1992-12-16-Character

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Topic: Character

Group: Indianapolis TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Welmek

TR: Unknown

Session

Opening

WELMEK: Once again, greetings my friends. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to our weekly meetings. It brings me much pleasure to be able to gather with you and share thoughts and feelings. This is something that we have begun to take for granted. It is something that we should not, for you never know what tomorrow will bring. Always strive in your daily life to do the best that you can and to seek the Father's will. Never allow anything, if possible, to keep you from doing this. As we have discussed in the past, when those things keep you from seeking the will the way in which you desire, do not become anxious or frustrated.

Lesson

Character

Allow these times to pass, for they surely will. Always look forward to the new moment when you can start anew. Never look back. Learn from your past, but never live it. This is most important, for this, indeed, is a frailty of the human nature. The Father loves you all deeply, and I love you also. I will never stop. You are a part of my eternity now. And one day you will realize that I am a part of yours. It is a glorious thing, doing the Father's will. You will never get tired of it, once you fully understand the universe ascension career. For now, in your life, do as I have asked. Worship each day. Pray each day. Love your brothers and sisters as Jesus has asked you to do, and forgive them, as he has forgiven all of us. Next week, Ham will be here. He will have a few words for you to think about. For now, I wish to begin our session this evening on talking about character and the building thereof. You have been asked to prepare yourselves with thoughts in reference to this concept. In order to build character, you must understand what character is. Does anyone wish to begin?

Dialogue

Q: The Urantia Book defines character as that part of an individual that changes and grows, distinct from the personality pattern. Character is a changing and growing aspect of us. It's not static.

Q: We're not born with it. It's something we achieve.

Q: We achieve it, that was my understanding.

A: And how do you achieve character?

Q: Effort, I imagine. Goal-setting. You need to know what you are trying to achieve.

Q: Decisions.

A: It is as you say, by your decisions. The more difficult the decision, the greater the potential to build character. Yet I have found human nature to be somewhat bashful of making difficult decisions. Part of the reason seems to be that you do not wish to make a mistake. This is admirable. But the other part seems to be that you wish simply not to make a decision. Rest assured you will never escape making decisions. The sooner you face your decision- making process, no matter what it is you have to decide about, the sooner you will begin to understand that situation and grow from it. Does anyone else wish to add to the idea of character before we discuss how to build it?

Q: I think character as far as what other people see or what is in yourself has a lot to do with your attitude. I think it's more of a component of character, a very important component.

A: Attitude is indeed part of building character. But more specifically I am interested in making sure that we are all thinking the same, or as you would say, on the same page, in regards to what character is.

Q: I think character is your, I guess, your psychic backbone, your ability to stand up for what is right, your ability to see through difficult situations, to see through people who are trying to bend you to their will, to be tolerant, to be secure in yourself. But you have to work to do that. That's not something that comes naturally, it's something that you have to establish within yourself. The more you do it, the easier it gets for some things; but then every time you achieve something, something else comes up for you to build on.

Q: Character for me is kind of like personality insomuch as I think I know what it is, yet I don't have any idea what it is in a way. I know certain components that I wrote down, several things that I think is more in building character, but to actually give a definition of character, I find myself at a loss for words. Much like I am when it comes to personality.

Q: I think that character reflects more the values that a person has, whatever they are, whether they're good or bad, or whether they have any values or not. If we understand our character, and it's hard for me to understand really what my character is, it's also hard for me to understand really how to judge, assess, someone else's character except where I try to find what kind of values are reflected in that character.

Q: To me, what character is, is the fiber that you're made of. It's what you have taken and made your own from the situations that you've encountered.

Q: Could it be the truth that they mean?

Q: And it's like the thing that you fall back on when you don't have anything else to fall back on, the truth maybe.

Q: It's the foundation of your personality.

Q: It seems like personality and character are intertwined to make like a conscious (?)

Q: I think our childhood learning has a lot to do with that. I know that I grew up on a farm, and a lot of people say that I'm stubborn and a stern character and that, and that's okay. I grew up on a 200 acre farm and was the oldest girl so I learned backbone and that kind of stuff. Character...I asked my dad what he thought character was. Of course, my dad's a real character himself. I asked him, if he looked at somebody, what he would consider their character was to be. He said "Well, it depends on where they came from, what their family was like, how they perceived the world, what they did with themselves, how they lived with their moral lives and whether they stuck up for their convictions. And that's basically what it is.

Q: The thought that comes to my mind is when you're assessing a person's character, what often comes to mind is how they react when they're faced with a difficult situation where they must make a decision, whether they let the situation control them or whether they control the situation. I think that is a reflection of character.

Q: I see character more as attributes of personality which are the result and consequence of personal decisions.

Q: I see character as a set of values that develop as you go through the learning experience of being a mortal.

Q: I would see it as similar to the last two attempts. It is a composite of those traits that you have valued as important and your level of development of those traits.

Q: I think it's a compilation of traits that reflect on the things that everyone has mentioned, reflecting perhaps some sense of truth or higher value. I don't think always that people who develop the traits are even aware consciously of that being the path towards God's will or to be aligned with God's will. But I think in some respects that's what it is, what character becomes, living out the higher truths.

Q: Okay, we're ready for the real answer. (laughter)

A: I will give you an analogy. As I look at the Christmas tree in this room, without the decorations you have a tree. This analogy will be crude, but I believe it will serve the purpose. Consider the tree personality. It is there. It changes not. It is recognizable as a tree. Consider the decorations character. As you take the decorations off, the apparent tree changes. Yet the underlying tree is still the same. It is the outward appearance that changes. As you grow in your spiritual understanding of the reality of the universe, your outward appearance will change to those that come in contact with you. I am not speaking now in terms of a physical sense so much as a spiritual sense. As you grow in understanding, your brilliance, if you will, becomes brighter. Your love permeates broader, and your level of understanding penetrates deeper. Character is indeed those attributes that shine forth, or unfortunately for some, do not shine at all. They do change as you grow, unlike personality which never changes.

To build character requires decisions, as I have said many times, difficult decisions. Yet your text has taught you that this is important and necessary if you are to achieve wisdom and a greater understanding of universe reality. To build character, however, requires more than just decisions. It requires patience, it requires worship, it requires love, and it requires understanding. These elements are essential in building strong character. This is why we have spent so much time on these areas, so that you may be able to begin to penetrate the depth of understanding further than what you have so far to date. Let's talk for a moment about character, or the attributes. You have prepared a list, I believe. Why don't we begin in a rotational basis. Please provide one character and how in your life you have been able to achieve this within yourself. A twist to the assignment? (laughter)

Q: I guess I'll start; but that's an impossible twist because I haven't achieved any of the things on this list (laughter). Probably the one on the list that I have done a little better with than some others is responsibility. I was taught at a very young age to take responsibility for my actions, and I still do, or try to. I don't try to escape that, but I haven't done very well on any of the others I think. Someone else want to try?

Responsibility

A: Before we move on, let's discuss responsibility for a moment. Responsibility, to me, has many definitions, one of which I perceive, especially on your planet, deals with the fact that in being responsible, you at times, must do those things that you do not want to do, but must do. This is being responsible. Do you not encounter this most every day in your life? You do not realize how fortunate you are that you do those things that you do not want to do, but yet you do them anyway because you know it is the right thing to do. You do not realize how blessed you are, for in the service of our Father, once you fully come to understand your citizenship, you will be able to do those things which many of us will probably never will be assigned to do, for you can do them without asking why. You know that you are responsible for doing these things. You will have been asked by one above you to do them, and you will do them wholeheartedly and without question. The level of trust is great. Trust and responsibility go hand in hand.

Q: I have a question about this. I think of responsibility also as taking the consequences for the actions that I may do. In morontia mota, it says the acts are ours, the consequences God's. I assume that..it sounds on the surface like not taking responsibility, but I find that confusing. It seems to me you would have to take the responsibility or take some responsibility for what you've done in terms of the consequences.

A: If you violate a human law, yes indeed you must take the consequences. The Father will not. However, if you engage one of your fellows in a discussion about our Father. about His love, how to find it, anything that has a significant spiritual value to it, all that you are asked to do is to share that which you know in a loving way. That is your act. The consequence, how that person will respond, what will go on between that individual and their spirit fragment, it not your responsibility. That is what is meant by the mota. Let's move on.

Q: One of my traits that I had was honesty. For me, I think it's one of the most powerful ones because I have always been very open and outgoing and an honest person, sometimes to the point where I say things that I feel without proper consideration. But I also feel that honesty is one of the most important things when you're dealing with your fellow human beings, regardless of the relationship that you have with them.

A: It is difficult, I have seen in human interaction, to be honest all the time. It is much easier to avoid the central issue and to make announcements that are not quite accurate. Our Master was excellent at being wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. It is not that he ever spoke an untruth, but he understood human nature to the point that he knew just what and how to say to the individual at the given time. This is what you strive for now. Do your best not to speak untruth. You may find yourself in awkward situations. You may even at times feel embarrassed, but I tell you, the more you practice speaking truth, the more it will become a natural part or character.

Service

Q: Well, one of the words I have on my list is being unselfish with your time and your possessions. I try to do that. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not. But I think it's very important that you try to spend time with your family and those that you love and when they are in need, try to help them with your possessions, whether it's money or whatever it is you can help them with.

A: Another way of saying this is selfless service to your brothers and sisters. Consider expanding your concepts of family. I am not suggesting and I never have, that you should turn over your worldly goods to someone that you do not know. But I am suggesting that you can do more than what you do now in regards to helping your brothers and sisters, be it through prayer, be it through volunteer work, be it through financial donations or whatever means you wish to choose. Please understand this one simple thing: the least that you do for your brother and sister you do for Michael himself. When our Master spoke these words, they were literal. It struck the hearts of all of his children. It made it clear in my mind how powerful selfless service really is in universe understanding. For the more we serve one another, the greater the bond, the greater the love, and that is what our Father wishes. Therefore, by serving one another, you do the will of the Father. There is not one gathered here tonight that does not have this as a central point in their worship.

Grace

Q: One word that I always thought in terms of reading about Jesus' life is gracious. He always seemed to have a gracious way of dealing with what he came in contact with even when it was very difficult to come to terms with some of it. He seemed to find a way to handle it very well.

A: Our Master was indeed most composed, never in a hurry, always willing to lend a hand wherever possible. Here was an individual who during his adult career was responsible for a universe and yet had time for little children. This is part of what I mean when I encourage you to keep your lives simple. There is nothing more important in reality than you seeking the Father. Those things that you do that keep you from this, that devitalize your energies, are only obstacles that you put in your way. You are not expected to master or to understand all of these things necessarily in one short lifetime. But I am pleased to see the effort that you all make, some more than others, but this is your choice. How many humans have you associated with that you would consider gracious? It saddens me to behold such a plight on such a planet. But then again I am uplifted when I can see within your hearts a real desire to be like Christ. It is this desire, it is this hope, it is this willingness to do these things, my friends, that brings you into the kingdom of heaven and secures your place forever. You are all in this kingdom now. It is only time before you realize it.

Q: Welmek, before we leave that point, I struggle . . could you offer a definition or better understanding of what it means to be gracious?

A: Pardon the delay, I had several ideas being shared with me. There were those who wished to participate. I suppose that aspect of graciousness which the Master displayed the most was a very gentle loving attitude. He was always willing to allow another to walk ahead. He would always open the door. He would always share a smile or a warm embrace. Very rarely would he have harsh words and even then, they were justified. His attitude was one of complete caring for the individual, to do what he could do to help that person attain a more clear understanding of who they were and their relationship with the Father. In your language, I suppose gentleness would be synonymous with being gracious. Does that give you any insight?

Q: It does, yes.

A: There is hesitancy in your response?

Q: Well, I was just thinking in my own mind, trying to see it..the loving attitude I guess, to my mind seems to be the central. That ties in with that sort of gentleness towards others. It's a loving, caring attitude. But yet there was another aspect that I was thinking about the idea of being gracious. It's almost as if it's a balance of several character traits, humility, along with a caring and a loving kindness. I guess that's where my thoughts were for a moment, to see it as a combination of several traits all in balance somehow.

A: Actually, the only clarification that I would make is that the feeling and expression of love is the balance of all character traits. Everything, hopefully, will lead to love. It is the pinnacle.

Q: There's a section in the book. The only reason I know about it is because Linda and I discussed it earlier this week, in the Urantia Book section "As Jesus Passed By" on page 1874. It describes the graciousness of the Master, and it's very poetic and it's so easy to remember. It talks about graciousness being "the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul."(171:7.1) And it's very picturesque, but it kind of says it all, really. And that's what Jesus was.

A: And that's what you all will become. That is what you are becoming now, love-saturated souls.

Joy

Q: An attribute that I have attempted to develop is that of cheerfulness. It seemed to me that the way in which I looked at this particular attribute, it was apparent to me many years ago that I could not control all the events in my life. In fact I can control very few of the events in my life, but I could control my attitude that I had about what the events were. If I could maintain an attitude of cheerfulness, then whatever the event was was much easier to tolerate. That's something that I work on, focusing on as much as possible.

A: It is difficult, is it not? But then again, everything is until you understand and have achieved it. Once you feel this love as we have discussed before, the feelings of cheerfulness, joy and happiness are a natural consequence thereof. It is wonderful, I can assure you, to exist in a frame of mind that is dominated or saturated by love. You are not far from it. Do everything that you can each day to continue to pursue this, and you will achieve that which you seek. I would say as a footnote, that maintaining a cheerful attitude is directly related to our preliminary discussion on changing difficulties in daily living into opportunities of service. Who has something else?

Patience

Q: You're all looking at me, so I guess it's me. I guess that the hardest thing that I've ever had to learn is, and I don't know if this goes along with character or not, is learning to live with two people who have handicaps that make other people uncomfortable and having to deal with hospitals and their attitudes and backward ways of doing some things. I keep on working on that on a daily basis.

Q: Sounds like patience.

Q: I lost it last night.

A: Indeed it is. Refresh your memory as to our discussion of patience. Write out what it is you are trying to understand, how much control you can have upon it, and how much time you think it will take to achieve the desired result. As you begin to see the picture clearer, your patience will be there.

Loyalty

Q: Some of the challenges I've had over the past couple of months reflects on loyalty. That's the quality that I think is the most important. I came to value loyalty very much because I didn't see too much of it in my friends when I was growing up, and that's what I wanted most was people who would stand behind me and I wanted to be there for them when they needed me. That's something I've always prided myself on. In the past couple of months I've been really challenged as to how strong my loyalty was in relationships.

A: There are many gathered with me who are nodding their head in favor of what you've said. Having witnessed the recent rebellion in our system, it is painfully clear to us how important loyalty is. It is also clear to us how important loyalty is amongst yourselves. You are one group of many who have been willing to share in this mission. Remain faithful and loyal to yourselves. There is much hope and value to this group. Loyalty will become a critical issue in times coming.

Service

Q: I feel torn between two things to talk about. Probably I lumped several terms together as far as faith, courage and determination. That's something that I feel in many parts of my life have been important to continue living my life as I think it should be lived. There are times when I wasn't strong enough to maintain that, but there were a lot of times when faced with many things that weren't in my control, that that's what got me through. And I think that goes along with the cheerful attitude that was talked about earlier. And I think probably the one that I think I've done the best with is service. I think I've tried to live service in lots of ways in my life.

A: There is a satisfying rewarding gift to you when you have served someone else. Even if the other individual does not recognize your service, you see what you have done; and it is pleasing and should be. For in giving freely, much is added to you. Part of what is added is this feeling of fullness and of good cheer. We are on a roll. (laughter)

Q: I think one thing that I've noticed is people that try to learn from a situation that fight against it. In other words, if you're in a situation that you're frustrated, try to do your best to learn as much as you can from it rather than letting your attitude suffer.

A: So if you were boil that down to maybe one word or characteristic, how would you describe it?

Q: Can I use two words? Patience and learning. Or wisdom, I guess.

A: Wisdom is indeed a vital characteristic of any ascending mortal. Unfortunately, we all lack it at times. I see my attempt at humor was unsuccessful. (laughter)

Q: It hit too close to home. (laughter)

A: Remember, we should always try to do our best to be light at heart. Even though we take our spiritual growth seriously, we should not take ourselves seriously. There is a distinction.

Q: The trait that I saw very recently, the importance of leadership, meaning to take a situation that you're involved in and especially if nobody takes control of it, taking control of it, seeing to it that the task gets completed in an orderly fashion and also doing it in such a way that the people who are doing it don't get mad at you every time you're around. Leadership is being able to take control of a situation where otherwise there would be no control.

A: I would agree, with a certain reservation. I perceive leadership as part of a strong character if you take a leadership role in your own life. Not all individuals are administrators, and I perceive that some may understand the use of your term "leadership" as one who takes control in an administrative capacity. Because you do not feel comfortable in that role does not mean that you are incapable or inadequate in character. Do you understand the distinction?

Q: Yes, I do.

A: But your point is well-taken. You will most assuredly, to some degree, be asked to take leadership roles whenever you encounter another who is in need of a kind word or a friendly smile or a warm handshake. Take the leadership role. Express the love that has been given to you.

Q: For a strong character, I would say one of the things is knowing when to be assertive and when to be passive. I find that one of the difficult things that I deal with is when to keep my mouth shut and when not to. I think that is a good character trait, and I see that in other people who have that capability.

A: Would you call that discretion?

Q: Yes.

A: Another trait not easily developed. There is a natural tendency, once you begin to really feel the love of the Father, to go out and share it with all you come into contact with. Yet, as you know from our Master, he did not share his love with everyone that he saw. This, too, will grow in time. Learn from your mistakes.

Q: One trait I consider important is consideration, to be considerate of other people, their feelings. I find many opportunities during the course of the day to be considerate of other peoples' feelings.

A: In other words, you tolerate them. You recognize them as a child of the Father and you respect them for that. I can tell you now that the more able you are to associate with personalities of different types and to harmoniously work together, you will have an advantage on the constellation ascension scheme. For those of you who are unaware of what I say, you will find your answer in the text in the part discussing the constellation ascension program.

Q: Kindness. Part of character is being able to be kind to others as well as being able to give love and receive love. I think that's part of a strong character.

A: I am glad that you mentioned being able to receive it also.

Q: That's the hardest part.

A: Kindness is to me also synonymous with graciousness. There is an element of receiving love from your brothers and sisters that at times can make you uncomfortable. For many of you, it is easier to give than to receive. But remember, you are all part of our universe. We are all part of the universe; and because of this, as you continue to grow in your experience, you will be at times overwhelmed by those who wish to share their love with you. Get used to it. (laughter)

Courage

Q: I would say courage is one of the things I would think of in a strong character. (?) . .take risks and to try not be afraid of the situation that may lead people to not understand or belittle you and take an opportunity to show a new way of doing things.

A: Courage is something that you exhibit by attending these meetings and by practicing those things which I and others have asked you to do. You know that there are many who do not understand, who do not agree, who would not approve, who would even think that you are somewhat . ..

Q: Screwy. (laughter)

A: Disillusioned. (laughter) I have told you many times that I am not as concerned with your belief in me as I am in your practice of what the text and I have been telling you. This is essential . There are those who still maintain that these words are those of the notorious ones. We must respect all of our brothers and sisters, for none of us are ever completely right at any one point in time. We may be wrong one time and right another. All that I can say is that religion is a personal experience. The faith in the Father comes from within each individual. It is a personal prerogative to share this love with God. If any of you feel that what has been shared with you so far is from a source other than that which is God-knowing and God-loving, then I would challenge you to find anything that I have said that would lead you from seeking the Father. With that being said, courage is one of the five most important characteristics of character, in my opinion.

Q: There are two on my list that I've been thinking about. The first is sincerity. This is something that I work on in my life. I have been blessed with the ability to feel very deeply. I have been through certain circumstances with someone that I have an ability to almost feel the pain or the joy that someone else is expressing. So for me, I try to be sincere in my life, even though I may not always do the right thing, it's done with sincerity. I mean, I'm trying to do the right thing. And secondly, is faith. My parents taught me from the time that I was a little child, faith. I guess my husband says I have a blind faith because I've never doubted the existence of the Father or Jesus. From the minute I read the Ham transcripts, I never doubted this. I would rather believe and be disappointed than not to believe and miss out. I guess those two things that I think I'm doing okay with.

A: We could spend several sessions on just the concept of faith. There is no substitute for it in your life. If you are to have any awareness at all of something greater than yourself, you must have this faith. Yet as we discussed last week, by exercising faith you become conscious of the reality of the Father. It is most interesting, is it not, how this works? Sincerity. What would life be without sincerity? If your association with your brothers and sisters lacks sincerity, then why associate? What purpose would there be? Yet, do not equate sincerity with taking things too seriously. One can be sincere of heart as well as being full of good cheer and light-hearted.

Q: Love for truth. I guess the understanding that the mind can no longer, or cannot possibly grasp more than it can comprehend, so love of truth is not one of my top ones since we've already hit about three or four that were already talked about, so I'll take the love of truth, or love for truth.

A: The love of truth is the navigator. Your spirit fragment is the pilot. Without seeking truth in one's life, you more or less walk around aimlessly. You do not assimilate the experiences and achieve wisdom. Are there any other comments?

Q: Yes, I don't know that there's any one word to cover what I'm thinking, but I've always called it moral courage. I've heard it called strength of character. I've heard it called the courage of your convictions. Whatever it is, it is to live by your convictions, by your beliefs, in spite of what life throws at you, in spite of adversity.

Q: Steadfastness.

Q: I've always called it moral courage.

A: One's ability to express their belief, to withstand the challenges, and even criticism, is most important. Try to imagine, if you can, just for a moment, what it would have been like for those midway creatures who were stationed on your planet when the rebellion occurred. What a challenge! What a decision!

Q: When you talked about faithfulness and loyalty in the same breath, I was kind of glad you did because I'd been going through my mind, the similarity and the difference between faithfulness and loyalty. I had faithfulness picked out because it's a characteristic that seems to cause the person to base their dedication on an idealistic or more of a hopeful level, relationship, or cause or person or whatever, based on the best that you want out of the situation or your best hope for the future. Whereas, loyalty is based more on experience. I'm not sure if I'm making a whole lot of sense; but when I think of myself as being faithful in a marriage it's because of the best that I want out of the marriage, not necessarily basing that (?) on experience that I've had in the marriage. I think that faithfulness is that kind of definition, a strong characteristic because you don't necessarily rely on circumstances that are surrounding you at the moment. You also rely more or less on what you want out of. what you hope to contribute to a relationship or a situation for the enhancement of that situation or relationship.

A: I agree with the intent of your comment. However, I wish to make a suggestion. When you use the word "faith" or "faithfulness", always relate to the Father. Interpersonal relationships, this word does not apply. It may seem semantics, yet I believe it will help you focus a little more. You have faith in the Father. You may believe in those things or objects that you may encounter. You are correct that there is a difference between faith and loyalty, for the rebellious ones were loyal to each other, but did not have faith in the Father. They were committed to each other in the goal that they thought in their minds was the best for those involved. Unfortunately, their error was in thinking of themselves first, what was best for them, rather than what was fulfilling the Father's will. I had mentioned to you several weeks past, when asked the question "What was the most significant defect in human characteristics or in human thought?" My response was the self-fulfilling ego where one thinks of themself first. While fear, anxiety, and hatred, greed, these things certainly are all debilitating, in my mind, having witnessed this rebellion, at least the records from the beginning stages through the annihilation or completion, I would perceive that putting oneself ahead of everything else is the most blinding fact of universe experience.

Q: I've got two that were on my list that we've sort of been touching upon but the words themselves haven't been used. The first is humility. I see humility as extremely important. I suppose the best I could try to define it would be is to sort of recognize, respect our place and relationship to the universe or to others. I would see it particularly important in two areas. One, our pursuit of truth. We must be humble enough to put our own idea or ego aside for the purpose of recognizing the truth from anywhere it comes from. And tied with that is, in order for us to develop proper teamwork, that becomes very important. Again, we must be able to put our own ego aside for the best of the group and what we're trying to accomplish, sort of the ability to see that we're teachers and learners, we're givers and takers at different times.

The other one that I probably would put first on the list is trust. Ultimately, first there's an issue of learning to trust each other, trust our brothers and sisters; and that's not an easy lesson. I think you're talking about being able to give kindness but not being able to take it, yet somehow tie into this ability to trust each other more. Of course the ultimate trust is the ability to trust the Father and decide that no matter what situation we're put into, no matter how difficult it might seem, to truly be able to have the absolute trust that the Father will help us through it. He has our best interests at heart at all times. That's not always an easy one. We get into situations and we rail at those obstacles, whatever the situation is. To be able to try to move away from that and to have that trust in the Father, that He will guide us through it, certainly for me that's something..I struggle with all of these things but trust in others and trust in the Father I would put as number one on my list.

A: There is actually a triangle when you think of trust, for you left out trust of yourself. This is essential. You must trust yourself. You must trust that you are doing the best that you can do. Then with the guidance of the Father, you will then reach out and trust others. This trusting of the Father, as you have mentioned, once you become more conscious of who you are and your relationship with the Father, you will become much clearer as to how it is that you trust yourself. For you see, there is, once fusion occurs, no difference. You are now as I am, a part of the Father. I should clarify. You are not fused as I; but when you do fuse, there is this linking eternally between the divine and the human, the mortal. It is wonderful, my friends, to know completely and whole-heartedly, without a doubt, of the reality of the Father.

Q: I have another trait. I would say tolerance, the ability to accept other people as they are, accept yourself as you are, not demand impossible things of yourself or expect other people to live up to your expectations.

A: I would agree.

Q: I have another one, Welmek, that nobody's really touched upon, and that's integrity; because I know growing up that no matter what anybody said, if they were asked to keep it quiet that they didn't. I've noticed that lately that a lot of people have trusted me and they've asked me to keep things quiet; and sometimes it's pretty hard to do that when you know you better talk to somebody else that could help you understand it so that you could go back and help them. I find that integrity throughout life is pretty important too.

A: How can I add to what you have said? You have summarized very well. Let us stop for a moment. I need a volunteer...Thank you. I was afraid you would all rush..(laughter) Next week you will be given the transcript of tonight's meeting. By the week following, the last meeting of this year, I would ask that you make a list of those characteristics that we have spoken of tonight, just the words themselves. Make copies for everyone; and as your tradition suggests, your New Year's resolution tradition, (laughter)

Q: No,...Welmek, that's not...

A: Each month, take one characteristic. Every day, and if you need to do this post a note so that you cannot forget, make this one characteristic your goal, incorporating it as best you can into your life. Where will you be by the end of the year? Where will you be by the end of two years? Where will you be by the time you're ready to leave this planet? Where will you be in service to the Father? How many hungry mortals will we be able to lead to you? You say you wish to serve the Father. This is one more way. Is this acceptable?

GROUP: We'll try....

A: There's that word again. (laughter)

Q: I have a question, Welmek. You said that courage was one of the five most important character traits. What are the other four?

A: We will discuss this in that meeting, for I was planning to ask you this question. They have all been mentioned by now.

Q: Welmek, next week, you said that Ham was going to be teaching us. Are you going to be here also?

A: Yes.

Q: How long?

A: Does that matter?

Q: Yes.

A: Why?

Q: Because I'm ornery.

A: I will be here throughout the entire evening.

Q: Okay, thank you.

Q: Are we opening up the floor for different types of questions now?

A: Not yet, please.

Q: I just wanted to get that in, before it got too late.

Q: That's why I asked.

A: You have also been asked to do something else which I wish to address this evening. Does anyone remember?

Q: Yes.

A: Who wishes to begin? . ..or should I choose a volunteer?

Q: I have the perfect out, I wasn't here.

A: Then I will refresh your memories. (laughter) When you encounter individuals throughout your day, you've been asked to select one individual encounter and to put forth the energy required to treat that individual as though they were Michael. Has anyone done this and met with any degree of success; and if so, would you share with all of us your physical, mental and spiritual insight.

Q: I will. I've been in probably several situations; but the one that's the most precious, something that happened this afternoon. I helped chaperone at my daughter's school. There were several parents there helping the teachers. I was acquainted with a couple but didn't know anybody in depth. But I noticed that there was one mother who spent almost the whole time off by herself and no one approached her. I was wanting to approach her and I was engaged in conversation, and I did make my way over to do that. I think she was very appreciative of that and I feel that it's the beginning of somewhat of a friendship. In our course of conversation, we (?) to realize that one of my very good friends from high school went to college with her; and I'm going to help them get re-acquainted. So it was just a real positive experience all the way around. It was positive for me as well as for her. I guess I just felt like I wanted to reach out to her and I felt she received that. I felt we were able to share. I think our sharing went beyond the words we shared, but just to have a personal interaction I think was important. And I think there were bridging of other differences that others weren't willing to bridge.

A: And what would you say motivated you to speak to this woman?

Q: I guess just a sincere concern for her as a person, as one of God's children.

A: Thank you for sharing. Does anyone else wish to?

Q: I will. My daughter is now pregnant and she'll make me a grandmother next year. And the guy that she's marrying, I have very little respect for. He can be very obnoxious. I have tried ever since this thing has come on to see him as a child of God, to see God's love in him. It seems he just knows I'm trying to do this because he has done everything he possibly can to (?) the tar out of me. And today when I saw him, the first time I'd seen him all week, and they'd been fighting and I'd been trying to talk to Heather and trying to get her to settle down and think about the stress that she putting on the baby and what she needs to do to get her life together. This afternoon, Mike walked in, the first time I'd seen him since they'd gotten into an argument that kept me up all night long. I looked at him and I thought "You know, he's just a little kid with experiences yet to learn." I tried to give him love. He backed off from me, which is okay. I'll eventually get there with him. But I finally did see the light of Christ in him.

A: And what happened?

Q: He stopped off and he left because he had a couple of appointments to do. When he left I felt relieved that I had finally accomplished it because I couldn't see any good in this kid. He's beat her up, and why on earth she wants to stay with him I don't know; but that's what she wants. It's just real hard to look at this kid and know that he's bruised her, abused her. He has a foul temper. And to try and love him as, not only a child of God, but as a son-in-law and the father of my grandchild is like...I'm going to really have to work on it, guys. I got a little ways today, but it'll take some time. But I'm making it. At least there wasn't any anger there this time.

A: Almost a paradox, is it not? For you are asked to love this individual as a son of the Father, and this is right. This is the way it should be. Yet, you live in a society that is governed by laws, by morals; and it sounds as though this individual does not live up to his responsibilities

Q: No.

A: And therefore, you must not interpret loving this individual as a son of the Father as a requirement for loving him as a person. If indeed his behavior does not change, how can you love him as a friend? Most difficult situation, for you do love your daughter and you want only that which is best for her. Yet it is her choice. It puts you in a most precarious position.

Q: Well, I agree.

A: Did anyone else encounter a situation?

Q: For me, I see very few adults in the course of a week (laughter) so I do have to say though it was very easy to see Michael in the face of these little children. I have had probably...last week was a very trying week with David's schedule being the way it is and mine being the way mine is; but there was one instance where I was putting this little boy, 2 years old, that brings tears to my eyes to even think about it. I had had just a really rough day, and he laid there and just this little innocent face looked up at me and filled me with so much love. I just reached down and he gave me the biggest kiss and hug, and it really brought a life to that day for me. When he's awake, he can be a holy terror sometimes; but in that moment I just saw that innocence and that love looking up at me and that big smile and it really filled me with a lot of love. It is easy with the little ones to see Christ in them, and you know why he loved them so much when you experience them that way.

A: An interesting technique. First let me ask you this question. Do you not feel that within each person there is still this little child?

Q: Absolutely.

A: Do you all feel this?

GROUP: Yes.

A: When you are involved with someone that you find disagreeable, you do not have to agree with them. You may not wish to even associate with them. But perhaps you might consider trying to see this little child, literally, in them. Try to regress within their face, going back to when they were this two or three-year-old or younger. Imagine how they were when they were pure of heart and mind, when they were not yet inundated with those things which have led them to where they are now. This may help you feel the love. I do not know, but I am always open to suggesting anything that will help you feel love.

Teaching

Q: The situation that I get placed in occasionally is that I officiate hockey on weekends and sometimes in the evenings; and in some games this past weekend, on Saturday worked with a group of children that are probably between the ages of 6 and 9. That is an exercise in patience more than anything because while I'm waiting for them to line up to get the game going, I also..these kids really don't understand l00% of what they're supposed to be doing. But more to the point, when I'm working with the younger children, me being a more experienced official, I was also working with a less experienced official. I was asked specifically by the scheduler to assess the other official I was working with, to help him out and guide him and keep him on the right track. I take this challenge gladly because I know the importance of it. I received the same kind of help when I was learning. The challenge of this is when you're talking with another person and showing them how to do something, the correct way or the best way or whatever, is teaching to them in such a way that they're not offended or don't feel put down or put out and aren't discouraged by the things they've done wrong. The thought that comes to my mind is, what if you were to teach Christ how to do something? How would you go about that? Something that he didn't know. I don't know if there is anything, but in that situation how would that be handled.

A: Jesus, when he lived his life on your planet, was taught many things by many people. He was always willing to listen to what they had to say. If he found that he could learn from them, he always did. You do not need to be intimidated or uncertain in teaching. Always do it with an attitude of love, with an attitude of patience, and with an attitude of sincerity. I have seen in human associations, when you attempt to instruct with an attitude of "Here's how you do it, now go and do it", the person receiving the information may not either understand what it is you are saying, but will pretend that they do because they do not wish to appear ignorant, or they are resentful of the fact that you are telling them to do this. While there are other variables in this I have witnessed, these two seem to be somewhat prevalent. I might suggest to you, when you are in a situation where you find yourself instructing or in this leadership role that you referred to earlier, to make it more of a participation process, more of a teamwork, by that I mean an approach whereby you would say "I believe the best course of action would be this. What do you think?" People tend to support what they help create. If you know in this particular example your rule book more fully than they, you do not necessarily have to assert this knowledge in and of itself. Try to draw out of them what they know and then add to it if necessary. Has anyone else encountered a situation this week where you actively sought to treat an individual as though they were Michael himself.

Vision

Q: Welmek, I've tried, but I don't know if I'm doing it the right way or not, so I would appreciate your guidance. I tried it with several people that I was registering as patients in the hospital and looking at them with compassion for their difficult ailments as well as trying to give them a word of reassurance or just a little levity in the situation. Trying to look at that person as Michael was hard for me because he's just so much different than what I was picturing these individuals; and that's where I was really coming across a stumbling block although I did feel compassion and love for them and I felt good about the way I interacted with them. But I don't know if that was the right way to do it. It felt right, but is there anything more that can be done?

A: What is it that would expect to do given the situation?

Q: I don't know. That's what I'm asking.

A: In your job there really is not much more that you can do other than to accept this individual as a brother or sister and treat them with love and respect. That is all that we are talking about here is this.

Q: Well, if it's as simple as that, I guess so. Maybe sometimes I need to know a little bit more about what you expect of us.

A: It is as simple as that. My point in asking you to see or treat them as Michael is to hopefully intensify your feelings. Do you understand this?

Q: I think so.

A: Granted there is a difference between Michael himself and those individuals. Nevertheless there are still similarities. You never know who you will come into contact with during the course of your life. The more God-conscious, the more God-willing you become, the more opportunities to serve will be provided for you. Look for the opportunities. You never know when they will be at hand. Always treat every brother and sister that you come into contact with with a loving attitude. You may seek and find many rewards because of this. When you meet those fellow associates whom you do not wish to associate with because of a difference of personality that you are not able to bridge, then so be it. But I wish to re-emphasize, you never know who you are talking to.

Q: Welmek, I had several occasions in which I tried to look at the other person as if they were Jesus. That was very difficult. However, when I looked at them as if I were in Jesus' place, that made it easier for me, because I cannot look at that person and see Jesus for whatever reason. The cases were different, but on the other hand, when I perceived them or I looked at them as if I were, or Jesus was standing next to me, I performed a lot better at that task.

A: Would it help you if you perceived them as if they were Jesus rather than to try and truly picture them as Jesus?

Q: I think I was doing that. I was perceiving them as if they were Jesus. But their actions were not Jesusonian. I knew that Jesus wouldn't act this way, so consequently I could not see the Jesus in them.

A: But do you see the challenge in what it is that I have asked you to do? For when one acts in a way unlike Jesus, the challenge is for you to still treat them as though they are. This will build the character that we are talking about.

Q: That I have no problem with. But I cannot see or look at them as if they were Jesus.

A: Then treat them as though they are. Do not perceive them as such. If I understand what you are saying, you are trying to literally visualize them as Christ, and this will not work for they are not. Their actions are not exemplary of Jesus. This is true. But regardless of their actions, your assignment is to try and in your action or reaction with them, treat them as though they are Jesus.

Q: I love your idea of looking at a person as though, what they may have looked like when they were around 2 or 3 years old. Because to me, not only would that be easier to look upon them with love, but also with a fatherly type love.

A: Thank you for bringing that point up. But let's go back a moment. Is there still uncertainty as to what it is I am asking you to do?

Q: Welmek, for me, I feel like I over time developed a certain ability to see the potential in a person or being like Jesus. That's how I envision people when I try to do what Bob's talking about. But I've had occasion to think someone who is not well-liked and not well- received within an organization, to see that and respond to that person in that way and draw out some pretty wonderful things from that person. I don't feel like it got taken to its fullest because the environment didn't allow me to do that. They weren't pleased that I did that; but it really allowed that person to be what they could be. It really helps to give them the environment, the soil in which they can be. As long as everyone is judging them based upon some aspect of their behavior, they have no opportunity to grow out of that place.

A: Fascinating, isn't it? Perhaps if you have difficulty in seeing the Jesus, or treating them as if they were Jesus, the assignment should be to honor and respect the Father fragment within them. And when they behave or speak in such a way that it's not exemplary of a God-conscious mortal, then speak to the spirit fragment. Acknowledge the spirit that is within them and humble yourself before this spirit.

Q: But can't you see that as through the eyes of Jesus instead of looking at the eyes of Jesus?

A: That is your goal, that is what I hope that you will all be able to achieve by this process. You are most accurate, yes.

Q: Welmek, I think another aspect too is I think we're all becoming more aware and conscious of the God-fragment inside of us and how acceptable that is to us. It's the guidance that is there. And when you look at someone else and you understand that that same thing exists within that other human being, it's easier to look at that other person as a brother or a sister and to forgive any prejudice, maybe, that you've been taught because in that way we are equal. Every human being on this planet is equal. I don't care how much money they have, what color they are, what gender they are, if you look at it in that way, we are all equal. And then you have a tendency to give them more respect if you look at it in that way.

Q: I think it also allows you to keep that balance with humility.

Q: I think so too.

A: Is there still confusion? Bob, I am not clear as to whether or not..

Q: I think we're dealing with semantics. I think we're saying the same thing. It's just that I think we're looking at the same picture but the words are confusing.

Q: Whatever works for you

Q: I think you made a statement which is exactly what I did do, and it was what I thought you wanted us to do, so I think I've tried it.

A: If this process works better for you and you feel as though the Master stands beside you or within you and you are trying to see others as though he would, by all means do this; for this is what I was hoping to attempt to do in order for you to understand what it's like for the Master, how it was when he worked with humans of the planet. This indeed is our goal, if you wish to take this approach. Please understand when I ask you to do these things you have your own minds and your own wills. Be creative. I only give you suggestions as to ways that I believe will help you help yourselves. What Bob has done is a good alternative, for he found it easier for him to express the love and understanding and patience with his fellow associates by perceiving it somewhat differently. The outcome is still the same. You will grow in your love for your brothers and sisters, and you will grow in love for yourself.

Q: I think too, that what Bob was saying helps me because it reminds me of another place in the book. It says something to the effect that if you find that your mind isn't working that well, that isn't exactly how it says it, but using your mind

Q: Serves you well.

Q: Serving you well, getting things accomplished and the goals you want, then exchange it for the mind of Jesus (48:6.26) in that attitude of trying to, how would Jesus treat them, how would Jesus' mind, what would he want, what would he think in this situation, that seems to be a helpful way of doing it. It's a helpful way also for my mind to look at it.

Q: There's a story called "The Christmas Visitor" and I'm not sure if anyone has ever heard of the story before. In a dream, the man is told that on Christmas Eve Jesus is going to visit him; and he prepares his house and he waits and waits. There's three knocks on the door, and they're all different people and different circumstances and he treats them well and lets them come in and get warm or whatever. At the end of the night he asks Jesus "Why have you forsaken me? Why did you not come?" and Jesus said "I did. I visited you three times." To me it's a very, very poignant story. It reflects whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me. And I think that's really what we're talking about here.

A: It is exactly what we are talking about. It is literally true, my friends, I will say it again. Whatever you do for your brothers and sisters, it is noted and you will be made aware of it at a later date. You are always rewarded for those things that you do that help spread love, joy and happiness. It is not easy to love someone that does not love you, but it is a task that you have at hand. For those will come to you in the future with open arms and minds, and there will be those that come to you with closed minds and closed arms and harsh words. Love your enemies as yourself. Did not the Master demand this of all of us?

Closing

Learn to accept your enemies as ones who are still children of the Father who simply have different ways of viewing reality. I wish to conclude this evening's meeting. I want to wish you all a good evening.