PLAY, REST AND RECREATION

 

Q: I'd like to know what you do personally for recreation.

A: At my stage of education, I guess you would call it, I spend a proportion of my time under the tutelage of experienced reversion directors. Their company is most refreshing and... [turn over tape] The reversion directors with whom I work are most gracious in guiding me in my play. We have a lot of what you would call fun together. And it is for this time in my existence very much like the play of a human child, in the sense that I expend large quantities of energy in a seemingly effortless fashion. I always leave these encounters feeling replenished.

Additionally, I am assigned periods of time for contemplation, meditation, visitation, to what for my level you might consider to be a garden, a place of peace. You may recall that Jesus engaged in such activity while on your planet. These periods of time are also part of my education and like all my activities are closely monitored and recorded so that I shall not ascend to the next administrative level until I have accomplished all of those growth tasks which are appropriate for this phase of my being.

Does that answer? (Yes.)

Q: You say that you are under the tutelage of reversion directors. Are they teaching you the most enjoyable ways to relax and refresh yourself?

A: I would say that they are teaching me the most efficient ways to improve my worship skills and by improving my efficiency in that manner, I achieve what you call relaxation. Not exactly the concept of beings in white garments cavorting on clouds with harps. [Laughter] (S: Don't forget the wings.)

[More laughter.] Yes, they would get in the way.

Q: As long as you find enjoyment in this I assume then that it is in accordance with Father's plan for all that their enjoyment increases as their skills develop?

A: Yes, yes, you are right. What greater wonderment could there be than to draw closer to Father?

And you see when a Urantia mortal progresses in his or her life appropriately, there will be that period of physical striving and gratification of animal drives. And there will be the period of intellectual striving and - through the intellect - gratification of the animal drives. And then there will be, if one is fortunate to escape accident, there will be that period of spirit striving and attainment. The one who becomes superlative in the intellectual striving, but never passes beyond, the one who excels in the intellectual effort and never graduates to the spiritual has not, for whatever reason, managed to exploit the potential which exists now on this planet. The one who never goes beyond the physical has been even more retarded, you might say, for there is ample opportunity to transcend the physical and intellectual and achieve that spirit level of growth during a normal time span of life on Urantia now. The channel suggests that I evoke the image of Neapolitan ice cream. [laughter] (11/21/93)

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Our lesson today is on the subject of play, rest and recreation, which is a natural correlate to our previous discussion on work. Play, rest, and recreation are just as vital to the functioning of the cosmos as our work. This is not to say you cannot accomplish work in the course of your restful activities.

However, for the purposes of this discussion, we will separate the two areas.

In your present material mode of existence, there is a far clearer demarcation between work and play, toil and leisure, than you shall ever experience again. It has often been said that the most difficult part of any project is the laying of the foundation, and you are now laying the spiritual foundation for your long, long universe career. Therefore this period is difficult for you, very difficult, as your perception of the level of difficulty is most likely greatest now compared to what you will perceive at any later time in your existence. Because of this difficulty that is built into the imperfect and material existence on an imperfect planet, every unit - no matter how small - of work is experienced as an ordeal and the departure from work has heightened meaning in contrast. On your planet you call the activities you choose to participate in when not working, "playing", "leisure", "recreation", "rest", among other things

I shall define the three areas that I wish to address in this discussion: play, recreation and rest. We shall start with rest. Rest encompasses the activities that the being undertakes in order to allow it's functioning parts to re-achieve homeostasis after their use, just as an engine, for example, would need a period of non-use between periods of use to optimize it's overall function. This is also true for living beings, and indeed the tissues of your body are composed in such a fashion that periods of rest enable them to repair any damage done, replenish energy supplies, and sometimes grow to meet ongoing demands for performance. This applies to all tissues of your body, including not only your connective structures such as bone, tendons, muscles, but also your organs, heart, liver, kidneys intestines, brain, glands; all of your working parts require rest.

Additionally, rest enables your Thought Adjuster to more gracefully depart when necessary and to work out useful strategies to assist you in your life mission, including your own personal growth and development. So you can see, my friends, that rest is indeed critical to you.

Play is different from rest although your participation in play activities can enhance your rest periods. Play is that set of activities in which one undertakes self-mastery in order to achieve solutions to problems of spirit growth and development. Your Thought Adjuster is quite active in it's interaction with you during your periods of play, and you are - believe it or not - frequently in direct communication with Father when you are truly at play. This definition of play may be surprising or even startling to some of you who may have understood the concept quite differently. But there is no part of play that involves conflict with fellow beings, faulty pride, greed or other of the base elements of behavior that we know accrue to imperfectly created beings of animal origins.

Play is a very important part of your activities that contribute to personal spirit growth. You learn how to play from your parents, from your siblings, peers and friends. If you desire to improve your capacity for play, you may wish to consult with your indwelling adjuster during periods of quiet time.

Recreation involves activities which are outer directed although they do not necessarily involve direct interaction with other beings. You will find as you review your own life that much of your personal recreation is in the company of others.

Recreation may be defined as that set of non-work activities by which, one means or another, fellowship is enhanced between yourself and others. Yes, this may include your quiet time alone. It may be an adjunct to your work activities, or your worship activities, or even your play activities. But what sets recreation apart is that quality of fellowship attainment which invariably results when true recreation has been achieved.

You may ask, “Is this meeting a recreational activity?” and the answer is “most likely.” There are elements of recreation in this particular meeting because of your interactions with the others who are present. Certainly recreation is a vital element of this teaching mission. It is much hoped that the fellowship of the participants and their cap to further capacity with others will be enhanced through this mission. And we have indeed seen evidence to support this thus far.

Now you may ask that those definitions of rest play and recreation do not fit with our present cultural definition of these activities. And the answer is “yes, that is true.” But the definitions I give you, my friends, are not meant to be in accord with your present state, but rather the next step of evolutionary development beyond this one. And indeed, the definitions of rest, recreation and play will change and change again with each step forward that you take as you ascend in your universe careers. However, their basic elements will remain the same.

You may ask; “Do perfect beings require rest, recreation and play?” And the answer is “Yes, but for different reasons than you do at this stage of your development.” Although perfectly created beings do not “wear out”, so to speak, with the passage of time or the burden of work.

Nonetheless, rest is required for spiritual purposes in these beings. Indeed, even Father in Paradise requires rest. But a perfect being knows when to rest and an imperfect being must learn.

I shall stop our lesson at this point, and receive questions.

S: Rayson: Is fasting rest?

R: In what respect would you call “fasting” rest?

S. By not eating, the body is not working doing digestive work. Is that important? Because doing fasting ...

R: Only if you are not hungry and do not require nourishment to function, although the rest that you receive during your sleep periods is not generally accompanied by the taking of nourishment. This does not mean that you may not feed while resting. In fact, if your body requires nourishment after particularly arduous work, it might be important for you to eat during your rest period.

S: I have a question concerning the lesson, on play and recreation. You talked last week about your method of playing with the Reversion Directors, and of your level of play and recreation. Do you have options during these times as to what you do, what you divert to? Like we can go skiing, or play catch, throw things around and have fun - we have these different options and choices - do you still have those same choices?

R: Yes, but my memory record is made available to my personal Reversion Director who selects areas where I have the choice to work or play in those areas or move to others.

Q: Do you have access at all times to your memory records?

R: I can access them if I wish, however I have many other obligations and not so much free time for such activities. It is best for me to contain a review of my memories in the period assigned to the Reversion Director.

S: Then usually your Reversion Director has a pretty good idea of your efficient use of time.

R: Yes. (11/27/93)

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Q: In recreation, no matter what we do - whether it's rest, recreation, or toil - to keep the mind on God is the good thing to do. Is that correct? It is the intelligent thing to do, correct? Am I understanding that correctly?

A: Yes.

Q: Are drugs or alcohol considered part of recreation? Or do they take the mind away from God? Can you comment on drugs or alcohol, as recreational?

A: Yes. As I have defined recreation, drugs and alcohol play no role.

Q: In recreation?

A: Yes.

Q: Are drugs and alcohol strictly animal things?

A: Yes.

Q: That makes sense.

A: And, in fact, animals are well-known to partake of substances that alter their bodies’ chemical activities and their sensory perceptions for the same reasons that mortals do such things.

Q: So it's neither good nor bad, it's just animal?

A: The taking of substances is neither good nor bad, but the behaviors that emerge after can be either good or bad.

S: I understand. That's happened in my case, both ways, for sure.

R: Certainly by using drugs or alcohol or other substances you are not likely to experience spiritual growth. (S: Thank you).

Q: Are you saying that hallucinogenic type drugs cannot help anyone in their spiritual growth, even though they visualize Deity in a unique way?

A: The hallucination may be the visualization of Deity, but it is extremely unlikely that that is the fact. (S: Thank you).

Q: Would it be correct to say that if there is spiritual growth at the time one takes drugs...

A: To elaborate on the last question that was asked, which was if any spiritual growth occurs during the taking of drugs or alcohol: might it not be in spite of, rather than due to, such substances? My answer is this: you all know that there are times during which the Adjuster departs for various purposes. Most likely when you use exogenous substances that alter your mind thought, your Adjuster will depart. You will not grow spiritually unless your Adjuster is there with you. Does that answer?

Q: Yes, except it would seem that when one takes those drugs, that's when you would need the Adjuster the most, and that they would know this and would not depart.

A: It all depends on the circumstances, but when the Adjuster senses that the being in which it dwells is not receptive to spirit promptings, that is always a cue for departure. Now, it may be that when you use whatever you are doing so with the goal of spiritual work and progress, in that case your Adjuster might remain. But if you were to plan a debauch with the sole purpose of behaving in an animal fashion, it is very unlikely that the Adjuster would stay to observe, for the capacity for spirit growth would be almost nil. Your personal guardians might stay to help to protect you, unless you dismiss them. Does that help?

S: I believe that when we talk about drugs and alcohol it's too general a way to phrase it because I don't think many of us here do hallucinogenic drugs on a regular basis. The drugs that we do tend to be things like aspirin, caffeine, nicotine - for some people, alcohol, prescription drugs - and I don't believe that with the taking of those that the Adjuster would leave under any circumstance.

R: I answered the question with the linguistic assignment of non-medication substances to the word “drugs”. Perhaps this was a misunderstanding.

S: It was correct from my point of view, because I asked the first question, sir.

S2: My understanding is illicit drugs.

R: A more precise way of describing such substances as what one questioner called “drugs”, as opposed to “medications”, would be to use the term “mind-altering substances” consumed with the specific intent of mind thought alteration. Very few medications would come under this definition, although there are some which are used for behavior adjustment in the case of neurological diseases. But it is my understanding that substances which are consumed, including food at times, for animal gratification purposes do not promote spirit growth and development, except by accident.

Q. Your definition and qualification of the words are appreciated, and it makes what you said previously more exact, and I thank you for that. And, I guess, the last part you were talking about, that even such commonplace drugs as caffeine, or even food items such as sugar when consumed in quantity, can also produce deleterious effects which tend to counter your spiritual leadings from your Adjuster. Is that correct?

R: Yes.

Q: Could I follow up on his subject by asking if the Thought Adjuster leaves because of the person's turning to mind-altering drugs without seeking a heightened spiritual experience, can the being invite the Thought Adjuster back, and would He come back?

A: Yes, the being can invite the Adjuster back, but the Adjuster will only return if it detects sincere desire for communion. (12/12/93)

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