Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Building to the Climax (Part 2)

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December 11, 2018 [Paper 150:3, p. 1680]

In the times of Jesus the appearance of a bright and supposedly new star was regarded as a token indicating that a great man had been born on earth. Such a star having then recently been observed, Andrew asked Jesus if these beliefs were well founded. In the long answer to Andrew’s question the Master entered upon a thoroughgoing and memorable discussion of the whole subject of human superstition.

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Primitive Beliefs, Ignorance, Delusion



Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We continued the discussion about the spiritual equality of men and women in contrast to the passages in the revelation concerning the differential rights of men and women [84:5]. The resolution to this apparent inconsistency lies in the roles and domains of Father and Mother Deity. Spiritual equality of personalities is rooted in the domain of the existential Father. Differential rights for men and women stem from the experiential harmonizing (cosmic) role of Mother Deity. The challenge we face in addressing these issues is to first recognize the spiritual equality of persons which is transcendent of gender, which then in turn potentializes gender equity in daily life.


150:3. Sabbath at Tiberias

Jesus, underscoring the enhanced role of women in the establishment of the kingdom, directed that Sabbath services be put in the hands of the newly formed women’s corps. Late Sabbath evening Jesus gave the combined group of kingdom builders a memorable thoroughgoing talk on “Magic and Superstition.”

The midwayers’ restatement of Jesus talk in modern phraseology consists of an enumeration of ten items, some of which are in almost bullet point form relatively free of context. Man has long sought methods and techniques for discerning the future, influencing human affairs or divine action, winning protection, warding off disaster, and healing disease. In these ten points to those ends Jesus summarily dismisses the following: astrology, the work of haruspices (those who practice divination using the entrails of dead animals), necromancy (communication with the dead), charms and relics, casting lots, sorcery, witchcraft, and dream interpretation.

It was a sweeping denunciation of beliefs and practices most of which were widely prevalent in Jesus’ time persisting down to today. This comprehensive address by Jesus was designed to equip his messengers of the kingdom with authoritative teachings to effectively antidote the widely held superstitions which they were sure to encounter in their work of carrying the good news to the multitudes and to keep the gospel message free of these contaminating influences. It must be remembered that the audience for this talk consisted of the inner circle of kingdom builders and not the population at large.

In our discussion of these ten beliefs and practices we noted that in most cases ignorance or error (figment) is the operative human failing as opposed to evil on the part of the adherents of these methods. Man’s capacity for delusion and his ability to believe anything allow these beliefs to establish a mindal framework within which to interpret experiences can account for the apparent validity of many of these superstitions. We drew upon our many previous insights concerning the “physics” of the relation of matter, mind, and spirit in relation to personality to unpack the details of a number of these false practices, listen to the archive for all the details.


Notes by Brad

  • This author wonders: HAVE I seen the superadditive benefit of men and women?
    • In college, my programming team? What should we be looking for?
    • Expect superadditivity to be subtle. Look for what goes beyond the obvious additive contribution.
    • The cosmos is a harmonization of the differences between men and women. How does one set up a human system of equity for men and women?


  • To reach the 6th level of meaning, you've transcended being a man or a woman.
    • Yikes! Have you ever reached it, then? Don't count on it. Aim higher.
    • "I want to bring a feminine touch to ministry" says the female minister. That's not religion.
    • Fret not: technically the 3rd mansion world is where this is achieved.
    • But don't be satisfied too easily with where you're at. Set the bar high.


  • Reflection helps us to be grown. Stay humble. Reflection won't be systematic eureka, a-ha! moments.
    • But a reflective state is transcendent of feelings. It is a humble, quiet state.
    • Impatient reflection is impossible. If you're impatient, reflection is impossible. Maybe you're ruminating.
    • Something like: Reflection is upper-domain light. Ruminating is lower-domain heat.
      • That's more of a song lyric than a precise statement.


  • Women leading a worship service? Jesus was really pushing this idea of spiritual equality!
    • But did they get off on a tangent immediately, because the Old Testmaent is so often transfixed on the outer life? We aren't certain.


  • The list of 10 points against superstition are quite strong.
    • "Superstitious error" is strong than simply calling it "superstition." But that's because we actually can become ruled (subjectively) by astrology and other superstitious things.


  • Anointing oil won't heal you. But your sincere mindal belief in its power, oddly enough, can cause body healing.
    • If I had no mind, the positions of the stars could not affect my body. But because I have a mind, I can believe they have an effect, and they do. Except that I did this to myself, not the stars.


  • What allows superstition? Ignorance. (not necessarily stupidity)
    • A lot of people today are superstitious but don't think of themselves as that.
    • And yet, there's a thread of truth in the "if I examine the micro, it's connected to the macro and therefore I can divine something about the macro." Yes, the cosmos is a whole. But ignorance won't get you far.
    • "But what a fool believes he sees / No wise man has the power to reason away."
    • But beyond mere ignorance is delusion--an exalted, distorted, elevated conception of one's self.
      • "Delusions of grandeur" is redundant.


  • Phantoms and imagination are all that are needed to explain the sense that the dead come back to visit us.
  • Though charms and relics are impotent to heal disease, your belief in their ability to do so might have that subjective capability.
  • Matter and spirit substances are absolutely separated.
    • Because mind bridges the gap between them, mind is what lets you believe matter can affect spirit in a superstitious way.


  • Mind is always functioning (no such thing as non-functioning mind, actually)


  • Never forget that this list-of-10 items was restated, put into a post-Pentecost 5th epochal revelation context.


  • The greatest minds of the ancient world all believed many of these things: Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, ancient Canaanites.
    • A lot of intellectual heft behind these thoughts, then. Weight. Authority.