1999-12-10-Confusion Near Christmas

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Topic: Confusion Near Christmas

Group: Pocatello TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Daniel, Aaron, Andronason

TR: Bob S., Bill K.

Session

Opening

Aaron (Bob S): Greetings, my very dear friends. Your enthusiastic utterances continue to delight your older brothers and sisters here gathered.

Ken: How much older? (Laughter.)

Aaron (Bob S): Ken, my child.

Ken: I'm sorry I asked. (More laughter.)

Aaron (Bob S): We will deal with you later. We have been around long enough to know how to deal with you, my children. (More laughter.)

Well, getting back to our original word. I am Aaron, somewhat out of order this evening, but we like to change routines occasionally. It suits our purposes to change our regular order in that it suits better the work which we are about. I am delighted and I speak for all my kin on this side when I recognize Roxie's presence with the group gathered here this evening. We are extremely pleased you have made the effort to visit these your brothers and sisters in the flesh. Welcome home.

Now as to the format for this evening, we plan another change. For this work I will step aside for the time being.

Lesson

Daniel (Bill): I am Daniel. Good evening, my friends. Your discussion this evening was most enlightening to us for it indicates your continued perusal of the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven, or to say it in other words, the prioritizing of your life to seek to know God and be like him, above and beyond all other priorities in the matrix of materialism and spirituality which surrounds you, especially at the time of year.

Many are lost in the din of greedy sounds and the maze of confusing hallways. They ask themselves, "What does Christmas really mean to me, but a time for buying many presents and finding myself that much poorer and no richer in spirit". They share the same sentiments as the story by Charles Dickens and a character named Scrooge. But you have been following now your Master these many years, and to you is given to know the secrets of the kingdom. These secrets are not things God withholds in favoritism, but are the discoveries of the soul that has pursed the spiritual path. The kingdom of heaven within you, that is, the reign of God in your heart, grows, indeed, as does the mustard seed into the mustard tree; and we have been partners with you in this phenomenal growth. (Long pause.)

Tonight I desire that we again involve you all in our consideration of the methods by which you have successfully, or partially maintained your balance between your material needs and physical lives on the one hand, and your allegiance to God and your participation in spiritual growth on the other. I would again ask you to think about this for a few minutes, then rather than going around the circle, which puts pressure on people to respond, I would allow for an open forum where whoever desires to speak can do so, followed by the next person, and so forth.

Yes, this is a question designed to bring about contemplation, but before we start I will restate it in order to make its meaning a little clearer.

How have you in your life been able to keep your balance between the physical and material aspects of your life, and the spiritual growth and values aspect? What can you offer to your brothers and sisters in response to this question? I desire that both TR’s become aware and take part, if they so desire. Now take a minute or two, and let us proceed.

Dialogue

Virginia: Daniel, could I clarify something? I thought you said at one time in regard to Christmas rather than your life. Was it specifically Christmas and you rephrased it and made it life, or did I just focus on Christmas?

Daniel (Bill): Initially I had it in that context, that is the Christmas context, yes. But actually the Christmas context is merely a heightened experience of the paradox, for in your celebrations there are generous mixtures of spiritual and material aspects. Therefor I am broadening my question to include your life, any part of your life, that you are willing to share this evening.

(Some discussion about the question.)

Bob: I'd have to say that I am not sure that I have that balanced. I didn't particularly seek that, so that if it happened it was the result of something else. Maybe subconsciously I sought to move away from materialistic ideals that I am sure were extremely important to me when I was younger. And now they don't seem to be as important to me, so from that point of view I guess I have made a move to at least bring them relatively into balance. From my own point of view I think it must be the result of trying to grow spiritually. If one is able to do that, this other stuff (the balance between spiritual and material things) seems to fall into place. I'd be interested in your thought on my ideals.

Ken: I agree with you that the material goals that we have when we are younger basically are not important today. But I don't feel I am in balance. I feel like I'm on a seesaw, but on a seesaw you can achieve and balance. But my spiritual never quite achieves my material yet. And that is kind of the goal, to balance the two, but I am going up and down. There are moments when I think that I would like to win the lottery, but then upon deeper contemplation and thinking I would much rather have spiritual growth and understanding and a relationship with the Father than I would the material end of things. And through the Teaching Mission, through the Urantia Book, and through friends such as you (all), we can achieve part of that balance, part of that understanding that we need. (Banter.) You always have that desire for harmony in you life, and it has been growing. (More banter.) It is like (when) the industrial age and the Urantia Book came into being about the same time frame, and now the spiritual aspect is beginning to swing into prominence in the world. We are beginning to see it more and more. You have to look for it, but it is there.

Bill: I thought the question was how are we maintaining the balance. (Discussion.)

Well, I can look over my whole life from the time I became conscious of God about the age of 18 or 19, and I can see where I started off pretty strong on the spiritual side, then I sort of faded. It seems that I went into the material side more, and a lot of spiritual progress that might have been made was not made because of my relationship to alcohol, partly. That interfered very dramatically, not to the extent of some people in Alcoholics Anonymous, but being preoccupied with that whole cycle is similar to being preoccupied with gambling or occupied with winning the lottery or being a billionaire by forty. But, anyway, a tremendous amount of energy in my case went into that ultimately destructive cycle. The cycle ended a little after my finding the Urantia Book. And I read it when I wasn't drinking for six months, and it blew me away. So when I stopped, when I made the decision that I didn't need that stuff in my life any more, that was a sudden change because without that on my mind now other things could fill my mind. I don't think alcoholics are any different from other people in that everybody has something that is most important. So in my case I think it was a shift from all these addictive kind of things to spiritual growth. How I maintain that is not an original idea. It goes back to Jesus and probably before him, and that is, I just set aside time everyday to read the Urantia Book, to pray and to have spiritual contact. Thirty minutes, usually at night. If I don't do that, I find that I think less and less about the spiritual side of things and more and more the material occupies my attention. So that works for me in my life. It is a matter of what you are paying attention to, as I see it.

Ken. Can I ask you a question? You say at age 18 you found God. As you reflect back on those days when you were coming into an understanding of God, what is your comparison with your understanding of God today? I mean you know at that time that you were getting into the Bible, the ministry, and now it is a different world. It is a different situation.

Bill: The core of it is the same. It was true contact with my Thought Adjuster. Of course I did not know that at that time. It has the divinity flavor, just like this chocolate cocoa. (Laughter.) The knowledge I had as a young man was pretty limited, like all of us were at 18; and yes the Bible was new to me, and for awhile I accepted the idea it was infallible, until I studied it. It became more difficult to hold to that idea because it was obvious there were innumerable contradictions of concepts and evolution of ideas. Then when I went to seminary and had the formal training to understand the value of the Bible, it could no longer be as a fundamentalist that I could view it. So my concepts now are enormously enlarged, especially by the Urantia Book. But there is nothing different about the flavor. (Other conversation.) And I think everyone who contacts their Thought Adjuster has the same flavor whatever the religious expression that they use. I guess that is the change that I see, and I don't know if it is just getting older as I don't think everyone that gets older gets more spiritual. I have seem some people who haven't. They've grown rigid, yes, fearful. But in my case is has had a certain degree of correspondence with my age, but most of all with my choices, where I chose to focus. My adversity has been the disease of alcoholism but there are other adversities. Some of my family members have mental illness adversities. And that can be worse, because they are not as easily treated. Alcoholism is pretty well treated with abstinence and a spiritual program. So I think we all need adversity to strengthen our spiritual muscle.

Virginia: Bill, I'd like to pick up on the fact that you said the same flavor, and you used the word Thought Adjuster, and then you said the same flavor. To me I thought in terms of that flavor as recognition that God loves you. To me that is core of conversion. It is the core of any relationship with your Thought Adjuster. It is the core that we see in the Urantia Book and in what we hear from our teachers. To me that it just an incredible thing, that there is a God that loves us. (Other conversation.) And on this (Urantia Book) tape I'm am listening to, God had to first seek you out, so that then you could seek God. To me that is incredible thing. And that fact that you know we all look at our paths, and, oh my goodness, before the Urantia Book, I read a self-help book that really helped me. It was called The Hero Within. It talked about the spiral, upward ascent. It wasn't really spiritual. It was much more emotional, mental. But the other day Klariksika referred to that spiral point, and when I moaned about my present situation, she said that I had reached another turn in the spiral where you have to experience the same things at a new level. And that means clearing your heart of revenge and ego, and all those things, and reach for forgiveness, that you are able to forgive. And then extend that love. To me that is a very vivid picture of what it means in our spiritual growth, we never reach it. We just keep spiraling up, for a very long time according to the (Urantia) book. And the maintaining certainly. I think that to ask for self-revelation so that you can know yourself as well as you are able to in a situation is necessary. The relationship to God and the request of his help and the gratitude that He has been there for you daily, and certainly I haven't done it daily, but close to it, it very important. Without talking to your friend, I don't know how you can be sensitive to help daily. (Pause.) One other thought. When we first started discussing this it was interesting to me that the material was money or addiction or this sort of thing. I was thinking much more that material was relationships. And I don't know that I have ever thought in terms of clothes and money. I have always told Bill that we're are really wealthy. We have what counts, relationships. (Bill agrees.) Our relationships in the material world are tough. And its our relationship with God hopefully that will help maintain those relationships with our brothers and sisters.

Bill: My reaction is that relationships are both spiritual and material, (Virginia agrees.) and that is where this balance is so difficult to obtain, our relationships with ourselves and others, not so much with God. If we do our part with God, there is no problem. There is no wavering on the other side.

(Other conversation.)

Daniel (Bill): This is Daniel. Are there other responders to my question? Or do you wish to ask questions of us teachers?

Roxie: If it is possible, I think I have had too much of it, (rather) than not enough of the material focus. Are you saying there should be sufficient focus on the material?

Daniel (Bill): Yes, I am saying that. For the ascetic response to conflict, the withdrawal from the world, which happened in the middle ages especially, was not an effective balance between living in the kingdom of men and simultaneously in the kingdom of God. I am not implying, Roxie, my dear, that you have withdrawn into monastic asceticism, but agreeing that while you are a mortal your model is our Master himself who plunged into the material side of life with great gusto. He, being a Jew, was not supposed to enjoy art and he was a great lover of art and music. He appreciated the Greek games. He valued the material realm. Because this is the beginning place of your ascension career does not mean it is of lesser value than the spiritual dimension. It is the evolution from the fully material to the fully spiritual that is the magnificent experience that is afforded us, as co-creators with the Supreme. Am I answering your question to your satisfaction?

Roxie: Yes.

Daniel (Bill); One could say that the material life ideally consists of three realms—of work, of reversion and of worship. In the work category service is the main motivation. Worship is for its own sake and is the pure desire to unite with God, to become fused with that perfection that dwells within you, and to be drawn towards the Deities on Paradise, to eventually encompass their literal embrace. And reversion in the material worlds is largely humor and the enjoyment of the higher arts. Much that is called entertainment in your culture is, from our point-of-view, pretty gross. You will evolve in your ascension beyond these violent, scary, degrading kinds of past-times, and your humor will refine itself on higher levels. The third element of worship changes the nature of both work and reversion, which you usually call play, for worship brings the whole person into alignment and helps the personality unify and balance life. Our Master, Christ Michael, was able to achieve a degree of human perfection in his short lifetime because of his balance, where worship was his primary source of strength, and service was his over-riding concern in work. If you could have been there with him you would have seen that he was not always serious, not often sad, that he laughed and smiled like any other person.

My dears, you are all so precious to me and to my colleagues here. I have often spoken on balance telling you that while one could only cling to their surfboard in the vicissitudes and ups and downs of life, that you will be progressing to the point that you are able to get up and stand, balanced, as you encountered these ups and downs. Now, this is what is happening when you apply yourselves to the task of riding the surfboard of life. You are learning to balance.

Roxie: How do you ride the surfboard when the sea is so calm?

Daniel (Bill): Then perhaps it would be better to jump into the water, hold the surf-board in front of you, and vigorously propel your legs. By doing so you will expend energy and you will go in a direction rather than simply standing idle under the heat of the sun. Roxie, my dear, you are very wise, and you follow the leading of your spirit. I suggest that you continue to find the balance that you need between your periods of relative isolation and interaction with your brothers and sisters, and of course, as one of the teachers of this group, your presence is always appreciated and adds a needed ingredient to the mixture.

Roxie: Thank you. That really is helpful to me.

Closing

Daniel (Bill): My friends, the time has come, and we have enjoyed our visit. Ponder in your hearts the question that I asked you, and if you feel that you are ready to respond in the future, perhaps even as soon as next week, I will allow some time for that opportunity. And now again would you stand and join hands.

Andronason (Bill): This is Andronason. I have been here many times without mention. I desire to offer a prayer to our Universal Father. Please join me.

To you Father of lights, first Source of all that is and Center of our returning home, we worship you, we adore you, and we honor you; for we feel from you that love that transcends all barriers, fills in all the shallow places, and raises all boats with the incoming tide of its loving, overwhelming beauty. Thank you for the gift of personality, that we can relate to other persons, mortal, supermortal, divine and even infinite. At this time of year when the whole universe of Nebadon remembers that Jesus of Nazareth was the incarnation of Michael, we pledge to do our best to enlighten this planet and others who have just begun to emerge from darkness. I thank you Father of Fathers for life itself. Help these my brothers and sisters to continue steadfastly walking their paths, responding to their challenges with optimism, with faith, with knowledge that they, like Jesus, can triumph over the world. Go with them now as they depart, even as you always go with all of us. May all creation worship you. May it be so. Amen.