2007-11-26-Giving Thanks, Personal & Impersonal Reality
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Giving Thanks
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: Giving Thanks
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Tonight in this ages-old season of bringing in and celebrating the harvest, we wish to thank you for all the seasons of planting you’ve done in our souls with the good, fertile seeds of hope, and inspiration, and insight. For now we are experiencing a wonderful harvest of goodness in our lives, especially in our relationships with our friends and other acquaintances. Above all we wish to thank you for the most surprising and delightful discovery of all: what happy spirits the two of you are, wreathed about with laughter and a deep, abiding joy. For this precious gift we are most thankful. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, my children, this is Michael. Let me join you in your thanksgiving. We thank the Original Source of everything–our Father, for He is the one in whom we all move and have our being. Mother Spirit and I thank you as well for your generous affection, and loyalty, and thankfulness, for we too have the pleasure, the delight, and the glory of being the intermediaries between the Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and all of our children on both the architectural spheres and the evolutionary planets of Nebadon.
Gratitude (Giving thanks)
It is our joy thus to be the conduit of personality, of spirit, and mind to all of our children. We live in a continuous thanksgiving for this outpouring of personality, loving spirit, and intelligence from Paradise. We join you in your thanks for we appreciate, even more than most of you can, the gift of our Father to you of your very own being, unique in all creation. This gift to you of yourselves is endowed with the potential for being an active, creative personality, able to introduce something unique and new into the stream of time and space out here.
We glory in your endowment, my dear children, as we see your indelible human experience being transformed into the Morontia construct of your souls. If you could only see your souls as we do, if you could only know and experience how tenacious is this life you hold in your own hands, how endowed it is also with the potential for eternity.
If you could only see all those who have gone before you, what joy it would be to realize that almost without exception, every individual who has ever lived on Urantia is still alive, working their way up through the Local System, then Constellation, some here with Mother Spirit and I on Salvington, gazing out at the galaxy. Every historical personage, ever father and mother, every grandparent, every great-grandparent, on and on, are all still out here living, learning, and loving in all those combinations your beloved Welmek once gave you for consideration: loving to learn, learning to love, living to love, and so forth.
We tease you with your letting this supreme fact–actuality out here, blow your minds for we know your minds cannot hold this vision for more than a few moments. You are very rightfully called back to your lives here on Urantia with me, for I am here with you. This is all well and good. These day to day experiences are the stuff of your souls. These people with whom you share your life are your true soul wealth. Mother Spirit and I give thanks for you, my children, for the enormity you already are, but which you will not become fully conscious of for a few more seasons of planting and harvesting, a few more dawns and sunsets on your world.
Even on the beginning Morontia worlds of your local system many days will pass as you grow ever more in touch with your own souls and that co-author of them, the divine presence of your Father. What a celebration, what profound thanksgiving all the way to Paradise is that moment when you become one with the presence of God who has been your faithful guide and even your servant from your very beginning.
Eternity (Making eternity your own)
This, My children, is what you have to be most thoroughly thankful for, this promise of and potential for eternal life, a life of endless expansion and unfathomable, unbounded discovery coupled with your innate ability to grow into it, to engage and encompass it, to make it your own. Your soul never dies, my dear children, you become one with it. All that you are becomes conscious and available to you in viewing your present moments with this fantastic enormity of experience. So your wisdom too–your growing ability to bring all that you are and all that you have been to bear on the present moment–knows no bounds either. This is how this present moment expands beyond your wildest imagination.
This is how meaning and value creep into every tiniest particle of your experience. This is how you can embrace an ever more fantastic detail of living reality. As Mother Spirit and I have been teaching, you can grow endlessly deeper into your true self, exploring your unique potential and experience, yet at the same time not be isolated and cut off by overly focusing upon yourself. Actually: the opposite. You learn how to will yourself out of your own light and allow your larger self to swell forth of its own initiative, for your soul yearns to play a more active part in your life.
This real touch of soul, this real confidence in the growing existential reality of you gives you the supreme ability to forget yourself, to trust that you are and that you always will be. Let yourself go and turn outward to embrace all those other children of our Father, and Mother Spirit, and mine. Someday when you will have become one with the presence of God within you, you will be able to look about and share this supreme experience with all the others who have gone before, and whom you can now greet–consciously–as one of them, another ascendant son or daughter.
We tease you to say this is when your eternal life really begins, when you become a cosmic citizen; but you are really already started. The gift of life started for you from the moment of conception, from the moment a uniquely created personality of our Father’s became coupled with a unique living manifestation on Urantia, the gift from your biological mother and father. It was into this estate you grew as you grew older. And so we say be not afraid. You may righteously know fear as a beneficent caution from time to time, but you need not be afraid. Accept all aspects of yourself, even those fleeting illusions that come and go, even those only partial and very temporal aspects of yourself that need to be constantly relinquished in your stillness. Let the more enduring and abiding aspects of your soul swell forth in joyous anticipation of union.
This is how we join you in your season of thanksgiving. This is what we call worship, this thanking our Father for all His creation, but most especially, deep in our hearts, right from each one us to Him, we say: Thank you, Father, for me. Thank you that I am. If you have any other questions or comments this evening, Mother Spirit and I thank you for them, for these too are our delights.
Student: Yes. Yes, Michael, you speak about oneness with our Father, and the presence of God within and without. Could it be said that everything is God and that we too are manifestations of God? Are we already one with God; and that is all that there is; and therefore the oneness is already inherent? Do our perceptions and beliefs and points of view kind-of color or cloud our perceptions of this reality?–but as we rest, or become still, or go into stillness, we become more and more familiar with this innate reality of who we are, of our oneness with God and His perfection?
Reality (Personal and impersonal reality)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, that is nearly correct as far as it goes: it is true that it is in God that we move and have our being. It is also true–and here we run into what your Urantia book says is the supreme paradox to human beings–that Total Reality is at one and the same time both absolutely united in God, and yet by His will, infinitely diverse–both. Of course on a purely physical/mental plane this would be a contradiction, and even spiritually there appears to be a paradox in your trying to get some human handle on this fact.
You are immediately confronted with other paradoxes on contemplating Total Reality that have puzzled human thinkers from the very beginning. So we come up with pure poetry and talk about eternity events that never happened wherein the primal division of reality is into personal and impersonal manifestation; or to put it more crudely–persons and stuff. This segregation is exemplified by the first derived personality–the Eternal Son, and Paradise–the pattern of all impersonal matter/energy. Impersonal reality is not God but only His creation which follows what you humans think of as mathematical, absolute cause and effect. It contains no innate ability of personality to in and of its own self create some original effects to the causes that gave rise to it.
Whereas personality, flowing directly from God the Father, is made in His own image with a relative ability to create, to not be absolutely bound by the laws of antecedent causality. God is personality and its origin. As personal, living beings created by God, by His will you are endowed with the potential ability to depart from preexistent reality insofar as you can create for yourself a unique alternative.
When it comes to God’s will we can truthfully say that it always has and always will determine the larger creation, but does not always determine the individual heart and will. This is, if you will, God’s absoluteness of creation: He can create beings like this: you’re one of them. The purity of his gift of you to yourself is in the trust He puts into you when He says to you, in effect: You are my beloved son, my beloved daughter: do what you think best.
This free will of yours allows you to depart from God’s will. Indeed, as we have said, God’s will is something you have to seek out and choose to be aligned with. It is not forced upon you aside from what you call Natural Law–the absolute obedience of all matter/energy to Paradise pattern. Your self-determination is as a tiny part in a vast, living, dynamic universe of forces, things, and personal beings. From God’s absolute point of view you are correct, my son, there is no separation. But there can be from yours. This does not pertain to your soul, the co-creation of God’s presence, but merely to your conscious self which, as you know, can be highly self-destructive in defiance of God’s love and will for you. As your Urantia book puts it, the endowing of imperfect, immature beings with even this relative degree of freedom leads inevitability to tragedy.
Student: It could be seen as ignorance for if people are making choices without understanding the underlying reality of God, of His perfection, His vision, His truth, then they’re making their choices out of not understanding that there is so much more to who they are, who we all are, and to the universal scheme of things. But if we allow ourselves to dive into that ocean of God’s harmony, and perfection, and flowing effortlessness, then that is a choice coming from understanding and discernment. So many of us make choices not from that place.
MICHAEL: Very much, my son, which is why we gave our lessons on factors which condition your free will. This is just another example of immaturity and imperfection, the state from which you all begin. Your Urantia book delights in informing you there is a whole inner universe of a billion gigantic inhabited worlds existing from eternity in perfection. It is not that God cannot create perfect beings, because He does. But He also, if you will, conceived the idea and set into motion another gigantic creation of time and space wherein each personality, starting out in imperfection, is given a part to play in its own evolving perfection.
Evolution (Evolution toward perfection)
The time and space universe will continue to grow both physically with the creation of new matter/energy, and personality-wise in the number of unique persons of all orders of being. It will also continue to evolve in perfection–meaning: the ever more perfect control of matter/energy by spirit through the mediation of mind. This is what is happening. The destiny of the whole is never in doubt; never has been, never will be. But the destiny of each individual personal being is largely in their own hands. As you just pointed out, each one starts from not-knowing. Each one starts out needing to discover God’s will, God’s goodness, God’s absoluteness. This is the adventure you are all somewhat willy-nilly–(Michael chuckles)–dropped into. We can only implore you not to–in any way–make light of the genuine suffering that is part and parcel of this immaturity and imperfection, but may be nonchalantly dismissed with the notion that everything is God. Pain is not an illusion.
Student: I just had a thought about free will: that the more we become familiar with and gain confidence in our understanding of our true nature, and allow ourselves to live God’s reality for us–His will–then in a sense we are allowing our will to be free, free from the confines of ignorance and fear, misunderstanding and misperceptions. That is ultimate free will. Our will becomes one with God’s. That is ultimate free will and what we do with that, as co-creators, then that is our free will as well.
MICHAEL: Yet as experiential beings, this is an ability you must earn through living experience. Your soul will always be truly yours because you will have earned it. As you know, this concerns the limitations the spiritual community puts upon itself, not doing for you what we know you are capable of achieving for yourself. This is why neither Mother Spirit nor I will tell you what to do from the standpoint of our own wisdom, for we are one with God’s will in a way that will take you a while, my son, to achieve. You will not become a truly existential being, a member of the Corps of the Mortal Finality, for some time for you have an enormous universe out there to earn, and you have but only one moment at a time. You are still the most extremely time-limited personal beings there are. You’re still here in your first, human life.
Student: What does that mean, because I’ve actually been pondering the idea of timelessness, that the underlying nature of our being, our awareness, is actually timeless and non-dual. So what does that mean that we are time-limited?
Consciousness (Human being–conscious and super-conscious)
MICHAEL: My son, out of love and respect I am addressing the conscious part of your being, and not talking through or around you. True, your personality, a creation of God, is outside of time and space, but it is a greater you, if you will, this conscious you cannot know directly as an object of consciousness. You are presently limited by your consciousness, which is still dependent upon this physical/mental vehicle of yours in time and space, and extraordinarily conditioned by it in terms of health and acquired mental abilities, or their lack. This is also what we mean by saying that you can only know momentarily a dedication to doing God’s will. You cannot begin to know it in any kind of real duration. You need to continually rededicate yourself. You can’t even remain conscious without needing to rest deeply in unconsciousness on a regular basis. You don’t even have control over your own thoughts yet. You’re bound up in extraordinarily profound, complex, inexorable motions, both within and without.
Timelessness is just a fleeting experience you have. Your experiences of it are very short lived and must give way in the next temporal moment when you have other things to think about. It all boils down to your being an experiential being, my son, so I address the consciously experiencing part of you that is, as we have said, very distinct from your personality and soul. Even your memories, the experiences you can consciously pull up and relate to, are extraordinarily conditioned by your current state of mind. As soon as you reawaken in the first stage of your Morontia life, the senses of the much more subtle body you will have will be greatly expanded from what you know now. Your spirit will be much more perceptible and your whole feeling of time, of duration and the future, will be enormously enhanced. Your free will will have taken a little quantum leap–(Michael chuckles)–as it were, because of this. You will be able to control your subjective experience of time a lot better.
Student: I do have moments when, like, I’m in stillness, or finishing work, or where I feel–and I’ve commented on this before–this impatience, this desiring to be who I am without all the methods, without all the extra things we think one has to do to be one with our Father. There is a part of me that just gets tired of doing, of discerning what is going on within me. If it is my true nature to be one with the Father, then let it be so. Or why is it not so? So I feel a sense of frustration and it’s hard for me to overcome that, or even be left with that. So I feel like I’m… I don’t want to use this word, but it’s the only word, of–ought to be–doing or being more of who I am.
MICHAEL: My son, the moments of timelessness you have experienced are those times when you allowed, either intentionally or–(Michael chuckles)–accidentally, your soul and your Father Fragment, the presence of God in you, to swell forth into consciousness. Your Father Fragment is eternal. It is a pure spirit reality of God, and your soul is this enormous construct of all your life, all those years and years of childhood, and youth, and adolescence. So this is a true realization, this timelessness. But your frustration is that the experience is not enduring; it too passes away. You are not yet one with this timeless presence of God. That union is a real event you have to look forward to.
Student: But… But it’s here though, because it’s here now. The experience of that is here. (student laughs)
MICHAEL: But it’s not always, or why the frustration?
Student: Yeah. But God is God. It’s like maybe that’s my own illusion, who knows? I do feel, I guess, what you say: I’m not one. I don’t feel unified and hence that’s the frustration, that’s my anxiety: I don’t feel unified. I have what I perceive as misunderstandings, or these ideals… But I really do want to live the fully human life that God intended for me to live.
MICHAEL: Then let me ask you, my son, what gives you the notion that you aren’t? You were created imperfect and immature with all these yearnings for perfection and maturity, for being one with the will of God. But, as we say, you can’t–(Michael chuckles)–you can’t accomplishment all this instantaneously. You have to earn it, and you can only earn it so fast. You are still time limited, moment by moment. There’s no way you can jump in some kind of time machine and zip ahead and be who you need to earn to be. For yes, human life was deliberately set up this way.
(You are to yourself an object of consciousness)
I don’t think you fully comprehend yet what we mean by saying that, as you sit here talking with me now, you are this momentary, fleeting/changing consciousness that is humanly self-conscious. You are self-aware and so you can know, can remember, both the extremes of blissful, momentary oneness with your Father, and yet too the frustration that you cannot completely, and in duration, be aware of this. Yes: God is God, and is right within you. But there is also a way of joining eternally with this presence of God that is still only your destiny, your potential. It is not yet actual. You have dimensions, and dimensions, and dimensions yet to encounter and encompass before you can even begin to approach the enormity that is your own soul. There’s no way you can have this soul of yours be entirely conscious now. It is so gigantic, my son, there is no way your present, immature consciousness can begin to experience it all.
Just do your best by being still regularly and let whatever of your soul wants to, pop up to enjoy, for that was part of my lesson tonight. Your Thought Adjuster, the presence of God in you, as well as your soul, both are playing an active, if very subtle part in your life. You can will yourself out of the way by being still enough to feel this. Welcome your experiences of timelessness, but then let them go for the next temporal moment. No clinging. You can’t hold time still. For your own sake you cannot live in timelessness yet. You are just beginning. You have a long way to go.
Student: I guess what’s prompting these feelings is my own fear of my future, of my survival, of what is going to happen to me as I expand, as I try to set forth to take those next steps beyond what is known and into a different paradigm of being, of existence. I think that is part of the motivation behind my desire to live the fully human life that God intended me to live, and intended for me right here and now.
MICHAEL: And we congratulate you on this spiritual ambition, however frustrating–(Michael laughs and the student joins in). Your life would be so much emptier of value to you otherwise.
Student: I guess I just want it a little easier sometimes. (both laugh) I guess I just want desires; I don’t know–beneficial things in my life and in the lives of those around me. I just want to benefit others, to be of service. That is kind-of like my beneficial intent, to be of service to others, to their souls.
MICHAEL: This is why, my son, we have given our lessons on how to get in touch with your own true, deeper self so you can present this most wonderful gift to others. Then, being in a broader, more subtle and profound reality yourself allows you to recognize, right through their own pretensions, and projections, and posturing, and camouflage, and all that; it allows you to see their true selves, to see them as children of God, sometimes in spite of themselves.
Student: I know we need to close, but…since I do feel this sense of not being unified, and I know I need to rest and be still with this need, but still get the sense of not being unified… Isn’t this sense prohibiting me from fully experiencing the beneficent intent of the universe–that my life could be so much better, more fulfilling?
Truth (Ask only: what is true)
MICHAEL: My son, ask only: what is true? Your sense of not being unified is a true perception. You’re not unified. There is no way you can be perfectly unified yet. But you can learn how to let this valid feeling/awareness give way to an appreciation how much you already are–unified or not. This is also a true product of your stillness, letting this larger self of yours swell forth. It’s still only momentary, as an experience. It’s something you can enjoy, but then need to relinquish to go on to the next moment of your life.
Yes, feel the spiritual ambition that you need to take another step towards becoming more unified. This is how you go forward: by pulses of striving, and then relinquishing that very striving in the deep worship and appreciation of how much you already are, the enormous soul you’ve already accumulated. Cherish those moments of oneness with God you have already achieved: have another. Then off you go again. Another new day dawns full of work and striving, joy and laughter and tears, and all of that.
Student: It sounds so like paradise. (both laugh)
MICHAEL: Yet, my son, there is some true, genuine suffering beyond any one individual’s comprehension.
Student: Yeah, I know. Well, thank you.
MICHAEL: You are very welcome. It is this thankfulness that we share most deeply with you. This is truly Mother Spirit’s Spirit/Adjutant of Worship. This was also the event, this thankfulness for being, that marked your childhood transition into becoming a fully human being–this appreciation for your life, this impulse back to the Source of life.
Student: I keep on getting this message that I’ve got to live my life from my own inner teachings to be who I am, to be fully human.
MICHAEL: And so it is. Just think of all the various studies and suggestions you’ve had to wade through–(Michael chuckles)–sometimes up to your waist through thick glue, to get to the realization that there is within you that which supersedes all ecclesiastical authority, all other teachers. There’s even right within your mind Mother Spirit herself as a kind of differential urge, a kind of nudge, an augmentation of your own innate powers of worship and wisdom.
Jesus (Michael’s life as Jesus)
And I am right beside you, very distinct from Mother Spirit and the presence of God. I am Michael, a Master Creator Son who had the supreme glory and adventure of being a human being myself. I had a real physical heart beating in my chest, and hands to hold those tools I so delighted in using to make a better boat for the Sea of Galilee. It was such a joy to take a break from all my humanly ungraspable, imponderable problems and just carve a good plank to fit–as perfectly as I could make it, anyway. (then, with much emotion…)
What this human life is that you have, my children! I only wish I could somehow convey to you all the more what these souls of yours are. I can only suggest a way for you to let them swell forth and amaze you with all their precious detail the presence of God himself vouchsafes for you. Be in my peace and thanksgiving. Good evening.