2009-03-03-Appreciation, Value, Spirit
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Appreciation, Value, 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: Appreciation, Value, Spirit
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Welcome. Come be with us. Help us be aware of your presence. Help us achieve the ability to appreciate that part of reality that is God’s living, continuous creation. In other words, help us realize and appreciate that this moment has never happened before, and will never happen again. You’ve given us wonderful lessons on this aspect you’ve called the hallmark of God’s creativity. Not only are no two moments in time exactly the same–there is an enormous concourse of time rolling forward and evolving, growing on a cosmic scale–but also there are no two persons in all of creation alike across the hundreds of different orders of personal beings. Each individual is unique, including these bodies we have. Even in the impersonal realm, no two grains of sand on a beach, no two trees or bushes, no two skies, no two anything are identical. So help us, we pray, appreciate this hallmark of God’s creativity, and recognize it as the most wonderful gift of His, changing moment by moment and never repeating in its entirety.
MICHAEL: Good evening, this is Michael. Well, you asked for it, so here it comes. Let’s look a little more deeply into your spiritual quality of appreciation. Let me note that for you as individuals it usually has two distinct meanings. One appears to be somewhat impersonal and independent of you when you speak of a building or a property–some thing–appreciating; something increases in value over time seemingly all by itself as a function of surrounding economics. The other is when you speak of actively, consciously bestowing value on something or someone, as when you realize and say to a friend, I really appreciate your gift to me.
MICHAEL: That little tag word of value your mind comes up with is in the dimension of spirit, for value is of the spirit and all spirit is personal; it’s a manifestation of some personal being. You can see how the personal experience of appreciation is an active, living quality. It’s also what you bestow or project on someone or some thing. So these two seemingly separate but distinct meanings are really one in origin, for obviously no impersonal thing has value in and of itself but what some personal, living being perceives it to have.
This points out the co-created nature of your human reality, the fact of your spiritual endowment that so many are so seldom consciously aware of. Yet it is by being a God-created personality, endowed with spirit, that you yourself are the co-equal creator of everything you experience. Simply put, your life is a living combination of what you are presented with, and what you are constantly, continuously making of it. It is in this, my children, where you are most made in the image of God. This is what He delights in sharing with you: His power of creativity. Appreciation is just the–both conscious and unconscious–recognition of value. I say unconscious because for so many you, you do literally perceive value to be in some impersonal thing. It appears totally–out there–and independent of you, appreciating or depreciating as the case may be; and so it is. It’s also when the process breaks into consciousness and you become aware of your own co-creative interpretation of God’s handiwork in all of that out there, wherein, like–in here–reality is what you and He communicate.
Consciously, this crosses over the threshold into what we call worship. Worship is in its essence no other than this conscious experience of appreciation, this thankfulness for God’s creativity. In its most primal sense it’s when you realize, with Him: I am. Then further, your faith can inform you: I will be forever–if I so choose to be akin with His creative power–His will, growing in step with His growing creation. It is also what we’ve called being aware of your moment to moment completeness.
Mother Spirit spoke last time on the difference between feelings of complacency or boredom which you avoid as best as you can, and how this is so distinctly different from feelings of completeness. As you too, my children, are a direct creation of God, so this whole creation of His, this whole time/space realm is instantaneously, moment-by-moment complete. It’s another hallmark of His handiwork, if you will. Moment follows moment by His will, and His will alone. The universe, in this sense, is not going anywhere. It’s constantly arriving–complete–moment by moment. Each moment is unique as well as containing those aspects which are repeating, cause-and-effect, which your empirical sciences very correctly focus upon–what can be demonstrated over and over again, leading to what can be predicted with mathematical certainty. So cosmic reality and human reality contain what is both uniform with respect to antecedent causality, and yet too what is also incessantly being created unique.
For the story of what’s happening here, let’s compare cosmic reality to a balloon that keeps getting bigger and bigger forever, complete in each moment of time by God’s power of perfect creativity, yet the next moment becoming a little larger, also by His will. Think of a universal evolution taking place with more material stuff and more personal beings popping into time and space forever. It’s not only repeating itself with what you call Natural Law, or, writ large–God’s will, but equally, with a continuous creation really bursting forth, set up so it needn’t repeat itself in total. For this we have much to thank our Father with sincere, lighthearted and delightful worship. We can only imagine how boring eternity would be otherwise, what a hell of repetition.
MICHAEL: So each moment you are complete in the sense of nothing missing. You can be aware of this, my children. You can perceive and feel this. This is where you find my peace and Mother Spirit’s love. This is where you can rest your weary soul of all that anxiety that so many feel, almost as if–but fully experienced by them–as if they weren’t quite all here. It’s the existential worry so many live in, correctly feeling themselves being driven along with no rest, no assurance, no faith and trust in God’s creativity. Folks can be overwhelmed with this fear of pain and death, never yet having found a faith and trust in the original Creator of life itself.
This is where your sincere and heartfelt worship comes in, this thankfulness to be alive and feel each breath, one after another. This is the path to your spiritual home base of completeness and fulfillment moment by moment. This is the purpose of the meditation we’ve suggested–in just being still with yourself, with Mother Spirit and me, and with our Father. Just be still with yourself. Sit up straight and, if you want, count your breaths to stay in touch with your body so your mind doesn’t go wandering off. You can see how this will immediately put you in contact with your feeling of incompleteness and the business of your mind filled with so many things–your job, your worries, your concerns, your loves. This, my children, this is you to yourself.
Think of the folks who, especially now in your electronic age, live in a state of excitement of being continuously entertained whether with a radio, a television, movies, the internet. They’ve always something else happening that they value more than their own thoughts. They’ve never experienced even beyond their thoughts a pure awareness or thankfulness and worship simply that they are, and that their personal, eternal now can expand indefinitely. Let me ask you to re-read again, if you will, my lesson and Mother Spirit’s lesson on meditation, and see if you can feel this completeness by totally accepting, moment by moment, the enormous, curiously changing circus of your inner being.
These are the swarming ideas and impulses and identifications precipitated by your determination to be still and accept whatever comes. This growing ability to experience yourselves as you are moment by moment comes about as you slowly, one at a time, break your unconscious identifications with your body and with your thoughts racing here and there. You can slowly let them be still and not identify with anything in particular by ever so gradually growing this determination coming from your personality–this exercise of pure will power to experience who you are, what you are. This is an ability to dance along accepting without denial whatever living reality you find yourself in, that you yourself are co-creating along with your Father, Mother Spirit, and me.
This living, highly conscious continuity is something you will earn one session at a time. As the weeks go by, and the months go by, and the years go by, this continuity of meditation, of feeling yourself to be alive and open to whatever occurs to you, continues to grow. True, you can never have yourself as an object you can hang onto and say: this is me!–finally! There is no–final. Still, you are. You can have this continuity of devotion that you have decided and determined to have in your life. This is the awareness simply of: I am–for in this you are truly one with your Father. And this is where you find Mother Spirit and me, right along with Him. Welcome home. If you have any questions or comments this evening, I’m here.
Student: Friend Michael–Jesus: I am thrilled to be here. I’ve been a part of the church catholic all my life which, through its traditions and scriptures, has been proclaiming that you were born of the Virgin Mary–conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then there were years when nothing in the scriptures is known about you, but only in the Urantia book. Then–in the scriptures–when you reached the age of thirty you went teaching and healing through acts of exorcism. It’s said that you died and you rose again in order that we might have our sins forgiven by you and a gracious God. Could you speak to me–to us–about what I have just said? Can you fill us in with a greater understanding of what that’s all about? Thank you for hearing me.
Jesus (Understanding Jesus’ life)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son. Obviously I can’t recapitulate my entire life (Michael chuckles) here this evening. But you do realize that the Urantia book’s most comprehensive story of my life was very definitely given to your planet, your human races, with Mother Spirit’s and my blessing, indeed under our auspices. Further, while the whole book was given by many different orders of celestial beings, there is a spiritual unity among this family that is utterly inconceivable to human beings. There is but little in your experience outside this book to suggest how unique personal beings of so many kinds can be so spiritually united and consistent across so many different human categories.
It was at my baptism by my cousin John that I regained my consciousness of being a Creator Son of God–Michael, and literally had to go off for a while–not, as the Bible says, to wrestle with the forces of evil–but just to decide what to do. I had received the full blessings of my Father as to my own personal achievement of oneness with Him within me. Though still human I now had it within my power to end my life and become fully Michael at any moment I so chose. So one of my first decisions was to continue on as a human being, to have a physical body of flesh and blood and feel the dust between my toes. Now, with some feeling of being hundreds of billions of years old, my son, I could appreciate all the more what it was to be a human for such a short time–as one of you.
I find myself unable to express completely through transmitters like this what I feel about human life–this life each of you has been given by God. I can only suggest you stretch your spirit to imagine what it is to be the Creator Son of millions of inhabited evolutionary worlds across those expanses of time. Think of all the ways Mother Spirit and I share each of our children’s lives with them, and always have. And still!–I needed to have a human life myself to fully appreciate what a gift of God’s it is–that you have. All of my teaching was, and all the Teaching Mission is these days, is to help you appreciate and be thankful for His gift of life. His gift of you is so much like our Father himself, incomprehensibly complete each moment, and yet capable of growing and evolving forever.
As for the question of sin, my son, again stretch your imagination to experience as best as you can within yourself, that you are utterly transparent to us and to our Father. We’ve said how enormous these souls of yours are, being not only the life you know in your memories, but also your life as God sees it, and records it, and preserves it sacrosanct for you. For most of you at this stage of planetary and personal evolution, you will spend some time on the Mansion Worlds to come before your consciousness–the conscious part of your personality–can grow large enough to encompass your soul. Yet some day, my son, you will become one with the presence of God within you, and you will be able to say, rightfully: I and my soul are one. This puts the question of sin in its proper perspective and proportions.
Never forget that you start here. These are the nurseries of time and space. You are an experiential being who has to experience through trial and error–personal and vicarious alike–just about everything. So keep the question of sin in that perspective and just do the best that you can to lean in the right direction. Sin is something you more or less outgrow by developing your God-given potential ability to tune into Him, along with your growing freewill power to choose. Your soul is not only complete–of all your sins and all your goodness, but can continue to be replete forever. You keep adding to it; nothing is lost–however the proportions change. But there is no end to this either, my son, so I’ll stop here and ask if there are any further details you want me to go into.
Student: No…no. I want to thank you–Michael–Jesus–dear friend. Thank you.
MICHAEL: Thank you, my son. I have appreciated your work all these years. I am delighted you have found so much of my peace and, with such a generous heart, have shared it with my children.
Student: Good evening, Michael. Thank you for your love and support. My daughter and I are getting 10:10 prompts, and I wonder if you could tell me what they mean?
Angelic Contact (Numerical prompts)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son. I’m a little hesitant to ascribe some specific meaning to these occurrences, especially with your digital clocks facing you from every appliance and computer screen. Here we’re looking at the numinous, creative power of your unconscious mind that, once an association is made and you give meaning to these numerical happenings, can begin to find these seemingly meaningful moments in a wide variety of combinations, simply because you value them. So there is not necessarily some extra-personal, objective meaning to them, some prompt from the spiritual community.
This caution is similar to the effects I’ve suggested you avoid expecting in your stillness practice by meditating for some specific feeling which your mind can produce, even feelings of lightness and wellbeing. It could be you really need to experience the opposite feelings of deep concern and puzzlement as most truly reflecting your present situation. You always have to be cautious about ascribing some meaning and value to something you may be unconsciously creating on your own, hence our many lessons on how this creativity of your spirit is incessant and all-pervasive. As with these numerical seeming-prompts, your mind is constantly finding what it’s looking for, even though you may experience it as of some kind of spontaneous, extra-personal origin.
Rather, let me suggest you use the feeling of being spiritually prompted to have a little mini-meditation. Rather than ascribe some specific previous meaning to these occurrences, stop and think: OK, Father, here I am. What have You got for me?–this time. And then be open to that. This way you are giving your mind and spirit an opportunity to realize something that is most appropriate to that unique moment, and not necessarily tied to some previous assignment of meaning and value. Does this seem to make sense?
Student: Yes, it does indeed. It lightens up the whole thing quite a bit–very good suggestion. I’ll do it. Thank you, Father Michael.
MICHAEL: These little mini-meditations can be very delightful. Mother Spirit and I do appreciate it when you take a moment or two to say, Hi–to us as well. There is always something unique we too have to give you in each unique moment that is not necessarily tied to anything in the past. And so we tickle your creative nature to experience what you invited I talk about this evening–appreciating this moment never happened before, and will never, ever happen again. So use your little numerical prompts to explore and expand your worship. And be in my peace.
Student: Dear Father Michael, as you know, I’m continually operating with people who are unaware of, or don’t wish to know, anything about the truth of you except from a literal translation of the Bible. Yet they are beautiful people–serving and loving and caring for others. Is it my responsibility to urge them into new ways of thinking? Or is it better to encourage them in the ways that they’re thinking already? I don’t know if I should try–to pull them out of their understanding, or to just love them the way they are. I am so glad to be here with you.
Evangelism (Enlightening others)
MICHAEL: Yes, my daughter. Let me suggest: all of the above. You ask about your responsibility and you’ve probably noticed how Mother Spirit and I like to tease you with separating that word into response-ability–the ability to respond. As with all abilities, it’s a soul-growth, something you acquire by doing. So the first thing is to be responsive to them. It’s how you actually practice what I preached. It’s all I ever did. Let your own soul, your own fullness, your own generosity of spirit come out. It might surprise you, as much as it’s welcome by them, as being most appropriate to that particular moment. It means you’ve really been listening and taking in what they’ve just said, and are responding to it.
In other words, it’s nothing you can plan and figure out the tactics and strategy of–far ahead, on some campaign to enlighten others. Rather, just be your fullest self you can muster. Listen and learn, as I did. Share your unique vision and interpretation of whatever!–the Bible, my life, some recipe for goodies–whatever it is in your life. It’s this sharing that is the essence of the divine nature.
If it still seems folks could use some further enlightenment, be delicate. If you love them, you’ll tease and keep it playful and joyful. First fill your own soul with our Father; you’ll be going beyond any need you might have to prove anything. Be your own spontaneous, creative self and you’ll be giving them a feeling of my life. This is all I ever did, and I cherished every minute of it. Like you, my daughter, I was able to perceive what marvelous, marvelous creations each person was–and still is. Reflect a little of that back at them, especially for those poor-in-spirit, anxious and hungry souls who have never quite felt that they really exist, but that their very being is in question. That really hurts. So be there for them that they might have some feeling of themselves. Reflect their completeness right back at them. And have fun. Does this seem like a fun thing to do?
Student: Oh yes–yes, very much so.
MICHAEL: It’s living on the edge of constantly letting go and suspending any notions of how people should be in the fuller, more immediate perception of what infinities they are. Your well-meant notions of what could be better will still be in here, only now in the correct position and proportion to God’s creation. Then let your own bubbling-over spiritual generosity fill in any gaps between the two. Tickle and tease; really see and hear. And be in my peace.
Student: Hello, Michael. There’s a group of colleagues and friends who are putting together a plan to acquire land to build a kind of new Eden, called the Garden Project. It’s connected with your teachings and the Urantia book, and the Teaching Mission. It just got underway and seems like a good thing. I wanted to share this with you and the folks, and wondered if you had any thoughts we could use as we inaugurate this project?
Garden Project (Starting a new Eden)
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, might I suggest the relationship I had with my apostles and disciples. As you are with each other, so you will appear to those around you. This is how you will be perceived and inevitably evaluated. With the right attitude among you, the right relationship, irrespective of whether you have land and a single center, or many locations, it is the living relationship of what you create and share among yourselves that is the essence of what you are trying to do. I think you know this. This is both the origin and the extent of what a new Eden would be all about–how you see each other and what you are capable of sharing. That’s all we did.
I think I mentioned before that the folks of that day were rather serious. There wasn’t that much open laughter and gaiety, but it was the deep, inexpressible joy we had together that enabled them to carry on after I left them. And so you will all–even in the midst of your sharing, my son–know an alone-ness that–not to be spreading the ironies out too thick–that alone-ness is the very triumph over loneliness. It’s the ability, when among yourselves, to be yourself, and let each other be, that is another hallmark of true spirit. So you have my blessings. I think you know you are biting off quite an adventure, as did my followers. It can get very uncertain at times. But you have that expression: no guts, no glory. The need for courage is never far away. So by all means, carry on. Mother Spirit and I will be right beside you.
Student: I know you will, Michael. Thank you for your words and your blessing.
MICHAEL: Thank you, my son. That’s the next step, so take it bravely. And be in my peace.
Student: Good evening, Michael, I really appreciated your words about teaching and being around people that you’re trying to improve your relations with–doing that kind of work. My question is with regards to people who insert a wall between leaders and followers, who were brought up and taught that you and the apostles and disciples had a structure where, when you were alive, they needed you to be the leader, and then, when you passed on, you expected them to elect a leader. Part of the question arises when an individual begins a project that involves spiritual work and the uplifting of the planet. They take on a leadership position and identify with others following them, which leads to a confusion as to what is the most important part, and who directs it, and how. This is why I really appreciated that part about teasing and playfulness, because people take so much of what they do with so much self-importance. I just wanted to know your thoughts on all the ways to structure things–what’s the better way?
Leadership (Structure V.S. spontaneous leadership)
MICHAEL: If you think of religion, my daughter, as being solely the relationship of an individual to God, then it exists within every individual spontaneously, however it can be developed and brought into consciousness. Then you have the socialization of this inner experience, the sharing of this experience, and the question of how to organize this sharing when you have more than a few folks around.
Also spontaneously, people will recognize leadership in whatever particular situation. In more primitive and martial–life and death–situations, as in warfare where you are confronted with others who are deliberately trying to surprise you, often leadership just emerges. It’s who can have the right idea in that circumstance, under that pressure and consequence. But very quickly it gets into structures–hierarchies–and there are dozens of ways they’ve been put together by age and seniority, birthright, meritocracy, sheer power. There are also the trends of people to try to capture their own and others’ living relationships with God in structures you call dogma, forgetting that once you put something into language it is by its very nature time-limited and -conditioned. The challenge becomes one of balancing these two things: structure and spontaneity; authority and responsibility. A lot of your current economic troubles have come about because you’ve had such a breakdown of this balance.
Once you have a formalized hierarchy as in a company or a church, a school, a government–any kind of organization–some recognition of the innate, spontaneous creativity of each individual is needed in every leader. If he or she is wise they’ll find a way to make everyone comfortable, and invite free-wheeling discussions of ideas, so all that creativity can come forth. As you just said, this suffers enormously when someone gets carried away identifying with his or her position and literally smothers–stamps out–the creativity of those underneath.
So think about these two kinds of leadership. One spontaneously arises in any group of people, and this can be quite different in different situations. How can you encourage this in the more rigid hierarchies of authority and responsibility? I’ll mention again the notion of transparency that is finding some political currency now, how essential that is that all members in the hierarchy ideally have a full appreciation and knowledge of what each level is doing, and how, in political realms, that is so often deliberately muddied over–hidden and misrepresented. It’s that other great truth you intuited, my daughter, of how much power there is in hiding, in attitude, what one is really doing. This is where the follower has the responsibility to do his and her best to make certain the leader continues to earn that position. Does this help you distinguish between spontaneous leadership and organized ones?
Student: Yes, it helps me understand how leaders need to foster the creative abilities of people; and the followers’ responsibility. Everyone needs to be wholly in the process to have a truly creative organization. It’s the balance, the interplay between them.
MICHAEL: As we’ve pointed out, your modern media is gradually but steadily bringing this out. The amount of transparency now is so enormous–gigantic even compared to any time in the past, or only a few decades ago. People have the power; they always have had–potentially; but they haven’t always known it. So ponder that a while, and be in my peace.
Student: Thank you.
Student: Yes, Father Michael. I haven’t any questions but I do have immense gratitude for being here and participating in these gatherings–hearing different people express what is in their hearts, in their minds, in their souls. I am very thankful that you see all of us as complete, and indescribable–for we are beyond description. I’ve no desire to be a follower, nor a leader!–but to be myself, to follow the promptings of my own innate wisdom.
I was reading in the Urantia book about our Adjusters, and I’m really grateful that they never fail. And that I’m open in stillness to the promptings of God within. And that’s the only way I can live and survive in the middle of the chaos all around me. I see things so differently from those I work for, who are suffering from seeing things…so mired in points of view that lead nowhere.
I do value my alone-ness. And I’m never bored. I value our relationship. So…that’s it.
Creation (The purpose of creation]
MICHAEL: Well, thank you, my loyal son. We have indeed shared a lot, and enjoyed each other’s company very much all these years. Mother Spirit and I are delighted you feel comfortable being so naked with us. As I said earlier, this enormous soul of yours is something you have to grow into. It is after all a creation of God’s presence in you. Your Thought Adjuster, this Mystery Monitor, this individualized presence of God, is another gift to you along with yourself. What the two of you together are creating is, in a sense, the purpose of all of this. The Supreme Being is just the oversoul of all the personal beings out here in time and space. So I appreciate what you have discovered.
It’s been Mother Spirit’s and my discovery right along with you. It’s why, if you’ll allow me to speak for our Father, it’s why He creates autonomous, self-willed beings that, however you are always within His existential parameters, you are capable of surprising Him experientially for He also experiences you as you experience yourself, moment to moment. In this way there is a transcendent reality of His happening here that we can only begin to approach. This experience of all of ours, this constant arriving as who we are, is the purpose. This completeness can go on to be replete, and evolve and expand forever. So thank you, my son. Carry on.
Student: It’s like love flowing into love. So: thank you.
MICHAEL: With a stubbed toe thrown in now and then. (Yeah–laughing) To keep us humble. Be in my peace.
Do you have any questions or comments, my son? You’ve not yet spoken this evening.
Student: No… I’m alright.
MICHAEL: I’m glad you’re here to feel this Merkaba, this group consciousness we’re able to create together, of which I’m only another part. I bid you be in my peace as you go on with your life. It may not be something you can always be conscious of. It does require faith. You literally give me reality within you. By your very ability to ignore Mother Spirit and me, your acknowledging us is your gift to us. We are right here within you and beside you always.
So, dear friends, I’m glad I can be at least this much in a human body and with you this way. My life with you as Jesus was such a treasure. As you know, it marked a kind of graduation for me. It literally changed my existential being, my whole relationship with everything–even with my Father.
This too is essentially what you are doing. You are starting out here as a little bloody bundle of life, acquiring first a feeling of a body–not all that comfortable to begin with, and then too a mind long, long before you become self-consciously aware you are thinking. And then spirit as you discriminately value things, as Mother Spirit’s dimensions of worship and wisdom find response in your childhood mentality. We witness this moment as your Thought Adjuster takes up residence within you, and actually begins to inform your thinking. In advanced stages of maturity you can literally have a conscious relationship with your Father Fragment, but never forget that this influence is always here. All your life some of those great ideas that came right out of the blue–especially when you so desperately needed them–that idea, sometimes that ideal–that was your Father giving you a little nudge.
Home (The way home)
MICHAEL: So this very discrete, individualized presence of God within you has always been a part of your life–right from your earliest memories. As D just said, His presence is pure spirit, absolutely infallible. This is a holy presence that knows the way home in each moment you choose to pause in your conscious life and say, Hello, Father. What have you got for me? His presence is the great guide that will lead you to Him in all actuality someday. You carry this home base within you, yet there is that far distant, transcendent home you will be led to some day across the universes of time and space, across the billion worlds of Havona. This is your potential, and it’s real. It’s here and now, and it too is complete–just waiting the opportunity. Mother Spirit sends you her love, and I bid you: be in my peace. Good evening.