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 Post subject: An Essay on Authority
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For quite some time now, I have been focusing on developing a more comprehensive and thorough understanding of the concept of “authority”. I have found in my own personal reflections, in the writings of all of us who contribute to these pages and in the Urantia Book itself, there is much that is said, and even more inferred, regarding authority. Concurrently, there is much I personally find myself assuming about this concept. My intent is to cease making such assumptions. I hope to do this by both broadening my understanding of the meaning and deepening my appreciation of the value of recognizing that which I base my own thinking on, as a means of spiritualizing my thinking. It is with this intention primarily that I write this essay. I hope and believe others will find additional clarity with me.

First, I must make the bold assumption that I don’t have more than a rudimentary comprehension of the true meaning of the concept. I presume I make assumptions regarding its use for this reason. This position gives me a place to start; the opposite would be to allow myself the assumption of mastery of the concept, a position from which I would have no growth potential. To begin with, therefore, I sought basic definitions from Merriam-Webster. In this I noticed an a priori transition from source, to action, to function.

First, the source of authority:

The source of the definition of authority is found in the word, author, a noun.

1: the writer of a literary work (such as a book)
2 a: one that originates or creates something: source
2 b: GOD


Next, the act of authority:

The action of the author decrees authority, a transitive verb.

1: to endorse, empower, justify, or permit by or as if by some recognized or proper authority (such as custom, evidence, personal right, or regulating power)
2: to invest especially with legal authority: empower
3 (archaic): justify


Lastly, the function of the act of the author.

Now we can properly define the action’s function; the definition of authority, also a noun.


1 a: power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior
1 b: freedom granted by one in authority: right
2 a: persons in command; specifically: government
2 b: a governmental agency or corporation to administer a revenue-producing public enterprise
3 a: grounds, warrant
3 b: convincing force
4 a (1): a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support
4 b (2): the source from which the citation is drawn
5 c (1): a conclusive statement or set of statements (such as an official decision of a court)
5 c (2): a decision taken as a precedent
5 c (3): testimony
6 a: an individual cited or appealed to as an expert


The above references (italicized) from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ authorize [See 4 a (1)] the information supplied depending on each reader’s acceptance of the source [4 a (2)].

The entirety of the transition process is what where I most frequently err in my judgements, decisions and evaluations, and which tend to lead me into dangerous waters. Simply, I don’t finish my work. I have discovered that many of my misunderstandings are not that at all. They are assumptions un-tested, un-evaluated. I call them un-understandings rather than mis-understandings. They quite simply reveal my immaturities, my having moved forward on a subject without, as it were, doing my homework.

With that basis, I shall delve into the concept at hand.

As a support for understanding the word “author” we read in the Urantia Book, “0:2.2 Cosmic consciousness implies the recognition of a First Cause, the one and only uncaused reality. God, the Universal Father . . .” The author is the “one and only uncaused reality.”

The revelation very early reveals God’s authorship when it says in paper 3:6.1, “With divine selflessness, consummate generosity, the Universal Father relinquishes authority and delegates power, but he is still primal; his hand is on the mighty lever of the circumstances of the universal realms; he has reserved all final decisions and unerringly wields the all-powerful veto scepter of his eternal purpose with unchallengeable authority over the welfare and destiny of the outstretched, whirling, and ever-circling creation.” These statements establish both the fact and the act. In 1:0.1, “The Universal Father is the God of all creation, the First Source and Center of all things and beings. First think of God as a creator, then as a controller, and lastly as an infinite upholder. The truth about the Universal Father had begun to dawn upon mankind when the prophet said: “You, God, are alone; there is none beside you. You have created the heaven and the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; you preserve and control them. By the Sons of God were the universes made. The Creator covers himself with light as with a garment and stretches out the heavens as a curtain.” Only the concept of the Universal Father — one God in the place of many gods — enabled mortal man to comprehend the Father as divine creator and infinite controller.”

The statement, “First think of God as a creator, then as a controller, and lastly as an infinite upholder,” mimics the pattern of the definitions of authority established; the fact (author, creator), act (authorization, controller) and the function (authority, infinite upholder). This pattern supported by revelation in 16:6, helps me understand how to understand my internal discoveries. 196:3.2, “There are just three elements in universal reality: fact, idea, and relation. The religious consciousness identifies these realities as science, philosophy, and truth. Philosophy would be inclined to view these activities as reason, wisdom, and faith—physical reality, intellectual reality, and spiritual reality. We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value.” This, then, becomes the path of my practice of deepening my consciousness of God’s reality, the path to my realization of spirit. It is this same triune practice of Identifying facts, exploring ideas regarding those facts and relating the one to the other in God’s reality. It is this practice propels me on the eternal path. My degree of devotion to this practice is established by decisions I make as I go. And that is my personal business, my intent, my devotion, my commitment, my expression of appreciation, my willingness to share my spiritual fortune, my willingness to be both right and wrong, openly, honestly, devotedly. This is my best idea of living; living as though I was already in heaven.

As individuals, we are responsible to devise a personal regimen to enable us to live comfortably with our smallness as we delve into this process. 100:1.5 says, “The soil essential for religious growth presupposes a progressive life of self-realization, the co-ordination of natural propensities, the exercise of curiosity and the enjoyment of reasonable adventure, the experiencing of feelings of satisfaction, the functioning of the fear stimulus of attention and awareness, the wonder-lure, and a normal consciousness of smallness, humility. Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.”

I must admit that I have authorized myself this practice. I must maintain an awareness of that sense of responsibility and I must continuously refer myself to my commitment to its practice. This I see as a decision to turn my hypotheticals into actuals. This is my conscious practice of investigating ideas, it is the verb part of authority discovery. But it presupposes a deeper commitment; a commitment to adjust my understanding of life to the verification by the true source of life. While that process of discovery of myself is the verb, the fact must be sound. And it is here I run into trouble. This is where I am offered the opportunity to discover the value of belief. It is here I must relinquish our control and begin to honestly recognize my own prejudices. The more firm I stand on my beliefs in the beginning, the more error prone is my path. I must be willing to believe all things but slow to draw conclusions, judgements.

A proper appreciation of the function of this three-phase application of author and authority is a key element in honest self-discovery. It is foundational to much that humans rely upon to make the nearly constant decisions we all make which enable our growth; even more valuable when we consider true spiritual growth. But it isn’t frequently so assessed.

From Wikipedia, “The ‘doctrine of the inerrancy of scripture’ held by the Catholic Church, as expressed by the Second Vatican Council, is that ‘the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.’”

“For a believer in biblical inerrancy, Holy Scripture is the Word of God, and carries the full authority of God. Every single statement of the Bible calls for instant and unqualified acceptance. Every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and therefore requires full agreement. Every promise of the Bible calls for unshakable trust in its fulfillment. Every command of the Bible is the directive of God himself and therefore demands willing observance.” (Graebner, Augustus Lawrence (1910). Outlines Of Doctrinal Theology. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. pp. 8–9. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007.)

The predominance of evangelical Christianity shares this position. (The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI), that was held in Chicago in October 1978.) Some even go further and purport that the Bible is not only inerrant but infallible and that it contains all of the exact words God desires us to know; all of them. No additional words are to be forthcoming until the Second Coming of Jesus.

With these stated positions, the fact of the Author is established (God, as stated in the Bible), the action of the Author is addressed (Every command of the Bible is a directive of God himself) and the function of the authorized, those who adhere to these precepts is established (i.e., demands willing observance). Thus, authority is established. But is it proper? Is this really all we must do to know that what we believe is real? If it is all we are asked to base our growth upon, it creates a bit of a conundrum since all the religions of the world start with the same claim. Modern Christianity in all its forms draws its authority from the Bible, Islam from the Koran, etc.

I refer you to Rodan’s comment in 132:2.4, “The spiritually blind individual who logically follows scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma stands in grave danger of sacrificing his moral freedom and losing his spiritual liberty. Such a soul is destined to become an intellectual parrot, a social automaton, and a slave to religious authority.”

The corollary here is that we can just as easily make the same mistake. We can draw our sense of and personal basis of authority from the Urantia Book. After all the Urantia Book is an Epochal revelation so it has the authority of God, right? I say this is not right!

In reference to its authority we read in 92:4.4, “5. The Urantia Papers. The papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.”

The “immediate force and authority of all revelations” does more than simply imply that even epochal revelations may have a limited authority; the authority is sub-absolute. We discover that the authority of the scriptural position of God’s authorship of the Bible is in the simple verse, “All scripture is God breathed”, 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV), we are face to face with the depth of appreciation of the event. That such simplistic view of an inspired communication in a document or even an inspired message from an individual creates the fact of the absolute authority of God, as the traditions of Biblical scholarship would have us believe, has proved to be difficult to overcome. 196:2.1, “Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus.” The Urantia Book repeatedly and overwhelmingly states that such inspiration should be common among all of us who are willing to hear, providing spiritual unity which will bind us together without the need to conform to specific beliefs, even of the Urantia Book. So where does our chain of authority really begin?

Let’s go back to the beginning. The fact of God begins the march. Next, I am to deliberately and increasingly skillfully sort through the many ideas until I become personally satisfied with my understanding of an idea, any idea which relates to God. Of course, I must remember that even my best idea is incomplete and will have to be modified as I tackle the least humanly comprehendible part of the trilogy, establishing the relationship between my personal understanding and the fact of God as Divinity. This is the true meaning of “relation” in the series, “fact, idea and relation”. We acknowledge the fact, research the idea and relate the two to our own personality. It is always personal, always deeper inside our souls. It seems I am quite willing to believe in the fact of God. It is apparent that I easily get lost in the study of the ideas I have of him and of life, but even that is only mitigated by my faith. Faith alone allows for the variance of beliefs.

How all this relates to authority is the purpose of my statement. The fact of authority and the meaning of authority are fairly straight forward. The real difficulty, I have discovered, is in placing the acknowledgement of it within our lives. Do we base it on the fact, the idea or the relationship between the two? The Urantia Book suggests we must place it on the relationship between the two. That is, we must place it on personal spiritual experience; the experience of relating the reality we perceive to the concepts we discover when we accept the fact. We can’t simply attempt to place it on the fact of God, we have such a small idea of him, no matter who we are. We mustn’t place it on our understanding of the ideas we analyze; they are simply our own perception, and what a limited perception that is. We must therefore, learn to place our sense of authority on the only true thing we can really know and know beyond a doubt, personal spiritual experience. Jesus makes it very clear that this is the path to spiritual growth in his Kingdom.

And isn't that what we are all about?

Jim


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Very important to state that seraphic planetary government recognises two bases of authority within the mortal sphere: the right of the human individual, and the right of a world state that is settled in light, which is currently only as potential.

When we are dealing with human perceptions, I think there are many dangers in the way one might recognise or tend to recognise human authority. How is authority real, it is experiencially gained, as in the life of Jesus "tested on all points". This is not through the established tradition of Abraham, but rather according to the promise that Machiventa Melchizedek keept and now Jesus has stated clearly for all times.

However, I feel much abuse heapt into this feeling of authority. We have the question, is a well-trained dog a happier dog? In the way that new customs are developed, there is a contingency of authority on progress. One must be true to his own set of heroes, or guides. Many individuals who are experts in their own field have since deceased, yet form an undernetting for the civil beaurocracy that still exists within our global society. We must maintain some interest in the achievements of mankind in order to observe authority properly. Authority in this sense, is the undoubtable craftmanship that a person accrues as they mature.

At least, if we are only dealing with our own sense of recognitions, then we must observe what humans are really good at, and that is to become more righteous. All endeavors which increase the yield of the fruits of the land, accrue this type of authority, which is measured in proven expertise. And I think we do need this technical lense if we are to also evaluate the craftmanship of God's own children in the worlds to come.

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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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SEla,

You have opened an additional dimension of conversation to the one I intended to address. While my essay was directed at the sense of authority we each adhere to in our own lives, and how we each must take notice of and become responsible for, your point, and well taken, is that we each must learn to deal with and appreciate the authority of other individuals but even more the collective authority of the culture, society, and even the Most Highs. While these are issues that make the whole process more complex and challenging, they must be address equally, lest we fall into our tendency as human animals to develop a herd mentality.

Thank you,

Jim


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Jim - As always, a thoughtful scholarly essay. You wrote:

Quote:
The corollary here is that we can just as easily make the same mistake. We can draw our sense of and personal basis of authority from the Urantia Book. After all the Urantia Book is an Epochal revelation so it has the authority of God, right? I say this is not right!


I just want to add a passage here about what The Urantia Book observes about authority in the religious life of individuals:

Quote:
196:0.4 In the Master’s life on Urantia, this and all other worlds of the local creation discover a new and higher type of religion, religion based on personal spiritual relations with the Universal Father and wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience. This living faith of Jesus was more than an intellectual reflection, and it was not a mystic meditation.

196:0.5 Theology may fix, formulate, define, and dogmatize faith, but in the human life of Jesus faith was personal, living, original, spontaneous, and purely spiritual. This faith was not reverence for tradition nor a mere intellectual belief which he held as a sacred creed, but rather a sublime experience and a profound conviction which securely held him.


I just want to add that, while the book itself is not to be made into a fetish, as some do for other spiritual works, the fact remains for me, and for others, that without the Urantia Book and its orientation to reality - its deep revelation of the nature of God and the means that he has provided us for fellowship with him...without that, many would still be grappling with this issue of authority and might be mired in confusion. I know that I likely would be one of them, as I found the UB at a time when I was either going to continue as a self-willed profligate - or I was going to return to the authority of the Catholic Church for refuge from myself. At that nexus, The Urantia Book appeared in my life and gave me a new idea, and a new direction.

But because of the book's lucid revelation of these matters, along with the living example of its embodiment in the Master's life, we now have a paradigm that we can test and and actually live in order to demonstrate it in our own lives. As the old Paul Simon song says: "Proof is the bottom line for everyone."

And I am grateful for The Urantia Book's sane revelations - even about itself. So, while I agree that the book itself is not to be used as an "authority," nevertheless, the INFORMATION in the book is far advanced insofar as the HOW of discovering the true authority described in my quoted passages above.

Thanks ...

MaryJo


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I wonder the authority of that created and presented by the author...following Jim's logic and definitions above. I would surmise that universe reality is itself the "authority" or the reflection of the authority of its creator - God - and the quest of all created beings in reality is the understanding of and coordination of and integration of and creative utilization of reality. To live and grow in reality...isn't that what we are created for? To fulfil potential and to actualize potential while creating new potentials...in reality.

And isn't that the purpose of Epochal Revelation? To reveal reality and the authority of reality as created by the author of reality!! There is fact before meaning and meaning before value and all truth discovered and relationship experienced occurs within reality - not the one we construct from error and fantasy but that which is relative to and related to reality itself. The more it relates to reality, the more real is the experience and the more truth and value is attached or discovered in the meanings.

Perhaps this is why we are able to discover new meanings (and value) in old or known facts...our perception of and perspective to reality is more aligned with the authority OF reality itself based on experiential wisdom acquired over time. Isn't our eternal quest the discovery of reality? Reality is not relative...or partial...or subjective. It is authoritative and all beings and experience are relative TO reality.

Thus is all of time and space and Havona and eternity itself a university for the teaching of the facts of reality. There is no truth or relationships outside of reality...only within reality can reality exist. The authority of the Revelation is knowledge of the facts and truth...of reality. Given to us to reveal reality factually to eliminate error and reduce confusions of perspective and context and details, the better to perceive reality and adjust beliefs and choices and priorities accordingly....and also why Epochal Revelation is to be studied as the literal and factual description of universe reality....reality is its authority....or so I understand.

So is the UB authoritative? Were the Prince, Adam & Eve, Big Mac, and Jesus/Michael authoritative?! Hahaha....Indeed so.

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Fanovan says,
Quote:
Perhaps this is why we are able to discover new meanings (and value) in old or known facts...our perception of and perspective to reality is more aligned with the authority OF reality itself based on experiential wisdom acquired over time. Isn't our eternal quest the discovery of reality? Reality is not relative...or partial...or subjective. It is authoritative and all beings and experience are relative TO reality.


But the meaning we derive from learning the facts is itself a subjective experience and must be treated as such. We read in 196:3.21, “The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man’s contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him."

Further, 100:2.5, "Actual spiritual status is the measure of Deity attainment, Adjuster attunement. The achievement of finality of spirituality is equivalent to the attainment of the maximum of reality, the maximum of Godlikeness. Eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values.

If this is true, our primary goal in life is to experience the value of our spiritual subjectivity to exhaustion. Our personal experience is not objective, nor can it be. So when we purport to present it as if it is we find ourselves we becoming dogmatic and unyielding.

Jim


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Read 16:6.10 and 16:9.8 regarding the value and eternal pursuit of the objective perspective of reality. We cannot truly learn the golden rule, the brotherly or paternal love of others, or self forgetting service without such enlarged perspective.

16:6.10 (192.6) In the local universe mind bestowals, these three insights of the cosmic mind constitute the a priori assumptions which make it possible for man to function as a rational and self-conscious personality in the realms of science, philosophy, and religion. Stated otherwise, the recognition of the reality of these three manifestations of the Infinite is by a cosmic technique of self-revelation. Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, they produce a strong character consisting in the correlation of a factual science, a moral philosophy, and a genuine religious experience. And it is these three cosmic intuitions that give objective validity, reality, to man’s experience in and with things, meanings, and values.

16:9.8 (196.4) Unselfish social consciousness must be, at bottom, a religious consciousness; that is, if it is objective; otherwise it is a purely subjective philosophic abstraction and therefore devoid of love. Only a God-knowing individual can love another person as he loves himself.

94:11.6 (1039.5) But a great limitation in the original gospel of Siddhartha, as it was interpreted by his followers, was that it attempted the complete liberation of the human self from all the limitations of the mortal nature by the technique of isolating the self from objective reality. True cosmic self-realization results from identification with cosmic reality and with the finite cosmos of energy, mind, and spirit, bounded by space and conditioned by time.


Last edited by fanofVan on Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:18 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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Hello All,

I went out shortly after I made that post this morning - been out all day - and have been thinking about this all day. One point that I neglected to make is this:

Through experiential religion, I have had witness within my Spirit that The Urantia Book is exactly what it claims to be - a true revelation from God. In that regard, I DO consider it an "authority" on spiritual and religious matters. I feel so grateful, for I suspect there is no way I could have gotten what I've gotten on my own without its revelation of the Father, of Jesus, of religion - at least not in this lifetime. On all topics, it is certainly authoriTAtive, even in cosmological terms, upon which subject it says that it is not inspired, or even correct over time.

I just wanted to clarify...

Thanks...

MaryJo


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You are correct Brad, Paper 16 addresses the issue quite nicely. In 16:9.1 we read, "The cosmic-mind-endowed, Adjuster-indwelt, personal creature possesses innate recognition-realization of energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality. The will creature is thus equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God. Aside from these three inalienables of human consciousness, all human experience is really subjective except that intuitive realization of validity attaches to the unification of these three universe reality responses of cosmic recognition."

The same reference to the three aspects of reality recognition as I presented in my essay are present here. "Energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality," are available to our identification. It says we are "equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God." The fact is, and must be, objective, the law is and must be transitive, and the love is and must be subjective. Unity is found in our ability to objectively identify the fact, interact actively with the law, and discover in our personal subjective selves, the love of God by unifying these three approaches.

This is not to say that I believe our growth is predicated on our willingness to balance the three approaches. In our attempts to balance we must also exhaust the three; we must be as objective as we can, interact with Gods law, his morals and ethics as much as we can and finally we must exhaust our inner life's discovery of love. We must be discoverers, identifiers and coordinators. We must seek the outer view to its fullest, the inner view to the depth of our ability to perceive and harmonize them completely in our persons.

The greatest example of objective reality on our little planet is the Urantia Book. As we accept that the real God gave us this book to learn, we assume a responsibility to live by its teachings that is equal to our appreciation of the facts we understand. Finally we exhaust our inner discovery of our true intent as we fulfill the lesson by sharing our inner life with God and each other. We can't prove we know the book until we can prove we know ourselves knowing the book. Said another way we must live the life of Jesus, not merely know it.

Jim


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Jim George wrote:
Fanovan says,
Quote:
Perhaps this is why we are able to discover new meanings (and value) in old or known facts...our perception of and perspective to reality is more aligned with the authority OF reality itself based on experiential wisdom acquired over time. Isn't our eternal quest the discovery of reality? Reality is not relative...or partial...or subjective. It is authoritative and all beings and experience are relative TO reality.


But the meaning we derive from learning the facts is itself a subjective experience and must be treated as such. We read in 196:3.21, “The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man’s contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him."

Further, 100:2.5, "Actual spiritual status is the measure of Deity attainment, Adjuster attunement. The achievement of finality of spirituality is equivalent to the attainment of the maximum of reality, the maximum of Godlikeness. Eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values.

If this is true, our primary goal in life is to experience the value of our spiritual subjectivity to exhaustion. Our personal experience is not objective, nor can it be. So when we purport to present it as if it is we find ourselves we becoming dogmatic and unyielding.

Jim


These opinions appear to me to distort the teachings sufficiently to skew the conclusions presented. The fact is we are taught that objectivity is desirable and is attained by growth and experiential wisdom - the growing capacity for the reality-perspective. You have claimed elsewhere to have abandoned meaning in favor of values...but, as pointed out on that topic, one may not realize or even discover values without first finding and knowing meanings which are derived from facts...fact, meaning, value...these cannot be disintwined for they are inherently related. Now you appear to be claiming that objectivity is inferior to subjectivity. I probably misunderstand?

Spiritual subjectivity is not a goal...it is an obstacle...or so I think we are taught. The relationship with the Thought Adjuster is our connection TO reality and objectivity. The ministries of personal revelation AND epochal revelation is the realization of universe reality and objectivity. Our personal experience does become more and more objective throughout our entire experience in the universe of universes. This is the quest of time...and eternity. We begin at the most subjective and limited in perspective and most faith dependent of all beings and slowly move toward the experiential wisdom and perspective of universe reality objectivity.

I think all serious students agree that the UB is not "the" words "of" God, nonetheless most of us who believe the claims of the authors also believe in their authority to present these facts and truths about universe reality and relationships and that the Papers are a literal presentation of reality limited only be the provisos and restrictions well described. The authors certainly claim authority. One would presume that flows from our planetary rulers and administrators, the Most Highs, Michael, and perhaps even higher in universe authority.

Accuracy of contents is assured by reflectivity and the record keepers, both written and held in person by those created for and intrusted with the factual details of all of time and eternity. The records are certain and may be trusted and so should be the instrument and beings of their delivery to us. Do I understand you to here be claiming that the UB lacks authority or accuracy? Are you also saying here that personal revelation does not need or benefit from epochal revelation?

As to the 40 year old data regarding biblical literalism...first, in 1978 most Christians did NOT believe in literalism...but only the more radical evangelicals as you point out - a minority of Christnedom even then. I was raised a Southern Baptist and this issue came up every 4 years at the Convention. In the early 70's over 75% were considered and voted as literalist...every word by God and true as written...ignoring all evidence to the contrary. By the 90's this number was under 60% and is now under 50% and still falling. It is my understanding that this is due to the subjective embrace of the objective universe and the function of science in conjunction with the function of religion....the discovery of reality and the harmonization and integration and coordination of both! I find your data outdated...but very relevant to the topic!

I look forward to further comparison of your opinions to the teachings in the Revelation. I am glad to see you remain willing to share opinions and offer topics for consideration and discussion. Thank you.

8)


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Jim George wrote:
You are correct Brad, Paper 16 addresses the issue quite nicely. In 16:9.1 we read, "The cosmic-mind-endowed, Adjuster-indwelt, personal creature possesses innate recognition-realization of energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality. The will creature is thus equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God. Aside from these three inalienables of human consciousness, all human experience is really subjective except that intuitive realization of validity attaches to the unification of these three universe reality responses of cosmic recognition."

The same reference to the three aspects of reality recognition as I presented in my essay are present here. "Energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality," are available to our identification. It says we are "equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God." The fact is, and must be, objective, the law is and must be transitive, and the love is and must be subjective. Unity is found in our ability to objectively identify the fact, interact actively with the law, and discover in our personal subjective selves, the love of God by unifying these three approaches.

This is not to say that I believe our growth is predicated on our willingness to balance the three approaches. In our attempts to balance we must also exhaust the three; we must be as objective as we can, interact with Gods law, his morals and ethics as much as we can and finally we must exhaust our inner life's discovery of love. We must be discoverers, identifiers and coordinators. We must seek the outer view to its fullest, the inner view to the depth of our ability to perceive and harmonize them completely in our persons.

The greatest example of objective reality on our little planet is the Urantia Book. As we accept that the real God gave us this book to learn, we assume a responsibility to live by its teachings that is equal to our appreciation of the facts we understand. Finally we exhaust our inner discovery of our true intent as we fulfill the lesson by sharing our inner life with God and each other. We can't prove we know the book until we can prove we know ourselves knowing the book. Said another way we must live the life of Jesus, not merely know it.

Jim


I was writing and posting above at the same time Jim! "Real God"???? So I am obviously confused. If God gave us the UB (not my own belief or claim but true enough it its way), then how does it lack authority?

You write above: "The corollary here is that we can just as easily make the same mistake. We can draw our sense of and personal basis of authority from the Urantia Book. After all the Urantia Book is an Epochal revelation so it has the authority of God, right? I say this is not right!"


and: "The “immediate force and authority of all revelations” does more than simply imply that even epochal revelations may have a limited authority; the authority is sub-absolute."



Does this mean to you that the UB has only limited authority? Or limited relevancy? Or limited accuracy? What do you mean by "may"? Does it or doesn't it? And what does that mean? As stated, my opinion is that reality is the authority and the UB factually and truthfully describes reality. You seem to be implying, like Louis so endlessly claimed, that students of the UB make it a fetish and holy icon and thereby become idolaters. Is this your fear and assertion too? You believe the student body does not embrace the contents and live the teachings but rather merely intellectualizes and become book-worshipers? Is that what you're saying here?

You then imply that the UB is like the preachers of Christianity who preach a religion about Jesus - (a false claim if your claim)! The UB teaches us, as did Jesus himself, the Jesusonian Gospel OF Jesus and decries the man made gospel about Jesus as unfortunate and unhelpful and inaccurate!

Of course we must LIVE religion for it to even BE religious or religion! This is the teaching of this Revelation. Who does not understand this? There is only one true religion we are taught...the one that is lived by each religionist and mind and soul and this is true at every level of creation. Religion must be lived or it is not religion or religious....which is the yearn and the response; it is awareness of the other and the assurance of being loved and being safe and the personal expressions of that experience; and it is universal. Are you claiming most of us or many of us are not having a genuine religious experience Jim? By what criteria and knowledge might anyone ever make such a claim or even inference? Is this what you think the UB teaches - that most mortals fail to experience the natural evolutionary experience of attachment to the Holy Spirit and Adjutants and fail to give birth to soul? Or that their soul fails to grow and progress once born? How might one know this to make such an assertion?

Once again, you seem to be preaching to the choir. There is imbedded in your claims the inference, that students of the UB, other than yourself, are merely readers and intellecualizers and fail to live personal religious lives and progress in the Spirit....and climb the mountains of progress. Here we are again. You appear to be chastising others and claiming them to be experiencing inferior religious lives according to your own understanding. Is this correct?


Don't you find love and service and kindness and caring and sharing among the people of this world? I mean every day as you walk by and see humanity in action, do you not wonder at the profound influence of the Spirit upon others who live in faith despite the lack of facts and knowledge of universe reality and despite all the uncertainties and suffering in life? I certainly do! I am amazed and inspired every day by the faith and love of others! And why then would one presume and claim that those of so blessed to have the UB in all its authority and clarity and presentation of the Jesusonian Gospel OF Jesus might ignore its teachings and fail to embrace this guide and lamp illuminating the pilgrim's path to Paradise?

We are taught we cannot love our fellows until we forgive them first. So long as we are obsessed by the sawdust in the eyes of others and cannot see the love and the light shining within others, then we continue to judge them....not forgive them. This notion that other religionists...so many others...fail in their religious experiences and growth is a real puzzler to me Jim. Your disappointment in all of us who you claim to be stuck in a rut and complacently waiting and wasting/biding time down in the valleys rather than climbing the spiritual mountains you claim to yourself in the fable is a constant theme of yours for many years now. Not only is it not new....it is continuous. Jesus was not and Michael is not so disappointed in the mortals of Urantia or Nebadon and he could always see the light within others and was glad.

The UB has the authority of reality itself...the factual presentation of objective reality designed to integrate and coordinate with personal revelation and to offer a perspective to the religionist of reality to help us grow in the spirit by the elimination of errors and confusions related TO reality and its personal embrace. The universe does not deliver truth and fact and growth and the fruits of the spirit by only one method...all means and methods and agents and agencies play important roles. Epochal revelation IS one of the sorters and integrators and delivers objectivity which is desirable and meaningful and with great value....fact, meaning, value. How will you or we "sort" and "integrate" and "coordinate" reality without the authoritative presentations given us by epochal revelation? The very purpose of the TruthBook….


.....Or so I understand. 8)


Jim - I am also wondering about the dangers of self importance and adoration and how one learns to abandon these vices without self-forgetting and objective perspective? What risks do subjectivity deliver to our experience and perspective and growth? Is self mastery a subjective or objective endeavor I wonder? What is the value of self-forgetfulness and how does one subjectively accomplish this trait and perspective?

3:5.13 (51.12) 8. Is unselfishness—the spirit of self-forgetfulness—desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.


I recall that the love of our own opinions is called prejudice and I wonder if the over-valuation of one's subjective view and beliefs and experience feeds or dimminishes such prejudice? There are those among us here at this site and topic that dismiss the authority of the Revelation because it contradicts their beliefs and opinions and subjective experience - I wonder does that make the Revelation less accurate and authoritative? I don't think so. I think it makes such ones too self important in their own subjective experience to allow them to embrace the universe reality presented to them and this stubborn subjectivity limits growth and the embrace of objective reality....but just my opinion. And it is my hope further study and sharing might help such ones transcend their limited, personal, subjective prejudices as is the mortal potential! To learn and to grow.


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I quote from Brad referencing my posts.

“From you I always hear the voice of the preacher...preaching to others....rather than speaking for himself....describing the errors and sins of others....while upholding one's own superior beliefs and practices. Perhaps it is just me? Perhaps it is unintentional?”

"If thou hast not conquer'd thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho' thou art free of other Men's. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black." William Penn: Some Fruits of Solitude in Reflections and Maxims (1682)

I deliberately refrain from attempting to defend my actions relative to your understanding of my spiritual experiential appreciation of the way of life, but I will attempt to speak for myself more directly.

Witness, thus:

I begin at the beginning. Before I believed God communicated with me, I did not even believe in God. It was my recognition of the experience of him addressing me that enabled me to believe in him. In fact, I must admit that I still do not know how to believe IN God as a thing separate and apart from my believing him. I do not believe in him as a means of justifying believing him. I believe him! As a result of personal spiritual experience, I believe in him. I am beginning to accept and believe in the Urantia Book. I say this not because it makes sense to me intellectually but because as I come to personal understanding of the statements within it, I am able to discover my own deeply personal errors and misunderstandings, identify my inconsistencies, relate my personal comprehensions of my shortcomings to God within, wherein I am enabled to witness his view of my issue at hand. I then choose to adopt his view which causes me to accept his forgiveness for my inadequate prior understanding while I attempt to make course corrections within, again subject to his guidance. This realization allows me to experience the new view of truth in my soul and enlightens my mind to its relative value in the whole process. To me this is the process of personally and spiritually realizing reality.

Jesus never asked me to believe in God, he only assumed I did and that I would choose to believe him. I have never seen the value of believing IN something or someone. God is real; he is also a fact, but believing he is a fact is only relevant if I immediately take my functional process to the next level and interact with him personally and intimately.

How does this relate to my view of others? I think of the state of humanity as having a store full of food and starving to death because we don’t know we have the key to the door. What makes it worse is the fact that churches have told us they alone have the keys, but we must practice their methods to be able to use the keys. The state of society on this planet proves how few of us move from fact to function. This world offers truly vast physical resources to us. Additionally, God offers infinite and eternal life for our persons, for our souls. The two of these together enable humanity to perceive and procure all we need to make the world a paradise, and someday we will. But, to say we should adopt a world view as if we live in paradise now because we have that future as a potential is not real in my view.

9 million people die of starvation every year on Urantia. Do we have the ability to prevent this? Of course we do. What about war; is that worse? The numbers of people killed by state vs. state conflicts, what we call war, indicate an only 137,000 are killed yearly in this manner. Well how about murder? UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) reported a global average intentional homicide rate of 6.2 per 100,000 persons for 2012 (in their report titled "Global Study on Homicide 2013"). With a world population in 2018 of 7.7 billion, that equates to 620,000 people are killed by the intentions of others annually. That means nearly 1,700 people worldwide die at the hands of others every 24 hours. So, of the 151,600 people who die every 24 hours; 1.9 percent of those are murdered; only .02 percent of people dying are killed by war, while a staggering 2.13 percent starve to death. That is the same as murder and war combined. Yet where is the outrage? All we have to do is share the food. Further, it is estimated that 842 000 people in low- and middle-income countries die as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene each year; 2306 per day. And, here is the kicker, 8,000,000 people die because of inadequate healthcare annually; nearly 22,000 per day. If all the deaths that could be prevented by our own personal self-control; by simply feeding each other, cleaning up our messes, refusing to fight and kill, and providing healthcare to the technological standards we believe we have a right to, were prevented, the daily death toll would lower by 21 percent. These are facts and maybe not very accurate facts. They are as true as I can discover in the short amount of research I did, but even if they are true, they aren’t the truth. The truth is not a fact. The truth is a personal value realization and the truth is valid even if the facts are less than completely accurate. The truth is, we can do more.

The real story is that humans don’t yet realize this kind of mayhem is totally unnecessary and preventable. But it is not a political solution that is needed. It is a spiritual solution. Humanity lives in its own perception of reality but the perceivable reality of the value of God in human life is available to any and all who will sincerely desire it. The very state of our societies is testament that, as a people, we will not . . . yet! It is true that society evolves very slowly but the vision of our hope, the vision of our future, the vision of God has been updated in the Fifth Epochal Revelation. It is this vision the world needs to see, and which, is our task, that is my task. I share it with everyone and some even appreciate it. Some find my way quite annoying because I am less than tolerant of apathy and indifference. I find the willingness to embrace the world as it is unenlightening, unencouraging and generally detrimental to personal growth, notwithstanding the human perspective may be one of positivism. I am even less tolerant of resistance and refusal; especially among those who purport to know God. The world sits in its own excrement while we debate these issues, which while they may be individually meaningful, are not very valuable relative to our planet’s wellbeing.

Now, please understand, I do not believe it is our duty merely to share the Urantia Book with the world, though I do share it with everyone I can. I do believe it is our duty, and yes, I mean duty, to share the spiritual reality of personal spiritual experience as explained and validated by the Urantia Book’s teachings with the world. The fruit of the spirit is not our understanding of a book, but the reality of personal experience within our souls.

195:10.1 Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

“Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world,” It has kept a ‘bookmark’ in the place where God lives. It keeps the world cognizant of the need for God in human living.

“but what is now most needed is Jesus.” The reality of the person of God.

“The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men.” This difference is revolutionary. The reality of God experientially realized in individual people is so very different from the belief in a concept.

“It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves.” Where is our hope? Ask the common man or woman on the street where the hope of their life is.

“Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation.” We must share that hope, that realization of God within us.

“And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself.” It is not our knowledge of the Urantia Book that the world needs to see, it is the reality of our personal experience with God.

“Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men.” Inspiration is contagious.

And lastly one of the great statements of the entire book.

“Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.”

Humanism is therefore is a philosophy derived from of the human understanding of things. Humanism is the study of the conclusions of intellect devoid of the reality of personal spiritual experience; it is mind devoid of spirit. It is the reality of a single-eyed view of life. We are taught to recognize fact, idea and relation; thing, meaning and value. Together these describe a process of intellectually discovering facts, willfully appreciating our best idea of the reality of the spirit’s view, the insight of God’s personal meaning from the innermost being and relating those two points to each other with deliberate willfulness to appreciate the spiritual value he reveals, and finally committing one’s personality to adopt the higher value as the experience of personal contact with God. This deliberate and determined self-identification in relation to one’s perception of God, enables each human being to realize the reality of God.

196:3.3 The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion—self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.

The church age, as I call it, describes the best of man’s view of God. It describes man’s understanding of God’s plan for mankind as being fulfilled through the church, a separate and set aside people; people for Him.

The Urantia Age, the Fifth Epoch describes God’s view of man. God is for all mankind. There is no separate group, no church to belong to. Jesus came to give us LIFE, real life . . . more abundant life, not merely a church to belong to. It is time we see ourselves as He sees us, and it is time we truly attempt to live up to His hope in and for us. Urantia is counting on it.

So, thank you Brad for encouraging me to clarify my position on these things.

Jim


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Hmmm, all interesting things to ponder. I wonder if it would be closer to the mark (a better depiction of reality anyway) to say that the UB is a revelation from The Supreme Being, just as The Bible is. In other ways, the voice of God is somehow reflected through the human authors of the New and Old Testaments whereas the voice of God is somehow reflected through the superhuman (but not deified) authors of the UB.

The Supreme Being is, in its own way, struggling to bring forth in time and space those realities which proceed from The Paradise Trinity. But it must act in a limited way in time and space. Therefore it cannot express to us things that are too far unearned or well beyond our current capacity. It must use the personalities as speakers or teachers that are within the earned and already revealed experiential realms we inhabit.

If that is so then the question arises: What authority does The Supreme Being have by default owing to its existence and what authority must it earn in time and space?


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Jim George wrote:
I quote from Brad referencing my posts.

“From you I always hear the voice of the preacher...preaching to others....rather than speaking for himself....describing the errors and sins of others....while upholding one's own superior beliefs and practices. Perhaps it is just me? Perhaps it is unintentional?”

"If thou hast not conquer'd thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho' thou art free of other Men's. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black." William Penn: Some Fruits of Solitude in Reflections and Maxims (1682)

I deliberately refrain from attempting to defend my actions relative to your understanding of my spiritual experiential appreciation of the way of life, but I will attempt to speak for myself more directly.

Witness, thus:

I begin at the beginning. Before I believed God communicated with me, I did not even believe in God. It was my recognition of the experience of him addressing me that enabled me to believe in him. In fact, I must admit that I still do not know how to believe IN God as a thing separate and apart from my believing him. I do not believe in him as a means of justifying believing him. I believe him! As a result of personal spiritual experience, I believe in him. I am beginning to accept and believe in the Urantia Book. I say this not because it makes sense to me intellectually but because as I come to personal understanding of the statements within it, I am able to discover my own deeply personal errors and misunderstandings, identify my inconsistencies, relate my personal comprehensions of my shortcomings to God within, wherein I am enabled to witness his view of my issue at hand. I then choose to adopt his view which causes me to accept his forgiveness for my inadequate prior understanding while I attempt to make course corrections within, again subject to his guidance. This realization allows me to experience the new view of truth in my soul and enlightens my mind to its relative value in the whole process. To me this is the process of personally and spiritually realizing reality.

Jesus never asked me to believe in God, he only assumed I did and that I would choose to believe him. I have never seen the value of believing IN something or someone. God is real; he is also a fact, but believing he is a fact is only relevant if I immediately take my functional process to the next level and interact with him personally and intimately.

How does this relate to my view of others? I think of the state of humanity as having a store full of food and starving to death because we don’t know we have the key to the door. What makes it worse is the fact that churches have told us they alone have the keys, but we must practice their methods to be able to use the keys. The state of society on this planet proves how few of us move from fact to function. This world offers truly vast physical resources to us. Additionally, God offers infinite and eternal life for our persons, for our souls. The two of these together enable humanity to perceive and procure all we need to make the world a paradise, and someday we will. But, to say we should adopt a world view as if we live in paradise now because we have that future as a potential is not real in my view.

9 million people die of starvation every year on Urantia. Do we have the ability to prevent this? Of course we do. What about war; is that worse? The numbers of people killed by state vs. state conflicts, what we call war, indicate an only 137,000 are killed yearly in this manner. Well how about murder? UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) reported a global average intentional homicide rate of 6.2 per 100,000 persons for 2012 (in their report titled "Global Study on Homicide 2013"). With a world population in 2018 of 7.7 billion, that equates to 620,000 people are killed by the intentions of others annually. That means nearly 1,700 people worldwide die at the hands of others every 24 hours. So, of the 151,600 people who die every 24 hours; 1.9 percent of those are murdered; only .02 percent of people dying are killed by war, while a staggering 2.13 percent starve to death. That is the same as murder and war combined. Yet where is the outrage? All we have to do is share the food. Further, it is estimated that 842 000 people in low- and middle-income countries die as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene each year; 2306 per day. And, here is the kicker, 8,000,000 people die because of inadequate healthcare annually; nearly 22,000 per day. If all the deaths that could be prevented by our own personal self-control; by simply feeding each other, cleaning up our messes, refusing to fight and kill, and providing healthcare to the technological standards we believe we have a right to, were prevented, the daily death toll would lower by 21 percent. These are facts and maybe not very accurate facts. They are as true as I can discover in the short amount of research I did, but even if they are true, they aren’t the truth. The truth is not a fact. The truth is a personal value realization and the truth is valid even if the facts are less than completely accurate. The truth is, we can do more.

The real story is that humans don’t yet realize this kind of mayhem is totally unnecessary and preventable. But it is not a political solution that is needed. It is a spiritual solution. Humanity lives in its own perception of reality but the perceivable reality of the value of God in human life is available to any and all who will sincerely desire it. The very state of our societies is testament that, as a people, we will not . . . yet! It is true that society evolves very slowly but the vision of our hope, the vision of our future, the vision of God has been updated in the Fifth Epochal Revelation. It is this vision the world needs to see, and which, is our task, that is my task. I share it with everyone and some even appreciate it. Some find my way quite annoying because I am less than tolerant of apathy and indifference. I find the willingness to embrace the world as it is unenlightening, unencouraging and generally detrimental to personal growth, notwithstanding the human perspective may be one of positivism. I am even less tolerant of resistance and refusal; especially among those who purport to know God. The world sits in its own excrement while we debate these issues, which while they may be individually meaningful, are not very valuable relative to our planet’s wellbeing.

Now, please understand, I do not believe it is our duty merely to share the Urantia Book with the world, though I do share it with everyone I can. I do believe it is our duty, and yes, I mean duty, to share the spiritual reality of personal spiritual experience as explained and validated by the Urantia Book’s teachings with the world. The fruit of the spirit is not our understanding of a book, but the reality of personal experience within our souls.

195:10.1 Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

“Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world,” It has kept a ‘bookmark’ in the place where God lives. It keeps the world cognizant of the need for God in human living.

“but what is now most needed is Jesus.” The reality of the person of God.

“The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men.” This difference is revolutionary. The reality of God experientially realized in individual people is so very different from the belief in a concept.

“It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves.” Where is our hope? Ask the common man or woman on the street where the hope of their life is.

“Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation.” We must share that hope, that realization of God within us.

“And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself.” It is not our knowledge of the Urantia Book that the world needs to see, it is the reality of our personal experience with God.

“Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men.” Inspiration is contagious.

And lastly one of the great statements of the entire book.

“Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.”

Humanism is therefore is a philosophy derived from of the human understanding of things. Humanism is the study of the conclusions of intellect devoid of the reality of personal spiritual experience; it is mind devoid of spirit. It is the reality of a single-eyed view of life. We are taught to recognize fact, idea and relation; thing, meaning and value. Together these describe a process of intellectually discovering facts, willfully appreciating our best idea of the reality of the spirit’s view, the insight of God’s personal meaning from the innermost being and relating those two points to each other with deliberate willfulness to appreciate the spiritual value he reveals, and finally committing one’s personality to adopt the higher value as the experience of personal contact with God. This deliberate and determined self-identification in relation to one’s perception of God, enables each human being to realize the reality of God.

196:3.3 The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion—self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.

The church age, as I call it, describes the best of man’s view of God. It describes man’s understanding of God’s plan for mankind as being fulfilled through the church, a separate and set aside people; people for Him.

The Urantia Age, the Fifth Epoch describes God’s view of man. God is for all mankind. There is no separate group, no church to belong to. Jesus came to give us LIFE, real life . . . more abundant life, not merely a church to belong to. It is time we see ourselves as He sees us, and it is time we truly attempt to live up to His hope in and for us. Urantia is counting on it.

So, thank you Brad for encouraging me to clarify my position on these things.

Jim

Thank you Jim, that is the most profound post on the authority of personal spiritual experience I've ever read in this forum. I can't tell you how much I'm learning from you.

All the best!


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Jim says above: "Some find my way quite annoying because I am less than tolerant of apathy and indifference. I find the willingness to embrace the world as it is unenlightening, unencouraging and generally detrimental to personal growth, notwithstanding the human perspective may be one of positivism. I am even less tolerant of resistance and refusal; especially among those who purport to know God. The world sits in its own excrement while we debate these issues, which while they may be individually meaningful, are not very valuable relative to our planet’s wellbeing."


I am reminded of several quotes by your intense stare and focus upon the so-called "excrement" "the world sits in" according to your perspective of reality. I asked you if you cannot or do not see all the wonderful people expressing truth, beauty, and goodness on our world. Apparently you do not and cannot see the light of faith and the white background of ultimate good - neither the obvious and apparent good of humanity nor the background of good which is the greater Kingdom of Heaven in which our world resides. You do not see the great evolutionary success and the march of humanity toward our destiny in the day to day realities of our world today? All you see is excrement? Pity.

It is true there is much suffering in our world...and the error of evil...even sin and iniquity to a degree. Personally, I find the study, contemplation, and discovery of universe realities to be very enlightening, illuminating, uplifting, and soul building in its function and results. Those who experience the Spirit and the spiritization by our TA, attach the branch to the vine and the fruits of the Spirit come forth. Without such personal spirit fruit, we truly have nothing to share with others or any meaningful method of helping others...otherwise, we are but barren branches...or worse....branches filled with bitter fruits. Are disappointment, blame, and demand the fruit of the Spirit?

Is there no hope or ideals or faith or striving for truth and righteousness in our world? Is it so bleak and dark...such doom and such gloom. And this is what we are to share? The whole world is apathetic and indifferent? Your preaching is so harsh and judgmental....reminds me of the bible thumpers of my youth...REPENT or be damned! Life is miserable and woe begotten!


I wonder if the times of Jesus were less primitive and brutal or more so than today? And he was such a joyful person who embraced the human life and condition and commanded us to be of good cheer and be generous with our joy!! How do we attract or win souls for the kingdom when we cannot even see the hand of God around us and the victory of the Spirit upon our world?

Conflict and mayhem during evolution is normal, even inevitable. There is no magic wand or potion to abrogate the time of evolution or the experience required for wisdom. Do we tell others what they need to know or show others the joy, peace, patience, long suffering, and sublime confidence in the march of progress and spiritualization of our world by our own fruits of the Spirit? How does our disappointments in others help I wonder?

195:5.12 (2076.3) As you view the world, remember that the black patches of evil which you see are shown against a white background of ultimate good. You do not view merely white patches of good which show up miserably against a black background of evil.

195:5.13 (2076.4) When there is so much good truth to publish and proclaim, why should men dwell so much upon the evil in the world just because it appears to be a fact? The beauties of the spiritual values of truth are more pleasurable and uplifting than is the phenomenon of evil.

34:6.13 (381.7) The consciousness of the spirit domination of a human life is presently attended by an increasing exhibition of the characteristics of the Spirit in the life reactions of such a spirit-led mortal, “for the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Such spirit-guided and divinely illuminated mortals, while they yet tread the lowly paths of toil and in human faithfulness perform the duties of their earthly assignments, have already begun to discern the lights of eternal life as they glimmer on the faraway shores of another world; already have they begun to comprehend the reality of that inspiring and comforting truth, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit.

194:3.2 (2062.11) Many things which happen in the course of a human life are hard to understand, difficult to reconcile with the idea that this is a universe in which truth prevails and in which righteousness triumphs. It so often appears that slander, lies, dishonesty, and unrighteousness—sin—prevail. Does faith, after all, triumph over evil, sin, and iniquity? It does. And the life and death of Jesus are the eternal proof that the truth of goodness and the faith of the spirit-led creature will always be vindicated. They taunted Jesus on the cross, saying, “Let us see if God will come and deliver him.” It looked dark on that day of the crucifixion, but it was gloriously bright on the resurrection morning; it was still brighter and more joyous on the day of Pentecost. The religions of pessimistic despair seek to obtain release from the burdens of life; they crave extinction in endless slumber and rest. These are the religions of primitive fear and dread. The religion of Jesus is a new gospel of faith to be proclaimed to struggling humanity. This new religion is founded on faith, hope, and love.

194:3.3 (2063.1) To Jesus, mortal life had dealt its hardest, cruelest, and bitterest blows; and this man met these ministrations of despair with faith, courage, and the unswerving determination to do his Father’s will. Jesus met life in all its terrible reality and mastered it—even in death. He did not use religion as a release from life. The religion of Jesus does not seek to escape this life in order to enjoy the waiting bliss of another existence. The religion of Jesus provides the joy and peace of another and spiritual existence to enhance and ennoble the life which men now live in the flesh.



8)

Link to "good cheer" results:

https://truthbook.com/search/UBParagrap ... &start=all

And "glad and gladness" results:

https://truthbook.com/search/UBParagrap ... &start=all

Jesus came that we might have JOY!! He who is without joy has nothing to offer any other with either meaning or value.


Last edited by fanofVan on Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:45 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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