Valentine Greetings Forum Friends!
As usual, all feedback is appreciated.
Love to all, Rick.
The Truth, Beauty and Goodness Driven Life
5. Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Love
...Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent.... p2096
Your heart, all hearts, crave love. And the universal response to receiving love is the desire to give it. There is no greater spirit stimulus than love, and no greater experience between personal beings.
When great cooks are jokingly asked: "What's your secret ingredient?" They oftentimes answer with sincerity and a beaming smile---"LOVE!" That answer is both humorous and true. Great musicians all agree the best music comes from the open heart. All creatures capable of love want and give it. And love can be an ingredient in any offering--a meal, a song, a quilt, a painting, an idea, even a drink of water. You need, even require, divine love's give and take. But what is this love?
...Love is the desire to do good to others.... p648
Father's love kindly asks (but never forces) you to consider and fill the real needs of others without the expectation of reward, even though the satisfaction of service always accompanies service well rendered. When you genuinely love, you have learned to recognize what is truly good for your family, friends and associates. And you find the right ways by observing, listening and giving advice when needed.
Love is empathy--compassionate understanding and service. Wanting to know and fill another's worthy desires signifies a loving spirit and growing empathy in you. And it implies a personal universe with a center of love and divine personality.
"...Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful...." p2047
Jesus declared the foundations of God's love are truth, beauty and goodness. This three-fold concept provides a newer and grander philosophy of living that will extend your reach to higher spiritual levels. Eventually you will attain the absolute level, even our Father on Paradise, the source and center of divine love.
Any essay on love's relation to beauty, goodness and truth could be confusing owing to preconceived ideas about the nature, meaning and value of this hackneyed word love. Hoping to avoid confusion this essay will explore divine love, spiritual love (Agape to western theologians), love that asks nothing and gives all, God's perfect, personal, pristine and timeless love. With "unchallengeable authority", a Divine Counselor of Paradise, one who has seen God, agreed with the human scripture which declares:
"...God is spirit" and "God is love...." p26
Love's absolute and perfect form is no less than our Universal Father, who is also love's source and destiny. Father's love pours out of Paradise as does rain from a monsoon. Like rain, snow or hail, love changes states but forever remains love as it rounds the universe circuit from Father to personal creatures like you, nourishing all, leaving behind spiritual fruit. Spirit love flows through you and back to its source, enriching all, ever adapting but never losing its value or quality. This process is designed and kept going by the Divine Gardener, even our Father who conceived love, time and space.
...When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good.... p40
Love without God as its center and focus is but a human invention of limited value and endurance. Love between family members, friends or marriage partners is most real and lasting when it is born of, and sustained by, a loving Father over all. God's love is most dependable and far reaching, whole and fulfilling. It is matchless in quality and quantity. But all parts of the circle of love must be in place for the circuit to function.
Your personal knowledge and experience with divine love depends on how well you study, define and thereby live love. A sound philosophy of living is crucial for God's love to survive and flourish in you. Truth, beauty and goodness are three branches of that spiritual philosophy. They are the conceptual framework you require to approach Father's perfect love in time, space and eternity.
Among love's many rewards is a righteousness of belonging, inexplicable peace and joy. A great soul in love uses tact and tolerance, earns recognition and respect, practices patience, inspires faith, fosters amity and cooperates with the Father Fragment inside who spiritizes your thinking about love. Love's offspring is a soul satisfaction and understanding beyond words. This lovechild is goodness in living truth which is always beautiful, no matter its manifestations.
...To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality.... p648
Love is invisible, intangible, silent, without smell or taste, yet it is the most real of all realities. And Father's great love is everywhere at all times. The evidence of love's existence is reflected first in your heart (feeling/knowing) and next in your mind (thinking/knowing). Following that, love is embraced in your soul, with God. Then love's contagion spreads to your family, terrestrial and celestial. God's love is always beautiful in its varied expressions. It may be tragic or triumphal, but it is always beautiful and fraught with spirit value.
No one knows the source of Father or his good, beautiful and true love. But revelation, personal and epochal, says it is boundless and lavish; that God's love ceaselessly flows over the cosmos like a great, warm and gentle wave.
All genuine beauty worthy of the name reveals some aspect of the divine heart of love. But no one knows where, when or how Father created love and decreed it a universal attitude and family touchstone. Or by what means God created the ability to sense, know and share love. One of the most delectable of all Father's gifts is the ability to create. When love and creativity commingle, good fruit always comes forth. Said Jesus:
"...the fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace...." p2054
You know love because Father wants to give and receive it. God ensures that everyone who sincerely wishes it comes to know real love at some point in the life in the flesh. These points are pivotal, they are religious experiences on which hangs faith. Taking and using Father's love ensures an abundance of faith and consequent spiritual fruit bearing. Apparently spirit fruit pleases the divine pallette because the love that creates this fruit forever proceeds from God, going out to cooks, artists, laborers, parents, all aspiring sons and daughters of this true, good and beautiful Father.
What manner of graciousness, devotion and solicitous watch-care causes the Universal Father, this Being of Absolute Love at the center of all beings and things, to spread such an unspeakably supernal gift as divine love to every daughter and son who wants it, everywhere simultaneously and eternally!?! No one knows. But sooner or later everyone who seeks comes to know that Father's love is to the cosmic child what mother's milk is to a babe.
...Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty.... p43
Divine love is free, abundant and everywhere available, yet this love is the greatest thing in the universe. You may have all you want in time and eternity for the amazing price of joining with Father in Universe building, discovering the limits of creative potentials (if such limits exist), and doing it all with a strong and abiding love. This love is born, tempered and strengthened in the crucible of your experience in time and space.
Your nominal cost for receiving God's delightful love is to become a loyal member of the cosmic family, to participate in the divine scheme of eternal and infinite progress in goodness, spiritual awareness and value-building. Father offers you freewill to explore infinity and eternity, but asks only voluntary and loving cooperation. Cooperation Father needs in the unimaginably vast and magnificent unfolding of Universe potentials, values and purposes. But not even God can enjoy love alone. To come alive, divine love requires at least two persons, be they human or divine.
If you have been on this partially enlightened planet long, you know love is often lost in the daily struggles between good and evil, truth and error, self and others. This interference with love's potential is slowly diminishing on Earth as fear and ignorance are gradually, and painfully, replaced by love and truth.
To help navigate the often turbulent spirit waters of an isolated world like ours, you have been given access to the "Spirit of Truth". This Spirit is Jesus' gift to humanity, given on Pentecost 2000 years ago. The Spirit of Truth not only helps you choose between right and wrong, it also directs the loving interactions between ascending souls. You have in the Spirit of Truth a detector, a comforter, and a promoter of fraternal love.
...Jesus said: "My brother, God is love; therefore he must be good.... p1429
Father's love leads you into learning the truths and beauties of God-inspired goodness. Kindness heals as a good medicine, while sympathetic understanding reflects a magnanimous heart. After you imbibe divine love, it begins to flow more and more freely from Father's heart to yours, then on to the hearts and minds of your associates--up to your capacity to impart love. Your capacity depends entirely on how much God-likeness there is in you--truth, beauty and goodness alive.
...Love, freely receive from both divine and human sources regardless of your deserts, and love freely in return... p1740
After accepting your role in the cosmic family, and with an all-consuming desire for Godlike perfection, you will increasingly exhibit love's universal earmarks: harmony, respect, felicity, humility, loyalty, service and a solicitous devotion to the wishes and wants of the Great and Personal Provider of Love, our good, beautiful and true Father. God's love floods the universes, and this living love by spirit gravity eventually finds and fills every dry place, satisfies every thirst.
...Spiritual destiny is dependent on faith, love, and devotion to truth--hunger and thirst for righteousness--the wholehearted desire to find God and to be like him.... p1739
Love is to truth what fire is to flame, what water is to steam. Love implies the personal since only feeling beings can exchange it. Even animals recognize, take and give love. Truth and love must both be lived to exist, but the highest truth suggests there is divine law and cosmic philosophy at work, while love always implies personality involvement. To be balanced and serviceable to your peers and the indwelling God, your philosophy of living naturally includes right understanding (truth), positive attitude (goodness), and divine creativity (beauty), which culminates in living a new experience with your unique personality imprint.
Because the divine indwells you, love exists in you also, which makes your achieving God-likeness easier. Love's potentials are endless as far a anyone knows. And love's final destiny is a mystery Father wants you to uncover through living experience.
But finding Father's present love through worship--communion with the divine living inside--is no mystery. Cosmic children have been doing it for eons. The wellspring of enduring love is there inside you--ever worshipping God and serving the human family. Love gushes forth from Father and it fills your every needy place, when and where you permit it.
Love ever leads you to be God-like, to do good, live truth, and create beauty. This symmetrical love lives and expands as your consciousness of the nature, values and purposes of our Father of love grows. The more love you know, the more love you are. Father's love is available in your heart and mind at all times, and outside you through contact with other God-lovers, your earthly siblings. And when you encounter seekers who have not yet found the indwelling Divine Love, they might more easily find it after seeing love alive in your words and deeds.
When love appears in you as the result of applied truth, beauty and goodness, its manifestations are family fidelity, friendliness, mercy, patience, forgiveness, wisdom, loyalty, creativity, peace, satisfaction beyond understanding, true worship, grand and enduring memories, great deeds and genuine soul joy. And this is but the short list of benefits, values and pleasures you have available through love sought and applied.
No matter what role you have in the unfolding of the universes, you will increasingly draw love from your affectionate Creator, then reflect this divine affection to your family, friends and fellows completing love's cosmic circuit from Paradise to you and on to the Supreme.
...This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them.... p2096
To know and approach the Father of Love on Paradise you will first become truth, goodness and beauty in motion and perfection, unified in your unique personality. If you do not already, you will want and need to become perfect in living love. Paradise gravity and divine love are always pulling you toward God's personal presence, all the way to the end of your journey on Paradise, home of limitless love.
Love's limits are non-existent from the divine vantage point. You may go on with love forever. Nevertheless, limited love can and will be used by you in time and space--in wholeness and perfection, in eternity and infinity (if you so choose and do not reject love's endless entreaties). You will grow into absolute and perfect love over great stretches of time and space, one experience at a time.
If love has no limits from God's perspective, what limits do you put on your personal love, incoming and outgoing? Does your love everyday increase in grace, magnitude and magnanimity? In truth, beauty and goodness? It is the wish and will of the Father of Love that every child grow in appreciation and dissemination of divine love, as Jesus so very well lived it:
...He revealed a goodness equal to God. He exalted love--truth, beauty, and goodness--as the divine ideal and the eternal reality.... p1583
At first it may be difficult to embrace the divine reality that an invisible being of Paradise status and origin, a fragment of the eternal and infinite God, lives inside you awaiting your good attention, offering you perfect and lasting love, but it is true! God actually has a Paradise representative living with you. This Pilot Light to Paradise is trying to show you the way Home, ever leading you upward and inward through the spiritual schools of universe ascension. And this process provides what you both require: Experience.
Through your inner life of knowing God and your outer experience of revealing God, love is transformed from raw truth, goodness and beauty into usable values that you may gainfully use for life's endless situations of values sorting and spirit learning/teaching.
Through and by loving interactions with Father, the angels and your earthly family--you grow in love and real value. Love is real, and it becomes more real with your every decision toward the good, the true and the beautiful. Good decisions are the stepping stones to Paradise.
...Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love.... p43
Without Father's invention and your reception of love, you could not know or spread it. Your store of goodness in your soul reveals itself in your outer personal life of love, because goodness must act, it is love acted out. The size and value of your goodness reserve is a reflection of the quality and quantity of love generated by you as a result of worshipful contact with the Father spirit within--God consciousness and adoration.
Wisely distributing your goodness creates affectionate interactions between you and your spirit-born siblings, no matter how many they might become in eternity. Love is the center and focus of being and acting in Father's spiritual universe. Once this center of love is established in your soul, then does God's creativity foster even more unique expressions of goodness in and through you. These expressions enrich your relations and your wisdom beyond measure with fond memories and lessons learned.
Apparently God conceived and ordained love as the standard of goodness, beauty and truth. Father can do such astounding things. Or perhaps love and goodness are simply inherent in Father's nature. Either way all love comes from God.
God's love arrives on little worlds like ours in the form of divine visitations, revelations laden with fact, truth and celestial creativity. Love's revelations persist because Father Fragments also persist, in creatures like you. Father's descending sons and daughters ever labor to reveal love to you from the outside while God indwelling you works inside. You are in a divine and benign conspiracy of love.
Original love is projected from Paradise. But the story of all the love that was, is and will be is the grandest tale of trial and triumph ever told. It is the story of limitless divine affection that emanates from the Father Source at every moment and forever. The message of God's truth, beauty and goodness flows eventually to all worlds--its carrier and culmination is always love.
"...In your living and loving ministry serve spiritual food in attractive form and suited to the capacity of receptivity of each of your inquirers...." p1474
Love may carry the same truth, beauty and goodness, but never does it manifest in the same way. Love and compassion require that revealed truth always be adapted to the student's mind, and that its expression be gracious.
...As are the families of the race or nation, so is its society. If the families are good, the society is likewise good.... p939
What the cell is to the human body, the family is to planetary civilization. Health, balance and growth depend entirely on the status of the entities' elemental units. Love filled families foster good neighborhoods. Good neighborhoods create beautiful and servile cites. Worthy cities knit together great nations that eventually combine with other fit nations creating one grand and diverse global family whose motives and deeds are true, beautiful and good--divinely inspired love, divine fraternity.
...Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness.... p1142
Ideally the child has a good family and catches the "benign virus of love" through affectionate contact with its parents--from before birth to physical, mental and spiritual maturity. Such a thoughtful, complete and tender upbringing causes the virus of love to spread to the next generation. As this ideal love matures into sublime affection for both the earthly and divine parents, it eventually ripens into a global family affection--the desire to do good for all.
Continuously spreading genuine spirit love parent-to-child, and then planet-wide from one generation to the next, sets off an age of light and life. This is an age where religion, science, philosophy and education join and focus on the study and practice of the components of love--beauty, goodness and truth. One family at a time this is occurring on our planet. Spiritual love can hasten the process.
The Father, Son and Spirit are your first family from whom all love flows. Your second family is the one that gave you birth and a safe place to grow. Your third family is the vast assemblage of siblings who have preceded you, and the endless stream of the eternal future. The universal model of divine love is the perfect parent-child relationship. It is an ideal, but hardly a reality on this somewhat benighted planet.
If you did not receive a tumultuous and harrowing upbringing, you are one of only a few. If your adult life has not been touched by terrible errors, awful tragedies and wrenching conflicts, of your own making or by the mistakes of others, you are an exception. If you came out of this with your faith and love intact, you are surely a child of God candidate, if not one in fact!
Spirit life urges you to disown, but forget, the past. And it points the work of today, the sublime duty of the dissemination of love to the rest of the divine family. This love is not gender associated or limited in creative expression. But it does develop--love grows. Love must grow, or it is not love. Love is revealed in you by an on-going willingness to do good and serve all. This divine love ever adapts and expands, eventually making everyone part of your family.
Someday every generation will come to know divine affection in all its glory, and partly because you chose to be a carrier of the benign virus of love. But the Master of love led the way. Jesus up-stepped the golden rule, saying if ever you are in doubt as to the most loving response in any circumstance--do to others what you think he would.
"...I say to you: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them...." p1571
The wise parent does not use anger, fear or ridicule to motivate his children, but instead uses love and compassion. A good parent is a reflection of the merciful and forgiving love of the Father of the universes. Love is the Mother of endless goodness and divine beauty. Knowing God is the common bond of the cosmic family. God is personal and God is Father, therefore God is the greatest parent. God is a paternal love, a personal relation, a compassionate creator, and your best friend ever.
"...If you would enter the kingdom, you must have a righteousness that consists in love, mercy, and truth--the sincere desire to do the will of my Father in heaven...." p1576
To the child of God love begets love, therefore must someone initiate love, even if it means forgiveness and mercy. Fraternization enlivens the heart, socializes the mind and charms the spirit, therefore must fraternal relations be well nurtured. Doing Father's will, showing mercy and offering forgiveness comes naturally to the cosmic child who is conscious of the source and value of divine love. Father's will always involves finding and fulfilling real needs, yours and others.
Love's ambition leads one to wise service. Abandon all ambition save for that spurred by divine love. In your petitions to Father, seek peace, patience and wisdom, understanding love will follow. Wisely applied love yields generous service, selflessness, fealty, empathy, forthrightness, optimism, surety, kindness, understanding, balance and natural poise.
...Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.... p67
God is love, but Father God is more than a personal love, incalculably more. Love is only one part of Father's nature, but it is the dominate part. God fills an empty place in your heart with love, a place which will not be ignored. When all hearts are thus filled, society will truly flourish. Love exists because God exists. Therefore, love exists in you to the degree you allow Father into your heart and mind.
Although love can be pushed aside, it is innate in you. Love is based in God's empathy, expanded by family associations, and refined in enlightened service to the community. Love comes alive in inverse proportion to selfishness. Forgiveness begets fraternity--tact, tolerance, mercy and true love are indicators of the consciousness of spirit reality, and your growth in spiritual values.
Who you choose as friends and teachers has a bearing on the rate of your advance in spirit love and Circle attainment. Maintaining relations with others of high ethical and moral standing helps you locate and remain with the source of love and altruism in yourself.
A warm, friendly acquaintance magnifies life's pleasures and uplifts your successes. Long held relationships are the foundation of character and one of the treasures of living. Friendships are the substance of social life and a requirement of the soul to triumph over the complex challenges of living, be they friendship with God or one's fellows. Nothing assuages sorrow, grief and pain like the comfort and consolation of a good friend. A trusted associate close-by enhances life's meaning and all real values. Genuine self respect is borne of love and respect for others, human or God.
People bent on finding, knowing and becoming like God slowly evolve out of their survival programming into spiritualized thinking and doing. And love ever points the way. There is wisdom involved in choosing the right speed of growth for your unique experience in time/space, and your journey ahead. At every step along the way you may be sure God, the angels and their good love are present. And that love is the most real of all realities because its elements are goodness, truth and beauty from Father, the Great Love of the Universe.
Love is entirely contagious, as are joy, fear, laughter and despair. When you smile on another out of spirit affection and creature kinship, you add a measure of goodness to their life, a measure that keeps giving to all life. The soul in you will catch God's virus of love, unless you wholly reject its kindly invitation to eternity.
...Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature--not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.... p2018
Real love never seeks revenge or punishment, but it will withdraw when trampled upon, and defer to justice when rejected. God's merciful love does not need force. But when love is forced out of the soul by its host, then justice must be applied.
Love, justice and concern for the whole family cannot permit those few errant children who reject love, and attempt usurping Father's will, to run roughshod over the rest of creation. God is not angry or in need of retribution. You might think of God as the ultimate in parental love. But how does the Ultimate Parent treat the unwise child who refuses the love and the law of the cosmos, Father's truth and goodwill?
...All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness--justice.... p1732
The greatest love is able to forgive, even consume wrongs, yours or other's. Temptation to do wrong is vanquished by love for God held fast in the heart. Father is first with forgiveness and mercy, then justice, but never with punishment, cruelty or enmity. Cessation of existence is God's only alternative once love and mercy have been totally rejected.
Love has truth, beauty and goodness as its foundations because they are indispensable to enduring love. The truth is Father loves you personally and individually--as his child. God wants you to survive death and accept never-ending life in his good universe, that was Jesus' message:
...There was just one motive in Jesus' postbaptismal life on Urantia, and that was a better and truer revelation of his Paradise Father; he was the pioneer of the new and better way to God, the way of faith and love.... p1543
If you are spirit led, you know God is not merely a concept of virtue, our Father is a REAL personality of love, the most real of all! And Father's love is always realized through your personal interactions, study and implementation of the values and ideals represented by the words truth, beauty and goodness.
Where two or more who love Father gather, then and there divine love expands. When many God lovers assemble, wide-spread love sprouts peace and fraternity--brotherly and sisterly love universal. God loves us everyone, faith in that fact enlivens love in your heart and simulates your mind to higher thinking and wiser choosing.
Revelation declares divine love on Earth will someday be the rule, not the seldom or random occurrence. But all real love on Earth and heaven is rooted in the celestial family with God as its head. Imagine what love might be on Paradise where the divine affection is long past merely knowing and living, it is absolute and perfect. But love without truth, beauty and goodness can never be absolute or perfect. Love without Father's values is fleeting, superficial and unsatisfying.
You, by an unknown miracle of love and creativity, came into possession of a body, a temporary chemical/electrical life machine. This bio-machine is replete with the ability to think, choose and act. Will you direct it to act as though love is the most important thing in life? To his apostle John, The Master said:
"...Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men to seek salvation...." p2047
[Thanks for reading. Comments and critiques are welcome. Next Chapter: Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Worship.]
Last edited by rick warren on Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:52 am +0000, edited 2 times in total.