02. Soul
Spiritual Web Chat
Session 1: Sat 23 Aug 1997

Ben< Okay, let's get started. The word "soul" is found only in English and the Germanic languages. It is used to translate Latin *anima*, Greek *psyche*, and Hebrew *nephesh*. All of these languages have a separate word for "soul" and "spirit" -- and in all these languages, the word for "soul" refers to a non-physical entity rather than to an atmosphere or a force.

Ben< In the last seminar, we looked at meanings of "spirit" and pointed out the concepts that spirit is like wind, and spirit is like breath. Now lets build on that last concept. What is the difference between respiration and artificial respiration? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Respiration we do ourselves, Artificial respiration we do to one who can't breathe on their own, to put life back in them.

SLIDER< Respiration is natural, and artificial respiration is induced by other than natural.

JamesRD< One derives from the essence or energy that is instinctual to maintain life in this existence. The later is a forced existence derived from our peers and their values.

greyman< Respiration is mechanical, biological, unconscious or deliberate. Artificial respiration is mechanical aid to biological respiration.

MonaHawke< Respiration is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the cells of the body. Artificial respiration is any method of forcing air into and out of the lungs of a person who has stopped breathing.

Ben< Okay. Here comes a long, slow curve out of left field: Newton's first law of motion can be stated: "A body at rest remains at rest, and a body in motion remains in motion, until acted upon by an external force." What if the body referred to is human? Do you know anyone like that? Suppose you saw a body at rest in front of the TV. It remains at rest until acted upon by an outside force. Is it alive? How could you tell? YOUR TURN

MonaHawke< Ben: Sounds like my ex... *grin*

SLIDER< Every one!

Ben< I thought someone might know some body like that. (grin)

FRAML< Whether the hand reaches for the remote control?

MonaHawke< How do we know it stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force? Cannot an internal message stir it to motion?

JamesRD< If it had intelligent perceptual interpretation of even meager means, it would be life as we know it.

greyman< Take Turing test between commercials.

Ben< I suppose you could check to see if it was breathing... or warmer than its surroundings.

FRAML< If our soul is internal, then the outside force would be God or the Holy Spirit/s

SLIDER< The outside force would be the spirit using the body.

FRAML< But there you are talking about the wind and similar actions as opposed to my doing something because I want to or need to.

Ben< COMMENT: In living things, the source of the force of breath is internal, not external. Thus, by the one word "external" Newton's first law of motion includes inanimate objects but excludes living beings.

Ben< The Latin word "anima" refers to that which animates a living being. Thus, in English translation, a soul is what animates a living being.

SLIDER< Would not the spirit using that body be the external force, as without a spirit the body would be just molecules and atoms?

FRAML< Thus our soul is what animates us?

JamesRD< Yet manipulated by one's spirit...

Ben< So then, a soul is a spiritual entity. In Greek, psyche is almost always used in contrast to soma, body. It is also used of the individual, as the seat of the will, desires, etc. In Homer, psyche is used only for a departed soul which still retains some recognizable form and personality. The English equivalent is ghost.

Zarastan< Ben: If I may enter the conversation... what you are saying supports my contention that crystals and other minerals are living beings. They definitely have animas.

greyman< Hi, Zarastan. Kurlin photo static not dynamic as in any living carbon life form.

Zarastan: greyman: Do you mean Kirlian photography?

greyman< Yes, Zarastan, Kirlian photography (sorry for misspelling). Rocks and minerals have static (non-moving) patterns.

FRAML< Building on Slider: What about a spirit that attaches himself to a person, trying to impose his will?

MonaHawke< Okay... so the soul was animated by ... ???

Ben< COMMENT: Where spirit is like breath, a soul is that which breathes. The soul is the source of that little force.

SLIDER< Ben: Can you explain your last post a little better? *S*

Ben< This is where we get led off track by Newton's assumption that the force has to be external. While it is true that a soul can be influenced by external forces, the soul is, itself, a source of spiritual force.

JamesRD< As I see it, Ben... Spirit being external force... Soul being internal, yet both exist as one.

Zarastan< Ben: You too are making the distinction between "soul" and "spirit" as did the Greeks? Or are you using the terms interchangeably?

Ben< Zarastan: The words "a spirit" and "a soul" are often used interchangeably, but I think some other relationships become clearer by looking at them as a force (spirit) and an entity (soul).

Zarastan< Ben: Hmmm... Following you...

Energie< There is a model of the relationship between spirit, soul and body in this computer. The Spirit is the electricity that makes all electrical devices work. The soul is the electricity that is molded into a specific shape by the device. The individualized currents and voltages and frequencies inside the computer. The body, of course, is the device that is activated by the universal electrical spirit and the individualized electrical soul.

Ben< Last bit for tonight: The Latin word "anima" is the root for the Latin and English word "animal". What is the *dynamic* characteristic of all animals? YOUR TURN

Lor< As I recall, the distinguishing characteristic of an animal vs a plant is that it can move.

FRAML< All have a life force within them. A soul of some type/level that gives them that life force.

Ben< All animals are self-propelled. They can move themselves. The implied concept is that a soul can move itself, by itself.

JamesRD< Implied by who, Ben?

Ben< JamesRD: Implied meanings from the use of these words in their original languages, and not merely in English translation.

Blackbird< Ben: So my suspicion that "anima" in Latin actually means "to animate"?

[Ben< Blackbird: Yes, those words come from the same stem. The anima (soul) is that which animates.]

Zarastan< Ben: But if a soul does not imply a body, who is to say that the souls of those bodies that do not move are not also anima? Not trying to be contentious, just wondering if you've pondered this.

[Ben< Zarastan: Yes, I have pondered it. I say the soul leaves when the body dies. Thereafter, the dead body is no longer animated. It does not move by itself, and it does not breathe by itself, although it may be moved from place to place by an outside force just like any other inanimate object.]

FRAML< Zarastan: To me, it is our soul which gives us life and the ability to move, think and do.

Ben< SUMMARY: The concept of soul in all these languages is: a spiritual entity, present in a living body but not in a dead body, that can be moved by spirit-winds, takes in and expels spirit-breath, and is capable of moving itself.

Ben< /topic Open discussion of "soul"

Lor< I've thought that my soul is what I consider to be the "me" -- my inner self that seems to be at the heart of my centerpoint of thinking.

Ben< Lor: Yes, the next question is self-identification. Many identify themselves with the body. Many identify themselves with the mind ("I think, therefore I am"). But teachers of all ages have tried to get people to identify themselves with the soul. Why do they do that?

Lor< Could the teacher's reasoning be: we know the inner ME is something other than just the body or the mind that helps ME figure things out, so therefore I or Me is something other that either of these, QED ?

[Ben< Lor: Yes. Many have noticed they can operate their bodies at will, and they can watch themselves thinking and choose what their minds think about. Thus, they realize they are something other than their body and other than their mind.]

Energie< The most elusive feature of both spirit and soul is that they only exist in the present moment. Neither spirit or soul can be sought after or captured and claimed as private property.

[Ben< Energie: An incarnate soul claims a physical body as its private property.]

Energie< Because both soul and spirit only exist in the present moment, they do not have a beginning or end. The electrical information that is coming into this computer right now is there whether this particular computer is on or not. The TV program is there whether the TV is working or broken and in the dumpster.

SLIDER< Maybe the soul watches all the movies and lets the spirit decide which one to participate in? Or maybe the soul decides which movie to take the spirit to -- virtual reality.

FRAML< Energie: Souls exist in the past, present and future. Our soul is merely occupying this physical body until it returns to the Light from whence it came.

Energie< FRAML: The soul is always in the present moment. Life is always in the present moment. Life cannot be moved out of the present moment, not for a fraction of a second. Life is always right here and right now. It is only imagination that has a past and a future.

grunblau< Doesn't the soul actually exist in the past, present, and future all at the same time? There is no time except here on this plane.

FRAML< grunblau: Bingo on time.

grunblau< What is the definition of entity?

Ben< grunblau: An entity is a unit, a being, an individual.

grunblau< Ben: Thank you -- trying the animal, person, plant question.

Energie< The here-ness and now-ness of Life does not have a beginning or end. Only the device that Life is activating has a beginning or end.

FRAML< Energie: Well I plan for the present moment that will come when I wake up in the morning and next week, etc., thus there is a future that we will live in, and that is how we have a recorded past.

Energie< FRAML: That is imagination.

FRAML< Energie: I have spent my life as a historian and intelligence officer, studying the past and present, and divining how the future will be based upon them. And some of my experiences were not imagination.

Energie< ALL dynamic forces only exist in the present moment. That is the nature of dynamic force. You can't go outside with a jar and collect a jar full of sunlight and save it for later. Sunlight cannot be moved out of the present moment or separated from whatever is causing it to happen. Sunlight IS. Life IS. Soul IS. Wind IS. None of those things can be separated from the present moment or divided up into separate pieces and claimed as private property.

Lor< But Energie, memory indicates that my soul has existed in the past -- and deja-vu experiences make one wonder whether in some dimension my soul "has" existed occasionally in the future!

bkleaf< I think deja-vu is more of just tapping into telepathy, and the feeling of past life encounters are so deep that our conscious mind has a hard time remembering them, because we were in a totally different physical state.

Lor< bkleaf: I have experienced deja-vu of a series of events about to occur about 10 minutes into the future that could not likely have been foretold by any of the things happening at the time of the deja-vu "insight" I received.

bkleaf< Don't let that power go away or scare you. We may never really know why that happens, but we know that it is a good thing.

Energie< Memory is not life, anymore than a picture of your sweetheart is your sweetheart.

greyman< How is moment defined under such circumstances?

Ben< Energie: Time is a tricky concept. Chronological time only applies in the material universe. There is also change in the spiritual universe, but it cannot be measured by clocks or calendars.

Energie< Ben: In the spiritual universe a person can put time on and then take it off again. Like an actor going on a stage and taking part in a stage play that has a beginning or end. Outside of the stage play there is only eternal change.

Ben< Energie: Yes, a soul can enter the material universe and thus experience chronological time. I and others have found lost souls (human ghosts) still hanging around a place on earth who have lost track of chronological time.

Energie< Ben: I have run across souls like that myself. In fact, at one time it was my job to help souls like that to move on.

Ben< Energie: Yes. Soul rescue work. It raised for me the questions, how did they get lost? Or, how did this one get lost?

Energie< It is familiarity and routine that causes souls to become trapped. Both discarnate souls and also incarnate souls. Familiarity, and attachment to what is familiar, is a prison that causes souls to think that they are mortal.

Ben< Energie: Good points. I would focus on attachment -- and attraction as precursor to attachment -- as the key reasons why souls get trapped.

Energie< That familiarity and attachment does not necessarily end with death. Also, a person does not have to die to get loose from familiarity and attachment. "If you want to know what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, you must become as little children" the messenger said. That is what he was referring to. Except for instinctual attachments, children do not have any familiarity or attachment to this world.

Lor< Energie: I've often thought that misinformation (untruths) can lead to entrapments.

[The following apparently was in reply to a private message.]

Blackbird< FRAML: It seems that most of my points are already being said. Forgive my silence, I was engaged in another discussion under the guise of my "true self", but I am here now.

SLIDER< If the present is all that is, then all other must be like a huge library or photo album that we can access at will to satisfy the moment.

MonaHawke< Ben: And the animating force of soul is spirit? Whose? How do we know?

Ben< MonaHawke: The soul *is* a source of animating force. It can move spirit-energy into and out of itself, and it can move itself in spiritual and/or material space.

MonaHawke< Ben: Is there a contention on your last post to me that the soul originally animated and/or created itself then?

Ben< MonaHawke: The origin of individual souls is another question. We can get into it later. Tonight, I was only looking at what a soul is and what a soul can do.

MonaHawke< Ben: But, but, but Ben, the creation is key to all things that follow. Motivation, action, etc., all stem from the original... no? (just teasing ya. *grin*)

Lor< MonaHawke: the soul being a source of animating force need not imply that it is the creator of itself, does it?

grunblau< So, what is said is, a plant has soul and so do animals. They all have soul and know how to use spirit. Well, at least in a limited fashion or certain level.

bkleaf< May I ask if everybody knows their purpose on earth?

SLIDER< I like to think of self as "I am the creation and the creator of my experience and existence."

Ben< SLIDER: Yes, I agree that thinking of oneself as a creation *and* a creator is in line with identifying oneself as a soul. There are other souls, and they also are, by degree, creations and creators.

Lor< SLIDER: I have found that in some of my experiences, and I perceive my existences (mortal and immortal) are, at least in part, the result of interventions by other entities.

bkleaf< Don't forget that Energy never dies; it just changes forms (or lives, cultures, etc.)

SLIDER< Lor: A soul or self must remember who, when, and where you are to pick the circumstance to experience as not to have unwanted influence from other entities.

Lor< SLIDER: I did not intend to imply that the effects of interactions via other entities are necessarily not beneficial -- as, for example, the interaction of you Internet chat-ers with me even now.

SLIDER< Lor: Likewise here. Recognizing which to interact with is at the point of my reasoning.

Lor< SLIDER: I would not argue that you are not a CO-creator of your experiences and existence(s).

Energie< The challenge is to figure out how to get out of the static fixed awareness and into the DYNAMIC living awareness without losing your marbles.

bkleaf< Energie: I think that if you can find the line of losing your marbles, and just staying on the line, you will understand everything (from both sides) better.

Ben< Energie: Old folks tend to get sot in their ways. Little children are wide-open learning machines. How much could we learn in a lifetime if we kept on learning at the rate of a little child? My grandchildren amaze me, as did their parents before them.

Energie< I guess that forming conclusions puts limits on learning. But limits are necessary in order to function. Is it possible for a person to take off their limitations like an actor takes off his costume when he is done with it?

Ben< Energie: To some degree, at least, it is possible to take off our limitations like an actor takes off his costume. Two thoughts: we take off some limitations when we leave our physical body. And "you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" is a way to take off other limitations.

bkleaf< Don't let the limitations go any further than just thoughts, right? We all have heard that we can do anything if we just put our mind to it. Our personal destiny has been with us through many physical transformations of energy. This is where my past lives come from.

FRAML< bkleaf: Huh? Please rephrase that for me.

bkleaf< I just believe that our remembrance is more physical than the floating soul. This is my first time with you beautiful people. Please feel free to ask me to rephrase anything that I say. I get pretty deep sometimes.

FRAML< bkleaf: I believe that some people have had past lives, and that it comes from the soul floating in the grey plane above us. They want to return to finish unfinished business, for carnal desires, or because they believe that they have to reincarnate X amount of times to get to the Light/Heaven. Don't see any other part of us coming back again.

Ben< FRAML: Now you touch on another point: it is only the soul (the spirit-self) that reincarnates. From this point comes the understanding of the soul-memory we find in past life regression.

bkleaf< FRAML: I wasn't denying the floating soul at all; I've just been thinking that there is more to it physically.

FRAML< bkleaf: Agreed, you weren't denying the "floating" soul. I just don't see anything physical departing this life with us. Re: Ben's comment.

SLIDER< Ben: Is it past life or simultaneous experience? Thus the present is all that exists.

Ben< SLIDER: What we find in past life regression seems to be actual memories of separate entries into space-time. Some also have soul-memories of the interval between incarnations, but I haven't found any who really knew how long that interval was in terms of years.

SLIDER< Ben: I guess that is the $64,000 question. Or possibly what we all seek answers for.

Redhawk< Ben: Perhaps I misunderstand. When a plant or animal dies, I know its spirit is re-absorbed into the ALL and reformed. Is this not reincarnation?

Ben< Redhawk: To reincarnate and to be re-absorbed are two different things. I have found the spirits of plants and the souls of men and animals, intact, in non-physical reality. So they are not all re-absorbed or reformed.

Energie< In the soul worlds "reality" is just as solid and real as the reality we know in this world. It is just different. Different faculties are functional than the faculties we know.

bkleaf< When I think about science and my spirituality, I can't help but believe that at least one little molecule in my body or soul has been around from when the earth decided to start the process of human evolution.

Energie< In the soul worlds, for example, there is no need for words or intellect. These faculties are replaced by other faculties that perform the same function.

grunblau< Ben: Why is that plants and animals can be intact in non-physical reality? The human part is understandable.

Ben< grunblau: I don't know why or how the spirits of plants show up in spiritual space. I saw what I thought was "the clouds of heaven" -- in all colors, beautiful! -- and was told (by an ex-human being) that these were the spirits of flowers.

MonaHawke< grunblau: On the souls of plants/animals... have you been reading your Druid stuff? Did I show you any of the things pertaining to that when you were here? I forget.

grunblau< MonaHawke: No you didn't . The dance card was full up and we didn't have time for those things -- but I vaguely remember a wee bit about that.

MonaHawke< grunblau: "I died as a mineral and became a plant. I died as a plant and rose to animal. I died as an animal and I was Man. Why should I fear? When was I ever less by dying? Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar in the Blessed Realm; But even from Godhood I must pass on."

grunblau< MonaHawke: Yes, now the light comes on. Thank you for the refresher. *smile* Yes, all at different levels and stages, we are all one

bkleaf< MonaHawke: Right on. Many religions believe in past lives, some going from plants to animal, but to me it's more than a religion, it is science and my personal religion. We all come from the earth, we all return to the earth, and our energy never dies, it just moves on.

FRAML< Gee, MonaHawke, I thought you were female. *S*

MonaHawke< FRAML: It was a quote... but actually, I've been both... not in this lifetime though. lol

Redhawk< MonaHawke: It is my belief that it takes much more courage, commitment and love for humans to incarnate as a Redwood tree or whale than a man. Look at what we do to them... and they know we will abuse them before they incarnate, yet they keep coming. What a Blessing.

Ben< Redhawk: I was tempted by the idea of reincarnating as a dolphin next time, but I would miss the hands. Wonderful things, hands...

bkleaf< Redhawk: But even though they know this, what more of a beautiful and humble life can you ask for?

MonaHawke< Redhawk: Good point. // bkleaf: Yep... that's it in a nutshell, eh? So, just who IS that nutshell anyway? *grin*

bkleaf< MonaHawke: God, gravity, earth, all of us come together to make the big nutshell, and we are all one if we let ourselves be. Tap into everything you can.

Lor< MonaHawke: Is it not a basic personal challenge for each soul, to mold the type/nature/characteristics of soul that each would prefer to be?

SLIDER< Ben: If our "soul spirit" is fragmented into individual sparks, parts of the whole, with a connection to the whole telepathically or by some other means, the whole would experience all that of the parts.

Energie< SLIDER: Very good deduction... about the whole and the parts.

SLIDER< Energie: I failed that course in college. *grin* But I guess I retained some of what the prof was trying to get across.

Ben< SLIDER: Soul fragmentation is another subject. I'm not sure I understand all I know about it (grin). Fragmentation of the spiritual body is something I understand better.

SLIDER< Ben: Can you compare spirit fragmentation to the same possibilities?

Ben< SLIDER: I'm willing to get into soul fragmentation and other subjects such as soul clusters. May need to outline a couple other points first, such as the value of a soul.

bkleaf< The value of a soul? Let's go there. Can you put worth on something so incredible?

[Ben< bkleaf: It's the other way around: the soul puts worth on things. We (souls) assign or attribute values. Nothing has any value to inanimate objects or dead bodies. Therefore, your soul is valuable to you because it is the reference point, the center, of all that you value. I'll go into it more in the next couple of seminars.]

SLIDER< Ben: I will look forward to those seminars.

grunblau< Ben: More info would be nice. This format of classes is nice -- informal and much learning. Interested in this soul cluster thingie and more.

Ben< ALL: Past time for bed. Blessings to each of you.

SLIDER< Ben: Peace and Blessings -- 'till next time.

MoonMist< Very interesting discussion going here.

SLIDER: Hello, MoonMist. Come on in -- welcome.

Sunflower< Veryyy interesting discussion, I agree. Was in a couple of rooms the other night and the discussion was anything but what it was suppose to be.

MoonMist< Thank you SLIDER! ((Sunflower)) Yes, sometimes the discussion can be the usual, but thankfully not all the time!

Lor< Thanks to Ben and all.

grunblau< Thank you, Ben.

bkleaf< I have noticed that people get open minds at different times in life. Does anybody believe that this comes from our preceding life or lives contribute to this?

Ben< All: Comments noted. Thank you. Blessed be. *poof*

02. Soul
Session 2: Sat 30 Aug 1997

Ben< Last week, we looked at some concepts, in several languages and traditions, of what a soul is, and what a soul can do. Tonight I'd like to build on the concepts of what a soul can do.

Ben< In Latin, the word for soul is anima -- that which animates the living. It is the root word for animal. All animals are self-propelled: that is, they can move themselves. Thus, the implied concept is that a soul can move itself, by itself. Let's look at two types of motion and what motivates them.

Ben< Suppose you saw something that you fear. In what direction would that fear motivate you to move? YOUR TURN

Lor< To back away, perhaps.

Roanna< I'd have a choice: Fight or Flight. If I were cornered or thought I could take it or didn't want to be construed as prey, I might fight and move to strike the first blow or at least stand my ground; otherwise I would run like you know what. Your body prepares the same way for both outcomes: an adrenaline rush.

Ben< Yes, fear motivates a choice: fight or flight. And what is the *purpose* of both those actions?

Walk_In< To get away ... or fear can cause us to freeze. *S*

Ben< To freeze is not normally a choice, but a reaction. Nevertheless, it serves the same purpose.

greyman< Normally away, if compelled by fear, one might be attracted to it.

FRAML< Prime desire is to back away. However at times one has to face the fears and take them on, to overcome them.

Walk_In< To deal with fear ... overcome it or outrun it. *S*

Lor< Are you asking for motivations for choosing to fight? -- and also for fleeing?

Roanna< You want to kill, punish, or disable the thing you fear, or else outrun it. What motivates the choice is complex but probably boils down to a desire to defend oneself and others against an enemy.

FRAML< Two methods of survival.

Ben< FRAML: Yes. Survival. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, because living things that don't act toward that purpose aren't around very long. Survival of the entity, the individual.

dancer< Survival ... of self, of ego, of pride, of whatever we fear losing.

Roanna< I think it is a question of, will this enemy come back to bother you or others again? Is it just you or others who are in danger? Is this a short or a long-term threat? If it's a long term threat and others are in danger besides me, I'd fight.

greyman< Sometimes fear comes from not understanding. Therefore, improve communications.

Ben< Last time I said we would look at the question, "Why is a soul said to be valuable?" The next question is, valuable to whom? We have part of the answer: the soul is valuable to the individual, himself or herself.

Roanna< Yes, but we're social animals. The bully on a listserv who holds a position of power so that those who disagree with him are afraid to express their views probably needs a good humiliation for the good of the group. The wolf that eats your lambs needs to be shot to defend your family's livelihood if you are a shepherd. The mad dog stalking the streets of a town also needs to be done away with for the good of the community.

Ben< Roanna: I agree. Survival is not negotiable. Life is valuable.

Walk_In< But is it's value based on a falsehood? We fear death because we fear that it is an end. If there is no end to the soul, nothing can be lost, and our fear is ill founded. *S*

[Ben< Walk_In: That is why it is important to distinguish between the life of the body and the life of the soul. We (souls) need to see the difference between physical survival and spiritual survival, and realize which is more valuable to us.]

[The following was apparently in reply to a private message.]

Roanna< No, Walk_In, I want others to be free to live unharmed. I would want my family to have enough money to buy necessities, and I would not want people needlessly killed by a rabid dog.

Walk_In< Who's to say what is and is not without purpose?

greyman< Roanna: I do not know who you are, but I like the way you present yourself.

Ben< Next aspect: suppose you see something you want? In what direction are you motivated? YOUR TURN

dancer< Forward ... toward the object you desire.

Roanna< If I want it, I try to get it. Desire... right.

FRAML< Toward it, to get and use it as tool, food, shelter, whatever part it fills in preserving and continuing one's life.

Lor< To get something, direction depends on one's resources and abilities as well as desires.

dancer< Makes good sense; the duality of the soul moves you away from what will harm you, and propels you toward what will enrich you.

greyman< In direction of desire. If capable of self control, direction can be away.

Ben< Okay, now suppose you see someone you love. You are motivated to move toward that person. So the two types of motion we're looking at are: toward, and away from. This can be stated as a general spiritual law or principle: We are automatically attracted to whatever or whoever we love (desire, want), and repelled from whoever or whatever we fear. This I call the law of attraction.

Roanna< This gets complex. I move toward what I want, but if I fear that it will disappoint me when I get it or that it will slip through my fingers, well... then I may avoid what I want or keep my wants a secret even from myself. That's where not daring to ask comes in.

Walk_In< Outcome of emotion: Fear repels and Love attracts. Instinctive.

Ben< Next step, as already touched on by Walk_In: We are attracted to what we value positively and repelled from what we value negatively, whether the object of our evaluation is real or imaginary, fact or fiction, a truth or a falsehood. What does this imply about our motivations? YOUR TURN

Roanna< Theoretically that there's only two motivations and that they are simple, but in reality, the two are very mixed up. It is possible to have both motivations at once about the same thing (ambivalence), and it is also possible to be attracted in fear due to a need to fight. Which means our motivations are one heck of a complex mess.

dancer< That they are based in a desire to survive.

FRAML< We need to discern between what we Want and what we Need.

dancer< And move toward love as love attracts.

Roanna< And then, FRAML, there's a whole hierarchy of needs, starting with food, shelter, clothing, and working up through intellectual needs and spiritual ones.

Walk_In< We are not always motivated by truth.

[Ben< Walk_In: Yes. That can be seen by observing people's behavior.]

Lor< We value our freedom of choice and action, our creativity, etc., and usually choose to protect such.

FRAML< Our value system and/or ethical system.

Awenydd< It means to me that whether we realize it or not we DO follow our hearts and our own belief systems.

Roanna< If our hearts don't pull us in two directions or down unexpected roads.

Awenydd< Roanna: I believe that is a very common problem, and probably accounts for much of the inner turmoil we find within ourselves.

dancer< I guess, Roanna, the answer to simplifying it down to two again lies in our ability to understand what we fear and why, accept that fear is unhealthy and unwanted, and walk through the fear to understanding and love.

Ben< Yes. All these are good, thoughtful responses. Thank you.

Ben< Now then, three consequent thoughts: (1) we need to know (seek and find) the truth in order to survive, here and hereafter; (2) if we can actually change what we want, we can guide ourselves spiritually, and (3) we can change what we want by selecting the values we assign to various objects, persons, concepts, etc.

Ben< By needing to seek and find the truth, I mean what is truly good for us and what is truly bad for us. (No, I'm not going to say what is truly good and bad for us. That is for the seeker, himself or herself, to pursue.)

Roanna< But how do we know what is truly good or bad for us? I've been on this net for hours chatting because I can't do it at work. I somehow managed to cook dinner. I enjoy what I'm doing, but I'm doing it to excess. Is it bad for me, in the short run, the long run, the medium run?

Awenydd< Roanna: I have the same problem, but the old saying is still true: Too much of a good thing is bad. We must still remain balanced in all aspects, including how we spend our time. However, I would not deem chatting all day and half the night once a week is bad.

Trudy< Ben: Perhaps I'm not too swift, but sometimes I don't find it all that easy to change what I value, even when I know it isn't good for me.

Ben< Trudy: Yes, it is *not easy* to actually change what we want. But it can be done. Let's explore that in the open discussion period.

Ben< Last question for tonight: One of the characteristics of a soul that is often overlooked is initiative. What does that word mean to you? YOUR TURN

Awenydd< The force that drives us into action.

Walk_In< Movement born within. *S*

Roanna< The get up and go to take action.

dancer< Fear and desire both provide initiative. They both call for action... manifestation. If fear is the strongest voice of one's soul, one is motivated to flee. If love is the strongest voice, one is motivated to enhance life in some way.

greyman< Making a choice and following through.

FRAML< Initiative is self-motivation. Doing what needs to be done without being told to do it, because you see that it must be accomplished.

Ben< Let's look at the verb: to initiate. What does that mean? And what does it imply?

dancer< To set into motion... to begin.

Walk_In< Action not born of reaction. *S*

greyman< Yes, Walk_In, an uncaused cause.

Walk_In< I chose to put this thought into action. *S*

Ben< COMMENT: To initiate is to begin, to start, to create, to author, to cause with no necessary preceding cause. Thus, we (souls) have the power to act and not merely react, to start, to create, without any external influence or despite external influences.

Walk_In< We can react differently. The external influences that once stirred us to a reaction can now evoke a different a completely different action. *S*

Ben< SUMMARY: As souls, we are more akin to Creator than to creation.

Ben< /topic Open discussion of "soul"

Kathleen< Thank you, Ben, very well put.

FRAML< We are "kin" to the Creator, but not a part of the Creator?

dancer< FRAML: co-creators, IMHO, as a cell is a part of what creates the body. It is not the whole of the body. Although it is interesting to note that the whole of the body exists within the DNA of the cell.

FRAML< dancer: What is the expansion of IMHO?

dancer< FRAML: IMHO = in my humble opinion. *s*

FRAML< Dancer: Thank you. To Everyone here, Yes, good session.

Walk_In< We are the creator.

Lor< Does the truth really make us free to choose, both intellectually and emotionally, or subconsciously?

Roanna< What about good old-fashioned repugnance? I hate the color brown for clothes. I won't wear it. I won't paint a room tan or brown. I even have painted furniture. My loathing for brown is not fear. It's just plain loathing. I guess there's no accounting for taste.

greyman< Roanna: Fascinating. Have you "dug" into yourself to discover the root of this repugnance?

Roanna< I think it was because my mother wore that color and liked it. She even bought me a pair of brown pants which I hated when I was three. I think I hated the color even before that, so it goes way back.

Walk_In< Thanks, Ben. Wonder-filled class. *S*

greyman< Thank you, Ben, good lecture.

Roanna< Ben: Great job.

dancer< Ben: Thanks, great class!

Lor< Thanks to Ben for keen perception, as always

Ben< ALL: Thanks. As you see, we've just barely scratched the surface. However, I think it is well for each of us to realize what we are, and some of what we can do.

FRAML< Ben: What is next weeks' topic?

Ben< ALL: No class next Saturday. I'll be out of town. Check with my Seminars page later this week for the topic for Sept 13th.

Walk_In< Good light friends. Are WE not wonderful? Let's remember to be what we ARE!

Ben< Trudy: To continue about changing what we want: it helps to change the value-judgments we assign to things or people or concepts. For example, I neutralized my desire for power over others by noticing the fact, and reminding myself that, "It's more trouble than it's worth."

Trudy< Ben: Change the judgments we assign to things? Did you find that easy to do?

FRAML< Trudy: It is not easy. Think of changing opinions about people due to new information about them.

Trudy< FRAML: Okay. That makes sense.

Ben< Trudy: Some desires and some fears are easier to change than others, but all of them are amenable to prolonged reinforcement of a different value-label. That is what reprograms the subconscious mind.

Trudy< Ben: Thanks... that helps, too.

Awenydd< A moment of peace and reflection for Princess Diana. Pray for her family. To those who have not yet heard, Princess Diana died a short while ago from injuries sustained in a terrible car accident in Paris. They were fleeing from the press from what I can gather.

Tkd_< Princess Diana is DEAD! She died in a car wreck in a tunnel on the way back from some hotel. That happened 12 am their time, and five hours after it happened they just announced she is dead! :(

Ben< Awenydd: I had not heard that she died, only that she was badly injured. Let's send our prayers for her and her family and all those who love her.

Tkd_< Awenydd: I didn't know you already told them. Driving along Seine river, paparazzi on bikes trying to get pictures. Hit the wall.

Awenydd< Tkd_: Apparently she didn't die on site; she was taken to a hospital for her injuries and was listed in critical condition, and then grave condition, until just moments ago she was confirmed dead.

Tkd_< I know she died 5 hours after the wreck.

dancer< Ben: Adding my prayers.

FRAML< Buckingham Palace just confirmed the death of Princess Diana at age 36. They are now playing God Save the Queen on BBC. They are showing the car, a Mercedes. It is totally demolished. Accident apparently caused by the paparazzi photographers trying to get photos from a motorcycle while the car was going through a tunnel in Paris.

Trudy< Perhaps now public opinion will demand that *something* will be done about intrusive media.

Tkd_< What class are you guys talking about?

Lor< Tkd_: The class being spoken about is Ben's class that starts at 11 pm EDT on Saturdays (except for next Saturday). To get the review of tonight's session, wait until it is posted tomorrow.

Tkd_< Is the class over?

Ben< Tkd_: This was one of a series of seminars on spirituality. To see what we've covered so far, click on my name. That's also where tonight's transcript, future topics, and schedules will be posted.

Tkd_< Ben: Cool.

Spacey< A soft prayer for sweet Diana, but she is home now, and bathing in the light and love of God. To William and Harry, all our Love and Light is with you, dear souls. You will learn and grow, and your Mother will always be with you. I am sorry boys... I love you.

Ben< Amen.

Tkd_< *Nod* ... Spacey ... Agreed.

Trudy< She was a good woman, a loving mother. Amen.

Ben< Trudy: I'm wondering if I should schedule another session or two for discussion of "soul". What do you think?

Trudy< I think there is much that could still be covered ... discussion on what and how we "create" our lives; how the soul's initiative is affected by belief systems; more nuts and bolts info on how to create what is "good" for us, so that it is reflected in our lives.

Ben< Trudy: Okay, thanks.

Ben< ALL: Time for me to get some rest. Peace and blessings to everyone here. Goodnight.

02. Soul
Session 3: Sat 20 Sep 1997

Ben< During the first two sessions of this seminar, we looked at what a soul is, and some of what a soul can do. Tonight I'd like to knit up a few loose ends -- some things people mentioned that we didn't get into.

Ben< A soul can generate and radiate its own spiritual light, or suck spiritual energy into itself like a black hole. Thus, in field-theory terms, a soul can be a source or a sink, a being of light or a dark one, depending on whether it chooses to give or to get, to make or to take, to serve or be served. By the accumulation of such choices, each soul becomes a brighter or darker spiritual being.

FRAML< It seems that the question "Is this spirit giving or getting?" could also be a test in discerning spirits in channeling.

Ben< When I described the basic law of attraction (We are attracted to whoever or whatever we love), someone said, "It's not as simple as that." This is true. We can both love and fear the same person or thing. The result is a more-or-less balanced attraction and repulsion in which we stop moving closer without moving away, as we see in the phrase "to stand in awe of" (someone or something).

Ben< As soon as we consider more than one object of love or fear, motivation becomes more complex. For example, if I love two people who fear or hate each other, I feel as though I am being pulled in two directions at once, torn between them.

blueye< I understand the pull well.

Ben< A soul tends to move in a direction that may be described as the vector sum of all its attractions and repulsions.

Ben< Okay ... having posted all that, let's discuss it for awhile. Then I'll add a couple other items.

Lor< Please clarify what is meant by a soul's moving.

Ben< Lor: A soul can move itself, by itself, in spiritual space and/or material space. The question was, in which direction(s) does a soul tend to move itself?

Lor< If I have a soul, the direction I might go would depend on my motivations.

LEGS< Ben: The vector sum meaning an imposed path or a chosen one based on the components of the attractions and repulsions??

Ben< LEGS: A vector sum is a mathematical and geometrical concept in which all the forces influencing an object are added up according to the direction and strength of each force. (Opposing forces of equal strength produce a vector sum of zero.) Some of the forces that influence souls are external and some are internal, but the most important are internal because that is where we have some control.

Ben< Coming back to the difference between a radiant soul and a dark one: What would it take for a dark one to become radiant? YOUR TURN

LEGS< The soul would need to be impressed with the advantages of moving toward the light ... but how?

blueye< Love for its self and others, and love and trust in god, I believe.

FRAML< Desiring to give to others, to have purpose (helping, caring), not seeking power.

windy< I think that a soul must choose love to become radiant.

earth< "Choose" to radiate ... become a source rather than a sink.

windy< Well put, earth ... "choose" to radiate ... become a "source" *s*

earth< Does a soul have a choice or is it simply governed by the laws of attraction?

Gingeral< I am sure that a soul has a choice.

Ben< earth: A soul has a choice, or rather, a series of apparently little choices, that make it more or less radiant.

windy< To choose the light is to choose survival.

Gingeral< What if a soul believes it is doing the right thing and then finds later that it wasn't right? Is the soul still light?

[Ben< Gingeral: The soul is still a spark of light, but it may be clouded by regret.]

Gingeral< Is a soul not energy, and so the more it gives love, the more it gets love and the more it can grow?

earth< Nice concept, Gingeral.

windy< Do souls have mass? i.e., can a soul expand to, say, encompass the planet, the galaxy, the universe?

Ben< windy: Not mass, as that word is used in physics, but size, yes. Some souls are larger than others. How do you think that might happen?

windy< I first used the word size but I changed it to mass. Thanks for answering both queries. ;-) I guess the "size" would depend both upon the amount of energy channeled by the soul (based on its capacity to love) and a purpose for expanding.

Ben< Spiritual growth is another way of describing an increase in the size of a soul. It also includes growth toward spiritual maturity.

earth< Old souls ... as they "age"

windy< I don't think of size as permanent condition ... more as a tool, as in the ability to expand and thereby influence, protect, heal, for instance, whatever comes within the space it may encompass.

FRAML< I have never concerned myself with the size of a person's soul. That never seemed important. What was/is important is orientation, to do good or bad. To want to get to the Light and out of the reincarnation cycle or to stay in this plane and keep coming back or just hanging around as a "ghost" or perhaps "spirit guide/ascended master"

Lor< FRAML: I concur re: orientation of soul vs size.

LEGS< FRAML: That's a new can of beans. What ascended master/spirit guide? To me the ascended Master is only the Lord Jesus. Is that who you meant? Don't mean to be dense.

FRAML< LEGS: I concur with you about the only ascended master, however there are some here who refer to spirit guides as being the "ascended masters" of whom Jesus is one -- these are linked to the Pleiades folks, I think.


Awenydd< It has been said that at the time of death, the body actually does lose a very slight amount of weight, so it would sound as if a soul would have mass.

Ben< Awenydd: I have also read about the (small) loss of weight at the point of death. I wonder whether the soul does have some physical mass, or attraction to earth similar to mass, or whether the loss of weight may be explained in some other way.

greyman< Ben: The last gasp of air in lungs as they relax after person expires.

windy< Is the soul the same as the electro-magnetic body? If so, wouldn't it, by definition, have some mass?

greyman< Energy directed by spirit to operate physical body at several microamps in millivolts. Spirit seems to operate at this interface.

earth< So, the soul, in itself, has a mind? It is not limited to the conscious or subconscious?

Ben< earth: Yes, the soul does have a mind (soul-mind, soul-memory) that is not normally accessible. This is what we find in past life regression, for example.

Gingeral< earth: I think of the soul as my conscience. Therefore it influences all of our choices.

JamesRD< Namaste. The soul is the driving force and grows knowledge with every passing. This can be good or evil. More knowledge, more mass/weight. Old souls have more knowledge, young souls less. Only an opinion.

greyman< I have found that as I change my internal "frequency" I can become spiritually revived. Tuning towards God allows some inductive energy transfer. Greater to lesser.

windy< Ben: Would you say that the more "radiant" a soul, the more spiritual or evolved, or even more powerful, a soul is?

Ben< windy: The more radiant souls are the more mature souls. They are not necessarily more powerful.

Gingeral< Ben: What kind of power are we talking about souls having?

windy< I was talking about the power to heal, to astro-project, to interpret, to teach, to energize living things, to cleanse, ... to name a few things.

Gingeral< Windy: Thanks for the answer. That is what I thought but wanted to be sure we were all talking about the same thing.

Ben< Gingeral: In terms of spiritual maturity, purpose is more important than power. What we do with whatever powers we have is more important than how many or how strong our spiritual powers may be. Will power is an example. So are the various siddhis (psychic powers).

Gingeral< Ben: Thanks for the explanation.

Lor< I seem to be a bit confused about what your definitions for soul are. This is my concept with regard to what our souls are and something about their nature: I perceive they are the inner essence of what we think of as the center point of what we call us -- perhaps our spirits as lights or sparks of God -- created in His image with similar free wills. I sense God loves us and cares deeply, having provided opportunities for us to live and interact while incarnated as humans on this earth, so as to learn and develop and create the kind of being we each would and are choosing to become, honoring and respecting our various choices by not interfering unless invited to do something where true good can result (without violating the free wills of others).

Ben< Lor: I like your description.

Lor< Thanks, Ben. I will add a bit more later this evening to complete my remarks.

LEGS< Lor: Your description of the soul is what I was taught basically, as a child on up. Is this a standard concept of Protestants and perhaps Catholicism also? A comforting one, in fact, where the belief would automatically preclude one's soul making a wrong choice as a believer.

JamesRD< Souls can have many guardian angels or guides that circumvent them, thus expansion as guardians help many and help to achieve toward light, though there are dark angels as well.

earth< When does a soul become an "angel or guide"?

[Ben< earth: Angel means messenger. A guide is one who guides someone else. Thus, angel and guide are job descriptions. A soul is functioning as an angel when it carries messages. A soul is a guide when someone accepts its guidance.]

FRAML< Are we getting into "how many souls can dance on the head of a pin" discussion?

Ben< FRAML: LOL! Yes, I guess it's time for discussion of soul clusters, with or without the head of a pin.

FRAML< Ben: I just thought of a book on the subject -- Angels Humong Us. *G*

Ben< COMMENT: A soul-cluster is a group of souls linked to each other so closely that they move as a unit. Think of a cluster of grapes. Each grape is an individual entity, but they can all be moved at once as long as they are attached to each other. There are clusters of souls like that, linked to each other.

earth< Would this be your children, at least for some period of time?

windy< How would you describe the movement of souls in a cluster in terms of everyday life, Ben?

earth< Ben: Would a soul-cluster occur as young children, life long friends??

Ben< earth, windy: A family is often (but not always) a cluster of souls. A close-knit group of any sort tends to act and react as a unit. Members of a soul-cluster may be life-long friends, and they may stay connected for more than one lifetime.

windy< I have long felt that my beloved and I, as well as our parents, my brothers, sisters, and our children, have traveled together for eons.

Gingeral< windy: That would make your family feel even more important to you. It is a great way to feel.

windy< Then perhaps societal groups, cultures, may be a form of soul cluster as well?

[Ben< windy: Yes, although the members of societal groups aren't usually linked to each other as tightly as the members of family and/or friendship groups.]

earth< Can soul clusters "disassemble" themselves at some point?

[Ben< earth: Yes. Individual members can leave a cluster and go their own ways. This is how an entire cluster can disintegrate and thus cease to exist as a unit.]

Gingeral< With soul groups, do you mean that there is more than one soul in one "body" or that the other souls just stay close as friends, family or guardians?

Ben< Gingeral: A cluster of souls may be in separate physical bodies, or attached to one soul who is in a physical body, or with none of them in physical bodies (for example, "Not Exactly Exorcism" on my website).

Gingeral< Ben: I'll check it out later, thanks.

FRAML< Ben: Also like the souls who attached to me at St. Joe (Rescue of some Good Souls.)

Ben< Two more comments before open discussion. Spirit Releasement Therapy is a set of techniques to release a soul or cluster of souls who are attached to a person or place. Soul Rescue is a set of procedures to help a discarnate soul or cluster of souls rise up to the Light.

Ben< Okay, I've posted a batch of data, concepts, terms and definitions. Now I'll sit back awhile, review what the rest of you have said, and reply from time to time.

greyman< Good I-N-P-U-T

LEGS< Ben: Some new ideas to ponder... thanks.

Lor< My understanding of Spirit Releasement Therapy is that while some attached entities (souls?) may sometimes be beneficial, generally it is best to be in your own body by yourself so that only you are running it. Otherwise, you can lose control and maybe not even be aware that it's happening.

LEGS< Lor: Yes, once having read Ben's page on attachees, I began to wonder about the fact that we don't seem to be able to ward away the ones who would harm us, only remove them later. Am I missing some point of info here? A protection from attachees?

[Ben< LEGS: When our First Century Christianity group prayed about this, we were encouraged to develop our own inner strength and light, and also learn how to elevate ourselves out of the realm of harmful attachees.]

JamesRD< "I profess no clarity. I proclaim no insight. I am but what God wills. An ancient to hold truth. Achievement is endearing. Proclamation enlightening. Folding souls to meet ones end. And then begin again."

Ben< JamesRD: In my opinion, knowledge is good; wisdom is better; loving-kindness empowered by wisdom and tempered by graciousness is best.

greyman< Ben: yep, yep, yep.

LEGS< greyman: Then you must be a good example of wisdom tempered by graciousness. Your kindness is always a good example to chatters.

greyman< LEGS: A never-ending quest.

JamesRD< That was only a statement I found in my log one morning, Ben. I have no recollection of it's writing.

di< I read most of the past messages, but have a question about the soul clusters. Why soul clusters? And do you consider the soul clusters also part of the guardian angels, or are they our guardian angels?

FRAML< di: Soul clusters are groups of souls, either here on this plane or above or below it; souls who group together for a purpose. In the case I experienced they were waiting out their time in "purgatory". Click on my name (I'm carrying Ben's page tonight) and go to "Testimony" and then "Rescue of Some Good Souls" by Frank (me).

Ben< di: Soul clusters are something that happens due to the normal characteristics of souls. A soul can link to another soul and go where that one goes. Souls can link to each other, much as people can hold hands. A cluster may or may not include guardians or guides.

JamesRD< My purpose in being is to gain knowledge and hopefully help others attain the knowledge to choose the path to light. If enough knowledge is gained, I may ascend and become a guardian in His world. This may take many lifetimes, yet I am patient.

windy< A very wise saying, JamesRD, re: knowledge and wisdom.

Ben< /topic Open Discussion of "Soul"

windy< Is it possible that what we call an archangel could be a soul cluster of humans? I have read, by way of analogy, that in the beginning, a soul that might one day evolve into a human soul could have been the soul/s of the wolf, or the bear, or the eagle ... or perhaps before that a mountain.

di< Thank-you for the explanations. I was wondering because of an experience I had recently. I learned of many "souls, guides" that were in this experience with me, and the message I got was that they were here to help me. There were so many, and I didn't realize, or hadn't ever before thought of souls together as tightly, or as many as there were. Very powerful feeling, many colors, many lights. It was quite the experience

greyman< di: Excellent!

di< greyman: Yes it was. I didn't really know what to think of this, but felt much love.

greyman< There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

LEGS< But greyman, sometimes home is only one person and four walls.

greyman< LEGS: Light. The Light.

LEGS< Ben: Thanks for the neat lesson. I am looking forward to the one with some info on reincarnation and past life regressions.

windy< Ben: Have you any knowledge about the concept of certain souls being so highly evolved and energized that they have actually split into multiple souls and live multiple, simultaneous lives?

Surrender< windy: Are you referring to soul's incarnated or not when you ask if they split? I have information on the incarnated one's splitting.

windy< Surrender: I mean an incarnated soul leading simultaneous lives.

Ben< windy: I have read about the idea that some advanced souls split and lead simultaneous lives, but what I have found is soul-mind fragmentation in cases like Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).

windy< I think that MPD can be what it is theorized to be, but it can also be a person possessed or a person who perhaps does lead simultaneous soul lives, and due to some event, or drugs, has opened up the door between the lives, without understanding.

di< Ben: I have also heard/read of the splitting. When I read it, though, it wasn't quite like multiple personalities, because when the split is done, it is the same as it is when we come here: memories are gone, and so we don't know of splits. You could walk down the street and run into one of your splits and not know. What do you think?

windy< di: I agree with what you said totally. For the most part, these souls are unaware of their counterparts. Now imagine if one takes that concept to the twin flame level ... gets pretty complex, eh?

di< windy: It does get complex. There are so many complex things that we have just a small inkling of.

Ben< windy, di: In his book "Spirit Releasement Therapy" Dr. Bill Baldwin has a whole section on differential diagnosis between MPD and discarnate attachees, followed by separate therapeutic techniques for each of these situations.

di< Ben: What is Spirit Releasement Therapy?

Ben< di: Spirit Releasement Therapy is a whole set of techniques designed to find and release souls who are attached to a person or place. Click "Resources" on my website and look for the pages by Dr. William J. Baldwin for a brief introduction and some examples.

windy< Spirit Releasement Therapy sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for recommending it, Ben.

Lor< Now to finish my remarks: I am very positively impressed by the application of the scientific method to this dimension of our experiences, represented and presented on Mr. Swett's website. It provides valuable insight as how to identify real fact and valuable truths, enabling us to clear away much of the mis-information, erroneous concepts, so many mis-translations of the Bible, mis-guidance, etc., that has accumulated over the ages regarding this subject from so many with impure motives. Experience with his method for "two-way prayer" has about it a way of removing doubt as to its effectiveness and the startling reality of souls/spirits -- both those in the light and those from the dark side (at least it was startling to this one with a career based on the physical sciences). Yes, I perceive that because God cares so much about us He requested this good man called "Jesus" (who is also a soul, created much in the same manner as we), to willingly choose to serve not only somewhat as an angel or messenger from Him, but to actually incarnate like we do and be a special teacher to help us in our plight by demonstrating a more excellent way to live, worthy of being followed, while experiencing the same sorts of joys, sorrows, pains, risking failure of falling prey to evil, tempters, etc. as we do, to show by example that such a way of being and living can actually be successful. A student of history can discover that this Jesus actually did this. He still demonstrates that he cares for us, albeit as a soul or spirit in some other dimension. And he also will tell you that he cares for your caring for others, if you contact him via two-way prayer.

JamesRD< Lor: If that is your opinion, your insight is great, but do not fall to others opinions. You have great wisdom and can discern truth for yourself. I was pleased by your posting.

Ben< Lor: Thank you for your comments. I appreciate what you said about my work, and your testimony about Jesus.

di< Lor: I agree Jesus was indeed a master. Do you think there is only one master? If so, why do you suppose only one?

Lor< di: I have chosen to only consider Jesus as a master because of the quality of his teachings. There may be others, but they are just not for me.

di< Lor: I understand. Thank you for explaining your thoughts. Blessings. Jesus was indeed a wonderful teacher.

greyman< di: Jesus is a wonderful teacher...

windy< I agree, Lor. Jesus suffered as a man, but lived the life of pure spirit. He loved his fellow brothers and sisters as no other before him.

Lor< windy: I concur with your statement, except that my concept is that we each have had the same potential to care/love as Jesus, all being pure spirits at one time.

greyman< Lor: I do not think I would have had the "guts" to leave Heaven and offer my soul as an example to follow, like Jesus did. Just think what was given up for our sake.

Lor< greyman: I heard it expressed that Jesus' biggest sacrifice came earlier than on the cross. What love! What compassion! What level of caring! It is beyond my comprehension.

greyman< Lor: It is beyond my ability.

Lor< greyman: Perhaps not so with his help. Do not count yourself out so readily. A team effort often is superior, from my experience -- particularly, with his help!

greyman< Lor: Yes, teamwork...

Lor< Windy: There's a problem with my concept of our potential. It is rather humbling to sense how far short most of us find ourselves. My hope is to call upon him to help me make better decisions. Maybe I will gradually do better with his help, since he knows from firsthand experience what it is that we must face.

windy< I agree totally, Lor. We are all equal to Jesus. (IMHO) Perhaps to say he was the first in all eternity was/is an exaggeration, but he was the first in our "generation" to walk the path of "pure spirit" (IMHO) ... a way-shower. He dedicated his whole life to others, to teaching and healing others.

Ben< Lor: Now if we could only convince the churches to follow Jesus and implement his teachings, instead of all their man-made doctrines and dogmatic assertions and put-downs... Oh well, as a somewhat sarcastic friend of mine once said, "Comes the millennium, things will be better." (smile)

di< Ben: I agree, the teachings of Jesus are total love, and it would be wonderful to see that. I agree with your friend; I think things will definitely be different, and better. Do you agree with this friend?

Ben< di: Yes, I agree with my friend that things will be better eventually, but eventually may be a long time coming, so I'm trying to "walk the walk" here and now.

windy< Lor: I believe it is not good to judge others or oneself. If one follows one's heart (if, indeed, one is capable of knowing one's heart, which is another matter), then one is following God's path. God weaves a tapestry of many colors, light and dark. Our religions are too hard on humanity. Too many times they bind our souls instead of free them or lead them towards the light. (IMO) If you do your best, whatever that best might be, then you are bright in God's eyes.

di< windy: I think you're right about being bright in God's eyes. God is more forgiving than we will let ourselves be.

greyman< di: Yes.

Lor< windy: I heard it expressed that his teaching is not that we are not to judge others for fear of being judged ourselves, but rather that we must be quite careful to use criteria in our judgments that we would be willing to be used in any judgments made of us. That only seems fair, don't you think? Also, I sense that going about without making any judgments would be a form of not caring about anything; i.e., mere immature apathy.

windy< Perhaps I agree with you, Lor, but my experience in life has been such that nothing is quite as it seems ... people, events. Although I can see many things, I know that God allows evil to exist and that it is part of his/her plan for our evolution. Sometimes the most seemingly evil are the most innocent ... mere babes in spiritual terms. To condemn them is more a reflection on me, then, than it is on them.

Lor< Yes, windy, we have a ways to go yet, don't we? But rest in His peace for now.

Ben< ALL: Okay, friends. Time for some rest. Hope to see you another time. Namaste. Peace and blessings to each of you. *poof*

Lor< All: I am going to have to wind down for this session, for morning will come too soon as it is. It has been a good session. I woke this morning with many of my remarks this evening on my mind. I hope I have been faithful to the envisionment that was lent to this one today.

LEGS< greyman: Still wondering about the ducks you blessed ...

greyman< LEGS: It is easy to bless a being that you can appreciate with ease. Your basic duck is a pretty clean spirit. Easy to bless. A household pet can be used. Practice makes perfect. Work up to harder folks to bless ... like the used car salesman. {Cringe}

LEGS< (((greyman))) Thanks! Now I see. And nice being here with you. nitey nite. (Looking around for the neighbor's barking dog... blessing him may quiet him down. *s*) Thank you.

windy< Pleasant dreams, all. It has been worthwhile sharing, and enlightening as well.

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