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 Post subject: My Religion
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:41 pm +0000
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This is my first post here and I'm not sure this is the proper place for it. I'm not even sure this post will be welcome.

My Religion

My religion is not an expression of my perception of, or relation to, concrete objects. It is not about things at all or even true/false dichotomies. Rather, it is an expression of something that can only be known and appreciated from where I, and I alone, stand. It is an abstraction developed from standing at the center of personal experience and asking, “What is of supreme value to myself and all mankind — and not just mankind, but All-That-Is? What must be in order for what is to be as it is?” The theological answers are composed with a focus on internal structure, form and beauty designed to symbolize felt relationships rather than anything concrete or determinate. They are theoretical: they are is based on general principles and supreme ideals rather than on empirical evidence or specific and objective instances.

It took me a while to get what he was saying, but Kierkegaard’s description of personhood is the best I’ve come across, not excluding The Urantia Book. In The Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard describes personhood as the relating of a relation — a synthesis of the Infinite and the finite, Eternal and temporal, Freedom and necessity — relating to itself. Understood this way, human beings truly are made in God’s image. My religion, then, is born of a dynamic, evolving and implicit relational knowing. Theological concepts the interpretation thereof; they are mere images frozen in time acting as the intermediary between my evolving inner life and the outer world.

Notwithstanding many sources of influence, I try to be always centered on personal experience. Still, nothing has been more useful in formulating the structure of my theology than The Urantia Book. I don’t think I would have succeeded in formulating an intellectually satisfying framework without it. While papers 99-103 have been particularly informative with respect to understanding the role of religion in the world, the discussion about the seven Absolutes gave me the tools to make sense of it all, to paint my own picture within its frame, as it were. On the other hand, viewed from the center of personal experience there is a lot in the UB that is superfluous or even irrelevant. Worse than that, though, is that it makes the universes sound like they are organized like a cosmic. Perfect or not, the very scent of bureaucracy sends shivers down my back. It is clear, or so it seems to me, that either the revelators are woefully ignorant of human psychology, targeting a relatively small, select group or dictating the book for a future age. Overall, the UB is like a treasure chest filled with real and counterfeit gems that have to be sorted out then weighed, measured and held up to the light.

Even though religion and theology are inseparable, they are not the same: theology is to religion what the contemplation of an act is to the act itself. Theology is the study of the actions and reactions of the human spirit (103:6.1): it is a conceptual interpretation of felt value-relationships — my felt relationships — in juxtaposition with what must be in order for things to be as they are. This, for some reason, is extremely difficult to convey to skeptics, whose mantra is the non sequitur, “Where’s the proof?” Slowly, I’m learning to be comfortable with keeping my faith to myself — or at least remain silent when I cross paths with skeptics. I’m not a scientist, but “quantum decoherence” sounds an awful lot like the interruptions in the divine light that “constitute the creation shadows of all space.” (102:6.2) With that, I think I can just take my ball, go home, and not worry about what skeptics think. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Only in today’s world, I’m not sure using words is even possible.

First Encounter

I came across The Urantia Book quite by accident some 35 years ago. Glancing through the pages, I was immediately struck by certain similarities between what it said about the evolving soul and Mormon doctrine. And since I always had a problem with Mormon exclusionism — members standing up in front of the congregation and testifying it being the only “true Church” — it was not difficult for me to break my intellectual ties with it. My emotional ties is another matter entirely. It‘s strange: when I go into a Catholic church there is a sense of the sacred; when I go into a Mormon church, there’s a sense of revulsion so strong that I almost get physically ill. But I digress. Back to my encounter with the UB.

Because of its perceived faults, it may be hard for someone else to imagine why it has such a hold on me. Time and again I would read, leave, and come back to read some more. It was less a study of The Urantia Book than a study of my response to it compared to other sources, like A Course in Miracles. There are things I liked in ACIM, but it left me uneasy — as though I were a failure if I didn’t live up to its standards. Other books, like I Am That: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, left me thinking, “What’s the point?” With the UB, I feel free to be me. I don’t feel guilty or somehow inferior if on some particular point I disagree. Those things are very important to me. It’s fun to go exploring and there is a lot to learn by so doing, but my home is with The Urantia Book.


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Hey Nova nice to see a new face, Kierkegaard seem's like my kind of guy. I have heard of his work before and he seem's to have been someone who would have liked the urantia book had he read it.

Anyway's here is my religous aspirations.
Quote:
the Jesusonian gospel — the Fatherhood of God and the sonship and consequent brotherhood of all men, which is personally realized in loving ministry and social service


Quote:
left me thinking, “What’s the point?” With the UB, I feel free to be me
This could be because almost all mortals on our planet are given a second chance according to the u.b, because we come from this world. It's definitely comforting to me to know that most of my relatives and family will get a second chance at life. Alot of religions, sometimes openly and sometimes deceptively say that those who don't fall in line won't survive this life. Of coarse in buddhism, you almost alway's get a second chance so that could be why so many people like that religion :badgrin: Of coarse the second chance in the Urantia Book is much more glorious and amazing than coming back here :lol: .

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actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
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 Post subject: Re: My Religion
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Nova, your post is certainly welcome. The Urantia Book keeps you coming back because the information in it strikes a resonant note in your mind - your experience is similar to many who have embrace its teachings. Once you become comfortable with its workings in your mind, and the expansive nature of the teachings, all other sources of truth will come into sharper focus - your discernment will sharpen, and you'll be better able to understand and be more comfortable with all other attempts to explain the Truth...

Welcome!!!

MaryJo


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Thank you for your welcome, both of you.

Yes, The Urantia Book does resonate with me. A lot of my sources do — The Impersonal Life, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Prophet, Bhagavad-Gita and others. The UB is different in that, apart from the parts I consider to be superfluous or irrelevant, it is immensely practical as well as internally consistent.


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 Post subject: Re: My Religion
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"God" and "religion" are pariahs in the modern world, and if we are honest we will admit that it is not without good reason. Whether it is the UB, ACIM or some other supposed revelation, the use of traditional religious terms is an immediate turn-off for even sincere seekers.

I am not a purist. I read the UB as though it was written in another language. For example, I understand "God" to mean All-That-Is or Pure Awareness, "personality" as individuated awareness and "Thought Adjuster" as pre-individuated awareness. It all makes more sense when I do this, but it is not something most readers would approve. I believe, however, that the revelators would not disapprove.


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God is definitely all there is. The revelator's would just add that god is also an infinite personality and all reality exists within him. He inhabits the entire circle of eternity and there is no place that he is not. The revelation of god in the u.b reveals a greater god than any god has been thought of before, greater than any new-age concept of god, greater than any catholic concept of god. All his attributes are infinite.

Not only is god infinite in all his attribute's but he can reach down and hold man in the palm of his hand. He can indwell man with the thought adjuster, and father them threw the adjuster. God is pretty awesome in the u.b :D .

Religion is given a new definition in the u.b as well, True Religion has nothing to do with creed, dogma or practice it is an experience of experiencing the reality of god and the cosmos.

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actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
Thehapyandefectivepersonismotivatednotbyfearofwrongdoingbutby
loveofrightdoing


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boomshuka wrote:
God is definitely all there is. The revelator's would just add that god is also an infinite personality and all reality exists within him. He inhabits the entire circle of eternity and there is no place that he is not. The revelation of god in the u.b reveals a greater god than any god has been thought of before, greater than any new-age concept of god, greater than any catholic concept of god. All his attributes are infinite.

Not only is god infinite in all his attribute's but he can reach down and hold man in the palm of his hand. He can indwell man with the thought adjuster, and father them threw the adjuster. God is pretty awesome in the u.b :D .

Religion is given a new definition in the u.b as well, True Religion has nothing to do with creed, dogma or practice it is an experience of experiencing the reality of god and the cosmos.


I certainly agree that True Religion has nothing to do with creed, dogma or practice.

This approach of reading the UB as though it were written in a foreign language allows me avoid much of the baggage associated with traditional religion. It is something I must do if the UB is to have any relevance for me.

One of the reasons I find the UB so appealing it that it depicts oneness and diversity as a harmonious whole, a kind of limited dualism rather than a reality composed of strict divisions or the passiveness of monistic idealism. The various spiritual orders the UB talks about can be understood as a vast, dynamic hierarchy of qualitative variations of interpenetrating fields of influence. It gives me something I can actually relate to rather than things with which I can only interact. I do not, however, limit my understanding to the UB.


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Nova - also new here and reader for 35 years and sincere seeker for years before....Kierkegaard, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff...and the Eastern, especially Zen all opened me up to recognize the truths within the monster blue book when loaned to me by a friend, who said "....hey, you're weird, you'd probably like this thing." Didn't meet a single reader (my friend was not one) for many years. Like you (and everyone if acknowledged), my religion was and remains a very personal one, not easily articulated. Regardless of the certainties in my mind now, and my willingness to testify or profess truth, I try to discuss religion and philosophy to friends and family in language and with sources they are attached to....as The Master did and not proseletyze the UB as THE source of all truth. In fact, the UB does much TO affirm many other truths and sources of truth and does not claim any exclusivity of the truth. My fundamental Baptist upbringing, combined with my adventurous truth seeking actually prepared me very well to receive the Book and its clarity and unifying power. The context and perspective provided has reduced confusion, removed doubts, and lightened my mortal load to allow peace, harmony, joy, and anticipation in new ways.....very welcome ways. I sense a kindred spirit and discerning mind and appreciate you and the time you take to share with us all here. Peace to you.


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I went from Catholic to new-age and than one night when I was 16 the Urantia book was spoken to me and written out in a dream and I thought alien's where abducting me at night and indoctrinating me into their alien bible, and this is how I found the book. That was 10 year's ago.

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Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
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loveofrightdoing


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I remember growing up learning Christianity. But I was searching for something else. Perhaps it was the formalization or the ancient historicity of it, but after spending a few years with the UB everything changed. It was then that I started learning more about traditional religion, and as a result of opinions of others, and my own eventual convictions, I entertained skepticism and put everything else aside for over a year. I recently picked up where I left off and I am rejoicing in the hope that the Urantia Book gives. I think of how much we need God to be like He is portrayed in the UB.


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liberatedfaithson - Your last line is profound....for I too certainly needed God to Be as presented in TUB. I didn't really need the complexities except to further expand concepts and perspective. But this God is the first to match and fulfill the Jesusonian God presented by Him in the bible....a completely foreign and distinct Truth within that book. A loving, attentive, personal, parental, and merciful God who seeks out and speaks to all His children. I believed in Jesus' God and did so long before TUB found me to harmonize and complete the whole with the ascender.

Finally, God is presented as bigger than man...or human mind...or our little rock hurtling through time and space. Finally, faith makes sense....the power of faith to transform and propel each into an eternal adventure vs. some stasis of unearned perfection and eternal "bliss" - how boring and uninspiring. The most amazing thing about TUB is its simplification and universality of mortal progress in the Spirit...no secret words or chants or knowledge or ceremonies or priesthoods to "lead"/control others AND no shortcuts to personal progression. While "salvation" (survival) is far easier and more universal for mortal achievement than religion's may teach, progression is more tasking and requires change and commitment and action to become worthy of or able to receive God's gift of the ascendent adventure (we are worthy as the prodigal son story...simply by being God's beloved children). Progression is a thrilling truth and far superior to prior teachings.

I cannot count all the Ah Ha moments of confirmation and connection and perception adjustments over the years....still happening!! This began with the first reading but accelerated and intensified the more I read, into images and understanding of Totality I didn't know was possible. So many concepts lie outside my experience and conception and linear thinking, I was surprised to begin to "feel" the Universe and the multitudes of ministering personalities working hard to bring God to me and me to God! Thanks for sharing. Peace.


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FanofVan, We will be inspired for ages to come by the awesome destiny the loving Father has for us. I think we will always appreciate the harmony brought to us. There is so much wonderful truth in the UB that it makes our hopes come alive. One of my favorite things to know is that God is present with every one of us at all times. We might not always percieve this, but knowing this helps our perspective and to know that God loves all of us. Peace.


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I've changed my mind. I've actually been renewed in my mind. I believe that all the necessary doctrine of truth that the ub uses is actually in the Bible. I think the future, truth, love, and peace of God are adequetely presented in the scriptures and that we dont actually need a restatement from any other source. Its a little embarassing to think that I sought truth in so many different places when all along it was right in front of me.


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But the truth IS in so many places, no? There is truth to be discovered every day in everything that comes our way. Everything real and truthful is of and from God. All shadows and fears and doubts and evil and sin are by His children - not by His creation. His gift of free will means there will be error by those who seek and those who do not look for truth. I am glad you find it wherever you do. And it is true that within the words of the Master in the red lettered books are the simplist truth of His gospel....Love God, love one another, live in the Kingdom and if we act thusly, all else will be given in the fullness of time. Knowing what's true and acting in faith are hardly the same thing. Love and faith (acts of love) are all that is needed.

Your blanket endorsement of some specific doctrine in the bible is curious as there are so many doctrines included, few of which agree with The Master's (the 4th Revelation) and certainly Paul's does not, nor the old testament - eye for an eye, etc. So I hope it is the one doctrine delivered Himself and not any doctrine about Him. The gospel is not about Jesus. The gospel is what Jesus taught...big difference in doctrines there!! I was also a "red letter" Jesusonian prior to reading TUB and still enjoy the poetry and prose therein, much of which was written by the nodites, sumerians, egyptians, and salemites before the so called tribes of Israel claimed them as their own. Best wishes, see you up the ascender's trail. Peace.


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Liberatedfaithson wrote:
I've changed my mind. I've actually been renewed in my mind. I believe that all the necessary doctrine of truth that the ub uses is actually in the Bible. I think the future, truth, love, and peace of God are adequetely presented in the scriptures and that we dont actually need a restatement from any other source. Its a little embarassing to think that I sought truth in so many different places when all along it was right in front of me.


Hhmmm that is interesting are you sure you have truly digested the urantia book? I was raised catholic and I know the u.b is nothing like the bible. It does make a point if validating some stories and truths in the bible however. The bible does not even have the truths of lucifer, Jesus and creation. The u.b is not just the 5th revelation it is the 4th revelation too (life and teachings of jesus).

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StrongcharactersRnotderivedfromnotdoingwrongbutratherfrom
actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
Thehapyandefectivepersonismotivatednotbyfearofwrongdoingbutby
loveofrightdoing


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