Episode:Evolutionary Religion—Early Evolution (Part 3)

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January 16, 2018 [Paper 86:4.1-5.3, p. 952]

The dream origin of the belief in a future existence explains the tendency always to imagine unseen things in the terms of things seen. The primitive doctrine of survival after death was not necessarily a belief in immortality. Instead, beings who could not conceive of infinity and eternity thought of recurring incarnations.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Breath of Life, Ghosts and Dreams, Reincarnation


Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We revisited the recurring theme concerning an earmark of real religion. Genuine religionists are known for finding unnatural and positive responses to the natural negative circumstances of life. The ability to consistently respond positively to negative life situations lies in the inherent stability of the religionists' firm connection to the eternal via the maintenance of a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces. Obviously, such maintenance goes beyond the initial endowment of potential spirit connection we all have at roughly age six.

We reflected on the fact that it not the sanctity of life, but the shock of death and that led early humans to develop primitive fear-based religion. We observed that in parallel fashion humans are so constituted to pray in the face of impending death before they move up to thanksgiving (in recognition of the sanctity of life) on the path to true worship (religion). Remaining as a child of God in the face of the destruction of religious superstitions carries the risk of spiritual fixation. Further, refusal to answer the call to growth leads to a willful ignorance which can result in perpetual spiritual childhood. The initial antidote to this childhood fixation is to reflect on the revealed knowledge of a realm of true religion far transcendent of your primitive notions and open yourself to being grown up toward it.


86:4. The Death-Survival Concept

Continuing from the previous section we notice our author beginning to use the term supermaterial. Here we see the beginning of man’s sense of having a dual nature—body and “not body”. The ghost dream convinced primitives of death-survival. A sense of verticality is introduced with this non-corporeal phase of existence, hence supermaterial. Our consideration of the phenomenon of simultaneous dreaming stimulated our speculation as to what is actually happening in such occurrences. We noted that the reality of the mind energy system to which we are connected is more profound than humans have heretofore understood. And as such it should not be a surprise that some of the mind energy manifestations are erroneously interpreted as spirit phenomena. And genuine spirit phenomena remain transcendent of mind energy manifestations. As with speculation about Thought Adjuster content of dream life, it is more prudent in the quest for spirit attainment to assume you have not yet reached it. The ladder of prayer to thanksgiving thence to worship spans a very tall vertical extent, more vast than we might imagine.

The dream origin of belief in future existence explains man’s future life imaginings being projections of his waking life. This concept led to the discussion of the nature of the visualizations given to men and women as part of their personal religious experiences. Visions of heavenly realms described by seers and teachers throughout history should be interpreted accordingly, recognizing that the immature human mind is not capable of registering the rarefied realities of the morontia or spirit worlds accurately. This limitation becomes a serious stumbling block in discerning the intended truths contained in the apparent and inferred facts of these experiences.

Man’s breath was another aspect of his non-material nature that early captured his attention, particularly when visible in colder climates. The breath-dream-idea-system was the foundation of man’s most primitive idea of the human soul, the ghost. We are reminded of the first human truth teacher Onagar and his worship of the Breath Giver. And how amusing to recall that Andon and Fonta were led north in their flight from their baser kinsfolk, where the colder temperatures made the breath visible, thereby facilitating their concept of supermaterial reality.

We discussed early man’s notions of the interventionary nature of invisible reality. All past epochal revelations reinforce this aspect of Deity. In the 5th ER we have appearing for the first time Mother Deity revealed.

Man conceived of himself in dual form—body and breath, with the breath minus the body equaling a spirit, a ghost. Disembodied spirits were further thought to be superhuman and the cause of all that was unusual, extraordinary, infrequent and inexplicable in his experience. It should be noted that the primitive belief in a future existence following death did not represent a belief in immortality. Due to their lack of sophistication they thought more in terms of recurring incarnations.

Belief in reincarnation originated with the observation of the inheritance of familial traits. The cycle of reincarnation whereby man was believed to die three to seven times was an artifact of the Adamic teachings regarding progression through the Mansion Worlds.

Initially early man conceived of an afterlife as a continuation of this one. The elderly thus preferred being killed before becoming too infirm. Later separate destinies for good ghosts and bad ghosts were developed. The various groups of primitives gave rise to a multiplicity of ideas concerning the nature and destiny of the ghost-soul. With their construct of Sheol, the place from which no individual could return to the land of the living, the Hebrews made an important advance in the doctrine of the evolution of the soul.


86:5. The Ghost-Soul Concept

The ghost-soul concept developed as man’s dream double leading to the belief that all objects had souls, long perpetuating nature spirit beliefs. All but the most primitive tribes developed some concept of the soul. With civilization’s advance and decline of superstitions concerning the soul man is now dependent on revelation and personal religious experience to grasp the new idea of the soul being a joint creation of mortal mind and indwelling divine spirit. But early man was incapable of differentiating between the soul and the indwelling spirit resulting in the gross inconsistencies concerning man’s view of souls, ghosts, and spirits held even today.


Notes by Brad

  • Ensure you keep maturing from your childish beginnings. Otherwise you are rather unwittingly willing yourself to remain ignorant--none is so blind as he who will not see. Willful ignorance is part of the emergency.
  • The secularists who deconstruct our old superstitions are not entirely off the mark! The trick is to find a way to be constructive, not deconstructive.
  • We don't have to plod through 100,000 years to evolution in these matters. Revelation can upstep us in our own lives much more quickly--we can experience real growth in our mortal lifetime.
    • Even in material matters, this year's hot new fad is "raw water"--throwing away thousands of years of hard-fought process about treating water to avoid disease. Please don't willfully blind yourself.
  • Ghost literally means "the thing you are terrified of," hence trembling, screaming, waking from a nightmare.
  • Let's be clear: the mind-energy system is more profound than any way we've conceived of it before. But it isn't magic. Further, don't lower the bar and accept the mind as if it is spirit.
    • Allow for mind to become ever more and more like spirit, but never call it spirit and reach a false ceiling.


  • Don't focus on facts. Focus on truth.
    • We talked at length about how even a vision in a dream like Paul had of a mansion world cannot possibly be factually correct. It will be in forms already familiar. Don't be satisfied with the "surface appearance" of anything like this.
    • Penetrate beneath surfaces. Discern the truth (or untruth in the case of sophistry).
  • It's all a grand, divine conspiracy. Visible breath in cold climate led to thoughts of the immaterial. You won't see that "luxuriating" in tropical climes. Man had to migrate north to evolve.
    • This writer remembers being a 5-year old savage, transfixed by his breath in the cold. He wonders how his parents explained it to avoid a millions years of slow evolution?
  • The third adjutant mind-spirit helps kick you up from the 1st level of meaning to the 2nd level of meaning. It's the first hint of transcendence.
    • It's why the orange race loved to stack stones--to not live as a flatlander in the plane.


  • There is a truth to reincarnation--an on-goingness to things. But you go up a notch.
  • A savage believes the afterlife is just like this one, but with no bad luck. The barbarian progresses to dual spiritism: heaven and hell. The civilized man is call to transcend dual spiritism.


  • Phantom and specter are Greek and Latin words for "appearance" or "apparition"--an appearance, not a reality, that cannot be touched.