Pocatello transcript 9-18-98

Bill Kelly billk at ida.net
Thu Sep 24 06:19:56 PDT 1998


Klarixiska(Virginia):    This is Klarixiska.  I would express my
appreciation to each one of you tonight.  Honesty is always a very difficult
thing, being raised in a culture where you are trained to not be direct.  As
surely as you laugh at the directness of a little first grader, it is
because of the inaccurate words of the adults in your culture.  Although
honesty would appear to always be the best policy, it is not necessarily so.
One must be careful of one's motives and of one's love in that situation.
I thank you that I have been allowed to speak and I knew it must come
quickly or Virginia would not be as open and ready.  Thank you.  

Aaron(Bill): Greetings dear friends, I am Aaron.  I must say you have
greatly impressed your teachers, your older brothers and sisters, with your
maturity and straightforwardness this evening. We do not feel that this
group is lagging in spiritual growth, but is experiencing differential
levels which are particular to each individual.  In a way it is impossible
to delineate a group average that has any meaning, and yet, there is a sense
of the whole that is greater than the summation of the parts.
This dichotomy of individual and group, of part and whole, of the individual
within the system, is an understanding that you are gaining directly from
your own personal experience from within and from the interactional aspects
of your environment. Indeed it has been already transmitted that we are
going to shift
the focus now from the whole back to the parts, but in this digression from
the whole, do not be confused that in our new emphasis on individuality that
we are losing sight of the larger perspective.  No, we will not retrogress,
but progress with an emphasis change.  

Now the reason that we feel comfortable doing this is because you have
achieved new levels of comprehension of the whole as witnessed in evidence
by your sharing, honesty and comfort with each other.  Indeed, as you look
back on the things that were difficult in the past, on the things that you
struggled with, you now can actually feel humorous as you remember how
difficult that progress was, for now it seems that it is 'no big deal', as
you say.  This is the nature of growth, that always on the cutting edge of
growth there is great struggle, for it is newness you encounter, something
you do not know experientially. But once it has been assimilated into your
electrochemical nervous system, body/mind unity, it is proportionately
configured according to its true importance; therefor it is possible to
experience the relief of humor in the mental review of what was once a great
and fearsome personality struggle.  

Indeed will we take you into uncharted territory.  We will not merely
reminisce or repeat, although we will do our share of that.  You will be
challenged, my friends, believe me.  And in fact, Simeon's discontent
arouses our anticipatory joy.  We will satisfy your desire for growth and
for change.  

I am tempted, but will not succumb, to continue lecturing you.  I have said
sufficient.  We are all up to the challenge, my friends, and I welcome you
to this next phase.  That is all.

Minearisa(Cathy):  This is Minearisa.  You have all done well at your
self-forgiveness exercise and now it is time to begin an exercise which
involves forgiveness of others.  My exercise for you this evening, and I
will release this t/r to participate, is to visualize a person with whom you
have unfinished business.  I would like you to visualize them in the center
of the room where the microphone stands.  Look at the details of that
person, their hair, their clothing, etc., to firmly plant in your mind
resemblances of that person.  At that point I would like for you to look at
this image you have created and to express honest feelings toward them, be
it something they have done to hurt you or something you have done to hurt
them.  We are not asking for
complete resolution at this time.  This will follow in further lessons.  The
point here is to identify something which is unresolved between you.  This
person does not have to be living at this time.  It can be someone from your
past who has graduated.  I encourage each to participate, but remember there
is no disappointment on our side if you choose to remain an observer.
Please begin.

Virginia: Teachers can I ask a clarifying question?  We're visualizing this
person.  Are we supposed to share what we are feeling?

Cathy: That's the impression I was getting, to share in a dialogue with this
person... "You did this to me.  I did this to you."

Virginia: I'm not sure exactly what to do, but I will share with the group
that as soon as Minearisa said "unfinished business" I thought of two peers
that I have tried to reconcile some sort of estrangement with that's there
and I've been unsuccessful with it.  The other group of people I saw were my
siblings.  I will be with them on Sunday and it's always a very tense time
for me.  I also try to approach them with feelings, letters and things and
have not been able to make that bridge where there's anything more than
superficialness.  At this point I feel that I would love to have some
conversation with them and if it can happen, I'm ready for it.

Bill: Was this exercise supposed to be a dialogue mentally in your own mind,
with thought?

Cathy: I got the impression that we were to visualize them right there and
talk to them as though they were standing there.

Bill: Yeah, rather than discussing it with the group.

Bob D: That's a difficult exercise.  I was thinking about that and realized
the nature of forgiveness and how it's done.  It's so hard to fathom,
because you can't just say, "I forgive you." and it's over.  It just doesn't
work.  You can say it over and over again.  You can even intend it over and
over again, but somehow it crops up... the emotions.  There's still some
pain or something you can't let go of, blame, or some issue regarding it.

I think the one thing I've been able to do with a couple of situations that
I would think I have is to lose the idea that there are devious motives.
Almost always injuries are done either accidently or it's your perception of
them injuring and they never had the perception they did.  Or they may
really injure you, but there's a point where you might never come to
resolution and agree who did what or how it happened.  You have to almost
realize that this isn't important anymore.
What's more important to me?  Love or anger?  Blame or a feeling of
wholeness?  Somehow when you harbor those feelings you don't feel whole.
I don't know that I can have a dialogue with a person so much as recognizing
the kinds of ways that I would want to react. I know that it wouldn't be so
much in saying "You did this and you did that" as saying "I recognize during
this time period that you hurt and I hurt and maybe at certain times during
that it was more important for you to hurt more than me and more important
for me to hurt more than you."  There tends to be a sense of selfishness
that comes in and you have to learn to let it go. Sometimes people need more
understanding and so I think that I would go about trying to understand and
interact on that level if I could.  Maybe just the recognition that we're
not perfect and that we're always going to infringe on somebody else's
rights to an extent when we're caught up in something ourselves.

Marty: Maybe carrying one more idea from Bob's is with the person I'm
thinking of.  I think I've forgiven them.  It's an ongoing thing, because I
don't think they really realize how they're being perceived in the way they
are hurting you.  And yet when you try to say anything it becomes a
defensive thing.  So I've come to grips with that and deal with them fine.
I just know that's the way this person is and if I'm going to be in contact
with them, which I am, that's something you have to go with. 

Maybe that's not completely forgiving them, but it still puts you on the
defense of how you deal with that person.  You can't really open up to that
person because there's still that fear of really being put down again and
what other people think and it's back to that same old thing.  I feel like
I've forgiven them, but it's probably not real forgiveness because I can't
be as open with them for fear it will turn around and come back
again.  It's hard to feel comfortable because it's not someone you can
really talk to deep down because in the back of my head it's still there.
Will it come back again like it has in the past?

Bill: I understand what you're saying and I'm thinking that maybe
forgiveness for another person is necessary primarily to get it out of your
system, to get the anger out, and you may never be able to communicate
clearly with that person.

Marty: I realize who the person is and they deny it when you approach them
with it.  So to me there's not much sense in opening old wounds.  Maybe it's
the avoidance thing.  I don't know.

Bill: I've thought about this.  People sometimes think, "I'll forgive
another person if they'll apologize first." and there is that sort of thing
that happens.  The person apologizes and you feel a lot better about them
and forgive them.  Then there are the situations where they won't apologize.
Like you say, they're defensive or they won't understand.

Virginia: Or they think their the ones that have been wronged.

Bill: Yes.  They might think they're the victim and you're the perpetrator.
But I think about the Urantia Book's definition where it says at one point
that God transcends forgiveness.  God understands completely and so I think
if I could really understand another person.  I could think of examples.
People I regard as mentally ill.  If I could just understand how they think,
maybe then I could understand enough to forgive.

Marty: I think in my instance I do understand where they're coming from, I
can see what they're afraid of, but it doesn't help me when some of the
comments come out.

Bill: Do you think that's a lack of forgiveness or is it just being realistic?

Marty: That's what I don't know.  How far should forgiveness go? To me, you
shouldn't have to open yourself up to that kind of hurt all the time either.

Lori: To me forgiveness is a final acceptance.  It's just like...it's okay.
That's the way it is and I'm okay.  In any instance you just send more love
and then it does become transcending.  Does that make sense?  Because you
see people in such pain and they do so many mean things to you.  You have to
see beyond that and say, "God, I love you and I'm so sorry you're so
miserable and God loves you." and... breathe, or something.

Bob D: I sometimes feel like forgiveness and understanding are somewhat
related or synonymous.  When you can't understand someone it becomes
difficult to forgive.

Lori: Now I feel like it's acceptance more than understanding. There's so
many things about people I can't understand and I don't feel like I'm
capable of struggling with understanding, but I do feel like I'm capable of
accepting.  I don't have to go as far to say I like it, but I can accept it.

Bob (Visitor from N. Idaho): I'm going to do the exercise and stare at the
diet coke can.  I'm going to ask for forgiveness and this is going to be a
long distance call, because I'm going to be speaking with Mike Flanigan who
passed away in 1988. 
Mike, you and I were, from the age of three, as close as two people could
be.  You were the fat one.  I was the thin one. They say together we made
the number 10 and we did everything.  You called my mother Mom and I called
your mother Mom and we were almost interchangeable except for clothes.  You
chose to go a
different route through education.  And then one horrible day when I came
home from college you went from 250 pounds to 180 pounds.  In my eyes that
was overnight because I didn't see the gradual loss.  You looked good then,
and then the next time I came home you could fit in my clothes... and then
you went from 150 pounds to 130 pounds.  You lost your jobs. 
I took the gun out of your hands one Christmas Eve, the pills the next year,
and then in 1986 I took a job and moved away... not that far, only an hour.
I had your number and I just let you go.  I wasn't brave enough to watch you
die and I'm sorry.  Please forgive me.  I guess an answer will come in its
own time.

Bill: I want to just say, that I had a thought.  Jesus was very angry at
sinful behavior.  But he accepted the sinner, the person doing it.  He made
that distinction.  There is a philosophy that whatever happens is okay.  One
of my friends believes that everything that is, is just fine the way it is,
but I don't believe that.  I don't believe that at all.  On the other hand,
Jesus didn't get angry at people who sinned.  He was willing to forgive
Lucifer, but his mercy was spurned.  That's hard for me.  I'm not God.

Bob (N Idaho): It was a whole lot simpler for me.  I forgave from my soul,
not theirs.

Lori: Does it help that as a parent I had really worked on not being angry
with my children, but with the act, the behavior.  So I do feel really
grounded, able to separate, because I've been doing that for six years.

Virginia: I hear all of this and I believe that you can accept that person
and that's going to help you to forgive, but I also believe Jesus was a
model for us.  Going back to what Marty said about how far do you go in
exposing yourself to that person again and is it going to be the same thing,
I can't help but think of Jesus when the person of Herod came up and Jesus
called him "That fox" because Herod had not been true when Jesus was asking
for the money that he owed his father Joseph. 
I think we don't have to expose ourselves to that continual negativity that
you're working on to forgive.

Cathy: Well I expected to see my dad out there because I've been having a
lot of bad feelings about my dad lately but it's my mom.  And I guess what I
want to say to her is that I'm still so angry at you for dying.  You died
too early because you smoked those @&$#=* cigarettes and damn it, I needed
you this week.
I really needed you.  You're missing out on two beautiful grand kids and
that pisses me off that you chose to die.  And I don't know why I have a
hard time letting that go, but man, she smoked those smelly things my whole
life and it just really hurt tonight when Lori was talking about her dad and
when she asked him to quit smoking he did.  How many times did I ask you...
over and over and over?       I guess I'm done.

Ken: We've had several emotions here this evening discussing this, some of
them pretty raw and tough.  The person that I visualized is a very beautiful
person and I know at times I have hurt this person.  So what I'm asking for,
of course, is forgiveness from this person.
As I listen to all of you talk it brings back a lesson that we had when we
were asked about our feelings towards others.  The words that came out of
that lesson was 'unconditional love'.  It was at Debbie's home.  And what
we're asking for tonight is unconditional forgiveness.       As mortals, as
creatures of time and space, I don't think we can give unconditional love or
unconditional forgiveness, yet we can give forgiveness to people.  

As Bill quoted Christ Michael's attitudes toward the sin, but not the
sinner.  He gave unconditional forgiveness to the person that committed that
sin.  This person that I feel I have erred against, I feel will give me a
very close unconditional forgiveness.  I have tremendous respect and love
for them
People that I have felt have hurt me, I sleep on it overnight, try and put
it in perspective, and true, I try not to bring it back up when they do it
again.  But it's hard for me to give unconditional forgiveness.  I can't do
it.  I always take the wait and see attitude, if they do it again and again.
I try though, and I ask for understanding and that my heart be opened to
that individual, that I can understand and possibly forgive
them.  Damn, that's hard to do.       I'm through.

Virginia:  Ken you brought up an important thing, that of love.  I have
taught the kids in the classroom that love is really wishing the best for
that person.  I can't think of anyone that I know that I could not wish that
for.  Even those that we might be afraid of walking down the hall.  So
forgiveness... I'm not sure, but that kind of love that wishes the best for
someone else, I think I can do that.

Bill: I'm thinking right now, what is the process that we get hurt?  God is
not hurt when we offend against his will.

Ken: He doesn't have an ego.

Barbara: He doesn't have the expectations.  I think we're hurt when our
expectations are not met.

Bill: Yeah, I don't disagree with that Barbara, but somehow there's a
dignity issue here.  It isn't hurt that I'm not being treated as a valuable
person.  The person I am imagining in this exercise, I realize that my anger
is that I think I know why this person acts the way they do and what I think
is the reason is not a very generous one.  In other words, I'm giving him
sort of like bad motives.  It's very complicated.  

I believe like you said Bob, that most people do things from good motives.
I'm not sure that everyone does.  I base that on my experience as a
psychologist.  In this case I'm choosing to think it is the worst motive
rather than another one.  I realize that I'm being judgmental and that's
part of the reason that I'm having trouble with forgiveness of this
individual  I don't feel so much personally hurt.  I'm angry at the behavior
of people that hurt others, including myself when I've done it.  I'm having
trouble letting go of that anger and I'm not sure I should let go of it,
based on what Jesus taught and did.

Bob: There's one way to look at it also and that would be, is your anger
accurate?  That's the biggest question, I would think. Are you rightfully
hurt or is it a figment of your psyche that's perceiving you've been
wounded?  That's the biggest thing that most of us deal with who are
injured, is how much is real versus
how much is perceived and I think that's the biggest difficulty in our
state.  We really, without having the larger view, do not know.  We can't
know the motives of another person.
I think the Urantia book touches on this, that at absolute, there is no need
for forgiveness because God already knows.  So with understanding,
forgiveness isn't necessary.  But when you can't understand, forgiveness is
like a bridge to that state because at our level we do get hurt because we
do have expectations, because we do have egos that can get fractured, and so
in a sense we have to learn this capability to move past it and to accept
somebody beyond it.  But it also tells me that there's a state of being
somewhere in the universe where you cannot even have to have forgiveness.  

When Ken said unconditional love, something hit me.  It was that
unconditional love is never having to forgive, and so I think to the degree
that we can't forgive somebody is the degree to which we can't have
unconditional love.  That was something that struck me hard when you said that.

Ken: Yes, that was brought out in that lesson.

Bill: Well we've all shared haven't we.  Except Pat...  (Laughter)  ...I
don't mean to pick on you Pat.

Pat: That's okay Bill.  I'm not going to share.  (More laughter)

Bill: So much for all my manipulations.  Then are we finished?

Bob: I think they want to tie it up.  (Finger pointing upward to
symbolize the celestials.)

Virginia: I think so too.

Daniel(Virginia):  This is Daniel.  I truly am your friend, teacher, and
older brother.  The sharing within this exercise is beneficial to each of
you where you are and as you go this week, your assignment is to give that
person, whether living or dead, all the love that you can send.  

It is true that if you love unconditionally you have no reason to forgive.
It is true that your expectations, yes, even our expectations, are what
limits our love.  Do not be hard on yourselves as you recognize this,
because the mortal, though able to grasp meanings and reach for higher
values, is not capable of the perfection one desires.  Keep reaching this
week, desiring that good for the other person and know that the spirit within
you will send that love in a way you cannot possibly know or recognize.
Thank you again for all you have shared tonight.  It has also caused each
one of your unseen friends to grow also. Goodnight.

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