7 Arenas of Family Life
By Sara Blackstock (condensed from a talk given in LA)
1. INNER FAMILY ARENA The inner family is the foundational family relationship which will extend outward to all other arenas of family. This is where we experience our relationship with God our Father and with the Eternal Mother Son through the Spirit of Truth. Actually this family is quite extensive and active because I would imagine that it is within this arena that our angels and Thought Adjuster also "live".
Our soul is the home of our inner family. We can consider our soul as our refuge from the isolation of our materialistic ego self and its worldly concerns; we can enter it as our sacred place of peace wherein the Spirit of our Father dwells and communes in loving fellowship with the spirit of his son, the Spirit of Truth." Even just talking about this place makes me want to be there.
As we build up and out from this INNER foundational family relationship, we will construct the glorious living temple of the Supreme Mother through our work in 6 other arenas of family, and it is in these arenas that our souls build their muscle; where our bodies and hearts connect to get some work done.
2. FAMILY OF ORIGIN (BIOLOGICAL FAMILY) Most of us grew up in a family - in our biological family. This arena has provided us with our genetic makeup, some of our abilities and disabilities, our disposition, our talents. Some of us have spent years healing from the wounds experienced in this family. And hopefully most of us maintain intimate connections with members of this family.
3. HOME FAMILY - PARENT/CHILD/CURRENT FAMILY/CHOSEN FAMILY Our HOME FAMILY is the arena of family in which we live NOW - whether we are parents with children in the home, students in a fraternity house, children in an orphanage, or folks in a retirement center. This is our laboratory, our training ground, our crucible. It is here that we experience family in the most intimate ways of association. As individuals, as a society, as a global community, we must support, and uplift the basic home family, the nuclear family made up of parents and kids, for it is in this arena that the long term fundamental paradigms of life and feelings of oneself and the universe are developed. We should do whatever we can do as a "village" to help parents raise their children, and our children.
We are learning to manage families more like businesses. There are habits which apply in all arenas of family relationship which will help us become healthy in our relationships. We will mention a couple of these in a moment.
4. COMMUNITY/WORK/SCHOOL FAMILY Whenever we walk out of our home family door we enter this arena - going to school, the cleaners, the gas station, the grocery store. And we are offered endless opportunities to be in relationship with brothers or sisters. As someone once said, "There is no such thing as a stranger, just a brother or sister we haven't met."
I wheeled my grocery cart next to the melons a couple of weeks ago, and was attempting to choose a ripe one. An old man walked up and right off stated he was alone and was wondering if I knew how to tell if a melon was ripe or not. We discussed and thumped melons for quite a while. We had a relationship, albeit over melons, and I felt such a surge of caring for this old guy, alone, and so desirous of some kind of relationship with another that he would discuss melons with a stranger.
It appears that the work environment is becoming more family like. The term "Work family" is appearing more often. Strong and intimate relationships are developing in the work place, another environmental opportunity for intimacy with brothers and sisters.
I am director of a large school age day care center, and we interact with at least 1000 personalities what with over 200 kids and all of the family members who pick them up. When parents bring a tender little one of 4 or 5 years into such an intense environment they are scared for their child. Once I explain that we all live as one huge family, that image usually erases their fears.
In the school environment it is usually the isolated and lonely ones who are doing terrible things in their isolation. Maybe we can do something about this if our young people are brought up the vision that all are members of God's universal family. This vision perhaps can create the courage to reach out to those who have low self-esteem.
5. FAMILY OF SPIRITUAL KINSHIP - That's us! Those who are spiritually like minded. Being here today speaks eloquently of our desire to be family. We are building the living temple of spiritual brotherhood. Like minded in the sense that most us of read and believe that the Urantia Book is the 5th Epochal Revelation to our planet; AND that Jesus was and is who he said he was the the Son of the living God. 2000 years ago Jesus said that "....upon this foundation will I build the brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven. Upon this rock of spiritual reality will I build the living temple of spiritual fellowship in the eternal realities of my Father's kingdom. " He calls all who believe this truth the "...human fraternity of the divine spirit." (1748)
Isn't that a beautiful term: "....THE HUMAN FRATERNITY OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT?" Now there's an organizational name for someone to grab onto.
And Jesus is building that living temple today with all who are self-conscious sons of God as his stones. "And ever since that day this same Jesus has been building that living temple upon that same eternal foundation of his divine sonship, and those who thereby become self-conscious sons of God are the human stones which constitute this living temple of sonship erecting to the glory and honor of the wisdom and love of the eternal Father of spirits." (1748)
6. INTERFAITH FAMILY Our interfaith family is made up of all peoples of the various spiritual paths who are following their highest light. "As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not.." Interfaith movements are gaining great impetus as people of faith are experiencing the desire to come together. I believe that our work in this arena of family, is to learn more about the truths of other religious paths, and how that truth is expressed...kind of like Jesus and Ganid did as they gathered the highest truths from the world's religions. As we honor diversity of spiritual expression, we help build the temple of the Supreme.
7. GLOBAL FAMILY The global family can be summed up in one sentence: Every mortal on this planet who has the capacity of knowing God is a member of the global family, the world wide family of God.
All 7 of these family arenas make up the family of the Supreme (along with the others from all of the other inhabited planets.)
Let's look at what healthy family is NOT: It is NOT being abused or abusing either physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. It is NOT being manipulated or manipulating. Almost any negative form of expression by either child or adult can be an attempt to manipulate the world to their desires instead of the more rigorous work of adjusting to the world. Such behaviors as raging, withdrawing, blaming, shaming, sulking, anger, guilting, seductiveness can be behaviors that in any arena of family can be manipulative ploys. If we recognize these as attempts to manipulate, we will not become victims. It is NOT ooey-gooey/lovey-dovey no problems. We have two media wrought concepts of family - the lovey/dovey one and the 5 dysfunctional things happening all at once like in the daily soaps. Healthy family operates somewhere on a fluid continuum.
You can count on it: FAMILY AT ALL LEVELS MEANS PROBLEMS. Healthy families solve problems not kill each other emotionally.