I wrote a short essay/story about a community of artists among whom I lived some decades ago, and posted it so the others who were still in touch could read and comment. My piece ended this way, “I was on a quest for beauty and truth in my life. We lived in a surfeit of beauty. Nature was profligate with her bounty of beauty in rural, undeveloped Sonoma County. But what of truth? Was this it? Were we discovering a life to match our dreams, a life closer to our more authentic selves?”
One friend commented on the post, “Who doesn’t want a life to match their dreams? My dream was to be in a community of creative people and the circumstances we all shared attracted people who had a lot to offer. There was a seamlessness between our inner and outer lives that I wanted to keep on feeling.”
During my time in this community, I was in a phase of recovery and rehabilitation; I regained the urge to grow as a person, to make progress in my life. I felt a revival of desire, a zest for life. We were all fortunate to have the support of love and respect from friends.
“Know yourself” was written on the forecourt of the Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi, in the 6th century BC. It was inscribed there by the seven sages, the founders of Greek philosophy. Jesus extended this Greek watchword to include, “Knowing God and yourself as a son of God,” (The Urantia Book, The UB, 5:4.8) becoming the most real self one can be, close to that divine spark that carries our true purpose.
In further meditations about the most authentic self, I recalled, “When Thought Adjusters indwell human minds, they bring with them the model careers, the ideal lives, as determined and foreordained by themselves and the Personalized Adjusters of Divinington, which have been certified by the Personalized Adjuster of Urantia. Thus they begin work with a definite and predetermined plan for the intellectual and spiritual development of their human subjects, but it is not incumbent upon any human being to accept this plan.” (The UB, 110:2.1)
The Greek way leads to a knowing of one’s psychology, a psychoanalytic understanding of emotions, and the likely acquirement of a philosophy of life. However, it is a knowing that is more static than the dynamic knowledge of sonship, which by experiencing the love of the Father and learning to do his will, we place ourselves on a continuum of progress and growth, not simply an analysis of where we are. In sonship we feel encouragement and support of the purpose for which we were created.
“The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress.”(The UB, 100:4.3)
When I’m not in a place of close communion with the Father, I fall into an old pattern of measuring myself by external factors related to my writing career: how many publishing credits I’ve received, Facebook likes, invitations to read my work?
In the medical building one morning, I waited quite a while for the doctor to show up. I had time to look out the window at a wintry sky and meditate on being a son of God, learning to trust in his guiding presence. Barren trees awaited the budding out of spring. Plain, unadorned birds, possessing no particularly bright colors, flitted from branch to branch, expressing their joy and delight in just being birds, contented with the gift of their natural state, free from fear or anxiety. As I followed their flight, I too enjoyed my soul at rest in a renewed friendship with God, and was thankful for the blessing of old friends still in my life.
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