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I came across this quote as I was reading today, and it got me thinking, how can we combat this dangerous trend that is clearly infecting our societies?

68:2.2 (764.5) While the level of intelligence has contributed considerably to the rate of cultural progress, society is essentially designed to lessen the risk element in the individual’s mode of living, and it has progressed just as fast as it has succeeded in lessening pain and increasing the pleasure element in life. Thus does the whole social body push on slowly toward the goal of destiny—extinction or survival—depending on whether that goal is self-maintenance or self-gratification. Self-maintenance originates society, while excessive self-gratification destroys civilization.

68:2.11 (766.1) Vanity contributed mightily to the birth of society; but at the time of these revelations the devious strivings of a vainglorious generation threaten to swamp and submerge the whole complicated structure of a highly specialized civilization. Pleasure-want has long since superseded hunger-want; the legitimate social aims of self-maintenance are rapidly translating themselves into base and threatening forms of self-gratification. Self-maintenance builds society; unbridled self-gratification unfailingly destroys civilization.

So, what do we do from here on out? What is our responsibility? How can we even start thinking about it? Where do we start?

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9:5.7 Too often, all too often, you mar your minds by insincerity and sear them with unrighteousness;


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Really good point kicoverz. I suppose if we want to do something we might develop a paper or treatise wherein we start to flush out exactly how those words of warning come to pass. We could identify and discuss examples both positive and negative where all repercussions are laid out in order to clarify just what the revelators mean.

One quick example that comes to mind is dinner drinking. A glass of wine a day usually gets good marks by health officials today. Two glasses maybe starts getting slightly indulgent and 3 (everyday or often) definitely puts you into the long term health damaging and excessive expenditure category, at least that is my interpretation of what I hear and understand.


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In some ways I think decadence is socially self correcting. The love of money delivers great misery upon its victims. Shortly after the Roaring 20's and the Papers gave us these quotes came the global Great Depression and WW II. Self survival and maintenence regained our attention and priority. Like a pendulum swinging back and forth. It is very self regulating I think...but progressive over time.

As to what WE can do? Remain focused on the prize of spiritization and Circle Progress and sharing the fruits of the Spirit in loving service. What else might we do?

Socially we should feed curiosity and discovery with education and learn social ethics and service values and pray together. Our destiny is certain...but the journey will be "interesting"!

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Great topic! I think one way to get a hold on this is to start with the way we raise our kids. Very young children naturally seek immediate self-gratification because evolution favored those who could obtain food and other resources frequently and in more quantity. The child does not understand the implications of continual and immediate satisfaction of every desire; but parents and society can help them develop skills of self discipline, moderation, balance, unselfishness, and thrift. The best way to teach these skills to children is to demonstrate them, every day. So it actually works from top down and bottom up, parents modeling appropriate behavior and children imitating and carrying forward these valuable societal skills and attitudes.


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68:2.5 (765.2) History is but the record of man’s agelong food struggle. Primitive man only thought when he was hungry; food saving was his first self-denial, self-discipline. With the growth of society, food hunger ceased to be the only incentive for mutual association. Numerous other sorts of hunger, the realization of various needs, all led to the closer association of mankind. But today society is top-heavy with the overgrowth of supposed human needs. Occidental civilization of the twentieth century groans wearily under the tremendous overload of luxury and the inordinate multiplication of human desires and longings. Modern society is enduring the strain of one of its most dangerous phases of far-flung interassociation and highly complicated interdependence.

68:6.3 (769.8) Human society is controlled by a law which decrees that the population must vary directly in accordance with the land arts and inversely with a given standard of living. Throughout these early ages, even more than at present, the law of supply and demand as concerned men and land determined the estimated value of both. During the times of plentiful land—unoccupied territory—the need for men was great, and therefore the value of human life was much enhanced; hence the loss of life was more horrifying. During periods of land scarcity and associated overpopulation, human life became comparatively cheapened so that war, famine, and pestilence were regarded with less concern.

68:6.4 (770.1) When the land yield is reduced or the population is increased, the inevitable struggle is renewed; the very worst traits of human nature are brought to the surface. The improvement of the land yield, the extension of the mechanical arts, and the reduction of population all tend to foster the development of the better side of human nature.

68:6.6 (770.3) The size of the family has always been influenced by the standards of living. The higher the standard the smaller the family, up to the point of established status or gradual extinction.

68:6.7 (770.4) All down through the ages the standards of living have determined the quality of a surviving population in contrast with mere quantity. Local class standards of living give origin to new social castes, new mores. When standards of living become too complicated or too highly luxurious, they speedily become suicidal. Caste is the direct result of the high social pressure of keen competition produced by dense populations.


Me here: The above quotes do not address the question as to what we should do....but they do offer a glimpse of the struggles we will face still even in these so-called modern times. Consider how food technology (farming, preservation, etc.) has advanced in the recent past (100 years ago it took 80% to feed 100% - now it's 5% are feeding 100%) and the effects of weather pattern changes and natural disasters related to housing, food, and refugee displacement - all of which is now greater than war suffering. In the West, birth rates decline to the level of economic systems challenges (too many retirees compared to workers) but the East and Africa and S. America are all very young populations but less stable and progressive in some important ways.


Our world lives in multiple Mortal Epochs (at least 3) making it impossible to generalize "global" issues and solutions I think. But only ethics, morals, and spirituality can combine practically and adequately to truly address the issues presented in Paper 68 - the Dawn of Civilization...we have barely emerged from primitive barbarianism....and that's only some of us. This process takes time. There are no short cuts to wisdom and harmony and Light and Life we are told. And the more enlightened cannot force evolutionary progress on others. Leadership and example and success will evolve the world - as go the parts, so goes the whole.

I am impressed as to the willingness and capability of our world to respond to disaster relief. The ability to address suffering is increasing and the amount of human capital in its many forms dedicated to the help and rescue of others is impressive IMO - it is growing and it is globalizing our world and breaking down many barriers....slowly but surely. We must become one people on one world....and so we are!


8)


Last edited by fanofVan on Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:50 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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A case might be made too that some of the worst and most deadly wars developed from essentially rampant self-gratification. About a generation before World War II Germany, Italy and Japan were straddled with development and economic woes. They certainly required a great focus on self-maintenance and frugality to overcome. But once those people starting overcoming their problems they seemed to be affected by a strange species of self-gratification: the ambition to become hyper expanded empire rulers.


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I think the UB makes it very clear that the evolutionary process for social progress includes those issues which make us more inter-dependent and that which breaks down barriers of real and perceived difference. Agriculture, slavery, town/city building, trade and commerce, specialization and industrialization, diplomacy and treaty, religious and racial tolerance, translation and multi-lingual capacity, personal travel and multi-cultural exchanges, common threats of catastrophic outcomes, scientific progress and education/literacy, and all other forms of progress drive civilization forward.

Mass suffering by famine, drought, flood, war, disease, etc. seem to accelerate the social response mechanism while peace and plenty and prosperity appear to slow it down, although only leisure time delivers true opportunity for higher thinking and creative problem solving on larger scales of the population. One reason for this effect, I think, is that self importance and self reliance and self indulgence has more opportunity during prosperity. The "prosperity effect" is a very interesting paradox to consider. It is why we are taught that the angels and the TA guide us into challenge and choice rather than ease and comfort. As still primitive beings, we will revert to behavior of indolence and indulgence when circumstances allow it.


Urantia's progress through the Mortal Epochs of Time should be obvious to us all. We are told the Golden Age is a myth. This is the most golden of ages...so far.


I think another effect we are dealing with today is the acceleration of the rate-of-change! This causes enormous stress and strain and pressure and uncertainty and anxiety. And there is only one cure....the spirit within, personal faith, and the faith assurance delivered by personal religious progress. There is truly NO social balm or comfort to this rate of change. It makes one's head spin and dizzy. It keeps some people distracted, distraught, tense, and seeking escape or distraction by means which are often self destructive. This is an issue related to but distinct from self-gratification - it is escapism.


I don't think there is any social solution to these combined problems of self gratification and escapism, only personal ones and only spiritual ones. When I say "personal" ones I also mean each of us can not only soothe and guide ourselves forward in spirit but we can minister to others by the fruits of the Spirit. Too many well intentioned folks (including UB folks!) are too involved in finding blame and pointing fingers and demanding this or that from others and focus on political/social solutions to what is essentially very spiritual and faith oriented problems. Criticizing others and being self righteous and demanding solutions to personal disappointments is childish and counterproductive. Preaching to and condemning others will not save anyone from anything or change anything for the better!


We may each only do two things: change our personal view and perspective of the world by our own spiritualization to eliminate anxiety and fear self importance and share the inner peace, harmony, hope, ideals, faith, calmness, contentment, and confidence in the Spirit and the Most Highs with our families, tribes, communities, strangers, neighbors, and the world. Changing our personal view of the world and shining our light of faith both actually change the world...the first changes the world by our own lens toward and view of the world - the world changes simply because we have changed - and the second changes the world and the universe by the addition and gift and sharing of hope, love, peace, patience, happiness, contentment, faith, confidence, and joy to others! Both work profoundly well.


Those who fail to adjust their own lens and perspective, merely sow doubt and blame and fear and doom and gloom are the enemies of progress and the Spirit - adding their tares to the fields of wheat and the harvest of love. Their perspective of the world and of others and of the heavenly hosts is skewed and polluted and offers nothing of value to anyone at all - not themselves or any others. Indeed, they offer no value but do poison themselves and others and deliver more evil and error to negatively influence the social struggles to evolve and progress....No matter what book they claim to read or what beliefs they claim for themselves....just sayin'.


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Wow. Great insights from all. Thank you.
@Riktare:
That's a good point. We could probably raise these issues during global religious conferences or The parliament of the World's religions etc..
Maybe we don't even have to go that big, we could simply, on an individual level, raise these issues within our social circles, be it religious or secular.

@Agon D. Onter
You make an excellent point. As you will see from the quotes that I found below, the revelators stress the importance of the home in resolving these issues.

@fanofVan
You bring out some interesting points. Indeed, the world does live in seemingly 3 different epochs, but the world is also easily influenced by each other's lifestyles thanks to the internet and to globalization in general.

Also, to your point on "the acceleration of the rate-of-change!" , I believe 2000 Years ago, Rodan spoke of this:

160:1.3.The more complex civilization becomes, the more difficult will become the art of living. The more rapid the changes in social usage, the more complicated will become the task of character development. Every ten generations mankind must learn anew the art of living if progress is to continue. And if man becomes so ingenious that he more rapidly adds to the complexities of society, the art of living will need to be remastered in less time, perhaps every single generation. If the evolution of the art of living fails to keep pace with the technique of existence, humanity will quickly revert to the simple urge of living—the attainment of the satisfaction of present desires. Thus will humanity remain immature; society will fail in growing up to full maturity.

This just further shows how important this issue is. It really is "the greatest threat" to our existence as is stated in the quotes below.

--
I also found the following quotes which could shed some more light on this topic for further analysis.

84:8.2.Originally, property was the basic institution of self-maintenance, while marriage functioned as the unique institution of self-perpetuation. Although food satisfaction, play, and humor, along with periodic sex indulgence, were means of self-gratification, it remains a fact that the evolving mores have failed to build any distinct institution of self-gratification. And it is due to this failure to evolve specialized techniques of pleasurable enjoyment that all human institutions are so completely shot through with this pleasure pursuit. Property accumulation is becoming an instrument for augmenting all forms of self-gratification, while marriage is often viewed only as a means of pleasure. And this overindulgence, this widely spread pleasure mania, now constitutes the greatest threat
that has ever been leveled at the social evolutionary institution of family life, the home.

84:8.4.There is real danger in the combination of restlessness, curiosity, adventure, and pleasure-abandon characteristic of the post-Andite races. The hunger of the soul cannot be satisfied with physical pleasures; the love of home and children is not augmented by the unwise pursuit of pleasure. Though you exhaust the resources of art, color, sound, rhythm, music, and adornment of person, you cannot hope thereby to elevate the soul or to nourish the spirit. Vanity and fashion cannot minister to home building and child culture; pride and rivalry are powerless to enhance the survival qualities of succeeding generations.

84:8.5.Advancing celestial beings all enjoy rest and the ministry of the reversion directors. All efforts to obtain wholesome diversion and to engage in uplifting play are sound; refreshing sleep, rest, recreation, and all pastimes which prevent the boredom of monotony are worth while. Competitive games, storytelling, and even the taste of good food may serve as forms of self-gratification. (When you use salt to savor food, pause to consider that, for almost a million years, man could obtain salt only by dipping his food in ashes.)

84:8.6.Let man enjoy himself; let the human race find pleasure in a thousand and one ways; let evolutionary mankind explore all forms of legitimate self-gratification, the fruits of the long upward biologic struggle. Man has well earned some of his present-day joys and pleasures. But look you well to the goal of destiny! Pleasures are indeed suicidal if they succeed in destroying property, which has become the institution of self-maintenance; and self-gratifications have indeed cost a fatal price if they bring about the collapse of marriage, the decadence of family life, and the destruction of the home—man's supreme evolutionary acquirement and civilization's only hope of survival.

----

As I reflect upon your answers and the quotes, I believe that to start solving this issue we must start with:

1. Ourselves
2. Our HOMES
3. Our Schools
4. Awareness campaigns through our religious institutions and secular institutions who are specialized in social progress.

This is obviously a long-term project, but we could start building the cornerstones in this generation.

_________________
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9:5.7 Too often, all too often, you mar your minds by insincerity and sear them with unrighteousness;


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I have been reading a bit of the fragmentum, the remembrance of Romulous and those who honoured his traditions. In that society of patrons and clientele, the mores seemed to dictate forbadence of gratification unto plebs and sought to teach men the ways subjects could live up to their own patrons or ancestors.

I have studied the Bible fragments and the history of the Hebrew people, but up until now I had not been interested in the pre-Christian traditions of Rome. But then I thought, "how could Yehudai-ism founded on the conception of a Matreon-Deity (El Shekinah)" eventuate a concept of Deity which identifies God as Patron?

such fragmentum of old Roman Censors and Jurists, would have comparable value to those scripts which had been amalgamated into the Vulgate, now that we identify JEsus also as a Roman Patron.



It is said that the collapse of the Roma-based Roman empire was precipitated upon capitulation to public demands: excess gratification. A nation too occupied in feeding its subjects is vulnerable to theft, and is not focused on expanding. The collapse of Rome is one thing but in the modern world the costs of collapse will be somewhat unendurable. As in the original quotations of this thread.

This is like in America, when leaders expect programmes such as welfare and foodstamps might be used as maintenance goals, end up creating self-gratification. These pose as forms of remuneration, and there is no cost of national-loyalty to receive the programme, but simply socioeconomic prequalifications which often involve fraud. What do I mean cost of national-loyalty it is either an oral agreement or a service agreement such as the CCC.

Units such as food-stamp are not as effectual as the USD currency, but they cost more than 1:1 USD to disburse. And they are even used in black-market barter, and self-maintenance policies for individual citizens "running out" at the end of the month. The food-stamps often goes towards a set of foodproducts consigned by the grocer, which have a greater cost-per-pound and more materials packaging and distance shipping overall (than convenient items which are usually more perishable such as produce and meat). And the conditions are subsidized "from the inside" (the growers and producers of food and product) through other government programmes, resulting in a type of conflation which has made annual-crop cultivation seem to be more profitable than perennial-crop cultivation in america.

What does it say in Americathat annual-crop monoculture farms are financed in a way that appears to be more profitable than perennial cultivation? The economic security is pointing to collapse: too much effluviation, foreclosure of legitimate householders (small farms), and contractural relationship of insurance-type guarantees between producers and sellers.

Instead of counseling citizens how to achieve the national-goals, the American Government often sets up new institutions to fulfill its goals of self maintenance. In other words, we see the American Government paying those who gratify their stated goals of civil progress.

When Jesus made his pilgrimage to Roma, along the way he explained to one Jurist, that people should support the government, and it is not as necessary that the government should support the people. We should consider whether any public employee or any contractee of the government, should have the privelege of salary beyond assigned housing and utilities. Why should the government pay to have its goals effectuated, when better goals can be brought forth from loyal volunteers, subjects of such nation. How do you know that a salaried professional has contributed to the nation and not his own estate, at the end of the service?

I have been thinking about Matreon versus Patron, the East versus the West, and I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea of Rome representing the Occident and the Jewish Nation of David (Ruth) representing the Orient. What is it about Abner, and the other twelve Apostles, which represents that body which simply trusted Jesus' words and carried them forward, more or less without comprimising them for sociopolitical gain.

It is time to ask: was the relationship that Jesus assumed over the Apostles that of Patron and clientele? The fragmentum seem to have ethical provision for how one might logically assume this responsibility. And as such it is reasonable to assume that Abner too, along with Peter, was a lawfully abiding citizen of Rome, despite the fact that he live on the frontier of the Empire.

In the original Roman system, if you were born to a patron, you are nevertheless the subject of him. The Patron is as a state-holder in himself, much as Sachemi of America were obligated to assume lawful responsibility for every member their tribe. Patrons had the authority to own other citizens slaves, and this is actually something of a merciful act, since the acquirement of slave implied in those times that one's life had been spared. A slave could also be granted freedom by the Patron, a most judicious act. Patrons formed a confederacy of representation within the Roman senate. Beyond this, the culture espoused such strong more that the Patron was compelled to teach his own ethics to his family, being seen as something like an eternal tradition rather than a job.

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SEla_Kelly... you write:

Quote:
When Jesus made his pilgrimage to Roma, along the way he explained to one Jurist, that people should support the government, and it is not as necessary that the government should support the people. We should consider whether any public employee or any contractee of the government, should have the privelege of salary beyond assigned housing and utilities. Why should the government pay to have its goals effectuated, when better goals can be brought forth from loyal volunteers, subjects of such nation. How do you know that a salaried professional has contributed to the nation and not his own estate, at the end of the service?

I have been thinking about Matreon versus Patron, the East versus the West, and I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea of Rome representing the Occident and the Jewish Nation of David (Ruth) representing the Orient. What is it about Abner, and the other twelve Apostles, which represents that body which simply trusted Jesus' words and carried them forward, more or less without comprimising them for sociopolitical gain.

It is time to ask: was the relationship that Jesus assumed over the Apostles that of Patron and clientele? The fragmentum seem to have ethical provision for how one might logically assume this responsibility. And as such it is reasonable to assume that Abner too, along with Peter, was a lawfully abiding citizen of Rome, despite the fact that he live on the frontier of the Empire.


If you are going to join this discussion, please join in with something more than this very long, rambling essay on politics of the ancient world, along with your critique of America's food-stamp program. I have highlighted the only part of your post that cites any Urantia Book material. And even that does not give any citation of where you have found the material you're claiming to be part of the UB. If you want to contrast what you term "fragmentum" with Urantia Book text, please show where you're getting your material.

And also, please define in a way that all can understand just what the point is, and how it relates to the topic.

Thanks.

MaryJo


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kicoverz wrote:
I came across this quote as I was reading today, and it got me thinking, how can we combat this dangerous trend that is clearly infecting our societies?

68:2.2 (764.5) While the level of intelligence has contributed considerably to the rate of cultural progress, society is essentially designed to lessen the risk element in the individual’s mode of living, and it has progressed just as fast as it has succeeded in lessening pain and increasing the pleasure element in life. Thus does the whole social body push on slowly toward the goal of destiny—extinction or survival—depending on whether that goal is self-maintenance or self-gratification. Self-maintenance originates society, while excessive self-gratification destroys civilization.

68:2.11 (766.1) Vanity contributed mightily to the birth of society; but at the time of these revelations the devious strivings of a vainglorious generation threaten to swamp and submerge the whole complicated structure of a highly specialized civilization. Pleasure-want has long since superseded hunger-want; the legitimate social aims of self-maintenance are rapidly translating themselves into base and threatening forms of self-gratification. Self-maintenance builds society; unbridled self-gratification unfailingly destroys civilization.

So, what do we do from here on out? What is our responsibility? How can we even start thinking about it? Where do we start?


I suggest reading and re reading the Lucifer rebellion papers.
In Lucifer’s long history of service that everyone associated with him trusted, loved and complemented,
it was a very short period of time relative to this that self importance and the delusion of false liberty took over his mind.
I read his manefesto and it so closely relates to what I observe happening today.
It’s much higher beings than us lowly mortals that are subject to the lure of self importance and false liberty.
Then I ask myself: what did Jesus do at the outbreak of rebellion?
What on Urania is there to be loyal to?
There is one system here that has the framework for a stable society with its three branches of government and separation of powers, only one like it in existence.
Without true science, true philosophy and true religion, the system that embraces this framework will fail - we are headed in the wrong direction - teetering on the brink (as the authors of this revelation state somewhere in the text)
What to do about it? Trust in God’s evolutionary plan and try to have an evolutionary long range outlook??
We certainly are not put here to fix other people. Isn’t self mastery very important?


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132:4.5 (1461.3) He talked with a Roman senator on politics and statesmanship, and this one contact with Jesus made such an impression on this legislator that he spent the rest of his life vainly trying to induce his colleagues to change the course of the ruling policy from the idea of the government supporting and feeding the people to that of the people supporting the government.
(I said Jurist when the text writes Senator)

fragmentum is the remnants of the codex and jurisprudence from Ancient Rome, preserved by the Patrons. (This much as in Socrates was one of the only men who carried remembrance of Solon during the times of Ancient Greek). If we are told that the bestowal of God upon the human individual is as in a "father fragment", it amplifies and enhances the retained knowledge of archaeology, reverence for tradition, and scholarly elaboration of the ideas contained in all ancient cultures' highest traditions. I do not know how to say this, but in Catholic Tradition the fragments of Hebrew Traditions plus early Christian ways were censored and amalgamated by the man Sainte Jerome of Bethlehem. I imbellish the plural "um" to indicate the specific interest of Latin-Roman heritage.

This all relates to the topic "self-gratification vs self maintenance" because if people support the government, they will learn the ways of self-sufficiency and increase the yields of their own land to feed themselves, not becoming dependent on promises made by officials.

We don't know what Jesus told the Senator, but we know that it did profoundly affect his reasoning, and we have a glimpse as to howby it had affected the Senator's goals.

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111:4.3 The advances of true civilization are all born in this inner world of mankind. It is only the inner life that is truly creative. Civilization can hardly progress when the majority of the youth of any generation devote their interests and energies to the materialistic pursuits of the sensory or outer world.

111:4.4 The inner and the outer worlds have a different set of values. Any civilization is in jeopardy when three quarters of its youth enter materialistic professions and devote themselves to the pursuit of the sensory activities of the outer world. Civilization is in danger when youth neglect to interest themselves in ethics, sociology, eugenics, philosophy, the fine arts, religion, and cosmology.


that big increase in financial majors in the 80's was disturbing to me and i see it's still hanging strong but the materialistic pursuers are still in the minority:

What's Your Major? 4 Decades Of College Degrees, In 1 Graph

and i find today's kids more thoughtful than the last generation. really i see the biggest problem in society as not too much change per se, but too much change/growth in certain areas and not enough growth in compensating/balancing areas. but as has been said before the too much personal liberty and not enough self-regulation thing stands out.

bear in mind the graph is an incomplete sample and only a rough, vague statistic representative of the meaning/value expressed in the papers...


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Yes, we must find a way to glorify the highest values and Ideals which Fost and Augment the best in us.

in our consistency of upholding the highest of truths and desires we can bring about greater awareness.

Truth feeds healthy minds, The Indwelling Spirits in every longing mortal will aid a sincere and stall-worth effort.

We are a movement with a voice, if we choose to shear in unity a voice of the highest calibrator, the Heavens will open up and the world can change.


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