2010-01-03-Languishing in Isolation
Topic: Languishing in Isolation
Group: Rio Rancho TeaM
Teacher: What About Bob
WHAT-ABOUT-BOB: Hello. Group: Hello. WHAT-ABOUT-BOB: I’m not wasting any time … because the opportunity presents itself so seldom these days, one must strike while the iron is hot. Group: Thanks for coming.
WHAT-ABOUT-BOB: Thanks for being open to a visitor. This is What-About-Bob and Lady, as anticipated. I heard you rattle off a litany of topics that we might like to embark upon, the New Year being fresh on your minds. It would be nice to suggest that you utilize the New Year as an opportunity to renew your contacts with your celestial helpers but we hesitate to do such a thing because you fall short, you fall by the wayside oftentimes in your rush to do life on life’s terms, and when you look around and see you have fallen off your pattern, you feel guilty and/or as if you didn’t need it anyway, or that it has served its purpose, and so it becomes just another thing to deal with -- like New Year’s Resolutions, we hardly make them anymore.
And knowing that, we observe how many people do make resolutions and how many of them are so short-lived. It is more often an exercise in frustration and self-defeatism than it is a self-stimuli package. But that said, it is always intriguing to test your own capacities, your own disciplines, your own endurance levels. It’s always good to challenge yourself, particularly when you have an idea of what your capacities are and you pretty well function within those capacities effectively. It would seem “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.” But sometimes, making that extra effort, going that extra mile – just one more push up – will set a new record toward your sense of accomplishment.
Much of the work of the spirit is being your cheerleader and coach. Inasmuch as love is the benign virus, it is constantly seeking to infuse you with positivity. Even about yourself. And so when you are vulnerable to feeling less than optimistic about “things,” the mere reach for higher values, expanded consciousness, divine intelligence will help lift you up and over the edge into a plateau of operation that is better than the alternative, which would be that couch potato you referenced. It’s similar to adding a dimension to reality that creates morontia reality over and above mere metaphysics.
I wanted to speak to you a bit today about the tendency of mortals to languish in isolation, which is a tendency that can be cultivated as a response to the limitations that beset you in a cultural paradigm. The more populated the world becomes, it would seem, the less opportunity you have to feel that pinch of isolation that would lead to languishing, but in truth, a crowd is a very lonely place to be. It is like the maelstrom, the exterior of the hurricane in which you find yourself in the peaceful eye. You really don’t want to hang around in that energetic chaos, progressive but destructive, any longer than is avoidable, but the alternative is the isolation of self-imposed exile from others whose existence is another whirling dervish. This is the manner of electro-chemical beings. They are able to bounce off the walls and off of each other much like bumper cars until such time as they have order and a good orderly direction, which often requires rules, guidelines and disciplines which most folk are not willing to undertake even to accomplish the peace which passes all understanding.
Let’s take this a bit further and socialize it. If you can follow my illustration here, think of each of you as that electrochemical whirling dervish, grounded by the immediate and eternal point of reference that is unchanging. You have then the challenge of recognizing and identifying with, even working with that unchanging personality reality of another entity all the while by-passing and stepping over the constant effects of the electrochemical environment that lays between you like a moat. The atmosphere must be by-passed. And yet each of you spill so much into your atmosphere, it is coming at you and going out from you almost incessantly, simply by the nature of your physical and chemical composition. You may seek to function completely from the center within, but no matter how earnest and sincere your efforts are to be perfect and to reflect perfection, you cannot control what happens to the energy you call your own when it escapes from your sanctuary and explodes into the external environment, which lays between you and your peers. And still one languishes in isolation. So how does one overcome that middle ground / turf?
You are admonished to learn to perceive the presence of God in one another and in yourself. Many people think that this is a state of sublime peace and it is, but it is much more. It is all things; it is all encompassing; it even encompasses the chaos that is your environment. It is expectations about what God is or how people should project that energy that causes such social unrest. This is also why people will put up with the chaos and imperfection that is part of the human condition, even to the extent of putting up with abuse – so as not to feel the pinch of isolation. Yes, it is possible to live within your sanctuary with God as your constant companion, but it does not render you useful to the world outside if you cannot relate to the world outside and identify with it, even in its chaos.
The chief inhibitor to this being a productive and compassionate reality for many of you is the inability to recognize the presence of God within. You have closed yourself off to protect yourself from that emotional and mental excitement. You have put up boundaries such that nothing can get through – either in or out – and you end up isolated, wherein you languish. Now, you may not even realize you are languishing. You may think you are being serene. You may think this is peace when it may actually be stagnancy. And these nuances of mortal reality can come and go often in the course of any and all individuals.
When people feel the need for socialization, they generally find a way to make a connection with other people, through calling them on the telephone or going to visit them or even going to the mall where they may be assured of a population much like themselves – individuals in motion, carrying on the business of living. This diminishes the sense of isolation and of languishing, and so shopping is a great stimulator of energy on many levels. It soothes the savage breast (the savage beast as well) and temporarily pacifies the electrochemical environment. It is something on which to focus, something self-gratifying.
Does anyone have anything they would like to ask, any questions about what I’ve talked about, or anything at all? We’ve got the opportunity and I have managed to interject my little message and so I would like to hear from you, should you like to open yourself and enter the energetic avenues of possibility that lay between us.
Student #1: Can I ask about the health of my friend, G.H.?
WHAT ABOUT BOB: What do you want to ask?
Student #1: Is she near death? Is she in the dying stages?
WHAT ABOUT BOB: This is a crystal ball question.
Student #1: I—Really. No one knows. Just being sort of … out there.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: I don’t find fault with your question; I just can’t answer it.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: You have found yourself a suitable paradigm of action. You have all rather agreed on a course and have been sticking to it. This makes for smooth sailing. This is one of the things necessary to establish effective teamwork, having the mutual unity of purpose that you all understand to be the reason you have all gotten together. Sometimes pulling the energies in, sometimes pushing them out – as you would say “pushing the envelope” – but by and large you know what you meet for, and you apply yourself to that task. Having a program, an agenda, a purpose, adds structure and order to what might otherwise be a part of the whirling dervish.
Structure provides you with an anchor that you can glom onto together as a social group – as a group rather than isolated individuals. It’s good to see how effectively working groups can be made to order, and how effective and happy members can find themselves therein. This kind of behavior gives off good energy, just as an upbeat God-conscious, spirit-led individual gives off good energy … although again, what happens to that energy after it leaves the nest – the collective nest in this case – will depend upon the electrochemical configuration into which it is spilled. It may be met with fear and trepidation; it may be met with acceptance and peace; and it may be accepted with enthusiasm as part of the solution. And those are not for you to know in advance. Just know that as the Master taught, some seeds will fall on fertile soil, some will fall on barren ground, and some will be whisked off on the winds to further pollinate fields far and away from yours. So, in other words, it’s good to see you are having a good show of it in your group.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Aren’t they wonderful to behold? This is one of the cherished gifts of faithers. They are given glimpses of the reality they strive for. It is like proof of their assurance of spirit reality, confirmation of their faith.
Student #1: Thank you so much for those confirmations, too. I think it also encourages prayerful activity because you also see your prayers are being heard and answered and tended to and problems solved and things like that and it’s amazing and wonderful, and thank you, everybody involved.
Student #1: What fun.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Dynamic. Yes. What fun.
Student #2: Well, is there any advice as we go forth this year? Do’s or do not’s?
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Who is “we”?
Student #2: Anybody. Us. We. You.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: No. Again I am not inclined to pull out the crystal ball.
Student #2: I mean in general.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: In general, it’s a new year for you. It’s the same period of time to us.
Student #2: It’s now.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Truly, it is now. Following yesterday, preceding tomorrow. In many ways it’s what you make of it; in other ways, it’s how you handle it. In another way, it’s what you do with it, whether you ignore it. The main thing is to experience it. And, as we discussed above, in terms of whether to experience that as a sacred place of worship and companionship with the divine mind, or to attempt to reach out and connect with others, and to what extent you are successful, may you all have fun doing it. This is not to say that some disciplines and exercises are not without struggle or effort, but there is no happiness without intelligent effort. And so think not it will be a piece of cake. It will not just be handed to you. You will need to do some contributing to the process, but again, this is what makes it fun. This is how you can claim participation in the advancing, ascending, reality in which you live and of which you are a part -- ultimately, the evolving God of experience, to which you meaningfully contribute.
Student #2: “Not my will but Thine be done,” hopefully. Yes. So we would like to know and be guided in our comings and goings and joyful happenings that the paradigm that we live and create is one blessed by divine design.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Amen.
Student #2: I just hope we can put enough good thoughts toward a good awakening, new future, new paradigm, new world structure of everything --- and I know it takes a long time and it’ll all get there and there’ll be struggle and hopefully we can keep the joy and happiness along there as we do that; and keep in touch with what we’re doing and where we’re doing because we are all children of God and we’re on a destiny here, so we want to make it as pleasant as possible and as easy for people as possible. That’s my wish for the New Year.
Student #2: More like a grandparent. Less involved.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Well, at some point, it’s okay to acknowledge your own experiential wisdom and the importance of passing on what you know to those who follow. This is part of the natural design, the divine design, if you will. That’s why experience is the best teacher and why people should be respected for that experience, simply because it has been experienced -- without judgment as to whether it was a good experience, a bad experience, helpful, not helpful, or any number of qualifiers.
Student #3: There was an interesting talk this morning about cause and effect, and how different religions call it. Some call it karma, some call it “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” … so everybody addresses it, it’s just called something different.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Basically it’s the Golden Rule.
Student #3: Right. And what you put out is what comes back forth to you.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Such as when you point your finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you.
Student #3: Right. Or the mirror.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Well, yes, this all reflects on the fact that on some level you are all connected, and on that level of cosmic connection, that intelligence gridwork, you cannot know isolation for you are “one with everything.”
Student #3: You are never alone. There are too many entities around.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: When you live on that transcendental plane, yes. When you live in the finite world, however, you are subject to the vagaries of the finite existence, and it is not always so evident. Nor can one simply forego one’s own will to the point of perpetual non-existence. One must have a will to make choices! So a good balance is a good perspective -- one which offers the polarity inherent in contrasts, such as male and female, providing perspectives on an issue; or the angels of the churches and the angels of progress having differing perspectives; but overall growing while maintaining the stabilization necessary to allow the growing to be constructive rather than destructive. Rather like the positive and negative play together to provide the balance necessary for my companion and I to interact and interchange our gifts and tools to the situation we apply ourselves to in service. Left foot, right foot; left foot, right foot; adjuster, guardian; adjuster, guardian; breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in. Balance.
Student #3: Well, questions are endless.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: And they all come back to the same source.
Student #3: Within.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Within. And more will be revealed.
Student #4: Bob, I had a question after you finished talking, because in all of your talking you were talking about physical presence, the physical presence of God within the self and the physical presence of God within other people, and that solidifying reality, as compared to the space between us that is more chaotic and electro-chemical, bouncing around, up for grabs, depending upon how it is affected and how it is received by whatever else is going on out there. So I wanted to hear more about, or talk more about the aspect of the presence of God – perceiving the presence of God and/or experiencing connection or isolation on the Internet, in our sundry avenues of society that we find on the Internet. You have any comments to make about that as to how it may be the same or different or what its unique challenges are? Or anything? Anybody else want to add to that query?
Student #3: Well, just how it makes us all interconnected in ways that we’ve never been before.
Student #5: I immediately thought of the amount of cell phone communication, texting, on top of all the Internet, e-mail, almost instant contact we have with a lot of people and a lot of sources and resources we didn’t have 20-25 years ago, and that in itself seems like it was an extension of reality into that more ethereal everything-being-connected syndrome.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Yes, you have a good perspective there and one which I will take off on, that having the perspective of faith and the nebulous and invisible morontia reality that does not require the physical paradigm that you depend upon so heavily and are so poignantly aware of in your mortal existence. In your room here, for example, there are desks and chairs, snacks and lighting, air and substance, as well as the energy of your own persons and the exchanges that go on among and between you, including the cat. On the telephone, on the Internet, through mechanical means and devices where you are not in the same physical presence, but present mindally/consciously, there are differences, definitely.
The presence of God in that sense has to be assumed. You have to assume that the people you are talking to are indwelt, and whatever qualities you choose to project upon them, and there we get into the whirling dervish aspect again immediately, and those are easily underscored, highlighted and proved to your mind when certain words are used, certain words that have certain connotations to you. Some words that some may feel extraneous or violent or baiting may on another day in another light simply appear as colorful or appropriate. And so the same thing holds true – you react as evolving creatures, according to your state of being at that time.
It is more difficult to step over the electro-chemical chasm that occurs between personalities without the physical presence there to allow the Adjusters’ immediate access to one another. In a marriage relationship, for example, a husband and wife can have a misunderstanding, even a mild spat, and within a short period of time have thought it out, thought it through, recognized the ramifications coming and going, and relying on the Spirit of Truth and the Divine Fragment to do their work, the work is done such that domestic harmony may resume without much ado.
That healing that comes when the oil of reconciliation is poured out upon you in a configuration that you can share intimately is different from one that you share socially in a crowd that may or may not have the degree of conviction that it might have in person, simply because the healing is based on faith and assumption rather than on the actual shared spirit only possible through intimate human contact. And yet you look for intimacy on these lists and through these emails and through these exchanges because you yearn for connection; you desire to share; you look for nuggets of truth, beauty and goodness; you seek to feed on what the others have to offer as you seek to feed others with your offerings, and so a quasi-organism is created.
A “quasi-organism” can develop synergy and can develop teamwork and can get things accomplished, but they will be mostly mental – much more so than emotional. And so if you look to get things done academically or mechanically, a computer is a great way to do it. But if you seek emotional connection or confirmation, you will find yourself wanting, since technology is incapable of providing that type of intimacy you seek and find with sharing on a personal level. This is not to say that bonds cannot be made, or broken, although they seem to be broken much easier in a mechanical milieu than they do in person precisely because the presence of God, the physical, literal, actual presence of a fragment of God within you and your peer will add a dimension of reality to that situation that will lend itself more readily to sustaining itself, rather than breaking into pieces.
Even so, there are relationships that – in the physical sense – become so volatile and electric, there is danger of an explosion and so the distance afforded by the mechanical means of technology is probably a good idea for a time; however, when I address my friends and students, I normally don’t assume you are so low level as to be prepared to engage in fisticuffs over anything. I assume you to be further advanced than that. And yet I was one of the first to admonish my friends, my mortal friends that they ought not to assume anything. Anything!
It is in the assumption that the problems are ignited. When someone sends an email using a word that you find to be inflaming, you assume the worst, when the fact is there are many definitions. And some people have no idea of the definition at all; they only understand how it was used once. It brought about a negative circumstance and they consider anything surrounding that henceforth to be something they want no part of. The same thing is true with personalities. “Oh! Yes! I’ve heard of him! I’ve heard he’s a real pain in the neck. I don’t want to get to know that person.” And so assuming things is a grand way to cultivate ignorance and prejudice. Far better to ask, even if you are maligned for asking, than to assume you know things about others based on even what they had to say, because of the nature of that interim space, that whirling dervish of electro chemical energies that lay in wait to snarl and confuse, as compared to the grounding – the God Fragment that acts as a lightening rod in the midst of the storm.
Student #3: You give the lightening a way to ground, so it doesn’t –
WHAT ABOUT BOB: So that it goes right through you and energizes you but does not destroy everything in sight. It is the constancy of the Divine Fragment as well as the constancy of your personality -- that personality which God has given you to serve as the vehicle for the Adjuster. This is the reason we are always in support of your getting together. Whether you are getting together as a pair of friends to discourse or do something together, a group of friends to get together and do something together, or an assembly of friends and associates to get together and do something, to share something – or just to be together – because this unites you in the classic, original and personal sense as the Family of God. The Family of Man with God as your Father, and He being there with each of you as a testimony to that greatest of realities.
The computer will do in a pinch and it will do well for certain mechanistic functions, but it will always fall short in providing you with that which you long to know and feel from your peers; you will need to await the presence of your peers to feel that release from isolation and alienation that only can be filled by the spirit. All the rest of that is academic, mental, and of great value but incredibly impersonal. It is also a “dry run” albeit a flawed one as to how you will actually interact in person when you finally reach that point. Chances are many of your impressions will be confirmed, but do not be surprised when many of your assumptions fall away like the illusions they are in the realization of the genuine substance of your peers, which you may never had known had you not had the opportunity to meet them in person. Does this help clarify?
Student #4: It does. Why am I so late to see some of these things?
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Well, it’s just like the psychic circles. You get what you get when you’re ready for it and you can’t push it; you can’t make it happen. You may walk past it 20 times but only see it that once. It takes what it takes! And it is not like it’s such a big revelation. It’s just my observation from a very peculiar perspective, for I am always an assumption on your part. And so you have to assume I am here even to listen to me, and so even as I admonish you to never assume anything, I then have the nerve to speak to you and expect you to listen; I assume you hear me, and so we have yet another paradox that only faith will overcome.
Student #5: We’ll know it when we know it.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Precisely. And it will serve until we know better. Anything else?
Student #3: So we’ve been pursuing this path of the knowledge of good and bad since before Adam and Eve, learning, ever learning, so I assume that’s probably what it’s all about – is experiencing day by day as we interact with each other and the Family of God out there. We can only just guess.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Easy for you to say! When your reality is shaken to the core and you stand there naked –
Student #3: -- wondering what the hell happened. “Why me, oh Lord?”
Student #5: It’s very easy to get our self-confidence shaken.
WHAT ABOUT BOB: Indeed, you seem to make a practice of shaking your own faith just to have something to do. This brings me back to what we talked of earlier about how much work we do with you in your mind is to help you rally against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and even when it’s not that outrageous, you seem to think it is. This is a result of your unfortunate heritage, one which will take some time to overcome but we are determined to do that, and when I say we are in the process of overcoming this, please know it is not simply for the Correcting Time of Urantia, it is a part of your rehabilitation so that you are prepared to advance in the cosmic realities of right living On High.
In shedding the mental malfunctioning of yesterday’s mental paradigm -- you could call it brainwashing, cosmic brainwashing of a higher kind, rinsing away the smoke and dust of a former age to allow the mind to live in the clear stream of consciousness that is without fear, the one which is advertised in Michael’s message and throughout the Urantia text, trickling into the consciousness of all God’s children who opt to hold high the mission, who are the light workers, the troops, the soldiers, the warriors, the workers, the band, the merry band of spiritual activists who are helping keep the good cheer afloat as you on this sphere undergo the trying and testing times of physical, financial, political, ecological, philosophical, economic paradigms so topsy-turvy today.
Your ability to be buoyant is stirring, even as your tendency to despair is understood. But as you know, love is more catching than hate and God’s will will prevail, and there is nothing unfortunate about that. Once again, let me say farewell for Lady and I are off to a dinner party and must leave, but we’ll be back at the next opportunity to communicate together in mutual interest.
Student #3: Bon appetite! WHAT ABOUT BOB: And Bon voyage!