Nebadonia; How Do You Evaluate Your Life - Nov 20, 2006 - Marin TM
Nebadonia--November 20, 2006
Marin TM Group—Mill Valley, California--U.S.A.
Dear Mother Spirit and Michael: Around this time of year we celebrate a national holiday of Thanksgiving, and we feel very blessed we get to give thanks each week for your being here with us. We are especially thankful for lessons instructing us and reminding us of the kinds of beings we are, even defining what spirit is for us. It helps us realize this dimension in our lives, and how it pervades everything we know and do. So for this we are very thankful. Amen.
Good evening, my children, this is your mother, Nebadonia. My, it is so wonderful to feel your presence here, to feel your minds and your souls smiling back at me in a kind of joyful anticipation. This too is the essence of spirit, the deep intrinsic strength of spirit that can forgo exact expectations and rest assured in a genuine enthusiasm for life itself.
Last week Michael spoke of how a comprehensive spiritual viewpoint of your past gives you the strength to accept, even to welcome all that has happened to you. This is that profound and all inclusive understanding that does stretch to grasp the meaning of life itself, for this is just another definition of spiritual value, the dimension that makes life worthwhile--including all the pain and anxiety and uncertainty that it does contain.
(The pearl of spiritual assurance)
But since this is a pearl of great price, since spiritual assurance is at the very heart of living a full life by opening your arms to experience, and seeking to discover, then transcend, anything within you that would rather limit experience, would rather sleepwalk through life and not take any risk whatsoever; since this assurance is so valuable, it does have a price. If you will forgive the slight play on words, you have to pay attention. You have to establish a spiritual awareness almost distinct from your consciousness itself. For it is from this detachment or remove that you are able to notice the fluctuations in your consciousness, and what causes them.
We have often mentioned before the principle of feedback, of how, if you are paying attention and open to whatever reality is telling you, you can see yourself as others see you. You can have an evaluation of your present consciousness. There is a kind of super-consciousness by which you can get some feedback, and evaluate what things mean to you. Think about this a moment, of how necessary this is in your day-to-day life. For even a good and wonderful spiritual ambition, a desire to grow in truth and understanding, does call upon you to evaluate your life and what you are doing. Are you growing or are regressing? Are you becoming more aware or sinking into deeper habits? How can you tell? How can you measure this? I’m sure now, as you feel for this, you can understand the anxiety that this occasions. Even Michael’s Spirit of Truth within you does encourage you to have this desire for ever greater truth, to keep up with the universe reality of God’s will, the Supreme Being, who is growing.
(How do you evaluate your life?)
Think of some of the ways people feel compelled to measure themselves along
material lines. I’m referring not to your physical/bodily health, but to more abstract measurements of wealth. In corporations you call this the bottom line, the desire to feel the company growing by so many percentage points a year in pure profit. In individual lives this might mean a nicer car, a larger home, a bigger bank account. These are all ways in which people seek assurance that they are growing, that they are doing the right thing. Of course this often leads to massive contradictions. Most of you know of folks who totally ruin their physical/bodily health driving themselves to succeed in more abstract ways, sometimes far and away beyond what they can ever utilize. When you get into the purely mental realm, the realm of your awareness of yourself--your ego, the totality of who you perceive and remember yourself to be--it’s like going over a cliff and entering free-fall. Here there are truly no limits whatsoever. You all know from your popular media individuals who expend enormous wealth on image, millions and millions of dollars in pure ostentatious spending on objects designed solely to impress others.
Tonight I would like you to accept this basic human necessity to evaluate your lives so it becomes simply more a matter of how you do this. How can you tell if you are growing or regressing, and this over a period of time? This is where your spiritual awareness--the super-consciousness of the fluctuations in your self-consciousness, in your awareness of yourself and your surroundings--becomes so important. It’s ironic that from a purely physical/psychological point of view, spirit—the origin of both, can neither be proven nor demonstrated empirically. Yet as in your prayer this evening, you do realize how the definition of what is spiritual plays such an important part of your recognition of it. Beyond this your inner security, your own inner proof, if you will, of the reality of spirit, is in its use. You know it exists because it works, because you are using it.
I am suggesting one of the most profound and important uses of spirit is in measuring both the physical and psychological dimensions of your life by giving you some detachment from them, some other place to stand. All perception requires this contrast. If you’ll accept my putting in another "plug"—as you call it, for practicing stillness, let me suggest this is just one more transcendent use of meditation. This is one more function of having a secure home base in spirit. However paradoxical it may seem at first glance, you can have a secure home base in something whose essence is living spontaneity and creativity. Even those of you who are only beginning to function from this inner security, and have experienced how it has transformed your life already, know of what I am speaking. Just the exercise, the determination to suspend for even a few minutes a day as much as you can the physical and mental activities of your life, and allow this inner sense of spirit to swell forth and become a genuine experience; just this alone begins to address the balance between these three aspects of your conscious human lives. Whatever your physical/material needs or considerations, whatever your present psychology--whether secure or anxious, just exercising the determination to let these subside for a while is itself an act of spirit. Bringing the spiritual aspect of your human being into more conscious awareness is an inner proof that there is another way of feeling and evaluating your day to day lives.
This is literally how, all through history, men and women who chose what was considered to be an overtly religious life were able to live long and healthy and very fulfilling lives right in the midst of a self-imposed poverty; and not by any means living a life of self-deception. Think about it. A truly religious life is one that seeks and enables experience, one that seeks to perceive that aspect of God’s creation that is ever new, that is his continuous creativity. Indeed, it seeks to become one with him in this creativity. This is your personal spirit. This is, for you, how you real-alize--make real--your physical and mental dimensions. This is why the Father of all personality is himself super-ordinate to the Eternal Son of Spirit and the Infinite Spirit of Cosmic Mind. And this pattern pervades, this pattern is your very being--personality and spirit and mind. Your choice of enabling spirit, determining spirit, drawing more spiritual awareness into your life is a decision of personality. It is a way in which the personality that you are can strive your best to become aware of your most profound reality, the actual origin and nucleus of experiencing your mind and body, and through them, the universe.
Strange as it may seem, my children, this inner assurance of spirit, this identification with spirit, this ability to relax even for awhile the very real physical and psychological demands you must live with, this is the evaluation—the e-valuing--of life itself. This is how you can most truly measure where you are and where you’re headed. Even the continuity, the steadfastness of your meditation over time, gives you some measure of the ups and downs of your momentary self-awareness. So persevere. Exercise your spirit. Reach out to embrace experience. Grow strong in our love and peace.
If you have any questions or comments this evening, Michael and I always delight when you exercise yourselves this way.
Student: Dear Nebadonia, maybe you could help with me some new insights into different fruits of the spirit. I’ve always liked many of them that are mentioned in the Urantia book, like altruistic benevolence, confiding trust, different than the Bible, but nonetheless easily understood. These insights would help me as a guide to know that I am growing, that I am more easily yielding up some of these fruits like enlightened honesty, undying hope. I know there must be thousands of them, even more! But any help in that department would be great.
(Fruits of the spirit)
NEBADONIA: Yes my son. Well, those you mentioned are not too bad. (laughter) Just keep in mind the fundamental principle here, that you know a tree, or in this case, your life, by the fruit it bears. This is what my lesson this evening was all about. It’s how your deepest meditation can give you the surest measure of the fruits you bear day to day. This is a kind of extreme self-honesty, and the method for achieving it. Perhaps the greatest hurtle to cross in this endeavor is one of impatience, especially for those of you who are just generally so busy. When you first start to meditate, it’s very hard to be still. We’ve even suggested you set out a certain amount of time for this, shall we say twenty minutes or so in the morning or evening, rather than trying to meditate for a certain psychological result, for this can lead to your hurrying yourself along to being still.
The good fruits you mentioned are wonderful, but even beyond this, there is no need to define or articulate them precisely. Rather, I’m suggesting there is an overall summation, a general feeling of how you’re doing that can come to you, first of all if you will let it, and then if you will continue to be still. Your own mind’s creativity, your own spirit’s spontaneity, aided by Michael’s and my spirits, and your Father Fragment, all these separately or in concert can suggest what you are doing right--or not. So first let this general spiritual evaluation come over you, and fear it not if it suggests you are regressing, you are becoming slothful or lazy, you are becoming arrogant or unhealthy. This is the courage required to be extremely self-honest, and I think you can intuit how there is nothing more valuable than this kind of feedback from your own soul--the spiritual story of your life authored by the presence of the God in your mind.
Apart from the individual fruits hanging out there on the branches… (laughter)… this tells you how the whole tree of your life--including its roots deep in your soul—how the health of the whole living thing that you are, is. Does this answer your question?
Student: That’s a wonderful answer. I will be very glad to see it again in writing, and share it with others. Thank you.
NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, my son. Be in my love.
Student: On the same subject, I think I’ve noticed in some of the Teaching Mission transcripts I’ve been reading, someone used the word love as in, using love as your compass, and I realized that my ego’s led me most of the way through my life by fear, and fear, and more fear. Now I look at myself and I’m really starting to understand this--the value and meaning of using love as my compass. I can feel…if I’m trying to evaluate my actions toward someone, and I just hear the old me starting to come out and go negative, I can realize: well, that’s the old me. The new me is starting to use love as a compass. It’s when I’m in spirit, rather than my ego which was always afraid, and always felt attacked. So I really value the words you’re giving us tonight because I have been evaluating myself. And I do see some growth. Thank you for your words. I’m very excited to be here!
(Using love as a compass)
NEBADONIA: Yes, my daughter. Thank you for that wonderful notion, because I think when most folks think about a compass, they think of some device exterior to them. We’ve often suggested in the past that your Father Fragment, the Mystery Monitor in your mind, is your most true compass as to where you are going. But I really enjoy your notion of this other compass being part of you, and signaling whether the emotions going out from you are life-affirming--a kind of beamed beneficence to someone else, or whether the needle swings radically the other way and shows a kind of self-collapsing, withdrawing, fearful avoidance of contact, or being judgmental. That’s a very valuable thing to have and to be aware of, and to accept!
Some time ago we introduced the notion of beaming love at everyone you meet, mostly to get over your prejudices and stereotypes so that individuals can begin to emerge from the general mass you perceived before. Now if you had a kind of voltmeter on your compass, this could even help you determine the strength with which you are projecting your love.
Student: This sounds very good! I will encompass that! (much laughter).
NEBADONIA: Amen to that! I think this is a very much in line with what I was talking about this evening, of having the spiritual tools within you to help you perceive what you are doing. So carry on! I congratulate you on making this compass of love part of your life. I can see you are deriving a great benefit from it, as I’m sure, so are all your company. (People are noticing a change.) Well, that’s the wonderful thing about beaming love at folks. They can only bounce it off so long. Sooner or later there is their own inner recognition that you mean them well.
Student: And I’ll be ready with an answer if they ask me why I’m so happy. But I’m learning too not to give my opinion until it’s asked for; that’s another big one for me. So thank you again.
NEBADONIA: You’re very welcome my daughter. Continue to be in my love.
Student: Greetings Nebadonia! It seems the key that you are continually giving us--the key to self-evaluation, self-understanding, soul-growth, the key to joy, the key to strength--is and always will be, simply hanging with spirit, taking the time to spend with spirit. I would like to talk about that tonight, because in my efforts to do this, to take the time to sit in stillness, I find that my mind just wants to go into a semi-sleep state, and I get very discouraged by this. So I’ve changed my approach to it, because I do want to use this key, and I am aware of it because it has been, as you say, brought up many times. My new approach is to meditate during a physical activity such as stretching or swimming--to connect with spirit. By doing it this way I keep my mind more alert, so I may be able to have the opportunity to see if I am growing or regressing. But it isn’t quite what is described as stillness, because I’m not actually being still. I’m in the act of doing an activity. But it is working for me. So I want to talk to you about that, and any suggestions you may have in the approach I’m taking?
(Hanging out with spirit)
NEBADONIA: Yes, my son: congratulations! Congratulations are very much in order for you’ve gone beyond a kind of stereotypical approach to a complex thing. If you will again excuse a play on words, you’ve gone right to the very sprit of the stillness exercise. For you are discovering spirit in activity. You are using spirit to evaluate activity. And this is the exact, same detachment I talked about this evening. For if you are truly paying attention, as when you are stretching; as you approach your bodily limits that are signaled by pain, you know you must go ever so carefully into that pain, not in a masochistic way, but in the most careful kind of way--to open up those joints and stretch those ligaments and muscles. This requires enormous detachment and evaluation, moment to moment, just to avoid hurting yourself. This is the function of spirit. This is spirit evaluating a physical/psychological activity.
I might suggest that many folks get into an only half-conscious meditation--as strange as that may seem, in the act of walking. This is one of the humankind’s oldest forms of meditation. Since they needed to go somewhere anyway, they would often fall into a meditative state as they walked along. And since most of mankind’s history for hundreds of thousands of years until very recent times has been a matter of walking about the world, this was generally when they did their thinking: where were they going; what they were going to do when they got there--especially during those long phases of mankind’s growing civilization when the tribes were on the move by the seasons.
I’ll just note in passing, it was near this stage of civilization in which Michael choose to live his human life. Out of millions of worlds at every stage of technological development, he could have appeared on a world at your present stage and gone on television. Instead, if you’ll read your Urantia book or even your Bible well, you’ll notice he did a lot of walking and talking. So again, my son, I congratulate you on finding what works spiritually. I could only add, more power to you.
Student: Thank you, Nebadonia, you’ve just given new meaning to the saying: go take a hike. (much laughter…) Also what comes to mind is a book I read so many years ago, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (and still more…) So yes--thank you! I love being creative, and hanging with spirit.
NEBADONIA: This is what Michael and I have endeavored to do, to show how spirit does permeate all your physical and mental reality and activities. Because it is really great to feel it, and derive the evaluation it provides. So be in my love, and carry on!
Student: Yes Mother, what I have come to understand in my own life is that when I’m connected consciously with spirit it seems my life is more effortless and there is this ease of being in whatever I do. I notice when I’m not in that place of ease there’s something else, like a point of view or something I’m holding onto, that’s not congruent with spirit. What I’ve come to discern more and more in those instances is that, if instead of trying to figure out what’s going on I simply allow myself to reconnect with spirit, with my better intentions, with no preconceived notions of how things ought to be but just looking at my own inner self, I notice if I just kind-of rest and be still then gradually, sometimes it’s just an instant, sometimes it takes longer--five, ten, fifteen minutes--then gradually whatever was disrupting my stillness and my ease of being dissipates. I’m able to move on. There seems to be a greater influx of love. So I do notice that--a greater discernment within me, and the ability to make adjustments, in a sense, on the move. It’s becoming increasingly more common in my life.
The other thing I’ve noticed too--I think we alluded to it last week, although for the life of me I have no idea what we talked about last week… But I do have things percolate in my soul as I work during the week. And I do feel so blessed in the work that I do; I’ve come to grips with that--with the gardening. God!--I feel so blessed that I’m able to work in the garden and also think about these things, and communicate with spirit--with Jesus, and so on…
I’ve come to feel within myself that I trust more. I trust in spirit, in the direction my spirit is leading me--whatever that is in the moment. I’m not seeking so much anymore. I’m not seeking to change my life outside of myself, but trusting in the life that is unfolding within me, and around me.
As I alluded to at other times, I have no idea what is going to happen to me. I have no idea where my life is going. All I have is what’s in front of me and what’s within me; and that’s all I have to deal with. I have no idea what’s going to happen to me next week, or a year from now, or five years from now, ten years from now. But I do know that spirit is always compelling me to extend beyond my limitations and expand towards a greater sense of who I am, and the enormous possibilities that exist for me here and now, and into the future.
So things have changed quite a bit in my basic philosophy from the moment I started attending these meetings, to the present time.
NEBADONIA: My son, very well spoken! I am very impressed, my children, how you have tuned into the real essence of what I had to offer this evening, and have responded with your own success stories of how you’ve discovered spirit and are experiencing its reality. You’ve discovered how experiencing that reality within you changes all that universe out there surrounding you.
Yes, my son, in Urantia book terminology I would say that this recognition of how things seem so effortless when you’re all-of-a-piece, this is your personality discovering its prime function. It absolutely is, but what it does to a greater or lesser degree of success is to unify the disparate elements of body and mind and spirit, by both discovering and creating a harmony between these elements. This success is perceived as a kind of effortlessness because everything is flowing together. Once you establish even some small background of this success and its recognition, then the disharmonies of one element working against another become all that more perceptible by contrast, and can be addressed.
You’ve also found, as I recommended to (Name) this evening, how if you just relax and let that larger field of spirit and its evaluation emerge first, then the solution to the current problem can follow. Sometimes just regaining your spiritual home base evaporates, like a mist in the morning sun, those little flitters of anxiety, or fear, or uncertainty. You find yourself on the edge of the Unknown, yawning like the Grand Canyon in front of you--the sheer un-know-ability of the future because it is changing, because it is not repeating itself, because you have a gigantic universe out there, because God is not only the Father of all personality, he is also the origin of all energy and material and pattern itself. This too will occupy you for eternity. This is that wonderful oxymoron in your Urantia book of sublime uncertainty… (laughter) and yet finding security in it by realizing all this sublime uncertainty is for your soul’s growth. On the deepest level it expresses our Father’s confidence in his creation--you. So congratulations are in order here too, for finding this reality of spirit and how it pervades both you and all that out there.
Student: In a way I’m just allowing--if it’s already a reality--my essential being, or the essential being-ness of each and every one of us already in existence, to do what we need to do to just allow--to be still and allow, have faith that things are unfolding and expanding at ones own pace. When you mention about the sublime uncertainty, I feel comfort in the impermanence of what’s around me, knowing that form does change, but life is always expanding. Life is always changing forms, living through different forms, and it’s only when we hold onto the forms that we get into trouble, we cease to allow life to expand through us and around us.
So these are the things I’ve been thinking, pondering about over the past few weeks. I’m looking at what motivates me towards certain actions. Are they coming from a place of effortlessness, and ease of being, and love, or some old pattern that has come upon me, I need to allow evaporate. So thank you!
Oh!--I do have to beg your pardon. I kind-of didn’t hear much of your message tonight--I kind-of zoned out again. (laughs) But it was good! It felt really good, just being here and experiencing so much energy being transmitted.
NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, my son.
(There is always something genuine to do)
Last week Michael mentioned in brief the sequence in which you encounter these different elements of yourself does require you to exercise effort and courage to discover spirit, to get the confidence and trust of faith. But because of this requirement you truly earn your souls. There is always something genuine for you to do in this your first phase of eternity. Let it come to you.
When we see your soul and your personality--to correct an impression of yours one time, my son--this is not all light. We see all the dark, terrifyingly fearful mistakes you’ve made– in terms of your own self-evaluation, especially at a younger stage of development. The final achievement of a truly spiritual viewpoint includes all of this, and even sees the necessity for it. Someday, in spite of all the pain you have known, you will forgive God for creating you and the universe this way, in an all-encompassing embrace.
So rest in my love, my children. I thank you this evening for so readily and warmly grasping the meaning of my message. Be in my love. Good evening.