2001-02-02-Mistakes

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Topic: Mistakes

Group: Pocatello TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Daniel

TR: Bill K.

Session

Opening

Prayer (Virginia): Father, First Source and Center: as we come together tonight, meet the deep needs of each heart. Help us to find moment by moment fellowship with you and to know your will as we make our decisions on this plane. As we listen tonight to the teachers give us insight that will help us to make less mistakes, and lead us on to the path of perfection that we all desire. Amen.

Daniel (Bill, Isaac): Greetings, my friends, my beloved students, my companions, I am Daniel, your guide, your teacher, your proud mentor. It is with great pleasure that I greet you this evening and let you know once again how my heart fills with love and pleasure to be in the midst of your company.

I will speak on behalf of Isaac for just a moment. He has been somewhat nervous because the topic was announced ahead of time, which tempted him to give it some thought, and produced those uncomfortable feelings of self-doubt. I wish to assure him at this point, (and you may strike this from the record at your judgement,) that despite his worries I, Daniel, will direct this teaching. If you are having difficulty in understanding the dilemma of being a TR, I would recommend that you attempt this difficult process for it combines the feeling of speaking in front of peers with the unconscious fears and issues of self esteem, which vary, of course, with the speaker, the TR involved.

Lesson

Error, Self Esteem

The reality of imperfection is a fundamental fact of this universe experience. Our whole career consists in the process of perfection attainment. We are destined to be perfected; we do not begin in that condition. Because of the culture in which you have been raised, (You were taught that there was once a perfect beginning and a fall from that perfection which then cursed all humankind with guilt and sin of another's doing.) the whole topic of making mistakes and being imperfect is weighed down with an inappropriate sense of guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are two of the most destructive emotions that have been foisted upon Urantians by this tragic, erroneous misconception of original sin. Therefor, when the topic of mistakes is discussed the straight forward rationality of it is so loaded with irrational feelings of guilt and shame that there is great difficulty in separating the difference between error, (making mistakes), and sin, (choosing deliberately to do the wrong or erroneous thing). Consequently, when people make mistakes they feel guilty for it arouses this confusion in their minds. Your self esteem is thereby damaged greatly for it is thrown back into that primitive shame and guilt of beingness, of the very existence of being born in sin as a member of the human race.Our textbook is very clear on this matter, and it is of great importance that this be understood. There is no innate sin upon each newborn child of Urantia. Children are born under the smile of God and with approval of the universe. They are God's children! You are God's children likewise, not born perfect, for this is not a perfect universe, but born with great potential, the potential to develop to the point where the mortal individual becomes the host for the divine spirit of The First Source and Center, and a potential being of Finaliter status. When it is understood that it is impossible in the universe of progressive evolution and transformative creation to ever achieve, either in a mythical past or in the current status, the state of perfection; when it is understood that this is not a possibility, and when it is further understood that there is no state of perfection that human kind has fallen from, then can your self esteem assume realistic proportions.

Why should there be any grief over making mistakes, given these facts, my friends? You see, the grief is due to these false beliefs that I have been speaking about. Mistakes are merely the inevitable results of incomplete knowledge, imperfect judgement and the need for experimentation. The purpose of mistakes is uniformly and completely one thing only, to serve as a platform for further growth and progress. Mistakes are not failures. They are not shameful. They are simply inevitable, and they are to be viewed entirely as learning experiences.

Now, granted, people, and all of you at times, fail to learn from mistakes. It was also true with me when I was a mortal. However, our world did not harbor the massive delusion that this planet is still filled with of a mythical past time of perfection origin. Part of the reason that people do not learn from mistakes is because of the great shame in admitting them. Because it is not understood that mistakes are inevitable, normal and positive, or at least neutral in their impact, people deny that they have been erroneous in their thinking, feeling, or behavior, and therefor persist in making the same error repeatedly. You have a saying, "It is insanity to do the same thing and expect a different result," [1] and this is accurate.

So, my friends, the value of mistakes is in their interpretation. If they are interpreted as shameful failure then, indeed, does this woeful pattern persist. But when it is understood that this is the very nature of evolving reality, to build upon a mistake, learning the error, and therefor avoiding it in the future, then mistakes can become your best friends.

Sin

Finally, let me say that when mistakes are clearly understood and erroneous ways are clearly defined, should an individual decide to continue those, consciously knowing that they are erroneous and wrong, then such a person is in very dangerous territory indeed! They are committing a conscious rebellion against the reality that God has created. That is the definition of sin, which, if persisted in, becomes habitual and is then iniquitous. None of you are in this situation, but I merely add that as a postlude to this other commentary.

I will at this time complete this installment of our curriculum on self-esteem and allow you to react or ask questions. There are other teachers here, of course, and they will be glad to partner with you in this discussion. The floor is now open.

Dialogue

Lareen: Daniel, I had a problem with the word justice. I can't seem to put it in proper perspective. When I hear the word it sounds like judgement to me. Can your give me an explanation of the word justice, please?

Daniel (Bill): My dear, I will not at this time answer your question because I wish to see if there are concerns with tonight's lesson. However, I will not forget your question. I would ask you to hold off and see if others will ask about the concepts presented, and then we will deal with yours. Is that acceptable?

Lareen: Very much. Thank you.

Lori: I have a question, Daniel. Does everyone in the general population have the ability to learn from mistakes; and why is it that some people can make the same mistakes over and over, not critical or harmful mistakes, but simple mistakes? So does everybody have the same capability to learn from mistakes, or some capability?

Daniel (Bill): You are concerned with the varied reaction that people have to the process of making mistakes; why it is that some continue to repeat them and whether or not everyone is equally capable of making progress. Do I understand you questions correctly?

Lori: Yes.

Daniel (Bill): Well, my dear, there is variation in people's ability to comprehend. That is simply a fact, and those who have greater ability, intelligence, have the potential to learn faster and to learn a greater amount of information. They have the capacity. They have the potential. But as I was describing earlier, many people refuse to learn from their mistakes. They will not call them what they are, mistakes, for fear that they will be overcome with guilt and shame, and so they deny that they have made a mistake. For example, the alcoholic typically refuses to learn from the mistakes of his or her excessive drinking because they are unwilling to entertain the idea that there might be something about themselves which is different than other people. They employ what your doctors and others call "denial", which is a defense against the perceived shame and guilt of admitting their mistake, their problem, with alcohol. So they don't seem to learn from their mistakes, as it were. There are many other factors going on here with this example, but that is one aspect.

Lori: Is shame so ingrained in some people that they continue to make just simple mistakes too, not just mistakes that are self destructive, that maybe can just obstruct daily lives not in harmful ways, just to make it more difficult? Is that how deep shame goes with this process?

Daniel (Bill): Can you give me an example of this error that is possibly not self-destructive?

Resistance

Lori: Well, say you've taught someone how to do a simple procedure, but they just simply won't do that, and therefor it amounts to small things getting destroyed, or ruined, or things like that. It doesn't seem deliberate. It just seems that they won't learn.

Daniel (Bill): There are people who decide, for various reasons, that they are not going to trust the advice of others, and, even though they are shown repeatedly a more effective way to do things, resist that advice. They do so because they feel that if they accept that kind of learning it demeans their worth. It means that they are dependent; it means they are like children and have to learn from others. They have decided that they will learn everything only from within themselves. This is another source of the unwillingness or inability to learn from error because they think that they should learn all things through their own minds. This is the perversity of the rejection of legitimate authority which pervades your culture and results in antisocial behavior among children and adults. All mortal races have these strains, but in your case on Urantia, with the failure of Adamic upstepping and the lack of cooperation from the rebellious Planet Prince, these tendencies are still there in greater numbers than should be true of races as advanced technologically as you are.

Part of the reason that people refuse wise help from others is a self-esteem issue. They have either decided that they are not worthy of that help, (all of this unconsciously), or they have decided that no one is trustworthy, that they must defend themselves and stick up for themselves; and all of these things can come out of very traumatic experiences as children. Am I touching at all on what you are asking?

Lori: Yes, you answered it completely. Thank you.

Virginia: Daniel, as you know I have carefully not talked to Bill about this subject this week, but I thought about the things you told me to do last Saturday and I want to confirm whether that was you or that was my own mind when I wrote down those things to ponder?

Daniel (Bill): I spoke with you. Your self-doubt plagues you at times, my dear. Be assured that you hear me correctly.

Virginia: Thank you, Daniel, and really you touched on issues tonight that you asked me to ponder, whether or not the mistakes I have made were without knowledge or whether it was self-will, or whether or not it was something else. (I can't find the list, but I didn't show it to Bill.) [[[Laughter]].]

Daniel (Bill/Isaac): Isaac was not aware of what I was going to say even though he gave it some considerable thought, and he was happy to hear that I am responsible for these teachings. And you, my dear, your ears hear well the spiritual messages that are coming to you.

Authority

Virginia: Thank you very much, Daniel. I do have a question, and I probably know what you are going to answer, but what is it that I, and probably since I have been coming to believe we are all alike, finally, (I used to not think that.) why is it when I am assertive and do something that I feel is just, and that comes to Lareen's question, why is it we feel guilty when we do something that is just in a situation? Is it that we are selfish or is it our low self-esteem? You know this week I was assertive and got my way, and now I feel guilty.

Daniel (Bill): My dear Letah/Virginia, each person has to answer those questions for themselves ultimately. I can talk in general terms, and some of what I might say would be specifically applicable to you, but it is not my place to tell you those things. You need to discover if the shoe fits , and then wear it', you see.

I will say some things in general, however. There is a tradition of respect for elders in all the cultures of the world which is taught to children and has a sound basis, namely that people with more experience have the right to share their experience with those who have less experience, whether this be parent to child, teacher to student, elder statesman to younger statesman. Whatever the particular parameters to this relationship are, the principle is the person with greater experience has by virtue of greater experience the authority to speak as one who has wisdom. But this principle has been distorted so that the structure of the relationship, as in parent to child, or boss to employee has within itself the authority, rather than the wisdom which should be the result of the experience of years. Therefor when someone rebels against another person in that position of authority, (again this refers to the structure) there is an emotional consequence which results in an automatic guilt feeling for violating the structure of authority, a student who challenges a teacher, for example. However when two people have equal experience-authority and one is in the position of what is purportedly higher authority, e.g. let us say an older student is learning from a younger teacher a particular skill, that older student will feel more free to challenge the younger teacher, and yet experience in that challenge conflicting feelings: one feeling being that they know they are right, which is close to your situation; and yet the other feeling being the guilt of breaking the taboo of challenging authority. Do you understand what I am saying here?

Virginia: Yes, Daniel, I do.

Daniel (Bill): Another reason people feel guilty when they stand up for themselves is not only that they break the taboo of authority at times, but that it is not considered to be "nice." You have been taught in your cultures to be nice, rather than to be truthful, compassionate, forgiving, and nonjudgmental. To be nice is simply to comply with the rules of society. To be honest, which is well illustrated by the life of our Master, is to often come into conflict and to challenge the rules of society. When one does not keep the rules, conscience (which is the source of guilt feelings, by the way, not the indwelling Spirit) then exacts the price of guilt. Do you understand what I am saying at this point?

Virginia: Yes I do, Daniel.

Daniel (Bill): Has this been helpful?

Thought, Feeling

Virginia: Yes it has, Daniel. I just wish I could erase the feelings, and that's hard.

Daniel (Bill): It is my purpose to change your thinking because when your thinking changes your feelings will follow suit. This is an accurate rule of thumb which your psychology has discovered only in the last few years, for indeed it is your perspective, your thinking that is our greatest concern, for there is the secret of changing your feelings. Therefor, your behaviors will become more pleasant and more stress free. I am not saying you will not have distress and problems. No, but you will be better able to handle them. In this regard think of Jesus at his trial, the end of his life. Of all the people in those rooms he was the most majestic and stress free of all the actors on that stage of tragedy. That is the goal. This is what we are about for you people and for ourselves as well. Are there any other questions or comments? [Pause.] Very well, I will conclude our meeting this evening.

Virginia: Daniel, are you going to deal with justice this evening?

Lareen: No, he did. My question about justice concerned judgement, and when he answered your question, he answered mine.

Daniel (Bill):Lareen, my dear, I am glad that you were satisfied without a direct answer. I will take a second if you have anything that you would like to tie up along that line, but if you feel satisfied I will proceed to conclude the meeting.

Lareen: I feel satisfied, thank you.

Closing

Daniel (Bill): My friends, I wish that you once again join together with arms around each other. Let us pray.

Oh great Love, the Father of the universe, we your children worship you, adore you, admire you, desire your constant company. Hold these, my little brothers and sisters, in warmest embrace as they move away from the hobgoblins of fear, shame and guilt which have harassed them as they harass all on this planet. May the light of your lovely, totally accepting and redeeming love fill their minds and their hearts so that they can look at each other in new wonder as they look at a sister and at a brother. As one great family of God, send them home with joy. Amen.