2008-03-10-Memory & Soul
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Your Personal Spirit
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: Your Personal Spirit
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Greetings and salutations. Once again we find ourselves tickled and excited to spending this time with you. We do enjoy your insights: they work. We find ourselves able to feel something that’s not exactly our ego notions of who we are and who we’ve been. It’s more like a living presence within us. Strangely enough it gives us a kind of confidence. Perhaps because it is so formless, yet persistent, we’re able to forget ourselves; we can trust in this presence that seems actually stronger than our shifting self-awareness. We can be more playful, more joyful right in the material and psychological constraints we find ourselves. And this is fine enough, especially as we see this spirit in others. So thank you for your suggestions. We’ll do our best to put them into action. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, my children, this is Michael. My, what a wonderful group tonight. Mother Spirit and I especially welcome the new faces among our stalwart and loyal sons. We too look forward to these meetings. Perhaps we can appreciate more than yourselves how you are constantly changing and growing. We too are tickled that you can have this sense of yourselves, the awareness of a spiritual presence that, even though you cannot get hold of it and move it this way or that with your will, you are discovering how you can trust it. It is indeed stronger than your momentary, ever changing consciousness of yourselves. Your spirit is truly more tenacious; and you are feeling a true reflection of a continuity that is, as you are discovering, other than your ego–your ideas and notions about who you are and who you’ve been.
Thought Adjuster (Your personal spirit)
You find it interesting this feeling/awareness comes about by relinquishing a death grip on yourselves, by relaxing. It’s partly your humility in realizing you are more than what you can be momentarily aware of. This continuity of spirit is of such a nature, it’s more a true discovery, my children, rather than a creative invention. It’s a presence that, once you are able to feel it, you may have a further realization that it has always been here; if you will, it’s more truly who you are and who you’ve been. This is the spiritual wellspring of your personality, a constantly refreshing emergence of power and strength that is quite distinct from your body and your mind. And, as Mother Spirit pointed out, it does form an encompassing for your conscious self like–on a much smaller scale–the encompassing of God himself.
You are a little locus of energy, not only physical and psychic energy, but spiritual energy, bursting into time and space. As you relax in stillness, or even in contemplation in the middle of the busiest activity, you can truly keep yourself company. You can share your life with your deeper self. You can feel the spiritual events in your life, especially the people you meet, the love and affection you share with them; you can feel this adding to your soul. You can know: this is the good stuff; this is what lasts.
We keep pointing at this essence of yourself, my children, because it is by dint of this, and dependent upon this, that you can begin to perceive it in others. You have to have this trust, this faith, this assurance, to allow these others–your dearest friends, your most beloved compatriots–to come into you and register. Perhaps you’ve experienced this already, that as you forget yourself in this new-found confidence, long familiar faces are suddenly more up to date. You can see them anew through a kind of mask or overlay of familiarity, to what is present and alive. It’s a wonderful vision of your friends, is it not–here and now?
For as you see through a kind of cloying sentimentality to their living individual presence, you can also recognize within them all the sometimes dozens of previous people you’ve known them to be. It’s more than mere nostalgia. You can actually see in them, for precious moments, the child, the teenager, the young adult, and know deep in your heart: this is something you are sharing that moment. At that very moment this is also how they are seeing you. This is one of the powers of enduring friendship and love.
Time is not a simple dimension, my children, but actually many dimensions you’re beginning to come to know. For it’s all present. This is one of our greatest difficulties–how to put into your language and your experience so far how everything is present, and truly there is no end to eternity in the infinity of this present spontaneity; everything is alive. In a sense, the creation is the living body of God, infused with His spirit. This becomes for you, as a personal experience, something you can trust. You discover this is what you have been standing on all along. This is a truer continuity of you.
Seen from this vision there are no regrets, for as we have said before, everything that ever happened, right up to an instant ago, had to. There’s nothing you’ve ever done, nothing you’ve known–even those temporary illusions–that was not the result of living, constantly changing and interacting existants. And that’s all constantly, if you will, tumbling headlong into now, like you are standing at the base of a waterfall of all the past pouring into now. And there’s that huge chasm of the unknowable that you step off into out of the past.
Trust, Creativity (Trust in your own spontaneous creativity)
With an increase of faith you can come to trust in your own spontaneity, your own ability to respond adequately, even playfully, to the next moment. You can get a heightened sense of both all the need for planning, anticipating, foresight, provision–for you are an economic being, you need to provide; and still, you don’t know exactly what is going to happen a few minutes from now, for as you approach spirit, life gets evermore spontaneous. So there is a kind of nerve required here. (nervous laughter?) There is indeed a great need for the appreciation of Mother Spirit’s help through her Adjunct of Courage. A foregone, utterly predictable eternity would be hell otherwise. You’ll always be facing the certain opacity of what you’ve not yet encountered simply because the universe is a big place, full of trillions of unique persons. Also, your very own being is in itself an endless ground for discovery, another wellspring of marvelous adaptability in response to what you meet. Isn’t it fun when you surprise yourself–positively?
All of this, my children, you can begin to see in others. More than you know anything else, you know when you are sharing this love, this affection, this connection. True enough, everything passes, everything changes–necessarily so. There is something growing here. There is something evolving here on a cosmic scale. But you can know moments of fulfillment, of sharing, of love and delight. It was for this you were made. In this way you most truly are made in God’s image. In this you can share His power of letting go, His power of bequeathing to all others so much of Himself, for like Him, you find the more of yourself you give away, the more you are; hence, for Him, the creation; for you, a fulfilling human life.
So with all these other unique individual beings, don’t be afraid to let their reality overwhelm you from time to time. Feel free to splash around in this waterfall of affection, this sharing your life with others. This, my children, is your greatest gift for you and them. So seek and find the courage to be playful. Find the nerve to give yourself away. Let all your cares drown from time to time in laughter. We’ll be right there with you enjoying the fun–a little cotton candy for your soul. If you have any questions or comments this evening, go ahead.
Student: I don’t have any questions or comments–questions that is. I just thank you, and Mother, and all your children who are personally involved in my life. Thank you very much; I appreciate it.
MICHAEL: You are welcome, my son. Since last time when Mother Spirit teased you into reaching for yourself, and finding something there, have you been successful? Is there a kind of you there now?
Socialization (Keeping yourself good company)
Student: I…I, wow, what a question. (group laughs) There has always been a me here, but I have not always recognized it as me. I’ve not always liked what I saw, but the problem is in differentiating the me that I really am from what I think I am–this evolutionary body and mind I live in. That’s the difficult part. But there definitely is a me here.
MICHAEL (chuckling): Well, you were in a bit of doubt about that the last time,..
MICHAEL: … so we’ll call that progress. Be in my peace.
Student: Thank you, Father.
Student: Yes, Michael. The idea of sharing myself with others–I know I’ve always been doing that, but even more so lately I’ve been aware of how sometimes I tend to avoid that, how I shy away, get caught up in distractions, or get caught up in the past, or future expectations. It’s so important that when we are engaging with each person we come in contact with, that we are in the present moment, that we are committed to beneficial intent, the innate wisdom that exists within all of us. So we are able to be there for each person we come into contact with, and not come from the self-imposed constraints of the past, or what we thought was right or wrong. We come from the living wisdom that is within us and the love that we already are.
(Meeting the challenge of others)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, I think you’ve got a pretty good grip on it there. It’s welcoming this unpredictable uniqueness of each person, welcoming the challenge of this that, as you say, brings you into the present moment. It’s acknowledging an irreducible strangeness, for that is how it appears at the time. As you say, you don’t always feel ready for it, or capable of it. You’re kind-of shy about meeting the challenge of this other human being approaching you. Yet it’s wonderful how in accepting this challenge, you realize that this very thing in turn enlivens you and brings forth your own deeper responses.
Student: Yeah, what I’ve found too is that when I do feel something of the past cloud my perception of what is now, I really feel it, and I can’t run away from it. I don’t want to indulge in it, and I don’t want to kind-of deny it either. So I just have to sit with it. I just have to rest with it and then, if I allow myself to do that, then the situation I am experiencing with another human being gets resolved, and it works for them too. I feel that at home; it’s a lot more congenial and amiable, a lot more harmonious with all the diverse personalities. So I see the benefits of that and the results of that.
MICHAEL: You once said this open-mindedness is nirvana enough, this seeing with what I call a presence within you that welcomes those faces you’ve known for so many years now, that are changing, and growing. This is what we mean by the present moment being so elastic spiritually, capable of so much more than you have yet known. To go forward and welcome this in spite of, or even because of the strangeness, does take nerve–to see some old friend, or a wife or a husband you’ve known for thirty years now–to see them ever fresh and new; to see as well the so-called ravages of time, and yet welcome it all with faith and trust in your eternal potential, in the living presence springing up in the two of you as you reach for each other.
Student: Yes, I’ve experienced that with my ex-wife being around more and helping out with our grandchild; there’s a lot more affection and geniality between us. We’re more civil with each other and we accept each other, and that plays a part in her relationship with my daughter as well. You mention how we all are unique beings, but there is a sameness about us as well, an equality about us–which is God. We are unique creations of God, but we are His–His intelligence, His wisdom, His love, His joy.
MICHAEL: Well, good, you’re starting to hold both now in consciousness.
Student: Thank you for that. (group laughs)
MICHAEL: You are very welcome, my son. You can thank too your nerve to get out there and try these things, to indulge our suggestions and give them credence, give them value in your life.
Student: There are times though where I do get a little tired of that, where I’m the only one, it seems, doing that; but I guess it has to start somewhere, at least in my own little circle.
MICHAEL: You can get spiritually exhausted at times. You can be overwhelmed with shyness, which is often simply your larger self saying enough for a while, time to rest, time to rest in just a pure awareness of yourself in stillness, where you share this fundamental uniqueness of your being with God, with Mother Spirit and myself.
Student: Um, thank you for that. It’s beautiful. When you said that my whole being…my whole being just melted. I just want to walk off into a garden. (group laughs and laughs) Yeah, that’s cool.
MICHAEL: This confrontation is for some really impoverished souls, such enormous terror–even approaching or going into realms of insanity–their realization of human uniqueness is like humanity itself–the Godly unity or sameness you spoke of–just disappears. They find themselves surrounded by beings who are not even human anymore, everyone is so unique. Yet to the more fulfilled soul there can be such a reassurance in the enormous fact of this. There is that which is so unique within you, that is you, you cannot capture it. It’s just this living presence that you can, however, let be; and know this is where you are touching your Father, and Mother Spirit, and me. This presence is also partly us. It’s where you enjoy my peace, my son.
Student: I’d like to express my gratitude to Michael and Mother Spirit Nebadonia for your creativity, and for your courage in crafting from this raw material of a planetary experience such jewels, such glowing creatures. And in that sense I wanted to question and comment simultaneously concerning the attributes of memory, and how it is that as we increasingly discover our blended nature–the central, the human, the divine, the terrestrial, the celestial–that memory–seemingly anyway–becomes filled with love–even as it recalls the momentary awareness of love’s absence, or the appearance of its absence.
What I would ask is, in the process of remembering every moment–which in potential includes all future, past, and present–that is all present here as you so well said: is it not really true, as Mother has suggested, that all that is, is so beautiful and true that there is nothing, in fact, that is not love–in spite of what we know to be from our temporal viewpoint–so much that we might hesitate to credit? Is it true that we can actually remember all things? Thank you.
Memory, Soul (Memory and soul)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, to answer your question I would like to draw a distinction between memory and soul. There is a difficulty in language here for every sentence I say would require a few paragraphs to fully define my terms. But for now let us say that memory is a function of your physical brain–those billions of neurons that make up your physical being, and is somewhat available to you with more or less degree of error. The spiritual transcript of your life, co-authored by a pure fragment of God, in other words–your soul, is not an inactive notebook but a profoundly active, living part of your human reality. So as you experience what you call memory, it is a brain function, again to enormously varying degrees, being amplified, being fulfilled by your soul. This is pretty much in direct proportion to your spiritual awareness and growth–how much of this spiritual construct is available right along with your physical memories.
Think of some past event, shall we say some happy, sunny afternoon when you were quite young. As you are sitting in meditation wondering about this time, you notice that, in your present human condition, you must give up almost all of your awareness of your present, surrounding situation to relive this moment from your past. If you want to be captured by your own soul for just a few precious moments, they cost you the awareness of now. This is why we say that your soul is so enormous, it is such a pure spiritual construct of your whole life from God’s point of view, that to approach your own soul is to approach your Father Fragment, its co-author. To become fully one with, and cognizant of the enormity of your soul, is the same as fusing with your Father Fragment, for these are parallel developments, parallel growths. As you know, this usually takes several phases of coming Morontia reality and growth to accomplish.
You’ve even been informed that the joining and eternal fusing with your Father Fragment gives you the souls of all the other humans it has experienced and has carried along as a kind of sacrosanct gift for you two to share. So the truth of any particular memory, any particular soul-contribution, is something you have to evaluate with your own spirit. How true does it ring? What does it mean to you–now–as you re-experience that sunny afternoon which is costing you your awareness of the present? You see what I mean, my son? As you let this previous afternoon swell into all of you, to really relive even a few moments of some past time, you give up the awareness of your present being. You have a ways to grow yet before you can do both simultaneously. Does this at least begin to answer your question?
Student: It stimulates more questions…(much laughter)… but I will withhold them and just say thank you for your willingness to share your own memories, the memory of your own soul-growth that is composed of countless numbers of your children; which for us may appear as future, or past–it really doesn’t matter, for it is all present. Your willingness to share everything you are inspires us to do the same. We are very grateful for your charm, grateful to embrace you and walk along with your children–especially those here now.
MICHAEL: Thank you, my son. I do appreciate your love. If I would add one small caution: the future does not exist. (much laughter) The future has not yet happened. Even God, our Father, has not yet experienced what you will experience five minutes from now. His pre-knowledge is existential, and only that insofar as nothing can happen that is not within Him, within His eternal laws–keeping in mind He is absolute and infinite. But He does not yet know–personally–your experience. Student: Yes–I was speaking only of future and past as conditioned by Him, which is, as you have well said, completely flexible–the plasticity is so beautiful. I want to thank you for that.
MICHAEL: You are most welcome, my son. Be in my peace.
Student: Well, hello Michael, this is B. I’m mulling over this plasticity and there is something that is really salient in what you said tonight. Actually it’s just a phrase that struck me as an amazing notion, and that is when you referred to the power of the moment; or was it that the encounter with another person contains an irreducible strangeness? Anyway, the words were irreducible strangeness, and it reminded me of a school of poetry where that was one of their phrases–that a poet is someone who is able to perceive the strangeness of every moment and describe it lines of poetry. If you can capture the strangeness, then you’ve got a creative moment in your own consciousness.
Anyway, I was wondering if you could unpack this idea of irreducible strangeness for me, and for us tonight. It would be wonderful to hear more.
Reality (The irreducible strangeness in reality)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, we’ve referred to it often in the past as the continuous creativity on the part of God in terms of all of creation–Paradise, Havona, and the universe of time and space; that all this is not just some clock that was wound up and given a little nudge to start it going ever since. True, there is that. There is a continuity of God’s habitual way of doing things that is a fantastic extension–beyond what you have already discovered–of what you call natural law. Yet there is not only this continuity but, in perfect equipoise with it, a continuing creation. Every moment in time is unique. There is something happening in the present which never happened before. The universe, in this sense, is not repeating itself. This is a cosmic fact you can perceive–if you have a poet’s eye.
MICHAEL: And yet, as you know, there are folks perishing from boredom, living terribly stunted, painful lives of sameness. We suggest this is part of that shyness I spoke of before, the fear of seeing something new, something startling, something that challenges their very being; and this leads at times, in a worst case scenario, to a withdrawing from life, from this unpredictable, spontaneous creativity–even unto death. We’ve referred to this cosmic creativity as a chasm of the unknowable that exists right in front of you, and which requires courage to step off into. It takes some nerve to be open to, even welcome, that strangeness you cannot predict, for at the same time this does not relieve you one iota of the necessity for insight, leading to foresight, for that provision I mentioned. You even use predictability as a validation of your scientific method, to not only explain some phenomena, but how well is your theory able to predict, infallibly, what will happen–a further extension, if you will, of natural law.
MICHAEL: So this is another way of expressing that irreducible strangeness, that fundamental uniqueness of every personal being, of all orders from the highest to the lowest.
Student: Does that translate into the irreducible uniqueness of every moment–directly?–also?
MICHAEL: Yes: this is a cosmic fact, though variously perceptible. There are folks dying for lack of seeing it. But it is there: it is a fact. God–if you will–does not have to repeat Himself. He is a fountain.
Student: And each individual is a fountain.
MICHAEL: Yes. This is especially true from the point of view of their personality, their personal spirit–which again, not all are able to achieve consciousness of. This is why we draw a distinction between your personality and your conscious self–or self-consciousness. Tonight I tried to draw a distinction between your notions of yourself you have in terms of psychology–how you remember yourself as a physical being, from the rather ineffable living presence of your spirit.
Student: Which may be missing in the contemporary discussion of the power of now–which is so…a bit faddish in our culture. There is a book, The Power Of Now, seemingly without reference to personality as we understand it. And so I can only thank you for drawing all these fine distinctions, and giving me this life to try to live into that, and be that, and be conscious of your creation, with gratitude from my heart.
MICHAEL: Thank you, my son. I might add the centuries-old saying that now is the fulcrum point of all that is to come, that the future is determined moment to moment. There has been a general consciousness of this for some time, existing right alongside the equally widespread notions of fatalism–that the future is fixed. We extend your growing abilities past death into the Morontia phases of your life, and it is in this sense that your present moment, including your sense of presence–is infinitely expandable. You can become more and more fully conscious of your soul, of all the people you’ve already been, of all those hundreds of thousands of hours of your life, and all those, perhaps hundreds of persons you’ve known.
This you may enjoy for only a few precious moments of touching now, for there is also a wisdom that keeps you oriented toward the present moment coming down in your normative consciousness. You have to deliberately relax this regular consciousness to know different states of mind, including your soul. So: keep stretching! (much laughter) Keep embracing the need for it that will come your way. I’m happy you are gaining a sense of humor about all these necessities.
Student: Thank you for the gift of laughter.
MICHAEL: Be in my peace.
Student: Michael, this is C, and what you talked about tonight really helps me. But I find there are times when I really struggle to get beyond a certain reaction I have when I open up to other people, and find myself being spontaneous and in the moment. Afterwards I don’t feel I was very well received. It brings up feelings from the past of being rejected and humiliated. So when I’m alone I have a hard time stepping out of that thing of feeling rejected and humiliated. Even though I know the presence of God is within me, I can’t seem to find the way to step over to it, or to release where I am. I try to be with Him, but I can spend a number of hours of the day still struggling with it, and I was wondering if there is any guidance you could give me on where to address my attention?
(Dealing with unwanted responses)
MICHAEL: Yes, my daughter, you put your finger right on the reason we call this that you seek an ability, something you have to learn–you have to earn–often enough through trial and error, as you open yourself. A necessary component of that is a kind of equanimity, a kind of contentment in expressing yourself honestly, along with an acceptance of how you are received–whatever response you get. It calls for, at one and the same time, being independent of their response–an inner strength, if you will, of not needing any particular response too much, yet also a real spiritual generosity in just feeling good you are doing the best you can to be you–be authentic, in their presence.
This takes spiritual energy. It takes courage. It takes all of Mother Spirit’s support you can get of her Spirit of Council, of human companionship. It takes all this to come up to the moment, and then even more to stay in the moment. For as you say, if you suddenly encounter an unexpected or unwelcome response, you may experience a falling back from the present moment and being recaptured by past associations of other painful moments.
So you see, my daughter, this is where you can help yourself by, first of all, giving yourself credit for your generous spirit that is reaching out; credit for your self-honesty in trying your best to be you, irrespective of how you can tell this other person wants you to be. For you can feel all the different ways they might be manipulating, or enticing, or seducing, or trying to control you, to have you be the person they want you to be. The more you can feel this too, this subtle, or not so subtle, pigeonhole they’re trying to put you in, the more you can realize there is no way of fulfilling that. In fact you do them too a spiritual disservice by being other than you. So this honesty is not some egotistic thing. It is the living presence of your self that you do share with Mother Spirit and me, and with God. You are staying true to this. You are being open. You are forgetting yourself in order to be true to this, to let your spontaneous spirit out.
This ability does not come all at once; it’s a growth. In those moments later when you are caught up in a kind of regression, in painful memories of other times, this is part of the price you are paying, my daughter, for this ability. This is, if you will, you rubbing your own nose in your as yet inability to stay present. But you do know it, and not only intellectually; I think you know it in a very heartfelt way, what an ideal this is–to not let these little incidents destroy you, but have faith there is this God-connection there to be rediscovered anew each time. Some times you must simply wait out all this inner pain, this inner disappointment, and just keep the faith that it too will pass. You are growing this ability, and you will open up again; you will step off again. Your spirit will achieve this generosity, this gift of yourself to another–however received.
Student: Thank you.
MICHAEL: You are very welcome, my daughter. Keep up your courage. Keep up your nerve to be yourself. And be in my peace. Well, my children, I thank you again for a truly heartfelt evening.
You are my soul, and I am delighted to be a part of yours. Carry on. Keep stepping off into the unknown. These are genuine abilities you are earning through experience. So don’t forget to forgive us too–Mother Spirit and myself, and God–for the very reality of pain, for the suffering: they too are real. Everything you experience becomes part of your soul. This is what makes it yours.
MICHAEL: Yes indeed, in time, and because of time, you will come to embrace all you have ever been. But for now it does require faith; it does require trust to feel this living presence, and be true to it. We trust in our Father, for this is His plan. This was, and continues to be, His creation. We rest in His everlasting arms, while I invite you to rest in my peace. Good evening.