WORK with Respect to LOVE
R: Friends, today's session will be a bit different from the usual, for this will be our last formal lesson. In addition to the lesson, I am going to explain the next phase of this group's educational experience in the teaching mission. Do you have a preference as to whether you would care to hear the lesson first or second?
S: I prefer the lesson first.
R: Very well. Today's lesson is on work again, this time with respect to love. This fits in well with the initiation of the next phase of this mission, for you as participants in the teaching mission will be directly involved in conveying Father's love through your own work. All of you here know what love is, do you not?
S: I believe so.
R: Yes, we all are capable of recognizing love when we experience it. Some say that those of us created imperfect have a greater enjoyment and awareness of love than the perfectly created beings because our hearts are not always filled with love. Being of animal origin, we are vulnerable to other states that are not in accord with Father's will - states of rage, greed, pride; states in which we seek to harm and destroy others; states in which fear conditions all of our actions - so that in the material state at least that feeling of love, if you allow it to come through, will seem very refreshing, uplifting, freeing, relieving, strengthening, in contrast to states of animal origin.
Have you not noticed in your experiences on Urantia that you may easily find yourself in an animal state without having much conscious awareness of how you got there? Yes. That is a common experience for imperfectly created beings, one of which it is difficult to not feel ashamed. However this part of your imperfection.
I encourage you to work hard to learn how to resist this inclination in yourselves. You will find that it is most difficult to do this, initially. If you achieve any measure of mastery in this regard during your life in the flesh, you have, believe me, far surpassed your peers, many of whom are never truly aware of this capability, but instead attribute the joyful feeling of love which sometimes comes to them to luck, magic, or other happenstance occurrences, never truly realizing that it is their own behavior and work that cause this to come about.
Remember again that Father's love is always coming toward you, but you must reach up and take it in order to fully experience this and other aspects of Father.
And this, of course, is where work comes in. Some mortals in this teaching mission have said that the work is particularly difficult because things of a spiritual nature are so difficult to perceive, gossamer in quality, elusive in nature. That is indeed how it may seem to a mortal being, however you may be interested to know that there have been some few who have, through diligent effort, been able to attain and maintain a firm grip on at least certain aspects of the spiritual world that is within and without and everywhere around you.
Surely all of you here have noticed a subtle but definite change in your usual sense of being since entering the teaching mission, have you not? (S: Yes) Would any here care to describe that?
S: Real peaceful. It's a change in the matrix from which you make your decisions.
S2: Another one is a heightened awareness, of not only our own awareness of spiritual presence around us, but of the spiritual presence that's in other people, an awareness of their searching, and their Thought Adjuster and other personalities.
S3: I find myself able to step aside from a typical reaction and anticipate how I would normally do something, or react to something, and almost have a time out and recognize how I would normally behave. That wouldn't necessarily be the best way. I catch myself doing things a lot easier now than I did before, more aware and more sensitive.
R: So you find yourself working harder?
S3: Yes, definitely. It's more work in that sense, sure.
S: And more of a desire to apply the Father's will as you perceive it to your reactions and your relationships.
S2: I feel a sense of the spirit of competition that's so nurtured on the animal level being replaced by a spirit of cooperation. I feel very motivated that way, and I think it's a direct result of the lessons and the teaching mission.
S4: And I have difficulty in seeing work as work. It seems to me that it really is self fulfilment rather than work, and it's got to be done.
S3: And concerning the teaching mission, and also my spiritual journey that I'm taking, I don't perceive of that as work. I understand better now that it's been explained in the mission, but I'm just so excited about it and I'm so motivated by it that it just doesn't feel like work to me - in the traditional definition of work.
S5: I think about one time (S) gave a talk about paradigm expansion, and I think that being involved as we have in our mission has completely changed my paradigm reference. I mean now suddenly everything looks entirely different. I still have a base reference point, but it's opened up to accepting all kinds of things that would never have happened had it not been for the lessons.
R: Do you notice that you feel more a part of the universe?
All: Absolutely. Definitely. Yes.
R: And less prone to drift in the wind, so to speak, (S: Yes) be carried about by the gusts of fate, as some of your poets would say. These are all excellent observations and show that you are indeed growing spiritually and reaching toward Father. And you will be pleased to know that two years from now you will look back at this time and realize that you have come very far since today.
R: Yes, it is exciting, and it is a glimpse for you of the wonderful adventure that awaits when you pass from the material form to the morontia form and beyond. There is no harder work than the work of Father. Do you see that?
R: And as you, my friends, go forward to inspire your fellow beings and become spiritual leaders. You, like our loving Father, will be an example as the hardest worker in the group, just as Jesus worked hard and diligently. Is that agreeable?
S: It is. I get great satisfaction from what we have referred to here as work. Somehow it seems to be a normal thing to me as distinguished from some additional effort.
R: Yes, it is a normal thing once your eyes are open and you are able to see beyond the animal drives.
A: What I'm saying is, it doesn't seem to me to be harder. It seems to be easier to do the work of the Father.
R: Yes, to follow Father's will is always the most efficient way of using your energy, as you would say, the shortest distance between two points. I have used this last lesson as a model for our next phase of education. What we shall do beginning next session will be to start with basic concepts, and I will serve as the moderator while participants in the group offer components of the lesson. It will seem random to you at first, but your unseen helpers will be working with you during the interim periods between meetings in such a way that the final product of each session will fit together and form a cohesive unit as if uttered by one being.
This will serve many purposes. This will help you to see how a loving attitude enables you to cooperate together and produce something of real and lasting value. It also enables you to work at your own speed while you are alone preparing and set your own pace for spiritual growth. Additionally, you will be learning skills which will enable you to duplicate this teaching group when you go forth at a later stage in the mission and form your own separate groups among new members of the mission. I sense that you are all excited and enthusiastic about this prospect.
Q: Rayson, we have been caught up so much in the second phase of this that we haven't really been able to comment on your last lesson: work in relationship to love. As I understand it, one definition of love, according to the Urantia Book, is the desire to do good for others. When we respond to that desire in any manner, is it work?
A: Yes, spiritual work. You are right. Are there any other comments?
S: Yes, I have a comment about the lesson today, work and love. You say so many things that inspire me, one in particular I had written down and put stars all around it. Father's love is always coming toward you but you must reach up and take it. The reaching up and taking it, would that fall under the category of work, the effort that it takes? I mean, that seemed to me - your comment seemed a direct connection between work and love.
R: Yes, the reaching up and taking is that work that I have been talking about, and, in this case, it involves loving back. To feel Father's will most deeply involves acting out His will in your behavior and your experiences. And as you become more experienced and work hard in your journey toward Paradise, you will become more and more adept in your capacity to act in accordance with Father's will.
Q: Rayson, when I'm practicing the stillness in the evening, I perceive of this outreach as a, maybe an analogy would be, as a muscle and that the more you work your spiritual muscle, the easier it becomes. And I perceive of mustering up all of the love that I can in my heart, and just sending it toward the Father, and then really trying to open myself up for a response from Him. And this reciprocation seems to confirm the idea that it is a muscle that I'm working in that sense. Can you comment on that?
A: Yes. Yes it is like the development of a muscle. You are correct in your perception, and in addition to sending love to Father in the fashion to which you refer, there is another perhaps more easily understood way that you can love Father. That is to love your neighbor. Your neighbor is not an abstraction to you but a real living, breathing person. Can you truly love your neighbor when he is noisy, smelly, dishonest, unkind, obtrusive, greedy, fearful. If so, then you have achieved a high level of spirit growth.
This does not mean that you need to bring the creature into your home [laughter] or draw your savings from the bank and hand it to him. Love has not to do with these material displays. But if you do love your neighbor, you will find that this is the most effective means that you could employ to help him to modify his behavior and be more loving in return. You see, you will be acting as a co creator with Father that way. To think that Father can love you in all that you are, is that not a marvellous thing? Does not that require the same forbearance and mercy that you would show to your neighbor? [Several: Yes]
Q: So Rayson, then is it more an attitude than an actual doing of a thing, since you're saying you don't have to have that neighbor into your house or give them money. Is it more just how we think of them, the kind of mental energy we send their way, the way we - when we do - speak with them? I mean, what do we do to love that neighbor? I think I understand what we don't do.
A: Perhaps you could describe to me a neighbor whom you find objectionable, and then I can offer more tangible advice to you.
S: Quite honestly, I barely know my neighbors. I've just moved, but I was simply extending your example. I know, a former situation. I had some neighbors who would have live bands over and play music into the wee hours, and it was very distressing, and it brought out the worst in me. But I never really had a personal encounter. I would always just call the police, but I had very negative feelings about these people and would express them loudly within my own walls but never to them. It certainly interfered with my own spiritual growth in terms of how I was feeling, where my mental energy was at that time. But there was no interaction with those people. I don't know if that example is useful. I guess not.
R: Do you think that having a direct interaction with this neighbor might have led to your developing a more loving attitude and your neighbor, in turn, responding and being more kind and considerate toward you?
S: I think, at the time when these incidences occurred, I wouldn't feel safe doing that. For one thing, I think that they were inebriated, but I suppose I could have tried that in the more likely sober hours of the day. Would it have helped? I don't honestly know. I guess I have somewhat of a pessimistic attitude about that with some people. Maybe that's where I need to stop having those assumptions and give it a try.
R: Of course, a neighbor who is a savage and does not accept the hand of friendship cannot be very responsive to your loving gestures and may actually be dangerous to you. I assume that you eventually moved away and severed the relationship of neighbor with this person. Did you not? (S: That's right, yes).
That was probably the most useful action to take under the circumstances, however, you must have had a neighbor who did not behave in that way, yet whom you feel you did not develop a high level interaction with.
I do not mean by use of the term neighbor the one who lives next to your dwelling. There is the neighbor with whom you work, the neighbor with whom you interact in financial matters, the neighbor who shares the road with you, the neighbor who stands in line next to you at the market. How do you feel about these people? There is the neighbor whom you will never see again who asks for directions.
Do you offer help in an appropriate fashion? This is all something for you to think about and consider in this matter of loving your neighbor. Are there other comments?
S: Rayson, many times over the years I use the phraseology, I demonstrate good will or unbreakable good will. To me, a love relationship, in my own definition, can become such an emotionally involved thing, like loving everyone in this room and those in intimate contact with. To me demonstrating good will is probably an aspect of love that I find a little more comforting at times when somebody's cutting me off in traffic. I can demonstrate good will, and even unbreakable good will, but the emotional involvement of the word love would be hard for me to deal with probably at that time. Maybe you could comment on that.
R: You are wise in perceiving the difference between mortal love, which has animal elements of emotion and intellect, and the divine and spiritual love of Father. Father's love is, as you say, unbreakable good will, but also has the very important element of mercy. You refer to being cut off in traffic. If you would include mercy toward that neighbor, it might be more palatable to you.
S: Thank you, Rayson, that really does add a wonderful dimension. Thank you so much for that.
S2: Rayson, I just want to share one comment about love, something that I'm dealing with now, or that's helping me define what love is to me. And that is simply learning and wanting to value, simply just value, the other person in the way that our Father does, and the way that I am valued by Him. To me that is like a foundation stone at this point in how I'm defining love. Simply learn to value that person, to want to value them as I am valued.
R: Yes, that is most important, and remember again from this lesson and other lessons that material contributions are not an element of spiritual love. Do you expect God to fix your car, repair your bank account, provide you with a home or food or jewellery or training or education? Certainly not. And in transmitting Father's love to your fellows, is it appropriate for you to offer these things to them? Would you deprive your neighbor, all of your neighbors, of that necessary adversity that is required for spiritual growth?
It is not greedy to withhold material things from your fellow beings who have the hand out and seek to convince you that if you are a believer in God and a loving person, you should fill their cup. Consider their motives, and you will see readily who the greedy one truly is. This is a hard, hard lesson for you, my friends, particularly because formal religious training on Urantia has taught you otherwise, and this is a deeply ingrained concept. But I urge you to work hard with this. (S: Thank you) You are welcome. Are there other comments?
S: I love you, Rayson.
R: You are much loved by myself and the others in attendance today and those who have beheld you at all of the sessions and at all times in your existence. I shall bid you farewell, my friends, and I urge you to work hard during this interim period and consider your topic of cooperation and reflect upon it. You all have the capacity for reflectivity and may develop that muscle, as you say, to a very fine and precise level, if you work hard. I bid you farewell. All: Farewell. (01/22/94)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)