1996-02-17-The Conation Concept
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: The Conation Concept
o 1.2 Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Tomas
o 2.2 TR: Gerdean
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Opening
o 3.2 Exercise
o 3.3 Lesson
o 3.4 Dialogue
3.4.2 Peace, Mind
3.4.3 Urantia Movement
o 3.5 Closing
Topic: The Conation Concept
Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
TOMAS: Good afternoon. Group: Good afternoon, Tomas.
TOMAS: It is a pleasure to be here with you this afternoon as always and I appreciate your devoted attendance to this forum of communication, which is a time-consuming and energy-capturing event in your otherwise flowing lives. The fact that you set aside a portion of your time and energy to greet one another in your aspiration to attain greater levels of psychic peace and spiritual abundance gives us in the unseen realms an opportunity to bring to you those sorts of mota which might contribute to that end.
Peace prevails and in this stillness you avail yourself of those energies that are engaged in lifting you up in your capacities to begin to perceive the more dynamic and organized structures of the administration of your local universe and beyond. It is truly an organized organism you are facing and embarking upon and in order for you individually and as a unit, a group, to partake of those facets of universe management which you profess to ordain for yourselves, it is necessary that you become sensitive to the harmonics of interdependence.
Exercise : Conation
TOMAS: I am going to break from my lecture format today to include you in my program. I am going to pause and release even the T/R while you go get a dictionary and look up a new word. This word, along with an old word, will be our topic today. Those words are “strive” and “conation” (c-o-n-a-t-i-o-n) . We are now in recess.
Leah: Strive vi. strove, strived, striven. Strive. 1. to try hard, work hard, to strive for self-control, strive to succeed, syn. endeavor. 2. to struggle with or fight against, the swimmer strove against the stream, syn. contend or battle. 3 (obs. ) to compete.
Mrs. P: Conation n. (from Philosophy and Psychology) 1. The mental faculty or power of striving or effort, whether or not consciously toward and end, and including desire and volition, (distinguished from cognition, knowing an affection, feeling). L. from conatio, an attempt.
Mrs. M: So strive and conation are the same thing. Mrs. H: To strive affectionately toward a goal. Mrs. P: It’s a mental striving. Mrs. Ml: With affection. Leah: Yeah. Conate is with affection and feeling and desire and knowing.
Mrs. M: Well, there’s more of this. Conative and conatus with, again into the philosophy, and says, “having to do with conation or striving and, in grammar, is expressing endeavor.” And then the next one goes on: “effort, endeavor, striving. A conatus that can find no distinct object to rest upon. And, 2. a force impulse tendency stimulating a human effort.” And that’s it.
Mrs. P: A human effort, I think, is what we’re getting at. Mrs. M: Read the first definition of conation again.
Mrs. P: From philosophy or psychology, the mental faculty or power of striving or effort, whether or not consciously, toward an end and including desire and volition (distinguished from cognition, knowing an affection, feeling).
Mrs. Ml: So, an unconscious striving. An affection. Mrs. M: An endeavor towards an end. That end is probably important in there. You’re going on to a certain goal there.
Mrs. P: With feeling. Mrs. Ml: So, we’re ready to go back now? Mrs. H: We’re ready. Mrs. M: Thank you.
TOMAS: On the record, once again. I appreciate your taking that time to investigate the definitions of strive and conate as there is a subtle difference, which I will address in my lesson this afternoon. The first half of my coin will be about striving and I wish to first eliminate the aspect of striving which has to do with competing or doing battle, as in “do not strive with men,” but will focus instead on striving which means for you to attain in your world, in your arena, that which you would accomplish and even into your spiritual realms in terms of striving to be perfect, to be happy, to be of service, to have God-consciousness, and so forth.
The other side of this coin, in effect, is conate, which has not the clear-cut end result that striving might indicate, and indeed this element within you which is undeveloped as yet, as a concept and as a practice, is a bridge upon which we may set foot and trek across to some new ways of life for you and for your planet.
Conation relates more to that element wherein you are given the gift of life and sonship and what you give in return is your gift to the evolving Supreme, your gift back to God, in devotion to and response to those riches which you have received as a result of your personal spiritual relationship with divinity.
Indeed many of you know well that welling-up within the heart and soul and mind which cries out to do something. “What can I do to help?” “How can I best serve?” You see situations in the world which torment your peace of mind and wonder what can you do. “What can we do?” “What can the teacher group do or the Teaching Mission, as a whole?” Many discourses have taken place regarding the fact that the human being, the God-conscious human being wants to do something, not only in the spiritual realms, but in the actual material realms in which he/she lives, and I now draw your attention to the two words: striving and conation, for the striving is that which the human being might do, while conation is something that the being might do under the guidance and influence of divinity, and yet each could bring about positive effects.
The reason I have introduced both of those words into this concept is because your world, as it is today, has been founded on striving at the cost of beating out the competition or surpassing one another in accomplishment, and this is not a modus operandi which we would foster for our future of Urantia. The facility of conating, however, while also in terms of attaining and putting into effect, relates to a more etherial source of stimulae, for it comes back to that aspect within the evolved mind which seeks to serve and seeks to better not only the spiritual realms and mental realms but the physical/material realms as well, and this would include your systems and your organizational aspects.
It is set out in your text that the individual, when well-versed and well-motivated, may take upon him/herself those projects deemed desirable in terms of involvement with government or civil affairs and the like, while the church is misdirected in becoming involved in realms of politics and finances. What of a group such as a Teacher Base? What, in view of the philosophy purported in the Urantia Book, may a group of Urantia Book readers, indeed a group of faithers/ Jesusonians/ disciples/ apostles, what reign do they have in terms of what they can do as a group?
And I tell you that as a group, if you can learn some degree of mature and sensitive interdependence, you can take upon yourselves/yourself as a group, untold and impressive projects. This is needed, yes, but is not commanded of you. This is something which evolves out of a heart-felt desire to do something based upon your spiritual resolve and desire to assist in the evolution of your realm. It (whatever you would take upon yourselves), therefore, is contingent upon what you as a group could agree upon as a group and then be willing to abide by the guidance of our Creator Son and his administrative staff to counsel with you and you with them in the unfoldingment of your mortal project toward light and life in your material realms.
I am bringing this up today because it would seem that the timing is good, for there is an event coming up in which you as a community will be interwoven in a communal attempt to promulgate the value of the fifth epochal revelation to the inhabitants of Pittsburgh and you will be in the mainstream of your culture here, buffeted by the excitement and super-glory of many egos, many energies, many metaphysical maelstroms — in a word, a very dynamic environment. It is an opportunity for you to practice your capacities to not strive with men.
It is not required that you compete with the other exhibitors for attention. Your devotion to the Urantia Book, if indeed you have such devotion, your appreciation for its truths, stands on your expression. If you are careless, you can be swept downstream, but if you are a tree which has its roots well anchored, you can stand nobly by and watch the emotional excitement of the arena create powerful energy fields which are unfocused and divergent. It is a good practice run for you as a group to determine your potential for future works as a group in terms of conation building.
Also, I am mindful of the synchronicity that, in your lesson next week you have scheduled Paper 72, Government on a Neighboring Planet, and as the season progresses wherein you are promoting your devotion to this epochal tome — in the Expo and in subsequent gatherings in your community — you will have as a background, as an underlying understanding, of where your planet may evolve in terms of its actualization of advanced lifestyles and policies for a new age. Look in your Paper of next week with a mind to how you might begin to conate Urantia into a planet settled in light and life in its material aspects, beginning in your western Pennsylvania district.
I have challenged you, I know, for even though you come to this table, this format, for spiritual encouragement and love sustenance, I offer you also a reflection of your love and that is your desire to work in the field, not only in terms of prayer and forgiveness and social service, but in terms of assisting the unseen realms in assisting the future of Urantia in ways which can alter its course as a civilization. I am now receptive to your questions or your responses or your discourse.
Mrs. M: Tomas, are you saying that if we were to work together, this unfocused energy that the masses will create down there, if we were to focus together as a group being down there, that we could help build the spiritual forms which the angelic realms or the spiritual realms could work with this energy and focus it to a good conclusion? If we strive in conation together as one group at that event?
TOMAS: You have summarized my words, but simplistically, and I appreciate your understanding that energy needs to be focused, but I do not want you to run too far afield with that invitation.
Mrs. M: Well, how could we… We would need help from your side in order to comprehend how to focus that type energy.
Mrs. Ml: Are we speaking of projects in the community, for instance, helping as a group to help some of the children in the InnerCity read? or do you want us to help the children of the women who are being battered? There’s a battered women’s shelter here and I’m sure those women need help with their children occasionally. Should we go to the Salvation Army and tell them that we are a unit and that we can work together and that we can do some service? I mean, is that what you’re talking about? I’m really confused.
TOMAS: I am sorry. I have no desire to instill confusion in your mind.
Mrs. Ml: Oh, no!
TOMAS: But I am interested in all of these responses and reactions, so let us be patient with one another and let me respond to you somewhat before I go back to the earlier reference to the energy at the Expo.
I will say that I am not commending you to a specific United Way project. I understand that there are social services required thick and thin. Big Brothers and all, ad infinitum, are seeking volunteer help and all are to some degree worthy service outlets. And, as individuals, if you have a personal vigilance in that area, it is encouraged that you serve in that capacity individually.
As a group I am not suggesting that you go down en masse to the Salvation Army or the battered women’s center or the hospitals. I am not recommending that at this point for it is premature, and I will not tell you where to go at any rate. I am offering to assist the evolution of your group to contribute to the evolution of your planet, and I am offering the opportunity to observe how you work together and how you can effect and impact energies by your upcoming Expo where you may practice being maturely focused on your purpose.
I am going to…. Indeed, I am whetting your appetite for future works, literal works, but I am, for now, only planting the seed that you begin to think as a group in terms of your individual strengths and gifts that can contribute in whatever way you determine down the road you are going to go, for the diversity in your group cannot be ignored, the various qualities of your expression are there for a purpose, and your desire to grow in love and in spirit reality is touchingly apparent.
I am suggesting that in the face of the diversity, with the appropriate unity, it is possible for the group to undertake a significant project which will contribute to the evolving face of Urantia. And as these few upcoming weeks take place, you will be given the opportunity to consciously be aware that your teachers are observing how you are working together in a community project and, with the foundation of the Paper on the advanced neighboring planet which you will read soon, putting these things together is a timely experiential undertaking for which you seem to be ready. [Tape turned] I have finished my sentence and my response. I would like to hear more from you.
Leah: I would like to know what you meant when you wished us psychic peace. What does that mean?
TOMAS: Psychic peace?
TOMAS: The psyche, the mind, knows great agitation and confusion without its on-going spirit connection, the living reality, the living waters. Psychic disturbance comes from grasping at unreality, from holding on to old reality or refusing to attempt evolved reality as you are ready. Psychic peace comes from knowing you are a child of God and that your condition as an evolving son or daughter is predicated on your immortality because of your commitment to eternal values. When you resist these values you experience psychic disturbance.
When you are in a period of growth, of flux, of development, you may experience some psychic upheaval; but ultimately the child of faith rests again on a calm sea of psychic peace. Knowing that its mind is aligned with the mind of the Great Source and Center, that its ideals and intentions and motivations are in alignment with Deity, brings psychic repose. I do not know if I have answered your question but I have responded regarding psychic peace.
Leah: So, essentially, when you wished us psychic peace you wished us peace of mind?
Mrs. McD: Then could I ask you also to make some comments of discernment between psychic and spiritual?
TOMAS: Unless I am mistaken, I believe we are splitting hairs about psychism.
Mrs. McD: Well, I don’t know if we’re splitting hairs. I just would like to have a clearer definition within my mind between the adjective psychic and the adjective spiritual.
TOMAS: Psychic as I have been addressing it, having to do with your psyche, your mind?
Mrs. McD: All right, how about psychic powers and spiritual power. I’m very pleased with your answer, I’m just curious about this because I’ve heard it in a lot different frame of reference.
TOMAS: In terms of power, I prefer to leave power in the realms of the spirit, for that gives full authority to those beings who are greater and wiser than you or I, and I have seen great misuse of power and so I am not altogether supportive of psychic power for psychic power can be used to coerce a fragile mind or soul down paths which lead to nowhere. I do not encourage psychic power, but adore spiritual power and it is not mine to wield. All power is from the Source and if by chance I am an instrument of the Source and certain power is emitted from my essence, I am honored to serve, but I take not credit for the power itself. As you say in your prayer, “for Thine is the power”. It is a perspective on humility.
Mrs. H: I have a question, and I’m supposed to speak up. I’m not sure what my question is, but in our mental imagery (I think “in our mental imagery” but at least in mine) there is an expression called psychic power and when — in this gathering that we’re going to, that’s coming up … I was looking in the brochure and there was only one booth, to my knowledge — there were two before, but — there’s only one to my knowledge that is at all like ours and to the best of my gathering it, … I can’t see that it really belongs there because these booths that are there are all expressing a talent for the development and expansion of awareness for various parts of our being, whether it’s our physical or external or our alimentary canal or our emotional turmoil dealing with other people — there’s toning.
I have a daughter that’s going to be there expressing her “gift” — and I’m surprised that the subject has come up because I’ve always felt that we would just be ourselves, and if we would happen to meet with someone, through proper timing, then the resonance of who we are versus who they are, becomes like two gathered together … and what I’m aiming at here is that it’s a matter of oneness, and by your addressing “other energies” …
I may have missed something before I came in. … Oh, I did. The heads are going up and down like that. You can scratch this whole thing from that transcript thing. If you have already taken care of this then never mind and you can delete it when it’s typed up, but what I see here is a concern on the part of our wisdom through you for something that we are apparently going to face that can affect us or this “mission”. I may have . .. I’m sorry if I misinterpreted. Have I? Or have I just said too much? Perhaps there’s someone else here that understood what I said. Did I make sense to you?
Mrs. Ml: I think it’s an honor that we were invited last year and I think it is part of our mission. If you’re going to be missionaries, you have to go out into the world. You have to be out where they are.
Mrs. M: As I understand it from talking with Paula in the last few weeks, she came to Pittsburgh because of this group, to bring Urantia more into the public eye, and I feel those of us who worked last year, I gathered a great deal of response to us from people and we have no way of knowing how much of an effect we made on people. It’s just that if the Urantia Books are sold, then somebody is doing something.
Mrs. H: I’m sorry. I was premature.
TOMAS: I have two comments to make from what I have gleaned. One has to do with wondering why the Urantia booth is even there, and indeed it does stand out for it is in a class of its own. And yet, as has also been contributed – it is as Michael when he was here and went into the lands and visited with the people and worked on the caravans and in the boat-building shops. As you say, when you have a mission, you take it into the arena and this is why this booth is there.
In fact, it is a result of the conation of the Jesusonian branch of the Urantia movement, which has, in fact, brought about a material manifestation of their aspiration to bring the Urantia Book to the people. My second remark relates to the sale of the Book, and that, although it is desirable that the Book be disseminated and people have access to an edition of their own, it is important for me, as a teacher, to point out that it is not how many books are sold that determines whether or not this is a “successful event.”
This is also why I spoke to you about your attitude while you are there, that you are a reflection of the values and standards of Urantia Book. Indeed, you who are students of the Book are, in the ideal, walking copies of the Book, and so it would do as well to also sell your own personality as a copy of the tome itself, and in selling your personality, who you are, how you present yourself is what will have the immediate and profound effect upon the attendees at the Expo.
If these individuals who are there behold you bickering or mis-communicating or acting in ungracious ways, it is a testimony to your mortality, certainly, but with the heightened sensitivity, it would speak well of your revelation if the clarity and divinity of you each and all were to establish an oasis of light and life which would stand out in the crowd as a place of psychic calm and spiritual sublimity, of poise and graciousness and love.
This is you manifesting what you believe in — not to sell products, but to live what the product purports. And this successful endeavor — (and I am trusting that you will be successful in being all that you can be) — will be good practice for us as a group later in the season when we return again to the idea of what can we as a group conate, that we can harmonize in bringing about in our faith desire to serve and in our refining and developing interdependence as apostolic essences of the love of Michael of Nebadon.
Mrs. Ml: Thank you.
Mrs. M: So we are on the brink of an opportunity to work together to serve at the moment. Is that what you’re saying to us, Tomas?
Mrs. M: We can look at it now before it starts and think about what it really means? I guess?
TOMAS: Yes, individually. If you are committed to your God, your Thought Adjuster; if you are committed also to it’s (The Urantia Book’s) origin; if you believe that it is what it says it is, if you are a student of Tomas a teacher in the Teaching Corps of the Correcting Time of Urantia, then you have certain reality which you bring and certain earnestness of soul which you wear within you. I assume that each of you have some portion of commitment. It would be desirable that you have that commitment, for you will be promoting that commitment as you profess your belief to others in this upcoming environment.
Mrs. M: Perhaps we ought to have a practice session in which we practice with each other talking about the Book. Last year we just did it by the seat of our pants, but maybe we can help each other to clarify our ideas and to help each other be aware of others peoples’ reactions. Perhaps we can have a little practice session if Sue and Noel deem it helpful, to make the best use of this opportunity. Is this possible?
TOMAS: Possible, not necessarily beneficial.
Mrs. M: Okay.
TOMAS: As I indicated earlier, each of you has your own unique aspects. Some of you are not even fully cognizant of what the Urantia Book is, but you are excited to be in the on-going, forward-moving surge toward enlightenment, which Urantia is experiencing, and your joy in that is as electric and elucidating as an intellectual dissertation on what the five epochal revelations are and what the Book might stand for in terms of science, history, cosmology and so forth.
It is [desired] that you understand your strength, that you recognize the strength of your fellows here and accept their gift, their frame of reference, so that when someone comes upon your booth you will not have to give them a sales pitch, but you will respond to that individual, where they are in their spiritual growth at that time.
Perhaps they would like to hear about color and energy, and so where would you refer them to? Perhaps they would like to hear the history of the Papers themselves, and where would you refer them to? For each of you has an understanding and a value which, when coordinated and as appreciatively interdependent, can represent the unity in diversity that churches yearn for, that is necessary in order to live and teach the gospel as Michael has authorized.
Loreenia: That’s a difficult thing to do when you go to be yourself and someone tells you to kindly get up and leave, that you’re not welcome. It’s very difficult to be a part of that in a public situation and the people see that I’m one of the group. I have personally experienced that, and if I’m going to be that kind of a catalyst, I’d just as soon stay away and let the rest of the group to do the work without creating that kind of energy, as much as I would love to go and be a part of the public teachings.
TOMAS: I put myself here in Michael’s shoes and ask you all to do the same and consider the little children, and would He banish one little kid because his nose was running, his knee was skinned, or because he was pudgy, or for any reason whatsoever? This is certainly an element of what I mean when I speak of interdependence. It has been said that God and man need each other. And it is also true that you here need one another and, although there may be certain facets of each other that are not your favorite, that is your personal problem, for each one here is your brother and sister in Christ, in the holy family. And if the truths that you have garnered and taken as a reinforcement of your own beliefs in a divine parent who is loving and accepting and merciful, then you must in good faith accept each other in that same spirit.
Also, those of you who experience the imperfect and ignorant manifestations of your fellow beings, in your heart of hearts [I encourage you to] remain true to your personal calling that God is your Father/ Mother, that Their pleasure is what motivates you, [and] to continue to press yourself into those realms which may not be receptive but which you are called upon to enter in grace that your light may shine in your eyes, that the love of the Father may shine through you and touch those as you pass by.
Getting along in this kingdom is an exercise, which has only begun. All throughout eternity you will be adapting to other personalities, and now is as good a time as any to begin. Love is more contagious than hate and, in essence, it would benefit everyone if the differences could be appreciated and transcended rather than earmarked as a problem, for we are embarked on this journey together, and in order to get things accomplished for the new era, we must learn to maintain a happy family one way or another. Love, obviously, is the answer, the bottom line, but even there, you understand, there are many interpretations of love, and so we must learn to get along that we might work together. The work is what is important.
TOMAS: My friends, I am going to take my leave for this afternoon. I realize I came in with a different toolbox than I normally do, but I understand that when children are unoccupied for any ungainly length of time they run into mischief and this is an opportune time for us to apply ourselves to the work at hand, not so much on the inside job, although that continues continually, but on the social and more public aspects of your individual faith and your collective body of faithers.
My beloved children, my precious friends, be tolerant of me as I do my Father’s will. Be patient with me as I attempt to perceive how to address your growth needs and your hearts’ desires. Pray with me that we will learn how to focus our energies in such a way as to direct our entire being to the over-control of our First Source and Center, that He then, through His infinite wisdom, can and will direct/redirect those energies back out and through the proper channels into our realms that we might become a grand circle of light which encompasses this emerald isle of Urantia and bring it forward into the bosom of light and life, all toward the emancipation of the Evolving Supreme and to the glory of the one true God. Until we speak again, I am your devoted friend, companion and teacher Tomas. Amen and farewell.
Group: Thank you
Mrs. Ml: Farewell.