10a. Review
Spiritual Web Chat
Sat 23 May 1998

Ben< ALL: Rather than start a new seminar tonight, I thought we might review some previous seminars in case there was something else you wanted to address or expand upon in those subject areas. I will post a title and introduction from the "seminars" page on my site, and invite your comments or questions. Hopefully, we won't just repeat what we did before.

Ben< ALL: Miracles -- What is a miracle? What's the difference between major and minor miracles? Can people work miracles? or only saints? or angels? or God? What is the difference (if any) between miracles and magic? YOUR TURN

blueye< The work of miracles are of God's doing in my thoughts with assistance of guides, angels and others like ourselves.

Lor< Is a miracle just something unusual? I'm confused after the seminars on the topic. Major vs minor = ???

Ben< Lor: People normally define a miracle as something unusual, unexplained, and attributed to deity.

greyman< Lor: Major = parting the Red Sea for a day; Minor = parting the Red Sea for a minute. *G*

Lor< I got the feeling from the series that anyone can work miracles. Was that the conclusion? I would be doing better had I known the topic for tonight and could have reviewed the series for unresolved issues and refreshed my limping memory a bit.

Ben< Lor: Basic distinction is, miracles are done by (or attributed to) God or God's agents; magic is done by (or attributed to) the magician.

Lor< Ben: Then a magician could perform a miracle if acting as one of God's agents, but not otherwise?

Ben< Lor: Good point. I would see it so.

Lor< Ben: Have you ever performed a miracle?

[Ben< Lor: I have been instrumental in actions properly attributable to God.]

blueye< Magic, I believe, is not always considered for the good of the person or persons, and not of the will of God, in my opinion. I guess the size of the miracle depends on who is looking at it.

SLIDER< Miracles happen every day to someone; some recognize them right away and others don't know one if it happens to them. I feel that the misunderstanding of many of the laws of the universe is called miracles; some things we can't define at this time may be commonplace when we can explain them. Anyway, the biggest miracle of all, I feel, is life itself.

Cassandra< Partly, it depends on what you call a miracle. I think a healthy newborn baby is a miracle, and watching them grow. Then there was the miracle when a lady healer prayed for my husband in hospital and he was healed. And it is a small miracle when I remember something correctly.

Lor< Cassandra: It's getting to be a small miracle for me, too, when I'm able to recall something when needed.

Surya< When I think of magic, I think of tricks; sleight of hand, etc. When I think of miracles, I think of unusual occurrences (within our present frame of reference) which are manifestations of truth/love (hope this makes sense).

SLIDER< As for magic -- those that don't understand it and are awed by it may call any type of magic a miracle.

Ben< ALL: We hear of white magic, grey magic, and black magic. Do you think there may also be white miracles, grey miracles, and black miracles? YOUR TURN

greyman< Ben: Hey hey hey, watch that "grey" magic. *S*

blueye< I am not sure of that one, Ben.

FRAML< Ben: I've never considered miracles in that fashion. Black miracle? The same as praying for something bad to happen to someone?

[Ben< FRAML: Yes. Asking God to make something bad happen to someone could be called "praying for a black miracle". Any such prayer asks God to cast a curse.]

Lor< I don't recall of ever hearing about a black miracle. Miracle pigmentation is a new concept for me.

Willow< Ben: Would a disaster be considered a black miracle? How would you define it?

Ben< Willow: I think the "acts of god" mentioned in some insurance policies would qualify as "black miracles".

Willow< Ben: *smile* OK ... unfortunately, 'black ' gives the connotation of 'evil intent' ... which I can't apply to nature.

Ben< Willow: I agree that evil intent ought not be attributed to nature, or to God, but a lot of people do just that even though they would balk at my terminology in calling such events "black miracles".

Willow< Ben: I agree ... that happens very often. I would define nuclear weapons as black miracles. *S* But I do understand what you are saying.

Lor< Willow: Nuclear weapons are neither white or black unto themselves, are they? Isn't it a question of how they are used that makes the distinction? The ethics of the deployer, it seems to me, is what determines whether technology is good or bad. For example, couldn't a nuclear bomb be used to deflect an incoming meteorite from crashing into some city and thus be considered to be a white miracle?

Willow< Lor: I believe it also involves the intent carried during creation. They were created to destroy ... as a means of power. I understand your point, though.

Lor< Willow: As a research scientist for many years working for the Navy, I thought of my work as defending my fellow Americans. Even actions that could destroy an enemy's communications were not considered as wrong if those communications would cause harm to our forces. I believe that people determine whether a thing is used for an evil or good purpose, as opposed to the thing itself being inherently one or the other. Do you see my point?

Willow< Lor: Yes, honestly I do. *S*

greyman< Willow: Black = without light.

Willow< greyman: Black is all spectrum of light/color. "Without light" doesn't define it for me. That is why I mentioned the "connotation of evil" ... somehow I don't think I said that right. hmmmmm*

greyman< Willow: Yes, interesting. White light through a prism separates into a rainbow of colors. When reflected light is used, all of the colors combined will reflect black. A neat kinda yin-yang in physics. *smile*.

Willow< greyman: Yep. I have a lot of trouble with the classic light, dark, white black, good, evil ... hehe ... and usually trip myself up when I go there. *G*

grunblau< But in some cultures the color black does not have the western interpretation of being bad or evil. Black can be a power color; it can be used to accent another color or as a background as such -- it is one's perspective and one's attitude that makes a color bad. In the orient, the color white is the color of death; it has a very different interpretation in the western culture.

Ben< grunblau: It seems to me that "black magic" is pretty much recognized and labeled the same way in all the cultures I'm familiar with.

grunblau< Ben: Well, in that context, I can concede the point. Strange how the color black has taken on the evil attributes when it is just a color -- how we use words to define and categorize items and ideas. And is there blue magic, red magic, and green magic -- and such with miracles, too? And if somebody from another part of the world would see it and know it the same way -- it is kind of restricting.

Ben< grunblau: I think black may be widely associated with evil intent because those with intent to harm so often shun the light of day and hide in the darkness.

grunblau< It is the intent of the person who focuses the intent of whatever they do, but I know some swing shifters who work at night and hide in the day. *grin*

Ben< ALL: Apocalypse -- What about the end of the age? or the world? or the human race? An exploration of some of the various predictions, prophecies, prognostications and speculations. YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: I like the idea of the book of Revelation being a pastoral letter. I personally work on being ready for it before it happens (in the Christian interpretation) and helping others to understand how it is open to them as well.

blueye< I believe they were forewarnings for us, the human race, to change our ways to avoid these predictions. Have we done this? I don't think so. Some of us are trying like heck, though.

Ben< ALL: Did I shift subjects too fast? Please continue with the subject of miracles if you're not ready to discuss apocalypse.

greyman< Ben: I once thought of coming back as a playful dolphin, but if you do not take a body, you don't suffer the pain of the flesh.

Lor< greyman: Don't you think that dolphins can experience pain? Most animals I know of do.

greyman< Lor: Why yes! My point exactly. Maybe I can continue development without a body? Maybe?

SLIDER< greyman: It may be that the time spent in the body is so short that we take this time as a lesson period and drudgingly peck through it and think time slows down. After all, how long are those meetings that you don't want to go to?

IMI< Self-fulfilling prophecies and apocalyptic visions go hand in hand, not unlike good-self/bad-self projections.

SLIDER< Ben: Apocalypse -- the end of a time or era -- a new beginning for a time or era -- a good word to use if you want to scare the multitudes of people -- good word to use if you sell doomsday prophesy -- especially survival gear. Or maybe the real thing -- maybe another planet visits our solar system every few thousand years and does cause an apocalypse?

Ben< SLIDER: In the previous seminar, one of the points was that the Greek word "apocalypse" means "a revealing" or "a revelation" and not necessarily "a disaster" or "a world-wide disaster".

SLIDER< Ben: Yes. Glad you reminded me. I think I used the word apocalypse in a first response context, which is how most of the public would identify with apocalypse.

windy< Hope its not too late to interject a comment on miracles. I think the difference between magic and miracles is that magic is something you do for your own purposes, and you must partake at least a little of your own (or some may argue all) energy to perform them. That's why magic can turn back on you, and why evil manipulative magic takes so much out of the person doing it. But miracles are usually for the good of all (even when they appear to serve just an individual) and miracles are of God. The person doing the miracles is a channel for God's will, not his own (in my humble opinion).

FRAML< Windy: Good explanation.

windy< Thanks, FRAML. :-)

Ben< Windy: I like your description of the main difference between miracles and magic.

blueye< I agree, Windy. :)

windy< Apocalypse as a big change would certainly strike fear into many ... particularly a conservative establishment of people who have the most to lose by change.

FRAML< windy: Apocalypse is something that would upset everyone. What would happen to people if the electricity went out for more than 3 days, on a nationwide or worldwide scale? Or take the meteor disaster movies as an Apocalypse.

windy< FRAML: I understand what you mean, but I am looking forward to the electricity being out for awhile. I know that it will be frightening for many, but it doesn't have to be. If one doesn't give in to the fear and chaos, it can be very beautiful. But don't forget your candles (and a musical instrument or two ... acoustic of course, or a voice ready to sing might help pass the time). On the other side of the darkness (imo) is a world reborn ... innocent and free ... a world where no one will have any need to fear anyone else, man or beast.

[Ben< Hmm. What happens in the darkness between "lights out" and Utopia?]

Ben< ALL: Understanding ET's -- People continue to report experiences with Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) and the beings that operate them (ET's) including telepathic and physical encounters. What do you think about all this? And why? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: I was listening to a guy on the radio tell that all ET's are demons, that we are the only God-created life form in the universe. I guess he was doing a literal interpretation of Genesis. I figure that God may have created other beings with souls, as being in His image.

Ben< ALL: By the way, if you're wondering why I'm posting entire seminar subjects so fast, even though we previously worked on each of them for several sessions, it is because I hope to "ping" something that you meant to ask or say, but didn't get to.

GreyHE< May I impose something on colors? Black is not an evil or negative color. It is used for power and protection. To obtain black, all the colors of the spectrum are absorbed, so it is one of the more powerful colors. This could be looked at in a negative way, but only by negative thinkers. In Magic, White = others, black = self, green = nature, red = elemental.

greyman< GreyHE: And pink = Pepto-Bismol. *G*.

Willow< GreyHE: black = self? White = others? What are you referring to?

GreyHE< Willow: The colors of magic. When spells are used to help others, it is known as White Magic. When spells are used to help yourself, it is known as Black Magic. Wiccans use White Magic, while Satanists use Black Magic.

Willow< GreyHE: Thank you. I have never seen that explanation ... but then, are love spells considered to be black magic?

GreyHE< Willow: Love spells are a gray area, really. In a way you are aiding yourself, but you are also helping the other one find you. It is a really in-depth topic.

Willow< GreyHE: *S* Yep ... a fine line ... thank you. *S*

windy< I love black. Black is the color of the womb, creation, the unknown.

FRAML< GreyHE and Willow: I guess I just think of "hiding in the dark what you don't want to be seen" and "standing in the light of day, making yourself visible to all." Light and Dark, thus white and black.

Willow< FRAML: *S* Many do. As I said, I get tripped up when I try to sort through it ... but I think it is something we need to sift through. *S*

Ben< GreyHE: I was taught that white magic is to help another; grey magic is to help oneself without helping or hurting anyone else; and black magic is to harm another.

GreyHE< Ben: My knowledge comes from researching religions or from their own archives. It may differ, but it is what I've read.

Ben< GreyHE: I agree that the association of evil with the *color* black is erroneous; however, association of evil intent with the absence of light is well-nigh universal, because darkness hides predators.

grunblau< But darkness can also hide those who are hiding from predators in the light, ehh? -- but then in that case their intent is good, and the ones in the light, their intent is evil -- so it is not so much the color but the intent -- the perspective of the person who is in the light or in the dark, ehhh?

Ben< grunblau: I'm reminded that the base exchange at Korat, Thailand, broke all kinds of sales records for flashlights because of the cobras.

Ben< ALL: Circle of Self-Control -- To what degree do we (or can we) control our selves? To what extent do we "create our own reality"? Our own destiny? What does "free-will" mean? How does it work? If you wish to do so, please feel free to share any tools for self-control that you have found useful. YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: Free will is the ability to choose my own path. It is also, IMO, proof that God is not omnipotent, by His own choice. His giving us free will to make a decision to accept or reject him is the proof.

Lor< FRAML: What do you mean by "IMO"?

FRAML< Lor: IMO = in my opinion.

Bink< FRAML: Can you tell me where in the Bible it says God gave us free will? *smile*

FRAML< Bink: I don't know the chapter and verse, but I recall the concept being there; New Testament, I think.

Bink< FRAML: Not that I can find, searching for 'free will' anyway ... only Exodus 21:5 "I will not go out free". I have never understood where traditional Christianity gets the concept, or justifies it.

FRAML< Bink: I have never been big on "predestination of souls." And figured that since I and others make choices as to the path we want to follow and God doesn't "strike us dead" immediately for not following his orders, he must have given us Free will/Freedom to choose.

Lor< Bink: Doesn't it say God made man in His own image, and clearly He exercises free will?

Bink< Lor: Yep, Genesis says God made man in His image. You mean *God* exercises free will? of course. But when you look in the mirror, does *your* image exercise free will?

Lor< Bink: Where do you get the idea that you may not be in ultimate control of your own direction?

Bwadife< Lor: Because of universal laws, you can do things you think are good for you as you will and get the illusion that you mind your own destiny, but in the end you might come to realize that there are things you cannot go around because it always come back at you sooner or later. This is a sign for me that you do not control your destiny all the way, you can bend it a bit, but not too much, though.

Bink< Lor: I didn't say that. As far as I know, I *am* in ultimate control of my God-given ability to reflect Him/Her. Man is the idea of God. If God is the sun, man is like the sunbeams. Do sunbeams have a choice whether or not to shine?

Ben< Bink: Throughout the Bible, God acknowledges the fact that humans *have* free will, by saying, "If you will keep my commandments ... "

Bink< Ben: I like what ACIM says; we *are* God's will ...

[Ben< Bink: Yeah, I'll buy that as far as our creation is concerned, but all too often we don't *do* the will of God. Humans do in fact choose to obey or disobey God.]

SLIDER< Ben: I feel we can control our selves with our free will -- and free won't. There are times when things alter the outcome of our self control, such as natural occurrences or the free will of others imposed upon us, and we can let that control us, or take hold of the situation and put our own free will into place to regain self control. It's a matter of choices when we control our selves -- and many times a matter of giving something up to reach the self control desired.

Ben< SLIDER: Yes, I like your description of free will and its limits. In my opinion, we have free will, but we are not omnipotent. We experience things we cannot control, and sometimes we can be forced to do (or not do) things against our will. Paying taxes, for example?

windy< Ben: But, couldn't you choose not to pay your taxes (and thereby suffer said consequences)?

Ben< windy: Sure, we can choose not to pay our taxes if we are willing to take the consequences. But then the Feds take us away and lock us up, and that tends to limit our choices for awhile.

windy< But would your will still be free, Ben? I mean, technically. Perhaps we are not always free to do as we will, but our will to do something (or not) is free.

Ben< Windy: Yes, individual free will is still functional even though we are coerced or confined. "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." A woman convinced against her will is... what? One of the most dangerous life-forms?

SLIDER< windy: As for your post to Ben, it comes down to a matter of desired results from the decisions we must make each day. *S*

windy< agreed, SLIDER. *S*

Ben< /topic Discussion of stimuli presented. *smile*

FRAML< Ben: There were a couple of earlier seminars on Definition of Soul and Meaning/Definition of Spirituality: what about Spirituality vs. Religion -- are there actual differences or only in semantics?

Ben< FRAML: I think we'd better hold "spirituality versus religion" for a full seminar.

FRAML< Ben: OK for later seminar then.

Bwadife< Free will is to do what you want to do, but there are things of the destiny you cannot change with free will. You may want to go one way, but if there is a brick wall, you're gonna burst your head on it. You might continue to bang your head on it, if it is your will, but the result is pain and waste of time and talent. You will die before breaking that wall.

Rio< Isn't it free will (our own) that is designing our destiny?

Bwadife< It is like freedom: you do what you want, but with it comes responsibility for your actions. With freedom or free will comes DUTIES. These concepts are not to be taken in isolation. (I think it would be a big mistake to do so.)

FRAML< Bwadife: I agree that free will gives us responsibilities and duties. So does living in society. Today many proclaim "victimhood" and blame society for their problems, and thus do not accept personal responsibility. Also, there are those who do not realize that each of us has a duty to others.

Ben< Bwadife: A couple of sessions ago, I outlined some relationships between free will and desires or wants. Some of those relationships include decisions of self-discipline, responsibility, duty, or self-sacrificial service.

Bwadife< I see, Ben. I might be like a hair on the soup, though. I do not come here too often anymore.

Ben< Bwadife: I saw your comments and appreciated them. I think you are not like a hair on the soup. Welcome, anytime.

Bwadife< Thanks, Ben.

meddo< If God has a will, it is done. In the world, I make a choice to live his will, which I am, or listen to the ego. Lots of magic can go on in the world of matter, but that doesn't make it of spirit. In the world, we have a choice. I don't know if that is free will. Once I found my purpose, I practice giving and doing what I think the master would do. If the result is peace in me and those I meet, it must be truth. I continue to feel a deepening peace and joy. Today I'm broke, single, have a neural illness, and I am free. Eleven years ago, I was dead in all areas of my life, with a needle in my arm.

Ben< meddo: Well said concerning your journey. Welcome back to the land of the living. Namaste.

Rio< I feel that we are all God and it is part of our awareness to realize this. Then we can see how we really have created everything -- and I mean everything -- big and small -- in our lives.

windy< I agree, Rio. Well put.

Surya< Rio: Very well put. I also feel that we create our own reality; however, most are doing this unconsciously or without realizing how thoughts, words and actions manifest into reality.

Rio< This is true, Surya. I too sometimes "forget" what it is that I am thinking, and thus creating.

FRAML< Surya: You might be interested in reviewing the last 4 sessions in here (Circle of Self-control) that touched on "creating your own reality".

Surya< FRAML: Thank you; I will try to do review ... sounds interesting.

Bwadife< Rio, Surya: Part of it too must be due to the fact of the interrelation of all beings, the fact that we all come from the same source and therefore act on each other in our every move and thoughts.

Surya< Bwadife: I very much agree with you!

Rio< I think you have a very good point, Bwadife.

FRAML< Rio: Could you please explain what you mean by "We are all God?"

meddo< Ben: I am new here. What is it you study and follow?

Ben< meddo: Welcome. In these seminars, I provide topics for discussion and try to help keep the discussion flowing. As to my own spirituality, I have posted a good bit of it on my website.

Yopo< Ben: I finally read "Stacey the Cat" today. *s* Provided a very nice little confirmation of something I'd already learned.

Ben< Yopo: I thought it might. *smile* And also, I thought the theological implications of what I received at the end of that episode were ... encouraging.

Yopo< Ben: Indeed. I wonder about animal souls a lot. How they fit into the spiritual continuum. Their relative "importance" in comparison with human souls.

Surya< Yopo: IMO we are all spirits of/from the same Source, none greater than another.

Yopo< Surya: I tend to agree with you there. *smile*

Ben< Yopo: The answer I received ("Conversations In Silence") was that animals' souls are not fallen, but rising. Whereas at least some human souls are fallen angels inhabiting the bodies of highly evolved apes.

Yopo< Unfallen souls. I like that idea! Man is perhaps the only species in need of salvation. Hmm ...

SLIDER< Ben: Seems the subject question on ET's never took off. Would you post it again?

Ben< SLIDER: Sure. I knew I was posting too many topics too fast, but I thought I would see how the group would respond to that much stimulus. Or maybe it was because I watched the Tim Allen show?

FRAML< SLIDER: Did you know that in Alaska ET's phone Nome?

junebeam< FRAML: HeHeHe ROTFL!!!

Ben< ALL: Understanding ET's -- People continue to report experiences with Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) and the beings that operate them (ET's) including telepathic and physical encounters. What do you think about all this? And why? YOUR TURN

SLIDER< Ben: I can only answer that this way -- The universe is a big place, and if we can put a man on the moon, then there may be another people that can put themselves on our earth.

Surya< Ben: I find it hard to understand why we would think that in this vast universe we are the only planet that supports life.

Ben< Surya: I, for one, don't think this planet is the only place where life-forms have incarnated.

Bwadife< They exist. I saw stars in the sky move in a way that had nothing to do with weather balloons, planes or satellites. I was 18 and remember sh...g my pants at the thought of "What would I do if they landed in front of me?"

Yopo< Regarding ETs, I really don't know WHAT to think. Except perhaps we may be confusing ourselves by trying to drop various sorts of encounters into neat categories. There may be lots of overlap. I think perhaps encounters with ETs, Fairy folk, angelic and daemoniac and demonic beings, elementals, etc., may have more in common than we imagine.

windy< Yopo: I believe everything in creation, living and non-living, has a soul and a spirit. There is a school of thought that animals souls are akin to being lower on an evolutionary scale ... after accumulating enough experiences on this plane, they merit a human body, although it is more like a group of animal souls might come together to make a human soul.

FRAML< windy: I interpret soul as the spark of life within us, that is (hopefully) longing to return to the Light, while spirit can be expressed as the souls of those in this plane of existence. Ben had two seminars on those two topics last August and September -- in fact they were the beginning of these seminars.

Yopo< windy: Perhaps they are higher than we ... bright and pure spirits, living in the moment, unburdened with the durn computers we carry around between our ears.

MERLIN< Yopo: I think not. There are many things out there that think as we do. There are things stranger in heaven and in earth than we have dreamt.

Yopo< Merlin: If they think TOO much like us, we may be in big trouble. *LOL*

MERLIN< Yopo: In what way? On the other hand, the way I feel right now, we could be in big trouble.

Ben< Yopo: I use the categories "incarnate" and "discarnate" to distinguish between ETs that have to drive UFOs and those that don't. But my primary category remains the spiritual spectrum as I understand it: kindness is higher (better) than indifference, and indifference is higher (better) than cruelty. That's what I find myself coming back to, time and again.

Yopo< Ben: Yep. That seems to be the bottom line.

Bwadife< ETs are more advanced in technology than we are, for sure, but that does not mean their motives or awareness or wisdom is higher than ours. I have a tendency to think that, yes, they are a step ahead of us in spiritual awareness, but no guaranty of it.

FRAML< Bwadife: I don't know if they are "spiritually" advanced, but I hope that they have a system of morals similar to ours (or the morals we used to have). Otherwise, we could be in trouble.

Yopo< It seems the question of ETs hot-rodding around in technologically advanced vehicles is a separate issue from the existence of ETs. That last issue is surely a "given".

MERLIN< Yopo: LOL Hot-rodding ETs. Now there's a thought. Ever read "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" ?

Yopo< MERLIN: Only saw the BBC television series. Liked the part about the white mice. *LOL*

MERLIN< Yopo: I have two books and the tapes of the radio show. Plus I have the TV show on video tape.

FRAML< MERLIN: Are you suggesting that the ETs visiting here are merely surveyors for an intergalactic superhighway?

MERLIN< FRAML: Yes and no. ( evil smile )

Bwadife< FRAML: This is what made me shit my pants when I saw them in the sky and wondered what would I do if they were to land in front of me. LOL! That was 24 years ago.

Yopo< MERLIN: Beware the strandloopers ... *LOL*

SLIDER< Yopo: Unless there's an intergalactic UN, then we're really in trouble!

FRAML< Yopo: In that case, I hope the Battlestar Galatica gets here before the Cylons.

Yopo< FRAML: There's another worry. We may be assisting in the evolution of our own replacement as dominant species ... that gadget sitting in front of you.

MERLIN< Yopo: You may be right. But I think it could be more along the lines of both us and the computer. Not as two but as one.

Ben< MERLIN: Have you translated "The answer to life and the universe and everything = 42"?

MERLIN< Ben: LOL How many roads must a man walk down?

Ben< MERLIN: I saw one translation that read: "42 = For tea, two" -- perhaps as a reminder of the opening scene in an English inn, and the English notion of the height of civility.

MERLIN< Ben: Being British, I know. It's one of those things that we find funny.

Energie< Space is only a problem when you are trying to lug around a couple of hundred pounds of water and dust. To consciousness, space is no problem. Are you the pile of water and dust? Or are you the consciousness that is holding it all together?

MERLIN< The problem I see with ETs driving around in hot rod space ships is that the distances are far too great to travel the way that we would think. Getting to the speed of light is real hard. And if you use E=MC2 it becomes even harder to do. So one would have to travel outside normal space.

Indigo< MERLIN: What if they're not traveling great distances, but lengths of time?

Yopo< MERLIN: Well, human history seems to follow a dismal pattern: Anytime a technologically superior culture has encountered one less technologically advanced, the latter disintegrates. Seems to happen whether or not the superior one intends it to happen. If we encounter highly advanced ET technology, and they aren't careful, we're likely to curl up on the floor in a fetal position.

MERLIN< Yopo: I think not. More than likely we will go WOW and curl up on the floor and then uncurl. And get in over our heads. Look at it this way: If a higher race comes along, how will they act to us? Will they say "Poor mankind" and help us or will they say "OK what will we do with this race?" If they are a higher race, they have gone though much of what we have. So they will have passed though all the problems that we have and be more understanding. On the other hand, they could be here already and just watching and learning. Not only about us, but about themselves. Much as we do. There are many, many possible outcomes.

earthling< They are watching; they are us.

MERLIN< earthling: More than likely they are watching us. After all, we've been sending waves into space for the last 70 years or so. If my math is right, it's about 20 light years out by now. I would have to sit down and do the math to be sure.

earthling< The Gods are come down to us in the likeness of men ... Acts 14:11

[Ben< That was said by the people at Lystra when they heard Barnabas and Paul. They decided that Barnabas was Zeus and Paul was Hermes. The priest of the temple of Zeus brought oxen and garlands to offer as sacrifices to them. But they tore their garments and went around telling everyone: "We are men of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God.]

Ben< Yopo: Good point about the dismal pattern of human history. But maybe some humans won't just curl up in a fetal position if they are confronted with technological superiority. And maybe humans aren't alone in this case ... there are discarnates who love humans.

Yopo< Ben: Do you suppose spirituality is universal? Might there not be some utterly alien spirituality? (I can't decide if this is a stupid question. )

Indigo< Yopo: I don't think it's a stupid question. Aren't we assuming that ETs are spiritual? It's an interesting thought.

Yopo< Indigo: It IS an interesting question. Could a race evolve solely in the realm of material complexity? Be utterly devoid of a spiritual nature? A similar issue would be if an artificial intelligence might possess a soul.

MERLIN< Yopo: ahhhh. Now there's a deep question. Artificial intelligence. Hmmm. What is it, and how does one say when something is intelligent ?

Indigo< MERLIN: I think by intelligence we are speaking of SELF consciousness.

MERLIN< Indigo: Yes. And there are some people I know who would fall outside of that definition.

Ben< Yopo: Good question. I believe the spiritual universe is truly universal, but I doubt that an ethical concept of spirituality is universal. It isn't on this planet.

Yopo< Ben: That's one of the scariest thoughts you've shared here.

Ben< Yopo: Why scary? I think it's expectable, as we can expect some humans to be kind toward other species, some indifferent, and some cruel.

Yopo< Scary to think of power without moral restraint. I know we've seen it in ourselves at times, but it has always been within a greater moral/ethical background. Imagine it without that background ... a society where ethics isn't even an issue.

Ben< Yopo: Well, yes -- I must agree -- any society where ethics isn't even an issue is scary. Very scary.

earthling< It has been foretold for 6000 years, to the date.

Energie< It is time to remember that you are the eternal actor ... and not the costume.

MERLIN< BRB. Need to see about a good hot cup of tea. Looks over at Ben ...

Ben< MERLIN: Yes, please. One lump. No cream.

MERLIN< Ben: Coming up. Just waiting on the kettle.

Indigo< Yopo: I don't think a society could survive without that moral background. It goes against an individual's goal of existence.

Yopo< Indigo: So you think a culture will always have SOME sort of ethics. Perhaps so different from our own as to be incomprehensible, but still something that would order individual behavior. Hmm ...

Indigo< Yopo: I know nothing! LOL! I am just taken aback to be confronting this thought for the first time. It's quite a mind-blower.

SLIDER< Yopo, Indigo: You just might ask yourself about scientific atheism!

Yopo< SLIDER: Oh, those Scientism folks have souls. They've just chosen not to include 'em in their observations and data. Sad, to miss the central point altogether.

the_Muse< Re: the conversation about the possible ethics of aliens: I really believe there is some deep connection with the Creator that must be achieved to be able to transcend space/time. I feel safe assuming they cannot get here if they are not supposed to.

Ben< the_Muse: I agree that any society must have some sort of internal ethical system in order to survive as a society and develop technologically -- but extension of ethical precepts outside the society and across species may not be necessary for technological development. We're only now *beginning* to extend ethical concepts to other species.

the_Muse< Ben: I had this other thought that our sun ... you know ... I believe the sun is conscious, that our sun actually protects our solar system.

Ben< the_Muse: I don't believe old Sol is a conscious entity, but I do believe the Source of the Spiritual Light is conscious and compassionate.

the_Muse< Ben: My theory is that it is the actual Spirit that is the engine and fuel of space flight. I think it may be possible to replicate this. I think it is connected to the Cosmic Consciousness. Throughout the Bible it talks about the feelings of the Sun. I can only think that means the Sun has feelings. And in one of the small prophets it talks about the Sun of healing rising. Although in English this sounds the same, in the old text it was a very different word.

Ben< the_Muse: Many peoples have worshipped Sol -- usually, I believe, because their seers described the Source of the Spiritual Light but the people couldn't understand the difference between spiritual light and physical light.

the_Muse< Ben: Why would we worship Sol even if He is conscious? The Sun is a created thing like we are.

MERLIN< Yopo: [Re: a society where ethics isn't even an issue] I'm sad to say it's heading that way. In my line of work, I get to see that some people just don't care that what they do is wrong and hurtful. I recall a incident a few years ago, of a young lady I met. It was December 26. She was walking around crying. When I saw her, I knew that something was really wrong. So I talked to her and she told me that someone had taken her Christmas present. On questioning her more, I found out that her mother had taken a second job to buy her a pair of skis. Not even a good set of skis. But a present from the heart. It really made my blood boil. Here was this young lady that had her Christmas ruined. All because someone wanted something that was not theirs. To try and understand why someone would without thinking hurt someone like that is hard for me to fully understand. It's a moral thing. And something that three years later really upsets me.

the_Muse< MERLIN: And if some guy came up to her and asked her what sort of past life event made her want to enact this with the robber -- I would want to punch him!

MERLIN< the_Muse: LOL! I would, too.

Yopo< MERLIN: *sigh* It hurts most when something like that happens to an innocent. I think folks who do that sort of thing lack a capacity for empathy. They think they have only broken some "rule". They don't really know the pain the act causes. If they DO know and do it anyway ... well ...

MERLIN< Yopo: I know. And I see it again and again. It really shakes my belief in goodness. I know lots of great and good people. But just one bad egg ruins it. The moral questions I have asked those I have arrested over the years have never been answered in a way that has shown any goodness in them. I asked two people that I arrested this year why they did it. They answered that it was because they liked the snowboards and they just had to have them. The fact that we found five snowboards in their car seemed to make the answer even more odd.

MERLIN< Yopo: The other side to that incident was the owners of the snowboards thanked my staff and myself. The feeling of righting that wrong was wonderful. But for those 5 snowboards that we recovered 30 were never recovered.

Ben< MERLIN: The theft of that child's Christmas present is the sort of thing that tempts me to violence. I have a lot of warrior in me -- and I am trying to learn a better way of fighting such people (and spirits) -- but sometimes I revert to type and reach for the weapons.

MERLIN< Ben: That thought did cross my mind. I teach fencing. And I'm a ex-soldier. It would not have been so bad if it had been a rich child. But a child that had her mother take a second job to buy those skis was what really hurt. The gift from a loving heart. Taken just in the blink of a eye. Without thought of the pain.

Zoomer< Ben: That is where I am also -- too much tolerance allows the spread of evil. I guess we need to react, but the key would seem to be to react with heart. It seems we all need to learn the word NO -- a very hard thing to learn. The baby will always try to get its way, and for some it takes a lot to teach NO !!!

Ben< Zoomer: I have been thinking about the similarities and differences between personal responsibility and public responsibility. In personal responsibility, self-discipline according to the Golden Rule. In public responsibility, to encourage those who help others and discourage those who hurt others ... but how to do that?

Zoomer< Ben: Not sure. I guess it is my question also. The hard thing about the golden rule is to practice it on the ones we see as most evil. Like Bill Baldwin says, though, no matter how bad a being is, there is some good in them, and vice versa.

Ben< Zoomer: Yes. Bill Baldwin has done the world a service by pointing out a way to rescue evil spirits. Origen (about 220 AD) predicted that a time would come when demons would be rescued, but I have not seen it implemented before now.

Zoomer< It is the most amazing of times. I see it as an evolution-type model. We move up a rung in vibration as the ones above us in a sense pull us with them, and we also must reach down and give a hand to the ones below. Perhaps the demons will be stuck in this plane we now exist in (happy to move up in light) and by letting in more light might vibrate in the same space but in another dimension? Not sure, but I hope it is one for all and all for one -- together! A time like no other time -- a new cycle.

earthling< This is a time of history, the most important revolution of mankind's history, without a doubt. It's good to be here.

Yopo< Ben: I know what you mean. Is there such a thing as righteous anger? I don't know, 'cause the anger still makes me feel like I've somehow been damaged ... Ya know?

Ben< Yopo: Yes, I know our own anger damages us. In fact, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream that cause damage if not used up or burned up by action. That's why it helps to do a series of push-ups when one is angry. Or go chop wood, as my mother used to have me do when I was angry. It helped.

the_Muse< Ben: I walk. And the anger just drains out my feet. I hear the Spirit so well when walking.

the_Muse< Yopo: You have been damaged. I think such things harm us all. Part of mankind's collective seems to have turned rotten somehow. May I blame television to a large degree?

earthling< We can talk about TV there. My view is that it's society's fault. TV is technology, which is only bad in the hands of the ignorant.

Yopo< the_Muse: I certainly blame TV for a lot of our social ills. Kids sitting there, minds wide open, being programmed by what they see. I completely agree.

MERLIN< the_Muse: You are right. TV plays a large role in the lack of caring. The pain and hurt that the evening news shows without feeling is the problem. Death and killing shown without care or thought is the deep root of the problem.

the_Muse< *looking up and asking why?* Thoughtless destruction is bad, but deliberate destruction is mind-boggling.

MERLIN< the_Muse: If we knew the answer to that, we would shout it from the tree tops. Why do people hurt others like they do?

the_Muse< MERLIN: In one of the suppressed early Christian writings, a young well-educated Roman woman is waiting to be fed to lions. She is pregnant and they are waiting for the baby to be born, so she has some months to wait. She talks throughout about the concept of people being entertained by suffering and lending their eyes to murder, and for amusement. Very powerful.

MERLIN< the_Muse: And today we have television. The more times change, the more they stay the same.

the_Muse< MERLIN: And for sure the views of murder on TV are more lurid than could be had in the best seat at the Coliseum.

the_Muse< Ben: This thing of the TV choice of murderers instead of heroes as its focus, I think was a decision of wealthy men. I think it was the fulfillment of that second big thing that makes God send in the Angels in Chapter 9 of Revelation. There are these three very evil things that happen in Ezekiel Chapter 8 and then he sends in the destroying angels in the next chapter.

[Ben< the_Muse: I think part of it is greed, but there are those who fully intend to destroy the moral and ethical foundations of this and every other society.]

PhnxFire< Yes, Muse, that young woman martyred herself (gave her life for her faith). From what I remember, she did it willingly.

the_Muse< PhnxFire: "The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity". Actually I do not think God is as picky as all that. I would have said something like "God knows my heart" -- and lived.

PhnxFire< (*Phoenix looks at Muse, confused.*) God, picky? And is "The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity" a book? Somewhere I got lost.

[Apparently, the_Muse didn't see that question.]

Yopo< I'm still troubled by something that happened last week. This field near work was thoughtlessly mowed. I spend a lot of time crossing it, and felt very connected to the redwing blackbirds that nest there. I crossed the field while the mowing was half done, and saw all of these lost redwings searching for their nests, and those in the yet unmowed areas in a state of panic. I crossed the field the next day, and a male redwing orbited me at close range for a quarter-mile, calling out all the while. When I stopped it landed almost at my feet, looked at me, and called repeatedly ... a deliberate communication of its pain and distress. So. A terrible thing. Completely unnecessary. Yet I doubt if anyone else was even conscious of what had been done.

MERLIN< Yopo: That hurts. Gosh, it's like my heart missed a beat. It's those thoughtless actions that hurt. It's like the young lady reaching for her skis. That pain is hard.

Yopo< I found myself wondering about the moral implications of acts, when the doer doesn't know any better.

the_Muse< Yopo: I agree. I just pray that a flood of the Spirit of Love will come and wash the blindness from all men's eyes. So that we will all stand bare, all knowing the hearts and thoughts of others. And not able to hide behind any illusions for the wrongs that we do.

earthling< "Do as I have done to you" -- said Jesus (John 13:15)

Ben< Yopo: Thanks for describing your distress over the redwing blackbirds. I have often -- often -- felt that way, but there are not many people with whom one can share such feelings.

SLIDER< Yopo: What kind of field was mowed and what was done with it after it was mowed -- if I may ask?

Yopo< SLIDER: It was a field of clover and dandelions and daisy and thistle. It is in the city limits now. An ordinance says grass and weeds can't be more than a foot tall. So, nothing was done but to reduce a lush and vital 100 acres, plus or minus, to four-inch-tall sun-dried stubble. Go figure ...

SLIDER< Yopo: Looks like something there you can take to city council, and see if they would wait in the future until the birds have raised their young? Just a thought.

Indigo< I would like to poll the group here. Do you think we are reaching critical mass on spiritual awakening on this earth?

Ben< Indigo: I hope so, but I tend to doubt it. Maybe we're approaching critical mess, instead.

Indigo< Ben: LOL! I used to think I was the only one I knew who thought about spiritually in universal terms. I have learned there are many. That gives me hope. Maybe I won't see it, but my child will.

earthling< Indigo: You will see it, or neither of you will.

Yopo< Indigo: I don't know. I sense we are reaching some sort of point of critical mass, but I'm afraid it may be the carrying power of the ecosystem. Folks are waking up spiritually, but not fast enough. Gotta understand that the Earth is sacred, and we have been given a trust by Creator, not a resource to exploit.

earthling< Yopo: It's picking up so much speed you won't believe. It will be final very soon. The prophecies are not wrong on this one, I personally assure you. FEEL THE WINDS OF CHANGE ON THE WINGS OF THE NIGHT

Yopo< earthling: What worries me about the spiritual critical-mass concept is that so many folks I know seem to think of it as something that will lift us to a "higher dimension". Like we'll leave the problems of the Earth behind. Seems to me, though, that the real goal is to spiritualize the material plane we inhabit, bring the light down to where we live, so to speak.

earthling< Yopo: We have the most perfect place and faculties to cultivate it, we just must realize and utilize.

PhnxFire< Yopo: That sounds pretty good to me, spiritualize the material plane, cool.

stormfire< Yopo: Well said. *S* Bring the light down here and manifest it on the physical plane.

earthling< "The spirit of God dwelleth in you." People just don't use the Bible the way they should. We are nothing.

the_Muse< Yopo: I just can't believe we will be moving on to anything until we achieve some sort of understanding and joy here. Obviously whatever lesson we all are supposed to learn just hasn't been learned yet. Look at this mess. Look at the dirty water, air, consumerist mentality, and runaway breeding. With more and more loss of the sort of courtesy that any rat in a cage knows is needed to coexist, mankind is not appearing real transcendent to me.

Yopo< the_Muse: I had an interesting and humbling experience at drumming circle tonight. This Yaqui Indian showed up, from who-knows-where. He seemed to me to be a bit judgmental of our "New Age" proceedings, but then, that was MY judgment. Anyhow, between drummings he came up to me and said he felt drawn to me. Asked if he could put his hand on my chest. Sure, I said. He did so. After a moment he grimaced, then smiled. He said "You're a person who has had a great problem with anger. You're getting better now." (Bingo!) He then said "You're learning to speak from here now (touching my heart) instead of from here so much (touching my forehead)." (Bingo again!) He then smiled and said "You've only just started your journey. You have a very long way to go." (The humbling truth.)

the_Muse< Yopo: Wow! Hey, if you want to have a loud telepathic voice, it has to come straight from the heart. In fact, that sort of honesty in all communication, internal and external, is the key to really developing telepathy. The emotional energy carries the thought. Straight from the heart carries best.

stormfire< Yopo: How wonderful ... what a great experience for you. Are you in Arizona, by any chance?

Yopo< stormfire: In Indiana, of all places. The Yaqui fellow lives in the area, and heard of our circle. He sees very clearly, and speaks very plainly. He also did something that I sorta understood. He made these grasping motions at my chest, then cast "something" away. Did this several times, then just smiled and walked away. I somehow felt lighter. He did this for several folks in the circle.

stormfire< Yopo: Removing blocks and resonance chords of anger and guilt from your heart chakra so the love could flow. *S*

Lea< Yopo: What a great evening you must have had!

axel< This is all I have to say. I will respond, then I will leave and return again in a few months. Practice, don't preach. Forget about the faults of others, change only yourself and correct only your own faults. Talk less; serve, meditate, love and study more. All this talk is poison for spiritual progress, and when you do talk, speak in a soft calm cool voice. Your voice will then be like healing balm. Speak only kind words. Try to do these things over the next few months, and you will experience much greater bliss and progress. Practice, practice, practice. That is all I have to say. Any responses?

earthling< axel: -- wrong -- conspire -- you can't halt the changes if you wanted to. They are here; we are here. Just realize our REAL purpose. It's coming.

PhnxFire< earthling: Anything can be done with the right mind-set.

earthling< Yes, PhnxFire, anything is possible. We should not have believed for so long that nobody is perfect because in actuality we could have been if we wanted to.

PhnxFire< earthling: No one is perfect; everyone has flaws of some kind; that shouldn't matter.

earthling< PhnxFire: Well, now, I just know that you aren't perfect. Thanks.

PhnxFire< earthling: No, I am not perfect. I'm thin, wear glasses, and I smoke. Doesn't make me any less important or intelligent, so I don't see the problem.

earthling< PhnxFire: That's the problem ... you don't see it.

PhnxFire< earthling: So what is there to see? What is perfect?

earthling< PhnxFire: Us, if you can envision our true nature. Don't worry, it's coming.

PhnxFire< earthling: I live within my nature and know the nature of mankind. It is in the patterns of the past. I'm not blind, I see it.

earthling< I guess you don't believe anything is possible. I agree this time is hard to rise completely from, but that's why there is going to have to be very violent and changing events soon.

axel< earthling: Everything is changing. Change is the law of creation. Pleasure is a point between two pains. Who said I wanted to halt change? No one can. All I say is, change for the better, progress spiritually, practice the truth. Don't waste years talking about the truth; practice it, taste it, experience it.

earthling< axel: It's all the same action. Give and ye shall receive. You receive but what you give.

Zoomer< Saving axle's words -- I think you got the key!

PhnxFire< axel: Sounds logical to me.

axel< PhnxFire: Thank you for the kind words, but talking is often useless. Example is far better; that's why I kept quiet for 20 minutes. You see most want spiritual progress, but when you give them the medicine, they refuse to take it, so few are willing to practice the truth. All are willing to preach, though.

PhnxFire< Axel: I agree with you on some points, but each person has to find their own way. Showing by example is one of the best ways I know. You can't expect anyone to listen until they want to.

axel< PhnxFire: I agree, friend, spiritual growth must be a choice from free will, not force. God does not force his children to evolve, it has to be done from free will, otherwise it's false and fake and heaven does not want that.

stormfire< axel: Talk without action is not beneficial, but to come together and share thoughts, journeys, love, and light is a beneficial thing for all, and often aids in our learning process. *S*

axel< stormfire: Too much talk is useless, once you have right knowledge. Without right knowledge you will always be talking because you don't know the truth. You think others might tell it to you. Too much talking tires the mind and body, it wastes time which could have been spent in service to others, in meditation, or in reading spiritual texts which would give you right knowledge.

stormfire< axel: I agree about too much talking, for then one is not listening. *S*

axel< So that is all I have to say: "Talk less. Meditate, serve others, and read spiritual texts more to acquire more right knowledge." Some of you might put this simple truth in practice over the next few months; most will ignore it and continue as they are. The choice is yours, of course. Well, I better shut up now, otherwise you will call me a hypocrite that talks to much.

Morganna< Before we can heal the ills of the earth, we must learn to love ourselves and all things unconditionally. That is what is manifesting on this plane at this time ... critical mass, as you call it. My opinion...

stormfire< Morganna: Yep! Love ourselves and all others. The oldest lesson ... and it's still hanging around. *S*

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