2006-12-03-Cultivating Group Consciousness
Topic: Cultivating Group Consciousness
Group: Rio Rancho TeaM
Teacher: Merium, Paulo, Andromadeus
MUSIC: A cappella solos by Elena: "Oh, Loving Founder of the Stars" "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel"
MERIUM: This is Merium.
Group: Hi, Merium.
MERIUM: I hear my student chattering in the corner and I am quick to come in to greet you so as to help you focus on our united purpose. The moments we spend in silence are for a reason. It is called "the Stillness." The Stillness is a discipline that leads to intimacy with the Divine. It is a forerunner to worship.
In light of the season of Advent and the configuration before me in my precious flock of chickadees, I will be brief. We have guests today. When there are so many topics at large and so many minds to stimulate, as well as appease, it is sometimes a bigger bite than I can chew. And so I've brought in some helpers.
Paulo is here. If you have not met Paulo, he is a rather feisty fellow, a participant in the reclamation that we represent. His specialty is rebellion. Without further ado, here is Paulo.
Group: Welcome, Paulo.
PAULO: A welcome to you, to the arena that oversees your doings. I have been abroad. The rebellion on-going on "foreign shores" is very time-consuming. And there are days when we frankly feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Thus it is like recess for me to come here and visit with you docile children, but even here I recognize within you deep pockets of rebellion that you harbor and nurture. I am not the one to chide you for your aggravations, but to encourage your recognition of them, for they do indeed represent the pea buried under the many mattresses that disturb your rest and subsequently the rest of everyone around you.
Naturally, I am referencing the fairy tale about "The Princess and the Pea" because I am aware that Merium's purported function with you is as a baby-sitter and she enjoys keeping you in that childlike state of mind and being that will foster your imaginations such that your mind feels free of its constraints, those constraints which piled upon you layer upon layer -- and for some of you, for nearly a century. Thus, it is necessary that we find a common denominator, and the fact is you have all been children. One way or another, you have all been young at heart, and so I will respect Merium's work and use the fairy tale as an allegory for your own rebelliousness.
Before we go further, I will borrow upon Brother Aaron's technique. For those of you who do not know Aaron, another Teacher in the Teacher Corps, he is one who elicits response from the classroom. He is not one to lecture, as some of us are inclined. He is very much interactive with the students, and so this classroom being configured the way it is, I will engage you in one of Aaron's techniques of drawing you out, and that is I would like - for your amusement, but not necessarily being flippant about your concerns - you to express to us here today a pet peeve, a disgruntlement, an irritation, that you harbor and even foster as something that stimulates you to action -- your pea under the mattress. Do we have any volunteers to come forth with your acknowledged pet peeve?
Esmeralda: I can't think of one right now, Paulo.
Elena: Well, one thing I can think of is that a lot of times - and I'm not talking about this situation necessarily, but it seems - but the request was to have something that kind of annoyed you toward action. And I guess one of mine is that when nobody else does something, I feel compelled to say something. So it's not necessarily a pet peeve, but I do kind of sometimes get annoyed at other people not saying something and then I feel compelled to do something about it. I don't know. That's something that comes to mind.
PAULO: Thank you. I'd like to hear from others, before I offer any further remarks. I know you have all got at least a dozen peas buried in there somewhere but perhaps they have become so embedded in your mattress, you've forgotten they exist.
Esmeralda: One of my -- I suppose peeves seem to me like a minor thing. I have some big things that bother me, but they are either national or global -- but one of my peeves is the misuse of grammar, and especially on people who are on TV who should, if they are going to have a speaking part, should know the proper … things like ending sentences in prepositions or one of the big ones is like "between you and I." The improper use of the nominative case when it should be the objective case. Now that's a pet peeve. Is that the kind of peeve you were talking about?
PAULO: It will suffice, although I hardly see it causing you to lose sleep.
Esmeralda: No, it doesn't.
Elena: Oh, mine didn't either, actually. Well, there is one that does make me lose sleep and it has to do with a person at work. I'm in a managerial position and she is kind of a passive-aggressive person and she just either will … when I'm saying something that I'm trying to relate to the group, she'll just totally … I mean … walk away or not look at me or in some way totally blow me off.
PAULO: Yes, that is a major legume. Everyone knows Gerdean has a few peas in her pod (group laughter). The transcript issue has been haggled On High.
Elena: Nothing from the couch over there, you guys?
Renault: Well, I was trying to think. I had a flash of a pet peeve, but…
PAULO: Dig deep.
PAULO: Reveal yourself.
Renault: … I've got two things that just don't seem significant enough. They don't move me, you know? They just peeve me. (Group laughter)
PAULO: How about rush hour traffic?
Renault: Ah! Well… Yeah. God, absolutely. All the time, in my job, up and down Cerillos Road, St. Francis, oh, God. Santa Fe is so awful to get around in.
PAULO: And the demands of employers?
Renault: Yeah. Um-hum. They want you to just drop everything and do what they say. But, we work through those. Um, I think it would help I think if I wouldn't … not grumble -- What do I want to say? -- when I do get a little peeved. Like short-tempered? Not that I ever let loose with a temper or anything, but I'm sure I get disagreeable, and that probably doesn't help.
PAULO: I won't put words in the mouth of the honeymooners, but show me one married couple that does not have a couple of irritations tucked away…
Paula: Oh, yeah!
PAULO: … that they keep under wraps in order to salvage domestic bliss.
Renault: Keep the peace.
PAULO: This smattering of issues and irritations hardly rise to the level of what I am accustomed to…
Renault: We're a little bit better adjusted, maybe.
PAULO: No, you are in a cultured environment and you are comporting yourself with poise and dignity. These peas that irritate are not revealed under such circumstances, which of course is one of the reasons for civilization to assure and encourage civilized behaviors. Even, however, in civilization there are raw edges.
I bring this up because of the idea of acknowledgement of the value of the human condition. When you put yourself in a position of thinking you are not acting in a spiritual manner, you say to yourself, "I am a child of God; I should not think this way, I should not feel this way," and so you judge your own behavior. Granted, the thought may not lubricate social intercourse, but it will inspire you to act.
The thing to do is not deny your human reactions and responses but to study them, to recognize them, and ascertain if you are merely being picky or if there is genuine and lasting harm. Naturally, to you who are temporal, finite beings, all these could represent lasting harm because your perspective is so short-term. But it behooves you to think in terms of the long-range repercussions of such things as, well, let's take grammar, for example.
Generally, educated people have worked hard to master the language. They respect its usage, and when they find it being used sloppily or without regard to clear communications, when folks resort to jargon or slang, or have no care as to how language is constructed, it reflects on the advances civilization has made from the time they communicated through grunts and growls.
Renault: We still do. (Laughter)
Men-O-Pah: We understand those better.
PAULO: Naturally, this is why it is a point their mind makes, because they are fully cognizant of the antithesis of those who care about communications, those who don't care, and that is the long-range concern. The same holds true for those who are diligent and industrious, who look at those who are in need of prodding as lazy or "dead wood," and it represents the irritation that is inherent in the striving for perfection.
If you can see the long-range view of why you are experiencing your irritation, you will be more inclined to spend time similarly on the irritations of others. You get irritated by rush-hour traffic. Obviously others do as well. While you may see these people as merely being in your way and keeping you from your tasks, they may be seeing the same of you. This kind of snarl is a reflection on too much all happening at once. The solution (other than a more temperate attitude) is staggered traffic.
The inherent antagonism in marriage is probably the more intimate of all these situations and so closer to home for there are inherent differences between men and women and the way they think and the way they approach their sundry tasks and without an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the other and a willingness to work in harmony with those strengths and those weaknesses, there will not be the desired result of marital bliss.
These are all behavioral difficulties. Oh, yes. All right. Gerdean's issue. The same holds for her issue. Taking the farther view. The material that may have been prepared for the intimate converse of personal groupings such as ours, being broadcast to the world at large, is, to her, an invasion of privacy of those persons who may or may not be ready, willing and able to have their names and idiosyncrasies used as a "cosmic guinea pig" while there are others who run to raise their hand to be used as an example of learning and teaching.
The bottom-line being, in all of these cases, how the human being is reacting and responding to the vagaries of life. When you gloss over these things and find your solution in passive acquiescence, it does not solve the issue. Giving it to God does not work if it keeps coming back. And so it gives rise to action. It stimulates action and in truth it is rebellion against that which irritates. And while on one hand your responses to that which irritates must remain to some extent within the bounds of your civility, they must also be honored for what they represent.
You are not your Thought Adjusters. You are not spirit. Your spiritual existence is aeons away from where you are now. Your soul is in the making. And your soul, which is your immortal self -- not your Adjuster -- is being carved day by day through your human contribution as well as your Adjuster's contribution to this liaison that is creating your immortal soul. You cannot have one without the other. It's a package deal.
If you don't respect the finite, the material, and the human, and deal with it accordingly, and with the benefit of spirit guidance and the constant and ever-present point of Stillness to help temper you in these efforts, you will simply return again and again and again to the irritation and not solve the problem.
Elena: Well, Paulo, can we get just a little bit more specific than that? I think mother's example is the easier one to ask about because, okay, so when she hears something that annoys her, like she said "between you and I" and I just want to know -- what irritates you about whatever, each time then is she supposed to go into Stillness and say, "Okay, what about that annoys me? Or why am I getting annoyed about that?" Is that kind of what you are saying?
Elena: Okay, or using my example. (That was kind of cruddy to shoot the focus on mother's but okay) so every time I feel compelled to say something just to kind of take a deep breath and breathe in spiritually balancing energy and then kind of wait a minute?
PAULO: Yes. I am suggesting you function from the soul level rather than from either extreme of the spirit or the raw animal. That is having your feet on the ground and your faith aloft. If someone is irritating you with grammar, do you really have to listen? If you do have to listen, you might consider educating them. (But if you choose to point out their ignorance, you'd best do it with some affection and diplomacy or you will miss the mark and simply be regarded as "critical.")
Factor in also the "mitigating circumstances." Is this person ignorant in every way? If so, perhaps they need to be regarded as you would "be kind to dumb animals." If it is that you don't like the person and you are looking at them critically and when they make such an error you use that to underscore why you don't like them, that may be a reflection on your own sense of superiority that you apply in order to feel secure in your own thoughts, beliefs and perspectives in the face of someone else having a different value system or approach.
When you deal with other personalities, you are dealing with the work of the realm. It is not a matter of manners, for manners will allow injustice, will gloss over injustice for the sake of peace or the status quo. But if these things that you have tucked in your mattress continue to aggravate you, deal with them. And that does not necessarily mean blaming yourself for having it, but finding out what kind of positive action you can take to resolve the situation, whether it is an actual situation or an imagined situation.
Jesus said you must have tact and tolerance, but nowhere is it said that you need to be walked on or over. The Christian principle of turning the other cheek is grossly misunderstood in that regard. It does not mean you need to take abuse. You need to learn how to establish boundaries so that you are not abused, and if it requires you rising up from the conditioning of oppression, cultural conditioning, racial conditioning, gender conditioning, et cetera, et cetera, then listen to your rebelliousness and show it some respect. If it is irritating you and has been for some time, sit down and find out what the deal is and then deal with it.
It was not dealt with in Palestine and look what we have going now. It was not dealt with in Jerusalem. It was not dealt with in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. It has not been dealt with in Washington, D.C. And these affect … oh yes, Africa! … these affect all of you. It affects evolution. And ultimately, it affects civilization.
Esmeralda: Paulo, you just mentioned Palestine and the problems there. I was just … earlier, very shortly before we came over to this meeting, listening to President Carter, who has just written a book about Palestine, Peace and Not Apartheid, and there was one thing that I was amazed, and I don't think very many people know this, but Israel has built a wall around the West Bank, which is the Palestinian property, and it is a huge wall, and they have built it to where the Palestinians can't get to Jerusalem, as you just mentioned Jerusalem, to worship. The wall goes through like -- between -- they can't -- they have a hard time even getting to work. And it has cut off their garden from their house and that wall is huge! And I didn't even know that existed.
PAULO: And how do you suppose this situation has come about? It has come about by someone's pea being buried in the mattress thousands and thousands of years ago.
PAULO: They have not yet resolved those old issues. This is why I urge you to resolve them on the spot. Dig up those old dried up peas that cause your mattress to be lumpy. Iron them out so as to not cause havoc in the future. We are at the beginning of a new dispensation. New information is coming in, new energies are being realized, old things are passing away. But as we embark upon the next step of the journey toward Light and Life, let us be mindful of those seeds we plant now, those seeds we hold close to us, nurture and foster, and ascertain the effects they will have in the long range, in the long run.
Elena: So what you are saying is actually one way that we can deal with things is every time we get annoyed at something, to look very carefully at the reason why we are annoyed and deal with it in ourselves, not within somebody else but what actually is supplying the burr under our own skin. Right?
PAULO: Yes. This is the starting point. This is where it begins, for it is the personal correction that must be done before you have can -- before you have any right -- any authority to strike out at those who have caused the irritation. Look at your self first and once you have thoroughly examined your motives and the effects of your causes, look for mitigating factors. Observe the source, the external source of irritation. If it is rush-hour traffic, if it is an overbearing employer, if it is someone who is unwilling to compromise, someone who chooses to disdain your authority, these are the issues that when allowed to fester give rise to situations such as the world is now experiencing. It creates war. When you have war within yourself, you are a breeding ground for war around you. They must be quelled. And so I say don't bury those little irritations; bring them out and deal with them. Personally, conscientiously, and without undue judgment of yourself or others.
You know that analogy of the cave man that is seen with his club raised, looking like an uncivilized brute, willing to take you down if you get too close. But if you expand the picture and see what the savage is defending and if and when it is something that you yourself can identify with as having value, then you can see them not as a stranger, but as a fellow mortal being with the same concerns and emotional packaging. Every one of you has concerns about how you spend your time, about your genes, your contributions, your handicaps, your flaws, your skills. Every human being on the face of the planet has these concerns. Being a religionist does not set you above other human beings. It only affords you an opportunity to step outside of the rancor and the chaos to partake of that moment of Stillness that will help you (and your blood pressure, and your adrenaline) all return to a level of function that you can act to improve the situation rather than fostering and nurturing the hardness in your heart.
Trust is the factor here. And so we all see you with walls built around you. Some of them are built on other people's turf, telling other people what they can and cannot do, where they can and cannot go, what they can and cannot have or what they cannot use. Respect is a huge issue when you are dealing with fellow human beings.
Quitting the judgment game is like quitting a very bad habit. If you have to stop every four seconds to remind yourself "You don't need it. You don't need it. You don't need it," then stop every four seconds, because eventually if you really want to work on this, if you put your rebellious nature to constructive use, you can overcome these irritations to good end, such that you can muddle along without losing it every few seconds and gradually you will be able to overcome it completely.
I don't say that as a blanket excuse for people to misconstrue that these are only a personal problem and for you to "get over it" because they are not just a personal problem. They are a social problem. And if you want to create light and life, or even small pockets of light and life, you absolutely must take the time necessary to develop trust, to develop respect, and to respect the boundaries that you mutually establish in your efforts to work harmoniously together. Even if your work together is unrelated, as long as you are taking up space on the same planet, in the same architectural sphere, it is essential that you be responsible for how you affect others.
This is obviously why we Teachers (not me so much as some of your regulars) have spent countless hours introducing you to the benign virus, the joy of loving, the actuality of the divine embrace, for that reality is the lure. It is the prize. It is the living water on which we float our boats.
I would like to get past this incessant warring. Until we get past this incessant warring, we will not play host to a Magisterial Son or any other high beings who cannot act without a greater degree of peaceful community and greater unity of purpose -- that purpose not being especially the short-term goals that you have created for yourselves but the long-term goals that have been created On High that await your cooperation. That is all I have for you today.
Group: Thank you, Paulo.
Renault: Thanks for your hard work, Paulo. I know that you are working hard and it's hard work [inaudible] in a country where so many people get along with each other, despite our differences, it is hard for us to comprehend how people that all seem the same could hate each other so badly. Maybe you could help us nationally with that understanding.
PAULO: You can help nationally with that understanding. You can, by and through your own efforts. There is another visitor. I must go.
Group: Okay. Bye, Paulo.
ANDROMADEUS: I am Andromadeus, the Most High Observer of your world. I do not intend to pontificate, but I do want to remind you that it is an organized universe. There are divisions of labor. There are avenues of service, even channels where money flows. The angelic orders are arranged in order to save time and effort. It is in the interest of "spiritual economy" that certain divisions are established. They are not established to segregate or alienate but to compliment and cooperate.
Using the example of the married couple to which Paulo referred, there are certain realms of responsibility that fall under the purview of each party in the partnership, and when it is harmonious, it is effective. The same is true with groups. You have been encouraged from the beginning to develop groups and to foster certain loyalties that are inherent within like-minded individuals, for there is strength in numbers. You can do more when you work together than you can as individuals.
I encourage you again to seek and find your group. Create one if you can. It takes three to constitute a group. Three finite beings, if you will, since you are finite creatures working in a finite environment. As you gather yourselves together in community and unity of purpose, depending upon your stated purpose and your goals, you will be given augmentation of energy - not only from yourselves but also from the universe, which will work to support your efforts.
Eventually these groupings may or will fall into alignment with others that can create a new gridwork of the follow-through to all these efforts, which is a literal showing of light and life on your world, in the material sense. On earth as it is in heaven. That is all.
Group: Thank you.
MERIUM: And this is Merium coming around again to shake the pillows and stir you up from our two guests who were typically weighty. The problem with their being here today rather discourages me from reaching my own capacities as a Teacher, for I know you have limitations on what you can and will absorb in any one sitting. This is, incidentally, why we repeat ourselves over the months and over the years, because you need reminded, because you forget, and because you think you already learned the lesson when in fact each new situation presents the same dilemmas and puzzles to be faced again and again and again.
Elena: Merium, what do you think Andromadeus meant about seeking new groups. What's your interpretation on that? What was he driving at?
MERIUM: Invite friends over for tea and create bonding. Find like-minded individuals and cultivate them. Nurture a society of peers. Do with your friends like I do with you. Feed them - physically, socially, spiritually - and invite them to return for more. If you want friends, you must be friendly. When you realize that what everyone really wants is alliance, you will encourage a productive alliance.
MERIUM: We here have something in common - that being the efforts to bridge the gap between the finite and the infinite, the material and the spiritual, our attempts to develop morontia reality in that area to which you are being introduced and where I live, that area where you will live when you depart from the material existence, when you transfer to Mansonia. We have that in common. Actually everyone has it in common, but they don't know it yet.
Nurture their reality. Nurture their eternal reality, in whatever ways you can. It does not mean you have to introduce them to the Urantia Book or the Teaching Mission. It does not mean you have to speak philosophically or intellectually. It is simply reflecting your friendship with God and the God that dwells within them. Draw people out. Find out about them. Accentuate the positive. Help and counsel if you are asked to on those areas where they may have their peas tucked into their mattress. Seek peace, joy and understanding. Everyone enjoys this kind of feeling.
If you will notice, the world is crazy. It is in a break neck speed heading God knows where. Those of you who have mastered Stillness, who enjoy the silence, and who hear the whispers of the Divine, know the peace which passes all understanding. It is not a dull place by any means! It is rich with impressions and abundant with security. How many people do you know who are running around helter-skelter looking for the Kingdom outside of themselves, when indeed it is within. Help people go within.
Nurture this calm - the calm in the eye of the hurricane. I realize you all get caught up in the maelstrom, in the mayhem that the hurricane causes, but take a moment to lapse into Stillness and find that eye once more, for then you are a part of the solution. You are out of the chaos, no longer a part of the problem. It is a discipline. It is a practice. But the rewards are infinite and the goal is indeed eternal. So have patience with your self and with others. Cease your useless judging, each and every one of you, for it is a part of the human condition that you judge. It is how you deal with that judgment, how that affects your society with your others that will determine whether we proceed or whether we run aground. Are there questions?
Elena: No, that was pretty helpful, thank you.
Esmeralda: I think this whole session has been very helpful today.
MERIUM: Then let's play. I'll see you next time we gather together.
Group: Thank you, Merium!
MERIUM: Love and kisses, bye-bye.