Episode:Civilization—The State (Part 4)

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August 9, 2016 (Paper 71:4-6, p.804)

Progress in the arts of civilization leads to the realization of the highest human and divine goals of mortal endeavor—the social achievement of the brotherhood of man and the personal status of God-consciousness, revealed in the supreme desire to do the will of the Father in heaven.

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Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

The revelators definitively declare that, “…no state can attain ideal levels of functioning until every form of intolerance is mastered…” Yet, they also assert that “No society has progressed very far when it permits idleness or tolerates poverty.” This apparent inconsistency is resolved from the dilemma of dichotomy by using the philosophic faculty to go up and reflect. Tolerance is not to be confused with indifference, or disengagement. Tolerance (tempered zeal) requires the exercise of self-control and the inner mastery of the self (e.g. impulse control, reflection etc.). The conflict between the inner work of self-mastery and the urge to remedy external issues is a challenge to resolve. Lacking self-mastery while imposing a self-conceived countermeasure to correct a perceived social evil often yields an outcome opposite to that desired. The default of Adam and Eve stands as poignant testimony to this.

Two false assumptions hamper the efforts of those who feel an urgency to act to save our world from disaster. First is the notion that one’s ardent desire to save the world and mankind is innately useful. Second, that there is no one to be trusted in charge of external human affairs. Our job as potential cosmic citizens is to master the self by supplying the favorable conditions to be grown from a child of God into an adult of God. Adults of God are given increased responsibilities over external affairs as they become worthy. Our planetary emergency is not a spiritual emergency.

In response to a caller we reiterated that the truths of the revelation are derived through using the philosophic impulse to synthesize its various elements in a holistic manner as opposed to applying linear analytic thinking.

71:4. Progressive Civilization

Economics, society, and government must evolve if they are to remain. This statement by the revelators evokes a double conflicted response on our part. Recognizing the imperative to change too often leads to change without growth i.e. non-evolutionary change. In contrast, we may existentialize our ideas of change such that we falsely fixate on certain ideas as unchangeable, fostering a stasis that is indicative of decay. Failure to reorient our thinking from an existential framework to an evolutionary dynamic puts us at risk of not being upheld in the evolutionary stream.

What follows is a list of twelve items embracing the progressive program of an expanding civilization. We noted that this twelve-point list amounts to an expansion on the specifics of the broad categories of the essentials of civil progress—liberty, security, education, and social coordination that we encountered at the beginning of the section on the ideals of statehood. Of particular note is item number one—preservation of individual liberties. The use of the term “preservation” as we’ve discussed previously confers on the word liberty an unchanging quality. It is this existential quality of individual liberty that serves as the anchor for the evolutionary characteristics of the remaining eleven items. Interestingly, religion as such is not specified in this list, rather is it assumed to be a given in an the adult of God members of an ideal expanding civilization. We briefly discussed some of these twelve items more specifically noting that our own civilization is addressing many of these points. However, we also note that some of these items, e.g. protection of the home, promotion of economic security, compulsory employment represent areas of civil and social life where we have lost ground over recent decades.

The paragraph immediately following the aforementioned list of twelve forecasts a distant future that depicts the results of progress in these arts of civilization—the realization of the highest human and divine goals of mortal endeavor: the social achievement of the brotherhood of man and the personal status of God-consciousness. In our discussion of this paragraph we briefly touched on the difference between the social and the spiritual achievements of the brotherhood of man (kindred minds vs. kindred spirits respectively). Also we remarked on the importance difference between God-knowingness and God-consciousness, the latter being a remote mystery resulting from a fully mastered self and far removed from the faith-son-consciousness that is God-knowingness.

The revelators warn that the appearance of genuine brotherhood is at risk if the weak or wicked are allowed to take unfair or unholy advantage of those who are chiefly actuated by devotion to the service of truth, beauty, and goodness.

The section concludes with another warning concerning the great test of idealism to maintain military preparedness to prevent attack by war-loving neighbors, while restraining the same military might from being employed for selfish gain or national aggrandizement.

71:5. The Evolution of Competition

Competition is essential to social progress, but must be regulated to prevent violence. Competition gradually replaces war, and cooperation likewise gradually replaces competition, although we are reminded that even on high angels engage in competitive activities. Though in certain domains it is exceedingly wasteful and ineffective, yet it should not be eliminated if such adjustments entail the abrogation of basic liberties of the individual.

71:6. The Profit Motive

We are told that present-day profit motivated economics is doomed unless profit motives can be augmented by service motives. But again like competition, it should not be suddenly destroyed as it serves to keep otherwise slothful mortals hard at work. That being said, it does not hold that the profit motive be forever selfish in its objectives. Only when we have possessed ourselves of superior types of nonprofit motives for economic striving and social serving can the profit motive be taken away. As we recall, it is our fourth indispensable factor in early progressing civilization, taking its place with slavery, war, and social classes.