Today's topic of discussion will be the subject of kindness and how it relates to individual spiritual growth as well as the mission we are currently undertaking here on Urantia. We have discussed kindness in the past, and so this will be a further elaboration on this most important subject. My friends, it is important for you to understand again the difference between your perception at this material level of existence and spirit perception - which is difficult for you now, but will become increasingly clear and easy as you proceed with your ascension career.
These topics that we have discussed again and again in these sessions are fundamental tenets of spirit perception. You might consider them to be the equivalent of learning the alphabet in your culture or learning the most simple aspects of daily living such as self-care, food preparation, and so on. It may seem to some that we are redundant in our discussions, and this is true. Because these are such critical concepts, it is felt by those who make the final decisions for this mission, that much repetition is necessary at this time.
Kindness, like the other spirit concepts, is easily recognized by those who are spiritually attuned. And its presence affords comfort. In the material world one is more likely to detect lack of kindness than the presence of kindness itself, and all of you, I am sure, are keenly aware when kindness is not present in interactions among Urantia mortals. Think over your past experiences, and I am sure that you will find plenty of instances to confirm this.
An act of kindness cannot be rendered without good intent, and this good intent stems directly from Father and the promptings of your indwelling Adjuster. Kindness is spirit-driven action. It is the doing of good. And like other spirit-driven activities when kindness is expressed, there is direct transmission to Paradise and instantaneous signal back to the Thought Adjuster of the person who has rendered the kind act. My friends, you are always, always informed in this way when your behavior is spirit-driven, in keeping with the will of Father.
You have asked me and other teachers, how do I know when I am doing the right thing? How can I tell?
As you pray for your life acts to be in accord with the will of Father, as you pray sincerely and earnestly, there will be a response on the part of your Thought Adjuster to increase signal to your subconscious mind, and your personal awareness of the rightness or lack of rightness of your behaviors should increase accordingly. It need not necessarily be an overwhelming feeling of euphoria that you gain when you are kind or truthful or in other ways doing the will of Father. It has been well described as a sense of peace, a feeling of calm, serenity, at-oneness with all of creation. And interestingly, as you progress in your spirit growth, you will very likely note that when your behavior is good, there will be a diminution in the babble noise that is so intrusive to your mind thought.
Yes, kindness, such a powerful tool for helping to undo the damage that has been wrought on this planet. Again, I remind you that the life of Michael, Jesus, on Urantia, is a model worthy of imitation. And when in doubt the account is there for your reference. Look at His many acts of kindness. Yet never once did He seek material reward, nor did He endeavour to persuade or manipulate others. His kindness was pure, simple yet complex, healing, as yours will be, can be. He never expected a direct response from the recipient of His act and very often did not receive such. He let His kindness rain down upon
His fellows like the rain from a cloud, nourishing the soil upon which it falls, promoting growth.
You may ask why should I spend my time and effort in action that does not help me to pay my bills, does not help me to protect my family, does not gain me prestige? And these are all questions that any mortal would ask, perhaps not out loud, but it would be natural that these would come to mind. And it is not an evil thing for you to ask such questions. Rather it shows that you are a material being and only slightly advanced in your career of ascension. You all know the answers to these questions, but I shall repeat them again.
The personal gain that you achieve from your acts of kindness is manifold. You achieve direct and instantaneous contact with Father in Paradise. Your own personal spiritual light becomes a bit brighter, and by virtue of that you are more easily perceived by your fellow mortals, as well as the many spiritual entities that are among you. And your contribution, by doing good, remains forever on Urantia as a contribution, as if it were hewn in stone. But unlike stone it cannot be worn down by the elements. And when the final accounting at the end of light and life on Urantia comes, your recognition will be there.
Believe me, my friends, there could be no greater prestige than to have an account of your selfless doing of good on a planet of imperfect creation which has fallen into rebellion. It is well understood by those on high how very difficult it is to strive toward goodness, to be kind in the face of overwhelming savagery, to maintain your faith when the circuits have been severed for so long, only recently reestablished. And you are much treasured. Your kind act toward your fellow, who may even wish you harm, has great merit and great weight.
When you are kind, you are being spiritually creative. Even as Father is spiritually creative, so can you too be, in your way. What a marvelous thing this is. And your creativity affects the spirit of every other mortal being living on this planet. Beyond that, when you are kind, as you all understand kindness to be, that is a little bit less rehabilitative work that you must complete when you move on to the morontia worlds. I sense that some of you would like me to talk about the elements of kindness, so I shall do so, although I have done this in a previous lesson.
Kindness is the direct act of doing good to another being regardless of circumstance. It is a direct act of Father's will. As I mentioned before, there is no element in the doing of kindness that requires reciprocal action. Kindness has a soft and gentle quality. It is an expression of love.
The doing of kindness, of course, does not require that you lay down your protection against possible harm to yourself or your loved ones. You need not render yourself physically vulnerable in your act of kindness. When you are kind, you express spiritual beauty as a painter with a canvas expresses material beauty, or a musician with an instrument expresses musical beauty. When you are kind, you, too, are being an artist, a spiritual artist, and the mark of your kindness lingers on in the life or lives of those to whom you have been kind. All of you know that the kindness you have received yourselves from others has been very influential to your own personal decisions and actions. Very often many years later a single act of kindness can have very powerful consequences.
When you are kind, it is as if you stand on a lever, and the other end is in Paradise, and the power of your act can be magnificent indeed. The result of your personal act of kindness is carried with the recipient throughout his or her entire ascension career, and it is not uncommon for contact to be made in the next life among those who have exchanged kindnesses. What a joyous experience this is, to be thanked in person by one whom you thought was long forgotten or even ungrateful. So you see, my friends, it is very important to consider kindness when you are at that decision point in your dealings with others.
Consider the kind act as Jesus always did.
With that I conclude my lesson for today and will accept questions.
Q: Is kindness an element or a subset of goodness which you talked about last week, or is it a separate entity by itself?
A: The two are intertwined, of course, but it is a separate entity.
Q: I have a question about something you said very early on in the lesson. You said that in the material world one is more likely to detect lack of kindness rather than the presence of kindness. Why is this? Is it because there isn't that much kindness to detect, or is it a negative filter that we have that tends to cling to sadness and unkindness instead of remembering kind acts?
A: Because, in your present existence, you are still burdened with many animal tendencies, the animal is not quite blind to spirit realities, but the animal has enormous difficulty sensing spirit, spirit, spiritude. Because you are above animal yet still animal, your basic instinctual drives are survival driven ones: the seeking of food, reproduction, and maintenance of life. These instinctual drives cause an extended awareness of threat, and lack of kindness is a direct threat to life. That is why, in your material state, you are more aware of lack of kindness, because it is a threat to your instinctual drives. Do you understand that?
Q: Yes, I do. Could it be that we're missing some things that are actually happening to us in terms of kindnesses that come to us?
A: The kindness stays with you, but you may not be fully aware of it. The mind babble that you are, that all of you must experience because of your present form, interferes enormously with spirit perception. And as you work on your own spirituality and quiet the babble, you will find it increasingly easy to detect, spirit reality, including kindness, goodness, truth, and love. Does that help?
S: Thank you. Yes, it does.
Q: Rayson, is it correct to look at kindness as creating a better spiritual reality that constitutes your own soul and exists throughout eternity?
A: Yes, that is a part of what kindness is, that is true. Remember that your act of kindness enables you in your way to be a spiritual creator.
S: I think that living in such a savage world keeps people from constant acts of kindness, resulting in vulnerability and probably a fear of being taken advantage of. How did Jesus control that aspect of living?
R: Yes, that is a very good question. As you know Jesus lived His life without fear, and there have been very few Urantia mortals who have ever come close to true fearlessness or lack of pride or greed or the other spirit poisons.
You will recall, as you remember reading the account of Jesus' life, that He availed Himself of meditation periods, and He used this prayer work time to help Himself fight the animal tendencies toward fear and rage and pride and greed, the four main mind forms that work heavily against spirit growth. I know it is most difficult when you are beset with constant threat to your safety to put your fear aside, but it may help if you can remember that what is your reality now is only a passing form in the long term of your entire existence.
This is a very difficult concept for material beings to grasp, but it is true that what seems so real and tangible now, and what seems so unreal and intangible are the reverse of what you will experience increasingly as you become more spirit in form during your ascension career. To the most spiritual of beings present on this world or any material world, it is very difficult to perceive that which seems so real to you, so it may be a useful exercise to remind yourself of the differing realities of material versus spiritual existence. That may help to diminish the fear that you experience when you perceive material threat. Jesus, of course, knew this better than any Urantia mortal ever could. Does that help? (Definitely.)
S: Rayson, is there the morontia equivalent of disciplinary action with regards to a lack of kindness?
R: The disciplinary action, as you put it, is a lack of advancement. One is not whipped or put in chains or incarcerated or humiliated, rather one is held back, which is the equivalent of pain at higher levels of spirit existence, painful indeed. Once you have passed from this form and have a greater awareness of what lies ahead on your road toward Paradise, you will be most eager to proceed with haste, and the slightest delay will be painful and annoying to you. The cosmos runs on a system of reward for God directed action and no reward for not. The reward is so exciting and fulfilling that you will seek to have it continuously. It is a very effective system, believe me. Does that answer?
S: Yes, very well. And also, you could downstep that one level and say that if we were conscious of our actions and their effect on soul growth while physical, we would pursue that reward system with the same zest as we do after we're repersonalized. Would that be accurate?
R: Yes. But do not be so hard on yourself. You are here now, are you not? (S: Yes.) There are many other things that you could be doing now, is that correct? (S: Yes.) You are doing good to be here, and you may well sense that all of you here today should remind yourselves that your participation in this mission is a most unselfish act and is very well regarded by all who are among you, as well as the Most Highs, and there is much awareness in Paradise of the doings of the mission on Urantia and all of its participants. It is not just any mortal who would give of one's time to help to heal a world thrown into disarray by others long gone. What an unselfish and noble act it is that you all have decided to participate in. You are much loved by Father.
Do not castigate yourselves because you are not perfect, for perfection is a long way off. It is Father's wish that you be imperfect at this point, and it is the outworking of His will that proceeds, sometimes stumbling, sometimes not. What a great act of faith it is for you to proceed at all. Do you see that? (S: Yes, perfect in our imperfection.) Yes, exactly.
S: A very comforting and encouraging perception, Rayson, thank you.
Q: Rayson, from what you're saying, being raised as a Christian, the idea of doing kindness for its own sake was something that was drilled into me and others as well. So doing kindness for its own sake seems a little different than the reward structure that says I get to spiritually grow from this. Is it OK to be motivated by spiritual growth? And to do acts of kindnesses - not for an ulterior motive, not completely altruistically - but for one's own growth as well. That's OK, that's acceptable?
R: Yes, it is not selfish to wish to grow spiritually. How can it be selfish to wish to be more like Father?
S: Because it seems so great. It seems really self-indulgent. But thank you, yes, OK. I don't know why that seems like it's a problem, but I guess it's not.
R: Father wishes you to have an appetite for what is good and correct and to feed yourself spiritually is not seen as gluttony.
S: Thank you, Rayson. That's really wonderful.
Q: I am concerned about a friend of mine that we appreciate a great deal. Sometimes we hesitate to visit when it seems that there's nothing we can do, and then it seems that Father's wisdom gets through to us and we realize that just being there is enough. And then in the being there, wisdom comes to us, showing us something we can do to help. I'm very grateful for having discovered this. And I thank Father very much.
R: You are welcome. Yes, it is true that the doing of Father's will does not always require the expenditure of kinetic energy. You needn't be moving continuously like a bee in order to be actually doing the right thing.
S: Rayson, your comment about accepting kindness. It's been my experience many times it is most difficult to accept kindness from others. I find that many times it's easier to be the giver than the receiver.
R: The animal self might sense a threat when the situation is presented where there appears to be a lack of control of the interaction, so again it is fear that is the block here. You will know if it is true kindness because there will be no expectation of reciprocity. Do you see?
S: Oh, absolutely. Thank you very much.
R: But you must allow Father to love you in order to feel loved, must you not? (Yes.) Is that not the ultimate acceptance of kindness?
R: It is an unfortunate residual of the rebellion on this planet that many Urantia mortals have low self-worth. You have not been abandoned by Father. Rather your planet and all of you and your fellow beings on this planet are the object of intense focus and intense efforts, and you could in a way say that you are actually rather special, not neglected. So do not despair. You are all held in high esteem in Father's eyes, and you are most worthy of the goodness that comes your way. Accept it with gladness. Your Thought Adjuster is eagerly waiting for the goodness that comes. And consider that when kindness and other good acts come your way, they may well be a result of your own good behavior and a signal to you that you are proceeding correctly.
S: Thank you, Rayson. Sometimes we think that we are doing a kindness when in fact we are being enablers for somebody else's problems. Will you address the question of whether or not kindness is judged subjectively or objectively?
R: Yes. The interaction to which you refer is one in which there is not kindness so much being done as an action performed with an expectation of a certain reciprocal action. So, you see, if defeats the definition of true kindness. Did Jesus try to reform the multitudes ever? (No.) Would you say that He was an enabler?
S: Certainly not.
R: And yet He achieved through His kindness and goodness what many who enter into that interaction desire so earnestly, did He not? (Yes.) You see, again, we come to this matter of how things in the spirit sense are often the opposite of what they are in the material sense. In the material world it is forcefulness, persuasion and manipulation that achieve material ends. In the spirit world there is no place for those actions. Love is not spread by force. Goodness is not done by persuasion. Truth is not endowed by manipulation. Is that so? (It's so.) Do you understand now?
S: I understand better than I did before. I still have problems in discerning as to whether or not an act is really an act of kindness or whether it will end up enabling someone.
R: Kindness occurs when the act is done with no thought of result. One is not responsible for the end result of the kindness, rather your spiritual responsibility resides in your own attitude of love and giving, and very often what appears to be a futile effort at love and kindness has its true good result much later. The echo may not occur until after the material life has passed, but it will be there.
S: Isn't it true, Rayson that Jesus knew many times that the kindnesses He did would not be appreciated and would not have any spiritual improvement in the persons healed, but He still performed the healing. He gave them that gift of wellness knowing full well that they would not accept His spiritual message.
R: Yes. Absolutely, but those who had direct dealings with Jesus went on beyond this life to benefit far beyond anyone's expectations, and His mission was very much a success in that regard. Also, a great benefit of His kindness and healing was its observation by others.
My friends, as you go about your life's actions, there are always others watching, others who live in fear, who are held back by anger and pride, the desire for material wealth. They are watching you. If you proceed as Jesus would do, you give them strength and you can help to enhance their faith. How many times, any one of you, have you behaved in a God-serving fashion and been told that no one else has ever done that before, no one else has ever listened, no one has helped? You are being observed by your fellows, as you observe them. Do you see? (Yes.)
S: Rayson, is kindness as important in your life after this as it is here on this planet? And is spiritual development as difficult in the next life as it is in this life?
R: Yes, of course. Do you not always use your alphabet? (Yes.) Increasingly as you become more literate? (Yes.) Do you not always use your basic grammar? (Yes.) It is like that. These are such fundamental concepts, as you grow spiritually, their importance grows, too. And without their presence, there can be no significant growth.
S: I would like for you to address the question about dependency on kindness. It has to do with being taken advantage of, that feeling of being taken advantage of. There are opportunities to step in and do a kindness, but often then it's expected that this kindness continue on and on and on which, in fact, disables the person to begin to make his own way. And I wonder if you would address that. Many times I've prayed for the opportunity to do kindness, other than financial. It's been very easy to see that someone needed something. To give them money or even anonymously donate to that cause was not it. I'd like you to address that.
R: You have stated your question well, and it is a worthy one. Kindness has not to do with rendering material things to your fellows. Did Jesus clothe and house and feed His fellows? (No.) Did He give monetary donations to those seeking such? (No.) But He was always kind, was He not? (Yes.) Kind in word, kind in thought, kind in deed, but not materially so, for material things have nothing to do with true kindness.
This is an interesting question, because it is along the same lines as the question about enabling. When you start to deal in material things and material goods, you are not in the spiritual realm any longer. You are in the material realm. This may help you to protect yourself from falling into the trap of believing that material dealings are equal to spiritual work. You are not helping your fellow, if you provide for Him that which He should and can work to attain for Himself. Do you understand that? (Yes.)
Adversity, as you remember, is an essential element to spirit growth while in the material state. Would you shoulder the adversity of another? (No.) Does that help you to understand?
S: It does, and also I look around and there are so many people in need, there are so many people that don't have jobs and are homeless, and they're hungry and -
R: And that is their adversity, to be borne by them. Why are you not homeless, hungry, jobless? You know the answer. (Yes.) The answer is the same for them, is it not? You have had misfortune in your life, have you not?
S: Yes, I have. It just seems that it's so widespread. And many times I feel, but for the grace of God, that's me there. Yet what you say has great wisdom.
R: How can one break away from a repeating pattern of failure unless one changes one's actions? Will that ever occur if there is always something to be had without effort?
S: I see your point. It's almost as if we have to get to the bottom of the pit...
S2: And also in response to something you said then, Rayson, it implies that there is a lesson for us to live in the world with the things that we all see are painful, and to live with grace and kindness as opposed to letting it turn to bitterness, or to the have and have not situation, or mockery. Do you agree with that statement?
R: Yes, and you also point up another fact, that the attempt to be kind by giving things which one hopes will alter the behavior of another is not kindness, just as in the earlier example.
S: So what would be appropriate to give in an instance of apparent want? What would be proper in a confrontation of lack and want and ... ?
R: Live and let live.
S: I think probably Jesus faced this situation after He, because of His compassion, healed 600 plus people at sundown. Everybody wanted to make Him king because of His healing. Jesus simply left. He ran away. He departed so that He wouldn't be available. I'm not sure that this is the solution to all of our problems, but I sometimes feel that I should give and then go away.
R: Give materially?
S: Yes, but not necessarily, but it includes some sort of material help.
R: Tis better to teach a man how to fish than to give him the fish.
S: Yes, I think your answer to (S)'s question has very much clarified the distinction between goodness and giving material things. Therefore I understand better your answer to (S) about giving and enabling. I understood that goodness is given without expectation. It's a spiritual gift. It's actually; it seems to me, a passing on of Father's love. Then we were thinking in terms of giving material assistance - which has proved in the past to enable that person to continue a course that seemed to be self-destructive. And now I see the distinction, and I thank you for that clarification.
R: You are most welcome.
[See: GENETIC ENGINEERING (10/16/93)
R: There are very, very few adult persons on Urantia who are incapable of some manner of work. Many of the ones who beset you with requests for material goods are eminently able to work and, in fact, may even be more capable than yourself. It is important to remember this and make your decisions in an informed way.
S: Well, I personally appreciate the candor of this particular meeting. I know it's a concern and it's something that (S) and I have discussed and actually have argued about. We appreciate this line that you're taking with us. It's not so much a spanking as it is a wake-up call to be spiritually and socially responsible without being taken advantage of.
R: One could even say that it is a kindness to deny a free handout to one who can work, although this may be a difficult idea for you.
S: Well, it's something that I never really wanted to bring up because I thought that even broaching the subject was to display a certain lack of kindness or spirituality, and so I think that this kind of a session and this kind of a lesson lets us know that we can talk to the teaching staff about even those things which we covertly believe to be less than spiritual.
R: If you lay out free food and free goods, many animals will come to feed, and in fact this has been used by many established religions as a means of attracting large numbers of members to join. If you wish to attract those who are spirit driven and earnestly seeking spirit growth, your lure, if you will, will be different. It will be in the fashion of a supportive structure to help one in one's own personal, and sometimes arduous, strivings Godward. No free meals, cars, or sums of money will ever induce mortals to seek God and imitate Jesus.
Q: Rayson, what is the solution to this overall problem? How can we get the people who are unproductive and not working and so forth to become productive spiritual citizens?
A: Well, a quick answer is this. One can never compel another God-ward. That is a personal decision, however an animal will do what it must do to eat. If it must stand in a line at a building to get a handout, it will. If it must work in a field, it will. If it must study in a school, it will. If you deal with those who abase themselves to the level of animal behavior, it is unfortunate but you must deal as with animals. Animals are driven by the desire for food, the desire for reproduction, and the desire for survival. Those are your keys. If animals are allowed to reproduce in an unchecked fashion, they will do so, particularly when they are well-nourished and do not need to work. Do you understand? (S: Yes, I do.) (10/16/93) See Also TRUTH (12/18/93)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)