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UrantiaL032293Thru041293TM-Discussions-Part2


THE URANTIAL ARCHIVE

Consisting of 10 Parts

From December 14,1992 Through February25, 1994



 

22 Mar 1993   David Kantor      Responses, week ending 3/20

Subject: Responses, week ending 3/20


 In my comment to Byron, I was not implying that someone must read the whole book in order to be qualified to speak about it. It is more a matter of perspective. The book makes the comment that "One is free to choose and act only within the realm of one's consciousness." (pg 377) This says a lot to me about the value and importance of enlarging my consciousness and the only way I know to do this is by acquiring experience and knowledge. It is a matter of resolution -- we have a choice as to whether or not we want to go through life viewing things with a monochrome adapter, upgrade slightly to CGA, maybe work real hard to get up to VGA levels of resolution, or go all out and get a high-performance high- resolution custom graphics card. At the lowest levels of resolution we should be able to discern that God loves us and cares about us very deeply. Authoritative declarations about such things as a second phase of the 5th epochal revelation or the status of the Lucifer rebellion require a much higher degree of resolution in order to discern their meanings. Their meanings are relative to complex cultural knowledge while the meaning of God's love is wonderfully relative to who we are in our own subjectivity. This is a big difference. It seems to me that anyone making such statements should be expected to have some background context from which to make them. Authoritative statements about the love of God do not require such background but rather come from a confessional declaration that is wholly subjective. Doesn't this seem like a significant distinction to you? Would you take seriously a treatise on skiing techniques written by someone inspired by witnessing their first snowfall?


 Note the quote on page 2094 which says, "Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret and *choose*." What does this say about the range of choices which we make available to ourselves by exposure to ideas and experiences?


 The authors also say that "Man may manufacture a machine, but its real value must be derived from human culture and personal appreciation." Is it too crass to say that the same thing is true of spiritual experiences, that their real value must be derived from human culture? I think this is why Jesus placed such an emphasis on service because involvement in human culture is a key component of our spiritual lives. We live in a culture which has an emphasis on consumption and which bestows identity relative to the quality and quantity of goods consumed. I see this same mentality in our religious life, particularly in new age religious formulations, where status and identity of the individual in the social body are derived from quality and quantity of religious experience.


 How close was FOG to the kind of situation which developed in Waco? Good question. It is fortunate that the UB does not present the image of a violent God as is portrayed in much of the Bible. Compare the images of violence and wrath and apocalyptic presented in the Bible with those presented in the UB. Not much in the UB, is there? So even when UB readers go non-linear and become overpowered by their archetypes, those archetypes are not likely to contain images of violence, so I think it would take a particularly misled group to stray so far from the images contained in the UB that they would take such drastic action. As an aside, it is interesting to see how easy it is for individuals and groups to accumulate substantial arsenals of weapons and ammunition in our culture. We never were able to locate a 50-caliber machine gun though; I have to hand it to those folks in Waco -- they do know how to run a serious show and there's little doubt that they fully believe in what they're doing...they would probably tell you about the kind, sincere, loving guidance that David Koresh has provided for the group and how wonderful the group was....


 Let's describe the situation that developed at FOG as *potentially* volatile. We did manage to extricate ourselves before things really got out of hand, but the potential for disaster was within reach. In light of the fact that we had substantial supplies as well as $1.5 million in gold stashed at the institute, Vern had told me to do whatever I thought was necessary to provide for security, including purchase of weapons and seeing to it that people were trained in their use, and had given me access to virtually unlimited amounts of money with which to do so, although he told me that he didn't want to know anything about it so that if anyone asked him about it he could legitimately deny knowledge. Now I'm not a person particularly prone to violence and the individuals in our group pretty much abhorred the idea of guns even existing on the premises -- it was a matter of no small controversy within the group. We did not develop this potential beyond the purchasing of a few rifles and handguns, not much more than would be used by a security force on a college campus, but had Vern given such free reign to someone whose underlying social pathology was a little more developed than mine, the results could have been substantially different.


 To me, one of the most curious remaining questions from the FOG episode has to do with the nature of social psychology. If you posit a group level of the collective unconscious as is posited in Jung's work, and if you give this group level of consciousness some pre-volitional attributes, a very interesting model of what happened at FOG emerges. My interpretation (based on only a superficial understanding of Jung's work -- I have not studied it in detail) of Jung's ideas would lead me to believe that, just as the ego strives to maintain integration of the various components of the individual psyche, there are similar forces at work on various associative levels of the collective unconscious as well. I think this idea is fairly well substantiated with studies on family psychology and tribal psycho-social systems. In other words, these social systems have their own innate psychological dynamics which work to maintain the unity and integrity of the group. Here is what is so interesting to me about what happened at FOG: I think that by the early 80's there was a general recognition by the group that Vern's -- let's call it "style" -- was not very conducive to the kind of growth and development of our organization which we all could sense needed to take place. Vern was having an increasingly difficult time managing his organization, his marriage was plagued with violence, and he was developing an alcohol dependency (although these latter two elements were well concealed from most of the group.) His claim to be getting messages *immediately* brought the organization back under his full control. Once the organization was fully back in his grip, his own paranoid tendencies began to dominate his messages. As time went by, he stopped getting messages and his power within the group again began to weaken, but he attempted to maintain power and control by taking an unyielding stance and attempting to assert authoritative power. How could the group possibly rescue itself and maintain its integrity when it's objectives had become so dominated by this man's delusions and shaped by his unresolved psychological conflicts?


 Here's how: The group seized full power by beginning to get its own messages independent of Vern; he became confused and organizationally impotent. These messages even pointed out defects in Vern's personality as reasons why he was no longer competent to get messages, isolating him even farther from the center of group power. In addition, we were able to set a date by which Vern's original messages would be either proven to be true or disproven -- the collective unconscious of the group engineered and executed a very effective solution. Once we rescued ourselves from the psychological hole we had gotten into, I personally (for better or worse) got involved in some specific legal actions which would do as much as possible to prevent Vern from being able to do the same thing again with another group of individuals anytime in the near future and perhaps for the remainder of his life, and this last statement is really all I want to say on the legal issues, as all the relevant documents have been sealed by the courts and are inaccessible. Please bear in mind that the above psychological story is only one model, only one way of looking at what happened, but I find it an interesting speculation on the dynamics which were in operation within the group; it provides an explanation of the dynamics involved which is accepted by many who were a part of the group.


 Your comment about finding "far more pompous intellects than...hosanna-shakers or cool-aid drinkers..." prompted a reaction. I'm not sure what you mean by "hosanna-shakers" but I take the drift to be that you find, within the UB readership, a general tendency to drift to the overly intellectual rather than towards the overly spiritual. Isn't this something we each need to learn how to manage? I have experienced drifts over time towards each of these extremes. A major part of my present life is finding a balance between these, not a static balance, but a healthy equilibrium which is dynamic and growing. I have found that the best situation is when these two components are in balance -- both are active and present influences on consciousness, but neither overwhelms or dominates the other.


 There seems to be a "zone of intoxication" as one proceeds out from a balanced center. If my spiritual development begins to dominate, I get spiritually intoxicated, somewhat giddy, and begin to drift free from rational tethers to causal sequence. My worship and prayer life becomes very rich as I allocate more and more time to these activities. If I continue, however, I eventually reach a region in which meanings rapidly fade and I lose my ability to function creatively, usually brought to my attention by another individual having a clear rational response to a situation which I had imbued with unreasonable spiritual significance.


 The same thing happens when I get overly intellectual -- I first notice it as an almost giddy intoxication, a sense of power and elation with the concepts being generated by the associative precesses of my intellect as my intellect gets more and more wound up, as I focus more and more of my energy on it, reading more voraciously and stoking the fires with more and more ideas. Here too, I eventually reach a region where meanings become devalued and reality becomes very flat, usually brought to my attention by encountering a truly spiritual reaction by another individual to a situation in which I was responding only with my intellect. I have found that the most dynamic state of consciousness is available at the point where these two domains are most integrated, and during the times when their development is interactive. Reflective prayer and worship in an inner environment of developing knowledge and growing commitment is hard to beat. Page 1457 makes a reference to "spiritual test levels". For me, being conscious of drifting into one of these "zones of intoxication" is a warning reaction of consciousness -- it indicates to me an out-of-balance condition. Part of the problem is that the intoxication is so pleasurable, so enchanting and so all-consuming if we allow it to fully develop, that it appears to validate itself. That is why I think it is crucial to have referents which lie outside the domains of subjectivity by which we monitor our development. In my experience this drift between these two zones is not a daily thing but rather a slow drift which takes place over many months and years, hence it is easy to overlook the reality of what is occurring until one is fairly well down the path.


 It strikes me that the universe has its own form of "black ice", if you've read Gibson's classic cyberpunk novel, "Neuromancer" (I must 'fess up to an occasional indulgence in the pleasures of trash sci-fi) which prevents unauthorized encroachment into domains for which the encroaching consciousness is really unqualified to enter.


 I was interested in your comments about Dulles' models. I have not considered the TM material to be revelatory of much other than the degree of sophistication which can be manifested by human delusions and the rapidity with which such a virus can spread through a susceptible host population, and therefore am not prepared to try and place them in one of Dulles' models. I think the appropriate models for the TM are to be found in the literature pertaining to religious fanaticism (bearing in mind Webster's definition of fanaticism as "intense, uncritical devotion.")


 I think there are many ways of looking at revelation, and I can see components of what we know as revelation in each of Dulles' models. Don't forget that the first epochal revelation involved such pragmatics as how to cook meat (still not learned) and the importance of bathing -- definitely not Dulles' consciousness model.


 The consciousness model is too overly post-modern for me. It seems to cut the individual loose from historic reality. Revelation relative to what, only personal revelation relative to other elements within the subjective consciousness of the individual? Our epochal revelations have been all relative to cultural reality, in an attempt to foster it, and with the 4th epochal revelation, the attempt to transform our concept of that cultural reality into a concept of the Kingdom of Heaven.


 Would you say that Jesus practiced "the religion of the Spirit?" Jesus certainly did not advocate such a highly subjective approach to spirituality as this consciousness model indicates. It is interesting to study the ways in which Jesus linked himself and his mission to historical reality. Rather than removing himself from culture, he attempted to transform culture itself. This to me is the essence of the work of the Kingdom -- the transformation of cultural reality into the Kingdom of Heaven. Note in the last temple discourse how Jesus harks back to the prophets and clearly places himself in the center of the prophetic monotheistic stream of Hebrew history. Not only this, but he also attempted to link his teachings with the cultural traditions of these people. The two primary feasts of the Hebrew calendar were the feast of tabernacles and the Passover. The primary symbolism of the former was light; sometimes it was called "the festival of lights". It was in this context that Jesus proclaimed that he was "the light of the world", clearly placing himself central to the symbolism of this event. Likewise, at Passover he proclaimed himself to be "the bread of life", again powerfully linking himself to the primary symbolism of a major traditional event.


 Read the paper on the Kingdom -- Jesus' gospel has a _SOCIAL_ dimension to it which has to do with the living organism of the whole and the integrated holistic development of that whole. It is not a prescription for private subjective experience to dominate the individual. Neither do group religious activities have to do with individuals getting together socially who share a similar subjective experience, much as the manner in which small children play as individuals *next* to each other (a-la Piaget's observations.) I maintain that there is an entire domain of functioning and growing spiritually *in community* which we know very little about due largely to the Lucifer rebellion and it's emphasis on individual subjectivity. By this community I mean a dynamic critical community, not a group held together by common assent to the same set of beliefs about the nature of reality.


 Note that nowhere does Jesus discuss, even with the Apostles, anything approaching the "silence" which the TM movement espouses. People have commented that the UB has no real program, no specific set of procedures for the development of consciousness. Such is not the case. While there is no entry as such in the table of contents, there is permeating the text, constant reference to the implications of and exhortations to pursue Jesus' great commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself." This in my opinion is the great Karma Yoga of the UB. It combines seeking God with integration of the self into the social body of the Supreme. Only as we come into contact with human beings and human situations in unselfish service will we find the illumination of our inner perceptions of God which lead us to real growth as citizens of the heavenly kingdom. The key here is *INTEGRATION* of the self with reality and this means the historic cultural dimension of human existence. Take a look at the discussion of ascension through the psychic circles -- while survival is not dependent upon such integration, growth and development is. So many people in our world, and I include the TMers in this, seem to seek salvation *FROM* the chaos and exigencies of our troubled world rather than integration *WITH* it. Jesus leads the way in showing us the technique of going into the world and transforming it by our interaction with it. The objective here is not the attainment of an ecstatic state of consciousness, but hard work and difficulty in the attempt to expand the frontiers of the Kingdom into the barbaric domains of 20th century Urantia. You seem to have reaped a substantial personal harvest from your work in Senegal and even in such activities as coaching baseball. This to me is where the real work of the Kingdom is being done, not in dimly lit rooms where people sit around trying to discern the catechisms of imaginary teachers.


 I don't think we are at all short on "clues as to how we might evaluate events going on around us today." The papers (my favorites) in the center of the book, Paper 99, "The Social Problems of Religion" through Paper 103, "The Reality of Religious Experience" contain bold statements that are far more than "clues."


 Sorry about not mentioning the "S.J." -- but Leo, you have a great heritage outside the rigid experience you apparently had in the Catholic church. Your own favorite, Teilhard de Chardin, was also my first stepping-stone from rigid Biblical authority towards The Urantia Book. I do think that Teilhard lost sight of the dynamics of the underlying Trinity-derived structure of reality in his quest for a unifying monism -- a topic for another night perhaps. At any rate, the Catholics have produced a remarkable range of folks in this century alone, from Teilhard to fringe thinkers such as Matthew Fox, to penetrating theologians such as Karl Rahner. This is a vital and versatile group.


 Matthew, I've lost the printout of your comments about the versatility and adaptability of Judaism but I recall your idea being that Judaism had also shown a great deal of adaptability to changing cultural conditions. While not well informed on the history of Judaism, I will say that it appears to me that this adaptability lies in the willingness of its adherents to practice the rituals and observances of the religion in a variety of social and cultural contexts. But it seems to me that both feminist and liberation theologies show an ability to actually change their underlying commentary on meanings and values to accommodate changing social situations, changing the underlying rituals and observances themselves, which is a substantially different matter. (I'm not saying this is a good thing, merely making an observation.)


 Good journeying, fellow voyagers.....

22 Mar 1993   David Kantor      Response to J. McNelly

Subject: Response to J. McNelly


 Hello again, Logondonters....


 Boy, the weekend was a busy time on the ol' net here judging from the 40k of data that greeted me this AM. My weekends are currently being spent at my daughter's High School where we're preparing for a production of the Broadway musical, "42nd Street". I managed to get involved with the stage crew supervising the wiring and electrical support systems. It's great fun and great to be with a group of high-energy teen-agers that defy the stereotypes generated by the mass media. Show opens (can you believe it) on April Fool's Day.


 Jim, I wanted to comment on several statements you made in your "Truth, Context and 'Facts'" post of 3/20/93; I'm not aware of any "power brokering" going on relative to the TM phenomena-- to what are you referring? I am out of the loop with the 'official' organizations these days and am not aware that this has become a political issue and, if it has, how the sides are being drawn. Perhaps you could expand on your statement. I called Steve Drier, president of FEF, to check this out and he told me that there was nothing being done, that there were some strong feelings expressed on both sides but there was no reactionary course of action being taken and that readers were free to develop their own communities and interpretations of their experiences as they saw fit.


 >"Why must our relationship with the varieties of religious >experience be one of distancing rather than inclusion?"


 Do you so identify with your thoughts that if I disagree with your conclusions you equate that disagreement to personal distancing? I enjoy considering differing views, but that doesn't mean I have to accept those differing view as valid, and it doesn't mean that I am distancing myself from the person who holds those views.


 On the contrary, if a person articulates a different view I am more likely to try to get closer to that person to find out why they have reached a conclusion which differs from the one I've reached. The fact that I take a position on an issue and articulate arguments as to why I believe that my position is valid does not mean that I am engaging in "the cold rationality of heartless logic...that might justify genocide and prejudice." Give me a small break, McNelly! I think you are using imagery in an attempt to make your point which is far too strong relative to the argument; it undermines your position, making it difficult to take you seriously. You seem to prefer mowing down the opposition with brute force rather than engaging in a give-and-take dialog of mutual exploration of issues.


 Your positions here expressed (and elsewhere) appear to me to be far more laden with "stridency and emotion" than any other arguments offered by another person that I've encountered on either side of this dialog. What are *you* afraid of?


 I do agree with you on the "in league with Caligastia" label; it's use has become similar to comparing a political leader to Hitler as justification for other than diplomatic means of resolving political issues on an international level.


 >"Is there really a "true" teaching that is "right"? Good question; one that can be approached from a variety of positions depending on your underlying assumptions about the nature of knowledge and the parameters within which personal growth takes place. My view is that no teaching can be called "right" on its own; the key is the interpretive process which takes place in the individual who is apprehending the teaching. Note that "truth" in the UB is described as "living" and "always a revelation". It is something which appears holographically when mind is successful in linking the *meanings* of spiritual facts with the *meanings* of material facts. It appears in the moment of apprehension but cannot be captured in a "teaching". I believe that this is the domain in which the Spirit of Truth works, much as a force field in Maxwellian terms, to help us make that linkage between material and spiritual facts which will result in our experience of "truth", but "truth" remains an *EXPERIENCE*.


 Note that this model requires the individual to do his or her part and provide the factual basis upon which the Spirit of Truth can operate. The Spirit of Truth is far more sophisticated than a spiritual single-bit yes/no switch or a cosmic truth-polarizing filter. Just as a holographic image can be recreated with a minimal fragment of the holographic plates, so does the resolution and clarity of the image improve with the increase in the size of the plate from which the image is being generated. I think the analogy holds for our experiential contact with truth -- the more extensive and integrated our factual contexts, both spiritual and material, the clearer will be our perception of truth in the revelatory experience. Note also that in order for this model to work, the magnitude of the quantitative array of *material* facts which we provide for the working of the Spirit of Truth must approximate the magnitude of the quantitative array of *spiritual* facts which are simultaneously provided. The inevitable distortions in the process of apprehending truth can be minimized by keeping these two factual domains in relative balance with each other, and the process can be enhanced by continually adding to these reservoirs of support for our spiritual helpers.


 The apprehension of truth is not something which happens magically if we "just get out of the way", we have to be *actively* involved, both intellectually and spiritually ("...it is in the realm of your highest and most spiritualized thinking..."); we have to manage the biochemical mechanism and provide the factual foundations for the Spirit of Truth to do its work before the Adjuster can even begin its task of helping us to evaluate and sort the meanings and values which we harvest from the process of apprehending truth. We exist right in the middle of this process and have substantial responsibilities vis-a-vis making it happen. I believe that these arrays of spiritual and material facts which we collect and compose for use by our spiritual helpers are conceptual approximations of reality only. Their value is in their utility in terms of providing a foundation from which The Spirit of Truth can enable the mortal mind to synthesize an experience of truth. If we accept this model of how the inner life functions, then it becomes obvious that we are going to get a clearer and more detailed view of truth if the factual basis from which that view is synthesized approximates objective reality as closely as possible.


 I believe that the ministry rendered by our celestial overseers to mortals is such that no one gets through life without having some presentation of truth made to them. I imagine that our Adjusters are particularly skilled in working with minimal materials in difficult environments. But our task is not that of challenging our Adjusters and the Spirit of Truth by failing to provide, with integrity, the raw materials which they need to do their work.


 Perhaps it is most accurate to say "there is a 'better' way and a 'less efficient' way," and it requires commitment, work, and exploration within the context of a critical community of truth seekers to make it work well.


 Gotta get back to my code......


 

23 Mar 1993   David Kantor      Response to Christopher Woodil

Subject: Response to Christopher Woodill


 Meditative? That depends on you. We have readers, again which you might gather from reading these conversations, who are seriously into a sort of meditative interaction with forces they consider to be associated with the source of the text. Others of us have different views and different ways of approaching our growing relationships with the cosmos. We have been fortunate in dealing with this text for nearly forty years that an "official view" of the text has not been able to develop and dominate the readership - - the readership remains a pretty eclectic lot of the most interesting, stimulating and genuinely caring individuals I have encountered in my life.




23 Mar 1993   leo elliott            Distinct Realms?

Subject: Distinct Realms?


 Hello Logondonters,


 An item from yesterday's Charlottesville _Daily Progress_ caught my attention, a story whose headline read: "Reinstatement of gay sailor proves disruptive, Navy says in deposition." In it is contained the following quote from Georgia Senator Sam Nunn:


 "Appearing on NBC's 'Meet the Press,' Nunn expressed reservations about Clinton's attempt to separate status -- one's sexual orientation -- from behavior in the armed services. 'When you declare your status you are describing your behavior,' Nunn said, adding that the issue would 'go away if everyone kept their private behavior to themselves.'"


 Or stay in the closet, if in the military?


 Without wishing to digress into a discussion of the origin, nature, and/or destiny of homosexuality, I raise the question of whether or not there may be some who are reacting to the TMmers as others have reacted to gays, in or out of the military; it has been my limited experience that those wishing to heap the most ridicule on the TMmers also seem to be those who choose to view homosexuality as some form of evil or sin, if not iniquity. I would refer to another rather prolific writer of UB related tracts who sees the TMmers as in league with Caligastia, a rather loud P* poster, and a local reader who shares these perspectives.


 I wonder if it is a fair statement that there are those who are willing to tolerate, if not embrace, the TMmers, and others who may feel even more tolerant if they would retreat into some form of Urantian closet and not "hang out" on the same nets or attend the same conferences? I view the forum held at SF to be, if nothing else, a remarkable manifestation of brotherhood and a sincere effort at maintaining spiritual unity, despite these obviously divisive and non-uniform intellectual and theological perspectives being spoken.


 I am reminded of a quote from the Marriage Papers which, imo (sorry, IMO!), describes pretty well a fundamental of systems theory as I understand it, namely, that if a system be defined (a la Fuller) as something with a minimum fourness describing an insideness and an outsideness, then the behavior of that system will be seen differently when viewed from the inside compared to viewing it from the outside:


 

 Paper-82 Section-3 Para-2 Page-915 Line-28 Para-6 There always have been and always will be two distinct realms of marriage: the mores, the laws regulating the external aspects of mating, and the otherwise secret and personal relations of men and women. Always has the individual been rebellious against the sex regulations imposed by society; and this is the reason for this agelong sex problem: Self-maintenance is individual but is carried on by the group; self-perpetuation is social but is secured by individual impulse.


 I suppose we could say that there have always been two distinct realms of cult behavior, how the cult operates from the inside, and how that cult then fits into or relates to the larger society or culture of which it is a part. When that relation is symbiotic and synergistic such that both sides can feel there is some "win" for each, it seems the cult may be able to remain and take root and perhaps begin to grow. However, it seems that when that cult begins to be perceived as a threat to the larger culture, as the Koreshians have in recent weeks, then their definition becomes problematic as the larger culture endeavors to impose their regulations.


 David has given us some up close and personal impressions of a cult that seems to have collapsed from within, due in part to its lack of omni-interaccomodativeness, and in part to the threat it began to present to the larger Urantia Book culture as such was defined at the time by the U Foundation and the U Brotherhood -- I am unaware of how much, if any, the west coast public at large may or may not have been aware of the events surrounding the Family of God from 1983 thru 1985. The cognitive dissonance occasioned by the internal practices of the "Vernim" as these abutted the outside mores of evaluation, all dramatically staged around a non-event of personal and group catastrophic-deflation, will hopefully give us all some experiential wisdom with which to evaluate the current TM cult as it may or may not take root in the UB readership.


 It also remains to be seen how much, by their very existence, the TMmers represent to some an evil weed to be uprooted at all expense. It seems that self-appointed "defenders of the faith" do as much to define that faith, or lack thereof, to outsiders, as believers do to insiders. I don't know how much of a following the Caligastia Guard has amongst the 10 or 15k of active UB readers, or for that matter, how much of a following the TMmers have amongst the same group. I expect we'll see come summer in Montreal.


 ************


 One other news note: anybody see/read the current U.S. News cover story on "The Weeping Madonna?" -- apparently the miraculous has been occurring right here in my own state for over a year now, and I have to see it on a magazine cover to find out about it! Talk about being out of the loop!




23 Mar 1993   David Kantor      misc responses

Subject: misc responses


 Ron, your comments reminded me of the quote on page 1090 (thanks Kristen) which says, "After all, it is what one believes rather than what one knows that determines conduct and dominates personal performances. Purely factual knowledge exerts very little influence upon the average man unless it becomes emotionally activated. But the activation of religion is superemotional, unifying the entire human experience on transcendent levels through contact with, and release of, spiritual energies in the mortal life."


 I would disagree with you, however, on your comments paralleling the reception of the UB with the T/R transmissions and don't agree with your rationale for saying that, "The criteria by which I would accept or reject what is said would be exactly the same criteria by which I accept or reject the words of the UB itself..."


 Remember that the UB was transmitted through a subject who was *asleep* during the transmissions and could remember nothing about them when awakened. This is a very different matter than a conscious T/R attempting to operate as such; the technique used by the UB revelators bypasses this subjective problem. The technique by which the Urantia Papers were transmitted is unique in all the literature of such phenomena -- there is no record of it ever happening before or since. In addition, much (exactly how much remains to be discovered) of the UB is material collected and composed from existing human writings. It is incorrect to compare the TM transmissions with the way in which the UB was presented -- they are two very different phenomena by any standard of comparison.


 As an aside, Arthur Hastings, author of "With the Tongues of Men and Angles" has information indicating that approximately 85% of all channeled material is derived from the mind of the channel.


 I enjoyed your story, as well as Leo's, about finding the UB. Interesting how we come across that book when we are starving for it's message, and how hungry we do get....I appreciate your sharing your view of things here.




23 Mar 1993   Matthew Rapaport              TMophobia???

Subject: TMophobia???


 Leo... >it has been my limited experience that those wishing to heap the most >ridicule on the TMmers also seem to be those who choose to view >homosexuality as some form of evil or sin, if not iniquity.


 That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. One of the most rabid anti-TMers around, one who has been mentioned several times in these postings, whose statements at the SF meeting have been paraphrased here, is himself 100% homosexual!


 


23 Mar 1993   Ron Darby       Re: David => Ron

Subject: Re: David => Ron


 -=] Quoting David Kantor to Ron Darby [=-


 > I would disagree with you, however, on your comments paralleling > the reception of the UB with the T/R transmissions and don't agree > with your rationale for saying that, "The criteria by which I would > accept or reject what is said would be exactly the same criteria by > which I accept or reject the words of the UB itself..."


 > Remember that the UB was transmitted through a subject who was > *asleep* during the transmissions and could remember nothing about > them when awakened. This is a very different matter than a > conscious T/R attempting to operate as such; the technique used by > the UB revelators bypasses this subjective problem. The technique > by which the Urantia Papers were transmitted is unique in all the > literature of such phenomena -- there is no record of it ever > happening before or since. In addition, much (exactly how much > remains to be discovered) of the UB is material collected and > composed from existing human writings. It is incorrect to compare > the TM transmissions with the way in which the UB was presented -- > they are two very different phenomena by any standard of > comparison.


 Thank you very much David. I was hoping someone would bite at my exaggeration.


 However, it was only somewhat an exaggeration. I really have no idea how the UB actually came about. I have heard at least a hand full of significantly different versions. The stories don't stop either. Why, just this week, for the first time I heard the version of how the "subject" was an actual member of the Kellog family and was "brain damaged" such that there was no physical connection between his "ego" and his unconscious mental state. My point is that I have heard enough stories that I don't really "believe" any story.


 Now that I think of it, that has something to do with the appeal of the TM. That I might personally have the opportunity to experience something that my soul and intellect can collaborate on that will provide something more concrete than the hearsay that is all I now have about our book.


 I tend to believe that the technique by which the UB came to be, was, in fact unique; however, I have absolutely no personal knowledge upon which to base that belief ... I simply choose to believe it. So, you see, there isn't in fact, that much difference between why I believe the UB or the TM -- they both are simply choice based upon whatever internal criteria I operate by.


 You know, I find these conversations quite satisfying!


 Ron PS - I just realized that you used an argument that the UB contains material composed from different human writings as a reason to support the validity (I suppose that was your point) of the UB. On the other hand, I hear over and over how the TM material is nothing new ... just a re-hash of the UB. Something of a double standard, don't you think?




24 Mar 1993   leo elliott            Responses

Subject: Responses


 Good morning logondonters,


 One of the advantages of having a four-year-old come bump you in bed is you get to wake up at all hours to go check your email... ;)


 **********


 Matthew, my observations may sound ridiculous to you, but perhaps you did not see the phrase "my limited experience" with which I prefaced my comments, which may have made them appear less ridiculous; or if you did, perhaps there is some meaning behind this seemingly-recurrent misconstrual of my postings on this issue, which meaning has not become evident to me?


 In either case, the sharing of your experience has broadened my own. It was not apparent to me, from the comments made at the TM forum, who the gay, rabid-anti-TMmer was, but my observations regarding the rest of the sources I cited still stand as correlated: rabidly anti-TM (as in seeing the TM as the work of Caligastia) [ -- ] seeing homosexuality as a perversion of the "natural order," as these sources choose to interpret the UB (and/or the Bible.)




24 Mar 1993   David Kantor      Subjective reality/objective r

Subject: Subjective reality/objective reality


 Hello, Logondonters....


 Michael, in a recent personal post regarding technical issues related to use of the net, you made the following comment:


 "I really have never seen 'evidence' of anything other than a 'subjective' experience in the realms of humans. I have had the "yeah but I haven't heard any 'proof' other than your inner feelings" notion thrown at me by the best of the atheistic empiricists. I wonder what in our world is objective, besides the Father. Even the standardized test and measurements by scientists are most often interpreted differently by each individual...in other words, all reality seems like a subjective experience interpreted by individual humans -- what is outside of our individual, personal interpretation of reality perception?"


 This comment was apparently in reference to criticisms which I had voiced re: the TM phenomena being "only" a subjective experience. Your comment stimulated a lot of reflection -- this is a big issue. I am posting it here because I would like to respond and assume that others might like to do so as well.


 While I had criticized the subjective nature of the phenomena, I was not necessarily saying that there is an objective criteria by which such experiences should be evaluated. I fully agree with you on your evaluation of the subjective nature of our existence. My point is simply that the accumulated experience of thousands of individuals making whole-hearted attempts to find God and integrate themselves with the universe should not be ignored when attempting to interpret and understand our own subjective attempts to do the same thing. I think it helps to find someone who reports a similar experience but who is outside the cultural or historical milieu in which my experience is taking place -- it helps isolate the experiential variables I'm trying to understand and also helps eliminate some of the psychological factors which might be contributing to the experience locally.


 At any rate, my immediate reaction to your comment was to fire up folios and see what the UB says about 'objective' and 'subjective' reality, and it was very interesting. I found several helpful quotes.


 Page 1141 says, "Although religious experience is a purely spiritual subjective phenomenon, such an experience embraces a positive and living faith attitude toward the highest realms of universe objective reality...(see the rest of this quote in the book)...the full realization of the reality of mortal life consists in a progressive willingness to believe these assumptions of reason, wisdom and faith. Such a life is one motivated by truth and dominated by love; and these are the ideals of objective cosmic reality whose existence cannot be materially demonstrated."


 "...living faith attitude toward the highest realms of universe objective reality..." "...a progressive willingness to believe these assumptions..."


 Now I find that very interesting. This indicates that I should have a *faith attitude* towards objective reality. This quote makes objective reality appear to be accessible to us only as an *ideal* at this point in our universe career.


 See also page 195, the discussion of the 3 inalienables of human consciousness, "...all human experience is really subjective except..." and page 1431, "Will is that manifestation of the human mind which enables the subjective consciousness to express itself objectively and to experience the phenomenon of aspiring to be Godlike. And it is in this same sense that every reflective and spiritually minded human being can become creative." Also see page 191 and the discussion of 3 cosmic intuitions, "...The cosmic mind unfailingly responds...".


 I find these to be very stimulating quotes. While they confirm the subjectivity of our experience, they force some serious questions. What about the whole? How do we avoid anarchy? How do we build a culture which provides for unity as well as diversity? I have long thought that the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel was about the dangers of fostering a culture in which there is an increasing number of alternative commitments to ultimate reality. What starts out as mere differences of opinion can develop into mutually exclusive definitions of reality and allegiances to radically differing value systems or lifestyles.


 Historically, this problem has been dealt with using creeds, such as the Nicene Creed, "We believe in one God..." or even, "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."


 Somehow there has to be a basis for a recognition that we inhabit a shared world. The effect of denying this can lead only to isolated tribalism at best and the loss of a sense of responsibility to the shared whole. Take a look at what is happening in eastern Europe as the unifying social factors disintegrate (good word -- "dis-integrate").


 In his book, "God -- the World's Future", Ted Peters makes the following point in his discussion of "ecumenic pluralism", which he advocates as a solution to the problem of a radical pluralism which results in isolation of individuals rather than their integration into successful communities:


 "Therefore, ecumenic pluralism affirms...the side by side existence of various and contradictory perspectives, world views, or approaches to human understanding and living. It...also affirms that we should act as if all this plurality belongs to a greater whole. Such acting would be founded not upon what can be observed from our day to day perspective, nor upon the judgments of academic anthropologists, but rather upon our faith in God's unifying and fulfilling plan. The vision of one world is an anticipation of things to come...The concept of a universal humanity must become an article of faith."


 I think that what Ted Peters is calling us to here is similar to that outlined in the page 1141 quote above. We are so subjectively limited that the existence of objective reality itself becomes a matter of faith. We are confronted with living and structuring our lives as if there really was such a thing as objective reality, even though we can't validate it outside of faith.


 If you're at all interested in this line of thinking, let's look a little deeper because things get even more interesting. The Urantia Book refers to mortals as "faith sons" -- we are not even yet considered "ascending sons". What does this mean?


 Page 447 says, "...you are wholly mortal. You will be reckoned as ascending sons the instant fusion takes place, but the status of the mortals of time and space is that of faith sons prior to the event of the final amalgamation of the surviving mortal soul with some type of eternal and immortal spirit."


 A few other notes on "faith sons":


 Page 610, "...neither Satan nor Caligastia could ever touch or approach the faith sons of God..."


 Page 1963, Jesus says, "...I will give eternal life to all who will become faith sons..."


 Page 1991, Jesus before Pilate says, "Yes, I am such a King, and my kingdom is the family of the faith sons of my Father who is in heaven..."


 Page 2053, Jesus says, "...If you are the faith sons of my Father, you shall never die..."


 As I review this material I get a strong sense of the manner in which we live by faith. I think that biological life has been designed essentially to evolve an analog virtual reality machine -- the human nervous system. This virtual reality machine is our flight simulator, and our task is to become familiar with the controls and the parameters of negotiating passage through fields of meanings and values as functions of relationships, in preparation for our use of morontial and spiritual vehicles in the future when the experiential vehicle will not be so isolated from the reality which is being experienced. Even though we are bounded by subjectivity, we are challenged by our spiritual benefactors to live as if we were already citizens of the objective heavenly kingdom.


 Now, how are we supposed to do that? Big question. The above implies to me that the entirety of human culture, civilization and history have been synthetic subjective structures. This sounds scary, but the other side of the coin is the view that culture, civilization and history are essentially malleable realities which can be shaped into almost anything, even into a virtual replication of Havona perfection, which is what I believe our Creator Son is attempting to do in Nebadon. "There is a city whose foundations are eternal truth and righteousness..." -- no metaphor here -- this is a description of objective reality!


 The value of these synthetic reality constructs is in the degree to which they support the essential task of the individuals who inhabit them -- finding God. They are scaffolding only and I believe we are challenged to create cultural mechanisms, in our families, in our communities of readers, on our networks and in our world, which will facilitate this essential process of mortal life.


 I have long felt that my only hope for finding objective reality is in attempting to find and do God's will. This seems to me to be the only salvation from the subjective prison of causal stimulus-response reactions to the environment. My choice is either to creatively find and do God's will, or mechanically act out the repercussions of past experience. And let me say also that I believe that God's will is characterized by novelty, creativity and surprise -- it is not a predetermined formulaic ritual response to reality -- it is freedom and liberation from the purely causal stream of events.


 I would only add one more consideration to this mix and that is the quote on page 2094 which says, "The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose."


 Doesn't this imply that meanings and values exist as objective realities? It seems to me that our task is to discern meanings, and link them together with values in an attempt to create a virtual model of reality. There seems to be a dynamic here in that as we view the structure we thus create, our values change, and we then discern new meanings, alter the structure according to the higher values, etc., etc, etc...and thus we attempt to develop our virtual model so that it more and more closely replicates the objective reality which we know only by faith and through the ministry of revelation.


 If this is indeed the case, then our only criterion for validation must always be subjective. Consider Jesus' criteria given on page 1388, "As the years passed, this young carpenter of Nazareth increasingly measured every institution of society and every usage of religion by the unvarying test: What does it do for the human soul? Does it bring God to man? Does it bring man to God?"


 What do you think? I'm not sure I've reached any conclusions, but your comment really stimulated thought on the topic and points out the inappropriateness of using the fact of subjectivity as an argument for questioning a viewpoint. I would have to say instead, that if I or individuals in my immediate community of belief are understanding our experience to be unlike anything else which has occurred in human experience, there is a high probability that our understanding of the experience is inaccurate -- strictly from a statistical standpoint. Our interpretation may indeed be accurate, but this high probability of error still exists and needs to be critically and scrupulously examined if we are going to use our interpretation of the experience as the foundation for our spiritual and communal life. How do we identify errors originating in our subjectivity? What are the criteria by which we evaluate our choices of meanings and values and determine whether or not they are leading us closer to a virtual experience of objective reality?


 

24 Mar 1993   McCollum       Spiritual Whining

Subject: Spiritual Whining


 The UB, to me, is just as remarkable for what it DOESN'T say as for what it does. Are the TMers (whom I know nothing about other than thru this list's context) in league with Caligastia or are they merely in touch with a group of confused Midwayers or does the collective mind of mortals create pools of seemingly self- autonomous "sources" of pseudo-spiritual knowledge? Who knows?


 I remember using a Ouiji board with friends, being contacted by a virtual entity named Daljek who called himself a Fellowship Guardian. His advice over the span of a few weeks was mystical sounding, somewhat friendly and rather vague on specifics. When pressed for metaphysical explanations he said rather abruptly, "Ask your Thought Adjuster". Ask your Thought Adjuster? Ask your Thought Adjuster? None of us had ever heard of a Thought Adjuster, except for one person (observing from the side) who ran upstairs and returned with the UB he had purchased a few months before at the University of Washington Bookstore.


 

24 Mar 1993   Michael Million     Subjective/Objective Realities

Subject: Subjective/Objective Realities


 Greetings! David Kantor, thank you for 'inserting' my comments about one of your recent posts into your last post: "Subjective reality/ Objective reality." You represented my ideas in line with my intent. In fact, I think that we have reached epistemological convergence in regards to the issues about our individual/subjective experience and interpretation of 'objective reality.' I very much appreciate you taking the time (something I seem to find little to spare) to research these topics in the Folio View of the Urantia Papers and post them to the list as you have. It is an exceedingly complicated topic for discourse and you have used the UB with precision to aid our collective understanding of this intriguing topic (or so it has been on my path). And yes, my comments to you were in regard to criticisms which you voiced about the TM activity. I will be giving your post a more studied read along with those references to the UB tonight as I (will!) find time.


 I don't know how many transcripts you have read from the TM sessions. I have hundreds of individual files now from many groups and am still reading. I have also talked with several individuals personally involved as transcribers and I have talked with a couple of T/R folk also. In sum, my personal opinion of the TM as indeed "spiritual pressure from above" is solidly reinforced with each new piece of information my heart/intellect investigates. I am open to realignment, should I feel the need for such in the future, but I can easily say for now that I have no reservations about accepting the activity for what it claims to be - contact with celestial teachers thru 'normal' conduits of encircuited mind and spirit. So if you will give me a day or two of grace period for further reading, I will offer more in answer to your question: "What do you think?" Your response has stimulated my thoughts as well. And perhaps I also need to take long train and plane rides to 'find' the time to do research of the UB! Your scholarly and diplomatic approach to this topic *and* my difference of opinion from yours (re: the TM) is very much appreciated by myself and the list 'at large' I feel sure. Hat's off! your brother, Michael M




24 Mar 1993   leo elliott            Obsubinterjectivections

Subject: Obsubinterjectivections


 Hello logondonters,


 David and Michael, if I may toss a few sticks on the fire of your most stimulating dialog, I would throw these interjections into your discussion of the nature of objective God-seeking as it may relate to subjective God-recognizing...


 Your speaking in your most recent post David, about humans' cumulative efforts "to find God and integrate themselves with the universe" bespeaks, IMO, the difference in point-of-view which makes your dialog with Michael, or with any who chooses to view the TM-set of phenomena "from the inside," so fundamentally revealing of the human condition. The effort to find God, are we not told, indicates that God has already found us. My take on the TMmers, like perhaps those who are strongly into the Course in Miracles, is that they are speaking, more so than most, _out of_ that "faith attitude" -- for them, for myself at certain other times when I am not so much "attempting to find God" as to recognize and acknowledge His presence in my own life, in my own being, in the lives of all those around me, indeed, to see His divine patterns in all life around me; it is at such times that I am no longer seeking, but simply, and quietly, and overpoweringly acknowledging that Oneness of the One God, that self-evident Unity that abides when all my babbling has ceased, in some stillness which is whole and complete, despite my conscious inability to speak it or describe it in all the "radically differing value systems or lifestyles" I see around me with my physical or mental eyes.


 And so, in this stillness of the Spirit, in this subjective experience of the Presence of the Infinite in the Experience of the finite creature, does my frantic activity stop, for a moment, a Holy Instant, during which moment I no longer feel so compelled to build cultures or provide for unity, for it is at such moments, in this primal silence which was there before the Word, that my spirit briefly breathes its Source, and no longer does my mind mash about worrying about all things earthly crumbling.


 One speaks from the outside looking in, where most of time is spent, and the other remains in silence, on the inside, where eternity if fleetingly felt.


 ********

 

 So being back in my "right" mind (never the left or "sinister"!), I happened also to notice another subtle triangular formulation imbedded/nested neatly in the quote you cited from p. 1141, speaking of our "progressive willingness to believe these assumptions of reason, wisdom and faith."


 If we overlay these over some recent triangulations,


 fact idea relation thing meaning value science philosophy religion


 we get reason wisdom faith


 and later


 discover recognize interpret


 and then _choose_ amongst those (subjectively apprehended, culturally reinforced) interpretations which may, synergistically, enable us to expand the domesticity of our inner life into/onto/toward these "highest realms of universe objective reality."


 So, if the above triads are parsed vertically, we may say that we bring Order out of Chaos to the degree that we:


 -- use reason to scientifically discover the facts strewn about in the things of our material universe, such that we then become able to


 -- use wisdom to philosophically recognize the higher meanings strewn about in the ideas of our intellectual universe, such that we then may


 -- use faith to religiously interpret omni-interaccomodative values amidst all the relations of our spiritual universe, such that we may then


 choose that objective formation which shows as most congruent to our subjective information.




25 Mar 1993   leo elliott            Disingenuities

Subject: Disingenuities


 Good morning Logondonters,


 A few things which have not gone gently into the night...


 David, your comments to Ron about the uniqueness-of-transmission method of the UB have been rattling around... something you said about how there has been no method like it _ever_ recorded, or ever since, that it was a _sleeping_ subject... Well, from my story-collection and what I've been reading in Sadler's "The Mind at Mischief" recently, several disingenuities strike me here:


 -- people talk in their sleep all the time, it's just that they tend not to be talking about the kinds of things our Mr. X was talking about.


 -- Sadler claims he could not be roused -- he should have met my ex-wife when she got on some snoring jags!


 -- I don't think any here have surveyed _all_ the literature to be able to make such a claim, tho I will agree with you that Arthur Hasting's work provides the most concise overview I have found of all the various phenomena associated with "channeling", etc.


 -- If the effort is to make the UB unique by its method of transmission, as Sadler himself seems to have been wont to do, then there approaches a real danger of turning the book itself into an object of faith, rather than an epochal fulcrum with which to leverage our evolutionary beliefs into a liberating faith.


 -- As Jerry said yesterday, there is some calculated risk here, that the book itself must inevitably get mapped into all the other types of psychic phenomena that have been occurring since time began, this _despite_ Sadler's best efforts to keep it separate. The disingenuity comes when one posits that the method of transmission is unique, and yet the concepts presented are not.


 -- Another disingenuity, I find, is your claim that it is hard to grasp someone like Hillman "out of context" -- at the risk of overburdening the goodwill of our membership here, I found myself typing on and on, not wishing to pull a paragraph or phrase out of context, simply to make it appear as if I were supporting some position with an easy quote. Yes, I thank Kristen every time I fire up Folio Views, and a few times in between, for the services she has provided, particularly to the logondonter class here, and yet I am beginning to wonder if, as with any tool, Folio's "abuse" could result in just the type of dueling- quotes situation Mr. Koresh seems so eager to engage in now with the Pope or Billy Graham.


 I believe it was Stewart Brand who said you don't really know how to use a tool unless you know how to abuse it in at least three ways. So we all use screwdrivers as pry devices, scrapers, knives, etc. So we may use electronic access to the UB, to the nets (comm. addiction), so we may use the UB itself, again, a calculated risk.


 So I for one am not so averse to seeing how the method-of-transmission may or may not map into the background of prior "psychic phenomena" -- the content of the Papers themselves I find in no way denigrated, nor do I fear to "scandalize" some novice should someone find a Wizard of 533 casting his spells over a group of eager believers.


 Looking inside the cover of "Mind at Mischief" I find it hard not to escape the notion that Sadler was, in his time, somewhat of a Wizard, for he definitely seemed to be writing to all audiences, from how to diet, how to have more "pep," how to nurse babies, as well as how to tell how all these spiritualistic mediums were fakes.


 And reading Sadler juxtaposed to Hillman, both leading psychologists of their respective ages, the contrast is striking. Whereas Sadler is doing his best to come across as the pater-authority with a scheme and a classification to categorize away all these spurious and sordid phenomena, -- except those he politely mentions, "in fairness," in his appendix -- Hillman, as Thompson might describe it, has reversed the poles, extolling our "white bread" psychology which seeks to puritanically anaesthetize any anomaly and conveniently avoid dealing with these uncomfortable, incongruous experiences like those the TMmers are reporting; indeed, Hillman would with Robert Bly see some health in our ability to relate to, to embrace, these "wild men" of our psyches who have for so long laid buried under the placid pools of psychological categorizing and theological model making.


 Not to denigrate your efforts my friend, for just as you may be finding great sustenance in putting the epochal figure of the Urantia Papers into the background of prior theological models, and as I may have great fun exploring the conceptual figures of speech I find in the UB and mapping those into the background of such thinkers as Bucky Fuller, so must we both be willing, as I feel you are, to allow others to attempt to map their own subjective experiences of spirituality into the objective frame of reference provided us all by the UB, without so much fear of disintegration into chaos, or babel, or some Caligastian plot. For it seems to me that it is only by following what I interpret as the "prime directive" voiced by the Teaching Missioners, namely, to "seek ye first the kingdom of God" within in my daily "goings off alone to speak with my Father" -- it is only by such efforts that I am at all able to sustain all my other efforts at culture building service, as I pass by the baseball diamonds of my life, or the network oases, or the computer rooms full of noisy printers.



25 Mar 1993   David Kantor      ruminations/responses

Subject: ruminations/responses


 I also share Ron's feeling that "I have heard enough stories that I don't really "believe" any story. All of this apocryphal information is second hand, unreliable, and quite interesting. For years I have seen individuals such as Christy, Vern, Martin et al. use this stuff to enhance their personal political power and objectives. I think it's bad medicine and I make every effort (not always consistent) to never base arguments on it. Thanks for calling me on this but I did want to point out what I thought was an important distinction (to the best of my understanding) and I think that you know enough about this process to know that comparing it to someone talking in their sleep is not an accurate representation.



26 Mar 1993   PETER J FERGUSON       Oddities

Subject: Oddities


 Hola shlogendonters! I know this question may be a rock in a hornets nest but!!! Jerry did you ever consider trying to contact this "Daljek" again. That was a very strange story. You might request from one of the TM groups to have that question posed. Ron thank you for the Info, I'll probably call Him this weekend.


 David K. when I was reading your item letter on subj/obj reality, there was one line that really hit home. >What does it do for the human soul? >Does it bring God to man? Does it bring man to God? Can this be said for the TMers? I 've seen some genuine transformation in quite a few people. The catalyst for much of the back and fourth on this net has been because of the TM. I am personally experiencing rapid growth in many facets of my life due the unbelievable amount of information I've had to process since the onset of the TM, not to leave out numerous personalities I've had to deal with. The UB expanded my conscience immensely, The TM has extended the scaffolding. I would say towards GOD. These are just my thoughts after donuts and some stillness.



27 Mar 1993   leo elliott            Conversation on P*

Subject: Conversation on P*


 FROM: WARREN WOLFE (JTKS47A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 Can anybody help me out here? The last time I had any PHYSICAL interaction with UB people was at the conference at Bowdon (Maine) in 1987. Since then, the Urantia Foundation seems to be trying to PREVENT the dissemination of the Urantia Book, and a large percentage of "UBers" seem to be making claims to be speaking directly for one high-level spiritual being or another, and incidentally doing a very poor job of it. "I'm the Universe Mother Spirit. Be sure to bundle up and eat your chicken soup." Good grief.


 TO: WARREN WOLFE (JTKS47A) FROM: JIM MCNELLY (HFBB22A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 Hi Warren, I have written a long paper on the TM movement that I call Universe Romancing that is available on Michael Million's list file on Internet or will send a copy if you e-mail your address. The title comes from page 2096, "Man's forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man's universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth." One thought is that we would all agree that the lessons taught on mansion world #1 are quite different than those on #7. Do the advanced students mock the efforts of the lower classes? I doubt it. It is my sincere belief that God reaches anyone where they are if their desire for truth and his presence is even the faintest flicker of faith. There is something I call the "curse of the Urantia Book", which is a form of religious arrogance that comes with epochal revelation. The Book is so excellent that other religions pale in comparison when looked at intellectually. But when looked at from a soul level, I will take the sincere questions and yearnings of the TM groups over intellectual obfuscation any day. I think that the TM process does well in helping people find the stillness, and to ask questions of their God. Did not Jesus say "ask and you shall receive"? I don't recall reading that he said "hang loose and it will all come to you." The Pentecostal, feeling sort of religious psychism has been with the human race since time immemorial, and there will always be those who seek their relation with the Creator in such a format. I can observe that many seekers are coming to know God through the TM process, and that a new connection is being made with many who have also studied the Course in Miracles and other so called channeled works. Personally, I have read thousands of pages of text and find it all true, but little if any to be fact. This does not bother me one bit. Sure there will be many who latch on to the phenomenomonanonanon as if it ,in and of itself was what is of value. But can't the same be said of those who take the Bible or Urantia Book literally too? I don't say to withhold your judgement, or that the TM process should be thought of in Black or White, all or nothing terms, believe or else. Frankly, I find your response to be more refreshing than some of the other negative replies I have heard. It is clear to me that the scope of the phenomenon is such that it will undoubtably be a part of the Urantia Movement just as similar techniques have become a part of other religious sects. I suggest getting used to it. You need not accept it. I suggested to Vincent (Fred) that he post in the Modern Practices section as the U Book teaching mission, and not under the cover of the name Urantia. But when all is said and done, the Urantia movement has changed since the bizarre tantrum of Foundation President Martin Myers and the subsequent collapse of the official organizations. The Fellowship has picked up the pieces, but things will never be the same. People are not as concerned about the "appropriate" use of the "official" words or symbols. Copyright issues have changed. A great trust was broken and things are not as they were. For me, reading the various transcripts helped me work out much of my feelings of loss resulting from the great scattering. I found much that comforted on a soul level. For my own self, I would not presume to judge the validity of another's religious experience just as I would not expect others to judge the validity of mine. We are in a new era of religious tolerance, or so I would like to believe, and I welcome the new infusion of energy into the discourse. Jim~~~


 

28 Mar 1993   David Kantor      MORE RUMINATIONS

Subject: MORE RUMINATIONS


 Leo wondered what the effect of this net would have been on the FOG situation and I would have to say nil. We had volumes of written pleas, arguments and essays from concerned brothers and sisters pouring in daily, as well as phone calls and personal trips made at great expense by concerned individuals, and we ignored them all. You can't argue with a drunk -- you must first get him sobered up, and we were definitely intoxicated by the spiritual ground and transcendent sense of group cohesiveness we had reached. Outside criticism merely strengthened our bonds and drove us farther into delusion as we wallowed in the sense of group unity and spiritual specialness which our situation was generating. Not until experience sobered us up could we begin to evaluate the spiritual binge we had been on.


 Leo, I do not feel it necessary to engage in philosophical gymnastics (as does Jim McNelly in his "Romancing" paper, and as you seem prone to do in some of your arguments) in order to distort my world view to the point where error becomes seen as merely an alternative viewpoint, equal with any other. Like the carpenter in Jesus' parable, I would prefer to simply reject the unsound beam. My years at FOG were characterized by such rationalizations in order to live with the cognitive dissonance generated by the experience. No longer am I willing to simply accept what appears erroneous as simply another view. I would rather call it as I see it and let someone who sees it differently correct me if there are indeed grounds for such correction.


 IMHO,


 I think there are serious errors being made by the TMers. Leo, you mention being willing to "...allow others to attempt to map their own subjective experiences of spirituality into the objective frame of reference provided us all by the UB..." -- if someone wants to do this they are certainly free to do so. However, I would certainly question their wisdom and would attempt to point out the problems inherent in such an undertaking.


 I find this statement of yours to be quite incredible. Wouldn't prudence dictate that we make a concerted effort to seek the patterns contained within an epochal revelation rather than superimposing our own patterns on it? Such a study demands discipline and hard work to reach beyond our own boundaries and human wishes. Jesus' gospel, as I hear it, calls us from the prison of mortal subjectivity into citizenship in the heavenly Kingdom.


 Your statement also strikes me as a gross distortion of what the TMer's are actually doing -- they are not "...mapping their subjective experience over the frame of reference supplied by the UB"; they are taking isolated fragments of the UB and using those fragments to support their self-conceived positions. Indeed, I drew a shot hereon (I think from you) by even questioning whether or not most TMer's had even read the book through once. If they haven't read the book and studied it, how can they even begin to "map their own subjective experiences of spirituality" onto it? Come on, Leo; I've seen much better than this from you hereon. If they engaged in a serious mapping attempt they would find that the material which they were attempting to map over the conceptual frame of the UB lacked the integrity necessary to accomplish the task no matter how far they stretched it. It would be like trying to blanket North America with a gunny sack. I think that your exposure to ideas has been such that you have an appreciation for this.


 I do not think that having a defined frame of reference within which one evaluates the experiences of life is the equivalent of falling "victim to distortion of vision, prejudice of viewpoint, and narrowness of judgement". There's always the risk of having such an open mind that everything falls out.


 Yes, (whoever made the remark), the TM phenomena has stimulated a lot of discussion, but note that the discussion has been about the TM phenomena itself. Nowhere have I ever seen a discussion of the actual "message" of a particular "teacher". None of the transcripts I've seen have enough substance to provide material for significant dialog. It is the phenomena itself that is the matter of primary interest, not the teachings. The bombing of the World Trade Center generated a lot of discussion but that doesn't lead me to place a high value on the event.


 With all the philosophical, historical, theological and spiritual background given to us in the UB, can't we do a little better than come up with a neo-spiritualism? The currently popular New-Age tolerance and acceptance of virtually any viewpoint as equal with any other is anti-holistic; it destroys the integrity of unity with the mistaken assumption that a collection of auto parts is the equivalent of an automobile.


 The word "discrimination" has fallen on hard times in our pluralistic politically correct culture, but discriminate we must - - between truth and error, between falsehood and reality, between fact and fallacy. What are the criteria by which we do so? Peter, you have said that mistakes are made in the TM transmissions and that "Ham" has even made mistakes. What are the criteria by which these mistakes are identified? The answer to this is the first step towards philosophy. If you're going to develop a philosophy, are you really willing to think you're equipped to start from scratch in a culture that has thousands of years of experience with just this problem? Leo, I think that when we extend "...all men are created equal..." to mean that "...the ideas and values of all men are equal..." we're in big trouble.


 We must seek our unity, not on a level of diffuse feel-good spiritual sentimentality, but on a level of dynamic intellectual and spiritual conflict where the best we can be is actively engaged in confronting the unknowns of this marvelous cosmos we all inhabit. As the good book says on page 1097, "There can be no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation. The organization of a philosophic standard of living entails considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind." Why do we equate unity with the leveling of differences upon which the dynamics of the dialectical process depend? The challenge is to responsibly engage in the dialectical process as a means of growth and discovery, not to resolve the dialectical elements into a passive equilibrium at which point we will have a clear perception of reality and social peace.


 It is not the conceptual content of the TM material which bothers me as much as the inability of the TMers to formulate, with a minimal amount of integrity, even the most elementary philosophical position upon which to base their claims. It simply cannot be done because their claims are based on seriously erroneous assumptions about the nature of their experiences.


 But then the spread of the UB will more than likely come about as a result of the controversies it generates rather than the questions it answers.


 The ideal here, as far as I'm concerned, is not to be correct, but to be *engaged in the process* with some integrity and values. It is not what is discovered that is important, it's being engaged in the process of inquiry that matters.


 Note the quote on page 1311 that says, "The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to *stabilize the ideals* of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another." The TM program is destabilizing in that it inherently requires the abandonment of the very philosophical and theological ideals necessary to provide stabilization for the socialization of new concepts essential for survival during this transition.


 It is dangerous in that it separates individuals from the stability provided by the accumulated wisdom of the culture and sets them adrift on their own with very little in the way of reliable charts or compass -- "...the transcripts contain errors...Ham has admitted making mistakes..." How can anyone take this seriously or even attempt to construct a responsible philosophic justification for it? Would you be willing to fly in an airplane when the design engineer freely admitted that he had made mistakes in designing it and that it was up to the passengers to discover the mistakes?


 Consider page 435 which says, "It is not so much what you learn in this first life; it is the experience of living this life that is important. Even the work of this world, paramount though it is, is not nearly so important as the way in which you do this work." -- the focus here is on the integrity of the process, not the results.


 Page 1216; "It is not so much what mind comprehends as what mind desires to comprehend that insures survival; it is not so much what mind is like as what mind is striving to be like that constitutes spirit identification. It is not so much that man is conscious of God as that man yearns for God that results in universe ascension. What you are today is not so important as what you are becoming day by day and in eternity."


 Clearly it's the process that is being valued in these passages, and our religious life should be helping us develop the tools with which to engage in the process. Once we identify with (or worse yet, build social systems upon) particular concepts, we've had it. Our identity becomes frozen in the flow of the process and we then have to devote our energies to maintaining the concept because the concept has come to embody our identity. We have to learn how to identify with the process itself -- the Supreme Being of the Urantia Papers.


 In light of the above, for anyone who is still interested enough to have read through my blather this far, I offer the following from the Lutheran theologian, Ted Peters, on the subject of "ecumenic pluralism" in his book, "God - the World's Future." While he obviously is addressing a Christian laity, I think his thoughts are applicable to our situation as well.


 Peters sets forth four essentials for interreligious dialog: "1. Each party to the dialog must have a position to put forth. There can be no real dialog if commitments to issues become blurred or lost.


 "2. There must be a genuine disposition toward openness combined with the willingness to listen sympathetically to the position being advanced by representatives of the other viewpoint. It requires in principle the openness to consider seriously the possibility that there is validity to the claims being made by our partners in dialogue. It requires a readiness to be persuaded that reality is not the way we have assumed it to be, that there is some truth for us yet to learn, and that this dialogue just may provide the time and place where our understanding will be expanded and enriched.


 "Interreligious dialog is not based on the labor-management negotiation that, although it has two parties in conversation, is strictly an adversarial debate. Labor-management negotiations are approached for the sole purpose of seeking the best interests of the side one is representing. They assume there is a finite pie of wealth and that each side wants the biggest slice it can get. There is no gain in losing.


 "Dialog, in contrast, is not adversarial. Here, ironically enough, losing could be winning. The spiritual pie is infinite in the wealth it offers the human soul. To lose -- which consists in giving up some aspect of one's position because a new and better insight has come to replace it -- results in a net gain of knowledge and understanding and perhaps even a strengthening of faith.


 "3. Genuine dialog requires the disposition of love. Openness to new possibilities requires imputing integrity at the outset to one's partner in the discussion. It also elicits a desire to make the entire conversation serve to enrich all parties involved. This issues from love. By love here I mean a genuine enjoyment of the sharing that is taking place, the hope for affirming some degree of unity, and the desire to see the other partners in the discussion edified.


 "4. The fourth condition is sufficient time and stamina to discuss matters in depth and with thoroughness. Superficial banter about forms and practices in which each side feigns interest in the trivia that plague all ethnic and religious traditions is something less than genuine dialogue. Time and energy must be given for claim and counterclaim regarding the cardinal foundations and pillars of each position to be explicated, analyzed, criticized, defended, and discussed again. Depth and thoroughness are the tools with which we mine the dialogue for its precious jewels of enrichment."


 I think these are ideals well worth attempting to reach.


 Bearing in mind that "the argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained therein" (pg 557 - thanks, Kristen) I must stop this diatribe before I invalidate my existence. I will be traveling next week but hope to keep in touch -- thanks for the pointer re: access, John.



 In the continuing quest,

31 Mar 1993   Matthew Rapaport              A call to account!

Subject: A call to account!


 I think many of you are slinging mud past one another.


 Nobody, as far as I can tell, has claimed that TMers are "off the path to God". No sincere seeker is off the path whether they be UB readers, TMers, Buddhists, or sincere Hindus (not the ones gunning down Muslims on the streets of Delhi). But being "on the path" doesn't mean you have a genuine (spiritually indited) revelation either.


 >From what I can see most of the TM arguments respecting the genuineness of the TM phenomena qua revelation seem to hinge on this evidence of greater seeking for God's will, and the encouragement to "do good", as it were "as you pass by". These are both noble goals, but they are the goals of all true spiritual seeking no matter what the philosophical or theological foundations of the path. By themselves they are not evidence of direct revelation.


 Byron states that I at least had the courage to attend a TR session. Yes, I had to go to one. I fully understand David's argument as well. If one understands the chemistry of combustion well enough, one does not have to put his hand into a fire to know that it will be hot. I went as a courtesy to Byron, and to experience the fire directly. Byron accuses me of being passive, of tuning out after about 45 minutes. Well, both statements are true. Normally I can maintain some semblance of worshipful quietness for 5 to 10 min. To have achieved it for 45 minutes was itself something of a personal accomplishment. Is Byron also saying that if one doesn't ask personal questions one doesn't experience the phenomena? I asked no personal questions of the UB, and I certainly experienced its force. I may be among only 1% of individuals who attend a TR session and come away unbelieving. To me this only illustrates the gullibility and "need to believe" of the other 99%. I don't need a TR to tell me my "spiritual name". It's QUINE ATAL, thank you very much...


 I don't believe the numbers either. For all of Byron's scholarship and investigation of the phenomena, I have not seen any investigation of those individuals who have quit the TM once having been in it. I understand there were some (at least last summer) what do they have to say?


 Once again Byron brings up the notion (without a shred of external evidence) that WW III was narrowly averted at the last hour on that day in March 1985. Byron the archives of the Kremlin have been open for a few years now. I've been listening to international news from dozens of countries for a like number of years... Not one shred of evidence (that I have heard about) has ever come forth to support this claim. It appears that the closest we ever came to nuclear war was during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Worse though, you might think at least that if that had been the case the loyal watchmen at the helm (the Vernim), would have been so informed. Even those poor souls whose rise and fall were chronicled in "When Prophecy Fails" at least received such a message as their predicted cataclysm failed to materialize.


 Finally there is the statement that this is the "evangelizing phase" of the fifth epochal revelation. Well this has been going on for almost two years now. Where is the evangelism? I remind you that:


 ...on the day of Pentecost this new teacher comes, and they go out at once to preach their gospel with new power. (p2066)


 So where are the preachers? Where is the power? Not to mistakenly believe that everyone will become a public preacher, but among the 30+ groups and perhaps 400+ (??) individuals strongly identifying with the TM, I would expect that some of them would even now be out on the streets preaching with power and conviction. Is it happening? In fact, the growth of the TM seems to have slowed considerably. There were 20+ groups last summer, and what of the non UB groups who are also being taught (the transcripts tell us) around the world? The BBC does a very nice program on religion (world wide) every week. I've listened to this program now for 6 months. I've heard nothing about an unusual increase in evangelism associated with some "new teaching" (not that this is an exhaustive source I realize, but I might expect that something would have been noticed by someone by now).




Apr 1993

1 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Prodigy Posts

Subject: Prodigy Posts


 In my counseling with others who have had this 'Spiritual Emergency'(Term expressed by Stanislas[MD] and Christina Grof) it appears that a true channel will not suggest anything that is wrong morally nor will it contradict previous work. eg The Urantia Book even though written by 24 or 36 or spiritual beings does not contradict itself, has no grammatical errors, and is consistent. Books written by the same mortal writer could not be that accurate.


 A Course in Miracles falls in that same category. The poor Bible has had so many translators and dubious authors attesting to parts of it; especially the NT that on these very boards you have people defending different editions ie translations. All of whom are carefully staying away from current exegesis studies going on. That does not make these books in error (wrong mindedness) because they cause no sin.


 But it does point out that SOME TMs may not be clear channels from the Melchizedeks or Michael. They may have a little bit right, but when you read and to know it better listen to the tapes the work taken as a whole become less than acceptable. However, some of the transcripts I've read are very sound, without error and without the TRs personal input. Matching the concepts to the UB.


 More importantly, is the Discernment of Spirits we are all going to practice until this TM movement shakes out, and the folks doing it for self-aggrandizement (Shauna's word) get bored and move on and the clear TMs settle in to a "mission" that will involve us all in the Melchizedek School. Blessings and White Light




1 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Of snow and baseball

Subject: Of snow and baseball Statements such as that on page 1204 which indicates that the Adjuster comes with "a definite and predetermined plan for the intellectual and spiritual development of their human subjects...." are very curious. I wonder if they are skilled in analogic teaching, prepared to use the circumstances of our daily lives for the creation of analogies which will help us grasp spiritual truth? This technique is implied as that which is used on Mansonia 1 in the section on the logic of mota. I also think that we, as symbolic processing machines, seem particularly designed to assimilate meaning via the mechanism of analogy. Jesus' use of parables is interesting in this regard.


 Consider the quote on 1692, "He emphasized the value of utilizing the analogy existing between the natural and the spiritual worlds as a means of teaching truth.....To reject the truth contained in parabolical analogy requires conscious intellectual action which is directly in contempt of one's honest judgment and fair decision. The parable conduces to the forcing of thought through the sense of hearing."


 I have lamented my own distancing from the natural world, existing as I do in a heavily urbanized environment. In what ways are we handicapping our Adjusters by not being more in touch with natural patterns as we would be if we grew our own food, had to take care of a variety of animals and were in general more in touch with biological life? The occasional backpacking trip or stay on the Northern California coast (Yosemite and the north coast are sacred places for us...nowhere else have I so powerfully heard the sirens of the cosmos calling me as I have in the winds that howl over the eastern escarpment of the sierras or in the waves that crash on the north coast) only serves to remind me of a vast domain of human experience and living that we are missing.


 

1 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Sara Blackstock/Patije Corresp

Subject: Sara Blackstock/Patije Correspondence


 

2 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Further Responses to Byron

Subject: Further Responses to Byron


 Hello Logondonters...


 I would appreciate it, Byron, if you would resolve the following:


 Byron in "A Raving Review":


 "The UB is the text-book! The celestials are our teachers who expound on it, helping us to bring the spirit to life from the dead words."


 "Melchizedek" in post from Fred Harris entitled "U BOOK TEACHING MSN":


 "...We have also observed the use of the teachings of the Urantia book as a method for people...to maintain a kind of thought discipline over their brothers and sisters...It [The Urantia Book] is not relevant to our mission....You do not even need to know the name of The Urantia Book."


This same "Melchizedek" says in one paragraph "While we are always willing in the teacher mission to speak reverently of Michael and his role, the simple fact is that the mention of the life and death of the man proves a barrier." This in itself is enough to indicate to any sincere reader of the UB that something is seriously wrong here, but the transcript goes on to quote the same "Melchizedek" a few lines later as exhorting people to deal "...wholeheartedly and openly with your brothers and sisters of the material life whenever and however you encounter them as if Jesus of Nazareth was standing by your side and by your every thought, word and deed indicating that you understand the full import of his teachings..."


 Come on, Byron, I have better things to do with my time than to read through reams of this pap to convince you of my "objectivity".


 I am far more sympathetic today with the TM as a result of having read the personal testimonials and ideas of Michael M. and Peter F. hereon posted, as well as arguments presented by our own Dr. Elliott, Ron D., Jerry M, and others, and these are your "low standard of tertiary sources"?


 The same logic and rationale needed to integrate the above divergences into an integrated conceptual whole is identical to the fallacious patterns of reasoning which permeate your "raging review". I suggest you seriously look at your own motivations, purposes and social needs for an understanding of where you stand today on these issues.


 I also was sorry to see you badmouthing Berkeley Elliott, a person who has loved you and spoken highly of you to me for many years. Berkeley has maintained the most extensive archive of TM transcripts that I know of. She archives every one she can get and has made an aggressive effort to keep current with what is being published. I thought she would be a good source for information. It is you, who appears to want to limit my reading to certain orthodox transcripts from approved sources.


 My purpose in participating in this forum has not been to change anyone's position. My purpose is to share with the folks hereon, the experience of getting to know God and trying to make sense of what that experience means and implies for our human existence. I think this can only be done by clearly stating who I am as a person, listening to others reveal who they are, and then enjoying the sometimes heated dialectic which results from the differences. It seems to me that our common spiritual striving should equip us with the skills and abilities to engage in this process of exploration to a significant degree of depth by helping us keep in check those psychological and emotional elements which tend to destroy such opportunities for dialog. I know I have been challenged in this regard on this forum and I love it. I have never encountered such a powerful stimulus to organize, strengthen and manage my mind, as well as to strive for increasingly better levels of integrity in the ideas I share. This process cannot take place without the commitment to spiritual values which are shared by participants hereon, the sense that we're all in this together, and the unspoken recognition of the fact that we're going to be traveling together for quite some time. The process can also be easily destroyed by anyone who enters into such a group environment with an agenda for manipulating the opinions of individuals or the group.


 Byron, the best I can do is to remain your understanding brother; I have been where you now stand, and at the time defended my position as vigorously and irrationally as you now do. You can only proceed forward and I continue to offer you the hand of friendship as you do so.


 


2 Apr 1993     Ron Darby       Psycology and the New Age 

Subject: Psycology and the New Age


 Greetings Logondonters,


 I again wish to express my appreciation for each of you being here. The raw talent and tremendous energy that some of you have displayed and expended in these discussions is amazing. Observation and occasional contribution in this forum have become an important part of my daily life.


 This week, however, an incident occurred on Prodigy that has really put me into a sort of funk. In brief, a long time UB reader personally attacked a TM poster with terms like charlatan, liar, etc. It really took me by surprise. I am coming to realize that, in many ways, us UB readers have personal religions that are often very different from one another. It seems that just because two of us look to the same source, the UB, doesn't mean that one of us can assume that the other understands the same way we do. This might be elementary, but the realization hit me pretty hard this week.


 As I have stated before, I have personally gained much benefit from reading transcripts. I have exclusively concentrated on that to which my heart has responded. The supposed source has never seemed important. The TM (Teaching Mission) itself, has never seemed important. I have never quite understood what all the commotion was about. If I were left to my own inclinations, all of this discussion _about_ the TM would have never occurred. We would have been discussing those parts of the transcripts that struck a spiritual cord. I wouldn't have even been that interested in the teachers, per say.


 It seems, however, that I am in the minority. So many others seem to be exclusively interested in the TM phenomenon/delusion/hoax itself. Just yesterday I realized that this is almost as true of the TM proponents as of the opponents. Now that disturbs me. Why are the proponents so interested in convincing others of the validity of their experience? I can understand how someone who isn't quite sure of the validity of their experience wanting validation from others; but that isn't the case with many TM'rs who are out pushing the TM.


 I was very interested in the post from Sara Blackstock. I must confess that I am one who knows absolutely _nothing_ of group psychology, much less the other branches of mass psychology that she mentioned. I would be very interested if a thread of discussion along this line were to occur. It would be particularly good if someone were able and willing to post a synopsis of these concepts much like Jim McNeely has often done on Prodigy about various nebulous UB subjects.


 Sara has raised an issue in my mind that must now be addressed and I would very much appreciate all the help anyone is willing to give.


 It occurs to me that the field of psychology may be just as relevant to the study of New Age Religious Experience as the field of theology has been to the more authoritarian institutionalized religions of the past. For instance, about a month ago, again on Prodigy, there was a thread talking about anger. A quick search with Folio revealed that the UB basically considers anger to be spirit poison. I posted a question asking for discussion of how the UB's position on anger squares with modern psychology's position of expressing anger. The question still awaits discussion.


 A paragraph in one of David's recent posts struck that resonance in my heart with that same truth-certainty that comes from many unrelated places. I think it bears repeating and I couldn't agree more enthusiastically.


 ==] From David Kantor [==


 My purpose in participating in this forum has not been to change anyone's position. My purpose is to share with the folks hereon, the experience of getting to know God and trying to make sense of what that experience means and implies for our human existence. I think this can only be done by clearly stating who I am as a person, listening to others reveal who they are, and then enjoying the sometimes heated dialectic which results from the differences. It seems to me that our common spiritual strivings should equip us with the skills and abilities to engage in this process of exploration to a significant degree of depth by helping us keep in check those psychological and emotional elements which tend to destroy such opportunities for dialog. I know I have been challenged in this regard on this forum and I love it. I have never encountered such a powerful stimulus to organize, strengthen and manage my mind, as well as to strive for increasingly better levels of integrity in the ideas I share. This process cannot take place without the commitment to spiritual values which are shared by participants hereon, the sense that we're all in this together, and the unspoken recognition of the fact that we're going to be traveling together for quite some time. The process can also be easily destroyed by anyone who enters into such a group environment with an agenda for manipulating the opinions of individuals or the group.


 ----------------------------------------------------------------


 In brotherhood,

2 Apr 1993     David H. Larsen    The hornet's nest

Subject: The hornet's nest


 With regard to the specific issue of fearing the TM, and the possible deliterious influence it may have on spiritual seekers, may I offer another point of view? A few days ago, in response to Peter Ferguson's query, I offered a biosketch of my personal spiritual journey, and the role the UB has played in my development of faith in God. I made reference to a point in my life when I experienced a loss of faith during my involvement in a fundamentalist Christian sect. However, I failed to include a rather important event which preceded this spiritual emergency. As is typically true of fundamental Christianity, the Bible Presbyterian Church focused much energy on warning its adherents to fear the devil's snares. So much was made of Satan's power to corrupt the unsuspecting, that very little energy was left over for celebration of life within Christ's teachings. I well remember the liberation I felt when I rejected this preoccupation with devil-fear; it was I think, the true beginning of the spiritual journey which I continue to follow. I recall at the time being aware that, although I didn't know how I knew it, I was utterly confident that the devil was a mythology, and that the presence of evil in the world was the result of incorrect human choices, and not satanic influence. When I knew this, I also knew that I had a responsibility to live an ethical life; to make choices that were healthy and prudent, and to respect the welfare of my fellow human beings; to first do them no harm, and second to do them them good if I could and as I understood it.


 This realization was crucial to my spiritual development, to the extent that it relieved me of all fear in relation to spiritual inquiry. It allowed me to understand that in the absence of satanic snares, I could make no false step in my journey toward God; that every lead could be followed, every door opened, every book examined. The absence of fear becomes the foundation of critical judgement. "By their fruits you shall know them," he said in the NT. Granted, some of the stops along the way were less productive than others; some were not productive at all. But it was all part of the process of separating the wheat from the chaff.


 So it must be I think, with the TM. There is nothing to fear. The TM is either a further offering of truth, or it is not. Those to whom it appeals should examine it - taste its' fruit. If it is good, eat it. If not, choose something else. But always maintain faith that God's domain is vast, and that on every hand s/he offers us proof that our quest is not in vain. For me, the UB was waiting at the end of my journey, and what a joy it was to receive it. However, just as I did not allow fear of satanic influence to become an icon or false idol, neither will I allow the UB to become so. It is after all, merely a description of the Universe and of God's presence in it. It is not the Universe, and it is not God. And so the journey continues.


 The TM is another way station; the time I spend reading the Welmek files that Michael M. was kind enough to send me, will either be time well spent or time wasted. But I apparently have a lot of time.


 For me, the most important task is to further learn to live without fear.


 To all of you who choose to share the story of your journey, and especially to you David K., who shares so much of your spiritual pain and who expends so much effort to spare others from needless suffering, my heartfelt thanks.



 Pray for Peace; Work for Non-Violence.

3 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Mighty Men

Subject: Mighty Men TO: CONNIE SMITH (STGD31A) FROM: JIM MCNELLY (HFBB22A) SUBJECT: U BOOK TEACHING MSN


 Hi Connie. I am glad you dropped in on the TM group. I think that is is healthy for you where you are right now. About the channeling. I don't think there is any channeling going on in the sense that there are messages coming to anyone that they are the voice or host for. What I believe the process is is a reflective prayer life of active questioning that uses an alter-ego concept to direct the inner dialogue through. The answers are drawn from the sub and superconsciousness to the extent that the questions were of a high or low value. The sincerity and desire of the person experiencing the soul reflectivity directly impacts the experience of the questioner. The process takes on a tone, or character as the person or group asking the questions becomes better at the process. The divine spirit within, the angels of appointment, and the evolving soul itself are sufficient to explain the TM and channeling process. The words and symbols are all beneficial in soul growth and are the beginning steps of morontia, or soul classes. Every person will eventually be required to develop a method of achieving a stillness with the creator, a method of asking questions within a spirit framework, and the ability to answer questions from a spirit perspective. I avoid the question of belief that the process is actual contact with spirit beings. To me, that belief gets in the way of the insight and the soul growth process. It focuses on the belief "about" the process rather than affirming the process itself. I do not want my spirit life to be dependent on upon the validity of the spirit name or supposed identity. I judge the experience and the truth. To me, these names are irrelevant. Ham, Melchizedek, Seth, Sananda, Saint Germain, Will, or any of them. To me, even the names of the authors in the Urantia Book are irrelevant. It is not important or necessary to believe that a Divine Counselor, Midwayers, or whether any of those beings actually wrote the book. The authority is not from them or their credentials. The authority and truth of the Urantia Book came from within, from the Father himself who sonshipped me. Inner validation is the only security I care for. Whatever symbols the Father chooses to use to reach those seeking him are fine by me, and whatever names and symbols that people use to foster their growing faith are also fine. I see no deception here. Just emerging faith. Anything good can be turned to evil purposes and anything evil can be made good. There is no place for mockery or judgement of another's religious experience. If anything troubles me, it is the vehement and strident rejection of other's religious symbols that is so hard to understand.


 I say let your mind relax and float downstream. Is it not dying? Turn off your mind and surrender to the void. Is it not beginning. George Harrison Jim~~~


 

3 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Letter from Ted Blaney

Subject: Letter from Ted Blaney Ted L. Blaney 3/30/93 There were a few characterizations of the TM that I would like to present my viewpoint on. I remember the first time I found the Urantia Book and how I struggled so to discern it's message and whether or not it was true. I had no trouble embracing parts of it for it's truth seem self-evident but other parts were strange to me and were a real struggle. I was not about to just except it "hook-line and sinker " just because I knew some parts were true. The bigger problem I struggled with early in my study of the Urantia Book was how I knew truth at all. This was not an easy process for me for I was rather skeptical by nature, but I struggled on. Progress was more rapid once I realized that the bestowal of the spirit of truth and the thought adjuster made it possible to know truth. Over time things fell into place until one day I realize there was very little of the Urantia Book that I still questioned and struggled with. At some point not to long after that I excepted the remaining teachings of the Urantia Book without further struggle to validate these within my own mind via the spirit of truth. Perhaps I began to think the quest was over, that I had more than enough answers for this life time and then some to come., and that all I had to do was compare everything to the teachings of the Urantia Book and not struggle so within my mind for answers. Now I look back and think that perhaps that period of struggle was a period that more truly energized soul growth and that this process of comparing all things to the teachings of the Urantia Book is a poor substitute. It is an intellectual comparison and not a struggle for validation giving the tools that our Father provided. Decisions, decisions, and more decisions is simulative of spiritual growth but it seems to me that the process by which we make these decisions is very important as well. If all I did to make decisions was to flip a coin, than I ask how much growth can proceed from that. Or if I have some reference book be it the Urantia Book or the Bible or any other source that one wants to trust explicitly and all I have to do is consult the reference when I am in need of a decision then I would say that this provides some opportunity for spiritual growth but it still is far from the way Jesus lived his life and made his decisions. He relied solely on his faith in his Father and the same indwelling spiritual guidance that is provided us all. And Jesus asked his followers to follow the same practice. The Urantia Book is not a reference to make our decisions by so much as a reference that teaches how we should go about making decisions and living out these decisions in our life. I find the TM groups to be even more diverse cross-section of humanity than typical Urantia Book Study Groups. Some have a difficult time understanding the cosmological concepts in the Urantia Book but this is no deterrent to their quest to experience all the spiritual parameters of life that are possible. Our group quickly grow to more than double its previous size and much to my surprise (in spite of the greater diversity, larger size and short time frame) we have truly grown very close to one another. The warmth and love shared in this group is a revelation and an inspiration to me. The transcripts that you may read capture little of this attribute. I think it was David that said that the TM approach provided an authoritarian attitude and that the participants like to drop names to fortify this attitude. There is some truth to this for this sounds a lot like human nature to me and we are told we are still quite immature. However, this is not the attitude or desire of the spirit teachers themselves. Their attitude as I perceive it has been that the source of the message is not really important (although they often try to satisfy our curiosity about this). Our ability to recognize the truth of any statement, no matter what its source is what is important, and in this we can rely on the spirit of truth and our seeking the guidance of the thought adjuster. They certainly do not encourage us to drop names but are tolerant of this and many other basically human habits. The TM participants should not take on an authoritarian attitude and in my experience most do not. People react differently to this process but I perceive it has caused me to be more humble. These messages are not infallible. Mistakes are made but we are told that any significant mistakes will be corrected. However some that others perceive as mistakes (as judged by some of the deeper expressions of the Urantia Book) are merely simpler expressions to answer a personal question by someone not versed in the Urantia Book teachings and not yet ready for a more complete answer. (Do you recall that Jesus taught on many levels, tailoring His expressions to the recipient and their readiness for truth.) This of course is not easy to understand from the transcripts but is more apparent if you truly know those who are asking the questions. It takes the same critical analysis of these messages as it does of any other supposed source of truth. Perhaps you no longer apply that same energy of analysis to the Urantia Book Teachings as when you first found the Book but perhaps we should not let this skill go dormant. These messages contain much truth, and some errors so it is a good place to practice our skills of sorting our truth from error. Some would say that those who participate are just looking for easy answers. But I do not find that to be so. There are not any easy answers in this. First the teachers often do not answer our questions directly or completely. Often they redirect the question out to the group to struggle with first, as well they should for there is much to be learned from each other and it draws us closer together. And struggle we do with trying to express in our own words our answers to questions like; what is faith and how do you use it to grow? And anyone who has done the work of transcribing the tapes is struck by the big difference in the struggle of the group members trying to express themselves and the almost effortless expression of an experienced T/R. Admittedly a beginning T/R does often struggle some to perceive the message. I have observed the techniques of the teachers and I know I have much to learn. There are not authoritarian teachers. I would have turned off long ago if they were, for I have a particular dislike for authoritarian teachers after the style of some of my lesser high school teachers. No, there is a loving dialog that goes on that endears most everyone to their method of leading us to a better understanding. So many things are discernible in a personal experience with the group that are not obtainable from the transcripts. The transcripts are primarily used for review and as reminder of the experience by those who were present. I think it was David who presented the view that the ego does not like the diversity of rational thinking and spiritual perception together and tends to push for one over the other. But I would say that the Ego is not what we should be recognizing as the proper seat or center of our being. And the seat/center of our being(soul, personality/indwelling spirit) is able to integrate diverse and opposing realities in tension into a proper balance. Note how much is said about the beautiful balance in Jesus's life in the Urantia Book. We are not to abandon our rational mind nor forgo our spiritual perceptions in whatever form that is available to us. We should be integrating these into a beautiful balance. It is not easy, but that is no reason not to try. There is always a danger that the rapid influx of spiritual perception might tend to blind/ overwhelm/upset the balance but in conjunction with frequent and sincere prayer and worship the balance can be maintained and even improved. I do not consider the messages to be a new revelation of intellectual concepts at all. Nearly all of it can be found in the Urantia Book and other great sources. But the differences is that we are being called to action in a unique way that requires our faith anew. It is because this is a strange new way, not a familiar way, that our faith and all the tools God has given us, are needed to determine if this call to gather and prepare for the beginning of a teaching mission to all this world is for real, or a false lead as many claim. It is not an easy test. I decided not to reach a decision without personal experience. My experience to date reminds me of the ups and downs that I read about of the apostles experience in the Urantia Book. Some days I am high with hope, anticipation the feelings of love, enthusiasm and confidence etc. and a few days later I re-struggle with the entertainment of doubts. But as time goes on I seem to be slowly gaining in faith and the fruits of the spirit. Of course, I am not sure because I am not a good one to judge this in myself. But I have no trouble seeing it in others. I have heard some criticism of the claim that the spiritual growth of the participants is being accelerated. Some view this as dangerous and not according to the teachings of the Urantia Book. But I am sure we could find many stories in the Urantia Book where just an encounter with Jesus or one of the apostles or disciples started a growth process that within a couple years or less provided mighty teachers of the gospel. I will cite one story, the story of Josiah the blind beggar that Jesus chose for healing on the Sabbath to get the attention of the Sanhedrin during the feast of dedication. Josiah had very little faith and little knowledge of Jesus teachings. But Jesus elicited what little faith he had via mysterious symbols of spittle, clay and the pool of Siloam. His sight was restored followed by a series of challenges from the Sanhedrin. Josiah told the story simply and truthfully and when challenged he defended this truth with courage, even stand up on a stool and shouted to them the message of truth as he became aware of it in his mind. Jesus sought him out afterwards and tested his new found faith once more by asking him "Josiah do you believe in the Son of God?" And once he made the connection Josiah said, "Lord I believe, " and falling down he worshiped. Jesus invited him to join them and he became a life long preacher of the gospel of the kingdom. Now I would cite this as rapid spiritual growth. His path was turned from a blind beggar in the streets to a life long preacher by responding with what faith and courage he had to the unique unfolding of a single days events. Albeit he had the help of the universe creator, but then don't we all if we just have the faith to realize it. The fourth epochal revelation unfolds in a series of stages or phases and I would expect the fifth to follow a similar pattern of which the Urantia Book is just the first or preliminary stage. So what is the second phase, third phase, fourth phase like to look like? The Urantia Book might provide some hints but not a specific description. It does provide a description of the early stages of light and life which is our next major goal. The T/R messages give us a few more hints but for the most part to all of our directed questions we are told to be patient that we will be told more as the time draws near and as we have a need to know. I hypothesize that the second phase is starting and it appears to me that there is a reaching out to all spiritually progressive people of this planet and not just readers of the Urantia Book. This unusually method of reaching out requires faith anew. The beginning lessons seem to many remedial but are truly the basics of spiritual growth. Is this growth being accelerated as many are told.? It appears to me that it can precede as fast as we can muster faith, and put forth intelligent effort. At this point the work is concentrating on personal growth and group growth. By group growth I mean the drawing together of a diverse group of humans and uniting them with love, service, cooperation and the mystery of a largely undisclosed mission. So what will happen next? We are told that we will be given the opportunity to see the materialization (morontia form) of a Melchizedek and if we do I anticipate this will initiate the next phase which I project will be characterized by:. 1. Enthusiasm and inspiration that will be a real challenge for us humans to intelligently control. 2. Rapid expansion of teaching/learning groups (probably a wide variation in the format) across the country and around the world and the integration of these groups into an effective network (this is already starting). 3. Human outreach and ministry to those which the angels and teachers shepherd to our presence. 4. We are told that after the first Melchizedek materialization that we will be able to see the spirit teachers if we so desire. If so this will fortify our cooperative brotherly relationship with these unseen friends and inspire faith, devotion and zeal to the mission at hand. 5. We are told that the Melchizedeks will set up schools for advanced training of teachers for the subsequent phases of this mission. My understanding is that entrance will be by invitation, perhaps akin to the selection of the seventy ( Urantia Book P 1801), and I would not anticipate any shortage of volunteers. 6. I expect that as this evolves that there will be a core dedicated to healing as well as teaching, preaching, and other ministries. Even now many who have a strong interest in healing are gathering, learning and practicing the improvement of their knowledge and skills . (I probably would not have mentioned this had I not been a recent recipient of their ministry.) So what is the timing of all this? I perceive that there is a master plan of which we are aware of but a very small part. This plan is not laid out to our scale of time keeping. My impression is planning is different from the way we do things. My best concept is that one event follows another when the conditions are ready and not according to a clock. Since we are a major part of this plan and our free will must be fully respected these series of events are most difficult to translate to our time scale. So much caution is used in putting any time frame around any future events unless they are very close and very predictable. But we are encouraged from frequent asides that things are often preceding much more rapidly than originally projected. The materialization of the first Melchizedek has been set for April 24th. I anticipate one or more to follow, each rapidly growing in size until the danger of over stimulation is evident. But I also expect that such future events will largely depend upon how well we handle the first one. Much is being done to prepare us for this to be a positive and inspiring event but many will still not be adequately prepared. I am beginning to look forward to the materialization of the Melchizedek on April 24th for this will bring to a close, in a certain sense, this struggle of faith and doubt. If the materialization does not occur then I will return to a more traditional lifestyle and look for another opportunity to join some promising action to resurrect this old beloved planet of ours from the depths of despair. But I am reasonably confident that this elusive mission is for real and that a Melchizedek will show up for reasons similar to why Jesus wanted the apostles to witness Gabriel and Father Melchizedek appear to him on Mt Hermon. And if this does happen I am sure that you can realize that there will be no turning back. It seems to me that those who dismiss it out of hand are not taking a very close look. It seems to me that many readers of the Urantia Book are convinced that they alone will some how led the coming spiritual "revelation" that this planet so desperately needs. It is true that they have the cosmic perspective and the intellectual understanding of what needs to be done. But I am beginning to think that what is missing is how to get started right. The view of many is that the brightest minds of the Urantia Book readership must somehow unite and provide the leadership for all. It is also human nature to want to control our environment for oneself and others. But every time this seems to be coming together something major threatens to break it apart and many get frustrated again. The TM phenomena is so threatening to some for it looks like it is another way to divide honest efforts of Urantia Book readers to provide leadership or is it perhaps to fracture the efforts of human control. Perhaps the difficulties that we have experience with the downfall of FOG or the Urantia Foundation is that unrepresentative groups use typical human techniques such as intellectual condescension or legal pressure to exert influence and control. But I wish to pose a question for all of you to think about and reply to with your best perceptions. Answer from your heart as well as your head. If Christ Michael was to personally come to this planet with the purpose of spreading the current revelations to all the world how would he start this mission. (Don't misunderstand the reason I used Christ Michael in this question; I am not suggesting that he is personally involved in the TM mission but he is the leader of this local universe and he has had personal experience with this planet and with initiating the 4th epochal revelation.) He alone would we all trust to provide the best direction. I will lead off by giving a partial answer of my perspective and I will leave plenty for the rest of you to contribute. Perhaps we will discover some major differences in our perspective which would shed light on how we can see the TM phenomena so differently. One of the things that struck me oddly when I first read the Urantia Book, and then I later slowly began to discern the wisdom of Jesus approach to starting the 4th Mission, was his choice of a wide selection of common men to be his disciples (including the Alpheus twins). Now I would have been inclined to selected from among the best minds available for this core group but he did not. I was also struck that when he began to send out the disciples to teach he sent them not to the educated, the wealthy or the influential to gain their support but to the common labors as well as the sick, the poor and the downcast. Jesus was not building an organization of power or influence in the way men build such organization but he was received into the hearts of humans who hungered for something better. Of course some intellectuals were drawn to his message as well as some of wealth, power or influence but these traditional human forms of prestige were not in any way favored in this newly forming kingdom among men. The Greek philosophers did add their knowledge to these newly forming groups but they did not provide the main driving force to the winning of new hearts to the kingdom. With this in mind I would expect the next, the spreading of the 5th epochal revelation should have many of the same characteristics as the fourth. I do not think that we have learned the 4th epochal revelation yet, which is why I think it was restated in the 5th. And even though we have read and understand the fifth, few have truly mastered the message of the 4th. Oh we all recognize God the Father as the source and center of all things but do we truly experience His love in our lives daily? Are we able to express this love to ALL our brothers and sisters in our daily lives or do we still prefer not to associate with some for reasons that we would be embarrassed to state to Jesus? Can we forgive our brothers easily of their transgressions or do we still find ourselves angry or upset over these differences in our expectations of each other? Do we still harbor resentments? Do we still see the negative more easily in any situation than the positives, the differences more easily than the views we hold in common? Do we seek the motives of our brothers and sisters or do their actions still speak louder? Do we still judge others at all, let alone try and understand their circumstances and motives? Have we learned to truly love even those that are much different than ourselves and do we see the see the light of God within those who are against us for any reason and sincerely pray for their guidance and welfare? Do we have faith that surmounts all the difficulties of these troubling times? Is our mind at peace? I can not answer in the affirmative to many of these and so I would not be surprised if the 5th mission will start out as a remedial course so that we have a chance to master many of the things revealed in the 4th revelation that we are trying to skip over. My view is that when we have mastered these things and more then we will be ready to participate as teachers of the 5th mission. I was once told by my mentor, after expressing admiration for the intellectual mastery of some of the Urantia Book readers that; "The world is full of bright intellects, but men who's hearts are filled with goodness are hard to find." Are we balanced as Jesus was balanced or do we have to open our hearts, to revelation of beauty and goodness, as well as our minds to truth. Please add what you think, and feel, are the characteristics that are needed to start the spreading of the fifth epochal revelation.



4 Apr 1993     Byron Belitsos      Reply to David

Subject: Reply to David


 Dear cyberdonters and brother David,


 As you can see, I felt it was time for honesty and directness in my response to what seemed unfair assertions being made about the TM herein. The result was my 'rave' review of David's denunciations of the TM, in which I blasted David with some sense of 'righteous indignation', (if that be the appropriate phrase). I acknowledge that the tone of this piece may have temporarily set back the dialogue. Yet, it is my hope that this sharing of deepest feelings will eventually enable a leap forward in this dialogue by showing my own willingness (to quote Apostle Paul) to "speak truth in love" -- as many others have exhibited here as well. I must take responsibility for where I have missed the mark, for it is not mere honesty, but rather "enlightened honesty", which is a fruit of the spirit.


 David I know that you too are motivated by love, and the desire to speak your truth, and you do so most eloquently. You are manifesting a love for your fellows who you fear are traveling down a dangerous and deluded path that you believe you once traversed. This desire to share hard-won wisdom with the community is an admirable sentiment indeed. You have gone to the wall for your beliefs and for the sake of the revelation, and you have paid a price greater than any of us in your personal life as a result of your service. I do not take these things lightly, I assure you.


 I have shown my willingness to be open to you and give your point of view a fair hearing. For example, I was willing, at my own expense, to travel to San Francisco to share with you and your colleagues my perceptions of the TM while listening to yours. There I watched in surprise as you began to mount your extreme position, one that leaves little room for the possibility of the legitimacy of the opponents' views; still, while on the panel, I extended my hand in friendship, stating my willingness to dialogue with you and your fellow ex-FOGers at any level. I believe that I was also the only one on the "TM side" to thank you publicly for your work at FOG, and to acknowledge the heroism you displayed in bearing the difficulties you have been through.


 In the first issue of LORE, I went on to praise your essay on revelatory processes, even given its vigorous attack on my own position. In this I was trying to create a sense of collegiality among opposing sides in the search for truth.


 And, in deference to the vulnerable feelings you shared in your online response to LORE (where I called upon you and Sarah to disclose more information about your "midwayer contacts"), I dropped the entire subject, yielding to your stated (and certainly legitimate) desire for privacy.


 With regard to LORE, I have intentionally designed it as a light and open-hearted news journal that leaves takes a non-threatening position toward the opposition and a comical and sometimes ironic stance towards its own claims.


 I thereupon watched in amazement as you indulged the luxury to mount one broadside after another at the TM position. Need I quote from this public record, friends? It is there for all to see. This ridicule has gone on concurrent with what I consider to be unfair actions by others across the country in the "TM opposition". For example, while you were labeling us pathological, ex-Brotherhood president Dave Elders's Connecticut Urantia society announced a forum on channeling in which his Society was willing to offer a public platform to Ernest Moyers, Caligastia's very own nemesis. Meanwhile, Berkeley Elliott, who is my dear friend despite our endless disagreements on Urantian politics, was using her powerful position to hold forth against the TM at every turn. Yet in speaking with many of these people, I find their willingness to research their position in the field to be minimal, while their willingness to leap to premature conclusions about the serious matter of the TM -- based all-too-often on the misunderstood FOG experience -- to be maximal. I far prefer the position of a Marvin Gawryn, (David's former FOG colleague), who says he is unsure and still searching for answers, to one who leaves almost no possibility for his opponents to exist conceptually, and who publicly characterizes the sincere presentations of his colleagues to be "reams of pap" not worthy of his time.


 Meanwhile, important changes were also occurring in my personal relation to the Mission. I am now at liberty to disclose that my own best friend here in Oklahoma experienced contact with teachers during this period, beginning in mid-February. The other TR in our local group, because of her fear of misunderstanding of her motives by Berkeley and others, remains anonymous and "underground". While you David were calling the TM "an idea that is absolutely without integrity", I watched as my closest friend became proficient at transmitting Josephine, Zion, Tomeray, and my own personal teacher, RondEL. I have been in several sessions in which the two TRs have concurrently received the same words and impressions from our teachers, presenting wise and loving teachings to our small group of four. I am also close to the other person transmitting, and I can testify that these two are reasonably normal and psychologically sound people, much like the other 15 or so TRs I have met or spoken to. I can see no motivation for their transmissions other than a desire to serve the community and grow as individuals.


 If my directness and occasional vehemence surprised any of you, you should know that these emotions are based on a close-to-home sense of defensiveness and desire to protect two dear friends of mine, among other things. Both are innocents; both, as relatively new readers, are well outside the desire to gain some kind of controlling influence on others in the movement. Yet both are about to enter the harsh environment of misunderstanding and even ridicule that I see foreshadowed here on Urantial. Our teacher Josephine recently critiqued our culture as one quite unwilling to accept our emotions as they are; this squares with my own reading of human psychology, and accordingly, I declare that the human side of me has found it to be most exasperating to meet with such opposition as we TMers have seen from our own friends and colleagues. For example, not one of my close friends in California, where I lived for over ten years before coming here, have supported my in my stand in favor of the TM.


 Further, I must honestly state that it was a disturbing experience to come into work each day, facing the stressful situation of a start-up company, and instead of meeting a collegial and reasonably agreeable group of online brothers, I had to almost daily endure these attacks, some from Matthew and more from David. What was most frustrating was that I have almost no time to reply. So it just rolled on, though the critique has at least been met well on some points by such eloquent writers as Michael and Leo.


 Thank you to David Larsen for reminding us of the issues men deal with regarding healthy expression of rage and anger. My relationships have certainly suffered from my difficulties with managing anger; this is one reason why I joined a men's group and have undergone years of therapy. Yet I don't think that errors in the means of presenting a position necessarily invalidate the truth or logic of that position. In the realm of religion, prophets and truth-tellers are often rejected for their lack of good style or politeness.


 I should also say that I too am vulnerable, and my feelings are hurt when I am repeatedly characterized as shallow and deluded by one with whom I believe I have been charitable and fair-minded.


 Of course, these feelings are "all-to-human", for they reveal that I have tied up my own identity with my ideas and positions. I would like to think that if the Teachers withdrew from Urantia, transmitting to Michael a collective "beam me up" request in despair over our incorrigible ways, that I would recover quickly and move on with my life with little or no change in my psychology. In this I admire the position taken by Jim McNelly as one that is psychologically healthy -- one in which he "owns" the phenomenon occurring. I do not mean to say here that I waiver in my stand on the TM, but only that I hope to be detached enough to be equal to the misunderstanding and likely persecution that will occur when the TM's evangelizing phase begins -- and to be able to find that place of impregnability to the outrageous slings and arrows that are the result of living in a confused world so recently lifted from the last vestiges of the devastating rule of Caligastia.


 I admitted in my "rave' that impatience is a trait I am trying to master. I air this in public, hoping that others will go deeper in sharing such feelings, thereby balancing the overly cerebral and "male-dominated" proceedings sometimes witnessed herein.


 What I most intended to do David was to mirror back to you your own energy, to meet you on your own terms, to begin the intellectual critique of your assumptions. This critique has still not been answered, aside from ad hominem arguments, a few of which I may have called down upon myself. My primary motivation, since you asked, was "tough love" for a brother who is tragically "hard-coating" an extreme position, one that will be difficult to undo when the day comes that the truth of the TM will be as obvious to you as it is to me today. As exasperating as this may sound today, I believe that you will one day thank me for taking a strong stand against your mistakes in perception when there was still time to change.


 Yet, what does it matter, in the final analysis, as to who is right and who is wrong? We are one under the banner of our leader Michael; we are all treading our own truth-path, and we are all in just the right place we need to be for our growth. I extend my hand in friendship and tolerance to my opponents even as we muster the courage to continue as one brotherhood in search of the living truth.

5 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Touching

Subject: Touching


 So perhaps we are a culture accurately critiqued by Byron's unseen teacher as being "one quite unwilling to accept our emotions as they are." I would only add the caveat that Michael Ventura describes that "when somebody says, 'I trust my feelings,' they don't know that what they're trusting isn't really all theirs, isn't their own invention or possession, but is instead part of a collective history, part of how they've been conditioned to respond by forces way out of their control that go a long way back." And of course, the UB itself (another one of those millions and millions of books) has Jesus cautioning us against over- or complete-reliance on _just_ feelings, or _just_ thoughts, preferring instead, the approach of or appeal to the spirit in man, in our efforts to connect, to touch.


 So now we have this curious phenomenon of folks claiming their minds are being "touched" in some peculiar ways, such that the words they speak when they are in these "touch-feely-thinky" spaces, are not really "their own" but part of some new planetary-spiritual interface; and these folks developing quite a rap as being, in the eyes of others, merely "touched," in the older sense of that term.


 It occurs to me that what we have spoken of here as "literalism" (as regards interpretation of religious "revealed" scriptures, scientifically "proven" theories, etc.) might be described as the human desire to touch words, to "embrace" them, to "hold" them, to "pass them on" to others, "inviolate," in their "unadulterated" form, as if, by speaking or writing these sacred words or teachings in some "sordid" manner, we would be "desecrating" or "de-sacralizing" these holy words.


 Hillman speculates that the story of Abraham in the Old Testament was about man learning to grow out of this "literal" faith in God, that man had to be willing to take God "at his word" so literally for so long that he was willing to even sacrifice his firstborn son in order to prevent the possible re-interpretation: "In other words, killing the child is the maintenance of literalism -- is the equivalent of literalism -- on the language level. That's why you have to kill the son, because the son is the second interpretation, he generates it further, so you've gotta kill that, if you're a literalist, a 'fundy.'"


 All of a sudden, the efforts of the Sadlers and the Meyers of the Urantia Foundation to kill off, via copyright and trademark litigation, the burgeoning market for "secondary works" as well as "secondary organizations" has taken on a bit more of a mythic overlay. The same with the efforts now of Ken Wapnick and the Foundation for Inner Peace to do the same thing with the Course in Miracles.


 It occurs to me that much of the heat generated in our discussions of the alleged Teaching Mission have had to do with whether or not it was _literally_ what it says it was/is.


 Michael Ventura speculates, again off the Abraham story, that "At the same time there's the demand: 'I'm not going to tell you "Don't take me literally" until you've travelled three days with this intent and you're on the mountain and you're holding the knife.' You have to live with this intent for as long as Jesus was in the tomb, you have to _really know what it means_ to take God literally, before he turns around and says, "Don't take me so literally.""


 I happen to have been one of those overly-conscientious souls that the UB mentions who used to worry and fret about the teensiest of details, a trait greatly empowered by the detailed dogma of the Catholic church. I was a literalist, even before I had sex to worry about. I tested God at about age seven or eight, as I recall, by reciting a litany of "sh*t-d*mn-h*lls" under my bedcovers for a period of weeks, to see if I would indeed incur the wrath spoken of by the good Ursuline nuns. I remember asking Fr. Dalton in the confessional about what would happen if I accidentally called one of my playmates a "fool" or said he looked "foolish" on the playground -- would the fires of Gehenna be my sure reward?


 So I consider myself to have had a pretty fair dose of "really knowing what it means to take God literally" -- fear, anxiety, guilt, neuroses, etc. However, like the tinsmiths at Oz, the wizards of the Church were good at repairing all my literal infractions, such that the more I thought (impurely) and the more I behaved (indecently), the more they were able to turn me into a good little (heartless) moral robot.


 It would seem to me that any who have bought gold and guns and gone underground into a bomb shelter, on what they interpreted to be "God's word", would also have a fair idea of "really knowing what it means to take God literally." I don't mean to become too irreverent in the midst of all these "serious" discussions, for as Byron points out in his comment on the platform that Ernest Moyer was afforded in the Connecticut Society meeting, there are UB-literalists out there still, but I am left with the notion of God-as-aging-vaudeville comedian, a la George Burns, wondering when are we going to "get it," get the joke, that we, not he, keep pulling the wool over our own eyes by trying to pull each other off the stage with the hook of our literal beliefs.


 I'd like to think that just the languaging of the UB, along with the languaging of all humans, of all teachers, seen and unseen, could be made available, in electronic-miniaturized perpetuity, for the benefit of all language groupings, such that we could, as individuals, make our own choices about which language we felt touched by, and which not, without the need to burn libraries, or each other, in the process. What seems all to common though, is that when this need for touch, to be touched, is neglected or blocked for long periods of time, that the result becomes as commonly-tragic as the story of Lenny in Steinbeck's masterpiece, or as commonly-tragic as the ones David Larsen could relate about men whose only language of touch is violence.


 I want you each and all to know how deeply I have been touched by all of your sharings, your stories, your deep carings for each other, even when the heat of the arguments might make it appear otherwise to a casual passerby. That we are all subscribers here is testament to _some_ common touching that has been felt by each of us as we have read some or all of the Papers of the Urantia Book; that we have such diverse interpretations of the origin, nature, and destiny of this touching, epochal work in the course of our planetary development is testament to me that I am amongst a troupe of extraordinary electronic vaudevillians, whose efforts to keep just one more conversational-plate spinning atop just one more intellectual-straw, convinces me that there may just be some good laughs in this episode for us all yet, as gloomy as our squaring-offs may have made it appear in recent weeks.


 Things are gloomy on the field of dreams as well -- mutiny is threatened by certain members of the infamous Black Sox, who refuse to pay money to play games at 8:30 on a weeknight, and bankruptcy is threatened by certain members of the No Names who can't seem to come up with enough paying players to field a team... so the best efforts of a lot of men to organize a league to play an 18-game season may yet come to naught, or less than 18... Who knows, we may have a chance to find some new languaging amongst ourselves which may result in having us feel were all about the same work after all.


 Have a good week folks.



5 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Brf Rsps

Subject: Brf Rsps


 Byron, thanks for your post which I picked up this AM. If you are going to quote me in your newsletter, I hope you will double check the context in which my original statement was made. In this AM's post you refer to me as one..."who publicly characterizes the sincere presentations of his colleagues to be "reams of pap" not worthy of his time."


 This is a serious misquote. My reference was to the material attributed by Fred Harris to "Melchizedek", and I certainly do not consider "Melchizedek" a colleague. In fact, one of the points I was trying to make in the post from which you quote was that, in spite of my problems with the transcripts and content of the TM messages, my position had changed substantially due to the testimonials of Peter and Michael about what had happened in their personal lives as a result of apprehending these writings. This is important to me -- the result in people's lives tells me a whole lot more than the intellectual content of the transcripts.


 Did you decide to not respond to my request to reconcile the divergent statements from "Melchizedek" in my last post?



6 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Prodigy Conversations

Subject: Prodigy Conversations


 Connie, you claim that you do not deal with the channelers, but with people who allegedly have others speak through them. That is the essence of channeling. Those who claim to have others speaking through them ARE the channelers. IMHO, it is a method to attempt others to worship through oneself in the majority of cases, rather than worshiping directly with the Father and Jesus.


 Peace, Warren


 I have recently had my first E-Mail from a person who claims that, had he not seen me speaking for reason, rather than for spiritism, he would have abandoned the Urantia Book through assuming that the followers of it were kooks, as evidenced by the postings here about channelling.


 At THIS point, I consider my efforts to have been well worth the time I have spent. Furthermore, I shall CONTINUE to speak the truth as I see it, and to identify error when the Spirit of Truth points it out to me. I am truly sorry if this inconveniences any of you, but the decision I have made is one that shines the Light of God, and I shall not be deterred. Peace and Truth, Warren


 For one who wants to protect the TRUTH as you see it, you do not give the opprotunity for others to express the TRUTH as they see it. To warn Connie about your own insecurities as far as the Teaching Mission or Transmitter/Receivers (TM & TR) is unfair to Connie and others who do not express them- selves on these boards. What TRUTH has been given to you that the UB is factual and "transmitted" other than FAITH.


 Now, you also have to realize from previous posts that I defend your right to express an opinion to the discernment of the source of the 'new' transmissions. But you must allow those who actually experience them, (drive down to Indy and experience it) to make their own minds up as to whether the TR is doing it to be noticed (self aggrandizement) or whether the TR is truly experiencing a message. I said before that this Channeling stuff is not new in the experience of our Judeo-Christian heritage. In my R Catholic upbringing there are many written, verified examples of voices and visions going back in the NT to Christ Michael's appearance to the women at the tomb.


 So, Warren Let Us Pray, for the souls of the TR's that they be not led astray. Let Us Pray for those who come to TM experiences that they are able to discern the TRUTH or ignorance for themselves. And then Warren, Let Us Pray, for those who have not seen or heard and believed for those are many!


 And then Warren, Let Us Pray, that those who have not seen nor heard, don’t make judgements. You know I fall in this category, I've been to 4 or 5 TM and I can not tell you whether it is from GOD or man. And I've had some years in practicing discernment of spirits, I can't tell you whether I believe or not! For me it is a way too soon for anyone to determine if these Teachers are from GOD or man. I've worked with people who say that they have been visited by beings from other planets, isn't that what the Urantia Book says is possible? Can I tell them in all TRUTH it is not! That’s what 100 years of Freud has told them! They are demented manic, confused, in need of being hospitalized, etc. ( of course only until they use up their insurance). So, Warren Let Us Pray, if this is from man it will dry up or go into a bombshelter. If this is the beginning of the formation of the Melchizedek Schools, it will not go away. Gather together in your highly educated Michigan Bible belt a reading group who studies and perceives the teachings of the UB as you did in HI. Perhaps Warren by prayer you may be able to preserve the teachings.


 Now, all the rest of us need to pray for a softening of heart of UF so that they begin again to release the book to a wide distribution, no longer raising the price to screen out those who need it most.


 LET US PRAY!


 

6 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Some Philosophical Reflections

Subject: Some Philosophical Reflections


 Hello, Logondonters.....


 I wanted to post the following because I think it is relevant to our ongoing discussions. It is an excerpt of a critical response by a personal friend, an established Christian theologian in academia with whom I have been in dialog about the UB for many years, to my paper, "Revelatory Process".


 David Kantor


 *****************************************************************


 


 "David, you used the term "assigning meanings" [in your paper] which is somewhat helpful. It reminds us of our responsibility for interpreting experiences which seem so compelling. However, you should note that the authors of the Papers generally speak of *discerning* meanings, a term which avoids the potentials for relativism (the epistemological equivalent of false freedom -- everyone may assign whatever meanings s/he finds immediately useful).


 "I think we *do* assign meanings, but the next turn of the screw is this; it's not as though experience itself were a blank- slate, meaningwise, simply passive to our active meaning- assignment. That's another reason why I believe the authors of The Urantia Book use the term *discerning*.


 "The paper on the Master Spirits contains, on page 192, one of the key philosophical statements in the book about the constitutive intuitions of mind in the realms of causation, duty, and spiritual fellowship. The capacity to recognize revelation depends upon the functioning, initially, of spiritual intuition. But an integrated functioning of all these dimensions of mind (not to mention the other dimensions of who we are) is also crucial to discerning genuine revelation. The multiple criteria for the validity of claims to revelation mentioned in some of the texts you summarize at the end of your paper -- these criteria bespeak the integrated character of reality and of the holistic testing which is appropriate to revelation-claims.


 "When Jean-Paul Sartre writes about revelation (as an atheist, in "Existentialism Is a Humanism") he says (roughly) that a believer, seeking the will of God, and getting an answer from an angel, still has the responsibility for judging whether the angel is of God or not. From Aristotle ("Posterior Analytics") forward, (e.g., John Stuart Mill, "Utilitarianism", chapter 4, first two pages), it has been widely recognized that the process of giving reasons for a claim is finite. One comes to affirmations that are basic. To try to explain them in terms of something more basic is to betray the integrity of the phenomenon.


 "Page 42 of The Urantia Book has another very important passage that integrates several historically important themes on the topic of truth-recognition. The "spiritual flavor" is a criterion. We learn to use that criterion gradually. Gradually and (almost never perfectly) we disentangle spiritual flavor from biochemical-emotional charm. There is a relative integrity to each of the distinguishable domains -- causation, duty and worship. Thus the criteria pertinent to discernment in each realm are largely limited to that realm.


 "But precisely here is where we are seeing something new: the need for an integrated application of all criteria. It remains true that there is an apriori possibility for contact phenomena to occur. No adequate response to the channeling distortions now rampant in the Urantia community can fail to acknowledge sturdy and ineliminable possibilities. That is why the epistemological issue, the issue of *discernment* is so important.


 Discernment is a function of growth. At the Family of God Foundation, you identified yourselves, not primarily as children of the Father, and brothers and sisters with all humanity, but simply in terms of your dedication to supreme values. This reversal of priorities in your sense of yourselves made you vulnerable. You were also deficient in coping practically -- constructively -- with the excesses of unbalanced power. A sounder moral-ethical practice (ideally facilitated by a different organizational structure) might have enabled you to sort out illusion more easily. You also discovered how subtle and how contagious is the onset of insanity."


 

6 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Eric Schaveland

Subject: Eric Schaveland


 I believe that we are caught up in another default of an epic revelation, and that all personalities concerned are making decisions that will affect their future careers. ACCORDING TO U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW, ANY WORK AUTHORED BY SUPERHUMAN BEINGS IS NOT SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT. PERIOD. U. S. Copyrights are only available to human authors and then only if they can prove U.S. citizenship or citizenship in a country with whom the U.S. has signed copyright agreements. You don't need a law degree to figure out that a Midwayer Commission doesn't qualify for protection under commercial copyright laws.


 For the Fifth Epochal Fellowship to acknowledge a copyright at any time on the Urantia Papers is for them to deny that the Urantia Papers are authored by superhuman beings. For the Fifth Epochal Fellowship to wait for the U.S. Courts to rule whether or not the Urantia Papers are authored by superhuman beings is a little like the early Jewish believers in Jesus waiting for Pontius Pilate to decide if Jesus really is the Son of God.


 For the Copyright offict to accept any application and issue a copyright certificate means that the Copyright Office has been told that the copyrighted work has been written by a human. Period. Followers of _Oahspe_, the _Course in Miracles_, the _Book of Mormon_, -- to mention just a few -- admit human authorship by filing for copyright on these works. I think that the Alpheus twins with their limited mental capacity could have followed this logic.


 But aren't the Urantia Papers different? *** Urantia Foundation has listed itself as the author of the Urantia Papers on copyright documents on file in the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.; and the Urantia Foundation has declared in U.S. Court that the Urantia Papers have human authorship. *** The Foundation thus denies the Urantia Papers are a revelation.


 For anyone apprised of U.S. law to say that Urantia Foundation currently has a valid copyright on the Urantia Papers is for them to deny that the Urantia Papers are a Revelation. There is no box to mark on the questionnaire for "Undecided." It's either yes or... NOT!


 I believe the Foundation has made a final decision. I believe that FEF is making its final decision by waiting for the Courts to make it for them. I hope that you listen to your Thought Adjsuter and make your final decision on this issue with the guidance of the Spirit of Truth who will always speak saying, "This is the way."


 And make your decision soon... because there is nothing spiritually interesting in listening to the Urantia Foundation "equivocate," watching FEF "procrastinate," the Transmitter-Receivers practice "problem-avoidance," the dope-smoking Study Groups "ease-seek," while the unfairness and insincerity of the Foundation Trustees is tacitly approved by many pupils of this Revelation as they continue to use time as a technique of dodging this disagreeable situation and circumventing their obligations.



 Eric Schaveland 3055 Corona Trail #303 Boulder, CO 80301

6 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Letter from Kristen M.

Subject: Letter from Kristen M. I also got a call today from Bob Buselli, of the Welmek TM group in Indianapolis. As you may recall, Bob had earlier expressed some of his "memory-resident" skepticism, even tho he had/has been a part of this group since the beginning. According to Bob, the original (and best) T/R, Mike Painter, had been skeptical of "the process," since the beginning, but had been "doing it" out of some motivations to serve, be open, et al. Anyhow, to make a long conversation shorter, Bob indicated that the quality of the T/R-ing had now gotten so dissipated or dissolute, with newcomers (novice UB readers) claiming such things as representing a "guide" from the third superuniverse-- with no names given for this universe, that, according to Bob they were considering "banning" the T/R-ing (!)


 He said he felt that something "real" has been going on, since the beginning, perhaps tapping into some sort of superconsciousness, but that the group itself, while having grown much closer during this period of Transmitting/Receiving, was evidently getting distracted/distraught (?) over the low-quality (his impression) of the newer T/Rs. They have of course had much discussion over this, and I mentioned that we had had some conversation here as well, heated at times, but brotherly overall. I mentioned Ted B's letter of the other day, and how Ted had allowed as how this upcoming "materialization" predicted for the 24th would be some kind of benchmark for him; Bob said he would be going up there for the event, but expected nothing to occur. I passed on Ted's ref, from his letter, to the UB story of Jesus' desire to take the twelve up to the mount of transfiguration with him, but ended up only taking three, as the rest "were not ready." (Rough paraphrasing here folks -- please see Part IV for details!)


 I allowed as how my stance was more that of a social anthropologist as regards the Teaching Mission now, eager to see what does or does not materialize, on the 24th and thereafter. We discussed the importance of the reminder that Hillman raised, from the movie "Dances With Wolves," to keep in touch with "what the people are saying" -- recall the scene where Kevin Costner, having fallen madly in love with Mary McDonnell, begins to create a stir in the village with all of his amorous overtures, and the village father asks his wife, "What are the people saying?"


 I told Bob I thought this was a good forum to stay in touch with "what the people are saying" and wished he could join us via CIS.


 Bob's general impressions seemed to coincide with some conveyed to me by Martin Patton, who hopefully will soon be able to give us some firsthand and informed impressions on this "discernment of spirits."


 Kristen also sent a recent essay by Eric Schaaveland, which I will post under separate cover.


 Perhaps being a T/R is something like pitching -- every kid on the team thinks he's got some stuff, but throwing it over the plate, surrounded by a batter, catcher, and umpire, is not as easy as it looks, even at little league distance. (And if you think pitching is hard, try catching! I caught a meager _two_ innings for my senior team on Sunday, and my thighs are just now getting unstiff!)



7 Apr 1993     David Kantor      What's going on here?

Subject: What's going on here?


 While Kristen and Eric seem to have developed a relationship with The Urantia Foundation which is similar to the relationship Brer Rabbit had with the tar baby, (if you remember that *great* Uncle Remus story), they seem to be carrying out a policy, on their own, which is identical to that of Urantia Foundation. My beef with the Foundation is that they have been totally unresponsive to the readership as a whole. If they consulted with the readership at all on any issue, it was with a subset which supported their position and the rest of us were ignored.


 Kristen and Eric seem to be doing the same thing. So did Mo Siegal and Harry McMullin -- these folks set themselves up to create policy related to the manner in which the book is to be distributed and then proceed with no consultation with the readership at large. I'm not saying that distribution of the Jesus papers per se is wrong, I'm merely pointing out that they are pursuing a course of action which ultimately affects each reader of the book without consulting a representative sample of that readership. This is the identical policy which The Urantia Foundation pursued and caused so much trouble for all of us.


 The issues get further polarized when people use the term "default". This is another over-used term like "in league with Caligastia" which always seems to get invoked when we have strong feelings about people with whom we disagree. If there had been a default, we would not have the book on our shelves and hard drives today. Martin, Christy, Doc Sadler -- these folks were simply human beings like you and me. I doubt that any one of us could have done a better job under the circumstances than they did. We have the book, there are 250,000 copies in print (enough, I think, to assure that whatever well intentioned individuals do from this point on, serious readers will always be able to find the unadulterated source material), and probable 20,000 serious readers world wide. This is a significant accomplishment and has been done with virtually no adverse publicity which would have confused or impeded the process. I think we're in pretty good shape in spite of ourselves and I certainly don't think the term "default" is appropriate.


 This is not to justify Foundation policy -- their activities have been reprehensible, inexcusable and devastating in their repercussions. I think they totally blew their opportunity to function as a responsible body and will never be able to recover, and they blew it by not being responsive to the readership, they blew it by elevating their own personal evaluations and decisions to absolutes and proceeding in spite of what anyone else thought.


 If you look in the front of a Revised Standard Version of the Bible, you will find that the copyright is held by an organization with a name like "The North American Council on Religious Education". This is a democratic body comprised of a representative from each of the Protestant denominations. All issues related to changes in the text, etc. are made by this democratic body. I think this is a *great* way to take care of the inevitable issues which are going to arise as long as the Urantia Foundation/Maaherra Schaveland policy continues to be pursued.


 Kristen says, "I hope that you listen to your Thought Adjuster and make your final decision on this issue with the guidance of the Spirit of Truth who will always speak saying, "This is the way."


 This strikes me as a serious misperception of the functioning of both the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth. These agencies function on the level of helping us to appropriate *SPIRITUAL* truth. The level of reality on which we make decisions about such things as copyrights is a relative level of cultural phenomenon on which the functions of *ethics* and *morality* are the guides to appropriate action. This is not the domain of either the Thought Adjuster or the Spirit of Truth.


 In her concluding paragraph she rails against the Fellowship, the TMers, the biochemical enhancers and the supporters of the Foundation -- who's left? She says there's nothing "spiritually interesting" in any of these groups as a means of justifying her actions and yet these groups are us -- the readers of the book. What is going on here?


 Whether or not the copyright is valid is not the issue. The issue is how we can most effectively distribute the book so as to get it integrated into the thought-streams of the culture in the least amount of time with the hopes that we can reduce the amount of suffering taking place in the lives of individuals all across the planet as soon as possible.


 This issue has never really been discussed, it has always been the arbitrary decision of individuals. Kristen and Eric are perpetuating this approach behind a smokescreen of copyright validity issues. The fact that this domain of social action is managed by ethical and moral factors is all the more reason why it is essential to have decisions made by at least a representative group rather than individuals. To pursue a course of action for the distribution of the book with the motivation of establishing a legal position is an inappropriate use of the text. It is a buying into and playing of the same old game Urantia Foundation has been playing all along -- using The Urantia Book for the attainment of personal ends, no matter how well-conceived those ends might appear to be.



8 Apr 1993     Byron Belitsos      TM is a hoax

Subject: TM is a hoax


 Just pulling your electronic legs, cyberfellows...


 Good postings last few days. Carry on cyberfriends. I feel like the rough & tumble "early days" of the diffusion of the TM into the Urantial community (and Urantia communit at large) may be over. This is more of a waiting time now.


 I learned helpful lessons from last week's exchanges with David. Teleconferencing via the written word lets you track threads of thought-emotion over time with considerable accuracy. It allows you to "read" the personalities of self and others, through a storyline of thoughtful messages and responses, with more facility than an exchange of letters or even phone calls.


 The sometimes heated exchanges make me think we should add another item to the "Inevitabilities" list.....How about : "Is *tolerance* desirable? Then should the Urantia community have many contending schools of thought, legalists, study-group-ites, TMers, Logondoners, churchifiers, etc."


 Actually, I threw out the above thought as a quip in the local study group last night (the one that meets at Berkeley Elliot's). This was by way of preparing them for the announcement in a week or so that we indeed have Teacher contacts here in central Oklahoma -- the first transmission was in December -- but we have kept this a secret for reasons I stated earlier. Now we have a devoted group of four that is ready to handle the inquiries and the skepticism.


 By the way, I made amends to Berkeley for comparing her to -- Jesse Helms. She forgave me, and we had a huge laugh about the whole situation.


 A few responses....


 Peter, I have been considering the idea of an "offline" Urantial newsletter for weeks, (and with similar motivation), either as part of LORE, or as a separate piece. Let's communicate more on this by private email and see where we might cooperate. I'll send you some thoughts by the weekend....


 Michael, I am not going to Vian for a TM session in the near future, but will keep you posted on our plans...


 David, we asked our teachers about the role of the Urantia Book in the TM at our session two nights ago. There was a lengthy answer, with many elements that suprised me. As soon as this is transcribed, I will post it, along with an analysis. I'll save all comments until then....


 Now some comments regarding the amazing and historic event of the posting of a message from the midwayer "Lamphere" for Sara Blackstock. I called Patije Mills to get more background on this event, and I can say the following:


 - Patije barely knows Sara and has only a sketchy knowledge of the FOG episode


 - she was quite surprised to receive the message and was in a quandary as to whether to even send it


 - she insists she is an innocent in this process (she has no particular opinion or ax to grind on the issue)


 - she was surprised to hear that it had gained publicity, and had not even seen Sara's response yet.


 The vehemence of Sara's rejection of this message was startling. It appears to contradict much that she said (and the way she said it) when I saw her in Boulder on the weekend of February 5. David, please ask Sara whether I may post herein what Sara told me at that time about her "contact" experience and some of my related observations. I think we could have a very productive exchange on this if she is open to it.


  

8 Apr 1993     Sara L. Blackstock    response to Bryon B. re Lamphe

Subject: response to Bryon B. re Lamphere message


 Byron: I do indeed look forward to interacting with you and others regarding the channeling phenomena. I do remember the warm feeling that you and I shared as we talked in Boulder, although I do not remember specifically what I said to you which you think contradicts what I said to Pajije, so you will have to refresh my memory. Let us discourse on this. My experience with this stuff from the very first seconds of the "contact" I experienced 8 years ago in the middle of the night that said: "We are here", and continued on for the next 3 months on a daily basis re FOG preparation for WW III has continually been one of opening to such and then pulling back with increased discriminatory thinking processes as I became and become clearer about at least my experiences. I felt somewhat open to Rebecca's message from "Ham" in L.A. in Jan. '92 but as a I continued to read the transcripts which I had been able to write verbatim because the communication was so slow, I was very disappointed in the quality of the answers to the questions and the outright evasion of some of the questions. There is a seductivity about these which is troublesome. I have experienced this at other times too as I have opened myself to the possibility of the reality of them. Bob Slagle told me his TM got the message that the WW III was averted and I played an important role in this. For one second, or one minute I felt elated to think that I could have helped the spiritual government in this way. And then I left that feeling and began thinking. That's where the problem with this stuff happens - on the logical level of thinking. I really appreciated Marvin Gawryn's question to Rebecca in L.A. - what is it that you need out of this experience? This made a lot of sense to me based on looking at my own experiences with FOG era messages. I needed some things from those messages which my subconscious created: 1. I was in conflict and you know what the UB says about that. My conflict was several fold - I had dedicated the rest of my life to working for FOG; I had raised my sons - 12 years - with Vern as a model for him; I was watching my friends leave FOG as the preparations for nuclear war went on; and my husband was having more and more doubts about the situation and Vern's messages which had come about a year prior to mine which I began to receive in early Jan. 1985. This is a lot of conflict when you consider that my believe and devotion was "consciously" unshaken and grew stronger with each passing carrot which was stuck in the sand and sand bag which was filled. 2. For my 15 or so years of working with FOG I worked mostly with the children - I loved doing this and felt that it was important, but I was far from the INNER CIRCLE of people. I realize now that on a subconscious level I really wanted to offer something more to the group than taking care of the kids. I believe that my subconscious found a way to do this. 3. Although Vern was always kind toward me through all of those years, I certainly was not one who he would ask any advice of and I felt that he thought all I could talk about was kids. I realize now that I wanted to feel important and recognized by Vern for something else other that working with kids. There are others aspects that I could talk about, but this is enough to give you a good idea of things that I became aware of after the fact. If I had had some basic education in basic principles of psychology, perhaps I could have recognized by neediness and conflict and would not have elevated what was "alter ego" type of thinking to the realms of being "messages" from others. Obviously at several levels of unconscious activity my mind was trying to work out these obvious and strong conflicts and needs (not obvious at the time). As you know from some of your past experiences our minds can be very creative in rationalizing our assumptions and belief systems. Hence people come up with 25 past lives with great detail and ingenuity; hence people come up with superhuman beings who talk to them.


 I do feel repelled by the seductiveness of Lamphere's message: "We are only a short ways from you, dear sorrowful one. You can call upon us with but a whispered word. We wait for your call." It is my understanding that this is not even what primary midwayers do and why they want to comfort me when there are people in great need dying for great causes all over this planet who really need to be comforted is to me a dead giveaway as to the psychological nature of this stuff, not the spiritual reality of it. I would hope that Pajije is mature enough to recognize the we must develop the ability to express ourselves with the integrity of our own thinking and experience in a clear, concise, and logical way with ideas and opinions about which we may have strong disagreement while feeling kind, compassionate and loving about the person with whom we are discoursing. I work with over 100 school age children and a staff of 12 as we attempt to do this every day as we live together in the day care center.


 If anyone on this network missed the "message" from Lamphere - a primary midwayer - via of Patije Mills and my response which Bryon calls a vehement rejection, let me know and I will download it again. I believe that it was sent out via David Kantor last Thursday. It is too bad Patije heard about her letter being out there before she got it. This is a very fast way of communicating compared to mail and perhaps it would have been more diplomatic to have been sure she received her letter first. Sorry, Patije.


 Life calls - must go be a "boss" and hang out with 100 kids and laugh with my staff, etc. I look forward to further discourse. I believe that I may have told Bryon that after 8 years of processing the FOG thing that I alathough I 99.9 % clear about my interpretation of my experiences, I feel it would be presumptuous of me to assume 100 % certainity - this leaves a little window for me to look at each and every thing that comes my way, and I have read many transcripts and heard tapes and talked, talked to many who think this is REAL, and continue to be greatly disappointed. I am not sure if it is dangerous or not - I am still analyzing it. One thing for sure a lot of people are going to learn something, one way or another!


 As I tell the kids - the first person who does a put down - negates another - is the one who first throws the weapon with desire to hurt. We see this as being much different than saying - "I do not agree with you and here's why; or I do not like what you are doing; or what you are doing makes me angry or hurts me." Amongst 300 school age children there is hardly ever a "put down" and if there is I often hear about it. But kids are talking all the time about their problems and their differences. I would l hope that we can do as well here.



9 Apr 1993     leo elliott            System Dynamics

Subject: System Dynamics


 Thurmont, MD 04/08/93


 Hello Sara!


 Welcome to the oasis. Your thoughts today on working with children and who throws down the first insult have given me much to ponder on my drive up to pick up my daughter for the weekend. This comes to you, btw, via my new 9 1/2 x 11 LAP-PAD, (complete with felt-tip interface and 98 pp. of paper-paged memory) from the parking lot of McD's, about 15 miles south of Gettysburg, PA, the heart of Moyer country.


 I much appreciated your comments on your perceived lack of felt-appreciation working with kids, and your desire to make some larger contribution ("... I really wanted to offer something more to the group than taking care of the kids ... I wanted to feel important and recognized by Vern for something else other than working with kids.") -- this could very well describe how I feel some days working with "my computers" -- funny how people at work talk about what to me is "their terminal" as "MY computer" -- my efforts there, so it seems, are as much directed at inculcating a sense, a speaking of it as "_our_ system," like it's "our business" and "our database" to maintain or corrupt, as we see fit, depending, as often as not, on whether or not an individual chooses to lay down the ego and see "us all" as part of some larger system, some larger plan, or whether this individual chooses to lay down some distancing-gauntlet, some insult of separation, like "_that_ dumb computer" or "I'm sorry, I can't give you that info -- THE (no longer MY) computer is down" -- the desire/willingness to own or be part of the system, vs. viewing "the system" as "belonging to" somebody else, somebody else's responsibility.


 So this is "our revelation" for "our times" on "our planet" -- and the task you set for us Sara, "to express ourselves with the integrity of our own thinking and experience in a clear, concise, and logical way with ideas and opinions about which we may have strong disagreement while feeling kind, compassionate and loving about the person with whom we are discoursing..." -- this task becomes difficult, I suspect moreso for males, who early on learn the utility of words as weapons, and the power of put-downs, to prove or maintain what Sam Keen has called the "central pillar" of the male psyche, the warrior identity.


 It's hard for me to believe that just ten months ago I had never heard of the "Teaching Mission" and cared as much about "channeling" as about football -- something which may have been very common in the culture at large, with much history, but certainly not a very civilized activity!


 Then, through a strange sequence of connections (aren't they all!) the guy I went to the May '92 UB/CiM conf with happened to visit Ernie Moyer up in Hanover, PA on a business trip, and came back with a bunch of his "literature" -- no mere insults or putdowns here, these were ontological assessments based on UB interpretations that at least half the people I'd been hanging out with in Cincinnati, and a lot of dear friends back in Charlottesville, including my wife, were dupes in conscious or unconscious league with Caligastia. I thought this deserved some serious study, for these were serious charges.


 So study I did, and even had Ernie come visit as a most enjoyable guest to my home one weekend. We came to the conclusion that we could agree to disagree, tho I've begun to wonder if my apparent purging from Ernie's extensive mailing list means I've been relegated to the untouchable caste.


 I must have read at least five or six negatory or defamatory newsletter articles about the TMmers before I decided to give them a fair hearing and procured some transcripts for "first hand" analysis, to see what was raising such a stink. I decided it wasn't of the same quality or caliber as the UB itself, but more than that, what I read seemed much like a log of these conversations/discussions here, except that the by-lines were not quite as cryptic as these Internet addresses; that is, the transcripts I have read strike me as more of a recordation of a group conversation on particular spiritual topics, and the participants have seemed, to one who has never been part of any large, organized study group, to be much more intimate, than any formal "reading" groups I have visited.


 I suppose it's a close step from "intimacy" to possible "seduction." I normally reserve the word "seductive" for those instances where I feel like someone is trying to lead me somewhere (Martin Patton, is the Latin from "seducere" or "to lead under"???) without wanting me to know where; in what I have read, so far, I have at times felt the language to be very personal, in fact the Lamphere message is very similar, imo, to lines in the Course in Miracles, if you are familiar with that, but not necessarily seductive, as if the speaker wanted to lead me somewhere in the dark and then rob me of something -- this, I take it, is more along the lines of Ernie Moyer's theory of both channeling and the CiM.


 I agree that a lot of people are going to learn something, but not just one way or another, but many ways from Sunday. I hate to be a poop, but I began to wonder, shortly after I heard of this April 24th predicted "materialization" of MM or whoever, that, unlike the FOG prediction of WWIII or the "When Prophecy Fails" prediction of a cataclysmic flood, if this "materialization" would/could really be anything that would/could even be subject to disconfirmation, unlike WWIII, or a flood, which did not, obviously, happen on a predicted day. What I'm wondering is, what happens if you have 200-300 folks hanging out waiting in some state of high spiritual expectancy, and some in high cynicism, and the time comes and goes, and it ends up like one of these alleged sightings of Mary, like the one in Kentucky not too many months ago, where hundreds of the faithful said they didn't see anything in particular, a few said that yes, they saw something terrific, and "the authorities" in the Church won't say anything one way or another (like the Duke brothers in "Trading Places", they make money no matter which way the market goes!)


 So anyhow, one final thing I am struck with, is how much, regardless of what does or does not happen on the 24th, people have felt "called" to become more actively involved in getting involved in these and other conversations, how much people from the full range of the UB continuum seem to have been feeling called to be of more service to the UB community, to "do something" with this revelation, whether it be liberate it from the fetters of antecedent copyrights, expurgate it from the delusions of sordid channelers, or electro-communicate about it via nets such as this. This, to me, represents the "real" synergy that is going on, the behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of any of the component systems -- one could certainly have foreseen fringe elements wanting to wrap themselves with the UB lexicon, as one could have easily foreseen internecine combat over doctrine and interpretation, with lots of name-calling and put-downs along the way.


 What I could not have foreseen is the development of this particular community, and the tone of caring and compassion which we have been able to sustain in all these rigorous efforts to maintain the integrity of our own thinking and that of this revelation which has so informed our lives -- and that there would develop such a system for maintaining a current inventory of ideas and ideals relating to the discovery and display of the religious life of Jesus. This seems truly remarkable to me, as one who has "literally" (g) been wandering in the study-group desert for 20 years, looking for such a group of faithers as have gathered here.


 Thanks again, Sara, for sharing your insights and wisdom, and for the reminders about what a gift it is to be here. I look forward to more discourse with you on these and other subjects.



9 Apr 1993     leo elliott            Promulgate or Protect?

Subject: Promulgate or Protect?


 Charlottesville, VA 04/09/93


 


 Hello again Sara,


 I would just like to follow up with a point or two of clarification from my last note -- I can also well understand how others, whose "first impressions" of the Teaching Mission, or of some other "message" couched in Urantia-related terminology, could have a reaction of "how presumptuous" or "who do these people think they are!"


 As I may not have made this explicitly clear in my last post, my own personal sympathies have usually been to "pull for the underdog," which is simply an emotional reaction which simply states that I, as an individual, may have the door open a bit more than 1% as regards the positive possibilities of "useful" (not necessarily "epochal") info coming through these TM- or other-channeled sources. As an individual, I do not put the UB in as distinct and separate a category because of its' alleged distinct and unique method-of-(channeled?)-transmission/ reception via the patient of Doc Sadlers, as others may choose to do. In a class by itself in terms of the quality, breadth and depth of its teachings, the resonance of its reason, and the simple symmetry of its language, but not in a class by itself in terms of how it came to be. Purely personal assessment.


 Similarly, as regards the potential danger or hazard of the TM, or of courting the psychic realm in general, I have not, to date, found it to be as hazardous or dangerous as the likes of Ernest Moyer or other fundamentalist-type preachers would have me believe. I lived the better part of two decades being warned repeatedly of many, many "near occasions of sin" such that the space I am coming from is one far more of wanting to explore new options and possibilities for connection and synergy, than of being fretful over crossing some line-of-no-return.


 There is still something about this desire to serve which makes me see all of us as really being about the same task, despite ourselves and our seemingly antithetical interpretations of what we are about in "either" promulgating and extending the religious life of Jesus by means of this fifth, epochal, revelatory infotool, "or" defending this same tool from abuses by deluded/demonic abusers.


 This I think becomes the central issue for me as I endeavor daily to live as if Jesus were hanging out with me tinkering on one of "my" computers, listening in as I give instruction to a fellow-employee, or by my side as I'm deep in thought and my four-year-old bursts into the room -- and that is how much do I let my ego get wrapped around this revelation being my special calling in life, something which I wrap my ego around and define my life in terms of. Posts by Dick Prince, Jerry McCollum and G. DuBois have reminded us of these dangers, for it is all too human a tendency.


 Everybody wants to make a contribution to this epochal cause, to do something more than "just" working with the kids or maintaining the computers -- everybody wants to be a starter, and nobody long bides well their time spent sitting on the bench. I feel certain that on the Jesusonian team there is a spot in the starting lineup for all who want to play; the problems we are encountering seem to be a result of our beliefs that only 9 or 12 can get on the field at one time, and that those whose psycho-spiritual attire may appear soiled or sordid to some purists are not qualified to play the game, indeed they are a disgrace to the "proper" playing out of this epochal event.


 Just as our Father can bestow a fragment of his Divinity to each individual of will-dignity, without any diminution of his own, so may we be being challenged now to bestow these guarded and frayed fragments of what's left of our humanity to each other, in the form of our love and forgiveness, our intuitive understanding that we really are all our Father's children, brothers and sisters, and as such, this game has the potential to become Grandly Universal, even approaching the Paradisiacal, if we can but exercise that love and understanding that takes us beyond the paranoid and parochial positions which have characterized our progress to date.




9 Apr 1993     David Kantor      Position softened by unchanged

Subject: Position softened by unchanged


 Hello Logondonters...


 In response to Matthew's comment in his post "Welcome and Tolerance", my position on the TM has not changed at all. What has changed has been my attitude toward those who do not share my view.


 While there is much in my intellectual and spiritual life which is in flux, I am quite satisfied with my understanding of the TM -- I have spent a lot of time in these domains and feel I know them quite well. I say this knowing that there is always more to learn and new insights to be gained, but I spent close to five years of my life involved in little else other than being a "contact" person and sorting out the psychology and spiritual implications of this delusion -- I am satisfied that I understand this phenomena enough to proceed with my mortal journey without the need to waste any more time on it; it's a psychological hall of mirrors which prevents any real further growth until the individual recognizes the domain in which he/she has become trapped and makes the necessary changes in order to transcend the psycho-social factors which are confining them to this narrow range of psychological response to spiritual stimuli.


 What is in flux is my attitude towards those who feel strongly otherwise about the TM. I am not sure about the point at which tolerance of someone else's position becomes a betrayal of one's own integrity. I am leaning towards a position which would support a somewhat sectarian view of how the readership should be organized. I certainly don't want to have to share conference space or even study group space with TMers. In my mind they are simply engaging in spiritual masturbation -- they make themselves feel good but I see nothing in terms of unselfish service in the world resulting from these experiences simply because their experiences don't have any point of reference or relationship to the real world. All their external activity seems focused on defense, proselytization and mutual reinforcement -- they have to work hard just to keep shoring up the sides of the hole they are digging in order to keep it from caving in on them. It would be impossible for them to undertake any significant action in the real world without stepping into the domain of philosophy which they do not seem prone to do. Even Byron has seen fit to attack me rather than actually engage in and address the actual issues which have been raised by Matthew, myself and others. His best response seems to be that of asking his "teachers" rather than taking personal responsibility for constructing a philosophical justification for his own views. Isn't this the same thing as the fundamentalist appeal to Biblical authority?


 Ron Darby also had some comments about the dangers of something like the TM, and those dangers being something which were a part of the growth of the individual. I appreciated his views which helped to modify some of my concerns. My biggest concern, which remains, is the effect the TM is likely to have on the spread of The Urantia Book into those legitimate channels of human culture through which it could quickly spread to a world hungry for it's light. I still see the TM as something which has the potential for clogging those channels with the residue of it's delusions.


 My attitude was also affected by going back and reading the section in the Jesus papers about the incident with Kirmeth, the Bahgdad trance prophet. Note that Jesus' attitude was to let the character be as widely heard as possible -- he had faith in the people's ability to discern the truth. The paragraph on page 1657 has a curious term. It refers to the truth seekers and "curiosity devotees" which hung around the camp. I wonder how many followers of the TM are "curiosity devotees"? If they are indeed truth seekers I am confident the TM will prove to be just another way station on their journey.


 I am also currently doing a lot of reading in the sociology of religion and coming to a greater understanding of the factors which lead to the fragmentation of religious groups into sects with differing viewpoints.


 Both Richard Niebuhr and Ernst Troeltsch (Troeltsch was a great student and philosopher on issues related to the sociology of Christianity) maintain that the division of Christians into different groups is *not* on the basis of belief, but is rather a class stratification based more on education, culture and economics. Consider this from Troeltsch's "The Socialization of Christian Churches and Groups";


 "The really creative, church-forming, religious movements are the work of the uneducated strata of human society. Here only can one find that union of unimpaired imagination, simplicity in emotional life, unreflective character of thought, spontaneity of energy and vehement force of need, out of which an unconditioned faith in divine revelation, the naivete of complete surrender and the intransigence of certitude can rise. Need upon the one hand and the absence of a culture of reflection on the other are at home only in these strata. "All great community-building revelations have come forth again and again out of such circles and the significance and power for further development in such religious movements have always been dependent upon the force of the original impetus given in such naive revelations as well as on the energy of the conviction which made this impetus absolute and divine."


 And this from Niebuhr's "Social Sources of Denominationalism";


 "In Protestant history, the sect has ever been the child of a disenfranchised minority, taking its rise in the religious revolts of those who were without effective representation in church or state....The sociological character of sectarianism, however is almost always modified in the course of time by the natural processes of birth and death, and on this change in structure changes in doctrine and ethics inevitably follow.


 "By its very nature the sectarian type of organization is valid only for one generation. The children born to the voluntary members of the first generation begin to make the sect a church long before they have arrived at the years of discretion. For with their coming the sect must take on the character of an educational and disciplinary institution, with the purpose of bringing the new generation into conformity with ideals and customs which have become traditional. Rarely does a second generation hold the convictions it has inherited with a fervor equal to that of its fathers, who fashioned these convictions in the heat of conflict and at the risk of martyrdom.


 "Denominationalism reveals itself as the story of the religiously disenfranchised, who fashion a new type of Christianity which corresponds to their distinctive needs, who rise in the economic scale under the influence of religous discipline, and who, in the midst of a freshly acquired cultural respectability, neglect the new disenfranchised succeeding them on the lower plane. This pattern recurs with remarkable regularity in the history of Christianity. Anabaptists, Quakers, Methodists, Salvation Army, and more recent sects of like type illustrate this rise and progress of the churches of the disinherited."


 "Doctrines and practice change with the mutations of social structure, not vice versa."


 While I do not fully agree with these views and think that they beg debate on some of their premises, nevertheless they should both inform us and challenge us in our efforts to develop a meaningful social network of students of the 5th epochal revelation, and to help us relate to the phenomena which will inevitably appear as the demographics of that network grow to encompass a greater variety of human experience.


 Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch have both done extensive studies which demonstrate that it is the difference in the sociological structure of religious groups which determine beliefs. In their view, it is an illusion to think that religious groups form as the result of adherence to a common belief. These thinkers hold that religious beliefs tend to be rationalizations which perpetuate social stratification based on such factors as education, culture, economics and race. It is belief which creates a context for individuals coming from similar educational, cultural and economic backgrounds to create social bonds which have a religious dimension.


 I can't overstate the importance of studying these things; are we going to participate in the unconscious development of a religious movement or are we going to take the time to study and learn from the past? Is a religious movement something which is going to happen to us, or will we rise to the challenge to shape it into something which will be meaningful and helpful to future generations on this planet? The controversies and challenges which dominated the interaction between the Puritans (intellectuals) and the Quakers (visionaries) in early American history are very informative in this regard. See Niebuhr's "The Kingdom of God in America."


 

9 Apr 1993     David Kantor      2 TM transcripts I received to

Subject: 2 TM transcripts I received today


 Hello, Logondonters...


 Byron, TM transcripts continue to show up in my snailbox. Here is something from today's snail, purportedly from Machiventa Melchizedek given through a T/R in Sedona, Arizona. I am posting here two complete transcripts out of the selection sent to me:


 


 **************************************************


 TRANSMISSION R


 


 "In Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A., an area very close to several energy reflective circuits near the Four Corners area in which hundreds of celestial visitations were made by physical spacecraft and seraphic transport alike, an area that slowly deteriorated in mass consciousness from the spiritual position it had been designated to obtain; it was decided by Christ Michael, the Bright and Morning Star, the Acting governor General of Urantia, and the Chief of Seraphim that it was time that I make my first appearance to a human personality and to re-establish the seat of the Planetary Prince upon Urantia.


 "Chosen to be the First Ambassador was Sananda whose father in a past life, Lao-tse, was also a material complement to me and an interplanetary receiver like Gabriel of Sedona. We had found our audio receiver and he was given the complete mandate of the Bright and Morning Star and all that went with it. Now it was time to appoint the visual representative of myself and other celestial personalities who would form themselves in scope quite visually through the light body of Sananda and so it was decided that my announcement would first be made to Sananda and White Cloud in Santa Fe.


 "Caligastia was told many things that I cannot give in in this transmission but one of which is that he was not allowed to cause any physical accidents to Sananda or White Cloud or try to take their lives and that upon leaving, neither he nor any of his representatives would be allowed within a five mile radius of their physical bodies. A half dozen angelic beings were assigned to protect this radius until Sananda and White Cloud would eventually come to the protected area at the Planetary Center of Light in Sedona, Arizona.


 "The reason I give this information is because those who read this transmission and know you are also supposed to be in Sedona, Arizona, might wonder if Caligastia would try to do the same thing for you. Fear not, for if your alignment is in the will of the Father you will have that same protection until you reach your destination within the Aquarian Concepts Community at the Planetary Center of Light in Sedona, Arizona, U.S.A. What Sananda did not know then is that my government would be established in Sedona and I physically would live there, although unseen at this time, but ever present within the same five mile radius of the two mandated personalities and other family members. This first community will be the prototype for the first cities of the New Order.


 "It is not a government of human design but a government with divine overcontrol and divine design using mortals to exemplify the administration of divinity projections within a lower world framework.


 "The signature of the First Ambassador carries with it the warning to those who assume to be spiritual teachers but whose motives are far from divine. It is a warning to those who call themselves messengers of the brotherhood of light, channelers of archangels, or even indeed Michael or whomever they claim to be contacting, that they must humble themselves and become students at the Extension Schools of Melchizedek. They first must find their true God and the Creator Son of that God, the ruler of their Universe of Nebadon, Christ Michael, and then submit to his appointed and mandated human personalities.


 "The first of these is Gabriel of Sedona and the second is Sananda of Sedona and all other elders, men and women alike, who have first aligned themselves with their complementary polarities and cosmic ancestors at the Planetary Center of Light. If they refuse to heed the request of Sananda then they have refused me, for his name carries the complete authority of the Office of the Planetary Prince of Urantia just as Gabriel's name carries the complete authority of the Office of the Bright and Morning Star of Salvington. Each of them will come to learn of the complexities of their own mandates in the years ahead, and so will all of Urantia. We suggest to those who are interested in the healing of their physical bodies that you request Transmission I, for Gabriel works within the astral and Sananda the etheric.


 "Sananda was the title of Christ Michael on another planet when he took the office of Planetary Prince. It is not the name of Christ Michael and never has been, not on this planet or any other. It is a title, a title now given first to myserlf, Machiventa Melchizedek, the Planetary Prince, and to my human representative, Sananda, who bears the title in your dimension. If you receive a personal letter of request from either Gabriel or Sananda, I pray that you treat it with the utmost respect, for any reason they would have to contact you is in accordance with the tru Spiritual Government of this universe and the lines of communication therein, starting with Christ Michael and proceeding from the Bright and Morning Star to myself, Machiventa Melchizedek, on Urantia. We have at our fingertips thousands of supermortal and celestial personalities to see to it that you begin to respect their requests, for this indeed is the adjudication of Urantia. Truly, let the love of God brighten your horizons. Let the discipline of God guide your thoughts and let Godlike humility direct your decisions."


 


 


 ****************************************


 


 


 But the enlightenment does not stop here, folks; take a look at this additional transmission, titled "TRANSMISSION S", also purportedly from Machiventa Melchizedek through this same T/R in Sedona:


 


 *****************************************


 "On October 11, 1991, certain physical energies, as a result of planetary alignment to other planets within the system of Satania, began to cause harmonic patterns to be implemented on this planet. On a normal planet, this series of events would be good for all inhabitants upon it; but on a planet such as Urantia, that has defaulted in its dispensational revelations by higher personalities entrusted to teach the evolutionary races and by the evolutionary races themselves in their failure to truly find their God and Creator Father, I have decided to take the force of these energies and use it in the separating of the good seed from the bad seed.


 "The implementation of my mandate is international in scope upon Urantia and will affect all of the citizens on this planet. This time-space reality was forseen by John the Revelator, and it is in this context that I am about to present the manifestations of my decision.


 "First, the delusion energy frequencies are sent specifically to particular individuals whose imbalances are such that they no longer are candidates for the first mansion world, and have been chosen for extinction by the Ancients of Days. Crimes of murder, rape and inhumanity to man of all kinds will increase upon Urantia. Terrorism and torture will become commonplace, to the extent that it will bring dread to millions and many will fear for their lives. Insanity will increase and so will the symptoms of the secular psychological terms used to designate the disunion of mental and emotional harmony, such as schizophrenia, psychopathic tendencies, sociopathic behavior and mania.


 "Those who have not taken the first steps in their own consciousness as to the reception and activation of the Thought Adjuster within and to the reception of the Spirit of Truth without, will become completely controlled by the delusion frequencies that they themselves have chosen to receive by cause and effect. Many innocent will suffer. In reality, transition of the innocent by physical death is a transition for them to a higher reality and in a sense an escape from the tribulation to come upon Urantia. It is hoped that the loved ones of those affected innocent ones can begin to hear the Spirit of Truth that stands at the door of their hearts and knocks. All on Urantia must leave the institutions that further these delusions.


 "Distortion waves will affect every major city on the planet with a population over 20,000. With the exception of any protected area, distortion waves will cause the breakdown of equilibrium in the physical body and certain thought patterns. Physical energies of mortals will increasingly lessen, and their minds will not be able to organize thoughts. Many will be romanced by their own distorted realities which they will begin to further hallucinate upon as they go about their daily work schedules.


 "This will begin to induce accidents at all levels in the work force, causing many deaths because of human mistakes. Many of these human mistakes will be blamed upon the machinery. Many in the fields of media and communication, such as authors and journalists, will begin to increasingly corrupt the minds of their readers, listeners and viewers. They will do this because they themselves will become increasingly corrupt and distorted. Hospital surgeons and anesthesiologists will increasingly make fatal mistakes, causing the deaths of their patients. Thosse in positions of responsibility, such as pilots, bus drivers and railroad conductors will find themselves daydreaming upon their delusions, which will cause accidents that affect the lives of hundreds and even thousands.


 "Sound distortion frequencies are also appropriated on a mass level and will affect all population centers of a population over 20,000. These frequencies will cause all animal life that have the ability to hear the sounds of these frequencies to become more aggressive. These frequencies will also cause machinery of all kinds to break down, which will increase the probability of accidents and deaths. Only those individuals who are in the perfect will of god will be protected in air flight or whatever means of transportation they choose to use. All others will be open to the effects of all accidents due to sound frequencies.


 "Protected areas and those within them will be safe. Those within protected areas who are not yet aligned to the eldership of the appointed mandated personalities within them, will be protected up into a time in the near future by the grace of Christ Michael. At a certain time in the future, they will be forced to leave these protected areas. at that point, the first two energies mentioned, delusion and distortion energy frequencies, will be appropriated to certain individuals. It will become increasingly clearer to those who understand the effects of these energies upon individuals as to exactly what is happening. Sometimes distortion energy frequencies will be specifically assigned to those of the light, with the hope of trying to get them out of a particular geographic location where they do not belong any longer.


 "They will find that it will be impossible to live without complete alignment with the purposes of Christ Michael and the government of machiventa Melchizedek now being appropriated on Urantia. They will be led by these distortion energies and delusion energies to the Schools of Melchizedek in Sedona, Arizona. Many of these individuals who do not understand what is happening to them will seek advice from psychiatrists, doctors, clergy and even fortune tellers; but they will not be healed from the effects of these energies until they align themselves with the purposes of the implementation of the Machiventa Government upon this planet.


 "This procedure I have implemented is based upon the unwillingness of those in the Urantia movement to totally accept and align themselves with the continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation and the implementation of my government at the Planetary Center of Light in which many of them are asked to come. We are not interested in your degrees, in your bank accounts, or in your status positions. We are interested in your love and loyalty to Christ Michael and the Universal Father. We look upon your dogmatic views of the Fifth Epochal Revelation already given as childish and dangerous, dangerous to the cause of true growth and ascension.


 "We pity your smugness and pray for the end of your obstinancy. It is because of the consciousness of the Urantia movement that I have had to implement these delusion and distortion frequencies, with the hopes that many of you will awaken. If you cannot understand the love of God in the work and the lives of those mandated personalities, some of whom you have already met, then perhaps you can better understand another side of God that you will begin to see shortly.


 


 "Machiventa Melchizedek, the Planetary Prince of Urantia, in cooperation with the Bright and Morning Star of Salvington in overcontrol of my implementation; as transmitted through Gabriel of Sedona."


 ***********************************************


 


 Pretty amazing, isn't it folks? This is for real -- I did not make this stuff up; it was actually mailed to me by individuals who take it seriously and wonder why I refuse to recognize the truth of their claims. Maybe Patije will be able to enlist Van EL (the midwayer who fixes appliances and computers) to combat the delusion frequencies -- Lord knows his services are sorely needed.


 

9 Apr 1993     Matthew Rapaport              Sananda returns!

Subject: Sananda returns!


 Sananda huh... Same name as the celestial who first appeared to the channeler in "When Prophecy Fails", a popular New Age name it seems. Well this pretty much drives the first wedge into the wall of reasonable consistency that has characterized most of the TM I've seen.


 I said back in Sept. that a false TM would reveal itself in not too much time by contradicting either itself or the philosophical/theological rock on which it rests (at least up to this point), the UB. Now we have it, and yes the rest of the TM can say that this particular TR is not receiving real communications, but eventually, people will begin to notice smaller and smaller (more subtile perhaps) discrepancies and it will become obvious that the line between true and false teachings can not be discerned to easily.


 This will leave some part of the TM which is consistent with the UB and the UB's tests of spiritual and philosophic integrity, but as I said just a few weeks ago, without some kind of independent confirmation of the identity of the revelators or the veracity of their claims, *everything else* will (indeed should) be suspect.


 Indeed I also asked whether or not we should *insist* (i.e. that we have a moral obligation to do so) upon some significant demonstration of the TM's reality before accepting its claims regarding its mechanism, and the current status of the universe, Urantia, or the 5th Epochal Revelation. Failing to so demand such confirmation before we give over our allegiance to this phenomena leads to the distortions that so conveniently fell under the watchful gaze of David Kantor.


 We're supposed to be as harmless a doves *and* as wise as serpents remember...



10 Apr 1993    PETER J FERGUSON       Obvious

Subject: Obvious


 Matthew, There will be alot more Sanandas in the future I'm sure. Any one who is anti-Tm could write something like that to try and subvert the whole thing. Pretty simplistic and rather silly. How interesting that your Prophecy rang true and you were right there to pounce on it ?? [G]. Did you enjoy my response? They really had me goin........ This is really a coincidence,I was just over on the Well reading your response on " the calling" Excellent! It was great to hear someone quoting the UB, over there. I just started with them last week so I'm going through hell learning to navigate through it all. I find it quite bizzar and right up my alley!! What about your UB story .... come to think of it there are still a few U- Betoids that we have'nt heard from yet come on come on...... cough it up. waiting for sananda in Frisco



10 Apr 1993    leo elliott            Knuckleballs

Subject: Knuckleballs


 Charlottesville (wet!), VA 04/10/93


 Hello Logondonters,


 Well, this reliever Sananda certainly seems to be fluttering up some good knucklers. I do recall seeing that name elsewhere Matthew, even besides the "Prophecy Fails" book -- I'm surprised no one in the Sedona/channeling community has gotten a (r) of a (tm) on it by now!


 A few reflections have been brewing off of your cogent post of yesterday David -- I hope you and Rebecca and the Mendocino coast enjoyed the aliveness of the weekend, ensemble; I think I have passsed thru there and recall its beauty. Over here, we are once again getting a day of rain -- we are over 6" ahead on the yearly average, and not even halfway thru April.


 The quotes you posted from Troeltsch and Niebuhr seemed right down the middle of the plate; perhaps I can lay down a bunt here. The comments relate to the development of sects/cults as being based more on socioeconomic lines than on belief lines. This certainly seems to ring very true with my boyhood reflections of Roman Catholicism, where there simply was no diversity of belief, or at least no *public* diversity of belief -- everybody believed what the Pope said, what the Church dogma was, and that was it, not like today, where I suppose if I wanted to join up with the Catholics again, I could find a group or a parish which would be more than willing to tell me it was OK to believe in the fallibility of the Pope and in pro-choice, among others.


 Which made the focus of my youthful curiosity become totally absorbed in observing what Sunday masses seemed mainly about, which was getting dressed up and parading one's new fashions in front of each other as one processed slowly up and back from communion. (This is after, remember, I failed to get off on the Eucharist as I had been hoping, and then began to feel like a pariah anyway.) So it was socioeconomics all the way, in church and out. In fact, I suppose looking back it was as much the homogeneity of the socioeconomic milieu as the homogeneity of the religious one that makes that time on Harrison Avenue in the 50s seem so idyllicly suffocating, in retrospect.


 Zoom to the present, and our discussions about the TMmers, and a comment or two from Bob Buselli which has been rattling around for several weeks; when we were discussing the possibilities for getting someone from the Indy group online via CIS or the Internet, he commented that "over half his group was unemployed," and that computer-connectivity would be a while yet. There was also some discussion, in the early Welmek transcripts, of several members having been involved in various 12-step programs. I share this simply in support of David's comment that "the division of Christians into different groups is *not* on the basis of belief, but is rather a class stratification based more on education, culture and economics."


 In passing, I must add another comment from Bob as one of the reasons he cited for his stepping back from the "reality" of the TM-phenomena, and that was due to his receiving apparently the same sort of "stuff" coming out of Sedona/Gabriel. He mentioned that there was some difference of opinion between/amongst the various channelers over the issue of whether or not ones prior belief-commitment would be required to be able to visualize this "materialization" forecast for the 24th. Evidently the UB-T/Rs thought not, that it would be a display sufficient to convince all who would be there, regardless of prior belief, whereas the "secular" (non-UB) channelers thought otherwise. IOW, some lack of consistency here, as David had earlier predicted.


 So back to socioeconomics. Neibuhr's comments seem to support an idea I first heard expressed from Kristen M, that the TMmers were the result of decades of oppression/suppression by the UF of the socialization processes of the UBrotherhood, et al. Neibuhr: "... the sect has ever been the child of a disenfranchised minority, taking its rise in the religious revolts of those who were without effective representation in church or state..."


 *************


 David, I think we are indeed wise to take some signals from the way Jesus reacted to Kirmeth, and rely on the "people's ability to discern the truth." Recall old Abe's dictum that "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," even with electronic means of propaganda, as Goebbels and the later TV-scandalvangelists have found out. And we are left with this task of community-building, with or without the aid of revelations.


 I was at first alarmed by your comments on how you were "leaning towards a position which would support a somewhat sectarian view of how the readership should be organized. I certainly don't want to have to share conference space or even study group space with TMers." -- back to the old issue of the land-man ratio, or ballfield-ballplayer ratio, and how we _do_ seem to need to organize and form leagues, for new fields, like conference spaces, are not falling off the trees. And then I realized that I too would probably not want so much to "share conference space" with a Devil-patrol group, as I would just probably not want to attend their meetings, or play any games with that type of a team. If there are enough teams and enough fields around, then it would seem that leagues could form and simply agree not to overlap on each other's reserved field time. If feilds were in short supply, these periods of overlap might get closer and closer, and provide for some interesting conversation in the parking lot as the Duke Bluebook Devils left and the Caligastia Cowboys came on...


 And an even more interesting case comes up if _teams_ become in short supply, as is coming to be the case in my mens' senior league, where we have attempted to accomodate the differential between certain teams wanting to be more recreation-oriented, and other teams wanting to be more competition-oriented; faced with a shortage of qualified, dues-paying players of whatever skill-level, we are being forced to look at it as a situation where "the league" (translate to "study group" or "UF" or "FEF" or "CIS" or "P*") will simply have to determine, again based on simple socioeconomic considertions -- can this person pay their freight? -- who gets to play/join a team/be part of a group, and then deal them out to a team.


 You pitched to the heart of the plate, David, with your query: "I am not sure about the point at which tolerance of someone else's posiiton becomes a betrayal of one's own integrity." -- I say this, and ask if we can consider how much can I maintain "my own integrity" separate from or apart from _some_ group or community? In other words, is this "integrity" something that is really "of the part" or more "of the whole", by definition?


 You followed by expressing your "biggest concern, which remains, is the effect the TM is likely to have on the spread of The Urantia Book into those legitimate channels of human culture through which it could quickly spread to a world hungry for it's light." This, to a more vicious batter, could really be a high-hanger David, just waiting to be spanked over the fence (g). You raise the issue of just what are "legitimate channels of human culture," and more to the point, just _who_ is to determine this legitimacy??? And we end up right back with the UF/UB divorce, and _who_ is to determine the "legitimate channels" for book distribution, etc. We eventually get back to Dances With Wolves and "What are the people saying?"


 Relying on the people's evolving wisdom, as Jesus seemed to do in giving Kirmeth his say and in restraining his apostles from hitting K. with a bucket of Gatorade (r), seems to display a faith in humans that we humans seem to have a hard time in displaying toward each other. Obviously, there are many, in the UB community and out, who already feel, a la Moyer, that they can no longer tolerate this TM stuff, for to do so would be to betray their own integrity. Just yesterday on the AP wire was a story of some fundy-type preacher somewhere in ND or SD who had taken it upon himself to attend funerals of AIDS-departed people displaying a sign, "God Hates Fags" with supportive NT reference, having felt, I suppose, that _his_ integrity and that of _his_ community had been violated by this "scourge" of Sodom.


 I suppose it's when we begin to feel that there aint enough to go around, be it ball fields or true beliefs, that we begin the subtle process of bigotry, which, by the universal accounting principle of debits=credits or yin=yang, becomes every bit as much of a "psychological hall of mirrors" as does the bouncing around from channel to channel... maybe I'm totally off-base here, and if so it's time for a pickoff move by some lurking lister, but it occurs to me that the challenge the UB presents us with is really the same one that all the prior epochals presented us with, and, at bottom, is the same challenge that (dare I put all these in the same boat?) the TMmers and the Ernie Moyers and the god-hates-fags-fundies are presenting us with, and that is to "integrate our integrity" on some higher level, to expand the domicile of our faith system to include all of humanity, to the end of "not one should be lost."


 But as with compression structures, expanding this domicile with compression-unit beliefs (where my "rightness" or "righteousness" is contingent upon somebody else's "wrongness" or "unrighteousness") inevitably leads to collapse, to the cyclical disenfranchisement that Neibuhr describes. So the rebels recycle the beliefs of the previous generations and their revelations quickly get stretched as thin as before, topple over from their own weighty lack-of-integrity, and on it goes.


 What I am suggesting is unclear -- I echo David's closing query: "Are we going to participate in the unconscious development of a religious movement or are we going to take the time to study and learn from the past? Is a religious movement something which is going to happen to us, or will we rise to the challenge to shape it into something which will be meaningful and helpful to future generations on this planet?" If we are able so to do ("shape it into something... meaningful and helpful") it would seem a rare event, perhaps even something novel -- the dissemination, by an organized group or religious movement, of an epochal revelation, as distinct from various individuals going off as emissaries of the teachings to various parts of the world.


 What I am leading to, Matthew, is not something where there is no distinction between ideas and ideals, or no relative merit or ranking of ideas, where "every idea is equal to every other." I think what we are being called to do is speak with this integrity and commitment and passion, wisely as serpents, to be sure, but methinks the current depiction of Christian emissaries as a vipers pit may be closer to the public impression than that of a coop of lovey-doveys...


 No, we definitely must make choices, distinctions, in our efforts to separate the wheat from the chaff, in philosophy as much as in science or religion. However, when it comes to ranking values, moral and spiritual values, as distinct from material or mathematical values, I am reminded that "quality - values, are _felt_" -- Earlier David you said I had raised the issue of idealism and its place in our (UB) religious life. I must raise it again here in this context, remembering how we are told that our planet is suffering from being led by men who have too many ideas, and too few ideals. Certainly the 1955 UF memo (authorship of which I am still waiting on a call from KM on for verification), tends to reveal a definite bias, from an organizational point-of-view, against the idealists in favor of the ideists.


 Perhaps I have been unconcsiously duped by the ghost of my Albemarle neighbor, the "sage of Monticello" and author of the Statute of Religious Liberty, into becoming his unwitting amanuensis, but my feelings are that if we can allow this thing to play itself out with a minimum of bashing and I-told-you-sos, that we will emerge as a much stronger community for having done so, a much more "omni-interaccomodative" one, one much better equipped, structurally, to bear the stresses and strains of this new adventure we are setting out on.




10 Apr 1993    David H. Larsen    Aie-yi-yi

Subject: Aie-yi-yi


 Tsk, tsk, tsk...and on Good Friday of all days. Talk about history repeating itself; last night's posting from the Sananda source has certainly crucified something, though I'm not sure what. Leo's analogy to a knuckler is a good one; the dialogue has certainly taken a funny hop.


 My thanks to Brother Ferguson for your response; temperance laden with humor is a marked improvement over my first reaction when the Sananda messages came looming out of Cyberspace. Fortunately for me, an alert Midwayer was at the gate as I was hitting the "Send Now" key, and a memory parity error shut Windows, preventing me from launching a posting which I am sure I would be regretting by now.


 Also to Peter F's point, I certainly hope no one of us has picked up any bad habits from our friends in the CIA. Disinformation schemes of various sorts have done much to create chaos and absurdity in the UFO community and have subverted a variety of public discussions to much ill effect for the health of the democracy. The struggle to achieve faith and to reconcile the spiritual truth elements of the NT, the UB and the TM was already plenty tough...this is another matter altogether.


 Actually, very little struggle seems to be required I think to drop the Sananda messages in the trash bucket where they belong; I've only had the opportunity to review the Welmek and Will transcripts so far (thanks to the good offices of my true spirit brother Michael M.) but it is enough to convince me that the gentleness of Welmek fails to reconcile with the meanness of spirit emanating from Sananda's "no more mr. nice guy" threats. So last night's events does little for me in terms of resolving the truth/not-truth struggle vis-a-vis the TM itself.


 The real question for me is more of a"who cut the cheese" variety. The source of the posting is either from one who has clearly gotten a kink in his/her spiritual hose, or from one who feels a need to derail the process of authentic dialogue by attempting to dust the batter at the plate. Whomever or whichevermay lays claim to authorship, it certainly wasn't a Melchizedek, whose insight into human character would be certain to inform them that such an approach to your average human, especially of the UB reader variety, could only be expected to produce a response of the "why don't you take a flying **** at a rolling doughnut" variety.


 As for myself, this intemperent response, which as I say is an improvement over the one I attempted to launch last night, is enough disruption of the inner tranquility with which I prefer to navigate holy week. Taking, from here forward, a look for the silver lining approach to the --TM; Luciferian scheme or harbinger of the Second Coming? -- debate, I offer these observations. When about fifteen years ago, I returned from my spiritual journey to the edge of atheism, to a renewed contemplation of Christ and the meaning of his life in the flesh and his death on the cross, I was rewarded with this insight. The horrible murder of our Master carried with it a message to humanity; that death is not to be feared, and that survival is assured. The importance of this message is that it supports our quest for faith by offering tangible proof of survival. This in turn allows us to focus on the quest for growth through spiritual advancement, rather than investment in material preoccupations, which leads only to fear, greed, violence and pornography. And spiritual growth must depend on personal experience and commitment to faith rather than iconography. No icon or idol, whether it takes the form of a golden calf, the NT, the UB or the TM can safely form the foundation of emerging faith in God and his unfolding plan for the universe. Icon-based faith cannot yield the commitment to the ethical living and personal responsibility necessary for solving the multitude of problems faced by humanity here on earth. Only direct prayerful contact with God can do that. As I've said on this net in the past, I've been greatly aided in my spiritual quest by the spiritual truth to be found in Zen, the Bible, the traditions of Native-American spiritualism, the UB _and_ the TM. I feel safe and secure in my belief that there is no false path to God. Every risk taken in pursuit of truth will yield forth good fruit, as long as I maintain critical judgement and trust in the Father.


 As to the TM, it is either a harbinger of spiritual revolution on Urantia or not; but fear not. When Christ returns to Urantia, I'm sure the effects will not be subtle. We'll all have a chance to read about it in Newsweek.


 Pray for Peace; Work for Social Justice and Non-Violence

10 Apr 1993    PETER J FERGUSON       Tone

Subject: Tone


 David,> I am leaning towards a position which would support a somewhat sectarian view of how the readership should be organized[[ ? Sectarian?=adhering or confined to the dogmatic views of a sect= 2. member of a sect. 3.One characterized by bigoted adherence to a factional veiwpoint.(Tormonts Webster def.) When I first began to study the UB and, meeting people who were also involved with it, the first thing that struck me was the unity that developed between individuals of diverse spiritual tones. It was so re- freshing to experience the joy that we had something very special that we could relate to, even with our different viewpoints on many other issues. Then came the TM! (enter theme from dragnet) Personally the TM didn't make a big difference to me. In the beginning I admit I did have kind of an attitude about it all. After awhile I began to witness the happiness that a lot of people experienced from this whole phenomenon, that was fine with me nothing evil here. I couldn't figure out why so many were getting upset about it. I knew it would just be a matter of time before the the flakey puffs entered into the picture sananda and the rest of the P.T. Barnum gang (enter: the theme from Jaws) I'm pretty anchored in the UB. I think its about all the new territory my mind and spirit will be able to deal with in one lifetime. Every time I read something I've read before in the book I get a new grasp and a better viewpoint from this rockface of spirituality I seem to be constantly ascending. I'm not worried about the individuals involved in the TM. I respect their viewpoint, I don’t feel they have to be controlled or given decrees to follow a sectarian point of view. What really makes me worry is the fear and condemnation I hear from the Anti- TM faction. In all honesty If your assertions are correct this thing could crash in burn quite soon. Are you going to sit there and gloat or are you going to reach a hand out and, pull them from the ashes. I personally think there is something going on with the TM but I don’t understand it. If it endures fine, If it goes away the book will still be here. One thing that really bothers me is the fact that the loudest scoffers of this whole TM thing are the ones that were involved in the Fog incident or something of that nature. From my angle it sounds like sour grapes, Kind of like an abandonment reaction. Sort of like the kid that fumbled the football and, the coach makes him sit out the next game. I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, but there is this incredibly hostile attitude emanating from that direction.>> I certainly dont want to have to share conference space or even study group space with Tmers[[ Should they sit at the back of the bus and use only TM designated wash- rooms? ]]spiritual masturbation[[? What do you think the Urantial Forum is!! It's the biggest Wankfest this side of Norlatiadek!! I've seen plenty of unselfish service from TMers how can you say something like that.]]they all seem focused on defense[[[ Obviously they are constantly under attack! You know I could just go on and on, but I'll spare my loud wanking. David, I was really impressed with your presentation at the TM forum You had a well researched, finely tuned presentation! It reminded of the great jazz musician who comes out and just starts ripping! I just think you need to play a softer, more loving melody for this Tune. Now please don't start blowin those dissonant augmented scales at me over this letter, I've got two broken strings on this old axe!!

10 Apr 1993    PETER J FERGUSON       Cricks

Subject: Cricks


 This is Peter Ferguson's wife. Cathy. I felt compelled to make a few observations of my own on the correspondence regarding the TM. While I myself am not really involved in the TM and have not personally made any decisions on its validity, I do find it somewhat disconcerting that the very people who claim the TM will fall prey to discrepancies and ego infusion eventually seem so adamant to make up other's minds about the TM for them. David, you stated that Jesus' attitude in the Jesus Papers in regards to Kirmeth, the Bahgdad trance prophet, was to allow the character to be as widely heard as possible -- he had faith in the people's ability to discern the truth. It is apparent that you, and several others, do not share Jesus' attitude. If you are so sure in your belief that it will eventually come to pass as you predicted why to you insist on attacking the TM when it only serves to strengthen the resolve of the people involved. Your last text seems to be a real putdown since you imply through your quote that others that don't share your particular belief system are uneducated, underprivledged and lack the cultural advantages of which you have availed yourself. I myself have found people of all different belief systems in every strata of socio-economic backgrounds, some of the most admirable having come from least educated, poorest and culturally disadvantaged. It appears to me and, I'm sure to others, that you place yourself above anyone involved or tolerant of those invovled in the TM and I for one find this very un-Jesuslike. I quit getting "cricks" in my neck a long time ago because I quit looking up to people who held themselves above others. Well, I guess I've "said my piece". CLF



10 Apr 1993    leo elliott            Prodigy Posts

Subject: Prodigy Posts


 TO: WARREN WOLFE (JTKS47A) FROM: MARTIN PATTON (CHRB25A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 Warren, Pax Christi,


 I do not mean to do you a disservice! I have not supported the TM movement in my notes to you! Because none of us has the ability to know whether it is from the Spirit of Truth or not. Warren its just too soon to tell. The movement is not to blame. Until we can establish a discernment of truth you nor I nor anyone else knows! That's my point we don't know enough to make an unequivocal decision on the TM movement. We do know that some TRs are not clear channels, and that they make grave errors when compared to the UB. You and I both know that there are some who will do anything to be noticed in a group, even channel. But they don't channel clearly. "By their fruits you shall know them!" And either these or the group will recognize "the fruits" and they will stop channeling. Others, clearly grounded TRs, will be able to express truth and not contradict the UB, unless explaining a new meaning to a previous material. The TM movement therefore cannot be dismissed, but Warren it is too soon to tell! To stop listening is like throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water. To stop others from experiencing truth before discernment is equally not in the best interest of the UB. Now without discernment it is truly a charlatan's paradise.


 In my limited experience with the Cinti group, I do notice that it does get readers digging into their Concordex and the UB in attempts to clarify the TRs message. So I don't know wheter God can be blamed or the natural inquisitive soul of each of us. Since we don't know if its a fraud, yet! It sure is a pleasure to see everyone diving in to get the facts. Your notes indicate that you have tuned into the Internet, you can see from these logondontors have clearly dug deep into the Book.


 Warren from your other responses, you appear to have a DEEP love and understanding of the Urantia Book. If you can't find a group in East Lansing, why not a group here on *P starting from the Introduction to the Jesus Papers, take up one subject and pages and express the meanings, define the unique terms, question and rebut, teach us what is already written. Perhaps between you, Jim~~~ and Pat and others we can ignore the TM phenom and get back to teaching.


 I was at a UB reading tonite starting on page 2004 and as we read,'service' was powerfully expressed in that lesson. Actually this subject of Crucifixion was expressed more beautifully than any story I can remember.


 Blessings and White Light TO: MARTIN PATTON (CHRB25A) FROM: RON DARBY (DHSB92A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 Hello all ...


 Martin, I think the idea of an actual study activity is a great idea. I have never had the opportunity to participate in a study group that did a topical study ... only sequential reading. This medium appears to be quite suitable for a topical format. Although I have been a reader for many years, I know that an organized study activity would be very beneficial to me personally. Actually, now that I think about it, even a sequential read/talk-about-it/question/answer kind of activity might work out well.


 Warren, I wish to apologize to you for any offense I have given. To cause offense was never my intent ... just as I feel sure that you never intended to cause the several instances when I took personal offense at your words directed to others. I do not consider myself to be a TMer; but I also do not consider myself to be anti-TM. I am trying to discern the truth as best I can and I don't feel any need to hurry the process. So far, this TM-thing has been quite a catalyst in my own personal process of growth. The TM is criticized for not adding anything new. However, for me, it has caused me to focus on, and actually experience more sonship-to-God and brotherhood-to-man than has my over 20 years of UB reading and more recent study group participation. The discussions, pro and con, of the TM, which continue on Internet have caused me to be exposed to and to mentally grapple with, spiritual, theological, philosophic, and psychological concepts that I never would have known about, or chosen to pursue. Since the transcripts, I have personally given and perceived more love both as regards God and my fellow man. I don't believe that any of this personal experience validates, in any way, the TM claim's which are in dispute. As I have said many times before, the disputed claim's have never been of much interest to me. What the TM transcripts have done for me personally is to bring to life the concepts of love, service, and brotherhood to an extent never before experienced. The simplicity and almost monotonous repetition of concepts, for me, has been a significant factor in the transcripts success. Even the controversy and heated exchanges of viewpoint continue to be a stimulus for personal growth. These are growth areas that I would never recognize or choose on my own. For example, until the last week, I have considered the notion of "righteous indignation" which both sides have expressed, to be no more than an excuse for blatant rudeness, fixation of viewpoint, and exaltation of self. However, recent discussion on Internet has made me realize that there may be, in fact, a point when tolerance for another viewpoint becomes betrayal one's own values. I look forward to continuation of that discussion. The relationship between psychology and personal religion is another significant area of study that had never seemed important until the TM and resultant discussion. And lastly, I have been forced to recognize the very real possibility of the existence of a few charlatans in the UB-reading community.


 This 6 page limit on *P is a good thing. Without it, some of us would ramble on, and on, and on ...



10 Apr 1993    Matthew Rapaport              defense of debate

Subject: defense of debate


 >From Peter >Matthew, There will be alot more Sanandas in the future...


 You could of course be right in your interpretation of this event, but I take it to be somewhat more significant. This was not (to my understanding) forged or otherwise generated fraudulently by an anti TMer. I can imagine what UB savvy TMers might think of the passages David K. quoted for us, but what of the rest of the copy coming out of this group? My point is that the TM has no internal mechanism through which to distinguish the overtly false communication from the genuine. They have, only an EXTERNAL reference to the UB, and as we well know, there are a significant percentage of TMers who are NOT throughly familiar with the UB. How do these people make the distinctions (for themselves).


 >I was just over on the Well reading your response on " the calling" >Excellent!...just started with them last week so I'm going through hell >learning to navigate through it all.


 That was a long time ago. Cliff F. used to be the director at the WELL, and at least a little bit a friend. I was trying to counter the (again mostly new age) notion that one's "space/place" had much to do with one's potential for spiritual growth. Again as usual, no one was listening. You'll have fun on the WELL, a great system, just got to expensive for me.


 Leo >...if we can allow this thing to play itself out with a minimum of >bashing and I-told-you-sos...


 Well I could, but that wouldn't be so much fun. This is, at least in part, an intellectual playing field. If I can't have fun, I don't want to play.


 David L. >Actually, very little struggle seems to be required I think to drop the >Sananda messages in the trash bucket where they belong; I've only had the >opportunity to review the Welmek and Will transcripts so far (thanks to >the good offices of my true spirit brother Michael M.) but it is enough to >convince me that the gentleness of Welmek fails to reconcile with the >meanness of spirit emanating from Sananda's "no more mr. nice guy"...


 No argument here, but Welmek & Will are not without their conceptual problems. Not meanness to be sure, but more subtle problems whose significance depends upon interpretation.


 Peter >One thing that really bothers me is the fact that the loudest scoffers >of this whole TM thing are the ones that were involved in the Fog >incident or something of that nature.


 I was not in FOG or anything of that nature. I was one of the early (though not to my chagrin the earliest) and strongest voices in opposition to Vern's claims. Nobody listened to me then, and no one is listening now. Perhaps it is this that generates that demand for recognition in myself - even if I have to recognize myself! I do point out, in my defense, that this (computer conferencing) is a "medium of evidence". That is, a permanent record is (at least partly) inherent in the medium. To ignore this record is to fail to utilize the medium to its potential.


 Cathy >I do find it somewhat disconcerting that the very people who claim the >TM will fall prey to discrepancies and ego infusion eventually seem so >adamant to make up other's minds about the TM for them. David, you >stated that Jesus' attitude in the Jesus Papers in regards to Kirmeth, >the Bahgdad trance prophet, was to allow the character to be as widely >heard as possible -- he had faith in the people's ability to discern the >truth. It is apparent that you, and several others, do not share Jesus' >attitude.


 Opting NOT to try to change someone's mind respecting what you believe to be some error is a perfectly valid choice, for good spiritual reasons, under certain circumstances. But IF you opt for this course, why engage in such debates as this in the first place? Are we here (on this mailing list/cyberspace) just to pat each other on the back and congratulate ourselves on what sincere truth-seekers we all are? Intellectual discourse has rules and objects/goals of its own. It's not that any of us have to engage in it, but this medium is here for purposes of fostering such discourse.



11 Apr 1993    leo elliott            Prodigy Posts

Subject: Prodigy Posts


 TO: DAVID STRANG (KBBP68A) FROM: MARTIN PATTON (CHRB25A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 David, Pax Christi,


 My clients come from a Hypnotherapy/Wellness Practice in Fairfield and Cincinnati. This week a new hopefully non-profit center Attitudes For Wellness will open in Madeira a sub of Cinti. Because of the nature of my practice a number of unique types of clients are sent to me by Drs. Some have had Near Death Experiences, some were UFO encounters, others fall in the area of Multiple Personality Disorders, and Post Trumatic Stress and any and all of these can be examples of spirit entitiy attachment. My success rate is above average in returning these folks to a sound quality of life. I owe that success to God the Father, the Eternal Son and The Infinite Spirit!


 I also at one time believed that we have had NO PRIOR human life experiences excepting the one we are living today. And David, I used a technique known as Past Life Therapy to help others work out their difficulties. The first HUNDRED of these PLT sessions I considered the imaginings of a deeply troubled human creating for the subconscious benefit a series of stories of resultant traumas from previous lives, with the amazing factors that the individuals got better or cured themselves [with God's help] of serious illnesses. What a wonderful modality! Me believe? NEVER! Or so I thought. My deep Jesuit Education had led me to the conclusion we only live once and we had better make it good this time! And like you David, I laughed off the seriousnes that my clients took PLT>>> Then it happened, I started to run into things not answerable by the age or education of the client. A five year old, who spoke an arab dialect under hypnosis. [Verified on tape] A macho 17 year old adoptee who had given me six past lives with his adopted parents, four of which were lives as women. A lady with kidney failure who was bayoneted in the Civil War. Another lady who was left to die in a cattle car with sixty other Jews on the way to a death camp, who spoke Yiddish and French [verified by tape]. And David its been going on like that for the last 3000 cases!!! Wide awake these people only knew American English. So David the "gross error of reincarnation" no longer sells to me. And since I've forgiven the Christian Church for their error in 545ad of creating anathema, I will also forgive the UB revelators their error. [G]


 Now as far as UFO abduction, I think you'd be hard pressed to argue against the existence of other planets and the possibility of their visiting us?


 The Solar Plexus gets its name because of the sun within! And since you are no doubt a perfected being you carry this light in all of the parts of your body, no longer just in the stomach area! The light you see about your head is explained in any metaphysics book as the Universal Light or The White Light of the Holy Spirit. E A Poe is the area of Leo Elliott, as the New Sage of Monticello is closer to his room in the Ranges than am I>>> 2:37am EDT.


 TO: JIM MCNELLY (HFBB22A) FROM: WARREN WOLFE (JTKS47A) SUBJECT: URANTIA BOOK


 


 Jim, your analysis of the Urantia Movement is profound, but there are some people, such as myself, who, although they may have been exhibiting some of the same "symptoms" you describe, had NOT been exposed to ANYTHING having to do with the UB, and were therefore "pure" of "contamination."


 Given that people, like myself, developed the same traits without the stimulus you claim as the cause, I think it might be a good idea for you to examine your hypothesis one more time -- I think the causal link is yet to be proven.


 I am keeping very open, and I am ever less impressed with what I see, and I am becoming afraid: afraid for the people involved in the T/R movement, afraid for the future acceptance of the Urantia Book, and afraid that, for all the paranoid-seeming behavior of Martin Myers, that he might have been, in essence, correct. But, if you read on, you will find all this out for yourself. You are QUITE correct to point out that there is a point at which it is betrayal to avoid taking a stand on your faith, and I am sorry to say that I will likely be the catalyst for your reaching that position. Faith, brother.


 

11 Apr 1993    Ronnie L. Darby x0138          Tolerance or ?

Subject: Tolerance or ?


 Greetings Logondonters !


 On 9 April, Matthew Rapaport stated:


 "I would like also to comment upon Byron's call for tolerance. Personal tolerance is always to be desired, and we should demand it of ourselves. Ad hominem attacks ("you're stupid") should not be tolerated. At the same time, I want very strongly to urge that the demand for tolerance not be imposed upon domain of intellectual discourse, a course that presumes that "all ideas are equally valid, truthful, etc.". The assertion that "this idea is stupid, and here's why" must be acceptable in itself. We can ask for diplomacy in these regards, but we must allow that some people will hold strong opinions one way or another, opinions that must remain expressible in all their strength - hopefully associated with at least an attempt at justification."


 Then, on the same day, David Kantor said:


 "I am not sure about the point at which tolerance of someone else's position becomes a betrayal of one's own integrity."


 These two comments have stimulated quite a bit of turmoil in my own mind. The mental conflict comes from recognition of what I consider truth in these statements; while at the same time I feel that something very fundamental to the discussion is missing. Concurrent with my pondering of this subject, I find my own tolerance of TM-put-downers being severely challenged.


 Matthew, you draw a distinction between saying to someone, "You are stupid." and saying, "[your] idea is stupid...". Now, I have a difficult time, from a practical standpoint, distinguishing between the two. This is because we do, in fact, identify with our ideas and for someone to put-down, ridicule, or otherwise portray an idea in any particular way, is to indirectly portray *anyone who identifies with the idea* in the same way. You do allow that "We can ask for diplomacy..."; but the emphasis of that sentence is on self assertion; even, "...must remain expressible in all their strength". Is there a place where a line should be drawn, beyond which "strength of expression" is counter productive or even harmful?


 The notion of tolerance becoming betrayal of integrity is particularly disturbing. If I start looking at this conflict between tolerance and integrity, the first thing I must establish is the meaning of the words.


 Tolerance - The capacity for or practice of recognizing and respecting the opinions, practices, or behavior of others. ...


 Integrity - Rigid adherence to a code or standard of values; probity - Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness ...


 Immediately, upon examination of the definition of "tolerance", I realize that I must be using the wrong word for what I actually mean. Clearly, there is a huge class of opinions, practices, and behavior which I no _not_ respect and to fail to actively oppose them _would_ be a violation of my integrity.


 No, tolerance isn't the word I want. Perhaps if I make an attempt at a definition ...


 ? - The capacity for or practice of recognizing and respecting the brotherhood, eternal destiny, and personality status of others...


 M. Scott Peck, M.D. in _The_Road_Less_Traveled_ defines:


 Love - "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." "Where "will" is desire of sufficient intensity that it _is_ translated into action."


 Yes, the word "love" really comes closer to what I have been looking for in these electronic relationships that we are beginning to experience. In that "God is love", and we especially, who are knowledgeable about and aware of our son- ship to Him ... I, idealistically, expect that our interactions be more Godlike ... more loving ... that diplomacy be given the front seat of the buss ... that our "strongly held opinions"; even our integrity, take second place to our best efforts to nurture the spiritual growth of our brother.


 It is the "put-down" that has been the most disturbing occurrence in all of our relationships - electronically, in meetings, in writings. To "put-down" another, among other things, implies a lack of caring for and commitment to that person. It says the opposite of "I love you". It says, "I am better than you". "You are less than me." "I can do without you."


 It is in this area of "loving relationship" to our brother that we can so easily find a standard in the life of Jesus. Were Jesus a subscriber to urantial what would His posts have looked like during the past two months? How many "put-downs" would He have posted? Do you suppose that He holds a strong opinion (viewpoint) regarding the subjects of discussion? What do you imagine His posts would have looked like? Would He have called Byron (or David) a charlatan? Or, would He have gently lead, in a positive way, each according to their individual needs? Did Jesus betray His integrity when He tolerated his life on earth; or did His commitment to the nurture of the spiritual growth of mankind take precedence?


 Looking forward to next week!



11 Apr 1993    Matthew Rapaport              opinion always somebody's put-

Subject: opinion always somebody's put-down


 Ron, your points about tolerance -> love, our approach to discussion, etc. are all well taken. I was a debater in my youth and honed philosophical debate somewhat later. I am practiced at distinguishing an attack on an idea (in the spirit of dialog/debate/etc.) from an attack on the person holding that idea, but I take your point, we exhibit striving for Jesus' ideal when we choose not to take that approach at all.


 Still this is a discussion forum. If you and I disagree about anything in particular, there is entailed in that situation a belief (on my part) that you are mistaken, or have made a bad judgment, etc. Presumably, the same must be true for you. One difference between us and Jesus I might point out is that I (or you) only *believe* that you (or I) have made a bad judgment. Jesus *knows* one way or the other (or that both our judgments are bad, etc.). Because our belief is not knowledge, we exercise it in debate. If we are honest, we are open to *changing* our own beliefs based on some criterion that we hold (or at least believe exists) before any discussion begins. If you take the connection between your present beliefs and yourself too seriously, then you will inevitably judge *every* disagreeing person or idea that comes along as a "put-down".


 In this case the relevant connection is that between the TM taken in the abstract, and individuals who have made certain judgments concerning their relation to it. It is my considered opinion that those judgments are incorrect "bad", not in the sense of being evil or imoral, but never-the-less, error. I have given reasons for my belief in this regard. This has nothing to do with the personal worth of any particular individual who has made such a judgment, but as you say, it is inevitable that individuals will identify their own personal worth with this judgment and interpret my expression of opinion as a "put down". If this is the case, I don't know what I can do about it other then to cease voicing any opinion about the phenomena at all.



11 Apr 1993    Ronnie L. Darby x0138          A Matter of Motivation

Subject: A Matter of Motivation


 Matthew, I don't see it as an issue of expressing one's view or not; but an issue of motivation. If you are offended by my viewpoint or strongly hold a different one, and react to my viewpoint by attempting to discredit it by attacking it's integrity, I am likely to be offended by your rebuttal and become defensive of my position. On the other hand, if you make an honest attempt to understand my motivations and the reasons for my viewpoint, you are much more likely to acknowledge the strong points in my position and invest real effort to persuade me recognize another view. In my mind, it is the difference between really caring about the other person and simply trying to "best" him.


 I see this group of logondonters as much more than a group of debaters. I see us as an embryonic community. As I believe, David said, we are all in this for the _long_ haul ... we are likely to be working together for millennia. We will all always have different viewpoints - that is our reason for being. However, the integration of those viewpoints for the accomplishment of common goals will not consist of debating contests; but rather, the hard work of loving one another.


 Again I quote M. Scott Peck, "Love is not a feeling. ...a genuinely loving individual will often take loving and constructive action toward a person he or she consciously dislikes, actually feeling no love toward the person at the time and perhaps even finding the person repugnant in some way. ... Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful. ... Love is not simply giving; it is _judicious_ giving and judicious withholding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing, and pulling in addition to comforting. It is leadership. The word "judicious" means requiring judgment, and judgment requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision making."



12 Apr 1993    leo elliott            Tolerance and Integrity

Subject: Tolerance and Integrity


 Charlottesville, VA 04/11/93


 Hello Logondonters,


 A few thoughts on tolerance, integrity, and motivation, spurred by the exchange between Matthew and Ron:


 A different take on these words can be found in the world of engineering and the construction industry. A look at how they are used there may help with our conversation here.


 Bucky (again!) called to my attention how, in different industries, different "tolerances" are allowed, or considered as acceptable. In the aerospace industry (Ron, you could check this out?) a tolerance no greater than .001 or .0001, or less, of an inch or millimeter, is acceptable -- these parts must fit together, and fit together _exactly_; when they don't, or when someone guesses wrong on what is tolerable, as they did with the O-rings on the Challenger launch, disaster ensues.


 In building a car engine, lets say, a tolerance of .01 to .001 might be acceptable in the fitting together of a piston and a valve. It seems the farther away one gets from the critical parts, where the explosions must be contained and the gasses flushed, the tolerance becomes much greater, to the point where a clamp for an exhaust pipe might be OK with a tolerance of .1 to even .25 of an inch.


 In building houses, as anyone who has ever worked with a framing carpenter can tell you, you strive for exactitude as well, but, depending on the size of the span, say a 24' rafter or floor joist, and depending on the quality of the material, a tolerance of .25 to .5 of an inch might end up being quite tolerable.


 We strive for precision and exactitude in our speaking and writing as well -- as Mark Twain said, "The difference between the 'right word' and the 'almost right word' is the difference between 'lightning bug' and 'lightning.'" -- However, as we are finding out as our conversations here continue, the measurement of words, ideas, ideals, is not nearly so precise. Again, quality -- values, are _felt_ rather than measured. We will never be able to measure our feelings the way we measure two-by-fours; we do well to be able to express them, these values and ideals which shape our lives.


 


 Yet measure we seem programmed to do, so as to insure the integrity of our constructions, be they houses or spaceships or theories. We strive for quality workmanship. I am reminded of a poster on the wall of the philosophy department at the University of Louisville: "That nation that tolerates shoddiness in plumbing because it is a lowly activity, or shoddiness in its philosophy because it is an exalted one, will suffer the consequence of having neither pipes nor theories which hold water."


 So we test and we measure and we probe, and we see what fits and what doesn't, what holds water and what leaks. Ron's point about motivation is well taken here, and reminiscent of Aristotle: "Do not expect greater precision than the subject matter permits." Precision of expression varies with the enterprise, and it seems the mark of wisdom to be able to note when a pint measure is called for, when a quart. If it is true that few humans draw on the spiritual credits established for them, then it may be a case of our _felt needs_ being measurable in buckets, and the tools we use to fill these needs being measurable in thimbles.


 It may be that certain of the areas under discussion, especially those dealing with personal religious experience, are areas where the felt value of the experience under discussion may not so easily fit into propositional format; at this point, I ask whether my communicant's motivation is to share/communicate the felt experience, or to convince me of the validity of some proposition. The latter I may question and submit to the rigors of the dialectical process, the former I may only appreciate or not, depending on the quality of the raw materials and how well they may or may not have been prepared and seasoned for my plate -- and there may be certain items whose cultural odor, while they may be deemed very appealing in one culture, I find myself unable to overcome the odor of to effect the tasting -- snake- handling and chitlins come to mind for my own case.


 As Brother Alexus taught his freshman Latinists, "De Gustibus Non Disputandum" -- "On Matters of Taste There is No Dispute."


 Herein seems the rub in our discussion, and those dealing with religious topics in general. It is one thing if one finds the aroma of chitlins cooking to be sufficient cause to leave the house. It is another to feel as tho the chitlins are part of a plot to poison the community, and therefore one must return with a fire brigade to burn down the kitchen. It is one thing to politely decline to serve oneself some food one finds repugnant or distasteful, but quite another to insult the cook who is offering this food simply as an invitation, by telling him how disgusting his food is. It is one thing to note a slanted beam or rafter in a neighbors' house, but another to mock his skills as a carpenter. It is one thing to sniggle at the leaks in a neighbor's roof, another to help him place buckets to catch the water, and yet another to offer to help him fix his roof.


 Perhaps our integrity is revealed in our tolerance?


 Leo (half-bubble-off-center) Elliott

12 Apr 1993    David Kantor      Sedona stuff and responses

Subject: Sedona stuff and responses


 Hello, Logondonters...


 Wow; nearly 100k of posts after the weekend! I am only going to be able to respond piecemeal....


 Michael, thank you for the information you snailed about Internet. I am also going to download the various materials referenced in the "Electric Mystic's Guide" -- there's quite a bit here. I appreciate the manner in which you conduct this forum -- you seem to be able to speak your truth and tolerate the fray well -- hats off to you for holding this together while we (hopefully) learn how to do it as graciously and well as you seem to be able to do.


 David Larsen, no disinformation scheme is in operation here (In my immaturity I may come off sounding like an egotistical jerk sometimes and I apologize for that, but I don't scheme and I am not a manipulator.) The posted Sananda material was geniune -- I posted two out of four TM transcripts which I received. I posted the entire transcripts with no editing. (I did type them in at a pretty fast clip and there may have been some errors, but they should be minor.) Along with the transcripts I also received an introductory letter and literature inviting me to a seminar with "Paladin, a finaliter with the Astar Command." (Knight without armor in a savage land?) The literature also informs me that "Those students who are of the highest loyalties to the Universal Father and Michael of Nebadon will also be given certain mandates when they have learned the necessary conceptual language of cosmic law and government structure, that begins first in the recognition of appointed human material complements..." (note that these 'appointed human complements' are none other than White Cloud and Sananda.)


 In addition these folks offer the following "community services":


 (begin direct quote from Sedona literature)


 1. PERSONAL ORIENTATION CONSULTATION with first assistants concerning specifics about this diversified work, community, school or healing.


 2. PRIVATE TRANSMISSIONS with Gabriel as to soul origin, evolution and destiny. Requests by mail should include a full face photo of yourself (and your partner if desired) with eyes clearly visible.


 3. PRIVATE LIGHT BODY VISUALIZATION session with Sananda through transfiguration and time-space warp procedure of retrospection and interdimensional personality visitation.


 4. HOLISTIC TEAM HEALING incorporating psychobiology, psychopathology, and psychospiritual techniques.


 Healing of the astral body with Gabriel of Sedona with the mandate of the Bright and Morning Star.


 Healing of the etheric body with Sananda with the mandate of Machiventa Melchizedek.


 Spiritual counseling with appropriate elders and assistants.


 


 (end direct quote)


 So get those photos and send them to: Aquarian Concepts Community at the Planetary Center of Light P.O. Box 3946 West Sedona, AZ USA 86340


 Check it out for yourself folks -- honest, I ain't makin' this stuff up! Time-space warp procedure of retrospection indeed!


 The stratification of Christianity into socio-economic groups is important to recognize and understand. Cathy, I certainly had no intention of placing myself anywhere in particular on this spectrum. I am acutely aware of the problem with this stratification because of my attempts to relate to an academic community while lacking an advanced degree -- it's like hitting my head against the wall some times but I am enjoying the challenge presented by these sociological barriers and I fully intend to prevail in spite of them. Economically, I maintain a rather tentative grip on the middle class, struggling to keep my business profitable, and it's scary as hell. It is somewhat like driving a car faster than is really safe, over an unknown road -- white knuckle city. But it's been putting food on the table for the past five years and this year I may even be able to keep up with my taxes -- no glory here, only an observation of the surrounding landscape.


 The problem is that people want to be polite and not look at class and racial distinctions in our society and recognize the roles they play. It makes it so that we are trying to play the game without a full deck and I think it's pretty stupid. There is much that we all conspire to keep hidden in our society -- much like the codependency that permits alcoholism and abuse to thrive in the very families who are the victims. Bear in mind that you live in a culture which would abolish IQ tests when they reveal differences between cultural and racial groups rather than inquire about those differences and find ways of building some compensating elements into the educational system.


 Again, it becomes a problem if we have misplaced our identities. If we identify with our ideas, our race, our socio-economic position, our ethnic origins, our nationality, or anything else that is in a part of the material world, we are in big trouble. Once we firmly establish our identities as sons and daughters of God on a working psychological level, it becomes much easier to look at and deal with these factors of the ever-changing world in which we live. If we maintain our identity in these elements of the world, we end up having to defend them because, to our minds, they *are* us.


 Leo, I appreciated your comments on community-building. When I read something like Niebuhr's comments about real religion originating in the disenfranchised strata of society, I do not get a sense of the "noble savage" or of the romantic notion that we should all therefore take vows of poverty and eschew education and culture. Rather do I get a sense of the tragedy this planet has lived with for centuries -- the inability to devise social and interpersonal mechanisms for allowing this realm of spiritual activation to permeate and uplift human society. We are really missing an essential part of the mechanism for bringing the kingdom into manifestation in our world. THIS IS THE TASK -- THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO! Yeah, Michael, the caps work great!


 My comment on leaning toward a somewhat sectarian view needs more consideration. Niebuhr, in "Social Sources of Denominationalism" makes a very excellent case for the un-Christlike situation that the fragmentation of the present day church perpetuates. My wife also pointed out to me during our Easter morning reading, the many statements by Jesus during his Morontial appearances about unity and keeping the community together.


 What about conference space? What about study groups? If someone shows up at my study group and says he wants to sacrifice a chicken each week before the meeting, tolerance would require me to allow him to express his religious ideas in whatever way was meaningful to him, but integrity would lead me to add that the sacrifice was not going to take place at my home or at my study group. This is the point at which I have to say the person ought to start his own group with like-minded chicken sacrificers rather than destroy the integrity of an existing group by forcing it to include such activities.


 Ron Darby had some interesting reflections on the integrity/tolerance issue, and my thinking is far from settled on it. The problem I see, is that if I hear someone out on their position, giving respect for what they are saying, and leave it at that, what about my position, if I strongly differ? Where and in what manner, or perhaps *how* is it to be offered, honestly and with integrity? My feeling on this forum is that when someone like Byron makes unfounded, brash, sweeping proclamations, such as the recent one about the TMers being "the living embodiment of the 5th epochal revelation..." I figure it's open season. Byron speaks from the viewpoint of an observer *about* a phenomenon. On the other hand, when someone like Peter F. or Michael M. post very moving and obviously sincere statements about their beliefs in the validity of the TM, I have to back off. Now it's coming from a person who is a *participant* in the phenomenon and it seems to be a different matter. Unfortunately, with this medium, if I then call Byron on something, by implication I am also calling Michael and Peter on it, and such has not been my intention. Michael and Peter are reporting their personal reactions to their experiences and I think that should require some honor (while still being subject to questioning from someone whose experiences would lead him to different conclusions.) But when Byron projects himself as the spokesperson for a *movement*, he's got some more serious questions to answer if he wishes to maintain respect for his position and have people take him seriously.


 Leo, thanks for calling me on the "legitimate distribution" issue. That's another difficult one and I think your view has some merits, but I'm not ready to accept it. The issue of what is the most effective way of distributing the book and making people aware of its existence has never been addressed by a collective body of readers who know something about what the book contains. I'm not sure that it can be a "managed" operation, but I am likewise not sure that simply distributing it to as many people as possible with no plan at all is an answer. It remains an issue which I don't think has really been addressed.


 In the effort to prevent an "authorized view" from developing amongst the readership, we have created a situation in which there is no view at all. Only in an environment where the development of well-explicated interpretations of the UB has been suppressed could something like the TM occur. The functional operation of The Spirit of Truth, the Thought Adjuster, the role of Truth in reality apprehension, the evolutionary nature of the 5th epochal revelation -- all of these things and much more are thoroughly discussed in the UB, and an understanding of them is inconsistent with the underlying assumptions upon which the TM has developed. If there are no articulated interpretations of the material in this book, people will create their own based, not on an understanding of the teachings of the book, but on their own projections, needs and assumptions. Is this the best service to new readers that established readers can offer? I think not. This is the result of a confused idea of what freedom is. It's like giving your kids the freedom to run out into the road and find out for themselves what automobiles are about.


 My experience has been that most readers take from the UB the statements which do a good job of articulating what they already felt or sensed about reality at the time they found the book -- the book legitimized their thinking. But very, very few readers really dig in and attempt to understand and assimilate the implications of those portions of the text which are truly revelatory in nature and allow that text to revolutionize their thinking.


 It does no service to new readers of the book if we create a context in which each new generation of readers has to wade through the same mud and make the same errors before finding their way to a reasonable interpretation of the text. I have no final answer on this and I don't think it will be resolved in my lifetime. But I do believe that the dialog and controversy about the issue will continue for many years to come. My objective is increasingly becoming that of attempting to expand the context in which this debate will occur and to discover and make available related information which can inform the dialog.


 I'm not even convinced that mailing a copy of the book to every address on the planet would have much effect. There's something else that is essential that we haven't identified. The more I read, the more I realize that the world is awash with good ideas and solutions to its many dilemmas -- something breaks down in the implementation phase. Perhaps your reference, Leo, to the ideals not ideas quote is relevant here. It's a *spiritual* problem, one that is not necessarily amenable to an ideological treatment.


 Peter, I think you make a good observation when you note that "there is something going on with the TM but I don't understand it." I really feel that way too, although I feel strongly that I know what it is *not*. Many of my seemingly strong assertions have been put forth here with the hope that some one from the TM would directly and honestly address them. But no one has engaged in the dialog. They continue to make claims and defend their position, but no one comes out into the open and actually engages in dialog about the issues which are raised by those of us who aren't buying into the official interpretation of the phenomenon.


 What I think is going on with the TM phenomenon is a revelation of how little we really know about psychology, sociology and what it means to be "faith sons" of the Father. Neither has anyone taken the time to study and describe just what is meant in the UB by "morontia" or "morontial". I get the sense that this is an entire domain of reality which we have to go through before we even begin to contact spirit realities -- and apparently it is going to take us a long time of training and experience to become proficient enough in the morontial environment to reach the point where we can begin to be trained to recognize and apprehend that which is truly spiritual.


 Medieval thinkers viewed the earth as a sphere in the center of the universe, surrounded by the sub-lunar sphere, with the heavens existing in perfection beyond the orbit of the moon. While our view of the physical universe has expanded profoundly in the past few centuries, our view of the spiritual universe has not kept pace. We still generally view ourselves as existing at the center with spiritual reality within easy reach. The UB (imhi -- in my humble interpretation) indicates that there is a vast zone of that which is "morontial" which exists between us and that which is "spirit", and we haven't even begun to explore what the UB says about this. And yet some readers insist on claiming working contact with spiritual reality. The UB leads me to believe that the universe is far vaster -- in all directions and dimensions -- that we have allowed ourselves to conceive. This expanded view offered by the UB takes virtually all of that which we as a culture have considered to be spiritual and places it back in the domain of mind and psychology -- it is border-line morontial at best, and far, far from those domains which we designate as "spiritual".


 Ron, I am not engaging in a wholesale put-down of TMers here. I have raised many issues related to the TM and not one of them have been addressed. I am indignant that someone would take The Urantia Book and so thoughtlessly misrepresent it to new readers as do some of the TMers. I am sorry that Urantia Foundation did such a poor job of fostering this revelation during its initial decades that such error can occur on such a wide scale. I will do my best to avoid putting down individual TMers but I will continue to speak out against this travesty of truth. You and others get on my case for "putting down" TMers, but you have yet to show me where I am wrong in my evaluations and where the errors are in the reasoning I have used to arrive at my conclusions. TMers make what appear to me to be erroneous statements of fact and provide poorly formed arguments in the defense of those "facts". Then when taken to task for such poor formulations of their ideas, they hide behind an appeal to the ideals of spiritual brotherhood as their only defense. The whole thing continues to appear quite shoddy to me.....would it be moral or ethical to ignore what appears to be a major error for the sake of "tolerance"?


 


 Have a good week, friends, and watch out for distortion waves.


 

12 Apr 1993    David Kantor      News Flash from Sedona

Subject: News Flash from Sedona


 Hello, Logondonters....


 Here's more from Sedona. This was sent with a cover letter which contained notice that Calagastia has "riddled" the Urantia movement with confusion, that the claims that Melchizedek will materialize on April 24 are deceptions, and that Melchizedek will not even speak to the group in Illinois because he has been working with the Sedona group since 1989.


 David Kantor


 *******************************************************************


 (begin direct quote from Sedona literature)


 WEEKEND SEMINAR (end of each month)


 We, Gabriel, Niann, Sananda and White Cloud of the Aquarian Concepts Community at the Planetary Center of Light are happy to announce the beginningj level weekend instruction seminar at the Extension Schools of Melchizedek, mandated by Machiventa. The purpose of this weekend instructino is to open up your circuits as to the higher revelations that are now being transmitted through certain mandated personalities on Urantia, which include: the continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation along with that which is already in print, the beginning instruction on the Cosmic Reserve Corps, and New Order community principles in relation to the Divine Government that is now forming at the Planetary Center of Light, the headquarters for this government.


 A brief introduction will be given regarding various celestial personalities, how they come, who they come to, and why. Other most significant information will also be presented concerning the transition from the third to the fourth dimension in the nearing change point through light body and physical evacuation. Those students who are of the highest loyalties to the Universal Father and Michael of Nebadon will also be given certain mandates when they have learned the necessary conceptual language of cosmic law and government structure, that begins first in the recognition of appointed human material complements and/or your teachers.


 


 


 We ask you to consider what you should give financially for the teachings you will be receiving. Please remember that others charge great fees for lesser instruction. Consider as a minimum donation what you make an hour and multiply that by 14 (the number of hours the four elders spend teaching). If financially capable, you may wish to double the minimum donation or add anything to that minimum, in consideration that there are four elders present who are in full-time spiritual work and who rely on donations for their livelihood. We ask that your donation for the weekend be given ten days before the time of your arrival.


 


 In the seriousness of the hour, (signed) Gabriel, Niaan, Sananda, White Cloud

12 Apr 1993    leo elliott            Dissolving Paradigms?

Subject: Dissolving Paradigms?


 Charlottesville, VA 04/12/93


 Hello Old-time TV fans,


 I happened to like gruff old Richard Boone, all clad in black, with the neat calling-card. As I recall, the networks had him slotted right before or after Chuck Connors in "The Rifleman." -- But in fairness David, I can't help but imagine that some of the names presented in the UB itself (Onamonolonton? Grandfanda?) must seem every bit as comical as "Paladin."


 I hear your frustration at not being able to "engage" a TM spokesman on the level you wish to engage. I imagine Byron will step into the ring here sooner or later, but in the meantime, perhaps we can spar a few gentlemanly rounds. I see myself more now in the role that Byron described himself in at the TM forum, that of some sort of spiritual journalist, trying to present the positions as I hear them conveyed, without "getting behind" one side or another, tho' obviously my sentiments have been confessed. I suppose it becomes the rub of the anthropoligist as "participant/observer" or the Heisenberg effect we spoke of earlier. If I read your position correctly, you stated that you can accept the experiential presentations of participants in the TM phenomena as testimony from the heart, and leave it at that, or leave these participants to their own space if they whip out the chickens -- this seems most fair. And, as I posted last night, if someone asks me for propositional assent to the "reality" of a phenomena, as you feel Byron or others have done, then I concur that it becomes a fair exchange to engage in a dialectical investigation of this phenomenon.


 I also concur 100% with your observation that we are a codependent society: "The problem is that people want to be polite and not look at class and racial distinctions in our society and recognize the roles they play. It makes it so that we are trying to play the game without a full deck... There is much that we all conspire to keep hidden in our society... in a culture which would abolish IQ tests when they reveal differences between cultural and racial groups rather than inquire about those differences and find ways of building some compensating elements into the educational system."


 [One of my personal favorites in the class of "purpose of the UB" is that it came to give us a story, a theoretical and mytho/historic framework out of which we could derive some common racial heritage, as a means of providing a common history that we could all agree on, that would, in biological as well as spiritual fact, make us all, literally, brothers and sisters.]


 We have definitely, as cultures and races as much as as individuals, misplaced our identities, such that we prefer not to think in terms of "educational compensation" because this calls to mind whole racial histories of guilt, oppression and barbarism, and so we prefer to ignore the differences, hope they will go away or get placated with our pursuit of Mammon, and when we _are_ forced to look at these roles, as the Rodney King video forced us to do, we are still unable to speak to this vision in any way other than with mass violence. Perhaps we will learn.


 If we _could_ once "firmly establish our identities as sons and daughters of God on a working psychological level" -- if we could wear this psychological identity as easily as we do that of our race or class or culture, then dealing with these other differences would indeed become easier. Yet we seem plagued by as much differential in our levels of psychological development as in our economic or social development. The problems seems to me to be one not of production but of distribution; neither food nor software nor Urantia Books nor divinely inspired wisdom nor ideals is really in short supply -- the problem is that some have a lot, and many have little, and many more don't really know how to use what is available already -- a very cogent observation, confirmed by my experience as well David, that "most readers take from the UB the statements which do a good job of articulating what they already felt or sensed about reality at the time they found the book -- the book legitimized their thinking. But very, very few readers really dig in and attempt to understand and assimilate the implications of those portions of the text which are truly revelatory in nature and allow that text to revolutionize their thinking."


 In the same way, we don't really realize, at a felt level, what a man like Bucky Fuller (and others) proved, in disproving Malthus and Hobbes, that life need not be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" but that there is indeed "enough to go around" -- we just don't believe it, and all of our political and economic systems are set up on the premise that there isn't enough to go around, and for you to get yours, you'd better vote for my program -- this is what sounds so suspicious, to me, of these Sonanda provisos.


 It seems as if we are in the process of effecting some generational- transmission mechanism, to pass on lore with wisdom _about_ the UB as the novices engage in the process of wading through it the first time.


 It is indeed a difficult proposition. One wants to protect ones children especially from the foreseeable hazards, but, in some other sense, one realizes that ultimately their wisdom will come from encountering these hazards on their own terms, in their own time. So yes, while I will not give the keys to the car to my 12-yr olds nor let my 4-yr old play in the road, indeed, we live on a very curvy stretch and I preach a lot about this, I find that what seems to make the most impact is the vividness of the presentation, which, in this example, has come when I hold my child's hand as we stand next to the road, and _feel_ the whoosh and the vibration of a car or truck going by, and somehow, the shudder has more of a teaching effect than all my preaching.


 So, I observe, some are indeed shuddering at the passing of these TMers. All are concerned over the effect on and enrollment of new readers. However, I am personally coming to the conclusion that I must use the UB as one of many tools, or perhaps, as the electricity to power the tools I may have already acquired, in my efforts to build a sound structure for my soul, and be of service to my fellows. The UB doesn't contain everything, but what it does, as you and Peter and Ron and Michael and others have remarked, is more than enough for this lifetime's unpacking.


 And you're on target again David, to me, in your estimation that "mailing a copy of the book to every address on the planet" would probably have little effect, even if it were in the local language, and everyone could read. No, other differentials are too great, and so we are required, imhi, to act as these cultural torchbearers, or candle-lighters, as "agents of transmission" in expanding our culturally-operative universe-horizons, such that, perhaps, the psychological space may appear for individuals, as individuals and small groups, to lay down their identites as chicken-choppers or book-boppers, and relate, primarily, as sons and daughters of the Family of God.


 Your comment on the unexplored domain of the morontial is also a telling one -- "... that this is an entire domain of reality which we have to go through before we even begin to contact spirit realities." This would seem to be a very direct propositional encounter for a proponent of the ontological "reality" of the TM to have to address. Personally, my wife has been doing some reading on the Aboriginal cultures of Australia, and never having been there and done any sort of walkabouts, I may be falling prey to the "noble-savage mystique" -- but it would seem, from the literature available, that these otherwise "primitive" tribesfolk may be aware of and/or tapping into and living around dimensions and ways of knowing that we white westerners are oblivious to, and I wonder if our encounters with the morontial may not be as rare as you seem to think. For me, for now, I will leave this an open question.


 The seemingly "unexplored territory" of the morontial realm might possibly be connected to some of the phenomena which Martin Patton has been dealing with in his professional environment, the possible "interdimensional" nature of reality as proposed by McKenna and Talbot and others of the "holographic model" school of thought. It seems that paradigms and ways of knowing are dissolving as rapidly as political regimes, and while I will continue to place my faith in the loving and personal God whose nature I find explicated in the pages of the UB and whose reality I find revealed in Jesus, I must say that I will not be placing nearly as much faith in traditionally western scientific ways of knowing or explicating reality, which ways may be in for as much of a comeuppance as were the heliocentric thinkers of the middle ages. I will consider myself fortunate if the dissolution of my disbelief occurs in controlled doses, like my psychedelic experiences; if not, I can expect to witness catastrophic upheavals and dissolutions, whether personal or planetary.


 UFOs, abductions, past-lives -- like the TM, these are all phenomena which, like Captain Picard's 25-minute lifetime, seemed "absolutely real" to those having these experiences, and utterly ridiculous to those who may not have had similar experiences, or to those whose conceptual device directory does not have an entry for these processes.


 No, we don't need to put a book on every shelf, nor do we need to "prove" or "disprove" UFOs or abductions or past-lives. We need somehow to _feel_ that, as you said David, "the universe is far vaster -- in all directions and dimensions -- than we have allowed ourselves to conceive."


 On the one hand, proponents could argue that all of these phenomena, the TM, UFOs, etc., are just this, _invitations_ from these other dimensions, to "allow ourselves to conceive."


 However, David's next statement is very sobering: "This expanded view offered by the UB takes ]] virtually all [[ (my emphasis) of that which we as a culture have considered to be spiritual and places it back in the domain of mind and psychology -- it is border-line morontial at best, and far, far from those domains which we designate as 'spiritual.'"


 This is good to chew on David, and thank you -- your statement is an evaluation, to be sure, in which I feel no one is put down, and by which I feel we are all challenged to re-inventory our experiential databases. I can only say, from my psychedelic experiences, that perhaps there were some "close encounters of the morontial kind" in there amidst the mental and psychological, for they surely forced me to re-evaluate my conceptions and definitions of reality.


 Finally, I must again concur that "the tragedy this planet has lived with for centuries (is) the inability to devise social and interpersonal mechanisms for allowing this realm of spiritual activation to permeate and uplift human society. We are really missing an essential part of the mechanism for bringing the kingdom into manifestation in our world. This is the task -- this is what we have to figure out how to do." (CAPS uncapped).


 As I have remarked earlier, the "mechanism" for opening to God's love must be a simple binary operation, a simple act of will, a simple turning on of the computer, to be willing to open the local circuitry to the divine-electric inflow. However, the process of setting up the network, of installing all the communication devices and establishing protocols and laying lines and connecting terminal devices, this must be _at least_ as complicated as this Unix box sitting at my feet, making it look simple by comparison. And this, I take it David, is what we are striving for in "bringing the kingdom into manifestation in our world." -- setting up a network using the fifth epochal network server.


 And then I wonder if some TM proponent isn't going to say that this "missing essential part" of the network mechanism isn't precisely what "they" are about???


 I have read where the native cultures of the "New World" literally _did not see_ the ships carrying the European explorers and conquerors when they arrived on their coasts, not having any conceptual frame for vehicles like these boats. I'm not saying that the TM represents such an event, only that I am aware that I need to be prepared for paradigmatic, epistemological upheaval if I am to be open to growth.


 Jefferson was quoted in the intro to his earlier "Philosopy" of Jesus, (which he prepared some years before his bible, possibly for use by the likes of Lewis and Clark in bringing some moral teaching to the native tribes they would encounter), as saying that he didn't think the way the Westerners had tried to export their culture previously had worked at all, with missionaries in the leadoff slot, followed by political rulers and commercial exploiters. Rather did Jefferson think that the missionaries should come far in the rear, to be preceded by the agriculturalists and horticulturalists, the educators who would teach reading and the "keeping of accounts," and only then would/should the teachers of religion arrive.


 Sounding very similar to the plan of the Garden.


 So maybe instead of "preaching to the choir" what is happening is argument amongst the choir members over which type of music should be played, or hymns sung, all the while the work in the gardens of Urantia awaits -- this is certainly a rich discussion, and one which has enlarged my own frames of reference immeasurably. I am coming to the conclusion that my ethical obligation revolves not so much around tolerating error as in speaking and acting lovingly and locally in such a way that the ideals I see represented in the life of Jesus, in the pages of the UB, and in these conversations, become a living and powerful presence in the lives of those around me, regardless of whether they ever read the UB or encounter a UFO or hear of the TM.


 I would not wish to make it appear here David, that I am in league with those of the poorly formulated ideas, nor with those who may wish to hide behind some "appeal to the ideals of spiritual brotherhood." However, I must say that in my experience, I have usually found it much easier to defend an idea than to live by an ideal.


 Sufficient unto this lifetime will be this work.


 Reporting from the half-deck of the starship Jeffersonando, your faithful correspondent,

12 Apr 1993    David Kantor      Of Glass Beads and Thought Gam

Subject: Of Glass Beads and Thought Games...


 Good evening, Logondonters.....


 Leo, your expression of your ideas forces me to look at my own more deeply and for that I am very grateful. One of my all-time favorite novels is Hermann Hesse's "Magister Ludi; The Glass Bead Game". Have you read it? I found this story so stimulating that I read it several times in a row and even after that, went back and read selected passages. In the glass bead game, glass beads represented concepts. The objective of the game was enlightenment or revelation. As players placed their beads on the playing board, new concepts and revelations would emerge in the consciousness of the players as known concepts were placed adjacent to each other on the playing board, revealing new patterns of ideational relationship. The best players spent most of their time deeply involved in studies in virtually every field known, to the end that their placement of the beads in the game would yield new philosophical discoveries and metaphysical insights. (I should point out, that in the story, their highly rarefied activities were destroyed by their failure to relate to the day-to-day world outside of their game -- but that's material for a different post.)


 In some ways this forum reminds me of the game -- we place our ideas out here, observe the reaction as they come into contact with the ideas of others, and then we regroup, reformulate, re-express with a hope for greater clarity and better skill at placement of our beads.


 So it is with your ideas, Leo; I am very stimulated by what you have to say; perhaps it's that we each ponder some of the same issues and that we each are mystified by some of the same phenomenon.


 Your "purpose of the UB" idea is intriguing -- I suspect that what you have described is a task which the Planetary Prince and his staff undertake early on.


 I hear you when you remind us of Bucky Fuller's position about their being enough of life to go around -- there is not a limited quantity which has to be rationed, and I think I see you making an analogy between this idea and your own idea that the UB, or revelation, or God's love are not items with quantitative (or qualitative) limitations -- there is more than enough to go around. I agree with this. I still keep thinking that somehow, there are more effective ways to provide for the spread of the revelation as well as less effective ways, although I have no idea of what they might be. I feel somewhat conservative here and you have forced me to examine the reasons for my position (which I continue to hold).


 Given the defaults and partial successes of the previous epochal revelations, and given the present planetary situation with it's potential for social, economic and biological disasters with long- term consequences for the planet, I would not want to simply rush into a course of action based on poorly thought-out assumptions or impulses on the chance that we might really blow an opportunity to substantially shorten the amount of time during which the kind of human suffering we see all around us, will have to continue while the planet comes to it's senses.


 Did you ever read Isaac Asimov's "Foundation Trilogy"? In this story, a fairly advanced civilization existed throughout the galaxy. A group of psycho-sociologists working at a university at the galactic capitol discovered statistical evidence indicating that in the normal course of the evolution of the galaxy, a period of dark ages was looming in the future -- there would be a period of retrograde development before the galaxy could continue its evolution any further. They saw that these dark ages would last for many thousands of years but they also had evidence to show that if it were possible to interfere with the process at a few key points during the onset of these dark ages, they would be able to greatly shorten the duration of this time of suffering and facilitate the movement of the galaxy towards its destiny.


 They therefore packed themselves up and moved to an isolated agricultural world on the remote fringes of the galaxy, taking the tools necessary for subsistence living, but also taking their books and charts so that they and their decedents could monitor the course of the onset of these dark ages, venture out into the galaxy at key times in the process, make subtle changes in key processes, and then retire to their agricultural world until the next time for interference occurred.


 I read this story many years ago, but it has always been in the background of my thinking about how the UB should be introduced to the planet -- I have always thought that there must be a wise and best way to do it, but I haven't a clue as to what that way might be.


 One of my concerns is derived from the observation of the impact which the Nazi excesses had on attitudes towards eugenics. While the scientific data is readily available to help us foster the evolution of healthier human beings, the social taboos against even discussing the issue, as a result of events mid-century, make it impossible to even approach at this time, the implementation of a technology which holds great promise for the relief of human suffering.


 I would be very saddened to see analogous excesses create the same type of image for the UB. The situation at FOG began to have the potential for developing into something which could have associated the book with fringe fanaticism in some ways which could have been damaging to its spread. Does this concern make sense to you or do you think it is groundless?


 It may even be the case that the current planetary ecological, social and economic situation is not related to the timing of the presentation of the UB -- the stimulus of the contents of the book seem to be significant regardless of the planetary situation.


 The only semblance of a "plan" for spreading the revelation has been the slow-growth policy originating in authoritarian sources of increasingly questionable reliability. I would love to see a "roundtable" on the order of Clinton's economic roundtable where a substantial group of serious students of the book could get together and discuss just this single issue. It is an issue which could be reviewed on a periodic basis over time, making it feasible for individuals to seriously study the issues and acquire some background in the development of religious movements, sociology of religion, and related topics. Imagine a five-year project taking place perhaps on a net like this, open to input from whomever cared to participate, with an annual or semi-annual physical meeting. The results could be phenomenal. Consider the bickering and energy consumption of the past five years over the foundation/fellowship debacle and now the TM situation. We continue to let these things happen to us as a movement and yet we don't seem to make an effort to plan for something more constructive. What's the old adage, "Plan or be planned for"?


 I agree with you, Leo, that we "need to be prepared for paradigmatic, epistemological upheaval if I am going to be open to growth." My understanding of paradigm shifts comes from Kuhn's work, "The Making of Scientific Revolutions". Note in his model that the new paradigm is always developed as a function of the earlier one. Perhaps most instructive is his theory of the mechanism which triggers a paradigm shift. This mechanism is the exploration of *anomalies* which appear in a paradigm. Normal science tolerates a particular "noise" level in the information used to construct a theory, but when the anomalous "noise" is investigated, it may lead to the development of a new paradigm which incorporates this "noise" into its basic theory.


 So while I remain open to radical change, I have a sense that the early stages of that change will be detected within the context of existing paradigms. Lest the TMers claim that they are the anomaly which needs investigating, let me add that in terms of religious experience and history, they are not an anomaly -- present theoretical models in religion, psychology and sociology fully account for such phenomenon and describe their workings in detail.


 >From my viewpoint, *the* anomaly which will lead to a major paradigm shift for western civilization is the UB, existing (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) at the fringes of Christianity. Because the book is anomalous to the system which it is intended to transform, the stage is already set by the revelators for the paradigm shift in western consciousness. How can we facilitate this? Or am I being presumptuous to even consider that we might be able to do so?


 Your concluding statement that "I have usually found it much easier to defend an idea than to live by an ideal" is a very powerful statement indeed, one worthy of serious examination and further discussion. While my first reaction is to agree that this statement is true, my second reaction is to question whether or not you have mixed apples with oranges with the analogy, i.e., is defend: idea; live: ideal, really a valid equation? I do get your meaning, though, and I realize that it is possible to deconstruct anything into oblivion. I recently ran across the statement that "communication requires the mutual good faith of the communicators", and that certainly applies here.


 However, if you are making a major issue about ideas vs. ideals, than perhaps the nit-picking becomes a little more valid. I need to spend some time checking out what the UB says about ideas and ideals and pick up the thread when I have had a chance to reflect a little on the issue -- I have really not given it a great deal of thought beyond recognizing it's existence as a factor throughout the history of religion, always dominating the interface between the vision of the Kingdom of God and the pragmatics of the kingdoms of men.


 I deeply appreciate your thoughts. Your articulation of your ideas is artful, humorous and a joy to engage -- it's a pleasure to play the glass bead game with you on our virtual playing board here in cyberspace. I'll be reading posts but may not be able to respond 'til later in the week -- I have some hectic days coming up here in gross national product land.

End Part 2