1997-08-14-Lesson On Opportunity
Topic: Lesson on Opportunity
Group: Butler TeaM
TOMAS: Good evening, my friends, I am Tomas. I am here.
Group: Good evening.
Elizabeth: Thank you for coming.
TOMAS: Thank you for coming, and thank you for having us. Merium and I are here; we are all smiles. Your environment outdoors this evening is afire with activity; the creatures are having a heyday, making loud noises in praise of existence. We have enjoyed your noises also; however, we missed your structured sharing.
Group: [Moans] Oh!
TOMAS: I will encourage you to continue with this practice. Indeed, I think in order to allow for that, I will recess so that you can again experiment with your expressions. We will not be long and so I will be back.
- Recess for sharing
TOMAS: We are back and we thank you for your quality sharing. You know, you have a tendency to put all this onus on yourselves. That is not necessary. Your sharing, quite simply, enables Merium and I to relate to you better. It is more difficult for us to reach you when you are completely in your human existence and/or when you are in your intellectual studies. It is much easier for us to bridge the gap between your realm and ours when we hear you discourse about your lives in such a way as we can sense and perceive your experiential life. As you proceed, you will perhaps appreciate this more and more yourselves.
I will quickly add a couple of things. I will respond to your question, Elizabeth, regarding last week's confusion as to where in our busy format we would put a question such as Jane asked, and I believe it is apparent that your personal sharing time is indeed the time for these questions and community responses to take place.
Elizabeth: Thank you. It's certainly going to be a great relief to have a place. And everybody's not going to have to share every week like that. Sometimes the sharing is just like it was tonight, but sometimes it's not.
TOMAS: I am quick to remind you that you and we are evolving -- individually and collectively. I and we are here to teach you to become teachers, and as you are teaching, and [you] come back to your support group, your peer group, to share your experiences (yes, much as the apostles and disciples returned to camp and discussed their experiences), your fraternity grows and develops, and you begin to experience the wonders of teaching each other to be teachers.
I and we are here and will continue to guide your progress, but give yourself some credit here, for as you work in the fields and come back with situations, in order to garner further growth from those experiences, we as a community can support your efforts. It is one of those configurations that prove the point that God and man need each other, and herein is it socialized and fraternized.
Elizabeth: Oh, good.
TOMAS: It is a difficult name and falls between Elijah and Elizabeth. I will attempt to convey it and you will see why both names have appeared as useable. El-ih'-schi-ah. And as to spelling, E-1-y-s-s-i-a is as phonetically correct as any.
Elyssia: Thank you. I'm so glad to have it happen.
TOMAS: I am, even so, glad to have your help, Elyssia. I feel much better with this preferred pronunciation. I always felt, as Gerdean conveyed, that when I called you "Elizabeth" I was addressing an unruly child, but your identity as portrayed through Elyssia has gentler and more womanly connotations, as well as the strength and nobility that are generated by a name such as Elijah. You are quite lovely, and I am quite happy to have ironed out a wrinkle in your nomenclature.
Elyssia: Thank you for your help and for your response because I did tell Gerdean that I would welcome your helping me out of this problem.
TOMAS: Now let me turn my attention to my other new guest, Chester. How marvelous to have you in attendance this evening! I have not embraced your presence in this configuration for many moons. It is always a delight to embrace you. How have you been?
Chester: I have been good and it's a great pleasure to be here and to hear you.
TOMAS: I can tell you have been good, my good sir, for what you have shared. You have some noble philosophies that you live up to, and your acceptance of the many, many flowers in the Lord's garden tells me that you are a natural born horticulturist. Well done, my friend and associate. Do join us more often. We hanker for more male attentions in this group. You provide a good balance by your presence, and it is appreciated that you are not intimidated by these noble evangelists.
Chester: Thank you.
TOMAS: I have blithered at length here; I have not launched onto a lesson. I am sure that one will emerge before I close the curtain down. Are there questions this evening? And I am inclined to ask if you would like to address them to Merium. She always likes to participate and has some feeling that if she is answering a question, she has a launching pad for her good direction. I am convinced that she can take off on her own, but it is her hostess Hunnah that is still in need of that motivating spirit force.
MERIUM: I can pass her up this evening. Good evening everyone.
Group: Good evening, Merium.
MERIUM: I have pulled a rabbit out of the hat. I think I would like to talk about opportunity, because the conversation this evening lends itself to that scenario. You recognize the opportunity that knocks. This is a new type of ministry. You will not wear a white shirt with a black tie and trousers and look conspicuous in the neighborhood. Even though this form of witnessing has its merit, we are talking about this particular mission, and we are going to have you going incognito. Your conversations will be lightly woven. It will be powerful. You may only interject one sentence in the conversation, that may not have any evidence of a textbook quality, but the evidence of the truth, of certainty, that is in your being will find its way to the individual you are talking to.
I am sure you have all had the experience of going away from a conversation with a little goodie tucked in your pocket and then later in the day you recall that conversation and you tie in what they had to say appropriate to something that was on your mind. It's sort of like packing a lunch, in a way. You are offering snacks for those who are not aware of their spiritual hungers. They're not totally comfortable with the fact they are stretching their tank and their mind is being stretched.
Your opportunities will come in ways that will not appear to be biblical or mission minded. They will be gentle ways. Our friend and guest this evening has talked about respect. He didn't have to use the word, but he talked about honoring the individual he was with because he himself had developed within himself a quality of appreciation for all humankind.
This integrity and this respect are woven into your pattern of your personality and people will feel it when they are in your presence. "This man will allow me to be myself and let me carry my belief system and it's all right" and because of that, without thinking these things, they want to hear what he has to say.
If you have a reputation for being an odd ball of sorts -- (Hunnah has a funny thing that happened to her: she found this out only years later when she was new in the community. A woman from the church said to her, "Oh, I remember the first time when someone spoke of you, they said 'Oh! She has a purple front door!'") We do have overtones of strangeness that, after a while, people get used to the fact that we do march to a different drummer.
It is very hard to put aside your sales pitch, but I know that my friend in this chair has had many, many times when she has wondered if she can possibly make any other sound, because she is so intent on making everyone happy; if it is impossible, she is into their affairs, and in the process of allowing this concern to take on a new form, and as that form of respect takes hold, you will not be conscious of it. It will just have woven itself into your particular personality.
I see an opportunity here to discuss painting. In painting you create shades by darkening, adding a complimentary color, or a lighter color which you can tint. In the fabric of your personality it will be a tinting and shading that is very subtle, and this chore of learning your lessons is going to be put in the background because you are indeed and have learned your lessons, your basics, and as you allow your Thought Adjuster to dominate your conversations, you won't even be aware of it.
You will just feel better about it and you will feel a greater poise when you are talking to people, and in hindsight you will say, "Ah, I think I was carrying some pretty good company there," someone who assisted with this so-called effortless effort of just being with people. They will feel safe with you, maybe speak up and ask a question.
Hunnah has a friend who has, as she would say, almost made the connection time and time again, and then this friend will disappear back into her habits of overworking, overcrowding her schedule, and losing interest in her spiritual special-ness. This is a lovely lady who has been at these meetings, and Hunnah suffers from wanting to hurry it up. This young woman is just fine. She is a blessing, and she already knows how to share that truth that has developed within herself. People feel safe with her and they open up to her, and this quality of natural poise develops in you.
As the Christ consciousness overwhelms your personality, you will indeed be on this so-called impossible mission; this not mission impossible. This is living in light and life, and it feels far lighter and easier than you would ever dream.
I hope that tomorrow you will find some playfulness, and when a new playmate comes up you will know that you do not have to slam dunk them on the floor, but to enjoy who and what they are about and let them see the richness and the new poise that is found in you.
How about that, Tomas?
Elyssia: Thank you very much. We enjoyed that very much.
TOMAS: I also enjoyed it very much and I am reminded of your reading from this evening in the portion of Rodan having to do with the personality of God. Indeed, He is a kaleidoscopic personality that would create so many, many different personalities that are strewn about. How easy it is to love your fellow man when you see them not as strangers, or obstructions, but as extensions of Paradise. And when you realize it is not your job to follow up or fix them but to simply live within the presence of the spirit and let the spirit rub off as it will.
Remember when the apostles were concerned as to how to answer in certain situations and they were advised that their mouth would open and their voice would find the words. The spirit would provide the words if their faith was whole and if they were in alignment with His will. And the phrase, "Your appreciation for light and life in your experience here" is such that you will walk in joy. You will walk in beauty. You will have truth as your intimate companion, and so you will indeed invite approach. The ones who seek will find and sometimes they will pass by you on their journey, that you may help them along by simply being.
We spend a lot of time (and the personal teachers are particularly devoted to) helping you who hail from an era of materialism and its incumbent productivity stressors, learn how to just BE. Not a "human doing" but a "human being." -- Just be and be with the spirit.
Be all that you can be; however, in the spirit. And it does not hurt to stoke your fires with zeal. It is okay to be zealous, for the zealous one is alert to every opportunity, is alert to every nuance of those who may hunger and thirst, for those who are lost, those who are seeking. If you are not slam-dunking them with dogma, you are performing a service; you are functioning in the fields and manifesting the fruits in your life.
Elyssia: That's very helpful. Both of you have really been discussing something that's important for me and for perhaps others.
TOMAS: I am glad you think so, for if it were not meaningful to you, to me and to others, I would have no purpose in living. If it is not to share in my spirit relationship with my peers, my siblings, what kind of lonely existence would I and you have?
- Urantia Church
MERIUM: I would like to speak to Elyssia. (How lovely.) I would like to make reference to the conversation about the impact of the possibility of a new church developing, and I would like to have you, in the privacy of your contemplation, ask yourself if you are fearful of this, and if you are fearful, why should you be fearful?
I hope you will air it out. You like to write. Lay it all on paper and remember that we all have different missions, different purposes, and sometimes people can plan to do something and be very sincere only to find themselves sitting down, puzzled, as to why it won't go together.
I am interested in your reaction and whether you should be holding to it. I hope you will use this concern or this fascination as an opportunity to acquaint yourself with how you are allowed to handle it. I would like to see you be very comfortable with this announcement. Yes, it's a new dispensation.
There is a statement in Hunnah's memory bank, "Behold I make all things new." There is more to it, but that is the part that she bears on a regular basis when she is looking at something, thinking that she senses that she knows where it is going and then remembers that she is about the Father's business and so why wouldn't that project also be.
I don't mean to influence you totally, but I would like to see you feeling comfortable and not have it in the way of perhaps more important matters in your development.
Elyssia: I'm interested in following through on that suggestion.
MERIUM: Neither would I seek to influence your thought processes nor the outworking of your future here in that context, but it is interesting to note how the art of compromise has affected Urantia in terms of the church. That whereas there were many sacrifices in order to establish Christianity, there were also many great gains made. And a thorough study of that period of time following the Fourth Epochal Revelation as compared to this period of time following the Fifth Epochal Revelation, gives one an opportunity to see perhaps how history repeats itself, and how now might be an opportune time to atone for some of the more debilitating compromises made previously.
It indeed would make a good community project, since you are in this community [that is] steeped in Christianity as a result of this geographic location. And your various interests and opinions regarding meetings and ceremonies and any number of other points could lend this to you as a fascinating group undertaking. I am not suggesting you open a church, but that you make a study of what might happen if a church were begun and what elements of the Urantia philosophy would be incorporated and which would be compromised and lost in order to gain the approval and the attendance then of your Christian brethren.
Elyssia: That comes to my mind. And yet I am aware of the fact that we have the friends house in Oakland and it seems to be so disparate that it is not quite so attractive as I feel it could be if that problem were addressed more in a more timely way. That would be . ...
TOMAS: It is, of course, a matter to take to the Father.
TOMAS: And if you are of a mind to serve, and if it is in accordance with His will and your will, it will be done. However, if it is not His will that it be done here, now, with you, if it is not your will to give yourself wholly to the project, that, too, will become apparent and you must not persevere in a task that you have announced you would do without the assurance of spirit assistance and support.
Chester: I would suggest that if possible you talk to, either in person or written, to the persons who have the church and get more information on how they did it and what processes they went through.
Elyssia: That's a good suggestion. Thank you.
TOMAS: This actually is none of my business, but you might want to investigate the use of the word Urantia in terms of the copyright. It may be that those churches will be "recalled." However, the Community Spiritual Center has merit, if there are not a plethora of spiritual centers already, and what is to set your spiritual center apart or make it any different?
Is it similar in fact to young Ganid who suggested to Jesus that they make a new religion? There are plenty of religions; we don't need a new religion. There is something else to add to your considerations. Do we truly need a new church?
Elyssia: My thinking is that we need a new healing. We need a new breadth. We need a new loving acceptance of each other and to me that was -- when this woman talked about the spiritual center, to me this flow of ideas between people seemed to be very exciting.
MERIUM: For their academia, there are schools. Communities can be threatened with the word "church." The word "church" connotes something separate, something that we do here, but a school or a university or a more scholarly approach might bring some relaxing of any opposition to a place where The Urantia Papers and teachings are discussed.
Because of conditioning of the word church, with it will go hierarchy and music and what kind of music and who will be the hierarchy and it can become very complicated and get so busy that you forget you're a student because you're busy building the school. You're overlooking the teaching because you're so busy splitting hairs.
This is a perfect opportunity not to make mistakes of the past, and there is plenty of time. You must remember that everyone here involved has a Thought Adjuster and, of course, when we say that, we immediately say, "We all know Who's in charge."
I see a picture here of a head and a heart and the difficulty is getting the two to connect, so let us assume that the very fact that this is on the board to be discussed is an indication that Father is in charge and that this is an opportunity and that something wonderful can come of it. Not a polarizing, but a coming together. A perfect opportunity to exercise the teachings of the message we so dearly love and want to protect.
I think that we have brought this out into the light. It will go into print. It will join the other discussions and what I was aiming at our friend here, is that she allow herself to be very uninvolved, objective. She is capable of being objective.
I want you to be able to allow this new expression that is developing in you to oversee this project and I'm sure that you will be delighted at the light touch that you will be allowed to give it. I would like to hear from you later. There is no deadline, but I just think this is something that will taste very good to you. Enjoy it!
Elyssia: I'm enjoying the whole idea. I'm enjoying it right now.
TOMAS: Have any questions evolved since the last time we had a get together?
Elyssia: There was a question that Jane had which was about: If there is somebody in your life who is very, seemingly, without conscience, how much do you have to tolerate that person in your environment? Are you supposed to go up and try to inspire them to change? Or can you separate yourself from them when you feel that the manipulation has been too long-standing for you? Can you excuse yourself from grappling with that person? In a sense spiritually?
TOMAS: I am certain that Merium and I both are eager to respond. I will take one side of the coin and speak of empowering, and this relates to your evolutionary status at this time as a flock of new fledglings in the spirit and in this case, as in many, newly liberated women. And I will direct my remarks to those who generally fall within that framework. Not an automatic over-all answer, not the more spiritual attitude, perhaps, but the more practical in this context -- and that has to do with boundaries and boundaries are totally appropriate.
If and when the opportunity arises that she feels more capable of the insight and required behaviors, the opportunity can be re-emerged, but for now it is not required that anyone experience a growth experience that is distasteful, disarming, demanding of who they are as a child of God. Merium would you like to add?
MERIUM: I would like to add. I would like to comment about the young lady who is concerned, and I would like to draw her attention away from the [indistinguishable] because there are so many who will survive in spite of the thorns on the other branches. I liken her to a rose. She is so lovely. She is so pleasant. And she is nurtured and protected by the same Source that all the other buds in all the various stages on this bush are, and they all contain thorns, and they touch each other, but they do not mean to inflict any harm. They are just there for their own sense of space.
I would like to have this young lady practice a new prayerful appreciation, and any of you who are in a similar situation with an impossible personality might apply the same. I would like to see her being herself as this flower, bathed in sunlight, and when these barbs of the other personality, who is perhaps a very small bud, perhaps still asleep, not yet expressing its inner beauty, I would like to see, have her imagine an essence of a barrier between herself and the other flower, the other flower that has really not taken on its awareness, and see this light armor that is about her, and inside of her own special space is a wonderful protection from distraction.
She is, just as Tomas said, in a wonderful state of opportunity to develop further. It can be any type of distraction. It can be a mother's concern that you are not doing what she was supposed to do when she was your age; it can be that your boss is expecting too much of you. When you develop a single eye, you have poetic license. You may use every bit of visual armor, every bit of tone, every line of truth, every opportunity to lay down your burden and be about the business of developing who you are, and when you do that, your work gets done, your relationships relax, those little barbs that are on each other don't collide as often, and respect for each other just seems to take care of itself.
Just recently Hunnah allowed herself to swim in the cool of the living waters where she was reminded that she was on the right track, and when you stay in this relationship, this partnership, this intimacy with this true Source of love and devotion, when you stay with the ultimate Lover, you are so distracted that you are not going to be defending yourself, protecting yourself, because this is a new reality that you are developing, and if you waste your opportunity to stay in this place by quarreling with that which you are not, that's where your pain comes from.
Pain is an indication that you have left your format. And I am talking to the believer! I'm not talking to the little knotted intention of beauty. I am talking to an established opening expression of purity and glory, an absolute exquisite expression of a living love. So I embrace her and I remind her that she is continually being embraced, and will even be blessed with a washing of -- not just forgiveness, but for allowing herself to let go of things that have held her too tightly in distraction.
How much love there is for each of you who struggle in something that is external! When you find yourself struggling with the external, it is a standing clue that you left the Lord and the place of nourishment. There is no war! The war is over. It is a dream, and we are living in the garden of higher consciousness where truth and beauty will reign forever. Thank you.
Elyssia: Yes, thank you very much. That's going to be wonderful for her and for everybody else. We've all had those experiences. If we're not in one at the moment, we have been or will be. I recognize that experience when she described it to me. I had a similar grievance and so has everybody else I've known.
MERIUM: Remember, we are in a mission of compassion - mercy and compassion - and it is easy to forget this title, but it is the umbrella that is over us. This is the name of the umbrella that you are holding over that questionable situation.
TOMAS: Are we fed?
Group: We are plump! Very much so. We have feasted and feasted.
TOMAS: Let us pray:
We thank you for the opportunity to be, the opportunity to grow, the opportunity to experience those things which we experience in order to know You better, those difficulties that we overcome, those challenges that we meet, those disappointments which strengthen our resolve, those temptations which come to bore us in our zeal to reach for You and attain Your sublime perfection.
Teach us how to bathe in the still waters, to walk beside the river of life with our hand confidently in Yours, knowing that You, through your angelic guides, lead the way for us, Your children, to find our way home, in through the universes of time and space, to stand before the perfected Parent of eternity.
Gracious Fathers, we thank you for our association with You and with each other --those of our own kind and those who have gone before us and those that we help along the way.
Thank you, gracious God, beloved Sovereign.
Good night and amen.