A place to discuss how faith experiences have changed your life.
Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:07 am +0000
I dislike writing autobiography and only do so when completely necessary.
I've spent the last 10 months trying to codify a philosophy I've been working on my entire life. When other kids wanted to play, I just wanted to think. I'm only 26 years old, and I've spent every spare scrap of mental energy I've had for the past 21 years on the problem of integrating disparate belief systems to mitigate what I see as unnecessary conflict, i.e. seeing conflicts where they don't really exist, i.e. what caused my parents divorce, which is what has shaped my whole life.
This was MY work - MY philosophy problem - and I was going to be the one to solve it.
But the Urantia Book beat me to the punch by about 81 years.
So you find something that encompasses the philosophy that's been growing inside of you. Do you get angry that you can't publish your philosophy anymore, because it pales in comparison? Or do you get happy that what you've been shooting for your entire life has already been written down in a strange book of dubious origins. If I believe the book, I'm just believing in the first thing that best fits my philosophy which I already believe, and it's just self-verification. If I don't believe the book, I'm denying the most stunning and gripping revelation of divine philosophy I've ever seen, and also negating my own philosophy which is largely copacetic with the book's philosophy.
Philosophy has always been my passion, and all the best integrations I could come up with in a lifetime could hardly begin to approach what we find in just a few pages of The Urantia Book. The concepts of deity in The Urantia Book do what I thought was impossible, they offer an explanation of God which is philosophically satisfying without reducing him in power or scope. My favorite papers of the book are the Foreword, which is a philosophical masterpiece, and the papers on the child, adolescent, and young-adult life of Jesus.
I feel like the only natural next step for me is to embrace the supernal truths I find within the book and try to build my philosophy off of that. The only problem is that I have a dream of being a published philosopher and I have no idea how my endorsement or non-endorsement of The Urantia Book will affect my ability to be published. The only thing I know left to do is criticize it until I can support my belief in it so well that I can publish work on it and not have to deal with hundreds of gnats with gnatty questions.
I've spent a lot of my recent years trying to mash Biblical truths into postmodern philosophical jargon to make it sensible to secular minds. Much to my surprise, it's not actually hard at all to get someone to accept the basic concepts of Christianity (not the dogma, but the principles of love and service.) In fact many avid "non-Christians" still embrace the core of Christian truth, as far as morality and society, they just have separated from institutionalized churches. This experiential evidence of mine corroborates with the claims of many over the past century that humankind is preparing to enter a new epoch. If they weren't preparing to enter a new epoch, I don't think they would still be open to all the old Christian values (love, peace, charity, etc.) but on the contrary they are, in fact many people are more open to these values than many churchgoers.
In summary, if I start to philosophize from the Urantia Book there's a whole different set of consequences than if I was just writing my own philosophy for publication. For this reason I return here, because I never intended to use a mysterious book as my source text, but it seems that's inevitably what must happen. No matter what I pursue in life, careers, books, hobbies, friends, my inner drive always pushes me harder and harder to keep philosophizing, to keep looking for a solution to everything, every waking hour of my life. This is how it's always been for me.
But I will never be able to get the supernal concepts from the Urantia Book out of my head. It has permanently made its mark on any future philosophizing. If my philosophical ideas are cows, they'll all be indelibly branded with three concentric circles. I'm constrained and attached to this epochal revelation whether I like it or not, so the least I can do is criticize it like someone who's not attached to it, and pretend I have some semblance of freedom left.
Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:30 am +0000
You must be gifted and destined like few are based on what you tell us. If I were you I would relish the fact that I was forced to jump out of an airplane without a parachute but found one on the way down anyway, landing softly on my feet.
Personally I don't think I've ever felt there was anything to criticize about what I read in the Urantia Book. I only struggle to understand the spiritual significance of what I read, since it's obvious to me that if God himself wrote a book, it's the Urantia Book. That's been my approach from day one when I was 24 years old and still is 34 years later.
Possessing and studying the Urantia Book has changed everything for me. So much time has been saved by it and I just thank God. It has caused me to not waste time with things that don't matter. However youth has a way of requiring to waste a little time and I certainly did my share. That's the one thing I would change if I could go back and do it again.
So Redtread I'm curious, share with us your criticisms of the Urantia Book won't you?
Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:28 pm +0000
I wrote a rather lengthy post that I did not like because it wasn't in line with the spirit of my OP being more skeptical and critical than I even wanted, so I deleted that and I'm writing this instead.
What I've called the Holy Spirit inside of me that directs me, is uncannily similar to a thought adjuster. So uncanny that on my first read-through I have to filter out that term because I was afraid it would make me biased and non-objective, being so similar to what I've experienced.
If it is what I think it is, then it's what I've been wanting to give credit to all of this time for saving me out of some really touchy situations and walking me through unscathed. I never knew what to call it other than the Holy Spirit, and I never understood why my "Holy Spirit" was so much different from the next person's if it was the same Holy Spirit. But a thought-adjuster seeking personalization may be a more adequate definition for that experience than just the leading of the Spirit, which is rather general.
If the thought adjuster is the feeling that I feel and sense that makes me want to wretch when I try to enjoy sin, then my thought adjuster is a total badass, because he reformed me singlehandedly, and I was a tough egg to crack, more shell than egg I think.
Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:27 am +0000
If you are interested in reading some careful philosophical thinking based (in part) on the teachings of the Urantia Book, I recommend http://www.amazon.com/Why-This-Universe-Cosmology-Consciousness-ebook/dp/B00KPI2N5W
, by Matthew Rapaport.
Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:42 am +0000
Thank you Ubizmo and nodAmanaV for your helpful input.
It isn't so much that I have so many criticisms of it, the truth is I want to make use of the UB's teachings and content for my philosophy. Now these considerations in place, my question is what would UB readers like to see in a major philosophical work that draws so many ideas from the UB.
I had to criticize first so I could get a sense for what people really think and how they really act, and you guys and gals are just an awesome group of people and I am learning to trust you all quite a bit at this point, even if you can't/don't trust me yet, which is fine. This community contains the most helpful, thoughtful, progressive people I can remember meeting for a very long time and that's why I want to be a part of it and why I want to ask you all for help with this, because I can't do it alone.
Also it seems to me that it would be very disrespectful if I simply co-opted the UB for my own philosophical work and never asked the readers and progenitors, the community of it, what they would like to see in such an endeavor and how I could make them feel respected and like I'm honoring the legacy of the UB, and its culture, in my usage of its positive teachings.
Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:43 am +0000
Redtread wrote:It isn't so much that I have so many criticisms of it, the truth is I want to make use of the UB's teachings and content for my philosophy.
If you use the Papers as content for your own philosophical work, you will be using some of the highest and most advanced concepts already expressed by the human mind throughout the ages. The revelation is under a mandate to give preference to already existing human knowledge. So, in effect you will be restating many millennia of thought already known to mankind in addition to some supplemental revelation. The best thing to do is to put all that into your mental cooker, coalesce it by experience, and present your own dish. In formulating the succeeding presentations having to do with the portrayal of the character of the Universal Father and the nature of his Paradise associates, together with an attempted description of the perfect central universe and the encircling seven superuniverses, we are to be guided by the mandate of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented. We may resort to pure revelation only when the concept of presentation has had no adequate previous expression by the human mind.
Successive planetary revelations of divine truth invariably embrace the highest existing concepts of spiritual values as a part of the new and enhanced co-ordination of planetary knowledge. Accordingly, in making these presentations about God and his universe associates, we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe. 0:12:11-12
Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:03 pm +0000
It kind of sounds like you want some opinions of perhaps what to do...If you are asking for advice, here is what I would do.
I would write from your own perspective, your original dissatisfaction(s) with philosophy and how you yourself found your way around it. I would not reference the UB at all, since it is still too difficult for many to swallow (the science and religion communities especially).
There are many examples of music, film, television, and print that could be argued as having been heavily influenced by the UB yet, the authors of such work are wise enough to give it out in small digestible dosages and allow their UB influenced work to be enjoyed unencumbered by any so called attached controversy.
Follow your soul and write from the heart.
Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:08 am +0000
I'm glad you pointed this out:
If you use the Papers as content for your own philosophical work, you will be using some of the highest and most advanced concepts already expressed by the human mind throughout the ages. The revelation is under a mandate to give preference to already existing human knowledge. So, in effect you will be restating many millennia of thought already known to mankind in addition to some supplemental revelation. The best thing to do is to put all that into your mental cooker, coalesce it by experience, and present your own dish.
I don't know if it's providence, or just happenstance, that this exact statement in so many words is precisely what I've been driven to do since childhood. When I was attending Bible college, before reading the UB, I would frequently x-reference Bible teachings with cultural references to the same concepts. It made me so excited to see that people everywhere affirmed so many Christian teachings, even though they didn't know it. But in the environment I was in no one seemed to care.
Thank you for your input! I am encouraged by your deep insight! I will meditate on this counsel to make it my own. Your advice is confirmation for me.
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