Ham on Will
schlundg at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
schlundg at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
Wed Dec 4 06:59:43 PST 1996
am Ham and again I want to express my gratitude to you for gathering
here this evening. Tonight, we will discuss the will. As you know
today, right now, as we are discussing in this moment of time, your
will is honored and given full opportunity for expression by all the
Father's creation and even by the Father himself. Throughout all of
time, this is the case. The Father's will is such that your own
individual wills, though circumscribed in time and space in order to
prevent harm while you are developing, your will is nonetheless
supreme within its domain. The Father can give you no greater gift
than this that within your realm that your will is as free as is his
within his realm.
The Father desires you to be free, he grants your will increasing
freedom as increasingly you are able to handle that freedom. This
gradual increase in freedom is shown even during the physical life.
When you were a child, your parents or care givers restricted your
freedom for your own safety and children learn rapidly to express
their will within the boundaries they are allowed, and so you did
this. As you matured and grew to young adulthood, your freedom was
curtailed by job responsibilities or educational responsibilities. As
you grow through adulthood, you are increasingly given opportunities
for increased freedom of action. You will is given more and more
strength. You are promoted to greater levels of responsibility or you
are increasingly drawn to work which expresses freedom of action. As
you grow in your ability to handle freedom, generally the Father who
is the guiding over control of your lives will give you freedom.
Self-control is at the heart of increased freedom. You are all
conscious that giving a child or a young person too much freedom is
detrimental and so before the Father widens your sphere of influence
or your freedom of action, he must be certain that you are able to
appreciate this new freedom and not to cause yourself harm through
this freedom. I'll use Rebecca as an example, today she has the great
freedom of action but she uses that freedom productively. If she was
given this freedom at the age of 20, for example, she undoubtedly
would have ruined her life with drugs and alcohol.
Increasing maturity allows increasing freedom without the danger that
are associated with the immature person. The Father therefore tries
to fashion your lives so that you will have the greatest possible
freedom within the level of maturity you have reached.
Freedom is a very precious gift. You have great freedom of action, but
it is always constrained and limited and the Father makes sure this is
so for your well being. When the constraints are no longer needed,
then they fall away. You must gradually, over time, be tested again
and again to see where your maturity really is because greater freedom
carries with it greater responsibilities.
If you are given the freedom of leisure, do you use your time
constructively for self-improvement or self-development? If you are
given the freedom of money, will you responsibly manage this wealth
and create greater good with it? If you are given the freedom of
travel, will you use this ability to increase your knowledge of the
world and its peoples? If you are given the freedom of greater
self-expression, will you use this responsibly to express the higher
values of the universe?
All freedom carries responsibility, and if your freedom is not used
responsibly then that freedom most often is revoked. You see, the
Father is really and truly caring for you, watching over you, giving
you impetus here and restraining you there. Although you may flatter
yourselves into thinking that your lives are products of your own
decisions, those decisions were products of the Father's hand.
Increasing freedom is the road or the pathway toward Paradise. At
every new level you attain, increasing freedom is the main point, the
greater meaning. The Father loves his children so much that he sends
a part of himself to shepherd them through the vicissitudes of the
strenuous material life, and on throughout eternity. He personally
monitors every step, every progress, every decision and rewards each
step toward maturity with increasing personal freedom.
Now this personal freedom is expressed in many ways, but the main way
and the way that is expressive of higher meanings is simply through
increased ability at self-expression. A you grow in the spirit, you
are better able to find a way to express the higher values of the
universe through your own individual experience and thus to share
greater realities with your brethren. And this sharing of higher
values creates meaning which remains a part of the supreme value, even
the living Supreme Being because each interaction, each communication
that expresses the Father -- is reflective of truth, beauty, and
goodness -- is itself valuable. The coming together of minds creates
a new level of meaning each and every time. Is this understandable to
Q: I can understand what you are saying, and I can even see how it
applies to my life. How does it happen that so many screw up? If the
Father constrains us for our own good, then why are there so many
ruined lives, drug addicts, ruthless dictators, and so forth.
Ham: Human immaturity, human folly.
Q: Lack of God in individual lives.
Ham: Yes, exactly. The will is supreme, and though one human will can
reek tremendous damage in the world, still in the wider picture the
damage is localized. Lucifer, for example, brought tremendous damage
to the local universe, but in the wider picture this damage was
contained and short-lived.
Q: Is the same true for the individual, the bad decisions we make can
create damage but in the big picture it is localized?
Ham: Yes. Say a life is ruined by alcohol addiction, ultimately
resulting in the person's death. What are we talking about here, 30
years or 40 years? In the overall scheme of eternity, that is a blink
of an eye. Do you see?
Q: Yes. That helps a great deal.
Q: So what you are saying is that God really doesn't constrain our
freedom but that is o.k. because it is limited? Was 6,000,000 Jews a
big problem in the universe? Where does God draw the line?
Ham: No, they were each one welcomed individually and lovingly to
their greater estate.
Q: That was after the fact of them being tortured.
Ham: The Lucifer rebellion has caused much grater damage than Hitler
could have ever thought of, sheer scale.
Q: So are wills are not really constrained, maybe within the universe,
but not here in our abilities to hurt other people?
Ham: Yes, I think that was ultimately constrained.
Q: I don't see how you can say that, it keeps going on and on to the
next generations. That particular horror continues, and others do too.
It may be constrained on a grand level. Are our lives any less
important than the Universe? Is what happens in our lives any less
Q: So again, we have the freedom to hurt other people, our wills are
Ham: If your wills were constrained, then you would not have free will
on the level that you have it.
Q: So the constraint is the size of the mess we are able to make?
Ham: It is limited to this planet.
Q: Or to a circumscribed time frame?
Q: If we are given freedom to the limit that we are responsible, why
would someone like Hitler be given the freedom to do what he did?
Ham: This was a time when Caligastia still inhabited Urantia and
exerted considerable influence. Also, there are other factors which in
the Father's wisdom were allowed to play out that the horrors of
increasingly dehumanizing warfare always escalate until warfare is
Q: What about more recent massacres in the Tutsi, in Bosnia, much more
recent times after the Lucifer rebellion has be adjudicated. How do
you explain that?
Ham: Warfare will not end until it is willed to end through wise
administration of earth. Warfare will continue to escalate, it will
not go away.
Q: Even the most constrained among us have enough freedom to pick up a
machine gun and kill our neighbors?
Ham: Correct, and these forces will continue until human beings create
forces that stop this.
Q: So then, everything you have said tonight is more about increasing
freedom in a grander scale. As you said we all have the freedom to
pick up a gun, or mess up the environment. But all we have now is life
on earth. It seems that there is nothing to stop us from going at each
other? Is that what you are saying, that the only thing that is
stopping us from greater maturity and then we will be given greater
freedom in the universe?
Q: So this is our playground for now until we can handle it better?
Ham: Testing ground would be more appropriate.
Q: If instead of getting our selfish desires, what we want is to make
the world a better place, then as we become more mature, things will
open up so that we actually can do some good?
Q: There are two parts to this, the freedom to do evil and that is
what comes to our minds first because we are surrounded by it, but
there is also the flip side which is the freedom to do good. This is
what comes to your mind first about freedom, from your perspective?
Ham: Yes. Questions.
Q: I would like to ask my usual question, please.
Ham: Jarad, you are learning rapidly the course to follow. You are
understanding the value of restraint and character building. Also,
you are learning to focus your energies more precisely and to work on
one thing at a time. It is like you are bringing in energies that
were scattered, and learning to focus on one thing then another then
another to make progress. You have a tendency to want to do
everything and nothing at the same time. Don't worry, you are doing
very well and making great strides spiritually. Continue to seek
balance in your spiritual exercises, and to give thanks every day and
to pray for others.
Q: Do you have anything for Rebecca?
Ham: Rebecca, you are learning to accept situations and people better
and to have less judgment and more love. This should lighten your
burden considerably. Finally, you will learn to be nonjudgmental of
yourself and your actions.
Jeremiah, you are slowly making progress. It may feel like two steps
forward and one step back, but have assurance that slowly there is
change. Healing efforts are welcomed. Continue all else as we have
outlined. Cottage cheese is a helpful addition to your diet, even
though you're trying to limit dairy, cottage cheese is good for you at
Q: Anything for Deborah?
Ham: I am very pleased that she is enjoying the companionship of
Abraham. This is as it should be. Nothing to add.
Q: Anything for Mary Jo?
Ham: Yes, don't allow yourself to fall into depression or bouts of
self-pity. You have help all around you, and companionship as well.
Keep active and maintain close contact with your daughters. Also, I
believe there is a Urantia book study group in Albuquerque. Contact
Q: How shall she find them Ham?
Ham: The foundation.
Q: Ham, I would appreciate any advice you might have for me.
Ham: Vontis, you should have much gratitude and happiness for your
progress. Don't look backward, always go forward. Embrace newness and
difference. Get yourself to do things differently, to try new things,
to just do things in a different way, just little things. Don't get
circumscribed by familiarity.
If there are no further questions, I will depart for the evening and
wish you all a wonderful week of discovery and adventure.
David G. Schlundt, Ph.D. (615)322-7800
Associate Professor of Psychology (615)343-8449 Fax
Vanderbilt University schlundg at ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu
301 Wilson Hall
Nashville, TN 37240
Prayer is not a technique for curing real and organic diseases, but i
t has contributed enormously to the enjoyment of abundant health
and to the cure of numerous mental, emotional, and nervous
ailments. Prayer has turned many an irritable and complaining
invalid into a paragon of patience and made him an inspiration
to all other human sufferers. -- The Urantia Book
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