Episode:Melchizedek Gospel—Response in the Levant (Part 2)

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[Paper 95:3-4]

Moral evolution is not wholly dependent on revelation. High moral concepts can be derived from man’s own experience. Three thousand years before the Hebrew scriptures were written, wise Egyptians taught the ideals of Truth-Justice-Righteousness. Of all the purely human religions of Urantia none ever surpassed the social ideals and the moral grandeur of this onetime humanism of the Nile Valley.

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Summary by Kermit

Introductory Commentary

We commented on the troublesome situation encountered by the Salem teachers when they so vigorously attempted to eradicate temple harlotry (a social reform) at the expense of their spiritual mission of establishing monotheism. We noted that in mounting energetic opposition to a behavior, practice, or belief as a way of eliminating such things, often has the opposite effect. The energy and attention drawn to the objectionable conduct serves to strengthen the resistance to change and leads adherents to hold even more firmly to the offensive behaviors.

95:3 Evolution of Moral Concepts

It was noted that much of the Egyptian influence on Hebrew religion and Greek philosophy derived from Andite Mesopotamia, which is not technically considered the Levant. We are further reminded that because of the comparatively robust genetic and cultural foundations contributed by the Andites and Nodites, Egypt achieved advanced evolutionary social and ethical idealism in the absence of definitive input from revelation.

The natural and evolutionary development of high moral concepts in the absence of a direct injection of revelation is possible because of the triune cosmic endowment that comes with encircuitment in the Holy Spirit, the three cosmic intuitions, the innate and self-evident reality response conferred by the cosmic mind. Such moral attainment leads to the acquirement of spiritual values and cosmic insight because of the powerful presence of an indwelling spirit. And all of this is further enhanced by the periodic arrival of the messengers carrying revelation, in this case from Eden and later Salem.

Long before the Salem gospel came to Egypt, the triad of the time was Truth-Justice-Righteousness. In this section we see the revelation in its role of coordinating of essential knowledge, in that the revelators give some clues to more accurate historical dating of these times. They also point to the Egyptian “wisdom” literature, and show its direct appearance in Hebrew scriptures. No purely human Urantian religion ever surpassed the social ideals and moral grandeur of the humanism of these Egyptians.

These evolving ethical ideas and moral ideals provided fertile soil in which the surviving doctrines of the Salem religion thrived. The Egyptians lived according ethical and social standards as exemplified by such sayings as: “Life is given to the peaceful and death to the guilty.” “The peaceful is he who does what is loved; the guilty is he who does what is hated.” And they did this before entertaining concepts of right and wrong—good and bad. We see from this that standards of conduct were derived from experience as opposed to some absolute (existential) standard.

Prompted by the terms “ethical ideas” and “moral ideals,” we had a lengthy discussion of the implications and meanings in the use of the terms ethical and moral in combination with the words choice and decision. As was presented, moral refers to the existential spiritual realm outside of time and space. Ethical refers to temporal issues. “Choice” and “decision” are used in the revelation in specific ways and our discussion spoke to that. The student is referred to the archive of this show for the details of this significant topic. The major issue emerging from our discussion centered around the importance of distinguishing between existential and timeless spiritual matters and temporal experiential concerns when applying these terms. Attempting to apply existential timeless standards to temporal concerns leads to serious confusion and potential evil. It requires sincere and fearless reflective thought to distinguish between spiritual ideals and material ideas.

Jesus was constantly attempting to clarify for his Apostles this distinction. As a result we can see the consequences of failing to make such distinctions in the corruption of the high spiritual message of the fourth epochal revelation (4thER) with the material idealism of social reforms.

The intellectual and moral achievements of the Egyptians were not matched by their spiritual accomplishments. The revelators disclose that there were only four Egyptian prophets in a span of six thousand years. Abraham and Joseph’s great influence throughout Egypt in behalf of the Salem teachings of one God are attributed to political rather than religious circumstances. The highly ethical culture of the Egyptians encountered by the first Salem missionaries may have led to the error of equating conscience with the mandate of God, the voice of Deity. Such error has come down to today as the homespun aphorism “Let your conscience be your guide.” However, the revelators tell us:

“Conscience is not a divine voice speaking to the human soul. It is merely the sum total of the moral and ethical content of the mores of any current stage of existence; it simply represents the humanly conceived ideal of reaction in any given set of circumstances.” [92:2.6]

The problem is compounded by the fact that the “voice” of the conscience “sounds” in your mind as does the true voice of Deity, the indwelling spirit, and is therefore misleading at best.

4. The Teachings of Amenemope

Our author gives Amenemope very high marks for the quality of his teachings even though he perpetuated the idea that conscience is the highest pinnacle of arbitrament between right and wrong, and that riches and fortune are the gift of God. Though not the greatest of the religious teachers of this age, he was the most influential. He conserved the ethics of evolution and the morals of revelation. These passed on in his writings to both the Hebrews and the Greeks, two vital links in the growth of Occidental civilization. Amenemope’s Book of Wisdom is the source work for much in the Hebrew Book of Proverbs, including the first psalm of the Hebrew Book of Psalms and is the heart of the teachings of Ikhnaton, whom we are about to meet in more detail tonight.