2005-12-18-Come To The Stillness
Topic: Come Into The Stillness
Group: SE Idaho TeaM
Teacher: Daniel, Minearsia, Aaron
TR: Bob S., Nancy
Prayer Virginia: Father, we hear the chimes that call us to worship, a heart full of gratitude for each and every gift that you give to us—those that we understand as a gift, and those that we have not yet recognized. We would pray that our giving, in return, might be devotion of love to You, demonstrated by what we do with our brothers and sisters. We would pray that You would help us to recognize Your hand in our relationships. Help us to recognize Your hand in our trials. Help us to recognize Your love no matter the course of the day. Amen.
DANIEL (Bob S.): I am Daniel, your friend and, hopefully, well-prepared teacher. My friends, I cannot tell you how much I look forward to our times together. While it is true that I spend time with each of you, individually, during the week, it is at our group meetings where I find myself most enthusiastic.
Well, that’s me; let’s talk about what happens tonight. I will not be the major presenter. My duty this evening is to welcome you and to thank you for your persistent efforts to follow those ideals, which we, your elders, have taught. While we perfectly understand your difficulties in overcoming your animal nature, since most of us have been there ourselves, it is our times together where I feel we can benefit you the most. Well, enough of introduction. Let us proceed with tonight’s lesson. Please stand by.
MINEARSIA (Nancy): Dear friends, I am Minearsia, instructor in residence [to] this SE Idaho Teaching Mission Base, pleased to have the opportunity during this Christmas season to address you and to share some thoughts that have been percolating as I observe the hustle and bustle of your Western holiday approach.
As you all are aware, somehow the message of joy, peace, and goodwill to all, becomes submerged in the culture of materialism. And while most everyone longs to experience those sentiments, those emotions, and to share knowledge of God, knowledge of the truth of Michael’s—Jesus’—birth, life, and resurrection, some find this hard because of the fast pace of your culture that is increased in speed by the additional activities attendant upon this season.
This theme I am introducing tonight is quite an old theme. In fact, countless numbers of Christmas and Christmas Eve sermons have been preached on this topic. My desire tonight is not to introduce new material but rather repackage existing information in the effort to provide you with a Christmas gift that you can take with you throughout the year.
The solution is simple; it is the topic that you have discussed recently, and it is the foundation provided to you by Daniel, in your early years. Time in worship, time in stillness, time in reverence provides you with the "Fruits of the Spirit" that become the spirit of Christmas, [the spirit] of the holiday season.
I am here as a coach tonight. I am here to encourage you at this busy time, now more than ever, to seek the stillness. And so this evening I wish to present a review for you of stillness, of a stillness exercise.
As you approach the stillness, if you can, come with a grateful heart. If you cannot come with a grateful heart, come nonetheless. If you cannot come with gratitude, perhaps you can come with awe. And if that is not accessible, come with whatever you have, with a sense of petition, of desire, of ache—whatever it is that will assist you in opening to that which you most desire and yet resist. If you need to be on your knees, be on your knees. If you are comfortable sitting cross-legged in traditional meditation style, do so. If you are most comfortable sitting upright in a comfortable chair or upright in bed, do that. Open your heart; open your mind; turn toward and reach out for that which you most desire. Allow yourself to be filled like a shining golden goblet of overflowing love. Do this daily. Make it an essential of your approach to Christmas.
Throughout your day notice when your body is experiencing stress; notice if you have tension in your shoulders, or in your back, or in your neck, or if your head aches, or if your hip or knee aches. Tie your need to turn to the Father to [these] physical signals. If you notice this tension, stop! Breathe in…. experience gratitude…. breathe out…. and look about to see how you can be of service in that instant. Is there a harried clerk who would benefit from a smile? Is it you, yourself, all alone, who could benefit from the removal of pressure? Is there a task for someone who you have been putting off that you could undertake? In this way of reminding yourself to be mindful, to look for the opportunity to serve, to connect with love, you can slow yourself down and experience the promise of the heavenly kingdom, the experience of the heavenly kingdom, which is the magic of Christmas.
Christmas, the holiday season, is a time of intense emotion upon Urantia. The timing of this season is tied to the Winter Solstice and has a history that reaches back quite far. In your own personal lives these holiday seasons are a time of longing and expectation that are sometimes met and sometimes not. And these longings and expectations, past pains, lost innocence, lost treasures, permeate the season for many. This is a time when not only does each of you require stillness, as much or more than ever, but so does Urantia. And so, if you will not take the time for yourself, then please, my friends, consider this time to be a time for service—and later we will explore why you would do this service for others but not for yourself.
While I realize this is a rehash, nothing new, I hope to assist those of you who are finding it difficult to make the effort. And now we wish to shift into a dialogue mode. Aaron has graciously consented to assist in dialogue. And I will say goodbye to you at this time. You may, of course, address any thought or question to me at any time. My friends I wish you a most joyful, loving, peaceful, holiday season filled with goodwill. My love to all of you.
AARON (Simeon): Greetings dear friends. What a joyous season, indeed! Let us take off our coats and shake off the snow so that we may sit around and chat for a few.
The process of envisioning can be very productive when setting goals. And so I would like to enlist you this evening in helping with some goals that we have in our work here on Urantia. You’ve often heard this term "Light and Life," as though it has some magical meaning, a Utopian ideal. And yet, as we survey a record of your thought processes, we realize there is some murkiness regarding this concept which keeps it from jelling into a clearer vision for you. So I thought it might be fun to have a round table regarding this concept this evening and what it means to you. And even more so to have you utilize the practice of envisioning, such that, perhaps, you can help to flesh it out a little more. So beginning here, (signals to the left), what does Light and Life mean to you, in a summary sort of way? Pat?
Pat: Well, I think, Aaron, in terms of a peaceful world, one where people are in loving service to one another.
AARON: Feel free to go around the circle.
Virginia: When you first asked what I thought of Light and Life, I thought in terms of perfection, where you always had the full knowledge of being able to make the right choice.
Carol: I think I am one of those with the murky thoughts. To me it’s one where all—everyone—comes together with the same purpose, with the same love, the same peacefulness, and finally get along together, and better serve each other.
Bob S.: Initially, I liked your Utopia comment. I think for me now, it’s more of a process, Light and Life. Ultimately our planet will be a Utopia, but those times are far away. The beginning we are seeing now is a time where we see the truth in the statement that "we are all brothers and sisters" and attempt to bring that into fruition in our lives, that we start treating those we interact with as brothers and sisters. And hopefully that will grow until the world does begin to treat everyone as brothers and sisters. At that time there will be no wars; there will be peace; we will be working toward economic equity; poverty will disappear; and we will have heaven on earth. But, that ain’t gonna to happen tomorrow. (slang intended) So I think, for me, it makes the most sense that we see that as the goal, and wish it would come faster, but recognizing that it’s going to take awhile. Just try to get our own act together so that I begin to treat everyone as brothers and sisters, because I find that I’m not there yet.
Ken: Greetings, Aaron. I’m having a hard time getting my arms around this Light and Life, this Utopia. The book talks of this; the lessons have talked of this, of this greatness this world is coming into. I don’t believe me or too many people, in this world [at this time] know the glory of God and what will happen in this point when the planet is settled in Light and Life. My thoughts along Bob’s line are that we are beginning this stage of Light and Life. One of the first steps we must take is that of understanding who we are, individually. And that is of course a Child of God. And then to understand that we all are children of God. This takes time, this takes mortal time to develop before we can come into unity of thought and work towards this point that was mentioned, "in service of God." So, I am working on myself to understand this.
Nancy: I know this concept is somewhat murky in my mind, as well. You’ve asked us to envision it, and when I think of Light and Life, I think of all the institutions of society being fundamentally different than they are now, but I have a hard time envisioning that. I know that I would like to have an economic system that supported us, that supported families, and at the same time have a learning institution that really nurtured children and fed them healthy food.
I feel fortunate that I found a community that I think teaches and treats children as a community with love. But then I have to put up with them hearing about all kinds of religious stuff I don’t believe in, and feeding them a bunch of crap that is terribly unhealthy. And nobody seems to understand what they are doing when they fill them full of sugar, hydrogenated oil, and this and that. And when I try to address it, I feel like I’m treated as the crazy fanatic.
And I would love to have institutions that supported people in all …. in our spiritual growth, in our emotional growth, in our physical well-being, and in our intellectual growth. And we don’t have those institutions. In fact, we have to fight against those institutions. And so I imagine Light and Life as different institutions, and yet I know that we make up those institutions and I really don’t see the bridge.
And so when you ask us to envision, the best I can envision is myself, calm, centered, making my way through the day, interacting with people, in a mindful, attentive manner. That is the best I can envision. And so I appreciated you using the word envision because when you said that, I realize I haven’t been using that power, and I could see immediately where I could use it to make some…. to do some adjustments in the next couple of weeks and hopefully going forward. And you know, you tell us that a lot of us are living in Light and Life, and so I definitely don’t know what that means, because I see [Light and Life associated with] radically different institutions; you know, no war, etcetera. Thank you for the topic though.
AARON: Thank you for your input, all of you. Now as a sort of method we witness on the Mansion Worlds and beyond, as far as education, the processes utilized by our teachers are to be more interactive and self-directed learning, rather than having a micromanager, needing to pump us full of information. And so, to model that, I would attempt to relate through Simeon a few ideas that can help to further guide your conversation. Taking from your own comments, I would be quite interested if you could focus on the idea of Light and Life as a process, rather than a thing, and the concept of individual growth in that context, rather than a macro level view of global and universal for all. Instead, focus on processes personally, toward being better able to represent the ideas of Light and Life.
Nancy: Like listening. (Aaron: Yes.) Like the lesson we had on how to address topics—to make sure we hear from everybody first before beginning dialogue. So our lessons have been giving us insight into the processes of Light and Life and clues as to how we could change our institutions so they become more…If our institutions use those same processes, they would evolve, transform, as well as the people.
AARON: And as you see it as processes instead of [as] a nebulous idea or a large-scale utopian vision, how could you then, looking at yourself personally, see ways that you can model the behavior of someone who would have attained the state of Light and Life?
Nancy: When I think of myself as a being who has achieved a state of Light and Life, I can no longer allow myself to be frantic, overwhelmed… Those are the first two that come to mind. I see myself as a person that is deliberate, listens, and has a time delay to kind of connect with spirit before I respond so that I’m not just reacting from whatever past programming I had. I see myself as evaluating the trade-offs in undertaking activities, and…. we had a word…. I‘m going to use the word deliberate …. We had a better word earlier, in the last year. But anyway, I’ll stop there. It’s a good exercise to envision myself as having achieved that. Maybe I’ll see what a day is like pretending that I’m in a state of Light and Life, "acting as if."
Ken: Hmm, to envision myself in Light and Life, okay, very simple…. as loving everybody…. unconditionally.
Nancy: I see that as being out of this Super Universe.
Bob S.: I’d like to add a few conditions. Well, for me I’d say…. the frustrating thing is the more I learn about me, the more I find I need to work on. So from that perspective, it seems I’m making very, very slow progress. But I feel intellectually I’m starting to get the idea, and I’m starting to see where I need to be, and I’m working on understanding my emotions and trying to be more patient, and…. oh golly, there’s many things…. trying to be less upset with the world as I see it. But there are so many hurdles; it is so difficult to change yourself that it’s going to take me awhile, a very long while, to get me up to speed where I would like to be. I see my task now as trying to teach others some of things I have learned these last few years. Really, the major task before me is me and try to get me started more positively down the road to perfection.
Carol: I think for me, I’m like Ken, loving everyone unconditionally is the first model. And I also need to be more of service to people who need help. And maybe define things a little more narrowly for myself, rather than think about things I can’t do any thing about. I can only try to work on myself.
Virginia: Well, when he said "model," I immediately thought of how I close my Self Esteem Workshop, because it’s all about being a parent and you want your kids to act exactly like you want them to act, so I close it by saying Gandhi’s famous quote that says "Become the change you want to see in the world." And that is exactly what the teachers are telling us. In order to be a model we have to become what we want our children to be, what we want the world to be, loving unconditionally, accepting diversity. How do I model all those things? Expect less and give more.
Pat: Well I think for me to begin would be to be able to walk without fear.
Simeon: Light and Life, I ponder it all the time, but I usually do it at the global levels. In bringing it to me and having my own personal changes is a lot harder. I envision…. I think of Christ and how He was with people. You know, obviously that would be the ideal as far as somebody who had obtained the state of Light and Life—enthusiastic about life, wanting to learn, and being genuine with people, rather than shutting yourself off, so you don’t have to risk, which is fear. I mean that big thing that kind of stands out there. For almost everybody has that as a barrier in some way. Listening, like you said (referring to Nancy), is an art. I’m very good at having my wife telling me something and five minutes later asking her the question that she just told me, because I didn’t hear a word she said. I get so lost up in my own head I forget to be present in the world.
Virginia: I was lost in my own head when Nancy was at the house and Greg (son) was probably, I don’t know, fifteen-sixteen years old, and I have no idea what the situation was, but I hear, still, in my mind, Nancy saying "Mom, do you know what you just said ‘yes’ to?" I hadn’t been listening at all. And, you know we get caught up in our own world.
Nancy: As people were talking, a couple of things hit me. I was thinking, if I were living in Light and Life, I would be portraying all the Fruits of Spirit, the patience, the tolerance, the forbearance, the kindness, love, mercy, joy, enthusiasm. And I think really the key so much is [being] without fear. I’ve talked so much about this before, I feel like I’ve got a lot more fear than I used to experience. And I find it more difficult to experience the Fruits of the Spirit or share them. And so, maybe fear is a good place to start looking again.
Virginia: There’s an acronym that I’ve used for years and years in my class, not that I have learned, but fear is "False Evidence Appearing Real." And I think we look at what we interpret….we put our own meaning to what we see.
Simeon: Rather than seeing reality, we like twist it around what it might mean rather than what it is.
Virginia: The snow started falling tonight and I could just see me sliding down the road tomorrow. How silly, I don’t even know how much snow is going to fall tonight. I got these wonderful studded snow tires, and I haven’t slid once.
Nancy: It’s very cold, I wouldn’t worry.
Simeon: I was thinking about a friend of mine that I had a scare with…. worry that they might die. And my reaction to it was such that they were upset with me because I wasn’t more expressive of emotion and shock and sadness, verbally or whatever. And I had to ponder that, you know. Am I avoiding death lately? Because a few things have happened. But the thought that came back to me is, and this may be callus, but when somebody is going to die, it doesn’t affect me like it used to. And so, it’s almost like I have absolute faith that their spiritual safety is fine. And so, I don’t get caught up into the drama and emotion of the experience. And I kind of process it from the head. Now maybe that is not what you call sensitive or whatever. I felt like the person was wanting me to be emotional, and I couldn’t make myself be emotional to just satisfy the person. And I was saying all the things about, "Okay you’re going to lick this, work on this." You know, I was trying to come from the positive aspect. Maybe there was some avoidance of mine. But at the time it just struck me that maybe in Light and Life, death to them—obviously there is a missing of a person being gone—but it’s probably a lot diminished from what we currently experience when someone dies, because there it’s probably such a natural thing that it’s not something horrific, a life lost. You know when you have a perspective of this life just being the tip of the iceberg, nothing really is lost. So anyway, that’s something that struck me… a possible perspective on Light and Life.
Nancy: (To husband, who entered conversation) So the assignment was to envision ourselves in Light and Life and what that would mean personally. (Husband acknowledges.)
AARON: Recognizing the time element and the travel involved we would like to bring the meeting down toward a close this evening, although we have merely touched the tip of the iceberg, regarding this topic. Expect possible re-visitation from time to time, as we seek to gather more research based on your responses to our questions.
I would like to leave you with a vision of a purposeful life where existence is defined, not so much by environment, but by exerting will, in combination with the Divine Will, to create environment rather than being reactive to it. When Light and Life descends on a personality, this does not signify perfection, but rather a dawning perspective. One that finds themselves seeking balance between their needs and the needs of the world around them, where one gives back at least as much as they take. The understanding of the importance of learning and growth, not as an attainment or culmination, but an ongoing process of unfoldment, where negative patterns are not met with feelings of failure, avoidance, or defiance, but rather with a sense of challenge that these can be turned from vices to virtues. And all the while having an overriding sense of the Divine mystery surrounding all that is, knowing that you are engaged with destiny and as such can perceive all aspects of life in that light.
The larger macro view of Light and Life is being born as each individual comes into this dawning awareness. And as people engage more purposefully in life with the positive perspective of Divine progression, a natural gravitation of personalities will occur in different fields of endeavor, almost like "think tanks," which can carve out vision for the population at large. So if you each take seriously the importance of your existence, your relationship to the Divine, and address life more consistently in these ways, you will find that what you dream of as a long hard road ahead, will manifest more surely day by day, as one more person becomes engaged in the pattern which will eventually consume the whole.
It has been a pleasure to talk about this subject this evening and to have you share. I hope you will continue to ponder and progress. Good evening.
DANIEL (Bob S.): This is Daniel, my friends, our time is up. Let’s hold any questions you may have until the next meeting, for I believe it is time to end tonight’s session. Please stand and hold hands.
Bob S.: "Klarixiska wishes to pray," he says.
Nancy: Does he want Mom to TR?
Simeon: I just got a "yes." (Jokingly)
KLARIXISKA (Virginia): We hear the words of Minearsia. We come to You with grateful hearts. Now, in each of your minds, as students, and we, as teachers, perhaps think in terms of the greatest thing that you are grateful for right now, tangible and intangible. Father, may we model, may we be examples of Your Love in the world, as we relate to one another. Amen Catalog: Minearsia Catalog: Aaron