2003-03-11-Time To Gather
Topic: Time to Gather
Group: SE Idaho TeaM
Teacher: Daniel, Aaron, Klarixiska
Klarixiska(Virginia): This is Klarixiska. Father of love, as we meet together tonight we would ask that Your indwelling Spirit might open up the truth that is for each one. Give them insight for where they are that they might seek change in their own lives, change on their planet, and change that will bring Light and Life to this Universe of Nebadon. We would ask that You give the teachers words that will help this happen. May the light of Your love fill them so that, indeed, people might say, "Why are you with hope? Why are you with trust? Why are you with those things that circumstances would not call for?" Touch their hearts; touch their lives; help them to be an example of the fruits of the Spirit. So be it.
Daniel(Bill): Greetings. I am Daniel, your teacher, your guide, your friend, and your brother in the universal family of God. Again, we rejoice to be in your midst and enjoying your camaraderie, your humor, and your ever growing sense of family, which is enlarging beyond the limits of what the word has meant to you for most of your life. Tonight, Aaron is here and we will share some podium time. I will first address the issue which I wanted to comment on, and that is to elaborate, somewhat, on evolution of the concept of family, beginning with the nuclear family and expanding to the cosmic family.
I don't need to comment on the nuclear family to define it, for you all know that it consists of a father, a mother, and one or more children. The only word that I desire to say about it is that it is in a certain amount of jeopardy among the more self centered and self absorbed members of a culture which is inordinately concerned with pleasure, ease, immediacy, and materialism. This disease of materialism, which is akin to the Luciferian delusion, has greatly harmed many families in your culture and is one of the negative tradeoffs for the ease seeking ethos of this materialistic culture. Yes, I am saying that materialism is a direct threat to the nuclear family for it puts "fluff" between family members. It causes emotional isolation as each person does "their thing" in "their space" at "their time" without much regard for other members of the family. As you know, in some families the individuals rarely speak of anything of tender emotional import. When they do speak to each other most of their time is spent organizing some degree of coordination between their individual pursuits. That is why I say that the nuclear family in materialistic cultures is in jeopardy.
A larger family structure, the extended family, has largely disappeared in your time because of the materialistic ethos which lures people to leave their birthplace and the place where their parents and grandparents grew up in order to find a better job or to live in a more desirable location. Families a hundred years ago did not have to artificially assemble. Today, most meaningful re-connection occurs at funerals, weddings, or the occasional family reunion. So, much has been lost there, as well,in terms of connectedness, conversation, and the intimacy of sharing the responsibility of family life across several generations.
We volunteer teachers come to this planet to counteract the decline of family by introducing you to the cosmic family, starting with your planetary brotherhood/sisterhood. We come with the Gospel that Michael preached and taught, that there is one Father of all and that you are all His children, therefore are we brothers and sisters. This Gospel you know very well.
To be united in a spiritual family has, for many people, including some in this room, provided an antidote to the dysfunction and crumbling of the nuclear or extended family. You have gained back the security of belonging and you have discovered that the spiritual family is the largest meaning of the intimacy implied in a normal and well functioning nuclear or extended family. Consequently, you meet religiously (no pun intended), as you have gathered tonight, because this is your chosen family, this is your chosen nuclear family, if you wish to think of it that way, and you are part of the larger extended family of the Teaching Mission. Because you have gained spiritual strength from this experience in this spiritual family, you have been able to conceive and truly believe in the cosmic family of all intelligent beings, be they Angels, Archangels, Melchizedeks, Supernaphim, whatever category of personality rank and distinction, you are all one as the Cosmic Family of the Universe of Universes.
My dears, life on a mortal planet of the nature of this one, subjected to rebellion, to quarantine, to disorder, to sin and iniquity has been very fertile ground for the growth of the weeds of isolation and the feelings of abandonment. Now you know that Urantia and yourselves as member of its human family are not orphans nor abandoned. You have been cared for as if you were the only peopled sphere in the vast heavens. Now, because you have heard from us and for other reasons, other contacts, your feelings of isolation have dissolved.
Once again, my friends, this understanding on your part regarding the cosmic family is part of the Gospel which we are asking you to share with everyone you are able to. You don't have to appear as fanatics out in left field or "woo woo" weirdos (chuckles) when you affirm your faith that God made a vast universe and not solely for the welfare of one tiny planet in the millions of galaxies. Since many people believe this, you can easily say, "Surely there is life on other planets, don't you think? Surely that life is part of the grand design to fill the universe with free will intelligence. We believe, with good reason, that we have been isolated in the past and haven't known our place. But now, things are changing. God has sent His messengers whom we are associated with". Yes, it is time for people to know that this sphere is not the result of an accident; that life did not emerge by a random chance process of chemical reactions; that lifeis not a meaningless journey only to be filled by the efforts of ego to structure meaning; but that life is a gift. Part of that gift is our knowledge of family relationships.
So, when I call you my brothers and my sisters, I am not using figurative language. I am telling you the truth! You are, truly, my brothers and my sisters. I am so privileged to be your teacher! Thank you for your eager ears. (Long pause)
Aaron(Bill): Well, hello, everybody!! This is Aaron. Are you up for a session with me!! (Spoken with a cheerleader kind of demeanor)
Some group members: No! (Laughter) It depends. (Laughter) It depends on what time of day it is!
Bob D.: Always! (More laughter)
Aaron: There is the answer I was hoping for! I realize that I approached you deliberately to push some buttons and I am somewhat of a tease at times, I'm afraid. But I am not here tonight simply to play the role of a comedian or to waste time with lessor things. This is a time for your spiritual family gathering, as Daniel has so eloquently expressed it. I wish to propose a topic for you to react to in the way that we have done this in the past. I would remind you that I have been loosening up a bit and rather than require that you all respond by going around the room, I will allow this to be as you desire to respond. Maybe that will take some pressure off. Do you understand?
Aaron: You are under oath, for you each made that oath, yes, you each have made that oath. But whether or not you respond is still a matter of your choice. My topic is this: What does it mean to you to be a member of this nuclear family Teaching Mission group? You could talk about how it has affected your life, of what particular importance you assign it, things of this sort; however you wish to respond. That is the topic, my dears. I eagerly await hearing from you.
LaReen: Okay. I'm going to jump in here and get it over with! For me it is a sense of security, a place where I am always welcome, where I never leave empty, I am always full. It is something I can depend on a thousand percent in my life.
LaReen: Oh, I agree, and I actually, through the week, go through a little withdrawal and fear will start to settle in a little bit. But I can grab a lesson, a previous lesson and read it or look forward to the next time we meet. I'm addicted! (Laughter)
Aaron: A positive addiction, no doubt. Thank you.
Virginia: Aaron, if I may, certainly those things that LaReen has said I could ditto. But I was very impressed with Daniel's statement that said that the Teaching Mission as such, in the different groups, is our extended family. I thought, "Yeah, that's really true!", because the family reunions that we have when we go to conferences is family and family that has similar values. In my family of origin, not even one person really understands where I am coming from with my spiritual emphasis right now. So I am very grateful that when we have the Teaching Mission reunions that I find similar values. That was a very interesting comparison for me. The meetings here....if I am in town, I am here! Very important, because it gives me the kind of thoughts and desires that I want in my life.
Aaron: Thank you, Virginia, especially for sharing your insight that Daniel provided you into the larger extended family concept. As you talked about it I sensed this real delight that you experience in that extended spiritual family which is sort of life the feeling that this is how it should be. This is how families should feel. Did I sense that correctly?
LaReen: Try talking about a Thought Adjuster to your sister!
Virginia: Contrary to what I know is real!
Aaron: Thank you, again. Let me add a little comment here about this feeling of "this is how it should be". You see, the feeling of, " this is how it should be", is not experienced on normal planets, for there isn't the disparity. It is, "how it should be", on normal planets. Yes. Exactly! Thank you for your sharing.
Marty: To me, I think I am going to even take it one step further in that I feel like I can have a different idea of something and not be ridiculed, or not be turned away, or not be looked down upon because I may have a different idea than some others in the group. But I am still accepted regardless of what my idea might be. Most times in this day and age if you don't agree with someone you are looked down upon as well.
Aaron: So, Marty, in this spiritual nuclear family you feel accepted no matter what you may say. (Right) That is very important, for if, as you have said, a person's acceptance depends on his/her conformity to the group norms, and you are not free to disagree, then that is not the kind of spiritual family that you really need to have. That's why Jesus was always concerned when His apostles took their views from outside their experience with Him and were persuaded that they all had to see everything the same, and vote for the same political party (joking). He said that their unity was not in their ideas but in their goals and purposes.
Diversity of opinion and thought is a reality in the Teaching Mission, as some of you have observed in the interactions going on. [Ed. Note: He is probably referring to discussion on the TML] So thank you for that contribution, that this group is a place where you can say what you really believe and feel and still remain accepted. Did I understand you correctly?
Pat: Well, Aaron, I'll take a turn in saying that my experience in our group has been invaluable. Each person in this group has, by their different personalities and expressions, contributed to my growth! It is a safe and caring place to be.
Aaron: Thank you, Pat. I hear you saying that you really value the different personalities of the members of this group and as we interact and you interact, you experience growth. I also sense that this is somewhat unique for you? Not, completely, for you have much more of a functional family than some here, but still there is a unique flavor?
Pat: Yes, perhaps on a different level, because it is more diverse than my own biological family. There are lots of different views..(laughter) and we all in this group have come from different backgrounds.
Aaron: The Urantia Book says it is difficult for human beings to understand how there can be unity in diversity and that's why it is hard to understand the Trinity, for example. But you are experiencing unity in diversity. Do you agree?
Pat: Yes. Aaron: Instead of the diversity tearing you apart, your common goal, oriented to be like God and someday stand in His Presence, is drawing you all together, and you are all interacting and enriching each other and growing as a result. Thank you for those comments and those insights. And it wasn't so bad after all? Pat: I am getting more used to you. (Laughter) Or my strength is growing. (Laughter continuing).
Aaron: Well, gentlemen, including this TR, you yet have time...
Bill: This is Isaac, Aaron. I don't think I can adequately say in words how much this Teaching Mission family means to me. Like my spouse, my family of origin, my nuclear biological family, is a mixed bag. Some of them recognize the validity of our experience and others don't. I have to be cautious. I have to be careful how I say things. Here, where we all have united for the purpose of growing personally and growing as a group, I don't have any of those reservations. This has got to be probably the most important thing in my life right now, and has been for the ten years that I have been a part of the Teaching Mission experience. So, my problems are not with this family. My problems are getting rid of the conditioning and my past history where I have not been functioning in the way I am now. Anyway, it's a marvelous experience. That doesn't mean I am never frustrated or never upset, etc. It's not a perfect fellowship because we are not perfect people yet. It sure is a wonderful experience, though. Thank you.
Aaron: Well spoken, my friend. All of you are dedicated to this group. Your lives reflect that fact in the time, energy, and soul satisfaction that you experience. You see, it isn't simply a chummy group where you get together to b.s., gossip about other people, and complain about the state of the world. This group is on a serious ascension career pathway. You know your purpose and you know where we are going and why we are going there. As Daniel pointed out, you have that larger sense of cosmic citizenship. You really belong to the biggest thing in reality, the Family of God, which is powered by love.
Bob D.: Aaron. I guess I will share. I have been conflicted about how to respond because my experience with this group has been stormy at times, and I have felt that unity at times. As I pondered your question I was conflicted as to whether I should I even try and endeavor to understand my feelings regarding this whole thing about how I feel. I realize that I still have issues out there in my mind about perceived struggles during the last five years or so within this group. I don't think I have ever had a perfect nuclear family, whether it be with my own parents and as I struggle now with my kids not to perpetuate my childhood patterns in their lives. I try to be more from a spiritual loving basis all the time, which I don't achieve, but I certainly aspire to. Then, I look at this group and I realize as I think about each person that definitely I have an affection and friendliness toward the people I am involved with, and I definitely love my spiritual Parents for Their holding us up and bringing us toward a higher destiny and for Their love. In some ways I feel like maybe the "black sheep" or something like that, somebody who has put a thorn in the group at times when there have been struggles that have arisen. I think there were times when I was being asked to make choices that I didn't, or wasn't willing to make. I chose not to make a choice. I don't know if this is what you are really asking tonight, but I know that what I feel inside is a sense of conflict because I can love everybody and feel that; but I don't feel comfortable due to these past circumstances.. And sometimes I feel, whether it is my own perception or not, that there isn't a complete level of acceptance. I don't know whether I can ever get totally past that feeling. I want to. It is probably why I try to come to the group and socialize and be friendly with my friends here, because I do love them like a family. I hope to gain in the camaraderie that is possible, but I don't know how to get past what I perceive as direct assaults or challenges or confrontations of the past. I can't forget. I can move past them but no matter how hard I try to think they don't exist, the memory is still there. So, you know, I'd love to be able to say the same things as my friends here as I interact today. As I have been back in the group recently, I certainly feel more of a friendliness. But it isn't totally comfortable for me at this point. That's kind of my reaction to your question.
Aaron: My dear friend, your honesty is commendable. Your feelings of not being entirely comfortable due to conflict in the past is understandable as well. I am not ignorant of the rift that occurred in this group and in which you were, as every member was, a part of. It is incumbent upon all of you to practice both self forgiveness and forgiveness of others. You will not fully understand some of the conflicts in your mortal lives, including this one, until you reach the higher enlightenment of the morontia career. I understand the term, "Black Sheep", but I don't think I would recommend that you conceptualize your relationships in this family in those terms.
Bob S.: I knew the term wasn't accurate completely, but I was trying to find a way to conceptualize the fact that...
Aaron: It was expressive of your feelings, my friend. I am sure that part was accurate. The fact that you are willing to say, "Well, I am in some conflict about being part of this group", and yet come to socialize and rejoin, perhaps, the comfort that you wish for, entails everyone in this group being willing to re-affirm the goal of unity in diversity. It isn't required of you, Bob, or any of the rest of you that you be "right" all the time. You know, intellectually at least, that everybody makes mistakes in this imperfect evolving universe. It happens beyond the mortal life, I must tell you. You don't die and go to a state of perfection, as many have supposed. So, I commend you for telling the truth about how you feel and you know I have a great affection for you, so I personally extend my arm around you. Join us in fullness.
Now, one comment to all of you about this issue. To not forgive is the same thing as freezing another person in their development. It is saying, "This person is this way, always was, always will be. I can never forget how he or she was, or what they did, at this point". Forgiveness says, first of all, " I am not competent to judge this other one, or myself. Second, there is a God I know personally Who understands so well that forgiveness is almost subsumed under His understanding. And third, if I don't forgive this person I am engaging in illusion. I am saying that this person can't grow, can't change, can't be transformed".
Therefor, forgiveness is one side of the recognition of the reality of growth. It's like a parent who has a child that has misbehaved, who has lied to avoid punishment. You as a parent know that if that child grows up properly, matures morally, mentally, socially, and spiritually that they will come to understand the general evil of lying, which is basically the distortion or rejection of reality. A parent can say that they will call the child on that lie because they don't want them to think that their world can be constructed by their own wishes, that things are what you want them to be rather than what they are. So you try to prevent a child from becoming an habitual liar. All children will tell occasional lies, and even most adults. But if you are understanding you don't condemn the child and call him/her a black sheep, without hope and bound to turn out badly. Certainly you don't want to do that intentionally.
Well, you have all performed sincerely, helpfully and I would say most completely. Daniel, I suggest that we conclude our meeting at this point.
Daniel: Very well, Aaron. I am in agreement. Let us all stand and hold hands.
Christ Michael, we are Your brothers and sisters. We thank you for this wonderful universe that you have created. On this beautiful planet of Urantia, may Your peace and Your love triumph. We are aware of the prevalence of darkness, of hatred, of revenge. But we know that love is greater than hate, truth is stronger than lies, and faith shall bring us safely into the Presence of Your Father and our Father. Send these, my friends, forth from this meeting with renewed energy and devotion. Amen.