Group: N. Idaho TeaM
Elyon (Jonathan TR): Now that the mind of Jonathan has calmed down, I will begin. Today I would address you on the topic of praise because this has bearing on your discussions to-day involving accomplishments, involving the feeling of guilt, involving talents. I will remind you that worship is self-forgetting, that there is no element of self-interest in worship, be it favors for oneself, be it recognition of your thankfulness of the Father by the Father. The word praise brings into view a sense of yourself and another. In the case of worshipful praise it is the Father and your soul.
I am Elyon.
It is good for us to honor one so worthy of our adoration as is the Father. He, after all, is the reason that we are even able to acknowledge His value to us. In giving praise, make effort to connect yourself with Him in the sense that acknowledging His praiseworthiness can inversely acknowledge your lack thereof. It is the Father's will that you seek to be like Him, and so your praise of Him ought to include your high hopes for your own evolution, for your own attainment. What you praise in the Father is to be you in the future rather than a contra distinction of His being and your appearance of lowly estate.
When you are reflecting upon events that have transpired in your life that do not amount to praiseworthy values, this is the best time to, rather than go into an evaluative cycle that diminishes your worth, that you instead bring to mind those attributes of God that you aspire to, to immerse yourself in the joy of your recognition of its worth and begin to accommodate what you acknowledge into your own actions. It is a positive shift away from rather than the painful indulgence into the event you found to be disruptive of your growth. In the end it contributes to your growth.
Urantia has been taught the philosophy of dog eat dog in its confused evolution, that where you can dominate or succeed at the expense of another, you have more power, more abilities, greater freedom. This philosophy is not one we teach. Rather we value collective support. I bring this up because I desire to emphasize that it is good that you praise each other, that the brotherhood is as worthy of praise as is the Father for the good that is attained in each soul. Again I repeat that this praise is best undertaken when you combine it with the desire to become identified with those praiseworthy traits. Mankind would benefit from more encouragement from each other. It would help to dispel the intense competitiveness that seeks to gain at the expense of another and would contribute to your mutual upliftment.
Now I would make one more point on this topic, and that is the ability to praise oneself. This is not easy for many, for it appears often as an expression of pride. I do not intend to encourage you to be boastful, rather I encourage you to be alert, to acknowledge your accomplishments that you not lose sight of your attainment, for it motivates you for the future. Where the danger--to use a strong word--in praise of another for the Father is that you will downplay your worth and value as a personality, and that you best, in praise, identify with that being praised.
With oneself the opposite is true. The individual tends to avoid praise of oneself so that one may identify with who you are. Self-praise ought to include the sense of detachment rather than identification. This is the safeguard against pride and is the objective comprehension and acknowledgment of your abilities and accomplishments. You can be your own mentor.
All of you in this room have sensed the transformation of our being over the years of your lives. Where you struggle today to attain even near morontia realities, in personality accomplishment– where you see the increased effort required and even perhaps tremble at the sense of inadequacy in your abilities to reach these new levels--do look into your past and note the great attainments you made when you were far less skilled than you are today. If you can accomplish those goals with less than you have today, how much more are you able to accomplish with this before you tomorrow? If you do feel difficulty in giving yourself congratulations, do please include in your expression the realization of the Father's ever constant presence and interest in your work and attainment. You can at least praise Him for His abilities in helping you. This will help you utilize detachment and avoid pride while still acknowledging that you have done well.
Worship is the act of identifying the self with God. Praise is a mechanism for this process. It ought not to alienate you from the receiver of praise. It ought not to lessen your value. It is a means for becoming God-identified, for the Father never decreed, "Praise me that I may be shown worthy." He said, "Be you perfect as I am perfect."
Evelyn: You deserve some praise for succinctly stating very encouraging messages on a regular basis. We each have opportunities to explore doing that ourselves. In distinguishing praising yourself and not being prideful, I understand it is to be detached. I guess that makes sense.
Elyon: Jonathan experienced some anxiety at this point in my discourse. Perhaps the subject was a little too close for him. I attempted to distinguish the difference between pride and boasting and praise of oneself, and that it is good in praising the Father to seek identification rather than alienation. Yet, with yourself, a certain degree of detachment is a safeguard where self-praise through identification could lead to pride. Does this help to clarify?
Evelyn: I think so. It means that you are looking at something you have done as if someone else had done it. It's easier to say, "Look at this good job" while acknowledging that there is plenty of room for further improvement, but progress is being made.
We need encouragement. If we get it from ourselves, it means that much more.
Elyon: If your culture encouraged more praise of one another instead of the one-upmanship that is often prevalent, you would not need to find reasons to uplift yourself in self-acknowledgment. But it is true that sometimes you need to fill your own gas tank. Since the Father sees you as a Paradise citizen even at this hour, you are more than welcome to fill your tank, for it is His fuel that you are receiving. In light of our lessons on grace, the Father has this fuel right at the switch of the nozzle, ready to gush forth. He has provided you with a universe of pumps, personalities who can deliver His gifts. You must remove the nozzle and place it in your filler tube and pull the trigger. When you have made this act, His grace flows until you choose to release. Like a tank that holds fuel, it can hold only so much. You must then run it dry, be about the Father's business and accomplish the task that grace is empowering you to do.
Elyon: The greatest engagement the midwayers undertake is the improvement of relationships. It matters little whether you are housed in bones and flesh or energized by the frameworks of morontia, whether you work with stone or wood or materials of higher realities, the ultimate skill is relationship. It is the crux of the great commandment. Since your midway brothers are confined to this world until Light and Life, they are always welcoming of any who pass through this station. They are ever challenged to improve their abilities to be of service and their abilities to be accommodating hosts. Not only do they receive constant visitation from what you perceive as above, they are receiving constant influx from those who are below them, that is the transient populations of humankind. Ever will relationship, new and old, be their focus of attention.
Does this answer?
Elyon: At this time it is not permitted, though it has been discussed in the councils of the Correcting Time planning that some exchange be allowed for the benefit of all afflicted with the rebellion. But the midwayers have also been allowed greater contact on their worlds as you are being allowed con-tact. You might say that, when so many are coming their way, who needs to travel?
Tom: Is it possible for us to be of service to them? Is there something we can do for them? Can we be their arms and legs?
Elyon: They have abilities far greater than yours, which is worthy of your praise. However, it would be best that I express their needs in a broad sense, for each of you have unique functions you may fulfill that would be helpful to the midway class resident here on Urantia. That is, to make all your decisions not only in light of your Paradise ascent and the will of the Father, but in light of the planetary ascent to Light and Life. Just as you will occasionally fail in the execution of the will of the Father as you develop the soul abilities to live His will, you will have times when you realize you haven't contributed much to planetary progress. But this they seek with a fervent intent that is transcendent of the human desire for a glorious world state. If you are struggling with what you singly may do for the benefit of the world, you can at least bring to the attention of another of each one's value in world growth. Merely educating another will have great effects, oftentimes more powerfully than any particular act you may singly perform.
Since you and the midwayers are at this time separated by sensory curtains, and contact is tenuous and, from your perspective , often filled with doubt and uncertainty, you can help them by being the best human being for Urantia you can be. Though they would love to work more directly with you, I might in this way express how you might function together. That is that if you consider midwayers to be a musician with a particular instrument, you are a musician with another instrument. You aren't able to fit in their place and play the same instrument with them. You must play yours in concert. Though it appears that you play yours and they play theirs, the two perform the song of Urantia. Until more contact is available this will be your function in service to your midway friends. Has this helped?
Tom: Yes, thank you.
Evelyn: You said competitiveness can be detrimental. I was thinking how in the realm of religious affiliations and preferences competitiveness is really unfortunate. Something we can do is praise each other's religions and religious experiences to get away from that competitive attitude.
Elyon: Your address of this perspective causes me to desire to interject one more comment about praise of each other and compare it to the caution that praise of self could lead to pride. Praise of another can be to idolize them. Idolizing is separating. This is why it is valuable to identify with that which you are praising so that you may be more challenged and encouraged to attain these same abilities. It is the competitiveness that infuses the mind with the sense that someone else is superior and you are not. Since superior is better than lesser, you would fight to attain it rather than work as a team, that all of you may at one point or another at a different time likewise be as capable.
I, who am of a status far beyond yours at this point, do express to you my praise, for I witness my youngest brothers and sisters making diligent effort at growth. You are applying yourselves with the fervor of mansion world students. This is a remarkable trait that you are developing and worthy of note. You see, you can even praise those whose status is below yours.
I have finished. If any of you are receiving from anyone of us, we welcome the opportunity.