2007-06-25-Being Enslaved to the Past
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Being Enslaved to the Past
o 1.2 Group: Marin TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Michael
o 2.2 TR: JL
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Opening Prayer
o 3.2 Lesson
o 3.3 Dialogue
o 3.4 Closing
• 4 Note
Topic: Being Enslaved to the Past
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, We really appreciate your lessons on spirit, both our own human type and that of our extra-human family. Once we begin to realize the nature of this living quality of value and see how it permeates every aspect of our lives–from the moment we get up in the morning and evaluate how we feel this day, then how our breakfast is, how our car’s behaving, how all the other folks around us appear, how we’re doing at work–the more we realize this is a reality beyond a mere mental/physical manifestation. We are literally using our spirit incessantly throughout the day. Now we understand what you mean by us being complex creatures, we can marvel all the more that our personalities are able to unify all these separate aspects into a single, unified and comprehensive experience. We thank you for your insights which change the nature of our day to day lives. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, my children, this is your spirit father, Michael. This is great! You’re beginning to feel now what we mean by spirit. You’re beginning to experience what your human spirit does for you, and indeed how it does penetrate and give not only meaning but also value to everything you do, everything you perceive.
One of the main goals of our teaching, and the Teaching Mission itself, is to give our human children the experience of the effects of that part of their own natures which is not directly perceptible to them in its pure state, any more than is your personality—your singular essence in all creation. Your personality is like a continuous point of departure that you can never turn around and catch sight of because it turns with you. Time-wise it is a point of origin that is always precipitating you into the present moment. And yet you do try with all your mental powers to see yourselves, which is why so many folks keep coming out of the past and only who they were–as a matter of orientation—and then become thoroughly determined by the past in their present moments.
What we call a habit, or habituation, is a kind of slave-driver insofar as you become enslaved to this one way of living. It’s very much a cultural thing, something you learned in your earliest years from your family and all those around you. In this sense it represents a general stage of evolution that human society has reached, still a very early stage in which the majority of folks are unconsciously coming out of their past, and being inordinately determined by it, because they know no other way of relating to an ever changing, dynamic reality.
This is so much so, some of your more modern, existential philosophers have described contact with the living present as causing a kind of nausea, almost a seasickness, they were so habituated to the illusion of something fixed and permanent, desperately, if unknowingly, clinging to memories to achieve the reassurance that things were not going to change, they could find some security in life. Yet, my children, out here in this time and space realm, there is nothing fixed except personality. Everything your personality experiences is dynamic. You’ve only recently evolved the concept of historicity in which every single moment of time is unique and, as we’ve said before, aside from the gross cycles of day and night, seasons changing and so forth, reality is not repeating itself. Look to what lengths some of you go to deny the fact your bodies are irrevocably changing in the process of growing older. This can generate so much fear and apprehension you loose sight of not only growing older, but simply growing—mentally and spiritually: growing an immortal soul.
Let me present you an interesting seeming-paradox to ponder. We agree you are necessarily involved in evaluating your moment to moment existence. In your opening prayer this evening you showed some awareness of that, of how much you are constantly evaluating everything from the way your eggs were scrambled in the morning, to how your car felt as you drove it to work, to your work itself, whether you were checking a computer program, baking a cake, or cutting a board in half: constant evaluation. This is your spirit at work in your human reality.
Notice how this necessary, spirit-based evaluation is, paradoxically, so contra-distinct from what it is often erroneously allied with–being judgmental, either toward yourself or toward others, or even complex situations. This is your material mind becoming unbalanced and extrapolating madly like a runaway computer, blowing things out of proportion. While you have to evaluate your moment to moment relationships with each of your fellows, being judgmental is taking some simple perception—shall we say, someone is telling you a little fib or exaggeration—blowing it way out of proportion, and pretending to be able to judge their entire personality: perhaps inwardly pronouncing them a total liar. An evaluation is a spiritual, qualitative assessment related to a fresh and present perception, conditional and limited. Being judgmental is merely a lazy, reactive, habitual, material-mind only self indulgence, usually used to prop up a shaky ego stuck in the past.
You are witnessing right now, as Urantia struggles to become unified in a modern, technological sense, the gross outworking of pre-judging, or prejudice, as it applies to races and cultures. Just imagine what we of your spiritual family feel with our overview of the planetary situation. We directly experience how much suffering is being caused by this prejudice, by the lack of spiritual discrimination and evaluation. Keep in mind the nature of spirit, as the origin of mind and physical reality, is in itself spontaneous, creative, not bound by the past. So we are enthusiastic when you can perceive how much spirit–spontaneous, creative evaluation—is involved in your daily life. For this needs to be conscious. You need to be aware of how you are doing this incessantly so you can take responsibility—and be able to respond—by recognizing what are your own, personal, and highly subjective assessments.
This, my children, is a supreme act of spiritual generosity: to literally contain yourselves, and not let your mental prejudices be unconsciously projected all over the place, seeing everything negatively just to give you a small ego boost. There is no more immediate and necessary cure for arrogance and hubris than to start living the full life you are capable of–the spontaneous, creative life of spirit.
So even though mind and spirit—meaning and value—are inextricably bound together, tonight I am pulling them apart a bit so you can see the different functions each has, and feel the deep distinction between evaluation and prejudice. Ironically, the greatest benefit is not to others–your fellow brothers and sisters of God’s family whom you will cease to punish with your behavior toward them–but within yourself. You will have an increased means for achieving the present, which your wise men have correctly called the fulcrum, the pivot-point of the future. Mother Spirit and I have recently called this becoming free, free within yourself, free of your own self-judgmental attitudes. This is how your life becomes lively and interesting.
Another benefit is one of decisiveness. By being open—non-judgmental–to see all aspects, all dimensions of any particular situation, using your spirit-wisdom and -insight to do so, you gain the ability to decide. This way you stay present. You do not become buried under layers of procrastination—all those things you’ve already accepted within yourself you need to do. One of the glories of becoming present is to take these postponed necessities one at a time and get them done. I know for those of you who are feeling buried in guilt for all the things you’ve needed to do, and haven’t, this can seem an insurmountable challenge. The very messiness of your life can be a kind of horror for it is true: as within, so without. That part of your surroundings you can determine is a valid indication of what’s inside you. Mother Spirit and I are offering you a way to break these vicious circles and start anew: be still—stop running from them and let them catch up; then regard them anew with creative curiosity.
Here you may feel a pinch from your ego, which can have some very invalid and arrogant notions of what you’ve achieved. You wonder: how can I begin again? It seems like such a loss of status to be a beginner. Yet this attitude can pull you down like clinging to an anchor, at sea. You have to let go. Let go all the notions of who you were in order to discover who you are. All these notions come out of the past, and they are always much less than what you are. We call you a little walking infinity because your true nature cannot be defined nor exhaustively encompassed. You are really beyond all that. You yourself have spirit. However unconsciously or habit-ridden, you are using your spirit throughout the day. It’s just that the values by which you are measuring things may be outworn and outdated—those lingering, clinging aspects of tradition that no longer apply. How is the world going to keep refreshing itself; how are you going to keep refreshing yourself? The means are at hand. They were created as part of you by God himself. You yourself have spirit.
Last week Mother Spirit gave a long discourse on the gifts of curiosity and wonder. These are some of her main gifts to all the higher animals, but especially human beings. Think of them as the birthright you have from her Holy Spirit. Use them as beacons of light to illuminate your way forward. Look to the future with curiosity as a replacement for fear. In your meditation, all those fearful things that arise?—shine your light of curiosity and wonder at them. How did they happen? What are they intrinsically in themselves? No matter what the fear—of heights, or snakes, or embarrassment, your job, some one person—whatever it is; what was its origin and what is this thing in itself? Who is this person?
Allow yourselves to be swept away with the sheer wonder of the creation. Don’t worry that you are but a tiny speck in the middle of it all. It was created for you as well as for anyone else. This is the positive aspect of God being no respecter of persons: the creation is for you. You will spend an eternity never exhausting it.
So I welcome these feelings you have now, these experiences of what your spirit is engaged in all throughout your days, and how you necessarily have to evaluate things moment by moment to feel your way along, to discover the truth in a whole maze of illusions–cultural conditionings, family and racial prejudices, personal fears and apprehensions. This is the great game. This is the adventure you are inextricably bound up in. See if you can have some fun with it. Fear not. The essential nature of God’s creation is, after all, like him, loving and playful. Every moment is an end in itself—complete. And yet, look! Here comes another now that has never been before. Enjoy it well, my children. It was made for you. If you have any questions or comments this evening, bring them forth from your own spirits. [UB 36:21].
Student: Father Michael, you have once again answered some questions I had wondered about. But I keep hearing the expression, Let go and let God, and I don’t understand what it means. Could you speak to that?
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, this can refer to one human extreme you call a control freak. This is the illusion, even the arrogance or hubris, that you can control all aspects of your life, and this is the way to obtain security—which, as a self-conscious being, you cannot escape the necessity for seeking. It’s another kind of evaluation: what leads to greater security and longer life, more life?
Think of control as that direct application of your own personal power, whether mental, physical, or spiritual, to effect an outcome. A certain amount of reflection and wisdom should tell you in time and maturity you are just a tiny speck in the middle of a gigantic creation or, more immediately, you are just one person; and if you are not a hermit on some mountain top, you’re involved in a larger society of other individuals. In addition you have all the natural forces still determining your day to day existence—the weather, the seasons. You can feel helpless in the midst of all these human and natural forces, and this feeling can drive you to even greater efforts at control. It leads to the petty tyranny right within families, businesses, governments. People who are intrinsically anxious about their own security can take out their frustrations on those over whom they have some small authority, or whom they can abuse and bully.
The alternative is letting go, at first by relaxing some small need for control and courageously just seeing what happens. We suggest as a first step in your meditation to realize you are not keeping your own heart beating. Doing your best to take in the right kind of nutrition, and rest, and exercise—still, all the million little processes in your body are not under your direct control. In spite of medical libraries full of volumes on biological activity, there is still so much more to learn. Realizing all this helps in letting go into a larger awareness and a profound humility. It’s getting some heart-felt appreciation for the mystery of life itself. You are letting go all the arrogant hubris of pretending you are holding it all together. I gave the example tonight of becoming aware of your own necessary assessments and how it is such spiritual generosity to accept responsibility for these assessments. This is another way of letting go, letting go the illusion these evaluations of yours are somehow or another truly objective reality, as if God has given you the unconditional ability to determine what is absolutely right or wrong, true or false.
So letting go is letting God. It is appreciating what God alone is doing in creating and sustaining all of reality, all of life. Often, my son, letting go and letting God is only another name for worship, for thanking our Father for our very lives in this gigantic creation he has provided for us. Does that fill the bill? (much laughter)
Student: Yes Father, it does, much more so than the definition I had thought of. It’s much fuller and richer—full of curiosity, and reminds me I was thinking: I’ve got this problem and I think I’ll just let go and let God solve it for me. Now I don’t think that’s what it means at all… (heavy sigh…)
MICHAEL: My son, don’t forget that worship and prayer are closely allied. You can ask God—your own personal Father Fragment right within your mind—to suggest, to be a guide. This is one of the most sincere forms of prayer for yourself, to pray for guidance: Dear God, what do I do next? But then you have to let go–(Michael laughs)–all your own assessments of the situation to let God provide the answer—to be able to credit those thoughts that can come if you will let them. The prayer is the asking; the letting go and letting God is the listening for the answer. Even then it’s still your choice, and your commitment.
Student: Thank you. It’s much clearer than it was. My assessments are not as accurate as I thought they were. I’m grateful to find out that wasn’t what I thought it meant.
MICHAEL: You’re very welcome, my son. It’s why I stressed so strongly this evening how necessary assessments are, and how your spirit is making thousands of them as you go through your days—in order to grow, in order to feel for the truth and reality. But equally important too, is to realize they are yours, and to take responsibility for them. Freely acknowledge when they are incorrect, so you can learn. Assess your own assessments. It’s a continuous process that goes on through eternity. It’s a function of maintaining your freedom, for it feeds your ability to choose wisely. So rest in my peace.
Student: Thank you, Father Michael.
Student: Yes, Michael. What does it mean that God knows what we need even before we do ourselves? What does it mean by the need? I’m thinking we’re co-creators, and if I’m desiring to create my life along with God—and we are one—what does it mean then by letting go and letting God, because God knows what I need? Could we look into that?
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, it was a great step forward in human understanding when your psychologists and psychiatrists evolved the concept of the individual’s unconscious mind and people began to accept this complexity of their being, that there was more to them than what they were consciously aware of. In addition to these layers of subconscious and super-conscious mind, you have the reality of soul, the spiritual story of your life you can only momentarily touch upon, and you will not fully become one with until you fuse with your Father Fragment some day.
So when God looks at you, my son, he sees this totality of your being, of which you can only be momentarily aware of a tiny portion. That’s why we say your ego self-awareness of who you are, which can cause you much anxiety for yourself, can only be relieved by bring those mental processes to a stillness and letting the larger parts of your being swell forth and reassure you of your moment to moment completeness. When God sees what you need, he is considering you from the point of view of your totality.
If I may correct one part of your understanding, it is that you and God are not one—from the point of view of human consciousness, all you can be conscious of. We call you a nodule of experience out here in time and space that God has set free—even from himself. You can deny him; you can deny your spiritual reality and kinship with him clear to the point of ceasing to exist. This is the unfathomable nature of your freedom from him—your independence in his stream of time and space. Indeed, you will spend a human-eternity seeking the Father and drawing near to him across the whole physical cosmos, and then the billion worlds of Havona, until you stand in his Paradise presence: and still, and still—be yourself. This is his ultimate gift to you—your own being for yourself. You yourself earn all these experiences, and, with his help—his presence within you—they become your eternal possession.
So God sees what you need from a different point of view because, my son, you are a very finite consciousness, a mental/physical/spiritual consciousness that is–(Michael laughs)—highly…I won’t say unstable–very changing in this your beginning stage of existence. God provides for your needs by creating a whole cosmic/world situation in which he places you and gives you, as part of your own nature, the tools by which you can influence yourself and the world around you. This is how he provides for your needs. As your Urantia book notes, this does not necessarily mean the prolonging of your physical life, as can be inferred when an unarmed man meets a hungry tiger in the middle of the jungle. But he does provide for an immortal soul and the eternal life that is yours for the choosing. A lot of the rest of it he leaves in your hands. As I cautioned my apostles and disciples when I was among them as Jesus, even believing fully in me and in our Father with all their hearts and all their souls does not preclude certain accidents—natural occurrences—on the worlds of time and space.
Student: Then what did you mean when you said to the apostles and the Sanhedrin that, my Father and I are one? Are we not of one mind—cosmic mind, and one heartbeat? I know I’m individual; I can feel I’m a cosmic reality. Isn’t there a Christ-consciousness, a supreme intelligence that we can tap into, that we can be aware of? That’s what letting go and letting God, is—allowing this supreme mind to take over situations which have been limited by our own beliefs and mortal misunderstandings.
MICHAEL: First of all, when I said that to the Sanhedrin I was speaking very much toward the end of my life among you, and speaking as Michael, as well as Jesus. I was speaking as much as a Creator Son as a human being. I even understood the degree to which this was, in their eyes, blasphemy—to all those who could not believe in me, nor see not only who but what I was. To them I was only a man pretending to be the Son of God.
A human being, as yourself, does not have the mind of a Creator Son. You have the mind of a human in the very first stage of existence. You can do your best to open yourself to the presence of God within your mind, but the choice is always yours since there is no way the presence of God will compel you to follow his thoughts. There is no voice speaking in your mind demanding you do this or that. You yourself have to evaluate all your thoughts and choose which to credit. This is your response-ability, and there is no way you can put your human situation into anyone else’s hands, except by default. Letting go and letting God is a form of worship and appreciation for all the creation you are in the middle of. But the choices will always be yours.
Student: What is the choice? To live from a place of higher consciousness, of wanting to expand my scope of reality? Is that the ultimate choice?–to see things as Jesus, as you taught us to see them?
MICHAEL: Yes. Student: But we are little nodules out in the infinity of God. God created us in his image. Are we not created from the substance, from his ideal, his perfect ideal? God can only create God—in that sense.
MICHAEL: This is one of the questions which have stumped your metaphysicians for a long time, and we can only answer that the finite realm of time and space was deliberately created imperfect so that all the personal creatures of time and space could participate in its evolution toward perfection. There is no way you can say God can create only this or that. No limitations can be put upon his ability that way. I will admit we get into some real poetry—poetic license–here in saying how God, in order to escape the fetters of infinity and perfection, creates a reality that is finite and imperfect. He creates personal creatures within this finite cosmos who are themselves extremely finite, starting from zero with all the limitations of a purely animal existence at first, slowly evolving a human nature to become, in time, an extra-human Father-fused ascendant son or daughter.
This way, my son, you are given a hand in your own evolution. It is not that God cannot create perfect beings. He does so; but you are not one of them. This is your choice, to participate in your evolution, even your own spiritual status as a being.
Student: I wouldn’t know what perfection looked like even if I saw it. There are those who say that everything is perfect as it is.
MICHAEL: But they are probably those without a severe toothache.
Student: But aren’t we…let me think…
MICHAEL: My son, this is why we draw a distinction between perfection and completeness. You–all the creation of God is, like him, complete moment to moment. You are made in his image; being personal you also have his potential, his power of continuing to grow, to add to that which already is. True, this does not make sense in a strictly finite physical way where effects cannot exceed their causes. This is a spiritually created reality in which you have completeness moment to moment—there is no cosmic necessity for anything to go anywhere: it just does, only because it is God’s will. All of cosmic creation is growing—more physical material, more personal beings; and it is growing toward perfection.
It will never get there–in a way, even after the present Grand Universe of seven Super-Universes of, in time, about seven trillion worlds is settled in Light and Life. That will be just the end of this first Universe Age. The age of the First Outer Space Level comes next. We see no end to this. That in itself is hard for a human to grasp. It’s like a balloon which has to burst sooner or later, and yet it never will. These are some of the more unfathomable aspects of God.
Student: I can see how one could really be consumed by what you just said, and say, then why do I need to experience this life here? Why do I have to go through this mundane stuff? Why do I have to work to earn a living? Why, why, why…
MICHAEL: The truth is: you don’t! This is your choice.
Student: But…OK… But what if I don’t want to do this? You know—like my choice–it’s something I’ve grown up with. Most people don’t realize they have a choice. They slog through life—nine to five; get married; have kids—whatever.
MICHAEL: Yes, this represents that stage of immaturity I talked about this evening, of being determined by the past, by the culture, by family traditions and prejudices, and so forth, you inherited with your physical being. You are correct. Until you reach a certain stage of maturity and gain some inner freedom in the living, present moment, your choices are highly limited. But it is true that, ultimately, you do not have to choose eternal life. That is the ultimate choice you are able to make. You can cease to exist. Meanwhile, you can find freedom. You can find ways of choosing. You can seek alternatives, and find them in the spiritual realm. You can open yourself to the suggestions your Father Fragment can make. Add these into the mix and realize you can choose, then, to try something new, or stay with what you already know.
Student: But staying with what I know is only going so far…
Student: But there’s got to be a better way. I feel like I’m out on a limb here.
MICHAEL: This is what faith is. You are out on a limb. (much laughter)
Student: But it’s a pain in the butt sometimes…
MICHAEL: Certainly! (now everyone broke up, including Michael) Faith is putting your foot out there before you can feel any ground under it.
Student: But why can’t I have some sort of vision of what…if I do, do this, I get that?
MICHAEL: Because to that degree the future is impenetrable. Because you cannot see either yourself or the whole situation as God sees you. You are still just a beginning creature in the first few years of an enormous lifetime to come. As for your miserable fellow who spends a whole life that way, he will not dissemble his surprise when he awakes on the Morontia world. This change will be so great he truly will be given an opportunity to begin again. But this is something open to you now in your first life, if you can achieve the present moment and get a feeling for how much a beginner you are.
Student: Now I feel really ancient. I really do. I feel I’ve existed forever. I don’t feel like a beginner—but I know what you’re saying. I did enjoy reading the last book of Conversations With God, about going home again, about death. It was really quite interesting. It’s wonderful so many expressions of truth can be written so many ways.
MICHAEL: Yes, even discerning that faith can be a pain in the butt from time to time is another discovery. This is the nitty-gritty of faith, and the reason it can accomplish what nothing else can, because it does require of you something unique.
Student: I really took to heart what you said the last time we spoke, about being a pioneer in my own life.
MICHAEL: Being a pioneer is living out there on that expanding, sometimes cutting edge, and not sitting home, safe in front of the fire. Each has its own rewards, but if you are out there, you are being forced to grow to meet the challenges on that living edge.
Student: I see myself swimming with the current, but desiring to swim faster. But from time to time I want to rest, as well… May God keep my heart beating!
MICHAEL: Amen. Me too. (Thank you) Be in my peace.
Well, I’m glad to see the wonder is taking effect, opening vistas which have no top or bottom or sides to them. As I’ve teased you with before, the sooner you get used to them the more comfortable you will feel in the midst of all this infinity. Yet part of your trust is in knowing that, for the very reason there is a price for certain things in terms of effort, or time, or life itself—such as faith, by that same token they are genuine possessions of spirit; they are added to your soul.
Carry on, my children. Even though you may feel very ancient at times, this too will pass. You will begin again, and again, and you will come to know, and treasure my peace. Good evening.
Mill Valley, California—U.S.A.