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Rexford wrote:
Greetings nod,

nodAmanaV wrote:
Why do you insist that you're being challenged when you're not.


Why don't you answer my questions? I think they are very important questions deserving of an answer. Are you still thinking about them? If so, I am waiting to hear your answers.

You are not challenging me, you are obfuscating. You are deflecting, swerving and dodging the point. The topic is about circle making decisions. Do you have anything of value to say about circle making decisions? I would love to hear it if you do.

You brought up the importance of a balance between spiritual nourishment and spiritual exercise. It is a good point. You brought up the need for firsthand personal religious experience, another good point. Why not put together a little explanation of your views on those subject? If you can refrain from car and road metaphors in the process, it would be much appreciated.

Rexford the roadrunner

I am trying to answer your questions. Forgive me if I'm not doing a good job. In between making a living today, I am doing my best.

What is firsthand religion? I believe that's the one you're looking for. Believe it or not, it's what we're doing right here isn't it? It's alive and we're presenting to anyone who's following along who we are and how we interpret what following Jesus is. I wish I had more time to be more thorough. Typing on this phone is tedious.


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Greetings nod,

nodAmanaV wrote:
Believe it or not, it's what we're doing right here isn't it? It's alive and we're presenting to anyone who's following along who we are and how we interpret what following Jesus is.


Honestly, I am not sure if what we are doing here is firsthand religion. It certainly is not personal religious experience, at least not for me. They say that there are two phases to religious experience. The first one is discovery in the mind. The second is revelation by the Adjuster. I think what you are talking about is religious living, actual service. Service comes as a result of discovery and revelation, firsthand religious experience.

Jesus' religion consisted not merely in believing, but in actually doing, those things which the gospel required. He did not teach that the essence of his religion consisted in social service, but rather that social service was one of the certain effects of the possession of the spirit of true religion.159:5:8

As you can see from the quote above, true, firsthand, personal religion comes first, it is the cause. Service is the natural effect of the that cause. What you call religious work can only happen if you first possess a true personal religion, an inner relationship with Deity. That is really all you have to worry about, staying connected to the vine. The fruit will grow. Yes, you have to make a free-will decision to allow this to happen, but the work is in staying connected during the ups and downs of life. The service part is easy and natural, in fact, is mostly unconscious. True goodness is unconscious. Being righteous, staying connected and working on one's relationship with God must precede the doing of righteous deeds, otherwise they cannot be righteous. The righteousness comes from God, not us. Our faith in God, our loyalty to God always comes first, and when it does, service naturally follows. Service is the fruits of the spirit. True righteousness is always shared as fruit, it cannot be hoarded or buried in the ground for safekeeping. The fruit is not ours to do that with.

That evening while teaching in the house, for it had begun to rain, Jesus talked at great length, trying to show the twelve what they must be, not what they must do. They knew only a religion that imposed the doing of certain things as the means of attaining righteousness — salvation. But Jesus would reiterate, "In the kingdom you must be righteous in order to do the work." Many times did he repeat, "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." All the while was the Master explaining to his bewildered apostles that the salvation which he had come to bring to the world was to be had only by believing, by simple and sincere faith. Said Jesus: "John preached a baptism of repentance, sorrow for the old way of living. You are to proclaim the baptism of fellowship with God. Preach repentance to those who stand in need of such teaching, but to those already seeking sincere entrance to the kingdom, open the doors wide and bid them enter into the joyous fellowship of the sons of God." But it was a difficult task to persuade these Galilean fishermen that, in the kingdom, being righteous, by faith, must precede doing righteousness in the daily life of the mortals of earth. 140:10:1

Thanks for your bravery,
Rexford


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I appreciate that Rexford.


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We are all so different from one another, and many of our problems come from lack of communication. To try to put our own meanings on other's words can lead to the above. Even though we speak English it is possible that each one of us not only has slightly individual meanings for words, but, emotional baggage attached to words and phrases as well. Please be careful not to conclude that someone is insulting you when they are just trying to give an opinion. Then, of course, there is always the bilge-water types to watch out for. :wink:
When we sit around a study group with each other we can ask for clarification, here not so quick and easy.

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fanofVan wrote:
nodAmanaV wrote:
After studying Jesus, what he said and how he lived, did not Jesus expect his followers to go out and perform religious work?

What was this religious work?


We've had this conversation multiple times nod. There are instructions for apostles and for disciples and for believers. You seem endlessly focused on "what" others are not doing you think they should and what others are doing you don't think they should. The answer is clearly given in the UB and by Jesus as well. We are to live by the law of love. There is no "what" that is uniform, unless it is to pray and grow with sincerity and loyalty. Other than that, circle making decisions are faced in every life every day. All work and all life is noble and true based on our motive and intention....not our "what". We are each free and encouraged to live a personalized life of discovery and expression and this uniqueness is purposeful to the all and the Supreme. Worry less about "what" "others" "should" "be doing"!! The only question you need answer is "how" and "why" you should be doing "what".

You still do not acknowledge this fact?

Rexford - thank you for such a demonstration of patience and persistence. I am also dismayed the mods here have allowed a take over and shutting down of discussion and study by hecklers and jecklers who delight only in their ability to cast doubts and disruption with name calling and caterwalling, endlessly the same old song and dance. Trolls indeed. It's past time for Manny's Madness to be silenced here for the third or fourth time in 3-4 years. His tune and tone do not change. He defies the guidelines and purposes here over and over and over again taking over every topic begun and dragging them down his rabbit holes of darkness and madness.

We shall see how such lemons are to become lemonade over time. I am glad there are still some actual sincere students who do attend here and ask sincere questions regarding that which we share here together in study. I know you, like me, have a very full and interesting pilgrim's path filled with adventure and growth in the Spirit. Life is not virtual. Nor is it lived in a book, even this one! Such snide accusations and insinuations only demonstrate those whose superiority blinds the truth within the facts of reality and the journey through the terrain. Blind arrogance. Like yapping dogs, very little dogs whose yap is louder than their size as tadpoles but could never reach the dimensions of their ego. They learn nothing and contribute nothing, well nothing but endless noise. Like you....I too am fed up with it.

Manny's insincere apology and immediate posting of his MannyFesto says a lot. He's been here over 4years and kicked off more than once but feigns surprise as the nature of this place and the guidelines he violates. Poppycock!

8) :roll: :wink:


Should I take this as an insult? No, I will let it be a circle making decision and not take it as an insult. I love poppycock, however. Candy caramel popcorn and peanuts. But it doesn't like me. I got a mean diverticulitis from the seeds 15 years ago that almost killed me. I hear that Bonita hates it.

Are you now planning to plea for my removal from the Forum Bradly?


slyde wrote:
Then, of course, there is always the bilge-water types to watch out for.


Is this a reference to me Slyde? If so, I will choose not to be offended and add this one as well to my circle making decisions. But, you can be more direct with me. I can take it. But hit me with your best shot. It will be easier to turn the other cheek. I'm guessing you're a boater, Slyde.


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:wink: If the shoe fits...........

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slyde wrote:
:wink: If the shoe fits...........


Actually, the emoji says it all.


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Precisamundo! :wink: :wink:

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BTW, I have started a new topic. I have moved my questions termed, "MannyFesto", by Bradly (That's a good one) to a new thread. It has been quite controversial when I have brought this up in the past but no one has wanted to broach the subject to any depth. I mean no offense to anyone, including Gabriel, but I think it is important to the forum if we are to be sincere.

I ask leading questions I know, but I would be content to entertain intellectually honest rebuttals. Hurling "MannyFesto" terms would not be considered honest, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, what some have done here to vilify me naturally makes others who normally would chime in to be shy and reticent to give an opinion for fear of being associated with a publican and a sinner. These, I consider bullying tactics that intimidate and stifle discussion. This topic and the associated quotes I consider uncomfortable myself but if we are to be courageous we must travel to the forbidden zone and tackle forbidden subjects.

I have no problems with this topic being moved to Abner's Corner if anyone objects to where I currently have it posted. Fair warning, this may make some cringe.


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Rexford wrote:
Greetings nod,

nodAmanaV wrote:
Believe it or not, it's what we're doing right here isn't it? It's alive and we're presenting to anyone who's following along who we are and how we interpret what following Jesus is.


Honestly, I am not sure if what we are doing here is firsthand religion. It certainly is not personal religious experience, at least not for me. They say that there are two phases to religious experience. The first one is discovery in the mind. The second is revelation by the Adjuster. I think what you are talking about is religious living, actual service. Service comes as a result of discovery and revelation, firsthand religious experience.

Jesus' religion consisted not merely in believing, but in actually doing, those things which the gospel required. He did not teach that the essence of his religion consisted in social service, but rather that social service was one of the certain effects of the possession of the spirit of true religion.159:5:8

As you can see from the quote above, true, firsthand, personal religion comes first, it is the cause. Service is the natural effect of the that cause. What you call religious work can only happen if you first possess a true personal religion, an inner relationship with Deity. That is really all you have to worry about, staying connected to the vine. The fruit will grow. Yes, you have to make a free-will decision to allow this to happen, but the work is in staying connected during the ups and downs of life. The service part is easy and natural, in fact, is mostly unconscious. True goodness is unconscious. Being righteous, staying connected and working on one's relationship with God must precede the doing of righteous deeds, otherwise they cannot be righteous. The righteousness comes from God, not us. Our faith in God, our loyalty to God always comes first, and when it does, service naturally follows. Service is the fruits of the spirit. True righteousness is always shared as fruit, it cannot be hoarded or buried in the ground for safekeeping. The fruit is not ours to do that with.

That evening while teaching in the house, for it had begun to rain, Jesus talked at great length, trying to show the twelve what they must be, not what they must do. They knew only a religion that imposed the doing of certain things as the means of attaining righteousness — salvation. But Jesus would reiterate, "In the kingdom you must be righteous in order to do the work." Many times did he repeat, "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." All the while was the Master explaining to his bewildered apostles that the salvation which he had come to bring to the world was to be had only by believing, by simple and sincere faith. Said Jesus: "John preached a baptism of repentance, sorrow for the old way of living. You are to proclaim the baptism of fellowship with God. Preach repentance to those who stand in need of such teaching, but to those already seeking sincere entrance to the kingdom, open the doors wide and bid them enter into the joyous fellowship of the sons of God." But it was a difficult task to persuade these Galilean fishermen that, in the kingdom, being righteous, by faith, must precede doing righteousness in the daily life of the mortals of earth. 140:10:1

Thanks for your bravery,
Rexford


Good question nod...and a solid response Rexford. In affirmation of Rexford's point and presentation above - it is our motive that is clearly the fulcrum for the lever of decisions, choices, and actions which determines the circle making potential in each decision. A poor/weak motive offers no power of effect or results. A love based motive delivers the leverage for free will which transcends the one and brings results not only to soul but to the Supreme. An important concept in the Papers is this very thing: the motive of love by each one of us results in a universe wide response which affects all others - a very positive, even eternal response. Personal circle progress and every circle making decision is a cause with universal effect!

170:3.9 (1862.6) The righteousness of any act must be measured by the motive; the highest forms of good are therefore unconscious. Jesus was never concerned with morals or ethics as such. He was wholly concerned with that inward and spiritual fellowship with God the Father which so certainly and directly manifests itself as outward and loving service for man. He taught that the religion of the kingdom is a genuine personal experience which no man can contain within himself; that the consciousness of being a member of the family of believers leads inevitably to the practice of the precepts of the family conduct, the service of one’s brothers and sisters in the effort to enhance and enlarge the brotherhood.

We are told it is our decisions and more decisions (repeat endlessly and forever) in both quantity of decisions (from whence habits of response become reflexive over time) but also in quality of decisions (as measured by motive first and experiential wisdom second) that leads all tadpoles into and through the circle progress. As has been pointed out, not all decisions propel or retard circle progress (rye or whole wheat for example) but when any decision contains either of the elements of self forgetting service/love (truth, beauty, goodness) or self serving/importance THEN that decision, each and every time, does indeed move us forward or moves us backward - per the many posts of text offered by Rexford previously.

110:6.17 (1211.2) The motivation of faith makes experiential the full realization of man’s sonship with God, but action, completion of decisions, is essential to the evolutionary attainment of consciousness of progressive kinship with the cosmic actuality of the Supreme Being. Faith transmutes potentials to actuals in the spiritual world, but potentials become actuals in the finite realms of the Supreme only by and through the realization of choice-experience. But choosing to do the will of God joins spiritual faith to material decisions in personality action and thus supplies a divine and spiritual fulcrum for the more effective functioning of the human and material leverage of God-hunger. Such a wise co-ordination of material and spiritual forces greatly augments both cosmic realization of the Supreme and morontia comprehension of the Paradise Deities.

110:6.18 (1211.3) The mastery of the cosmic circles is related to the quantitative growth of the morontia soul, the comprehension of supreme meanings. But the qualitative status of this immortal soul is wholly dependent on the grasp of living faith upon the Paradise-potential fact-value that mortal man is a son of the eternal God. Therefore does a seventh circler go on to the mansion worlds to attain further quantitative realization of cosmic growth just as does a second or even a first circler.

I'll save this for later....but this is where the mind poisons become retardants of or even destroyers of circle progress. Fear, anxieties, suspicions, doubts, and paranoia about the reality of the universe, the loving nature of our Creators, the generosity and kindness of our leaders and helpers, the fairness of both mercy and judgment, the inherent orderliness of the universe of universes leads all backward into self importance and away from progress that is only found in faith and love as experienced and expressed by each mind and soul. Those who spread fear and doubt hurt themselves and all those within the repercussion-zone of evil and sin. Beware the fear monger! His/her fear is self serving and self deceiving and self defeating - the trifecta!!

8)


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SEla_Kelly wrote:
Hello I am intrigued by this concept for a while, "Circle Making Decision", and the unanimous encouragement that one receives from the guardian seraphim and other spiritual beings.

I have read truthbook.com's "Staff Explanation" associating this human phenomenon with the psychic circles, and I note that "the Supreme Decision" mentioned in this Paper 113 is the betrothal or human offering to the Thought Adjuster.

But is that the only contexts that are offered available for consideration, or are there more mundane contexts? Such as an electric circuit "as a circle", does the phrase imply this type of completions.


I mean, what is the context of "circle" according to the angelic perspective as mentioned in paper 113? We are not speaking in theoretical terms, "Circle-Making" implies that there are many types of circles, yes?

Can someone speak from experience or elaborate what it really means and how angels help humans to make circles, and why this is good for the world, humanity, etc?


I thought it might be helpful to review SEla's original post. I noticed that we have not discussed in detail the functional role and relationship the angels have in the ascendant experience. We got pretty side tracked over the Personal Guardian issue and circle counting. Prior to the Personal Guardians comes the guardian angels. I cannot tell if guardian angels become Personal Guardians or not (I'm studying it - found it! apparently not - group guardians and personal guardians have different destinies!) or if the Personals are assigned/volunteer from outside the group guardians (yes). But their ministry is similar. Also, though, is the role of angels related to our Mansion Worlds experience and beyond during our journey to Paradise once fused. The Destiny Guardians will always be our partners in the eternal adventure, as they too ascend and join the Corp of Finality.

113:0.1 (1241.1) HAVING presented the narratives of the Ministering Spirits of Time and the Messenger Hosts of Space, we come to the consideration of the guardian angels, seraphim devoted to the ministry to individual mortals, for whose elevation and perfection all of the vast survival scheme of spiritual progression has been provided. In past ages on Urantia, these destiny guardians were about the only group of angels that had recognition. The planetary seraphim are indeed ministering spirits sent forth to do service for those who shall survive. These attending seraphim have functioned as the spiritual helpers of mortal man in all the great events of the past and the present. In many a revelation “the word was spoken by angels”; many of the mandates of heaven have been “received by the ministry of angels.”

113:0.2 (1241.2) Seraphim are the traditional angels of heaven; they are the ministering spirits who live so near you and do so much for you. They have ministered on Urantia since the earliest times of human intelligence.


We are told these are the closest to us in mind of all other creatures.

113:2.5 (1243.2) The angels develop an abiding affection for their human associates; and you would, if you could only visualize the seraphim, develop a warm affection for them. Divested of material bodies, given spirit forms, you would be very near the angels in many attributes of personality. They share most of your emotions and experience some additional ones. The only emotion actuating you which is somewhat difficult for them to comprehend is the legacy of animal fear that bulks so large in the mental life of the average inhabitant of Urantia. The angels really find it hard to understand why you will so persistently allow your higher intellectual powers, even your religious faith, to be so dominated by fear, so thoroughly demoralized by the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety.

113:4.2 (1245.2) Mortal man, subject to Adjuster leading, is also amenable to seraphic guidance. The Adjuster is the essence of man’s eternal nature; the seraphim is the teacher of man’s evolving nature — in this life the mortal mind, in the next the morontia soul. On the mansion worlds you will be conscious and aware of seraphic instructors, but in the first life men are usually unaware of them.

113:4.3 (1245.3) Seraphim function as teachers of men by guiding the footsteps of the human personality into paths of new and progressive experiences. To accept the guidance of a seraphim rarely means attaining a life of ease. In following this leading you are sure to encounter, and if you have the courage, to traverse, the rugged hills of moral choosing and spiritual progress.

113:4.5 (1245.5) While there is apparently no communication between the indwelling Adjusters and the encompassing seraphim, they always seem to work in perfect harmony and exquisite accord. The guardians are most active at those times when the Adjusters are least active, but their ministry is in some manner strangely correlated. Such superb co-operation could hardly be either accidental or incidental.

113:5.4 (1246.3) In the life of the flesh the intelligence of angels is not directly available to mortal men. They are not overlords or directors; they are simply guardians. The seraphim guard you; they do not seek directly to influence you; you must chart your own course, but these angels then act to make the best possible use of the course you have chosen. They do not (ordinarily) arbitrarily intervene in the routine affairs of human life. But when they receive instructions from their superiors to perform some unusual exploit, you may rest assured that these guardians will find some means of carrying out these mandates. They do not, therefore, intrude into the picture of human drama except in emergencies and then usually on the direct orders of their superiors. They are the beings who are going to follow you for many an age, and they are thus receiving an introduction to their future work and personality association.

113:5.5 (1246.4) Seraphim are able to function as material ministers to human beings under certain circumstances, but their action in this capacity is very rare. They are able, with the assistance of the midway creatures and the physical controllers, to function in a wide range of activities in behalf of human beings, even to make actual contact with mankind, but such occurrences are very unusual. In most instances the circumstances of the material realm proceed unaltered by seraphic action, although occasions have arisen, involving jeopardy to vital links in the chain of human evolution, in which seraphic guardians have acted, and properly, on their own initiative.

Me here: So, we have identified 4 specific points I think in our journey through the Circle Making Decisions:

The decision(s) which delivers the Thought Adjuster and entry to the circle.

The culmination of the circles which results in fusion with the Thought Adjuster.

And, in between, the moment of our personal desire to find and know God and the moment when we knowingly make the commitment to become perfected in faith and love. The first "in-between" moment of longing desire begins the transfer of the seat of our identity and the second "in-between" moment of personal commitment whereby our life becomes far more guided/directed by the Spirit nature and ministries as we begin to escape material identity and grasp spirit identity for ourselves. One of these moments (my opinion is the second) MAY mark entrance to the third circle and our Guardians of Destiny assignment.

I said this early on but it bears repeating: I don't know who has made the third circle or how common or rare this is. My opinion is it is not so uncommon and this is not a measure of intellect or wisdom so much as a measure of faith and commitment within which cannot ever or easily be "measured" by mortal mind - of our own or of others. I cannot say I have achieved this and you have not or you have and I have not or both of us have or have not. The question is ridiculous in its irrelevancy!!! It only happens when it happens because we have achieved a level of inner commitment and personal growth in our faith and demonstrated by our loving service and the fruits of the spirit. It is simply wrong, ineffective, and egoistic to claim one's circle progress....are you still here walking around? Well then....you have work to do still....better get busy and quit wasting time peering into your navel to count your circles!! Pomposity and self love (spiritual pride) is a constant danger in the tadpole ponds!!

Anyway...again thanks to SEla....it's been a most interesting discussion so far.

8)


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fanofVan wrote:
I'll save this for later....but this is where the mind poisons become retardants of or even destroyers of circle progress. Fear, anxieties, suspicions, doubts, and paranoia about the reality of the universe, the loving nature of our Creators, the generosity and kindness of our leaders and helpers, the fairness of both mercy and judgment, the inherent orderliness of the universe of universes leads all backward into self importance and away from progress that is only found in faith and love as experienced and expressed by each mind and soul. Those who spread fear and doubt hurt themselves and all those within the repercussion-zone of evil and sin. Beware the fear monger! His/her fear is self serving and self deceiving and self defeating - the trifecta!!


I find what you say here very interesting and worthy of comment, Bradly. I agree that fear is a mind poison and even a destroyer of circle progress. So, why is it that you turn around and attempt to invoke fear with a "Beware" warning? This is most confusing.

fanofVan wrote:
Beware the fear monger!


How much are we to fear the "fear monger"? What is there to be done about the "fear monger"? Can the "fear monger" be rehabilitated?

Does the "fear monger" make you anxious? Are you suspicious of the "fear monger"? Are you doubtful that this "fear monger" could be worthy of love? Are you becoming paranoid about this "fear monger"?


fanofVan wrote:
Beware the fear monger!


Bradly, are you spreading fear with this dire warning? "Danger, danger, danger, Will Robinson!"


fanofVan wrote:
...leads all backward into self importance and away from progress that is only found in faith and love as experienced and expressed by each mind and soul.


It is vitally important that you can identify the fear monger in the room. Please, Bradly, point to that person so that we can know who he/she is. We are all relying on you to do this for us. You can save us from retrogressing and falling victim to those that lead us away from faith and love.


fanofVan wrote:
It is simply wrong, ineffective, and egoistic to claim one's circle progress....are you still here walking around? Well then....you have work to do still....better get busy and quit wasting time peering into your navel to count your circles!! Pomposity and self love (spiritual pride) is a constant danger in the tadpole ponds!!


Again, thanks for the warning, Bradly. Is the danger indeed constant in the tadpole ponds?! Perhaps this calls for emergency measures!

Lets build walls around the ponds and deport all pompous and self-loving tadpoles. Perhaps we should arrest all tadpoles looking at their navels (do tadpoles have navels?) and those that look as if they are counting anything, circles or otherwise.

Honestly, Bradly, do you even read your posts out load to hear what you sound like?


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When I see the word "beware" it says to me, 'be aware'. To me, that means to keep our eyes open so that we can see things for what they really are and not be pulled in to unreality of a compelling and persistent energy or presence. So when I see Bradly's phrase "Beware the fear monger" I see it as a suggestion that we maintain awareness of what is real, and what is not, when reading others' compelling perspectives that challenge our personal religious practice or understanding.


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Greetings Brad,

You wrote:
fanofVan wrote:
I don't know who has made the third circle or how common or rare this is. My opinion is it is not so uncommon and this is not a measure of intellect or wisdom so much as a measure of faith and commitment within which cannot ever or easily be "measured" by mortal mind - of our own or of others.


I would love to believe that third circlers are common too, but then I recall this quote:

For many thousands of years, so the records of Jerusem show, in each generation there have lived fewer and fewer beings who could function safely with self-acting Adjusters. This is an alarming picture, and the supervising personalities of Satania look with favor upon the proposals of some of your more immediate planetary supervisors who advocate the inauguration of measures designed to foster and conserve the higher spiritual types of the Urantia races. 110:4:6

When their charge enters the third psychic circle, the Adjuster becomes self-acting. Apparently there are fewer and fewer third circlers than there were at the time of Jesus. That makes me wonder how many there really are, probably less than we think.

The great days in the individual careers of Adjusters are: first, when the human subject breaks through into the third psychic circle, thus insuring the Monitor's self-activity and increased range of function (provided the indweller was not already self-acting); then, when the human partner attains the first psychic circle, and they are thereby enabled to intercommunicate, at least to some degree; and last, when they are finally and eternally fused. 110:6:22

Respectfully,
Rexford


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Certainly, one of the "measures designed to foster" is the Urantia Book. How knowing the revelation fosters the "higher spiritual types" is interesting to ponder though. Does higher spirituality come first, or is it the result of studying the book? It's probably a bit of both. Which is why studying it is so important. Getting to know it. Then onward . . .


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