Group: N. Idaho TeaM
Ginnie: If a teacher needs a focal point to start with us today, I have a question about how we can follow our spiritual urges and at the same time deal with relationships that take a lot of time and energy. How do we keep a relationship going with someone who has not spent much time on spiritual development?
Malvantra (Jonathan TR): This is Malvantra. I can address your question.
Each situation will be its own unique set of circumstances, though these relationships take on patterns that have similarity. When the spiritual dimension in one individual is lacking or dormant, this complicates the situation. It is not insurmountable but would bring far greater work to the progress of friendship than would two people motivated on a spiritual path. This realm of spiritual perspective, of theological conception, can seem unimportant to physical creatures so largely oriented toward the external world, that certainly one could live without it if the friendship is there. But this is not the case.
Imagine, for instance, having a relationship with another personality that does not have a body. This you would find difficult for that entity to be purely spiritual and mental. Would you continue a relationship of an intimate nature? Likewise, if an individual lacked mind, this would make your values shift and your goals change regarding just how you are going to pursue relationship. So, the spiritual is extremely important. I do however, express that -- and I realize you well understand that the spiritual quality isn't simply intellectual understanding of religious principles but rather that personal drive toward higher ideals, toward enacting truth in your life, toward enhancing the moral, the beautiful. To decide the parameters of a relationship one must honestly ask oneself and sincerely face the feelings and the thoughts that you respond to yourself with, "Am I involved to be a minister, to guide another soul into birth in a spiritual sense? Or is this relationship that I desire one that is to be on an equal footing?" Both choices are good in themselves, but you must value the import of either one at the given time and choose appropriately.
Since there are many mortals on Urantia in need of spiritual ministry, you do not have to take on the task with a significant or romantic relationship. It is far more empowering in one's growth and ministry if there is mutual support, if there is, in the times of withdrawal from the activities of life, an infusion of energy, understanding, sympathy, and encouragement from one nearly equal to yourself in a spiritual sense. It is far more exhausting to be on the job, so to speak, when you are more appropriately in need of retreat. But I speak of this in regard to those intimately personal relationships of love as you have discussed today, for this type of friendship breaks down some of those personal boundaries that everyone can retreat into for recuperation, and this relationship overlaps those boundaries.
In all other relationships one need be very careful not to evaluate that another individual is not spiritually active in order to be a friend, a co-worker, a business partner. You do understand that the spiritual dimension infuses life with eternal values, higher ideals of living. But you still retain your boundaries for retreat in these other relationships. You are available to be an example, to let your fruits show, but you are not obligated to avoid a relationship because the individual is spiritually stagnant. It is this boundary of personality that I seek to impress upon you as important to guard, for it is from this center that you spring forward to be of assistance to your fellows in many ways. Few individuals are received into this inner arena. Michael, as he lived on this world, carefully chose three apostles to share this inner circle with him, but often he spent this retreat alone in the hills with the Father. Yet he engaged with a vast array of personality types, differing inclinations, and at different rungs of the spiritual ladder. He did not avoid them because they were pagans or sinners. He sought them out. But when it was time to be in care of his own nourishment, he chose carefully who he would be with.
Ginnie: Yes, very much. Thank you. I think of the story of Jesus and the prostitutes. He didn't try to give any elevated thoughts to them, because that is not what they needed. He gave them what they needed.
Malvantra: Quite true, and his leaving them with others provided those others the opportunity for ministry that he was quite capable of providing, but they now had the opportunity to be in service for Michael.
The entire subject of relationship is as dynamic as living creatures are. An inanimate object simply is what it is from manufacture and changes only through the disruptions or erosions, accidents or conditions of time. But life-bearing creatures are continually on the move, dynamic in every sense. Put two of these dynamos together, and even more complexity arises.
You have read where it says that your ideals will always outpace your ability to live up to them. Harmony in a relationship is always just beyond the ability of the participants to live up to. It is truly more a goal than it is a condition. Urantia culture teaches that you are a better person when you attain something, some level, as in schooling, career, marriage, house, children. So, the drive continues on, generation after generation seeking these attainments, which in reality are not ends but the beginnings of even more involvement, more growth. To attain one of these goals -- let's choose career as an example -- one gets the job. One receives their office assignment, their desk, their materials. They have accomplished the goal of a "career". But the work has just begun. Relationships are quite similar. It is easy to meet another, to befriend, to acknowledge another, but the work has only begun in the deepening of that relationship, the infusion of greater significance in that relationship.
Goals are sought-for ends. Ideals, in relation to goals, express the manner in which a goal will be reached, the method whereby you will attain this end. To have a goal in life is good, for it provides a focus in the distance wherein you may direct your path to reach, but it is the ideal that will carry you toward that goal. To be involved intimately with another individual is a good goal, but the ideals will be what drives the relationship forward. This will be ever-changing and must remain flexible, for it entails two freewill creatures.
Elyon (Ginnie): I will add some thoughts. This is Elyon.
As you progress in your ascension you begin your progress as a will creature in very basic ways. Much of relating in early primitive times was simply based on survival, material survival: eating, procreating, protection. As you grew out of these early, primitive relating states you began to see other ways of being together for other purposes. As you progress both as a culture and individually, you begin to go beyond physical survival to the survival of your soul, of your personality. That is when the spiritual element infuses you, when you begin to grasp the importance of the survival of your personality. Then you begin to see relationship as more than fighting for possession of things, more than the survival of your ego, more than greed. You go beyond those things to the things that matter for your personality survival and your personality development. It is at this point when a personality understands that there is a part of himself that needs nurturing. He or she will begin to live a life of relationship which nourishes that part of them.
Indeed, it is a matter of choice. Most relationships -- and I speak primarily of between man and woman on Urantia -- are ones of struggle to maintain the ego, and anything that goes beyond that is certainly on "spiritual" purposes.
Relationship exists on all levels of your progression. Even on Paradise you will be relating; you will be dealing with how you are with other beings, what choices you make. So, you can look forward to a long, long career of relating.
Unfortunately Urantia is involved in putting certain kinds of relationships ahead of others as more important than the development and growth of the personality. It is then that things go wrong, because each person is seeking his or her true personality, their true identity, and it continues to be a struggle to clear away the debris of the material trappings of your world to get to a place where relationship can survive.
It is certainly a blessing when two individuals feel a connection with each other. It is important to nourish that on whatever level it is but not to push it, force it, beyond what it can handle. Joy and lightness are indicative of true love, and the struggle involved is simply something that has to be dealt with so that both individuals can reach a point where their values are on a similar level. Otherwise there will be conflict, and the conflict itself will bring about more insight into your relationships.
Do not disregard petty arguments as a waste of time because they have to be gotten through; they have to be dealt with to clear the air, so to speak, so that each can go beyond the uncomfortable place that they are in, as you all can recall looking back at times when you thought you were the cat's meow. Indeed, you may laugh now because you think you can see the true reality from this vantage point. So it will be many years from now you will look back and see what you are doing to yourself now that seems silly.
Learn to appreciate everything, every relationship that you have whether it be friendship or relationship with you mate or your children or nature or the animals or money. Learn to appreciate all of it so that you may make better choices when it comes to deciding the quality of your relationships. Learn to bless each contact that you have, for you can learn from all of them. No relationship is wasted time.
Thank you for your time.
Malvantra (Jonathan): This is Malvantra again. I'd like to pitch a few more thoughts your way.
Oftentimes a relationship is approached because the individual seeks the fulfillment of needs. Without discounting the value of meeting needs, a relationship takes on a greater dimension when needs are no longer a part of the picture. Often a marriage relationship will break up because needs aren't being met. Other times it breaks up because all needs are met, and boredom has ensued. Being involved with another individual simply for the sake of being involved with another individual is what will bring lasting relationship. The time you spend in stillness with the Father, as extremely important as it is for your own growth, it is also very beneficial for every relationship you have, for it is in this experience of the divine that true happiness is discovered and attained such that no other thing, no other being in your life, is needed such that you will be happy when that desired result is attained. Rather, attaining an inner happiness and taking that into any relationship will bring about the joyful aspects of such deep friendships.
I too am happy to be with you today to share in your conversation. This form of relationship, man and woman, lovers, is not an ordinary Melchizedek experience. But what you gain in this undertaking in your mortal life will repercuss throughout your entire morontia career and will be an important foundation to your spiritual life beyond. So it is good that you consider every aspect.
I take my leave.
You can be intimate with yourself. You can be intimate with another human. You can be intimate with the Father. You can be intimate with nature. To have a true, fulfilling relationship in development it is important that you remember all aspects of your being, that your intimacy with yourself and with God is also important before you can develop intimacy with another.
That is all.