2001-08-18-Struggling with Exclusion

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Topic: Struggling with Exclusion

Group: Costa Rica TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Alana

TR: S. Butterfield

Session

Opening

Alana : Yes, this is Alana.

David : Welcome, Alana. We have our beloved Sandy with us today, as you probably know.

Alana : Yes.

David : I wanted to say, it was on the tip of my tongue, and I may be scolded by Sandy for not letting you talk yet, maybe she will excuse me, but I was just thinking what a pleasure it was to have Sandy as a part of this group. The "founders" are seated around this table. I want to express my appreciation to her for her solidity, for her endurance, for her good balance and the marvelous way I’ve seen love open up in her. It has been a pleasure to observe my own love for her grow. I just wanted to put that in the record. Thank you.

Sandy : Thank you, David. What a loving thing to say.

Alana : Yes. The founding brothers and sisters. Creating a foundation of love, for love, yes?

David : Yes.

Alana : So, you have some questions for me, yes?

Dialogue

David : Yes, I have, but because I have more opportunity, I’m going to defer to Sandy first.

Sandy : Well, Alana, you are surely aware of the concerns we’ve been expressing.

Alana : Yes.

Sandy : And you’ve given us some guidance already about how to handle this next meeting. But I think over the long term, I need some more guidance about how to extend love to people who are closed. I see P. as somebody who is really still very closed. I know it is fear. He’s got a terrible burden, as you said. What can we do to alleviate that, or help it, or nudge it along. I hate to think of us as exclusive as a group. At the same time I am very conscious to protect what we have so that it can continue. That is where I am, confused as to how to proceed.

Alana : Yes. Exclusion. A concept of the mind, yes? The mind struggling to balance out and interact with other human minds, yes? You may, once again, be reassured this message is for everyone, and will be brought to everyone. If you consider from whom, from whence, the message comes, your anxiety to cross the restrictive notions given to you, "thou shalt never exclude," may be excluded, alleviated. For you will recognize, my beloved, this is not your sole responsibility.

Sandy : Yes, I know that, and perhaps I was being a little bit guilty of the error that we are finding in Oliver. However, this man is coming to us, and obviously he is being driven by some desire for help. And I don’t know how we can do it.

Alana : I would discuss with you, briefly, the notion of change. It has become a common association with the teaching mission, the concept of welcoming change. This group was, indeed, a welcome change, for you as well as others, yes?

Sandy : Yes.

Alana : And in the bounteous gifts, given and received, the focus of attention upon welcoming, welcoming the change, welcoming the teachers, welcoming the change engendered by the teachings, one becomes attached to the original form, the original form of reception, and welcome into a group setting. But if there is an ever constant growth and change toward love, into love, one must surrender the attachments to form. This is true if we speak of the attachment to a particular form of group and group interaction, or the attachment to beauty and a particular form of beauty, even attachment to a particular truth and the particular form and shape of that truth.

You have accurately recognized the need for your beloved transmitter to accommodate her personal challenges, and thus you have recommended to her the possibility that she might, at least for a sufficient period of time, surrender her attachment to the form of group transmitting that she had tenderly nestled in her mental pictures of what the group would be upon her return, and her particular role in the group. You also have correctly identified the purpose of the group. And that, I believe, is what you wish so lovingly to protect.

There is no reason to believe that you, or any member of your group, or the group per se, must, or for that matter, necessarily has the capacity, to meet the expressed needs of any one with whom the group comes in contact by one means or another. I say "expressed need," and by this I mean, expressed verbally, or by verbal, physical, emotional behavior, the need then deduced by the observer, if not expressed with clarity of verbal expression. Thus, I would suggest that you, my beloved, are on the right track already. I wish to say to you, you have achieved a very loving clarity of thought regarding many with whom you discover their difficulty, their difficulties, in relationship, and sensitivity, and respect, or mutual respect. This loving clarity of thought you will apply once again in relationship to this person who raises your concern.

Sandy : Alana, I know you are saying it isn’t our job, it’s God’s job to help people who are burdened. I still have the temptation to play Mr. Fix-it. I know Susan knows whereof I speak.

Alana : Yes, we have rather a labor union of Fix-its in your group, yes? (laughter)

Sandy : Yes.

Alana : My beloved, we speak, yes? We bring to those present, and yes I say present, but not necessarily listening. We bring our messages, our lessons, to many, and many do not hear. We do not ask that those who do not listen be chained to the chair. You may discover that once you have expressed with loving clarity of thought your understanding of the group purpose and your observation of this person’s behavior, shall we say, or shall we say, lack of response to the purpose, you may discover this person chooses to leave his chair empty.

Sandy : I’m beginning to see a road. Thank you, Alana.

Alana : And, should this person choose to stay, then my beloved, you have it clearly understood, yes? The road, as you say, the pathway will have been made clear, yes? And the person thus has the opportunity to agree, to abide by the stated purpose and stated guidelines and structure, and to surrender his own agenda, as you say, or not. Should he not, then, my beloved, I ask you, would you feel guilt or shame that you should open the door and ask him to vacate his seat, so that it might be, perhaps, occupied by another?

Sandy : I don’t think I would feel guilt or shame, but it is always a frightening thing…

Alana : Yes.

Sandy : …emotionally…to invite someone out. I think, with your help, I could do it. I don’t want David or Susie to have to do it.

David : Could I tailgate on that a moment? To use the expression to invite them out…the way Alana expressed it, we wouldn’t be inviting them out, we would be just inviting them to make a choice with clarity. So we don’t invite him out, he makes that choice whether this continues to be a valuable experience for him, or not.

Sandy : Yes. He has to make that choice with the understanding that the consequence may be that he doesn’t show up again on Sunday. So that in a sense, we are presenting him with an invitation "out" as an alternative.

David : That’s our invitation too. We decide, every Sunday, to come here, or be here. And we decide whether to be open to the structure of this thing and the receptivity to the teachers. We can choose not to do that, too. I understand what you are saying, and I feel that same thing that you are feeling…to ask somebody to leave is difficult, you are flunking them, giving them an F. But I think that he will have to make that choice.

Sandy : Yes. Thank you.

Alana : My beloveds, we will speak of two things. One, we will address again, fear-based communication and love-based communication. That is, fear and doubt based communication, and love and faith based communication. Secondly, we will examine the idea of welcome. You, in your heritage of religious and spiritual teachings, have been taught to say, Welcome to All! You base this idea upon the accurate understanding that your Master Teacher, Michael, Jesus, had a heart capacity to welcome all. Welcome all into his heart room. Welcome all into his discipline of love and joy. Welcome all into his ever-present understanding and experience of the presence of the Father, and his Father’s love. You have not been taught to recognize, or even to notice, that he did not invite all into the room of his disciples, into the inner group, shall we say, of twelve. Nor did he invite all into the circle of women who, well, for that matter you have not actually been taught to recognize or acknowledge that circle of women. But had you been so taught, you also would likely not have been told to notice that not every woman was invited to stand in the circle with them. Yes?

David : Yes.

Sandy : Yes. You’ve raised a great curiosity, however, about the circle of women. But I’ll have to ask you about that another time.

Alana : Yes. So, if we were to be naughty we might say, Ah Ha! Even Jesus excluded someone. Yes?

Sandy : Not through his ministry. You are saying that he did not exclude anyone from his ministry. But he did exclude people from his inner circle.

Alana : Yes. Thank you.

Sandy : Thank you. I just wanted to be sure I understood what you were saying.

Alana : Yes. One moment please. Yes. Yes. You might benefit from this: we have trained you in creating a circle of love. Indeed, at this very moment, we might say this is the "original" circle, yes? And the circle allows the welcome reception of one or another to work with this circle of love. To enter into the work of love. But you remain a working circle, yes? You have accomplished much, and still you recognize the discipline of love is a discipline, yes? And so, I do not think you will be offended if I say this, that perhaps the circle, that you are not yet ready to minister. Shall we say that?

Sandy : That is in no way offensive, Alana, because you were talking about that subject earlier in your transmission to David and Susie the other day. Our work is on ourselves. Our work is to transform ourselves into transmitters of love. I understand that perfectly. I was beginning to see, as you were talking, the idea of our circle, I used the metaphor some time ago, is our "filling station" of love. We come every week and we are renewed in our commitment and in our growth and in our love of one another. We are so supportive of one another. Perhaps that is not the place we should be inviting others to attend at this time. I’m feeling that way. It’s become so personal, so unified, and so together, and we are all undergoing such important changes, and we are far from perfect transmitters of God’s love at this stage, although we are certainly better at doing it with each other, and to some degree outside the group. But perhaps this isn’t a group to which we should be inviting others.

Alana : My beloved, I will say this. This is a particularly growthful period for the three of you and others, but I speak now to the three of you. This is a time of growth and deepening of what you have already learned. I will be most gentle. We might acknowledge that some confusion has entered into the relationships to the group because of the transmitter’s absence, because of the transmitter’s travels and even because she transmitted before strangers and other well-established groups. Also, because of the form the group established in the transmitter’s absence, and as well, due to such disruptions, a loss of clarity, shall we say, regarding the structure and purpose, as well, I must say, the…Well, your transmitter sees a thoroughly benign puppy leaping through the grasses. This is the image she receives when I speak of the freedom of the individual mind to believe and establish rules of it’s own. You have said many times already that those who seek, and perhaps even those who do not seek, but do, for one reason or another, stimulate the idea to invite and to include and to welcome them into the group…you have stated many times this is to be done only by the full and mutual consent of those already within the group, those who have already agreed to surrender their fears and doubts, and thus to be vulnerable not only to the teachers, but to those human individuals who are members of the group.

Sandy : Yes, it is so open, that is what is so reinforcing about it for all of us. We are open to you. We are open to the love of God. We are open to each other.

Alana : And, I will now ask that every one in the group who encounters the inclination, shall we say, to welcome another, respect not only the need to invite this person first by presenting the inclination to invite to other group members, but also, please, to present this inclination to me, to Legion, or to Devina.

Sandy : Well, you are part of the group, Alana.

Alana : Yes, thank you for welcoming me into your group. (laughter)

Sandy : I hope that wasn’t presumptuous, or irreverent.

Alana : Not at all. I enjoy a good sense of humor, yes?

David : Yes. When you say "present the inclination to me," what precisely do you mean by that? Let us say that our friend, Mr. Practice, has this inclination more than the rest of us…although I broke the rules in inviting Oliver in the first place.

Alana : Yes.

David : (laughter) Yes, you remember. I guess when someone brings up that they want to invite somebody, the whole business of "the inclination to invite" is put on the table and could be looked at through the eyes of love and experience that we have in the group.

Alana : Yes, my beloved. We will not make you the focus of attention at the moment. Your attention has already been alerted. However, let us examine briefly that the disturbance presently dominating your thoughts, yours, Sandy’s, the transmitters, are the result of one being invited. To not be able to say "No," is still an invitation, the door is left open; be it the invitation to give (for you, Sir David, who needs to give, not saying no is still needing to give), or be it the invitation to come. Is this clear, my beloveds?

Sandy : Yes. Very clear.

Alana : Thank you. It is always, especially for the human being, a pleasure to say Yes to the idea that you are "so very gracious," shall we say. (laughter) But one should remember, grace is given. Grace is received. Grace is allowed in the reception to transform you, and once fully, deeply, completely, received into the still-point of the stillness of your heart’s communion with God, then grace is given away by you to another. We have emphasized this now, several times, yes? It is not the tropical rainstorm pouring through the gutter! It is God’s love and grace being given to his children upon the planet, his sons and daughters, the brothers and sisters in God’s love. Forgive me, I became rather pulpit-like in my reverence for that of which I speak. God’s love and grace is given to you as a gift to be received. A gift then to be treasured and understood, and then a gift, a treasure, an understanding to be given away to others. Thank you.

Sandy : Oh thank you, Alana. If you were pulpit-like, we know it was driven by love. Thank you.

Alana : Thank you. And yes, I think you understand. Yet even the twelve disciples went through a longer period of time (than ourselves in our circle) in the Master’s circle before they were sent out upon the mission. And, I am sure, our beloved Sir David would be willing to remind you, even then they did not fully understand, totally, completely. And your beloved circle, you have been with our transmitted messages only a very short period of time, thus you have quite naturally stumbled into distress for failing to recognize the importance of submitting your personal ideas of how to minister to our loving, but nevertheless, demanding scrutiny.

Yes, we wish to speak of fear-based, doubt based communication, and love-based communication, yes?

David : Yes, and how marvelous that after that incredibly long lecture, that you could remember where you started. Thank you.

Sandy : (laughter) I don’t think Alana suffers from the same limitations we do.

David : I agree with you.

Alana : I would be willing to suggest that he finds it remarkable that the transmitter’s capacity to transmit allows for my long digressions with still the return to my point. I do enjoy to tickle his feathers from time to time. This he finds remarkable because it is not one of the transmitter’s greater abilities (to follow a long digression and still remember her beginning point). Yes?

David : (laughter) Yes. I loved this line, Alana. We all had a great laugh about it when we read it earlier. "And the results have been so significant to your relationship," and this line, especially, this phrase, "that actual learning has taken place." (laughter) We thought that was very funny, amusing.

Alana : Thank you.

David : And now back to fear based and love based communication. We need more examples that you could give us. We need all the help that we can get.

Alana : Yes, might I ask a question? Do, either one of you, now have less fear, and less doubt?

Sandy : Yes, absolutely.

Alana : And thus, are you now, able to imagine a more love based communication with members of your group, both….correction….a love based communication to this particular person of greatest concern?

Sandy : Yes.

David : Yes.

Sandy : That’s what I meant when I said that I was beginning to see a road.

Alana : Yes.

David : Sandy read a communication to us that I think was a marvelous example of love based communication (her letter to you, Oliver).

Alana : Yes. And you, my friend, might you compare your anticipation, and thus the many imagined and anticipated conversations with your daughter, compare these with your two conversations, one upon the telephone, the message, "I love you. I miss you. You are my daughter." And the other conversation in which you expressed to her, and described to her, many painful things, yet not once did you speak to her in fear. Not once did you doubt your speaking. Not once did you loose contact with your love for her.

David : Yes, I still have that experience when I think of her. It is a wonderful shift.

Alana : Then my beloved, you have what I call "actual learning," real learning, yes?

David : Touche. Yes. Yes.

Alana : Holding the painful, the fear, and the doubt in the stillness-point of your heart room. Holding your daughter in the stillness-point of your heart room. Surrendering your pain, your fear, your doubt, your daughter, to me. And after the full surrender, you experience only love. You experience only the stillness. You experience that still-point which is God’s love, which has, holds and emanates God’s joy. And from God’s love, with God’s joy, you stepped forth and spoke the truth with love and welcomed your daughter into your family circle of love, included her beloved partner, included her beloved daughter, and ministered. Yes?

David : Yes. I’m reminded that our transmitter and Sandy had almost identical experiences with their families as well.

Alana : Yes, and now you struggle with the family of God. Yes?

David : (laughter) Yes.

Alana : Did I tell you it would be easy?

David : (laughter) I don’t recall.

Sandy : No.

Alana : So much fear and doubt among human beings, yes?

David : Yes.

Alana : It is not surprising that one should touch off another, should touch off another, and fear and doubt go rampaging, yes? And stir the emotions, yes? And so do not wag those fingers at yourselves, yes? And recognize true learning happens in that still-point of communion with God.

Yes, is there more? Would you speak to me longer?

David : I have a question. It has to do with the question that I asked Devina last time, which was, what was the key to light-heartedness. She responded, "Surrender." I acquiesced that that indeed I understood, and then, when you were just talking about my daughter, I recognized that the part of my surrender in my stillness was to surrender to the love that I had felt for her. That was the key to movement in my life. This overpowered whatever fear or doubt I had. The question I had, however, has to do with, How do we remain openhearted, and surrender to our experiences, without experiencing being trampled upon by the various injustices that we feel from other people and our conditions in life.

Alana : You do not. Let me explain further. You do not surrender to injustices and remain open hearted. That is, not if you then experience being "trampled" on. That is either enraged, or panicked, or revengeful. You must understand, there are those who rage against the light. Who say,"I have surrendered. I have surrendered time and again. And I have surrendered again and again. And I am surrendering now, and how come I feel no love, no joy? How come my life is in a shambles?" Your beloved, Devina, would say, light-heartedness, my friend, comes from….

David : Surrender.

Alana : Surrender, she would say. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender. Yes. You made one slight error in your description of your approach to your daughter. You said that you surrendered to the love that you "had" for her, as your daughter for many years. That love is past, my friend. Already loved, yes? The surrender is this. You surrender all your fears, your doubts, your troubles to God, Father, Mother, Michael, Alana, Devina, Song. You surrender these to the heart room. God’s love pours down, fills your heart room, and you, filled with love, give this love away.

God’s gift to you was a daughter to love. The daughter you call Rebeka, but not so different from the daughter, or sister, you call Sandy, yes? A gift to love. It is God’s gift to you, once received, to love. You, many times, have loved with a few conditions attached to the gift of love, yes? And among human beings this has become, one might say, a practice. I mean no criticism, but here with me, it is the practice of the stillness, the practice of the discipline of love, which is the discipline of joy. You will, I am sure, notice and agree, that here it is your ability to surrender ALL that you must master. Father, Mother, I surrender my thoughts. Michael, I surrender my judgement. God, I surrender all to your love. May your love fill me. It is in this receptivity, in my welcome, in my acceptance of your gift of love, that I experience your joy. Then I know, without fear, without doubt, without criticism, that I am loved, and I give my love away. Do you understand?

David : (pause) Yes.

Alana : What I am saying is that many times one believes one is open-hearted, when a small part of the heart has been shut away. Thus comes the plea, how does one stay open-hearted before misery, before war, before cruelty, before simple misunderstanding. Repeated time and time again, Where oh God does one receive the patience to stay open-hearted? And I say, Surrender that little part of your heart that has been secreted away. Then we shall discuss this open-heartedness that you seek, yes?

David : Yes.

Alana : Thank you.

Sandy : It is obvious to me, I think I have experienced it a few times, that surrendering all makes room for the love of God to fill your heart.

Alana : Surrendering all.

Sandy  : And that when doing so, you must feel light-hearted, because the burdens are no longer there. You are just filled with love and light.

Alana : Yes.

Sandy : And it is almost giddy making, the joy that we have. I wish we could do that all the time.

Alana : Yes. Surrendering all. Allow God’s love to fill your heart room, to fill your heart, to fill you, and thus you become as light hearted as God.

David : I think you’ve made this very straight, but there are these two ideas in my head that I would like to share with you. On the one hand, I am thinking of the story that I read in the text, where Jesus is invited to breakfast with the Pharisees, and because he didn’t wash his hands, there is a lot of whispering going on about his hands, and so on. And the up and up of this is that he got up, and he spoke to these guys, but he left and he didn’t eat breakfast with them. Somehow or another this cheers my heart. I don’t know why, but it does. I compare that with the fact that he surrendered his life, in the way that he died, there was a tremendous surrender to injustice in this situation, the killing of an innocent man. I don’t know just what kind of a surf line Jesus was surfing on there. I don’t know if you even see this as a problem. I’m just throwing it out there for whatever comments you could make on that.

Alana : Jesus surrendered all to love. To love. To love. You might say, it was the heavy hearted concept of God that allowed the washing of hands to become more important than the welcome of a beloved guest, who would only speak of love. You might say it was the heavy hearted concept of God that created the injustice of which you speak. Jesus did not surrender to injustice. He surrendered the injustice, or what fear or doubt or human concern for injustice might have troubled his human mind. He surrendered the doubt, or injustice, to God. But Jesus surrendered ALL to God, the Father, Mother. Jesus surrendered all to love. Jesus surrendered all to God that his Father's love may, through him, be given away, even upon the cross. Yes?

David : Yes.

Alana : Is there more?

David : Yes, of course. (laughter) There is a marvelous passage in the text in which Jesus is teaching his teachers saying, Tell my people that I am tender hearted toward them, but also, in that same passage, with some incredibly strong language, he says, but I am implacable against those who would go against the will of my Father. There seems to be almost a militant side to that statement, in what Jesus was offering as a way for people to view him.

Alana : "Militant" is the concept of your human mind trained to believe that might makes right, I think you say. That one must militarize one’s forces in order to rampage the earth with your truth! This question you raise, has more to do with what your beloved Devina once said. Jesus was not shy with the truth, although I do not believe Devina was speaking of Jesus at the time. She was, I believe, encouraging you and the transmitter, "Do not be shy with the truth." This is to say, God’s love is real. God’s love, pouring down upon you, is a real gift. It is the truth. It is the truth of your heart. It is God’s will that you know this love within your heart. Receive. Allow God’s love to fill your heart. And then to give it away. Jesus never shied away from this truth. And when another, especially one who would claim to be doing God’s will, or one who would claim to be loving, when another, through misunderstanding, or self-will fed by self-aggrandizement, when one refuses God’s will, the truth of love, of God’s love…(telephone interruption)…and so, the punch line, yes?

David : (laughter) Ok, ready.

Alana : And so, Jesus never backed away from speaking this truth, of God’s love, even when the speaking must be understood as harsh, abrupt. Do you suppose they called him rude for walking out of the breakfast meeting, ignoring the self-righteous belief that they were not rude, it was he. Love is not always communicated by pictures of hearts and flowers. And standing tall does not necessarily mean, nor is it relegated only to your handsome military bearing, yes?

David : Yes.

Alana : Have you understood. Has my response deepened your understanding and lessened your perplexity?

David : Yes.

Alana : Thank you. And is there more, my beloved Sandy?

Sandy : I’m still thinking about ministering. And what you said earlier about, this isn’t the word you used, but I need to submit to you our idea of ministry and your helping us to understand our ministry more thoroughly before we embark on it. I’d like to give more thought to that, not now, because I know the transmitter is probably getting tired, but I’d like to give some thought to this, and talk to you more about that. And perhaps it would be helpful to do this with the group tomorrow, especially with Oliver there.

Alana : Yes, there are many levels of ministry, and they are taken one baby step at a time. Yes, I would very much enjoy further discussion with you regarding your own understanding and action of ministry, as well to enter into a discussion of the meaning and practice of ministry within the group.

Closing

Sandy : Thank you, Alana. And thank you so much for being here today, and including me. I missed talking with you last Sunday. That may have been part of our distress, I’m not sure…(laughter)…we sort of missed our "fix."

Alana : Yes. You may know, without doubt, and without fear, that you "missed," and that our conversations were missed, equally, by me. And yes, even if it was not thought about as the essential distress, nevertheless, that indeed was a source of great distress for you and others and you are not to feel ashamed.

Sandy : Oh no, I don’t. Thank you. No, I feel no shame. There’s no room for shame here.

Alana : Then my mission today, I might say, has been accomplished, yes? As they say on your t-v.

Sandy : Alana, I can not believe you are watching television.

Alana : Yes, we do confess a concern for the use of human methods of communication for…

Sandy : …for so much violence and pain and suffering.

Alana : Yes. Still, we join with you in the joy of communicating the heart room, yes?

Sandy : Yes.

David : Yes.

Alana : Thank you.

Sandy : Well, I don’t know about you, David, but I feel pretty light hearted.

David : (laughter) Any time I’m laughing, I feel light hearted, don’t you?

Sandy : (laughing) Yes. Thank you, Alana.