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An open forum for general discussions of a spiritual nature where guests and readers entertain the teachings of The Urantia Book.
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Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 8:18 am +0000

fanofVan wrote:I see the claws are still out kat...oh well....

Again you fail to apply context and audience to the "never" quote. He certainly corrected the apostles and disciples and priests and lawyers kat. Good grief. You are completely misrepresenting the UB....just to be "right"...but you're not.

No claws Bradly, just providing words which I hope you will take the time to internalize. Here is another reference which explains Jesus' teaching method:

(1582.2) 140:8.21 Jesus had little to say about the social vices of his day; seldom did he make reference to moral delinquency. He was a positive teacher of true virtue. He studiously avoided the negative method of imparting instruction; he refused to advertise evil. He was not even a moral reformer. He well knew, and so taught his apostles, that the sensual urges of mankind are not suppressed by either religious rebuke or legal prohibitions. His few denunciations were largely directed against pride, cruelty, oppression, and hypocrisy.

And said Jesus himself:

(1931.3) 178:1.12 You must not seek to promulgate truth nor to establish righteousness by the power of civil governments or by the enaction of secular laws. You may always labor to persuade men’s minds, but you must never dare to compel them. You must not forget the great law of human fairness which I have taught you in positive form: Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do even so to them.

In regards to the Pharisees, Jesus again insisted on teaching only the positive:

(1838.4) 167:5.3 Though Jesus refused to be drawn into a controversy with the Pharisees concerning divorce, he did proclaim a positive teaching of the highest ideals regarding marriage. He exalted marriage as the most ideal and highest of all human relationships.

In the synagogues he taught only the positive parts of scripture:

(1770.1) 159:5.9 Jesus did not hesitate to appropriate the better half of a Scripture while he repudiated the lesser portion. His great exhortation, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he took from the Scripture which reads: “You shall not take vengeance against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus appropriated the positive portion of this Scripture while rejecting the negative part. He even opposed negative or purely passive nonresistance. Said he: “When an enemy smites you on one cheek, do not stand there dumb and passive but in positive attitude turn the other; that is, do the best thing possible actively to lead your brother in error away from the evil paths into the better ways of righteous living.” Jesus required his followers to react positively and aggressively to every life situation. The turning of the other cheek, or whatever act that may typify, demands initiative, necessitates vigorous, active, and courageous expression of the believer’s personality.

And here again, Jesus began at an early age to only use the positive approach to teaching. "Always and everywhere" did he use the positive approach, and "never" did he use the negative approach. Never would certainly include his teaching of the apostles.

(1401.2) 127:4.2 By the beginning of this year Jesus had fully won his mother to the acceptance of his methods of child training — the positive injunction to do good in the place of the older Jewish method of forbidding to do evil. In his home and throughout his public-teaching career Jesus invariably employed the positive form of exhortation. Always and everywhere did he say, “You shall do this — you ought to do that.” Never did he employ the negative mode of teaching derived from the ancient taboos. He refrained from placing emphasis on evil by forbidding it, while he exalted the good by commanding its performance. Prayer time in this household was the occasion for discussing anything and everything relating to the welfare of the family.

Why did Jesus teach this way? Because the positive always has advantage over the negative:

(1125.2) 102:6.7 Belief may not be able to resist doubt and withstand fear, but faith is always triumphant over doubting, for faith is both positive and living. The positive always has the advantage over the negative, truth over error, experience over theory, spiritual realities over the isolated facts of time and space. The convincing evidence of this spiritual certainty consists in the social fruits of the spirit which such believers, faithers, yield as a result of this genuine spiritual experience. Said Jesus: “If you love your fellows as I have loved you, then shall all men know that you are my disciples.”

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 8:33 am +0000

160:1.5 When men dare to foresake a life of natural craving for one of adventurous art and uncertain logic, they must expect to suffer the consequent hazards of emotional casualties (seeing the bigger picture will make them anxious) - conflicts, unhappiness, and uncertainties - at least until the time of their attainment of some degree of intellectual AND emotional maturity. ...
160:1.8 The solution of life problems requires courage and sincerity. ... 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.
160:1.9 ... You simply must have tact and tolerance.
160:1.11 ... seek for new stores of wisdom and energy for meeting the manifold demands of social service ... subjecting the total personality to the consciousness of contacting with divinity; ...
Relaxation is one of the main methods that experts employ or eschew to clients as per means of relief anxiety. And 160:1.12 indicates that the worshipful practice of Jesus brings relaxation. But worship leads to wisdom, and therein is where you might find your effective solutions to help children overcome their own dilemmas.

160:4.13 But life will become a burden of existence unless you learn how to fail gracefully. There is an art in defeat which noble souls always acquire; you must know how to lose cheerfully; you must be fearless of disappointment. Never hesitate to admit failure. Make no attempt to hide failure under deceptive smiles and beaming optimism. It sounds well always to claim success, but the end results are appalling. Such a technique leads directly to the creation of a world of unreality and to the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment
160:4.16 The career of a God-seeking man may prove to be a great success in the light of eternity, even though the whole temporal-life enterprise may appear as an overwhelming failure, provided each life failure yielded the culture of wisdom and spirit achievement. Do not make the mistake of confusing knowledge, culture, and wisdom. They are related in life, but they represent vastly differing spirit values; wisdom ever dominates knowledge and always glorifies culture.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 9:28 am +0000

Are you defending Lucifer and his manifesto again

I see the claws are still out

Well, you ... are like a fatted calf or an embibed goose

How do these ad hominen attacks help the issue at hand? Accusing others of bad intent, attacking the poster instead of ideas, name-calling...not only do these violate forum rules, they are unkind and un-Jesusonian.

This has shaped up to be a really good thread, overall. I have to say that, like nnunn, I have been grateful for the level of intelligent, topical back-and-forth shown for the most part. Nevertheless, certain members here can so quickly descend into unfortunate and distressing practice with one another, all the while espousing and exalting the Master. Now, there's a disconnect for ya...

On the subject of anxiety...this forum sometime inspires way more anxiety in me (and maybe others) than seems warranted. Maybe everyone is out of ideas by now. Maybe this thread has reached its natural conclusion when it begins to deteriorate in these ways...

Just sayin...

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 9:32 am +0000

I have to agree. I rarely come bye here anymore because every discussion I am interested in seems to degrade into this childish name calling, all in the name of the Master too, I suppose.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 10:11 am +0000

Thanks for weighing in, Al...after all, you are as valued a member here as anyone else, and your opinion matters. And - you are not alone in your assessments.

I ask those who keep insisting on getting down and dirty with each other - whose agenda are you following here? Who do you hope to attract? Who do you hope to "teach?" And what are you teaching, anyway? The high and noble ideals of Jesus and the sterling teachings of The Urantia Book take second place to an underlying sense of distrust, suspicion, and outright hostility between certain parties here at times. It is palpable and unpleasant.

Believe me when I say that it is that atmosphere that effectively overshadows any hope of goodness, or any hope of attracting and/or keeping new readers, who may be completely intimidated by the possibility of being yelled at or marginalized because of what they might want to express here. The only real attraction might be to those who love to see a fight.

Anxiety, indeed...

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 10:41 am +0000

Back to the topic??

From an earlier post of mine, I said: "All of these elements are important lessons to consider - anxiety, uncertainty, disappointment, and especially assurance.

Assurance is that solution to all anxiety and fear and disappointment. And despite Stephen's contention that assurance is less than or not quite rational....it is the most rational and dependable of all influences discussed here so far....assurance is a result of faith and truth realized. It is the antidote to all negative emotions and gives us the courage to boldly live and face all uncertainties and eliminate all doubts for the eternal adventures to come! Or so I see it."

So...if anxiety is worry/apprehension/angst/unease about our potential future outcomes and disappointment is the sadness/regret/sorrow/dismay for our actual realized outcomes....then how are these two related? Well, uncertainty in the future is something in common. The outcomes of our own choices cannot be managed or predicted with any certainty. And the outcomes of the choices of others is even more unpredictable. The impact of change in circumstances and situations makes the future even more uncertain.

Faith and assurance do not deliver certainty or predictability to our lives. No matter how experienced and wise we may become, still will we face uncertain outcomes and change and unpredictable/unexpected repercussions and twists and turns. I do think experiential wisdom provides some reduction in random chance or improves our insight by experience into better calculations of probability and likely outcomes or a better perspective of the spectrum of likely outcomes. But the Master was often surprised. The unexpected always remains a possible outcome in every situation and circumstance and by every choice we make. "God works in mysterious ways." This is no simplistic saying. I am reminded of the old Chinese farmer and his son and horse (see below).

‘A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”. The farmer replied, ‘Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see’.

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

The value of disappointment can be found in the Buddhist parable above and is well described in the UB. Where faith and trust will come to eliminate anxiety and worry and fear (eventually), the eternal perspective and the appreciation for experiential wisdom overcomes our disappointments. This requires courage...as well as faith assurance. The common element to both anxiety and disappointment is, I think, self-centeredness and self-importance. The less of self there is in considering our choices and our outcomes, the less anxiety and disappointment will influence our person and our identity. How do we identify with reality and with others? Who and what is most important? In whom do we place our confidence and trust?

Keyword search for "disappointment" (before we next consider "failure"):

https://truthbook.com/search/UBParagrap ... &start=all

48:6.36 Even as mortals, so have these angels been father to many disappointments, and they will point out that sometimes your most disappointing disappointments have become your greatest blessings. Sometimes the planting of a seed necessitates its death, the death of your fondest hopes, before it can be reborn to bear the fruits of new life and new opportunity. And from them you will learn to suffer less through sorrow and disappointment, first, by making fewer personal plans concerning other personalities, and then, by accepting your lot when you have faithfully performed your duty.

48:6.37 You will learn that you increase your burdens and decrease the likelihood of success by taking yourself too seriously. Nothing can take precedence over the work of your status sphere—this world or the next. Very important is the work of preparation for the next higher sphere, but nothing equals the importance of the work of the world in which you are actually living. But though the work is important, the self is not. When you feel important, you lose energy to the wear and tear of ego dignity so that there is little energy left to do the work. Self-importance, not work-importance, exhausts immature creatures; it is the self element that exhausts, not the effort to achieve. You can do important work if you do not become self-important; you can do several things as easily as one if you leave yourself out. Variety is restful; monotony is what wears and exhausts. Day after day is alike—just life or the alternative of death.

100:6.6 One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that peace which passes all human understanding, that [color=#0000FF]cosmic poise which betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil. [/color]Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to disappointment. Such religionists are like the Apostle Paul, who said: "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else shall be able to separate us from the love of God."

100:6.7 There is a sense of security, associated with the realization of triumphing glory, resident in the consciousness of the religionist who has grasped the reality of the Supreme, and who pursues the goal of the Ultimate.

12:9.6 Mortal man has a spirit nucleus. The mind is a personal-energy system existing around a divine spirit nucleus and functioning in a material environment. Such a living relationship of personal mind and spirit constitutes the universe potential of eternal personality. Real trouble, lasting disappointment, serious defeat, or inescapable death can come only after self-concepts presume fully to displace the governing power of the central spirit nucleus, thereby disrupting the cosmic scheme of personality identity.

100:7.7 Of Jesus it was truly said, "He trusted God." As a man among men he most sublimely trusted the Father in heaven. He trusted his Father as a little child trusts his earthly parent. His faith was perfect but never presumptuous. No matter how cruel nature might appear to be or how indifferent to man's welfare on earth, Jesus never faltered in his faith. He was immune to disappointment and impervious to persecution. He was untouched by apparent failure.


Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:14 am +0000

fanofVan wrote:Assurance is that solution to all anxiety and fear and disappointment.

I don't accept your dogma! You are so arrogant! Anxiety does not find satisfaction until the potentials are settled, meaning we must seek the will of God in order to know what to do in each situation!

Are you the Apostle Paul, "having fought the good fight", "Have you been to the mountain" like Martin Luther King II? You have assurance and so you do not possess any anxiety fear or disappointment? Most unbelievable.

Again, you are being unrealistic and impractical in your approach. Assurance as you have espoused, I have not found. If the ultimate object in maturation is in becoming a finalitor, but a human being can ascend in one lifetime and find "indomitable faith". But you are pretending Bradley!
Last edited by SEla_Kelly on Thu May 16, 2019 11:24 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:23 am +0000

Isn't seeking and doing the will of God the same as establishing a relationship with God? Isn't a personal relationship with God the very foundation of assurance?

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:26 am +0000

But God might have known me before I was even born! I cannot simply have assurance: I must gain it experiencially! Assurance is not the solution but the result from my bushido and efforts! It is like giving a child a big 'ol lump of clay and saying "here you go here is your sculpture" or a chunk of ore to the Smith, and saying oh well here's your sword! The skills are real and incrementally developed within my tabernacle, and the assurance comes as a result! God sends each human individual the Father Fragment, but this does not gaurantee survival. But you may be assured IF you have this relationship, then you can seek wisdom and find solution for universe dilemmas.

Bradley is speaking of some abstract assurance "as a solution" that the Father Fragment has, existentially, but what about the assurance that I provide to God the Father i.e. "assurance as a result"?
Last edited by SEla_Kelly on Thu May 16, 2019 11:32 am +0000, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:26 am +0000

alwilliams767 wrote:I have to agree. I rarely come bye here anymore because every discussion I am interested in seems to degrade into this childish name calling, all in the name of the Master too, I suppose.

I have to agree. I've been a reader of this forum for many, many years and avoided joining because of all the rancor. But the horrible abuse of late has actually stirred me to join in order to find some way to help turn all this ugly negativity into something positive. So far I'm failing. The dark force is very strong here. :(

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:30 am +0000

SEla_Kelly wrote:I cannot simply have assurance: I must gain it experiencially!

Yes, that is right. You gain it by personal religious experience.

(1105.3) 101:1.6   The experience of religion eventually results in the certain consciousness of God and in the undoubted assurance of the survival of the believing personality.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 11:37 am +0000

Reminds me of that U2 song "With or without you." Haha sorry I guess I care more about human individuals in this moment than Father Fragments. I mean sure, assurance that "God will survive", but what about me? Haha this is the uncertainty.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 12:17 pm +0000

Nearly all the references to assurance in the Urantia Book are about survival and personality relationship with the Father. The message of the gospel is friendship with God, and if you sincerely endeavor to establish this friendly relationship with God, you are assured of survival. It's actually quite simple, which is why Jesus often explained to his apostles that only the a childlike faith-trust is necessary to enter the kingdom of God, and that kingdom begins as simple friendship with him.

(1766.5) 159:3.9 In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but that I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evil-doing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven.

(1585.2) 140:10.4 This same evening Thomas asked Jesus: “Master, you say that we must become as little children before we can gain entrance to the Father’s kingdom, and yet you have warned us not to be deceived by false prophets nor to become guilty of casting our pearls before swine. Now, I am honestly puzzled. I cannot understand your teaching.” Jesus replied to Thomas: “How long shall I bear with you! Ever you insist on making literal all that I teach. When I asked you to become as little children as the price of entering the kingdom, I referred not to ease of deception, mere willingness to believe, nor to quickness to trust pleasing strangers. What I did desire that you should gather from the illustration was the child-father relationship. You are the child, and it is your Father’s kingdom you seek to enter. There is present that natural affection between every normal child and its father which insures an understanding and loving relationship, and which forever precludes all disposition to bargain for the Father’s love and mercy. And the gospel you are going forth to preach has to do with a salvation growing out of the faith-realization of this very and eternal child-father relationship.”

(1325.5) 120:1.3 And when you shall have finished this bestowal experience, you will know in very truth the full meaning and the rich significance of that faith-trust which you so unvaryingly require all your creatures to master as a part of their intimate relationship with you as their local universe Creator and Father.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 1:28 pm +0000

Well, sure, but to me that is a matter of faith. And I do not have certainty or assurances, the full realisation of faith, like Bradley espouses with regards to post-ultimate status of my eternal existence. Only great men & women have obtained that, and I have not heard them flaunt such attainment as that the way he does. To me, it is arrogant to think that I have won the total acceptance and fusion with the Father Fragment, that anxiety and disappointment are no longer valuable. I won't allow myself to believe it unless it happen, and if you do think you have gained such assurance, I will tell you 1001 times that it is the false assurance and comfort of withdrawing from the earthly affairs, some kind of preemptive or existential Nirdvandva. Don't hang your hat up yet! Societies develop and gain esteem, and through history have fallen like Ikarus, in the face of overconfidence, overzealousness, with the conviction of final attainment. That is what I hear from Bradley's explanations, not real assurance which might only be confirmed by the faith relationship. It sounds more like a goal a potential than an actuality. But worse, for Bradley to believe in his assurances as such, his arrogance becomes fixed and overshadow the spiritual nucleus of the mind, which makes all things new.

And the Father Fragment's assurance? But this is a tender loving father personality, who is drawn to the suffering and anxiety of others in a most sympathetic and effective manner! I want my own nature to become that, not my intellect. The way he talks about anxiety invalidates anxiety, disappointment and failure. He is not showing me how he has gained assurance in the way he explains it.

Re: Personality - identity

Thu May 16, 2019 1:48 pm +0000

SEla_Kelly wrote:To me, it is arrogant to think that I have won the total acceptance and fusion with the Father Fragment, that anxiety and disappointment are no longer valuable.

I hope you know that fusion is not necessary for assurance of survival. The only thing necessary is faith in his presence. Can you feel his presence within you? Do you feel alone and isolated, or do you feel assured of the presence of an inner companion? Don't forget that the Father Fragment goes through all your anxieties and disappointments with you. God shares everything and he yearns for you to share with him in return.

(1604.5) 142:7.10 5. Companionship and loyalty. The affectionate father holds intimate and loving intercourse with his children. Always is his ear open to their petitions; he is ever ready to share their hardships and assist them over their difficulties. The father is supremely interested in the progressive welfare of his progeny.

SEla_Kelly wrote:And the Father Fragment's assurance? But this is a tender loving father personality, who is drawn to the suffering and anxiety of others in a most sympathetic and effective manner! I want my own nature to become that, not my intellect.

Yes, you have that right. Children look to their earth father for assurance and if he is a loving father, they strive to become like him. It's the relationship that provides assurance. As long as you strive to be like your Father in heaven, as long as you yearn to be with him and share your inner life with him, you are doing his will and progressing in the right direction.

(1221.2) 111:5.1 The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God — with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible. Sharing is Godlike — divine. God shares all with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, while they, in turn, share all things with the divine Sons and spirit Daughters of the universes.
(1221.3) 111:5.2 The imitation of God is the key to perfection; the doing of his will is the secret of survival and of perfection in survival.
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