Spiritual Center for Exploring the Realm of Ideas & Creativity
"In Plato's Dialogues, learning appears as a process of remembering. The soul, before its incarnation in the body, was in the Realm of Ideas (similar to the Platonic "Forms"). There, it saw things the way they truly are, rather than the pale shadows or copies we experience on earth. By a process of questioning, the soul can be brought to remember the ideas in their pure form, thus bringing wisdom." - wikipedia
The Spiritual Center for Exploring the Realm of Ideas and Creativity (SCERIC) is an educational concept that can shift the old paradigm of classroom and teacher learning. SCERIC introduces circular teaching experiences that focus learning by expanding our awareness to include that which we intend to learn. This circle of awareness at its center contains both the teacher and the student, where by inviting the expansion of this circle of awareness, the student becomes able to integrate that which is taught by becoming one with it. This is a vastly different approach from the traditional Classroom Teaching paradigm that assumes the teacher transfers knowledge to the student. In SCERIC classrooms the Teacher acts like a messenger that bears news of what the student has not yet been aware of, and by the student’s acknowledgment of what is demonstrated, taught, or examined, that which is taught becomes part of the student’s universe of awareness. This leaves the evaluation of what is taught to the student and therefore almost every lesson becomes a self teaching/learning process in which the student validates their internal teacher and strengthens their internal Truth Compass. What the students accept and value becomes part of their own truth and what is not valued does not become theirs, perhaps due to the utility or relevance of that lesson to the students' life at the time or the students' life purpose; regardless, the process of learning becomes a neutral exercise in integration of what is needed and appreciated by each student without force or shame.
A Non-traditional Class
The SCERIC classes can hardly be called a class. They often can take any shape that is most conducive to the lesson being taught or topic explored. And Teachers, although highly respected, are seldom traditional authority figures. They are simply messengers reporting on what is within their own awareness and invite the students to become aware of what they report on. Teachers can be considered sort of a future self version of the students inviting the student to expand their own awareness. More so, seldom the teaching process is one directional. At times, because the main purpose of the class becomes awareness, everyone in the class stands to learn from one another and therefore the line between teacher and student often blurs. Every class becomes an exploration of Ideas and Truths and every lesson potentially becomes a creative process where potentially the awareness of all participants expands and new ideas are generated in peaceful exciting ways.
Four Major Areas
SCERIC classes are categorized in 4 major areas: Connecting, Understanding, Experiencing, and Ministry. These categories introduce a set of subcategories with specific focal areas. Although these areas are progressively organized, we acknowledge that every student’s desires or growth and interests in development varies. SCERIC emphasis is primarily the student’s internal teacher and encourages the student to become aware of their internal guide and choose their own growth path. General guidance and counseling is available to students that need it with the emphasis in teaching every student to become self reliant on their interest and need of growth.
I - In Connecting
In the Connecting category of classes there are currently 4 focal areas: Intuition, Experiential Spiritualism, Discerning Guidance, and Impulse & Compulsion. All the classes in these subcategories help the student become aware and explore their own inner guidance. In Intuition classes students explore and become aware of their own non-physical or meta-physical realities. Often intuition has been steeped in magical and superstitious or religious folklore. By learning and exploring of scientific, physiological, and philosophical ideas and experiences the students become aware of a self beyond their own body and physical reality.
Experiential Spiritualism classes expose the student to traditional and contemporary methods of divination and connecting to their own intuitive or greater Mind. Such practices as automatic writing, messaging, and other methods of divination are studied and explored. The Discerning Guidance classes help the students develop confidence in their own inner voice and understand the difference between the repetitive imitative ego centered voice and their own creative inspired visions and voice. These classes are highly experiential and involve building student confidence and eliminating self doubt that is often based on self limiting beliefs. And theImpulse & Compulsion classes explore the root of all self-defeating human behaviors from the perspective that they are misconstrued impulses and misunderstood reactions to creative ideas thus the student learns to recognize such impulses in themselves. These powerful classes prime the student to bravely embark on creative endeavors trusting their own abilities and inspirations.
II - In Understanding
The classes categorized under the Understanding group also currently have 4 focal areas: Exploration, Understanding, Mystical Guidance, and Spiritual Teachings. This category of classes emphasis the truths presented through various philosophical and religious traditions and texts. There exists a rich legacy of teachings and texts that contain amazingly beautiful presentations of spiritual material and knowledge. This legacy includes many sacred texts such as the Bible, and Teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, the Tao Te Ching, the Bahaghavad Gita, The Darma, A Course in Miracles, the Sutras of Patanjali, Plato’s Dialogues, among many other old and newer material.
All these treasures are available for exploration and most importantly they are best utilized when they can inspire and expand the awareness of the students studying them. This inspired exploration can lead to the invitation to understand and internalize the messages for the student who is moved and called by the particular tradition and text. This calling is established in the Exploration classes.
The classes sub-grouped under the Understanding category provide the students means to go beyond the exploratory surface and devote themselves in the understanding of the messages in a particular text or set of sacred texts. The emphasis in this endeavor is disciplined self-study and devotion to an in-depth understandingthat requires learning the symbols and spiritual language the text presents its message.
The Mystical Guidance sub-group of classes will help the students to internalize the messages and arrive at a personal understanding and ultimately a new version of the message that will guide them in their path to expand their awareness. These classes emphasis output from the student that reflects their understanding of the mystical guidance they receive from the spiritual text they have chosen or are called to study. This is a version of the text that is not available in any other way but to the student who devotes themselves to the mysteries of the material. Through the devoted love of the material the student can access the illumined version of the text that is both personal and enlightening. Also, studied in these classes is the mystical journeys of understanding of other teachers and students of spirituality that can inspire and strengthen their own journey of awareness.
The sub-group of classes under Spiritual Teachings will cover the Universal Spiritual Teachings that appear in various forms and traditions but are essentially the same. Examined in these classes will be the comparison of the teachings of various teachers and the personal understandings of the students and become aware of their similarities and sameness. Ultimately, the journey of awareness often begins with the assumption that all truths are one, however in the beginning of any study, this fact seems a theoretical one. Only through a personal journey of the study and understanding of spiritual truth the student can arrive at an experiential state of oneness of all the versions that Universal truths are communicated. This takes the pursuit of understanding to a state of fulfillment where the student can experience a peace of mind, often described as “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding”. Also, there are less studied material that illumine such understandings and personal accounts in the teachings of such teachers as Joel. S. Goldsmith that aid the students to expedite their own awareness into the field of understanding that goes beyond teaching the truth into living the truth and becoming a healing agent onto one’s life and in the greater world.
III - In Experiencing
The Classes categorized under the broad title of Experiencing is indicative of the illusive idea of learning vs. knowing. You shall know the truth by its fruits is another gift we can derive from Maththew 7:20 (A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Why by their fruits you shall know them.) Truth becomes us. It lives in us. We become the truth. The Light and the Life. This can only be experienced, and in it is the seed of understanding. This action is ultimately divine and truly creative. Creativity is an idea that cannot be explained but only lived and through living it the student can arrive at understanding the truth of their own being and ultimately know that there is nothing to know but oneself. Currently this group contains one sub-group,Creativity & Spirit in the Arts.
The Creativity & Spirit in the Arts subgroup contains classes that familiarize the student with the Spirit in the arts as well as the Art of Spirit. The act of prayer and meditation is a creative one. The Ultimate prayer is a good deed, and good is defined by the birth of that which makes us more, elevates us higher, and brings us close to the sacred awareness of being. What we often experience as awe, fulfillment, connection, a gladness of the heart, that which we often cannot explain for by explaining it become less than what it is.
These classes will utilize creative activity as a means to experience the Spirit, which it the incarnation or manifestation of Truth. This is a vast topic that invites the student into the experiential journey of awareness. There is no substitution to the experience of truth. And often the creative nature of all creative action is lost to the labeling mind that assumes art and creativity to be out of its realm of ability. The fact that every kind act is a creative one is lost to the ego mind, and yet the Knowing Mind is aware of this and is gladdened by it and sees it as its destiny and function.
Sadly creativity is muted and at time lost to many as they go beyond the childhood days of using crayons and play doe. And yet all of us live our life yearning to create and assume the realm of creativity be as unreachable as the Gods and Saints in the Heavens, Cathedrals, and Museums. These classes are designed to re-introduce and allow the students reacquaint themselves with their own true nature which is like their own Source creative, beautiful and bountiful beyond their limited mind. The concept of the eternal is beyond the reach of the logical mind and yet when this mind is at the service of the Spirit experiences bringing something out of nothing and understand creation first hand. What has remained a theoretical pursuit till this point becomes an experienced reality for the student as they learn to rely and take full responsibility of their own creative destiny that defines their life purpose.
IV - In Ministry
The most advanced and simultaneously the most fundamental and basic group of classes at SCERIC is calledMINISTRY - MIRACLE WORKING & TEACHING. The classes in this group are currently categorized under one subgroup however they will expand greatly as the vision of SCERIC expands with the awareness of its student graduates and expanded teacher population. The description of this group of classes is simple: Finding one’s own path to service. Many students are born with the gift of knowing what their path is and therefore they seemingly feel they have arrived at the end of their Journey of awareness. At SCERIC we honor this group of students and their knowing, and aim to help them fulfill their desire to serve by allowing them to begin at this advanced group of classes. We acknowledge that the spiritual path is a mysterious one and are here to be helpful to all our students, therefore we invite their own desire to expand their awareness guide their path of awakening. Every flower has its blooming destiny deeply embedded in its seed of creation and there is where the SCERIC organization derives its emblem and logo, the flower of life, our version of the mystical mathematical symbol living among us for millennia.
The subgroup In Pursuit of the Healing Arts is a series of work-study classes that help students begin and implement their ministry which is their life purpose. Often, these classes resemble apprenticeships and study groups that define their own boundaries and resources. SCERIC aims at providing the space that nurtures and encourages various ministries to germinate and grow. The SCERIC Organization is such a seed that was divinely inspired and grew in the space given by Grace and thus gladly extends this gift to other ministries that aim to expand the awareness and gladness of the world.