2006-09-18-Learn By Teaching, Spirit Is Personal
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Learn By Teaching, Spirit Is Personal
o 1.2 Group: Marin TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Michael
o 2.2 TR: JL
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Opening
o 3.2 Lesson
o 3.3 Dialogue
o 3.4 Closing
Topic: Learn By Teaching, Spirit Is Personal
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Welcome, dear Parents. We are Your children, Your well-loved children, and we know this—we can feel it. During these meetings we are also Your humble and curious students, eager to learn from You the ways of discovering our Father’s will, for we know too how we thrive by these discoveries, and abiding by them. They lead us to greater life, and it is our faith that God wants this most of all, for us and for our fellows. So we thank You for these gifts: Your spiritual ways, Your insights, Your suggestions. Amen
MICHAEL: Well then, good evening, My bright-eyed, eager students. This is your teacher, Michael, also another humble student in the school of our Father’s universe. What a thrill it is to be in both these positions, all the more so if you can be here simultaneously, student and teacher. There is that wonderful notion in your Urantia book that you really know something when you pass it on, when you teach another. This is the idea that the whole universe is one vast school in which all sorts of beings are constantly learning from those sometimes only slightly ahead of them, and passing it on, teaching those who may be only slightly behind them.
What delight you can find in your human lives when you make full use of this principle. For as Mother Spirit was speaking about last week, in a lively and spontaneously creative conversation/exchange with another, you can achieve a nigh transcendent existence in an ever opening present moment, and in this openness you can learn so much, ironically, about what you’ve already ingested, but may not have quite yet digested—if you take My meaning. It is ironic, you all know so much more than what you can put your finger on and make use of. You are bombarded by so much raw data that a lot of your learning is how to organize this, how to understand it, how to derive meaning from the relationships.
In this you open yourself to Mother Spirit’s Mind/Spirit Adjutant of wisdom. You are familiar with a science-fiction notion of force-fields, so think of yourself living in Mother Spirit’s Mind/Spirit fields, living dimensions into which you can tap, and make contact. This is a kind of directive impulse pointing the way: you had Mother Spirit’s Mind/Spirit Adjutants directing the evolution of life itself on your planet for many hundreds of millions of years. This is what Her influence does for you. Mind/Spirit wisdom provides an opening for the deep connection with your soul, with the spiritual record of your experience.
But it even connects you on a more superficial level with your own memories, your own understandings, and helps make these available for your use now. This is a living field that pervades all the cosmos as the Cosmic Mind of the Infinite Spirit, which the Mother Spirit of each Local Universe funnels down and individualizes by Her presence, to serve all Her children. Just as you can think of life itself as an enormous field of God’s presence, sustaining all living beings, so too the mind of the Infinite Spirit, brought down through Mother Spirit’s presence, serves to unite your personality with your physical bodies. And so on this physical level, the level of your memories stored in your brain, here too Mother Spirit’s Adjutant of Wisdom helps you consciously recall those experiences which are applicable to your present moment.
I would like you to consider why We say that the practice of stillness is largely a matter of relaxation, of letting go the concerns of the day—the worries, the fears, even your projects and plans. Let all these connections with any previous moment simply relax so that Her Adjutant of Wisdom, this field you are living in, this dimension of Her mind, if you will, can make spontaneous, creative suggestions that, by their very nature, you yourself cannot anticipate. This is how you get beyond your own self-generated limitations, how you transcend your own well-meaning and necessary plans and foresight, and exercise your faith that this spiritual field you find yourself living within does come from a personal Being whose love enfolds you, whose wisdom is capable of creating for you that which you yourself cannot.
Relax to feel yourselves living and breathing in Her force-field whose nature is one of nurturing love and sustaining hope. Just relax and let Mother Spirit heal you, let He inspire you, feel Her laughter teasing you to take the next step. Be light-hearted and joyous in Her embrace, for you will discover as you learn to do so, it is like opening a door to your soul. Living moments from deep in your past spring forth and for some wonderful moments you are again a child, or a teenager, a young man or girl, in all, what was then, the transcendent, encompassing fullness of your human life—the sights, the smells, the way it felt.
This too feeds your wisdom, for this is the wise assurance you have a soul, and all those irreplaceable, unique moments of your particular life still exist on a more absolute plane than the one you know. These are glimpses into the Morontia level of existence, and they bring with them the assurance that this level truly transcends the one you are most familiar with. They assuage your fear about where you are headed. They give the lie to the notion that time is only passing, and that nothing holds, or maintains, or continues. For those of you who have known these moments of touching your own soul, know that this is proof enough of the existence of Spirit.
Once again, My children, I would like to repeat that all spirit is personal. These living fields you find yourself in, these extra dimensions to being human, are generated by the very nature of personal spirit beings such as Mother Nebadonia, such as Myself, such as the Infinite Spirit and the Eternal Son, and our Universal Father. You yourself have a creative spirit that is not bound by antecedent causality. You yourself can bring something new into time and space. You do this most readily by relaxing the mental and physical concerns pulling at you, and let your own spirit swell forth. Let your creativity come into play. And then notice, however so minutely, but actually, your whole world has just changed.
Yes, I know that, initially, this may seem as if reality is some will-o-the-wisp, some nebulous, uncertain thing if it is dependant upon your own abilities to co-create. But be not anxious, My children, for these uncertainties come and go, marking phases wherein your own nature is realizing, and needs to let go of, some limiting seeming-certainty. You stretch, and take another uncertain step. And then look!—you continue. Your world continues. It has merely changed a little bit, grown a little bit, expanded a little bit, because you have.
Does God love roller-coasters—or, deep down, do you? I‘ll let you ponder on that a while. Maybe it’s both. We freely admit: you’re inextricably caught up in an eternal adventure. You might as well relax and embrace it. Make it your own. If you have any questions or comments this evening, these are always a bit of an adventure for Me.
Student: Father Michael, I find it very interesting to know that You and Mother are learning about the Heavenly Father right along with the rest of us, although on a much different level. I had not realized how much support we get from our spirit community–beings in the spirit community. My question is: what is commitment, and how do I know I’ve made a commitment? Can you have more than one commitment at a time?
MICHAEL: Yes, My son. The question of commitment goes to the heart of decision, the nature of decision. What is it to decide? For commitment is essentially deciding to do something in such a way that you are willing to invest part of your soul, part of who you feel yourself to be, in the decision. So in this sense it is a profoundly deep decision that engages as much yourself as you can consciously involve in whatever project you envision.
Then, continuing on in time, it is the constant re-dedication to that original decision–since you human-type beings do find yourselves coming and going with yourselves, losing yourselves— wonderfully so at times, then reappearing, changed. Commitment has to rise above being a mere habit if it is to remain a conscious intention in the face of everything which would deter you from fulfilling it. You will find a necessity for this conscious re-dedication. Sadly, this idea disillusions many people. They feel there should be some way in which that original decision would be enough, and shouldn’t need to face any challenge.
Of course, some commitments are rather easily carried out. But for the difficult ones–facing deep fears, or seeming impossibilities–accept the spiritual triumph, My son, that is possible in these re-dedication’s. Accept the necessity for them. You may need to recommit yourself again and again. The triumph is in the dedication, the intention. The fulfillment, the result, will always be partly God’s, just as it is with all human endeavor. Does this help clarify your grasp of what a commitment is?
Student: Yes. I had not recognized that re-commitment is part of it. I was one of those who thought that one or two good commitments ought to be enough. But I was thinking as You were speaking, of Your life as Jesus, your dedicating Yourself to doing the Father’s will constantly. Also I was wondering if, speaking of decisions, if my incorrect decisions and my bad decisions are part of my soul, as well as the good decisions, the correct decisions?
MICHAEL (with much humor}: Oh, yes… (group laughs) very much so. This is why We encourage you to–as much as possible–consciously remember well all that is and was involved in your day to day lives. Never forget, My son, that as you grow and mature, what is good and what is bad is also constantly being re-defined.
You are an experiential being: you cannot know certain things before you experience them. But you can definitely be paralyzed with guilt, with berating yourself for things you may have done, or not have done. You may not yet realize the spiritual unity of these living fields you find yourself in, that you cannot go back in the past and change one little thing without everything else changing as well. Everything’s connected. But don’t make the mistake of feeling guilty about feeling guilty. Let it fade away as just one more thing you’ve outgrown.
For you will find that, as you are able to accept more and more of the fullness of all that has happened to you, and all you’ve done, so too you will be able to see your fellow humans, not as all good or all bad, but as the living combinations they are also, of strengths and weaknesses, good and bad notions, persisting habits and spontaneous creativity: always all of the above. Does this seem to more fully capture the human condition?
Student: Yes, it does. I have been paralyzed at times with remorse over some bad decision, or something I’m not doing, but I’m beginning to realize that’s just part of life. Let it go—don’t dwell on it—go on. And I’m learning to do that since I’ve been coming down here and listening to You and Mother.
MICHAEL: My son, We can even reassure you that if you are not making some mistakes from time to time, you need to get out on the edge of your abilities and try things. The complexity of life is such that you cannot always know the outcome beforehand. But the greatest tragedy would be to have lived your life afraid to try. Just keep in mind your intention, and accept the fullness of the result. It is that paralysis you speak of We wish you most of all to avoid. Life is in motion. You have to step off and dance along with it in order to make it apparently go at your pace.
Student: Would you repeat that last sentence again? I don’t quite understand it.
MICHAEL: I once compared life to a rushing stream that you have to jump into and swim along with, become one with, and then it apparently slows down as it becomes one with your swimming. In this analogy the river banks are somewhat like your soul—keeping track of where you’ve been, and letting you know just how fast you are zipping along. Now you are one with life, and it is not so much rushing by you. It is holding you up and carrying you along.
Student: It makes a great deal of sense that way.
MICHAEL: This river carrying us along is God, is life itself. It is only when you try to grab hold of an illusory twig of something fixed, out of fear, that you feel its terrifying power, tearing at you, rushing you headlong to some imagined doom. So feel free to splash around, have fun, even enjoy being tossed about by those storms that come and go.
Student: Yes. Thank you Father Michael for Your explanations and Your love.
MICHAEL: You’re welcome, My son. Treasure those commitments, yet take a break even from them in your stillness, and rediscover My peace.
Student: Yes Michael, just a thought about good and bad decisions, and the duality of all of that: who is to say what is a good or bad decision? It seems like a value judgement, and something may seem bad because we didn’t get the outcome we had hoped for. So, the decision we made was based on the beliefs and understandings we had at the time, and the points of view we’re holding onto, that are dear to us. But who is to say? Maybe the outcome was in our better interest, or for a higher good.
MICHAEL: My son, one way of dealing with this is to remember that value judgments are of the spiritual plane, and one thing to consider is that, when your decisions involve living human beings, those which are most undeniably bad are those which intentionally cause pain. This is the perversion of human intention, and it is within the realm of human behavior and possibility. We say that God sees the act as evil, not the ultimate reality of the personality. But it is a bad decision to deliberately do this kind of evil act–considering the intention–for you do have the distinction of those who do truly obscene acts beyond their ability to know—one of your definitions of insanity. It is a complex issue, but this could be one definition of a bad decision: intending evil—made by someone capable of knowing an alternative. For reasons of self-glorification, or power, or an infatuation with their own idea of being evil, people deliberately cause pain—either physical, or psychological, or even spiritual. Does that help your inner definition of good and bad?
Student: Yeah, I kind-of knew that—if someone murdered someone, you know, based upon their own misunderstanding, but I guess I was coming from a place of spirit, of understanding man’s true nature—so to speak. When one is in this place of God, that won’t happen. If I come from this place of God within myself, I have no desire or concept of wanting to hurt another. That is where I was coming from. But I can gather that true evil is when one is aware of God, within themselves, but over-rides that and does commit atrocities.
MICHAEL: This is not necessarily the case. There have been men who committed enormous evil, who believed in their heart of hearts there is no God, there is no ultimate morality. Over a course of years, for various reasons, an ultimate cynicism took over their souls, and many truly believed they were acting in accord with a law of nature: that this was what all persons would do if they simply had the power. They felt they were acting in accord with some great, fundamental truth, and indeed, it was this very self-assurance—for however long or short a time it lasted—that humanly enabled them to do what they did. We gave a lesson one time on how individuals so minded can form a tight group, and though from any broader perspective you could consider them all spiritually insane, still as human beings they had the necessity to see themselves and each other as sane, and sharing their great truth. Can you see how some of these cliques, these political units have come about, mainly through the lack of any knowledge or touch of God?
I think what you were trying to define, or reach for, were the limits of intention, of good intention, where through misunderstanding or mis-perception, a painful event comes about. But here if the instigator is open-minded enough, and courageous enough, they can realize the result. Learning can take place. This particular kind of mistake need not happen again.
Student: Yes, that is what I was alluding to.
MICHAEL: This is enormously augmented by all your reading, all your literature, all your acting upon your race’s experience gathered generation to generation. This is why civilization and culture have been so greatly accelerated by writing, by capturing living thought in objective symbols. You can learn from others through their histories.
Student (chuckling): Which is what Your life is all about. Unfortunately it gets corrupted over time too–just like Buddha, Mohammed…
MICHAEL: But each new generation has to do its best to appropriate what it is given. Because civilization and culture do not stand still: they change. So this re-appropriation is necessary. In a parallel way, you do have somewhat of an irony in that, through modern, scientific techniques of archaeology, and the painstaking re-creation of what you are finding, the past—in the sense of what you know of it—is also enormously expanding.
Today you have a better, more sure grasp on what has happened all through the history of this planet, than ever before. True enough, you cannot live, shall we say, a Roman citizen’s actual life, as they did, but you know infinitely more about the whole world, at that time, than anyone living then. These are just some of the many cross-currents of time, My son, (Michael laughs) and there is much for you to delight in discovering.
Student: Yes. Which brings me to what I wanted to bring up—with my commitments, because I was involved in this self-inquiry workshop called Great Freedom, which was really…really… Hmmm… I can’t even put words to it. But I came to understand that for all my life I tended to minimize myself, in a sense, devalue myself and my own understanding about what it is to be a human being; and of Spirit, and God. I tended to not be strong in this understanding, and articulate it, for a fear of not fitting in, or ridicule—which happened. And so I was not honoring myself, not being true to myself. And I said to this group I was part of, that I felt like I was living a slow, tortured death because I was not being true on some level. Now I no longer wish to do that. There is great potential within me—even if I have no idea what that is. As You said—the adventure awaits. And so I made a commitment not to devalue myself anymore—any what I’ve come to understand.
Because there are things I know nothing about. There is a life out there that I desire to live, and I’m open to living. I’m tired of limiting myself, from this adventure. And when I do embrace this adventure, this purpose, I’m of value to those around me.
MICHAEL: My son, I could feel very much, as you were talking, how you have, for a long time–especially during those times you now feel you were devaluing yourself–you were aware of, and trying to avoid, the pitfalls of an over-inflated ego. And so this too you can have a good feeling about, this continuity of not wanting to be another willfully blind, self-serving individual such as you could see was happening to some of those about you. There is a delicate balance as you feel your way along, needing to keep your feet on the ground by realizing how an over-inflated ego is something like a balloon… (both laugh) carrying you off from reality. This balance is something you learn how to do, how to credit your true accomplishments, and realize what works by doing so, at the same time keeping an eye out for that big universe out there all around you, even within you.
I think this workshop you’ve just completed has been helpful in this endeavor. Even your feeling that you were spiritually dying there for a while, was a true assessment was it not?
MICHAEL: Because you were! (both laugh) But then, as you mentioned last week, you were able to recognize a true spiritual contact when you encountered her. This is touching your soul, touching the spiritual record of your life, that I liken to a steel cable, running through all you’ve known and done.
From one perspective, My son, it is all positive, in time, but we must humbly acknowledge that within the realm of possibility that God endowed us with, with a free will, life does include within finite, temporal limits, also all the deliberate evil that men have inflicted upon each other. So that too is simply what has happened, and deserving of our respect for its actuality. The human race is truly of animal origin, and were man not endowed with a very fiery temper indeed, he would not have made it up through all the tooth and claw there is. But he is learning, most of all by staying open to the genuine fullness of the past—all that has happened. And so We encourage you to regard your own personal past the same way—getting back to C’s question here.
Student: So You’re saying that we don’t want to go forward with the illusion… You’re losing me… I should thank God…His intention of free will for us—included evil?
MICHAEL: Yes—the possibility. As you know, there were those high beings—Lucifer for one—who have now been adjudicated, and annihilated–taken out of independent existence, if you will, by thoroughly identifying with evil. In a way their past continues to exist as part of the Supreme Being of time and space–the Soul of everything that has happened out here–but they no longer have a self-existence apart. Yes, the creation of free will–the endowing of immature, imperfect beings with a relative free will does include tragedy.
Student: But how can God create this, if He is not that Himself?
MICHAEL: This is part of the nature of a finite universe. It is implicit in what I mean by an immature, imperfect being given free will to participate in the creation of perfection. Perfection is not the starting point; it is the eternal goal of the time/space creation, including each personal being out here. God’s creativity cannot be limited to what you might think of as perfection, and the proof of this is a decidedly finite universe containing immature, imperfect living beings such as yourselves, really starting as unique, helpless infants.
This is not to judge other individuals, however evil they may seem, for as you know, the extinguishing of eternal life itself is reserved for the Ancients of Days of the Superuniverse involved. But it has happened. Beings have refused, highly consciously, to go along with the progressing perfection of time and space, and have more or less, then, removed themselves from the game.
As you Urantia book puts it, My son, if you could only realize that the Creators out here in time and space, Myself included, are also imperfect beings, needing to experience and learn Ourselves, then would some of these paradoxes not trouble your soul so deeply. As I have said, only God is responsible for the totality of creation, for only He is capable of fully responding to It All.
Student: What You have just said to me kind-of unsettles me. Because I was under the impression that God can only know Himself, or Itself. God is perfection, and absolute love, and absolute peace, and absolute joy. That is just who He is…and more. So how can He create something that He is not? Or even conceive of that?
MICHAEL: Here, My son, you are face to face with the absolute reality of His creation: you. This is why We say you do participate in the Deity Absolute in the very fact of your existence as a personal being. He gives you this freedom; He created you in this freedom–even from Him! You can deny Him. You can deny His reality, and choose to cease to exist.
God knows not only Himself, He also knows all other personal beings He has created, with this freedom, with this autonomy from Himself. You are not some shadow-play, some temporal illusion, some part of Him that will simply dissolve back into Him when you die—as some of your philosophies posit. You are real. You have a real independent existence, albeit you are caught up in a universe that has its own trend, its own physical and mental and spiritual laws. You cannot limit God by saying He knows only Himself, as if all His creation were not free—even from Him.
Again, this is where your Urantia book has to resort to pure poetry—in your language—and say that God created the finite, time/space universe to “escape the fetters of infinity and absoluteness.” But it is getting late and these deep paradoxes to human reasoning cannot be settled in a few sentences.
Student: Oh why not! (much laughter) But I do grapple for understanding and truth, and I don’t want to delude myself.
MICHAEL: Then let Me conclude by saying that Mother Spirit and I know how many of you consider the Urantia book far too complex, far too intellectually challenging, or needlessly detailed, but this is why it sometimes takes many, many pages–hundreds of pages all so minutely interrelated, to explain these seeming paradoxes that have puzzled the human race ever since it began to wonder, and try to put together a coherent philosophy of life. But I thank you for these questions, My son, and I encourage, I salute your desire to get to the bottom of things…
Student: There is no bottom… (much laughter, especially Michael) You can be sure of that.
MICHAEL: This is why you sometimes—need–My peace. Good evening.