Episode:Evolutionary Religion—Ghost Cults (Part 3)

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February 20, 2018 [Paper 87:4.1-5.5, p. 961]

It was a great advance in civilization when inheritance replaced the burning and burying of property; ancient funeral wastes were enormous. Modern man is not supposed to fear ghosts, but custom is strong, and much terrestrial wealth is still consumed on funeral rituals and death ceremonies.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Good and Evil, Lucifer Rebellion, Evil Eye



Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We shared insights regarding the degree to which present day religion consists of sophisticated permutations of ghost cult practices and beliefs. The importance and value of the evolutionary stream is not to be dismissed in assessing the state of religion today. We see a pattern in cosmic administration that evolutionary potentials must actualize before reciprocal revelation appears. Note that evolutionary philosophy attained peak levels around the turn of the last century before going off the rails. It was followed by the gift of the Urantia Papers.


87:4. Good and Bad Spirit Ghosts

Reiterating where we left off last week, the revelators give us the sweeping statement that ghost fear was the fountainhead of ALL world religion. Further that most of the world’s religions today consist of the sophisticated evolutionary elaboration of ghost fear. Good and bad luck were attributed to mood swings of the temperamental ghosts. With expansion of the cult of ghost fear came a recognition of a hierarchical stratification of types of spirits, giving rise to higher types of spirits above the ghosts of the dearly departed humans. And so, man began to envision a higher realm of spiritland existing beyond mere ghostland, the realm of illusions of the dream life. We discussed the beliefs around celestial visitations and dreams. It’s important to distinguish between dreams (emanations of the sub-conscious) and visitations during sleep.

Interestingly, the notion of good and bad spirit ghosts sprang up independently all over the world. The advancing evolutionary development of adjutant mind from within, coupled with the insights accompanying the encircuitment of the Holy Spirit became projected outward in various flavors of rationalizations around the globe. But notice, an idea’s power to influence the expanding evolutionary mind is contained in its vividness and the universality of its ready and simple application. These criteria are therefore NOT dependent on the reality or reasonableness of the idea. Vividness compels belief and its ready and simple application appeals to the indolent nature of not just early humans. With the help of the revelation we can now through personality action choose to develop conditions favorable for being grown, and not simply progress in spite of ourselves by drifting along with the evolutionary stream.

The this new dual spiritism initially was hierarchical with the good spirits above the bad ones. Over time the differential between the good and the bad came to be represented in a horizontal dichotomy. The doctrine of good and bad spirits at maturity was the most widespread and persistent of all religious beliefs. Its great advance over monospiritism lies in the consistency of the spirits. Good and bad luck were now accounted for as the doings of spirits who were consistent in their actions. Even though this was one of the most momentous discoveries of truth in the entire history of the evolution of religion and expansion of human philosophy, it was had at the price of obscuring the truth of cosmic unity. So, it is that today most of the world’s religions depict a cosmos where the forces of good are perpetually opposed by the forces of evil. The irony of this doctrine of good and bad spirits is that it appeared prior to the Rebellion in absence of any bad spirits. The stories of Jesus casting out bad spirits only fixed the belief in bad spirits, Pentecost notwithstanding.


87:5. The Advancing Ghost Cult

Primitive man viewed himself in debt to the spirits and ghosts. Today religionists view themselves as obliged to serve God. Here we have the same old wineskin. God’s favor is widely seen as dependent on some external acts or rituals. Spirit fear and worship were adopted as insurance against misfortune in this life. Today, religion similarly serves to ensure salvation. Reflection on current atonement theology reveals it to be grounded in selfishness and not part of Jesus’ gospel.

Another well-nigh world-wide fear was the evil eye, spawning superstitions concerning prenatal marking of children and maternal impressions. Organs of reproduction were thought to be the only fetish capable of neutralizing the effects of the evil eye. Current day use of veils has origin in practices to protect against the evil eye.


Notes by Brad

  • Concerning death ceremonies: The national cemetery gave this writer something to reflect on. The organization and stunning beauty out there suggests there is something of value in death ceremonies, to be sure.
  • Don't think in terms of dichotomies. Think in terms of evolution. Let the most lowly things start out and be lifted up as high as they can be, so we then can leap upward with a faith grasp and see them anew, from the top-down.
  • Reaching the apex of evolution conjures the imagery of a cumulonimbus cloud, including how disturbing and odd looking it get when it flattens out at the top of the atmosphere.
  • All religions on Earth today are elaborations of old ghost cults.
    • Ghost is a word that just means "that which frightens you."


  • Don't seek a further exultation of a ghost cult. Turn around 180 degrees and see it anew from the top down.
    • Maybe even use different words. At least call it the Holy Spirit instead of Holy Ghost!
  • Why did dual spiritism not have to spread from tribe to tribe? Because each of us individually experiences a "verticality" in our mind, so it isn't too big of a stretch to imagine individuals worldwide projecting that vertical-ness outward into a rationalization scheme.
  • What kinds of concepts win out in the evolving mind?
    • Vivid ones.
    • Easily applied ones
    • Its apparent universality.
    • Not its reason, only its rationality.
    • Not its reality.
    • Sounds like modern advertising!


  • Humans have always assumed vividness equals reality!
    • "I had a vivid dream last night" tends to stop all other conversation the room.
    • Vivid heat does not imply spirit light.


  • Remember: your free will is independent of the main stream of the evolutionary process. With free will, you can choose to take the reins.
    • What if you chose to not be a helpless victim of antecedent causation?
    • Part of you is "hopelessly caught" in evolution. But not all of you. You perforce serve two masters.
    • Remember your animal origin mind always has this achilles heel.


  • Consistency: is that a hallmark of mere religious thinking? Or philosophic thinking? The latter. Truth is tied to philosophy.
    • That's why good and bad spirits behaving consistently was such an important advancement.


  • Dual spiritism is vivid, and part of the evolutionary process. But if it sticks around too long it suggests there can be no unity in the cosmos--it's just fundamentally broken into at least two irreconcilable pieces.
  • Good and evil as "cosmic co-ordinates"--a balance between light and dark--is a sophisticated (but problematic) philosophic concept. All of this from the evolution of the ghost concept.


  • Lots of room in our minds to think God or angels are watching us to always ensure we're doign the right things to please them.
    • Ah, no.
    • But there is a cosmic duty. Not a duty to ghosts, though. A duty to God.
    • What is your duty to God? Remember it is absolutely unique. Only you can answer it. You cannot look at anyone else and know it.
    • Perhaps you'll have to wait patiently and eagerly to find out.
    • We cannot answer that for you here.
    • It isn't sweeping the floor at the church. God loves you absolutely.