2005-01-23-Limits of Empiricism & Materialism
Topic: Limits of Empiricism & Materialism
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Although You’ve let us know several times in the past that Your order of being is so multi-dimensional, You don’t require what would be a counterpart of human patience. Nevertheless, we want to thank you anyway for bearing with us, for never leaving us but staying close with a love that is unconditional beyond our comprehension. You know it takes us awhile, and many steps, to go from experiencing reality as purely physical, or even physical-psychological, to one that is permeated with spirit, such as You have been teaching us. So we thank You for Your love that knows no bounds. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, My beloved children. This is your father, Michael. I thank you for acknowledging Mother Spirit and I, and striving to feel the love We have for you. For this is one of Our fondest desires--that you can actually experience Our love and Our presence as you go through your busy days. Yes, We do realize how radical a transformation of your reality it is, We have been calling for you to attempt. To experience this will be for you an infusion of spirit into your human reality that you modern souls have so thoroughly and necessarily been trained to weed out, to eliminate all the superstition and what you might call the false spirituality of the past ages of mankind.
In this, I heartily recommend reading your Urantia book for it gives you an outline of the general spiritual development of mankind. Each of you parallels this evolution as you grow through childhood and adolescent and come into your maturity. You too, as a very young personality just starting out in the world of experience, live in a world that is somewhat amorphous and primitive in that your notions and actual perceptions of the world are thoroughly intermingled with your immature emotions and superstitions.
If you think back upon your early childhood, I’m sure you can all recall times when the whole world about you utterly collapsed and came crashing down about your little head. You simply couldn’t keep it all together, and your cries of despair were not merely for some small incident that was happening to you. You truly felt a very deep, almost existential worry as emotion took hold of you and shook you like a rag doll; until this tidal wave would every so slowly subside, and leave you to yourself once again. Then you could hesitantly catch your breath, and look around, heave a mighty sigh, and start out again.
Being born in a relatively modern age where the empirical method of demonstrating natural law has been in effect for many centuries now, you soon learned from your family, and were taught in school, a world view in which both mental and spiritual considerations were very rigidly excluded so that you could focus in on a very strict, mathematically perfect cause and effect: natural law. Here, whether you were specifically taught it or not, objectivity was the ideal, even to the point where some very scientifically, empirically-minded folks almost totally discount their own inner reality, and consider real only what can be proven to another. This is literally all they perceive, and so they feel themselves existing in a world totally devoid of spirit. Understandably then, their concepts of spirit tend towards spiritualist phenomena--ghosts and such. This is what spirit means to them.
It was during the heyday of this empirical method in the latter part of last century, and the early part of the twentieth century, that there came about a great social illusion: that by eliminating the so-called spiritualist phenomena of superstition, and everybody becoming purely objective, certainly society would achieve an utopian age very shortly. With everyone being so objective, there would be no more disagreements between folks, and then nations. War would quickly become a thing of the past because agreement would be so obvious.
But as we all know, that has not been the recent history of Urantia. Instead the conflicts kept getting larger, right up to a Second World War where tens of millions of individuals perished. Mankind has only slowly gained a greater maturity by first grudgingly acknowledging, then ever so reluctantly accepting the equally valid dimensions of mind and the importance of understanding human psychology. Beyond this, there is a reaching out for a deeper understanding of what spirit is.
Now We give you these lessons where We are defining the physical and the mental and the spiritual dimensions of human reality very differently. Spirit is not an isolated realm. Spirit refers to the realm of personal beings, created one by one by God himself, God who is spirit. It is the nature of God to want to share His reality, His creativity, with innumerable sons and daughters, reaching from the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit in the Trinity, all the way down to the trillions of worlds inhabited by human-type beings such as yourselves.
This is spiritual reality, all these personal beings. It is very contra-distinct from impersonal, non-spiritual reality--the whole physical cosmos of millions of galaxies of matter and energy obeying strictly mathematical, unvarying law. But even they are created by personal beings who go out from Paradise and start the gigantic whirlpools of spiral nebula. And as you know, even human beings have some control over this impersonal reality. Your minds just naturally reach out to manipulate matter and energy, starting with the most primitive tools, all the way down to, in your current age, your delightful computers.
This creativity is the hallmark of spirit. It is something new blossoming within the continuity of everything that has gone before. You as a personal being experience spirit most consciously when you are creative. At every moment when you are acting, and not just reacting, you are creating. You are exercising your spirit. You are bringing something new into reality just by staying abreast of the living, ever-changing present moment. This is your spirit.
Last week Mother Nebadonia gave you examples by which you can feel this spirit all about you because it is real, it is inseparable from what you know as total reality. Total reality, or Truth Itself--that which is true, that which actually exists, includes spirit. From your human standpoint, these terms are not identical but very close: Total reality; Truth Itself; infinite and eternal life; God. This is how the human race will grow in its maturity as it begins to understand more and more how thoroughly spirit permeates all of reality.
Spirit is the very person-able-ness, if you will, within reality. Above all God is a person, an absolute, and infinitely existential, but still personal Being, and this, for many of you, calls for the most supreme faith-led understanding. You are so used to living in a very physical reality of impersonal natural law, and here We come, presenting you with a whole hierarchy of hundreds, even thousands of different kinds of personal beings. There are spiritual beings extending all the way up from your familiar seraphim, to the Ancients of Days who administer a galaxy of a hundred thousand Local Universes such as Mother Spirit and I relate to as Mother and Father. So stretch your imaginations, My children, as much as you have to.
Think of some dear friend who may live a thousand miles away from you. It requires an exercise of imagination to realize this person is living right now, this very moment, going about his or her activities, or maybe just sound asleep. It takes an enormous exercise of imagination to realize that these thousands of different kinds of personal beings exist right now, and are activity going about their business. Yet this is reality, this is the truth, and though it will always be more than a bit beyond your comprehension, for that very reason it promises you a never ending adventure of discovery.
This is not only what exists this moment throughout all reality, but this reality itself is growing. This is spirit, My children. This is creativity itself blossoming out in endless trillions of personal beings throughout time and space, and even beyond. This is why you can have confidence in the reality of truth, the reality of God, not as something far away, but as an encompassing that holds you in its loving grasp as close to you as you are to yourself, for this is your nature too. Welcome to the family.
If you have any question or comments this evening, exercise your spirits and let’s hear them.
Student: (Ed: this student spoke so softly not even the digital recorder could pick up much of her voice. As you can tell from Michael’s answers, she was quite worried about her own progress and that of the world’s in general.) Michael, I feel aware and you can see it…expecting to hear a major shift in the earth everywhere. I don’t know how to embrace it personally for the better. I want to thank You for the shift…in the earth that …now in the best, heal the time… I don’t know what to make of it. I put my…and ideas and feelings and emotions and other things… I know it’s a good sign. I still don’t know what we can do with it, past all of these…and effects of being human and wanting the things. Can You give this the tiniest…many things that can go on.
MICHAEL: Yes, My daughter, I do feel the worry within your heart and how you feel torn, largely because you are striving in your life to achieve an ideal. You are struggling to grow and evaluate how you are doing. I wish to acknowledge and reassure you of the courage this takes--just to be open, open to as much as you can perceive. You wonder deeply not only about your own life, but the world about you: how are things going? You wonder: not only are they getting better or worse, but how are they getting better, how are they possibly getting worse? Then: how do I fit into all of this? What can I do? Am I actually helping this so deeply longed-for growth and evolution, or am I holding it back, holding myself back?
So give yourself credit, My daughter, for the courage it takes to be open like this. For this is the most profound thing you can do. If you wish to grow even more, strengthen yourself along these very lines. Wonder even more, for this will lead you to what is your unique contribution. This is literally how you find yourself, moment to moment and day to day. To live within this field of questioning may be somewhat discomforting at first. But don’t fall into the illusion of thinking that everybody else, or even most other folks, have it easier. For trust when I say that those who do not question themselves, and wonder what is happening about them, are still somewhat sleepwalking.
This questioning, this being open is the price, if you will, of greater freedom and discovering who you are. For you are gaining an ever greater sense of yourself. You are constantly striving to answer these questions that only you can answer. But you do have Our help. You do have your moments of stillness in which you can concentrate yourself, concentrate this wonder by, paradoxically, relaxing. Let go of the striving, even for an ideal, and just deeply soak in your real living being like sinking into a warm Jacuzzi.
Make sure at least once a day, for as long as you can devote to it, My daughter, you just totally relax. Feel your breath. Feel your heart beating. Feel Our presence right within you. Forget about the ideal for awhile and just totally accept who you are, where you are. Allow your spirit to reassure you that you are greater than you can ever consciously grasp hold of. This is your soul. These are all those thousands and thousands of hours you have lived, all the experiences you have had, all the people you have known. Trust they are there. Trust also the truth that the spiritual part of you is growing. But you have to suspend your striving momentarily in order to feel it, to realize it. In this deep peace--this home base of spirit, We’ve been calling it--is where you find your new departure.
This is where it comes to you. This is where you let your whole soul speak to you about that next step. This is where you face your fear of stalling out, or being stopped, because you choose to stop. You choose to just be, and begin to realize how enormous your soul is, how strong your spirit is. Welcome the whole Other-power of the spiritual world, My daughter. They love you and long to nourish your own self-power. You are Our beloved child, and you are growing into your own personhood for yourself. So don’t be shy about feeling your own power. Does this give you a feeling of yourself, My daughter? (Yes… Yes)
Yes. This is the peace that heals your worried heart. We are real. Mother and I truly love you. Be in My peace.
Student: Father Michael, a friend of mine asked me why is negativity so prevalent, or so much more obvious than the positive in our lives? I’ve noticed in my own life that the negativity is in the headlines, and the positive things I’ve done got the footnotes; but I’ve noticed since I’ve been in the twelve-step AA program, that changed me a lot, and it’s about equal now. But it doesn’t explain why the negativity is there, so prevalent—like in the Middle East—the media—why is that?
I would also like to thank You for the AA program. It’s saved me and countless others from a miserable existence and death.
MICHAEL: C, My son, I very gladly accept the graciousness of your thanks. Consider too, as I know you do, all the wonderful dear souls that created that organization. This too is real spirit—individuals who have found their own ways out of a deep, dark hole of despair, then found a way of reaching out to another, and so together faced that despair and conquered it. You remember a few weeks ago We offered the insight, a tool if you will, to help you perceive a better proportion between what you call the positive and negative influences and happenings.
Remember that in your mass media there is a ongoing and incessant competition for viewers and listeners. So what you call news, supported by advertising, is highly sophisticated entertainment. Those of you who are old enough can remember the early TV commercials, whether they were selling toothpaste or cars, were pretty much just the presentation of facts, until ever so slowly came creeping in humor, irony, surprise, story-telling; which understandably sold more toothpaste and cars. The same goes for your news. But after several decades of this now, as the viewers and listeners get ever more sophisticated and even jaded—mentally callused if you will, it takes more and more to get their attention.
Now let’s think about mankind’s million years of struggle for survival. This is still very much in your wold soul, and it filters right down into your individual lives. Once upon a time you could say: And they lived happily ever after. And that seemed like the final end to the story: they got married and lived happily ever after. But now you are more mature and sophisticated, and perhaps jaded, all these positive aspects of life can seem very temporal and fleeting. So in this context, what is permanent to a human being is severe loss, death, terrible injuries. These are undeniable and irrevocable. These are forever, within the scope of your lives. And so these are intrinsically more sensationalistic. These catch the attention of the human race which has had to struggle these hundreds of thousands of years for survival. This is what We meant when We said your mass media is focused on these negative aspects that, like little knife-points, can prick you awake. ‘ The only antidote for this, My son, is to be more thoroughly grounded in your own day to day life. Begin to perceive the enormous social contract happening which enables you to get from point A to point B through a busy city; the fantastic understandings and agreements that bring the food to your table, the energy to your house. You have to renew yourself and throw off these layers of callused being jaded to appreciate this remarkable agreement between peoples of the world. From Our standpoint the evolution of human society, the depth of maturity of the world culture that is growing, is proceeding at a great pace forward, and positive. Strive for this sense of proportion. Realize how much of your mass media is focused on the negative as a kind of indulgence in fear. This is why We have been giving lessons on the reality of spirit, so you can renew your vision and begin to perceive how much love there is between the peoples of the world, how truly small and getting smaller is the warfare and strife. As the world-wide media comes into focus on the very real and personal tragedies that do happen, they are, however, being broadcast to the whole world; you can only keep a sense of proportion by appreciating all the love within your own life. Does this help you, My son?
Student: Yes it does. It puts things more in perspective. And I’m also recognizing that I do experience more love in my life. And that does make a big difference. Thank You.
MICHAEL: You’re very welcome. Understanding the nature and the orientation of your mass media helps in realizing why its focus is as it is. As much as any chemical drug, this fear-mongering can be an addiction holding millions captive. An extreme example of this is your horror movies; but fortunately in your films you also have those that are devoted to the portrayal of love and faith, happiness and humor. So try to see things from Our perspective of spirit. The world is maturing, My son. The appeal of love, friendship, faith, comradeship, these are really what are holding society together. And so you can rest in My peace.
Student: Thank You, Father Michael.
MICHAEL: Well, My children, we’ve come a long ways tonight. It is the real fervent desire of Mother and I that you be able to perceive spirit in its workings more and more every day, you be able to see the love that permeates not only your human reality, but all the spiritual family above you. Remember that a hallmark of wisdom is a sense of proportion. Rest deeply day to day in this home base of spirit right within your own life, for this is the only thing which can balance out this sensationalistic negativity that your culture is currently addicted to. Know deep, deep within yourself that most of those other folks out there are doing the best they can day to day. Simply do what you can to help, with Mother’s love and My peace. Good evening.