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The evolutionary history of religion and philosophy begins with the primitive experience of the Spirit within. Monotheism comes by personal and epochal revelation and the evolutionary experience of the primitive faith expression. Superstitions are evidentiary proof of and the expression of evolutionary religious experience. Superstition reflects primitive (but powerful and effective) human faith.

Religion is first personal but is then also social or group in its expression. Group worship and religion began with the agreement and sharing of superstitions and mythologies. Superstition and mythology are the original explanation for and understanding of cause and effect whenever there is no obvious or scientific explanation for any phenomena related to cause and effect...supernatural causes of observable effects.

All people/mortals, including primitive people and children, have personality and freewill and mind connection to the higher adjutant mind spirits of worship and wisdom which inherently seeks knowledge, explanation, and understanding...to the degree that such minds will invent cause and effect "solutions" or explanations.

The UB calls these explanations either superstitions or metaphysics (as I understand the text). Both are the function of human reason to attempt understanding and explanation of observed or imagined phenomena. Both ascribe a higher power as the source of reality. Thus does the primitive human and young child give proof of connection to the spirit nature and original cause and first source of all being and all reality.

Superstitions: A superstition is any belief or practice based upon one's trust in luck or other irrational, unscientific, or supernatural forces. Often, it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy, and certain spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events. The word superstition is often used to refer to a religion not practiced by the majority of a given society regardless of whether the prevailing religion contains alleged superstitions. Wiki

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

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

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

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I hope to study the profoundly important history and results of paganism...which are inherent steps from the origin of human mind and kind to the future times of Light and Life. Enlightenment of science, philosophy, and religion begins with the pagan and superstitious mind. Social progress begins with superstition.

Bradly 8)


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Paganism has nothing to do with godlessness or atheism or satanism or even polytheism. Pagan is a word believed to be originated by Roman Christians for describing non-Christians as "gentile" was used to describe non-Jews by Jewish people. "Us" and "not us". A term of differentiation.

It is my opinion that when the term "believer" is used in the UB it describes any and all who believe in Divinity...Deity that may be someone or anyone, singular or many, who create and manage the visible and invisible universes of reality, and that power/being that administers good luck and bad or reward and suffering. Whether that belief is general or specific, vague or well defined, singular monotheistic or multiple polytheism. With or without animal totems or nature representatives like sun, stars, moon, earth, wind, air, fire, rain, thunder, mountain, tree, etc.

To be a believer does not require agreement with any others or accuracy of beliefs relative to actual realities. Faith is not defined by such agreements or accuracy of beliefs either. Faith is the personal and expressive response to the whispering voice of the Spirit within each of us. Faith is more than simple belief. Faith shapes our behaviors and choices and priorities and our motives and philosophy of living that shape our very lives.


(1114.5) 101:8.1 Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on God alone, who is all of these personified and infinitely more.

(1114.6) 101:8.2 Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates. But living religious faith is more than the association of noble beliefs; it is more than an exalted system of philosophy; it is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme values; it is God-knowing and man-serving. Beliefs may become group possessions, but faith must be personal. Theologic beliefs can be suggested to a group, but faith can rise up only in the heart of the individual religionist.

Believers believe in the existence of God. They merely disagree on many facets and aspects of God's nature and character and function and plan and relationship with people. So...primitive minds are still very creative minds with great imagination and curiosity. All such beliefs are religious and comprise religion and each such believer has religious experience.

Papers 100-103 describe the personal religious experience, which does not depend upon the accuracy of one's beliefs for religious experience to be real, functional, fruitful, and faith based. Faith is the response to the personal connection to Spirit within mind. That connection is inherent and integral to all beings with the Divine gifts of personality and mind.

From wiki:

Paganism (from classical Latin pāgānus"rural, rustic," later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christiansfor people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi (soldiers of Christ).[1][2]Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene, gentile, and heathen.[3]Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion[4] and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian.[4]

Paganism was originally a pejorative and derogatory term for polytheism, implying its inferiority.[3] Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry".[3][5] During and after the Middle Ages, the term paganism was applied to any unfamiliar religion, and the term presumed a belief in false god(s).[6][7]Most modern pagan religions existing today (Modern or Neopaganism[8][9]) express a world view that is pantheistic, polytheistic or animistic; but some are monotheistic.[10]

Ludwig Feuerbach defined the paganism of classical antiquity, which he termed Heidentum ('heathenry') as "the unity of religion and politics, of spirit and nature, of god and man",[43] qualified by the observation that man in the pagan view is always defined by ethnicity, i.e. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Jew, etc., so that each pagan tradition is also a national tradition.

The developments in the religious thought of the far-flung Roman Empire during Late Antiquity need to be addressed separately, because this is the context in which Early Christianity itself developed as one of several monotheistic cults, and it was in this period that the concept of pagan developed in the first place. As Christianity emerged from Second Temple Judaism (or Hellenistic Judaism), it stood in competition with other religions advocating pagan monotheism, including the cults of Dionysus,[45]Neoplatonism, Mithraism, Gnosticism, and Manichaeanism.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

Knowledge of reality (factually correct knowledge) is delivered to the people of each inhabited mortal world by the ministry and agents of the Most Highs who "rule" the kingdoms of the material worlds. These ministries are called Epochal Revelations in the Papers with the Urantia Papers being the 5th such universal or planetary Epochal Revelation in our world's history (but certainly not the last).

92:3.5 (1006.2) Only two influences can modify and uplift the dogmas of natural religion: the pressure of the slowly advancing mores and the periodic illumination of epochal revelation. And it is not strange that progress was slow; in ancient days, to be progressive or inventive meant to be killed as a sorcerer. The cult advances slowly in generation epochs and agelong cycles. But it does move forward. Evolutionary belief in ghosts laid the foundation for a philosophy of revealed religion which will eventually destroy the superstition of its origin.

92:4.4 (1007.4) There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:

92:4.5 (1007.5) 1. The Dalamatian teachings. The true concept of the First Source and Center was first promulgated on Urantia by the one hundred corporeal members of Prince Caligastia’s staff. This expanding revelation of Deity went on for more than three hundred thousand years until it was suddenly terminated by the planetary secession and the disruption of the teaching regime. Except for the work of Van, the influence of the Dalamatian revelation was practically lost to the whole world. Even the Nodites had forgotten this truth by the time of Adam’s arrival. Of all who received the teachings of the one hundred, the red men held them longest, but the idea of the Great Spirit was but a hazy concept in Amerindian religion when contact with Christianity greatly clarified and strengthened it.

92:4.6 (1007.6) 2. The Edenic teachings. Adam and Eve again portrayed the concept of the Father of all to the evolutionary peoples. The disruption of the first Eden halted the course of the Adamic revelation before it had ever fully started. But the aborted teachings of Adam were carried on by the Sethite priests, and some of these truths have never been entirely lost to the world. The entire trend of Levantine religious evolution was modified by the teachings of the Sethites. But by 2500 B.C. mankind had largely lost sight of the revelation sponsored in the days of Eden.

92:4.7 (1007.7) 3. Melchizedek of Salem. This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God’s favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionary religions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ.

92:4.8 (1008.1) 4. Jesus of Nazareth. Christ Michael presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.

92:4.9 (1008.2) 5. The Urantia Papers. The papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.


8)

(1109.4) 101:4.3 Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality.

(1109.5) 101:4.4 In the last analysis, religion is to be judged by its fruits, according to the manner and the extent to which it exhibits its own inherent and divine excellence.

(1109.6) 101:4.5 Truth may be but relatively inspired, even though revelation is invariably a spiritual phenomenon. While statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they at least transiently clarify knowledge by:

(1109.7) 101:4.6 1. The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error.

(1109.8) 101:4.7 2. The co-ordination of known or about-to-be-known facts and observations.

(1110.1) 101:4.8 3. The restoration of important bits of lost knowledge concerning epochal transactions in the distant past.

(1110.2) 101:4.9 4. The supplying of information which will fill in vital missing gaps in otherwise earned knowledge.

(1110.3) 101:4.10 5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation.

5. Religion Expanded by Revelation

(1110.4) 101:5.1 Revelation is a technique whereby ages upon ages of time are saved in the necessary work of sorting and sifting the errors of evolution from the truths of spirit acquirement.

(1110.5) 101:5.2 Science deals with facts; religion is concerned only with values. Through enlightened philosophy the mind endeavors to unite the meanings of both facts and values, thereby arriving at a concept of complete reality. Remember that science is the domain of knowledge, philosophy the realm of wisdom, and religion the sphere of the faith experience. But religion, nonetheless, presents two phases of manifestation:

(1110.6) 101:5.3 1. Evolutionary religion. The experience of primitive worship, the religion which is a mind derivative.

(1110.7) 101:5.4 2. Revealed religion. The universe attitude which is a spirit derivative; the assurance of, and belief in, the conservation of eternal realities, the survival of personality, and the eventual attainment of the cosmic Deity, whose purpose has made all this possible. It is a part of the plan of the universe that, sooner or later, evolutionary religion is destined to receive the spiritual expansion of revelation.


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3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion

92:3.1 (1005.3) The study of human religion is the examination of the fossil-bearing social strata of past ages. The mores of the anthropomorphic gods are a truthful reflection of the morals of the men who first conceived such deities. Ancient religions and mythology faithfully portray the beliefs and traditions of peoples long since lost in obscurity. These olden cult practices persist alongside newer economic customs and social evolutions and, of course, appear grossly inconsistent. The remnants of the cult present a true picture of the racial religions of the past. Always remember, the cults are formed, not to discover truth, but rather to promulgate their creeds.

92:3.2 (1005.4) Religion has always been largely a matter of rites, rituals, observances, ceremonies, and dogmas. It has usually become tainted with that persistently mischief-making error, the chosen-people delusion. The cardinal religious ideas of incantation, inspiration, revelation, propitiation, repentance, atonement, intercession, sacrifice, prayer, confession, worship, survival after death, sacrament, ritual, ransom, salvation, redemption, covenant, uncleanness, purification, prophecy, original sinthey all go back to the early times of primordial ghost fear.

92:3.3 (1005.5) Primitive religion is nothing more nor less than the struggle for material existence extended to embrace existence beyond the grave. The observances of such a creed represented the extension of the self-maintenance struggle into the domain of an imagined ghost-spirit world. But when tempted to criticize evolutionary religion, be careful. Remember, that is what happened; it is a historical fact. And further recall that the power of any idea lies, not in its certainty or truth, but rather in the vividness of its human appeal.

92:3.4 (1006.1) Evolutionary religion makes no provision for change or revision; unlike science, it does not provide for its own progressive correction. Evolved religion commands respect because its followers believe it is The Truth; “the faith once delivered to the saints” must, in theory, be both final and infallible. The cult resists development because real progress is certain to modify or destroy the cult itself; therefore must revision always be forced upon it.

92:3.5 (1006.2) Only two influences can modify and uplift the dogmas of natural religion: the pressure of the slowly advancing mores and the periodic illumination of epochal revelation. And it is not strange that progress was slow; in ancient days, to be progressive or inventive meant to be killed as a sorcerer. The cult advances slowly in generation epochs and agelong cycles. But it does move forward. Evolutionary belief in ghosts laid the foundation for a philosophy of revealed religion which will eventually destroy the superstition of its origin.

92:3.6 (1006.3) Religion has handicapped social development in many ways, but without religion there would have been no enduring morality nor ethics, no worth-while civilization. Religion enmothered much nonreligious culture: Sculpture originated in idol making, architecture in temple building, poetry in incantations, music in worship chants, drama in the acting for spirit guidance, and dancing in the seasonal worship festivals.

92:3.7 (1006.4) But while calling attention to the fact that religion was essential to the development and preservation of civilization, it should be recorded that natural religion has also done much to cripple and handicap the very civilization which it otherwise fostered and maintained. Religion has hampered industrial activities and economic development; it has been wasteful of labor and has squandered capital; it has not always been helpful to the family; it has not adequately fostered peace and good will; it has sometimes neglected education and retarded science; it has unduly impoverished life for the pretended enrichment of death. Evolutionary religion, human religion, has indeed been guilty of all these and many more mistakes, errors, and blunders; nevertheless, it did maintain cultural ethics, civilized morality, and social coherence, and made it possible for later revealed religion to compensate for these many evolutionary shortcomings.

92:3.8 (1006.5) Evolutionary religion has been man’s most expensive but incomparably effective institution. Human religion can be justified only in the light of evolutionary civilization. If man were not the ascendant product of animal evolution, then would such a course of religious development stand without justification.

92:3.9 (1006.6) Religion facilitated the accumulation of capital; it fostered work of certain kinds; the leisure of the priests promoted art and knowledge; the race, in the end, gained much as a result of all these early errors in ethical technique. The shamans, honest and dishonest, were terribly expensive, but they were worth all they cost. The learned professions and science itself emerged from the parasitical priesthoods. Religion fostered civilization and provided societal continuity; it has been the moral police force of all time. Religion provided that human discipline and self-control which made wisdom possible. Religion is the efficient scourge of evolution which ruthlessly drives indolent and suffering humanity from its natural state of intellectual inertia forward and upward to the higher levels of reason and wisdom.

92:3.10 (1006.7) And this sacred heritage of animal ascent, evolutionary religion, must ever continue to be refined and ennobled by the continuous censorship of revealed religion and by the fiery furnace of genuine science.

BE ADVISED:

(1115.3) 101:9.2 When you presume to sit in critical judgment on the primitive religion of man (or on the religion of primitive man), you should remember to judge such savages and to evaluate their religious experience in accordance with their enlightenment and status of conscience. Do not make the mistake of judging another’s religion by your own standards of knowledge and truth.

:!: :idea: :wink: 8)


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4:5.1 (59.6) Religious tradition is the imperfectly preserved record of the experiences of the God-knowing men of past ages, but such records are untrustworthy as guides for religious living or as the source of true information about the Universal Father. Such ancient beliefs have been invariably altered by the fact that primitive man was a mythmaker.

4:5.3 (60.2) The people of Urantia continue to suffer from the influence of primitive concepts of God. The gods who go on a rampage in the storm; who shake the earth in their wrath and strike down men in their anger; who inflict their judgments of displeasure in times of famine and flood—these are the gods of primitive religion; they are not the Gods who live and rule the universes. Such concepts are a relic of the times when men supposed that the universe was under the guidance and domination of the whims of such imaginary gods. But mortal man is beginning to realize that he lives in a realm of comparative law and order as far as concerns the administrative policies and conduct of the Supreme Creators and the Supreme Controllers.

4:5.4 (60.3) The barbarous idea of appeasing an angry God, of propitiating an offended Lord, of winning the favor of Deity through sacrifices and penance and even by the shedding of blood, represents a religion wholly puerile and primitive, a philosophy unworthy of an enlightened age of science and truth. Such beliefs are utterly repulsive to the celestial beings and the divine rulers who serve and reign in the universes. It is an affront to God to believe, hold, or teach that innocent blood must be shed in order to win his favor or to divert the fictitious divine wrath.

4:5.7 (60.6) But the inhabitants of Urantia are to find deliverance from these ancient errors and pagan superstitions respecting the nature of the Universal Father. The revelation of the truth about God is appearing, and the human race is destined to know the Universal Father in all that beauty of character and loveliness of attributes so magnificently portrayed by the Creator Son who sojourned on Urantia as the Son of Man and the Son of God.

40:5.19 (447.4) As to the chances of mortal survival, let it be made forever clear: All souls of every possible phase of mortal existence will survive provided they manifest willingness to co-operate with their indwelling Adjusters and exhibit a desire to find God and to attain divine perfection, even though these desires be but the first faint flickers of the primitive comprehension of that “true light which lights every man who comes into the world.”

6. The Faith Sons of God

40:6.1 (447.5) The mortal races stand as the representatives of the lowest order of intelligent and personal creation. You mortals are divinely beloved, and every one of you may choose to accept the certain destiny of a glorious experience, but you are not yet by nature of the divine order; you are wholly mortal. You will be reckoned as ascending sons the instant fusion takes place, but the status of the mortals of time and space is that of faith sons prior to the event of the final amalgamation of the surviving mortal soul with some type of eternal and immortal spirit.

40:6.2 (448.1) It is a solemn and supernal fact that such lowly and material creatures as Urantia human beings are the sons of God, faith children of the Highest. “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.” “As many as received him, to them gave he the power to recognize that they are the sons of God.” While “it does not yet appear what you shall be,” even now “you are the faith sons of God”; “for you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship, whereby you cry, ‘our Father.’” Spoke the prophet of old in the name of the eternal God: “Even to them will I give in my house a place and a name better than sons; I will give them an everlasting name, one that shall not be cut off.” “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts.”

40:6.3 (448.2) All evolutionary worlds of mortal habitation harbor these faith sons of God, sons of grace and mercy, mortal beings belonging to the divine family and accordingly called the sons of God. Urantia mortals are entitled to regard themselves as being the sons of God because:

40:6.4 (448.3) 1. You are sons of spiritual promise, faith sons; you have accepted the status of sonship. You believe in the reality of your sonship, and thus does your sonship with God become eternally real.

40:6.5 (448.4) 2. A Creator Son of God became one of you; he is your elder brother in fact; and if in spirit you become truly related brothers of Christ, the victorious Michael, then in spirit must you also be sons of that Father which you have in common—even the Universal Father of all.

40:6.6 (448.5) 3. You are sons because the spirit of a Son has been poured out upon you, has been freely and certainly bestowed upon all Urantia races. This spirit ever draws you toward the divine Son, who is its source, and toward the Paradise Father, who is the source of that divine Son.

40:6.7 (448.6) 4. Of his divine free-willness, the Universal Father has given you your creature personalities. You have been endowed with a measure of that divine spontaneity of freewill action which God shares with all who may become his sons.

40:6.8 (448.7) 5. There dwells within you a fragment of the Universal Father, and you are thus directly related to the divine Father of all the Sons of God.

8)


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Paganism is certainly preferable and more enlightened than is materialism. Both polar extremes are oppositional to universe realities wherein science and religion are harmonized and unified into a singular universe reality that is both material and spirit that shares the same First Source and Center. The natural and supernatural both operate in time and space. The duality of human existence is real.

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.

155:3.8 (1727.8) Jesus repeatedly taught his apostles that no civilization could long survive the loss of the best in its religion. And he never grew weary of pointing out to the twelve the great danger of accepting religious symbols and ceremonies in the place of religious experience. His whole earth life was consistently devoted to the mission of thawing out the frozen forms of religion into the liquid liberties of enlightened sonship.

Me here: Some people believe everything is supernatural while others believe nothing is. Both are wrong...and blind, but the materialist is far more wrong. Science explains and describes much of reality...but certainly not all.

The elements of science and that which science describes are the material expressions of being, power, and purpose that are certainly not material. Science cannot even explain water...a combination of gases. Nor explain life or the function of a simple seed.

Mind itself is not material. The brain is material but the brain is not mind anymore than is soul or spirit or love or God material...they are not. There are those and that which is beyond and far more than material. There is that and those from whom all that is material originates and is upheld outside of the time and space material realities within the eternities and infinities of far greater reality.

Enlightenment is that knowledge and wisdom which differentiates and harmonizes the material aspects and spirit elements of reality. If science describes and explains the material/natural realities we observe, the spirit forces of the universe explain what can be described as supernatural.

There is only one reality. Each person has their own unique and subjective perspective and very limited understanding of the one singular reality. Education, knowledge, and experience delivers an ever growing objectivity to the progressive lives of believers which gradually reduces the inherent and very real distortions of subjectivity.

There exists a reality which lies between the material and spiritual realms. This middle realm is the morontia level of reality. The realm of angels and celestials between Deity and material mortals. This is the realm of what our ancestral/contemporary pagan believers call the supernatural. Personal objectivity only grows as we gain knowledge and experience with the morontial levels of reality.


Keyword search for "supernatural":

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

81:2.8 (901.11) While fire, the first great discovery, eventually unlocked the doors of the scientific world, it was of little value in this regard to primitive man. He refused to recognize natural causes as explanations for commonplace phenomena.

81:2.9 (901.12) When asked where fire came from, the simple story of Andon and the flint was soon replaced by the legend of how some Prometheus stole it from heaven. The ancients sought a supernatural explanation for all natural phenomena not within the range of their personal comprehension; and many moderns continue to do this. The depersonalization of so-called natural phenomena has required ages, and it is not yet completed. But the frank, honest, and fearless search for true causes gave birth to modern science: It turned astrology into astronomy, alchemy into chemistry, and magic into medicine.

86:2.1 (951.3) Anxiety was a natural state of the savage mind. When men and women fall victims to excessive anxiety, they are simply reverting to the natural estate of their far-distant ancestors; and when anxiety becomes actually painful, it inhibits activity and unfailingly institutes evolutionary changes and biologic adaptations. Pain and suffering are essential to progressive evolution.

86:2.2 (951.4) The struggle for life is so painful that certain backward tribes even yet howl and lament over each new sunrise. Primitive man constantly asked, “Who is tormenting me?” Not finding a material source for his miseries, he settled upon a spirit explanation. And so was religion born of the fear of the mysterious, the awe of the unseen, and the dread of the unknown. Nature fear thus became a factor in the struggle for existence first because of chance and then because of mystery.

86:2.3 (951.5) The primitive mind was logical but contained few ideas for intelligent association; the savage mind was uneducated, wholly unsophisticated. If one event followed another, the savage considered them to be cause and effect. What civilized man regards as superstition was just plain ignorance in the savage. Mankind has been slow to learn that there is not necessarily any relationship between purposes and results. Human beings are only just beginning to realize that the reactions of existence appear between acts and their consequences. The savage strives to personalize everything intangible and abstract, and thus both nature and chance become personalized as ghosts—spirits—and later on as gods.

86:2.4 (951.6) Man naturally tends to believe that which he deems best for him, that which is in his immediate or remote interest; self-interest largely obscures logic. The difference between the minds of savage and civilized men is more one of content than of nature, of degree rather than of quality.

86:2.5 (951.7) But to continue to ascribe things difficult of comprehension to supernatural causes is nothing less than a lazy and convenient way of avoiding all forms of intellectual hard work. Luck is merely a term coined to cover the inexplicable in any age of human existence; it designates those phenomena which men are unable or unwilling to penetrate. Chance is a word which signifies that man is too ignorant or too indolent to determine causes. Men regard a natural occurrence as an accident or as bad luck only when they are destitute of curiosity and imagination, when the races lack initiative and adventure. Exploration of the phenomena of life sooner or later destroys man’s belief in chance, luck, and so-called accidents, substituting therefor a universe of law and order wherein all effects are preceded by definite causes. Thus is the fear of existence replaced by the joy of living.

86:2.6 (952.1) The savage looked upon all nature as alive, as possessed by something. Civilized man still kicks and curses those inanimate objects which get in his way and bump him. Primitive man never regarded anything as accidental; always was everything intentional. To primitive man the domain of fate, the function of luck, the spirit world, was just as unorganized and haphazard as was primitive society. Luck was looked upon as the whimsical and temperamental reaction of the spirit world; later on, as the humor of the gods.

86:2.7 (952.2) But all religions did not develop from animism. Other concepts of the supernatural were contemporaneous with animism, and these beliefs also led to worship. Naturalism is not a religion—it is the offspring of religion.

86:7.1 (956.4) The savage felt the need of insurance, and he therefore willingly paid his burdensome premiums of fear, superstition, dread, and priest gifts toward his policy of magic insurance against ill luck. Primitive religion was simply the payment of premiums on insurance against the perils of the forests; civilized man pays material premiums against the accidents of industry and the exigencies of modern modes of living.

86:7.2 (956.5) Modern society is removing the business of insurance from the realm of priests and religion, placing it in the domain of economics. Religion is concerning itself increasingly with the insurance of life beyond the grave. Modern men, at least those who think, no longer pay wasteful premiums to control luck. Religion is slowly ascending to higher philosophic levels in contrast with its former function as a scheme of insurance against bad luck.

86:7.3 (956.6) But these ancient ideas of religion prevented men from becoming fatalistic and hopelessly pessimistic; they believed they could at least do something to influence fate. The religion of ghost fear impressed upon men that they must regulate their conduct, that there was a supermaterial world which was in control of human destiny.

86:7.4 (956.7) Modern civilized races are just emerging from ghost fear as an explanation of luck and the commonplace inequalities of existence. Mankind is achieving emancipation from the bondage of the ghost-spirit explanation of ill luck. But while men are giving up the erroneous doctrine of a spirit cause of the vicissitudes of life, they exhibit a surprising willingness to accept an almost equally fallacious teaching which bids them attribute all human inequalities to political misadaptation, social injustice, and industrial competition. But new legislation, increasing philanthropy, and more industrial reorganization, however good in and of themselves, will not remedy the facts of birth and the accidents of living. Only comprehension of facts and wise manipulation within the laws of nature will enable man to get what he wants and to avoid what he does not want. Scientific knowledge, leading to scientific action, is the only antidote for so-called accidental ills.

86:7.5 (957.1) Industry, war, slavery, and civil government arose in response to the social evolution of man in his natural environment; religion similarly arose as his response to the illusory environment of the imaginary ghost world. Religion was an evolutionary development of self-maintenance, and it has worked, notwithstanding that it was originally erroneous in concept and utterly illogical.

86:7.6 (957.2) Primitive religion prepared the soil of the human mind, by the powerful and awesome force of false fear, for the bestowal of a bona fide spiritual force of supernatural origin, the Thought Adjuster. And the divine Adjusters have ever since labored to transmute God-fear into God-love. Evolution may be slow, but it is unerringly effective.

:idea: 8)


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Mortals' souls are morontial and our souls are that part of us that survives material death. Angels are morontial too. As are the celestial hosts of heaven. All minded beings with personality between pure spirit and pure material are of the morontia order of being.

This level is also material/physical but of another type and form distinct from the evolutionary form of materialism. This is the realm we know as the supernatural! Here's a link to study the term "morontia" (used over 500 times in the text!):

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

0:5.12 (9.2) Morontia is a term designating a vast level intervening between the material and the spiritual. It may designate personal or impersonal realities, living or nonliving energies. The warp of morontia is spiritual; its woof is physical.

16:4.6 (189.7) Much of the reality of the spiritual worlds is of the morontia order, a phase of universe reality wholly unknown on Urantia. The goal of personality existence is spiritual, but the morontia creations always intervene, bridging the gulf between the material realms of mortal origin and the superuniverse spheres of advancing spiritual status. It is in this realm that the Master Spirits make their great contribution to the plan of man’s Paradise ascension.

48:0.1 (541.1) THE Gods cannot—at least they do not—transform a creature of gross animal nature into a perfected spirit by some mysterious act of creative magic. When the Creators desire to produce perfect beings, they do so by direct and original creation, but they never undertake to convert animal-origin and material creatures into beings of perfection in a single step.

48:0.2 (541.2) The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables.

48:0.3 (541.3) Always this morontia transition intervenes between the mortal estate and the subsequent spirit status of surviving human beings. This intermediate state of universe progress differs markedly in the various local creations, but in intent and purpose they are all quite similar. The arrangement of the mansion and higher morontia worlds in Nebadon is fairly typical of the morontia transition regimes in this part of Orvonton.

48:1.1 (541.4) The morontia realms are the local universe liaison spheres between the material and spiritual levels of creature existence. This morontia life has been known on Urantia since the early days of the Planetary Prince. From time to time this transition state has been taught to mortals, and the concept, in distorted form, has found a place in present-day religions.

48:1.4 (542.1) The early morontia life in the local systems is very much like that of your present material world, becoming less physical and more truly morontial on the constellation study worlds. And as you advance to the Salvington spheres, you increasingly attain spiritual levels.

48:8.1 (557.16) From the time of graduation from the mansion worlds to the attainment of spirit status in the superuniverse career, ascending mortals are denominated morontia progressors. Your passage through this wonderful borderland life will be an unforgettable experience, a charming memory. It is the evolutionary portal to spirit life and the eventual attainment of creature perfection by which ascenders achieve the goal of time—the finding of God on Paradise.

48:8.2 (557.17) There is a definite and divine purpose in all this morontia and subsequent spirit scheme of mortal progression, this elaborate universe training school for ascending creatures. It is the design of the Creators to afford the creatures of time a graduated opportunity to master the details of the operation and administration of the grand universe, and this long course of training is best carried forward by having the surviving mortal climb up gradually and by actual participation in every step of the ascent.

48:8.3 (558.1) The mortal-survival plan has a practical and serviceable objective; you are not the recipients of all this divine labor and painstaking training only that you may survive just to enjoy endless bliss and eternal ease. There is a goal of transcendent service concealed beyond the horizon of the present universe age. If the Gods designed merely to take you on one long and eternal joy excursion, they certainly would not so largely turn the whole universe into one vast and intricate practical training school, requisition a substantial part of the celestial creation as teachers and instructors, and then spend ages upon ages piloting you, one by one, through this gigantic universe school of experiential training. The furtherance of the scheme of mortal progression seems to be one of the chief businesses of the present organized universe, and the majority of innumerable orders of created intelligences are either directly or indirectly engaged in advancing some phase of this progressive perfection plan.

48:8.4 (558.2) In traversing the ascending scale of living existence from mortal man to the Deity embrace, you actually live the very life of every possible phase and stage of perfected creature existence within the limits of the present universe age. From mortal man to Paradise finaliter embraces all that now can be—encompasses everything presently possible to the living orders of intelligent, perfected finite creature beings. If the future destiny of the Paradise finaliters is service in new universes now in the making, it is assured that in this new and future creation there will be no created orders of experiential beings whose lives will be wholly different from those which mortal finaliters have lived on some world as a part of their ascending training, as one of the stages of their agelong progress from animal to angel and from angel to spirit and from spirit to God.

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Excellent! Very helpful, thanks!


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You are welcome.

Superstition diminishes over time and the generations according to the metaphysical reasoning, scientific knowledge, the experiential wisdom acquired by humanity. Earlier, people believe all causes of observable effects are supernatural. Over time it is learned that there are observable, measurable, predictable, and dependable laws of physics, or the relationships between matter and energy - science- which explains much of our prior superstitions.

Humanity's progress through the Planetary Mortal Epochs of Time are measured and delivered by the generational progress of both science and religion. Both of those are assisted by the epochal revelations of a series of celestial influences whose on-world ministries delivers a progressive and transformative influence. These sequential ministries are both the causes of effects and also a responsive effect of causes or the effects od evolutionary progress over time.

These epochal influences are meant to integrate with all prior such ministries and work together to gradually uplift humans and our culture and society out of superstitious primitivism and into an enlightened quality of living that becomes ever more gracious...or true, beautiful, and good. True science is not oppositional to religion. True religion is not oppositional to science. The progressive human experience with both science and religion are required to evolve from potential to the realization of our potential as individuals and as worlds of people who progress according to how well we care for and serve one another. Science and religion must be harmonized and integrated as the material and spirit realities of the universes of time and space with a single Source and Center.

There is only one reality. The same reality for all beings within that reality. Each being, however, has their own experience and perspective and understanding of that reality. Some are more superstitious and ignorant while others are more enlightened and knowledgeable. Time and space is a vast university of teaching and learning about this functional and objective reality based on God's expression of power, purpose, plan, and nature. God's nature. All that is real and survives time is from God and reflects God's nature and is the personalized expression of experience within such a reality. This is why truth, beauty, and goodness survives eternally while error, evil, and sin remain local, temporal, and fade by their insignificance and irrelevancy over time and distance.

Paganism is, then, merely the beginning of humanity's great adventure in time from ignorance to enlightenment. The epochal progress of humanity over time reflects the fact and function of God's guidance and rule in the affairs of the universe of universes. The Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men. But as God abides within mortal minds, all celestials and rulers are subject to the freewill of all others. Primitives and fools with freewill make for an interesting evolutionary process. We must choose and learn and choose better and thereby learn the better choices and the better way forward...one by one and generation by generation. This takes time. And great patience. And persistence.

In this short life...we become impatient for change and relief from suffering the consequences of our ignorance and bad choices and we reject God or misunderstand God because our lives are not perfect. We believe God causes our suffering or allows our suffering for punishment and revenge and we fear God's anger or indifference. While pagan superstitions still are these false beliefs the foundation of faith - the personal response to God. We must never let ourselves become indifferent to God...no matter our beliefs. Our response to God within is faith. Our response leads to affirmations and the response of assurance from God within. This becomes the personal religious experience that gives birth to the soul and the personal revelation of truth within.

Pagans have such glorious and progressive religious experience. There is no true enlightenment without religious experience and its expression in our life. And there is no true progress by civilization without this religious life either. Fear is bondage...for primitive people and for modern people too. Only trust in God and God's goodness and love and care for his children in a friendly universe releases us from all forms of fear. Fear Not!

195:9.6 (2083.2) Primitive man lived a life of superstitious bondage to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them—and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.

195:9.7 (2083.3) Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

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So...the difference between animal and person is, fundamentally, the difference between the mind connection to 5 adjutant mind spirits and all 7 of them...the Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom. These final 2 mind connections and circuitry complete the bestowals which unite to provide for the Divine attributes of personality endowment and freewill and imagination and creative thinking and insight and truth discernment and the discovery of meanings and values and embrace of morals and ideals and hope.

All of those lead to the personal religious experience AND also to science.

85:0.1 (944.1) PRIMITIVE religion had a biologic origin, a natural evolutionary development, aside from moral associations and apart from all spiritual influences. The higher animals have fears but no illusions, hence no religion. Man creates his primitive religions out of his fears and by means of his illusions.

85:0.2 (944.2) In the evolution of the human species, worship in its primitive manifestations appears long before the mind of man is capable of formulating the more complex concepts of life now and in the hereafter which deserve to be called religion. Early religion was wholly intellectual in nature and was entirely predicated on associational circumstances. The objects of worship were altogether suggestive; they consisted of the things of nature which were close at hand, or which loomed large in the commonplace experience of the simple-minded primitive Urantians.

85:0.3 (944.3) When religion once evolved beyond nature worship, it acquired roots of spirit origin but was nevertheless always conditioned by the social environment. As nature worship developed, man’s concepts envisioned a division of labor in the supermortal world; there were nature spirits for lakes, trees, waterfalls, rain, and hundreds of other ordinary terrestrial phenomena.

85:0.4 (944.4) At one time or another mortal man has worshiped everything on the face of the earth, including himself. He has also worshiped about everything imaginable in the sky and beneath the surface of the earth. Primitive man feared all manifestations of power; he worshiped every natural phenomenon he could not comprehend. The observation of powerful natural forces, such as storms, floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, fire, heat, and cold, greatly impressed the expanding mind of man. The inexplicable things of life are still termed “acts of God” and “mysterious dispensations of Providence.”

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So...the Adjutant of Worship is mind circuit and Spirit connection which enables, but also compels, humans to worship and venerate the unseen presence that is felt/known/heard within mind. Animal mind does not have this connection or circuitry. Remember, the mind is not the brain but is more than the electro/chemical/bio unit called brain. The brain is purely mechanical and organic. Mind is something else and something more. But mind is a ministry of the animal kingdom as well as for people.

Animals do not worship. Only minds endowed with personality and freewill do so. And only those minds can achieve wisdom and consider outcomes prior to making choices with freewill.

65:6.10 (738.3) The physical brain with its associated nervous system possesses innate capacity for response to mind ministry just as the developing mind of a personality possesses a certain innate capacity for spirit receptivity and therefore contains the potentials of spiritual progress and attainment. Intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual evolution are dependent on the mind ministry of the seven adjutant spirits and their superphysical associates.

7. Evolutionary Mind Levels

65:7.1 (738.4) The seven adjutant mind-spirits are the versatile mind ministers to the lower intelligent existences of a local universe. This order of mind is ministered from the local universe headquarters or from some world connected therewith, but there is influential direction of lower-mind function from the system capitals.

65:7.2 (738.5) On an evolutionary world much, very much, depends on the work of these seven adjutants. But they are mind ministers; they are not concerned in physical evolution, the domain of the Life Carriers. Nevertheless, the perfect integration of these spirit endowments with the ordained and natural procedure of the unfolding and inherent regime of the Life Carriers is responsible for the mortal inability to discern, in the phenomenon of mind, aught but the hand of nature and the outworking of natural processes, albeit you are occasionally somewhat perplexed in explaining all of everything connected with the natural reactions of mind as it is associated with matter. And if Urantia were operating more in accordance with the original plans, you would observe even less to arrest your attention in the phenomenon of mind.

65:7.6 (739.2) The acquisition of the potential of the ability to learn from experience marks the beginning of the functioning of the adjutant spirits, and they function from the lowliest minds of primitive and invisible existences up to the highest types in the evolutionary scale of human beings. They are the source and pattern for the otherwise more or less mysterious behavior and incompletely understood quick reactions of mind to the material environment. Long must these faithful and always dependable influences carry forward their preliminary ministry before the animal mind attains the human levels of spirit receptivity.

65:7.7 (739.3) The adjutants function exclusively in the evolution of experiencing mind up to the level of the sixth phase, the spirit of worship. At this level there occurs that inevitable overlapping of ministry—the phenomenon of the higher reaching down to co-ordinate with the lower in anticipation of subsequent attainment of advanced levels of development. And still additional spirit ministry accompanies the action of the seventh and last adjutant, the spirit of wisdom. Throughout the ministry of the spirit world the individual never experiences abrupt transitions of spirit co-operation; always are these changes gradual and reciprocal.

65:7.8 (739.4) Always should the domains of the physical (electrochemical) and the mental response to environmental stimuli be differentiated, and in turn must they all be recognized as phenomena apart from spiritual activities. The domains of physical, mental, and spiritual gravity are distinct realms of cosmic reality, notwithstanding their intimate interrelations.

8)

1. Worship of Stones and Hills

85:1.1 (944.5) The first object to be worshiped by evolving man was a stone. Today the Kateri people of southern India still worship a stone, as do numerous tribes in northern India. Jacob slept on a stone because he venerated it; he even anointed it. Rachel concealed a number of sacred stones in her tent.

85:1.2 (944.6) Stones first impressed early man as being out of the ordinary because of the manner in which they would so suddenly appear on the surface of a cultivated field or pasture. Men failed to take into account either erosion or the results of the overturning of soil. Stones also greatly impressed early peoples because of their frequent resemblance to animals. The attention of civilized man is arrested by numerous stone formations in the mountains which so much resemble the faces of animals and even men. But the most profound influence was exerted by meteoric stones which primitive humans beheld hurtling through the atmosphere in flaming grandeur. The shooting star was awesome to early man, and he easily believed that such blazing streaks marked the passage of a spirit on its way to earth. No wonder men were led to worship such phenomena, especially when they subsequently discovered the meteors. And this led to greater reverence for all other stones. In Bengal many worship a meteor which fell to earth in A.D. 1880.

85:1.3 (945.1) All ancient clans and tribes had their sacred stones, and most modern peoples manifest a degree of veneration for certain types of stones—their jewels. A group of five stones was reverenced in India; in Greece it was a cluster of thirty; among the red men it was usually a circle of stones. The Romans always threw a stone into the air when invoking Jupiter. In India even to this day a stone can be used as a witness. In some regions a stone may be employed as a talisman of the law, and by its prestige an offender can be haled into court. But simple mortals do not always identify Deity with an object of reverent ceremony. Such fetishes are many times mere symbols of the real object of worship.

85:1.4 (945.2) The ancients had a peculiar regard for holes in stones. Such porous rocks were supposed to be unusually efficacious in curing diseases. Ears were not perforated to carry stones, but the stones were put in to keep the ear holes open. Even in modern times superstitious persons make holes in coins. In Africa the natives make much ado over their fetish stones. In fact, among all backward tribes and peoples stones are still held in superstitious veneration. Stone worship is even now widespread over the world. The tombstone is a surviving symbol of images and idols which were carved in stone in connection with beliefs in ghosts and the spirits of departed fellow beings.

85:1.5 (945.3) Hill worship followed stone worship, and the first hills to be venerated were large stone formations. It presently became the custom to believe that the gods inhabited the mountains, so that high elevations of land were worshiped for this additional reason. As time passed, certain mountains were associated with certain gods and therefore became holy. The ignorant and superstitious aborigines believed that caves led to the underworld, with its evil spirits and demons, in contrast with the mountains, which were identified with the later evolving concepts of good spirits and deities.


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So....animals and humans share many aspects of mind connectivity circuits and spirit ministry in addition to the mechanical functions of brain. But humans enjoy the added circuits of the Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom. Animals and humans also share certain urges and impulses.

But humans have urges, impulses, yearns, mental and emotional hungers, curiosity, and love of adventure that includes a compelling need to understand and know, reason and logic to explain, the ability to calculate and project and discern meanings to understand, and the ability to transcend time in certain ways to remember and to predict while considering our options in the moment!! These abilities, derived from and by the highest two Adjutants, lead to science and to religious experience and civilization and both personal and social progress.

The evolution of religion in persons is not accidental or of human origin. Religious experience is Divine in origin and is intentional in the very design and formatting of human mind. Urges, impulses, yearns, longings, and related behavioral drivers are the work of the Adjutant Mind Spirits. For humans, those are complimented by and supplemented with certain spiritual and religious Spirit connections too, like the God Fragment and Spirit of Truth and Guardian Angels in addition to the Holy Spirit and higher Adjutants.

These agents and circuits are fully functional in children and in primitive peoples as well as more educated, enlightened, and spiritized persons. The religious experience does not depend upon accuracy of beliefs or specific knowledge to be powerful and effective in the minds of all persons of every age and epoch on the material, evolutionary worlds of time.

Keyword search for "urge" and "urges":

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

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

For "impulse" and "impulses":

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

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

For "yearn" and "yearns" and "yearning":

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

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

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

For "longing" and "longings":

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

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

Consider the functions of the Adjutants in all material minds (these spirit agents/circuits do not operate in morontial/celestial or Divine minds - primarily, the Adjutants are the interfacing circuit for material brains and the universe mind circuits (but this circuit does have other universe functions we are told).

36:5.1 (401.5) It is the presence of the seven adjutant mind-spirits on the primitive worlds that conditions the course of organic evolution; that explains why evolution is purposeful and not accidental. These adjutants represent that function of the mind ministry of the Infinite Spirit which is extended to the lower orders of intelligent life through the operations of a local universe Mother Spirit. The adjutants are the children of the Universe Mother Spirit and constitute her personal ministry to the material minds of the realms. Wherever and whenever such mind is manifest, these spirits are variously functioning.

36:5.2 (401.6) The seven adjutant mind-spirits are called by names which are the equivalents of the following designations: intuition, understanding, courage, knowledge, counsel, worship, and wisdom. These mind-spirits send forth their influence into all the inhabited worlds as a differential urge, each seeking receptivity capacity for manifestation quite apart from the degree to which its fellows may find reception and opportunity for function.

36:5.13 (403.1) The adjutant mind-spirits experientially grow, but they never become personal. They evolve in function, and the function of the first five in the animal orders is to a certain extent essential to the function of all seven as human intellect. This animal relationship makes the adjutants more practically effective as human mind; hence animals are to a certain extent indispensable to man’s intellectual as well as to his physical evolution.

36:5.16 (403.4) The adjutant mind-spirits are in no manner directly related to the diverse and highly spiritual function of the spirit of the personal presence of the Divine Minister, the Holy Spirit of the inhabited worlds; but they are functionally antecedent to, and preparatory for, the appearance of this very spirit in evolutionary man. The adjutants afford the Universe Mother Spirit a varied contact with, and control over, the material living creatures of a local universe.....

8)


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2. Worship of Plants and Trees

85:2.1 (945.4) Plants were first feared and then worshiped because of the intoxicating liquors which were derived therefrom. Primitive man believed that intoxication rendered one divine. There was supposed to be something unusual and sacred about such an experience. Even in modern times alcohol is known as “spirits.”

85:2.2 (945.5) Early man looked upon sprouting grain with dread and superstitious awe. The Apostle Paul was not the first to draw profound spiritual lessons from, and predicate religious beliefs on, the sprouting grain.

85:2.3 (945.6) The cults of tree worship are among the oldest religious groups. All early marriages were held under the trees, and when women desired children, they would sometimes be found out in the forest affectionately embracing a sturdy oak. Many plants and trees were venerated because of their real or fancied medicinal powers. The savage believed that all chemical effects were due to the direct activity of supernatural forces.

85:2.4 (945.7) Ideas about tree spirits varied greatly among different tribes and races. Some trees were indwelt by kindly spirits; others harbored the deceptive and cruel. The Finns believed that most trees were occupied by kind spirits. The Swiss long mistrusted the trees, believing they contained tricky spirits. The inhabitants of India and eastern Russia regard the tree spirits as being cruel. The Patagonians still worship trees, as did the early Semites. Long after the Hebrews ceased tree worship, they continued to venerate their various deities in the groves. Except in China, there once existed a universal cult of the tree of life.

85:2.5 (946.1) The belief that water or precious metals beneath the earth’s surface can be detected by a wooden divining rod is a relic of the ancient tree cults. The Maypole, the Christmas tree, and the superstitious practice of rapping on wood perpetuate certain of the ancient customs of tree worship and the later-day tree cults.

85:2.6 (946.2) Many of these earliest forms of nature veneration became blended with the later evolving techniques of worship, but the earliest mind-adjutant-activated types of worship were functioning long before the newly awakening religious nature of mankind became fully responsive to the stimulus of spiritual influences.


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3. The Worship of Animals

85:3.1 (946.3) Primitive man had a peculiar and fellow feeling for the higher animals. His ancestors had lived with them and even mated with them. In southern Asia it was early believed that the souls of men came back to earth in animal form. This belief was a survival of the still earlier practice of worshiping animals.

85:3.2 (946.4) Early men revered the animals for their power and their cunning. They thought the keen scent and the farseeing eyes of certain creatures betokened spirit guidance. The animals have all been worshiped by one race or another at one time or another. Among such objects of worship were creatures that were regarded as half human and half animal, such as centaurs and mermaids.

85:3.3 (946.5) The Hebrews worshiped serpents down to the days of King Hezekiah, and the Hindus still maintain friendly relations with their house snakes. The Chinese worship of the dragon is a survival of the snake cults. The wisdom of the serpent was a symbol of Greek medicine and is still employed as an emblem by modern physicians. The art of snake charming has been handed down from the days of the female shamans of the snake love cult, who, as the result of daily snake bites, became immune, in fact, became genuine venom addicts and could not get along without this poison.

85:3.4 (946.6) The worship of insects and other animals was promoted by a later misinterpretation of the golden rule—doing to others (every form of life) as you would be done by. The ancients once believed that all winds were produced by the wings of birds and therefore both feared and worshiped all winged creatures. The early Nordics thought that eclipses were caused by a wolf that devoured a portion of the sun or moon. The Hindus often show Vishnu with a horse’s head. Many times an animal symbol stands for a forgotten god or a vanished cult. Early in evolutionary religion the lamb became the typical sacrificial animal and the dove the symbol of peace and love.

85:3.5 (946.7) In religion, symbolism may be either good or bad just to the extent that the symbol does or does not displace the original worshipful idea. And symbolism must not be confused with direct idolatry wherein the material object is directly and actually worshiped.


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4. Worship of the Elements

85:4.1 (946.8) Mankind has worshiped earth, air, water, and fire. The primitive races venerated springs and worshiped rivers. Even now in Mongolia there flourishes an influential river cult. Baptism became a religious ceremonial in Babylon, and the Greeks practiced the annual ritual bath. It was easy for the ancients to imagine that the spirits dwelt in the bubbling springs, gushing fountains, flowing rivers, and raging torrents. Moving waters vividly impressed these simple minds with beliefs of spirit animation and supernatural power. Sometimes a drowning man would be refused succor for fear of offending some river god.

85:4.2 (947.1) Many things and numerous events have functioned as religious stimuli to different peoples in different ages. A rainbow is yet worshiped by many of the hill tribes of India. In both India and Africa the rainbow is thought to be a gigantic celestial snake; Hebrews and Christians regard it as “the bow of promise.” Likewise, influences regarded as beneficent in one part of the world may be looked upon as malignant in other regions. The east wind is a god in South America, for it brings rain; in India it is a devil because it brings dust and causes drought. The ancient Bedouins believed that a nature spirit produced the sand whirls, and even in the times of Moses belief in nature spirits was strong enough to insure their perpetuation in Hebrew theology as angels of fire, water, and air.

85:4.3 (947.2) Clouds, rain, and hail have all been feared and worshiped by numerous primitive tribes and by many of the early nature cults. Windstorms with thunder and lightning overawed early man. He was so impressed with these elemental disturbances that thunder was regarded as the voice of an angry god. The worship of fire and the fear of lightning were linked together and were widespread among many early groups.

85:4.4 (947.3) Fire was mixed up with magic in the minds of primitive fear-ridden mortals. A devotee of magic will vividly remember one positive chance result in the practice of his magic formulas, while he nonchalantly forgets a score of negative results, out-and-out failures. Fire reverence reached its height in Persia, where it long persisted. Some tribes worshiped fire as a deity itself; others revered it as the flaming symbol of the purifying and purging spirit of their venerated deities. Vestal virgins were charged with the duty of watching sacred fires, and in the twentieth century candles still burn as a part of the ritual of many religious services.


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5. Worship of the Heavenly Bodies

85:5.1 (947.4) The worship of rocks, hills, trees, and animals naturally developed up through fearful veneration of the elements to the deification of the sun, moon, and stars. In India and elsewhere the stars were regarded as the glorified souls of great men who had departed from the life in the flesh. The Chaldean star cultists considered themselves to be the children of the sky father and the earth mother.

85:5.2 (947.5) Moon worship preceded sun worship. Veneration of the moon was at its height during the hunting era, while sun worship became the chief religious ceremony of the subsequent agricultural ages. Solar worship first took extensive root in India, and there it persisted the longest. In Persia sun veneration gave rise to the later Mithraic cult. Among many peoples the sun was regarded as the ancestor of their kings. The Chaldeans put the sun in the center of “the seven circles of the universe.” Later civilizations honored the sun by giving its name to the first day of the week.

85:5.3 (947.6) The sun god was supposed to be the mystic father of the virgin-born sons of destiny who ever and anon were thought to be bestowed as saviors upon favored races. These supernatural infants were always put adrift upon some sacred river to be rescued in an extraordinary manner, after which they would grow up to become miraculous personalities and the deliverers of their peoples.


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