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- 2 Facilitators
- 3 Session
Topic: Courageous Loyalty
Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
TOMAS: Good evening, my friends.
Group: Good evening, Tomas.
TOMAS: Pleased I am to be with you and to be in our customary environment with those of you who have sojourned afar and back again in your local environs; pleased we are that you have brought with you the experience of companionship in the spirit; and pleased we are that you conjoin again together in expansion of spirit family.
The days are upon us that the surge forward is momentous. The momentum of the days around the celebration of our Creator Son's natal birthday brings your emotional and sentimental minds to the fore along with your aspiring spirit appreciation for his life among you. It is, we have observed over the years, a time of great quickening. We are inclined to take advantage of the quickening in order that we may catapult you then into a new plane of operation in your personal life and in your more gregarious arena as well.
We have been, to bring you up to date, embarked upon a study of character. Recently, we discussed the core element of self-respect as a foundation for character building. For as you respect that which resides deep within you, your own Fragment of God, you have a place to begin your understanding of what will be necessitated in bringing the fruits of the spirit to bear in your lives.
We have also discussed the importance of balance in developing character, that it behooves you to maintain balance, that you not exclude your physical nature (or) your spiritual nature, but that you grow as a whole. Many instances of balance have come to your minds this week, those of you who took my words to heart, and more balance will be prevailing in your lives as you ponder further this great truth.
However, loyal students, I have withheld somewhat a full-fledged discourse in abeyance of your return, for one of the aspects of balance in a social group, in a group of fellow-believers, is the integral balance of the growth of you all, that you might have one another to compare, consult and console in your growing experiences.
I would like to discuss this evening with you, to some extent at least, the character set out in the fruit of the spirit designated "courageous loyalty" and I say briefly because, as I am wont to do, "courageous" as a word is a lesson in itself, as is "loyalty."
Perhaps you will recall from your text, in the understanding of the word courage, that physical courage is perhaps the easiest of all courages to carry forth. The animal can be courageous in getting its needs met, in acquiring its way in the way, in providing goods, foods, weapons, pleasures, securities, for itself and for its family, and many times courage is simple brawn, hailing back to your early evolution of the fundamental survival of the fittest.
Courage is advanced when it involves altruism, when it bespeaks ideals and ethics hinging upon its societal connections, philosophic understandings, political persuasions, economic fortresses and so forth. Here the mind enters the arena and brings with it courage to stand for certain foundations upon which your civilizations are built, your families are sustained.
Herein lies argument; herein lies diversity; herein lies tremendous variety of thought and the courage of thinking and believing. With this form of courage the mortal has risen above brute force and entered the more insidious force of ideas and mores.
In the Kingdom, courage bespeaks the ability to put forth your God, allows your God to live and work through your free will choice. Courage to stand for that which you believe in, for that which has reality, whether or not it is supported by your society or by your family, is the highest form of courage. (Courage of this nature without spirit results in fanatics, and so we constrain our focus to those who have devoted themselves courageously to the spirit, to their perception of spirit.)
As we observed your discussions in the earlier course of the evening, we were mindful of the diversity of your individual manifestation of your own personal courage. It does require courage to stand for something, to espouse your belief, your opinion, to make testimony to others of your life's experiences. This courage, this integrity of the individual, is an aspect of sharing the inner life; it is rambunctious.
The nervousness that some of you experience during such dialogs and discourses stems from your understanding, on an elemental level, that the fact of your differences, if it were mere base courage, could result in fisticuffs. But, that you have evolved to a philosophic plane that allows for differences, affords you the freedom to express yourself courageously, and so you all this evening have experienced courage.
Even those of you who have not spoken out have experienced the courage of some conviction, some decision, have ruminated in your mind your thoughts, and accepting your thoughts as your own is an act of courage also.
When you have committed yourself to the living God, to the living Way, when you have experienced this reality to the point where you have seen it operating, where the Spirit of Truth has reflected to you your own reality and the reality of the instance, the truth of the moment -- your courage is reinforced.
As you begin to trust one another, to understand each other's strengths, to overlook one another's weaknesses, to love each other in the spirit as Michael intended, as you bear with each other in your humanness and in your desire to grow and to develop true character, you begin then to courageously stand shoulder-to-shoulder. You become a courageous block of believers, loyal to the one truth, loyal to each other, loyal to your ideals, loyal to your God.
Remember Peter, who three times denied knowing the Master. In his heart, however, Peter knew courageous loyalty. He was caught up in the times and the prophecy was fulfilled. Many times you have, in your core being, courageous loyalty but you allow yourself to get caught up in the instant, in the moment, in the circumstance, and you deny the First Source and Center.
In time, my loved ones, you will embrace this reality courageously enough that your loyalty will not allow for you to get caught up in the things of this world, in the circumstances of lesser courage. As your teacher, as your elder brother companion, I will, of course, allow that you are known and loved and appreciated even as you grow. Even as you deny to others and more importantly to yourself your loyalty to the First Source and Center, you are forgiven. You are encouraged to get up and go another round with life, stronger, firmer, wiser.
I would urge you to lean upon the courage of your own understanding through Michael and not lean overmuch to the teachers, to the words of others, to the writings of others, but to your own intimate and personal and courageous relationship with Our Father, for He is the reality which will bring you up and lead you home.
I have spoken enough this evening regarding courageous loyalty, a subject which bears great thought, great meditation, for in your lives, in your daily dealings, your many moments are given opportunity to manifest your loyalty and it does require courage. So here's to you, my friends, my students, my brothers and sisters. Here's to your courage and to your loyalty. Taste it well.
How glad I am to be with you this evening, and I am eager now to hear your voices, one with the other. Are there questions? Commentary? Please.
Elizabeth: There's been a lot of commentary about character in regard to this election which I find very interesting, no matter what party we belong to. I think it's actually been very helpful to me. I feel that it has, in thinking of the subject, and I'm so glad that we're still examining it. I think that there's so much there for us to think about. Just a comment.
TOMAS: Yes, I understand that your political parties, particularly your [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_partyRepublican party is being very vocal in its current status in the political arena of your country: the GOP convention, I believe, is the phrase. I understand how your system works but in a cursory way. I am not a politician, according to their terms, and I am not going to allow myself or this configuration to become embroiled in a political discourse, for as I said earlier, your various courages are strong in the mindal realms and our format is not to KO each other at the voting booth, but to grow in the spiritual kingdom.
Your remark regarding character brings to my mind that the character of (forgive the phrase) "stardom," and "show business" seems to be the prevalent characteristic of the political arena of your country at this time. It would be most interesting if these displays of character could be believed year round, if they could be touted regularly, rather than only at "show time." It is grievous to me, as it is to you, I am sure, to see the delight they all seem to find in assassinating the character of the alleged foe.
It is always heartwarming to see when two great powers can set aside their differences and work together for a united whole. I have been apprised of some minor instances, but unfortunately the competitive nature of your two-party system has brought the political arena to a point where the courage of the individual is seldom seen. It is the courage, rather, of the platform which speaks the greater truths, and the platforms, as I see them, are standing on shaky scaffolding.
If we were to discuss individual leaders, it might lead to some interesting character studies, but as I have forewarned, I am not going to do that. I am not interested in the character of a politician but in the character of a God-knowing kingdom believer who has assented to follow Christ, to follow truth, to follow God into new ways of leading and following new ways of life.
I will not discourage, however, your involvement, for it has been said and it is true, that as intelligent human beings, as members of your society, it does you well to become involved in what interests you and how it is that you feel that you can impact your world, your material existence, your society and its institutions. This is good for you to do. It is just not good for me.
Elizabeth: Well, I think I wanted to ask you a question because having come back from the conference -- and you were there, Tomas, I'm given to understand -- I thought it was like being in the first mansion world and you've been there, you've been beyond it, and so I guess I'd love to have you comment on your observations from your point of view. I know we're all feeling you were there and you could sense the unity and the incredible spirit, and I would just enjoy a comment from you on your observations.
TOMAS: I am delighted to comment, as you can well imagine. As I have forewarned you, I am a chatty fellow, and I certainly have my observations. I will tell you, however, that you do yourself and your fellow men and women a disservice when you catapult yourself and the experience of the conference into the mansion worlds, for you have stepped over neatly our goal here today, which is to bring about a condition on Urantia in the material existence, in your actual material lives, as human beings in the flesh, a life, an involvement, a society, a people which is imbued with God-consciousness, which is exemplified by personalities steeped in living love.
Do not get in such a hurry to experience the mansion worlds when we have wondrous experiences to have here. Yes, I appreciate your enthusiasm and yes, by comparison to life as you know it in your realm, it was likely a morontia experience indeed, but be assured that this delightful array of humanity is entirely possible in your native realm if the appropriate loyalties are attempted and acted upon.
TOMAS: Absolutely! Not only are you in line to experience the days of light and life but you also have the advantage of your comfort zone of Urantia, the beauties provided by the physical planet. Do not overlook your birthplace and the wonders here.
Elizabeth: I see.
TOMAS: It is not only the spiritual brotherhood that you aspire to, but the actual sphere being advanced into perfection -- air, water, forestry -- all these fundamental elements of your origin in harmony and cleanliness, pattern established to bring about efficiency and grace. So much can be attained here!
As you well know and understand, on a world which has not been interrupted and retarded by default and rebellion (such as your history has experienced and which we have more often than not exposed), you would be in a realm of truth, beauty, and goodness that would naturally bring you to an understanding, a study, of that which we call morontia mota, where the high philosophic thought bridges the lower spiritual concepts. This is an element of the morontia life which we are fostering because there are many of you who have hungered for truth and righteousness and have been isolated in the lonely spheres of a primitive society surrounded by darkness.
Those of you who opt to be forerunners, who surge into the unknown in faith, with courageous loyalty to the truth of greater spirit reality, are being practiced and being exposed to those morontia mota which we teachers are helping to instill and stimulate in your minds with which you should have already been acquainted. It is, however, not your fault, and so we are trying to make up for the paucity of your historicity by bringing about glimpses of mota now.
Elizabeth: I'm really glad you helped me to think more clearly about my experience, because I am trying to sort it out and I felt that I wanted to get some philosophical understanding of what happens when you are in a large group of people who are thinking as these people that I was with are thinking. It brings about something that is absolutely incredible, in my opinion. I think Leah, too, experienced it and I know that the other women did, so I thank you for helping me to sort that out a little bit better. But it was a glimpse, a glimpse of something absolutely incredible.
TOMAS: Yes, daughter. I am glad for you to have had that experience, and I promise that each future experience of like nature will be equally satisfying, rewarding, and stimulating to you and to your greater reality.
Elizabeth: I hope that we'll have our Jesus birthday celebration and again will have a taste of that pleasure and that delight when our recreation is intertwined with some higher philosophical concepts.
TOMAS: Your fledgling society here, our teacher base in Pittsburgh, our association of believers who choose to honor the birth date of Jesus of Nazareth, is your family. And it is much like the birthday party of a group of children with balloons and presents. Your delightful youth, your innocence in having a birthday party for the Creator Son of a Universe, cannot but be a charmed experience, even if it were lacking in philosophic sophistication.
Elizabeth: Thank you so much for your wonderful words. You get us in our mindset for our wonderful celebration next Thursday.
TOMAS: I will add to that, that the genuine practice of worship contributes nobly to the spirit and to the bonding of any group of individuals, so as you are learning to play as children, it behooves you to learn to pray as men and women.
Evangel: "Pray" or "play" as men and women.
Loreenia: You spoke of people being catapulted possibly this time of the year, before and after enjoying Christ's birthday. Can you discuss any of this? What's going on besides what you discussed?
TOMAS: It is part of the collective consciousness of kingdom believers, much like a "magic" takes hold of your society around the season of Christmas. It is also somewhat paralleled to the "magic" that takes place during a political election. It is an energy which takes hold of the devotees, it becomes a life of its own, a life in itself. The only real difference is that in a religious experience, a genuine religious experience, it is eternal. A political convention can come and go and a Christmas can come and go, but the love of God and his followers working together toward the support of the Supreme Being is on-going.
Remember when I spoke to you about the 4th of July, that we took advantage of what went on in the minds and hearts of many who ascertained on Independence Day, that they were indeed dependent on things other than the Infinite -- and so many prayers were put out, much distress was manifested, much was pondered in the minds of those who are not independent. And it is similar when a movement such as a global birthday party takes place. We are eager to act upon those thoughts and parallels of the heart that equate you to your Master, your Creator Michael, in any context of his life here on earth, his experiences, and indeed the honor of understanding his resurrection, his bestowals, and so forth, and perhaps in this group a new understanding or a new look at his character.
And as you study character as a result of our times together, you look at the character of Michael for an inspiration or for a better understanding of character. These are the things upon which the spirit realm can act. And so as you prepare for these gatherings of believers, as you prepare for a celebration of the birth of Jesus, your minds are receptive, responsive and reflective of the Divine. And that is something we can act upon also. What else?
Elizabeth: So when we celebrate his birthday, we can think together possibly about the gift of his character to our planet, a picture of his character? Is that a possible theme that we can enlarge on?
Elizabeth: In keeping with what we've been doing?
TOMAS: Well, let me say, daughter, that you have not been with us for a number of weeks but we have already been quite up to our eyebrows in a thorough study of character, and as you commingle with your peers and allow yourself to be advised of what we have been up to, you will bring yourself into focus of understanding and understand then that the study of character which you so persistently called for has now come about. We anticipate being able to devote time and study to character for some time. It is an interesting project.
On your part, perhaps you might want to think in terms of a group project for your upcoming conference in the Fall, that each one of you might perhaps put on a skit and manifest a certain character, if that would delight you. It would activate your minds as to the character trait. It would stimulate your fellows so as to wonder what trait are they trying to portray, and it would entertain those that you choose to entertain because you have put your heart and mind into a service project. And so I do commend your idea.
Elizabeth: I think that's a great idea because I would want to bring something to that conference as a group and I think that sounds -- we're half way there, evidently, from what you're saying. You've been guiding us and thinking about it, and I think it sounds good. We'll probably talk about it as the weeks go on and others will develop some good ideas to bring to the table.
Elizabeth: Uh huh. We'll try to do that. I think it's a great idea.
TOMAS: Others? Have you something to bring to the fore?
Leah: Well, I was wondering. The conference . . . leaving the conference, you had such a wonderful euphoric feeling and feeling that you desired to love and serve your neighbor and do all the idealistic things that we attempt to do, and I was wondering. I seem to have gone from such a high to such a low. I did allow myself to get caught up in the instant.
TOMAS: Oh, my darling daughter, I understand what you are experiencing, and I will immediately embrace you and call to your mind our recent lesson on balance, for it is said in your realm "what comes up must come down" (group laughter) and you allowed yourself to ride so high in that helium balloon you have come down splat. My precious lovely, you will even out. Be patient with yourself. Do not allow the adjustment back into your arena to overwhelm you. It is not as dark as you might perceive at the moment, although certainly it is not as light as it was in Flagstaff.
Be kind to yourself and to your God. He has not deprived you of anything. He has not brought you into this pit of existence to allow you to languish here. Be gentle with yourself. Rest. Do not start scurrying, looking for new and greater heights and adventures but learn to plod methodically in the delightful sphere of your own fragrance and find perfect harmony and divinity within your own realm.
As you identify this and find your God within you, you will then naturally and next be brought to the next great challenge and that is: having found God in and of yourself and choosing to do his will, you then come to the grand adventure of finding how and trying to do his will in your life. It is an on-going process. Your sincerity and your strivings, your hungers are in keeping with a child of God. Do not despair, you are not alone.
In the interim, while you are adjusting from your temporary depression, be good to you, Leah, and be mindful of the simple joys of your life, the sweet fruits of the spirit of your mortal existence including the strawberries and plums of your material world. Be mindful of the pleasures of a hot bubble bath. Be mindful of the joys of feeling your toes in the grass on a quiet sunny afternoon. Be gentle with yourself, daughter, and in time your resolve will renew and you will be ready then to go out to seek for new adventures and to serve on His behalf as you go.
Leah: I would also -- when you were speaking of Peter and Jesus, and how he denied Him . . . the Urantia Book paints a very vivid picture of the compassion. So I guess that would be a good thing to meditate on.
TOMAS: Indeed. Indeed, compassion truly is a fruit of the spirit, one which is not listed formally, but compassion is a gift that is not appreciated without the spirit, without the wisdom of a fatherly/motherly affection for its innocent or ignorant child. It, compassion, is, to me, one of the greatest, most noble fruits, particularly on a world such as Urantia.
Dearhearts, am I overstaying my welcome now? Shall we call it a day? I have enjoyed the rain. I have enjoyed the shower on the outside and on the inside.
Elizabeth: Well, don't forget to come for Jesus' birthday. Help us celebrate.
Student: If you talk to Nero, ask him to come and play.
Evangel: And Andrea.
Loreenia: And Andrew, and all the teachers.
Leah: Everyone's invited.
I'd like to know. Did Peter know that he denied Jesus each time? or was it just after the three times?
TOMAS: Your spirit knows when you are bluffing. Whether it be conscious or not, a part of you is completely aware of what you have done or what you have failed to do, particularly in such a specific instance. Take an example of your life. Allow yourself to ponder a situation of casual discourse. It does not even have to be something as dramatic as the Master's arrest. Allow yourself a moment of conversation with an individual who in their courageous outpouring of their loyalty says something, and in your heart of hearts you know it is an untruth and a lesser way, that if you were the Master you would be able to handle this ignorance in a way that would bring light and life to the individual, and you hear the moment come and you let the moment pass or you very cleverly or glibly make a funny or dodge the issue.
Your heart knows that you have denied an opportunity. It is not so much a sin to overlook opportunity as it is to have a moment presented to you to be true to yourself and to your God, to have that instant presented to you personally, and then dodge the issue. That is a form of betrayal and denial. Granted, it is minute in one context, but it is a habit that once broken, once overcome, can help you develop into a strong promoter of truth, beauty, and goodness.
Be alert to these moments. Allow your spirit to be alert to the opportunity to express itself through you. Is it not the Thought Adjuster's destiny that your personality allow It to express Itself through you?
TOMAS: Each opportunity that you are presented with that you can give to your Thought Adjuster for Its expression through you as a vehicle of His love/His truth, is an opportunity to work in service for the First Source and Center. Betrayal? No. Denial? No. Lost opportunity? Yes.
Loreenia: Brother Tomas?
TOMAS: Yes, daughter.
TOMAS: Your question is abstract. I say abstract because I do not simply want to say "yes" or "no." Joy is certainly a side effect of a relationship with the spirit, but joy can and should be respected in yourself and in its manifestation.
Loreenia: What brought that to mind was when you were saying to lighten up a little bit. You commented that Nero said to "lighten up."
TOMAS: Nero is and was accustomed to an earlier configuration, and whereas he would have me be more playful, I am mindful of the merit of mirth, but I am also responsible for the soul growth of those who present themselves to me for friendship. I have assured Nero that you do not regard me so much an old fogey as you once did (group laughter) and you have begun to see the humor and the joy that I bring as well as the long sentences and ponderous vocabulary.
TOMAS: I have great appreciation for those who have gone before me and paved the way. "Ha!" (group laughter) My dear ones, I am departing now. I am, as I said, glad to be with you again, glad to have us all back into the embrace of our immediate family, our cluster of apostolic students, our friends, indeed. Be good. Have fun. I'll see you at the party.
Loreenia: Bye Tomas.
Others: Bye, Tomas. Thank you.