Today we will discuss one facet of the Master's teachings to be in the world but not of it, - spiritual living.
When Michael was incarnate on Urantia as Jesus He had much firsthand experience with this allencompassing concept. As a youth He experienced a conflict between two moral-ethical tenets; the first being to do the will of the Heavenly Father and to reflect the Father's truth to others, to tell the truth - spiritually - versus the injunction to honor His parents and their teaching. This became a conflict of the young Jesus because Mary and Joseph, although not classified as fundamentalist Jews, were nonetheless religious Jews in their day, of their time. Many of their beliefs contradicted the spiritual truths which Jesus became more and more sure of as His Divinity was revealed to Him in His human mind. He experienced a conflict between loyalty to truth and duty to His parents and culture.
This would arise on many occasions. One example being, Mary and Joseph, like most others in their religious culture, believed in a wrathful, judgmental and punishing God. The young Jesus could not accept or endorse this description of His Heavenly Father and many discussions would ensue between Jesus and His parents over this. Consequently, Jesus felt much inner turmoil over which injunction to follow as He perceived them as contradictory.
The resolution of this conflict came about in a very perfect way, as the Master would - over and over again in His life - find the perfect solution to what we might think of as an irreconcilable situation. He talked from His heart to His earthly Father, Joseph, and said, Father, I cannot believe that whatever mistake I make, you would ever withdraw your love, or be angry and punishing towards me and not be able to forgive me. And He said to His earthly Father therefore, if you yourself could have such love for your child, and such compassion and tolerance for when I make mistakes, how could you not think the Father in heaven, who created this goodness in mankind, could be any less loving, merciful and forgiving? And Jesus was so sincere when He asked his father these questions that Joseph and Mary never berated Him again about their erroneous concept of God, but rather kept silent and allowed their son His own truth.
There were many examples as Jesus grew of the application of being in the world but not of it on a day-to-day basis. Because Joseph and Mary were such products of their times, many times Jesus was faced with the knowledge that their practices - religious practices - were not the highest. For example, He often tried to teach His family to pray in their own words and from their own hearts rather than to repeat the written and prescribed Jewish prayers, but He had little success in this endeavor. But out of this did come The Lords Prayer, which we all are thankful for.
So Jesus developed a technique for coping with the discrepancy between His inner truth and His outer practices, which was to never consent to things He knew not to be true - to never consent, but rather to conform to the wishes of His family and culture. Out of this resolution, Jesus developed His technique for teaching through asking questions in such a way as to not offend the person He was questioning or teaching. He was eminently fair and loving, and did not engage in questioning someone for the lowly purpose of winning an argument or advancing His own ego. Rather, Jesus saw every opportunity to reflect the wonderful truth of God as a loving Father and creator of us, to the humans He encountered. This technique served Him well, because it never made the person He was teaching feel defensive or threatened. And yet they were enlightened.
Jesus had to deal with many worldly problems, as we all do. Yet He managed upon much reflective meditation, prayer and communication with His Adjuster to create solutions which benefited everyone. He also used the technique of not disclosing the full truth before others were ready or prepared to hear it. As an example, he did not tell others of His divine nature for many, many years - even after he was sure that He was indeed the Son of God.
So, brothers and sisters, I would like you to use these simple examples in your own lives every day, for much of the stresses that you face can be seen to be rooted in a conflict between loyalty to higher truth and duty to one's family or work situation or culture. And this is the center of how to live in the world and not be of it. Using the tools of spirituality, there is always a solution. Step outside mindal logic and intellectual organization into the realm of higher mind and the solution will appear. There need not be anxiety over the tiny decisions which we all face in living an ascension career.
On Urantia in particular there is a large discrepancy between behavior in the world and what we know to be spiritual demeanor. However, even 2000 years ago when the world was much more rigid, Jesus managed to marry conflicting philosophies in a way which inspired many, many others and offended very few.
This is the key to spiritual living and practical survival, for one cannot ignore the needs or demands of daily life and retreat into a spiritual vacuum. Nor can one separate the spiritual from the material. Our challenge is to marry both and thus inspire others - man to find God, God to find man, or man to see God when he finds Him - as we live. This can be done, but not without a conscious effort to achieve it. Too often we forget our real purpose for existence, and we make life easier by separating spiritual life from all the rest. So we might pray in the morning or evening and then forget God the rest of the day. This is not how one should live. We must integrate what we have been given with other situations in order to grow spiritually ourselves, and also to inspire and uplift our brothers and sisters. There probably have been humans you have encountered who you have been drawn to or liked very much, and without knowing why. These humans possess the talent - ability to reflect the love of God outward. It does not have to come in religious packages. It is a spiritual law that beings are always drawn toward God's love. So if we keep God's love as a goal we are living in spiritual reality rather than in worldly amnesia. Although this sounds simple, very few humans have achieved this consistently on Urantia.
Jesus is the best example, and there are many insights in part four, in terms of specific dilemmas which he resolved. You might want to - as you read - to be aware of these situations and how they apply to spiritual living in a largely non-spiritual world. This is perhaps one of the greatest gifts the life of Jesus can teach us.
You are here for one purpose only, and that is to know God. Please keep this more in the forefront of your conscious mind as you go about your lives.
Jesus was no stranger to disappointment or life's vicissitudes. The difference between Jesus an the average human is that Jesus knew in His heart that He was a Son of God, and He knew that - He knew what lay ahead [two inaudible words]. Therefore, the disappointments like the death of His earthly father, His voluntary giving up of education and career for Himself - for He took care of His brothers and sisters - His putting aside of His own needs and wants - which like all of us, He longed for things, for goals for Himself - were relatively easy things for Him to do because He always knew the spiritual reality. If one examines His life, you will see that He dealt with as many trials as you do, sometimes more, and always did he handle these trials with great poise and valor. For He always was in deep communion with the heavenly Father.
Jesus longed for comfort on a human level as we all do, more so even than we do, because, as His divine nature was revealed to Him, He knew He could share this with no one. But He still longed for a best friend to confide in, to help ease the burden of His responsibility. Perhaps Rebecca came close, but even Jesus had to reject a life of earthly love because of His divinity. As he suffered this loss, He cared only for her feeling, first. These are more examples of living in the world and not of it. Not that you should not have a life partner, that is not the point. The point is to care more for another's feeling, to put the needs of your brothers and sisters first. This is an attitude of loving service. As you grow spiritually it will become more habitual or easy for you to strike a balance between conflicting needs.
Also, be cautious not to become self-righteous when dealing with organized religion in terms of their belief system. It is arrogant to feel superior when one can never know the faith light that burns within another being. The point is not to discourage, remember. The point is to bring another closer to God. So as you travel through your own life's path, please try to integrate your two assignments, which is to live spiritually and physically in one vessel.
And that is the lesson for today. (05/29/93)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)