dial. So everyone has equal access to them, but you can’t hear God’s voice unless, first, you have a radio to receive the sound and, second, you are tuned in to the exact frequency he is transmitting on.
The Divine Principle teaches that all humans have a “radio” or receiver designed to pick up God’s frequency. It is called the Original Mind or, as I prefer, the Original Heart. So it’s a matter of “tuning” your heart to God’s frequency to hear his voice.
If our hearts possess other vibrations such as anger, resentment, doubt, self-loathing, etc., then our radio is tuned to a different station. We have to have the willingness to let go of these other vibrations in order to tune-in to God’s vibration.
I have found certain attitudes to be very effective in helping me let go of these negative mental states. In prayer, I check my heart to make sure that what I am communicating to God is completely honest – not hiding anything. I also invest sincerity, and humility. I cry out from the depths of my heart. Then, it is important to become still and calm, to listen for God’s voice; he wants to speak to us just as we want to speak to him.
Most important, it is important to fight for your birthright to have a direct experience of the love of God. Experiencing the love of God, even once in a lifetime, is transformative. I’ll conclude by sharing the story of a 16-year old girl who had this Divine encounter at one of my workshops — one last excerpt from Reconciled by the Light: Book II:
As I began the meditation, I relaxed into my chair and began drifting into the state that allows me to open up psychically. After a while, I opened up my eyes for a moment to look and see how the other participants were doing. As I looked around, I “saw” something I had never seen before. In front of the faces of some of the participants, I saw what looked like little tornados—rotating vortexes of spiritual energy. They weren’t vertical—starting at the floor and going up—they were sideways. The narrow, beginning part of the tornado appeared straight out in front of each person at about a four feet distance, and then got wider and wider until the wide end was right in front of their foreheads. Each tornado started above them, like it was dropping out of the heavens, maybe about a foot higher than their heads, and gently swooped down at about a twenty degree angle, getting wider and wider until the opening part in front of their faces was about eight inches in diameter. The vortexes were shaped like angel trumpets, with the narrow end out front and the wide bell-shaped part right in front of the face.
In front of two participants, there were no little tornados. I could tell that what this meant was that those two participants had not connected to spirit. The others had connected and were having some type of mystical experience.
Like me, Kristen was sitting all the way in the back, off to my right. When I looked over at her, I was taken aback. In front of her face there was also a rotating vortex, but it wasn’t the size of a trumpet: it was the size of a tuba! This thing was so huge it was as if she was completely immersed in spiritual energy. I knew that something amazing was going on with her, and I was dying to know what it was.
When the mediation finished, I stood up and returned to the front of the room.
“I could tell that you guys had some kind of spiritual experience,” I said gesturing to the ones I saw the little tornados in front of, “and Kristen, you had a lot of stuff going on, didn’t you?”
All Kristen could do was nod her head. I could see that her faced was drenched in tears. She was still gently sobbing.
I asked each person if they wanted to share what had happened to them during the meditation. Just as my vision had indicated, the two participants that didn’t have the vortexes in front of their faces said that while they enjoyed the meditation because it made them feel relaxed, they didn’t have any experience out of the ordinary. One of them said her mind kept wandering, thinking about other things and distracting her from getting deeper into the meditation. This is a common challenge for beginners.
The ones that had the little tornados in front of them did have spiritual experiences. One woman choked up as she described a visitation she had received from her deceased husband. Another had a deep realization about a particular question she had regarding her spiritual life path. I honestly can’t remember what the others said.
Finally, I asked Kristen if she would like to share something. She was still crying a little bit, even though a few minutes had passed since the meditation ended. I’m so grateful for her willingness to share her experience because I think it can be beneficial to a lot of people.
“After I got relaxed into my chair on the beach, I looked down the beach to my left, and I saw Joshua down there,” Kristen said. “So I jumped out of my chair, ran down the beach as fast as I could, and tackle-hugged him. It was so great to feel his embrace. I just stayed there and talked with him. I told him how grateful I was to him for being my friend and for all he had done to help me.
“He just held me for a moment and then he spoke to me. He told me ‘Actually, Kristen, you really shouldn’t be thanking me. There’s someone else who is really the one who helped you the most, and I’d like to introduce you to him.’ Then he pointed to his left. When I looked over there, there was this bright white light. It was coming from the person standing next to Josh. As I looked to see who it was, I knew right away that it was God.
“I felt kind of nervous—I mean this was God! So I told him I was sorry—sorry because I felt I had been kind of ignoring him, and didn’t have a very good relationship with him.
“Then he said ‘No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have had such a difficult childhood. I’m sorry for what you have had to go through; it was never my intention that it should be like that.’ Then he just hugged me, and I really started to cry then. I could actually feel him holding me. The feeling is just impossible to describe. I felt so accepted and loved—so loved! I didn’t want it to end.
“Then he said, ‘I’ve placed certain people in your life to help you. Joshua is one of them, but there are others on earth also. They are there just for you, because I love you so much! I am here for you also, whenever you call out for me! I also want to encourage you. You have so much love inside your heart, I hope you will share it with others—give it out. If you do this, it will be very good for you.’”
Kristen was crying again, the tears streaming down her cheeks. I was so moved, and so grateful, that she could have such a priceless experience.
“Welcome home!” I said. “I really believe that this experience you just had is what it truly means to be ‘born again.’ I think today is your spiritual birthday!”
A few weeks later, Kristen came to my Spirit Circle and I asked her if anything had changed in her life as a result of the experience she had had during the meditation.
“Oh, yeah,” she said. “Lots!”
“Can you give me an example?”
“Well, in the past, if I saw some geeky boy wearing a ridiculous shirt to school I might say something snarky or sarcastic to him. I never do that anymore. I’m a lot kinder and patient with people now.”
That short comment spoke volumes to me. It demonstrates exactly the reason why I am so committed to doing anything I can to help every person have that direct, personal encounter with the Divine Parent. In my experience, whenever a person has the opportunity to taste the love of God, it is a life-transforming event, and the changes that result from it are positive ones.
I don’t believe in apocalyptic transformations of the world. I don’t think that the Kingdom of Heaven will arrive like a Hollywood film production with the clouds parting and miraculous signs and wonders happening all around.
I’m convinced it will be more like when Jesus said:
The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20,21 NKJV)
When a person experiences God personally, his or her heart is moved, and when the heart is moved, the individual is transformed. Then, when we know how much we are valued and loved by God, we begin to see people in a different light. (pp.30-33)
– Reconciled by the Light: Book II – Spirit Messages from a Teen Suicide, Adventures of a Psychic Medium – www.reconciledbythelight.com
Ron Pappalardo attended UTS beginning in 1995. From 2008 to 2010 he served as an assistant pastor at the First United Metaphysical Chapel in Bahama, NC. He is a graduate of the Educational Course on Modern Spiritualism from the Morris Pratt Institute, which is the seminary for the National Spiritualist Association of Churches. He is a practicing medium, and his book, Reconciled by the Light, is required reading for Morris Pratt’s course on Pastoral Skills. www.reconciledbythelight.com
This paper was written for the UTS Alumni Association conference on Saturday, Dec 7th.