Episode:Evolutionary Religion—Worship (Part 2)

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December 12, 2017 [Paper 85:2-4.2, p. 945]

Many of the earliest forms of nature veneration became blended with the later evolving techniques of worship.  Mankind has venerated earth, air, water, and fire, even worshiping fire as a deity itself.  In religion, symbolism may be either good or bad just to the extent that the symbol does or does not displace the original worshipful idea.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Tree of Life, Snake Cults, Sacred Fires



Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

Today, most of what is called worship is actually reverence for unity. And unity is a quality of Deity. Thus such reverence establishes your relationship with unity. As you begin to personalize your grasp of unity you are led into the reverence of personalized Deity, God and eventually to worship. The reverence for unity contributes to the Supreme at large while genuine worship individualizes your connection to eternity. Childhood memories of a sense of dread and awe in the face of impressive natural events convey something of how the ancients regarded natural phenomena. This illustrates how the religious and spiritual development of the individual parallels the progression of the race.


85:2. Worship of Plants and Trees

Plants were originally feared then worshiped as a result of the intoxicating liquors derived therefrom. Intoxication itself was viewed as a divine state. Today alcohol is still commonly referred to as “spirits.” We noted that the revelators do not specify the dating of these practices inasmuch as so many of these primitive concepts and behaviors have come all the way down to present ("modern") times. We are reminded that Lucifer attempted to skip the evolutionary sequence with his manifesto of liberty and self-assertion.

Our inquiry dialogue led to the consideration that with increasing spiritual consciousness and the false notion that spirit is innately divine comes increased risk for real danger and as such constitutes a principal factor underlying the emergency facing civilization today. This thread led further to a discussion concerning the role of grace which acts as a buffer between we errant mortals and the absolute law of God. And this grace buffer is with us until Adjuster fusion secures our connection to eternity.

Back to our topic we note that the spiritual lessons employed by the Apostle Paul regarding sprouting grain, illustrating the difference between our material bodies and our heavenly forms were preceded by a long history of man’s dread and superstitious awe at the phenomena of sprouting grain.

Discovering these primitive beliefs in our own childish notions of God and reality is not necessarily cause for alarm. Neither should we rest in an attitude of complacency. Rather, let them serve as motivation for us to move up the levels of meaning to the an enhanced cosmic perspective.

The legends coming down from both the Planetary Prince’s staff and The Garden of Eden gave particular reinforcement to the well nigh universal cult of the tree of life. In the several examples of the primitive reverence for plants and trees we find the origins of dual spiritism. Today the chemical and physiological effects of certain plants are ascribed to supermaterial properties resident therein. Our revelator pointedly explains that the savage believed all chemical effects to result from supernatural forces. Note that our material progress alone will not eventuate in higher civilization, quality of philosophic thinking does.

We pursued the idea of dual spiritism, alive and well today, wherein forces of good are arrayed in battle with forces of evil. This further transitions into the systems of belief that see things material as bad and things of spirit as good.

Tree cults spawned the belief in special wooden divining rods able to detect water and precious metals under the earth.

In terms of the hourglass analogy of the human mind, nature veneration occurs in the lower domain of adjutant mind function very early in his history and later becomes blended with evolving techniques of worship and ascend to the upper domain where man’s awakening religious nature becomes more fully responsive to the stimulus of spiritual influences.


85:3. The Worship of Animals

The early beliefs in human reincarnation in animal form, prevalent today stem from yet earlier animal worship. Animals real and imagined have all been worshiped at one time or another.

Our author reiterates that religious symbolism can be good or bad based on whether the symbol does or does not displace the original worshipful idea. Also, symbolism is not to be confused with idolatry—the worship of a material object directly.


85:4.1 Worship of the Elements

We ventured into this section on the worship of earth, air, water, fire, wind, rainbows etc. Reverence for these so-called elements have even come down through Hebrew theology to appear as angels of fire, water, and air.


Notes by Brad

  • This writer remembers that time in his life where zeal was first kicking in, casting a certain color-feeling over all of the world as a sort of magical place. He thinks fondly of that time, though he wouldn't want to go backward to it.
    • If you're a parent, can you have the patience to allow your child to go through his or her "worship of stones" evolutionary phase?
  • What is the timeframe of these papers? It jumps around. Plenty of Old Testament examples in here. There is no definitive timeframe, other than 1,000,000 years ago to 2,000 years ago, plus echoes of things happening still even today in civilization and in our own lives.
  • The recognition of free will is a double edged sword--powers of creativity and destructivity, both equal but opposing measures.
    • Remember that Gabriel didn't challenge Lucifer on Jerusuem at the outset of the rebellion, effectively because he's not interested in those who are not sophistry proof.
  • Do you have profound veneration for certain plants? Well, okay, you've gotten beyond stones and hills. But it's still quite primitive. "Holy smoke!"


  • Dread helps you "springboard" from the level of the flesh to the level of feelings. On up to awe.
  • We often speak negatively of the "spiritual but not religious" people today. But in fairness, they have cast off childlike superstition. The problem is becoming satisfied too quickly in this newfound mental space.
  • Embracing a sturdy oak tree to encourage pregnancy? Beyond the immediate and rather, ah, obvious analogy, there is the more subtle idea of siphoning off some of the fertility spirit from this massive, profound object.
  • Are you thinking of chemical effects as a supernatural force? Is food almost a religion for you? This paper may have something to say about where you are in the evolutionary process. You might still be a savage--effectively only animal--in your evolutionary process.
    • And the so-called placebo effect--mind over matter--is true. But don't be satisfied with mind over matter. Seek spirit over mind.


  • Nature worship gave rise to dual spiritism: good and bad sprits in the trees.
    • But good and bad are spirit words. They haven't a thing to do with matter, with trees for example. Not a bit.
  • Should you have a profound mindal experience (e.g., remote viewing, etc) please resist the urge to exalt it to the level of spirit. It still is "just" a mindal phenomenon, not spirit.
  • A "newly awakening religious nature" is the referencing the upper domain of mind in the hourglass analogy.
  • The snake love cult was huge, and we see its impact every day around us.


  • Matter does not make civilization. Quality minds do.
  • Stay hungry and thirsty, my friends. Savor the acquired understandings of today, but don't freeze them. Don't be satisfied. Keep your relationship to meaning living--flowing and in motion, not crystallized.
    • Mind rationalizes. It is not to be despised.