2002-08-11 Leadership, Opportunities, Responsibility
Group: Northern Colorado TeaM Group #22
Topics: Community Leadership
Forms: Political, Military, and Business
Levels: Social, Community, Economical, and Religious
Lessons to be learned by all
Opportunities for service and individual growth
Developing whole and complete individuals
Causes for community and leadership failures
Consistency, not mediocrity
Working through issues of power and control
Supporting individual unique value
Evolution of leadership
Christ Michael is our leadership model
Leading individual minds to greatness
Changing “the system” through motivation, awareness, and
Teacher: Rayson (TR Daniel)
August 11, 2002
RAYSON: Good afternoon, friends, this is Rayson It is good to be here with you once again. I so much appreciate your stability, your thoughtful, levelheaded acceptance and appreciation for what has been given to you. We who serve this Northern Colorado Teaching Mission Group know well of your enthusiasm, your tremendous joy and excitement about what has been shared with you, and what it offers to yourselves, to your communities and to your world.
Let’s take a few moments now please, to go to that Stillness, that quiet place and in doing so, be mindful to connect to the Merkaba, declare your intentions for being here and invoke the presence of Michael, Nebadonia and the Creator to fulfill your intentions. Please bring your consciousness to the center.
Today we will continue a very important lesson of community. If you would think of community as a ship, one ship in an armada, a fleet of ships, going in a direction towards Paradise of mortal, spiritual ascension, how would they get to their destination? They of course would have a fleet Admiral in charge, who would understand the overall plans and journey and mission of the armada. This admiral would be privy to the greatest designs of its nation and its positive purpose for its world. Think of the Admiral as Machiventa, who is privy to the grand plans of your planet with Michael, the plan is the Correcting Time. Now the Admiral cannot be on every ship, can he? Of course not. So this is shared with captains of each ship.
And each ship has various departments/sections and work areas, and each of those has a leader who knows what they are to do in their respective area. And in the best armadas, every sailor knows the way, every sailor knows the function and mission and destination of its ship, and its fleet and its armada. Everyone is “operating on the same page.” And should something happen to that sailor’s section chief, that sailor could take over, would take over. And if the Executive officer or First Mate found that the Captain of the ship had left or had died or was sleeping, they could continue the course of that ship, and so on. Every ship is a community, and every community is a ship. And every community needs leadership, and that is today’s topic—Leadership.
We have spoken briefly about it before; we have alluded to it many times; we have always known that Michael is our leader, our Commander in chief, who is guiding our ships along the way. So today, we must look at leadership, and the metaphor of the armada, the fleets and the ships, Captains, First Mates, Section Chiefs—is very, very intimate to our work with communities. One of the reasons communities have failed on your world, whether it is in Europe or the United States, through the ideas of utopian communities, the reasons why those have failed is that not everyone was privy to the leadership organization process that you will be, and you are becoming aware of, through the Teaching Mission and its part within the Correcting Time.
Now, you are most acquainted with political leadership, but this is only one form, and it is a most difficult form of leadership. You are also aware of military leadership, and this is also a concept of leadership that has its own inherent difficulties. But military leadership offers us many parallels for the community leadership, and that is the necessity of sharing all the leader’s goals with every member of the community, and that the lines of communication, whether they are authoritarian, or through delegation, or through the carrying out of service, or whether they are copper or fiber wires, they are all known and used and everyone is trained in their usage; and it goes well, it works well. But in a military organization, in a military body, there is a chain of authority that requires obedience, subordination of individual goals to those of the organization. And even when captains and generals and admirals go astray in other ways, those subordinate to them rarely, if ever, offer guidance or critique to those leaders.
The business model also offers a wonderful opportunity to examine its processes of leadership, and importantly, participation. Military organizations succeed because the goals are known, lines of authority are well established and the delegation of authority is implicit and it is explicit; everyone knows it, everyone follows it. They do not approach their missions in terms of a committee, but in terms of teamwork, where lines of authority and communication offer everyone an opportunity to participate. In a business community, its success lies in the lowliest member having the capacity and capability of communicating along lines to provide ideas, which supplement, add to and enhance the product or service line of the business. And so everyone is accorded more recognition as they provide more capability to the fulfillment of the business.
Yet in a business model, there is much missing too. The personal life its leaders is oftentimes separate and distinct from the business. And what one does in their leisure time may be completely inconsistent with what they are doing in their business life, and yet they can succeed in business. In an intentional community, a spiritually developed community in which spiritual goals and ends are sought for, and striven to be fulfilled, where individuals strive to aid themselves and aid the community for everyone, offers a much different opportunity for leadership. And the responsibilities for leadership are as weighty upon the individual as they are upon the leader, whether that is the community leader, politically, economically, religiously, socially—whatever level you would think of—each individual in the community is responsible for the leadership within that community.
In these communities, everyone strives for consistency. Not mediocrity, oh far from it my friends! Not mediocrity but uniformity of superior results of moral and ethical standards, where leaders are respected because they are consistent and they provide wisdom in leadership in all phases of their life. Not out of oaths or vows, or obligations of office, but through dedication of their intent to serve the First Source and Center, our Father, Christ Michael, and the good of all concerned. These are not obligations taken on, but opportunities for service, opportunities to grow at that level. And you my friends, will in time, through yourself or through your children/grandchildren, have opportunities for leadership in high positions. But do not defer your leadership input until then. Offer your input now, your suggestions now.
Leadership that we speak of today is at odds with the leadership that you have seen recently in your economy, in politics and in your churches. These communities require leadership that pulls and pulls and pulls and pulls and draws it into the future, safely, securely, surely. And this cannot be done when individuals have their own agenda for their positions of authority, their positions of respect. Their agendas must always be for the survival, the growth, maintenance and the augmentation of increased values and beliefs that are higher-minded, that serve others equally, as they serve you. Selfishness, egoism, separateness, arrogance, feelings of being “better than” others, “needing” to be better than others in material ways, more power, more authority, more money, more control, more self-aggrandizement—these are temporary! And as an aside, we have learned, my friends, that these things are truly lessons, they are just issues to be worked through.
Each of you, no matter how humble your circumstances or how humble your origins, each will work through these issues of power and control, self-aggrandizement, ego, selfishness—these are simply lessons. As you know, and as you see in your society today, many have failed those tests. They have houses, millions of dollars in the bank, much personal acclaim and respect from others, power and control, and yet, they seem to seek more. Will this kind of leadership be sufficient to lead an intentional community into the future for centuries? We know it will not.
Yet, just as we do not encourage or support mediocrity, we also do not support the loss of individuality in the group, in the community. We do not support ideas of a hive or colony mentality, where the individual’s unique value is lost among many. But in fact, we seek to develop the opposite in intentional communities with you, and it is particularly the value, the uniqueness of each individual that gives an intentional community its biggest and greatest support. And you know from past lessons that one of the main missions of an intentional community is to develop independent, unique individuals who are whole and complete. Only those are best prepared to go into the future, to the morontial worlds quickly, at higher levels of attainment, to come away from their world experience with full souls, where they have made decisions of choice, of moral and ethical value, who understand the beliefs and support them.
You perhaps are wondering after this discourse, how leadership could be developed among you in an intentional community. That is a good question. It is a sincere, earnest question that needs to be answered. Let us point to the ways that are not productive, and your own historical records show the ways that leadership does not work. We could point to many, many communities that have failed, whether it is the “Jim Jones cyanide/Kool-Aid community” in South America, whether it is a “guru” community in the United States or some other foreign country, whose reasons for existence swirls around the life of one guru individual, who dies and the community passes away as well. You have seen communities where leadership has used its followers as slaves, has taken their property, their materiality and their means of living away from them so they become dependent upon the guru community.
You have also seen communities without gurus, that come together, live together in a communal environment. Some have been very productive and last a long time, yet most have been unable to fill the individual lives with soul making decisions and opportunities; some have. The intentional community is a most difficult one to envision in your society and upon this world. Yet, we offer it to you not as an ideal, but as something you can strive towards, and this is how your leadership will evolve. It will evolve through a participation of individuals, who have like, or similar intents and desires. It does not require a sacrifice of your lives, but the willing participation of your energies in a higher social setting.
It may seem remarkable to you that even your study groups offer a small wedge, a crack in the door of the future, of looking at intentional community. You come together with an intention of learning, of growing; you come together without the intention of swaying the other person’s thinking towards your beliefs or how you believe about the Urantia Book or the Teaching Mission, but allow that person to come and experience their life in this setting for only that brief period of time, without judgement, without usurping their prerogatives and individuality. You could expand this to a larger community—it could be academic, perhaps. Your most obvious thoughts of leadership concern this community becoming a material community, where there is land and buildings. These offer as many distractions and negative influences for the constructive development of intentional community as not having them, because they objectify the community in terms of a material setting, and roles to maintain that material setting.
Much better thought would be involved, perhaps in thinking about planning out the various levels of a community, and this planning may go on for years, it could go on for 10 or 20 years, just the planning. But as you plan, you would be devising the social groupings, the social working groups who would take on various aspects of the community, whether it is in the expression of religion and fellowship, or in education—education for surviving and maximizing the benefits in your society in material ways, or whether it is your education for your spiritual and religious growth.
Be aware though, that we will be there with you, aiding you and assisting you. One thing you will need to remember is that the way is not clear, or the way is not known, fully. But you must move ahead; take steps, trusting that you will be led as you seek guidance from within and from without, always allowing for new influences, new ideas, but never becoming distracted from your goals. You know that the leadership model has been provided by Christ Michael during the era of his mortal time here on this planet, as Jesus. This is the model of interpersonal relationships of love and personal growth. The model also extends to the Correcting Time and His work with Machiventa upon this planet. And nowhere do you see callous usurpation of the individual’s power or authority, but always the opportunity to grow, always the opportunity to make individual decisions.
This is how we will be working with you and developing an intentional community. And you will know when you are “right,” in the “right direction” and the “right stream” of thought, because it will “fit” with plans for this world, plans for each individual. They have to match; whether plans for the rehabilitation of the planet or the plans for spiritual-emotional growth in the individual, they must be consistent. As you think about the ethics of banking, the ethics of political leadership, the ethics of educational leadership, the ethics of spiritual and religious leadership—as you think about the ethical and moral requirements of family leadership—they are all consistent. When they are all consistent; they all pull the long pull that pulls you into the future consistently, with dedication of service. Surely, you will have to forego immediate gratification sometimes, but in the long term, you will be satisfied and you will be filled and you are always loved.
Do you have questions now, concerning leadership? I would like to get those out of the way before we deal with questions of other natures. Take your time; let’s take a short break, perhaps and then come back to the questions and answers.
[Resume and re-link with Merkaba.]
RAYSON: It is ironic that the leadership that you will require is the leadership that is also self-effacing. The model for leadership that is best offered, is again, Jesus with his Disciples. He led without being authoritarian; he led with giving each individual opportunity for decision making, for soul growth, for participation or not. And those individuals, or that individual, who had such a difficult time fully accepting the course that Jesus had set for the group, was left intentionally to find his way, not out of neglect, but out of opportunity for growth, for willing service and participation. At no time, did the leader, Jesus, demand their obedience—at any time.
And so too, the leadership of your intentional communities will need that irony, to lead without overt authority, but the authority that is given by individuals to participate or not. And in that following, each individual would offer assistance, guidance, and leadership in areas where they think the group may be going in a different direction or a wrong direction. So leadership must begin with the individual—each individual—and the leadership must begin with the leader. A circle of leadership is that everyone participates in the circle of leadership and authority. And were someone to say, “Oh, I am not the leader, and I am not the lieutenant. What I would say wouldn’t count,” is completely invalid, for everyone’s voice counts. The failure would come for that individual if they were not to share their thinking, not to share their opinion and their wisdom and their guidance. That too, is a decision that can contribute to your soul’s growth or not.
You realize from being taught in the Urantia Book, that opportunity for soul growth comes from making moral and ethical decisions. And you also know, that soul growth comes through service; and as you grow, so too, will you serve. But leadership of service that is stilled within yourself, that is not shared, with-holds from you the opportunity to grow in your soul’s growth by participating and sharing your thoughts. So it is important, soulfully important that leaders and followers actively participate. This does not lead to leadership by chaos, or leadership by committee opinion, but more so through leadership by consensus and revelation that is validated by individuals and others.
Student: May I ask a question?
Student: In the Urantia Book—I believe it’s in the section on Life on a Neighboring Planet—they talk about leadership being prepared for by a “statesmanship method” where they apprentice up the line until they have experienced the whole gamut before they go through an election to become a leader. I can see that this is far superior to what we have with our “paid political process,” where money rules. Do the Celestials have any ideas for ways that we can revamp our political system so that we can change to a statesmanship-type system?
RAYSON: Is your question complete?
Student: Well, there is one other point to it. I am also wondering with starting a new intentional community, I suppose that process of finding leaders would take place in the planning stages, where you would find the people that would be the best leaders through their participation from the ground up. I “think” that is my complete statement.
RAYSON: I will try to answer your several questions. Yes, the Celestials do have many ideas about ways your system could be revamped, but sudden change is often cataclysmic. And we are not given authority to make changes that lead to sudden abrupt changes; we are not empowered to bring about sudden changes in your system, but can only apply the slow, dedicated approach of leading individual minds to greatness. Your thoughts are similar and are those thoughts that lead to greatness in a community. Your government has a system of developing within the military, those leaders who have capability. Your Ambassadorial Corps has a similar way of educating its members to gain greater experience in various settings, so that eventually they may become effective Foreign Service Officers, supporting the Ambassador Corps.
Some thoughtful individuals who have leadership in their family, or who have thoughts of leadership on their own, who may or may not have gotten political savvy through colleges and universities, also often see a life-time career of office-holding as a progressive one for gaining experience. But much is missing from that ladder, as there are not many that are service oriented. It would be most helpful in your society to have a system of political and governmental office holding (and those are two distinct areas,) for gaining experience as a career chain for individuals. So that eventually, you would end up with a cadre of well- experienced individuals in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s who would be wise leaders, capable leaders, who have a broad base of experience in their government service and in their political arenas. This would be most helpful.
You know that your system now is quite easily managed so that even an inexperienced individual can become the President of your nation. There is a fortunate side to this, when the very best of those individuals who come out of nowhere, attain leadership to bring into the fold, new thoughts, new creativity, new visions for the leadership of their nation. But all too often, these individuals who occupy those places of authority are those who attained such through the manipulation of their societies and through the media. This is most unfortunate. Have I answered your questions? I feel like I have left one undone.
Student: I guess I see that our political system as so huge and so entrenched that I wonder if we can even make changes in the system by the time we reach Light and Life! It seems like the political parties won’t let those changes take place because they will lose too much of their own power, money and control. Is it a function that our government is so big, or is it just a function of our culture that is based on greed?
RAYSON: Actually, neither. You have within this nation, all the capability of tremendous political change. All the major elements for the mechanisms to bring about those changes are here. But the great problem, is that feeling of powerlessness that you yourself speak of. If you are cynical, if you think you are powerless, then of course you are. But through the mechanisms that your governmental institution’s documents have provided to you, you have all the power to change the system. What is missing is the motivation and the awareness of the individuals that they can do this, and the necessity to do this. Do you see what I am speaking of?
RAYSON: Your people will do nothing until they feel they need to do something, and then they will. And the mechanisms are there for them to do that, and then there will be change. Until then, maintain hope, be optimistic, and participate in the system as best you can, either immediately or as opportunity arises that calls for your attention and participation.
Student: Thank you.
RAYSON: You are welcome.
Student: Seems to me that service is the key. I know of many politicians who claim that they only want to serve and upon examining their record and their histories, their service is for companies, organizations, other than their constituents. On creating leadership, statesmanship schools—how would this be generated, started, or are we back to talking about establishing ethics in schools and its furtherance all the way along the ladder to create people who want to serve, who—I’m just kind of out here in the field, envisioning all kinds of problems in getting this thing generated, developing leaders. How do we best develop leaders?
RAYSON: In the usual place, my friend. In the family! And when leaders come forth, encourage them, rather than offering them cynical advice about the potential of their capacity to lead anyone. The worst thing that you can do is to share your cynical perspectives with young adults. Always offer them hope and knowledge and awareness, that there is always opportunity for leadership. Leadership is a commodity that is always needed, always in demand, always something that is present, something every individual community and society looks for. The leaders that come forward are often shaped by the opportunities that come along, and if everyone were cynical about starting a business and become a millionaire on their own as sole proprietor, then no one would. But yet, many thousands of individuals continue to do that, year after year. So too, if you tell your children that it is impossible to become a moral and capable president of this nation, or other nations, then they will not come forward. But offer them encouragement, to hold high hopes and understand the mechanisms wherein leadership comes forward.
Leadership is also always brought forward in dramatic ways when circumstances dictate and require. Call this opportunity, call this historic opportunity, it does arise and in the months and years and decades ahead, there will surely be a strong and clear call for leadership of the highest caliber. For you find, and history repeats and shows clearly, that leadership of lower quality fails in the long run, it is self-defeating. And though a president may complete his/her term successfully, perpetuation of those forms of leadership and those styles of leadership, which do not promote permanence, but self-aggrandizement, greed and protection of one’s interest and power group, leads to demise and eventual social failure. Then, must there come forward, individuals of high moral and ethical perspective, those who are willing to serve for the good of all, and in turn will be served, themselves.
Another student: Thank you, Rayson. That helped answer my question further too.
RAYSON: You are welcome. It is essential to develop leadership within an intentional community from the earliest years of an individual’s life. Knowing that there is a way of becoming a leader, there must be an opportunity or chain of ascension, a chain of accomplishment or development that leads to higher and higher levels of responsibility. Leaders within these intentional communities, of which we have spoken, are also spiritual leaders. They may not necessarily be religious leaders, but they would be spiritual leaders, those who live out their lives achieving and maintaining the highest levels of ethical and moral and social achievement. And their lives will be easily and plainly seen to be clear of all encumbrances of wrongdoing. It is not that you are seeking leaders with a totally pure record, but those who have indicated and shown a penchant for positive, constructive service towards their community, who learn from their mistakes, and associate with those who teach them well.
Student: I see the farthest reaches of intentional community is being settled in Light and Life—it’s going to be great fun getting there!
RAYSON: [Laughing] Yes! When you near the stages of—even before you achieve Light and Life—and centuries before that, there will be a long history of social growth and achievement and excellent leadership. Those are required for societies to eventually achieve moral, spiritual and ethical leadership on an individual basis throughout a society, a world. Further questions?
Student: Our oldest son was in a President’s Leadership Class at Colorado University, and many of the things you talked about in the development of the individual and their leadership qualities and abilities were emphasized in the different aspects of this program. I have seen some examples where it developed some really exceptional children and so I am encouraged in so many ways by what we have already experienced, and I see plenty of room for advancement and achievement in new areas. Thank you, Teacher Rayson.
RAYSON: You are welcome. There are many aspects already in place in your society that produce different attributes of leadership that could be replicated in an intentional community. The intentional communities have the possibility of existence and development now in your world, because there are so many supporting activities in your society that would lend themselves to this community. An intentional community will be far more than a piece of ground, a church or study center, and individuals living around it, going to church. It will be far more than that. And it will be far more than a commune; it will be far more than a discipleship, hidden away in the trees somewhere.
I know there must be one last question, and I will strive to answer that. And that is, we will not overlay a template of leadership upon your groups that strive to develop an intentional community, but work with the leadership that is there, and strive to instill in the group, the avenues of leadership and how to develop leadership. For if you accept that leadership exists at one point in an organization or community, then you have lost the idea. But leadership must be many points within that circle of a community. It is the thought, acceptance and belief in leadership that is the responsibility of each individual, and from there, we can assist you in developing your intentional communities in real, material ways. This closes our lesson for today unless there are further questions. (None.)
Thank you for your time. We will have one more session before we are in recess with Daniel, and we hope you will continue on with your every-other-week gatherings, so that we can continue on. Blessings to you. Good night.
Group: Thank you. We plan to continue on!