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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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I believe I observe what appears to be quite a noticeable disconnect between the viewpoints expressed by Bradly and Agon, and those with whom they constantly challenge and argue, myself included. Keeping in tune with the true intent of the Revelation is our goal, all of us, though these two seem to believe some of us are not as concerned as they are that an appropriate level of precision relative to the understanding of the text is adhered to. Now we are told that to seek other than their educational level of understanding is juvenile and they are not willing to allow it to continue without its being called out. Both of them at times have openly admitted to being more rationally factual thinkers while they are less philosophical or subjective than others and I believe in this may point to the heart of our seemingly endless source of confrontation.

Each of us must make choices to deal with the continuous stream of challenges we face within each of the three basic levels of reality we must deal with.

Physically we all practice good health and adhere to the latest and most complete understanding of what that means, right? NO! Not right! We may eat things that are unhealthy, drink things that are unhealthy and breathe air that is unhealthy, knowingly so.

Mentally we each try to maintain the most stringent policies of determination of reality perceivable by our minds and choose to make those decisions that further our quest, right? No, not here either. Often we discover our own prejudices interfering with clear thought, especially, I discover in my own life, when I speak or act when anxious or frustrated.

How about spiritually, do we each comprehend that spiritual awareness is not achieved through an understanding from within our mind’s eye but as a personal feeling deep down inside; a feeling of being embraced, challenged, guided, chastised, exposed, and most deeply loved? Do we appreciate that this feeling, this experience of being embraced, challenged, guided, chastised, exposed and most deeply loved, is in fact the object and even the goal of our spiritual thoughts and is that by which we apply to our character development and personal understanding of our interaction with God? Again, no we do not consistently make the necessary decisions to follow the careful analysis of our deepest feelings. We are all guilty of this laziness, this mediocrity, this lack of commitment to doing the will of God; each of us to differing degrees at different times. But we press on, each responsible to only the one God, our Thought Adjuster.

If we do not challenge ourselves on each of these three basic functions of living, we must make some provision within ourselves by which we justify our awareness and embrace our willful acceptance of this lack while we go forth with an explanation of our lack to ourselves and even to others. In other words we must learn to practice humility. Herein is my dilemma in dealing with our challengers.

Expressing ourselves adequately as we learn is a rigorous mental exercise. We don’t all have that process down pat yet. But there is a vast difference between expressing our thoughts relative to what we are reading and learning and expressing our thoughts which come from our intent to discover God within, the God being daily revealed within our souls. I do not sense, in these constant confrontations, a willingness to share these deep feelings and subsequent thoughts of those feelings. The Urantia Book implores us to share our experience; such sharing as would be expected when seeking the depth of sense of God as we are instructed in the book.

Steven often expresses many confused thoughts and understandings, some of which I believe are completely wrong, but his willingness to share the depth of what is his perception of his soul is more telling of his intent than is his misunderstanding or erroneous conclusions. We all have those. Jesus revealed his acceptance of this process as he allowed others errors as they dug deeply into their own souls to appreciate the reality of the Father within themselves. He never corrected others who were genuine seekers and finders. He called those who made the error of correcting only the thinking of others while devaluing the deeper issues, false guides.

If we are here to only study a book simply so we can get it right, we are all fools for that is not the book’s purpose. The book’s true purpose and our deepest intent must be to know the Creator and do his will. The Urantia Book describes that in great detail. Being right about the facts we read is fine and quite proper, but being real within our deepest selves is infinitely more important. Sometimes, what may seem like excessive leeway may be called for in our effort to learn to actually love one another.

Constant criticism and confrontation does not reveal that kind of love.

Paul the Apostle provided a most revealing understanding of this when he said, “Not that I have obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.” Philippians 3:12-14, NIV.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Jim George wrote:
Sometimes, what may seem like excessive leeway may be called for in our effort to learn to actually love one another. Constant criticism and confrontation does not reveal that kind of love.


Thanks for that insight Jim.

My opinion is that this forum is more like a one-room school house with students ranging from nursery school to post-graduate level. We have to accommodate all levels and do it graciously. The more advanced students are expected to learn new ways to impart their knowledge to those below them in the process. We also must accommodate those who speak different languages and variations of a language. And more importantly, we must also accommodate those with varying levels of intellect. We accept poets and scientists, philosophers and religionists and everyone is expected to figure out how to communicate with each and every type of personality wherever they are on the learning curve regardless of their ability or lack of ability to express themselves. And we must do all of this while at the same time respecting each and every personality. Not all persons are equal in every aspect. Tolerance is the earmark of a great soul. (1740.5) 156:5.18. Intolerance is a mask covering up secret doubts about one's beliefs. (1641.4) 146:3.2

(1126.6) 102:7.6  It requires no great depth of intellect to pick flaws, ask questions, or raise objections. But it does require brilliance of mind to answer these questions and solve these difficulties; faith certainty is the greatest technique for dealing with all such superficial contentions.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Jim wrote:
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Now we are told that to seek other than their educational level of understanding is juvenile and they are not willing to allow it to continue without its being called out.


Actually, my point was about the learning *environment* not about the 'educational level'. The elementary school learning environment was contrasted with the university learning environment. Of course, our individual 'educational level of understanding' will naturally differ and I would not and DID NOT say that anything other than my level understanding is juvenile.

I also absolutely did NOT say that I 'am not willing to allow it to continue without its being called out.' Wow. I mean, you simply made that up out of thin air. Perhaps Bradly's post alluded to that but it is not fair or right to lump my words with his simply because I share his point of view on some things. Allow me my own individual agency, please.

I'm not squabbling, I am clarifying that the words you put into my mouth are incorrect and misrepresentative and I'd appreciate it if you'd quote my actual words instead of shading them with your own projections.


Last edited by Agon D. Onter on Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:20 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Oh, and Jim,
Please show me an example of the following.

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Both of them at times have openly admitted to being more rationally factual thinkers while they are less philosophical or subjective than others and I believe in this may point to the heart of our seemingly endless source of confrontation.


"Openly admitted" means there must be at least one or more posts by me where I say something like the above. Show me.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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katroofjebus wrote:
Jim George wrote:
Sometimes, what may seem like excessive leeway may be called for in our effort to learn to actually love one another. Constant criticism and confrontation does not reveal that kind of love.


Thanks for that insight Jim.

My opinion is that this forum is more like a one-room school house with students ranging from nursery school to post-graduate level. We have to accommodate all levels and do it graciously. The more advanced students are expected to learn new ways to impart their knowledge to those below them in the process. We also must accommodate those who speak different languages and variations of a language. And more importantly, we must also accommodate those with varying levels of intellect. We accept poets and scientists, philosophers and religionists and everyone is expected to figure out how to communicate with each and every type of personality wherever they are on the learning curve regardless of their ability or lack of ability to express themselves. And we must do all of this while at the same time respecting each and every personality. Not all persons are equal in every aspect. Tolerance is the earmark of a great soul. (1740.5) 156:5.18. Intolerance is a mask covering up secret doubts about one's beliefs. (1641.4) 146:3.2

(1126.6) 102:7.6  It requires no great depth of intellect to pick flaws, ask questions, or raise objections. But it does require brilliance of mind to answer these questions and solve these difficulties; faith certainty is the greatest technique for dealing with all such superficial contentions.


Agon and I accommodate all levels of SINCERE students and study!! Horse Feathers. Stephen is NOT a new student. He has been corrected dozens of times on the same issues and claims but persists in falsifying the contents of the UB. What do you suggest be done about that??!! Who said anything about "juvenile"? All readers are at different comprehension levels in every different part of the book. Who said otherwise?

It is not the level of reading or understanding at question as should be obvious...it is the level of contradictions and misquoting and misrepresenting and distortion OF THE REVELATION that is the issue. Sorry you don't get it. I have always said and am always saying that belief in the teachings is unimportant to me...but the accurate representation of the CONTENTS of the Papers is certainly a reasonable expectation at a study group OF THOSE CONTENTS!

Perhaps you and Jim might research all the new topics and questions by new students and new posters here over the years and see who is often the first to welcome them and the most welcoming of all students here and are the most patient and gentle and affirming and supportive and encouraging.

These accusations by you and Jim are outrageous and appalling and opinionated poppycock!! BB and Stephen have been students for years and both constantly and consistently and directly contradict the UB....not just factually but also in truth distortions and the fictionalization of reality as presented in the text. It is not new. It is not unintentional. It is disruptive and unfortunately purposeful. You guys ignore it.

The one room school house is a good analogy. So you just let a near adult with years of study spin falsehood and fabrication for the newer and younger students without any correction or objection??? That works for you, huh? Great. The tolerance of a falsehood IS confirmation of that falsehood to others.

Actually it is each topic and its originator that determines the complexity of study and responses. There are entry level and easy/moderate/advanced level questions AND answers. Stephen pretends complex understanding while falsifying the text. He does not seek knowledge or understanding but makes declarations and proclamations which contradict the text. I respect every reader's individual level and time of reading and appreciation and comprehension...what I don't respect is deliberate falsification of the teachings.

Oh brother!! You defend your support of the supporter of rebels and rebellion and the Manifesto...your call. Or the one who claims we are abandoned by our TA's and rebel angels invade our minds while evil spirits take over our souls as we wander the Mansion Worlds. Good Grief.

I sense some serious spiritual pride around here right now! Just started a new topic on that prior to these posts. What timing.

Jim...did you ever wonder why the book is 2000 pages long and gives tens of thousands of actual facts about reality? Do you not yet believe the claims of the authors that this gift of reality facts is for the purpose of reducing the confusions of perspective and philosophy while eliminating the errors of our perception and understanding.

Why not just say....Believe, pray, act....?

Your constant comparison of your personal spirituality to mine and others seems to defy any meaning the Revelation might impart to any students at any level of reading, perception, or expression. You know, I have never once here commented on someone else's spirituality believing such to be a sure fire expression of spiritual pride and arrogance...but you constantly comment critically on others' sprituality and praise your own. Just sayin.....

Are you and kat squabbling here too? Or am I the only one around here guilty of that? Yours and hers "constant criticism and confrontation" of me and Agon D. Onter here doesn't reveal that level of love and maturity you claim for yourselves.


:roll:


Last edited by fanofVan on Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:37 pm +0000, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Agon D. Onter wrote:
Oh, and Jim,
Please show me an example of the following.

Quote:
Both of them at times have openly admitted to being more rationally factual thinkers while they are less philosophical or subjective than others and I believe in this may point to the heart of our seemingly endless source of confrontation.


"Openly admitted" means there must be at least one or more posts by me where I say something like the above. Show me.



Jim,
"... this may point to the heart of our seemingly endless source of confrontation." That is a very serious accusation. I am still waiting for you to show me where I have openly admitted to being more rationally factual thinking than others. I do not take this lightly.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Jim George wrote:
Expressing ourselves adequately as we learn is a rigorous mental exercise. We don’t all have that process down pat yet. But there is a vast difference between expressing our thoughts relative to what we are reading and learning and expressing our thoughts which come from our intent to discover God within, the God being daily revealed within our souls. I do not sense, in these constant confrontations, a willingness to share these deep feelings and subsequent thoughts of those feelings. The Urantia Book implores us to share our experience; such sharing as would be expected when seeking the depth of sense of God as we are instructed in the book.


I understand what you're saying here and I agree with it. Regurgitation of the Revelation is not the same as internalization of the Revelation. When we internalize the truth it becomes inter-related on many different levels, each to his own capacity for receptivity. The expression of that internalized truth takes many different and heterogeneous forms. Regurgitation of facts, on the other hand, takes only one myopic homogeneous form, one monotonous and mediocre form. And of course, it is much easier to recognize the latter and argue tediously over it.

Expression of a personally internalized reading of the Revelation is more of a challenge to interpret, especially since each of us has our own unique experience with truth. If experiences are similar, then recognition is easier. But one of the habits of religious living we are advised to develop is the recognition of religious living in others, which includes learning to recognize the expression of it, whether in thought, word or deed.

(1095.3) 100.1.8 Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth. One can develop religious predispositions toward favorable reaction to spiritual stimuli, a sort of conditioned spiritual reflex. Habits which favor religious growth embrace cultivated sensitivity to divine values, recognition of religious living in others, reflective meditation on cosmic meanings, worshipful problem solving, sharing one’s spiritual life with one’s fellows, avoidance of selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, living as in the presence of God. The factors of religious growth may be intentional, but the growth itself is unvaryingly unconscious.

We are also advised to look for truth "in every wise saying", and that the elevation of wisdom is a constant endeavor of a true child of universe insight. Exalted knowledge expressed as regurgitated facts is the dead level of wisdom, the exact opposite of what we are advised to do. When someone makes an attempt to elevate wisdom, that person is behaving like a "true child of universe insight". Recognition of that quality in an individual is no different than the "recognition of religious living in others" as stated above.

(1949.6) 180:5.4 The true child of universe insight looks for the living Spirit of Truth in every wise saying. The God-knowing individual is constantly elevating wisdom to the living-truth levels of divine attainment; the spiritually unprogressive soul is all the while dragging the living truth down to the dead levels of wisdom and to the domain of mere exalted knowledge.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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I find the use of regurgitation an intentionally repugnant term for describing what the Master so frequently and eloquently demonstrates to us from the age of 12 until his murder and so too the authors by the endless series of quotes used to teach us important facts and truths.

A grotesque provocation intended to insult others!!

How do we internalize what we do not know and cannot articulate?????!!!!!! PLEASE. What a self righteous and completely false claim which itself also contradicts the Revelation.

Jesus taught a universe and a world by such "regurgitation". Good Grief....what an ugly term for learning fact to discover meaning and find value and truth from this gift of knowledge to reduce confusions and eliminate the errors of our perception and ignorance.

The embrace of ignorance in a classroom which studies a book of knowledge seems very peculiar and inappropriate.

And again is spiritual pride expressed by the claim to know who grows in the Spirit and who but reads and recites. This is simply not for kat and Jim to say...or even have an opinion about!!!! This behavior defies the teachings for sure and only demonstrates their own needs and failure.

Please stop judging the spirituality of others here! :!: :roll:


Last edited by fanofVan on Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:00 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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How bizarre that the words of some random dude who started his own politics blog are being venerated here on the Truthbook forum as if they came from the mouth of God Himself. Can we get back to studying the UB text please?


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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As the author writes, "The ad hominem attack is mediocrity’s calling card."


This is the only relevant thing I see here, and it reinforces the rule against ad hominem attacks here on the forum. If one cannot address the idea without impugning the character or motive of the person who has the idea, then one is evidently lacking in the ability to explain or otherwise point out the error in the idea.

Not all ideas are excellent...some are worthy of refutation and correction. But those who are sincere deserve a hearing here. Once a correction has been made, it is here for all to see and evaluate for themselves - even if the originator of the idea may not be able to understand or appreciate it. And, even if that person is unwilling to change their outlook.

Other than that quote posted here, that post is not relevant or relating to the UB and is deleted.

maryjo


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Thank you Maryjo for being such an excellent gatekeeper of the forum.

The question I was attempting to raise is in relation to human gatekeeping of the Revelation and whether or not it is necessary. If it is necessary, shouldn't it be democratic? As you point out, "those who are sincere deserve a hearing here." I couldn't agree more. That concept is very democratic. But I'm sorry, I do have to ask this one question: who is the determiner of sincerity? Shouldn't we assume everyone is sincere until they declare an alternative motive, in which case you, yourself, become the gatekeeper, not of the Revelation, but of the right to be heard?


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Another perspective that is relevant to mediocrity as a danger to democracy is expressed by this prominent Catholic writer:

“We don't want to think about our weaknesses. We don't want to talk about them, and we certainly don't want anyone else to point them out. This is a classic sign of mediocrity, and this mediocrity has a firm grip on the Church and humanity at this moment in history.”
― Matthew Kelly, Rediscover Catholicism

In this quote, he is talking about the recent scandals in the Catholic Church; however, one can see it as well in a democracy where the political leaders work to marginalize or even oppress the voices of those within the democracy who point out weaknesses in a government's ability to meet the needs of people; especially those in poverty or minority populations.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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I do have to ask this one question: who is the determiner of sincerity? Shouldn't we assume everyone is sincere until they declare an alternative motive, in which case you, yourself, become the gatekeeper, not of the Revelation, but of the right to be heard?


Good question. Personally - and as moderator of this forum - I do assume that everyone here is sincere, until I myself can see clearly otherwise. I am not a mind-reader. Many of you have been here on this forum longer than I have. I have been with TruthBook for over 12 years, but relatively new to moderation of this forum. I took over the job when Larry Watkins passed away back in 2018.

My feeling is that those of you who have been here when Larry was here are worthy of being here; if that was not the case, he would have uncovered it long ago. As mentioned here before, what I look for here is the tone of conversation. If it starts getting nasty, I have to step in. And that is where the ad hominen issue looms large for me. In my short time here, I have given certain folk time-outs, but have only permanently banned one or two who were blatant and obvious troublemakers. I discerned that they had lost their right to be heard here.

It is not so easy to discern true sincerity with everyone, however. But - again - I feel that those who have been here for a long time should stay. UNLESS they truly declare themselves as, or are truly antithetical to, the basic teachings of the revelation. And those teachings have to do love of God, love of Jesus and his teachings, i.e., friendliness, kindness, and love for one another. Certainly basic civility in discourse with one another counts for a LOT. Details of understanding and interpretation of certain parts of the book can be corrected by the more astute among us, but there's no cure for a mean spirit.

If there are disagreements as to understanding, difficulty of expression, and even if someone persists in espousing ideas that are difficult to understand or that seem to contradict everyone else. To me, the prudent and most effective recourse to such a situation is to patiently correct the error in a subsequent post and let the present and future reader evaluate that correction for him/herself. What is not prudent or effective is to call out someone's motive or character. When that happens the idea is lost and then we are fixated on whether there's gonna be a fight. Not good.

MaryJo


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And BTW...even heated discussion is fine with me...as long as there is actual back-and-forth discourse between the two (or more) participants. Heat is fine, but meanness is not.


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 Post subject: Re: DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
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What about false accusations? Are those tolerated?


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