2010-07-12-Shrinking Earth

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Topic: Shrinking Earth

Group: Marin TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Nebadonia

TR: JL

Session

Opening

Dear Mother Spirit and Michael, Tonight I want to thank you for all the help your lessons have given me in changing and expanding my relationships with people. I’ve always been blessed with a few close friends and a larger group of acquaintances at work or in the neighborhood, but I pretty much ignored everyone else in my day to day casual contacts. Looking back I think I just ignored folks by using an automatic dismissal. I saw people in stereotypes by their physical shapes, the clothes they were wearing, whether they were attractive or not to me, and other summary things.

But with your help and with these wonderful lessons I’ve been able to see individuals and really delight in the variety that you, and Michael, and our Father have created. It’s a treasure now just to walk along a city street and be able to see so much character and soul in each individual face. This is a blessing indeed and I can only imagine that in the next phases of eternal life to come it’s even more so. I think this is what you mean by our consciousness being expanded, and our spiritual sense of value continuing to grow on and on forever. Then to think of meeting other personal beings besides humans; it’s quite a thrill. So I thank you for your many lessons on the essential nature of personal relationships between unique beings. Amen.

NEBADONIA: Good evening, my loyal children, this is Nebadonia, your spirit mother. I am also your Holy Spirit, your Great Spirit, the bringer of life. I receive the thanks and the appreciation from all the worshipful folks on earth, whether they know my exact identity or not. I am literally part of their mentality, part of their spirit power, their creative and recognition power, understanding and courage. And this is my greatest delight, being part of so many children of so many different orders and kinds and species on so many worlds, even including all the architectural spheres. This is part of that greater glory that you too will grow into as you come to meet my various orders of children, and even the visitors from outside our Local Universe, some of them hailing all the way from Paradise.

Lesson

Interdependence

  • The shrinking earth

While your growth is gradual, purposely so, so as not to overwhelm you, you are already getting a start towards this glory with an inner orientation and stillness which gives you so much consciousness of soul wealth in this your first, human life. It’s this inner life, leading to an appreciation of each other--of each others’ backgrounds, that is so desperately needed on Urantia right now. You are being shoved together with your mass media truly shrinking the earth from what it has ever been. It’s like going from being a country boy or girl to suddenly being rushed into the center of a large cosmopolitan city with so many races and cultures and ethnic backgrounds. This is essentially what all parts of the world are going through. Couple this with a kind of polarization stemming from an increasing clarity of different points of view that, on first contact anyway, bring them into stark contrast with each other. More and more you can see the critical necessity for everyone being able to recognize their underlying humanity through all these cultural differences.

This is why consciousness itself has to expand, everyone’s consciousness. Else you get into some very fearful fundamentalism as people try desperately to retain all the particular essence and unique qualities of their separate culture, fearful their treasured, holy traditions will be lost in some kind of Disney-esque theme park of an all-too-modern plastic world. The only way out of this double-bind situation is for everybody to grow, grow both their appreciation for everyone’s cultural and ethnic differences, and, at the exact same time, also grow ever larger their perception and appreciation of the universal humanity that you all share.

One solution is what you are exploring, my children, being able to see through ingrained prejudices and stereotyping to individuals. It may seem like a paradox or a contradiction you stumble over, over and over again, but your very individual uniqueness is what you all have in common. Yet this seeming paradox can turn into a deeper appreciation of both your differences and shared humanity reflecting each other. This is how everyone gets to keep their most precious cultural identity. They appreciate their ties with the long history of their group, yet welcome a growing ability to embrace so many other different folks as God’s universal children.

So we’ve had our lessons on the enormous differences that exist on Urantia. This lack of a unifying worldwide culture yet is partly due to the failures of your Planetary Prince and his staff, and then later your Material Son and Daughter, Adam and Eve. There are near stone-age tribes still in the jungles and backwaters of your world, all the while you have folks living in outer space. Right there is the re-capitulation of the technological evolution of the human race, and, as Michael said in his last lesson, there’s a real limit to which folks can walk in someone else’s shoes and truly appreciate what they go through in their day to day life. Just the specialization in the more technologically advanced cultures can mean that neighbors living side by side sometimes can barely understand how each other lives their days. One can be involved in hands-on physical work, compared to which his neighbor deals in realms of pure financial abstraction. Both can be equally productive and necessary.

Relationship, Attitude

So think about all that’s wrapped up in that one little word--relationship. Your Urantia book introduces the [concept] that life is not only what takes place within you--your heartbeat, your breathing, turning your food into energy, all that your mind is capable of thinking and remembering, all your spirit is capable of valuing and creating. Human life is not only all this inner reality, it’s equally what happens between the organism and its environment. For most people not living as hermits off in the woods somewhere, the really great part of their environment is the other people in it, as well as their homes, their cars-- all their possessions. These are your family, your friends, your near acquaintances, and work-mates, all those others, as you say, you come into casual contact with just walking down a city street.

So wonder about these relationships from time to time. Meditate on this. Feel for how much of a tough equanimity and balance you have within yourself, my children, in terms of welcoming in another person, whether an old friend or a complete stranger. Once you have a rich inner life, how much can you let go this wonderful inner reality we’ve encouraged you to get a feeling for, forget yourself, and take in another person, unafraid? How much can you really listen, letting go your own thoughts and your own points to make? Can you really listen and trust that your own response will pop up again?--only now, having listened carefully, you will be more responsive to the dynamic here and now, this here and now, this other living person.

Your Urantia book defines your attitude as both your willingness and your ability to relate to reality and the people in it. What is your will? What is your intention? What are your desires in this aspect of your life, these relationships? What you want? What do you hope to accomplish? Given all these, what is your ability to relate to others, or, at times, your lack of ability? When have you had enough? When is it time to be alone, to think and get some rest and understanding from all the confrontation and connection?

The ability part we’ve covered so often, breaking down the word--responsibility--into your ability to adequately respond to a situation irrespective of how much you can directly control it. In fact, how much can you relinquish your control of a situation and still feel comfortable? How much are you in touch with your own basic humanity and that tough equanimity I mentioned, so you can give other folks the benefit of the doubt and extend to them an as yet unproven trust--faith in your fellow men. Can you be a little thick-skinned and not take offence when none is intended? How forgiving can you be of other folks’ lack of manners, or rudeness, when they are unintentional? Can you meet all those faces you encounter with this kind of a tough balance inside, ready to return a smile or disregard a slight? All this comes under the heading: being there for others; being the cheerful, stalwart soul you yourself so enjoy meeting.

So, my children, if you think about it, a good way to behave, yourself, is right there in your ideal of the kind of person you’d enjoy meeting. In my very first lesson with this group I challenged you to think of a better world, a world filled with more spiritually appreciative people. Another way is to imagine what the Morontia worlds must be like where everyone’s character and soul are so much more apparent and willing to be shared. Then think of how much of this you could accomplish day by day if only you could have that strong, delightful and playful orientation. Let yourselves go. Forget yourselves. Relinquish yourselves with this enormous strength of spiritual assurance and determination--your most sincere attitude--your willingness and ability to relate.

If there is a critique we could make in a most general way about some of your more modern folks, it’s what you’ve begun to recognize as “cocooning”--living in a self-chosen cocoon. The very specialization you all enjoy in a highly advanced technological society enables folks to live so much more alone by themselves with only the TV and the internet for company. These are marvelous inventions, wonderful sources of information on, now, worldwide activities, cultures, and history, available at your fingertips. But it’s not the same as being out there meeting other folks and doing all kinds of things together, work and play.

In his last lesson Michael teased you with the notion of rediscovering the great art of conversation, being able to entertain yourself and each other with your own creativity, resisting the temptation to be merely passive consumers of entertainment. So spend some time and meditate on your relationships, my children. See if you can feel what we mean by a higher consciousness that can expand and grow to encompass more and more differences. Welcoming this challenge is the best way to exercise your spirit. Keep this spiritual orientation deep inside: all-inclusiveness. Be unafraid to look upon any other human condition whatsoever, and bring all of the folks of the world you can be aware of, bring them all inside you. Be willing to stretch your own limited notions of what humanity means, and what it means to be human. Be willing to see everyone, every man, woman, and child as your brother and sister, for only then can you truly appreciate God’s infinite power in creating so many unique personalities, even on one little planet among billions.

This day to day practice of enjoying other folks can be a most sincere form of worship, of thankfulness, of realization, of all that is behind the word--God. You are all little walking infinities--as we like to call you--so infinity is not only out there among the galaxies, it’s right inside you as well; and inside everyone else. In this you are most like our Father, my children, in that He has endowed you, if not the ability to create infinity, at least the ability to appreciate it in each other. That’s the truly fundamental relationship: between you and all the unique personalities your Father has created. So: enjoy. Enjoy each other as we most definitely enjoy you.

Thank You again, dear Father, for these my children and the joy we share. Now if you have any questions or comments, we enjoy these too.

Dialogue

Student: Hello, Mother. Thank you for all your lessons. I have one question about praying: what is prayer? What is the best way to pray for someone else?--and myself also?

Prayer

NEBADONIA: Yes, my son, your very asking is a kind of prayer. Let me suggest two things, and they are: devotion and time. Prayer is essentially devoting your time to acknowledge greater spirit, and asking of this greater spirit for help. There is no hard and fast line between prayer--which is a kind of asking for help, and worship--which is essentially a gesture of thankfulness; they are so closely allied. The asking for help in prayer is a worshipful acknowledgement of spirit--of your Father’s spirit, of Michael’s spirit, and my Holy Spirit.

Your Urantia book says that the most devout prayer comes after you have exhausted all of your own abilities and are sincerely asking for that which lies beyond your own power. So prayer is this opening your heart to feel, and opening your mind to receive. The presence of God within you, my son, is capable--with your attention and devotion, and your acceptance--of actually giving you discrete ideas and guidance.

Your prayers for another are, again, acknowledging this connection, this spiritual connection that exists between you and the person of your prayer. Your Father, Michael and I--we are the conduit, the medium that carries your intention to another. There exists God’s great personality circuit throughout the universe that concretely, right here on earth, connects you and someone else. It is your devotion to be spending your time, and sending part of your life-force to another: this is the essence of prayer and love for another. In a sense you are asking of your own spirit, through the whole spiritual community, to give this other person some help in their life.

So there is a sense of worshipfulness, of thankfulness in sincere prayer, my son, that helps open your heart and helps you form your determination to care. This devotion and determination are their own inner reward for you. They help make you strong and loving. The glow you feel is the hallmark of your appreciation of our Father’s existence, and His connecting everyone to everyone else. Now does all of this accord with your own feelings of what prayer is, and can be?

Student: I feel one step closer in understanding, because I wasn’t quite sure in my own heart I was doing it right. Now maybe I understand there’s no wrong way to do it.

NEBADONIA, laughing: Exactly!--just thinking of someone else, and sending them your love and strength--wishing and hoping for the best for them.

Student: I think I know the answer, but I’m not positive: do the words make any difference? Or is it that God, and you, and Michael can know the intention of my heart.

NEBADONIA: Again: exactly! You recall in your Urantia book’s version of Michael’s life among you what difficulties Jesus had persuading even the members of his own group they needn’t engage in some formal, predetermined, priest/rabbi-certified form of prayer, but that the most sincere form of prayer is an inner conversation with God. It’s with your devotion and trust--your faith--that you can feel and acknowledge His presence, that His spirit is capable of carrying your intentions and strength to someone else in need of them; that prayer can be a real, effective gift and not just some kind of wishful thinking or self-deception. This is the strength of faith.

So yes, my son, we are capable of seeing not only your personality and its desires, but your very soul. We definitely feel the love you send through us to your dear friend in need.

Student: Thank you, Mother.

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome. Keep praying. Keep worshiping. I think you can feel how this is helping you grow inside and grow in all your wonderful relationships we talked about tonight. Prayer and worship are very much a part of your willingness and your ability to experience the great personality circuit of God’s. Be in my love.

Student: Yes, Mother, you’ve touched upon so many things I’ve been thinking about, mainly, what it is to be truly human and appreciating each person’s uniqueness--that adds so much flavor to our lives? For myself, it’s when I relinquish a need for control that I feel I‘m coming from a space of integrity and love, rather than from how I think things should be. I’m allowing myself to experience and explore that infinitude of being you expressed tonight.

There’s a spaciousness to ourselves we need to tap into. There’s a unified field of consciousness and intelligence we’re also becoming aware of through our science and its ideas of singularity. Yet it’s always been there. It’s only our developing our innate sense of this that is changing. We get so bogged down with points of view, and negativity, and hatred, and scarcity--ideologies and prejudices; we are missing the total picture. We fight for things senselessly, that have no true meaning in the grand scheme of the cosmos.

So I really appreciate what you said tonight. I try to truly appreciate each relationship I’m a part of--or not a part of. We’re all brothers and sisters. I feel so blessed to be able to know that God is in each one of them, no matter how much or how little they have in life compared to me. God doesn’t love someone because they’re rich, or because they’re homeless and poor. At times I get disheartened because I feel I’m not accepting the fullness of my potential. So how do I access this potential we all have?--to, like, instantaneously access all that we need?--or, in the blink of an eye, transport ourselves from here to there?

I realize a baby crawls before it can walk, but the capacity to walk is there; it just takes time to get there. And about prayer: it says in the Urantia book the only prayer is to pray to be in the extension of the kingdom of heaven, here and now. So thank you for tonight’s lesson.

Meaning

  • When things seem meaningless

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, my son. I enjoy how you ask and then answer yourself, because it does help you keep your orientation toward that open, universal field that is, ultimately and singularly, God’s will. If you’re looking for a challenge to tap into your potential, let me offer the viewpoint of Michael’s and mine that nothing is, as you suggested, meaningless. So perhaps when you reflect on those things you feel are meaningless--we know what you mean by that--but see if you can perceive that nothing that happens--whether peaceful or warlike between people--is without its sufficient causes and effects when you include all their understandings and intentions. This sense of meaninglessness of yours is only your own evaluation of an event; perhaps one you share with, or derived from, others of a like mind. As we’ve taught before: everything that exists has a physical, mental, or spiritual/creative cause--in human events, a combination of all of these. So the meaning of any human event can be extremely complex and, in so many instances, deliberately hidden for a purpose. And even Michael and I would hesitate to say what is of absolute or ultimate value in the grand scheme of the cosmos.

The challenge is to recognize that this perception of meaninglessness--so seemingly obvious at times, so out there and objective--as I spoke of in my lesson--is your own value-projection, originating within you. This truth is really difficult to realize because the perception is automatic and instantaneous. To get through a projection to the underlying, more truly objective reality and meaning of an event has to start with fully comprehending and accepting this principle: nothing that happens is meaningless from a spiritually/inclusive point of view. You have to reject the seemingly obvious perception and go deeper. You’re rejecting simple-mindedness and superficiality for complexity, breadth, and depth.

True enough, people can act like automatons, subservient to someone else’s will, and without meaning to do the harm they do; but this is in itself very meaningful: it’s tragic. So much of the horrific violence done in the continuance of the ideologies you mentioned is of this nature. Try to see both the continuity of a tradition, or culture, or belief, as well as the specific causes and effects of a particular event--both of these factors. Only then can you get a fuller meaning of any event in time. A hallmark of where to look is in what appears meaningless! That’s where you need to investigate a little bit more. Perhaps investigate too what philosophy or understanding has led you to perceive something as having no meaning.

Student: Yes, I understand that. It’s partly impatience because I sense that life can be lived a different way, a better, clearer-minded way, that has always been there. That better way has always been there!

Potential

  • Potential and actual

NEBADONIA: Let me stop you right here, my son, because this is where you’re lacking a distinction between potential and actual. Nothing is “there” until it is there. True enough, potential has an existence as pure possibility, but consider how much potential is never actualized, and then the moment is gone and the possibilities change. Everything is in a living flux. A thousand and one possibilities swarm around every single actuality--it’s the excitement in your sports--but that one thing is all that is happening. You can lose what is happening, and what actually has happened in history, in your impatient focus on what could be, but never seems to come about; or what could have been, but never was. Meanwhile the real escapes your respect for the difference between it and what only--might be. This is partly why the real--what is actually happening!--seems to lose meaning when you focus so much on what is not happening. Don’t you have an olden saying, something like: The saddest words of tongue or pen are those that go: it might have been. So keep your spirits up. Keep both your sense of a better way, my son, and what actually is; but also keep a clear distinction of the difference. This way you see the full meaning and value in everything.

So carry on. This is your way of clarifying your thinking, and it’s necessary--something I enjoy doing with you.

Student: Yes, because it seems we keep on repeating history, and we keep on trying to fix something using the same thought processes--which is a definition of insanity. We’re on a hamster-wheel going round and round but we’re afraid to stop and be still for a moment. I’m saying, Hey!--there’s got to be a different way--to see all this.

NEBADONIA: You have to see, and appreciate, the fear folks have of a different way, because not all those different ways are any better; maybe much worse. That’s also human experience.

Student: I think it starts with how we see ourselves and each other. You’ve talked about that, how there’s not a world-wide uniform culture that everyone more or less agrees to, that enhances what it means to be human. What if we grew up knowing there’s nothing wrong with us, that we’re OK? We’re not really sinful; there’s no Karmic retribution.

NEBADONIA: But realize, my son, that OK-ness only comes with maturity. As you grow up you’re immediately confronted with pain, sadness, loss; with bigger, more powerful others; perhaps with selfish, self-centered and cruel parents: all the experiences that are not OK. Irrespective of what philosophy you’re raised with, these are realities you have to contend with. It takes maturity and understanding--at whatever age, but the younger the better--to achieve an acceptance and good feeling about all that you’ve encountered.

But yes, the process is complicated by those folks who derive their power from getting you to feel you are not OK, and that they have the key to your better life. All through history there’ve been those who professed to be spiritual teachers and leaders who were merely politicians, and crooked ones at that, interested only in increasing their own power and possessions rather than gaining, and sharing, spiritual insights.

Student: The reason I have these questions is, we don’t seem to examine reality. Why am I acting the way I am? Why am I re-acting the way I am? We never stop ourselves. Sometimes when I say something is meaningless, I mean there’s so much more that language can’t say--there’s no words. I mean I know that whatever happens to someone, it’s meaningful to them. I’m just opening up and sharing with people they don’t have to follow every compulsion or sensation. There’s a deeper, unified substance to all of this, and to all of us. And we have access to that infinitude of feeling and love if we’ll just accept it. Thank you.

NEBADONIA: That is a good definition of what we term God’s will, which is essentially loving and nurturing/supportive--creative. That dimension does indeed exist. I think Michael in his last lesson pointed out the living here-and-now is definitely not an “it.” It’s literally God’s will--in total I mean. You all have your own wills and freedom too. So keep exploring. This orientation is the essence of Michael’s Spirit of Truth.

Student: I think you’re driving all the Urantia people crazy.

Discovery

  • God’s will as an ongoing discovery

NEBADONIA: Not at all. This is something that the Urantia book itself reminds you, that even though we live in God and move and have our being in Him and in His will, it is moment-by-moment in space and time we discover what that will is. We don’t just automatically know it beforehand: it’s an adventure. As Jesus said, you approach ultimate reality with the faith of a child. That kind of purity towards real and genuine simplicity--that spiritual singularity you mentioned that even physicists are pursuing--that is where His will is a discovery and no living person has a final handle on it, especially for someone else. An adventure is where you don’t know, and can’t know, everything that is going to happen. You have to live it, and grow a soul.

So thank you for the interesting conversations. It’s good to see you embracing the adventure, because there is a growth required to go in both directions of embracing all of humanity, and more and more of the individuals right at hand. The full spectrum of people, from the most primitive to the most enlightened, is humbling indeed. You are even to yourself a little walking infinity; so much was--and still is--moment-by-moment--just given to you of yourself of body, mind, and spirit. That there are billions of you does stretch the meaning of human nature.

But there is no meaninglessness in that every person is moment-by-moment complete in God’s eyes, however much or little of this they can realize. What is there for them--the actuality--from the inside out--can be so meaningless as to overwhelm them in insanity. And that experience is also fully real. Human life is all very provisional, moment-to-moment: what you can know; what you can realize; what you can do; what you can share; how you can love. It’s the orientation toward spirit, toward inclusive truth, that is definitely the way to go.

Closing

So carry on, my beloved children. This is your mother, Nebadonia, signing off. Be in my love. Good evening.