R: Since we have a somewhat smaller group than usual, we can be a bit more intimate in our discussion which will probably be to your liking. Patience. This is a topic which will be reinforced from time to time because the engineers of this teaching mission are very keenly aware that there is great trial and tribulation in your existence on Urantia at the present time. Not only have you to deal with the residual of the rebellion, but there is also going to be a certain amount of turmoil among the masses due to the reestablishment of the universe circuits and the intermittent upstepping of the power of the transmissions. Those who are less well-prepared than yourselves will find themselves to be more irritable, more easily agitated than had been the case in past. This is because their Thought Adjusters will respond to the increasing signal by attempting stronger, stronger, efforts within, and the mind of the given being set in certain animal ways that - not necessarily defeat, but make it more difficult for the Thought Adjusters cooperative efforts to proceed - will set up a turmoil within the conscious mind.

To restate this, those humans on Urantia who have not been working in concert with the Mystery Monitor within up until recent months will be the ones who become somewhat unstable and this in turn may lead to some social repercussions and the appearance, at least, of social destabilization.

But do not be alarmed, my friends, because this is only a temporary situation. Remember that no change is wrought in the cosmos without some rearrangement of existing structures, whatever they may be, and at times it is necessary to eliminate old and no longer necessary forms. With the upstepping of the energy of transmission, the social destabilization that results will ultimately lead to this end, that is, mankind on Urantia will be one step closer to light and life when all the dust settles. How long this will take I do not know.

How can you best get through this period? That is where patience comes in. Remember again the life of Jesus on this planet, the model of patience. Your religionists have attempted to persuade their followers that by following Jesus's example one would be enabled to have a life without fear, without material worry, indeed some have promised great wealth and total freedom from worry, pain, violence. Of course, you know this is not true. Recall the manner in which Jesus died on Urantia, if you need any reminders. But He died without fear. And He died with his faith intact, His manly faith as opposed to His spiritual knowledge because of His awareness of His identity. And most of all He patiently bore all that occurred.

If the Son of God and the Son of man could be patient and endure a period of life in the flesh on Urantia, then this is, or can be, of much comfort to you. And when you one day meet Michael of Nebadon and are privileged to share with Him your memories of life on Urantia, the patience with which you bore your own personal tribulations will be a very special thing, a shining facet. To think that you could have that in common with a Creator Son is marvellous indeed, is it not?

One cannot have patience dwelling in mortal form without faith. You may think that your faith is shaky, but it is not. It may grow faster now, slower then, and this may be what contributes to the sense of shakiness. But it is not shaky, not at all. Remember your faith, your knowledge that there are many, many beings here observing, many helping, and that you are much loved. And remember also that this material form is but a passing thing, but an embryonic stage in your lifetime as a being in the cosmos.

I know that the increments of time in your lives seem so long. This was true for me also. But they are so very brief on the scale of the universes, barely discernible even to those in the mansion worlds. When you hear of individuals who have existed for 10,000 years or 25,000 years or more, this may seem incredible to you. But it is such a small time. If you compare your minutes and hours and years against a childhood lasting 50,000 years and an adulthood that goes on for eternity, it may give you some idea of the time scope of spirit life.

Remember this, my friends, when you are pressed and your animal origins strive to come to surface, remember that what happened to you in the last week or month or decade has only just occurred on the scope of universal time, and will be totally resolved and forgotten by the same criteria. As I mentioned in our last lesson, the reality of material life is very real to you - as it must be in your present form - but it is not a reality that you will continue to maintain when you pass on to your next form and the ones beyond. It will be very much like your time in the womb is to you now. Do you even remember that? Do the events of that 40 week period touch you now in a conscious way? So too with your present life.

And let me assure that when you were in the womb you had an awareness of sorts, also, an awareness that was as real to you then as this awareness is to you now. But you survived that period of preparation and you shall survive this one as well. You can compensate for deficiencies in the womb, if you survive to parturition. And you can compensate for deficiencies in the flesh, if you survive to death, speaking of spiritual survival, of course.

But would you not like to reach the moment of your death as well-prepared as possible for the next step beyond? So be patient. Stand by your faith and remember that Father in Paradise loves you, loved you enough to create you, loves you enough to send you these lessons and to provide helpers for you, and to have a plan for your work in the cosmos beyond, so that you can be a true living extension of Paradise now and forever.

This concludes our lesson today. I will take questions now.

S: Thank you, Rayson. I've been impressed with your lesson on patience. It's very appropriate at the present time. When the Gods decided to embark upon the grand adventure of time and space, they used both simultaneously, and all things - all physical things - require time. Just as an acorn cannot become an oak instantaneously, so do many of our experiences require time to play themselves out. Is that correct?

R: Yes. There are many fascinating things about time, much of which is inconceivable to you because of your present form and capacity for perception. But what you say is true within the limits of material life, yes. And since the time, as you say, must play out, patience is a useful, a helpful adjunct. Do you not agree?

S: Yes, I certainly agree. Patience is the antidote to the creature's argument with the Creator about the time it takes to do things. Maybe we should yield to the Creator's will instead of wanting to argue with it.

R: That is stated most interestingly, yes. One could say, to put it in terms that you would understand, it is as if you are in your vehicle riding along a road toward a destination, and you must drive to reach the destination. There are no exits, no stops. You could park your car and scream at the skies, sleep, eat. This would not enable you to proceed, would it? (No)

Or you can get in your car and drive crazily over the road, zigzagging, speeding, becoming a nuisance to others, causing damage. You will eventually reach your destination, but in what condition and with what consequences. Is it not easier to simply drive on the path that has been laid down for you, taking care not to harm others, showing kindness, and being patient despite the seemingly endless length of the journey?

It is not endless. You can see the destination. Death is a certainty, not to be dreaded nor necessarily embraced, but simply to be accepted as a marker of one's moving on to the next stage. Do you want your car to be in good working condition when you reach that destination? That is what patience enables you to accomplish. So much of the work done on mansion world number one is body shop work, to continue the analogy.

And yes, you have eternity stretching before you. But when you have a greater awareness of spirit life and destiny, you will not welcome time in detainment for rehabilitation purposes. And if you have not learned patience by this time, you most certainly will for the period required. It could take as long as 10,000 years, more than the lifetime of any man on Urantia.

Actions have consequences, and consequences can stretch far, far beyond. Because of this at each stage in your existence you will be tested for your judgment, your faith, courage, goodness, love, honesty, because as you progress toward Paradise with each step you take toward Father your power to do harm increases, also. Do you understand? (I think I do.)

Even in this mortal existence on Urantia you have significant power in the spirit terms. Father would never allow you to move forward, crashing and burning, so you either rehabilitate yourselves now or later. It is your choice.

Yes, there is an escape from this, you can simply will it to be. You can will your Thought Adjuster to leave, and when you die in the flesh, it will be as if you had never been. Yes, there is an escape. You can pull off the road, puncture your tires, rip out your engine, and walk away, the liberty that Lucifer referred to. Indeed, he elected to do this himself.

S: Rayson, when you were talking about driving I thought about the times that I've driven across the country with my children in the car, and how many times they asked, "Daddy, are we there yet? How much time's it going to be?" Human beings are like children in the car crossing the country. We always want the answer. We have faith that we're going to get there, but we really want to do it all at once. I appreciate the illustration.

R: That is an apt analogy, and did the children not pester you for goodies along the path? (Absolutely.) So that they could reach the destination with rotted teeth and obesity.

S: You said there is more turbulence due to the Thought Adjuster responding to increased signal and attempting stronger efforts within the minds of humans. Is the turbulence due to the resistance that the individual has to that Thought Adjuster or just...

R: Yes, that is one way of putting it. The animal part does not seek spirit goals. Because it does not seek and does not understand when it is drawn away from animal strivings for food, sex and survival, the animal will seek to continue in quest of these three goals of its own rather than expend energy and time on other strivings. Does that help?

S: Yes. What I can do to in my interactions with persons who have resistance to their Thought Adjuster and are making that known in their behavior? I understand that the lesson states that patience is the answer, but I'm wondering if patience means simply accepting where they're at, the particular point they're at on that road with their car? Or if they're tailgating me, should I pull over? I mean, I don't know. Should I try to help them or simply be accepting of where they're at and pay attention to my own path?

R: You have very good intentions, and you earnestly wish to help. The greatest service you can render to your fellows however is to refrain from spirit persuasion. They have helpers, spirit helpers, who will guide them if they seek such guidance. The best you can do is to be kind, patient, like Jesus. How would Jesus handle a tailgater? Can you imagine that?

S: It's difficult to imagine in a way. I mean I don't think of Him as being in a car.

R: He was baited, harassed. How did He deal with that? He turned the other cheek, did He not?

S: He did turn the other cheek. That's always been a phrase that I wonder if it's to be interpreted literally. Does it means go ahead and let somebody continue to bait you or whatever? Or does it just mean that you don't resist? I have a hard time articulating my question. I'm not sure what it means to turn the other cheek. Does that mean put myself in harm's way?

R: No, no, not at all.

S: Or remain in harm's way, if I'm there?

R: Jesus in His dealings with men gave recognition to good when He encountered it and was indifferent to bad. (OK.) No, He did not put Himself in harm's way. Now you may say “What about the crucifixion?” The crucifixion was allowed to happen for reasons that go far beyond Urantia itself and have to do with administrative matters. As ghastly as it was, much good came of it at the cosmic level.

However there has been enormous confusion on Urantia since then, particularly among religionists, as to the significance of the crucifixion.

S: Right, atonement and all that, that confusion.

R: It has played into pre-existing pagan beliefs about human sacrifice and buying the favor of God and so on. These are not valid to the actual situation, however. Father's Son certainly would not wish to remain on a world where He was not welcome by the established form of culture, and although He carefully selected His earthly home, and it was indeed the best of what was available, still it had flaws, as your own culture has flaws. And who can say but that a similar thing might not happen today? Or worse?

S: With respect to turning cheeks, I remember a passage in the Urantia Book where Jesus remonstrated with an apostle, I think it was Nathaniel, for asking a question which he took literally, something which was given as a spiritual example. And He indicated that the apostles should look for the spiritual meaning rather than physical meanings of His illustrations. I think that answers the question of turning the other cheek or walking the second mile. Look for its spiritual content and not its physical content.(S2: Right.)

R: Yes. There is no need for you to become a martyr. That is not in your best interests spiritually certainly, and it gains you nothing materially.

S: It's not in my character anyway, so that's good.

R: Remember again, my friends that spirit growth in man does not occur by virtue of outside influence, material outside influence. It cannot be forced, persuaded, bought or arranged in any way by another being. It is and always shall be a matter of an individual decision to accept and work with the indwelling Thought Adjuster. There is every example imaginable of this happening in the face of love, kindness, terrible cruelty and torture, enormous handicap and great wealth. There is no easy formula that you can follow to influence your fellows. You must lead your own personal life as you, in contact with your Adjuster and your own sense of universe message, deem appropriate. You are responsible for yourself while on this planet, and by conducting yourself as Jesus did you will be doing the most that you can do to positively affect this planet and your fellow beings. I know that this is hard for you as it was for me.

One asks but is there not more that I can do. Please, please tell me where can I spread my wealth? How can I spend my time? Who can I speak to? What can I do? It must be more complicated than that. Well, the material acts of giving, speaking, doing, while well-intentioned are not the way to influence spirit growth and actually are far easier than working on one's self. As you endeavor to lead your life truthfully, kindly, with love and goodness, your example will be observed by one and all, and your light will be perceived at least by the Thought Adjuster of others, if not by their conscious minds, and there will be a deep awareness of your goodness and your courage and faith. It requires great patience to persevere in this way. Have faith. But consider the lighthouse. It does not go to ships, swim across waves. It faithfully turns. And as the lighthouse mechanism turns, the searchlight flashes across the waters, through the air rendering service to one and all who perceive its brightness. Be like the lighthouse, my dear. Does that help?

S: Yes. Thank you. It's a beautiful image. It does help indeed.

I ask for your comment on something that, since it is a small group I feel I can bring this up. When I was a small child, I had a recurring dream of people behind the wall. There was, in the dream, a circle of people behind the wall. They all seemed very kindly and as though they were conferring together and interested in my safety. I guess, I don't know. I remember that I slept in an upper room in the house, and in my mind-picture of that dream they were located behind the wall of this upper room. And it was always a little startling but not really frightening. And the memory of that dream has stayed with me all my life. I'm about to be 40, and it's just in the last few years it occurred to me that perhaps that was, on some level, an awareness of ministering spirits. Can you comment on that?

R: The most that I can tell you is that dream life does sometime manifest perception of your indwelling Thought Adjuster, and that may well have been the case in the instance you refer to, Certainly the ones who are there to help you in your spirit growth and development could fit the description that you offer, benevolent, attendance, not frightening to one with faith. There have been ones on Urantia who have been very fearful of such perception, and this certainly has contributed to much of your lore about ghosts and demons and so on. Does that help?

S: Yes. Thank you. As an adult I've looked at that dream as a metaphor because, since they are behind the wall, the wall could be the physical realm. And ministering spirits are beyond that wall of material existence. Anyway, it was just a little personal story I thought I'd share with you, Rayson.

R: Thank you.

S: Rayson, would you address the relationship between patience and faith. I know that an acorn can become an oak with the passing of time without its having faith that it will. Children crossing the country will ultimately get where they're going without having faith that they'll get there. I think that faith is more identified with the goal and with the certainly of it, the existence of the goal. But I'm not sure about that. Would you address the relationship between faith and patience?

R: Yes, although this is material that can be turned into a complete separate lesson or two. To revert to your analogy again, the children must have an element of faith to remain in the car. Were they to abandon the car, they would not reach the goal. Would they? (No.) So it is, at some level, an article of faith that keeps them in their seats. Is that right? (Yes.) Even if they are not particularly patient about the trip. (Yes.)

So it is with your journey at present. You may leave the car at any time. And if you become sufficiently impatient, despite a glimmering of faith, your animal urges may become so strong that you will elect to do so, that is, leave the path forever. Faith and patience are both spirit qualities that, once started in development, continue to grow with continued exercise like a muscle we could say.

Faith is the certain knowledge on the part of, in this case, an imperfectly created being, that God exists, is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving. And an important element of faith is that it is entered into without direct perceptual input, that is, you have not seen God, you have not heard God, you have not with your fingertips or your other body parts felt God, and yet you know that there is God. (Yes.) That is your faith. You know it beyond a shadow of a doubt, do you not? (Yes.)

S2: Yes, but paradoxically, not intellectually.

R: Well, faith is not an intellectual construct. And intellect, although it can be very sophisticated and clever, is still an outworking of animal mind. It can indeed benefit much from spirit mind and can become higher mind thought because of this, but do not be deceived. All the grand words and ideas are still of animal origin.

S: That's a very good point.

R: That is why so many high intellectuals lack faith, perhaps. Remember that Jesus said that cleverness was not the same as spirituality. (Thank you.)

S: I would like to suggest that even an atheist has faith that there is no God.

S2: That's right. I've always maintained that myself.

R: Many who call themselves atheists are actually anti-religionists who have great and strong faith in God but object strenuously to the intellectualization of pagan religious practices, and therefore call themselves atheists when what they actually mean is that they protest forms of organized religion. If one were truly, truly an atheist, lacking all faith whatsoever, one would be iniquitous. Is that not true? (Yes.) S2: Well, that is the argument that some professed atheists disclaim. They say that it isn't necessary for them to believe in a higher power in order to be humane. They say that it is of the utmost importance, since they believe that this is their only existence, that they live and let live, or so I've heard some say.

R: Spirit lead behavior is not possible in an imperfectly created being without faith. And though it be denied, you can be certain that what you call humane behavior has a basis in spirit leading and Adjuster input.

S: I think that it does as well. It's just the argument that I've heard. It's almost as though there's an ego issue there, that one will not give credit to some higher power for one's goodness. This is just me. That's how it feels.

R: Yes, again, the battle between intellect and spirit. To get back to the original question which was the difference between faith and patience. Patience is more like a form of what you call discipline. It is the strength and courage based on your faith of Father's existence and benevolence to restrain from acting, to restrain from protesting, and to accept certain situations for what they are. One can have patience without faith in the animal sense. Think of the animal that waits for long hours in freezing weather for its prey. But one cannot have patience with situations that require spirit-driven behavior, kindness, goodness, love, truth, without faith in God. The wolf who waits for the rabbit is not playing out the time in good behavior. Is he? (No.) But the one who drives a car and continues to be courteous and thoughtful in his behavior despite honking and discourtesy from a fellow driver is displaying patience. Is that so? (Yes) His behavior is spirit lead. There can be faith without patience, but the combination (of faith and impatience) ultimately can lead to very, to unfortunate ends. Remember that Lucifer was faithful once.

S: That's right.

R: And do you recall he lacked patience. Is that so? (Right.) So as you work on your faith, please attempt to strive for patience, also. It does not help to develop one muscle without learning to use it properly. Does that help?

S: Yes, yes. It helps. (10/23/93)

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