1995-04-23-Perception of Meaning

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Topic: Perception of Meaning

Group: Tallahassee TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Will

TR: Unknown

Session

Opening

Will: The love of God enfolds us, the love of God supports us, the love of God protects us. Wherever we gather, He is.

Greetings to all of you and welcome. I am your teacher, Will, who loves you.

Lesson

Service, Meaning

The religion of the Hebrews was organized around the concept of accumulating righteousness, through works, deeds, and ritual acts of piety. The Master came to your world, was born as an ordinary creature of the realm, lived a full, but abbreviated life, intended to serve as an example of the higher path of spiritual awareness. One which focused on love for fellowmen and women, expressed through loving and kind service for their needs. The mechanism which the Master employed to choose which persons to help is the identical method available to you. He needed to travel to no distant or special place in order to go about the Father's business. A life totally dedicated to service can be fully exercised without any such travel or dedication to foreign service.

Meaning, is all around you, you have but to perceive it. If we use the example of this one serving here tonight, let us examine for a moment where the meaning occurred in this search for a dated piece of sentimental literature. (Ed: Eric had been asked by a friend of his to search for a particular poem that he had been required to memorize as a young man. The poem, entitled, "Abou Ben Adhem" by Leigh Hunt, was timely and quite meaningful to us.)

Will continues: Was there a meaning in the request for a nostalgic piece? A little. Was there meaning in agreement to conduct the research? A little. Was there meaning in the act of physically going to the place for the research? Only a little. Was there meaning in the reading of the material that was requested and acquired? Only a little. The meaning occurred not in the perception of the spiritual gravity of the material, but in its rendition here tonight. That's where it paid off. Yet this entire exercise could have been fully discharged without any perception of deeper meaning in any regard whatever. Your entire lives are very like this. There is not great meaning in searching, but there are small signals made to you by people many times each day, which offer you opportunities for loving service and expression of devotion to the Master's teachings, and the teachings laid out and well described in the Urantia Book itself. Because of the accumulation of habits inherent in the material life, you have grown used to, and accustomed to small signals which portend great meaning for your lives. We have said before, and I repeat again tonight, there are innumerable opportunities for you to perform loving service, daily, yet you remain unaware of it. Not through any lack of perceptive ability, but simply because you are used to the business of life and you're not paying attention.

Organizations, Teaching Mission

We believe that it has been clearly stated, and we believe that it has been grasped by most of you, that great public works are not part of our charge in this Mission. We are in the business of changing persons. We are not in the business of changing the course of events. Even if, we participated in error, and thought that we had the authority to change the course of events, through formation of human organizations, and the inculcation of works, programs, we must admit, on an intellectual basis alone, that, that arrogance would probably fail of its own natural paucity, because, there are so many millions of creatures participating in the heavenly administration aimed directly or indirectly at the natural creatures inhabiting this planet, that there is little chance that we could seriously cause any particular event or sequence of events to come to pass. There are simply too many spiritual creatures carrying out missions which we only dimly perceive, for us to begin adventuring, without clear instructions and direct authorization from above. We, from long experience, have faith that those programs which we cannot appreciate, will come to pass in their natural course. Although all of us have long experience, we are unable to see far into the future. And even were we able to do so, both you and we, know, that the free will exercised with divine approval by each of you, is capable of throwing a monkey wrench into the most sophisticated and elegant plan. It is your nature as creatures of your genetic stock, and your society, to possess only limited attention spans, therefore, even were we to attempt to form organizations dedicated to the discharge of spiritual insight and exhibitions of loving service, you would become used to those programs in exactly the same fashion in which you have become used to the ordinary appeals presented to you daily.

In response to direct appeals, we have sought approval for short term guided exercises, which present to you in individual and group settings, opportunities for spiritual advancement. I must however, tell you, that while rewarding, you probably will not find these experiences completely comfortable, they will certainly be different than the meetings held within the peace and security of this sanctuary here. We have spoken before, and you have all generally, apparently agreed with the concept that in spiritual growth and advancement, a certain degree of discomfort is inherent. I anticipate that on one of these Sunday evenings, we will make a brief announcement that such an exercise is about to begin, and I'm confident from long association with you, that you will all give it a good effort, and be ready to embrace the mixed joys and miseries which are a natural part of such exercises. In the meantime, however, it is your duty, as always, to seek meaning in the ordinary events of life. Having passed beyond the material realm, and into the Morontia realm, it remains your responsibility to perceive such meaning. The Morontia life is not all that different, your responsibilities increase rather than decrease, and then like now, you always have the burden of initiating action, for there is no progress for the passing. We must rely on you to get the ball rolling, wherefor we have always emphasized risk taking, and candidness, and attempted to discourage expressions of sarcasm, and irony, which tend to confuse delicate matters. I believe you are all up to it. That is all I have to say on that topic.

It has been some time since we played, questions and answers. The floor is open for questions.

Dialogue

Vincent:: Will, you spoke about our potential upcoming exercises, will these be based on the foundation that we've already laid with our prior exercises?

Will: The short answer is, no. The long answer is, because it is your nature as creatures to be inherently inconsistent, not only from week to week, and day to day, but from hour to hour, there is little that we can generalize, except to say that you are capable of capitalizing on the lessons you individually absorbed from those earlier activities, and apply them to these new exercises. Does that satisfy?

Vincent: Well, not really, in that, I guess the better question would have been, is there a description of these types of exercises you can give us or is there something we can be doing to prepare for them?

Will: There is no description authorized. The answer to question two is, you have been preparing all along.

JoiLin: Will, looking back on past transcripts, past lessons that we've had from you, you've made mention a number of times, of family, that we are family, and I don't know if I've just picked up on this on my own, or if in fact you indicated that we were to be pattern for family, within this Teaching Mission. First of all, could you tell me whether or not my perception was correct, and if it was, are there things that we could be doing to strengthen this pattern and to understand what it is that we are to become?

Will: I've been directed to speak several times on the importance of this group serving as a role model, because of the close family connection developed here over time. This group has always been seen and appears to portend to continue to represent a role model for other groups, precisely because of this family arrangement. This model is not exclusive, for this mission to grow, there must also be the possibility of associations of people whose intentions and interests are hostile to one another. If this Mission were to presume that peace and harmony must first thrive among all peoples before spiritual progress and communication with celestials takes place, then we have committed our energies to a program that will take far longer than even we perceive, to reach any measurable completion. As families go, I think you're doing fine. I urge you to go back and read the section in the Urantia book which deals with the difficulties which the parents of the first human pair had in dealing with their intelligent and challenging children. Next question.

JoiLin: How do the teachers look on this format of Teaching Mission every other week?

Will: We are grateful and appreciative of any time which you set aside to entertain our message, and we thank you for it. Next question.

Conferences

Vincent: Do you have any suggestions for the upcoming National Teaching Mission conference that we will be hosting.

Will: Take time to commune with the heavenly Father, morning and evening. When you are inclined to speak sharply to your companions, hold your tongue.

Treat the small children firmly, but fairly.

When you have much, and others have little, share what you have with them.

Be tolerant to strangers, and those who profess and advance views which are antagonistic to yours, or which you feel are not as advanced and sophisticated as your own appreciations.

If you could do these things for one day, the conference will be a piece of cake. It is inherent in the structures, in the directions of the life energy in your time and society that you pay close attention to the form of things, but when you walk in God's light, things have a way of taking care of themselves. Relax, do the minimum amount of competent work necessary to insure reasonable success of your conference. Things will work out. To undertake such a project is itself stressful. Your efforts count for much. But no effort is worth the price of progress if it causes you to lose sight of the main intention and effort, which in your case, as I perceive, is to share brother and sisterhood with like minded persons of both greater and lesser ability to communicate, and who have genuine and casual interests in the Teaching Mission. We think you are doing fine, and frankly we were somewhat surprised that you undertook this effort. In God's scheme, all things work out. He apparently has structured things so that they even work out for the best! Please excuse the imprecision of my answer.

Ron: Will, do you care to comment from a spiritual perspective on the terrible event that occurred in Oklahoma city last week?

Isolation, Violence

Will: The perpetrators of such events and their supporters live in an atmosphere devoid of normal human social considerations. They are spiritually maimed, and rather than seek solace, seek power through association with other defective personalities. In your language these organizations are typically referred to as cells, which we find to be an apt description, for these cells are scattered throughout all of the societies on your planet, and lend themselves to analogy remarkably akin to that describing cancer cells. A healthy animal body, just like a healthy society is normally capable of surrounding these cells and isolating them so that they do no harm, however, it is a real possibility that such events may occur with increasing frequency, as additional numbers of people become alienated from the normal bounds of human familial decency, and are trained through unhappy experience and manipulation by evil doers to wreak this havoc upon other unsuspecting people. These people are maimed; they have been harmed by the experiences of life, and lack the where-with-all to divine anything positive from these negative experiences. And by isolating themselves, they guarantee that their chances of making further spiritual progress are substantially diminished. No humans thrive in isolation, yet it remains our duty just as it remains your duty, to steadfastly advance the message of the Father's love and the Master's message of brotherly love, through undemanding service. And we ask that you remain open to the possibility that these people will turn their lives around. Next question.

Pedagogy

Helen: Will, the exercises we're going to be given, I'm sorry I missed the time frame, I think you said a short while, uhm, realizing our times are not measured the same, could you be a little more specific about that, and will they be announced as specific exercises or will they be like, you did it, now you passed? Will we know ipso facto, or will we know in advance that it's an announced exercise in a specific time frame?

Will: You will not receive close instruction, neither will you be publicly scored at the end. You will receive fair notice. That is all I can say at the moment.

Helen: Will, I still have one further; will they be group exercises or may they be possibly individual exercises? May I ask that, or is that pushing?

Will: The proposals advanced for approval at this time do not involve every member of this group at any one time. As always each of you remain responsible for individual action. Groups of one; you are always invited and encouraged to associate with other members of this group, and when you find situations too challenging to be handled alone, in that case, we could call you groups of more than one. Next question.

Loren: Will, will I be guided through some help for my eye problem? This is out of the subject area.

Will: If you will permit me to make a small joke, I will say it is our intention to guide you back into the subject area!

(Group laughter)

The obvious answer is, of course, yes. However, all matters outside the subject area, are always of incidental benefit only, our Mission is spiritual benefit, nothing more. Amen. Next question.

Helen: I have a question that is sort of on the track of two earlier questions. Would it be in any way detrimental to family, uh, would it help us, if some of us met for more Teaching Mission time, apart from the large body of the group, because we don't want to do anything that would be divisive, or detrimental, but some of us do feel that we would like more time, for Teaching Mission time.

Will: I think I can say as a policy matter, that every person is always responsible for their individual spiritual path of progress. Or, I may say, do what suits your needs. The purpose of this group has never been to foster restrictions. Neither has there ever been any policy expressed in this group to exclude other paths. Since you ask me what the group should do and the individual members in sub-sets of this group, I can only describe what I have seen up to this date. This Mission is not for everyone, and it is not for everyone all at the same time, but I will say that this Mission is for everyone at some time. Next question.

Vincent: Hearing no other questions, I kind of wanted to tell you Will, that I've really enjoyed being with you for these last three years and I really appreciate all the time and energy you've put with us. I feel like it's been beneficial for me; and I thank you for your time.

Group: Ditto...more ditto....mega ditto....me too.

Group member: She's overwhelmed!

Closing

Will: This exchange has been extremely productive. As you probably recall, the majority of volunteer teachers participating in the currently arranged Teaching Mission, are surviving mortals, mostly fused, but almost none are from this planet. We have learned many valuable lessons, at you hands, and we thank you for it. Shalom.

Group: Shalom.