2005-11-07-What Is Spirit?
Topic: What is Spirit?
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, We want to thank You for visiting us in this particular way. We enjoy so much hearing your insights and understandings because we realize at the same time, this does not affect our own communication with You; does substitute for our own inner connection. There has been voiced some question about the Teaching Mission interfering with our own personal prayers, but You have assured us they are complementary, not in any way whatsoever in contention. So we thank You once again for these very special visits. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, My sons, this is Michael. Just relax yourselves for a few minutes and soak in My peace. (pause) Just pretend you are lowering yourselves into a hot-tub of spirit. (long pause)
- Spirit (What is spirit)
Lately We have been trying to help you realize just what spirit is. Once you accept that this is a very natural part of human life, and you are surrounded by personal spirit beings who have your welfare very much at heart, you naturally wonder, perhaps, why you have not noticed this before. And so a good part of Our lessons and even your textbook, the Urantia book, is designed to help you realize what this dimension of reality is.
We can call it the realm of spirit, if you want to think about it somewhat spatially, but with your modern, post-Einstein minds, the dimension of spirit can suggest something not only filling space and being everywhere, but transcending space and being instantaneous in certain ways that have nothing to do with the physical universe, the speed of light and so forth. So spirit is not only everywhere as in Mother’s Adjutants of Mind and, literally, Her presence, but it is very extra-dimensional and transcends space/time as well.
So how do these very real dimensions impinge upon your life? How do they affect you? And then very personally, how are you yourself a spiritual being? What part do you play in this spiritual community? What are your own spiritual strengths and limitations? You’ve no doubt noticed, because We’ve used it often as a teaching tool, Our mantra of: physical facts, mental meanings or relationships, and spiritual values.
For a simple illustration, let Me suggest that just as you know immediately if you physically stub your toe, or mentally lose your train of thought, so too most of you have had the experience of picking up an old favorite object and noticing how it has changed from several years before. Once it held great interest or fascination for you, and now appears to be somehow just a physical object. Obviously something has very radically changed and it isn’t the molecules that make up this physical thing. You reason correctly that your own inner values have changed.
In our discussions on the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity and how you are at least a small part of all your seemingly objective observations, We mentioned two people looking at the same painting. The physical object is there in front of them and they are seeing the same thing. It can even have somewhat the same meaning to each of them. But each can value it very differently. To one it can be of no value whatsoever, while to the other this painting can touch them deeply and affect them even beyond their own ability to express.
And so in this way your spirit is right within your space with you, surrounding you in everything and everyone you perceive. There is this value, even to the point where, if you have experienced moments of nothing seeming of value, you know how painful this can be. This for most of you would be equivalent to insanity, everywhere as much as if things lost their meaning and their relationships. If you were to suddenly lose the value of things, and people especially, about you, very shortly life would not be worth living. The pain would be too great.
- Value (Spirit as value)
Are you getting a sense now of what We mean by value? It is something which separates you from the whole animal kingdom, which in their own way have bodies and experience meaning. An animal can learn from its trial and error how to accomplish a certain goal, and you are ever more delighted in discovering just how intelligent animals are this way. But no animal can evaluate the goal itself. This whole dimension is missing in their experience. This experience of spirit marks you as a human being, a spiritual being. This sense, or perception if you will, is part of your personality, it’s part of you. It’s a dimension you enjoy as much as those of space, and all your mental powers of reasoning, memory, association, and so forth.
There has been so much of what you call spiritualist phenomena, with a bad reputation for being associated with various con-artists, that for many the word spirit still has a alien connotation, something wholly other. So while they may have very deep feelings that God is spirit, and He certainly exists as an inner fact they enjoy, still they put Him and all His subordinate spiritual Sons and Daughters—such as Us—off at a distance. Ironically enough they spiritually value their physical bodies and mental capabilities so greatly they unconsciously assume spirit is something else, it is not an intrinsic part of them. And of course this is their freedom, this orientation or identification strictly with their physical/mental aspects. This is possible because they value them so greatly; spirit is there too, and always has been. It is just unrecognized as such.
So what does it mean to grow in spirit? What does it mean to have more value in your life as a conscious perception? Think about this. What would it mean if your dearest, closest friend suddenly had more value to you? Here you can glimpse how spirit is the primal antecedent to both mind and matter/energy. As another person grows in value to you, this will be immediately reflected in both their physical appearance and your mental understanding and sharing with them. When you think of a friendship truly growing, this is what is growing. This is one way in which spirit transcends time, when two old friends get together and see each other not only as they are instantaneously in the present, but they can literally visualize with the eye of spirit each others’ soul—all those years of all the experiences they’ve shared. As all these personalities go hurtling through space on all the billions and trillions of worlds, the spiritual record is what is growing for every single one, and for God himself—that aspect of our Father we call the Deity Supreme, the Supreme Being, the soul of the universe. If you cannot yet perceive this directly, My children, do your best to imagine it. Imagine: nothing of true spiritual value is ever lost. This is the nature of reality, as our absolute and infinite Father creates it.
- Cosmology (The spiritual cosmos)
But enough for this evening, for there is no exhausting all the different meanings and values of spirit. For so many people the surprising aspect of the Urantia book is not the cosmology, or the history, but the delineation of so many orders of spiritual beings, the concept that the whole physical universe of millions of galaxies—all this material/energetic creation is being administered by personal spiritual beings who are antecedent to, and directly creating and administering all this "stuff." This is probably the biggest surprise of all. So as you go out and look up into a clear night’s sky, and experience the reality of the cosmos, now you can see it as the home of an enormous, nigh incomprehensibly infinite family. And be reassured that though a few of the spiritual personalities of your local System, and your own dear planet, went astray in the exercise of Their personal freedom, with dire consequences for all of you ever since, still you can be reassured--for here is where your faith and your knowledge can actually ease your heart--that that whole starry realm out there—your future--is in good hands. And so are you. You are spiritual beings. Welcome home.
If you have any questions or comments this evening, let’s do that again.
Student: Father Michael, thank You for Your support this last month, and thank Mother also for Her support. I notice that I’m not doing things alone any more. And I also thank all those who have supported me that I’m not fully aware of. So thank You very much.
- Free will (Spirit never compels)
MICHAEL: You are very welcome, My son. And it is We who thank you. We thank you for your faith. We thank you for opening yourself and asking for help. We thank you for acknowledging Us. This, My son, is very literally how you add to Us, when you give to Us what only your free will is capable of giving. The value of this gift—your trust in Us—is so great in its nature; this is why spirit in no way ever—whatsoever--compels. The gift of freedom and the exercise of it are too precious. So again, My son, We thank you for your faith and your trust, and We trust in turn, We truly have been of help to you . Thank you for all the loving help you’ve given your friend through these very trying times. Your prayers have helped you stay very clear in our mind in analyzing and understanding what should be done, what is helpful and what is not. So rest in My peace.
STUDENT: Dear Michael, earlier we were all talking about becoming more serviceable by learning what the great masters have achieved in the Far East. It reminded me of one of Your favorite Old Testament quotes, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." And then You add, "Purge me of secret sins". And I’d to ask You to elaborate on that a little bit. I know by becoming a little bit more self-understanding, we’d become more serviceable to Your program, and a more stable platform of service. So help us with having a little more insight into being "purged of secret sins" and of course the "presumptuous transgressions" that You mention as well.
- Fear (Repression and denial)
MICHAEL: Yes V, this is more understandable to you in terms of modern psychology as repression’s. These are your secret sins that you indulge in generally with a sense of guilt, and so are somewhat torn inside. Essentially you do not yet want to face an ultimate decision of ending these secret sins and so you try not to think about them. This is very much to what that specific passage was alluding.
It is very similar to the psychological phenomena of denial, which is a more serious extension of the same process where you are able to remove this behavior from your consciousness entirely, even to the point of denying you are doing some physical activity right at the time, either by giving it some other name, or bogus motivation.
So how do you become conscious of what you may be denying or repressing? Ten points for the person who said or thought "stillness." (laughter) This is that inner opening we’ve been talking about. I hope it has not been seen as a contradiction where at one and the same time We advise you not to live in the past, yet at the same time be totally open to it. What’s the difference? It’s a matter of consciousness, of consciously establishing yourself in the present moment.
Living in the past means that these repression’s, or denials--the secret sins--are still being relived, are still having a great influence on your behavior, by their very nature, unconsciously so. You can literally be doing things you will not admit you are doing, either to yourself or others. It is only by opening yourself to the original events that gave rise to these secret sins can you in all consciousness become aware of them, and accept them. This is the essence of catharsis, where the reliving of certain repressed experiences, and accepting them fully-consciously as part of your genuine past, can rob them of their power over you.
Here the process of maturity is one of seeing yourself not in purely black-and-white terms as being some kind of Prince or Princess of Goodness, or innately evil, but a person of strengths and weaknesses. The strengths you can enjoy; the weaknesses you can accept and go to work on if you decide to, in your highly-consciously liberated present moment.
This can give you such a footing in genuine reality--seeing yourself at least somewhat as others see you--some genuine objectivity--that you can then suspend your "pretentious transgressions," (laughter) as you loose your need to pretend--first to yourself, then to others.
This pretentiousness is that "pride that goes before the fall." For it takes only a simple flight of stairs to show a stiff-necked person the error of his ways, as he goes tumbling down them. Does this answer your question, My son?
STUDENT: Yes, I’m glad I asked it. My older boy will be glad I did. And I feel better already!
But the word I mentioned was "presumptuous" transgression, that was mentioned in the Urantia book, and I think J must have heard "pretentious." I’m glad it came out, but the second part of the Urantia book quote is, "Purge me of secret sins, and keep back your servant from presumptuous transgression." And I guess that means the bigger ones? Thanks, though.
MICHAEL: Well it’s implicit here that "presumptuousness" cannot help but transgress on your poor fellows who have to put up with it. (laughter) So this trimming your own "pretentiousness," and refusing so to transgress on your friends, is just another kind of spiritual generosity. This is a gift you make others by truly, spiritually behaving yourself. And be in My peace. (Thank You Michael.) (a very long pause…)
It’s very peaceful here, is it not, My sons? You notice this peace is a kind of home base you can return to. It is nothing you need fear loosing, because there is no way you can hang on to it. There is no way you can directly create it, except by allowing it to be.
And so you step off again, and again, off into another adventure. And away you go! Because for that adventure to be fully real, you let go of this moment and trust that your own inner desire and wisdom will remind you to take a break again—sometime--and just enjoy My peace again. (the pause continued for another long time; then there was a ripple…)
Did you have something, D?
STUDENT: Yes. Earlier last week as I went more and more into stillness with the desire to be more quiet, I also noticed how at times my life seems so, in a sense, hanging by a thread--so tenuous, and I realized that thread is my faith. And the more my faith is enhanced and grows, the thread becomes stronger and wider, and like becomes a rope I am able to climb up. And as I climb up, I’m able to experience, as You have mentioned, new adventures, new challenges. And as I climb up this rope of faith, there are new dimensions I encounter, and my capacity to love grows and grows. And so does my desire to be quieter and more still, and to be ready for the next adventure—the next moment. And it’s really quite interesting watching myself go through this (laughs) and to drop things that once were important to me, and familiar, then noticing the gaps to …find other things, or in a sense be more still. So it’s interesting watching when those gaps appear as a habit has disappeared…of who I am, and what I do, in those gaps. I notice what pulls me, and what doesn’t…interest me, except this being in communion, and to be in stillness, and to be creative, and to feel life…
MICHAEL: Yes, My son. I congratulate you on your growing perception. Everything you just mentioned is in the realm of spirit.
True enough, your life is hanging on a thread physically, yet I’m sure you’ve all read amazing stories of just how tough and resilient those human bodies you have, have at times survived the most amazing challenges. And your minds too can become ever more tough and in their flexibility and adaptability. The more you read, and talk about, and experience, the more lively and tenacious your mental facilities can become.
- (The gaps in your life)
Noticing the gaps left by your suspended habits is very much a spiritual appraisal. You accept the challenge that so many small habits--like smoking cigarettes, or drinking coffee--are used like little dabs of glue to hold your day together. They are small connecting links without which you at first feel lost, because all of a sudden you notice all the separate pieces. And so We suggest a little mini-stillness meditation whenever you seem to be suffering a gap. Accept it into your consciousness. Seize the opportunity to re-evaluate what ordinarily-familiarly comes next. Something more interesting and valuable might suggest itself, if you give it a chance. Your perception of a growing stillness is a realization of a new continuity now entering your life. This home base We speak about, that you find in your stillness--so very tenuous and fleeting at first—it’s the continuity, the thread that you are feeling, more and more connecting all the separate events.
And so you’re also discovering that in its deeper essence, stillness is not just another habit, but rather a way of stopping habituation. And in this you are, even while in your present mind/body vehicle, you are putting a toe into the Morontia realms. You are becoming aware of your own soul as contra-distinct from your memories--which may or may not faithfully recall an event. You’re discovering the true spiritual cord, the connection that is your spiritual record. And in doing so, you are experiencing a Morontia reality.
This is great! This is what We have been inspiring you towards. So keep up the good work, yet never be too surprised if the road ahead still has a few major bumps, from time to time. Are you content now, My son? - STUDENT: Yes, Yes I am. It’s great because I feel, I feel the spirit coursing through me. When I wake up in the morning, I feel it so intensely. It wants me to be quiet, and to be still, and to feel it. And I do have those moments, those gaps where I simply don’t know what to do; and I just sit in it. And as You said, see where it takes me.
We’re in such a society where we think we have to keep doing something, and our identities are so wrapped up in this doing something. It’s like I mentioned last week, and another time, where I’m constantly un-defining myself, and re-defining my God-self, or re-acquainting my God-self. So thank You.
MICHAEL: You’re very welcome. You see now how the key is that quality of recognition to simply realize, Here I am in another gap again. And so the thing to do is to enjoy it—a little respite. Nothing’s happening for a moment or two. What might this be? And be in My Peace.
STUDENT R.: Michael, I guess it’s my turn. I’d hate to leave here tonight without an opportunity to converse with You in this way.
As you know we’re approaching what we call the Holiday Season, and in the spirit of this, I would like to come and sit on Your lap, and I’d like to tell You what I’d like for Christmas. (laughter) For Christmas, Michael, I ask for the gift of Union with Spirit. And that’s what my heart desires. That’s what it’s always desired, even when I was a young boy. I simply want union with You and my Father within. That’s what I ask for, for Christmas this year. MICHAEL: O, My son, why wait! (hearty laughter) You have it now! Just take a few moments and feel My presence within you. (long pause)
- Unity (You are never separate from spirit)
So you see, it is ever thus. We never really separate, though it is more Mother Spirit’s lap you are sitting in. Yet I’m always standing close beside; and We do form a beautiful family, if I might say so.
You do not leave Us when you forget Us for a few moments, even completely, as you enter into your next adventure, or duty, or desire.
The superficial parts of your being, your momentary--and as D. just mentioned--your very busy and goal-oriented thoughts, do not really separate you from spirit. You have a human life to live; and you’ve only to live it fully. And all Our suggestions are only designed to help you be ever more. Because this is your own potential nature. So keep reaching My son! Keep initiating our contact. Keep asking for help. Continue to pause in your busy life, with your family and friends, your very serious duties and what you owe others, and especially in your moments of freedom—free time.
It all exists inside a package called spirit. But this particular package has no outer boundaries. And so you will keep reaching for them forever! You will touch something real, but that will be Us. Your spiritual boundaries are like the horizon. As you are already discovering, My son, the horizon gets larger.
So here’s your Christmas package, this evening. Open it whenever you wish. And be in My peace. (Thank You, Michael, it’s a beautiful gift!) This is one gift that exists completely in the appreciation of it, so you’re very welcome.
The evening goes late, My children. Yet there is a fullness here I hesitate to disturb. Let us bid each other a Good Evening, in this encompassing of love. Rest tonight in My Peace. (All humbly say thanks.) [[Category: Free will]