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Welcome to a study and consideration of Paper 103. The Reality of Religious Experience begins at our birth or before or not long after... perhaps with our first breath? Human life is itself a religious experience. Especially early in life perhaps, before fear and self interest and materialism come to affect our perspective of reality.

We are designed and created for religious experience and the spiritization of mind and soul. The connections of self to Deity are the very basis for and definition of humanity!

8)

Here are links to my prior studies of Papers 100-102:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5516

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5921

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5932


Paper 103

The Reality of Religious Experience

103:0.1 (1129.1) ALL of man’s truly religious reactions are sponsored by the early ministry of the adjutant of worship and are censored by the adjutant of wisdom. Man’s first supermind endowment is that of personality encircuitment in the Holy Spirit of the Universe Creative Spirit; and long before either the bestowals of the divine Sons or the universal bestowal of the Adjusters, this influence functions to enlarge man’s viewpoint of ethics, religion, and spirituality. Subsequent to the bestowals of the Paradise Sons the liberated Spirit of Truth makes mighty contributions to the enlargement of the human capacity to perceive religious truths. As evolution advances on an inhabited world, the Thought Adjusters increasingly participate in the development of the higher types of human religious insight. The Thought Adjuster is the cosmic window through which the finite creature may faith-glimpse the certainties and divinities of limitless Deity, the Universal Father.

103:0.2 (1129.2) The religious tendencies of the human races are innate; they are universally manifested and have an apparently natural origin; primitive religions are always evolutionary in their genesis. As natural religious experience continues to progress, periodic revelations of truth punctuate the otherwise slow-moving course of planetary evolution.

103:0.3 (1129.3) On Urantia, today, there are four kinds of religion:

103:0.4 (1129.4) 1. Natural or evolutionary religion.

103:0.5 (1129.5) 2. Supernatural or revelatory religion.

103:0.6 (1129.6) 3. Practical or current religion, varying degrees of the admixture of natural and supernatural religions.

103:0.7 (1129.7) 4. Philosophic religions, man-made or philosophically thought-out theologic doctrines and reason-created religions.

8) Bradly


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1. Philosophy of Religion

103:1.1 (1129.8) The unity of religious experience among a social or racial group derives from the identical nature of the God fragment indwelling the individual. It is this divine in man that gives origin to his unselfish interest in the welfare of other men. But since personality is unique—no two mortals being alike—it inevitably follows that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.

103:1.2 (1130.1) When one mortal is in full agreement with the religious philosophy of a fellow mortal, that phenomenon indicates that these two beings have had a similar religious experience touching the matters concerned in their similarity of philosophic religious interpretation.

103:1.3 (1130.2) While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric—circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial.

8) I am reminded here on the study of religions by Ganid and Jesus in Alexandria, and the Urmia lectures and school of religious thought, and the intersections of Machiventa's missionaries across the world with such a vast assortment of religions and religionists.

I am also reminded of the one true religion described in the UB - the religion which is lived and experienced by each of us, personally and by connection to Deity within and the Divine ministry and circuits we enjoy as mortals.

Link to keyword "true religion":

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

From Paper 99:

99:2.6 (1088.1) Modern religion finds it difficult to adjust its attitude toward the rapidly shifting social changes only because it has permitted itself to become so thoroughly traditionalized, dogmatized, and institutionalized. The religion of living experience finds no difficulty in keeping ahead of all these social developments and economic upheavals, amid which it ever functions as a moral stabilizer, social guide, and spiritual pilot. True religion carries over from one age to another the worth-while culture and that wisdom which is born of the experience of knowing God and striving to be like him.

99:4.3 (1089.11) True religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the commonplace realities of everyday life. But if religion is to stimulate individual development of character and augment integration of personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate evaluation of experience and serve as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion is to promote supreme loyalties, it must not be formalized.

99:4.4 (1089.12) No matter what upheavals may attend the social and economic growth of civilization, religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.

99:5.1 (1090.10) While religion is exclusively a personal spiritual experience—knowing God as a Father—the corollary of this experience—knowing man as a brother—entails the adjustment of the self to other selves, and that involves the social or group aspect of religious life. Religion is first an inner or personal adjustment, and then it becomes a matter of social service or group adjustment. The fact of man’s gregariousness perforce determines that religious groups will come into existence. What happens to these religious groups depends very much on intelligent leadership. In primitive society the religious group is not always very different from economic or political groups. Religion has always been a conservator of morals and a stabilizer of society. And this is still true, notwithstanding the contrary teaching of many modern socialists and humanists.

99:5.2 (1091.1) Always keep in mind: True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards.

99:5.7 (1091.6) Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term “faith” stand for the individual’s relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. “Have you faith? Then have it to yourself.”

8)


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Please note that here we are being taught that knowledge and beliefs do not determine the religious experience or the value of faith and its results as soul growth and spiritization!! False beliefs cannot prevent and do not define anybody's personal religious experience....

Thank God for that!!! :lol: :biggrin: :idea: :!:

8)

103:1.4 (1130.3) Rationalism is wrong when it assumes that religion is at first a primitive belief in something which is then followed by the pursuit of values. Religion is primarily a pursuit of values, and then there formulates a system of interpretative beliefs. It is much easier for men to agree on religious values—goals—than on beliefs—interpretations. And this explains how religion can agree on values and goals while exhibiting the confusing phenomenon of maintaining a belief in hundreds of conflicting beliefs—creeds. This also explains why a given person can maintain his religious experience in the face of giving up or changing many of his religious beliefs. Religion persists in spite of revolutionary changes in religious beliefs. Theology does not produce religion; it is religion that produces theologic philosophy.

103:1.5 (1130.4) That religionists have believed so much that was false does not invalidate religion because religion is founded on the recognition of values and is validated by the faith of personal religious experience. Religion, then, is based on experience and religious thought; theology, the philosophy of religion, is an honest attempt to interpret that experience. Such interpretative beliefs may be right or wrong, or a mixture of truth and error.

103:1.6 (1130.5) The realization of the recognition of spiritual values is an experience which is superideational. There is no word in any human language which can be employed to designate this “sense,” “feeling,” “intuition,” or “experience” which we have elected to call God-consciousness. The spirit of God that dwells in man is not personal—the Adjuster is prepersonal—but this Monitor presents a value, exudes a flavor of divinity, which is personal in the highest and infinite sense. If God were not at least personal, he could not be conscious, and if not conscious, then would he be infrahuman.


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Not only are specific knowledge and accurate beliefs not required for evolutionary religious experience, but our religious experience begins naturally and inherently early in children's lives. We do not choose or create or cause the connection to the Spirit within.

Our conscious choices IN RESPONSE to the Divine connection do deliver a new quality and power to that religious experience and connection.

2. Religion and the Individual

103:2.1 (1130.6) Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the “birth” of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a “birth day.” You do not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you have been “born again”—born of the Spirit. Many spiritual births are accompanied by much anguish of spirit and marked psychological perturbations, as many physical births are characterized by a “stormy labor” and other abnormalities of “delivery.” Other spiritual births are a natural and normal growth of the recognition of supreme values with an enhancement of spiritual experience, albeit no religious development occurs without conscious effort and positive and individual determinations. Religion is never a passive experience, a negative attitude. What is termed the “birth of religion” is not directly associated with so-called conversion experiences which usually characterize religious episodes occurring later in life as a result of mental conflict, emotional repression, and temperamental upheavals.

103:2.2 (1131.1) But those persons who were so reared by their parents that they grew up in the consciousness of being children of a loving heavenly Father, should not look askance at their fellow mortals who could only attain such consciousness of fellowship with God through a psychological crisis, an emotional upheaval.

103:2.3 (1131.2) The evolutionary soil in the mind of man in which the seed of revealed religion germinates is the moral nature that so early gives origin to a social consciousness. The first promptings of a child’s moral nature have not to do with sex, guilt, or personal pride, but rather with impulses of justice, fairness, and urges to kindness—helpful ministry to one’s fellows. And when such early moral awakenings are nurtured, there occurs a gradual development of the religious life which is comparatively free from conflicts, upheavals, and crises.


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103:2.4 (1131.3) Every human being very early experiences something of a conflict between his self-seeking and his altruistic impulses, and many times the first experience of God-consciousness may be attained as the result of seeking for superhuman help in the task of resolving such moral conflicts.

103:2.5 (1131.4) The psychology of a child is naturally positive, not negative. So many mortals are negative because they were so trained. When it is said that the child is positive, reference is made to his moral impulses, those powers of mind whose emergence signals the arrival of the Thought Adjuster.

103:2.6 (1131.5) In the absence of wrong teaching, the mind of the normal child moves positively, in the emergence of religious consciousness, toward moral righteousness and social ministry, rather than negatively, away from sin and guilt. There may or may not be conflict in the development of religious experience, but there are always present the inevitable decisions, effort, and function of the human will.

8)

More on how natural and inherent is the religious experience and inner response to the Spirit ministries within!!

One of the most profoundly important teachings in the Papers is that our dual nature is naturally connected to Deity and from birth (or very shortly thereafter). This Divine connection elicits a response by our personality and mind through the connection circuits and the Deity gravity circuits for Spirit, Mind, and Personality!!

We do not contact or connect to Deity by any decisions or by our will or consciousness....or not at first anyway. We are born connected!! The mind and personality of each mortal responds to the spirit connection which creates urges and impulses and yearnings within. Our response to that connection IS ITSELF The Reality of Religious Experience!! Our first responses to Spirit are not conscious...we are born as moral and positive and altruistic beings - unlike the animals who are not connected to the 6th and 7th Adjutant Spirits of worship and wisdom. To be a mortal/human beings is, by definition, to be connected to these mind ministry circuits of worship and wisdom!

Our response to the inner urgings and yearnings and voice and light defines our religious experience and our expression of that experience and leads to those later conscious choices and awareness and responses to the God Fragment/Thought Adjuster's personal revelations and leadings as our spirit guide and pilot.

Keyword search for "response":

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

34:6.9 (381.3) In every mortal there exists a dual nature: the inheritance of animal tendencies and the high urge of spirit endowment. During the short life you live on Urantia, these two diverse and opposing urges can seldom be fully reconciled; they can hardly be harmonized and unified; but throughout your lifetime the combined Spirit ever ministers to assist you in subjecting the flesh more and more to the leading of the Spirit. Even though you must live your material life through, even though you cannot escape the body and its necessities, nonetheless, in purpose and ideals you are empowered increasingly to subject the animal nature to the mastery of the Spirit. There truly exists within you a conspiracy of spiritual forces, a confederation of divine powers, whose exclusive purpose is to effect your final deliverance from material bondage and finite handicaps.

8)


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Most of us have seen the cartoons of the two angels or spirits, one good (altruistic) and one evil (selfish), each whispering in one ear and the other, to influence our choices in life. Such a depiction is half right in one way - there are no evil spirits whispering to us or seeking our misguidance or bad choices.

But we do have an animal nature which tends toward self interest and self preservation and even situational control and dominance. And as discovered in the text already, we do also have a conspiracy of spiritual forces within who each and all deliver urges and yearnings and the Spirit nature itself, leading children to be moral, idealistic, altruistic, generous, and kind.

103:2.7 (1131.6) Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict. And this very first conflict in the child mind is between the urges of egoism and the impulses of altruism. The Thought Adjuster does not disregard the personality values of the egoistic motive but does operate to place a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goal of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven.

103:2.8 (1131.7) When a moral being chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish, that is primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious. It embraces the fact of God-consciousness and exhibits the impulse of social service, the basis of the brotherhood of man. When mind chooses a right moral judgment by an act of the free will, such a decision constitutes a religious experience.

103:2.9 (1131.8) But before a child has developed sufficiently to acquire moral capacity and therefore to be able to choose altruistic service, he has already developed a strong and well-unified egoistic nature. And it is this factual situation that gives rise to the theory of the struggle between the “higher” and the “lower” natures, between the “old man of sin” and the “new nature” of grace. Very early in life the normal child begins to learn that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

103:2.10 (1131.9) Man tends to identify the urge to be self-serving with his ego—himself. In contrast he is inclined to identify the will to be altruistic with some influence outside himself—God. And indeed is such a judgment right, for all such nonself desires do actually have their origin in the leadings of the indwelling Thought Adjuster, and this Adjuster is a fragment of God. The impulse of the spirit Monitor is realized in human consciousness as the urge to be altruistic, fellow-creature minded. At least this is the early and fundamental experience of the child mind. When the growing child fails of personality unification, the altruistic drive may become so overdeveloped as to work serious injury to the welfare of the self. A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness.

Me here: The distinction between our conscience and guilt is an important consideration. Personal idealism, duty, loyalties, and happiness are all related to human conscience and guilt in ways that are important to understand. Our perception of and understanding of our connection to and relationship with God determines how we manage and respond to our conscience and feelings of guilt.

Overdeveloped guilt can be overwhelming and paralyzing and become a crippling and fearful experience that prevents happiness by the terror of perpetual anxiety. It denies and prevents the child-parent relationship from delivering the power of its reality and potential.

89:10.2 (984.5) Sin must be redefined as deliberate disloyalty to Deity. There are degrees of disloyalty: the partial loyalty of indecision; the divided loyalty of confliction; the dying loyalty of indifference; and the death of loyalty exhibited in devotion to godless ideals.

89:10.3 (984.6) The sense or feeling of guilt is the consciousness of the violation of the mores; it is not necessarily sin. There is no real sin in the absence of conscious disloyalty to Deity.

89:10.4 (984.7) The possibility of the recognition of the sense of guilt is a badge of transcendent distinction for mankind. It does not mark man as mean but rather sets him apart as a creature of potential greatness and ever-ascending glory. Such a sense of unworthiness is the initial stimulus that should lead quickly and surely to those faith conquests which translate the mortal mind to the superb levels of moral nobility, cosmic insight, and spiritual living; thus are all the meanings of human existence changed from the temporal to the eternal, and all values are elevated from the human to the divine.

89:10.5 (984.8) The confession of sin is a manful repudiation of disloyalty, but it in no wise mitigates the time-space consequences of such disloyalty. But confession—sincere recognition of the nature of sin—is essential to religious growth and spiritual progress.

89:10.6 (985.1) The forgiveness of sin by Deity is the renewal of loyalty relations following a period of the human consciousness of the lapse of such relations as the consequence of conscious rebellion. The forgiveness does not have to be sought, only received as the consciousness of re-establishment of loyalty relations between the creature and the Creator. And all the loyal sons of God are happy, service-loving, and ever-progressive in the Paradise ascent.

8)


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103:2.10 (1131.9) Man tends to identify the urge to be self-serving with his ego—himself. In contrast he is inclined to identify the will to be altruistic with some influence outside himself—God. And indeed is such a judgment right, for all such nonself desires do actually have their origin in the leadings of the indwelling Thought Adjuster, and this Adjuster is a fragment of God. The impulse of the spirit Monitor is realized in human consciousness as the urge to be altruistic, fellow-creature minded. At least this is the early and fundamental experience of the child mind. When the growing child fails of personality unification, the altruistic drive may become so overdeveloped as to work serious injury to the welfare of the self. A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness.

Me here: Such important concepts here!! This is the very essence, truly, of the Jesusonian Gospel!!

God NEVER withdraws from the children and plilgrims of time! Not ever. Not for any reason whatsoever.

God NEVER withholds paternal love and the Divine Affection from the children and pilgrims of time! Not ever. Not for any reason whatsoever.

God NEVER requires anything for giving forgiveness or mercy to the children and pilgrims of time! Not ever. Not for any reason whatsoever.

But the disloyalty by and the guilt of those children of time can, and so often does, lead to a self-separation due to our feelings of guilt and our anxieties which are a result of fear - the fears of lost salvation, fears of unworthiness, fears of God's anger and wrath, fears of our own ignorance and sinfulness. "A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness."

The Master taught us, and the UB reiterates, the universe reality fact that God loves all the children of time in all of creation. God loves us each personally and directly and God loves us all collectively and uniformly too.

But we can isolate ourselves from God by our own fears and guilt. Guilt can and does destroy human happiness and prevents the peace of mind that always comes to those children of time that do not fear God or the wrath of God but embrace the relationship of parent and child as taught by the Master. God's love and mercy must be received...not given. God's love and affection and mercy and forgiveness are ALWAYS given and cannot be deserved or earned or bargained for by sacrifice or gifts or bribes or pleas!! We receive love and mercy to the degree that we give love and mercy to others...according to the teachings of the Master and the Revelation we study here together.

8)

2:4.2 (38.2) God is inherently kind, naturally compassionate, and everlastingly merciful. And never is it necessary that any influence be brought to bear upon the Father to call forth his loving-kindness. The creature’s need is wholly sufficient to insure the full flow of the Father’s tender mercies and his saving grace. Since God knows all about his children, it is easy for him to forgive. The better man understands his neighbor, the easier it will be to forgive him, even to love him.

2:4.4 (38.4) Mercy is the natural and inevitable offspring of goodness and love. The good nature of a loving Father could not possibly withhold the wise ministry of mercy to each member of every group of his universe children. Eternal justice and divine mercy together constitute what in human experience would be called fairness.

2:5.1 (38.6) “God is love”; therefore his only personal attitude towards the affairs of the universe is always a reaction of divine affection. The Father loves us sufficiently to bestow his life upon us. “He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

2:5.2 (39.1) It is wrong to think of God as being coaxed into loving his children because of the sacrifices of his Sons or the intercession of his subordinate creatures, “for the Father himself loves you.” It is in response to this paternal affection that God sends the marvelous Adjusters to indwell the minds of men. God’s love is universal; “whosoever will may come.” He would “have all men be saved by coming into the knowledge of the truth.” He is “not willing that any should perish.”

2:6.6 (41.4) The affectionate heavenly Father, whose spirit indwells his children on earth, is not a divided personality—one of justice and one of mercy—neither does it require a mediator to secure the Father’s favor or forgiveness. Divine righteousness is not dominated by strict retributive justice; God as a father transcends God as a judge.

2:6.9 (42.1) Facing the world of personality, God is discovered to be a loving person; facing the spiritual world, he is a personal love; in religious experience he is both. Love identifies the volitional will of God. The goodness of God rests at the bottom of the divine free-willness—the universal tendency to love, show mercy, manifest patience, and minister forgiveness.

8)


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3. Religion and the Human Race

103:3.1 (1132.1) While the belief in spirits, dreams, and diverse other superstitions all played a part in the evolutionary origin of primitive religions, you should not overlook the influence of the clan or tribal spirit of solidarity. In the group relationship there was presented the exact social situation which provided the challenge to the egoistic-altruistic conflict in the moral nature of the early human mind. In spite of their belief in spirits, primitive Australians still focus their religion upon the clan. In time, such religious concepts tend to personalize, first, as animals, and later, as a superman or as a God. Even such inferior races as the African Bushmen, who are not even totemic in their beliefs, do have a recognition of the difference between the self-interest and the group-interest, a primitive distinction between the values of the secular and the sacred. But the social group is not the source of religious experience. Regardless of the influence of all these primitive contributions to man’s early religion, the fact remains that the true religious impulse has its origin in genuine spirit presences activating the will to be unselfish.

103:3.2 (1132.2) Later religion is foreshadowed in the primitive belief in natural wonders and mysteries, the impersonal mana. But sooner or later the evolving religion requires that the individual should make some personal sacrifice for the good of his social group, should do something to make other people happier and better. Ultimately, religion is destined to become the service of God and of man.


Me here: Altruism and loyalty and duty are impulses activated by the Deity connections to mortals. These traits of human nature appear first in family and then clans and tribe, to expand to include larger shared totem groups of larger communities and nations. Indeed, the larger the group we feel loyalty to and duty for, the more enlightened and spiritualized we are.

The Master asked who is our neighbor to destroy walls, borders, and barriers of isolation and mistrust. Those who feel like citizens of the world see reality more clearly and more truly than those who measure others' value by country or color or religion or political party or any defining criteria.

But those who embrace cosmic citizenship in the universal family of creation have the truest of perspectives and greatest sense of kinship and loyalty and duty. We are taught that deliberate disloyalty is a great evil which warps the mind and distorts perspective and can become a poison of self destruction.

Such a lack of integrity is the embrace of unreality and universe irrelevance and irrationality. It isolates us from the Spirit connection and ministry and circuits and deforms our selfhood and identity. Self importance and materialism can combine to make us slaves to our environment and prevent wisdom and maturity and growth in the Spirit nature.

Some of us become so entangled by social, political, and material issues that we are too distracted and embroiled to gain the truer perspective of reality only the spiritized mind can see.


103:3.3 (1132.3) Religion is designed to change man’s environment, but much of the religion found among mortals today has become helpless to do this. Environment has all too often mastered religion.

8)

103:5.1 (1133.6) 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.

103:5.2 (1133.7) This idea-ideal of doing good to others—the impulse to deny the ego something for the benefit of one’s neighbor—is very circumscribed at first. Primitive man regards as neighbor only those very close to him, those who treat him neighborly; as religious civilization advances, one’s neighbor expands in concept to embrace the clan, the tribe, the nation. And then Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral—right. Even those who practice this ideal least, admit that it is right in theory.

103:5.3 (1134.1) All men recognize the morality of this universal human urge to be unselfish and altruistic. The humanist ascribes the origin of this urge to the natural working of the material mind; the religionist more correctly recognizes that the truly unselfish drive of mortal mind is in response to the inner spirit leadings of the Thought Adjuster.

8)

164:1.2 (1809.4) But the lawyer was not wholly sincere in asking this question, and desiring to justify himself while also hoping to embarrass Jesus, he ventured to ask still another question. Drawing a little closer to the Master, he said, “But, Teacher, I should like you to tell me just who is my neighbor?” The lawyer asked this question hoping to entrap Jesus into making some statement that would contravene the Jewish law which defined one’s neighbor as “the children of one’s people.” The Jews looked upon all others as “gentile dogs.” This lawyer was somewhat familiar with Jesus’ teachings and therefore well knew that the Master thought differently; thus he hoped to lead him into saying something which could be construed as an attack upon the sacred law.

164:1.3 (1810.1) But Jesus discerned the lawyer’s motive, and instead of falling into the trap, he proceeded to tell his hearers a story, a story which would be fully appreciated by any Jericho audience. Said Jesus: “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of cruel brigands, who robbed him, stripped him and beat him, and departing, left him half dead. Very soon, by chance, a certain priest was going down that way, and when he came upon the wounded man, seeing his sorry plight, he passed by on the other side of the road. And in like manner a Levite also, when he came along and saw the man, passed by on the other side. Now, about this time, a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed down to Jericho, came across this wounded man; and when he saw how he had been robbed and beaten, he was moved with compassion, and going over to him, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and setting the man upon his own beast, brought him here to the inn and took care of him. And on the morrow he took out some money and, giving it to the host, said: ‘Take good care of my friend, and if the expense is more, when I come back again, I will repay you.’ Now let me ask you: Which of these three turned out to be the neighbor of him who fell among the robbers?” And when the lawyer perceived that he had fallen into his own snare, he answered, “He who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”

164:1.4 (1810.2) The lawyer answered, “He who showed mercy,” that he might refrain from even speaking that odious word, Samaritan. The lawyer was forced to give the very answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” which Jesus wished given, and which, if Jesus had so stated, would have directly involved him in the charge of heresy. Jesus not only confounded the dishonest lawyer, but he told his hearers a story which was at the same time a beautiful admonition to all his followers and a stunning rebuke to all Jews regarding their attitude toward the Samaritans. And this story has continued to promote brotherly love among all who have subsequently believed the gospel of Jesus.


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180:5.5 (1949.7) The golden rule, when divested of the superhuman insight of the Spirit of Truth, becomes nothing more than a rule of high ethical conduct. The golden rule, when literally interpreted, may become the instrument of great offense to one’s fellows. Without a spiritual discernment of the golden rule of wisdom you might reason that, since you are desirous that all men speak the full and frank truth of their minds to you, you should therefore fully and frankly speak the full thought of your mind to your fellow beings. Such an unspiritual interpretation of the golden rule might result in untold unhappiness and no end of sorrow.

180:5.6 (1950.1) Some persons discern and interpret the golden rule as a purely intellectual affirmation of human fraternity. Others experience this expression of human relationship as an emotional gratification of the tender feelings of the human personality. Another mortal recognizes this same golden rule as the yardstick for measuring all social relations, the standard of social conduct. Still others look upon it as being the positive injunction of a great moral teacher who embodied in this statement the highest concept of moral obligation as regards all fraternal relationships. In the lives of such moral beings the golden rule becomes the wise center and circumference of all their philosophy.

180:5.7 (1950.2) In the kingdom of the believing brotherhood of God-knowing truth lovers, this golden rule takes on living qualities of spiritual realization on those higher levels of interpretation which cause the mortal sons of God to view this injunction of the Master as requiring them so to relate themselves to their fellows that they will receive the highest possible good as a result of the believer’s contact with them. This is the essence of true religion: that you love your neighbor as yourself.

180:5.8 (1950.3) But the highest realization and the truest interpretation of the golden rule consists in the consciousness of the spirit of the truth of the enduring and living reality of such a divine declaration. The true cosmic meaning of this rule of universal relationship is revealed only in its spiritual realization, in the interpretation of the law of conduct by the spirit of the Son to the spirit of the Father that indwells the soul of mortal man. And when such spirit-led mortals realize the true meaning of this golden rule, they are filled to overflowing with the assurance of citizenship in a friendly universe, and their ideals of spirit reality are satisfied only when they love their fellows as Jesus loved us all, and that is the reality of the realization of the love of God.

180:5.9 (1950.4) This same philosophy of the living flexibility and cosmic adaptability of divine truth to the individual requirements and capacity of every son of God, must be perceived before you can hope adequately to understand the Master’s teaching and practice of nonresistance to evil. The Master’s teaching is basically a spiritual pronouncement. Even the material implications of his philosophy cannot be helpfully considered apart from their spiritual correlations. The spirit of the Master’s injunction consists in the nonresistance of all selfish reaction to the universe, coupled with the aggressive and progressive attainment of righteous levels of true spirit values: divine beauty, infinite goodness, and eternal truth—to know God and to become increasingly like him.

180:5.10 (1950.5) Love, unselfishness, must undergo a constant and living readaptative interpretation of relationships in accordance with the leading of the Spirit of Truth. Love must thereby grasp the ever-changing and enlarging concepts of the highest cosmic good of the individual who is loved. And then love goes on to strike this same attitude concerning all other individuals who could possibly be influenced by the growing and living relationship of one spirit-led mortal’s love for other citizens of the universe. And this entire living adaptation of love must be effected in the light of both the environment of present evil and the eternal goal of the perfection of divine destiny.

180:5.11 (1950.6) And so must we clearly recognize that neither the golden rule nor the teaching of nonresistance can ever be properly understood as dogmas or precepts. They can only be comprehended by living them, by realizing their meanings in the living interpretation of the Spirit of Truth, who directs the loving contact of one human being with another.

180:5.12 (1951.1) And all this clearly indicates the difference between the old religion and the new. The old religion taught self-sacrifice; the new religion teaches only self-forgetfulness, enhanced self-realization in conjoined social service and universe comprehension. The old religion was motivated by fear-consciousness; the new gospel of the kingdom is dominated by truth-conviction, the spirit of eternal and universal truth. And no amount of piety or creedal loyalty can compensate for the absence in the life experience of kingdom believers of that spontaneous, generous, and sincere friendliness which characterizes the spirit-born sons of the living God. Neither tradition nor a ceremonial system of formal worship can atone for the lack of genuine compassion for one’s fellows.

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103:3.4 (1132.4) Remember that in the religion of all ages the experience which is paramount is the feeling regarding moral values and social meanings, not the thinking regarding theologic dogmas or philosophic theories. Religion evolves favorably as the element of magic is replaced by the concept of morals.

103:3.5 (1132.5) Man evolved through the superstitions of mana, magic, nature worship, spirit fear, and animal worship to the various ceremonials whereby the religious attitude of the individual became the group reactions of the clan. And then these ceremonies became focalized and crystallized into tribal beliefs, and eventually these fears and faiths became personalized into gods. But in all of this religious evolution the moral element was never wholly absent. The impulse of the God within man was always potent. And these powerful influences—one human and the other divine—insured the survival of religion throughout the vicissitudes of the ages and that notwithstanding it was so often threatened with extinction by a thousand subversive tendencies and hostile antagonisms.

8)

Me here: The Reality of Religious Experience is first evolutionary. This is true of personal religion and also social or group/tribal and later institutional religions. Evolutionary means to change and advance and progress by experience. So personal religious experience is modified over time by our experiences and by wisdom gained with our connection to and our responses to the Spirit within. Mortals cannot, ordinarily, even exist without The Reality of Religious Experience. It is that capacity which differentiates us from the beasts. Animal mind cannot have religious experience as it lacks two critical connections. But only mortals are gifted personality in addition to mind which delivers a direct connection to Deity that no animal can achieve or experience. No matter how primitive or barbaric or uneducated or ignorant the human mind may be, still can it and does it have religious experience to some degree or another....especially when young and prior to those influences of family, tribe, and culture which may distract or interfere the spirit nature we are all born with.

92:0.1 (1003.1) MAN possessed a religion of natural origin as a part of his evolutionary experience long before any systematic revelations were made on Urantia. But this religion of natural origin was, in itself, the product of man’s superanimal endowments. Evolutionary religion arose slowly throughout the millenniums of mankind’s experiential career through the ministry of the following influences operating within, and impinging upon, savage, barbarian, and civilized man:

92:0.2 (1003.2) 1. The adjutant of worship—the appearance in animal consciousness of superanimal potentials for reality perception. This might be termed the primordial human instinct for Deity.

92:0.3 (1003.3) 2. The adjutant of wisdom—the manifestation in a worshipful mind of the tendency to direct its adoration in higher channels of expression and toward ever-expanding concepts of Deity reality.

92:0.4 (1003.4) 3. The Holy Spirit—this is the initial supermind bestowal, and it unfailingly appears in all bona fide human personalities. This ministry to a worship-craving and wisdom-desiring mind creates the capacity to self-realize the postulate of human survival, both in theologic concept and as an actual and factual personality experience.

92:0.5 (1003.5) The co-ordinate functioning of these three divine ministrations is quite sufficient to initiate and prosecute the growth of evolutionary religion. These influences are later augmented by Thought Adjusters, seraphim, and the Spirit of Truth, all of which accelerate the rate of religious development. These agencies have long functioned on Urantia, and they will continue here as long as this planet remains an inhabited sphere. Much of the potential of these divine agencies has never yet had opportunity for expression; much will be revealed in the ages to come as mortal religion ascends, level by level, toward the supernal heights of morontia value and spirit truth.

1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion

92:1.1 (1003.6) The evolution of religion has been traced from early fear and ghosts down through many successive stages of development, including those efforts first to coerce and then to cajole the spirits. Tribal fetishes grew into totems and tribal gods; magic formulas became modern prayers. Circumcision, at first a sacrifice, became a hygienic procedure.

92:1.2 (1003.7) Religion progressed from nature worship up through ghost worship to fetishism throughout the savage childhood of the races. With the dawn of civilization the human race espoused the more mystic and symbolic beliefs, while now, with approaching maturity, mankind is ripening for the appreciation of real religion, even a beginning of the revelation of truth itself.

92:1.3 (1004.1) Religion arises as a biologic reaction of mind to spiritual beliefs and the environment; it is the last thing to perish or change in a race. Religion is society’s adjustment, in any age, to that which is mysterious. As a social institution it embraces rites, symbols, cults, scriptures, altars, shrines, and temples. Holy water, relics, fetishes, charms, vestments, bells, drums, and priesthoods are common to all religions. And it is impossible entirely to divorce purely evolved religion from either magic or sorcery.

92:1.4 (1004.2) Mystery and power have always stimulated religious feelings and fears, while emotion has ever functioned as a powerful conditioning factor in their development. Fear has always been the basic religious stimulus. Fear fashions the gods of evolutionary religion and motivates the religious ritual of the primitive believers. As civilization advances, fear becomes modified by reverence, admiration, respect, and sympathy and is then further conditioned by remorse and repentance.

92:7.3 (1012.4) The many religions of Urantia are all good to the extent that they bring man to God and bring the realization of the Father to man. It is a fallacy for any group of religionists to conceive of their creed as The Truth; such attitudes bespeak more of theological arrogance than of certainty of faith. There is not a Urantia religion that could not profitably study and assimilate the best of the truths contained in every other faith, for all contain truth. Religionists would do better to borrow the best in their neighbors’ living spiritual faith rather than to denounce the worst in their lingering superstitions and outworn rituals.

92:7.4 (1012.5) All these religions have arisen as a result of man’s variable intellectual response to his identical spiritual leading. They can never hope to attain a uniformity of creeds, dogmas, and rituals—these are intellectual; but they can, and some day will, realize a unity in true worship of the Father of all, for this is spiritual, and it is forever true, in the spirit all men are equal.

92:7.5 (1012.6) Primitive religion was largely a material-value consciousness, but civilization elevates religious values, for true religion is the devotion of the self to the service of meaningful and supreme values. As religion evolves, ethics becomes the philosophy of morals, and morality becomes the discipline of self by the standards of highest meanings and supreme values—divine and spiritual ideals. And thus religion becomes a spontaneous and exquisite devotion, the living experience of the loyalty of love.

8)


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Once again for posting this and other study compilations, We have been planning on
diving into these papers, but professional demands and travel have required full-time attention. But now we are getting settled into a new albeit temporary schedule and lifestyle, Quite a radical step outside my comfort zone, but I'm thankful for all that has happened and the chance to show filial and fraternal love after many years' absence and lend a helping hand when needed.

I have been impressed by the fact that these recent studies are from Papers that are often referenced here on this forum. So thanks for the posts and the helpful comments, I don't often comment because I usually visit the forum via mobile and texting is a bit cumbersome for this pilgrim, it's much easier to type on my laptop.

All that to say thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts as you read, it makes it easier for us to reflect and ponder some of these profound statements, all so matter-of-fact and authoritative and delivered unto us with such care and diligence. Your effort and labor are much appreciated by this couple; life partners wending our way through this beautiful but sometimes challenging mortal existence on the path towards the perfection of the Father. Catch you later and our best wishes to all who are reading this.


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Thanks for the encouragement pethuel!

It is my hope here to demonstrate the threads within this weaving of concepts and teachings which result in this tapestry of truth we are so blessed to share here. Each such concept can be found flowing from cover to cover in a harmonious integration of dimensional illumination.

Before the keyword search engines, only scholarship and the Concordex could lead the student into an appreciation of the continuity of reality concepts presented throughout the Papers by multiple authors and perspectives.

8)

155:3.4 (1727.4) Increasingly they learned from Jesus to look upon human personalities in terms of their possibilities in time and in eternity. They learned that many souls can best be led to love the unseen God by being first taught to love their brethren whom they can see. And it was in this connection that new meaning became attached to the Master’s pronouncement concerning unselfish service for one’s fellows: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”

155:3.5 (1727.5) One of the great lessons of this sojourn at Caesarea had to do with the origin of religious traditions, with the grave danger of allowing a sense of sacredness to become attached to nonsacred things, common ideas, or everyday events. From one conference they emerged with the teaching that true religion was man’s heartfelt loyalty to his highest and truest convictions.

155:3.6 (1727.6) Jesus warned his believers that, if their religious longings were only material, increasing knowledge of nature would, by progressive displacement of the supposed supernatural origin of things, ultimately deprive them of their faith in God. But that, if their religion were spiritual, never could the progress of physical science disturb their faith in eternal realities and divine values.

155:3.7 (1727.7) They learned that, when religion is wholly spiritual in motive, it makes all life more worth while, filling it with high purposes, dignifying it with transcendent values, inspiring it with superb motives, all the while comforting the human soul with a sublime and sustaining hope. True religion is designed to lessen the strain of existence; it releases faith and courage for daily living and unselfish serving. Faith promotes spiritual vitality and righteous fruitfulness.

5:4.1 (66.5) The morality of the religions of evolution drives men forward in the God quest by the motive power of fear. The religions of revelation allure men to seek for a God of love because they crave to become like him. But religion is not merely a passive feeling of “absolute dependence” and “surety of survival”; it is a living and dynamic experience of divinity attainment predicated on humanity service.

5:4.2 (66.6) The great and immediate service of true religion is the establishment of an enduring unity in human experience, a lasting peace and a profound assurance. With primitive man, even polytheism is a relative unification of the evolving concept of Deity; polytheism is monotheism in the making. Sooner or later, God is destined to be comprehended as the reality of values, the substance of meanings, and the life of truth.



8)

4. Spiritual Communion

103:4.1 (1133.1) The characteristic difference between a social occasion and a religious gathering is that in contrast with the secular the religious is pervaded by the atmosphere of communion. In this way human association generates a feeling of fellowship with the divine, and this is the beginning of group worship. Partaking of a common meal was the earliest type of social communion, and so did early religions provide that some portion of the ceremonial sacrifice should be eaten by the worshipers. Even in Christianity the Lord’s Supper retains this mode of communion. The atmosphere of the communion provides a refreshing and comforting period of truce in the conflict of the self-seeking ego with the altruistic urge of the indwelling spirit Monitor. And this is the prelude to true worship—the practice of the presence of God which eventuates in the emergence of the brotherhood of man.

103:4.2 (1133.2) 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.

103:4.3 (1133.3) 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.

103:4.4 (1133.4) Jesus swept away all of the ceremonials of sacrifice and atonement. He destroyed the basis of all this fictitious guilt and sense of isolation in the universe by declaring that man is a child of God; the creature-Creator relationship was placed on a child-parent basis. God becomes a loving Father to his mortal sons and daughters. All ceremonials not a legitimate part of such an intimate family relationship are forever abrogated.

103:4.5 (1133.5) God the Father deals with man his child on the basis, not of actual virtue or worthiness, but in recognition of the child’s motivation—the creature purpose and intent. The relationship is one of parent-child association and is actuated by divine love.


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5. The Origin of Ideals

103:5.1 (1133.6) 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.

103:5.2 (1133.7) This idea-ideal of doing good to others—the impulse to deny the ego something for the benefit of one’s neighbor—is very circumscribed at first. Primitive man regards as neighbor only those very close to him, those who treat him neighborly; as religious civilization advances, one’s neighbor expands in concept to embrace the clan, the tribe, the nation. And then Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral—right. Even those who practice this ideal least, admit that it is right in theory.

103:5.3 (1134.1) All men recognize the morality of this universal human urge to be unselfish and altruistic. The humanist ascribes the origin of this urge to the natural working of the material mind; the religionist more correctly recognizes that the truly unselfish drive of mortal mind is in response to the inner spirit leadings of the Thought Adjuster.

103:5.4 (1134.2) But man’s interpretation of these early conflicts between the ego-will and the other-than-self-will is not always dependable. Only a fairly well unified personality can arbitrate the multiform contentions of the ego cravings and the budding social consciousness. The self has rights as well as one’s neighbors. Neither has exclusive claims upon the attention and service of the individual. Failure to resolve this problem gives origin to the earliest type of human guilt feelings.

103:5.5 (1134.3) Human happiness is achieved only when the ego desire of the self and the altruistic urge of the higher self (divine spirit) are co-ordinated and reconciled by the unified will of the integrating and supervising personality. The mind of evolutionary man is ever confronted with the intricate problem of refereeing the contest between the natural expansion of emotional impulses and the moral growth of unselfish urges predicated on spiritual insight—genuine religious reflection.

The Golden Rule:

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

https://truthbook.com/urantia/topical-s ... olden-rule

https://truthbook.com/jesus/illustrated ... olden-rule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

8)

Humans are idealistic. They have ideals. Idealism is universal in the evolutionary realms of time and space. All experiential beings aspire to greater wisdom and perfecting. Even creatures without personality have an innate, even cellular, motivation to not just survive but to grow and reproduce and improve and adapt and perfect!

Evolutionary reality is an engine of perfecting, of gradual attunement, and reality alignment to replicate its perfect source and origin. This is God's plan and God's will and God's Way.

The Reality of Religious Experience is the very human response to this Way and this Yearn to become perfect....the eternal adventure of becoming and perfecting by realizing our hopes and aspirations and ideals. Those without ideals are never disappointed or frustrated and cannot fail or grow or overcome adversity. For there is no adversity without idealism first. Those who strive to overcome adversity and sooth suffering are idealists. They hold ideals and they hope for those ideals and they aspire and strive for those ideals. This is the fuel of the engine of evolutionary progress.

Only by faith and with the assurance of the inevitability of our destiny can we pilgrims and tadpoles from time overcome impatience and frustration and disappointment. Only by the time unit perspective described in the UB can we mortals from time learn to embrace all material and temporal uncertainty as the doorway to adventure and to face failure as the trial and error method of perfecting and becoming that it is in fact and function.
Only by this true vision of reality perspective can we appreciate the beauty and wonder and grandeur of the great adventure of time and reach those ideals we hold so dear.

Our ideals are progressively transformed as we are personally transformed by spiritization and by the experiential wisdom gained in time by our freewill choices. We are in complete control of our responses to events, people, situations, and circumstances - no matter what those may be. We determine our reality response and our motives and intentions and priorities and the guiding philosophy which drives those forward into future events and relationships and situations and circumstances. We may not choose the situations and circumstances, however we do affect those in the future by the choices and responses we make today. In many ways we are now reaping what we have previously sown and we are sowing now what we will soon be reaping.

Are our ideals guiding that sowing and striving? They should. :wink:

1:0.3 (21.3) The enlightened worlds all recognize and worship the Universal Father, the eternal maker and infinite upholder of all creation. The will creatures of universe upon universe have embarked upon the long, long Paradise journey, the fascinating struggle of the eternal adventure of attaining God the Father. The transcendent goal of the children of time is to find the eternal God, to comprehend the divine nature, to recognize the Universal Father. God-knowing creatures have only one supreme ambition, just one consuming desire, and that is to become, as they are in their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradise perfection of personality and in his universal sphere of righteous supremacy. From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.” In love and mercy the messengers of Paradise have carried this divine exhortation down through the ages and out through the universes, even to such lowly animal-origin creatures as the human races of Urantia.

1:0.4 (22.1) This magnificent and universal injunction to strive for the attainment of the perfection of divinity is the first duty, and should be the highest ambition, of all the struggling creature creation of the God of perfection. This possibility of the attainment of divine perfection is the final and certain destiny of all man’s eternal spiritual progress.

1:0.5 (22.2) Urantia mortals can hardly hope to be perfect in the infinite sense, but it is entirely possible for human beings, starting out as they do on this planet, to attain the supernal and divine goal which the infinite God has set for mortal man; and when they do achieve this destiny, they will, in all that pertains to self-realization and mind attainment, be just as replete in their sphere of divine perfection as God himself is in his sphere of infinity and eternity. Such perfection may not be universal in the material sense, unlimited in intellectual grasp, or final in spiritual experience, but it is final and complete in all finite aspects of divinity of will, perfection of personality motivation, and God-consciousness.

1:0.6 (22.3) This is the true meaning of that divine command, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect,” which ever urges mortal man onward and beckons him inward in that long and fascinating struggle for the attainment of higher and higher levels of spiritual values and true universe meanings. This sublime search for the God of universes is the supreme adventure of the inhabitants of all the worlds of time and space.

8)

Ideals will never be achieved without first having....ideals!! We will always strive for that which we believe has value. Consider the value of eternal life compared to the value of anything and all things temporal and material. When eternal life has value to us and becomes our first our hope and then our ideal, then will our motives and intentions and priorities reflect that perspective and our philosophy of living will express such values and ideals!!

And we must only respond to the Divine Connection within who assures us and guides us into this eternal adventure of becoming and perfecting!

Or so I understand the Papers to teach..... :wink:


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There are ideals ....and then there are less idealistic ideals. Materialsim and greed and lust and coveteness and selfishness and false liberty are the foolish and immature ideals that are unworthy and destructive and deliver misery, grief, and dissatisfaction.

Happiness is an ideal shared by all I think. But true happiness and satisfaction and peace of mind are not the rewards of materialsim or even physical pleasures. Something more, something else is required for happiness we are taught.

Happiness is rewarded by growth in the Spirit and the Divine Assurance of the Spirit connection and by experiential wisdom gained in the adventure of living and becoming and perfecting. Happiness is an effect but also a cause of more effects... such as trust, confidence, peace, poise, and joy!

"Happiness":

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search

"Joy":

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book/se ... &op=Search



158:7.5 (1760.2) After they had recovered from the first shock of Jesus’ stinging rebuke, and before they resumed their journey, the Master spoke further: “If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, take up his responsibilities daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life selfishly, shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s, shall save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for eternal life? ...."

151:4.4 (1694.2) “The kingdom of heaven is also like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man discovered. In his joy he went forth to sell all he had that he might have the money to buy the field.”

151:4.5 (1694.3) “The kingdom of heaven is also like a merchant seeking goodly pearls; and having found one pearl of great price, he went out and sold everything he possessed that he might be able to buy the extraordinary pearl.”

8)


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A favorite saying of mine: If you are not confused then you are not paying attention.

There is much to be confused about!! First is truth. If truth is partial and limited according to our knowledge and experience and understanding, and if meanings change and values grow, then there is discovery and discernment in every intersection of choice and situation and circumstance and relationship.

Second is wisdom. Wisdom, like truth, is experiential. There are multiple options to consider at every intersection of choice. Some are more and less wise while others are more and less foolish... or more mature and less so. More self centered or more altruistic. There are bad and worse as well as good and better and still even better responses to every stimuli and with every choice.

So the discovery of truth and pursuit of wisdom demand perception and consideration and estimation and proximation and context (forethought) and insight and should reflect our personal experiential growth. Yet even as we mature and gain wisdom, there are still better and even better yet choices to make no matter how purified become our motives and intentions.

If we are not confused then we are simply not paying attention to the endless choices and responses we have available! We must be stuck in a rut of predictable prejudice and ignorance, which are the greatest obstacles to religious growth.

103:5.6 (1134.4) The attempt to secure equal good for the self and for the greatest number of other selves presents a problem which cannot always be satisfactorily resolved in a time-space frame. Given an eternal life, such antagonisms can be worked out, but in one short human life they are incapable of solution. Jesus referred to such a paradox when he said: “Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for the sake of the kingdom, shall find it.”

103:5.7 (1134.5) The pursuit of the ideal—the striving to be Godlike—is a continuous effort before death and after. The life after death is no different in the essentials than the mortal existence. Everything we do in this life which is good contributes directly to the enhancement of the future life. Real religion does not foster moral indolence and spiritual laziness by encouraging the vain hope of having all the virtues of a noble character bestowed upon one as a result of passing through the portals of natural death. True religion does not belittle man’s efforts to progress during the mortal lease on life. Every mortal gain is a direct contribution to the enrichment of the first stages of the immortal survival experience.
8)

100:1.1 (1094.3) While religion produces growth of meanings and enhancement of values, evil always results when purely personal evaluations are elevated to the levels of absolutes. A child evaluates experience in accordance with the content of pleasure; maturity is proportional to the substitution of higher meanings for personal pleasure, even loyalties to the highest concepts of diversified life situations and cosmic relations.

100:1.2 (1094.4) Some persons are too busy to grow and are therefore in grave danger of spiritual fixation. Provision must be made for growth of meanings at differing ages, in successive cultures, and in the passing stages of advancing civilization. The chief inhibitors of growth are prejudice and ignorance.

100:1.5 (1094.7) The soil essential for religious growth presupposes a progressive life of self-realization, the co-ordination of natural propensities, the exercise of curiosity and the enjoyment of reasonable adventure, the experiencing of feelings of satisfaction, the functioning of the fear stimulus of attention and awareness, the wonder-lure, and a normal consciousness of smallness, humility. Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one’s own value-habits, personal ideals.


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