2013-01-02-Creature of Free Will Dignity
Topic: Creature of Free Will Dignity
Group: Marin TeaM
Welcome Michael; welcome Mother Spirit. It’s always good to be able to say these words and feel your presence here with us. It makes these times special, not only that we get to hear your lesson, but it’s for this reason we gather together, those of us who are interested in such things. We can feel the community of kindred souls all over this world who delight in feeling and conversing with their spiritual parents and, through you--you might say, with our grandfather--God the Father.
Here we are on the cusp of a new year, and though it might seem very arbitrary from your point of view, it has a special meaning for us--this New Year Celebration. So: welcome. We invite you to be with us and we look forward to your lesson. Amen.
Michael: Good evening, this is Michael. Mother Spirit and I are deeply glad to be here with you. It’s always a joy for us to be able to communicate with you this way. And once again we’ll remind you, and invite you right back again, to address us in your mind. We do appreciate it when you take time out of your busy lives to say hello. “Hello, Dad. Hi, Mom. Thank you for me.”
To answer your question, Mother Spirit and I feel the New Year Celebration very much as you do, because we’re feeling it through you. Your worldly cultures have evolved to such a state that now the whole world is pretty much synchronized in expressing a new year. Yes, it is a bit arbitrary. It’s not the Winter Solstice or the Summer Equinox, not some cosmic event like that. But there is the fact you can turn on your TV and tune in all over the world as the New Year is celebrated in each new time zone. It’s one more way that you can feel how this whole old world of yours, which has always been spiritually united on our level, is now actually becoming more united on practical levels for you human beings.
- A creature of Free Will Dignity
Tonight I would like to talk about freedom. As you know, your beloved Urantia Book defines you as a creature of free will dignity. That first word is pretty easy to get a hold on. You’re a creature, a living creature, a living complex creature. We call you a creature because you were deliberately created by God--this essence of who you are, this personhood, this personality. This is who you are and what you are. This is the unchanging part of you. You will always be you. And what you have, equally eternal right along with you, and your sole possession, is a soul. As your Urantia Book points out, this is your growth. This is a way you too are growing and expanding and evolving as a creature of God with literally no end, if you so choose.
Now let’s look at the other part, the free will dignity part. What does it mean by will? What is this will-power you speak of? Well first of all, it’s definitely an asset, is it not? It’s a good thing to have, isn’t it, this will power? What does this power enable you to do?
We’ve given many lessons on how it’s put to the test when you are somewhat divided against yourself. In other words, you’re not going along in, shall we say, habits and routines, things you do half-unconsciously. To exercise your will you choose very consciously with all of your inner might: you exercise your will. This is what you call discipline, when you are very divided against yourself. Something is very difficult and yet you find the will to do it because it answers your sense of what is the right thing to do. It responds to your personality’s innate sense of morality of right and wrong. You have--or you don’t have--the discipline to something with one part of you that is very difficult for another part. Think of giving up some of your tenaciously addictive habits that will re-occur over and over again all by themselves.
We call this will power of yours potential because definitely, as you’re growing up, it definitely comes and goes very mysteriously. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. It can be very frustrating when you cannot muster the will to do something, and then maybe punish yourself with guilt as a way of motivating yourself. So it’s potential; it’s not always there.
- Your potential reality
But potential also means it’s rather unlimited in what you can do with yourself. This gives you a dignity as it sets you apart from who you are without it. You suddenly have what you might say is an augmentation of your personality. You have an ability, and these abilities that you earn by doing things, these become part of your soul, these abilities. They give you a dignity, a human dignity that is another whole realm other than, shall we say, being merely an intelligent animal. You have this free will dignity to the very degree you can exercise it, because it exists nowhere else. True, it exists in your memory; it exists in your soul: but it’s real now only as you can use it. Otherwise it might become merely a haunting, accusing memory of what you were once able to do, but can no longer.
Now the free part is a bit tricky. Free will dignity: free from what? Free to what? Freedom from something is the easiest, so let’s look at that first. It’s freedom from all the determinations, my children, which are part of you. That’s why I say it’s the tricky part because this free will of yours is bound about by your own habits, by your own unconscious doings.
You are a creature of culture from your family, from your friends, from your schooling and the whole surrounding community. Yet with your marvelous television you can tune in to a thousand little mini-cultures all over the world, and how they’re so different from each other, shall we say from somebody herding sheep on the Great Plains, to someone living in the center of one of your great cities. It’s all the different religions, all the different ways that people respond to what they feel is real--or not.
So consider how to be free of your own conditioning, because all your conditioning--in the sense of time--this is all the past. This is only who you’ve been, continuing up until this eternal now. But you are more a personal being now. You are endowed with a creative spirit now, if you can use it, if you can tap into it.
This is your creativity, my children, your ability to create something right out of yourself. You are not only your past but, out of your present living being, you are responding to all about you, responding with more than only who you’ve been. You’re co-creative in this present moment, which some call “the power of now.” This is what gives you the ability that your freedom is dependent upon. This is something no animal has, no matter how intelligent, how well trained. We’ve mentioned that some of your great primates can respond to hundreds of different hand signals and verbal commands, can almost carry on a conversation. But it’s still re-active.
- But to act
But to act, to be an actor in your life, to have some determination in your life, some freedom: all this depends upon your creative ability in this eternal now. This again re-emphasizes the fact that this is only potential. For, I’m afraid to state, I’m sure many of you know some poor individuals who have almost no sense of freedom at all. They’re even doubly suffering because they know it. What little bit of freedom their personality does have registers that they are pretty well determined by all they’ve been, and by all their circumstances. They express this as fatalism, as if they were just an un-creative, un-free cog in some vast cosmic machine, with no choice. It’s all been written out for them. They’re going along some kind of predetermined railroad track with no freedom at all. And even more tragic, they can feel that; and so their notions of fatalism where life has already been decided for them. Yet it’s just the way their minds are trying to understand and cope with what’s happening to them.
So: some ideas to think about on this cusp of a new year. January comes from the olden god Janis who had two faces—one looking into the past, one looking into the future. See him as a person, shall we say with this funny head, walking around in his own eternal now. He’s very much like you. He has his whole past of memory and soul and, with what insight he’s been able to gather and understand, this gives him some foresight as to what future is coming up. There he is, a living being as you are in this eternal now, creating your own free will dignity and fulfilling the potential you were given.
Now, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to do those.
Student: Michael, I feel kind-of chased or haunted by my impending old age. I fear a loss of parts of who I am, or my abilities. I realize that being old is a temporary condition, but I’m not sure I like the prospect of, you know, the cure for it that is in place. I have another question related to that. I’m wondering about the losses we suffer when our instrument, you know, our brain might become old and less capable, and what the resolution is for our soul with that?
- Personality—a very strange reality, with a soul
Michael: Yes, my son, this is an adjunct of what I just taught because personality is a very strange reality that you are. Because you literally can’t reach down and pick yourself up by your bootstraps, similarly you can’t actually get a hold of who you are. It’s like you’re a point of departure into time and space. And so it’s also a matter of faith too that you are this immortal--at least potentially immortal--being created by God.
And you have a soul. As we’ve taught so often, your soul is more than just your memories. It’s a transcendent reality co-created by God himself, by the presence of God within you. And so, my son, it helps an awful lot that as you get older and you find your body and your mind starting to go--this composite being that you are starts to de-compose, very real—that you switch your identification more and more to your personality and your soul, the parts of you that have the potential for being immortal.
- The amelioration of inevitability
Take very good and loving care of these parts of you that are diminishing, that are fading away, that will end as you know them. This is where meditation helps, not only with your memories but in feeling your soul and the way it gives meaning and value to your life, to this eternal now you’re in. This is where understanding and true faith go hand in hand. This is the best amelioration, shall we say, of inevitability. You had another question?
Student: I’m wondering about the fate of those who choose to live what could be called an evil life, like a serial killer or somebody who submits to ignorance in the form of not caring about other beings--you know? What becomes of them? Is there punishment or what?--just wondering. Might be sort-of a karma question, or a question related to the suffering they caused; and then the feelings against them that were created. Kind-of a justice question, I guess. What happens to them related to the evil deeds, you know? Do they pay for them, or how’s it work?
Michael: Yes, my son, you’re very close. Again consider that the human soul, each individual soul, is partly their actions that they chose to do. We even talked about those who feel they have no choice, who actually feel they are some kind of automaton, some little machine carrying out some previous Karma--as you suggested. But the soul is also half of how God sees everything in his completeness. And so when they regain consciousness--on the other side, as you call it--the Urantia Book goes to some length and takes some pains to explain how death is the tiniest little step, in one way. True, you will never forget through all eternity this moment of having survived. You still are! You’ve died and yet, here you are!--you know?
- An ultimate decision
But for those who have such terrible acts in their soul, this is something they will have to face and feel. It concerns one of the most profound questions that arise when we say that eternal life is not forced upon anyone. You do have an ultimate decision that is yours and yours alone, of whether to continue or not. As you know, in the Teaching Mission here we stress the fact that some of the highest beings—Lucifer, Satan, Caligastia, some of the angels; to the very end they refused any kind of rehabilitation or full acknowledgment of what they did, as seen from some other point of view than solely their own ego. You talk about someone being egomaniacal, where their soul is so bereft of other human contact. I taught a whole lesson on this last time, where there is almost nothing in their soul of joy. And so their minds have created this superego persona that is then capable of doing the most hideous things. Even past--you can wonder: even past the first one or two people that they torture or murder; how could they continue? How could they keep going on in that reality?
Yet that is now a part of their soul. It’s what they did. And when, on the other side as they begin to derive some sense of what this is, and start to develop some genuine soul of feeling; you can only imagine what is there for them to really feel for the first time. This is why I ask for us to pray for these souls and what is in store for them.
Consider the saints among you who live their whole lives for others. When they regain consciousness there are literally hundreds of others in their soul, and all they’ve shared. It’s hard to imagine a greater spiritual contrast. So thank you for your questions, my son.
Student: Was there an energetic shift in the universe this last month, like the Mayans believed? Was there some kind of cosmic shift that would bring human beings closer to one another? I’m just curious if there’s anything that will affect our planet.
- Cosmic shifts and human behavior
Michael: Well, yes, my daughter, that gets down to the question of--as your Urantia Book teaches you--you are surrounded by spiritual beings. You have your own guardian angel. You have your own soul, co-authored by God. You have beings of unimaginable power, and yet: the very essence of divinity, the very essence of God’s nature, this First Source and Center of Reality, is that spiritual beings do not impose themselves on subordinate beings. We are the origin; I should say our Father is the origin of your free will, your possibility. It’s in our best interests. It’s what we love to see. It’s what appeals to us. It’s what we delight in—your free will.
At the same time it kind-of puts you on your own feet. You have a soul, my daughter, because you are earning it. Day by day your life is not only as you will remember it, but as God will. It’s the presence of God within you experiencing your life through you. This is your soul. And so it can be yours to the greatest degree. That’s why I gave this lesson on free will, and why it’s only a potential. It’s up to you.
(Personal creative power)
This is your power. This is the power of your personality and your creativity. This is why there is no golden chariot about to descend to carry you away; or on the grand scale, about to save your world. Your world does not need saving. Your world is evolving inexorably through each and every single one of you, and no one else. In other words, it’s up to you, all of you together. But also keep in mind, my dear, it is no less than this. This is what gives you your soul. On the same point of total humankind, it’s how the world’s soul is coming about, bereft, as you say, of some Mayan calendar event or some other prophesy, say the Spiritual Community is going to step in and solve it all for you. [Laughter.] Does that answer your question?
Student: Yes, it actually does.
Michael: It’s the very kind of being you are, my dear. One of the greatest gifs we can give you is to leave you alone and let you have your life, let your choices be real.
Michael: Yes. I have question about the soul. [Ed: this next section was re-spoken due to concern about the microphone picking it up]
I’m curious about what happens to our soul when we die--if there are souls that are required to stay on earth because of the need to learn or experience more in order to leave? Do we remain anchored to earth, even after our first life, in order to have a greater faculty within the dimensions? Or do we leave earth altogether when we leave the physical form?
- Personality survival
Michael: Yes, my son, this is something again where I’ll put up the big tease--tease you into opening the Urantia Book because it goes into enormous detail. The second section of the Urantia Book deals with the Local Universe and goes into enormous detail. And also there’s the chapter called Personality Survival.
Your personality and your soul are so at this stage intertwined. That’s actually one of the functions of your personality--to unite with your soul and all you’ve been, even as God sees it! When you awaken on what we call the mansion worlds, this is a physical planet very much like this one, only with a whole extra order of both material and energy. In other words, it has a completely advanced plant and animal life, and you too will be just one more stage more advanced yourself when you reawaken.
When you get over the shock of having survived, and being on this very magical kind of world that will, as you say, blow your mind; you are given some free time just to walk around and get used to it for a while. Maybe there will be friends there to meet you, because you will be able to reconnect with all of those folks you knew here--if they’re of a like mind: parents and children. As the Urantia Book states, there are even great meetings and get-togethers, and anniversaries and things, big rendezvous.
So yes, everybody when they die here are re-constituted--I’ll use that word--on the morontia worlds. There you will continue just a little bit more advanced than what you are now because, as the book also states, you will go through five hundred and more of these small graduations of becoming less and less physical and more and more spiritual, less and less determined as you are now by your body and mind, and more and more free. Your personality will, in a sense, really spread some wings it didn’t even know it had.
But this process, my son, is unending. It just starts here. All these stages--these hundreds and hundreds of stages you go through just in our Local Universe here, before you head out into the galaxy and really, really, as a full spiritual kind of being with unimaginable freedom and power—this, again, is only a beginning. You have a long, long way to go. You have a whole universe to cross before you even reach Havona, the Inner Universe of a billion worlds to experience.
So stand by. This is just the beginning. But yes, you will definitely reawaken on a world that, even though it’s just a beginning, will so totally outstrip your most fantastic imaginings of what heaven is. Does that answer your question?
Michael: Again I refer you to your Urantia Book for the enormous detail it gives you. Be in my peace.
Student: Michael, is there such a thing as the Akashic Record of, you know, storage of all of the history, and a way for it to be accessed and explored somewhere?
- The Record of the universe
Michael: The answer is yes, my son. Yet this again is something that is generally only accessible to you over on the other side. In other words, not only your guardian angel, but when you reawaken, one of the things you will be confronted with, and can derive just untold enjoyment of, is the history of your planet, your race, your country, your town, your family, you--from the standpoint of spiritual beings who are just ancient, ancient. There’s no way to describe angels who are tens of millions of years old and know all about this world of yours. And so you will be rediscovering not only your own notions of, shall we say, your planetary history right up to the present day, but also their viewpoint on your planetary history right up to the moment. This record is kept by trillions of beings: the full story of the universe. Capping it all is what we call the Supreme Being, that aspect of God that is the soul of the universe, holding everything that has ever happened. (Michael laughs) That’s actually out there. This is all real. It’s all happening.
My daughter, did you have any questions or comments? It’s not at all necessary.
Student: I wondered if you would comment about this experience I had on the 21st actually.
Michael: Go ahead.
Student: I felt a tremendous surge of energy and, I mean, just amazing. I felt like my whole body was vibrating. And I felt . . . I saw . . . it’s hard to explain. It’s like I had all these visions and images and revelations about the future of the world--not the whole world, just the next phase. Like, I do feel like we’re transitioning into a whole different era where we’re really going to start caring more about each other.
I like what M. was asking about earlier. I felt just this huge storage of energy, especially in my head and my third eye area. And I had all these ideas and images and pictures and things come. And I felt almost euphoric. And I wished I could have written it all down real fast, but it was coming so fast I couldn’t get it all. It was really, really wonderful. I wondered if you had any comments.
- An epiphany of totality and unity
Michael: Well, yes, my dear, I would say: congratulations! This is because of your belief system, which is no small thing. This is something you evolve your whole life as a combination of your experience, the culture in which you were raised, all you’ve read, all you’ve learned, all you’ve come to understand. This is what I mean by your whole system of meaning and value that interprets for you what you’re going through--inside and outside--all your friends--all your physicalness--all your body things and your mental things. This totality of you can come to an epiphany, sometimes with an expectation on a certain date, or of a certain thing that has great meaning for you. It may be for no one else, or maybe it is something you share.
But all of a sudden your ability to feel the totality of your being just happens. And this is your own respect that you are paying this, my dear. This is the way your personality can acknowledge that this is something beyond what you can arbitrarily create on your own. So in this sense it just happens to you. And this enormous happening; these are the high points of a person’s life.
This is where all that you are comes into a kind of unity. And in this unity of your being, you begin to really sense what we mean by evolution. There is an inexorable evolution taking place with all the individuals here, whether they’re aware of it or not. Some won’t be aware of it until they reawaken on the other side and have a greater sense of all they’ve been. But you have touched your own soul and you’ve felt the enormity of it; and you’ve been impressed by it because it’s real. And so I would say congratulations are in order.
Be patient with yourself. Let it develop. As you say, it gets out of your control. It’s so much going so fast because you still are this body too. You still are this mind. That’s another kind of time you are stuck with. You can’t cling to these moments. That just makes them go away all the faster. But in your meditations and in your prayers, relax and let them come over you again, and enjoy them again.
Student: Thank you.
Michael: And be in my peace.
Student: Michael, I have a question about something that came up earlier, when C. had asked about what happens to people who engage in dark or evil activity. I seem to always need clarification about this, as to the soul’s retention of activities of our life that were not positive and were not loving, that were not evolutionary. It’s my understanding that those things which are not good deeds, that are maybe dark deeds; there is no record of that in the soul. The soul only consists of those things that the indwelling spirit co-creatively decides to retain as the soul--in and as the soul.
But also, the deeds of each of us are retained by recording angels, and what we confront in the afterlife is a life review in which we do actually see all of these deeds, good and bad. But they’re not retained in the soul. Only the good deeds are retained in the soul. So is this accurate, or is this: I’m missing the mark?
Michael, teasing: Well, my son, are you ready?
Student, laughing: Here we go!
Michael: I wouldn’t call it missing the mark so much as realizing in your very human way that you can’t live on pure sugar. In your life your diet is not pure sugar. And your life is not, as you say, all sunshine and light, or there would be no contrast. There would be no meaning. And there would be no value.
What you are feeling for, and what your instinct perhaps tells you, is that when you reawaken your soul is so much more available to you. Let me put it this way: you are one notch more a spiritual being. Your personality just rejoices. Like I said, you still are!--and all of a sudden your soul is more available to you.
Your soul contains your life in all its fullness. There’s no way you can arbitrarily--from your human point of view now—say: This is good, or, this is not good. Because that’s not the way God sees it. So your instincts are telling that it’s not only the negative things you’ve done shall we say, or the cruelty you might have performed, the terrible things you might have done to someone. Your soul is also as God sees everything in its totality of why you did this.
(Again, ref. Sandy Hook and God’s ultimate mercy)
So it’s all there. This is why even some of the highest beings, shall we say Lucifer who was noted for his brilliance, and some of your recent terrible acts that were performed by people with great intelligence—pure associative abilities, right?--but with almost no soul. This is now in their soul. And this why no one is . . . this is the ultimate…
Again, it’s hard to express this, but this is the ultimate mercy: that no one is forced to feel what they have done; yet they have to grow enough in the ability to feel in order to make this decision. You don’t have it now. You’ll all be reconstituted. You can’t choose now to cease to exist. You can kill yourself, but you’ll awaken over there.
God’s ultimate mercy is that these beings--human beings or higher beings--are not so much extinguished, but that they literally can extinguish themselves. They literally cling to whatever ego or persona it was that enabled them to do the unfeeling things in the first place. You can imagine the pain and the suffering that Lucifer was responsible for, that he would cease to exist rather than acknowledge.
Yet too it’s not a choice they once made because they didn’t have choice. They wouldn’t have been be the kinds of beings they were if they’d had even your choice. This is because their real soul was not only what they wanted to remember—they choices they made, the things they did—but it was also as God saw it in its wholeness.
For so many rehabilitation is possible as they begin to understand why they did what they did. The full extent of what all of you do is not only your sole possession--and soul possession--but also part of the Supreme Being. The totality of all that happens has its own reality.
Student: I can see once again how far off I was. Would it be better to think of the soul as a novelist who is observing our whole life and is recording the story of what we might call good and bad? But it’s just the story, whatever it may be, being woven into the soul. Because of--as you said--the divine mercy, all of it is embraced. All of it is embraced and all of it is woven in and as our soul. Is that a fair summary?
Michael: As long as you keep in mind that God is the novelist.
Student: Yeah. Right. God’s the novelist.
- Your soul’s activity
Michael: But also, my son, this is a novel that is being played out moment by moment in here-and-now. In other words, your soul is not passive at all. Your soul is literally what’s giving meaning and value to you right now. Your soul is an active, ongoing thing, as is God’s presence within you, giving you the good ideas and trying to steer you towards the good--you know--little nudges, shall we say, that you can accept or not. God is a Thought Adjuster; he can actually put thoughts in your mind. But it’s your personality that chooses to follow them or not, whether they come from him or your own creativity.
So yes, this is soul, as long as you keep in mind that it’s not only a story. The totality that your soul is, is so enormous that it’s going to take a long time for your personality to grow to where you can appropriate your own soul and become one, consciously, with your own soul.
Just think: now you sit down and for a few precious moments in your meditation you can actually feel what it was like to be ten years old--something that happened to you then, and not just a memory, not just the outline, but what it felt like, and smelled like, and everything about that. You have a few precious moments before you have to get on with your life. Now imagine how enormous your soul must be to be all of your life. This is what’s giving meaning and value to you, which is why your meditation is good. Just open yourself to this; and marvel that this soulfulness is the gift of all gifts; and you are earning it by the existential fact of being alive.
As Mother Spirit once said, your soul is not every hamburger and hotdog you’ve eaten, no matter how delicious. It’s mostly the people, not all these little gadgets, no matter how delightful--all these things. It’s these other rather infinite beings you’re associating with you call your friends and associates. This is what fills your soul--and as God sees them too.
Someday you will grow to where you can become one with this enormity of all that you’ve been up to that moment. This is the transformation we call becoming One with the presence of God within you. This is what’s involved, and you become a rather different kind of being. And yet again: you’ll be only just beginning.
Student: Right. Right.
Michael: Be in my peace.
Student: Thank you, Michael.
Michael: And so, my children, it’s been a delight engaging your souls. I thank you for bringing them forth so fearlessly, so openly, so respectfully, and so lovingly.
We thank our Father for our very lives. And we thank him for the ability to forget ourselves and enjoy these others that he has created for our company. Mother Spirit sends her love, and I bid you be in my peace.