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UrantiaL021294Thru022594TM_Discussions-Part10-Final



THE URANTIAL ARCHIVE

Consisting of 10 Parts

From December 14,1992 Through February25, 1994



12 Feb 1994    Philip Calabrese      On relatively absolute truth,

Subject: On relatively absolute truth, TM & more In-Reply-To: Your message of Sat Feb 12 11:50:46 1994


 ------- Dear Logondonters,


 There are some points that rise up in my mind above all the others that have risen up as I have read through all the messages lately:


 1) On absolute truth. Let us all not lose sight of the possibility of having relatively absolute conclusions, as contrasted with relatively relative conclusions. I would put the conclusions of logic (mathematical certainty) on the level of relatively absolutely-true. The conclusions of material science (physics, astronomy, statistically verifiable science) is on the level of relatively partial truth.


 Some things can be concluded logically and so are qualitatively different from knowledge that is just statistically verified. A physical principle such as Newton's law of gravitation being about the actual universe, can not be verified as a logical truth and so can not be known with relatively absolute certainty as can a mathematical conclusion.


 Thus once certain assumptions have been stated, any conclusions gotten through pure logic are (given the truth of the assumptions) known with a certainty that is relatively absolute.


 I cringe when I hear (from Todd) that "even rational beliefs are wildly under determined by reality" - except logic Todd. The connections and logical interrelationships between aspects of any topic can be known relatively absolutely. Not everything is known with the same qualitative degree of certainty. This relative certainly applies to religious and philosophical topics too.


 I do agree, Todd, that to so many unschooled in logic, claims of truth are wildly made with assertions of absolute or relative certainty when there is nothing but rhetoric and statistics to "prove" the claim. Some people seem not to know that there are such differences in the certitude that one can attach to information.


 2) On secrets. I thank God that there will always be some secrets (confidences is a suggestive term here) that God keeps with each group and even with individuals. Some things are private and personal and I believe that there will always be such.


 Now I do not believe that the secret of the human author of the UB is one of them! It seems to me that the human author "through whom" the UB came was not named because it would have interfered with the process of the revelation at that time and perhaps initiated a distracting personality cult around the person. Those dangers seem to me to be now very largely over, but there are now other dangers that go with continued secrecy.


 If everyone now "knew" that Wilford Kellogg or someone else was the "human through whom" the UB was revealed, I don't think it would have much significance or change much since Wilford has passed on to the Mansion worlds, and there is no cult of personality to pass on to the next holder of that office.


 It would mean that we could all start concentrating on the UB's content and stop the distracting preoccupation with the human "author".


 3) By the way, thanks Fred Beckner for the info on the Hubble pics and also for that very thoughtful piece on the geographical location of the Garden of Eden. Very interesting stuff - science that can be verified and that would greatly support the credibility of the UB as a revelation. (I am one who believes that the UB has much science that will tend to validate it as we learn more. Perhaps this science will have some obscure human author associated, but that hardly explains how any human author could pick all the right obscure authors and weave such a correct version of the cosmos.)


 4) On the TM and David K's critique: David, you mentioned the Council at Nicaea and Arias's wrong doctrine about Jesus as an example of how truth should challenge error, how UB truth should challenge TM error. But even this example, where the church leaders were formally propounding a doctrine, the UB simply gives credit to the young Greek who saved them from the "persuasions of Arias". Your criticisms of the TM seem much more strident to me even than this criticism of Arias in the important business of stating church doctrines. The TM is a long way from propounding a doctrine (though that possibility bears watching).


 When I brought up the early church, it was not to compare that culture to now, but to point out that the Apostles believed that Jesus was coming back soon (within one generation) to inaugurate the new "Kingdom" (sound familiar Sedona? June 94ers?) While Jesus tried unsuccessfully to disavow his chosen followers of this erroneous belief on their part, he did not make it a reason to discredit them and to claim that they were retrograde (because they were repeating the same old Jewish ideas about the Messiah). Nor did he even claim that these erroneous beliefs disqualified them from leadership roles in his church!


 I also mentioned the statements by the Apostle Paul about "speaking in tongues", a practice that was accepted by him (since he asked that not everyone speak at the same time but some should "interpret" the speaking in tongues. Surely, this was equivalent to today's channeling, except probably less intelligible. I asked whether you would then say that these believers had no connection to the "truth" like you seem to be saying about TMers.


 But you did not address these issues David in your 600+ line post! Rather, you made rather absolute statements about how empty of anything new or valuable all the TM posts are. For you to so completely disparage all the content seems unwarranted to me, perhaps like protesting too much.


 I have problems with the intellectual interpretation offered by the TMers of their output of "messages" and life changing practices, but that doesn't prevent me from taking whatever I find useful in the material. If I don't have reason to take seriously the claims of contacts with higher life forms made by TMers, I can just put those claims into the category of "universe romancing", much of which is not factual, but which comes with much that is "truth". Perhaps the TMers are erroneously romancing the universe but their obviously increased enthusiasm for living the UB's truth can hardly be bad. And to attempt to discourage and discredit these people so completely might be counterproductive even assuming your beliefs. Jim M~~~ seems to have come to a similar conclusion.


 Perhaps there is some new initiative on the part of the spiritual authorities and that the intellectual interpretation of this (always falsifying of its object!) is what is getting us into difficulty. I for one am not disposed to assert that such is not the case now. There could be a kernel of truth concerning some new celestial initiative the erroneous interpretation of which, has been misleading. In that case your wholesale inditement of the TM may miss something of value and importance. Their may be a horse in that pile!




12 Feb 1994    Fred Harris         Response to David K

Subject: Response to David K


 Dear David,


 When I initially decided to banter with you regarding the teaching mission, I was concerned that it would be an exercise in futility, as your position appears to be fairly crystallized and mine is well known here on this bulletin board. Is there really any point in rehashing our respective positions? I think that the board is probably tired of the back and forth. I know I am.


 Notwithstanding the foregoing, I will generally, specifically and finally respond to your last post. Let me take a deep breath.


 GENERALLY


 (1) Your basic inquiry appears to be "whether this experience represents a real contact with objective universe realities or is merely an illusion created by the human mind".


 From my perspective, it doesn't matter. It is not important to me whether this is a mass delusion or contact with celestial teachers. I urge interested persons to read the posts for substance and not put any credence in the purported celestial source. I say the same thing about reading the Urantia Book. And about finding truth wherever it may appear. Don't rely on the supposed authority of any purveyor of "truth". Decide for yourself. And in the manner that you personally test for truth.


 David, you have asked for "evidence" that there are celestial teachers. Many people ask for "evidence" that there is a God. Or "evidence" that the Urantia Book was delivered by celestials. And many books are written and (with respect to Martin Gardner) are about to be written challenging the evidence for God and the UB. There is no "evidence" available of a kind that would satisfy you.


 You have asked how I personally decided that there is a celestial teaching corp who have contacted willing persons to deliver their message. I reached that conclusion despite my natural skepticism (ie trained as a lawyer). That decision is based upon personal observation of numerous teaching mission groups, review of the messages delivered, the consistency of the messages within groups even when received by different individuals, the consistency of the messages in the differing groups even though they don't know each other and haven't been exposed to other transcripts, the number of groups (over 100) that have sprung up over the last two years, the lack of any motive for self delusion, the lack of charismatic leaders, the lack of requests for money or other consideration for dissemination of the messages, the loving nature of the people involved, the broad spectrum of individuals participating and, most importantly, the loving selfless service and fruits of the spirit that I have witnessed being manifested by those involved.


 You can demean and deride the basis of my decision, attribute the activities to mass delusion, collective unconsciousness, collective consciousness or whatever, but I have considered all the possibilities and come to the conclusion that something is going on. I choose to believe that whatever it is, the Father has a hand in it. It is transforming people. I have been transformed by it. People comment on the changes in me. Even if it is delusional, I feel closer to the Father than I ever have and I am thankful for my participation. Others can certainly make a case that I am wrong. And maybe I am. But I am out there trying. I am putting it on the line, trying to spread goodness and light. Trying to become a conduit for the Father's love. Trying to be of service.


 So you say that it isn't celestial teachers. I say, who cares? I am not in the business of pushing that - I am trying to deliver the substance of the message. Live it. Put into your lives the teachings of the Master.


 I am very comfortable using your statement of following Jesus and his teachings. Even the use of the name of Jesus, though, is likely to be a barrier. What won't be a barrier is living service. Remember the good Samaritan. He may have been a gentile, but he helped out and his actions were appreciated. Jim McCallon has hit the nail on the head. It is time to boil the message down into its basic premise - that all are brothers and sisters and that God is our loving parent. We must first teach the basics.


 Channeling is a barrier. The UB is a barrier. The Bible is a barrier. The Koran is a barrier, etc. The only bridge to all people is loving service. That is what is being emphasized. Nothing more. You are correct when you state that there isn't much discussion regarding the substance of the messages I post on this bulletin board. I wish it were otherwise. The substance is the key. Delivering the message by your example as you go by is the way. All else is scaffolding.


 Pass it on. Thanks, Jim.


 (2) The biggest problems I have with your posts, David, are the incessant negativity of your argument and your tendency to pass judgment on others. As Thea says, look for the good in others, don't try to belittle them. You always assume the worst. A continuous negative attitude, judgmental statements and mean spirited assumptions will not be attractive to those you desire to influence. I will expand on this and show you examples as I walk through your post.


 (3) The fact of the matter is that you and I are saying the same thing. You don't like the delivery system, but "daring to depend solely upon Jesus and his incomparable teachings" is a standard that I believe will serve all although I recommend that it be modified to say "dare to depend upon the Father and exhibit His love in accordance with the example set by Jesus". Either way, we are really saying the same thing.


 SPECIFICS


 David writes:


 >The "Quoting from Authority" fallacy is only a fallacy when the >authority being quoted is not acceptable to the parties of the >discussion due to irrelevance or to some question of it's >integrity. Note that the use of accepted authorities is the >standard form for establishing a basis for an academic argument.


 In academia there is a lot of quoting of each other, to the detriment of independent thought in my view. In the law expert testimony is never permitted to determine the ultimate question - the truth of the position taken by the parties. This position you take, David, is in line with the "generally accepted" concept that you champion later in your post and which I will comment on later. Suffice it to say that I think that people should seek truth on their own and not rely on "authorities" to tell them what is or is not true. It is a personal discernment that should not be delegated.


 I said:


 >>I know that you have had trouble with the argument sometimes made >>that you must look to the fruits of the activity, but that is my >>answer. If the fruits of the tm are good, what difference does >>it make if the teachers are not real?


 David responded:


 >This argument seems to confuse what The Urantia Book describes as >"the fruits of the spirit" with the "fruits" of a human religious >formulation. To equate the "fruits" of the tm or any other >religious or philosophical method/practice with the "fruits of the >spirit" seems to blur the distinction between something with is a >repercussion of the spiritual life and something which is a >repercussion of human social structures. One of the big >attractions of Hitler's Youth Corps was the comraderie, the sense >of shared mission and the resulting social cohesiveness. To say >that these social "fruits" validated the premises upon which the >group was established would be a serious error and yet this is >precisely what you are asking us to do with the tm.


 Two points here. You have made an assumption that the fruits of which I speak are social in nature and not fruits of the spirit. Not only did I not say that, but that is not what I was referencing. I *am* speaking of fruits of the spirit. Being more spirit led. Being kinder, gentler, more service oriented, listening to those we meet, trying to take the highest path. Yes, I have seen fruits of the spirit and they are good.


 Secondly, let's look at a previously stated problem I have with your posts - that of assuming the worst. Here is a good example. You have taken a neutral statement, construed it in a negative context and then managed to slip in a reference to Hitler's Youth Corps as an analogy.


 David continues:


 >In my experience, I have encountered the "fruits of the spirit" >manifesting in the lives of individuals from many different >religious persuasions. I have also frequently encountered the >erroneous assumption that these spiritual fruits validate the >religious formulations by which the individual understands the >nature of his/her relationship with God.


 This strikes me to be highly judgmental, another problem I mentioned about your posts, David. Here, if I understand you correctly, you admit to seeing "fruits of the spirit" in certain others but you can't accept the path that the individual traveled to manifest those fruits. I believe that there are many paths to the Father. There are many people who believe sincerely in their way and I think that the Father respects them for their sincerity. He appreciates their fruits. They may have a dim understanding of the truth (as we all probably do), but they sincerely seek the Father. They will be heard. I cannot judge another's path. I can only share my path so that perhaps we can both gain from our encounter.


 >>So why are so many people interested?


 >An elementary text in social psychology would give you some very >coherent answers to this question.


 David, you are again assuming the worst.


 >>Are they all deluded? I would argue that they are not.


 >What argument would you offer which would show us not? I can give >you some very good arguments based on solid research and >historical precedence which would lead to the conclusion that they >indeed *are* all deluded.


 Let me see if I understand your position. They are all deluded. You are right, they are wrong. Even if true, you are not being very generous with these poor deluded people. Perhaps one or two of them are not totally deluded. Maybe they are trying to discern the will of the Father and believe that this teaching mission is helpful in that quest.


 David continues:


 >I am somewhat baffled by the fact that supposedly serious readers >of the UB are finding them [tm posts] to be of such high value and >can only conclude that these individuals are not particularly >well-read in the area of religious and theological literature. It >reminds me of when we used to get really stoned and would sit and >be awed by the universe we observed in the rainbow colors of an >oil slick on a mud puddle.


 Now this is an interesting comment. In this you are able to find a way to insult long time Urantia Book readers and analogize their beliefs to some of your prior drug experiences with oil slicks (an environmental overtone, too?). This strikes me as judgmental without basis, mean spirited without cause and totally incapable of attracting others to your position. This type of "attack" is based on the premise that those who find value in something in which you do not find value are "not particularly well-read" (ie, wrong). Fairly high opinion of your opinion, I see.


 >There's nothing I can see in any of these "messages" which is new >or which in any way illuminates anything we already know.


 There are no new revelations in the messages.


 >So what's so special about these messages?


 They have gotten people to stop intellectualizing the Urantia Book and begin to live the lessons in their daily lives. That alone is worth all the trouble.


 >I previously used the illustration of modern agriculture which can >be fully justified by considering the number of people who are >being saved from starvation and malnutrition. However, when one >enlarges the picture and we see the destruction of top soil, the >pollution of air and groundwater and the depletion of natural >resources which such an approach creates, it begins to be seen in >a different light. I could provide many such examples of >something which seems good only when viewed from a narrowly >focused set of values and which is seen as actually destructive >when the context is expanded. The construction of nuclear power >plants has been justified by just such a partial benefits >assessment. I see the channeling in this way -- if the context in >which the phenomenon is understood is expanded, there are many >negative elements which begin to appear, not the least of which is >the potential for religious demagoguery.


 I think the substance of the foregoing can be summarized by saying that things are not always as they seem. I can agree with that. Of course you have again taken what appears to be good and put an ominous twist to it (another example of your negative propensity), but I would answer that if the danger is "religious demagoguery" then the benefits are worth the potential evil. Remember, the goal of the teaching mission is to assist in the transformation of this world into a world of light and life. It won't happen if we sit on our hands and worry that things may not work out the way we had hoped. We must become active and *do* things. Small acts of kindness. Being a conduit for the Father's love. It won't always work out the way we had hoped but it is better than sitting on the sidelines. I will not sit on the sidelines for fear that my actions have potential for creating problems. If they do create problems, we will deal with them. And there will be problems. There always are.


 >How do you reconcile this admitted content of error >with such statements from the UB as, "What heaven appoints is >without error..." or Jesus' statement that "There can be no peace >between truth and error?" On page 1109 we find that "the >authoritative elimination of error" is one of the primary purposes >of epochal revelation. Note that this does not say "the spread of >a diffuse mix of truth and error which you can sort out for >yourselves" which is precisely what you are telling me the >channeled messages are.


 If you don't think it is everyone's responsibility to sort out truth from error in their everyday lives, then we are certainly on different wavelengths. Hey, the UB had errors in it that have been corrected (changing the word "east" to "west" for example) and so I say that nothing is perfect and everyone *must* decide for themselves what is true. When you live it, you find out pretty quickly what is true and what isn't. The fruits will show or won't.


 I said:


 >>I believe that the true message is coming through loud and clear >>and it is a good one. A personal relationship with the Father. >>Becoming a conduit for His love. Tolerance for different paths. >>Small acts of kindness. Reaching out to people you meet and >>touching them from where they stand. Providing selfless service. >>The message is clear and, in my view, absolutely true. At least >>it rings true to me.


 David responded:


 >Again, Fred, the fact that individuals are writing commentary on >the above topics does not lead to the conclusion that the source >of the material is "celestial teachers." You keep dodging this >issue by a variety of artifices and yet the existence of the >"celestial teachers" is what you are proclaiming and the >experience of communing with them is what you are inviting others >to participate in, yet you have offered no basis whatsoever for >the validity of such a claim.


 Now who is avoiding the substance? My statement above is the substance of the teaching mission, from my perspective. I am not inviting anyone to participate in channeling experiences, I am encouraging everyone to incorporate those principles into their everyday lives. You never have to believe in celestial teachers or the UB or anything else. Just live it.


 I said:


 >>It is the living of Michael's teachings that is, in my view, what >>is important. Certainly the UB won't be widely read or, if read, >>accepted to influence the world unless those who see truth >>therein will live their lives to reflect that truth.


 


 David responded:


 >While I certainly agree with the above,


 Stop here. If you agree with the above, then stop. Live it. Build bridges between people. Stop erecting barriers to them, if you are. Don't worry about the celestial teachers. That is not my point anyway, as I have tried to explain. If we could all live the teachings of Jesus we would be well on our way toward influencing others so that there could be an exponential growth of the Father's love. That is the goal. The teachers, if real, are not important. You are important.


 I said:


 >>I have come to believe that the only way to change this world is >>through small acts of kindness. One person at a time. This must >>be a grassroots effort. Everyone needs to pitch in, especially >>those who have the knowledge of the UB. With that knowledge >>comes responsibility. You can no longer go forward living your >>lives as you have before. It is time to become a force for good. >>It is a time to shine forth the Father's love in every encounter >>every day for the rest of your material life. This planet will >>change. It won't happen overnight. Each of us must do our part. >>The time is now. This is a call for volunteers.


 David responded:


 >I agree wholeheartedly with you here too, Fred


 Stop. You see, we share the same views. This does not have anything to do with channeling except that this is the message of the teachers. It is the message of the UB, also a channeled book despite your protestations and attempts to differentiate the delivery of the Urantia Book with other channeling. That won't play in Peoria. And it doesn't have to. We won't change the world by hitting people with the Urantia Book. Some people will be influenced by it, yes, but the majority of people can only be reached through the bridge of selfless service. There are too many barriers already in place. Only selfless service can cross those barriers. That is how we will reach the people. We need the help of everyone. We need conspirators of kindness, agents for good. We need you.


 >You state that the "teaching mission" is based on the UB -- please >clarify this and state just what it is in the UB upon which the tm >is based.


 That we are all children of God. That we each have been given the gift of a fragment of the Father that resides within us and encourages us to take the highest path, the path with the most love in it. That this world was given the best example of discerning and living life in accordance with the will of the Father when Jesus exhibited that in his every thought, deed and word. That this world will be changed by selfless acts of service and small acts of kindness. That the currency of the universe is love. That when we do for the least of our brethren, we do for Michael. That we are to live our lives to exhibit our highest concept of the Father's will in our lives. That we should cultivate a personal relationship with the Father through daily periods of communication and stillness. That we should have faith that we are all in the Father's hands. And I could go on.


 >While the tm may not overtly encourage isolation, the premises >upon which it is based will more than likely result in isolation >because they are so far removed from what is known about reality >in the culture you are supposedly going to uplift.


 Once society believed that the earth was the center of the universe. People were excommunicated who questioned that widely held belief. Once society believed that the world was flat. Once society believed that God was so wrathful that he wouldn't talk to people until His son "atoned" for humans with his death.


 David, you have this interesting recurring theme that we should adhere to whatever is most widely believed in our world. I couldn't disagree with you more. You admit to this "bandwagon" logical fallacy but believe that we will need to more closely conform to the existing mores and beliefs of society so as to be better able to influence them. Isn't this what the early Christian church did? Isn't that why the message got twisted a bit? Besides, I don't believe that what I am suggesting (living your life in accordance with the lessons of the UB) would in any way collide with existing beliefs and mores. That's the beauty of the plan. We will skirt all barriers through selfless service.


 >You've already seen individuals flee urantial to tml because they >wanted to communicate without people drawing attention to their >illusions and fallacious assumptions. This is what I mean by >isolation.


 David, you are again making assumptions about why people are on the tml. And, of course, you assume the worst and manage to get in a dig regarding their "illusions and fallacious assumptions". Can't you see how mean spirited this is? Not to mention the irony that a man who insists on "evidence" and "logic" makes these comments without any basis except his preconceived notions of what is going on on the tml. You don't know what is going on there. You have also complained about the volume of the material on urantial and many have suggested compartmentalizing it so that people who have an interest in a specific aspect of the topics could go to a sub board and discuss it exclusively. This is not the kind of isolation that you warn us of. It is only a time management technique and a desire to avoid flamers.


 


 >Take a look at the general social status of channelers -- are they >well integrated into a variety of human communities such as >family, church, professional organizations, community >organizations, political lobbying groups, etc., or are they >relatively socially isolated?


 Although you pose this as a question, implicit in your statements is the judgment that the "channelers" are socially isolated. That is not my experience. Those people I have met in the teaching mission are all, number one, children of our Father. Secondly, they represent a broad range of people very integrated into their communities. In our group we have lawyers, teachers, businessmen and women, students, retirees, young, old, churchgoers, tenured professors, family people, single people, tall people, bald people, people who wear glasses, people who drive Fords, people who have dogs, people who sit on community boards, people who feed the homeless, etc. The advantage of people who are involved is their integration into the community so that they can get out into that community and exhibit the Father's love. The whole idea is to network. Isolation is not recommended or encouraged. Spread the word. Fly the flag. Those are our goals.


 >Again, all of these high sounding ideals are like fancy wallpaper >covering a basically rotten framework.


 David. You have got to stop with the negative rhetoric. It doesn't reflect well on what we know is your true potential or probably who we would know if we could spend some time with you. You can't fool me. I know that you are a good guy.


 >If all you're really concerned about is the spread of the message, >of what additional value to the world are the precepts of the >"teaching mission" beyond what is provided in the UB? Imo the >conceptual packaging of the message in the UB is far superior to >that attempted by the tm -- why attempt to propagate them with >such an inferior conceptual vehicle?


 The Father uses whatever door is available. He works with everyone in the way that they can best understand His message. I don't hold the teaching mission in any exalted position. Certainly not in any relative position above any path that will lead a person to the Father. Why the teaching mission when we have the UB? I don't know. Maybe because the UB crowd has spent so much time arguing about the copyright, how the book was delivered, the orbit of Mercury, etc. and not focused on living the message. It is time. To live the message.


 >The UB does a good job of packaging all the teachings we need >within the context of acceptability to main-line Judeo-Christian >thought.


 Again you have returned to acceptability to main-line thought. And I will tell you that your statement is not true in any event. The UB is riddled with passages that are totally unacceptable to the "main-line Judeo-Christian thought". Shoot, the UB calls Christianity a "cult", says Mary wasn't a virgin and that Jesus didn't walk on water. Need I continue? The UB is unacceptable to "main-line Judeo-Christian thought", as I have been told by main- line Judeo-Christians. They seem to think that it is a work of the devil. That's why it must be lived. No one can dispute service especially when they are in need.


 >Again, learning to rely "solely on Jesus and his incomparable >teachings" strikes me as the best possible course both for our >individual personal salvation and for any attempt to serve and >uplift the planet on which we find ourselves.


 Certainly true, in my opinion.


 >Thus I have no choice but to consider the background and character >of the person offering such claims. Isn't establishing the >credibility of a witness a critical matter in a legal proceeding? >If a known liar is giving testimony we must take that quality of >the person into consideration when considering what he/she is >saying. So far no solid arguments have been offered in support of >channeling -- only testimony. Therefore I would maintain that the >possibility that channeling may well be representative of "serious >psycho/social pathologies" is a valid and important element in >considering the testimony of channelers.


 First of all, I don't ask you to believe or reject the teaching mission messages based on any personality but your own. Secondly, you don't know the people about whom you routinely pass judgment except as they represent themselves on this bulletin board. To then jump to the conclusion that it "may be representative of serious psych/social pathologies" is a pretty big judgment and, of course, a negative assumption on your part.


 >Incidently, it's interesting to observe how Byron, Thea, Jesse and >many others and now Joyce, divert attention away from issues I >raise by pointing to some characteristic of my person, in these >cases my supposed pain. The amount of inner pain which I may or >may not have should in no way impinge on the integrity of the >arguments which I have offered to support my view that the tm is >nothing more than a creation of the imagination of its adherents. >What about the issues, folks? Why haven't any of you followed up >on the issues? Why do you think your position is so special that >it transcends any need to be rationally integrated with the rest >of human thought? Is the posting of projected fantasies about my >supposed pain the best response you can make to the issues I've >raised? If people took the time to inquire of someone who knows >me personally they would find that such projections of my supposed >pain are indeed nothing more than their own fantasies.


 Now this is interesting. You are complaining because people who don't know you are making judgments about your motives for your positions instead of addressing the issues. I agree with you. They shouldn't be projecting their assumptions onto you, much the same as you shouldn't be projecting your assumptions onto them.


 However, using your rationale, isn't it relevant to this discussion to test the background of the persons involved to see if there is something in their past that may color their position? Doesn't your former relationship with what you thought were celestial teachers and your personal channeling of those personalities have relevance to your present strident positions? And couldn't it be argued that when the Family of God adherents sold their homes, etc. and built bomb shelters and guns to prepare for WWIII relying, in part, upon your channelling of celestials, that the disappointment suffered by you and all the other FOG members and the broken marriages and such has tainted your view of the possibility of celestial teachers?


 But, frankly, you haven't seen me pity you for your supposed pain or whatever. I am not here to judge you nor am I competent to do so. I am still happy to rely upon the substance of the arguments and leave out the attacks on people. I will say that I did not denote any ill will exhibited by Byron, Thea, Jesse, Joyce and the rest. In fact I discerned a real concern for you and an attempt to reach out to you in love.


 My main point here is, don't complain when you are painted with the same paint brush that you regularly employ. I would hope that all people would stop this type of judgmental comment, however.


 >The tm is isolated and dis-integrated from virtually all >philosophic and religious thought of our day in that it fails to >establish viable conceptual links between it's foundational >tenents and the views commonly accepted in today's world by such >disciplines.


 Not true, but so what if it was.


 >Likewise is it guilty of gross equivocation in it's use of >Judeo-Christian symbols as well as those taken from The Urantia >Book.


 There are many paths.


 


 >>It [the tm] is about your personal relationship with the Father.


 >I don't think this is true either, Fred. Based on what appears >hereon as well as in other places, the emphasis seems to be more >on whose study group has what teacher and which t/r is providing >the most spiritually relevant material, whose messages confirm >someone else's messages and a healthy measure of mutual >reinforcement. While I have seen many transcripts posted, we >virtually never see any discussions about the material itself. >Always are the discussions about the movement and the channeling >phenomena.


 I wish there was more discussion about living a life in accordance with your highest concept of the will of the Father too. And there is quite a bit of that. There could be more.


 >No, based on my observations I would say that in spite of all the >rhetoric to the contrary, the tm is *not* about our personal >relationship with the Father but is more about participating in >something special, something secret and exciting, about being a >part of a chosen group. It is about imagining that one is a part >of the reserve corps and being involved in a social network which >reinforces these religious fantasies.


 The teaching mission is about what a individual makes it about. I'm sure that many people involved are excited by the prospects of assisting in the ministry designed to assist in bringing this world into the ages of light and life. I know that is exciting to me. As far as personal aggrandizement, I haven't seen much of that but I'm sure, since people are involved, that such a response will occur. But you are wrong as far as I am concerned - for me it is about a personal relationship with the Father. Neither you nor I can speak for the rest of the participants.


 >Fred, thanks for taking the time to share your personal thoughts >on these issues. I look forward to your response and to continued >association with you as we each do our best to make maximum use of >our few short years here for the Father's purposes.


 >Carry on, all...


 >David Kantor


 David, thank you. I hope I haven't run on too long. In summary let me say that I hope everyone understands that I have posted lessons that I think are conducive to personal spiritual growth and are consistent with the Urantia Book. I do believe that there is a spiritual upliftment in progress. I do believe that this planet can only change one person at a time and only by each of us every day demonstrating our highest understanding of the Father's will and being a conduit for His love. I do *not* believe that it is enough to intellectually understand these concepts. It is imperative that they be incorporated into our everyday lives. It is important that we each step out and take chances by providing selfless service to those we encounter on our paths. As Jim says, the message is that we are all brothers and sisters and that God is our Father.


 Pass it on.


 

12 Feb 1994    Frderick Beckner    The TM Debates

Subject: The TM Debates


 To: David K. and Fred H.


 My dear Brothers,


 Like many brothers and sisters who read the Urantial, I have had the pleasure of meeting you both in person. David, I am eternally thankful to you for your work in putting on the first UB study group I ever attended (Holiday Inn, SF). Fred, I sincerely appreciate the kindness you and your TM group extended to me on the occasion of my visits to Tallahassee.


 I have read with interest your discussions regarding the Teaching Mission. Out of respect for you both I have remained on the sidelines in these discussions. Like you both, I have strong personal opinions.


 May I please make the following observations?


 David, The Teaching Mission phenomena have evolved to the point where those who have experienced them will never be persuaded that they are figments of a pathological psyche. These people believe the teachers are "celestial personalities" because they "hear" them say so. Isn't that in the end why anyone believes anything? Our mind processes sensory input data and derives a conclusion based on that and all previous inputs. Just because you can't "hear" what someone else is hearing doesn't mean that they aren't hearing it. It just means that you don't have sufficient information to know anything about it. The rational and scientific thing to do in this case is to suspend judgement, and to gather more data.


 Fred, of course you realize that phenomena such as TM channeling is beyond the experience of most persons on the planet. As such, most persons can have no fact-based opinion on the issue, although as you may have found, most do have strong opinions based on fear of the unknown. Such opinions we can disregard without hesitation. David, on the other hand, has had direct experience with these phenomena and we should be inclined to weigh his opinion more heavily. His experiences have led him to reject the hypothesis that these phenomena are caused by "celestial personalities."


 IMHO it would be interesting to contrast David's experiences with Fred's. I would like to know what, if anything, their experiences have in common, and how they differ so as to cause two such diametrically opposed viewpoints. Perhaps we could all learn something from this.


 IMHO it is time to put aside our ego-centered debates and REALLY seek for Truth. We won't find it in scoring points against each other. The only contention we should have here is of "who best can work and best agree."


 IMHO we need to stop building walls based on our differences, but work on tolerating and even celebrating these differences, for we are all Childern of our Eternal Father, and He loves Us ALL, even with our differences. Can We do no less?


 Our brother Paramahansa Yogananda, in a similar situation of confronting seeming irreconcilable differences said


 "I'll let you be crazy like you like to be crazy if you let me be crazy like I like to be crazy."


 or something like that...


 

13 Feb 1994    MR JIM C REYNOLDS JR   Page 1109

Subject: Page 1109


 Hello Urantia!


 A week or so ago, I asked a couple of people out there what they thought of the section (4. THE LIMITATIONS OF REVELATION) which begins on page 1109 in our handy-dandy life guide. I did this because ever since joining this forum, I have found myself curiously drawn to this particular passage. The instituting of new truth has always been of great intrest to me. And of all of the explanations that I have read about 'Revelations' from above, this one has been the most intriguing.


 For what it's worth, I thought I would go through this passage, with you, and see what kind of discussion I can raise. I have done this sentence by sentence, with a final review on this section, I would appreciate hearing any and all thoughts that any of you may have on this section. It is very important to me, to know what you think. I find that it facilitates the thought process. I helps me to grow to know what you believe. And I am currently trying very hard to get this section through the old grinder.


 With Love to All


 Defining Cosmology -


 "Philosophy you somewhat grasp, and divinity you comprehend in worship, social service, and personal spiritual experience, but the purusit of beauty - cosmology - you all too often limit to the study of man's crude artistic endeavors. Beauty, art, is largely a matter of the unification of contrasts. Variety is essential to the concept of beauty. The supreme beauty, the height of finite art, is the drama of the unification of the vastness of the cosmic extremes of Creator and creature. Man finding God and God finding man - the creature becoming perfect as is the Creator - that is the supernal achievement of the supremely beautiful, the attainment of the apex of cosmic art." {UB page 646 - Truth, Beauty, and Goodness} Cosmology - noun, plura -gies [New Latin cosmogonia, from Greek kosmos + New Latin - logia (logy)] 1: a branch of metaphysics that deals with the universe as an orderly system. 2: a branch of astronomy that deals with the origin, structure, and space-time relationships of the universe. {Websters}


 Defining Revelation -


 "Revelation is a technique whereby ages upon ages of time are saved in the necessary work of sorting and sifting the errors of evolution from the truths of spirit acquirement." {UB page 1110 - 5. Religion Expanded by Revelation}


 Revelation - noun, [Middle English from Middle French, from Late Latin revelation-, revelatio, from Latin revelatus, past participle of revelare - to reveal] 1a: an act of revealing or communicating divine truth. b: soemthing that is revealed by God to man. 2a - capitalized - :an apocolyptic writing addressed to the early Christians of Asia Minor and included as a book in the New Testament. 3a: an act of revealing to view or making known. b: something that is revealed; especially: an enlightening or astonishing disclosure. {Websters}


 "4. THE LIMITATIONS OF REVELATION"


 "Because your world is generally ignorant of origins, even of physical origins, it has appeared to be wise from time to time to provide instruction in cosmology."


 The two things that strike me the most about this sentence are the words "generally" and "has appeared to be". I note that they did not use the word "absolutely" to describe our ignorance. Which to me, would seem to indicate, that somewhere, somehow, someone, or perhaps all of us to one degree or another, had, have, or are capable of having, insight as to origins, physical and otherwise. I note that they used these words "has appeared to be" - the inclusion of these words suggests to me that there is a potential of it also "not appearing to be" wise. But why not, why would it not be wise for 'them' to provide instruction to 'us' on this (cosmology) or any other subject for that matter. And to be perfectly honest, the only conclusion that I could reach was based on my remembering of how Immanuel advised Michael prior to this bestowal, that he should leave no writings (page 1330 #6). And I wonder if what they were getting at was not the instruction so much, as the resulting form of which that instruction would take. I.E. a book - a written record through which the truth may be discerned, instead of a physical manifestation which would be so obvious as to settle the question being answered once and for all.


 "And always has this made trouble for the future."


 Amen to that, I understand this completely. Especially when taken within the context of the meaning which I got from the previous sentence. And in consideration of the reason why I feel myself studying this particular passage - In one short month, and almost 700 posts, the diversity of views which I have seen on this forum, and the attitudes that I have seen used to reflect these views, has definitely given me a strong appreciation for this sentence. It has become painfully obvious to me, that we (tUBers) are having a lot of trouble becuase of positions we take about this book and its message to all, not because of its individual message to each.


 "The laws of revelation hamper us greatly by their proscription of the impartation of unearned or premature knowledge."


 They have rules on revealing which prohibit (proscription) them because the knowledge they bring may be unearned, or premature. That makes sense, knowing that the Father prefers us to learn by living. I know that I have found with my children, that in some things it is better to allow them find out certain things on their own. Like not picking up and drinking from a cup of hot coffee, because it wll burn their little mouths. But I say nothing as they begin to pick up the cup. I do this so that they gain experiential knowledge. Learning through living. It is an old saying - but it works for me, Truth cannot be given - only received.


 "Any cosmology presented as a part of revealed religion is destined to be outgrown in a very short time."


 Interesting statement. They seem to be indicating that cosmology is, or may be, presented as a part, which would make it a subset, of revealed religion. I wonder though, does the cosmology become outgrown because of the individuals attainment of new knowledge concerning the cosmology presented, or because of the individual's enlightenment which comes from spiritual growth? From an understanding of, and immersion in, the revealed religion of which the cosmology is a part?. Is it perhaps that when the revealed religion has enlightened one to the point of the total submergence in its truth, that when this action has occurred, the cosmology (the part of revealed religion) that has accompanied it becomes to small for the new religious being's conceptual capacity? And therefore an ever larger cosmology becomes necessary to help support the framework which has now been supplied by the revealed religion. Sort of like advancing from one mansion world to the next and having to have your morontia form re-keyed at each stop because of your attaiment of higher morontia values?


 "Accordingly, future students of such a revelation are tempted to discard any element of genuine religious truth it may contain because they discover errors on the face of the associated cosmologies therein presented.


 Kind of makes the point for my above supposition. We do in fact grow spiritually beyond our understanding of material realities. It is the nature of our "earthly" spiritual quest. To become morontia minded while in an "earthly" body. To ascend the seven circles. But I note the use of the words "are tempted to discard" which seems to suggest to me that the author of this statement felt that perhaps we were, or would be, jumping the gun in dismissing the religious truth which may be associated with the supporting cosmology.


 "Mankind should understand that we who participate in the revelation of truth are very rigorously limited by the instructions of our superiors."


 The most striking thing to me in this sentence is the use of the words "should understand". I note that they do not say that we must. In fact, it sounds to me like a heartfelt request for our indulgence to their limitations. It's not they appear to say - their fault. They definitely have a heirarchical system for the deliverance of "revelations" and from their use of the words "very rigorously" I would assume that the consequences are dire if they go outside of those instructions from their superiors.


 "We are not at liberty to anticipate the scientific discoveries of a thousand years."


 I guess the thing that strikes me the most about this sentence is the use of the word "anticipate". I like that word being there. It makes me feel comfortable about the revealers. It gives me a sense that everything is subject to change. It also tells me that those who are imparting this knowledge, are not necessarily allowed to "know" what the future outcome of this world will be, for any of us, individually, or as a whole. They are not even allowed to speculate about it in formatting their revelation. It sounds like another request for understanding. It also suggests to me, that if they are not at liberty, they must not as yet have attained the status whereby they could be. Remember Michael, he brought us the greatest revelation of all, the revelation of God as a loving Father to all. What were his limitations for revealing this truth to us? I submit that there were none. He could have done it any way he wanted. Of course, he wanted to do it the way that his/our Father had willed that it be done.


 "Revelators must act in accordance with the instructions which form a part of the revelation mandate."


 Obviously, as they try to point out, they have no choice. Just following the rules. And again I note they use the word "must", they do not say "should" in this sentence. It is clear to me, that they really are just following the rules.


 "We see no way of overcoming this difficulty, either now or at any future time."


 I found this sentence especially intriguing. Exactly why would they want to overcome their mandate? To what end would they even consider trying to find a way around what they had been instructed to do? This really opened up a whole hornet's nest for me. They are very definitely talking about attempting to discern ("We see no way") if they could circumvent the rules. Which raises some intriguing questions. What is the level of perfection of a creature who admits to looking for a way to circumventing the rules? They must be free-thinking, otherwise they would not have had this concept. And they must still have a lot of growing to do if they consider the rules of their superiors difficult, instead of having an absolute understanding and being in complete agreement with them. I wonder, could creatures like this still make mistakes?


 "We full well know that, while the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries."


 Aha! A sniglet. Two in fact. The first thing I note is the words "series of revelatory presentations". Obviously this section deals with information that is greater than just the information imparted in this section. And since it is contained within a book which is a "series of revelatory presentations" I can only conclude that they are talking about the Urantia Book, the Fifth Epochal Revelation to mankind. The second sniglet: I can understand based on the previous sentence, that they felt that there should be more that they could tell us, and having surmised that they were not allowed to do so, not even to speculate in formulating the revelation, they must have been allowed to let us know, that, some parts of what they were passing along, were lacking in some way as to the amount of data that they contain. Lacking enough, in fact, that at some point, "a few short years" (and since they were talking to us Urantians, I will assume they were talking Urantian years), these statements would need to be revised. Which brought up two questions: First, why include it in the first place if they knew it was just going to have to be changed? Which I guess leads to the inevitable "because without it the revelation would be lacking in some larger respect". And secondly, have they, did they, or are they, making provisions to revise these statements? Or are we to simply black out the parts that become out-dated, as we find it happening?


 "These new developments we even now forsee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records."


 What humanly undiscovered facts? What did they consider so important, that they would try to find a way around leaving it out, and failing to find a way, that they would then proceed to forewarn us that we would very shortly have problems with some "statements" in "these series of revelatory presentations", the Fifth Epochal Revelation to mankind?


 "Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired."


 From this sentence I find myself concluding that there must be at least two types of revelations - those which are inspired, and those which are not. I draw this conclusion from the use of the words "not necessarily". I note that they didn't say that revelations were "never" inspired. Which means some revelations must certainly be inspired.


 "The cosmology of these revelations is *not inspired*.


 So, the non inspirational aspects of this the Fifth Epochal Revelation ("these revelations"; "series of revelatory presentations") are the truths placed forth in this book with deal with cosmology issues. And since this section deals with limitations placed on this and other revelations, they also leave open to speculation, by not including "revealed religion" in this statement, (since this is a revelation of cosmology and revealed religion), that the revealed religious concepts of this book were, or most certainly could have been, inspired. Let us hope that they were.


 "It is limited by our permission for the co-ordination and sorting of present-day knowledge."


 Very interesting.... Only the facts as they existed at the time that this revelation was presented were allowed to be used for the cosmological (It) portion of this Fifth Epochal Revelation.


 "While divine or spiritual insight is a gift, *human wisdom must evolve*."


 So, our spiritual growth, our ability to find and know what is true about our relationship with the Father ("divine or spiritual insight"), that is a gift. But our "human wisdom" ("knowledge acquired by evolutionary creatures" Ub pg 216) our acquired knowledge of our existence, of the outward manifestations of the reality of this journey that we make, that must grow. Experiential growth.


 "Truth is always revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality."


 This is another one of those profound statements that I come across from time to time in the UB, that make me stop and really think about what the point is that they are trying to make. And I have been thinking a lot lately about this statement in regards to this section, to this book, to my life, and to the world around me. I see a circular motion in effect here. In our quest for truth, in our search, and subsequent finding, we are experiencing revelation. Some of that revelation comes from the work that our TA's are able to accomplish within us ("emerges as a result of the work of"; "autorevelation") as we search and subsequently find truth. Another portion of the truth that we can experience is "epochal", presented to us by the actions ("function") of an outside ("some other") celestial source. But how do we find truth? I see here in this statement, that all truth has two sources, Thought Adjusters working within us, or by Celestials acting as an agency, a group, or a personality. Seems pretty straitforward.


 "In the last analysis, religion is to be judged by its fruits, according to the manner and the extent to which it exhibits its own inherent and divine excellence."


 Pretty powerful stuff by my reasoning. What I get from this statement, when taken with the previous, is that religion is the accumulated usage of acquired truth, which has come directly as a result of the Father (TA) or other Celestials. It's value is to be judged by the way in which these accumulated truths display their individual worth as a part of the accumulated whole.


 "Truth may be but relatively inspired, even though revelation is invariably a spiritual phenomenon."


 And so they confirm that all truth is revelation, and all revelation is a spiritual phenomenon. Each time I discover a new truth, I am in fact experiencing a reaction to spiritual stimulus. I have grown because of the help that I have been given by some spiritual source. But there seems to be a quantitaive relativity to that truth, which I glean from their use of the words "may be but". And yet, they have already stated, that all truth is from one of two sources, Thought Adjusters, and other Celestials. So what quantifies it? Would it not be the functioning of either the gift of "divine or spiritual insight" or by my "human wisdom" evolving? Certainly, we can all agree, that what is true for me is not necessarily true for you. But it is true for me. And there are only two ways that I can experience truth, by "divine or spiritual insight" and by my "human wisdom" evolving to the point where I recognize something to be true. So the relative aspects of inspired truth can be discerned by each of us individually using either "divine or spiritual insight" or by our "human wisdom" evolving to the point where we recognize and receive something as true. Simple enough.


 "While statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they at least transiently clarify knowledge by:"


 And i'll get to the "by:'s" in a moment. But first, i'd like to take a look at this. This is the second reference to statements on cosmology not being inspired ("The cosmology of these presentations is not inspired") in this section, though this statement would seem to take the previous statement and grow it a little. Here they use the words "are never inspired". And again I note, that they say nothing of the truths contained in the "revealed religion" aspects of this revelation ("series of revelatory presentations), which again leads me to the conclusion, that these truths are inspired. So, what they seem to be saying is, that the truth about cosmology which is imparted only through revelation ("all truth is revelation"), which has certain limitations ("It is limited by our permission") has been imparted through the work of Celestials ("We who participate"). These Celestials, who are limited in their ability to present as much of the truth as they would like, because of the rules under which they operate, impart statements that are helpful at the time ("transiently clarify"). These "unearned or premature" statements are of "immense value" to the extent that they arrange for us the information that has and can be gleaned for distribution.


 So if I am understanding this correctly, a scientist who discovers that the truth that the moon is 250+ thousand miles from earth, is able to do so because of the aid (truth that has been revealed) he has been given through the work of celestials. For this discovery is a truth, and it is a cosmological truth.


 But what about the other type of truth? The truth that comes from the workings of your Adjuster? I submit, that if cosmological truth is revealed by celestials, then revealed religion truth is revealed by the work of our Adjusters. For that which you know inside of you to be true, those truths which revolve around our "feelings" and "beliefs" about our relationship with the cosmos, instead of our relationship to the cosmos, can only come from within you. It cannot come because of the work of any outside agency.


 Love grows from within because of a desire to do good for others. It does not come because of some outside-of-the-body influence. My touch cannot make you love me, but the feeling inside of you that my touch stirs, can, in every way, make you love. And the revelation of the truth of this love within your being, is a revelation of truth from your Thought Adjuster, from our Father. I submit.


 Simply stated: That which we find around us which is true is a revelation to us from a celestial source. That which we find inwardly to be true is a revelation to us from our Adjuster.


 I Submit.


 The following are the "by:'s", And my friends, it is simple, I can offer no better example of these than the Urantia Book itself. It is afterall, the book which has brought us all together. I would, though, ask that each of you look around you in your every day life, perhaps you can find examples of these immensely valuable messages, that transiently clarify our knowledge of the cosmology of our current existence.


 


 "1. The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error" "2. The co-ordination of known or about-to-be-known facts and observations."


 "3. The restoration of important bits of lost knowledge concerning epochal transactions in the distant past."


 "4. The supplying of information which will fill in vital missing gaps in otherwise earned knowledge.


 "5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation."


 


 


 Final Analysis -


 My final take on this section - The Limitations of Revelation - is fairly simple. Each and every truth which exists for you as an individual - whether it be cosmological or spiritual - whether it be walking on solid ground, or loving the person next to you - each and every one of these truths is supplied to us by our Father. The only difference being, that some of these revelations come from him directly. And for some of these revelations he uses Celestials to reveal them to you. And this cycle continues until such a time as you receive them, at which point the circle of expanding your "cosmology" and your "revealed religion" begins again.


 And so, I would ask, that each of you think on this, use your gift of "divine or spiritual insight" and your evolving "human wisdom" to look into what it is here that I am finding through this one small paper. I would encourage you to also read the section on page 646 of the Ub, "Truth, Beauty, and Goodness" and let me know what all of you think about this.


 

13 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              TM and UB status (again...)

Subject: TM and UB status (again...)


 I think my post of yesterday goes to the heart of *some* of the difference of opinion here respecting the TM. Yes we seem inevitably to get around to that subject again and again. I have managed to avoid speaking of it for a while, but David K's post, together with Fred H.'s reply (and several other responses) drives me to speak of it again.


 Fred H.is quite clear about his position:


 >From my perspective, it doesn't matter. It is not important to me >whether this is a mass delusion or contact with celestial teachers. I >urge interested persons to read the posts for substance and not put any >credence in the purported celestial source. I say the same thing about >reading the Urantia Book.


 If one breaks the connection between what the UB says, and who claims to have said it, then it is indeed quite possible to read both the UB, and the TM (and many other spiritual works), and derive what good you can from each, leaving that which doesn't strike you particularly well alone.


 But the UB claims more then this. It claims our allegiance not just to the principles of loving thy neighbor, the Fatherhood of God coupled with the brotherhood of man (which is admittedly its most *important* doctrine), but to our role in the evolution of planetary destiny (however large or small). If one manages to accept the former, but reject the latter (or reject those parts one finds objectionable), then the revelation (if it *is* a revelation) has had only a partial impact on that individual. Of itself this is not terribly bad. All errors (individual and planetary) will eventually be corrected whether in this life or the next [individually speaking], and all things being equal, it is better to accept a significant part of our personal responsibility (for example that of serving our brothers more often or better than we did before), and mistakenly reject other parts then to reject it all.


 But if I (and I presume David K.) accept that the UB *is* revelation, then it takes on a considerably different status as compared to other religious works. It becomes not just an *addition* to my general concept of my place and responsibility in the universe, but the primary directing influence of that concept. This still leaves a lot of detail to be fleshed out in the matter of interpreting my *whole* concept of the UB (knowing that that concept is imperfect) in my day-to-day encounters with others, my political activity, and other things. But when someone subsequently *claims* to be channeling communications from celestial beings (especially those who claim to be aware of and acceed to the authority of the UB), that claim deserves to be tested (and should submit to such testing).


 It is quite clear to me (and I'm not going to go over all the arguments I posted some months back about time scales and other things), that if the UB *is* a revelation, then the TM can not be such as it claims because its ontological foundation (the claim that the Lucifer Rebellion is adjudicated, and the circuts are opening) simply can not be supported by a reasonable understanding of the whole UB. That is a case that saw its first "hearing... during the time of effecting this revelation" (p 611), yet has been pending for over 200,000 Urantia years (p610), can not possibly have been concluded in a mere 60 or 70 of our years. While this is not a logical certainty, it is such a statistically small possibility as to be discounted without some SERIOUS independent confirmation.


 For someone like Thea, the issue is not so much what she personally believes, or what her experiences have done for her personal life, but of what she has told others, and what *they* believe because they believe Thea is channeling celestial teachers. If I heard voices and what they told me substantially improved my life that would be one thing. If on the other hand those voices told me to tell others what they were saying, my personal responsibility in the matter, my integrity, would demand that some independent test demonstrate the validity of their claims.


 Yes independent tests may invariably involve some aspect of material reality that is such that we accept the independence of the authority (the voice). There is no other way I can think of to validate their extrinsic reality. That is, a voice could tell me what lottery numbers to pick. Suppose it is right (those are the winning numbers). I might still have been just dumb lucky. Repeated tests might reduce the probability of that to a vanishingly small number, but I think one test is all that one could expect. I know what I would do... "give me an itemized list of the contents of my safe deposit box". Now even I don't know what is in that box (my wife does all the transactions). Having gotten the list, I can verify the contents (I do have a key), and be pretty sure that the list did not originate in my mind. At the same time, I gain nothing (materially), so there should be *no* objection to such a test.


 But the teachers have eschewed *all* such tests, and the TR's have not *demanded* them as a condition of their further dissemination of the teachings. In my mind, this is a terrible lapse of responsibility.


 None of this has aught to do with the value of the spiritual content of the TM transcripts. This may be debated endlessly and comes down much to matters of taste. It has rather to do with the *authority* of the the content. If the TM is what it claims to be, then its message has more weight, more claims upon our attention (and legitimately so). If it is not, or will not *demonstrate* its authority, then the only honest thing an outsider can do is view the results and judge them much as one would any other human work.


 

14 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Re: TM/UB & Spirit Evolution

Subject: Re: TM/UB & Spirit Evolution


 Matthew writes:


 >>the UB *is* a revelation, then the TM can not be such as it claims because its ontological foundation (the claim that the Lucifer Rebellion is adjudicated, and the circuts are opening) simply can not be supported by a reasonable understanding of the whole UB. That is a case that saw its first "hearing... during the time of effecting this revelation" (p 611), yet has been pending for over 200,000 Urantia years (p610), can not possibly have been concluded in a mere 60 or 70 of our years. While this is not a logical certainty, it is such a statistically small possibility as to be discounted without some SERIOUS independent confirmation.[[


 Matthew: Your timing argument against adjudication seems so narrow, and i see no support for it in the UB. One possibility that has to be listed as an option is certainly that anticipation of the imminent adjudication was a factor in the timing of the UB (fifth epochal revelation).


 Since the Dalamatia schools (2nd epochal recvelation) to Machiventa (3rd e.r.) was 500,000 years, could we not make the same argument based on your timing logic that the arrival of Jesus (4th e.r) occuring just 500 years later was "illogical" and not " statistically significant" as a possibility, yet we know this to be factual. How does one project a statistical conclusion even if metaphor, based on what is clearly not statistical data, but subjective, conjecture and interpretation ???


 By the way, it's the outliers that make us all look silly, like the 500 pt one day drop in the stock market in October of 1987. Statistically an impossibility and it indeed destroyed the livelihood and carreers of those who believed it could bnever happen and bet against it. In my consulting work with analysts on world currency and stock markets, I always tell them statististics are great but always remember, anything can happen, so prepare yourself.


 On another point: I would not be surprised if the TM or CT (correcting time) was not projected based on the speculation that humans would do so little with the revelation of the book in terms of integration of the spirit of the Masters teachings into daily living.


 Case in point: our good brother David K. has a wonderful grasp of not just the UB but of the religious sweep of evolutionary religion/history on this planet, yet given this knowledge, he can and has many times rained down in a very negative, invective attack upon those involved in the TM with no hesitation whatsoever (surely this is in direct contradiction to how the Master would react in the same situation ) . Why even those non-supportive of the TM have asked for this habitual negative and invective reaction to be toned down.


 The ability to have such a broad intellectual grasp of revelation and religion whilst not able to practice the force energy of love as a predominant re-action is the very weakness that the TM or the Correcting time is trying to correct.


 This is why I have said, and still believe that each act of David's intolerance of the TM has amplified to two important lessons to me 1) the dire need and weakness of religion when it is spearheaded by the purely intellectual/logical force as it needs to be balanced, "corrected" if you will by spirit-led, loved-fueled energies. and 2) that even actions which one observes as not characteristic of spirit-taught/led reactions can ultimately be demonstrative of goodness as those reactions provide a relief to better view the outworkings of the overlay of ultimate spiritual truth and goodness.


 


 So, I interpret every invective that David K. has launched into as an inspiraitonal reminder that intellectual understanding is not enough to uphold the dominance of the fruits of the spirit, that love needs to be promulgated by action and reaction; and further that the exhibition of the fruits of the spirit or lack of them (as the Master has advised) is indeed a worthy measuring stick of the proof of spirital progression in the individual. Jesus IS truly the way, the light and the life....


 

14 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: Page 1109

Subject: Re: Page 1109 In-Reply-To: [199402132259.OAA02850@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Hi Dan,


 The kind of argument you employ about the book re getting around revelatory mandates, etc (and I read it much as you do), is precisely the kind of argument that makes those who critique the TM because the book doesn't support it less than presuasive to my mind. There is plenty of material in the book to indicate the possibility of the TM and the possibility of the adjudication happening at any hour. And I see no abrogation of anything in the book any more serious than instances you have mentioned of which there are others, in terms of the actions of beings in regards to the tm. That does not prove it, of course, even to me. But it makes it plausible. Without that plausibility, I myself would be unable to participate. I take the book in much the same way. Anyone who wants a literalist statement from the UB is out of luck, no matter how they want to push, pull or prod it. It is not over-all a literalist message.


 Sorry to use your arguments for my own purposes, but hey, consider it a compliment!

14 Feb 1994    Stephen Finlan      One Smart Pigeon

Subject: One Smart Pigeon


 David K wrote us an essay, saying, "be wise as serpents." Fred answered at length, saying, "be harmless as doves." Phil seems to be saying, "nine parts harmless, one part wise." Here's a vote for unification.


 Phil makes good points when he says that Paul tolerated speaking in tongues, and Jesus tolerated Messianic ideas (to some degree). But the most under-appreciated point might by the one Matthew made:


 >If the UB *is* revelation, then it ...becomes not just an >*addition* to my general concept of my place and responsibility in >the universe, but the primary directing influence of that concept.


 And this means that the authorship of the Book matters a lot. Not just the Book's values, but its facts, matter. Who created me, who saves me, where my prayers go--these things matter!


 At first you have to judge the UB on its content. If it rings true, if you're hooked, then (among other things) you learn alot about the origins and roles of spirit-beings. The more you read the more you learn about the authors. With the TM, the opposite seems to be happening. The more questions one asks, the more the channelers retreat from this subject. -- "Forget the source; dig the values."


 Fred says >It is not important to me whether this is a mass >delusion or contact with celestial teachers... >you say that it isn't celestial teachers. I say, who cares?


 I do, Fred. If superintelligences are talking to you, I care.


 Thea confesses >I also could care if this experience is really coming from "teachers."


 It seems clear that, philosophically, this is an admission of defeat. Past channeled "mistakes," and current unwillingness to answer certain probing questions, reveals the human nature of these "transmissions."


 Still, mental force might not be the best way to react to the TM. It might be helpful to build philosophic bridges to ease the transition for people who are ready to say, "I guess I'm probably not receiving messages from an actual finaliter." Comparative religion can help people realize that what they've experienced is fairly routine "spirit-possession" similar to Pentecostalism, voodoo, theosophy, Greek oracular messages, hearing wood-spirits or talking to "angels." (Maybe even earthworm-devas? ~~~ ;-)


 It shows how close together religion and imagination are, and what a source of creativity the religious imagination is. The TM is part creative writing, part Pentecostalism.


 ....trying my damnedest to fly out of this wormhole... Your peaceful serpent, Finnie.

15 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        Re: One Smart Pigeon

Subject: Re: One Smart Pigeon In-Reply-To: [199402150338.AA20288@nfs1.digex.net]


 Hi folks,


 Stephen Finland's summary of the current debate over TM and Urantia Book origins was excellent: Be wise as serpents Be harmless as doves. I was impressed by the balance proposed.


 Here is another balance: Outward Journey Inward Journey Matthew proposes testing TM by looking at the outside world .. using science. This is the "outward journey". TM people justify the TM by looking inward .. and are finding much value through the "inward journey."


 Todd always finds the balance. I find the balanced approach the most challenging and thoughtful. Back in my college days, we had this big debate over whether to be: Of the World Separate from the World


 I originally argued that we should live life "Separate from the World." The world fundamentally corrupts us ... we need to use internal sources of authority. I since found in my life that where the world has been kind to me .. I use external sources of authority. It is amazing how many oppressed people don't participate in society .. yet have amazingly active, peaceful as a dove, inward, separate from the world, spiritual lives.


 I feel we are born balanced and the world unbalances us. I feel that eastern civilizations have in the past emphasized the inward journey too much .. (east and west relative to Europe). Western civilization has found value in the external world through science. I would argue that we all need to move to India.

15 Feb 1994    Russ Gustafson     a reply to david

Subject: a reply to david


 Hi David Kantor


 I don't usually participate in intellectual quibbling--you can do anything with logic. Kind of like what Jesus said about the orator in the Urantia Book. However here's some thoughts.


 > Take a look at the >general social status of channelers -- are they well integrated into >a variety of human communities such as family, church, professional >organizations, community organizations, political lobbying groups, >etc., or are they relatively socially isolated?


 I really don't know the demographics but I always thought Urantians were all a little way out there. Who were the first to accept Jesus's teachings? Were they the leaders and respected people of his time? No they were the sinners, the poor, the lame and the spiritual hungry (starving).


 >If all you're really concerned about is the spread of the message, of >what additional value to the world are the precepts of the "teaching >mission" beyond what is provided in the UB? Imo the conceptual >packaging of the message in the UB is far superior to that attempted >by the TM -- why attempt to propagate them with such an inferior >conceptual vehicle?


 You have to realize I'm not a spokesperson for the TM, these are my thoughts only, but try this. In the Urantia book a definite order of revelation is given to developing worlds. We have already had some celestial teachers, Prince Caligastia, Adam and Eve, Melchizedek, and Jesus. The Urantia Book is the only epochal revelation that came without a teacher. Come on now, in your own words > I simply find this lack of concern at a time of such great >planetary crisis and opportunity to be disturbing. we are in a crisis state. I'm sure Our Father is going to give us more than just a book.


 >The TM is isolated from the basic scientific views and thought of >our day in that it refuses to employ (or tell us why it should not >employ) established methodologies for establishing the truth or >untruth of the phenomena which it is attempting to tell us is a >reality. Indeed, the tm seems to refute the use of any defined >methodology whatsoever -- consider this in light of what the UB says >about the value of the scientific method and rational insight as >essential tools for the development of the inner life. Much of significance is rarely discovered following conventional lines of thought. It is often the result of inspiration or accidental. Scientific principles are great, but lets turn them toward the subjective mind. Science has been slow to accept the validity of a person's observations of their own experiences. They only want to allow the objective data of an outside observer. Lets study peoples' visions and imaginings. These are certainly the real motivators for moral value judgments and action, even health itself. The human body and mind ( and spirit) is the greatest transducer on earth. The only way to use this transducer is for the transducing person to study herself and evaluate her experiences (stillness practice). Scientific principles could certainly be of good use here.


 >No, based on my observations I would say that in spite of all the >rhetoric to the contrary, the tm is *not* about our personal >relationship with the Father but is more about participating in >something special, something secret and exciting, about being a >part of a chosen group. It is about imagining that one is a part >of the reserve corps and being involved in a social network which >reinforces these religious fantasies.


 I don't see how you can so easily throw out the idea the TM is not about our personal relationship with the Father when every teaching tells us this is the most important aspect. You are dead right on the second part of your statement that it is secret, chosen, exciting, religious imaginings, and a social network. I would like to even add another description. It is a great adventure and co-creative. It is secretive only in the same way the Urantia Book is secretive. We are a little gun shy and hurt that people do not accept us readily. The Teaching Mission is open to anyone who truly wishes to explore it. Every group tries to make their transmissions readily available and Fred Harris has given you an open invitation to come. We are all part of a chosen group. We only have to recognize the fact that we are of the same family with the same loving parent. God is choosing you right now to be a part of his divine plan. God did not give us this great love of adventure and excitement and our creative imagination and then no good moral outlet for them, just as he did not intend sex to be debase. Because of the rebellion we are ass-backwards in our ability to relate lovingly to people. We need role models. I know we have Jesus but God is giving us more at this time. This is like a great scientific discovery opening up whole new ways of thinking and acting. It opens up new ways in which the spirit can work through us on the material world. As we open up more lovingly, we can see finer details of how we affect the material world ( and spiritual). We each have a part in the co-creation of the Supreme and our imaginings of truth, beauty and goodness are our contributions. Lets let these imaginations run.


 >While the tm may not overtly encourage isolation, the premises >upon which it is based will more than likely result in isolation >because they are so far removed from what is known about reality >in the culture you are supposedly going to uplift. Again David you are right on, but of course current reality is ass- backwards and I feel God's love and power will not bring isolation but a new spiritual fulfillment.


 David I feel you characterize the Mission quite accurately but I strongly disagree on your opinion of its value for mankind and its future effect.


 A question for Matthew Rapaport: What test did you use to prove the validity of the Urantia Book?

15 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        truth & fact

Subject: truth & fact In-Reply-To: [199402151541.AA14639@nfs1.digex.net]


 >From Scott


 (I,m putting this at the top because those of you with AOL often have to read the entire message before discovering who the author is .. AOL thinks the author is Urantial ... and those of you on AOL need the freedom to delete this message just because it is from me.)


 After reading Dan's & Jim R's statements of truth and fact, and agreeing with both of them. Here is my stab at the topic using the balanced approach (be like Todd? .. I am scared .. well I'll try).


 Fact is from the external world .. something we experience and discover through science. Fact is this ascii text we are staring at on the screen. Fact we discover through our senses. This is what we share as a human race.


 But we also know there is a morntia reality, a reality that we will experience with more senses after death and being reborn. On Urantia we have to develop faith that this reality exists. Faith mixed with fact creates truth. truth=faith+fact


 Or to get all the inputs on the left and outputs on the right:


 faith=truth-fact


 What about trust?


 trust=truth-fact


 I am aruging that as we build faith and trust through moral decisions, we need to balance our search between the impersonal and personal versions of each. We need to distinguish between trust which is impersonal and faith which is extremely personal. Really only trust can be shared. Faith is the dance before fusion with our thought adjuster.


 Faith is born. This is why the Urantia Book grows on us. Trust is similar to faith but is based upon facts not personally experienced and impersonal truth. This is what makes school so difficult and is the reason students are always asking:"Why?" Students are naturally pursing faith, not trust.


 personal fact = something we've experienced with our senses yet is not something others might ever experience personal truth= something we've personally discovered and not perhaps universally experienced by others.


 impersonal fact = something we've been told happens but might not have happend to us yet impersonal truth = science .. duplicateable documented events others have discovered that we might someday confirm.


 faith (always personal) = personal truth - personal fact trust (always impersonal) = impersonal truth - impersonal fact


 We can not experience everything in this life, therefore trust is needed. Without trust, faith has no meaning .. there can be no personality because there can be no community to create the need for faith. Without faith, trust is a vain exercise with no real purpose .. we are impersonal.


 Faith produces love which we can share .. and try to share through these computers. Personal facts shared here are received and become impersonal until we experience them ourselves. Trust is very important. David Kantor understands the need for trust ... and is trying to build trust. This is why he quotes authoritative sources .. which are ultimately impersonal. The teaching mission promotes faith and thus is an entirely different discipline. Both are needed. A balance.


 The problem with trust is that it is impersonal .. it has to be built in tandom with faith. Trust without faith is guided by efficiency and control principles. This is why David Kantor says "TMers think they are special and keep to themselves." Faith without trust is guided by freedom and tolerance principles. This is why TMer's say "David you must be in great pain .. David why aren't you more loving? .."


 David I want to thank you for being the focal point of this .. for risking all the criticism .. for sticking your neck out .. for being so clear in arguing the need for trust .. for saying that impersonal truths (science) has to be woven into the Teaching Mission if it is to be a religion.


 Matt, I do appreciate your request that the Teaching Mission conduct some parapsychology like tests to help build trust. You want to see the personal experiences of myself be comparied to the personal expereiences of others in the Teaching Mission. I agree that this would be appropriate if the Teaching Mission goals were to begin building trust.


 I feel the Teaching Mission is about building faith .. it is not trying to become a religion. It is not trying to build trust. Is about learning to love each other, learning to love ourselves and feel the Fathers love. I agree that faith has to be balanced with trust. This is why we need Fred, Thea and Jim R's point of view as well as David Matt and Dan's. Balance. Todd did I do ok?


 

15 Feb 1994    Leonard D Massey             Re: Page 1109

Subject: Re: Page 1109


 Thea,


 You should feel free to use my arguments for your own purposes. That's what communicable arguments are all about. More specifically, we do it all the time in applying logic to reason about factual premises. The logical schemata "if a is true and a implies b is true then b is true" is a well-worn example. Of course, it's probably not worth elevating the Andon and Fonta line to this level of universality.


 OTOH, do not think that your appropriation of my line of thinking will cause me to give any particular credence to the conclusion you are supporting. Certainly (imho) the TM is conceivably possible within the UB mythos, notwithstanding the objections others have raised. I have no trouble believing that the Lucifer rebellion has been adjudicated and that events consequent to that adjudication are occurring. This belief is consistent with statements made by TM TR's; however, as far as I have discerned, none of them have brought forward the critical evidence which would be required for me to validate their information, that is, nobody has said anything about it that I can (subjectively) test to determine that there is an authentic source to their disclosures. In the absence of this, it is fram more likely (thought by no means absolutely certain) that the TR's are fantasizing about this--even though I do not think that I am...


 Then, of course, there is the problem of revelatory quality of the TM, of which the less said the better, since so much has already been written. I do not feel my life to be blighted by my disappreciation of the TM and do not feel that most people who DO appreciate it are blighted either. I am not interested in arguing its validity or invalidity with anyone, any more than I am interested in arguing the correctness or incorrectness of someone's theology. I have reached that point in life (I think) where what happens is important and what is said is virtually irrelevant, except as it may disclose what is happening. Of course, my own blathering on rather gives the lie to this pompous position... I guess it's more a question of an emerging attitude than of a defined reality. Having concluded that no amount of argument will settle the TM questions for believers or non-believers, and having received nothing from it myself to persuade me it is any more than a blend of (at its best) good thoughts and wishful thinking, which I think I have aplenty already, I have filed the argument under "bored" and tried to get on with other facets of my life...


 Not an argument. Not a defense. Not a criticism. Not an acceptance of having my line of argument glued down on a different kitchen floor.

16 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              timing and evidence

Subject: timing and evidence


 Hello again. Glad to see many new names and various topic threads. I've always wondered about fiction based on the ascention scheme. It could be a "space opera" of great proportions. It always seemd though that there wouldn't be anything to produce enough dramatic tension for human readers. The "issues" overwhich one might build tensions would I think seem awfully subtile to human readers.


 Todd.. >I would point out that my own complaints have been less directed at the >specific content than at my sense that they fail to do justice to the >subject matter.


 Yes but this can be explained plausibly by the book's focus and length considerations as has been pointed out.


 >Also, the ideas expressed in the UB could be both internally consistent >and consistent with what we know of cosmology and history and still be >false. As I pointed out to Phil, there are indefinitely many sets of >metaphysical postulates that would satisfy those conditions without >being true.


 I wasn't speaking of just metaphysical postulates, but of the whole of the UB including the psychological, social, political, historical, etc. A theory is accepted because it explains more or does a better job of explaining observed phenomenon. In theory (no pun intended), there can be only *one* "final theory" as it were, the one that adequately explains *all* observed phenomenon, even all phenomenon yet to be observed. I agree that even internal consistency *and* fit between theory and observation does not *prove* revelatory status (or any special status), but in the absence of *any* known theory generated by humans that does a better job (in the total), it becomes difficult to explain the phenomena in question (the content of the UB) without postulating some special status.


 >And this means that the authorship of the Book matters a lot. >Not just the Book's values, but its facts, matter. Who created >me, who saves me, where my prayers go--these things matter!


 Thank you Finnie, that is exactly my point.


 Finnie writes: >> It shows how close together religion and imagination are, >> and what a source of creativity the religious imagination is. >> The TM is part creative writing, part Pentecostalism. and Todd replies: >Is there any reason why we should not extend this observation to the UB >itself?


 Well that is the question isn't it? It all comes back to the question of special status or not doesn't it?


 The discussion of the material on 1109 has been interesting. It is the place where the UB brings together its discussion about its own status, the tasks satisfied by all revelations (at least the epochal ones). Now I think the UB passes its own test. This shouldn't be suprising, but of course the opinion depends first upon accepting the authority of the UB's viewpoint and this is entirely circular. On the otherhand, if the stated achievements are taken as an adequate (or at least necessary) test of revelation (whether the UB passes or not), they may be applied to the TM which obviously fails some of them.


 Jim McCallon... >...if all truth is revelation, and if all revelation is a spiritual >phenomenon, then how can the truth about the distance from here to there >not have been "revealed" through the workings of the spiritual community?


 You are confusing truth and fact. The "distance from here to there" is a fact, not a truth. Truth pertains to the spiritual, facts to the material (or the time/space distinction that emerged a few months back).


 I can think of many facts that aren't truths, but I am interested in any example one might have of a truth that isn't also a fact. For example, the Fatherhood of God is a truth, but it is also a fact is it not?


 Scott... >Matthew proposes testing TM by looking at the outside world .. >using science.


 Well not exactly science, but the point is that the TM *claims* to be of this outside world, i.e. celestial beings communicating with earthlings. As such we have a *right* and a *moral obligation* to demand some demonstration of the reality of this claim *outside* the inner experience taking place in some people, before they (or we) claim to the world that this is so.


 Now Russ G. has asked rightly: "why shouldn't we apply this test to the UB?", and I agree we should. In the case of the UB, the application would be the fruitfulness of the UBs statements respecting things which we can test. Whether physics, cosmology, anthropology, or history, there is plenty of material in the UB which may be the subject of such testing (the fact that space is filled with calcium was one of the first observations of the radio astronomers back in the 20's and 30's). Unlike the TM, the UB is not shy about presenting such material. That adequate testing and evaluation may take hundreds of years is another matter, but the material is there.


 As for my *personal* test of the UB, the answer is simple. I read many volumes of what I took (and others recommended) as the best of human philosophy of religion and theology from the times of Jesus to the present. Simply put, the UB encompassed everything in those books and presented much more besides, integrating them all, etc. That is, its theory explained things better then the alegedly best human material.


 Jesse... >Since the Dalamatia schools (2nd epochal recvelation) to Machiventa (3rd >e.r.) was 500,000 years, could we not make the same argument based on your >timing logic that the arrival of Jesus (4th e.r) occuring just 500 years >later was "illogical" ....


 I don't understand this? Where did you get 500 years?


 "It was 1,973 years before the birth of Jesus that Machiventa was bestowed upon the human races of Urantia." p1015


 You also missed Adam (35,000 years before Melchizedek).


 I think the idea that the adjudication might be over only 70 years after it began is but a human fantasy, a perfect example of that impatience that I commented upon months ago when I launched my analysis of the timing issues.

16 Feb 1994    Philip Calabrese      truth, facts & TM tolerance

Subject: truth, facts & TM tolerance


 ------- Urantialers,


 Jim R, as Matthew R pointed out, facts are material, but truth is spiritual. While it is 'true' that God is in all things, including matter (which ultimately has a spiritual nucleus), information about material phenomena comes only INDIRECTLY to our material senses from the spiritual sources. Truth presumably comes directly from such spiritual sources. While God is the source of all scientific facts, information about these facts comes via the material senses and mental endowment. To hold that all facts come directly from spiritual beings is to miss that intervening material level of reality.


 It seems to me that "love is good" is a truth that is not a "fact". These spiritual values cannot even be wholly defined in terms of facts.


 Michael M, glad to have you drop in with a message or two. To answer your question: Intolerance of intolerance is intolerance, but not on the same level or domain of application. It is on a metalevel and so its value is different from the lower object level. It is important to distinguish between such levels else we quickly get contradictions and inconsistencies. A recent clever one posted here comes to mind: "My plans to be spontaneous fell through." This is a delightful example which perhaps has three levels - thinking about thinking about thinking ...


 Finnie makes a good point about external vs internal verification of the claims of the TMers to be in communication with external celestial sources. If so, then some external evidence should be offered, if possible, to demonstrate these external-to-the-individual messages. Clearly, the erroneous predictions of celestial appearances tended to be counter confirming. A simpler experiment is needed.


 Actually, I have have been casually contemplating some kind of double blind experiment of the reality\nonreality of these communications. But I haven't come up with one yet. It should be possible to check whether there is really communication from an outside source or if it is coming from the "receiver" by ordinary means (which could still involve normal (rather than extraordinary) communication from celestial sources.)


 Such experiments have been devised to test the authenticity of "facilitated communication" by autistic children using a "facilitator" who holds the person's arm (ostensibly to steady it) while the person spells out words on a letter board. The results showed conclusively that even though the facilitators were honest, they were all being fooled into thinking that they were just "receivers". Any ideas about how this might be accomplished with the TM teachers and receivers? It would be good to establish real communication or put the issue to rest with the opposite conclusion.


 I still think the output of the TMers is good and their enthusiasm admirable. I would not want to unnecessarily deflate their new found energy due to some misguided zeal to attack the part of their beliefs that is supposedly erroneous.


 David K: I understand how you, who once made the mistake of believing in such messages (with very painful consequences), do not want to make that mistake again. Therefore your tendency to roundly criticize the TM proponents is understandable. You probably feel (as I) some temptation to believe the stories about communications, and in defense of your mental stability, need to overstate the case against somewhat lest you be taken in again.


 While I share your skepticism about all these people actually receiving messages from external sources, I think a more open and tolerant attitude is consistent with Jesus's handling of Kermeth, his Apostles' beliefs in the "Kingdom" as a material kingdom, their belief that he would return soon, Paul's tolerance of the speakers-in-tongues, and Cymboyton's attitude toward various beliefs.


 I don't see (even assuming you're factually right about the TM) much value in making disparaging remarks about the mental and spiritual integrity of the TMers (except that it apparently helps to keep you yourself from being taken in too!) People who might be inclined to accept the TMer claims at face value will not be much influenced by such judgments and might even be encouraged by the "underdog status" of the TM believers. With love,


 

16 Feb 1994    Stephen Finlan      Imagination

Subject: Imagination


 creativity the religious imagination is. > The TM is part creative writing, part Pentecostalism.


 I wrote that the TM is a product of religious imagination, and Todd asks: >Is there any reason why we should not extend this >observation to the UB itself?


 It depends on whether you believe that the UB is the product of human religious imagination, or was actually authored by celestial personalities, as it claims. This is very much of a faith-test _and_ an intellectual test, the UB having such a high intellectual as well as spiritual content. After spending a year or so reading the Book, one tends to come to a decision about it, believes or disbelieves its superhuman/revelatory claim. Most people make up their minds about the TM much quicker, as its intellectual element is not as vast. But in both cases it comes down to the question--what do you think? Or do you need more time? It is certainly legitimate to take your time. I could give reasons why I don't think the UB is the product of human imagination, but I don't want to spend the time. It is obvious (_to me_) that this is vaster and more internally complex --and yet very simple, in some ways-- than anything people can think up.


 One more word about the TM. I do think it has arisen in response to a real social-religious need. And its emphasis on the sonship-gospel and on transformation are, in some ways, a timely rebuke to the "mainstream" movement, which doesn't know where to focus its attention. But I also think that it is a less-than-mature, sometimes irresponsible, form of dissent from the mainstream.


 I could go on, but I can sense the movement of delete keys all over the country...

17 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        Re: timing and evidence

Subject: Re: timing and evidence In-Reply-To: [199402161354.AA15236@nfs1.digex.net]


 Dear Matt & Phil,


 Both of you recently expressed a desire to test the Teaching Mission. Phil proposes or has solicited a double blind experiment. Matthew has been rationalizing the need for this for almost a year by saying most recently:


 ".. TM claims to be of this outside world, ie celestial beings communicating with earthlings. As such we have a *right* and a *moral* obligation to demand some demonstration of the reality of this claim *outside* the inner experience taking place in some people, before they (or we) claim to the world that this is so."


 My first reaction to this is negative .. I apologize ... it goes like this: Didn't the Pharisees demand the same of Jesus? Have I watched too many movies?


 I think the heart of the issue is buried in your last phrase Matthew: "claim to the world that this is so."


 The Teaching Mission is saying the opposite: "We believe ... listen ... consider ... the kingdom is within ... it is personal."


 The Teaching Mission is not saying, "Trust us, we claim ____." You see one approach has the goal of mobilizing the masses around a truth. But the Teaching Mission goal is to focus us inward. Thus Teachers deal with us individually and in small groups. Like a good teacher, they present just what we can grasp at that moment. Reading old transcripts is a lot like looking at a journal .. tremendous pride, self-confidence and reassurance because of the obvious, continuous growth .. if you were personally involved.


 It is impossible to pull generalized truths out of the transcripts. The transcripts are personal. It would be impossible to talk Teachers into participating in a double blind experiment .. for the same reason that Jesus would not save himself or perform miracles to impress the audience of his power.


 New people most always challenge Teachers in some way. When the Teachers refuse, they (like Simon) are disappointed but ultimately begin the inward journey .. if they hang around. The loving tenderness that can let people down gracefully, the dedicated focus on our own, unaided growth, the listening and penetrating, thoughtful replies lead me to embrace the teaching mission.


 Those that focus on Melchizedek appearances .. adjudication completion ... transcript internal consistency .. double blind duplication .. miss the point entirely. The Teaching Mission activities are intensely personal. Those that focus on external events such as Bosnia, and then ask "What can I do?", mix the outward and inward journey. Those that learn to focus on the inward journey stay within the teaching mission. Those that are trying to solve the worlds problems usually grow bored and leave or look at the the teaching mission from afar and call it irresponsible. But is taking a bath irresponsible?


 


 If you feel good about yourself and your own thoughts, you have reached first base.


 If you try to solve the worlds problems and are beginning to despair, you've reached second base.


 If you have realized that all problems in the outside world are also inside of you and are depressed you've reached third.


 If you've discovered that the worlds/your problems can be solved by focusing inward, then you've hit a home run.


 But remember, you have to go to bat again .. in order to have fun and begin to enjoy life.


 I love the Urantia Book precisely because it also focuses on inward growth. But if enough people reach the fountain of our Father's unlimited love and deliver it predictably, reliably and without reward will we create a world without disagreement, misunderstanding, floods, earth quakes and unending ice storms?


 I think the fundamental question here is:


 Do the outside world's problems exist to stimulate inward growth? --- or --- Is collective inward growth here to solve the worlds problems?


 Of course I think the answer is yes to both questions. The Teaching Mission is just focused on the first. Matt & Phil, you seem to be focused on the second .. and I appreciate that. I just hope you understand from this post that the Teaching Mission will not be much of an aid in your search of common denominators in our collective inward growth. This Urantia List service is much better at that.


 All this post requests is that you separate the goals and objectives of the outward and inward journey. Then we can all dialogue constructively.


 

17 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              omissions and judgment

Subject: omissions and judgment


 Scott... >The Teaching Mission is not saying, "Trust us, we claim ____."


 But it is! it is saying the "Lucifer Rebellion is adjudicated," the "circuts are open," and that both inward and outward information is being conveyed by *celestial teachers*... This material is not just incidental to the TM, it is the very foundation of its existence though not (as you point out) its most important focus.


 

17 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: a reply to david

Subject: Re: a reply to david In-Reply-To: [199402151704.JAA14257@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Russ, I appreciate your thoughts about the tm, and the way in which you expressed them. I began to say naturally, because I agree with them. But in my experience, with religion and other matters, I have really not been all that much in agreement with others. And certainly here on Urantial, we have a great deal of diversity. This is also true in the TM, but I do notice that participants do have this tremendous unity based on that increasingly deep loyalty to loving the Father and one another. I think we are making some progress in encouraging a diversity that is not divisive. There are others who would mightily disagree about this, perhaps with good reason. Nevertheless, I am partly thrilled about my participation in this part of the epochal revelation because for once in my life, coming together in fellowship really has been more important than wrangling over doctrinal and organizational detail. And I applaud that with all my heart. When I go to fellowship with my group, I do not feel like I have to be phony in any way for any there, nor do they feel it. Nor must I protect myself from them by preparing arguments just in case. It just is not the way most things on this planet seem to be. What an oasis. But I see it as that - a watering hole to give us the sustenance to go out and be in the world with all manner of others. I do not see the kind of hiding in enclaves mentality that would alarm me. The isolation that could occur is simply not occuring amongst most of the people I know in the TM. Some, yes. As there are problems along these lines with some outside, too.


 I think we need to be both in the world and apart from the world. Each at its separate time for its separate purposes.


 I think we need to seek both inwardly and outwardly. To cover all the bases, as it were. Stereoscopic vision.


 I think we need to be both wise as serpents and gentle as doves, yes. THat means seeing things as much as possible for what they are, and also recognizing that our human limitations mean that we cannot always penetrate God's truths, yet wisdom asks us to act as best we can. It means that we see with the "eyes of Michael": we see as best we can everything about any person we meet. We do not try to pretend that they are better or worse than they are. But we see that reality with love and acceptance. To love my brother does not mean I pretend that his faults are not there or are unimportant. It means that I see those faults and I love and accept him anyway. THat is how God loves me. It is how I am learning to love myself. In the face of that love, it becomes easier somehow to shed the faults by focussing on the reality of love and leaving the unreality behind.

18 Feb 1994    Mark Turrin       Aggie's Top Ten List

Subject: Aggie's Top Ten List


 Hello Logondonters,


 Urantia Cyberspace Cadets will be pleased to learn that a new feature has become available on the Net. Ms. Agony Daunter, AKA Aunt Aggie, has decided to publish her advice column electronically. Perhaps you've already read some of her sage guidance in that most excellent publication, The Golden Gate Circle's Developments.


 As a service to her readers this month, Aunt Aggie would like to help unravel the confusing events regarding channeling. With this goal in mind, Aunt Aggie is publishing her 10 reasons for believing or not believing in channeling. If this treatise still leaves you baffled, well then, welcome to URANTIA.


 5 Reasons for Believing in Channeling


 5. It makes life more interesting.


 4. You might get a chance to be on television.


 3. You make big money if you can get your spirit teacher to predict the lottery.


 2. You'll be certain of having friends in high places.


 1. It's a good way to get baby names.


 


 5 Reasons not to believe in Channeling.


 5. Your brain would get too crowded.


 4. Your mom said you're not supposed to talk to strangers.


 3. Sitting in the mediation position for a long time makes your butt sore.


 2. Your thought adjuster might feel unwanted.


 1. It would be a pain to change all your credit cards to your new name.


 

18 Feb 1994    Philip Calabrese      Evil, whose fault? & New scien

Subject: Evil, whose fault? & New scientific "facts" In-Reply-To: Your message of Fri Feb 18 14:33:58 1994


 Concerning a test for the TM, I was not suggesting asking the participants at sessions to do anything different. Just by carefully setting up the circumstances, a "communication test" might be devised. There are communication experts who can test for it's presence.


 This issue is important because we all believe that communication is occurring unconsciously in some way between spiritual entities and us, be they angels, Adjusters, adjutants spirits, or others. But now the TMers say that they are conscious of messages from external-to-themselves (higher) sources. To agree is to believe in the authority of the messages that must then be attached to such a source. And that is the dangerous part. There is no alternative as long as the TMers claim that these messages are an extraordinary (not just ordinary unconscious) kind of communication from celestials.


 

19 Feb 1994    David Kantor      Resp to Fred & Phil

Subject: Resp to Fred & Phil


 Hello, Loggers....


 Phil, if I read your posts correctly I get the impression that you think I am over-reacting to this tm stuff or perhaps even tilting at windmills. My reaction is not based on my past experience and study of the channeling phenomenon as Fred implies. The fact of the matter is that the Urantia movement has spent millions of dollars and nearly a half a century dealing with the repercussions of individuals claiming special celestial contact. What's particularly galling about this "celestial contact" scam is that the individuals claiming such contact seem to always get messages which 1) if valid would be of significant concern to the entire community of readers, and 2) always seem to put the receiver of the messages in a positon of power and authority over the rest of us.


 Imo, these purported contacts are the single most significant retarding factor in the further development and spread of the fifth epochal revelation. Until we rid ourselves of such illusions, we will be unable to enjoy "a completely democratic, collegial, ecumenical, etc. association of readers of the Urantia book and their friends" as Dan so appropriately put it. It seems to me that participation in such a fellowship should be open to all -- the attempted usurpation of power and definition of social roles within that fellowship based on supposed "special contact with celestials" is destructive of the very ideals which I would hope we could present to a suffering world in which individuals and groups are in constant struggle for dominance and control.


 We're getting better at this. The tm has failed to penetrate much beyond the disaffected margins of the movement into the body of established readers. The UF at this point has marginalized themselves to the point where folks are not likely to take them too seriously. Be that as it may, I still feel the need to articulate these views in a public forum where the UB is being misused to tout the virtues of channeling, and to learn how to do it effectively without alienating people from further consideration of the issues.


 Phil, I think I could summarize your posts of last week with your sentences...


 >For you to so completely disparage all the content seems unwarranted >to me, perhaps like protesting too much...


 You have repeatedly defended the tm on the basis of the supposed "truth content" of the channelings. You and others have pointed out that truth should be appreciated regardless of the source. I think this is fair up to a point. But when we get to the place where a group such as the tmers make a fetish out of the supposed source of their "truth" and use that fetish to establish a system of belief and ritual, then that supposed source becomes more significant and needs to be examined more carefully by the community which it ultimately affects.


 In addition, if tm claims about the rebellion being over, a corps of celestial teachers descending on the planet for a "correcting time" etc., were true, this is information of enormous significance to the community of readers -- if true it could not simply be relegated to the background while we consider only the accompanying spiritual sentiments. If not true, than the accompanying spiritual sentiments are little more than a fancy ribbon tied on a dog turd. Go ahead, Phil, untie it and put it in *your* pocket for future use.


 I will have more to say about this diversionary and misleading use of spiritual sentiments below.


 Fred wrote:


 >It is not important to me whether this is a mass delusion or contact >with celestial teachers.


 What about integrity and integration, Fred, aren't these values important to you? Do you see intellectual integrity and integration as simply abstract intellectual concepts rather than as the means by which we can directly and profoundly increase our capacity for spiritual receptivity?


 >There is no "evidence" available of a kind that would satisfy you.


 I have used the term "evidence" as it would be used in a debate -- simply a rational description of the grounds upon which you base your conclusions. I have asked for nothing more than a rationally constructed conceptual linkage between some known reality or even a concept from The Urantia Book and tm claims of celestial contact, end of the rebellion, etc. The fact that no such arguments can be constructed automatically restricts these concepts to the domain of fantasy and illusion. If we believe (as the UB describes) that the universe is an integrated whole then we should expect to be able to rationally integrate our intellectual models of it.


 >You have asked how I personally decided that there is a celestial >teaching corp who have contacted willing persons to deliver their >message. I reached that conclusion despite my natural skepticism (ie >trained as a lawyer). That decision is based upon personal >observation of numerous teaching mission groups, review of the >messages delivered, the consistency of the messages within groups >even when received by different individuals, the consistency of the >messages in the differing groups even though they don't know each >other and haven't been exposed to other transcripts, the number of >groups (over 100) that have sprung up over the last two years, the >lack of any motive for self delusion, the lack of charismatic >leaders, the lack of requests for money or other consideration for >dissemination of the messages, the loving nature of the people >involved, the broad spectrum of individuals participating and, most >importantly, the loving selfless service and fruits of the spirit >that I have witnessed being manifested by those involved.


 This does not seem to differ in any way from going down to the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and observing all of the above elements in *their* community and thus concluding that their cosmology is valid. I see no causal relationship between even the bearing of the "fruits of the spirit" and claims about the end of the rebellion, corps of celestial teachers descending upon the planet, a "correcting time" etc. This is like saying that if you think you're observing the "fruits of the spirit" in someone's life, and if you also observe that they drive a gray Acura, that if you get yourself a gray Acura, you will then also be able to yield the "fruits of the spirit" in your life. Not only is there no observable causal relationship here, you continue to be unable to offer even an elementary philosophical construct which would explain your assumed causal relationship.


 >So you say that it isn't celestial teachers. I say, who cares? I am >not in the business of pushing that - I am trying to deliver the >substance of the message. Live it. Put into your lives the >teachings of the Master.


 A couple of weeks ago someone (I think it was Wayne?) posted a question asking just what the teaching mission was about. You responded with a post telling about the end of the rebellion, the "correcting time," the arrival of a corps of celestial teachers and other claims for which you have absolutely no basis and which you implied came from The Urantia Book. So what you have stated in your paragraph which I quoted above does not match up with what we all observed you do publicly hereon in your response to Wayne.


 >The biggest problems I have with your posts, David, are the incessant >negativity of your argument and your tendency to pass judgment on >others.


 Yes, I do evaluate people and their ideas as carefully as I can and as a result I reach certain conclusions about those ideas and the persons who are using them to conduct their affairs in the human community. I am reminded of Jesus' farewell comments to Thomas, when he said to him, "I know well that the false prophets and spurious teachers will not deceive you. And after I have gone, your bretheren will the more appreciate your critical way of viewing new teachings..."


 That the advocates for the tm have been false prophets has been clearly shown by the failure of their predicted events to happen. That they are also "spurious teachers" should be evident to anyone willing to take the time to examine them critically, as Jesus encouraged Thomas to do. Their superficiality and lack of coherence has been made very clear hereon.


 >You always assume the worst.


 Commenting that your baby's dirty diapers stink is not necessarily passing judgement on the baby. Please read Jesus' comments on page 1738 about "inwardly rotting timbers" before you issue a blanket condemnation of my supposed negativity.


 >...you and I are saying the same thing. You don't like the delivery >system....


 I see this as a gross oversimplification of the issues. From my view, the gist of the matter is not simply the delivery system or the packaging, but rather individuals who take an epochal revelation which has been given to all humanity and recast it in a way which puts them, as individuals, as the focus of the revelatory activity -- "I'm getting special celestial contact and here's the message which I am giving to you out of the love of my heart..." "I'm getting special messages and here's what you're supposed to do..."


 It is this self-centered reaction to a revelation about a kingdom in which all are equal before God which disturbs me, and which is retarding the development of an egalitarian fellowship which could truly embody a revelation of the nature of the kingdom. The planet is not in need of more ideas as much as it is in need of a living demonstration of the values and ideals of Jesus' kingdom of heaven.


 We have had a constant stream of various and sundry individuals who show up in our community of readers telling us that they have been given special instructions from the midwayers about how they are to control and manage us (UF) or that there is going to be a nuclear war (FOG) or that celestial teachers have descended upon the planet for a correcting time (tm) or that space ships are hovering overhead preparing to evacuate the true believers from the planet (Sedona folks). I guess it's fun for the folks caught up in it.


 >I *am* speaking of fruits of the spirit. Being more spirit led. >Being kinder, gentler, more service oriented, listening to those we >meet, trying to take the highest path. Yes, I have seen fruits of >the spirit and they are good.


 What does this have to do with a supposed invasion of the planet by a corps of celestial teachers? You keep throwing around this concept of "the fruits of the spirit" as somehow validating your views of the tm. The UB describes the fruits of the spirit as the direct result of the Spirit of Truth working with the Adjuster. (pg 382) The fruits of the spirit are *spiritual* and using them to justify an intellectual position seems a serious error to me.


 A passage on page 2062 fully accounts for the content of the tm messages. Check out the last full paragraph --


 "The chief mission of this outpoured spirit of the Father and the Son is to teach men about the truths of the Father's love and the Son's mercy. These are the truths of divinity which men can comprehend more fully than all the other divine traits of character. The Spirit of Truth is concerned primarily with the revelation of the Father's spirit nature and the Son's moral character...."


 Consider such statements along with what the book has to say about autorevelation and the uniform spiritual ministry to which we each are privileged. When you point to the "fruits of the spirit" to justify beliefs which have no rational connection to any known reality, you are simply ripping off the results of a natural process available to everyone and presenting it as proof of the validity of your own unrelated ideas. By this means you seek to elevate the status of your group and your own social status within that group as a representative of it, thereby destroying the foundation of equality and mutual respect essential for a deeper development of the "Jesus brotherhood." This is what I see as the "fruits" of the tm. Strange how tmers want to tell us what the "fruits" are when simple observation reveals something quite different. I was amazed at the arrogance and presumptousness of the Woods Cross people who actually invited us (hereon) to their community so we could observe the "fruits of the spirit."


 >I believe that there are many paths to the Father. There >are many people who believe sincerely in their way and I think that >the Father respects them for their sincerity. He appreciates their >fruits. They may have a dim understanding of the truth (as we all >probably do), but they sincerely seek the Father. They will be >heard. I cannot judge another's path. I can only share my path so >that perhaps we can both gain from our encounter.


 Sincerely believing in one's way doesn't make it real. Certainly the Father must appreciate the struggles and reaches of all his children, no matter how embryonic the effort. But I do believe that there is a best way, a most efficient way in which to approach the Father, and that it is the task of religious philosophy to help us discover that path. Our slow discovery of that path is essentially the path to the ages of light and life. It is not simply given to us but must be slowly discovered and culturally integrated over age upon age of sincere effort.


 I previously used the example of agriculture -- there are many ways to grow food. Some of them deplete natural resources and diminish the possiblity that we will be able to grow food in the future. Other techniques honor the nature of the earth and produce food more in accordance with the underlying principles of the ecosystem. Wouldn't you say one way was better than the other even though they both result in the production of food?


 The fundamentalist who rejects the notion of evolution on the premise that it is only an intellectual concept which undermines the primacy and omnipotence of God actually prevents himself from having a deeper experience of the wonder of God by failing to integrate the complexities of creation with the Father of the inner life. This same fundamentalist can have a meaningful and rewarding experience of God's presence, but his restricted range of available meanings for comprehending the nature of his experience will result in a self-imposed limitation on the degree to which his consciousness can expand into the cosmos. So it is with tmers who look down on such things as intellectual integrity and integration -- they're simply limiting the potential depth of their experience.


 >>>So why are so many people interested?


 >>An elementary text in social psychology would give you some very >>coherent answers to this question.


 >David, you are again assuming the worst.


 Understanding the basic underlying dynamics of human social organization makes no value judgement on the persons who are constrained to function within them, but gives us the ability to more clearly understand the real nature of the causal phenomenon known to profoundly influence and determine our behavior and the evaluations we make about our experience.


 >>>Are they all deluded? I would argue that they are not.


 >>What argument would you offer which would show us not? I can give >>you some very good arguments based on solid research and >>historical precedence which would lead to the conclusion that they >>indeed *are* all deluded.


 You barely expressed an opinion in response to this. You failed to offer an argument as to why they are not deluded and you failed to show why the arguments which I have offered in the affirmative are not valid. You have completely avoided addressing the primary issue of my post in any responsible manner.


 I wrote:


 >>I previously used the illustration of modern agriculture which can >>be fully justified by considering the number of people who are >>being saved from starvation and malnutrition. However, when one >>enlarges the picture and we see the destruction of top soil, the >>pollution of air and groundwater and the depletion of natural >>resources which such an approach creates, it begins to be seen in >>a different light. I could provide many such examples of >>something which seems good only when viewed from a narrowly >>focused set of values and which is seen as actually destructive >>when the context is expanded. The construction of nuclear power >>plants has been justified by just such a partial benefits >>assessment. I see the channeling in this way -- if the context in >>which the phenomenon is understood is expanded, there are many >>negative elements which begin to appear, not the least of which is >>the potential for religious demagoguery.


 Fred responded:


 >I think the substance of the foregoing can be summarized by saying >that things are not always as they seem.


 No, you missed my point completely. I used the above illustration to show that the pattern of thinking which you are using to justify your actions frequently leads to unforseen affects which undermine and destroy the initial gains. You have neither shown how my conclusion is in error, nor have you given us any specific reasons why your pursuit of this course is reasonable.


 Fred wrote:


 >I would answer that if the danger is "religious demagoguery" then the >benefits are worth the potential evil...It won't always work out the >way we had hoped but it is better than sitting on the sidelines. I >will not sit on the sidelines for fear that my actions have potential >for creating problems.


 How can you openly admit to bartering with evil to accomplish your objectives? I'm not advocating "sitting on the sidelines" and doing nothing, but rather am advocating giving some serious thought to what we are attempting.


 >If they do create problems, we will deal with them.


 This statement seems as well thought out as the Jews telling Pilate, "Let his blood be upon us and our children."


 I asked Fred:


 >>You state that the "teaching mission" is based on the UB -- please >>clarify this and state just what it is in the UB upon which the tm >>is based.


 Fred responded:


 >That we are all children of God. That we each have been given the >gift of a fragment of the Father that resides within us and >encourages us to take the highest path, the path with the most love >in it. That this world was given the best example of discerning and >living life in accordance with the will of the Father when Jesus >exhibited that in his every thought, deed and word. That this world >will be changed by selfless acts of service and small acts of >kindness. That the currency of the universe is love. That when we >do for the least of our brethren, we do for Michael. That we are to >live our lives to exhibit our highest concept of the Father's will in >our lives. That we should cultivate a personal relationship with the >Father through daily periods of communication and stillness. That we >should have faith that we are all in the Father's hands.


 I still don't see how this leads you to conclude that celestial teachers are channeling through tmers.


 I have been criticized by you and by Phil as well for not being willing to accept the tm on the basis of paragraphs such as those you presented above. In addition to the fallacy of isolating a small part of reality and pronouncing that part as the only one of importance, let me tell you a little more about why I see this approach as very problematic.


 What you are doing closely parallels the techniques used by Vern Grimsley in his attempts to appropriate power and influence in the movement. Vern refused to respond to any criticism, believing that his "mission" placed him above such concerns of mere mortals. Whenever someone *did* criticize him, his response was to cut a new broadcast tape and send a copy of the tape to the person issuing the criticism. The response was predictible -- the person hearing the tape would be impressed with Vern's message about the teachings of Jesus and about how they were the only thing that really mattered in this world, and the criticism would stop. (Vern and the tm both isolate the teachings of Jesus from the context in which they are given in the UB and declare these context-deprived teachings the only part of significant value.)


 Vern was a master at using this spiritually-appealing rhetoric along with effusive expressions of spiritual sentiments. He effectively diffused virtually all criticism with this technique. While he was touting the teachings of Jesus as the only thing which mattered, he was actively working behind this rhetorical smokescreen to build a basis for political manipulation of the U movement.


 Vern actually had a hit list. When a major criticism would be launched against him, he would cut a new tape and mail it to everyone on this list. The list included UF trustees, field representatives, Brotherhood officers and other persons weilding influence in the movement. These folks in turn, after being impressed and reminded once again by Vern's tape about what was really important, would attempt to calm any dissention in the ranks, and Vern was free to proceed with his self-aggrandizing plots and schemes. He even used this technique to attempt to build support during the height of his war messages by insisting on the importance of keeping the tapes going out to the movement as a means of building support for his agenda.


 Here you can clearly see that difference betwseen the rhetorical approach to public relations and personal agendas being promulgated behind the scenes -- exactly the technique I hear the tm advocating by insisting that we evaluate what is happening only on the basis of the rhetoric provided. So yes, I *do* think it is important to examine what's going on behind the rhetorical public relations effort.


 This is essentially the same fraud which priests have perpetrated on their followers since the beginning of religious culture. The priests have possession of the magic words, the incantations, the phrases which evoke spiritual sentiments in the minds of their hearers. This spiritual rhetoric is the currency with which they buy power and personal social identity in their communities. They simply appear in front of the people, pawn off a refusal to respond responsibly to criticism as piety, mumble the important phrases, and their continued power is assured.


 The rise and fall of many televangelists during the past decade is a classic re-enactment of this religious game -- attract followers and control masses of people with skillfully applied rhetoric. Putting a Jim Baker in jail for fraud makes no judgement on his personal relationship with God or his spiritual commitments; it is simply an act undertaken by the community to keep from being exploited by an obvious sociopath willing to prey on the spiritual sentiments and longings of the people for the meeting of his own personal needs.


 This has been standard operating procedure in the U movement for most of it's history. Christy did it -- when she came under criticism she would simply appear at a conference and read some theretofore unheard additional messages from the midwayers (which invariably supported the political position she was attempting to push) and virtually all dissention would be effectively eliminated.


 Martin used the same strategy and the UF today continues to attempt such an approach to creating power. There is no difference between this and what Gabriel of Sedona is doing, or what any supposed channelers are doing in the tm. Nothing new here -- this is the second oldest profession. It effectively combines spiritual illusion with social immaturity into a self-aggrandizing grasp for preference, power and influence over one's fellows.


 I ask the rest of you on this list -- when are we going to begin demanding integrity and depth from each other when we bring new ideas into our community of readers? When are we going to start evaluating things on the basis of their wholeness rather than on the flashy appearance of a segmented fragment which the bearer holds up to our attention? Did it ever strike any of you as interesting that Vern's favorite pastime was doing sleight-of-hand magic tricks?


 Now I don't think that Vern or Christy were conscious of what they were doing -- such individual dynamics in a social context are almost completely unconscious. This is why I think it is essential to consider the mental and social health of individuals who bring new ideas into our community. How conscious are these folks? Are they aware of and allowing for their inner processes? Or are they coming into the community, as Jesus said, as "ravening wolves," with such deep personal wounds and needs that they unconsciously try to redirect the spiritual sentiments of the community towards the satisfaction of their own personal needs rather than joining in the effort to build a community which directs its attention to God in selfless acts of enlightened worship?


 Consider for a moment the role of the temple in many ancient cultures. The several temples of the Hebrew peoples provide a good example. These temples often contained vast stores of wealth, as the people contributed gold and treasure to the "commonwealth," the enhancement of the wealth of the community. In our movement we have something similar. Many of us are attempting to foster the development of a truly democratic, egalatarian fellowship, and a part of accomplishing this is "checking our guns at the door" -- abdicating personal quests for power and status and attempting to work as a community, as an integrated whole.


 As we progress in this effort and the movement grows, if we are successful in preventing the development of structures such as the UF which seek to embody that power which we have put into trust as a possession of the entire community of readers, the amount of power on deposit will become quite large. Just as the gold in the temple became an object of plunder for neighboring despots, individuals with unconscious sociopathic tendencies (or conscious demogogic illusions) will see the power in our movement as a prize to be sought at any cost -- they will do all sorts of things in order to gain access to that power and to be able to embody even a part of it. This will be a major problem for the movement if we are able to keep ourselves free from controlling groups. We will have to truly become wise as serpents as well as harmless as doves if we are to succeed. Don't underestimate the power of an epochal revelation and the responsibility which rests upon the shoulders of those who would preserve and foster an environment of religious and intellectual freedom amongst the community of readers.


 I hope the foregoing clarifies my position for you, Phil, on the matter of why I consider the source and context of the messages to be important and can't evaluate the situation on the content of the messages alone. Does this help clarify?


 Fred, while I thank you for taking the time to respond at the length which you did, I still fail to see much beyond your personal opinion being used to defend your position. I also feel that your responses reveal a gross oversimplification of the issues, but that's my opinion; I do appreciate the attempt.

19 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        tm debate

Subject: tm debate


 Hi folks, this reply to David's long post. It is equally long. A summary of factual observations based upon my participation in the Teaching Mission that I develop in this post I've included in a separate two page document that should be in your mail box now. Delete this one unless you are interested in the continuing David versus TM debate.


 >What's particularly galling about this "celestial >contact" scam is that the individuals claiming >such contact seem to always get messages which 1) if >valid would be of significant concern to the entire >community of readers, and 2) always seem to put the >receiver of the messages in a position of power and >authority over the rest of us.


 David, your facts are wrong.


 99% of the messages received are personal. They are not of significant concern to the entire community of readers. Reading transcripts is like reading a personal journal of a group. Those messages that are not are personal in nature are usually in error.


 100% of the time the receiver of the messages is never in a position of power or authority over anyone. Different people act as receivers. The receiver of messages can not even remember much of the time what was said. After receiving ... they are normal.


 >It seems to me that participation in such a fellowship >should be open to all -- the attempted usurpation of >power and definition of social roles within that >fellowship based on supposed "special contact with >celestials" is destructive of the very ideals which I >would hope we could present to a suffering world in >which individuals and groups are in constant struggle >for dominance and control.


 There are no social roles with the Teaching Mission. There is no hierarchy based upon "special contact with celestials." They contact everyone. Anyone can have a teacher. Even me (worm, half-quart, oatmeal on the brain etc). How can there be a special role? I agree, that if the teachers did single out people, there would be the dangers you describe above. But the teachers don't!


 >We're getting better at this. The tm has failed to >penetrate much beyond the disaffected margins of the >movement into the body of established readers.


 David, your facts are wrong again. For evidence, just look at the penetration of the Teaching Mission here.


 >But when we get to the place where a group such as the >tmers make a fetish out of the supposed source of their >"truth" and use that fetish to establish a system of >belief and ritual, then that supposed source becomes >more significant and needs to be examined more carefully >by the community which it ultimately affects.


 I agree there is a danger that rituals and a system of beliefs will evolve out of the Teaching Mission. But if you read the transcripts, you will find that each Teacher, without hesitation, often with harshness, invariably steer all conversations and the natural inclinations toward such .. away from "rituals and systems of beliefs."


 >In addition, if tm claims about the rebellion being >over, a corps of celestial teachers descending on the >planet for a "correcting time" etc., were true, this is >information of enormous significance to the community of >readers -- if true it could not simply be relegated to >the background while we consider only the accompanying >spiritual sentiments. If not true, than the accompanying >spiritual sentiments are little more than a fancy ribbon >tied on a dog turd.


 David, you and Matt are correct that this "correcting time" concept can provide a foundation for a destructive system of beliefs and rituals. It is true that the Teaching Mission is using this concept as one of it's defining beliefs. However, the building constructed on top of this foundation is "everyone can have a teacher." There is no hierarchy or ritual. Just belief.


 >What about integrity and integration, Fred, aren't these >values important to you? Do you see intellectual >integrity and integration as simply abstract >intellectual concepts rather than as the means by which >we can directly and profoundly increase our capacity for >spiritual receptivity?


 David, before the teaching mission I had no clue as to how the Thought Adjuster worked within us. The Teaching Mission focuses on this. Different groups are experimenting with different concepts of how this works. How you sort the thoughts in your mind, how you view those profound periods when something valuable flows from your finger tips like a gift, how you integrate these experiences to increase spiritual receptivity ... this is what the Teaching Mission is all about.


 I have read your arguments concerning split personality, your worries about fragmentation, your concern that we are hurting ourselves by believing these messages are coming from teachers. You feel that these creative moments are really our own dances with the Father fragment and we are denying ourselves a growth opportunity.


 Well, I am at the point in my life where my ego only allows praise and love from an external source. My inability to praise myself and love myself perhaps leads me to this split personality belief. I prefer to think that it is my teacher doing this. Perhaps it is my thought adjuster, perhaps Michael, perhaps the holy spirit, perhaps ... I can only tell you that the love and praise from what I think is my Teacher is incredible, lovely and better than anything I have ever experienced before.


 Perhaps someday I will be an integrated whole. Teachers are not promising to be around for ever, just enough to correct us .. get us started .. and they are constantly reminding us of that. Teachers are following the rules of good therapists.


 >I have asked for nothing more than a rationally >constructed conceptual linkage between some known >reality or even a concept from The Urantia Book and tm >claims of celestial contact, end of the rebellion, etc. >The fact that no such arguments can be constructed >automatically restricts these concepts to the domain of >fantasy and illusion.


 The Urantia Book and the Bible describe many situations of celestial contact. The Urantia Book talks about the rebellion. The Urantia Book is the source of these concepts used in the Teaching Mission. You evidently are asking for a "reality proof" that you don't believe exists. Neither do I. So what is the difference between fantasy/illusion and faith/belief? Isn't one man's fantasy another's faith? What is so evil about us disagreeing in this area?


 Here you are on the same subject discussing the "correcting time":


 >Not only is there no observable causal relationship >here, you continue to be unable to offer even an >elementary philosophical construct which would explain >your assumed causal relationship.


 David, why does there have to be a causal relationship? What is an elementary philosophical construct that would satisfy you? Does a belief have to have one? My objective here David is not to convert you. My only objective is to try to respond in the most loving way I can to your questions ... which neither I nor you can answer.


 >That the advocates for the tm have been false prophets >has been clearly shown by the failure of their predicted >events to happen.


 The Teaching Mission .. at least my experience of it .. refuses to predict anything. People have left our group because our Teacher will not predict anything .. they wanted our Teacher to predict something. During the Naperville affair .. which I think you are referring to, our teacher acted in the most kind, loving, thoughtful manner possible. She tried to lower expectations, discourage this kind of thinking without putting anybody down or making them feel like fool for even thinking this was possible. I was amazed, impressed and it really was the turning point for me personally in with regards to my commitment to the Teaching Mission. Half of our group went to Naperville .. including our Teacher! But the primary TR stayed here. Don't take an isolated incident and use it to color the rest of history. The Naperville affair really did help define the Teaching Mission.


 >That they are also "spurious teachers" should be evident >to anyone willing to take the time to examine them >critically, as Jesus encouraged Thomas to do. Their >superficiality and lack of coherence has been made very >clear hereon.


 When the focus is on the individual, when the focus is on inward spiritual growth, the message only has to relevant and coherent to the receiving individual. When the focus is on the group, it only has to relevant and coherent to the group. You can not feel the emotion, the body language, the joy, the anxiety .. the context associated when reading transcripts. Don't make the mistake of assuming that because you find no relevancy, because you find no coherence that there really isn't any inside the transcripts.


 >From my view, the gist of the matter is not simply the >delivery system or the packaging, but rather individuals >who take an epochal revelation which has been given to >all humanity and recast it in a way which puts them, as >individuals, as the focus of the revelatory activity -- >"I'm getting special celestial contact and here's the >message which I am giving to you out of the love of my >heart..." "I'm getting special messages and here's what >you're supposed to do..."


 David, you are dreaming up an evil creature all right. One that has kept me away from fortune tellers all my life. But the Teaching Mission does none of the things. This is what separates it from New Age channeling. It does not put individuals in the spot light as the focus of revelatory activity .. *Teachers* are in the spotlight. And teachers *never* tell anyone what to do .. people plead, they beg, they beat around the bush, they walk out and leave the Teaching Mission precisely because the teachers will not tell anyone what to do.


 >We have had a constant stream of various and sundry >individuals who show up in our community of readers >telling us that they have been given special >instructions from the midwayers about how they are to >control and manage us (UF) or that there is going to be >a nuclear war (FOG) or that celestial teachers have >descended upon the planet for a correcting time (tm) or >that space ships are hovering overhead preparing to >evacuate the true believers from the planet (Sedona >folks). I guess it's fun for the folks caught up in it.


 David it is neat to watch you synthesize concepts into a single whole picture. This is what makes us different than animals and is indicative of the creative power that lies inside of all of us.


 The lesson you are teaching above is "We have to do it ourselves .. lets not beat around the bush and think some celestial teacher is going to bail us out." This is precisely the message of the Teaching Mission. The "correcting period" is designed to correct us personally .. not society or organizations that you belong to .. UF Urantia Foundation. And to properly correct us, the Teaching Mission can not tell us or organizations what to do. Think of the Teaching mission as helping me to grow back a hand I never knew I had .... that withered away.


 >The UB describes the fruits of the spirit as the direct >result of the Spirit of Truth working with the Adjuster. >(pg 382) The fruits of the spirit are *spiritual* and >using them to justify an intellectual position seems a >serious error to me.


 Who is trying to justify an intellectual position? Fred (and hopefully myself) are just verbalizing a belief. And we are experiencing the "fruits of the spirit" growth. Isn't a simple description of personal experience enough to justify a personal belief?


 Please don't confuse people sharing personal experiences and beliefs with people sharing intellectual positions. One is inwardly focused and loving, the other is outwardly focused and has associated with it the risks of disagreement and misunderstanding (pg 846).


 >When you point to the "fruits of the spirit" to justify >beliefs which have no rational connection to any known >reality, you are simply ripping off the results of a >natural process available to everyone and presenting it >as proof of the validity of your own unrelated ideas.


 Yes .. the process is natural ... Yes .. it is available to everyone .. and Yes there are associated beliefs that seem to produce "fruits of the spirit" .. but the Teaching Mission does not deny that there are other equally valid associated sets of intellectual ideas or beliefs. We need talk about "fruits of the spirit" rather than the ideas or beliefs that seem to produce results.


 >By this means you seek to elevate the status of your >group and your own social status within that group as a >representative of it, thereby destroying the foundation >of equality and mutual respect essential for a deeper >development of the "Jesus brotherhood." This is what I >see as the "fruits" of the tm.


 People that try to elevate the status of their groups or their social status within the Teaching Mission groups don't last long. Nobody pays attention to them. After all, we have all read the Urantia Book.


 >Strange how tmers want to tell us what the "fruits" are >when simple observation reveals something quite >different. I was amazed at the arrogance and >presumptuousness of the Woods Cross people who actually >invited us (hereon) to their community so we could >observe the "fruits of the spirit." aug5area


 The Teaching Mission is just daring to say "Look at me .. I've grown." The Teaching Mission is functioning like an old time Methodist meeting with an accountability and reward structure for personal growth. When growth occurs it needs to be celebrated.


 This might be the most radical thing that has ever happened in the Urantia Movement .. because it does steal the agenda, it does focus everyone on personal growth. It does challenge one to grow. But it does not mean that you have to adopt it's belief system. Growth is possible in other ways.


 Fred said: >I believe that there are many paths to the Father.


 You replied: >Sincerely believing in one's way doesn't make it real. >Certainly the Father must appreciate the struggles and >reaches of all his children, no matter how embryonic the >effort. But I do believe that there is a best way, a >most efficient way in which to approach the Father, and >that it is the task of religious philosophy to help us >discover that path.


 David, you are setting yourself up here for exactly the same criticism you are leveling at the Teaching Mission. You are claiming that religious philosophy (yourself and others like yourself) know more about my personal life and what is best for me than I do. You are claiming this knowledge for all mankind and for myself personally.


 The teaching mission believes the opposite of this. It believes that the Father conforms to our expectations as long as it keeps us heading in the right direction .. that the Father enjoys and relishes this chance to participate in our lives. The Teaching Mission I feel is more line with the Urantia Book's teachings concerning the Thought Adjuster than your "religious philosophy" concept above.


 >Our slow discovery of that path is essentially the path >to the ages of light and life. It is not simply given >to us but must be slowly discovered and culturally >integrated over age upon age of sincere effort.


 Exactly. This is what the Urantia Book teaches and it is what the Teaching Mission is about. The Teaching Mission is not revealing anything. You are implying that this "correcting period" involves new knowledge or information. This is mistaken. Look at the transcripts. There is nothing new or valuable there .. you have said so yourself. There is nothing that pretends to be revealed information.


 The Teaching Mission is an evolutionary step along the path towards light and life. I appreciate the opportunity to help make it one of the paths in our modern society. I applaud your effort to understand it and make it part of your religious philosophy. I am puzzled that you are dreaming up false facts and turning it into an evil.


 >I previously used the example of agriculture -- there >are many ways to grow food. Some of them deplete >natural resources and diminish the possibility that we >will be able to grow food in the future. Other >techniques honor the nature of the earth and produce >food more in accordance with the underlying principles >of the ecosystem. Wouldn't you say one way was better >than the other even though they both result in the >production of food?


 David, I've read this in at least five different posts. You are saying that the ends (food) do not justify the means (good agriculture or bad agriculture.) You are saying that "fruits of the spirit" (food) do not justify the means (Teaching Mission.) Have I understood this analogy?


 This leads back to the intellectual integrity and integration issues discussed above. I do agree that religious beliefs can limit our growth. But when we change beliefs and experience growth is that something bad? How will agriculture be improved if different experiments are not tried?


 If the Teaching Mission's sole criticism is that it is retrograde, then I am willing to live with that. I'll take growth in any form. And I reserve the right to move on and change /evolve beliefs (read the Urantia Book again.)


 >How can you openly admit to bartering with evil to >accomplish your objectives? I'm not advocating "sitting >on the sidelines" and doing nothing, but rather am >advocating giving some serious thought to what we are >attempting.


 David, you have been painting an evil picture. And if the Teaching Mission were what you have described it to be, we would be bartering it with evil. My whole goal in responding to your posts is to describe the Teaching Mission as I understand it. Clearly the facts as I have experienced them do not support your conclusion that the Teaching Mission is evil.


 I hope by my post here you understand that serious thought is being given to the Teaching Mission. Please respond if it does not meet your criteria of 'serious.'


 >What you are doing closely parallels the techniques used >by Vern Grimsley in his attempts to appropriate power >and influence in the movement. Vern refused to respond >to any criticism, believing that his "mission" placed >him above such concerns of mere mortals. Whenever >someone *did* criticize him, his response was to cut a >new broadcast tape and send a copy of the tape to the >person issuing the criticism. The response was >predictable -- the person hearing the tape would be >impressed with Vern's message about the teachings of >Jesus and about how they were the only thing that really >mattered in this world, and the criticism would stop.


 David, this is fascinating. What detail. Wow! Thanks. A new lesson, rewarding critics with loving words works! But you don't agree with this "random acts of kindness", "guerrilla love." Here is the reason why.


 >Here you can clearly see that difference between the >rhetorical approach to public relations and personal >agendas being promulgated behind the scenes -- exactly >the technique I hear the tm advocating by insisting that >we evaluate what is happening only on the basis of >the rhetoric provided. So yes, I *do* think it is >important to examine what's going on behind the >rhetorical public relations effort.


 You've experienced good and evil within the same organization and have associated them. This is why you think Vern's kindness above was an evil tactic. Well, back to your new criticism of the Teaching Mission.


 Unlike any other movement I've been part of, there is no "behind the scenes" meetings going on within the Teaching Mission that I have been able to detect. Keep in mind, my wife and I caught the county planning board here in Maryland holding secret meetings, exposed them in a letter to the editor and ultimately all of them were replaced along with the election of a new county executive. I've had experience with these behind the scenes meetings, how evil they are .. and am familiar with the Sunshine laws that Jerry Brown passed as Governor of California.


 I think the Teaching Mission has gone out of it's way to publish everything .. journals with sometimes extremely private details published of every word spoken at every meeting. Our Teaching Mission just published every word spoken ... since the first meeting in December of 1992. I would be happy to send you a floppy disk of the contents and willing be posting them via FTP at the uwash site. I've already sent out 11 disks.


 I for one am proud to be part of a movement that is so deliberately open. This evil you described above is nasty. But it is completely inappropriate to associate the Teaching Mission with this evil. I am completely willing to do anything I possibly can to relieve you of the "behind the senses" conspiracy theories you are alluding to.


 >There is no difference between this and what Gabriel of >Sedona is doing, or what any supposed channelers are >doing in the tm. Nothing new here -- this is the >second oldest profession. It effectively combines >spiritual illusion with social immaturity into a >self-aggrandizing grasp for preference, power and >influence over one's fellows.


 Thanks for *not* associating Gabriel of Sedona with the Teaching Mission. But you are wrong with supposing there is nothing new associated with the Teaching Mission. I've outline them above: relationships with a spiritual entity, with no fortune telling, no revelations that give us an edge on society, no solution for personal problems .. only the love, cheering, praise and warmth ... and a challenge to grow. See my associated post with a summary of all these *facts* that I've experienced.


 Yes, much of the New Age world does suffer from spiritual illusion, social immaturity, self-aggrandizement, grasps for power, influence over one's fellows. But you will be hard pressed to find any Teaching Mission that fits that description.


 >... individuals with unconscious sociopathic tendencies >(or conscious demagogic illusions) will see the power in >our movement as a prize to be sought at any >cost -- they will do all sorts of things in order to >gain access to that power and to be able to embody even >a part of it ... Don't underestimate the power of an >epochal revelation and the responsibility which rests >upon the shoulders of those who would preserve and >foster an environment of religious and intellectual >freedom amongst the community of readers.


 David I really appreciate you reading all this. I hope you see where you have mistaken the facts. You have a right to preserve and foster an environment of religious and intellectual freedom amongst the community of readers. I am here to help you in your battle .. fighting on your side. Just don't mistake me for the enemy. Target your criticisms at specific groups or individuals and we will be able to get down to business. Putting the Teaching Mission in general in your gun sights, blinds many to the truths you are presenting.


 

19 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        tm debate

Subject: tm debate


 In responding to David's last post criticizing the teaching mission, I developed the following points. Hopefully they will stimulate some discussion.


 - Teaching Mission messages are 99% personal.


 - The person receiving teaching messages is never in any position of authority.


 - There is no hierarchy based upon "special contact with celestials."


 - The Teaching Mission is growing.


 - Teachers always steer conversations away from "rituals and systems of beliefs" but rather encourage individuals to make up their own minds.


 - The "Correcting Time" has built on top of it the chance for everyone to have a teacher .. to encourage personal growth.


 - The Teaching Mission is teaching us with intellectual integrity, how to integrate Urantia concepts such as the Holy Spirit, the Father fragment, the spirit of truth .. into our daily lives.


 - The Teaching Mission is based upon the Urantia Book because it builds on top of intellectual concepts presented in the Urantia Book.


 - The Teaching Mission does not make predictions .. a lesson learned.


 - Transcripts of the Teaching Mission are journalistic and personal in nature. They should not be confused with the coherence, internal consistency and universal relevance of more general truth.


 - Teachers never tell individuals what to do, personally, socially, in a group, or for the nation.


 - The Teaching Mission is an new experiment at generating lots of "fruit of the spirit."


 - The Teaching Mission contains a new accountability and reward structure for personal growth.


 - The "Correcting Time" nature of the Teaching Mission specifically forbids the release of any revelatory information .. rather it supports evolutionary growth.


 - The Teaching Mission will never have a behind the scenes hierarchy with a hidden agenda. It can not because transcripts are made of every word spoken and are released to the public.

19 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        Re: omissions and judgment

Subject: Re: omissions and judgment In-Reply-To: [199402172257.AA23723@nfs1.digex.net]


 Matthew,


 I would like to reply to your comment.


 > Scott... > >The Teaching Mission is not saying, "Trust us, we claim ____." > > But it is! it is saying the "Lucifer Rebellion is adjudicated," the > "circuts are open," and that both inward and outward information is > being conveyed by *celestial teachers*... This material is not just > incidental to the TM, it is the very foundation of its existence though > not (as you point out) its most important focus.


 Yes, I would agree that it the adjudication, the circuits opening, I would agree that they are the foundation upon which the Teaching Mission is based. I would still add that Phil and your proposal still does not make any sense. Here is why.


 You are assuming that built on top of this foundation of adjudication and circuits opening is an assumption that could be tested .. namely that a hiearchy or consistant philosophy is being constructed on top of this foundation.


 I have been trying to point out that the Teaching Mission is personal, this means that the Father fragment, our Teacher and other spiritual entities I am not aware of are adjusting to our own individual expectations, our dreams and capabilities .. this is a personal individual correction time not one involving all of society.


 So the expected outcome of your experiments would be no consistancy, no uniformity, no confirmation. Furthermore the Teachers would politely refuse to participate, insisting that this is a matter of faith and belief, rather than scientific fact or intellectual principle.

19 Feb 1994    MR JIM C REYNOLDS JR   David K/Fred H

Subject: David K/Fred H


 Hello Urantia!


 Daivd, first I most definitely liked the way in which you presented your arguments. They were insightful, illuminating, and obviously very much from your heart. Thank You. Being new on this forum, I tend to expect a little more than I should from people who have spent years studying about being a child of God in the Family of man. So if I tend to take offense at personal attacks against others, well, it's just a weakness of mine.


 I do have a question though, How did the Urantia Book get here? Have you stopped to consider that among other sources that you use to argue against the TM, you utilize a source whose origin is totally unknown. Unless of course, you want to accept the stated sources for its origin, revelation through a "special technique" approved by superiors. And I would think that the fact that it took a brain-doc to put the show on the road, might throw up at least one or two caution flags.


 I have no problem with turning my back on anyone who says "do this" or "do that, because God told me to tell you." That is sound enough logic. I do think though, that some people, at sometime, might be able to more clearly pass along some truth to others, like a reminder of what they have already been told. Which from what I have read, is the gist of the messages from the teaching mission. After all, I don't see you or Fred questioning the authority of the statements in the UB.


 As far as wild claims made by the TM, well, I could list a few thousand claims in the UB, which at the present time, were they published in the New York Times tomorrow, would make a lot of the believers in this book very very uncomfortable about telling anyone that they had read and believed it. I'm finding it hard to just get a few to stand up and say they believe in the simplest of them. Perhaps you've heard of the 'pass it along" campaign.


 Even as far as the "this is going to happen here at this time" statements made by some of the TM groups, well, again, even the Ub admits that not everything we are told is the ultimate truth. And somebody took quite a bit of time going over it before it went into publication. I wonder what kind of "wild" claims you would find from the TM if they took a few decades to edit their material before they released it.


 Even this "show me something from the UB that says this could happen" argument, doesn't hold a lot of water in this well. I don't ever remember reading in any other religion's text that the UB would, or could, someday appear. Although I do remember a few quotes from the bible warning against something like it.


 I happen to be one of those people who has believed in the "teaching mission" ever since I first started believing in God. Which was a long long time before I started reading or had even ever heard of the Urantia Book. God teaches us all, individually, inwardly and outwardly. But all of it is subject to interpretation on a personal basis. That's what I believe. Always have. It's simple. It works for me. I realize it may not work for everyone, and I do tend to get a little louder about it than I should, but if you're not going to stand up for what you believe in, then why believe in it? Which I guess means these long posts will keep up, because it's obvious to me that you both believe in your positions. At the rate you guys are going, you ought to wind up wonderful friends.


 No David, and Fred too, i'm sorry guys, but I for one vote for a truce on the whole subject. Perhaps a happy medium (:-) It seems to me, that you are simply chasing a cat that has no tail, and if you try to grab the sucker by the legs, well all you get is clawed.


 Why not give it the Michael test, let the whole show roll, and, in the end, if it's no good, it'll destroy itself.

20 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              More on evil and TM error

Subject: More on evil and TM error


 Hello again... Usually, I don't feel the need to step in here and defend David Kantor. He is quite good at doing that for himself. Yet I think in this last exchange between Fred and David, Fred has missed David's points to such an extent that I feel it necessary to make such a brief statement....


 1) No matter what Fred or other's have to say about the dominantly *personal* nature of the teachings, the fact remains that claims have been and are made about things of import to all of us. Such things as the claims about the rebellion adjudicated, circuts open, extension of revelation, etc. are (or would be) of interest to all of the community of the UB. Yet the TM folks have consistently refused to acknowledge their responsibility in the matter of validating such claims.


 2) Taking at face value Fred's claim that none of the TRs are in this for personal gain (consciously or unconsciously) with a few obvious exceptions like the Sedonia folks, the fact remains that *others* are putting them in this position. A perfect example was given us a few weeks ago when someone (Dan maybe?) related to us a story of a woman who called his group in San Diego I believe asking if they had a teacher. When the answer was no, the woman was no longer interested in the group. So for some, the TRs and the TM have become a SUBSTITUTE for study of the UB and personal responsibility in the matter of making decisions about their own lives.


 Now in a sense this is not the fault of the TRs. They do not say "listen to me, you don't need the book any more". In another sense however it *is* their fault because of their claim to be channeling figures who, if really talking to them, would have considerable authority. Once again each of these people (the TRs) bears the personal responsibility for side tracking the Urantia Movement and sidelining the real revelation as a direct result of their claims.


 3) Jesus's whole life was a demonstration of his status and authority. In the TM, we have no such demonstration. The celestials are not living among us. Rather, their manifestation through the TRs is short-circuting people's *personal* responsibility in the matter of making many of the hard decisions about life we are all supposed to wrestle with. This is not to say that, sans teachers, we are not supposed to help each other with such decisions. But that would be humans helping other humans, opinion and advice, not alleged celestial authority which is another matter entirely. This is *one* of the great dangers of the TM, and in this matter I am in complete agreement with David.


 Turing to the question of evil again and Todd's attempt to wrestle with it without trivializing it (and I agree with Finnie we must not in our own struggles with the issues). It is apparant that this is a very difficult thing to do using the UB alone. The perspective of UB authors (allegedly celestials) is that of billions of years of life beyond the mortal-material, even for those (like Mighty Messengers) who were once ascendent mortals. I get the impression that for them, the death of a mortal, even an unjustified death resulting from hideous depravity (and Jesus as usual is the quintessential example), is looked upon much as we look upon a good night's sleep. Therefore we can not, in our own attempts to make sense of evil as it is manifested on this world, rely on their perspective. This is one of those issues that *we* must deal with on our own.


 Having said this, I would like some clarification on what Todd last said about redemption. It has always been my understanding that redemption applies to individuals, not something abstract like evil taken apart from the *person* who does evil. Off the top of my head I would say that the individual who commits evil may be redeemed, but I don't understand how this could be applied to the evil itself? To take a historical example, it was the stoning of Stephen that converted Paul (Saul of Tarsis). If Stephen had not been stoned to death, there may never have been a Paul. Does this redeem those who stoned Stephen? Does this justify the stoning? If there had not been the kind of people on earth who would stone Stephen (or murder Jesus for that matter) would we need a Paul? All of these things are related in some way, but I have not put my mind to them in a long time...

20 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        TM error

Subject: TM error In-Reply-To: [199402201732.AA02080@nfs1.digex.net]


 Hi, Matthew,


 I hope I am actually responding to your critic of the Teaching Method in a positive way. Here goes another try.


 You said: > No matter what Fred or others have to say about the ... > *personal* nature of the teachings, the fact remains that claims have > been and are made about things of import to all of us. Such things as > the claims about the rebellion adjudicated, circuts open, extension of > revelation, etc. are (or would be) of interest to all of the community > of the UB. Yet the TM folks have consistently refused to acknowledge > their responsibility in the matter of validating such claims.


 Beliefs can not be validated. It is our belief that the rebellion is adjudicated, that the circuits are open, that the Teaching Mission is an extension of revelation. Why this continual call for validation?


 If the Teaching Mission were trying to construct a hiearchy based upon celestrial contact, if the Teaching Mission were trying to develop a structure based upon special relationships with the Father like the pope or the LDS President, then such validation would be called for. The Teaching Mission is like the protestant reformation all over again .. everyone can have a relationship with a Teacher, although this is not as important as the message ... We are all children of one Father .. and we can have a personal relationship with him.!


 > 2) Taking at face value Fred's claim that none of the TRs are in this > for personal gain (consciously or unconsciously) with a few obvious > exceptions like the Sedonia folks, the fact remains that *others* are > putting them in this position. A perfect example was given us a few > weeks ago when someone (Dan maybe?) related to us a story of a woman who > called his group in San Diego I believe asking if they had a teacher. > When the answer was no, the woman was no longer interested in the group. > So for some, the TRs and the TM have become a SUBSTITUTE for study of > the UB and personal responsibility in the matter of making decisions > about their own lives.


 Matthew, a story of a seeker looking for a Teaching Mission group indicates that people are in this for personal gain? I just can not connect the two. I feel for this person. I never was comfortable in traditional Urantia Study Groups until the Teaching Mission. I was more comfortable in churches.


 > Now in a sense this is not the fault of the TRs. They do not say "listen > to me, you don't need the book any more". In another sense however it > *is* their fault because of their claim to be channeling figures who, if > really talking to them, would have considerable authority. Once again > each of these people (the TRs) bears the personal responsibility for > side tracking the Urantia Movement and sidelining the real revelation as > a direct result of this.


 Back to the authority issue. Who is giving the teachers all this authority? Certainly not those of us in the teaching mission. What is the belief structure that prevents this evil you are describing? The belief that everyone can have their own teacher .. and people like you and I. I don't want this to happen either. We don't need another pope or LDS president ... there are enough chiefs already.


 What do you mean side tracking the Urantia Movement? Could not this be a growing pain, the first real evidence of the Urantia Movement maturing .. people daring to not be of like mind and like spirit ... people risking significant disagreement and misunderstanding for the first time (pg 846) ?


 > 3) Jesus's whole life was a demonstration of his status and authority. > In the TM, we have no such demonstration. The celestials are not living > among us. Rather, their manifestation through the TRs is short-circuting > people's *personal* responsibility in the matter of making many of the > hard decisions about life we are all supposed to wrestle with.


 Matt, please read the transcripts. Teachers make life harder for us, they do not short-circuit personal reponsibility or help us avoid hard decisions. In fact they make us face them, they force us to re-examine how we personally deal with them. Please. This is one of the most important parts of the Teaching Mission for me. This flies in the face of everything I've experienced. Do you actually read what Fred posts?


 The teachers coach us .. for example a few weeks ago, Iruka asked us to connect our success at digesting food with which TV program we were watching. The point was that a violent TV show does have physical effects on our body .. the images we paint in our minds do influence not only our spiritual life but our physical life. And the goal for the week was to begin focusing on the positive. This is about as detailed and invasive as the group lessons get. Now my personal teacher .. well that is personal. If you want to read more, download the Iruka.exe file from wuarchive .. is a self extracting zip file I uploaded this weekend.


 > This is > not to say that, sans teachers, we are not supposed to help each other > with such decisions. But that would be humans helping other humans, > opinion and advice, not alleged celestial authority which is another > matter entirely. This is *one* of the great dangers of the TM, and in > this matter I am in complete agreement with David.


 Matt, David is worried about the intellectual integration with in our minds when we believe that other personalities can communicate through them rather than our normal five senses. I don't think he is making the mistake of assuming we are becoming dependent upon unseen, mystery personalities.


 Matt, did you read my long post to David? Didn't I tackle any of these issues you have raised head on?


 

20 Feb 1994    T. Moody        TM: Threat or Menace?

Subject: TM: Threat or Menace?


 Folks,


 It is puzzling for me to watch the debate about the validation of the TM as it scrolls by. When I first came to Urantial, my first question was about the origins of the UB, and my first doubts were about the validity of the claims made in answer to that question. I was advised to read the book and not to worry too much about the question of origins. That advice is echoed in the leaflet mailed out by the Fellowship.


 But how does reading the book address the question of validity? I can only guess that the experience of reading it is expected to conduce to a personal experience of its validity, i.e., its revelatory authenticity. The question of validity cannot, it seems, be resolved by external criteria. The science content of the UB is sometimes startling in its prescience, but also sometimes disappointing. It cuts both ways. The possibility of Sadler's authorship is implausible, given a comparison of the UB to his published work, but there are enough similarities in phraseology to keep the hypothesis alive.


 I think we are not in a position to say that there is *no way* that the UB could have been written by humans and humans alone. We are also not in a position to say that it must have been written by Sadler, or anyone else that I know about. Whatever conclusion one reaches is underdetermined by the available evidence.


 So the recommendaion given here on Urantial and by the Fellowship may be the best advice, after all. Read the book and see if it produces in you the recognition-response that it has produced in others. It does appear to me that the people involved in the TM are saying much the same thing.


 Since the TM itself is supposed to be an expansion, but not a correction, of the UB, there are two sorts of external validation criteria that can be applied to it, only one of which could be applied to the UB itself. First there is internal consistency, across the wide band of TM output. Is pretty much the same message coming through? Second, there is consistency with the UB itself.


 Is the possibility of the TM/TR phenomenon flatly contradicted by passages in the UB? Or is it the case that there is simply nothing in the UB that would lead one to expect the phenomenon?


 Then there is the matter of the mental health of the TRs. Are they experiencing some form of personality pathology? If so, there ought to be other indicators, beyond the TR phenomenon itself. Merely to suggest that it *could* be pathology does not establish that it *is* pathology.


 I don't have any personal stake in this debate. I've never been to a TM/TR session, and I haven't even finished reading the UB, as everyone is painfully aware. But I do recognize one thing: All of the questions that I have raised here can be answered empirically, although doing so would involve a good deal of work.


 1. What passages from the UB most strongly count against the validity of the TT? Are there passages that anticipate it?


 2. Is the TM message consistent from one TR to another? If there are inconsistencies, is there a pattern to them?


 3. Is there evidence of a common pathology among the TRs?


 The latter question might be difficult, but not impossible, to research. The services of a clinical psychologist might be needed.


 If people are concerned about the dangers of the TM to the UM, then the first item of business ought to be to get answers to these questions. I would recommend the formation of a "task force" for each question, to do research and then report back here by a given deadline, such as June 9. Each task force would ideally comprise both TM supporters and critics.


 I don't imagine that this would settle anything permanently, but it would clarify the issues for everyone and allow the question to be addressed in the manner of research rather than polemics.


 It certainly couldn't hurt.


 

20 Feb 1994    Leonard D Massey             Re: Page 1109

Subject: Re: Page 1109


 Thea,


 You wrote:


 > One thing that I am curious about, even for myself... what woul > constitute that proof that you seek (well, not seek, but require > terms of the tm. I have asked myself that. What would it take? > would there be that would give any more evidence than I have for > belief in the UB's version of truth? Is there actually any? I > yet been able to find it. For either the book or the TM.


 I have been reluctant to stipulate to any particular thing that would convince me of the authenticity of the TM, although there certainly are some things. I prefer to keep this matter to myself because I believe that the (alleged) TM sources are able to discover this for themselves and arrange for me to convinced if 1)they are what is claimed for them and 2)they want me to be convinced. Since this has not occurred yet, one can conclude that either 1) they are not what is claimed for them or 2) they don't care whether or not I'm convinced.


 TMers will conclude that #2 is the case, namely, the "sources" don't care whether I'm convinced. For subjective reasons that I also do not care to discuss in detail, I conclude that #1 is the case, namely, that the "sources" are not actually what is claimed for them. All this really doesn't advance the argument one way or the other at all; however, I have other, similar reasons for my skepticism:


 It is clear that the "sources" to not understand the Urantia book in any real depth. Again, there are several possible explanations: 1) they are not what is claimed for them, 2) the Urantia book is not what is claimed for it, 3) I don't understand the book as well as I think I do. It should be obvious that I would reject #2 and #3, while believers in the sources would reject #1. Of course, this is all true/false logic of the type I was criticizing just last week, so perhaps I'm not totally consistent in my viewpoints.


 It is my self-recognition of some degree of inconsistency in my views of different matters at different times that makes me unwilling to get into a vehement attack on the TM at this time. I might have said (in another context), "Yes, lord, she is a fornicator, but I am not worthy to cast the first stone..."


 By this I mean that I recognize that my own validity test which the TM fails are somewhat subjective and related to my own personal experience. I have not found it worthwhile (and it may be impossible) to purify them to the point I would expect them to have much value in public argument, at least without resorting to rhetorical strategems which I would consider unworthy (which those who know my style will attest is pretty low indeed...)


 Clearly, something that would convince me of the validity of the TM would have to be a message concerning something that I know or believe to be true that could be known to the "source" and would involve an experience I had not shared with the TR. In short, I would expect a "miracle" (though not of a material sort). As you no doubt know, Ham declined to understand or speak Spanish at the Los Angeles demonstration two years ago, although he had previously assured the faithful of Woods Cross that the "teachers" spoke all human languages.


 Not overly worried about all this...

20 Feb 1994    Leonard D Massey             Re: Resp to Fred & Phil

Subject: Re: Resp to Fred & Phil


 David,


 As you know, I've been avoiding the TM arguments for many months now. I did want to express my appreciation for your lengthy post; however, I no longer feel the people you are directly writing to on urantial are capable of understanding your position. I suspect they feel very much the same way about you and me in relation to the TM, and I will readily admit that to be the case for me. I have always found the interest people have in the TM to be incomprehensible in view of their supposed interest in the Urantia book. I can, however, set aside the general antipathy which I feel toward the process and its likely product by considering that the TMers seem to get a charge out of the whole thing and, as long as they aren't in my face with it, are entitled to look for inspiration wherever they want to (imho).


 I realize this doesn't sound terribly supportive of your message, but what really caught my attention was the way you summarized so clearly the problem that has been created by the Trustees of UF, Vern Grimsley, Christy-inanity, and WSS hagiography, among other negative influences on the Urantia movement. While it remains to be seen (imho) what mischief will emerge from the TM, if any, we well know the legacy of these other recipients of extra-revelatory messages. Since my experience in the Brotherhood organization at the time of the third world war affair, I have come to believe that, while individuals may receive revelatory guidance in their own life actions, there is no basis for the organization to act on such guidance. If the decision-makers in the organization, as a result of personal spiritual experience, reach a lawful conclusion for an action, that is OK. But there is no place for the organization to act on the alleged communications of a single individual. I believe that this is exactly what occurred at the time of the break with Urantia Foundation. A quite natural series of occurrences brought the 14 members of the Executive Committee to the point that they each individually felt it was RIGHT and THE BEST THING TO DO to demand a change in Foundation management. The spontaneous unanimity of this decision was astounding to me and was (imho) a certain indication of the subtle outworking of genuine spiritual guidance.


 This must be compared to the absurdities of Vern's pretensions. I was never close to Vern, and had somehow known him as a fake almost from our first meeting. I did not judge him harshly for being a fake, since he seemed to be trying (whatever that means), but his willingness to exaggerate things, like his academic background, made some of his more spiritual pretensions seem rather presumptuous. I wonder if I will ever understand why he would tell me honestly (on several occasions) about ways he misrepresented himself in public. I have never thought of myself as a confessor type and never sought to invade his privacy in such matters. Perhaps he recognized that I would be relatively understanding of such things and not inclined to condemn him for a bit of resume-enhancement. Who knows...


 OTOH, when he started proclaiming the third world war I almost collapsed in laughter. I guess I was prepared (and a safe distance away from it all). I have never felt that Vern honestly believed the crap he was putting out, though I'm not qualified to diagnose the type of delusion involved. (Scott: take notice. You are way off base in thinking there was anything like love involved in anything Vern was doing.) With 20-20 hindsight I have come to theorize the sequence must have gone something like this:


 The General Council was deeply involved in debating the role of public promotion (advertising, etc.) in spreading the book. Martin Myers absolutely did not want anything favorable to promotion to come out of this debate, so he hit on an idea. He would ask his old college buddy, Vern, to weigh in with the "word of God". Between them (and, for all I know, with the collusion of some of the other three "boys from Kansas"--Rich, Hoite, and David) they cooked up the plan for Vern (the most holy and theatrically gifted one) to receive a vision from the Midwayers about "not breaking up the book" and "not advertising the book."


 As you know, the result was that the Executive Committee made complete fools of themselves over Vern's "message", laid it on heavy with the Council, and the whole publicity issue was closed off with a vast, unreadable position paper... Although I personally agreed with the outcome, I would have been appalled had I known the crap that was going on behind the scenes with the so-called "leadership" (I refrain from naming names) in connection with this action. The problem, I think, was that "swing votes" were controlled by people who thought Vern and Mo Siegel both walked on water, but were having trouble reconciling their very divergent positions on publicity. When Vern said God spoke to him, that took care of Mo and Meredith and that crowd (for a little while).


 I think that Vern's success in hoodwinking the Brotherhood "leadership" about this publicity business (and he no doubt thought a good thing had been accomplished, even if by evil methods) led him to consider how he might turn the situation to his advantage. I doubt if Martin or the others realized quite how strong was Vern's desire to lead the movement without recourse to normally constituted political process. What they had done was to liberate a monster. By sponsoring Vern's presentation of his messages to the Executive Committee, Martin had given Vern a role which he could have never commanded on his own merits.


 I think this background theory goes a long way to explaining why Martin went so far out of his way to condemn Vern when he (VBG) started independently receiving messages. Martin KNEW they were fake, because he had helped fake the first go-round. I presume that Rich and Hoite, if not in on the thing initially, must have soon gotten on board. It's interesting that the long-term repercussions have been to pretty well cleanse the movement of both Vern and Martin's influence. Now if...


 The problem with all this is that exposure of the hypocrisy of the recent past and the more distant past naturally leads to challenges to both present "leadership" and "original" leadership. I suppose it's this sort of thing that eventually leads a cult to "circle the wagons" and concoct some totally mythical organizational history along with a bunch of silly "tests of the faith". It makes it easier for the honest people to keep order in the ranks and for the crooks to make a buck (figuratively speaking) out of the deal. Alas, it also leads to the death of spiritual power within the group. I wonder if we can stand the personal growth effort that will be required to keep a living core within the Urantia movement...


 

20 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              TM vs. UB

Subject: TM vs. UB


 Hello Scott... Thank you for replying to my last post... I have some comments, and also something for Todd..


 >Beliefs can not be validated. It is our belief that the rebellion is >adjudicated, that the circuits are open, that the Teaching Mission is an >extension of revelation. Why this continual call for validation?


 I don't understand this... many beliefs can be validated. If I believe the sun will rise tomorrow and I see it rise, and you see it rise, then the belief is validated. Sometimes we believe things based on validation of the source rather than the thing itself. Thus if an anti-nuclear protestor tells me there's going to be a core meltdown at a power plant any minute I have no reason particularly to believe that person. If, on the other hand the plant engineer comes out the front gate and tells me there will be a meltdown, I would put considerably more stock in it. This is precisely the issue with the TM. Are we talking to protestors or plant engineers?


 >...everyone can have a relationship with a Teacher...


 No, only those people who will believe their voice without demanding validation can have such a relationship...


 >..a story of a seeker looking for a Teaching Mission group indicates >that people are in this for personal gain? I just can not connect the >two.


 That's not what I meant. The story illustrates that some people are putting the TR's in a position of special authority rather then using their own minds...


 >Who is giving the teachers all this authority? Certainly not those of >us in the teaching mission.


 Yes you are! Everytime you sit in front of a TR and hang on their words, the words of alleged celestials, you are giving them special authority. Why don't you answer the questions for yourselves?


 >Could not this be a growing pain, the first real evidence of the >Urantia Movement maturing ... people risking significant disagreement and >misunderstanding for the first time (pg 846) ?


 Who is risking what here? No one has paid much attention to the UF for years. No one had any *stake* in the status quo...


 >Teachers make life harder for us, they do not short-circuit personal >reponsibility or help us avoid hard decisions.


 Yes I read what Fred posts, most of the time. What I'm saying is that you have a place to go for answers to personal questions that you accept as coming from celestial authority. I'm not saying that you have no responsibility left as a result, but you now have a channel to God (so to speak). The celestials can give you answers. You don't have to find all of them among yourselves (ourselves).


 >I don't think he [David K.] is making the mistake of assuming we are >becoming dependent upon unseen, mystery personalities.


 Well I'll let him address that. But I do believe that *some* of the TM adherents are becoming dependent upon unseen personalities... You yourself admited that you were never "comfortable in traditional Urantia study groups." Why not? Could it have something to do with the fact that as a purely human group you had to wrestle with questions you could not always satisfactorily answer? Now you can get answers from alleged celestials. In what way are you not dependent upon them?


 And yes I did read your long post to David. I thought you missed most of his points... (though perhaps I was wrong and should re-read it). Todd...


 The UB *claims* to be revelation. As such it sets out criterion by which revelation should be measured. Among these is *expansion* of previous concepts of God, *integration* of science, philosophy, and religion, coordination of otherwise fragmented historical records, etc. Taken by themselves, these do seem on the surface of it to be pretty good criterion, at least *necessary* if not sufficient conditions for something to be called revelation. It is clear (to me at least) that the TM fails most of these tests. By its own admission it is not here to tell us anything new. There are inconsistencies between transcripts on matters pertaining to the status of the planet, the celestial government, etc. There are also internal inconsistencies (Dan raised a good one when he pointed out that a teacher refused to answer a question in Spanish even though they had previously claimed to speak all languages, etc.). The early transcripts are filled with material that is inconsistent with the UB. Upon having many of these pointed out, the teachers retreated from further exposition on these matters. Rather then explaining things, they avoided them, etc.


 The book addresses the question of its own validity in several ways. As I have already pointed out it paints a broader yet more detailed picture then *any* human philosopher of religion or theologian, or even all of them taken together. It synthesizes most of what is good in all of them and in addition reveals things here-to-fore unknown and unsuspected. It goes on to show how the latter is the foundation of the former. It is not merely a collection of spiritual homilies, but a genuine integration (as it demands of itself) of science, philosophy, religion, and history. Then there are the various statements pertaining to the hard and soft sciences, statements that can be tested. I think we are very much in a position, at least potentially, of being able to say that the UB could not have been written by humans alone unless we are willing to believe that these humans were unusually lucky guessers...


 Yes the TM advocates are saying much the same thing as we all like to say about the UB... "read it and see for yourself". But the UB has more going for it. If you are well steeped in western theology, you find the UB transcends it all quite handily. By contrast the content of the TM, while filled with much that is commendable, says no more than many other human works of spiritual prose.


 You have now read much of both (the UB and TM transcripts, at least those posted here by Fred)... What do you think? Does the UB meet its own criterion? Does the TM meet that same criterion?

21 Feb 1994    Michael Million     Rebels on Urantia

Subject: Rebels on Urantia


 Hello Matthew and Everyone, In regard to the notion that all rebel personalities have been 'rounded up' on Urantia, I concur that the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth forever prevents such malicious beings from ever again intruding into normal minds of Urantians. And I realize the passage you quote, Matthew, about all rebel Midwayers having been captured explains about _that_ order of being. But there are many other orders of beings who participated and I (as yet) have not satisfied myself that the UB mentions that ALL orders of beings who participated in the rebellion have been detained. It is another matter that they cannot 'possess' a normal mind; but to say that all rebellious beings are gone...well, the 'TM' transcripts were the first I know that mention that concept, until I saw several trans- cripts from several areas which gave alert to beware because all rebel beings _were not_ incarcerated. Thus my need to determine exactly what the UB says on this matter. Any help in interpretation of the UB will be appreciated. bro mm

21 Feb 1994    T. Moody        Re: TM vs. UB

Subject: Re: TM vs. UB In-Reply-To: [9402210552.AA00597@sjuphil.sju.edu] from "Matthew Rapaport" at Feb 20, 94 10:04:24 pm


 > > You have now read much of both (the UB and TM transcripts, at least > those posted here by Fred)... What do you think? Does the UB meet its > own criterion? Does the TM meet that same criterion?


 [Excellent comments on validation of UB as measured by its expansion, coordination, and integration of scientific, theological and philosophical material deleted]


 Matthew, my answer would frankly be no. Of course, I have my doubts about the UB itself, but I admit that I am generally impressed with it. There's much that I just don't understand, so I can't say whether it is profound or gibberish. And I am not well versed in theology and philosophy of religion generally.


 If the TM purported to be revelation in the same sense as the UB, I think it would have to be rejected outright. What it seems to be about, however, is bridging the gap between the high philosophical level of the UB and the business of living from one minute to the next. Maybe when I have finished the UB I will decide that such a bridge is not needed; others seem to find it useful, and the excerpts posted here have sometimes touched me.


 I do think it is right and important to be concerned about whether something of an authoritarian nature is emerging within or from the TM, just as it is important to be vigilant about such trends in the UM generally. It's an empirical question whether the UM is in danger of being "sidetracked" by the TM. The woman who veered away from the UB because she couldn't find a group with a teacher may be matched by those who find the UB because they found the TM.


 But I digress. My specific answer to your question is that the TM transcripts do not appear to expand upon the UB in content-intensive ways. It is possible that the intended expansion is one of access and integration with living, and so the question of validation should not be dropped but adjusted accordingly.


 Do the teachers speak Esperanto, do you think?


 

21 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Re: TM: Threat or Menace?

Subject: Re: TM: Threat or Menace?


 Yes, Todd as you so clearly allude there is a remarkable double-standard that exists amongst TM opponents: "Don't worry about the origins of the UB, let your own inner recognition response be its own proof, oh, but as regards the TM, this rule should be thrown out the window!" (Doncha know playin with truth is like playin with matches!)


 Also, the second great hypocrisy is: "The UB came into being channeled thru a human source, but, all channeling other than the UB channeling is obviously bogus!" (You see our channeler was really different than all the rest, balh, blah, blah)


 Fellows, If you want to establish this new Priesthood of Truth, then you ought to at least do a better job at covering up the obvious hypocrisy. It glaringly hints that the arguments are not based on truth-seeking but power maintenance.


 

21 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         The Real Debate!

Subject: The Real Debate!


 


 The Real TM Debate is a veiled debate about the struggle for P_O_W_E_R, nothing more. The initial harmonic is that we are all at a base level loyal and united to truth-seeking. From there we diverge into two philosophical camps--one whose basic loyalty is to an elitist philosophy of truth realization and the second camp of populist truth realizers.


 The UM from the early Sadler's parlor days of reseaching and presenting papers on up to FUSLA's modus operandi of the same has been directed by a philosophy that basically says that the intellectual and logic approach to truth realization is the purest and maybe even the sole path to diety realization. Hence, the intellegentsia present well-researched papers and dazzle all of us with their intellectual brillance and the cleverness of their logic. Unfortunately, while this has led us to believe how brillant and fortunate we are, the UM at large has languished in its ability to incorporate a larger body of truth seekers into its fold. Why?


 What underlies this seemingly innocuous philosophy is the unspoken conclusion that those with the inherited grey matter, who have the highest intellectual and logical ability (the elite) are de facto in the most advantageous position to lead the way. They are admired and elevated to high priesthood . "Gee that last post or paper you wrote was just brilliant! Thank you! Thank you!"


 The UM in this light has done nothing more than replace the papal intermediaries of old with logicians and intellectuals of the info age. The role as interpreter and intermediaries of God's grace for the rest of us is still implicitly the same.


 This elitist tendency has much to lose in the TM debate for if its true that this power of truth discernment is accessible to all, as the populist TMers would tell it, then they are no longer the brillant elite intellegentsia of the UM, they are (egad!) just like the rest of us, faith sons on the path to the Father, struggling to find the Father in all things.


 David K. as the most high profile opponent of the TM, sees this struggle as an attempt by the TMer's to wrest away power and put it into the hands of a few disillusioned pathologic TR's who will flog us all with their "turds wrapped in yellow ribbon".


 The TM presents essentially a populist notion that truth discernment and spiritual progression can be reliably found within, with the individuals relationship with his Father thru the TA.This populist movement essentially says that the power lies within ALL. That soul development is a goal reachable without great intellectual and logical powers, that it is available to all, in the here and now as we enact the dictums of the Master, to serve our brothers and sisters who thirst for his goodness and light.


 Therefore, in sum, the TM debate is at the base level, IMO, simply about the maintenance or transfer of religious power. And David K. is absoluteley right, the TM is a great threat to an elitist view of religious progress and its papacy of truth. (and how dare they declare an endrun of that hierarchy by blaspheming a relationship with celestials! and personal guides--who the hell do they think they are, scabs of truth! or worse--open pit miners of the intellctual landscape! )


 The TM is in a sense is quite revolutionary amongst the great sweep of religious movements: evenm Until most recently, implicitly held in Christendom, is the underlying assumption that the priest, the bishop, the pastor, the clergy, the vicar, the guru had hotlines to God; after all we don't go to Church and listen to our TA, or mediate together--we listen to someone elses interpretaiton of religous truth from the pulpit.


 The threating, dire news is that As faith sons of God, ALL men and women, even us simple folk with simple brains, have access to this soul-satisfying, truth-revelation of our Father thru our personal relationship with him through stillness, the Teachers are spreading this message like wild fire on a grassy plain.


 To maximize everyone's access to truth and spritual power is of greatest good, for the greatest number of people, for the greatest length of time. As the Master said in the UB: "no longer must your brothers and sister be denied..."

21 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              The real debate!

Subject: The real debate!


 Jesse... >Therefore, in sum, the TM debate is at the base level, IMO, simply about the >maintenance or transfer of religious power. And David K. is absoluteley >right, the TM is a great threat to an elitist view of religious progress and >its papacy of truth.


 This is silly. In the first place, even in its heyday the UF never claimed any *religious* authority, only secular authority over the marks and use of the word 'Urantia'. As misplaced as this claim may be, the argument that they were (or are) a papacy has always been a straw man.


 Secondly, there has never been any locus of religious power in the UM, so there is nothing to transfer. Anyone can go out and buy a copy of the UB (though for a while they are difficult to find, that will change). Anyone can read it, and no one is obligated to communicate with the Foundation or anyone else for that matter. Anyone is free to read the UB make up his or her mind about it, and interpret it as they please. The idea that the UB of itself fosters some kind of religious elite is just nonsense unless one wants to say that the only people who can fully grasp the UB are those with the necessary reading skills. While true in and of itself, the decline in reading skills in the U.S. over the last 20 years can hardly be blamed on the Foundation.


 I note the same is not true of the TM. They say anyone can have a teacher, but only if they will blindly believe. As for the double standard, I addressed this last night in my post to Todd. The UB is filled with testable material - materially and historically testable. The TM has not fullfilled even its own internal tests, its appearance predictions, yet people go on believing! The book is a physical fact. The alleged celestials who wrote it are not communicating personally with me, so I can't ask them for credentials. That *would* have been the obligation of the original forum, and I don't know what sort of tests they applied except for those alluded to in the UB chapter of Sherman's (PIPELINE TO GOD) book. As such I have only the material *in* the book to go on, but I point out again, that much of this material is, at least potentially, verifiable.


 This is not to say that there is anything wrong with religious prose that can not be verified by other then spiritual means. I have read many collections of such prose by some wonderful writers. I don't ask them for verification of their credentials because they don't claim any. If the TRs said "this material represents the upwelling of *my* spiritual consciousness" that would be the end of the matter, no verification would be asked for, or be necessary. But they are not claiming that are they?

21 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: Imagination

Subject: Re: Imagination In-Reply-To: [199402170421.UAA25340@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Hi Finnie,


 In terms of your remarks as to the TM as a response to certain lacks in the more mainstream group of the TM, I agree. And I bet there were really not all that many delete keys being hit.


 In or out of the TM, (And I spent the first 22 years of my UB readership out), I was not satisfied by the socialization options offered. To my mind, there was an excess of organization combined with an insufficiency of openness. An excess of intellectualizing (however much I have alwways loved to engage in it to extremes and to my own personal detriment) and an insufficiency of the discussion of application of UB values to problems of nitty gritty daily living. I care less whether we move ahead inside or outside of the TM in regards to this than I care that somehow the UM finds more of itself on this path of the Master's gospel. It is this more than any predictions (which I do not tend to believe anyway) or particular theological distinctions in relation to the TM that I find important about the TM experience. It fosters living religion, deep personal experience with truth, beauty and goodness. I want to see that in the UM and on the planet, regardless of its sources.


 

21 Feb 1994    Leonard D Massey             Re: The Real Debate!

Subject: Re: The Real Debate!


 Jesse,


 Your post about power relationships between the TM advocates and other friends of the Urantia book completely misses the point of what TM opponents are trying to achieve. I do not believe that any TM opponent has an interest in separating you from direct, personal religious experience. As far as I can determine, the intent is quite the opposite--to prevent you from making the unconscious verbalizations of a TR a substitute for the much more challenging inner quest for enlightenment.


 It is the TM, with it's self-appointed TR's, that could easily replace the personal search for better Adjuster contact, to know the Father's will. Those of us who reject the claims of the TM feel that no other human being can perform this functions for us. This is clearly aside from the question of whether or not the contents of the TM can explain or expand on the message of the Urantia book, which could conceivably occur without the TR's interposing their personalities in a priestly role.


 You claim that the intellectually more able among the Urantia book readership tend to reject the claims of the TM. Yet you interpret this as a manifestation of a desire to exert power over a popular majority. You should be able to recognize an alternative explanation--that belief in the TM is a characteristic chiefly of people who have been somewhat casual in their study of the Urantia book and have therefore become confused about the intellectual quality of the TM material. You should be able to recognize this alternative even if you do not personally agree with it.


 So, to use your salubrious turn of phrase, "Let's cut out the bullshit guys and gals. It's getting a little deep."


 It is axiomatic in these discussions that we do not go about impugning the motives of those who disagree with us. If we cannot accept the purity of the motives of those with whom we debate, we cannot have a spiritual discussion at all, because we are denying an element of the humanity of our opponent. No doubt you are not the first person to make ad hominem attacks in this forum, nor will you be the last; however, this particular post is sufficiently argumentative and anti-intellectual that I feel it appropriate to raise a challenge to the introduction and continuation of this sort of thing on urantial.


 Perhaps you would like to reconsider your claims.


 In His Light...

22 Feb 1994    T. Moody        Re: TM: Threat or Menace?

Subject: Re: TM: Threat or Menace? In-Reply-To: [9402212115.AA27199@sjuphil.sju.edu] from "fx618@AOL.COM" at Feb 21, 94 03:07:57 pm


 > > Yes, Todd as you so clearly allude there is a remarkable double-standard that > exists amongst TM opponents: "Don't worry about the origins of the UB, let > your own inner recognition response be its own proof, oh, but as regards the > TM, this rule should be thrown out the window!" (Doncha know playin with > truth is like playin with matches!)


 Well, not quite, Jesse. Recognition-response is not proof, and I don't think anyone has suggested that it is. Furthermore, as Matthew has pointed out, the UB has certain characteristics that conduce to that recognition-response, which characteristics we have been calling its "excellence." The TM material may have other characteristics that conduce to a recognition-response (I don't think anyone supposes that it has the *same* characteristics), or it may not.


 If people are really concerned about this, then I think there is no substitute for a systematic study of the phenomenon. It would be a lot of work, and maybe it is not worth it to people on either side of the question.


 

22 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Re: TM: Threat or Menace?

Subject: Re: TM: Threat or Menace?


 Todd:


 I think your suggestion is a good one, except what "evidence" would be acceptable. Repeatedly, Urantial brothers and sisters have offered up and shared their faith-experience and obervation of growing fruits of the spirit as evidence, only to has this experience cast as "silly, intellectual-devoid of meaning, illogical" etc. etc. The UB repeatedly stresses the inability of philosophy to completely grasp the spiritual, yet only philosophical arguments seem to be acceptable?


 Jesse

22 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Re: The Real Debate!

Subject: Re: The Real Debate!


 Dan:


 Thanks for you comments and reply. My comments here must be prefaced with the fact that I am not a spokesperson for the TM, it has none, but an individual expressing my persoanl opinions and experience. Please don't paint my comments as representative of the TM.


 My post was not an accusation that there is in fact an organized attempt at maintaining some type of power structure, I don't believe any such conspiracy exists at all, my post was specifically an indictment of an attitude which I believe permeates the UM which promotes its own intolerance. I believe it undergirds the intolerance of theTM.


 We like to blame the UF for the slaggard growth, but my in-the-field experience is that the book and many study groups are far too intellectual for many. Dan, get out in the field and talk to the common man about the book, you'll see what I mean. Do you disagree with this? Again, this weakness is what the correcting time is correcting IMO. The common man is far more motivated by love and heartfelt sincerity that impeccably logic.


 This "attitude" being that the only experiences worth considering as of value are those intellectual and philosophical derived experiences of the God-searching mortal. This is my major objection.


 Again, this attitude, is a de facto technique of exalting the opinions of those with grand intellectual insight and debasing the opnions of those with gut-level heartfelt faith experience as "silly, emotional, not logical" This attitude permeates the UM and minus those involved in the TM permeates Urantial.


 I don't mean the enjoyment of the pursuit of truth by philosophical/inteelectual means, of course this is frutiful, but rather the intolerance of all other means of truth-relaization, the categorization of these epxeriences as of lesser value.


 (IMO) the intolerant reaction to the TM by the largely intelle ctual/philosophical steeped contigent in the UMx is largely (IMO) because of fear that the purity of intellectual thought (which us UBers pride ourselves in), will be somehow tainted by this "fait h-experience non-excellant channeling crap" of the (as David puts it) "feeble-minded" xTMers. This is to me a very elitist attitude. In fact, you objected to my post on the very grounds that it was'nt pure and impartial (non ad hominem). The force of the criticism has always been directly or implicitly aimed at lesser logical or mental ability.


 David K's post are typical of this attitude: "TMers are "open pit mining the intellectual landscape" TMers are "shallow, feeble minded thinkers"; the Teacher transcripts are like "wrapping yellow ribbons around dog turds". (I'm not making this up, these are actual quotes)


 Dan you are being a lot more diplomatic than David, but your statement : "that belief in the TM is a characteristic chiefly of people who have been somewhat casual in their study of the Urantia book " copping the same attitude. What does "causual" mean? Simple-minded? or shallow-minded? or with little insi ght? with little penetrating analysisx?


 Dan, this attitude strikes me as one of high-mindedness and intellectual hubris. This is my point.


 Your reply is further evidence of my point: you state that "what the TM opponenents are trying to achieve is ...to prevent you from making the unconscious verbalizations of a TR a substitue for the much more challenging inner quest for enlightenment"


 Dan, there is an arrogance in your statement. The operative word is "prevent" and "more challenging". Your words were specifically "to prevent [me] from...". The arrogance is that you, David and many others know whats GOOD for me and others. That you know what the more "challenging quest" is for me. That you need to "prevent" me from taking the path I and others have currently choosen.


 I believe in the bottom of my heart that, you and David K and others are motivated by good intentions, to prevent calamity, to save your brothers and sisters from the "train wreck to come". I assume, because your intentions must be love-based, that this is good.


 But, I thought as students of the Master that we were to respect free will as sacred, the Master did, the Father does and in fact sturcutres his universe at the experinetial level to maximize this. Yet, you and others, unlike the Masters attititude of letting things that are not on the correct path (if that is what you assume the TM to be) run its course, feel compellled to intervene to "prevent me" from further involvement in the TM. If you do so, because yo love me this must again be good.


 But, where you and others must draw the line, especially in David K's recent post is the extension of this intolerance to hint and accuse that the TMers are involved in evil, thwarting God's will, that we are distracting people from the book and therfore we are evil. This has been the direction of David's post and others recently of which I note you have not yet been moved to object to on any grounds. I do not believe this is good.


 My previous post was again not an accusation that there is a consipracy of power, but rather a permeating attitude of high-mindedness and over-inteelctual emphasis that promotes an elitist attitude. Loggers havbe come and left Urantial because of this very fact. This is probably unconscious, but nevertheless quite prevalent. In fact, your objection to my post included the accusation that it was ad hominem (not impartial argument, what is?) and anti-intellectual of all things.


 What I rail against, and what Urantial has taught me is that the intellectual/pure logic treatment of religion can too easily accomodate intolerance of other paths of spirit-growth and truth-realization and very subtly, insidiously promote a religion based on the mind and not the heart.


 And this is the weakness of a religion based on mind and not heart, that it is not delimited and ultimatley controlled by love and the respect for the sacredness of free will. That it becomes intolerant of lesser or different thought forms and expressions.


 Dan, I stand affirmed to my belief, more properly restated that what underlies the postio n of the TM opponents xis more than anything else fear. Fear of loss of control, fear of the "simple-minded" running amuck, fear of the tainting of the purity of thought, fear of instability, fear that belief systems will be shaken, fear of association with "lower-class form" new-agers and channelers. In Fred's critique of David's argument, he repeatedly pointed out the character of fear and negativity that permeates his arguments.


 But these very fears are what have walled the UM up like an emerald city in isolation. We are called to a life of "perfection through service" and we must come down from the mountain and walk thru the mud and the muck for the sake of our brothers and sisters who languish in darkness and in order to do this we must learn to accept that the direction they are walking is more important than how they walk and what clothes they wear or whether the words that pour forth are pure and logical, but rather listen to the heart.


 When you listen to the heart of Fred, and Thea and others who have an involvement in the TM, what do you hear? Is this not good? Is this not excellence?


 To my older brother, Dan, who is trying patiently to understand me, Jesse.

22 Feb 1994    Tom Alexander    Re: The Real Debate!

Subject: Re: The Real Debate! In-Reply-To: [199402220308.TAA01943@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 On Mon, 21 Feb 1994, Leonard D Massey wrote:


 > Jesse, > > Your post about power relationships between the TM advocates and > other friends of the Urantia book completely misses the point of > what TM opponents are trying to achieve. I do not believe that any > TM opponent has an interest in separating you from direct, > personal religious experience. As far as I can determine, the > intent is quite the opposite--to prevent you from making the > unconscious verbalizations of a TR a substitute for the much more > challenging inner quest for enlightenment. > Dan,


 This issue reminds me of the fundamentalist bible thumpers trying to save me from myself and ultimately going to hell simply because I read and study the UB instead of the Bible. It has happenend twice where my bible friends gather my wife and I in a circle and "exorcise" us, commanding the devil out of our bodies, simply because we read a different book than them. Our patience couldn't take it anymore so we avoided going to anymore bible thumper meetings. I take responsiblity for my actions and the consequences of my actions. My free will is active but working with a sincere heart. I truly want my will to do the will of the Father. But ultimately, I am responsible for my actions. I do not need the critics, opponents or whatever you want to call yourselves to be my Ancient of Days. I will have to deal with them later. I have plenty of time on Urantia to make mistakes and correct my mistakes. Please don't try and deny me that experience. I am in no way trying to force you to experience what I am doing simply because I respect your free will. Please respect mine!


 I am really trying very hard to be positive with my posts regarding this issue as compared with my past posts. Over the past seven weeks I have consciously chosen to sit on my hands as I read the mostly personally virulent posts of most of the TM critics, opponents or whatever you want to call yourselves. Although, I must say the posts have been less viurlent than in Nov. and Dec. of last year.


 There is a consistent ignoring of the messages of continuing to read the Urantia Book daily, get in touch with your thought adjuster daily, daily meditation and worship with the Father and then share and spread the Father's love in your daily lives. Instead, the critics, opponents or whatever, consciously and consistently harp on each and every mistake of the TM, holding up the Sedona folks as the prime example of the TM. There will be errors and mistakes in the TM. Nothing short of attaining the right hand of the Father will be perfect. Nobody I know in the TM has substituted a teacher for their thought adjuster. You reject the personal testimony of people like myself who claim the teachers are a tool (just as the UB is a tool) to get closer to Michael, our thought adjusters and ultimately the Father. I guess because you think we are all deluded nuts. At least we are a bag of mixed nuts. Yeah, that's it: NUTS FOR GOD.


 > It is the TM, with it's self-appointed TR's, that could easily > replace the personal search for better Adjuster contact, to know > the Father's will. Those of us who reject the claims of the TM > feel that no other human being can perform this functions for us. > This is clearly aside from the question of whether or not the > contents of the TM can explain or expand on the message of the > Urantia book, which could conceivably occur without the TR's > interposing their personalities in a priestly role. > > You claim that the intellectually more able among the Urantia book > readership tend to reject the claims of the TM. Yet you interpret > this as a manifestation of a desire to exert power over a popular > majority. You should be able to recognize an alternative > explanation--that belief in the TM is a characteristic chiefly of > people who have been somewhat casual in their study of the Urantia > book and have therefore become confused about the intellectual > quality of the TM material. You should be able to recognize this > alternative even if you do not personally agree with it.


 I have a problem with the judgement of the critics always claiming the "supposed students of the UB" or those "who have been somewhat casual in their study of the UB." Our study group has been "studying" the UB since 1979. Who gives you the right to judge whether we are casual or serious especially since you have never attended our study group.


 The bottom line is we are studying it just as serious as you. We may not do it the same as you but we are doing it. Calling people like Bob Slagle and Byron B. casual students of the UB is downright wrong. I simply don't understand how you can live with yourselves calling sincere, honest and loving people like that the names that the opponents have called them (oatmeal for brains, etc. etc etc.)


 I also feel this is a power and control issue. It is not a coincidence that the most virulent critics are mostly members of the Fellowship. As I have said before the TM is a threat to their power and control of "the movement." Having met or known most of the leaders of the Fellowship I can see why they are concerned. Leading the masses of humanity on uranita is politics. The Fellowship is the politics of "the movement." Politics is down and dirty. When one politician is threatened he or she will do whatever they must to discredit his or her opponent. That is what we are seeing our critics, opponents or whatever do now. Under several guises: intellectual purity test, serious UB student test, or just plain pyscho deluded test, we are being discredited. But you know, it really doesn't matter anymore. Life goes on and we all, if we have the patience, will end up at the right hand of the Father, where all things are perfect and we won't have to put up with this petty bickering.


 Some even go beyond that and say it is a threat to civilization comparing us to Hitler's youth bridgade. Metaphors like that don't build bridges. And I really refuse anymore to respond to diatribes that use nonsense like that. I am all for a civilized debate. The opponents treat this like it is the second coming of the Crusades. Personally, I will continue to refuse to respond to assine critiques that border on the absurd. (Even though I did somewhat in the paragraphs above, I guess I mean to say I won't do it on a regular basis, and will take the shit thrown our way with a grain of salt).


 > > It is axiomatic in these discussions that we do not go about > impugning the motives of those who disagree with us. If we cannot > accept the purity of the motives of those with whom we debate, we > cannot have a spiritual discussion at all, because we are denying > an element of the humanity of our opponent. No doubt you are not > the first person to make ad hominem attacks in this forum, nor > will you be the last; however, this particular post is > sufficiently argumentative and anti-intellectual that I feel it > appropriate to raise a challenge to the introduction and > continuation of this sort of thing on urantial. > Right. The Critics comments are as pure as the wind driven snow. It is funny when one of the TM folks gets a little testy we get chastized, while the critics can go on and on with their attacks with impunity, I guess because they are OUR SELF APPOINTED LEADERS.


 > Perhaps you would like to reconsider your claims.


 Maybe everyone should.


 Sharing and spreading the Father's love,

22 Feb 1994    Philip Calabrese      Evil; TM, religion & Science

Subject: Evil; TM, religion & Science In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue Feb 22 08:11:42 1994


 ------- Logondonters all,


 David K, I have not intellectually objected to your points wrt the TM claims but rather to the tone of disparagement that sometimes creeps into your language. I don't think that kind of thing appeals to the right motivation in others to win people over to your point of view. I have "repeatedly defended the TM" only in that regard, and to honestly recognize the value that I do find in some of the "messages".


 Nor would it be right to motivate someone by appealing to his\her sense of embarrassment at being associated with the TM. There is always a combination of truth and factual error associated with any teaching expressed in finite language to finite minds with finite understanding. One has to get good at deftly extracting the blue ribbon of truth from the turd it might chance to be tied around and to do it without messying one's hands on the other stuff.


 On the other hand I find that I am also criticized by the TMers (Scott F, & Jesse perhaps) for my calling for scientific observation of the testable parts of the TM messages, like whether real "communication" has occurred. Sorry, Scott, but I am not prepared to check my intellectual filters at the door and proceed on "faith". That seems too much like an attitude of "blind belief" to me concerning things that can and should be scientifically checked.


 As just pointed out again here by Matthew and Todd, TMers are making claims that go beyond spiritual statements. TMers claim to be in external contact with "teachers". External facts have been asserted which are appropriate for checking to the degree possible. "The circuits are open", "the Lucifer Rebellion has been adjudicated", "Caligastia has been removed from the planet", and so forth, these are all potentially testable in that they refer to externally factual issues not spiritually edifying practices. Many past TM predictions concerning cures of sickness, appearances by celestial personages, etc., have been checked and found to be incorrect.


 It is the duty of the scientist to test the testable claims of religion. As such, I take it as my responsibility to NOT take "on faith" that which falls into the category of science. As David K mentioned, Jesus might have dealt kindly with those who were self-deceived or superstitious, but he depended on people like the scientific-minded Thomas to (gently please) expose any errors associated with these religio-scientific claims.


 Nevertheless, it is important for all of us to use the same discrimination that allowed us to accept Jesus and the best of the Christian doctrines while rejecting the grave errors of the Christian church about Jesus and doctrine.


 After all, and not to bring up an embarrassing subject in the Urantia Movement, the present & past disarray of many prominent human UM institutions (FOG, UF, UBrotherhood, Sedona, TM & the bogus predictions) and also the conspicuous lack of any noticeable individual spiritual growth in many long-time UB readers, the breaking up of the marriages of many central players in the UB's evolution (Sadler Jr. etc.). All this suggests that some kind of follow-on effort by the Revelators might be appropriate now that many of us have had a chance to read the UB for 20+ years. All this might suggest that the UM and UB need something to galvanize the intellectual knowledge gleaned in the UB into action. So the philosophical purpose of such a "mission" seems sound enough. Perhaps the interpretation of this "mission" has been distorted by what many people may want most - conscious contact with super human life. It could be that there is nothing extraordinary about the method of contact; just that the content has shifted a bit. That could be misunderstood as a new "teaching mission" and "messages". I would like to remain open to the possibility that there is a kernel of truth in the TM (or a blue ribbon if you insist David) that is worth salvaging.


 Perhaps there is some new spiritual initiative on Urantia but that the interpretations offered thereof are subject to grave distortion. After all, Jesus could speak in the common language to his Apostles and they would misinterpret his words without there being any "transmission" problem. But we would not say looking at the output expressed by the Apostles that the original statement by Jesus must be erroneous or that it never really occurred.


 By the way, it was I who told the story of the woman who phoned to find out about our UB study group and whether we had a teacher. She had apparently moved here from the Woods Cross group for personal reasons (against their advice) and now was looking for another group with a teacher. She never did come to our Prince\Calabrese study group. We used to get people dropping in who had heard about us from Chicago, but lately, we haven't gotten anyone that I can remember. Attendance is off. There is also a new UF "association" group starting up here in San Diego.


 By the way, my understanding for why Caligastia was left on the planet even when the UB was being written (and perhaps is still here!) is that there is still some sympathy for him among humans. You know, there are actually people who still worship the devil and request his presence. The UB says that only those who really want to be cursed with Caligastia's wicked presence need be. That says that he's still around and that some people are still summoning him. But at least he can no longer lurk around and influence people unknowingly. We can't any longer blame it on the devil unless we are working with him consciously!

22 Feb 1994    Leonard D Massey             Trying to uplevel the discussi

Subject: Trying to uplevel the discussion...


 Friends,


 So far I have received two replies to my complaint about the tone of Jesse's indictment of non-supporters of the TM as being engaged in a quest for power in the Urantia movement. One is from Jesse and one is from Tom Alexander. Neither, in my honest opinion, comes close to responding to the central issue here, so let me try again. If time permits, I will respond specifically to their accusations in a separate post.


 I think it is time we asked ourselves what the point of this forum actually is. Are we in fact accomplishing anything by this seemingly endless going on about the TM? I very much doubt that anything anyone could post in this public forum would make me take the TM seriously. I also doubt than anything I could post could lessen the faith of a believer in the TM. I will go further to say that I see no place in my religion for trying to undermine YOUR faith, and vice-versa. I have tried to limit my criticisms of the TM (at least in recent months) to things that affect my subjective experience of validity, and leave it at that.


 Given this as the case, ought we not to be focusing our energies on the areas in which we can agree? Ought we not to be studying or debating or examining the Book, which, I think, we all agree is true, beautiful, and good? Haven't the believers in the TM already established a separate forum for their discussions in which they can be free from unsympathetic criticism?


 Isn't it more or less inevitable that, if believers in the TM continue to present material in this forum to which a significant numbers of subscribers are very unsympathetic, there will be a tendency for the discussion to devolve into argumentative attempts to undercut the other position?


 I think it is time we called a truce, or at least a Serbian cease-fire, and reconsidered our purpose in supporting this discussion with our time and energy.


 In this context, let me say that I have struggled to see how the constant barrage of TM material and TM-derived non-Urantia-book material that appears on this list can be tolerated or justified. I have come to the conclusion that it cannot be and that the course we are on now will continue to provoke arguments, no matter how "broad-minded" we all try to be.


 So, here's my real question: Are we doing this to gain a deeper understanding of the Book, in various dimensions or are we doing to gain practice in forgiving each other all the time for being irredeemable jerks about a subject we know we will generally disagree over?


 What do you think? After all, it's your bandwidth that's at stake...

22 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Re: Evil; TM, religion & Scien

Subject: Re: Evil; TM, religion & Science


 >>On the other hand I find that I am also criticized by the TMers (Scott F, & Jesse perhaps) for my calling for scientific observation of the testable parts of the TM messages, like whether real "communication" has occurred. [[


 Phil: I don't recall ever criticising you for calling for scientific observation, I would only pose the question how indeed does science measure faith?


 The strength of the transmission process IMO is directly related to the internal faith maintained by the transmitter in combination with the external faith environment of those in the presnece of the transmitter.


 Can we detect faith scientifically? Is'nt kind of like measuring love or sadness, or courage or loyalty? Therein lies the difficulty of using a material device to measure a spiritual event?


 If there was such an instrument which could accurately detect the presence of faith and hence celestial activity then I would not personally object to taking a quantitative measurement, it would be interesting? I think your idea of desgining a test interesting because it would stimulate inquiry into what is it that lies beyond logic and philosophy that occurs as a spiritual transaction and are their mateiral (measurable) repurcussions of these events? I believe these are the fruits of the spirit. Can they be measured? Can a causual connection be made?

22 Feb 1994    T. Moody        Re: TM: Threat or Menace?

Subject: Re: TM: Threat or Menace? In-Reply-To: [9402221843.AA08665@sjuphil.sju.edu] from "fx618@AOL.COM" at Feb 22, 94 01:46:14 pm


 > > Todd: > > I think your suggestion is a good one, except what "evidence" would be > acceptable. Repeatedly, Urantial brothers and sisters have offered up and > shared their faith-experience and obervation of growing fruits of the spirit > as evidence, only to has this experience cast as "silly, intellectual-devoid > of meaning, illogical" etc. etc. The UB repeatedly stresses the inability of > philosophy to completely grasp the spiritual, yet only philosophical > arguments seem to be acceptable? > > Jesse


 Jesse, the UB also gives a lot of emphasis to philosophy; it takes philosophy quite seriously and assigns an important role to it, even though it must be supplemented by revelation. Part of that role is to test for integration and consistency. I have already said that the critics of the TM need to clarify the respects in which the TM is incompatible with the UB or, failing that, the reasons why the UB gives no reason to suppose that the TM is valid. That's a legitimate philosophical assignment, I think, and some of the critics have addressed parts of it. Supporters of the TM should not be defensive about responsing to those arguments, and so on.


 The overall consistency of the TM output *is* something that needs to be evaluated, if one is going to claim that this is a unified phenomenon of some sort. We might find that there is a consistent core message coming through, plus a lot of other stuff that is not consistent from one TR or group to another. It would be useful to know how large a percent of the overall output that core is, and what its content is.


 The issue of the mental health of the TRs has been raised. This may be an inflammatory sort of issue, but it is not one that should be avoided. Personally, I don't care to set it up as a question about "mental health" in general, but it is legitimate to ask whether there are *independent* grounds for supposing that the TR phenomenon is a form of dissociative pathology. It's obviously circular to say that it's pathological because we already know that it's not genuine. If we can't or won't look for such independent grounds, then this conjecture should simply be dropped.


 You raise an interesting question, though, as to whether the Urantia movement, as exemplified in large and small study groups, is excessively intellectualized. I don't have enough experience to answer it, other than to note that the book itself certainly does invite high-level intellectual scrutiny. But even if we establish the need for less intellectual forms of participation in the culture of the UB, there is still quite a distance from there to the validity of the TM.


 I guess I'm simply saying that one's recognition-response needs to be as informed as possible.

22 Feb 1994    Mark Turrin       Lurker Exposes Self

Subject: Lurker Exposes Self


 Lurker Exposes Self


 I've been watching with interest the discussions about the TM for some time and would like to share with the readers of this forum some of my thoughts on the subject. This debate has been getting a lot of byte time here lately... I just can't resist the cathartic possibilities any longer. I've been reading the UB for about twenty years and still come across thought provoking and stimulating ideas in its pages. The following collection of quotes has been helpful to me in coming to a decision about the phenomena of channeling. Maybe others will find them useful as well.


 I think the revelators are hoping to see a sympathetic response in people to the ideas and ideologies presented in the UB. Similar to the way they hoped the tribes surrounding the first Garden would eventually be won over to the cause of the Garden. The Urantia revelation is not only a spiritual revelation but a cultural one as well. Included in this cultural revelation is the struggle for the quality of thinking.


 Page- 909 "At first life was a struggle for existence, now, for a standard of living; next, it will be for quality of thinking, the coming earthly goal of human existence."


 This means quality of thinking on the scientific, philosophic, and religious fronts. The UB calls us to this challenge and I believe it is this quality of thinking that will attract people to its message.


 The main problem I have with the TM is that it does not hold up to scientific or factual analysis very well. The purpose of science is to purify religion. The UB raises the standard in this regard and demands that we look at our experiences from all aspects.


 Page-907 "Science teaches man to speak the new language of mathematics and trains his thoughts along lines of exacting precision. And science also stabilizes philosophy through the elimination of error, while it purifies religion by the destruction of superstition."


 Maintaining precision of thought is critical in evaluating our experiences, especially if they drift outside the norm. Have you ever wondered why the fragment of God within us is called a "Thought Adjuster"? I must admit when I first encountered this expression it seemed a somewhat dry appellation for God. I believe the revelators used it because it so precisely describes what God is trying to do with us and how. Namely adjust our thinking to an ever expanding understanding of reality. Logic and precision of thought must be maintained throughout this enlightenment process. I was relieved to discover in the UB that I didn't have to suspend integrity of thought to have a personal religious experience. I find the idea of the mind as the mother of our soul to be quite comforting. (UB Page- 8)


 Page-1457 "If the so-called science or religion of any age is false, then must it either purify its activities or pass away before the emergence of a material science or spiritual religion of a truer and more worthy order."


 The most glaring error of the TM has been the failed appearance of Gabriel and Melchizedek. This is overwhelming evidence that something is not right about the TM and cannot be lightly dismissed. Divine beings do not miss appointments; they are COMPLETELY reliable. Rationalizing this away is not being true to ones best thinking processes. This was the strongest reality check this phenomenon attempted to pass and it failed entirely.


 Paper-110 Section-4 Para-5 Page-1207 Line-25 Para-5 There exists a vast gulf between the human and the divine, between man a nd God. The Urantia races are so largely electrically and chemically controlled, so highly animallike in their common behavior, so emotional in their ordinary reactions, that it becomes exceedingly difficult for the Monitors to guide and direct them. You are so devoid of courageous decisions and consecrated co-operation that your indwelling Adjusters find it next to impossible to communicate directly with the human mind. Even when they do find it possible to flash a gleam of new truth to the evolving mortal soul, this spiritual revelation often so blinds the creature as to precipitate a convulsion of fanaticism or to initiate some other intellectual upheaval which results disastrously. Many a new religion and strange "ism" has arisen from the aborted, imperfect, misunderstood, and garbled communications of the Thought Adjusters.


 This quote leads us to some possible explanations of what the TM experience may be. It also seems to help explain what's going on in Sedonia AZ . The current new rash of "isms" merely claim to be appendices to the UB. There probably will be many more new groups that spring up and ride the coattails of the Urantia Revelation. Are there enough grounded and mentally stable readers around to keep the revelation from becoming sidetracked into some retrograde cult as David Kantor has described? Thought Adjusters must yearn for the day when they can give us a vision and we won't quit our job, uproot our families, move to the country, invest in a divinely picked stock, buy gold and dig in for some fabled apocalyptic event. Perhaps if we had gotten more of the Adamic life plasm this reaction wouldn't be so commonplace.


 The Urantia Book Paper-110 Section-5 Para-5 Page-1208 Line-28 Para-4 It is extremely dangerous to postulate as to the Adjuster content of the dream life. The Adjusters do work during sleep, but your ordinary dream experiences are purely physiologic and psychologic phenomena. Likewise, it is hazardous to attempt the differentiation of the Adjusters' concept registry from the more or less continuous and conscious reception of the dictations of mortal conscience. These are problems which will have to be solved through individual discrimination and personal decision. But a human being would do better to err in rejecting an Adjuster's expression through believing it to be a purely human experience than to blunder into exalting a reaction of the mortal mind to the sphere of divine dignity. Remember, the influence of a Thought Adjuster is for the most part, though not wholly, a superconscious experience.


 The choice here is simple. Would you rather err or blunder? Pick your poison. Although this quotation is discussing Thought Adjusters, the meaning is quite clear given the two extremes; one would be safest not to exalt ANYTHING generated by our mind to the sphere of divine dignity and at the very least be very discriminating in the analysis of psychological phenomena. To exalt the TM phenomena to planetary significance seems to be more blunder than error.


 The Urantia Book Paper-91 Section-7 Para-1 Page-1000 Line-11 Para-3 Mysticism, as the technique of the cultivation of the consciousness of t he presence of God, is altogether praiseworthy, but when such practices lead to social isolation and culminate in religious fanaticism, they are all but reprehensible. Altogether too frequently that which the overwrought mystic evaluates as divine inspiration is the uprisings of his own deep mind. The contact of the mortal mind with its indwelling Adjuster, while often favored by devoted meditation, is more frequently facilitated by wholehearted and loving service in unselfish ministry to one's fellow creatures.


 Again another warning and a positive and constructive alternative. This quote also gives us another clue as to the source of extra-ordinary psychic experiences. Just because the source is the deep mind doe not mean it can't be helpful, thought provoking or uplifting information. It could be worse, it could be the shallow mind! Seriously, the meaning here is clear; be careful what you call divine inspiration.


 Page-2088 The secret of his *Jesus* unparalleled religious life was this consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship--unbroken communion with God-- and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.


 This has to be one of the most clarifying quotes about channeling in the entire UB. Intelligent prayer and sincere worship is the key. TM falls into the category of extraordinary religious practice by any means of evaluation I can think of.


 The Urantia BookPaper-88 Section-6 Para-8 Page-973 Line-5 Para-1 Ancient magic was the cocoon of modern science, indispensable in its tim e but now no longer useful. And so the phantasms of ignorant superstition agitated the primitive minds of men until the concepts of science could be born. Today, Urantia is in the twilight zone of this intellectual evolution. One half the world is grasping eagerly for the light of truth and the facts of scientific discovery, while the other half languishes in the arms of ancient superstition and but thinly disguised magic.


 "Welcome to... the twilight zone" suddenly takes on a new meaning. Many people may embrace the Urantia Book and bring with them their "ancient superstition and but thinly disguised magic." Without subjecting ones thinking or religious practices to some purification process one could claim that they were receiving messages from a Ouija board. Somehow they were getting great uplifting and inspirational prose and encouraged others to join in on this most satisfying experience. They could even start a Ouija.net with other "Boarders" around the planet to compare mystical experiences of TRUTH from whatever the source; Iching.net, Tarot.net, Roulette.net, Tea leaves.net, etc. Get the picture? Where is the quality of thought and thinking process in all this? It would be so easy to fall into some superstitious morass if we abandon scientific or precision thinking. Is believing in mythical teachers from another planet speaking through us any different? I don't think so.


 The Urantia Book Paper-99 Section-4 Para-8 Page-1090 Line-21 Para-4 Man's greatest spiritual jeopardy consists in partial progress, the predicament of unfinished growth: forsaking the evolutionary religions of fear without immediately grasping the revelatory religion of love. Modern science, particularly psychology, has weakened only those religions which are so largely dependent upon fear, superstition, and emotion.


 There are still many unanswered questions on what this phenomenon might be. We do know that it is happening to people and it is inspirational to some. The question then becomes: is this a measurable or predictable phenomenon in the human religious experience? Is it common in most or some religious awakenings? Is there a similar experience that many people go through? The evidence seems to suggest that it is quite common. When a mortal makes the decision to become godlike they are assigned a guardian angel with an assistant cherubim and sanobim. Have you ever wondered why you are assigned all these extra universe resources after you make the supreme decision and not before? Most likely it is because you NEED them desperately. One would think that a soul that had NOT made the decision to become godlike would need them more; but this is not the case. Why? One answer could be as your mind becomes more responsive to the pull of spiritual gravity there are mental or conceptual frameworks that we can snag ourselves on that stall the spirit progress. Your mind has become titillated by the discovery of the fantastic spirit presence living within it. You become responsive to spirit gravity and are gaining velocity and therefore need guidance so you don't go bouncing off into some superstitious swamp. Some of the potential delusions one can fall into are: chosen people, end of the world, hearing of voices, speaking in tongues, Messiah complex, infallibility, religious fanaticism.


 Again Urantia mortals may be especially prone to fanaticism because of our mixed genetic coding. A more thorough Adamic uplift would probably have smoothed our psychological accent. We can all think of great minds (UB readers as well as non-readers) that have become derailed somewhere like a turd in a dead eddy because they embraced some farfetched and deluded interpretation of a message. The Thought Adjuster must be very careful that the spiritualizing of the mind does not disrupt the personality and that advanced truths are being integrated into the thought processes and lifestyle of the mortal.


 When a mind does begin to spiritualize there seems to burst forth new joy and creative expressions. Isn't that the source of much of the early church music, religious art, poetry, etc.? I think this is what's happening with TM devotes. The source of their ruminations is their own deep mind. This is a natural and normal reaction to spiritual gravity. The error creeps in by trying to assign this to some other source. (See the quote above) Why not enjoy these inspirational works for what they are? Pat yourself on the back! You made it! You're a realizing child of God and beginning your journey on the path of light! The universe is opening up to you and the joy is overflowing! Take the credit you deserve. You made the decision to become godlike. Don't let some mythical teacher (spirit possession) take the credit for your hard won decision making and spiritual progress. I think it may be necessary to go through a catharsis period where you express your understandings and spiritual insights freely and flowingly in writing or music or some artistic expression. I recently came across some of my own writings I did after about a year or two of finding the UB. They were of the same flavor and style of some of the current TM messages. This is probably a normal reaction to religious conversion. Look at the writings of Paul and all the trouble and confusion they have caused because of misinterpretation. They've become the center of modern Christianity when they were most likely the ruminations of the deep mind! In fact it may be a very necessary process of massaging the spirit value concepts (data) newly introduced into our thinking. The Thought Adjuster is finally getting a toe hold into our thought formulation process. When you reach the age of forty, the TA is actually called a Thought Controller. This appellation alone should give us a big clue as to what the TA/TC is about and would further suggest that the internal association of ideas is an extremely important process. It seems such a shame to befuddle this natural process with superstition, spirit possession, voices, leadings, etc. especially since we've been given such a beautiful and wonderful glimpse of how the celestial world does work. The discipline of precision thinking is necessary to keep this process on track so it doesn't become derailed into obfuscation.


 And if your still confused, don't despair for as the Seraphic Mind Planners say: (page-553) "If your own mind does not serve you well, you can exchange it for the mind of Jesus of Nazereth, who always serves you well".


 AHH... the cathartic effect of this post is starting to take effect. Thank-you Jeeezus!

23 Feb 1994    Scott Foerster        Re: Page 1109

Subject: Re: Page 1109 In-Reply-To: [199402210400.AA19013@nfs1.digex.net]


 Dear Dan, & Jesse


 Here is a quote from something Dan wrote Sunday that I thought was particularly clear:


 > It is clear that the "sources" to not understand the Urantia book > in any real depth. Again, there are several possible explanations: > 1) they are not what is claimed for them, 2) the Urantia book is > not what is claimed for it, 3) I don't understand the book as well > as I think I do. It should be obvious that I would reject #2 and > #3, while believers in the sources would reject #1.


 


 Jess, you feel (and I agree with you) that people who claim to understand the Urantia Book as Dan claims only value experiences derived from intellectual and philosophical expressions. You (and I) see these people as exhaulting opinions of grand intellectual insight and debasing the opinions of those with gut-level heart felt faith experience as "silly, emotional and not logical."


 Personally, I've been reading parts of the Urantia Book for 20 years and have always wanted to enjoy the gut-level heart felt faith experience. For years the traditions of science (being an engineer), of Christianity (be normal .. don't isolate yourself) have ruled my life. I always approached drugs and evangelicals with the same foundation of intellectual insight and cool philosophy that said: "silly, emotional and not logical."


 The Teaching Mission is teaching me balance .. balance between the calm cool intellectual and philosophical expressions of isolated depths (not ecstatic mountain tops ...) and application of this to real life.


 Perhaps all of us in the Teaching Mission are fragmenting our personalities because we can not stand to feel the true love of our father, we can not truely love our selves, we can not stand to be so intellectually different than society's mainstream, we are fighting a sexism that keeps males and females entrenched in our roles, we are fighting the baggage of our own past, what others place on us and our previous observations of others. Perhaps the Teaching Mission releases all of these blockages and frees a part of our soul. If this is true, how do we put our newly discovered lives back together ... back together .. wait did I hear an echo? Maybe I just need to wait a couple more years until I am forty and get a CONTROLLING Adjuster. :=)


 

23 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: More on evil and TM error

Subject: Re: More on evil and TM error In-Reply-To: [199402201732.JAA06227@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Hi Matthew,


 Just to comment, I personally have never managed to get a teacher to "tell me what to do". I have gotten assistance of the sort the UB offers in the sense of giving me concepts to think about that I can use in my decision making, but not solutions to problems. I do believe that there is some abuse of this here and there in the TM, but in our particular group, such stuff doesn't occur. FOr example, our group has been asked not to transmit other people's personal teachers to them (something that some do tend to want done for them) because that is their responsibility to develop that relationship. I have spent far too many years in working on my emotional recovery to have been willing to participate in a giant rescue project. That was one of my first concerns. If that begins to occur, or increases, then the entire TM will suffer for it. There are indeed wonder seekers that pop up, but for the most part, when they find out they are not being told what to do and have to do the hard work of spiritual growth on their own, they leave. Usually mad because the teachers won't answer all their questions or don't say what they wanted to hear. We humans will always have amongst us those who want to be spoon-fed. And some who enjoy spoon-feeding will inevitably become involved in unhealthy ways. Such things occur in every group including the UM at large. That presence in and of itself does not invalidate all that is going on.


 Interestingly, I find that as one ceases to rescue others (and it is an ongoing growth to not solve for others problems that they need to solve for themselves), people get very peevish and angry, saying that you are not doing enough for them. I sometimes think about Michael who kept saying that he did not come to bring a political kingdom, or material solutions. And they were not very happy with him about it. When you try to help people help themselves, they do not always like it.


 For example, just try telling people that they can do something themselves that you have been doing for them. That they have the power and talent and ability. They will be appreciative that you believe in them and are encouraging them to grow and be fully themselves, right? Well, sometimes. But surprisingly often, they are angry that you would expect them to live up to their abilities. It is very, very interesting, this planet we live on.


 I think this old world is a miasm of emotional and psychological distortion. And each person touched by this distortion is a beloved and unique child of the Father. It has taken me a long time to accept this for myself. And I find that some are not happy at this message about the Father and our being his beloved children. There is too much responsibility in that message to own their own place , their own joy, their own potential. And since we live in a culture that gives all too much lip service to potential, and all too much energy to subtly down-playing excellence in favor of that danger of democracy - mediocrity - , I can understand why it is hard to accept that we each and every one have "favored" status. Our personalities are truly rich, but we refuse to believe it.


 Well, I am starting to believe it. For me, and for others. And I am finding that others resist it as hard as I did. It is painful and frustrating to watch. The smiles that come back to me about the message of our being children of the Father are wonderful. It is what to do with the frowns that gives me problems. And I have a long way to go before I acquire the graciousness that would make me more effective. And the wisdom and understanding that would make me more patient. You who hear me on this net cannot hear my voicetones. Cannot see me, or fully know me in some senses. In one way, you know me better than some in my life because you can see me through the other stuff. I am honest here. I am also honest in my life, but that is not necessarily as pleasant in the flesh, and in real-life circumstances. I yearn to be able to have the graciousness of Michael in my responses to people. I also am sometimes chicken about things, and it doesn't do lovely things to my voicetones.


 One of the most powerful things about the experience I have with the teachers is the incredible graciousness of their manner. I gotta tell you, folks, I just don't have that graciousness in me! Any who know me in the flesh, not just in virtual space, know this! I can't do it when I try with everything I have. So when this graciousness pours out of me, I know that some way or another, it is from something more spiritual than my conscious or subconscious self. That much I know as absolutely as I know anything.


 

23 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: Page 1109

Subject: Re: Page 1109 In-Reply-To: [199402210359.TAA29255@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Sheesh, Dan!


 I am crushed. I thought that after that coupla decades I had some understanding of the book, and now you are saying I don't?!


 Oh, sigh! I mean, you are one who groks the S of T in a way I think few people do...


 Seriously, though, the only way I think you could really say that those of us in the TM don't understand the book is if you presume that your interpretation is correct. And truthfully, I think pretty much every one of us here thinks that his/her interpretation is the more correct, eh! So what a bind!


 I am glad you didn't ask the book to answer you questions that only you could know, eh! (It is "eh!" time in the Willamette Valley, mostly very late!) I don't personally claim anything for absolute sure and certain except that I am perceiving messages in my head that seem filled with love and truth and beauty. Not something I was previously wont to do. And they have changed my life for the better in UB terms. And I know myself rather well, having been a pretty avid student of self-awareness for about 36 years (it hit at 12). Well enough to know that this is not my usual consciousness, and it has not the flavor of the unconscious. About the rest, I can make no claims. I _believe_ much of it to be true, but that is different. I _believe_ the book to be true. But my faith in the Father and his love is different from that belief. Of some things I am certain, and some things I believe. The latter are rather more mutable than the former.


 I regret to say that I really do not care if you believe in the TM or not. But since I believe you are well on a perfectly good path of your own, that is no insult or lack of caring. As for what is claimed _for_ us in the TM, in some cases, that is exactly what it is. And amusingly enough, to my mind it is those who are not involved in the TM who do most of the claiming!


 Personally, I am more interested in how you see the distinction between getting at the truth of the UBs origins in relation to getting at the truth of the TM, than in the specifics of your own personal testing. How does on come to any spiritual beliefs, and then how does one come to validate a book such as the UB. And how does that process differ from validation of something like the TM. Those are my questions.

23 Feb 1994    Joyce Veisz        Re: TM: my last word, well may

Subject: Re: TM: my last word, well maybe In-Reply-To: [199402231123.AA08521@freenet2.scri.fsu.edu]


 My last word on the TM, unless of course, someone asks a question. This being unsolicited, it will count as my last word on the subject, however, I believe it is a point that needs to be made. If it has already been made, please forgive the redundancy.


 Someone said, Matthew I think, that the TM was setting the TR's up as special priests or some such, that people came to them waiting on their every word; I'm adlibing here as I don't have the post anylonger, but it went something like that.


 In our group this is just not so. To begin with, TR's are not sought after and followed as if they have a direct pipeline to God. They -are- just normal people that happen to be able to tune into a channel that many have not yet learned to do.


 The most important point I would like to make is the fact that the teachers seem to be trying to help their students, as soon as they become open to the idea, to learn to open to their own personal teachers. (That may even be one of the main objectives of the TM, to get as many of us across the planet to seek guidance from our own personal teachers). What do you think Thea? Scott? Others? This would certainly eliminate the possibility of any group becoming too dependent upon their teachers words. I can't say how other groups work, but I can tell you that the people that make up our group are all very strong minded individuals, not easily led anywhere, however, we have never been asked to follow anyone other than our own TA's leading. Although, what we -have- been given, suggestions on how to allow for better contact with the Father within - how to help Him reach out in love to our brothers and sisters, if only we will, have not turned us all into a bunch of sheep, blindly following the lead with the bell around its neck. Life on this planet is difficult at best, but for those who are open to accepting the guidance of personal or group teachers, whose main challenge is to help us make personal changes, so that we are more in tune with the Father within, and hence become love-activated people, working to bring this planet closer to that time when love becomes the dominant currency in use, the inner - outer path toward the Father becomes more clear.

23 Feb 1994    T. Moody        Progress Report

Subject: Progress Report


 Folks,


 Many of you will be happy, or at least relieved, to learn that I am sailing into the Jesus papers this evening. I rather liked paper 118, though.


 I want to comment on something said by Phil Calabrese recently, concerning the fact that UB readers, no less that other people, appreciate guidance in integrating their spiritual insights into their everyday lives. Whatever the provenance of the TM/TR phenomenon may be, this is surely the reason for its growth. For that matter, this is also the reason for the success of ACIM (_A Course in Miracles_, for those without a decoder ring): it contains practical Lessons and exercises. Many people never read through the Text portion of ACIM, it seems.


 I've read the interesting essay by Nancy Johnson, "In Search of the Error so Great," in which she conceives of ACIM as a companion to the UB. She thinks of the author of ACIM as the Spirit of Truth itself. This got me to thinking about the SOT and the way in which it is distinct from the TA, from the standpoint of individual experience.


 So let me try this out on you...


 I think of the TA functioning in us rather as a navigator, gently trying to attract us in the direction of spiritual growth and uplift, and also acting as custodian of the evolving soul. The SOT, on the other hand, could be more positively a source of insight. On this view, when individuals decide to allow it to happen, the insights of the SOT arise in them, but filtered through various beliefs, defenses, fears, and other psychological structures. The results are many: psalms, sutras, ACIM, the TM, and so on. It is the spiritually illuminated output of humanity, as distinct from epochal revelation. The details and symbols vary, as the message is adapted to fit the vessel through which is it poured.


 Perhaps some of the predictions and oddities of the TM, as well as the Jesus authorship of ACIM, are mental defenses/validations to the arising of the SOT within. And perhaps the answer to the question "Is it a celestial teacher or subconscious mumbling" is Neither. I know that others have already made these points, but I think it bears further consideration. The superconscious arising of the SOT is not precisely a "celestial teacher"; that is perhaps a validating defense. Neither is it subconscious mumbling.


 This suggests an experimental approach: Instead of fixating upon this false dilemma and thereby giving energy to the validating defense, perhaps fixating upon what appears to be the purest and highest content will actually change the phenomenon, in such a way that it manifests itself more clearly.

23 Feb 1994    fx618@AOL.COM         Machiventa's Corporal -- NOT!

Subject: Machiventa's Corporal -- NOT!


 PS> Stephen:


 Having contact with Machiventa rather than being an experience of power is an experience of humilty.


 Does he take us into his confidence? No. Does he send us out on secret missions? No. Does he appoint us to high position? No. Does he tell us what part of Michael's plan is about to unfold? No.


 His basic message is paraphrased: "We are all children of the same loving Father. Pass it on."


 Deflated by high expectations we go back to the grindstone and stick our nose back in it. Love, service, tolerance, duty....nothing less, but nothing more.


 

23 Feb 1994    T. Moody        Re: Lurker Exposes Self

Subject: Re: Lurker Exposes Self In-Reply-To: [9402222348.AA26386@sjuphil.sju.edu] from "Mark Turrin" at Feb 22, 94 06:45:04 pm


 > Mysticism, as the technique of the cultivation of the consciousness of the > presence of God, is altogether praiseworthy, but when such practices lead to > social isolation and culminate in religious fanaticism, they are all but > reprehensible. Altogether too frequently that which the overwrought mystic > evaluates as divine inspiration is the uprisings of his own deep mind. The > contact of the mortal mind with its indwelling Adjuster, while often favored > by devoted meditation, is more frequently facilitated by wholehearted and > loving service in unselfish ministry to one's fellow creatures.


 Hello, Mark.


 The passage above that you quoted is one that I also underlined in my book, along with the warning about "visionary trance states." It seems worthwhile to me to try to sort out which practices the UB is endorsing and which ones it urges us to avoid. The "cultivation of the consciousness of the presence of God" is itself an interesting idea. This perhaps refers to simple meditation, quieting of the mind while remaining mindful of openness to God's presence--as opposed to a quiet stupor. Buddhist forms of meditation tend to involve keeping the eyes open, precisely to avoid sleepy or stuporous states.


 My understanding of the "visionary trance state" is a more or less stuporous state in which one cultivates or at least entertains various sorts of visions. Last summer, I visited the local Siddha Yoga center a few times. I found the chanting and meditation very pleasant and recharging, but I also noticed that many people were attending meditation "courses" with an eye to having certain kinds of meditation experiences. For example, there is the "blue pearl" course, in which one learns the meditative techniques for cultivating a vision of a luminous blue circle, believed to be a perception of the innermost (and subtlest) self. This, I now take it, would be just what the UB means by "visionary trance state." Of course, the Siddha yogis also see themselves as cultivating consciousness of the presence of God.


 Is the visionary trance state itself a form of fanaticism, or does it simply lead in that direction by riveting people's attention on this internal phenomenon? Again, the Buddhists were and are deeply suspicious of this sort of thing, not only because it deflects attention away from relationship with the world, but also because it cultivates a kind of spiritual egotism. In a well-known Zen story, the monk rushes in to see the Master, saying, "I saw a vision of the Buddha during meditation!" The Master replies, "Continue meditating and perhaps it will go away."


 As far as I have read, the UB give few specific recommendations about specific spiritual "practices, but it does offer these and other cautions. I take it that the point is that, mindful of these cautions, we already have a rich selection of forms from which to choose.

24 Feb 1994    Stephen Finlan      Conversations with Angels

Subject: Conversations with Angels


 Thea, don't worry, no flames here.


 You ask what would I do if "you ever did get a message from Machiventa"? Well, I think my emotions and my state of mind would have a lot to do with it. I think these guys (and gals--the angels) know that their rare self-disclosures always impress the groundlings greatly, and they would plan just what kind of impression they wish to make. So it's really up to him. Frankly, I don't think I'm Supreme enough to attract that much attention.


 Maybe that's not much help. Let's try another angle. When I was still new to the Book, I used to pray to be allowed to see and talk with an angel. They told me my request could not be granted. [;-, (user is a smirking conehead, winking)


 Let's start over. I'll give an example of "channeled" experiences I did have, namely "speaking and praying in tongues" in a Pentecostal church for a month of two before buying the UB. I interpreted these experiences in accordance with the shared belief: that angels were able to worship and pray through me when I prayed, using "the tongues of men and of angels." (We also believed that we could "prophesy in tongues," and someone else could then interpret it, but I never did either of these, and neither did most of my friends; it seemed a little too much, like channeling Michael, maybe.)


 This didn't go on long, cuz I got into the book and quickly felt out of sync with the mentality in the churches.


 What I'm driving at is that we interpret these experiences in accordance with our mind-set at the time. My mind-set expanded, and my belief in that primitive religious experience disappeared. So, what should channelers do? Well, the same thing we all should do: expand our reading, learn more about the varieties of religious experience.


 That triggers my favorite subject: books! Some good ones:


 _The Meaning of God in Human Experience_ Wm. Hocking, the best of the American religious philosophers of the 30s. _The Choice is Always Ours_ edited by Dorothy Phillips and two other women. Has hundreds of short (up to 3-pg) pieces on the spiritual way. It's how I discovered Hocking. _A History of Religious Ideas_ by Mircea Eliade, the premier investigator of the history of religions. _Mysticism_ by F. Happold, and _Mysticism_ by R.C. Zaehner, two different books with lots of good quotes and analysis of great mystics. Oh yeah, Evelyn Underhill's_Mysticism_


 "Beyond itself love seeks neither cause nor outcome: the outcome of it is one with the practice of it. I love, because I love; I love, that I may love... When God loves, he wants nothing else than to be loved; knowing that those who love him are blessed by that very love." -- St. Bernard of Clairvaux

24 Feb 1994    Kati Sinenmaa     Re: in safe

Subject: Re: in safe


 Thea; > As for a scanned photo of Helsinki, that would be nice. But > perhaps you should send it to my private email address > hardyt@csos.orst.edu instead


 I'll try to search a ICY pict of Helsinki. Perhaps I manage to send you even a snow ball via net cable.


 > Kati, I wonder if transitions from one age to another are actually > abrupt. This is something I have pondered. I really kind of doubt > it.But I remain confident that one day, on the mansion worlds if > not here, we will know the answers to all these questions. But I > love to learn, so my curiosity will not stop and wait for then and I > must speculate!


 May be it is better read from UB.


 Judicial actions


 226 The Avonals are known as Magisterial Sons because they are the high magistrates of the realms, the adjudicators of the successive dispen- sations of the worlds of time. They preside over the awakening of the sleeping survivors, sit in judgement on the realm, b r i n g to an end a d i s p e n s a t i o n of suspended justice, execute the mandates of an age of probationary mercy, r e a s s i g n the s p a c e creatures of planetary m i n i s t r y to the tasks of n e w d i s p e n s a t i o n, and return to headquarters of their local universe upon the completion of their mission.


 Magisterial missions sometimes, and bestowal missions always, are incarnations; that is, on such assignments the Avonals serve on a planet in material form-literally. Their other visits are 'technical', and in this capacity an Avonall is not incarnated for planetary service.


 ...On either of these missions, however, the incarnated Son will judge the pasing planetary age; likewise does a Creator Son when incarnated on a mission of bestowal in the likeness of mortal flesh. When a Paradise Son visits evolutionary world and becomes like one of its people, h i s p r e s e n c e terminates a d i s p e n s a t i o n and c o n s t i t u t e s a judgement of the realm.


 228 During the course of the long history of an inhabited planet, m a n y dispensational adjudications will take place, and m o r e than o n e magisterial mission may occur, but ordinarily only once will a bestowal Son serve on the spherel.


 1328 ``4. In accordance with your request, Gabriel and all concerned will co-operate with you in the expressed desire to end your Urantia bestowal with the pronouncement of a dispensational judgement of the realm, accompanied by the termination of an age, the resurrection of the sleeping mortal survivors, and the establishment of the ( n e w ) dispensation of the bestowed Spirit of Truth.''


 2022 The firts act of Jesus on arising from the tomb was to greet Gabriel and i n s t r u c t him to continue in executive charge of universe affairs under Immanuel, and then he directed the chief of the Melchisedeks to convey his brotherly greetings to Immanuel.


 2024 A little after half past four o'clock this Sunday morning, Gabriel summoned the archangels to his side and made ready to inaugurate the general resur- rection of the termination og the Adamic dispensation on Urantia. When the vast host of the seraphim and the cherubim concerned in this great event had been marshalled in proper formation, the morontia Michael appeared before Gabriel, saying: ``As my Father has life in himself, so has he given it to the Son to have life in himself. Although I have not yet fully resumed the exercise of universe jurisdiction, this self-imposed limitation does not in any manner restrict the bestowal of life upon my sleeping sons; *let the roll call of the planetary resurrection begin.*''


 


 > Likewise, the networks that are wrapping around Urantia... who > would have dreamed it would be here so soon...


 This forum is amazing. And I believe strongly that this kind of communications will grow in near future. And its information context comes to be very intresting. And this all is it that the fig tree will soon blossom


 

24 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: Conversations with Angels

Subject: Re: Conversations with Angels In-Reply-To: [199402240916.BAA24318@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Hiya Finnie,


 I never thought it would be possible to talk to angels in 23 years of book reading. I also did not have a fundamentalist background and always disdained the concept of speaking in tongues, one which I still do not understand. At the same time, I must confess to having had a good deal of skepticism at all kinds of mysticism through out most of my life, including that found in other religions, and perhaps most specifically in so-called New Age manifestations. It frankly made my skin crawl. It still makes me uncomfortable. I am not interested in cultivating mysticism. And I don't know how to explain a spiritual experience which sounds to others like something mystical when it is really so sturdy and ordinary. That must sound just so weird. If I had guessed what it would be like to have celestials talk to us, I would have expected sounds and lights and great waves of practically out-of-body feelings. I often feel a sense of great love and presence, but it just is so unlike anything I would have expected. I can only stand by my experiences. I had a great deal of difficulty with the not being worthy aspects. Yet we are each worthy of the love of the Father and of Michael. That also can be hard.


 I do not believe that I can ever explain these experiences. Those who know, understand. Those who do not think that I am beside myself. Truly it is futile to even try. But I will still say to all, how do you know that my experiences are not what I say they are? (Remembering that I do not make such specific claims as some. I affirm the metaphor of teachers, but only can _validate_ the experience of encounter with the S of T, whom we are told can speak to us, and my sense of my adjuster's love for me.) Indeed, I do not ask these questions specifically of you. Yet they are not really rhetorical. This is how it is with spiritual experience. It cannot be explained, but neither can it necessarily be explained away. So perhaps we must leave it at that. I am glad for myself and others who have experienced this, that we have this impetus to deeper spiritual living. The metaphor of the teachers etc may be scaffolding. So be it. That is acceptable in the Father's eyes. Better a scaffolding to reach higher, than none in my case, eh. But my experience with the Father and Michael is real. That is sufficient.


 Hoping to not keep banging the same old drum in an empty room...


 Thanks for your thoughtful perceptions, Finnie. They have taught me much and helped sharpen my thinking.

24 Feb 1994    Michael Million     READ ME: Urantial Direction

Subject: READ ME: Urantial Direction


 Logondonters, I take a day out of office and look what happens! ;) We seem to be going thru some growth pains. I am about to SETTLE a couple of issues, much as I desire NOT to 'run things' here. This list is at a point of maturation and needs direction. It will be from me...


 ATTENTION!! [the virtual gavel has hit the proverbial podium]


 First order of business: Jari & All, I wish the listserv capabilities would handle the dozens of graphics files that we would love to shuttle around the globe. One here and there won't make too much of a problem, but...let's agree to upload such graphic files to wuarchive in the '/pub/urantia' directory. We can give *notice* on Urantial that we've uploaded such a file but let's NOT use the listserv (which is designed to handle text/e-mail files) for the global transmission of large graphic files. 2000 lines of hexidecimal is not what anyone wants to see in the logfiles either. I realize that the listserv is capable of handling the files, technically, but with so many still accessing the nets via slow-modem and having to pay by the piece, I much prefer NOT to add large graphic files on Urantial. Plus the logfiles are getting large as it is-650Kb last week! The FTP function of internet will handily take pic files and anyone that can post a mail file to urantial is technically equipped to retrieve a file from an FTP site - whether they know how to do it or not. (Read the 'Electric Mystics Guide to the Internet' for how to FTP by mail - ask me for it if you want it).


 Second order of business: The next matter concerns the 'Great TM Debate'...a year and a half ago I asked all 'TM active' persons to join Urantial and check us out. It has been an exciting and stimulating ride. The net-environment has changed in that 1.5 years, however, in that the TML is up and running, having developed thru its initial unsteadiness to a fine and smoothly running list. I THEREFORE OFFICIALLY REQUEST that all TM related discussions which are not _directly related to a topic/passage of the UB_ *slowly but surely migrate over to the TML* over the next few weeks. I, personally want to stay an active member of the TML and also want to encourage the use of wuarchive for placement of transcripts 'n articles. With the existence of an Internet list devoted to the TM there is no longer any reason for using Urantial as a debate site about matters which seem to be increasingly *internal* to the TM movement itself. If Urantial members want to relate a specific TM concept/idea to a specific quote/idea from the UB we'll continue to honor such discussions as appropriate under the charter of Urantial. (The charter is at the head of the 'review' list of members; you all know how to get that, right?)


 1.5 years has seen a wide diversity of opinion and I think a full spectrum of relational issues discussed. If excrement has become the highest form of commonality that can be agreed to, well, you have my attention on this matter now. Makes me ill that we haven't done better but we will. Let's give it a peaceful 'cease-fire' and let's move issues not specifically UB-related to the young and vigorous TML. If anyone has a question about what this means, just ask me on or off the list. And Fred, your postings about teacher lessons have always been gems - relate them to a passage of the UB and we will all be well served If these guidelines do not strike a happy 'medium' for all concerned just BLAME ME! - I'm getting good at being the most 'blame-able' - a forte, if you will...and if this request intitiates more dissention than it calms, then I'll redress the issue.


 (So, a few hours later to add more thoughts:) This is my decision with NO discussion with anyone else - not Dan, not anyone. I make my own observations and this is what I decided to do with the list. Urantial grew out of the parapsychology list (PSI-L) where it eventually became obvious that _The URANTIA Book_ was a topic that deserved a separate list. Growing pains - many have said that change is in the air for us humans; this is part of what that means. Stay flexible. (It's sorta like the Arkansas weather - if you don't like it, wait five minutes and it change.)


 TML will rise to the occasion - the listops are ready, the technical parts are in place - let's use it.


 I DON'T appreciate the disparaging remarks about UB'ers not having faith...and/or being only intellectual about their applied Jesusonian understanding....sounds very judgemental to me. Also, I don't like some of the caustic remarks about the TM'ers states of mind. Sounds like lots of squabbling in the *same glass house* to this cosmic sojouner.


 I DO appreciate the efforts that clearly reflect an individual's appreciation for the larger and longer time-frame perspectives hereon. Many of you have shown graciousness and spiritual courage under 'fire.' Things will probably get more complicated before they get simpler...


 Urantial will be forging into new territories soon about organiza- tion and future directions regarding the Urantia movement and the time has come for us to turn more attention to those matters more closely related to the BOOK itself. I started the list because of and for the Urantia book. UB readers do have faith, exercise it and strive to find living applications in the world around them; if you don't think so then get out of the way 'cause we are on the road to recovery as far as the 'Urantia Movement' is concerned. This list is dedicated to the dissemination of the UB and the wisdom it contains. Any UB organization which would like to use this list to further expand the outreach efforts and widen the dissemination of Big Blue will be most welcome online. This could mean the Jesusonian Foundation, the Urantia Foundation (it could happen, don't laugh!) and the Fellowship...or some new formulation which may be emerging as i type.


 I hope that this message is clear and that all list members abide by it forthwith. I have had a light hand on the helm until now, this is how I handle matters when I feel I have to act in lieu of a common group-guided course. Some will be pleased, some will be disappointed or irritated. So be it. We will shift directions. Adjust your use of the list or take your participation elsewhere.


 Urantian: have soul, will travel! bro mm

24 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: READ ME: Urantial Directio

Subject: Re: READ ME: Urantial Direction In-Reply-To: [199402242239.OAA23249@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Michael, thanks for the clarification.


 I am seeking just a touch of my own to make sure:


 No mention of TM unless related to a UB quote, right?


 Next item: TML is not a forum for debate over the TM's validity. That is certainly a valid choice for a forum, but TML is not it. If that seems desirable - a TM debate list - someone should set it up. If they do, I am willing to participate. But I repeat, that is not the agenda of the TML. This list has just been redefined by its listholder, which is his perfect right. Likewise, the TML is defined, and as it is not gopherable etc, is not available by trying to subscribe. Those interested in TML can contact me at hardyt@csos.orst.edu. Other list ops are Scott Foerster and Mark Farley (the latter no longer on Urantial). Scott can be reached at foerster@access.digex.net.


 I am personally willing to not discuss the TM on Urantial at all, since there are plenty of UB quotes to cover every single aspect of the TM I hold dear. Nevertheless, I must state that I have found myself saddened by this entire situation. As I have often been saddened over the past few decades in regards to the entire UM. WHen I first came to the book all those years ago, I had this naive idea that somehow we would be different than the religions that had come before. Silly me. I forgot we are humans.


 So scratch my idea of talking about what we want this list to be. Michael is right. He started this, and he has the right to determine that. I have no problem with that and am willing to abide by his regulations from this point on. It had been my original thought to not mention the TM at all when I first started on this list. But in time, that came to feel secretive to me. Still, perhaps it would have been best. For whatever pain and upset I have caused unjustly, I apologize with sincerity. It was never my intention to do harm. But I do not apologize for stating as clearly as possible my deepest values and standing by them. If that in itself has hurt anyone, I do not take responsibility. I must stand by the highest values that I can possibly know, else I will surely fall.


 

24 Feb 1994    Jeff Keys          Invisible Report

Subject: Invisible Report


 Hello everyone,


 Well, I must be 300 messages behind right now. Maybe 400. I just received a Special Report on _The URANTIA Book on Channeling and the 'Teaching Mission'_ from the Invisible Fellowship in the mail...


 

24 Feb 1994    Stephen Finlan      Appropriate Subjects

Subject: Appropriate Subjects


 Dan, my understanding of your post is that you were recommending maturity and consideration, not repression. It's moot now that Michael M, our host, has decreed that we shall not discuss TM. I feel disappointed. I can understand a decree saying no foul language, no namecalling, but the elimination of whole subjects narrows the range of this truly exceptional BBS. Oh well. Michael, I guess you felt the need to do this.


 Todd, I think your method is the best: clever skewering of "sleeping subjects." Mockery is the most effective antidote to boring threads.


 Jesse, I want to say a word about intellectualism. The tenden- cy to pontificate and to compete happens in all intellectual circles (academics, political journalism), not just UB study. The Todd-bomb (mockery of pretentiousness) is an effective and honored response to this problem. That is, it is honored by *true* intellectuals. A true intellectual is not boring, or blind to the dangers of dryness or conceit. UB study will always be accompanied by tendencies toward mental Olympics. And we will always be brought back to earth by a timely (and friendly) mockery of it. By definition, intellectual study benefits from any helpful commentary.


 


 Some Perfector of Wisdom lines:


 Be you understanding of your ascendant brethren, even as the Paradise Creator Sons know and love them. 297:1


 Never do you climb so high or advance so far that there do not remain a thousand mysteries which demand the employment of philosophy in an attempted solution. 302:5


 By the time you reach Havona, your sincerity has become sublime. Perfection of purpose and divinity of desire, with steadfastness of faith, have secured your entrance. 290:3

25 Feb 1994    Matthew Rapaport              appropriate topics ... bad new

Subject: appropriate topics ... bad news


 Correct me if I am wrong, but did I interpret Michael Million correctly to say that we should *NOT* debate the TM: its claims, mechanisms, content, etc.?


 If so, I think this is a *very* bad idea. What ever the significance of the TM to the medium-term and long-term future of the UM, it certainly is significant *now* - whether for good or ill...


 If we can't talk about events and issues which are, strictly speaking outside the UB, but germain to the UM as a whole, then I will loose most of my interest in this list. Yes I like philosophy, but I also like politics, sociology, and other things. This applies not only to TM issues (and TML is not the place for DEBATE anyway), but also the WSS issues, Gardner, world politics, etc. If no one *wants* to debate the TM, that's fine by me, but it is another thing entirely to say that we *can't* debate it. Please reconsider...


 



25 Feb 1994    Thea Hardy       Re: Urantial direction cont.

Subject: Re: Urantial direction cont. In-Reply-To: [199402251656.IAA13754@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Hi loggers,


 Michael has given you the address of the TML, although I said that there was no way to subscribe. It is true that you have the address, but because this list is hand-run, you can only post to it, not join it that way. However, you can request to join, and one of us will get back to you. You cannot receive messages from it unless you are put on the list by hand (Scott's hand).

25 Feb 1994    Michael Million     The full record on 'reply to J

Subject: The full record on 'reply to Jesse'


 But first, no Matthew, the TM is not off limits for discussion on Urantial. The redirection is simply that discussion of the TM must now include linking such discussions to specific passages and quotes from the UB. This should help keep the focus on the Urantia material. I am not trying to stifle discussion, just the endless bickering which has become the SOP for some on this list. If conversation about the TM will simply be specifically tied to a commonly discussed idea of the UB or (when in doubt) a specific page/line of the UB, perhaps we will reach a common ground about 'how to talk' with each other via clearer lines of list-appropriate topics, hence, less 'heat.'

26 Feb 1994    Fred Harris         TM Post Mortem

Subject: TM Post Mortem


 Greetings. As we see the end of an era on Urantial I thought I would reflect a little on what I have learned from the experience.


 1. The People.


 I can say without exception that the people that inhabit and participate on Urantial are some of the most interesting and enjoyable people I have had the pleasure to be associated with. Each is uniquely qualified to present the revelation we call the Urantia Book to the world through their interaction with those they encounter. And I'm sure that they are and will.


 2. The Substance.


 Despite all the discussions, I am convinced that most everyone on this bulletin board is in agreement with the substance of the teachings of the UB and the teaching mission. That is, to live the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and to follow the example set by him.


 3. The Style.


 It has become evident to me that if we are to be ambassadors of the kingdom, then we will need to be able to project a joyful countenance. We will need to be able to spread the Father's love to all we encounter. We will need to be tolerant of those with differing views and paths. We will need to build bridges between people, not try and break down barriers. Negativity has shown itself to be an unattractive and unpersuasive tool. Judgmental arguments only polarize. Abrasive attitudes will not show others the highest path.


 Although it is sad that this phase of Urantial has come to an end, the real shame would be if we do not see the lesson in this for us all. We fell into a pattern of mean spirited argument unbefitting the people we are with the knowledge we all have. It sullied both sides. It was not the highest path. We now see the effects of these types of emotional and ill conceived responses.


 4. The World.


 We cannot change the world without evidencing the quality of our beliefs through our actions. We cannot change ourselves until we can consistently select the highest path. We cannot be a conduit for the Father's love unless we can be tolerant of each person we meet and look for the best in each of them. A smile and a hug will go a long way in this world. An argument is a dead end. Selfless service can cross all barriers. An attack will only close doors. We have seen this demonstrated at length on this bulletin board and I hope we have learned a lesson.


 5. The Future.


 As we go forward, I hope that I will be able to remain conscious of the valuable lessons I have learned and put them into use in my everyday life.


 6. The Messages.


 Because this will likely be the last message I post directly regarding the teaching mission and in light of the "Invisible Fellowship's" very distorted publication depicting the lessons of the teaching mission, I would like to summarize what I believe to be the substance of the lessons delivered by the teachers and which I have attempted to excerpt over these last several months here on Urantial.


 a. Seeking the Father within. The teachers continually encourage us all to seek the Father as our guide. The ten minute daily stillness practice is an attempt to shut out the hustle and bustle of life and be in the presence of God. The teachers often say that they are irrelevant compared to the incomparable Father Fragment within us all.


 b. Tolerance. One of my favorite teacher quotes is "There are as many paths to the Father as there are people to walk them." In it is the recognition that we are not to judge another's path, but only shine forth in our own path. Our reach for the highest path we can see can influence others, but only through our actions and love will that be possible. We are to look for the best in all we meet and praise it.


 c. Random Kindness. Throughout the lessons it is apparent that selfless service is the result of a spirit led life. The fruits of the spirit. An attitude that can change the world. Help for all who we can help. With no expectation or need for recompense. It is in this lesson that barriers can be bridged and people reached.


 d. Highest Path. The teachers urge us all to consciously see every crossroad as an opportunity to take the highest path. The path with the most love in it.


 e. Family. Family is held up as the foundation for all growth. Family provides us with unquestioning love and acceptance. A shelter from the storm. Teachers encourage us to expand our concept of family to include all, as children of one loving Father.


 f. Listening. As part of the teachers' program to take the teachings of the Urantia Book to the streets, we are each encouraged to listen to those we encounter, rather than just pausing and composing our response while they speak, as we often do. Not only is actually listening a service to those who speak to us, but it also allows us to discern what we can impart to them or what we can learn from them.


 g. Faith. We are encouraged to throw off fear of the unknown and worry over what may befall us and trust in the Father's plan for us. Believe that whatever occurs will be capable of being turned to the best in the fullness of time.


 h. Friendship. We are all reminded that going it alone is not the Father's way. We are to reach out to friends to support us in times of need and to reach out to friends when they are in need. We are encouraged to expand our circle of friends.


 i. Balance. There is always more to do than we have time to do it in. We must make choices regarding the use of our available time. Teachers encourage balance, but ask that we not forget to speak with the Father at least ten minutes a day. Work, exercise, family time, play, worship. All must have a place in our lives. In the proper balance that is right for each of us as we see fit.


 j. Children. The teachers have a soft spot for the children. They remind us that the universe plan is to learn and teach. We teach our children by who we are, what we stand for, how we act in every situation. We teach them by our actions moreso than by our words. We are asked to be sure of what we stand for.


 k. Conduit for the Father's Love. The second part of the 1- 2-3 exercise is to become a conduit for the Father's love. To permit yourself to be a vehicle for the Father to pour love onto all that cross your path. The teachers remind us that you can never give away all the love you possess, for once you give it away, the Father replenishes it and then some.


 l. As if Jesus was with you. We are asked to live our lives as if Jesus was with us and we were, by our every thought, word and deed, demonstrating to him our understanding of his message.


 m. Humor. The teachers enjoy higher forms of humor, not the depreciating types. They correctly remind us that taking ourselves too seriously is an ego based barrier to others. A joyful countenance is the most attractive and why shouldn't we be joyful when we have faith and feel that we are trying to know and do the Father's will for us in our lives? They do ask that, when we are trying the 1-2-3 exercise, that we not do so in a manner that would make light of the exercise.


 n. Planting Seeds. We are asked to look for opportunities in the openings and closings between people. When we see an opening, we are asked to plant a seed. What that seed may be and how we are to do it is left to us. We are reminded that everyone we meet is a child of God, that God is no respecter of persons, and that He is working with everyone we encounter much like He is working with each of us. We are asked to plant a seed and then leave the rest to Him. The "Pass it On" campaign is, in part, about opening people up to a seed.


 o. Bridging Barriers. There are barriers between people in this world. Male-female; black-white; Christian-Muslim; Catholic- Protestant; Arab-Israeli; TM-non TM; short-fat; pro life-pro choice; republican-democrat. The list goes on ad nauseam. It is time to bring us all back to our commonalities. We are all children of one loving Father. We all are on our way back to the Father. We can all provide each other with selfless service. We must bridge all barriers to bring this world into Light and Life.


 p. Taking Chances. It isn't enough to understand the teachings of Jesus, we must incorporate them into our lives. And we must reach out to those in the darkness. Gently. Sweetly. By our actions, then our words. We must step out in faith and touch our neighbors. This is an active mission.


 q. Truth, Beauty & Goodness. We must all seek and embrace truth, beauty and goodness.


 r. Just Do It! It is time to hit the streets. Fly the flag. Live the word. We have talked enough. It is time to experience the love and lessons of Jesus. We must start the day thanking the Father for the gift of another day and consciously go about our day looking for opportunities to shine forth the Father's love. This is the basic lesson of the teachers. It is time to live it. No group thing, just you, individually. One on one with all you meet. As you pass by. This world will only change one person at a time. And it will take small acts of kindness to make it change. All are needed in this march toward Light and Life. All are invited to participate in whatever way they feel comfortable. We have spent a lot of time on Urantial talking. Now that we are about to end direct discussion about the teaching mission, I would ask that each of you reflect on your own lives and think about how you can increase your influence through your loving actions. Then do it.


 


 CONCLUSION


 It has been a lot of fun. I will stick around, although I will honor Michael Million's decree. I certainly can't leave now that Todd has finally reached the Jesus papers, by far the most exciting part of the Urantia Book, in my opinion. I would like to see more descriptions on Urantial of events where people have stepped out to provide a service to others and the ramifications and feelings that they have experienced in doing so. I will continue to participate in the wonderful "Pass it On" campaign that Jim has begun. I will continue to think kindly about you all and hope to meet each of you in person one day. Until then,


 My love to you all


End Part 10

End To the UrantiaL Archive