Teaching Mission History

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Consisting of 10 Parts

From December 14,1992 Through February25, 1994

15 Sep 1993    Scott Foerster        Re: Public TM debate digest...

Subject: Re: Public TM debate digest.... In-Reply-To: [199309150112.AA11899@access.digex.net]

 Those in the heavens look upon us as children ... even worse ... as children raising children. To those in heaven, our so serious discussions surrounding teaching mission, FOG and spiritual levels are probably as important as the discussion (or argument) our kids have about whether to play in the sand box or ride the bikes. There seem to only be two things that matter: is it true and does it help us love others.

 During my junior year in high school, I went home during lunch a few times to read the Urantia Book (UB). What attracted me at that time was the truth. It had to be true. Today I sometimes feel truth. It sends shivers up my spine and makes me cry with happiness.

 In a way I feel blind. I've given the UB to other people and they first build a wall around their current existence to protect themselves from the Urantia Book. Then they start reading. And they compare the UB to their current life and beliefs. So immediately there is an "otherness" associated with reading the UB. I feel blind because I can not build these walls. The Urantia Book is my foundation.

 I read the Bible after the Urantia Book. There is a melting pot in my head. If it is true it melts in. If it is not I can not remember. I am always worried at church that I will start talking about after Joseph died when the Bible does not even mention (just hints at) Joseph's untimely death.

 My first recollection of trying to discern truth was trying to "grok" as described in Heilein's "Stranger in a Strange Land." Concept of "groking" influenced me tremendously. Something is either true (for me) or is not and I seem to know instantly. And I am constantly reminded that this is "truth" as I know it. It is personal truth.

 The teaching mission (TM) resonates with the Spirit of Truth inside of me. I recognize it doesn't for other people. But cannot we still share the same Internet, the same voice mail system and love each other? TM is most likely not that much different from reading groups in the eyes of those above.

 The TM is helping me grow. Enormously. I've read David Kantor's postings about FOG, I've lived through similar experiences in my two years inside the Community for Creative Nonviolence in Washington DC. I've lived with people who rented dump trucks to dump dirt at entrances to the Pentagon parking lot, hauled the dead bodies of street people into the mayors office and planned a lot more stuff that I am uncomfortable talking about now. Mitch Snider's personality did dominate. I watched the Bergen brothers, Slone Coffin and Ed Guinen try to reason with him. (Spelling and English are not my stong points.)

 But the TM is different. Our group of 14 is half black and half female. Six have teachers. One teacher leads our group the other teachers are personal. I've never had such deep, warm, peer conversations. It is not ego driven. No human personality dominates. No spiritual personality dominates. There is disagreement and misunderstanding and therefore personality (page 846 UB).

 Everytime our TM group collectively starts thinking of outreach, the teachers point us inward. We are encouraged to take the initiative individually and act without group consensus. We just go out and do what we are lead to do.

 I am use to working on teams as an engineer, in sports (waterpolo) and in mission groups at Church of the Savior. Our TM group is quite different. Every attempt at "like mind and like spirit" is discouraged by the teachers. For example, we hear that Machiventa might re-establish a school. We ask, what can we do to accelerate this process? Build schools, raise money, organize? And the teachers say Machiventa does not need this kind of help. We ask will we recognize him? And the teachers say yes, but caution us that society at large might not. When? Perhaps in our life times, perhaps 1000 years from now or more. Then the teachers say, to accelerate this process, spend time with the Father. Let the Father guide you. Spend time in silence, listening. All discussions somehow move back to the same simple point ... a relationship with the mystery monitor.

 Does the teaching movement live in expectation of some kind of end time scenario? No. Are we all to drop everything, sell our homes and hide from WWIII or build a Melchizedek school? No.

 David Kantor (I read his postings in the archives) described a tendency of human groups to focus inward, learn only from themselves and evolve a reality that the rest of the world did not live up to. This can not happen in TM groups. They are too small, decentralized and focused on personal relationships rather than group relationships. Sure one or more TM groups might go off the deep end. But that risk is present in any church, family or job. Rather we are asked to live our lives in new way. Not as specially chosen people, but as people struggling to move closer to the Father fragment.

 Teachers hold us accountable to spending time each day listening to the Father. What continues to impress me is their patience answering the same questions about UFO's and reincarnation everytime someone new shows up. What impresses me is their complete kindness and their subtle cheer leading that makes you just want to sit down, shut up and listen. I've taught high school for two years, been a college prof for five. I currently spend half my time on the road on the seminar/lecture circuit standing in front of 20 to 40 people who spend $800 to hear me talk for two days. Every trick I've learned the teachers already know ... and more. It is their ability to find incredible value in every question (even repeats) asked, kindness at the end of their answers and ability to praise the smallest bit of truth.

 Perhaps "teacher" is the wrong term for this movement. TM teachers are more filters, not guides. They are cheerleaders, not authorities. They are most happy when we are talking about our inner lives, our struggles with loving others and listening for the father.

 So is there a volatile edge being built that those on the TM movement could be pushed over? Are the people in these TM groups beginning to act, behave and believe the same? Are the people in these TM groups respecting the same authorities? No. The teachers make mistakes. They are just a little above us. As the UB says you teach those just below you.

 The teachers have specific and impressive guidelines that are rigorously adhered to with a uniformity and discipline that can not be from this side. They will not talk about the future, they will not offer political advice. They will not talk about other channeling activities. The minute the discussion leaves the inward focus or personal/individual relationships the teachers are more likely to say "I can not talk about that. My guidelines prevent me." If you press them they say, "I can not because that would violate your free will." In short, TM guidelines seem specifically designed to prevent a FOG or David Koresh disaster ... and they are adhered to with astonishing uniformity and discipline.

 Are the words of teachers confused and mixed up with our own human thoughts? Yes. Are the TM groups diverse, contradictory? Yes. I feel that the TM groups are not converging but diversifying.

 In high school (after reading the Urantia Book), I dated a born again Christian to discover if they had a personal relationship with Jesus. I discovered that Jesus did not talk to them as a separate personality. Rather they attributed the good, the truth, their conscience to Jesus. At this point I gave up seeking traditions or communities that claimed relationship with a pre- personal or fully formed spiritual personality. The TM has changed all this, at least my expectations have changed. I now believe that I can have a personal relationship with a personality on the other side ... a personal teacher. Not to guide me, but rather to act be the best friend I have longed for.

 One summer in college I wrestled with this question. Could I hear God tell me to do something? Would I recognize the voice or thought? Would I have the courage to do it? I put weights on, dove to the bottom of the pool and held my breath as long as possible. The silence was incredible. But I never heard anything. Now I expect to hear something. Now I think I am hearing things. Each day for the last 6 months has been an adventure. I guess I am nuts. But then diving to the bottom of a pool, going out with a born-again Christian or basing my entire life on a 1955 book supposedly written by angles but possibly a hoax is a little nuts too.

 "UB page 2097 The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man's greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well- balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self- consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul- consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness -- contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existence truth of the religious experience of knowing God. Such spirit-consciousness is the equivalent of the knowledge of the actuality of sonship with God. Otherwise, the assurance of sonship is the experience of faith."

 I am just experimenting with taking this paragraph a little more literally.

 The common thread among the TM groups is that they are alive, vibrant and changing lives for the better. TM groups are motivating healthy people to meet in small, decentralized groups and challenge each other to grow even more. There is a disciplined effort to avoid the characteristics of a cult. And the UB forms the platform they all leap off of. What more could you ask for.

 - Scott Foerster

 PS We have to build a world of light and live. Nobody is going to tell us how.


Oct 1993

2 Oct 1993     Scott Foerster        Maryland News

Subject: Maryland News

 News from Maryland

 A Urantia telephone number listed in the Maryland yellow pages will appear at the end of Oct or beginning of Nov .. whenever the yellow page directory is printed. Will be under "various religions" in the church section of the phone book. The phone number is (301) 577-1108.

 A meeting was held Sunday Sept.26. Approximately 6 readers attended from the Maryland, Washington DC & Virginia areas attended. These were the points of view expressed: 1. Should not be a phone number 2. Should just take messages 3. Should mention all groups only non-teaching groups 4. Should describe all Urantia related activities

 The consensus reached was essentially just to take messages. The answering message will be nice and include some kind of music. Not going to list reading groups or their formats. Regional coordinators will get back to people to people in their area. Regional coordinators are basically people who take the initiative and are supported by consensus.

 There was no discussion of sponsoring "introductions" other than just a potential future activity.

 There was a lot of contention over the Teaching Mission (TM) at this meeting. I wish I could dump this list service's archives on them.

 This Urantial listing has people on both sides of the fence, just like the Maryland meeting above had. The contention on this Urantial listing seemed to reach it's nasty height at the end of April. Since then everyone has learned to be patient with each other. (I've been reading through the archives.) This electronic forum seems to speed up normal consensus building over a much wider community than the physical telephone tag and face to face meetings do.

 Could the TM consensus reached in this "electronic world" leak out into the "physical world"? What is the consensus that has been reached here? If we could print it, if the consensus felt true like the Urantia Book "feels true", then it might speed up consensus building in the "physical world". If successful it would attract more people to this "electronic world."

 So I am challenging all you Urantial list service subscribers to come up with a short, consensus building document that all of us can put our names on. I am not the best person to write such a consensus because I am head over heals in love with the TM side of the fence. But for what it is worth, here is a starting point.

 Urantial TM Consensus

 1. TM movement has many positive characteristics. 2. TM encourages people to read the UB. 3. TM extensions of the UB might not be worth listening to. 4. TM people are not dangerous when sitting next to them in a regional coordination, planning, strategy meeting. 5. TM groups should be treated as regular reading groups at the organizing level.

 -- just trying Scott (quart appears to have a drop, but might leak) Foerster

2 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       TM Consensus?

Subject: TM Consensus? In-Reply-To: [9310021738.AA02497@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Interesting task, Scott! I thought your beginning submission was a good start. Number 3 gave me some pause, though. Although I am obviously an active part of the TM, I don't consider the transmissions as extensions of the UB. I see them as something quite separate, though related in a philosophical sense. I personally think this is an important distinction for several reasons.

 I see the TM as one of many ways to practice what we learn in the UB more actively. One of many ways.

 If we are to not only tolerate but learn about other people's religions and spiritual experience, then it seems at the least we can expect the TM to be tolerated. It does not need to be embraced by anyone who is not interested, and it is not an exclusive path. Again, it is one path of many.

 The TM could be considered a UB sect, I imagine. And over time, there will probably be others. What we share: a common bond of the book, the fundamental belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man (read Parenthood of God and Siblinghood of Humankind, if you prefer! :)

 I don't personally think the TM has any interest in taking over the Urantia Movement. We who participate are not all as loony as may have once been thought. OTOH, there will always be some persons "on the brink" both inside and outside the TM.

 I do not think the TM and the UM should be seen as synonymous and I do not think it would be useful for that to occur. I would hope to see that diverse paths are always available to incoming readers and that we be able to maintain a larger fellowship despite our diversities.

 These points are not concise like yours, Scott. But I am just thinking outloud about issues that I think are relevant to coming to a consensus about the TM. Perhaps I am off base here. I have never thought about this in quite the way that you present before.

 Useful to think about. Thanks!


2 Oct 1993     Scott Foerster        TM Concensus?

Subject: TM Concensus?

 Thea, you are wonderful. I've tried to work your comments into concensus building document. Any one else want to contribute? I'll keep recycling this ... if someone else doesn't. Correct the english, correct anything, add anything, any of you. Has anyone ever voted in a list service?

 Urantial TM Consensus PROPOSAL!

 (Written by someone who was placed into an "English as your second language" class freshman year in college even though English is the only language he has ever spoken. datS why i become a eganeer)

 We, members of the Urantial electronic discussion group, after months of heated debate, have reached a concensus that is enabling Teaching Mission participants to work constructively with the rest of the Urantia electronic community. We agree with the following statements:

 1. TM movement has many positive characteristics.

 2. TM encourages people to read the UB.

 3. TM is one of many ways to practice what is learned in the UB.

 4. TM's religious and spiritual experiences can be tolerated, without being embraced.

 5. TM is just one branch of a much larger community that shares a common bond of the Urantia Book.

 We hope that diverse paths are always available to incoming readers. We pray that we are able to maintain a larger fellowship despite our diversities. We rejoice everytime we learn from disagreement and misunderstanding.

 "But in in our evolving universe of relative perfection and imperfection we rejoice that disagreement and misunderstanding are possible, for thereby is evidenced the fact and the act of personality ..." UB page 846.

 --- lets keep working on this --- sCotT foErstEr

4 Oct 1993     Dan Massey      Joint statement on TM

Subject: Joint statement on TM

 I find that my personal policy on the TM has evolved in the direction of the position of the military on homosexuality:

 1. Don't tell me you're into TM. 2. I won't ask if you're into TM.

 I'll stop short of endorsing the third point which would be "TM is incompatible with spiritual service," because I don't, of course, believe that broad generalization to be true. (no more than I believe being gay is incompatible...,etc.)

 I would not be willing do endorse any statement on the TM, at least on the level I see it being addressed, and am uncertain what this is all about???

 Out of touch...Dan

6 Oct 1993     Scott Foerster        Re: +Postage Due+TM Consensus?

Subject: Re: +Postage Due+TM Consensus? In-Reply-To: [931004232403_71055.3435_CHJ38-2@CompuServe.COM]

 Byron, The background and reasons behind this TM Consensus ... I thought that this electronic foum had come to a TM Consensus based upon the archives of this list service. After Dan's posting, I don't know. I've only been trying to participate in this forum a month and thus feel quite inadequate in trying to even shepard this TM consensus idea any further. Certainly you, who appear through out the log files, would have a better idea of what the consensus is/was ... if any existed.

 I just dashed off a sample (perhaps wishful thinking) concensus off the top of my head to get some sort of discussion started.

 This idea of a TM Consensus originated in the tension present in a coordination meeting involving both TM and traditional reading group representative. A Maryland TM group has purchased a phone number and yellow page advertisement. It also located a computer that can answer the phone, play back a voice menu, take messages, call other people and deliver the messages. The plan is/was to reach a consensus as to what the voice menu was to say and what the response to messages were to be. This meeting consisted of the traditional reading groups putting "closet" like restrictions on the TM group as the price of their participation. Lots of energy, enthusiasm and time was lost in this negative discussion.

 Byron, please propose a TM consensus of your own. I can not print Dan's. Is there a way to openly except TM that everybody here can embrace ... and will the consensus attract others to this noble forum?


 Scott "where is my quart?" Foerster

6 Oct 1993     Fred Harris         TM Consensus

Subject: TM Consensus

 Scott, thanks for being a catalyst for discussion. I would like to chip in my two cents worth on the topic of a consensus of the Urantial group regarding the Teaching Mission.

 There is no consensus. There never will be. It isn't necessary that there be a consensus on the TM or any other topic.

 I will say this. It seems that there is a general agreement of civility toward diverse opinions regarding the Teaching Mission, pro and con. For that I am grateful. It shows class. Maturity.

 For those who do prescribe to the validity of the Teaching Mission, maybe a better question would be a consensus of concepts generally advanced by the teachers. I know that Byron is working on a treatise on this, but in a more simplified version maybe we could state in our own words what we believe are the concepts that most affected our lives. Here is a quick list of some that I came up with from my experience.

 1. There are as many paths to God as there are people to walk them. (I like this concept because it is so tolerant of all paths people choose to walk. Tolerance is a breath of fresh air.)

 2. The fastest way to heaven is to start walking in that direction. (We are all so impatient, as Scott has noted, that we forget that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Just start walking. I see this as a challenge to begin incorporating the concepts of the UB into our daily lives.)

 3. It is time to incorporate your highest concepts into your everyday life. (Take the highest path. Do it in the most mundane situations at work, at home, while walking on the street. This is the hard part.)

 4. Take at least ten minutes a day to listen for God in the stillness. (Meditation allows you to find the divine within. I always thought that meditation was bogus, but I have changed my mind because of the results I have experienced. It is the best when you spend some time in worship and prayer prior to seeking the stillness. But trying is the key. Availability. If you aren't doing this, try it. Regularly. See what you think.)

 5. Don't be afraid. (See this life as an opportunity to grow and learn. And teach. Know that you are safely within the Father's hands. Nothing serious can happen to you - at least in the eternal sense. Get that perspective and drop your fears. They are spirit poisons anyway, so chuck them.)

 6. Try to become a conduit for the Father's love. (Allow the warm love of God flow through you to everyone you meet. Make every encounter with another human being be a positive experience for them and for you. It is really a blast when you can get this going. It is amazing the impact you can have on those you don't even know. The main thing is to ask God to help you keep this attitude foremost in your mind as you walk through your day - it is easy to get back into your old habits of sleepwalking through life.)

 7. Listen to those you meet so you can discern their needs and provide them the service they want. (This is a skill. Most people never listen, they just wait until there is a pause in the speaking so they can say their piece. Listen. Then take the second step of looking for a service you can provide the person you are engaging. The service may be just listening. It may be smiling at them. It may be anything. Usually it is nothing difficult, just thoughtful. This also is fun. It is truly better to give than receive.)

 8. Walk through life with a joyful countenance. (This is really a combination of some of the others, but when you realize that God has given you another day, you should be happy to be alive and kicking. Today is the best time to be about the Father's business.)

 9. Live in the present. (Stop living in the past or looking into the future. Live today. Watch for opportunities to exhibit your beliefs through your actions to those you meet in the present. God is working with you in the here and now. Pay attention to today.)

 10. Know that each person you meet is also a child of God and treat them accordingly. (When your indwelling spirit connects with another person's indwelling spirit, much can happen. Plant a seed with all you meet and let God work from there. It is not your responsibility to grow the tree, just plant the seed.)

 11. Enjoy life. (God provided us with so much. Count your blessings. Without fear, anxiety, hatred, anger or the other spirit poisons in your life, you can truly enjoy your existence. It is not sin to have fun. Family, friends and being a kingdom worker - what an opportunity. Enjoy.)

 Well, those are some of my thoughts. Let's have some others. Until then, happy trails to you.


 -Fred Harris- --

6 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       Scott's TM Consensus

Subject: Scott's TM Consensus In-Reply-To: [9310070106.AA16085@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Scott, I have reason to believe that you shouldn't necessarily take Dan's comments on the TM concensus too seriously. He has been known to make a joke or two! ;-)

 If I may make comment on this, Dan!

 Sreehc... Thea

6 Oct 1993     Richard Prince      11 theses on the door

Subject: 11 theses on the door

 San Diego October 6, 1993

 Dear Logondonters:

 And especially Fred! Many thanks for the consensus statement on TM, which I can embrace wholeheartedly, because, for one thing, it does not explicitly mention the TM. A consensus between some of the beautiful stuff you have posted in the past, and the apocalyptic warnings regarding a fleet of Vogon space cruisers waiting to take the elect away, such as is coming from the hills of Sedona, defies consensus within itself.

 In reading *The Varieties of Religious Experience*, by William James, who was the father of American psychology, one encounters this line in chapter 10, on conversion:

 "If the *fruits for life* of the state of conversion are good, we ought to idealize and venerate it, even though it be a piece of natural psychology, if not, we ought to make short work with it, no matter what supernatural being may have infused it."

 Martin Luther, in his commentary on Galatians, spoke of the "dung of one's merits, the filthy puddle of our own self- righteousness," when he was discussing the separation of God and man. He also pointed out that "If I could pray with the concentration my dog gives to the bone on my plate, I would be a saint." He was a fellow who had a way with words, but his meaning, to me, is that none of us have merits, with or without the TM, that are universally noteworthy. Many of us, despite much effort to move toward God are, from a cosmic perspective, still wallowing in the "filthy puddle" of life on Urantia. Few of us can pray with the concentration of Luther's dog. Sitting in a TM meeting and listening is not doing it for oneself.

 Still, I can embrace Fred's 11 theses. William James also wrote that he thought Luther would have cut his right hand off if he had thought that, by using it to nail the 95 theses on the door of the cathedral at Wittenberg in 1517, he would have brought about Boston Unitarianism. There is nothing in Fred's 11 theses worth a hand, other than one of applause. Was it not the Dali Llama, at the recently concluded world congress of Religions in Chicago, who said in the keynote speech that "There can be no peace on this planet until there is peace between the religions of this planet.?" BTW, the Fellowship was there as a member of the north american interfaith network, with booth, books,etc.

 So let there be peace amongst readers of the UB, at least, and let it begin with the soon to be famous 11 theses of Fred Harris.

 Hey, Fred, how about nailing them to the door of the Cyprus Cathedral in Lakeland, Fla? It's a crazy looking place. I drove by it last week. It would be great TV, and would make a big splash in that area. Think about it.....


 Splashing in my own filthy puddle I am

7 Oct 1993     Byron Belitsos      Re: TM Consensus?

Subject: Re: TM Consensus?


 I understand more than you may think about the difficult time you are having in Maryland, having heard many reports from our mutual friend Steve Kaplan (why isn't he logging on here by the way?) about the ongoing tensions in your Society there. I honestly think it is a matter of "maturity" -- on both sides. Neither side in the so-called "TM debate" is really able to carry on the discussion very productively, although for VERY different reasons.

 The TMers have not yet articulated their own "story", nor have they described in enough depth, even for themselves, how the TM relates to the UB, the UM, and contemporary culture, or what the meaning of such events are such as the Naperville affair. IMHO, the TM is not ready to engage the larger UM on a national scale or in a national public forum. For its part, the Urantia movement (inclusive of the TM skeptics) simply does not have the information infrastructure to fairly assimilate the TM, even if we were able to provide such information. Said another way, there is not a sufficient flow of objective information available for the movement at large, and especially to dispassionate individuals, to get a clear picture of the TM, let alone any other of the major issues facing the Urantia movement, be they spiritual, social, or political. I say this as a member of the Fellowship's publication committee and after a brief stint as managing editor of the Fellowship's newsletter. The dysfunction in the history and governance of the Fellowship pervades all the space it occupies, making it difficult properly engage ANY important issues. It's better to wait until its maturity evolves out of the hard lessons we are all learning. I can't help but add that a good example of the near-incompetence of the Fellowship in engaging issues outside itself is its faltering and feeble participation last month in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

 Also consider that everybody on Urantial -- with the exception of a few newcomers such as Todd -- has had a chance to look over TM transcripts and do their own research on the TM (since Urantial does provide some semblance of an info infrastructure). Once they have done this basic research, their engagement with the TM leaves the public/social arena and enters a very personal and intimate domain of one's inner relation with the Father. It is here that they will validate the TM or not do so, as with all faith decisions. So I say that it is out of our hands once the person has been able to avail themselves of the basic information. I personally prefer, then, to drop the matter at that point. All participants on Urantial have had abundant opportunity to explore the TM online. They have all made their decisions. It appears then that an unspoken consunsus has been reached. We agree to disagree, and further, we agree to find other areas of common interest to discuss. Anything beyond that might be to push for uniformity at the cost of spiritual unity. I am comfortable with the spiritual unity we have here, but I must say that it took seven months of soul-struggle for me to get there personally. It is not ideal, but it is the best that can be accomplished until some major events external to Urantial occur. Perhaps Dan Massey will have a spectacular conversion experience -- and he'll be able to help the rest of us gay and joyous TMers come out of the closet in the house of the Urantia movement.

7 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       Add one for Fred's Twelve Step

Subject: Add one for Fred's Twelve Steps In-Reply-To: [9310070453.AA24015@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Fred, I loved the Elevating Eleven! I can affirm those with a whole heart. To me, that is the heart of what brings us together on here, TM or non-TM. I love the TM, but at the heart of it, the TM doesn't matter. Even the UB doesn't really matter. What matters is living the way you are suggesting, Fred. If we do that, even partway, we have done it! The Lovin' 'Leven, yes!

 Actually, I am enjoying what people come up with on this concensus business. It is less important to me that we have a concensus, than that I get to share in what you all think is important about your spiritual lives, which appears to me to be what we are talking about here. Thank you, Scott, for engendering this great current round of sharing! You just never know what will get set that brings on the next round!


7 Oct 1993     Dan Massey      Re: +Postage Due+TM Consensus?

Subject: Re: +Postage Due+TM Consensus? In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 06 Oct 93 20:21:28 -0400.


 The point of my (alas) somewhat sarcastic posting on the subject of TM consensus was simply that what appears to you as consensus is simply exhaustion on the part of the participants, in no small part the result of an extensive running debate between David Kantor, Thea Hardy, and many less voluble individuals starting back in March or April. To me, there really isn't anything left worth talking about. In fact, to me, there never was anything there worth talking about. I do not understand or relate personally to any of the manifold reasons people give for their interest in the TM, but have decided that I would defend their right to hold them and would not argue with them about their validity.

 I'm sorry if this disappoints you, but if the available consensus does not please you, you have all the normal recourses of a free society (e.g., go where you can get a consensus, settle for a majority opinion, try to convince people to agree with you, etc.) I put my statement out to clear the air and make sure you understood that it would be a waste of time to pursue the exact agenda you suggested, before you became too committed to it as a "cause". Actually, I don't know how anyone could presume to speak for urantial, since it is not a fixed or well-defined group and will be different next month. In addition, a lot of people just lurk and watch the text scroll by...


7 Oct 1993     Dan Massey      Re: TM Consensus

Subject: Re: TM Consensus In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 06 Oct 93 22:52:30 -0400.


 thank you for the summary. They are certainly 11 wonderful thoughts, regardless of what one may think of the source. I think they are in the Urantia Book (which would not be a recommendation to some people). I think they are also in a lot of other places. I would like to think that most people would recognize the truth in these 11 statements and want to make them part of their lives. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case in a lot of places. I don't know what you can do when people have learned to hate the truth. Quite depressing to worry about...


7 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       RE TM consensus

Subject: RE TM consensus In-Reply-To: [9310071651.AB04613@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Just some thoughts on what Dan has said. When I joined Urantial, I knew that it was a place where people who read the Urantia Book came to hang out and get to know one another. Early on in my personal tenure hereon, we had some hairy discussions about the TM. Actually, I had logged on planning not to discuss the TM, not because I am at all afraid to do so, as I think I have demonstrated, or because I do not believe in it profoundly, which I think I have also amply stated, but because, at the heart of it, I believe that it is what we share in our love of this book, over and above the TM, rather than the beliefs that divide us, which count. That is one reason why I like Fred's statement better than my own recent one. We have a community with great diversity here. While it doesn't hurt to sharpen our own understandings and beliefs via open dialogue, it is also useful to remember what it is that brings us together. In its simplest, hopefully a concept of the deep love of our Universal Father and an awareness that we are all equal brothers and sisters as children of that Loving Parent, and we can learn to treat each other that way. To me, literally all the rest is elaboration. Now I love elaborations, and those of you who have shared them have enriched my mind and heart. But perhaps the only consensus I see, is that which the book itself mentions - The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. (Parenthood of God and Siblinghood of Persons). To my mind, if we seek consensus, that is likely as far as we can go.

 I agree with Dan that there will be no consensus on the TM, here or out there. What I appreciate about Urantial is that it has pretty much been according to how Michael allowed the apostles to teach - each taught in his own way according to his own beliefs, without "correction" by the Master. It appears that we are free and safe to do that here. By safe, I do not mean that we will not have disagreements. I imagine that when the apostles taught, they received plenty of challenges from the crowds. But if we believe what we do, there is no lack of safety in that! At its best, this list becomes a new Urmia of sorts. I appreciate the grace and tolerance that my brothers and sisters here on Urantial have shown, especially when faced with things that aroused intense and painful feelings in them. We are passionate about what we believe here on Urantial. To my mind, that is a wonderful and refreshing thing in a world that sometimes seems all too indifferent.

 These are my latest thoughts on consensus, however much I may agree with most of what has been said.

 Love to you all. Like Michael, I really do feel love towards you. You come on here day after day and share your hearts and minds, share the best that is in you, and sometimes admit to the worst, too. I treasure this experience, this "study group" in _living_ the UB together. Thanks to each and every one of you, including those of you who lurk (please join us!)

 Yes, hugs!


7 Oct 1993     David Kantor      Consensus??????

Subject: Consensus??????

 Hello, Friends...

 Consensus????? I'm still of the opinion that the TM is basically a cosmic strip mining operation -- plow into the psyche with no regard for the intellectual or philosophical environment. Process what's there, polluting the social environment with all sorts of erroneous debris, and if a few nuggets are found, proclaim that your means are thereby justified.

 No thanks. Tolerance? Barely; Consensus? I don't think so.

 David Kantor

8 Oct 1993     fx618@AOL.COM         The Art of Living: Revisited

Subject: The Art of Living: Revisited

 Thanks Fred for sharing thse 11 wonderful concepts advanced by the teachers of the TM, but more importantly thank you for sharing your personal insights as to how to INTEGRATE these spirit values into our daily lives.

 These concepts (as Dick P. has pointed out) of course are not exclusive to the TM they are found among many religions, but every ascending mortal has to convert these principles into living truth via experience and the TM represents an accelerated process for achieving this goal as Fred, thru self-expression and persoanl interpretation of these 11 concepts, has illustrated. It is, of course, one path of many, many enlightened paths, but the real "story" of the TM (as Byron B) asks about is the potential acceleration of spiritual growth that it offers.

 This is truly what it is all about, the ART of living in a increasingly self-less manner. The adjustment of the teachings of the big blue and of our Creator Son to the demands of the 20th century, the integration of these values into our daily lives and the unity and joy they bring to our lives in the process.

 The love of God enfolds us, Jesse

8 Oct 1993     Scott Foerster        TM Consensus

Subject: TM Consensus

 Dear Byron,

 I appreciated your response to the TM consensus thread ... that might be dead.

 >The TMers have not yet articulated their own story", nor have they >described in enough depth, even for themselves ...

 For me, the Teaching Mission revolves around personal action, not articulation or words. It provides guidance to my previous, fumbling attempts to "... achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells in the human mind ... " page 2097. IMHO, the TM mission fundamentally does not seem to add anything to the Urantia Book's "truth".

 > how the TM relates to the UB, the UM, and contemporary culture, > or what the meaning of such events are such as the Naperville > > affair.

 The TM encourages people to read the UB. The UB provides intellectual foundation for all the encouraged inward activities. The TM movement provides a starting point for that part of society that is searching through Finhorn, Virgin Mary, Seth Speaks, Edgar Casey and parts of the New Age movement.

 Naperville was not the creation of the TM movement. It was initiated by a reading group that had a teacher but quickly attracted many in the New Age movement. The first comment of the three people in our group that attended was "there were not many Urantia people there." Hopefully many in the New Age movement learned of the Urantia Book at Naperville. And this possibility has to be positive. TM, what ever you believe it is, increases diversity and thus adds momentum to the Urantia Movement.

 > IMHO, the TM is not ready to engage the larger UM on a national > scale or in a national public forum For its part, the Urantia > movement (inclusive of the TM skeptics) simply does not have the > information infrastructure to fairly assimilate the TM ....

 The TM movement is so inwardly focused that it does not have a chance of becoming another FOG. It is not evolving a centralized organization, but in UM tradition is just a collection of groups often very different from each other. Communication between groups is just a snail mail version of this electronic world. Asking the TM assimilate with the UM is like asking a bag of assorted marbles to assimilate. From the top looking down upon the UB reader community there appears to be chaos and anarchy. Questions exist over who owns the book, what the leading organizations are, how to worship, what the proper format of a reading group should be, etc. But from the bottom up point of view (the only important one), the diversity must be interpreted as success, growth and maturation. Look at me. For 20 years I never joined a reading group because of my negative experience with one reading group. I unfortunately extrapolated my experience with one reading group and thought all UB reading groups were similar. It took TM to get me involved.

 > Also consider that everybody on Urantial ... has had a chance to > look over TM transcripts and do their own research on the TM > (since Urantial does provide some semblance of an info > infrastructure). Once they have done this basic research, their > engagement with the TM leaves the public/social arena and enters > a very personal and intimate domain of one's inner relation with > the Father. It is here that they will validate the TM or not do > so, as with all faith decisions. So I say that it is out of our > hands once the person has been able to avail themselves of the > basic information.

 I agree but want to caution that the value of TM is not the transcripts. Researching TM transcripts would be similar to reading the conversations associated with a Brethren foot washing ceremony. It misses the point. TM is fundamentally a shared experience, not a shared philosophy. Neither can a visit to one TM group be generalized at all. Each is so different. There are many TM groups that are not attractive to me. But I " ... rejoice that disagreement and misunderstanding are possible, for thereby is evidence the fact and the act of personality .." page 846.

 Let us not agree to disagree, let us rejoice that we disagree.

 ---- Scott Foerster (found his quart for a moment ... thanks Byron)

 PS In my seminars, I throw up on the screen a Urantia subdirectory that everyone sees. I have been doing this for six months. Yesterday, for the first time, someone commented that I was the second person they had met that was fond of the UB ... neat.

8 Oct 1993     Scott Foerster        TM Consensus

Subject: TM Consensus


 I mistakenly took your remark seriously. It continues to amaze me how easily I drift off onto the wrong track. Thanks Thea for pointing me in the right direction again. Dan, I do want you to know I am not trying to define the consensus, just collect one.

 >I'm sorry if this disappoints you, but if the available consensus >does not please you, you have all the normal recourses of a free >society (e.g., go where you can get a consensus, settle for a >majority opinion, try to convince people to agree with you, etc.)

 Dan, your statement does not disappoint me. I am not here to try and develop "like mind" in the Urantial ... only to capture an emerging spirit of tolerance in written form.

 >I put my statement out to clear the air and make sure you >understood that it would be a waste of time to pursue the exact >agenda you suggested, before you became too committed to it as a >"cause".

 I don't know what you mean by "cause." I am just trying to summarize the 6 or 7 months of TM discussions here in a positive way.

 >Actually, I don't know how anyone could presume to speak for >urantial, since it is not a fixed or well-defined group and will >be different next month. In addition, a lot of people just lurk >and watch the text scroll by...

 I think the Urantial is something special. I feel it has added a special new dimension to my life. I hope others learn to use their computers and join to. I (IMHO) feel Urantial does reflect the best and the brightest, despite lurkers and a changing constituency every day. And I very much appreciate your work in helping to build it.

 An agreement to disagree is not really a consensus. An agreement to wait for it's fruits reduces the threat of condemnation. An agreement that TM is a possible path to fusion (perhaps misguided, endlessly wandering and very inefficient) could help foster tolerance in the physical world of reading group relationships. I am willing to let the matter rest at just "agreeing to disagree." But would you think less of me if I continued to pursue some other associated threads people have posted on this subject?

 -- Scott Foerster

8 Oct 1993     Dan Massey      Re: TM Consensus

Subject: Re: TM Consensus In-Reply-To: Your message of Fri, 08 Oct 93 11:50:09 -0400.


 Without meaning to be obnoxious about it, you do start to sound like someone with a "cause". With or without a "cause", I hope we do not think "less" or "more" of people on this account.

 There is a quality of true tolerance that transcends "agreeing to disagree" without compromising individual viewpoints. It comes down to "getting beyond" the original issues. I don't want to comb my hair or brush my teeth the way you do, and I don't want to hold the beliefs you hold, but there is an entire universe of idea in which we can cooperate without agreement on specific beliefs, even if there are fundamental differences between us. I work with atheists and agnostics all the time. I have managed to work with fundamentalist-evangelical christians. I cooperate in managing the Fellowship with "outreach" fanatics. In each case, there are important things we have to do together and these differences of opinion can be set aside (providing that we both or all observe this protocol).

 Of course, if I have to work cooperatively with a rabidly outreaching evangelical who won't sit in my office unless I have declared Jesus Christ as my personal savior to him and been washed clean in the fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel's veins, we are going to have some difficulties...

 And of course, this was what I was getting at in my parody of the "Don't ask, don't tell" doctrine...


8 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       Re: The Art of Living: Revisit

Subject: Re: The Art of Living: Revisited In-Reply-To: [9310081435.AA09211@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 To add my bit here - to me what the TM really is is the UB in action. More than any other thing in 23 years of readership, it has gotten me dedicated to really trying to live what the UB teaches every day of my life. It is wonderful that others have done this without the TM, but for me, the TM has really accelerated that process. I spent far too much time thinking and analyzing about truth, beauty and goodness and not enough time _living_ it. That is very different now and I will be forever grateful.


8 Oct 1993     Thea Hardy       Re: TM Consensus

Subject: Re: TM Consensus In-Reply-To: [9310081546.AA11763@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Scott, thank you for your perceptive comments. I found them very resonant in my own heart regions. I was particularly struck with your comment on Naperville with which I tend to agree. At the same time, I loved your remark on reveling, so to speak, in our disagreement. Our diversity is our strength, yes! In the entire UM, the entire world, the entire universe.

 Thanks for your gallon-sized words.


8 Oct 1993     Russ Gustafson     TM Olfana's Rock in the Water

Subject: TM Olfana's Rock in the Water lesson

 This story was given to me by a northern California TR. Hope you enjoy it. We call it Olfana's Rock in the Water Lesson. It was received Sept. 10, 1993.

 T: The first question I have is regarding my background in Christian Science. I'm having trouble understanding what I perceive to be a contradictory emphasis in books like Keys to the Scriptures and A Course in Miracles with books like the Urantia Book. On the one hand, Christian Science and ACIM seem to emphasize to me a very high level of understanding of a spiritual world, and seem to denounce the reality of a materialistic world. Yet books like Kryon's book and the UB seem to indulge in endless speculation about energy forces and material forces. The involvement that S. has with the healing energies, including her involvement with the flower essences and the gem elixers, imply these are crucial to her background in spiritual evolution and her understanding of healing. Can you clarify some of this for me? Olfana: You touch upon issues of great importance. We understand your confusion regarding these many questions. Let us digress for a moment. Can you allow the use of symbolism, symbolic images, to help you, perhaps, to comprehend? T: If you think these symbolic images will help, yes. Olfana: If you place a rock in water is it not true that your perception of the rock can change when you view it, looking downward into the water? And then shift, and perceive the rock from, let us say, the side of a container that holds this rock and water. Also, if you placed your face into the water, would you again see the rock from a slightly changed perception? Do you understand the image we create here? T: Yes, I've experienced those different perceptions a number of times. Olfana: Then please hold this image in your mind as we proceed to discuss concepts of the body. The physical, bio-chemical mechanism, or instrument, you are housed in, is now, indeed, like the rock of material substance. Yet, your perception of this body you inhabit can change depending upon your perspective. Sometimes you feel you are the rock in the water. Yet this is only one perspective. When you look from outside the cylinder, through the water, does not the rock appear magnified, greater than its original image? T: Yes. Olfana: Your consciousness is not only connected to this physical being. Much of your perceptions of your consciousness as limited to this body is illusory, just as the rock appearing magnified is an illusion of light waves affected by the water. Lessons learned from the perspective of being in the body are a necessary part of your experience in this lifetime. However, you are indeed, so much more than what the body appears to limit you to, that teachings such as the Course, or the doctrines of Christian Science, encourage you to expand your perceptions past these body limitations. True essence of the rock is not modified by these perceptual changes caused by different viewpoints of it. Just so, your being is not limited by body perceptions. Higher truths surrounding the complete make-up of your being are not fully understood or widely taught on your planet. I might say, you have seen the rock from many different angles in the this cylinder of water. But, thus far, you have not reached in, and pulled out the rock, in order to gaze upon it, alone. The water surrounding this rock is representative of the many illusions or beliefs that exist in your philosophical doctrines. ACIM encourages you, as does the work of Mary Baker Eddy, to see that these illusions can be penetrated, and, through inspiration, a clearer perspective--perception--of the true entity that your are, can be discovered. However, doctrinaire interpretations that the body has no existence on the physical plane are also incorrectly stated-perceived. You cannot deny that one is seeing an aspect of the rock, even when viewed through water. Just so, seeing the body as a physical entity has some accuracy. Adjustments to the vibrational manifestation of your entity can indeed take place. And physical imbalances do occur. These teachings of such matters as flower essences, energy transmissions, and adjustments are appropriate to one level of perception of your being. You are not removed from the water yet! Therefore, within the boundaries of this perception, the body needs to be dealt with. Indeed, the time comes when you are truly released from any limiting perceptions of your being as connected to a physical manifestation. But, it is the ideal which is striven for in ACIM or the Christian Science teachings. Those who can release themselves from illusions of body boundaries can indeed create new perceptions of themselves--healed perceptions of themselves. But most mortals need to begin their comprehension of themselves at a level much more connected to the physical world. In the Course, Jesus says, "If taking a pill allows you to feel less anxious, then, by all means, take this pill." The is much truth in this teaching. It encourages you to see that leaving behind your illusions of the body is a process that builds toward a final moment of clarity. Just as one realizes by shifting positions and observing the rock, that these changing perceptions of the rock in the water are more the result of the water, than the rock. That moment of clarity liberates you to reach in and remove the rock from the water, to see it free of the substance which clouded your true perception of it. Just so, your release from illusions surrounding the body will come at the point you choose to remove your perceptions of your being from the body which seems to contain it. We hope our attempt to elucidate your concerns regarding these issues has been helpful. We thank you for your patient attention.

11 Oct 1993    Russ Gustafson     TM another lesson on faith fro

Subject: TM another lesson on faith from Tarkus

 A lesson on faith from Tarkas: 6/02/93


 We have a short lesson tonight. Our lesson is on faith. What does the committment of faith mean for you? Ponder this. Faith rings like a silent bell in your heart. It resonates with vibrations of the Father's love. Faith is never an unconscious effort. It requires conscious attention to the perception of all you understand, coupled with your trust that the design of events is woven with a greater beauty than your earthly perceptions can comprehend. Faith efforts are those which bear your creator's mark. They are the motivation of the Thought Adjuster coupled with your free-will heart's desire. How often do you truly reach out to the experiences of life with this "Hallmark of the Father" as your guiding light? Realize that such efforts enoble your character greatly. This lesson is complete.


 Trying to let my heart and feelings be more of my life, Russ

11 Oct 1993    Fred Harris         Re: TM another lesson on faith

Subject: Re: TM another lesson on faith from Tarkus In-Reply-To: [199310111839.AA169390@freenet.scri.fsu.edu]; from "Russ Gustafson" at Oct 11, 93 11:38 am

 Russ, thanks for the excerpt on faith. Faith is difficult for many people who look around and see all the fear, violence, hatred, war, starvation, persecution, etc. Yet, generally you can see the Father's love if you look, or, more importantly, if you spread it to areas of darkness yourself. I think faith is easier if you step back from the evening news and look at the big picture and then the picture closer to your local situation. Most of us have many things to be thankful for, even amongst the darkness. Faith is what makes us agondonters. We believe in spite of what appears to be the case. And as we all know, things are not always what they appear to be.

 Thanks, again for reminding us.

 -Fred Harris- --

13 Oct 1993    Byron Belitsos      TM definitions

Subject: TM definitions

 Dear Scott,

 Thanks for your continuing contributions and sincere sharing. I did want to make some comments on some of your impressions about the TM which were intriguing and suprising to me. You recently wrote:

 >The TM movement provides a starting point for that part of society >that is searching through Finhorn, Virgin Mary, Seth Speaks, Edgar >Casey and parts of the New Age movement.

 I haven't seen evidence of these connections you speak of. By far the largest proportion of TMers are Urantia Book readers coming out of established UB study groups. There is little or no overlap with New Agers and related movements from my experience.

 >Naperville was not the creation of the TM movement. It was >initiated by a reading group that had a teacher but quickly >attracted many in the New Age movement. The first comment of the >three people in our group that attended was "there were not many >Urantia people there." Hopefully many in the New Age movement >learned of the Urantia Book at Naperville. And this possibility has >to be positive. TM, what ever you believe it is, increases >diversity and thus adds momentum to the Urantia Movement.

 I don't believe your facts on Naperville are correct. Naperville was indeed initiated by a TM group. Further, the possibility of a materialization taking place was ratified by several other teachers, discussed by some, and denied by a few teachers. But it was a sole creation of TM adherents. Also, the great majority of the attendees were from the Urantia/TM community, people I have associated with for many, many years. Aside from that, I am not sure how you would identify someone as being from the "New Age" community, but I would question its participation or influence in any significant degree. Further, I would say that no acceptable explanation of the Naperville incident has yet come out of the TM community. The community needs to take responsibility for this incident and I don't think it has stepped up to that challenge yet.

 >Researching TM transcripts would be similar to reading >the conversations associated with a Brethren foot washing ceremony. >It misses the point.

 I am engaged in an a extended study of TM transcripts. I consider them to constitute a substantive body of knowledge and inspiration, much of it among the most useful and sublime spiritual texts I have ever read. Dan Massey and David Kantor especially agree with me in this, right guys?

 Since I disagreed with some of your interpretations, Scott, I must say that I really like your concluding statement:

 >But I " ... rejoice that disagreement and misunderstanding are possible, for >thereby is evidence the fact and the act of personality .." page 846.

 Respectfully and warmly,


 P.S. yes I run system 7 on my Mac

14 Oct 1993    Matthew Rapaport              physics and BBS recommendation

Subject: physics and BBS recommendations

 Hello all... Owen... >It's interesting to note that after all the scientific discussions on >urantial, not one mention of the Theory of Relativity.

 In the main, both the general and special theory of Relativity apply to that spectrum of matter/energy circumscribed by the famous E=mc2 equation. Since "spirit energy" and even "morontia energy" fall outside this equation (or seem likely to anyway), the theory doesn't apply to them...

 >We have been told by some in the TM, for instance, that their teachers >aren't good with "time".

 This is one of those things about the TM that tells me it isn't really what it claims to be. All creatures of the now inhabited universes, except the central universe, certain absonite beings even now accumulating, and other special cases (like personalized Adjusters) are "creatures of time." Sure the time-perspective of an angel or even ascended human may be vastly different then our own, but they all do know about, live in, and understand time!

14 Oct 1993    Fred Harris         TM Daniel

Subject: TM Daniel

 Hi, gang. Just a few comments on the latest postings before I head to North Carolina with the family to see the leaves turning. Jim McNelly, regarding your plan to encircuit the planet, my basic question after being on Urantial for awhile is: how can you keep track of all the messages when the list grows? It is hard enough right now with only several hundred. My guess is that you will have to break it up into topics or you will be swamped and it will lose its effectiveness. Todd, Naperville is a suburb of Chicago in which it was predicted that Machiventa Melchizedek would "appear" morontially (but visibly) before a group of attendees. This, of course, didn't happen although many people came from all over on the off chance it might. It is, though, the latest in a long line of TM predictions that have not come true. Now, what is the reason for this? There are several theories. 1. It is proof that the Teaching Mission is bogus. 2. The messages heard by the T/R's can be and often are tainted by the recipient, despite honest efforts to keep personal influences out of the transmissions. 3. The teachers cannot accurately predict the future in light of the free will of humans. 4. The teachers are on a learning curve. 5. Innaccurate predictions are being given to stop any reliance on possible future predictions - a lesson, if you will.

 My view is that predictions cannot be valid in light of free will. So why are the teachers trying to predict things? Inexperience? Is it purposeful? Who knows? Does the innaccuracy taint the basic spiritual message? For some it will and I certainly can't blame anyone if they take that view although I would argue that all information presented should be individually tested for its truth content. Just because the Bible has some unfortunate comments doesn't mean I reject the entire document. You will note that prediction of WWIII is what caused David Kantor et al to hop into a bomb shelter and buy guns. I'm sure that this is strongly influencing his adamant stand against the Teaching Mission and I can understand that. My view - don't put any stock in predictions whether they come from Jeanne Dixon or any other source. Then you won't be inclined to give up your free will to what you consider an inevitability. With respect to quoting the UB on here, I don't think anyone is intimidated by the Foundation to such a degree that they won't post quotes - in fact people do, from time to time, excerpt portions of the UB and post them here. I will note that your acknowledgement of having a FolioView of the UB is rather humorous to me in light of the fact that the Foundation is presently in pitched litigation with the lady who put it on FolioViews and who gave it out for free. A great group of guys, that Foundation. I hope you have a good lawyer.

 I found a quote from Daniel I would like to post tonight for your consideration. Luckily the teachers haven't been granted a copyright on their words yet, so posting teacher quotes only subjects me to personal scorn and ridicule, which I rather enjoy. Anyway, see what you think.

 "...Consider the importance of who you are. Remember that you are a divine and spiritual being and that the material body that you have at this point in time is part of a wonderful experience. As you are able to increase and grow beyond the trappings of this body you will find within yourself and within life an underlying joy and happiness despite outer appearances. This is the joy of the Spirit that will sustain you throughout your life and will grow in proportion as you ascend. As you become more spirit the confines and the trials of the physical life will become less and less important, will become forgotten in many respects. And so I say to you to not put so much complexity into your life. Seek God for what the First Source and Center desires for you, to be in that understanding of your spiritual natures. When you can understand this, then you are beginning to feel that oneness. The I AM is becoming more real to you and the trappings of this life seem not as important. And so as you take the time to sit in quiet, as you take the time to sit in prayer, remember your brothers and sisters in their hour of need, those who are thirsting for an understanding of God, those who are of poor health and needing spiritual upliftment and healing as well as bodily healing. Remember those who are caught in the prison of not being able to forgive, of not being able to be tolerant. As you pray this week ask that God's divine guidance can be given to each and every person that you are praying for so that they can begin to realize that they are also children of the First Source and Center, that they, too, are part of this I AM. And so I end this lesson this evening asking you to remember this for yourselves and for your brothers and sisters."

 Daniel, 9/2/93, Pocotella, Idaho

14 Oct 1993    Thea Hardy       BBS recommendations

Subject: BBS recommendations In-Reply-To: [9310150040.AA08781@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Matthew says to Jim:

 > Well I guess you gotta do what you gotta do, but you are making a *big* > mistake if you think you and any other 20 people can decide or even > recommend what is best for the community in this regard. IMHO, the best > service you could provide is to publicize what *is* available (including > things like urantial), help people to get onto that which is most > convenient for them, and then seek to interconnect as many of the different > systems as possible...

 I really agree with this statement. Even if it were somehow advisable to set something up, it is probably not possible. I am not sure it is desireable in any case. One reason is that the diversity possible with different BBSs and Maillists et al provides contact for a greater variety of UB readers and in the long run, that will strengthen the UM movement. There is a part of me that feels that kind of edgy notion that setting up a specific chosen Maillist or BBS kind of smacks of attempts to control the "purity" of the situation, however much I suspect that is not actually the case. Let's permit that natural diversity of connection and expression that we have learned to appreciate and trust in here on Urantial be something available to the entire on-line community. And if people want something more restrictive, that is fine, too, because a list can be set up to satisfy those particular needs. This way, all comers can be served according to their needs, interests, persuasions.

 Maybe we can even have a flame list! :)

 I think the most important thing to talk about is how exciting the possibilities are for our intercommunication here on the nets and on BBSs around the country. We can make our own Urantia-Net composed of all the different lists and BBSs and nets, if we so desire, and everyone can have access to everything available, as they wish. To me, that is the exciting part of all this! We can eventually have special topic lists for UB philosophy and science, for UM history, TM and non-TM, special studies discussions like talking together about the Spirit of Truth, adjuster fusion, etc. What an opportunity! And we could have just amazing archives available of all our topical material, and things written by members like David K's presentation and Leo's stuff, and Phil's and Dan's and EVERYones. TM transcripts for those who desire them. Anti-TM tracts for those so inclined. Sedona materials in the humor section. For that matter, a humor section. Urantia book inspired limericks. The sky's the limit (and that's where we are all headed anyway, right?)

 So I join Matthew in saying, get people in touch with what is available, and how we can connect together and build on what we have without eliminating anything or anyone.

 Boy, this is going to be some virtual journey together, folks!!


18 Oct 1993    Michael Million     From Scott Foerster: Napervill

Subject: From Scott Foerster: Naperville

 I must add my own personal feelings about Naperville. Through out the discussions, I received the impression that Iruka (our teacher) was treating this whole thing as an effort to satisfy our wishes, our desires. Picture your kids (all of them) chanting they want ice cream. Picture them with their hearts set (for what ever reason) on doing something. The adults do their best to pull it off. But the adults are not going to spend extra money, interrupt their planned course of action. The adults are going to approach the event (in my home right now this issue is building a tree house) with the attitude of let them make mistakes, let them try ... they might succeed! ... provide the materials but don't try to do the whole project yourself.

 --- for what its worth Scott (I have to do real work) Foerster

 PS But what is more real than this?

19 Oct 1993    Dennis Shields      Subject: Feed back from Naperv

Subject: Subject: Feed back from Naperville, or, a thing that nobody

 Subject: Feed back from Naperville, or, a thing that nobody believes cannot be proved too often

 Aloha Well some five or is it six? months after the Naperville gathering, I have been asked to post the following, I am again posting this as *Switzerland* I am only reporting this and I have no opinion to offer as to its correctness, its meaning, or value. The story which accompanies it is that this message was TRed at the gathering, that some people saw something of a materialization. I realize that this is not much to go on, but that is the story a this stage of events.

 Any way here it is:

 Machiventa Melchizedek speaks to about 225 people gathered in Naperville. Illinois on Saturday April 24 1993.

 Greetings I am Machiventa Melchizedek Vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia by mandate of Michael and the Divine Minster of Nebadon I come to announce the reclamation of Urantia 606 of Satania in the name of Michael as a legitimate segment of the spiritual government and economy of this universe. My feet are planted on the soil of this planet.

 Today I proclaim that the circles once again fly over Michael's home planet. This is but the beginning you will meet us yet again in small groups and large. My message is 'love.

 Today we open the very heavens above and pour down the radiance of the Holy Spirit the loving ministry of the Father and Mother of angels.

 You are in the hearts of all of us as you learn to carry us in your hearts and minds. There is great joy among us and great celebration. There is a festival on constellation headquarters. I proclaim that the broadcast from this planet is now in effect.

 There is still work to be done in part but we have a working system that we will implement to more completely record the doings of this world.

 All of you had poured upon you love and healing and light. My heart is in awe for all and each of you, and all who come. Remember this when you meet a brother or sister and share your heart also.

 There is a new spirit everywhere present here and throughout the local universe. I would have had all of you hug me were that possible. As it is we will sing long into the night and welcome every participant.

 I love you wholly entirely individual and collectively. You are my very life here. For you are the children and we all are the children of Michael and the Divine Minister of Nebadon.

 I bid you joy and relaxation on a job well done. I picked the team and I chose a wining one. Love and peace my children I will be among you.

 Aloha Dennis (I had a house guest for five weeks but now he's gone and I'm feeling soooo much better now) Shields

24 Oct 1993    Byron Belitsos      Re: "Text-only" to Dick

Subject: Re: "Text-only" to Dick


 I was meaning to thank you for the details you added about Julia and other members of the "Seventy". I have heard accounts (or personally know) of the heroic missionizing work of about roughly 15 of the 70. It would be fascinating to know the stories of many of the rest.

 Thanks for you brotherly concern about my involvement with "audio-only personalities"; I sure wish the they were available in "multimedia", although that would probably add to your concern.

 The larger context of your statment was, "[this portion of your autobio] could as easily be interpreted as being demonstrative of the train wreck which occurs when one gives oneself to conversations with audio-only personalities."


 The 'train wreck', such as it was, occurred before my encounter with the audio-only celestials. Have I misconstrued your meaning here, or are you making an attribution based on a misreading of my story?

 I should add that after the encounter with our unseen teachers beginning about a year ago, an unprecedented sense of joy entered my life. Not only was there not a train wreck, but we even received a most loving and encouraging transmission from our teacher in our private car on an Amtrak train while traveling from Chicago to OKC (on our way back from the Naperville event). We made it home happy and in one piece.

 This is more than a pun. I realize that hearing this story may derail you, but now permit me to add some quotes from the that session so that you might now have further anxiety for my well-being:

 "...When we continue to glorify the misery we have experienced, we may become doubtful and fearful and even reject the gifts offered by the Father. It is then that we are closed to experiences that enhance our spiritual growth. Do you see the necessity of releasing fear? It is imperative to cry out to the heavens: Release my fear, Father, so that I may better earn your love! Cry out from the deepest well of your spirit. Embrace all the riches which flow into your life. Release all fear. Cry out to the spirit within and let the spirit know: I am alive! I encompass the universe. The universe encompasses me. I belong!"

 The train continued to sail smoothly and safely along through southern Illinois while these encouraging words came though Ellen. Our small group was crowded in our private sleeper car listening to this 90-minute message. In the diner car just ahead were the twelve members of the Dallas TM group -- six of whom happen to be transmitters. We joyfully shared these words with them later.

 The teacher continued in audio mode:

 "Release thought for a moment here with me. Take a moment to rest. Reciprocate by loving yourself, releasing the fear, allowing God's love in. Release specifically any concerns or interest you have for the past, present, or the future. Just rest for a moment with me as I speak to you gently of dewdrops in a fine misty morning. Calm thyself; rest from your burdensome ways. Relaxed demeanor is so thoughtful, but yet so provocative. Rest, my darling ones. Embrace the mist. Relish the company of your Father-spirit which dwells within. Quiet, gently and softly, your mind's eye. Peaceful, loving energy rests within. Weep if you must. Cry out, if you must. Show the world how you live. Let them know your heart, your heart-song. Let the world show you THEIR heart-song. Release pretensions --attitudes -- which keep each of you from one another. Realize your full potential, as the Father sees your fullest absolute potential.

 How have you become so limited, so impaired, my children? Experience has taught me well. You may hear this reflected in my word-choices for this evening. I speak from the deepest level of my experience, relayed to you through a cosmic universe which reflects an ordained [requirement] to love each other extensively, to honor ourselves, to rejoice in our differences, yes, to learn from each other, indeed, to love one another."

 This train and these words brought me on a straight path safely home to many more fulfulling months of conversations with celestials. In a sense I am still on it, listening to your warning of peril ahead.

 Meanwhile, Dick, you should know that I have gone through a disillusionment with many of my wishful illusions about the teaching mission, beginning with the Naperville incident. Truth and error are combined in any phenomenon that is touched by human hands and minds.

 I am aware of the bitter division in the LA area over the TM, led by Lynn Lear and others on one side, and Lucille and Duane Faw on the other. I should say that your heart-rending story of the ill-effects of Ham's supposed predictions for Vince is QUITE different from the story Duane Faw tells. Is it possible for you folks to compare notes and get agreement on the facts, despite your disagreements about interpretation of the meaning? Is this a matter you would like to re-examine with me here, privately or publicly? Is the LA area going to continue to be divided between "Hindus" and "Muslims" engaging in a war of silence and non-communication? What about interfaith dialogue between brothers who disagree?

 When you write that "I get the feeling that the worst curve is ahead of you," I feel your compassion. I construe it as well-intentioned fatherly/brotherly love, yet based on a misperception. My disillusionment with human channels has already occurred. This allows the teachings of our audio-only companions to shine through with more light than ever.

 Dick, I realize that your mind is settled on the reality of the teaching mission. Nothing said here will change that. I just wanted to set the record straight and thank you for your sincere expressions of concern.

 Byron (don't believe I have met you in person but have heard good things about you for almost 20 years!)

31 Oct 1993    Scott Foerster        Gandhi's Inner Voice

Subject: Gandhi's Inner Voice

 A summary of Gandhi's relationship with his "inner voice" from the point of view of Erik H. Erikson. Mr. Erikson is a psychoanalyst who finished writing this book in 1968.

 page 230 ... compairs the "inner voice" to the method of "free association which we use to tap the autobiographic propensities of our patients."

 page 231 ... senses a "kind of untruth in the very protestation of truth; of something unclean when all the words spelled out an unreal purity; and above all, of displaced violence where nonviolence was the professed issue ... And I agree, Gandhi bared his inner most soul for all to see. Warts and all. His experiments with the truth, his rationalizations do seem very strange sometimes. But I suspect even my own are very strange too."


 page 236 ... Gandhi seemed to at times be unwilling "to learn from anybody anything except what was approved by the 'inner voice.' "

 On page 245, the author compares Gandhi's inner voice with Freud's free association. The inner voice is at this point leading Gandhi to defining one characteristic of Satyagraha as respecting the opponent and discovering truth with the opponent. This is similar to Freud's experiment:

 page 245 .... Freud "decided, then, on a method which would permit the patient to relax his resistance to his own thoughts and feeling and, instead of censoring them, learn to let his repressed ideas and affects come to word. At the same time, the doctor would learn to relax both this condemnation of the patient and the condemnation of feelings aroused in himself by the patient's "fee association." ... For the only truth that matters is the unconscious origin and meaning of the patient's affects, symptoms, and distortions."

 page 395 ... "Gandhi and his "inner voice" may seem more moodily personal, more mystically religious and more formless ideology than any of" ... the more charismatic men of his time.

 page 396 ... "I think the man was right who said that Gandhi, when he listened to his inner voice, hear the clamor of the people."

 Gandhi said that "God appears to you not in person but in action."

 page 411 ... "the moment truth had arrived always came to him as if from a voice which had spoken before he had quite listened. Gandhi often spoke of his inner voice, which would speak unexpectedly in the preparedness of silence -- but with irreversible firmness and an irresistible demand for commitment."

 page 412 ... "when Gandhi listened to his inner voice, he often thought he heard what the masses were ready to listen to .... but how would he know it was the truth? Gandhi's answer would be: Only the readiness to suffer would tell."

 page 414 ... "Gandhi always made his inner voice "hold it's breath" for a while in order to give him time to study the facts"

 page 438 ... " .. Freud, when he listed to the "free associations" of his confused and yet intelligent and searching patients, heard himself and heard man in and through their revelations."

 I would like to believe that Gandhi had a self-acting adjuster .. UB page 1196. Perhaps Gandhi was one of the few individuals in each generation that functions safely with a self-acting Adjuster ... UB page 1207. Wish I had one .. and if I do .. pray that I can learn to listen to him? it? What do we call a pre-personal ... thing? I am going downhill. Later.

 Scott (quart alive) Foerster

Nov 1993

2 Nov 1993    Matthew Rapaport              time matters.

Subject: time matters.

 Michael M.

 Well we all know that David K. goes off the deep end from time to time both emotionally and intellectually. I agree with you completely regarding his statements about worship. The very idea that one aspect of our spiritual experience should "cut out" another is absurd... This is especially so considering the statement that "too all human experience, all spiritual influences are *one*" (a paraphrase)...

 Byron Belitsos...

 >ergo, a global & spiritual realization of the brotherhood of men will >be in place BEFORE a mankind government arises...

 I'm not going to split such hairs. The quote to which you refer can be easily interpreted either way. The word 'goal' in the last clause is particularly telling for my interpretation, but the first quote I gave was quite clear about the order of occurance.

 >what is meant by "religions with a global viewpoint" is never defined >in the book...

 I can't believe you said this... I'll give you a day to reconsider before I send the quote, but I'll give you a hint... It has to do with recognizing the ultimate soverignty of God, and therefore the potential fallibility of *all* human interpretations.

 By this definition, there are certainly individuals whose religion has a global viewpoint, but no religious institutions - Buddhism hasn't got God (really), and Bahiism, while an exception, is not yet a major world religion. Ecumenical dialogs are important, but don't count. What counts is what's being preached to the people on the streets.

 >never made a clear connection between this vague set of deductions and >the day-to-day philosophy of outreach needed by a UB activist...

 Well this is the real issue as you see it, but it does relate in an indirect way which I will address below as Todd makes the same point...

 Sorry to hear about your finger...


 >Even if we accept your interpretations of the prophecies,... nothing >normative follows from that. ... Rather, the issue is whether more >positive steps should be taken than what are currently allowed by the >Foundation.

 >It is paradoxical to be guided by prophecy at the level of planning. >What good is it to know that the revelators predict that it will take >centuries for the UBook to be taken seriously?...

 First you disagree with me, then you agree, then you disagree again...

 The issue here is PATIENCE, that which I first brought up when this thread started... The prophesy doesn't mean we "don't do anything". It means we condition what we decide to do given what we know will occur. It means that we take into account the fact (for example) that the Foundation *will* loose its copyright sooner or later, and it will also loose its marks (the circles) on the next review since there are now plenty of people who understand the process and are ready to attest that these are religious marks. My letter is already on file with the trademark examiner...

 I have never denied that we should *do something*. I have accused, and continue to accuse many in the movement with impatience. Prophesy provides a PERSPECTIVE within which we should be making our decisions.

 I've been round and round this issue with you (Todd) and Jim, Byron, and others, but all of you always come around to stating "the issue" as you see it ("something needs to be done") in terms that ignore what should be the influence of the "time" component. Something *does* need to be done, but the *best* course of action is one that operates through, and plans for an appropriate time span. A little patience will often help you get what you want... For example, having *stupidly* signed away what rights the U Brotherhood had in the 1970's, it might have behooved them to work within the framework THEY HELPED TO CREATE for say 50 years until the Foundation lost the copyright anyway....

 I'm afraid one of the real issues here is the TM! While the "time perspective" I've championed here has only an indirect bearing on our approach to Foundation/Movement relations, etc., it is more-or-less fatal for the TM in the sense that it strongly suggests that this is *not* the time we would expect such an "extension" of the revelation to appear. For those who accept the TM as what it purports to be, this argument for patience *from* the UB itself is anathema because it flys in the face of the raison d'etre of the TM! Byron, for example, is so wrapped up in the TM that he has forgotten what the UB definition of a "religion with a global viewpoint" is...

 >As for who reads, or might read, the UBook, there is ample precedent for >you "revelation resonance" view.

 Well you are right of course, but I have a few comments about this, I will post in another subject.

 The Keranl

 Well hello... Your comments are interesting...

 >Prophecy as it's generally understood is a kind of FOREtelling. This is >_not_ the religious understanding, which is a bit more elusive, but may >be described briefly as FORTHtelling...

 Buber once used this to distinguish generally between Old testament prophesy (the FORTHtelling sort), and New Testament prophesy (usually of the FOREtelling sort). The UB, has many examples of BOTH...

 Of FORE-telling, we have: Jesus will someday return, there *will* be a world government, and the planet will someday be settled in light-and-life. These prophesies are absolute. Human action can speed or delay their happening, but they *will* someday occur.

 We also have examples of the FORTH-telling type - Civilization without an intellegible agricultural policy will not survive, if the family institution continues to fall apart, so will our culture, a society that develops over-much in the technological arena without keeping up with the spiritual is *doomed* to retreat from the high water mark... etc.


2 Nov 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: time matters.

Subject: Re: time matters. In-Reply-To: [9311022037.AA25578@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Just a quick comment in passing. I have the sneaky feeling that nobody's human idea of a time line will prove fatal to the TM. The TM may not realize that it could not possibly exist and just keep right on helping some of us achieve a deeper love of the Father and each other anyway!


 No timeline will keep me personally from doing what can only be done personally - trying to live the religion of Jesus. I, too, enjoy talking about all these intellectual ins and outs of the book, but in the end, it all comes back to this for me - learning every day of my life to live the religion of Jesus, to love the Father more and my brothers and sisters more. Perhaps because I am getting older and greyer, I am more interested these days in this daily living loyally as a tadpole (this may seem amusing to you who have not yet read paper 100 in the book!) than I am in deciding what could happen or not happen when. What I know is that love can happen right here and now, if I am willing. And it does!

 I think the fact that time flies faster the older that I get makes me have to prioritize. I actually do wish I had time to respond to everything on this list that makes me think, because just about everything any of you say does so. But I just don't have the time! It gets frustrating. So I have to stick to basics. I will still stick my nose in now and again where I cannot resist, and I applaud you who have the time to delve. I figure a couple of decades of delving gives me sufficient credentials to move into praxis without being accused of lack of critical thinking! :-) I must say that I am enjoying applied UB with great relish and zest!

 Cheers to you all hereon; you are a splendid group of people and I am very glad to know you all!

3 Nov 1993    Fred Harris         Quietism/Stillness

Subject: Quietism/Stillness In-Reply-To: [199311030132.AA08263@freenet2.scri.fsu.edu]; from "T. Moody" at Nov 2, 93 8:30 pm

 Todd, I liked your comments on meditation. I don't think that David would seriously argue with you. His problem, IMO, is that the Teaching Mission (of which he is not enamoured) encourages people to take at least ten minutes per day to find the stillness (ie meditate) and listen for the First Source and Center. The teachers indicate that this is the single most important thing you can do to further your spiritual growth - to listen to the Father. It is hard to argue with this. Religions for centuries have been saying the same thing and anyone who seriously devotes this small amount of time regularly will attest to the benefits of the practice. I have recently doubled the time - ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night - and it has made a noticeable difference in my day.

 Anyway, the UB does not discourage this practice, except to the extent that you go overboard with it. In fact, Michael would daily go out and speak with God and reflect on doing the Father's will. David is just anti anything suggested by the teachers at the moment. Although I understand Michael's concerns about David's comments, I think that he should be allowed to speak his mind with as much emotion and, if he cares to, intolerance as he chooses to use. Why? Because it is self defeating and does not convince anyone to embrace his position. We all understand his negative FOG experiences and how they color his opinion that celestials could really be teaching over 100 groups across the country, yet the messages are being openly posted and available for public inspection. That is a lot different than what happened in FOG. I believe that the truth of the statements by the teachers are evident in the fruits and in the growth of the groups that are under celestial instruction.

 I don't necessarily agree with Matthew regarding the unexpected appearance of the TM as an indication of its invalidity (did I understand you correctly, Matthew? Maybe not.). Perhaps the TM has come to do what it says - to encourage us to begin to incorporate the teachings of Jesus into our daily lives. Maybe it is a way to get the UB message to the masses. For, while I agree that the UB is only going to interest a small percentage of people presently, the basics of the TM can reach a much larger group of people and, if boiled down to the most basic messages - service to others - cannot be assailed by any group. It is a more universal message and is already recognized by most of the religions presently in existence. Perhaps this is the value of the TM, to provide a platform to spread the basics taught in the UB, without all of the problems the UB presents.

 In any event, I recommend that each of you tries to take ten minutes a day and "find the stillness". It will benefit you and certainly can't hurt.


3 Nov 1993    Joyce Veisz        Re: Quietism/Stillness

Subject: Re: Quietism/Stillness In-Reply-To: [199311030512.AA14971@freenet2.scri.fsu.edu]

 Good morning, Fred, I loved your post. And I agree with you in regard to the time frame and the purpose of the TM. I've had a number of "lessons" from the "teachers", that have indicated that this is simply the changing time, or correction time we are currently involved in at the moment. It's basicly, a "teaching,learning" time to my way of thinking, and one, it has been repeated to us any number of times, that will "take many years of hard, consistant, work, by many kingdom workers" before the goal is realized.

6 Nov 1993    Fred Harris         TM Mission

Subject: TM Mission

 Thanks, Todd, for the practical hints on the stillness. Like I noted previously, I have always been a night person. I like to sleep late in the morning. I like to stay up late at night. Therefore I had always tried the stillness at night after the kids had gone to bed. Recently, at the urging of the teachers, I started to take ten minutes before work and try to seek the stillness. Wow, what a difference. It does seem to help you take some of the stillness with you through the day. I can really see and feel the benefits. So now I do both morning and evening stillness practices.

 Jim McNelly, it is good to hear that you have picked up the banner and are marching into battle with it. You aren't alone, I don't believe. I'll bet that everyone on this BB is doing the same in their own way, on their own path. I do believe that the UB finds the people that need it. But I also believe that the concepts of the UB are more important than the text and that living those concepts is the only way to further the UB teachings. The UB will follow, but first you have to get the attention of those in your circle of influence and provide them with the example that will spark their interest in what you have that they might be interested in. Now you are ready for the introduction. But I don't need to tell you that. Your postings over the years that I have read them are evident that you are on that path as we speak.

 How about a little word from Ham reggarding the teaching mission and adversity.

 "Greetings. I am Ham and I thank you all for coming here today. Our desire remains constant. It involves simply to restate the teaching of the man, Jesus, our beloved Creator/Father into a form that humans, as they live on this world, can recognize as universal truth, unmixed and - diluted through centuries of contamination among the ideas, even well meaning though they were, of humans. His pure goal is no less than the establishment of his and our Father's kingdom on earth. The coming of the understanding of universal sonship and daughtership with our God carries also the realization of the brotherhood and sisterhood among all human beings.

 How am I this heavy task to carry? Who am I that I should be called, you ask. Simple. You came. All the universal hosts rejoice over including each person more. If you could know how valuable each human being is, then you could understand better why Jesus lived and could comprehend this great life the more. Your human understanding is so limited that you fail to see that you need to rejoice over the miracle of being, but even more over the greater miracle of becoming. Each human being lives shortly through his larval stage called mortal life and emerges as a beautiful butterfly at its natural end. I say to you that your wings already exist, that your freedom is at hand. The skies are opened. Who among you would be ignorant of the truth purposely? No, you are courageous people who love truth as it, indeed, is life, love, truth, and its great freedom as you loosen the chains of human existence, one by one.

 Surely it is by His power that you exist now. Dare to depend on that same energy, that same source of which you are. Life is short and your lives are the gems that our Father refines through this harsh existence. Allow then His tools to cut through the sand in which you are all enveloped and understand even though human adversity, pain and suffering deeply engulf your soul briefly, have courage to trust that He is creating a masterpiece in your soul. Human existence is hard, even brutal and disgusting at times, but is not in vain. Know this. Children, know always that His sustaining love reaches into every darkened corner that you allow it to. Allow His energy, His love and understanding mercy into yourselves that you may know Him. Alleviate your suffering. Allow Him the freedom within your hearts to heal, to alter, to make right old wrongs, to ease old troubles and to erase old habitual fears. Allow Him to remake your soul, even so that it be perfect.

 Remember His love is not too weak nor too far away, rather is His love strong, constant and familiar. Walk into His arms that He may breathe new hope into your soul and love into your heart. Allow Him to erase the furrows in your brows, ease your troubled spirits and, along the way, your burdens, for you are truly His children. He waits to hold you and give you His wealth, even beyond your comprehension, eternally.

 Ham, October 17, 1993, Nashville, Tennessee

6 Nov 1993    Scott Foerster        Stillness, Gandhi

Subject: Stillness, Gandhi

 THE AUDACITY OF FAITH by Allan Hunter 1948 Quotes about Gandhi.

 Gandhi lived talking to what he called his "conscience, comforter." Gandhi, before he fell, after being shot, said to the one who killed him, "I greet with reverence the God within you."

 Gandhi's self-discipline was aimed at "realizing God." At four every morning he would be up for prayers ... even if he had only a couple hours of sleep. His customary day of silence was insulation only against his own talk, not the talk of other people.

 In meditation and prayer one does not strain to make the mind a blank but to make it less tense so that the busyness can stop and the whole being be filled with the glory which alone can blot out man's insensitiveness to man.

 That was one secret of Gandhi's influence. He could go without food but never without this effort ... In the midst of an interview he would pause, if only for a fraction of a second, so as to make sure he was in harmony with what was totally right. Then and only then would he give the answer or formulate the policy demanded of him.

 Gandhi was fearless toward men but utterly humble about this "Supreme power in life" called prayer. Even after forty or more years of constant and patient striving and waiting he confessed that because "listening to God's voice presupposes a fitness to listen" he was "by no means sure that he himself was free from self deception." In an interview he is quoted as saying further, "I have been asked if I may not be mistaken in what I think is God's guidance and in all truth I must answer, Yes, very likely!" .... What a mistake it is to be convinced that one can always listen to the voice of God simply by sitting in silence and telling oneself that it is happening.

 When an over solemn visitor asked Gandhi if he were an incarnation of God, Gandhi burst out laughing. To him, self-importance was a toy balloon. It was good fun poking an honest pin through it, especially if the inflated object bore his own name. Gandhi's sense of humor made him willing to concede to you his own insignificance, so that you could not strike him through himself. Gandhi's gift was that when the situation became too stuffy, he would let the sanity of laughter come unexpectedly in.


 Allen's books are some of my favorite. Here are some more non- Gandhi quotes:

 Allen like to ask questions rather than answer them. For example, "What is the connection between our conscience that keeps us playing and the inner light which is closer to ultimate truth?"


 Some of my other favorite quotes:

 A day ending prayer: "I drop myself into your keeping. If I wake in the body, fine. If not alright. For these next few hours of sleep You, not I shall have the responsibility."

 The only hell the Jesus appeared to teach was a fire that burned all the evil out of our souls leaving just the good.

 ---- Scott Foerster

10 Nov 1993   David H. Larsen    Words of Melchizedek

Subject: Words of Melchizedek

 Greetings Urantians,

 david larsen here, asking for a little help.

 Several weeks ago, someone posted a description of the event in Illinois last spring when Machiventa Melchizedek was to have materialized to a TM group, but didn't. Whoever did the posting, included the words spoken on that occasion by MM. I found his message to be both thrilling and inspiring, and am anxious to re-read and re-experience. I saved the posting to my hard drive, and could look it up if only I could remember who posted it, and when.

 Thanks in advance,


 david larsen

11 Nov 1993   EACKLIN@UAFSYSB.BITNET     Re: Words of Melchizedek

Subject: Re: Words of Melchizedek In-Reply-To: Message of Wed, 10 Nov 1993 23:11:20 EST from [71544.626@COMPUSERVE.COM]

 Hi all! Heck, I'd be interested to know if ANYbody had ever materialzed to ANY group. I've heard a whole lot about people channelling so-and-so and such-and-such a being who was supposed to appear but didn't. It'd make more sense to me if I knew there were times when so-and-so actually did appear to a number of people as, for example, the appearances of Our Lady in various parts of the world. More specifically, though, does anybody in this group have first-person experience with such an appearance.

 Regards, The Kernal

11 Nov 1993   Michael Million     Re: Duty according to Jesse

Subject: Re: Duty according to Jesse

 And lastly, Jesse, your comments could be interpreted as being judgmental in another respect. We have had eons of groups battling about 'my God is better than yours,' or 'my religion is better than yours,' and even 'my book is better than yours.' Let us not add to that list the embarrassment of 'my service is better than yours.' I have much enjoyed the general 'TM' contribution on this list and striven to encourage the use of urantial by the TM community. I am working with various groups about distributing transcripts, getting people connected and also with T/R News Net newsletter and coordination efforts. I hope the TM contin- gent continues to find urantial a valid forum for fellowship and discussion. I also hope that a form of fundamentalism does not grow out of the beautiful and insightful teachings of the celestials. Nothing will cause rejection of the TM messages more quickly than an arrogant or judgmental attitude toward others. I would encourage you to spend more time getting to know what other listmembers are doing as service projects and also to delineate your notions of service in more detail. What do you consider as service? Spreading the Gospel, i.e. attempting to feed the spiritually hungry or do you mean physically feeding and nurturing the materially hungry?

 Jesse, I feel your enthusiasm and your frustration. Both are natural reactions of spiritually-sensitive personalities to the inner calling, the leadings to 'do good' and improve our collective lot. Indeed, I find it testimony to the efficiency of electronic communications that you were prompted to post your message....a confirmation of how close in spirit we listmembers have become...a tribute to the mutual effects of sharing God's Love, even :) in this electronic manner. Urantial is part of my chosen service. Interconnecting like-spirited individuals does contribute to the mutual re-inforcement, understanding and application of spiritual energies, IMO. Perhaps I'm the sole recipient of these benefits, but one example I am. I say more people *are* learning about the Gospel of Jesus _and_ our recent planetary revelation, _The URANTIA Book_; indeed, it is even freely available via the electronic pathways. In addition, many are also able to imbibe the fragrant messages of the TM, part of Michael's continuing mission on Urantia. I would like to think that in some way this forum helps draw man closer to God and God closer to man. Presumptious?, deluded? or just hopeful, I know not, perhaps I am a combination of all three. In any case I remain your brother in both the virtual and 'normal' worlds.

 Thank you, Jesse, for your honest plea for service and please do not interpret my remarks as being unappreciative. I simply find myself compelled to explain my perspective and bias, as I have, for the benefit of yourself, as well as for new and old list members alike.

11 Nov 1993   Fred Harris         TM Stillness Q&A Pt 4

Subject: TM Stillness Q&A Pt 4

 Jesse, I agree with you.

 Jim, I see your point and agree with you.

 Michael (mm), good points, I agree with you.

 Thea, ah, balance. Good point. I agree with you.

 Todd, I agree with you as well.

 Am I just an agreeable sort of guy, or what? Actually, I don't see anyone's point(s) as being inconsistent with the other's. We need to have some time with God from time to time. We need to provide service to others in any number of ways. We need to live the teachings of the Urantia Book. We need to do something to provide an opportunity for third parties in society to be introduced to the Urantia Book. We need to remember that there are as many paths as there are people to walk them. It is not for us to judge. But it is for us to balance all these concerns, along with providing for our families, so that we don't become lopsided.

11 Nov 1993   Thea Hardy       Re: Words of Melchizedek

Subject: Re: Words of Melchizedek In-Reply-To: [199311112332.PAA18830@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Kernal, I must confess that as an adherent of the TM, I would be more comfortable if no one materialized until it was to pretty much everyone. Perhaps that is because I distrust "faith" based on the miraculous, on wonders, on what is evident. Doesn't count in my book as faith. Maybe part of me likes being an agondonter!!

 Does everyone hereon know what an agondonter is?

 Our teacher isn't big on predictions. If one is supposed to be made, I wonder if I would actually be able to transmit it! Reverse garbling! hehe...

 Ah, life in the 90's has new dimensions in every direction!

12 Nov 1993   EACKLIN@UAFSYSB.BITNET     Re: Words of Melchizedek

Subject: Re: Words of Melchizedek In-Reply-To: Message of Thu, 11 Nov 1993 16:28:17 -0800 from [hardyt@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi Thea! Well, I spoze that your point was mine as well. If one's faith is only based on the miraculous, what do you do without a miracle a day? Don't get me wrong...as a mathematician I'm rather fond of the occurrence of the improbable, and would love to see this kinda thing for myself, since I'm convinced that the possible will become the real by its nature. I simply have little time or use for proclamations of the miraculous when there's so much real work to be done.

 Regards, The Kernal

13 Nov 1993   Scott Foerster        Re: Retaking the Planet

Subject: Re: Retaking the Planet In-Reply-To: [199311132140.AA19106@access.digex.net]

 Ron, I loved your post. You stated the case so well. I know there has to be a rationalization, a verbage behind our activities. I appreciate Todd, Matthew, Dan and other's postings. But Ron, your last posting is the best. Describing your family, the tensions, the service currently being asked of you. That was great. I have a similar story to share.

 My wife and I, while attending Church of the Savior in Washington DC spent about 2 years meeting once a week for around 3 hours with three other young couples with the goal of forming a private intentional community. The idea was to buy some land, build a house and raise our kids collectively in a Christian environment. Today there would be a dozen kids supported by four adults if this had actually happened. Today we still see each other and when everyone is in town. Those two years of meeting together really bound us together in a deep way. While the bulk of the 3 hours each week was spend studying the Bible, we were actually learn a lot about each other. We spent a lot of time singing, eating, picnics on the mall in front of the Smithsonian. We studied Sojourners, Community for Creative Nonviolence, went to retreats together at Day Spring and went to church together twice a week in addition to our "extra" meeting. We learned everything about each other. For example, they all learned how important the Urantia Book was in my life. And my wife and I learned about each of their lives in great detail also. Ultimately we decided that we were so different we could not live together. Immediately, my wife and I left to become Methodists, another couple converted to Catholicism, another moved away to an Episcopal church.

 But we learned much about each other's lifes. Some had parents that were preachers, others alcoholics. Some raised in New England, Texas, North Caroline, California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington DC. The one characteristic we all shared: we met our spouses in church (different churches). We shared for two years like you did above Ron. It was fun. I miss it. Nothing has come close to this in the Methodist church. The Methodist church tried a "neighborhood" type program where members in the same subdivision would meet once a week in each other's house. Our group almost worked (only one in the church) but was torn apart by a messy divorce before a year was over.

 I have never even felt this emerging from the few Urantia study groups I heard about or visited. I never even expected this type of sharing out of a Urantia study group. But you know, this Teaching Mission group is building up to this (at least I hope it does). It is a little harder because some are black, some white, some young, some old, some with more time than others to invest in our emerging community.

 I am torn between sharing on this Urantial listing or just lurking. I can not participate in these philosophy discussions. Not because I don't want to, but because I have spent most of my life reading computer manuals. Computer manuals tend to skew your thinking a bit.

 I want to share like you just did Ron. But this Urantial community is too open. It is too public. I would be comfortable sharing within a private list service with a limited number of people who want to experiment with creating an electronic intentional community. Yes this could be a neat experiment. I could learn so much from you Ron. The oldest of my four children is only 11. I would love to ask: "What age, why, genes, do you doubt yourself, forgive yourself, or withdraw in the midst of 'relative perfection and imperfection?' (page 846)." But don't answer questions on line. I am not sure I could reciprocate. But I believe it is in this world of our inner thoughts that the moral decisions are made. Talking about these thoughts on line like this might lead to a community feeling much faster than physically meeting with each other.

 I think I can start a private list service. I would be happy to start one for this purpose. No ... I want to start one. Care to join, care to discuss the boundaries of a new intentional, electronic community ... anyone?

13 Nov 1993   Matthew Rapaport              So much to do

Subject: So much to do

 Scott... Why just lurk? Why not discuss what you want with whom while other subjects (discussions) are going on around you? The "publicness" of this list is a perception that stems from this diversity of subject matter and interest here on urantial, but there is plenty of room for a wide variety of discussions. Then again, there is nothing wrong with running parallel lists with different aims and/or general subject. This is the beauty of the medium. I do not know if Michael M. has the authority to get the space and other resources he needs to do it from ufsysb.uark.edu, but anyone with that kind of pull with a sysadmin (or the money to buy it on a commercial gateway) can run a list.

 Bear in mind though that there is, for all practical intents and purposes, no such thing as a "private list" here on the Internet (unless you are willing to perform all administrative chores manually). You can *ask* people to leave a list if they are not acting (writing) within the bounds of the list's purpose, but that's all you can do - ask. Otherwise, you (or all the people on the list) are put in the position of being entry arbiter. This is where I draw the line... I don't join private clubs...

 Finally a personal observation. You seem to want to envelope yourself in community with respect to every aspect of your life. You seek it where you live, here on urantial, and perhaps in other places as well. You also seem to think that community, as you envision it, and formal intellectual examination of the UB (not to mention the rest of our lives) are somehow incompatible. It is your life, but might I at least point out that there is nothing wrong with the occasional fling with the philosophical... You know the UB is a *dense* text with many interconnecting themes that deserve, from time to time, closer intellectual examination.

15 Nov 1993   Fred Harris         TM Stillness prac tice

Subject: TM Stillness prac tice

 Riding the circuits:

 Jesse. It's true that there have been some slams against people who believe that the Teaching Mission isn't true, but the way a person handles such criticizm can say as much for the validity as the messages themselves. Shake it off. If people don't like it, no big deal. If they want to be intolerant, it says more about them than about the TM. If you can turn your cheek, perhaps it will influence another to investigate the messages and desire to participate. At least that is my theory. By the way, in case it isn't abundantly clear, I am very much a supporter of the Teaching Mission and its tenents. I believe that it is, indeed, the next phase of the fifth epocal revelation. When Matthew says that he thinks that the UB is the foundation for a major upcoming event, I agree and would take the position that the event is the Teaching Mission. Think about this. In February, 1991 there was one group. Today there are over two hundred. What is drawing all these people to this? Are they all nuts? Is it mass hysteria? What could the attraction be? Check it out. The Teaching Mission is touching something that has been neglected by all the shenanigans of the Foundation and that is the active participation in the incorporation of the message of Michael into their daily lives. Seeking that personal relationship with the Father through taking ten minutes a day to listen for Him. The message is simple. Small acts of kindness will change this world. But it will happen only one person at a time. It will take awhile, but the growth will be exponential. So, that's my position. Like it or lump it or ignore it. Planting seeds is all I'm trying to do.


15 Nov 1993   fx618@AOL.COM         Re: Hi all

Subject: Re: Hi all

 Welcome Don:

 This is my personal opinion, and I speak and represent only from my own experience.

 TM stands for teaching mission. The UB (Urantia Book) states that this planet was put into quarantine as a result of the lucifer rebellion some 250,000 years ago. Quarantine essentially limited our access to the system circuits which allow greater direct communication between mortals and higher orders of spirit personalities such as angels (cherubim, seraphim etc) derivative of the Third Source and Center (The Infinite Spirit)

 Those in the TM belive that this issue has been adjudicated in the 1980's and that this planet has been reinstated into the circuits. There are many in the broader Urantia Movmement who still believe we are in isolation.

 As a result those in the TM are involved in circuit contact and direct contact with glorified mortals (which we call Teachers, hence Teaching Mission) who have been sent to the planet at the behest of Michael himself on a special mission to uplift the spirt status of this planet.

 Those involved in the TM circulate transcripts of these teachings amongst themselves or anyone else who is interested, but the transcripts reflect only partially the actual experience of interaction with a fellow mortal who has translated into a morontial plane of existance.

 Many in the TM seem to share a common experience in that the TM has been instrumental in refocusing their truth seeking efforts inward toward 1) seeking more communiion with the Father via stillness practice and outward toward 2) rededicating themselves toward service of others.

 As a result, the intellectual pursuit of truth thru philosophy has (while still important and fruitful) has become for some of secondary importance to the alternative truth-seeking acts of direct/indirect communion with the Father thru the Thot Adjuster, the truth revelations drawn from the action of service and the truth experience of personality relationship with glorified mortals (Teachers).

 I was assigned by our study group to investigate the TM. I initially rejected the TM as bogus and found the transcripts to appear as watered-down UB material, but set out to personally interview proponents and critics of the TM to investigate both sides.

 Upon broader and closer inspection found that the proponents were very much focused on spirit issues and mota issues and seemed to be making remarkable progress in faith growth and bearing of spiritual fruits on a broad scale.

 I did not observe this in as great a abundance in those opponenets of the TM. Their focus was from my perspective much more preoccupied with intellectual, philosophical and material (political) issues. My perception of the spirit fragrance of the personalities I interviewed and the Spirit of Truth was my final validation. Faith has been the primary tool for progression within the TM.

 Many have come to opposite conclusions. I love them and respect their path, they are my brothers and sisters only climbing a different path up the same mountain.





 I am also able to see the Teaching Mission movement in an entirely different light. My approach to date has been "know them by their fruits," and with the posts from Thea and Byron and others there are definite fruits of truth. I do not understand the T/R process, and always wonder if/why/could it happen to me (not that I thought 10 minutes of stillness would unleash revelation). Mark Kulieke's document suggests that the TM is a natural descendant of the 50 year process which the Contact Commission and the Forum went through. AT LEAST THE TM PEOPLE ARE SHARING THEIR TRANSCRIPTS OPENLY, WILLING TO LET PEOPLE FORM THEIR OWN JUDGMENTS ABOUT SECRET INSTRUCTIONS AND APOCRYPHAL MATERIAL.

 While there is much that is worthy in the TM transcripts, there is also a little that is mundane, not believable, and questionable. Reading Kulieke, I have no reason to believe that the 50 year process of UB revelation was any different or any less susceptible to truth. (Especially when I hear about disappearing papers and money left in the safe. At least the TM people are keeping supernatural phenomena to themselves, if they experience them - other than hearing voices and being part of automatic writing).

16 Nov 1993   fx618@AOL.COM         Re: TM Stillness

Subject: Re: TM Stillness

 Regarding Will's comment that stillness parcatice may become counterproductive if extended greater than 10-20 minutes. I think this statement needs to be clarified further and is in contradiction to Jesus precedent of meditating for prolonged periods, of course one can say as Master of the Universe he had much work to do.

 For some (like myself) If I have been over stimulated by the day's events and I am practisign stillness at the end of the day, it may take me 20 minutes itself just to get my mind stablized to the point where I can contact the Father in earnest efficiency. This precondition time may vary in an individual from 0 minutes to whatever it takes. Mornings are so conducive to stilllness practice becasue the pre-condition has been sleep.

 So, I think that saying 10-20 minutes of stillness time is sufficent can be very misleading it depends upin the pre-stimulus of the mind as well as the experience and proficency of the practioner. Whatever it takes to still the mind and however long ones practices stillness should in my opinion not be a function of a pre-set time parameter time but rather a timeless experience in eternal connection thru the conduit of the TA.


22 Nov 1993   Thea Hardy       Personal - About forwarding me

Subject: Personal - About forwarding messages... In-Reply-To: [199311211607.IAA28843@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 HI JOyce,

 Glad you appreciated the note. I had already sent it on Urantial (that was not a personal note) What I would like to ask you, though, is to please ask my permission to forward any personal message I send to you before you forward it. Just making sure that is clear.

 I sense that you may be having difficulty telling what is personal and what is on Urantial or the TML. You should be able to tell by looking at the address from which it comes. Is there a problem with the freenet software that makes that difficult? I can always title my oersonal messages to you as Personal in the subject. One thing I would really hate to see is any messages from the TML showing up on Urantial. We have reassured people that this will not happen. So if you need help in figuring out your computer stuff, maybe I can help, or Fred, who also uses freenet.

 Hope all is well. I am one of those weird people who is willing to wait for manifestations. My faith is not dependent on them and I am frequently put in mind of Michael's constant concern that people would believe in him only for miracles, and not for the real reasons. Faith that believes because of what it sees is not faith. Faith is being able to believe in the absence of seeing... Well, that is how I see it, anyway. I kind of enjoy being an agondonter. I don't have much longer at it so am willing to bear with it awhile, I guess. Weird, aren't I? Of course, because I have Michael to talk to any time I want, that kind of takes some of the pressure off. I know that when he comes, people will still have to make the changes themselves, just as they did before. There is no magic to change people who are not willing to change - not even seeing Michael. Oh, they might believe for awhile, while they are still high. But when they find out the level of honesty and self-honesty that following Michael actually requires, many will probably bail out for the short haul. That is my opinion, and it may not be worth much!!

 Take care of yourself, okay? Much love and thoughts and hugs,


 PS T/Red LinEL for a particularly long session Friday. Had been a little nervous cuz it had been awhile for such a long one (close to 1 and ahalf hours) but it was good. Felt good this time. Unusual. Everyone got literally hot. I usually do when I am transmitting, but it was fun that everyone did.

24 Nov 1993   Philip Calabrese      The UB, TM and Revelation

Subject: The UB, TM and Revelation

 ------- Dear Logondonters,

 I can no longer resist the urge to briefly ascend from lurker status to post a reply to some of the messages hereon on the question of the authenticity of the Urantia Book (UB) and to share my most recent thinking on the difference between the Urantia Book as revelation and the Teaching Mission (TM).

 I have now come to the conclusion that the TM is genuine, complete with genuine contact by TMers with higher order life.

 Of course, contact with higher order life goes on all the time on Urantia. However, while the TM is evolutionary religion, the UB is revelatory religion. That is the essential distinction. The TM is, IMO, an evolutionary religious response to epochal revelation of the UB.

 On page 1101, discussing the "Marks of Religious Living", a Melchizadek of Nebadon says "There is a sense of security, associated with the realization of triumphing glory, resident in the consciousness of the religionist who has grasped the reality of the Supreme, and who pursues the goal of the Ultimate. Even evolutionary religion is all of this in loyalty and grandeur because it is a genuine experience. But revelatory religion is excellent (in italics) as well as genuine. ... The characteristic difference between evolved religion and revealed religion is a new quality of divine wisdom which is added to purely experiential human wisdom. But it is experience in and with the human religions that develops the capacity for subsequent reception of increased bestowals of divine wisdom and cosmic insight."

 So while the TMers may make genuine contact with their superhuman teachers, I believe that the quality of wisdom that comes through is still human, not divine, as illustrated by the generally recognized errors of fact and prediction made by TM channelers in the name of their superhuman teachers. Were the TM actually revelatory religion, as is suggested by calling it the "5th epochal revelation, part 2", then there would have to be a divine quality to the wisdom expressed; it would have to be (uniformly) excellent, not as varied in quality as we have observed. If (admitted by TMers) so many TM predictions have been wrong, how about other TM statements that can't be proved one way or the other? Perhaps they also are non-excellent, but often helpful statements, that have come into the mind of a channeler as a unknown mix of superhuman and human origin.

 By the same token, I do not share the opinion of those who try to maintain the UB as revelation while also holding that it is in error on many things, and that its cosmology is not only "not inspired" but that it is already grossly inaccurate in many ways by contemporary standards (that will turn out to be more accurate than the UB). For this reader, if the UB is revelatory - excellent - then the UB must be found to be essentially correct about all sorts of things like ultimatons, Paradise gravity, the solar system, etc. Then I will be more justified in having confidence in the truth of its non-checkable material. If all the science is found to be not only not inspired, but not even excellent by today's standards, then I will take that as an indication that I must abandon my enthusiasm for the UB as an actual epochal revelation to the world. So far, after 24 years reading the UB and contemporary cosmology and religion, I'm betting on the UB's science and cosmology and religion. It will turn out right. The UB cannot provide a accurate cosmic context for its spiritual message unless it is much better than contemporary cosmology (not too hard IMO). If there really is no geographical center of gravity called Paradise as claimed by the UB and instead contemporary cosmology is right about the absolute relativism of measurements in time-space, then I've been fooled and the UB is an evolutionary religious document. But if Paradise exists as the UB says, if gravity is instantaneous unlike contemporary science imagines, then the UB has demonstrated once again that it is excellent both in science (and religion).

 That the UB uses the written material of various sometime obscure human writers is no problem as long as the book somehow (and amazingly) is able to choose from among all this material (most quite wrong) just those writers who have the best (and reasonably accurate) account of the topic at issue. That, by itself, is an impossible task for mere humans without superhuman supervision.


24 Nov 1993   Thea Hardy       Re: The UB, TM and Revelation

Subject: Re: The UB, TM and Revelation In-Reply-To: [199311242112.NAA11600@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Hi Phil,

 Nice to see you here! I miss your presence on this list and always enjoy hearing from you.

 I tend to agree with your general assessment of the TM as an evolutionary response to the UB revelation, at least in large part. I still think of that part in the Urantia book about the 'new cult" (unfortunate choice of words in the UB, but there you have it) and I think the TM is it, or may well evolve into it. In that sense it cannot have as much a degree of "absolute" revelatory content, but from an experiential standpoint, may have much more to offer.

 I was confused by your comments on the inspiration levels of the revelation. I thought the book itself said that its cosmology is not inspired. In fact, I know it does. So I find myself puzzled and unable to fully understand your statement that appears to say that you need it to all be inspired for it to hang together? Did I miss something in your statement? Has mymind fuzzed out from spending too much time editing files into ascii? Perhaps!

 In any case, it was nice to hear from you and hope you will not lurk too long at a time!

25 Nov 1993   Fred Harris         TM Service

Subject: TM Service

 Greetings Urantialites.

 I would like to respond to the numerous postings, but especially that of John Milam.

 You know certainty in anything is hard to obtain. Especially for alleged revelation. John, I could feel the angst in your posting where you throw out your certainty regarding the UB after years of reading and believing that it is a revelation. You also complained that after so many years of reading the UB you haven't noticed that you have "become more Godlike". First I would say that I don't care if the UB is written by supernals. I feel truth in its pages. My view is that truth can be found in many places, most of which are fairly mundane, but truth nonetheless. Jesse makes a good point - faith comes in here somewhere. Not necessarily faith that the UB is an inspired text, but faith that the Father is watching out for us and that everything will turn out okay in the end. Adversities and all. I think Matthew hit the nail on the head, though, with respect to the need for service to others, selfless service, to assist in becoming "more Godlike". Dennis Shields' posting of the information on the random acts of kindness and beauty continues that theme. From a TM perspective, Jared has always stressed that this world will change through small acts of kindness. That, I think, is what will grow a spirit. The funny thing is that all of this doesn't require a trip to the mountain to see a guru. It is done within the confines of your everyday life. James Price wondered about this and whether there are rollercoasters on the architecture worlds. I have enough of a rollercoaster in my daily life and in my attempts to be a conduit for the Father's love. Whether you accept the UB or the TM or the Bible or any text or philosophy isn't the important thing- the important thing is living a life which as best as can be done mirrors what you see as the highest path, through service and love to those whose paths you cross. As Jim McNelly says so eloquently, the UB is secondary to "actually experiencing full liberation and actual experience of the reality and presence of God."


25 Nov 1993   Matthew Rapaport              UB's many roles, TM's many cla

Subject: UB's many roles, TM's many claims

 Much Happy Thanksgiving to you all...

 An amazing set of posts in the last few days. I think the emphasis on uniform "excellence" in revelation is one of those criterion the UB itself insists upon...

 "Even evolutionary religion is all of this in loyalty and grandeur because it is a genuine experience. But revelatory religion is excellent as well as genuine. The new loyalties of enlarged spiritual vision create new levels of love and devotion, of service and fellowship; and all this enhanced social outlook produces an enlarged consciousness of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man." p1101

 Stripped of the claim to epochal status, the TM could represent to our time and place what the great 6th Century BC developments in religion world wide represented in their time, a "religious response" (as Phil C. said) to the Melchizedek bestowal, and in our case the UB. Its heritage in this regard will always be measured by its fruits, but these fruits will have to be evaluated over decades.

 On the other hand, the TM as a movement have pretty well committed themselves to a much stronger claim. It is not just that there is alleged contact with suprahuman personality on a wide scale, but that this contact, and its scale, is mandated by the celestial government - something which is characteristic of epochal revelation. The UB describes nothing which would suggest a precedent for contact on such a scale. Even when describing worlds long settled in light and life there is no mention of the humans living on those spheres having mind-to-mind contact with celestials. The thing that comes closest to my recollection is this on p507

 "The seraphic hosts co-operate with these artisans in attempting to assist those mortal artists who possess inherent endowments, and who also possess Adjusters of special and previous experience."

 This suggests some kind of pipeline to the human mind (nature unknown) in *exceptional* cases.

 Jim M., I pretty much agree with what you are saying, except to point out that the most "fully balanced" personalities will get *both* (or should I say *all*) aspects of the UB and integrate them into his or her philosophy of life. The "information" aspects of the book are no less important to its mission then the spiritual paradyme shift aspects. It is true, however, that it is better to get the spiritual message without the information then the other way around...

 Your idea to reflect the first two revelations into the present is always interesting. You find the bankroll, and I'll join up as a teacher... My wife can work the local clinic, and my kids are already pretty good cooks...:-)


30 Nov 1993   Scott Foerster        TM fog

Subject: TM fog


 Glad to see you back. I loved your report on Russia. That was true "service."

 I am puzzled by these points you made about the Teaching Mission: - is a primitive versus evolutionary religion - involves no thoughts, just feelings - contains no evolutionary process or philosophical construct - has no ability to reduce the ratio of error to truth via criticism and experience - unquestioned pluralism


 I believe the Teaching Mission uses the Urantia Book as it's philosophical construct. You are the master of words and definitions, so I just wanted to ask a few simple questions: 1. Is there a religion associated with the Urantia Book? 2. If so, is there a religion associated with the Teaching Mission that is different from the religion associated with the Urantia Book? What are the differences? 3. If not, which religion(s) are you comparing the Teaching Mission to?

 The Teaching Mission does not involve thoughts ... just feelings? Again I am puzzled. I am beginning to believe that my brain is just another sensing organ .. it senses thoughts. Thoughts coming from my super-conscious, thoughts filtered through the super-conscious from the thought adjuster, thoughts directly from the thought adjuster, thoughts disguised to look like my own that really come from other spiritual entities, thoughts that spring up from my animal self, thoughts planted by my teacher ... I am just filled with thoughts! And how do I distinguish where they come from? Through feelings? No. I try not to care where they come from. I am just trying to let them all come and pick out the ones that are the most loving, moral and truthful. I do practice a discipline where for brief periods during the day I try to quiet the thoughts I have more direct control over.

 No ability to reduce the ratio of error to truth via criticism and experience? I think this statement might define religion. The Teaching Mission uses the Urantia Book to reduce the ratio of error to truth (can we make this truth to error like signal to noise?). IMHO, the Teaching Mission has a slightly better truth to error ratio. But of course personal humble opinions are indicative of a chaos and anarchy that might disqualify any group associated with the Urantia Book from being called a religion.

 Finally what is pluralism? The words plural and pluralistic are in the Urantia Book but not pluralism. Plural means two and pluralistic is used positively. So the UB does not help. The dictionary is generally positive about the word pluralism ... it talks about tolerance for multiple cultures. So where is the beef in the statement "unquestioned pluralism mean?"

 Does it mean that I have turned my soul over to some other spiritual entity? Quite the opposite. Teachers will not tell you what to do. They do not predict the future. They don't even speculate. They will only say "excellent job" afterwards.

 Does unquestioned pluralism mean that I am very accepting of other points of view? Yes. But after figuring out the other's religion I try to add to it a tiny bit ... like Jesus .. well maybe more like the Alpheus twins.

 David. If we are indeed lost sheep, put your shepherd's hook around us and gently drag us back in. Figure out who we are, bless the good that we represent and then subtly point us in the direction of the yellow brick road. In any case, keep writing, keep going to conferences all over the planet and reporting back to us. I love it.


30 Nov 1993   Fred Harris         TM Evolutionary or Primative?

Subject: TM Evolutionary or Primative?


 David Kantor - good to have you back. We missed your comments. They always provide me with a good chuckle. Your statement that in the Teaching Mission "feeling precedes thought" and therefore it is a "primative" rather than an "evolutionary" religion is an interesting comment. I know you like to paint with a broad brush, but isn't that bold statement a little presumptuous? No more so, I guess, than your assertion that the "TM has no philosophical construct" or that "criticism is completely out" in favor of unquestioned adherence to the teachings of the teachers. Since there are over 200 groups of individuals participating in the Teaching Mission is it really possible to make those kinds of statements and still maintain any integrity of argument? I mean, do you know all these people so that you can make such personal value judgments about them all? I think not.

Dec 1993

1 Dec 1993    Stephan Beam     Urantia Cult of Channelers

Subject: Urantia Cult of Channelers

 The Urantia Cult of Channelers:

 Dr. Saddler was in the process of debunking the "mediums" or "channelers" even as the Urantia Papers were coming. Dr. Saddler states the Urantia papers were not the product of any such phenomena. The subconscious mind builds around our deepest belief systems, and when the conscious mind is "turned off" and the subconscious mind comes to the surface through automatic writing or talking, the messages reflect our deepest beliefs. If you believe the Urantia Book you "hear" from Machiventa Melchizedek or some other superhuman character from the Urantia Book. If you believe in Spiritualism you "hear" from some wise indian guide or other departed spirit.

 Only a few years ago, the whole Urantia movement was rocked by supposed channeled messages from Vern Grimsly. People were frightened, sold their homes and disrupted their lives because of uncritical thinking. We almost had our own Waco Texas incident with our own armed bunker. How quickly we forget the past lessons in the heat of the moment.

 Searching for truth does not mean giving up your reason. Beautiful "channeled" words, when the source is from a self-deluded individual, can quickly become ugly. I have an honest concern about these matters and how they relate to the intellectual integrity of the Urantia movement. In the current fad (yes, humans are subject to fads) nothing new is revealed. All these messages--some poorly constructed and rambling--are nothing that can't be found in the Urantia Book or any major world religion. To do kindness to others to change the world is hardly a message that is new. The novelty of its expression seems to be what is energizing the current Urantia cult of channeler supplicants.

 If you want to listen to channelers, go to any charismatic Christian church.

 Listen to Oral Roberts. They claim a higher source than the Urantia cult of channelers. Channeling is nothing new and thousands believe it. Do more believers make something true? If that is so then the most popular religion "wins". I am always offended by those who lord it over others with their claims to a more direct connection to truth than any of the rest of us have. These claims give these people undeserved authority while at the same time absolving them from any responsibility for what they say.

 "there is an instinctive longing in the heart of evolutionary man for help from above and beyond. This craving is designed to anticipate the appearance on earth of the Planetary Prince and the later Material Sons. On Urantia man has been deprived of these superhuman leaders and rulers, and therefore does he constantly seek to make good this loss by enshrouding his human leaders with legends pertaining to supernatural origins and miraculous careers."

1 Dec 1993    Philip Calabrese      One more turn on Mercury +

Subject: One more turn on Mercury +


 Concerning whether the TM is "primitive" versus "evolutionary" religion, I think "primitive" religion is just early evolutionary religion, religion practiced by primitive humans. The rather general statements made by David K in characterizing the TM as primitive seem to me to be rather extreme. Surely many TMers are exceptions to those characterizations (and I commend you TMers for not too aggressively getting on David's case for making these statements.) That took tolerance and self-discipline! See, we are improving!


1 Dec 1993    Tom Alexander    LURKER COMES OUT


 Yet another lurker leaps out from behind his anti-glare monitor screen. I was prompted by a recent comment from a tm critic that tm believers or the "Urantia cult of channelers" are claiming "a more direct connection to truth" than non tm believers. I know few if any people who believe that. There are people in the teaching mission that have ego gratification problems (just like some people in the Foundation, Fellowship and non UB reading world, but that is life). Some of these tm people are also transmitting/receiving and their ego problems are creating what I term "human pollution" in the transmissions. Since we all have an EQUAL amount of the spirit of truth it is up to us as individuals to sort through all the input we receive using our mind and the spirit of truth.

 If you think that the tm lessons or messages are untrue then that is what is true for you and it is ok. TM believers don't get brownie points or gold stars or passes to advanced mansion worlds. Each human being has a different truth experience. Even though we know from the UB that everyone's experience is different it is hard for many people to accept it. Especially, it seems, those people who intellectually understand the UB more than most average folks and wear it on their sleeve (in a way it is harder for them to understand what is going on since they understand almost everything that is in the UB and the teaching mission isn't spelled out in black and white for them to understand.) For every positive point in the tm the intellectualists have a counterpoint which refutes what people are actually experiencing in the tm. Why can't people accept what is happening in the tm as true for the tmers but not true for themselves and stop trying to convert us back into a nice homogenized belief system.

 The former slogan of the UB "movement" has changed from unity not uniformity to uniformity not unity. I see it in both the foundation and fellowship. In fact, most critics of the tm come from those two groups. Is their political self-importance as leaders threatened? If you look at the most recent propaganda from both of those groups, it is remarkably similar. They both agree without saying so the tm is a threat. A threat to the numbers of people they can lead around and a threat to the money they can generate in fund raising. They won't refer people to study groups who have teachers since we are just a bunch of deluded cultists. But mostly, it is a threat to their self- importance. Looks like a deja-vu of the split up of Christianity to me.

 I have had the urge over the last six months to join the free for all, no-holds barred board of Urantial but resisted until now. The challenge for those of us who believe in the tm is to lovingly and patiently accept the shitty and sometimes vicious criticisms thrown our way and to turn the other cheek so that hopefully a little less will hit us on the other cheek.

 In the future I will post some transmissions from teachers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Within a 100 mile radius 6 long time study groups have group teachers. The ripening fruits are more than obvious in the lives of the people who participate in them. So far, nobody has bought any Uzis, stockpiled food or built underground bunkers. But stay tuned since in the minds of many critics we are so deluded, deranged, unstable and just plain crazy that we could make a run on those supplies at any time without provocation.

1 Dec 1993    Byron Belitsos      Suggested posting protocol: Da

Subject: Suggested posting protocol: David K.

 David. My heart goes out to you each time you mount an attack on the TM. I feel your cry of pain, deeply -- the deep personal trauma cause by your own experience of "mediumship". When I read such remarks of yours, I also find a need to care more deeply about myself, and my own pain. What I mean is that sometimes I take your attacks personally, and seriously. This, of course, is a mistake. I have long known your position, which remains unchanged in its identification of only a single possible dimension of meaning of the TM, since last March. You are merely repeating yourself, though you are baiting the newer listmembers who adhere to the TM. That which is in you, that urge to project false and disparaging and limiting notions on the religious experience of others, is something I have inside of me too, more than I would like to admit. Further, in attacking others, especially the sacred experience of others, we attack and disparage ourselves. Legitimate religious criticism does not attack, but honor and allow while pointing to a higher, more inclusive truth. When I attack I know that I am, deep inside somewhere, unsure about my own beliefs, even unsure about who I am. When I impulsively take offense at the attacks of others -- well, it's the same story. I am striving to not take offense when you abuse the authority of the Urantia Book to label the TM "primitive". In light of this, may I suggest something? As a gentleman and scholar, please label (in the subject line) your posts that include content on the "TM", as Fred does, so I may have the choice and opportunity to prepare myself for the journey into both your pain and mine, into our common human foibles, before I read such a post of yours.

1 Dec 1993    Byron Belitsos      Thanks to Phil

Subject: Thanks to Phil

 Dear friends,

 After a month with a splint on my left hand, I am finally now able to type... ambidextrously. I hardly know how to cope with the freedom! I seem to have an enhanced appreciation for the written word: I see it as more precious. This includes our precious freedom of online written expression in all its splendor: political, personal, philosophical. I have learned something too about the importance of economy; so much more can often be said in fewer words -- something worth noting as the volume of postings continues to grow to over 20 per day. Finally, I can affirm that my own desire to write is part of my deepest nature, and I assure you that my occasional lurker status is only the case because I am actively writing in forums other than this.

 I value the writing I see here as some of the most well-informed, articulate, and diverse body of discourse going on in the Urantia movement today. Friends, I often save your postings to disk, under one of a dozen or so topic headings I have evolved over the past year, and intend to put the better essays to use somehow, someday.

 One of the more remarkable posts in a long time is that of Phil's from November 24 on "UB, TM, and Revelation". I many times wondered what was brewing during your time of lurking, Phil. You had left us with some hard-hitting queries and expressions of doubt on the TM just before you faded into non-virtual reality. I thought of these posts as among the best expressions of an objective, truth-seeking, skeptical consciousness in relation to the TM that we have seen here.

 Now we read that you find the TM to be "genuine contact with...higher order life," though not "uniformly excellent" in the sense of epochal revelation. This is a very workable and acceptable formula.

 Before further comment, allow me to take this opportunity to celebrate the courage that led you to seek deeper for truth, and to publicly alter your position on this most controversial topic!

 Yes, as you say, the quality of wisdom that comes through is "still human". Let's say it is a blend. At minimum, it can be compared to the inspired speech of a prophet, or the homilies of a fine preacher, or the lecture of a Zen master. Much of it enhances and embellishes teachings on prayer, worship, forgivness, and love found in the UB, and thus has very high practical value. Some of it is among the most inspirational religious material I have ever seen.

 It's all relative to the transmitter, and the concrete local conditions in which the teachings are transmitted. The Welmeck transmissions of Indianapolis, coming through a well-educated UB reader and delivered to a diverse audience of long-time UB readers, begin to approach your criteria of "uniform excellence" -- certainly not comparable to epochal revelation, but reliable and compelling by any human measure. Same would hold true of the Rayson transmissions in L.A., and the Will transcripts from Tallahasee. There are magnificent gems in all the transcripts, but in some the quality is variable. And in a some cases patently incorrect information has been transmitted that needs correction and religious criticism.

 What is also important, and overlooked, is that being in a transmission session is to experience a "hierophany". Interacting with heavenly teachers constitutes the creation of a bona fide religious movement. It has a sacred feel to it that I cannot describe in words. Reading a text in a study group does not a religion make; but to encounter something wholy "other", to experience directly the loving words and symbolic gestures of "higher order life" as you called it Phil, is leading to the creation of loving communities alongside the study group culture. A genuine cult is evolving in the only way it can: through an experiential, concrete, and personal experience with the sacred -- in a communal setting. And this encounter inspires and teaches us to experience unbroken communion with God in daily life. The TM is one important vehicle through which the progressive and global religion that we all hunger for will evolve....

 Thanks again for your intellectual honesty, Phil. And welcome back to the list!

1 Dec 1993    James Price        Urantia Foundation on TM and c

Subject: Urantia Foundation on TM and channeling

 sorry about my last post, oopsie sent byrons post instead of my own!

 of byrons post being sent...

 speaking of attacks on the TM, as it were, i got an inevitable Foundation mailing two or three days ago, their Urantian(R) News, vol 12, issue 2.

 on the cover it sez that inside will be a statement on channeling. there is an article titled 'Channeling' which sez things like 'We believe that the present claims of "channeling" have diverted groups from the in-depth study of the Urantia Book to the "short-cut" of seeking contact with spiritual beings through voices or trancelike states. Some people have made claims that a "continuation" of the Urantia Book is being "channeled". Hints of apocalyptic warnings are also being issued.' and 'We cannot in good faith refer readers, especially new readers, to groups or indiviuals who are practicing "channeling"' '...members of "The Teaching Mission" are not knowingly accepted as members...' and to thea's question about the superconscious if thats what it was: 'The URANTIA Book teaches: Altogether too much of the uprush of the memories of the unconscious levels of the human mind has been mistaken for divine revelations and spirit leadings (p.1099)'


2 Dec 1993    Matthew Rapaport              Tolerance and doing X

Subject: Tolerance and doing X

 On the subject of the TM and tolerance, I think people are talking past one another. I think most of us have exhibited considerable willingness to discuss all with everyone on this list, pro and con alike. It is very difficult for some (like me) to simply ignore the core claims of the TM in the face of what *appears* to us to be not only "not mentioned" in the UB, but to one degree or another fundamentally incompatible with it. On the other hand, the proponents accept as a fundamental starting point that the TM (and its content) is not at all incompatible with any part of the UB. Given this difference, seemingly impossible to resolve, we seem to be doing rather well keeping open communications about all maner of interesting things of value to us all...


3 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: Tolerance and doing X

Subject: Re: Tolerance and doing X In-Reply-To: [199312030543.VAA02051@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 Good reminder about how pathology emerges in time if one tries to live unreality. Yes!

 And I for one applaud those of you who range from not wild about the teaching mission to downright upset because I think that all of you have demonstrated varying degrees of tolerance that I for one appreciate. No, we do not see eye to eye. As Michael told the apostles would be the case. I see most of what I have heard in the TM as consistent with the UB whereas you, for one, do not. And yet we meet here, we talk, we have real and valuable exchanges that I appreciate. And I appreciate you, Matthew, and all the others, who can overlook what are sometimes strong feelings in order to participate together with us TMers here on Urantial. Consider this my personal extension of thanks to you all.

3 Dec 1993    Joyce Veisz        Returned mail: User unknown (f

Subject: Returned mail: User unknown (fwd)


 Okay, Thea, here goes. Let's see how far this post gets within this TML!

 Good morning to all fellow TM'ers. I thought you might enjoy hearing some words from Machiventa Melchizedek re: the design or overall picture of the TM, it is as follows:

 Machiventa Melchizedek: I would like to speak with you today re: the overall picture or design of this Teaching Mission, as mandated by our Sovereign, Michael of Nebadon. The ultimate design leads to or will bring your people to the threshold of Light and Life on your planet. You and others like you, forming groups across your world, are only the beginning. While you may not see your planet step over that threshold into a settling of Light and Life, you will certainly be able to see the fruits of your steadfast endeavors. Much as one can see the progress of any endeavor by looking back into the history of its beginning. You will witness the opening of more and more hearts across your world effecting those in all walks of life, from the lowest man in the street, or woman, for that matter, to those in the higher echelons of government. You may witness a reformation within some of the existing churches. You are already able to pick many books off the shelves of bookstores and read our message of love for the brotherhood; peace for all, within the pages of a very diversified number of books. You can hear our message ring out from the pulpits of many churches. From those that are called evangelists, you will hear our message also. We are not just working with groups such as yours, we are working with a multitude of individuals also, many of whom have no idea that they are being worked with. Michael so loves your planet, and all of His children, that He will not allow His plan to fail. Each person being worked with and through, is a vital part of the whole fabric of love enveloping your world. Each plays their part in making the plan a reality. Know within your hearts, not only how cherished you are to the Father and Michael, you are, as well, cherished and appreciated by those of us who serve within the teaching core of this mission. Do not falter, my children, the way is opening, necessitating the need for more and more service. Use the tools that you have been given to the best of your ability, gaining your strength and direction from the Father first. It is only through this method, through your part, that Michael's plan will be assured, and allowed to enfold sooner, rather than later. The final goal of Light and Life, has never been in jeopardy, the amount of time it will take, is the only changing factor. When one begins to work a jigsaw puzzle, especially one with many tiny pieces, at first, one may feel a bit overwhelmed at ever finding and making the frame, the outer edges within which all the other pieces will fit. We, those of us who make up the administration and staff of this Teaching Mission across your world, have taken this mission, with your help, beyond that initial stage wherein some certainly did experience this feeling of being overwhelmed. Remember children, many of your teachers, while their perspective is certainly wider than yours, are really not much higher or further in development, than are you. And so, these feelings are still a part of them, however, they are at a level at which they are able to work through them much more quickly, than are you; while they are also able to continue with their work, their service, not allowing those feelings to interfere with their goal. But the good news, my children, is that we have gone beyond that initial stage, the framework, the network, now encircles your world. The job now consists of putting in the little pieces, and this, my dear students, is the job that you do so well; person to person, heart to heart, mind to mind, Father to Father. Each time you open yourselves to the men and women that pass through your lives, allowing yourselves to be used as a conduit, the Father is able to begin to -quicken- them, wherein they will allow the Father within them to begin to lead. If only you could see the fruits of your labors, as we can, you would be much uplifted. I would like to give you this vision my children, of a nighttime sky, looking up, it is at first black, now watch those pinpoints of light quicken, each individual you have contacted, is now a light in that nighttime sky, showing the way for others in order that they may continue the process, using their light to illuminate the way for still others. Multiply this my children, by all of the workers within the mission, by all of the individuals who are helping, both those aware and those unaware. Now we have a nightime sky that is literally -blazing- with light! -That- my children, is the vision that your planet presents to those of us who have the ability to see. We bless you for your contribution and send our love as a gentle rain to enfold each and everyone that does his or her part. I leave you now, admonishing, as always, to seek Him first, in order that you might feed yourselves the essence of Paradise.


 I hope this gave you all the "shot in the arm" that it gave me!

 Much love,


3 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: Channeling Cult Fad

Subject: Re: Channeling Cult Fad In-Reply-To: [199312031900.LAA21668@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 One thing you might want to prove is that you love those of your brothers and sisters, myself included, who are in error according to your interpretation, and you could demonstrate that by being less judgmental in your tone. There is no need whatsoever for you to believe in the TM, of course. But we do all read that same big blue book that asks us to love and accept our brothers and sisters anyway. People on this list have been, for the most part, remarkably tolerant of different ways of thinking and interpretation - something Michael asked of us when he walked on this planet. I expect he has not changed his mind. We all share the basics of what he taught - the belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man (Parenthood of God, Siblinghood of Persons). On that common belief is based our fellowship. I do not expect you to agree with me, or to remain silent, but I do hope that you will make the attempt to be kind in your discussions of wherein we differ.

3 Dec 1993    David Kantor      Comments to Scott

Subject: Comments to Scott

 Friday evening

 Hello, Friends...

 Quite a list here this week; far more than I can even begin to address plus a lot of crap (searchnet? Geeze!). The loonies are definitely going on-line!

 Scott Foerster; Thanks for the recent note. I must admit to not reading all of that which gets posted to the list and I tend to skip over most of the TM stuff, so I may have missed earlier contributions of yours which would give me more insight into the questions you asked. But I did want to answer your post and hopefully I won't display my ignorance by overgeneralizing or attributing beliefs and ideas to you which are not yours.

 RE: Primitive vs. Evolutionary religion: I am viewing 'primitive' religion as simply a raw expression of the religious impulse unshaped by religious or intellectual culture and lacking rational linkage to more empirical observations of human life. In primitive religion, according to this view, the religious impulse achieves expression and even leads to the formation of groups of religionists who have similiar propensities, but it lacks a certain 'excellence,' as Phil has pointed out. I have previously (to catcalls from the TM gallery) use sexuality as an analogy -- primitive sexuality is expressed without regard for morality or culture, it is simply an expression of biological animal drives. With morality and culture, this drive can be shaped into something far more meaningful, expressive and beautiful than it would be without such shaping. The religious impulse is the same way. It can be given unrestrained expression (much to the pleasure of the expressor) but when shaped by morality and culture, it can become something beautiful indeed -- even excellent -- which far transcends the raw expression of this very basic human drive. Charismatics engage in such forms of expression as do many peoples in more primitive stages of cultural development. And such religious expression is not necessarily bad -- it provides group cohesion and provides a point of connectedness to the universe. But it is not 'excellent' and is far from the qualitative expression which is possible when the religious impulse becomes integrated through wisdom with the rest of human life.

 I am viewing 'evolutionary' religion, on the other hand, as actively involved in the development of rational linkages to other domains of human truth-discovery such as science and philosophy.

 This is a difficult challenge in our time because many domains of human endeavor have yielded tremendous insight into the way in which the universe operates, and the task of integrating this vast array of meanings and ideas with the realities of personal spiritual experience is truly formidible.

 No one from the TM has been able to offer an articulation of the TM which will stand up to even the most elementary criticism. When pressed, adherents simply say that it must be experienced and that it's a matter of the heart, not the mind. I can't buy this.

 Even the 'Thea Defense' which gets posted hereon periodically, ie: "it's-made-my-life-better-and-I'm-a-better-person-because- of-it-therefore-I-will-continue-to-pursue-it' doesn't really cut it either. This is a pragmatist view which says that if something works, it must be good -- "look at the fruits" we're told. Let me give you an example of the fallacy of this position:

 Modern agriculture can be seen as a development bordering on the miraculous. Before the industrial revolution 98% of the population in what are now the developed countries were engaged in agricultural labor. Today in North America it is something like 2%. Western civilization has been transformed! We not only feed ourselves but export food to many other countries on the planet. This must be good, right? We should continue to practice agriculture this way because it works -- people are prevented from going hungry -- right? Wrong! Our way of practicing agriculture is poisoning the ground water, polluting the atmosphere, destroying topsoil, (hats off to the worm herder) consuming limited natural resources, radically reducing the genetic diversity of the plants and animals upon which we rely for our existence. Modern agriculture is a ticking time bomb which when judged by the immediate benefits looks wonderful and miraculous, but when viewed in the bigger context can be seen as a major disaster. The TM is the same way -- it's a very short-sighted solution to pressing needs in the lives of its adherents, but sooner or later the piper will have to be paid, so to speak. What's more, adherents should know better. The TM is a classic religious illusion which is well documented in both psychological and religious literature for anyone willing to look beyond the enchantment.

 Fred Harris posts that there are 200 TM groups around the world. Yet I would be willing to bet that if you got representatives from each of those groups together, you would have at least 100 different views of just what the TM really is. I have been virtually unable to find agreement even among a few TM adherents as to just what the TM is. It remains a nebulous cloud of psychological delusion and spiritual illusion which has very little definition. Neither am I willing to be so gracious as Father Phil in elevating such an ill-defined collage of ideas and experiences to the status of 'evolutionary religion.' The TM may consist of a lot of individuals who have their own religious experience, but I don't see enough ideational consistency to consider the TM itself a religion.

 Contrary to your assertion, the TM *does not use the UB as its philosophical construct*. TM adherents use the UB to rationalize their activities and beliefs, but those activities and beliefs in no way are a representation of reality as it is described in the UB. Adherents lift quotes here and there to justify their position, but when the book is taken as a whole, the entire concept of the TM and the premeses upon which it is supposedly based dissolve into nothing. Let me give just a few examples.

 TM adherents claim to be communicating with space people. Yet when one studies the structure of mortal mind as it is described in the UB, I find no way at all in which such a phenomenon could occur. I think that the book is quite clear in indicating that the only non-material realities which can impinge on mortal mind are the Adjuster (Spirit of the Father), the Spirit of Truth (Spirit of the Son) and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of the Spirit). It could be reasonably argued that even these last two are mediated by the Adjuster so that to human perception, *all* spiritual ministry is perceived as originating with the adjuster. And appreciate the fact that this is *spiritual* ministry, not mindal.

 The issue of 'circuits being opened' is another one. No one from the TM has been able to say much about this -- *which* circuits are open? How do TM claims fit in with the general model of these circuits which can be derived from a thorough study of the book? The rebellion not only caused circuits here in Satania to be shut down, but circuits on the Constellation level as well. Getting them all going again is no small task. It might be crudely analogous to attempting to start up an old car which you have stored in a barn for 50 years -- you don't simply get in, stick the key in the ignition and drive out.

 In the telecommunications industry we have events called "cutover." These are major events and occur when some large installation with perhaps thousands of operating telephones is converting to a new switching system. The old circuits have to be disconnected and the new circuits have to be activated *while maintaining service on the system with no interruptions*. This is a horrendous task and a tremendous amount of testing must be done beforehand to assure that all the new parts will work properly when switched over to the the old system. I can't imagine that it's any easier with a radical change in the administrative circuits in the system and the constellation. This is going to be a big deal when it happens and I don't imagine it will be instantaneous. A huge amount of administrative communication must be maintained and gradually changed over to the new system without interrupting service in a system where at least one planet is in a serious crisis. I suspect "switchover" here could easily take 1,000 years of our time to complete before the new circuits become operational.

 Once the circuits in our local system get re-established, there is the matter of the constellation circuits which will still be shut down. This all gets very complex including the statement that it takes the appearance of a Creator Son on a planet to re-establish communication through such circuitry. We are also told that as of the time of the pouring out of the Spirit of Truth, as far as mortals were concerned, the circuitry was fully operating as if there had been no rebellion. When one really looks into this claim about 'circuits being open' there are a great number of practical matters which TM adherents have chosen to ignore. The fact that the universe is primarily spiritual doesn't mean that it's magic.

 As far as I can tell, the mortal material mechanism has been designed to be receptive to the 7 adjutant mind spirits. I have seen no indication that there is any mechanism whatsoever (in the mortal nervous system) designed for activation by any other circuits -- have you?

 In addition, every place I have found in the UB which mentions the beneficent activity of higher powers in relation to mortals indicates that what is being influenced are *values* and *ideals* -- this influence is in the spiritual domain. There is no mechanism available whereby it can influence the domain of thought except as the self activates new meanings by choosing superior values. The self generates its own data -- I can see no mechanism by which higher powers can actually inject linguistically encoded thoughts directly into the processes of mortal mind -- can you?

 These are just two examples of many which could be cited but I will resist the temptation.

 >Is there a religion associated with The Urantia Book?

 I hope not, but I suppose there are a lot of groups in which their activities related to the book could be classified as a religion. This is really a difficult question because there are many ways of viewing just what constitutes a "religion" both in the UB and in external literature. I must confess that I continue to find papers 99 through 103 the most fascinating section of the book -- I have read them over and over again, and continue to be intrigued with them each time I do. But I feel that the UB has been provided to us for the purpose of enhancing and uplifting evolutionary religion, not starting a new one. This is my own belief and my own prejudice, but I feel it is based on some pretty solid ground.

 >No ability to reduce the ratio of error to truth via >criticism and experience -- What is pluralism?

 Consider this statement from a recent post by a TM adherent:

 >If you think that the tm lessons or messages are untrue >then that is what is true for you and it is ok. Each human >being has a different truth experience. Why can't people >accept what is happening in the tm as true for the tmers but >not true for themselves and stop trying to convert us back >into a nice homogenized belief system.

 I think this speaks for itself -- with this attitude, each person is isolated in his/her own relative truth and is not answerable to any criticism whatsoever. In this view, there is no objective reality with which we are each attempting to come to grips -- this is the essence of radical pluralism and it is radically opposed to the view I see in the UB which postulates an objective universe integrated by truth of which we are all a part. I have seen this pluralism expressed hereon many times and I don't believe it is an accurate view of reality. I believe it is symptomatic of the crisis of values permeating our culture today, an erroneous view of reality which is rampant in new-age movements, and which is directly countered by the UB.

 While I would defend anyone's right to believe as they wish and to express those beliefs to others, that doesn't mean that I have to *value* their beliefs as legitimate descriptors of any reality outside the boundaries of their own mental experience.

 >"I am beginning to believe that my brain is just >another sensing organ...it senses thoughts. Thoughts coming >from my super-conscious, thoughts filtered through the >super-conscious from the thought adjuster, thoughts directly >from the thought adjuster, thoughts disguised to look like >my own that really come from other spiritual entities, >thoughts that spring up from my animal self, thoughts >planted by my teacher...I am just filled with thoughts! And >how do I distinguish where they come from? Through >feelings? No. I try not to care where they come from. I >am just trying to let them all come and pick out the ones >that are the most loving, moral and truthful..."

 What is the concept of the self that this description reveals? Does this describe an ideal mental environment? Who is in control of this mind? Who is integrating all this varied stimulus? Is integration even being attempted, or is the self trying to step aside from the onslaught and only recognize the thoughts it deems desirable? What has led the self to see its role as being a passive observer rather than aggressively architecting its own future? Is this self abdicating responsiblity for the products of its own mental processes?

 This view of personal being goes against 100 years of massive amounts of work and study in the field of psychology and it goes against a tremendous amount of empirical data from neuroscience which confirms (as the UB states) that our thoughts are the result of processes of association and recombination of meanings which take place solely within the confines of protoplasmic memory. Thoughts are a repercussion, a side effect of previous experiences and choices of meanings and values. *All* of your thoughts originate in your own nervous system -- *you* and no other personality or entity are entirely responsible for them -- all of them! The concept that thoughts are entities which originate outside the neural circuitry from a multitude of sources which the self must then sort out is not based on the model of mortal mind which emerges from the UB, nor is it based on anything which has any foundation in the models of mind held by contemporary psychology or neurology. The view of mind which you describe above was popular in the Middle Ages when the great religious task was to sort out which thoughts came from the devil and which ones came from God, and to try and base behavior on the ones which were deemed to have come from God.

 Scott, I don't claim to have any special purchase on reality and I certainly don't want to lead anyone else to think the same way I do -- We're all in this together and it's going to take all of us working together to make any significant social and religious progress.

 And in the end, in spite of my comments on pluralism, you have to decide what is best for you and must pursue it wholeheartedly, ruthlessly adhering only to the criteria of truth. I am not attempting to change your views or the views of TM adherents, nor to attack them, merely to express reasons why I don't think they are founded on reality.



 Byron, I knew you couldn't resist reading this. My comment about the TM as a "primitive" religion was meant as an observation rather than an attack. Perhaps I should have use "naive" instead. Allow me to point out that every time I read a post extolling the TM, associating it with the UB, I am saddened at the profanation of something which I hold to be very special, and disappointed that supposedly intelligent, sincere readers of this book can be so enchanted with such a superficial expression of the great truths it contains. You see, my friend, it cuts both ways. Besides, channeled material and the defense thereof is getting a lot more air time here than any opposing views -- or do you wish to eliminate all dissenting views? Disagreement is not an attack.


 On a lighter note, my neighbor was in Safeway last night and the lady in front of her was trying to buy some Tampax. The clerk repeatedly ran the box over the scanner but couldn't get a read. The clerk grabbed the microphone and asked for a price on Tampax over the store's PA system (much to the embarrassment of the customer). In a few seconds a clerk somewhere in the store responded over the PA system, "Is it the kind you push in with your thumb or the kind you pound in with a hammer?" to which the checker responded with no small degree of chagrin, "I said *Tampax*, not thumbtacks!" and shortly got her price.


3 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: Comments to Scott

Subject: Re: Comments to Scott In-Reply-To: [199312040134.RAA05407@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Ah, David, David,

 You are indeed on-line again!!

 Meow, meow!! (more catcalls... :)

 I wonder if you realize the personal naivete that you yourself reveal from your intellectual prison. Sooner or later, one must move beyond intellectual philosophy.

 I find it fascinating, David, that your favorite papers and mine are the same. And I consider myself relatively intelligent, and I certainly know that you are easily as much so if not obviously more so. Yet we do not come to the same conclusions. Jesus said that he never asked us to all think alike. I think that means that we are not to assume that we are right in an absolutist way. Unfortunately, although you may not mean to, you do tend to give the impression that your interpretation is the only true interpretation. I am not certain that you are demonstrating ability to recognize religious living in others; it seems instead that you are disgusted, or at least dismayed, that we are not living and thinking in the way that you are. Repeatedly, when we have so much to discuss that we do share - and I can speak specifically in terms of you and I here - instead this debate, which cannot be "won" by any, continues. I think that is is possible for us to have a different interpretation of the book and to live a different way of spirituality without your seeing us as inferior, David. At least, I would hope that you could see this. Because the pained arrogance of your position is so blatant. It doesn't upset me the way it did at first. Among other things, I care about you and admire and respect you in many, many ways. But believe me, it is not only the limitations of the TM that you are revealing in your posts about it. Your every remark drips with the implication, or more direct allegation, that we in the TM are inferior in many aspects.

 It ain't necessarily so.

 A mota of interest that relates to your still-intellectualized position:

 #16 You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not felt except in adversity.

 What do you make of the first half of that mota in terms of the intellectual manner in which you believe truth is to be approached? And how is it that you continue to reject the words of Michael himself about regarding the fruits by applying metaphors that are distorted and incomplete to the sincerity (however mistaken) of your brothers and sisters with whom you disagree? The book does a good job of defining the fruits and it is exactly those fruits which I see manifested in many (no, not all) in the TM. If love is only born of the thoroughgoing understanding of your brothers and sisters motives and sentiments, then I suggest that you perhaps seek to understand we who are obviously causing you this distress and see if you can perhaps understand our motivations on a sufficiently deep level to display the love and forgiveness that are not particularly apparent here.

 I can tell you in terms of the fruits, that the section on page 1100 about the marks of religious living gives some good, clear examples of fruits that I see. On page 1104 it says:

 "True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and substantiated by natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable feelings of ecstacy which can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion is not a product of reason, but viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a mortal being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions while yet in the flesh."

 This is one of endless quotes that I believe are important in the establishment of real religion. Reasonable, yes, but not obtained through reason alone, but also found and validated through feelingful experience. Sometimes I wonder how we all read the same book and are so _extremely_ diverse!! I know that you probably wonder the same.

 These are my very favorite papers and have been from the beginning. They form the philosophical underpinnings of my personal religion including my participation in the TM. Yes, there are those participants who cannot discuss the concepts in these papers, much less understand them. And yet, their faith, naive though it may be, is worth more than some of the philosophical meanderings that I have seen spewed forth in my life. I learned some years ago to quit feeling that my intelligence and education suited me to decide what naive and inferior and primitive beings some of my brothers and sisters are. Do not mistake me. I believe in the intellect and its pursuits, and in education and its values. But I have met people whose capacity to love far outstripped any education they might have had, and frankly, many of them were certainly my superiors in their capacity to live the Father's will and to love and seek to understand, even with their limited resources, their fellows. I appreciate the level of intelligence displayed on this list. But I think that every one of us in that catagory still has work to do on our acceptance of others who may not be so blessed, and I include myself in this. And David, I definitely include you.

 I ask all of you on this list to ask yourselves about intellectual arrogance. I ask myself daily. I _have_ to, or else I start getting into trouble. Intellectual arrogance and loving tolerance do not go well hand-in-hand. I know because I have lived a lot of my life in arrogance. I have a number of different talents. I have a high IQ, I am talented in music, art, writing and a number of other areas. SOmetimes it is frustrating when others do not understand because they are not there and do not know. I have had to struggle to modify my style (and there are plenty who can tell you that I have not yet sufficiently done so) so that I can communicate with whomever I meet up with, as Michael so beautifully did. I have had endlessly to make sure and certain that I live daily with the recognition that my abilities do nothing in terms of my inherent equality with others. The Father loves each of his children equally! We are of equal worth in this universe. I think we could all try harder to treat each other with equal respect. For those of you who say, oh, but this is just a good argument in fun, just an intellectual exercise, I would say - what do you think Michael would say to this? Would he admonish us to debate fine points? Or would he not rather ask us to go serve together, side by side, and quit focussing on our differences?

 Perhaps this is a major difference for me. When I try to think what Michael would want me to do, I seem to come up with something different from some of the rest. Perhaps my interpretation is wrong.

 Pretty big meows, David, but you have this way of encouraging me to speak... Perhaps I should thank you for it. Perhaps not.

 You know that I love you and enjoy you. But this part of you I do not understand. If I could ask, I would ask you to explain your motivations to me. I would like to know what it is that you want to gain by your remarks such as the ones to Scott. I am seriously asking this. I know that if the past holds, you will likely not answer, but I am still asking. Maybe if I understand better, I will be able to love you better. Help me.

 Ah, well. I, too, have contributed to the Great Debate. For well or for ill, I do not know.


3 Dec 1993    Matthew Rapaport              Excellence, philosophy, Zec, a

Subject: Excellence, philosophy, Zec, and the TM

 Actually, the Zec postings might provide some interesting food for a comparitive analysis. I read but tiny bits of it, but it appears to be an alternative history (of the planet) analogous to parts of Sec. III of the UB. It also has material on the relationship between the human creature and God. I did not catch its slant on God (nature, character, etc.), but I note that in a few places at least, what it recommends (in terms of ethics and action) is consistent with the UB. It does, at least in some groups of sentences taken in isolation, contain Truth...

 I'm not about to undertake a through reading of the material. I could be persuaded to read some part of it in detail, if others wanted to read other parts, and share summaries. What I wonder is what sort of consensus we could arive at regarding its level of excellence?

 All of us have gotten emotional about the TM from time to time. When we do, we need a reminder. We will all encounter it again and again as more new people either join the list or post for the first time. I have often noticed that it is emotional issues that move most infrequent posters (lurkers) to post.

 Stephan, protocol, protocol, protocol... You will remember... :-)

 David forgets about this a lot, but I know he is trying (I can feel it) even when he *must* use language that carries some emotional heat :-)!

 I do want to address minor aspects of David's post. I agree in spirit with David about much of what he says, but not all of it. I'm not sure for example that the TM doesn't represent some genuine evolutionary response/adjustment to the UB... But right now I choose to quibble...

 On the subject of fruits, I hardly think the looming disaster in/for/by American agriculture has very much to do with the fruits we are reminded of by Michael M. (p1000-1).

 >>Is there a religion associated with The Urantia Book?

 >I hope not, but I suppose there are a lot of groups...

 This falls into the catagory of "I can't believe you said this..." I hope you might be refering to "religious institutions", but "religion"? Of course there is *a* religion in the UB!! It is the *personal* relationship between the *personal* creature and the *personal* creator! It is the "religion of Jesus"...

 >I think that the book is quite clear in indicating that the only >non-material realities which can impinge on mortal mind are the Adjuster >(Spirit of the Father), the Spirit of Truth (Spirit of the Son) and the >Holy Spirit (Spirit of the Spirit).

 There is Joseph's dream, though my inclination is to believe that this was caused on a higher level then by the celestials immediately on the scene. The other thing is the manner of the transmission of the UB itself. Something of this suggests to me that alternate modes might be possible, at least...

 >The issue of 'circuits being opened' is another one.

 Well it is for me too, but not the way you describe... You undoubtedly are right when you say the opening of System and Constellation circuts will be a major event, but I think 1000 years is a mite excessive. In the first place, they are not limited by the financial necessities of business, nor are they relying on a single communications mode as we do here. At no time during the celestial cut-over will they loose the alternate channels they now have available, and there is no financial burden to be born if the new service is not online exactly as planned (though I have no doubt their cut-overs go more smoothly then ours). It may in fact be very much like "throwing a switch" from their viewpoint. Once everyone is lined up in the right places, just reflectively broadcast the command to "go live"... That doesn't mean they'll turn on all the circuts at once of course...

 You are right (I think) about the TM (from what I've seen) not appreciating the scope of such a claim. Given what we can deduce about these phenomenon from the UB, a clear statement about these things which accounts for what we know and adds more, would be a good demonstration...

 This leads me to Tom A. David K. raises pointed issues, but they are not necessarily germain to the matter of a "spiritual test", the clearest statement of which Michael M. has thoughtfully posted for us (p1000). Even if the TM passed all of these tests for most of the individuals involved, it would be a demonstration of the spiritual (Truth) content of the movement (and many other good things), but *not* (as David did point out) a vindication of its claim to epochal status. All of this *can* and has often in history arisin out of the available (spiritual) channels of contact between human beings and their Father in Heaven. It does not require that there be an epochal "revelation" indited by the Celestial Government. I think Stephan is right in this point, that the burden of proof lies with the TRs, and by extension those that allegedly speak through them, to *demonstrate* that they are who they claim to be.

 The UB's *only* demonstration (other then the personal experience that comes of believing, and following it) is its *relative* excellence (and it is indisputably and necessarily relative, not absolute).

 TM transcripts have been analyzed from time to time here on this list, and I think the general consensus (please correct me if I am wrong), is that they do not exhibit even the relative excellence of the UB. Various reasons have been cited for this, and many of them could be legitimate, or taken to be so, if the TM (via the TRs) provided some other independent means of verifying its revelatory claim.

 By the way, we've been tossing 'excellence' around so much, perhaps its time we tried to define it more clearly when we use it in this way. Off the top of my head, I'll offer the notion that the UB stands up to philosophic analysis as one of the facets of its claim to excellence. What ye say others?

 Thea... The "great debate" goes on as you say, but I think on the whole we have learned to talk to one another about it from time to time... When it gets too hot, we seem to be able to move to other things for a while... I for one very much appreciate your contributions to that debate. I can also give you an example of why I think you are missing at least some of David's point... You note that:

 >Religion is not derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a >mortal experience it is altogether logical.

 It's one thing to realize that you and David like the same papers, its quite another to pick a quote that might be used equally by both of you. You use it to remind us that religion does not spring from logic. David (and I) might use it to point out that once sprung from somewhere it is supposed to be *critiqued* by logic (philosophy really), and must pass the test if we are to continue giving it our intellectual loyalty. What ever our *intellect* ends up deciding, our *emotions* are supposed to follow. This doesn't mean we throw out the good parts. We toss only that which fails to pass the test, and move on with the rest. I think this is the "evolution" David is thinking about when he speaks of "evolutionary religion". For my part, I believe that such evolution can (and should) be observed over a considerable period of time (generations if it lasts that long) before passing judgment upon the religious potentials of the phenomena, in this case, the TM.

 I hope that says it in a way that is not emotionally charged and sets a reasonable perspective on the whole issue. Personally, I have not addressed the TM (until now) for a couple of months I think. What I said above is all I can say without getting into issues that envariably result in emotional charging. Something I've decided to avoid for the sake of living on this list in harmony with those who certainly disagree with me.

 I mention this now, only because the post sent here recently by error (apparantly intended for tml), pushes several of those buttons that emotionally charge me (and I'll be David too...). Also, it seems in the last few days to have come up again, and I'm never one to avoid my responsibility to express my viewpoint... :-)


3 Dec 1993    Matthew Rapaport              Once more for clarity sake

Subject: Once more for clarity sake

 I don't know why I'm so into writing to this list lately, but it must be satisfying some need...

 In reading over my last post, I think I may have left some things very unclear respecting my personal position on the TM.

 The TM claim to be communicating with celestials, and the notion that it is a revelation are very strongly connected. The latter necessarily follows if the former is true. The only other option is that the TRs are communicating with *rebels*, which we know aren't even around anymore. This of course is the source of the silly "from the devil" notion that comes up from time to time, but I don't believe that either (for the reason stated just above if nothing else).

 Like David (I think) I believe then that these communications are originating, one way or another, from the minds of the TRs. This, however does not mean that there isn't genuine religious experience taking place in the TM. Significantly, genuine religious experience can occur in the participants as a whole (as they live out their lives under its influence) even if they (and the TRs) believe that they *are* communicating with celestials. That is, a *mistake* in this regard does *not* invalidate the whole of the TM.

4 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: Excellence, philosophy, Ze

Subject: Re: Excellence, philosophy, Zec, and the TM In-Reply-To: [199312040435.UAA12576@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Nice posting, Matthew (I always want to call you Matt...)

 I do appreciate your tone. I know that the quote I chose could be used by each, and I do understand about the then being logical. I have to deal with this on a daily basis as my brain, despite appearances, contains a great deal of skeptical processing. Nevertheless, it is reasonable, and presumeably logical from "inside" that religion. My religion is personal, and I do spend time constantly evolving it in order to test its logicality.

 I for one don't really care if the TM is actually an aspect of the fifth epochal revelation or not. These claims do in fact come out of my mouth, but I am not personally very emotionally involved in them. It may be; it may not be. Most of the time, I believe that it is an aspect of an entire large plan of which the Urantia book is perhaps the core part, certainly from an intellectual/philosophical aspect. I see no reason why such should _not_ be the case. But that is not, and perhaps never will be, the heart of what is happening for me. That is why when those of you who have problems with the TM talk about our "claims", I don't even know, in a sense, what you are talking about. I simply don't hear much from TM people about authority, and claims and the like. I don't think that we are operating from the same paradigm. I think sometimes I feel like the foreigner who comes to this country and has people shout at her and think she is stupid because she doesn't speak English!

 As for circuitry - I don't know who has said that it is some instantaneous thing. Actually, David K's description is rather like what it appears to be, in fact, including testings, incomplete bits and pieces, apparent small mishaps, downtime, etc. Perhaps there are those who say that it is a done deal. Again, as is said, there are many varied opinions in the TM itself. I fail, after my years with the UB, to understand why that is a problem. I say it again and again, but I do not believe that the book teaches us that our disagreements outside of the agreement on the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man amount to a hill of beans in terms of importance. I think that is the most frustrating aspect of being on Urantial. Not that it is not fun to discuss ideas, but that for some it seems not fun at all, but requisite to faith. Baloney, sez I! But I guess my old battered copy may be a different edition.

 I want to understand. I really do. I used to live somewhere much more similar. It reminds me of a visit I paid today to the little burg where we lived for 13 years. It looked small and shrunken. I couldn't believe that I actually lived there that long. I know that I cannot make that statement without displaying what appears an arrogance of my own. So be it. SOmetimes these debates appear, for all their fun, small and shrunken to me, too. Not the ones necessarily about how we come to believe, how we come to the Father, to our spiritual lives, but the ones about whether or not we TMers who believe such and such details are more deluded than the non-TMers who believe such and such - frankly, they lack substance. My words about them, probably as much as the rest. I used to spend my energy hunting quotes and constructing logical arguments. That was a few years back. Frankly, I don't do it much any more. I am rusty, and when I trot it out at all, I wonder why I bother.

 None of you need to believe in the TM. Really, it is not important. Your own personal relationship with God and your fellows is what is important. You are on as sure a path to the Father as any of the rest of us. And worth exactly as much, too. But there seems to be something about the TM that is frankly frightening to some. Perhaps with some good reason. What I have found out is that being part of the TM has confronted me with every hangup that I ever had, requiring of me that I take a long, hard look and do my very best to deal with them all, to be a better person. It is a tough order sometimes. Frankly, in some ways it was easier before. It was also a lot less gratifying, satisfying and I certainly did not have the connection. But comforting, pure and simple, it is not, at least not for some of us. And as Tom pointed out, it does not take away from the real intellectual challenges at all. I have never seen so much about the interconnectedness of the UB as I have in the past year. Not from words out of the teachers' mouths, (or mine, as the case may be) but from my own experiences in reading, by myself and with my group. I am starting to understand concepts such as structure vastly better than I ever have before. Believe me, from the inside, my religion is in no way lacking in reasonableness. But that is just the point. There is no way that I can persuade any of you to believe me. I can only tell you that it has changed me, and continued to change me. Not because of statements about the adjudication and circuits etc, but because whatever it is, it has led me to strengthen my own connection (not just via 10 minute quiet times) with the Father, and with Michael, and with my siblings, including all of you. Summer before last, I would have been afraid to be on here talking to you. And I would have had much less grace at that, not to say that what I have is sufficient.

 I am going to leave it again for a bit. But I do feel called upon from time to time to speak out for the religion of experience. I have fought hard to have it and it has been and continues to be worth every minute of that journey.

 Matthew, I do enjoy much of your postings, too. The fact that I no longer do as much philosophizing as I did a decade ago does not mean that I do not appreciate it. But it just is no longer central in my life; my identity is no longer tied up with my thinking in quite the same way. I really wish that I knew how to explain it better.

 My motivations on this list are several-fold, none of them having to do with the teaching mission. I want to get to know all of you as well as I can. And I would like to do what I can to do my share of continuing to foster a real community here where we can learn as much love and tolerance as possible. Another alternative, and altogether unique place to practice what Michael asked of us - to love one another, with all that entails. I don't think we do so badly at it, despite our moments.

4 Dec 1993    Stephan Beam     Don't read if easily upset

Subject: Don't read if easily upset

 >"I know what is right and just and everyone >else does not CULT" should try and find things we have in common and >share those things together.

 Never said that. Believe whatever you want. I hold that as one of my core beliefs. God is the ultimate libertarian. He invents free will and bestows it on us and attempts to lure us into doing His will. He is never coercive. I am only expressing an opinion the SAME as you are. The TM people are the ones making HUGE claims with HUGE implications. Why wouldn't you expect some passionate opposition. You have everything to prove, I have nothing. You make the claim to believe TM, so defend it. I don't know how "spiritual" you are and you don't know how "spiritual" I am. I only know your words. TM is a temporary danger to the movement, I've already seen the negative effects, and as long as it's around I'll critique it. You have the right to defend it.

 > Tempting and goading us into what is basically becoming childish > blather is a waste of time.

 Posting lots of TM messages with their world shaking claims is just asking for criticism, unless I am to passively watch the Urantia movement turn into an intellectual and spiritual wasteland. And by the way, your words don't sound so spiritual. Forget personal attack and defend TM.

 Ingrown religious groups turn cultic and elitist when they lack exposure to other religionist in other religions. Inside information; being in some small group that suddenly seems to embrace the world; privileged dealings with the supernatural world; all these things lead to the intoxicated feeling of self-importance.

 >I do not expect you to agree with me, or to remain silent, but I do hope >that you will make the attempt to be kind in your discussions of wherein >we differ.

 What's being kind mean to you? Jesus drove the money changers from the temple and called people hypocrites. I'm just writing my thoughts and exercising free speech. TM is making the BIG claim. I believe TM is nothing but drivel from the subconscious mind of Urantia Book readers elevated to the level of revelation by unskeptical and spiritually bored believers. Prove otherwise if you want...or don't read my posts, but why would you try to stop critical opposition to your beliefs under the guise of "being kind"?

4 Dec 1993    Jeff Keys          Re: Comments to Scott

Subject: Re: Comments to Scott

 David Kantor writes: > >No ability to reduce the ratio of error to truth via > >criticism and experience -- What is pluralism? > > Consider this statement from a recent post by a TM > adherent: > > >If you think that the tm lessons or messages are untrue > >then that is what is true for you and it is ok. Each human > >being has a different truth experience. Why can't people > >accept what is happening in the tm as true for the tmers but > >not true for themselves and stop trying to convert us back > >into a nice homogenized belief system. > > I think this speaks for itself -- with this attitude, > each person is isolated in his/her own relative truth and is > not answerable to any criticism whatsoever. In this view, there > is no objective reality with which we are each attempting to > come to grips -- this is the essence of radical pluralism and > it is radically opposed to the view I see in the UB which > postulates an objective universe integrated by truth of which > we are all a part. I have seen this pluralism expressed hereon > many times and I don't believe it is an accurate view of > reality. I believe it is symptomatic of the crisis of values > permeating our culture today, an erroneous view of reality > which is rampant in new-age movements, and which is directly > countered by the UB.


 The position that you describe, David, reminds me of the situation with Jainism with respect to other schools of Indian thought. The Jainas state that all knowledge is relative--because it is relative it is not possible to construct an objective view of a thing. Philosophy professor Ramakant Sinari of the University of Bombay refers to this as "The Doctrine of Many Views" in his book _The_Structure_of_Indian_Thought_. In the chapter entitled "The Thesis of an Anti-intellectualism" he says,

 "In the whole of the history of Indian thought, the most vivid instance of shelving the very issue of establishing a single intellectual theory of the universe is found in Jainism. The metaphysics of the Jainas is so averse to constructing scientific or objective knowledge that at no time it seems to have argued in support of a universal and absolute truth. The Jainas put forward a pluralistic conception of reality known as anekanta-vada or the doctrine of the many reals with its counterpart in logic called syada-vada or the doctrine that all knowledge is probable."

 Further on he says,

 "So to know something is to know it from one of its numberless points of view, each of which is relatively true and relatively false. Never is it possible to make a statement expressing what a thing in all its objective and constantly changing condition is. The same statement could be true from one point of view but false from another. This particular feature of what can be termed as epistemological relativism is known in Jainism by the name syada-vada because of its inherent emphasis on the thesis that since all knowledge is piecemeal, it is subject to error and hence never more than probable.

 "A highly relativistic and epistemologically uncertain and skeptical approach to the nature of reality, as one preached by the Jainas, would reduce any concept of order, causal or otherwise, about the universe to an invention."

 Now, at this point I would make a few observations. First, the TM, as revealed in the threads hereon, does exhibit pluralistic and anti-intellectual tendencies.

 Second, it seems to me that the epistemological relativism is to some extent thrust upon them by non-uniformity of the messages. By this I mean that the content of some messages has clearly been in error, and the content of some messages has contradicted others. So the TMmers acknowledge that there are errors and seem to disavow them or shrug them off. On the other hand, they find beauty and truth in some messages. It does seem to me that those involved are using their judgment to process what they receive. At least this seems true of some individuals that I have talked to or gotten to know here on urantial. So the epistemological relativism that we observe in the TM seems to derive from the participants' belief in a category of phenomena that contains internal conflicts rather than from a deep-seated pluralistic view of reality such as the Jainas hold.

 Third, as I just noted, the TM does not seem to be mired in metaphysical pluralism (anekanta-vada). Their teachers apparently direct them to the Urantia Book on these matters. When we see evidence that a TM adherent holds a metaphysical view of, say, the self or how the mind works, that seems at variance with the UB, we do not know that that view results from TM participation. We just know that it is a facet of that person's current understanding.

 Fourth, some of the errors that have been noted could be on the decline. As Bob Slagle said, you no longer have to go to a teacher in an established group to have a teacher assigned to you. I don't know that that is an "error," but it struck me as wrong or at least inappropriate. Predictions are getting less air time. The business of handing out spiritual names seems to be on the wane, at least in some TM groups. This naming is an error from the UB point of view. Our spiritual names are unrevealed initially, and are revealed through our living and our soul growth. We are introduced to our fellows for the first time by our new names in a ceremony on the sixth mansion world. I recently had a conversation with a T/R in which he expressed the wish that the teachers would stop giving their own names. That was very intriguing; I thought it was a great idea! I see a trend where the human participants are doing work to filter out errors. So, David, while I understood and shared your concern that the TM was not being held to any objective measures of reality, I can't help wondering if it isn't, in its own way and in its own time, somehow self-correcting using its own (perhaps curious) internal logic.

 Finally, Jainism is not a primitive religion and it is more extreme in its anti-intellectualism and pluralism than the TM. Jesus and Ganid found worthwhile truth in Jainism.

 This is the first time I have posted anything related to the TM (or Jainism, for that matter), so I hope I have managed to offend all the usual suspects, or none of them. I have found TM threads in the past to be a combination of edifying and excruciating. David, I have agreed with many but not all of the things you have posted about this over the months; you have brought a clarity to many fine points. Heck, I even liked spiritual libido after I thought about it awhile. I then went looking, and found, examples of counsel libido, courage libido, understanding libido, intuition libido,...

4 Dec 1993    Philip Calabrese      The TM - what kind of religion

Subject: The TM - what kind of religion?

 ------- Logoners,

 David K: I did not say that the TM was "a religion". I said it was evolutionary religion. That is, as individuals, to one degree or another, TMers are responding to the epochal revelation of the UB with various kinds of personal, evolutionary religious expressions and beliefs. The TM is not a "religion" in the sense of a "church" with coherent beliefs. But as individuals, many TMers (IMO) easily rise to the level of evolutionary religion. But then again, I am fairly liberal when it comes to acceptable religious expression.

 When I said that I believe TMers are actually in contact with higher life, I was quick to point out that I believe that we are all in such contact without usually being aware of it. Who has not felt at times, perhaps while talking to some needy person, the words flow much easier and with more wisdom than we normally command? I have long thought that angelic or midwayer or some other combination of beings including power control creatures can make enough of an impression to get our attention at such times, but not so much as to usurp our freedom by becoming overly explicit. My concept of angels and midwayers allow that they routinely make mental contact without people noticing. Angels are after all representatives of the Spirit, the Third Source..

 Matthew R: As Thea has responded too, it seems to me that one can hold that contact with higher life is occurring but that the output is a combination of higher communication and human wisdom, thus reducing it to the level of evolutionary, not revelatory, religion. Contact with celestials does not necessarily imply a revelation (if it is mixed with human wisdom). But that is again, what is presumably happening in each of us as we perceive reality, personal and impersonal.

 Finally, please do not forget that I posted the story of the so-called communication between "facilitators" and autistic people. There is reason to be cautious about concluding that thoughts are coming from outside, from the Adjuster, from angels, from higher order life.

4 Dec 1993    Tom Alexander    NO DEFENSIVE COMMENTS


 We have been called upon to defend our belief in the tm. Sorry, ain't going to happen by me. Everything we put forth, whether in the spirit of sharing or in an attempt to try and change someone's thinking is raw meat for the circling intellectual barracudas and sharks in this forum. We then are baited to also sling barbed and stinging arrows (via rebuttal comments). It isn't like "intellectual gymnastics" as Michelle called it last week, but more like the World Federation of Mind Wrestling.

 TM believers will never convince the diehard critics of much of anything. With comments like the "supposed intelligence" that we are supposed to possess, the utter contempt the critics have for us and what we our experiences are, shows quite clearly. What are the critics afraid of? That the tm will give the UB movement a bad name. That is a joke. With all the moral bankruptcy, turmoil and ineptitude that the leaders of our movement display, giving the movement a bad name is hardly possible.

 I remember vividly how at conferences before the breakup of the Foundation & Brotherhood the leaders would give workshops on leadership. Now take a look at how those same leaders in both the foundation and fellowship are behaving. Not something I aspire to or want to emulate.

 Likewise, I really don't want to emulate the sharp tongue poisons of anger and frustration. These poisons spew forth because it really feels like we accept the critics disbelief in the tm but they in no way, shape or form accept our belief, based on personal experience, in the teaching mission. No matter what the human experience, it really only can be experienced by the person doing the experiencing. Once it is explained via the English or other language it becomes the first stage in the translation of that experience. On URANTIAL, one experiences both the stinging attacks of the critics (which has a negative feeling) and the love and support of tm believers and some non-believers too. Love and support sure feels better.

 So in the few days out of my lurker status, I have blurted forth some not so nice statements aimed at the critics corner. I really am going to try and practice some mind control on myself to limit the arrows I sling. It really doesn't matter if you believe or don't believe. We all have a fragment of God within us and we will all get there whether it is down the yellow brick road or down the path with all the overgrown brambles and thickets.

 "I know what I have experienced because I am a son of I AM." p.1127 UB

5 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: NO DEFENSIVE COMMENTS

Subject: Re: NO DEFENSIVE COMMENTS In-Reply-To: [199312050738.XAA08754@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Tom, thank you for your articulate words. I, too, have said a thing or two I would rather have phrased differently. And you are quite right that no amount of talk will persuade anyone about the tm. Nor need it do so, as you have said.

 I will join you in my attempts to be even more mellow in my responses. You are right - love feels better! Thanks for the reminder.


 Gang, there are differences amongst a discussion, a debate, and a free-for-all. If I have a vote, I vote for discussion. I see a discussion as people's expressing their personal views on their own religion, their own spiritual lives, rather than either defensive manoeuvers or aggravated insults, and from that kind of discussing and sharing, I think all parties benefit, and are free to take what they like and leave the rest. Differing points of view can be discussed; they need not always be debated as though it were a contest, a competition. TO my mind, it is not.

 Ah, but you know how I feel about that, eh...

 Thanks again, Tom.


5 Dec 1993    Matthew Rapaport              Revelation an plagerism

Subject: Revelation an plagerism

 I don't think "changing anyone's mind" about the TM is entirely the point. The discussion (and I agree Thea it should be a *discussion*) helps everyone to clarify his or her thinking on many matters. Thea's mind (just to take an example) has not been changed by her participation here, but I would bet that an examination of her posts from first to last would show an evolution in thought, a deeper examination of some of the issues. This process is of value to each of us. It is what we are asked to undertake (as honest thinkers). It shouldn't be demanded of us that we "change our minds"


5 Dec 1993    Fred Harris         TM Critics

Subject: TM Critics

 January 30, 1993

 WILL: Good evening, I am your teacher, Will, who loves you.

 Throughout the course of human history there have always been persons who received inexplicable urges, ranging from the carnal to the spiritual, and persons who have received suggestions that they should go to some place or do some certain thing or perform some deed. Great crimes have been excused upon the justification that the performer of the deed was following some unjustifiable instruction. And so we see now that even within the Urantia movement there is great resistance to the idea that there could be direct or indirect contact between celestial personalities, whose responsibilities are generally to guide the spiritual development in humans, and ordinary mortals alive on this planet.

 The difficulty arises because of the fact that, regardless of the accuracy of the contact and any resulting transmission, the fact is that such communications are subject to no control whatsoever. Therefore the ultimate results of the communication, however intended, are completely within the control of the human receptor of such communication. Many members of the Urantia movement believe firmly, and rightly so, that such communication is too dangerous to lend any credence even when the sentiments expressed within such communications are wholly consistent with the teachings of the Urantia Book. The resisters will say that (a) it's not possible, (b) it is so improbable as to be absurd, or (c) the human race is simply not ready for this.

 These are all valid objections. We cannot dispute their veracity. But still and all, many people desire guidance. Many intelligent people have little or no faith in the ability of human society to resolve the serious problems which beset it. It is as clear as the map you have now assembled [editor's note: the group recently marked all the known teacher groups on a map of North America and hung it on the wall of the room in which the meetings are held]. Many people scattered across this country and, in fact, all throughout the planet are regularly receiving communications. They feel urges and respond to them. They hear words and they act upon them. The Father pours out His concern upon all of you and that effort continues without restriction. It has all along.

 The Father's ministry is the foundation for all that we do. It is assigned to us that we operate on a different level. It is becoming clear that the kind of communication that we presently enjoy tonight in this room is desired by many people, is solicited by many people, relied upon by many people and the fact of the interest is undeniable even to the doubters.

 Something will happen. It is not clear at this moment exactly what will take place but I think that we are all in rough agreement that whatever happens will be consistent with the highest expression of the Father's love for this planet. Your parts in this will require patience, fortitude, responsiveness, availability and practice.

 Each day there are openings and closings between people. We've talked on this before. Take advantage of the openings. Be alert to the closings. Reach out to your brothers and sisters. Share your concerns about where we are all heading whether or not those concerns have any applicability to daily life. And encourage them to exercise their thoughts keeping with the highest possible concept. When you communicate with your fellows, stay on the highest road. You have only a few moments. Each of you well knows this. It is the practice that will cause the approach to perfection.

 It's not possible for us to provide to you enough certainty to satisfy your requirements. The more incline to the path of spirit progress the less certain any particular point on that path will be. It is the trend that provides the certainty, not the position. It's the motion, the progress, that builds in the human the feeling of wholesomeness and well being. Some day it will happen for each of you. The leap of faith. It's exhilarating. It's discomforting. We think you will like the ultimate result. In the meantime, we will practice again and again just as you are asked to practice with your brothers and sisters, the companions in life with whom you share responsibility for the tone and tenor of the material life experience. Those things are entirely in your hands.


 That is all I have to say. Until our next meeting and our next communication, I leave you, as always, in the Father's hands. And we of the instruction team will do what is allowed to us to attempt to guide your thoughts and arrange an embarrassment of opportunities for you throughout the coming week.



5 Dec 1993    David Kantor      Some Catch-up

Subject: Some Catch-up

 Thea, in terms of my response to Scott, I express my views hereon the same way that you and everyone else does; just because mine differ from yours doesn't mean I have some hidden motive or purpose. Thea, given that I am as unfeeling and arrogant as you have indicated, and given that I am as emotionally crippled as Byron has suggested, writhing in psychic pain at the very thought of someone actually communing with God, the issues I raised would still stand. They've been raised before (as have others) and have gone unaddressed by TM adherents -- completely ignored. I don't believe you can address these issues without destroying the premeses upon which the TM is based in the same manner that a mirage disappears when you walk towards it in an attempt to discern whether or not it's really water.

 On the "fruits" issue; perhaps my analogy to agricultural issues was not all that clear. Let me try again to express the concern I have with the "look at the fruits" claim. This looking at the fruits, as far as I can tell, is a look at the *spiritual* fruits. Let's not confuse those things which are spiritual with those which are philosophical. In my criticism of the TM, I am not saying that there is no real spiritual contact taking place, neither am I criticizing the religious experience of others. What I *am* criticizing is the philosophic explanation of that experience which is offered by TM adherents. It is one thing to experience communion with God and to be receptive to the inner ministry of our unseen friends, but the moment you create an explanation for that inner experience or describe it with words in any way, you are engaging in philosophy. The fruits of the spirit validate only the spiritual component of this experience and in no way validate the philosophic explanation of the spirit contact. Philosophy must be its own critic and this is the basis of my concern about the TM -- it simply doesn't stand up to philosophic scrutiny. Matthew has addressed this issue quite well on several occassions.

 I think this is a real problem with all religions -- individuals have a significant encounter with the divine and they make the mistake of associating conceptual explanations of the encounter with the encounter itself to the extent that they can't separate the two. Note this is also true of the list Michael M posted from pages 1000-1; these criteria apply to religious experience and should help us to validate that which is truly from a spiritual source. But this list does nothing to validate or invalidate the philosophical or theological explanation we create in order to think about and communicate the nature of our experience. I can apply this list, as well as the fruits of the spirit, to many religionists -- ranging from fundamentalist Protestants to Hindu's and members of radical, isolated religious cults -- the experience of spirit contact and its integration with personal life remains distinct and separate from all these formulations. The fruits of the spirit will validate the reality of Jesus' teachings, but they don't prove that cadres of celestial teachers have shown up to save us from ourselves and are inside our heads giving us instructions.

 One of the things I find quite wonderful about the UB is that it's philosophical and theological formulations are such that a pipeline is created which extends from the domain of spiritual experience right into the center of the intellectual and philosophic experience of contemporary life. This makes spiritual ministry directly available in an area where it is needed most in our current planetary crisis. The TM takes this pipeline and puts some kinks in it, repackaging it into a philosophic formulation which would once again isolate rational and clear-thinking men and women from access to a significant source of spiritual hope and uplift.


6 Dec 1993    Byron Belitsos      Philosophy and the TM

Subject: Philosophy and the TM

 Dan, you recently wrote to Phil the following, (and don't delete yet David):

 >Your observation about the TM as a genuine, evolutionary approach to >religious truth is most provocative. I had neither heard nor thought of that >one before. >Hmmm....

 To me this was always obvious, but then I live out among prairie dogs where everything looks different than on the Boston Commons of in the Lafayette meadows. Sociologically speaking, the TM represents a sizable minority of the UB readership, and, it is definitely here to stay. So, like it or not, it is an established feature of the evolution of religion among the population of religionists labeling themselves as believers in the UB. Also, it is arguably growing faster than any other tendency in the Urantia movement. One must come to terms with it in this sense. Even the UF had a major article on it in its recent newsletter and is using its thought-police agents to filter out believers like Tom Alexander.

 So the TM is, factually, an evolutionary reality within the U-movement that represents, as you say, a "genuine, evolutionary approach to religious truth" [at least for those who believe it to be so], about which one must exercize some measure of tolerance and expend some degree of effort to understand, especially for those who consider themselves "leaders".

 Further, I think most everyone (with the exception of David and a few others) would grant that these texts have *some* spiritual value. In this connection, I think that all would have to agree that it would be wrong to deny the TM adherents their right to their living apprehension of their own religious experience, especially when 97% of them say that their lives are improved by their participation.

 So what do we have left? It is too late in human history to launch an Inquisition, and it is futile to ignore a movement that is large, growing and here to stay. What is left is the work of developing a *relationship* between this body of religionists and the larger parent body of UBers, (and, for us TMers, a relationship to the rest of humanity). In this "interfaith" relationship, it is the task of the "intellectuals" to do the hard work of relating and coordinating the truths of their positions to the beliefs of others who do not share our faith perspective.

 Of course, this is the work of philosophy and theology, and David is right in saying that the TM has yet to articulate a philosophy that allows it to be in some kind of dialoguing relationship with others who do not agree with TM's basic premises, i.e., those for whom the transmissions don't just speak for themselves.

 This work has not been done, largely because the TM has not yet attracted the interest of intellectuals and philosophers, and also because of the historical accident that the Urantia movement is populated by quibbling intellectualists and iconoclasts who historically sit in isolation from evolutionary religion, the religion of ordinary people, *in general*. Our arrogant and inadequate response to the World Parliament of Religions is just the most vivid proof of this tragic isolationism. The leadership of the Urantia movement shows the same arrogance in its futile attempts to ignore or trivialize the TM, a genuine evolutionary religious movement in its very front yard.

 Still, why hasn't the TM attracted many philosophic thinkers? Perhaps for the same reason that Jesus did not recruit intellectuals to be his apostles, nor accept the commission to run the Alexandrian school of philosophy, or why the thoughtful, well-educated Pharisees were unable to relate to the simple truths of his gospel and determined to murder the incarnate Creator instead. The contacts are often made with those most humble before God, such as the two transmitters here in my area, both of whom are young single mothers with two young children and who don't have time for intellectual hubris and hair-splitting of so many UB readers.

 Remember too that Apostle Paul came from the ranks of the educated, but he largely did a disservice to the gospel. Re-read pp 1864-6 for a review.

 It will not prove easy to do this work of philosophic integration that is being called for by David, Matthew and many others, but it *will* be done in time. But much more time and patience is needed. Experience must be replete before philosophic reflection can be fruitful.

 I suggest that skeptics spend more time understanding the living faith experience of TM adherents and looking into the "facts of the case" before they try to milk out some sort of subtle theory. Again, the experiential features of the TM have not yet matured. For those who cannot read a transmitted text and simply recognize therein how it would be impossible for ordinary people at 100 sites around the country to concoct such beautiful and instructive and wise prose, or be motivated to do so, you must await the time perhaps later in this decade when your intellects will be filled with the answers that *may* lay in your hearts today.

6 Dec 1993    Dan Massey      Re: Philosophy and the TM

Subject: Re: Philosophy and the TM In-Reply-To: Your message of Mon, 06 Dec 93 03:20:15 -0500.


 Just to irritate you today, let me say that I no longer find the idea provocative. I am actually feeling rather bored with the endless argumentative attack and defense of the TM. I currently delete all TM messages without reading, and expect to continue this policy for the forseeable future. If it turns you on to do it, please continue to do so and luxuriate in the experience. I expect the same space for my own spiritual idiosyncracies. I don't know any other way to maintain mutual respect at the important, foundational levels.

 The acts of the Fellowship, the urantial list, or the Foundation are not the acts of individuals but the acts of ensembles. They cannot be acts of love, though they can be relatively supportive or unsupportive of the Supreme. But there's nothing personal about it or about the collective judgments of these groups. If you feel the TM is being ignored beyond its place, that's either the truth or your perception. Even if it is the truth, though, it's not a personal assault on your spiritual free will or common sense. It may be a collective decision about a class of activities which your own exemplify. Oh well, such is life among the monkeys....


7 Dec 1993    Matthew Rapaport              normal communications, ramblin

Subject: normal communications, rambling, and excellence


 No, you are misreading me... Contact with celestials of itself is not miraculous. As you point out, on advanced worlds there may be all kinds of communications going on, including perhaps, person-to-person contacts (although the book does not say this explicitly). What troubles David K. (and me) is that the TM contacts are not just person-to-person, they are mind-to-mind, or person-to-mind (whatever). I've identified three vague allusions to unspecified communications in the book, enough to make me believe that such communications might be *possible*, but as I've said before, the UB goes to some length to make us very suspicious of any such claims, so I don't think they can be a *normal* part of the communications landscape....


7 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       On reverence

Subject: On reverence In-Reply-To: [199312071141.DAA22808@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 Jim and Jeff, re comments on contact with "them" whether TM oriented or not... and about attempts to see that they were not worshipped, glorified, revered excessively... Our teachers in the TM, whatever they may be, have said many times not to revere them. A member of my group heard yesterday from her teacher who said we are not to revere anything short of the Father in that way. That one of the problems with our primitive tendency to reverence excessively is that it removes our spiritual life to another realm, and removes it from our daily lives where it needs to be firmly rooted. It separates artificially. I appreciated the concept because it clarified in my mind something that bothered me about the church of my childhood. God was apparently more easily found in particular structures and at particular times with particular trappings. While I love churches, their glorious stained glass windows, the music, all of it, I have found out how important it is to find the Father in my everyday moments, and to see that the spiritual aspects of my life are all around me, all the time. I need to remember to revere/ worship the Father, and not the trappings, as well as not being dependent on the trappings. I have even had to make sure that I do not always meditate every time in the same spot and conditions, else I find it hard to meditate when those conditions change - like being on a trip etc.

7 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: normal communications, ram

Subject: Re: normal communications, rambling, and excellence In-Reply-To: [199312071854.KAA06487@CSOS.ORST.EDU]


 You make a point here that I think is actually quite important. I think that as the TM develops, we will have to take some stands on some things that for the moment are left hanging. It is inevitable. I know that many, including myself, are left with feelings of distaste for the brouhahas of the UF-FEF upsets, but there is a danger in going to the opposite extreme as well. Perhaps it was ever thus, that we must steer a fine line between excessive condemnation of differences and excessive tolerance of them. That is what is tough in life sometimes - that we cannot take the easy route, the extreme route - that we must always be growing in our discrimination and in our moral courage to express that discrimination to our fellows. I think again of Michael's word to be wise as serpents, gentle as doves. Discrimination without love can be harsh and cruel - we must learn to present our viewpoints with love and grace. But love without discrimination is a rudderless ship. It knows not. And there is much danger there, for those on both sides. I think of Michael, who saw it all, saw through it all, saw every piece of it and understood exactly what it was and what it meant, yet all with the eyes of love and tolerance. This is what I yearn to be like and what I seek to practice to the best of my (very limited) ability. And in the TM as well as in the UM and everywhere in life, this approach of combined wisdom/ discrimination and love is extremely important. So far, the TM appears to err more in the love without discrimination end of things, where we might say, just for an example, that the Foundation errs more on the other end, though they perhaps lack sufficiently on both ends!


7 Dec 1993    Scott Foerster        a TM articulation start (for D

Subject: a TM articulation start (for DavidK)

 David, Dan ... and the rest of you (this is about 5 pages long .. you might want to delete it) ... from Scott

 David, I value your interest in responding to me. You are absolutely right that we (you and I, TM and traditional reading groups, .. everyone) need to enter the discipline of developing consensus, a foundation, a society, a construct, a philosophy, a theology that we can all live life upon. I do share with everyone here that the UB is an excellent basis for this. My objective in this posting is to perhaps lay a foundation for understanding TM .. a foundation you and I can stand on, dialogue and interact personally. Otherwise I fear we will ignore each other.

 > Charismatics engage in such forms of expression as do many > peoples in more primitive stages of cultural development. And > such religious expression is not necessarily bad -- it provides > group cohesion and provides a point of connectedness to the > universe. But it is not 'excellent' and is far from the > qualitative expression which is possible when the religious > impulse becomes integrated through wisdom with the rest of > human life.

 I have used the UB as many would use the Bible since I was 17. Truly, the UB has been the basis of all "qualitative expressions" I have ever attempted. Immediately after reading the UB, I then began the process of investigating the charismatic, born again, pacifist, and mennonite heritages. Why wasn't the UB enough? Because I feel or felt that "excellent qualitative expression" has to be transformed into action. It has to be implemented.

 I was raised with the protestant "great works" attitude. And recently I have realized that the thoughts and attitudes I express are at least as important as the physical monuments or institutions I might contribute to. Do you agree that "excellent qualitative expressions" can not exist by themselves? Isn't interaction with other personalities absolutely necessary?

 I found in the charismatics faith and group cohesion. I did not find "excellent qualitative expression." But this did not stop me from valuing their expressions of faith even though it is fear based and doubt is forbidden. I loved the "group cohesion" even though the consensus process was mostly dictatorial. But fear, doubt & dictatorial tolerance are just problems with "excellent qualitative expression." I agree that Charismatic "qualitative expression" is not very good and the faith & love they express is fragile. But I found more love & faith than in the all the ego driven, Urantia reading groups I visited.

 I know the last sentence above is unfair. There are excellent Urantia reading groups that express love & faith. And it was a mistake in my life for not searching for them harder.

 > No one from the TM has been able to offer an articulation of the > TM which will stand up to even the most elementary criticism. > When pressed, adherents simply say that it must be experienced > and that it's a matter of the heart, not the mind.

 Yes that is true. TM is an expression of faith, it is an enactment of "excellent qualitative expression", it is a technique for teaching how to love. Like Transcendental Meditation, there is a philosophy behind it that some would like to call an articulation, religion or theology. Perhaps like TM number 1, this TM number 2 should claim to be a process, rather than a philosophy or religion.

 Many religions use the TM technique of believing that there are non-visible beings out there anxious to help us. Some Catholics call this "personal revelation." The new age movement is a collage of these techniques applied to many "qualitative expressions." Personally I would just like to apply these techniques to the best "qualitative expression" that I have stumbled across .. the UB.

 > Modern agriculture is a ticking time bomb which when judged by > the immediate benefits looks wonderful and miraculous, but when > viewed in the bigger context can be seen as a major disaster. The > TM is the same way -- it's a very short-sighted solution to > pressing needs in the lives of its adherents ...

 Yes, modern agriculture is a ticking time bomb. But what is your objective in linking this truth to an opinion of TM? I love reading your opinions. But pulling them out of truth is very hard for me. Yes, I have pressing needs ... building a better relationship with my wife, trying not to mess my children's lives any more than I already have done. Your "short-sighted" comment is opinion right? Is this comment coming from your experience with FOG or is it an effort to build "qualitative expression?"

 > The TM is a classic religious illusion which is well documented > in both psychological and religious literature for anyone willing > to look beyond the enchantment.

 TM is a classic religious illusion. But your statement devalues all religious illusions. Are you going to walk up to someone talking in tongues and say they are suffering from a religious delusion? Are you going to tell thousands of people who saw the virgin Mary they suffered a religious delusion? The real question is what is important. Is it more important that people seek God or that they never make mistakes in "excellent qualitative expression?"

 What is more real, illusions or the physical world? What is more real, the illusion created by claiming OS/2 2.0 ran Windows programs or the fact that it could not run Windows? I am willing to embrace TM and suffer the consequences of its illusions. What I have come to believe is that the difference between illusion and reality is a much finer line than most people acknowledge. Our faith can move mountains. Our illusions can create reality. OS/2 2.1 does run Windows.

 And what is reality? Something we test rationales against? Is reality the Urantia Book? I've read that quantum physicists are now observing particles that: a) have no common original synchronizing event b) yet are synchronous in their behavior c) and are too far away for light to travel between them to coordinate their synchronous behavior.

 Furthermore, these Physicists now seem to believe that it is the act of observation that is creating these particles. Or to put it another way, the Physicists have proven they have not overlooked something by creating many particles with many characteristics. They are suspecting that science has reached it's limit. Perhaps science has completed the "excellent qualitative expression" of the expectations/faith, the love/fears, and consensus/dogma that generations of mankind have created. Has science proven that we create our own reality? Is it an illusion or rational thinking to try out the "qualitative expression" that we can create a bit reality?

 > Contrary to your assertion, the TM *does not use the UB as its > philosophical construct*. TM adherents use the UB to rationalize > their activities and beliefs, but those activities and beliefs in > no way are a representation of reality as it is described in the > UB. Adherents lift quotes here and there to justify their > position, but when the book is taken as a whole, the entire > concept of the TM and the premises upon which it is supposedly > based dissolve into nothing. Let me give just a few examples ... > TM adherents claim to be communicating with space people. Yet > when one studies the structure of mortal mind as it is described > in the UB, I find no way at all in which such a phenomenon could > occur. I think that the book is quite clear in indicating ....

 I find ample evidence supporting TM in the UB. I have posted such evidence as have others. You say, if the book is taken as a whole, the entire concept of TM dissolves. Can not an illusion or reality be constructed on top of any set of words? Can not any numbers or facts be re-arranged to support any conclusion? I can find only two reasons for quoting the UB: personal inspiration and marketing. Let me explain:

 I don't care whether the Urantia Book is inspired. I know it inspires me. When I quote the book, I am saying I am inspired. I have joined a forum of people that have found it also to be a source of inspiration in their lives. My goal is not to figure out what the book means. My goal is to build an "excellent qualitative expression" appropriate to my life, my family and the civilization I live in at this moment. I think one valid technique for achieving this goal is through the posting of sections of the Urantia Book that inspire me.

 Mormons sell what is called a "missionaries handbook." It is a collection of versus that justify certain positions. The BOML has a computer driven, UB tutorial similar to this in the Washington University archives. These are advertising activities. The objective is to attract seekers. The objective is not to build "excellent qualitative expressions." I would love to see the Brotherhood Of Man Library (BOML) people post something that targets every religion on the planet. I feel marketing is another legitimate reason for quoting the Urantia Book.

 But David, you are claiming to understand the whole Urantia Book. This is neither marketing or personal inspiration. Personally I make no such claims. I only say it inspires me. You say "Looking at the Urantia Book as a whole" .... well all I can say is that this reminds me of people wrestling for the dictatorial right to interpretate the Bible at one of the charismatic churches I have attended. You are raising the issue of who is more qualified to interpret the Urantia Book. If the book inspires us, who cares.

 You might come back and say: "Well why don't you try to argue from the perspective of the UB as a whole also?" I don't want to get into UB quote mud fights. We all have Folio. The UB is not the end all and be all. The UB is a diving board that I want to leap off of into the pool of life. The UB is revelation, not the rational for all time, not the constitution of future civilization. The UB is full of building blocks that we can combine in just about anyway that suits our fancy. So lets get on with building something rather than arguing over who has the best overall grasp of the UB.

 ] .... with this [TM> attitude, each person is isolated in his/her > own relative truth and is not answerable to any criticism > whatsoever. In this view, there is no objective reality with > which we are each attempting to come to grips -- this is the > essence of radical pluralism and it is radically opposed to the > view I see in the UB ...

 Thanks David, I think I understand "pluralism" now. But I do not understand the rest of this comment. Am I not subjecting myself to your criticism at this moment? Doesn't the Teaching Mission publish everything and expose itself to as much criticism as possible? Isn't this a sincere effort to reduce pluralism?

 I suffer from the yearning for "like mind, like spirit." I seek out people who think like me. The Teaching Mission is surprisingly uniform in the "qualitative expressions" about it that do exist. Yet there is an element of misunderstanding and disagreement with in the Teaching Mission ... just like any other segment of society that one draws a boundary around.

 I still can not figure out from what angle you are looking at the Teaching Mission and seeing radical pluralism. Sure, some teachers say Judas chose to continue his universal career. Other teachers say he did not. Is this radical pluralism? Couldn't the issue of whether the UB says Mercury spins or not also be radical pluralism?

 > The concept that thoughts are entities which originate outside > the neural circuitry from a multitude of sources which the self > must then sort out is not based on the model of mortal mind which > emerges from the UB, nor is it based on anything which has any > foundation in the models of mind held by contemporary psychology > or neurology.

 Where did the Urantia Book come from then? How will I form a relationship or fuse with my Thought Adjuster? Now I am really confused.

 > I am not attempting to change your views or the views > of TM adherents, nor to attack them, merely to express reasons > why I don't think they are founded on reality.

 David, I know you are expressing reasons for why you don't think TM is founded on reality. And in reading through the archives and especially your dialogue with Dan & Thea, I am struck by how much common ground there is. Yes we live in an "evolving universe of relative perfection and imperfection." (page 846 UB) I rejoice that I can disagree and misunderstand you. I agree the goal is "excellent qualitative expression." So here is my humble stab at TM articulation. Can we agree that:

 1. That the only valid reasons for quoting the UB are personal inspiration and marketing of "excellent qualitative expression."

 2. That the only valid reasons for quoting teachers are personal inspiration.

 3. That any claims of complete understanding or any sweeping, all encompassing generalizations of the Urantia Book or the Universe, from either humans or teachers are useless when trying to come build "excellent qualitative expression."

 4. That we build a collective, shared reality through our collective expectations, faith decisions, loving intentions, and "qualitative expressions."

 ????? Scott Foerster

 REALITY, as comprehended by finite beings, is partial, relative, and shadowy. page 5.

 As a mortal creature chooses to "do the will of the Father in heaven," so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging reality. The substance of this new reality is neither material nor spiritual--it is morontial. page 8.

 Ultimate universe reality cannot be grasped by mathematics, logic, or philosophy, only by personal experience in progressive


8 Dec 1993    David Kantor      Of Persian Emperors and Plagia

Subject: Of Persian Emperors and Plagiarism


 As long as I'm doing this I might as well add a quick comment about plagerism: I think TM assertions about celestial contact obscure the true difficulty which our unseen friends have in contacting the mortal mind. It is not only a matter of making actual physical contact but a serious problem in conceptual communication. After all, we've been evolving conceptually in isolation from the rest of the universe for quite some time now -- talk about a foreign language! On a normal planet there is a planned and managed sequence of conceptual development which is initiated and managed by the princes staff. That is missing here. We may be extremely remote conceptually. Composing a revelation based on the clearest human expressions of the concepts which we need to consider in order to move back towards a more manageable planetary course seems very reasonable. And this is just how the book strikes me -- an intellectual composition of existing human ideas done much the way that a musical composition is created from existing notes of a scale. If you compare the source material with its re-expression in the UB, another level of revelation appears in that one can see how the material was slightly tweaked to precipitate a higher condensation of meaning in the mortal mind. None of the material I have compared has been lifted verbatim.

 I posted some of the following back when Leo was carrying on about WSS but I'll post it again because it is relevant to current discussions. Rebecca and I keep a copy of WSSs book "Mental Mischief and Emotional Conflicts" on our bookshelf next to the Gary Larson books -- it's always good for a laugh. This book was published in 1947 and the good Doctor undertakes the creation of a typology of personality. He comes up with the following:




 The following psychosociologic personality classification puts all human beings in twelve classes:

 1. Deficient Personalities -- the dependent group. Feebleminded, epileptics, paupers.

 2. Perverted Personalities -- the depraved group. Prostitutes, sex perverts, vagrants.

 3. Criminal Personalities -- the delinquent group. Antisocial persons.

 4. Stupid Personalities -- the backward group. Retarded, backward, unskilled laborers.

 5. Isolated Personalities -- the lonely group. Hermits, bookworms, artists, dreamers.

 6. Highly Emotional Personalities -- the cheerful group. Frivolous, good-humored.

 7. Well-balanced Personalities -- the dominant group. Leaders, teachers, executives.

 8. Neurotic Personalities -- the frustrated group. In flight from reality.

 9. Queer Personalities -- the eccentric group. Cranks, radicals, agitators, paranoids.

 10. Moody Personalities -- the depressed group. Mood swingers, melancholics, hypochondriacs.

 11. Insane Personalities -- the demented group. The various psychoses.

 12. Disabled Personalities -- the crippled and diseased group.


 Now I ask you, was the above written by the same person who wrote:

 "All subinfinite orders and phases of personality are associative attainables and are potentially cocreational. The perpersonal, the personal, and the superpersonal are all linked together by mutual potential of co-ordinate attainment, progressive achievement, and cocreational capacity. But never does the impersonal directly transmute to the personal. Personality is never spontaneous; it is the gift of the Paradise Father. Personality is superimposed upon energy, and it is associated only with living energy systems; identity can be associated with nonliving energy patterns."

 Give me a small break.

8 Dec 1993    Jim Mcnelly       normal communications, ra

Subject: normal communications, ra In-Reply-To: [m0p77ZZ-0000t8C@uum1.mn.org]

 ]From: Matthew Rapaport [mjr@CRL.COM> >Subject: normal communications, rambling, and excellence

 A hush fell over the crowd when Matt wrote:

 U>No, you are misreading me... Contact with celestials of itself is not >miraculous. As you point out, on advanced worlds there may be all kinds >of communications going on, including perhaps, person-to-person contacts >(although the book does not say this explicitly).



 Some previous "contacts" come to mind. TM aside for the moment, what about the references to Melchizedek working with the prophets and somehow being involved with the 600 BC religious awakening?

 Then what about the Reserve Corps being secretly trained? How about the "certain wise men, through contact of one world with another" who were advised of the pending coming of the Creator Son? How do you explain Joseph's vivid dream or Gabriel's appearance to Mary? The apostle's on the mountain with Jesus at the transfiguration? Did they not "see" a whole group of ETs?

 Is this explained by the technique of Midwayer translation of optics? What about the visualization of Jesus' morontia form following resurrection? I concur that morontial ascenders have a limit on their ability to visualize higher orders of beings until they become increasingly spiritualized, but even Adam was a material being. What about the quote from the UBook about the potential of children of Adam and Eve potentially returning to earth. Would they not possibly be in physical form?

 There are two questions here. One is the validity of any ET/human contact and the other is whether or not the TM process is an example. For me, the TM is adequately explained by reflective imaging within the Supreme, accessing the higher mind, with the TM personalities serving as servicable symbols.

 Contact with the Cosmic Mind or the Supreme is glorious enough. My watchword and guiding phrase is the quote from 2096 "In the realm of religious experience, spiritual possibility is potential reality. Man's forward urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man's universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth."

 Have you read my paper "Universe Romancing"?

 On this day the feast of the Immaculate Conception......

8 Dec 1993    Thea Hardy       Re: Mundane Comm, plagerism &

Subject: Re: Mundane Comm, plagerism & logic In-Reply-To: [199312082024.MAA02590@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 HIya, Phil.

 Some nice stuff in your post...

 Trance state. I have to say that it really is not much like a trance state in my experience... but maybe I would not know what a trance state is if it bit me in the brain. I just quiet myself a little, pray to do the Father's will and then it starts. I do sense a presence, though at first it was more vague. The strongest feeling now is an awareness of tremendous love from somewhere/ someone else. It makes me want to be that loving towards others.

 What is a trance state like? I can remember some experiences from the drug days of long ago that seem to fit that description, but this is nothing like that. If you really do want to know about this, ask questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

9 Dec 1993    David Kantor      Renegade Parasitic Hierophants

Subject: Renegade Parasitic Hierophants

 Hello, Friends...

 Some quick responses;

 Byron writes:

 >Experience must be replete >before philosophic reflection can be fruitful.

 Byron, you seem to fail to appreciate the fact that it is science, philosophy and religion which mediate experience to the mortal mind. The fact that you can apprehend an experience indicates that these three factors are functioning in your mind. The purpose of developing them intellectually is to enhance the quality of our conscious experience. You can't have any conscious experience at all without them. It's a contradiction of the nature of reality to say that experience must first be replete before philosophic reflection can be fruitful -- does this mean that you will eventually rationalize your unconscious apprehension of your experience? I thought this was one of your more ridiculous rhetorical excursions -- is the TM turning your mind into oatmeal?



9 Dec 1993    Scott Foerster        tacos & tm articulation

Subject: tacos & tm articulation

 I am just a fool. Please believe that I am trying to develop an "excellent qualitative expression." I know I will fail. But it is fun trying.

 In this posting I have tried to take one step back from the TM debate and figur out what THE QUESTION is, what the starting point is. Here is the humble attempt:

 Do we start from personal experiences of religion and then approach "excellent qualitative expression" through consensus?

 Do we start from the shared experiences of life and approach "excellent qualitative expression" by arguing its description?

 What I mean by "personal experiences of religion" are our attempts to believe or not believe that there is a God; that the Urantia Book does or does not inspire us; whether we are or are not justified in being angry at the kids at this moment.. etc..

 What I mean by "shared experiences of life" are terms such as "reality", phrases such as "the Urantia Book says ....", "the Bible says ....", "science says ....", "your family says ...." etc. Any articulation or rational that is founded on an authority outside our own personality is one of these "shared experiences of life."

 At the moment, I personally have a hard time respecting any claims that the Bible, or the Urantia book is the word of God. I start to automatically delete any argument that makes broad sweeping interpretive claims concerning any "shared experience of life." For instance in the last few days someone posted the rational (I apologize for loosing the name): - The Urantia Book says trances are bad - Western Civilization says trances are bad - TM appears to be a trance - Therefore TM is bad. QED. I once took a philosophy of religion class where they reduced this kind of logic to symbols and turned it into math! Got an A. But it was the least fulfilling experience of my life. Made me hate philosophy.

 Let's analyze this phrase: the Urantia Book says trances are bad. This statement assumes: - We all believe the Urantia Book is revealed, is the word of God and is an authority. - I can understand it in totality. - I can point to phrases that say trances are bad. - Therefore the Urantia Book says trances are bad. Do you feel how dry this is? How ugly this type of thought is? Is this "excellent qualitative expression?" Why do some of us post poetry? The "I" in the statements above is authoritative. It states I understand. The "shared experiences of our lives" do not lie.

 (I've only barely resisted the temptation to argue that the Urantia Book does not make claim that trances are bad ... the quotes are at my elbow ... only the content of this paper sparred you from having to wade through them.)

 Now consider the TM response to the above rational: I don't care if TM involves trances, TM works. TM does not appear to be a trance to me. I don't know what a trance is.

 As usual, the "ignore TM crowd" will find no TM articulation evidence in the above replies. But look at the personality involvement. Look at the self examination it causes. What is a trance? Is a trance always evil? "They way you described a trance does not describe TM to me." The "I" or "Me" is part of every sentence. Clearly the TM crowd starts their attempt at "excellent qualitative expression" from their own personal religion.

 I think the people writing the TM response above are suffering .. at least not having fun. These replies feel like real service ... a service that involves pain. Here is why. TM is being charged with involving some negative thing called a "trance." Should I delete and ignore? Is it possible others will begin chanting this so loudly it becomes real .. and TM is persecuted? Would it be best for TM to be persecuted at this moment? What are those darn 48 reasons for letting evil run its course anyway (pg 618). Didn't Jesus keep his mouth shut? Well we are suppose to listen, meet people where they are at, talk their language and push them one step in the right direction. This is service. Ok. I will reply.

 In summary, it appears to me that there are two approaches to developing "excellent quality expressions": personal experience shared experiences

 Which comes first? I would argue personal experience. Indeed this is the constant refrain of TM. Focus inward.

 So what does this mean? How does the recommendation of starting from personal experience change things?

 What happens if we don't? What happens if we continue to use "shared experiences as the starting point?" We argue. World Wars. OK, lets pass laws. Ban abortion. Ban drinking. Drugs & Guns are illegal. Yes. War is illegal. Now we have solved society's problems. Does the Urantia Book say trances are good or bad, related to TM or not? Its my interpretation versus yours. Standoff. OK lets be brothers .. and never see, disagree or misunderstand each other again. Isn't this the story of our lives?

 What is your personal experience of the father? What do you feel he/she is saying to you? How is your life changing at the moment? Are there common threads that will appear as we examine our inner thoughts? Do we all feel that we screwed up our childrens lives? Do we all feel an anger that just completely shuts down our ability to stay in touch with the mystery monitor during significant chunks of the day? How can we make it up to our kids? How can we forgive our parents? Can this be a clearer articulation, "excellent quality expression" of original sin? These are the things I am most interested in.

 --- Scott (read too much Dr. Seuss) Foerster

9 Dec 1993    Dan Massey      Re: Catching up on stuff

Subject: Re: Catching up on stuff In-Reply-To: Your message of Thu, 09 Dec 93 13:55:57 -0500.


 You've got to watch out for that two-valued "Aristotelian" logic, especially in thinking about religion.


9 Dec 1993    Scott Foerster        TM articulation

Subject: TM articulation In-Reply-To: [199312100419.AA28966@nfs1.digex.net]

 > Scott, > > You've got to watch out for that two-valued "Aristotelian" logic, > especially in thinking about religion. >

 Dan, remember I am an engineer. I can barely spell Aristotelian let alone figure out what it means. Two values? 1 & 0? Is this a riddle? Please elaborate. I am hanging off your every word. :=)


10 Dec 1993   Fred Harris         Re: Renegade Parasitic Hieroph

Subject: Re: Renegade Parasitic Hierophants In-Reply-To: [199312091909.AA15165@freenet2.scri.fsu.edu]; from "David Kantor" at Dec 9, 93 11:09 am

 David Kantor writes about Byron Belitsos:

 > I thought this was one of your more ridiculous > rhetorical excursions -- is the TM turning your mind into > oatmeal?

 I find this type of statement to be lacking in manners. It manages to embody a holier than thou attitude with David's favorite target - the Teaching Mission. Let me say this. Byron is a good guy. I don't always agree with him, but I have the respect to disagree in an agreeable manner. I don't think it is asking too much for all of us to practice some common courtesy. David, since you seem to enjoy the ad hominem abusive attacks from time to time, how about showing us how your knowledge of the Urantia Book is translated into how you interact with others. That will be the best example of the truth of your assertions. By our fruits shall we be known.

 Don't hit Byron in the head with a pipe, it will leave a bad impression on his mind.


10 Dec 1993   Thea Hardy       Thea about Fred to David et al

Subject: Thea about Fred to David et al In-Reply-To: [199312100527.VAA19636@CSOS.ORST.EDU]

 On Fri, 10 Dec 1993, Fred Harris wrote:

 > David Kantor writes about Byron Belitsos: > > > I thought this was one of your more ridiculous > > rhetorical excursions -- is the TM turning your mind into > > oatmeal? > > I find this type of statement to be lacking in manners. It > manages to embody a holier than thou attitude with David's favorite > target - the Teaching Mission. Let me say this. Byron is a good > guy. I don't always agree with him, but I have the respect to > disagree in an agreeable manner. I don't think it is asking too much > for all of us to practice some common courtesy. David, since you seem

 Fred, you beat me to the punch. And I am not just referring exclusively to David here. I thought... hmmm.... perhaps we should just extract what we consider insults, compile them into little documents and post them for laugh of the week awards. Kind of a friendly "shame on you" thing. But perhaps that would lack common courtesy...

 I dunno. But it is precisely this kind of remark that offends me. Not the disagreements, which are inevitable, and even good. It is the personal attack aspects, of many of us have done our personal share, but of which some are perhaps more guilty in terms of frequency. This is what I would like to see reduced here. Not the discussion, or even argument or debate, but the personal attack element of implying that the other is stupid to believe what they believe. I simply do not think Michael would do this kind of thing, and however imperfect we are, I hope we all try not to as well. Don't get me wrong; I fail in this, too. But how 'bout if for that CHristmas gift, we all try harder to keep it out of the arena of personal denigration. Just for the challenge, perhaps!

 I do not believe in peace at the price of insincerity or lies, or coverups, but we can all try to learn more grace. I know I need to. Thanks to you all, and love,

10 Dec 1993   Byron Belitsos      Oatmeal Deconstruction

Subject: Oatmeal Deconstruction

 This is a Public Service Announcement!

 Since this is Internet, you'll have to draw suitable pictures to go with the text!


 Your mind:

 [ = empty, waiting for instruction from DKantor]


 Your mind when David writes that "science, philosophy and religion mediate your experience":

 [ = confused, because David's discourse reifies the three cosmic intuitions that are constitutive of reflective thinking (192), so that, rather than thinking of these elemental insights as part of a living process that involves dynamic interaction with reality by a unifying personality, they are hypostatized as conceptual entities that somehow filter all experience through intellect discliplines known as 'science, philosophy, and religion']

 your mind on the TM:

 [ = oatmeal, 'cause David sez so, and, being soft, tender, and warm, like oatmeal, still loves and cares about David, and wants to be his friend in a gesture that transcends belief systems,and hopes to put a stop to this fruitless exchange (no raisins to put on the oatmeal)]

10 Dec 1993   Byron Belitsos      Defining trance

Subject: Defining trance

 Phil, this is a good question:

 >So to say that I am in (mostly unconscious) communication with higher >order life is one thing; to say that I go through some mental >preparation in order to passively receive long verbal passages from >above in quite another. The latter sounds too much like a trancelike >state to me to be comfortable. Well TMers, what say you?

 First, we have observed little or no psychological aberrations or fanatical religious reactions in transmitters resulting from this activity over the last two years that I am aware of. Otherwise, there would be alot of spouses and friends, including alot of astute long-time UBers, intervening to put a stop to transmissions, and we have seen none of this. But this bears watching over time.

 Second, transmitting, as I have observed it, does not involve "suspended animation", "profound abstraction or absorption" (Webster's definition of trance). The transmitter experiences normal consciousness in every way except that a distinct voice, accompanied by feeling-tones associated with the affect being experienced by the celestial personality, is experienced in a particular place in the mind.

 Transmitting is not something that I would classify as a hypnotic state or an "altered state". Last weekend, our transmitter delivered a beautiful discourse that was way, way, way beyond his intellectual grasp of religion for about 40 minutes, then quit for a break after a few seconds hiatus, told a few jokes, and went outside for a cigarete.

 Trance states, as I understand it, are associated with archaic religious practices such as wild ritual dancing, drug-induced hallucinatorty states in shamanistic practices, esoteric meditation practices and visualizations that may be seen in disciplines such as Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism, and the like.

10 Dec 1993   Stephen Finlan      TM in the PM

Subject: TM in the PM

 Dear Byron,

 I'll accept your statement that the TM does not use the "trance-like state." That was the preferred method earlier in the century. In the Nineties, we're more laid-back than that. Why, Jim McNelly tells us it's no big deal to talk to angels. A hundred-million year-old spiritual being is using my brain and body right now -- and I'll insert a lot of human error into what she's saying -- but that's ok.

 So it isn't the straining, serious type of spiritualism. It's easy-breezy, cotton candy, warm and cuddly, love my mommy, easy travel to other planets. And if you don't believe it, that's ok. You're where you have to be right now.

 So what is it, really? It's religious imagination at work. Creativity, imagination, and religion are closely related. You said one guy channelled some stuff that was "way beyond his intellectual grasp of religion." It's called *creativity*, and it's typical of human religion.

 Spirit-possession is the route taken by the dramatically- inclined religious imagination. It is a common expression, from village voodoo to the court-prophets of Hebrew kings, from Pentecostalism to Bruce-ananda.

 Religious fruits are being borne in the lives of many TMers. It cannot be explained away on purely psychological grounds. This is a religious phenomenon. But our movement has tools for criticism of religious anthropology, and this stuff will be critiqued.

 We also need to critique the whole movement, which has been so slow to evolve vigorous spiritual fellowship, that religious imagination has sought satisfaction in this method. Isn't it obvious that the channelling is a heartfelt attempt to make the Book come alive?

11 Dec 1993   Byron Belitsos      Dropping from list

Subject: Dropping from list

 After David's last barb -- which came in response to my offer of peace and friendship -- I have decided to take a sabbatical from the List for an indefinite length of time. These uncivil remarks about my "bad ideas" (as well as continuing personal attacks on myself and others) are sapping the fun out of Urantial for me. At the same time, I want to take some responsibility for this situation, as I explain below.

 But David's behavior alone is sufficient reason to drop from this list. There comes a time when, after one has forgiven another for perceived misdeeds, that it is only irritating and counterproductive to continue in association with this person. Love does not require continual association with everyone or anyone. Jesus loved all he met, but he did not spend time with everyone. But there is more to this than just wanting respite from the boredom of dealing with this continuing irritation.

 There was a time when the TM debate -- as pursued in this ad hoc, piecemeal format -- was interesting and highly thought-provoking, even when accompanied by ad hominem arguments. For example, Phil's objections and arguments against the TM have always been worthwhile, and conducive to progress (as well as lacking in ad hominem appeals and straw man arguments). Some of Matthew's have too. In withdrawing now, all should know, especially newcomers, that I have taken this ongoing disputation seriously (and humorously), and over a long period of time. In fact, I believe Terry Kruger will publish the lengthy digest that I created of our TM debates between January and March of this year in his forthcoming issue of Urantian Sojourn.

 The next stage of this discussion, for me, is to lift out the best of the arguments which I have saved from this very memorable and dramatic year of discussion, and get to work on systematic responses to these. The first of these is a forthcoming paper on the "Stillness Practice in the Teaching Mission", to be completed around March.

 David and others, there are seeds of truth in so many things you have said. The TM is deserving of religious criticism, just as any religious tendency. It does need to be elevated to philosophic status, and it has not attained that status. Many of the adherents have not assimilated the critically corrective teachings of the UB, and they need to do so. We are just now beginning to assimilate our own new teachings. We need time to catch up without having to face ill-informed but usally well-intentioned critics. David, your desperation to warn others of the perils of channeling that you have been through is motivated by love. Yet you ruin your effectiveness and credibility, just at a time that we need good critics we can listen to. This sometimes applies to you, too, Dan. We are your brothers and sisters in a critically important battle to bring new light to humanity. If you care to be true leaders, gentlemen, then lead! wake up to the challenge! stop sneering at your opponents! help create unity!!

 Yes, some excesses have occurred in the TM, and these need to be addressed carefully and responsibly. The TM's revelatory claims are great and unprecedented, and those of us involved had better do more homework before we parade this around in forums like this. Great claims, such as transmissions from Michael himself, require great evidence. At minimum, such claims must be philosophically coordinated with existing values and beliefs. Most important, actually living out the new truth is required, and this its most eloquent defense. Since we can't live out the truth in this medium except in a most narrow sense, then we need to come up with philosophic responses.

 At the same time, Thea and Fred and Scott and Jesse and others, I do not want to underemphasize the remarkable progress we have all made in our own spiritual lives in a revelatory domain we cannot yet adequately explain. It is not our fault that we exist in a suspicious and prejudiced and arrogant environment of other so-called professed religionists, but we must be more rigorous in stepping up to the intellectual and spiritual challenge ahead and becoming masters of the situation. Perhaps I am talking only to myself here. But I am sure you all share my disappointment with the lack of charity and civility of many of the TM opponents. Jim has been able to wisely skirt this barrage by swerving away from the "facts" of the TM, and toward its truths.

 Meanwhile, I need to work on my own growth issues in a spiritually nurturing environment. Uncivil personal attacks, issued in response to statements of love and forgiveness and humor, do not a nurturing environment make. Yes, I get considerable intellectual stimulation from the other threads on Urantial. But being in an attack environment certainly does not meet my own needs now. At the same time, I hope to not cast aspersions on others (as I re-read this I see that I have), whose motives and perceptions I cannot always understand and whose behavior I certainly cannot be responsible for. Perhaps I, perhaps all of us, have contributed to creating an attack environment.

 To take a cue from Dick, if I were more advanced, I would not take offense when I log on here to find my mind being compared to oatmeal. (Just silly, isn't this?!) Let's say that I can handle this kind of language in a secular environment such as the workplace, where rudeness is to be expected, but it is truly a turn-off when said among religionists. I'd like to think that I can enter the house of Urantial for an interlude of communion and rest. One expects and insists that certain environments provide a certain decorum.

 At the same time, there are many on this list whose contributions I value very highly. You know who you are. My hard disk and paper files are filled with copies of your posts, and this hiatus might give me time to re-read and savor these. You are certainly welcome to stay in touch, and feel free to cc to me some of your best pieces or inquiries, please. I also regret not participating with our newest member, Steve Finlan, a dear old friend who, as you will soon see, has excellent contributions to make. And of course many others of you.

 The holiday is a period for creativity and joy and sharing. I am going on to choose environments where I can thrive in this spirit, perhaps on other Lists in Internet. This seems to be the best way to enter 1994, dialoguing with others who are outside our narrow circle.

 Please delete me from the list, Michael. For those who want to reach me privately, I am at 71055.3435@Compuserve.com. Note that I will be out of town in the second half of this month.