First written November 1998; updated December 2009
A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a recently widowed woman while we were waiting in line. She enthusiastically shared with me, a stranger, about her husband's illness and death and then her process of grieving and moving on with her life. She had just moved to Arizona and was already very active in many groups, filling her life with a variety of activities. She told me about her husband of many decades and her grown children who lived across the country, living their own lives very separate from hers. She showed no interest and even became slightly discomfited when I attempted to share a couple of my own experiences that paralleled hers and the realizations that I had come to as a result of those experiences. She told me what her son, who works as an engineer for the government, said to her, "Mom, when people ask me what I do I tell them that I make bombs." Her words of advice to him were not to worry; after all, that is his job. It is what his government has hired him to do, and he is a good engineer and is providing a decent lifestyle for his family. When she told me that, I bit my tongue, for I knew from her previous behavior that she would not accept what I had to say about her son's job and her perspective on it. What she wanted from me was to be a compassionate listener and nothing else. She did not want to have any real bonding or conversation of any depth. She enjoyed hearing herself speak and knew at some level that I did care for her and honestly admired her courage and strength to create a new life, which I expressed to her.
That brief encounter with this woman was an epiphany for me, and I felt somewhat sad and discouraged after meeting her. She represents the majority of middle-age and older Americans who are quite content with their lives just as they are. They're basically good and honest people who have worked hard to get to that point of contentment, and they're not interested in reaching any higher in their understanding of life. This kind of American feels they must be loyal to the American status quo that provided the opportunities for them to experience to some extent the Great American Dream. The discomfiture that the woman felt with me was when I began to present an expanded way of viewing life; it went beyond her comfort zone and if she had allowed herself to listen to what I tried to share with her, her ideas of her place in the world would have been slightly shaken, and even challenged if I would have broached expressing my views on her son's job.
This is the kind of discomfiture that I sense in so many people I meet, including persons not in the group represented by the widow. As long as I compromise and go along with their comfort zone, I am appreciated and enjoyed. But if I step out of those boundaries that these people have set up around their minds and hearts, they become embarrassed, upset, and often angry.
Ever since I was a child I have known that it is my destiny within God's will to continually challenge my own ideas, as well as those beliefs and perceptions of others. I have always yearned for truth and more truth, willing to look anywhere for that truth, realizing that another aspect of my destiny is relaying that truth to others. I have also known that though this world is filled with confusion and much suffering, the Universal Father, God, is alive and well on this planet and that a part of Him is within every person. I have never doubted the existence of unseen but sensed angelic personalities who are also part of God's expression of love for His ascending sons and daughters. It is my destiny to share my personal experiences and realizations within my own ascension process and, as I expand in my own understanding of spiritual and cosmic truth of the reality of God, the Universal Father, the First Source and Center and His creation, to teach that revelation to others. I can be no other way, for when I have tried to compromise with those I've loved and cherished, I have done them and myself a great disservice.
I have lived a very rich and full life. Most personal suffering was caused by my own decisions and thoughts that were out of divine pattern, and I know that is true for most people, especially in America. There is another kind of suffering that is caused by the decisions and mindset of some who have the power to improve others' lives but instead create terrible situations for those others. And then there are those, like the woman I met while waiting in line, who remain oblivious to the suffering of others and continue to go with the status quo and remain complacent within the Great American Dream, becoming a passive contributor to that suffering.
Though I have a piece of that dream, I have struggled with the knowledge of those millions of suffering and burn with a fire that drives me to continue to question any belief, situation, or person that in some manner contributes to that suffering. Thus, from childhood on, I have made people very uncomfortable, including myself.
At times I have detoured from God's path for me, but I have always found myself back on it after getting whipped around and bruised. And in spite of those wounds and bruises, I feel welcomed back in the gracious grace of my Father's love, as the prodigal son was embraced by his father when he returned home.
That is what the world needs to know and what I must tell others, and what anyone else who has personally experienced the truth, beauty and goodness of The First, Second, and Third Sources and Centers must tell others. Those who have a sincere love of truth are willing to go wherever it leads. And where that should ideally eventually lead is to the epochal revelation of The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation found in The Cosmic Family Volumes. This revelation does indeed challenge any beliefs, thoughts, and values we have that are false, and most of the mechanistic and materialistic values and beliefs of the American dominant culture are not truth of eternal value. If an individual adheres to the values and belief foundations of the dominant culture, suffering will happen for that individual and for others. The search for truth and growth will lead us to conflict, for our established perceptions of reality will be shaken and challenged. Are we truly willing to go wherever that truth leads?
What if that truth leads us to re-evaluate most of what we have believed to be moral and right and good? What if that truth leads us to conflict with our family, friends, and acquaintances who become discomfited with our expanding consciousness? What if that truth leads us to receiving false accusations and ridicule from others? What if that truth leads us to feeling as a stranger in a strange land, struggling to bond with and relate to others who are not so willing to go where truth would lead them? What if that truth leads us to feeling grieved over the terrible suffering that so many millions are experiencing and therefore no longer comfortable with our own lives and the way we live them? What if that truth leads us to continually question our own motives, our own purity before God? What if that truth leads us to ever desire to be more than we are, striving to become more like the divine? What if that truth leads us to never be satisfied with the way things are, but to constantly strive and struggle to make life better for others?
The URANTIA Book says that "New religious insights arise out of conflicts which initiate the choosing of new and better reaction habits in the place of older and inferior reaction patterns. New meanings only emerge amid conflict; and conflict persists only in the face of refusal to espouse the higher values connoted in superior meanings." And it goes on to state that "there can be no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation." (p.1097)
I do experience that inner agitation and conflict as I continue to go where truth leads me. But I can honestly say that truth has always led me to that inner peace and poise that passes all understanding, an inexplicable joy and gratitude for being alive at this moment in time and space, an expanding love and compassion for others, and a daily sense of inspiration and purpose. Whatever my Universe Father has asked me to relinquish has been replaced with something much higher and nobler.
Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance brings on great suffering and eventual death. Expanding awareness of all that is real brings healing, comfort, hope, joy, and purpose to living. Revelation brings that expansion of consciousness. I stand by my personal spiritual experiences, and I stand by the truth that I share with others. I do have perfect confidence in the truth of The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation and am not disturbed by critical examination of my true convictions.
The most important truth is that in spite of the error and evil in the world and
in ourselves, there is God's goodness and divine pattern in the world and in all
of us if we would be willing to discover that truth and pay the price that truth
asks of each of us. It really isn't that costly. We simply trade a
small, fearful mind for a larger, courageous mind that views the world through
the eyes of the divine mind. Then we can follow this advice from The
URANTIA Book—"As you view the world, remember that the black patches of evil
which you see are shown against a white background of ultimate good. You
do not view merely white patches of good which show up miserably against a black
background of evil." (p.2076)
Read more about Niánn Emerson Chase:
Niánn Emerson Chase,
Mandate of the Bright and Morning Star