1996-01-27-Human Character

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Topic: Human Character

Group: Pittsburgh TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Tomas

TR: Gerdean

Session

Opening

TOMAS: Good afternoon.

Group: Good afternoon, Tomas.

TOMAS: I am Tomas, your teacher, and I greet you this afternoon in fullness of heart and in anticipation of spirit enlargement. I welcome also our visitor and hope that your experience here can be regarded as, yes, a personal religious experience for you. Let me first commend this group on its developing unity. This afternoon's study session shows us great promise in your ability to function as a unit of diverse individuals in one accord in ascending to higher planes of reality existence and manifestation.

Lesson

This afternoon, my dear friends, I would like to venture into the realms of human character.

Character

In the lesson last week we spent some time discussing lower planes of behavior and the more animalistic manifestations of unity and frolic, and I am well aware that a quiet judgment is rendered in certain contexts and I would like then, today, to follow up somewhat, and yet also introduce a new subject, for character is that which we aspire toward.

Michael himself manifested a unified personality, a mature character, and as you in your lives aspire to be more Godlike, let me then discuss that quality of character which you may comport and sustain as your own growing quality of reality. For starters, it is true that your inheritance as animal beings mightily stirs and influences your potential for character, and as you are educated and nurtured in loving environment and harmonious circumstances, your character develops naturally.

However, in those situations wherein those assets are unavailable or relative, the character of the evolving mortal is stunted. This is not to say that character cannot be developed, even in one whose upbringing and background has not provided those circumstances which afford you the fertile soil for character development, and it is through your experiences and your reflection on your experiences which proceed to develop true character.

When I say "character" I pause to define somewhat my term and will use as an example your adage when you encounter someone with a vivid personality, a colorful aspect, "What a character!" and this may be true, but this does not mean that the individual has depth of character, which must be developed. Indeed, sonship/daughtership is a gift but it must be fostered.

That is, your career must be fostered through the development of human character.

You recall the morontia mota, which bespeaks that 'cleverness is no substitute for character', and that human individuals are often clever and creative, but lacking in true character. I am now earnest in laying before you that a lack of character or an absence of a well-developed character is not a cause for you to assail the personality of the individual who has, by your standards, a lesser character, for your work has enabled you to develop that acme of personality traits which makes you whole and trustworthy.

Consider, rather, the soil from which this plant has grown. Has it been nurtured in mire and despair? In which case its character may be tending toward gnarly, survival instincts. Has it been grown in a protected hothouse where it has been protected from the vagaries of the elements? Has this character been developed at all? And if not, why not? Is it because they languish in fear or in poor self-esteem? And so I say, do not disdain the individual who lacks strength of character, nor regard yourself as superior, for the superior character finds compassion for those who have yet far to go in their accessibility and assurance of happiness.

What do we mean by character? A characteristic of character is "immature personality" and so perhaps a paradox. How can a child have a mature personality? Well, herein is the rub, the effort, the assignment -- to garner the truth of that paradox -- and through your childlikeness, allow yourself to be reared by your Eternal Parents into those experiences which will give you the fodder for fostering and digesting those lessons of life which will contribute to your character.

An aspect of character in the mature individual can be found in the Urantia Book in the reference to Michael's character, wherein he sought balance in himself by being unique but not eccentric, and in other ways. Also, regarding character in others, he sought to instill balance, to avoid extremes of behavior, to be moderate in his bearing and in his tolerance.

Your group here, my pupils, sons and daughters of our living God, you have each professed a desire to become more Godlike and yet what is Godlike? It is not perfection at the expense of others. It is not self-sufficiency in your social interchanges. It is, indeed, your character association with other characters in character associations. The wise being always looks at the immature being with an attitude of parental tolerance and kindness, and so those of you who are developing character will also develop an attitude of forbearance for those of your siblings who have work yet to assault in their own development of character.

Let me also point out that character is not something you set out to do through an act of will. It is not like going on a diet, where you discipline yourself into thinness, but rather it is the development within the soul of the human being that finds nurturance from that which is wholesome and satisfying. This reality is developed through your own choices, through your own reflection of your own behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and so forth.

I am reminded of my brother Welmek's picturization of character wherein he equates personality as a Christmas tree and the ornaments on the tree as character. On a mature tree you will find poise and grace in personality manifestation. In a scraggly tree, which has weathered the beatings of many storms and has grown in barren soil to have but a semblance of character, you may find its ornaments gaudy with baubles which are designed to camouflage the crookedness and scarcity of the tree.

And so, look to your ornaments. Look to your personality manifestation of your true character. How are you adorned? And upon what substance do you hang your manifestations of Godlikeness? Return now to character and allow your own character to flourish by giving yourself permission to ask for counsel and direction into those realms which will bring forth the fruits of deepened character.

Now, when I say to go into these experiences and, through your education and reflection, develop character, I will also include those experiences which you have long since had and remember -- and even some experiences which you do not remember, which are your early conditioning -- which have affected your character and not always to your best interests. Thus, do not hesitate to go into your reservoir of memory experience and reflect upon those situations and incidents and conditionings which have helped develop the character which you parade around in today, and ascertain if these are aspects of character which you want to continue to regard as noble and good.

It is certainly no shame to discover flaws in your character, for what mortal has been reared in a perfect environment? None! And so we begin this correcting of the personality, the character, so that in splicing your plant, in transplanting your tree, in pruning your branches, it will be natural and easy then to allow yourself to be fertilized and watered, that you may begin to grow new leaves and fresh buds for eventual flowering.

This is a human conscious undertaking and yet it is an undertaking which, as I have said, is not done by a simple act of the will. It is not a magic wand that you wave and say, "I have now developed character," for character is a growth process and even the wise personality with depth of character can benefit from a continual review of those conditionings from the past and from the present influences of this terrestrial environment, to come out the wiser and the cleaner and the kinder, more well-balanced personality that you would be, in your delight to commingle with those beings of personality ascension who also radiate joy and good cheer and mota.

So, now, my dear friends -- and I am beginning to feel more like your friend as we work together more closely -- I am eager to continue our rapport and our developing understanding of one another, and in the process you are learning to understand and love one another even more, and so I will open this forum for your involvement. Are there any questions?

Dialogue

Process

Mrs. M: Well, I have a question as usual. But Tomas, -- coming from this, almost this fundamentalist stance from where I came --I had developed a really not helpful attitude which was... well, of course you know what the fundamentalists say: we're so terrible that you can't do anything about it. They call it "plead the blood" and so you just have to say, "Well, Jesus is going to save me and I know I'm rotten," and so that's the place.

And in reading these recent things by Ham, it was just a revelation to me and very exciting about the ideas that we should not be nit-picking ourselves, so I was remembering a person in history that I thought in our Western consciousness came very close to trying to improve his character. My son John pointed out to me Ben Franklin, who had a sort of a system. It's the only time that I heard of a system that sounded as if it had any promise to it at all, which was, good old Ben would write down a few things that he wanted to develop and then he would concentrate on one of them for about, I think, three weeks and he felt that he had improved in some way and of course he wrote a lot of wise old saws anyway.

But I was sort of impressed by that system. Would that have any relationship to the method you're talking about?

TOMAS: My dear, you are quite astute, for this is very much the system that I am introducing also, for if you will consider, we recently discussed acceptance. Does that then mean that before the next week arrives you have all mastered acceptance? Certainly not. But it is something that you have spent a moment considering. We also discussed beliefs and how your personal beliefs may or may not coincide with truth or with the beliefs of those with whom you associate. Does this mean that you have identified all of your false beliefs and have become perfect in your faith? No, but it does indicate that it is something that is registered deep within your mind that, in time, you may begin to perceive as being fruitful.

And so today, as we discuss character, I do not expect three quarters of you to arrive next week with full-fledged mature characters, yet it is an ambition that we may hold up for future accomplishment as we grow together.

Indeed, the practice of nit picking and belittling oneself's reactions, oneself's behaviors, is not necessarily productive, although a certain amount of reflection is a wise technique to use in un-cluttering the path to the attic.

Mrs. Ml: Tomas?

TOMAS: Yes?

Mrs. Ml: I have a question. During your talk you said something about -- I will use the word "a person with AVERAGE character" is not to look down on a person who has a weaker character. Now does that mean that they would be tolerant with that person or that they would be patient with them or are they being judgmental?

TOMAS: As I understand your question, I perceive that both patience and tolerance still leave room for some sense of superiority, but I will not require you to stand in the corner over that, for there are truths there.

The ability of the human being to assay the characteristics of his or her peers is nebulous at best, and yet it is necessary for the human mind to adapt to these personalities and so a certain amount of assessment is necessary, for no one here that I have met yet has attained that level of unconditional love which will assimilate all humankind without some mental/ intellectual/ emotional criticism, if only in order to understand them better - and understanding, of course, is an aspect of the mind. When that is coupled with an understanding from the heart, then the assimilation of that personality into your heart's delight is more possible.

This is an aspect of acceptance, for it is not your responsibility or your fault that individuals are the way they are. You only need to accept them as they are and if they are not endearing to your heart, then do not allow them in, but if they are endearing to your deep heart, your learned love techniques from your developed character, then you will know how to place them in your life that they may receive your love but their behaviors are set aside as objectionable according to your assessment.

Mrs. Ml: That was a beautiful lesson. Thank you.

TOMAS: Thank you for your question, and for your quest.

Parenting, Attunement

Dr. B: Tomas, I want to bring up a situation. I'm not sure what question I want to ask about this, but this Tuesday I have to go to court and two people most likely will have three of their children taken off of them permanently and they'll never be able to see them again. And right now I feel — I don't have any particular feelings about it, but probably on Tuesday I'll have a lot of different feelings, and the problem is that there seems to be no resolution to this because it's gone on for several years, and part of the problem is both of the parents are … not retarded, but they're near retarded. They're borderline. And therefore, no matter how much therapy they are sent for -- and I have worked with them a long time -- but no matter what you do, they can't get some of the insight, and so it's going to be an extreme punishment, especially to the woman, because they're going to lose them -- more because of the man's actions … and he had a terrible, horrific childhood -- and abused -- and it just seems like there is no answer to this because on one hand maybe the children can suffer - maybe! - on the other hand definitely the parents will, and there's no way to . . . doesn't seem to be a way to make them be able to do whatever the courts want.

And I'm not even sure -- in one way I'd like to ask for some kind of guidance for on Tuesday because I have no idea really on how to handle this. Not that I'm making a judgment but, … it's a society problem.

TOMAS: Indeed, it is a society problem, and in this case it would seem you are "it" in-as-much as you are the facet of society which is being responsible about a situation that shows no happy outcome. It is the mature society, indeed, which has the strength of character to deal with these problematic situations which affect society. This is part of the maturity of the race and the maturity of the race is comprised of the maturity of the individuals.

The circumstance which you outlined is a case of immaturity and inadequacy to effectively parent, and parenting is, as you know, one of the fulcrum experiences of the human existence, therefore the religious experience of existence. And the sad commentary here is (tape turned; some lost). Let me continue.

In our association here together we have had certain indications of discourse along the lines of mature parenting, that is, individuals who have the character to become responsible parents to new human life, and that situation is a downdraft in your world today, in your culture. That sentimentally allows for the propagation of the race without forethought as to the future of these individuals who become embroiled in this kind of unfortunate situation which now tugs at the hearts of all who behold the tragedy of three children being severed from their parents .

I would ask you to set aside your ideal of home life and regard the fact of the matter, which is, apparently, that these people have not finished parenting themselves adequately to devote the energy, time, resources and love necessary to develop the environment which will enable these children to develop even rudimentary character. It is "too late for tears", but I also appreciate that in even saying thus I myself am hard pressed to relinquish the ideal, and especially in the situation where it is your dubious duty to attend to these personalities in emotional distress.

If you ascertain in your deep heart (and this is personal to you), if you discern in your heart that a Thought Adjuster is resident and active, focus your energy on that Thought Adjuster and disallow the excessive emotional tumult, for you will be unnecessarily drawn into the quagmire of despair which you will encounter. Therefore, daughter, I am suggesting you have tremendous strength of character to withstand this event. I have one other remark. One moment. (Long pause) That is all.

Mrs. B: Tomas?

TOMAS: Yes.

Experience

Mrs. B: That can be applied-- Can that not be applied to dealing with any stressful situation that has circumstances that are emotional? Many of us deal with the public and it's-- I found that [to be] a very valuable answer because you are addressing their Thought Adjuster, which is something that gets out-shouted almost all the time. What about . .. well, never mind. I just wanted to thank you for that clarification if that is where we are addressing our decision.

TOMAS: Let me respond. I do not mean for you all to take that situation as a blanket answer to all of life's situations. I specifically addressed the question-asker in that context, for in response now to your inquiry, your soul expression, if you were to eliminate yourself from all emotional situations and ignore the surrounding colorations of the circumstance, you would be denying yourself of the experience, for it is in the human aspects that the experience is had.

I have heard, for example, the phrase "walk in" and I have no patience with that concept, for how can your life be real and enriched if you either forfeit it or just pass through without any viable substance to it? It is in the experience, and that involves the spirit, the heart, the gut, the animal, the divine, the intellect, the mind, the emotion, the full nine yards, in order for you to develop as a human being and subsequently as a soul.

And so do not mistake one situation for another, for the experience of life involves emotions, and it is hardly fair to be so selective in your experiences that you will only take the good feelings and deny the uncomfortable emotions of time and space as being too troublesome to incorporate. It is all for your learning.

Now, let me lighten up a little bit and say that, yes, probably there are some personalities, speckled like pepper throughout your life, which you haven't time for, that you find are certainly tertiary to your personal growth. And it is not required that you reach out and envelop every single mortal you encounter and, like stray puppies, bring them home to your heart and soul and hope to nurture them back to health, to spiritual health, and then send them on their way 'tails-a-wagging,' no. But I offer this commentary as a response to you, to consider the full range of potential human experiences and not to eliminate the emotional aspects of your interchanges with humanity just because they may be troublesome.

Mrs. B: Thank you.

New Age

Mrs. McD: I have a question on the walk-in or walk-through business. I encountered an individual, very powerfully spiritual-energy person that delivered what I consider now a package deal and I understood -- had been told it was some information that was very important to me. At the time I didn't know what it was and probably still don't know the whole picture, but this individual was then different later. It was not the same personality. I believe that was a walk-through or a walk-in. I've been told the name of that individual that delivered that energy package of knowledge.

TOMAS: You have told me that you believe this, and who am I to say that your belief is incorrect? I will say that I, Tomas, do not believe it. And that is not to say that you must believe me either, for I, like you and like your friend, are only associations. I would throw out, just for expression sake, that there are days that you are not yourself either. That there are days when you thrill to the truth of spirit and are infinitely lighter and more joyous and there are times when you plod along and barely keep your head above water, and this is the case with all humanity.

I am inclined to express that just because you are impressed by a strong phenomenon-type thing, does not necessarily make it true. The urge to go somewhere or do something or be someone is not necessarily the will of God. It is your free will, however, to take what you like and use it and promulgate it even as you feel this is your belief, but it is not required that others accept it. This is what free will is all about.

And thirdly, I would, my girl, ask you to consider the power of charisma which is very leading in its delivery. Like an actor who is giving his lines/her lines, the emotional or mental message may be very powerful and you walk away from the scene believing that Scarlet O'Hara will indeed pick up the torch tomorrow, but this is not necessarily truth. That is for your discernment. And if you discern, today, that this situation exists, I am not going to pull it out from under you. I am finished.

Mrs. McD: Well, I discern that on another level there is no difference … that walk-in body. There's only one. But still, as we perceive it, there was message delivered and it was not by verbal or acting or human intention, it didn't seem. It was very unusual in our experience.

TOMAS: Yes, and this is the experience of each of us here and hopefully, with even deeper developed character, our words will have such profound effects on people they will wonder if we have not just rung a bell in their head, and this is marvelous, for these impressions give us excitement in the mental realms and occasionally strike so deep as to create harmony in the soul and harmony, as you well know, resounds all the way to Paradise. And so, these moments of insight collection from individuals may be profound and have effects. This is also possible with anyone, even though they "walk in" their own bodies.

Student: Tomas, at another time -- not during the course of the meeting, but at another time would you expound further on the subject of . .. well, it would be in subjects related to what you've just been talking about, because there's some people at the table that are not following your conversation as well as others. Are some people in their reach deluded and accept a concept that makes them feel more comfortable? Can that be part of what some people are entertaining?

TOMAS: I can only ascertain what someone is entertaining if they entertain it with me; therefore, my response is, as always as your teacher, I will address the need of that individual who addresses me. Hopefully, in the over-all, I am addressing those needs generically to you as a group which will instigate and inspire the kinds of dialog which we are having here, which will enable you to grow as individuals, me to grow as a teacher, and we to grow as a teacher base in Correcting Time in this Teaching Mission under the banner of Michael of Nebadon.

The vernacular which is a large part of this day and age, as a result of the circuits opening and individuals finding shards of truth from every corner, it is a testimony to the spiritual hunger which has long awaited food from some viable source, and when there is no substance, the hungry seeker will accept crumbs on the way to fullness. All of the revelation and whatnot that you are receiving since the circuits are open, are in some degree distorted. I have explained already that even my words and concepts will be somewhat distorted by the transmitter/receiver who allows herself to be "vulnerable" to my promptings. This is true because we are dealing with the human being.

In your travels, when you hear "a zinger" that strikes a chord in your soul, that feeds your hungry appetite for truth, you will take it and be in praise of that source. Let me remind you that all these sources of food are not for adulation but the food itself is what nourishes you, and so take the truths, assimilate them into you until such time as the greater, broader, deeper, more expanded truth comes along to fill out those areas of your developing soul which fatten you.

Anything further?

Sensationalism

Mrs. M: Are you going to any Super Bowl parties, Tomas? (Group laughter) You know, we're all a little crazy in Pittsburgh now, starting just after you leave today.

Mrs. P: For the next 48 hours.

Mrs. Ml: He'll be checking in on some of us.

TOMAS: If you are of a mind to open yourself to spiritual energies, someone certainly will come to call, but by and large during these cultural melees (group laughter) the only spirit prevailing is that embedded in the early, early aspects of worship which have degenerated into the modern curse words and so if you say, "Jesus Christ!" it is not necessarily that Michael will come to call. You will appreciate my attempt at humor. (Laughter)

Mrs. L: I do appreciate your attempt at humor, but I think that some of us do catch ourselves up short when we hear that language which we, most of us, have partaken of to a certain extent. I think we do deplore it, most of us here, although we find ourselves engaging in it perhaps from time to time.

TOMAS: It is truly your primitive urge to worship coming out and it is a very dusty leftover from your early ages and those words today are hardly a comparison to the ways that you have learned to call upon your God, our Creator, and therein you might give yourself some viability as having developed huge amounts of character since those early days.

Cursing, Prayer

Mrs. M: You know, today though, when they use God's name like that, I think a lot of people don't really mean it in that sense. They could say, "Oh, damn!" or something else. I mean, it's just a way of expressing something, like you say, but they were probably programmed that way a long time ago.

TOMAS: Indeed.

Mrs. H: It's a sign of a limited vocabulary.

Mrs. M: I mean that's the way we think about it when we hear people use a lot of profanity, that their vocabulary is limited.

TOMAS: I myself have been known to say, "Oh, Christ!"

Mrs. M: But did you mean it sincerely? Or were you just--

TOMAS: Totally sincerely.

Mrs. M: Well, that's different.

TOMAS: "Oh, Christ, how can I be in this situation? What am I going to do?"

Group: (Affirmations)

Mrs. Ml: That makes it sound better.

TOMAS: That is a prayer.

Mrs. McD: Isn't that reaching higher, actually? In speaking the name? Whether we are aware of it or not?

Mrs. L: When we speak his name we should mean it! Not just use it for a slang expression.

Mrs. McD: You missed my point.

TOMAS: Prayer words spoken without feeling are only words and are not prayers. Whether it be in the recitation of a litany or in a common curse, it is meaningless without feeling.

Mrs. Ml: Tomas, that's one thing that I have learned from reading the Papers and everything, and that is that you have to be sincere in your love, sincere in your actions. If you're not sincere, it doesn't count.

TOMAS: I have a very fine lesson on sincerity scheduled for later in the season. (Group chuckle)

Mrs. M: Have you been aware of how much we have enjoyed the lessons about the symphony? We are constantly referring to that lesson. I think it made a good deep impression on our human minds and also the wonderful lessons of the past few weeks, so this is a good chance for me to say, I think on behalf of most of us, they were very special and wonderful and thank you.

Group: Thank you.

TOMAS: Thank you, daughter, and thank you, class. I accept your compliment. I will tell my boss that you like me as a teacher, and let me say that in this kind of growth which we have undergone and which is beginning to manifest in such wondrous days as today's gathering, we are becoming united as a spiritual family and the words which we use, oftentimes words which were discussed in our question/answer session and in the teachings themselves, become the dialog, the vernacular, which we understand as our own culture and which are readily available to you to take out into your world to use as seed-planting efforts in your world. It is not always necessary to use the common spiritual jargon. It is often beneficial to resort to parables or analogies such as the symphony, which will resound in the hearts of even the unbeliever. Thank you.

Mrs. M: Before you leave Tomas, from your vantage point, can you see what the result of the Super Bowl game will be? (Uproarious group laughter) I'm not asking WHAT it will be, I'm just asking if you can see.

TOMAS: I cannot.

Mrs. M: I remember reading some of the transcripts from Buffalo and I think that one of the gentlemen were put down rather sweetly when he wanted to know.

Closing

TOMAS: I can see that the Super Bowl is infringing even into our environment here today, and let me say it is with gladness that I relinquish you to your festivities, for we have had a true feast of plenty this afternoon. Your minds have been well fed on the subject matter contained in your textbook and our discourse today has left me satisfied for now.

And so, my dear students, my dear associates in the gospel, let me relinquish you with the admonition to ponder your character and to observe the character of your peers with compassion.

Until we meet again, I and my fellow teachers and the celestial overseers who observe and stand in the bleachers rooting for your team, bid you a good afternoon.

Group: (Laughter, applause)