Group: SE Idaho TeaM
Teacher: Andronason, Tomas
Andronason (Bob S): I am Andronason, your current Melchizedek resident instructor. My role with you this evening is to introduce this evening's program, and to let you know that all goes well. Those of us with extended vision see much happening here in this country and around the world which you are not aware of. Hence, I say all goes well. Now my children for this evening we have planned a full program. We trust it will meet your expectation and satisfaction. I now pause to allow the next speaker to begin.
Tomas (Bill): Hello, dear friends. This is Tomas visiting you and at the same time claiming my right as one of your former instructors. I wish to bring some information before your thoughts this evening most of which is not new in content, but my purpose is to emphasize its importance in your everyday living.
I wish to discuss expectations.. Expectations are part of the normal human experience in which all people engage. It is literally impossible to be a self-conscious, sentient being and not hold ideas regarding the future, one's individual future and larger perspectives as well. Expectations, of course, can be on a spectrum ranging from the very negative to the very positive. This continuum depends upon individual factors and varies greatly for each individual. Some people weight their expectations more towards the negative end; others more to the positive end. There is both a characteristic flavor to their expectations as well as variations on a very frequent basis. You build up your expectations as a result of past experience, which is then added to basic dispositional predilection. By this I mean to say that some people are more naturally cheerful, and more naturally optimistic by temperament.
In addition then to temperament and past experience there is also an often unrecognized third factor, which is the factor called free will choice, or the domain of decision-making. Never is it true that human beings are merely the product of heredity and environment. This erroneous view is continued in your science today, without adequate recognition of free will choice. This then is the origin and characteristics of expectations. We have concluded that expectations are a universal factor of all human experience and that there is great variety due to the interaction of the three basic causes: the temperamental-heredity factor, the experiential history and the decision-making capability.
Now I wish to talk about the pluses and minuses which attend the functioning of expectations in human minds. On the plus side, expectations make it possible to dream and plan bigger and better things, to hope for positive change, to look for the adorable and desirable in your interactions with other people. The drawback to positive expectations is the possibility of disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement. When people set their expectations high for a predicted event and it fails to materialize, disillusionment results. When you set unrealistically high expectations for other people's behavior then you are also in danger of being disappointed, while a pessimistic and negative expectation for another's behavior will almost surely influence that person in the expected direction. It is also possible for an unrealistic positive expectation to result in severe disappointment.
In regard to negative expectations we state this position: these are contrary to the Indwelling Spirit's direction. To expect things to worsen is to fail to understand the positive leavening of the Kingdom of God as yeast in bread causing it to rise, as the mustard seed growing into the mustard tree. Evolution is not accidental and spiritual evolution is of the same nature as physical evolution, in an upward purposeful direction. Therefor, in the larger sense, negative expectations are out of synchronicity with the leading of your spiritual influences. You see, you have referred to this concept already this evening and it was almost a happy coincidence that your talk corresponded with our planned session, but we have learned to believe and know that probably such things are not coincidental, that God in his manifold wisdom brings all things together according to his purpose. If your expectations are low and you expect little out of life then you will be rewarded with exactly what you expect—very little in the way of satisfaction and change. And if your expectations are high you open yourself up to the possibility of attaining them.
The final thought that I would like to share with you this evening is the appropriate arena for expectations. One can roughly conceive of three arenas of expectation: expectations regarding one's self; expectations regarding other people, especially significant others; and expectations regarding everything else in general. The most appropriate arena in which to hold the highest expectations is the arena of personal expectation. You, with the help of your Indwelling Adjuster, literally determine the extent to which you will fulfill your dreams and goals. At least on the spiritual level this is true. There are no outside influences which can effect spiritual development. Outside influences can influence strongly the course of external events, either in the lives of others or in the general environment, but no handicap of culture, education, race, religion, language, and in normal minded people, mental ability, will stop you, or prevent you, or limit you in your spiritual growth.
In the second arena, expectations you hold toward other peoples, you should be very cautious. I advise you to be cautious in a general manner, that you do not set such high expectations on other people that you forget the realm of free will choice, or overlook environmental factors or ignore temperamental proclivities. Your relationship to other people, in terms of expectations, needs always to be modified by the realization that in the ultimate sense each individual is responsible for themselves.
In the third arena, the environment in general, you do well to employ the technique of science in predicting the outcomes of whatever course of action, whatever concern you have. None of us has access to the mind of God in the sense that we do not know the future before it happens. When we make predictions in the Teaching Mission we use very complicated, sophisticated, mathematical models...believe it or not. Our models are more powerful than yours because we have many more variables that we know how to quantify and put into the equations; but still we talk only in terms of probabilities when we talk about future events
In terms of final outcomes our expectations can be based upon faith, knowledge, and revelation, these mixed together. You will not, until you reach Paradise, dispense with faith. Knowledge will constantly increase, as will revelation. And so, my friends, there will always be a role for the exercise of expectations. We, who are no longer mortals, are not delivered from this propensity; in fact, we actually spend quite a bit of time in our free moments discussing our expectations for the future of the grand universe, including the role of the Finaliters, the Creator Sons and Creative Spirits, and the character of the Transcendentalers who may be eventuating on ultimate levels in the future.
Bob S: Thomas, thank you for those very interesting words. I couldn't help thinking, when you said we should expand our expectations, that this is going to open us up to frustration. What's the role of frustration in all of this?
Tomas (Bill): Yes, when I said expand your expectations, I also, in the last part of my talk, noted that they are most appropriately expanded with regard to one's personal future. And even there frustration may occur. Perhaps I ought to say especially there, but that is so variable between people and at different times in a person's life. You see, you must always remember that expectations are not iron-clad guarantees, at least the time-frames do not have iron-clad guarantees. We can make the statement that Urantia will reach the era of Light and Life. This is our expectation. We are absolutely certain this is true, but we cannot say it will reach the era of Light and Life tomorrow or the next week thereafter, or the next year, and so forth, because that all depends upon individual free-will decision making. Mortals make the biggest mistakes when they become over confident in their models of prediction, when they over simplify the variables which feed into the predictive equation, and fail to take into account any number of important factors. When this happens, then the expected event does not occur, and frustration results. The Urantia Book wisely counsels us to reduce the number of expectations we have regarding other people, and thereby reduce our disappointment. It does not give this counsel, regarding oneself. What do you think is the best way to handle these frustrations, Bob?
Bob: Poorly! That's how I usually handle it. (Laughter and comments.)
Tomas (Bill): What I am suggesting is, have you some wisdom as to how you deal with frustration itself, whether it come from expectation which is the usual cause, that you would be willing to put on the tape?
Tomas (Bill): Yes, frustration does seem to be prevalent in early stages of civilization. One of the best techniques that I am familiar with, that I have used personally, is what your social scientists now call reframing, meaning the event is reinterpreted in a larger perspective and framework. In the process of reinterpretation the tension between expectation and actuality is often greatly reduced. That which is perceived initially as failure, as tragedy and unmitigated evil can become, upon reinterpretation, a challenge for growth, an opportunity for forgiveness, an experience in learning greater patience, a chance to exercise greater love, and thereby increase one's soul growth. What do you think of that concept?
Bob: I like it. It sounds like it (frustration) is just part of living though, because isn't that what we see as we live day in and day out? So is this just a part of life? We are to be frustrated and learn how to deal with that as a part of our experiences, and hopefully learn something, like patience—quickly! (Laughter.) I want patience quickly.
Tomas (Bill): As I said at the beginning, people vary a great deal on their expectations, from one end of the spectrum to the other. And some people really are more placid of temperament and are able to handle disappointments without the physiological reactions that others, perhaps like yourself, experience much more frequently.
It is part of life because it is there, but it is not there in a final sense, or in an immutable sense. Yes, growth is the name of the game, but again I have found the key to be in the change of perspective, which the career after mortality so greatly facilitates. We, of course in our efforts, are attempting to share morontia wisdom with you. This is on the very cutting edge of your science's understanding, and we are interacting with it at that point, because all revelation has to connect with the highest evolved concepts. If I could or would tell you things totally and utterly beyond your experience, they would be meaningless and make no sense. Do you understand my emphasis here?
Tomas (Bill): You have a saying, which is, keep on keeping on. There is great wisdom in this, great wisdom.
Bob: But I don't like it. (Laughter.) I guess I don't have to like it. I just have to do it.
Tomas (Bill): Well, I would add one more idea here. When frustration becomes high, then it is time to change one's direction of attention. Stop whatever is causing the frustration whenever its possible, and do something different. That is why we talk about reversion, and diversion, and recreation. A balanced life is one in which there is the proper healthy flow between work and play, rest and worship. Sometimes people have too severe an ego drive toward achievement, and their expectations for how quickly they will accomplish something are very unrealistic. This can be very frustrating! As one matures, hopefully one becomes more realistic about one's abilities, one's rate of accomplishment, and accepts who they are in terms of these limitations. This is one of the goals of adulthood, to take and modify the flaming passion of youth, which has great dreams and wonderful goals with totally unrealistic understanding of how long-term some of these things might be. Adulthood, as you gain more and more experience, should result in a more appropriate assessment of one's goals and expectations.
Virginia: Tomas, I had two thoughts as you were talking. As a teacher, expectation is incredibly important Certainly research has been done where teachers have been given an average class and told these were gifted children, and they performed like gifted children. Therefor I know how important expectation is. I know you must be realistic with anyone, with yourself or with your class. But I think that if we, as human beings, really believed in that other person making it, reaching a goal, they could do it a lot faster and go a lot further, than if we say they are an inferior kid, or you should have seen her brothers, or blah, blah, that I hear so often in my profession. So expectation is incredibly important. (Comments.)
One of my most immature third graders lost a tooth today, and she is thrilled, because I had have told her for three years that when the teeth start falling out she's going to be a great reader. And she believes it, and I do too. (Laughter.) It's so incredible. You should have seen her in the middle of the lesson, she was just thrilled and her face glowed and she expects something very positive to come, and that's going to happen. I truly believe it. The other thing, (and then I will shut up and you can comment on what I have babbled about), when you said it takes reframing, the thing I immediately saw was the story in the Urantia Book about the very primitive man holding a club. (100:4.5) The frame become much larger and we see the wild animal and the family that he is protecting with that club in his hand. I think that many times that it is because my frame is no small that I cannot see the potential, the very positive potential, of the people that I rub shoulders with each day.
Tomas (Bill): Thank you, Virginia, for stressing a very important aspect of expectation in which all too often limits are placed upon people's abilities and possibilities of achievement, which limit them so that when there is a different set of expectations, whether by deliberate experimental manipulation, as in the research that you referred to, (Comments.) or in other means, then people do perform at a higher level than was originally expected. My cautions about limitations on expectations regarding others was not intended to restrict ability and achievement expectations. I was referring to the fact that people do make decisions; and that it is impossible to predict those decisions with a great deal of certainty. Therefor, there may be disappointments etc., as a result of the behavior of other people.
Virginia: In relationships, Tomas?
Tomas (Bill): Yes, and in accomplishments, not due to a lack of ability or lack of belief in their ability, but in, shall we say, a bad choice that takes them off-track. Do you understand the difference I am making between expectations of ability and expectations of decisions? (Virginia concurs.)
Thank you for filling this point because it is terribly important and leads me to say... think about the larger picture of this that you bring up. What are the limitations placed upon God's children in terms of ascension-potential? None. Once the decision to go in that direction has been made, in a deep sense at the level of engagement or betrothal, that person is on their way and only fusion awaits the manifestation of that unlimited potential. So, again, as I said, your point is extremely well taken. That is why, as I said earlier, we know that this planet shall reach Light and Life, for gradually more and more people will make those decisions that enhance their future and change the level of their functioning. And as individuals change, groups change; as groups change, societies chance; and eventually the whole bread is leavened and fully baked.
Are there other comments? If not there is one more speaker this evening. I am waiting for any more comments before I relinquish the platform. Marty, my friend, do you want to offer a comment?
Marty: No, I was just thinking along the lines that Virginia was. I know as a parent how hard it was to put too much expectation on your children without making them discouraged, but at the same time encouraging them to do all that they had the potential to be. I know it was a lot of times (that) we wondered if we were pushing them too hard, of weren't pushing them hard enough to meet those expectations. I think that is one of the hardest—seems like with other people, you can back off, but with your own kids you are always trying to do the very best for them that you can. (Laughter.) And yet you don't want to cause them too much frustration towards over achieving. Its kind of a fine line to try to walk it seems.
Tomas (Bill): My opinion is that you and Buck were pretty good parents. You did a very good job with your children for you taught them the importance of responsibility, of making decisions and taking the responsibility for them.
Marty: Thank you. I'm afraid that's my soapbox.
Tomas (Bill): But you see it is the very truth, and many people are handicapped because they believe that they are victims. They don't realize the degree they could, if they would, change their lives for the better. Very well, thank you for your words. I was appraised that you had some good things to say. That's why I was asked to prompt you. Now I will let this final speaker come forth. One moment please.
Cora (Bill): I am Cora. (Comments.) I have been petitioning for a chance to get on the docket, and we took a vote, (Comments) and I was granted this opportunity. I am not here to give a big speech or another lesson. The lesson by teacher Tomas is sufficient for the evening. I am here to speak on behalf of the other personal teachers, to tell all of you that we cherish you. We truly delight in being your companions. We are not constantly with you like your Guarding Angels. We do other things, and we are with other people at times. But we want you to know how important it is that we maintain our friendship, and that you are aware that we are ever eager to provide assistance
From our perspective you are all walking on your paths with steady steps. You are all becoming more and more adept at dodging the obstacles which are in the way of finding foot holds and hand holds when you scale the sheer walls of difficulties and dilemmas; and you are all learning to stretch out in the meadows of joy and carefree pleasure as you learn more and more how to worship God and seek his guidance.
As Easter approaches and goes by I recommend that you all read the story in the Urantia Book of the final days of our Creator Son. I would make this an assignment, and I do have teacher Daniel's approval. Do yourself a favor, and read how Michael completed his life in obedience to God, and how he was raised to life on the third day.
So my friends, be bringers of hope, raisers of expectations, burnishers of the gold which is the soul of every brother and sister that you encounter. But first of all start with the dedicated and joyous polishing of your own soul. Water and feed yourself spiritually. Until we meet again, and on behalf of all the teachers, I am Cora. Good evening.