2005-08-22-Respect For Your Bodies

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Topic: Respect for Your Bodies

Group: Marin TeaM


Teacher: Nebadonia




Prayer: Dear Mother Spirit and Michael, We thank You for Your insights and Your helping us understand some of the more difficult or painful aspects of life. We do treasure Your point of view, the perspective You and You alone are able to give us on the whole of human life. And so we do have faith, we do trust Your assurance that human life, human reality is supremely worth living, and that our spirits do ultimately triumph over all pain and adversity. For this we are truly thankful. Amen.

NEBADONIA: Good evening, My sons, this is your Mother, Nebadonia. This is true, what you offer Us in your prayer. Michael and I consider it one of the greatest gifts We can offer you--to see through Our eyes. You are so much more in Our vision than you generally are in your own. We are even able to see the physical bodies you have in such a greater way than you perceive yourselves. For how often are you aware of this marvel of inhabiting a living vehicle which is still far beyond your comprehension, given the sum total of all your libraries of millions and millions of books on this study?


  • (Respect for your bodies)

For this will mark a further evolution of mankind’s understanding of itself, when your physical bodies are given the respect that is their rightful due. Indeed it is the marvelous flexibility and adaptability of your bodies that is truly the gift of the ages, when you consider the ages it took to develop them to their present status. Millions and millions of years of evolution have gone into elaborating the design that you inherit at the moment of conception.

Your bodies are tenacious and tough and resilient far beyond your immediate knowing, and it is this very resiliency that allows you to indulge in what will eventually or ultimately be unhealthy, sometimes for quite a while before you experience the full effects which follow strictly by natural law. But the more sensitive you can become towards and within your bodies, the greater respect you can have for them. This is one very basic way you can multiply your experience of life many-fold. It is not only having a longer life, but having a more full life as you go along.

  • (Mental toughness and sensitivity)

As Michael mentioned in His lesson about pain, and even the minor forms of discomfort, when you get over into the mental realm, it is so intimately inseparable from the physical, you are such a bio-chemical organism, that even your more mild and innocuous psychotropic chemicals inform you of this intimate link between body and mind. Here it helps to have a certain mental toughness that, paradoxically seeming, allows you to be sensitive towards the whole realm of living beings. This toughness is the willingness to explore your world with great care and caution into realms of discomfort, even some minor pain, which allows you to expand your creativity and what you are capable of doing.

Consider how much your medicine has evolved in just the last fifty years or so. Then consider further those historical personages you revere so highly, say in the earlier development of your country. Some of these men lived in constant pain due to something as simple and yet profound as bad teeth. Yet in spite of this constant, day by day pain, managed to build an amazing foundation for your nation.

Much of this mental toughness is built upon an understanding of principles--those truths you can glean from your experience and realize are the aspects of God’s law which stretch across and pertain to many individual events. Yet here again your sensitivity is necessary when you begin to apply these abstract principles to this particular situation, or that other person, else you slip into dogma--the insensitive application of abstract principles and generalities which have caused the human race so much suffering over the ages.

But I think you can most truly evaluate this balance between toughness and sensitivity by first honestly applying it to yourself. Before you require anything of anyone else, try it yourself. Be highly aware of what you are asking of another. Get some value, some appreciation for how possible, and at times how impossible, certain desires might be. So let’s consider a little further, a little more deeply, this concept of respect--respect for your bodies, for your minds, for your spirits, for your souls.

  • (Acknowledging all aspects of humanity)

Let Me suggest that the primary focus of respect is simply acknowledgement. You acknowledge and grant reality to these aspects of human life, and keep them in mind. You acknowledge their affect on you and try your best to discover ways that you might be, however unconsciously, slighting anything of human reality, mainly out of habit--because you were so raised and trained by your family and society.

  • (The courage to be an individual)

If you would advance along this dimension, My children, you must have the courage to be an individual. You must grow the nerve to stand alone within yourself. This is an ability you must nurture. You must not fear overmuch, within your own self-consciousness, being apart and distinct from your group--however much or little they might be aware of this. Once again, with a touch of irony, this is the greatest thing you have to offer others: a well-developed, highly self-organized and articulate individual and unique point of view.

I say ironically because it is especially true in those organizations or groups of people who have organized themselves along very rigid dogmatic lines, nothing is so needful as for individuals to stand out and challenge the group’s assumptions and perceptions. Think of how much this has contributed to the whole world’s advancement. This is possible with well developed self-respect. This is that inner acknowledgement of what your own personal advancement has cost you. In a very real sense, what have you paid for what you know? I think you can realize immediately, this puts you in touch with your deeper soul and helps steady you when you are being pulled this way and that by various impulses and only partial, superficial desires.

This self-respect, coupled with the spiritual blessing of self-forgetfulness, is what greatly helps keep you from the spiritual poison of pride, self-inflation. Your own self-respect seeks to keep you growing in respectful appreciation of all that is not you. This acknowledgement of the whole universe surrounding you is the greatest antidote to self-inflated pride. This is the wonderful quality too of humility. It keeps you in touch with all that greater world out there, and all the marvels it contains, all the adventure it holds, all the real effort it promises to require.

And so we come through body and mind and spirit to your individual and unique personality which ties all this together for you. This unifying function of personality is the hallmark of your ultimate reality--at least as We use the word. This is who you are and these qualities of respect and self-forgetfulness are yours to acquire and grow and enjoy. Right along with this effort, which is demanded by the Supreme Being if you would grow, is the promise of the joy, the intrinsic reward that can be experienced right in the heart of the effort. This is God’s way of showing you His way. This is the adventure of discovering Him, an adventure which has no end.

If you have any questions or comments this evening, bring ‘em out. Let’s have a look at them.

Student: Dear Nebadonia, we were talking earlier about decision-making and I--on the idea of accepting, ah, mental pain and emotional pain and the physical pain--I’d ask Your help on why I’m having difficulty making decisions that--yes, they seem to have a lot of variables and--yes, I had the PRH training of discernment, how to try to make decisions. But I feel that sometimes we over-complicate these things, or possibly the point where the decisions are a little tougher… But I would really like advice on decision-making. I feel it’s important for my children, and really for the better understanding of the psychology of this even--especially since this going to be written down. So I thank You in advance.

  • (Making decisions)

NEBADONIA: Yes, V, it may help to separate decisions into two classes, though any such delineation will always be somewhat simplistic; so compare this to a rule of thumb--so to speak. Say there are those decisions which make themselves. This is when you devote the time and energy to thoroughly understand the complexity involved between different alternatives of how best to spend your time in some future, either going this way or that.

These are times when the study of the alternatives alone is sufficient. One alternative strikes you as being the superior choice. Perhaps it benefits the most people, or time-wise is the most necessary to do first, or leads to the greatest future flexibility, that opens up other possibilities. This is the kind of decision that often comes to you after, as you say--you have slept on it; when you’ve studied the situation as thoroughly as you can, taken in all the relevant factors, and then just forgotten about it for some period of time. The answer, the best solution simply comes to you. And after you’ve reflected on it a bit, it’s obvious that this one particular way is the way to go; it offers the greatest benefit.

But then there are other situations where everything seems to be too much in balance. I think this is what you are referring to. What do you do when all the alternatives seem equally desirable or equally to be avoided?

First you must assure yourself you have comprehended the situation to the best of your ability: and this is not easy. It’s a kind of judgment call wherein your own wisdom will tell you when you have done enough. There is no more you can study that will tell you anything more; you’re aware of all the complexity involved. And so you wait and still no answer comes. That feeling of uncertainty We have talked about comes over you, and can be overwhelming. It’s as if reality can’t say any more to you. This is where you have to go to your heart. It is now up to you. Everything else is in perfect balance. Which way do you want to tip it? I think you now recognize the situation for We have touched on it before. What do you want to do?

Here it helps greatly to recognize when this is happening. Do not fear that particular uncertainty, but trust that uncertainty itself is letting you know where you are. You are half-way through the next step. Where do you want to go? What do you want the future to look like? What in your value is the best alternative which will help the greatest number of people?

When you make your decision, don’t be surprised if this feeling of everything being open and somewhat arbitrary stays with you, for in the ultimate sense you are being, at this moment, with this decision, arbitrary. You are arbitrating between two possibilities which are appearing to the best of your ability to be perfectly balanced. It’s coming down to simply: what do you want? But if you’ve really bared your soul in this decision, it will not be whimsical or capricious, but a reflection of the deepest wisdom you are capable of at that moment. Does this help you, My son?

Student: Yes, it does. It lowers…ah…Your vibrations into my heart, where I feel I can hold them for a longer period of time. From now on I’ll make decisions more in that heart center. I’ve been advised about this before--I’ve been too rational; and I feel I’ve made a permanent gain, and this will help me. Thank You very much.

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, My son. Keep in mind the holistic approach though, because you are also using your mind and your spirit to understand the situation and to weigh, to evaluate the alternatives. But yes--your heart, your feelings play such an important part just in assessing the truth of the situation. Such a great percentage of your decisions seem to be making themselves because the factors are not in balance. One alternative clearly is of greater benefit. But for those rare occasion when you feel your whole future tipping back and forth on the next decision, think of your soul and the Father Fragment of God within you. Remember My Adjuncts of Wisdom, Michael’s Spirit of Truth, all these dimensions you have within you--when you do step off. And do so with My love.

Student: Thank You very much.

Student: Mother, a friend of mine recently asked a very interesting question. That is, what is the universe? And I said that it is the sum total of the Heavenly Father, the stuff we can see and the stuff we can’t see. I’m beginning to recognize there is a good deal more to it than that. Would you have any comment on that question?

  • (Regarding the universe)

NEBADONIA: Well, C, the question is difficult to answer because a word like "universe" has so many different meanings in so many different contexts. You have a scientific establishment based these last several hundred years on empiricism--which means: that which can be demonstrated. In this community the universe generally means what We refer to as time and space. This contains and refers to all the material and energetic phenomena within time and space.

These aspects of reality which register on your physical senses, through various demonstrations and experiments can be shown time and again to persist in what you call natural law. But generally speaking this universe also contains mental phenomena, so far empirically limited to your single planet as the psychology of the human race--all these billions of individuals, how they think and behave. They are also in your general use of the word universe.

When you come to the spiritual dimensions of reality, there is not so much agreement. Here is where some of your major religions--the social organizations of shared beliefs, both differ and agree as to what is the spiritual dimension of a human being, and how it affects the mental/physical part. Science has deliberately and rigorously excluded this aspect of human reality, historically so there could be some agreement as to what is simply physically happening. This was a way to eliminate the endless discussions of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin—as you characterize Mediaeval natural philosophy, in order to express a simple law, shall we say the relationship of a lever and fulcrum--something that simple. This was a great achievement for the human race, this elimination of the spiritual dimension in order to focus exclusively on the physical and energetic aspects of reality—and create chemistry and physics. So this is how "the universe" is generally meant—every thing included within time and space, all those three hundred and fifty million galaxies out there. All the strange and wondrous physical, energetic phenomena your Hubbell Telescope is revealing.

The Urantia Book goes on to add a whole central universe of Havona and its billion individual spheres, not within time and space as We have just defined it, but consisting of a completely different organization of matter and energy. Then at the center of this there is a spiritual reality impossible to describe in a few sentences, since the book itself takes many pages to elaborate the reality of Paradise--which is absolute, non-temporal, and non-spatial. Here the words are pointing at something of which you have no experience at all. It may end up sounding more like science fiction than actual fact. It really stretches your imagination to even try to have an inner feeling or experience of these profound realities of hundreds of dimensions as yet not experienced by you, but which nevertheless actually exist right now.

Perhaps this is why The Urantia Book goes to the pains it takes to present such enormous detail, including too so many of the separate orders of personal spiritual beings. We of the spiritual community feel that the human race has reached a maturity to where this addition to your "universe" is not wasted time or effort to incorporate. Does this, at least, begin to answer your question, My son? (laughter)

Student: Yes, Mother, it does. I recognize there’s a lot more to go but…um…it does begin to answer the question and give me a place to look for more answers, so thank You, once more.

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, My son. As I said at the beginning, the meaning of a word like "universe" depends very much on the context in which it’s being used.

Student: Yes, it does.

NEBADONIA: And be in My love.

Student: Yes, Mother, there are a few things I wish to bring up. One is the idea that Michael and You have brought up about, what do I want? And what, this may be a silly question, but what do You mean by that?--because there many things I want. I would like to work less and do other things, but the possibility, the opportunity does not exist at this present time. I want to travel, and do more, and to write, but the opportunity doesn’t present itself now. What is it more that…besides what I want? Is it more what I need for my soul’s growth? Because what You are saying, about what I want, is not some frivolous thing, but something deep and soul-evolving.

  • (Ideals, desires, and reality)

NEBADONIA: Yes, D, first of all let Me assure you there is a great advantage in knowing what you want, however possible of fulfillment this may or may not be. It does My heart good to feel you exploring these things and knowing what you want, and accepting, with that self-knowledge, all these valid reasons it may not yet be possible. For each of these informs the other. By knowing what you want and being able to express this to yourself as detailed and deeply as you can, it also informs you as to precisely what are the limits--within your reality--that condition whether or not these desires, these wants can be fulfilled. We touched on this last week, where your ideals and your sense of reality can inform each other. Your ideals can point a way to go, and reality informs you of how much this is possible. An ideal of full maturity would be where your wants and your needs coincide perfectly. Most human beings don’t arrive at this point in their first life, and some others for quite a while to come, for this is an ideal where you have perfect self-knowledge. You know what you need for your growth, for your health, for your friends and others, and this fulfills your desire. So don’t be too self-judgmental or hard on yourself if you do not perfectly coincide within yourself yet.

Student: The reason why I mentioned, I asked this question is, it’s regarding my daughter, and my--our desires to live together. I want to live with her and she wants to live with me. Now, I do not know if that is in the best interests for the two of us because there is also a third party, and other people involved, and two of them have a hard time with her, and our relationship--meaning my relationship with my daughter. So, it’s like I want my daughter to live with me, but I also want to continue living with the person who is living with me now, with her family too.

And so I get torn, and it’s very disconcerting and de-energizing I…feel in the depths of my soul about what I really want, you know, because I love them all.

  • (The dimension of time)

NEBADONIA: D, I think here is a question of the dimension of time. I had a sense when we started this conversation, your understanding of wants was: that which could be realized immediately. So I pointed out the immediate value was deeply knowing what you want--a great advantage compared to those you can think of as being driven by all kinds of desires which they have never examined. They cannot even articulate to themselves that there are some desires which can only be worked toward.

You yourself have an ideal or desire to have everyone together working in a very loving way, as a wonderfully functioning kind of group. But this may not be immediate at all. This might be something which can only be developed over time because it depends, in turn, on the maturity of all the individuals involved. As you have been expressing to Me, you do realize that any kind of impatience or pushing too hard only thwarts the process. In this you are being a wise parent in giving these children some space and time to grow.

You’ve even expressed to Me the benefit of them having to live together, of having this experience of subordinating their own, rather unlimited, immature desires, to the group; for this would exist in almost any grouping you can think of. But this is, again, another evaluation of how much this close situation is helping them grow, or is making it impossible for them to grow. This, I think, is the evaluation you’re feeling for.

Student: Uh huh, yes. If I…there’s a want to my wants that blends with the wants of these other individuals--can we work together? And also, I feel at this time my daughter is really putting the pressure on me, and I feel her energy towards me being lessened. She is distancing herself from me, and I find that very disconcerting as well, ‘cause I think she would rather go and live alone by herself. And I realize, that’s her decision. But I believe it’s not in her best interests, and it’s not what I want, and I know she’s feeling down about not knowing what she wants either.

NEBADONIA: I think that what I talked about with V would be helpful here, of keeping all these elements in mind and thoroughly understanding the situation. As We mentioned before too, in keeping your own personal desires in proportion to everyone else’s, often these solutions just suggest themselves. An alternative can be asking yourself how much this separation from your daughter could be a timely, normal separation between parent and child? But you seem to have the feeling it’s more of her aversion to others, because you say at a deeper level she would prefer to stay with you.

Sometimes there is no avoiding that dreaded word among human beings: compromise. This is simply part of living together with others.

Student: The reason why I desire my daughter to live with me is because we were separated, have been separated for three and a half years, and I feel it’s important, on the psychic level, to have that connection--in a sense become reacquainted. And also for her to see how I have grown, and who I am. The person she left four or five years ago is not the same person now in front of her. I’m still her father, but I’ve changed. And that’s difficult too, because she still sees me as I used to be.

NEBADONIA: Do you think it is economically feasible for her to live more by herself, but very close by? This is one of the compromises you could make. She would be out of this situation that she doesn’t particularly care for, and you could see each other more one-on-one if she had some place near by.

Student: That is something I will take into consideration. I’m just trying to think outside the box and let go of any manipulation of how I think things ought to be.

NEBADONIA: My son, you are showing some deep respect for the others involved and the whole situation. This is what it takes to think outside the box, for you have a very good idea of what the box is. This way you know when you are suddenly outside of it, considering new alternatives.

Student: But some of those alternatives can be quite painful, You know, in letting go of relationships.

NEBADONIA: This is why I mentioned the wisdom of putting things in a bigger perspective of parent and child, and the separation that each must accept. To a degree children, as they grow older, just naturally tend to want leave the nest and try their wings. And yet sometimes the parents have to push them off the nest, give them a little nudge to get going. For as you know, it is usually an unhealthy situation where there is no separation.

Student: I just want my daughter to feel secure in our nest.

(Your ultimate home is a spiritual one)

NEBADONIA: Then make sure she understands that the ultimate nest is a spiritual one. Even though there may be physical separation, when she goes off to have her own life, you are still capable of being connected across that physical space. You are always with her in this sense. You can always be open to her. It will always be possible for her to contact you; you’ll always welcome that.

This she needs for her security--to know that this dimension of spirit between you two does exist. It’s real and she can count on it. In this way you will always be her father, yet someday the two of you may evolve beyond father and daughter into an even greater equal friendship.

My son, you’ve been pondering this situation now for many, many months. So take some time to, as objectively as you can, evaluate how things are going. As you have expressed from time to time, there are certain areas in which you would want to see some development with the youngsters, yet there doesn’t seem to be any. Now you’ve had a longer period of time to make this evaluation. This is a way of, kind-of, bringing yourself up to date. It calls for a courage of re-evaluation of how this situation is going. For it is only with this kind of evaluation can you make these decisions.

Student: My concern is deceiving myself into seeing something that isn’t there, or idealizing--hoping something into something better than it really is. Then I…I can paint a pretty picture when in reality it’s only half true. So I desire to be truthful with myself, and maybe I’m too ruthless with myself with this desire for honesty and truth.

NEBADONIA: Now I feel a great balance here, a good balance, a balance that Michael talked about last week of objectivity and subjectivity.

Student: So I am not deceiving myself?

NEBADONIA: You had a good grasp of things when you realized and expressed to yourself, an ideal, and at the same time realized reality is something distinct. This is what I mean by balance. The self honesty is a kind of orientation. It’s a genuine desire to open yourself to Michael’s Spirit of Truth, and other spiritual help.

Student: I guess too, I don’t want to fall prey to the whole adage of: there’s something better on the other side--so to speak, that there’s something better than this. I’ve fallen into that trap--like the grass is always greener. ‘Cause what happens if it isn’t? Maybe this is reality in front of me, that I’m living. I don’t want to subject myself to some idealized fantasy. These are human beings that I’m a part of, flesh and blood and souls.

NEBADONIA: So, My son, I think it takes the dimension of time for you to answer these questions. Are you deceiving yourself? Are thing getting better or worse? Are possibilities and individual growth increasing or being thwarted? In this sense you need to use time. Use the time that you have spent in this situation to answer these questions which are troubling your heart. And this requires a decisiveness because, as I mentioned to V, some of these decisions will be forever open. You cannot know if you made the right decision or not. What you will know is that you made a decision that changed the course of your life and the lives of others, and with that decision the other alternatives ceased to exist. You’ve made the decision; you are now on this new course. The other courses are no longer viable. They have no existence. And since you cannot be two people, you can never know if that other grass was greener.

  • (The necessity to include everyone)

This is the humility within decisiveness, this staying open as to the true nature of what decision is, and why it is difficult, but also how it is possible and what an awesome power it is. This is the real humility of knowing what a power it is God has put in your hands. And yet, if it is any comfort My son, realize how much this power of each individual’s choices must be realized and respected by everyone as society comes into ever tighter and tighter inter-relationships. This is largely what is going on in the world today as, We have said, universal communication is bring separate peoples tighter and tighter together.

The phenomena you call terrorism is just one example in which a very few individuals can affect a whole society. And so society or the group is forced to acknowledge that it cannot leave anybody out. Everybody must be included. My son, I feel great respect within you for this principle. You are acknowledging to yourself that, in your situation, everybody must be considered. But take some comfort and assurance in the necessity for this very human dimension. If whatever group of whatever size is to grow towards peace and fulfillment, yes, everybody must be included, their welfare must be considered.

And so, day to day, you may have to decide not to decide yet. The situation is not yet ripe for doing something about it. Just keep feeling your way along. Try to understand the box and think outside of it--as you put it, and in this day to day deciding, be open. Grant yourself some peace in your heart. Be strong and healthy and enjoy your life. Give freely of your joy and your strength and discover how this nurtures you. In a way you are paying the price for being a bit of a patriarch, so feel free to enjoy it.

Remember you are always in My love. Just let it flow through you. Feel the respect you have for your lives together. With all the others out there you come in contact with, you are learning these very necessary disciplines of respect and self-forgetfulness. I could say again, don’t be so hard on yourself. But now even this is too much a generality. So let’s say: stick close to yourself. Be united within yourself. This includes, at times, a healthy self-questioning to keep your own ego in check out of love for others. This is most easily accomplished by being curious about others, and what they think and feel. For it is within your gracious ability to see yourself as others see you--if you are open to them. This reflection is a very loving thing you do for each other. It’s the greatest foundation for a truly healthy life, this love you share. It’s why I said true friendship can even be greater than the fundamental relationship of parent and child.


So just think how this friendship relies upon mutual respect and mutual self-forgetfulness—how you can be so much someone else, and share yourself with them. Now you are partaking of our Father’s reality. This is the way to go.

Stay close, and be in My love. Good evening.