The Words of the Jones Family
The time comes when the sparkles leave the eyes of the new member and a look of suffering appears. Perhaps a newer member has just joined and put him in a Cain position. Perhaps it's the familiar accusations. "When I was first studying everyone was so loving; now when I get in all seems so cold!" "What can I do? I'm useless; they don't need me here. It would probably be better if I left." When these signs appear we know that this new member has launched upon the 5% voyage… his spiritual growth has begun. Just as parents tenderly cuddle the new baby a new member is tenderly cuddled by Father's love; but he can't enjoy the warmth of the womb forever. The speed and intensity of the withdrawal is an indication of the degree of Father's expectations for that individual; what we must keep in mind is that God will not test beyond our capacity. If we fight with determination, we will overcome and grow. This is one of • the basic qualities needed for spiritual growth: a positive and determined attitude.
“God gave man strong desire to
motivate all his creative activity. Without desire, it would be
impossible for man to make the necessary effort during his growth
period. Unless man's desire operates intensely in every area of human
life, the fulfillment of God's purpose is impossible."
(The Divine Principle Study Guide)
Carefully examine your desires; they will all be fulfilled, for good or for ill, from the smallest to the largest! It is your desire that determines the speed and direction of your growth. When we join the Family we come with many desires, but they are in the direction of our fallen needs learned in Sat n's world. Jesus said, "Once you put your hand to the plow, don't look back." It's not easy not to look back. Examine the warp and woof of your desires and carefully sort out the Satanic world stands that run through them. Growth is not easy and the Divine Principle is not an easy way to grow, so we must take pains to carefully cultivate and intensify our desires in the heavenly direction.
Examine your attitude, too; do you want to grow? Do you want to become principled? Do you want to dedicate yourself to the Father? Do you want to come to understand His heart even if it means giving up your own? How badly do you want to? Sometimes it helps to take a good look at what one really is: "What is it really that I will have to give up?" "Do I really desire a radical change? How radical?" How much do you dare to trust God? Remember, it is your desire that will determine where, how far, how fast you grow.
Principle is our Word of Life; study Principle at any opportunity, alone or with others, reading it out loud or quietly, outlining it, answering study questions on it, writing down questions you may have and asking others at meals or other times. Heighten your prayer life; seek out regular times each day to pray and intensify your desire to know Father's Heart.
Expand your heart by serving brothers and other Families. Pray about specific missions in history; in this way you can truly make these people come alive in your own life.
There is another aspect of "Don't look back" pertaining to one's successes and failures. No matter how great a particular success or failure, it is only a grain in the fleeting stands of time. If one stops and clenches a grain either in pride and accusation, the flow will be broken and the pouring sand will pile up. I have seen brothers who sacrifice themselves to do something well and then ignore the next battle. "Don't you remember all that I gave?" Each accomplishment is a momentary thing and becomes a foundation for the next accomplishment. Moses didn't stop when he became a favorite in Pharaoh's palace, or when he killed the Egyptian or when he returned from Midian or when he humbled the Pharaoh or when he led the Children across the sea...each act became the foundation for the next and there was no time to look back. If we claim our accomplishment for our own and hold them too tightly, we will soon be left behind. Father is always a step ahead. Won Pil Kim attributes his ability to stay in the movement for a quarter of a century to the fact that he never allowed anyone to make an antique of him, to place him on the shelf to gather dust. He always starts life anew day by day.
Self-accusation also is the glee of Satan… it is one of the bases he works with best. Here we must learn to think of ourselves in more human terms be more realistic about what is involved in our growth. Father looks at His new Children with tenderness as He watches our halting steps. When one plops down or makes a headlong plunge He is there to encourage, to pick him up, dust him off, help him figure out what happened and encourage him to work to remove the cause.
Growth is not only a forward motion but an up and down motion as well. This pattern reflects rhythm of the universe; the changing of the seasons, hunger and satisfaction, fatigue and rest, life and death… We can't always be in the state of elation or depression. During the first several years of our spiritual growth, the highs and lows are more extreme. When one is high it's important to keep the lows in mind and when one is in a low, recall the taste of the highs. In this way, one can keep "in orbit". If the going ever seems to get too rough, just hold on to the goal… even in blind faith; recall that it is the only way and then take the next step. Remember, if we were always high, what inspiration would there be for us to grow?
Growth also follows circular motion. You may find yourself moving in cycles… It's impossible to grow out (Do, or into everything in a moment. Sometimes circumstances will be placed before you that enable you to restore a certain aspect of your personality by overcoming it, only to find, after another cycle of time, that you come back to the same type of situation and again have to overcome. This happens for two reasons: one is that you may have failed the first time. The second is that you did overcome, but only on a superficial level; this time, one must overcome on a level that reaches much more deeply into the cause of one's action. And so it goes, until the very roots of your problems are brought to light and tended to. But up, down, all around… the important thing is to grow; live life as fully as possible as it comes to you. Overcome each obstacle as it presents itself.
Recently, a college student interviewed a number of our members for a sociological study of communes. One question was, "Is there a structure in your commune?" All but one answered, "No." There is, in fact, a very definite structure in our movement and it is of the greatest importance to one's directed spiritual growth to understand that structure. As we have learned from history, the means by which God has been working to restore the world is through the Cain/Abel relationship. How does our movement differ from other new age movements? The establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven is the establishment of the central point, and from there the hierarchy of centers expands. What does this mean in everyday terms?
In some ways, Families from some of the more traditionally authoritarian countries have a head-start in actualizing this key part of the Principle. What does it mean to respond to one's subject?... to unite with the subject in heart?
Once I recall we asked our Master how long he would stay in America when he came next. His eyes twinkled when he told us we wouldn't want him to stay for very long. "You Americans could never take the way I treat the Orientals. You know, Democracy is not the heavenly way; could you keep following if I stayed for a long time in America?"
We all desire that our Master stay in America for an extended period of time. To prepare for this day, we must seek the heavenly way in the daily life of the Center and in the daily relations of those around us. As we work to live this way, we will also find that we have not only found the key to our fastest spiritual growth, but we also help those in the subject position to grow most quickly and we help the Center and nation as well.
Part of being an object may be learning to listen rather than talk (Is what you want to say really that earth-shaking?). What does it mean to respond in beauty and service? It is not literally a passive position but one of great supportive activity. What is it the leaders of your Center desire to do? Do you support and manifest that in your life or work at a cross current? What is it they are speaking about at a particular time? Do you support that or do you interrupt and change the direction of conversation? Being supportive is a difficult thing for us Americans. Does taking the leadership role come naturally to you? Do you find you constantly have to take issue with the leader? So you try to go around him? Do you have such a neat thing you Forget to channel it to the subject? Do you feel too insecure to be a good object? Do you feel your subject is too involved in more important things to worry about your petty little problems and thus feel separated? Do you fear your subject? Are you jealous? Does your desire for greater knowledge lead you into positions where you stand against your subject? The Abel position is the means by which the Cain position is brought into a relationship with God: it is also the relationship that Satan is most threatened by. Make great efforts to close the gap between Cain and Abel.
The first step of uniting with your higher center may come naturally or may come through strict application of the Principle. Wherever it starts, the goal is union of heart. The spirit of God moves through the law, but essentially God is a God of Heart; it is through the base of love that He can truly perform His miracles of growth. Again, the ability, speed and depth of working out a subject/object relationship will some from your desire to be a good object.
Through loving your subject, you will develop your capacity to relate to our Master. Your subject may not be "perfect", but it is through your support that he also will grow fastest. Through a relationship with you, they will reveal their inspirations their strengths and their weakness. Do not be afraid to go to them, knowing how much strength it gives you when someone comes to you in the need of direction. Even God grows as we come to Him humbly in our needs and work things out with Him.
We grow through witnessing, teaching, praying, cleaning house and meeting our other responsibilities, but ultimately through the deepening of our "concern" (Miss Kim's word for love). Concern deepens on two levels: physical and spiritual. It is physically manifested in the way you leave a room. Can the next person tell you've been there? Do you leave a ring in the tub, towels messed; do you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle? Do you leave your dirty bowl or the bottle of milk on the counter, the iron plugged in, your bed unmade, your books in the lecture room? How concerned are you in these small things that influence those around you? Develop the exercise of leaving the room better than when you came into it. Look before you leave it for traces of yourself and for a small thing you can do to express your love. It's an exercise that takes effort at first but will come naturally to you as time goes along.
Developing spiritual concern takes even more effort. when you walk into a room, or work with a group, do you feel the need to be noticed or even to be the center of attention? Try to get off the superficial level with those around you. A rush of empty words and actions makes a foolish, superficial impression around the Center. If you say "Hi" be willing to look into the eyes of another and assess what you see. work to respond to the needs of those around you. Pray to be more aware and pray to respond more quickly. Do you not have time to respond to a need you see? Are you afraid of muddling? Are you afraid of getting involved in something that's over your head? Are you afraid of saying the wrong at the wrong time? There's only one way to develop a truer perspective: play to God, and then go ahead, ACT, and find out! Do you feel that the Center is cold and unloving? Know that the amount you receive is directly related to the amount you put out. In Satan's world, everyone wants to receive; no circuits are formed and God cannot work. Even through the tiniest actions, start the tide moving. Invest yourself in the Center's life. Prepare yourself for the worship services; pray hard----as if your life depended on it----and lift up your heart before it's time to go into the room (Do you read the comics or the Master Speaks before worship) Attitude is so important in terms of expanding one's concern through daily activities. Work to establish a prayerful heart before each day and add that dimension to the day's activities.