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 Post subject: Letting Go
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Please bear with me, this is difficult...

A little over 18 years ago, after most of my adult life spent in occultism, "alternative religions" etc, I had a profound and dramatic conversion experience.

Since then I have become what is known as a Lay Religious. Not only that but I have become a known personality in the Catholic Circles of my area...

Admittedly, the Urantia Book had been a peripheral item in my spiritual journey for decades.

Now, Roman Catholic for over 18, praying, reading and studying of the Urantia book has created an interior interior stress that is both dumb, and deeply painful.

The one thing that has nagged at me continuously, is the intense focus on the Bloody Atonement.

Even as I have practiced the Liturgy of the Hours, going to Mass, and in all the many devotionals, that nagging question - why would a loving God demand a horrible, excruciating bloody death to save us from ourselves?

There's nothing in the Urantia Book I don't believe. In fact it's been that way for more years than Incared to admit or accept until recently.

I get it - there is no loving God who would demand such a sacrifice. And I get it our Father is loving Mercy personified.

Now I'm having a little trouble in living this moment by moment hour-by-hour day-by-day month by month and year by year...

So many devotionals including the Rosary, so many liturgies...

It's a little like being addicted to tobacco ... I'm having a lot of trouble giving up all the peripheral activities of Catholicity.

Please don't rag on me. I am being absolutely sincere in my quest for assistance.

Does anyone here have any ideas about how to break these liturgical and devotional habits?

C Everett Koop once said that tobacco is harder to quit than methamphetamines or heroin.

Is attachments to Catholicity or even harder for me to let go of.


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Don, truth has a way of eliminating erroneous beliefs and practices. But it takes time. Pray for patience, understanding, wisdom. Fear not, worry not, you'll get to the mountaintop.


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Good Morning my friend. It seems you are asking for advice, so since you are asking and ONLY SINCE YOU ARE ASKING, may I suggest the following: Really, all of this, the state of the world, our place in it, our personal views on it, our personal views on religion, even all the religions in the world put together, means nearly nothing. I look at it this way: Here we are, at the very beginning of an eternal career, living on a shithole planet at the ragged edge of the universe. In the big picture, were are nobodies living in nowhere. So the fact that we have all these crazy beliefs, atonement, sacrifice, whatever, kind of comes with the territory. The very fact, my friend, that you even begin to contemplate that perhaps some of your core beliefs are not all they could be is actually huge. It puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of your fellow mortals. But even that, all that, is really nothing either. I look at me, you, everyone, like this. Again, here we are, at the beginning of our eternal career. Let's say the amount of spiritual growth we have ahead of us is the volume of water in the Pacific Ocean... now, currently me, a "spiritual guy", I got a total of 2 eyedroppers of spirituality. Perhaps someone else on the planet only has one. And this other guy, God, he's only got 2 drops! So I'm way ahead, right? Only if you insist on viewing this in the context of sitting on the beach and focusing on the eyedroppers, and ignoring the ocean in front of you!
So believe what you need to believe my friend, it will ALL come out in the wash, trust me on this. The Master taught he followers that Truth will overcome error, simply by the beauty of it being Truth. And this process is natural, invisible, and takes time. So I guess, my only advice to you really is, don't sweat it. Don't get worked up over it. We are, all of us, just on our first step of an incredible journey. An eternal journey which will take us to unbelievable places and let us do amazing things which we can not even imagine at this step. Enjoy the ride, my friend. Surf the wave. Live the life.
That's really all I got.


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Greetings Don!! Welcome to TruthBook.

First, let me also add my congratulations for your efforts and progress in your spiritual journey and your most recent breakthroughs. As pointed out, our world suffers overmuch from complacency and tradition in such matters.

As to advice and/or opinions….well, be careful what you ask for! Hahahahhaha……

First I would remind you that the UB teaches that there is no progress without conflict when we strive to transfer the seat of our identity from the material nature to the spirit nature. Only those who are wholly material or spiritual live without significant conflict. A favorite saying of mine is: If you're not confused then you're not paying attention!! So I think your confusion and uncertainty are good indications you are focused and attempting progress and may be on the cusp of one of those moments of transcendent flux.

The UB teaches us that uncertainty is a wonderful experience and is to be embraced by the faith children of God. There can be no adventure in life without uncertainty. And while it may cause anxiety and dread in non-believers, to a believer....what does it matter if all earthly things crash around us, or if we fail in some endeavor? Does not God still live and love us and embrace us and see to our true needs and destiny? Of course! We are to carry on AS IF we live in a friendly universe with God as our pilot and assurance of ultimate outcomes...for God does and so we do!

Our faith in this fact and truth is our expression of that greatest wisdom we will ever learn...trust in God and in God's purpose, plan, power, and love and care for all children of time. Uncertainty only means we are still growing and learning and that we remain immature and still have experiential wisdom ahead....and this will be true for a very long time still to come!! Get comfortable with this fact and truth. Only God knows outcomes...the rest of us must embrace the adventure of living and learning. But we may do so with confidence in God's management of all things large and small and God's love and affection for each of us.


So what's to worry about really? We are to gain sufficient wisdom to see our task and that which is truly important is not ME anyway....it is about caring for and serving others. So long as I am the most important person in my life, happiness will elude me and frustration will attend me. If we truly love God and God's light is shining within, then are we compelled to share that love and light...we become agents of and conduits for God's love.


We can and should do this anywhere....especially in a congregation of believers. Your "addiction" to tradition, ceremony, music, chanting, prayer, recitation, meditation, worship, and congregational participation is hardly a great problem. To the degree that such things serve your personal religious experience...they are very good things indeed. We all need community.


As to the conflicts and errors of beliefs within such evolutionary churches of authority...I would recommend the experience of the Master in such an identical situation. Jesus loved church! And learning the words and the books of his religious ancestors and the ancients. He knew them well and recited them often. They become important and foundational to his personal realization of truth and he learned to glean the best and be tolerant of the lesser and abandon the worst in all such matters.


Perhaps you should become more discerning, selective, and progressive in your own considerations of those practices to which you believe yourself addicted to? And perhaps add some as you leave some behind, which better engage your mind in its quest for sharing your inner life with God and with others?

As I came to reject the blood lust and sacrificial teachings of the church of my youth, I learned to substitute the word "love" for the word "blood" in all the hymns. The meaning matured and become real to me. The Jesusonian Gospel is at the core of these evolutionary churches and dogmas and creeds. You might consider how to focus on those in the community and help others do the same....for Jesus did not teach in the Bible about this wrathful, judgmental, demanding God requiring blood and atonement....the teachings of Jesus were not those of Paul.

The Good News is God loves us each and all and will leave the 99 to find the one and God's Son came to tell us this good news that we live in a friendly universe filled with mercy and love and we are all God's children...man and woman, Jew and Gentile, white and black, large and small...and if we will act AS IF this were true, all our problems would melt away and all God's promises would come true! Isn't this the central truth in the church you attend? Isn't this the point and purpose of that to which you are addicted?

It is a good problem to have. Do not worry overmuch about it. Stay true to your convictions and your faith. Share the light and love you have with others. Be gladsome and thankful.

Again....welcome....and careful what you ask for! Hahahaha...…..

100:2.3 (1095.7) Religion can progress to that level of experience whereon it becomes an enlightened and wise technique of spiritual reaction to the universe. Such a glorified religion can function on three levels of human personality: the intellectual, the morontial, and the spiritual; upon the mind, in the evolving soul, and with the indwelling spirit.

100:2.4 (1096.1) Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one’s nearness to God and the measure of one’s usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.

4. Problems of Growth

100:4.1 (1097.5) Religious living is devoted living, and devoted living is creative living, original and spontaneous. New religious insights arise out of conflicts which initiate the choosing of new and better reaction habits in the place of older and inferior reaction patterns. New meanings only emerge amid conflict; and conflict persists only in the face of refusal to espouse the higher values connoted in superior meanings.

100:4.2 (1097.6) Religious perplexities are inevitable; there can be no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation. The organization of a philosophic standard of living entails considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind. Loyalties are not exercised in behalf of the great, the good, the true, and the noble without a struggle. Effort is attendant upon clarification of spiritual vision and enhancement of cosmic insight. And the human intellect protests against being weaned from subsisting upon the nonspiritual energies of temporal existence. The slothful animal mind rebels at the effort required to wrestle with cosmic problem solving.

100:4.3 (1097.7) But the great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of the personality by the dominance of love. Health, mental efficiency, and happiness arise from the unification of physical systems, mind systems, and spirit systems. Of health and sanity man understands much, but of happiness he has truly realized very little. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding.


26:5.3 (291.3) That, then, is the primary or elementary course which confronts the faith-tested and much-traveled pilgrims of space. But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: “In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible.”

111:7.1 (1223.3) Uncertainty with security is the essence of the Paradise adventure—uncertainty in time and in mind, uncertainty as to the events of the unfolding Paradise ascent; security in spirit and in eternity, security in the unqualified trust of the creature son in the divine compassion and infinite love of the Universal Father; uncertainty as an inexperienced citizen of the universe; security as an ascending son in the universe mansions of an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving Father.

Bradly 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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My personal opinion is when you are ready to let go religion, you will. I think the fact you are questioning the value of the rites is the preliminary event to letting go and moving on to other revelation systems. But there is always a possibility that you may decide to remain in your current station. Ultimately it depends on what you desire and how you act upon it.

1:2.6 (24.4) 3. The personality craving to be like God—the wholehearted desire to do the Father’s will.

Even with the Urantia book, finding oneself confined to those 2097 pages is a form of religion, as the book itself is a closed system. My belief is all of nature and outer-nature constantly communicate knowledge to us. It merely depends on the individual's receptivity to it and ability to process the knowledge into usable information.




DonB784 wrote:
Please bear with me, this is difficult...

A little over 18 years ago, after most of my adult life spent in occultism, "alternative religions" etc, I had a profound and dramatic conversion experience.

Since then I have become what is known as a Lay Religious. Not only that but I have become a known personality in the Catholic Circles of my area...

Admittedly, the Urantia Book had been a peripheral item in my spiritual journey for decades.

Now, Roman Catholic for over 18, praying, reading and studying of the Urantia book has created an interior interior stress that is both dumb, and deeply painful.

The one thing that has nagged at me continuously, is the intense focus on the Bloody Atonement.

Even as I have practiced the Liturgy of the Hours, going to Mass, and in all the many devotionals, that nagging question - why would a loving God demand a horrible, excruciating bloody death to save us from ourselves?

There's nothing in the Urantia Book I don't believe. In fact it's been that way for more years than Incared to admit or accept until recently.

I get it - there is no loving God who would demand such a sacrifice. And I get it our Father is loving Mercy personified.

Now I'm having a little trouble in living this moment by moment hour-by-hour day-by-day month by month and year by year...

So many devotionals including the Rosary, so many liturgies...

It's a little like being addicted to tobacco ... I'm having a lot of trouble giving up all the peripheral activities of Catholicity.

Please don't rag on me. I am being absolutely sincere in my quest for assistance.

Does anyone here have any ideas about how to break these liturgical and devotional habits?

C Everett Koop once said that tobacco is harder to quit than methamphetamines or heroin.

Is attachments to Catholicity or even harder for me to let go of.

_________________
BB, the Urantian Gnostic606


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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I do not think you should blame God for the Catholic viewpoint or focus on the idea of forgiveness of sins through sacrifice. But I grew up as a Catholic, a Catholic Christian I suppose, and I hope to decipher this phenomenon.

The idea of self-mutilation was held in monastic societies, because it was theorized that the spirit must discover a means by which to transcend the flesh of mortal bondage. The idea is reared on the asceticism of St. Francis and St. Benedict; rather than becoming liberated from the flesh, such activities often produce physiological reactions deemed pleasurable to the indivdual. The idea that the person is suffering, in order to gain a reward in heaven is a more modern notion, but even still outdated. By committing daily good deeds, or looking for an opportunity to give away your lunch & fast, you can perhaps achieve piety but there is also a risk of self-indulgent behaviours.

To go without. Well, in the Urantia Book the Authors still look at saving food and "to go without" as an notable achievement for evolving mankind. I read this book and achieved a new level of honesty, where I could see how unhealthy my plan to achieve a place in heaven actually is. It is more interesting to be able to live as a spirit on any planet, through any calamity, than it is to be falsely assured of a reward to be found in Paradise. If you are worried about the gruesomeness of atonement, then maybe you know a better means for preparing your perception to notice what is true about your universe.

I have been able to gain experiences, while working with a Sikh owner of an Indean buffet, to release most of my terrible guilty and over-apologetic Catholicized habits. I still feel so ridiculous but I remember a lot of truth from Catholic Schools & what-not. It is so healthy to learn new ways of celebrating ageless devotions. You do not need to spill blood: but there is an even higher requirement of discipline perhaps.

_________________
to the underlaying unity of all life
so that the voice of intuition may guide us
closer to our common keeper


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Don, I am interested in your statement:

Quote:
A little over 18 years ago, after most of my adult life spent in occultism, "alternative religions" etc, I had a profound and dramatic conversion experience.


Maybe it's too personal to share here, but I suspect it might help know you better if you're willing. If not, no worries...just thought I'd ask.

Thanks...


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Please forgive me for the delay in answering. I first had to figure out that I have to use the full site function in order to post replies.

To each one of you who have given me wonderful advice, I thank you for the inspiration and encouragement.

I have a lot to examine, and I will respond to each of your great commentaries as soon as I can!


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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DonB784 wrote:
Please bear with me, this is difficult...

A little over 18 years ago, after most of my adult life spent in occultism, "alternative religions" etc, I had a profound and dramatic conversion experience.

Since then I have become what is known as a Lay Religious. Not only that but I have become a known personality in the Catholic Circles of my area...

Admittedly, the Urantia Book had been a peripheral item in my spiritual journey for decades.

Now, Roman Catholic for over 18, praying, reading and studying of the Urantia book has created an interior interior stress that is both dumb, and deeply painful.

The one thing that has nagged at me continuously, is the intense focus on the Bloody Atonement.

Even as I have practiced the Liturgy of the Hours, going to Mass, and in all the many devotionals, that nagging question - why would a loving God demand a horrible, excruciating bloody death to save us from ourselves?

There's nothing in the Urantia Book I don't believe. In fact it's been that way for more years than Incared to admit or accept until recently.

I get it - there is no loving God who would demand such a sacrifice. And I get it our Father is loving Mercy personified.

Now I'm having a little trouble in living this moment by moment hour-by-hour day-by-day month by month and year by year...

So many devotionals including the Rosary, so many liturgies...

It's a little like being addicted to tobacco ... I'm having a lot of trouble giving up all the peripheral activities of Catholicity.

Please don't rag on me. I am being absolutely sincere in my quest for assistance.

Does anyone here have any ideas about how to break these liturgical and devotional habits?

C Everett Koop once said that tobacco is harder to quit than methamphetamines or heroin.

Is attachments to Catholicity or even harder for me to let go of.


Jesus did not have to be crucified. His body had to die so He could ascend to rule this universe and be master of the angels but He did not have to die by crucifixion. He could have left His body and it would have dropped dead.

Jesus chose to allow Himself to be crucified for a number of reasons. First was that Lucifer and many angels had rebelled and they were trying to say that Jesus did not deserve to be master of the angels and that Jesus was incompetent and a coward. The angels have many rules, one of those rules is this, do not harm any being with a soul.

The UB says that Jesus was asked about whether He would fight to defend Himself or not and He said that He would not resist if the enemy was a child of God. If they have a soul then they are a child of God. Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified to show bravery and to show that He followed angelic law.

If you sought out Catholicism then you may need the rituals. Many people do. You feel that you have to do something, as if God wouldn't accept you just the way you are. That's entirely your choice. We can't break YOUR habits but there is nothing that you have to do to win God's favor.


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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Hello again.

I've been in hospital for a few days, under observation for a concussion - an experience I hope never to repeat!

I have gratefully read every response - each of which has approached my query from a slightly different angle of vision, but all of which, together, more than answer my topic.

So I have come to the conclusion that my "conversion experience," though real, was filtered through experiences - so that, while effective, included some factors that were limited in "translation (?).

Stepping aside from the sentimental connections, the essential "message" of the experience was a vital opportunity for choise.

And the choice I was given was, essentially, one of survival. As I look back on much of my adult life, I see that I actively avoided taking responsibility for nearly everything - especially for accepting and acting upon God's will for me.

The choice I was given so dramatically was between *me made by me* and/or *me made by God*

I did choose God's version. But because of the sentimental aspects of the experience, I chose to limit myself I heading and direction of the Catholic versuon of life the universe and everything.

And I think that this Catholicity was a stabilising, necessary step in the right direction. But of only limited necessity.

Folks, I think you well know the most difficult Catholic Doctrine blocking my growth, has been the conundrum of the Sacrificial Atonement.

Haven't had the love-filled grace of a few moments of acute clarity, I not only shows Sentimentally but also for Comfort.

And yet...

The nag stuck inside my skull has been the dichotomy between God the loving Father and God the terrible Tyrant Tyrant.

The Urantia book makes it perfectly clear that Jesus' suffering and death were steps (albeit excruciating steps) toward Resurrection - and the promise that holds. A promise from a kind and loving God.

So I have taken some time to dive deeply into my most beloved (aka "tightly-held") devotion, the Rosary. Specifically, the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary.

Nowhere in these meditations have I actually seen an angry tyrant demanding sacrificial satisfaction!

This, despite my training to view the sorrowful mysteries through the lens of the doctrine of atonement.

I have given up quite a few of my beloved devotions - the Chaplet of the Precious Blood, especially.

Since day one of my Catholicity, another raging nag has been over the incredible distance between the synoptic gospels of the Bible and the twist in theology promulgated in the Pauline letters.

I remember 18 years ago, there was something I didn't trust about Paul. I'm not an expert, but I'm very aware of the history of the "Early Church" - how's it was expressed before Paul's dynamic entered and love itself into the very fabric of what became the Catholic Church.

So, in addition to focusing on the real nature of the "sorrowful mysteries" I have finally, today, completely read the Pauline letters. (It took a while. It's hard when your vision is blurred by concussion.)

And what I see is exactly what precipitated my distrust - that it was in those letters the doctrine of the bloody atonement was formed.

Before I hit my head and got myself put in the bed in a hospital, I went to Mass with the same desire to see it clearly - sans sacrificial atonement.

And I found myself eager, willing and able to participate in the prayers - most especially when they express worship without the strings of neediness attached.

The recreation of the purported sacrifice of the cross already held lessened importance ...

So you see, I hope, that your generous responses to my query have given me the encouragement to take the next step (actually many little steps) to putting the past in the past.

This loosening of tightly held ideas and practices has nearly miraculously opened me up to what I'm reading in the Urantia Book.

I find the juices papers incredibly fulfilling, and to be perfectly honest, the Jesus I've met therein I believe is more real and far more accessible then to Jesus presented by the Catholic Church.

So I think I'll kind of complete the circle here by saying that my vision of The Vision (my conversion experience) is becoming re-angled.

I suspect it was my TA's intervention.

So, for now I'll leave it at that.


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Go
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I just found something here in the Forum that had an Occam's Razor effect.

It's in a 5 year old thread about some fiction author who apparently includes some/similar cosmology in the Urantia Book.

Posted by Admin: "Here we attempt to direct focus to the teachings of TUB, which are replete and wholly adequate for an enhanced spiritual life on this world. All else can be let go of and left aside."

It's really struck me. Each one of you has contributed very much to my moving through this mostly uncomfortable cycle of change.

But really, what it boils down to is that it's time to just let go.

So that's what I'm going to do. I know a number of people who would love to be gifted with my various chaplets, and other Catholic oriented things.

Rereading my OP and my reply above, I realize I really done it already in a sense. And it doesn't seem to be such a difficult thing. What I'm getting out of my reading of the Urantia Book is a lot less conditional and convoluted than things Catholic. Time to stick with the good stuff now.


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Greetings again Don!

Sometimes it helps just to articulate our thoughts to better organize them and discern the truth within. I hope you receive some confirmation within and spiritual insight on how to move forward from here as a result of this personal search for meaning...and value.

I am glad you found encouragement and empathy here and appreciate your willingness to open up and share this part of your journey.

Best wishes on the Pilgrim's Path to Paradise! I hope you will join the discussions here or begin some that interest you regarding the UB and our adventures in the Spirit.

I have always found Papers 100-112 to be particularly helpful to me regarding my own religious experience.


And while many teachings and methods have helped in my truth seeking and I do still enjoy sipping from other cups of truth, for the past 40 years I have come to agree with the statement posted:

Posted by Admin: "Here we attempt to direct focus to the teachings of TUB, which are replete and wholly adequate for an enhanced spiritual life on this world. All else can be let go of and left aside."

Me here: These Papers can be map, lamp, and guide to a most incredible journey and adventure for us children of time.




Bradly 8)


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