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Our Unsettled World

Q: I'm frightened by the turn toward nativism and near- fascism that's happening in the U.S. and around the world. Why is it happening? What should be my attitude toward this evil?

A:  

Thanks so much for your note to us here at TruthBook; your sentiments are reflective of the feelings that are being shared by many these days.

My "gut feeling" is that some of the problems that we're seeing today are issues that have always simmered below the surface of our civilizations; but seemingly all of a sudden, they have come boiling up and over. I guess we can point to any number of causes for the political atmosphere that seems to allow and even encourage these destructive philosophies, but I am not sure whether that's productive. Even among Urantia Book reader/students there is - to me - a surprising diversity of opinion about what is happening, why it is happening, and what might be the outcome.

I have looked in the text - specifically Paper 81 - for some enlightenment this morning and found a few passages that might help us both to gain a balance for ourselves in light of the imbalance that we see all around us. The paper begins this way:

81:0.1 REGARDLESS OF THE ups and downs of the miscarriage of the plans for world betterment projected in the missions of Caligastia and Adam, the basic organic evolution of the human species continued to carry the races forward in the scale of human progress and racial development. Evolution can be delayed but it cannot be stopped.

81:0.2 The influence of the violet race, though in numbers smaller than had been planned, produced an advance in civilization which, since the days of Adam, has far exceeded the progress of mankind throughout its entire previous existence of almost a million years.

And these next two are from the section called "The Maintenance of Civilization" and seem to speak to reasons we are seeing these problems. (I have added emphasis)

81:6.15 Might does not make right, but might does make what is and what has been in history. Only recently has Urantia reached that point where society is willing to debate the ethics of might and right.

NOTE: Personally, I see this as a good development

81:6.25 The greatest twentieth-century influences contributing to the furtherance of civilization and the advancement of culture are the marked increase in world travel and the unparalleled improvements in methods of communication. But the improvement in education has not kept pace with the expanding social structure; neither has the modern appreciation of ethics developed in correspondence with growth along more purely intellectual and scientific lines. And modern civilization is at a standstill in spiritual development and the safeguarding of the home institution.

NOTE: And you may want to contrast and compare with Paper 71 "Development of the State"

What I see in these passages are problems in the areas of education, ethics, spiritual development, and in safeguarding the home.I think these problems are being reflected in our leadership world-wide.

Again, these are some passages that I found in turn encouraging or worrisome. But I guess the most important thing to remember about what's going on is that civilization is an evolutionary and progressive process; it "can be delayed but it cannot be stopped." Evolution has brought civilization much good already and will inevitably produce even more good at some point. Don't be dismayed by the "black patches of evil."

As to what one can do in the short run: first of all, it may be unrealistic to think that these trends can simply be stopped. But all citizens can become more active in the political scene - these days we all have to make sure that the information we take in is true. We have to all do our homework to be sure we are informed. We have to investigate stories for their truth content. And with the world- wide-web at our fingertips, this is doable.

Certainly every citizen can vote and make their voice heard at the ballot box. It may seem a small effort, but when all citizens exercise their right to vote, big changes can come about.

As for combatting the evil that we see around us...that evil has always been there, only now, it seems to be becoming institutionalized; nevertheless, we don't have to buy into the fear or pessimism around us. Like Jesus, we must refuse to advertise evil, but instead promote goodness wherever and however we can. The Urantia Book tells us that: "His few denunciations were largely directed against pride, cruelty, oppression, and hypocrisy." And like Jesus, we can do our best to speak truth to such evil when we see it, but don't be overcome by it.

We Urantia Book reader/students have a unique perspective on life; we know from our reading how civilizations and nations come and go; we know that evolution may be slow, but it is very effective; we know that our lives are but a blip in time here on this changing evolutionary planet. And most important, we know that this is not our home; we are sojourners here, living our first life in preparation for a better one ahead. Having this universe view can really help when we find ourselves beset by these disturbing developments in our world.

One passage that always brings me peace is this one:

100:2.7 Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God- knowing mortal when he said: "To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?" Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.

I hope that you are one of those lucky humans who has "dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God." In the end, this does help us gain a better perspective and live a happier life. Thanks again for writing to us; I hope that this reply has been of some help to you.

:: Date published:
:: Author: Staff