Group: N. Idaho TeaM
We spoke about spring cleaning, and that naturally implies removal of unwanted items and the necessity to reevaluate worth or merit of a possession, in this context we were addressing conceptions that bear upon your spiritual being. There is also another side, and that is the choice to retain a condition in yourself because you have reevaluated it and deem it worthwhile that you will continue to possess it. Your word “conviction” is interesting, for it in one regard describes loyalty and yet in another regard indicates a judgment, a form of condemnation. So, I will use these two to fill the lesson.
As I address you I am aware that many of you have over your years throughout your spiritual growth boldly altered your concepts of spirituality and religion, your life philosophy, that it may be updated to fit with your inner contact and to adjust these viewpoints to better mesh with reality as you have been experiencing it. In so doing you have bravely discarded concepts that have been -- and many that still are -- held by a majority of people. You have taken the path of the scout who looks for new opportunity, who is willing to leave the beaten path to discover what lies beyond in the unknown. It is therefore unnecessary to alert you to the peril of arriving at a conviction because it is demanded from you by an outside authority or even the pressure of peers. This is more of a conviction like the convict who must now live life according to the dictates of others. True conviction is self possessed. It is so held that it is part of you, not something you simply wear or possess, but it has become you.
When differing opinions clash and argument ensues, the tack taken by either side is to convince the other of the value of the position. When each side sees the same, one side is often convinced. That conviction changes the viewpoint, and both parties now argue the same perspective. Party Two, they changed opinion and no longer require Party One to support their opinion; it is their conviction held by themselves. So, as I return to spring cleaning, ask yourself as you look about your inner house what items you have that are yours and what items you have borrowed and truly do not possess, that are possessions of others that have remained in your domicile. I do not ask you to set aside your busy schedules to pursue this activity with exclusive attention, rather, to be alert and note when you may perhaps be acting under a condition of conviction that is not fully your possession but is bearing upon you by others’ intentions and desires. For clarity I must state that these other opinions are not necessarily wrong simply because they come from another. What I ask you to note and settle in yourself is the degree to which you truly believe on your own for yourself, whether it be originally created within you or borrowed from another.
It has been on your minds lately the degree to which media affect your individual lives, the state of mind it creates in many from the information so readily available. This is not a new phenomenon in the human culture. It is merely change in technology of what has been for eons social pressure or peer pressure, cultural confinements; all these group conditions play upon the thinking of the individual. So it is important to develop the ability to recognize what your true conviction is in any given situation. Take a second to stand back and ask yourself when presented with information. If perchance you are unable to resolve the degree of your conviction, then it must be set aside for future study, further experience.
I am aware of an expression on your world that goes, “drawing a line in the sand”. It is a curious expression for, while it illustrates the taking of sides, it also demonstrates the easy removal of barrier between sides, for sand can easily be changed, and the line disappears. Likewise you have this same flexibility with your convictions. With some reflection you can note that a belief you held in the past you do not hold today. Your convictions shifted. But without convictions uncertainty grows, insecurity grows, inability to act definitely sets in. Conviction brings motivation to action.
I desire now to receive your input.
Ginny: Sometimes it’s hard to give yourself some breathing room to consider another side. We cling so stubbornly to what we believe in, we don’t put ourselves in another’s place to understand why they believe the way they do.
Elyon: Pride is an issue in this respect, for there is great weight in conviction, much investment. To begin to adopt another’s viewpoint implies that your prior viewpoint was possibly wrong, that you are viewed as convicted of error. This fear, pride, response causes one to avoid the struggle required to refine your beliefs. Strong personalities are able to try on the garments of another’s opinion and from that perspective better perceive the thought patterns that make up the viewpoint and choose whether to discard those garments as unfitting to their situation or adopt those items that do fit well. Also, the reluctance to entertain contrary viewpoints often touches the sensitive nerve of a deep down feeling that perhaps your convictions aren’t sound or truly believed by yourself. In reality, reflecting upon varied viewpoints strengthens your understanding and allows you to maintain a rooted connection to truth even while your mind is shifting in the winds of viewpoint.
My final comment to your statement is that love creates curiosity and the desire to understand another’s convictions. Love of oneself allows you to remain firm in your viewpoint even while another believes differently. Love for that other individual allows them to continue their investigation into truth even if it does not align with your perspective.
Tom: From our discussion today there’s a great deal of evidence both pro and con this war. From e-mail I grow weary of trying to discern the correct view. I’m reminded that Jesus grew up under Roman authority. The best way to deal with this is to practice his gospel, not so much to focus for or against but to see how to apply this gospel to both sides. That’s what your lesson was about, wasn’t it? [[ Elyon: Yes, and you have expressed]] an important approach for all to take. Infusing every perspective with the elements that make up the gospel of Michael greatly clarifies each perspective, avoids many of the conflicts, and orients according to value. Along with Michael’s message of the gospel he also stated to become like a little child. Part of being a little child is curiosity in discovery, the willingness to pass from one phase to another as the child grows. So, less conflict would be experienced by human beings if you all could understand the broad spectrum of human spiritual awareness, experience, and maturity; that no position is absolutely right, for in order to be a living creature you must be always moving physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Tom: One of these childlike qualities is joy. Humor is a category of joy. When you have two opposing factions and you tell a joke, they drop their guard in order to get it. That approach favors something lighthearted, a sub-section of the gospel. Does that make sense?
Elyon: Yes, for, as the master said, “Be of good cheer.” This is illustrative of the difficulty of conviction, for it entails loyalty, devotion, and these conditions can foster negative outcomes such as aggression, manipulation. Humor does break that barrier. It can cause opposing parties to lift their heads out of the fray to see the whole context. But it must be used wisely, for personality can react against humor if it is perceived as a barb, as a method to tear down their stronghold. While the content of humor must be wisely evaluated before being disseminated, the encouragement of laughter discharges pent-up aggressions. Choose your content well, for it is the lighthearted reaction that heals and creates bonding.
Tom: Hearty laughter would be the conviction, wouldn’t it?
Elyon: Much of the laughter response in a human being is due to a sense of reality and a sense of what is false, and the juxtaposition in the context of a joke illustrates the points. Without conviction there really is no humor, for you must stand firmly in a position in order to find humor in comparison. When a comical situation is presented that allows laughter, it presents the opportunity for those engaged in laughter to perceive the other viewpoint without threat. While it may not convince in the moment, it may bear upon the mind at later times.
We who have different forms that we inhabit than you who inhabit the human body experience mirth, jubilees, joy. Our mechanisms do not laugh as yours do, but the inner response is the same. It is also quite difficult to restrain. This is one of the safeguards built into your human form by the Life Carriers so that when your mind becomes tied up in knots, quandaries, aggravations, and the like, laughter can break that all up, and it can do so virtually without your ability to suppress it. And this brings healing. It allows you to pause for a moment and consider worth, importance.
Elyon: It is not unusual on an evolutionary world like yours for these violent actions to follow disagreement. The subject matter that causes war evolves from the possession of territory to the promotion of ideologies. What is different about your planet is that, while this development of the subject of war shifts, you have yet to develop new methods for your promotion of ideologies. You may fight over land, but to fight over ideology destroys the worth of the ideology fought for. What is lacking on this world are techniques for conflict that are non-violent. The tendency for mankind to rally behind a cause is good; even to die for your cause has spiritual value. What is lacking is improved techniques to resolve your differences. You are still using century old methods for new and more complex problems.
One day on a global level civilization will evolve. Gone will be the shouting matches, as they have transitioned from screams to heated argument and eventually into calm debate. While you admire that in the individuals who make up your world, there is much work to do for your societies en masse to evolve to that same level of dignity in behavior.
Evelyn: You spoke of convictions we may have acquired that don’t belong to us, ones we have taken on. I think how I have habits and social skills I picked up from my parents. I am often like my mom. I could defend these behaviors. Is that anywhere near what you are talking about?
Elyon: Yes, it is. I will repeat that discerning the source does not imply that your conviction is no longer valid. An adopted conviction is good if you are truly convinced. If it is adopted blindly, unreasoningly, then you stand on fragile ground and may be surprised when it shatters. I ask you merely to arrange your understanding of what is truly a conviction that you have and discern those which are adopted accidentally, not recognized as your own possession and make a decision if you wish to add them to your convictions list or wish to discard them, whether or not they be adopted later or be found worthless for evermore.
Ginny: On a national scale, our tendency is to believe that the world is mean and we have to stockpile weapons for protection. On the other side, believing that the world is a friendly place, that we are all neighbors, would bring us into another way of thinking and believing. Conviction is important to change our habits.
Elyon: It can be said that convictions lead to conflict, for opposing convictions stand unyielding. So you have your many battles. What you speak of steps above that polarity to a conviction held by all, more appropriately a paradigm, as you speak of that the world is an ugly place, threatening, dangerous. If the message of Michael were to be adopted or, in the spirit of my lesson, truly a conviction of all, the paradigm would shift, and your conflicts would find smooth resolution, where you would approach your differences knowing full well that the other party is a brother or a sister worthy of your love and of equal value in the eyes of God. Approaching your differences in this manner would bring peaceful resolutions. I guess you know your assignment.
I will depart. I enjoy your engagements with me. It is a delight to have souls such as you who seek to discern the thread of spirit through all peoples of your lives, whether it is the conditions found between you and friends or the conditions existing between the nations. Even more it is a delight to witness you discuss conditions between your planet and others and your relation to the Father of all on Paradise. Until next time, farewell.