Episode:Evolutionary Religion—Early Evolution (Part 5)

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January 30, 2018 [Paper 86:6.4-7.7, p. 955]

Primitive man slowly evolved religion out of his innate worship urge and his misconception of chance. And when the concept of right and wrong at last evolved, there began that long waste of human effort upon tombs, temples, sacrifices, and priesthoods. It was a terrible price to pay; but it was worth all it cost, for therein human ethics was born! Evolution may be slow, but it is unerringly effective.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Human Inequality, Self-Control, Ethics


Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We expanded further on the idea that man’s religious development early became fixated on the environment. Citing Paper [103:3.3] and [103:6.3] wherein we are told that religion is designed to change man’s environment, yet much of present-day religion is unable to do this, rather environment is all too often found to be the master of religion. And this notwithstanding that religion has to do with the spiritual viewpoint, the awareness of the insideness of human experience. Even considering the term environment to represent an internal mental environment, such an illusory ghost environment leads man to misinterpret inner mental cosmic phenomena as ghost phenomena and attach erroneous outer life meanings to them. For the most part man’s genuine inner life remains more potential than actual, awaiting the realization of genuine faith in the place of fear based beliefs.

We also spent time unpacking the meaning of the revelators’ reference to "the realities of the imaginary world of ghosts and spirits," a seemingly contradictory phrase. Listen to the archive for details. We further considered that illusion and ignorance plus mortal fear led to the persistence of superstition and religion of primitive peoples up to the times of epochal revelation. Moreover, in the light of five epochal revelations many of the worlds races yet have only the crude religion of evolution. And finally before beginning our reading we reflected on what a church based on the inner life of religionists would look like.


86:6.4

Primitive man slowly evolved religion out of his innate worship urge and his misconception of chance, good and bad luck. Increasing sophistication exposes the workings of so-called chance to be caused by predictable mechanisms in the place of a good and bad ghosts, all to the discredit of the existing systems of religion. Remember next to his pronouncement that God is a living and loving Spirit, Jesus declared that the kingdom of God is within you—an inside deal. So make a divine appointment in your inner room where the table is set, established by grace, and consent to being grown from the tadpole state.

Our author further reminds us that lest we find too much amusement in the fallacies of thought and worship of the ancients, future generations will likewise note our own such folly with smiles.

But we humans progress in spite of ourselves. Primitive logic dictated that since the spirit-ghosts’ anger or pleasure dictate their treatment of mortals, self-regulation designed to influence spirit-ghost demeanor was called for. Hence a concept of right and wrong had evolved, and all this long before the times of any revelation down here. Note that the powerful spirit ministries of the Thought Adjusters and the Spirit of Truth are not required to be grown. Perhaps our individual efforts designed to foster spiritual growth might be profitably spent cultivating the courageous and independent cosmic thinking made possible by our access to the three cosmic intuitions contained in the grace gift of Holy Spirit encircuitment. Observe that savages equipped solely with the endowment of the Holy Spirit were lifted to this threshold, whereupon began to long and wasteful struggle to placate the spirit-ghosts through the creation of tombs, temples, sacrifices, and priesthoods. So it is with this fixation on the environment in the outer life that we arrive at today’s emergency, the stalemate between religion and society regarding the reconstruction and reformation of each. How to break the bonds of contemporary religion to the environment, that true religion might become the master of the environment?


86:7. The Function of Primitive Religion

This phase of primitive religion was intended to provide insurance against ill luck. And is not this a powerful motivation today? As civilized man pays his material premiums against the vicissitudes of material existence, religion increasingly concerns itself with insurance beyond the grave. With all the foolish notions spawned by primitive religion man at least began to awaken to the idea that he could do something to influence fate. Man began to envision a rudimentary self-mastery in recognition of a supermaterial world which was in control of human destiny.

Modern man is beginning to find liberation from the bondage of the ghost-spirit explanation of ill luck. Yet presently he erroneously attributes the problems of human inequality to political misadaptation, social injustice, and industrial competition. Remediation and reformation in these domains of human activity will never address the root causes for the facts of birth and the accidents of living. The Lucifer Rebellion and subsequent Adamic default have left mankind with a seriously attenuated biologic foundation on which to build the civilization of our hopes. Rejuvenation of man’s frame awaits the comprehension of facts and wise manipulation within the laws of nature leading to scientific action.

Listen to the archive for our discussion of the four pernicious “isms” with which contribute to our emergency—Positivism, Progressivism, Secularism, and Humanism.

Nevertheless we note that in spite of the erroneous content and illogical nature of man’s religious evolution, it served to prepare the human mind for the Father’s indwelling gift, ever laboring to transmute God-fear into God-love.


Notes by Brad

  • If the mansion worlds are beyond our imagination, even planetary mortal epochs on normal worlds also are beyond our imagination.
    • Light and life isn't "today, but with fusion power." Don't set the bar so low. Just stay humble and accept that it's beyond your imagination.
  • "The kingdom of God is within you" truly is profound, because it indicates religion is an inner-life phenomenon.


  • Evolution can produce remarkable results in the absence of epochal revelation.
    • Even primitive man developed an art of living not predicated entirely on material stimuli.
    • It's sad to watch individuals today will away those hard-fought victories through the sophistries of nihilism, materialism, etc.
      • There are even cartoons (adult cartoons) that proffer these ideas in an amusing (but too amusing?) light. [1]


  • We progress in spite of ourselves, not because of our selves.
  • Stop associating "good and bad" with "pleasant experience and unpleasant experience." We can evolve past this primitive notion.
  • Let insurance be a science of economics. Keep insurance out of advancing institutionalized religion, be it insurance against ill luck or insurance for salvation.
    • Let salvation be given to you by grace. Take it for granted. Where does that leave your religion?


  • [86:7.4] is a notable paragraph concerning the emergency. Specifically, the notions we have in our heads that are manifesting outward and collapsing civilization as a consequence.


  • Someday genetic engineering will solve what the failed biologic uplift (2nd epochal revelation) failed to do. This is not a comfortable issue to ponder or talk about these days, because of our lack of wisdom.
    • A large measure of human inequality has to do with genetics. But we lack the selflessness, maturity, wisdom, etc to solve these things today.
    • Positivism (there is no insight), so-called progressivism, secularism, and humanism are problematic religious-like phenomena these days.
    • Don't try to eliminate human inequalities by legislation. That can destroy civilization.


  • Truth and logic art not natural. They are the artform of a human mind, not the natural estate of a fancy animal.


  • Want to be grown? Stop turning yourself inside out.
    • Don't be a materialist who is an unwitting secularist.
    • Don't seek the inner life in the outer life.
    • Don't try to save the outer life. The Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men. Your job is to let go of fear, seek to love. Work on yourself and self mastery.