2013-09-04-All That Is Not-You
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: All That Is Not-You
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: All That Is Not-You
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, here we are again, and it seems like we’re right in the middle of that mysterious “200 percent-ness of life” you tease us with. For in one way it seems it’s been a long, long time since we were here with you this way, yet it’s been only a few weeks.
I guess once this notion of a mystery enters our minds, it starts to color everything. For with our own souls–our own record of our life’s experiences–sometimes events that were decades ago can have a sudden immediacy where we can get the full flavor of some previous time.
We can begin to believe that a presence of God is co-author of these experiences and is holding them for us, however it’s up to us to tune in to who and what we were once upon a time. And so we thank you for pointing out these “little infinities” that surround and encompass us, and we’re sitting right in the middle of. We thank you for these many lessons and look forward to you giving us another one. Amen.
MICHAEL: Good evening, my children. This is Michael, and Mother Spirit and I are glad to be here mysteriously once again, for we do acknowledge this is somewhat beyond your capacity to understand fully. But then again, my dear ones, so is your heart beating in your chest right now. There’s even some mysterious connection you have with this body of yours. We are all distinct beings beyond space and time, unchanging personal beings in the midst of everything else changing. Yet you’ve only to wiggle your fingers to notice how intimately you are connected with this space-time realm.
Yes, Mother Spirit and I do perceive and relate with dozens and dozens of realities that are still beyond you. But they too await your discovery and your most intimate interaction, just as you have with your bodies now. There’s no end to this kind of–let me put it poetically–the number of infinities you will encounter, and come to inhabit, and, in time, call your home. Because as mysterious as Total Reality is to you now, and to a degree always will be: this is your home. It was meant for you as much as any other personal being.
All that is not-you
Tonight I would like to talk about your attitude towards all that is not-you. As your Urantia Book notes, life is not only what is going on inside you–all these biological things happening–and even your mind which is, as we’ve taught so many times, not strictly related to your brain and nervous system activity. You actually house/in-corporate Mother Spirit and myself, and a presence of God. And as we’ve taught, your own creativity–your own personal spirit and creativity–is in a broad overlapping area with the presence of God within you, and what this so-called Thought Adjuster can provide–actually thoughts right in your mind.
Inside are all your biological functions, plus all these mental functions, and then your own creative spirit that Mother Spirit augments. That’s why her Adjutants, her dimensions of being that you are living in and in-corporate; that’s why they are called Adjutants of Mind/Spirit because you have your own creative spirit as part of your mind. And finally you have the transcendent personality that you actually are, a creation of God’s.
Yet as your Urantia Book points out, life for all personal beings–even Mother Spirit and I, Creator Son and Daughter of God: life is not only what is happening inside you. It’s what’s happening between you and your whole surroundings, your situation. You do acknowledge this with the saying that your inner life—especially if you’re not really tuned into it—is “merely existing.” This is not “really living.” Really living involves all those others, all those other fascinating folks all around you–all your loves and your friendships, even some of your disagreements and obstinate reactions. All of this: this is really living.
You can all feel the spiritual value of this insofar as you are coming in contact with other unique beings. If you’re really paying attention, sooner or later you are confronted with the fact that they too are what we call little walking infinities. For most of you, it takes a while to get used to this fact. Sadly, some of you never do. But it is a fact that other people are somewhat ungraspable, all the more so if they are not too much in control of themselves. However: this is the essence of your God-created personalities.
Once you totally let this affect you, once you totally accept the fact that you cannot control–absolutely control–or even finally know another–not in the way God can, or even Mother Spirit and myself can–there’s a certain tipping point. There’s a certain getting beyond the panic at this uncontrollable-ness. Maybe just by breathing, one breath at a time, as you look into another’s eyes and accept their infinity. Here again you can find yourself at home. You can accept that this is a living, God-created reality looking you in the eye, and take some comfort in that; even take some delight in that and be truly thankful there is this deep mystery in personal reality.
It’s not that we’re mystery-mongers like a little boy with a new flashlight in the middle of the day, looking around for dark places so he can use it. The mystery is real. Out of this mystery comes what your Urantia Book calls the Unqualified Absolute. There is something absolutely here–here and now in each moment–that is unqualified because this is just another name, my dear ones, for eternity—infinite potential. There’s some unending absolute reality that is only qualified in this eternal now as it becomes each unique moment in time. It too comes down—now qualified–and then becomes the past.
This is absolute because there is no end to this. So much of it comes across to you in your human order as chance, as that which you simply cannot anticipate, even driving to work tomorrow morning with all those other folks out there–all these interactions by the thousands.
Still, this is your home. Reality in its total encompassing is a creation of God’s, and no being’s less than that. We all live and have our being in his parameters of reality. In this sense, he does know the end from the beginning. Yet too here you are with your free will, and not even God chooses to know what you will do next. That much is up to you. That much is up to all the trillions of trillions of personal beings throughout creation.
This is a large part of why a good half of your reality–for all your scientific understanding of continuity and cause-and-effect–at least half of your reality never happened before and will never happen again. So, yes, this is the 200-percent-ness of reality you can feel, and enjoy and marvel at, and wonder, and get some real sense of humility in the enormity of it all. And be blessed then that you can feel it. You can perceive it, and be thankful, and feel at home.
So welcome the wonderful reality of feedback. Be outward going. Be dynamic. Be forthcoming from yourself to investigate this reality around you. This is true open-mindedness. It’s not some passive thing. It’s a very dynamic, totally committed thing on your part. It’s not only welcoming what reality has to give you, it’s seeking it out. It’s wondering about it. It’s being curious. It’s one of your greatest powers–curiosity.
Be open to others. Be especially open to your effect upon them. Be open to what they can give you back of yourself, more than any mirror in your bathroom–to comb your hair or put on your makeup in the morning.
You all instinctively know this. This is what true friends are all about. They can let you know when you are overstepping yourself and “putting something on them”–getting caught up in your own projections of who you think they should be. Your dearest friends can let you know that, no, they are not quite that. They are something else. They are themselves.
They have so much to give you. This is so much a part of your soul, all these dear ones you’ve known and have shared so much with. So be open to this feedback of what reality has for you because, again: your life is not only inside you, and what you would like to see, what you would hope to see. It’s what it is. It’s what they are. It’s what God has created. And it’s your encompassing. It’s your home.
Now if you have any questions or comments this evening, this is my delight.
Student: Michael, you talk about this is our home. But in the Bible, home–when people talk about going home, they talk about going to Paradise. Which home is more real, eternal home or this home here on earth.
Being, feeling at home
MICHAEL: Yes, my dear. Let me answer this by saying you live in an eternal now. This is your home, and this is your home now. When you arrive at Paradise some unfathomable time, some eternity from now–for you, that will be your home.
The critical thing here is to be open enough, trusting enough, even strong enough within yourself to feel it this way, because this home does contain things like pain, anxiety, uncertainty, fear. Yet these can be cautions, cautions to keep you alive. They can be functions that help you have a fuller life, being appreciative even of these.
Yet it’s very true that some folks don’t feel at home at all, even to the point of suicide. They reject with all their being as much as they can, what they are experiencing now, and demonstrate a final proof, if you will, of their free will.
But this can be your home now. You can feel it and experience it to its fullest. And this can be Paradise. You can have this foretaste of something absolute, just in the very fact that you are. You absolutely exist, my daughter. Now what do you think of that?
Student: I still don’t know which is more real, this world or Paradise.
MICHAEL: This is real. Reality is this combination of what is. It’s what I talked about this evening. This life you have is your attitude and relationship with everything surrounding you. Even as you’re sitting here now listening to me, this situation has its own reality, but it’s also only as real as you can make it for yourself.
This is your power. This is your response-ability. This is your ability to respond to your reality and to the reality all around you, because you are both absolute. Your whole surrounding, everything, even your own body, is real. And you are real. You are a creation of God’s. But it’s also up to you. It’s your responsibility to realize this, to make it real. That part is yours, both here and some day. Although by the time you get to Paradise and become a citizen there, you will be a full sixth-stage spiritual being, and you will have billions of years of experience in your soul. For you will have crossed all of what you know of as time and space—thousands and thousands of worlds, millions of different beings that you will have met, and related with, and absorbed and incorporated their reality. It’s all real, my dear, but you are co-creating it for you.
Student: Thank you.
You can become more real
MICHAEL: Reality is something you have to kind-of lean in to because part of it is dependent upon you. Definitely your own sense of reality can be a wonderfully progressive thing as you continue to live. You can become ever more real to yourself and more appreciate all this reality surrounding you. So keep growing, my dear. Keep growing in your appreciation of what this “now” holds for you. And be in my peace.
(Long pregnant pause) Do you get the feeling it’s very “now”–now? (group laughter)
Student: Good evening, Michael. I wanted to ask a question that came up for me when I was teaching some young people about stillness, and meditation, and worship. I wonder if you could sort-of–in the light of what you talked about tonight–if you could help me strengthen my idea of what worship is, and what stillness is, and how they’re different from one another? Perhaps, or maybe, they merge into one another. I’m looking for a contemporary language for teaching that. Not to be blunt, but I’m wondering if you could help on that question?
Worship and stillness
MICHAEL: Yes, my son, I’d say worship and stillness are reciprocal functions of each other. Mother Spirit and I have offered one other word in particular for worship, and that is: “appreciation.” Again, it’s a very dynamic, positive, willful thing. Perhaps you decide to do–or at least orient yourself towards–this thing of worship. You point yourself at it; but then you open yourself. This is where the stillness comes in, when you settle down out of your normal kind of relationships with yourself and with the reality around you—the kind of familiarity you need to exercise to get through your days. You take a break from this familiarity and you become still. You still your activity, your outward activity. You sit down and open yourself to what comes next. This is why we say it’s a certain kind of meditation, of which there are so many kinds. This is devotion, setting aside a part of your other activities just to be still.
Then, you can willfully–as much as you can, you can address me, or Mother Spirit, or the presence of God within you. Just think, “Okay, God. Here I am. What have you got for me this time–this now?” This you can do of your own free will. You can point yourself at the next moment, and willfully open yourself as much as you can in addressing all of reality this way.
But then, there’s a kind of further opening in which you relax all of this, you might say, outgoing of your personality to contact other spirit. You relax all that. You settle down out of any kind of willfulness so you can receive, so you can have a genuine conversation. As I said above, you can have this feedback from all that is not-you.
It can even be for a while your own body. What is your body telling you? What is the degree of health you are enjoying, or not? This is all worship. This is all being open to God’s totality, which is all of you and all you’ve ever been, your whole soul. There is a whole world and universe surrounding you. Let it come in. Let whatever! Really have the courage to let whatever wants to suggest itself. Have the courage to be open to it. Even take notes. Have a little note pad there and jot things down, so you keep being open.
For what can come to you then is concerning the totality of your life, the kind of thoughts that God can put into your mind, the way he can adjust your own thoughts ever more towards the totality of everything.
This is the most sincere worship because you are giving your life, these precious moments of your life. This is all you have–is time. You’re giving this time over to be open to whatever can suggest itself, especially those very thoughts that God can put in your mind. It’s also my orientation. My Spirit of Truth is an orientation to being open-minded and accepting this enormous gift that your life and these moments can give you, just by worship, by being thankful. It’s the appreciation of that. It’s appreciating this life you have–that God has given you.
Think: all of these folks–all of the people you’ve ever known; all of the stuff you’ve dealt with–the food you’ve prepared and eaten, the homes you’ve lived in, the vehicles you’ve known. Think of all the places you’ve known–how they felt, how they smelled, how they touched you. Remember walking out on a beach where every grain of sand is somewhat unique; looking up into the starry sky on a clear night and being thrilled with knowing that’s where you’re headed–out there. To know; to encounter and know all of that: this is worship. This is appreciation–just that all this is!
MICHAEL: Does that give you some ideas?
Student: Yeah. Thank you for that beautiful dissertation on those concepts.
Achievements you carry with you
MICHAEL: Stillness is just one good way to this. And, as you know, it’s an achievement that you can carry with you then. This feeling of appreciation is something you can get a real taste of, sometimes, just by being still. But then you take this with you and this appreciation becomes an attitude, a relationship to all this other stuff, and all these other folks. You can begin to see the appreciation, in them, of you–that you are in their life–and maybe you have some tiny, tiny little feeling of how God feels when you begin to appreciate him.
Student: This may be a bit of a side-question, or maybe not. In our teachings and lessons we do refer to simple, plain awareness as a practice. The mindful awareness of the moment is an emphasis that you’ve made. I just wonder if you could add a little bit more about that. Tonight we talked about looking at the now, which can only mean being hyper-aware of the present moment. Buddhism also speaks of mindfulness as a constant practice, you know, moment-by-moment awareness of detail, combined with a panoramic awareness of the big picture. I think they’re onto the same thing, are they not?–I mean, when they speak of mindful awareness?
MICHAEL: Well, yes, my son, this is what I’ve said, that you can sometimes become aware of awareness, aware that you are a conscious being. Other times a great gift is being un-self-aware, unselfconsciously totally wrapped up in what you’re doing whether it’s with another person or just by yourself, scrambling your eggs in the morning: whatever. Self-forgetfulness is that kind of concentration that comes about by letting go of yourself. It’s the courage to fearlessly let yourself go into whatever it is you’re doing, trusting that you will pop out, back into awareness of yourself again. So this mindfulness you talk about is not necessarily always a total self-consciousness. But it can be. It can be both self and other. Some meditations and practices have been called the theory and practice of detachment.
MICHAEL: Mainly, even this detachment is developed by itself at a certain age: you become aware of yourself. It can even seem a curse at times when everyone around you seems so blissfully self-forgetful and lost in the joy of whatever is happening. And here you are being only hyper-aware of yourself being aware of yourself. This enormous detachment can seem like a curse when you are not able to forget yourself, or let yourself alone.
All people go through this and their mindfulness becomes a continuum–if you will–between total self-forgetfulness, and sometimes, in their meditation, being hyper-, hyper-aware they are sitting there practicing pure awareness, not letting anything capture their attention.
A kind of maturity begins to combine these, for there is growth here. It’s what I talked about, the kind of attention you begin to carry with you. That’s why I said that at times it can be a sudden pang of fear when you’re out driving, that can come across as fear or anxiety. But what it’s actually doing is waking you up to the fact you were falling asleep at the wheel. Your mind presented you with some possible accident happening around the next blind curve, that jolted you awake.
Here we’re getting into the whole realm of flexibility, of being able to go back and forth from one mindful extreme to the other. Think of being totally encompassed in, shall we say, cutting through a carrot with a razor-sharp knife in your kitchen–that kind of awareness and carefulness. One moment you’re totally lost in those neat slices of carrot coming off your knife, and in the very next instant you’re reflecting–reflection, like in a mirror–reflecting what you’re doing–maybe remembering some carrot you cut up thirty years ago on some special occasion.
Your soul can come forth–all of your past. Just think of it. Your soul is so enormous, yet it’s giving particular meaning and substance and reality to this changing now. This too is just mindfulness. This is this mind you have. It’s also an encompassing to your personality. It’s you, and yet it’s us too. We’re in here with you. So: welcome this complexity that is resolved into this utterly single thing, moment by moment–simply what’s happening.
Student: Fabulous, Michael. Thank you.
MICHAEL: Well, I hope I’ve given you a sense of just what a strange creature you are. It took God’s imagination to come up with you, and this reality that you are, and that you are encompassed by. It is your home.
Student: Yes, it is our home indeed–something that you created too. We’re grateful for that, Michael. Thank you.
MICHAEL: Well then: you’ve found a good portion of my peace. (long pause)
My daughter, do you have any questions or comments?
Student: I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum on stillness. I mentioned suicide earlier because I lost a friend, a very, very close friend, four weeks ago. I know she suffered tremendously. Her mind would become like an assault rifle, and attack her. I have some familiarity with this kind of state myself, and have been very troubled by her decision to leave.
I wonder what you might offer about that. My heart is still quite heavy; you can see it. This reality that is so beautiful in some moments can be so oppressive in others–that someone would actually choose to leave–in a very elegant way, I might add. She did it in a very beautiful way.
MICHAEL: Yes, my dear, this is one of the deepest mysteries because it calls into question the whole notion of free will. If people were really free, why would they choose–why do some of them choose to do the things they do, either to others or to themselves?
Again, Mother Spirit and I can only offer our deepest respect for the mystery of this because it points out the uniqueness of personality. It’s what people can do to or for each other, from the extremes of the most fantastic love–of giving up their life for another–or the most hideously imaginable things that are going on even now in your world–perversions of delight in hurting another–shall we leave it at that.
Then there’s the inner relationship of a personality to his or her own life, and how life can be experienced as so painful, so empty/painful that suicide does become a valid alternative, simply because it is chosen and carried out.
I can say with all authority you need have no fear for her for, as we’ve taught so many times, people do not yet have enough experience only as a human being to end their existence. They have not yet experienced what does continue beyond death. Those who commit suicide will have to re-appraise, I mean totally re-appraise what they have done, in the light of the Mansion World they will walk out into. For they too shall not dissemble their surprise at what they encounter there; and equally–who and what they have become.
Have no fear for your dear friend’s personality–for what she is, for in the deepest sense, the most profound sense: she will continue. The choice to cease to exist–once you have experienced that rebirth—will, if you choose to continue, stay with you forever throughout all eternity. You will have that moment of reawakening in your soul. There are very few who do choose to cease to exist, having known that reawakening.
The new dawn
For the eternity that is vouchsafed for you in that new dawn does not render this first life of yours meaningless by any means. Rather, it gives it new depths of meaning. And in that new meaning your friend will be able to re-evaluate more truly all of who and what she is. For she will be so much more expanded, you might say, along the inner dimension of spiritual awareness. She’ll have all the greater possibility then of worship, of being thankful to God that she still is. Hopefully this will give her other dimensions of meaning, even to her act of suicide, that she was incapable of knowing up to that moment. Fear not for her. She too has the choice of living forever.
Student: Can you help me understand in some way the tendency of the mind to turn against itself in that violent self-deprecating way?
MICHAEL: Because most of you live in such a fantastic amount of hope, it has become a part of you, a part of your motivation–just getting up in the morning; whatever. Since it is so unconscious, it’s hard to think of, or to realize, what it is for a mind filled with hopelessness, when there is no longer any hope of things changing, or getting better, or simply being more. It’s a kind of terrible emptiness and hopelessness, even fear, that can be overwhelming.
Part of your free will is what you choose to do, or even be unable to choose to do otherwise at that moment. In a sense, you can say someone is driven to this, for who would choose such a thing, have such an experience? Yet, it is real. People do experience this. To the degree it’s a unique thing, my dear–like so much else of your life–it is beyond comparison. It’s just a unique event for that person.
Incidentally, it’s why you have suicide hotlines that do wonderful work for these desperately needful folks–just being able to touch and be touched by someone else. At that supreme moment it may be enough to have a little bit of hope. With a very famous bridge nearby here for suicides, (Ed: the Golden Gate) very rarely do people jump off towards that cold ocean out there. Even in that final moment they jump towards the land and that bright city over there, with all the people in it. Even with their final gesture they’re reaching out for company.
Here again, my dear, is something that no one can really know of another. It’s that uniqueness of their personality that can not only conceive of, but carry out such a thing. So keep her treasured in your soul.
Student: Thank you.
MICHAEL: Be in my peace.
This too is part of our appreciation, part of our worship. In one way it’s acknowledging our inability to know another as only God knows them, and they know themselves. This too is one of God’s parameters. This is what he has seen fit to create, this very uniqueness of personal beings. It’s beyond our capacity–even Mother Spirit’s and mine–to imagine any other kind of creation. God’s very volition is deciding within himself to create such a Creation of unique beings–all of us. All of us. This is so much of what gives our life meaning. It is the meaning of our lives, not only what we have within us, but all of this that surrounds us, all these others.
It may be something you will lose and regain over and over again—the feeling that: this is my home: this is deliberately being created this way for me, for this is mine too–this whole Creation. And it’s yours just as much–all yours–all of you, all you personal beings.
In one way, we are in all humility almost reduced to saying, “Thank you, Father.” For yet this is no reduction. This is the supreme acknowledgment, is it not, of a final and sufficient worship in this particular now? We are really full of hope, and confidence, and trust, that again–sometime in the future, sometime again, even after losing our conscious awareness of it, we can and will feel his blessing. Thank you, Father. Good evening, my dear ones. Be in my peace.