2013-01-17-Spiritual Presences and Free Will
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Spiritual Presences and Free Will
o 1.2 Group: Lightline TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Michael
o 2.2 TR: JL
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Opening
o 3.2 Dialogue
o 3.3 Closing
Topic: Spiritual Presences and Free Will
Group: Lightline TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, welcome. Come abroad. Well: looking around and feeling for you, I find you’re already here. You never left. I guess it’s with our group consciousness here that we wish to acknowledge you and thank you for your presence in our lives. You are very much a part of us and we have no idea–we can’t even imagine–what life would have been like without you. Certainly a whole dimension of being human would be missing without the Spirit of Truth within us all along, and without Mother Spirit’s adjutants, her Mind/Spirit Adjutants. That’s a good bridge to have right within us to tie those two things together, isn’t it–our mind and our spirit? So we thank the two of you. We thank you for being part of us. We invite you to share our lives with us and we do remember from time to time to think of you and say hello. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, this is Michael and yes, very much, Mother Spirit and I are definitely part of you. Yet it’s another whole jump, you might say, for your personalities to make, when you recognize us and can actually feel us, can experience us within you.
Spiritual presences and free will
As we’ve said so many times before, we don’t talk aloud in your mind. That would be too intrusive. Your Father fragment–the Thought Adjuster–God can actually put ideas in your mind, but he doesn’t shout. It’s still up to you. There is still this great respect that we have, the whole spiritual community has, for your free will, that we don’t tell you what to do. We make suggestions. We tease you. We dangle things in front of you for you to consider. In these teleconferences and in all the ways we speak to you through transmitter/receivers around the world; these are just other ways we can invite you to come along with us for a while and see yourselves as we see you.
Isn’t that one of your delightful poems—“What a gift God could give us, to see ourselves as others see us.” We hope to do this for you, yet we don’t mean to be so didactic as to bang you over the head with things; but just stay with us for a while. Be with us. Enjoy seeing yourselves as we see you because we can see you in your totality. At the same time, my dears, we do address this conscious you that is hearing me right now. We do our own best not to speak over your head or speak through you, but respect this conscious you that you know yourselves to be, which is more than just your ego. It’s both your conscious and your unconscious reactions to my voice right now. It’s how your soul interprets and gives meaning to what I say. While we know this totality of you responds to us, we do speak to this conscious you, this you that you know and feel yourself to be right now. And so it might seem strange my lesson tonight is actually talking a lot about the unconscious part of you. What does this mean? If it’s unconscious, how do you know it exists?
Inner life–conscious or unconscious?
There are some folks who have almost no inner life. This is a possibility for a human being, and a lot of folks exist this way. They are totally caught up in what you normally refer to as objective reality, all those objects that are definitely outside of you. This includes not only the physical things around you, and even the living things–the plants and the animal life all around you; it’s also these other human beings that you can perceive directly because they’re physical. This is your objective reality. It’s somewhat contrasted to your inner life which, as I say, some folks are so caught up in the world outside of them that they don’t experience too much inside. They spend their whole days reacting to what is coming at them, and then sleep at night, and get up the next day and do the same thing.
Some folks are trained to be this way, especially in the military forces all throughout history. The things that are required of men in combat are such that they’re trained to have almost no inner life beyond what is necessary to handle what’s right in front of them; or to spend hours and hours and great parts of their lives planning for what contingencies might arise. This has always been necessary to a degree for handling what they’re required to do, killing other people sometimes at very close range, and seeing their own friends being torn apart.
Other folks are in a similar kind of financial combat, or social combat, or political: all these things that demand their attention outside of them because they’re dealing with other folks. This is especially true in those realms of human behavior where surprise is such a tool, either that they use, or is being used against them. Their whole being is consumed with wondering what someone will do next.
These are the folks where there is nothing more critical for them–in terms of spirit, in terms of soul; there’s nothing more critical and helpful in their human growth than to meditate in all consciousness. In all full consciousness they need to sit down and let all that go–all that outside world coming at them, and just be with themselves for a while.
Yet it is also why for so many, this is such an impossible challenge. Within the first few minutes they’re totally overwhelmed with what may have been repressed, or only half taken in unfeelingly, and now it’s just overwhelming.
At the same time they have the feeling of wasting time–there’s things to do; there’s things to consider; there’s things coming at them: they’re going to get behind. It seems such a waste of time to them, just to sit down and be overwhelmed with things they’ve been busy keeping out of their mind, to keep their mind clear for what’s coming up. Meditation is the hardest thing to convince this person to engage in–to feel; to let their own inner life come forth. This is especially difficult for those whose souls contain so much suffering, so much pain. Yet there it is. This is and has been their life: it’s real.
We can only encourage all of you, everyone, to face up to this, to engage Mother Spirit’s Adjutant of Courage and go where you have never gone before into your own self. Approach yourself with this spirit of adventure, of going into a place, a realm, where you cannot tell what’s coming next. That’s the very spirit of adventure, of being in a situation where you cannot totally predict what’s going to happen next. This is where you learn, and accept for yourself, how to feel. This is where you allow yourself to be overcome with that which is greater than your conscious self, your everyday conscious self so busily engaged in all that out there: your family, your friends, your jobs, all the whole world’s activity you pick up on your TV and news programs: all that out there–to find some balance, some equality with all that’s in here.
But to bring and allow all that’s in here to come into your consciousness, right as you deal with all that out there? This is to glimpse that there is no Supreme or even Ultimate dividing line between inside and outside. You call this projection and we’ve given many lessons offering the proof of this. It’s how all of that out there, for all of its objectivity, for all of its independence from you, is still partly you as you experience it. The phenomenon of projection is where you actually encounter your own self–your own values, your own interpretation–as if they exist outside of you.
This is where your own attitudes can be raised to absolutes. Some of the more terrible examples are things like racism where a person of a different race is seen in a totally different way, in a prejudged way, than someone of their own race. And yet, to what you call a racist, a person who’s caught up in this, to them it’s real. To them this is as absolute as the physical person standing in front of them.
This is what leads to most of your contentions and some of your more truly obscene, heinous acts against each other, when these inner prejudices, perceived as objective, are not recognized as their own subjectivity, but are raised to an absolute. For such a person this is absolutely true, as much as the person standing physically there in front of them.
Souls empty of others
The last two times I gave lessons on folks whom I designated as having empty souls. Yet it’s not so much that their souls are empty. Their souls are, as are everyone’s, equally God’s view of their life. But they have almost no human contact in their souls. Their souls are totally consumed with only their own mental creations. Then they see other people as simple automatons, much like themselves. This is how they are capable of doing the most terrible things, because that’s actually how they see others and they’re so inured against letting anybody else come in. During your Nuremburg trials, when they looked at some of the hideous things done by the Nazis, they came up with an adequate definition of evil, and that is: a lack of empathy. People who have so little genuine human contact in their souls do not see other folks as having souls either.
This becomes, then, the supreme question: how do you get people like this to let go of what is for them is an absolute, and accept their own subjectivity, their own pure relativity?–the fact that they are only human with a whole inner life that interprets how they perceive things? You’re asking them to give up their absolutes for the relativity and fear of being only another unique human being.
That is why we of the spiritual world do not land on you with two feet and demand of you this or that. We offer things. We tease you into considering things. And so we would have you approach these folks–if they are in your life too–with great humor. Tease them into considering things. Give them a big hug. Play with them. Give them some joyful contact to have in their souls, something to weigh against all this absoluteness that they cling to so they may do anything they wish.
This is the great challenge: to see others as equally unique beings with personality and soul and spirit. All of your most terrible warfare and crime would cease–and will eventually cease–when this truth is finally the common possession of everyone, when everyone has so many others in their soul. Now, if you have any questions or comments this evening, this is my delight–to have you come forth.
Student, paraphrased: How can I know God’s will and not make so many mistakes? Is it through love?
The reality of love
MICHAEL: Yes, my daughter, it seems you’re very much on the right path because love is essentially that dynamic force and a kind of illumination throughout all of creation that’s coming from God; that’s coming from every personal being. It’s a connective force, much like gravity holds all the physical and dynamic universe together. Love is truly that connective force; it’s the force that’s true. It’s when you are genuinely interacting with someone else in such a way that a kind of delight springs up within both of you. That kind of contact is its own reward, is it not? I mean, love is not only this connective force, it’s also the reward.
It’s what I talked about tonight. It’s when you are really interacting with another person. It’s all the better, all the more profound and soul-satisfying when there is a quality of equality there, when each recognizes the other with all due love and respect. This is what you are learning. As your Urantia Book points out, the human problem is: how do I know what is God’s will–as distinct from my own will? At first, especially when you’re very young, there is no way to know. It’s very much a matter of trial and error.
But if you’re fortunate enough to have had a rich inner life, it’s what I talked about this evening–having your own inner life be conscious to you, and not have your consciousness focused exclusively on what’s outside of you, or just your status among others. But if, as you grow older, you’re able to have more and more of your inner life be conscious, and then share that consciously; it’s what you call honesty, right? You share what you truly are inside, and let that be on the outside; and find folks who are the same way. This is the enormity of what people can share: there’s no comparison. You find God’s will by being truly honest within yourself, by meditating, by reflecting, by truly wanting and desiring to be this way and know that God is love. God is this connecting force. God’s nature is this sharing with another.
You can’t go wrong. This is truly what fills your soul. So, congratulations, my dear. I think you’re very much on the right path here. Don’t worry about the mistakes. Just as you are, be open to them. Remember them. Treasure them. Respect that they’re a part of this process. You are learning. You’re living in order to learn, and you’re actually learning how to live. Does that address the question?
Student, recapulated: For those with lack of empathy and human contact, what is the best way for them, the inner presences of the Spirit of Truth, Mother Spirit, or their Father fragment?
MICHAEL: Yes, my dear, this is something that, when you look at the dynamic, living moment to moment, here and now living aspect of a human being; these are already there. And so we’re dealing with a failure to recognize them. Now, most of you can think back to your earliest memories about human contact outside your family, outside your mother and father and brothers and sisters. Think about first grade, second grade, those first years of school when all of a sudden you were tossed in with a bunch of strangers–you know? You had a teacher, but here were all these other ones. And it’s so delightful, isn’t it, to see a whole bunch of first and second graders being led along the sidewalk, maybe hanging on to a clothes line as the teacher leads them along. They all seem to be very, very distinct, very separate little creatures, these youngsters.
You all came up through this, and you all had your great ego trials of trying things out, and then being enormously humiliated in order to get a little humility, that maybe the grand ideas you had were not so grand to someone else. Think of all the ways you learned how to deal and relate with folks. There were, unfortunately, those poor, almost clinically shy people every now and then, who were off in the corner, who had no ability whatsoever to interact with anyone else. And of course the pretty girls in class–if they were a guy, they weren’t the ones who got jumped on and held down and tickled to death, as I mentioned once before.
They don’t have these kinds of experiences in their soul. They don’t have all the ways in which their own egomaniacal delusions were not only shattered, but actually replaced with someone else; even someone else’s putdown argument. Because it’s through all these little humiliations, you learn humility. Then you have all this interaction in your soul. What I meant by empty souls were those who don’t have this interaction inside them. All they have are their own mental creations, which are all centered on themselves. They’re people who have never fallen in love, hopelessly in love with someone else, only to have their fondest dreams squashed!–and yet, pick themselves up and love again.
As one of your poets said, it’s all these natural shocks that keep you sane, and give you the courage to start again; to pick yourselves up and start again. It’s why, with all these aspects already in you, my dear, this is why meditation is so wonderful. Just be alone with all that is inside you, and deal with the ideas that the presence of God within you can present to you. They may be the most difficult things. They may be what you’ve been suppressing or denying with all your might, shall we say some terribly unhealthy habit that you don’t want to look at.
That is why meditation, a very saving grace, is so hard for so many folks; and why, in a way, in a spiritual way, so many perish or live short and stunted lives because of its lack. So a lot of it is courage. A lot is an inner trust then, finally, when these things come up to be dealt with, you are determined right out of yourself to start dealing with them, and get healthier and stronger. If you’re shy, you just put yourself out there. Now, does this give you some idea of a way to go?
Student: Yes, Father, very much.
MICHAEL: It’s the Adjutant of Courage, the ability to do what was impossible yesterday. All of a sudden you find yourself doing it. Then it’s real, whatever the contact is. It’s not indifferent, and it’s not you. You’ve had some genuine contact now in your soul. And meditation is listening to all these others inside you. So be in my peace.
Student, condensed: Do I understand you are saying we should go for being humiliated in order to gain humility? Being humiliated only makes us feel shame.
Humility VS humiliation
MICHAEL: Yes, my dear. You make a very good distinction between humility and humiliation. First of all, there’s hardly anyone you call normal or healthy-minded who seeks to be humiliated. That’s almost a definition of a certain kind of mental illness. What I was pointing out is, as your young ego sets off into the world it simply encounters others and is from time to time humiliated because it overreaches–unknowingly, maybe even unintentionally. It’s in this overreaching–in its relationship to other folks—that it encounters humiliation: you feel humiliated. But at that moment–I think your own intuition tells you: there’s a choice to make. You can either take this event as some kind of a shameful thing and feel very, very small because of it; or you can learn from it. It’s this learning process, this understanding, this accepting that maybe you were overreaching. You were being blatantly arrogant without even intending to, and yet, all of a sudden, you were put down because of it.
This is also an opportunity to learn that there is something greater than you. Our definition of humility is simply being aware of something that is so much more enormous than you are. As you say, it could be looking into the starry sky, or standing on the edge of the ocean. Or being with someone else when all of a sudden you realize that, again, as so often, without even intending to, you got humiliated because you were overreaching and overbearing. All of a sudden you needed to realize there was something greater than your ego: this other person. All of sudden they were not this small thing you were making them out to be: they were your equal or, in this circumstance, actually greater than you because they were showing you something. They had the greater truth.
So humiliation is definitely not something you seek. It’s something that happens to you. On the cusp of that moment you have the choice of realizing the greater thing. Consider: you can be humiliated without respect to another person. You can have some grandiose, ego-maniacal project going, and the whole thing collapses. Once again you have a choice at that moment. Can you learn from it? Can you grow with it? Can you acknowledge something larger than you are, and have a kind of spiritual triumph?
So thank you. There is an enormous difference between being humiliated, and having true humility, glorying that you are able to perceive something so much greater than you are. Thank you, my dear, and be in my peace.
Student: Do our egos distort reality by our thinking too much of ourselves?—especially our perception of other people.
MICHAEL: Oh yes, very much so: very much so. I’ve been using the term ego-maniacal, which means you are totally focused on yourself. You’re very self-centered. To avoid this–as I say, we just talked about this: in order to avoid being humiliated, you sometimes withdraw and cling to your own sense of yourself, rather than putting it out there where it might get injured in all the free-for-all out on the playground, or in all your dealings with other folks. This is what leads to a kind of unnatural shyness, an inability to put oneself out there and take all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, out there on the playground dealing with all their playmates. They withdraw and build up nothing. They have almost nothing inside except their own ego sense of themselves. And the only way to support this is by putting everyone else down in their own mind.
And so, as you say, this is what your own instincts are telling you: that elevating yourself above others stands in between you and others. It stands in the way of recognizing them as equal; totally equal beings as yourself. In which case you can’t really enjoy them and let them in, in all of their equal uniqueness. You don’t really have their full being in your soul. Whereas to really accept the totality of another person into you as equal to you, equal to your own ego and your own sense of yourself; without this you are really depriving yourself of God’s gift, which is the uniqueness of every single one of you. This relegates others outside yourself to mere stereotypes.
Student, paraphrased: So judging others comes from our own subjective egos striving to be above others, and leads to the distance from others.
MICHAEL: : Exactly. It leads to an enormous amount of isolation and alienation. In other words, with someone who is ego-maniacal it’s the reason they are even capable of doing some of the most terrible, hideous things they do, just as you say, beyond belief. It leaves everyone in shock. It’s because they begin to see others as aliens, as some other thing. They have a poor, deprived soul, and yet they’re surrounded by everyone else enjoying each other and having fun and truly sharing things. This to them is alien, and can so distort how they see others as less than human.
Some of the most well recognized forms of this are what you call racism–the difference between races, or sexism–the way a person sees the opposite sex as just objects, something to use; or even ageism–the way when there’s an enormous disparity between the young and the old; this alienation creeps in. The only cure for this is genuine experience of others. It’s the sense of proportion. It’s not so much you have an ego. You absolutely have to have an ego. You have to have some sense of who and what you are just to interact socially. But the greater glory is being able to forget yourself and be someone else for a while, not only on the TV or the movie screen, but genuinely with another living person right next to you.
Student: So the best way to help others to get out of themselves is for me to get out of myself?
MICHAEL: Oh, very much so, because in this case you’re setting an example. I mean just within yourself, you’re knowing that it’s possible. It’s being able to forget yourself. It’s like in a conversation: are you really listening? Are you really in a kind of lively spontaneous thing? Are you really listening and hearing them? Or are you only thinking of what you’re going to say next? That’s just one example of it. Can you let yourself go and not worry? Well, it takes an enormous amount of confidence to do this, and it’s something you learn how to do in small stages. It takes courage because initially you have to put yourself out there.
Student, much condensed: I have turned my life around into being more sensitive to others, and am knowing great joy in really, spontaneously being with them
Valuing others as much as self
MICHAEL: : Again, my dear, it’s not keeping the idea in your mind of, “Now I have to forget myself.” It’s actually giving others value to where you’re more interested in them and what they’re saying, right? It’s also trusting that in the next moment you can spontaneously come up with something. This is a great art. This is one of the greatest arts of all, of being able to create this spontaneity by really valuing them in what they’re doing, and in what they’re saying, as much as yourself.
Student: That’s what’s happening inside me even with complete strangers on the bus.
MICHAEL: : Then you find that you actually have them. All of a sudden you have people in your life. All of sudden you have separate, wonderful folks in all their variety.
Student: Yes, and I had to go through a tremendous process of being humiliated and withdrawal because I didn’t want to be hurt. But once I died to myself it was like it didn’t matter anymore.
MICHAEL: : I was going to say, one exercise is to beam love at everyone. Everybody you come across: just beam love at them. This brings them within yourself. You are acknowledging them and letting them come into you.
Student: Yes, I do get a reciprocal effect, and we just start talking. It is so much fun.
MICHAEL: : Well bless you, my dear. I say that in the full recognition that you are being blessed. And so, isn’t wonderful to have other folks in your life, in your soul?
Student: Yes, because I’ve been isolated for so many years, and now it’s such a joy.
MICHAEL: : Well, thank you very much. It is just wonderful. And be in my peace. And so we live and we learn. It’s what Mother Spirit and I are engaged in. We have the same Father as you, and we too are living beings who enjoy so much all these other folks who are in our soul. This is our joy. This is our true soul wealth.
Let your soul come forth
MICHAEL: It helps to be quiet for a while. Let all that’s inside you come forth. Let your soul come forth and greet your personality. Let all these times in your life come up as they will. They might be happy times; they might be sad times. They might be times when you were humiliated and had to kind-of retrench a bit and think about things, and perhaps acknowledge that you were being a bit of a pain in the butt to someone else—to put it very bluntly. And you were told so; someone let you know. To accept that–perhaps now, many years later, if you didn’t at the time, and say thank you. Thank you for letting me know that there are others to think about, others to consider; and then others to enjoy, others to share my life with.
MICHAEL: For, my dears, you are just starting. Wait until you have other kinds of beings to relate with and enjoy, to put them too in your soul and learn their reality. It will be like any other person you meet now, to bring them inside, to have all of their reality inside. It’s such a wonderful expansion. It’s a way to avoid being a prisoner of self, and have so many others inside of you and part of your life. All on the inside, your wonderful inside that God has made you the kind of creature that has such a thing. Be in my peace, dear ones, and good night.