"It is in the consideration of the technique of receiving God's forgiveness that the attainment of the righteousness of the kingdom is revealed … the reception of the forgiveness of God by a kingdom believer involves a definite and actual experience and consists in … four steps, the kingdom steps of inner righteousness:" UB (170:3.3)
There have been several revelations of what The Urantia Book calls the Seven Psychic Circles, some that happened before The UB’s publication, including a couple of poets we’ll consider. “The psychic circles are not exclusively intellectual, neither are they wholly morontial; they have to do with personality status, mind attainment, soul growth, and Adjuster attunement. The successful traversal of these levels demands the harmonious functioning of the entire personality, not merely of some one phase thereof.” (110:6.3, The UB)
For the Anishnabek (Ojibwe Indians) and other indigenous people’s groups, the medicine wheel, an ancient circle symbol, evokes their history, old trade relations (stone medicine wheels were areas set aside for negotiations), tribal memory, the covenant with Creator to protect the Earth, the loss of a peaceful empire. The journey around the wheel is one of spiritual healing, seeking cultural roots for the restoration of identity, learning the art of storytelling. This passing along of personal accounts of the journey to others is highly valued. Acknowledging pain and sharing it is part of a healing path to self-mastery for all peoples. This is one reason the medicine wheel is so compatible with twelve step programs. On an individual level, the wheel can be used to symbolize covenants or agreements we’ve made with ourselves. Have we been loyal to our decisions? How can we do better?
At the center of the 4 directions on the medicine wheel is the seventh direction “the fire within,” (up and down being the 5th and 6th directions). It represents the kingdom of heaven within you, the spirit guide, our Thought Adjuster.
You may be on the linear track, life in the fast lane; it’s one way to measure progress. However, if overemphasized, you could get caught up in the accumulation of possessions, or the choosing of outer goals that have little or no foundation on an inner life. This linear direction is highly respected in our society, but we criticize those we perceive to be going ‘round in circles.
Those living on the linear path are tempted to move away, not deal with “insignificant” challenges, and leave difficulties behind. Just like those oil and mining companies who don’t clean up the pollution and toxic waste left after they complete the extraction process. Rather than face such problems, we go down a “Lost Highway” both personally and as a society. Portia Nelson’s poem portrays the journey of the addictive personality as one of several traversals of the same recurring challenges/problems in our psychic landscape. The person in the poem is rescued from the destructive pattern by recognizing the higher orbits that can be traveled, such as no longer blaming others:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson: “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk”
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault . . .
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
Although the medicine wheel symbol is often used for therapeutic purposes in twelve step programs, for healing, I’ll take it further and connect it to a cosmic future. There are overlapping aspects with Carl Jung’s wheel of personality types. Jung also presented his wheel, usually seen as a graph or map of psychological outlooks rather than an action plan, to help patients understand how one aspect of their personality dominates the rest of “the quadrants.” In his therapy he helped them develop the usually unconscious, repressed or sublimated part to achieve balance, “harmonious function” as The UB calls it. For example, for a person whose intuition into the invisible realities is highly developed, it is important to face the reality of physical facts (shown in the opposite quadrant) with intellectual honesty, grasp those realities that may even contradict what he or she has learned from the invisible spiritual realities, for true spiritual health.
The famous singer and actor, Paul Robeson, had everything: wealth, fame, artistic gift and integrity. At one point, he even owned a mansion in England with a staff of servants. But he hadn’t achieved equilibrium, balance, in his life. Was it because he hadn’t developed a philosophy of mind, “a philosophic technique for meeting disappointment” as The UB describes it (193:4.7), a rational, critical thinking approach? Blinded by his political and emotional passions (the feeling side) for Socialism and communism, he may have been unable to accept the factual reality of Stalin’s Reign of Terror in the 1930’s, and this may have led to his several suicide attempts.
Our healing here on Urantia is the first stepping stone we’ll take to an ascension career on the mansion worlds. “The co-ordination of idea-decisions, logical ideals, and divine truth constitutes the possession of a righteous character, the prerequisite for mortal admission to the ever-expanding and increasingly spiritual realities of the morontia worlds.” (101:6.7)
The Medicine Wheel and Jung’s Wheel of Intelligences (also found in the Upanishads) are pre-Fifth Epochal Revelation attempts to grasp the reality of the Seven Psychic Circles (110:6).
In a passage about the assignment of guardian angels, we read, “You start out in your mind of mortal investment in the seventh circle and journey inward in the task of self-understanding, self-conquest, and self-mastery; and circle by circle you advance until (if natural death does not terminate your career and transfer your struggles to the mansion worlds) you reach the first or inner circle of relative contact and communion with the indwelling Adjuster.” (113:1.6)
“Every decision you make either impedes or facilitates the function of the Adjuster; likewise do these very decisions determine your advancement in the circles of human achievement. It is true that the supremacy of a decision, its crisis relationship, has a great deal to do with its circle-making influence; nevertheless, numbers of decisions, frequent repetitions, persistent repetitions, are also essential to the habit-forming certainty of such reactions.” (110:6.6)
We can visualize the seven circles as successive spirals of development imposed upon the original pattern, our starting point—the seventh circle, of our medicine wheel. We grow, progress, climb higher if you will, ascend, but it is upon the foundation of original experience symbolized by our human models of “the wheel.” We can look back and see where we’ve been; indeed, since growth is unconscious, we more easily recognize in retrospect that it took place.
The symbol of the wheel with higher orbits superimposed upon the first is a model of understanding more conducive to our personal growth than the linear track of achievement favored by the West (which is perhaps a feature of the Andite mind.) So in growth and progress we ascend to new orbital pathways. As Don Beck might say we approach, “the less recognized vertical aspects” of a problem (http://www.spiraldynamics.net/dr-don-beck.html) The poet Rainier Maria Rilke appeared to have been given a revelation of the Seven Psychic Circles when he had this amazing insight into the process which he then described in a poem.
“I live my life in growing orbits that move out over the things the world. Perhaps I can never complete the last but I give myself to it.
“I circle around God, around the primordial tower. I’ve been circling for a thousand years and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song?” (Rilke was a Bohemian-Austrian born in the Czech Republic)
Sometimes I have fallen back into old positions of servitude to those old masters “depression and defeat” (130:6.3) who are cruel and punishing and promote an old unprogressive reality. At such moments, I repledge myself, if I have the strength and resolve, to the task I had agreed to undertake, revisit the place on the medicine wheel, the seventh circle, where I started out. It may require therapeutic help to end our slavery. Once again, we should remember we don’t necessarily begin to learn “self-government for the benefit of all concerned,” until the mansion worlds and then we are happy to have the assistance of those fourth order seraphim (administrator seraphim) known as the Quickeners of Morality. (39: 4.10).
We can call upon even higher assistance, beyond and above using our minds and the help of seraphim or therapists, “it is entirely possible for the indwelling spirit to make direct contact with the decision-determining powers of the human personality so as to empower the fully consecrated will of the creature to perform amazing acts of loyal devotion,” (67:3.7)Read More
I always encourage my piano students to practice, as I know all music teachers surely do, so that the kids will make progress with their natural gifts. I ask them to set aside some of the time they devote to video games (often hours) and spend it enjoying the beauty of piano music. This is the typical music teacher’s lament, of course. “If they could just apply themselves a little every day,” the pieces would be played more smoothly, and the moments of stopping to search for the right note would be few and far between.
All my students are gifted, although in different degree, with a bit of talent. I use this metaphor of piano practice to show how we can also progress with a little spiritual culture every day. By training the fingers to play scales, arpeggios, and cadence chord patterns, the gift of talent can emerge and express itself. But do they experience growth? “Man cannot cause growth, but he can supply favorable conditions. Growth is always unconscious, be it physical, intellectual, or spiritual” (The Urantia Book, The UB, 100:3.7).
As the technical skills increase (making progress), I hope for an increase (spiritual growth) in soul expression and depths of emotion in their playing. Making progress strikes me as a more conscious process, growth being “unvaryingly unconscious," as The UB says (100:1.8). We can resolve to do a service project, impose self-discipline, meet the challenge, achieve progress. With a little faith in the spirit guide within (the gift of talent and creativity), some time spent in communion, our lives would go smoother and we’d make beautiful music.
Thomas Merton had an insight into the interplay of progress and growth, how the regular practice of prayer would lead to episodes of growth, gifts of God. “All through the life of faith one must resort constantly to prayer, because faith is not simply a gift which we receive once for all in our first act of belief. Every new development of faith, every new increment of supernatural light, even though we may earnestly work to acquire it, remains a pure gift of God,” (Life and Holiness, 1963).
Jesus also reassured his followers about the certain result of their efforts to grow and progress. “My children, if there exists a true and living connection between the child and the Father, the child is certain to progress continuously toward the Father's ideals. True, the child may at first make slow progress, but the progress is none the less sure. The important thing is not the rapidity of your progress but rather its certainty. Your actual achievement is not so important as the fact that the direction of your progress is Godward. What you are becoming day by day is of infinitely more importance than what you are today.” (147:5.7)
The UB has refined the interrelationship between growth and progress in this way: “growth is not mere progress. Progress is always meaningful, but it is relatively valueless without growth. The supreme value of human life consists in growth of values, progress in meanings, and realization of the cosmic interrelatedness of both of these experiences. And such an experience is the equivalent of God-consciousness.” (100:3.6, pg. 1097)Read More
Native American philosophy begins from the perspective of “Mother Earth” spirituality. This is not surprising once we find out in The Urantia Book that worship and wisdom are adjutant mind spirit bestowals of the Creative Daughter/Divine Minister, partner of the Creator (Son). She is the first bestower of mind. “Man's first supermind endowment is that of personality encircuitment in the Holy Spirit of the Universe Creative Spirit; and long before either the bestowals of the divine Sons or the universal bestowal of the Adjusters, this influence functions to enlarge man's viewpoint of ethics, religion, and spirituality.” (The UB, 103:0.1)
Natives in their rituals of “worship” and “wisdom” return naturally to their source, Mother Earth. “The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.” (Big Thunder [Bedagi], Wabanaki Algonquin.)
The Navajo, in ceremony, when they’re about to blow tobacco smoke and incense to the six directions, sing a song of the corn and growth, like this
“Ha-o, my mother, ha-o, my mother,
Due west, blue corn ear, my mother,
Due eastward, blooming blue-bird flower,
Decorate our faces, bless us with flowers,
Thus being face-decorated,
Being blessed with flowers,
We shall be delighted, we shall be delighted.
Ha-o, my mother, ha-o, my mother.” (sung by Agnes Mary Shattuck Dill, 1913 – 2012, , Isleta Pueblo)
I was inspired by October’s women’s retreat in San Mateo that was sponsored by the Golden Gate Circle Urantia Society, to put behind me for a time the greedy machinations of the world, to reconnect with the mercy and compassion of the Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit, to re-explore relationship with the Creative Holy Spirit, Corn Mother, Divine Minister.
“There are many spiritual influences, and they are all as one. Even the work of the Thought Adjusters, though independent of all other influences, unvaryingly coincides with the spirit ministry of the combined influences of the Infinite Spirit and a local universe Mother Spirit.” (The UB, 8:5.4)
Mother Earth appears in many cultures. In Mexico she is Tonantzin, an Aztec earth goddess who appeared to a Nahuatl man, Juan Diego, as the Virgin Mary in December 1531. According to tradition, the Virgin appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, north of Mexico City, where there was a shrine dedicated to the female Aztec earth deity, Tonantzin. To this day, in Nahuatl-speaking communities, and in others as well, the Virgin continues to be called Tonantzin, “Our Sacred Mother” in the Nahuatl language. A new structure was built over the remains of the ancient Aztec shrine—a Catholic Church, The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
One night recently, my Korean student and I discussed Kwan Yin, or Guanyin, the Buddhist bodhisattva, another manifestation of the divine mother who came to China from India in the first century. An unusual kind of quiet seemed to pervade the room as if a scent of blossoms wafted in on the wind. Her spirit of kindness and compassion hovered around us and later lingered in the car on my drive home. Did the students feel it? Was it the presence of seraphim, or maybe it was a higher ideal that was highlighted in our minds?
We call her name, Kwan Yin, Chinese saint,
Bodhisattva who enters the room soundlessly,
as my student and I are caught up in an epiphany
in our pursuit of wisdom.
An unusual quiet that consoles, brings calmness,
strength, settles around us, scent of cherry blossoms
wafted on a sweet wind of spirit.
Her kindness, compassion embraces us,
a visiting seraphim hovering
and later lingering, even as I’m driving home
on the busy freeway where there is fear,
no happiness, her presence abides
like a faint perfume, bringing joy, reborn hope.
If you’re looking up Mother God references in The Urantia Book, Creative Daughter is mentioned 5 times, Divine Minister 39, Mother Spirit 79, mother earth 1 time (by Jesus to a rich man), earth mother once (in regards to the Chaldeans religion), Creative Spirit (local universe daughter of Infinite Spirit, known on Urantia as the Holy Spirit) 66 times.
"We are the unconquered aboriginal peoples of this land our mother; The creator has given us our mother, to enjoy, to manage and to protect; We the first inhabitants, have lived with our mother from time immemorial; Our Okanagan Governments have allowed us to share equally in the resources of our mother; We have never given up our rights to our mother, our mother's resources, our governments, our religion; We will survive and continue to govern our mother and her resources for the good of all for all time." - Okanagan Nation DeclarationRead More