2002-07-26-Reviewing Negative Views of Being In The Flesh
Topic: Reviewing Negative Views of Being in the Flesh
Group: Pocatello TeaM
Teacher: Daniel, Minearisa, Klarixiska
Affirmation/Prayer(Minearisa): "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us". May the words of tonight's interaction become flesh and blood in your lives even as you interact with each other as physical, mental, and spiritual beings. Forsake the idea that flesh is base and ignoble, for it is the will of God to take upon Himself, in the person of God the Eternal Son, the nature of humanity, in order to experience the pleasure of living in the flesh.
We offer to You, Father, Son, and Spirit, Who dwells within us and acts upon us, these our personalities expressed in this vehicle of flesh and blood. Sanctify them and help us to accept ourselves as we are, of animal origin, but Paradise bound. Amen.
Daniel(Bob S.): This is Daniel, your teacher, guide, friend, stalwart supporter, and occasional purveyor of lessons; however, not tonight. It is my esteemed pleasure to greet all of you this evening, for we have a magnificent program planned. However, it went out the window! Your preliminary discussions tonight made it clear to us that we had to change our plans and come up with a new program for your enthusiastic and curious attitudes. So it is my duty to kick off tonight's program, but others will provide the substance. I hope this meets with your pleasure.
Before we begin are there questions any would like to raise about last week's lesson? (Pause) Very well, we shall proceed. I will turn the time over to Minearisa.
In your culture you are a paradoxical, puzzling, and at times very frustrating mixture of two opinions in regards to your physicality, your physical existence. The one tradition coming from your Greek ancestors and manifest in Victorian/Puritan morality does not celebrate the existence of the physical realm, but views it as a veil of tears, a scene of punishment administration and the natural world as a foe to be battled, struggled with and conquered. Even your English language, as it was used in the presentation of the Urantia Papers, conveys misleading nuances when the term, "animal nature", is used in the book. It is difficult to shade that phrase, "animal nature", in such a way that it doesn't capture negative hues in its coloration. It suggests to many people the idea that the physical body and the physical world is less desirable and somehow tainted with evil. To ascribe to the animal nature inherent negative qualities is theologically problematic for then the question inevitably arises, "What is God about if He or His Creator Sons are creating this sort of stuff?"
The other tradition, in almost schizophrenic like contrast, is the idea that the physical is the ultimate aspect of reality; that one should glory in their physical nature. This point of view as it is expressed in many native religions is closer to the truth than the first point of view. Its positive aspects are that it acknowledges your continuity with your animal cousins, that it affirms that you evolved from physical life forms. It is positive in that it recognizes the connection you have with the rest of your material environment. It is mythological where it does not have the companionship of revelation to clarify the nature of Deity. But, from a primitive understanding and from the information available to it when these myths were constructed, it is more faithful to the true nature of the "animal nature". When it has been perverted it has been to the exclusion of the spiritual realm, which has not been true in native religions, but rather the decadence of disappointment from those who are disillusioned with Victorian/Puritan morality and physical negativism, and who consequently embrace unabashedly the view that we are "nothing more than animals". Today the worship of materialism is a perversion of this second opinion, that the material realm is the all important realm.
The very difficult job that we have before us as teachers is to bring these two apparently polar opposite views together and weld them into one unified understanding. We have addressed the fact that you are both of animal origin and of divine origin; that in your animal/human body is housed, as in a temple, the very presence of the Eternal God, Who willingly submits Himself to the decisions of the human personality expressed through the human and therefore the animal nature of the human mind.
God, the Eternal Son, down-steps Himself in each of His Bestowal Sons in order to experience all the levels of creation including what has been called the lowest, (meaning the most fundamental, rather than the least value level),the level of mortal existence. If mortal existence in the physical realm were tainted with inherent evil then the Gnostics would be correct. The Gods would not approve of or participate in life in the flesh. But, of course, the Gnostics are wrong, for the flesh is the wonderful experiment of the Life Carriers as they have designed the personality vehicles from animal origins to the point where those vehicles, through their mind endowments, are capable of contact with divinity.
Since this world has received its Bestowal Son, Who was also the Creator Son, all normal minded mortals routinely receive their Spirit Endowment, the Thought Adjusters. You are very privileged in this regard. It is part of your apostleship, your morontia conscious life, to combine in your understanding and your behavior the sanctity of your life as a mortal, passing between the extremes of puritanical rejection of the flesh and hedonistic worship of the flesh; and by the union of divinity with humanity demonstrate in your life the best way, the truth that you are creatures of flesh and blood, created by the command and design of those universe Creators and Administrators whom the Father has so designated.
Give up the discomfort that you may feel toward your physical appearance. (Chuckling) Reserve your carping criticism of the Life Carriers's plan regarding your aging process to the time when you have more information. Remember that your mortal life is a bridge so that you should not build your house on it. Rather you should use that bridge to transport those treasures which last forever from one side of the bridge to the other.
We have repeatedly emphasized that the mortal life is terribly important. That is because we understand that the experience of being in flesh and blood is unique. It is a one time experience. While there is provision for deficiency rectification in the mansion world experiences, still this does not mean that you can be irresponsible or cavalier about your mortal career. Try and do all you can to walk this mortal life on the same path that our Lord and Master, Jesus, did, so that you can say that you truly are His followers, that you walk where He walked.
Your hands, your arms, your bodies were designed to be in contact with other hands, arms, bodies. There is a natural emotional and spiritual overtone to the touching of flesh with each other. It is unfortunate that the fear of possible negative consequences has made your already schizophrenic culture shy away from physical expressions of love, of companionship, of approval, of pleasure. But I expect that the natural impulse to touch and hold each other will overcome this fear and that the last word will not be the teaching which causes everyone to look over their shoulder in suspicion and view each other as threatening, rather than as brothers and sisters.
When the Urantia Book says not to be discouraged by the fact that you are human, it is fighting against that impulse that some people feel expressed in these words, "How come somebody as noble, bright, and high minded as I am is stuck in this crummy body!" (Chuckling). Your body is not crummy! (Laughter) Your body is an incredibly complex instrument of personality expression. The Life Carriers are very proud of their work. In fact, on this experimental planet, with a few exceptions, they feel that they have accomplished their goals. Now, my friends, I will terminate my lecture and initiate conversation. Would you care to interact with these thoughts? The floor is yours.
Minearisa: Would you rephrase your statement?
LaReen: I'm just being a wisenheimer. Your description makes it a little easier to swallow. Thank you.
Minearisa: Perhaps some degree of accuracy is implied in your statement, my dear, because there is a more clear cut confusion in the minds of people who are of the fundamentalist bent, since they clearly teach the negative aspects of being physical. But the confusion is much more generalized than merely that particular point of view. It is cultural, however, because there are native cultures which do not view being physical in the same way.
Perhaps some of you are thinking, "This business doesn't apply to me. I don't have any problems being a physical being. I look in the mirror and I approve of what I see." But I suggest to you that you may not always approve of what you see, especially if it doesn't comply with the standards of your culture. And, perhaps, you don't approve of what you see because you know that you have not been caring for your body as well as you should. Part of the disrespect shown to the body is in allowing it to become misshapen ( too much food and too little exercise), reflects lack of esteem for it, you see. To imagine yourself as disconnected and unrelated to your body is a form of that negative denial that I earlier referred to. (Sighing) Are these difficult words to hear, my friends?
Ken: They are not difficult to hear, difficult, perhaps to understand. Perhaps in reading this transcript I can understand it better. You made so many points this evening, so many points. I will read it and read it and understand it better. Thank you.
Minearisa: I appreciate your honesty, Ken, in clarifying the slight tension I sense in the air. I was of the tentative opinion that my words may have been a bit too close to home at times. Perhaps, I simply piled on too much food and it is spilling over the edges of your plate.
Virginia: Minearisa, sometimes I have said in jest, but also that I somewhat believe it...that "I am not my body"! I am thinking when I say that it's certainly getting harder to move in certain areas. The aging process is here but I am trying hard to grow old graciously and gracefully. But I am also not my body; hopefully that which is most valuable to me is the aspect of the soul that is going to continue. Now I do know that the teachers have been pushing balance and I am somewhat in balance when I look at the physical and the spiritual and the mental. I guess I am not my body. I am what I value the most and that is my soul growth.
Minearisa: True. Your essence is your soul and in that sense you are correct. However, you have a physical form that you reside in. You are expressed through your body, through your speech, through your actions. It would be error to say, "Since my essence is my soul, it doesn't matter how I care for this personality vehicle, my body...whether or not I treat it properly, give it enough rest, feed it properly and use it as an expression of service." Your soul, by itself, cannot express love and service within the mortal realms. The body is indispensable to you as a vehicle of your expression. You could say about driving an automobile, "I am not the automobile", which is true. But the automobile does not drive itself, you have to drive it. Therefor, the body does not operate automatically in most aspects; you have to be the one in charge of it. Do you understand what I am getting at here?
Virginia: Yes, Minearisa. That's a very good point. Without the body you cannot be, you cannot do. Thank you.
Minearisa: Yes. You will always have a personality vehicle. It is not correct to think that once you reach Spirit status you have no personality vehicle. For there is a spiritual "body" as a pattern of expression of your personality. The morontia form, as you know from Jesus' resurrection appearances, appears somewhat physical, although different, because it is a mix of spiritual and physical. There is always a "vehicle" of personality expression for we are created beings. So the body is not to be despised, neglected, discounted, or glorified. It is a tool of your expression, of yourself.
Bob S.: I am not sure, Minearisa, what you are saying about Carol's question. What happens when the body is so affected that it is difficult or impossible to grow spiritually? Where does our individual responsibility lie there? What are we supposed to do when we get chronic depression and it is literally out of our control? What is our responsibility there?
Minearisa: The principle that is expressed in the understanding of effective prayer applies here. The principle is that you must do all that you can at the physical level to solve a problem before you appeal for supernatural help. Many people don't want to do all that can be done at the physical level and therefor expect God to set aside His laws which operate in the physical realm and produce the results they wish by other means, so called miraculous, supernatural, spiritual, or metaphysical means, whatever term you may use. So that principle applies to Carol's concern.
Your science is understanding mental illness better and better as time goes on. It is now accepted that there is a genetic predisposition to certain temperamental types. Some temperamental types are more prone to depression. Others are more prone to aggression. Some are more prone to other manifestations such as attentional difficulties, anger control problems, alcoholism and other drug addictions. So there is a genetic component in all of this. Those people who have a family history of depression have to accept that they are more prone to it. Then, the next area of information which is useful is the discovery that stress is handled in many people by a resulting imbalance in the brain chemistry which coupled with depressive genetics may manifest itself as that kind of chronic depression. Yes, of course, severe depression is so physically debilitating because it is a physical/chemical imbalance where a person is not in their right mind and therefor cannot use their faculties in a normal manner. The business of choosing to be cheerful on a daily basis would be outside the realm of possibility for such a one.
Now, as to what to do, the answer is to seek the proper, appropriate, medical help which is available today in the form of medication, counseling, exercise, and the avoidance of isolation. All of these things are necessary for a person to recover from the illness. When you become physically ill with pneumonia most people don't stay home and pray that it will go away. They seek a physician to assist them or go to a hospital for support.
Bob: But some do not respond to that and they do die. But that is the result of their own choosing, I assume. But what about the case of the person whose existence is really is out of their hands? They are depressed to the point that they can't function. They are in chronic pain and they can't function; a myriad of things that could happen. Does the responsibility fall to their friends? At that point do we become our brother's keeper?
Minearisa: What do you think? (Comment: That's a hard one.)
Bob: Do I have to answer that?
Minearisa: Seriously, now, what do you think?
Bob: Well, it falls to the friends or society. I think that society has a role to play there. The problem is that a lot of the things that you are talking about, society doesn't recognize. The efficacy of prayer only after all human resources are exhausted. I talked about that to some of my religious friends and they don't accept that. I don't think that idea is generally accepted. In our society we don't seem to have a role to play for people who are seriously mentally ill. Years ago we turned them all loose and now a third of the homeless are estimated to be seriously mentally ill.
Virginia: I am reminded of a relative at this point who certainly has society helping, who has had the best of advice, and this person chooses not to exercise, to spend all day drinking diet coke and smoking and laughing at any direction that is given. I am picking up here on this last question. Yes, we have a responsibility. We can give it, but we cannot control the response of that other person. Speaking for myself, we do what we can and then leave that person who has the will that God has given them, to decide for themselves. We cannot control that other person.
Bob: Does he really have that ability, do you think?
Virginia: If they don't, then it is in God's hands. I can't decide that.
Minearisa: I understand what both of you are saying and I believe you both have concluded correct responses from you discussion. With Bob's question about people that seem to have sunk so far into illness that they are no longer capable of doing anything for themselves, then obviously society in whatever form it may take, will have to step in. On the other hand, as you point out, Virginia, when society has provided all the support it can, should an individual consciously and deliberately choose to be on a self destructive, addictive path, that is their choice. The question of eternal survival may or may not be involved at all in this pattern of choice. So, that is postponed to a later time when things are more clear.
Bob: Hmm. Good point. Thank you.
Minearisa: Finally, to you Bob I would reply: You are quite correct. In many ways your society is regressing right now and it is distressful to all of us to see backward steps. But social evolution does have those dead end points, just as physical evolution does. We are confident that eventually the wisdom that is not gained by foresight will be gained from hindsight. In other words, it will eventually become clear that the treatment of mental illness that has resulted in large numbers of street people is not an acceptable way to handle the problem.
The other thing I wish to say is that I know these things are going on! That is why we are here. We are here because we are very fully aware of the acute nature of this time in your history as a planet. We are here trying to add our weight to the evolutionary motion. Finally, we are asking you all to carry the ball for us, for you are our flesh and blood.
Bob: But the problem seems so immense....so difficult...so pervasive.
Minearisa: It is and you personally will not solve it! You can do what you can do and that's it.
Bob: I'm off the hook!! (Laughter) Throw on more pills!! (More laughter)
Minearisa: You can do what you can do and that's it.
Bob: Yes, we know that.
Minearisa: Of course you know it.
Bob: Progress is painfully slow, painfully.
Minearisa: Well, my friends, we could go on and on about this and we do actually go on and on about this! (Laughter) But, our time has elapsed and let us conclude our evening with flesh contact between hands. (Chuckling) Klarixiska wishes to pray.
Klarixiska(Virginia): Father, Who knows what it means to be housed in flesh and blood, Who in all points has been as we are, we would ask that those who remain in the mortal bodies of this planet might find that, indeed, their bodies serve them well, that their spirit has been renewed with time spent with You. Christ Michael, we thank You that You chose this planet of difficulty, that You chose this planet of hope, that you chose this planet of potential perfection to come and reveal the love from the Universe. Help each one remember that, indeed, the Universe, the complete Universe, is one of friendly kindness, goodness, all those things that those who have gathered here tonight desire, and those of us who would like to see progress on this planet have come to assist. Help each one, the seen and the unseen, do what we can to bring this potential to actuality. So be it. Amen.