1993-01-19-Group Discussion, Service
Topic: Group Discussion
Group: Indianapolis TeaM
TR: Donna D'Ingillo
WELMEK: Greetings. This is Welmek. I am pleased to see so many gathered this evening. We look forward to a most interesting evening. Donna has prepared and I expect this to be of great interest to all. This group has come a long way. We are most pleased with your progress and look forward to the future. We have tried to impress upon you the importance of this mission and ask that you work hard to discipline yourself with the tools we have given you. I cannot emphasize this enough for this is what you need do to prepare for what is asked of you in the future. You must each, individually, grow in these aspects of your own spiritual life. The better you become, the stronger you will be and the more resource you will have when the demands increase. Additionally, your strength as a group is of paramount importance. I wish for you to think about the overall picture. Step back and look, as we do, at what this mission means. It is not specifically for [Indianapolis TeaM|Indianapolis]] or for a portion of your group or for your group alone. It is truly a mission for your entire world. If you keep this in mind, and regard your own place in the universe, it will be easy for you to overcome whatever obstacles need be overcome to maintain your group and work effectively as a support system for each other. With this said, I wish to turn this over to Donna.
DONNA: Thank you Welmek. (?) of service in the Urantia Book, I'm sure everyone will realize is quite all-encompassing. There are so many references to service. All the different personalities are created for service, so I thought what we could do is pass out this outline of what I had planned to discuss tonight. The first component is what is service. Let's just take a few minutes and go around the room and if we could just briefly give a one or two sentence definition of service. Then I'd like to try to take a few minutes after that and take the definitions and to break down what are the components of service.
K: For me, I think service would be helping, assisting, doing things for other people with no necessary motive in mind, for the sake of helping, the sake of serving, not doing for someone so that you'll get something in return but doing it just for the happiness and the feeling that you get inside of yourself by just doing that service.
A; Well, I would have to agree with Karla's definition. One thing I thought of when we first discussed it was, when you do it as work, then that's a job because then it takes on a different attitude. It's how you feel if it's done in the right way that's very joyful, a wonderful thing to be of service.
Welmek: It truly is a most wonderful thing. You will appreciate this far more after this stretch of your career. There are not as many opportunities in the future as you know. When you think of service, it is true what your attitude is is a significant factor. If you see this service as a sacrifice, this entails a negative aspect to service. Many on your world approach service in this fashion. This is not necessary. You need not feel like you must give something up in order to be of service. As your attitude changes and you understand your brothers and sisters to a greater degree, you will not feel this way. You will feel as Ann and Karla have stated, as this is an act joyfully done.
S: Thank you for that, Welmek, you took the words right out of my mouth. A perfect example of that is a situation not too long ago when I was asked if I wished to contribute to a fund for the purpose of buying gift certificates for my employers. I didn't have any money in my pocket at the time, so I said "Wait until payday" and then when payday came around, one of the other employees came around with a list of names and how much they had contributed. The attitude was if you don't contribute, we'll see you on the unemployment line. I thought "Wait a minute, that's not service." That's no longer a gift. That's being required of me as opposed to giving of my own free will; and I think that's a key to (?) service right there, is whether it's of your own free will or not. If it's required of you and you expect payment or expect some kind of return or result as opposed to giving something of your own free will whether you get a result or not is irrelevant.
Welmek: What I was referring to is not exactly how you have described it. I was referring to your desire to give freely when an occasion arose. I do understand the situation you describe and yes, this is an inaccurate description of what service entails.
B: Service is everything that's been said. To me, I've often thought about the line "To rule is to serve." and thought to serve with a light heart, to truly give without any thought of yourself, you have to be secure within yourself, your faith and your place in the universe. If you're just real secure within yourself, then it's easier to give and to serve without expectations or false expectations or with a grudge against society because you didn't want to be required to serve.
A: Service is everything that everyone has said. I guess it's just like helping someone where you don't feel like a part of you is being used up when you're trying to help somebody. It's part of something that you just automatically do, it's not like you really notice you're doing it because it's just something you don't think about not doing. It doesn't seem to be an effort because you don't even think about not doing it.
M: It seems like when service comes around to me or it's my turn to give it it's like a spontaneous...today Peter and I were sitting at the kitchen table with the Urantia Book, trying to figure out what we could say and a 12-year-old girl, a friend of my niece's, came and said "You tell me something. Can you tell me how you can get my dad to stop drinking?" I said "You could do an effective prayer for him." She looked at me kind of funny and so we went through how to do the prayer to the Father, Christ, and then the stillness to reach what she wanted. She took that paper and put it in her purse and said "I'm going to do this every night, I promise, every night until he stops drinking."
W: How nice, to share this with her.
M: I thought it was pretty special because she's been real hedgy with me since I met her.
P: Spontaneous giving is about the only thing I can say. With that 12-year-old girl we got into a rather heavy theological discussion about who God is and how to effectively approach Him with three 9-year-old boys, and they had some pretty good ideas. That was fascinating. We got the dishes done too. (laughter)
L: For me, the best service that I've ever performed has always been totally unconscious at the time. I can look back and say "Did I really do that?" It's not that I don't feel I can't serve people by thinking about it at the time or wanting to help, but I really think that the highest kind of service is so automatic that you really don't need to think about it. You don't think about it at all. You just do it.
W: At times, at least for now, I would like for you to also think about it consciously. It is true many of you have experienced this spontaneous giving and I recognize this. There are many ways to give and many opportunities that are not taken advantage of. You are all growing in this, and your conscious focus will help you expand and increase your ability to see these opportunities.
M: I'd like to expand upon what Amber said and Peter and Linda about the spontaneity of it. It seems to me that service is a natural consequence of consecrating your will to do the will of God. It also appears to be that it is an external manifestation of one's consciousness of God's love, that if you are truly conscious of God's love, then you will act in service towards others. I agree absolutely with what Welmek said that, at least as it relates to me. I do not frequently have the experience of being able to spontaneously enter into a service with everyone with whom I interact. I have found that on occasions I will know when I'm going to be in a relationship with somebody prior to the time that I'm having that relationship that I know that there's probably something that I can do to assist the person. What I've found myself doing on occasion which has been successful is form the thought that I'm going to be in this relationship with somebody and I expect to be doing service and asking for assistance in order to do the right thing. That has worked.
W: I wish to touch upon something you said. You talked about service as being related to being conscious. This is important, not only on an intellectual focus. It is something that you also experience as you feel God's love within you; and the more that you feel this love, the more it will automatically flow from you to others. This is why I emphasize and other teachers who have visited continue to emphasize for you the importance of your prayer, your worship, your time in silence to begin to increasingly feel the Father's love, to rely on this throughout your day. As you do this, so much will change in your lives.
L: I agree wholeheartedly with what everybody has said so far. I was going to add that it would be a natural type of action, resulting from consciously feeling, expressing your dedication to the Father's will, to our Father's will. I also noticed in the section on Sanctity of Service (28:6.16), it says it's a privilege of service, which is a little different aspect that I had really not thought about before.
M: I was thinking if you define as the desire to do good to others, then to me, service is the act of doing good to others and I was thinking what Welmek stated earlier. That is, if you have the love, love is the desire to do good to others; then the act is tied to that and is based upon allowing our love just to flow freely through you. The only other comment that I would make at this point is that sometimes in my own thinking, like all things, it goes through an evolution. At first I thought with service you had to go out and become a minister or it had to be on some grand scale. I've come to understand it differently now that doing the simplest of things for others, just any act of kindness is giving a lot to someone. It doesn't have to be some really big thing.
D: As the book says, each day is a new adventure. If we were all able to consciously accept that, accept the challenge, we would realize that service is a privilege inasmuch as when we serve the least of our brothers, we're serving Michael himself. The full consciousness of that has not yet dominated my being; but my prayer is that in time it will.
S: It came to my mind today that service is a lot more than I had originally thought or even recall from reading in the book. Service is really an outward expression of the Father's love; and to the degree that we are able to express the Father's love, the more spontaneous and natural it will be to look forward to serving. With the service comes the joy and happiness.
M: I believe that service is good, be it conscious or spontaneous. Hopefully if you consciously do it, even if you're looking for no more reward than a thank you, in due time it will become spontaneous. I think as far as with your brothers and sisters out there, if they see you doing service, then they will become closer too because they will see that in you. I think that's important.
W: There is nothing more attractive.
D: I think service is a way to break the ice with a stranger. It immediately puts you into a relationship, a reciprocal relationship, that can lead to further sharing and enrichment for both people involved.
W: That is a nice additional (?) The reciprocity is truly a part of the interaction of service.
T: One of the nicest things I think about service is whether you go and spend 15 hours a day in a hospital to help someone get through an illness or whether you just smile at a person who's in line with you at the grocery store, it's the just the connection that you make when you look in that person's eyes that is one of the nicest feelings. I was sitting here thinking of everyone around, exactly what is connected, a soul, a meeting of souls or hearts or Thought Adjusters or maybe all those things. That's one of the nicest things about service, when you make that connection with that person.
G: I think also that, to me, I don't call it a service, but just being there for someone when they need you. My youngest son lost a friend the week before last; they were good friends since they were in the 5th grade. He questioned that. And then another friend of ours, I used to baby-sit with her children, he committed suicide. But going there, I hadn't seen these people for years, but it made them feel better. And it makes you feel good. You know that you haven't forgotten these people; and we should always give our love to people. If it's only a phone call. Today I called my cousin. I lost one last March. He's 83 years old; but I could tell that after talking with me he felt better. It makes you feel better. People lose their families; and especially when they get old, they don't have as many people to call. So never forget our people, even an in-law, they're still a relative, even a brother or sister. Reach out to all those. To me, that's a service. I've always been a family person. I love smiling at people, and I love it when people smile back.
W: By relating to an individual as a brother or a sister, you acknowledge them in a way that is very meaningful. So many in your world do not have the relationships with others to draw from or to understand the Father's love. Through your contact in these ways is truly a ray of light and love to these individuals. It is good to remember those whose ties are lessening due to aging or other circumstances. In your world there are many who are not within their extended families. Your world is one where many move from place to place. This increases the need for your friendships and your reaching out even more than it might at other times is your history.
M: I don't think I can really add anything as far as definition of service. I think it's been very well stated. It's been very thorough. Although I have sat here and realized something as I listened to all of you speak your definitions of service. It seems that service is that over-riding act or component that gives purpose to our existence. If we think about existence without service, then it seems to be very empty, very meaningless. Just after listening to everyone, it seems to me that's the most important part of our existence is to be of service.
D: Well, from the discussion of the definition, we can see that there are many components of service and to really kind of encapsulate it what a definition is, I think what Michael said really said it succinctly, is that love is the act of doing good to others. We can see that coming out of that act, there are many gifts that we receive. We feel good about ourselves. We share love. Our love grows. We feel that we are privileged to serve. It builds relationships. Our connections with people grow. There are so many different components that come out of this. Does anyone else have anything else to add about what components they would see to service?
L: I have Mary's definition. I'm speaking for two of us tonight. She can't be here, but she'll try to be here next week, we hope. She wrote this down: "Real service is devotion to the person being served, not the task at hand." It's apparently a very personal thing, love or devotion for the person, not what you're doing for them that is the service.
B: I've said often that if everyone truly believed that God loved them, what a different world we would have. If you're filled with the Father's love to the point where it overflows, then that reaches out to people and it manifests itself in service to others.
K: And also you're not in such a hurry all the time. There's a calmness that comes over your mind that helps you to facilitate more a service-motivated life rather than always being in a hurry to get your stuff done.
M: I think the difficult part becomes how to express it to certain individuals, how you can be of service to them. Obviously your goal is to benefit them even though in return you benefit yourself. Many people are not as open and do not recognize your effort to give them service, so it becomes somewhat a challenge to find a way to serve certain people. Of course, I'm not around as pleasant a group as this all day. (laughter) But that seems to be a challenge. How can you specifically serve individuals in a way that makes them acknowledge or be aware that you're making an effort in that regard?
D: That kind of gets down to part 2 of this outline. The second component of this discussion is what does service mean to you; and if we could perhaps share experiences we've had of service, something that's had a lot of meaning and fulfillment in our lives and then how to apply service in daily living. It doesn't have to be on a grand scale. We're not all missionaries, or doctors performing wondrous feats of healing; but it is a small deed. If we could just take a few minutes to share some of the experiences that we've had where we were providing service that had a lot of depth of meaning.
S: It's not so much an experience, but more to the point of the consequences of the service. One of the things I heard as a kind of side to that. When you do service, sometimes it's better to keep it between you and the Lord. Like why go out and seek the great recognition for service in something minor, or not jumping out and taking that recognition. The consequences of service too...like if you give a beggar five dollars that he's begging for, is that actually going to help him? Is he going to go out and spend it on some more booze? Or is he going to go out and spend it on food? Or would not giving him money on the other hand, encourage him to find a job? That's something that worries me sometimes. It's like when you give service, and you give it with love in your heart as an extension of the Father's will, when you give it with the right attitude, you shouldn't have to worry about the consequences because the consequences, as I think we discussed before, are God's.
D: That's right. That's one of our mota.
S: On the same token, when you have a choice like that, how can you decide which is the better, which is the worse? Which consequences, which would be better service to that person that you're helping? W: And that is where the wisdom comes in. I would like to just comment on what Scott and Mark have said. It is important to consider service from the perspective of the one being served. If you look at it from your perspective, you may not identify the important act for that person. The more you understand and get to know your brothers and sisters, and their circumstances, the better you will understand what I say.
L: I have a comment. Does anyone remember the night Norsen was here and he commented on what would you think if someone burst into a room and ran up to you and said "I love you, I love you" and started hugging you and grabbing your arms and dancing around the room with you? He said you would start looking at this probably as rather odd. He said it would be a bit overwhelming. And so you do, in your expression of love to people, you do have to temper this with some restraint or wisdom on occasion. One of my main problems with understanding service has always been motive behind it. There is only one statement in the Urantia Book, it's under the Sanctities of Service, (28:6.16) interestingly enough, that Stan mentioned, that at some stage we are judged for our motives of service. And so last night Mary and I got into this big discussion. How often have you said "Well, he meant well." You know the person's motive was all right. Somehow, sometimes, you do wonder whether the motive is ego or not. It's like Mark said, you can give service to someone, and often they don't recognize that you're trying to be helpful to them, from their point of view. It's happened to me. I know someone is trying to help me, but I just don't want that service at that time in that way. They're quite insistent about it, and it's uncomfortable. So you've got two things. You've got motive and then you've kind of got delivery of service. We got into the section on page 1874 in which the word service is never mentioned in this entire section, "As Jesus Passed By" but it is the single best, most concise definition of service in the book. I know a lot of you are familiar with that.
K: I'd like to comment on that a little bit because it almost seems as if your service to the person would be to let them do that service for you. (laughter) L: You would wish that instead of trying to serve you the way they are that they would serve you by kind of leaving. (laughter) Haven't all of us had that experience?
M: I know that when my kids were little, we used to find a family that needed food for a couple days or something, we'd buy groceries and at 5 o'clock in the morning we'd leave the stuff by their door and pound on it, then run like crazy. The other night I was talking to my son and he remembered that. It seems like that's how I taught my kids what service was. I mean Anthony's learned it pretty good.
D: But there was still the satisfaction of knowing you had helped someone. M: The most satisfaction that I got out of it recently was that my 25-year-old still remembers it and passes it on.
K: I was just going to say that I had an experience and I can't go into it in full detail because it's very personal, but where I was in tune to someone's experience and made a petition for that person and saw my prayers answered and was able to facilitate an answer to that prayer and it was absolutely one of the most outrageous feelings I've ever felt in my entire life. I'll never forget it; I'll take it with me to eternity.
M: When you look back at your life, there are just endless things that people have done for you. I was thinking of one of them that will stick in my mind. One time I was not married, living on my own, and I was real sick; and this fellow came over and he saw that I was real sick and just offered to take me to a doctor. He was kind of an acquaintance, somewhat of a friend; but we were never all that close. And another time I think of this guy who gave me the Urantia Book and it was sort of in a disdainful tone. He never really became a reader or anything like that. So I'm trying to think why do those stick out in my mind; and I think the reason is they didn't give me what they thought I needed, they gave me what I needed. I needed someone to take me to the doctor and that's what he did. I'm sure he didn't walk in the door thinking "I'm going to go over there and do this service for this person." He just came in and saw that that was what was needed and just volunteered right on the spot to do that. And the other guy probably didn't have a clue as to what he was doing, but somehow he was led where it just worked out or something. Then he did that. My point in all that was to go back and think what was earlier said that when we look at someone else, Jesus did much of his service I believe it states in the book, by listening. He could expound on things better than anyone; he could teach anybody anything. But what did he do? He let them talk, he drew them out, and then he ended by listening and allowing them to vocalize and to grow and by hearing what they're saying or by maybe something they would say, maybe he could see what it was they really needed. It makes me think that instead of us planning so much in our interactions with people, just listen to them and you will hear what it is that they really need or want.
D: So that it's an attunement to them, so to speak, so that you can find how you can best help them so that even if it was just a small thing, that would still be giving them the kind of assistance they needed. It kind of brings us down to the next section..
W: May I interject something? I wish to highlight this point, for after all, in your career, what you are seeking in the long run is to be attuned as you said to others in such a way that there is a unity among individuals. This is a process that will last much of your career as you meet the infinite number of individuals from many locations in all of the universes. As this unity and attunement to one another grows, you ascend towards the Father. Thank you.
D; Let's just maybe go on to the next segment and how to apply that service in daily living. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of times we always think about doing the great deeds; but when it really comes down to it, as Michael said, it's just something small that happened to him that had a very profound impact on his life. Taking him to the doctor, or the Urantia Book was little larger impact; but it's just those small things that are done that people may not even realize the depth of what they do for you when they do those small things. Does anyone have anything to add?
G: In raising my children, I've come in contact with lots of other people and children; and you'd be surprised sometimes how just some little thing like making cookies...I used to be a room mother and I used to make all the Christmas cookies, Valentine cookies and made real pretty ones for them. And one year, Tommy White came to you, Marva, and said "Tell your mother I still remember her cookies. If you haven't seen someone since they were young children and here they are in high school and they still remember you for your cookies...
D: And that had an impact on him?
G: It did, and it makes you feel good. Well, when I do something then someone else is going to enjoy it too. T: It seems to have like a domino effect. When you do a kindness for somebody else, or a service that makes them feel good, just like when someone does something for you and then you want to do something for someone else.
G: Just like going to the funeral home the other week. The mother of this boy that was killed, she never had many neighbors that were very friendly and her husband was on the road a lot. Well, when her children got sick or they got hurt, she would call me because my sons were real friendly with her sons. I'd go over and check and see what they needed, a doctor, or to be sutured or for a sickness or whatever and I was always glad to be there. They still remember this. The kids remember when one of them grabbed a knife out of the other one's hand and cut their fingers, and he said "You're the one who took us to get them sutured." You don't even think about these things as being a service, you're just being there when you're needed. A lot of that is service.
M: It seems to me that this particular sense, how to apply service, is for me the most challenging, the most difficult for me to work out. Perhaps it is because of the group of people that I work with. I so much want to help these people that I work with. Every day I deal with all the same things myself, but I feel that I'm making good progress. But they're so full of frustration, anger, resentment, unhappiness. Trying to figure out what to say to somehow communicate with them is very difficult. I think something that Mike said really hit home to me. I think most of the time it's just simply listening to them, letting them vent those frustrations and those portions of their anger that they feel. Maybe it's not necessarily that beneficial, but it seems to make them feel better. It is really hard. You want so much to help this type of people, but you have to be very cautious of how you attempt that; because if they're not ready or if they don't have the receptivity that you'd like for them to have so that you could really help them, you just get very stuck as to what to do.
P: Another way to look at that would be to draw them into communication. would be are we talking with someone or are we talking to them? If we're talking with someone, we're listening. If we're just talking to them or at them, we're allowing them to just talk to or at us. Who's doing the listening?
M: What I try to do is with all the complaints about their daily lives that I hear from these people, I just try to impress upon them "Hey, you're healthy, you have a good mind.." I try to give them some things that are positive for them to think of because they dwell so much on the negative.
T: You know, with work on the phones and talking with people from all over the country, sometimes people would call in and they would be mad about something, and I would let them do that. I would just let them air it all out. And then I would validate what they said, "Yes, you're right." or whatever so that they knew that I heard what they said. Then if you try to interject something positive about themselves, even "You have a nice sounding voice." or whatever, that really brings them out of a lot of it. People really seem to cheer up when you do that.
D: I don't know if we necessarily see immediate results of our service either. I think a lot of times in a situation that you've described, the most that you can hope for is that you live the life true to yourself and that through your life others may see some benefit in that regard. You will have been of service to them. They may not realize it for a year or 10 years. They may not realize it until the mansion worlds experiences; but if we set ourselves up for immediate response to our service, then I think on this planet we set ourselves up for a significant amount of disappointment and frustration, which if not controlled, can set ourselves up for discontinuing to do service to others.
M: Oh, I do. I pray for them, but I'm self-conscious of repeating the same prayers over and over for people. I guess the funniest question I've been asked since being in this group and learning to deal with that situation myself, because I can sit back and see myself as one of them not too long ago, maybe one of the worst ones for that matter. The common question asked of me now is "What are you so damn happy about?" (laughter) I wish I could just expand on everything that has made the change in me. They're just not ready for that. I guess maybe like David said, just them witnessing the fact that I'm happy, that I'm dealing with it, that I'm making the best of it is maybe the best I can do.
S: One of the things, too, we're talking about how you can be of service in daily living. For those of us that work, and even volunteers, do the best job you can do. You may be getting paid a wage for what you're doing, and it may not be enough, it may be too much, but just do the best job that you can do, almost to the point where they would feel bad about letting you go. They don't want to see you leave at the end of the day because you did such a good job for them. The reward for doing a good job, and I know from my own experience, I've seen the effects from working extra hours, as opposed to not. The job I have now, going one way or the other, I slip backwards and back forward again and things like that, the attitude the other people have toward me is such an amazing difference. The rewards I get in terms of thank you's, you're doing a great job, is so much different as opposed to when I was just there with "Well that's not my job." kind of attitude. "Well, I'm only here to do this and this and I'm not going to do anything else." kind of attitude. That's a very positive area to strongly provide service on a day-to-day basis.
D: So it sounds like from a lot of things we've said, that the way that we go about our daily business has a lot of impact as far as how we can start to apply this in our daily living. When people see that we are happy, are motivated, have the love of the Father flowing through us, that we can begin to share that with other people. Those who are receptive are drawn into that. The importance of the next component is something that I'd like to explore now and why is this so important? I think we all know why it's important, it's obvious, but we'll just take a few minutes to just kind of expand on that concept and see what the gifts, the fruits of the spirit are on the importance of the service in our daily living.
A: It's kind of a thought about what Scott said. It's kind of like the old attitude is contagious. So if you can concentrate on trying to have a good attitude, then you're bringing the Father into your life and it helps others to be uplifted.
D: And then what kind of a ripple effect will it have?
A: I think it can have a good effect if they want to. But I think that sometimes people don't want to be around people that are happy because they want to stay kind of caught in a rut. But that's their choice for the moment. You hope that later on they'll change. I think it does have a ripple effect.
K: I think too, that our goal is that our will be the Father's will; and I believe that including service in our daily lives is truly acting on the Father's will. And so that brings us closer to His will on a constant basis.
K: I think you'd be very self-centered, very "What can I do for me?" "Poor me." I think I've been there before. I think we've had some problems where it's "Poor pitiful me." But I think that working for others helps you realize just how really great your life is. It helps us to see all the positives that you have; and you're helping someone who's less fortunate than you or whatever, it really helps you to open your eyes to see the great things you have in your life.
S: We've been talking about helping somebody less fortunate. There's nothing wrong with helping someone more fortunate too.
K: Well, I know, and I'm not saying that there is; but I'm just saying that there are a lot of times that you look at someone in their situation and you're helping them and it makes you very grateful for your situation, not that it's better or worse or whatever.
D: Scott's point is well-taken. I would ask the members of this group do you know of any people that you would consider more fortunate than we are? Here we have a book of revelation, we have involvement with this Teaching Mission and all of this information. Sure, there's people who have more money than we do. There's people that may on the surface level have life easier than we do; but when it gets down to the real important aspects of what Urantian life is all about, I don't really know too many people that I would consider more fortunate than us. It leads me to my point that service is a very humbling experience that we all encounter because again, if we take Christ literally which I believe he meant it to be that way, if you consider living at the time of Jesus and he needed something and you know what you know now, you would do it without hesitation. You would do it in a very loving and kind way. It would be as, who was it, Mark, who wanted to carry his food with him when he went up to the mountain. We would all maintain that attitude all of the time. I also believe that in serving others we learn more about ourselves. If you're going to grow, not only spiritually but emotionally and intellectually, you grow by a sharing of experience with others. Specifically for myself, the opportunity to share with those of you that had private sessions with Welmek that I was involved with in the mechanism of voicing them, I learned a lot about myself. It was a very rewarding experience for me to be able to participate in that. As a result of that, I wish to formally thank all of you who allowed me to do that. Had it not been for you, I would not have had that opportunity to not only serve, but to gain that experience. So by serving another, we really should take that attitude of actually thanking them for the opportunity to serve them rather than wondering if they're in appreciation for what we're doing.
M: I was thinking about what Mark said earlier. You know you see there are so many people that are so lonely. And you see them all sort of trapped within themselves. I think of our current phrase we use now about "Get a life." and you want to add "Get a spiritual life." The thing that occurs to me about all that is . .
M: You know the book says if you want to have friends, you must...we all know that the more love you give, the more you receive. It seems like what happens with people, they put themselves first, so they take an attitude of "I will love if I'm loved first." Always the other person has to do it first. "Give it to me and then I'll be okay." "If I just find somebody who will love me, I'll be all right. If I just find someone who will be my friend and do what I want them to do for . ..(tape turned, words lost) The more you feel the Father's love, the more you just naturally want to give them, and the more you give, the more it's going to come back to you. The problem is, our world is like it's just starving spiritually because people don't feel that Father's love. So they want someone else to give it to them instead of them finding it within themselves first. As long as they have that attitude, the best that we can do is to try to show them that love in the hopes that they will in turn want to go find it within themselves.
S: I suspect that when you provide service in a loving attitude, that even though you may not be consciously aware of the other person's appreciation of this service, that this very act tends to integrate your personality completely, even on an unconscious level and heal you, little by little.
M: I'll expand on what Mike and Stan had to say about what service does for you. We've heard the teachers tell us this and I believe I've had the personal experience that by involving yourself in service and giving to somebody else that that redounds to your own benefit, your own spiritual benefit, by increasing your capacity to hold love. That is, by giving God's love to somebody else, projecting it outwards in the form of service, you increase your own capacity so that when that love flows back to you, you have more than what you had before. So if you continually involve yourself in this process, you will be more interested in doing service all the time because you obtain more of God's love. That is, your capacity for experiencing and holding God's love is increased in direct relationship to your giving service.
D: I think that's a point that's very crucial to the aspect of service we're trying to understand and the teachers have been trying to convey to us. If you take it at an individual level and expound on to a level in the group, and we as a group know that we are being prepared for the future so that not only are we providing service in small deeds and even perhaps in larger deeds throughout the day or the course of our lifetime as events progress, that this group is going to be providing acts of service. I'd like to take a couple minutes to think about the concepts of group service, what that will mean to us as a group, the kinds of spiritual fruits that we will receive as a group when we are unified and providing service. Does anyone have any comments on that?
M: It occurs to me that that's the essence of the curriculum the teachers have given us. We all say we want to go out and provide service to others, and those opportunities will come; but we have to be prepared first. How are we prepared? The more we worship, the more we do the things that the teachers have told us, the more we feel that love, it is not our words that are going to impress people so much. It's what they see in us. You know, it's the old saying, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. The love that flows through the words is what's going to attract them. They won't even remember the words half the time until they later study all these things themselves. The opportunities will come, but we have to prepare, we have to be ready.
D: What else can we as a group..we know what we have to do on an individual basis, the things we can prepare ourselves as a group in order to have the ability to provide the service in a unified manner.
K: Well, I think partly, too, it's to communicate and to work as a whole because that's what we are, we're a group. Each individual person has a different personality. They have something to add, so everyone needs to be open to accepting that other person for the way they are. They all have their own individual personalities. We need to work on maybe unifying ourselves. We discussed about possibly having a prayer line, a network of communication to keep all of us in tune with the others to make each person feel as if they are as important as the next, that there's no one in this group that is any better or any worse than the next. I think it's important that we unify in that way because we have to be equals, brothers and sisters walking together to service, to continue with this mission. I think it's important that no one feel that they're less important than another.
D: That's a concept that we really haven't discussed.
M: Not only unity, but supporting each other. I think we all have our own situations and our own problems and our own needs that people in this group can provide for us, I think. There are several people in here who have called me on occasion, curious to know how I'm doing, and asked me about this or that; and that's something I think we all should do for each other. When you know that you're part of a family, that brings much more meaning to your life. It gives you that pillar of support that makes it easier for you to hope, and to work out your problems. This family to me is no different than my direct family. We all have a common faith, we all have a common belief and knowing that there are others there to support you with those same faiths, those same beliefs, this is the most important aspect of the group I think. We all are family. We're here for each other; that means whether we reach out without being asked or whether someone in the group needs some help and feel free to ask. There's nothing I wouldn't do for anyone here. I think everyone feels the same for each other. That portion of support, of unity, is the most important, especially as the mission goes outward and we begin to be criticized or chastised or whatever other elements that may be negatively brought against us by others, knowing that we're all together is strength in numbers. That's important; and that support is, to me, the most important part of the group.
D: With all that criticism, I think we can get a sort of perspective, we can blunt it somewhat as well as be able to consider some other strategies or what-have-you to bear in mind in the future. Another thought that came to mind was that as we begin to specialize in (?) that by knowing each other, by knowing what everyone's role is more intimately, then we can be better able to bring the whole group into service as we encounter people who need it more effectively.
D: Welmek, do you have any comments on this?
W: I would say you have touched on many important aspects. Your group is diverse in many ways. What a wealth of resources you have. I do not believe any one of you fully realize the resource you do have in this group. This is what you should focus upon. Discover the resources in one another, for in time, you will need to draw on one another more than you know at this time. You are right, the demands will increase. Things will become more visible to others. This will be positive in many ways. Others will be drawn to you seeking what you know, and you will be of great service. This will bring you great joy. You will also face many who will criticize, who will not believe, who will try to put blocks in your way. This can undermine even the strongest of you. You need your strength in your relationship with the Father, but you also need the strength of this group to sustain the mission. You will have things to do, be asked to do things as a group. You will also be asked for members of your group to reach out and go out and serve in different ways. Your group can support each person as they go forth in this way. It will not always be the same people. It will vary. They will need this support that you can offer, this background of resource to support their endeavors. You have come to this conclusion in your discussion, and I am pleased to see this.
D: This pretty much completes the outline that I had wanted to discuss this evening. Do you have any comments for us or anything you want to add?
W: I have been very pleased to see the progress you make and am pleased with this structure. Many are watching, and they are in continued amazement of your abilities to work as a group, to discuss the topics in such a productive manner. This is a lesson for us as well as for you, to see each of you step forward and accept one another's viewpoints, to find the common ground in your ideas and your thoughts. This is the beginning of your unity as a group. I look forward to many more sessions like this. We can discuss the format for next week if you like. If you would like a period of questions pertaining to this topic, we can spend some time in that way also.
D: Do you want a show of hands? Do we want to do more discussion on this topic? M: Now or next week?
D: Now. M: I have a question. W: Would you like to do questions first and then discuss next week?
M: Yes. The question I have Welmek, has to do with the techniques of interaction with people. My understanding, at least based upon what I have learned from the teachers here and reading the Urantia Book, that effective ways of interacting with people would be to, as Mike mentioned, is to listen, and also to ask direct questions. I'm interested whether you think that it's productive that prior to involving yourself in a difficult situation of praying for guidance, asking for assistance from the Father or Michael?
W: It is always of benefit to ask for assistance from your angels and the Father. If you have a specific focus, a prayer to Michael is also of benefit. In regard to relating to individuals, showing forth your sincerity and your true person is the beginning. Listening to what they say, at times reflecting back to them what they say, and you are right, asking questions is of benefit for the sake of clarifying a point of view or perhaps to guide them to think about a situation in a different way. Be cautious that your questions are for this purpose of helping them as opposed to persuading them to your viewpoint or to accomplish an end for yourself. It is a fine line at times. This is where your prayer can aid you and the guidance can be there for you. Is there more to your question?
M: I'm wondering do you find it particularly valuable in interaction such as this, as Toni mentioned about validation, of saying to people "I understand how you feel" or "I understand what you're saying here" not necessarily agreeing with them but validating their feelings and experiences.
W: Do you feel better when others validate something that you have shared or stated?
M: Yes, in general.
W: Then that is your answer. You are apt to feel listened to, to feel truly cared for, if someone listens well enough to reflect back or validate at some level what you are experiencing. Is there another question?
M: I was just remembering studying in college somewhere, they were talking about different types of our therapies and so on, and psychoanalysis transaction, analysis, all of the different things, and everybody says their way is the way. There was a very interesting study done. Basically it said the most successful therapists are those who create a sense of trust and openness between themselves and the client, and that whatever technique they use is secondary. It's not the technique, it's the ability to establish that rapport and that relationship with the person. If you can do that in the ways we talked about here, by showing God's love and so on, then you can sort of quiet your mind and ask for a little guidance. It seems like it would always sort of work out.
A: One time I heard a speaker say that when he talked with his daughter he always just listened to her problems; and he very rarely offered advice. She would always come to him and say, "Dad, I always want to talk to you because you give me the best advice." (Laughter) I was coming back from a long trip and I used that thought with a friend that had a lot of thoughts to get out. I just listened and I got the same reaction. "I want to talk to you because you really give me the best advice." I hadn't really said anything.
W: In the end, is it not true that most of you truly wish to manage your own lives and solve your own problems? Many times you get stuck, and you need a little boost or a little support or perhaps a chance to express your ideas that you might truly hear them yourself and sort through these to make your decision. In addition to seeking guidance from the Father, this kind of human support can be very meaningful. It is often the thought of humans that they must take that problem and solve it for that person. This ultimately does not serve them well, for then they do not have that skill themselves to carry on with the next situation they face. Whatever you can do to support one another in this way is truly an act of love.
S: Welmek, I was wondering, you have stated that we have many wonderful opportunities for service while yet in the flesh and that as time goes on, there are less and less opportunities for service for the spiritual beings who are evolving. What do these spiritual beings do when they're not in service? Do they pray for more service?
W: There will continue to be opportunities and there is much growth ahead of you and ahead of us. There are things I cannot disclose to you but you will be sent out for missions in many areas; but in preparation for these, there is much learning to do. This includes growing to understand many other individuals, as I said, from other worlds and other universes. This is a task beyond your comprehension at this time. There are differences on your world, this is true; but the differences within all of the universes is far greater than even you can begin to see on your world. So see these opportunities to learn this lesson of flexibility, finding common ground, seeking unity with each other. This serves you well. It will go with you in your career and be the background for much greater things, background for many additional skills.
M: I have the exact same question in mind. And as Welmek validated the answer, and as I thought about it, I realized it must be because the majority of our next several experiences are going to be "educational" more than this. Think about it. This really is an extraordinary opportunity. It seems kind of strange to give us such an opportunity when we are so ignorant as to take advantage of the situation. (laughter)
W: Then you see there is much in front of you that you did not realize was so special before. For those of us on your mission, this is quite a privilege. There are many who wish to be here and not all have been sent. So you see, we spend time in preparation for such missions; and we volunteer to go forth and it truly is a privilege, one that not all are..not every individual is able to participate in, but there are many opportunities still.
W: You have touched upon most of them. I would say to understand your brothers and sisters and know what service is truly needed and will truly benefit them the most. This comes with experience, knowledge and practice. By experience I mean several things. I mean not only the practice, but experience in your exposure to a variety of different needs. I would say your own motivation is important, and most of you are clear about what this means. So many in your world do service for the wrong motivation, and the receiver of this service is cognizant of that. This impacts how service is received. I would say those are the most significant.
M: Thank you. W: If there are no further questions, we should decide about next week. Do you wish to have an open question session or do you wish to pick another topic or do you wish to have further discussion on this topic? Perhaps you could take a show of hands.
D: The other topic got the vote.
W: Is there a volunteer to take next week's session, much as Donna and Marva have done?
D: I'll volunteer.
W: Do you have a topic, Dennis, that you would like to pursue?
D: I'll try tolerance.
W: And so it will be tolerance. I wish the best to each of you this week. Think about our lessons. Continue to practice all that we have discussed. The more you practice and put these skills into use, build them into your daily habits, the better prepared you will be for all that awaits us. There is much ahead, and I am pleased to share this with you. Think of the Father and thank Him for these opportunities as you are understanding to a greater degree what a privilege they are. We all care for you and love you each, individually, very much. Good night.
GROUP: Good night.