REMARKABLE PEOPLE, sheila benjamin
reprinted from the May 2000 issue of Thresholds Quarterly
The Laws of the Universe at your Command
|Dr. Sheila Benjamin is the President of the School of Metaphysics. Dr. Sheila entered the School of Metaphysics in 1978 after a friend of hers gave her an Intuitive Health Analysis as a gift. Since that time, she has dedicated her life to serving humanity in numerous ways. She has taught and directed several branches of the School, has been a field director, and has served as the Schools National Treasurer. She has given lectures all over the Midwest to educate people about the vast potential of the mind and spirit. |
Dr. Sheila ministers to peoples needs as a Psi Counselor and an ordained minister in the Interfaith Church of Metaphysics. She has also been an intuitive reporter for many years.
Most recently, Dr. Sheila traveled to India to represent the School of Metaphysics with the People to People Ambassador Program and led a core group of teachers at the Parliament of the Worlds Religions in South Africa.
Thresholds: I understand that you are designing a seminar or a lecture series thats on the thirteen steps of enlightenment to bring metaphysics to the world. Will you talk about what that is and what the thirteen steps are?
Benjamin: First Im going to correct the title, because its thirteen facets, like a diamond of enlightenment. I thought about that a lot. Steps are important. The facets, its like a diamond that is inside of you and its learning how to cause all of those parts of you to be alive.
That basis of the thirteen is the universal laws. Once someone understands the universal laws, and identifies them, and realizes that what connects us all as humanity is that within all the holy works of the world are the thirteen universal laws of creation-that everything on this planet exists within this structure, and that when we understand what the laws are-then we can orchestrate our lives to harmonize with the light in which the universal laws were created. Our life is peaceful. Its full of laughter, its full of love, were at harmony.
Sometimes people experience it -- theyll say, I was really in synch today. That is an indication of living in harmony with the universal laws.
My ideal with this seminar is to provide the audience with first the awareness of their existence, then that their existence is not only for human man but they exist for all of creation. The plant life and the animal life and mineral life, all the universe works within this structure. [Then to know] we all are a part of this creation so that we can orchestrate. Theres many groups and many interests of people who want to save the seahorses, you know, or cause the Earth to be a better place to live by stopping pollution. When we live in harmony with the universal laws of creation all of that is taken care of, because you recognize that what you do has an effect on everything.
Thresholds: You will teach the Universal Laws in this seminar?
Benjamin: Yes, my ideal is to first introduce the audience to them so that they understand what they are and what they mean, what the truth is. Then Ill give experiences and interaction with how to live in harmony within the universal laws of creation so you are producing awareness so every day your world is much brighter. There are many great men and masters that have walked on this Earth whose life is purely a reflection of living in harmony with Universal Laws.
For example, many of the inventions of the past we still use, like electricity and telephones. You know, people want to communicate even faster so they use all these forms of communication with very little awareness of how a hundred and some years ago this invention was created and how we have refined it. Its through those efforts of wanting to give something so that the world can be a greater place to live in -- thats what I want to leave people with, where they have the thought always every day, How can I make the world a better place because I exist? And to show gratitude every evening that they had the experiences that they had in which they were able to add something to themselves.
Theres a very simple practice that the students within the School of Metaphysics learn that is called the love bank. Theyre instructed to every day give a coin, no less than the day before. The ideal on a broader scale is that every day you add to your soul, and that you are never less than the day before, and that as you give every day you can build understandings which lead you along the path of enlightenment. People think about enlightenment and they desire enlightenment, metaphysicians make a commitment to practice it every day. Every moment, every experience, every interaction that you have determines how bright you are today compared to any moments before.
Thresholds: So, are you saying this love bank is putting into practice one or more of the Universal Laws?
Benjamin: Yes. Definitely the Universal Law of Abundance. Once the students give the money to their love bank, the energy is given, that coin is no longer theirs. So, its not like a piggy bank where youre saving money. This money is a way of saying, This is my value, this is what I have and I am giving this freely, because I know it will return to me ten-fold, a hundred-fold. After thirty days they give the money away.
Thresholds: How does using this law help someone understand that they are valuable?
Most recently we had the teachers of the School of Metaphysics go to the bank and get five, two-dollar bills. One teacher met a couple [who] wanted to create teahouses. You know, we have coffee houses, but they wanted to create a teahouse where they would let you test the teas. They were talking about their dream, and so, one of the teachers gave them a two-dollar bill. The gentleman said, We will frame this. And the wife said, We know it will happen now. [The teacher was] planting seeds that aid people to have hope. What we need is hope. The way the student learns that they are valuable, and that through understanding their value they will always receive the understandings of the lessons life brings, the guidance that they desire, is by first initiating giving. Then theyre open to receive. It generates even more generosity, because the more you receive the more you want to give. Its like being in love. Its simple -- a very simple action.
Thresholds: Will you be introducing practical ways to apply Universal Laws during your new seminar?
Benjamin: Yes. The whole teaching is to stimulate the vision of people to realize that enlightenment, first, is possible and is very probable and then that every day you move closer to enlightenment when you realize that who you are and why you are here is to give from your ocean of wisdom and to receive from the universe in all kinds of forms. You can be open to all the possibilities and no one is a stranger and theres nothing to be afraid of, because you never know where your lesson might come from.
Well go through each of the laws and there will be experiences, participants will have some experiential hands-on activities, so that they can learn how to actively apply and use the Universal Laws.
Thresholds: How have you built such an understanding of how to harmonize with the Universal Laws?
Benjamin: One of the ways that I learned to build a clear understanding of the Universal Laws is I would choose a law each day. I would, in the morning, direct my mind towards what it was that I wanted to learn about today and then all day long watch the law unfold itself in the many facets that it could unfold itself.
I think thats the secret to immortality -- that every day you embrace learning because it provides you with so much energy and so much life inside of yourself. You can feel it.
I have had a lot of experience with older people and Ive watched the difference between one older person who may be in a body that in years of this lifetime are maybe a lot more than another one. Maybe the ninety-eight-year-old man is more alive than the seventy-four-year-old woman. The difference is the embracing of learning in the life experiences. I think thats why the masters in the world that we know of, like Buddha, and Gautama, and Jesus were always happy, because they were always giving from their ocean of generosity. They gave, but they also knew they always received, and so it was worth it. Its just like a wheel that continues as you give -- its like a windmill. You know, when the air blows through it, it continues to move and so as the air embraces the pedals it just moves and its effortless. It gets to a place where its so fast that it doesnt take much effort at all.
So, my desire is to prime the individuals pumps, so that their world can be better. And then those places we call cities and suburbs and towns will be much brighter, because the people will interact with one another and they will be happy, they will be at peace, their heart will be open and bright, and that lotus petal will bloom.
Thresholds: Do you have a favorite Universal Law?
Benjamin: A favorite Universal Law? I would say its what we teach in the School of Metaphysics as the complete law. As Jesus taught it, it is Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else will be added unto you. It reminds me that I am always Spirit, and that when I always think of God first, everything I could possibly need, want or desire will be given to me, because I am a child of God.
Thresholds: Is that where your boundless energy comes from? It always amazes me that you can go from five in the morning until long after midnight and you are always energetic and happy about it. Youre like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going and going. Lots of people want to know your secret!
Benjamin: I think so. I really love people. I love exchanging and interacting with people, and if 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning is when it can be, then it is worth it to me. Its worth -- and I dont even see this as the sacrifice of sleep, because when its something I really want to do and its someone that I really want to connect with because its important to me and its important to them, its not a sacrifice. The sacrifice is up to God. Because my whole dharma is service and thats when Im alive, is when I can give all of me to whomever, whatever. And I really love to learn and Ive learned so much by interacting with people of all kinds.
And I guess Im kind of like a young kid and the person I think of is Hezekiah Condron who is a five-year-old who is very predominate in my life right now. Hes my spiritual teachers son and, you know, he doesnt like to go to sleep because he doesnt want to miss anything. And so Ive learned to function on very little sleep, and sometimes very little food. Because I dont want to miss anything and I dont want to miss an opportunity to give.
If I can make somebodys life brighter that makes my life brighter and so I think if thats what I am like, the Energizer bunny, thats where it comes from. I guess I never even think of it. I never think about having so much energy, its just the way Ive lived and I realize I can produce and be productive in so many ways and theres never a distance too far to aid another soul or a group of souls.
Thresholds: I know one of the ways that you give considerable service and have for over twenty years is giving the Intuitive Reports that we offer through the school. I would like to know how you came about doing that and what that means to you.
Benjamin: When I graduated from college, when I went to college I was looking for the answers of who I am. I wanted to know if I was a leader or a follower. So I went away to college and I became a recreational therapist because I wanted to help people. I wanted to bring joy in their life and I wanted to aid them, help them. When I came back from college I still wanted to know what I wanted to do when I grew up and I returned back to Chicago, still lost. You know, I had a direction career-wise, but I was still lost in myself. A good friend of mine gave me a Health Analysis, which is one of the reports that the school offers. I wasnt present. I was amazed at the information at that time. I was amazed at what the reporter stated, things that no one knew except me.
I watched the changes in my friend [who was a student in the school.] So, I knew there had to be something to this School of Metaphysics that the naked eye could not see. That it was underneath, that there was something greater these people had, and I wanted it. And so, I started in the classes and they have really transformed my life. Some twenty years ago we wouldnt be sitting here talking. I would have been very shy and I would have kept to myself and I would have done my work pretty much in secret, never really revealing much to anybody. I knew that that report was kind of the key that opened the door for me to enter into the School of Metaphysics. And I wanted to provide that to someone else. I wanted them to also have that kind of eye opener, that kind of blanket on a cold night.
I was persistent, I kept asking [how to learn to become an intuitive reporter] because it was a movement inside, it was a service that I knew could change the lives of many and it was one instrument of love I could do. It still is a labor of love. Its the only way that I can touch peoples lives that I dont even know how I touch their lives, and it doesnt matter. All that matters is that I have the ability to do that and that I make myself available. And it truly is a labor of love. It has for me created much spiritual awakenings within myself and I know it comes from just the openness and the willingness to give that the universe returns to you what you most need.
Thresholds: How did you build the trust you needed to even begin learning how to do that because I know that is a very important factor for intuitive development?
Benjamin: I realized that what was most important was that I be the servant, and that whatever it meant within myself, whatever I was afraid of, whatever I was holding back from, it was worth it to change. And so, it was through the strong desires - that would be the simplest thing to say because I really knew how much having that health analysis before I ever walked into a classroom what that had done for me, and how my life changed - with all of my being with all of my heart I wanted to give that to someone.
Thresholds: I know that you have a very strong presence about you that seems like it comes from knowing that God is a part of your life all the time. That is something that is missing for a lot of people in this day and age. I wonder if you have something you could offer to our readers about how they can bring that into themselves and into their lives no matter what their religious background is.
Benjamin: A very simple thing is to pray every morning before you wake up. Have God be, you know, God, Creator, whatever you call the Divine Presence that flows through you, the first Person you talk to and the last Person you talk to. And it doesnt have to be a formal prayer.
There is a formal prayer, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, that I learned as a child that I do recite and I recite them in the morning and in the evening because the Hail Mary reminds me to always have life present throughout my being and to accept the receptive quality of the female expression that I have chosen this lifetime to be the vessel of that love, so that everything that I create, everything that I touch has the divine quality of love that is within us. And the Our Father, to respect the whole mind, all of me. To realize that every day, every moment, every experience is knowledge, bread that I have been given to build understandings, so that I can offer it up, that my life has a greater purpose than just for my selfish needs or wants.
And those are very simple things. The prayers could be anything. You know, when I was a kid, my greatest prayers were conversations I had with God in moments of distress sometimes of knowing not where to turn other than to God. And I knew He was listening because I would always feel at peace and so I knew something, you know, my question always was, if God is everywhere, Hes got to be huge, because He always knows what you are doing. So those are simple ways.
Bringing the presence of the divine in your life, whatever form it is. People that dont believe in God have some kind of divine form that they believe in and to cultivate that. I think that the reason why we have so many gangs in the United States is because we fail to educate our youngsters and they want it, they want to belong, they want some kind of connection.
Recently I visited my family in Chicago and it was quite a culture shock even though for the first twenty-five years of my life I lived in this big city and learned to get around the city. I learned the need of light in peoples lives, because viewing the television and radio, and just the way that people moved in the city, and their cars and on the streets it was very stressful, it was very distant. Theres a lot of negativity that surrounds the planet at this time, and I know that when the School of Metaphysics is in every city and every state, and around the world, there will be greater light in peoples lives.
I was talking with the Chancellor of the College, Dr. Daniel Condron, the other day and I was telling him how kids nowadays walk around with their music in their ears. Its kind of like their white noise, how they can screen out all the other things that are going on in the world. And it separates them from their experiences. Definitely, its difficult for them to experience whats going on around them and in their life.
Recently I had a couple of days on our college campus with my [14-year-old] nephew. He said that in a couple of days you can learn a lot about yourself, because you are with yourself. Youre with who you are, and it gives you a moment of getting to know you without all of the sensations and sense input that people who live in cities live with. And thats a large part of our population, even in other countries where there are just so many people. Some of the destruction that I see in the world I think is caused because people dont know themselves, they dont get in touch with that. And therefore, they dont know their relationship with one another and their influence with one another.
When youngsters have a presence of spirit, of divinity, then it gives them a kind of conscience. They think, if I do this, how might you feel? You know, keeping the Golden Rule sacred. That was a very strong rule that my mother stated to us many, many, many times and so I always looked at people in the same kind of light that I looked I myself.
Thresholds: Is that one of the Universal Laws?
Benjamin: Yes. It is the Law of Relativity and love is the means by which we activate that law. When we can love everyone well be at peace. I know thats what people want. I know that innately were all good, that sometimes we get distracted. Sometimes the plank is so big in our eye that we cannot see and we dont even know its there. And so, I hope that through the lessons and seminars that I will be bringing to the cities that I go to, I can help remove that plank so that we can all see.
©2000 School of Metaphysics Thresholds Quarterly Vol 18 No. 3
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