Today's lesson will be the first part of a discourse on the subject of truth. You will notice that our lessons tend to go from very basic principles, progressing up through more complex topics and then back again to basics. And certain basic topics will be handled on numerous occasions as they are of great importance in laying the foundation of future work to be done on Urantia by you and your celestial assistants, such as myself.
Truth is on a par with beauty and goodness insofar as spiritual importances, spiritual weight, are concerned. None of these three - truth beauty or goodness - are to be worshiped, for it is only the Father that is worthy of worship. But these three qualities, these three goals, are to be reverenced, to be sought after, to be held in the highest regard, to be in the forefront of your efforts at self mastery and spirit attunement.
What is truth not? Truth is not knowledge. Knowledge is based on fact, on science, and is limited by the level of development of your science. Truth is eternal. It stands the test of time. It stand the challenge of question. It is far beyond fact or a set of facts. Truth is also dynamic and growing. It is not static, as are facts. If you would know living truth on Urantia, you could do no better than to study the life of Jesus, for He lived the truth as he knew it.
Truth is not always experienced without pain. It is not necessarily painful to countenance truth, but to expect the experience of truth to always and ever be one of pleasure is to not be realistic. There is some consolation to be drawn from knowing that for most, if not all of you present here today, the pain sometimes experienced with truth will probably be most severe in your present material state, and will diminish as you progress Paradise-ward.
Like so many higher values, truth can be recognized in part by what it is not, in part by the manner in which it resists attempts at invalidation, and the manner in which it persists over time. It has been said that the argument required is inversely proportional to the amount of truth contained in a given statement. Truth is recognized by all mortal beings at some level of their conscious or unconscious awareness. Each of you, as you search your own past experience, may remark upon occasions upon which a simple and profound truth was thrust before you, amazing in its grace, and how easy it was to behold and accept.
Truth is experienced by each being as an individual, and because of enormous variations in individual perceptions, the truth that one individual understands must be relative and is not identical to the truth perceived by another individual. You cannot force truth upon another being. However, as Jesus did, you can whet the appetite of others for truth. This is the basis of the council against offering unsolicited advice.
As with goodness, and beauty, and love, and the other brilliant aspects of our Father, your capacity to perceive truth grows as does your fledgling spirit. You can help by nurturing within yourself a hunger for truth. Become an avid seeker after truth in all that you do and you will find that your appreciation of truth in all that presents to you will be enhanced. Be patient. I know that this is difficult, but it is important for you to exercise your patience while nurturing your hunger. You have all of eternity, you see, and no endeavor goes as well as it might when undertaken in haste.
As you improve your ability to detect truth, you will find that many of the bothersome aspects of your material existence will seem far less annoying, even amusing, for as your ability as a truth-seeker improves, so will you gain wisdom. And the wise man - above all - is able to see the absurdity of small things, to make light of what others fear, to not divert time toward the pursuit of anxiety, but rather to engage more fully in spiritual growth and in enjoyment of the fruits of the Spirit.
One great truth that can be of much comfort in times of difficulty is the truth of your own existence. That you cannot doubt. There is no arguing it. Once you become a survivor, you will have a second great truth, namely the truth of your survival-ship, and that will be a wonderful thing indeed for you.
This first small lesson on truth is meant to be more in the nature of an introduction. I wish you to - each of you - undertake some study of truth before our next lesson. You will find many passages in The Urantia Book to be most helpful. In particular there is a section on truth and faith that will be quite instructive and will provide much material for discussion. Therefore, I conclude this lesson now, and am available for comments and questions. (04/18/93)
Today we shall continue with discussion of truth that was begun some weeks ago. Understanding truth is a major important goal of your ongoing efforts at spiritual growth - spirit attainment. What you gain in understanding of truth during this material life is only the beginning of an eternal learning experience. Each step of your journey toward the Father in paradise will bring increasing discernment of truth. This is because truth is intertwined with a number of other spiritual capabilities, especially faith and goodness - also the attainment of wisdom and a number of other aspects of God consciousness.
The greatest truth that ever existed on Urantia was the human life of Michael of Nebadon. His life was all about truth, for you see truth is a dynamic entity. Truth is to be had through action, unlike wisdom, unlike so many other portions of your soul growth. To experience truth, and indeed to grow in truth, requires that one be active, active among the community of one's fellows. In fact it could be said that truth and real fellowship do go hand in hand.
All of you know truth. Each of you has experienced it. Your personal recognition of truth is related to your own level of personal spirit growth. Each of you has experienced the excitement, the incomparable thrill, of truth in your own personal lives. Think back, explore your own memory bank and you shall find such experiences. It is worthwhile to study them for their unique qualities. And as you each, individually, grow you shall find it increasingly easy to recognize truth in your own actions and in the actions and words of others whom you encounter. This can also apply to situations involving many people, such as actions of political bodies or countries or other human organizations. You will find as you gain faith and become more adept at discerning truth that the recognition of truth in the world will become - yes, yes - an increasingly easy job for you.
If you feel frustrated in your discernment of truth it may be due to a tendency to rely on dogmatization of truth rather than looking inward and relying on the promptings of your Thought Adjuster, your Indwelling Spirit of Truth.
There are benefits which accrue to the one who would seek and live truth. These are not rewards, but rather the natural results of participating in, and going along with, the design of the universe rather than resisting it. The greatest such benefit is that of health improvement. And indeed, the healing mission that is joined to this teaching mission is no accident for that very reason. Each and every one of you may take note of improved physical health, robustness, ability to withstand infection, and so on, as you participate in the search for truth, growth of faith, enactment of mota, enhancement and growth of wisdom.
Brothers and sisters, each of you present here today came here through no accident. You came because you were earnestly, hopefully and honestly seeking truth. There are no accidents in the universe, and you are much loved for your courageous and forthright search - much loved, much appreciated, more than you can possibly know. All of those present today affirm this great love that we have for you that we send from our Father above.
The things that you seek - truth, beauty, goodness, love - the workings of the Father, himself, abound, even on Urantia with all of its problems. They are there for the taking. And you - each of you - knows within yourselves how to go about doing that. It is the most joyous work that you ever shall undertake, the most thrilling, the most freeing. For as you seek after, entertain, truth the fetters of your animal origins will slowly but surely fall away, and you shall have less of fear, less of anger, less of pride, less of enslavement to cultural teachings - recent and past - that would hold you back from personal growth and spirit attainment. As these burdens fall away one by one, you will experience an incomparable sense of lightness that will fill your hearts with joy, a joy which will be perceived by your fellows - a true light within - and this, my much beloved children, is one of the first steps from here toward the final attainment of light and life on Urantia.
Your personal courage, steadfastness, and love, and faith, will help to take not only your living fellows today, but the unborn children of generations hence, out of the present darkness towards the bright future that awaits.
Work on the attainment of truth, the acting out of the will of the Father. Be of good faith. Be of good cheer. Working on the stillness will help. For those of you who have difficulty with the stillness it may be instructive to study the life of Jesus of Nazareth as a living example of truth. Truth is contagious in a most wonderful way, as are all of your spiritual assets. A small contagion at first, but as it grows the infection spreads.
I leave you, then, with this thought: that the outworking of truth is ever and always reliant upon the faith of the individual. You have been offered many exercises that are conducive of faith growth, spirit growth, and truthful living. Avail yourselves of these exercises, my children. And be assured that you are much loved, very much loved, and have many, many to assist you.
That is the end of this lesson. (05/15/93)
Today's lesson will be somewhat complex, for we shall be joining the threads of three separate subjects together, intertwining them. I shall be doing this increasingly in the remaining lessons, for my time with you grows short, regrettably.
Today we shall discuss the interactions among truth, goodness, and kindness, for this is an area which poses considerable difficulty for mortals of worlds that have been in rebellion, such as Urantia. At the outset it may seem difficult to understand how there could be conflict among these three tenets of God's will, and yet if you explore your own memory record, you will certainly find numerous instances during which you have grappled mightily with what seem to be conflicting goals in terms of satisfying the requirements for goodness, kindness, and truth, which your Adjuster leads you toward continuously. Truth. It has been said by your philosopher that the honest man, the truly honest man, continuously runs risk of life and limb. Why should this be when truth is such an essential ingredient of spirit growth and Father nearness? To the contrary it would be expected that the honest man would be exalted in society, much treasured. But indeed he who is honest without remitting will definitely have much difficulty in managing social relations on Urantia as it stands now. For the honest man causes pain among his fellows in at least two different ways. By being honest he serves as a reminder to others who are sensitive in this regard of their own lack of complete honesty. Secondly, the honest man is apt to comment on imperfection which arouses enormous hostility in persons who are predominately animal driven in purpose, for it is the way of the animal mind to assume self-perfection and be blinded to the imperfections of one's being and one's near environment, for this is seen by the animal as an outworking of the self, what you would call narcissism.
To put it in your psychological terms, the narcissistic ego is wounded by the notations of imperfection in its sphere of influence and is likely to strike out even unto death to quiet the voice which is disturbing. Now the difficulties faced by the honest person on Urantia greatly compound the problem of spirit growth of individuals, for fear is the logical response of those of animal origin to threat to life and limb. And fear, as you know, is toxic to spirit growth and attainment. And yet, you all know quite well that without truth there is no goodness or kindness. There cannot be. The will of Father is complete, not fragmented. You cannot act out Father's will in one discreet area and turn your back on His will in another. There is no such thing, despite what some in your culture, even devout religionists, maintain. Kindness. Kindness is so critical to spirit growth and must be present in great measure on Urantia in order for even the smallest increment of progress to occur. Kindness, however difficult it may be at times for you, my dear friends, serves as a bridge that will carry you from fear and pride and rage, and the other base qualities of animal mind thought, Godward. It is characteristic of animals to respond positively to kindness, but, of course, it is always dangerous to deal with animals, and so carrying out kind acts requires courage and strength. And these two will strengthen your journey from your animal origins Godward.
Kindness does not mean giving materially. This cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Material things have naught to do with God's will. They're animal entities no matter how finely crafted, securely held, or highly prized they may be. It is a mistaken belief to assume one is being kind in the bestowal of material objects upon another who is deemed unfortunate. You all know this, and yet it is a most difficult concept for mortal beings to grasp. Even for myself it is still an area that requires study and diligence. Kindness has far more to do with the maintenance of good will toward your fellows. Think on the life of Jesus, ever kind, ever loving, gentle, peaceful of spirit, forgiving, humble, and yet He did not hand out money. He did not share wealth of material sort with others. Yet His kindness was much prized by all who received, it as is yours, for the receipt of kindness by a mortal being resonates with the Thought Adjuster within the other, and God in Paradise is aware that good has been done and responds positively. Does this mean that kind acts are wasted on those who lack Adjusters? This issue is much debated. Jesus was kind to all regardless of Adjuster presence. However, extending the hand of friendship and love toward one who has no God fragment within certainly can be a dangerous undertaking to the mortal being in the sense of life and limb. I would say at this point in your planet's development it may be wisest to refrain from kind acts toward the truly iniquitous among you, if you are discerning enough to detect them. Only you know if you have that perceptual level at this time. It is my sincere hope that as Urantia moves forward there will be far far fewer of the iniquitous dwelling among than is presently the case. But for now teach your children to be guarded, not fearful, but guarded.
Goodness. Goodness, as was commented during our last session, is God-likeness. What is the distinction between goodness and kindness? Goodness encompasses all that is like God, of the will of God, of the outworking of God. Kindness is a tenet of goodness. There is no goodness without kindness or truth, or vice versa. But goodness is more encompassing, includes not only the acts to others as does kindness, but also the acts of the individual, the inner mind workings and communications with the Adjuster, spirit strivings Godward, prayer, atonement.
Jesus was the model of the good man. He was also kind and honest. He achieved that balanced and correct intermingling of goodness, kindness, and truth that is desirable for the Urantia mortal and indeed attainable, if you would strive mightily. I shall pause at this point in our lesson and receive questions and comments.
S: I wonder if you might comment for a moment on the distinction, or the difference if there is one, between truth and fact.
R: Perhaps you could tell me what your understanding is.
S: My understanding is that truth is a spiritual concept and that fact is a physical concept. Honesty can apply to either one of those concepts.
R: And what do you think is the difference between the physical and the spiritual? By physical do you mean material?
S: Yes, material. In other words, it is a fact that I walked up the hill.
R: It is also the truth.
S: Yes, that is correct. Now, carrying this one step further, I remember when my children were growing up that they had a concept of letting it all hang out, telling the whole truth even when they didn't need to. I think the example of Jesus was that He didn't tell people any more than they needed to know.
R: Because He balanced truthful utterances with kindness and goodness, but He was always aware of the full truth of any individual's complete existence. Can you imagine having that awareness yourself?
S: No, I can't imagine having it myself. But I still don't think that I should go down the street and say, hey, you're ugly when I see an ugly person just because it's the truth.
R: But perhaps what you call ugly is only a judgment based on physical configuration rather than a spiritual fact based upon the full and integrated personality of the individual in question.
S: But then let's say I say you're ugly in accordance with my concept of your physical configuration, but not spiritually.
S2: Suppose you keep your mouth shut.
S: That's exactly what I'm talking about.
R: If you said that, it might take the edge off the insult.
S: I think he's trying to draw a comparison here.
R: There can be no truth without kindness and goodness. That should help you to understand.
S: Can there be a fact without kindness and goodness?
R: Fact is a linguistic creation which in the absolute sense refers to a statement of a truthful situation. In the purest sense there is no distinction between fact and truth, however you do not have the perception of Jesus. So then I would ask you, knowing this, do you think that you truly have mastered any facts at all?
S: Well, I know that two and two are always four, but
R: In this universe.
S: With that qualification, yes. But I suppose that most of the things that I know as facts in my own mind are really true, although sometimes I can be mistaken. You notice who's laughing, don't you?
R: You will have an interesting time mastering mota.
S: Won't we all? Could you please explain to me more on kindness and particularly what is tithing? Is that a valid thing, because money is material, is it not?
R: God has no requirement for the offering of material substance as an accompaniment to prayer.
S: Does casting your bread out on the waters mean being kind and good and truthful?
R: Among other things, yes.
S: That's the way I should view it then? (R: Yes.) Back to kindness, where there is no Thought Adjuster and the question of whether kindness can be wasted on someone in that state. Kindness is such a quality of universe value that I have trouble finding it wasted anytime that it is extended. I can see your caution about risk, where the person is known or perceived to be totally evil, but there are people without Thought Adjusters who simply are, whose minds have deteriorated to the extent that kindness would seem to be needed. They would still perceive their physical response to kindness, wouldn't they?
R: As an animal might, however your culture may wish to question the wisdom of maintenance of life in those who are in such a state.
S: We haven't evolved that much as a whole yet, but it has come to many of us that we ought to be going that way. Thank you.
R: You are welcome. The capacity to discern Thought Adjuster absence is very close, but not fully arrived yet among Urantia mortals. Those of you who are more advanced in your spirit growth will have a greater sense of this in the ones you contact. But in the not-too-distant future such lack will be almost universally apparent on this planet, as would have been the case long ago had the plan been followed.
S: Could you comment about the validity of being sometimes untruthful to avoid hurting other human beings feelings?
R: Do you recall how Jesus handled such a situation?
S: No, I can't remember.
R: Does anyone here have a comment?
S: Yes, I think that He was never unkind even when He refrained from telling, quote, the whole truth. I guess He was always governed by kindness and consideration for the recipient, and would never say anything unkind.
S2: What about the money exchangers?
S: That's not unkindness, necessarily.
S2: If you will remember, the money exchangers were in the temple, and He had a human emotion pertaining to their desecrating His Father's temple. And for a while I think it got the best of the human Jesus. And His most unkind words, I think, were toward the religious leaders. He called them vipers, at least John the Baptist called them vipers. His worst words He said against political leaders were He called Herod an ill fox, that old fox.
S: But you're talking about whether He did or did not say anything derogatory, but actually I can't remember that the human Jesus ever made an untruthful flattering statement just to save somebody's feelings either. He always sought something good to say, but He didn't speak untruth, as far as I recall.
R: That is correct. He exercised restraint, yet was never insincere.
S2: Sincerity is the key then. If a guy is an old fox, and if it's truthful, I would be inclined to say that.
S: Or nothing at all.
S2: No, I'd probably say it and regret it later. (S: Okay.)
R: Perhaps if you beheld a professed temple of religious worship that more resembled a combination between a carnival and a gambling village, you would be appalled, also.
S: I think I would be. That - would be my vocal response to what's happened in the Temple, that in current usage with all the flair and the selling things and everything.
R: When men came to the temple to procure sexual companions, Is that worshipful? (S: No.)
S: Rayson, were you at the time, were you at that temple, were you present when those things took place?
R: Not on Urantia, but I have reviewed the records of this planet thoroughly and have beheld the details of which you speak.
S: Rayson, I was wondering, we have video tapes and so on. Do you have the ability to actually do a revisiting of it as though it were on video tape or actually like in 3-D circumstance where you can actually relive that moment and see it?
R: The Ancients of Days guard the records of the cosmos and may permit one to review historical features when it is deemed appropriate. It is far more than the visual record to which you allude. There are spirit qualities recorded as well.
S: How far would one have to advance through the mansion worlds before one would be capable of viewing these and receiving any benefit from them?
R: It all depends on need, actually; if you are needed, it can happen early. If not, it may never occur. Your unique and individual personality is known to those at high levels and if it can be useful to them they will appeal to you for service.
S: Rayson, is it possible that Christ Michael was actually being kind, in a way, when He pointed out the error of the ways of the money changers to them?
R: That is a good question. But I am not privy to His mind record. That is not permitted for my review.
S: I'm such a believer in kindness. On the other hand, in thinking about this very same circumstance, it seems to be, at times, very appropriate and needed anger response in life. It seems to be able to free us up emotionally. In fact, many times I look on anger as just another emotion which the denial of is very painful, and can even undermine our emotional health. In fact, releasing anger at times, could almost be kind under certain circumstances. Could you comment on that? Am I making myself clear?
R: Yes, I believe I understand, but let me ask you. When you yourself experience this anger, do you feel close to God?
S: No, I don't feel close to God at that time, necessarily.
R: That is the answer. Do you understand that?
S: I understand that, but also wonder if it isn't part of our emotional makeup as human beings, that we're going to be involved in working through things which require anger as well as kindness, require multi-facets of our personality.
R: The anger response is a leftover from your animal origins, and at the time that light and life are attained, anger will have fallen away from the repertoire of behavioral responses to stimuli on the part of Urantia mortals. I am not saying that at this time in the development of the planet it may not be a response that is in accord with the conditions in which you live, but your response, in terms of not feeling close to God, shows that you yourself understand the limited quality of anger in terms of your own spirit growth.
S: The reason I brought that up was because of a book by Theodore Rubin called The Angry Book in which he, as a psychiatrist, maintains that unless you really vent anger, it's not something that's harbored or hung on to, but it's an emotion that if it's not expressed comes out in deviant behavior sooner or later. It's saved up like in a slush account. Most of us can easily deal with kindness, or we can deal with love and caring, but it's more difficult for us to deal, at times, with anger.
R: Do you recall how Jesus managed anger as He grew and developed into His ultimate role on Urantia? One instance was already mentioned, but can you think of others later on?
S: Well, He dealt with compassion, understanding, empathy. He had a full range of things He used.
R: Do you recall His periods of meditation?
S: Yes, that's right. He spent a great deal of time in communion between Father and Himself.
R: After which He returned with what feelings?
S: Feelings of wholeness and, I think, perspective, and love, kindness, caring
R: And resolution of anger. The animal emotions that you experience in your life as a mortal being are best understood - in your current intellectual parlance - as expressions of the narcissistic ego against perceived violations of the assumed perfection of self. To make that clearer, I would say that an emotion such as anger is truly an expression of discomfort at your deep, and perhaps not conscious, realization of your own imperfection. And yet you know very well that imperfection is one of your endowments, a gift from Father that enables you to be a co-creator in this universe and others beyond.
S: Is there any such thing as righteous indignation?
R: What do you think?
S: I think it's a code word for anger myself.
R: I would agree with you.
S: And an excuse for manipulation.
S2: It's just the anger that you approve. The anger you disapprove of is just plain anger. It is sometimes an excuse for controlling behavior, too, I think.
R: Is there not fear and pride contained within what you call anger, indignation, even righteousness? (S: Ego.)
S2: Yes, but sometimes, in my experience, I have found that the only way I can get through to somebody is to use anger. When you talk nice and when you talk quietly, they don't listen. But when you yell and you jump up and down, it seems like they listen sometimes.
R: Perhaps you are dealing with animals.
S: But what if they learn from my anger?
R: Do animals ever truly learn?
S: I don't know.
R: Can you think of a more teacher-like way of persuading less spiritually advanced beings?
S: I think I need to do that. It's hard work being angry.
R: It does not contribute much to your ultimate goal of spirit growth and development, and you are sufficiently advanced to desire that and enjoy the sensation of pleasure which results from God-directed act.
S: You used the illustration of training animals. I think that far, far more animal trainers do so by rewarding desirable conduct than by punishing undesirable conduct.
R: Yes, they have an understanding of the limitations of animals as well as the presence of the lower adjutant mind spirits that respond well to small reward.
S: I have a question on kindness to animals. As we respond to animals we treat them in a kindly manner, we're kind to them and we project love upon them. In effect, is that a real relationship? Is that a true kind act? Is there survivor value, for instance, in God the Supreme, when you, are kind to an animal, and love it, and care about it, when in fact it doesn't respond? It is not kind to you per se or it doesn't love you because it doesn't have the capacity to do those things?
R: Yes, of course, because by virtue of your kindness you yourself grow, and you will retain your growth. However, I would like to caution you in only one small regard, and that is the mistaking of kindness to animals as being a substitute for kindness to your neighbor. There are some who profess that animals are better than people. They like animals better than people, and therefore animals are more deserving of kindness than people. This is a limited view that certainly can lead to some limited personal growth.
But remember, my friends, that you are all agents of change and co-creators with Father. By participating in this teaching mission you have agreed to assist in the uplifting of Urantia. Urantia will be far less uplifted by kindness to pets than by kindness to mortal beings.
S: Rayson, I'm really, really happy you commented on this. That, to me, is a very important subject, and I'm glad you brought it out. I think it's good for people to understand that we, as human beings, are relating because of our Thought Adjuster relationship. And while kindness to animals is certainly pleasant and nice and so on, it's not a substitute. Thank you for that.
R: You are welcome. It is far easier to be kind to a fawning pet than to be kind to a sluggish employee or an angry customer or a proud neighbor. And yet you can see that the great leaps in your own growth and development come from the latter rather than the former.
S: There's a proverb that says a soft answer turneth away wrath. It probably could be substituted, instead of a soft answer, a kind act.
R: Yes. (12/18/93) See also WORK & Conviction of Truth (01/15/94)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)