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 Post subject: Re: Adversity
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Greetings,

It has been asked whether Jesus recommended conscious acceptance of spirit guidance. In my opinion, conscious acceptance of spirit guidance means a wholehearted choice for spirit guidance, or God's will. Jesus actually said this in Paper 142 (quote below). A wholehearted choice must be conscious, and such a conscious acceptance of spirit guidance indicates that one has been “born of the spirit”.

And Nicodemus said: "But how can I begin to lay hold upon this spirit which is to remake me in preparation for entering into the kingdom?" Jesus answered: "Already does the spirit of the Father in heaven indwell you. If you would be led by this spirit from above, very soon would you begin to see with the eyes of the spirit, and then by the wholehearted choice of spirit guidance would you be born of the spirit since your only purpose in living would be to do the will of your Father who is in heaven. And so finding yourself born of the spirit and happily in the kingdom of God, you would begin to bear in your daily life the abundant fruits of the spirit." 142:6:7

The Revelation defines being "born of the spirit" as receiving and recognizing the indwelling God. It seems to me that in order to recognize God one must be aware and conscious, God-conscious. And receiving God means accepting God's presence once it is recognized.

Those who have received and recognized the indwelling of God have been born of the Spirit. "You are the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwells in you." It is not enough that this spirit be poured out upon you; the divine Spirit must dominate and control every phase of human experience.34:6:7

Later, in Paper 146 Jesus explains that the reason his followers believed they were the sons of God was because his teaching had made them conscious of the inner leadings of their Adjusters. Jesus clearly states that it is possible to become conscious of the presence of God, see quote below. The obvious question becomes: is consciousness of Spirit presence enough? Or do we also have to make a wholehearted choice of acceptance as well?

At first you believe that you are sons of God because my teaching has made you more conscious of the inner leadings of our Father's indwelling presence; but presently the Spirit of Truth shall be poured out upon all flesh, and it will live among men and teach all men, even as I now live among you and speak to you the words of truth. 146:3:6

I would venture to say that Jesus recommended that conscious acceptance of the presence of God within also requires the additional step of submitting one’s will just as a little child is willing to submit his/her will to the leading of a loving father. I don’t think it is possible to say, “It is my will that your will be done,” unless you are fully conscious and wholeheartedly submitting oneself to guidance from the spirit presence within.

Jesus taught us that we should increasingly be able to feel the presence of God within. In order to feel the presence of God, one must be conscious, not unconscious, which is why "psychic misadventures" are futile. God-consciousness is to see God by faith, also known as spiritual insight. Jesus recommended that we find God through the leadings of spiritual insight and we approach this insight through the integration of truth, beauty and goodness (see below).

In religion, Jesus advocated and followed the method of experience, even as modern science pursues the technique of experiment. We find God through the leadings of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight. 195:5:14

In Paper 140 we are told that truth, beauty and goodness are manifestations of love.

He exalted love — truth, beauty, and goodness — as the divine ideal and the eternal reality. 140:8:31

I think it is clear that Jesus recommended conscious acceptance of spirit guidance. Without such a conscious and wholehearted approach to doing God's will, dedication to the humble discovery of truth, beauty and goodness in one's life, integration and unification of those values into love revealed by the personal presence of God within the soul, life becomes meaningless. A meaningless life is a dead life full of illness, insanity and unhappiness.

The spirit must dominate the mind and the mind must consciously choose spirit supremacy in order to master the self, which includes the body. Jesus was the Master of self-mastery and he attained it by consciously accepting spirit guidance saying, "Not my will but yours be done."

The mind of man has become the mind of God from this time on, and though the selfhood of the mind of man is ever present, always does this spiritualized human mind say, "Not my will but yours be done."

In Friendship,
Rexford


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 Post subject: Re: Adversity
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:23 am +0000
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Greetings,

I'd like to make an amendment to something I wrote in a previous post: "Clearly unconscious acceptance of spirit guidance would have no value at all."

I think I overstepped a bit in saying that unconscious acceptance has no value. In truth, acceptance of spirit guidance can be unconscious, albeit decisions that contribute to soul growth are conscious. The following quote explains that following spirit guidance can be either conscious or unconscious.

Every mortal who is consciously or unconsciously following the leading of his indwelling Adjuster is living in accordance with the will of God. 107:0:4

Another form of unconscious spiritual acceptance can occur due to the presence of the Holy Spirit, albeit conscious decisions to obey divine leadings increases spiritual growth.

When mind is thus endowed with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it possesses the capacity for (consciously or unconsciously) choosing the spiritual presence of the Universal Father — the Thought Adjuster.
The Holy Spirit is partly independent of human attitude and partially conditioned by the decisions and co-operation of the will of man. Nevertheless, the ministry of the Holy Spirit becomes increasingly effective in the sanctification and spiritualization of the inner life of those mortals who the more fully obey the divine leadings. 34:5:4-5 
 

I do believe that growth of one's spiritual capacity, growth of the soul, requires conscious decisions to abide by spirit leading.

Man consciously grows from the material toward the spiritual by the strength, power, and persistency of his own decisions; he also grows as his Thought Adjuster develops new techniques for reaching down from the spiritual to the morontial soul levels; and once the soul comes into being, it begins to grow in and of itself. 117:3.6

In Friendship,
Rexford


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 Post subject: Re: Adversity
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Greetings!! Another interesting topic and discussion.

The differences in conscious and unconscious responses to external and internal influences includes that which is learned and experienced sufficiently that we "automatically" respond in faith and with love. Jesus was so unconscious of "self" in his situational and relationship experiences that he even asked "Why do you call me good?" Eventually, reality alignment gained by experience brings such auto-responses that do not require conscious thought....so many successful choices made before result in true reality-responses.

We are provided a material or animal auto-response mechanism inherited over millions of years of personal and species survival - the fight or flight response is not accidental...or learned...it is imbedded by the adjutant mind spirit of intuition. (36:5.6 and 62:6.3)

To become reflexive and automatic in our spiritual life takes time, choices, experience, disappointments, failure - effort and persistence. But there comes a time when our spirit-led responses will also become reflexive and automatic as well - our responses become habitual once they are repeated often enough and consciously enough that this learned behavior becomes fully ingrained and integrated in ways that do not require conscious choice any longer.

Based on the text below, the unconscious demonstration of spirituality is the result and reflection of the prior conscious choices of our own spiritization.....but the more spiritized we become, the more unconscious our responses become. We do not need to "think" to "choose" when we have thought and chosen well enough and long enough for the right choice to be known and selected. The more experience and education and success we have, the more unconsciously we make the right choice.

Any athlete, skilled craftsman, artist, or professional knows of this effect. What once took great thought to clumsily perform now requires no thought to excel. Indeed, the thinking gets in the way, eventually, of the best "doing". Self forgetting is a form of unconscious perspective to that which is before us. We cannot lift 100 pounds until after we can lift 10 and then 50. We cannot take a race car to the very edge of physics before we ride the bicycle, nor it before the tricycle. Skill is acquired through adversity, resistance, and failure - the persistence to get it right!..... before it is or can be applied effortlessly and unconsciously.

I do not mean to suggest that we ever become automatons or that we will acquire sufficient wisdom and experience that everything becomes unconscious....no, no, no. Our spiritization and perfecting prior to finality is a very long education requiring attention and conscious choices to continue our journey....and even finaliters face many new befuddlements and paradoxes and unique situational choices which will require a consciousness of consideration and reflection and determination of the right or best response within us.

I agree that adversity is not the same as suffering. All, or nearly all, mental/emotional suffering is a manifestation of fear and its many cousins. Adversity does not require the fear factor. Adversity may come from resistance or unintended consequences or opposition or uncertainty or disappointment or failure...the elimination of fear from our life does not then also remove such adversity and its functional role in both character development (failure is the mirror of my true self) and the learning curve/experience required to ascend through the scale of the right choice, the better choice, the best choice, and then, far far into our perfecting, the perfect choice.

100:1.8 (1095.3) Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth. One can develop religious predispositions toward favorable reaction to spiritual stimuli, a sort of conditioned spiritual reflex. Habits which favor religious growth embrace cultivated sensitivity to divine values, recognition of religious living in others, reflective meditation on cosmic meanings, worshipful problem solving, sharing one’s spiritual life with one’s fellows, avoidance of selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, living as in the presence of God. The factors of religious growth may be intentional, but the growth itself is unvaryingly unconscious.

100:1.9 (1095.4) The unconscious nature of religious growth does not, however, signify that it is an activity functioning in the supposed subconscious realms of human intellect; rather does it signify creative activities in the superconscious levels of mortal mind. The experience of the realization of the reality of unconscious religious growth is the one positive proof of the functional existence of the superconsciousness.

2. Spiritual Growth

100:2.1 (1095.5) Spiritual development depends, first, on the maintenance of a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces and, second, on the continuous bearing of spiritual fruit: yielding the ministry to one’s fellows of that which has been received from one’s spiritual benefactors. Spiritual progress is predicated on intellectual recognition of spiritual poverty coupled with the self-consciousness of perfection-hunger, the desire to know God and be like him, the wholehearted purpose to do the will of the Father in heaven.

100:2.2 (1095.6) Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity. And this entire experience constitutes the reality of religion as contrasted with mere theological beliefs.

100:2.3 (1095.7) Religion can progress to that level of experience whereon it becomes an enlightened and wise technique of spiritual reaction to the universe. Such a glorified religion can function on three levels of human personality: the intellectual, the morontial, and the spiritual; upon the mind, in the evolving soul, and with the indwelling spirit.

100:2.4 (1096.1) Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one’s nearness to God and the measure of one’s usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.


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 Post subject: Re: Adversity
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Greetings fanofVan,

Fantastic disquisition! I would add only one thing. Although spiritual growth itself is unconscious, the conditions for growth must be conscious. If that were not so, then there would be no need for free will.

But man does not passively, slavishly, surrender his will to the Adjuster. Rather does he actively, positively, and co-operatively choose to follow the Adjuster's leading when and as such leading consciously differs from the desires and impulses of the natural mortal mind. The Adjusters manipulate but never dominate man's mind against his will; to the Adjusters the human will is supreme. And they so regard and respect it while they strive to achieve the spiritual goals of thought adjustment and character transformation in the almost limitless arena of the evolving human intellect. 111:1:8

Conditioned spiritual reflexes may provide the proper attitude of mind, the background for choice, but the choice itself must be conscious or it actually violates the Adjuster's will to respect human will.

Thanks for offering such astute observations,
Rexford


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You're welcome...and thanks for the new word...."disquisition"....hahaha, fitting!

When it comes to facing adversities, the most effective method requires a truth based philosophy of living don't you think? Jesus faced so many and so young too. That person who is unified and integrated and motivated by faith and love and certainty in source and destiny and confident in God's paternal love and our extended family which comes by such belief becomes activated and enthused and undaunted by confusions, disappointments, and failures along this path of eternity. Such a one gains wisdom and insight along with the experience of engaging life, at every intersection of situation, circumstance, people, and relationship.

Such a philosophy of living delivers our foundational motive for being, choosing, and acting which ensures right intention at every intersection of life...but only experience in choosing, and being, can bring wisdom into play. Each of us is completely unique and so is our trail of intersections of free will choice...but we are promised an integration and unification of being that grows in ability and effectiveness I think...as the fruits of such spiritization grow upon our branch of the living vine, we are nurtured into even more fruitfulness.

140:4.8 (1572.8) An effective philosophy of living is formed by a combination of cosmic insight and the total of one’s emotional reactions to the social and economic environment. Remember: While inherited urges cannot be fundamentally modified, emotional responses to such urges can be changed; therefore the moral nature can be modified, character can be improved. In the strong character emotional responses are integrated and co-ordinated, and thus is produced a unified personality. Deficient unification weakens the moral nature and engenders unhappiness.

140:4.9 (1572.9) Without a worthy goal, life becomes aimless and unprofitable, and much unhappiness results. Jesus’ discourse at the ordination of the twelve constitutes a master philosophy of life. Jesus exhorted his followers to exercise experiential faith. He admonished them not to depend on mere intellectual assent, credulity, and established authority.

140:4.10 (1573.1) Education should be a technique of learning (discovering) the better methods of gratifying our natural and inherited urges, and happiness is the resulting total of these enhanced techniques of emotional satisfactions. Happiness is little dependent on environment, though pleasing surroundings may greatly contribute thereto.

140:4.11 (1573.2) Every mortal really craves to be a complete person, to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect, and such attainment is possible because in the last analysis the “universe is truly fatherly.”

8)


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Urantia Paper 111:1.8 wrote:
But man does not passively, slavishly, surrender his will to the Adjuster. Rather does he actively, positively, and co-operatively choose to follow the Adjuster's leading when and as such leading consciously differs from the desires and impulses of the natural mortal mind. The Adjusters manipulate but never dominate man's mind against his will; to the Adjusters the human will is supreme. And they so regard and respect it while they strive to achieve the spiritual goals of thought adjustment and character transformation in the almost limitless arena of the evolving human intellect.

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to the Underlaying Unity of All Life so that the Voice of Intuition may guide Us closer to Our Common Keeper


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