Teaching Mission History

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Consisting of 10 Parts

From December 14,1992 Through February25, 1994

Post dated 6/6/93

6/4/93 Thurs. 2pm



 *We are very pleased that you have been busying yourself in supportive activities, enlarging your windows, being able to see the view from a wider range of perspectives. All this, now made possible by modern techniques. We find it delightfully rewarding, that regardless of the stand or position taken on the reality/non-reality of this "teaching mission", each individual, ALL participants are aided in understanding the realities and potentialities inherent in themselves. What a wonderful, unforeseen in this form, opportunity has opened to those who have been gathering and storing experiential knowledge and personal revelation in mind vaults, unopened till recently, some near forgotten.

 *We see these somewhat unexpected happenings, as "side effects" of this "correction time" activity, but truly attributable to the creative minds, high thinking, communication seeking individuals, the "brothers/sisters in the spirit", reaching out to each other, sharing some of their joy, their happiness, their love of life their opinions, misunderstandings, and some of the views along the path they walk. We watch widely diverse opinions being laid out on a user friendly computer table, a sort of "pot luck dinner", where nourishment is assured. Everyone needs not and does not eat everything, yet each brings food for thought, fruit from their efforts, and choice delicacies from their inner garden.

 *This new exchange network, this sharing system will help insure a wider ocean of ideas into which you can dive, swim, snorkel, float, play, enjoy, do most anything save sink. How wonderful! This helpful resource is an effective tool, a new means for digesting difficult concepts, posturing new possibilities, fostering new friendship, and gaining deeper insight and understanding. You now have a growing, world wide, mostly open and accepting family like audience with whom you are able to share your deepest, most intimate spirit experiences, the stirring, the awakenings of soul consciousness.

 *We are most pleased in the direction being taken by nearly all the participants. This form of exchange and sharing of opinions and experiences is one which is extremely fruitful. You will find this same sort of exchange of ideas, concepts and personal revelational experiences prevail all through your local and superuniverse education/evolution.

 *We regard the ACTIVE participation of each individual personality in the computer communication link-up, as being part of the "teaching mission".

 *Though, at this time, they will most likely disagree, none the less, we see them being teachers, in much the same way as Jesus. He taught mostly by questions, by inquiry, he involved himself in their lives, getting to know his earthly brothers and sisters gave him gave him greater understanding, deeper insight into their lives.

 *As they answered his questions, they often found solutions to problems they faced. He was getting to know them, and, they were getting to know themselves. Jesus well knew, the more you get to know someone, their roots, experiences, the ups and downs of their life, the more you are enabled to love that person. What we see happening right before our very senses, through this keyboard communication, via inquiry; you all learn more about each other. Which translates into loving each other more, which translates into spirit growth.

 *This is the main focus, the primary purpose of the TM. Welcome aboard, lovers of growth. You do not necessarily have to believe in the reality of which you may be a part. Witness the majority of the beings on the planet, children of God, each IS part of the family whose future is forever. This reality they don't yet recognize, NONE THE LESS, they are as much a member of the family as any of you or any of us who recognize our relationship. Thank God this is how it is. Continue on with your inquiry into life, your practices eventually lead to perfection.

 *Practice tolerance, practice patience, exercise faith. You will, even in this lifetime, develop spirit skills which you will continue to use through much of your morontia career. We love you, we work with you, share with you, share too in your sharing, and we all grow.*


5 Jun 1993     Thea Hardy       Thanks, Dennis

Subject: Thanks, Dennis In-Reply-To: [9306060312.AA29144@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Aloha, Dennis et al,

 Thank you for the transcript; I found it very interesting. I _have_ taken a firm position on the TM and I am still interested in hearing both sides. I don't feel like I have to maintain a personal neutrality to be desirous of knowing what my brothers and sisters truly think. At least I hope such is not necessary!

 I do believe that what we are doing here on this network is of value from whatever the perspective. Were there no teaching mission, it would be just as valuable to come together and share together as brothers and sisters. There may be those of you who think that believing in and being involved actively in the teaching mission (for those of you who have joined us recently, I am a T/R for group teacher LinEL in Oregon) means that my every thought is colored in a particular way thereby. What it is colored by is that big blue book we all share, only now even more so. And that blue book suggests to me that what we are doing here is definitely something that Michael would like to see us do - learn to know and understand and hopefully come to love one another as he loved us. I am delighted to find that we do not, as he admonished, all have to think alike to come together in brotherhood/sisterhood, and that we really can practice unity not uniformity!


6 Jun 1993     Thea Hardy       Apologies

Subject: Apologies In-Reply-To: [9306060312.AA29144@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Dear ones,

 I rather imagine that the tone of my last message was accurately perceived as somewhat defensive. I apologize for it. I stand by the content, but I don't want to get into that tone if I can manage not to. I don't think I have much to accomplish by argumentation here, and will do what I can in the future to avoid it. I know that I have seen others of you do it, but I don't want to. However, I am human, as you have seen, and I don't mind your knowing that about me, too. I found it baffling, Sara, that you could assess my character without knowing me. I must tell you that it was not particularly accurate and caused some amusement from friends. I am trained in psychology so had some reactions of my own on those grounds, too. But what we know, and how we behave are not always in concert with each other, eh. What I would like to see us _all_ get out of this is that perhaps we can respect each other enough to try to get to know what someone really is like before we sling things hither and yon (except on our Evolving Video Game ... Mission Improbable, is it?! I am actually working on a Title Screen) Perhaps I do not understand protocols, but when I leave a private message for someone, I hope to be answered privately as well. I certainly will grant any of you the same right whenever possible (communications about mix-ups with net mail are another matter; I am speaking of personal messages) Perhaps we can ask each other for clarifications, in public or private, when we find ourselves at odds and perhaps could benefit by knowing more about each other as individuals. Is this unreasonable? Unrealistic (probably)? Ah well.

 With affection and hopes for future pleasant posting,

7 Jun 1993     Byron Belitsos      Video Game Central

Subject: Video Game Central

 This is a message I received recently from a constellation authority. It was mandated that I pass it on to Logondonters:

 Having intervened in many cyberspace realms in this and other local systems for the purpose of inserting harmonizing game culture where discord is sometimes of record, it is now noted that every good online game observed by us on backward planets such as yours needs a name, characters, and a point system adapted to local conditions. We are moving toward approval of a name and characters (characters having been sketched out in a preliminary way by David Kantor), but a point system is now proposed by Video Game Central on constellation headquarters. Note that scope of game has been expanded in order to accommodate all noted online Logondonter behaviors. Proposed now for mortal Logondonter approval:

 100 points for consistently staying under 5k average byte count, mortal frailties being as observed on your dark and wayward planet

 100 points for Logondonter mortal who comes up with a name for your primitive online Logondonters video game that is accepted by all Logondonters in a vote to be held, deadline being June 10 of your planet's time. Proposed names as follows:

 Logondontia Mission Improbable Urantian Chronicles Mission Urgent Urth Revelation Wars: Bookblasters

 Other submissions will be entertained by Video Games Central. These can be sent to us as email messages that are translated by Power Directors into impulses readable on Edentia. We do not use symbols systems like yours but yet we can understand these translations with little "noise", as you say, in the communication.

 Extra 50 points if chosen name of your video game also enters the parlance of UBers who do not enjoy the questionable benefits of your backward technology know as "modems".

 100 points for consistently rising above literal and bibliolater interpretations of the UB, TM, or any other profound text

 50 points for all Logondonters who stop posting arguments on the TM regardless of your position on the TM, thus showing your tolerance of that which you can not fully understand at this time.

 25 points for quietly noting -- but letting it pass with no mention -- that mortal David Kantor misquoted a Teaching Mission text for the second time

 25 points for lovingly pointing out flaws in TM but later quietly realizing you may be missing the point entirely and then give up on posting arguments on the TM but rather turn to other matters of common concern

 25 points for lurking for two weeks but not feeling guilty about it

 25 points for lovingly exposing the follies of a Fellowship or Foundation leader with a witty one-liner that hits the mark and has prophetic overtones

 25 points for posting thoughts about how to improve and streamline the Fellowship or how to better disseminate the Book or its teachings to your desperate planet

 minus 100 for being wind-bag byte-count leader two months in a row

 minus 50 for flaming out often enough that private email is exchanged about you without your knowledge

 minus 50 if you spend so much time on Urantial that it interferes with work or family obligations

 End of message

 Well, that is what I got from Video Game Central. The transmission may be colored by some of my own thoughts and emotions translating themselves into the picture. If anyone receives a transmission with further clarification or amplification, please post it for all to share. Rmember, Video Game Central is leaving our decisions about how we will play this game totally in our hands: it is all a matter of our free will.


7 Jun 1993     Sara L. Blackstock    Thea, let's talk some more

Subject: Thea, let's talk some more

 Subject: Thea, let's talk more

7 Jun 1993     David Kantor      Quick note to Byron

Subject: Quick note to Byron


 It is not my intent to misquote or misrepresent the TM as I believe that the transcripts speak most strongly for themselves. Please let me know what it is that I have apparently misquoted twice.

8 Jun 1993     Dennis Shields      Letter from Sonny Schneider

Subject: Letter from Sonny Schneider

 Dear friends,

 My faith in the validity of the TM is based in part on my total faith in the UB. There are absolute truths that I have come to know as reality over my more than twenty years of intense study of the UB, William Sadler Jr.'s books and lectures, and life in general. If any of these truths had invalidated my personal experiences with the teachers, my faith in the TM would not be strong.

 I know this is a bold announcement to the General Urantial Brotherhood, yet the uniqueness of our position in the evolution of this planet calls for an examination of the need for action. I received no reply from my 5-28-93 posting, calling for a meeting of T.R.'s and friends for a social gather, with a mediation and silent worship on the day off in the middle of the Montreal Conference. Certainly, any open minded UB reader would be interested to talk with as many T.R.'s as possible, to get a clear prospective on the personal experiences of those involved. Plus what a benefit for the T.R.'s to meet and share together. As a place has been made ready where many of us already plan to conference together, why not use the planed day off to have this social gathering? I picture an open grassy meadow in a park, its a sunny day and we are sitting together sharing our spiritual experiences, our love of God, and our desires to serve our Father and His children.

 As a member of the Vancouver, B.C. Study Group in 1979, I was privileged to serve as the Cookie and Tea host to the many groups attending the First International Urantia Conference. I also served as the tour guide on the day off excursion to the highlights of Vancouver. The memory that stands out the most is the visit to the botanical gardens. Many used this time in nature to refresh themselves with mediation and worshipped in small groups. This lasted only a few hours, yet the memory has lasted for life.

 I would appreciate a reply from those interested, and even those who have written the whole TM off as a bunch of crazies, as I believe I have had an amazing amount of this process revealed to me through the nine T.R.'s that are living in my area that I could share.


9 Jun 1993     David H. Larsen    Two personalities indwelling..

Subject: Two personalities indwelling...

 Greetings to all,

 The emerging thread developing between Sara and Thea has caught my eye; I'd like to offer two cents worth. It involves one of those lengthy and divergent stories for which I am well known among my non-Urantial friends.

 One of the modules on my Windows screen-saver program allows a short message to scroll across the screen; usually something prosaic, like "I'm away from my desk right now - please keepa you fingers offa my keyboard!" It has been my habit to use brief quotes from the UB, which I change from time to time as the spirit moves me. Recently, I used the _close your eyes, open the book at random, point your finger, and see what you come up with_ method. When I've done this with the Bible, I usually wind up in the begats, or some similar humble comeuppance. This time however, the results were strikingly relevant, poetically beautiful, most satisfactory as an on-screen message, and coincidentally pertinent Sara, to you question to Thea regarding the TM. Your proposed point of discussion was the idea of "two personalities indwelling one body at the same time: This goes against my understanding of the concepts of personality in the universe."

 My finger landed on page 1279. Here's the quote:

 "In the Supreme Being, Creator and creature are united in one deity, whose will is expressive of one divine personality, and this will of the Supreme is something more than the will of either creature or creator, even as the sovereign will of the Master Son of Nebadon is now something more than a combination of the will of divinity and humanity. The union of Paradise perfection and time-space experience yields a new meaning value on deity levels of reality."

 Now my credentials as a UB scholar do not aspire to the status of others on the list who have been reading for several decades or more, but this paragraph strikes me as more suggestive of mystery and majesty than virtually anything else in Big Blue, which is saying a lot, and I know whereof I speak :-) Having said so, I found the preceding paragraph equally breath-taking. To wit:

 "The will of the Creator and the will of the creature are qualitatively different, but they are also experientially akin, for creature and Creator can collaborate in the achievement of universe perfection. Man can work in liaison with God and thereby co-create an eternal finaliter. God can work even as humanity in the incarnations of his sons, who thereby achieve the supremacy of creature experience."

 Would you agree that these passages seem to address, in some small part, the issue raised by your question? Given the possibilities for mysterious achievement suggested by these paragraphs, I wouldn't think that the outworking of the TM could be regarded as all that problematic.

 Well, who knows. One the one hand, in a posting of several days ago I was so bold and intemperate as to suggest that the TM could be the harbinger of Michael's second arrival on Urantia. On the other hand, it was I who predicted the McGovern landslide of 1972. So as I say, all in the fullness of time. The time may soon come when all of our _is too/is not_ debate will be moot. In the meantime we have refuge and comfort in the majesty and poetic beauty of Big Blue.

 Leo - my admiration is yours! Your armamentaria stuff was plenty funny; you are a subtle fellow. The Sh*t stuff was good too. I guess I'm a Rastafarian.

 In advance of the landing,


9 Jun 1993     leo elliott            interdimensional communication

Subject: interdimensional communication

 June 9, 1993 7am

 Hello Logondonters,

 David Larsen, our minds seem to have been capped by the same (ancient) lid, shall I say, for we seem to run in the same channels, er ruts,...

 I too was struck by Sara's comment on "two personalities in one body" -- perhaps if Sara and Thea don't mind, and we take-it-apart menfolk could interject an observation here and there (remembering, from Byron's definitive gender paper, that "women give birth, men give advice"), I would offer a suggestion that perhaps by broadening the focus of this thread from "What is the nature of the TM or T/R process?" (mentally/psychologically/ and/or spiritually?) and possibly more towards "What is the relation 'interface' between personality and mind?" as we experience it on Urth and presume to be informed _about_ it from various sources, we may perhaps reduce some of the charge that seems to have built up in other approaches.

 My first reaction to Sara's concern "two personalities in one body" was some echo of "Newtonian psychology" -- ??? It seems like one early juncture that these conversations have taken has been that one side goes off to be concerned more about "security" issues ("don't letta you fingas toucha my keyboard" or "keep your hands off my body" or "good spirits never _invade_ the human mind", etc.), tending to view this minded-personality system as a system (defined as something which has an inside and an outside separated by a boundary) which needed more-or-less protection from the hostile "outside" forces ready to invade it. These are certainly understandable concerns given our difficulties in recognizing boundaries in these areas, as well as our historical tendencies to want to build discontinuously compressive systems (brick walls, forts, citadels, etc.).

 Another track follows the notion that boundaries are not hermetic seals but rather permeable membranes, and that those systems which presume to incorporate impregnable "defenses" are sure to fall, for (assumption) "there are no closed systems" outside (Grand/Master) Universe.

 Following this second track leads me to be curious about such "secularly defined" notions as "interdimensional communication" a species of which the religiously-inclined might identify as "revelation" -- communication from the dimension(s) of the divine (infinite, eternal, etc.) to the human. Thus the investigation of the possible "methodologies of permeation" of the human mind/personality boundary with information coming from an allegedly divine dimension compels me to include as much data as possible on these alleged permeations, so many of which happen to fall in the domain of the religious/psychological/paranormal. The Urantia Book offers certain sets of criteria for making these distinctions, as well as reference to certain sets of data, but, for this writer, is neither complete nor definitive in terms of addressing all the data, or in terms of providing universal criteria.

 So falling back to my own experience, I am left to wonder about the interpretive possibilities for developing some meaningful distinctions by using some metaphoric possibilities drawn from our own virtual permeation of each other's "personal space" each day with these postings. When I log on to some distant system, I may or may not be aware of what data/programs are "resident" or "available" on that "distant" machine/body. In point of fact, I may "access" or use this data to further my own research, formulate my own patterns of meaning, etc., assuming I have sufficient familiarity with the local system syntax, and have "permissions" afforded me by the local sysadm.

 Beyond this, I may "import" the data "physically" into my own machine, or simply avail myself of what I want to know, leaving the data/programs to "reside" "physically" on this distant system. The metaphoric complexities come into play when I wish to describe how I would choose to describe my use of these distant systems -- can I say, for example, that when I am logged onto this distant system, using it's data/programs "as if it were my own", that this distant system may have multiple users on one host/body? Or when I "load" some of the distant system's data/programs onto my own host, is this "using" different than the "using" where I leave the data/programs on the distant system?

 The boundary distinctions between user/host, client/server, mind/body, hardware/software, data/programs begin to blur, to say the least. If we agree that personality, as it is presented in the taxonomy of the UB, is unique and a gift from Deity, and that mind is less-than-unique, and is manifest systemically throughout the universe, then it occurs to me that we have many options for describing interdimensional communication utilizing minded-personality systems which do indeed involve the passage of information from one dimension permeating a boundary into another, without necessarily involving any abrogation of "the sanctity of personality."

 It would seem to be a function of the prior disposition of the investigator as to which, among many more, of these tracks s/he chooses to pursue.

 Random, abstract associations from one who feels privileged to witness Sara's and Thea's most accommodative sharing of/investigation into their most personal of processes, Sara's with FOG and Thea's with her T/R ing, respectively.

 With curiosity bounded only by respect,

9 Jun 1993     Thea Hardy       Two personalities in one body.

Subject: Two personalities in one body...NOT! In-Reply-To: [9306091253.AA21598@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi gang,

 Must be brief... one client changed mind and wants 30 sec spot after I completed soundtrack for 60 sec spot, other client wants complete business papers with logo, not just business cards, so must fly, but will leave a few comments until can get back...

 I do not believe two personalities indwelling one body is what happens in this experience of T/Ring, tho I suppose technically it might be possible if the deranged midwayers were once able to invade. Still, they may have done it more by mind contact than actual indwelling of shared space. My experience of this had not occasioned any feeling of not being sure who I am; I did not really understand that reaction. Others I know who T/R have not had that sensation either, tho that hardly rules out everyone! I have a lot to say on this, but just don't have the time for the moment, and I find that really frustrating! Please, everyone else, feel free as far as I am concerned to carry on with any discussion around this you like. To me, this forum is for stimulating each others reactions anyway, so the more the merrier! I am available for any questions, too.

 Sonny, aloha! I didn't respond to your message only because I am not going to the conference, not because I didn't think it was a good idea for T/Rs to get together. We have T/R meetings periodically in the Willamette Valley here in western Oregon and also T/R practice meetings in our local group. It is very useful. I would love to meet you and other T/Rs I do not know in person, but finances do not permit a sojourn to Canada. My best to you.

 Leo, lots of comments I want to make to you - some on astronomy, others... well, I just hope I remember them all!

 Others, you too!

10 Jun 1993    Sara L. Blackstock    two personalities/one body, co

Subject: two personalities/one body, cont. from Sara

 Thea - thank you for being open to further discussion. I look forward to the continued examination of the 4 or 5 points which are troublesome to me regarding the TM phenonema. It seems that most TMers do NOT want to discuss these issues and make repeated general calls for tolerance, discouraging discussion of the problematic areas or areas lacking in understanding. It is my conviction that we can discuss these differences with not only tolerance but with increased appreciation of each other's experiences and understandings, but it is tricky because we are emotional creatures with a lot invested in our own experiences and personal opinions. AFter I feel that views have been expressed regarding the "two personalities" issues, I would find it informative and growth producing if I could get some discussion on the other 4 bothersome points regarding the TM. I don't want to confuse the issue right now by going into them.

 Gini, Thank you for your personal sharing. It really is curious, isn't it? The "we's", the feeling that there are other personalities interacting with our own? We are all "channels". I believe that we all have access to the ultimate teachers of the universe through the Thought Adjuster, the Spirit of Truth, and our angels. There is much more to share and say about this realm - it is most fascinating and I encourage us to share and explore as we continue along in the forum. I have to run off for a weekend of fun with my mother and nieces for Carmel, but I do want to share with you more of my understandings about the phenomena you and I have experienced with the "we's" and "they's". Carl Jung had some interesting things to say about in his depth psychology, and how complexes and archetypes "talk" to us and they sometimes "talk" differently to men than to women through the anima and the animus. It is a theory, but one that may be helpful for further discussion. I hope that Thea can add more to the psychological understanding of this phenomena. Until later. Keep unified. Read on for a couple of good quotes.

 David L. - I am indeed enjoying your open exploration of topics and found the quotes you posted on the unity of the Creator and the creature in one deity - the Supreme Being - to be pertinent, for it does seem that not only do we have two personalities coming together into one unified whole, but aren't we all joining in this process as together we create this unified deity? This does seems very different than the simpler concept of two distinct personalities in one body. Even the angels do not "invade the sanctity of our minds" You are right, that the reality of the Supreme does suggest mystery and majesty beyond our wildest dreams, and we get to contribute to this mystery with everything we do as we attempt to live our lives in truth, beauty, and goodness, and love. But whether or not talking to another personality while our own is put to the side is within this same realm, I don't know. More?

 Leo, You and others here stretch my conceptual abilities far beyond what I normally engage in, and I am increasingly enriched by your reaches into greater understandings and the grounding of abstractions of truth . I feel I am out of my arena, nonetheless I will forge ahead with my little tidbits of understanding and leave it to some of the rest of you to synthesize into more comoplex patterns of harmonious understanding. I find I can almost grasp the concept of "permeation", and it really makes sense to me, for I do understand that boundaries are permeable membranes. So to set up boundaries around our own minds, concepts and experiences and end it there would indeed be limiting; thus we should continue to allow for permeation of these boundaries, personal and otherwise. It takes a bit of willingness to be vulnerable and let go of one's ego attachment to pet theories, and personas. I guess life is partially the process of doing this. This is why I would never claim to be 100% sure of my evaluation of my own experiences with messages, but using all my logic and understanding and seeking of the last 7 years since WWIII in FOG, what I have been expressing over the last several months is where I am in my evaluation. A long way to say that I understand that mind is not limited by boundaries and that there is a constant interface with other personalities and spirit entities of the universe. My issue is with the claim to be able to be [conscious] of and [differentiating] between these personalities and entities. Read on: "With the advancing evolution of an inhabited planet and the further spiritualization of its inhabitants, additional spiritual influences may be received by such mature personalities. As mortals progress in mind control and spirit perception, these multiple spirit ministries become more and more co-ordinate in function; they become increasingly blended with the over-ministry of the Paradise Trinity. " Although Divinity may be plural in manifestation, in human experience Deity is singular, always one. Neither is spiritual ministry plural in human experience. Regardless of plurality of origin, all spirit influences are one in function. Indeed they are one, being the spirit ministry of God the Sevenfold in and to the creatures of the grand universe; and as creatures grow in appreciation of, and receptivity for, this unifying ministry of the spirit, it becomes in their experience the ministry of God the Supreme." (380) If I am understanding this correctly, Deity manifestation in human experience is always singular, always one. Doesn't it seem inconsistent, yea, even on the wrong track, for humans to be able to say that s/he is communicating with Melchizedek, or Aflana, or any of the other "divine", superhuman, teachers? This is my reading, but if I am wrong, (and I know my understandings are limited) I am very open to further discussion on this point, for I think that it deals DIRECTLY with the discussion re two personalities, with at least one of them claiming superhumanness, and a separate name, communicating in one body. We could, however be talking to or with our alter egos, or archetypes without any inconsistencies. Have you ever seen your child talk with a "friend". I see little difference. They give their friend a name and proceed to communicate on a very deep level about all kinds of issues in their lives. It makes sense to me that this is what could be happening in the TM - we have experienced setting up a spiritual alter ego friend, or friends. There is nothing wrong with this and it seems to be a healthy and beneficial experience if we recognize it for what it could be other than the actual communication with other REAL personalities. Please let me know if you or others here see my understanding skewed, for I base quite a bit of my own evaluations re my past experiences with "messages" upon the above.

10 Jun 1993    leo elliott            Channel Checking

Subject: Channel Checking

 June 10, 1993 -- 2PM

 Hello Sara-off-shopping,

 100 pts. for effective use of Quoton Torpedoes!

 "I understand that mind is not limited by boundaries and that there is a constant [but far from consistent!] interface with other personalities and spirit entities of the universe."

 "My issue is with the claim to be able to be [conscious] of and [differentiating] between these personalities and entities."

 When I first began to consider the TM as a species of interdimensional communication, I came across a quote from Terrence McKenna, talking of the "chattering universe" just a quantum (or a good dose of psylocibin) away. This description seemed fairly accurate to my own experience. As I tried to model what I thought might conceivably be going on with the TM, or with all the types of channeling that have gone on since humans have had religious/spiritual experiences, the notion of tuning into a (baseball) game or games being continuously broadcast from a variety of sources on a hot summer's night came to mind -- mind you, the receiver I was imagining was the old tube model we used to have in the basement, with one game/station/channel coming in very clearly for a pitch, a play, an inning, and then fading out, intermittent reception, or gone entirely, at which point we would move the dial and try to pick up another game.

 The specific claims of specific Teaching Mission T/R's to be speaking for Melchizedek or some other personality are of course as impossible of verification as some non-TM channeler who claims to be speaking for Jeroam or whoever; and maybe, if these voices, as yours seem to have done in 1985, start telling you to do things with guns and money, they will lead you down a dead-end track, or into a bomb-shelter, or, so some would posit, over a cliff.

 However, I wonder sometimes, if there _are_ all these wonderful and compassionate and caring and concerned spiritual ministers out there that all the world's religions say are there, in one form are another, and they really are out for our benefit, if we may not be missing something in our frustration to keep score on the scratchy, channeled receptions we have picked up to date, including the TM -- maybe this really is the game from Cleveland, and the Indians are closing in on a pennant -- but I wonder, in light of Bucky's money-honeybee principle, if maybe our hunger to "know the spiritual score" -- to be able to know _for sure_ is this Melchizedek or Aflana or Philemon, to be able to distinguish _clearly_ between "Deity" and "Divinity", to be able to thoroughly expound upon the differences between the "ministry of God the Sevenfold" as distinct from the "ministry of God the Supreme" -- I wont say that being able to make these distinctions may not be highly valuable to me someday Sara, but for now, in my life on this planet, in the work on this status sphere on which I am now involved, I will give priority any day to _almost_ any experience which promotes a reflective, and stilling, "group listening" -- amidst all the noise and cacophony, this seems most worthwhile. It's not something we seem to do too well naturally, and one which we can use all the practice in we can get -- yea Quakers!

 So while we're all here trying to prescribe or proscribe the "reality" of the TM or the "evils" of channeling, it _may_ be that this is all some clever ruse devised by our unseen friends to give us yet another opportunity to come together "in his name," to learn the value of "shared listening" in an age of numenius noise. Maybe the first ear-steps toward this elusive "teamwork" we're supposedly here to learn?

11 Jun 1993    Dennis Shields      NO ONE GETS TOO OLD TO LEARN A


 Aloha all ye who log on here

 Phil I must admit I like your fuzzy approach. Do you mean that if fuzzy logic works for camcorders it ll work for cosmology?

 Seriously I m all in favor of the Urantia cosmological paradigm proving accurate. I m not of the *Strang* bent that is I m not a literalist but why would the Revelators write in such plain matter of fact terms if they did not intend for us to avoid becoming prisoners of our own revelation. The die has been cast for us to be free, to earn our own knowledge, if this means shifting the dominate paradigm then so be it. Along the same thread of thought I very much applaud Leo's posting on past scientific estimates of the size of the galaxy being too small than current information would allow. Very good, however there is still very large discrepancies between the Urantia universe concept frame and the earned knowledge concept frame, It is fascinating to contemplate just what are the errors on the face of the cosmology what is the degree of error.

 The book says there are twelve planets in the solar system we have found ten if you include the asteroid belt as being the graveyard of one of the ten.

 Does calcium really follow the rules of the *Hitchhikers Guide* in solar bunny hopping?

 The presence of the heavier elements on our planet according to modern science indicates the condensation of matter from the remnants of supernova explosions, this is a different source of heavier elements than the book credits.

 The infamous 3 degree blackbody radiation emanating from all directions, science explains this as the echo of the big bang. Is a Urantia extrapolation in explanation that this is the electromagnetic hangover of the quarantine associated with the Lucifer rebellion?

 Is our local cluster of galaxies really the superuniverse Orvonton? and therefore the errors on the face of the cosmology are ones of presenting us with too small an universe as depicted in the book compared with the large universe which we will earn knowledge about?

 Phil I really don't posses the math skill to remove the Hubble constant from the calculation of the positioning of the near by galaxies. Is this do able? Because of distance estimates not being based on the parallax method and the Hubble constant being fundamental to these distance calculations is there such a void in our ability to calculate with out the Hubble constant that the entire mathematical framework would be rendered too incomplete to calculate any distances?

 If the Hubble constant were used to as the expansive rate of space respiration would it be possible by reverse extrapolation to calculate the relative location of paradise or to differentiate between outer space levels?

 Gosh aint this fun we have so much to discover.

 On a different train of thought wow has the level of manners relative to the TM elevated since Thea has brought her perspective to the Urantial group. I very much appreciate the *dialog* between Thea and Sara. This is exactly what I have hoped to witness in this group in regard to discussions of the TM. Thank you to both of you *sistas*, please more! No be shy. And that which you truly believe needs no apology.

 On the other hand My friend Sonny has recently posted his sincere invite to have any TMers who are going to IC93, gather privately separately outside of any planed activity in an open time slot. This brought about what seems to me a strange response. Were David Kantor to stage a drive by shoot um up or Sara and Bob to offer the availability of some padded room this is all in good fun and to be expected in an open forum such as Urantial. But rather than that two private postings were the only response. The authors shall for the purposes of this posting remain anonymous, other than to say they were male advocates of the TM. They both wrote to caution Sonny not to upset those on the executive committee, cautioning for Sonny to in effect hide his candle under a bushel.

 It is my understanding that the IC93 conference is of Urantia Book readers by Urantia Book readers and for Urantia book readers. The advocates of the TM say that the TM calls the UB *the text or the textbook*. Therefore the attendees of IC93 wither TMers or not have much more in common than not. I would hope that the spirit of tolerance that would allow a Meredith Sprunger to sit in brotherhood next to a Jim Kimmel while the latter smoked a joint the size of Pittsburgh, I would hope that that tolerance has not perished from our movement. And ye TMers of little faith and private e-mail where are the Simon Peters and the Saul Pauls among you? If you *truly* believe this TM then for Christ sake go tell it on the mountain. Where is your intestinal fortitude? your guts? your balls? Do you come from the fount of spirit led sons of God or do you come from Wimps R Us? Surely the women lead the way in the TM. Women such as Thea or Patije have so far shown far more courage in coming out and exposing this event in there lives and standing up for it than these men who timidly caution in private e-mail against offending the supposed organizational leadership of the Urantia movement which imo has left the ship of the revelation adrift since 1983.


12 Jun 1993    Michael Million     Misc Matters: Race, Privacy an

Subject: Misc Matters: Race, Privacy and Networks If I may interject a comment into Sara B. and Thea H.'s discussion about the nature of 'contact' and the 'two personalities in one body' theme. I am at a loss, as I was in trying to express this matter to David K., as to why the reality of mind encircuitment is not considered by those who deny the TM claims when they offer non-UB explanations for the purported celestial communications. I seriously doubt that our elders in the spiritual and morontial realms find it necessary to use surface mail or even e-mail when attempting to communicate with each other across a physical distance. To my reading, these topics were not revealed to us in the UB, _except_ for explanations of spirit and mind encircuitments. We retain our individual identities here and in later cycles of life even though the mind and spirit of each of us is at one in the master network. I see our electronic network somewhat analogous to the mind- spirit circuits; once we are conscious of the networks existence and function, and know the protocol, the syntax, and gateway, we are able to learn our way around - expand our connectivity - with greater and greater ease. Are we serious about explanations which assume two beings in one vehicle? The UB is full of implications about the internal connectedness between all of us - and moreover - we are told in very clear terms that a distinquishing characteristic of personality is that it has the inherent capability of distinguishing other personalities!

 Sonny Schneider, I appreciated your suggestion about T/R's getting together in IC93, but as I will not be able to attend, I said nothing. And to address a more general point, there is so much 'good stuff' expressed on urantial that I have not found the time to respond to most of it...but that does not mean I don't appreciate and enjoy it greatly. Please don't take _my_ silence as disinterest - were I any more absorbed by the UB and Urantial I would be considered socially and economically dysfunctional.

12 Jun 1993    David H. Larsen    Bits & Pieces

Subject: Bits & Pieces

 To Sara & Thea - Further thoughts on the question at hand; two spirits indwelling one body. No doubt, a major part of the anxiety surrounding this question is the traditional close association between the hearing of voices, and psychosis. Even the somewhat benign example given, that of the childhood imaginary friend, is now demonstrated by research to be trauma-based. It is the victim of child abuse/neglect who typically creates the imaginary rescuing super-hero; the fairy god-mother comes to the rescue of Cinderella after the cruel step-sisters tear her gown to shreds, while the step-mother stands aside and does nothing. The recent discovery of multiple-personality disorder was found by research to have its basis in the protective mechanism employed by victims of severe physical and sexual abuse, to protect the core personality through dissociation. And of course, the hearing of voices, often driving the patient suffering from schizophrenia to commit destructive acts. Some reachers are now looking at the early life experiences of those who claim to be experiencing UFO abduction, with the hypothesis that the abduction experience may be screen memory for events of traumatic abuse. It is therefore no wonder that those who are, or who believe themselves to be experiencing channeled communication from celestial beings, might fear for their own mental health, or at least fear that others would be motivated to question their sanity.

 On the other hand, what married couple has not experienced the sharing of thoughts in ways which seem uncanny. Any number of times, an odd thought has popped into my head, only to be spoken of by my wife moments later. About ten years ago, my wife and I were planning a trip to Colorado; I decided that it would be an opportunity to visit a friend that I had neither spoken to or corresponded with for as least two years. I picked up the phone to call him...no dial tone..."that's funny" says I..."David?" says he. In other words, this friend who I hadn't spoken to for two years, called me at the same exact time that I decided to call him. So exactly in fact, that I picked up the phone before it rang. And in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not nuts.

 In the wild, we have the example of marine mammals, whose communication, while it does depend on sound waves at the sending end, depends on a specialized organ (I believed its called the melon, at least in dolphins, where it is located in the region of the forehead), at the receiving end. Maybe that's a bad example, but the point is, that there is much we don't know, even on Urantia, about the sending and receiving of communication, especially on an inter-species basis. So as to what we know and what we don't, who's to say?

 I can perhaps appreciate that for those of you who participated in the FOG experience, once burned is twice shy. I wasn't there and don't know, so I can only emphasize. I cannot accept however that the TM experience is any less valid for the FOG experience having gone south. As several have said, by their fruits shall ye know them. Except for the Sedona opportunists, it seems to me that the fruits of the TM have been bountiful and spirit-driven.

 Mind you, this point of view comes from one who finds the inside of his head quite barren of celestial echoes. I listen carefully for any stirrings within, but so far, all I've heard are old Taco Bell jingles...he got off the bus at the border when up stepped the woman with the rose tattoo. She offered him a ride and when he got inside she offered him something new...

 Singing a harvest song,


12 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Short bytes

Subject: Short bytes In-Reply-To: [9306130354.AA13255@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Here are a few comments in brief (ou don't know just how brief!) Much of modern psychology is pretty unilluminating in comparison to what can be gleaned from the UB. Certainly most personality theory is largely bunk. I believe in the UB personality theory. To my mind that would make it pretty much impossible for two personalities to inhabit/ indwell the same mortal body. I don't think that is what is happening here and in 8-9 months of receiving, I have not experienced confusion about who _I_ am, although I may have had some confusion about what this _phenomenon_ is. I don't perceive it as anything like someone else in my body, sharing my skin and territory. I perceive it as someone else talking to me. Without wanting to seem particularly grandiose, we have seen precedent for this on Urantia before, as several have mentioned. What I mean is that _technically_ this is not an impossible thing. Whether that is happening or not is another question. But messages from them to us are not all that startlingly bizarre from a technical standpoint.

 I believe that a single personality is possessed by each of us humans but whether naturally, or by virtue of rebellion-caused lack of upstep, our brains (not necessarily minds) develop in such a way as to comparmentalize our experience, more or less, depending on the individual and their experiences. (I even have theories of how that developmental process is implemented via neuropeptides, but that is another subject and can get me into byte-trouble real fast.) The personality reaches out to unify, but our minds are most often found in brain structures that are not, in point of fact unified, which is why I think the UB talks about the importance of personality unification. What this compartmentalization (as I call this experiential continuum of which so-called multiple personality is one extreme) does is many-fold. It can protect us from trauma that we could not cope with emotionally otherwise - it lets us survive abuse and concentration camps, albeit not in good shape. It lets us become so focused on activity that we neglect and abandon our families. It has a lot of different functions - good on some levels and bad on others. And I think it is a source of some of the voices that people hear within. This is where one of the problems I am sometimes concerned about re the TM comes in. Voices that say, "You are being ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself, you are a bad person" do occur in quite a variety of people's minds. If we don't teach any distinction, the reactions to trying to listen to inner voices can range from hilarity to dismay and even dissociation. One of the reasons I am so aware of the difference in this phenomenon for me (and I can only speak for me) is that I am quite familiar with a wide variety of internal voices and was for some period of time (though few of them addressed me as "you" and none of them as "we" and were even less likely to say "we love you"!) as I went through a process of personal healing. This is hardly an unusual phenomenon. Those voices are not exactly like "hearing" voices any more than the TM voices are. More like thoughts. And that is what drove me nuts at first and why I struggled and wrestled so with what was happening. I had lived 47 years without ever having had this particular kind of thoughts. They were so loving towards me that I was frankly embarrassed and overcome with feelings of lack of being worthy. But what I could not deny was that something different was happening to me, and it was also happening to other people that I had known and trusted for a long time. It was evident that _some_thing was going on. So I had to try to decide what it was.

 At this point, I will tell you the very least of what I think it is. These messages or whatever you will are unlikely to be coming from any Caligastian type plot. I just cannot believe that the people involved are likely to all have consciously sought his presence or that of his minions, and I also find it hard to fathom that they will continually encourage us to spend time in communion with the Father - that such is the most important thing that we do - considering Caligastians can be presumed to not even believe in the Father. I do not see the likelihood of these messages coming from the subconscious. I have a lot of experience with those "messages" and they are anything but uniformly positive. If this is purely an internal mind phenomenon, and I cannot fully prove that it is not, I believe that at the least it is from our superconscious - that part that is in contact with the Father, with spiritual sources. So at the worst, you have a large collection of people sitting around sharing what is the very best in them from the highest part of them and inspiring each other to more actively seek their thought adjusters and to more actively be aware of their relationship with Michael and to more fully live the life that he has asked us to live, a life of truly loving one another. It is hard to believe that such activities fall outside the will of the Father. So at the least, I see it as one of the best things that we Urantians have ever found to come together and try to live actively and openly, without excessive organizational constraints and too many individual egos the teachings of Jesus.

 To those who might argue that is fine, what about the messages concerning the end of the rebellion etc. The book itself says that such things as Machiventa's return (and thereby the adjudication's completion) are considered by at least one author of the book to be expected any moment. So we cannot argue, if we believe the UB, that such is absolutely impossible. Beyond that, it is a faith venture, as any spiritual growth involves. But according to the UB, none of this appears to me to be technically or philosophically impossible.

 Well, that may not have seemed brief, but believe me, it was! It should be enough to get us started off on a number of tangents. Sara, the more specific questions you have the better I can do my best to address them, to the best of my ability. There are likely others more educated along these lines than myself. I can only bring my own combination of experience, understanding and knowledge, but I will do my best. Thank you for your questful spirit. That is certainly something we share.

 Love to you all, virtual siblings!!


13 Jun 1993    David H. Larsen    Avoidance of work

Subject: Avoidance of work

 Thea - >These messages or whatever you will are unlikely to be coming from any >Caligastian type plot. I just cannot believe that the people involved >are likely to all have consciously sought his presence or that of his >minions, and I also find it hard to fathom that they will continually >encourage us to spend time in communion with the Father.


 I agree, and used fv_ub to produce the following quote from the UB; Page 1714:

 Then said Jesus: "How can Satan cast out Satan? A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; if a house be divided against itself, it is soon brought to desolation. Can a city withstand a siege if it is not united? If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? But you should know that no one can enter into the house of a strong man and despoil his goods except he first overpower and bind that strong man. And so, if I by the power of Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I, by the spirit of God, cast out devils, then has the kingdom of God truly come upon you. If you were not blinded by prejudice and misled by fear and pride, you would easily perceive that one who is greater then devils stands in your midst. You compel me to declare that he who is not with me is against me, while he who gathers not with me scatters abroad. Let me utter a solemn warning to you who would presume, with your eyes open and with premeditated malice, knowingly to ascribe the works of God to the doings of devils! Verily, verily, I say to you, all your sins shall be forgiven, even all of your blasphemies, but whosover shall blaspheme against God with deliberation and wicked intention shall never obtain forgiveness. Since such persistent workers of iniquity will never seek nor receive forgiveness, they are guilty of the sin of eternally rejecting divine forgiveness."

 As you will recall, this response was given to a group of scribes and pharisees, who attributed Christ's healing power to his association with Satan. Since I've gone this far in avoiding my chores, I may as well transcribe the second quote located by fv_ub; from page 2085.

 Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity. The true church -- the Jesus brotherhood -- is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by _unity,_ not necessarily by _uniformity._ Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a _living organism_ in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them.

 Hmmm...the folks at 533 may be at least partially correct; there are definitely _some_ people in the world who are not ready for the UB :-)

 Things to do; love to all.

13 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Responses

Subject: Responses

 Michael, you also state:

 >I am at a loss....as to why the reality of mind encircuitment is >not considered by those who deny the TM claims when they offer >non-UB explanations for the purported celestial communications...

 I attempted to engage you on this issue some weeks ago and posed a question about the operation of mind which you said you would address, but to which I have yet to see a response. I don't still have the posts, but you had made a comment which led me to think you maintained a somewhat pantheistic view which I thought conflicted with the UB view. In your statement above, you refer to "the reality of mind encircuitment" but from the rest of your statement I can see that you have a substantially different idea of what this means than I do.

 I do not see mortal mind as an existential reality which we somehow tap into and utilize. Mind, as I know it, only functions when a specific integration of adjutant mind spirit ministry occurs at a focal point consisting of organically based receptivity in a mechanism designed by the Life Carriers. It is a functionally and ontologically discrete reality in each organic instantiation. This is the reality of mortal mind. We are given an arena in which to learn something about consciousness before we are allowed to participate in a civilization in which there is a lot more sharing of the mind space.

 In human life, we have the domain of morality in which our actions and thoughts impact on those of others, and we are told in the UB that this domain is the foundation of our spiritual life. This is the domain to which all of Jesus' teachings relate. This is the domain from which the Kingdom of Heaven emerges.

 I would maintain that the TM advocates base their major philosophical rationalizations on an erroneous interpretation of what is meant by "mind encircuitment." You say again that;

 >the mind and spirit of each of us is at one in the master >network...

 and I say that this statement represents an error -- upon what do you base such an assertion? We are *not* at one in the master network -- we are individuals and not only retain our individuality throughout our universe career, but that individuality grows in both meaning and value to the point where, as we approach Paradise, we have the opportunity to attempt trinitization, the creation of a new universe citizen which embodies some of the uniqueness which we have developed over the course of our ascension career. Even during the Paradise sojourn, we are so sharply individuated that we actually become *values* in the civilization at the center of all things (contemplate being a value in a city whose foundations are truth and righteousness...). These concepts of "at-oneness" with a pantheistically structured cosmos all have their origin in ancient religious systems from the orient; they have no counterpart which has been expressed, as far as I have been able to tell, in any of the epochal revelations, whose religious cosmologies have all been projected from a trinitarian foundation.

 What do you mean by the term "the spirit of each of us?" To what reality do you refer with this term? Certainly our souls are individual entities, and even our adjusters are individuated fragments of the Father, each unique. Likewise, our minds are individuated focalizations of adjutant mind spirit activity. Again, I see in your writing a concept of mind and spirit which is commonly held in many "New Age" systems of cosmology, but which doesn't fit with what I find in the UB -- perhaps you could clarify your meaning for me and show me the specific passages upon which you have constructed your beliefs.


14 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Just a few bytes before bedtim

Subject: Just a few bytes before bedtime In-Reply-To: [9306140512.AA00237@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi, logons,

 Davids K & L... not created equal in endowments but equal in spiritual status/ value?

 Peg, yes, what would a dusty miller be without dust? Boring. I love dusty miller, grew up with it in Idaho. As two two types of people, we know which one you are, eh! :)

 Perhaps this quote would be of interest to you, Michael M. and David K., re mind circuitry in the universe and its uses by individuals, from the paper Dawn Races of Early Man, about Andon and Fanta and the results of their attainment of the spirit of wisdom:


 There was an immediate and new order of mobilization of the seven adjutant mind-spirits. We were alive with expectation; we realized that the long-waited-for hour was approaching; we knew we were upon the threshold of the realization of our pretracted effort to evolve will creatures on Urantia.


 We did not have to wait long. At noon, the day after the runaway of the twins, there occurred the initial test flash of the universe circuit signals at the planetary reception-focus of Urantia. We were, of course, all astir with the realization that a great event was impending... It was an eventful day on Urantia when our small group gathered about the planetary pole of space communication and received the first message from Salvington over the newly established mind circuit of the planet. And this first message, dictated by the chief of the archangel corps, said: "To the Life Carriers on Urantia -- Greetings! We transmit assurance of great pleasure on Salvington, Edentia, and Jerusem in honor of the registration on the headquarters of Nebadon of the signal of the existence on Urantia of mind of will dignity. The purposeful decision of the twins to flee northward and segregate their offspring from their inferior ancestors has been noted. This is the first decision of mind - the human type of mind - on Urantia and automatically establishes the circuit of communication over which this initial message of acknowledgment is transmitting."

 Personally, I find this an interesting and provocative quote - one of many that talk about mind circuitry. Established by the development of human will type of mind on this planet, it was utilized by other types of individuals for the purpose of communicating messages. It seems unlikely that since human type of mind was integral in the establishment of this circuitry it would for some reason be absent from that very circuitry that it established?!! Well, something to chew over, anyway, eh?

14 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Response to Dave Elders

Subject: Response to Dave Elders

 Hello Logondonters....

 I am aware that the following bit of personal correspondence is getting into general circulation, so I am posting it here for your consideration, comments and general ideational assault.

 David Kantor


  May 10, 1993

 Mr. David Elders 143 Five Mile River Road Darien, CT 06820

 Dear Dave;

 Thank you for your letter of April 29, 1993 and for your kind words regarding my recent paper. I hope the views contained therein are helpful.

 This is proving to be a strange journey, isn't it? How very difficult is this quest, this reach for wisdom in which we attempt to engage. And with our knowledge and understanding always partial and incomplete!

 I too, have given a lot of thought to the same questions which you pose in your letter. I trust that you will bear in mind that anything I say here is simply my own view; there were many people involved in the Clayton episode who may have different views, just as there are many people who have differing views on how the Fellowship, as a social organization, should respond to such incidents. I think you have raised some very important issues, so I will be as frank and thorough as I can in addressing them.

 My assumption about the Fellowship in my comments below will be based on the idea that the purpose of the Fellowship is to foster the study of The Urantia Book as well as the development of a social group which represents a responsible, viable effort to integrate and develop the moral, intellectual, philosophical and spiritual precepts and implications of the book within the lives of its members.

 I should also say that I view the "teaching mission" as an emergence within the readership of a group of individuals whose approach to religion is a version of item 1 in the list found in paragraph 5 of page 1090. There is an interesting term used in the Jesus papers in the story of the training camp at Bethsaida. On page 1657, the midwayers use the term "curiosity devotees" as contrasted with "truth seekers" to describe many of the people who passed through the camp, and I think that is an apt term to describe many of the adherents of the "teaching mission."

 I felt that there were two questions posed by your letter.

 1. Is it better to take some action to separate the "teaching mission" claims from the position which members of the Fellowship more generally hold or should this phenomena be allowed to run its course?

 2. Did actions taken by the body of readers in response to the Clayton episode hasten or extend the outworking of the process?

 Let me address your second question first because it's much easier. For those of us who were committed to the FOG viewpoint, I don't think much of anything could have stopped us other than what we were finally able to do to stop ourselves. Our attention was directed at following the instructions in our "messages" and those "messages" were deemed to be from such a high source that what other mere humans thought was irrelevant. Our group had already gone through the process of changing our psychological image of readers on the "outside" to be well-intentioned but ignorant of the "true" facts, thus enabling us to completely discount any criticism. I suspect this would occur with any other such group including the proponents of the "teaching mission."

 As I recall, I did not care at all what outsiders thought -- I was committed to a path of action and I intended to follow it through to its natural conclusion. As a matter of fact, every act of tolerance and acceptance on the part of those outside our group was taken as reinforcement and confirmation of the validity of our position.

 My real concern, vis-a-vis organizations of readers, was the potential confusion which might develop within those groups. I was not pleased to see our choices cause confusion and disruption elsewhere, and I think it was very important that the official organizations distanced themselves from us. You were able to do so with integrity by not polarizing the movement with harsh attacks on individuals. There is such an important difference between clearly stating one's position as opposed to assaulting someone else's.

 One must also consider the effect which your actions had on those readers who had not taken a position; were you able to minimize the damage by the position you took? I think it is very helpful if views are well-defined enough so that people can identify with them, enabling individuals to have conceptual reference points in the midst of flux and confusion. What is leadership if it is not a clear articulation of the meaning of the present moment and a vision of the future which serves to keep people organized and directed?

 Take a look at page 1087 where we read that religion must make "clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival." Note the use of the terms clear-cut and vigorous. Consider this in the context of the top paragraph on page 1091 where the terms "conservator of morals" and "stabilizer of society" are used. These two quotes taken together challenge us to avoid confusing "conservative" with "passive."

 To answer your question, "How should we proceed today?" I would have to offer that, as a minimum, a clear position should be articulated, and this brings us to a confrontation with what I see as perhaps the biggest contributor to the present set of problems -- our reluctance to define positions out of fear of creating restricting dogmas or appearing authoritarian. I think this is a BIG issue, Dave, and is at the heart of many of the difficulties which we, as a body of readers, face today.

 Let's keep this in mind as we begin to consider your first question regarding whether or not action should be taken to separate the claims of fringe groups from that which is more generally held to be true by the greater body of readers (bearing in mind that no matter what you do, you are taking action.)

 As you probably well know, in theological studies, "doctrines" are considered simply to be a generally accepted set of meanings, subject to debate and change, but nevertheless well articulated enough so that it helps people understand some basic tenets of their religion. I would equate this with what the book refers to as "moral mandates and spiritual precepts." This is contrasted with "dogma" which carries connotations of authoritative teachings, the development of which The Urantia Book quite clearly discourages.

 The demographics of the readership seem to be expanding to include more and more individuals who are not predisposed to do a serious study, may be lacking in educational resources, or may have social and psychological needs which dominate their spiritual strivings. In the absence of clearly articulated doctrines, these individuals and groups will create their own in order to make it possible for them to access the spiritual sustenance provided via the book.

 Our concerns today are in many ways similar to those of the early Christian church. Once the last of the apostles died, there began to appear all sorts of additional writings, individuals claiming to be messiahs, people getting messages -- it's all there! Look up "Montanism," a movement which started around 170 A.D. based on supposed "messages" which a Christian named Montanus was getting. This movement seriously disrupted the early Christian community for a couple of generations, and this is only one example of many similar cases.

 Paul appears to have attempted to integrate as much as possible from the diverse cultural milieu of the times into his version of the gospel, but by the fourth century, the believers were forced to come together and attempt to figure out what was a valid part of their religion and what was not.

 You will recall the councils which were held and the heated discussions about which texts were valid, who Jesus really was, what practices should be a common part of the religion, etc. So many secondary movements had been spawned within the fringes of the primary group, that believers were forced to clearly define the parameters of their beliefs -- they were forced by circumstance to formulate creeds and doctrines just to be able to survive as a community and rise above the confusion which had spread as a result of all these secondary movements.

 It is also interesting to note that the rapid spread of Christianity followed this formulation of creeds and doctrines. This was due to the fact that such a neatly packaged formulation enabled Constantine to make Christianity a state religion and easily propagate the "official" practices and beliefs. In what ways was this desirable and in what ways was it destructive? There is much we can learn from a study of these things which bears directly on our present situation.

 The medieval church, in spite of it's fossilization of doctrines into unquestioned dogma, provided sufficient access to the underlying ideas of Christianity to enable the uneducated masses to form the conceptual foundation of a common culture which lasted for over a thousand years. The precepts of the faith were repackaged into stories, chants, images, liturgy, and an annual cycle of observances which marked the major events in Jesus' life and impressed them into the minds of the people. The teachings of Christianity were widely available, but was it helpful in fostering true spiritual growth or was it simply a cultural phenomena? By the same token, why do we look for numbers of individuals on mailing lists and numbers of books sold as an indicator of the success of our efforts to propagate the fifth epochal revelation? Do we want to foster a mass movement or do we want to provide high quality support and services for those readers who are serious about their study and serious about the task of revitalizing the expression of Jesus' gospel on the planet?

 Dave, when it comes to determining how to manage our personal relationships with other individuals I think we have to do our best to apply our understandings of the gospel to the situation at hand. However, when it comes to managing the social aspects of this revelation, we have not only the many comments related thereto in The Urantia Book, but also a wealth of historic and academic data to look at which can help us determine the best course of action.

 While we have many records of the efforts of early Christians to deal with social problems of religion and the control of religious excesses, I think the best-kept and reliable records date from the Reformation to the present. The social and psychological problems facing us as a developing religious movement are not unique -- they have been confronted by numerous groups over recent centuries. Moreover, these religious groups have represented a variety of spiritual viewpoints and have attempted many different solutions to the same problems which we now face -- and much of it is well documented in letters, biographies and historical writings.

 A study of the Puritans and the Quakers in early America is an instructive example. The Puritans, with their Calvinist leanings, were intent on building strong moral communities which would become precursors to the kingdom of heaven on earth, communities through which the presence of God would be revealed. The Quakers, on the other hand, were concerned with personal spiritual experience as the vehicle for God's expression in the world and wanted to minimize the intrusion of social and political structures. Both groups had a very challenging time adapting their spiritual ideals to the practical realities of the socio/economic world. These efforts are well documented and we are foolish if we do not study them and learn from them.

 The big question in my mind is, "How do we responsibly go about the task of building a viable organization of readers?" I am reminded of the quote on page 1097 which says;

 "Man cannot cause growth, but he can supply favorable conditions. Growth is always unconscious, be it physical, intellectual, or spiritual....Man's sole contribution to growth is the mobilization of the total powers of his personality--living faith."

 I believe this statement applies to the growth of religious groups as well as individuals. What this says to me is that I must mobilize all the powers of my personality in the attempt to provide favorable conditions for growth. How do these statements relate to the growth of a religious movement? What can we do to provide optimal conditions for what is an unconscious process?

 Here are a few conditions from the psychological and social environment which I think contributed to the errors in judgement which led me into the course of action which I pursued in the Clayton episode. Had I paid attention to these areas of my own personal development I think I would have been better equipped to deal with the errors and misperceptions as they began to accumulate in Berkeley and Clayton.

 1. A tendency to view the book as complete in itself -- "why read anything else?"

 I had never attempted to approach the book critically and to cross-reference and expand the ideas presented therein by relating them to ideas which appear elsewhere. As we found out in Clayton, The Urantia Book combined with little else besides high spiritual ideals is ultimately lethal to social and religious progress.

 The early Christian theologian, Origen, commented that not many believers could comprehend the mysteries in John's book of Revelation, but most of them could comprehend that it contained mysteries they could not comprehend. How many "readers" identify with the book because they recognize that it is a significant text while having no real understanding of what it says?

 2. An utter lack of insight into the historical context in which the Fifth Epochal Revelation is appearing.

 Virtually none of us had any understanding at all of the primary theological issues or the predominant religious trends of the early 20th century -- the time when the revelators were compiling the book from "the highest available human concepts." We created our own context for understanding and interpreting it rather than making the effort to understand the larger religious and philosophic context to which it is related. (I think Matthew Block's work will go a long way to helping us here in the future.)

 While we talked a lot about the life and teachings of Jesus, we had done virtually no studying of the way in which the 4th epochal revelation was integrated into planetary religious culture. How many readers have taken the time to inform themselves about the problems and challenges faced by other groups of religionists who have attempted, over the centuries, to organize themselves around the precepts of the Master? We could save ourselves decades if not centuries by learning from this accumulated body of past experience.

 Note the quote on page 1088 which says that, "True religion carries over from one age to another the worthwhile culture and that wisdom which is born of the experience of knowing God and striving to be like him."

 Also, on page 2082 the injunction, "Do not overlook the value of your spiritual heritage, the river of truth running down through the centuries, even to the barren times of a materialistic and secular age. In all your worthy efforts to rid yourselves of the superstitious creeds of past ages, make sure that you hold fast the eternal truth."

 3. Strong tendency to individualism and religious anarchy.

 Because we, as a group of readers, place a high value on individuality and fear being bound by dogma, the movement has failed, for almost forty years, to produce reasonable interpretations or commentaries on the most basic ideas contained in the text. Such failure is an open invitation for such packaged sets of ideas as the so-called "teaching mission," or those offered by The Family of God Foundation, which reduce the complexity of an epochal revelation to simple, easily understood but incomplete concepts. Where is our developing body of knowledge and understanding about the mechanisms of personal spiritual experience? The so-called "teaching mission" is providing an answer to a real need amongst the readership which exists only because we have failed to develop a more viable and integrated explanation.

 Within the readership I think there is an additional factor, and that is the confusion regarding the relationship between the fellowship of kingdom believers and the socio/political organization of readers. One of the strengths of FOG as a social mechanism was its ability to clearly articulate its conceptual and political boundaries. Anyone was free to accept them and participate or reject them and go elsewhere.

 There seems to be an underlying (false) ethos amongst the readership that controversy is an indicator of a lack of spiritual brotherhood, hence sometimes a reluctance to take controversial positions combined with a social desire to appear as a peacemaker -- "What are we arguing for, aren't we all children of the same loving Father?" This attitude serves only to confuse the issue. I think it is a violation of intellectual and spiritual integrity to appeal to a spiritual principle in order to resolve or avoid a debate over a philosophical or social issue, and yet I see this as a common ploy amongst the readership.

 Dave, I think the "teaching mission" is a tempest in a teapot compared to the kind of things likely to happen when the book is more widely known. I think this is a wakeup call to the Fellowship to be about the business of defining who they are theologically as well as socially, establishing some boundaries, and fostering a viable organization which has some intellectual, philosophical and religious integrity. Bear in mind the quote on page 1090 which points out to us that what happens to religious groups depends on intelligent leadership.

 Where is intelligent leadership when our leaders choose to be tolerant of such clearly mistaken notions as the "teaching mission?" And if our leaders lack the philosophic discretion to recognize the fallacy of the claims of "teaching mission" proponents, what are they doing in leadership positions? If you encourage the "teaching mission," you are allowing a Trojan horse into the city and contributing to the "philosophic chaos" mentioned in paragraph 2 of page 1090. If you provide conference sessions or workshops where fringe views can be propagated, you will soon be expected to give those views equal time and exposure throughout the organization. (Providing a platform for the expression of fringe views is different from responsible, informed debate amongst readers on controversial issues.) Once you make this concession for the "teaching mission," you will have set a precedent for all the other fringe groups which will inevitably appear as time goes on. The Fellowship as an organization will then become simply a clearinghouse for an eclectic readership with no philosophic or religious definition of its own. Is this what you want?

 Or do you want an organization which is going to foster the study of the text itself -- an organization which can encourage (as you do with the Wrightwood Series) serious study and which can provide a competent interface to the rest of the religious world? If so, then we must consider the quote on page 1088 which draws our attention to the fact that "religion does not grow unless it is disciplined by constructive criticism, amplified by philosophy, purified by science and nourished by loyal fellowship."

 Look at the tasks of religion listed on page 1089, third paragraph of section four: 1. Stimulate individual development of character. 2. Augment integration of personality. 3. Stimulate evaluation of experience. 4. Serve as a value lure. 5. Promote supreme loyalties.

 This is a vigorous program; it is not passive acquiesence to whatever phenomena happen to develop within the readership. How can group religious activities "provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance" as articulated in paragraph two of page 1092 if precepts and ideals are not well defined?

 The Fellowship is confronted with the challenge of replacing the apocryphal stories which were used for the first few decades by the Foundation to maintain order. This is a big challenge indeed, but it must be met. We know from history that people will always choose fascism over anarchy. Ironically, a failure of the Fellowship to establish a position could lead to the re- emergence of an authoritarian structure which would provide needed order for the readership. How can a guiding structure be created which simultaneously provides for stability as well as growth, and which does not lead to an intellectual dictatorship of ecclesiastical authority?

 I think that in all such considerations the comment in paragraph 6 of page 1091 must be kept in mind -- that unity of ideals and purposes rather than psychological opinions and theological beliefs -- goals rather than creeds should unify religionists.

 I think if you do not comprehensively define and defend the ideals, purposes and goals which the Fellowship represents, you will essentially be giving up the opportunity to create a solidly grounded, viable organization capable of interfacing with the rest of the world in a rational and meaningful way. Being diffusely general so as to include everyone's views does not provide sufficient integrity for survival in the real world. As regards the "teaching mission," why allow a movement from the fringes of the readership to feed and develop in a parasitic manner on the organizational resources of the greater readership?

 My take on the "teaching mission" is that the "movement," if it may be called such, has demonstrated a virtual lack of philosophic and rational integrity, precisely the skills which are essential for organizing and managing any type of social group at all. If left to fend for itself I think it would fragment into a lot of smaller groups, perhaps with ties to other movements such as the Course in Miracles, etc. which would provide structure and connection to a larger community. In my opinion, the Fellowship is fostering the "teaching mission" by providing an organizational structure and a platform for communication which the proponents of the "teaching mission" would be unable to develop and maintain on their own, and in so doing, is undermining its own credibility and value to the greater readership.

 I think there are enough serious readers out there that sooner or later a well-structured, purposeful organization with well-defined goals and ideals will emerge. The question is whether or not it will be the Fellowship. And, unlike the past, the new organization cannot appeal to apocryphal authority for its power, but must begin the task of developing a foundation based on the best interpretation of the text which the readership can provide.

 I really appreciated hearing from you, Dave. I trust I have not carried on unnecessarily here, but I think the issues are worth a serious examination. I have not forgotten our video tape project either. Business has been extremely demanding this year and I have spent quite a bit of time on this channeling issue. Heather still has one more year at home here with us. Rebecca and I have given some priority to trying to provide a stable home life for her after the FOG disruptions which minimizes our travel and involvement in other activities.

 Give our best to Marta; Rebecca and I both look forward to sharing the on-going challenge of this revelation with you in whatever way that may happen as our lives continue to unfold.

 In the continuing work of the Kingdom,


15 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Response to Thea

Subject: Response to Thea

 Hello, Thea;

 Your comment about the encircuitment of Andon and Fonta is indeed curious and bears further study. Can you connect it to anything else? I am doing a serious study of this "encircuitment" issue and hope to post some ideas on it later in the week. One of the interesting things I rediscovered last night was the comment that the adjutant mind spirits are levels of consciousness within the Mother Spirit and even though they are never personalized, they gain experience; they have the experience of ministering to all the lower minds of the local universe and this experiential acquirement becomes a possession of the Supreme!

 More later.


15 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Mind circuits

Subject: Mind circuits In-Reply-To: [9306151451.AA21208@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi, David K.,

 Yes, I will hunt things up, too. TM or no, I am interested in the mind encircuitment. I have no fv_ub so my searches are slower. Was just reading more last night re relation to Supreme. Yes, very interesting. Was watching a giant scarab beetle on tv and thinking about the adjutant spirits. You just confirmed what I was thinking about my little pet rat that died. He had no personality to survive, but the experience that the adjutant mind spirits had in and through him and all other creatures held in the embrace of the Universe Mother Spirit does make it into the Supreme. That is both comforting and fascinating. I am also interested in the Universe Mother Spirit. I will see what I can come up with and get back with it.


15 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Sigh-zing things up.

Subject: Sigh-zing things up. In-Reply-To: [9306152059.AA25458@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 David K. (and all of you), I finally got around to reading your personal letter to David Elders.

 Very interesting. I gather that the reason you posted this personal correspondence was to reiterate your views on the teaching mission? This document was probably more effective in so doing than anything I have read yet of your postings. It frankly made me sad. It seems we are viewed more as an infestation that must be fumigated from the "authorized" ranks than brothers and sisters whose ideals and purposes are probably little different from your own. We are perhaps simply more inclined to going about it in the manner of those Quakers of whom you spoke. I had so many reactions as I read that I am really not quite sure whether I wish to post them or not. I read the pertinent quoted sections of the book and once again am struck by Jim Kimmel's statement at the panel discussion in January ... sometimes I can hardly believe we read the same book! When I think of Jesus's teachings, I think of what he did and how he did it as well as what he said. I try to think of how he would do things now. I do not believe that the simplicity of his manner and his teaching in parables were a tactic for that era only. I think it is arrogance on our part when we believe that the intellectual approaches which some of us are able to manage by virtue of genetics and education should form the structural basis for the statement of Michael's message in a hungry world peopled with many who have not had our advantages. Jesus did not say to preach the Urantia book; he said to preach the fathership of God and the brotherhood of man. These concepts can be made as simple or as arcane as one wishes, but if one wants to serve hungry people, sometimes they absolutely must be made simple. When we do not overcome this aspect of our intellectual biases in favor of intellectualism, I am not sure about certain aspects of the nature of our service motivation! I find it fascinating that a so-called fringe group whose fundamental basis is exactly the five points from page 1089 should be considered a fringe group because it desires so deeply to do exactly what Michael asked us to do. I have been with this book for a good many years, dear ones, as you all have and I have yet to see such an outpouring of service motivation and such an increase in dedication as evidenced by allocation of time and energies persisting over a sustained period of time. What I have seen is a lot of bickering over procedural and doctrinal matters. That is why I did not attend study groups for a number of years and instead pursued the book within the larger community of people. I learned a lot about the fact that not only UB readers are on the path to the Father! I shared my religious experiences with a larger body and I have no regrets for that experience. The bickering that I witnessed increasingly over the years persists. I would rather that the teaching mission suffer from its own fringe elements - yes, there are curiosity seekers; they tend to get bored fast - by virtue of refusing to bicker to the same degree. I am not one who believes that true spirituality is only evidenced by lack of disagreement, but there is a balance in this, and endless disagreement is no more spiritual than its repressive, nicey-nice lack. I think a reading of the UB makes it clear that we have some degree of mandate to pursue unity, yet it is difficult, nay, all but impossible to get a discussion going on this net wherein we share the delights of the wonderful spiritual experiences and concepts that we do have in common! And I treasure deeply every one of you who has thus shared here. (In that light, I will try to learn how to UL a textfile to my internet account so I can put on that experience I shared with you Phil) Seriously, folks... is this really to be a forum for posting other people's texts and our own endless disagreements or can we also start including more real spiritual sharing? I enjoy some of the texts that are ULed here, but I have a busy life and often little time to read. I would much rather, personally, hear from each of you in your own words here to the rest of us in this virtual community.

 That is a pretty packed and undifferentiated paragraph, I'm afraid. I post in real-time (not having learned how to work off line and UL) and sometimes get emotionally carried away! :) Just to cite one example from your letter, David... you quote the book on page 1087 where it says religion must make "clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival." and you take it out of its immediate context and put it together with a quote four pages away as a supposed statement that conservative does not mean passive. The quote with which you tie it comes after a statement which does not to my mind speak too favorably as regards such conservatism, seeming to almost grudgingly grant that it has its place. Which of course it does, as balance is important. But what I find is that one can cut and paste many UB quotes to make ones cases. It seems to be a rather convoluted form of rationalization. You can't use the UB to prove absolutely anything, but you sure can come close. ANd the quote you indicated which I also quoted above is followed by the sentence: "The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised." I can use this to argue that I believe the TM is exactly one such restatement, if I wish. You know - the Great Quotes War! Personally, I just do not have the time. It is my personal opinion that quoting does not really bring us closer together, and that would be my fondest wish. That we could find where our consensus lies despite our differences. If you truly want to know what the teaching mission is about, you will not find it by this kind of logical debate, any more than the UB could be proven by such means or the knowledge in personal experience of the Father's presence. If you are truly interested, try it out and see. It cannot "get" you if you use your own sense of the spirit of truth. THe UB was a "risk" of this sort for most of us who came to it. It paid off. Other risks I took earlier in my spiritual search did not. He who would prove it, come and try it in his own life. And a blanket critique without reading more than a sample is simply not scholarly, folks; if that is the approach you wish to take, do it right. I am beginning to regret allowing myself to get drawn into a process which I am not sure I can personally validate as having anything to do with spirituality and the sincere pursuit of truth. When I am characterized, by virtue of my association with a particular group whom I find by and large to be as sincerely seeking as any people I have ever known, as a curiosity seeker, I simply must say you do not know whereof you speak. This is not the FOG experience. Many of the things that those of you have described in that set of circumstances are simply too dissimilar to make the parallels that you make. I understand your concerns and even share a few of them, but I also feel that once can become entrenched in a position regardless of which side it is on. No matter who believes what about the TM, our beliefs will not decide reality. I have been willing to constantly assess my position repeatedly in this process. I do not understand how some can have had such an experience and _not_ have repeatedly and continuously subjected themselves to questioning. This will continue for me. But I continue also every day to act on the highest that I can grasp hold of. To attempt to live Michael's religion, Michael's beliefs, Michael's example, is the core of my life. I believe that is all that he asks.

 I am going to stop now. I have again allowed myself to get carried away. I admit to great puzzlement about the responses that are sometimes forthcoming. Please do not condescend to be nice to me for the sake of avoiding argument; I am not one who has any appreciation for false niceness. Just be who you are and believe what you do. I will not always agree, and as I guess is fairly apparent, I will say so. I also am not a nicey-nice and it does frustrate me when things are said that I consider demeaning of the group of people that I see really trying to live as Michael asked us. I am not going to pretend, either, just to demonstrate what a loving sister I am. OTOH, I really do love every one of you I have gotten to know on here. I think that is true for more than one of us and it probably only increases our frustration with each other. One position thinks how can they not see the spirit of the Father in what is happening, and another position thinks how can they not see that they are deluded? (Not to mention the positions in between) And I am sure we are all sincere. So what do we do, brothers and sisters? Where do we go with this? Our arguments and counter-arguments will not change things. THis is why I have wanted so much to focus on our unity, on the ideals and purposes that we do share. Otherwise we are just sitting here trying to prove and disprove what cannot be proven and disproven in this manner. Any thoughts and opinions on this? Any new directions others of you would like to seek in? Any changes? Or am I the interloper seeking to change the game? Speak, friends, and say true.

 I do love you, virtual siblings, and part of me regrets saying painful things, and part of me longs to be able to be fully honest with you and you with me and to somehow keep our love and fellowship in the midst of our disagreements. For that I long the most - a realistic and honest harmony. But this is Urantia, right?! Sigh. :)


 My love to you all, despite our differences


15 Jun 1993    Philip Calabrese      Here we go again

Subject: Here we go again

 ------- Dear David, Thea and fellow Logondonters,

 As I read David's very interesting points about the TM I cringed more than once knowing what affect they would have on many sincere believers who will be hurt by being compared to the "curiosity seekers" of Jesus' day, who will feel excluded because of what they have added to the core beliefs of the Gospel. Predictably Thea responded with hurt showing all over her virtual face.

 The early church too began a "religious cleansing" of the gnostics and other believers, branding them heretics and driving them out of the membership for what were perceived as grievous errors of belief. Some of these beliefs were (by today's standards) wrong. By so doing, the church leaders gained a certain uniformity and supposed respectability but at the expense of excluding from the Christian movement many forward-looking features like women in the ministry, the priesthood of all believers, and many other things that Christianity only lately regained during the Protestant Movement or does not even have today. Instead, the Roman Catholic church went on to propound a suffocating infallibility principle that potentially usurped all rights of individual belief. That was the end result of the supposed efforts to exclude and define what can be believed beyond the gospel.

 Why do we not let the spirit do it's own work of setting the mind straight while we each keep a friendly face toward each other.

 I do not believe that the Urantia Movement as an extension of Jesus' Gospel Movement is served by any kind of exclusion of people who believe the Gospel. `Let all who will come.' If we are to be able to unify the non-Christian religions by the simplicity and universality of our message, we can not be divided by the supposed importance of other criteria. In fact, just the fact of the spiritual unity of an amazingly diverse group of believers in the Gospel will be in itself a testament to the validity of the spiritual claims of the group. `By your love for one another they will know that you have been with me.'

 I pray that we may all see the way to spiritual unity among us and then go on to show the world how to unify itself in the same way. Let the spiritual virus of brotherly feeling infect this net! Let not the creeds divide us. For again, if we be divided by such things then how can we ever unify an even more diverse group - the world?

15 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Virtually pain-faced

Subject: Virtually pain-faced In-Reply-To: [9306160324.AA28964@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Dear Phil,

 Thanks you for your words! Yes, I am sure that the virtual pain was clear for all to see. I regret the hard edges, but I have never tried to pretend on here that I am not a human being, as we all are, and I expect some of what I have said now and again also causes its share of pain. I, too, as I said, hope we can find a way to include everyone in that wishes to come and share Michael's love feast. Somehow, we will, perhaps even right here with our virtual communion.

 Thanks again, Phil.


15 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       A promise fulPhil'd

Subject: A promise fulPhil'd In-Reply-To: [Pine.]

 Hi again,

 Not sure I am thrilled with the thought of sharing at the moment, but I guess since I promised, I will anyway! :) Here goes...

 (As inspired by Phil's wonderful shared experience back there some days ago)

 I grew up Methodist... a rather bland spiritual upbringing. I loved singing in the choir but as I reached adolescence, I found the Jesus concept I was taught somewhat lacking in various ways. Then as I got involved in science (astronomy and chemistry for the most part; my first major was chemistry, tho I changed the next year) and also concommitantly discovered the depths of the hypocrisy that our minister evidenced, I became pretty skeptical and agnostic, even atheistic for awhile. I prided myself on my intellect, which was at least more than adequate for my defenses against my peers, who had never been particularly pleased with me throughout my school years. I became rather argumentative with some "success". But within a few years, my yearning for spirituality and a fuller understanding of myself and the universe prevailed and overcame. I was always unable to believe that which I wished to believe just because I wished it; I had to have some kind of proof. In the end, it was experience that "proved" the spiritual life for me. I finally came to the Urantia book, and my first reaction was shock and anger that a group of apparently intelligent people could believe such a space opera. Then a UB study group member (who has long since abandoned the book) suggested that I approach it exactly like that - science fiction. Within about six weeks, I had had some kind of internal "click" with the tale of the filthy snarling hulk and enlarging the picture. Something began changing inside and I bought the book and began studying in earnest (this was summer 1970) and bit by bit, I had an accretion of faith. Early on, I decided to talk to my posited adjuster. I addressed him and said that although it felt totally absurd to talk to what appeared to be nothing, I would give it the old try and see what happened. Soon thereafter, I realized that I was not in fact talking to nothing, but Something! My study of the book was fairly regular, but my seeking connection on a daily basis with my TA beyond my arising and bedtime prayers was sporadic indeed. Early on, I had done better with drug assistance in keeping the contact, but when I gave up drug use, I had to relearn over a period of years. I had read and read and kept reading, but my understanding was still all too intellectual. I had made some progress in terms of loving others, but did not even realize that I had progress to make in terms of really connecting with the Father/ Michael et al and learning to love _myself_. I was touched by the FOG upset, but not deeply. Just enough to reject any idea of "channeled" Urantia stuff. So then along came the TM. And frankly, I freaked out. I thought, great. The FOG stuff wasn't enough, compounded by the brouhaha with the Foundation and Fellowship, now we are really going to lose our proverbial shirts. What will be left after this crap?! But I read a lot of transcripts, supplied by long-time friend Bob Slagle (whose study group my husband and I joined a year after I found the book and read with until 1977 when we moved to Oregon; wonderful memories there!) I could not escape that there was much truth in the transcripts. How much did I accept and to what degree? My mind was in an awful turmoil. I wanted to follow the Father's truth wherever it led me, but I did not want to be involved in something that would hurt the book or my fellows or myself or that was untrue. I wrestled and wrestled. One thing I decided was that this idea of the quiet time, the silence, was a good thing to pursue. It was time for me to take time in the midst of my day for daily, regular meditation. For praying to the Father and then waiting in silence to listen. I didn't see how any harm could come from this borrowing from the TM - something that the UB itself taught. So I began. And fairly shortly thereafter, within a period of weeks, I was meditating one day, trying to empty my mind of its endless chatter when I felt a presence both outside me and within. In my mind words formed, though they were not and are not clear. It seemed clear to me in some way that I never was able to figure out that it was my TA in some form or another and that he said to me that I was his and he was mine and that we would of a surety be together in eternity. He "said" if I could see myself as he saw me, that I would realize my worth as his child. All this was in a few brief seconds and I understood almost by osmosis, not by "words". Then I felt this outpouring of love, of being loved. It was almost stunning in its intensity. I knew that I was utterly loved and accepted. The tears ran down my face and time sort of vanished. I came back to myself, probably shortly thereafter, and felt like I had been dipped in light or varnished in an invisible but strong shield of love. It was truly incredible. My life really has not been quite the same since. I found myself able to accomplish things that had terrified me before. I cannot say that my daily practice went perfectly, but I certainly went to it with more zest, and more inner confidence, than before. I have had several similar experiences since, in at least once instance feeling the presence of what appears to have been Michael, but this was the first and perhaps nothing for some time can compare because I had lived so many years with a certain "darkness" that was somehow dispelled by the experience. There is really no way to explain to anyone that feeling of being loved. But I found in reading your experience that I was deeply moved in part because I knew that you understood by virtue of your own experience with it. It gave me a definite jolt of kinship with you. I really do appreciate your sharing that!

 One of the reasons I am probably involved with the TM is that it has taught me to foster spiritual practices that I needed but was not using. I am sure that I could have come to them some other way, but in point of fact, I didn't. And having that experience while I was wrestling with this issue, and finding so much growth along exactly these lines as I pursued my path in the TM, it would be hard for me to say that _nothing_ is happening in the TM because for me, a great deal has happened. Perhaps it is just my own pursuit of the Father's will that my encounters with the TM have stimulated; I am willing to give myself some credit here. It took my willingness and efforts to keep on going. But I have watched others have experiences like this and watched them being transformed in their daily lives. I really don't care in some ways whether the TM is what it purports to be or not, just as I don't care if the UB is literally true in every detail (though I tend towards a level of belief in it that is quite like your own, including the approach you mentioned re cosmology). What I do know is that _some_thing is happening and for many people, much of it seems good and of the Father's will if I judge by the fruits in my own and others' lives. But frankly, I do not think that my approach and attitude towards the TM are particularly typical even within the TM. I am appalled when I hear that people rejected others because they needed to question things done and said in the TM. And I am not happy when I find people with a lack of interest in the UB wanting to get involved with the TM. I would not trust the TM without the UB. Phil, I did not intend this to be a plea in regards to the TM, nor do I wish it. I was reluctant when you asked me to share with you my experience because I knew that there was no way I could discuss it without the TM. And I want to respect your perspectives and not demean in any way your own experience. I recognized it as blindingly true. Somehow, I hope in my deepest heart, that we can all find ways to reconcile what differences we have and that we can move together in the same UB flotilla, but in our different boats. This has certainly been the weirdest time period of my life, but my own growth has been so much beyond anything I ever expected I could manage, that I would be denying everything I have based my life on, particularly the UB, if I were to deny that _some_thing is going on just now. Even something about how we are coming together in our little virtual community makes me realize on a deep, felt level that we are being drawn together. I have really become fond of some of you on here in the light of our net connections. And I don't think that this community is "unreal", is founded on chimeras. Well, we shall see about all of it. But the best thing that ever happened to me in all my life is finding that big blue book, because it brought me to God, and to the experience that I described.


 There... that's it. And as I reread it, maybe it doesn't seem so out of line. I do love this little virtual community of ours and hope we can have some peace at least part of the times...not peace at the expense of the truth of course, but peace that comes from serving together a truth that is larger than we could possibly arrive at alone. Our own little virtual excursion into the patterning of the Supreme...


15 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Response to Thea

Subject: Response to Thea

 Hello, Friends...

 Thea, my purpose in posting the response to Dave Elder's letter was simply to share hereon some correspondence which occurs in circuits other than urantial. I also, after finding that the letter was being circulated, wanted to post it here and be able to participate in any discussion which it might generate.

 Perhaps you and I see the purpose of participating hereon in different ways. You say that you are tired of "endless disagreements" and indicate that you are looking for interaction which would "bring us closer together." Do you not feel closer to people when you get to know them as different in viewpoint than yourself? Don't you enjoy having an opportunity to express your ideas and find out whether or not other people find them meaningful? I personally see a forum such as this as a place to explore ideas and I see what we have been doing here more as an exploration than a disagreement. I would not be too interested in a mutual reinforcement club.

 I don't post anything as an absolute statement, but rather as a viewpoint which hopefully invites involvement and participation and the expression of an alternative viewpoint. I believe strongly in the dialectical process as being productive of truth and growth. Without clearly expressed positions and ideas, and responses and counter-expressions, such a process cannot occur.

 Neither do I have much tolerance for "the great quote wars." However, I do see this as a forum in which differing views about reality and our experience with God can be expressed, based on our understanding of the Urantia Papers. The book is our referent. I can say, "Based on the following quotes, here is the conclusion which I have reached." In so doing, I am not attempting to define reality or truth, but rather am inviting a response; I am wanting someone to tell me where I have gotten off the track and why, or the reasons why they perhaps see the issue differently.

 Other than expressing a view that I had used a quote somewhat out of context, you did not address any of the issues which I raised in my letter. If I am wrong or mistaken in my arguments or conclusions, please tell my where and why.

 Yes, I was very superficial in characterizing TM adherents as all being simply "curiosity devotees" and I would not thus characterize them today. I realize that there is a much more serious element than that within the TM, although I have a difficult time viewing TM adherents as sincere truth seekers simply because they so readily abandon methods and techniques of both philosophy and science which are quite well proven to assist us in the acquisition and validation of truth. I would think that a sincere truth seeker would utilize all available resources in his or her quest. Again, you accuse me of being unspiritual and you express a strong anti- intellectual view, but you fail to address the issues I raised.

 Note that my letter concerns a social organization. I feel that you are confusing spiritual attitudes with the human need to maintain viable social organizations. One of my objectives is to see a strong organization develop which fosters the study of the UB. That's all, just a study of the book. There will doubtless arise many derivative and hybrid movements as a result of the book -- it is a very powerful and fecund work -- and these groups should, imo, develop their own organizations and networks for propagating their views. I don't think it is off-base to want a well defined organization with a simple objective, and then to manage that organization in such a way which will allow that objective to be pursued over time.

 Consider what would happen if a woman moved in next door to you who played the accordion. She sees that you are a musician and wants to come over and jam with you. What are you going to do? Is it a violation of your spiritual principles to tell her that you don't want to play music with her? I don't think so. I think that we have the right and responsibility to maintain a certain amount of integrity in our associations and social organizations so that the objectives of those organizations may be pursued and hopefully achieved. If you let the lady with the accordion come in and play with you, then you will have to let the guy down the block who does animal noises play with you too, when he asks. Before you know it, your musical vision has no chance of being actualized because you have accommodated such diversity that focused pursuit of a well- defined goal is no longer possible.

 Thus it is with my concerns about the Fellowship. I believe strongly that it needs a well-defined objective and clearly marked boundaries in order to function. This is not a spiritual issue. This is not a religious issue. It is an issue related to the purposes and functions of a fraternal organization. I'm perfectly content to have you pursuing the TM if that's the choice you want to make, but don't require others to accept your precepts as valid, which is essentially what you're doing if you ask the Fellowship to accept the TM and allow presentations of TM views at Fellowship sponsored conferences.

 The fact of the matter is that the TM is not mentioned in the UB and therefore has no place in a group whose purpose is to foster the study of the book and the propagation of it's ideas. As far as spirituality goes, there are dozens of religious groups who hold to high spiritual ideals which are in full accord with the teachings of the UB, but that does not mean that we should provide the Fellowship as a platform for them to spread their various doctrines simply to indicate that we have the "proper" spiritual attitude.

 Thea, on another topic, I can upload text files which are stored in a UNIX subdirectory to the Internet via the following (courtesy of Matthew Rapaport): Assuming that you have created a text file with your word processor and that text file resides in a subdirectory on your machine, at the UNIX prompt you can type:

 Bob Slagle, "a tempest in a teapot" was inaccurate as a description of the TM. The aforementioned "tempest" is the reaction amongst the readership to the TM, not the TM itself. I see the TM as relatively benign compared to what is possible and probable in the future. That is why I am calling on the Fellowship to establish it's identity now, before something *really* radical occurs.

 Inviting counter-views,

16 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       The lost note

Subject: The lost note In-Reply-To: [9306160537.AA00186@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 David, I can certainly take issue with a number of things that you said in your letter, but I just don't know if I want to. I have been known as an "argumentative" sort for years and am coming to the conclusion that much of what passes for dialogue is self-deceived defensiveness and not a really deep and sincere desire to understand. I am not saying that you are in this category, although I question whether correction is really what you desire, but merely that I am tired of this approach in many ways. I spent many years using science and philosophy as a means to discovering truth. I started majoring in chemistry, finished five years of college with a major in Philosophy and no degree. I quit, frustrated, because science and philosophy could not give me God. They still can't. They can give me scientific knowledge, which I love, and failed metaphysics, which is interesting but too often barren. I approach truth in a different way now - by trying to live it. What I personally want to do here is to share with others ways that they have found that trying to live the truths of the religion of Jesus work for them, or ways that do not work. I find that this particular sharing enhances my understanding of truth more than any other. It is, in Native American terms, the Path with Heart. I enjoy knowing what my brothers and sisters think; it is part of understanding them and loving them. I also enjoy knowing what my brothers and sisters feel, and experience, which is also part of understanding and loving them. I would like to see more feelings and personal experience discussed here. The life of the intellect is simply not the entire picture. I prefer as whole a picture as I can get. I am less interested in shutting down what goes on here than in opening up what does not go on here. I hope that this makes my position clearer. If you would feel more comfortable knowing that I can critique your letter, I will do so, at least this time, but I have had my fill of the academic approach from my own history. I hope that my sharing as I have done helps you to know, understand and thereby love me better. I would encourage more direct questions on here, actually. LIke, "Thea what do you think about such and such." I would like to have the courage to ask these myself. So.....

 As for organizations, I am more interested in the "new cult" spoken of in the Urantia book, and I do not think you can create it, shape it, control it. I believe that it unfolds, that it grows almost unconsciously just as any growth usually does. To me the kinds of things that one does to provide the proper climate for that growth is to pray - to seek the Father wholeheartedly, to love increasingly ones brothers and sisters by encouraging them to be everything that the Father made them to be, to try to live the most Jesusonian life possible so that ones life is what provides that influence. I am not sure anything but that personal loyalty to the living truth can bring about any truly functional group of people. I think that far too much emphasis is placed on external structuring, and far too little on internal spiritualizing by individuals. This is my opinion. If you disagree, that is, of course, your right. Just as I disagree with you. Having said all this, I would be curious to know what you think has been accomplished.


16 Jun 1993    Leland Foster       TM

Subject: TM

 Dear People,

 With all the threads flying around about TM, I guess it was inevitable that someday I'd put in my two cents worth. I've been thinking about this for a while, but I still don't know how to put it on paper, so I guess I'll have to start from the beginning and go on from there.

 My father is a Presbyterian minister and for some reason, probably rebellion I grew up an atheist. At first I didn't have a name for what I felt, and when I learned the vocabulary I adopted it with vigor. I became rabidly anti God, anti religion. I could argue for hours with even the best of the Jehovas' Witnesses. During my college years, when I was studying agriculture, I read and attended lectures on physics and cosmology. I was convinced that I could explain away the need for God in the universe through some of the theories then available. My favorite author was a professor from virginia who wrote a whole book proving that God didn't exist. I knew God didn't exist and I didn't miss him.

 In my years as an atheist I would get involved in causes, I wanted the world to be a better place. People who believed in God were deluded fools who would do nothing to change the world. I hadn't yet learned about the positive aspects of religion, of doing good, I had only met the negative "thou shalt not" part of Christianity. But over the years I developed a sense that something was missing. I finally became an agnostic, or as I liked to say a "militant agnostic." I didn't know if God existed or not, but if he did, I'd say, "he could go to hell." During this time a friend of mine, who I'd just gotten done haranguing about the evils of God, said that he wasn't worried about me because it meant I was thinking.

 During the time I was an atheist and agnostic I would keep and study the Bible to be better prepared to challenge "Bible thumpers." But there came a time when the seeds of truth contained in the new testament started to get to me. I would read a few chapters and then angrily throw the book away, only to pick it up again. In a period of a few months I went from being an agnostic to the point that I couldn't deny anymore that there WAS something missing from my life. The feeling I have later come to realize one of a space for religion and God in my life that wasn't being filled. Anyhow, as occurs with many people, I went off the deep end and tried for about six months to be an evangelical Christian, the very thing I'd always despised. I tried to believe everything they told me: that the bible was the word of God and was infallible, that hell existed, and God was an angry God. Unfortunately :-), I had been cursed with a small tad of common sense and couldn't keep it up. The wholes in the evangelical Christian myth got larger and larger and finally got to the point that my budding belief in God was doomed. It was then that a friend introduced me to the Urantia Book.

 >From about 6pm to 3am I looked through the book, at every step surprised at how I'd found what I'd been looking for. The Urantia Book made sense, it didn't try to deny logic or common sense, it allowed that science and religion could both exist. Over the next week I read the UB, starting at the introduction and read the first quarter of the book. The weird stuff about the universe personalities didn't bother me much because of the strong sense of truth I got from the Book as a whole, and besides it wasn't any weirder than the stuff I had been recently exposed to.

 During the first few months I went through a time of doubting. Was I just buying another story, what was I getting myself into. I wished that I could get some kind of encouragement from God, I wanted to have my feelings about the Book confirmed. As you might expect, no such proof was forthcoming, I had to believe by faith not proof. Over a period of years I have come to believe that the UB is what it says it is, and I have come to have faith in the existence of God without outside proof. Whenever troubles came up, when I doubted, I would remember my faith and continue on. Needless to say I grew to depend on faith and to leave off looking for signs and teachers.

 As I said in a previous post, I think I accepted the UB so quickly because it said what I had been hoping to hear for so long. And that is why I am unable to accept the Teacher Mission, because it is so tempting for me to look for someone else to tell me the truth and not discover it myself. If I had heard about the TM when I was in those periods of intense desire for a guide, I probably would have accepted it, at least for a while. But now, after so tenuously finding strength enough to live by faith, it is too big a threat to my personality to even consider. I need to live by faith, and I believe that is the reason we are here on this planet. I won't argue about the truth content of the TM, but will just say that for me, now, the TM is not the way I think God would do things.

 I read the sections about the one day resumption of the Universe Broadcasts, and the end of the isolation, but I don't think I ever considered something like the TM being the result. I had imagined perhaps a greater feeling of connection to the Universe, less of a feeling of isolation, but I didn't expect to receive what I'd rejected in order to live by faith. I've built my religion of living by faith and being guided by the spirit of truth and I cannot reject it now. The reason I was able to accept the UB, it is what I'd been waiting for, is the reason I cannot accept the TM, it's what I'd rejected in order to find my religion.

 I'm not too worried about being wrong on this issue, because I know that all can be forgiven if my intentions are sincere. I cannot accept TM because it is damaging to my faith, but I have faith in my salvation from my errors and sins.

 Now then I feel another bible joke coming on. What's the longest stretch in the Bible?

 It's when Balaam tied his ass to a tree and walked for two miles. :-)

16 Jun 1993    David H. Larsen    Sigh-zing

Subject: Sigh-zing

 Thea & all others,

 I'm rushing to get the kids off to school and get to work, but wanted to take a few minutes to respond to your posting of last night.

 I had read David K.'s letter, but inasmuch as I was trying to wrap up a previous exchange on a positive note, was reluctant to get into the proposal to "fumigate" the TM out of the fellowship. At the minimum Thea, I want to respond to your question to the list --"am I the interloper seeking to change the game?" From my point of view, you are quite the contrary; you seem to be a very rational human being, possessing that addition quality of intuition which allows the intellectual, without missing any important detail, to make the leap of faith out of the closed loop of logical argument, and into new experience and new growth.

 Although, based on what I have read from the available transcripts, and Allene Vick's newsletter, I am strongly predisposed to trust the TM, I am quick to add that I have never been to a transmitting session (would love to be invited to one, if such is available close by to Cleveland) and have never spoken with anyone who has, save for this virtual resource. So Thea, your participation on the list fills an important need for me, as does Michael Million's unobtrusive and even-handed approach.

 For some, this persistent hostility toward the TM seems to reflect an inner fear that simple gullible souls will be led astray. Let me say for the record, that I am fully prepared to take responsibility for both the condition of my soul and for the path of spiritual development on which I have embarked. In the past, I have invested considerable faith in the Bible Presbyterian Church, Karl Marx, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Bagwan Shree Rajneesh, Black Elk, the Shroud of Turin, UFOs and Crop Circles. I have never found any of these to be a false path, although any of them might have been had I ever chosen to halt the journey and refuse further input. My journey has led straight to God, so I think I can handle the TM without risk of getting lost in the ozone.

 Case in point, all this spiritual meandering is what led me to Big Blue in the first place, and more explicitly, prepared me to recognize the UB for what it was. Had I done what Mrs. Lasky, my childhood Sunday school teacher, admonished me to do -- keep my nose affixed to the Bible and trust no other spiritual voice, I would be leading a life of spiritual impoverishment instead of experiencing my present richness. The proof of this may be seen in the difficulty I have in communicating with fellow Christians who are biblical fundamentalists. My grounding in the UB has taught me just how much I have in common with so-called "traditional" Christians, and I am growing every day in my ability to gain from fellowship with such people. But I am handicapped in my need to remain "closeted" in terms of the source of my Jesusonian point of view because I know that if I were to reveal to my older brother Hugh for instance, who is a biblical fundamentalist, that the source of our common ground is not the Bible, but a big blue book written by beings from outer space who travel from planet to planet aboard seraphic transports, he would recoil in horror, and that would be the end of our dialogue, and probably our relationship as well. That is not what I want for this fellowship of humans who have come to learn the fullness of truth about God and Christ Michael from this unconventional source. I make reference to a UB quote I had posted over the weekend from pg 2085: "Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its' own slogans: 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity...Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus."

 This statement says something important to me. It says, that when the UB was sent to earth, it was not intended to be the sum total of the revelation. It's purpose, IMO is to prepare us for the coming promised event; the return of the living Jesus, who will unite humanity and set us on the path of common purpose; to create a livable world.

 Well, the kids got off to school on time, but I'm late for work. So on to other responsibilities.

 Ready for anything,


16 Jun 1993    Philip Calabrese      Fellowship Exclusion

Subject: Fellowship Exclusion

 ------- Dear Logondonters and David K.,

 While I do not see any good reason to exclude believers of Jesus' gospel from outward fellowship with all Jesus' believers, subgroups of believers in the Urantia Book might IMO reasonably wish to include in their subgroup only those who believe in the UB. Subgroups of TMers might want to include in their subgroup only those who believe in the TM. Some people might believe the gospel of Jesus without believing in Jesus himself. People who accept Jesus as a divine personage might want to include in their group only those who accept Jesus in those terms. I see nothing wrong in this as long as all of us believers in Jesus' gospel are willing to accept into the overall group of believers in the gospel of Jesus all of those lepers, sinners, drug users, slackers, and other disagreeable people who happen to believe in the unvarnished gospel of Jesus that all people are the spiritual children of the First Person of Deity - our common spiritual Father and thus we are thereby one spiritual family.

 Similarly, after a person hoestly assents to belief in the UB as divine revelation, I see big trouble ahead resulting from any attempts to exclude those who believe "too much else" to be acceptable in the Urantia Book Fellowship or the "Fellowship of students of the UB". I see such attempts to exclude the "fringe elements" as counterproductive. And besides, who knows when it will turn out (as the Christian church has discovered or will eventually discover) that it the "mainstream" that is wrong and the "fringe" has it right. Let the people grow together - the weeds and the grain. Do not attempt to separate them lest you uproot the good in your attempt to weed out the bad.

16 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Brief bytes

Subject: Brief bytes In-Reply-To: [9306161609.AA07172@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi, David K.,

 A quick comment...re tough as nails. I am still willing to discuss whatever anyone likes, tho at that time I didn't love all you guys yet and that made it easier, ya know?! :) But that doesn't mean, at least in my vocabulary, that I don't have feelings! I would not want to be emotionally impervious in any case. My being hurt does not mean don't discuss. It might mean that I think it would be nice if we could find ways to discuss that do not involve things all too close to name calling. I don't think that is an unreasonable request. There is a difference between discussing principles and characterizing other people psychologically. I am resisting doing the latter because I think it is less than useful to what purposes we do share, and frankly, when I want to, I can do it devastatingly well. I don't think that is what is called for here. A discussion of concepts and of personal experience is, to me, pertinent, whereas psychological character assassinations are not. Ya know? I hope this is clear enough and I do wish I could somehow indicate with something beyond the standard grins and smiley face that I am not "dead" serious here. Serious about this, but not grim. I will now cease and desist from the brief bytes and be back for more (!!) soon!

16 Jun 1993    leo elliott            Off the track...

Subject: Off the track...

 June 16, 1993

 Hello David K., Thea, and fellow virtualists,

 Thea, I too "am coming to the conclusion that much of what passes for dialogue is self-deceived defensiveness and not a really deep and sincere desire to understand..." -- the issue of sincerity will come up soon.

 David K., in response to your invitation "wanting someone to tell me where I have gotten off the track and why," I would offer the following observations on your commentaries of late, a while back to Michael M. advising him of the error of his interpretations, and more recently to Thea.

 You allow as how you may have been "very superficial in characterizing TM adherents as all being simply 'curiosity devotees'" and go so far as to allow as how you "would not thus characterize them today." Why, you even go so far as to say that "there is a much more serious element than that within the TM" -- is this bordering on brotherly recognition or acknowledgment??? -- no wait, what immediately follows makes it all perfectly clear, for while there may be some "more serious" elements out there, you still "have a difficult time viewing TM adherents as sincere truth seekers simply because they so readily abandon methods and techniques of both philosophy and science which are quite well proven to assist us in the acquisition and validation of truth."

 ... hmmmmm, "the acquisition and validation of truth" -- is this like some scarce mineral resource, that needs to be "acquired" and then "validated", assayed and tested? What about "quality, values" being "felt," or the religious consciousness which _knows_ and _knows now_? Or is this not a valid technique? And am I to infer from this statement that I should question the sincerity of any other truth seekers "simply because they so readily abandon methods and techniques of both philosophy and science...?" Does this mean that the only sincere truth seekers around are those who avail themselves of such methods and techniques? Is this a valid inference, or am I straining the life out of these words and phrases, twisting and distorting them beyond their original intent, straining to "build a case" against some imaginary opponent?

 All the more quizzical in light of the immediately following statement: "I would think that a sincere truth seeker would utilize all available resources in his or her quest." ....another hmmmm.... "all available resources", or just those that have been "acquired" and "validated" by philosophy or science or some other culturally endorsed institution of "higher learning"??? Does this mean that one who uses _less_ than "all available resources" is less than sincere...? And of course, who gets to define what is a "resource" when it comes to "truth-seeking"?

 The answer to this question comes soon, in your "defense" of your letter to David Elders as being of concern to "social organizations." I find it quite ironic your statement to Thea that she is "confusing spiritual attitudes with the human need to maintain viable social organizations."

 You state that "One of my objectives is to see a strong organization develop which fosters the study of the UB. That's all, just a study of the book... I don't think it is off-base to want a well defined organization with a simple objective, and then to manage that organization in such a way which will allow that objective to be pursued over time..." and again that the Fellowship "needs a well-defined objective and clearly marked boundaries in order to function."

 What I am getting David, is that _you_ need well-defined objectives and clearly marked boundaries in order to function, and are not at all comfortable "sharing the stage" with _any_ (or at least not with very many) whose boundaries are not so marked and whose objectives are not so defined, and this is the way you think things should be for for the FEF.

 Certainly you are not alone in this propensity, for we all want such definition to some degree, but I suspect that two such as you and I may be operating at the 90/10 range of this "well-defined" spectrum, rather than somewhere around 50, and that if 0 is free-form and 100 is Roman Catholicism (of the "well-defined" variety that Phil and I grew up in), then the TM may represent a bunching closer to 10 and the UF a bunching closer to 90, but of course, these are subjective evaluations, and I am simply giving you my observations, based on your request, for counter-views.

 I am sure that as a dialectician, you relish the give and take of ideas, even the tug of war, but can you appreciate the fact that this is not the only way, the only model of revelation as Fr. Dulles, S.J. points out? And please hear yourself in the following:

 "I'm perfectly content to _have you_ pursuing the TM if that's the choice you want to make, but __don't require others__ to __accept your precepts as valid__, which is essentially what you're doing if you ask the Fellowship to accept the TM and allow presentations of TM views at Fellowship sponsored conferences."

 Nicely paternal of you to "have" Thea pursue the TM, if that's her choice. And I guess such a protective sentiment leads right into your major concern of _validity_ -- I for one have yet to see a set of precepts listed by anyone here, much less any requests for their acceptance as valid, yet round and round we go, with quote after quote, from a transcript or the UB, implying this or that, right or wrong, valid or invalid, and validity may or may not be established, but spiritual fellowship -- and we are discussing Fellowhsip, are we not, or is it just an organization with a name "Fellowship"? -- vanishes in the scrutiny.

 And then this human organization you are so concerned about David, I suppose it must now, to ensure its future strength, organize a Precept-Review Committee, in order to review the credentials of all speakers in order to ensure that they are "sincere" as established above, and that there are no heinous "unvalidated precepts" sneaking in in any of their presentations.

 And how of course to establish this validity? Why, as usual, you follow with an immediate answer:

 "The fact of the matter is that the TM is not mentioned in the UB and therefore has no place in a group whose purpose is to foster the study of the book and the propagation of it's ideas."

 So here we have it -- if it's "not mentioned in the UB" it has no place. Let's see, now we can start off on another volley of Quoton Torpedos to determine just what is "mentioned" in the UB -- is this a literal mention, or an implied mention, or who is to determine???

 No, far be it from David Kantor to recommend that the Fellowship should provide a platform for any accordion players or other religious groups to spread their doctrines -- only officially endorsed, copyrighted, trademarked, committee-approved, theologically-validated, scientifically-accepted "doctrines" need apply. (By the way David, I must have missed the posting of the official list of UB-validated doctrines; could you repost it from your files?) Of course, if John Denver wants to illuminate a stage, I guess that's OK?

 Nope, the Fellowship, like all of us, must "establish our identities" with well-defined objectives and clearly marked boundaries, lest any future tempests arise and something *really* radical occurs. (Care to enlighten us David on "the coming religious terror" [to borrow a concept from Ernest Moyer] that might qualify as "really radical"?)

 Is there a David Kantor behind the dialectician I have met hereon? If so, I think he must be a fascinatingly brilliant fellow, one whom I would love to attend a ball game with and eat popcorn with and go to a museum with. Yet the David I keep bumping up against here is this guy who seems to have no other way to be than dialectic, who seems ever out to catch flaws and errors in a brother's or sister's "simple" statements of faith or belief, who cannot let pass, even in an apology, the chance to point out another error, as when you tell Thea that you "did not mean to be hurtful" with your comments, but then discount even this by a cheap dare like "I thought you said you were tough!" -- It is hard for me to not see this as off-putting, and the apology "for not being more sensitive with my phrasing" grows old after so many repetitions. (What would it be like to converse without Phrasers _or_ Quoton Torpedoes, as Thea has been suggesting?)


 There have been some questions arising in my mind recently David, off of a comment you made about your daughter and her having gone through the FOG experience with you -- this seems to be the "unwritten chapter" that may yet contain the most practical lessons. I assume that there must have been other children involved, as I assume now that there must be children of current TMmers. I would not ask any of you who may be qualified thusly to share anything inappropriate, but in trying to imagine what it may have been like to have a parent "go off on some strange trip" (remember, mine were aliens from the planet Enema who masqueraded as Roamin' Catholics) I have been led to ask what for me, as the parent of two twelve-year olds, are some extremely timely questions, which I would now share, and which I would welcome your input on, questions such as:

 What if my daughter decided she wanted to become a Catholic, or a TMmer, or a JW, (this question is perhaps premature, as I have pretty much allowed Hannah to "grow her own" religious experience -- she's well aware of my interest in the UB, my Catholic background, and seems a definite believer in Deity, tho I'm not quite sure what kind -- Krishna, my stepson, might be far more likely to want to "go Jewish", his mother's natal religion).

 What if my daughter wanted to date some jerk? some pervert? some channeler? some fundamentalist?

 Would I allow my daughter to follow as wild and precipitous pathways as those I myself have followed? Would I allow her as much freedom, or more or less than my parents allowed me as a teenager?

 Bucky Fuller used to talk about how we should have an educational system that rewards error-making instead of error-avoiding, for it is only by making the mistakes of subscribing to fakes that we learn what is "really" genuine. It remains to be seen how brave I will be as a parent with my own kids when the consequences of their possible mistakes become more than a skinned knee or a bruised shin.

16 Jun 1993    Sara L. Blackstock    from white sands to virtual

Subject: from white sands to virtual

 Hello my friends,

 Even though the white sands of Carmel seems eons of minutes in the past, the wonderful time with my mother and two lovely 17 year old nieces will be treasures forever. It was an interesting challenge at times being a balancing fulcrum for the two ages on either side of me but it worked, with effort and a constant reminding of what's important. I had two wonderful morning hours on the beach by myself in meditation and prayer and worship. Something about the sound of waves and the hugeness of the ocean that is conducive to reaching beyond where one is. After an intense and emotional prayer time asking for all kinds of guidance and insights, I began walking back along the beach and I was "given" a song, or a chant, which I appreciated because I am NOT a musician, but there was a definite melody and Thea, if we had notes, I could show you how it looked on a scale, but the words were meaningful in their simplicity: "O my child, listen, listen, listen to the SILENCE." And this kept repeating over and over as I tried to remember the melody. Of course this is one of the main exhortations of the TM - listen to the silence. I don't feel that any "teacher" per se gave me this, but that my soul was open to the united effects of the great Teachers of and in all of us - the TA, Spirit of Truth, and our angels. Anyway I really wanted to share this with you, especially those of you who embrace the concept of the TM because it was a definitive common experience.

 Leo - thank you so much for sending David Spangler's excerpts from his book "Reimagination of the World". How clear he seems to be about his experiences with "inner-plane beings". Do you know anything about him? Do you think he would be interested in the UB? He has been very helpful in my continuing process of attempting to get past black/white thinking and enter more into the realm of understanding regarding the TM. Thea - I feel your discouragement in your post responding to David K's letter to Dave Elders. See my response to David. I have some problems on the tone also. I appreciated your sharing on your understandings about the psychological aspects of the TM- especially the process of openness and exploration in which you are engaged. I feel that you and I are entering or have been in a realm which allows some exploration of this phenomena or at the very least, to reach toward a greater understanding - remember that I have said I can not be 100% sure about the explanations I now embrace of my own experiences with "channeling". I am finding myself moving away from an interest in discussing whether or not they are "real personalities" to [what] is this process? What does it mean for this revelation? Is it a reaction to the over rational approach of the intellectual study of the book, in many cases almost to the exclusion of the group [experience] of God? Are we being "told" that we need more than just "study" of the revelation? How do we experience unity with this obvious lack of uniformity of belief about this experience? Did you read Leo's posting on David Spangler? Some of the things that are shared in this make sense. I find myself in the curious situation of experiencing a progressing openness about [what] is going on with the TM. I think that I am experiencing a midrealm bounce between the rational/intellectual and the intuitive, both of which must be for me aspects of a complete spiritual experience. I remember my own situation and how CLEAR the "personalities" seemed to be who "talked" to me; I do not feel that I have denied or closed off any possibilities over the years as I have continued to examine why and what that was. But I do know that I was "told" some things, very serious things that did NOT happen, just as the friends of Vince Ventola were told by "HAM" he was going to live as he lay dying, and that his little girl would live and she died a week or two later, and that Gabriel and Melchizedek were going to appear and didn't. I was told there was going to be a nuclear war and specifically what to do to prepare for it - digging wells, and setting up antennas on top of mountains and sand bagging certain walls for protection. These things were not true - they did not happen, and I don't think that there is that much difference between much of the stuff I received and much of the stuff TMers receive. One of the outstanding aspects of my "messages" (I was told this by others with whom I shared them) was how beautiful they were, how uplifting and comforting and supportive and inspirational they were. I do not believe that two personalities were talking to me. I do not believe that "personalities" are talking to those of you who are receiving messages or teachings that are beautiful, uplifting, encouraging, [and/but] are interspersed with horrible mistakes. BUT something is going on. I DO agree with you that at the very least they are not coming from Caligastia or are part of a Calisgastian plot. Even though he is around to "promulgate his nefarious schemes", since the times of Jesus he has no power to enter into people's minds. I don't see why you say that it is unlikely that the messages are coming from the subconscious. Where do you think the serious errors are coming from? But, I also agree that the true, the beautiful, the loving, the good stuff can be coming from the superconscious. Don't we all have shadow and light? I am becoming more leery of taking a black or white position on the validity or invalidity of the TM. Even if people who are "receiving" are getting things from their sub or superconscious there is a "validity" here in that is what they are experiencing, and it seems to be a deep spiritual experience for them and it seems to have increased the fruitfulness of their spiritual life. How can these kind of things be "invalid? In connection with this Bob points out a quote from Jung (he says he doesn't know what it means but says it might be relevant): "As opposites never unite at their own level (tertium non datur!), a supraordinate "third" is always required, in which the two parts can come together." I am [most] interested in this "supraordinate" realm. Barring deliberately chosen evil (which Eve did, even in all of her sincerity, because she was told to always stay in touch with Adam on everything, she CHOSE to enter into a plan and keep him in the dark) I have found it most valuable to stay out of black and white value judgements on other people's experiences. Bear with me as I quote a bit more from Jung which seems to give me greater elasticity of understanding, helping me bounce around in a more gentle manner in this mid realm between black/white, right/wrong, valid/invalid/ rational/intuitive: "Just as conscious as well as unconscious phenomena are to be met with in practice, the self as psychic totality also has a conscious as well as an unconscious aspect. Empirically, the self appears in dreams, myths, and fairytales in the figure of the "supraordinate personality" (v. EGO), such as a king, hero, prophet, savior, etc. or in the form of a totality symbol, such as the circle, square, quadratura circuli, cross, etc. When it represents a complexio oppositorum, a union of opposites, it can also appear as a united duality, in the form, for instance, of tao as the interplay of yang and yin, or of the hostile brothers, or of the hero and his adversary (arch-enemy, dragon), Faust and Mephistopheles, etc. Empirically, therefore, the self appears as a play of light and shadow, although conceived as a totality and unity in which the opposites are united. Since such a concept is irrepresentable - tertium non datur - it is transcendental on this account also. It would, logically considered, be a vain speculation were it not for the fact that it designates symbols of unity that are found to occur empirically." [CW vol. 6, pg.460-461] So, isn't it possible that what is being experienced in the TM could be along the lines of this "supraordinate" personality? For greater understanding we could even put this concept together with what we as students of the UB know is a basic reality on "normal" worlds - to have one or two central planetary headquarters which provides the whole planet with archetypes/patterns/guidelines. We share a strong collective unconscious or is it a conscious lack of what we should have to help us live our lives on this planet. This knowledge of what we do not have has been lodged in my unconsciousness, except when I focus on it, for 25 years, since I first read about it. I should think that this would effect us on some level. Perhaps this desire is so strong and we need these "supraordinate" personalities so much that "we" as a "movement" or some anyway are creating what we don't have - wise, friendly, loving beings who readily give us advice and encourage us. It seems that David Spangler has insights, using different terms: "...whether these beings are real or not is less important to me than the impact our images of these beings can have in our lives. Do I give them my power, my authority? If so, I violate some fundamental spiritual laws." And also, "Whether these beings are real or not in themselves, as they enter into our nested sphere, into our dimensionality, they must take on characteristics that allow communication to take place. In many instances, this means entering into a body of manifestation that is built up from the unconscious needs and desires of the channel and of the audience. In this instance, the being speaks to us through an interface that is in part window, part mirror." Is there a third realm here, between those of us who are "getting messages" and have "teachers" and those of us who feel we are open to soul growth from THE TEACHERS - TA, Spirit of Truth, and Angles, but don't desire to or are unable to separate out what we "get" from "whom"? Can we discuss this third realm of the "supraordinate" more? ANYONE????

 David K.- Your ideas always stir me and stimulate me, often helping me to clarify my own thoughts. Your letter to Rich Keeler had me on a real high with your directness, honesty, and ability to hone in on what the real problems were and why the Foundation may never again be a viable organization for the readership to look to for guidance. Your statements was the first really clear statement I have ever read about the probably consequences of an organization that wanted to control with almost ecclesiastical authority. However, it almost sounds to me that you want the Fellowship to take on a different role of being an ecclesiastic authority. Are you asking the Fellowship to make further doctrinaire statements beyond what we ALL share as the main doctrines of the Urantia Book: (1) God is our Father (2) We are all brothers and sisters in one family (3) The kingdom of God is within (4) Through faith we will have eternal life. etc. What other doctrines would you have an organization develop? What is your definition of "fringe" views. How else can the Fellowship define their philosophy or religious definition other than what is stated in the purpose of the Constitution of the Fellowship: "The purposes of THE FELLOWSHIP are the study and dissemination of the teachings of the Urantia Book; the promotion, improvement, and expansion among the peoples of the world of the comprehension and understanding of Cosmology and the relation of the planet on which we live to the Universe, of the genesis and destiny of Man and his relation to God, and of the life and teachings of Jesus; and the inculcation and encouragement of the realization and appreciation of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man - in order to increase and enhance the comfort, happiness, and well-being of Man, as an individual and as a member of society, by fostering a religion, a philosophy, and a cosmology which are commensurate with Man's intellectual and cultural development, through the medium of fraternal association, ever obedient and subservient to the laws of this country and of all countries wherein THE FELLOWSHIP may extend." AND the proposed modifications of the Fellowship Constitution had as their working goal for organizational evolution: "To allow the organization of the Fellowship to be more effective in serving its members by creating interest, promoting support, and enlarging involvement; to the end that the Fellowship becomes "...the skeletal structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience - true religion." (966) Have you read the above? How would you say the PURPOSE, David? As you see from the purpose, the FELLOWSHIP is much more than an organization to foster just the study of the book. It does not seem to me that the development of the Christian church is a good model to follow at all - they have become so sectarian, with one part excluding another, that they have killed each other through the centuries. It does not seem to me that building a doctrine that excludes is the way of the "new cult". We have now a challenge be inclusive, and as you must know from reading some of the workshops being offered for corporations the whole trend is how to include, how to give power away, how to involve all in the organization. The exclusionary concept is an old way. And yet on the other hand, common sense and values tells us that we would not include those who are perverted, but do you think that the TM falls into this category? You and I have been through a similar situation together with our messages when we were in FOG, but I do not feel that excluding "fringe" is the way to go. There seems to be a fear in you for the organization and what will happen to it if we "allow the Trojan horse into the city". What could happen? I really don't see the same vision. I too believe that the TM is error or need or psychological rumblings, but who of us doesn't have a bit of this in our own lives anyway. As a boss of 16 people/teachers who live very closely together and live a variety of diverse ways in their private lives, one of my greatest challenges is to help us live in unity of purpose as we work with children with a great diversity of how we do this. One thing I do NOT do is to negate the strong feelings or experience of another teacher, even if I do not understand it. Once it is allowed to be expressed, talked about and gotten out in the open, if it is erroneous, it obviously fades away because it doesn't have the same power as clarity and rightness. I did have a staff member a couple of years ago who was very hostile to me and who saw and emphasized the mistakes that were made by our organization, but did not offer much to improve the situation. I allowed her a lot of time at meetings to discuss what it was that she thought was wrong. The more she talked, the more obvious it became where she was coming from - she just wanted to bitch and basically she wanted to destroy the day care center because she did not agree with my values. I was on the verge of firing her when I got clear what was going on, but she had already cooked her goose because her errors and motivations became so obvious through letting her talk. My point here is, why be so fast to exclude a large portion of students of the UB because they may be in error or may be having a different experience than we are? What can be gained by doing the same thing the churches did throughout the centuries? Who decides what fringe is anyway. Because I felt I "received a lovely song on the beach in Carmel", am I fringe? We have our doctrines, (how many do we need?) now how can we or the Fellowship as an organization implement them? Give us some more positive ideas on how to be better leaders, David. Can we do it by moving ahead with positive actions, like putting on conferences, having societies and study groups, and letting true error fall by the wayside, or do we have to address that error. Did Jesus spend much time addressing error? And what is causing this error anyway? Is there something that the organization can supply, other than [more] doctrines and exclusion? Remember in the days of Van and Amadon how the individual decision making process was allowed and the struggle to continue "...until every personality concerned had made a final decision", (756) did the authorities interfere. I am NOT suggesting by any means a parallel with anything here except the [process] of allowing error to run its course. Anyway, enough said. You said so many good things in your letter to Dave too, but we always pick on the things we disagree with. Why is that? I also have a point of difference with you in your response to David Elders regarding his question about FOG and our reaction to what "outsiders" said or did: You said, "...every act of tolerance and acceptance on the part of those outside our group was taken as reinforcement and confirmation of the validity of our position." I agree, however, it is also my strong memory that every censure, condemnation, and attack (i.e. Hoit Caston's missive) seemed to strengthen our resolve and drive us further into our dedicated isolation. Not only is my byte count ridiculously high, and I am ignoring my real life, but I am using your valuable time as well. We are all so busy, how can we afford to do this? It seems to be so compelling and personally valuable. Thanks Leland for your sharing and Phil, I couldn't agree more with you! Thank you again for positive clarity.

16 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Responses

Subject: Responses

 Dear Thea, Phil, Leo and fellow Logondonters...

 Thank you all for your responses over the past couple of days. I will have to be brief but did want to jump in with a few bytes... There seem to be two issues which are tending to lead towards a meltdown in the Logondontia Phrasor/Quoton Torpedoe storage rooms, initiated by my posting of a copy of my letter to David Elders. I see these issues as 1) my own lack of tact and skill in articulating my thoughts related to issues on which others hold strong opinions and/or feelings and 2) the nature of social organizations which should be fostered by the readership. Now as for the first one, I am doing the best I can to deal with the issue (you should see the stuff that gets obliterated with the [block] [delete] function!). Perhaps it's not so much the lack of skill as it is a quick tendency to dehumanize and categorize people and groups in ways that are unfair, but then look at the ways in which Dave Strang and Ernest Moyers have been characterized hereon by the same individuals who get incensed when I similarly characterize TMers -- is it just a matter of degree and a matter of limits of tolerance which vary from individual to individual? Phil, I appreciate your steady call to spiritual ideals. Your style *demonstrates* the correct way to go about this. Your expression of the idea of subgroups who meet and maintain themselves for specific approaches to worship and study pretty much fits in with my perspective. I think the Fellowship has some pretty serious choices to make about the type of organization it intends to become. As I attempted to articulate in the letter to David, do we want an organization which simply fosters the study and dissemination of the book, or do we want a religious fellowship made up of all individuals who read the book? These are two very different approaches and I do have pretty strong opinions on the direction I would like to see it take. I would be interested in hearing other views rather than just being zapped for the ones I hold. Leo, it is not a matter of needing "well-defined objectives and clearly marked boundaries in order to function." I see it more as a matter of setting some specific limits so that what is contained within those limits can be more carefully explored. Your numbers on the spectrum seem accurate; you seem to want *no* definition or boundary conditions. Neither do I want "official" views of the ideas in the text, only a social group which is interested in exploring the ideas contained in the text within their original context. Again, this is separate from the functions of a brotherhood of believers in Jesus' gospel. I didn't understand your point in the paragraphs about abandoning techniques of science and philosophy. You're right -- I can't take someone seriously who tells me they are sincerely seeking truth while at the same time they outright reject well- established guidelines and criteria for engaging in such a quest, and all this without even the slightest philosophical defense for such a radical move. I also couldn't figure out what John Denver had to do with this. I made no comments about "coming religious terror." You are guilty in your own way here, Leo, of using rhetoric to destroy meaning. You take my comments, recast them in extreme applications, and then rhetorically ask if that is what I meant. I can't give an example of something "really radical" and neither am I overly paranoid -- I simply advocate an organization whose purpose is to foster the study of the book *and nothing else*. Let people have other organizations which meet their social and religious needs. I think the readership is already so diverse and eclectic that it would be impossible for the fellowship to undertake meeting an objective any broader than the one I have described. Contrary to what you imply, I was not attempting to dictate to Michael M. what was error -- I pointed out what I thought was an error and asked him specific questions aimed at clarifying the point. I don't want to be picky about minutia, but when people are making broad claims supposedly based on the UB, and using those claims to justify courses of action which affect a lot of people, I have no qualms about asking those individuals to be clear about what they're telling us. And if I'm mistaken in considering something an error, I certainly want to know about it, particularly if I'm basing a significant course of action on it. Both Michael and Byron have made such broad claims and then simply dropped the issue when questioned about validating their claims. Where's the philosophical integrity in that? Or is philosophical integrity not an issue with you? You seem highly skilled in deconstructing arguments and ideas presented by others, but do you have a positive, viable view of how the readership should be structured? Do you have any ideas about how such an effort should be undertaken? If you do, why aren't you getting them out in public, hereon and elsewhere, so that they can provide a contribution to the project? I personally value your views very highly but I hear very little coming from you in the way of constructive suggestions. I have my own views, but I would never want those views to dominate *any* organization; my views have too many weaknesses and shortcomings. But they should be able to be somehow summed with those held by you and every other interested reader and as a result, we should be able to come up with a reasonable structure. But to sit on the sidelines and simply criticize every proposal or structure which comes along won't get us very far. If we wait until there's a perfect structure in place before we participate, we'll be waiting a long time.

16 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         Greetings from Tallahassee

Subject: Greetings from Tallahassee

 Hello. I feel that I know many of you from reading your postings. I like the feeling of brotherhood/sisterhood I have seen evidenced between people on opposing sides of an issue. I know some of you from Prodigy. Let me introduce myself. I live in Tallahassee, Florida which is in the panhandle of Florida and is the home of Florida State University and FAMU. I am married (18 years) with two children, ages 8 & 10. I was raised Catholic, but abandoned it early and became somewhat indifferent to religious thought. I represented a rock star want-to-be who insisted that I understand his philosophy before I could effectively represent him. I said, "Fine, what is your philosophy?" He handed me a Urantia Book. He didn't become a rock star but I was hooked on the UB. I didn't read it with a group and I didn't know or care anything about the Foundation, the Brotherhood, etc. I read the UB to say that we could have a personal relationship with the Father. I was impressed with the Rodan papers in the UB and also the story of the bridge at Sidon (don't build your house on a bridge). I have a labrador retriever. There is a park with a bridge in it near my house. So I began going to the bridge every night, with my dog, Muttley, and talking to God. At the time I was buying and giving out hundreds of UBs, mostly to yawns. I was surprised that others didn't see the truth in it or care to look. The authors were often a problem. I heard all the excuses. I kept praying for the wisdom to best be able to convey the message found in the UB. You know what they say, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. I received a call from my rock star and he told me about the Woods Cross phenomenon. I read some of the transcripts and decided to go see for myself. I craftily assembled a list of very tough questions. Not only were the questions answered, I was introduced to a teacher named Will who advised me that she would be the teacher for the Tallahassee group. She asked me to go back and tell them. Sure, I said. I met them one time about a week before I came out to Utah, so they should accept this story from me with no problem. By the way, Will, they hung around with Jim Mills while he was going to FSU and had already advised me that they put no stock in the channeling information, citing FOG. So, Will, how am I to overcome those obstacles? She told me that I would figure something out. I wasn't a "true believer" myself. But I did go to Utah, so what the heck! I copied all of Ham's transcripts and distributed them to the members of the Tallahassee group prior to the meeting. I told them that I didn't vouch for the veracity of the teachings. The Spirit of Truth would have to take care of that. At the meeting I played the tape of Will and, to my surprise, they had enjoyed the Ham transcripts and wanted to start meeting weekly to see what would happen. The next week, also to my surprise, one of the women said she had heard from Will, and we were off. (Way off, says my wife!) Will asked us to try certain exercises to try to incorporate the concepts of the UB into our everyday lives. Our meetings became a series of stories and reports on things that had happened to us while we were doing the exercises. During this process the group became re-energized and grew. They people, who once were barely able to get along, were now more of a family as they tried to become conduits for the Father's love. It was transforming. Other groups began to show up around the country. The teachings in all places were consistent and loving. Some people, however, chose to be extremely skeptical (a wholly acceptable and advisable attitude) but some also personally attacked those who participated (a wholly unacceptable attitude, in my view). It seemed to me that many people were basing their opinions on superficial considerations. Perhaps if I posted selected excerpts from the TM a better foundation for determining the validity of the truth purported to be given. I still think that such a service is beneficial to the discussion. I would like to offer that service to this BB. I would like to walk you through a series of exercises to see if they are of interest to you in your own path. I also want to post excerpts from teachers on other topics. I would like to know if that sort of thing would be of interest to this group. Let me say this about predictions. I don't put any stock in them. I won't post them. They are not the message of the mission. They are very unreliable and the celestials aren't interested in disabusing anyone of error. Maybe the message is that free will requires that you face the future with faith and not count on anyone or any other personality to predict the future. They are no good at it anyway. I will only post spiritual messages of a general application. I've gone on for too long. Its good to meet you all. I hope to hear from you and would like to participate in the discussion. Thanks to Michael Million for his service. Thanks to all of you for having interest in spiritual matters. Thanks to the Father for making all this possible.


16 Jun 1993    Dennis Shields      The cosmic scrub is best appli

Subject: The cosmic scrub is best applied with a truth brush

 Aloha Urantial-ites (couldn t be Urantia-lites);

 The postings seem to create ever more rapid responses in reply. It s thrilling to be a part of this exchange of ideas.

 David K. your postings of late have been an intriguing mixed bag! In the same spirit that you offered your assessments to Richard Keeler; that is, one of personal friendship but differing views on organizational matters the things I am about to say are not directed to you in a personal way. In the short time I have been privileged to read your ideas here on line I have developed true respect for your eloquence in some times brilliant replies or in origination of thought. Often times I have been amazed at the prolific cornucopia of bytes which you offer up in such an abundant thought stream.

 I feel that you have made certain representations summing up the FOG experience and applying these definite a priori assumptions to the present and evaluating the TM by these assumptions.

 In a earlier posting you wrote (Date: Wed, 5 May 1993 12:43:10 EDT) : *Dennis; March 25, 1985 was, to the best of my recollection, *the* day which WWIII was to begin. Wasn't the KAL incident much later than that? Incidentally, when we first started getting our messages re impending war, I gained access to the daily CIA briefings which are sent out internationally to diplomatic offices. (No, *not* psychically.) I read these things every day throughout that period and never saw anything which by itself would have raised concerns. The most activity at the time seemed to be in Libya and in Libyan sponsored international activities. Iran was also pretty active and there was collaboration and conflict between the two in Lebanon as well as other areas. The Soviet Union was becoming more focused on trying to hold things together internally. During this time, it seemed that Iran and Libya were jockeying to take the place of the withdrawing USSR in terms of supplying ideology and support to revolutionary movements. It does not appear to have been a time when there were even any significant precursors to a global conflict. I remember being perplexed by this -- trying to correlate the CIA briefings with the messages we were getting -- nothing ever really fit.*


 In my researching this date, I have my own recollections, I have the recollection of many neighbors who lived trough this experience, I have Sonny's journal entry and the result is this: in late October or early November of 1983 we, the Urantia Book readers in West Hawai i, gathered to hear predictions of World War III. The report was that *midwayers* had contacted individuals to alert them to the near likelihood of impending nuclear war. This same report came from three separate sources. One of the sources of this information was Vern and those in FOG who were also getting the same message. Another was a woman named Carol Jet who moved to Kona during the time frame of these goings on. We were alarmed and hoped that this would never come to pass. As we were already of a mind set to live in an environment where self-sufficiency is certainly possible we were less alarmed than those on the mainland. Some who denied the event, others who sold homes armed themselves and some who moved into caves.

 Sonny s journal entry indicates that by 11-20-83 we were well along in the purchasing of food, medical supplies and other items in the preparation for disaster. I have personal events in my life by which I know of a certainty that the peak of this event in terms of immediate impact was a time span of around forty day s starting at the end of October 1983.

 I believe that you are so deep in denial regarding these events that you have created a revised history to cover the event. A revised history which is off nearly a year and a half regarding crucial details. I believe that this stems from a perfectly natural response to dealing with humiliation and the going down in flames of the Family of God organization which you had invested years of involvement.

 You say David that * It does not appear to have been a time when there were even any significant precursors to a global conflict.*

 The following are excerpts from an article in time magazine Oct. 22 1990 titled Inside the KGB (page 72).


 *OLEG GORDIEVSKY S escape to the West in 1985 shook the Kremlin. Gordievsky was not only the KGB S top man in London but had been a British intelligence agent for a decade. He is the most senior Soviet intelligence officer ever to work for the West and possibly the most influential ..........

 *.............. Gordievsky also tells how in 1983, the world edged closer to apocalypse than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Convinced that the U S was preparing a nuclear attack, the KGB mobilized all its resources and in a search for conformation, came perilously close to persuading Moscow that war might be imminent. The episode chillingly illuminated the other side of the distorting looking glass through which the superpowers had long regarded each other. ...........

 *............. On, Sept. 1 1983, the Soviets shot down a South Korean airliner, KAL 007 that had strayed into their air space. Incompetence as well as disregard for human life brought about the tragedy. Gordievsky was told that eight of the 11 tracking stations in the area overflown by KAL 007 were not functioning properly. Some of those in the confused chain of command handling the intruder believed they were dealing not with a civilian aircraft but with one engaged in intelligence gathering. *The initial Soviet response to the downing of KAL 007 and the loss of 269 lives was denial, followed by an attempt to blame the Americans and South Koreans, an attempt most of Gordievskys colleagues-found laughable. But at the same time Washington's handling of the crisis was seen by many as provocative and de-stabilizing.

 *Those anxieties grew a few weeks later when only hours after

 he White House labeled rumors of a U.S. invasion of Granada *preposterous*, American troops stormed the island.

 *Though well aware of the grotesque errors made in their air defense, much of the Soviet leadership convinced itself that KAL 007 had been on an intelligence mission *The world situation said Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko later that month is now slipping toward a very dangerous precipice*

 *From his sickbed, a dying Andropov issued an apocalyptic denunciation of American policy unprecedented since the depths of the cold war. The U S was a *country where outrageous military psychosis is being imposed*, he said. *The Reagan Administration in it s imperial ambitions, goes so far that one begins to doubt whether Washington has any brakes at all preventing it from crossing the mark before which any sober-minded person must stop*.

 *Operation Ryan now entered its most dangerous phase On Nov. 2, (1983) NATO began an exercise code named Able Archer 83 designed to practice nuclear-release procedures. Paranoia in the Center (Moscow)reached its peak*

 (operation Ryan was an unprecendented world wide cooperation between the KGB and the GRU to gather information regarding the percieved American first strike. This was the Politburos highest priority of intellegence gathering at the time of the highest parinoia.)

 *Because Soviet contingency plans for a surprise attack against the West envisaged using training exercises as cover for a real offensive, Moscow was haunted by the fear that this might be equally true of Western plan. Two features of Able Archer caused particular alarm; the procedures and message formats employed in the transition from conventional to nuclear warfare were quite different from those used in previous NATO exercises; and the imaginary NATO forces were moved through all the alert phases from normal readiness to general alert. Though there was no real alert involving any NATO troops, alarmist KGB reporting persuaded the Center that there was.

 *On Nov. 8 or 9, 1983 (Gordievsky cannot recall which) flash telegrams were sent to both KGB and GRU residences in Western Europe reporting a nonexistent alert at US bases. Although the Center admitted that concern for the security of US bases might be the result of the Oct. 23 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut, the telegrams implied that there was another possible explanation, the beginning of preparations for a nuclear first strike. Surveillance teams around American bases in Europe reported changed patterns of officer movement and the observation by some bases of one hour s radio silence between 1800 and 1900 hours Moscow time. In the tense atmosphere generated by the crises and rhetoric of the previous few months, the KGB concluded that American forces had really been placed on alert--and might even have begun the countdown to nuclear war.

 *Another detailed check list arrived in London. For the first time the Center revealed what it believed to be the time scale of the Western plan for a first strike; *It can be assumed that the period of time from the moment when the preliminary decision is taken, up to the order to deliver the strike will be of very short duration possibly seven to 10 days.* During that brief interval before Armageddon, *preparations for the surprise attack would necessarily be reflected in the work pattern of those involved.* Moscow also expected unusual activity at 10 Downing Street large numbers of soldiers and armed police in the streets and the evacuation of the families of the American political, economic and military elite living in Britain U S embassy and CIA staff were expected to stay behind in embassy bunkers.

 *Although the alarm at Moscow Center eased slightly with the end of the NATO exercise, there was no immediate willingness to lower the priority of Operation RYAN. MOSCOW betrayed more of its bizarre misapprehensions when it suggested that the activities of banks post offices and slaughterhouses be monitored. The Center s ideological blinkers persuaded officials that in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, capitalist states would regard the preservation of the banking system as one of there main priorities Similarly, they believed the food industry had contingency plans for the mass slaughter of cattle whose meat would then be put into cold storage.

 *After Andropov s death in February 1984 those KGB officers who were more concerned by the alarmism of the Center leadership than by any threat from the West were encouraged to note the emergence of a less paranoid interpretation of American and NATO policy. It is reasonable to assume some connection between Gordievsky s warnings to British intelligence of the Center s reaction to Able Archer and various attempts at indirect Western reassurance that followed.

 *Among the members of the Politburo who followed the crisis generated by Soviet paranoia and American rhetoric was Mikhail Gorbachev He cannot have failed to draw the conclusion that East-West d etente Was an urgent priority ..............................*


 The CIA did not indicate a brink of destruction urgency in any of the briefings you say David, * I read these things every day throughout that period and never saw anything which by itself would have raised concerns*, and the reason is that it was the Soviets in total paranoia who were about to go off the deep end. I believe that you are wrong about being wrong in predicting wwIII. I believe that instead of being embarrassed by this event in your life that you should be proud! I believe that you ex members of FOG who lived through this crisis deserve praise and thanks for warning the rest of us and for taking your lumps when the war did not come!

 I find it amazing that even though the CIA did not reflect the true degree of tension that we here in Kona knew, that you folks knew and that the fact that this was a dangerous moment in world history is only discernible from information revealed years later. From this report in time it seems reasonable to say that the end of the cold war stems from this moment poised on the brink of disaster. As I recall a piece of the information coming from the messages was that the Celestials were working at solving the problem. That the war was imminent if efforts being exerted by the Celestials failed. Well it seems that their efforts were a success.

 I believe that the aftermath of the Celestials success created an environment in which character faults ambitions egos and misunderstandings came to the forefront at FOG in Clayton. I believe that some of the desire to exclude TMers from Urantia gatherings is an emotional backlash punishing others for the pain endured during these readjustments.

 I believe the high level of criticism being given to proponents of the TM by ex members of FOG is not because of an honest examination of wither or not there are any real spiritual truths being promoted by the teachers lessons and restatements of Urantia truths and re amplification of Urantia truths. Other than the current dialog between Thea and Sara these teachings have not been analyzed as to their effect on the human soul. The enhancing of Jesus like living has not been the yardstick by which the TM has been judged. Instead rather mundane examinations of the type such as *is the language of the message up to snuff*. Much of your criticism David has been of the sort to redefine what the TM is as filtered through your *distorting looking glass* and then to blast the redefinition as though it were the genuine article.

 Your letters to David Elders and Richard Keeler appeared to me to be extremely contradictory in that the one to Keeler you seem to rephrase the song *what have you done for me lately* and then you endorse the concept of free folio views to everyone, all the while diminishing the need for the organization The Urantia Foundation (in all this I couldn't agree with you more regarding the need and the usefulness of the Foundation)

 In the letter to Elders you give the impression that your reaching for your saw and hammer to join in the framing of a organization to create the religion *about* the Urantia Book , complete with doctrines approved also members approved then approved topics of discussion and dear God lets keep that riff-raff from the TM from darkening our doorway.

 Again David I think you are in deep denial you can t even remember when one of the most significant episodes of your life took place.

 Paper-112 Section-5 Para-18 Page-1235 Line-27 Para-3 The Thought Adjuster will recall and rehearse for you only those memories and experiences which are a part of, and essential to, your universe career. If the Adjuster has been a partner in the evolution of aught in the human mind, then will these worth-while experiences survive in the eternal consciousness of the Adjuster. But much of your past life and its memories, having neither spiritual meaning nor morontia value, will perish with the material brain; much of material experience will pass away as onetime scaffolding which, having bridged you over to the morontia level, no longer serves a purpose in the universe. But personality and the relationships between personalities are never scaffolding; mortal memory of personality relationships has cosmic value and will persist. On the mansion worlds you will know and be known, and more, you will remember, and be remembered by, your onetime associates in the short but intriguing life on Urantia

 David I believe you have a Vern shaped hole in your life---- *the relationships between personalities are never scaffolding;* ---- I believe Vern has a David shaped hole in his life. Are these differences reconcilable in this lifetime? I have no idea. Probably not as long as pride and being *right * or being *wrong* stand in the way. I believe that you and Vern would know the answer to this better than I, David.

 But in the mean time it seems unfair for resentment due Vern (or undue) to be heaped on the TM.

 David, in the opening to the Elders letter you write *I am posting it here for your consideration, comments and general ideational assault.* and in a response to Thea you write *If I am wrong or mistaken in my arguments or conclusions, please tell my where and why.* It takes a brave man to open ones self to the exposure of the errors of ones ideas in such a public forum as this. My hats off to you. But at the same time I believe I ve taken you up on your offer. I hope these comments have not cut too deep. In a way regarding your role in 1983 I feel like I am addressing some one whose got amnesia, some one who has forgotten they have done heroic deeds.


16 Jun 1993    leo elliott            Boundaries of Respect

Subject: Boundaries of Respect

 June 15, 1993 9:41pm

 Hello All,

 Sara, I know that David Spangler was for a long time associated with Peter and Eileen Caddy at the "newage" community at Findhorn in Scotland. He has written several wonderful works, one of which I would recommend is titled, ironically enough, "Revelation: Birth of a New Age" , 1976, ISBN 0- 914198-09-2. He has been teaming up with William Irwin Thompson at least since then. I would be happy to repost the excerpts to the list or to private individuals who may have missed it earlier. His was/is the best description of "what's going on" in this channeling biz that I have yet encountered.

 David K., I would not wish to slight your own powers of deconsctruction of arguments, a power I am told lawyers are paid well for, and a power which seems so totally at odds with Jesus' method of taking the grain of truth and expanding it so as that the chaff will fall away as the seed of truth grows. So on I go, being un-Jesusonian. I should imagine that if you and me and David Strang and Ernest Moyers and maybe Byron and Jim McNelly all found ourselves in a lifeboat together sometime, with or without a UB, it would be an interesting situation to see if we could find a sense of crew-membership sufficient to suspend our obvious differences. For what it's worth, I find your "characterizations" of the TMmers rather tepid compared to those of Strang or Moyers.

 You do indeed seem geared to "setting some specific limits so that what is contained within those limits can be more carefully explored." You may or may not see the UB as such a "limit setter"; I tend to see it more as an invitation to explore, to make connections that have never been made before, between/among people much moreso than between/among ideas or concepts. To the degree that this is occurring on this list, even if the connections made are not always harmonious, or accomodative, I am enthralled at the process.

 You say that while you do not want any "official" views of the _ideas_ in the text, "only a social group which is interested in exploring the _ideas contained_ in the text within their original context." Is a social group which is interested in exploring the _ideals implied_ in the text, within the context of everyday life, of any merit? It seems to me that just as you say, ideas may be contained in a text, but ideals require vividization in life to live, and this is my area of preferred exploration.

 My paragraphs on the abandonment of scientific and philosophic techniques were in response to your statement that you "have a difficult time viewing TM adherents as sincere truth seekers simply because they so readily abandon methods and techniques of both philosophy and science which are quite well proven to assist us in the acquisition and validation of truth." You certainly have the right to question anyone's sincerity, with or without a reason therefor. I personally find this to be a rather sure way to entropize a conversation. My point was that you seem to have consistently shown respect only for those who can mount "philosophical defenses" for their various positions, and consistently overlooked the sincerity of the ignorant man who sincerely loved his wife, yet would utterly fail any attempt at stating a philosophical position.

 John Denver: it is my understanding that he appeared at the Snowmass Conference (musically, and otherwise?). Based on your apparent statement about "providing a platform ---> endorsing precepts", I was wondering if I should have inferred from this specious logic that the FEF thereby endorsed EST, or whatever other sordid precepts may be floating around in that Rocky Mountain High-wayman? Did Jesus object to sharing the camp with Kirmeth?

 Rhetoric can indeed destroy meaning David -- I'm glad you got that point, for it is precisely your drive-by rhetoric which has, imo, been the occasion of so much heat, and so little light, being generated hereon, at least as regards the TM.

 I wish you well in your efforts to promote an organization whose purpose is to foster the study of the book *and nothing else.*

 "...but when people are making broad claims supposedly based on the UB, and using those claims to justify courses of action which affect a lot of people, I have no qualms about asking those individuals to be clear about what they're telling us."

 Are we to become spin-control doctors for the fifth epochal revelation? Do we have such little faith in the Spirit of Truth to speak to each individual in each dark hour that we have to pre-empt this deity privilege and speak words of warning to those feeble-minded souls who may be misled by such a mish-mash of unvalidated ideas? Are we to become the intellectual prophylactics of the Age of Light and Life? Practice safe philosophy!

 And just which "courses of action which affect a lot of people" might you be referring to here David? Daily prayer and meditation? Listen to the silence? Is there a projective echo of FOG in the air here?

 You question Michael's and Byron's "philosophical integrity" -- again another of the modern business techniques surely designed to win friends and influence people -- for making broad claims and then backing off from validating their claims. Is philosophy to be the only source of validation, and the UB the only basis for that philosophy? How many philosophical engagements have been postponed between us David? (Ideas vs. Ideals, the Experiential vs. the Dialectic models of revelation, et al.) Am I to interpret this as a lack of philosophical integrity on your part, or simply, and perhaps more charitably, a discussion you are not interested in pursuing, or an argument you don't have time to develop?

 You ask if I have a positive, viable view of how the readership should be structured, and why aren't I getting them out in public as a contribution to "the project." Perhaps you have forgotten earlier posts to Sara on some specific vividifying language for the FEF constitution, some earlier suggestions in line with Jim McNelly's notions of the re-establishment of the HOME as the basic tetrahedron of society, with home-based, sustainable economics, education, and the gradual extinction of churches, as per the paper on Life on a Neighboring Planet? Perhaps in my recent efforts to deconstruct the UB and see some sordid Sadlerian associations, you may have forgotten earlier posts suggesting that these virtual networks are the new Roamin' Legion destined to carry the revelatory interdimensional communication worldwide, privately, selectively, and effectively; or is it that perhaps I have suggested another unthinkable thought earlier, that perhaps this Teaching Mission, or something like it, could just be some evolutionary "wave of the future" destined to accomplish in its plodding way what even excellent revelation has failed to accomplish?

 My participation hereon is its own reward. I have suggested as "reasonable structures" the Platonic Solids and the omni-interaccomodative philosophy of Buckminster Fuller, otherwise known as Synergetics. I have suggested that the religion of Disneyism has been far more effective in erasing racial stereotypes and promoting inter-species cooperation and gender-understanding than all the evolutionary religions of the twentieth century combined. The Beatles may have been right -- and if people really do "get" that "all ya need is love," I don't think Jesus would mind if he were temporarily upstaged by these four mopheads.

 Of course, it may also be that the Spirit of Truth needs no humanly-imposed structure whatsoever, no modern management techniques at all, that there may just be in the mind of God a plan which encompasses each and every one of us as a contributing crewmember on Spaceship Urantia...

17 Jun 1993    Byron Belitsos      Re IC93 & TM

Subject: Re IC93 & TM

 Dennis, you wrote concerning me and another the following passage: "And ye TMers of little faith and private e-mail where are the Simon Peters and the Saul Pauls among you? If you *truly* believe this TM then for Christ sake go tell it on the mountain. Where is your intestinal fortitude? your guts?"

 First of all, my email on this subject was public, my friend!

 But more important, what you are asking for has already been done, Dennis! That is the main point. You just cannot see it from Hawaii. Leaders in the U-movement have had abundant opportunity to examine the TM. Many TMers are friends and close colleagues of theirs. The Executive Committee was in Chicago during the Naperville event by coincidence; but NOT ONE of them took time out to visit and at least socialize with the 200 TMers from 20 or so cities that were meeting that weekend only 20 miles away!

 I have personally spoken at great length with many of them. It is a waste of my time to continue to offer unsolicited input to those whose minds are made up. At this point I am only interested in respecting the sovereignty of their God-given free will, and I really mean this sincerely. This includes leaving them alone to have their own conferences under their own terms. They have every right to draw boundaries around their religious activities as do I.

 There might be reason to continue this debate with you, but I have a hard time taking your arguments seriously, since you yourself are not an active participant in the TM, yet have taken the liberty of uploading other people's transmissions into a public forum.


17 Jun 1993    Byron Belitsos      200 Jax to Sarah?

Subject: 200 Jax to Sarah?

 Dear sister Sara,

 You wrote to me: "I was minded to take 200 points away from you for giving "50 points for all Logondonters who stop posting arguments on the TM regardless of your position on the TM, thus showing your tolerance of that which you can not fully understand at this time." But this would violate my own system, so instead I would like to suggest that you do 200 jumping jacks for using your energy in a negative way -- suggesting that there is value to no discussion regarding differences AND for suggesting that we tolerate something which we cannot fully understand."

 Your point well taken. I would certainly want to encourage discussion of differences or "interfaith dialogue"!

 I wish it were that simple. Information about the Teaching Mission is widely available in hundreds and hundreds of pages of transcripts from many cities nationwide, and from scores of people who can be personally interviewed. Then of course, you can travel to a site where transmissions occur. There are many in California.

 In view of this, someone is going to have to convince me that I should spend time on this network rehashing the same points each week with those who either: 1. Refuse to do such primary research -- i.e., personally interview a T/R face-to-face, attend a few transmission sessions, read diverse transcripts, and attempt to get past the third-hand cliches by asking those who were actually there on occasions such as Naperville and the Ventola incident 2. Or those, like Matthew, who have done genuine primary research, have read transcripts, etc., and see no value in the TM.

 In the case of #1, the person cannot be considered to be taken seriously because of their lack of diligence as a researcher; in the case of #2, the person has had their first-hand encounters, has checked in with their highest source of truth-validation, and has found that the TM is just not for them. Such a person has done an honest, thorough examination and should be congratulated for having the courage to come to a position and move on -- to get off the dead center of indecision and get on with exploring other realms of faith-adventure. Leland Foster's recent post explaining his reasons for rejecting the TM is a very touching example of this approach and I applaud him for it. I would hope that over time Leland might also move to a higher level of interaction with TM believers, a level of which might properly be called "interfaith dialogue".

 Sarah, I saw little in your recent questions to Thea that shows progress toward a conclusion in your research. You seem to be running in place. I am at least encouraged by strong hints of an interest in interfaith dialogue and genuine personal sharing. [I need to amend this some after your very last post that I read tonight.] However, aren't most of your concerns the same old questions that have been discussed in great depth in your TM Forum in January, and in many other places ad infinitum? Why not just rest free now, and move on? As Thea points out, arguments on a computer network will not alone solve this question. If that is all you are willing to do, you are probably not ready yet to seriously research the TM. If you want to drop it all now and move on, I can accept you as a non-believer in the TM; it is your perfect right!

 Now if you really must press on, I suggest you use the technique of direct experience. Do primary research. Go into the field and fearlessly gather first hand information from observing the actual phenomenon. Be a genuine scientist and truth seeker (as you are beginning to do with your questions to Thea). If after sincere inquiry you see no value in the TM, I would salute you with respect and wish you well, as a fellow faith-daughter in the kingdom. If you do not do these things but continue to rehash the issues via the written electronic word only, I will have to assign 200 virtual jumping jacks to you.

 Byron (remembering the good times in the Bay Area we shared)

17 Jun 1993    Byron Belitsos      Important correction...

Subject: Important correction...

 ....This quick note is logistical folks, but important to setting the record straight on the crucial issues raised by David's attack on my paper on the soul....

 David, you recently wrote:

 "Byron, the file you posted [on the soul] was not the paper to which I responded. What you uploaded looked as if it might be a list of quotes which you used in your paper."

 David, I uploaded the original paper, and I am remiss in not taking the time to explain that this text is slightly different than the one you read. I do not have the edited version on my hard disk. Minor changes where made in the text by the editors of the SFJ Journal -- including the insertion of an opening paragraph and changing the title -- without consulting me. But these do not change the substance of the argument at all. What may confuse you is that the original text was a set of aphorisms written in the style of Nietzche or Norman O. Brown. The SFJ editors did not understand that, and tended to run them together in their layout. The article is not an "argument", much less a doctrinal statement. It is a set of propositions meant to stimulate thought and speculation.

 Nonetheless, I have composed a reply to your critique that I will finish on the weekend. Those still interested in this subject please read the previous exchange, because I have begun writing a serious piece in response.


17 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Welcome to Fred!

Subject: Welcome to Fred! In-Reply-To: [9306170011.AA11331@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Fred, greetings, greetings! I am very glad to have you aboard. Among other things, Will visited our group two weeks ago and gave a lesson and it was really great! I am particularly fond of the transcripts from Tallahassee (sp?). I TR for LinEL and others in Corvallis, Oregon and I agree completely with you about predictions. Personally, I think they tend to come from us humans, because the general gist of the teachers as I have experienced it is that our free will choice is always respected. We are not given rescue jobs that take away our need and right to choose. I think there are many here who maybe have not read enough transcripts to get the idea that teachers really don't tell us what to do. It isn't quite like that, by and large. Anyway, I am delighted to have you here and please give greetings from our group to yours and thank you for the "loan" of Will :) I look forward to interacting with you.

17 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       One for Sara

Subject: One for Sara In-Reply-To: [9306170705.AA14538@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi, Sara,

 I thoroughly enjoyed your lovely ocean song experience! I would love to hear it in my own mind. The last thing that I would want to see would be that any of us for any reason did not allow ourselves to remain open to that kind of experience. I love the beach and one of my first real experiences with the spirit was there shortly after I got the UB. I saw the waves lapping up around the rocks and suddenly they were embracing the earth in the caress of the Father's love and I realized in my deepest self that the universe truly was friendly. I had forgotten about that until you shared your song.

 I am willing to play with different metaphors for the teaching mission, sure. I am not sure the Jungian thing works well for me because the implied dualism (if I am reading things right?) does not fit well into my take on the UB. I do agree with you , BTW, that the error or whatever you want to call it (I call it garble, and since we are humans, all do it) does indeed come from the subconscious. I tend to disregard the garbles and go for the meat, and for me that does indeed seem from superconscious areas. Let's put it this way: I had no idea that my own mind help such a degree of spirituality! Or perhaps it _is_ from the TA or my angels. I don't know what to call it. At this point, the metaphor/ model of the teaching mission fits all the points better than any other model I have been able to concoct, but I always look at other models. Something is certainly going on. And it is something that is connecting some of us to each other, too. Earlier this spring, many of us got a greater, deeper sense of Michael's presence independently of each other. I am not referring specifically to messages here, but rather to an awareness of his presence and of his influence in our lives. It popped up rather spontaneously. You can say that because we have the UB this is not surprising, but in 23 years of reading, I have never had so many people suddenly start talking about the same phenomenon happening like this. And that awareness has not left. One of the more recent things that seems to be popping up is an increased awareness of the Universe Mother Spirit, and how lovely she is, too! I had never really had certain understandings about her, and now I just seem to crave to know, and I read about her and I have some feeling of her, some sense of how deeply rooted in her being we are and how lovingly she ministers to us. It is also quite wonderful. I did not realize that Michael's spirit of truth comes to us in part through her ministry, and I can kind of begin to differentiate them... sort of like she reaches horizontally to incredible breadth and he reaches up to great heights. Sort of an almost stereotypical male/female thing, perhaps, or is it archetypal? Whatever it is, the understanding seems to enhance my life and my understanding.

 About Jung...I would be interested in knowing (Bob, should I be asking you? Bob B, that is :) where the parallels are with the UB. When I studied him, and it was not an exhaustive study by any means, I did not find myself noticing that many similarities. It is hard for us to evolve a different concept when we don't have some of the basic underpinnings down... I did not entirely follow the supraordinate bit. Perhaps in part because, as I said to Leland, I have never been aware of cravings to have someone tell me what to do, or to be a heroine etc. I have always wanted to decide for myself, and at the same time, have frankly until recently, shied away from anything that smacked of leadership roles all of my life. So some of those explanations for why this would be happening just don't work for me in my inner sense of things. Perhaps the closest I can come is that I have felt for some time that I was waiting for something to happen. I even thought it was a psychological aberration that I was waiting, like I was stuck or something. What I wanted was an opportunity to really go out and live my life the way Michael would want me to, but to do it with the closeness of others, in a community way, that I had always craved from UB groups but had never found since we left Bob Slagle's group in 1977 and moved to Oregon. I always wanted a group where we could really be honest and open with each other, and become a family together that supported each other in our struggles to live a truly spirit-dominated life. I had come to believe that this was simply not possible on this planet. I was relatively at peace with my life, and moving ahead adequately. But today, I live a life radically closer to my spiritual ideals than I ever thought possible. I really did not believe that some of the things that have happened in my personal, inner spiritual life (as opposed to any transmissions of messages) were even possible. I did not know that you could experience the love from the Father and from Michael in that profound a manner. It is not an everyday occurrence, mind, but it is often enough to make my former life seem pale and lifeless. At the same time, my ability to live my day-to-day life has radically improved, along with my physical health (I have had a form of lupus for years) and many other things, including my conceptualization capabilities and aspects of my creative life. Certainly most of my relationships have also improved radically. It has been almost ten months now. We shall see how it continues.

 So what _is_ happening? I am seeing this in just too many people to be a fluke. And other friends and family members who do not know what is happening comment on seeing the changes in me. They seem to like it. Even my 88year-old mother talks about feeling some spiritual change, some sense that spiritual comfort is closer. I hear things from entirely outside the UB readership, despite the horrors that do go on in the world. It isn't like all our problems will be solved. That indeed would abrogate(sp) our free will choice and it doesn't feel pollyannaistic (what an awful coinage...). Well, anyway, I will cease and desist. How shall we structure our "play" with the exploration of this? What would work best? I am trying to think about this and will certainly give it more thought.

 And indeed, everytime that I swear I am simply far too busy to be spending time here, I send my byte-count up another notch! Hugs to you, Sara. Talk to you soon.

17 Jun 1993    Thea Hardy       Proposal to David

Subject: Proposal to David In-Reply-To: [9306170705.AA14538@atlantis.CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hello David,

 Thea, the newly faint -of-heart is ready for the next effort...

 Listen, without any desire whatsoever to be rude, it really does appear that you have a sort of slippery structure in your arguments (not to be confused with fuzzy logic). Let's see if I can say what I mean... when a situation arises, your responses seem to me to confound more than clarify. Rather than seeming dialectical, in as I see little synthesis going on, the approach seem more slip and slide: slip this way and slide that. Just in case it is myself who is responsible for this, I will seek to be more specific and direct and seek clarification.

 1. What exactly _is_ your position on the teaching mission?

 2. What do you in point of fact see as the purposes of the Fellowship and how do you think that it should be structured and should function? (Don't get hung up spending a lot of time on this one; for my own interests, it is actually pretty secondary, even tertiary)

 3. What questions do you really want to ask of me? What specifically is it that you want to know about my position/ experience/ knowledge/ etc? Be as specific as possible, please.

 4. Whose thought processes in our virtual community here do you respect and honor, if any?

 That's for starters. I sincerely want to know the answers to 1, 3 and 4 and have some curiosity about 2, although I think I have a better grasp of your position there. About 1 I am truly curious because there has been a degree of variation that confuses me. I consider 3 very important, particularly if you are going to "critique' _me_, which is acceptable, but in that case I want to know what we are really talking about. And 4, although it may seem rude, did come to mind because it does sound a bit like there is no one on here whose thinking you truly respect whenever they disagree. I know that you do not likely actually feel that way, but on this virtual place with its semi-paucity of tone and nuance, it does sometimes truly appear that way. (Have you considered the "traditional" net codes of [g]s and smiley faces? etc?)

 I really would like the clarification that answering at least 1 and 3 would provide me. I think our dialogue could be more fruitful if we can get more specific and have a clearer idea of what each other means, of what we are really discussing. When I think about it, I think that your messages appear (and I do mean appear) to be heavily laden with subtext, and somewhat indirect despite surface appearances. If that is unfair, I apologize. If not, hey, it may hurt, but I will still take it on the nose. Do keep in mind that I do not particularly respect so-called cool logic and I do not overly worship "acting rational"; I do not mean by this that I am an advocate or devotee of flaming or irrationality, merely that intellect devoid of emotion is simply not complete to me and it tends to lead me to certain conclusions. There are some things here that we are all truly passionate about, and that is as should be. I don't think it is necessary to hide that, and I don't think that just because I show hurt, as has been seen elsewhere on this list, that this automatically means that I am incapable of discussion. I left the idea that I must repress and twist my emotions into an unexpressed knot in order to be considered sane and rational back with the emotional problems that such attitudes caused me in my life. There is a balance, and for me to be ultra-rational and unmoved by comments about things about which I am passionate is not more healthy and normal than for me to be hyperemotional.

 Whew! More byte-count increase. I guess I am trying to beat you for the blowhard cup this time around! Sigh. Well, somewhere along here I am going to have to generate less! But when! Maybe clarification will help, if we don't get too nitsy about it. Not sure if I believe that is possible at this stage. What do you think?

 In the spirit of siblinghood that Michael hoped we would manage,

17 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         Re: To Fred Harris, from Bob B

Subject: Re: To Fred Harris, from Bob B. In-Reply-To: [199306170139.AA26638@freenet.scri.fsu.edu]; from "SARA L. BLACKSTOCK" at Jun 16, 93 9:36 pm

 Yes, Bob, I am an attorney and, although I am a board certified tax specialist (LL.M.) I primarily practice in the municipal finance area. I have not read the article you referenced but will look for it and would be glad to comment on it, as is the wont of an attorney. Sara, I enjoyed your "message" and the story that accompanied it. In fact the TM does place emphasis on the stillness and in daily communion with the Father, as you well know. I am sorry to hear of the dislocations the FOG experience caused for so many people. Those darn celestials, so unreliable in predictive matters. I think people have a tendency to want predictions. It is a struggle for most people to avoid the desire to know what is around the bend. Anyway, thanks for the "war story". I would like to start my postings with some teacher comments on the stillness and various aspects of it. Can't do it now, as I am late for work and have to book it on out of here. I will look forward to continuing this conversation later.

17 Jun 1993    David Kantor      What's become of Peter F?

Subject: What's become of Peter F?

 A quick good morning...

 I saw Peter F. in San Francisco two weeks ago. He told me that a (well-known) T/R had told him that he lacked the requisite spiritual humility to participate in the TM. He said that he was then blasted by this same T/R about his lack of faith and his spiritual unfitness. Peter, who was going under the assumption that these T/R's speak for Melchizedeks and other high spiritual luminaries was pretty devastated by this. He told me that he was so disoriented by it that he was abandoning both the TM and the UB. Perhaps if he has not also abandoned this list he will clarify and tell us himself just what's going on.


17 Jun 1993    Michael Million     From Dennis Shields: Ship/Boa

Subject: From Dennis Shields: Ship/Boat

 You haven t the foggiest idea what I am and what I am not privy to in Hawaii.

 Your retort to the challenge I put forth is admirable in the extent that you identified yourself as one of the advocates of the TM I challenged to be less timid, yet your rationalizations and talk of your *right to draw boundaries* and the *waste of your time*....I donno Byron just what does define the second mile? What are the duties of the Urantia Organizations to the readership? to TMers? to non TMers? to unity not uniformity? Does the readership exist for the benefit of the organization or does the organization exist for the benefit of the readership? I know one thing these questions can not be answered if you just take your ball and go home, I'm sorry Byron I'm not trying to offend you but it just sounds weak to me. Then again who am I to know I"ve not walked that mile in your shoes.

 As to my active participation in the TM; I'm Switzerland. Between the positive and negative is the neutral with out which there can be no positive or negative.

 I am giving the TM a fair hearing after all isn't that all you want from the executive committee? (not that I am the executive committee but a fair hearing *is* what you are after?)

 Since we are in a public forum lets discuss fair use. I have posted TM excerpts by prior permission either verbal or in the case of Bob Slagle written (in the last few paragraphs permission is given to copy as long as no money is charged and the reprint is total, It cost me money to reprint it on Urantial, and to the best of my knowledge I sent it complete.)

 In an educational forum fair use is a very broad area, the teachers are non citizens of any signatory nation to the treaties on international copyright, therefore any Teacher transcript which has been distributed is in the public domain. Other verbatim quotes of any length in an educational context are allowable because fair use exceptions to the copyright laws are intended to provide educational freedom and to broaden the marketplace of ideas.

 The InterNet by its very nature is an educational setting.

 I recall that Jesus said If they are not against me they are for me.

 I am not against the TM, Byron.

 Nor am I against you. If my words stung I m sorry, if they challenged you and spurred you on then I achieved my intent.

17 Jun 1993    BOB SLAGLE             Peter F. abused by T/R

Subject: Peter F. abused by T/R


 HI virtual friends,

 David Kantor (AND PETER F. WHERE ARE YOU?) and Sara,

 I will take your post about Peter Ferguson at face value for this post.

 It is, of course, abhorrent to me that anyone, T/R or otherwise should be so presumptuous and inappropriate. The claims you made about this T/R are, as you probably know, the very opposite of the values lived by Jesus. "Nonjudgementalness" is an earmark of the Mission. We may not always succeed, but it is clearly high in importance. If it is within your scope, David, I would much appreciate your being more specific. Who is this "T/R"? On occasion you have attributed quotations and ideas to the Teachers or the Mission. These are not from any sources I am familiar with. Please give references if you can. Much of the time your references to the TM are so unlike my on-going daily experiences and insight that your picture is unrecognizable to me as being about the Teaching Mission at all. As you know, I have clearly and I believe, rather thoroughly articulated my understanding of this Teaching Mission in my paper Welcome to Change wherein I quote 29 different teachers. It is my impression that you and Sara have not actually read my paper since so many of the issues you bring up are covered explicitly there. I am happy to respond to queries about my paper from anyone. Other allegations about the Mission should, I think, be documented at least so we can figure out if it is even the Mission you are talking about, and not a "straw man."

 Although it is doubtful to me that a legitimate T/R would say the things you mention re: Peter, I will accept your claims as stated. So, I would like to say something about TRs.


 A Transmitter or Receiver, or Receiver-Transmitter is an ordinary human being, a UB reader or not. A Transmitter is not better than, nor higher than, nor wiser than, nor more spiritual than the next person. A transmitter simply has a constitutional talent, a gift, like Sara's voice, your mind, Leo's humor, "luck of the draw." The TR ability varies from person to person but is also a learnable skill for those who wish to apply themselves. The epistemology of this is experiential but not irrational; it is an experience of the soul before being a fact of mind. It is something within, more like Mota that validates these contacts with "otherness," not historical precedent nor philosophical construct per se. As we might expect of a loving, creative, abundance conscious God, he reaches his children in the ways we are open and perhaps talented for. Some of us are gifted at receiving spiritual insight by intuition, some by song, some by hunch, some (like me) by groping, some by word-thoughts, some by inner voices, some by picturizations and I would not presume to know where this list might end--after all our relationship with the Father is personal, private, creative, and sovereign.

 With and ONLY WITH the free will permission of a human T/R, transmissions from higher beings (usually morontia mortals) may be attempted with varying degrees of accuracy. It is always up to us to use our Spirit of Truth to discern the truth content of any supposed messages from above. T/Rs have no special pipeline to truth, no special privileges with celestials, no authority over anyone. It is the opposite, good TRs simply get out of the way enough to transmit clearly what a teacher is saying. Those with a great gift hear teachers more clearly, as you have David, and you have Sara. And you are both heroine and hero to me for your transmissions of '85. You were both truly valorous and will always be so in my sight regardless of your acceptance or not of my views. Since I went though much of the Clayton episode with you I would be happy to assist, if possible, in your understanding things you seem still confused about, as most humbly, I do feel much clarity now. However, I leave this offer up to your free-will choice, you remain my beloved spiritual siblings either way. But, a "message" is always a mixture of human consciousness and teacher transmission, some may be more pure than others and practice seems to improve accuracy. Transmitters are subject to all the same potential fears, confusions, and disillusionments that anyone else is. And I assure you that no Teacher would ever say the type of things allegedly leveled at Peter. In fact, this is a great beauty of the Teachers--they are so accepting; they come only with great love. There is not a threat to anyone, not to an individual, not to the Fellowship, not to UF, not to David Strang. They come with open arms and open hearts always submissive (just like the TA) to the mortal will (no wonder there are occasional errors). The Thought Adjuster is sovereign over a mortal's ascendant career. Teacher contact must always be authorized by your Adjuster who oversees all. They are as gentle as the flutter of angel wings (friction shields). Fear not folks, this is a gentle revolution of the heart, soft as a morontia breeze, delicate, sweet, fragrant, never forced.

 Enough for now. As I said on the phone David, my pinkies are swollen so I'll byte off for now.


17 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Note to Bob Slagle

Subject: Note to Bob Slagle

 Hello, Bob;

 I appreciated being able to talk with you this afternoon. While I do not wish to post the name of the person who spoke with Peter, I have since managed to confirm that this person, while an advocate and a spokesperson for the TM, is not an actual T/R. I suggest you get the scoop from Peter himself.

 More importantly, I think you could be of help to Peter -- he seemed pretty blown away when I spoke with him. I have 415-753-3533 as his phone number in SF.

17 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         Lesson One

Subject: Lesson One

 I'm still feeling my way through the Net, so bear with me. Before we get to the first selection, let me share a few insights. 1. I am not a T/R. Never have heard the buggers. I am attempting to present a cross section of the teachers discoursing on various topics. As such, my personal interpretation of the TM will be expressed through the excerpts I select. As I have discussed previously, predictions, material banter, and other discussions which are in the transcripts will not be part of these postings because I view them as distractions to the central messages. The full transcripts are available to those who want to read it all. 2. I am not trying to convince you to believe in the TM. I am attempting to provide you with an opportunity to test the substance of the teachings against the Spirit of Truth. You decide for yourself. "There are as many paths to the Father as there are souls to walk them." 3. I am going to start off trying to post some exercises that are fun and provide great opportunities for service. The article Leo quoted from said it well - the task at hand is to live your life in such a fashion that you can best reflect the love God has for His children. You don't need to quit your job, shave your head and sell books at the airport. Your life stays the same, so to speak. You change. 4. I am still debating whether to attribute any given excerpt to the teacher who made the comment. On one hand, I firmly believe that you should judge anything by its content not by the celebrity of the speaker. One the other, it helps me keep track of where I got quotes. It is also interesting to see that the same messages and concepts are coming from all over the country and world. This is not an isolated event. Somethin's happening here.....

 Bob & Leo, I read the portions of the article Leo posted and I was struck by the coherency of the guy. Have you ever read a transcript of yourself speaking? Scary. This guy said a lot of things I could really agree with. Regarding all the inner space stuff, I'm clueless. He is right, in my view, regarding our need to make our own decisions without the use of celestial advice. I also believe that it is a way of living your life - incorporating the Father's will into your every encounter. All in all, I liked what the guy had to say. ****************** As a first posting I offer the following: "Practice the stillness daily. Pray for the opening of the hearts and minds of your fellows. Practice loving one another, greeting every brother and sister you meet with a heart full of love and kindness. Be tolerant of those whose belief systems differ from your own. The mental framework of their ideas matters not; judge each by the fruits his beliefs produce. See that truth produces goodness and beauty. Be patient and kind with one another. Do not criticize another's path; jyou have not the wisdom to do so. Be a light to those who are searching. Lead them gently. Do not offer advice unless invited. Do not judge. Yet be discerning in the acceptance of new ideas yourself. Test them for their quality, for their adherence to your knowledge of the qualities of Godliness. The Spirit of Truth will lead you. "Have faith. Do not let your doubts or your inability to comprehend all that is unfolding unsettle you. Take each day as the gift that it is. Expect to see the way that is being laid out for you. Follow the leading of your most sincere heart, the voice of your heavenly guide, the urgings of your angels... Have courage. Do not fear. Mistakes will be made; it is to be expected. When you see you have been in error, simply let it go and adjust your path accordingly. Ask for guidance. Forgive others who make misjudgments in their courses, too. You are beginners, just learning to walk by the light of the Spirit. You will stumble, but simply rise up and begin again. It is no matter. Do not take yourselves too seriously. Enjoy the adventure. Do not be overawed. Give freely of your praise to our Father, and to your fellows for the work they do on His behalf. Avoid dogma and doctrine, save the doctrine of the Father's love, and word your messages so they may be acceptable to the ears of those to whom you speak. "Let this be a time of joy and gladness. Let your hearts be filled with certainty and love...Spend time in prayer often, a communion of your heart with the Father within and listening in the stillness for the melody of His loving, personal embrace. You are beloved children." -10/26/92, Pittsburgh

17 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Quick Note to Fred Harris

Subject: Quick Note to Fred Harris

 Hi, Fred;

 Welcome aboard!

 I for one don't even have time to keep up with people's comments and ideas which are posted hereon -- I would prefer not to have lessons about the teaching mission or transcripts filling my mailbox.

 Thanks for asking,

18 Jun 1993    Sara L. Blackstock    from Bob B. to Leland/Thea

Subject: from Bob B. to Leland/Thea

 June 17, 1993. Concord, CA

 Leland-- thank you for the invitation to visit a TM group and ask questions. Byron does appear to assume that those who see the TM differently than he does, have just not done their homework. I have attended channeling sessions (my barber of a few months back was a channeler and hosted weekly sessions at her residence; several channelers involved and an abundance of exotic personalities, from Jesus down to dead but wise mortals); Sara and I have reams of the T/R transcripts and read substantial amounts (we even have a transcript where God himself is speaking to a TM group!), and have been discussing the TM with supporters personally for a year now. Sara went to L.A. and attended the Ham presentation when the phenomena just starting to move in a big way.

 However, Sara says she's up to another visit and so am I, (I on the condition that Byron do a little diligent research himself. Some weeks ago I posted a plausible explanation of the TM, from the perspective of Jung's psychology, and in it suggested that anyone seriously looking for answers re the TM should read Jung's essay. On the other hand, maybe he *has* studied the essay, since he admires those rigorous qualities of "serious research" found in some individuals: "diligence as researchers"...fearlessly gathering first hand information...being genuine scientists and truth seekers." (Byron, if you have read it, I would certainly enjoy hearing some feedback; however something a little more extensive than your last response, which was, "I merely think it's absurd.")

 Because there is a remote chance that Byron has not yet read the essay, I will post the reference once again: "On the Nature of the Psyche," (1954), published in *The Collected Works of C.G. Jung*, volume 8, pages 159-234. (*The Collected Works* consists of about twenty volumes and each is now available in paperback.)

 Thea-- In responding to Sara's post in which she quoted something by Jung which I pointed out, ["As opposites never unite at their own level (*tertium non datur!*), a supraordinate "third" is always required, in which the two parts can come together."], you said you had trouble following what she was getting at with the "supraordinate." I think the point is that when we use rational scientific methods in trying to understand certain sets of opposites, we end up with a what appears to be a paradox. This phrase *tertium non datur!* seems to be the case with the TM, at least the supraordinate "third" has not yet appeared on this network, else why all the fireworks of late.

 Regarding your comment about whether there is much in common between Jung's psychology and the UB, I think they are both talking about reality but coming from different perspectives, Jung from the human, empirical position, and the UB essentially from God. And keeping one in mind when reading the other certainly will lead to areas of conflict between the two for a particular person, but it is just those areas seeming conflict which turn out to be the greatest source of insight. This has been my personal experience. And I believe many of Jung's ideas about the functioning of (material) mind will become the general view. >From an objective standpoint, let me quote from an article, "Spiritual questing," in the 12/7/92 issue of US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: "Thirty-one years after the Swiss psychiatrist's death, Jung's theories are surging in popularity, becoming a cultural touchstone, a lens for processing experience." "Embarked on a search for meaning, more and more Americans are turning to the mythic psychology of Carl Jung." "There is a hunger these days...a craving for an inner life...Americans are looking for solutions that speak to the spirit as well as the psyche... in its most positive sense, the new interest in Jung represents an effort to forge connections in an increasingly fragmented world, its myths and symbols creating an `invisible community.'"

 Thea, I appreciate and identify with your joy, strength, and creativity as you experience the inner life and as it has been so dramatically enhanced over the passed year. I would not for the world deny such quality of life to anyone. Again, I identify with it. Phil has shared his story, I could share mine. I believe something is happening which is very important among people experiencing the TM, something real. But thus far, imho, *tertium non datur!*.

18 Jun 1993    Philip Calabrese      Another Note to Fred Harris

Subject: Another Note to Fred Harris

 ------- Dear Logondonters and Fred,

 Welcome to Urantial.

 Since for various reasons (such as cost or interest) some people do not want to receive your selected TM transcripts, I suggest that you compose a sublist of addressees to whom to send them. (Or you may want to send them to all but those who request to be excluded.) There is an easy way to make up such a list, which Michael Million or Leo can probably easily explain better than I. Please include me on your list.

 By the way, I liked your first TM posting. As with the UB itself, I really don't need to determine the author of a tract to appreciate its truth and applicability. And when we put emphasis on the author, we all too often feel inhibited from honest analysis and critical thought.

18 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         Lesson Two

Subject: Lesson Two

 I think a subfile for TM postings would be fine. I still don't know how to print, so setting up a subfile is clearly out of the realm of possibilities for me. Michael, can you help? It's interesting to read all the postings and see the common theme of diversity creating divisions and building walls. We must be able to build bridges if we are to be effective in however we choose to exhibit the Father's will. The next excerpt is not so much an exercise as a description of groundrules to walking around. I hope you like it.

 "Tonight I would like to speak a few words about tolerance. Be generous of spirit with your brothers and sisters. So not be quick to judge them, or to take offense at their words, their ways, their beliefs, their habits. Their culture or race or gender may be different from your own; each has his own unique, Father-given personality; He sees things through an individualized frame of reference. Often you would defend yourselves, or your ideas, as if the expression of another self were capable of doing harm to your own vantage point. Recognize that all have something to contribute; each has his or her unique understanding of the truth. Each can learn from this sincere expression of an idea by another. If nothing else, you can learn how the speaker's vantage point differs from your own. You would not enjoy having your own ideas, ideals, and goals contradicted by those of another. And you would not begrudge others their right to say what it is they feel; their words are a portrayal of their own personality as it expresses itself through their words, their acts, their comments and direction. "Do not allow prejudice and ignorance to prevent you from opening your hearts to one another. See in each other a spiritual equal, a faith son of God whose destiny is perfection, just as is your own. Allow him or her to choose their own paths, just as you would choose yours. Look for the beauty within each soul. Allow others the freedom to make their own choices about what they believe to be true and what they believe to be an error or a confusion. Do not criticize one another with an eye to changing each other's beliefs. Give advice only when asked, and then as sincerely as you can, with a respect for the other's point of view. we are all a very long way from realizing perfection. None has the right to cast stones at the other. "Tolerance is, essentially, kindness. It is respect for the dignity of another's being, an acceptance that he, too, is undoubtedly doing the best he can. To belittle another belittles you. It is immature and quite unloving. "Just because someone differs with you, that doesn't make him wrong. If you listen to the truths, or even to the opinions of others, however confused, at the very least you learn something of the makeup of that other being. Perhaps you can see a knot of pain he or she cannot, and with a kind word dispel the clouds of doubt and confusion. "Do not stand against untruth. Rather stand _for_ that which you know in your won heart to be true. Examine the other's opinions and beliefs to see what kernels of truth are there that you may learn from. "Whenever you feel yourself starting to judge, to find fault, turn to Michael in prayer and put your petition before him for a more generous spirit, for enough faith to erase your insecurities. Ask how more truly you can love. "Be not quick to take offense. Know that a troublesome being is often a troubled one, and extend your healing kindness rather than your righteous indignation. "As you continue on, throughout your entire universe career and beyond, you will continue to encounter beings whose viewpoints differ from your won. Learn to enjoy the distinctness of personality, the uniqueness that makes it irreplaceable in the Father's loving sight. Ask to see hyour adversaries through Michael's mind. Open your hearts to the possibility, yes, even the inevitability of seeing past the other's rigid framework of belief and feeling and into the core of love within him. Speak as if you were speaking to that loving part of each being. "Do not be anxious either for yourself or for another. We are all safely within the Father's care. "Before closing, let me say again to study. Pray. Enter into the quiet communion of worship. And practice the awareness of our loving Parent's presence in all you do."--

19 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         Re: One for Sara\Thanks Thea

Subject: Re: One for Sara\Thanks Thea In-Reply-To: [199306171021.AA17754@freenet.scri.fsu.edu]; from "Thea Hardy" at Jun 17, 93 3:26 am

 Thea, you have expressed beautifully an experience that I have felt as well - the closeness of a group of people all seeking to live a life more aligned with the highest path. Our favorite dialogue is about all the experiences we have had during the week interacting with other people we run in to. How we have seen the spirit move. Synchronicity in our lives. That's where the magic is - in relationships between people. Some people find this type of activity mundane. Not earth shattering. But I have come to believe what the teachers say, "you can only change the world one person at a time and only through your example". You can see from the discourse on this bulletin board that all the intelectual arguments have little or no effect on the beliefs of others. Only by example and unselfish service. "Small acts of kindness will change this world." Thanks for sharing.

19 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Brief response to week of 6/19

Subject: Brief response to week of 6/19

 June 19, 1993

 Lafayette, California

 Good Weekend, Logondonters....

 Well, it was quite a week of posts. I started reading the accumulation about 11:00 last night and finished a little after 1:30 this morning! Lots of good ideas and some excellent comments and penetrating questions regarding my letter to Dave Elders. I will attempt to address the primary concerns which were raised without running my byte count too high -- there were several responses which really deserve a serious essay in response, but I simply do not have the time to do so.

 I feel that there is still a "blurring of distinction" between human social organizations set up for specific purposes and the social body of Kingdom believers. PHIL, do you really see "the Urantia Movement as an extension of Jesus' Gospel Movement?" Such a concept implies to me that there must somehow be a linkage of the two, a grafting of the Urantia Movement onto Jesus' Gospel Movement so that the effort started by the Master continues on into the future with the added material from the UB. How do you see this occurring? You seem to have dispaired of seeing the present day Christian Church as a social entity which can be integrated with UB concepts. Where then, does "Jesus' Gospel Movement" exist today, and by what means is the Urantia Movement to become an extension of it?

 You also post a note of sympathy for "sincere believers....who will feel excluded because of what they have added to the core beliefs of the Gospel." I see the TM as a fairly radical alteration of the core beliefs of the Gospel rather than an addition. My understanding of Jesus' Gospel is that we discover the presence of God and contact his personal revelation to us in the *process* of interpersonal relationships -- *in the process*, hence the Master's call to social service as a means of immersing us in the milieu from which the Kingdom is destined to emerge. ("Wherever two or three of you are gathered together in my name....") Are there many folks who have participated on this list who have not felt this reality even in our virtual relationships? This stands, in my mind, in sharp distinction to the TM teaching of going within and attempting to find this revelation in relationships established by the individual with various components of his/her psyche.

 This is not to negate your call for spiritual unity which I felt powerfully in its simplicity and clarity, and for which I thank you. I simply don't have an answer as to how we find unity in our diversity, and I hold fairly strong opinions on particular aspects of the issue. I suspect we're all in that same situation, hence the need for a group process in order to arrive at a consensus. Even in such a group process, I do not think that the purpose of the process is to change the individuals involved so that they all have the same view, but rather to consider a variety of sometimes extreme views with each individual ultimately being willing to subordinate (subordinate, not discard) those views to the generally held view of the group. But for now I will stick with my strongly felt view that no minority, no matter how well intentioned, has the right to radically alter the philosophic context in which a larger group is functioning comfortably. I see spiritual fellowship and social groups as two very different things -- more about this later in my response to Sara below.

 THEA, from several of your posts (and a few from some others) I get the sense that you think I am asking for some sort of empirical or scientific proof of the TM phenomenon. Such is not the case; I agree that religious experience is perhaps forever beyond scientific proof simply because it is a function of a domain which does not yield to the rational logic of the scientific method. What I am trying to get at is the issue of the *integration* of religious experience with science and philosophy.

 Many of the arguments in support of the TM point to the good spiritual ideas and lessons which come therefrom. But the emphasis seems to be solely on the spiritual domain of life. My take on the UB (and the primary reason I was drawn to it) is that it calls us to a life in which science, philosophy and religion are fully integrated to provide the optimum cosmic viewpoint. My concerns about the TM are aptly illustrated in BOB SLAGLE's paper, "Welcome to Change" (which I have read several times, Bob).

 Bob, in this paper you describe a closed loop in which your personal experience leads you to conclusions which validate the meaning you ascribe to the experience which leads you to validate the conclusions which then validate your personal experience..... Your consciousness becomes the center to which the rest of the universe is related. This is a totally closed system and even though it is completely rational it strikes me as a subjective island of experience floating free from any linkage to any reality outside the domain of your own consciousness (except for those realities within your own consciousness which you choose to personalize and designate as external.) Even the quotes from the UB which you use (many of whose meanings you seem to prefer extracting as implied rather than explicitly stated) seem selected to buttress your assumptions and conclusions. I would be far more comfortable with your paper from a philosophic point of view if you used the UB to first construct a general theory of consciousness which provides a mechanism for the kind of contact you ascribe to T/R's and then proceed to show how the TM fits the model.

 While one's personal spiritual experience is truly a personal possession, the theoretical background against which the meaning of the experience is interpreted is a cultural derivative and should be subject to at least philosophic criticism and in some cases may even be able to be examined empirically. I see this background model and theory as an essential component of spiritual experience. Without it, I do not see how the meanings and values derived from one's spiritual experience can be correlated in any significant way with the practical demands of daily living.

 And let us not kid ourselves; each of us has such a background of theoretical assumptions which we use constantly. It can be wholly unconscious or through the application of philosophic and scientific insight it can be consciously and creatively manipulated to enhance the experience of spirituality and our subsequent integration of that experience into the various communities of which we are a part. This to me is the task of creating an environment in which healthy growth can occur.

 THEA, you make the statement:

 "I find it fascinating that a so-called fringe group whose fundamental basis is exactly the five points from page 1089 should be considered a fringe group because it desires so deeply to do exactly what Michael asked us to do..."

 I will spare you all the uploads of statements about purposes and goals which were generated by FOG, the internal memos and the transcripts of Vern's talks which all contained very lofty and beautiful spiritual ideals. Vern, imo, was in many ways a man of great spiritual insight and some of his talks at conferences and to the FOG group were the most spiritually moving sermons I have ever heard. But his failure to establish a viable personal moral philosophy and his concommitant failure to develop viable rational links between his personal spiritual experience and the world he longed to serve led to his downfall. Many of these problems are not apparent in the life of a single individual, but when the errors are propagated into larger social systems, they quickly become apparent and if not corrected will destroy the system which they have infected. I believe very strongly that if we are going to really make a difference in our world, we need more than just the UB and our spiritual idealism.

 My purpose in being somewhat aggressive with proponents of the TM has been to attempt to force a more critical examination of the underlying assumptions upon which the TM is based. The fact that individuals make apparently superficial claims about such concepts as "encircuitment" and the nature of mind or supposed functionings of the Spirit of Truth hereon and then retreat to the safety of private e-mail when confronted does little to enhance the crediblilty of the TM in my mind. To your credit, I think you have done a noble job of representing your views under pressure when virtually deserted by your fellows.

 DENNIS SHIELDS; I enjoyed your post re WWIII very much. While I do not agree with your conclusions, I must in all honesty assign a certain probability to your scenario having some truth to it. So powerful was the experience that my sense at the conclusion of the FOG episode was that it would be the Mansion worlds before I would be able to really understand what had happened and that it was important to be about the task of restructuring my life to make additional use of the few decades I had left here; not a matter of amnesia, just a matter of not having thought about the geo-political details for 8 years. While I did not recall the specific time which the KAL incident occurred, my recollection is that at the time I saw it as merely an interesting event which was not particularly related to whatever I was doing at the time. That's why I placed it *after* the FOG collapse. If it had happened *during* our period of preparation I think it would have totally freaked us out. The same thing is true of the US action in Libya which took out their aspirin factory.

 You are right in stating that I am to a great extent evaluating the TM situation from the perspective of the FOG experience. Your statement that I have a "Vern sized hole in my head" however, is not an accurate take. What *has* happened, as happens to all of us, is that who I am and what I believe to be the way in which reality operates has been profoundly shaped by my experience. This is not a matter of filling in a hole with some conceptual spackle and sanding the surface to match the surrounding consciousness -- it's a matter of who I am having been shaped and altered by some rather unique experiences. It's forever a part of who I am.

 Let me clarify something here, an issue which you raised and which was also raised by Phil, Leo, Thea and others, and that is the issue of excluding TMers from Urantia gatherings, conferences, etc. I do not advocate such a course -- I think it would be extremely destructive of much that we all hope to accomplish. I do, however, feel strongly that the Fellowship (organization, not fellowship of believers) has a responsibility to maintain some integrity and consistency in the topics which are selected for presentation at those gatherings. For example, I would not want to see a candidate for public office get up and address a conference session in which he/she made a case for his/her political views based on the teachings of the UB in an attempt to influence the votes of the attendees. I will address this further in my response to Sara below.

 I appreciate your comment about my letters to Dave Elders and Rich Keeler seeming to be contradictory; such is not the case. My present position is that 5 people serving for life who are totally unacountable to the readership is a recipe for disaster and I strongly oppose such an organization. On the other hand, I do feel a need for a well-defined structure but feel strongly that it needs to be the product of the readership and under relatively democratic readership control, and I think the Fellowship, at the present time, has the best opportunity to become such an organization.

 Thank you for taking the time to outline your view of the mid- decade war scenario -- it's well thought out and worth some consideration. Carolyn Kendall also had a pretty well developed scenario (with which I didn't agree either) which she presented in a letter to (I believe) the Executive Committee in the form of a report some months after the March 25 date.

 If you are truly concerned about Vern, why don't you get in touch with him? The most recent information I've gotten was that he continues to do occassional broadcasts over a shortwave radio which gives him the ability to still say that he is broadcasting worldwide -- same old attempts to manipulate other people's perceptions of reality. He reminds me of John Wharfin in the film, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension," trying desperately to get the parts for his overthruster and never quite getting it together. (WHAAAAAAT LOYAL LOGONDONTERS??????????? You've never seen this tape? For shame!!!!!!)

 I lived in Kona (at Hookena) many years ago and have fond memories of the place. My daughter is over on Maui this summer taking care of exotic birds at Kaanapali (actually I'm more concerned about the exotic birds that are probably taking care of her...but that's a different issue.)

 Incidentally, on copyright my first choice would be to have it held in trust by the readership, somewhat in the way the copyright to the revised standard version of the Bible is held, second choice would be no copyright, and third choice would be for the UF to hold it.

 Yeah, LEO, I thought the John Denver scene was pretty tacky. And, sadly, you are right about our backup of topics to investigate -- it really is a matter of time. I spent 2 1/2 hours last night just *reading* through the posts of the week. Weekly, I see comments and questions hereon which really deserve a well thought-out essay in response and it's just not possible to do it. I do think, that if your proposed crew did find itself in a lifeboat, we would have quite an outrageous time, although I think Strang probably takes this stuff a lot more seriously than is healthy and might require a few dunkings.

 While I agree with you that philosophy is not the only source of validation of revelatory claims, when someone makes a *philosophical* claim I feel that it should be done with some integrity rather than simply as an expression of their emotional feelings at the time they make it. And if that claim relies on concepts from the UB, yes, I expect it to be consistent with the overall model of reality presented in the book and open to scrutiny. It is easy to use isolated quotes to reinforce a given position, but if the position thus articulated is at odds with the general model from which the quote was taken, yes, the individual should be required to account for it. Acceptance of the views of others does not require me to accept blatant misuse of ideas and careless reference to partially understood concepts. I appreciate the fact that you are violently opposed to anything which contains even a hint of authority, but for me, the UB is a reliable external reference and I was under the assumption that this list contained a group of people who shared the conceptual context provided by the UB as a reference point for discussion and for guiding the development of a personal philosophy of living.

 THEA, I'm sorry if my responses tend to "confound more than clarify." It's difficult not to "slip and slide" when one is confronting issues and attempting to see and express things from different viewpoints as a part of a process of arriving at a better understanding of a given situation. If we were writing formal position papers perhaps the situation would be different, but I am assuming that a part of this forum is not only to stimulate discussion and exploration of issues, but to facilitate growth and change as a result of such. This implies that our views are likely to change over time.

 Let me try to address your questions with thoughts which describe how I see the situation at the present time.

 1. The TM: Your contributions hereon have changed my feelings about the TM substantially. While I continue to see it as a relatively dangerous error, I have come to have an appreciation for the sincerity with which many of you approach it. So it is a difficult issue; I appreciate your position and your sincerity, but I also see the TM as being very problematic for the Fellowship and I strongly advocate the Fellowship keeping itself limited to a study of the book itself, without bringing in anything extra. We have not had time to even begin to conceptually explore that text and I would like to see that done before anything as radically new as the TM is incorporated into the organization.

 In spite of Leo's accusations that my requests for responsible interpretations of ideas in the text are the equivalent of advocating the maintenance of "official views," such is not my purpose. I would point out that the TM is the first "official view" of the meaning of the UB to appear; it is the TM that is attempting the dogmatization of the 5th epochal revelation, not the Fellowship. The Fellowship, and before it the Brotherhood, have to their credit the accomplishment of having steered clear, for nearly forty years, of any interpretation of the meaning of the text. Now the TM has arrived with a packaged view of just what it is about. I see this as an undesirable development within the readership. In the last couple of months alone, Byron has posted by both private and public e-mail, the most dogmatic statements I have ever heard come out of the readership, apart from the Strang/Moyers axis. Note here that the tendency towards dogmatism is coming from the fringes of the movement (more about that f word later) rather than the center. The duly constituted nucleus of reader leadership has consistently been able to steer clear of such formulations, and I would like to see it continue to do so.

 While this has often been reported in its negative aspect ("you're outta here if you accept the FOG view") its positive aspect is "we aren't going to tolerate anyone who wants to bring an "official" view of the revelation into this council." I see this as very healthy and desirable.

 2. See my response to Sara below about the purpose of the organization.

 3. I seriously have no questions which I want to ask you except the one which was in my lost private e-mail and that is, "Do you have any tapes of your music for sale?"

 I see a great deal of (subjective) integrity in your position, you seem comfortable with it, and it seems to meet your needs -- go for it! The fact is that I simply have a different viewpoint and base my own personal philosophy of religion on a different set of assumptions, and my involvement in Urantia organizations cannot be on any basis other than that of who I am and what I believe to be true about reality, for better or for worse, regardless of what anyone else might think.

 4. A loaded question and somewhat unfair. I wouldn't be spending the many hours I spend reading and writing in order to participate hereon if I did not respect the individuals with whom I am thus relating. I may disagree violently and in the heat of disagreement resort to the immature technique of devaluing the person with whom I disagree, but I highly value the interaction. I have never interacted with such a consistently high-quality group of people.

 Up until recently I have had to pay per character to download posts via CIS. This stretched my ability to participate because I operate on a rather tight budget. So I would usually scan the posts, and reject those which were just downloads from other services, magazine and newspaper reprints, and excerpts from books and TM transcripts. (I am primarily interested in what the participants hereon have to say, and given the time$ situation, I usually limit my reading to the ideas of individuals.)

 I have been disappointed that Michael Million and Byron both chose not to get more involved in the clarification and defense of some of the claims they made, but that's their choice. Bryon in particular appears to have been far more interested in defending a viewpoint than in exploring issues. FRED HARRIS has the dubious distinction in my filing system of having posted (to prodigy) TM transcripts that were so bad that they are second only to the Sedona material in terms of complete garbage, comprising in my mind an irrational affront to the dignity of deity which I found to be quite offensive. (a sample of which is included at the end of this post as an addendum if you're interested.)

 SARA, I enjoy your writing more and more. Your response to my letter to Dave Elders was clear and succinct, and offered much food for thought. In reference to the TM you state:

 "...it seems to be a deep spiritual experience for them and it seems to have increased the fruitfulness of their spiritual life. How can these kind of things be "invalid?"

 Good question. It seems easy to point to the spiritual aspect of this and ask the question you pose. I feel there is much more to it than that. I feel that the UB calls us to a balanced, integrated state of consciousness in which science, philosophy, and religion are integrated into a consistent, growth producing whole. Your question which I quoted above seems similar to the question posed by the physicist who asserts that his study of nuclear physics is valid because it leads towards truth and knowledge, and opens up the secrets of the universe to us. This physicist is unconcerned about the ethical and moral implications of his work which might lead to the production of weapons of mass destruction. Here is an example of the pursuit truth, undertaken in a context devoid of the balancing effect of sound philosophy and spiritually influenced morality leading to some of the greatest evil produced in the twentieth century. I see the TM, with its focus on spirituality without the critical balancing of sound philosophy and concern for rational integrity as potentially leading also to evil. The rationale in your question above sounds similar to what I heard being used at FOG to rationalize the inconsistencies and anomalies which we saw on a weekly basis. I think the UB is *very* clear about the pursuit of truth needing to be done in a way which keeps these three components of human consciousness -- science, philosophy and religion -- in balance.

 In the middle ages, the primary concern of European civilization was that of religion. Poverty and human suffering were rampant and simply accepted as a part of God's will; science and philosophy lay in relative slumber. In the past few centuries the pendulum has swung in the other direction with an age of rational secularism. Now we get the Urantia Book -- are we going to let the pendulum swing back to the exclusive religiosity of the middle ages, or will we be able to accept the challenge to *integrate* science, philosophy and religion into a cohesive universe viewpoint?

 My comments on "doctrines" seem to have struck a nerve hereon. What I would like to see is simply a continuation of something like the Wrightwood series, in which students of the UB do research papers on specific topics. Those papers would be available as the best available interpretation of a particular topic until replaced by a better one. I use Bill Sadler Jr's books quite frequently for reference. If I have a question about the Supreme, for example, I will see what he has to say about it, then read the UB and do some thinking on my own. I find this useful, but certainly don't see his work as "authoritative." But it does qualify as "doctrine" in the academic sense of the word. It does not qualify as "dogma" because there is no authority saying that it represents an official view.

 The "F" word -- "fringe" -- let me refer you to Eric Berne's book, "The Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups." Applying a transactional analysis model to the study of groups and organizations, Berne has a well developed concept of how groups grow and differentiate. Although I am not a student of sociology, I assume that there are other sources of information about this process which is inherent in any group. It basically involves the idea that as a group grows, there develop within it subgroups of people who share specific views of the stated objectives of the overall group. These subgroups either unite and become political forces within the larger group, or they break off and establish new groups based on their shared vision. Berne has an excellent model of the various boundaries which naturally develop within any group. He has the insight that the developing power of any group is the tension, within each member, between what that member perceives the group to be and that member's ideal of what the group should be. This "f" word is not a negative thing in his model, simply a part of every organization and an element towards which each organization must develop a consistent policy if it is to survive. I highly recommend Berne's book if you're really interested.

 While I agree with the purpose of the Fellowship as stated in the Constitution, I will personally focus on that part which wishes to promote the study of the book. I am not interested in establishing another religious group, another church. My preference would be to see the Fellowship purposefully keep itself from "fostering a religion" in the institutional sense of the word. I feel that if the readership can keep from developing a religious group, that that same readership will be forced into existing religious institutions in order to meet some of their religious needs, and therein will be able to begin the slow tedious work of uplifting and altering existing religious institutions. Highly idealistic and unrealistic probably, but nevertheless my real viewpoint.

 BUT--------- I must oppose the newly proposed addition to the stated purpose in the constitution and hope to have time to write a formal paper on it before the vote -- how long do we have? Here's the quote -- "To the end that the Fellowship becomes the skeletel structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience -- true religion." NO! NO! NO! is all I can say to that one. That comes, imo, dangerously close to equating the Kingdom with a particular social body, the same mistake made by the Roman church. This is a big error! The body of Kingdom believers, if any semblance of spiritual freedom is to be maintained, must forever keep itself free from entanglements with human social organizations. This strikes me as extremely presumptuous, that a human organization would have the integrity to become "the skeletal structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience." Doesn't this have echoes of the call to make the Roman church the "body of Christ?" This is a serious issue and I will address it formally if I have time.

 I believe that your call for inclusivity also needs further examination, particularly the call for religious inclusivity. This is a big trend of the day, in all aspects of life and that doesn't make it right or even desirable. It is such a major factor of life in the late 20th century that I can find no historic parallel until I go back as far as the conquests of Alexander the Great. Alexander's conquests opened up the Orient and the Levant to a mixing of cultures such as had never before occurred. The major cities of the empire became extremely cosmopolitan. The result was a sociologically induced inclusivity. Gods and religions which had served specific cultural groups well for centuries suddenly became irrelevant because of the tremendous cross-fertilization of ideas, meanings and values. The result was a serious breakdown in collective religious institutions, the emergence of radical individualism, and the widespread development of mystery cults. The forced inclusivity destroyed the definition and value of the old religions, social structures broke down, and the individual was cut adrift. I see these forces repeated today in the tremendous social, political and economic transformations which the planet is experiencing. So I'm not convinced that inclusivity is a good thing. I would prefer organizations with well defined objectives and goals which individuals are free to join or leave, rather than fluid organizations that flex and change with whomever happens to be in power at the moment, or whatever trend of thought happens to be in vogue. How can an organization provide stability in times of great change if it constantly changes itself?

 I would also ask you to think again about the philosophy of allowing evil or error to simply run its course. Recall that our planet was isolated immediately - no questions asked - at the outbreak of rebellion. Yes, evil and error were allowed to run their course, but within a contained context. Recall also, that this is a procedure which was used only until Michael attained his Sovereignty. At the present time, any outbreak of rebellion would *not* be allowed to run its course. I also refer you once again to "The Last Temple Discourse" as a counter-balance to your ideas of how tolerant Jesus was.

 MATTHEW; you have several times speculated on the purpose of the UB appearing at this particular time. If you are still here after all this rambling, let me suggest the possibility of scientists on our planet discovering life on another world (or another world of mortals discovering us). This does not seem technologically out of the question to me. Imagine the shock and confusion. If the sudden mixing of human cultures throws the institutions of those cultures into crisis, imagine contacting another world of intelligent will creatures. Perhaps the other world(s) involved also received a similar revelation, to provide a conceptual background for comprehending and assimilating such an historic event.

 This theory assumes that any nearby planet would have also been involved in the rebellion, would also have been isolated, and if it had a Planetary Prince at the time of the rebellion might not be too different from us in terms of technological development. This idea would be a good explanation for the presentation of the extensive and detailed cosmology in the first three papers. The Jesus papers seem almost kludged on to the end of the book, as if the Jesus papers were a separate document which was available on many worlds of the local universe and for practical reasons was appended to the emergency document brought to the planet in preparation for the impending event. Was the screwup with the Hubble telescope *really* a human screwup? Having had personal professional dealings over the years with both NASA and Lockheed, I find it difficult to accept that such an oversight could occur.

 Why "thousands of study groups?" Imo, the two most powerful religous forces on the planet over the past two thousand years have been the Bible and the Jewish Diaspora. Give them a book and get it widely distributed in a decentralized manner -- a proven formula.

 These are the bytes that try men's souls...

 David (Windbags Unite!) Kantor


 ADDENDUM: Fred Harris Prodigy posting of 3/28/93 SUBJECT: U BOOK TEACHING MSN

 "The purpose of this mission is not to proselytize the words which are written in the Urantia Book, although we obviously embrace and wholeheartedly incorporate the entire set of teachings presented in the Urantia Book, still those teachings expressed in that book are not to be invoked by you or anyone else as a justification for your own conclusions and your own presentations to your brothers and sisters. "While we are always willing in the teacher mission to speak reverently of Michael and his role, the simple fact is that the mention of the life and death of the man proves a barrier. We are not here to construct barriers. We are here for bridging. We need only erect enough of a structure to go across. We have also observed the use of the teachings of the [Urantia] book as a method for people, individually and in groups, to maintain a kind of thought discipline over their brothers and sisters and that is why in this teaching mission we have had little to say about the rivalries and disagreements between different groups charged with the dissemination or preservation of the Urantia Book teaching. It is not relevant to our mission. It is not irrelevant to our mission. We are here bridging the gaps between people. That means no doctrines, no teachings, no credos, no tests, no money, no taxes, no requirements - other than you dealing wholeheartedly and openly with your brothers and sisters of the material life whenever and however you encounter them as if Jesus of Nazareth was standing by your side and by your every thought, word and deed indicating that you understand the full import of his teachings and that you do this, not for the aggrandizement of yourselves, but as a conduit for the Heavenly Father's love to flow through you unfiltered, unchecked to the person with whom you are engaged. And, lastly, that you do these things with appropriate reverence for the activities upon which you are engaged. "That is all we ask. You do not need to know even the name of the [Urantia] book. There are no holy words which you or anyone else must utter. There are no correct thoughts. There are no correct actions. There is only service. And, when you do these things, do them in memory of the love of God which has been freely shared with you and with all your brothers and sisters. Freely has it been given to you, freely shall you distribute it, in kind, untampered. Pure and undiluted. "I am Melchizedek. This is what I teach."

 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Non Compos Mentis DK

19 Jun 1993    leo elliott            "brief" responses...

Subject: "brief" responses...

 Saturday eve, 9:10 pm est -- 6/19/93

 Hello David,

 I share Thea's implicit observation -- if 35k is "brief", please let me know when you plan on getting into things... ;--)

 Since you've already called me out as having been taken over by the Electroids from the Planet Ten, you will understand my distorted loyalty when I express the view that you seem to still seem to be carrying some grudge against Vern (Bigboot-TAY!) Grimsley: "... same old attempts to manipulate other people's perceptions of reality." Glad to see the TMmers are not the only ones to merit this dubious distinction/grudge.

 I have always thought that "authority speaks for itself" -- and I realize I have stepped into sacred psychic territory when I dare to question the "reliability" of the UB as an "external reference" in my sordid analyses and form criticisms... What made the UB so "special" to me over the years I have read it was that, as I believe Peter F. used to say, whilst reading it, I often found myself "in a groove" saying "yes" to a lot of what I was reading -- not as an "external reference" validating my prior internal spiritual questions, but more a reading which validated the internal questing I had been engaged in since the days of the Catechism.

 Interesting that you should have the assumption "that this list contained a group of people who shared the conceptual context provided by the UB as a reference point for discussion and for the development of a personal philosophy of living..." and that you feel that "We have not had time to even begin to conceptually explore that text...." -- Is this the Urantian equivalent of Original Sin, the "we're not good enough" syndrome?

 Points also for the "best defense is a good offense" presentation of the TM as being "the first official view" -- What I see the TM doing, for those predisposed to philosophical analysis, is forcing, for the first time on such a scale, a hard look at the nature of the "process" by which the UB originated, and I should imagine it becomes very disconcerting for those who would wish to maintain a belief in the "Immaculate Conception" theory of its origin to have to really look at the possibility that things are not going to quietly settle down, and instead just keep coming at one, just like life, in the personal/psychic/spiritual just as much as in the material/mental.

 While the UBrotherhood and FEF may have "steered clear, for nearly forty years, of any interpretation of the meaning of the text" they have certainly offered minimal interpretation of the origin or the destiny of the UB, and thus leaving the inquisitive readership to derive their own meanings, should it come as any surprise that they have done exactly that?

 I get this impression of all the collective committees that have gathered over the years as this mass of spin doctors, always on the defensive to counter the Martin Luther/Gardners who would nail their 95 theses, or TM transcripts, or sordid expose's, to the bulletin board wall, yet somewhat unsure about just what it was that they were supposed to _do_ with this big batch of non-channeled revelatory material. (I guess you don't consider "slow growth" or "minimal organization" to be "official views". Nor "all we know of the origin of the UB is in the book itself." ??)

 I haven't gotten nearly as much of any sense of there being a "packaged view" from all my (mostly virtual) TM experience as I have in the type of comments I have seen you express recently to Fred Harris re his posts -- (in answer to Thea's query re how Jesus would react to the TM, I'm not sure, but I feel _pretty_ sure that he would not characterize anyone's statements as "complete garbage.") When you referred to his postings as showing up, in your mind, as "an irrational affront to the dignity of deity" I could not help but file this, in my filing system, with, _mirabile dictu_, all the arguments the Right-to-Lifers make against the sordid abortionists, who are supposedly, by their view, affronting the dignity of deity by their sinful practices.

 I probably have as much to forgive and resolve with the Catholic Church as you may have with Vern Grimsley and FOG, David -- I found it interesting how you rejected Dennis' speculation: "Your statement that I have a 'Vern sized hole in my head' however, is not an accurate take." -- In searching to see just what was an accurate take, of Dennis, I found his words recorded as:

 "David I believe you have a Vern shaped hole in your life---- I believe Vern has a David shaped hole in his life."

 Of course, there are those for whom life lived outside the head can be fairly scary, speaking from my own experience. Thus, imo, so much of the "scariness" that the TM represents for UB readers, or that channeling in general represents to the larger literalist community: for those whose primary mediation of experience is through concepts and philosophies, the use of internally-validated reference points seems usually to show up as a "relatively dangerous error", much like Luke Skywalker "trusting the Force" when he removes his flight goggles only to rely on his inner senses.

 It would seem that our backlog of unengaged themes is the way life goes my friend -- that the mind can never speak all the spirit feels. I feel as though it would probably take a good militarist like David Strang to whip the windbags like you and me into doing some actual rowing (were we in our little lifeboat again) instead of having endless discussions about how to properly interpret the winds or the waves or the clouds... Of course, if all he could do was complain about all the garbage floating by, I might go along with your efforts at a little keel-hauling.

 I'm afraid I have to go along with the Course in Miracles folks here David; it takes a colossal ego to think it can affront the dignity of deity. The quiet dignity of the TMmers I have met, with the occasional exception of wildmen like the untamed Belitsos, speaks to me a greater spiritual surety than all those, of whatever ilk, who would so readily persecute their brethren for throwing garbage, violating copyrights, or otherwise affronting the dignity of deity, or their mailboxes.

19 Jun 1993    David H. Larsen    Little Children

Subject: Little Children

 Greetings Brothers & Sisters,

 Sorry to have been briefly absent. My connection to Urantial is through the Cleveland Freenet, which while a communications tool of many virtues, also has its' glitches. I've been having trouble logging on and have lost several postings of Leo's through some as yet to be understood mystery of Cyberspace.

 I've been thinking about the recent manifestation of the ever raging war between those who embrace the TM, and those who do not. In particular, I've been puzzled by the enormous difference between David K's reaction to the quality of the transcripts, as compared to my own. David, you have generally regarded the transcripts as mediocre in content and expression of thought. When I've read them, I get a feeling of poetic beauty; not the level of complexity present in the UB, it is true, but nonetheless expressive of truth.

 The difference in our opinions reminds me of a frustrating dialogue I had with my earthly father during the sixties. He was a long-time student of Jazz and the Blues. In parlicular, he was a student of New Orleans style jazz, and as a result, I grew up listening to the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, Ma Rainey, Satchmo and Bessie Smith. For his birthday one year, I bought him a Janis Joplin album, expecting it to delight; to my amazement, he hated it, dismissing it as a Bessie Smith rip-off. Were we listening to the same music I wondered? I remember being angry with my father for his rejection of my gift, and I dismissed his point of view as stubborn pig-headedness.

 Tonight, I was reading transcripts from the teacher named Andrew, and the subject of the lesson was acceptance of the point of view of others, even when disagreement is great. An admonition against taking an appositional approach to dialogue was part of the lesson. This motivates me to look at David's reaction from a more accepting place; to consider the notion that both points of view are valid.

 >From my point of view, the simplicity of the TM has great value. The line of discussion expressed here on Urantial is often challenging, always complex, vigorously asserted, and quite frankly, often intimidating. Bluntly put, the capacity of David. Leo, Thea and many others for rigorous dialogue, challenges the most active of minds. This is also true of the UB, and no coincidence there. I see these brilliant brothers and sisters, who have been challenged by this extraordinary book, rising to the occasion and stimulated by this exposure to the heat of so much truth, soaring like hot-air ballons :-) above the more ordinary expression of truth with which human beings on Urantia have had to be content for the past two millennia.

 But what of simpler souls; where are they to find their truth? For many mortals of lesser gifts the genius of the Urantia Book, much like the genius to be found on Urantial, threatens to leave them (us?) in the dust of the great celestial drag race.

 My thoughts along this line caused me to think further about the straightforward expression of simple truth which I have found in many of the transcripts, and I think I can appreciate how useful teaching in this form might be to many on the planet for whom the works of Nietzche, Kant, de Chardin, etc., are the playthings of the brilliant, much like Ferraris and Rolls Royces are the playthings of the rich. Thus, teaching that is right for the many of simple gifts cannot possibly hope to satisfy the craving for intellectual stimulation for the few whose gifts are greater.

 I am reminded of the lesson I was required to learn when I began my career as a practitioner of group therapy. When freshly out of graduate school, and filled with the rich content of theory I had aquired, I was surprised to discover how difficult it was to translate my theoretical approach into a form useful to patients with a limited education (illiterate in some cases) and who were further struggling with the impairments to rational thinking which had created the behavioral errors and misjudgements that brought them to therapy in the first place. It wasn't enough that I had excelled in graduate school, had filled myself with theory, was blessed with the ability to articulate theory in a manner impressive to the faculty of my graduate school. These attributes were useful for getting good grades, for evoking praiseful comments from faculty, and for stroking my ego; but the very qualities which made me a successful graduate student, threatened to make me a bad therapist, until I learned to translate the theory base into the common tongue.

 It is this talent of the TM to speak to common experience and people of simple gifts which presents to the people of Urantia something which in many ways, quite frankly, the Urantia Book fails to offer; a simple language of faith. The genius of the UB was undoubtedly necessary in order for it to gain credibility with the best minds on the planet; at this it succeeds brilliantly, as I think we all acknowledge. But time after time, I have found that the brilliance of the book is simply lost on ordinary folk. For them (us) the TM meets the same need, but in a more useful form.

 In this vein, I used fv_ub to search on the phrase "be as little children." All of the references located by Folio were in Section four, and the spirit was very much in the vein of favoring simplicity over complexity. Most enlightening.

 I hope none on the list will take from my comments an implication that I believe those to whom the TM appeals, to be dopes. The Teaching Mission appeals to me, and I'm no dope.

 love and peace to all,


20 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         First exercise

Subject: First exercise

 Well, I enjoyed reading the last couple of days' postings. I especially enjoyed David's discussion. I'm sorry, David, that you didn't like the posting you uploaded at the end of your discussion, I like it a lot. I guess that's what makes horseraces, a difference of opinion. I agree with David about organizations. I like the idea of each person walking around living their lives so as to uplift those around them. Organizations create barriers. Doctrines create barriers. I have come to the conclusion that the only thing that doesn't create barriers is selfless service. Reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Or washing the apostles' feet. Service to another will bridge all barriers. Laughter is high on my list as well, as long as it is not at someone else's expense. Problem is, how do we live a life of service in the light of the Father? I'm glad I asked that question. That leads me into the posting of an exercise that you may want to try. I loved your exercise, Leo, and think you should share it with the entire BB. I haven't tried it yet, but will at my earliest opportunity. To Bob Slagle, the answer is Andrew. See if you can guess the teacher for the following exercise. "We have spoken before about the basic tools that we wish for you to practice. I will briefly mention them.... "In developing your relationship with the Father, your worship is important. We encourage each of you to set aside a piece of time in your day, each day, that you can worship the Father. Focus on your thanksgiving for those things in your life and around you that you are thankful for. This is your way of giving back to the Father some of the love which He offers to you. After you have given your thanks, quiet your mind and allow the Father to speak to you. You may not hear words but you may feel His love present in you. There may be answers to your thoughts that will come to you later. But if you do not allow the Father time to answer you, how can you expect a response? The Father wishes for you to come to Him as you would your own human father to discuss with Him those things that you celebrate in your life and those things about which you are troubled. "The second tool is one of prayer, as prayer is answered and dealt with within your local universe. We wish for you to focus on Michael who lived his life as Jesus on your world, Urantia. He is your creator; he also is your brother. It is through his supervision and loving care that prayers are answered. When you make a prayer request, make it as specific as you can. Realize that it is the Father's will that determines whether a prayer will be answered or not. If you make a prayer request that is not in line with the Father's will, then do not expect it to be answered. Do not pray for a specific result that you perceive another would require. Rather, pray for them to receive wisdom and guidance, that they may choose the path that is in line with the Father's will and will bring the best results for them. Break down the request into smaller components and pray for those aspects. "The third tool or practice we wish you to keep in mind is one of forgiveness of others as well as yourself. You are not perfect. You cannot be perfect in this material lifetime. But you can strive to accept one another for who you are, to love each other as you would Michael, to recognize that within each of you is a piece of the Father, that you will all arrive at the same place in Truth, in time. Your text refers to loving the sinner but not the sin. If someone behaves in a way you cannot accept, you can develop an ability to see beyond that behavior and still have brotherly and sisterly love for that individual. You must have your own human law in order to live together, as you have not evolved sufficiently to be associated without such constraints. But know that the Father is very merciful, that He forgives your transgressions. "And, finally, I wish for you to realize that your sharing of the Father's love has a significant impact on this world. It may seem small in one situation or relationship but this has an affect that is passed on to others and then on to others. There are many effects for your actions and decisions of goodwill and love that you do not witness and do not realize the impact created by these actions. Think about this as you relate to one another throughout your day and week. Even the smallest act of kindness is significant. Michael lived this in his life. Read the section on how he lived his life and you will have more insight into this if you have not already done so."

 Have a happy father's day, or should I say Father's day. As an aside, an exercise we call the 1-2-3 exercise can be found in the last part of the posting David uploaded from my Prodigy posting. Try that too, it is a lot of fun. ("Honey, its Jesus at the door, he dropped by to hang out with you today." "Tell him to come on in, we'll get to it as soon as I get out of the shower.")

20 Jun 1993    Michael Million     The flotilla continues...

Subject: The flotilla continues...

 Thea, thank you for posting that excerpt about the circuits opening up (for the first time for Urantia) as the two twins decided to leave home. Until I can respond further, that excerpt will serve as a good example to David K of the many passages within the UB which speak of the reality of the spirit and mind circuits. Let's just say I am 'suspicious,' in the Kanterian definition, of such passages and their implications (often by what they _do not_ say). I'm not positing that the twins were able to use such circuits, rather, that celestials were able to use them. I also suggest that celestials have the capability to contact mortals as condi- tions unfold and permission obtains. Perhaps I need to join with David K about the definition of 'encircuited' as a start since we seem to be missing each other's points. Man is on both the mind and spirit circuits which originate with their respective Paradise Deity - why? - Yes, why indeed we could ask ourselves. Thea, thanks also for posting the excerpt pertaining to the 'science/intellectual' approach to understanding spiritual realities. Keep up the wonderfully fragrant flowers of truth!

 Phil C, thanks *much* for mentioning the problems initiated by the early church efforts at 'religious cleansing.' I appreciate and want to reiterate your call: "Let the spiritual virus of brotherly feeling infect this net!"

 David K., I hope the place for which you yearn - the one where you can 'just' discuss the UB- also has room for full respect of an individual's feelings and sensitivities. Here we often discuss very personal and emotion-clad topics and it's often difficult to divorce the person from the idea on occasion, and thus it pays to accommodate a person's feelings when exchanging ideas with them. And perhaps it is the very volume of your posts that creates so many occurrences of contradictory expressions, but quantity does not in, and of, itself win arguments or make points. A few examples: If you "don't post anything as an absolute statement" then I suggest you incorporate a much heavier usage of such phrases as 'in my opinion...' 'it seems to me...,' 'to my way of thinking...' then you would be more convincing to all that you truly are trying to be a gentleman with the ideas and feelings of others. You say in your letter that we need an organization which determines the 'best interpretation' of the UB and then you later say you did not really intend to set official policy. You say you have a brotherly spirit about your communi- cations but you don't hesitate to state that the 'TMers' are falling headlong into 'dangerous error' and leading portions of the readership into chaos (my word). You suggest we post brief messges when you see TM materials being discussed and then *you* send long posts to the list. You say "I would think that a sincere truth seeker would utilize all available resources in his or her quest" and you generally fail to use that most Jesus-like of human resources - the characteristic of personal warmth and sensitivity - in your interpersonal exchanges. You do more 'deconstruction' to your own stance than anyone else when you use tones of sarcasm, snide remarks, cynism to carry your messages. Indeed, I suspect that it is your mechanistic view of humans that leads you to feel justified in such an approach to others. Are you examining this possibility? And please don't confuse your need for an organization which promulgates exclusionary policy and determines a 'best interpre- tation' of to UB (your discussion of the goals of the Fellowship) with your rights on the Urantial list. Fred Harris and many others will be coming forward with material from the TM; there is much interest on Urantial to hear about Michael's mission, and we are anxious to share experiences as we strive to apply his teachings to our lives as faith sons and daughters. _You_ seem to represent a fringe faction on Urantial as far as I can tell with such strong drives in the intellectual and organizational direction _minus_ the interpersonal sensitivity. We are certainly interested in developing our individual interpretations of the UB and thereby giving us deeper insight - thru caring and sharing - of the revelation's significance in our lives, but do you deny that the *manner* in which we present our discussions is more (sic) important than *the content* of our message? Some have primary interest in the God-man connection -- how communion with the Father leads us to fruit- fully apply truth, as we perceive it, to our daily lives -- that is, a living application of the truths contained in the UB revelation. We will be glad to hear your ideas as long as you can be respectful of others on the list. You have admitted a certain tendancy to be strident, and I do feel certain that you are working on your tone. *However, you have no right to be asking another listmember to not post material.* I feel that a reasonable request would be for us to utilize the subject line for distinquishing topic 'domains' (i.e. TM, FEF, UF, communion, and so on) ...so that those posts involving TM material have a subject line which would make them all the easier for you to delete. Also, the option is always yours to set your list options to 'nomail' or even to find a list which meets your social and topical requirements. Perhaps you could start a list dedicated to topics in which you are interested if we have too strong of a social calling for sensitivity here on Urantial. In any case, brace yourself for more material regarding the TM. And brother please know that I will walk with you in mind and heart as long as you care to interact with this 'ol pirate and share in God's Love.

 Sara B, I applaud your attempts at finding common ground and at the same time, being a sensitive person who obviously knows how to interact graciously with others; were we all be so fair and gracious, we would find unity in our diversity much sooner. Thank you good sister!

 Leland Foster writes: "And that is why I am unable to accept the Teacher Mission, because it is so tempting for me to look for someone else to tell me the truth and not discover it myself." Leland, this comments does surprise me for I have never seen any remark in the transcripts which invite one to find truth outside of one's direct experience with Father, their TA or Michael. May I ask what teacher said to turn to him/her and not the Father or His voice in us? This really sounds more like a challenge you are working on within yourself, would that be fair Leland?...Instead of a fault of the TM messages. I certainly agree with your expressed need to be cautious whence we sup our cup of truth, but that is part and parcel of the TM message. All I have heard the teachers say are ways of living, feeling, thinking which will bring us closer to the Father Himself. I may have misunderstood your objection, however.

 David Larsen and Leo Elliott, thank you both for expressing ideas and feelings about the 'TM' debate which I hold myself but have been unable to find time to compose. You both do a fine job of penetrating to the internal inconsistencies of those who so easily find fault in others (and who are also slow to look inside their own beliefs and ideas for sources of error).

 Fred Harris, thank you very much for coming aboard and for offering to walk us through some general TM teachings, from your perspective. I think it is a wonderful idea; good medicine...that often does work wonders even upon those disbelievers who offer only protestations in response. PLEASE keep up this presentation. This brother is very interested in what you have to say; many others are also. (Thea, I am also looking forward to much more along these lines from you.)

21 Jun 1993    Dennis Shields      Letter from David Saunders

Subject: Letter from David Saunders

 Aloha Agondonters,? Logondonters, Brothers and Sisters, Not wanting to fall into the category of "lurker", I want to introduce myself to those of you who don't know me I am David (another one) Saunders. I found God inside me in 1958, I had been in search of Him for nearly ten years, and although He had never really been in hiding, I did not experience sure knowledge of His presence within me, nor know of our relationship, my sonship with Him, until that ever unforgettable day in New York's' Central Park, I was twenty seven years old at the time I realized it was my destiny to live forever, if I so choose. A little over ten years pass; in 1961, I happened into a used book store, found The Urantia Book for sale, $3.12. As you might guess, my life was never the same after that. Before long, I found and became part of FUSLA, where I enjoyed fellowship and studied excitingly with Ruth & Bob Burton, teachers sent from Chicago. I also had much encouragement and shared considerable time with Julia Fenderson who lived not far from me.

 In '65; Polly Parke and I began the first children's Urantia Sunday school, really an introduction to them of Jesus' life. In late '68, my wife, three young children and I moved to Hawaii, actually Oahu, where I became a part of the 1st *study group* in Honolulu. I lived "in the country" part of the island, the famous "North Shore", famous for some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Those were the days of Hippydom and I was soon having "introductory sessions" to the UB on Friday, Saturday and Sundays evenings. Many of these young, long haired, pot smoking, surfers were open to examining new concepts posed by the revelation. Jesus' teachings were very well received. I often wonder how many of these brother/sisters entered into a fuller relationship with Jesus and the Big Blue Book. Somewhere, sometime down the way, (or is that UP the way), I will know.

 In late spring '71, we moved to "Big island ", the island of Hawaii, I began introductions again, and started the 1st "study group in Kona. In the next few years, little by little, we were joined by new readers and a few not so new readers. Opportunities soon presented themselves in the form of land; farmland became available to us through somewhat unique (helped ?? ) circumstances. I traveled with Tony Johnson a "UBook" reading friend, to California where we visited "groups" from San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, Berkeley, Sebastopol? and on up to Arcata.

 Those I met are too numerous to name here, however, Dick Prince, Bob Slagle, Phil Calabrese, Bob Hunt and David Kantor are brothers whose names I see here on the Urantial circuit. This makes me feel excitement, I anticipate the pleasures of renewing these relationships in the friendly fields of Logondonterland. The results of the California trip were rewarding in that I got to share again, the diversity of opinions held by these very bright, deeply sincere seekers of truth.

 Early 1980, (I believe), Bud Kagan, a friend of Wm. Sadler Jr., gave me reel to reel tapes, recorded in L.A. '58 and '59, of Bill teaching UB concepts This was super stuff that I thought needed sharing. Sonny Schneider and I, in late '81, edited out long pauses, coughing spells, and irrelevant chit chat. We ended up with about 25'; cassettes which we shared around the country, one or two copies ending up in Boulder for further distribution. I didn't follow their trail, but felt they were well received and used by many to refresh and revise some of their deeper understandings of complicated concepts.

 In late '83, members of our growing community were in telephone communications with FOG members regarding *messages* from Midwayers (?) with regard to possible nuclear involvement. Simultaneously hearing similar stories from a UB reader in Alaska, and from a young woman, recently arrived on the island, telling us of her *visitation*,*communication* from Midways (?again.?). Same story, *WWIII* possibly pending. Prepare.

 We as a community held many meetings, four or five times a week we meet, trying to decide what to believe, what to do. We prayed a lot, a whole lot. We knew nothing for sure, but felt that it all fit into the possibilities we were seeing on the world screen. We armed ourselves with Truth and Love, loaded Up on food stuffs and seed supplies, then went on watching events unfold, but not from some fear filled position. When no nuclear events erupted as a group, we did not feel deceived, we felt relieved, most of us felt our deepest desires, our plentiful prayers had been answered . And we just drew a "blank" as far as knowing the reality or relationship of the warning messages . Years pass, we all grow, we know our "Urantian community family" is unique, somewhat special. (not preferential treatment special, but being afforded opportunities not common to all).

 Now coming up to date. Last year, after hearing about the TM and "voices in the night" type of stuff fearless, or foolish as we are, a few of us began to extend our regular prayer and meditation periods, waiting, pen in hand, listening in the silence, staring into the stillness.

 Each waiting for "something different" to happen within. (I remember a saying, in some book somewhere, "if one stares long enough into the darkness, it begins to stare back". I remember both humorously and seriously questioning my own possibly our group sanity, or lack thereof) To make a short story longer, "teachers" came, "voices" came, pens wrote, computers cranked out stories of "correction time" challenges etc. It was not the words being delivered that was the clincher, nor the number of T/Rs surfacing from the larger U.S. UB community that captured me, it was always the content, simple statements revealing simple truths, the loving gentle way most communications were presented, and the constant presentation of the gospel message made clear. Jesus is alive in these teachings. Love lives in these teachings. The God living in me, the God who came alive for me within the UB, Michael and a number of His Sons commune with me, share with me. If this whole thing is a fraud, nothing more than my desires, blown out of proper proportion, and even if I continue trying to be, trying to live what I "hear", even so, will I arrive on the Mansion Worlds having grown considerably more than I believe I would have, if I rejected all these simply stated truth offerings. If I am losing my marbles, I know of no better game to play or of more loving personalities with whom I can share adventure, than these, my (?imaginary?) teachers, friends and helpers. For those interested, in the near future, I will post (imo) some of the more relevant "writings". My love to all of you on the fence, or on either side you may be standing. Let's not lose sight of the fact of our humanity or of the joys in the spirit we can share with each other, and that our most important key to growth is. . ...... what was that again, oh yes, SINCERITY Blessing to youse. David .

21 Jun 1993    David Kantor      Newly established Mind Circuit

Subject: Newly established Mind Circuit...

 Hello, Thea;

 This weekend I was able to begin a serious study of encircuitment, picking up a thread we somewhat lost last week. In doing so, I began with a look at your quote posted last week regarding the message which was sent over "the newly established mind circuit" at the time the Adjutant of Wisdom first began to function on the planet. You implied in that post that if such information was being transmitted over the mind circuit, why couldn't the humans have access to it. You also implied that the mind circuit which was used to carry the message was the same one which was functioning in the twins.

 If I go to page 709 and read the entire story, I find the following sequence of events:

 The spirit of worship made contact with the mind of the female twin. About a year later the spirit of wisdom began to function in the minds of both Andon and Fonta. Now that the adjutants are fully functional, the life carriers notice a qualitative change in the nature of adjutant mobilization and interpret that change as an indication that something significant is about to happen.

 The day after the twins made their decision based on the first functioning of the spirit of wisdom, a test was conducted of the universe circuit signals at the planetary reception-focus of Urantia.

 Three days later, the Nebadon archangel of initial planetary circuit establishment arrived. The group of life carriers then gathered about the planetary pole of space communication and received the first message from Salvington over the newly established mind circuit of the planet.

 The first message was dictated by the chief of the archangel corps, and sent greetings to the Life Carriers, noting that "the first decision of mind--the human type of mind--on Urantia...automatically establishes the circuit of communication over which this initial message of acknowledgment is transmitting."

 Note that this is described as being a *new* circuit. The adjutants had to have already been fully functioning vis-a-vis the humans in order for Andon and Fonta to be able to exercise both worship and wisdom. This passage implies to me the establishment of a *new* mind circuit for planetary communication by our superiors which occurred *as a result of* the adjutants becoming fully functional. It implies a circuit existing independently of the adjutant ministry to mortal mind, a circuit of such significance that an archangel was sent to make sure it was functioning properly. In other words, the establishment of a special mind circuit for use by our planetary administrators was a repercussion of the adjutants becoming fully functional.

 Note that the point of reception of the information was the planetary pole of space communication, not a human brain. I also suspect that this was one of the circuits shut down as a result of the rebellion.

 What do you think?

21 Jun 1993    David Kantor      What would Jesus say?

Subject: What would Jesus say?

 Hi again, Thea...

 What would Jesus say about the TM? If I personally asked him about it, what would he say? Good, thought provoking question. Consider the tension which developed between the disciples of John and his own Apostles over very similar issues.

 Note on page 1593 that Jesus simply refuses to get involved. In subsequent references, the issues become even more problematic for the Apostles, yet he refuses to comment on them. On page 1610, we get some indication that the situation, combined with some other difficulties, was getting quite difficult for his Apostles. Andrew, it says, "was almost beside himself; he did not know what next to do, and so he went to the Master with his problems and perplexities."

 Jesus heard him out and replied, "Andrew, you cannot talk men out of their perplexities when they reach such a stage of involvement, and when so many persons with strong feelings are concerned. I cannot do what you ask of me--I will not participate in these personal social difficulties--but I will join you in the enjoyment of a three-day period of rest and relaxation. Go to your brethren and announce that all of you are to go with me up on Mount Sartaba, where I desire to rest for a day or two."

 Mt. Sartaba, anyone?

21 Jun 1993    BOB SLAGLE             BALANCE: THE LOOP TO GOD IS OP



 DAVID KANTOR -- Your point regarding balance among science, religion, philosophy is well taken. And, imho, it is because so many of us intellectual types are so far out of balance that the values of the Teaching Mission rightly emphasize the spiritual. To me, the UB attracts primarily those of large intellect. The heady tendencies of the associated organizations is well shown by the repeated stuckness in the paralysis of analysis that sets in when people use the brain in deference to the heart. In fact, don't most of the problems of western technology and materialism emerge from a path with much mind and little or no heart? I think so. Imo, David,in general we are already way over philosophical, over analytical, over intellectual--what we need now is love, as the book says, a feeling too deep for words. No, I would not abandon the great gift of mind, but mind without a balance of heart is potentially dangerous. It is over intellectual development that we are faced with in the 20th century, not over spiritual development. As I see it, what we very much need now is the spiritual growth to counter the dangerous degree of over intellectual development most UB readers suffer from right now! (myself included.) Others have already pointed out the role of simplicity. The UB, imo, is of little present value if there are not readers who will actually practice LOVE in the simple person-to-person way that Jesus taught. While many people study the Book, talk about the Book, argue about issues in the Book, discuss the origins of the Book, organize topics from the Book, write papers about topics in the Book, disagree about how to disseminate the Book, search for quotations in the Book, debate who understands passages in the Book, gather with those who have similar views of the Book, --I ask, who will live the Book?

 Now on the matter of closed loops. David, I ask you, when Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within you, is this a closed loop? I think you have created a tautology where none exits. This would be a closed loop, if I had only my intellect to rely on. However, there are within me (and you) vast spiritual resources we can call on at will. My ability to seek the Father or the Spirit of Truth does not require that I be able to solve a logical riddle, or debate a philosphical issue, or measure an empirical variable--this connection is direct, irrefutable, experiential, and immediate. It is a gift from God. And I am so grateful that I am not required to explicate him, or define him, or have a philosophical context for him in order to directly experience him and know of a certainty that he is real and true and good.

 David, it seems that you view truth as something to be pursued logically, a dialectic. I remind you that the UB tells us that truth is a possession of the soul not a fact of mind. And my soul does not require philosophy, logic, science, or intellection to be real, alive, and truth discerning. The loop to God is never a closed loop; and there is an outer loop also, that being the confirmation of experiential reality by the now thousands of humans who have sought and experienced contact with invisible beings which the UB has so beautifully portrayed to us in advance. There is no rebuttal to the Teaching Mission. It is not a logical construct; it is a living experience. Therefore the only appropriate epistemology is experiential, soul discernment. Those who do not want contact with Christ Michael's heavenly Teachers are not forced or coerced to receive such a loving gift. Heaven honors your right to spurn Jesus' friendly Teachers. Your free will is honored with no judgements about your spiritual choices. However if you are sincerely interested in the Truth of whether or not there really are celestial Teachers, discrete personalities, contacting us via newly opened mind circuits, this is a matter of private experience not intellectual arguments nor theological contexts. If a person wants the truth then it is necessary (for most of us) to actually seek silent communion with the Father daily, overcome our fears, and sincerely ask him to reveal this Truth. Teacher contact is subtle, it is a part of God's plan for us but must be sincerely sought. This often requires many days or months of dedicated stillness practice for a clear and unequivocal Truth confirmation. So, David, if you have not sought Teacher contact within yourself during your times of communion, arguments become, to me, increasingly irrelevant and meaningless. If you are telling me that you have sincerely asked in your quiet heart and find no confirmation for the reality of Teachers, great, I honor your allegiance to your own experience. (However, I have yet to hear anything like a comprehensive explanation for the messages you received in 84-85, which you told me you were absolutely certain of on more than one occasion.) But please speak to me of your experience that disconfirms heavenly contact, not your philosophy.

 I must add that your post some time back about prayer-worship-etc wherein you totally activate your mind or all 7 adjutants, caught my attention. Such activity would of course be a certain way to assure that you do not have Teacher contact (perhaps that is your intent, it cerainly is your right). A totally activated mind is a thorough defense against Teacher contact. Jesus instructed us to make the mind quiet for a few minutes after prayer to better allow the Adjuster to speak to the listening soul (1641:1) Do you keep your Adjutants busy during this time as well? However, aside from personal experiential seeking, what remains of the Teaching Mission to be discussed? What about values? I hear all these objections to the Mission yet no one seems to address values. Are there values stated via transmissions that you disagree with David? If you have read my paper, what are the values portrayed? The Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man? yes. The gift of sonship and daughtership? yes. The total validity of The Urantia Book? yes. The crucial role of fairness in human interplay? yes. The importance of living Jesus' teachings in our daily lives? yes. The respect for free will? yes. The importance of reaching out in service to our fellows? yes. The seeking of communion with God daily? yes. The doing of small kindnesses as often as possible? yes. I find these to be the same teachings as in the UB. So, David, what is it that you so object to?

21 Jun 1993    Fred Harris         TM Exercise Two

Subject: TM Exercise Two

 Great day today. I smiled at strangers. I helped a lady with the lock on her business. I smiled and laughed with friends and workers. I played with my kids. I talked to people at the gym. I listened to people, really listened. Big stuff. Kingdom building. That's what I like about the TM, it is a hands on, experiential mission. We are encouraged to get out there and shine the Father's light. Forget the intellectualization of the message, just do it. Incorporate it into your life. Easier said than done, but easier as you get experience doing it. Fun too. And not limited to Sunday for an hour. That's why I am posting "how to" messages, to encourage those of you who are not yet trying it in your everyday lives to do so. Doesn't cost anything. No special clothes required. No magic words. Just try to meet all that you meet where they are and give them what they can accept, even if it is just a smile. You will be surprised at the opportunities that will present themselves to you. In line with that, I really enjoyed the letter from David (our brother from Hawaii). He seems to be enjoying his adventure with the TM. In truth, it is a blast. It will help you get up with a new attitude. But I am rambling, so let's get to our exercise. "Where does the web of human relations begin and end? for each of you individually and for this group collectively it is your history and it is your future, but most importantly, it is your eternal present. I compliment you on your daily interactions with people. Do not let the results of those interactions fall below the threshold of your awareness. I think you will find if you examine your past experiences that spontaneous enlightenment frequently comes from the exploration of those chance encounters with those to whom yhou are a stranger or merelyn an acquantance and are not limited to conversations with people whom you know well. Over this coming week pay closer attention to the people you chance to encounter. The bank teller, the waitress, the clerical staff in hyour offices, the people you meet or whose paths you cross on the street, your colleagues with whom you would scarcely exchange a glance or a word. Each person whom you meet is an opportunity for the Heavenly Father to flex His muscles, to develop Himself and yourself in the world in which we live more richly and more deeply and more completely. By making the human connection you begin to build that network of human relationships which is the foundation for the ages of light and life. Light and life is not imposed upon a planet from above. It is not a program which begins with administrative coordination. Light and life begins with you and already has. It cannot exist except with the knowing acknowledgment of brotherhood and sisterhoos of all persons. "In order for this to become more than potential, in order for it to become actual, you must become more than passive. When you avert your eyes upon encountering a new person or encountering a known person in the same old way, you are exerting the many leveled denial. You are denying yourself the human connection with that other person. You are denying the TA connection between you and that other person. You are denying that person full participation in the brotherhood in humanity which is the necessary first step toward progress among nations. It takes no special expertise for me to point out that following this recent pjolitical change that there appears to be substantial desire for betterment of things between peoples, yet it cannot be achieved by means of elected officials. It is up to you all to do the work or else there is no structure for the leadership on which to operate.] "It is the old situation of openings and closing. Open yourself to people. You don't need to become mushy. You don't need to become chummy with them. But it is necessary that you acknowledge them, for we are all in this together and until every person is fully allowed into the brotherhood of man, the brotherhood remains incomplete. We think you will be pleasantly surprised if you will just exert yourself just a little bit. Open the door and let God pass through. This is the meaning of step two in our 1-2-3 exercise. The brotherhood that Michael has in mind embraces all. No one is left outside. "So make an extra effort this week to respect the strangers. Mend the relationships with those with whom you work and play. Be alert to the stresses and strains of home life, with the children and elders. Their membership and full participation is just as desirable. No one is to be left out. This is my message to you tonight."

 Hope you liked it and will try it. Tomorrow we will talk about listening as an exercise, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise. Until then.

End Part 5