Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
MERIUM: I am Merium and I will greet you this evening, only because I have the opportunity, and because I would like to acknowledge your enchantment of being in the comforting embrace of the spirit. Your tranquillity in this embrace is profound. As has been said before, when you pray, we also kneel; and when you worship, we also raise our voices On High. It is yet another facet of community, and in honor of this wonderful community of believers here this evening, in the flesh and in the spirit, Tomas and I are honored to be among you.
Group: We are honored to be with you. Thank you for coming, Merium.
TOMAS: I am your trusty friend, Tomas.
Group: Hi, Tomas.
TOMAS: How gracious you are, my flock. I am pleased that you are so graciously accepting of my co-teacher and your newest friend in the Teaching Mission. We have found great delight in each other's company, as I also perceive you also are finding in each other's company, and as you develop trust in the Father and subsequent trust in each other, that love will grow and you will know fruits of the spirit in and for each other which will enrich your lives beyond compare.
These friendships that are being formed, fostered in the spirit, are your eternal prize. Friendships are an end in themselves. (Phone ringing) There's a friend now! (Group laughter) I will perhaps follow through, along those lines, to venture into the realms of your study this evening, which will have to do with personality, for what is friendship if not an appreciation of a compatible and fragrant personality?
You will no doubt acknowledge that there are some personalities that rankle, that agitate, that are not conducive to a sense of comforting presence. Even yourselves, at certain awkward moments in time, may find yourself fitful and fretful and unfruitful in your fellowshipping. But this is a part of the development, you see ~ the undertaking of incorporating the Father-bestowed personality, instead of the ego-driven personality ~ a blending of the beneficial aspects of both, to enhance the soul personality, which is eternal.
I have heard and been apprised of groups of students here, students of The Urantia Book, who have studied the subject of personality for literally years, who have done a thorough and in-depth study on the myriad facets of personality. And while I do not intend to lead you into such a study, I would like to spend a moment discussing personality, for I know that you have all wondered, at some time, why it is that if personality is a gift from God, why there are so many difficult and obstreperous personalities? Indeed, how can a child have such a vital and enchanting personality even before they have been indwelt by a fragment of God?
And so these questions may be pondered and even put to rest when it is understood that the human personality is a gift of the Father but it is not eternal in that same context as the soul is eternal, and it is in the assimilation of God's will within your personality that enhances the human personality and creates the personality which will live forever.
One of the inducements to the mortal to aspire for eternal life is the joyous realization that the personality lasts forever, that as you ascend into the future realms of spirit embellishment, your personality continues to go with you. In other words, you are not to be diffused into a non-personal mass of energy that returns to the cosmic Source, unaware of its identity and its contribution to its own existence.
Those who are not aware of how God works in their life, and how they work in God's life, may not have the advantage of understanding how it is that they can contribute to the modification of their own personality by usurping the ego right to do its own will in favor of doing the divine will of the Father, and in that the Father-bestowed personality is able to perform.
Another question that has often come to the mind of evolving souls is: if God is the father of personality, how can that personality be so dynamic and so intriguing and yet fly in the face of all that has value? Here is the source of great contention, even among believers. You perceive that a God-bestowed personality should act in keeping with certain mores and standards of behavior, and of a certainty this is true, but it is not you who is to decide what merit a personality has as far as it is affecting its own arena.
It is possible for a personality to be acting in accordance with its understanding of the will of God even when it is not the will of God, but how else do humans make those growth pulses possible unless they err and correct their error? These are perhaps subtle refinements in your understanding of personality. We go back to the same fundamental lessons that we have always taught and that we always come back to: that as you grow, you learn; and as you learn, you judge less about others' learning processes. One moment.
MERIUM: This is Merium again and I have asked Tomas for a moment on the dais to investigate a little further this thing about moral personalities, for I know that you are very human personalities and that is understood because you are humans and because you have had that value system reinforced all along. And now comes this new wave of spiritizing and it would have you sacrifice your own understanding of who you are, perhaps, for a yet higher and more closely-aligned entity in conjunction with a God of living water.
Generations have implanted in you the God of Israel and of other cultures and of Christianity, a Godhead who demanded and commanded certain moral behaviors, and now we come along and remind you that these judgments, as ethical as they may be in your terms, are not always in the greater light, indeed, does not contain the greater love that the Father has for his myriad children. (One moment) I have urged Tomas and some of this group to incorporate his and our words into your understanding of your readings, inasmuch as it may help to interweave the textbook and the workbook into a comprehension of a living reality.
This evening we are rather putting the cart before the horse and it creates a challenge for us [Ed. - a group format change was made to allow for the Teacher Session to precede the [[Urantia text|textual study]. Even so, it has been an interesting approach and I am certain that as you read your lesson this evening regarding the God of personality, the bestower of personality, and indeed in terms of your personality, our words may make a little bit of sense in perspective. I will now return you to Tomas with thanks for your indulgence.
Group: Thank you.
TOMAS: (One moment) I would ask you to observe yourself this week, and without condemnation but with infinite intrigue, observe your own composition of personality. As you understand the nature of God, as you have read already (about) many of His attributes and characteristics, observe how He functions within you and when. Observe also how and when you manifest your unenlightened human personality. Observe how you have used your personality in order to survive, in order to make your way in and through the animal realms, how cleverly you have adapted to being a human animal in a society of other members of this species, and reflect that value level of existence (which it is) onto that facet of you that is the evolving personality, of the evolving soul, that you which radiates in His light of truth. Observe those opportunities when you have the chance to speak clearly His will and have it be heard and appreciated.
This study is not to show you how imperfect you are, no, or to show you how far you have to go, no. But it is to give you an objective understanding of your personality in alignment and out of alignment. And is it not more joyous to radiate the Father-bestowed personality? Are you not truly a divine being, are you not indeed beauteous and radiant in His sight and in the sight of others as a reflection of Him?
Perhaps as you understand how the Father-bestowed personality works in your world, you will be inspired to clasp more closely to your breast the commitment, the desire, to foster His will in your life, that you may ring out the good news of the living God, the living brotherhood. It is the human personality on its face which is clever, yes, but which also grows weary, for it is not infused with the security of eternal value.
I will relinquish you from further formal discourse, but I will open the table to those of you who have a desire to approach discourse or questions, and as I throw open the floor, let me throw open also my arms and embrace you in love, especially those of you whom I have missed in this configuration, those of you who have been being about the Father's business in realms outside this Teacher Base. Welcome, beloved children, and also to my faithful flock. How are you all this evening?
Group: Great. Very good.
Elizabeth: One thing about doing this a little earlier is that we can talk about the lesson ahead, which is quite interesting. And also it is -- I feel a lot fresher at this time in the evening. I must get very tired very quickly. I feel as if I have lots more energy right now and can listen and enjoy Tomas and Merium. And I have a question. (Phone ringing)
Ruth: Tomas, I have a question. Do you have a telephone ringing, too?
Ruth: Maybe Elizabeth needs to do that, too.
Celeste: Tomas, I still have some trouble understanding the personality -- mine and God's -- but also I think if we are capable of having God come through me, and I responded that perfectly to another human being, that you'd be almost too humble afterwards to even tell anybody about it.
TOMAS: I fully appreciate what you are saying, but I would also encourage you to not submerge your value. Indeed, I am not asking you to exalt yourself, but it is perfectly appropriate to exalt the work that you do, for that is what is important, and as you deny your work, you deny yourself and your peers the opportunity to share the seeds you have planted and the germination and sprouting of the life when it is being born.
There are other elements of appreciating God's personality through you besides the standard ego-personality glorification. It is all right, you see, to accept your status as a daughter of God, a faith child of the living reality, a divine being-in-the-making. You are, in relative terms, perfect; and it is false humility to decry and deny your value. Allow your value, unashamedly.
There is a significant difference between acknowledging your sonship, your dignity as a living child of the living God, you see, than to strut with braggadocio of how clever you are in and of yourself; but as you honor your Parent, your Creator, in the work that you do, then you have set yourself aside, ego-wise, and you have allowed the personality of God to proclaim itself.
Celeste: Thank you so much, Tomas, for everything you have given us. I think this lesson was probably the greatest lesson. I love this lesson on personality. It's hard!
TOMAS: It is hard, and I will add that culturally and, perhaps biblically speaking, you have been coerced and browbeaten into a shell of what you can rise up to be. God has been beaten to a pulp in your society, and when He seeks to rise up, He is again attacked by would-be crusaders for another cause or those who fear Him. It is a courageous loyalty to espouse your own God-given personality.
Elizabeth: The thing of personality, is this — One of the most fascinating things, as Celeste said to me, in the book, when I first read the way it works and tried to understand it (and I don't profess to understand it, but it's a most exciting thing to think about) and when we think about other people's personalities, it always -- since I've had the Book -- enjoyed thinking about people as different flowers.
You were telling us about the symphony orchestra, which was a wonderful way to think about it, and I do enjoy thinking about the fun of a great big bouquet of different flowers, and how exciting it is, and so to me the whole thing of personality is such an exciting part of the Book, exciting from the point of view that I feel as if I've just begun to scratch the surface of the meaning of personality, from the point of view of one's faith.
I had a question, too, only I don't want to diverge from this topic, but I know we only have a limited amount of time. A person came to see me this week who is in the middle of a huge decision, whether to end his relationship with his wife and their children and change everything in their lives and to divorce, and I was thinking about what you had said about, all right, we all have been using the adjutant mind spirits when we make decisions on this planet, but if we used the Spirit of Truth we have a tremendous lead in the spiritual understanding, and yet I was having a very difficult time being sure of how to explain to this person how you tap into the Spirit of Truth as opposed to the adjutant mind spirits which you're accustomed to using as a matter of just the popular way of doing things here, and I was leaning on the idea that one would have to ask the Spirit of Truth and also one would have to seek to cleanse oneself, at least for the moment, of those poisons that are mentioned in the Book before you ask for guidance, but I was just fumbling around, really. I would love to hear you and Merium give us possibly some help on this.
TOMAS: Thank you for your expressions. I will first take your analogy of the flower arrangement of personality and commend you for the picture that you paint, for even yourselves, as vibrant personalities, are beautiful and perfect in your own way and that whereas a handful of raggedy wild-flowers holds certain short-lived charm, those stalwart and hardy blooms of long-standing, when arranged together, can embellish and enhance not only themselves individually, but as a floral arrangement that will indeed honor the room.
Yes, indeed, the difference between a flower and yet another flower is an honorable analogy, akin to the symphony. You would not want to place a humble dandelion in a group of iris, but if you have a mixed bag of flowers, any and all will blend. Let me not get carried away on the flower thing because already I hear you taking the parable and chewing it to pieces with your literal mindedness, and truly I only intended to sketch a centerpiece.
I would like now to address a subject of the Spirit of Truth. Perhaps Merium would like to tackle that one. I will parenthetically interject that I trust you introduced him to my recent lesson on the Spirit of Truth.
Elizabeth: Yes. Yes. That is what we were using.
TOMAS: One moment.
MERIUM: I have words to say, of course. I am a storyteller and so I am delighted to have been asked to attend and to share. I will not be as formal as Tomas, perhaps, nor as (I will not use the word tedious) specific, perhaps, as Tomas can be, but I will approach the Spirit of Truth from my vantage point and that is very much as has been said before: if you were to talk with Jesus and he were to tell you what way is in the divine plan for you, you would honor the guidance from Jesus inasmuch as he is your Creator Father/ Brother, and his guidance would no doubt fill you with confidence of what way to go.
The Spirit of Truth plays the same role, if you will. The Spirit of Truth is that which directs you to Michael for his guidance, and the clarity of his guidance echoes in your soul. You know in every part of you that this is the way to go. You trust that this is the way to go. You know that even if, down the road, it is required that you veer a little to the left or a little to the right, at least today this is what you should do; and it elicits in you a feeling of confidence and assurance that this is what you must do.
Now, how that differs from the adjutant mind spirits is difficult to describe because you can come to the same assurance, in your perception, from your own understanding, or from your own instinct, intuition, counsel, and so forth. Your previous experience alone has told you what you ought to do, but let me remind you that many times your human experiences are not the best guide, for in your human experiences where you depend upon your own resources to make these particularly momentous decisions, you flounder because perhaps one time when you made the decision, you fell short of your expectations; and perhaps when you made the decision another time, you far over-extended yourself, ending up looking the fool. And so on and so on.
There are times, regarding making decisions, when individuals have relied upon their own instincts, their own understanding, their own sense of wisdom and so forth that has failed and become paralyzed in the ability to make any further decisions at all! And so, if you can, it is wise to seek guidance from the Spirit of Truth, bearing in mind that that is a spiritual approach.
This is the greater approach because it says, "In and of myself I do not have all the answers. I have these certain experiences and these certain abilities and these certain instincts, and so forth, but I am an earthen vessel and I cannot lean upon my own understanding." When and as the soul powers of the personality prevail upon the Spirit of Truth to direct them, they invariably come face to face with the living Christ who will speak to their soul and answer: "This is the way."
Now granted, too, as Tomas has said before, sometimes you get that answer and you don't want to do it. You know you should; you know perhaps eventually you must; but for reasons unknown to anyone but yourself, you decide, "I will not do that; not today," understanding that the Parent is forgiving, understanding that you may take an eternity to make certain decisions if you choose. More often than not, individuals will lollygag on their way to the Father:
"Indeed, what's the point of hurrying up when there are so many wallowing individuals hanging back that you must help anyway before you can go far afield of anything, so you might as well enjoy your own ego-decisions and rely upon your own feelings for as long as you have them; after all, we will outgrow our instincts when we outgrow our bodies" -- and all manner of rationale take place in the mortal condition.
This is life, with all of its colorful interpretations of what they ought to do, based upon their own decision-making processes. How many fools have justified their behavior by saying, by testifying, that, to their understanding, it was God's will that they did what they did. And who is to say that their belief is wrong?
Decision-making is a very, very personal process. It involves the entire mobilization of the soul. Have mercy on yourself and on those who must make decisions, for it is by making decisions that you ascend; there are no backward steps written into your destiny plan. However, I have spoken long enough, Tomas. I thank you for the opportunity to share with these lovely flowers.
Celeste: I can't wait to read all of this. We often say that, but it's true.
Elizabeth: Well, so often we will ask, we'll pray, we'll "wait on the Lord", we say. And then we seem to get conflicting answers; we're very confused. Is the Lord really speaking to me? And then my friend said, "If the phone rings in the next half hour, I'll do it." (They were making a big decision.) So the phone rang. And . .. that was an interesting device, I think. For that person, it really did work. Very, very good Christian person that I know.
Elizabeth: It sometimes really helps to go to a good friend who is loving and helpful, and the Spirit of Truth probably speaks through that person, if we approach it in the right way. Is that true?
TOMAS: This is true, for the Father will speak through those individuals who permit His guidance to come through them, and this is often an unconscious process. Also, it is not necessary that the individual become an advocate, an apostle, a proselytizer. Indeed, it is sometimes the simplistic individual friendly response that is the most sincere and has the most profound impact on a seeker. This is one of the aspects of confiding trust, the fruit of the spirit that allows you to minister to your friend as you pass by by sitting and consulting and consoling in the difficulties of the life.
Elizabeth: We do have to be quite careful, though. As people who sometimes ask to help somebody make a decision, we really have to be careful, don't we? I mean, people do like to give advice. And that's one thing I think I'm wary of, is that humanly you sort of enjoy giving advice sometimes, and when you enjoy it that much, I think you'd better be suspicious.
TOMAS: One moment, Elizabeth. This is an immediate reflection upon our words this evening regarding personality and in the text that you will read later this evening about the human personality as compared to the Father-bestowed personality. Look to the motives. Look to the intent. For although you may desire truly to serve, who are you serving?
Are you putting yourself in a position to give advice even when it is not asked for because they are vulnerable and you are therefore powerful? What are your motives that you would catch them up short with your sincerity and lead them down a path that may not be the path for them. This leads only to distrust and more betrayal. A true friend does not give advice unless it is asked for, and this requires censor of the tongue, that unruly organ.
Elizabeth: But even when one is asked for advice, I do think it's time when one has to exercise a lot of thoughtfulness and sometimes I don't know whether we do, but I'm just wondering what do we do? Does one sometimes say, "Let's pray together"? Prayer is one of the things that the Teachers have been stressing.
TOMAS: Prayer will bond you with that individual with whom you pray, certainly. It will help break down ego barriers and develop trust as they feel the spirit merge together. This is a very beneficial and trust-inducing behavior, and additionally, it lends confidence of the friendship and puts the words in appropriate perspective.
When you deign to give advice, the highest advice that you can offer is your personal experience, for that has the authority of your experience itself; it is an intellectual exercise, otherwise. You may suggest what someone else has done, you may suggest material to read, you may share what Jesus said about the subject (which, by the way, he said nothing about divorcement), but understand, too, in your counsel, in your spirit of counsel with your friend, that there are always more than one side to a story. There is always more than one side to be considered.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes, that's true.
TOMAS: Only God knows the full set of circumstances. And that is therefore who to consult regarding the way to go.
Elizabeth: So would you say, "I prefer to pray about this and then later we can talk?" Would that be a better way of doing it? Just sort of …?
TOMAS: If a friend has come to you and is troubled, then you may listen to your friend in compassion of their woe and their distress. Your comforting presence should be adequate. How can they prevail upon you for an answer to their life problem, that can only be found in counsel with the Father himself? It is your friendship they seek, not your answer. They only can find the answer from the Father and from within the self. If you can help direct them to the Inner Guide of the Indwelling Guide of the Thought Adjuster, then you have done your part. You have served the Father, you have served your brother, and you have done valuable work.
Elizabeth: Yes, I think that's really good. Fortunately in this situation I didn't presume to really offer advice, because I thought it was, yes, just better to sit and listen. People do seem to get a good perspective when they have a chance to sit and talk about something that's troubling them.
TOMAS: It is often the only thing that is missing -- is someone to whom to pour out their heart. If they can sincerely express themselves to a trusted friend, they often can hear themselves reflect back to themselves what their concerns are, and so it is a way of their praying aloud for guidance and you, as the friend, have provided the source of reflectivity for them by giving back to them only your love and your support.
Elizabeth: That's great. Thank you. I think I'll enjoy reading this, as Celeste said. Anyway, tonight, with this discussion, before we read, speaking for myself I have no particular desire to do it one way or the other, but I do think that there is something to be said for coming into this thing when you're feeling fresh. I'm sure the others will have other different interesting things to say about it.
TOMAS: And certainly the transmitter will confirm that.
Group: Yes. I like it, too. Talk about our lesson ahead.
TOMAS: Unfortunately, we are not crystal-ball gazers and we cannot ascertain what selection you will choose from the Life and Teachings of Jesus, and so if you will allow us, we will merely partake of that as our dessert as well. What a wonderful way to end an evening: a message from Michael. My friends, are we about to close for the evening?
Ruth: Tomas, I want to ask you something.
TOMAS: Yes, Ruth?
Ruth: I have a gentleman coming to me, my practice, and he has read some books and he and I have been talking about some things and I would like permission to give him The Urantia Book. I sort of inserted foot in mouth in wanting to help him. I just sort of said I would give him a Book. Would it be all right if I gave him a Urantia Book? He is searching and he is reading some books and he read "The Holy Grail" about the Holy Grail and he was talking to me about Mary and Mary Magdalene and Michael and I gave him a little bit of information.
TOMAS: Let me suggest that you review in your mind's eye some of the subject matter that you have discoursed with him that has stimulated your appreciation for The Urantia Book, that you believe would answer his need and his question. And then find those references in the Book. Take a brand new book with those items highlighted or ear-marked, and in discourse with him, fellowship with him, say, "Remember we had that conversation and you said this and I said that? I would like to show you this here. What do you think?" And allow him to nibble on the bulk of the Book, on how it presents itself, on how it answers the question that his soul was inquiring after, rather than handing him the Book and saying, "Here! This will answer your question."
It is a responsibility in some cases, my dear, that as you are becoming a fisher of men, you need to spoon feed them. You need to drop your bait and (let them) nibble the worm until they have found it tasty, savory and ideal for their needs. Go ahead and titillate him even further with The Urantia Book, and when he has made a. reach for it with his heart or his soul or his mind … even then do not thrust it upon him, but present it to him as a heart-felt love gift, and encourage him to follow up with his studies and continue to share his findings with you.
Celeste: I think that's a most perfect answer.
Ruth: You know I did that with another person that Celeste and I gave a book to, and that gentleman, I think he became aggravated about something that he read and … He became upset with me, I know.
TOMAS: It can be dangerous to a soul to have the fifth epochal revelation placed in his or her hands and have to acknowledge that s/he cannot handle it, at least at the moment. It can cause wrenching reactions in the soul. I have seen individuals tremble and shake and hand back the Book in fear of it and in fear of what they may be doing by returning this insightful tome, and so I suggest, do not petrify these timid children, but allow them to take a bite and nibble on it and whet their appetite, for they will hunger and thirst. If they do not, you have not offended their timid soul, their own humble dignity in their more simple belief system. You have not alienated them as a friend and as an acquaintance. You have not put the Urantia Book out there as a terrible thing, but as another tool for spirit.
Ruth: Thank you, Tomas. That's very helpful.
TOMAS: Thank you, Ruth.
Celeste: I know it's easy to give a Urantia Book to somebody because you're so excited about it and you want them to get it and I've done it and we've all done it, and then you learn later on that they opened it once or twice and it was just too overwhelming and that was the end of that.
TOMAS: This is very true. You need to follow up and hoe the soil around the seed you have planted. You cannot-- As they say in mota "a pint cannot hold a quart" and so do not drown the poor fellow with your largess. Whose ego are you satisfying in a gesture like that anyway? What personality is it that's acting, there? (Arrival of D.McD) Good evening, my dear daughter, how wonderful to feel your spirit presence with us again. Your aura is strong this evening and it is an advantage to our configuration to feel your wonderful spirit here.
It is truly a bounty to feel the presence of all of you this evening. Merium and I look forward to your studies and to your skilled practice in socializing in the spirit sense of the word. I look forward to our next encounter and I leave you with my embrace. Peace be upon you. Farewell.