2011-03-21-Sense of Proportion
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Sense of Proportion
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 Dialogue
3.2.2 Human Condition
o 3.3 Closing
Topic: Sense of Proportion
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, Welcome once again. Once again we gather together to hear your good words, and we’ve especially enjoyed your last few lessons on our current world situation which you characterize as a Spiritual Renaissance. It’s all the topsy-turvy, up-side-down kinds of things happening in so many aspects of our lives—social, economic, and political. All these different aspects are being re-examined and re-evaluated.
However difficult this is for each of us as individuals, you’ve noted it is both necessary and sufficient to keep the world evolution ongoing. So with this background of inexorable planetary evolution in mind, we can better accept, maybe even welcome these profound changes going through the world. We thank you for outlining this spiritual background against which some of these things make more sense. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, this is Michael. As always: I enjoy your welcome. Mother Spirit and I are happy to, as you say, outline some of the background against which these world changes are coming about. Mother Spirit talked in her last lesson here about a peace dividend that, as the world settles down and there’s no longer as much warfare as in the past, a certain kind of individualism can begin to flourish. There’s no longer a need for such a concentration of authority because people were face to face with imminent warfare.
A sense of proportion
You understand, my children, this is all very relative. One line from your Urantia book we love to mention over and over again, and that is the statement that a hallmark of wisdom–a sure sign of individual wisdom within each one of you–is an ever-growing sense of proportion. For so often in your discussions on various subjects; so many times it’s just pure principles that are put forth and people more or less argue right past each other. It’s up to you to assign the right proportions to each of these statements, each of these arguments.
This encourages me to challenge you to do your best now there are so many points of view available to you from the far left to the far right on social issues and economic theory, political ties and viewpoints, all this constant balancing between private and public policy in all the upheaval going through the world today. It’s up to you to assign the correct proportions to these often very strident and over-stated positions. This is where you have to develop and build your own wisdom, your own broad reach of understanding based on the many contradictory facts as they are given. This is the part you play and, as I said in a Lightline teleconference, this is not what you might think of as some kind of superficial compromise between points of view. It’s a genuine synthesis that depends upon your own creativity to come up with your own point of view. It’s your own comprehensiveness–what it takes in a spiritual, all-inclusive way, to comprehend all that you’ve taken in.
This is the peace dividend, part of which is a greater transparency allowing a greater depth of viewpoint. You students of history know this is generally not allowed as long as you have a concentration of power and authority which has the ability then to censor all conflicting viewpoints, a censorship that’s an integral part of a society girded for war. So this transparency is a big part of the peace dividend, but only because it’s being demanded by the individuals in society. This cessation of censorship, or even now what you call on a more subtle level the political correctness of one viewpoint or another; now you can use this yourselves as a way testing the waters. When you tune in to some commentator you can feel for how much they themselves invite you to check out opposing viewpoints or, on the contrary, how much they imply that theirs is the only truth, the only way of seeing things. You can very quickly get a sense for what we call ideologues, commentators who can only present one viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. In other words, my children, you yourselves can sense for the wisdom of whatever commentator you are listening to.
The present Renaissance
This is the wealth that is being presented now, this variety, this wonderful variety of viewpoint, this burgeoning, expanding marketplace of ideas. With your more modern communications this is what is really opening up the world, just as a previous Renaissance came about when more and more of the world’s fundamental religious texts were for the first time being printed so that the middle class folks could afford a copy of the Bible, or the Koran, or the Upanishads. When all these religious texts could be printed they were no longer the exclusive possession of an ecclesiastical cast. This led directly to the Renaissance and, if you are familiar, led to quite a contention like some famous examples of the early scientists conflicting with orthodoxy, and then were either burned at the stake or put under house arrest to be examined by the Inquisition because they were daring to proclaim as fact certainly demonstrable things that went against orthodoxy.
So this is the essence of a Renaissance, a rebirth, an expansion of shared knowledge, and it can’t help but conflict with any kind of orthodoxy that is founded upon a deliberate obscuring of some fundamental facts. As Mother Spirit said, some of the long established religions and political organizations, the nation states of the world are now having their populations demanding more freedom, freedom of expression so they can communicate directly with each other. And for all the unsettled nature of this conflict we ask you to see the enormous outburst of individual creativity that is coming about, first of all because folks have greater access to each other. But then also as some of the pretension of these orthodox positions; some of these pretensions are seen through with an increasing transparency. Another part of the equation of this balance, this shift of power, is that individuals are thrown back upon themselves more and more, especially all the individuals who depended upon a certain kind of blind belief in some system, some political party, some orthodoxy, are suddenly faced with having to decided for themselves what is true and what is not.
Here again Mother Spirit and I can only advise and encourage you always and in every situation like this when you yourself are confronted with some startling new facts, especially if they are challenging some of your longest held beliefs, always ask yourself: what is true here. You need to acquire the ability to assess things in and of themselves regardless of their origin. The origin of some particular fact will always be part of it, certainly, but you can trust your own inner sense of evaluation to examine and evaluate something in and of itself–which is what Mother Spirit and I have suggested you do with our lessons all along. Evaluate what we say with how it rings true within you, whether you feel we or anyone else is encouraging you to go ahead and examine what we say from all different points of view. Compare us to anything else you care to, to all of what you’ve known before.
Be you own, independent person)
This is what these times are calling upon you: to be ever more your own person, to not only know what you believe, what you accept as fact, as true, as meaningful, but even beyond that: why you do. How do you know something is true? Do you know its opposite? You’re faced with a plethora of viewpoints. Your society now is going through some very tumultuous economic times, and yet you are faced with economists, professional men who can totally contradict each other. In such a situation we recommend you just stay open, and so not only know what you agree, shall we say, with one school of thought more than others, but why you do. What are the conflicting points of view? There’s no limit, my children, to what your mind can absorb and understand.
This is what is required as the world progresses, as the world matures and grows out of its infancy of depending upon others to be some kind of life-long parents and tell them what to do. And this is happening. Mother Spirit and I can see an enormous glow, an enormous spiritual glow as you look around your world and can truly believe that those totalitarian forms of government are truly diminishing. More and more you are having true democracies and republican forms of government all over the world. Since one of the most fundamental forms of warfare has always been the seizure of land; ever since the end of the Second World War and shortly thereafter, the various boundaries of the counties of the world have been more and more stabilized. There’s not been the raw warfare simply for the seizure of territory. And still with almost half the world in a state of relative illiteracy, the more modern forms of telecommunications are enabling even illiterate people to converse and, as you say, keep up with the news both on the local and international level.
So welcome all these peace dividends, all this decentralization of authority, all this individualization and localization of human life. We have to disagree somewhat with the old saying that to be born in interesting times is a kind of curse, though we realize it’s a humorous, mock-cynical kind of thing. We say rather, realize just how blessed you are to be living in such a tumultuous times.
So right in your meditations, think about these things. Think about the necessity for what is happening. There is truly an inexorable planetary evolution taking place, catching up with all your neighboring planets that weren’t so disenfranchised from Mother Spirit’s and my more divine ways. The world is truly experiencing a rebirth of wonder and an extension of freedom, a feeling more and more of mutual respect and honoring everyone’s unique personality. Welcome to the Renaissance, my dears. Now if there are any questions or comments.
Student: Yes, Michael, this is David. I was listening to a commentator reciting a letter received from Japan from someone who went through the devastating earthquake and tsunami there, and she starts off the letter by saying how lovely it is to peel away the non-essentials and to come from a place of pure instinct and intuition and the desire to care not only for oneself but also for those in need around her. And I think that’s what’s going on, the peeling away of the non-essentials–if we’re open to doing so. She also mentioned how people are now helping each other, being a part of each other’s’ lives out of necessity, and are also grateful for being a part of each other’s lives in this moment of devastation.
She said this is how it used to be many years ago where people had their doors open and people would come in and out and share and stuff. She also noticed how because there’s no cars how quiet it is at night, like it used to be; how she could see the stars where before, because of the smog and factory smoke, she could barely see the stars. Everything is so pristine and alive and alert. She also even commented on how there are people who have nothing, completely nothing, they lost everything, and then there are some who able to put out their laundry and futons to dry. And then there’s another person walking their dog, and there’s people sitting around a fire having tea and talking about what’s going on and what to do next, and living in the moment. Then she walked back to her shack and someone left food for her and something to drink, and she doesn’t know who left it.
But this is getting back to our, in a sense, peeling away our non-essentials. And you mentioned individuality; I think you also are expressing the responsibility for our individuality, for our awareness of the greater picture of all this, that yes, we are individuals and we have the ability to tap into this innate wisdom, the wisdom is of our Father. We’re able to share this wisdom and live this wisdom. So that’s what really struck me, the way she embraced the idea of peeling away the non-essentials, and what’s important and what isn’t. And that’s what I think is going on. So: thank you.
Reactions to catastrophe
MICHAEL: Yes, my son. Isn’t it an ironic shame that sometimes it takes a devastation to allow individuals, to give them the freedom to be nice. (Student: To be human) Well, unfortunately a kind of materialism is all too human, as least on this planet. You’ve gone several hundred thousand years now without some high spiritual being literally on the surface, for most planets do not go through such an extended period of warfare that requires such a concentration of authority. Think of your Second World War and the millions of people who perished not only directly by the warfare but just by being displaced and starving to death or dying of exposure.
Consider the enormous materialism you use as a way of judging, a way of evaluating your life. That pure materialism is such a fraud, you notice, when all of a sudden so many of your material possessions are suddenly gone. It almost takes this to realize then the value of this living body you have, these fantastic senses you have just to appreciate the quiet, and how marvelous the stars can be, what it means to sit beside an open fire with a few close friends. The trick is realizing that while at the same time you are a physical being–it’s almost a hallmark of a human being, you are as well a spiritual being–to have a personality, an unchanging, potentially eternal core to your being. Yet here you are in this body, and you’re depending upon this body for consciousness itself, for experience.
As long as you are both it’s necessary to have an orientation towards all-inclusiveness and to be able to get that sense of proportion, that realization that, past certain necessities such as food and shelter, the things which add to your soul, the things you will carry into eternity, are literally each other, these other human beings with whom you share life. To be aware of that fact, to truly appreciate each other, does not always call for this catastrophe. You can choose to devote your life to each other. You can choose to have this as your main source of entertainment and enjoyment. And there is also an irony here insofar as the very technological devices that put you in greater and greater communication with each other through your Twitters and your blogs and your Facebook and all that sort of communication; if you are not careful you can raise whole generations who are missing the eyeball-to-eyeball adventure of meeting persons face to face, the enjoyment and wealth of experience–personally.
So yes, my son, I agree one hundred percent with the letter you were quoting. It’s just, like I say, a sad irony that sometimes it takes a catastrophe to remind people of that sense of proportion between their material things and the other human beings in their life.
Student: Yeah, there’s a sense of balance that we keep things at an even keel so to speak, and when one hears like you say materialism, or greed, or self-deification, gets out of balance with spirit, then these kinds of things happen unfortunately. And like you say it’s unfortunate that people have to go through such consternation and anxiety and scraping by with nothing—losing everything to have that—if they are open to doing that. There are some who just can’t handle it and go shoot people, or go into addiction, or commit suicide. So even in those moments people have the responsibility of how they act. Maybe one more thing you can comment on. I’m wondering what true security is. I’m tired of hearing stupid, fear-driven statements from our leaders.
The real and the ideal
MICHAEL: Yes, my son. You’ve been here so many years, you recall our lessons on the human condition, how we seem to have one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat and always caught between the real and ideal, and the proportions, a sense of proportions there because you do need both. You have to have some real sense of what is true as of this moment, and you need to have a good sense of history of how this situation came about. At the same time, by tuning in to your self and allowing those spiritual influences within you to speak of the way to go, the way to increase the happiness and well-being of everyone–those ideals; you’re lost if you try to live in either one of these exclusively.
Another phrase from the Urantia book to keep in mind is the fact everybody starts out from scratch. Every child that is born into the world has to be civilized, what Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were objecting to so severely. Consider that statement that the endowing of immature, imperfect beings, as you all start out; the endowing of these immature, imperfect beings with even a relative degree of freedom leads inevitably to tragedy. No one gets everything right all the time to begin with. What you see when you look at all these individuals you encounter, and try to see them as individuals, then you see distinct personalities struggling to learn, struggling to understand what’s happening to them.
Your world is at such a stage now where, because you haven’t had a continuous spiritual presence, a distinct personal being, or even an Adam and Eve, a material Son and Daughter now for forty thousand years or so, you see these extremes on your world. While you are living in outer space, and you’re exchanging living organs from one body to another, you still have Stone Age tribes. You have almost all stages of civilization still existing on the planet. And so you have very primitive warfare. Not too many years ago you had a World War where millions and millions souls perished in the most ungodly, nigh unbelievable ways. Think of bombing large cities and those condemned to, shall we say, die slowly of a fractured leg, buried under rubble, the kind of torture you wouldn’t even think of inflicting on another.
This is where you are, my son. This is the state of the world. You have, again, nigh incomprehensible concentrations of power in your armed forces. How much of the world’s resources are wrapped up in, say, one aircraft carrier? But that is the real, and you can just do your best to embrace it, understand it, and know it well. At the same time you personally can just do your best to lean toward those ideals you hold. Keep one foot in each one, my son. It’s the only way for you to contribute what you yourself are able to create.
So keep your heart open. Keep your ability to feel. Keep striving to understand, first of all, just what is real, and how did it get this way. Because that is an infinity, is it not? (Yes) And yet at the same time keep striving toward those ideals, first in your own day to day living to get some sense of what’s possible, but then also as you are able to transform your own life: to be this synthesis, this creative result day by day. For you too, my son, are still a bit immature and imperfect. But that is the starting point of all of this. You have all eternity ahead of you.
Student: Thank you. I am committed, as you know. It is amazing.
MICHAEL: There’s a lot of enormous power, in a sense, up in the air. All these world leaders with such enormous power as their responsibility cannot just suddenly drop it. You have to slowly, ever so slowly and carefully back it down. There’s so much at stake.
(Living men and women)
All you can conceive of: societies, and economics, and just raw military power: it all ultimately resides in living men and women. There is no debt owed anyone in all your most fantastically elaborate financial systems that does not come back to some living person. All your public, governmental organizations, and all your arguments now between public and private realms: it’s all living people. All the laws, the thousands of books full of laws, and contracts, and agreements: it’s all in the hands and the minds and in the hearts and souls of living people. That’s the reality, and all these living souls must themselves work out the way forward.
Yes, there is a kind of impersonal planetary evolution pushing within each one, for each individual, whether they know it or not, has these great spiritual influences doing their best to whisper, to entice, to tease, to suggest their next ideal step to take. Yet every one of these human beings has their own relative free will. That is your world, my son. That’s what it is. And it is a magnificent, magnificent undertaking that was essentially God’s choice to begin with: this idea of individual spiritual beings, personal beings, each with their own unique personality and outlook, realization, and life to live.
Feel for that spiritual glow of all these individuals who cannot be in any way summed up. (Michael laughs) That’s the World Soul, my son, and it’s truly an infinity to you. That’s why Mother Spirit and I humbly acknowledge your creativity. So: carry on, and be in my peace. Good evening.