Nebadonia - Fear of the Unknown - Stillness Practicing Difficulties - Jun 18, 2007 - Marin TMMarin T/M Group—Mill Valley, California—U.S.A. NEBADONIA—T/R-JL
June 18, 2007
Dear Mother Spirit and Michael, We must admit, we are finding it both wonderful and strange to think of existing in so many dimensions as God’s creatures—literally, created beings. But we do grant that no limitations can be put upon God’s ability to create whatever kind of creatures he wants to. And it rings true. It explains why down through history many folks have identified exclusively with their spiritual part, with an attendant disdain for anything physical, while other folks, who identified with only their mental/physical being, went along wondering what was all this 'spiritual stuff' the others were always talking about.. It is a little like living in two worlds. Is it possible that all human beings are offered the opportunity to experience--on a much more miniscule scale, of course--what you did, Michael, as Jesus—you having been a genuinely pure, self-consciousness spirit-being living in a human body and mind? You’ve gotten us to wondering: thank you. Amen.
(The gift of curiosity)
NEBADONIA: Good evening, my children, this is your spirit mother, Nebadonia. Now I must admit, you’ve really got me tickled, now you are returning my augmentations of curiosity and wonder by letting them fill your souls. You are also feeling the kind of rebirth this brings with it. For it is true there is nothing like a tenacious curiosity to enliven your days, nothing like a deep-rooted sense of wonder, in both its meanings. In one way wonder is curiosity, wondering what might be, or why it is as it is. There is also the truth that wonder expresses a kind of awe just that things are, as God created them. So welcome to a little taste of our world. As Michael said last week, you are finding ways to let these little tastes of the Morontia life, the life of your soul, pop up into consciousness. Ever so wondrously, sometimes they bring with them more curiosity and questions that what they answer. Moments of soul experience really do take you back more completely to previous times, especially those youthful times when your minds were filled much more with questions than answers. This is what we mean by keeping your beginner’s minds, remembering and feeling that you are on the first few steps of an eternal journey out into the cosmos, and then even beyond time and space: as some of your great gospel—good news--songs put it: Bound for Paradise.
Still I sense some of you have difficulty understanding what we mean by the spiritual dimension of your being, your personality, not being the direct object of consciousness. Indeed, this is why some of your more empirically-oriented souls feel themselves to be materialists since this dimension cannot be demonstrated: it cannot be proved. Even we, your spiritual parents, cannot prove these dimensions of yourselves. We can only ask you to entertain with open minds what we mean by spirit. Yet if you cannot directly perceive your spirit, how can you know it exists? In a way, my children, it is by inference, when we say spirit is that dimension of yours that both creates and recognizes value within yourselves and the seemingly objective outer world. This is something no mere animal can experience. An animal has mind and experiences meaning, as those of you with a pet cat or dog know full well. Your little animal gives great meaning to the sound of opening of a can of pet food. And there is almost no limit to how much certain animals can be trained. Some of the higher primates can recognize hundreds of verbal and/or physical signals. But they cannot evaluate these meanings for themselves. They can learn, or even teach themselves through train and error, how to do certain tasks, but they cannot consciously evaluate whether to do them or not. This is strictly in the realm of spirit. While there is usually no need to separate meaning and value, because in your general, day-to-day experience they are completely intertwined; from our point of view, spirit is the origin of mind. The Infinite Spirit is the parent, if you will, of the Cosmic Mind, while I, as a daughter of the Infinite Spirit, funnel this mind down through me to all my children in the Local Universe of Nebadon. For you the experience of value is one of the great meaning, for nothing strikes you so meaningful as a sudden loss of value when you are spiritually stumped, or going through a period when your spiritually energies are mysteriously depleted and you feel the value draining out of your familiar interests. There is nothing more meaningful, nothing that can create a greater concern and worry. On the other hand, when you feel the value of your life and the lives of those you love, even those necessary material objects you use day to day; when you feel a deep, almost instinctive value increasing, there is nothing more joyous, nothing more significant. And so mind and spirit are inextricably bound together, supporting and reflecting each other. This is literally your spirit infusing, penetrating both your mind and body to give all your ideas and philosophy, and even things, value. And yet a materialist might consider all this simply a matter of definition. To a degree this is true. It is why we go through the exercise of defining what we mean by your spirit. But if you cannot feel or prove your spirit directly, you can certainly experience its effects. This is also why we recommend the meditation of stillness, stilling the mental and physical repercussions of just living moment to moment, and feeling for the origin of yourself—the nearly ungraspable quality that we touched on last week—being aware of the miraculous gift of life, which only swells forth when all the particular manifestations of your life are allowed to subside. Here you are allowing your material mind to rest in spirit.
(The benefits of stillness)
You cannot control your spirit directly because, ironically, you are too close to it, you are too much it. There is no way you can force or make your mind and body be at peace: that’s a practical contradiction. It takes a certain intellectual comprehension of this very fact, and determination, to commit yourself to a period of time---say, twenty minutes or so—and just be still in faith that there is this spiritual dimension of yours that can swell forth. Yet what you will perceive, my children, in allowing yourselves to be more spiritually sensitive this way, is a sense of spiritual presence, but this presence is, as Michael stated last week, me! And it is Michael, and your Father Fragment—the presence of God in your mind. We can be a direct perception, an awareness of presence within you. It is not necessary to actually hear voices speaking in your mind: that is usually reserved for really extraordinary crisis situations, where people have heard the voice of their Father Fragment. What usually happens is the orientation of your thoughts changes, and tends toward more spiritual, philosophical—in other words—broader, perspectives.
Then these can lead--like hearing a certain piece of music, tasting something you once did as a child—to those wonder-filled moments of your soul popping up into your consciousness, recognizable by their startling feeling. Your mind is in the present moment, seeking to rediscover its origin. And this is a natural curiosity of how you got to where you are. Its your material mind wondering: what is this reality of soul? When did certain things begin? Why am I here, this particular way? You can see how these questions can be so disturbing to those with a deep anxiety about where they are, while to others they can be another aspect of the reward for accepting where they are. This is another example of the seeming paradox Jesus once expressed as: to those who have shall be given more, while to those who have little, even that little may be taken away. For some the meditation of stillness is anything but still.
Their attempts at stillness merely show how agitated and out of control their minds are. Here it takes great faith and courage to persist. They may have a large backlog of avoided reflections built up, like running a debt of what they owe to themselves to understand. To these individuals we can only say, Take heart! Your soul is safe in the hands of God. Fear not, but bravely allow to relax all your anxieties, all your fears. Let your native curiosity, augmented by my mind-spirits, seek out the origins, get back to the beginnings, rediscover, even in your greatest mistakes, at least what you thought you were doing, or trying to do. Rediscover your innate curiosity, augmented by me—the Holy spirit who teased you out into the world to begin with. Yes, my children, it is very much like living in two, heretofore separated and distinct worlds, at the same time, and making them one.
You are truly at one and the same time, as Michael suggested last week, both looking in on life and unavoidably, inextricably living life. You are earning your souls and this particular, very concrete and nitty-gritty physical reality. This too is your possession. This is what you will have always—contact with this realm, even as you go on to encompass dimension upon dimension. So rest in me as well, my children. Feel me swelling forth in your stillness. Use me. Feel how our combined mind-spirits of curiosity ever point the way forward within unfathomable wonder. It only gets bigger. If you have any questions or comments this evening, I must admit I am a bit curious as to what they might be.
Student: It is a very interesting lesson about stillness, Mother. That’s what I was going to ask about. In my own life I’m just now beginning to see that not doing stillness is a matter of I don’t think I’m in control. It may also be a big matter of fear—of what I don’t know. Everything I’ve heard, every lesson I’ve heard about stillness has been it’s very beneficial to do so, yet I resist it. I find myself not doing it. I decide I’m going to sit down and do some stillness, and two days later it occurs to me I didn’t do it. I don’t know why I’m doing that. Maybe I feel I’m out of control, or I’ll see something I don’t want to see: I just don’t know. I wonder if there’s anything you could speak about that?
(Fear of the unknown)
NEBADONIA: Yes, my son. You’re coming face to face ever more clearly, and directly, and pointedly, to the nature of fear itself. Indeed, in your Urantia book it gives the example of soulful/spiritual--Morontia laws, one being that those fears that never come, or cannot be resolved into something concrete, are the worst of all. One way to understand this is, it is a fear of the unknown. But your mind has a creative ability, a creative imagination to people the unknown with a kind of ghost, if you will. When you come up to something you do not yet know, you’ve had no direct or lasting experience with--as with stillness—your mind’s own creativity can fill it with a kind of supposition I’m calling a ghost, because when you reach for it, there’s nothing there to get hold of. It’s a kind of pure fear because it’s not based on experience. We can only assure you that when you actually do it, it will not be what you think it is. (student laughs) But you have to do it to know this.
So I’m offering you this principle of what constitutes your fear, and why, since it’s not based on any actual experience, it’s so hard to deal with. But you are anticipating what stillness will be; and it’s not. I’m tickled you see the humor in the situation. (both are laughing) You simply have to schedule it. This is where your power of understanding this principle has to be strong enough to get you to try it. So much for the pure fear of the unknown. There are other difficulties. One of the biggest hurdles to practicing stillness, even among people who have all kinds of time on their hands, is in the initial stages, before you can feel anything happening particular to this kind of meditation, it can seem like a waste of time. Why am I sitting here doing nothing? There’s all this good TV to watch, all kinds of really doing nothing to do. Why am I doing such a concentrated, focused nothing? This is a great hurdle. You have to get over all this anticipation of what it might be—let all that settle down—to begin to experience what it can be.
(Difficulties in practicing stillness)
But also, my son, realize you are cutting yourself adrift from normal cause-and-effect as it relates to most other human tasks where you have definite goals to reach with well thought-out means to get there. And this applies to almost any mental or physical task you’ve done. Here your goal is much more subtle. It’s to experience a qualitative value-perception in being alive. It’s being able to suspend your other activities and feel this increasing value just sitting still, feeling your breathing, letting your thoughts go where they want and observing them. As we said before, this is that nearly ungraspable quality of life itself. You suspend all the particular ego-driven feelings of yourself as a distinct being and begin to treasure just being alive. It is within this context then that spirit can make its presence known to you.
I’m afraid that’s about the only way I can particularly designate it for you: just the feeling of an increasing presence within your mind, as if a background to your thinking is swelling forth—something that has always been there, and now you are just beginning to be aware of: us. Finally, my son, this is very much a quantitative thing as well. Even after practicing stillness for a long time, it is not some totally empty-mindedness. Your mind will still be thinking. For certain it is not holding your mind a blank. You will just notice a slowing of thought, and then a deepening and broadening of thought.
The kinds of thought, and their orientation will become more subtle. You can often feel your curiosity, we talked so much about tonight, swelling forth. Rather than being pinned down by past events—the cause of so much of your fears—you find the exact opposite, the reassurance of a completeness that was always there.
You begin to understand why, before you were aware of this completeness, you were so driven to do things that caused so much pain and anxiety. But with your meditation adding to this feeling of completeness, you begin to discover the real continuity of your life. Again, as Michael said last week, you are learning how to be present and free, especially from those bugaboos that have been pursuing you so long.
So, my son, you simply have to schedule your stillness times. Like anything else in your life, set aside a certain amount of time—we generally suggest soon after you wake up in the morning. Sit down for even ten minutes to start with because it is a fine way to begin a new day. Does that help you see the benefit?
Student: Yes, Mother, even as you were speaking I found my mind reaching for those ghosts you mentioned, to fill my mind up with something I already knew about. I beginning to see also that the control issue I’m becoming more aware of is simply fear of something.
NEBADONIA: Well, you’ve become a little shy of it. You’ve had painful experiences in your life and you are rightfully hesitant and shy. I’m just reminding you that if you’ve not done this before, your fear is groundless. It’s only a general apprehension of the unknown.
Student: I feel more confident now you’ve filled in a lot of the blanks. I feel it is do-able; I just need to do it. I want to know what to expect, but you’ve just said there is no way to know that. It’s not what I think it is. I can feel that right away come boiling up. I want to know what it is so I can do it over again, and over again, and get better each time. I’m beginning to see it doesn’t work that way. It’s not necessarily about getting good results, it’s about being with spirit.
NEBADONIA: That is a good result, my son, but the particulars are something no one can tell you ahead of time. You will be literally wading through all these feelings of who and what you are. We refer to this as ego, which are your perceptions of yourself. These are what will be stilled if allowed to subside so you can discover these other dimensions of yourself, your soul-record that we went into last week of how it is distinct from all your memories. Yet you are right. We do anticipate painful memories will come up as you relax and allow them. But this is reflection. This is what gives value to life. This is what leads to understanding. This is the goal you wish to have. You do want to have good results. They are not only possible, they are nearly universal for those who persist. Be heartened there is a good reason why all spiritual beings in communicating with you recommend this practice.
Student: Yes, I’ve noticed that. Every teacher I’ve ever had said the same thing: practice stillness; practice stillness. I’m also thinking that going through some of these experiences out of the past that were extremely painful—not physically so much as spiritually and mentally and emotionally—I won’t be alone either. Michael will be there, and if I understand correctly, you will be also. Am I correct in saying it that way?
NEBADONIA: Oh, very much so. It is our presence you will begin to feel. My Mind/Spirit of Curiosity is even now swelling within your mind to help you wonder: what is this? What is this activity? Michael’s presence is called the Spirit of Truth, and is referred to as coming from your heart center, for it refers more to the fundamental reality of feeling underneath thought. Michael is with you helping you feel your way along, to feel what is true and what is not as you wade through this thicket of past experiences. This is how Michael is with you, saying, Fear not: let’s untangle this complicated mix together. Your Father Fragment is always with you, creating your soul-record of these very experiences. It is these understandings that truly feed your soul.
Student: Would you say that again, please? (Soul hunger)
NEBADONIA: It is the understanding born of stillness that your soul hungers for. Your soul hungers for self-understanding. (Yes) Your soul is a spiritual reality that loves and wants to unite with the more mental/physical consciousness of yours. But since you are this mental/physical consciousness, you have to choose to allow this unification. You correctly anticipate you will be wading through all the splinters, (both laugh) all the aspects that are tearing at you—just letting them relax, learning how not to fear them, to become one with your soul. This is the reward even in this first life: you can foretaste the glories of your own soul in the Morontia life to come.
Student: Thank you, Mother, I am willing to wade through the brambles and the briers to get to the rewards of knowing you and Michael better in this life—and myself; and others also.
NEBADONIA: Now you are seeing how this is all tied together. There are vicious circles of running away from it, but by that very same token there are marvelous, wonderful, self-supporting circles where success leads to success, where faith leads to an experience of soul.
Student: I’ve had enough of vicious circles in my life. I don’t want any more of them.
NEBADONIA: This is how you break them. This is how you don’t go head to head against fears, like butting your head against a brick wall that only strengthens it. You merely let them relax away. Let these ghosts come up and evaporate. But on the practical level, my son: just schedule these stillness times.
Student: I will.
NEBADONIA: Get up in the morning, do your ablutions, maybe walk around a bit to get your blood flowing; but then give us some time. Make this your worship. Make this your thanks to God for your life. Give us these few moments of your day. Not to put any pressure on you, but we will be greatly delighted when you do.
Student (laughing): I don’t feel pressure, Mother, I just feel love.
NEBADONIA: Then we are halfway there already. This is us, in you. I send you my love, and Michael wants you to know: his peace is there for the discovery. It too only gets bigger.
Student: Yes. Thank you, Mother.
NEBADONIA: You are very welcome, my son. And for all you children of mine who will come to read this evening’s lesson, I hope you too take it to heart and find the time and the determination for this admittedly strange activity. But that’s part of the marvel of it. Many of you already know a great deal of stillness you simply don’t give the name or recognition. Many of you already feel a kind of inner trust and faith in yourselves in being calm and still, and enjoying moments alone with Michael and I, and our Father. Yet there is a further step, a greater reach, a larger fulfillment when you do this ever so highly consciously, for stillness leads not only to Michael and myself, and our Father; it leads to your own highest mind, the great super-conscious levels of your being that have already tied so much together, that already understand so well, if you will just listen, also, to this very real part of you. This is also in here to discover. Be in my love. Good evening.