1997-03-04-Handicap of Literal Mindedness
Topic: Handicap of Literal Mindedness
Group: Butler TeaM
TOMAS: Be of good cheer. Tomas is here.
Group: Good evening, Tomas.
TOMAS: You bring great joy to us this evening in your sharing, for it is always gladsome when you include your text in your gathering. Even a small review of a treasured lesson brings to your mind once again those truths which Jesus brought and which we even now seek to embellish and bring to reality in your daily life.
Your humble environment here this evening is astir with excitement. It is a joyous and easy excitement that you do not understand. Your frame of reference for excitement is largely electro-chemical, but our exuberation in your faith paths has brought us great delight, which we interpret as excitement. The angels sing and the midwayers are also joyous, for they have begun to see the fruits of their labors here in this humble hamlet.
Which now leads me to greet my friend, your new friend, known to you as Anna. How delightful it is to have you with us this evening, my dear. Fear not. We are an amiable lot of celestial helpers and we delight to call you our friend. We have watched your journey and have coaxed you into this community of sisters and believers in that which will bring rejoicing to your soul. Welcome and be at peace, for you are among friends.
I, too, am in the company of a new friend this evening. My co-teacher Merium here has touched you and is interested in also furthering her relationship with you. The format that we will undertake over a course of time relates very much to the lesson that you read this evening having to do with spiritual unity. As we have long studied those qualities of personal and individual growth, so as to instill in you a sense of rightness and good orderly direction for your own soul development, there comes that time when your concerns are extended outward in the companionship and fraternity of others.
In this context then, Merium and I eagerly embark upon a new phase of learning. It is not an accelerated course. We are not in any hurry. Indeed, as you embrace your fellows in consciousness of spirit unity, it will take some time for you to completely appreciate the differences between you, even those differences which might irk or confuse you, and we look forward to the expanded palette of color that will come about as you begin to perceive that you are truly free to be your own radiant selves, for you will not be limited or judged or ostracized by your peers in Christ.
It will require patience on your part with your fellows and with yourself, but we know that you are up to the challenge. It is rather like, on a very literal scale, those who join the military and can work in precision. What an odd comparison! you say, for if we are all to be uniquely our self, how is it then that we all work in such precision? Would not that connote that we all acted and moved in the same way? And I say to you to recall the lesson on the symphony, for as you have learned to play your instrument, and as you have gotten yourself tuned up and tuned in to the Great Conductor, you will play your notes at the correct time, and like a great orchestra, you will make great music by your precision, by your appreciating the value of each other, while each of you is uniquely your own self.
Group: Hello! Welcome.
MERIUM: I am glad to be here, and as I told you last week, I am inexperienced, but only in this transmitting process. I am quite experienced in life and in matters of love and so you may be assured that my feelings for you equal the devotion that Tomas has for you each individually and as a part of the great family of God.
I had thought, in fact, to practice my transmitting techniques by offering a lesson which, hopefully, will enable me and the receiver to learn to work well together. My words have to do with how literal you are.
I will bring to mind the example of a young man and a young woman who have had a first date. And look now at how it is that the aspect of literal-ness can interfere with the free flow of divine love and the overcontrol of the universe.
This young couple have had a pleasant encounter, an enjoyable evening. They have much in common and they have appealed to each other in many ways. They have similar values; they have stimulated each other's imaginations; and there seems to be, even, somewhat of a physical flowing attraction between them. Therefore, you would construe this as a charming evening and a beginning of a possible marriage of souls.
At the end, now, of the evening, as the young man sees the young woman to the door, he gently kisses her on the cheek and she senses his spirit and falls, on the spot, for his divine nature, and eagerly looks forward to the destined union that surely must come from such a good time.
And he says, "I will call you." Perhaps there is a special film he would like to take her to. Perhaps he would like this next date to be meaningful in some way. And so he does not call her right away, as he is waiting for this more meaningful and significant encounter.
She now is athrill with the possibilities. "He will call me. But when will he call me? Will he call me Thursday? Will he call me tomorrow? I should have found out when he was going to call me!" And she begins to have anxiety about the literal aspect of his calling her, such that she works herself into such a lather about not getting a fixed response, she makes herself emotionally ill over the situation.
The young man, now, who has said, "I will call you," had every intention of following through, for he enjoyed the young woman's company, but her anxiety, now, that wafts to him regarding his presence in her life, begins to annoy him, for he feels controlled. She is too literal. If he were free to call her "soon" he would call her in the time that was right.
As they have gone about their way, now, because of their interpretation -- she, feeling that he would have already called her if he meant it, begins to decline in her affections for him; and he, in sensing her anxiety, begins to perceive that no event would please her. And so the partnership is null and void before it has truly begun.
Now my purpose for relating this tale has to do with your literal aspects. The kingdom of heaven is real, but it may not be literal in the sense that you are accustomed to. The love between you and your siblings in the spirit is also real, but it may not be the literal manifestation of love that you are familiar with or that would make you secure.
I would thus ask you to hold in your heart the truth that indeed the Father will call you - soon! - and not be impatient as to when, and say, "Will He call me Thursday? Will He call me tomorrow?" and then despair if He has not called you in your timeframe, to meet your needs and your demands.
All things happen in God's time, and once you realize that, you can lighten up on your peers if they do not respond to life in your time, as you see it, according to your values and your tastes, and so do not allow the budding romance of the love between you and your brothers and sisters to decline in its potential because of your more literal minds.
My friends, my appetite has been whet. I have found my niche indeed. I am so honored to have been selected to share this teaching platform with my colleague Tomas. He felt that I might aid him in introducing the concept of community and teamwork and relationship if I were to demonstrate, by way of my association with him, some of the truths that we have learned over time in working selflessly with other personalities among our Teaching Corps.
It is certainly my hope that I can contribute to your growth and your enjoyment as well as to Tomas' noble efforts thus far in his career with you. My comrade suggests that I now open the floor to you for questions or commentary and I will field them which will give me an opportunity - and you an opportunity - to exchange ideas and words together.
Before I open the floor, however, I would like to have the opportunity to introduce myself to Anna and say to you, my dear, that I, too, am new to this community and this process, and I look forward to our embrace as we become more aligned in our Father's will for us together. How are you all this evening?
Group: Fine! Fine, thank you.
Hunnah: I have to tell you that while you were talking I had to think of you as being a storyteller, and of Cinderella's slipper. And now we are all allowed to be Cinderella and put on the shoe of understanding, and it thrills me that you are able to bring in this fresh approach.
MERIUM: I am reminded of the adage, in regard to Cinderella and her slipper, that "as the shoe fits, wear it" and many times my lessons are going to cramp your toes and sometimes they will be too large for your little feet and you will find yourself prancing around as if you were a child playing dress-up, but indeed I will bring you stories. I have a rather more imaginative mind than Tomas. I do not mean to infer that he is dull by any means, for I have enjoyed his rich character for some time, but perhaps being --I shall not say "feminine" for there are also very creative male personalities--. I have no solution for it. I am just glad I am who I am and I am glad you like me.
Iyana: Merium, are you what we would call a Mansion World teacher?
MERIUM: I have been on the Mansion World, yes. I am here on leave, you might say, from my Mansion World experiences. Indeed, most of the teachers in the Teaching Corps have sought this assignment as part of the Mansion World training. As you know, your destiny is to teach and to serve as you learn. And as we have learned, we seek also to give away our wisdom and our experience, and this has been such an opportunity!
It is not often that such an opportunity arises in a local universe, and so many, many personalities flocked to volunteer. I do not mean to say "unfortunately" only a small portion of the universe was held in quarantine, for that would seem to infer that we would have the illness be greater so that more of us could serve, and that is not my point at all, but only so many can come to aid Urantia in its upstepping and alignment, and those of us who have been selected to teach and work here are indeed delighted at this opportunity.
There are, by the way, many who have come and who will continue to come, if not as teachers then as student observers. For as you have been advised, your section of the universe has been gathering a lot of attention lately from those who are now aware of the reclamation of your world from its isolation and . .. (pause). That is all.
MERIUM: One moment. Tomas advises me that this is not uncommon, that you should deluge me with curiosity questions regarding my dossier, for you then to perceive that you understand me better. I am not at all convinced that it is helpful, but I, too, was a mortal and I was not a parent when I was a mortal; I was unmarried, even. I was late in learning the skills and joys of parenting, which I learned on the Mansion Worlds after my transfer from mortal existence to the morontia form. I stayed an exceptionally long time in the nurseries.
My work, when I was a mortal -- and you must understand, this was a LONG time ago --my work was rather unfulfilled, in that I was a rich girl, somewhat spoiled. It was not necessary for me to have a career and so I did not. You might say I was a playgirl. I do not have the high moral background that Tomas brings with his wife and four sons, but I was, even so, intrigued by my spiritual nature.
Loreenia: Did you have a large family? Brothers and sisters?
MERIUM: It is interesting that you should ask, for in my society it was individualized that the nuclear family as you understand it was not the norm. We were a global community and when a child was born, it was the product of the world, and so although I did not have children of my own, I had considerable experience helping to guide the destiny of many.
Loreenia: Wow! You REALLY had a lot of brothers and sisters.
Loreenia: Were you in Light and Life? A planet of Light and Life?
MERIUM: It was very advanced. More advanced than Tomas' realm of origin, world of origin. We had evolved quite high, but that was so long ago. No doubt it is part of my character and part of my experiential wisdom, but I have had a wonderful life, a wonderful career in my ascension, an interesting life indeed! And it has become even more interesting as I have come up through the many mansions.
I have been privileged to work with many of the fine orders of ministering spirits. I have quite a broad spectrum of experience that I bring with me, but I must tell you that I will not tell you stories from that frame of reference.
Loreenia: We probably wouldn't be able to understand it anyway.
MERIUM: I am certain that something will rub off. I thank you, my child, for your inquiry into my life and my interests, my background and experience, for this is indeed more than a social skill. It is a method of teaching. It is a way of opening the door to companion-ability. It is a way to get to know each other in the deeper sense of the word than is your custom on Urantia.
Indeed, as you meet new people, it is always good to help them feel at ease by drawing them out to talk about themselves, for if you listen with ears to hear, it is certain that you will find those notes that tingle in your mind and trigger your God-consciousness to respond to that person's need. Often it is just that they would like to feel free to be, to express themselves. It is certainly nice to have the opportunity to express the personality freely to a smiling, non-judgmental face. How are you?
Loreenia: Contented and happy at the moment. Glad to be amongst friends.
MERIUM: Truly, I have come to keep you company, for it is you who do your own growing. Even as Tomas has taught you over these many months, it is your willingness to ponder thoughts that he has offered that has enlarged your capacity for spirit receptivity. This is a social grace as well as a method of sharing the inner life; therefore, a religious experience. It is one that you can promote in your own environment and in your own society by acting graciously and asking selflessly about each other, for in due course your turn will come when you, too, have the floor and your personality will have the opportunity to shine.
Iyana: May I have the floor?
MERIUM: By all means.
Iyana: We have learned that we're supposed to more or less forget yesterday and go on with today, but I was wondering . .. I find sometimes that I am contemplating thinking about my past life and the way that I have acted and the way people I have lived with have reacted or acted, and I've come to the conclusion that a lot of these things that have happened, that I have learned lessons from them and that, looking back at them, I can see how it was a form of growth because it made my character different, to grow for the better, to understand the things that I did not understand long ago. And I just wonder if that is part of the learning or should we just forget about it?
MERIUM: You will not forget that which has lasting value. You may in time forget the circumstances surrounding how it is that you came to acquire that value lesson, but that which has value has become yours for eternity; it is also in the care of the evolving Supreme. And so it is not necessary to let it go, for it is part of you.
Iyana: It was sort of interesting, I mean, it was interesting to me to look at everything in a sort of impersonal way, to feel the growth that I've had by going back over that and reviewing. I'm probably saying the same thing that I said before, but I can realize what you said, too, that the things that are of real value will go along with me, and the rest will just fall away.
MERIUM: It is also of value to reflect upon your past experience for the purpose of gleaning further wisdom, for many times you cannot see your growth except in perspective. That is why your memory holds value for you, and why you retain your memory of those valuable experiences, even throughout the rest of your career. If my life as a young woman on my native planet had not had value, I would not remember it, but it did have value, and I did remember, and so it is a treasure that I can keep, that is part of me. I remember friends, I remember experiences, but I remember no pain. I remember none of the difficulties. I remember none of the struggle or the confusion of my growth. I knew it then, and I know now that it was there, but it does not come to my mind. Only the wealth of experience and friendship - the bounty, the harvest - is what remains.
Iyana: Thank you.
MERIUM: Even today, however, my dear, as you trudge your path, you will be releasing memories of difficult situations as they are forgiven and forgotten in the light of the truth which you carry forward. The pains of your experience here on Urantia also are fading as you grow in growth spirit-ward. And even as we speak, your lives have reached a level now that you benefit from your association with each other. And so, many of the experiences that you have had, which have been painful and you have had to bear alone, will not bother you now because you have each other to share your growing experience. And as you can share your growing experience intimately, in association with your brothers and sisters, it will also augment your life, for recall that the negative experiences of life are borne with more willingness when they are shared with a friend.
Loreenia: True. That has happened in my life.
MERIUM: I am going to call this session to a close. I would like to allow you all an opportunity to share among yourselves. Tomas and I will be around and observing and rejoicing with you in your camaraderie. Again, I am so happy to have this opportunity to get to know you and to also get to love you more fully.
Iyana: Yes. Yes. I was reading one of the recent papers that Gerdean typed up, and it said for us to forgive the Father. Now, that took a little bit of thinking on my part, because I could not think of anything that I would have to forgive Him for, and I was wondering if perhaps some of the things that happen by accident of time that affected different people, where they have been hurt or they have made the wrong choices and their body aches or something is going on, are they supposed to blame the Father for that? I don't feel they should! So I don't understand exactly what you mean by asking me to forgive the Father. For what?
TOMAS: You have brought up a very big subject, my dear. I will not go into the full dissertation, but I do appreciate that you have brought this question to the foreground. I will say a few things but will not go on ad infinitum, although I could.
Iyana: Okay. Thank you.
TOMAS: I was speaking primarily to those individuals who have less experiential wisdom than yourself, for even in your own experience you may have had an occasion when you felt grievously wronged by life's experiences. It may have been not necessarily for you but for someone, a birth of a deformed child, the death of a healthy child; it may have been the break-up of a romance; it may have been having been fired from a job without cause, causing hardship to your family; any number of grievous events that can happen in the life. And although, of course, it is generally the case that the blame in that situation is shifted to a party particularly, it is not uncommon for God to get the brunt of the mortal's anger and frustration.
As one evolves, one can ascertain that life's experiences may have been brought about by their own decision-making process, by the decisions of those in whom they put their trust, or circumstances that brought about distress for which only God could be held accountable. In very brief regards, my recommending the exercise of forgiving the Father was to allow you to appreciate the breadth and depth of your association with Him in and through a comforting and tender compassion, for as you forgive you are forgiven, and if you can forgive that nebulous concept at which you have thrust your anger --
TOMAS: That is the most obvious approach, yes, but the mind is not always obvious, Iyana. It is, of course, presumptuous that a mortal would have a right or a capacity to forgive the creator of his very existence, but it is also true that the identity of the individual, as s/he becomes self-conscious and aspires to a level of dignity, develops a better understanding of himself and therefore God, and therefore can maintain a more compassionate attitude toward all circumstances if the forgiveness is all-inclusive.
And so, for you, do not worry about the concept. As I indicated when I gave the assignment, if you found it too preposterous, don't worry about it. But if you were willing to take a look at it, it might benefit you to see that in forgiving the Father for the many distresses that you have experienced in living this life, you would begin to feel a closeness to the Father in that process, in that soulful communication, one on the other, that would bring about a better understanding of the quality of tenderness, of mercy.
Iyana: Thank you.
Hunnah: We forget sometimes when we're reading the transcripts that there are many, many reading the transcripts. Everybody is getting something different. And back to Cinderella, if the shoe feels snug, okay, and if it feels loose, okay.
TOMAS: Indeed. We try to develop our lessons and deliver them in such a way as to meet the needs of all truth-seekers. Many times even your personal questions are cloaked in terms that can meet the learning needs of others in similar circumstances. It is why, too, we encourage you to develop a relationship with your own personal teacher(s) for those situations which are indeed personal to you but that are not deserving of public broadcast.
However, those issues that comprise potential learning for the many are utilized. And we are always appreciative of your willingness to understand that as a method of teaching and preaching, in availing yourselves, even your personal lives, to this format. Obviously it is not to expose you and bring you up short, but to allow others to see also how, in willingness to grow, we are strengthened and made more whole and more real by the growth that results from our willingness.
Hunnah: Well, there is the immediate example of my friend's husband passed away last week and their child is angry with God, and if that isn't dealt with at the time, it can be something that's tucked away and they forget about it, and is that...?
TOMAS: Indeed, such an experience can block the personal relationship with an individual and his creator for an entire lifetime. It is to those who need to review their understanding of tenderness that would benefit from the exercise of forgiving the Father. They, in their own souls, are bruised and tender, and only in the embrace of the Parent, the loving Parent in Paradise, can we be made whole, healed, cured, brought around to wholeness and wellness and service.
We have had a delightful evening in your company. We have had a full repast, and so for now we will call it a day. It is wise to not over-do, and with Anna and Merium having recently come on board, let us not wear out our welcome on their behalf, but rather now circulate and celebrate the joy of sonship/daughtership with the living God. Embrace one another in the spirit and be of good cheer. Until we speak again, I am your devoted friend and brother, Tomas. Farewell.