1997-04-03-Community of Purpose
Topic: Community of Purpose
Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
TOMAS: Good evening, my precious ones. I am Tomas, I am so glad to be here and I am even more glad that you are here with me. It has been a while since I have met with you in this configuration. It gives me a great sense of stability to reconvene in this hallowed room. We in the celestial realms enjoy the latitude of the spatial components of this area. In your understanding you might appreciate that the treetops make good bleachers on which to sit and watch your learning processes, your socializations and your spirit strivings.
Even though we have not met lately in this particular location, I and we have not been idle. We have been diligently addressing our new format of focus which is "the group" and I am happy to see that your studies this evening contribute to our outline, inasmuch as, in order to develop a solid loving band of believers in harmony and unity with such great diversity, it is necessary that you understand that each of you are the way you are supposed to be and thus your socializing, your coming together, is not founded upon trying to set the other one straight, but rather in full appreciation of your differences, and more importantly, of your united goals and purposes.
We have come a long way in this group toward attaining our goals. Your socializations have gathered depth and yet in this classroom situation of willing eager students, learners of truth and better ways, we shall proceed with even further refinements, for only good can come from your continued efforts toward learning how to be healthy, happy, wholesome followers in community of purpose.
I would borrow upon a reference that Elizabeth made earlier in the evening as to her cultural conditioning regarding socialization and use it as an example of her conditioning so that you each might compare, in the privacy of your mind, your conditioning as to how you learned to socialize, for whereas some were encouraged to have an opinion, others were discouraged from having opinions; while some were encouraged to express their feelings, others were not allowed to manifest feelings, and so forth.
Now this, you see, is one of the disparities of the mass conditioning. That is, you are all different in the way that you were raised by your parents, your earthly family environments, your clan. You were raised with certain behavior expectations and they predominate in your comings and goings today. Our purpose in this study of the group has to do with how to comport yourself in fraternal terms so that you together as a group can radiate such true harmony of spirit, even with your many differences, that you will reflect outward to the greater community that you have learned certain truths and values that enable you to love one another as Jesus loved his apostles, and as he admonished them to love their peers and as I admonish you to love yours.
A study of the human family shows a great variation. Often families are inbred and cloistered and look upon those outside as outsiders and unwelcome. The bond that forms through the blood disallows loyalty outside the immediate association of the family structure. But you see that in the Kingdom, all men and women are your brothers and sisters and so it does not behoove us to remain cloistered and selective as to whom we will share our family format (with), for if, as you read this evening, all are equal in God's sight spiritually, and if this is a spiritually-based operation (this configuration), then we must learn to love those outside and incorporate them into the family of believers that you are here today now, loving one another, understanding your peculiar differences but enjoying and having loving tolerance for those aspects of personality which fall short of your peculiar ideals.
It has been suggested by the Master that men shall know that you have been with Him, and I would like for people, when they see you together, to also say, "It is apparent that the Christ has been with them, for they know Him and they honor Him by how they love one another." There are many delightful practice exercises that we can engage in, in order to augment, stimulate, further and address your fraternity aspects. My friend and co-worker Merium is here this evening and perhaps she would like to add a thing or two. I will invite her. One moment.
MERIUM: Good evening, my friends. I am Merium.
Group: Greetings, Merium.
MERIUM: How honored I am to partake of this social gathering, this occasion which you have created for personality expression, for honoring each other, for comforting each other, and for greeting each other in the spirit. It is a pleasure to be a participant in these sentiments and these actualities. It is so infrequent that we get to encounter a working situation so amenable to guidance as you are here. Tomas has been most gracious in inviting me to help him with some of the aspects of group inter-association. I will point out to you a couple of things that he and I have had a chance to observe and to some extent speculate about in our brief but poignant piece of time here that we have worked together.
Tomas and I admire each other greatly. We come from completely different backgrounds. Indeed, our backgrounds are fairly irrelevant in terms of our purpose. He and I are both filled with, yes, hundreds and thousands of years worth of vital and precious memory experiences, but we relay very little of these to each other, for they bespeak times past which serve for reflection individually and can act as a teaching mechanism in a, shall we say "sponsoring" or "mentoring" situation, but he and I are comrades and we have our work to perform, and so we focus primarily on our work, understanding that we innately have immense regard for each other because we understand the integrity of the other.
It is inherent also that we have a deep affection for each other, and we are not reluctant to make it known that we admire each other and that we have affection for each other. It has been noted by some of our students that we are gracious with each other and it comes as some surprise to me that it was noteworthy, for it is natural, but in the learning process it becomes first a matter of noticing, and once you become aware, then you can realize, and then you can act, and then you can become, and then it is incorporated, and then you appreciate.
It is very apparent to me, if not to Tomas, that you all have a tremendous need to express yourselves, and I suspect that it goes beyond the mere ego aspect of wanting the sound of your own voice to reverberate back to your attention. I truly believe that each of you has something vital to share and to say, but it is not always obvious how to say what your soul would like to say, for your soul, your Father-bestowed personality has been so conditioned and over-controlled by your earthly family of upbringing and your cultural and social conditioning as to how it is that the human animal comports itself.
You know that you learn by watching others, and what little monkeys you mortals are! And so much of your learning, your behavioral learning, has come from watching other [mortals] rather than having a divine guide to show you and other divinely guided peers with whom to practice. We cannot fault you for the paucity of your plight here, but we can evince an earnest interest in Correcting.
It is an overwhelming undertaking to embark you upon realms of socialization that would harmonize with the Morontia Companions, but again, as you read in your lesson, "if I cannot do it, there is one in me who can," (4:4.9) and so I, along with Tomas, and along with each of you, put my full faith in our Divine Parents that they will raise us up, that they will teach us how to manifest the loving fraternity that would most please the gods and that most clearly demonstrate to his myriad children on earth your having been touched by angels.
Elizabeth: What does the Book mean when it says that all people of normal mind have a Thought Adjuster? (5:0.1) We can't quite figure out what normal mind means by the narrator, by the Divine Counselor. We can't figure it out.
Hestor: Are there limitations? [Indistinguishable]
TOMAS: It is a good question and it is also a good qualifier, Hestor, that you have added. There are sometimes limitations based on damage, but I will set that aside and address the greater subject of normal-minded, and I will not go on at length, for the bottom line is that it is necessary that an individual have sufficient mental capacity to make those decisions which will assure his eternal survival. That is to say, can they make those decisions which will give birth to the soul and can they then assist in the development of the soul by those decisions that can only be made by a normal mind?
Obviously it does not limit itself to I.Q. You could say that someone with an exceptionally high I.Q. was not of normal mind, and by the same token, there are some who are considered "slow" who are not in the normal range of I.Q. but who are capable of making soulful and meaningful decisions regarding their survival. There are those who have had a normal mind and have made requisite decisions but due to accident or disease or sustained fever, have lost the capacity to make decisions, and that would be constituting a sub-normal mind. The point being, the being must be able to make soul-ascending decisions.
Elizabeth: Thank you. That's a good bell-weather there: the ability to make decisions. Evidently that's a big part of this question and thank you very much for answering the question so roundly. And I think that Anne had something she might put to a group question.
TOMAS: I am delighted.
Anne: We came across a paragraph that was dealing with opportunities for spiritual growth, socially and economically and materially and morally, and we were wondering about the morally, the moral opportunities that people were afforded, and, I guess, that's a big subject, I don't know.
TOMAS: Indeed, a wonderful subject it is, for your opportunities begin early in life. When you make your first moral decision you receive your Thought Adjuster and so you see how important these moral decisions are! Let me elucidate somewhat.
Moral is what is right. Now, conscience may or not be what is right. Conscience is a set of values that you have been taught, that are cornerstone of your values as a mortal of the realm. The family structure, the social arena, the churches, the institutions, these are well-fraught with concepts of right and wrong. This field brings with it much guilt, much blame, much suppressed creativity, much that is not right in a cosmic sense, but it is a system of behavior in the human sense.
Now, referring back to what is moral in the spiritual sense, true morals are a result of your relationship with divinity, for as you go about your life and you come to a point of decision-making, you will make a moral decision, a right decision, based upon NOT what society would have you do, not what school or church or employment or parents or spouse would have you do, but what God would have you do. What would God have you do? And that God is the personal Father. And you can see, in understanding what I mean when I say moral, what the Book means when it refers to moral, is that there are millions of moral opportunities.
Obviously honesty provides a great range of opportunity in the moral department. If no one noticed, could you steal something? No one would notice. Your conscience may or may not bother you depending upon if you felt justified under the circumstances in taking this item from this place for this purpose. But the moral decision-making process is a matter that transcends conscience and mere mores and goes to the heart of the matter, and that is that although no one else may know, YOU know, and the Father knows, and you cannot hide from the Father.
And so the moral decision would be the decision that had the sanction of the Father, that had the full approval of the Father. Moral decisions are highly personal matters. Society has made a great business of making morals its business, and this has been necessary in the evolution of the ages, but the mature human being is capable of governing himself according to his relationship with divinity, and when people quit hiding behind mores and begin to stand up and be moral, there will be change. There will be great liberation.
Remember, there are angels who supervise. I am not recommending liberty without license. That, even, is a moral situation -- that you do not presume upon divine mercy. That is another moral opportunity. Each moment has an opportunity. Each situation has an opportunity. Each personality that you meet provides an opportunity for a moral approach to life, to God-consciousness. Moral opportunity is a cornucopia of fruits to be sampled and savored and shared.
Leah: While you were talking I was reminded of the biblical story of Jesus who healed the man with the withered hand, (148:7) I believe it was on the Sabbath. The social more said you don't do any labor on the Sabbath but obviously his moral decision was that there was a prophecy to be fulfilled.
TOMAS: Well done. Good example. These are indeed part and parcel of our learning format here, for in company with each other, in appreciation for the values and the loyalty that you find here in your comrades in the spirit, you can begin to venture into moral opportunity with one another. You can begin to venture into exposing new levels of reality in your personality expression that has not been afforded the opportunity in your more dense social milieu. I encourage you to address each other sincerely.
Elizabeth: I have a question about just everyday life now. During the EXPO, Gerdean and I were talking about the Book, and I began to think that I was going to be as enthusiastic as I really feel, and Gerdean even, I think, began to feel that way, too, and yet Jesus said never to, by the force of your personality, to bring people into your beliefs, and so I felt a little bit of concern there, that I was overstepping that boundary because I just felt so enthusiastic about saying to people some very strong things about the Book, because that's what I really believe! and I, of course, think that everybody should just drop everything they're doing and immediately start to read this Book, and I wondered if you could comment on that.
TOMAS: I would be delighted. I will recall to your mind the excerpt from The Urantia Book that also discusses why the heathen rage, (155:1) and Jesus there admonished that those who were entirely too lackadaisical about their teaching message, should indeed take the kingdom by spiritual assault, and so whereas you are not to coerce them on one hand, it is vital that you spill forth your enthusiasm for righteousness on the other.
And I will point out, too, that in coercing someone, it intimates that they are mindless and cannot make up their own mind about what to believe in, and I do not believe, Elizabeth, that you are looking for that kind of sheep. Indeed, I do believe that you understand that a man must develop his own concept of God, that even by introducing him to The Book, he still must chew on its concepts and pages to develop a full appreciation for the feast that has been presented.
No, I felt your enthusiasm was very beneficial to the booth, to the Book, and to those who partook of your endeavors, and probably most particularly, for yourself, for you were truly "wheeling and dealing" in the spirit. Well done!
TOMAS: I am glad for that, and remember that we are a loving family of living believers here. We are not a church and we are not a conglomeration of conscience and mores. As we embrace these new fellows into our fellowship, it is well to remember that our head is Jesus who loves us and would have us love each other as He loved us, and so if we can remember to keep that love at the core of our being, individually and as a group, then our arms are open wide and all who come to call will feel welcome and want to stay and contribute to this marvelous embrace.
Elizabeth: Thank you very much. I think that helps a lot. To know that you can do this. I guess I've had this question for a lot of years and tended to want to maybe play down the Book because of it, but now I'm into a different stage, now that you've helped me along.
TOMAS: I am glad I could help. I have some understanding of the bushel that the Book was under for awhile, inasmuch as it was restrained by copyright, and this was indeed necessary. And yet the door has opened and it is not as it was. It is still probably not the kind of book that ought to be advertised on the television, but it is certainly more open, and indeed, if we are to touch base with these hungry hearts, these spirit seekers who are out there willy-nilly searching, finding, discarding, searching more, it would behoove us to be in the thick of things and not sitting off on our pedestal waiting for them to stumble and fall and grovel to the truth. Right?
Elizabeth: That's true.
TOMAS: We are workers in the field, and it is the field where we march.
TOMAS: I have an assignment [for you] before I sign off. I would like for you each to practice indicating to as many as you can how much you appreciate them. I would like for you to overtly-- and not artificially but sincerely -- affect individuals by advising them of how much they mean to you. How much a gesture affected you, something about the individual that you find of value or of joy, and commend them sincerely and graciously.
This is almost what you would call a moral opportunity, because it gives you a chance to speak lovingly to someone that you might not have thought of before this assignment. Stay out of trouble! Remember that when you go among them, [you are] to remain as wise as serpents and peaceful as doves, but in your life there are those who you know are dear to you that you have not told, or even casually that you have enjoyed, that would enjoy hearing. As Merium and I naturally and automatically appreciate each other and have affection for each other, go ahead and let it be known that person, you think, is pretty swell.
I look forward to our reconvening. Have fun this week. Enjoy yourselves enjoying others. Farewell.