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Marin TM Group—Mill Valley, California—U. S. A.


January 2, 2006

  1. (Spiritual Security in Seeking God’s Will)
  2. (Your Home Base in Spirit)
  3. (How to Be Open)
  4. (Your Openness Is Also Your Greatest Gift)
  5. (The Importance of Consciousness in Reflection and Planning)
  6. (Assessing Spiritual Growth)
  7. (Attention and Decisiveness)
  8. (Contemplation and Action)
  9. (Time as God’s Wisdom)

Prayer: Dear Mother Spirit and Michael, Greetings and salutations on this our second day of the New Year. We find we’re really looking forward to this ongoing friendship, this real deep relationship with the two of You, and through You and our own Father Fragment, an ever deeper appreciation of our Father’s creativity and support. What a joy it is extend our understanding of this fantastic universe. The more we know, it just seems like the more there is to know. The creation just keeps getting larger and larger, and it is both thrilling and humbling to realize our own part in this. So we thank You for these owners’ manuals on being human you have been offering us. Amen.

Greetings, My sons, this is your mother, Nebadonia. We too are looking forward--to some enormous changes coming about on Urantia, largely due to more and more folks just like yourselves becoming aware of a spiritual dimension in their lives; learning how to tune into this, and getting the curiosity and the courage to follow where it suggests. So you yourselves are learning the truth that spirit never compels. It only suggests and coaxes you into taking that next step to extend your faith out in front of you--like feeling your way in the dark, always on the edge of the unknown, yet finding a supreme security in realizing this is your God-intended home.

(Spiritual security in seeking God’s will)

We’ve talked a lot about this security you can feel within yourself just by relaxing and being open, and trusting there is more to you than what you can be aware of. This is why it takes faith. This is why it takes courage. Faith has been wonderfully defined as the courage to act on that which is unseen: action, doing something based on what is not grossly perceptible. Then as you act upon and realize these realms of your human reality that faith has led you to, so this success, this dealing with reality, fulfills that step of faith. Now spiritual growth requires that you once again extend your faith. Reach out, feel for--however blindly, however unknowingly--where is the next step that fulfills God’s will? We know that some of you balk at the whole notion of God’s will. It seems to chaff at your notions of freedom, your own free will, your need to stand on your own two feet and make your decisions for yourself. But there is really no contradiction here, My children. Feeling for God’s will is that extension of faith, on whatever fiber of your being, that tells you this is so much greater than yourself: That He exists, that His knowledge and understanding is gigantic beyond any measuring, and the essence of His will is love, is wanting what is best for you from His perspective. And so, in reaching for His will, you are simply reaching for what is absolutely ideal for yourselves. This is the way to go. These are the things to try, however impossible-seeming or difficult, initially.

This is what your faith feeds your intuition, and gives you those inklings that you may not yet be able fully perceive, but they just feel right. However divided you may feel against yourself inside, however much or little you are able to do these things, We invite you to feel and accept what your spirit, what your soul, what your heart tells you is this greater way. For this is God’s way. The whole universe of time and space that He experiences as the Supreme Being is absolutely evolving, constantly building on all that has gone before and coming up with something new to add to the Universal Soul of all experience.

You can have absolute faith and trust in this general trend of God’s created universe, for this extends right down to the Local Universes, the Constellations, the Systems, the individual planets. For even on Urantia, having suffered the misfortunes of betrayed trust and mismanagement that it has in the past, plus the rather catastrophic failure of your Material Son and Daughter to fully biologically up-step the human races; in spite of these catastrophes, the planet is evolving. The planetary culture of all the different cultures and races is growing.

There has always been a World Soul, a summation of mankind’s experiences, but the human perception of this, individual by individual, is only slowly growing. Now you are in a technological age which allows for a physical parallel of electronic machinery to assist the spiritual family and soul that has always been here. Merging these two are just general, universal phases of planetary development that every evolving world goes through. It enables the whole world to tune into those terrible incidents of enormous genocide that still happen occasionally. More and more the world is giving up its blind eye and turning its curiosity and its compassion to those who need it so desperately.

So be open, My children. Be not afraid to look at anything happening. Take it in and feel it with your heart. At the same time, cherish a sense of proportion based on your own individual life, those friends and family and others close about you. Your mass media is rather sensationalistic and as yet has found no way to adequately portray the enormous amount of goodness in peoples’ lives, the amount of love and sacrifice and support that people give each other day to day. This is the actual glue that holds human society together.

This is what your spiritual exercises are for, My children. This is the home base you return to so you can tap into and feel directly the goodness within the spiritual realm. Feel Michael’s and My love for you and know this is extended to and supporting every other human being who exists, whether they are aware of it or not. Feel too this enormous planetary evolution taking place and realize, as Michael mentioned last time, how every single human being, starting out from zero experience as a newborn baby, has to participate in this evolution. And so from Our standpoint, Urantia is still very young, and to say that the world as a whole is still in its adolescent stage, is not a putdown but actually pointing at a period of enormous growth. However awkward and gangly, Urantia is growing.

The world culture is maturing. More and more people are being able to let go of prejudices, some of which go back hundreds and hundreds of years. So always take this into account, for this is not any kind of willfully-blind faith. This is that inner strength to reach out and feel your way along, the determination to keep growing, keep encompassing larger and larger realms of experience. So Michael and I share with you your joyful anticipation of things to come. You are all family, and We love to share in both the work--the effort, and the reward.

(Your home base in spirit)

Rest deep in your home base of spirit. Every morning, if you can, remind yourself, by spending a little time in stillness, of this great dimension in your lives. All through the day, stay close to Us, and close to your own deeper self. Constantly relax and open, cherishing this transcendental peace you can feel right in the midst of your most hectic activities, your most scary challenges. And in the evenings as you rest your weary bodies, and so often tired minds, take comfort and joy in the soulful rewards of the day. Then bid Michael and I and our Father a fond good night, and let it all go, confident in another bright morning.

If you have and comments or questions this evening, We also look forward to these.

Student: Mother Nebadonia, I’d like to thank You--I do thank You for all the support and love and guidance that You and Father Michael have given me this last year, both here in these meetings, and personally. I look forward to another year of association with You and Father Michael, and all the rest of the people involved in my life: my teacher Jessie, and Welmek--who teaches us all, and the Guardian Angels, and a lot of beings that I’m pretty sure are there, but I don’t know who they are.

I have so many questions that keep coming up that I don’t know which one to start with, really. The one that seems to be more in the forefront is: how to be open. I kind-of think I am, but I’m not sure that I am, and sometimes I get what I know is guidance, but I resist it, and I don’t want to do that; but it’s like almost, it’s almost automatic, sometimes. Not as bad as it was, but if You can comment on any of that, I’d appreciate it.

(How to be open)

NEBADONIA: Well, My son, I must congratulate you. You are growing your desire. You are stoking the fires of curiosity as to what may be out there, that you cannot even tell yet. But here your faith is hinting that there is more, more to be open towards. Keep going, because this is the essence--this heartfelt desire to experience more. And so you are beginning to perceive. You are getting inklings of what this more is, even if you cannot always accept it. Yet this means you are also getting more sensitive to the times when you are closed down, for this perception exists by contrast. You fear you are closed at times by comparison to other times when you are more open. If you welcome this too, welcome all this feedback from your higher spiritual self, you become aware of these fluctuations in your openness, your ability to take in more.

The next step is to be fearless in wondering more specifically, why is this happening? Are you closing yourself to a particular person, or a particular group of people, or to certain situations? Is your higher self trying to communicate with you and tell you why? So don’t see these moments of feeling closed down, or lost, necessarily as being divided within yourself, but more like different levels of this one being that you are, trying to communicate with each other. Keep wondering, My son. Keep being curious. Keep growing your desire to see ever deeper. Notice how people relate with each other. I mean this as specific individuals, not just generally.

This is that strong inner desire, and as you become to trust this more and more, it becomes a kind of spiritual momentum within you that, ironically enough, lets you relax. You put your finger on it yourself during our last meeting when you realized it’s a trusting that you are there, even when you are not perceiving yourself. You are letting your frantic ego awareness relax and being more interested in the person in front of you than in your own inner thoughts. This is how you do it. And there is a price, My son. There is a price you have to pay for this pure gold for your soul. You have to pay attention.

I think you can see immediately how this rests not only upon your inner spiritual desire, but on a clear mind and a healthy body as well. Attention takes all three energies: physical, mental and spiritual. You can never have too much of any of these. So you pay attention to what feeds and supports your attention: bursting energy within your body; a clear, comprehending mind; and a spiritual desire to really know other folks. Does this point the way, My son?

Student: It certainly does. I have a great incentive to be healthy—physically, and spiritually, and intellectually. You’ve kind-of delineated what I always wanted to do. I didn’t know how to get there. But to be open to other people, and get them for who they actually are, instead of my perception of them, or my projection of them, sounds like what You’re pointing at as a goal to get to, whether physical, or mental, or spiritual--growth and health. That’s what I want to do. Thanks, Mother.

(Your openness is also your greatest gift)

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, My son. Keep in mind that this openness you seek and cherish more and more is at heart the greatest gift you can give another. This genuine attention, if you think about it, is what you cherish most when another person can give it to you. Think of all those wonderful, intimate times when you were able to share with others the real truth you have found in life. What could be more precious to exchange than this.

Student: Actually I can’t think of anything more exciting or more thrilling or more valuable to exchange than ones attention with another.

NEBADONIA: Yes, My son, this is soul to soul. These are those dear friends you call soul-mates. (Yes) Just as Michael mentioned, as Jesus: This is the salt that flavors everything else, without which there is nothing. So be in His peace and My love.

Student: Thank You, Mother. I appreciate it.

Student: Yes, Mother, one of the things that I tend to do is project myself into the future and where I’m going to go, or what’s going to happen to me--especially when other people bring up that I have very little money and I can’t be doing gardening the rest of my life for physical reasons. And so there’s anxiety attached to this projection, because I simply do not know what I’m going to do even a year from now. But I do know that I will not, in time, be continuing the work that I’m doing. But I was telling C today, there is a stronger part of me that knows I will be guided towards something else, something as, or more, fulfilling--more extensive, more growth, and it begins now as I surrender the preoccupation with what I’m going to do tomorrow. But I…what there is, is anxiety--as You mentioned in Your comments tonight, regarding faith--because I don’t know what is going to happen to me, I don’t know how I’m going to sustain myself. So that’s what I’ve been feeling of late.

(The importance of consciousness in reflection and planning)

NEBADONIA: Yes, D, I would like to introduce a distinction that we’ve touched on a few times before with regards to the past, the difference between regressing and reflecting. Regressing is a way of being overwhelmed by past events to the point where you have to relive them so thoroughly, you’re actually losing ground in your maturity. You’re doing some repetitive pattern over and over again only half-consciously. This is very contra-distinct from reflecting upon your past, highly consciously, perhaps in your stillness moments, and revisiting an event to deepen your understanding of it. The same applies for the future. As you accept more and more how enormous and unfathomable the future is, this takes courage, but a side effect can be this anxiety you feel. Like regression, it is all the more debilitating to the degree you are not aware of it, or refuse to acknowledge it. So even acknowledging this very human apprehension about the unknown is a great step forward, because it is acknowledging human reality.

This acknowledgment is the first step in feeling more and more at home in your human situation. Contra-distinct from this anxiety--which can be so general and pervasive you forget you’re living in it--is what you call conscious plans. This is the discipline of devoting part of your now to probing the future as much as you can along physical, mental, and spiritual lines. How can you keep your body healthy and strong into older age; how can you keep your mind more and more alert, and not succumb to pure nostalgia or sentimentality, but welcome a fresh and reinvigorating approach to reality; and how can you find the spiritual security that ever whispers in your ear: You are a potentially eternal being, My son: fear not, you’ve only just begun. None of this obviates to any degree making provision, setting aside part of now for yourself in the future, be it physical savings and investments, keeping your mind lively and curious by giving time over to those studies and exercises that refresh you, and establishing a spiritual home base that you can feel growing day by day, giving you security and insight. This is all part of that planning.

But for those specific plans of what to do a year from now, or five years from now, here there is no substitute for the command: know thyself! What do you want to do? I think you recognize this old friend We’ve introduced before. What is your heart’s desire? What are your abilities? What can you do, and how do you expand this?

Student: This is where I kind-of draw a blank. I don’t know what I can do. You speak about being an eternal being, which in a sense says that I have this infinite potential to do all sorts of things—to create and be a financial success, and.. but I don’t feel I have the means, or the insight, or the mental capacity to even take the first step towards that. I mean I have all these great fantasies of what I would like to do: to travel, to cease doing my gardening and travel with my children, and teach about truth and love to others, maybe even be a minister… I just don’t know. I just don’t know…what my direction is. The only thing I do know is what I have…now—a Taoist saying: action-less action; sitting still, doing nothing. I simply don’t know what to do, except be still. I do not want to live my life full of anxiety and fear, without truth and surrender, and freedom. I don’t even know if I can do this, on this planet.

(Assessing spiritual growth)

NEBADONIA: Let Me ask you a question, My son. Think back to some of our earlier conversations several years ago, when you were at times brimming to overflowing with confidence, and very self-assured of your view of the world, and things. Does it seem like you are truly growing in spirit to have this chasm of the unknown opening before you, or does it seem as if you are somehow losing ground, and your onetime assurance was more correct?

Student: I believe and feel because of my past experiences that I am growing spiritually, and that the chasm of the unknown is real, there, unfolding before me. I have a sense of certain things coming to an end, obviously not tomorrow, but in time. I just wonder what is to become of me. Maybe no one can answer that, except when I take that step forward.

NEBADONIA: So you do feel that you are growing, most fundamentally, your perception and your dealing with reality? (Yes, I do… Yes, I do) And you are accepting deeper and deeper within yourself just how much your life is in your own hands?

Student: Yes…(laughing) I do—and that’s what scares me! Because I feel it is so tenuous at times, it could be gone tomorrow, that everything could fall apart. Then what’s left?

NEBADONIA: But this is real reality, is it not? (Yes, it is) And We can only assure you there is something growing here—a cosmic reality called your soul, that you accept, to a large degree, on faith, from Us—that it is there, and it is as enormous as it is, and it is growing. This is part of being an experiential being, being this nodule of experience and realizing that the purpose of human life at your stage of evolution is this very experience, day to day, that even God does not choose to anticipate, but rather chooses to share with you.

But getting down to the specifics of the nitty-gritty here: As you realize more and more how much your life is in your own hands, it becomes more necessary, D, to flesh out your fantasies and bring them down to earth, figure out all the little steps, starting, as you mentioned tonight, starting now, always now. You need some kind of conscious continuity here. You may have the write these steps out, however tiresome this might seem at first, so these plans for the future can start building day to day. It probably occurs to you: these plans you do make in your mind—how much money you have, how much it takes to do this or that--all these economic factors are a part of being human.

Student: But that is where I lack so much understanding. That’s where I lack…(laughs) I just lack! There is no other way of saying it! There’s only so much I can do physically, work-wise. I simply don’t know what to do in the areas of spirituality, or mentally--creatively. (Very heavy sigh—long pause…) If the universe is abundant, and infinite, then there is infinite abundance for myself, here, right here and now, for everyone! For C, and J, and everyone! It‘s here, is it not?

(Attention and decisiveness)

NEBADONIA: Yes, but it’s bought, not only with--as I mentioned to C--with paying attention, but with decisiveness. It is the decisions you make that build up this base of what is possible for you. This is how you measure how you’re doing, and what is possible. You have to try things. You have to make a decision that forms a kind of solid ground in the realm of mind and spirit—plans and evaluations of what is possible for you: this all has to be based on decisions. You decide to try something, you remember you made this decision, and then you evaluate the outcome. This is how you fill this vacuum you feel. It puts you in a state of mind that ties you in with all the decisions you’ve made in the past.

Because you are here now. Somehow you got here. This is that self-knowledge that informs you of your abilities. These are the first glimmerings of your existential being, being formed. It is based on your free will, based on accepting the economic aspects of your temporal life that, though you have eternity before you, it is always now. If you would have something in your life, some ability, you always have to start now. This is what brings you—your personality, forth as a real factor in time and space. It is accepting that time is of the essence. Not only are you involved in eternity, but you are involved in the necessity to fill it. And that can be a little scary.

As We’ve said before, you free will only exists in the exercise of it. From the viewpoint of pure contemplation, it is only potential. I’m not going to the extreme and saying that any action is better than none, for that is the extreme other viewpoint. But I am pointing at the necessity to choose, and get involved in the irrevocable nature of reality that cannot be put off indefinitely. I think you recognize, My son, this is the nitty-gritty, the most gritty part that brings real substance into the mindful and spiritual dimensions. It is one way in which your mind and spirit pay respect to the fact you are involved in time and space. Time is passing. This is what makes eternity real. Otherwise it would be just a mere illusion—as envisioned in some of your metaphysics. You are an economic creature. You have to deal with limitations. You have to overcome the anxiety of sensing these limitations– by acting.

Student: Are You suggesting that I ought to--since my life is in my hands--that I’m the one choosing to live the life I’m choosing to live, that I need to find some way to bring, to accept my potential, and bring it out into the world in one form or another?

NEBADONIA: Exactly! You have to try some of these fantasies to bring them down to earth. Reach into them and separate what is possible and what is not.

Student: Why is it that some people are able to know what they want to do? I mean, some are obvious, like artists and musicians, but then people like ministers who have a calling, or writers who are moved to write… But I have this nebulousness, this scattered-ness about it, this non-focussed-ness—for lack of a better way of saying it.

NEBADONIA: But a writer has to sit down at his typewriter and hit a key. A musician has to pick up that guitar, perhaps in front of a whole audience, and hit a string. And who knows, who else except them and their Father can say what that is costing them? Who knows how much fear they feel right up to that moment—the enormous stage-fright that some of the greatest actors and actresses have confessed they feel even on the hundredth performance? So you may not be so different from them after all.

Student: Do I have a calling?

NEBADONIA: Yes! Student: And that is what I need to discover.

(Contemplation and action)

NEBADONIA: Yes! (much laughter) You discover it by trying things. You have to make it real. Just like you have to make Us real; make the other people in your life real. These are all actions. It would be too much, My son, to say you are drowning in contemplation, because this contemplation is your way of reaching out and feeling around for some substance. But the very power of your mind and your spirit is such that it is possible to get lost in them. What I am pointing out as action is that economic aspect of human reality that is irrevocable. This is almost the definition of the physical realm, and the happenings in it. When one of your beloved flowers dies, or even your day to day work, working in the physical world; these are substantial happenings because they have substance in them, material substance. Similarly, to bring your mental desires and your spiritual longings to earth, you have to manifest them, you have to try them in order to get the experience of what you can do and what you cannot do. Before a minister steps up in front of his congregation, or a musician sits down in front of his audience, think of the hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours of practice that came before. The successful comedians who can stand there with just a microphone and entertain millions, generally started out as the wise kid in grade school, thrilling to entertain his classmates. This realization always puts pressure on you to start now; start trying things—now. Think about what you want to do, and how to get there, as concretely as you can.

Student: I will do so. (heavy sigh) And thank You—for being frank.

NEBADONIA: You are very welcome , My son. Michael and I both salute your courage to look at this nebulousness square in the eye.

Student: You can catch the underlying emotion beneath the surface of my questions.

NEBADONIA: Oh yes. Of course. We appreciate your trust. You are in a very self-generated situation, but that is not to belittle it, or to demean it, or to diminish it in any sense, for this is part of your power, and part of your responsibility—your ability to respond, that makes you one of God’s children. You are forever in My love. Trust this awareness of yours that lets you know you are getting ever more real. As some of your beloved teachings put it: right before enlightenment there is a profound darkness, because this is your personality struggling to find form in the unknown, and learning the only way you can learn, by experience, how much of it you create. Be in My love.

(Time as God’s wisdom)

And so, My sons, we launch out into another year. It is interesting: this is both a somewhat real demarcation you share amongst yourselves—remembering to write a different number at the end of the date on your correspondence; and of course, it is also an artificial construct. For time knows no separations, no demarcations. You can think of it either as a fantastically complex dimension, or many dimensions crisscrossing through a living now. Your very numbering pays great respect to the birth of a Creator Son on your planet. It is a further mark of spiritual respect you have your New Year and Christmas so close together. But you are involved in time, you are encompassed and determined by it. In one sense it is limitless, but its potential for seeming empty or all the same is definition enough of hell. Once again, you must trust in God’s wisdom that He created time such that each existential moment can be, for you, unique and distinct in all eternity. For when you think of it, this is the meaning of soul, this is the meaning of singular experiences by unique beings—singular in all eternity. It comes about for you by being ever more God-like, exercising your free will, reaching towards that greater will that is His, which He yearns to share with you. And so, Father, we thank You most humbly for making time what it is, and reminding us, from time to time, this moment will never come again. Good evening, My children. Be in My love.