1996-04-24-Good Fortune, Learning How To Pray
Topic: Good Fortune, Learning Hot to Pray
Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
TOMAS: Good evening.
Group: Good evening, Tomas.
TOMAS: I ask you: How did you know it was me?
I am glad to be here with you, and glad, too, that you continue to manifest an interest in matters of the spiritual realms and that you, in your altruism, grant that we possibly might expand our understanding of our own place in the universe in terms of our spiritual evolution and ascension with and through our association and under the guidance of our Creator Michael.
How fascinating your discourses have been this evening. I am certain we will refer to them again before the evening is out, but I would like to first take a moment to discuss with you a thing or two, which I have saved up for such a moment as this. I would like to discuss with you Good Fortune.
In bringing up the phrase "good fortune" it is necessary, certainly, to take a look at what is fortune, and in a material realm, the reference immediately falls upon the material abundance available to humankind, the "fortune" as is indicated in your economic system and your arts and so forth, but I am not focusing on that fortune. I am focusing on the good fortune of fellowship and sonship, which indeed is the gospel.
How is it that some of you have had the good fortune to have come upon such concepts as we share, the good fortune of seeking and finding those who would share with you such philosophies and ideologies as have been presented in your social aspects this evening, such as the Hispanic guru, the Miracles maverick and others? The good fortune of sharing the inner life is a fortune which is the pearl of great price, for which a man will sell all that he has in order to acquire this great treasure.
This treasure is where your heart is, and where is your heart in this good fortune? There are many who are aware of the advanced times and would capitalize on the advanced movement of spiritual awakening (and to them there is good fortune, indeed!), but the good fortune of sonship is a treasure which comes to you not by your intellectual understanding of a philosophy or even of certain social resonance of acceptance, but that which you hold in your heart as divine and worthy of the greatest respect, the highest esteem, indeed, the highest price.
I ask you to examine your good fortune to determine if it is a fortune which is worth selling everything for its acquisition, or is it a manifestation of social mores, a social movement? There are many movements afoot which would capitalize on the aspiring spirit-bound personality. Do not allow yourself to lead these infants astray by the dazzle of diadems that fall short of the light of truth.
Are there questions of me this evening?
Mrs. M: Well, I'm confused quite a bit by this lesson. My particular involvement with the Urantia Book is not, certainly, an easy thing, because I've chosen to be part of the organized church, and so I can't quite put it together with the fact that -- I thought I understood you to say, Tomas, that some people are going to capitalize on our good fortune of having the Book. But nobody that I know is, frankly, interested! Unfortunately!
Mrs. P: You interpreted that wrong.
Mrs. M: Then please explain it, Tomas.
TOMAS: Your good fortune, daughter, is that which dwells within you, which has given you life and given it more abundantly. It is that spark of divinity which is that which you would not forfeit, which you would not trade, which you would not sell for it is your own reality. I am speaking beyond books and philosophies and movements to that Treasure within. Has this helped clarify?
Mrs. M: Yes. Yes, thank you.
Mrs. Ml: I know I wouldn't want to return to my fear-filled consciousness that I have had companioning me for so long that it's -- because it is, I would say, the last ten years that I feel that I have been able to experience some of the meaning of the answers to questions that I had, and I would never want to go back. It is really the pearl of great price. And uh … that doesn't mean that anybody knows that we feel we found it. There are many people who are not interested in knowing what makes me smile. It's your personal . .. if we care to tell someone that we think it's a treasure, then it still doesn't make that much difference externally except, really, to you. Others benefit from your behavioral change, but it is, indeed, a pearl of great price.
What about price? Price paid for? I hadn't thought of that pearl of great price. I don't think I've paid a price. I feel just like it was kind of a box that I could open and a present was there. I don't feel that I was "paying the price" to obtain it. Unless you look at it from the consciousness of the journey of all mankind and someone came to you with great experience and wanted to give you enlightenment.
TOMAS: I will grasp that and run with it, for indeed, what do you give up in order to have this pearl, this gem, this diadem of sonship? What have you got to give before you have It? You have fear and pride and ego and consciousness of death and prejudice and want. You have all those things which you suffered before giving your life and will to the Father, the great First Source and Center.
Having attained sonship and awareness of your connection with divinity, you then weigh moment by moment the temptations which come your way and pay the price of each moment's decisions, either in assuming your path as before or in falling prey to a lesser fortune. Many of these lesser fortunes are experientially valuable, indeed, and you may rest assured that once you have set upon your path you will be reminded of it and given opportunity to return to it, and when you have ventured away to the experiential depths and have judged and found yourself wanting and have returned again to your Source, your fortune is renewed and you bestow then your wealth of joy and eventual wisdom as you go, as you pass by, as you learn.
There is an interesting lesson in your text about counting the cost, the cost of being a disciple, an apostle, or whatever capacity you feel you have to offer. Assuredly, your spiritual reward is in your level of commitment. If you have committed to the values of family life, you will appreciate and defend and honor and enjoy those values. If you commit yourself to a cause with your whole heart and your whole mind and believe that this is your calling, then this is your treasure and you will give and garner the results of your devotion to this cause.
(Before you came, Tomas, we used to invite Nero to our readings. Maybe some evening you'd like to do that. In the course of conversation of our reading we would ask Nero a question. He was a philosopher, wasn't he? As I recall. Wasn't he a philosopher? Nero? Anyway, he would assist us with the -- whatever it was we were reading in the book and if we got to going we would stop everything and ask Nero to join us and he would comment.)
Mrs. M: I think "righteous indignation" possibly would have been a very good phrase to use, because we were talking about a human social situation that was repugnant and "righteous indignation" would be a justifiable response, but, dwelling upon it and letting your energies stay with it very long, unless you, like you pointed out, are devoted to a cause of justice or some such version of that -- I thought that that was a Biblical quote that Jesus was using when he was teaching. He says, "Judge not . ..." and you've just corrected us right there. He went on to say use righteous judgment, and that was a good reminder what you just said was to "judge not" but to be sensitive enough and discerning enough that you might come to a point of understanding of what would be appropriate behavior when these things come up.
TOMAS: You described a discourse you had earlier this evening in discussing an individual who was repugnant, and it is not for individuals to determine the repugnancy of other individuals. If his acts are repugnant, they may be discussed and judged according to the dictates of the sovereignty of your government or your mores -- and I believe the instance you discussed was an example of your mass consciousness investigating its own mores.
As a follower of Jesus, we are not in a position to judge any individual. It is wise to assess, but judgment casts a pall upon the accused and causes separation and boundary. In a discussion such as you referenced, there is no call for righteous indignation in searching for the motives/intents of your fellow beings.
This is a very distorted world. I realize that it is tedious, time-consuming and bothersome to look into the souls of the many, and these individuals who are on your media whose souls are on parade for the masses to dissect and condemn -- and judge -- are resultant from the evolution as it is at this time.
There are many evolutionary steps coming into being, and the study of the personality is certainly one of them. As has been said earlier in your discourse, there will be those who will need to officially take the time, and study each nuance, in order to render a decision, a law, an action affecting lives, affecting families, affecting your society, and it is no longer as cut and dried as it was in the more materialistic age.
Entering a new age, which involves more thinking, more feeling, more rationalizing, more justifying, more discovery of the human condition, motivations and so forth, is time-consuming. It is not necessary that everyone become involved in this on every level, but it is a part of communication as it is becoming. It is a method of communication that can be turned into prayer.
Mrs. P: Tomas, you were mentioning that we should be very cognizant of the fact that the effect that we will be having on other people . .. something about the dazzle or something? Could you enlarge on that for us just a little bit?
TOMAS: I would like to remark to the effect that impressionable young aspiring newborns are tantalized by glamour, for they are still impressed by the ways of immaturity, and whereas more spiritualized beings have within them something which the fledgling may not yet be aware, it is cruel to bedazzle them with personal inflections of some radiant glory to come. It is hard to express. It is better, shall we say, to impress a fledgling soul with your confidence, deep awareness and satisfaction, by your calm and sober demeanor than by the bedazzling flashing eyes of one "who really knows the truth." Beware of those who flash their insights around like gold sheckles. The pearl of great price has a deep lustrous sheen that endures. I am having a hard time conveying what I would like to convey.
TOMAS: No, but that does tie in. You have broadened the palette for me, but I do not mean to focus on Christianity exclusively. Anyone who professes to "know" is suspect, and so I say to you to consider your good fortune and appreciate this pearl of great price rather than bedazzle your children, do you see?
Leah: When you're speaking of children, do you mean actual physical children or …?
TOMAS: I am speaking of fledgling souls who will be coming forth. The harvest is great. And as you have within you, each and all, great reservoirs of strength, inspiration and guidance, in your attempts to proselytize your values, your truths, you will be more effective if you work quietly and surely than if you try to promote.
Dr. B: And that wherever one's energy goes, that that's where somehow you get caught in the glamour which may be okay because later you might get other chances to return to the highest treasure or to examine where exactly you were placing your highest treasure. And within the possibility of that ("where your intent goes or your energy goes"), you can just fall off sometimes; it's not the highest treasure -- which I thought you were saying is a more subtle thing.
And you asked a question: how did we get here tonight and that more subtle treasure is this direct relationship with the Father, and to stop off at some other, whether it's another movement . .. you can get off on some other path. Is that . . . ?
TOMAS: Very well said. And many of these experiential adventures are necessary for your own growth and delightful for your partaking and necessary too for the maintenance of civilization. In this discussion of good fortune, no matter what approach you take to your spiritual life, it is your spiritual life and that is your good fortune. As a promoter of your spiritual life, your spiritual reality, it is wiser to quietly promote your own values by living and enjoying them than by selling them.
Mrs. L: Does this fit into the part where Jesus said don't force by dramatic pronouncements, that is to believe, that you should not try to convince them, which is a part of the book that surprised me when I read it since the church that I was in was always trying to be very forceful in its presentation and I always had wondered about that, so is that part of what you are referring to?
TOMAS: Yes; I am not singling out, as you well know, the churches.
Mrs. L: It was a style that I learned in the church. I mean I was presented with dramatic ideas about God and Jesus when I was growing up and I -- that was the style that I was accustomed to, so I was quite surprised when I --
TOMAS: Perhaps they were followers of John the Baptist rather than Jesus, for John was quite vociferous, but Michael was well-balanced and soft-spoken and his calm understanding of his relationship with his Father enabled him to walk calmly through great trials and difficulties, enabled him to bring great comfort and good cheer to multitudes, enabled him to impact and affect adequate numbers of peoples who kept his message alive for over 2,000 years.
As followers of Jesus, in your attempts to also affect the lives of your brethren on Urantia and subsequently the evolution of Urantia, I point out these things that you yourselves may become better teachers and more sincere believers.
I will share/impart one thing further with you this evening and that is in my assignment to you, my friends. I want you to begin to pray aloud and conscientiously. I would like for you to take the plunge and hear your own voice address Our Father. I would like to hear this in your group session and in your private lives. Begin to ring out your association with divinity. Allow yourself to hear your own voice address your God. Acknowledge to others in your society (in this intimate society of fellow-believers) that you are in communication with the First Source and Center.
Mrs. H: I'd like to make a comment. I've been sitting here thinking about a line of scripture and I was seriously thinking about speaking up about it and decided not to and you came around and gave it a definition, and the line of scripture coming to my mind was, "make a joyful noise unto the Lord," and I was going to ask you to speak about that and you did. And speaking up, perhaps we should use a tape recorder to get over the shock of trying this. This is a giant step that you've asked us to take. And I suppose it could be rehearsed in private and then, spontaneously, it could take place at some other point. Thank you.
TOMAS: First, daughter, pray alone aloud, perhaps in the back yard, perhaps in the car, perhaps in the laundry room. Become accustomed to discussing things with God. Eventually and in time you will feel comfortable enough with this process of sharing your inner life with God that you will be able to then pray and offer thanksgiving in a group setting. It is not a command performance. It is a gradual growth. But it will impact you. It is not a performance, my dear. It is a vital life-line of reality for you with your Father.
Mrs. H: Doesn't it take the same type of surrender to do that, what you've described, as it would of willingness to learn to tone? When I first heard myself tone I was very uncomfortable with the ugly sound that came out of myself, but I was judging myself. What it was, was a rehearsal. It was something new so it couldn't come out in its projected -- or I should say anticipated, future sound, because that would come with rehearsal. There are some people who don't speak up. This would be a good time to practice.
TOMAS: Let me say that toning is a prayer, an attitude but without the words and, although it is perfectly acceptable to the Father to receive prayer without words - indeed he hears the soul's attitude -it is important for you, the mortal, to utilize words, for as you read this evening, it is a communication, and you think, at this point, in terms of words and so I will ask you to not bypass the communication by going directly to toning but to sit down and talk to your Father who loves you.
As if you were his daughter and he were your earthly father, sit on his lap and talk to him about your day or your problem or your joy or whatever comes to mind, for he earnestly seeks to hear you address him. Why else has he splintered himself into so many personalities and characteristics except to hear the reflection back to himself of your adoration for him?
Mrs. L: Tomas, this just really amazes me. I don't know when this happened. It must have been within the last month, but I had this exact idea, that I should say . .. I got the idea that I had to say it out loud. I was in my car. I mean, I did it, and it was really a weird thing to do. In the car. And now hearing this . .. it amazes me that we're now being told to do this.
TOMAS: The self-consciousness will pass.
Mrs. P: I didn't know we were going to have THAT part of it done.
Mrs. H: My mother's going through this right now. She's been asked to describe Reiki to a hospice group. She's . .. and she . .. it says we are given the words, and so if we're given the words, then we are being encouraged to open our mouth.
Mrs. M: Tomas, is this for everyone? Or is this just for our group?
TOMAS: I am not much in a position to instruct the world, but if you are my students and you honor your teacher and your own spiritual development, then you will experiment with my words by abiding with my suggestion. I am not ordering you, any of you. I am asking you to allow yourself to grow through your own faith by learning how to pray.
Mrs. M: Were you also suggesting that we tape this and have it written up? I thought that's what you were saying.
Mrs. P: No, no.
TOMAS: I can see that my suggestion has dazzled you (group laughter), so I will take my quiet dusty pearl back with me to my own realms and leave you to your own realms for now but I will not go before conveying to you how much entertainment I receive from my position here with you in your community.
Blessed be art thou, my friends. Good evening.