1997-09-04-Anger Over Death Of A Child
• 1 Heading
o 1.1 Topic: Anger Over Death of a Child
o 1.2 Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
• 2 Facilitators
o 2.1 Teacher: Tomas, Merium
o 2.2 TR: Gerdean, Hunnah
• 3 Session
o 3.1 Dialogue
3.1.2 Sympathy, Empathy
o 3.2 Closing
Topic: Anger Over Death of a Child
Group: Pittsburgh TeaM
Teacher: Tomas, Merium
TR: Gerdean, Hunnah
TOMAS: Good evening, children.
Group: Good evening.
TOMAS: How are you, my friends?
Elyssia: We’re fine. Great shape.
TOMAS: It is apparent that your arena is in good shape. There is a lot of healthy activity and sharing and laughter and love. We are glad to be here with you. We are always glad for the opportunity to share a slice of your life and allow you to have a glimpse of our perspective. Indeed, we are more and more enamoured of our assignment here. Merium?
MERIUM: My T/R and I are still engaged in some fine-tuning of the circuitry, Tomas. Go ahead; I’ll catch up.
TOMAS: Thank you for your forthrightness. Elyssia, my dear, are you going to bring us a report from your successful weekend that we anticipated when we were together last week?
Elyssia: Yes, I needed to ask a question. Over the weekend we were discussing a situation involving a person who is and has been angry with God for a long time, having to do with an accidental death of a child many years ago. So in dealing with — I mean, if we’re going to be reaching out and helping, I know a loving attitude is wonderful, there’s no question about that in my mind, but I tend to believe that you can approach also with some words from one’s studying. I was advised however, that in this case, it was more effective to stay with the “process instead of content” and so I thought you might talk about that a little bit so that I could understand it better.
TOMAS: I will be happy to make some remarks which may shed light on the phrase about “process instead of content”. In fact, you might consider the team of Teacher Tomas and Teacher Merium in light of the example of the issue, for whereas I am inclined to proselytize and support substantial matters such as would bring intellectual peace and having a specific textual frame of reference or example by the apostles or so forth (representing “content”), Merium’s approach is consistently more experiential (representing “process”), and it is the experiential that makes a personal experience real. And both of these fields have merit.
One is more academic; one is more regarding process. You can’t really have one without the other. But you can’t fish-hook one consistently in this business of being fishers of men; sometimes you can nibble them by mental hooks or stimuli, and sometimes you need to allude to that which is so ethereal as to be only personal. And there is no favoritism; it is a matter of learning how to teach in the manner that is most amenable and most providential under the circumstances.
Elyssia: I see. Circumstances determine what you will do.
TOMAS: Now, if you find a student or — in this context, I could use the word “prospect” — “Now, if you meet a prospect . ..”; whereas Merium would be appalled at the clinical approach — “We are discussing a soul! A flower! An essence of spirit, here, not a prospect!”, but none-the-less these are approaches to comprehension that are part of the tapestry that cover all of our understandings and applications of the huge and vast array of potential available.
And so if you approach your prospect here, who has heard it all already, intellectually, it means nothing; it is dry and boring. Her block is in the emotional arena, and yet you don’t want to tear down the walls by force! You want to allow the process to occur in and of her own soul by and through her own free will, and so for her perhaps the process is going to be more effective than an academic study.
Elyssia: I have a question in that regard. I had the sense about this person that she actually has never even heard these words of Jesus because my sense of the people in this church, some of them, they don’t seem to know much about the words of Jesus. I don’t know whether I’m right about that.
TOMAS: My dear, it is because they do not know Jesus. They know this historical figure. They read him because it is required reading. Only as you know the Master as a personal living experience do His words ring with clarity and reality. When he truly speaks to you, when his teachings become personal, as we have said a hundred times, only as you are born of the spirit can you hear with ears to hear. Then all of His words are music to you and they strum your spiritual chords. If you do not know Jesus in the spiritual sense, you will not have a real frame of reference for His words. They will not stick with you.
Elyssia: Well, I guess I . .. to a certain extent I see it like C.S. Lewis. I remember myself, I found my answers from a somewhat intellectual point of view because I read C.S. Lewis’ excellent dissertations on Christianity and I guess I tend to think that people will have a real breakthrough if they just hear these things! This probably is far from the truth.
TOMAS: Alas. It is, of course, the hope of every great writer that they will illumine the mind and elevate the soul of all their readers; this is the lure of the great masterpiece, you know, but it is unfortunately not the case. Some are turned on, some are not. C.S. Lewis certainly did appeal to a set of folk, and he stirred a lot of Christian thinkers into a new gear, but he was also, by the same token, far too intellectual for most.
Now, that is one wonderful thing about Jesus. He appealed to the common man and the common man heard him gladly because he was one with them. He spoke to them as he would speak to you or I, in language of love that we could understand. “Follow me,” he said. “Be of good cheer.” “Have faith.” Simple pronouncements were the Master’s. These do not require great intellect.
MERIUM: You are doing very well! I think you have been keeping company without me long enough now. I think Tomas is catching on, too. (Group laughter)
Elyssia: But Merium, she is not — this is a very intelligent person, so in that sense of the word I guess I sense that she can be approached from that point of view and I evidently need some help on this one.
MERIUM: I am going to remediate for a moment from an area that I like to remediate in and that is to remind you again who you are! You are, in your mind, apparently, under these circumstances, a member of the clan and you are in your tribal role and it is a very choreographed relationship — you’ve danced the dance before, you’ve had conversations before, everybody expects/anticipates certain behavior from each other, and everyone performs to meet this pattern and then that brings a certain amount of satisfaction.
She is the bewildered soul, the grieving mother of a lifetime, and this is a role she wears; this is her hair shirt, you might say, and therefore “so be it.” In her moment of stretching and wakening she will pull in things of the conversations, but the most important and most powerful thing frequently that you can do in the presence of conditioned behavior and polite receptivity, is simply allow the light that you are to shine.
It is your Christian format to do the dutiful things of witnessing and bringing about your brothers’ name to your friends, that is true, but it is in this greater sense of your reality and your identification that knows how to walk around the room and approach everything from another direction without being aggressive. One of the problems of entering a cultural situation, if you are not of the culture and you do not speak the “common language” is that you become “look who we brought home to dinner.”
Hunnah has in her memory bank an experience where she went to church camp. It is a very amusing story that she can tell you sometime, but what it is, is it is very threatening to be in a group of people that have been “saved.” (Group laughter) And they want to know your credentials. “Have you been saved? Are you playing the game by the rules that we use here?” And it’s very intimidating; it spoils the fun; it does not allow them to be spontaneous. Everyone is doing what they feel is expected of them.
And that is why it was introduced, when we were together before and you were anticipating the weekend, that you were reminded to just go and be yourself. In their mind they may not recognize the new you except to say, “Oh, isn’t she relaxed. Isn’t this a very wonderful gathering,” and they won’t be able to put it to words, but the impact of the light of your being will resonate with that, to a degree, of their own receptivity and then you will have planted seeds and you don’t even always have to know.
Have you ever been the victim, the subject of a conversation, with people around you wanting to fix you up and change you? It is a human behavior and it’s very deeply ensconced in your cultures, so I feel that you can release this concern from yourself and know that you have bid her well. This is a banquet table that extends everywhere you go. You take the banquet with you.
There is that parable about preparing for a guest that would not come. You carry, you might say, a box lunch. You are always prepared to feed the unsuspecting. There are those who feed when you least expect it, which reminds me, you’ve watched a bird feeder, you focus on a couple choice birds that you want to watch, but there are many birds. There are birds that are nibbling way over in the distance where the seeds have been thrown, far from the arena of the little cafeteria where you usually feed them.
The feeding goes on in many many ways, and you have one of the stations with you, and the more natural you are just enjoying a person, the more apt you are to effectively serve the Father in that time with them.
Elyssia: Thank you. I understand what you’re saying. Good.
MERIUM: I would also like to approach — I’ve been eavesdropping, you know — the subject of being stuck with personalities in your life and you are like records and you just keep going round and round and round in the same game. It is true this is a matter of consciousness, and when they are ready to feed and drink the living waters, they will make a move, and then they will fall back to sleep, and the games that they play and the small circles that they make will continue. There is a device that Hunnah saw in a gift shop one time; it is like a large pendulum, and it makes a design in the sand.
Elyssia: Oh, yes, I have one of those.
MERIUM: Do you. And there is a situation here that we are in the human element. We’re talking about two areas here: we’re talking about human conditioning and behavior and we’re talking about liberation, and in liberation, those in the circles stop, because you are not allowing yourself to live in that arena anymore. You have been lifted out of it to make new patterns. You are not stationed like a phonograph needle stuck in a groove that goes around and around.
And there are relationships that are dysfunctional that go on for what seems to be eons and until any one individual in that configuration wants to be released, it will persist because it’s on like remote control. You say nothing, I say nothing, we both have memory banks filled with nonsense, and they are locked into this groove, but when one of them wants to make a move in consciousness, then the party is over; the game will no longer be played.
It is a form of fasting, and if you want to quicken it within your own experience — Hunnah had a teacher who encouraged you not to reply when you are aware that you are entering a pattern of conversation where you have done it many times. As soon as you realize what’s going on, you stop, and the party — it is almost like a game of tennis. They will volley the ball back and you will let it bounce and lay there; and it can be done.
It’s very freeing to witness it. You fall into the groove again, but it can be done and it takes a full consciousness; it removes it from consciousness for the sake of all, for the sake of all. When you allow yourself to want to sing a new song, the words and the music will begin to be there.
Let me also remind you that you can be sidetracked with relationships and situations that really have been physically removed for you, partly through your sake. When you pray to resolve a problem, you cannot continue to hold onto the problem with wanting to help out. You do really have to release it, because supposing the person you are involved in moves out of the neighborhood, moves out of your house. They have to move out of your mind as well. Not forever, but when it’s in that reference, that unhealthy reference. You want to renew your mind or remind yourself that this has been for the best for both of you.
When a relationship is not balanced or harmonized, and you ask for help, it will be — I will borrow from the mystic because I like it — your attitude will change; their attitude will change; for one of you or both of you will be removed from each other. And Hunnah had an experience where the individual moved out of the country! and it was at a time when this information was new to her and she just marveled at it.
So you can control your social environment, and when you invite people into your living area, your space so to speak, you must at this time — because we have talked about the call to maturity — you have to know whether it is because you have something to do together for the glory of God or are you inviting them into your space because you are in the habit of fixing things up?
And in the transcripts that you will be receiving, we had a wonderful evening about blowing the whistle and allowing yourself to accept the maturity of the state that you truly have entered, but when you see it on paper you will celebrate. It will be acceptance of this statement, and it will be a great release to you all. I think I am ready for a rest, Tomas.
Elyssia: I just want to say, Merium, we have been able to make some strides in understanding this.
TOMAS: Is it my turn?
MERIUM: Yes, please! I have to rest my jaws! I got carried away, I am sorry.
TOMAS: I must tell an anecdote of sorts, for in Pocatello, Idaho, Daniel’s class often referred to him, albeit with deep love, as a windbag. And Tarkas also has been designated, albeit lovingly, a windbag. I, of course, have joined the ranks of windbag, and now Merium, my dear, you have arrived. (Group laughter)
MERIUM: What an exclusive organization! I feel flattered.
TOMAS: We do like to hear ourselves speak, not because of our egos but because we have been given the opportunity to teach and the authority of Melchizedek to carry on. It is also made possible by the configuration of our students, our groups of people, our human friendships, which are willing to hear us.
I have to say in fairness to all of us windbags, that there are occasions when we do truly have a morsel of wisdom to offer that scintillates the soul and which you do savor eternally, and so for those moments we are grateful, and I will yarn on and refer again to the honored teacher, the professor who is fortunate enough to have a student in his class who loves the language, who loves the subject, who loves to learn, who loves being in school, who is thrilled with the subject and the opportunity to absorb and to learn and then to, sophomorically perhaps, practice what he has learned on his unsuspecting peers.
And this is the true light of the teacher and the student wherein we engage in such an arrangement that we have brought a vitality to our life that supercedes the mere mundane existence of sheer survival. We have learned to thrive on learning and to enthuse on opportunity. Are there questions?
MERIUM: Perhaps we should give them an assignment.
TOMAS: Perhaps we’d better, before it gets too late. I am most interested.
Hunnah: I know for as many people as there are gathered around this table, there is a full array of individuals that they meet every day that they have known for awhile, and they have patterns of pleasant familiarity or ways of doing things, and when unsettled matters come toward you, I want you to carry this statement with you: “Father, assist me in a new view of this situation. Allow me to have new perspective and a fresh approach. This is not my personal assignment. Help me to identify whether this is an old sound or a new request.”
I would like to have you each acknowledge the fact that you are living by your new name within yourself and therefore when someone calls you your old name, your neighborhood name, your family name, you are going to be challenged to reinterpret it and know that your new self will bring new joy and new harmony into your home and into your social life.
I want you to become more sensitive to the fact that there are not seven of you: . .. you mother, you daughter, you girlfriend, you…. I would like you to start feeling consistency of your true identity. You have enjoyed your names, but they are not given to you for your conversational purposes. This is not a club.
And I would like to have you take a look at the games that are being played in your life and allow yourself to just gently beam in on it every now and again. It will happen within you. I want you to start recognizing the old sounds and let them drift, let them go, hold them lightly. They’ll be back and they’ll be back, but I want you to develop a new response within all of you.
This is a little longer than I expected to say, but I wanted to remind you because you are receiving a paper and it will help you move into this mode of appreciation of yourself, and it will also help you to remember that the person that you’re dealing with has not had their opportunity yet, but it is coming, and I’m excited about it, and I’m looking forward to hearing more. Thank you, Tomas.
TOMAS: Thank you, Merium.
Ann: I have a question.
Ann: For the longest time I’ve been thinking about empathy. I’ve always wondered what exactly was empathy and how close was it to sympathy or if it was close to sympathy at all, and just how appropriate either of these feelings are in a situation where someone is suffering.
MERIUM: We have talked about emotions and feelings, and I would like to classify sympathy as emotion and empathy as a strength that contains understanding. And when you express your understanding, whether it’s with a pat on the hand, listening skills, monetary assistance, empathy has strength of character; it is part of your mature equipment; and you are allowed to be lavish with empathy and very careful with your ministrations of sympathy.
Sympathy is a substance that one can become addicted to. It is a lesser experience, so as you meet people who are troubled, you can indeed have empathy because you know they are in the flesh and they have not been lifted into the lightness of the new reality, so you can approach them with confidence. Empathy does not spoil or weaken. It encourages and points to new directions, new appreciations and it also bears a confidence toward the individual that you are plying empathy towards.
You know that they contain the answers within themselves to their challenge, and if it would be no more than the wonderful gift of My peace that you would bring with your gift of empathy and it would be felt within that person, then indeed you have delivered and served the highest good. Has that helped you?
Ann: Yes. Does that mean that empathy is more personal than sympathy?
MERIUM: Empathy is constructive. Sympathy is without strength. It is not nourishing. Empathy can be nourishing; empathy produces hot meals for friends; empathy provides transportation in an appropriate way; empathy brings people together to do good works that do not create dependency but will offer opportunities to become strong in problem solving.
Ann: That helps a lot. Thank you very much, Merium.
MERIUM: Tomas, do you wish to touch on this?
TOMAS: What could I possibly say?
Leah: Well, what would sympathy be then? As opposed to empathy.
TOMAS: Consider the bestowal of sympathy as a more objective application of what would be otherwise empathetic.
Leah: Would you clarify that?
TOMAS: Bestowed sympathy is objective as compared to empathy which is subjective and personal.
When I think of empathy I think of the fruits of the spirit; I think in terms of intimacy in the spirit; I think of confiding trust and camaraderie.
When I think of sympathy I feel for someone but I do not give myself over to it. I do not give myself freely to it. I can sympathize with someone’s grief without feeling grief myself. It is more impersonal than empathy, which is more intimate and feeling, and so perhaps sympathy is an emotion and empathy is a feeling.
MERIUM: I see sympathy as an acknowledgement and empathy as an action that is buffeting the situation. There are people who want sympathy and they want to stay in a whining mode. People can casually give sympathy, but empathy is more apt to contain a positive action than supportive.
TOMAS: It is not wrong to sympathize or have sympathy or to feel sympathetic by any means, but as Merium says, it lacks substance as compared to empathy, which is more of an involvement. Active and passive are other ways of observing sympathy and empathy.
By the same token, there are those who can become enamoured of empathy to the extent that they cannot function in their own space without association, and that too can be an unhealthy situation depending upon the circumstances.
It’s always possible, when we deal with emotions and feelings, to carry it one degree and say it is aberrant, it is sick behavior, it is off-key; and on the other hand, it is wholesome, idealistic, well-balanced, and so forth.
A discussion of feelings may help you to understand your feelings somewhat but they don’t do a whole lot towards helping you understand your spirit reality. It may help you understand what It is not, and that may be helpful, but we get involved in a lot of discourses around these tables that are, frankly, sympathetic to the human condition, and not necessarily empathetic to the needs of Michael. But “one day at a time”; isn’t that what we say?
MERIUM: In the course of that gathering that we do here, one of our goals of the teachers is to get you to bring forth your own definition and when you come — if you were going to prime an engine, you were in here for a tune-up, just coming together, even if we did not talk, our commitment and our common devotion to the uplifting of mankind, that in itself would happen if we just came together, but we want you to start drawing upon your own living waters in that pool.
We are discussing humans and I would like you to have, in your own way, write your own definition of how you feel sympathy and empathy should be understood by you in your own experience. If it was to be given to you, what would you think empathy or sympathy would be? And I think you will find it very interesting and it may be slightly colored by our conversation, but I do think it is time for you to draw again on your new definitions and your new sense of depth and understanding.
If you’re stuck, by all means go to the dictionary to prime yourself with a word such as “pity” and pity will be explained in the dictionary with words and you will connect with it. Then take that word and write and say, “how do you feel about the word and the function of the emotion of pity?” And then allow yourself to lift it up as a response, because pity in this case, I see it as a reaction, and lift it into a response of a higher definition.
I’m giving you so much homework you won’t be able to go to work! But it seems to be all connected, for as I said, in this transcript, we are talking about throwing away the old definition of yourself and as you accept the fact that you know, we know, and we know that we are all coming up with a fresh version of what we thought we knew and a greater understanding so that we can apply it in our daily experience. So there we are. I’m actually done. Do you think we saturated them, Tomas?
TOMAS: I myself am saturated! I have not had such a homeroom teacher since I was assigned to Jerusem. I am pleased, even so, to have such an enthusiastic co-worker and I am happy to confess to my students that, “I love you, Merium, and I don’t care what they say, you are my favorite windbag of all”. (Group laughter)
Now my precious ones, we really must go so that you can get on with your lives and it isn’t as though we didn’t have things to do also, but indeed your assignments are many and interesting. Add those to your previous assignments and we have no time for boredom in this Teaching Mission. And so we look forward to seeing you next week and to sharing with you your fascinating adventure into spirit reality as you persist in your endeavors this week. Go in peace. Farewell.
Group: Good night Tomas and Merium. Come again soon.