Lesson on being Born of the Spirit:
Today, brothers and sisters, today our lesson shall be on ... being born of the Spirit. Each of you have - deep within your being - sought God. A commitment, a prayer, a quest was begun. For some, many many many years ago. For others, more recently. When man reaches a hand Godward, God has already downreached to that being. God had already found each of you. This will-decision is enough for you to enter the kingdom upon mortal death. It is enough to spiritualize your human life. But it is not what JESUS taught, for we understand to be born of the Spirit.
Allow me to elaborate. Born of the Spirit, born again, these words are often used by your religionists. They think to bathe in water, to commit in words, is being born of the Spirit. That is incorrect. You Urantians think to make a commitment to The FATHER is born of the Spirit. That is also incorrect. It is too intellectual.
What is birth, children? Birth is action, physical action. Some births are long and hard and painful. Some births involve some injury, or perceived injury, to the participants. Some births are easy, but not the majority. As it is with childbirth, physical birth, so it is with spiritual birth.
Spiritual birth involves physical action. Born of the Spirit is action, spiritual action. When one embarks upon spiritual birth there is a period of dormancy. The conception is your commitment, survival commitment, and your ultimate, to the will of The FATHER. This will-decision should grow during the pregnant period. Then comes the birth in the Spirit, of the Spirit, to the Spirit, children.
If you think that this will be painless you are incorrect. It will involve much ego bruising, pain, depression, disappointment, all of the things, which you humans are so adept at avoiding. This is why, children, most who hear the truth push it away. They dismiss it. Oh, this is not for me. Oh, I have heard this before. Oh, I do not need this now. Etc. Because, being born again means changing.
It is a birth. But always will your evolving soul thank you if you undertake this action here.
You must have courage and commitment. You must have valor. You must realize that this is - this will repercuss on all levels of your being. Many who are involved in the spiritual birth go through doubts, spiritual uncertainty and confusion, even rejection of the Godward life. It is difficult. It is harder to live as a raging heathen than as a committed spiritualist - correction, it is easier to live as a raging heathen than as a committed spiritualist. Why? Because there are more rewards for the worldly attributes, the lower emotions, on Urantia than rewards for the higher values in action. Why? Because it is easier for the human temperament to embrace negative qualities and act on them than to go against one's own inherent animal nature and modify the clay from which you are built, by higher minds an values.
The long dark passage through the spiritual birth canal can be terrifying. You lose sight. The safety after your commitment to God's will has been left behind. The light of emergence into a new way of life is not yet seen. You are surrounded by darkness, feeling contractions, fear, aloneness, and self-doubt, God-doubt. Why venture on out? Why not stay safe in the womb of intellectual commitment? Read your books? Reward each other's goodness in study? Which are all good things to do. But what I am talking about, and what we gravely miss on this planet, is the application. You, as a species, are lazy and indolent, and pleasure seeking. You do not yet have the vision to see the spiritual pleasure at the end of the birth passage.
Many holy men and women have gone through periods of great soul darkness while they were being born in the Spirit. This is an active fight. This is not passive. You are at war with your lower nature. Ah, but the victory for your Adjuster, for you, and your soul. It may last in human terms years and years. This is what born again really means. It is an actual occurrence, a transmutation of nature that is not won without much struggle. Very few humans have the inherent spiritual capacity for receptivity to be born again without bloodshed.
Page 1130 you will study, as you will study, have studied, Rodan, 1738. First, sit in the silence with prayer. And rededicate your will to The FATHER's. Examine your commitment, and then pray for life to force your spiritual hands. The waters of adversity will pursue for each, but you will all reach tranquility one day on eternal shores.
This is the war of time versus eternity, of material versus spiritual, of the imperfect versus the perfect, of the finite versus the infinite. One does not become one's opposite without what you think of as pain. Death of the animal is birth of the spiritual. Does the animal not suffer? Does the spiritual not empathize? An enigma created by the father is evolution. But if you choose not to go though this and most choose not to - you are not giving to the Supreme. You are cheating your soul growth, and not understanding the process.
Think, children, of John the Baptist, alone in his cell, abandoned by his fellows and his Messiah, so he thought. His struggle was necessary. He assumed he was born of the Spirit. But truly his birth came shortly before his death when he accepted and understood that his earthly mission was over, that JESUS was indeed the incarnation of God, and that he would leave. Only then did he attain serenity. Only then did he see with an eternal perspective. That was the moment of his birth-day.
You will all see a spiritual birth-day like John. He was blessed with much adversity. But each of you will face your own struggles. But JESUS beckons to you. He asks you to be born into the brotherhood. And your rewards will be great, personally.
As a species you are mandated or asked to do this, to begin this process so this planet may grow toward the light. Your species, your planet, will benefit from transformed individuals. That is an active attitude - being in light. Cowardice is not for the spiritually committed. Indolence is not for the spiritually strong. You must have the same passion in this area that you bring to your profession, your political commitments, your emotional relationships, your financial gain. Where is your spiritual passion? JESUS was not a weakling. JESUS was not a man of sorrows. JESUS was not passive. He was active. He was courageous.
I would like you all to pray - if it is your will - for your spiritual birth process to begin. And what I can do as your friend and teacher is to be here when the sea gets choppy. I have been through this same storm, and I speak not down to you but speak to you with much love and empathy as one who has gone through this when I was like you. My sense of self is much inflated and I had much pruning to do of the dead branches in my own being. With all humbleness I tell you it is worth it.
I embrace your struggle and am willing to buoy you up. As your angels draw near to you, as JESUS, himself, has promised to walk through the waters of adversity with you, as your Adjuster points northward as your soul expands, you are not alone although aloneness is a feeling, state, you will go through.
The lesson is short today, and simple. Simple to hear, but not to do. I will pray for your birth and that He will recognize your blessings. And now I invite questions.
Q: If we see ourselves as warriors to do the will of God, and we rush out with energy and courage, and with a great desire to do the proper thing, what is the role - if any - of self protection? Even a warrior will protect himself to a certain extent, and I don't mean shirking responsibility, or running away from doing the right thing, or anything else. But there is comment in The Urantia Book about protecting oneself. I wonder if you could expand on that?
A: First, let me say that your role as warrior must begin with yourself. Why assume you are ready to rush into the world when you have not conquered your own inner being? Of course this may be done simultaneously, and should be: inward fight outward. Self-protection comes from the continued evolution - growth of the fruits of the Spirit. A truly evolved spiritual being housed in a material body who exudes genuine love of fellows tolerance, understanding, empathy, friendliness, warmth, kindness and true service will not need protection. Who could harm such a loving loving being? Point: JESUS, himself, while brawny and strong, rarely was involved in any encounter, physical or emotional, because he was so full of love.
Protection comes from wisdom, the wisdom to clearly see what the other person needs. If it is something - of course it will be something that a spiritual being can give - for if the person feels they need money, we know that is not their need. As JESUS saw - as He passed by in so many - what they really needed, and gave it to them: the spiritual goal, the spiritual tools, - he spoke to their heart, soul, mind, deep deep prayers. As you grow in wisdom and your own spiritual heart expands, you will be able to easily see what another needs and provide this. Very little self-protection is needed as one grows.
However, much of your life will be not at that point - for any of us. So, what can be done? When one is assured of one's survival very few things can hurt you people. JESUS ignored his critics. There is something in human nature, which wishes to test the good, smear the truth, mar the beautiful. If this is a horrible strain, there will always be those willing to push so that they can say They are not so good. They are not so full of truth. They are not so beautiful. Their message is false. Their lives are a sham. They are hypocrites. Therefore our dedication to temporal pleasure is fine. There is not a higher way. There is not a better path. There is no God. Yes, there will be those.
When we are so sure and anchored in God, even if we cannot see or hear or feel, in our hearts we know. This cannot truly harm you. Ignore the criticism. Reach for the commonality of truth. Stretch, and when you do, you will find less hostility than you think. It is hard to resist love, even for the most unloving. That is my reply.
Q: How do we know if we have already been born of the Spirit?
A: None of you have completed this process yet.
Q: Is it correct to think of the product of the new birth to be your own soul?
A. Expanded soul. Souls are already in formation, but the conception, yes. Birth of -
Q: The development of the embryonic soul?
Q: Does this happen suddenly? In an hour? In a day? Or is it a long, gradual process?
A: It is rare that it happens suddenly. Even for JESUS it was a long process. It is most often decades.
Q: RAYSON, have we already undertaken this process, some of us? Everything you said sounded kinda familiar to me. I'm not saying I've been born of the Spirit, but I think I've begun the process. Do you want us to be more conscious of this process? Is that what you're saying?
A: Yes. You have all begun the process to greater or lesser extent. And at some earth periods you cruise, sometimes you go quicker. What I am asking you to consider is a conscious effort to take the harder path. When there is a choice, choose the higher. It is often the harder. Truth, illumination, loving service, kindly tolerance - fruits of the Spirit - are all difficult to act in your life. So, easy it is to avoid, ignore, table, but you get no growth from it. I am asking you to not idle so much. It will not be easier. There will be pain, death of ego, much shock, but it would be better.
Q: JESUS is quoted as saying to Nicodemus, in effect, are you not a ruler in Israel and don't know that you must be born again? What happens when this new birth process is interrupted by physical death?
A: It continues on the Mansion Worlds. There is still human ego felt on the Mansion Worlds. If it is completed here, one goes to a higher Mansion World. You need not so much correction.
Q: I get this image that when you are born of the Spirit you wear your soul on the outside instead of on the inside. That's what you do first. Everything we do comes from that. Is that correct?
A: That is a wonderful image, (S) Thank you.
Q: RAYSON, In the process of being born in the Spirit and the struggles to achieve that, as one makes progress, would there be an effect on the physiologic functions of the body? For example, the ability to become well from a chronic disease process?
A: Yes. Increased spirituality always eventuates in upstepped physical health. Absolutely.
Q: Am I correct in believing that this is the basis of all spiritual healing, right along this line, that inherent in spiritual growth would go improved bodily function?
A: It is not the basis of all healing, but most. There are actual outward celestial beings that work through some healers among humans. And the combination of the two, of course, greatly speeds physical development and health.
Q: Yes, I guess the thing that's been going through my mind over these last several months is, since we've had our encounters with (S), has been puzzling over how energy transformations change in accord to spiritual experiences, but I suppose that's probably something you are not allowed to comment on.
A: A moment. (pause) Yes, spiritual growth is the invisible energy, which motorizes the physical, mindal, emotional, material being. It connects all systems. Spiritual growth affects, on the physical level, the molecular structure of the material being. It is an actual energy. As a child grows bigger you see formation of material mass, energy, etc. So, as you grow spiritually, and it transforms actuals - the physical - and upsteps the systems, the system coordination working of the material beings. There is an actual spiritual gland of receptivity, which I am not allowed to point out to you who is so familiar with human anatomy. There is a definite crossover. Just as an impaired physical brain or disease, pain, affects spiritual receptivity, so does spiritual growth affect physical health. It is a marriage, intertwined, but you are unable to discern this medically now, but some day you will.
Q: Am I correct in believing that this is the basis of what I seem to perceive in people that I know to be transmitter-receivers as well as some other people that are seen to be like holy people? There seems to be almost a glow coming from them. I don't know how else to describe it but there's just a difference that I get from such people. Am I right in thinking that its involved in this business?
A: That is correct.
Q: And, am I also correct in believing that it's visible to almost all human beings at some level, that they know there is something different, its almost like a smell in the air?
A: That is correct.
Q: And I think that for all of us who are involved in this mission, it may be one of our strongest weapons.
Q: I understand that on your world of birth you were a doctor, but less physical and more spiritual?
A: We integrated all systems.
Q: Am I correct in surmising that - in our spiritual growth process, when we are in the process of being born - that we might need a little special attention such as a spiritual obstetrician?
A: Correct. (laughter by students) That is what my role will be and has been. (more laughter)
Q: Is there something daily we can do in a quiet moment to actually assess were we are in ??? time and space, spiritually?
A: Mmm. That is interesting. I think assessment, (S), is an ego function. Be not concerned with what place you have at the table. Be in the silence and pray to be guided by your Divine Mystery Monitor. Even if you cannot discern guidance, you have your signposts. You know the spiritual versus the less evolved. Pray to be more spiritually active. Be full of gratitude and thanksgiving. And of course, worship God. Assessment is not a function of spirituality. It is a function of human ego. (08/02/92)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)