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Idealism

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Golden Orb by Sunstar

Idealism - a Good Thing

Is idealism—the approaching concept of the divine—desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things. ~ The Urantia Book, 3:5.11

Spiritual Idealism

Evolving mortal creatures experience an irresistible urge to symbolize their finite concepts of God. Man's consciousness of moral duty and his spiritual idealism represent a value level—an experiential reality—which is difficult of symbolization. ~ The Urantia Book, 0:2.1

Ideals elevate the source of the social stream. And no stream will rise any higher than its source no matter what technique of pressure or directional control may be employed. The driving power of even the most material aspects of a cultural civilization is resident in the least material of society’s achievements. Intelligence may control the mechanism of civilization, wisdom may direct it, but spiritual idealism is the energy which really uplifts and advances human culture from one level of attainment to another. ~ The Urantia Book, 81:6.27

The Idealism of Love

God is a Father in the highest sense of the term. He is eternally motivated by the perfect idealism of divine love, and that tender nature finds its strongest expression and greatest satisfaction in loving and being loved. ~ The Urantia Book, 4:4.6

The Test of Idealism

Idealism can never survive on an evolving planet if the idealists in each generation permit themselves to be exterminated by the baser orders of humanity. And here is the great test of idealism: Can an advanced society maintain that military preparedness which renders it secure from all attack by its war-loving neighbors without yielding to the temptation to employ this military strength in offensive operations against other peoples for purposes of selfish gain or national aggrandizement? National survival demands preparedness, and religious idealism alone can prevent the prostitution of preparedness into aggression. Only love, brotherhood, can prevent the strong from oppressing the weak. ~ The Urantia Book, 71:4.17

Youthful Idealism

But just so long as society fails to properly educate children and youths, so long as the social order fails to provide adequate premarital training, and so long as unwise and immature youthful idealism is to be the arbiter of the entrance upon marriage, just so long will divorce remain prevalent. ~ The Urantia Book, 83:7.8

When children have their ideals, do not dislodge them; let them grow. ~ The Urantia Book, 48:6.32

The youthful idealization of marriage should not, however, be discouraged; such dreams are the visualization of the future goal of family life. This attitude is both stimulating and helpful providing it does not produce an insensitivity to the realization of the practical and commonplace requirements of marriage and subsequent family life. ~ The Urantia Book, 83:8.7

Fear vs the Idealsim of Altruism

The early evolutionary mind gives origin to a feeling of social duty and moral obligation derived chiefly from emotional fear. The more positive urge of social service and the idealism of altruism are derived from the direct impulse of the divine spirit indwelling the human mind. ~ The Urantia Book, 103:5.1

It is fatal to man’s idealism when he is taught that all of his altruistic impulses are merely the development of his natural herd instincts. But he is ennobled and mightily energized when he learns that these higher urges of his soul emanate from the spiritual forces that indwell his mortal mind. ~ The Urantia Book, 103:5.8

Wisdom and Idealism

Success may generate courage and promote confidence, but wisdom comes only from the experiences of adjustment to the results of one’s failures. Men who prefer optimistic illusions to reality can never become wise. Only those who face facts and adjust them to ideals can achieve wisdom. Wisdom embraces both the fact and the ideal and therefore saves its devotees from both of those barren extremes of philosophy—the man whose idealism excludes facts and the materialist who is devoid of spiritual outlook. Those timid souls who can only keep up the struggle of life by the aid of continuous false illusions of success are doomed to suffer failure and experience defeat as they ultimately awaken from the dream world of their own imaginations. ~ The Urantia Book, 160:4.14

Religion and Idealism

The consciousness of the impulse to be like God is not true religion. The feelings of the emotion to worship God are not true religion. The knowledge of the conviction to forsake self and serve God is not true religion. The wisdom of the reasoning that this religion is the best of all is not religion as a personal and spiritual experience. True religion has reference to destiny and reality of attainment as well as to the reality and idealism of that which is wholeheartedly faith-accepted. And all of this must be made personal to us by the revelation of the Spirit of Truth. ~ The Urantia Book, 160:5.13

The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience—spiritual reality. Psychology and idealism are not the equivalent of religious reality. The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods—gods in man's image—but the true God- consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God-consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery. ~ The Urantia Book, 196:3.23

Religion inspires man to live courageously and joyfully on the face of the earth; it joins patience with passion, insight to zeal, sympathy with power, and ideals with energy. ~ The Urantia Book, 99:7.3

Christ and Labor by Harold Copping

Jesus, Friend of Idealists

This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master’s attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects. ~ The Urantia Book, 173:1.11

God - the Source of Idealism

God is not the mere invention of man's idealism; he is the very source of all such superanimal insights and values. ~ The Urantia Book, 196:3.24

The eternal purpose of the eternal God is a high spiritual ideal. ~ The Urantia Book, 32:5.2

Even truth, beauty, and goodness—man’s intellectual approach to the universe of mind, matter, and spirit—must be combined into one unified concept of a divine and supreme ideal. As mortal personality unifies the human experience with matter, mind, and spirit, so does this divine and supreme ideal become power-unified in Supremacy and then personalized as a God of fatherly love. ~ The Urantia Book, 56:10.15

Representative Government is an Ideal

The entire universe is organized and administered on the representative plan. Representative government is the divine ideal of self-government among nonperfect beings. ~ The Urantia Book, 45:7.3

While the ideal of society is universal freedom, idleness should never be tolerated. All able-bodied persons should be compelled to do at least a self-sustaining amount of work. ~ The Urantia Book, 69:8.11

While there is a divine and ideal form of government, such cannot be revealed but must be slowly and laboriously discovered by the men and women of each planet throughout the universes of time and space. ~ The Urantia Book, 70:12.20

Generational Idealism

The racial ideals. The ideals of one generation carve out the channels of destiny for immediate posterity. The quality of the social torchbearers will determine whether civilization goes forward or backward. The homes, churches, and schools of one generation predetermine the character trend of the succeeding generation. The moral and spiritual momentum of a race or a nation largely determines the cultural velocity of that civilization. ~ The Urantia Book, 81:6.26

Ideals elevate the source of the social stream. And no stream will rise any higher than its source no matter what technique of pressure or directional control may be employed. The driving power of even the most material aspects of a cultural civilization is resident in the least material of society’s achievements. Intelligence may control the mechanism of civilization, wisdom may direct it, but spiritual idealism is the energy which really uplifts and advances human culture from one level of attainment to another. ~ The Urantia Book, 81:6.27

Civilizations and Idealism

No national civilization long endures unless its educational methods and religious ideals inspire a high type of intelligent patriotism and national devotion Without this sort of intelligent patriotism and cultural solidarity, all nations tend to disintegrate as a result of provincial jealousies and local self-interests. ~ The Urantia Book, 81:6.35

Couple walking in an Autumn forest by Don Paulson

Monogamy and Marriage are Ideals

Monogamy always has been, now is, and forever will be the idealistic goal of human sex evolution. This ideal of true pair marriage entails self-denial, and therefore does it so often fail just because one or both of the contracting parties are deficient in that acme of all human virtues, rugged self-control. ~ The Urantia Book, 83:6.6

Nevertheless, there is an ideal of marriage on the spheres on high. On the capital of each local system the Material Sons and Daughters of God do portray the height of the ideals of the union of man and woman in the bonds of marriage and for the purpose of procreating and rearing offspring. After all, the ideal mortal marriage is humanly sacred. ~ The Urantia Book, 83:8.5

Marriage always has been and still is man’s supreme dream of temporal ideality. Though this beautiful dream is seldom realized in its entirety, it endures as a glorious ideal, ever luring progressing mankind on to greater strivings for human happiness. But young men and women should be taught something of the realities of marriage before they are plunged into the exacting demands of the interassociations of family life; youthful idealization should be tempered with some degree of premarital disillusionment. ~ The Urantia Book, 83:8.6

The Ideal Social Order

An ideal social order is that in which every man loves his neighbor as he loves himself. ~ The Urantia Book, 99:2.4

A Call to Our Highest Ideals

The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. Jesus shattered tradition, destroyed dogma, and called mankind to the achievement of its highest ideals in time and eternity—to be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. ~ The Urantia Book, 99:5.3

Faith

That faith is concerned only with the grasp of ideal values is shown by the New Testament definition which declares that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. ~ The Urantia Book, 99:5.8

But truth can never become man’s possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man’s thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. ~ The Urantia Book, 132:3.5

Living Up to Our Ideals

When primitive man felt that his communion with God had been interrupted, he resorted to sacrifice of some kind in an effort to make atonement, to restore friendly relationship. The hunger and thirst for righteousness leads to the discovery of truth, and truth augments ideals, and this creates new problems for the individual religionists, for our ideals tend to grow by geometrical progression, while our ability to live up to them is enhanced only by arithmetical progression. ~ The Urantia Book, 103:4.2

The sense of guilt (not the consciousness of sin) comes either from interrupted spiritual communion or from the lowering of one’s moral ideals. Deliverance from such a predicament can only come through the realization that one’s highest moral ideals are not necessarily synonymous with the will of God. Man cannot hope to live up to his highest ideals, but he can be true to his purpose of finding God and becoming more and more like him. ~ The Urantia Book, 103:4.3

Are your ideals sufficiently high to insure your eternal salvation while your ideas are so practical as to render you a useful citizen to function on earth in association with your mortal fellows? In the spirit, your citizenship is in heaven; in the flesh, you are still citizens of the earth kingdoms. Render to the Caesars the things which are material and to God those which are spiritual. ~ The Urantia Book, 156:5.16

It requires the lure of a great ideal to drive man on in the pursuit of a goal which is beset with difficult material problems and manifold intellectual hazards. ~ The Urantia Book, 160:1.8

Ideals - Born in the Inner Life

Ideas may take origin in the stimuli of the outer world, but ideals are born only in the creative realms of the inner world. Today the nations of the world are directed by men who have a superabundance of ideas, but they are poverty-stricken in ideals. That is the explanation of poverty, divorce, war, and racial hatreds. ~ The Urantia Book, 111:4.10

Jesus - the Ideal Meek Man

Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe. ~ The Urantia Book, 140:5.11

It was not apparent to the apostles that their Master was engaged in living a life of spiritual inspiration for every person of every age on every world of a far-flung universe. Notwithstanding what Jesus told them from time to time, the apostles did not grasp the idea that he was doing a work on this world but for all other worlds in his vast creation. Jesus lived his earth life on Urantia, not to set a personal example of mortal living for the men and women of this world, but rather to create a high spiritual and inspirational ideal for all mortal beings on all worlds. ~ The Urantia Book, 140:10.3

If you would follow after me when I leave you, put forth your earnest efforts to live in accordance with the spirit of my teachings and with the ideal of my life—the doing of my Father’s will. This do instead of trying to imitate my natural life in the flesh as I have, perforce, been required to live it on this world. ~ The Urantia Book, 181:1.3

Wisely or unwisely, these early leaders of Christianity deliberately compromised the ideals of Jesus in an effort to save and further many of his ideas. And they were eminently successful. But mistake not! these compromised ideals of the Master are still latent in his gospel, and they will eventually assert their full power upon the world. ~ The Urantia Book, 195:0.1

To “follow Jesus” means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master’s life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. ~ The Urantia Book, 196:1.3

Further Reading on Ideals and Idealism:

The Ideals of Statehood
The Ideals of Family Life
The Origin of Ideals
The Religion of the Ideal

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