2007-02-26-Challenges of Retirement
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Challenges of Retirement
o 1.2 Group: Marin TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Nebadonia
o 2.2 TR: JL
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Opening
o 3.2 Lesson
o 3.3 Dialogue
o 3.4 Closing
Topic: Challenges of Retirement
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Mother Spirit and Michael, We do appreciate and thank you for your wise and loving words. You comfort and reassure our souls, and lead us into new discoveries of realities both within and outside. You give us much to think about to enliven our days. You encourage us in our quest for the truth, and present this quest as a genuine and light-hearted adventure. It is truly fun. So we thank you for the introduction to it, as we thank our Father for creating it, and us, in the first place. Amen.
NEBADONIA: Good evening, my children, this is your mother, Nebadonia. I enjoy your discussions in the first parts of your meetings, and I agree it is wise to let your thoughts come out in a lively exchange of ideas. This is a wonderful exercise of self- and mutual-respect, a great challenge to welcome that others can believe wholeheartedly and sincerely in something other than what you believe. It’s a great mental and spiritual accomplishment to find those areas in which you both agree and disagree. You can search out ways that explain these differences and wonder what beliefs, or whole systems of beliefs, are, perhaps, mutually exclusive; or not. For this is the quest for spirit, and the unity of spirit.
This last weekend Michael talked to a group about how you can have two contradictory viewpoints, the first expressed as a thesis, and then an antithesis to that. Sometimes you can arrive at a new synthesis that is a compromise by, in an eclectic way, taking parts out of this and parts out of that. But also, you can arrive at a spiritual truth which incorporates and explains, without in any way diminishing or destroying, the two original concepts. This is the search for inclusive spiritual unity. It gives rise to the insights of history, of how different ideas developed in different cultures at different times, often to explain different circumstances.
I think this has been crudely expressed as, geography determines destiny, but let me reassure you that the spiritual creativity of human beings, all through history, has transcended the geography in which they find themselves. The human mind, indwelt with a Fragment of God’s pure spirit, intrinsically strives for unity. And this drive, coupled with the needs of a physical body, has tended to keep your religions down to earth and addressing practical considerations. Throughout mankind’s history religion has been that which works, which explains otherwise incomprehensible events. In this sense, as different cultures varied in their giving importance to religion as the contact with, and comprehension of God, or philosophy as the evolution of reasoning and intellect, you’ve had a wonderful merging and reinforcing, each with the other. Finally, today, in your more modern cultures you can see there need be no disagreement between these two formerly almost contra-distinct realms of humanity’s search for the truth.
In fact there should be no basic or intrinsic conflict between the facts of science, the psychology of meaning, and the truths of spirit. The overarching truth of spirit is all inclusive, if for no other reason than that spirit is the origin of both the mental and physical realms. God is the origin of matter-energy, just as the Infinite Spirit is the origin of the cosmic mind. So you are doubly blessed, my children, that you can seek to be comprehensive through and through. Indeed, perhaps one of the greatest gifts of the Urantia book is its presentation of a language which incorporates all these various heretofore somewhat fractured or isolated human disciplines of study and inquiry.
You have a saying that the medium is the message, so certainly the presentation of a comprehensive and internally consistent reality that incorporates all aspects of human endeavor is of value in and of itself. As a side note, I’m sure you can understand one benefit of your recent computer experience is in providing, not the only way, but an ever more widely held way of thinking and reasoning which will also help humanity achieve a unity of viewpoint.
What’s difficult for us to convey to you, my children, is our own certainty of the intrinsic goodness of people. We encourage you to practice your stillness so you can experience the purely positive nature of spirit. It may be hard for you to accept, or even entertain, the notion that everything is going for the best–over all. Yet we tease you with this possibility, for it is only by fully entertaining this possibility can you admit to spiritual solutions which transcend the intractable-seeming problems facing you.
This is how you rise above polarization. This is how you cease to identify with a particular point of view. It is how you stay current with the living and expanding present moment and not solidify in some past dogma. It is how, moment by moment, you accept the full reality of everything as a perfectly balanced, counter-poised resolution of existing forces, whether it’s a seemingly intractable lethal standoff of parties who have been warring for centuries, or a microwave that lasts for a thousandth of a second. Everything that exists is this momentary, living balance of forces which constitute it, and brought it into existence.
As Michael told you last week, you yourself–your personality, is the living connection that sticks together all the moments of your life. So entertain this possibility, my children. Open your minds and your hearts and your souls to the enormous panorama that history is, and you are a part of. It is indeed humbling, but it need not make you feel small. Rather, glory in the fact you can perceive this, you can feel it. You can even accept it is part of Gods gift that you can wonder at the enormity of all that is happening. Just so you can be reassured in the goodness of the Creator, for this too is a reality you can experience. Let it challenge you. Go ahead and wonder at the long-dead concepts it brings to the surface to reexamine afresh. Have fun with the notion that things are moving along progressively. There is a universal, unstoppable evolution taking place, and you can be one with the spiritual community helping it along. Be renewed in your faith and get ready to step off into the unknown, one more time.
If you have any comments or questions this evening, just step off and say ‘em out loud.
Student: Yes, Mother, what do you mean by, “stepping off?” I meant to ask you this before: stepping off from what, into what? I’m always wondering about my own sense of limitations and my desire to step off. I feel that’s impeded or restricted by my own sense of boundaries, and what I’m going to experience.
I may say what I would like to experience, or want to open up to… but the actual actualization of stepping off, at times, is quite scary. I want to step off; I desire to step off into new ideas of what human beings can live and experience. You know: I don’t beat myself up about it; and I do have a sense of vastness opening before me. Like I’ve mentioned many times, I have no idea of where I’m going–except what is in front of me, here and now; and that seems, for the most part, to be OK. But I do desire to open myself up to a greater expression–self-expression, so I may be of benefit to my fellow human beings
NEBADONIA: Yes, my son, that’s it! The wondering is the first step, for to wonder very consciously means you do desire to transcend or go beyond what is comfortably known. You see the necessity to expand into the unknown, generally with an exercise of faith. Any action in this direction is stepping off into the unknown, whether it’s opening a new book, or engaging in some stirring activity.
One definition of adventure is not knowing what’s going to happen next. As we’ve said, this is the general human condition, right from being a small living creature discovering it is, first of all, existing in an enormous world that may be inimical to its survival, yet surviving only to look up to see that this enormous world is itself but a speck in a gigantic universe.
Stepping off is to embrace experience–to realize you are an experiential being. This is your primary purpose, even to the point where you eschew anything that stifles or hinders or stunts this need for experience. This purpose fills your soul by perceiving how much of reality, inside and outside, is constantly new, or renewed.
Student: So it’s our natural inclination to step off, to explore new realities and experience, to expand.
NEBADONIA: Yes. But there is also a counter-trend you can think of as a more physical/animal conservatism, or laziness, or unwillingness to accept the whole notion of adventure. For there are some souls who do perish in their first, human life by refusing to accept the adventure, accept this need for experience. The more severe cases you know of as mental illness where a person closes down into a catatonia state; but there is a whole spectrum from this kind of soul up to the most adventurous.
If you look at the life of Jesus—Michael as he lived on Urantia—this might be the most startling discovery, how this one individual managed to pack so much experience into a relatively short human life. But this is an ideal to strive for. We call it stepping off because you don’t always know the ground is going to be there under your foot. One of the rewards of maturity is how your accumulation of soul can itself be an active participant. Even as you approach the end of your days here, you can have greater and greater intimations of the life to come, and can feel even young and just-beginning in this process.
Student: I do desire adventure, but it seems to be within certain parameters of what I know. Yet some of it, like the birth of my granddaughter, has been a great adventure. So I do have confidence I’m being lead somewhere, opening up to something greater, like I sometimes wonder, should I push the envelop—so to speak? Maybe I could not work any more, and open something else—though this would probably not be a wise thing to do.
Also I’ve been thinking a lot about death, in what you’ve been bring up. Like, how long do I have to live—to be on this planet? I’m at a kind of crossroads in my evolution and progress, open to more progress, but also a sense of approaching death. Mind you, I’m not afraid of death per se, I’m more concerned for my loved ones.
Today I was walking along and wondering what it would be like not having to earn a living , not having a job, to be able to come and go as I please, to be able to travel, or help people: just using my imagination that way to break down the boundaries I’ve put myself into. It’s quite freeing, but I have no idea how to accomplish that.
NEBADONIA: Well, my son, I hope this feels as marvelous as it sounds. This is exactly what we encourage you to get involved in, in your inner life. Push those boundaries, first, imaginatively—use your mind to explore possibilities. Along side this, the deeper you can develop an inner security in your home base of spirit–one part of which is losing a natural fear of death—this enables you to consider all sorts of things on a more immediate, practical level. Self-critique, and even self-doubt are ways of opening up to possibilities. This is stepping off into the unknown, and, in the case of your un-anticipated granddaughter, you recognize how much the adventure is coming at you, and finding you higgly-piggly. But then too: accepting that; for you do have the ability to deny it. You could simply disown your daughter, and hers too.
So it’s welcoming the adventure, the unknown, especially when it’s on your doorstep, and in your house.
Student: And waking me up! Yes, I accepted that. It’s interesting how many people wanted me to not accept it. But I’ve heard other teachers say, like, when you have wealth, rest with that—rest in awareness; and when you have debt, rest in that too—rest in awareness. Be open to whatever is here. Embrace it. Be aware of what is just a belief. So I’m learning every day to rest in stillness. Then the more wisdom I’m able to tap into, and use. So thank you.
NEBADONIA: The delightfully counter-intuitive part of this is that the more at peace you are inside, the more lively your life becomes. The more secure you are spiritually, the more adventure you can embrace.
Student: I do question at times what holds me back, from experiencing more. For myself, I need very little, but for my family, I would like more—financially.
NEBADONIA: There is a phrase in your Urantia book which says that most spiritual growth is unconscious. With that notion in mind, you do well to question these limitations, question your conservatism, because it too is necessary. But it is also necessary to know why. Both the adventure and the conservation of energies go hand in hand. But it is so nice to know why they do. That’s something else to ponder.
Student: More stuff! But I am thankful for an opportunity I had today to at least offer solace to a lady I had jury duty with. As we came out of the room she told me she had cancer, and we just talked, and I showed her pictures of my family. Nothing earth-shattering happened, but I gave her a hug at the end, and was thankful to have had the opportunity to do that. I would like to be in those situations more, because I can be of benefit—you know, not introverted or extroverted, but just there.
NEBADONIA: Perhaps not earth-shattering, but these events are actually what pulls the earth together for another person. You can feel the love as it flows through you, and be of service. So rest in my love, my son.
Student: Mother, I just had a good session with Welmek before you showed up, and I didn’t get a chance to thank him for all the information and advise. I discovered not long ago I had lost all my dreams, and had nothing really to motivate me—other than paying bills, and eating my meals, and like that. But the thrill of life, and the adventure wasn’t there any more. And through Welmek I can see that that is where life is—not knowing what is going to happen next.
I find myself not really liking that idea, but I can’t figure a way around it!–(much laughter)–other than not doing anything, and that doesn’t work either!
NEBADONIA: Yes, my son, this is an ironic tragedy in many lives, that people work so hard to get to retirement, and get off the rat race, or dodge some of the more scary parts of the adventure, only to find when they do so, their very success in a material way, that gives them so much time—compared to what they’ve known all their life—leaves them wallowing around in a vacuum of what I might call “other-necessity. There is no longer a job or others to whom you owe a duty—something other than you. So you have to begin to initiate, you have to step into this new realm of time and initiate on your own, not out of necessity , but out of rediscovered dreams and desires, what you want to do. And that is a whole new challenge. It can be everywhere as daunting as those regular nine-to-five work days, especially when those were followed by what I might call too-habitual evenings of doing the same thing over and over.
A deeply radical change might be called for, to come up to the challenge of here-and-now–where you’ve never been before! This is why you and Welmek talked so much about intention, opening your mind in wonder, feeling for those inklings of what you might intend to do, then clarifying that, focusing on it. You are facing eternity, my son. There will be more and more time available to you, to fill. So keep your beginner’s mind. Don’t hesitate to start something, even in the last few days of your life. See yourself extending right through death, feeling very cosmically young and just-beginning.
I won’t make light of it; it is quite a challenge to—not–be determined by economic pressures outside yourself. For this is how your so-called retirement does in so many.
NEBADONIA: These are truly tragic ironies, but you are beginning to see through this. You are beginning to feel the dimensions of a new necessity, if only in wanting to avoid a dreary and meaningless existence—as you said to Welmek.
Look forward to this new experiment, my son. Bring all the heart to it you can muster.
Student: Thank you, Mother. Sometimes I think about, I want to get out of this life and move on to the next one, as quick as possible, because it will be more interesting. I’d like to speed things up. But that’s not proper, nor is it wise to do that. I am beginning to see that, spiritually, there is all the time there is. I’ve also been wondering about death, not in a morbid sense. But since I’m a little closer to it (laughs) I got to wondering, why am I thinking about this?
NEBADONIA: Of course, you never know… (more laughter) Your Urantia book goes to great lengths to disabuse you of any notions that it is so terribly different on the other side. It is and it isn’t. You have a totally different kind of body, and relationship to the spiritual world, yet there is a lot of time over there too, for you to fill from your own self-power, your own creative spirit.
Student: Hmmm… That’s a good way to put it.
NEBADONIA: So here you are, blessed with being in a modern society with so many good things of spiritual value to do—such great service opportunities that call to you–so much human need surrounding you; especially compared with some primitive tribal village where nothing seems to have changed for the last few centuries, and spare time is spent napping away.
So look the challenge bravely in the eye, my son, and just open your wonder as to what peaks your natural curiosity.
Student: Thank you for your words, Mother, and thank you for your love.
(Pray for guidance in what to do)
NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, my son. I can feel a deep-down sense of worship, of thankfulness, in you. Remember the wonderful power of prayer. When you are stumped and at a dead loss for what to do, don’t forget to pray. Ask for help, even if only for what to do the very next moment. You might be surprised at what comes.
NEBADONIA: So be in my love.
Student: Thank you, Mother.
And now the end of another meeting is upon us. You see, I’m quite delighted that I had no idea about what exactly was going to happen tonight. So I thank the two of you for refreshing, and invigorating, and inspiring me. Be in my love now. Good evening.