2004-02-08-Overcoming Difficulty

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Topic: Overcoming Difficulty

Group: Rio Rancho TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Tomas, Anatolia

TR: Gerdean, Matthew

Session

Opening

Music: Elena on Piano: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Prayer: Matthew: Let us place ourselves in the presence of Jesus, the Christ.

Master Teacher, we come to you with inquiry and curiosity, but nevertheless faith and dedication, but inquiring as to why there has to be the strife that we experience. It seems distant and far off and concerning and disconcerting, but exists as near as our own interior workings, in terms of difficulty and tumultuous undertakings – frequently – and why it has to be that way, I suppose, it is the growth process and to see the example of a weed breaking through concrete is an example of what it can bring about in terms of overcoming difficulty. And for this we are grateful -- for the opportunity to overcome and to be more Godlike, as you have demonstrated.

We look forward to the teachings which will bring us closer in our understanding, as we continue our ascension process to become one with you and our Heavenly Father as all is One and Complete, we are forever grateful. And for the cares and concerns that we have, individually and collectively, we place before you now.Amen.

Lesson

Difference, Teaching Mission

TOMAS: Good afternoon, my loyal friends and companions, as well as my students afar and abroad. I greet you every Sunday afternoon and you here in this precious conclave hear me, but are you also aware that our voice is heard throughout the realm? I would therefore like to pause in our greeting today to extend Welcome to those outside our immediate configuration, to include the many who receive these transcripts, who find nuggets of worth within to chew over, in hope of disclaiming my reality or affirming the truth herein.

The prayer was offered today in terms of the disparate views within the extension of the kingdom throughout the realm, even in the kingdoms of men. And this is not the concern for us as it is for you, but how you deal with those differences is certainly a matter of interest to us, and a challenge to us as well, for we know well how difficult it is to convey a truth that will extend into the hearts of each of you so that each of you are able to hear the intent and the purpose of my words, our message.

The Master side-stepped those individual differences by the use of parables. In this way, everyone was free to receive his own interpretation of the truth within that nugget, something wherewith to chew the substance of that which was reflected within -- within that man/ that woman/ that child’s consciousness, with its own frame of reference, experiential background, cultural conditioning and so forth.

This is the friend we have in Jesus, who can lay his blanket down for all humanity to sit upon and picnic with him, taking those morsels of truth which feed and nurture his own soul, leaving the orts [sic] and crumbs to others, even the beasts of the field, to also nourish themselves on the truth within his being.

Yet, in the structure of this Teacher Mission, there are guidelines as to how to proceed, and this will bring us back to this immediate circle of friends who are indeed courageous to present themselves here in this gathering, to expose their strengths and weaknesses as ascending sons and daughters in truth, to reveal the integrity they each individually know and display in their own right, as we offer our own integrity in our own right as your teachers.

This is how it is that we can speak broadly, across the board, to anyone who chooses to listen, and everyone may hear something different. But you may be assured that we are not Republican and we are not Democrat. We are, however, aware of how these delineations affect you. Nor are we Christian nor are we Islamic, even though we are aware of what those words represent to you, our mortal students. Nor are we English nor Spanish, but through the methods afforded us through the gracious ministrations of the local midwayer corps, we are able to put forth our concepts through the transmitter receivers into the language that you can understand. And I must add “translators” for there are those who delight to spread the word even farther into the realm by way of interpreting our lessons into forms that will feed the multitudes – far beyond these community gatherings as you know in the Teacher bases that are established and announced as such.

We are also challenged by the tremendous amount of work that is upon us, and that is our challenge, not so much yours, but how do we begin to approach the needs of your soul when your souls are so variously situated? It is not our desire to be so generic as to gloss over those specific and particular concerns that each of you hold. It is not our intent to relegate your personal growth to your personal spirit guides. Nor is our desire to leave your spiritual development entirely up to God, as you perceive God and/or Jesus as we recognize Jesus, for these concepts are not always – not in every case – a reality you agree with, support or aspire to.

Therefore, in many ways, our challenge as Teachers would be beyond our capacity to fulfill, except for the fact that we know -- not only because we are told, but -- because we see it in you, that you hunger for truth, and that as you open yourself to truth, you will be fed. The Mystery Monitor provides the answers to your soul’s needs with or without me, but I am pleased to be a catalyst for you and your growth as much as possible, as I realize that, in turn, you will learn these religious realities for yourself and thus you, too, will put forth these realities which go beyond words, extend beyond cultures, reach beyond language, out step even the ideologies of politics and differences which do reside in the hearts and the craw of all of you mortals of this realm.

Prayer

We had thought to speak of prayer. The act of prayer is an acknowledgment of the inner actuality of your self, in communication with that which it reaches for. It is the shadow of the Paradise Trinity: The I AM seeks response, thus the Universal Father expresses this Thought through the Word of prayer of the Eternal Son, in order that it may be led to Act in accordance with Universal Mind. Prayer is the song of soul, the hurt of the heart, the longing of the living, and the joy of the Children of God.

What is God? God is a concept that varies with each individual. Thousands of you are followers of a concept or a faith that is the gift of your forefathers, though these forefathers may not be the same. There are those of you who have chosen not to relinquish your will to a nebulous and unknown god, often regarding the god of your neighbors as defiled and unworthy of worship, who brings about destruction, disease and allows all manner of unjust behaviors and beings.

There are those of you, too, who have what can only be called a personal response to Deity, and that well may be genuine religious experience, but is it the same as your brother? It is very rare that any two people experience the same religious experience, and so each individual is called to answer for himself and with his own consciousness these answers that speak to the yearning soul which yearns to know and celebrate its origin and its destiny. The fact that you have religion or a philosophy is not the answer to prayer, but rather a course of study en route to the response to prayer.

I feel I am going to lose you now if I don’t bring this back to you personally. Your minds tend to wander. This is not bad. This is your own seed wriggling in the soil striving to grow and spring forth from where you are nestled in your reality here in this material world.

So, as the earth moves before me where you are, let me come into your realm and derive from you individually and in your own words your response to these inquiries that we discuss to and for you and for your own understanding of what that quality is that we yearn to know more of, that being embodied in the word “Prayer”.

Do we have any volunteers? What is it to you to pray?

Dialogue

MEN-O-PAH: I’m reminded of some lines from an old hymn. “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed, The motion of a fluttering fire, that thunders in the breast.”

Paula: You have a good memory.

Men-O-Pah: Yeah. There’s some more to it that I don’t remember.

TOMAS: This “thundering in the breast” is that spark of God that resides within you, that element of God that is often called the soul or the spirit that seeks to sponsor your immortality. It wants to return to its Source. This is one of the gifts that we depend on, one of the gifts to you humans from the Universal Father that we in the Teacher Corps depend on. We would be in error to think that what you take from our classes is due to our skills alone. Perhaps our words can, like the words of that poet, stimulate thought and feeling. But it is the implantation of the Divine Life within your own breast that truly nudges you forward, urges you on, and leads you home.

There is more to prayer. What other comments can we find in this group?

Paula: Well, I think I have almost a childlike faith in God, and when I pray, I talk to Him the same way I talked to my earthly father, and I know He listens and He probably figures, “Well, part of the time, you’re such a dimwit, you pray for the wrong things, so I won’t give ‘em to ya,” but if He thinks I’m right, then He usually answers my prayer. Of course, I don’t always get the answer I want, but I know He is listening.

TOMAS: Yes, child, this is a desired response, for you have taken for yourself the father/child relationship to your own religious frame of reference. That gives you the opportunity to remain open to the greater wisdom and counsel of the divine that you know, too, that God is greater than the earth father, even while your relationship has been similar, in terms of admiration and anticipation of your needs being met, being provided for, being cared for, is still not so foolhardy as to give man that same adulation as you would offer up to Deity.

And the conversational exchange you engage in is indeed an ideal, for you consciously bring yourself to the conversation and, without fear, express your heart and soul’s desires to Him On High, and then await a response, that is often called the meditative response. And while you may not get the answer you want, you will eventually get the answer you need.

This is what many yet need to learn: that you may not even get the answer you need immediately, but you will find it throughout the course of your life in the echoes of God’s response to you through others, and through the many variables of creation, not excluding the reflective aspects of your own mind which is capable of formulating the response that you would be given were you to be open to it. “Auto revelation” this is called in your terms, but it is also an element of the divine working with you, working with your mind, which you, by your will, have made malleable and willing to open itself to His counsel.

Yes, indeed, this is a definition of prayer. Are there others?

Elena: Well, the way I think about it is: I think God always has the answers for us, like an energy field that is constantly there, but prayer is a way of trying to be an open link to receiving that energy or that information that we would have, and it’s the stepping stone to what I would like to have on a continual basis but there is too much activity or noise in the world, whether that noise be activity or whatever, for me to concentrate and allow God’s presence to enter me, but it’s my active seeking Father.

TOMAS: You are opening up now another dimension of prayer, that being what might be called a “walking prayer” or a consciousness of divinity even an awareness of your morontial reality. Let me define what I mean by morontial reality, which is basically what you imparted in your prayer, that being walking consciously within His presence, even finding a pattern of perfection within which to walk, one which is identified by the grace and peace which you would imagine having as a perennial presence -- a natural supposition since these qualities are to be found in your silent prayers you enjoy “in the closet” with Him.

This walking prayer will be the way of the future when more and more individuals enter into the personal phase of light and life which will set the stage, then, for the full planetary realization of light and life wherein every citizen of the planet walks with God, acknowledging his participation in the affairs of men, thus fulfilling the prayer of Jesus, the believers prayer, of heaven on earth – “on earth as it is in heaven”. This is a dimension. And the lament of your soul seems to be the prayer that you are able to retain that precious connection, even with the pressures and unrealities of the world at large wrenching you away from that reality or sufficiently distracting you from that state of being such that you feel uprooted or disenfranchized or somehow unable to make that connection that you would desire to keep with and through all you do.

This is a worthy prayer, one that, with conscious diligence, you will master and attain, for it is within you, as it was within your friend Jesus, to carry the relationship he shared with divinity into everything he did, even up until and through his death, in joy and in suffering. Part of your challenge, which is similar to mine, is to recognize that there are areas where you will not be able to engage this energy (to the extent that you can in your own environment) because in your own environment you are not limited by the walls that are erected in the world at large that disallow the expression of God to extend beyond your own portal.

This does not limit God, nor does it limit your relationship with God – except insofar as they have limited His inclusion into their lives in such a manner as it would be reflectable to you. Therefore, you must realize the temporary aspect of the situation and forge ahead in great glee of your future victory with God when He will be able to extend himself out from you and through you to them and back again. This is indeed a prayer worth praying and a value worth seeking.

Are there others?

Paula: Well, you just might be interested in something that happened in my life a number of years ago when my first husband died. I took it pretty hard, and somebody said, “You ought to read the book that this rabbi in Boston wrote.” Now I can’t think of his name to save me, but anyway, I got the book and I read it and he had just lost his only son when he was 14 years old, and instead of wallowing in self-pity, which is what I was doing, he sat down and wrote a book – which helped him and helped everybody else. So I thought, “Golly, he’s a really terrific man. I think I’ll write and tell him how much I enjoyed it, so I did.”

Now this man has the biggest congregation of any Jewish bunch of people anywhere in the whole world! He not only has all these people – a couple of thousand or so in his congregation – and then he has speaking engagements. Well, I wrote to him and told him I thought he was pretty terrific. I said, “If you could handle the death of your only son and sit and write a book that helped so many people, I guess I’d better stop sitting around with all this self pity. You helped me a great deal.” I thought, well, probably his secretary would toss it in the thing with all the other letters he gets. Instead, I got back a letter from him, that he wrote himself.

His handwriting was none too good but he said he thought I was pretty terrific too! And I thought, “Wow! That’s pretty darned nice. For him to sit down and write a letter to me.” So I wrote back and said, “Thank you for the letter and all the nice things you said and blah, blah, blah. And we kept up a correspondence for about two years! And I haven’t heard from him in a long time and I would hesitate to start it again, but he was just wonderful. He was the greatest thing. And he said, “When you pray,” he said, “you’ve got one up on me.” He said, “When I pray, I pray just to God. You’ve got a little edge there. You pray to Jesus, too!” I mean, he had a sense of humor as well as everything else.

But it always amazed me that such an important man would take time out of his busy life to sit and write me letters. He even called me long distance one time. He said, “How are you doing? Is everything all right, and are you finding life in Albuquerque pretty good?” And I said, “Yes,” and he said, “I had a reason for asking. I’m going to lecture in Albuquerque in about a month,” and he said, “Can you come?” and I said, “You’re darned right! I’ll get my tickets right away – for myself, and my daughter and my granddaughter!” and he said, “Well, I want to meet you, but there’s going to be over a thousand people that night, so why don’t you do it the other way. On the day before, on Saturday, I’m going to sign books at the bookstore, so maybe so many people won’t want to read my book and we’ll have more of a chance to talk.” And he was right! People didn’t buy too many of his books so we sat down and talked for half an hour. And that night, there were just streams of people. We were about an hour getting out of that temple, because it took so long, and when I shook his hand, he said, “You see what I mean? Aren’t you glad you came yesterday?” And I said, Yes!”

Matthew: Was that “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”?

Paula: Yeah.

Matthew: By Levin, or something like that.

Paula: No, that wasn’t-- Isn’t that awful? I’m terrible on names. I look at all the people in church and say, “What’s his name? What’s her name?” and he says, “You know who that is!” and I say, “Yeah, well, I know who she is but I can’t remember her name,” so he clues me in.

TOMAS: Let me respond to your telling. This is another form of prayer, you see.

And this is rather like my talk last week about the choir, for you two have been singing harmony. This is a form of prayer, when you can sing praises to God together. This is the next step indeed from the situation Elena pointed to wherein your private prayer becomes a shared experience with those who also respect and adore that On High which we know as God. Even in the case of the Jew and the Christian. Even so, the divine presence is enough to help you transcend the differences, to nonetheless exalt that which goes well beyond words, just as your appreciation for this fellow goes well beyond mere names. Indeed you will know each other for eternity for the gift of personality, while names are often changed in the course of an eternal career.

I see that I have gotten carried away with my ministry with you today and we are on the second side of our time together and I have not paused to give my co-worker an opportunity to even say hello. And yet there was much more I had hoped to bring in, including all of your responses. But this is one of the limitations of the mortal life I am slowly learning, becoming accustomed to as you are: there is not enough time to do everything we want to do. Shall I then push my way through, trying to make sure that it all gets done, at the expense of a quality experience? Or shall I rather prioritize my efforts with integrity and let the rest take care of itself in good time and in good faith? Thank you.

Elena: Wait! We wanted the answer to that.

ANATOLIA: Welcome all who join us here in our realm to join with yours, to become one in worship and in being. Within this day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice.

This brings to mind one simple idea that may or may not relate to what you have to deal with in your realm, for in ours there is not the contrast that you have in your own, where you have day and night, love and hate, peace and war, male and female – not that these are so much depicting contrast and differences as they are dimensions of the same one opposing or representing another aspect of the same energy – meaning day and night for example, depicts the same energy from polar points of view, as light is present at day and absents itself at night. Hence, energy or light is the issue. Notice, however, even in the absence of light, at times in the designated time frames of the month there is light at night as you have experienced recently – dynamic and profound as it is.

My point is that ours is not a world of dichotomy or of ups and downs or of give and take even, in the sense of having to depend upon the kindness and good intentions of those around you. In like manner, the absence of kindness or consideration and having to fall victim to such crudeness and lack of consideration. Ours is a realm of choice of believing and becoming, meaning that upon ones journey into our realm, we find the choice to become as free and as loving as one is capable of expressing. Up to the point where one has become perfected in all of his or her character traits, even to rejoin the creator in that masthead of beauty, goodness and, certainly, kindness.

My illustration is to present to you that as your prayer had invited understanding of such dichotomy in your realm and how to live with it and how to not cast curses upon what you would call ignorance or to cast curses upon the darkness, but as the saying has been, to light a candle instead. So where your world is fraught with dichotomy and understanding challenges, I invite you to not momentarily live in our world with our understanding, for that is virtually impossible for you at this point, but you are able to invite what we find in our realm, and that is to experience the greatest enhancement of your desires by stating it as a truism. Therefore, what you experience in terms of distortion or contrary to that which you would desire, all that you need to do is to state your intention and to persist in your desire to find understanding, even in the midst of ignorance. This is doable, if for no reason other than your own growth and development. You will be able to find hope within misery and determination within hopelessness, and fruitfulness within what otherwise appears barren.

I expect that you have a glint of what I am speaking, that your perception and consequently your experience is based upon your perception and your desire for a whole and complete experience. Why be satisfied with simply the rind of a watermelon when you can, if that’s all you have, imagine what it tasted like and, therefore, appreciate what you have remaining, for all is within your capability both here and now. We are merely without the physical limitation, or bridge, to be what we were meant to be. This is what you and I have in common. It is only the dimensional difference that places us worlds apart.

So too you can join in our experience by your desire and your intention to overcome limitation, for it is only in your hearts mind and desire that such differences exist. So, I wish you all good intentions for this and every life that is to be expressed, for those who are in the most dismal of circumstances, or even the most heinous of criminals, can and will experience peace of mind in their eventual development, for nothing is lost except for that which desires to be lost. Nothing is wasted but those who wish to be wasted. Consequently, all live who desire to live.

I leave you in one frame of mind, and that is the openness to be all that you are for you have the eternal strand of life right here and now as you choose for it to continue to its natural conclusion, to be within the mind of God. I leave you in peace and hopefulness, until we meet again. Peace be with you.

Group: Thank you.

TOMAS: In summation of our theme this afternoon, on Anatolia’s note of all of you having your own individual perception, perhaps we can take up the task next week (or when it is next appropriate) that we take up prayer in terms of how to pray for others. What to pray for, not in terms so much our own growth but for the growth of others. This is almost always an opportunity to reflect on the merit of our perspective and our desires for others that may or may not be within the will of God.

Let me ask, are there questions?

Esmarelda: I really appreciate your lesson today, Tomas, and I look forward as you say to further discussions about prayer. I need help and this is gratefully accepted.

TOMAS: Are there questions unrelated to the topic of prayer that have come to your mind this week?

Elena: I have one. It was actually -- my question came up again with some of the discussion that was going on prior to the meeting, but it first came up when I attended the lecture by Thomas Borg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg ?] several weeks ago, and he went through the audience and asked all the people there to identify the denominations they came from, and he asked people to raise their hand, okay, “How many are this?” “How many are that?” and there wasn’t a single one I felt I could raise my hand up to. And yet, it brings up a question. When he said “Christian” I almost did because I think our group and the Teaching Mission is most definitely based on not only what is commonly known as the Christian information, and yet it seemed rather strange, I didn’t raise my hand as a Christian because I wasn’t certain that the other people would actually think that maybe Urantia people are really Christians, so that is a question. I wonder where I fit. Or if I’m just a misfit. I mean, I don’t feel bad, but I feel like we’re very much Christian and yet, even in the conversation before, it was “that Christian activity” or something, which is not exactly referring to ourselves. And I’ll stop there because it’s not really my answer I’m interested in.

TOMAS: Congratulations for you capacity to think for yourself. The applying of “labels” – designations, is a practice established in order to allow a sense of belonging, a sense of affiliation. And yet at the same time it disallows that which you are not. If you are to be free of these biases, it is well you retain within yourself allegiances only to that which are without name and number, even though the world as you know it has busied itself by creating organizations of individuals who support certain values or causes, be they Boy Scouts, American Civil Liberties, Zooids or whatever.

The general understanding of “Christian” is the designation for those who follow Christ, and yet those of you who have a personal relationship with Jesus and with Christ Michael, those of you who understand why he came and what his existence means to you, above and beyond what Paul provided by creating the church, above and beyond what the Christian history has been as set forth in the biblical scriptures, has given you a sense of your religious roots preceding Christianity and not truly subscribing to the tenets of Christianity, varied though they may be, depending upon what sect.

In fact, I have seen mortals opt not to involve themselves with any sect, lest they find themselves appearing to prefer one over another. There are some who have no need to conform to the tenets or practices of any one given organization, and yet there are many who prefer to have the subscribed limitations that are set forth in order to live within that framework, for the whole of theology is too great, in many cases, and boggles the mind of those who seek a simple religious association with like-minded people.

Even the designation of Teaching Mission, while it affords its devotees some sense of camaraderie with those who also subscribe to the Teacher Corps, alienate those outside the Teaching Mission when they limit their perception of this mission to the handful of Urantia Book readers who have subsequently found the faculty of Teacher Sons to assist their learning process.

Far better for you all to learn to be magnanimous and inclusive, to devote yourself to opening those doors and professing to being a believer rather than limiting your beliefs, for this gives you the far-reaching perspective, and while it may seem you are out on a limb or alone in your theories, you will find that more and more will be subscribing to that same field of thought. For the truth herein is that as you are a son of God, in the highest sense of the word, the more you have a living religious experience with the divine Universal Father of all and respond to the call of Paradise.

You will ascend in the manner you are destined to follow, as will all other faith sons and daughters, and from that perspective you will be able to see where the dividing lines are helping and where they are hindering, and that will be yet more data for you to be able to use when you seek to minister as you pass by, for you will not have alienated or aligned yourself with any save the Most Highs. Even though it may require some courage on your part to begin that path of standing up for your own spirit consciousness in your own right, it will certainly lead you into that path of morontia walking prayer that you have yearned for.

Elena: Thanks for the encouragement.

TOMAS: And surely you will find kindred spirits along the way, such as the many I have come to know and love by my association with you in this venture we share. I long to lift my voice in praise to that Power On High that follows our development and that leads us forward, that portrays our questions and reveals our answers as we pursue the course of destiny which is ours. Thanks to God, that All- Powerful Presence which is our First Source and eternal goal.

Closing

I will leave you now to yourselves to celebrate your differences and your similarities in conscious recognition of your sonship together with those of us who regard you as our charge, watching over you as we do, elder brothers and sisters in this Family of God that we enjoy. See you next time. Farewell.