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Eckankar Basic Beliefs

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The Temple of Eckankar lists the following as their basic beliefs:

1. Soul is eternal.

The soul is a fragment of the Divine Spirit residing in a physical body but not dependent upon it for survival. The soul has always existed and always will exist, although the state of its existence may change over time. Most commonly the soul passes on to a new physical body after the death of the previous body via reincarnation, although some souls are understood to exist in other states, no longer dependent upon a physical form.

2. Soul exists because God loves It.

The creation and continued existence of the soul is neither random nor arbitrary.  God allowed these fragments to separate and incarnate in the physical world.  Thus, there is purpose to our existence.  Nor was this choice vindictive; God loves the soul and wishes it to flourish, learn and develop.  Physical existence is a blessing, not a curse, although it is also a stepping stone to higher understanding that may lead to non-physical existence.

It is the experience of the Light and Sound of God that Eckankar members seek.  This allows them to experience the love God has for all of us, which pushes away spiritual limitations and helps one to spiritually grow.

3. Soul is on a journey of Self- and God-Realization.

The soul, being a part of God, wishes to remember and understand that part of its nature, and facilitating that learning is a primary goal of Eckankar.    To understand God, one must also understand the self, since ultimately one is a part of the other.

4. Soul unfolds spiritually via karma and reincarnation.

Eastern beliefs of karma and reincarnation are important facets of Eckankar.  Life is a series of experiences, and each of those experiences can learn lessons.  Moreover, there are also consequences for each of our actions, and there are also lessons to be learned there.  Lessons continue across lifetimes as the soul continues to reincarnate and gain more understanding.  To further aid understanding, past life studies are also a part of Eckankar practice.

5. Spiritual unfoldment can be accelerated through conscious contact with the ECK.

Spiritual unfoldment can be accelerated through conscious contact with the ECK, Divine Spirit. There are many ways of gaining self- and God-realization. However, the most powerful approach is to achieve contact with the ECK, the Divine Spirit, from which the soul comes. The ECK is not a distant and aloof being, but rather a power intimately tied to all of us, well within reach and understanding.

6. Contact with Divine Spirit can be made via the Spiritual Exercises of ECK

Contact with Divine Spirit can be made via the Spiritual Exercises of ECK and the guidance of the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master.

The central practices of Eckankar provide a variety of exercises to help an individual soul achieve contact with the ECK. These practices are designed by the Living ECK Master or a previous ECK Master. The ECK Masters have already achieved a level of connection with the ECK, thus putting them in a position to guide others toward a similar experience. There is only one Living ECK Master at any one time, and he is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Eckankar movement.

7. You can actively explore the spiritual worlds.

You can actively explore the spiritual worlds through Soul Travel, dreams, and other spiritual techniques.

Techniques and exercises commonly utilized in Eckankar include soul travel and dream interpretation. These are times when the soul is not constrained by physical senses and limitations, and thus offer additional opportunities for understanding and development.

8. Spiritual experience and liberation in this lifetime are available to all.

While the process of self- and God-realization takes place over many lifetimes, that doesn't mean real spiritual experiences can only be expected in some distant lifetime. The spiritual practices of Eckankar are meant to expand the practitioner's understanding and experience in the here and now, which will contribute to further learning later on.
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