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I'm going to do some gossip and tell my Urantia Book friends here a conversation I had with somebody on another forum. I've created similar threads like my "milk before meat" thread and my "saved by faith or works?" thread, but I think this question is worthy of its own thread.

I was talking about how I cannot give my approval to any religious institution that gives members information only they are worthy of knowing. That is esoteric knowledge.

I was talking about how I was disapproving of the Latter-day Saints with their secret temple rituals. One Mormon pointed to Matthew 17 where Jesus told his apostles not to speak to others of the transfiguration as his excuse to not divulge the temple hand tokens. Another Mormon kept trying to split hairs that their ordinances are sacred not secret. I said that if I am not allowed to know something, then it's a secret. He then said that if I get baptized into the Church and live up to the standards of the Church, the temple rituals will be revealed to me. He was doing word games to avoid saying "It's only a secret to people who are not members of the Church or members in good standing". That's like saying "If humans deny you information, that's a secret but if God denies you information, that's sacred". Also, is it "sacred not secret" if I earn the good graces of a married couple who allow third parties into the bedroom? Apologies for the crude joke, but I'm trying to prove a point.

So now that you know where I am coming from, here is my question: what does the Urantia Book say about esoteric knowledge? It is my understanding that the Urantia Book teaches that in the world's hereafter we will be spending a LOT of time in classrooms on the Architectural Spheres being taught concepts we cannot possibly comprehend as of now in this life. But I also know about people who have progressed further even while living on Urantia toward Paradise and are "closer" for lack of a better word to their Thought Adjuster. They have done this by making an effort.

The Mormons will argue that you need to make an effort to learn what is holy and sacred. To an extent I agree. But only in seeking out knowledge as most of us here did when we found the Urantia Book. In other words ask and seek. It's not working to be holy to get holy knowledge. Seriously: How does refraining from coffee and tithing away 10% of my income to an institution that I honestly feel is not worthy of it make me worthy of esoteric knowledge?


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As a former Mormon who grew up in the church and who participated in those secret temple rituals, I completely agree with you. And it never felt right; participating in secret things that would somehow score points with God; but people who, out of sheer circumstance, wouldn't have access to even know the opportunity was there, much less seek and find.

I cannot cite a specific UB quote to back this up, but I do recall the first time I read the UB I was notably relieved and grateful that it made it clear you don't have to have special knowledge or be part of a religious movement in order to be welcomed home by our Father.

Honestly, even as I was doing them, those secret hand signals and such in the temple are so ridiculous. Like a junior high school secret club level stuff. It was hard for me not to laugh. I'd say that temple experience was the first step on my road to leaving the Mormon church.


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William posts: "So now that you know where I am coming from, here is my question: what does the Urantia Book say about esoteric knowledge?"

Hmmm.....the term esoteric has two definitions generally - one is secret knowledge (held for the few and hid from the many) and the other is specialized knowledge (of interest to the few with specialized understanding and appreciation).

"intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."

synonyms:
abstruse · obscure · arcane · recherché · rarefied · recondite · abstract · difficult · hard · puzzling · perplexing · enigmatic · inscrutable · cryptic · Delphic · complex · complicated · involved · over/above one's head · incomprehensible · opaque · unfathomable · impenetrable · mysterious · occult · little known · hidden · secret · private · mystic · magical · cabbalistic · involuted


The UB teaches that knowledge is freely available based on the ability to understand. There are over 100 quotes containing the term "unrevealed":

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

But this is not "secret" information nor is any of it vital to survival or salvation or ascension or spiritization.

Keyword search results for "unknown":

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

"Comprehend":

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

"Comprehension":

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


Certainly is it true that the UB teaches that all connections to Deity and Deity Circuits of personality, mind, and spirit are universal and require NO knowledge at all of any kind!!! That which is unknown but knowable will be known over time by education, experience, wisdom, and spiritization!!

So called secret knowledge is a tool of priesthoods for the purpose of manipulation and self elevation! For the enlightened it is but a harmless superstition of primitive beliefs that do not determine (nor prevent) personal religious experience and growth. We are admonished to NOT judge the primitive religionist or the primitive superstitions and religions of any religionist. There is nothing about our personal religious experience that is superior to any other mortal's religious experience. The readers and believers of this Revelation have no knowledge or beliefs that make us superior or more saved. Perhaps better informed? More enlightened in some ways? Perhaps. But not more special or more loved certainly!

101:9.2 (1115.3) 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.

Me here: Good topic. Best wishes!!

Bradly 8)


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Wow Bradly, that was a great response. The quotes you pulled really do express the UB position on so-called sacred or secret knowledge. Anyone can read the UB for free, you do not need to join anything and you are not questioned on what you believe, or how much or what you do with what you believe.

The book is frank, and goes as far as our language will allow in disclosing reality on a grand and expanded scale. A Urantia Book student once said "if there is a better conceptual presentation of reality out there, please, show me."

What trips people up and makes them think the Urantia Book is esoteric is their own lack of study. It requires a little bit of effort to take in what the narrative presents. But it never drifts towards being inconsistent or contradictory, and it holds up over time.

The concept like Thought Adjusters and Havona worlds seem like strange concepts at first. Names like Edentia and Nebadon seem like the stuff of JRR Tolkien, it's only because these concepts are word-symbols of things that previously did not exist in human language. Even the name Urantia seems strange to someone who has never heard the word before. But that doesn't make it esoteric, only unfamiliar as a thought-word-symbol-concept.

My best metaphor is this. The Urantia Book is like a software update so that the computer (people) can perform more intricate functions (intellectual growth) and interpret more intricate data (spiritual wisdom).

Our intellectual and spiritual growth depends on these periodic upgrades, or what they call epochal revelations. The UB hides nothing and that's what is what gives it's validity, I think.

One final thing is that most people do not really read their religious books. They might know a quote or a chapter they read once, but how many people really study the Bible, or the Koran, or the Book of Mormon? So because many people may not read this book, its kind of up to us to share and teach other people these concepts in a language suited to the person you are talking to. That's what Jesus used to say, speak to their hearts not their minds.

Great topic!!! Thank you.

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Jim Watkins
SW Florida


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William posts: "I was talking about how I cannot give my approval to any religious institution that gives members information only they are worthy of knowing. That is esoteric knowledge.

I was talking about how I was disapproving of the Latter-day Saints with their secret temple rituals."


I wonder Brother about the value of your "approval" and "disappointment". Perhaps you might consider the wisdom and guidance offered in the UB about the power and results of our faith experience regardless of and despite all beliefs and creeds doctrines and secret ceremonies, despite even false beliefs and superstitious practices.

Many Mormons are earnest and sincere and devout practitioners of true spirit values - fellow valiant faith children...as are Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, pagans, primitives...and even Baptists (hahaha...born and baptized by those!).

Esoteric exclusionism does not prevent spirituality. Cults are foundational elements of religious evolutionary progress.

Keyword search for "cults":

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

103:1.5 (1130.4) That religionists have believed so much that was false does not invalidate religion because religion is founded on the recognition of values and is validated by the faith of personal religious experience. Religion, then, is based on experience and religious thought; theology, the philosophy of religion, is an honest attempt to interpret that experience. Such interpretative beliefs may be right or wrong, or a mixture of truth and error.

149:2.5 (1670.6) The teachers of the religion of Jesus should approach other religions with the recognition of the truths which are held in common (many of which come directly or indirectly from Jesus’ message) while they refrain from placing so much emphasis on the differences.


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fanofVan wrote:
William posts: "I was talking about how I cannot give my approval to any religious institution that gives members information only they are worthy of knowing. That is esoteric knowledge.

I was talking about how I was disapproving of the Latter-day Saints with their secret temple rituals."


I wonder Brother about the value of your "approval" and "disappointment". Perhaps you might consider the wisdom and guidance offered in the UB about the power and results of our faith experience regardless of and despite all beliefs and creeds doctrines and secret ceremonies, despite even false beliefs and superstitious practices.

Many Mormons are earnest and sincere and devout practitioners of true spirit values - fellow valiant faith children...as are Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, pagans, primitives...and even Baptists (hahaha...born and baptized by those!).

Esoteric exclusionism does not prevent spirituality. Cults are foundational elements of religious evolutionary progress.

Keyword search for "cults":

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

103:1.5 (1130.4) That religionists have believed so much that was false does not invalidate religion because religion is founded on the recognition of values and is validated by the faith of personal religious experience. Religion, then, is based on experience and religious thought; theology, the philosophy of religion, is an honest attempt to interpret that experience. Such interpretative beliefs may be right or wrong, or a mixture of truth and error.

149:2.5 (1670.6) The teachers of the religion of Jesus should approach other religions with the recognition of the truths which are held in common (many of which come directly or indirectly from Jesus’ message) while they refrain from placing so much emphasis on the differences.


Finding the truth in somebody else's beliefs and experiences and not what's wrong is well and good. It's also well and good to be cordial and even loving to those who express different religious ideas.

HOWEVER: I cannot call it a moment of "love" or "beauty" when those who express different views continue to think they are superior to you and/or that you will lose your salvation.

Example: If Jehovah's Witnesses knock on your door and you gently and politely turn them away, when the door is closed, you might be saying to yourself "Wow! Their faith is so strong, they sacrifice their time to make the effort to preach to me! Wonderful!" Meanwhile those Jehovah's Witnesses have turned around and are thinking "That person is doomed. That person is not worthy of love."

Of course it need not concern us what others think, but I would NOT call that encounter a moment of "beauty" and "love".


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And then there is the forgiveness, mercy, and love of the more enlightened for the more primitive. And how might that be shown as ministry to those who suffer from fear or pride? For certainly do many who believe in salvation also tremble in fear of their certainty in God's wrath and the eternal suffering that awaits the unworthy...and unsaved.

What a burden to bear. I know of it first-hand. Perhaps it is true that some such become smug, self righteousness, even arrogant in their spiritual pride. But, I think, many more fear unworthiness and have deep anxieties and uncertainties and yet give testimony and witness anyway hoping to express loyalty and duty and their faith in salvation and resurrection.

How enlightened are we who then feel superior to those who lack our knowledge, insights, and truth perspectives of universe realities? We who Jesus warned about being so concerned with the sawdust in another's eye while ignoring the beam that blinds us still.

Spiritual pride is a subtle companion that so often accompanies those of us who travel the Pilgrims Path. None are immune to its insidious poisons as it seeks to flatter the believer into feeling special...and superior.

I know I must be on guard myself for all such self flattery and self importance and all thoughts which might reduce the value of others or dismiss their own valiant struggle to achieve their destiny and potential. Humility demonstrates far greater enlightenment than pride can ever achieve I think.

Anyway bless those who seek to share the light of God's reality and hope of salvation to others and may we be as loyal in our own duty to share our light within in service to our fellows who crave truth and hope and struggle in fear and doubt amid the uncertainties of life.

8)

100:4.4 (1098.1) In physical life the senses tell of the existence of things; mind discovers the reality of meanings; but the spiritual experience reveals to the individual the true values of life. These high levels of human living are attained in the supreme love of God and in the unselfish love of man. If you love your fellow men, you must have discovered their values. Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them. You can best discover values in your associates by discovering their motivation. If someone irritates you, causes feelings of resentment, you should sympathetically seek to discern his viewpoint, his reasons for such objectionable conduct. If once you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant, and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love.

100:4.5 (1098.2) In the mind’s eye conjure up a picture of one of your primitive ancestors of cave-dwelling times—a short, misshapen, filthy, snarling hulk of a man standing, legs spread, club upraised, breathing hate and animosity as he looks fiercely just ahead. Such a picture hardly depicts the divine dignity of man. But allow us to enlarge the picture. In front of this animated human crouches a saber-toothed tiger. Behind him, a woman and two children. Immediately you recognize that such a picture stands for the beginnings of much that is fine and noble in the human race, but the man is the same in both pictures. Only, in the second sketch you are favored with a widened horizon. You therein discern the motivation of this evolving mortal. His attitude becomes praiseworthy because you understand him. If you could only fathom the motives of your associates, how much better you would understand them. If you could only know your fellows, you would eventually fall in love with them.

100:4.6 (1098.3) You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.


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