Teacher-Brother Dave's Compilation of
TOPICAL STUDIES from
THE NEW EPOCHAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
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TOPICAL STUDIES INDEX
Topical Study number 139
"Our Needs and Requirements for Peace and Progress"
NOTE: The Urantia Book text in English is free of copyright to allow extensive sharing worldwide. But my order of selections, font types for emphasis and my added comments in square brackets are Copyright by Dave@PureChristians.org
THE URANTIA BOOK
PAPER 102 THE FOUNDATIONS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH
1. Assurances of Faith
102:1.1 (1118.4) The work of the Thought Adjuster [The will of God the Universal Father indwelling your mind and co-creating with your consent the higher soul reality you who will be resurrected into ever higher forms toward final Paradise perfection and eternal Residence !] constitutes the explanation of the translation of man’s primitive and evolutionary sense of duty into that higher and more certain faith in the eternal realities of revelation. There must be perfection hunger in man’s heart to insure capacity for comprehending the faith paths to supreme attainment. If any man chooses to do the divine will, he shall know the way of truth. It is literally true, “Human things must be known in order to be loved, but divine things must be loved in order to be known.” But honest doubts and sincere questionings are not sin; such attitudes merely spell delay in the progressive journey toward perfection attainment. Childlike trust secures man’s entrance into the kingdom of heavenly ascent, but progress is wholly dependent on the vigorous exercise of the robust and confident faith of the full-grown man.
102:1.3 (1119.2) Owing to the isolation of rebellion, [of Lucifer and others 200,000 years ago until Jesus Christ, in A.D 30 - on, removed them] the [continual] revelation of truth on Urantia [Earth] has all too often been mixed up with the statements of partial and transient cosmologies. Truth remains unchanged from generation to generation, but the associated teachings about the physical world vary from day to day and from year to year. Eternal truth should not be slighted because it chances to be found in company with obsolete ideas regarding the material world. ["flat earth theory", etc.] The more of science you know, the less sure you can be; the more of [true] religion you have, the more certain you are. [!!!]
2. Religion and Reality
102:2.5 (1120.2) Even the discoveries of science are not truly real in the consciousness of human experience until they are unraveled and correlated, until their relevant facts actually become meaning through encircuitment in the thought streams of mind. Mortal man views even his physical environment from the mind level, from the perspective of its psychological registry. It is not, therefore, strange that man should place a highly unified interpretation upon the universe and then seek to identify this energy unity of his science with the spirit unity of his religious experience. Mind is unity; mortal consciousness lives on the mind level and perceives the universal realities through the eyes of the mind endowment. The mind perspective will not yield the existential unity of the source of reality, the First Source and Center, [God the Universal Father in the fullest sense] but it can and sometime will portray to man the experiential synthesis of energy, mind, and spirit in and as the Supreme Being. [Our evolving God with us in time and space.] But mind can never succeed in this [total] unification of the [infinite] diversity of reality unless such mind is firmly aware of material things, intellectual meanings, and spiritual values; only in the harmony of the triunity of functional reality is there unity, and only in unity is there the personality satisfaction of the realization of cosmic constancy and consistency. [Cosmic consciousness !]
102:2.6 (1120.3) Unity is best found in human experience through philosophy. And while the body of philosophic thought must ever be founded on material facts, the soul and energy of true philosophic dynamics is mortal spiritual insight.
102:2.8 (1121.1) Again, there are other types of unstable and poorly disciplined souls who would use the sentimental ideas of religion as an avenue of escape from the irritating demands of living. When certain vacillating and timid mortals attempt to escape from the incessant pressure of evolutionary life, religion, as they conceive it, seems to present the nearest refuge, the best avenue of escape. But it is the mission of religion to prepare man for bravely, even heroically, facing the vicissitudes of life. Religion is evolutionary man’s supreme endowment, the one thing which enables him to carry on and “endure as seeing Him who is invisible.” Mysticism, however, is often something of a retreat from life which is embraced by those humans who do not relish the more robust activities of living a religious life [everywhere ! and] in the open arenas of human society and commerce. True religion must act. Conduct will be the result of religion when man actually has it, or rather when religion is permitted truly to possess the man. Never will religion be content with mere thinking or unacting feeling.
3. Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight
102:3.1 (1121.3) Intellectual deficiency or educational poverty unavoidably handicaps higher religious attainment because such an impoverished environment of the spiritual nature robs religion of its chief channel of philosophic contact with the world of scientific knowledge. The intellectual factors of religion are important, but their overdevelopment is likewise sometimes very handicapping and embarrassing. Religion must continually labor under a paradoxical necessity: the necessity of making effective use of thought while at the same time discounting the spiritual serviceableness of all thinking. [True Spirit Realities in the soul must be realized as higher than just weak human intellect.]
6. The Certainty of Religious Faith
102:6.5 (1124.7) Convictions about God may be arrived at through wise reasoning, but the individual becomes God-knowing only by faith, through personal experience. In much that pertains to life, probability must be reckoned with, but when contacting with cosmic reality, certainty may be experienced when such meanings and values are approached by living faith. The God-knowing soul dares to say, “I know,” even when this knowledge of God is questioned by the unbeliever who denies such certitude because it is not wholly supported by intellectual logic. To every such doubter the believer only replies, “How do you know that I do not know?”
102:6.6 (1125.1) Though reason can always question faith, faith can always supplement both reason and logic. Reason creates the probability which faith can transform into a moral certainty, even a spiritual experience. God is the first truth and the last fact; therefore does all truth take origin in him, while all facts exist relative to him. God is absolute truth. As truth one may know God, but to understand — to explain — God, one must explore the fact of the universe of universes. The vast gulf between the experience of the truth of God and ignorance as to the fact of God can be bridged only by living faith. Reason alone cannot achieve harmony between infinite truth and universal fact.
102:6.8 (1125.3) To science God is a possibility, to psychology a desirability, to philosophy a probability, to religion a certainty, an actuality of religious experience. Reason demands that a philosophy which cannot find the God of probability should be very respectful of that religious faith which can and does find the God of certitude. Neither should science discount religious experience on grounds of credulity, not so long as it persists in the assumption that man’s intellectual and philosophic endowments emerged from increasingly lesser intelligences the further back they go, finally taking origin in primitive life which was utterly devoid of all thinking and feeling.
102:6.9 (1125.4) The facts of evolution must not be arrayed against the truth of the reality of the certainty of the spiritual experience of the religious living of the God-knowing mortal. Intelligent men should cease to reason like children and should attempt to use the consistent logic of adulthood, logic which tolerates the concept of truth alongside the observation of fact. Scientific materialism has gone bankrupt when it persists, in the face of each recurring universe phenomenon, in refunding its current objections by referring what is admittedly higher back into that which is admittedly lower. Consistency demands the recognition of the activities of a purposive Creator.
102:6.10 (1125.5) Organic evolution is a fact; purposive or progressive evolution is a truth which makes consistent the otherwise contradictory phenomena of the ever-ascending achievements of evolution. The higher any scientist progresses in his chosen science, the more will he abandon the theories of materialistic fact in favor of the cosmic truth of the dominance of the Supreme Mind. Materialism cheapens human life; the gospel of Jesus tremendously enhances and supernally exalts every mortal. [All humans are divinely beloved sons of God, types male and female !!] Mortal existence must be visualized as consisting in the intriguing and fascinating experience of the realization of the reality of the meeting of the human upreach and the divine and saving downreach. [as taught and lived by our United God-Man Creator Son and Son of Man Jesus Christ !]
7. The Certitude of the Divine
102:7.3 (1126.3) Those who would invent a religion without God are like those who would gather fruit without trees, have children without parents. [!!] You cannot have effects without causes; only the I AM [GOD Person] is causeless. The fact of religious experience implies God, and such a God of personal experience must be a personal Deity. You cannot pray to a chemical formula, supplicate a mathematical equation, worship a hypothesis, confide in a postulate, commune with a process, serve an abstraction, or hold loving fellowship with a law.
102:7.6 (1126.6) The God-knowing individual is not one who is blind to the difficulties or unmindful of the obstacles which stand in the way of finding God in the maze of superstition, tradition, and materialistic tendencies of modern times. He [or She] has encountered all these deterrents and triumphed over them, surmounted them by living faith, and attained the highlands of spiritual experience in spite of them. But it is true that many who are inwardly sure about God fear to assert such feelings of certainty because of the multiplicity and cleverness of those who assemble objections and magnify difficulties about believing in God. It requires no great depth of intellect to pick flaws, ask questions, or raise objections. But it does require brilliance of mind to answer these questions and solve these difficulties; faith certainty is the greatest technique for dealing with all such superficial contentions. [Atheists and secular humanists live shorter lives here and have more struggles than strongly God-conscious persons. Count the terrible costs of spiritual rebellion.]
102:7.7 (1127.1) If science, philosophy, or sociology dares to become dogmatic in contending with the prophets of true religion, then should God-knowing men reply to such unwarranted dogmatism with that more farseeing dogmatism of the certainty of personal spiritual experience, “I know what I have experienced because I am a son of I AM.” If the personal experience of a faither is to be challenged by dogma, then this faith-born son of the experiencible Father may reply with that unchallengeable dogma, the statement of his actual sonship with the Universal Father. [Eternally True !!!]
102:7.8 (1127.2) Only an unqualified reality, an absolute, could dare consistently to be dogmatic. Those who assume to be dogmatic must, if consistent, sooner or later be driven into the arms of the Absolute of energy, the Universal of truth, and the Infinite of love. [Jesus Christ is fully here with, and within, us faith-sons of God; and He is seeking and transforming all lost sons of God, and saving all who really desire eternal Life and final Spirit Perfection in The Family of God in Heaven and now on Earth !]
8. The Evidences of Religion
102:8.1 (1127.5) The highest evidence of the reality and efficacy of religion consists in the fact of human experience; namely, that man, naturally fearful and suspicious, innately endowed with a strong instinct of self-preservation and craving survival after death, is willing fully to trust the deepest interests of his present and future to the keeping and direction of that power and person designated by his faith as God. That is the one central truth of all religion. As to what that power or person requires of man in return for this watchcare and final salvation, no two religions agree; in fact, they all more or less disagree. [There are now over 40,000 different and contending Christian, ecclesiastical run denominations and sects ! The True Religion, of and in Jesus, is freely available at all times and in all places ! That is the fast arriving, Jesusonian Christian personal God-conscious Religion !]
PAPER 103 THE REALITY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
1. Philosophy of Religion
103:1.1 (1129.8) The unity of religious experience among a social or racial group derives from the identical nature of the God fragment [God's perfect, unchanging will or volition] indwelling the individual. It is this divine in man that gives origin to his unselfish interest in the welfare of other men. But since personality is unique — no two mortals being alike — it inevitably follows that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.
103:1.3 (1130.2) While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric — circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial.
4. Spiritual Communion
103:4.1 (1133.1) The characteristic difference between a social occasion and a religious gathering is that in contrast with the secular the religious is pervaded by the atmosphere of communion. In this way human association generates a feeling of fellowship with the divine, and this is the beginning of group worship. Partaking of a common meal was the earliest type of social communion, and so did early religions provide that some portion of the ceremonial sacrifice should be eaten by the worshipers. Even in Christianity the Lord’s Supper retains this mode of communion. The atmosphere of the communion provides a refreshing and comforting period of truce in the conflict of the self-seeking ego with the altruistic urge of the indwelling spirit Monitor. And this is the prelude to true worship — the practice of the presence of God which eventuates in the emergence of the brotherhood of man.
5. The Origin of Ideals
103:5.2 (1133.7) This idea-ideal of doing good to others — the impulse to deny the ego something for the benefit of one’s neighbor — is very circumscribed at first. Primitive man regards as neighbor only those very close to him, those who treat him neighborly; as religious civilization advances, one’s neighbor expands in concept to embrace the clan, the tribe, the nation. And then Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. [All humans are now in the Family of God -- as brothers and sisters, each equally loved by God !] And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral — right. Even those who practice this ideal least, admit that it is right in theory.
103:5.11 (1135.1) But man is not saved or ennobled by pressure. Spirit growth springs from within the evolving soul. Pressure may deform the personality, but it never stimulates growth. Even educational pressure is only negatively helpful in that it may aid in the prevention of disastrous experiences. Spiritual growth is greatest where all external pressures are at a minimum. “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” [Everywhere !] Man develops best when the pressures of home, community, church, and state are least. But this must not be construed as meaning that there is no place in a progressive society for home, social institutions, church, and state.
103:5.12 (1135.2) When a member of a social religious group has complied with the requirements of such a group, he should be encouraged to enjoy religious liberty in the full expression of his own personal interpretation of the truths of religious belief and the facts of religious experience. The security of a religious group depends on spiritual unity, not on theological uniformity. A religious group should be able to enjoy the liberty of freethinking without having to become “freethinkers.” There is great hope for any church that worships the living God, validates the brotherhood of man, and dares to remove all creedal pressure from its members. [True churches are always trans-denominational and trans-ecclesiastical. Millions now are small, home-family based, spiritual fellowship and study groups that are fast multiplying worldwide.]
6. Philosophic Co-ordination
103:6.1 (1135.3) Theology is the study of the actions and reactions of the human spirit; it can never become a science since it must always be combined more or less with psychology in its personal expression and with philosophy in its systematic portrayal. Theology is always the study of your religion; the study of another’s religion is psychology. [!!]
103:6.6 (1136.1) Always must man’s inner spirit depend for its expression and self-realization upon the mechanism and technique of the mind. Likewise must man’s outer experience of material reality be predicated on the mind consciousness of the experiencing personality. Therefore are the spiritual and the material, the inner and the outer, human experiences always correlated with the mind function and conditioned, as to their conscious realization, by the mind activity. Man experiences matter in his mind; he experiences spiritual reality in the soul but becomes conscious of this experience in his mind. The intellect is the harmonizer and the ever-present conditioner and qualifier of the sum total of mortal experience. Both energy-things and spirit values are colored by their interpretation through the mind media of consciousness.
103:6.11 (1137.1) Science must always be grounded in reason, although imagination and conjecture are helpful in the extension of its borders. Religion is forever dependent on faith, albeit reason is a stabilizing influence and a helpful handmaid. And always there have been, and ever will be, misleading interpretations of the phenomena of both the natural and the spiritual worlds, sciences and religions falsely so called.
103:6.14 (1137.4) When the philosophy of man leans heavily toward the world of matter, it becomes rationalistic or naturalistic. When philosophy inclines particularly toward the spiritual level, it becomes idealistic or even mystical. When philosophy is so unfortunate as to lean upon metaphysics, it unfailingly becomes skeptical, confused. In past ages, most of man’s knowledge and intellectual evaluations have fallen into one of these three distortions of perception. Philosophy dare not project its interpretations of reality in the linear fashion of logic; it must never fail to reckon with the elliptic symmetry of reality and with the essential curvature of all relation concepts. [Profound !]
103:6.15 (1137.5) The highest attainable philosophy of mortal man must be logically based on the reason of science, the faith of religion, and the truth insight afforded by revelation. By this union man can compensate somewhat for his failure to develop an adequate metaphysics and for his inability to comprehend the mota [higher philosophy] of the morontia. [Soul level reality]
7. Science and Religion
103:7.4 (1138.2) The union of the scientific attitude and the religious insight by the mediation of experiential philosophy is part of man’s long [possibly one trillion years up through just over one billion progressively higher Heavens !] Paradise-ascension experience. The approximations of mathematics and the certainties of insight will always require the harmonizing function of mind logic on all levels of experience short of the maximum attainment of [God] the Supreme.
8. Philosophy and Religion
103:8.5 (1140.5) The certainty of the God-knowing religionist should not be disturbed by the uncertainty of the doubting materialist; rather should the uncertainty of the unbeliever be mightily challenged by the profound faith and unshakable certainty of the experiential believer. [I am a divinely beloved son of God in Jesus ! and so are you ! my brother or sister !]
103:8.6 (1140.6) Philosophy, to be of the greatest service to both science and religion, should avoid the extremes of both materialism and pantheism. Only a philosophy which recognizes the reality of personality — permanence in the presence of change — can be of moral value to man, can serve as a liaison between the theories of material science and spiritual religion. [Ongoing personal and Epochal] Revelation is a compensation for the frailties of evolving philosophy.
9. The Essence of Religion
103:9.2 (1140.8) Religion has to do with feeling, acting, and living, not merely with thinking. Thinking is more closely related to the material life and should be in the main, but not altogether, dominated by reason and the facts of science and, in its nonmaterial reaches toward the spirit realms, by truth. No matter how illusory and erroneous one’s theology, one’s religion may be wholly genuine and everlastingly true. [!!]
103:9.11 (1142.2) Faith leads to knowing God, not merely to a mystical feeling of the divine presence. Faith must not be overmuch influenced by its emotional consequences. True religion is an experience of believing and knowing as well as a satisfaction of feeling.
[The next part this topical Study number 139 will be here Monday, August 08, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT]
Spiritual High-Lights of Jesus Christ
Spiritual High-Lights of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
FIFTH EPOCHAL REVELATION (full text and my added comments)
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES (shorter, with some FER)