Topic: Genuine Accomplishment
Group: Lightline TeaM
Dear Mother Spirit and Michael: Today, on a beautiful fall evening, we send you all our love and gratitude. These are wonderful feelings of having you two so nearby and part of us, sharing our lives with us. You are the most perfectly imaginable—but real--company, created--right along with us--by our dearly beloved God. He also has his transcendent presence within us, making a spiritual record of all our activities. We are his experiential beings--living, personal beings of experience out here in his universe.
So we thank all our wonderful trio of God, his Creator Son, and Creator Daughter, for being so much a part of our lives. Although we don’t have to address them as such, it is good to recognize them as the sources of the wonderful ideas that come to us. This is especially true when we so desperately need a good idea to sum things up and give us a little handle on our reality. Thank you all very much.
Tonight, Mother Spirit, I have a puzzle for you. What is the spiritual difference between work and play? Thank you. Amen.
Nebadonia: Dear children, this is your Mother Spirit, and always and forever I am accompanied by our dear friend, Michael. We will be with you forever and ever, for this is up to you. We are with you now. We do appreciate you, and we do respond. It tickles us too when you acknowledge us and say hello; when you keep us consciously in your minds and in your hearts.
Tonight I could have an equally brief answer to your short introduction for, since your experience of work is sometimes play, and play is sometimes work; I could just make this a short and sweet lesson and say: There is no difference!
Of course I am only teasing. Besides the fact the whole human race--through all cultures and all times--has had two very distinct words for what is more than one thing, it is a good point of departure.
People have always had this distinction in their minds, however much there is a cross-over. Look at what they do have most in common. Michael and I have talked many times to give you a feeling for what genuinely, righteously, feeds your souls. It can be both work and play.
They are both worthy, you might say, to cross the spiritual threshold of being significant enough, and of such value, to become part of your eternal soul. This is the real meaning of “Genuine Accomplishment.” Think of when you’ve put in a hard day’s work, or you’ve had a lot of fun. These are both real accomplishments that give you a full- soul feeling when you lie down to close your eyes at night. Something has happened. You have done something. You encountered something, and you dealt with it.
One way of getting a hold on these things is to look at the opposite of genuinely meaningful accomplishment. A classic example is an activity designed to be not only work--definitely not playful--but as a kind of punishment--something meaningless, and so, rather spiritually punishing. I am referring to an old-timey punishment used in the military, and sometimes in your penal institutions, your jails and penitentiaries. Someone is given a pick and shovel and told to dig a hole, often 6 x 6 x 6 feet, obviously not in solid rock, but good hard soil. It could be many days work just digging this big cubic hole in the ground. Since Army Regs forbade using labor as punishment, the hole was given a purpose, like a discarded cigarette butt. The next order was to “bury the trash” and fill it back up again. So, after days of work in the hot sun, you were right back where you started.
(Extreme example of spiritual punishment)
It is amazing how devastating this is to the human soul, to not only have done all that work, but--seemingly for all extents and purposes--to have accomplished nothing. Keep in mind both military and penal systems constantly assign work that might be very hard, and not too playful, but actually accomplishes something of value. Even “Breaking rocks in the hot sun”--as the old convict song goes--is actually accomplishing something. The rock is broken into gravel and used out on the roads.
By this fortunately extreme example of no genuine accomplishment, you see how good hard work, or good hard play, leaves your soul full at the end of the day. But what then is the difference? Is there a spiritual difference between work and play?
Let me suggest something from the chapter in your Urania Book called Personality Survival. It talks about how you—as a personality--relate to all that is not you, even your own physical body, and mind--either of which, or both together--can be difficult at times. This is the living relationship of you to all that is not you. Keep in mind, my dears, that from the standpoint of your whole being--your body, your mind, your creative spirit, and your soul--your personality can seem to be only a part of you. But in fact it is not so much that you have a personality, as it is you are a personality—right from God.
While your newborn body is largely a function of your mother’s and father’s heredity, your mind is so greatly culturally determined--at least at first—by where you are born among your family and immediate neighborhood. And while your creative spirit can be developed or remain underdeveloped, your personality came right from God. You are his God-created personal being set out here in time and space to begin your experience of life.
(The critical element of attitude)
In this profound sense of you being a unique personality, your relationship to anything else, and all of everything else, is what your Urantia Book calls your “attitude’. How does this relate to our playful discussion here of work and play? You can see how this is the critical factor. It is how you are relating to either activity. Here I will quote one of your great poets: “The mind alone is King and--in itself!--can make a Hell of Heaven—or a Heaven of Hell.” Of course this is part of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
This is what Satan was determined to accomplish. Rising from being cast into the fiery pit, he gets up and decides that, now he is in Hell, “It is better than reign in Hell, than to serve than in Heaven.” This was a very profound observation by Mr. Milton on the nature of evil—departure from God’s ways. Service begins with God himself, the Trinity, and Michael and me--in fact, the whole spiritual family. Being of service to another personal being is one of the great glories and rewards of being alive.
(Good service is heaven—for both)
Obviously, the perverted idea of service being the worst thing, and it’s better to be cast into Hell than serve in Heaven, is not realizing that good service is Heaven. So this arrogant being found himself truly in a hell of his own making.
Clearly, attitude—how you are relating to what you are doing--is that critical component. It’s all the more critical, my dears, because this falls so greatly within your choice as a free being.
You can choose. When you are looking at a bit of difficult work, you can regret it and drag along in self-pity, and be miserable every minute of it. Yet even with something that is physically and mentally difficult--real work--you can have a different, wonderful attitude. Every good foreman of a work crew, no matter what is before them, can approach them and say, “OK!--what do we get to play with today?” This applies whether it is carpentry, or making some food; or, singularly, going out and driving a taxi--whatever it is.
What do we get to play with today? This attitude is an invitation to realize this day never quite happened before. You have never been quite here before. The universe is changing all around you, and you yourself are changing. It’s whatever it is. Shall we say it is carpentry and you are hanging a new door in a doorway. Maybe your first one--with an experienced buddy alongside showing you how to do it--took an hour and a half to hang. Now you have hung fifty doors, and it takes only twenty minutes. This is number fifty-one looking at you.
To approach this work with freshness, and play with it—in a sense--let your creative imagination go, and see the freshness of the ever changing real. Although this is number fifty-one, you have never put here before.
(Loving to learn the present moment)
Love to learn. Keep refining your technique and mental/physical skills, which are such enormous things both in your work and play. Imagine: you are on a baseball field, stepping up to home plate, and the pitcher is winding up. Even though you have been all morning at batting practice, that is not this moment. And here it comes. This can real stressful work. If you don’t get on base this time, you are going to be fired—no more career.
Yet this is called the ball game. This insight, I suggest, is the greatest distinction between work and play. What gives you your greatest power and ability of transformation if not attitude? You might say, “Work is what has to be done—no choice—no matter what my attitude.” Well, not necessarily, if you procrastinate. It might be more desirable to deny necessity, and just put it off--even to the point of bad health and death--for some folks. It happens.
Too, sometimes without your quite realizing it, play has lost its luster, its sense of newness. It is not the effort involved. Both take effort, whether you are swinging a hammer, or dancing to a lively tune with your sweet partner in your arms. How are you going to handle this changing, living, dynamic situation? How to do this? My dears, this is where that great possibility of practice comes in.
(The test, and reward, of character)
To practice with freshness, keep a lively curiosity about what you are doing, even if you’ve done it a thousand times. Let it feel really strange—“Here I am again!--doing this.” A lively sense of humor can definitely save the day. Isn’t this a true test--and reward--of what you call character? Isn’t this another genuine, soulful acquirement, and so much a part of being mature? Generally speaking, as a youngster you had a very distinct difference between work--something hard you were required to do—and when you were allowed to play.
Then what you wanted to do was something—somehow--intrinsically fun. But as you grow older with the ability to choose and affect your own attitude, you can delight and may even glory in hard work with a deep knowledge this is what your body and your mind need. It’s the true, spiritual/soulful reward of genuine accomplishment.
(A real acquired ability called discipline)
Off you go to the gym to move some weights around on some catchy, intricate machine, to work some little muscle you weren’t aware of. It gets to be joyfully, wonderfully accepted—even fun--for the goodness it does you. It’s called discipline, the ability to do something difficult--whether mental or physical--that you don’t want to do at the moment. But you realize it needs to be done for all of you--body, mind, spirit, and soul--your true character. Nothing can replace this genuine accomplishment.
(The good stuff)
As you become more mature, and get this ability to erase the distinction between work and play, and embrace difficulty, it is because of feeding your soul. The God-aspect within you is smiling and encouraging, saying, “ Yes. Yes--this is good. This is the good stuff.”
It’s one great reward in growing older, learning this power of transforming work and play--both good stuff that feeds your soul. So, my dears, if you have any questions or comments for me this evening, let’s see if they’re going to be playful or hard. Let’s play together and work on it. Go ahead.
Student #1: Just a comment: it was a wonderful lesson that should be taught in school from the outset.
(Schools passing the lamp: Learning is fun!)
Nebadonia: I agree one-hundred-percent. The greatest gift a teacher can give to his or her class is learning how to have fun--right within learning. Think of your great teachers who had some wonderful stories to tell in the middle of history lessons; or playful uses for the geometry you were learning. Make it fun--make learning fun. That is what the most wonderful school is all about. That is what life is all about.
Student #1: Yes, yes. that was wonderful. Thank You. We should stitch it into a sampler. Make work and play the same thing.
Nebadonia: Right!--especially all through society too. In your Urantia Book, about life another world—of about the same geological age as your own—where things are run more effectively and wonderfully--all able-bodied citizens are required—and given!-- good work to do.
(Double tragedy—teenage murder)
I talked in my last lesson about how some of your most vicious youngsters are so lacking in a depth of soul. They deliberately shoot another youngster just to have done something “big” and meaningful. The double tragedy is not only the poor child who was injured, even killed, but the hollow nature of the murder can drive the young criminal to even more desperately cynical attitudes towards life, because there was no genuine accomplishment there.
Yes, schools can most wonderfully give their youngsters some genuine accomplishments, whether learning the multiplication tables, or how to write a story right out of their own mind. Together with others, it’s how to get along out on the playing field—sometimes equally play and work. It’s the teamwork required, and enjoyed.
Student #2: I can’t help but think of Sea Shanties, and how song provided the rhythm for work. In the South when we had slavery, they would sing to lighten the load.
Nebadonia: Exactly. Both are spiritual triumphs. This is what all work offers—the possibility of a spiritual triumph in accomplishing something. You have done something real, and at the end of the day, you are different for it. Your soul has grown.
(To both require—and provide!—good work)
Michael got into this last time mentioning one of the worst things your political leaders can do is bribe people with money for no work. Of course this also means the politicians face the challenge of offering good, needed, meaningful work, directing their constituents. A wonderful phase of leadership is pointing out what genuinely creative things can be done for society’s good--both physical and mental. Not only requiring--but also coming up with--the good work, helps not only the individual but also their immediate society; rather than leaving so many youngsters languishing in the agony of boredom.
Right now some of your more advanced societies are actually falling apart for lack of good workers. The supply chains that keep all the goods and services moving along are missing critical links. There is a great challenge for your politicians—and their constituents!-- to come up with that good work that is so desperately needed by everybody. It is quite a challenge.
Well, my dears, thank you for being with me. Hopefully this was fun, not too difficult. I appreciate the distinctions to be drawn here. I started out by saying that, all through mankind’s history, in every culture, at every age, there has been this distinction between work and play. So it is worth exploring--definitely.
(Good work and play feed each other)
If there are no more questions or comments, let me wrap up this session and wish you all to have a lot of both--in your lives to come. As your Urantia Book informs you, there is always good work in prospect for you, in your eternal lives to come. There is good work out there to do. And then there is your free-time, and how each can feed the other. Your free time can inform and enrich your work. In the same way your work can point the way to have more fun.
Good evening, dear ones. This is your Mother Spirit wishing you to be in my love. Michael sends you his peace. Good Night.